Looking forward to the 2020 election there seem to be some trigger points that could cause curveballs for all parties to try and cope with.
DOMESTIC CULTURE WAR:
New Zealand is about to be plunged into a culture war for the 2020 election and unfortunately the Woke left and Alt Right have both been feeding this vein of resentment politics and it threatens to erupt in a range of unforeseeable fronts.
With very little real policy difference between Labour and National, the election will descend into pointless arguments about the different wrapping paper rather than the actual policy.
National Party Social Media Dirty Politics:
National’s social media campaign is the key to their win in a 2020 election. After meeting with the NZ team who helped elect Scott Morrison in Australia using micro targeted social media messages designed to enrage white older men, Simon Bridges now has more social media designers in his Opposition Leaders department than actual researchers.
Electioneering previous to Facebook amounted to identifying voters from a known voting pool and serving that voting pool up messages that made them vote. This was crude targeting, but if you lived in a wealthy neighbourhood, you would hear messages attuned to you, if you lived in a poorer neighbourhood, you would hear messages tailored for that environment.
Facebook however allowed you to hunt not just for known voters, but that vast swathe of people who also don’t bother voting.
On the Left we have told ourselves that vast swathe of people who don’t vote are poor and brown and disenfranchised, and while that is certainly true, it also includes a large number of angry white men who don’t bother voting because they feel culturally alienated by the current paradigms of micro-aggression policing and Millennial sensibilities. This group of males are economically paranoid by their perceived lack of cultural power and whose economic anxiety clashes with being told they are the ones with the privilege.
Rather than engaging, these male white voters simply shield themselves in apathy and cynicism and don’t vote.
Facebook and Cambridge Analytica suddenly had hundreds of data points to know how to precisely push those angry white non voters into rage fuelled voting machines. This manipulation of white male anger become the driving force that saw Trump win, Brexit win and Scott Morrison win.
This is the playbook National are drawing from.
But playing to the worst angels of our nature is just part of the plan, outright deception and manipulations are also part of this plan…
… the difference between the two bars is far, far greater proportionally than the difference in actual numbers, which is an ongoing trend with National’s specifically targeted social media falsehoods…
It’s designed to look like a barchart, but if it were a barchart the dimensions of the colored bits would have a closer quantitative relation to the numbers being displayed. I’m going to assume the numbers are correct, because that’s the sort of thing people are more careful about. The bars aren’t.
To start with, the red bar is wider than the blue bar, which is a well-known graphical exaggeration technique. But that’s not the real problem. The real problem is the heights.
On my laptop screen, I measured the red bar as 61% higher than the blue bar. But $2.23/L is only 16% higher than $1.91/L: that’s nearly a four-fold exaggeration of the difference
…so not only will National play to the most fearful, angry and insecure parts of the electorates psyche, it will openly lie about facts and misrepresent them on social media outlets that are not covered by the BSA.
The structural reality of how National intend to make this the most negative election ever by playing directly to that negativity must be consistently pointed out and explained to our whanau so that they don’t get scammed into voting hatefully in 2020.
Bash the dirty filthy beneficiaries, prisoners and gangs:
No one in NZ politics ever lost votes by bashing the dirty filthy bennie, and the party of Cruelty and Spite as social policy, the National Party, are promising a delicious smorgasbord of counterproductive malice masquerading as welfare policy if elected this year…
National is looking into fining the parents of young people who leave school early, and don’t go into education or training, up to $3000 if it returns to Government.
This is just one of the policies understood to be under consideration by the party as part of its social policy review, due to be unveiled later this month.
…as if punishing parents with fines for truant children isn’t bullshit stick over carrot crap, look at the way National want to hurt beneficiaries…
• requiring gang members to prove they don’t have illegal income before they receive the benefit
• a 25 per cent reduction in the number of people on the benefit
…simply throwing 25% of beneficiaries off the benefit doesn’t solve anything! It simply means homelessness explodes, remember? The last time National were in power, that’s what happens. National go all vicious on social policy, people fall over, the social damage compounds.
As for taking welfare off gang members, Jesus wept – all that means is they are going to turn to more bloody crime!
NZ workers have lived for 3 decades in a de-unionised work force and stare at the pittance paid beneficiaries with envy in comparison to the low wage crumbs they manage to gather each week. National exploit this wage envy and beneficiaries are sold as the great enemy, that’s why counterproductive punishment policies are promoted with such zeal and glee by rich National Party MPs. The legacy of those counterproductive welfare policies explodes as the homelessness and deepening inequality we see on our streets each day.
This resentment and rancour pretending to be social policy by National is the lowest political trick in the game and reeks of desperation.
It’s funny that when social policy fails, the immediate response by National is to roll back the civil rights of those it fails as if that’s a solution.
Rolling back the civil rights of beneficiaries, prisoners and gang members by lowering the evidential threshold from beyond reasonable doubt to balance of probabilities creates a legal landscape where some people have less rights than others.
It’s ugly, it’s needless and it’s divisive. But that’s National for you.
