The Dim-Post

December 17, 2013

I can see the Sea of Tranquility from my house!

Filed under: Politics — danylmc @ 9:18 am

Gordon Campbell interviews Colin Craig and asks him if his recent flurry of dumb statements (chem trails etc)  represent a deliberate strategy of trolling the electorate:

I don’t know about the term ‘ political trolling.’ But there is an element whereby to cut through into peoples’ minds – and I’m concerned about the voters, for us its about connecting – and you do have to find those points of interest, those opportunities, those discussions that people are motivated about. So naturally, we do…try and focus, certainly at this point in the election cycle, on those points of interest. The things people are thinking about. We try to make what we put our there interesting. Sometimes I might quote someone who says Key is too gay for Helensville. Yes ! When I do that I know its going to be something where people will say – ‘Oh gosh, he said that ! Now I’m going to read the rest of what he sent me.’

I see it as a form of marketing, to be honest. I’m not sure about this idea of trolling, that’ s a new one on me. But we are getting into issues as they come up, and if I think there’s an interesting way to present it – or an interesting debate to be had – I will do that. I’m interested in making politics exciting and relevant for people -

Even at the risk of looking like a complete loose cannon, or a political lightweight ?

Inevitably, there’s always a risk in how you present your argument. Even if you’re presenting it as the most boring argument in the world. For me, I’m always looking at what we send out – and asking – is this interesting? Would I read it?

I think that some of what Craig is doing is deliberate. When he describes a contest between two female politicians as a catfight or announces that Labour and the Greens are ‘schizophrenic’ (I spelled that right without spellcheck!’) I think Craig is trying to provoke a reaction. He wants a female left-wing politician to come out and condemn him for demeaning women, and he wants some mental health group to accuse him of stigmatising schizophrenia. And then a bunch of cranky old male voters are supposed to flock to him because they see a decent guy using plain language under attack from the satanic forces of political correctness.

US political pundits now refer to this tactic as ‘Palinism’ after Sarah Palin the former half-term governor of Alaska, who perfected it. Palin would wonder aloud whether Africa was a country or a continent, every educated person in the country would jeer at her, and millions of Americans who also were not sure about Africa would flock to her cause.

Craig has stated that he respects Palin. But Palinism didn’t turn out to be a very successful strategy. Sure, some people loved her but many, many more people were terrified at the idea of putting a proudly ignorant fruitcake into a position of power. She’s no longer a significant political figure in the US.

But New Zealand has MMP. Craig only needs 5% of the vote to get into government Parliament. Maybe the strategy can work here. Can Palinism deliver 5% of the vote. Probably! But not the way Craig plays it. The trick is to be divisive, stir up resentment. Craig is trying to do that but the chem-trails and moon landing gaffes just make him look flat-out delusional. His prospective demographic of sad, bitter old men should be able to tell if he’s saying thing like the ‘catfight’ comment because he’s striking a blow against the radical politically correct feminists who control our entire society, or if he’s saying them because he’s kind of stupid and crazy, and I don’t think they can.

The best thing about this is the dilemma it presents to National. Do they endorse Craig and give him an electoral seat? On paper that’s a no-brainer. But the second they do that the Prime Minister ‘owns’ his statements, and the chances of Colin Craig dropping some misogynistic bombshell into the middle of the election campaign are really, really high.

About these ads

34 Comments »

  1. But New Zealand has MMP. Craig only needs 5% of the vote to get into government.

    Craig only needs 5% of the vote to get into PARLIAMENT.

    Grump endeth here.

    Comment by Andrew Geddis — December 17, 2013 @ 9:39 am

  2. He, in a way it indicates how the’political elite’ have managed to neutralise themselves and convince the public they are uninterested in teh expereinces of ‘common folk’. The politically-boundaried language they all speak, the rarified philosophies they espouse, narrow ideological agendas they pursue, and the aura of introspection and political specialisation they tend to engage with have collectively contributed to an environment in which Craig, an inexpereinced politician tilting at national importance, yes – a seat in our Parliament – can essentially ‘talk bollocks’ knowing it will translate as a refreshing and commonsense alternative to the gobbledegook many hear emanating from the so-called ‘professional’ political elite.

    There’s no dilemma for National – it’s either Craig or Peters ain’t it, and isn’t Brash getting the word to stand too?

    Comment by LeeC — December 17, 2013 @ 10:35 am

  3. Given it is a full moon tomorrow, if you get a clear sky tonight, you probably will be able to see the Sea of Tranquility from your house.
    Just out of curiosity though, can you put your hand on your heart and swear that you know where the Sea of Tranquility is on the Moon’s surface?
    That is without looking it up.

    Comment by Alwyn — December 17, 2013 @ 11:07 am

  4. >Craig, an inexpereinced politician tilting at national importance, yes – a seat in our Parliament – can essentially ‘talk bollocks’ knowing it will translate as a refreshing and commonsense alternative to the gobbledegook many hear emanating from the so-called ‘professional’ political elite.

