Island Life by David Slack

Read Post

Island Life: Hunting Squirrels

121 Responses

First ←Older Page 1 2 3 4 5 Newer→ Last

  • Don Christie,

    Ironic, then, that an administration so derided for their profligacy in spin has turned so much thread to so little gold.

    9 years in Government is reasonable gold, I would have thought. Interesting snippet from the latest Fairfax poll, Labour ahead in Christchurch and Wellington but far behind in Auckland. Hard for any political party to outspend the Herald.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1645 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    nominate a top five list: Praiseworthy Accomplishments of the Helen Clark Years.

    I think things have gone so badly for the government, they should avoid putting themselves on TV. The whole 'presidential' campaign thing isn't going to help them much, because people are turned off by Labour these days.

    I'd go with a series of adverts of ordinary NZers, telling the country how their lives are better as a result of things:

    1. Working for Families. A family that can say the line "it always used to be a struggle to find food for the kids, even with full time work. Now with Working for Families we can make sure we can put food on the table" (or something less schmultzy).

    2. Civil Unions. A same sex couple saying that they feel that they are now full NZers like everyone else.

    3. If we'd won the world cup last year, I would have put a Rugby World Cup 2011 in here. A graduate who is paying off their interest free student loan and choosing to stay in NZ as a result.

    4. A businessman who's going to be making it big with the free trade deal with China.

    5. Umm. Something to do with health, ignoring their failures in this area.

    (in no particular order btw)

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Ward,

    In addition to Kyle's above:

    - Peter Maire or similar saying: "With the pool of savings we'll shortly have from the SuperFund and KiwiSaver, companies like Navman wouldn't have to have been sold off to a US company that then dropped it. We could have made a big international player right out of little ol NZ".
    - (Little risky but) another business-looking man talking about how the corporate tax cut has left them more money internally to grow, and the corresponding R&D cuts have seen them put more money into some "exciting new products for the global market"

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1727 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Not strictly advertising, but I think they'd be well-advised to try and get the Phil Twyfords and Grant Robertsons in the frame, especially if it's the same frame as Tony Ryall.

    There's an obvious mood for a change of faces. They could be seen to offer such a change without the bother of actually changing the government. This, of course, could have been different if the Labour list hadn't been so full of time-servers last time around.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22825 posts Report Reply

  • Tim Michie,

    Accomplishments are the start to the message but on their own, with each achievement a voter may consider positive; nine years in office can easily counter it with a negative incident or memory.

    If however you use your accomplishments to lead in to what you're going to do to further that positive outcome of your policy it can be compared to an alternative and a case to be elected.

    As we know, National hasn't been forthcoming with much of its policy and that's just how they're playing the politics game but if you hope that Labour have new policies to advance aside from those in the budget then they've also kept their cue cards close to their chests.

    Auckward • Since Nov 2006 • 614 posts Report Reply

  • Nick D'Angelo,

    I think things have gone so badly for the government, they should avoid putting themselves on TV.

    A very risky strategy. Most people get their 'info' from TV. To not be seen on that medium when your opponent is would be counter-productive. But you're right that things have gone badly for the government (perception vs reality) so with that in mind I offer (tounge-in-cheek) the following 'Joe Public' reaction to your campaign ideas:

    1. Working for Families.
    Look they've got one of those fancy double door silver fridges! And their kid has got an iPod! I don't pay my taxes so they can live in luxury!!

    2. Civil Unions.
    Ooh yuck, look at them. Ooo-er </shiver> That Helen Clarke's a Lesbian y'know - __that's why they made it legal__

    3. A graduate who is paying off their interest free student loan and choosing to stay in NZ as a result.
    I left school and got a job! Do you think you're better than me?

    4. A businessman who's going to be making it big with the free trade deal with China.
    Yeah, right. They'll be claiming we're shipping coals to Newcastle next. Take a look at the blardy Warehouse - it's all 'Made In China'

    5. Something to do with health, ignoring their failures in this area.
    Yeah, right. I paid $38 for my last doctors visit and I was only in there for 6 minutes! Do the maths, those Doctors are creaming it. And yet when [insert name of one of many people you know] needs a [name their ailment] they're put on a 12 month waiting list!!

