Home > The Body Politic > “Spin me a conspiracy”, said Dear Leader!

“Spin me a conspiracy”, said Dear Leader!



In politics, there are several ways to discredit your  opponant or critic;

  • Humour

David Lange was the past-master of the one-liner riposte. His classic, “I can smell the uranium on your breath”, is now firmly ingrained in our culture.

  • Attack Reputations

A favourite of Robert Muldoon, who had little reservation in undermining, or even destroying, a person’s reputation if they crossed him.

  • Buy them off

Our best and most experienced journalists gave up their professions to join the Dark Side of politics, and become Press Secretaries and spin doctors for politicians, government departments, SOEs, and corporations.

Some of the most well-known media names from the  ’80s, ’90s, and ’00s now work for employers who do not want the public truthfully informed on certain matters.

  • Deride & Dismiss

If you can successfully paint your critic or political opponant as a “loony”, incompetant, naive, or possessing some  other faulty character-trait, then you may persuade the public not to listen to them.

The  Right deride the Greens as “tree hugging socialists” – and other epithets – when attacking their policies. Even when said policies are clearly delineated and sheer common sense – the derision and dismissive retorts are by now an automatic kneejerk from the Right. No thought required.

  • Off to the Gulag!

Very popular with the old USSR, and still in heavy usage in the last remaining Stalinist regime in North Korea. The Chinese have their own Labour Camps (prisons) for their political prisoners. And even the United States – the Land of the Free – has their own dirty little ‘secret’ at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.

Probably not feasible for dear little New Zealand… yet.




National’s tax-payer funded  spin doctors have been working overtime this year on new angles for their Ministerial Masters to use to  dismiss the growing clamour of criticism against their policies, and more increasingly, criticism of John Key’s style of leadership.

With National dropping in the polls and Key’s popularity  not what it once was,  it is fairly obvious that critics are starting to hit home – and the Tory hierarchy is worried.

One response has been the Deride & Dismiss tactic.

Increasingly,  Dear Leader and his ministers have taken to referring to critics and political opponants as “conspiracy theorists” – a jibe designed to make someone appear to be on the fringe of politics; slightly unstable; not thinking rationally; and espousing ideas unsupported by facts.

It’s like suggesting that your opponant or critics believes in fairy tales. And it’s becoming more and more common,


Mr Key is rejecting all their allegations.

“It went through the normal tendering process, Sky City was the only bidder prepared to look at a deal that didn’t involve government resources. They can run around as much as they like looking for conspiracies but they’re never going to find one”. ” – John Key, MSN News, 19 April, 2012


But despite the paper, he denied there was any connection between him calling off the business case and SkyCity indicating it was considering extending its centre. “Not despite your wildest conspiracies, no,” he said. ” – Dominion Post, 24 April 2012


But I would say it’s a really positive thing to do. You can make a difference. And it’s like the convention centre. People want to chase their tails in conspiracies. There is no conspiracy. The conspiracy is we haven’t had a convention centre for decades. We will get 160,000 visitor-nights. They will spend roughly twice as much as everybody else. The Government has got no money to pour into it.” – John Key, The Listener, 23 June 2012


There is no conspiracy here. There’s a failure by an individual, there’s a cock-up, but there’s not a conspiracy.” [re, GCSB] – John Key, TV3, 29 September 2012


Yeah the conspiracy theorists won’t like it they’ll be on TV tonight saying ‘yeah you know Dotcom’ and all this sort of carry on but they live in fantasy land.” – John Key, TV3, 1 October 2012

There’ll always be conspiracy theorists out there but I’m interested in jobs, not people who live in Fantasyland and want to make things up.” – John Key,  Fairfax media, 2 October 2012

Meanwhile Mr Key is writing off the concerns around Dotcom as “conspiracy theories”.

“I’d caution New Zealanders not to buy into conspiracy theories too much,” he says. ” – John Key, TV3, 4 October 2012


Even Fran O’Sullivan, NZ Herald columnist and bearer of the Honorary Captain Key De-Coder Ring, joined in to support National’s spin-dictoring.

The conspiracy allegations against Key are over-egged.” – Fran O’Sullivan, NZ Herald, 3 October 2011

As these quotes show, Key has been using the “conspiracy” pejorative as often as he can get away with it.

Without indulging in conspiracy theories, one could almost come to the conclusion that “Conspiracy” and “conspiracy theorists” are the magic words in 2012 – as determined by National’s back-room spin doctors. These guys have been racking up serious over-time to create the right things for Key and other National ministers to say.

Anyone criticising Dear Leader is engaging in “conspiracies” and accusations against National are “conspiracy theories”.

