National’s ad campaign in 2005 was assisted by the creative wit of John Ansell a self-described “wordplaying loon”.
Nicky Hager’s ‘The Hollow Men & a study in the politics of deception’ drew attention to Ansell when it described in some detail his cozying up to Don Brash to get the chance at a hatchet job on Labour. Ansell predicted that Brash would win in 2005, with his help of course. The results of Ansell’s efforts were seen in National’s infamous billboard campaign and ‘Taxathon’ television ads. By the way, National didn’t win, but Ansell’s ads helped turn the tide against Labour in early 2005.
John Ansell certainly is a clever clogs. One minute he was desperately demonstrating undying loyalty to leader Brash by describing himself as an ACT supporter & “I really click with most of their polices” he told an appreciative Brash. But a nanosecond after Brash’s demise, Ansell was cozying up to the next hard right leader of the National Party, John Key.
Ah, but it’s all because Ansell’s really a National supporter through and through you might say. Well it would seem not. Ansell so loves the National Party (or is that the ACT Party?) that he’ll even help out the enemy of the hard right. if the bucks are right. Check out this attack on the National Party, Ansell penned for the Labour Party in 1993 to persuade people that gentleman Jim Bolger could not be trusted to keep his word.
Ironically “words” are Ansell’s stock-n-trade yet untrustworthy and empty “words” were exactly how he put the boot into his friends at National in 1993. Perhaps he (rightly) thought that Jim Bolger was simply too untrustworthy, but that Brash and Key are honest brokers (wrongly)?
The truth is, give him a political party and he’ll attack anyone. Is there any limit to the depths he will plumb to get himself the next paying job?
Now before you think that John Ansell may be a misunderstood artist simply wanting to help a poor struggling political party, check this out from the man’s own website.
“This website is for those of us who share God’s sense of priorities. People who love words. Love playing with words. Love working with words.
And it’s for people who would love to be able to make words work for them – ideally by ringing the bells off their cash registers – if only they had the vaguest idea how. (Don’t worry: there is a way. It’s called hiring me)”.
National’s campaign for 2008, it would seem, is again in ‘trustworthy’ hands. As the great propagandist Joesph Goebbels once said “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it”.
I prefer Will Shakespeare who said “Better a witty fool than a foolish wit”. You choose which one Ansell is?