The Dim-Post

February 13, 2014

Alternate theory

Filed under: Politics — danylmc @ 1:59 pm

Everyone – including me! – is excited about the idea that John Key found out about Winston Peters visiting the Dotcom mansion via the state security services.

But an allegation that Peters made three visits was in the Herald’s gossip column last Friday, which also ‘broke the story’ of Russel Norman’s visit. The Herald’s gossip journalist Rachel Glucina is a loyal little cog in National’s comms wheel so I guess you could claim that the Nats gave the story to her. But would they really give GCSB intel to the gossip columnist? Sure, maybe ‘that’s the genius of it all!’ But I doubt it

Meanwhile Kim Dotcom is on twitter claiming that virtually no one knew about Winston Peters’ visits so the PM’s information must have come through surveillance. Now, I’ve never owned a gigantic palace filled with servants but I have sat through a few episodes of Downton Abbey and I’m guessing it’s harder to keep secrets in the country’s largest mansion than Dotcom thinks. And I’m also guessing that not everyone who works there is totally loyal to their boss, and that at least one of them is willing to sell information about what goes on there to, say, a gossip columnist. The advantage National has is that they could – hypothetically – call Glucina and query the legitimacy of the source before they raised it in Parliament.

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68 Comments »

  1. It’s the fault of Immigration, for not letting Dotcom import deaf and blind monoglot Molvanian dwarves to act as servants.

    Comment by richdrich — February 13, 2014 @ 2:02 pm

  2. So the state spies theory is too far fetched and you replace it with a mansion servants and gossip columnist one…

    More likely a few loose lips around Ponsonby bars based on what I’ve seen of the folks mentioned

    Comment by garethw — February 13, 2014 @ 3:05 pm

  3. Saw some suggestion of a disgruntled unpaid contractor. Lusk?

    Comment by Sacha — February 13, 2014 @ 3:06 pm

  4. “sat through”? Do I detect a certain lack of enthusiasm for the Greatest TV Series Ever Made According to Most People’s Mums?

    More seriously – I don’t know Rachel Glucina personally and I don’t read her stuff (at least not on any regular basis) but can you back up the claim she is “a loyal little cog in National’s comms wheel?”

    Comment by Rob Hosking — February 13, 2014 @ 3:13 pm

  5. Rob – After one 2 secong Google search, these bon mots from Glucina’s 7 Feb column under “Questions of the week”

    7. What do you call a bag of pilchards hurled at the Prime Minister? “A waste of bait,” says keen fisherwoman Paula Bennett.
    8. Middle-aged men in a sports car. Predictable? Try telling that to Labour backbenchers David Shearer and Trevor Mallard.

    Maybe not damning but fairly indicative of cog status.

    Comment by Gregor W — February 13, 2014 @ 3:59 pm

  6. Nah you’re wrong about that, Danyl. Apart from politicians and prostitutes (Hi, Bevan), no-one ever goes in and no-one ever comes out. KInd of New Zealand’s version of the oompah loompahs and the chocolate factory. John Key goes there sometimes to pack fudge so he didn’t have to use surveillance or the creepy old maid to get his info.

    Comment by Daniel Lang — February 13, 2014 @ 4:02 pm

  7. Just imagine the fun Winston, the Greens, and the commentariat would be having if it was the Nats having undisclosed meetings with a foreign multimillionaire would-be-political-party-organising Mega successful businessman.

    Deep down they know they would be be screaming “corruption”.

    Comment by Rick Rowling — February 13, 2014 @ 4:33 pm

  8. “if it was the Nats having undisclosed meetings with a foreign multimillionaire”

    You mean Lord Ashworth? bit late, lad

    Comment by Sacha — February 13, 2014 @ 5:24 pm

  9. It’d be interesting to know what Winston was after.

    Maybe just free drinks and flattery.

    Comment by NeilM — February 13, 2014 @ 5:45 pm

  10. or a feed of scampi

    Comment by kukken — February 13, 2014 @ 6:19 pm

  11. “It’d be interesting to know what Winston was after.”

    He was applying for the post of Kim’s personal dresser.

