Home > The Body Politic > More “tricky” business – National’s election strategy now apparent?

More “tricky” business – National’s election strategy now apparent?

. Dirt Unit .

On 1 March (2014), in a previous blogpost, I made the following predictions regarding the coming election campaign,

5. A dirty election campaign , including a well-known extremist right-wing blogger releasing personal information on political opponants, which will backfire badly on National,

It seems that National’s (tax-payer funded) spin doctors/media minders/political strategists have already begun their dirty-campaign to discredit their political opponants in the Labour Party. Note the common theme emerging in these media stories and public statement by National Party politicians;

. Tricky issues facing Cunliffe .

In Parliament, Craig Foss used the “tricky” phrase four times (in case anyone missed it the first time;


Foss, Craig - Debate on Prime Minister’s Statement .

John Key was well schooled by his media minders to drop the term into his public statements;

. 'Tricky' Cunliffe has priorities wrong - Key .

National minister, Amy Adams, used it in her press statement twice; once in the headline, and once in her text;


Tricky Cunliffe continues to mislead


… but her press statement was widely released on other media, such as Scoop;


Tricky Cunliffe continues to mislead - scoop media


… and here;


Tricky Cunliffe continues to mislead - wn website


“Tricky”, eh?

With his usual casualness, Key began dropping it into his everyday statements,  hinting that his Party was not as “tricky” as ‘the Other lot‘;


Secret fundraising meals not 'tricky' - Key


And to really push the point home, National’s strategists made certain to  employ right wing bloggers – from the feral/psychotic (Whale Oil) to the slavishly loyal (Kiwiblog) – to keep pushing the meme.





Keeping Stock


keeping stock blog




whale shit blog




home paddock blog


Good little foot-soldiers, doing their masters’ bidding.

Just in case anyone is thinking that this blogger is either a tad paranoid or been supping on the Blackberry Nip once too often – I’m not the only one who has been noticing National’s game-playing.

On 7 March, writing for NewstalkZB, Mike Hosking perceptively realised the political spin that was being played out in the media, and that  David Cunliffe’s reputation was firmly in the Tory’s cross-hairs;

This could not have played better for the Government. They wanted to label Cunliffe and they came up with ‘tricky’. Its short, it’s sharp, it’s effective. They came up with tricky after the baby bonus, which not only gave money to people who didn’t need money but actually didn’t give money to as many as they said it would. This was Cunliffe’s first major blow.”

The rationale for National’s strategy is fairly obvious: John Key is wholly vulnerable on issues relating to trust and truth. Dear Leader has a fairly lengthy record of broken promises; dodgy dealings; mis-representation of events; selective use of facts; convenient ‘brain fades’; and some outright lies.

So the Nats simply decided to pre-empt any potential attack on Key’s (somewhat tarnished) reputation, by  Labour’s own strategists, and got in the  first blow.

Expect the Nats to keep pounding this message – and for new, even dirtier attacks of Cunliffe, Norman, Turei, and anyone else who stands in their way for re-election.

A dirty election campaign; mixed with fear mongering and dis-information,  coupled with Key’s obvious (and somewhat bizarre) deflection with his proposed flag referendum are National’s main strategies for re-election. They have very little else to fall back on.

Certainly not their track record, over the last five-and-a-bit years.  That’s the last thing they want the public and media to focus on.

That would be embarrassing.





Manawatu Standard: Tricky issues facing Cunliffe

Parliament: Foss, Craig: Debate on Prime Minister’s Statement

TV3:  ‘Tricky’ Cunliffe has priorities wrong – Key

Beehive: Tricky Cunliffe continues to mislead

Scoop media:  Tricky Cunliffe continues to mislead

Wn.com: Tricky Cunliffe continues to mislead

NZ City: Secret fundraising meals not ‘tricky’: Key

Newstalk ZB:  Mike’s Editorial: ‘Tricky’ Cunliffe needs to break the reputation

NBR: More tricky – Cunliffe’s role in $4m house purchase

Previous related blogposts

National, The Economy, and coming Speed Wobbles .

Other blogs

The Standard: An honest man?




Waiting to serve the Nats a vote of disgust

Above image acknowledgment: Francis Owen

This blogpost was first published on The Daily Blog on 12 March 2014.



= fs =

  1. Jennifer F
    25 March 2014 at 8:25 pm

    What really pisses me of is that our tax dollars goes toward all these highly paid spin doctors, while schools are struggling on reduced budgets and kids from poverty stricken families go without food. How have we come to this state of affairs?

  2. Nothing To Laugh About
    27 March 2014 at 10:20 am

    There’s always money for spin doctors but never money for feeding hungry children living in impoverished families. This is why I’ll never vote for National or Act or even NZ First. A nation that doesn’t care for it’s children is doomed to collapse.

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