Trotter on National and Labour

September 27th, 2011 at 1:07 pm by David Farrar

writes at Stuff:

They weren’t the most important events of the past week. In fact, in a world racked by economic crisis and intractable conflict, they weren’t important at all.

But, as is so often the case with small, seemingly trivial events, they were highly instructive. They told us why ’s Party will have to work very hard to lose the forthcoming election, and why – barring a miracle – hasn’t the slightest chance of winning it.

So what is Chris referring to?

The first event involved a visit by the Prime Minister to Canterbury University.  …

Except for the sign that fourth-year mechanical engineering students had stuck to the “Mech Suite” window overlooking the PM’s arrival-point.

“John, mate,” read the sign, “come up for a yarn with your country’s future engineers.”

The Prime Minister spotted the sign and, yep, you guessed it, to the whoops and hollers of the (mostly male) students he came up.

But wait, there’s more. Not only did the PM come up, but he also agreed to match one of his larger and more terrifying DPS bodyguards against the students’ massive arm-wrestling champion, “Mad Dog”. …

What matters is that a) John Key was up for it, and carried it off with considerable aplomb. And b) The whole event is now available to the electorate via the internet. Just three days after it was first posted, more than 13,000 people had watched the YouTube clip.

Which is quite a lot for a 10 minute video.

And the other event?

In a posting headed “Bill English Funds Bryce Edwards”, the Labour caucus’ chief election strategist, , launched a vicious attack on the young Otago University academic Dr Bryce Edwards for his, at times, highly critical assessments of the Labour Opposition’s performance. …

It is difficult to know where to begin with this outburst.

That it was made by the caucus’s chief strategist raises a whole host of questions about the nature of the election campaign Labour is intending to run.

Does Phil Goff sanction this stuff? We can only hope that he does not endorse the sort of crude ad hominem arguments featured in Mallard’s posting.

We must hope, too, that Labour’s appeal to the electorate is fuelled by emotions considerably less disreputable than the petty spitefulness and partisan hostility which it displays.

To be fair, it is not all in Labour who act like this. But they sit back and enable it by having Mallard as their “chief strategist”.

And this is how they act in Opposition. It is worse when they are in Government, when they can actually use the powers of office to strike back at those who dare criticise.

Trotter concludes:

All elections have a “tone”: a mode of address to the voting public which (largely unconsciously) “cues” their response to the competing parties.

If we compare and contrast the tone of the YouTube clip of the PM’s visit to the Mech Suite, with the tone of Mallard’s Red Alert posting, picking the election result becomes a cinch. Sometimes, little things generate big consequences.

I recall Chris wearing a red Labour rosette in the lead up to the last election. Now Labour probably dismiss him as a member of the .

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22 Responses to “Trotter on National and Labour”

  1. ben (2,380 comments) says:

    Given the increasing success of the non-Labour Left, that VRWNLLWCXYZ is becoming vast indeed.

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  2. Monty (978 comments) says:

    Dragons

    Labour feel the whole world is against them. They look to blame everyone else for their problems. The country has been turned off by their arrogance and their bullying.

    Darien Fenton last night on FaceBook was essentially saying she would boycott Mad Butcher Shops because Peter Leitch was a John Key Supporter. What the hell does she do for dairy products? For Friut and Veg – they come from farmers who may be National Supporters

    Labour can no longer compete. They cannot understand why they are losing support (and why John Key is so popular) whithout undertaking a bit of self analysis. 22% will be a good result for Labour in 2011

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  3. Nookin (3,361 comments) says:

    Whale as a posting entitled “Arrogance of Labour” which also illustrates the difference in the corporate philosophies of the two parties. Darien Fenton is shown to be spiteful and vindictive towards the Mad Butcher for no reason other than he thinks John Key is a good guy. She seems to think that any form of an affinity towards National borders on heresy. Helen Clark was exactly the same. She persistently refused to acknowledge that anybody in the National party had any admirable traits. The term “corrosive cancer” springs to mind.
    The very scary thing about this attitude is that New Zealand supposedly has a right to freedom of political views and here we have a member of Parliament decrying a private citizen simply because he has chosen to espouse his personal views. We saw nine years of labour’s nastiness. It seems that some people cannot and will not learn even if the stupidity of their approach is pointed out to them as is done in the thread published on Whale’s site

    http://whaleoil.co.nz/

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  4. Pete George (23,602 comments) says:

    Get with it. The conspiracy has been given naming rights (because he’s not really left):
    #bryceedwardsconspiracy

    Cactus gets in on the act with her own list:
    http://asianinvasion2006.blogspot.com/2011/09/bryceedwardsconspiracy-takes-over-john.html

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  5. Lee01 (2,171 comments) says:

    Wow, the whole article is worth reading. Trotter slaps Labour into the middle of next week.

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  6. Fisiani (1,040 comments) says:

    Chris Trotter realises that Labour has the blinkered arrogance of believing that their view of life is the one true path.
    Whale Oil, for instance, has a recent posting of the Takaka Primary newsletter which spews hate and breaches the Electoral Act.
    I have a gut feeling that we reached a tipping point in politics and that the only thing saving Labour from oblivion in November will be that we use MMP and not FPP. Watch out for every marginal Labour electorate falling to National.
    Watch out for National polling surpassing 60%
    Watch out for the flailing desperation of Labour and the gutter tactics they will employ.
    60 sleeps to go. Normally the gap closes but this time………

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  7. hj (7,033 comments) says:

    Labour (the left) has alienated workers (err “red-necks”). The left is an army of academics and beneficiaries.

