The Dim-Post

June 24, 2014

I love this shit

Filed under: Uncategorized — danylmc @ 6:15 am

So here’s my theory about the great Labour/Donghua Liu mystery.

  • Like I said in my previous post there are two separate stories about two separate donations. The ‘party source’ who told the Herald that Liu gave Labour $15,000 for a book signed by Helen Clark at a Labour Party fundraiser and the mystery source who obtained a signed statement from Liu shortly after the Williamson story broke and then gave the statement to the Herald over the weekend. The statement claims that Liu paid ‘close to $100,000″ for wine at a 2007 Labour Party fundraiser’.
  • We’ve also seen this photograph of former Cabinet Minister Rick Barker handing over a bottle of wine signed by Helen Clark to Liu’s partner at a 2007 fundraising auction.
  • It’s weird, isn’t it, that the first source didn’t say anything about the $100,000 donation for wine and Liu’s statement doesn’t mention anything about a $15,000 donation for a book. It matches up with the way Labour’s made a big deal about ‘nobody remembering a $100,000 donation’.
  • My guess is that the different sources are all talking about the same donation with inaccuracies in each story: that Liu paid $15,000 for a bottle of wine signed by Helen Clark – which is the bottle of wine we see Rick Barker handing over in the Herald photo – that the ‘party source’ – let’s call him Shane Gones – misremembered slightly and said it was a book, and that Liu misremembered the amount and claimed it was $100,000.
  • If Liu eventually fronts up with proof he donated $15,000 – and not $100,000 – it will be a bit awkward for Labour, but it will be awful for the Herald.

47 Comments »

  1. Yes, I had been thinking it was Shane Gones too!

    Comment by Mandy Hager — June 24, 2014 @ 6:24 am

  2. Herald, this morning:

    Asked whether Mr Liu should provide evidence of his donations, Mr Key said: “Yeah, absolutely he should go ahead and do that”.

    “I don’t know the merits of who’s right and who’s wrong in that case. That’s a matter for the two parties to resolve.”

    That’s not doublethink, it’s some kind of quadruplethink. Rumours turned into facts, facts turned into rumours, and all of it hugely important (but not really, ekshly), and something Key knows all about (but not now) and must lead to resignations (but not any more).

    Comment by sammy 2.0 — June 24, 2014 @ 6:30 am

  3. Maybe he meant 100k yuan.

    Comment by Swan — June 24, 2014 @ 7:10 am

  4. And still nobody has spoken to Steven Ching

    Comment by Barnsley Bill — June 24, 2014 @ 7:17 am

  5. Did you miss this twitterdavit from Rob Salmond?

    FM

    Comment by Fooman — June 24, 2014 @ 7:19 am

  6. All very true but Labour have a bit of form for this sort of thing. The issue for Cunliffe is he has run around screaming at Key for taking money from wealthy Chinese and cash for access etc. when Labour have done exactly the same thing. The disinterested public will care not a jot for the nuances just the rank hypocrisy which reinforces their distrust of the accident prone Cunnliffe.

    Comment by David — June 24, 2014 @ 7:32 am

  7. Is the David @7.32 am a spokesman for the All the Davids Party being disingenous?

    Comment by Andrew R — June 24, 2014 @ 7:43 am

  8. Shorter David @7.32: we’re not doing facts any more, so there.

    Comment by sammy 2.0 — June 24, 2014 @ 7:50 am

  9. the David @7.32am maybe some similarity but isn’t it Labour’s job to point these things out, and weren’t the situations based on fact and more serious? Ah and now you are a spokesman for the disinterested public?

    Comment by Win — June 24, 2014 @ 7:58 am

  10. wasnt cash for access about cabinet club – ie: a completely different issue that is being attached to the liu issue by the nats in order to make their claims sound more daming than they really are?

    and the PMs got a nerve doesnt he.

