“Spin me a conspiracy”, said Dear Leader!
In politics, there are several ways to discredit your opponant or critic;
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”.
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,
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