The case against Captain Panic Pants

Bryce Edwards makes some telling points in the comments section of my post on the Heralds influencers. Captain Panic Pants, Kevin Taylor,  is likely to have a huge influence, as Bryce has pointed out. My view that he is a malign influence rather than a positive one is consistent with my post.

Kevin Taylor lurkingThe big problem for a spin weasel like Captain Panic Pants (that’s him looking over John Key’s shoulder) is that he is supposed to sell policy, not stop it from being released. I’ll attempt to explain what he should have done in a series of posts over the next few days, in the hope that someone senior in National will do the sensible thing and strangle him before he completely buggers up the program of change promised but yet to be delivered.

Mining is a good place to start. The strategy according to Captain Panic Pants was to put the idea forward for public comment. Then sneak away with your tail between your legs when a few greenies get their nickers in a twist and run a campaign against you.

If Captain Panic Pants was not so reactionary and thought only about 36 hours ahead he would be leading a team of competent media professionals in the way Bevan Burgess or Mike Munro did. It doesn’t take much imagination to think that these two gentlemen would have spent six months talking up the importance of mining for economic growth, local communities and New Zealands future. All under the PM’s ‘ambitious for New Zealand’ message.

Then he could have run an outreach program to the greenies in the areas around the mining, telling them there would be direct benefits to the conservation estate in their area if they are willing to let a small part of the estate be mined. A conservation fund with revenue from the mining company to fund local projects, with the people deciding who gets the money including some prominent greens making decisions would have been an option.

Mining on Conservation LandThen all Panic Pants needed to sell the facts that Farrar was posting about. How little land was in schedule 4, how Labour approved 200 mining licenses on conservation estate and the like. There should have been pictures of nasty scrub and gorse covered schedule 4 land as examples of the types of land to be mined, instead all the images presented were those by the opposition. If all that had been done in the lead up then that would have made most New Zealanders realise Labour are hypocrites, not much of New Zealand will be mined, and it will be in the countries best interests. But it was left to the bloggers to do the work and the heavy lifting while Captain Panic Pants tried to deal with all the fall-out a couple of meddling greenies were causing. By the time the bloggers were pointing out the inconsistency of Labour the argument was already lost because in politics if you are explaining your position you are losing.

Panic Pants should think about this type of approach rather than getting National’s program derailed by a few hostile polls. It is Panic Pants’ approach that has ensured many National Party members don’t know what National stands for, and the Herald is outrightly dismissive of Nationals gutless approach. The Herald’s stupid two drinks campaign is because they think that Panic Pants will force National to cave. Fortunately Steven Joyce has more of a spine than the jelly like facsimile of a spine that Captain Panic Pants has.


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.

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