The Dim-Post

August 15, 2014

Dirty politics and consequences

Filed under: Politics — danylmc @ 7:52 pm

John Key did a media stand-up yesterday about Dirty Politics in which he mentioned the words ‘left-wing conspiracy theorist’ about twenty times, and insisted that everything in the book is a lie, and that the real dirty politics comes from the left.

From a communications point-of-view that’s a sensible approach. His audience is not the journalists at the stand-up, but rather the television viewers who haven’t read the book and who will see excerpts of the statement and be reassured by the PMs words.

But some of the reporters listening to the PM have read the book. And when Key insists that the real dirty politics comes from the left, I think, or hope, that they’ll reflect that no one on the left is publishing the addresses of journalists online in the hope that someone assaults or murders them in revenge for writing about tax-havens, which is what Cathy Odgers, Cameron Slater David Farrar and Matthew Hooton discuss on page 91. Also, no one on the left is going around brothels trying to find out whether journalists have visited them, so they can be blackmailed, which is what Cameron Slater, the Justice Minister’s close friend, and long-term collaborator with the Prime Minister’s office is up to. No one on the left runs smear campaigns against attempted rape victims, or publishes graphic affidavits describing their political enemies having sex. There’s no one comparable to Slater on the left of politics, or blogging. He is a phenomenon unique to the National Party.  Key can insist that this is all just a lie, just a conspiracy story, but people who read the book know that this is simply documentation from Slater’s emails and that the Prime Minister is lying to their faces. 

So I don’t think Key’s line will work, or that this story is going away. I haven’t talked to any gallery journalists since it was released but I suspect that – if nothing else – the confirmation of the long-nurtured bitter suspicion that Key’s office has been screwing them on OIA requests by forwarding them to Slater for early publication will ensure that this story runs and runs throughout the rest of the campaign.

Will it hurt National? I don’t know. I really thought the Oravida scandal at the beginning of the year would damage them, and it didn’t. Maybe nothing will. But if this is different I think it’s because it cuts against Key’s brand: the good guy who floats above it all, so much so that the media go to him, weirdly, as an impartial commentator on political events. If this pulls away the mask and reveals him as just another venal politician with an office filled with staffers digging dirt, then that will hurt the National Party.

Whatever the wider implications, the book has had a profound effect on me, personally. Something that doesn’t come across in the news coverage about Dirty Politics, and Cameron Slater, Jason Ede, Jordan Williams, Simon Lusk et al is just how fucking awful these people are. They spend their lives trying to poison and contaminate our politics. They enjoy seeing people suffer. They get excited by the idea of breaking up the marriages of their political enemies and ruining their lives. And John Key stands up and bleats about how everything they do is fine, and the people on the left are the nasty ones. Fuck him. 

I’ve been on the left for a while. I voted Labour then Green, and I’ll be voting Green again this year. But I’ve always tried to be detached and as non-partisan as possible. I didn’t always succeed, but the intention was there. I’ve never joined a political party, and I’ve been a constant critic of Labour. I spend half my time online arguing with other left-wing commentators.

But these people in National and its proxies are the fucking enemy. They literally hate most of the people in the country: Cameron Slater was delighted when the earthquake hit Christchurch, killed 185 people and destroyed thousands of houses, because those people were ‘scum’ who voted Labour. That’s the guy who is close friends with the Justice Minister and a core component of National’s media strategy.

These people shouldn’t be at the heart of our government. They’re a cancer. I’m not naive, I know that politics involves leaks; that there are dirty tricks in every government. But I like to think that if a left-wing government gets this bad, I’ll do something about it.

Because I’m going to do something about this. I’m not sure what, exactly. Join the Green Party, donate money to them and volunteer, to start with. Stop bickering with others on the left and focus on the real threat. Hopefully a lot more. Because these people are evil and they Do Not Get to Win.

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221 Comments »

  1. I’ve been on the left for a while. I voted Labour then Green

    I thought you voted for Key first time ’round?

    Comment by Graeme Edgeler — August 15, 2014 @ 7:56 pm

  2. I thought when I saw Key on the news he said something like “I don’t support all of what Slater does, some of it is beyond the pale”. I can readily agree that Slater gets up to all sorts of bad things. I don’t see how it follows that Key is a bad guy. Hager also gets up to all sorts of bad things, does that mean Cunliffe is bad? Greg Presland also gets up to all sorts of bad things, similarly?

    Comment by PaulL — August 15, 2014 @ 8:01 pm

  3. PaulL: read the post again. Take in what it’s saying. I’d put money on it being the best, truest, most useful thing you are going to read about the current political situation ahead of this election.

    Comment by Psycho Milt — August 15, 2014 @ 8:18 pm

  4. Well said. $15 p.a to join the Greens – now or never: https://my.greens.org.nz/civicrm/contribute/transact?reset=1&id=17

    Comment by John kelcher — August 15, 2014 @ 8:18 pm

  5. Who do we trust? David Cunliffe, who has stretched credulity?

    Frankly, it seems that the extremes of both camps hate those in the other camp. Some of those on the left, such as Hagar, seem willing to do whatever it takes to damage those in an opposing camp. And some on the right, such as Slater, are ready and willing to do that to some on the left. There is NO ONE here who is without blame or who is “pure”. The hypocrisy on both sides is rampant and appalling. It is a pox on both their houses.

    So I will be voting based on the apparent competence. I will look at track records of the past, who has said what they would do and then actually did that.

    Comment by David in Chch — August 15, 2014 @ 8:27 pm

  6. I was under the impression that Hager has chosen to withhold information that could potentially (and seriously) negatively impact people not at the heart of this book. Unless he is now using that info to threaten and blackmail people, I don’t think he is at all on a par with people like Slater. And I don’t know that Hager’s relationship with Cunliffe is at all comparable to Slater’s relationship with Key.

    Comment by Z — August 15, 2014 @ 8:28 pm

  7. “Hager also gets up to all sorts of bad things”

    Links welcome.

    Comment by Sacha — August 15, 2014 @ 8:28 pm

  8. Not a chance PM. In my view the Labour party aren’t even remotely in a position to form government. Their policies are a mix of populism and plain stupid. The left in general are desperate because they’re getting no traction, and don’t realise that the reason they’re getting no traction is that people don’t actually agree with them.

    I think you’re seeing what you want to see rather than what is actually going on. Hager’s book is pretty much sinking without a trace at the moment, sure, on the left everyone’s reading it and telling each other how evil John Key is for associating with Farrar and Odgers and Slater. But it wasn’t anywhere near the top of the news this evening, and wasn’t in the highly ranked stories on Stuff or NZHerald. I think Key absolutely can just brush it off. Remember that Cunliffe was busily associating with (convicted?) sex offenders recently, amongst his many missteps. Politicians associate with all sorts of people, and leak stuff to wherever they think they’ll get an ear, it’s not news.

    If the story you’re running with is that the right are all evil because Slater is a wanker, then I think that’s a false logic chain. There are many many people on the left who are disgusting and disgraceful too. It’s not news that Slater is feral, and it doesn’t reflect on the rest of the right wing in the way you’re trying to paint it.

    We’ll see how this all plays out, and we’re still waiting for the famous Kim DotCom story 5 days out. But my guess is that it’s cementing some votes (the left are more convinced of how John Key eats babies, the right are more convinced on how the left will do any dirt digging and break any laws then claim they’re purer than the driven snow etc etc), not changing votes. And frankly, if this kind of stuff did change people’s votes, then they have the wrong priorities anyway. Who someone is friends with, who they talk to etc shouldn’t really greatly matter – what should matter is the policies they’ll implement. Remember how many on the left claimed that Len Brown rooting whomever he wanted didn’t matter, what mattered was whether he was doing the job?

    In short, this particular set of news is a mirror – people see what they already believed when they hold it up.

    Comment by PaulL — August 15, 2014 @ 8:30 pm

  9. “It is a pox on both their houses.”

    Nice try. Provide some evidence of equivalent nastiness by the left and grown-ups may take you seriously.

    Comment by Sacha — August 15, 2014 @ 8:30 pm

  10. Cunliffe and Hager don’t have a documented working relationship.

    I’ve tuned out of the right blogosphere in recent years, and lost track of how toxic it is. I’m not particularly motivated to oppose a government like the current one on policy terms – they’re not who I’d vote for but they’re not Satan, but anyone who endorses and employs these high functioning sociopaths, well. What is wrong with Slater and Odgers and so on? It makes “Fuck John Key” chanting look like kindergarten.

    Comment by Delia — August 15, 2014 @ 8:33 pm

  11. So, if only National and its supporters are beyond the pale, I guess it must have been right wingers who defaced those National billboards with anti-Semitic messages.

    Comment by Tinakori — August 15, 2014 @ 8:34 pm

  12. Hey, Sacha! Remember Mike Williams’ excursion to try find the H-bomb on Key? That’s just the one off the top of my head. C’mon – don’t be so naive!

    Comment by David in Chch — August 15, 2014 @ 8:35 pm

  13. @Sacha: visit The Standard recently? Read some of what Minto says? Any interest in what certain corners of the union movement get up to? Seen any anti-semitic defacing of National Party signs recently? I mean, seriously, are you really claiming that the left doesn’t have it’s fair share of nutjobs?

    Comment by PaulL — August 15, 2014 @ 8:35 pm

  14. Is Cameron Slater even a member of the National Party?

    Seriously these do appear to be nasty people. They ain’t John Key. The Lusk guy basically got kicked out. Sorry Danyl but these relentless attempts to drag him into the muck aren’t going to work. Now, the fact he doesn’t take these guys to task five weeks out from the election must be very frustrating for you. I remember Cullen explaining how they just had to retrospectively legalize their illegal election spending and, no, the public probably wouldn’t understand. I wanted to punch him in the face. Don’t worry one day Key will be gone and it won’t get to you anymore.

    Comment by Swan — August 15, 2014 @ 8:36 pm

  15. Oh, and I seem to remember an attempt to claim Judith Collins was having an affair too, so we can have a sex one in there too.

    Comment by PaulL — August 15, 2014 @ 8:36 pm

  16. Good post. The other thing which John Key mentioned many times in the same speech is that he is keen to debate the policy issues unlike the left. This from a leader whose campaign website Team Key contains NO POLICY but lots of glossy photographs and broken links. They are confident enough that no-one in the Main Stream Media has noticed this or thought it worthy of comment.

    Comment by Jan — August 15, 2014 @ 8:36 pm

  17. And I’d rather vote for someone who couldn’t organise a piss up in a brewery, than someone who’s happy to let his minions set fire to the whole thing so long as he ends up on top. I’d still rather be team Ned Stark than team Littlefinger.

    Comment by Delia — August 15, 2014 @ 8:39 pm

  18. “I’m going to do something about this. I’m not sure what, exactly. Join the Green Party”

    So that’s what this all comes down to – vote Green. Figures.

    Comment by kalvarnsen — August 15, 2014 @ 8:39 pm

  19. Hager’s book is pretty much sinking without a trace at the moment, sure, on the left everyone’s reading it and telling each other how evil John Key is for associating with Farrar and Odgers and Slater. But it wasn’t anywhere near the top of the news this evening, and wasn’t in the highly ranked stories on Stuff or NZHerald. I think Key absolutely can just brush it off.

    It doesn’t matter. The post is true.

    Comment by Psycho Milt — August 15, 2014 @ 8:45 pm

  20. PaulL: “Remember how many on the left claimed that Len Brown rooting whomever he wanted didn’t matter, what mattered was whether he was doing the job?”

    I don’t know about you, but the completely reasonable-to-me logic which I saw in that argument was that who Len Brown chose to root was his own business. I don’t see how it’s remotely related to what’s being alleged about how the National Party and its acquaintances have been operating. It’s not as if he or his associates were being accused of using underhanded tactics to emotionally assassinate political enimes, or worse. The only relevant question was whether is personal life was affecting his work.

    Other than that, I think you’re probably right that this is unlikely to substantially change people’s votes. That will probably happen once people finally perceive a viable alternative, after which they’ll justify the change in allegience with all the crap that’s going on now, with the same way that people justified getting sick of Labour by expressing anger about light bulbs and about Helen Clark being ugly.

    Comment by izogi — August 15, 2014 @ 8:47 pm

  21. Getting ranked #2 in Political Comment and Opinion Bestseller on Amazon isn’t exactly sinking without a trace.

    Comment by Delia — August 15, 2014 @ 8:47 pm

  22. Thanks for the post Danyl. It’s frustrating reading the same old shit in the comments section. They just don’t get it.

