OnPoint by Keith Ng

Slow vs Shameless

I'm not the only one who's not down wit da kidz these days, it seems. That's the word on the street after Mallard's "leak" of a National Party strategy presentation in the House yesterday. National's attempt to be cool by associating themselves with The Feelers won't work, said various journos at lunch today.

Did they know something I didn't?

Yes: The Feelers aren't even cool anymore.

I felt so out of touch. I thought uncool was the new cool these days, but now it seems that it's only symptomatic of my rapid aging. For the record, I'm just discovering Van Halen. I'm a little slow about these things.

Slow is one thing, but failing to pick up the Dawn Raid reference was... well, okay, that was slow, too. God it would have been funny though, to see Brash wearing a "National: We love Dawn Raids" hoody, hanging out with Che Fu. A perfect David Brent moment, I'd have thought. Hell, they should start producing the hoodies now - I'd buy one.

(The Office is still cool, right? I got told on Tuesday by a bunch of youth marketers that Che Fu isn't cool anymore.)

But seriously, failing to get a cultural reference and being a piece of walk-on inter-referential satire is silly, but shamelessly trying to use a joke to avoid having to front up over Phillip Field is, well, shameless.

The conference where the presentation was given was over two months ago - Mallard would have had this sitting there in his "Get Out of Jail Free" deck. With the usual just-in-time-for-six-o'clock-if-you-just-run-what-we-say timing of the revelation, this is the sort of "transparent and predictable" style of governance that is now synonymous with Labour.

There was not even pretense that this was anything but a baldfaced, cynical attempt to distract attention away from the Field report. Doesn't it bother them that they're trying to whitewash an inquiry that's genuinely deserving of attention? This isn't Benson-Pope-grade, 20-years-ago-he-was-a-bit-of-a-bastard stuff, and it certainly isn't like the he-didn't-fill-out-his-tax-return-properly crap with Parker. Fighting crap with spin is one thing, but surely, they must recognise that something more serious is going on here: This is a minister (allegedly) using his position of power to exploit vulnerable people for financial gain. This is the kind of behaviour that weakens the integrity of government - not just the Government of the day, but our rarest of rarities, a corruption-free government. Doesn't it bother them?

Okay, fine - of course it doesn't bother them. That was just a rhetorical question anyway. But more realistically, doesn't it bother them that their media manipulation strategies are so fucking transparent that they might as well *announce* that they're trying to cover this up?

The sad thing is, as outrageously overt as they were, they achieved their aim. TV3 ran the Dawn Raid thing first, though to their credit, they kept referring to it as a smokescreen to divert attention from the Field report. And having done the same thing in this post, the reality is that the Dawn Raid line is just too good, too attention grabbing to pass up. We have to milk it. We can't help ourselves. And they know it.

Doesn't stop us from sticking the boot in Labour once we're done, though. Assholes.

And here's this week's NGA:

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