30 Jun 2008

More on Crosby-Textor scandal

This piece from The Standard is further support for the argument I have put forward since this blog started that Key is nothing more than a puppet - a hollow man controlled not just by the spin-meisters but also by the power behind his "throne", his main manipulator Bill English hence the term Engkeylish to describe any text coming from the John Key puppet.

There’s a standard formula that Crosby/Textor has its clients use when damaging information comes out.

a) refuse to engage. The most senior public response to the revelation that Brand Key has been created by exactly the same people who ran Brash’s divisive, racist campaign in 2005 has come from Key’s chief of staff. No politician has commented. Key will be forced to comment during his Wednesday interviews but look for another C/T line that he will repeat in every interview – something along the lines of ‘no, look, the real issue here is why Helen Clark is so obsessed with who I get advice from when hardworking Kiwis are suffering from 9 years of overtaxation’.

b) attack the messenger. Off-the-record comments to journos from senior Nats have focused on attacking Hager’s credibility, just as they have with other journos who don’t faithful report the lines (eg Barry Soper, Greg Robertson). As with the Hollow Men, National is spreading rumours that Hager has somehow ’stolen’ National emails. Not only is that claim baseless (the Police concluded there was no theft), it also doesn’t explain who gave Hager faxes, meeting notes, and diaries.

c) misdirection. The ’stolen email’ ruse is being used again. a classic piece of misdirection. Rather than looking at how the public image of Key and National has been created and the tactics they use to shut down the informed debate which is democracy’s life-blood, political commentators are already falling for the misdirection and asking ‘who gave Hager the info’? (any fool knows it’s the English camp).

This is the same formula we saw last week when Key revealed he knows nothing of New Zealand history, the same as we saw when Key said “we would love to see wages drop“, and we’ll see it again every time the mask of Brand Kep slips.

28 Jun 2008

The Naked Pretender - key parts revealed

The revelations on the Sunday Star Times (29.6.08) that the National Party have hired the media - image manipulators Crosby-Textor - to micro-manage John Key and the dressing of the National Party demonstrated the accuracy of my initial commentary on the "double speak of Engkeylish" which was critical of the use of the language used in the speeches coming from the National Party and its public face, John Key.
What gives Mr. Hager's article even more gravitas is the revelation that John Key was the instigator for the hiring of Crosby-Textor, the same firm that managed Don Brash of "The Hollow Men" fame. One would think that having been tarnished once with an association with the company it would be unwise to continue the relationship.
Nicky Hager's article about the involvement of the Australian push-polling, image controllers has clearly shown how cynical the National Party is as a political force as we see a party that has been advised to c0ncentrate on hiding its real policies on important social and economic development and its true agendae on the direction of New Zealand's economy so that John Key can be dressed in borrowed clothes and sold as being a credible, knowledgeable leader. His latest out break of political slipperiness when he attempted to rewrite New Zealand history should be an excellent example of his lack of understanding and knowledge of our country - the country he is attempting to dress himself as being a potential leader of.
The danger of being controlled by a firm like Crosby-Textor is that the real policy direction of the National Party will be hidden in the smokescreen of spin. For anyone with a long term political memory the National Party will, when it comes to the "great policy reveal" simply roll out their usual reductionist programmes that penalise the worker and reduce access to essential social services while the "family silver," in the form of state assets, is hocked off to overseas asset strippers.

14 Jun 2008

Pigs might fly and other political tales.

cartoon from The Observer.