    Comment by Myles Thomas — August 15, 2014 @ 8:48 pm

  23. Thank you for saying so eloquently what we’re all furiously thinking. It needs to be said, repeatedly, until people wonder why they ever stopped paying attention.

    Comment by TheRealist — August 15, 2014 @ 8:49 pm

  24. ” Cunliffe was busily associating with (convicted?) sex offenders recently, amongst his many missteps”

    A meeting arranged by someone else with someone who, remember, has had their name suppressed. It is a secret who they are. “BUSY ASSOCIATING WITH SEX OFFENDERS” — is exactly the kind of stupid, sneering smear that Danyl is talking about. It is exactly the kind of thing Slater would say, or perhaps he has.

    Wait, I googled it. Slater has run this line. Remember, if you cancelled an arranged meeting because you had then learned someone was a sex offender you would breach the suppression order.

    You are part of the problem Paul.

    Comment by Stephen J — August 15, 2014 @ 8:49 pm

  25. I usually write comments only when I have something to add or disagree with a point, not so this time, I totally agree with what you have said, every single word.

    Comment by james — August 15, 2014 @ 8:49 pm

  26. “So, if only National and its supporters are beyond the pale, I guess it must have been right wingers who defaced those National billboards with anti-Semitic messages.”

    If there were a book full choice excerpts from Labour or Green insider emails outlining their media strategy of …. oh ffs I can’t even be arsed completing. This is a lame attempt at false equivalence even by the standards of the last two days. And there is actually a historic and extant antisemitic right wing that believes in Jewish banker shit — of course they are the most likely culprits. I should know, as a Jew I keep an eye on them.

    You’re a smart guy and if you must try and find a propaganda line to support and deflect, I would have expected better.

    Comment by Stephen J — August 15, 2014 @ 8:55 pm

  27. SJ: Flaw in your logic – he would not have to have said why he cancelled the meeting. Why are people so blinkered in their thinking, from both sides?

    Comment by David in Chch — August 15, 2014 @ 8:56 pm

  28. No, Stephen. That discussion was pretty common across the blogosphere, and I don’t visit Whale (other than in the last day or so, so now I’m bumping up his hits), so I didn’t get it there. I probably got it at Kiwiblog. I’m pretty sure that his staff knew, and chose not to cancel the meeting. They should have. But you believe what you want to believe. And no, it’s not a stupid, sneering smear. It’s another mistake that Cunliffe and his staff should have avoided.

    @izogi: I haven’t seen a smoking gun where the National Party have done anything. I’ve seen lots of smoking gun that Slater is an arsehole and thinks that he influences the world and likes to big note himself in private emails. The only real complaints I see against National are that a) they tipped him off sometimes (presumably along with lots of other media), and b) some National party people are friends with him going way back. Judith Collins for example is allowed to be friends with Slater, that’s not relevant to her job – and hence the comparison with Len Brown. So then we’re left with that National chose to use Slater sometimes when they wanted to get a story out. I’m not sure that’s a crime.

    Comment by PaulL — August 15, 2014 @ 8:57 pm

  29. I don’t understand why people on the left hate John Key so much, and I never understood why people on the right hated Helen Clark so vehemently.

    Comment by David in Chch — August 15, 2014 @ 8:58 pm

  30. here we go then, danyl, good on you

    Comment by Cnr Joe — August 15, 2014 @ 8:59 pm

  31. I think the most striking lesson with this, as with The Hollow Men, is the depth of the divisions apparently within National that sees one faction using Hager to nobble another. It’s rarely visible, but I guess inevitable in a large party. I thought after Brash was outed, cui bono pointed the finger at Key, but perhaps not.

    Comment by Delia — August 15, 2014 @ 9:07 pm

  32. Right, the job of leaders’ staffers is to investigate the identity of people whose name is legally suppressed, just in case. Gotcha. Again, if you really think that, this is why you’re part of the problem.

    Comment by Stephen J — August 15, 2014 @ 9:07 pm

  33. Excellent, heartening post Danyl, and one you’ll be quietly proud to show your kids in the future. Some toxic shit appearing in your comments section and its clear Nats current leadership team are seriously concerned this wont will die in the next few days… I also think about some of the principled Nats of old who’d be turning in their fucking graves over how Key has chosen to run their party.

    Comment by k.jones — August 15, 2014 @ 9:08 pm

  34. @David in Chch / PaulL

    You admit to your rationale, and then try to look for another one. You believe that competence is the core decider for you, and that’s a valid, well-trodden argument. Having decided that National are the managers you want, you then – retrospectively – eliminate the reasons not to follow through on your choice.

    Wouldn’t it be more honest to say that in your view, National are a better government than Labour (for whatever reason – tax, education, crime, your call), and even if Hager finds dead bodies in Judith’s garden, that won’t change your mind?

    Or are you unwilling to face the logical conclusion: that you’re content for public discourse and democracy to deteriorate still further, as long as you get the result?

    Comment by sammy 2.0 — August 15, 2014 @ 9:12 pm

  35. Which problem Stephen? And if you can find anyone serious in politics who doesn’t think that, then I’ll be very surprised.

    Comment by PaulL — August 15, 2014 @ 9:13 pm

  36. I’ve read your blog for years and always thought you were a bit of a sneery hipster laughing at political zealots whilst hanging out on in a Cuba St coffee bar wearing a fedora and neckbeard. It’s good to see some real passion from you and I agree with every word. These people are despicable and deserve the giant boot.

    Comment by Sookie — August 15, 2014 @ 9:17 pm

  37. “The Standard recently? Read some of what Minto says? Any interest in what certain corners of the union movement get up to?”

    Well I for one am keen to hear some examples that compare to this stuff.

    Shall we start with the story that won Whale an award? We know now that after it broke he was asking around sex workers trying to get them to divulge clients, while promising “more to come” on his blog.

    Or perhaps something that compares to the Cactus/Hooten/Lush/whale thing about Hager’s address.

    These aren’t commenters on blogs, they are donkey deep in RW politics in NZ. Whale and Lusk run campaigns at the selection level. Several MPs won using them.

    How many Labour MPs have that sort of link to random nutter on the Standard?

    And yes, Presland is closely linked to Cunliffe. So what has Presland done, exactly, that compares to this stuff.

    Be as specific as you like.

    It seems to me that there is an assumption that the lft must be as bad, so it doesn’t really matter that fairly big players in the National party and on the right more generally play like this. But where is the evidence backing that assumption?

    Please, I would like to know. Obviously you will have better evidence than what Hager has brought forward, seeing how dismissive we are expected to be of emails and discussions between the players.

    So far, over the years, the actual specific claims made by DPF et al against the Standard have been pretty shit. Like when they claimed to out r0b as Rob Salmond. they were damn sure about that because ‘Rob’ and ‘r0b’.

    Comment by Pascal's bookie — August 15, 2014 @ 9:19 pm

  38. Slater is an unpleasant person. Some in National should have less to do with him.

    But enough of gossip.

    The police just apologised to Tuhoi. Te Urewera us now now back where it belongs.

    Go ahead, vote left because the Nats are evil.

    Comment by NeilM — August 15, 2014 @ 9:20 pm

  39. I don’t understand why people on the left hate John Key so much

    I don’t hate John Key. He’s an entirely competent manager who has a real talent for getting on with people and could have been a great PM. But he’s chosen – chosen – to associate with one guy in particular who (as Danyl says) is just about the worst human being you can imagine. Not just associate, but talk to on a regular basis – a guy (“Cam”) he say’s he’s “friendly with” (http://insightnz.wordpress.com/2014/08/14/john-key-has-lied-on-cameron-slater-and-heres-the-proof/). And he’s chosen to retain as a Minister a person who enables that guy’s attempt to destroy peoples lives. All while claiming to run a government that has higher ethical standards that others, blah, blah, blah.

    You can go on all you want about asserted similar behaviour “on the left” (without, of course, actually providing links/evidence to back it up … note how Hager’s “work of fiction” has meticulously detailed the evidence for everything it contains), but … bullshit. Next time Farrar, etc ask “why are the left so nasty/why do they hate so much, just remember this comment of Slater’s on hearing that a prisoner has attempted suicide (p 145, f/n 10):

    “Send him a message to try harder next time. What a loser, can’t even kill himself properly. He is a cunt. Hopefully his move to the South Island prison might teach him who is [in] control of his life.”

    So fuck the false equivalence. Danyl’s right. These people are just awful, and (to quote Slater himself), you wrestle with pigs, you get mucky.

    Comment by Flashing Light — August 15, 2014 @ 9:20 pm

  40. @NeilM,

    Your interest and concern over the Tuhoe and their mana is commendable, but seems to have oddly become more pronounced ever since Hager’s book appeared.

    Comment by Flashing Light — August 15, 2014 @ 9:22 pm

  41. Danyl, I’ve had much the same thoughts. I read most of the book on a plane flight yesterday and got off actually feeling shocked at how hideous these people are. I got an insight into the kind of person Jordan Williams is when he rang me last year to verify an address for service when Roger Douglas tried to sue me last year (he works at Franks Ogilvie) and he actually sniggered on the phone. Turns out, he’s much worse than that. I’ve been on civil terms with some people in the wider circle and I don’t know if I can do that any more.

    Comment by Russell Brown — August 15, 2014 @ 9:22 pm

  42. And Labours sockpuppets from the Standard turn up to bemoan dirty politics.

    Dear god, tribalism.

    Comment by NeilM — August 15, 2014 @ 9:22 pm

  43. “I’m pretty sure that his staff knew, and chose not to cancel the meeting.”

    On what basis do you claim that?

    Comment by MeToo — August 15, 2014 @ 9:23 pm

  44. wow, that was a very moving, heartfelt post, thank you DM.

    I tried to write something hopeful or encouraging but I am too disgusted by what this country’s become to make it work.

    Good luck with trying to effect some kind of change.

    Comment by R — August 15, 2014 @ 9:25 pm

  45. Flushing light, fuck you. I’ve been involved with that issue on a personal basis for quite some time. And I might not have been right and that might be so thing I’ll need to address with so with some family.

    But fuck you.

    Comment by NeilM — August 15, 2014 @ 9:26 pm

  46. @MeToo: Well, because I know what I think, and I’m pretty sure. It’s pretty clearly labelled an opinion.

    @Pascal: well, I don’t happen to have 8 GB of stolen e-mails from any of those people, so I guess I’ll find it hard to give you that hard evidence. From what I’ve seen at the Standard, the things that they believe and state as fact, and the things that I’ve seen in the public domain, I’m pretty confident that they’ll be equally as bad. Again, my personal view.

    @Flashing Light: I think John Key said he sees him maybe 4 times a year and he’s friendly with him. It’s not like he’s endorsing the guy.

    But, again, I go back to where I started. All you guys already thought National sucked and John Key ate babies. Your mind hasn’t changed. Nor has mine. That’s the point, this isn’t changing things to a large degree so far as I can see.

    Comment by PaulL — August 15, 2014 @ 9:28 pm

  47. You know what, NeilM … right back at you.

    If you really cared about the Tuhoe and their grievance, you wouldn’t be using it as a convenient and transparent distraction technique on a comment thread that has nothing whatsoever to do with the topic of discussion. Treat it with the respect it deserves, or don’t talk about it at all. No-one is forcing you to be on this thread.

    Comment by Flashing Light — August 15, 2014 @ 9:31 pm

  48. @Flashing Light: I think John Key said he sees him maybe 4 times a year and he’s friendly with him. It’s not like he’s endorsing the guy.

    Great things about links, PaulL, is that you can check “what you think” against the historical record, and note that Key’s current “four times a year” line differs wildly from what he was saying about the relationship back in February. So one account is false. Which one do you think it is?

    Also note – see once again how some claims are being backed up with evidence. Others (like yours) are just being spun off the top of your head.

    Comment by Flashing Light — August 15, 2014 @ 9:33 pm

  49. Labour trolls are working hard tonight.

    Comment by NeilM — August 15, 2014 @ 9:37 pm

  50. @NeilM The police just apologised to Tuhoi. Te Urewera us now now back where it belongs.
    Go ahead, vote left because the Nats are evil.

    Even by your standards, NeilM, that was astonishingly, staggeringly, jaw-droppingly clumsy and disingenuous.

    Comment by prgcnt — August 15, 2014 @ 9:38 pm

  51. Yes but PaulL why are you so sure?

    Comment by MeToo — August 15, 2014 @ 9:39 pm

  52. Labour trolls are working hard tonight.

    I’m assuming that’s aimed at me.

