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Like McDonalds, the same all over the world

Written By: - Date published: 12:41 pm, July 25th, 2008 - 16 comments
Categories: crosby textor, spin - Tags:

This is from 2005 in Britain but we saw the same script played out here last month:

When SpinWatch asked Tory central press office to clarify the roles being played by Crosby and Textor the conversation was as follows:

SpinWatch: ‘I was wondering if you could clarify the role that Lyndon Crosby and Mark Textor are having in the Tories election campaign’.

Tory press-spokesperson: ‘Lyndon Crosby is the campaign Director and the man in charge. That is all I can tell you.’

SpinWatch: ‘And Mark Textor?’

Tory: ‘I can’t tell you anything about Mark Textor,’

SpinWatch: ‘Why not?’

Tory: ‘ Because its not policy to do so,’

SpinWatch: ‘Is he working for the Tories?’

Tory: ‘I can’t say anything about it.’

SpinWatch: ‘You can’t say anything about it? – Can I take your name?

Tory: ‘No’

SpinWatch: ‘That’s not very helpful. Is there any reason why you are not being helpful?

Tory: ‘I am not saying any more’

The actual article, by the way, links Mark Textor to tobacco giant Phillip Morris. Spinwatch maintains that Textor acted as a “Key consultant for Philip Morris in Australia, and was a delegate at a conference where the tobacco company discussed exploiting the issue of youth smoking”.

What a guy.

Hat-tip: Scoopit

16 comments on “Like McDonalds, the same all over the world ”

  1. They’re like cookie-cutter campaigns. It’s entirely up to the media whether they put up with it or not.

  2. Anita 2

    If they’re cookie-cutter you’d think there was a cookie-cutter media response.

    But, if there is, it ain’t happening here.

    What’s stopping them?

  3. Joanna 3

    Hi Eddie, very interesting post! I’m not sure if this is the appropriate place to ask this (don’t want to thread-jack but I think it might be relevant to this topic…maybe…)

    anyway, I am a kiwi overseas at the moment so I read blogs to keep up with what happening and I notice A LOT of rightwing-type-commenters repeat the same phrases over again – specifically “nothing to see here move along” – did a politician actually say this and I missed it or are they all copying each other …
    also have noticed lots of people on many different blogs refering to Helengrad etc.

    I am curious if this could be an unoffical campaign strategy by nat. supporters – just repeating the same (meaningless) phrases to shut down debate. (and C/T seem to do this too- hence the link to this post – hmm maybe a bit tenuous – please delete this comment if you think it doesn’t fit here)

  4. polaris 4

    Joanna – it’s a phrase of Helen Clark’s – right wing commenters are thus taking the piss.

  5. Joanna 5

    Ah, cheers for clearing that up for me – I wondered why so many people were saying it!

  6. polaris. what did she use the phrase about and when? and what were her actual words?

  7. Anita 7

    Checking NewzText Plus (full text NZ media database) shows:

    No politician has ever been quoted by the media saying “Nothing here to see” and “move along”[1].

    It appears in a National Party press release in May 2008 issued by Simon Power titled Justice budget: nothing to see here, move along. This is the only press release I can find it in.

    It is rarely used by the media at all.

    The first time it was used by the NZ media about politics was 2002 about Michelle Boag dealing with the appearance of a National Party feud.

    So I’m pretty sure we can’t blame Clark for right-wing commentators using it.

    [1] I searched for “nothing here to see” and “move along” as separate phrases because it appears both ways around in articles.

  8. Joanna 8

    Steve/Anita – I also searched for the info before I posted the question and could only find blog comments and the press release you mentioned. Maybe it came from the press release and has been heavily picked up.

    But Polaris’s comment is quite definative so I would assume they have a source for that information.

  9. Eddie 9

    Joanna, seems like all political parties do it. They’d call it ‘staying on message’. Some are better than others and sometimes it’s pretty obvious when it’s being employed. Like after the big speech that the PM gave at the start of the year, every single National MP who spoke used exactly the same lines – word for word. So it didn’t make them sound very smart.

  10. Lew 10

    I think the classical formulation is `nothing to see here’, rather than `nothing here to see’. I also recall National making a great deal out of Clark saying `move on’, though I forget the issue – Paintergate? Pledge Card? I forget. I also can’t find much published matter to this effect, though I’ve not had time to do a really thorough search.


  11. Anita 11


    Argh – I actually did search on “nothing to see here”, then screwed it up when I retyped it here. My stats stand – my typing needs work:)

    Helen Clark and “move along” (in the sense we’re talking about):

    PM dashes port’s hopes for US ships The Press 25 March 2002

    “They haven’t signalled any change (on the icebreakers). We haven’t signalled any change (on the nuclear-free position), so we simply note the difference and move along. There’s no point in wasting time on positions which are still as they were.”

    PM stifles ‘waffle’ on Smith case complaint The Dominion Post (and other Fairfax papers) 29 March 2004

    “My public advice to Nick Smith has been to learn from this and move along”

    Those are the only two I can find.

  12. Anita 12

    Which makes me curious (but threadjacking), what is the current National policy on nuclear propulsion?

  13. nat nuclear policy is no change to current legislation.

  14. Anita 14


    Ta – it was hard to find on their website 🙂

  15. Draco TB 15

    But Polaris’s comment is quite definative so I would assume they have a source for that information.

    I would say that polaris’ comment was quite assertive but, having no source for his assertion, is certainly not definitive.

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