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The joy of tory trolls

Written By: - Date published: 8:54 am, January 29th, 2010 - 31 comments
Categories: phil goff - Tags:

One of the great pleasures I get from writing for The Standard is making the trolls scream.

There’s no better sign that you’re on the right track than when you sit down and think through a post, do the research and try to put forward your argument in a clear and concise manner and the first right-wing response is “tipical lickspittle leftard” or “your just a commmie fckwit”.

Of course this often leads to a ban as we like to keep a reasonable level of debate but nothing lets you know you’ve threatened the world view of the arrogant right better than their misspelled, badly punctuated, ad hominem frothing.

I imagine Phil Goff and his team is savouring exactly that feeling this morning after the government’s response to his speech hit the same shrill note.

After all when the best John Key can come up with is “it’s a dumb idea” and they put Tony Ryall on Morning Report to splutter about the “same old Labour crowd” and “Labour did it too” without actually addressing the substance of the issue, it shows you’re onto a winner.

All I can hope is that they follow Vernon Small’s advice and stay on message. They got a good hit in, the trick now is not to get too clever with the message and to keep the hammer down.


31 comments on “The joy of tory trolls”

  1. I thought Key looked overjoyed last night – he’s probably been apprehensive about this speech for weeks – and the best Goff could come up with was a policy that’s only going to impact on a tiny handful of Wellington based public servants?

    Who is this policy supposed to appeal to? Why should anyone change their vote because of it? What does it have to do with the issues Goff addressed in his speech?

    • Zetetic 1.1

      danyl. you’re not too flash at this politics thing eh?

      Goff is creating them and us. Us – working Kiwis. Them – overpaid execs, capitalists, and other bludgers.

      Labour can stand beside doctors nurses teachers wanting a raise. Every time the CEOs get one National is on the side of the elite.

      “the best Goff could come up with was a policy that’s only going to impact on a tiny handful of Wellington based public servants” That’s a Key line. You’ve bought it. That makes you a sucker. You’ve read the speech (haven’t you?). You know it is full of stuff.

      The CEO policy was just the grabber. The rest of the content is what they’ll fill out in the year ahead. It’s all the same message – Labour is for working Kiwis. for jobs, for good wages. Against bludgers, rich and poor. against dumb crime policies. against money grabs for the rich

      This speech is the most clever single piece of politics since Orewa. Now, they’ve got to stick to it.

      • Lew 1.1.1

        If only it had created the sort of strong us/them distinction you describe, in explicit terms. It didn’t really, and while there’s much to be happy with in the speech, I’m not convinced it will cut through for anyone who’s not already a Labour partisan.

        We’ll see, I suppose. I’ll be thrilled if I’m wrong.

        As for it being the smartest bit of politics since Orewa — I think you’re easily pleased.


        • Bright Red

          Lew. The power of political rhetoric is sometimes in not being explicit. being too explicit can actually put walls up in the mind of the audience.

          • Lew

            BR, Labour’s greatest danger at present is fading into insignificance, not in turning people off. The time for “softly-softly, don’t scare the horses” politics, if there ever was one, has well and truly passed.


      • lukas 1.1.2

        “Goff is creating them and us”

        So Labour are being divisive? Iwi Kiwi 2.0

        • Lew

          At a demographic level all two-party politics (and ours remains predominantly a two-party system) is about defining us and them. There are many ways of doing that. Iwi/Kiwi was a particularly deleterious way. What Goff’s doing isn’t the tenth part as bad.


        • Bright Red

          all politics is about the division of power – and from that resources, wealth etc – between competing classes in society. It’s always about us and them, that’s why we have political parties and not just a giant love-in.

          the trick is to show or, in the case of the Nats, trick most people into thinking your party stands for them – the everyday good person – against ‘them’ – in this case the bludgers, rich and poor.

    • IrishBill 1.2

      Like I said on your blog, the policy’s not ideal but it’s a safe way of sending the message about reining in high-earners. I would have preferred an announcement focused on a heavy tax on financial speculation or on expatriated profits but I’ve long since given up on expecting the world to revolve around what I want.

      There’s plenty I’d have changed about the speech but I still see it as a step in the right direction and a possible foundation for further leftward steps. Rome wasn’t built in a day, Danyl, and if your expectation is that you’ll wake up one day and find the opposition has published a manifesto that matches what you want word for word then you need to reappraise your understanding of politics.

    • fraser 1.3

      in some ways i think key walked into a bit of a trap with his answer.

      a leader of a party that campaigned on cutting public sector spending (among other things) and has banged on about wage freezes and only paying what the country can afford suddenly has a much different attitude when it comes to the big boys.

      that coupled with the contempt implied in his reply spoke volumes.

      the real question is can labour leverage it?

      captcha “pay”

  2. Andrei 2

    I thought it was a singularly dreary speech – uninspired and insipid.

    Clearly though Mr Goff was preaching to the Choir since you seem to think its rhetoric matched that of the Gettysburg Address or something.- so it hit the right note somewhere I suppose.

    • Marty G 2.1

      Goff isn’t trying to win you over, Andrei. He doesn’t need to and never could because you’re a rightwing ideologue.

