John Key has created a piss poor look by not being up front on the Fletcher appointment. But what concerns me more is the bigger picture, what has actually created this.
Labour have created an issue and fished for mistakes. And now they are saying it’s all about the process. This is standard gotcha politics (the sort of politics David Shearer vowed not to do when he became leader).
I think this stinks. It looks stink for National. It looks stink for Labour.
It has got nothing to do with representing people and running the country, and all about finding ways of undermining and discrediting opponents with the intention of destroying careers and bringing down the Government or reducing the chances of becoming Government.
It has little to do with holding to account, and a lot to do with the narrow minded nastiness that is prevalent in politics.
It has some similarity to harassing and needling and accusing (often falsely) a well known sportsperson hoping that the target will make a mistake and make themselves a target.
It has some similarity to trying to king hit from behind, to kicking in the ribs, kicking in the head while they are down, trying to inflict as much injury as possible.
John Key hasn’t responded as well as he should, and will have to cop the consequences of that.
But the process that should be under the most scrutiny is the process that created all this – gotcha politics.
And a comment from Judith at Kiwiblog illustrates what this approach to politics results in:
It’s not just Key, its all of them, even the left. This type of thing has become too common – where are the standards, the examples and the adherence to propriety. These are our countries leaders for gods sake – they are the people we are meant to be able to trust with our lives (or at least livelihoods). They make the decisions that effect every part of our lives and our future, and we pay them to do it – if people don’t care, they damn well should do.
Respect is something that is earned – if these people can’t be honest (and the size of the lie is not an excuse) then what do our young people have for an example, what do they have to respect, and what do they have to aspire to ? – a bunch of dishonest name-calling manipulative twats. It hardly inspires confidence – its not the size of the issue – its the ugliness it reveals – both left and right.
Our political culture has a major credibility problem. The current conjured up scandal is just a symptom of a much wider ugliness in our politics, and politicians.
It’s not all parties, and it’s not all politicians, but some of the biggest and most prominent are by far the worst offenders, overshadowing the good that is done beneath the manufactered mayhem.
The media don’t seem interested in demanding better standards from our politicians, they seem to revel in the rough and tumble, they are complicit in the crap. Another Kiwiblog comment (Cunningham):
Judith,you can put some of the blame on the media to. They ignore all positive stories about the government (both Nat and Labour) and give a completely skewed view. Of course people hate politicians when the media are so one sided in their views. I would love to see more positive news as it gets really tiring seeing them go on and on about only negative stories.
If the media won’t, who should be holding these politicians to account?
What about the silent majority, the many MPs in Parliament who don’t get involved in dirty politics? Those who are frustrated by the bravado, bullshit, backstabbing and brawling.
Perhaps it’s time they did more to represent the many people who have had a gutsful of nasty politics.