Observations on the 2017 Election campaign thus far… (rua)

By   /   September 2, 2017  /   18 Comments

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Nearly everyone has seen National’s “running ad” – a variation on last election’s rowing-boat advertisement – but without the plagiarised and illegal use of an artist’s music.

The messaging is fairly uncomplicated and straight-forward; the blue (actually, more like teal) team is a metaphor for National running together as a team, whilst other “joggers” – representing Labour, Greens, and NZ First – are limping along. It’s about as subtle as burning a cross on a Black American’s front lawn.

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National’s Running Ad – Unintended Messaging?

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Nearly everyone has seen National’s “running ad” – a variation on last election’s rowing-boat advertisement – but without the plagiarised and illegal use of an artist’s music.

The full advert can be seen here, on Youtube.

The messaging is fairly uncomplicated and straight-forward; the blue (actually, more like teal) team is a metaphor for National running together as a team, whilst other “joggers” – representing Labour, Greens, and NZ First – are limping along. It’s about as subtle as burning a cross on a Black American’s front lawn.

But, take another, closer look as the Teal Team does it’s cross-country running…

First, the obligatory Clean and Green and 100% Pure message;

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With not a hint of  cows defaecating in the background creating polluted, unswimmable waterways;

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Yup. New Zealand as we imagine it in our fantasies.

It becomes pretty clear though, that National is strong on presenting an image – an Aryan image;

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With the brown folk somewhere in the background, and very bloody happy with their lot in life;

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The jog takes them along a deserted country highway. By now the “jog” is beginning to look very much like inmates from one of  National’s boot-camps, enduring a  forced run;

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Back to wide-open scenery – as the runners jog across a dammed river or lake;

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Is this really National’s vision of an unspoiled, 100% “Pure” countryside – with a dam across it?

But here is where it really starts to get creepy with an unintended subliminal message beamed out to every household in the country. The Teal Team approach runners from a mixed Red (Labour), Black (NZ First) and Green (ditto) team. The other Team are clearly struggling;

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The Teal Team run past;

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As they do, the Mixed Team begin to  stumble;

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The Mixed Team stumble and collapse, falling to the ground;

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And down they go;

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The Teal Team seem apparently (?) oblivious to the situation and continue to run on;

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So the “message” from this advert is that National will readily ignore other people in obvious distress and carry on their merry way?

The subliminal theme presented by the Teal Team is one of callous indifference.

This may not have been National’s intended message. But it sure ties in with child poverty, homelessness, income inequality, and other dire social problems ignored by National. Not  until the media spotlight is focused sharply on the plight of families living in garages, cars, or tents, does National react.

The focus groups presented with this advert clearly didn’t understand the subconscious meaning  within these images when they gave it their ‘thumbs up’. Or maybe they did – but just didn’t care.

Postscript

As at 1 September, the National Party runners ad scored 570 ‘Dislikes’ as opposed to 173 ‘Likes’.

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On Youtube at least,  the Nats have already lost the election.

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The Real Green ‘Jogger’ who tried

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The doom of Metiria Turei  was well and truly sealed when the Establishment Media (aka, Media Elite) and assorted right-wing bloggers and commentators ripped her reputation to shreds like a pack of blood-crazed pit-bulls in a feeding-frenzy.

Some of the public understood her situation.

Many did not. The conservative public passed judgement on Ms Turei because, well, passing judgement on someone elses’ perceived moral ‘lapses’  makes the Judger feel so much better about him/herself.

Ms Turei’s sacrifice appears to have struck a chord with a significant number of  people;

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The Dominion Post, however, barely reported the story in a meaningful way;

Former Greens co-leader Metiria Turei has received the most nominations for the 2018 New Zealander of the Year Awards so far.

Support for Turei increased after her resignation following her admission she’d lied to Work and Income to receive higher benefit payments in the 1990s, the awards organisation said.

The nominee with the second highest number of nominations is the Australian deputy prime minister, Barnaby Joyce – although his eligibility to win won’t be assessed until nominations have closed.

Joyce was recently revealed to be a New Zealand citizen because his father was born here. The revelation came during a spate of Australian senators having to step down after checking laws preventing them holding dual citizenship while in office. Since then, Joyce has renounced is New Zealand citizenship. Stuff has contacted Joyce’s office for comment.

The Dompost focused more on Australian deputy prime minister, Barnaby Joyce, than on Ms Turei’s public support.

The NZ Herald  barely mentioned the fact  that Ms Turei was leading nominations with it’s story;

Despite Turei’s fall from grace after she publicly admitted she lied to Winz about her living circumstances in the 1990s she has received the most nominations.

