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When campaigns go bad

Written By: - Date published: 7:43 am, October 8th, 2020 - 50 comments
Categories: Dirty Politics, Judith Collins, national, same old national - Tags: , ,

It seems every day there is a new catastrophe for Judith Collins to deal with.

The latest is National arranging for Party activists to be normal members of the community and also to spontaneously line the side of Ponsonby Road at regular intervals to say nice things to Judith and give the perception that she is popular.

The only problem, dear reader, is that the media worked out it was a ruse.

All politicians do public walk abouts.  I accompanied Jacinda Ardern on one last election in New Lynn.  The intention was to walk through Lynnmall and get a few photos taken.

The problem was that people loved her.  They flocked to her.  Whether they were superannuants, middle aged, teenagers or young people they all wanted to have their photo taken with her.

This photo that I took sums up the day.  A very young child could not help but to be happy in Jacinda’s presence.

We gave up the idea of the walk through and back tracked our steps.  There were just too many people wanting to have selfies taken with Jacinda.

Our walk abouts include party members.  But pretty well all of us wear Labour T shirtsor rosettes and we are there proudly in support.

Recent reports suggest that Jacinda is just as or even more popular than three years ago.  Wherever she goes she is mobbed.

Obviously National thinks this is a problem.  Which is why they planned and organised a “spontaneous” uprising of people interest in Judith as she walked along Ponsonby Road with Auckland Central candidate Emma Mellows.

But there was a problem.  The media worked out what was happening.

The idea was to get film of Judith talking to ordinary people.  But there was a second problem, ordinary people did not want to have a bar of talking to Judith.  So National stacked the street with party activists instead.

Scenes became farcical as Hamish Price, right wing twitter troll, who I understand is Wellington based, was identified as one of the people expressing spontaneous support.  Hilarity on twitter ensued as he seemed to have difficulty remembering his name but he did concede that he was involved in National.  He apparently just happened to be on Ponsonby Road at the time, equidistanced from other National Party activists all wanting to say nice things about Judith while the cameras rolled, and this had nothing to do with the fact that he has a significant role in Emma Mellows’ campaign.

I am a bit surprised that Hamish was there.  As far as I can tell he actively opposed dirty politics and I thought he would not be happy to support Judith.   Simon Lusk described him as “a nasty, offensive and divisive self important fool of a man that should be avoided at all costs by any candidate.”  Emma Mellows is possibly thinking similar thoughts right now.

Judith must have regretted that she did this walk.  Not only was there the idiotic crowd sourcing idea but one shop refused to let her enter and she went into a cafe where a random M&M poll suggested that Labour was well ahead in this uber wealthy part of town.  As they say in politics these were not good visuals.

Benedict Arnold had two words for it, cheeky and clumsy.  I would have three words to describe what happened, freakin amateur hour.

50 comments on “When campaigns go bad ”

  1. Stephen D 1

    It’s beginning to look like Judith is having to run this campaign by herself. Discussing policy, organising walkabouts, 2 hours with Hosking.
    Have the rest of the National Campaign team decided enough was enough, and have walked away completely to distance themselves from the oncoming disaster of a 20 something result?

  2. Robert Guyton 2

    The Civilian makes merry with the situation:

    " The unveiling of the stunt by television news this evening has prompted a hurried removal of all future planted supporters, of which there are said to be hundreds.

    1 News spoke with a woman this evening who has been glued to the pavement in Anzac Square, just outside the Dunedin Railway Station, in anticipation of a coming visit by Collins.

    “They installed me here about three days ago,” she told 1 News’ Jessica Mutch, “and I hear Judith is coming tomorrow, I think, and I’ve had plenty of time to rehearse the lines, so, hopefully…”"

    http://www.thecivilian.co.nz/national-party-scrambles-to-remove-hundreds-of-supporters-pre-planted-over-a-week-in-advance/

  3. Ad 3

    This is beginning to make up for 2014.

    I might even start enjoying it if it keeps up.

  4. mac1 4

    Collins comes to our town on Friday. I suspect the local MP, who has his problems with the locals regarding him as ineffectual and lazy, is regretting her pending visit.

    On the subject of having the supporters come out, a National Party spokesperson came to town to talk to the Chamber of Commerce. If the local National members who were unconnected to any local business had not been there he'd have been pretty lonely.

    At least they know not to go to a pub two weeks before an election and risk the feedback from going round the tables meeting and greeting. Instead they sat at a safe table, like Judith did with her candidates Lee and Mellow in Ponsonby.

    National- being seen but not daring to meet.

  5. observer 5

    It couldn't have happened to a nicer pair – Judith and Hamish deserve each other.

    PS Benedict Collins, not Arnold. Though some angry Nats might think he's a traitor …

  6. mosa 6

    I am surprised she hasn't dragged that shyster Key along on her meet the grateful public walkabouts.

  7. Patricia Bremner 7

    It is rather a case of "Where is the Public when you need them?"

    Condescension is not attractive, with her scoffing and grating laugh very offensive.

    Her looking glass told her she was charming, and she believed her own PR, so it must be galling for her to realise we don't buy her makeover.

    Poor wee thing. I am enjoying this.

  8. Enough is Enough 8

    CB poll out tonight isn't there?

    It will be very interesting as the only regular poll over the campaign.

    Has Judith done enough to bring any voters back to National and deny Labour an historic majority.

    I am picking L47, Green 5, National 32, Act 8, Maori 2, NZ1 2, Ncon 2.

