On The Alleged Tame-ing Of Luxon


I kinda feel like the sentiment about Luxon’s apparent trainwreck of an interview with Jack Tame today is … not going to play out the way people think.

Yes, yes it’s absolutely true and correct to state that Luxon wound up caught in a bunch of contradictions – between stuff he’s talking about and claiming is a problem, with what he’s actually prepared to do if he wins an election; between things he’s said he intends to do, and how these actively feed into problems he has sought to pillory the government over … you get the idea.

Except here’s the thing.

Most people don’t have a coherent view of the universe – let alone something as infinitely more internecine as the politics of a small island nation. Our world-views are awash as a morass of mutually contradictory preferences and outrage-inducing red-flag buttons.

Some people take a look at politicians and their presumptive visions – maybe even read some policy manifestos (if anybody still does those) or commentary upon same – before they decide on who they want to vote for.

Others go on whether they feel they can ‘trust’ someone with power – and that may, indeed, arcen back to whether they can put on a decent showing in front of a camera in answering reasonably simple, straightforward questions. (Answering … does not necessarily mean answering well or truthfully, necessarily – but that is another matter)

However, for an appreciable quotient of our body politik (as with many other modern, Western democracies) – what they’re looking for is a simple resonancy with things they already either believe or can be reasonably prodded or coaxed into believing.

And, as we have observed – that DOESN’T require an internally coherent worldview to be espoused by the politician courting them. Quite the opposite.

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It just requires being able to sound-off a veritable checklist of talking-points or hot-button stances – and then let the natural artifice of human cognitive filtering take care of the rest.

People no longer ‘hear’ the contradictions, if the contradictions are things they’re already subconsciously overlooking in and of themselves when it comes to their own personal preferential perspectives.

Further, to add to all of this – it has long been known that New Zealanders tend to like an underdog, and will rally behind somebody who is perceived as ‘not getting a fair go’.

I have repeatedly observed that in 2014, for instance, the year of the Dirty Politics revelations … National’s vote actually went up, precisely because we automatically insistently minimized the impropriety at hand – at least partially because the media was perceived to be making a big deal out of it.

It came across that John Key was being hounded by the press and was being beaten up upon – so people tuned out just what (and why) he was being hounded over, and considered him a more sympathetic figure.

Helluva thing, really, to have a multi-millionaire incumbent Prime Minister of six years going up against a Labour party about to deliver its worst result since 1922 … and somehow have said PM come across as being the ‘underdog’ or ‘marginalized’, but that’s how it can so easily look from the outside.

Tame’s interview was interesting and entertaining; but a whole lot of people out there will, if anything, double down in their emergent support for Luxon.

Not because anything Luxon said or did in that performance was ‘smart’ or visionary.

But rather precisely because we’ve all had a situation of some younger guy coming in and asking us ‘twisty’ questions [which may, or may not, actually have been ‘twisty’ rather than reasonably direct and straightforward as various of Tame’s were] and feeling unfairly put upon in fairly direct consequence.

Exposing that Luxon is not, in fact, (yet) the man to be able to dethrone Ardern does not induce his following to abandon ship.

Because they’ve already begun to ‘buy in’. So pointing out that the would-be emperor is, it would seem, somewhat bereft of clothing … just makes many all the more determined to dig in and declare they’re definitely backing a winner here and never mind any purported ‘evidence’ to the contrary.

One of the (many) things George W. Bush proved was that you can, indeed, ‘flunk’ your way to victory.


  1. Good article. Proof of your theory of flunking your way to victory exists in Jacinda being gifted the PM job in 2017.

  2. Good article. Proof of your theory of flunking your way to victory exists in Jacinda being gifted the PM job in 2017.

    • garibaldi C’ mon now, room in the Upper Room for all of us ? From the footless wonder who wouldn’t even share his big black Mercedes with his deputy, but had to hire a separate limo for the surreal pair to travel a few yards up the road to Parliament ? We needed a laugh, and by Hercules, they gave us one – it was funny – albeit an inadvertent revelation.

  3. Will be interested in how Jack treats the Prime Minister whenever/if ever he interviews her?

    Or does she only takes interviews from Jono and Ben now?

    • Maybe you missed her appearance on Q+A last November. Hardly a lovefest after Tame accused Ardern of abandoning Maori to a Covid fate.