    (1) I have not voted Labour since 1990.

    (2) You don’t understand what “troll” means.

    (3) Remember that thing you said about “tribalism” and its discontents? Look in a mirror, you’ll see it.

    Comment by Flashing Light — August 15, 2014 @ 9:41 pm

  53. Right, so what you’re saying Flashing Light is that my lack of access to private emails means I’m wrong. You’re attempting to set the rules in a way that prejudges the outcome. Sorry, not playing by those rules.

    I keep coming back to the thing that I think is important here. You’re all worked up about how a guy you already weren’t voting for is evil. I’m pointing out to you that you’re talking only to people who already agree with you. I still don’t think that this is changing votes to any material extent. You’re not engaging with that at all. That’s your right, but I’m not particularly interested in providing meticulous research and links to make you satisfied with my points. You’re not going to agree with them anyway, you’re just setting a bar that can’t be reached so you can feel smug.

    Comment by PaulL — August 15, 2014 @ 9:41 pm

  54. There must be some example though Paul, surely?

    I know you don;t have the evidence Hager has. I also know you don’t find that evidence particularly compelling. What I am interested in is the sort of evidence you have used to form your opinion that the left is just as bad.

    Is that unreasonable?

    Comment by Pascal's bookie — August 15, 2014 @ 9:41 pm

  55. Cripes, I can just about hear the anxiety steaming off some Key’s fellahs tonight….

    Comment by k.jones — August 15, 2014 @ 9:42 pm

  56. sammy 2.0: To my mind, the Electoral Finance Act was one of the more serious attacks on democracy in recent times. When I, a Labour supporter, attempted to engage with those in my local Labour party on the issue, I was told not to worry – that they knew what they were doing and I didn’t. WTF?!!? I saw the same sort of structure being proposed that had existed in the USA for years (third party registered entities) that had largely perverted democracy there. So where were you when that was being discussed?

    And yes, given some of the nastiness on such websites as The Standard and I avoid Whale Oil, I question that any side of this debate has the high ground. No one in politics these days appears to have any high ground. All of them are in the muck. And so – yes – I will base my decision on who appears to be the best able, at this time, to steer this country’s direction in a stable and considered course. At least I am basing my decision on some sort of logical basis and not on emotional distaste for the players. With one exception – Winston First won’t ever get my support. I don’t hate the guy. I trust him less than any of the other players in the current game.

    Comment by David in Chch — August 15, 2014 @ 9:42 pm

  57. @prgnt

    I think what Slater does is obnoxious but in terms of dirty politics there’s more dirty stuff out there and National did manage to diffuse one if the most serious conflicts in NZ.

    I just think there’s a bit of a lack of perspective.

    And I’ll say it again I voted for Clark and thought at the time Hager was paranoid.

    Comment by NeilM — August 15, 2014 @ 9:45 pm

  58. Pascal’s bookie: I don’t keep an exhaustive list of all the things I see at the Standard when I visit, which isn’t often, nor all the things I see on the blogs I do frequent that I consider to be beyond the pale that come from various people on the left. I have formed a view based on what I’ve seen. I don’t feel like going to the Standard to get an example just to make you happy. Perhaps I could just point to Steve Gibson’s recent comment, not just the Shylock bit, but all the rest of that rant that was completely offensive about nothing. Basically his argument was that he didn’t like the expression on Key’s face and that he therefore was evil. I’m sure you won’t find that compelling, but I find it to be of a pattern with what I consistently see.

    Comment by PaulL — August 15, 2014 @ 9:46 pm

  59. Right. Thanks, I get where your coming from.

    Comment by Pascal's bookie — August 15, 2014 @ 9:49 pm

  60. @PaulL what we’re talking about here is THIS IS NOT OKAY. If there was an expose on previous governments, parties, blogsites etc of similar depravity, that would also NOT BE OKAY. However this is the story we are talking about because this is the book that has been written based on the evidence that has been provided to Nicky Hager; you really need to stop this pathetic “well, the left does it too” argument.

    Whyntcha leave your partisanship at the door, and join us in condemning the vile, abominable behaviour of a few people with waay too much power.

    Comment by prgcnt — August 15, 2014 @ 9:50 pm

  61. Right, so what you’re saying Flashing Light is that my lack of access to private emails means I’m wrong.

    No. I’m saying that your absence of any evidence whatsoever means that there’s no real reason to take your allegations that the left are just as bad seriously. It’s not “a game”. It’s called arguing, and seeing which has the better basis.

    You’re all worked up about how a guy you already weren’t voting for is evil. I’m pointing out to you that you’re talking only to people who already agree with you.

    No. It’s that the people who are loosely clustered around the Party are evil, yet that hasn’t stopped the Party leader cultivating pretty close ties with them. And that reflects very, very poorly on him – for all his qualities (and yes, he definitely has them), Key’s choice to treat these people as legitimate associates (friends?) is just terrible. Also, we’re not just talking to people who agree with “us”. Here you are, joining the party!

    I still don’t think that this is changing votes to any material extent.

    An odd metric on which to judge whether something is right or not. Did Danyl say “this is a gamechanger, that will swing the election!” No. He simply put into words what anyone with any sort of soul who reads Hager’s book would think. These people are fucking evil.

    That’s your right, but I’m not particularly interested in providing meticulous research and links to make you satisfied with my points.

    Oh, that’s fine, Paul. We’ll just dwell in the realm of truthiness, then. In that case, my gut tells me you are wrong to say that you are not interested. Which means you are. So now you have to do it.

    Comment by Flashing Light — August 15, 2014 @ 9:50 pm

  62. Defused, but only after Key called the entire iwi “cannibals”. That’s real diplomacy, I thought at the time.

    Comment by Delia — August 15, 2014 @ 9:52 pm

  63. National did manage to diffuse one if the most serious conflicts in NZ … .

    Oh, FFS … this is just nuts. The police apology came from the Police Commissioner. The Minister (quite rightly) treated it as an operational matter that ought to have no political component – note that she herself hasn’t apologised. So to claim that National “diffused” this conflict is incredibly misleading.

    Would you stop trying to use Ngai Tuhoe’s hurt as a weapon in this thread? Please? It’s just wrong.

    Comment by Flashing Light — August 15, 2014 @ 9:55 pm

  64. @prgnt

    But Hager it spectacular wrong with Corngate.

    He got it sort if right with The Hollow Men ( I think there was a bit of overreach but generally it was important to know).

    But this time he’s relying on the boasting of Slater.

    And personally I’m more concerned with the more obvious dirty politics demonising the Chinese than stupid social media stuff from Slater.

    Comment by NeilM — August 15, 2014 @ 9:59 pm

  65. @Flashing Light, NeilM
    So to claim that National “diffused” this conflict is incredibly misleading.

    Because I obviously know far less about this than others I actually genuinely want to know how (a) this can be attributed to the governing party, (b) what conflict exactly? because otherwise I feel like I’m just being bullshitted to.

    Unfortunately this doesn’t feel like the time or the place…

    Comment by prgcnt — August 15, 2014 @ 9:59 pm

  66. @NeilM But Hager it spectacular wrong with Corngate.

    He did? That’s not how I remember it. Are you having a laugh!?

    But anyway, “nothing to see here, folks, Cameron Slater’s a blowhard” just doesn’t cut it because it’s not just Slater on record*.

    * as I’m currently, until I know any better, approaching this from the p.o.v. that Dirty Politics is 100% factual and yada yada.

    Comment by prgcnt — August 15, 2014 @ 10:04 pm

  67. @Flashing Light if that link was for me then thank you, but I know the context. What I was more driving at was NeilM’s “one if the most serious conflicts in NZ” — is he talking about the historic grievances? The land confiscations? Or does he mean the 2007 Ruatoki raids? In which case, I find his hyperbolic characterisation a a bit too spectacular..

    Comment by prgcnt — August 15, 2014 @ 10:08 pm

  68. @prgnt

    Hager’s conspiracy theory that Labour concealed stuff about GM turned out to be nonsense.

    I’m not averse to holding power accountable but I think it has to be done free of the paranoia Hager promotes.

    I look at Te Urwera because it was a very significant issue with the potential of done very nasty escalation but it got resolved.

    Had Clark got reflected I have no doubt that eventually she would have done the decent thing.

    But it was National that did. Which sort of undermines the left wing narrating that the Nats are evil.

    Comment by NeilM — August 15, 2014 @ 10:12 pm

  69. The Nats are not consistently nasty and sometimes they do the right thing (eventually) so therefore nothing to see here, move along, look at the pretty birdy over there…

    Comment by MeToo — August 15, 2014 @ 10:14 pm

  70. I see the whole “left”-is-just-as-bad argument to be a red herring. Maybe others are as bad or worse. If so, then nobody’s written a book about it, but I guess there could be stuff going on that not everyone’s heard about.

    More to the point, though, if it’s happening anywhere then I want to see the problem fixed, instead of simply justifying crap by pointing to more of it and screaming “it’s okay for me to do it because they do it too”.

    So, how does one go about changing the system so that dirty and underhanded tactics are less likely to happen, without unreasonably compromising whatever independence elected officials are meant to have? Is it about giving the OIA and Ombudsman more teeth, particularly in parliament? Is it about changing the rules on who’s allowed to work in parliament and what they can do, and what types of information are allowed to be classified?

    Comment by izogi — August 15, 2014 @ 10:15 pm

  71. Yeah, but I actually do reckon that Hager gets it wrong more than right – in the past and now. As I understand it he’s tiptoed around it by hedging everything with it appears and they said etc etc, which means that none of it’s actionable nor sue-able, because he hasn’t actually alleged directly many of the things that he’s subtly alleging. So when someone tries to pick it apart they’ll get told “but I didn’t say that was true, I just said that Slater said it – which I have the evidence for.” So again mostly what we have is Slater being a blowhard, a lot.

    Recall the climategate e-mails, which were full of all sorts of untidy stuff. And everyone said “but you’d find things like that in anyone’s personal e-mail”.

    For me, as a general right wing sort of guy, I’ve seen nothing that makes me think that National are the nasty party all of a sudden, and nothing that suggests to me that they’re doing anything that I don’t think goes on all the time in politics. Certainly nothing that would outweigh my dislike of some of the frankly economically illiterate policies that Labour have come out with, like the electricity reforms they’ve suggested, and banning non-residents from buying land, and blaming foreigners for house prices in Auckland. Those are all bad policies. That’s without reaching into some of the policies of the likely support parties.

    Sure, I haven’t read the book and won’t, so I’m going on the reporting of it. I assume that the most sensational bits will have been reported. I dislike Hager and won’t be rewarding him for again dumping something right in the middle of an election campaign, carefully kept secret so it cannot be injuncted by people who might legitimately have been able to do so, and dumped on journalists in a way that means they can only report the spin because they haven’t read the substance. He’s been doing it for years, and once people look at the detail it’s generally tissue thin. At least some of the media this time round didn’t just swallow it hook line and sinker like they have in previous election campaigns.

    (And, I’d mention that I see Hager as being of the left, and his treatment of this I think has been somewhat reprehensible, in that he’s put out there a number of allegations that Slater had received but hadn’t published. I’m figuring that if Slater didn’t publish them they must have been a long way away from being proven – Hager has now published them with impacts on real people).

    Comment by PaulL — August 15, 2014 @ 10:17 pm

  72. Great post, Danyl.

    NeilM hasn’t read the book, but he doesn’t have to. Key has told him all about it.

    Comment by Judge Holden — August 15, 2014 @ 10:19 pm

  73. @Flashing Light: “So to claim that National “diffused” this conflict is incredibly misleading.”

    I don’t agree with everything @NeilM’s saying, but I beyond that apology for the Police screwups, I do think the rest of the government deserves some credit for everything else that’s been happening in parallel for relations with Tūhoe.

    In National’s term, the government’s managed to figure out how to decommission an entire National Park in a way that satisfies most or all of Tūhoe’s grievances about it having been confiscated from them in the first place, yet still maintained the bulk of values associated with NP’s including equivalent conservation and full public access. That’s something that simply didn’t seem to be happening under the previous Labour government, and it’s been helping to resolve lots of the issues that were a probably catalyst for the activities which triggered the police raids in the first place.

    Comment by izogi — August 15, 2014 @ 10:25 pm

  74. Sure Paul you don’t rate Hager as a journalist while Seymour Hersh does.

    Everyone is entitled to their opinions.

    Comment by Pascal's bookie — August 15, 2014 @ 10:26 pm

  75. @Judge Holden

    Don’t really mix with openly Nat voters.

