Advertising, Politics

Helping Rodney scupper the ETS

You read it here first. ACT’s new ad for the Sunday Star-Times tomorrow. Poking the borax at parties who tell it like it isn’t.

John Key is a genuinely nice guy, but I doubt I’ll be getting a Christmas card from him this year after this.

While I don’t like upsetting my friends at the Nats, I just can’t agree with someone who knows that man-made climate change is a hoax, but would rather waste billions of our dollars on a fix that won’t work, than use his public platform to explain the science.

John thinks explaining is losing. Maybe he’s right. Maybe not. But surely if you’re really ambitious for New Zealand, it’s right to try

Rodney and Roger are made of sterner stuff, and I’m proud to try and explain their position. I hope this ad helps get ACT the traction they deserve.

If it doesn’t, it’s my fault. They approved the copy as written.

The photo of Rodney – which I really like – was by ACT Hutt South candidate and artist Lindsay Mitchell.

(I remain mystified why such a passionate and knowledgeable candidate as Lindsay is ranked only 14th. Bob Jones launched her campaign, and Bob doesn’t come out for just anybody.)

Thanks to Mike Boekholt, Lance Tomuri and Andrew Rundle-Keswick for the artwork.


36 thoughts on “Helping Rodney scupper the ETS

  1. No I’m not. But I think it’s great – the best TV ad of the campaign.

    (And I’m not just saying that, because I say in the Star-Times today that the rest of the ACT campaign ranges from disjointed to dire.)

    But the truth does need to be told about the Greens, before too many people believe that their policies actually will benefit our children.

    Their excellent billboard should rightly say ‘Vote for me to be poor’.

  2. I suppose the Greens ought to be flattered by Act’s ‘piggy-backing’ on their good ideas, but really, it’s cynical and quite shameful. Rodney and Heather ought to be embarrassed and ashamed and, Mr “Ad-sell’, I wager that, despite the claims above,you wouldn’t have had a bar of it. It’s not classy, it’s brassy and cheap.

  3. I think the ad’s great. It’s attacking policy not people and it’s witty.

    It’s not going to swing my vote from National, but I’m pleased a potential coalition partner has those views.

  4. I’m disappointed, homepaddock.

    If people like you read those words and don’t swing their votes from National to ACT, then it’s a useless ad.

    And ACT won’t be a coalition partner.

    And in one week’s time, New Zealand will have a Labour government by another name.

    Is that really what you want for your country, homepaddock?

    John Key wants to be PM far more than he wants to get NZ up the OECD, grow the economy, etc.

    To do that, he’d need guts, and that left the National caucus with Don Brash and Ruth Richardson.

    I see Clark just entrenched the Maori seats. What’s the betting Key does the same and adds a couple more for luck?

    The National Party is a very nice social club. But a Key/English leadership won’t take New Zealand anywhere fast. It’s too conservative.

    What’s a conservative? Someone who believes nothing should be done for the first time. Sorry if you’re one.

    You have impeccable taste in poetry however 🙂 I hope you’re enjoying the book.

  5. Ah, now maybe it’s not so bad after all. When the Greens are upset with me, I always perk up.

    Where specifically does the ad err, greenfly?

    I’m impervious to abuse, but quite happy to see reason if you’ve got some.

    Are the Africans NOT dying because of your policies?

    Did the economists NOT say the ETS will cost 22, 000 jobs a year.

    Did the report NOT say each household will be saddled with $3000 more costs a year?

    If you had a problem with the content, I thought you might have mentioned that rather than just trotted (or Trottered?) out the usual lefty ‘corrosive and cancerous’ epithets.

    By resorting to the deny, delay, denigrate strategy, I think we all know what you’re really saying. (Same when you cast nasturtiums on the status of Roger Douglas’s backbone.)

    You’re conceding that the points are correct, but you don’t like the idea of them upsetting the Green applecart by having them spelt out for the great unwashed so bluntly.

    And that is precisely what I propose to keep doing whenever I get the chance.

  6. Greenfly: regarding your wager that I wouldn’t have a bar of this sort of shameful parody, quite the reverse.

    At the Nats we were delighted when over 4000 spoofs of our red and blue billboards appeared on a dedicated site. Though many were derogatory, it showed that we were the campaign of the moment.

    The Greens have that position this time, and should be pleased.

    But if you think you’re going to get away with pretending that your policies like the ETS are going to help our kids, you’ve got another thing coming.

    Destroying the economy in which that little girl will one day be trying to make a living is not what I’d call beneficial.

    Still at least she won’t starve to death from your policies like so many of her African contemporaries.

