I’ve got bad news for Bryce Edwards

Bryce Edwards must have hit the crack pipe before writing his last woeful column of the year.

Apparently National had a horror year…or so the headline screams.

Yes, John Key’s National Government won a spectacular third term victory. And yesterday the Herald gave the reasons that National can be positive about its achievements – see the editorial, Govt comes out on top in colourful year.

And nearly every political journalist has awarded John Key the title of Politician of the Year – see, for example, Patrick Gower’s Politician of the Year.

But, it was still an incredibly torrid year for National, and even the PM pointed to the election campaign as one of his low moments of the year – see TV3’s Key found campaign ‘a low-light’ for 2014.

Tracy Watkins also stresses that it’s been a terrible year for the National Government: ‘His government was assaulted on every front with scandal, trouble and controversy. Ministers resigned, his coalition allies ended the year diminished, and he ended the year looking evasive and tarnished by his links to dirty tricks and shock jock blogger WhaleOil’ – see: One clear winner, plenty of dashed hopes.

Not only did the election campaign take its toll, but as I pointed out recently in another column, The downfall of John Key, the challenges and allegations of Dirty Politics were really starting to bite after the election. See also, A year of (neverending) Dirty Politics.

Even Matthew Hooton thinks the Government has suffered, especially since their election victory, and he details National’s incredibly arrogant behaviour since the election, pointing to the main offenders: John Key, Christopher Finlayson, and Gerry Brownlee – see: For John Key: summer of reflection please (paywalled).

Likewise, Duncan Garner says that although Key deserves to be the ‘politician of the year’, ‘The first few months of the new regime have been largely underwhelming. Not telling the truth about his contact with attack blogger WhaleOil hurt the prime minister. It was a royal stuff-up and he admits this privately’ – see: Key my politician of the year, but now for the third-term blues. Garner believes the Key’s reputation is on the decline: ‘It’s happening for Key, slowly. His jokes don’t seem as funny. He looks more haunted and hunted these days’.

Yeah, except for the fact that Key and National ended the year on top in the polls, and popularity, with higher ratings than at the election.

Then he claims that people want politics cleaned up…without presenting a shred of evidence other than wonky pundits who were mostly wrong all year.

My own end-of-year feature in the Herald on Sunday, argued that ‘A year of scandal politics’ had led to ‘scandal fatigue’ – see: A year of controversies that didn’t matter.

There now seems to be a bit more focus on combatting or reversing the type of politics uncovered by Nicky Hager – see, for example, Claire Trevett’s Trumping dirty politics with integrity and decency.

But John Armstrong is disturbed by the fact that Hager’s book had such little impact on politics and the election, saying that ‘If anything, however, Dirty Politics only succeeded in strengthening support for Key and National. The hash that the Prime Minister has made of the whole wretched business has tarnished him but far less than he deserves. His scorecard is marked down accordingly’ – see: 2014: A year to get down and dirty. Armstrong also bemoans the fact that Slater’s influence and visibility in public has ‘grown exponentially’.

Of course John Armstrong bemoans the rise of my influence…because now, mainly as a result of his own employers actions, it is true that my influence and visibility has grown exponentially. Those stupid bastards in the media, in their mistaken belief that they could knock me over actually ended up giving me more publicity than anyone could actually buy.

With hundreds of cartoons, yards and yards of column inches that continue today, they more than anyone else have catapulted me and this blog to prominence.

The Herald’s influence is on the decline as are most mainstream media, online media is on the rise and first mover advantage wins. Thanks to all their promotion they catapulted us into that prime first mover position.

Now for the bad news for Bryce Edwards and the rest of the moaning minnies in the mainstream media and the left-wing of New Zealand…dirty politics hasn’t gone away, it never will. Thanks to them there are plenty of people out there who have seen what is effective and what works.

On top of that there is some serious disruption coming in the media market. For once they are going to have competition and the tired old scribbler and dribblers are going to find that life is a whole lot different starting next year.

People aren’t sick of dirty politics, they are sick of a biased and slanted media who no longer reflect their own world views. They are sick of the same media creating a celebrity cult of personality of people like David ‘Tainted’ Fisher and Matt Nippert who are actually people you should keep in the office rather than inflict them on people in public. They are also tired of flip-flopping old windbags like Fran O’Sullivan running with the hares and hunting with the hounds then going all sanctimonious and pious when they have much to worry about coming out.

Basically the bad news for all of them, is that soon we will be FREED. Emancipated from the dross that mainstream media has become. First, Fast, Flexible and FREED.

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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.