    But I suspect that the academics at Uni that I’ve worked with and the liberals friends i bump into at cafés might not really be Labour voters.

    Given that they all have such good reasons for not belonging to a union maybe they do vote Nat.

    Comment by NeilM — August 15, 2014 @ 10:30 pm

  76. So then, a specific question given all the what about this, and but it’s all the same, and whale isn;t Key etc.

    A reasonable question I think.

    Should the National party continue to employ Jason Ede, given what we know, for fact? (Not assuming anything Hager assumes, just based on what Ede is known to have done, been involved with and said/written.)

    I say no, National should sack him.

    Comment by Pascal's bookie — August 15, 2014 @ 10:33 pm

  77. Everyone is entitled to their opinions.

    And until someone mercifully steps on their faces to put them out of their misery, the chickenshit pointscorers will avail themselves of the Dimpost’s comments threads.

    Comment by Joe W — August 15, 2014 @ 10:33 pm

  78. Yes, they should get rid of Eade. And Key should not have let him do the stuff he did.

    Comment by NeilM — August 15, 2014 @ 10:36 pm

  79. The academics at your university don’t have a reason to belong to the union? Have they met your VC NeilM?

    “Everyone is entitled to their opinions.” Yes. But if your opinion comes with evidence or with argument that is logical, then people hold it in higher stead that just “I feel this in my bones so my opinion on this is worth just the same as anyone else’s because I said so.”

    Comment by MeToo — August 15, 2014 @ 10:44 pm

  80. Hager’s conspiracy theory that Labour concealed stuff about GM turned out to be nonsense.

    Not true — and I say that as someone who clashed publicly with him at the time. I still think the book is significantly let down by the absence of Russell Poulter from the story and the anonymity of its own scientific analysis, but I was wrong in some of what I originally said and I think that the actions of the Clark government and its officials weren’t of an acceptable standard.

    Comment by Russell Brown — August 15, 2014 @ 10:44 pm

  81. Thanks Neil. The PM disagrees with us, and is happy with Ede’s work.

    Comment by Pascal's bookie — August 15, 2014 @ 10:48 pm

  82. I think that the actions of the Clark government and its officials weren’t of an acceptable standard.

    Hi Russell, perhaps, but the way Hager and Campbell went about it was unnecessary.

    They interpreted what was most likely bureaucratic problems as a conspiracy.

    And lost the argument.

    I’m a real sceptic about how much we humans can accurately talk about reality but Hager does too much linking, there is something a little closer to reality, and given in not sure there is one then well…

    But I also think we’ve all made up our minds previously anyway and arguments are just a bit of a waste of time. But anything other than murderous ethnicity slaughter isn’t so bad.

    Since that’s scarely not so far away.

    Comment by NeilM — August 15, 2014 @ 11:07 pm

  83. #46: David in ChCh: So that leaves Peter Dunne or Colin Craig if I’m not much mistaken?

    To all those playing the ‘you did it too’ card: the following proverbs come to mind: “lie down with dogs, wake up with fleas”, and “live by the sword, die by the sword”. I’d say this is too big to be confined to the ‘beltway’.

    Comment by Kumara Republic (@kumararepublic) — August 15, 2014 @ 11:13 pm

  84. @PaulL,

    Sure, I haven’t read the book and won’t, so I’m going on the reporting of it.

    Right. So you don’t know what those of us who have read the book are commenting on. Which makes your relevance … what, exactly? You have feelings about all this, so we should care? Seriously … what is the basis for your contributions here?

    @Izogi,

    I don’t agree with everything @NeilM’s saying, but I beyond that apology for the Police screwups, I do think the rest of the government deserves some credit for everything else that’s been happening in parallel for relations with Tūhoe.

    I agree. Chris Finlayson has been a great Minister in this field. I rate his work very highly (whilst noting that Key almost torpedoed the whole issue when he unilaterally yanked the issue of Ngai Tuhoe ownership of Te Urewera from the table).

    Comment by Flashing Light — August 15, 2014 @ 11:43 pm

  85. Hear Fucking Hear, Danyl!

    I just read the last six paragraphs out loud to my parents and the room was tino electric. Tribalistic? You betcha.

    The Nats Apologists, Anti-Hagerites, and general Diversionists can go get fucked (wow, much nasty!) There is now evidentiary documentation of their team playing unethically, yet they’re still laying out their allegiance to a demonstrably rotten government, who have little sense of democratic integrity. In my opinion, any argument, however thorough (lol), against a change of government is moot. The sky will not fall under a Labour-led government, and it could be argued that it’s ones civic duty to Vote the Fuckers Out.

    Comment by hydey — August 16, 2014 @ 12:02 am

  86. I think with Labour and Tuhoi it’s an example of how a government, any government, eventually gets trapped in circumstance.

    After a term or two in power they get caught stuck fighting skirmishes and become more self defensible than progressive (progressive in the sense they would define it be that left or right).

    Clark with Tuhoi and the FSA looked just a bit shell shocked. I don’t think it was racist. However just about every morning since then my wife disagrees with my assessment.

    At the moment Key is slipping into that but my impression is he’ll get back in.

    Comment by NeilM — August 16, 2014 @ 12:02 am

  87. Friend of mine tried to tell me it’s even worse than Nicky’s book, like 24/7 total surveillance and communication, but sounds like a few too many beers to me LOL

    Comment by Dog lover — August 16, 2014 @ 12:54 am

  88. How come the Police apologised to Tuhoe all of a sudden? Like the Zoui citizenship granting recently, the Government is clearly turning a corner on human rights issues right? Chill guys. This ain’t Panama.

    Comment by Sam — August 16, 2014 @ 1:16 am

  89. We don’t need Hagars book to tell us anything. You just have to look at the way national have stigmatised the poor, press ganged the sale of our national assets, kept closed doors around the TPPA, opened conservation areas, our natural resources and environment to overseas mining interests, stripped down the conservation department, nurtured misinformation about the effectiveness of our education system, blatantly ignored reports and reviews by professionals and advisors who are authorities in their field, in favour of ‘outside experts’ (people outside professional practise) to adopt programs that are highly criticised and internationally unproven, to find evidence; or consider the way the gap between rich and poor widens, inaccurate and skewed measurements of poverty and unemployment are produced etc.. to realise these people ( Key and cronies), actually despise people. They’re arent concerned about people, theyre interested in money and their mates. Their contempt for people: those who are not on board with their political agenda, anyone freethinking, capable of critical analysis, is real.
    Keys tactics: his tonal modulation as he sweepingly admits and dismisses his lies as memory lapses or flippant comments, is insulting. He only wants sheep and believers and here we see many of them continuing to support him in the wake of Hagars book.
    Is this unswerving loyalty or is contempt for others a National requirement?

    Comment by lily — August 16, 2014 @ 1:33 am

  90. Another fun thought: how many of those here who refuse to read Dirty Politics read Ian Wishart?

    Comment by Kumara Republic (@kumararepublic) — August 16, 2014 @ 1:33 am

  91. Well said Danyl. 77 comments later and not one attempt by the ostriches to address the substance of the book.

    Comment by Adrian — August 16, 2014 @ 5:35 am

  92. An anecdote for what it’s worth, back at those who question whether Hager is in the habit of publishing packs of lies with no research base, using stuff he made up himself: I discussed his Echelon book with the Acting Head of Defence Intelligence and separately a Signals Intelligence Office (both incidentally named in the book) many years ago. Their beef with it was not that it was a tissue of lies, a work of fiction by a fantasist. Indeed they had rather wished it were so.

    No, their beef was that it was a veritable A to Z text book on the most advanced surveillance network human kind had devised in 2 million years or so of knuckle dragging on earth in our present form, something they felt shouldn’t have been in the public realm (I happen to disagree, and the sky hasn’t fallen etc but anyway). The guy is actually scrupulous as far as evidence goes and I would back him to have a basis to claim significantly more than he has – certainly others he writes about would have.

    [as an aside sadly the same approach and dumping it in a book all in one goe means it's an open question as to what effect this has on the election, there's so much to take in etc - if say, the USB had gone to Winston around March, he would probably have used it to greater effect (hope I'm wrong on that and let's see what happens if Hager releases some emails). You know, the scalps would have come one by one during the year. E.g. Collins by Easter. Consider how he achieved more with Dunne, with less to go on etc. Then the Nats year would had more of the feel of the one Labour has had]

    Comment by Joe-90 — August 16, 2014 @ 7:15 am

  93. @NeilM

    45: Flushing light, fuck you. I’ve been involved with that issue on a personal basis for quite some time. And I might not have been right and that might be so thing I’ll need to address with so with some family.

    87: I think with Labour and Tuhoi … . Clark with Tuhoi and the FSA … .

    You’re so very engaged in and passionate about their struggle that you can’t even spell the Iwi’s name properly – it’s Ngāi Tūhoe, you numpty. Is there nothing you won’t do to avoid having to talk about how crap National’s actions are?

    Comment by Flashing Light — August 16, 2014 @ 8:09 am

  94. Great post Danyl. I haven’t read the book yet, but I plan to at some stage. I’ve been a more-or-less tribal National supporter for about 15 years, although (in a weak moment) I voted UF one time. If anything, the revelations about Slater, Ede, Collins et al has galvanised my previously-unspecific intention to join the National Party – not as a gesture of support for or solidarity with their actions, but because the Nats are MY FUCKING TEAM and I can’t bear sitting around while clowns like this ruin the party. We’re better off without toxic, cancerous creeps like this in our body politic, and I think one of the best ways to address the issue is to be inside the tent sending a clear message that this bullshit will not stand.

    Comment by Andy M — August 16, 2014 @ 8:30 am

  95. @k.jones: “I also think about some of the principled Nats of old who’d be turning in their fucking graves over how Key has chosen to run their party.”

    To those in the know, does he actually run it? Obviously the position gives him influence and he plays that part, but I’ve normally seen his role as being largely a marketing brand, with a smiley trusting face who’s chosen for relating to the public and distract from or reassure for whatever goes on elsewhere.

    I don’t think I’d be astonished if it emerges some day that John Key doesn’t know about half of what goes on from his office, and maybe he doesn’t want to know.

    Comment by izogi — August 16, 2014 @ 8:52 am

  96. I’m only a few chapters in and yes find it deeply disturbing that this is the state of governance in our country. What I find most disturbing is that while Nicky Hager writes about the right, I see the parallels of the attack politics on the left too and I’m surprised that everyone is ignoring it. I see the same kind of vitriol and contempt on the Standard blog and Bowalley Road, and wonder if that’s said in public, what’s been said in private? Key Labour MPs are consistent being disparaged and treated with utter contempt. I remember a viscous and consistent smear campaign against David Shearer mostly from the left while David Cunliffe was squeaky clean. Remember Chris Trotter’s blog about the back story to David Shearer’s back story. I find it slightly conspicuous that David Shearer is missing in the Dirty Politics saga. Did the Right not have to attack him, because the left did it all for them? Until someone explain to me otherwise I’m left feeling deeply disturbed that this is going on both to the right and the left [even if it is to a lesser degree]. Looking at all of this the party that seems to come out clean is the Greens. Is that only because they’re smaller and more united. They will be getting my vote this election, even though they got their ECE policy wrong.

    Comment by Ms WonderOutLoud — August 16, 2014 @ 8:58 am

  97. @izogi: I think Key has a massive amount of power within the National Party. He is their greatest asset, they know, and he knows it and isn’t shy about leveraging it. He may not personally oversee every element of every policy or initiative, but he is not the kind of figurehead that (for example) Jim Bolger was.

    Comment by kalvarnsen — August 16, 2014 @ 9:02 am

  98. Is Cameron Slater even a member of the National Party?

    The pampered princeling who built his cred on flaunting a photo of his Party President dad fawning over Dubya? Now I realise that the unfortunate ‘Swan’ is never going to be the sharpest knife in anyone’s drawer, but that has to be one of the dumbest attempts at deflection yet.

    Comment by Joe W — August 16, 2014 @ 9:03 am

  99. Hullo DimPost
    Its obvious from many of the comments above that the Nats and rightwing have formulated a strong attack strategy against Hagar and his new book – attack it enough, say it doesn’t matter, say its not true, say the leftwing bloggers are just the same – and the general “sheeplike” populace will believe them. That’s what they hope !
    I hope that the contents of the book keep dripping out, and that finally the journalists in our mainstream media really understand that they’ve been “had” . That at heart John Key is a con, and that all he wants to do is whatever his masters want – whoever those behind-the-scenes international string-pullers are.

