More “tricky” business – National’s election strategy now apparent?


. Dirt Unit .

On 1 March (2014), in a previous blogpost, I made the following predictions regarding the coming election campaign,

5. A dirty election campaign , including a well-known extremist right-wing blogger releasing personal information on political opponants, which will backfire badly on National,

It seems that National’s (tax-payer funded) spin doctors/media minders/political strategists have already begun their dirty-campaign to discredit their political opponants in the Labour Party. Note the common theme emerging in these media stories and public statement by National Party politicians;

. Tricky issues facing Cunliffe .

In Parliament, Craig Foss used the “tricky” phrase four times (in case anyone missed it the first time;


Foss, Craig - Debate on Prime Minister’s Statement .

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John Key was well schooled by his media minders to drop the term into his public statements;

. 'Tricky' Cunliffe has priorities wrong - Key .

National minister, Amy Adams, used it in her press statement twice; once in the headline, and once in her text;


Tricky Cunliffe continues to mislead


… but her press statement was widely released on other media, such as Scoop;


Tricky Cunliffe continues to mislead - scoop media


… and here;


Tricky Cunliffe continues to mislead - wn website


“Tricky”, eh?

With his usual casualness, Key began dropping it into his everyday statements,  hinting that his Party was not as “tricky” as ‘the Other lot‘;


Secret fundraising meals not 'tricky' - Key


And to really push the point home, National’s strategists made certain to  employ right wing bloggers – from the feral/psychotic (Whale Oil) to the slavishly loyal (Kiwiblog) – to keep pushing the meme.





Keeping Stock


keeping stock blog




whale shit blog




home paddock blog


Good little foot-soldiers, doing their masters’ bidding.

Just in case anyone is thinking that this blogger is either a tad paranoid or been supping on the Blackberry Nip once too often – I’m not the only one who has been noticing National’s game-playing.

On 7 March, writing for NewstalkZB, Mike Hosking perceptively realised the political spin that was being played out in the media, and that  David Cunliffe’s reputation was firmly in the Tory’s cross-hairs;

This could not have played better for the Government. They wanted to label Cunliffe and they came up with ‘tricky’. Its short, it’s sharp, it’s effective. They came up with tricky after the baby bonus, which not only gave money to people who didn’t need money but actually didn’t give money to as many as they said it would. This was Cunliffe’s first major blow.”

The rationale for National’s strategy is fairly obvious: John Key is wholly vulnerable on issues relating to trust and truth. Dear Leader has a fairly lengthy record of broken promises; dodgy dealings; mis-representation of events; selective use of facts; convenient ‘brain fades’; and some outright lies.

So the Nats simply decided to pre-empt any potential attack on Key’s (somewhat tarnished) reputation, by  Labour’s own strategists, and got in the  first blow.

Expect the Nats to keep pounding this message – and for new, even dirtier attacks of Cunliffe, Norman, Turei, and anyone else who stands in their way for re-election.

A dirty election campaign; mixed with fear mongering and dis-information,  coupled with Key’s obvious (and somewhat bizarre) deflection with his proposed flag referendum are National’s main strategies for re-election. They have very little else to fall back on.

Certainly not their track record, over the last five-and-a-bit years.  That’s the last thing they want the public and media to focus on.

That would be embarrassing.





Manawatu Standard: Tricky issues facing Cunliffe

Parliament: Foss, Craig: Debate on Prime Minister’s Statement

TV3:  ‘Tricky’ Cunliffe has priorities wrong – Key

Beehive: Tricky Cunliffe continues to mislead

Scoop media:  Tricky Cunliffe continues to mislead Tricky Cunliffe continues to mislead

NZ City: Secret fundraising meals not ‘tricky’: Key

Newstalk ZB:  Mike’s Editorial: ‘Tricky’ Cunliffe needs to break the reputation

NBR: More tricky – Cunliffe’s role in $4m house purchase

Previous related blogposts

National, The Economy, and coming Speed Wobbles .

Other blogs

The Standard: An honest man?




Waiting to serve the Nats a vote of disgust

Above image acknowledgment: Francis Owen



= fs =


  1. Tactics taken directly from the textbook of Dr. Goebbels – – – Adolf Hitlers’ Minister of propaganda WW2 !

      • Have you got around to reading the original Godwin yet Gosman?
        And in defense of Wyndham, yes the national party are using propaganda to win an election. And Wyndham call a spade a spade – the right wing propaganda machine in this country, will be using every trick from history to win this election. Oh and Gosman if they do turn into fascists I assume you will be on our side of the barracked!!

          • so no actual reply then?

            thought not

            its telling that you can never seem to carry an argument through gossamer – every time you resort to diversion and goal post shifting

          • But ‘journalists’ adopting the meme? That’s incompetent. Competent journalists don’t parrot.

        • Sure, just as I will continue to compare your views to that expressed by the leadership of North Korea. Of course we are just having a bit of political banter over the internet not trying to actively engage in a real political forum as are Labour and National. They have to act a little more rational and sensible.

          • i thought we were talking about the use of propaganda?

            just which group in modern history is most readily recognised as being very very good at it?

            exactly what does your continuing and really fucking boring obsession with zimbabwe and north korea got to do with that?

            and by the way – your not engaging in political banter – you have said yourself that you do this to shit stir

          • You should learn something about North Korea first – otherwise you just make false analogies.

            It doesn’t fit conveniently into stories about Labour or the Greens – it’s a very different place.

      • Gosman – Godwin’s “Law” doesn’t mean we can negate the lessons of history, you twat.

