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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

What happened? This happened.

(From Bat Bean Beam and very astute he, Giovanni Tiso) is too!)
The rebuild

Morgan Godfery has described his sense of alienation in the days preceding last Saturday’s election – when poll after poll painted an ever-more-accurate picture of the scale of National’s eventual victory –as being akin to ‘a full-scale culture shock’. It’s a very canny observation: we are reminded from time to time, and not just around elections, that our country is many countries. We think we know the lay of the land yet occasionally find ourselves plunged in one of these other places, geographically contiguous but socially and culturally so distant as to make us recoil. Who are these people, these alien neighbours? Who are we?

John Key knows. Not because he lives in every New Zealand or visits there often, nor because he spies on us (although he does that too) but because he speaks every night to his faithful pollster. He has the data. The rest of us are left guessing, extrapolating wildly from local realities that are too small, from media narratives that are incoherent or downright false.

There is nothing so politically disarming as the inability to predict the future, which is to say apply a logic – any logic – to it. For instance: for a whole month I honestly thought that National would lose. It started shortly before Judith Collins was forced to resign, just as the feverish interest in Dirty Politics had begun to diminish somewhat. This is going to keep building, I figured. The stories have only just started to come out. How do you begin to neutralise a scandal when you can’t even trust your people to tell you what they’ve done?

But John Key knew. He could track the waves of popular sentiment from day to day. He knew which storms he needed to weather and where to erect his stonewalls. It would still have taken all his skill, no doubt, and we should never allow ourselves to forget what a formidable politician he is. But he has a fundamental advantage: he knows us better in a collective sense than we know ourselves.


Bioneer said...

A frightening thought.

Paranormal said...

Keep it up RG. It's great seeing the rabid left eating themselves because they can't admit the truth of the situation. It has nothing to do with polls or dark arts or whatever other excuse is dreamed up in the smoke filled backrooms where the gnashing of teeth is heard the loudest.

Voters would have elected the parties those on the left coming up with the excuses support, if those parties had offered policies and a vision of the future that resonated with them.

Keep going harder left, that's the answer - it'll mean National and Key have many more successful elections.