Comparing deputy attacks

It hasn’t taken long for the left to pick up on a perceived attack on Jacinda Ardern, but they are making false claims about what Paula Bennett said.

On The Nation yesterday:

Lisa Own: Because I suppose we don’t think many people would deny the fact that Bill English has economic chops, but one political commentator has said to be prime minister, you need to be able to talk, to communicate, and to think. You need both those qualities. So now that Bill English is up against someone who is seen as a good communicator as well as an experienced MP, is he facing a stronger threat?

Paula Bennett: I just think what they’re also looking for is substance and someone who’s got the kind of brain to pull this country together and has got a proven record and—

Lisa Own: Doesn’t she have substance?

Paula Bennett: I just think he’s got a bit more is all. I think she does, but I think that he equally has a proven track record, that he’s got a strength in other areas, that he is a good communicator, that he’s passionate about this country, and there’s some pretty hard calls you have to make as being the prime minister, and we’ve had some pretty shocking things that have happened in this country just in the last few years, and so we want a leader and a prime minister that’s actually up to that job. You’re not going to have a lot of time to get to know her under that kind of pressure in just a few short weeks.

Lisa Own: Are you guys backing off her? Are you going for the relentlessly positive approach too? You don’t want to be—?

Paula Bennett: I already had it. I feel that’s what I am. There we go. I’m putting that on the table. I feel like she’s stolen my relentless positivity, so I’m going to go for eternal optimism, I have.

Outrage has broken out on Twitter, but this has been grossly misrepresented in social media.

On The Standard  Paula Bennett says Jacinda lacks “the kind of brain” to lead

This quotes Newshub:

But she believes Ms Ardern lacks two key things Prime Minister Bill English has – substance and “the kind of brain to pull this country together”.

That misrepresents what Bennett said, but the Standard headline takes it further and blatantly falsely represents what Bennett said. This looks like a dishonest attack.

UPDATE: Newshub has amended their headline, and The Standard has updated their post accordingly to:

Having learned nothing from the slapdown, the Nats chose Paula Bennett to lead the attack this time – Jacinda Ardern lacks substance compared to Bill English – Paula Bennett. The original title of the piece was – “Jacinda Ardern lacks the kind of brain to unite kiwis”.

But The Standard hasn’t updated their headline, and the misrepresentation appears to have not been addressed in comments at all, with the misconstrued headline being unchallenged (I would have challenged it but I was banned there yesterday for challenging something else).

On Q+A this morning Kelvin Davis has just let rip with a string of petty abuses of a Bill English and other National ministers. This was far more open and direct than Bennett’s comments could reasonably be construed.

He said Bill English had the personality of a stone. See below for the rest.

Davis has just been called out in comments on Q+A. It was referred to as a tirade, justifiably.

Ardern was sitting beside him when he did this, laughing along.

This is the first significant misstep by Labour’s new leadership. If the left keep trying to slam Bennett while failing to condemn this then they should be seen as lying hypocrites.

Here’s Davis on Q+A, with ‘relentlessly positive’ Ardern smiling saying ‘that’s a bit harsh’:

Kelvin Davis: Look over at the other side there, and we seea Prime Minister with a personality of a rock, we’ve got the Jacinda effect…

Jacinda Ardern: That’s a bit harsh.

Kelvin Davis: ...and then we’ve got Paula Bennett who’s mastered the Lynn of Tawa effect,

…we’ve got Jonathan Coleman the doctor of death,

…we’ve got Steven Joyce who’s as effective as a four dollar Rolex,

…we’ve got Jerry Brownlee who’s got the energy of a small hill,

…we’ve got Simon Bridges, the only person under 80 who still buys Bryl Cream…

Jacinda Ardern (laughing): …and we’ve got…

Kelvin Davis: …and Judith Collins, her stare caused that ice shelf in Antarctica to crack off and float away…

Jacinda Ardern still laughing.

Jessica Mutch: And on behalf of the National Party I think that’s a little unfair.

Jacinda Ardern: And we’ve got Kelvin Davis, the free speaker.

Slinging a string of zingers like that is likely to have been prepared in advance, and it had the obvious approval of Ardern.

For someone who promised to be relentlessly positive and bring something different to politics this is an awful look for Ardern, as well as for Davis.

Post updated 7/08/2017 2:30 pm

 

 

51 Comments

  1. Patzcuaro

     /  August 6, 2017

    When you are on a positive roll it seems silly to be side tracked into negativity. Maybe that is Nationals strategy, try and change the tone and side track them into negativity.

    • What are you on? This is Labour’s circus, own it

      • Patzcuaro

         /  August 6, 2017

        Covfefe, I was pointing out that if your opponent is on a positive roll, a valid strategy is to bait them into being side tracked into negativity thus stopping the positive roll. Davis making negative comments about other MP achieves this, soon everybody is sling mud.

        • Can I make a bet that you won’t see that floor rolling tussling from either Paula or English. Down and dirty Ngapuhi warfare will be left to the Manus crim cuddler and that ever so hard fine by beneficiary cheat Ms Turei.