    Comment by Tinakori — February 13, 2014 @ 6:30 pm

  12. I just don’t know what baubles are anymore.

    Comment by Sacha — February 13, 2014 @ 7:08 pm

  13. It’d be interesting to know what Winston was after.

    I don’t think there’s any doubt about what Peters is after when he visits a multimillionaire’s house.

    Comment by danylmc — February 13, 2014 @ 7:30 pm

  14. It was very gracious of dotcom to free Winston of his privacy commitments.

    Comment by NeilM — February 13, 2014 @ 7:35 pm

  15. Wow, you watch Downton Abbey! How impressive!

    Comment by kalvarnsen — February 13, 2014 @ 10:57 pm

  16. I’m going to guess that Winston didn’t drive himself there at his own expense either.

    Not that taxi drivers are known for being talkative…

    Comment by Rick Rowling — February 14, 2014 @ 9:44 am

  17. It isn’t surprising that a member of KDC’s staff knew that Winston visited before. But “Winston visited 3 times in the last two years” is a rather specific piece of information, wouldn’t it be unusual for staff members to keep track of KDC’s visitors in that much detail?

    Comment by wtl — February 14, 2014 @ 10:35 am

  18. Would his recently departed security staff keep a log of visitors perhaps…. The ones who left because of “paycuts”

    Comment by Barnsley Bill — February 14, 2014 @ 2:07 pm

  19. Well, I guess we’ve got an answer.

    Comment by kalvarnsen — February 14, 2014 @ 6:19 pm

  20. >Apart from politicians and prostitutes (Hi, Bevan), no-one ever goes in and no-one ever comes out.

    I know a people who go there just to play computer games. Wild parties, Dotcom style. LPWs all.

    Comment by Ben Wilson — February 14, 2014 @ 6:20 pm

  21. Cameron Slater has regular chit chats about politics with John Key. Think about that folks.

    Comment by Sanctuary — February 14, 2014 @ 6:24 pm

  22. Slaters Jnr & Snr/Simon Lusk/Judith Collins/Jordan Williams/Jason Eade/John Key..

    That is a scary list. Lucky John Palino and Luigi Wewege didn’t make the cut…

    Comment by andy (the other one) — February 14, 2014 @ 6:43 pm

  23. “Cameron Slater has regular chit chats about politics with John Key.”

    Or to translate that into english, every so often John Key is in the room while a foam flecked rant is taking place, a more common experience for PMs than you might imagine..

    Comment by Tinakori — February 14, 2014 @ 6:44 pm

  24. so how did slater know the precise dates? that sort of detail is not chitchat from a disgruntled ex dotcom employee, that is from professional surveillance

    Comment by Alistair — February 14, 2014 @ 6:55 pm

  25. Maybe Slater is a GCSB asset!

    The puzzle pieces are falling into place!

    Comment by kalvarnsen — February 14, 2014 @ 6:59 pm

  26. How old is he? He might be left over KGB deep cover, a multi generational asset that has penetrated to the heart of of our largest party.

    Comment by Tinakori — February 14, 2014 @ 7:16 pm

  27. “every so often John Key is in the room while a foam flecked rant is taking place”

    Nah. I know it’s pretty creepy, but they chat.

    Key phones him, and according to his version, sees what’s on his mind. The way Whale tells it, it’s kind of the opposite, with the Prime Minister providing answers to any questions the court order breaching, dead baby mocking, defending himself agin defamation, blogger has.

    Comment by Pascal's bookie — February 14, 2014 @ 7:18 pm

  28. The KGB isn’t that incompetent.

    Comment by kalvarnsen — February 14, 2014 @ 7:32 pm

  29. For someone on the dole, a busy man is cameron slater, sitting across the road from dotcom’s mansion in a hole in the ground with his periscope breaking only for regular chats with the prime minister, meanwhile commissioning a comprehensive rebuild of his website by cre8d design, not cheap.

    So whaleoil sits in a hole in the ground which looking at his website kinda makes sense, but an unemployed man on welfare he gets $10k+ redesign job for his whaleoil blog, thats weird, but hes also a regular adviser to the prime minister as well! who needs satire when this shit’s happening.

