Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Dirty Politics

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  • James George, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    It needs more than just another talkfest. Any serious solution would need something on the level of the Leveson or Finkelstein Inquiries, which in this case would probably take the form of a Royal Commission

    I'm sorry I don't mean to have a go at your particular post there are many others in a similar vein posted in here & I find it frustrating that so many people appear to refuse to live in the real world.
    Leveson is not a good example to make for advocating anything. If you have been paying attention you will see that the englander newspaper proprietors stymied Leveson's recommendations preventing them from being implemented - now or ever.

    All the major englander political parties have gone along with the editors' traducing of democracy - nothing scares those pollies more than an angry Mirror, Sun, or even Daily Fail editor.
    Sure chief labour Derp and wanna be king Eddy the egret Milliband, has made a fuss, pushing for some of the least effective recommendations, but he knows nothing will come of it. Doubtless he hopes the fish-wraps' owners won't take it too personal - they will comprehend that he has to be seen to oppose nasty Dave Cameron. In the tweedledee Vs tweedledum phoney war of the neo-libs.

    I just cannot get my head around the dream world so many of us live in.

    The rights that Kiwis ceded with a casual tick in the ballot box were rights hard won after centuries of fighting against oppression -they cannot be got back nearly as easily as they were given away.
    It is frankly ludicrous to expect the fixed game so called democracy has become, can do much more than slighly reduce the velocity with which the bulk of kiwis are being reduced to powerless cyphers.

    Some of the problem may be that we attained many of these rights (eg universal suffrage, equality of opportunity) by killing and oppressing the indigenous population, not by fighting & defeating the seat of power and those who sought to keep us under their heel.

    There was no established seat of power in Aotearoa in the 19th century. There was just the vacuum created by destruction of Tangata Whenua society, people & culture.

    Many Kiwis just don't see that the sacrifice and hardship endured by others was what enabled most of us to get that which has since been so carelessly forfeited since.
    Of course not all our freedoms came from the barrel of guns pointed at Tangata Whenua - some resulted from guns pointed at young kiwis of all races including Maori, during WW1.

    Many thousands of Kiwis learned the reality of the iron fist beneath the velvet glove courtesy of WW1.
    Not all returned servicemen or the families of the fallen agreed with that perspective.

    Yet following WW1 angry, disillusioned & distrustful citizens pushed hard to change the ways power was wielded in Aotearoa as well as the people who wielded it. They did so to prevent a recurrence of the situation where NZ citizens got treated as disposable units.
    A direct upshot was increased support for the NZ Labour Party as it was then.
    Yet here we are replaceable economic units once more and the Labour Party played no small role in the reversion.

    This year, the 100th anniversary of the Great War, has seen considerable revisionismof the causes of WW1 & motives of those who advocated for that horror show.

    In a typical "Double Rule" style of the neo-libs young people's genuine respect for what the diggers achieved is being used as the force to push for the over-turn of what many of the returned soldiers had fought for.

    The reason I am peddling this 'War & Peace' of a post is not to be a 'wet blanket' attempting to rain on the Nicky Hager parade, but in the possibly forlorn hope that some will realise if change is to be effected, a vastly different approach than merely trying to shame the egocentric scuzzbags who have stolen our nation into submission, is required.

    Since Sep 2007 • 96 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Parks, in reply to Michael Meyers,

    The Labour party might not like it but it was open. I’d be surprised if this would stand up in court and it was arguably in the public interest too (as Whale Oil said “can’t secure a web site, not fit for government”). If this does stand up in court as “unauthorised access”, I’d be worried about what else might be hacking.

    Michael, Labour aren’t saying the site was hacked. Here is the claim…

    Author Nicky Hager claims in his book Dirty Politics that Key adviser Jason Ede and Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater conspired over information relating to Labour Party membership details, including credit card records, after a security flaw was discovered on the Labour website in 2011.

    An analogy would be the difference between breaking into someone’s house (“hacking”), and walking into someone’s house because they accidentally left the door open.

    And illegal or not, John Key denied this had anything to do with the National party. This has proven to be false.

    Oh, and if all they had wanted to do was point out that Labour hadn't properly secured their website, then they could have just, you know, done that.

    Source for quote: http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/10391270/National-hacked-us-Cunliffe

    Wellington • Since May 2007 • 1164 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Simon Sjorn,

    Are journalists afraid?

    Probably. With the revelations in the book, who knows what Slater has on them?

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2930 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    We used to call them “Hired Goons”

    Or "useful idiots"

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2930 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to steven crawford,

    My not professional opinion, is that Graham McCready and Cameron slater are more or less the same beast.

