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From the stating the bleedingly obvious files: Matthew Hooton is not the messiah, he’s just a very naughty boy

By   /  June 10, 2018  /  14 Comments

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The simple truth is that oil is an extinct industry and we have no choice but to end it, climate change is a reality not even Hooton can spin. That this environmental truth met with a Governments marketing strategy to regain the narrative shouldn’t surprise anyone.

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Matthew Hooton at the NZ Herald office

Matthew Hooton’s most recent column from the NZ Herald Troll Farm has got to be his most desperate to date. 

If stating the bleeding obvious and demanding praise has an award, it would have Matthew Hooton’s face all over it.

His claim is that the decision by the new government to ban future oil exploration was driven in part by politics and media optics.

Oh the humanity!

Of course the decision to ban future oil exploration was driven in part by politics and media optics, how is this a surprise?

Cast you mind back to April and the new Government was in trouble and kept getting hit with media generated scandals that they weren’t handling well at all. The Summer School fiasco, Clare Curran’s coffee dates, criticism over our lack of criticism towards Russia, Kiwibuild hiccups – the Government was under pressure and required a game changer that would reset the narrative.

While this omnishambles was eroding the governments ability to set the narrative agenda, the new government were desperately looking for a new media team, Newsroom did a story on this in early April, just before they announced the oil exploration ban.

That the Government reset the agenda with a bold ban on oil exploration shouldn’t shock or surprise anyone the way Matthew Hooton is trying to sell it. If it should annoy anyone, it should annoy the Left that this is just climate change window dressing without a much more dramatic and immediate investment into renewables.

Let’s just remind everyone what actually happened here.

Andrew Little sees the jump in support for the Greens, realised he wasn’t connecting with the electorate in a  way that Jacinda was and makes the most courageous move in NZ politics by standing down and handing it to her.

Those inside the Labour bubble get terribly excited that Labour+Greens will = 51%. Internal polling suggests this could be the case. Labour lose this as an option when their sunshine campaign of super positivity got tripped up in the 3rd week of the election when National stared down the barrel of the camera and lied directly to peoples faces by claiming Labour had an $11.7billion budget hole.

A positivity campaign only works if your opponent is being honest, the second they start lying directly about you, not pushing back makes you look weak and that’s what happened to Labour. Buy not fighting  back against Joyce’s lie, Labour immediately started losing male votes who didn’t think Labour could handle the economy.

This was the difference on election night between Labour+Greens being able to govern to requiring Labour+NZFirst+Greens. This explains why Jacinda’s speech was so down, they thought they had lost it, despite being told explicitly by several of us that the specials would go our way and that we better be in a position to start thinking about how to run a Government.

The shock of not having Labour +Greens government was still there when negotiations opened. The Wellington Labour Mandarins wanted to wait this election out and restart for 2020 and they certainly didn’t want a deal with Winston because Winston’s economic agenda was actually far more interventionist than Labour were considering. The first 6 days they kept blocking any possible Labour+Green+NZFirst Government, it wasn’t until back channels were created directly between Jacinda and Winston that they managed to forge a connection and push the Wellington Mandarins to one side.

Why does any of this matter in relation to Hooton’s attempt at insight?

This Government didn’t know they were going to win and came to this without a clear path or vision. They are up against a neoliberal public service who refuse to go Left and up against a right wing corporate media who believes they were cheated.

While the new Government get to grips with how the levers of power work, they need some bold vision narrative setting like the ban on oil exploration. That shouldn’t surprise anyone the way it surprises Hooton.

The simple truth is that oil is an extinct industry and we have no choice but to end it, climate change is a reality not even Hooton can spin. That this environmental truth met with a Governments marketing strategy to regain the narrative shouldn’t surprise anyone.

Other than Hooton and the people he’s trying to convince.


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  1. Aaron says:

    This. Is what I’m looking for in political reporting and commentary. The real story of how the coalition came together and the forces inside Labour gives a much better understanding of how this country is being run.

