Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Dirty Politics

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  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Michael Meyers,

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

    Michael, I allowed my dismay at what I took to be the shallowness of your response to what are very serious issues to get the better of me. I apologise, and can only wish that I could have displayed the kind of large and generous mind that Matthew Littlewood has done here.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4591 posts Report Reply

  • stephen clover,

    From the "really didn't see that coming" files, Rob Gilchrist On Nicky Hager:

    It may come as a surprise but I have the utmost respect for Mr Hager, He doesn’t write ’baseless allegations’, ’what-ifs and fanciful speculation’ Mr Hager is also not a ‘conspiracy theorist‘, he’s just extremely good at finding conspiracies.

    wgtn • Since Sep 2007 • 355 posts Report Reply

  • "chris",

    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

    I haven’t read it, hope to one day but. But I can think of someone who these words should be directed at. To generalise, when damning allegations are made about a member of your team, perhaps the legality of their actions have been called into question, perhaps they have shown a lack of ethics or they’ve outed themselves as being unfit for their position, then you can be damn sure that any team leader worth their salt is going to investigate.

    If you’re a political leader seeking reelection and allegations are made against a member of your party, then any leader worth their weight will look into it, check it out, if only to ensure none of the member have committed actions that might compromise the stab at the crown, to make sure none of your number has done anything to downtrow the party and open you’re clan up to a stern kick up the jacksy, to clarify whether these members have the integrity, the judiciousness, and the ability to handle the responsibility entailed in being a Minister in the New Zealand Government and occupying that position in a manner befitting the honorific Right or Honorable. You want to be working with the elite, surely?

    If you’re in fact the Prime Minister, then ideally you really want what’s best for your country. When allegations are made against the Government you want details, you want to read the police report, you want to stay abreast of developments in the political and legal sphere because they’re your police and that’s your sphere. You want to know, because more knowledge enables you to govern more effectively. That is exactly how you do a better job. Same in any industry, field or hobby.

    Mr Key said he would not read the book until after the election

    If you don’t know, if you’re too busy playing golf and dreaming of war, if you’re unwilling to find out with your own eyes, then how on earth can you be expected to make the most informed decisions? How in hades can you expect to do your job as well as someone who does know? And how in that scamp Satan’s name can you vouch for your Party and your Minsterial team and their aptitude to lead when you’re willingly ignoring evidence and information (with citations) generously (and for a small fee) presented by a neutral third party. And if you don’t know, willfully so, then how can you expect us to place any faith in you whatsoever, much less vote for you?

    Any leader worth the price of their trouser leg would see this as a gift horse, a chance to better understand the goings on and machinations of your own party beyond your office walls, beyond appearances as normally presented by your underlings to you as that leader. That shit’s the gold Thatcher couldn’t mine.

    Unless of course you already know it all and you are dick deep in pig shit.

    But yeah. Kiwis are a hard bunch, people talk about tall poppy syndrome but in fairness, the nastiness, the contempt, the name calling, and the brutality is pretty much cropwide, in all directions. Even so, we do manage on occasion to look past our tribes, our bias and our vindictiveness and make a fair call. Perhaps we need more leadership there. Perhaps we need a Prime Minister with the capacity to step up from this glug of trashing our people. A leader who can reach beyond denigrating New Zealand citizens and taxpayers as a “sugar daddy” or a “terrorist” or “a bit silly” or in the case of Nicky Hager “a screaming left-wing conspiracy theorist”. Perhaps it’s high time we once again had a Prime Minister who can both call and see the value of our people for what we are, in this case

    A five time best selling author, and a member of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.

    Because anything else, anything less than this is simply a blueprint for how attack politics is poisoning New Zealand’s political environment.

    location, location, locat… • Since Dec 2010 • 250 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Telfar Barnard,

    Has anyone asked the PM whether he thinks attack politics are a bad thing?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 580 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock, in reply to Michael Meyers,

    Michael, even without reading the book (which I haven't either), you're still overlooking:

    1) the allegations of blackmail against Rodney Hide.

    2) the allegations of trawling of brothels for material to use against their opponents.

    Two points that have come out in the media discussions. I can't think of anything similar that any other political party has been accused of.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Danyl on the "suspicous burglaries" spin.

    Farrar's post, which amazingly completely leaves out the fact that National MP (and darling of the Lusk-Slater set) was burgled *last year*.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22743 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Littlewood, in reply to Steve Parks,

    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’.

    David Fisher has already picked up on the Katherine Rich/Carrick Graham angle, as did this interesting feature about Slater by Fairfax's Kate Shuttleworth. And the young gallery members' grilling of Key during his 20 minute stand-up was robust stuff. Andrea Vance, who I rate as a phenomenally good journalist (almost a bit jealous at her talent!), has picked up on the fact that Jason Ede still has parliamentary access. Considering the book was only released a few days ago, there's a lot of material being explored by the journalists. It's actually quite heartening.

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

  • Matthew Littlewood, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Farrar’s post, amazingly completely leaves out the fact that the National MP (and darling of the Lusk-Slater set) was burgled *last year*.

    See also Farrar’s Sometimes people say jerky things in emails to explain some of the more noxious material of the conversations coming out.