  2. I’m sorry that even those who favour personality over substance are going to be sorely disappointed with this team. It’s not as if Davis hasn’t feel found to be wanting in the temperament stakes prior. It’ll all be for nothing to have St Jacinta walking on water when he’s behind shooting duds and reminding everyone of his crim cuddling, nasty Labour ways. They’re the nasty party and nobody will be allowed to forget once he hits his straps.

    #dirtypolitics17

    • Jay3

       /  August 6, 2017

      Chris Trotter gave his view of Davis in a piece he published on his blog on 31 May 2014 entitled, “Authoritarian Labour: Why Kelvin Davis Needs to STFU – Right Now!” It contains this gem, “There is an anger in Davis that calls into question his suitability for any kind of public office. Anger and what appears to be a classic authoritarian character structure.” I think he is probably right and Davis will prove to be the weak link in the leadership team. Mr Trotter is currently keeping his thoughts about Kelvin Davis to himself right now for obvious reasons.

      • Naughty KD belongs to the Centre right of Labour. He’s not the lad to kowtow to the Greens and he’s the antithesis of the direction Mr Trotter wishes for the proletariat.

        “Does Davis believe education is the Maori people’s best hope because, liberally interpreted, education draws forth from every individual both the self-knowledge and the self-confidence needed to live a full and self-determined life? Or, does he measure the value of education in terms of its ability to inculcate the social, political and economic values of those who control capitalist societies like our own? And because this latter type of education turns out individuals who are “fit for use” by those whose business it is to use them?

        My concern is that Davis belongs in the second camp. How else should we interpret the statement that: “He believes that Treaty settlements are but the cream on the cake, and not the cake itself – he believes that education is that path that Maori need to take to enable us all to achieve greater health, wealth and happiness.”?

  3. Considering the dirty politics from The standard this is an ironic comment from lprent:

    The DP crew at the kiwiblog sewer (and Whaleoil was just a minority nutter site) were actually much more effective between 2002 and 2008 than than they were afterwards.

    There isn’t any real way to shut them and their sleazeball feeders in the National party and government PR machine down without stifling robust debate about politics and government. They used to do the same thing with journos. However the journos used to be just more discriminating and aware of their role as media.

    The only thing that does seem to work is to do relentless transparency on them.

    https://thestandard.org.nz/messages-for-the-left/#comment-1363545

    Transparency is not something the Standard excels at, and they ban attempts to hold them to account.

  4. Blazer

     /  August 6, 2017

    Bennett is now a liability. It seems to be taking National a long time. ..to figure it. ..out.

    • How’s that?

      • Blazer

         /  August 6, 2017

        Truckstop parties, tattoo club…so many credible witnesses to her behavior when on welfare and resentment about her reinvention. The fact that she has a very tenuous grasp on her many portfolios. ..is not. ..inspiring. .either.

        • PDB

           /  August 6, 2017

          So having parties when younger and (brace yourself) DRINKING ALCOHOL and having the odd smoke is a barrier to being an MP in later life?

          • Blazer

             /  August 6, 2017

            Clearly not…forgetting where you came. ..from..not so. .endearing.

  5. #Dirtypolitics2017

    • Gezza

       /  August 6, 2017

      Nah. Pure Billy T ! 😀

      It wuz all good in this whare !👍🏾

    • PDB

       /  August 6, 2017

      All looked very awkward I thought – Jacinda looked like she just wished he would just shut TF up…….

      • Gezza

         /  August 6, 2017

        Some humourless prk’s downticking me PDB ! 😕

      • PDB

         /  August 6, 2017

        To add Davis also used the MSM catch-phrase ‘Jacinda effect’ which made it all seem a little fake. Sort of like a band member wearing a t-shirt with his own band’s name on it.

        Labour need to be careful in not over-reaching on that one as they could start being the one’s looking over-confident and arrogant…….

      • Gezza

         /  August 6, 2017

        There was nothing in that lot any worse than what’s standard fare in the debating, believe me ! Even Lurch’s Drizabone Nodding Billy gets up to – got quite a good line in clever insults he has, & who can ever forget “Zip it Sweetie ?” 😆

        • Gezza

           /  August 6, 2017

          Couple of covfefe’s in my last one there, but you get my drift, I’m sure.

        • PDB

           /  August 6, 2017

          99.9% of the public don’t watch what goes on in the debating chamber though……

          • Sorry, but he’s sounding like a look at me and my new sal-a-ree. You can take the boy out of the north but you can’t take the north out of the boy.

            • Blazer

               /  August 6, 2017

              How about. ..’I’ve got $950 shoes. .and you losers. ..haven’t. ‘

          • chrism56

             /  August 6, 2017

            Blazer – did she actually say that or are you having another one of your smearing rants? Please give a source or shut up. As PG has pointed out – there is a lot of misquoting and straw men demolition going on with regards to statements from Ms Bennett

            • Course she didn’t. Just more progressive fake news

            • Blazer

               /  August 6, 2017

              Not in those words. .but the showoff. .gist is accurate.

