This weekend many hundreds of National Party delegates have descended on Wellington for the party’s pre-election congress. Apart from sounding slightly rude, this gathering is designed to pump the troops before the cut and thrust of this year’s, undoubtedly, turgid election campaign. MyThinks was lucky enough to stumble on a random lanyard outside the Michael Fowler Centre and we were able to gain access to a presentation from
Sir Linton Crosby an unnamed public relations consultant on how the party might deal with any morally questionable issues that might arise ahead of the election.
Good afternoon cobbers. I’m not one to mess about with gratuitous platitudes. Thanks for coming and let’s get stuck into it. Good to see you here Todd. Better late than never.
So you’re all here today, so many, many of you, to find out how we might deal with any scandals and such like that might pop up between now and the election. I mean, we are all conservative Tories here, aren’t we? We’ve all, at some point in our lives, destroyed someone less fortunate than ourselves? I know I have. So it’s important that you have a suitable war-chest to dive into when this inevitably happens.
So here we go with a bunch of things you can do if you’re ever caught a bit short in the ethics department.
Number 1 – Deny, deny deny: As soon as a journalist asks you a tricky question just deny. A good word to use is refute. Say something like, “I absolutely refute the alleged allegations against me.” It’s important that you don’t use the word deny because it rhymes with lie and you don’t want the journalist to pop up a day or two later with a transcript of the recording you were denying.
Number 2 – Memory loss: if you are certain the events actually happened and you know for a fact there is a paper trail or some kind of proof, then it’s important that you have some of the sudden memory loss associated with a severe brain injury. You might say, “Look… I’m a very busy politician looking after all of those people who are less fortunate than me, you know, helping them up and so on. I can’t be expected to recall every little detail of my life.” Then if the paper trail does appear at some point you have a bit of wriggle room.
Number 3 – Absolutely no comment: this is a great strategy to use when there you would rather not say anything. Phrases like, “I’m unable to comment on an ongoing police investigation” work particularly well if you are the subject of an ongoing police investigation.
Number 4 – It’s not illegal: Sometimes, when something is illegal, it’s a good idea to get a lawyer or someone with an important sounding name (like Professor such-and-such, for example) to get out into the media and question whether something is technically illegal. This is a great strategy to create reasonable doubt, especially when there is a clip of your former leader admitting that exact activity is illegal. Two people saying different things. Which one is right? We will never know.
Number 5 – Under the bus: If you’ve tried all the above, then try getting rid of someone. You know, this week Todd fell on his sword for the good of the party. It was important that he go because he was causing damage. But what could he have done? Todd might have sacked one of his office staff by saying he received bad advice. I mean look at Jason Ede and WhaleOil… they were dumped three years ago during Dirty Politics and where are they now? Who can say?
Number 5 – Distraction: Also known as the “But Look at What Labour is Doing” defence. Get one of your blogger friends to post something along the lines of what you did wasn’t that bad quickly followed by some retweets of someone moaning about something the Labour Party has done (even if the thing the Labour Party did was totally legal and absolutely fine). Then “leak” some details to one of your journalist mates. Hopefully they run with it.
Well… that’s about all from me today. You know, the media, especially the billionaire media, can be your best friend, but sometimes that doesn’t work out. If you’re in a continued spot of bother, under siege and all else has failed, fall back on number 1 – Deny, deny, deny. Remember… it’s not a scandal until you’re drowning in Da-Nile.
Thanks very much.
This week has been an interesting week in New Zealand politics. Here at MyThinks we thought we would ask our alt-right correspondent Richard Sevenhouses to pen a few words on his thoughts. Over to you Dick.
This week started out fine. I was enjoying chardonnay under a reddening sky on the deck of one of my beach homes. Then suddenly Clutha-Southland MP and everyone’s favourite twelve-year-old Todd Barclay got into a bit of strife after it emerged he’d left his phone on the table next to an electorate worker accidentally on purpose.
Now, yes he has denied this for a year or so, and yes, the Prime Minister has known about it for just as long and yes, the PM confirmed he had made a statement to police saying Barclay had told him there was a recording after initially saying he couldn’t remember and yes, Barclay then confirmed Bill English’s story that he had told English there was a recording when he’d been denying it all along.
This issue got all the political editors frothing at the mouth but at the end of the day the only people who care about this are those political junkies in the Aro Valley beltway and a couple of far-left Twitters. Nobody else, particularly me and my old mate Hosking, give a flying hooha about this. If you go up to the man on the street and ask him whether he cares about honest Bill English being a liar they’ll tell you they don’t. I’d stake my high-rise investment apartments on it.
Then we have the absolute horror of the Labour Party bringing in a bunch of slaves to work in a call centre doing their dirty work. This is absolutely outrageous. If I was one of those interns and I’d been flown halfway around the world for free and given the opportunity to have a unique cultural experience for free and then been given the chance to gain valuable life and work experience for free, I’d be absolutely gutted as well.
