I write in response to Dr Michael Bassett’s talking point ‘It’s all time-honoured politicking’ (27/10/14). His assertion that the behaviours of our politicians high lighted in ‘Dirty Politics’ are acceptable because everyone does is quite frankly an insult to voters, and to the politicians who do not lower themselves into the gutter. I am not disagreeing with his claim that Helen Clark also carried out smear campaigns, it is that her behaviour and that of John Key is not acceptable in any way shape or form. Personally the revelations in ‘Dirty Politics’ did not surprise me. What did surprise me is the disrespectful way in which the characters spoke with each other about third parties. To me, this demonstrates that they have the mindsets of 14 year olds and that they should be treated as such. I was always taught to attack the policy, not the person. If the only form of defence is character assignation then I am afraid there is no defence.
Of course we have or own example of dirty politics playing out here locally with the character of opponents of the Dam, amalgamation, and fracking continually being brought into question. I think ratepayers are sick of it. Let’s stick to facts and not forget that the classic tactic of snake oil salesmen is to make excessive use of smoke and mirrors. I think we deserve better, don’t you?
Submitted 28/10/14 Published 31/10/14