    There is a gap there, since McGillicuddy Serious, Bill and Ben, and the Imperial British Conservative Parties all flunked out.

    Comment by Ben Wilson — December 17, 2013 @ 11:12 am

  5. I wonder if the easiest way to deal with CC would be to split the idiot vote. It’s definitely all got a bit serious down in the little parties. Surely there’s room for “Everything they tell you is LIES” party, dedicated to such hallowed causes as Flat Earth, No Moon Landings, 911 Was The CIA, and the Gay Mafia.

    Comment by Ben Wilson — December 17, 2013 @ 11:24 am

  6. Or global warming. . .

    Comment by LeeC — December 17, 2013 @ 11:33 am

  7. Sure, some people loved her but many, many more people were terrified at the idea of putting a proudly ignorant fruitcake into a position of power.

    ROFLMAO

    New Zealand’s parliament is full of “ignorant fruitcakes”

    Item – a large number of our MPs actually believe that cows farting in Taranaki are melting the North Pole

    Item – a majority of our MPs think that two men or two women can actually marry one another

    Comment by Andrei — December 17, 2013 @ 11:44 am

  8. And how can you be sure it’s not just the chemtrails affecting your vision?

    Comment by eszettt — December 17, 2013 @ 12:17 pm

  9. Talk about fruitloops and Andrei pops up with his favourite obsessions. Go figure.

    Comment by eszettt — December 17, 2013 @ 12:19 pm

  10. isn’t ‘favourite obsession’ an doxymoron?

    Comment by LeeC — December 17, 2013 @ 12:27 pm

  11. without the ‘d’?

    Comment by LeeC — December 17, 2013 @ 12:28 pm

  12. “Palin would wonder aloud whether Africa was a country or a continent, every educated person in the country would jeer at her, and millions of Americans who also were not sure about Africa would flock to her cause.”

    How did that work out for her?

    Comment by Ross — December 17, 2013 @ 12:34 pm

  13. She got a language named after her.

    Comment by LeeC — December 17, 2013 @ 12:44 pm

  14. >Item – a large number of our MPs actually believe that cows farting in Taranaki are melting the North Pole

    >Item – a majority of our MPs think that two men or two women can actually marry one another

    You table 2 items that are true as evidence of madness?

    >Or global warming

    That one’s taken by the Greens, and is believed by too many people to be considered fringe. Quite the opposite, to not believe it is fringe, now. That’s making no comment on the truth or falsity of it. So a climate change denial group might fit the bill?

    Comment by Ben Wilson — December 17, 2013 @ 12:46 pm

  15. “I think Craig is trying to provoke a reaction. He wants a female left-wing politician to come out and condemn him for demeaning women…”

    That’ll not happen:

    1 – Colin Craig may hold the balance of power in 2014. Until John Key gifts him a seat (confirming him as the new John Banks) he is a crucial potential coalition partner. Face it, if the left can endorse Winston…

    2 – Len Brown is the left-wing* mayor of Auckland. Whilst such feminist debates – regards misogynistic bias by power figures exploiting women or structured demeaning of women who publically question/reject said exploitation – have been an easy win for the left in the abstract, they are going to be much more difficult here & now.

    * Len Brown isn’t left wing, he is a centrist.

    Comment by angus robertson — December 17, 2013 @ 1:11 pm

  16. “if the left can endorse Winston …”

    Cosy up to him, yes (and more than I’d like). But gift him a seat? They can’t and won’t.

    Banks won Epsom by repeating “a John Key-led government” at every opportunity. Not by saying “John Key is gay”.

    What the media pundits haven’t grasped – as Danyl has pointed out – is that the two thresholds (5% vs electorate) require two different strategies. Craig can bash National to get 5% or hug National to get a seat. He can’t do both.

    Comment by sammy 2.0 — December 17, 2013 @ 1:21 pm

  17. From the horse’s mouth – in the Werewolf interview linked above, Craig says:

    “We’re not going to do any deal ahead of the vote to give anyone some sort of guaranteed coalition position, or anything else.”

    So, the opposite of Banks 2011. And Hide 2008, for that matter.

    Comment by sammy 2.0 — December 17, 2013 @ 1:38 pm

  18. “The Lord giveth and The Lord taken away”

    Comment by Northshoreguynz — December 17, 2013 @ 1:39 pm

  19. Fuck this lack of editing, “taketh away” and fuck predictive text too.

    Comment by Northshoreguynz — December 17, 2013 @ 1:40 pm

  20. If you believe in IQ, then 5% of the population have an IQ below 51, which basically indicates a very limited ability to function. Craig could go for those people.

    Comment by richdrich — December 17, 2013 @ 1:49 pm

  21. Indeed, Ben, ‘Climate change denial’ would fit the bill – but would require quite creative qualifications around of which ‘majority’ we are referring to.
    And you got to love the sudden revelation tha Len Brown is now considered ‘centrist’ when did that happen?