    “ive got totes dirty rumors to tell, if you want some juicy gossip give me a texterss”
    “oh shit – the person who told me something i happily spread about, without worrying about the truth, better front with some proof before i look like a tard”

    and david – its not and has never been about taking donations in and off themselves

    it was taking donations and interfering in a domestic violence case for the same person
    it was about claiming the nats are a charity (that golf game remember)
    it was about selling access to sitting cabinet ministers
    it was about taking donations from a company where one of your ministers is married to one of the directors and where they engaged in promoting that same company while on a tax payer funded trip as the justice minister

    Comment by framu — June 24, 2014 @ 8:20 am

  11. @Fooman – I saw that tweet from Rob. It was in response to Toby suggesting a specific fundraiser. I don’t think the dates are that meaningful. Maybe Liu wrote his checks days or weeks after the actual fundraiser? There’s that photo of Barker handing a bottle of wine to Liu’s girlfriend – maybe Labour could figure out when that happened?

    Comment by danylmc — June 24, 2014 @ 9:05 am

  12. It must have been some Chardonnay

    Comment by NeilM — June 24, 2014 @ 9:50 am

  13. $100k for a bottle of wine at a fundraiser? Seriously? Just think about it. It is a completely ridiculous story – there is no way that could have happened and not be remembered by everyone who attended the fundraiser. Even $15k for the bottle would be be very very memorable. I reckon both numbers are completely wrong by at least an order of magnitude,

    Comment by wtl — June 24, 2014 @ 10:38 am

  14. >If Liu eventually fronts up with proof he donated $15,000 – and not $100,000 – it will be a bit awkward for Labour, but it will be awful for the Herald.

    It doesn’t matter how awkward this is in the end for Labour. What matters it that it’s all the news there is about Labour for weeks on end. MSM and bloggers alike are happy as pigs in shit to have some pissly little drama to watch and bet on, while the actual information about genuine and important differences between the possible governments gets no coverage. And it’s not awful for the Herald to have endless pointless news. That’s its fucking job according to the owners. It’s a big win to get people to read it, no matter what it says, and it’s not like their credibility being rocked for the thousandth time is going to affect sales.

    Fucking hell politics and political coverage in this country are a joke. No wonder people won’t vote, when the whole narrative for months is about who is less “corrupt” in an abstract and rather pathetic way. Like our choice is one bunch of shits over the other.

    Comment by Ben Wilson — June 24, 2014 @ 11:01 am

  15. Someone posted this on Twitter (sorry, but I can’t remember who) – a charity wine auction in Hawke’s Bay on June 3 2007:

    http://www.tizwine.com/index.php/ps_pagename/newsdetail?pi_newsitemid=484

    Comment by pete — June 24, 2014 @ 11:03 am

  16. Yes Pete, and what’s more there is someone who thinks that they recognise that the setting for Barker/wine photo was the HB Opera House which was a Charity Auction not a Labour one.

    Comment by xianmac — June 24, 2014 @ 11:24 am

  17. The timing of the Woodhouse hotel meeting with Liu could be significant given the 3 May “statement” from Liu. I reckon the question should be put to Mr Woodhouse in QT. Significant I reckon.

    Comment by xianmac — June 24, 2014 @ 11:27 am

  18. What depresses me is the utter lack of reflection or contrition from the Herald (actually, from our media “personality journalists” in general) at their appalling behaviour. They are like privileged bullies in an exclusive school who gleefully know their position and power absolves them from any of the consequences of excessive hazing of the fags.

    I think we have to accept that the media landscape of the post-war period, up to the malicious impact of Murdoch, was a complete aberration and in our new gilded age we are returning to the rabid, populist and pro-oligarchic yellow press model of Hearst and the last gilded age. More and more, as Piketty points out, the second half of the 20th century appears as an outlier, not the norm for behaviour across a whole lot of aspects of western “deomocracies”. It seems to me the perception (built up in the last half of the twentieth century) that our media is both free and independent is now a complete myth that acts to obscure the agenda of modern media corporations.

