National in trouble? Time to dog-whistle the Middle Class! (part #rua)
When the going get’s tough for the Nats…
… The Nats get deflecting.
Issue #1. SOE partial privatisation;
Problem: the wheels are falling of National’s agenda of partial privatisation,
National’s Response to issue #1:
Solution: Deflect public attention by criticising and deriding Maori claimants,
Key played to National’s redneck support base and low-information voters by uttering his now famous line that “no one owns the water”.
Which, when one thinks about it, is like saying that no one owns other finite resources such coal or oil burned in thermal power stations, or uranium used in atomic power plants. Try telling Australian mining company, BHP, that no one owns the oil and gas they drill for.
Interestingly, Key has not attacked Rio Tinto nor Norske Skog. Evidently, Rio Tinto’s demand for cheaper power, and Norske Skog’s threat to cut back production of pulp and paper at it’s Kawerau plant, is not a problem for Dear Leader.
But Maori calling for negotiations over water rights has prompted dismissive several responses from Key, including this statement,
“The Government does not believe there should be a national hui; does not believe there should be a national settlement and it probably would not recognise all of the rights and interests that some Maori groups believe they have.
If the Crown was to be represented at the hui, and it wont be, because we’ve said were not having a national hui, we don’t support that…if you are an MP in the government you represent the Crown and any representation by my MPs at such an event would be interpreted as representation by the Crown.
I’ve made that position absolutely crystal clear..I do not accept the view that there needs to be a national hui, because I do not accept there will be a national settlement, because I do not accept it’s a national issue.”
So. Key (or one of his other ministerial cronies) is not even prepared to attend to simply listen?
The reactionaries, rednecks, and racists love this kind of chest-thumbing, political machismo. It’s the “we’ll-stand-up-to-them-cheeky-darkies” attutude that right wing governments love to exploit to show how “tough” they are, and build up support for whatever unpleasant, unpopular policies they’re working on.
Issue #2. Rising unemployment and increasing redundancies;
Problem: National’s neo-liberal ideological belief that the “Market” will provide jobs, is not working,
National’s Response to issue #2:
Solution: Deflect public attention by criticising and deriding the unemployed (those workers listed above who lost their jobs)by describing them as “poor by choice”…
Then as lazy druggies,
Then paint them as criminals,
And then as really, really, bad criminals,
So there we have it. Thousands of ordinary New Zealanders have lost their jobs; unemployment is rising; families are struggling to cope; poverty is increasing – and Key and Bennett respond by inferring that all unemployed are,
- then lazy work-evaders,
- also drug-abusers
- and now, criminals
It would be laughable – except many low-information voters are only too happy to believe what National tells them. To think otherwise means having to reconsider comfortable prejudices based on sloppy journalism and stereotypes.
Blaming the victims of an ailing economy means that National can point the finger of blame at others, rather than their own incompetance and failed right wing policies.
We can expect more of this kind of desperate, disgusting mis-information and deflection as the economy and unemployment worsens.
According to John Key, Paula Bennett, et al, the unemployed are now little more than criminals. Their crime: showing up neo-liberal, free market ideology as the failure that it is.
Guilty as charged.
This is how National responds to rising unemployment and poverty.
Anyone remotely doubting what I have pointed out here, I suggest they undertake a little experiment themselves,
- Find a newspaper
- Look through the political-economy section
- Count the number of stories detailing National’s job creation initiatives.
The answer will be: nil.
The Standard: Trouble? Re-announce a distraction
= fs =
For a better New Zealand…
~ Cleaner rivers
~ No deep-sea oil drilling
~ Less on Roads - more on Rail
~ A Living wage at $18.40/hr
~ Marriage equality - Yay! Got that one!
~ Strong, effective Unions
~ No secret free-trade deals
~ Breakfast/lunches in our schools
~ Introducing Civics into our school curriculum
~ Cut back on the liquor industry
~ A fairer, progressive tax system
~ Fully funded, free healthcare
~ Ditto for education, including Tertiary
~ Fund Pharmac for Pompe's Disease medication & other 'orphan' drugs
~ No state asset sales!
~ Rebuild public TV broadcasting!
~ Keeping farms in local ownership
~ Reduce poverty, like we reduced the toll for road-fatalities
~ Jobs, Jobs, Jobs!
~ Being nice to each other
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