Spitting out pieces of their broken luck

Like a number of party activists on blogs Anthony Robins has been busy at The Standard over the last couple of weeks trying to promote Labour’s chances of getting into government, and trying to trash National.

A recent attempt: Nats – lousy at government – “brilliant” at opposition

National have been a lousy government. They have enriched the rich and impoverished the poor. They have inflated a housing bubble and done nothing for the homeless. They have let the environment degrade and made a mockery of our global warming commitments. They have let social institutions degrade, along with practical services like health and education. They have engaged in dirty politics in blatant lies. And for what?

A common refrain from the left – exaggerated generalities.

What will they be remembered for? Oh they “got us through the financial crisis” – yeah just like every other country on the planet (and it was our slowest ever recovery from a recession).

This diss is very lame. New Zealand is acknowledged to have done very well at weathering and recovering from the GFC, and our economy is now in a relatively healthy state compared to most countries.

They “got us through the Christchurch earthquakes” – yeah ask some people who live in Christchurch about that.

There’s no doubt that many people in Christchurch have had a tough time since the earthquakes, and there is more to sort out yet.

What National are “brilliant” at is opposition. They poll and focus group relentlessly, they have heaps of money, they attack like rabid rats in a sack. They have essentially spent the last nine years running opposition against Labour. They have been very successful at this, witness Labour’s long poll doldrums, and the fact that most of the “reasons” for those doldrums are memes of the Nats making.

Robins is really trying to blame National for Labour’s poor performance and their revolving door leadership over the past nine years.

When I say “brilliant” at opposition, the quote marks are because it’s only brilliant if you accept that tactics like dirty politics and outright lies are acceptable, that the ends of power justify any means. That way lies political madness.

All politicians have difficulty avoiding lying, and National is not the only party that has resorted to dirty politics.

Aside from disgruntled opposition activists I think National is regarded to have governed reasonably well over the last nine years, although of course there have been stuff ups, failures and some sleeping at the wheel, especially over housing and health.

I think National’s 9 years compares fairly favourably to an also successful 9 years of government led by Labour’s Helen Clark. There will always be justified criticisms of any Government, but New Zealand has been led and governed relatively well and successfully so far this century.

Robins is unlikely to have any influence on the current negotiations. He is preaching to a protected niche who are already convinced that National is evil and hopeless.

That’s been happening at The Standard over the last nine years, and it’s an approach to political activism that hasn’t helped Labour’s case (or more recently and increasingly the Green’s case) for improving their credibility or gaining support.

I think it’s noteable that Labour’s recovery and rapid rise under Jacinda Ardern’s leadership is due to her positive approach to politics. She has actually commended Bill English’s stewardship of the Finance portfolio, and she has acknowledged the relative success and strength of the New Zealand economy.

Robins and The Standard seems stuck in old school negative politics. If they stopped sounding so bitter, looked at the positives, and looked at ways of doing better they would get onside with the Ardern approach to politics and would help improve left wing credibility and respect.

Spitting out pieces of their broken luck, oh, The Standard should get over that and like Ardern look at how they can build a better political environment.

Adding value is far more likely to end up in success, if not this term then put them in a strong position next term, than bashing and trashing.

(Line borrowed from Aqualung)

30 Comments

  1. Gezza

     /  October 17, 2017

    Antony’s not one to take a strictly dispassionate, objective, balanced view of political issues.

  2. Blazer

     /  October 17, 2017

    Labour did it too…such a SAD..refrain…’All politicians have difficulty avoiding lying, and National is not the only party that has resorted to dirty politics.’.

    • It’s sad, because it’s true.

      Even Greens (activists) resort to dirty politics. It isn’t good for democracy.

  3. Corky

     /  October 17, 2017

    There’s nothing worse than a commentator who thinks he has the ear of a Nation, or believes his words have influence on political outcomes.

    I did like this phrase though:

    ”They attack like rabid rats in a sack.”

    I have noticed with the Left rats are a common analogy when discussing National. Rats jumping from ships; rats in a sack; rats at meetings and rats in government.

    The mind of a Lefty is unknowable…but is always vicious.

    • Blazer

       /  October 17, 2017

      ‘There’s nothing worse than a commentator who thinks he has the ear of a Nation, or believes his words have influence on political outcomes.’…agree, Hosking is unbearable…and to be avoided.

