"I am pleased the report shows no evidence that Ms Collins acted inappropriately. I will be recommending to the Governor-General that she be granted use of the title 'The Honourable' for life."
It's almost comical. Key is counting on everyone - including journalists - forgetting that the SFO wasn't the only target of Collins' alleged inappropriate behaviour - just the only one Key was prepared to investigate.
I expect the media has already lost interest because there was no evidence "that SIS officers had acted in collusion with Slater or under direction from the prime minister or the Prime Minister's Office". I'll be astonished if they don't also lap up Key's whitewash inquiry of Judith Collins - the one with terms of reference limited to the email leaked by Key himself. What a surprise that the findings are suddenly available for release today.
The Police were quick smart to protect their own.
Worth noting that the only person to suffer any fallout from the revelations in Dirty Politics so far is Judith Collins, and the police adore her.
I heard that back when Rogernomics was in full swing there was a proposal to privatise Foreign Affairs. Just contract in a service provider to do all that wine-and-cheesing, trade missioning, visiting stray kiwis in jail, diplomacy-type stuff. Someone like Alan Gibbs could have built up the business and flogged it off to the likes of Halliburton. I think in the end someone basically said to Treasury "FFS - we're either a sovereign nation or we're not".
Thirty years later it seems we're not so hung up on notions of sovereignty, and we're running out of other ways to transfer public value to private individuals.
At the end of the day there's only one kind of evidence that the Nats want for policy development, and that's the evidence supplied by David Farrar to tell them whether voters (or at least the ones they care about this week) give a shit or not.
I felt Key’s use of the All Blacks behaviour to legitimate Jason Ede’s dirty work – just appalling
It did show where the real power lies in NZ though. Key claimed (in relation to the Nats accessing Labour's unprotected files) that of course the ABs would access the Wallabies' team sheet in the same back-door way if they had the opportunity, and he knew that for a fact because they'd done it. Now, either he was making shit up for the sake of squeezing in another rugby analogy, or it was true because his AB mates had told him about it. Later he stammered his way through an unconvincing retraction, saying he might have been thinking of the case where English journalists had taken photos of an AB whiteboard with "Greatest Team in History" written on it.
In between times, Steve Hansen presumably rang the AB's Number One Groupie and told him to pull his head in, or the deal for election day supportive tweets would be off... ;-)
1. politics is a dirty business, everyone uses dirty tricks;
It was a bad call on the naming of Hager's book: it practically demanded the response "Yes, politics is dirty - ALL politics, ALL parties". Should have called it "Dirty National Party Scumbags", so voters would have kept hearing the media banging on about the National Scumbags revelations, and whether National Scumbags would reduce voter turnout, and what the post- National Scumbags polls are saying and whether a formal inquiry was needed to get to the bottom of the National Scumbags issues.
Damn Hager and his ethics...
That NewZealandInc felt the thoughts of Michael Basset were worth posting says it all really:
You have to feel sorry for John Key that he’s been subjected to so many off-stage alarums and excursions during this, the dirtiest election campaign of my lifetime. It started with Hager’s Dirty Tricks book, dropped close to the campaign, leaving insufficient time to check the details. Hager calculated on our media being sufficiently full of gullible journalists who would fall for his careful selection of stolen emails. But the public became more and more angry and all but a few journalists backed off after a week.
I read a profile on John Campbell some time after the three-year TV3 investigation into the GCSB had aired. He ruefully admitted that they had grossly over-estimated how much the average punter cares about this stuff. The average punter genuinely believes that politics is dirty on all sides, Dotcom is a dick, spies will be spies, and if you're not a pedophile or Al Qaeda you have nothing to fear.
Key supporters might concede that they would have something to fear if a far-left government was in power, which in their view just makes it all the more essential that the government does everything in its power (and a few things that are technically not in its power) to keep the left out.
The only hope is to appeal to self-interest - mass surveillance might be a problem if government Ministers were so corrupt that they accessed information and passed it on to attack blogs and a compliant media in order to harass and smear ordinary citizens for political, business or personal reasons. But that would never happen in NZ, right?
I thought the point was that Hager's book used all the "political" material obtained from Slater's computer, and he chose not to use personal stuff that wasn't strictly relevant. I don't understand why people think the Whaledump material passed on to journos is going to provide the basis for new stories. Doesn't it simply confirm that the email/chat discussions referred to in the book did take place?