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The Greens & Dirty Politics

Written By: - Date published: 7:25 am, August 24th, 2014 - 20 comments
Categories: greens - Tags:

The NZ Herald poll made a certain amount of sense.  Sure they’ve probably over-estimated National’s current support as they always do (see DimPost’s poll work), but National down more than 5% and Labour not making traction in the wake of Dirty Politics shouldn’t be surprising.

The media script is as always: Labour do something wrong, Labour bad.  National do something wrong – terrible politicians.

We had Paddy Gower saying if someone looked at Labour’s emails we’d find the same thing, despite the fact that they don’t (nor indeed anyone but National) have anything like WhaleOil.  The Standard was breathlessly named, but anyone taking a cursory glance will see the difference.  No giving civil servants details out and having death threats for leaks they didn’t do for a start…

National’s defences of “Labour do it too” – even if they were untrue – wouldn’t have helped convert the vote to the red box.

And the Greens?  They were much more front-footing the issue.  Labour has difficulty going negative given they’ve chosen to focus on Vote Positive.  So a gap opens for the Greens and they took it, with their official complaints and media presence.

And with their never having been in government, guaranteeing they’ve not used such dirty tricks, their track record of “clean green”, not wanting to play dirty, and their having been in parliament long enough to not come across as completely naive – it’s no wonder they are more the recipients of National’s drop.

NZ First – with Winnie’s record of finding corruption when in opposition – will also gain, and probably a little for the Conservatives too.  Like in 2002 when Nicky Hager’s Seeds of Distrust dropped Labour’s support it didn’t go to National, but third parties.  Probably not ACT this time – they’re hardly the anti-corruption party now, nor United Future, as Dunne’s done.

Labour meanwhile have to try and get their Vote Positive through the crowded Dirty Politics media.

20 comments on “The Greens & Dirty Politics ”

  1. Jackal 1

    Although a few solid statements wouldn’t go amiss, I also think David Cunliffe should generally stay on topic and push Labour’s vote positive messaging. The next Prime Minister of New Zealand needs to show that he’s focused on policy, because Labour really does have a lot of great initiatives that many Kiwis are still unaware of.

    Perhaps Phil Goff and David Shearer are more suited to be criticizing the National party over their black-ops activity? Labour need to be careful however because many New Zealanders aren’t yet aware of the details and extent of John Key’s dirty politics.

    Strangely enough, National is trying to counter the Greens by saying they’ve already been in Government with Labour. Yesterday, Environment Minister Amy Adams even said it on The Nation. It’s a pity the MSM is allowing them to get away with such an obviously disingenuous narrative.

    • Colonial Viper 1.1

      I think you’re spot on. This is not the time for Labour to act and attack like the Opposition. It is time for Labour to act and lead – like the Government in waiting.

    • Chooky 1.2

      Jackel +100…Phil Goff is very effective in attack mode as is David Shearer…Goff is aggressive and to the point and outraged as he should be over the John Key’s misuse of the SIS to attack and undermine him ….Shearer has gravitas

      Labour should unhitch their attack dogs onto John Key and his black ops and let them off the leash

      (imo Goff and Shearer were not good as the Leaders of the Labour Party…. this is best left to Cunliffe with his clean positive policy brand image ….but they would be good exposing the Dirty Tricks of John Key’s NACT…and we need them!…NOW)

  2. Ad 2

    It’s vital that there’s a strong Green Party in parliament. But, just because they can get short term gain from attack politics, doesn’t mean they should.

    Greens have built a hard won reputation on being clean and green – cleanly playing the policy not the man, and green in their political innocence by not compromising.

    Selling that reputation for a 5 point bump makes great tactics with 4 weeks to go, but its the wrong call for the Green Party overall. What would Jeanette and Rod do?

    • @ ad..

      ..but there also comes a time when they must speak up..

      ..it is the current elephant in the room..

      ..silence is not an option..

      ..and issuing demurring tutt-tutts! is not playing ‘dirty politics’..

      ..it just confirms in voters’ minds that there is no way the greens wd engage in such low-rent behaviour…

      ..and that is a good thing..

      ..and as for yr final-question..hard to answer definitively..

      ..but i cd imagine rod donald letting-rip in a situation like this..

      ..he wouldn’t be going and offering john key a flower..

      ..wd he..?

    • Colonial Viper 2.2

      I think the Greens signage and now their TV ad have all been a bit off-key. As it were. Attacks messages against National are well and good – earlier in the year. Now they should be positioning themselves as the party bringing back clear, unambiguous, positive principles back to a NZ politics sullied by John Key.

      • Karen 2.2.1

        I think the Greens have made a serious mistake with their billboards and TV ad. Last election their billboards were outstanding, this election they are messy, hard to read, and the message is hard to understand at a glance. The TV ad is a a turnoff for many people.
        A Swedish friend said that the Greens in Sweden had their worst result ever when they used a dying seal on their billboards. While I don’t think the impact will be as great here, I think if the Greens had a poster like their 2011 one they would pick up more votes from the uncommitted voters.

        • cricklewood

          I’d agree with that previously the hoardings were striking with what i’d call aspirational imagery and messaging.
          This year the hoardings are far to busy to read especially when driving and the imagery is more negative. Definitely no where near as good as previous efforts…

          • AmaKiwi


            Busy pictures don’t work on busy roads. Both would be better off with two word signs: Vote Green, Vote Labour.

        • Molly

          Many people are concerned about the state of our waterways, and that has been confirmed in polls. I don’t know whether that will make a difference – how many Swedes were concerned about seals before the billboards? – but it is an image that has an immediate context.

