Sunday, June 7, 2009
Mt Albert byelection update
Grim poll result caps bad week for Nats
National's worst week in office since the election was yesterday capped with a poll showing Labour has an unassailable lead in the Mt Albert byelection. Labour may even increase its majority in the seat this weekend, which would be a big boost to the authority of new leader Phil Goff within the Labour Party. Prime Minister John Key's day of campaigning in the electorate yesterday will be his last. Mr Key and Mr Goff passed within metres of each other at Westfield St Lukes but the PM appeared determined to avoid his rival. The pair have been engaged in a war over how to progress a complaint against former Internal Affairs Minister Richard Worth. At one point yesterday, Labour activists followed Mr Key at St Lukes shouting, "Where is Dr Worth?" but he ignored them. Mr Goff attributed Labour's commanding lead in last night's One News poll not to the Worth scandal but rather to the issue of the SH20 motorway extension through Mt Albert to Waterview, the Super City plans and the campaign run by National's Melissa Lee.
You know, part of me feels sorry for Melissa Lee – her public meltdown is taking on Britney Spears proportions but the question is where are the National Party in all of this? After executing dear old Christian fundamentalist Ravi on the grounds that Lee would be more electable (hahahahahahah, I feel a Tui billboard coming on), National have done nothing to actually help their candidate deal with the intense media scrutiny and policy strategies she needed to adopt to have a chance of winning here, the fact is National kneecapped Melissa with their motorway announcement and have shown as much political mismanagement of Lee’s candidacy as they have with Worth and Rankin. With mates like National, who needs enemies?
National wanted to win this by-election, it would destabilize Goff’s leadership and leave Labour utterly unprepared for the crucial 2011 election, however cruising at historically high approval levels has breed an arrogance in 9 months that took Labour 9 years to develop.
Kiwiblogh and Whaleoil drew first blood in this game by perpetrating the Tizard effect and promptly led to claims by Matt McCarten that Labour had weakly collapsed when they shafted Twyford for he CV rich Shearer. The right wing blog conspiracy quickly turned pressure on local boy Ravi to kneecap him fearing his fundy views on life wouldn’t gain much traction in their bid to win Mt Albert and thus crucify Goff’s leadership. While Ravi, a little battler who had thanklessly faced off against Clark for two elections, may have lost, his losing would be nothing as spectacular as the implosion Lee has become, let’s gleefully recap her campaign so far shall we?
In a move that was jaw dropping, National highlighted the arrogance that has so far shaped their short term in office (culminating in last months annexation of Auckland) by not telling Lee what their motorway plans were, leaving her high and dry trying to explain away the destruction of 300 odd homes. In her attempt to find a new line to spin this unpalatable policy, she astoundingly tried to claim a motorway would draw South Auckland criminals away from Mt Albert. The media gasped, pundits choked and the National Party defense line was quickly established that Melissa had blurted her motorway crime prevention scheme out in the heat of a public meeting under intense provocation from Labour. Bullshit! Listen to Melissa Lee and she wasn’t pressured at all to make the comment, she tried to argue her position rationally, this stupid clown actually tried to reason her racist undertones regarding South Aucklanders, she wasn’t cornered and lost her head in the heat of the moment, she was rationalizing her law and order spin on the motorway, but that truth was far too unpalatable and National pretended she was ‘under pressure’.
Worse was to come, she then went into hiding finding any excuse not to be interviewed until Paul Henry demolished her on Close Up in what was one of the best political interviews of his life. Not wanting to keep her meltdown to just one media outlet, Melissa then went onto TV3 and gave Duncan Garner his Qantas TV Award entry with an interview that had her blankly trying to answer basic questions the way a puppet does when no one has a hand up its bum.
And just when National voters couldn't imagine it could get any worse, it did. Not content to keep her implosion to just the Television medium, Melissa went on Radio NZ and TOLD them that she expected to lose? WTF? Test this woman for P – the golden rule of elections is that you NEVER admit defeat until the Polls close, why the hell would anyone vote for you if you don’t believe in yourself? And we still have 3 weeks left before the election, Christ you couldn’t make this stuff up.
Melissa Lee held up her CV as a TV presenter and that she could handle the media, to now have her boss weakly rush to the electorate in a desperate attempt to at least win second place shows just how badly National have cocked this whole by-election up. At the beginning National Party mouth-pieces, Kiwiblogh and Whaleoil, were crowing that Labour had everything to lose here, now it is National who has everything to lose, what if Melissa Lee came 3rd? Wouldn’t that start the death knell to National being a 1 term party, I mean who would publicly claim to have voted for Melissa Lee and by extension the National Party after their joint performance so far?