    Comment by Hopeful — August 16, 2014 @ 9:11 am

  100. Here’s a short list of some lies of the PM – He’s quite well practiced at it, so it’s fairly hard to believe a word that comes out of his mouth.

    http://www.reddit.com/r/newzealand/comments/29406c/the_big_list_of_john_keys_lies/

    Comment by R.Carson — August 16, 2014 @ 9:42 am

  101. Wow great post Danyl, judging by the outraged responses PaulL’s monocle has well and truly fallen out, and NeilM is probably still spluttering into his pipe. They are still trying to find their slippers.

    Comment by Ant — August 16, 2014 @ 10:07 am

  102. Thanks Danyl, good post. In terms of whether the book will really do damage (i.e. change the government) my guess is that this would require illegality to be demonstrated in some other form (i.e. in court / in an official review). Possibly Green or Labour party complaints might lead to this?

    NeilM, assuming you’re the same guy who used to post under his full name: once upon a time I used to make a point of always reading your comments, as your were one of the better centre right commenters in the NZ blog comments boxes. Now you’re just embarrassing yourself. Read. The. Goddamn. Post. Think about the perversion of democracy. And the shear nastiness of the way team Slater work. Like you I’m happy about Tuhoe. But no good will come for a country run like this.

    Comment by terence — August 16, 2014 @ 10:12 am

  103. In terms of tracking where this will go, unexpected from Armstrong, maybe he is hedging his bets with a bit of balance for once just in case Hager does nudge the left right blocks a percent or two left. Or maybe he realised he’s been played for a fool, or worse by the subjects of the book. Anyways, enjoy:

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=11309684

    Comment by Joe-90 — August 16, 2014 @ 10:52 am

  104. #95 Andy M: Not too long ago, the Nats had noble intellectuals like Simon Upton, Philip Burdon and Rob Storey, who have all since retired. And Paul Hutchison is stepping down. In their place are people like Slater, Bridges & Brownlee who somehow equate intellect with socialism – and proud of doing so.

    I’m wondering if the emergence of such anti-intellectuals et al are a symptom of declining political party memberships around the world – The UK Tories and UK Labour today have less than a quarter of their 1951 membership levels.

    Comment by Kumara Republic (@kumararepublic) — August 16, 2014 @ 11:00 am

  105. I have long argued that the left in this country has completely underestimated the depth of the penetration into the right’s consciousness of the US Republican style of right wing paranoia as politics and it’s inter-relationship with the socio-political impact of great economic inequality in our society. Cameron Slater is a bad person, but he is hardly the only one. Unreconstructed racists and reactionaries infest the right’s blogs. Cameron Slater was treated for to long as a curio, a wierd phenomena from the fringes. But as we’ve now all realised, he isn’t just a lone weed poking up in the otherwise well kept and well maintained garden of democracy Judith Collins clearly hates as many of us as Slater does. Does anyone really think Mike Hoskings or Cameron Brewer or Dick Quax or Paul Henry privately think much different from Slater? Jason Ede operated for years in the very higest echelons of government, Collins is a cabinet minister, Hoskings and Henry are prominent broadcasters, Quax and Brewer have designs on running our largest city. These people may be weeds, but they have taken over the garden.

    But I wonder why – where do they come from? Why do they hold and promote such views?

    My view is there are two strands to analysing this enemy. First, there is no doubt that they perceive themselves as a Praetorian guard of an economic and social “new order”, and their elite pretensions are by and large shared by a significant number of plutocrats and hangers on in our deeply unequal society. Members of such a “new order” elite are usually recruited into the fold on the basis of special attributes they possess or appear to possess.

    That brings me to the second strand of where these people come from, and that is recruitment. Recruitment into this praetorian guard clearly offers a vehicle for social advancement. as our society has become less socially mobile, holding vile and extremist views has become a potentially valuable way of entering into a world of helpful patronage. One name – Luigi Wewege – is a useful demonstration of the sort of on-the-make recruit the extremist right is full of. For a convential middle class failure like Slater his extremist politics has given him a second chance at achieving the exulted social and economic status he feels he has been unjustly denied by conventional avenues of social advancement.

    The likes of Slater and all the rest of the Praetorian guards of the new socio-economic order are the enemies (in every sense of that word) of economic justice, the fair distribution of wealth and of democracy itself.

    Comment by Sanctuary — August 16, 2014 @ 11:03 am

  106. But these people in National and its proxies are the fucking enemy. They literally hate most of the people in the country:

    Three points here. First, a few years ago you were posting on Kiwiblog under the eponymous pseudonym, “Dim”. There were the usual taunts thrown at you about revealing who you really were and you responded by saying that given the profession of your partner the last thing you were going to do was expose her to the sewer rats of KB. Of course within a couple of years you had launched this blog and the veil rapidly fell away, so I wonder whether your worst fears were realised? Did the right-wing mob turn out to be as horrific as you imagined for you and your family, or was the situation that faced by any reasonably public face; occasional hate mail?

    Second, you have also stated that you decided not to engage with Slater at all as you seriously believed him to be unhinged: a sociopath at best, possibly something worse? Will “doing something about it” mean changing this stance?

    Finally, if one has a fucking enemy then there’s no question that there is a war to be fought and won. So the question is who gets the atomic bomb first and will be people be willing to use them. I don’t know the answer to the first, but I’m sure the answer to the second is yes.

    Comment by Tom Hunter — August 16, 2014 @ 11:17 am

  107. ” Remember that Cunliffe was busily associating with (convicted?) sex offenders recently, amongst his many missteps.” …Hey Paul L … what about the National Party Politican who now has name suppression you know? the ex rugger player who groped a woman in her home and put her hand on his crotch … that douche is part of this govt … Thorny subject innit?

    Comment by jared — August 16, 2014 @ 11:19 am

  108. Yeah, but you’ve always been an apologist for evil, Tom. It’s your thing.

    Comment by Judge Holden — August 16, 2014 @ 11:55 am

  109. Now, now Sludgy, this should be a time for triumphant joy on your part. You and Sanctuary have almost got Danyl marching in lockstep with you.

    Comment by Tom Hunter — August 16, 2014 @ 12:18 pm

  110. How clever you are Tom Hunter. Now run along.

    I see that lying piece of shit Slater is doing the whole whining death threat thing again. It seems to be one of his go to diversions when he is feeling the heat –

    This lying piece of shit tried the same line last time he was in trouble…

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11193600

    Comment by Sanctuary — August 16, 2014 @ 12:25 pm

  111. “Hager also gets up to all sorts of bad things”

    Links welcome.

    Comment by Sacha — August 15, 2014 @ 8:28 pm”

    Ask Nicky Hager yourself which Auckland state secondary school has a restraining order out on him, and why.

    Comment by Grant — August 16, 2014 @ 12:46 pm

  112. Gotta keep smearing when caught smearing eh Grant?

    Comment by Judge Holden — August 16, 2014 @ 12:48 pm

  113. “Ask Nicky Hager yourself which Auckland state secondary school has a restraining order out on him, and why.”

    No you explain why. Gutless cunt.

    Had thought was all a joke but over 6 years National have done nothing to reduce the size & scope of the State cant see the size of the State reducing regardless if Labour or National are in. Dim if he isnt writting about economics writes some good stuff. Wasnt going to vote but it if this breaks for the worse next week then protest vote to the Greens. Will have to see.

    Comment by Simon — August 16, 2014 @ 12:58 pm

  114. lol, and the RW blog commenters pop over with sotto voiced threats and hints about dark smears.

    One trick ponies, but the pony, she has been shot.

    Comment by Pascal's bookie — August 16, 2014 @ 1:24 pm

  115. Gutless cunt.

    A promised added bonus to going along to hear Hager speak a few years back was the claim on a now-defunct Nat student blog that the Hooray Henrys would be out in force to heckle him. And wouldn’t you know it, not a dissenting peep to be heard.
    Gutless cunts, the lot of you.

    Comment by Joe W — August 16, 2014 @ 2:12 pm

  116. I think the phrase you’re looking for is “high functioning sociopaths.”

    Comment by kylemacdonald80 — August 16, 2014 @ 3:19 pm

  117. Just wasted my time reading the comments. A few good ones but mostly it amounts to good old feeding of the trolls. Attempting to argue with such only allows them to win – even if every single thing you say is 100% correct and backed with evidence.

    You are never going to change the authoritarian and/or sociopathic mindset of the hard core right winger. The very nature of their dysfunction tends to make them unable to empathise with their fellow man let alone someone with an opposing view. Evidence will also not work because their world revolves around their world, not the real world. After all, why would God need to find evidence? This has been studied and documented.

    Better spend your energy crafting an informative and/or insightful post or conversing only with those that have the capacity to debate.

    My personal philosophy/observation is that the best way to deal with such is simply to ignore them, smile or find some other way to let them know that they and their hate, anger and irrational views matter not one iota.

    Comment by Peter Tenby — August 16, 2014 @ 3:41 pm

  118. You might begin by coming along to the Aro Valley Community Centre for the mass potluck dinner, Danyl. Sat 29 november 6pm. Bring yr friends. Speak. The mike’s all yours.

    Comment by Richard McIntosh — August 16, 2014 @ 4:14 pm

  119. I bought the book the day after it came out, halfway through and I’ve had to put it down for a couple of days to digest the awful story unfolding within it, shocking and scary that this story is actually true rather than just my impression.

    But it is liberating to have these people exposed as it chilled me to hear earlier this year that Slater was going to be made editor of a well funded online news website as the next step on from whaleoil. Plus that weird Canon award. Such a travesty that the writers of his blog would become accepted ‘journalists’, a strategy this book has hopefully blown out of the water.

    But the normalisation of their racket is still illustrated by the otherwise bizarre whitewash of this story by Espiner, Hoskings and Henry who are apparently ‘journalists’. At least it is heartening to read Armstrong’s take on the book, it gives me hope that he at least has realized what Hager’s book means.

    Comment by Alistair — August 16, 2014 @ 4:33 pm

  120. Come on guys, save some lemons and sour grapes for election day. At least wait until you’re heavily defeated before you shed those tears.

    “Stop bickering with others on the left and focus on the real threat”

    Look forward to that post on Kim Dotcom demanding an end to all court prosecutions in NZ and an immediate granting of NZ citizenship for your new found ally.

    Comment by OECD rank 22 kiwi — August 16, 2014 @ 4:37 pm

  121. My personal philosophy/observation is that the best way to deal with such is simply to ignore them, smile or find some other way to let them know that they and their hate, anger and irrational views matter not one iota.

    For you Peter irony is just like coppery or silvery, except that it’s made of iron.

    Comment by Tom Hunter — August 16, 2014 @ 4:45 pm

  122. Spoken with heart. And accurately summarised. I can think of only one stronger motivation than a heart-felt sense of moral outrage for wanting to improve a system, government or abuse of power. And that is a desire to act lawfully to do it.

    Comment by Lee Clark — August 16, 2014 @ 5:56 pm

  123. Your best work yet Danyl. I’m glad I’m not the only reasonable lefty who’s sick to death of this stuff. The hatred and vitriol in politics so often seems to come from the right, and it’s nice to see the evidence of this, and know it’s not just me being partisan. Really good post, thanks for articulating what a lot of us are feeling.

    Comment by Sam — August 16, 2014 @ 6:00 pm

  124. Two kinds of people comment here. Those who read the book itself and know this post is honest (whatever their voting preference on policy grounds) and those who are trying to avoid reading it to save their souls’ innocence, so are keen to minimize it by implying it’s somehow covered by a feeble strain of relative morality – no. It’s not covered by that.

    Comment by George Henderson — August 16, 2014 @ 6:07 pm

  125. Many of you posting here are in dire need of a blow job. All politics is dirty.
    It’s practiced by unprincipled deaf and blind zealots shouting and flailing at each other in a mad dash to the top over the broken bodies of the weak.
    Those claiming Hagar’s book is some kind of divine scripture are engaging in their own form of dirty politics – that of self righteousness.
    When engaging in the political process wear your big girl panties, because few stomach a whiney candy ass.

    Comment by Jim Peters — August 16, 2014 @ 6:29 pm

  126. At 8,

    Hager’s book is still high up in the news, soz.

    Comment by steve — August 16, 2014 @ 6:54 pm

  127. I have just finished reading “Dirty Politics” and agree absolutely with your post Danyl. I felt in turn sick and angry, and occasionally tearful. These people are, as you say, fucking awful. I find it absolutely appalling that anyone could support Cameron Slate in any way, let alone a cabinet minister and the Prime Minister. I suspect there are also people in the National Party who will not be happy to learn some of this stuff – but of course they would need to read this book and it seems most have decided they’d rather not.

