What we fear from the Right

Looking at the right’s response to the revelations about Key’s courting Crosby/Textor — and denying it — it’s obvious they just don’t understand what’s wrong with deliberately selling a completely false bill of goods to the voters, and why the left fear their dirty tricks.

Take Adam at the Inquring Mind, for example. He suspects that “what has the left frothing with paranoia is that Crosby Textor are successful.”

No, Adam, it’s not. It’s the extent to which C/T— or the campaigns that they are associated with — go in spreading misinformation and lies. And the utter contempt for the voters and the democratic process that it betrays.

Many of us on the left have vivid memories of the hate-filled 1975 election, when National introduced us to blatantly rascist and anti-communist fear-mongering. On Labour’s side, Bill Rowling — a man of great personal integrity and decency — and the unsuspecting crowd of old school politicians had no adequate response to something that they could not fathom.

The dancing cossaks and brown brawlers that National treated us — along with a little gerry-mandering of boundaries — brought us nine years of Muldoonism. We lost the chance to have a properly funded superannuation scheme, amongst other things. (And it’s still not clear where National got the funding for the hugely expensive cartoons from Hanna-Barbera.)

Hence the concerns that underlie the EFA. You only have to look as far back as 2005 if you want to see an example of a party trying to con its way into power with lies, secret agendas and loads of secret money with lots of strings attached.

While the social democratic parties of the Anglo-American world are far from pure, overwhelmingly it is the rightists who specialise in dirty politics. They are led by the Republican Party in the US. Since Nixon the Republicans have been pioneering the dirtiest, most unscrupulous campaigning techniques seen since, well, the McCarthy era. Now, which party in NZ has the links with the Republicans?

The left fear that National and its little ally gladly use appalling Rovian tactics and in doing so undermine the democratic process. This is not paranoia.

It’s not seven years since Howard rode his way back into power across the Tasman on a wave of fear fuelled by a lie about refugees throwing their babies overboard in order to blackmail their way into Australia.

And just who was responsible for the rumours about Ken Livingstone having three secret children and hiring Muslim extremists, that so benefited the C/T-advised Boris Johnson campaign this year?

It doesn’t matter whether it’s push-polling, swift-boating or furtive smearing with rumour conducted at nudge, wink, arms-length distance from the official campaign. The left doesn’t want it here.

[Postscript: I don’t intend to comment on yesterday’s veents in Parliament, except to say that this post might help to explain where the Left is coming from. Is attack the best form of defence?]

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14 Responses to “What we fear from the Right”

  1. Inventory2 Says:

    Interesting post JP – I’ll reflect on it and post a more considered response later.

    However you seem to imply that yesterday’s events in the House are something of a Statement of Intent from the left. Somehow, I don’t believe that the smear tactics that Clark used yesterday will resonate widely, especially when it appears that she made a “factual misunderstanding”. If Labour is “getting its retaliation in first”, it runs the risk of completely alienating the electorate.

    I2: I didn’t say that it was successful! You may be right… time will tell. JP

  2. Adolf Fiinkensein Says:

    JP, have you not noticed Labour already doing all these things?

    “It doesn’t matter whether it’s push-polling, swift-boating or furtive smearing with rumour conducted at nudge, wink, arms-length distance from the official campaign.”

    The PM won’t rule out push polling, Hagar is used to to the furtive arms length smearing, and now the great train robbery has been foiled but not before the leader stepped out onto thin ice and fell right in.

    She’s really not up to it, you know. this self proclaimed chief strategist of yours, the greatest textor of them all..

  3. Adolf Fiinkensein Says:

    JP, now that I’ve got that off my chest, I think this might be the first time I’ve visited your blog and I hope you will not think I’m pissing in your pocket when I tell you it is well written and I will enjoy returning for as long as I’m permitted.

    Cheers

    Adolf

  4. Sinner Says:

    (And it’s still not clear where National got the funding for the hugely expensive cartoons from Hanna-Barbera.)

    We won. You lost. Eat that.

    And just who was responsible for the rumours about Ken Livingstone having three secret children

    But Ken Livingstone does have three secret children, doesn’t he?

    I can’t believe these scum are brining up a 30-year old election. It’s the best they can do.

    the sooner unions and the Labour party allies are simply banned, the better NZ will be. Hopefully John Key will finally complete the job Ruth Richardson started!

