Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Dirty Politics

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  • Alfie, in reply to Paul Campbell,

    Listening to Key saying "it's perfectly OK to take confidential stuff from a web site if the security is lax" just pisses me off

    Surely Key's argument justifies any and all hacking? After all, no hacker would ever be able to access confidential information if the target site's security is solid. Perhaps anyone in NZ charged with breaching a computer system in the future will be able to rely upon "the Key Defense".

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1437 posts Report Reply

  • John Farrell, in reply to Paul Campbell,

    You could apply the same logic to the acquisition of Slater's emails. The fact they were accessible shows his system was insecure

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 499 posts Report Reply

  • Kracklite,

    Let's remember that it's not just Slater. As well as Odgers and Hooton publicising Nicky Hager's address and smacking their lips over the prospect of harm - or worse - coming to him, we have the Penguin's mate, Jordan Williams issuing a threat to Helen Kelly as well: https://twitter.com/JordNZ/status/501113656784863232

    "Be very careful", he says. Bluster or not, effective or not, there you have an insight into their personalities. Pure evil.

    The Library of Babel • Since Nov 2007 • 982 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Lucy Telfar Barnard,

    Laila Harre’s observation that Judith Collins was Minister for the Electoral Commission was thrillingly chilling.

    No it really wasn't, Lucy. Know I'm on a hiding to nothing, but it might be a good idea if Laila Harre took a deep breath before passive-aggressively impugning the integrity and political independence of electoral agencies.

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

  • Alfie,

    Judith Collins has finally realised the implications of supplying a civil servant's name to Slater which resulted in death threats. And she's done a flip-flop!

    Ms Collins last week confirmed she had given the man's name to Slater telling NewstalkZB: "What I was asked for was the name and the title of the guy and that's publicly available and I've simply given him that".

    However, she yesterday changed her position telling the Herald she did not give Slater Mr Pleasants' name as Slater already had it.

    She had not indicated to Slater she believed the man was responsible for leaking information to Labour she said.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1437 posts Report Reply

  • Alfie,

    The hacker appears to have a sense of humour.

    The Twitter handle carries the address 3 Hans Cres - the address of the Ecuadorian embassy in London where Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is exiled.

    The handle also includes an encryption key which resolves to Winston Peter's email address.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1437 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Telfar Barnard, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    Craig, for me there's a difference between impugning the integrity of the Electoral Commission, and pointing out that someone who's behaved in such an appalling way towards public servants (amongst other people) isn't a fit person to be in charge of the Electoral Commission.
    As Minister, she has oversight over their work and budget. Lower voter turnout favours the right. So... if she's a bad egg, how much focus and budget is she going to put into, say, encouraging voter turnout? How well is she going to resource the department that works to get people to enroll/chases them if they don't?
    In general, we rely on the Minister to act in good faith, and in ordinary circumstances I would be happy to do that. But her proven acts of bad faith make it harder to continue to do so.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 585 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Meyers, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    it might be a good idea if Laila Harre took a deep breath before passive-aggressively impugning the integrity and political independence of electoral agencies.

    For my sins, I was at the Internet Mana roadshow yesterday where Laila Harre was talking about the electoral commission and Judith Collins. Harre's point was that the electoral commission isn't getting enough money to properly do its job and get people voting. As a result voter turnout has been declining.

    I have no idea if they have enough money to do their job or not but Harre was not questioning the integrity and independence of the agencies, just the independence of their budgets. This is a big difference.

    Wellington • Since May 2014 • 56 posts Report Reply

  • Grant McDougall,

    If National win the election, Key's in a real Catch-22 situation with Collins. If he grows a pair and demotes here, he then runs the risk of her spitting the dummy and attempting to replace him sooner or later. But if he doesn't demote here, then he'll have to carry on fobbing off questions over her integrity.

    Dunedin • Since Dec 2006 • 760 posts Report Reply

  • Grant McDougall,

    As an aside, I suppose it's too early for me to nominate "dirty" as the PA word-of-the-year ?