    Actually your suggestions are good, but should probably target niche demographics (ie Civil Union ads in Gay Media). But the MSM will probably then use that to bash them anyway ("Labour spends $X,000 targeting Gay Voters!").

    But they should keep away from Health. There's no winning that one. Everyone knows someone (or knows someone who knows someone) who didn't get the health treatment they needed the day after they were diagnosed with the problem.

    Simon Laan • Since May 2008 • 162 posts Report Reply

  • dc_red,

    An alternative challenge:

    Name six specific things National have said they will do if they are in government.

    Off the top of my head, I can think of two: a new prison, and more tax cuts of an undefined and uncosted nature.

    I think I once heard John Key say he'd scrap the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) but only once ... that policy may or may not exist.

    Oil Patch, Alberta • Since Nov 2006 • 706 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    dc_red: As far as I can tell, National's ACC policy hasn't changed from 2005, so add that one. I reckon one effective ad for Labour could be to show a pair of boys, one white one brown, whistfully watching a rugby match from the sidelines. When an adult asks them why they don't on and play, have one of the kids say "My parents can't afford the insurance."

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2214 posts Report Reply

  • dc_red,

    Nick - you're more or less right. But one interesting thing about those responses, and the media's current political narrative more generally, is that it's NOT the neoliberal variety of conservatism National usually promotes.

    It's actually populist, talkback-style conservatism (to my mind at least).

    The party that has most promoted that stance for the last 15 years or so is NZ First. Yet they (and Labour) languish in the polls, while the unreconstituted neolibs in National, and the anti child-beating Greens, fly high.

    Oil Patch, Alberta • Since Nov 2006 • 706 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    Whilst it is fair to say it is impossible to outspend the Herald in Auckland, I would guess that if you graphed Labour's decline in popularity in the big smoke against the rise in petrol prices and interest rates there would be a strong relationship between the two in the heavily car dependent and indebted Auckland mortgage belt.

    After all, the kiwiblog sewer has been with us since well before 2005, but their tone of constant cultural cringe defeatism has only gained traction now people want to "blame the gummint." Labour has to hope that A) the petrol price bubble bursts soon and B) the reserve bank cuts interests at least once (and hopefully twice) before the election. Labour HAS to campaign on its economic record, because it is very a good record and because as people have mentioned the stewardship of Michael Cullen has marked him as possibly our best ever finance minister. If Labour can point to signs that the economy is over the worst and we've suffered the least of any economy from the fallout from the money printing of the economic lunatics in the White House, then I would say the polls would reverse as well.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2214 posts Report Reply

  • Susan Snowdon,

    In no particular order and my personal favourites today

    Kiwi saver
    Working for families
    Student loans
    Repeal of section 59
    Civil union legislation
    Legalisation of prostitution
    Treaty negotiations
    Free trade deal with China
    Michael Cullen as treasurer

    Since Mar 2008 • 110 posts Report Reply

  • dc_red,

    Right, getting myself back on topic. No particular order:

    1. Cullen fund
    2. Interest free student loans
    3. Working for Families
    4. Cut in lowest tax rate
    5. Rebuilding state housing program
    6. Kiwi saver

    (Lifetime achievement award: Helen Clark).

    Things I supported but weren't popular so probably best not mentioned:
    1. Civil Unions Bill (actually pragmatic as the alternative was probably marriage, a la Canada, which would really have had the populist mob foaming at the mouth).
    2. Legalization of prostitution
    3. Support for s59 appeal - award shared with National party

    Things I didn't support:
    1. De facto appointment of Jim Anderton as drugs tzar (and associated prohibitions).
    2. Cancellation of tax bracket adjustments.

    "Going out in a blaze of glory" policy:
    1. Socialize primary medicine. Go on Labour, you've been itching to do it for 70 years, and it would be awesome.

