I know I’m not the only person offended by Patrick Gower’s ‘yarn’ based approach to reporting (see previous post) in which the political editor makes something up and then runs around breathlessly reporting it as a breaking news story. But it’s easy to forget that Gower used to be a serious journalist and that his instincts are still sharp. Underneath the mountains of bullshit there’s often a substantive issue.
So I don’t think the Green’s Russel Norman made any deal with Kim Dotcom. Norman has always said the case against Dotcom was compromised by the illegal actions of the New Zealand Police and Intelligence organisations. He went to Dotcom last November and asked him not to form a political party. Dotcom turned him down and went ahead with setting up his party. This turned into a fiasco. Initial polls have it at zero, so Dotcom’s indicated he’ll disband it if that doesn’t increase. Hard to see a deal there.
And yet . . . Dotcom is such a problematic person for our MPs to be sitting down and meeting with. Here’s a guy with a criminal background, a staggering amount of money and serious legal problems that a sympathetic government can solve in an instant. Our MPs need to understand that if they meet with someone like that and keep it quiet there is (a) HUGE public interest in the media covering it and (b) HUGE political capital to be made by their political enemies in painting the meeting in a sinister light.
Thinking about Dotcom this morning put me in mind of those war pigs the Romans used in battle. They’d cover them with grease, light them on fire and send them into the enemy ranks where they’d run about setting fire to everything. The difference with Kim Dotcom is that he doesn’t seem to get burned. The allegations as-of this morning are that in addition to Russel Norman, Winston Peters and two Labour MPs have gone to Dotcom’s mansion to meet with him.
Aside from the obvious question of how the Prime Minister – and Minister of Intelligence – knows so much about who his opposition MPs are meeting with, I do wonder why so many politicians are keen to sit down with a guy who seems to destroy the career of almost everyone who goes near him.