Got that?


Otherwise it’s off to the Gulag for you!

Meanwhile, here is one example of pre-scripted spin being delivered incompetantly, by an incompetant Minister. Listen and weep, for our taxes are paying for this woman’s salary,


[click on image to link to TV3 video]



= fs =

  1. Denny Weisz
    8 October 2012 at 11:07 am

    Oh Frank you’re not trying to spin a conspiracy about the conspiracy about the Hollywood conspiracy are you?? Haha! Great work Frank!! I heard that JT was coming back? Or is that another National party conspiracy to distract everyone’s attention from the dire straights that this country’s heading into?

  2. Holly M
    8 October 2012 at 11:16 am

    there is a huge difference between conspiricy theory and conspiricy fact.. cheers for your writing frank, i love reading your thoughts on things! thankyou! you are the breath of fresh air, when things look down and out.. you always leave me thinking there humanity here and wriggle room for hope. x

  3. Ralph
    8 October 2012 at 11:18 am

    Hoping you don’t cross over to the Dark Side anytime soon Frank. Fact is we live in a deeply illiberal society and NACT continue to speak clearly to that audience in terms even they can understand. If NACT said that the sun rises in the West and sets in the East, the true believers, despite any evidence, would agree.

    • 8 October 2012 at 11:44 am

      Ha ha ha… Ralph, if I ever get such an offer, I’ll be blogging it from here to Mars!

  4. RR
    8 October 2012 at 11:20 am

    there is no such thing as conspiracy fact, it’s just “conspiracy”.

  5. KSJ
    8 October 2012 at 11:22 am

    Another excellent post! Thanks

  6. Shane Hayes
    8 October 2012 at 11:29 am

    Cleverly those who vehemently appose thorough investigation or analysis have already discounted any information as a “conspiracy theory” due to their own contempt prior to investigation. If there is no such thing as a conspiracy fact.. how can there be such a thing as a conspiracy theory?.

    • RR
      8 October 2012 at 11:38 am

      shane – there usually isn’t! 🙂

  7. Holly M
    8 October 2012 at 11:37 am

    sorry, i was meaning… you know? when they pull out the yeti in the bush topics, (mythical tales) then try roll them up in the same barrel as those who are fact finding criminal behavior behind big buisness..

  8. 8 October 2012 at 11:52 am

    and there he is this morning right on cue Frank! 😀

    • 8 October 2012 at 11:58 am

      How many times did he mention “conspiracy” this times, Laura? 😀

  9. 8 October 2012 at 12:04 pm

    “Conspiracy theorists believe that people with power & money would use power & money to stay in power & make more money”.

    • SpaceMonkey
      8 October 2012 at 1:20 pm

      No conspiracy there… that’s a fact!

  10. Mick
    8 October 2012 at 12:43 pm

    his American friends have told him how well the term “conspiracy theory” or just “conspiracy” is to shut down debate. People fear those terms now more than they fear the consequence of the lies being coved up .

  11. 8 October 2012 at 2:15 pm

    I like the comparison you used to describe former MPs like(Lange n muldoon) both these leaders were verbally aggressive, n did not tolerate, being coerced, or brought off by anyone, so their leadership will always be remembered as such! lets fastward to 08-2012 at a time when John Keys was sworn into power as the next national PM who was voted in by just over a million kiwis lets analise what this MP has done,firstly there was a promise of a ”BRIGHTER FUTURE” which has so far eluded us, continual lying, n behind closed doors meetings, that leaves out the right of every public to know whats going on, the promise of new ”JOBs” which hasn’t eventuated, our economy is headed out the window so to speak, now, introduction of ”GCSB” spying now ”POLICE” given the right to legally enter your premises without warrants there fore, FREEDOM OF SPEECH is now replaced with ”CONSPIRACY THEORIES” n those accused of it are subjected to physical abuse n imprisonment, wow is this the promised brighter future we are experiencing! i think not, keys has now resorted to targeting those who speak out about him n his other national croonies, this clearly hits home that we are living what is decribed as a second russia with espionage floating around the place, quite frightening really, im wondering just how much more can we possibly take of this bulshitting regime,when is the rest of nzders gonna wakeup to the truth, as theres a small amount of us whose eyes have opened n continue to let others know n join in to rescue whats our own n its this beautiful country called New Zealand ……thanks again frank it was an orsom post

  12. Mike Pyefinch
    8 October 2012 at 10:36 pm

    If it looks like shit and smells like shit – chances are its shit

    • 8 October 2012 at 11:13 pm

      Mike – I’m seeing more and more folk wake up to that…!

  1. 18 August 2016 at 8:01 am

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