A woman I have huge respect for, because of her balanced, but strong feminist views, and her tactical skills and political observations, said something to me recently which brought me up with a start. She said that she was suspicious of the Labour sex scandal which had been all over the media recently. She felt that the breathless interviews of the young people sounded too well rehearsed to her.
I hadn’t paid much attention to the issue. I have always been against young people joining political parties too early in life.
So, I had just assigned the issues in the media as merely being a distraction.
However, my friend’s observation caused me to stop and think. I was further challenged by the fact that one of the people appointed by the Labour Party to review the complaint, an Auckland lawyer, stated publicly that there was no mention of the issues being discussed in the media when he dealt with the complaint. He then had his computer forensically audited to show that he was telling the truth. Then I thought about the woman who was also on the Labour Party panel. I know her. I’ve served on an election committee with her. She is a serious feminist. If she had any suspicion that there was anything improper about people’s behaviour regarding sexual matters she would have responded very quickly, and firmly.
I don’t know Nigel Howarth, but he has seemed an honourable man whenever I have heard him in the media. He doesn’t seem to be the sort of person who would be in the habit of telling lies. He said that what was being stated in the media was not what they had had to deal with. Then the guy who was the supposed guilty party said the same thing. That really got me thinking.
Then I thought about Paula Bennett and Simon Bridges wading into the issue. I wondered whether there was something other than what appeared on the surface with this matter. I mean, if I were a young woman who had been sexually mistreated, there would be a long list of people I would seek assistance from, well before I went anywhere near Paula Bennett. She’s hardly Mother Theresa.
There was the media frenzy over the matter. They had a field day. If the matter was for real, then the frenzy was justified. I’m not saying the media were wrong. But I’m starting to wonder if serious journalism was swept aside and “click baiting” dominated the reporting, and consequently we were fed shallow “give us Barabbas” stuff. I wonder which journalists asked “are we viewing the whole story here?”
I have let the whole thing die down before I have written this. I wanted to think about it. Like the woman who started me thinking, I’m not sure whether the full story has been told.
After consideration of the issues raised in the media I have started to wonder if Crosby Texter is now operating in New Zealand? These are the guys who ran Boris Johnson’s campaign when he stood for Mayor of London. They ran Boris Johnson’s campaign to become UK’s Prime Minister. They have run the Conservative Party campaigns in the UK. They have been the PR brains behind the Liberal Party successes in Australia (including the recent victory). I’m not sure whether they were anywhere near the Brexit campaign. It wouldn’t surprise me if they were. They acted for tobacco companies and Crosby argued at one time “These [cigarette manufacturers] are legal companies which employ thousands of Australians. If they want to make a contribution…they are entitled to do so”.
Simon Bridges went across of Australia immediately after the Liberal Party had been re-elected this year. I wonder if he met with Crosby Texter, the PR team behind that victory? What made me think this could have been possible was when I reflected on what the National Party have been pushing since his visit. Consider this list:
- Anti-gun law;
- Querying the Christchurch Call Agreement;
- Querying the Zero Carbon Bill;
- Strong stuff on any issue on law and order;
- Accusing the Government for being “weak on gangs”;
- Proposing fines for parents of school dropouts etc;
- Harassing RNZ and saying they are weak on Labour politicians because they need the extra funds which are going to be delivered by this Government.
Have a read of this. Are the media finally getting onto it? https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/education/116334119/fines-for-parents-of-school-dropouts-is-a-bridges-too-far.
This is all fitting a pattern. Crosby Texter advise their clients to not hit where their target is weak; but where they are strong. Think about this. Jacinda Ardern is strong on anti-guns. She is strong on bringing world leaders together to challenge outfits like Facebook. She totally outshone Simon Bridges over the response to the massacre at the Mosques. She says that Global Warming is her generations “nuclear issue”. She is strong on empathy and feminist issues.
Basically, as a political leader Jacinda Ardern has completely outshone Simon Bridges on every one of these topics.
Back to the Labour Party sex issue. A great way to weaken the leader of a political party is to wrap up a parcel of sleaze and feed it in instalments to the media. The Labour Party behaved exactly as expected. It was a pathetic, hand-wringing, head-banging response. The Party caved in under pressure. The Prime Minister, and the Party, looked like they were not in control. The Party President did the honourable thing, and resigned. The Party showed that the mongrel factor in politics rests with the National Party; and Winston Peters who responded exactly the way he should have.
Just consider this. If Crosby Texter are advising the National Party, again, then our politics is going to get really dirty. It won’t be about ways to move our country forward. It will be about muck raking and undermining everything they turn their mind to. It’s a really easy thing to do when you are in opposition. The media too often revels in promoting negative reporting. It is expected of the fourth estate (not the National Party advocates like Mike Hosking and Duncan Garner) to reflect on whether or not they are being manipulated by the front for Crosby Texter, Simon Bridges. Too often they will be encouraged into chasing side issues, which these PR hacks have decided are what the media should be looking at, rather than the real ones which really matter.
This statement is on the Crosby Texter web site:
The C|T Group are not constrained by particular communication models or channels. Rather, we ensure all relevant communication channels are run in unison, resulting in an effective and persuasive communications campaign being rolled out to the chosen audience. Derived from our political heritage, the C|T Group practically applies the strategic lessons of multiple successful campaigns to help our clients achieve their objectives.
I wonder if we are their chosen audience. They will play to our fears, and our gullibility and that of the media. Their “objective” is to make the next Prime Minister Simon Bridges, and they don’t care how.