John Key & media embark upon a second honeymoon
One thing was abundantly clear from National's 50 shades of blue conference this weekend, John Key and the mainstream media have embarked upon a second honeymoon of uncritical love.
Like an addict rushing back to their favorite hit, the media's astounding lack of critical analysis of the Government is back up to the giddy heights of post 2008 election levels.
What many pundits always gloss over, is that the mainstream media didn't walk away from the Key honeymoon, it was Key who called it off. In the wake of the teapot nonsense, Key turned on the media based on overnight polling showing that people loathed the media more than they loathed Key.
If Key hadn't turned on them, and if National hadn't spent the last 6 months blundering from self inflicted mutilation to self inflicted mutilation, the mainstream media would still be making frantic love to John Key's portrait at night.
The corporate media are eyeing up that $120million dollar spending spree to advertise the asset share launch to prop up their 3rd and 4th quarter margins. No one is going to be harsh or critical when that commercial reality is hanging over you.
Take a look at the glaring examples over the weekend.
Here we have Bill English astoundingly holding up a brainless Herald digi-poll claiming NZers wanted more mining! The most disingenuous poll in the world is the Herald digi-poll, holding up anything it divines is as credible as booking a time for the Rapture.
English then has the audacity to criticize any complaints about NZers leaving for Australia? National made catching up with Australia one of their main policy planks - now National have failed to do anything about it, suddenly English wants to not only hide it as an issue, they attack anyone pointing out National's failure?
For the real crowning achievement of one sided media over the weekend, you can go no further than John Armstrong's ludicrously biased and vicious appraisal of Maori water rights in the Weekend Herald that almost borders on Paul Holmes-esk.
What Armstrong refuses to accept is that the contempt Key has shown the Waitangi Tribunal makes Pita and Tariana's justification for staying at the table meaningless when Key has sold the table.
For the Prime Minister to claim that nobody owns the water is as disingenuous as Helen Clark was when she confiscated the foreshore and seabed claiming no one owned the beach. John Key wasn't claiming no one owned the water when his Government seized control of Environment Canterbury because the local community had blocked the farming lobby from taking more water.
It's funny what Key wants to claim is free when he's taking it.
This constant denial of Maori interests over shared resources is more than institutional racism, it is a one rule for Maori and one better rule for everyone else.
So much for one law for all.
As my co-blogger eloquently pointed out this month, what is at essence here is the very core values built into the Public Works Act 1981 which spells out how a Government may take a resource for public purpose. The Government must enter into negotiation with the owner of that resource and failing agreement the Government may take under statute that resource. When that original public purpose is made into a private purpose, the resource goes back to the original owner.
How dare the very law written by Pakeha to benefit Pakeha get used to claim on talkback radio that 'Maori are trying to take the water'! Maori are only looking for redress under a law given to everyone else, why should their property rights be any less than any other New Zealander?
This action has only occurred because of Key's desire to flog off assets we all own as New Zealanders. Maori haven't gone out to pick a fight or 'take' anything here, John Key has brought this upon himself.
Maoridom have been forced to the Waitangi Tribunal because their voices have been ignored. Again.
For every New Zealander angry at the way this Prime Minister uses a 1 seat majority as a mandate to sell assets, they should join Maori in demanding the Crown honour the Treaty by protecting our assets for all our collective sovereignty, and not just for the financial interests of the rich and powerful.
But not according to John Armstrong, for him this is the naked beast of majority democracy, which Benjamin Franklin once described as two hungry wolves and a lamb voting on what's for lunch. Armstrong's language and total defense of Key's position is as critical as Fox News towards the Tea Party.
The honeymoon is back on.