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"Carefully Calibrated Staging!"

Its seems most likely that John Key has been indulging in the long established technique  established at the outset of his ministry by his Australian advisors – Crosbie-Textor, of closely following movement within his party’s background qualitative polling. Former UK Labour MP Bryan Gould, writing today in the NZH puts it this way:

“Using the results of qualitative polling can help a government, in other words, to identify techniques for manipulating public opinion so that it becomes more receptive to proposals that are initially opposed. Those techniques include proceeding by carefully calibrated stages, and interposing intermediate processes, such as the setting up of inquiries guaranteed to reach conclusions congenial to the government.”

Nothing else explains Key’s bland response (until today!) to the manufactured pressure over the last week or two on the so-called ‘refugee’ crisis hitting the outer bastions of Europe. The almost hysterical rise in numbers attempting to reach German nirvana speaks strongly here of ‘band-wagon’ politics with everyman and his dog heaping scorn on Key and National as heartless, uncaring, inhuman and selfish outliers in the court of public opinion.

But is this true? Key knows full well that his polling speaks truth to power when it tells him that the vast majority of New Zealanders are heartily fed-up with the media-driven bumph that has been force-fed through virtually every possible outlet over the last week in particular.

Clearly Key is getting a completely different message from his pollsters who he believes are more closely attuned to the reality of the electorate, and which is clearly contrary to the  impression that is being created by loud and insistent NGO’s and social activists, together with a compliant media who have a vested interest in promoting what they perceive to be their scantily evidenced view of the majority.

It seems that to the contrary, Key is convinced that there is a deep held suspicion in mainstream New Zealand that we are being conned by reports of a sudden rush of people apparently escaping from the violence of their Syrian homeland that is indeed being used as a cover for far greater economic migration. This can only result in a further and even more rapid build-up of Moslem numbers, attitudes and mores within the heartland of Europe. The resultant fuelling of a violent right-wing reaction must be generating conniptions throughout the EU, regardless of the interim and likely transient welcome being provided in Germany.    

There appears no reason or rationale for this country to fall into the trap of responding to hysteria other than in a measured manner. Well-meaning and otherwise rational people are losing sight of the long term consequences of opening borders, simply further encouraging this staggering and apparently unstoppable movement of mankind. The reaction to the recovery and burial of the body of the 3 year old Syrian boy was a stark reminder of the power of the media to manipulate emotions in the interest of encouraging support for opening doors in this manner – once open, almost impossible to close.  

Bryan Gould is correct in one important aspect. The softening of the Government’s attitude over the weekend leading to a formal statement later today that will apparently announce alterations to the long established annual 750 refugee limit over time represents the adoption of the “carefully calibrated staging” he portends. Key would not be doing this without having had an indication of movement in the polling numbers, but the quantitative measures he is likely to announce  will certainly not satisfy those who are determined to beat the Government into submission on a massive increase, beyond public acceptance.

Those who seek greater Government submission to their demands should take a deep breath, and understand the limits beyond which Key will not move, regardless of party manoeuvring around the Beehive, or ever more raucous and insistent media pressure.


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