          Given that the Greens have steadily grown their percentage in the polls, perhaps it is just a case that once people start voting Greens they are unlikely to shift parties. In that case, the change from aspirational might appeal to those who want to know exactly how things are going to improve. And they gently pick up part of another demographic.

    • Murray Olsen 2.3

      Dirty politics is when you throw shit at everything, not when you try to stop it being thrown. I salute the Greens for taking action on the probably criminal behaviour of the Key regime. Labour, on the other hand, is being too weak on this.

  3. Foreign Waka 3

    The National government will sacrifice all other income revenues such as tourism for those cows that pollute the environment at a rate that NZ will sit on a mountain of excrement in 20 years time. The amount of health issues, loss of other income etc will be dramatic and the farmers who perpetrate this as being OK are the very land gentry that is using the land as their way of getting rich at the expense of everybody else. The RMA is in place to protect that little bit that is left and is once more attacked by the same people who don’t give a damn about the majority that has to life with fecal and urine in the water ways.Why would they? They are just interested to export as much of the dairy as they can and that doesn’t need any other person in the population to be there.
    One of the sticking points is the cost of irrigation. It should be paid for by farmers in the same way as the little guy has to pay for drinking water via rates. To say that this is not the case is just another lie that is being perpetrated.
    It is so obvious who is running the affairs of this county that it will be an uphill battle to change the way the destruction path is being set. Environmentally and democratically.

  4. Dingbat 4

    The real winners from Dirty Politics will be NZ First as for disaffected National voters Labour or Green is a step too far. By voting NZ First they will send a message of their dissatisfaction at the behaviour of National politicians, staffers and bloggers but will enable their party to still lead a government supported by Winston.

    Of course this will not be ‘business as usual’ for National but they will remain clinging to power. The only way to stop this happening is for someone on the left to turn the light on to NZ First and expose their flaky set up. Of course this is unlikely because Labour and the Greens imagine they will get support from Winston post election and so they are unwilling to upset him. However, if NZ First receives over 5% of the vote, they will remain in opposition.

    • Foreign waka 4.1

      It is very clear that Mr Peters will stay independent and will give his vote issue by issue to the National government. At no point, ever(!) will he take sides with the greens and certainly not with with labor. He is by nature a blue rinse men and it is very very obvious to anybody who likes to look.
      Here is my prediction: Nat 45%, NZ First 5%, Conservative 2% and vola’ you know who will be in government.
      I am a green voter and would rather see the green Party having a large say in environmental impact issues. Similarity, I am all in favor for Labors policy of Capital gains tax in order to stem speculation. A small country like NZ would otherwise be left with derelict housing stock that needs to be raised to the ground and rebuild. All with – yes you guessed it – taxpayer money. The fraud that is going on is so obvious, that even the very young have cottoned on to it and don’t doubt for a minute that they know how and how much.
      All I can say is good luck and god defend NZ.

  5. crocodill 5

    So, let me get this straight, The Greens telling the truth about what has happened and when it happened and who was doing it is “negative”?

    I see.

    Fragile little pussy cats those Nats, huh? They’ll smear and dig dirt in ways that’d make your eyelids curl up, but factually describe what they’re doing and they cover their ears and shout negative? A vote for National is a vote for cowardice.

    So why would any Labour supporter say The Greens message is “negative”? Could it be regret and shame, knowing full well poverty increased under several of their watches, too? Tough, Labour, you had more than a few chances, at least have “the balls” (that was what Goff said, yeah?) to take your portion of the responsibility. People died as a result, and still are, you’re living it fat and large. Quit your privileged snivelling. It’s not good enough to offer one option, with the alternative being slow death, and then say people with no resources, support or power can “choose”.

    The supreme irony of the Greens message is that I couldn’t help feel that I was watching (except for the rivers and stream bit) an old Labour Party election ad. I hope that isn’t a warning about who’ll they’ll become.

  6. alwyn 6

    The Greens are the only one of the three biggest parties that have got better results after the release of this book. They might have done even better if Metiria had refrained from trying to make something out of her specious police complaints.
    In the June herald poll National were on 50.4%, Labour on 30.5% and Greens on 10.7%
    In the August poll, after the book came out, National were on 50.0%, Labour on 25.2% and the Greens on 13.7%.
    I’m not sure that Labour will be too happy with that. Perhaps they have become tarred with getting to close to the hackers.

  7. tricledrown 7

    It would really funny if the hacker turned our to be a National insider!

    • Colonial Viper 7.1

      It’s very likely that National Party insiders are involved to some degree. BTW you used the term “the hacker” as if it were one person wholly responsible for getting Hagar the info. I think it may also be a small group maybe 2-3 people.

  8. Mike the Savage One 8

    Yes, the Greens have only to gain in this scenario, and that is hope for the left, as they deserve to get 15 or more percent of the vote. As for ACT:

    “Probably not ACT this time – they’re hardly the anti-corruption party now, nor United Future, as Dunne’s done.”

    Hah, yes, I saw a bit of their election campaign video, where Jamie Whyte and his partner walked on the huge farm land of ACT’s biggest donor.

    Those that know a bit about this, will have all proof that ACT is simply a party of mercenaries serving the interests of the rich and asset wealthy.


    Jamie Whyte is nothing but a bought off puppet to serve his masters.

  9. tricledrown 9

    MikeTSO Gibbs claims all his artists are pro ACT winners I doubt even 1 of these artists would right wing let alone ACT
    The con artist gets conned by artists poetic justice their !

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