Woke activists alienating the middle and another Spinoff hit job accusing Labour of sexual assault:
Alienating woke micro-aggression policing Identity Politics activists to the left of me, climate denying crypto-fascist alt-right incel Trolls to the right of me, and here I am stuck in the middle with you.
In 2020, National intend to tell white men on social media that the Left hate them, woke activists handing National ammunition for that campaign seems deeply counter productive.
The near ubiquitous use of social media means people are well aware of the anger and ferocity the medium can generate. There’s already much that has been said about the way woke activists manage to only alienate with their social media presence, and unfortunately Twitter is an ocean of the bullied now empowered to bully and they will never walk away from that new found sense of power.
The Spinoff needs to be avoided like the plague by Labour in 2020 as they will wish to double down on their false sexual assault fiasco because they can’t help themselves.
National are actively attempting to emotionally manipulate us, resist their manufactured and well crafted lies and help others resist it rather than feed it. Don’t attack those who have been duped into believing the lies because that path leads to entrenching their vote to National, help show them how they’ve been deceived and give them the respect and agency to make their own decision once the scales fall from their eyes.
You combat negative populism with hope, care and love. Piss and vinegar on social media won’t get us anywhere.
If your starting point as a woke activist is all men are rapists, all white people racist and anyone standing for free speech is a Nazi, perhaps you should sit this one out champ.
John Tamihere runs for Māori Party:
The culture war could run the other way against Labour as well. Exploiting the deep sense of resentment by Māori towards the neoliberal welfare agencies the Government haven’t been able to tame, John Tamihere runs for the Māori Party in Tamaki Makaurau and destroys Peeni Henare.
Many have privately suggested that Phil Goff was personally mutilated by the Mayoralty battle with Tamihere, the idea of the ultra polite Peeni being forced to face that kind of ferocity almost seems criminal.
If Tamihere can win Tamaki Makaurau, the Māori Party are back in the political equation.
ACT’s sleeping fault line erupts:
The threat of ACT is that with an electorate seat, they can coat-tail extra MPs in without hitting 5%. They have been politically impotent for the last decade but Woke over reaction to free speech has suddenly given David Seymour political relevance. Labour can not look at the free speech/hate speech legislation before the next election as the idea of the Woke censoring free speech would generate a stampede towards ACT.
Everyone has felt a Woke Identity Politics practitioner screaming on social media, the idea of giving those kind of people power over what we can and can’t say would be a political gift for ACT.
OTHER DOMESTIC EVENTS:
The Culture war will be but one set of triggers for the election, here are possible others.
Kim Dotcom ruling:
The Supreme Court will be returning their verdict on the cluster fuck that has been the Kim Dotcom deformity of a case. If they decide that NZ law is sovereign and not American law, the case against Dotcom gets thrown out and suddenly the entire NZ Government will be on the hook for damages against Mega and that could run into $3billion.
When you consider Māori have been paid less than a billion for the entire theft of NZ, having to pay out $3billion to Kim Dotcom because National were sucking up to America will be a bitter rat to swallow for National Party voters.
Environmental mass arrest protest movements and another Orange Sky climate crisis event:
The orange sky over Auckland popped the pretence that climate change is something else that will bother us in the future. The speed with which the climate crisis biosphere feedback loops are now causing catastrophic events will generate a desperation within the population at the utter meaninglessness of the current policy ideas.
Mass arrest events will become larger and larger until real political change is seen.
Gang tensions erupt and Police shooting an unarmed member of the public::
The looming gang war between the domestic gangs and the imported Australian 501s over who will control the meth trade could erupt on the streets and National will capitalise on that with their bullshit Raptor Strike Force crap.
The flip side will be an event whereby some idiot, ill trained cop gets spooked and shoots an unarmed member of the public creating a tsunami of social media outrage.
Christchurch Atrocity Case:
National have always been let off the hook for how their outrageous promotion of a far right UN conspiracy theory contributed to inspiring the Christchurch atrocity, with the court case coming, the public will be reminded in glaring focus how National’s promotion of that UN conspiracy contributed to that obscenity.
Thanks to National over egging their criticism of the referendum by carping on and on about it allowing ’42 joints a day’, the confusion over what the referendum does and doesn’t do has been eclipsed by everyone thinking the can buy 42 joints each day. This will bring every stoner and person under 45 out of their self-imposed exile from the political process and cause a rush to vote that will swamp the conservative cultural forces fighting for the status quo.
China’s economy has suffered from the trade war and the inability for most of its banks to pay back the quarter of a trillion in loans China used to fend off the 2008 global financial recession, encroachment into the South Pacific will increasingly become an economic necessity which makes China far more dangerous and their links with National will become increasingly sensitive.
I loath Trump with the kind of depth of feeling reserved for discovering a month old corpse in your bed, but I still fear Trump is well on his way to winning the 2020 election and that will bode ill for the planet.
Global Economic recession:
All the financial hegemony did in 2008 to escape the global economic meltdown was kick the day of reckoning down the road.
We are down that road. The day of reckoning is here and will explode in a way we can’t predict.