    I'd dispute that. McCready seems to actually believe in accountability, he's just a little misguided in how to get it. Slater, I feel, doesn't believe in anything, except his tribe winning.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2930 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    can't secure a web site, not fit for government

    I heard also that John Key can't catch a ball and Don Brash's cooking leaves a lot to be desired.

    Why would non-political skills be a requirement for government?

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    An analogy would be the difference between breaking into someone’s house (“hacking”), and walking into someone’s house because they accidentally left the door open

    Graeme will correct me if I'm wrong, but in NZ, if you intended to steal stuff (or commit any other imprisonable offence) it's burglary whether or not the door was open.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Parks,

    Rich,

    Yeah that was my thinking too. If you go out and accidentally leave the door wide open and someone walks in to your house and steels stuff, they haven't broken into your house, but they've still committed a crime. I'm not sure how well that matches (in terms of the law) with the apparent actions of Slater and Jordan.

    Wellington • Since May 2007 • 1164 posts Report Reply

  • Alfie, in reply to Steve Parks,

    I'm not sure how well that matches (in terms of the law) with the apparent actions of Slater and Jordan

    I believe it was actually Slater and Ede. Stealing credit card information, regardless of intention, is usually frowned upon in NZ. Can we expect a serious Police investigation over this matter?

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1386 posts Report Reply

  • Alfie,

    Oh, good god! Direct from the "keep slinging mud and see who it hits" department, Slater has just firmly accused Dotcom of hacking his computer. Given Nicky Hagar's statement on Q&A that Dotcom was "absolutely categorically" not the source, one would expect that Slater has just exposed himself to a rather substantial defamation claim.

    Dotcom has tweeted, branding Slater a "right wing conspiracy theorist".

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1386 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Parks, in reply to Alfie,

    I believe it was actually Slater and Ede.

    Oops, sorry, yes Slater and Ede, as per the quotation I used!

    Wellington • Since May 2007 • 1164 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford, in reply to nzlemming,

    I’d dispute that. McCready seems to actually believe in accountability, he’s just a little misguided in how to get it. Slater, I feel, doesn’t believe in anything, except his tribe winning.

    McCready has absolutely none, personal integrity. He doesn’t even have tribe loyalties. Nether does Slater, really. I had dealings with McCready at the end of the 1990s, and can I tell you, he feeds of other peoples misery, in the same way.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4311 posts Report Reply

  • David Hood,

    There are actual reports of criminals who have been entering into people's homes in Auckland through unlocked windows and copying the credit card information without removing anything from the premises. I am not being metaphorical about this. But since it was not secured access and they only copied things (though they knew they didn't have the rights to the information) does anyone want to argue no crime was actually committed?

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 1443 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Sjorn,

    Yes. The Prime.Minister has said a few times "it was unsecured anyway" as if this makes theft somehow ok and no one challenges him on it? This episode has not only highlighted to me the awful poisonous beetles we have running our.country but also underlined in bright red vivid the failings.of.our journalists. The question is are our media just clueless or are they actually somehow in league with these arseholes?

    New Zealand • Since Sep 2013 • 39 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Sjorn,

    Sorry for using rude word. Feeling despair.

    New Zealand • Since Sep 2013 • 39 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford, in reply to David Hood,

    It’s all down to intent. Analogy: ‘ your honor, I noticed that building had its door open, so I went in to check that no one was robbing the place’.

    I know, I know, it’s like trying to say: ’ officer I was on my way to the station to hand in this bag of pot, which I found on the footpath’.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4311 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Telfar Barnard,

    Except that if you make a copy of everything you found there, as Ede apparently did, that's different from just going in to check that noone's robbing the place.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 580 posts Report Reply

  • Rosemary McDonald, in reply to Trevor Nicholls,

    actually leads to the conclusion that (c) both sides are as bad as each other.

    Kaching! Right on the money Trevor....IMHO.

    Perhaps we should all accept that this is how it really is in the internet age...NOTHING can be considered 'private', 'confidential' or 'secret' once you click 'send'.

    So we should all perhaps HTFU and move on.

    Now, who y'all gonna trust with your precious vote?

    Waikato, or on the road • Since Apr 2014 • 1344 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Meyers,

    Seriously, why not just go read the book? It’s quite short! Hager’s pretty good at telling a story. It’s quite an easy read.

    You know, I probably will. I just haven't read it yet. I know it's short. And a good read.

    Are you a troll?

    No. Just suspecting that John Key and Judith Collins will shrug this off (again) and be washed clean following an election win. This book is big news bit it's not a panacea. The next few weeks will be interesting though.