A recent story in the Herald trumpeted the “news” that Engkeylish had released a fourteen point policy platform which was a proof that National actually had substance and that pigs actually flew over Kumeu.
The platform was so apparently momentous that the Herald’s editor forgot to include it in the paper’s unpaid for pro National advertisement - the “unbiasedly” labeled “Porkometer” but then there was only one substantive policy among the 14 points - a pledge to award the American owned Telecom $NZ1.5 Billion to provide ultra fast broadband so, according to the reports from the New Plymouth papers, “people can access and download Mr. Key’s Bebo pages faster.”
Based on this rationale one would have to question the logic behind such a policy. As a Waitara High School student very perceptively pointed out “Anyone over 12 with a Bebo site is seriously lacking in judgement.” To argue, as Mr. Key reportedly did, that a $1.5 Billion grant to Telecom to facilitate such activity is certainly not a wise investment in the “knowledge economy.”
The rest of the Engkeylish policy positions were a series of snap frozen, ready prepared instant noodle “solutions” to poll driven asserted social issues. When one looks closely at the “solutions” one re-reads old policy recycled from the National Party policy pamphlets from the past 20 years which, no doubt, reflects the ages of those the Herald would picture as the “young faces of a Key lead National Party.” (Gerry, Lockwood, Hone Carter, Maurice, Tony, Bill, Nick.....who have been around the political traps so long now they qualify as historic trialers.)
Which, of course, brings one back to the waiting for evidence that there is substantive and credible policy coming from the National Party and that one doesn’t have to believe that pigs do fly over Kumeu on a regular basis.
However, it is allegedly getting more and more difficult for journalists to get access to John Key, to listen to his addresses to interest groups and to question him in any depth on policy as the spin-meisters are sealing him off from scrutiny so that his political inexperience and propensity to perform position flip-flops and other gaffes is not revealed to the public. His recent meetings with Business leaders in Dunedin were, reportedly, declared media free zones with the local press being invited to cover his spinmeister controlled walk-abouts which are designed to show John Key as a “real man of the people” who can “relate at the social interface with the working voter.” Unfortunately for the controllers these exchanges are proving to be as gaffe prone as before.
The Dunedin walk-about apparently had John, prompted by his spin-meister, front up to two young women at a cosmetics counter and engage them in a deep and meaningful conversation about their purchases only for the young women to ask the reporter covering the event, “Who was that again?” immediately John had been ushered away from the “photo opportunity.” Ah well he can, perhaps, take solace in the Herald stable-mate publication’s - North & South - headline story that he is “N.Z’s sexiest politician” with 28% of the polling group voting to award him the title.
With such an impact on the electorate no wonder that he is being sheltered and having to have all his positions explained by his controller in chief - Bill English.
Although Mr. English must be finding it hard to convince people that his protege has believability when the public hear him declare one thing on Monday and then contradict himself on the Tuesday because the audience has changed or the poll wind has blown past his office. One is forced to ask how can any National Party policy position be credible if on one day John Key says things like: “Climate Change is a complete and utter hoax.” then, on a different soap box, declare “I firmly believe in climate change and always have.” Or on Kiwisaver ( a policy initiative National voted against.) “Kiwisaver is fundamentally flawed and merely a glorified Christmas Club.” and, on a different soapbox and to a different audience, “Kiwisaver is probably gonna be successful and not too bad.” However he won’t commit himself to stating the exact policy position National will take on Kiwisaver given National could form a government under MMP. (Another issue he can’t make his mind up on - whether to retain MMP or lurch back to the arrogance enhancing FFP system.)
So, the electorate waits for the flip-flop maestro to announce clear, unequivocal policies that are unchanged from day to day, unchanged from audience to audience and remain open to full public scrutiny and a continuously unbiased analysis from release to the election day and beyond and, of course, the pigs will continue flying over Kumeu.

11 Jun 2008

MMP & Tory Policy issues

This comment on the release of the National Party's electoral law "policy" was passed to me - I thought it worth sharing as it reveals the commonly held perception that Key and his ventriloquist - English are but empty vessels when it comes to real policy development.

"Key policies" take on a different hue to what one normally expects leading up to an election. Instead of the profundity of detail and sharpness of focus that should be the hallmarks of well-thought-out ( even idealistic ) policy statements, we are subjected to Key’s announcements which are either knee-jerk critiques or envious blandishments in the form of promised higher tax cuts. How can the electorate possibly vote for a party with hollow or no-existent policies?

Never has so little been offered by so few to so many!

4 Jun 2008

Nakedness Exposed

The cartoon by Emerson reveals the political truth about Slippery John and his policies. Nice to see The Herald beginning to become disillusioned with the Torie's lack of policies.