Contrasting campaign styles | The Jackal

12 Aug 2017

Contrasting campaign styles

Political campaigning takes many forms, from claims of a stable and economically dependable government while ignoring extensive social and environmental degradation to doing what's right knowing it won’t always please everybody all the time. But there’s another side to political campaigning in New Zealand, one that is often very ugly indeed.

A good example of this darker side of politics was when Metiria Turei was bullied out of parliament this week during another chapter of the dirty politics saga. She chose to resign because her family was being targeted by right wing sycophants like David Farrar, Matthew Hooton and Cameron Slater, just to name a few.

Personally I’ve always thought a politician’s family was out of bounds… however that no longer appears to be the case.

On Wednesday, the NZ Herald reported:

Metiria Turei has resigned as Green Party co-leader, saying scrutiny of her family over her past welfare history had become unbearable.

Speaking to media this evening, Turei said that if she continued as co leader it would undermine all the Green Party's hard work over many years.

The scrutiny, which had "become unbearable, frankly" was the main reason for standing down, and she was not expecting further damaging revelations which would have forced her to resign.

Since opening a conversation about the reality of poverty in New Zealand and the solutions to it, she and her family had been under extreme scrutiny.

The right wing relied upon the fact that most people simply don’t have the stomach for dirty politics and just wanted the ugliness to stop. It won't though... the right wing will hone and repeat their attack lines against the Green party over this ad infinitum.

In one case we had a rolling mall of right wing blogs making up lies and in another we had mainstream media people like Patrick Gower claiming that the resignation was because of bad polling, even though Metiria Turei had already clearly stated that it was because of her family being overly scrutinised.

In my opinion attacking a persons mother and daughter is really the lowest of the low, and those on the right, including some media, should feel highly ashamed about their misconduct.

Even rugby, in these wet muddy conditions with all the head high tackles, eye gouging and broken backs, seems like a wholesome clean sport compared to the underhanded tactics now being employed by right wing political parties and their biased media minders. I mean who on the left really has the stomach to play by their rules?

Contrast that ugly spectacle with an entirely reasonable request by Winston Peters and a transparent ground based campaign against Mike Hosking, asking that he not be employed to host the upcoming debates. There are now three petitions calling for TVNZ to contract someone else, with the largest currently having over 48,000 signatories.

The online campaigning against Hosking on left wing blogs is in most cases without any intellectual violence as well, unlike the vile nest of right wing vipers on sites like Kiwibog and Whaleoil. Their defamations have meant a good politician has left parliament because of something that occurred 25 years ago, which is insignificant in the political scheme of things. Politicians like Bill English, who have done far worse, have stayed on simply because the left doesn’t have the same media based attack system as the right.

Yesterday, the NZ Herald reported:

Hosking believed he ran a "reasonable sort of debate" last time and expects this year's debates to be even bigger.

"To be fair, and without blowing my own trumpet in any way shape or form, which I would never do, I think at the end of the day it was widely considered that we ran a pretty reasonable sort of debate.

"The other thing is, it rated through the roof, they were huge numbers last time and the irony was this time we're thinking 'how's this going to go?'. I think it's going to be bigger than last time, there's even more interest in it."

He said people would complain no matter who the moderator was.

"That's the way it works."

Having Hosking as a debate host is like having a rugby teams coach as the bloody ref.

Hosking is correct about one thing though, people always complain. However it’s the amount of people complaining that means TVNZ should reconsider its controversial choice to have a biased presenter. The last thing this election campaign needs is some idiot like Mike Hosking throwing more petrol on the fire.