Gaming Northland

Oooooh isn’t the Northland bye-election serious fun.   Well that was written before the cruel and contemptible 1080 blackmail threat overshadowed it.   (At this stage I’m prepared to accept, just, National’s handling of this threat.   I hadn’t given any thought to the normal approach, which is not to publicise such threats as that serves the purpose of the blackmailer all too well.)

Labour’s manoevring in Northland is so delicate.   I think I detected a bit of sheepish embarrassment.  Whither  Winston will go if elected is not predictable.   He is rattling National’s cage deliciously.  Their candidate is on a hiding to none in the personality stakes and his grasp of electoral propriety appears non-existent.    I’m not cynical enough to not have been shocked by the brazen audacity of their pork barrel politics.    Bribery is illegal but modern pork barrel  politics are not too far removed from that especially when the impact of government services etc can be considerable in a contemporary context.   Think long outlawed treating on election day, say a tankard or two of ale two centuries ago and today’s and $30-60 million on bridges and more to come?   

Did we hear Mark What’s-his-name (neither I nor helpful son of marvellous memory can ever remember it) say if people didn’t vote for him they might not be built.  Is blackmail contagious?   Did  Key and Joyce salvage the situation and confirm they would be built come what may.   I wasn’t too confident of using the term blackmail even on an obscure blog like this one.  But another hooray henry, this time the National MP for Whangarei, obliged today by telling a Northland woman to shut up until after the election if she wants something done about sealing their dusty road!   ‘POLITICAL BLACKMAIL’ shouted Winston.  You can’t accuse National of a lack of transparency this time round.    Maybe it is going to be a very close race after all.     

I keep thinking of writing a blog about the historical development of democratic process after our predecessors lopped off their monarch’s head in a very revolutionary manner.  Somehow we have drifted back into a divine right of kings approach to power which is now reinforced with a level of spin that would have been the envy of olden day hereditary monarchs who didn’t bother to explain away their conduct.  They relied on more straightforward methods of elimination of overly vociferous critics and rivals.   

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