The Dim-Post

March 29, 2011

Yours sincerely, A Friend

Filed under: media,psuedopolitics — danylmc @ 8:18 am

An uncharacteristically worthless story from Vernon Small keeps the Darren Hughes scandal alive for another news cycle:

The fallout over the resignation of Labour MP Darren Hughes has turned ugly as police confirm receiving an anonymous letter, and a witch-hunt begins within the party to find the source of coup rumours.

Some media received copies yesterday of a complaint sent to police making allegations about Hughes. It included contact details of three people and urged the police to contact them.

But one of the men named in the letter vehemently denied that anything untoward happened. “It’s just untrue. It’s just rubbish,” he said. A second refused to comment.

The writer claimed to be concerned “at the potential ramifications for my employment of sharing this information with you” as the reason for anonymity.

The writer is almost certainly a National Party staffer, so I think his job is pretty safe – although I guess it could have come from independent political commentator Matthew Hooton, or non-partisan public intellectual Cameron Slater, or some other highly reliable source that sets the news agenda for the press gallery these days.

What I’d like to see is an article examining the glaringly obvious role National and its activists played in spreading false rumours about a Labour coup: the Hooton/Ede/DPF/Slater nexus – although I guess writing such an article might compromise the authors chances of receiving more false rumours in future.

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35 Comments »

  1. My reaction too. You’ve got to wonder why the obvious conclusion appears to be beyond Small.

    Comment by Psycho Milt — March 29, 2011 @ 8:37 am

  2. I think Goff trying to spin a complete rewrite of his actions and decisions since March 2nd on Breakfast this morning will be today’s big story. It is almost as if he is trying to get rolled and sink Labour on purpose.

    Comment by Barnsley Bill — March 29, 2011 @ 8:46 am

  3. ” non-partisan public intellectual Cameron Slater”

    Love it!

    Comment by Bed Rater — March 29, 2011 @ 9:00 am

  4. Whoever has written this “anonymous” revelation and circulated it to the media ought to pull there head in and leave the investigation to the police.

    Let’s not forget though that it was Chris Carter who last tried this kind of stunt ;-)

    Comment by Inventory2 — March 29, 2011 @ 9:02 am

  5. Commentators on the left have been critical of Goff and talking about a coup too.

    Comment by homepaddock — March 29, 2011 @ 9:05 am

  6. Have you been served yet?

    Comment by Graeme Edgeler — March 29, 2011 @ 9:14 am

  7. “potential ramifications for my employment of sharing this information with you”.

    I can understand sending anonymous details to the police for that reason. But then forwarding on to the media as well? The purported reason for anonymity loses all credibility about there.

    Comment by DT — March 29, 2011 @ 9:23 am

  8. The writer is almost certainly a National Party staffer,

    Really? Considering the standard meme from the usual suspects is that this is all a National Party jack up, the writer could equally certainly be a Labour Party staffer trying to muddy the waters and discredit Mr. A.

    Then again, Danyl, you could take your own advice and stop spreading worthless rumours and innuendo.

    Comment by Craig Ranapia — March 29, 2011 @ 9:23 am

  9. Am I the only person thinking this might unintentionally affect National’s strategy for their Budget? Their usual strategy has been in this term: drip-feed the bad stuff for a couple of months so when the whammy is announced, it’s not so big a deal. However this Darren Hughes saga is deflecting attention from National’s previous announcements of how bad the Budget will be, so the Budget could seem worse when it’s released (and people will have started to forget Hughes like they forgot Worth et al).

    And from everyone I’ve talked to (so therefore completely unscientific), the interest in Darren Hughes is purely in the salaciousness of it all. No-one really seems to care about it from a political point of view, despite what all the commentators are saying.

    Comment by dave — March 29, 2011 @ 9:32 am

  10. The writer is almost certainly a National Party staffer

    Why do you think this? There can be no rational reason for National to leak anything at the moment, they are looking good on the moral high ground not having commented on the affair at all. There is no gain for them in sleazy leaks.

    Unlike Mr Goff and his muckslinging during the Worth affair, and Labour’s reprehensible attempt to set him up with Ms Choudray, misrepresenting her as a naive innocent. Not that I’m defending Worth, he deserved what he got.

    My guess is the leak is driven by someone with a personal grudge.