    Comment by Karen — August 16, 2014 @ 6:57 pm

  128. Funny to see Labour ignore historical fact and pretend their website was hacked after it was common knowledge that they left the thing freely open for anyone to look at and apologized at the time for being so careless with other people private details.

    Comment by Swan — August 16, 2014 @ 7:01 pm

  129. I felt in turn sick and angry, ..
    This is starting to remind me of another NZ blogsite… wait, wait ….

    and occasionally tearful.

    … Oh my god, the Dim Post has morphed into Public Address.

    Comment by Tom Hunter — August 16, 2014 @ 7:11 pm

  130. Oh dear, Tom Hunter is getting out the dad jokes…

    Comment by steve — August 16, 2014 @ 7:22 pm

  131. Yep, poor Tommy can’t muster an argument in defence of Slater/Ede/Key/Collins so he’s gone full-volume mock. He’s all class.

    Comment by Judge Holden — August 16, 2014 @ 7:34 pm

  132. Come on Sludgy – tell us how much you laughed at those lines about Palin and other right-wing women being “hate fucked” – you being all class and stuff

    Comment by Tom Hunter — August 16, 2014 @ 7:41 pm

  133. That’s it Tommy, get your rage on; it suits you.

    Comment by Judge Holden — August 16, 2014 @ 7:51 pm

  134. What was that agains Sludgy?
    full.
    volume.
    mock.

    Comment by Tom Hunter — August 16, 2014 @ 8:00 pm

  135. Come come, Tom-tom, surely you can do better than this. Tell us why your right-wing chums’ behaviour falls short of being vile and repugnant. You know, address the post. Try not to get angry.

    Comment by Judge Holden — August 16, 2014 @ 8:08 pm

  136. You do now have to wonder, with Labour straightfacedly claiming their website was hacked, whether they were in cahoots with Hager and had been planning this all along. It seems a bit hard to believe they have just brazenly attempted to rewrite public history on the fly. I guess though, the closer you are to an election, the less it is about real argument and the more it is about flinging dirt in the hope it will stick.

    Comment by Swan — August 16, 2014 @ 8:12 pm

  137. I’m playing the Sludgy game – that’s where the opposition’s deeply amoral flaws and appalling behaviour are constantly highlighted, the actions of one’s own side are never defended and the post is never addressed. Once again you should be proud of your influence!

    Anyhoo, off to dinner, champagne and rugby. Toodle pip!

    Comment by Tom Hunter — August 16, 2014 @ 8:16 pm

  138. You do now have to wonder, with Labour straightfacedly claiming their website was hacked, whether they were in cahoots with Hager and had been planning this all along.

    The issue isn’t how anyone got into Labour’s website. It’s who did so, and why. If it isn’t a big deal, why is Key frantically claiming it never happened … although National’s general manager said it did back in 2011? Can’t have it both ways – either this is shrug and nothing to see (in which case, why lie about it?), or a bad thing to do (whether illegal or not, thus needs denied at all costs). So work out what your distraction lines are, make sure they accord with Key’s, then come back and try again.

    Anyhoo, off to dinner, champagne and rugby. Toodle pip!

    Well, thank Christ that bloke’s gone. What a silly man.

    Comment by Flashing Light — August 16, 2014 @ 8:34 pm

  139. To Swan at 130,

    I haven’t seen Cunliffe use the word “hacked”. He said they downloaded info from their website, despite Key saying it was only Slater.

    “The Labour party was providing the correspondence from the National Party which takes responsibility for it which was contrary to Mr Key’s statement, Mr Cunliffe said.”

    I can’t see that he’s said hacked – that appears to be the reporter/subeditors take.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11309931

    Comment by steve — August 16, 2014 @ 8:38 pm

  140. ” If it isn’t a big deal, why is Key frantically claiming it never happened … although National’s general manager said it did back in 2011?”

    I’m fairly sure John Key didn’t deny people accessing the Labour Party website. Heck he’s probably done it himself on occasion.

    Comment by Swan — August 16, 2014 @ 8:43 pm

  141. There are some really good National MPs. I wonder just what they are thinking now? They either knew before that dirty tricks were being enacted or they have now found out. Will they join the exodus of resigning Nat MPs or will the divisions manifest in spite of the risk of losing their seats. Oh integrity.
    Great post Danyl.

    Comment by Ianmac — August 16, 2014 @ 9:00 pm

  142. Swan,

    Key said National went “no where near Labour’s website”. And referring to same, it was “nothing to do with National”.

    http://www.3news.co.nz/Video-John-Key-talks-Nicky-Hagers-Dirty-Politics/tabid/1607/articleID

    So what are you on about?

    Comment by steve — August 16, 2014 @ 9:37 pm

  143. Let me try that link again, but it’s Simon Wong’s interview with Key on 3 News on demand anyway.

    http://www.3news.co.nz/Video-John-Key-talks-Nicky-Hagers-Dirty-Politics/tabid/1607/articleID/356848/Default.aspx

    Comment by steve — August 16, 2014 @ 9:40 pm

  144. Steve he is talking about allegations of a campaign to break into the website. The whole point is there was no such campaign – the information was freely available on the website.

    Comment by Swan — August 16, 2014 @ 9:56 pm

  145. Danyl, was there going to be a part 2 to “two points about Cameron Slater”?

    Comment by MeToo — August 16, 2014 @ 10:49 pm

  146. “the information was freely available on the website.”
    In the same way your money is freely available to a pickpocket when it’s inside your wallet in the jeans you are wearing.

    Comment by McNulty — August 16, 2014 @ 11:01 pm

  147. A quick comment for those who think that politics is inherently dirty, and anything goes, that Whaleoil is just playing the politics game as its always been played.

    Rugby is a hard game. Hits are given and taken, people are sprigged in the ruck, crunched in tackles and thrown out of mauls. There are bruises, grazes, abrasions and fractures. It’s all part of a hard, physical sport.

    But you can’t eye-gouge or bite someone. You can’t tackle round the head, stomp them, crush their nutsack or tackle them without the ball. Because even in a hard, bruising game like rugby, there are limits. If you do, and you’re caught, you’re off the field, maybe for good.

    Politics is like that. It appears to be a bruising and hard arena. But there are some things you don’t get to do. Whaleoil and the National party have done some of those things, and they’ve been caught. That means it’s time for them to stop it, clean up their act and to face the ref and the crowd.

    Anything less than that in rugby would change the sport into a bloodbath of gouged eyes and broken necks. We can’t let the same thing happen to our government. We deserve better, and we must get it or we’re all going to suffer for it.

    Comment by Tane Woodley — August 17, 2014 @ 12:21 am

  148. Steve he is talking about allegations of a campaign to break into the website.

    Who has alleged that there was a campaign to “break into” the website? The allegation is that there was a campaign to take advantage of Labour’s security flaw that left information that was obviously intended to be confidential open to public view. Do you say that this is untrue, and if so, how do you explain the messages from Ede in the book (that I assume you have read and thought about, otherwise why would you be commenting on it)?

    Comment by Flashing Light — August 17, 2014 @ 12:21 am

  149. “Anyhow, off to dinner, champagne and rugby. Toodle pip!”

    Ah, over priced Moët from Countdown and expensive Adidas gear straining over your guts. Aspirationally John Key? Tom Hunter says “you bet!”

    Comment by Sanctuary — August 17, 2014 @ 12:34 am

  150. Hey mate

    Don’t let this comment by moderation.

    This is a message for you.

    You’ve probably realised by now that you are being communicated with, and that other comments are meant to send messages to the security state and paid-for PR neoliberals.

    I want to apologise to you and others (I know you will have talked to each other to a certain extent and that you will be able to tell where I am messaging from – and it’s not like I and others can’t hide it if I want to). The nature of the deep state is such that confusion has to be employed.

    The mad thing is that a blog comment is safer than email. It shouldn’t be….

    There are hackers and operatives working for the state and corporate interests. The battle is lop-sided but occupy and friends have the edge right now.

    You are one of the voices of reason fighting the Masters of Reality, and that is recognised and respected by the small group of freedom fighters out there who are living in fear for their lives, to be honest, our tiny and dispersed collection of crazy motherfuckers.

    Food is the first thing, brother. Much respect.

    Comment by Chill — August 17, 2014 @ 1:35 am

  151. Sanc: you forgot the shark fin soup and foie gras on the menu.

    Comment by Kumara Republic (@kumararepublic) — August 17, 2014 @ 2:47 am

  152. “In the same way your money is freely available to a pickpocket when it’s inside your wallet in the jeans you are wearing.”

    No that is not a good parable. Your money, in the wallet, is secured inside your jeans pocket (out of the public domain). A thief has to break the law (hack) to access your money.

    The better parable would be if you left your money, in the wallet, sitting on park bench (in the public domain) and someone picked it up.

    A trustworthy person would hand it in to the police, or in case of web site content in the public domain, notify the web master of the fact that the web domain contents are viewable to any and all web browsers.

    Remember that the Labour web contents were in the public domain, not locked away from view.

    If the information was locked away the only access would have been by authorised personal or to a hacker.

    Much like what happened to the Slater emails. Locked away but illegally hacked.

    Am somewhat surprised that the much fuss is made form the non hacking of the Labour web site but no fuss is made from the hacking of Slater’s emails.

    I think the National party and Slater can be accused of “not doing the right thing” (lack of civil duty) to report a security flaw to the web master, but that is about it.

    And is the Labour (or any other political) party without sin on that score?

    Comment by Gerrit — August 17, 2014 @ 5:03 am

  153. @Gerrit: “Am somewhat surprised that the much fuss is made form the non hacking of the Labour web site but no fuss is made from the hacking of Slater’s emails.”

    From where I’ve been during there’s been heaps of fuss made about it, and yet it’s still not considered anywhere near a interesting or important as all the manipulative crap and abuse-of-power which both the National Party and high level Cabinet offices in the government are being alleged to have gotten up to.

    Comment by izogi — August 17, 2014 @ 7:01 am

  154. (during -> sitting; near a -> near as)
    Apologies for the autocorrect.

    Comment by izogi — August 17, 2014 @ 7:05 am

  155. “In the same way your money is freely available to a pickpocket when it’s inside your wallet in the jeans you are wearing.”
    I am using quoted material from the RNZ website as I haven’t been able to get hold of a copy of the book. In it, both Aaron Bhatnagar and Jason Ede talk about penetrating the website from the safety of disguised and “dynamic” IP addresses. So this is not at all like strolling through the park and finding someone else’s money on a bench; it really is disingenuous to suggest otherwise. At best they were lurking in their blue greatcoats in the bushes, actively looking to do something nasty that they (and most of the rest of us) knew was unacceptable.
    However @152 if you wish to persist with your own analogy, the moment these crooks downloaded the info and then re-accessed it (including once from a National Party Headquarters IP address) they had picked up the wallet and started spending someone else’s money.
    Either way, they are still crooks.

    Comment by McNulty — August 17, 2014 @ 7:34 am

  156. Reading this post I get the sense since I am a evil Tory I am not aloud to win.
    At the last election their was a coordinated attack on the national party billboards from Russell Normans office but that didn’t work so now what
    Because if I am evil and others like me are also evil don’t you have the right or duty to use any means to get rid of me
    Or are you just acting like Henry the second and saying ” someone get rid if this turbulent priest”
    Is stealing ok because I am a evil Tory ?
    Is racial abuse ok because I am a evil Tory?
    Is violence ok because I am a evil Tory
    Or is it ok if one of your fellow travellers does it but not you?

    Comment by Graham — August 17, 2014 @ 7:58 am

  157. A few days ago, we were given ‘newsflash’ type updates of the allegations from Hager’s novel.
    So far, Rodney Hide has laughed off the ditty texts story,
    The ‘hacking’ turns out to be about a Labour-party balls up, which Slater apparently showed on You-tube three years s ago, allegations that Slater influenced the transfer of the ‘suicidal’ prisoner have been scotched by Corrections.
    All we are left with is a shared sense of moral outrage about how some plainly dysfunctional keyboard jockeys make us feel a bit sick = Key is a two-faced liar.
    It’s essentially a repeat of the last two campaign from a policy-light opposition.
    And I share your repugnance, forr the same reason I feel like taking a shower when I read ‘The Standard’.
    If Hager had done what he said he is ‘an investigative journalist’ and had written about left-wing shenanigans in the blogosphere and the media, Danyl, my friend, I would be next to you at the barricades to clean up New Zealand politics.
    But what you argue isn’t an argument for that. What you argue is to selectively ovrrlook that only one person actually ‘hacked’ (ie stole) info, and then published it, but that’s ok because he isn’t a ‘nasty Nat’.
    So you argument, heartfelt I’m sure is to support actual illegality if it hurts those you don’t like.
    You have been played: ‘Vote Positive’ indeed.
    Instead of admitting they have been sold something akin to the’Da Vinci Code’ by ‘investigative journalist’, Hager, people, rather than admit they have been suckered into purchasing an expensive doorstop are now blurting But it’s not fair!’ And directing their moral outrage selectively.