  5. MacDoctor Says:

    overwhelmingly it is the rightists who specialise in dirty politics.

    You’ve got to be kidding, JP. Even in relatively clean New Zealand, parliament is a cesspool. Just read a transcript of yesterday’s goings on if you don’t believe me. All parties spend masses of time just digging around in the dirt, especially around election time. To say that the right wing “specialise” in dirty politics is a truly blinkered view.

    Politics is all about perception (sadly, it has never really been about policies). Mud slinging and spin are the mainstays of all politicians, including our present government. Occasionally you may get a true statesman like Mandela but they are as rare as hen’s teeth. This is because to be a statesman you have to have the respect and trust of the people and that takes character rather than political nous. It is also developed outside of the political arena, not in it.

    P.S Bringing up Nixon and McCarthy is just showing your age! )

  6. AndrewE Says:

    I find this a bit rich when you consider what’s been happening in parliament this term. If anything Labour and the parties of the left have been dirty, dishonest and have demonstrated a clear lack of integrity.

    And I know I’m not the only one who feels this way.

  7. ak Says:

    Spot on Pete – personal smears, hired goons and any other dirty trick you can imagine have always been the modus operandi of the right – it’s just a fact of life, and despite the rabid railings of the commenters above, is an accepted truth by the populace. A small minority ot the NZ public is only giving Key a free ride at present because he has agreed with all of Labour’s policies and does a passable impression of an innocuous unctuous MAN.
    The Boys have lost their power – it’s hurt some of them real bad, and slippery Johnny Flipflop’s “win” in Novenmber is their great white hope for retaliation: the poor bastards are entitled to a wee momentary gloat I guess – before history rolls them into oblivion….

  8. MacDoctor Says:

    AK: personal smears, hired goons and any other dirty trick you can imagine have always been the modus operandi of the right

    Personal smears – Helen Clark shoots herself in the foot etc.
    Hired goons – Trevor “bovva boy” Mallard, David “I’m in charge now” Cunliffe.
    Dirty tricks – Character assassinations of Peter Doone and Don Brash, Lies of Mallard, Benson-pope and others. Pledge card rort and others too numerous to mention.

    Hope you’re having warm weather on your planet because its crap down here on planet Earth! 🙂

  9. Inventory2 Says:

    Well said MacDr – I guess that living in a parallel universe, ak didn’t read Bill Ralstons column this morning…

    http://keepingstock.blogspot.com/2008/07/ralston-being-ralston.html

  10. ak Says:

    Hope you’re having warm weather

    Oh it’s glorious thanks MacQuack, and the panorama is quite spectacular: I gaze over an uninterrupted vista of social progression that has raised the status and living conditions of millions throughout the world in just a couple of centuries – and the antics of the tiny reactionary gaggle in its wake are often hilarious entertainment!

    For example, there’s this wee country called New Zealand where our dim-witted reactionaries continue to flail with ever-increasing intensity – despite the fact that their own doe-eyed poster-boy has adopted all the policies of the very same progressive government they wish to replace! Frenetic desperation replete with all the usual logical distortions, flimsy lists of ancient “scandal”, dire predictions of doom, rabid denigration of their own country and fellows etc etc, in a pitifully futile attempt to replace a government with …….the same thing!
    As I said, quite amusing at times 🙂

  11. MacDoctor Says:

    Ahhhh, you’re so sweet I could just dunk you in my coffee… ‘)

  12. Around and About « The Inquiring Mind Says:

    […] Jafapete wrote clearly on the Crosby/Textor issue from his perspective . Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)John Armstrong – shilling for Labour […]

  13. barnsleybill Says:

    “And just who was responsible for the rumours about Ken Livingstone having three secret children and hiring Muslim extremists, that so benefited the C/T-advised Boris Johnson campaign this year?”

    JP,he has got the kids and he was hiring ME’s.
    You are describing labour’s playbook.

  14. undergroundnetwork Says:

    Great post Jafapete. I’ve just found your blog and I like what I see! I agree with this post in that, regards of whether done by the right or the left, I have no time for dirty politics. Political parties should steer clear of PR people and marketers, and simply tell us their policy, and sell it to us with reasoned arguments. Currently parties are carefully branded and packaged, but devoid of substance. At the end of the day, who we elect is more important than which brand of toilet paper we buy!

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