Ansell confirms secret agenda

Remember John Ansell? Yes, the man who designed the 2005 National Party billboards. Well, after a falling out with National (and then with ACT), Ansell has become a blogger.

He has an interesting theory that National’s 2008 billboards are deliberately bland.

Far better instead to be inoffensive and keep all sensible policies invisible. It’s called sleepwalking to victory, and the Nats are rather good at it.

Did I read that right John: “…keep all sensible policies invisible” !!!

Now, Ansell is no ordinary blogger – he has worked closely with senior National Party MPs and strategists, he knows how the National Party works. He’s an inside man, and here he is, confirming the secret agenda many of us suspected from the Bill English do what it takes tape and the earlier recordings of English (sell Kiwibank, “eventually”) and Lockwood Smith (do things in government “that may not be policy right now”).

Incidentally, Ansell has nothing but praise for the Green billboards:

Six words. Bang. That’s impact.

As I once told Dr Brian Edwards on radio in defence of the Iwi/Kiwi billboard, a billboard is not an essay.

Your market is hurtling towards your medium at 100k. (Or 180k in some cases, Brian.) You’ve got about three seconds to woo them and win them.

And the Greens do that. They stand for something. Loudly and proudly. Their ads are big and bold and brave.

But he is far from complimentary about some of National’s efforts:

You see, I don’t know about you, but to me these signs, when arranged so neatly in rows, do not look like pluses.

They look like crosses.

Grave mistake

A field of uniform white crosses arranged neatly in rows does not equal something positive in my experience. It equals only one thing.


BillBoarding as a Social Support Mechanism. just received this letter from a member in Rotorua:

It’s become increasingly noticeable to me that over the last three elections we have received increasing numbers of invitations to erect billboards on front lawns or fences belonging to elderly women and men who live alone.

Last election we had about 7 or 8.  This election it has increased to 10 or 12.

Having erected the BillBoards I routinely offer my contact phone number to be used to let me know should the BillBoard be vandalised or damaged by high winds.

Each morning, almost without fail, I receive at least one call suggesting a visit to a specific BillBoard may be needed because it looks: damaged, floppy, unstable, wet or simply needs attention.

When I turn up with hammer and clouts at the ready, I am offered tea and/or coffee and/or scones and/or cake and or lunch and always conversation. Rarely does the BillBoard need any but minor attention.

As I rapidly approach that age at which I frequently suggest: “this is my last election,” I am starting to accumulate the names and contact numbers for willing election workers and identify locations on my property where BillBoards can be erected – however unstable the location may be. We have got to ensure continuity in our social support system as we grow older I’m told.

Bill (Board) Brislen


Everyone loves our billboards

The Green Party’s election billboards have received almost universal acclaim. Chris Trotter thinks they are so effective they will add 2% to the Green Party’s vote.

So does Matthew Hooton – about the only thing I’ve ever seen Trotter and Hooton agree on. Hooton is picking the Greens to get 10% at the election, which is interesting given that he was closely associated with the National Party’s 2005 campaign.

But perhaps the most flattering blog post on them is one by Steve Pierson over at The Standard, where he takes the piss – at the National Party’s expense!

Nats’ billboard gets a D-

The Green billboards have received universal acclaim, as caraka reports below.

Meanwhile, the Nats plumb new depths, as The Standard points out:

The party that purports to be going to raise educational standards can’t even get the grammar right!

It’s “Fewer bureaucrats”, not “Less bureaucrats”, John and your media team.

Anyone here for a potatoe?

[UPDATE: This one courtesy of 08wire and some young people]: