NZ Green Party
The Greens’ not so secret Australian political operatives

Russell Brown over at Public Address seems to be obliquely fingering the Greens for using a political operative in 2002 in the same vein as Crosby Textor:

Political strategy is a cynical business by its nature. Labour’s people were not appealing to higher ideals when they ran the “slippery” campaign against Key this year. Even the Greens once (in 2002) hired themselves an electoral shitkicker from Australia.

I have to admit I’m a bit confused.  I’ve asked around and can only assume he is referring to Cate Faehrmann who was hired to be the Green’s Campaign Manager that year.  At the time Cate was a Green Party activist in Australia leading election campaigns in both South Australia and at the federal level. In other words she was a Green Party member hired to run a Green Party campaign – a campaign during which the Greens were incredibly open about what we did and did not believe in and intend to do – genetically engineered corn anyone? (And incidentally had our best polling result to date.)

The Australian and NZ Greens have a close working relationship which has also seen several NZ Greens help organise Australian election campaigns in the past. I cannot see what this has to do with secretive consultancy companies that are using polling data to advise politicians how to avoid telling the public what their real agenda is.
However,we do currently have some not so secret Australian political operatives

For instance check out our Melbourne based candidate, number 28 on our list, Rayna Fahey, her facebook campaign page and her Radical Cross-stitch blog. Crosby Textor she ain’t:

Rayna Fahey

23 thoughts on “The Greens’ not so secret Australian political operatives

  1. What a devilish ruse to manipulate the voting public – an attractive competent Green Party candidate based in Australia! Genius!!

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  2. She does have wicked skills though!

    The real issue isn’t Crosby and Textor. The problem is this – the major opposition party has an election strategy that involves keeping the public in the dark.

    Would you buy a used car from someone who refused to tell you about the good and bad things until right before the purchase date?

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  3. Not Crosby Textor but Cross Stitcher. Hmm the letters aren’t THAT different ;)

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  4. I’d like to see that woman behind a liquor store counter in South Auckland doing her radical cross stitch.

    Excuse me but living in political and art capitals of countries aren’t what I call neccessaries to a civilizations survival. Her survival yes.

    I believe in Green but am mightily agitated by Humus capitalism.

    Please prove me wrong.

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  5. oh I don’t know, making stuff and mending stuff are pretty much essential to all our survivals, it’s not a craft that only the well off have time to do, its making useful items that people and households need, that reduce/reuse, save money, and mean we make less of an impact on the world. Handmade draft excluder snake filled with rags from torn up old clothes anyone?

    I liked the 500th post on radical cross stich about the creative resistance of the women of Greenham Common
    http://radicalcrossstitch.com/2008/06/23/the-fabric-of-resistance/

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  6. Throwing stones glass houses kettle black.

    Oh, but the far left are different. They are not like all the rest!

    Seems their supporters really do believe this….

    Nice snowjob…..

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  7. From what I can see BP, you haven’t said anything about the point of all of this: why did the nats hire an Australian based company with such a dodgy record? That’s it. The point is *not* ‘OMG political parties use consultants’, I think that’s pretty clear.

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  8. It’s not supposed to bring anybody down, it’s just ‘quite interesting’.

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  9. >>why did the nats hire an Australian based company with such a dodgy record?

    Perhaps because the relationship works for them. The term “dodgy record” is a subjective, obviously.

    >>how to avoid telling the public what their real agenda is.

    Stones kettle pot black glasshouses etc. Who are you trying to kid?

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  10. It does, and almost did work for them last election. Their staff members are confirming off-record that they do use them, but the MPs are fudging. It’s just an odd choice – I wouldn’t want to touch them and their record with a stick.

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  11. >>why did the nats hire an Australian based company with such a dodgy record

    If winning is dodgy, I think I know a few people who might help you lose seats at this election.

    As a very wise man* once said ‘the point of running for election is to beat the opposition. Then youcan start doing the things you believe in’. I think we’ve seen this very clearly since the last election. As I recall, no policy to buy a train set, or infringe on the public’s right to free speech, to give just two examples, was included in the perloined ‘pledge card’ or other documentation used in that election campaign by the Labour Party.

    * my Dad

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  12. Quite right about the trains and EFA Strings. Not like governments never do that though – in fact I would guess that *all* governments come up with new ideas during their terms. Or if they don’t, they should.

    These companies advise on how to handle sensitive issues and how to defuse difficult questions, and how to present in public – among other things. As Colin Espener said:

    Why use a company that has a controversial reputation in Australia and Britain? A company that has been involved in scandals such as push-polling over a candidate’s mythical support for abortion to the ninth month of pregnancy? Who wants to be involved with a company tied up with stories about baby killers and the children overboard fiasco in Australia?

    Though on ‘success’:

    Crosby Textor’s results are mixed at best. It has advised National in its last four campaigns. National has lost three in a row. It advised John Howard last year. Howard lost. It advised Michael Howard in Britain. Howard lost. Its sole recent success was Boris Johnson in the London mayorlty, and Red Ken was history after introducing the congestion charge.

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  13. If parties can’t adapt to changing circumstances by legislating, that would be a good reason not to vote for them!!

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  14. I’d say the only controversial reputation is that of Hagar. If Crosby Textor do such a bad job why are you trying to get Key to turn them away?

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  15. No ones telling them to turn them away though! Personally rather they didn’t hire someone with their record of tactics used (which isn’t exactly ‘this is our policy, great eh?’), but it’s National’s call. Also National’s call not to confirm or deny that they’re using them, even though Hager’s info says otherwise. Apparently Key is doing the regular media rounds tomorrow…I don’t think many people care that much, but I’m just a politics nerd.

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  16. At the end of the day National has ruled out push polling,labour hasn’t thats the real scandal.

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  17. # Patrick Starr Says:
    July 1st, 2008 at 9:22 pm

    > I’d say the only controversial reputation is that of Hagar. If Crosby Textor do such a bad job why are you trying to get Key to turn them away?

    Forg’s not accusing them of doing a ‘bad’ job in the sense of being incompetent at getting their party elected – it seems they have both successes and failures in that respect, which I imagine is pretty normal. What they have done is ‘bad’ in the sense of lessening people’s understanding of the political situation by spreading false information.

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  18. Kahikatea:
    > What they have done is ‘bad’ in the sense of lessening people’s understanding of the political situation by spreading false information.

    And caused a whole lot of innocent people some serious harm in the process. I think it’s a pity that when analysing the work of Crosby Textor the debate focuses around the people they work for, not the people that get in the way of their work.

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