Matthew Hooton and Clare Curran: Background

A story I wrote for Monday’s Communications Day triggered comment. This should clarify matters:

CommsDay is a subscription newsletter, so I can’t point at the original. It was an interview with Matthew Hooton about the Drop the Rate, Mate campaign.

After it appeared, Clare Curran wrote Hooton’s PR style bites him at the Labour Party’s Red Alert blog saying Hooton overstated Labour’s position.

Ernie Newman wrote about it for his Tuanz blog in Drop the Rate Mate – Matthew Hooton vs Clare Curran (story now offline) and David Farrar posted Labour on Mobile Termination Rates at Kiwiblog.

Both Curran and Hooton are more than capable of articulating matters for themselves, but people coming in half way through this might wonder what it is all about.

In the original story I quote Hooton saying; “We’ve been speaking to a very large number of members of parliament, making sure they understand the issue.”

Later I wrote “Hooton says the campaign is getting good support from Labour, The Greens and sections of the Maori Party.”

The problem here is language; “support from Labour” could mean both support from individual Labour Party members or it could mean official Labour Party support. Politicians use the term in both senses.

I’m sure Hooton meant the first, and I’m certain Curran interpreted it in the second sense and wanted to make it clear Labour doesn’t officially support the campaign.