Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Dirty Politics

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  • Paul Campbell,

    Yes it's odd, and amatuerish is a bunch of ways, I'm not sure if it's bogus and dirty politics in its own right, or just netsafe not being professional in and around their job enforcing this new law

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2550 posts Report Reply

  • Alfie,

    Staying true to the born-to-rule arrogance we've come to expect from this former tobacco lobbyist, the Dipton kid says he hasn't learned anything from his biggest self-generated ballsup to date. Actually, I'm paraphrasing. The actual quote is "I’ve got no regrets" -- but the attitude problem is exactly the same.

    You'll recall the allegations of Barclay bugging staff in his offices, some of the staff resigning and laying Police complaints and his subsequent "I will co-operate fully" statement regarding the Police investigation.

    We now know that he didn't cooperate at all and thanks to having friends in high places (can there be any other explanation?) Dipton2 apparently got away with it this time, scot-free.

    Can anyone recall other 10-month police investigations which have been dropped because the Police failed to even make contact with the person they're investigating?

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1318 posts Report Reply

  • Alfie,

    Posted in this thread... because Jordan Williams.

    A High Court judge has ruled that a $1.27m damages award to Taxpayers Union director Jordan Williams is too high.

    Justice Sarah Katz said a jury's decision ruling former Conservative Party leader Colin Craig had to pay the sum to Williams was a miscarriage of justice.

    In a just-released judgment Justice Katz said a miscarriage of justice had occurred, and that jurors appeared to have failed to follow her directions.

    "I am satisfied that the damages award is well outside the range that could reasonably have been given in all the circumstances of the case," she said.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1318 posts Report Reply

  • Alfie,

    The Dipton kid's illegal recording of staff members resurfaces to bite him on the bum.

    Newsroom -- Politicians, police, and the payout

    Melanie Reid has been doing some digging and found that not only were top Nats aware that Barclay had broken the law, but a substantial payment to at least one of the staff members involved came out of John Key’s leader’s budget. Is this an appropriate or even a legal use of the leader's slush fund?

    While Bill English has previously denied any knowledge or involvement in the affair, Newsroom quotes a text from English saying that "The settlement was larger than normal because of the privacy breach."

    I have a feeling that this story has just gained some fresh legs.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1318 posts Report Reply

  • Katharine Moody, in reply to Alfie,

    I have a feeling that this story has just gained some fresh legs.

    Unbelievable. And the subsequent threatening phone calls in that electorate. Proof this government is rotten to the core and that rottenness has spread to Parliamentary Services as well as the Police.

    Palmerston North • Since Sep 2014 • 743 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    Is "the leader's budget" made up of public or National party money?

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2125 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    Ah, so it was public money used to hush up a National party faux-pas, with overtones of conspiring to pervert the course of justice.

    It will be a test of the media to see if they are interested, or would rather cover the America's Cup, terrorism in Europe and the war of words between Gatland and Hansen.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2125 posts Report Reply

  • Katharine Moody,

    Palmerston North • Since Sep 2014 • 743 posts Report Reply

  • Angela Hart,

    Believe it or not Dirty Politics is still running. Martyn Bradbury's bank records, like Nicky Hager's were illegally obtained by the police. Consequently his bank denied him credit because the police had told the bank they suspected Martyn of computer fraud, presumably they thought he was somehow involved with Rawshark.
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11911784

    The police provided no evidence at all for their suspicion.

    Christchurch • Since Apr 2014 • 609 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Where did the recent leak about Winston's pension come from, you ask?

    The Ministry of Social Development told its minister Anne Tolley on August 15 under the "no surprises" policy that it had met NZ First leader Winston Peters about his superannuation payments. The Prime Minister's office has confirmed English's chief of staff Wayne Eagleson was then told by Tolley's office. A spokesperson said Eagleson did not tell English or others in the office.
    ...
    Tolley would not be interviewed, but a spokeswoman said she denied the overpayment had been leaked from anyone in her office.

    MSD and IRD have less obvious motivations to leak this themselves. I guess that leaves Eagleson (who was in charge of the #dirtypolitics apparatus before the last election so the PM was kept at arms length)?

    Gee, who knew bad behaviour might persist without any actual consequences for it?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19413 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Sacha,

    Gee, who knew bad behaviour might persist without any actual consequences for it?

    The Press's village idiot excuse for an editorial cartoonist seems to be saying that's a good thing.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4512 posts Report Reply

  • Alfie, in reply to Sacha,

    I guess that leaves Eagleson (who was in charge of the #dirtypolitics apparatus before the last election so the PM was kept at arms length)?

    "We would have told Bill, but he was busy texting Glynys at the time."

    The timing of the leak is important, with English about to head off on a tour of Winnie's Northland electorate. If in some distant and obscure alternative reality Blinglish was truly kept in the dark by the rest of his colleagues, that tells you all you need to know about the way Eagleson and the rest of the cabinet treat dozy old Bill.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1318 posts Report Reply

  • Alfie,

    RNZ is reporting that the State Services Commissioner informed Paula Bennett about Winnie's "mistake" under the no surprises policy. And the deputy PM didn't bother to mention it to Bill? Go on... pull the other one.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1318 posts Report Reply

  • simon g,

    24 hours on, the "story shifts", says Patrick Gower.

    No Paddy, the story is the one that it always was - who leaked and why? You and your colleagues simply chose the easier, noisier option instead. Not that Newshub is alone in this laziness - I'm sick to death of wannabe Woodsteins using words like "investigative" or "exclusive" when what they really mean is ...

    "A politician has given this to me so I can be their patsy. This involves very little work for me, so I'm fine with that. Serving the public by digging further would mean doing actual journalism, but also staying late at the office, so nah."