        Otherwise, next time you raise any past dictators, we’ll lay the same BS on you.

        • What National is doing here is just politics as usual Frank. It is no different to how the left has attempted to paint John Key in he past as either light weight in the political space or some money market dealer with no principles. You might think that is accurate I see it as spin. The difference is I don’t whine about the other side doing it as I know it is part and parcel of the game of politics.

          • No Gosman – you are incorrect.

            There is a big difference between making something up about a person and describing them as they are.

            Along a similar vein there is a big difference between painting someone in a bad light based on ‘made up shit’ and doing so based on real weaknesses that pose real obstacles for a person to ever achieve competency and effectiveness in running a country.
            The first example is simply one of misleading people. The second is a warning to people. A big difference.

            • People on the right don’t see John Key in that light. You obviously do but ultimately it is a personal opinion and not fact as you try and paint it.

              • Gosman says:
                March 12, 2014 at 2:32 pm

                People on the right don’t see John Key in that light. You obviously do but ultimately it is a personal opinion and not fact as you try and paint it.

                Gosman, the words for the day are,

                1. Covert

                2. Subtle

              • Yeah Gosman,

                I didn’t imagine for a minute you would be able to discern the difference.

                Probably about 20% of the voting population are committed righties and many of them will see Key for the liar and unprincipled creature that he is – it is just that they don’t mind such traits. In fact view them as ‘politically necessary.’

                The rest who are favouring National just now have no foundation for any positive view they have of Key, they have simply been fooled into thinking he is other than what he is.

                Another section of righties do not approve of Key (I would say they would be very ashamed to have him associated with a right wing government). Those people will be looking to vote for Winston and some probably did vote for the Conservatives last election – who got a fair amount of votes for a new party.

                This is why Key is scrabbling to make connections with Winston after having said he wouldn’t work with him.

                (Another reason for TricKey doing this is to put any leftish people off voting for Winston in the hope he won’t get in.)

                To view Key in the way the media have portrayed him does not make such opinions facts, those concluding such lack critical thinking ability (possibly caused due to lacking time to investigate) and end up being very impressionable to opinion manipulation.

                Alternatively to view Key as a lying, manipulative, not-working-in-the-best-interests-of-Nzers PM who has not had good control over many aspects of what it takes to govern a country is simply a conclusion that can easily be drawn if a person is capable of observing facts.

                • And yet he consistently scores highly in the preferred PM stakes while someone like David Cunliffe is nowhere. Guess the NZ population don’t see things the same way you do eh?

                  • I have just explained why this might be.

                    So what is your point here Gosman? That now it is not a matter of opinion – that the amount of people holding the same opinion turns it into a fact?

        • Nicely compiled Mr Macskasy. I’m still smiling from watching Key and Collins squirming on the news. DonKey looked quite pale! It made me so happy, now if only some photos of Key doing something equally scandalous surfaced, that would be a hoot. Let’s hope drops his clanger.!!! As for Gosman, lets chip in and get him a puppy.

  2. Good one Frank on calling National (aka TricKey & co) on the tactics they are trickily playing (hmm sounds a bit like ‘trickle down doesn”t it?)

    National have been calling the Greens ‘Tricky’ too.

    This tactic of labelling opposition parties names that are better suited as descriptions of the TricKey government’s behaviour is clearly to distract the public from the truth – that Mr Key & co are the dishonest, untrustworthy gameplayers – not Labour, the Greens or Mana. The proof is in the pudding: this tactic is a pretty tricky thing to do.

    I guess that is all they have left – time to vote them out.

    [Credit to David H for uncovering Key’s real name]

  3. I think the ‘ Tricky’ meme will back-fire on greedy john and the nats quicker than you get the bill at one of john’s anonymous fund raising dinners ….

    The Nats will lose this election despite all the help from false polls, the dom, the herald and other cheer leaders like Natty Gower ( paddy ).

    They hit the high tide mark last time and still needed Banks, Dunne and the Maori party to get over the line.

    The list of people (voters) who they have pissed off has grown considerably since the last election……

    And if Gosman trolls again in this thread I’ll start listing them :-0

  4. Newsflash from National propaganda machine – “and now ladies and gentleman of the electorate, between now and the election, the chosen operative word will be ‘tricky’. It must be used at every opportunity, when the subject of Cunliffe, Labour, Norman or Greens is raised. Remember the word T-R-I-C-K-Y. Play this recording before retiring at night and when you wake up in the morning”.

    Seems Key and Co are doing Josef Goebbels proud!

  5. National’s election strategy is definitely based on trickery, Shonkey has been very good at tricking the NZ Public, especially with the Tax Cuts and the GST increase, also the slogan for the last Election ” A Brighter Future” for the already wealthy, failing to acknowlege the referrendum on Asset Sales ( basically giving NZers the one fingered salute).

    His ego and his National Party Supporters egos are that big they will do anything to remain in power. NZ has been rorted from underneath our feet and the majority of NZers are oblivious to what is happening.

  6. It’s called brain washing, if Key keeps calling Cunliffe tricky the General Public will start believing it, just like they believe Key is a good businessman because he made $50 million before he was 40 years old trading stocks and shares.

    Unfortunately we do not have a balanced Press in this country and they believe what the media tells them. It is quite sad that the General Public can be manipulated like this, the power of the media and sublime messages is quite disturbing.

    Key and his media machine are playing a nasty little game and hopefully come September they will have egg on their faces. It would be nice to read some professional articles written about our political and economic situation by MSM, rather than twisted propaganda.

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