    Comment by Lee Clark — August 17, 2014 @ 7:58 am

  158. Or have is this a merge with the standard

    Comment by Graham — August 17, 2014 @ 8:00 am

  159. @Graham,

    At the last election their was a coordinated attack on the national party billboards from Russell Normans office but that didn’t work so now what

    Maybe the fact you are not “allowed to win” is that you tell lies in an effort to do so? If you didn’t lie, then you might be taken more seriously. But you do lie. So why should you be listened to?

    So – shorter version – don’t lie.

    Comment by Flashing Light — August 17, 2014 @ 8:14 am

  160. “What you argue is to selectively ovrrlook that only one person actually ‘hacked’ (ie stole) info, and then published it”
    No, no, no. You are either deliberately ignoring a significant part of the debate or this is a(nother) willful attempt to deflect from the issues that have upset lots of people. No-one, including Hager himself, is denying the original emails were hacked and that this was wrong. But he didn’t do it, someone else did and then passed the info on to him. At that point he was faced with a moral decision – publish information that it is clearly in the public’s interest to know about, or pretend the whole thing didn’t happen.
    I would find this moral outrage at the source of his material a lot more convincing if it had ever been directed at Slater himself, since the man seems to have made quite a lucrative career out of destroying people on the basis of hacked info, gossip and innuendo. That he did so as a hired gun for the Nats is completely reprehensible. I am also trying hard to understand how it is that Hager has suddenly become a secret employee of the Labour Party in the minds of many contributors to this thread. He dissed Labour spectacularly, on air, the other day and I still have vivid memories of Helen Clark spitting “little creep” at him over Corngate.

    Comment by McNulty — August 17, 2014 @ 8:45 am

  161. Thanks for the clarification McNulty, I now can see the difference between using something accidentally left in the public domain for political gain, and making money and influence from it to receiving stolen goods and using them for political gain, make money and influence from it.
    Why they are chalk and cheese.

    Comment by Lee Clark — August 17, 2014 @ 9:09 am

  162. …and I still have vivid memories of Helen Clark spitting “little creep” at him over Corngate.

    Actually it was John Campbell on the receiving end.

    Vivid memories, vivid arguments.

    Comment by Tom Hunter — August 17, 2014 @ 9:11 am

  163. Except in your case, Tommy, where you appear to have no argument whatsoever.

    Comment by Judge Holden — August 17, 2014 @ 9:32 am

  164. Have you read ‘The Da Vinci Code’?
    Apparently a scrupulously researched tome which (allegedly) systematically pillaged Baigent’s work, and sold very well.
    In the end, although profitable for the author, it was found to be based on a fantastic hoax which described an illuminati-like Templar organisation secretely influencing history.
    So, illegally accessed sources, shadowy conspiracy based on plausibly-swallowed prejudices, makes cash for over-hyped work of fiction.
    This Christmas I dare say you’ll be able to get a ‘Dirty Politics’ board game, or better still, an app.
    You suggest I’m trying to misdirect, but in fact, I’m saying, look, we’re all a bit upset, but isn’t it time to stop letting ourselves be played for fools by the political puppet-masters on both sides?
    Otherwise this very worthy forum will rapidly degrade into playing the role of a cream cracker at a stag-do.

    Comment by Lee Clark — August 17, 2014 @ 9:34 am

  165. Pleased I could help, Lee Clark. If your understanding should begin to waver again, consider the case of ‘Deep Throat’s’ assistance in bringing down Richard “I am not a crook” Nixon. He passed information to Woodward and Bernstein that was not “his”. The pseudonym he adopted suggests he knew that what he was doing would have serious consequences for him if he was caught. But he did it because he considered the public had a right to know that its leaders were a bunch of thugs and criminals.
    Following your line of reasoning, The Washington Post’s editor would have refused to publish, Watergate would have remained a dirty secret and Nixon would never have resigned.
    This comparison is apposite because the Dirty Politics revelations suggest that the attack blog tactics we have been seeing here have been lifted straight out of Karl Rove’s manual of dirty tricks.

    Comment by McNulty — August 17, 2014 @ 9:36 am

  166. ” “With a pig’s eyes that never look up, with a pig’s snout that loves muck, with a pig’s brain that knows only the sty, and a pig’s squeal that cries only when he is hurt, he sometimes opens his pig’s mouth, tusked and ugly, and let’s out the voice of God, railing at the whitewash that covers the manure about his habitat.”

    Comment by Tom Hunter — August 17, 2014 @ 9:39 am

  167. @Lee,

    You suggest I’m trying to misdirect, but in fact, I’m saying, look, we’re all a bit upset, but isn’t it time to stop letting ourselves be played for fools by the political puppet-masters on both sides?

    I’m not suggesting you’re trying to misdirect. I’m saying that you are doing this with frankly stupid analogies (The Da Vinci Code … really? You’re that desperate??) and character assassination. Which is exactly what Hager’s book discusses.

    So, every comment you make simply confirms his thesis. Are you Carrick Graham?

    Comment by Flashing Light — August 17, 2014 @ 9:44 am

  168. @Tom,

    That’s a quote about Cameron Slater, right? Very appropriate.

    Comment by Flashing Light — August 17, 2014 @ 9:45 am

  169. @163. Yes, you are right Tom Hunter. It was indeed John Campbell. Of course, there are many on this planet who consider Nicky Hager and John Campbell to be different manifestations of the same person.

    Comment by McNulty — August 17, 2014 @ 9:45 am

  170. I thought you might appreciate the double-edged appropriateness of the quote.

    Comment by Tom Hunter — August 17, 2014 @ 9:49 am

  171. Flashing Light. Is that the best you can come up with? Every comment I make proves your thesis?
    That’s like covering your ears and repeating ‘lalala’ when confronted with an uncomfortable idea.
    Tell you what, you win, I won’t comment here any more, enjoy the echo-chamber.
    Thanks Danyl, I found your blog quite a refreshing place to discuss some of the intricacies of left-leaning debate, but I guess even the Beatless fell for a fake guru.
    Once more, (geddit?) Enjoy the echo chamber, and remember:
    Vote Positive…
    X

    Comment by Lee Clark — August 17, 2014 @ 10:26 am

  172. That’s like covering your ears and repeating ‘lalala’ when confronted with an uncomfortable idea.

    No it’s not. Because you haven’t come up with any ideas, comfortable or other. Which is why you’re now leaving. Bye!

    Comment by Andrew Geddis — August 17, 2014 @ 10:28 am

  173. Oh – and see you again in a bit, with a different handle.

    Comment by Andrew Geddis — August 17, 2014 @ 10:28 am

  174. Excellent post danylmc. I couldn’t agree more and I’ll be buying Hagers best selling book once it’s restocked.

    National are plain evil.

    Slater runs a sewer.

    And key is a two faced money trader who represents greed, dishonesty and abuse of power.

    Hagers book will be the gift that keeps on giving to Key & co. Karmas knocking on their door and you can’t put a scab back on once its been ripped off.

    Canon should hang their heads in shame being associated with slater. Perhaps they are thinking of bringing out a shoe mount for their cameras and whale soil will trial it for them ?.

    I wonder what slaters wife thinks about all the time he spends with prostitutes ….. :0

    Comment by reason — August 17, 2014 @ 11:49 am

  175. This thread could not be better summarised than by the previous comment. The bile, the fanaticism, the utter lack of any sense of irony combined with the crowning glory of the commentator’s nick – reason.

    It’s perfect.

    Comment by Tom Hunter — August 17, 2014 @ 12:10 pm

  176. The response of “The Right” to Hager’s book could not be better summarised than by the previous comment. The snark, the blindness, the utter refusal to concede that there’s anything at all wrong with the behaviour it reveals combined with … OK, there I have to quit. “Tom Hunter” doesn’t give me anything, so it’s not quite perfect.

    Bugger.

    Comment by Flashing Light — August 17, 2014 @ 12:28 pm

  177. Meanwhile Tommy just floats above it all on a cloud of snark. Still can’t come up with an argument, chief?

    Comment by Judge Holden — August 17, 2014 @ 12:30 pm

  178. Then let me put it more succinctly. You and the rest of the left-wing here have no standing at all on which to push this issue, but the towering self-regard you have for yourselves means that you think you do.

    But I like to think that if a left-wing government gets this bad, I’ll do something about it.
    I’d like to think that too, especially since you voted for John Key and National in 2008, but war does funny things to people. One of those consequences that are of such concern.

    Comment by Tom Hunter — August 17, 2014 @ 12:36 pm

  179. That’s not an argument, Tom. It’s an assertion, without any evidence or reasoning used to justify it. Making it “more succinct” doesn’t make it any better.

    So, try again.

    Comment by Flashing Light — August 17, 2014 @ 12:43 pm

  180. Slater and company …spend their lives trying to poison and contaminate our politics. They enjoy seeing people suffer. They get excited by the idea of breaking up the marriages of their political enemies and ruining their lives. And John Key stands up and bleats about how everything they do is fine, and the people on the left are the nasty ones.

    I invite you to cast your mind back to the halcyon days of 2008, where the bright shining torch of Hope and Change was carefully held above the sewer of Palin Derangement Syndrome, where nothing was too ugly to be avoided, not even Down Syndrome kids, “hate fucking” her on the pages of Playboy, aborting her on feminist blogs and questioning the paternity of her latest child on the pages of The Atlantic – the latter claim pushed relentlessly by a man still avidly read by the current US President. I guess asking whether she had a sugar daddy would have been a step too far.

    Comment by Tom Hunter — August 17, 2014 @ 12:47 pm

  181. I must have missed those articles Hager wrote trashing Sarah Palin for having a down syndrome kid, got a link?

    Comment by Rob — August 17, 2014 @ 1:08 pm

  182. Yes, Tom, you’re correct. Palin was tricked by the lame stream media who did dastardly things like ask her questions and then record the answers. Anyway, you are now asserting that Slater/Ede/Collins et al are just fine because some people were apparently mean to Sarah Palin six years ago. You’re supposed to be clever, right?

    Comment by Judge Holden — August 17, 2014 @ 1:29 pm

  183. Gee there’s some fanatical posting by a few right wing trolls in this thread ;-)

    I’m quite relaxed in my knowledge that john key is a greedy two faced wall street type.

    And I’ve know for a long time that the nats are just plain evil ……….. not exciting evil mind you … just plain old evil …………. the sort driven by greed and abuse of power.

    Its good to see others catching on and Hager deserves a medal for his best selling book :)

    Comment by reason — August 17, 2014 @ 1:35 pm

  184. I actually missed all those left-wing blog articles and comment threads at the time where left-wingers here in NZ made “heartfelt” and “passionate” denunciations of such tactics, rather than simply ignoring them or linking to them for shits and giggles.

    .. were apparently mean…

    What was that again Sludgy? I could not quite hear you over the squealing about floating along on a cloud of snark and deflecting away from the main point.

    Comment by Tom Hunter — August 17, 2014 @ 1:36 pm

  185. Got those links Tom? Why are you talking about the American press’s treatment of a failed American politician over half a decade ago anyway?

    You know that we’re living in New Zealand in 2014, right?

    Comment by Rob — August 17, 2014 @ 1:44 pm

  186. I was simply bridging from Sanctuary’s reference to how … the left in this country has completely underestimated the depth of the penetration into the right’s consciousness of the US Republican style of right wing paranoia as politics …

    I’m sure I can find comments here where left-wingers like Rob scoff at this notion, no? Perhaps Nicky has too? Which leads to the counterpart to this comment Slater was delighted when the earthquake hit Christchurch, killed 185 people and destroyed thousands of houses, because those people were ‘scum’ who voted Labour. That’s the guy who is close friends with the Justice Minister and a core component of National’s media strategy.