    Comment by Alistair — February 14, 2014 @ 7:48 pm

  30. To every conspiracist there’s a hat-wearing government agent hiding behind a bush.

    I’d be interested in a poll that asks people why Winston Peters stood down as Minister in 2008 – I have a suspicion that his financial finangling has been forgotten by a sizeable number of people.

    (BTW it’s alternative theory, not alternate.)

    Comment by Ataahua — February 16, 2014 @ 9:53 am

  31. Danyl’s use of ‘alternate’ gives him away as Yankee stooge.

    It all comes together.

    Comment by Gregor W — February 16, 2014 @ 10:43 am

  32. Hey Danyl, tell Clint the Greens solar scheme is a waste of time: Vector do a much better deal. Why should the tax payer pay for this when power companies already offer a better scheme?

    http://www.vector.co.nz/solar

    Comment by Grant — February 16, 2014 @ 7:30 pm

  33. Hey Grant, if you’d actually paid any attention to the announcement you know it was fiscally neutral as far as the taxpayer goes. Or maybe you do know this but neglected to mention it?

    Also I’m not sure what makes this rental scheme that vector are offering “better” than the Green’s proposal… with the Green’s option you end up owning the solar cells.

    Also this thread has nothing to do with the Green Party’s energy policy.. Did the latest proposal worry you so much you were compelled to talk smack about it somewhere, no matter how off-topic?

    Comment by Rob — February 16, 2014 @ 8:58 pm

  34. Jesus Christ if you lot listen to tinfoil hat wearing fantacists like Sanctuary and Pascal and Alastair then you are crazier than I thought.

    Comment by bart — February 16, 2014 @ 9:33 pm

  35. Aww, whatsamatter bart?

    Cat got your argument?

    Comment by Pascal's bookie — February 16, 2014 @ 9:54 pm

  36. Vector do a much better deal

    Except of course Grant, they don’t.
    No doubt since you’ve read both offer, these key differences have stood out to you.

    1. The Vector deal is a trial and Auckland only – the GP policy is nationwide
    2. It has an upfront cost of between $2-3k – the GP policy $0
    3. There is a rental of between $70-$115 month for 12 years – the GP policy is in the middle at around $100/month, assuming you take out the full 15k
    4. Vector owns the equipment and on the plus side they also maintain it – the GP policy, the householder owns it
    5. If you sell your house, you are on the hook for the contract (remaining term or decomm costs) unless the new buyer agrees to take it over under Vector’s terms – No hook in the GP policy as repayment is attached to rates

    Comment by Gregor W — February 17, 2014 @ 9:21 am

  37. Clearly Rachel Glucina has been on 24/7 stakeout of the Dotcom mansion, paying someone to be, paying someone in the mansion to record details of every specific visit – or else, there is someone in the mansion with strong national sympathies who is close enough to Dotcom’s diary to record visits. Or perhaps the butler did it?

    Comment by bill — February 17, 2014 @ 1:09 pm

  38. Glucina has done a couple of stories on Dotcom’s bodyguards, how they’ve left because they weren’t paid etc. Seems like they would (a) know who visited the mansion and (b) be happy to tell Glucina because they’re pissed they haven’t been paid. That seems a lot simpler than the GCSB/SIS/Police/Private detectives theories flying around.

    Comment by danylmc — February 18, 2014 @ 8:44 am

  39. Danyl, I agree. Disgruntled employees are the most likely source of information. And, although it is surprising, it is also so dreadfully plausible that a conversation between Key and a “trusted confidant” like Slater (who knows Glucina) is how Key found out.

    Of course, the fact that Key apparently has “allies” like Slater who are busy scuttling around chasing rumours of dirt about Key’s political opponents seems just a bit sordid.

    Comment by RJL — February 18, 2014 @ 9:53 am

  40. There are a myriad of plausibly deniable ways to get classified information out there, for example:

    John Key “So, Cam old buddy, you heard anything about Kim Dotcom’s staff not being paid?”
    Cameron Slater “No”.
    John Key “oh, OK.”

    The slug takes the hint, finds the people in question and voila…

    Comment by Sanctuary — February 18, 2014 @ 12:01 pm

  41. Sanc – Or more simply, Slater wants to be continued to be flattered by the attentions of the powerful to bolster his feeling of being a political insider.

