If this is an example of what Labour has in store, it's going to be a week like we've never seen before in New Zealand politics; and we don't mean that in a nice way.
This flyer was sent to Cameron Slater by a reader; check this out:
My correspondent emails:
A very ‘classy’ threat from Labour (see attached), it makes me wonder how do they get information about my child… and even if info is accessible, the use of it is rather inappropriate.
Inappropriate isn’t the word. Nasty is. So is creepy.
The correspondent asks a very good question; how DOES Labour get addresses to target specific groups; in this case solo parents? That's the first question that needs to be asked.
This flyer reminds us of a letter sent to state house tenants by the Labour Party prior to the 2005 election. Then, as is now, dire predictions were made; in that case the letter took the form of a fake eviction notice. In his report to Parliament for that year, the State Services Commissioner noted:
The last issue I wish to raise is the unintended and complex consequences for State servants of actions taken during political campaigns. In this election period, the Labour Party sent fake "eviction notices" to several thousand individual State house tenants as part of a housing policy promotion. This action had two consequences for the State Services. Firstly, it raised trust issues as tenants were suspicious that a government agency had given their private information to a political party, and, secondly, Housing New Zealand staff had to manage calls from worried and scared tenants.
Housing New Zealand confirms that it did not release its tenants' mailing list. Labour Party president Mike Williams stated the party "constructed its own list" from publicly available information (New Zealand Herald, 10 September 2005). However, the outcome of this communication meant that Housing New Zealand call centre staff were placed in the potentially difficult predicament of managing calls from concerned tenants. Call centre staff were given guidance that they must remain neutral and not get into the position where they are discussing the pros and cons of various party policies on housing with tenants.
Labour may again have constructed its own list. But WINZ staffers will not appreciate the volume of calls that they are likely to receive in the next few days from people alarmed by what is a blatant misrepresentation of National's proposed reforms to the welfare system.
Polling as they do, Labour is desperate. It seems as though they will stoop to anything to discredit John Key and National. Their policies have gone down like lead balloons, and now the dirt is being thrown in the hope that some will stick. So much for this election not being about personalities.
And so much for the protestations of our Anonymous friend who last night rather ironically said "Just waiting for the smear and sensation to start... It's what the right excel at.".