    Oil Patch, Alberta • Since Nov 2006 • 706 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    nominate a top five list: Praiseworthy Accomplishments of the Helen Clark Years.

    One that's so far escaped mention is the huge additional investment in industry training. In 1999, the then National government had kinda forgotten about the scheme they designed which was languishing. Following the change of government, a full legislative review and a major increase in funding, participation increased 2 - 3 fold. Industry training directly and unequivocally increases workforce productivity, profitability, innovation and competitiveness. Clark and Maharey directly, despite some opposition (not from the Opposition mind), led this reform and ought to be recognised for it.

    I'd also add that Labour law reform were a major move in the right direction and also improved our overall productivity capacity.

    Not strictly advertising, but I think they'd be well-advised to try and get the Phil Twyfords and Grant Robertsons in the frame, especially if it's the same frame as Tony Ryall.

    Not just because he's a friend, Robertson, I completely agree but fear it's too late.

    I'm not a member of the Party, but if I was, I'd be very pissed off that the likes of Di Yates hung on as long as she did and prevented more renewal. It might not have made enough of a difference on its own, but it surely would have improved the Party's position regardless of the election outcome.

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • dc_red,

    Cheers Paul, but re: Yates and renewal, etc., I'm wary of adopting the media narrative of "Labour party timeservers" without turning my attention to:

    a) the same phenomena on the National Party benches; and
    b) the dubious legacy of National's "new broom".

    Clark has managed to keep a party once renowned for its fractiousness in very tight alignment due in part of loyalty to sitting MPs ... although it sure helped that the polar extremes of the party have long since buggered off to their natural homes elsewhere on the political spectrum.

    Oil Patch, Alberta • Since Nov 2006 • 706 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher,

    2. Civil Unions. A same sex couple saying that they feel that they are now full NZers like everyone else.

    That's preaching to the converted.

    What you'd need is the parents of a gay couple, who actually might not have been all that thrilled when their son/daughter first came out, talking about how wonderful it was to attend the civil union, how nice to was to have family and friends together and celebrating the formalising of the relationship.

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1946 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    dc_red; I don't disagree.

    Clark will be seen as one of, if not the, best PM Labour's produced and one of the best we've had from either party - rightly so IMO.

    However, the failure to move a number of timeservers along was an error (and from what I understand, an error many within the party commented on). Another narrative, possibly overstated, is that Clark needed some of these people to bolster her control over Caucus. I don't believe this frankly. She might've needed them in the early days (including in 1996) but with Cullen and others, she's controlled Caucus by share dint of talent and application.

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    What you'd need is the parents of a gay couple, who actually might not have been all that thrilled when their son/daughter first came out, talking about how wonderful it was to attend the civil union, how nice to was to have family and friends together and celebrating the formalising of the relationship.

    Or... okay, so as to avoid dead-squirrel hunting even though I find this a bit icky - a heterosexual couple with a civil union talking about how they were able to choose the relationship form that was right for them.

    Keep all the social legislation I loved right out of it. Kiwisaver, WFF... people who are firmly demonstrably financially better off.

    Except of course that leads you right into the Cheese Argument.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    A very risky strategy. Most people get their 'info' from TV. To not be seen on that medium when your opponent is would be counter-productive.

    I'm not saying that Labour shouldn't appear. Start with the 'ordinary people', finish with Helen Clark saying the slogan or whatever.

    The good things that Labour have done, and I think they've been the bunch, as often as not they've lost the battle against National in saying "hey these are good things". More of Helen or Michael or whoever saying "these are good things" is going to be more of the same. More of 'real people' saying "Labour helped us" might be different.

    Your Joe Public reactions. Yes, all true. The target needs to be focused however. They're not going to get those votes. Someone who thinks students are bludgers, isn't homophobic but "doesn't like fags", and is working class but doesn't like poor people, isn't going to switch this election.

    They need to attack their weakness however, which is that a pretty good government has got tagged with being 'old', and offside with NZ on social issues. That's attacking the perception of their track record on those middle ground issues. Health is very difficult as their record there is average, it's just too important an issue to leave out.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    __2. Civil Unions. A same sex couple saying that they feel that they are now full NZers like everyone else.__

    That's preaching to the converted.

