Saturday, April 17, 2010

Reading between the lines...

In a recent exchange with TF, regarding Russia supplying nuclear weapons to Venezuela, he opined that he could "read between the lines" in the news reports.

A different tack, but heading for the same mark, is a regular feature of the Herald on Saturday mornings; an in-depth interview by Michele Hewitson with a person in the news.

This week (this morning) it is Michelle Boag, past-President of the National Party and many other political posts to her credit.

She is a political public relations expert supreme. And that is where "reading between the lines" comes to the fore.

One of her recent "jobs for the girl" was appointment as the selection consultant for the CEO of the reorganised Auckland City.
I phoned again: it still wasn't a good time, and then it really wasn't a good time. She is also on John Banks' SuperCity mayoral campaign team so anyone, particularly her, could have seen that it was only a matter of time before somebody shouted "conflict of interest".

Labour MP Phil Twyford did and after a process involving mutterings of murky dealings, she stepped down from the recruiting. So I thought she'd have gone to ground. I should have known better. She never does for long.

There was a story about her this week in My Generation and the bit I really enjoyed was the titbit about how every year she makes, and gives away, 400 jars of plum jam.

Your average domestic goddess might settle for 40. 400! Huh, that's nothing to her. She makes Nigella look like a slacker; she made me want to go and lie down for a week.

What a nice story, I said, possibly a little sarcastically. "Yeah, and that's unusual, isn't it?" Is it? "Oh, I don't know. I don't have any complaints. I find a silver lining in any cloud. I'm relentlessly positive."

Everything is about her image. She said: "My profile is my livelihood." Could she say that nice story wasn't calculated, for her image? She gave me one of her looks, of which she has an impressive repertoire.

She said, scathingly, "Well, no. I couldn't prompt her to ring me up." Then she grinned. "But I did think, 'Oh well, that's not going to do me any harm!"'

Not after the ATA spat, no. Oh, that. She was very grateful to Phil Twyford, she said, because he'd freed her up to do much more profitable work.

To my raised eyebrow she said, "Well, he did! And the other thing he saved me from doing was having to tell a whole lot of people I know really well that they didn't get the job."

Spin, spin, spin. She said, airily, "I told you I could find a silver lining in any cloud."

She gave her silver lining philosophy within five minutes, an excellent tactic because you can ask about the two things which ought to have been career botch-ups - the Winebox inquiry and her involvement in the covert filming of Winston Peters and her presidency of the National Party before National's catastrophic election result of 2002 - and she'll not merely silver the lining, but add ermine and diamonds.

So there y'go TF. That is how you run "spin". Or in your words "reading between the lines".

I call it twisting the truth...


T. F. Stern said...

If you wish to keep your head buried in the sand while Russia deploys nuclear material in Venezuela you'll be in good company; Obama, Reid and Pelosi thinks Chavez is just a good ole boy.

The probligo said...

Oh, its "nuclear material" now?

Is that a euphemism for "nuclear weapons"?

Or are you now returning closer to the truth that Russia is assisting Venezuela with a nuclear powerstation? That I can agree with...