John Armstrong March 21 2009 –
“So the National Government is variously inching, shifting, drifting, veering or lurching to the right, depending on where you stand on the political spectrum. Surprise, surprise… John Key may have portrayed himself as a moderate pragmatist in Opposition – indeed he is still doing exactly that as Prime Minister – but he is still the leader of a party, the fundamental ethos of which is firmly centre-right…The clues that National would not be a Labour clone were present before the election… Much else of what the Government is doing – such as privatising prisons – was equally well-signposted in the party’s election manifesto… If anyone thought National was going to be some pale reincarnation of Labour minus the political correctness, then they were fooling themselves.”
Yeah, the general public were fooling themselves if they thought Key was a centrist, pragmatist. National’s true right-wing plans were all clearly hinted at in policy documents that the media didn’t bother to cover. If the public didn’t know about those plans, that’s their own foolish fault.
Where could the fools get such a foolish notion that Key was a centrist?
John Armstrong Feb 14 2009 -“Key keeps eating into Labour territory by demonstrating his centrist credentials”
John Armstrong November 18 2008 – “National entering a new, fresher, more inclusive and more centrist era”
John Armstrong November 15 2008 – “In Key’s mind, National’s long-term grip on power hinges on the party also becoming more centrist”
John Armstrong November 7 2008 – “Key’s push to the centre on policy”
John Armstrong November 1 2008- “The centrist Key is a far more difficult political animal to demonise”
John Armstrong October 28 2008 – “Key will be as centrist as Prime Minister as he says he will”
John Armstrong June 21 2008 – “his centrist inclinations”
John Armstrong February 2 2008 – “rather than swing hard to the right with his youth crime package … he followed his centrist instincts”
John Armstrong January 31 2008- “the more moderate, more centrist and more reassuring figure of John Key”
John Armstrong February 3 2007 – “National’s solutions are to be more centrist”
John Armstrong November 28 2006 – “The more moderate, centrist approach of Key and English”
John Armstrong November 27 2006 – “Key is far more centrist than Brash”
John Armstrong May 23 2004 – “Key cannot be pigeonholed as some silver-spoon-in-his-mouth Tory high priest of market economics…he is seen as something of a pragmatist”
Of course Armstrong was far from alone. All the mainstream political media have been swallowing and regurgitating Key’s ‘I’m a pragmatic centrist’ spin since Day 1. They all hyped him. They largely ignored the “clues” of right-wing plans hidden behind the vague policies and ‘aw shucks’ smiles because they didn’t fit the narrative. A few, including The Standard, examined National policy in detail, put it in historical and ideological context, pointed out that Key is no centrist and argued that National hadn’t changed. We were attacked by the likes of Armstrong as hysterical scaremongers.
Does anyone else see a parallel between the political media here and the role of the business media in the States in hyping up the market then blaming the ordinary people for getting hurt when it came crumbling down? After years of cheer-leading the myth of Key the Centrist, Armstrong has the cheek to turn around and call the public fools for believing the lie. It’s disgraceful.