Greg (G-Man) has blogged what he would do if he was running National’s campaign. Normally I don’t comment on posts like that, but I’m sorry Greg there is so much waffle there I have to.
The first piece of bullshit is the suggestion that National does not want to win this time around. Absolute crap. Sure one can debate whether the strategy is the right one to produce a win (noting only a 7% gap in latest poll) or whether a win is likely, but I don’t think anyone who has worked with MPs can seriously say they don’t want to win.
In fact it is my experience with candidates and MPs that their desire to win and their estimation of their own odds is far too optimistic. On election day even the candidates in the safest seats for Labour always say “Hey you never know, I might over-turn a 12,000 majority”. I’m sorry, I do know and you won’t. Likewise I am sure all the United Future MPs despite months of being on 1% think deep down that somehow they may all be delivered back into Parliament.
Greg suggests National does not want to win, but just beat NZ First and ACT. Oh get real. ACT are at 2% and NZF at around 8% while National is at 18 times and 4 times those levels respectively.
Then Greg suggests many National MPs and National parliamentary staff are are to the left of Labour. Again absolute crap. Sure those out on the extremes like to say such things, but let me say I have far more experience working with these people that a one minute phone discussion, and it is not true. National is a broad-based party and while there may be one or two MPs who would be in the same place on the spectrum as one or two of the most right-wing Labour MPs, the overall gap is in fact quite large. National’s policies on labour relations, education and welfare are totally hostile to the left.
Then Greg says that National hates ACT. Oh bollocks. National gets annoyed with ACT at times, and there are differing views on how much ACT grow the centre-right vote, but relations are generally pretty constructive.
Greg also expresses the view that if National adopted all of ACT’s policies then National would magically grow to get 50% of the vote, rather than shrink to 2% of the vote.
Then in a bizarre piece Greg tries to lump ACT and NZ First together (well he has worked for both – God knows how, and thinks to lecture about ideological consistency) saying that the Nats see ACT and NZ First as uncouth pretenders. Oh nonsense. NZ First is seen as a personality cult (which it is) and relations with ACT vary from very warm at times to frosty earlier this year.
Greg further dwells into his imagination by saying that “when ACT or NZ First launch an attack on anything the Nats jump to the blogs and denounce them for sullying the very name of politics and getting personal just not cricket and all that.”
Well I’m not sure who the hoard of Nats are jumping onto blogs. As far as I know I am the only blogger associated strongly with the Nats. The only time I have ever had a go at ACT was when Rodney actually did a patsy question to Helen. I probably link to Rodney’s blog more often that anyone else’s. As for NZ First, well as I said it is a personality cult, and a pretty nasty one at that. And I have some basis for that judgement – I worked for the PM when Peters tried to destroy the Government, and I saw first hand what he was like.
Greg then has his five point plan. I’ll touch on each point in turn.
1 – Go very very negative.
All successful campaigns have a mixture of positive and negative. I’m not going to comment on what the exact mix should be, except to say one does not decide and set it in stone up front – campaigns are very tactical as well as strategic, and the mix gets reviewed daily.
2 – Ignore the third parties
I agree in fact with this. The exception being you may sometimes need to respond to an attack.
3 – Be united
Well of course this is necessary. What puzzles me is why Greg thinks that public endorsements of the leader are needed. Anyone experienced in politics will tell you that public endorsements of the leader only happen when in fact the leader is about to be rolled.
4 – Get out the rural vote
Get out the vote is important, as we saw in the US. Not exactly novel.
Anyway sorry to be so harsh Greg with what you wrote, but hey boring if people agree all the time.