    He voluntarily provides salacious titbits that and gets his belly scratched, no doubt blissfully unaware that the moment he becomes more stinking turd than scented rose for his handlers, he’ll be torched – in much the same way that other agitiators and snitches eventually outlive their usefulness.

    Comment by Gregor W — February 18, 2014 @ 2:26 pm

  42. The security guards would have to be weirdly organised, surely?

    They would have to be noting the exact dates of when this or that person was visiting.

    Unless he or she or they have perfect memories?

    So the security guard would have to be actively working against his boss while working for him, in anticipation of not being paid.

    The guard would also have to realise the potential of recording such information, which seems obvious – in retrospect, by people who understand political strategy.

    I agree that the precision with which comings and goings were recorded is a problem for the Government.

    How hard could it be to track down said security guards?

    It’s not like they would be criminally liable for doing what some are alleging. You’d think with all the speculation about, they would pop out of the woodwork for a potential payday – or be conveinced to do so by particularly powerful interests.

    The silence is interesting.

    Who was the first person to suggest the information came from a security guard, by the way? Also an interesting question, I think.

    Comment by bill — February 18, 2014 @ 2:43 pm

  43. The other flaw in that theory is that revealing the visits does more to ‘damage’ the MPs involved, and does little to harm KDC. Why would a guard who is pissed off with KDC for not being paid choose to reveal visits by MPs, instead of idle gossip that is more tantalising or damaging to KDC?

    Comment by wtl — February 18, 2014 @ 3:03 pm

  44. So when did the Herald start paying pissed off security guards for their stories?

    “oh ok I’m going to give my minutely fucking recorded 3 year old diaries to the fucking newspaper for free, diaries that I had to stay in the mansion creating, without going on any fucking holidays for three fucking years because I was recording every fucking person who came into this fucking mansion for I dunno what reason.
    Oh yeah nah you can have it for free thats ok….”

    Comment by Alistair — February 18, 2014 @ 4:09 pm

  45. The security guards would have to be weirdly organised, surely?
    They would have to be noting the exact dates of when this or that person was visiting.

    If my kid’s kindy has a log book that all visitors are required to sign, a tech bazillionaire’s security guys / secretary / majordomo can work it out.
    One can KDCs assume secuirty detail would be at least minimally competent, including noting who enters and exits the premises and the ostensible purpose of their visit.

    Comment by Gregor W — February 18, 2014 @ 4:13 pm

  46. So these pissed off security guards decide the best way to get ‘revenge’ on KDC is to nick/copy the log book and give precise details of MPs visits to a gossip columnist?

    Comment by wtl — February 18, 2014 @ 5:15 pm

  47. The interesting thing about this discussion is the way a bit of nice little destabilisation – that Kim Dotcom is broke – has been fed into the debate via repetition of the slug’s unsubstantiated allegations. We all profess to regarding Slater as a sociopath, yet here everyone is repeating an allegation that comes solely from Slater as a factual base for suggesting a possible source. National’s black propaganda campaign chalks up another win, I guess.

    Comment by Sanctuary — February 18, 2014 @ 5:17 pm

  48. Also, if security at KDC’s place aren’t being paid and are looking for work, having ‘worked private security for KDC’ would be pretty good on the CV.

    Right up until everyone started hinting you had a big yappy mouth.

    Comment by Pascal's bookie — February 18, 2014 @ 5:44 pm

  49. Why didn’t he pay his security guards? Is Dotcom having financial troubles?

    Comment by kalvarnsen — February 18, 2014 @ 6:21 pm

  50. Good point, wtl. It doesn’t harm Kimdotcom at all. In fact, it makes him look like a sultan, worthy of consulting… like a major political player, someone who might actually have the manna to start his own political party. It certainly puts him at the centre of things. Yes, I am implying that. All things considered, it’s worth considering on the “who benefits” analysis.

    Comment by bill — February 18, 2014 @ 7:11 pm

  51. What if KDC leaked the info to Slater who then told the PM who then told his media guy who then told the gossip columnist to bury the Slater connection… inadvertently bringing Key and the Government into suspicion and keeping KDC at the centre of things in a way that presents himself as a political guru?

