Is that a dictaphone in your pocket or are you just pleased to see me? by underground

Like the last election, apart from releasing fresh policy (bribes) that would appeal to the electorate, the only way Labour could win this election is by depicting National as dangerous and possessing a secret agenda. Their attempts to cast Key as “slippery” and question the party’s lack of transparency, have failed up to this point. However, Labour can perhaps relax, as National has helped them no end by confirming that there is a difference between the public message and the private reality, which the public were treated to discovering in this week’s leaked recordings.

Fortunately for New Zealand voters, Bill English and Lockwood Smith were kind enough to share their true intentions if elected to power. We now know assets will be sold, and can only wonder what liberties granted to us over the past few years by Labour will be reversed. Coupled with National’s legion of secret backers and PR spinners, only the most naive would believe the party’s public image is not a facade. The lack of transparency this party exhibits is remarkable, and is frightfully undemocratic. It will be interesting to see how the recordings will impact the impression voters have of the party and its “slippery” leader.

John Key showed his inexperience and incompetence when he said the recording was doctored in order to make it appear as though English had said something he didn’t, yet his deputy effectively apologised for making the honest statement. As for the accusations Labour operatives were behind the tapings, until Key has the evidence of this and shares it with the public, he hasn’t a leg to stand on. Hager’s Hollow Men proved there are some disillusioned within the party, so pointing the finger at Labour is a little premature. Perhaps it was even a concerned member of the public, who just wanted to know the truth behind the facade.

As far as I understand media law, there is nothing illegal with the recordings. Arguably immoral, but not illegal. And as devious as the recordings were, it is not half as devious as a political party saying one thing to get elected, and then having a completely different agenda planned for when they are in power. I knew there was a reason I could not trust National even with the fresh faced Key at the helm. Bill English and Lockwood Smith are as good a reasons as any not to believe a word this party says. The Hollow Men remain.

Will this persuade the electorate to question National’s honesty and transparency? I doubt it. These are the same intelligent people convinced of the party’s readiness to lead our country without knowing their policy details. Hopefully, at the very least, this controversy will ensure the party does not obtain a parliamentary majority and ram their unpopular policy down our throats like the bad old days of first past the post.


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