    Please come back USSR, the people of the west need you! But failing a return to the threat of communism to keep capitalism in line, what should be done to ensure we have a functioning fourth estate that does its job of holding the government and corporations to account? Personally, I think we need media ownership laws that forbid foreign ownership, anti-trust laws that prevent monopolies and duopolies, and a well funded (my preference is funded by a tax collected by ISPs on all data downloaded on the internet. A cent per gigabyte, for example – a modern license fee as it were) public broadcasting sector.

    Comment by Sanctuary — June 24, 2014 @ 11:44 am

  19. I think we have to accept that the media landscape of the post-war period, up to the malicious impact of Murdoch, was a complete aberration…I think we need media ownership laws that forbid foreign ownership
    Yeah right, when Wellington Central MP “Dirty Dan” Riddiford owned the controlling shares in The Dominion, which in 1069 ran a front page editorial headlined “The Dominion Votes National”.

    Comment by Joe W — June 24, 2014 @ 12:12 pm

  20. 1969

    Comment by Joe W — June 24, 2014 @ 12:12 pm

  21. If Labour can figure out if Barker and/or Zhang were at that auction they might have something . . .

    Comment by danylmc — June 24, 2014 @ 12:14 pm

  22. Yes, Labour really screwed up last time not taking public broadcasting seriously. Stoopid third way charter instead of doing it properly; done early in their term it would have been well-entrenched by the time they lost power. I think it is too late now.

    Comment by MeToo — June 24, 2014 @ 12:19 pm

  23. “…Yes, Labour really screwed up last time not taking public broadcasting seriously…”

    this.

    Comment by Sanctuary — June 24, 2014 @ 12:30 pm

  24. “… The Dominion, which in 1069 ran a front page editorial headlined “The Dominion Votes National”…”

    It isn’t about shutting down the right of the Dominion to say what it likes; It is about creating a diversity of voices and some standards that are not just driven by ratings and profit. “The Dominion Votes National” wouldn’t matter if it was the unabashed Tory paper and all the lefties read the “Evening Post” and anyway public radio was not personality driven clap trap trivialised down to 5 minute sound bites. Democracy needs the DailyMail and Satire on TV, just like it needs the Guardian and the BBC. At the moment, New Zealand has the Sun masquerading as the Herald, Whaleoil is admired as the highest form of successful journalism and a public TV broadcaster that hates news and current affairs.

    Comment by Sanctuary — June 24, 2014 @ 12:41 pm

  25. Like our choice is one bunch of shits over the other.
    Ha ha. Many of us have felt that way since Labour shat all over the people of this country after the ’84 election.

    Comment by Josh — June 24, 2014 @ 12:56 pm

  26. It isn’t about shutting down the right of the Dominion to say what it likes

    I didn’t even intend to suggest that. What I’m calling into doubt is your imagined vanished golden age of media diversity, backed by restrictions on foreign ownership. As it happened, the Evening Post in the 1950s & 60s was pretty much in political lockstep with the Dominion, as was the <Star and the Wilson & Horton Herald. BTW Dan Riddiford was not only the major shareholder in The Dominion in pre-Murdoch days, he also had a stint as Postmaster General. When he was sprung instructing his sorters to dump Communist Party mail he retorted that if they came to power they’d do it to us. At the time, only the likes of Chris Wheeler’s Cock and the student press bothered to cover what would be a major scandal today.

    Comment by Joe W — June 24, 2014 @ 1:37 pm

  27. Piffle. It is about cash for visas. The slow drip of details being confirmed is a master class in exposing the sleazy. The labour response. Not so much.

    Comment by Barnsley Bill — June 24, 2014 @ 4:26 pm

  28. “…The slow drip of details…”

    Time for your rusk and a nice nap, I think.

    Comment by Sanctuary — June 24, 2014 @ 4:27 pm

  29. “I love this shit”

    Yeah, its great. The theme builds through Banks, Collins, Williamson and then inevitably on to K…, But then at that last second – Barker on an all expenses paid river cruise, his daughters rowing lessons paid for. At least Cunliffe had no part, he is adamant he never met… oh, oh dear.