    So far fetched?

    Comment by bill — February 18, 2014 @ 7:16 pm

  52. Sorry

    *presents him

    Comment by bill — February 18, 2014 @ 7:21 pm

  53. Wouldn’t a simpler explanation be someone close to *Winston* leaking? Who has he annoyed lately?

    Comment by Sacha — February 18, 2014 @ 7:52 pm

  54. @Sanc: Damn National’s black propaganda campaign! Only when people like Kim Dotcom can enjoy public acknowledgement of their immense wealth without challenge will we truly know that democracy has been restorted, right?

    Comment by kalvarnsen — February 18, 2014 @ 7:54 pm

  55. After the raids and surveillance one would expect KDC to be paranoid and so check out the staff he employs in his home.

    A very unlikely scenario he’d have an open visitor book for politicians to sign, lying open for a pissed off staffer to see. I doubt he was bullshitting about keeping Peters’ visits confidential as Peters would have particularly insisted on it, so it’s very unlikely a staffer looked through a visitor book lying on the foyer table to see all the names, dates and luggage. So if Key didnt get that precise information from people already engaged by the government in surveillance of KDC, who else could have assembled it and given it for free to a gossip columnist?

    Keys interview where he admitted his close links to whaleoil was revealing, not only was he turning red, he was sweating, like a pig.

    Comment by Alistair — February 18, 2014 @ 7:59 pm

  56. Whoa. Tinfoil hat central.aka labor green fantasist alert.

    Comment by bart — February 18, 2014 @ 8:04 pm

  57. bill: I agree, I’d say KDC (or even Winston) leaking the info himself is actually a lot more likely than the disgruntled security guard theory*

    * To add to Pascal’s bookie’s comment, not only would the security guard be known to have a yappy mouth, but also the information could only have come from a few sources and revealing who is visiting KDC and when could directly compromise KDC’s security.

    Comment by wtl — February 18, 2014 @ 8:23 pm

  58. Worth bearing in mind that the ‘disgruntled former security guard’ proposition is just conjecture.
    It could just as feasibly have come from anyone in KDCs current or former employ, for any number of reasons, who might have had access to his social calendar. Occam’s razor.

    Comment by Gregor W — February 18, 2014 @ 11:23 pm

  59. @gregor

    The ‘open diary’ theory is as speculative as the ‘disgruntled security guard recording visits in order to use against his boss when he is not paid IN THE FUTURE’ theory. KDC has perhaps more reason to be paranoid than anyone else on this country, bar, say, those running martial arts courses down at your local mosque.

    And politicians would have requested discretion also.

    So it’s either someone very, very close to KDC with enough of a grudge against him to record every visit for years – perhaps someone who never takes a holiday – or KDC himself.

    It’s beyond me how Winston would know of all visits – remember, it ‘s not just Winston who has been forced to admit he gas visited with the man.

    Yes, it could really be the security services, but I can hardly believe they can be this dumb.

    KDC

    Occum’s razor.

    The amusing thing is that the GCSB/SIS may well know that but could not come out with it because it would be an admission that they were surveilling politicians.

    KDC has a history of audacious stunts. This is just his stroke of genius.

    Call me Mr Will Graham… I’ve made up my mind.

    Comment by bill — February 18, 2014 @ 11:59 pm

  60. Or rather, an admission that they were surveilling KDC when they shouldn’t have been (others and their partners or “friends” aside, etc)

    Comment by bill — February 19, 2014 @ 12:17 am

  61. So it’s either someone very, very close to KDC with enough of a grudge against him to record every visit for years – perhaps someone who never takes a holiday – or KDC himself.

    This is not necessarily the case at all. All an information leak requires is access and motive. It doesn’t necessarily require forethought or pre-meditation. In fact, that supposition is highly unlikely. It’s far more likely to be opportunism based on a motive unknown.

    WRT ‘self leaking’, the question I would ask is ‘How does KDC benefit in embarrassing Norman and Peters specifically?”.

