Herald’s love affair with National #2-08

Following on the heels of the Claire Trevett’s party political broadcast on the fitness regime of the National Party comes Audrey Young’s analysis of the leaders performance over the last week.

Helen Clark came out with a 6.1 out of 10
John Key got a whopping 7.8 out of 10

Here were some of the highlights of the analysis of the leaders efforts.

Worthy, important, but very complicated – education-work interface for school-leavers

Shame that a scheme that has been trialed apparently successfully around the country in schools is seemingly complicated.

Clark’s staff began pulling material together over the summer. Clark wrote her own speech by hand at home two days before delivering it – rather late in the piece.

So it’s a crime to write by hand? How revealing, must be a poor leader.

Broad and thorough. Turned out to be more a state-of-the-nation speech than Key’s

Funny I thought these were state of the nation speeches, so getting that part right gets a 7 (tough teacher).


Really “carried out with a minimum of effort or reflection” (OED).

A big struggle to sell it publicly

Yeah really hard to sell to people something that is more or less working effectively apparently. Yeah hard to sell the idea that we need to keep out kids in education as long as physically possible. Remember it was National that abolished trade apprenticeships, and we are now facing a trades skills shortage.

John Key

Simple. Topical. Logical

Yeah really easy to beat up on youth crime, it’s so bloody rampant these days. Shame that the figures don’t support this epidemic that is sweeping the country. It’s always too easy to beat up on those who are already at the bottom of the heap. Wasn’t if Key who last year told a poor street in Auckland that they were a national shame, now he’s having a go at the kids. Pity he hasn’t told the business leaders to buck up their bloody ideas and get productivity up.

Still to the terrorised-talk-radio-masses this is a good one. The kids of today need to be beaten into shape and Key is the man to do it.

Two key areas: stopping school leavers from drifting on to benefits, and new powers for Youth Court to deal with offenders

Do you mention Mr Young that under 18 year olds can’t actually get the unemployment benefit until you are 18, or are trying to be an adult and have a partner and children to support. No we don’t want those sort of facts getting in the way of a good witch hunt against the lay about youth of the day.

Narrow and thorough

Yip we got the message. Youth are out of control and National is going to get tough on them. After all according to the spokesman on Justice all we need to do is “stomp out crime”, nothing can be more simpler.


Helen Clark’s 5 was a poor effort while Key’s was doing better (we all know these teachers don’t we folks).

Easily grasped by the public

Yeah, the kids are evil and they must now face boot camps. this is the evil and root of all NZ’s problems.
Simple ideas for simple people is all the terrorised-talk-radio-masses need these days regardless of the validity of the issues.

If Ms Young is supposedly the Political Editor of the New Zealand Herald, and I was her teacher, i’d be giving it a 6. Main ideas right but lacking in analysis.


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