      As for Jono and Ben, they did a “cool prank” while interviewing the Dancing with the Stars contestants by swapping in Luxon for the bald Jono. How would you know if you don’t listen to their breakfast show? Luxon tweeted it. It is the only thing he has tweeted since appearing with Tame on Q+A.

    • Doubtless the PM not present as abysmally as Luxon when interviewed by Jack Tame. She constantly proves she is all over the facts and can expound rationally and coherently when questioned. She would no doubt shape up as competently as Willy Jackson did following the train wreck interview. Clearly. National have a new leader who is out of touch with reality and not worthy of the title.

      • Time for National, to ACT, and back again @AOM

        English – Brash – Key
        Hyde – Brash – Banks
        Key – Bridges – Muller
        Bridges – Muller – Collins
        Collins – Luxon – Seymour?

        Let the ‘Hollow Men (sic.)’ right-wing leadership merry-go-round between National and ACT begin again.

  4. As Dotcom mentioned …Key could have been seen blowing kittens heads off with a shotgun…and his support would not have waivered.

  5. This is precisely what I said in a previous blog about the Jack Tane interview . To me Luxon came across a person not a polished politician with quick answers that really say nothing as Willie did in his interview . I was delighted to see a leader I could vote for .

    • Trevor Sennitt. Would you really want this country lead by a multi-millionaire who refers to the economically lower echelons of society as “ bottom feeders “ ? Whatever Luxon and his scrabbling advisors may think or say among themselves in private, this sort of very public sweeping generalisation is gutter talk designed to create prejudice against the poor and have-nots. Any sort of prejudice is socially divisive, unhelpful, unchristian, and very foolish.

      • Unfortunately in society there are bottom feeders who bully and terrorize others. I like it that Luxon calls these people out for what they are . While I often agree with your opinions your judgement of Luxon seems based on his appearance and this financial position rather than if he can lead this country out of a fiscal hole created by covid and the need to fight climate change . I believe Jacinda and Labour have no answers only ideological sound bites.

        • Trevor I couldn’t give too hoots about his financial position, I’d like to see everybody with enough for whatever they think their needs are, and I’m not
          “ judging “ him on his looks, he can’t help the way that he looks. I just happen to find him creepy, the way I do a couple of the Green women. It’s a gut thing, and frankly I don’t hugely like any of the current crop of politicians, there’s too big a divide between them, and the people who they are meant to represent. Yep, there are lowlifes out there, but I won’t accept a leader, designating people ‘bottom feeders.’ You can say that, anybody can, but persons in a position of leadership have a social responsibility which should be aiming at elevating and bettering the community, not creating divisions by judging them in a cavalier or lazy way. I’m sure you know enough to know that not everybody at the bottom deserves to be there.

          • Thank you for your measured reply . I would say if we sat down we would agree on more things than disagree but perhaps differ on the way we say it .

        • there are also the majority of ‘bottom feeders’ who live lives of quite desperation, the existance of a few shitheads is not an excuse to victimise the others…trev

  6. I lost some respect for Jack Tame in this interview. He asked Luxon for specific areas of excessive Government spending. Luxon answers with 5 specifics. And Jack Tame conveniently ignores numbers 2, 3, 4 and 5 while just focusing on the $100m spent on the Te Huia train. Jack’s inability to admit that Luxon had done a decent job of answering the question was of no credit to him. C’mon Jack, you’re better than that.

    • I agree. Tame was acting like a smug prat. No politician can find the figures for on the spot gotcha questions like that. Tame also laughed at the perceived inflationary effect of the Labour spending at being at less than two %. I’m sure most punters out there wouldn’t mind 4.9 instead of 6.9% inflation, in fact a .5 percent less inflation would be appreciated. Tame probably spent a week carefully wording his interview questions to show Luxon up. Say’s more about Tame than Luxon.

      • Tame was merely highlighting the inadequacies in Luxon’s argument that he’s been banging on about for months.
        Luxon criticising the Government about a train that actually gets more cars off the congested roads is weak and actually doesn’t stack up. The congestion situation that Key, Joyce and English played a big hand in creating with their rampant immigration policies.
        Luxon talking about wasteful spending is laughable!!
        Conveniently forgetting that his mentor, Key, absolutely squandered 29 million on a changing of the flag referendum ego trip that nobody was even interested in. That’s 10 much needed state- of- the- art MRI machines for the health sector up in smoke.
        Where was English’s much vaunted line -by -line economic nous that Luxon alludes to ?
        Nowhere! These guy’s are full of shit !!

