The polls that were reported this week got Stuff into speculation mode (yet again) about National’s leadership and about how the Greens and Labour appeal to women more than men. This was then followed by an attack on Judith Collins from National’s former media trainer, Janet Wilson.
On The BFD, Wendy Geus quite rightly pointed out that whoever leads National will be attacked by the Government-funded media pack. The MSM will find some sort of weak point and repeatedly pick at it like a festering sore. For National, mucking around with their leadership and the party structure is a waste of time as it just plays to the media and opposition agenda.
Our biased MSM are more interested in money and clickbait than facts and have abandoned their journalistic principles. How often have you seen a National press release on any topic reported in the MSM? National have been busy writing lots of press releases every single week but, as the MSM does not report them, it is no wonder people get the impression that National does not have its act together. (I am not a National party member, so were it not for The BFD who do publish their press releases, I would be completely unaware of the work they have been doing.)
There are two ways of looking at this.
If you are playing the media game, then the media reasoning about Judith Collins’ leadership does not stand up. If we compare the two women: Ardern is a young politician by world standards and is only starting to get the life experience a family gives you. In true Communist form she’s outsourced childrearing and lives on a salary well beyond what most of us would ever have; she has lots of minders and so has no idea of the juggling that most women have to cope with. With Ardern you get lots of simplistic airhead soundbites that mean nothing (communication speak), and her legal understanding, essential for a politician, is zip. The press fawn over her just because she has had a baby while in office, but she wasn’t the first NZ woman politician to do that, nor was she the first party leader to do so* but you would think it was breaking new ground the way MSM have reported it.
*Whetu Tirikatene-Sullivan had a baby way back in 1970 and Pakistani leader Benazir Bhutto had a baby in 1990 while in power.
Judith on the other hand has life experience that comes from a bi-cultural marriage, a farming background, raising a kid, holding down a job and studying. For years I didn’t even realise that she was married and had a child – for her, doing a professional job is what is important and, with her legal training, she understands legislation.
In terms of leadership Ardern always does the superficial – “what looks good” – but she cannot control the idiots around her and hates making decisions.
National are regularly producing press releases and they are communicating more with their supporters (taking a leaf out of Seymour’s book). Judith shows you that leadership is more than just show and superficial communication speak: it is team building, it is decisive action and it is asking the hard questions of our bureaucrats. That is what we elect politicians to do, and I reckon that’s why the MSM media hate her because she shows them up for what they are not doing.
If we reject the MSM idea of focusing on the person, rejecting gender, ethnicity and other labels and focus on the ideas the two leaders represent, then what Labour stands for is a long way removed from its working-class background. A lot of Labour’s current policies hurt those they claim to represent the most, especially when you read what the various charities tell you.
Last election, the electorate had been scared witless by constant fearmongering from the pulpit of truth. People craved security and because Labour had not done anything crazy in the previous 3 years because Winston Peters had reined them in, the scared voted accordingly for the status quo. The MSM coverage didn’t help, nor did the fact that people could not really see a clear difference between the two main parties with National perceived as Labour lite.
But there are real differences between the two parties, it’s just that National are not communicating them clearly enough. To some extent now National does not need to do too much because their middle-of-the-road approach strongly contrasts with Labour’s ideologically driven policies. Just look at the divisive He Puapua report; the proposed Three Waters Authority reforms; the closing down of oil and gas exploration, the closing of Charter schools and the weird ideological lockdown rules under Level 4 that force people into large supermarkets rather than allow them to shop locally and to access takeaways.
COVID-19 lockdowns have allowed Labour to make many small decisions based on ideology rather than scientific reasoning. Just as certain businesses are favoured under Labour, the MIQ system perpetuates that same sort of favouritism. Immigration of certain groups has been heavily restricted through this process, risking both our economy and mental health.
National has another strength, which is its track record in government. Over the years they kept the economy going. Debt levels were low and welfare was targeted at those in need, rather than indiscriminate handouts. They made the Treaty settlements, they acted on climate with the emissions trading scheme and they cleared the regulatory way in Christchurch with a separate authority to get things moving. All pragmatic stuff so that people could just get on with life. This was the reason why the economy was so strong before the Labour government came to power.
Now after being handed complete power since the COVID election Labour has been able to go on a wild spending spree. This is the real reason why it suits the MSM to focus on the superficial and personalities, because if they focus on policy and achievements, Labour will be found seriously wanting.
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