    • Dennis Frank 8.1

      Seems reasonable. I'll take a punt on Lab 48, Nat 33, Greens 7, Act 5, MP 2, NZF 2, ANZ 1.5, NC 1.5. I'm factoring in Judith's dog whistle as getting a few strays back in behind…

    • Chris 8.2

      Collins' recent gaffs like the public prays and policy on the hoof / leaking / disunity fiasco will make this poll particularly interesting. If those things don't bring support down close to where English was in 2002 little else will.

      • mac1 8.2.1

        After the poll tonight, and then Judith's public meeting in a 700 seat theatre, tomorrow, we'll see. Last year at a Chamber of Commerce meeting in the same theatre Ardern got three hundred. I'm picking, like you, Chris, a 2002 scenario.

        • Chris 8.2.1.1

          I'm hoping it'll be like 2002, but what makes collins so divisive and polarising also makes predicting the public's response to her behaviour difficult. The nats put her in there because there was nobody else while they groomed the next john key, they were polling so low they'd given up winning, it was an opportunity to finally end her champing at the bit to be PM, but importantly she also had the potential to save a few jobs by bringing support up to or above 30%. It's the latter we're all hoping she fails to do, of course, although if she'd played her cards right she may've managed to pull it off. The public prayers in particular, I think, may have put a lot of people off. Tonight could be a litmus test. Here's hoping.

        • mac1 8.2.1.2

          Report from the meeting in Blenheim. Collins spoke in the smaller side theatre to about 180 people including four NZLP members. Mostly an older audience attending, Collins, ironically standing in front of her poster with "Strong Tea Moro Bars Better Scones" on it, criticised the government for speaking in slogans.

          A stalwart Nat in front of me told me he saw the election as a foregone conclusion…….. and that he saw that Labour could govern alone and didn't want the Greens involved.

      • woodart 8.2.2

        there were more parliamentary lifeboats for defecting natz to swim to in 2002. now, there is only one that is going to be in welly next term. natz who actually care about others would rather go down on the good shit,er ,ship national ,than climb onto tinydancers dingy, and be surrounded with gun nuts and worse.?

  9. Muttonbird 9

    Labour should just quietly announce JA will be with Helen White in Ponsonby on Monday lunchtime after her 2 hour Hoskings interview which she should do in studio as opposed to Collins who phoned it in on a terrible line.

    The contrast to Collins' manufactured walkabout would create memorable pictures.

  10. Tricledrown 10

    The Strong team has a Strong Stench of swamp gas as trolls,Back Stabbers ,sycophantic supporters all writhing in the sewer of Dirty politics that has more leaks than a sieve.

    All Nationals past lies and cunning plots have come home to roost ,the rot has set in and looks terminal.

  11. ScottGN 11

    Judith’s stand up after touring the Potemkin Village in Ponsonby

    “I’ll tell you what Tova/Susie/Jenna, there will no more of this nonsense once I become Empress of all the Russias!”.

  12. Peter 12

    It was funny early this morning hearing the radio callers so upset about the state broadcaster not just highlighting Collins Ponsonby day but opining on it.

    Apparently Collins being one of the first items on state radio and TV everyday with nothing events and her mindless comments is good. Critical for us to see her, hear her.

    Being on there exhibiting mindlessness when they don't like it is bad. I love it.

  13. Byd0nz 13

    2 hours with Hosking, yuk, why bother. Hope she has a sick bag in her purse.

    • Kiwijoker 13.1

      Birds of a feather!

    • Wensleydale 13.2

      She'll be in her element. Hosking will nod sagely, smile agreeably, and once again expound on the countless ways the current government is a cancer upon the nation. He's an obedient minion. Collins will love it.

  14. ScottGN 15

    So this morning National wheeled out Key to put in a good word for Jude. The fact they put him onto Hosking’s show on NewstalkZB, probably the most reliably pro National radio show in the country, really tells us that they’re way more worried about losing their voters than trying to pick up any off Labour.

  15. Sacha 16

    Best short clip from the TVNZ story – note the fake interaction right at the start.

  16. Incognito 17

    Just one word: shambolic.

  17. Adrian 18

    In yesterdays 3 way interview Mellow took credit for organising the greeters. Wants to be an MP but couldn't even get that right.

    • Incognito 18.1

      There’s nothing wrong with inviting supporters over for a meet & greet. However, the media smelled a rat because it was more staged than The Truman Show.

  18. Muttonbird 19

    Party supporters usually identify themselves by wearing rosettes or T-shirts, or carrying signs.

    Not these ones though, they went incognito.

  19. ken 20

    Judith wanted to be the mean girl, and make Jacinda cry.

    Now it's Judy's turn to cry.

  20. ScottGN 21

    How could it possibly not occur to any of Collins’s media people that cancelling a media visit to a supporter at the last minute and not letting them know might generate a few unhelpful headlines?

  21. Red Blooded One 22

    https://thespinoff.co.nz/politics/07-10-2020/judith-collins-walks-into-a-nightmare-on-ponsonby-road/

    Well I've not heard of that particular Optometrist shop in Ponsonby before, but I know where I'm going for my long overdue eye test next time I make the 5 hour drive to Auckland.

  22. Ffloyd 23

    John Key. .. Yesterdays Man….. man.

  23. froggleblocks 24

    “a nasty, offensive and divisive self important fool of a man that should be avoided at all costs by any candidate.”

    Wouldn't that also sum up Simon Lusk pretty well?

    So why are you taking Simon's appraisal of Hamish as if it has any merit or value whatsoever?

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