    Comment by annie — March 29, 2011 @ 9:33 am

  11. oops forgot to close italics, sorry

    Comment by annie — March 29, 2011 @ 9:33 am

  12. “from everyone I’ve talked to (so therefore completely unscientific), the interest in Darren Hughes is purely in the salaciousness of it all. ”

    Indeed. I’ve been hearing a bit of “ffs sake, where is the real news” around the office, from people I wouldn’t have expected it from.

    Comment by Stephen Judd — March 29, 2011 @ 9:35 am

  13. Have you been served yet?
    Yeah I just saw that – rollin with the big dawgs these days huh Danyl

    Comment by garethw — March 29, 2011 @ 10:10 am

  14. Yes Stepen and Dave. People I have spoken to are totally disinterested in this. The allegations against Mr Key at various times have caused huge disinterest in the same way.
    But Pay, Unemployment, Asset Sales, Cuts in Services, Tax Cuts for the Rich are much more important.

    Comment by ianmac — March 29, 2011 @ 10:52 am

  15. Bit of a lurker. Generally I find your ideas on things to be a bit of a challenge to my own way of thinking. I like that most of the time. But this notion that you and others seem to have that this is a “Republican style hit squad” attack by National against the Labour Party is really starting to wear thin. Its a meme born of desperation.

    Labour have screwed this up in a major way. Not because of the events around what Hughes did. Most people couldn’t care less about that. Its scandal, but it gets boring quickly.

    What has kept this whole issue in the spotlight is the completely useless way that Labour’s leader, Mr Phil Goff, has made a complete shambles of the entire affair. Does he honestly think the general public do not notice when they’re being fed lies? His stories change daily. Every quote is different and conveys a completely different implication. THAT, more than anything Hughes did himself, is what has kept this whole situation in the spotlight.

    Whether National leaked it or not (and I seriously doubt there is any credibility beyond rumour to that claim, it makes no sense at all for them to do it) the simple fact is Goff has made such a mess of it all that there is no need for any outside influence beyond the Labour Party itself.

    What the Labour Party needs to do is finally realise that unless they completely reinvent the party, they will remain struggling for quite some time. How much of the front bench was in Clark’s caucus? Rolling Goff and King would be a good start, but all the ‘experienced’ members needs to move to the background in a supporting role and let the newer ideas through.

    Comment by Stephen Cropp — March 29, 2011 @ 10:55 am

  16. @stephen – The scandal itself isn’t a GOP style hit. And even if National did leak it, I think when something like this happens to a political party it’s okay for you opponents to leak it it. But the specific stories of a coup, David Parker and Ruth Dyson doing the numbers, all arranged by the ‘New York branch of the Labour Party’ did come from National staffers/loyalists like DPF, Slater and Matthew Hooton. That isn’t an allegation or rumour or conspiracy theory, their statements are all completely public.

    Comment by danylmc — March 29, 2011 @ 11:03 am

  17. “Hooton/Ede/DPF/Slater nexus” and also their follower-elves like barnsley bill, inventory, craig ranapia, the same old elves who have haunted kiwiblog for years. And they are still using the same language that they repeated ad nauseum before the last electuion ffs.

    Boring.

    What about Christchurch?

    Comment by Alistair — March 29, 2011 @ 11:16 am

  18. I am six foot 2. That would make me a giant in Elf world.
    It does raise an interesting point though. Are the left bloggers having fun yet. I recall opposition being great sport for us enthusiastic amateurs.
    The lefty wage slave bloggers don’t seem to be enjoying themselves yet.

    Comment by Barnsley Bill — March 29, 2011 @ 12:03 pm

  19. That would make me a giant in Elf world.

    And you’d be King Bitch in Dwarf Prison…

    Comment by Phil — March 29, 2011 @ 12:59 pm

  20. That would be mister king bitch

    Comment by Barnsley Bill — March 29, 2011 @ 1:28 pm

  21. The lefty wage slave bloggers don’t seem to be enjoying themselves yet.

    This is a good point. I think the left is still working under the illusion that rational discourse and reality-based policy is the basis of political process. Instead they should be muttering darkly about paintings, motorcades, and dyke-oracy and coining hilarious names like “liarbore.”