The Labour Party should be ashamed of themselves for not only creating this mess in the first place but having the audacity to own up to it and start dealing with the problem straight away.
Why not sweep it under the carpet for a year and hope no-one finds out? That’s what a real political organisation would do.
Goodbye and enjoy your weekend.
Here at the New Zealand Herald we are committed to quality journalism trawled from the finest celebrity twitter feeds. As we all know, there are many, many wonderful New Zealanders who work tirelessly for those less fortunate members of our society. If you want to see their names you can just scroll down to the bottom of the page. If, like us, you want to celebrate all the new knights and dames and other people who’ve been part of our editor’s inner circle for the past decade or so, then start from the top.
Knight Grand Companions of the British Empire
The Right Honourable Sir John Key – for services to Iminim: the former National Party leader and Prime Minister of New Zealand continues a long-held tradition of former National Party leaders who’ve received a Knighthood for leaving the party to give someone else a turn at going for a Knighthood.
Dame Companions of the British Empire
Dame Julie Christie – for services to reality television: the queen of New Zealand’s reality television industry has been made a dame by the Queen of the British Empire. She reports being thrilled and humbled by the honour adding she is the greatest thing ever to happen to the DCBE.
There wasn’t really much else to report this year. Former Alliance Party boss Jim Anderton got an award, but he’s from the other side so we’re not going to say too much about that. There were loads of people who worked with kids and the poor but we ran out column inches because of a Bachelor recap special we thought would generate more clicks.
See you at New Year.
The National Party of Aotearoa New Zealand welcomes you to this Northern Regional Conference. Please feel free to help yourself to the many free cartons of delicious Fonterra milk which will be contained within the various school milk fridges dotted about the venue. Please also make yourselves familiar with the emergency evacuation procedures. In the unlikely event of an emergency, please push your way past any service workers and make your way out to the evacuation point in the car park.
Here is a brief rundown of some of the highlights of the conference:
Cooking with Paula Bennett
Deputy PM Paula Bennett takes us through a beginner’s guide to cooking tapas for the West Auckland crowd. Dishes included pie kebabs, patata gravas with t-sauce and a couple of chards.
Tell Us What We Really Think with Alfred Ngaro
Where the junior minister lets a private session with no hidden journalists know what is really in the National Party election manifesto.
How to Rebuild Syria with Gerry Brownlee
Current Foreign Minister and former Minister of Christchurch outlines his plans for the rebuild the Middle East. A new $4 billion conference centre for Baghdad and thousands of hectares of green space to rise from the Damascus rubble.
Go on a Run/Walk with Bill English
The PM tells us his trick of how he makes people think he’s fitter than he actually is by running down hills and past people coming towards him on the street while walking the rest of the way. After all, Wellington is full of hills. Dipton, not so much.
I’m Still Relevant with Cameron Slater
The controversial blogger stands up on a stage and talks in front of a Powerpoint to prove that he is still as relevant as ever. Topics covered include how he is being unfairly treated by the media and how the media is treating him unfairly. And Angry Andy.
Making Announcements with Nick Smith
The Building and Construction Minister talks about his uncanny knack of inviting a massive throng of media representatives out into the middle of a field to make an announcement about housing or water that features information that has either already been announced or doesn’t exist at all.
Thank you for coming. We all hope you enjoy your weekend and if you are planning to head out past some protesters on your way out please make sure you have Chester Burrows as your chauffeur.
PRESS RELEASE: Rt. Hon. Nick Smith, Cabinet Minister.
TO: Whomever will listen.
Still Minister for Lots of Things, Nick Smith, today welcomed the announcement from the Prime Minister that he would be losing his responsibilities for Crown land to Amy Adams. Bill English made the announcement at cabinet early on Monday afternoon.
“I have been working tirelessly for this National government,” says Dr. Smith, “in my attempts to create a situation where we can perhaps build several thousand constructions of a liveable standard for people who currently live in cars or motels or with their parents or out on the street.”
The minister was keen to point out how successful he had been.
“I have been very successful,” he said.
Dr. Smith was also keen to point out that his original plan with given the key role of Minister Responsible for Building All Sorts of Stuff on Spare Crown Land was to be so remarkably successful over such a short period of time that it would be unwise for any Prime Minister to keep him on in the role because the public might expect the government to display similar massive success in a range of other areas like the Christchurch rebuild or inequality.
“It would be unfair for me to put that kind of pressure on my friend and Prime Minister, Mr. Bill English,” he said.
Dr. Smith was also keen to point out his hugely successful Crown land plans for building houses on ancient cemeteries and that would definitely probably not turn out like it did with the Indian burial ground under Drew Barrymore’s house in Poltergeist.
“People love living in houses,” said Dr. Smith, “that’s a scientific fact. I say any home is home sweet home no matter where the house that home is in is situated. If I didn’t already own thirteen houses, I would be happy to live in that slightly darkened but not at all scary or haunted house if it was built for me close to but not directly on top of what could possibly have been an ancient burial ground.”
Dr. Smith was also keen to point out he had finished his press statement.