    Those millions of little black corpses can derive no comfort from Rodney Hide and other real environmental scientists crying “I told you so.”

  7. where does the ad err? On the side of opportunism, paucity of originality, illegality, dullness .. should I go on? Attacking another, what a droll and malodorous act. There will be a penalty to pay for the misuse another’s image, don’t you agree? Are these the owners of the backbone you are lauding? It’s snakey in shape, but in nature as well?
    I did enjoy the green apple cart allusion though. This faux green advert is not your style at all, Mr Ansell. Distance yourself from it before you’re caught in the act. The Greens, btw, are not upset with you – you’ve stated your non involvement and anyway, I’m not the Greens, I’m merely an small and sensitive fly but I know which way the wind is blowing.

  8. You’re a careful and proud wordsmith, Mr Ansell, but surely you know it’s ‘another think coming’.
    So you would, ‘have a bar of this sort of shameful parody”? For shame. Get some spine, Mr Ansell.

  9. Sorry greenfly, but it’s time to pull your wings off.

    (I can’t quite be sure whether you’re joking or serious about ‘another think coming’ – never can with lefties – so we’ll sidestep that one and deal with your other comments.)


    ‘where does the ad err? On the side of opportunism, paucity of originality, illegality, dullness .. should I go on?’


    Yes you should.

    You should do what you guys never do and address what is wrong with the factual content.

    Opportunism means taking an opportunity that presents itself. The Green ad and its grossly misleading thrust that Green policies like the ETS would benefit a young girl when it would be more likely to bankrupt her was a gift crying out for both parrying and parodying.

    ACT accepted, wishing to distinguish itself from the lumbering National for being an on-to-it opposition.

    As for originality, take a quick whizz down my blog to the source of the Green idea (my ad done 20 years ago for the Education Department) and see if you want to keep regaling us with accusations of intellectual property infringement.

    Dullness? This describes the whole of the 2008 campaign except the Green and ACT little girls. I wouldn’t call this spoof dull.


    Attacking another, what a droll and malodorous act. There will be a penalty to pay for the misuse another’s image, don’t you agree?


    If you mean my and my partner’s idea, by all means get the Vast Green-Winged Conspiracy to start counting the greenbacks and we’ll tell you when to stop.

    If you mean the image of Aila, I know ACT’s campaign director was furious that the channel played the wrong version.


    Are these the owners of the backbone you are lauding?


    For right wingers, I thought that ad showed considerable backbone, or at least flair. I do think it was a mistake to use Aila’s image at first.

    Still, not in the same ballpark of offending as, say, supporting the Electoral Finance Act :-).


    It’s snakey in shape, but in nature as well?


    No idea what this means.


    I did enjoy the green apple cart allusion though.


    Why thank you.


    This faux green advert is not your style at all, Mr Ansell. Distance yourself from it before you’re caught in the act.


    I have distanced myself from creating it, but only because I didn’t. My ego would like people to think it was me, but that wouldn’t be fair on the creators.

    I think it’s not only the best, but also the only good TV commercial of the 2008 campaign – outside of the wonderful Bill and Ben’s.


    The Greens, btw, are not upset with you


    Damn! Damn! Damn! You really know how to hurt a guy.


    – you’ve stated your non involvement and anyway, I’m not the Greens, I’m merely an small and sensitive fly but I know which way the wind is blowing.


    Small and sensitive, but not insignificant – if your number of posts on frogblog is any indication. I hope your wing-stumps heal quickly. Must fly!

  10. I picked you and your ‘party of choice’ for the kind that likes to pull the wings off flies.
    Greenfyi – I’m not “regaling you with accusations of intellectual property infringement” (though others might well), I’m simply calling this Act ‘spineless’.
    Btw – being unable to be quite be sure whether I’m ‘joking or serious’ puts you at a serious disadvantage Mr Ad.

  11. Well you seem otherwise literate, so I’ll assume the best.

    There’s nothing spineless about standing up to a fraudulent claim.

    And if you can do it cheekily, so much the better, since TV is an entertainment medium.

    Once again, I invite you to reply to the substance. (The body, not the wings.)

  12. Clint Heine (no! 🙂 )- you’re not following this at all well. Mr Ad says he had nothing to do with it. Ruffled? Ha! You think it was Act’s intention to ‘piss off the Greens?’ They would want to do that because …?
    Well done Clint.

  13. Back to the ad.

    Can someone explain to me the following?

    When petrol is burn powering a car – that is carbon emission.

    When a farmer grows corn, which absorbs carbon dioxide from the air, then converts the corn to Biofuel to power a car – that is carbon neutral.

    When a farmer grows grass, which absorbs carbon dioxide from the air, which is then eaten by a cow to create protein and occasionally farts – that is carbon emission that needs to be taxed.