    I don't think the target is 'gay people', if that's what you mean. I think Civil Unions was quite a popular compromise between full on gay marriage and doing nothing. Personally I'd probably get married, which is an option for me, but I'm proud that we made progress there, even if it wasn't as far as I would have liked it to go. I think it's been around long enough and the world hasn't fallen apart that this is an argument you can sell to 'middle NZ'.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    Well if people want to bring up the whole cheese thing we'll start to see the demonising of farmers as National supporters - just imagine a "National Party Field Day" ad with lots of farmers driving up in hummers and jags, the back seats full of cheese - cheese on toast, cheese rolls, wine and cheese, big blocks of cheese on spits over a fire ....

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2620 posts Report Reply

  • Helen Searancke,

    Intangible as it may be to sloganise, I recall a real feeling of optimism when Labour was first elected three terms ago. The mood of the country went from downhearted and socially bereft to something much more optimistic, especially when the Labour government immediately began a programme of social spending (on the arts, too, though that wouldn't wash with the great unwashed come this election time).

    Maybe a campaign along the lines of "remember how bad it was before, under National? How can it be any better in 2008/09?"

    People want change for change's sake, but I suspect they won't like it when they get it.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 24 posts Report Reply

  • John Morrison,

    My top 5 are:
    1. Cullen fund as it will help to offset the cost of our Super
    2. Support for the lower & middle class. Included here is not only WFF but also 20 free hours, apprenticeship, cheaper primary health and free screening, housing programs etc
    3. Kiwisaver
    4. The huge amount of $$ spent on infrastructure
    5. The high regard NZ is held overseas esp. on govt-govt level

    This is a great record considering govt debt/GDP has decreased over the last 9 years. I cannot understand why it has been lost amongst the voters especially since Labour has been so united carrying out this program. Hell, National has shown more fractures in Opposition.Also Labour has presented policies for the future.

    In these rough economic times it seems that voters cannot see past the trivial, eg. 'anti-smacking' and the 'nanny state'

    Cromwell • Since Nov 2006 • 85 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    just imagine a "National Party Field Day" ad with lots of farmers driving up in hummers and jags, the back seats full of cheese - cheese on toast, cheese rolls, wine and cheese, big blocks of cheese on spits over a fire ....

    An image that is asking for highway robbery to return. Seriously, the amount of money that I could get for selling a ute full of cheese.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Neil Smart,

    One of the key elements of this Labour Government has been the support given to Helen by Michael Cullen. He has never tried to usurp Helen and has been the architect of so many of the good polices. Like all good support players he is thought of by some as arrogant. My top five would be:

    1. Kiwisaver and the Cullen fund as it will help to offset the cost of our Superannuation
    2. Re-emergence of training for young people (apprenticeships) particularly in trade related areas
    3. The reinvestment in infrastructure
    4. A graduate who is paying off their interest free student loan and choosing to stay in NZ as a result.
    5. Cullen work since he took over Treaty negotiations is indicative of his skill as an administrator.

    I personally think that health is still a work in progress, they have made a start but there is so much still to do and with an ageing population that situation will not improve in the short term. I do not agree that Doctors are creaming it. If it were true would not be suffering a shortage of GP’s. Try to get one on the West Coast or in the Hutt Valley.

    I agree with John Morrison that support for the lower & middle class has been good although memories are short in this area.

    Since Nov 2006 • 71 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    Another achievement to add to the list would be the trust-busting of the telco market.

    Regarding Labour's potential new broom, Raymond Huo would be another worthy addition to Messrs Twyford & Robertson. Interesting how 3 Asian candidates (Huo, National's Pansy Wong, Act's Kenneth Wang) are running for the same seat (Botany). Even more interesting if all 3 were in Parliament at once.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5429 posts Report Reply

First ←Older Page 1 2 3 4 5 Newer→ Last

Post your response…

Please sign in using your Public Address credentials…

Login

You may also create an account or retrieve your password.