Home > Social Issues, The Body Politic > National in trouble? Time to dog-whistle the Middle Class! (part #rua)

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,


Full story


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.”

See: Key – Government won’t go to water hui

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,

  • irresponsible
  • 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,

  1. Find a newspaper
  2. Look through the political-economy section
  3. Count the number of stories detailing National’s job creation initiatives.

The answer will be: nil.






The Standard: Trouble? Re-announce a distraction

Tumeke: Paula Bennett cracksdown on ‘Beneficiary Kidnappers’

Tumeke:  Citizen A with Chris Trotter & Selwyn Manning


Roy Morgan Poll: True unemployment rate ‘hidden by successive New Zealand Governments’


= fs =

  1. 8 September 2012 at 1:30 am

    Frank, you’ve hit another one over the fence. 🙂

  2. David Hardy
    8 September 2012 at 5:07 am

    Thanks Frank a very well researched and well presented blog.

  3. GF
    8 September 2012 at 8:36 am

    Top stuff Frank. Now how do we get this out to the “low information” voters?

  4. 8 September 2012 at 10:09 am

    My first inclination, GH, is to share amongst friends, family, acquaintances – anyone and everyone. Even if low information voters only GLIMPSE or have a brief read of material like mine, it instills an idea in their heads that the Government is propagandising and deflecting from their own inadequacies.

    Share the information. Grow consciousness. (And cross your fingers!)

    • GF
      8 September 2012 at 11:11 am

      Frank, just shared it on my facebook timeline.

  5. 8 September 2012 at 10:29 am

    brilliant and thorough analysis Frank *shared

    love the pics too!

  6. 8 September 2012 at 10:39 am

    Thanks, Linda, Laura. 🙂

    Hopefully the message will slowly seep through the public collective consciousness. Once people understand National’s trickery, they will be held in the utter contempt they deserve.

  7. 8 September 2012 at 1:08 pm

    Inspired stuff bro.
    Great work!
    Love the pic too. Perfect.

    • 8 September 2012 at 1:17 pm

      The wheels have fallen off the Government and the country is on it’s way to landing upside down in a ditch, while John Key is busy searching the map for a sharp right turn, and blaming the kids in the back seat.

  8. Pio
    8 September 2012 at 5:28 pm

    Thanks Frank, for your tireless work and keeping NZ informed!

  9. 9 September 2012 at 12:19 am

    Gosh u do better than fairfax n the herald, who needs to read newspapers when we can read your blogg r have nothing much to say becoz your’ve said it,wrote it shared it out likewise i have just done that shared it out your’ve covered everything even with the pics n links absolutely love your work frank, just blown away….thankyou 🙂

  10. Shane Hayes
    10 September 2012 at 4:07 pm

    That pic of the wagon flying through the air with it’s wheels coming off.. PMSL!!

  11. 11 September 2012 at 12:18 am

    Thanks, Shane. The pic was from the ‘net. I just added the National logo. It’s one of my favourites – the other is a Noddy car with the National logo on it…


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