Trotter gets a bit wonky with his thinking

Chris Trotter looks at Winston Peters and at John Key.

It’s a good article but gets some things dreadfully wrong.

The successful populist politician’s response will always echo that of Alexandre Ledru-Rollin, one of the leaders of the February Revolution of 1848 in France: “There go the people. I must follow them, for I am their leader.”

To carry off this leading-by-following trick, the populist politician requires both a vigilant eye and an unusually sensitive ear. In present-day New Zealand, for example, only a blind, deaf and extremely dumb populist would assume that to stay behind the rage he has only to hurl abuse at John Key’s government. All he would demonstrate by such tactics is how thoroughly he has missed the fact that John Key is, himself, an extremely accomplished populist leader. What’s more, John Key, unlike Alexandre Ledru-Rollin, has no need to go running after the crowds. Thanks to his pollster, David Farrar, and focus-group supremo, Mark Textor, the Prime Minister knows exactly where the people are going. That’s why he’s so often to be found parked there, waiting for them to arrive.

David Farrar is probably New Zealand’s best pollster…he keeps John Key and Steven Joyce focussed.

Though the article is wrong and shows it clearly in this statement.

Mr Key’s Cabinet’s slavish adherence to neoliberal ideology has meant that economic and social policies that could have really assisted the “average Kiwi” are consistently ruled out of contention

Trotter makes the mistake of thinking people vote based on whats in it for them, not values.

They are voting for  John Key because he doesn’t favour Maoris, bludgers or whingers or at the very least favours them less than Labour does.

Politics isn’t nearly as complicated as Labour makes it, it really is that simple.

Furthermore the average bloke just wants to be treated the same, not to be told he has to subscribe to affirmative action or some other pandering to a minority group intent on finding outrage for every sleight, perceived of real.

I am surprised Chris Trotter makes that mistake.

It is a well known fact that people don’t vote in the their best interests, they vote on their values.

And Labour is a long way from middle New Zealanders values. We saw this with Andrew Little’s lacklustre speech that was supposedly all about values.

If I had have written Little’s first speech I would have talked about those who try not those who don’t.

Instead of quoting Alexandre Ledru-Rollin, a long dead frog he should have quoted Julia Gillard who once said:

I believe in a Government that rewards those who work the hardest, not those who complain the loudest.

Until Labour starts to realise that their factionalised, single interest group silo mentality is not what Kiwis want they will continue to be politically irrelevant.

I imagine when Chris Trotter reads this he may well have a good hard think about his propensity to be overly intellectual sometimes in thinking through a political problem.

Sometimes it really is as simple as I have explained.


– Bowalley Road

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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.  And 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 that takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

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