    Comment by LeeC — December 17, 2013 @ 1:56 pm

  22. “And you got to love the sudden revelation tha Len Brown is now considered ‘centrist’ when did that happen?”

    When he ran as a centrist for the mayoralty of Auckland and won it – twice. Not as if I’ve have noticed him doing anything particularly left wing since, apart from upsetting Cameron Slater.

    His core rail loop transportation policy has been endorsed by the National Party government, who have committed the country to funding half. He has worked hand in glove with the National Party and Sky City to bring a convention centre to Auckland City. His team of overseers at the port are negotiating changes of working conditions and doing so in a manner not objectively left wing. He has capped rate rises.

    There is some dissonance over the Unitary Plan around land disposition for new development, but that is a function of the council as a legislative whole where Len Brown is only one vote.

    Comment by angus robertson — December 17, 2013 @ 4:39 pm

  23. If you believe in IQ, then 5% of the population have an IQ below 51

    If you believe in IQ, then 0.0429116534% of the population have an IQ below 51.

    Comment by Andrew Geddis — December 17, 2013 @ 5:02 pm

  24. The title “I can see the Sea of Tranquility from my house!” seems a reference to Ms. Palins reported comment about seeing Russia from her home.

    While I don’t think Ms. palin is competent to hold public office I also don’t like lies in public discourse – she never said it. Tina Fey said it satirising Ms. Palin.
    Ms. Palin once remarked that Russia is visible from some parts of Alaska which is a simple truth, even if her intended implication that said fact made Alaska and Russia neighbours and conferred foreign policy expertise on Alaskans is dubious.

    Comment by Fentex — December 17, 2013 @ 6:00 pm

  25. “But the second they do that the Prime Minister ‘owns’ his statements”

    Does he? Is John Key considered to ‘own’ every minor piece of bullshit that John Banks or Peter Dunne spouts?

    Comment by Hugh — December 17, 2013 @ 7:24 pm

  26. you just described Rusell Norman. A leveraged nutjob.

    Comment by grant — December 17, 2013 @ 8:24 pm

  27. My belief (and hope) is that there are far fewer Palinists (known here as munters) in NZ than the US. Time will tell. As for Palinism, I wonder how Michael Palin feels about this new term.

    Comment by nigelsagentinthefield — December 18, 2013 @ 12:27 am

  28. Thanks for the clarification Angus, I don’t dispute it, nor intend any mischief against your good self, nor do I dispute your description. I was referring to an overall impression that the muted criticism of Brown by the ‘left’ has been partly been because Brown is considered one of ‘theirs’ ie the ‘left-wing’ candidate who has been the ‘victim’ of a concerted ‘right-wing’ sorry – ‘VRWC ‘ – conspiracy waged against him by Slater, Farrar, Palino Wewege, etc.,

    If my theory about the psychology is correct, then, along my fantasy Lickert scale, I will be seeing descriptions of Brown slide further from ‘left’, into ‘centrist’, and eventually closer to ‘centre-right” should he be compelled to resign. Such political revision of course would be closer to Stalinism than Palinism, although it might more be a political equivalent of the ‘Bystander effect’..

    I know…. fantasy….

    ps I presume Michael Palin would feel ‘Pythonesque’. The others?
    Slaterly, Farrarist, Palinomentalist, Wewegerian, Brownosian take your pick.

    Comment by Lee C — December 18, 2013 @ 6:57 am

  29. I quite like Farrarist, cos it rhymes with terrorist. You know, “the economic Farrarists of the right are no better than the Taliban”.

    Comment by Sanctuary — December 18, 2013 @ 7:20 am

  30. @Sanc: Yes, that’s what’s been missing from the progressive project in NZ – ad hominem insults!

    Comment by Hugh — December 18, 2013 @ 7:59 am

  31. I fail to see what someone’s sexuality has to do with it…

    Comment by LeeC — December 18, 2013 @ 8:27 am

  32. It’s easy, if you hang around people of similar education and views as you, to downplay just how much of the country believes in stuff like a fake moon landing, or climate change denial.

    http://sayit.co.nz/blog/do-you-believe-conspiracy-theories

    The above SAYit survey from 2010 shows 20% believing in the former and 60% in the latter. Sure, SAYit surveys aren’t scientific, but they do give an insight, and I think it’s a bit foolish to just dismiss Craig’s statements as appealing to very small minority. I think it’s more than that.

    Comment by James W — December 18, 2013 @ 10:02 am

  33. Yes, marketing. Marketing himself as a crazy swivel-eyed loon who likes it up the bottom.

    Comment by dan — December 21, 2013 @ 10:21 am

  34. Andrew, you are fully correct, I didn’t see the % sign: http://www.iqcomparisonsite.com/iqtable.aspx

    5% would be below ~~ 75, which gives one the ability to read children’s books and count on one hand. Craig will clearly get seven MPs.

    Comment by richdrich — December 23, 2013 @ 1:27 pm


RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

The Rubric Theme Blog at WordPress.com.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 336 other followers

%d bloggers like this: