Friday, 12 September 2008

Like water through a sieve

About those National policy leaks, or more specifically, about Mr Key's explanations of how they happened. In my experience when you have documents of such a confidential nature you collect in all the copies to avoid just such a shemozzle as accidentally leaving them on Trevor Mallard's desk. But maybe they do things differently in the National caucus.

If the policies were all together in one bundle, and were left on a table in the cafe, or in the caucus room, or in the toilets, or whereever the National leader reckons they were left today, well, wouldn't he know which policies were going to be leaked next? Because they were all together right? Like they were discussed in the caucus meeting, right?

In which case couldn't Key just come out and say something like "ok, there were six policies all discussed in that caucus meeting, and so I guess Labour must also have x, y and z." And then he could do a little prepping the ground, by inoculating the media and the public about the scaremongering tactics he could reasonably foresee Labour bringing out based on the policies he thinks they have. Then he'd look considerably more in control, and might even be able to curtail some of the damage.

But Key's not doing that, is he?

So either the policies weren't all in a bundle and it isn't an accident and they have a serious leak *cough* Bill English *cough*. Or they were in a bundle and someone had an oopsie and Key must know what's coming next but he's managing the situation very badly indeed.

I'm not really sure which scenario I like better.


Carol said...

Some interesting comments here, Julie. I am interested in them, but wonder what this has to do with feminism.

I guess indirectly, it doesn't bode well for many women, if a potential Nat government aren't capable of managing their affairs that well.

OTOH, I would be more interested to read some estimations about how party policies compare with each other in their effect on women/gender? eg The leaked Nat health policy looks like health care would be more of a strain on single parent households than at present.

Julie said...

I wasn't aware that every post I ever write has to be tied directly back to feminism, does it? Can I not muse in type about another topic from time to time?

Carol said...

Well, I guess that's true, Julie. I had in my mind that this is a feminist blog. But, ultimately, it is your blog.

So fair enuff.

Anna said...

I've pondered this too, Carol, since I'm also inclined to write about issues that aren't strictly women-related from time to time. I think, though, that there's a lot to be said for feminists commenting on general issues, and that this is within the 'mandate' of feminism, if you like.

Carol said...

The differences between the leaked and official versions of Nat policies are also interesting. See for comment:

Basically the leaked version shows a stronger move towards privatisation and PPPs.

Most people assume the leaks damage the Nats by showing its true intentions. Could it be that the leaks are intentional, in order to show to some of their potential supporters that they are not the Labour Lite party that they are claimed to be?

Anonymous said...

Kudos on the passive-aggression, people.

Anna said...

Thanks Anon. Valuable input. Very thought provoking. How's that for passive aggression?

Hugh said...

I'm being a bit flippant here, but could it not be argued that a government that isn't efficient about keeping its policy inclinations secret might be preferable to one that's ruthlessly efficient at making sure the public only hears about its plans once it's finished buffing them for media consumption?

Julie said...

Carol, that's a very interesting speculation about the leaks indeed... It would be nice if a journo would put a question of that nature to Key or English.

Hugh, so you reckon incompetence in the key competency of secret agendas is a good thing for democracy? Can't say I disagree. (And that's my bid for most passive aggressive comment of the day ;-)

Hugh said...

Julie, I'm merely saying that competence in one area doesn't necessarily correspond to competence in another. My co-workers and I are very good at keeping memos from the public but I wouldn't want us running the country.

And when it comes to secrecy, I'd prefer a refusal to be secretive, but I'll happily accept incompetence in its place.