    There used to be these people back in the 90s who the most pressing issue in their lives seemed to be that they couldn’t get takeaway in containers like they saw on Seinfeld. Horribly, they appear to have procreated. Ain’t a terminally self-absorbed fanboy a wonderful thing,

    What? I don't even understand what that means?

    Wellington • Since May 2014 • 56 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Littlewood, in reply to Keir Leslie,

    [Seriously, why not just go read the book? It’s quite short! Hager’s pretty good at telling a story. It’s quite an easy read.]

    Yep. It’s only 150 pages (not includes the mutlitude of footnotes and cross-references). Compared to the Hollow Men, the tone is a lot more urgent and even gobsmacked, but Hager is, on all occasions, very careful not to make direct links when he doesn’t have the information (unlike some of those who have made comments about the book this far). If the Hollow Men was principally about the education (and ultimate corruption) of a political novice, then Dirty Politics is about a group of individuals desperately trying to get into the system and trying to poision it for their own means. In fact, the chapter that was most surprising (and disturbing) for me isn’t so much the alleged shenanigans of Slater, Lusk et al- it’s awful, but you wouldn’t expect anything less of them.

    What really galls me is the way Carrick Graham (and possibly even Katherine Rich) tried to use Slater et al as proxies to smear public health advocates. It’s horrid. And certainly worthy of wider investigation. (I guess it’s similar to the chapter in the Hollow Men about how various proxies tired to launder political campaign advertisements through the racing industry)

    Dirty Politics packs a lot of detail in its 150 pages. It’s kinda breathless at times. The Hollow Men was more, shall we say, accumulative in its narrative. But it’s a rare investigative journalist who can write as well as they investigate, and Hager is one of those.

    Today, Tomorrow, Timaru • Since Jan 2007 • 445 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Rosemary McDonald,

    Perhaps we should all accept that this is how it really is in the internet age…NOTHING can be considered ‘private’, ‘confidential’ or ‘secret’ once you click ‘send’.

    So we should all perhaps HTFU and move on.

    Well, Rosemary, I’m sure Cameron Slater (and Hager’s source, who Hager’s hinted is going to release material he wouldn’t touch) would agree with that. If that’s the company people want to keep, that’s their call.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Parks, in reply to Matthew Littlewood,

    ...certainly worthy of wider investigation.

    My faith in journalism in NZ in general will be restored if one or more mainstream journalists takes up the points you're referring to, Matthew. Won't hold my breath, tho'.

    Wellington • Since May 2007 • 1164 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    This week's __Media Take_ (and a post I'll write on Tuesday) will be in part about the responses of other journalists and broadcasters -- which have by no means all been bad. The pissed-off younger Gallery members who quizzed Key in this extraordinary 20-minute standup were righteous.

    But some older media people dismissing the whole book -- including evidence that sitting Ntional MPs paid Lusk and Slater to destroy their opponents in selection contests -- just really need to take a good, hard look at themselves.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22754 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie, in reply to Matthew Littlewood,

    Yes -- the conversation where Slater speculates whether or not there's some kind of Granita Pact between Joyce and Collins is priceless. And it's worth remembering that it's not like Slater's been there for ever or anything. In 05 he was not a big deal; now he is. Why? Because the National Party made him.

    Since Jul 2008 • 1452 posts Report Reply

  • stephen clover, in reply to Matthew Littlewood,

    In fact, the chapter that was most surprising (and disturbing) for me isn’t so much the alleged shenanigans of Slater, Lusk et al- it’s awful, but you wouldn’t expect anything less of them.

    Perhaps not. However I can’t understand how they get away with some of it. How, for example, were they able to manoeuvre their guy Mark Mitchell into position as candidate for the Rodney seat? Through publication of complete and utter falsehoods they systematically destroyed the other hopefuls. Why didn’t the party tell them to fuck off and stop corrupting the process!?

    Simon Sjorn

    Are journalists afraid?

    Quite possibly. At 0:37 does John Key basically threaten Patrick Gower that someone has something on him?

    You know, if nothing else happens, a great outcome from all this for me would be that Hooton, Farrar, Stephen Franks, Jordan Williams, and anyone else of their ilk never, ever, appear again on RNZ* as “political commentators.” Or in print anywhere. That of course extends to anyone else operating in a similar manner and aligned to, for example, the Labour Party. Probably a pipe dream though, ay?

    * And additionally that Jim Mora and his producer(s) are seriously scrutinised since as far as I can remember they first started appearing in that kind of role on The Panel.

    wgtn • Since Sep 2007 • 355 posts Report Reply

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