    Add in Laila “I’ll do it for the money” Harre and her sugar daddies.

    It turns out this is a truly great smear. It has crossed party lines and is now in full swing. $100,000 for a bottle of wine. Out of control.

    Whoever strategised this for the Labour party needs to be congratulated, they gambled and ran with scissors. And even though they appear to have failed. They have failed spectacularly. Blood everywhere.

    I love this shit.

    Comment by unaha-closp — June 24, 2014 @ 5:07 pm

  30. It all looks like the Nats are folowing LBJ pig fucking tactics.

    Comment by Andrew R — June 24, 2014 @ 5:36 pm

  31. The slow drip of details being confirmed is a master class in exposing the sleazy.

    Oh, it’s a master class of sleaze, alright.

    Comment by Psycho Milt — June 24, 2014 @ 6:41 pm

  32. “$100,000 for a bottle of wine.”

    There is no $100k bottle of wine. This is completely made up. As I pointed out before, it is ludicrous to believe that such an auction could have taken place without it becoming well-known. There probably isn’t even a $15k bottle of wine.

    Comment by wtl — June 24, 2014 @ 6:41 pm

  33. There’s been a growing perception amongst Labour supporters that Key has some responsibility to determine the the truth or otherwise of Liu’s allegations.

    It’s an odd perception but then he might just have a better chance of doing that than them.

    And while Key’s at it he might be able to solve the mystery of Labour’s policy on offshore drilling.

    Comment by NeilM — June 24, 2014 @ 8:02 pm

  34. Just another example of the media and dolphins being on cahoots with Key,

    Comment by NeilM — June 24, 2014 @ 8:21 pm

  35. Not a bad campaign slogan – “Even Maui’s Dolphins are voting for National” It’s got great crossover, cross party, multi-generational appeal

    Comment by Tinakori — June 24, 2014 @ 8:32 pm

  36. And it’s not awful for the Herald to have endless pointless news. That’s its fucking job according to the owners. It’s a big win to get people to read it, no matter what it says

    Perhaps the Horrid needs a new slogan:

    “off the record, on the QT and very …. hush-hush.”

    Heh, heh, heh.

    Comment by Tom Hunter — June 24, 2014 @ 10:36 pm

  37. Sanc et al should join the CBB http://www.betterbroadcasting.co.nz

    Comment by nigelsagentinthefield — June 24, 2014 @ 11:54 pm

  38. @wtl: “There is no $100k bottle of wine. This is completely made up. As I pointed out before, it is ludicrous to believe that such an auction could have taken place without it becoming well-known. There probably isn’t even a $15k bottle of wine.”

    Exactly. Flaming nora, how about a bit of analysis on the part of the people who call themselves journos in this country! This is a big fat furphy; surely that much is obvious? Donghua Liu, we’re told by Maurice Williamson and other Nats, has virtually no English. If he can’t speak English, he sure as hell won’t be able to write it. His lawyer – somebody called Todd Simmonds – sounds pretty much like a New Zealand native to me, and therefore very unlikely to be able to take a statement from Liu, much less translate it. And if Simmonds is dependent on somebody else to do the translation, he really wouldn’t have a clue if what it says is what Liu meant it to say. And by the same token, Liu wouldn’t have a clue whether his words had been correctly translated. Many a slip twixt cup and lip in translation, especially with regard to Chinese.

    Really, the MSM just swallow this stuff uncritically because Dear Leader tells them to, without the slightest pause to question its veracity? Good grief….

    Comment by D'Esterre — June 25, 2014 @ 12:01 am

  39. The story is dead now, because it was a big lie in the first place.

    The feeble and half-hearted attempts to question Key about his role in all this lasted about half of one day and needed just one threatening comment from Key to be shut down. Just more evidence of what a bunch of easily led and cowardly pack animals our journalists are these days. For all the chest beating machismo of Garner and Gower and co, they are really just total pussies who are petrified of Jason Ede and in awe of John Key.