        • They’re all full of shit Grant. Nobody would mind if Labour actually got something done and got the railway designed consented and built. Why do people like you and Bert keep banging on about Key. He hasn’t been around for seven years. Try putting the boot into current ministers like Michael Wood for a change.

          • The railway from Hamilton to Auckland that Luxon is referring to is consented and has been up and running for some time now. Just because it’s not the fastest railway in the world he thinks it was a was of money.
            But i believe the users love it. They can operate their businesses while travelling to work. No down time.
            What’s not to like!
            Key and English and Joyce are all still there. Just lurking in the background.
            Key is Luxons’ mentor and confidante and English will be ‘advising’ Nicola Willis who is clearly well out of her depth. They are definitely ‘around’.

            • Fair enough Grant we all have our own opinions and see things differently. Don’t worry about Luxon if you believe this Government has spent our money wisely and are capable of keeping their promises you’ll vote for them. Some of us are sick of the lack of progress and would like a change.

              • And dont forget the NATZ dirty politics team ready to mobilise the right wingers in TDB, tory talk ZB, the tory times herald, MSM. Aren’t Aotearoans lucky that we have a world leader PM who has been correct and measured in every thing she has planned. Not like the foolish Luxon and NATZACT who detest Maori, Pacifica, Indians, unemployed, poor, bottom feeders and wanted to open up MIQ 2 years ago not caring that Maori, Pacifica and their grumpy old men voters.

          • Key is still in among the tory right winger clique advising Luxon and Willis and the how to run a government. Those two will need a hell a lot of educating and upskilling to lead Aotearoa. Key can teach them how to promote the property speculators to improve the inflation rate. He can also demonstrate how to work with the dirty politics team and not get caught or to squirm ones way out. The Tories hate public servants so be prepared for a sinking lid tory government if elected especially with regards police, nurses, teachers (back to 45 pupil classes), etc.

      • Hang on a minute ! Shouldn’t the person who wants to be PM have some idea about whats causing inflation and wasteful spending, he surely would have some idea about the questions because thats what the Nats have been going on for weeks. Its a scary thought that Luxon could be PM sort of reminds me of a puppet and the puppet masters. The scarey part being who are the masters

          • are you telling me a rightwinger lied about a labour budget…I’ve never heard anything so outragous in my life

            …since the last time they did it

  7. What is “arcen” a typo for? Arcing, arsing, arson, or something else?
    I guess I should go watch the interview before commenting, but it’s hard to feel much motivation to do so. No matter how dire, it’ll likely be forgotten in a week. Polls and interviews aren’t going to mean much until after the debates next year.
    I am personally more concerned about this year’s local government elections, than Central governmental general or by-elections.

  8. And of course governments are voted out not in, meaning as long as you aren’t Judith Collins, you are a viable alternative even if your words are clumsy.
    Seymour is where more answers are tho- interesting according to Damien Grant Labour won’t let Jackson debate him despite Jackson’s big words.
    Co governance is insanity and must be guaranteed to lose the election.

    • Yes Seymour prepared to debate with Jackson but the Labour Party won’t let him.
      Jackson will find it difficult to explain why a vote by some sections of society is worth more than one.

    • Keepcalmcarryon “Co governance is insanity and must be guaranteed to lose the election.” Yes. The bizarre secrecy about it all rightly fuels suspicion, and Ardern will know all this, so it is unclear quite what she’s up to.

  9. I don’t agree if you’re suggesting that John Key survived the “ Dirty Politics” revelations just because New Zealanders sympathise with the underdog ? Key an underdog ? Never. He didn’t exactly receive any sort of public flogging, as I recall.

    Key survived by blithely spouting that Nicky Hager was a conspiracy theorist, and the msm, lapped it all up as they usually did with Key. They adored him just for being a rich joker who smiled at them and who fooled around like the vulgar little turd that he in fact is. A NZ Herald male journalist, a good one who I think is still used by them, and maybe one other, were the only two who appeared to have actually read “ Dirty Politics”.
    The aging Fairfax girls still salivate in memory of Key.

