Tuesday, 17 May 2005

Hide v Benson-Dope

Accusations by Judith Collins and Rodney Hide against Benson-Dope have been backed up by former students of the Dope who have come forward four days after their initial airing to substantively confirm the details.

And a reader has suggested here that I apologise to Rodney, but I'm really not sure why. As I said a few weeks ago here, this idea that going after Government scalps is what an opposition should be doing is nonsense, now matter how odious the target, and rightly attracts little support from those outside the 'loop' of Wellington's political observers. For them this sort of thing is fun, but for the rest of us it's irrelevant, as was the Dope in any case. Colin James argues a similar point here.

I can understand the desperation to lever oneself up in the polls, but I'd suggest that this 'going for scalps' nonsense isn't doing that anyway, and particularly for a party that makes some claim to being the 'freedom party' there' s an opportunity cost in doing it: if you're attacking someone for putting tennis balls in people's mouths then you're not attacking the Government for the many issues on which it really should be attacked; and you're also open to accusations that if this is all you regularly do then you're open to the accusation of just being a smear merchant. And going on Hide's record that wouldn't be wrong, would it. He's Winston-Lite.

Russell Brown said last week, "Good grief. Is this the sort of election campaign we're going to have?" Sadly, a campaign in which we see opposition politicians arguing the substantive issues is further and further away.

[UPDATE: Now this is good satire. I do hope the choir master can laugh about it.]


  1. I couldn't agree more - well said. It attracts the political groupies and that's it. Bloggers bloviating about the PM's lack of honesty etc being the issue re Doone is a case in point- the public doesn't see it that way. They are so out of touch.

    "Government is bloated, incompetent and staffed largely by people who can't find their asses with both hands. Our politicians are whores and our bureaucrats are brain-dead." Rob Smith (Acidman)

    You can't argue with that!

  2. "You can't argue with that!"

    And I wouldn't try. :-)

  3. Glad you Libz would never engage in going for someone's scalp or acting as smear merchants! (He said dripping with sarcasm.) And why be Winston Lite when you can ally yourself with Winston himself?

  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  5. Rick said...
    Or, why mind what you say when you can hide your name?

    A New Zealand polititian fights his battles on several fronts and one of them is in The [Animal] House. In Parliament it's largely a mind game, intraparty as well as infraparty by the by.

    By ripping Benson-Pope's nuts off ACT wins a huge psyc victory in the house over the Government. It's a battle of character and it's an important victory in the lead up to the election. This is how the game has always been played, since Roman times. Jenny Shipley's Government had already lost before the '99 election- it was in their faces while the Labour benches were jumping, they'd done their time in the dirt and were ready to bounce- and they did.

    It's the only game in town, a battle of character, mana. The difference Libz would contribute is that they wouldn't have to fake their gravitas with stunts like this nor by raising their voices nor yapping and chortling like beasts. Libertarianz wont have to *act* like they're strong, they will *be* strong.

  6. Rick you are entitled to your fantasies. Libz will never be strong because they are destructive. You don't move ahead by attacking your allies. They can only attack and that is why they will always fail. They have to move faster and faster just to stay in the same place.

  7. I am, as you are entitled to cloak your wining words in fearful anonymity.

    Your premise is that political strenth consists of sharing beds with political animals not of one's own species. You're entitled to your fantasies too, but that's not one libertarians share and our children will thank us for it. Yours would be mongral half-breads who whose only consolation is inheriting you name- which is anonymous.

  8. Tell me now exactly PC how going after issues has advanced the opposition one iota: Wananga? No one took responsiblity. NCEA? Again. 111 system? Again. ACT went after issues and saying otherwise is being economical with the truth. But issues don't get you anywhere with this government.


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