The Dim-Post

November 20, 2011

Dogwhistle of the day

Filed under: psuedopolitics — danylmc @ 7:06 pm

Tonight on TV3 news, John Key ominously warned that ‘a Labour government will include Winston Peters, Hone Harawira and Metiria Turei’.

Leaving aside the fact that Peters has ruled out a coalition with Labour and Labour has ruled out a coalition with Mana, You gotta wonder why a party who is polling double their main opponents needs to run out this kind of clumsy race-baiting during the last week of the campaign. So I’m calling it: based on this statement, and the increasingly weird and hysterical posts on Kiwiblog, I predict that National’s internal polling has Winston Peters registering at >5%.

I guess the goal here is to have Hone Harawira respond and call Key a racist, and this will ‘close the circuit’ and give the story some legs. The bulk of the population dislikes Harawira so they’ll sympathise with Key; and Winston Peters will be associated in the minds of potential voters with Harawira and classified as a ‘big-spending, unstable and volatile’ Maori. But I doubt this will work. Peters’ brand with his potential voters is way too strong.

And . . . maybe it’s me, but like everything Key’s said in the last week, this also seems hubristic. Sure, given the parameters of the current polls Goff will need the Greens and New Zealand First to form a government. But if enough voters decide they want Labour to govern on their own, then that’s what’ll happen. I don’t think it will, or even that they should – but it’s up to the people to decide.


  1. I think you are right. DPF has just posted about how a vote for Winston is a vote for a new election. Suggests to me that they have (a) given up on ACT and (b) have Winston over 5%. So they think they need the old bogeyman to scare people back to Nanny National. What was the old rhyme about holding tightly on to nurse for fear of finding something worse?

    Comment by Nick R — November 20, 2011 @ 7:17 pm

  2. Bingo!

    Comment by andy (the other one) — November 20, 2011 @ 7:18 pm

  3. Nice pick Danyl – strange behaviour explained.

    Comment by DT — November 20, 2011 @ 7:20 pm

  4. Spot on. That the leaders of so many other parties are Maori is cool . Welcome to the future.

    Comment by Peter Martin — November 20, 2011 @ 7:21 pm

  5. This comment did crap me up.

    Calling all angry wold white men!

    Comment by Gregor W — November 20, 2011 @ 7:33 pm

  6. Shipley tried this sort of fearmongering stunt re the Greens back in 1999, when the Greens were only polling about 2%. It backfired big-time, and got the Greens above 5% and Green MPs elected to Parliament.

    Wondering if Key is now repeating her mistake re NZF? Seems a pretty dumb thing to do – just gives Peters oxygen.

    Comment by toad — November 20, 2011 @ 7:36 pm

  7. Of course, Key somehow forgot to mention Tariana Turia and Pita Sharples.

    The old “good Maori / bad Maori” line, begun in the 19th century, still going strong.

    Comment by sammy — November 20, 2011 @ 8:07 pm

  8. I think the more people believe NZ First will get across the line, the more votes they will generate. Already people are starting to say if Labour can’t win, at least I can fuck it up for National by putting NZ First into parliament. So much more interesting….

    Comment by Tim — November 20, 2011 @ 8:07 pm

  9. The joke of the matter is that if your point of relevance is the disaster on legs which is the Act Party, by way of comparison then NZ First seem a lot more sensible and honest.

    Comment by taranaki — November 20, 2011 @ 8:10 pm

  10. @Tim, I am thinking the exact same thing. I probably won’t, but I am giving it serious thought

    Comment by max — November 20, 2011 @ 8:11 pm

  11. The confluence of conjecture is seldom concurrence. Labour and the Greens will come through middle and render winsome Winny irrelevant.

    Comment by tawhaowhao — November 20, 2011 @ 8:32 pm

  12. woof woof.

    Comment by will — November 20, 2011 @ 8:40 pm

  13. Question. Would National’s internal polling use the same methodologies (landlines, etc) as those used by the TV stations and newspapers?

    Comment by Sanctuary — November 20, 2011 @ 8:42 pm

  14. I guess the goal here is to have Hone Harawira respond and call Key a racist

    Except it’s ended up being Metiria that responded. Hard to play the “Scary Maori” game against her.

    Comment by pete — November 20, 2011 @ 8:51 pm

  15. It’s just a classic cunning John Key plot. He knows that any gain to Winston in the next week will come out of Labour’s hide. He wants to collapse the Labour vote and fragment the opposition and do Labour even more long term strategic damage than has National’s relationship with the Maori Party Think of all the bland Labour leadership options against Peters and Norman in the next three years. This is bad for Phil Goff, his successor and the Labour Party.

    Comment by Tinakori — November 20, 2011 @ 9:12 pm

  16. Yes indeed. Key’s looking for a Don Brash mud pie moment – please don’t give him what he so desperately wants.

    Comment by KJ — November 20, 2011 @ 9:16 pm

  17. Less than a week to go until Phil Goff’s retirement party.

    What state assets are you going to purchase shares in first?

    Comment by OECD rank 22 kiwi — November 20, 2011 @ 9:57 pm

  18. Really, people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. A vote for National will see Tolley (I managed to make everybody who works in my sector hate me), Brownlee (sexy goal), Wilkinson (irrigation will be good for the soil in the McKenzie Basin) and Joyce (another motorway now please!) back in Parliament.

