Muller’s Big Speech – The Inversion Of A Copy Of A Clone Of A Success Story

Hi, I'm Todd Muller, I can't get a Māori Sovereignty flag put up right because my front bench is 50 shades of white.

I am slightly surprised that Todd Muller’s big speech as leader of the National Party, is summed up by the Herald as:

“A National-led Government would not increase taxes or cut benefits, its leader Todd Muller has promised.

In fact, the new opposition leader today revealed that if he is Prime Minister, National would spend more money on the “welfare safety net”.

He also said the previous National Government did not move fast or boldly enough on issues such as climate change and addressing New Zealand’s social deficit.”

Now, none of that’s necessarily bad or inaccurate – not that one necessarily trusts a National government to actually go through with any of these things should it make it into office … but that’s not what’s noteworthy about this.

Rather, it’s that – as my associate Josh Van Veen pointed out – basically indistinguishable from what the Labour Party is about.

Which is an interesting inversion on what we’ve had for much of the past nine years, wherein the Labour Party was too often effectively about being kinda like the National Party … but not quite as much.

Thus reflecting the fundamental truth that Kiwi Politics has generally always been a contest for ‘the centre’, with ‘the centre’ (for the past 30 years, anyway) being defined as somewhere on the neoliberal right whre ideas and vision go to die. And “Charisma” means all the appeal of a slick used car salesman in a toothpaste commercial.

TDB Recommends

Nevertheless, it’s interesting to see the shoe on the other foot now – and the Nats choosing to define themselves in conscious imitation (even if they’d never admit it) to Labour. Perhaps it’s the logical result of seeing just how badly Simon Bridges’ constant irascible criticism of Jacinda was playing with voters. Perhaps it’s actually more sincere – and a return to Bill English style Catholic Conservatism With Its Cufflinks Rolled Up. Perhaps it just plays well with focus-groups that’re still shiny about Labour following the Covid-response.

Whatever the case, it’s questionable as a ‘winning strategy’. Although if there is a tide in the affairs of men – I suspect rather strongly that it’s just naturally gone out and shall *remain* out on National for awhile yet, meaning this is effectively going to be an Election of ‘damage control’ uber alles.

In any case, all of this put me in the mind of a semi-parody post-modern analysis of a video-game character somebody directed my attention to years ago:

“Waluigi is the ultimate example of the individual shaped by the signifier. Waluigi is a man seen only in mirror images; lost in a hall of mirrors he is a reflection of a reflection of a reflection. You start with Mario – the wholesome all Italian plumbing superman, you reflect him to create Luigi – the same thing but slightly less. You invert Mario to create Wario – Mario turned septic and libertarian – then you reflect the inversion in the reflection: you create a being who can only exist in reference to others. Waluigi is the true nowhere man, without the other characters he reflects, inverts and parodies he has no reason to exist. Waluigi’s identity only comes from what and who he isn’t – without a wider frame of reference he is nothing. He is not his own man. In a world where our identities are shaped by our warped relationships to brands and commerce we are all Waluigi.”

That’s where National’s at at the moment. Playing the deliberate role (for what else is left to them) of the inversion of a copy of a clone of a success-story.


  1. The upside down Maori flag is a bit like nationals policies, upside down. Any Maori that votes for these clowns is foolish to say the least. They are tying to appear to be kind and nice but it must be hard keeping up false appearances. The only thing this national lot care about is money.

  2. National are sadly backing an uninspiring man there.
    He is looking uncomfortable standing there, out of place and time.
    Surely national want to fail with him?
    but why?
    Do they want Labour to take on the fight to save our future and then take over when it has been restored so they can flog off the rest of our country for a better price?

  3. Well according to RNZ the good people of Tauranga were ecstatic about him and the speech.Must be something in the water.

  4. ” the good people of Tauranga were ecstatic about him”.. Good people in Tauranga? Every time I
    I go there, I leave vowing never to go back.. All it is to me is the place that money ruined.. It’s got the best culture money can buy, and beaches… The people there spoil it..

Comments are closed.