In an act of casual minimisation, both papers made sure their stories did not reflect any degree of public support for the former Green Party co-leader.

One thing seems  clear – there is an under-current of support for Metiria Turei.

Postscript

Anyone wanting to add their voice to nominate Ms Turei can do so on the New Zealander of the Year website.

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Fran O’Sullivan… takes a jump to the Left

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Following on from several political parties expressing varying degrees of a gradual move back to state-funded tertiary education, Fran O’Sullivan – the doyen of the Right and nominally an “impartial” journalist writing for the NZ Herald appeared on TVNZ’s Q+A on 27 August as one of it’s regular panellists.

She had this to say about sales of land and property to off-shore investor/speculators; land-banking in Auckland, and current policies that drove house-prices, gifting a tax-free gain for speculators;

@ 1.09

“… when he [Phil Twyford] talked about property speculators, what and how […] what exactly are you going to do there? Are you going to bring in place capital gains taxes? Because I say that because right now, including our government officials, we’re being marketed internationally as a hot place for property investment. No capital gains tax. No stamp duty.

In China and elsewhere, the people coming out of the US buying the big stations, that sort of thing. This is a global property play we’re in and we’re being marketed as a very good place for that. We need to have a much more holistic view I think than what we got today.”

@ 6.07

“Well I was actually quite stunned that people are talking in the range of $500,000 to $600,000. For first home owners I think that’s quite ridiculous. I think it needs to come down further.

I think there needs to be very large state intervention on the land bankers. Just to free up is not enough, I think they’ve got to take a haircut […] what happened to people after the war, farms were sold at fixed prices so people could come back in. We have a national crisis and I think, you know, speculating, and land.”

A pro-National, ostensibly pro-free market commentator loudly voicing support for seizure of privately held land?  Make no mistake, this is heresy against the supreme core neo-liberal tenet of the supremacy of individual land-owning “rights”.

What Ms O’Sullivan was advocating is a giant leap to the Left.

In effect, private land ownership has not only failed to deliver affordable homes to young New Zealanders – but is actually an impediment. Our aspirations for families to own their own homes has been confounded by unfettered capitalistic greed.

Ms O’Sullivan appears to have experienced a Road-To-Damascus conversion that neo-liberalism is not the answer. Like any inflexible, dogmatic ideology, it is part of the problem.

She joins former National PM, Jim Bolger in his own personal discovery that the neo-liberal so-called “reforms” he over-saw in the 1990s are a failure;

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Nick Smith’s Mixed Message of The Month

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On 18 August, our putative “Environment’ Minister, Nick Smith, voiced his concerns that New Zealand-based company, Rocket Labs, may be impacting environmentally on our ocean floor. The concerns were that debris from rocket launches from Mahia Peninsula in Hawke’s Bay could be harming the ocean floor;

“The preliminary work indicates the environmental effects are small, but after 100 launches we may want to have a fresh look as to what is the future regulatory regime beyond that.

By the time we have had 100 lots of debris hit the ocean, fall to the seabed, we will have a better idea [of the environmental impact].

Right now we are not able to get advice on exactly how much of the jettisoned material will actually make it to sea level, or whether it will burn up prior to hitting the ocean.

When we have that information we will be able to refine the regulatory regime.”

Meanwhile, National  has permitted granting of a consent to Trans-Tasman Resources  to mine 50 million tonnes of iron ore sand off the coast of south Taranaki each year, every year, for the next 35 years.

The process would involve mining;

“…50 million tonnes of sand from the seabed off the coast of Patea in South Taranaki, extract the iron ore from it using a giant magnet, and then put 44 million tonnes back”

The damage to ocean life in the surrounding sea and ocean floor cannot even be imagined. The zone of mining would most likely become a dead-zone – uninhabitable.

Unbelievably, consent was given by the so-called Environmental Protection Agency, despite receiving 13,417 submissions demanding that Trans-Tasman Resources’  application to be declined – and only 147 submissions in support.

Meanwhile the Ministry for the Environment has determined that any impact by Rocket Labs on the seafloor would be minimal;

“Overall, our view is that the risks to the environment and existing interests from jettisoned material falling into the EEZ are low and that the development of a space vehicle launch industry will have significant economic benefits for New Zealand, at a national and regional level.”

One has to wonder where Nick Smith’s priorities lie?

At the bottom of the ocean floor, by the looks of things.