      All he needs to do is win back the 6% who voted Labour in 1999, 2002, and 2005 and left in 2008.

      • Lew 2.1.1

        Quite right, Marty — but (for a change) I’d go further. A speech like this shouldn’t just be dreary to people like Andrei — it should infuriate and offend and anger them, and cause wailing and gnashing of teeth among their ranks.

        Yeah, it is a gradual project, but I think there was room for a bit more fire in this one.


        • Zorr

          In this case Lew, it is every possibility that Andrei is here using terms like “dreary” in the effort to downplay the speech as much as possible. From what I have heard (because I don’t visit), Kiwiblog is more than up in arms enough over this so as to make up for the rest of the internet… 😛

          • Lew

            Zorr, possible, but I don’t see much to get angry about in that speech, even for wingnuts. Even David is only one notch above “mock” and the KBR aren’t out of second gear.


        • Draco T Bastard

          A speech like this shouldn’t just be dreary to people like Andrei — it should infuriate and offend and anger them, and cause wailing and gnashing of teeth among their ranks.

          It probably doers Lew but, considering the topic of the post, do you really think he’ll admit that?

      • Bored 2.1.2

        Thanks for that, I pointed out a month ago that only 1 in 10 people moving your way equals a 20% swing. (i.e the NACTs 20% lead at present would become 0% if 1 person in ten switched..).I got roundly rubbished by the usual triumphantalist RWRBs.

  3. Neil 3

    I’m sure Goff will continue hammering home the message that top civil servants are overpaid and destroying our economy. The public have been baying for blood for quite some time.

  4. randal 4

    dont worry about phill goff.
    when the country has had enough of the posturing and unprincipled tory government their polls will go south in a big hurry and they wont come back.
    the working people built this country and while they may be fickle in the end they know who is the best party and all this flummery and public relations blits can only last for so long before the nats get turned out on their bums.
    the bums.

  5. That’s a Key line. You’ve bought it. That makes you a sucker.

    Believe it or not I came up with my opinion all on my own. I don’t need politicians and their press secretaries to tell me what to think.

    As a left-wing progressive I believe in the public service – I think we need high quality public servants and I believe they should be well paid. I don’t think you can justify Paul Reynolds style salaries, but paying someone 1/10th of his income to be the soliciter general or run the corrections department seems reasonable.

    Labour have copied this policy off the conservative party in the UK. It’s a really, really good tory party policy – it ties in with their core message of smaller government, gutting the public service etc. And it works for them because they’ve been out of power for over a decade so they have no responsibility for pay rates in the public service.

    It’s an inane policy for a left-wing party that’s just been voted out of government. Espiner and Garner made Goff look like a fool last night.

    • Bright Red 5.1

      If you were thinking for yourself you would know that the speech had a lot more to it than the CEO policy.

      Face it, your opinion on this speech changed after Key told you what to think on the news. read your post from before that.

  6. My reaction at 12:33 yesterday:

    Update: The subject and themes of the speech are fine but the policies seem like a random grab-bag; it’s hard to imagine who they’re supposed to win over and I think they’ll be easy for Key to swat away: ‘we need to attract high calibre leaders to run the public service and so we pay them accordingly’, ‘a drastic rise in the minimum wage will cripple small and medium businesses and put countless struggling New Zealanders out of work’.

  7. Of course itr was the same old labour speech.

    Rich people are mean, and poor people are nice.

    I saw on the news a couple of nights ago, the media was interviewing this woman, who
    was complaining the minunum wage raise wasnt enough, strangly the reporter did ask her, when she left school, what grades she got, and what career choices she made.

    But I guess labur has never been about personal responsibility.

  8. gingercrush 8

    This speech is the most clever single piece of politics since Orewa. Now, they’ve got to stick to it.

    Stick to what? There were so many separate pieces to the speech that overall the message wasn’t coherent. Goff also seems confused as to what economy is doing.

  9. Whatever Goff said would have been trumpeted here simply because it wasn’t Key.

    Yet the headline stuff could easily have been Key.

    I’ve stated before that Labour has a fundamental challenge on many fronts. Nats won the election because they won the centre. Many here want Labour to focus on policies that appeal more to the left, not the centre. Likewise, Labour has challenges with core constituencies with Maori and the watermelon Greens.

    As an aside, I’d love to see the cost benefit analysis of Goff’s plan to cap Govt CEO’s – that ain’t going to fund $15hr min wage.

    • felix 9.1

      Yet the headline stuff could easily have been Key

      I keep hearing this but I don’t get it. Perhaps some examples would help?

  10. randal 10

    felix it is near impossible to get a reply from a computer designed to look like a real person.
    anyway the point is that Phil Goff has made it clear which side he is on and it is not the overprivileged over wealthy over stuffed bunchof geeks who believe that they are entitled to everything.

  11. Perhaps some examples would help?

    Key campaigned on capping the public service during the last election (obviously there’s a distinction between capping CEO salaries and the whole service, but the sentiment is the same).

    • Zetetic 11.1

      yeah a complete distinction. One is like calling for a maximum income. The other is like calling for no more jobs.

  12. randal 12

    how about calling for nationwide broadband so all the dweebs can stay home and thieve off the internet?

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