I’m sure this doesn’t add anything to Lynton Crosby’s (highly profitable) political mystique, but you know what the Tories absolutely did right – a brutally effective focus on the marginals that still matter a lot under FPP. (This is why everyone should be very careful with drawing too many conclusion from the UK – electorally, we not comparing apples with oranges, but cricket balls with hand grenades.) As far as I can tell, the Tories put a lot of thought and effort into a textbook ground game the media didn’t really notice, because they were obsessed with gaming polls instead of policy analysis.
Unfortunately for Labour (and the LibDems), the SNP was also following a game plan that succeeded beyond all expectations – and it was also based on a handful of clearly and consistently articulated messages that read the mood of the Scottish electorate. I'm still not sure what the hell the British Labour Party stood for beyond "the Tories suck" and "Ed is shag-able".
It’s still a version of “don’t risk it”, though.
Sure - and if you want to frame it as "negative campaigning" then that fair enough too, but it also strikes me as a perfectly legitimate campaign to run even if you don't like the people putting it forward. Of course, the antidote to "don't put it all at risk" is "well, how is 'it' working for you, really? Consider this instead." Least we forget, Labour won in 1999 in no small part because a tired and unpopular Government tried running a scare campaign in uncertain times about Labour's tax-and-spend secret agenda. The problem was there was nothing even slightly mysterious about the policies Labour had been presenting consistently for the best part of a year from Clark and Cullen all the way down.
In both countries, that perception was fostered with carefully-constructed negative campaigns, from the same strategists, aimed at making a change of government look risky, and emphasising what there was to be lost.
And which Labour did pretty effectively in 2002 and 2005 -- there were plenty of people, at least in my circle, who were looking at Labour's message of "you may not like everything we've done, but look at those clowns over there. LOOK HARD and ask if you really want to run away to join that circus" and agreed. (And they took a lot of leaves out of the British Labour playbook, and I've long said the Tories were Tony Blair's most reliable allies.)
I don't get it (yet), quite possible aren't supposed to, but damn it's still awesome seeing the younglings doing their thing and, as far as I can tell, doing it well. If I ever turn into You Kids Are Doing It All Wrong Guy, someone just take me out behind the barn and put me to sleep. It will be a kindness. :)
I hope you gave everyone you know who took the story at face value the same lecture.
I certainly will, starting with giving myself a stern rap over the knuckles for not having the bullshit detector fully engaged when this first dropped. But you know why I was hard on Chris: Because it really sounded way out of character from someone I knew casually back in our student politics days and had a lot of time for. Someone, BTW, who may plausibly be the Education Minister in the next Labour-led government and who I hope will avoid Hekia Parata's tendency to shoot from the lip and blow another toe off. (It's a constant mystery to me how a woman who's not stupid or incapable so often ends up suffering from foot-in-mouth disease.)
The lesson was – and why not have some fun with paraphrasing – intended to point out the unfortunate truth that there are a lot of dicks in the world and some of them try to force their dickery on others. I’d have thought this was a pretty important lesson, especially when it comes to sexual health, and where better to experience it than in the (relatively) safe space of a health education class?
Yes, and if Labour's education spokesman is unaware the madonna-whore complex is alive and well (and enormously damaging to women), I'm sure someone in the Labour Research Unit can pull together a nice thick briefing book of more solid examples of media, political and police/judicial slut-shaming and victim-blaming. We're soaking in it, Chris, and the least we can do is at least start giving young people their first tools to defend themselves from it. It could quite literally save lives down the road.
4. Top down grates all the more because of 2. and because the “top” is John Key. The thought that Mr Ponytail would forever be associated with any new flag sticks in my craw. But that’s because of my own political persuation. I’m sure there’d be a whole lot of other people who would have felt exactly the same about Helen Clark.
Well, yes… If you dig down into the history of women’s suffrage, was everyone (eventually) on the side of the angels, as it were, really nice people whose motives were utterly pure and idealistic? Bugger off. Sometimes (quite often, actually) it helps if you grasp the opportunity before you with one hand while holding your nose with the other. :)
And if "top down" grates anyone that hard, well what do you think Parliament does every time a bill becomes an act? If you've been watching the news recently, I've got very ambiguous feelings about the Irish Republic's marriage equality referendum this week precisely because I'd much rather see our elected representatives DO THEIR DAMN JOBS where their citizens' civil rights are concerned.
Also, as Finlay Macdonald commented recently, the way the NZ media roll over and wave their legs in the air when British royalty hoves into view.
Yeah, because that's so much worse than the frankly noxious media tendency to start using the royal we every time some sports team does moderately well or how we're supposed to lapse into a state of national melancholia when they don't. There's nothing wrong with enthusiasm, but a mature culture also knows how to leave space for people who just don't share it -- and aren't required to.
It’s not enough for journalists to assure us in the abstract that they make these judgements when Cameron Slater comes to them with a tip. Their rationale for why stories should matter to the public need to become a part of the output of journalism as well, both as a form of accountablity, and as a narrative device.
Sure -- but that also requires a genuine commitment to transparency and accountability, which the media is very good at demanding of everyone but themselves. And, yeah, the media have got to stop saying "just trust me" when an awful lot of people don't, and for good reason.
First riots breaking out in London. Maybe this is an indication of what is ahead.
And guess what one complete idiot has pretty much guaranteed will be leading every newspaper and television report of the protests in Whitehall: Obscene graffiti on the memorial to "The Women of World War II" almost literally hours after the 75th anniversary of V-E Day. With enemies like that, who the hell needs friends?