Wednesday, 1 October 2014

An analysis of what went right

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It seems implausible that due to our questionable electoral system a party that was only able to capture 48 per cent of the popular vote gets a win that is described as a “landslide.”

You could express it differently of course. 76 per cent of the electorate did not favour Labour, 90 percent wouldn’t have a bar of the Greens, and 91 per cent didn’t want New Zealand First despite Winston being the darling of the aged and infirm.

In the process Internet-Mana lost its mana and Colin Craig sunk a sizable portion of his large personal fortune into his fledgling Conservative Party only to miss representation by one percentage point.

Much of the blame of the unfortunate outcome for some has perhaps been justifiably foisted upon poor old David Cunliffe.

I know him, not well, but he attended a number of licensing trust conferences over the years and I had dinner with him and his wife one night at Solway Park when he opened a national conference here in Masterton. They were a pleasant couple and I enjoyed their company, but a leader of the people he is not.

His problem started when he needed to court the unions to gain enough support to win selection as Labour leader as his caucus in the main despised him. The unions who almost destroyed this country in the 70’s and 80’ were themselves destroyed by the Employment Contracts Act introduced by National in 1990.

These “bully boys” have never been missed by the general populace.

Cunliffe had to promise a sharp left turn to gain their support and Matt McCarten was brought in to set up a “war room” and maintain the direction set. None of this was going to sit well with the electorate.

Large fortunes were thrown around everywhere and Kim Schmitz - aka Dotcom - was lavish with his own. This is where the news media let the country down badly. Night after boring night the portly German invaded our TV screens and our daily papers did their level best to emulate the adoration. They foolishly built up the momentum to his “Moment of Truth” stage show which turned out to be a moment of “strewth”.

In an effort to destroy his nemesis John Key the German fraudster managed to con Hone Harawira and the Waaka-jumping Laila Harre to join him in his wretched crusade.

They then ill-advisedly added Pam Corkery and John Minto to the mix causing the vast majority of the voting public to sense a radicalisation that went way beyond acceptable limits.

Schmitz brought in Glenn Greenwald, a “Pulitzer-prize-winning” journalist from “America” to tell us our government was spying on all of us. I have put inverted commas around Pulitzer-prize-winning and America because neither of these statements is true.

Greenwald actually lives in Rio de Janeiro with his husband; same sex marriages are illegal in the US. He has never won a Pulitzer Prize; the paper he worked for did, but it was a community award for the whole paper where Greenwald worked as a journalist. If Greenwald could claim he was a Pulitzer-Prize-winner under those circumstances then presumably so too could the janitor and the tea lady.

When the fawning media finally woke up to this towards the end of his visit they began describing him as an “award-winning” journalist.

Fair enough, he did indeed win a Polk Prize for journalism.

On the Monday night before the election the Auckland Town Hall was full of the city’s malcontents who cheered the big screen images of Julian Assange wanted for sexual offences in Sweden and Edward Snowden wanted for espionage in America. These two fugitives from justice and the German fraudster were the toast of the evening. Schmitz however failed to present any evidence that proved John Key was a liar and despite the rapturous applause after each utterance from the top table, when the attendees woke up the next morning they would have realised they had been thoroughly duped.

And anyway, by some quirk of fate the messages from Assange, Snowden and Greenwald were completely nullified when on the Wednesday we found out that Australian-based Islamic terrorists were going to take an innocent citizen off a Sydney street decapitate him or her and show an accompanying video to the world. With potential atrocities being committed so close to home most New Zealand citizens were hoping the GCSB were monitoring us to the extent that Snowden, Assange and Greenwald said they were.

Meanwhile Nicky Hager’s claims of dirty politics didn’t gain much traction particularly when it was clear whose billboards were getting defaced.

And yet despite all the evidence to the contrary the miscalculating political journalists assured us that we were heading for a hung parliament and our fate would be decided by wily Winston who was likely to go fishing for a week or two before deciding who he’d coalesce with.

Worse than that, Russel Norman and Metiria Turei, grinning like a couple of Cheshire cats, promised us that they were going to be our co-deputy-prime-ministers.

That awful thought, for most people anyway, may well have been the straw that broke the camel’s

“Under Helen Clark the Labour party was captured by academics, feminists, gays and tertiary educated leaders of a union movement that never worked a shop floor.” - John Tamihere


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