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  8. KiwiGreg (3,255 comments) says:

    Schadenfreude….it’s wrong but I like it

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  9. graham (2,335 comments) says:

    Yep, you see the same attitude time and again perpetuated at The Standard. As I’ve written before, I’ve stopped going to The Standard because of the sheer vitriol and bile there.

    They absolutely cannot admit that anybody on the right (or “Right-Wing Nut Jobs” as they like to call them) might – just might – have an opnion that is (a) different to theirs, and (b) correct.

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  10. Rich Prick (1,705 comments) says:

    Not so much an “army” hj, more of a gaggle.

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  11. Elaycee (4,393 comments) says:

    “Does Phil Goff sanction this stuff? We can only hope that he does not endorse the sort of crude ad hominem arguments featured in Mallard’s posting.”

    As soon as Mallard was selected as the Campaign Strategist, this tactic was on the cards. In all fairness, Goff is hardly in a position to be able to gag Mallard and the result is a totally predictable string of invective that will most likely increase in volume the closer we get to the election.

    Popcorn.

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  12. s.russell (1,642 comments) says:

    More on Labour’s strange political thinking:

    Yesterday, a story in The Southland Times had a large picture of Labour candidate Lesley Soper joining a protest march of about 40 people against lignite mining in Southland.

    Now, surveys show Southlanders overwhelmingly back such mining. I imagine that traditional Labour supporters such as miners certainly would.

    I really have to wonder what the political thinking was here. A desperate attempt to save a few voters peeling off to the Greens? Knee-jerk anti-[fill in the blank] protesting?

    Whatever the purpose, I think this is not going to help Labour….

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  13. tvb (4,432 comments) says:

    John key would have known that visiting engineering student would give him great footage. If they had been sociology students I am sure John key would not have bothered. But then sociology students are basically losers who dominate student politics, whereas engineering students are disdainful of them.

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  14. Lee01 (2,171 comments) says:

    “I really have to wonder what the political thinking was here”

    None whatsoever.

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  15. BeaB (2,125 comments) says:

    What struck me was the sheer excitement of the students – 4th year so no starry-eyed Darren Hughes-type acolytes.

    They were thrilled John Key came up to see them, their camera phones were working overtime and the whole happy atmosphere was like the visit of a rock or sports star.

    Poor Phil. He doesn’t stand a chance, especially with Mr Nasty standing beside him.

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  16. thedavincimode (6,803 comments) says:

    tvb

    Presumably the sociology students were practising for their ‘day of action’. ie lock yourself in a building, chant some sillly slogans, and trot out some bullshit rhetoric about the end of democracy (how does that work?) and generally make a complete dick of yourself in order to drum up more votes for the Nats.

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  17. lastmanstanding (1,297 comments) says:

    Well I never Who would have thought that Chris Trotter one time Labour loyalist and syncophant would turn on his beloved party of choice for some many decades.

    This must be the straw that breaks the camels back for Phil et al.

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  18. UpandComer (537 comments) says:

    Labour are vindictive completely political saboteurs. I use a pseudonym on this website in part because I don’t want paranoid comically vengeful Labour people trawling kiwiblog, finding my name, and writing it down to be attacked or impeded in future. They truly do get up in the morning thinking everyone is wondering/planning how to beat them. I come on here and give my two cents because I have seen the harm they did to acquaintances in the public service who didn’t like the blatant partisan political interference and threats from Helen Clark. I can’t stand people who agonise over and make an issue over who you vote for. The Labour party are full of tossers at the moment.

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  19. burt (8,275 comments) says:

    This kind of criticism is unusual from Trotter. Normally after Labour lose an election he has been reasonably scathing and has had a period of looking in the mirror and seeing the truth – but to see this kind of slapping prior to an election is something else entirely.

    It’s not often I praise Trotter, but he deserves a pat on the back for this honest effort.

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  20. thedavincimode (6,803 comments) says:

    burt

    He deserves an even larger pat on the back for turning up the humourometer,

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  21. Viking2 (11,491 comments) says:

    So, Trotter now relates not to his former Mistress but to a new one. The NZ National Socialist Party.

    HMM, I know that choosing new bed partners is all the go these days but if Trotter is wooing the Nats. then should we not be afraid, very afraid?

    Who Next,Helen Kelly?

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  22. kiwi in america (2,456 comments) says:

    Chris is a reliable and reasonably astute voice of the left. He knows a grade A gold medal clusterf**k when he sees one and Mallard’s outburst on Red Alert was absolutely in that category. He also knew that Key’s spontaneous visit (and subsequent Mad Dog arm wrestling incident) with the Canterbury Uni Engineering students was electoral gold.

    He has highlighted Mallard’s churlish and hostile tone and how out of step that has become. It is what happens when you have lost the political debate on its merits (the electorate’s yawning disregard for Labour’ flagship tax policies) AND when you fail to adequately learn the lessons from defeat. Labour’s front bench are waiting for all of NZ to ‘wake up’ and see John Key for the fraud they think he is by foolishly assuming that NZers outside the Wellington beltway and pinko media types see Key the same nasty way they do. When the histories of the 2008 and 2011 (and probably the 2014) elections are written, they will highlight how Labour massively underestimated John Key and his natural political instincts. My old mates in Labour, veterans of mostly successful campaigns, are spewing at the amateur hour that is the Goffice.

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