    Comment by Orlando Figes' ghost-writer — March 29, 2011 @ 3:56 pm

  22. rational discourse and reality-based policy

    Sorry, we don’t sell that here anymore. You could try some of the niche retailers, but I don’t like your chances there either.
    If you find a supplier, let us know and we’ll try to get it back in stock.

    Comment by Phil — March 29, 2011 @ 4:33 pm

  23. No Orlando, the left still cannot believe the serfs turfed them out and are stuck in that WTF just happened moment.
    You lost, build a bridge and prepare for the next loss in a few months.

    Comment by Barnsley Bill — March 29, 2011 @ 4:38 pm

  24. AAHHH YES! I feel an election coming on.

    A season of callow fruitlessness
    Close bosomed friend of the whispering none(ntity)

    Comment by peterlepaysan — March 29, 2011 @ 10:37 pm

  25. Instead they should be muttering darkly about paintings, motorcades, and dyke-oracy and coining hilarious names like “liarbore.”

    No, stick to the Parker-esque wit of “Mr. Smile and Wave” and take out the mouldy “secret agenda” zombie for another shamble around the block. One reason I don’t bother reading The Standard is that you don’t need to; scan the headline and you can accurately predict everything that follows from snout to tail.

    Comment by Craig Ranapia — March 29, 2011 @ 11:28 pm

  26. Boring.

    What about Christchurch?

    What about it, Alistair? Know what I find boring — people who troll around other people’s blogs, pompously scold others for not talking about approved topics in the approved manner, then flounce out of the room. Is someone holding a shotgun to the back of your head and forcing you to read this awful blog?

    Comment by Craig Ranapia — March 29, 2011 @ 11:37 pm

  27. “…”No, stick to the Parker-esque wit of “Mr. Smile and Wave”

    Ohhhhhh…. Are we playing Craig-bot bingo again?

    Comment by Sanctuary — March 30, 2011 @ 7:40 am

  28. No, but we’re obviously playing ‘Sanctuary needs to get some new material’. Back under your bridge, little troll.

    Comment by Craig Ranapia — March 30, 2011 @ 9:04 am

  29. Are we playing Craig-bot bingo again

    The classic you-do-it-too equivalency play is there, but it’s not a full card because it didn’t say subStandard.

    Comment by Pascal's bookie — March 30, 2011 @ 9:09 am

  30. ‘Craig-bot’ is positively fresh compared to your standard lines Craig. If you can’t see the irony in you calling out the Standard for being equivalent to KB in a whinge about predictability, then you’ve basically given up.

    Comment by Pascal's bookie — March 30, 2011 @ 9:14 am

  31. the mixture of paranoia, denial and media blaming coming from Red Alert and The Standard all looks like major panic.

    They’re still trying to convince themselves their woeful performance is really the fault of some evil cabal.

    I think it unlikely Shearer would be next up for leadership but it would fit the pattern. He got his present job via Goff’s patronage and Goff got his present job via Clark’s patronage. I don’t think it’s a system of decision making that works in the long term.

    Comment by NeilM — March 30, 2011 @ 9:30 am

  32. Pascal’s bookie :

    Perhaps you and Sanctuary could move to a larger bridge? Or go halves in a copy of Derailing for Dummies? Whatever works, sweetie.

    Comment by Craig Ranapia — March 30, 2011 @ 8:20 pm

  33. NeilM: I love how certain the Standard are that everything is A-OK in the Labour camp. Each post reads something like

    “The media is reporting that Labour are having a total meltdown and electoral annihilation beckons. This is not true. Labour is awesome and the election will prove it.”

    I haven’t paid much attention to them since before ’08, but do you still get banned there for suggesting they run stories for the Labour party?

    Comment by Simon Poole — March 30, 2011 @ 8:24 pm

  34. “non-partisan public intellectual Cameron Slater”

    Don’t scoff. Did you not see him on Emily Perkins’ book review programme on TVNZ 7 talking about his favourite books? That’s the one that also has John ‘the Guilty Man’ Campbell, Carol lovely eyes Hirschfeld, Gordon grumpy McLaughlin and Steve the Slouch Braunias. No joke, he was there too. The prog might still be on rotation.

    Comment by insider — March 30, 2011 @ 11:56 pm

  35. An anonymous letter? Carter does it again!

    Comment by Betty — March 31, 2011 @ 6:28 pm


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