            • chrism56

               /  August 6, 2017

              No, it is not accurate. It is your words and your spin. She did not say that despite you putting quote marks around it.That is called lying.

  6. Chuck Bird

     /  August 6, 2017

    Pete, a little off topic but what software do you use to edit video clips?

  7. sorethumb

     /  August 6, 2017

    Paula Bennett says Jacinda lacks “the kind of brain” to lead
    ………
    I recall David Lange telling Jenny Shipley he thought she had insufficient IQ for [a particular portfolio].

  8. Anne Glen Eden

     /  August 6, 2017

    The Standard are blatantly biased activists, as we all know. Let’s not forget, this is the site that compares Turei to Ghandi – I’m not sure which is worse, elevating Turei or denigrating Ghandi. I suspect the latter, given the distortion of historical truth.

    Davis is continuing the Liberal / Left typical, carefully scripted nastiness they always descend into – although you have to give them points for some artistry in doing so without referencing any concepts of ‘honesty’ – which Turei’s existence has deprived them of. All they really have left is schoolyard personal bullying comments.

    But that is where Labour is at – undiscerning school age; adolescent at best, and focused on those who ‘hate’. It’s also the primary market they’re targeting, as ever – their last and best hope for easily manipulable votes.

    Even that’s not assured though. Dotcom thought NZ youth would be a pushover – didn’t work – although he focused on partying. Bullying is a NZ national pastime, although one that NZ youth have been alerted to.

    Is it okay that Ardern thinks it’s funny? As she thinks it’s only the Greens’ problem that someone seeking to be an MP, in coalition with Labour, is a self-acknowledged thief and fraudster? Is that part of her and Davis charm? No governing substance or integrity but plenty of ‘youthful’ nasty remarks, personally ridiculing the opposition?

    I confess, I thought NZ youth would be deluded by Dotcom and was pleasantly surprised when they weren’t. I suppose we’ll see with Ardern and Davis.

  9. A good response:

    • PDB

       /  August 6, 2017

      Davis may regret his nasty outburst………

      • Gezza

         /  August 6, 2017

        Yup. I think he’ll probably find thousands of hard-out committed National voters won’t now vote Labour. ☹️

    • Conspiratoor

       /  August 6, 2017

      Except like a dinosaur turd this rock don’t float.

      ‘Back into surplus’ …by opening the floodgates and growing the economy on the back of domestic consumption. An illusion our grandkids will be forced to pay for

    • chrism56

       /  August 6, 2017

      I note National has called Labour out without getting nasty.
      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11899449
      I suspect the Davis name calling will come back to haunt them. As Labour started it, they cannot then complain about it being done to them, nor claim dirty politics. And despite what she claims, I don’t believe Ms Ardern didn’t know he was going to say them. It was staged – her reaction showed that.
      The play of the leader staying presidential and the deputy doing the insults is a play straight out of the Helen Clark playbook. Remember Michael Cullen, though his were a lot wittier.

      • PDB

         /  August 6, 2017

        Ardern: “”Kelvin is a straight talking MP. We are focused on our campaign and running a positive campaign. But at the same time, Kelvin is his own person – I’m not here to stifle his views. We are a team,” she said.
        “He is a free talker and a straight talker…you wouldn’t want us to be one homogeneous bunch.”

        In other words he is a ‘loose unit’ in the mould of Shane Jones. Ardern’s answer doesn’t make sense in saying her team is running a ‘positive campaign’ but that doesn’t apply to individuals within that team.

  10. chrism56

     /  August 6, 2017

    Mr Davis has form. In one of those columns ChrisTtrotter wish he could bury, Chris complained about it three years ago.
    http://bowalleyroad.blogspot.co.nz/2014/05/authoritarian-labour-why-kelvin-davis.html To quote Chris:
    “It wasn’t just the absence of any semblance of strategic – or even tactical – understanding that was so worrying about Davis’s performance this morning, it was his barely concealed aggression. There is an anger in Davis that calls into question his suitability for any kind of public office. Anger, and what appears to be a classic authoritarian character structure (the two often go together).”
    and Chris finishes up:
    “Labour needs to decide – and quickly – if the authoritarian Davis really is the very model of a modern Labour MP that he (along with many others in the party and the news media) sees himself as representing. If he is, then it will be war in Te Tai Tokerau and throughout the country, and John Key will win the election. If he is not: if Labour wants to be seen as something more than an aggressive hard-man bereft of all strategic and tactical understanding; then someone has got to make Kelvin Davis STFU – right now!”

  11. patupaiarehe

     /  August 7, 2017

    • Pete Kane

       /  August 7, 2017

      Vaseline?

      • patupaiarehe

         /  August 7, 2017

        Entirely possible PK. It would go someway toward explaining how easily his head fits into his backside… 😉

  1. Q+A – Ardern and Davis | Your NZ
  2. Comparing deputy attacks — Your NZ – NZ Conservative Coalition