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1200 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Alfie,

    and the deputy PM didn't bother to mention it to Bill?

    Was always part of the #dirtypolitics two-track approach - so the PM can make heartfelt statements of concern, winning voters over with his firm moral compass.

    National Party leader Bill English said, whoever was to blame, the privacy breach was a concern. "These are personal details of people's lives and people expect them to be treated confidentially."

    Real question is which of them told Nat campaign manager and long-standing power behind the throne, Mr Joyce?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19413 posts Report Reply

  • izogi,

    However it happened it seems an odd type of thing for National to intentionally leak, if they were thinking about it.

    A narrative of Winston over-claiming some super then paying it back doesn't seem ethically worse than Bill over-claiming a housing allowance then paying it back.... unless there were some presumption that Winston's more vulnerable to voters getting mad at him than Bill... although the housing thing was already out in the open and he's already the status quo, so maybe has a lesser effect by now.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1092 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to izogi,

    A narrative of Winston over-claiming some super then paying it back doesn't seem ethically worse than Bill over-claiming a housing allowance then paying it back....

    But it's somehow a complete nothingburger that Winston just had no idea he was getting the wrong rate of super for seven years, but Metiria Turei claiming a benefit she wasn't entitled to is an existential threat to civilization that required her (figurative) head on a pike?

    I know a week is a long time in politics, but this is absurd and more than a little dishonest.

    By the way, I have an honest to Blog pensioner in the house. He doesn't have any problem declaring his relationship status and every penny of income he's received every single time MSD asked -- which they've done more than once. He also knows what rate he should receive.

    If you think other beneficiaries -- who can't whip out the chequebook when they get caught out -- aren't routinely put through hell for a lot less, you're dreaming. (Funny how our media Winnie stans have never thought to ask MSD how many people they've investigated, slapped punitive sanctions or prosecuted for similar "trivial errors." Sure don't recall Peters ever voting against "cracking down on benefit fraud.")

    Still, I'm glad Winston is now all woke about privacy and "character assassination." Does this mean he'll stop doing it?

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12359 posts Report Reply

  • linger,

    What gets me is the constant MSM reference to the “no surprises policy” as if that excused privacy violation.
    Joyce in particular has been quick to claim that everyone was following the rules, even though admitting “we should have a look” at those rules. Joyce also suggested (on NatRad, 7:45 this morning) that once ministers get that information, it’s hard for them to hold on to it in the face of media questioning.
    Bollocks to all of that.
    (i) The time for “re-examining” policy around releasing details of individual cases was back when Bennett got caught doing it. That National simply ignored the issue strongly suggests they intended to keep indulging in Muldoonist character assassination.
    (ii) The solution is simple enough (and if the policy doesn’t already state it, it should): ministries might on occasion have to tell a minister that a particular case meets some unusual criteria that pose a problem for government policy, but there is no possible reason relating to government policy for passing along any individual’s name.
    (iii) In turn, there is no excuse for any minister passing along information on a ministry case that identifies an individual by name.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1735 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    There is nothing in the 'no surprises' policy about passing information to a party staffer like the PM's chief of staff. No defense for Tolley on that front.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19413 posts Report Reply

  • Neil,

    The public servants who made the decision to inform the relevant ministers did so after extensive consideration. I'm not surprised they went down this road given the very recent events surrounding Turei that resulted in significant political upheaval. It may not have been a good decision but I can understand why they made it.

    As yet there is no evidence of who leaked and why and indulging Peter's strategic self martyrdom complex on the basis of no evidence is just what he wants. The leak occurred after MSD had resolved the issue which is interesting timing. If it was National then they would have known that there was no real issue.

    Since Nov 2016 • 122 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Neil,

    If it was National then they would have known that there was no real issue.

    They may have been aiming for a modest publicity-driven voting change as Richard Harman suggests, which has nothing much to do with the truth these days.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19413 posts Report Reply

  • linger, in reply to Neil,

    there is no evidence of who leaked and why

    But if it wasn’t some inappropriately-briefed and unethically-minded National staffer, then we have even bigger problems with MSD’s lack of political neutrality and lack of respect for client confidentiality, wouldn’t you say?

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1735 posts Report Reply

  • Neil, in reply to Sacha,

    I was meaning more - if there was evidence Peters had been dishonest then there would be motivation for leaking. That there wasn't suggests National didn't do it as there was no advantage.

    Whoever leaked wanted this to be known publicly even though there was nothing untoward - they leaked after MSD had cleared Peters. Suggests something more to do with perceived double standards ie Turei.

    Since Nov 2016 • 122 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Neil,

    suggests National didn't do it as there was no advantage.

    That's what Bennett is claiming today, sure. But not what Richard Harman said in the post I linked to above:

    National is now going to target Winston Peters and NZ First in the hope of winning one or two per cent of his vote back off him.
    ...
    Also fuelling National's strategy is polling it has which shows the Greens on around three per cent and Gareth Morgan’s Opportunities Party on two per cent.
    ...
    The strategy then is clear; to try and boost National's vote --- thought to be in the mid-40s – by two per cent or so, and then to rely on a high wasted vote from the Greens, TOP plus ACT to reduce the percentage it needs to get half the seats in Parliament.
    ...
    If the wasted vote is much the same as the last election, then National probably needs another two or three per cent to win a majority of the seats.

    Gee, who to believe? We know there does not actually need to be any truth in an accusation to shift some votes. It's the vibe, your honour.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19413 posts Report Reply

  • John Farrell, in reply to Neil,

    Why don't you just paste Hooten and Farrar's tweets here, rather than paraphrasing them?

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 433 posts Report Reply

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