    Comment by Gregor W — February 19, 2014 @ 8:49 am

  62. Norman and Peters are collateral damage. Keep in mind that KDC’s overarching goal is to bring down the present Government, which he sees as responsible for his troubles and his prime enemy.

    It also keeps KDC at the centre of attention and makes him look look a cross-party political broker.

    Comment by bill — February 19, 2014 @ 8:54 am

  63. If that’s KDC strategy it’s fucking terrible, given that (i) he is burning the one guy who has supported his stay of execution and (b) this revelation is not in the least damaging to Key.

    Comment by Gregor W — February 19, 2014 @ 9:27 am

  64. KDC didn’t expect to be found out.

    It’s not so damaging to Norman given Norman’s explanation, athough I do appreciate that “oh, he played in fatty’s sandpit” may be smear enough.

    The “revelation” is damaging to Key, if one considers GCSB scandal to really be damaging in the minds of NZ – rather than the minds rather than just the minds of the sort of people for whom privacy is important. I acknowledge that for many NZrs the right of privacy is an airy-fairy philosophical concept unrelated to meeting payments on their second investment mortgages, but in combination with a series of further revaluations that undermine trust it could be damaging – not that the polls seem to suggest that so far, I admit.

    KDC leaked the meets to make himself look like a political player and to bring the Key Goverment under suspicion. He has been successful in the first respect and at least causes a lite storm in respect of the later.

    Comment by bill — February 19, 2014 @ 9:45 am

  65. It’s a possibility I guess but for me, it’s a stretch.
    It just seems a remarkably complex set of connections, relying on a number of people acting against their best interests.

    The simplest explanation is often the most credible
    .
    Someone who has (or had) access to visitor records at KDCs gin palace (written log, email record, video tape, electronic calendar, whatever) is pissed off enough enough at him to want to make him squirm. Prime candidate is logs showing a cosy tête-à-tête with an opposition politician.They leak info to Slater because he’s the country’s biggest muckracker. Squirming commences.

    Comment by Gregor W — February 19, 2014 @ 10:31 am

  66. Who leaked the “who visited, when” information. Highest probability attaches to those who where/are still in KDC’s employ and haven’t been paid for awhile. Next in line would be the various contractors and suppliers to KDC who haven’t been paid in awhile

    The theory the NZ secret squirrel brigade are watching him and have spilled the beans is a tad fantastical….. And if anyone can prove its true then John Key is gone burger – as he has stated to the media…

    Mr Slater is open in his antipathy to KDC so him getting the information via a tip off line/email is no surprise.

    Comment by Dave_1924 — February 19, 2014 @ 11:50 am

  67. Gregor W:

    “It just seems a remarkably complex set of connections, relying on a number of people acting against their best interests.”

    How is it against KDC’s best interests for him to leak the information, apart from potentially alienating Norman? Norman is not happy with KDC anyway because KDC is proceeding with his party plans. And Norman has pointed the finger elsewhere.

    Dave_1924:

    “Highest probability attaches to those who where/are still in KDC’s employ and haven’t been paid for awhile.”

    And who are always by KDC’s side when he meets people discretely? If so, they must have kept their own records. I agree that the “open diary” theory is implausible. KDC would not advertise the meetings, and the only person who might know of all of them would be his now named security guard.

    Anyone contacted him for comment?

    “Next in line would be the various contractors and suppliers to KDC who haven’t been paid in awhile”

    I’m sorry, but how would they know about multiple visits by multiple people, and the specific times? Who is contracted to shadow KDC’s every move?

    In my opinion it is either the security services or KDC himself. I think it is most likely to be the latter who is responsible. The security services would not be so foolish, and nor could they deny it was them and finger KDC without revealing that they acted improperly in order to be in the know.

    Genius on the part of KDC.

    Comment by bill — February 19, 2014 @ 12:16 pm

  68. I like how Ben put the (Hi, Bevan) bit in when he quote my post. Hilarious! It makes it obvious that the most important thing to remember on this site when commenting on someone else’s comment is to (a) quote them; and (b) quote them verbatim, with even the sarcastic words in brackets. You know, just to get the point across that you reckon you’re grander.

    Comment by Daniel Lang — February 22, 2014 @ 11:04 am


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