I’m not the only one to comment upon changes of writing style in posts on Kiwiblog, that place where left wing National supporters daily duke it out with far left Labour supporters under spasmodic “moderation” by the site’s owner and his anonymous acolytes.
Mr. Farrar has a style that is quite refreshingly simple and unsophisticated, and most of the posts on Kiwiblog are clearly written by him. Sometimes, he has guest posts and we are told who the author is.
At other times, there are posts framed in a much more professional writing style that contrasts quite markedly with Mr. Farrar’s own. These posts are still published under Mr. Farrar’s name. On most occasions, they are addressing the finer points of National policy or fighting back against some alleged incorrect public perception regarding John Key or his policies.
Now I could be completely wrong on this. It’s quite possible that Mr.Farrar does have two or more different writing styles. However, this would be very unusual.
If there is someone ghost writing for Mr. Farrar, who would it be, and why would the writer’s identity need to be kept undisclosed? Farrar is decidedly twitchy on any allegations of collusion with the National Party, so its unlikely that the ghost writers would be party politicians.
John Key employs more media people than Helen Klark did. Some are identified in an article Bryce Edwards wrote alleging they had too great a degree of influence over John Key’s interaction with the actual media.
The PM’s office has about 25 highly-professional staff working in it. Under Helen Clark’s rule, Heather Simpson was of course the head of the unit, and thus the second in command of the Labour Government. Simpson’s replacement is Wayne Eagleson, who like Heather Simpson is highly aversive to both media scrutiny and political risk. In his unit of about 25, he has people working for him such as Kevin Taylor (Chief Press Secretary), Phil de Joux (Deputy Chief of Staff, former head of the National Party research unit), Sarah Boyle (Senior Adviser; apparently a “guru of the Official Information Act”), Stephen Woodhouse (Senior Private Secretary), Grant Johnston (Chief Policy Adviser; former Treasury policy wonk and partner of columnist Joanne Black), Jason Ede (Senior Adviser), Nicola Willis (Senior Advisor), Lesley Hamilton (Press Secretary), and Paula Oliver (Press Secretary).
Could these people be the mystery writers publishing pro-National/Key posts on Kiwiblog? We’ll probably never know of course, but they certainly fit the necessary profile, and of course would be just the people that Farrar would not want to identify if they were. After all his protesting concerning his detachment from National, he’d have to close down his blog if it turned out some of his posts were secretly written by John Key’s press unit.
Mr Edwards also tells us where some of these people came from.
There are of course a large number of ex-journalists that have gone to work for the current government. In the PMO, Kevin Taylor and Paula Oliver came from the NZ Herald, Jason Ede came from TV3, and Lesley Hamilton came from Radio Live. In the other ministerial offices, Craig Howie and Grant Fleming came from NZPA, Brent Webling and Rachel Bruce are from Radio Live, Jackie Maher from TVNZ, Gillon Carruthers from RNZ, Ben Thomas from NBR, Sia Aston from TV3, and Simon Beattie from the Evening Post.
There is therefore another aspect to this. Given the vocational origins of the above people, its no wonder Key is always so left wing in his public utterances. I would guess its their influence that is largely responsible for Key’s unending betrayal of National’s founding principles and his perennial left wing tilt.
Surely someone in National can a get a group together that can get rid of these lefties and their influence over Key, and bring National back onto the straight and narrow. (Yep, Key won two elections, but he did it by donning Labour’s clothes. Given the battle is all about political ideology, that’s not any real victory.)
And who knows, if they were all fired, we might even see Kiwiblog start to drift away from the Progressivism it has so enthusiastically embraced since Key was elected.