    Comment by Tom Hunter — August 17, 2014 @ 1:46 pm

  187. The counterpart being Michael Moore bemoaning the fact that the Sep 11 terrorists had attacked places populated by Democrat voters, asking why they were made to suffer while the real targets in “red” country escaped. Far from suffering he flourished. His hit-job movies made him a multimiilionaire over the next few years and put him in a throne room overlooking the Democrat Party convention, right beside Jimmy Carter and cheered to the rafters by the crowds below, not to mention many Democrat politicians who said nice things about the man and his movies – as did many left-wingers here in NZ.

    Comment by Tom Hunter — August 17, 2014 @ 1:57 pm

  188. Michael Moore’s involved now? Lay off the pipe, Tom.

    Comment by Rob — August 17, 2014 @ 1:59 pm

  189. @187. I’m confused by this post. Are you saying none of this happened, that Slater didn’t call us “scum” (I live in Chch and lost two friends in the earthquakes, so this is deeply personal) and that he didn’t suggest boarding up the city and walking away from it so that it didn’t suck up any more of Auckland’s cash? Are you saying Hager made all this up to discredit the right?
    If Slater did write that stuff, I would suggest that it would be pretty important for any half-way sensible Nat to put as much distance between themselves and this toxic individual as they can.

    Comment by McNulty — August 17, 2014 @ 2:05 pm

  190. “Do you say that this is untrue, and if so, how do you explain the messages from Ede in the book”

    There could be a million different reasons for what ended up getting printed by Hager. No explanation required mate.

    Comment by Swan — August 17, 2014 @ 2:12 pm

  191. I’m sure you condemned Moore at the time Rob and you didn’t soil yourself by paying money for his movies, just as I’m sure you did not eagerly scan Andrew Sullivan’s theories about Vaginagate.

    Because you have standards that don’t vary from decade to decade, country to country, party to party, activist to activist, correct?

    Comment by Tom Hunter — August 17, 2014 @ 2:12 pm

  192. There could be a million different reasons for what ended up getting printed by Hager. No explanation required mate.

    I.e. Swan recognises he was wrong about that particular point, but doesn’t want to admit it.

    Comment by steve — August 17, 2014 @ 2:27 pm

  193. The counterpart being Michael Moore bemoaning the fact that the Sep 11 terrorists had attacked places populated by Democrat voters, asking why they were made to suffer while the real targets in “red” country escaped. Far from suffering he flourished. His hit-job movies made him a multimiilionaire over the next few years and put him in a throne room overlooking the Democrat Party convention, right beside Jimmy Carter and cheered to the rafters by the crowds below, not to mention many Democrat politicians who said nice things about the man and his movies – as did many left-wingers here in NZ.

    And THAT is why Hager’s claims are wrong.

    Comment by steve — August 17, 2014 @ 2:35 pm

  194. And THAT is why Hager’s claims are wrong.

    I’m anticipating the stuff about Tom Hunter’s skin coming off in the shower, because of what Hager’s been putting in the water.

    Comment by Joe W — August 17, 2014 @ 2:44 pm

  195. I think Tom Hunter is following the party line and trying to convince us that the left are every bit as bad, so Slater and co are OK to be doing what they have done. Nothing to see, move along. My reading of most people’s reactions is that we really don’t want this vicious attack stuff here in any way, shape or form. I find it quite reassuring that he can only dredge up American examples from the other end of his political spectrum, because that suggests to me that it hasn’t actually happened here in NZ.

    Comment by McNulty — August 17, 2014 @ 2:46 pm

  196. “There could be a million different reasons for what ended up getting printed by Hager. No explanation required mate.”

    Could be, could be. same with all the other stuff. Could be could be all sort of things. Could be the is all sorts of clear context in related emails and messages that would make it obvious that it really isn;t what it plainly looks like.

    No one with that context is actually providing it though. Fucking weirdly enough.

    So what it looks like, is probably what it is.

    Comment by Pascal's bookie — August 17, 2014 @ 2:59 pm

  197. …because that suggests to me that it hasn’t actually happened here in NZ.

    Clap…….. clap ………. clap

    That is so cute. It’s like seeing Bambi emerging from the forest. Meanwhile ….

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/comment/10388408/Politics-is-a-sleazy-business-regardless-of-who-is-in-power

    Helen Clark was probably the biggest gossip of them all when she led the country. She leaked and spread rumours about people and even those in her own team – I wonder how her private communications and those of her senior ministers would look splashed across a book. I bet it wouldn’t be pretty.

    Her Maori Affairs Minister Dover Samuels was sacked for allegations ‘‘swirling’’ over allegedly having sex with someone under the age of consent decades previously – it was Clark and her team making them swirl.

    Comment by Tom Hunter — August 17, 2014 @ 3:00 pm

  198. Helen Clark was probably the biggest gossip of them all…

    Yeah well, tut tut, for shame. The same Clark who sent armed police onto a school bus, and called John Campbell a “little creep” for embarrassing her with Hager’s revelations.

    Comment by Joe W — August 17, 2014 @ 3:07 pm

  199. Oh of course! It was some other part of the left wing that pulled this sort of shit, like it always is.

    But not you and your left-wing, because you’ve got principles, class and standards – as Dotcom knows.

    Comment by Tom Hunter — August 17, 2014 @ 3:14 pm

  200. But not you and your left-wing, because you’ve got principles, class and standards

    Whatever else you might be, Squeaky, you’re obviously not psychic.

    Comment by Joe W — August 17, 2014 @ 3:16 pm

  201. So Tom, you do realise that the terms “the Left” and “the Right” are broad brushstroke terms that do not refer to an absolutely specific and unchanging set of people with homogeneous views on every single thing, yes?

    Or are you just a bit stupid?

    Comment by steve — August 17, 2014 @ 3:22 pm

  202. @ 198. Good stuff, Tom. So Helen gossiped and Dover was sacked over swirling allegations. Except that you missed out the bit where he was cleared and then reinstated as a minister in 2002. He lost his seat in 2005.
    Does this establish moral equivalency with Mr Slater’s scummy attempts to destroy people at the behest of the National govt?
    Also, is John Key going to sack anyone?

    Comment by McNulty — August 17, 2014 @ 3:25 pm

  203. Sure, and I look forward to the day when left wingers like you truly apply that idea rather than simply issuing that same shopworn truism when there are no other excuses left.

    Or are you just a bit stupid?

    Waiting …..

    Comment by Tom Hunter — August 17, 2014 @ 3:28 pm

  204. Pardon?

    Comment by Rob — August 17, 2014 @ 4:44 pm

  205. OK, I think that the time to try rationally debate Hunter is passed and that it’s long been time to goad him for laughs. Points if you can get him to mention the Illuminati and Napoleon.

    Comment by Rhinocrates — August 17, 2014 @ 4:55 pm

  206. Tommy’s been driven a little crazy by a burning need within him not to condemn the actions of Slater and his chums, while being singularly unable to defend them. That’s why he’s flailing about non-sensically (um Palin! Michael Moore! Democrats!). Too much Lindauer ahead of his game of rugby last night, obviously.

    Comment by Judge Holden — August 17, 2014 @ 4:58 pm

  207. Every comments section needs a good adversary. It would be awesome if Tom was:

    a) Funnier,
    b) smarter,
    d) engaged in some other hobbies,
    f) mentioning Napoleon more,
    g) and sharing his Iluminati insights.

    When Tom he lets himself down he lets us down. C’mon Tom, for all of us, step up.

    Comment by k.jones — August 17, 2014 @ 5:27 pm

  208. I’m gonna contravene my usual drive-by commenting MO by just reiterating my applauding of this post, and attempt to interrupt this fuckfest.

    Since QOT’s gone offline, the Dim-Post is my most-read NZ blog. A major difference between here and other left-wing blogs, is that the level of discourse from both sides is often nuanced, civilish, insightful and, frankly, readable. Whilst it’s obvious that the commentariat here are very beltway (literally insiders), I’ve always assumed that the righties (with exceptions) argue in good faith. Naïve, perhaps.

    I don’t really wanna address any of their propaganda, except their equivalence attempt between TS and WO. I think if you’re a political figure, you’re fair game for criticism. Yes, the authors and commentators can be pretty harsh towards the likes of Hooton and Pagani, but that’s nothing compared to Slater & co’s character assassinations of academics, unionists, public servants, private citizens, and dead people.

    Slater is now proven to front THE attack-wing of the Government. And people are choosing to side with the Government’s attack-wing over a credible investigative journalist. It’s disturbing. But in light of Chill’s insinuation upthread, I’m now looking askance at y’all, my default assumption being that you are indeed astroturfers/sock-puppets/spooks.

    However if you are real people & don’t wanna be tarred by association, then distance yourselves. Or change your party from the inside. Your defenses are becoming creepy. One of the “luxuries” of the left is the option of supporting other parties to balance out Labour. Obviously, for right-leaning folks, you’re backed into a corner. If a change of government is unpalatable, there’s nowhere to really go to dilute the strength of the National party. ACT, UF and Cons are polling too low/too kooky. You might vote Māori, but I doubt it because racism. And NZF is risky. But my hope is righties just don’t turnout and lefties do. Dreams are free, aye.

    Comment by hydey — August 17, 2014 @ 5:33 pm

  209. you say it waaaaayyyyy better than me hydey

    Comment by k.jones — August 17, 2014 @ 5:42 pm

  210. …, and dead people.

    Dead children, mainly.

    Comment by steve — August 17, 2014 @ 6:05 pm

  211. “He Mocked Dead Babies” would not be an inappropriate epitaph.

    Comment by hydey — August 17, 2014 @ 6:48 pm

  212. “No one with that context is actually providing it though. Fucking weirdly enough.”

    It was Hager providing the context. If you take the emails at face value, you end up with a few guys looking at a public website. And Key said that is exactly what might have happened. So Cunliffe and the Herald have been making stuff up. The question is has Labour been colluding with Hager? Where did he get the information about the IP addresses from?

    Comment by Swan — August 17, 2014 @ 7:37 pm

  213. “The question is has Labour been colluding with Hager?”

    Ah, so that’s the question! I thought it was about the links between the PM and his office and some Cabinet Ministers (just “a few guys”) and Slater’s dead baby-mocking smear machine, but you’ve cleared that up and decided it’s the Labour Party that has questions to answer. Sorry, why is that now?

    Comment by Judge Holden — August 17, 2014 @ 7:57 pm

  214. The question is has Labour been colluding with Hager? Where did he get the information about the IP addresses from?

    Amazing things books. They have these things in them called “footnotes”, which are like hyperlinks, only not blue. So you can see for yourself: http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/national/5134957/How-the-dirty-tricks-machine-works.

    By your constantly having to ask questions about its content, Swan, I’m guessing you’re dissing the whole Hager book without having read it? Good-oh.

    Comment by Flashing Light — August 17, 2014 @ 8:02 pm

  215. Funny how when you click on Swan or Tom Hunter’s hyperlinked ID to try to find out how they come up with these ideas, you discover they both come from the same place called “deleted.”

    Comment by McNulty — August 17, 2014 @ 8:23 pm

  216. Thanks Flashing, reading it now – had to find and recharge the kindle. Are all his books this value laden and politically biased?

    Comment by Swan — August 17, 2014 @ 8:30 pm

  217. Thanks a lot for a great post Danyl. I always appreciate your sensible words about NZ Politics. Dim-Post’s come a long way from its satirical beginnings. Thank you for the effort.

    Comment by Brent — August 18, 2014 @ 9:20 am

  218. “…Slater is now proven to front THE attack-wing of the Government…”

    I am sure in the beginning it was mainly Farrar that was used, and Slater was kept at arms length.

    To paraphrase:

    But once such attack politics become acclimatised in a political system it spreads like an infectious disease. It save the labour of justification and explaination. And it hardens and brutalises those who have become accustomed to using it. So here we now are, with John Key living in a morally vacant zone.

    Comment by Sanctuary — August 18, 2014 @ 9:34 am

  219. Let’s remember that it’s not just Slater. As well as Odgers and Hooton publicising Nicky Hager’s address and smacking their lips over the prospect of harm – or worse – coming to him, we have the Penguin’s mate, Jordan Williams issuing a threat to Helen Kelly as well: https://twitter.com/JordNZ/status/501113656784863232

    “Be very careful”, he says. Bluster or not, effective or not, there you have an insight into their personalities. Pure evil.

    Comment by Rhinocrates — August 18, 2014 @ 12:26 pm

  220. So Cunliffe and the Herald have been making stuff up.

    What did Cunliffe make up?

    Comment by steve — August 18, 2014 @ 9:38 pm


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