National are running out their favourite tactic again – the Straw Man.
We see it regularly with every highly-paid “Working Group” they establish. They choose the participants to make sure they get the ideas they want to implement, plus a bit more. Then they cleave off the extra bits to look “moderate”. The ultimate Straw Man is Brash’s 2025 Taskforce – to make the other Working Groups look reasonable. John Key openly established it and said they were unlikely to take their recommendations – showing its pointlessness for anything other than political posturing.
So, they may be privatising the workplace accident insurance marketplace, but they’re not pushing ACC out entirely. And their “Steering Group stocktake” has said to kick ACC entirely out of the workplace, motor vehicle and medical injury accounts, so really they’re just being moderate… in much the same way as someone proposing to murder your family, but then only beating you about a bit – you should be thankful, right?
Dr Smith describes the stocktake report as “contradictory”, and leaves Rodney Hide to defend it – but despite it being bad work, he’s still taking some of the recommendations. If someone’s homework isn’t good enough, you get them to go off and do it again, making sensible recommendations, not just only implement some of it, surely? Better yet, get the work done by someone else who can put a logical argument together.
Far better a logical argument than the logical fallacy of the middle ground, that National push the media and public into. They push out the extreme – then get ACT to defend it – to move the Overton Window and look moderate. It’s all right out of the Crosby Textor playbook I’m sure…