    Like all of Hager’s work, “Dirty Politics” is meticulously researched, referenced, cross- referenced, and indexed, is an easy read, and patently accurate. I suggest that anyone reading it, then hearing Key’s conspiracy theorist allegation would know this was nonsense. If any commentator saw Key as an in underdog, they were unlikely to have read the Hager report, and they shouldn’t have been commentating at all.

    This Luxon person seems to have thus far garnered sympathy mainly for unkind comments made about his physical appearance by persons such as me who find him aesthetically revolting and a skincrawling creep, and I can’t help that, but pixelating his pictures might.

      • accurate and amusing. I thought what one feels these days was all that mattered???????????????????? We are such sensitive creatures.
        Get over it chaps.
        Luxon is repellent in his appearance. Shaven headed white guy ….. bleech!

          • Cabbage I think Labour do have one, some character from the Deep South. but don’t tell anybody, it’s bad enough having having to see Luxon. I’ve not looked that hard at him, but greasy dark floppy locks like you know who, can be almost as horrible – and undercuts are downright ridiculous.

            Anyway, it’s the total package that counts to women of discernment.
            We’re not like those building site blokes who whistle at anything in a skirt, we discern. Trust me.

          • Sour Kraut, “ Shaven white guy”? Shaven” ? He does that to himself ? This is getting worse. I assumed it was genetics or low testosterone levels, hence over compensating with the big shining car, but actually choosing to look weird is very weird. That’s an adolescent thing which most boys grow out of.

    • key got away with it because the corporate and govt medias boots could only be found by keys proctologist they were so far up his bum.

      • It was disgusting under Key how the media just printed government press releases as fact or took him at his word no digging done at all – something they have continued to do, with even less questioning (if that’s possible) under this government.
        Somebody (Chis Trotter?) correctly pointed out the media naturally have a tendency to be pro establishment rather than left or right per se and being often close to government, to breathe the same government air.
        We are simply too small a country to have at least a semblance of balance like the Australian vs Guardian in Aus, all our MSM skews woke establishment perhaps except Hoskings station.

        • Pip
          Come on now, that’s a pretty vivid image though! So Yuri our Astronaut gets extra points for theatre of mind! A good laugh!

        • yes there is and if you understand it enough to be triggered then you’re just as crude as me….after all I could have put it in much blunter anglo saxon..pip

  10. Baldrick presents as a bit of a cross between slightly creepy and a numpty, without the emotional intelligence to realise some might not share his pride in owning 7 pads–or more likely perhaps he bloody well knows and just does–not–care. Another hollow numbers man. If Sirkey could reply “well I can find other experts” when cornered on climate disaster on BBC “Hard Talk” then so can Mr Upper Room on NZ economics.

    Curwen is significantly right–I remember “Stevie’s hole” when Mr Joyce put up a bollocks financial contention on NZ Labour’s 2017 election platform. It was shot down by professionals all over, but nonetheless cost labour several vital percentage points of vote share.

    As I say here regularly, it is now up to gens X Y & Z to step up and get political. My millennial son says that so many people he knows have had enough of renting over priced dumps, paying off student loans that did not get them the dream job, working for arseholes and now putting up with COVID and the fragile supply chain.
    Change is coming one way or another in 2023 and 2026.

  11. Was it a train wreck really?

    Tame asked him for examples of poor quality spending and he gave one. Tame asked him for another, and he gave another. Tame asked him for a third and he gave yet another. The Tame complained his examples didn’t add up to enough to be valid, based on what exactly?

    It seems Luxon isn’t particularly well media trained – he should have gone on to the front foot and mentioned the 55 million bucks wasted on propping up Tame’s career. LOL

    • Yes, it really was a train wreck! Either that or your income and property investments are in the same realms as Luxon’s. Who would suggest that tax changes that would give the average earners $800p.a. while smugly able to pocket $18,000 a year from the same changes is equitable in his view.
      Would you care to itemise and cost the ‘poor quality spending’ itemised in the interview? Tame did and it was not going to make much difference fiscally as he said. Of course, we saw Luxon in action when he was an over inflated public servant in charge of near monopoly airline. Figures don’t look good – screw the fares up on the provincial routes to keep the fares cheap for those using the major city airports.

  12. My support of Chris Luxon has nothing to do with my view of him as being a sympathetic figure because I don’t view him in that way. I do feel, however, that a lot of party leaders give bad interviews, even Helen Clark and Jacinda Ardern, John Key, David Shearer, Don Brash, etc.


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