    The idea of carbon neutral and carbon emissions appear to be used depending on what barrow is trying to be pushed.

    The agriculture cycle must be carbon neutral because carbon as a element can’t be created or destroyed. The carbon goes from CO2 to sugar to protein back to CO2 but the ETS appears to only accounts for and taxes the last step.

    There should also be a credit for the carbon exported inside the protein. We get charged for the carbon released when we burn imported oil but we don’t seem to get a credit for the carbon we extract from the air and sequester in protein and export (but we do for timber!)

    The whole thing looks like a socialist ‘hairshirt’ plot where they pick the bits that look bad so they can look morally superior we they can flagellant the population.

    My guess is if the complete cycle was accounted for, NZ would extract far more Carbon from the air than it releases.

  14. My God, a man who joins the dots. Neville, you’re a danger to shipping.

    Why don’t you ask that question on frogblog?

    (But prepare to be answered with an avalanche of abuse.)

    Our wingless warrior greenfly might even care to address the question.

  15. Neville’s dot-joining has produced nothing but a Gordian knot of his own thoughts – none useful and none especially difficult to unravel. Had I my wings … I’d straighten him out, but now that I’m on foot, I’ve time only to manage the points that follow;

    Carbon CAN be created and destroyed as can most chemical elements. Everywhere in the natural environment, nitrogen undergoes nuclear decomposition and becomes carbon 14.

    Adult animals (dairy cows) generally reach a plateau of body growth. Almost everything that enters the body, leaves the body. The net effect is that very little is actually converted to body tissue at that point.

    Foodstuffs (milk and meat) cannot be considered carbon sinks because the consumer will inevitably breathe out the carbon injested as milk or meat, through normal respiration.

    Grass absorbs CO2, Cow eats grass, cow breathes C02 (respiration) belches methane (CH4 which is a far more effective/concerning greenhouse gas) meaning that there is effectively a conversion of some CO2 into methane. This therefore makes cows ‘carbon’ neutral in a sense, but not “carbon-equivalent” neutral. What leaves the cows is worse that what went in.

    Neville – unless you are fearful of a trouncing by truely nimble-minded greenies, you would be well advised to do as Mr Ad suggests and visit the Frogblog, where all of your concerns will be professionally and confidentially addressed.

    btw – Mr Ad, ‘Dancing Rodney’s’ misstep on Morning Report was to equate his party with the Exclusive Brethren (Homeric D’oh!) 🙂

  16. I dont think much Nitrogen is coverted to Carbon due to NZ’s agrculture. Tf NZ farmers have mastered this trick they should move on to Lead into Gold!

    You have missed my 2 main points (and introduced yet another fuzzy term “carbon-equivalent”)

    1/ there is difference treatments for different forms of agrculture.

    2/ Some exports of carbon are exempt (coal,oil) some are credits (timber) some are ignored (meat, milk wool) Should NZ get credits for all the carbon that is sequestered in NZ and any emissions that are produced from those products in other countries be paid for under that countries laws.

  17. Neville – in my part of the world, farmers have mastered the trick of turning water into sh*t.
    I strongly suggest you visit the Frogblog and put your points there if you are after reasoned and detailed answers. I think you will be very well treated. In a nutshell, I believe that your hope that pastoral farming is carbon neutral, is completely wrong.

  18. John, I think that Greenfly is correct that it is “another think coming” rather than “another thing coming.”

    And you can trust me, because I’m not a lefty.

  19. Well there you go: you learn something every day. I’ve googled a third opinion and you’re both absolutely right.

    Greenfly: have one of your wings back. Maybe two – for your comprehensive answer to Neville’s question.

    I unreservedly apologise for my ignorance and am baking the humble pie for later consumption.

    I have NEVER seen that expression in my life of linguistic investigations, and I will not be so quick to cast nasturtiums in future.

    And yes, I am joking about the nasturtiums. (Although you can never be sure with these right-wing ignorami.)

  20. My wings, my wings, my precious wings! Without them I was but a lowly aphid, reduced to sucking sap and being ant-milked – that’s no life for me! I’ll name my right wing, ‘ignorami’ and the left, ‘untrusworthy’ if that gives me the balance I need for flight, marvelous, unfettered flight.

    Humble pie? Never tried it, but I hear it’s character-building. There will be plenty on the table on the night of the 8th.

    Cast nasturtiums as you will, Mr Ad. I know I do, showering them on the deserving and the slow, without qualm.

    And thank you Stephen Wittington. He did have another one coming, didn’t he.