      • Corky

         /  October 17, 2017

        Mikey is the most succinct political commentator in New Zealand. Learn to live with that or return to The Standard were the company is more convivial for your tastes……Blazer.

        • Blazer

           /  October 17, 2017

          your SOH is…improving.

        • Gezza

           /  October 17, 2017

          I like Mikey in some ways but fk he’s a drone sometimes.

          • Gezza

             /  October 17, 2017

            You can hear he hasn’t exactly put a lot of thought into other perspectives before he comes out with his bollocks.

          • Gezza

             /  October 17, 2017

            I’ll tell you what though, Corky. He did a damn good job hosting that leader’s debate. Most balanced interview I’ve ever seen him do. Ripped into both of them when they were coming out with BS.

      • Zedd

         /  October 17, 2017

        @Blazer
        You took the words right out of my mouth.. M Hosking, L Smith, B Russell & others on ZB, sound like employees of ‘Nat. party radio’ 😦

        • PDB

           /  October 17, 2017

          Can’t have just a few alternative voices in the left-wing MSM paradise can we…….must keep on message.

          • Zedd

             /  October 17, 2017

            @pdb

            your sticking to your guns, even the usual b-s.. 😀

            • PDB

               /  October 17, 2017

              I’m sure John Campbell and Red Radio is far more to your liking…

            • Zedd

               /  October 17, 2017

              I actually watch/listen to both sides, pdb.. but certain commentators should maybe, stick to ‘reporting the news’ rather than.. pushing their personal bias/perverted opinion on the public, methinks…. 😦

            • PDB

               /  October 17, 2017

              If that was the case why do you never complain about the obvious left-wing slant of people like John Campbell? Or being a hypocrite is having a left-wing opinion/bias OK but being remotely right-wing in the MSM is a crime?

          • Fight4NZ

             /  October 17, 2017

            John Campbell was pushed out of TV because of his mildly left slant (nowhere near the league of the Standard, etc. ) and at odds with his ratings. But intolerable to the wishes of those held the purse strings who unleashed Paul Henry. With Hosking on 1 the monopoly of message was complete.
            The indoctrination of the public has continued in earnest for some years in MSM.

            • Gezza

               /  October 17, 2017

              Yeah, maybe, but God – I’m pretty neutral & onjective on most matters political – I think – & even I couldn’t stand his poncy St John of the Most Caring Order broadcasts in the end. Just cringeworthy.

            • Gezza

               /  October 17, 2017

              And I doubt Henry had much impact on the minds of thinking New Zealanders. As far as I’ve been able to establish so far, only dickheads liked him.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  October 17, 2017

              I gather even dikshits didn’t like PH so you may be right, Sir Gerald. Although I must say he sometimes annoyed entirely the right people.

            • Gezza

               /  October 17, 2017

              True, Sir Alan
              And he was always exceptionally popular with himself, to be fair.
              Sir Gerald.

  4. PDB

     /  October 17, 2017

    Robins is in his rightful home at the Standard – pushing an alternative New Zealand no one outside the feverish few wants.

    These lyrics from ‘Aqualung’ seems to sum up their relationship well;

    “As he bends to pick a dog-end
    He goes down to the bog
    And warms his feet.”

  5. Ray

     /  October 17, 2017

    I have banned myself from the “The Standard” and Bomber’s blog till we get a Government, since the run up to the elections.
    It’s done wonders for my outlook on life.

    • Gezza

       /  October 17, 2017

      Well done, Ray. 👍🏼 You look like you can soldier on meantime.

  6. “They attack like rabid rats in a sack”

    How do they do that if they are stuck in a sack? Are they attacking themselves? Or their fellows? Or the sack? Are they eating their young, fearing the Universe is about to end? Are some of the rats stuck in the sack Lefties, and the Righties have identified them by their rancid smell? Do I need to go and lie down in a darkened room?

    Or is this just the result of a fevered, pre-pubertal imagination, like the article itself? It sure makes one appreciate the sense and intelligence of PG, and particularly his willingness to air views that don’t agree with his own. Such open-mindedness would have spared Galileo much grief. Thank you PG.

  7. Trevors_elbow

     /  October 17, 2017

    Someone pass him back his rattle… he has thrown it out of his cot. ..

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