    To be fair, I’d also be pretty pissed off too if someone leaked my commercial documents. But he clearly wasn’t hacked.

    Also, there's no way you can defend Slater's comments about ChCh's earthquake victims, private conversations or not.

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

  • Michael Meyers, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    Reading the responses to my post, I do wonder if I didn't write my original post with sufficient care.

    I'm certainly not trying to dismiss the seriousness of the allegations. I'm more despairing that Key and Collins are covered in teflon. Nothing sticks to them no matter how serious, unless it's ironclad.

    Wellington • Since May 2014 • 56 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Matthew Littlewood,

    Also, there’s no way you can defend Slater’s comments about ChCh’s earthquake victims, private conversations or not.

    Given the kind of vicious cynicism that's been playing out here in Chch they're probably not too much of an exaggeration of mainstream Party fear & loathing.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4591 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to stephen clover,

    From the “really didn’t see that coming” files, Rob Gilchrist On Nicky Hager:

    Woh! That IS a surprise. Comments are interesting too, though I also tend to choke on the lauded 'honesty and integrity" attributed to Gilchrist.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2929 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to nzlemming,

    I also tend to choke on the lauded ’honesty and integrity” attributed to Gilchrist.

    If he's doing it to seek some kind of absolution then he has a way to go

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4591 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Matthew Littlewood,

    Attachment

    David Fisher has already picked up on the Katherine Rich/Carrick Graham angle,

    "one of these things is not like the other..."
    (also, really nasty shots of Slater and Collins. Someone at the Harald is pissed off)

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2929 posts Report Reply

  • stephen clover, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    If he’s doing it to seek some kind of absolution then he has a way to go.

    Yep, from what I have heard and the comments there, as well as this linked blogpost, that particular story is a long way from finished.

    Edit: and, durn it, as an alleged military imposter (!?) potentially not the most credible witness for the defence...

    wgtn • Since Sep 2007 • 355 posts Report Reply

  • izogi, in reply to "chris",

    Unless of course you already know it all

    Bingo. What are the options and the available oversight when a PM refuses to investigate serious allegations on the grounds that it’s likely the trail might directly implicate them, or some other selfish reason?

    Maybe it is all completely innocent, but there seems enough reason to justify actually finding that out.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1139 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Michael Meyers,

    I'm certainly not trying to dismiss the seriousness of the allegations. I'm more despairing that Key and Collins are covered in teflon. Nothing sticks to them no matter how serious, unless it's ironclad.

    I think at the very least, Hager's exposé is the beginning of the end for them, and not all the details have surfaced yet. Especially since he managed to put GMOs back on the agenda with Seeds of Distrust, and end Don Brash's political career with Hollow Men.

    Significantly, the usual suspects can't bring themselves to accuse Hager of making shit up, so they resort to hoary old Muldoonist ad hominem and Rovian tu quoque tactics instead.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5414 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    Did I hear Slater describe himself as a 'Jackal of all trades' on Q+A today?

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7880 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    If he’s doing it to seek some kind of absolution then he has a way to go

    True dat.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2929 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Matthew Littlewood,

    Heather du Plessis-Allan reading the book on 7 Sharp. Draw your own conclusion, but did she come across as mildly dismissive of it? Particularly since she emphasised the word 'allegedly' umpteens of times.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5414 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell,

    Looking for examples/quotes from Mr Slater or the BlubberyhBlog that are especially egregious. There's the Greymouth headline, and the Chch quake quote- anything else especially stick out?
    Asking for a friend :)

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2090 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Rob Stowell,

    Looking for examples/quotes from Mr Slater or the BlubberyhBlog that are especially egregious. There's the Greymouth headline, and the Chch quake quote- anything else especially stick out?
    Asking for a friend :)

    The Granny has a brief run-down.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5414 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Parks, in reply to Matthew Littlewood,

    That's good. And yeah I had seen that 20 minute grilling on 3 news on demand. It was heartening after the relatively poor performance by Espinar in interviewing Joyce on National radio (who then bizarrely became really tenacious when interviewing Cunliffe immediately afterwards).

    Wellington • Since May 2007 • 1164 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    Thanks Deep Red :)

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2090 posts Report Reply

  • SteveH, in reply to Russell Brown,

    he pissed-off younger Gallery members who quizzed Key in this extraordinary 20-minute standup were righteous.

    Key is very clever to avoid looking at the book. It means he can essentially lie and get away with it. For example, he repeated stated that it fine for Ede to access the Labour website using the instructions provided by Slater on Whaleoil. The impression his audience will get from his responses is that Ede did nothing wrong. But Ede accessed the site before the blog post went up. When (if) Key gets pulled up on this he will claim he hadn’t read the book and simply made a mistake about its contents. Many will forgive him the lie and those that don’t see the followup will go on believing Key’s initial version of events.

    Since Sep 2009 • 444 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Parks, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    - "Particularly since she emphasised the word ‘allegedly’ umpteens of times."

    I took that as making a self-aware kind of joke about the whole having to say "allegedly" thing.

    Wellington • Since May 2007 • 1164 posts Report Reply

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