That both senior National MPs Bill English and Lockwood Smith harbour political views that differ from National Party policy is hardly a revelation – although you would not get this impression from the mainstream media.
Secret tape recordings! Secret agenda! The mainstream media, with TV3’s Duncan Garner leading the charge, wanted us to believe that they were delivering something explosive. Instead they delivered the off-the-cuff comments of two men (one of whom may of been ‘tired and emotional’) who indicated they disagreed with some aspects of National Party policy.
It’s hardly news that both English and Smith are ‘hard right’ and that they would express such views at a party conference is also not surprising. The only difference is that someone got their views on tape and gave them to the media.
Here’s some explosive news! National’s Maurice Williamson doesn’t believe that climate change is occurring! For that matter, neither does Lockwood Smith!
There are MPs within the Labour Government who hold personal views that are not Labour policy. I could name some of them but its hardly news.
What this little skirmish is about is the media looking for some point of difference between the two largest parliamentary parties. The media likes to describe both Labour and National as ‘centrist’ but they are, really, two right wing parties who adhere to free market economics and ideology.
In blogland Labour supporters are pointing the finger at National and suggesting ‘secret agenda’.
But what is happening is Labour simply attempting to portray itself as ‘less right wing’ than National. Yes, it’s the old ‘lesser evil’ argument and if you buy into that you will buy into such things as free trade agreements with Stalinist China, not raising welfare benefits and suppressing wage rates.