    Comment by Amy — November 20, 2011 @ 10:00 pm

  19. It was pretty common knowledge mid last week that National internal polling had NZ First >5%. Guess that polling has remained consistent ever since.

    Comment by Whatever — November 20, 2011 @ 10:05 pm

  20. Shhhh Amy. The only people in National are John Key and dozens of his identical twins. Have you not seen the billboards. Don’t start spreading rumours like Tolley, Bennet, McCulley, Smith, Wilkinson and Brownlee.

    Comment by Tim — November 20, 2011 @ 10:11 pm

  21. John Key lying again. Anything to scare the country.

    Comment by Andrew R — November 20, 2011 @ 10:22 pm

  22. John Key will leap headfirst into bed with Winston if he sees it as his only hope of retaining power. Winston will welcome him with a pat on the head and tickle behind the ears. National voters packing themselves at the thought of hordes of scary maoris would be well advised to give their party vote to NZFirst.

    Forget about all the promises made, the one thing John Key really wants is to not be a one-termer.

    Comment by Aztec — November 21, 2011 @ 5:30 am

  23. If National needs NZ First to form a government after the election, and Key refuses to work with Winston Peters, John Key may discover that his party needs Winston slightly more than it needs him.

    Comment by Sanctuary — November 21, 2011 @ 7:12 am

  24. …maybe it’s me, but like everything Key’s said in the last week, this also seems hubristic.

    Oh, it’s not just you . How’s this for hubris:

    Despite being disappointed, Mr Key said he did not think [Aroha Ireland, the teenager he took to Waitangi] was going because of the wage gap.

    “I’m proud of the Government’s record – in difficult times, we’ve closed that wage gap with Australia. We’ve grown after-tax wages by 10 per cent in the last three years, Australia by six.”

    And coming up, PM makes frantic efforts to remove burning trousers…

    Comment by Psycho Milt — November 21, 2011 @ 7:35 am

  25. “…Despite being disappointed, Mr Key said he did not think [Aroha Ireland, the teenager he took to Waitangi] was going because of the wage gap….”

    How would he know? He won’t talk to anyone who doesn’t suck his dick.

    Comment by Sanctuary — November 21, 2011 @ 7:48 am

  26. It’s obvious voters want a balance to National’s power, and with Labour lost in bewilderment have turned to Winston Peters. Once they have a good look at what that means will they have second thoughts? In difficult times – possible getting much worse if Europe crashes – we can do without Winston’s antics.

    There’s a simple but critical alternative, Winsome’s ransom versus the reliability of United Future.

    Comment by Pete George — November 21, 2011 @ 7:55 am

  27. I know some one getting a starting rate of $33/hr driving a forklift ,in a warehouse, in Perth, same job here $17 to $20/hr. if you are lucky. ..If money is what drives you, Aussie must be the place of choice surely.
    If Winston really won’t work with anyone then its obvious, he’ll have to play with himself.

    Comment by tawhaowhao — November 21, 2011 @ 7:57 am

  28. tawhaowhao – in 1984 an MP earned roughly twice the average wage in this country. Now, they earn more like six times the average wage. You can draw two possible conclusions from that. One is that MP’s have made out like bandits over the last 28 years and grossly over-paid themselves. the other is that the union busting, Pinochet-lite industrial relations policy of successive neo-liberal governments in this country have suppressed wages of everyone except MPs and their wages are an accurate indicator of how much everyone’s pay should have gone up by over the last three decades. In any event, it is stark indicator of how the elites have done very well thank you very much since 1984 by stealing the wages off everyone else. You can’t live on the wages low paid workers now earn in this country. If you are blue collar, hard working Joe Six Pack who wants to do a solid, honest working class job then this country holds no future for you at all. Australia is the place to go.

    Comment by Sanctuary — November 21, 2011 @ 8:51 am

  29. Came in late here, but interesting how Mr K singles out Metiria rather than nice white cuddly Russel whose already shown his tendency to grovel over the billboard issue. If this isn’t a call for the White Man to Make a Staqnd against dem Uppity Niggas I dont know what is. The loyal House Niggas, such as Taria and Sharples don’t get a mention

    Comment by Leopold — November 21, 2011 @ 9:18 am

  30. Oops – Have just found my same points rather better expressed in Public Address.

    Comment by Leopold — November 21, 2011 @ 9:31 am

  31. Danyl:

    While you’re waxing pontifical on “dog-whistling” racism, you might want to think about publishing comments laden with actual racial slurs.

    Comment by Craig Ranapia — November 21, 2011 @ 11:28 am

  32. Dunne is the biggest political sleaze-ball in the country – and that takes some doing. As for United Future – hard not to be united when it only has one MP.

    Comment by thawed-out — November 21, 2011 @ 12:54 pm

  33. you might want to think about publishing comments laden with actual racial slurs.

    …. or, as in the cases above of largely fictional slurs, virtual ones? Unless, of course, those apparently targeted get the intended point.

    Comment by Galeandra — November 21, 2011 @ 1:53 pm

  34. Galeandra :

    I always regret asking this, but you have anything even remotely in the vicinity of a point?

    Comment by Craig Ranapia — November 21, 2011 @ 2:25 pm

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