  2. David Stone says:

    Stoping exploration does look a bit like low hanging fruit. Stoping using the stuff is much more difficult to pick. But unfortunately the only effective approach to reducing gas emissions. Stoping exploration and not stoping use o can only reduce the balance of payments equation.
    D J S

  3. R.P Mcmurphy says:

    “in the oil business all friendships are greasy friendships”, Nubar Gulbenkian.

  4. Andrew says:

    “The simple truth is that oil is an extinct industry”


    And what powers your car?

  5. cleangreen says:

    Old hooten is just a hoot;

    Just as he said when he was arguing with Michellle Boag before the 2014 election on the Radio live show with Mark Sainsbury where he boldly claimed he was just like her as just another corporate straegist and a policy wonk.

    He has changed little since then, but at the last part of this clip he exposed his boss Steven joyce as just another crook at that time so thanks Matthew Hooten for the truth there.


    « Sean Plunket comes around on the Watergate comparison (‘Dirty Politics’)The escape of exnzpat, Part 24 »
    Matthew Hooton’s assertions re the Prime Minister’s Office
    Posted in 31 August 2014Peter Aranyi9 Comments »
    hooton‘Explosive’ is one of those words that gets kicked around in politics and political reporting to the point where it’s almost lost its meaning.

    But it’s not an exaggeration to describe right wing spin doctor and self-declared National Party loyalist Matthew Hooton‘s performance on RadioLIVE this morning as incendiary. He effectively called Prime Minister John Key ‘dishonest’, said the PM’s office and chief of staff Wayne Eagleson is implicated in the Dirty Tricks scandal (viz. the SIS-Goff-OIA affair) and more, described Jason Ede’s black-ops brigade as ‘acting under orders’.

    And in a fiery exchange, he described former National Party President (and present-day apologist) Michelle Boag as ‘a hack’ with ‘no political views’ who is ‘all about is defending a government that has behaved in ways that [are] literally indefensible and you know it’ …

    Listen for yourself.

    UPDATE: The ‘fiery exchange’ has now been highlighted as a RadioLIVE editor’s audio pick here.

    Available on demand at RadioLIVE.co.nz dial up Sunday 10am.*
    Click to listen at Radio LIVE
    Click to listen at Radio LIVE (archived below)

    * I’ve archived it here too (audio player below) because RadioLIVE only keeps 7 days audio available and I’ve noticed sometimes Mediaworks launders its talkback station’s audio feed when things get … contentious.

    Mark Sainsbury hosts ‘Sunday morning’ at RadioLIVE with guests Michelle Boag, Mike Williams, Matthew Hooton & Duncan Garner 31 Aug 2014
    MP3 file

    – P


    http://www.thepaepae.com/wp-uploads/2014/08/Boag-Hooton-Williams-RadioLIVE-Sunday-morning-31Aug14.mp3 24057464 audio/mpeg

  6. greg says:

    a good interview on q and a with SAM stubbs from none profit kiwi saver where he really answers the oil question


  7. Andy says:

    NZ really needs to ban all fossil fuels, period. This should include a ban on all air flights, in and out.

    Then we can really go back to a pre-industrial age where women died in agony during childbirth, and violent crime is a basic fact of life just to stay alive.

    This would amuse me

  8. Joe says:

    [Comment declined for publication. Please provide a real email address. Bogus email accounts are not acceptable. – Scarletmod]

  9. Abel says:

    I enjoy the report

  10. sumsuch says:

    I remember Hooten’s arguments against climate change on RNZ National’s Monday morning ‘Left v. Right’ segment. In response, Mike Williams not there. Why does economic rationalism oft indicate meteorological irrationalism? Maybe, just maybe, the former isn’t rational?

    Why is Hooten’s friend and supportee Stuart Nash in the Labour Government? Nash went to a well known right-wing spin doctor in Havelock North for personal political advice (which party to change to?). Labour is more at home with elites than non-elites is the message I take. It took the wrong message from 84. Left-wing elitists can’t represent the people is what I take.

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