    You can trust me too – I’m Green (neither left nor right)

  21. John – I was referring to the video ad not the backbone one, though it’s very good too.

    However, it won’t change my vote either and it wouldn’t achieve anything if it did – we need to increase support for the centre right/ right and that won’t happen if we just swap votes between Act & National.

    And yes I’m enjoying the book, thanks.

  22. Greenfly
    Turning water into sh*t is called pollution and should be cleaned up. I doubt it has any effect on global warming.
    Humans have been pastoral farming for thousands of years but it has only been since we started burning coal oil & gas that the CO2 in the atmosphere has increased.
    That is why I would like to see a complete cycle study of farming, not just a measuring of the final emissions.
    You believe it is not carbon neutral but you don’t know. It is very slippery legislation if it will cripple NZ’s major econimic based on a belief.
    Is thats the greens hidden agenda, cripple NZ’s economic base and return us to subsistence farmers?

  23. NevilleC:

    Your discussion point makes the implicit assumption that Carbon Dioxide 1.) actually causes global warming, and 2.) global warming is a ‘bad thing’ (would you know, I actually had a typo of ‘bad think’ there!)

    The science behind this is not as settled as people like Al Gore would have you believe.

  24. I haven’t made either of those assumptions though I acknowledge the promotors of the ETS do make those assumptions. BTW I could cope with a warmer, sunnier less windy Wgtn if it did come about!
    What I am trying to get at the ETS has slippery principles, based on doggy metrics and inconsistant application. It’s bad law even before you examine if its necessary law.

  25. Greenfly, the mere suggestion that visiting that religious nutters site, Frogblog, might be informative is enough to put you into the “I know what I’m told to say” brigade. Farming turns some (small) amounts of CO2 into CH4, so does the naturalo environment, all rotting vegetation produces CH4. Which produces more, farming, or a mature forest ? Methane concentartions, too, appear to have peaked, and are falling from their mid 90’s highs, and methane has a (probably, because the CO2 atmospheric lifetime is disputable) much shorter lifetime in the atmosphere. And, methane concentrations are ppb, and are supposed to cause less than 20% of any GHG induced warming.

    The reason that NZ agriculture is so affected and why the Greens effectively want to wipe it out (practically, backyard veges I believe may be able to qualify for a special exemption under the secret agenda the Greens won’t publish) is that their religious tract known as the Kyoto agreement quite deliberately treats some agriculture differently from others, for political reasons.

    Oh, and the ad is clever and amusing, and honest, which is a lot more than you can say for the Greens original ads which are, in time honoured green political fashion, deliberatelyu dishonest.

  26. Good God, Ed Snack, you’re right! What a thrashing you’ve given me! What a dolt I’ve been and curse those religious nutters at Frogblog for the cultish web the’ve cast over my feeble mind. I’m forever indebted to you for releasing me from their clammy grip. I adore you (now). Sadly, I must retire, demoralised by your incandescent intelligence, to whimper to myself about my failings. All the best Ed Snack!

  27. The world has a CO2 deficiency.

    If CO2 levels drop too low, we all die. (Conclusion: CO2 is not a pollutant. CO2 is essential to life.)

    CO2 levels have been much higher before than they are now. The planet did not explode. Nor did we all die out.

    Plants grow much more rapidly in higher concentrations of CO2. It would be to the advantage especially of countries that struggle to feed their inhabitants, to have CO2 levels rise.

    Conclusion: this whole panic about CO2 is overblown.

    My question is: why is the Green movement (in particular, but Labour and National have bought into it too) feeding us the lie about the impending environmental apocalyse?

    It’s a hoax.

  28. Greenfly: What do you mean Greens are neither left or right? How many times has Jeanette expressed the desire to coalesce with National?

    A lot of people are fond of denying the existence of left and right, including people who I admire like Roger Douglas and Don Brash.

    But I don’t agree with them on this point.

    Left is more state and right is less state. How can anyone deny that?

    (Though I do accept the quadrant idea that acknowledges that people can be socially liberal and financially conservative, as I am.)

    But if you accept that there is a spectrum and left is more state and right is less state, how can you pretend that the Greens, with their communist tradition, are anywhere other than deeply entrenched on the left?

    Like Prince Charles, I’m all ears.

  29. “Like Prince Charles, I’m all ears.”

    That’s corny!

    He doesn’t ‘pretend the Greens…are other.., he clearly states.

  30. How many times has Jeanette expressed the desire to coalesce with National? – I’m guessing about 3 or 4 times.

    “Who put’s the COAL in coalesce – National!”

    (An aside; I once broke my fast with Mr Brash. He ate poorly, that is, his manners were fine but his choice of food was, by my green standards, not good.)

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