I found some of the comments in the article quite interesting, in that they provide a few reasons as to why the National Party has been so completely ineffective in dragging NZ out of the socialist ditch.
According to the article, the Key govt is entirely poll driven. It apparently does nothing itself to outwardly lead public opinion, but only reacts to research carried out by David Farrar and other employees. That Mr. Farrar plays such a key role has some significance.
The blogger and pollster recently admitted he had been quite wrong about Donald Trump’s rise in the US polls, which to me would seem like a pretty serious mistake for someone claiming the credentials Mr Farrar does. It suggests that perhaps Mr Farrar lets his progressive ideals override objective assessment, and is therefore not quite the political guru John Key believes him to be.
There are 1 million NZers who did not vote in the last election. Is it because they didn’t want either party? Would the progressive Mr. Farrar be able to objectively make this assessment? Is he leading the National Party down the wrong road due to misreadings resulting from his own progressive political persuasion? Is the flag issue, which has badly backfired upon Key, an example of this misreading of the public’s mindset?
According to the article, since 2002 National has developed the most advanced voter relationship database to collect information and then target potential supporters.
“Every phone call to an electorate office, every letter to the editor, letter to a minister, comment on social media, photo opportunity, or attendance at an event or meeting, – there is someone inputting that data into National’s central database. David Farrar, National’s pollster, monitors the data, then themes and phrases are tested in focus groups before John Key utters them.”
Also according to the article, National runs a system of “pushers and pullers”.
Pushers are political cronies and opinion leaders willing to pick up a ball, run with it and fend off attacks. Pullers are fair-weather celebrities who put their name behind an issue only if someone has their back and if there is sufficient forward momentum.
National has several levels within its organisation that try to sway public opinion. Groups target talkback radio, social media, surveys, and media polls. Crony commentators manipulate, obfuscate, smear, and stigmatise.
Don’t forget readers, this is coming from a senior National party staffer. So what he have here is an admission that Key is either too gutless or too incapable to outwardly present arguments (as Donald Trump does), rather he sends out underlings to skulk on social media or to speak out in the mainstream media, and drive debate the way he wants it. In his article, Mr McLachlan even specifies an example-
When the RSA requested taxpayer money to campaign against changing the flag, Key realised that his main opposition was weak and refused to help them. I predict that the RSA will now be the target of crony smear tactics.
I recently wrote a post on this very issue- “Mike Hosking’s atrocious pro-govt propaganda attack on RSA” Just how many people in the NZ media are part of John Key’s “pullers and pushers” strategy?
Whatever way you look at this, the revelations in Mr McLachlan’s article do National and John Key very little good. To me they suggest a management operation that lacks skill and courage, and relies upon subversion and when that doesn’t work, surrender. It explains why National is so directionless.
It also does much to reinforce my own opinion that John Key is the worst National Party leader ever, and the National Party under his leadership is the most ineffective collection of politicians in its history.
The National Party needs a leader who can stand up and speak from the heart about what he believes in, and we need a party who is willing to support such a person.
What we don’t need is a smoke and mirrors PM who believes in nothing and is supported by a band of knee pad wearing self serving sycophants. Who apparently don’t believe in anything either.