    Comment by Sanctuary — June 25, 2014 @ 7:56 am

  40. Well this is embarrassing.

    Comment by George — June 25, 2014 @ 10:01 am

  41. >The story is dead now, because it was a big lie in the first place.

    Yeah, what gives? It’s just vanished from the news, like it never even happened.

    Comment by Ben Wilson — June 25, 2014 @ 11:05 am

  42. I think Labour’s keeping quiet because they want the story to just die, and the Herald’s keeping quiet because they’re now unsure of their source. I guess they’re digging to try and find confirmation. But I don’t think Liu is co-operating with the Herald.

    Comment by danylmc — June 25, 2014 @ 11:32 am

  43. “Donghua Liu’s new statement on Labour donation”

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11281460

    NEW statement? You mean the old one was a load of old clarts?

    The tone of the story sounds like a defense lawyer making excuses. The Herald is trying to extract more juice from the stone whilst simultaneously crapping itself.

    Comment by Sanctuary — June 25, 2014 @ 11:50 am

  44. Which way will it spin next? The PM now seems to be trying to shut it down and distance himself “It’s a matter for Liu and Labour to sort out.” (Sanc- missed the PM’s ‘threat’- what was that?) Yet on Friday he was all over it, ‘very confident’ the story was correct http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/morningreport/audio/2600363/key-says-he's-'very-confident'-liu-gave-big-donation-to-labour
    Quiet now because no news to report. The new question are: is the statement at all true? Could Liu be mistaken/mistranslated? The numbers all wrong? He paid for wine at a charity auction? (charity and party fund-raiser hard to confuse, unless you’re the PM …) No clear answers yet. But it absolutely needs to be answered. The other big question: who obtained the statement, under what conditions, and working on whose behalf? I guess the Herald know, but can’t say. Looks like the PM knows too. Which narrows things down considerably.

    Comment by Robinson Stowell — June 25, 2014 @ 12:04 pm

  45. It’s just vanished from the news, like it never even happened.

    “After a horror week for Labour …” – the words of Brook Sabin, TV3 reporter, speaking to camera on last night’s bulletin.

    The facts don’t matter, the story can vanish now, its work here is done. The idiots who are supposed to inform us have decided not to inform themselves.

    Comment by sammy 2.0 — June 25, 2014 @ 12:15 pm

  46. The new statement is obfuscating and vague- at the same time it contradicts the Herald’s previous reporting, and make new claims. Eg, the rowing club donation is counted as a donation to Labour. Who’s to say a bottle of wine at a charity fund-raiser (which may well have been signed by Helen Clark) isn’t also considered a gift to Labour? Etc. Plus multiple small amounts, possibly anonymous, possibly to electorate campaigns, so effectively impossible to track … It’s a bollocksy cocktail of further damage and retraction without ever apologising. (Seems to include the whole cost (50-50k) of the river trip, now presumably the biggest part of ‘close to $100k’ which may or may not have been for the benefit of Mr Barker.)
    Frankly the Herald have been bloody irresponsible. And continue to be with ‘David Cunliffe wrote a letter for Liu’s residency application, despite previous denials’. Cunliffe, who had clearly forgotten about a routine letter he probably read once and signed without thought, only denied lobbying for Liu. And the letter is not for or against Liu’s residency- it simply asks when a decision will be made. Journalists can make mistakes. But journalists who don’t want to get the facts right, and keep repeating their opinions or interpretations as fact are not working as journalists. Closer to propagandists.

    Comment by Robinson Stowell — June 25, 2014 @ 12:30 pm

  47. The Herald kept repeating false viewership figures for TVNZ 7, put out by Broadcasting Minister, for months after he’d accepted they were wrong. Corrected their onine stories after the whole thing had died down and damage done. Funny that. This is more extreme as affects Leader of Opposition and election outcome.

    Comment by Myles Thomas — June 25, 2014 @ 3:51 pm


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