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References

Youtube:  Keep NZ Moving Forward – Party Vote National

NZ Herald:  Cows in water supply shock town

Dominion Post:  Metiria Turei has most nominations for 2018 New Zealander of the Year

NZ Herald:  Metiria Turei and Barnaby Joyce lead nominations for NZer of the Year

New Zealander of the Year:  Nominate

TVNZ’s Q+A:  Housing Debate – Panel – 27 August 2017

Fairfax media:  The 9th floor – Jim Bolger says neoliberalism has failed NZ and it’s time to give unions the power back

Radio NZ: Rocket Lab faces government environmental checks

Mediaworks:  Trans-Tasman Resources gets consent to mine iron ore sand off south Taranaki

Manawatu Standard:  Call for moratorium on all seabed mining amid ‘secretive’ application

NZ Herald:  NZ rocket launches raise concerns about toxic environmental fallout

 

Previous related blogposts

Observations on the 2017 Election campaign thus far… (tahi)

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18 Comments

  1. CLEANGREEN says:

    Bloody horrible add that is, so much like the boat thing and worse.

    National = out of ideas.

  2. Mike the Lefty says:

    Notice any sweat on their clothes?
    No, it is a bunch of people pretending to be doing something so they hoodwink the nation.
    Just like National does.

  3. David Stone says:

    Good fun on the nat add, But it looks like they were programmed to collapse because of the way their ankles are tied together in a complex three (5) legged race.
    I still think the Metiria thing is being read wrongly, perhaps even by herself. Remember the first reaction was very positive, so much so that it precipitated a panic reaction in Labour. This had the fortuous effect of Little stepping down to put Jacinda in. That’s what turned the tables on the Greens. And Jacinda is doing great.
    Most of the people who reacted negatively to Meteria’s revelation were never going to vote for the greens anyway. I’m sure she has been in parliament long enough not to be bullied by the media, I accept her explanation that it was pressure on (from) close to home that caused her to step down.
    An indication of how much her support base has suffered will be given by how she fares in Te Tai Tonga , and I’m going to stick my neck out and predict that she will win it against all expectations.
    D J S

    • An indication of how much her support base has suffered will be given by how she fares in Te Tai Tonga , and I’m going to stick my neck out and predict that she will win it against all expectations.

      In which case that would be one of the biggest upsets in New Zealand’s electoral history. It would send a powerful message to the Deep State Establishment and it’s Media Elite stooges: f**k the lot of you.

      Probably even more far-ranging than a Labour-Green government sweeping to power.

      It would make my early Christmas prezzie.

      • Danyl Strype says:

        I agree 100% Frank, but Metiria has a lot of work to do in a very short time. Based on the Māori TV/Reid Research poll on Te Tai Tonga released a couple of days ago, even if all those planning to vote for the Māori Party candidate switched their vote to Metiria, it still wouldn’t be enough to beat the Labour candidate:
        http://pacific.scoop.co.nz/2017/08/maori-tvreid-research-poll-on-te-tai-tonga/

        What’s really interesting though is when you look at raw numbers rather than just percentages. About 20,000 people voted in Te Tai Tonga, of which the Labour candidate got 8445, and the Māori and Mana candidate vote combined got just under 7000:
        http://www.taiuru.maori.nz/te-tai-tonga-2017-analysis/

        In theory, with no candidate standing for Mana (or the Cannabis party), the Māori party would have a chance to take the seat, but so far a huge chunk of that vote seems to have swung towards the Labour candidate. A week is a long time in politics though, as we’ve seen over the last few weeks, so who knows.

    • Roy says:

      I stupidly went off the Maori roll last census (to be able to vote against someone else, can’t remember now), now can’t get back on in time to vote for her! At least not this time around.

      This debacle has strengthened my green resolve, LP literally NEED them to be able to keep progressive.

  4. WILD KATIPO says:

    Yup. New Zealand as we imagine it in our fantasies.

    * It becomes pretty clear though, that National is strong on presenting an image – an Aryan image;…

    * So the “message” from this advert is that National will readily ignore other people in obvious distress and carry on their merry way

    * First, the obligatory Clean and Green and 100% Pure message; with unswimmable rivers. Let alone drink out of them.

    * With the brown folk somewhere in the background, and very bloody happy with their lot in life; the family’s that have 360 or so die every year from ‘ Third World Diseases – according to our health officials , – from Pneumonia and Bronchiostasis ( scarring of the lungs due to constant chest infections ) due to overcrowded and cold , damp , poorly insulated cheap rental accommodation.

