This is not a blog about the price of broadband, it’s bigger than that. What is most fascinating about the ‘Axe the copper tax’ campaign is that it is happening at all.
Matthew Hooton is one of the architects of the Death Star. His bonafide right wing head kicker and master of the dark arts credentials are amongst the most impeccable in the game. If you want dirty reads done very expensively, you go have a chat with the head boy of Slytherin House.
That’s why his latest crusade against the Government is so interesting.
Why would Hooton risk annoying this Government for short term gain? It’s because the current business environment under this Government has reached a tipping point where active push back is now being generated by those of its own family who are concerned by National’s actions.
Business expect a certain level of meritocracy in the receiving of their proposals for Government contracts. What has become the norm under National however is a turgid Old Boys crony capitalism where Facebook friends of Ministers seem to get the type of preferential treatment that would make Mexican drug cartels blush.
Mediaworks, SkyCity, Warner Bros, South Canterbury Finance, Rio Tinto, Chorus and the private education sector all join a list of corporate welfare recipients who John Key just can’t seem to stop giving money to.
In a market where BFFs are at the front of the line, the resentment builds in all those who can’t access the gatekeepers with an expectation of fair treatment. It also makes such behavior difficult for true believers like David Farrar to accept as well.
I don’t ever have many pleasant things to ever say about David, but one has to admire the man for standing up for what he believes by actively crossing the floor to oppose the Government on this. I understand that he has been under immense pressure to back down and that he hasn’t is a canary in the coal mine of public opinion turning against the Government.
The manner in which Whaleoil is being cleverly used by Telecom to attack not only Hooton, but Farrar as well by regurgitating their talking points is another example of the role of blogs in shaping the news agenda. You can tend to tell it’s not Cam writing when the sentence structure doesn’t make reference to ‘pinkos’, ‘green Taliban’, or ‘lefty soft cocks’.
When right wing believers and those trying to do business fairly are all aggrieved, Hooton’s punt in also crossing the floor to take opposition against National looks less like the turning of a quick buck as it is political foresight.
If the business community don’t believe they can get contracts fairly and the endless corporate welfare swamps the conscience of activists, National Party strategists should be very worried.
I suspect Hooton will have bought some iPredict shares in Key losing the next election this week as well.