So author Nicky Hager says John Key and the National Party are using the services of Australian PR firm, Crosby-Textor.

So what?

Like Hager’s book The Hollow Men, which is a whole lot of fuss about not a lot, there’s nothing particularly surprising about parliamentary politicians and their various power plays. I'd be more surprised if they didn't act this way - then I'd be suspicious!

But there’s more of this wishy-washy nonsense, I'm afraid, on the Tumeke! blogspot.

This is what regular contributor Pheobe Fletcher wrote:

The issue of political spin should be a defining one this election: rather than dragging public debate away from the policies that define our nation, as some have argued, interrogating the source of where these policies come from is a crucial process to an informed vote. The refusal of John Key to confirm his party's use of Crosby/Textor as public relations consultants is disturbing, as it signals a degradation of the democratic processes through which a party should be elected.

The danger with this marriage of public relations and politics is that the desire to pull voters ends up superseding the desire to establish firm, reasoned policies that benefit New Zealanders.

This is a strategy that Crosby/Textor are renowned for in their campaigns: using sensitive issues to polarise voters into voting on emotive reasons rather than a critical rationale.

It sounds erudite and informed but, folks, it’s condescending drivel from someone who sincerely believes in the parliamentary process. She sincerely believes that voting for either Tweedledee or Tweedledum means we have a real say in the political process.

Putting aside Fletcher’s pollyanish comment that the ‘democratic process’ is about to be degraded by the bogeyman, namely nasty John Key, she implies that ordinary voters are going to be sucked in by a PR campaign rather than voting for ‘reasoned policies that benefit New Zealanders’.

Clearly Ms Fletcher has a low opinion of the intelligience levels of her fellow New Zealanders if she thinks a few TV ads and a few leaflets will spur people to vote - like sheep - for National.

And which 'reasoned policies' would you be talking about then Pheobe? Labour’s free market policies or National’s free market policies? Come on Pheobe – tell us who you support! Don't be shy!

Pointing the finger at National’s spin doctors just won’t do. Why? Because the real villains are lurking elsewhere – people who, I suspect, Ms Fletcher supports.

The real reason we have reached this point is because of a Labour Government that has taken us down a destructive neo-liberal economic road and the complete and abject failure of a trade union leadership to oppose that neo-liberal agenda.

Is it little wonder then that working people are turning to the National Party when organizations that claimed to be on their side have dismally failed and betrayed them?

For Tumeke! to hail Ms Fletcher’s shonky analysis as being 'right on the nail', suggests that Tumeke! still harbours, after all these years, silly illusions about the so-called ‘progressive’ nature of Labour.


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