    * By now the “jog” is beginning to look very much like inmates from one of National’s boot-camps, enduring a forced run; – that’s right , an allusion to Nationals real values , – ‘ keep em on the treadmill , keep ’em churning it out ,… keep ’em low paid and compliant , and keep ’em servile ‘.

    * So the “message” from this advert is that National will readily ignore other people in obvious distress and carry on their merry way?

    The subliminal theme presented by the Teal Team is one of callous indifference. But surely Frank ,… one so seasoned as you , should have realized that this is the fundamental message to convey… that in the words of Ken Douglas,…

    Ken Douglas, then president of the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions, recalled in the 1996 documentary Revolution:

    ‘ The Employment Contracts Act was deliberately intended to individualise the employment relationship. It was a natural outcome of the ideological propaganda of rugged individualism, of self-interest and greed and the appeal to individuals that you could find better for you by climbing over the tops of your colleagues, your mates, and so on. Ruth Richardson was very clear, very blunt, very honest about its purpose. It was to achieve a dramatic lowering of wages, very, very quickly ‘ .

    Ruthanasia – Wikipedia
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ruthanasia

    Exactly . And this is a carry on from the neo liberal shitheads from the 1980’s and 1990’s.

    As Hugh Price from Hugh Price Publishers wrote,..

    New Right Fight – Who are the New Right?
    http://www.newrightfight.co.nz/pageA.html

    Basically ,… NAZISM .

    The doom of Metiria Turei was well and truly sealed when the Establishment Media (aka, Media Elite) and assorted right-wing bloggers and commentators ripped her reputation to shreds like a pack of blood-crazed pit-bulls in a feeding-frenzy.

    —————————–

    And now its time that we ,… rip the neo liberal narrative to shreds like a blood crazed pack of pitbulls. They have had 3 decades of fun. They are scheduled to be dismantled. But dismantled in sorrow. That such as these have even managed to gain ascendancy for that brief time period,… and managed to sully our social democracy… there is only one consolation ,… that we, … older but much wiser, … will never again let such perniciousness determine our destiny… that we will never again fall victim to such combined forces of media and political manipulation as beset Germany 1934 – 1945.

    New Right Fight – Who are the New Right?
    http://www.newrightfight.co.nz/pageA.html

    We are better than that.

  5. Marc says:

    Missed the bus on what goes on elsewhere?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_0ATr32sKUk

  6. mosa says:

    Time for a new direction real change and hope.

    September 23rd is just the start.

  7. debsisdead says:

    So its time for a change – a change to Labour with any genuine humanism removed means a barely noticeable change but without sounding like a scratched record, and realising that the race has only two furlongs to go, I suggest kiwis search out Herald articles from 1999 when the same type of eager promotion of Clark as we now see for Arden was rife.
    As with O’Sullivan there has been no road to Damacus conversion, the tide of public opinion has turned against the neoliberal program and these enablers for the greedies recognise that a Labour government now is far better than a genuine humanist parliament later.
    There are several scandal bubbling away just under the surface. The Christchurch debacle in particular is easily capable of bringing a reelected natz government down early in 2018. What then? Jacinta will have ‘shot her bolt’ & the humanists will likely surge. The problems of england where Mayhem continues in power despite being loathed by the entire nation springs to mind. The forces of darkness there have decided to try and ‘ride out’ the storm because the only alternative is Prime Minister Jeremy Corbyn. It won’t work; trump & Mr Corbyn have focused their minds (and hip pockets) on what they call populism but we know to be humans rising from a nightmare. Trump is what trump is, but so is Mr Corbyn, a man who appears unlikely to kowtow to the invisible power that always wants to run the joint.
    The Macron experiment has failed miserably, that worthless piece of shit is being forced to decide between looking after himself by acceding to the will of an angry populous or pushing through the greedy demands of corporate tyrants. The jury is still out but I’m going for the former as Macron has all the signs of being a typical egocentric.

    See the thing is if Ardern wins, sure things won’t be as smooth, but it will be very much like amerika under Obama – the level of public opposition to the rorts and murders decreases when the credulous are convinced their leader “has their heart in the right place”.

  8. Donna Miles says:

    Brilliant analysis!

  9. Marcus says:

    The ad is actually quite evil in its intent.
    It points out that shackled people can’t keep up, but it neglects to mention that National has been doing the shackling for the last nine years.
    The underlying message of the ad is: unless you are wealthy and healthy you are unworthy and an impediment to New Zealand’s progress
    I hope the people who are sick, who are unemployed or living in cold garages think about this ad when they are voting.

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