    Dunedin • Since Dec 2006 • 760 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Michael Meyers,

    I have no idea if they have enough money to do their job or not but Harre was not questioning the integrity and independence of the agencies, just the independence of their budgets. This is a big difference.

    And that’s an entirely worthy sentiment, but she didn’t actually say any of that on Morning Report – and it was a underwhelming interview that only looked good by comparison with the preceding Key trainwreck. Judith Collins is a grown-up who can take whatever slings and arrows come her way, but I don’t see why the Electoral Commission had to be brought into it in any way, shape or form.

    IMO, Harre was damn lucky Susie Ferguson didn’t ask the obvious follow up: “So, are you claiming Collins is politically interfering in the work of the Electoral Commission?” And she's actually going to have to learn to answer uncomfortable but legitimate questions without dismissing them as "dirty politics" and "amplifying Cameron Slater's agenda."

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

  • Hilary Stace,

    Yet another piece of fall out. One story in Dirty Politics concerns the cleaning industry and lobbying by WO and co against a hard fought government agreement on some standards to protect workers (and eventually overturned by Simon Bridges this year). Now the head of the BSC wants some answers http://www.voxy.co.nz/politics/bsc-president-demands-answers-over-hager-book/5/199497?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3226 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Aston, in reply to Grant McDougall,

    If he grows a pair and demotes here, he then runs the risk of her spitting the dummy and attempting to replace him sooner or later

    Intriguing dynamic here , why does Key seem so reluctant to throw Collins to the dogs? He's had more reasons to do that with Collins than he did with Williamson.

    Northland • Since Nov 2006 • 510 posts Report Reply

  • Walter Nicholls, in reply to Grant McDougall,

    The word stuck in my head for the last few days has been "complicit". Perception of this will decide which individuals fall over the month ahead.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Jul 2008 • 42 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to Richard Aston,

    why does Key seem so reluctant to throw Collins to the dogs?

    Over the last few days I've found myself idly wondering what Collins might have on Key. Just idly wondering, let me emphasise.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    The first tranche of messages from Hager’s source is available for viewing here.

    - It seems to identify as many as SIX email addresses as belonging to Ede.

    - Seems to quite clearly show Slater feeding Ede information to identify activists, including Jolyon White, using ninth-floor Ministerial Services resources.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Max Rose,

    So, why hasn't Key already distanced himself from Ede? If Ede was truly a rogue, going about this without political support, surely Key could have said early on "My staff know not to engage in dirty politics, but if Ede or anyone else has crossed that line then they will have to pay the consequences". I can only assume that Ede was not a lone bandit running with the whales, and there are more connections to come.

    Wellington • Since Sep 2011 • 83 posts Report Reply

  • Max Rose, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Ede asking Slater "I do hope I can count on you to run some interference on Wood's local board position" - without knowing the full local context, that sounds a lot more than Key's office "sharing information with bloggers in the same way they do with MSM". Is that a correct interpretation?

    Wellington • Since Sep 2011 • 83 posts Report Reply

  • A S,

    One of the emails in the @whaledump release (2 Sept 2013) apparently has Ede telling Slater that Ede had asked research (the Nats Parliamentary research unit?) to start compiling data that Slater was wanting.

    Not entirely surprising if true, especially in light of what has come out over the last few days, but does add to the wider perception that underhanded things were being run (apparently in close collaboration with Slater) out of level 9 of the Beehive.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2007 • 269 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    He is a diseased silverback engaged in a truly ugly ‘gorilla war’…
    And all he’s got for ammunition is his own sh*t!
    Tosser…

    Lovely imagery, Ian.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2935 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Lucy Telfar Barnard,

    As Minister, she has oversight over their work and budget. Lower voter turnout favours the right. So… if she’s a bad egg, how much focus and budget is she going to put into, say, encouraging voter turnout? How well is she going to resource the department that works to get people to enroll/chases them if they don’t?

    No Minister of Justice, not even the Demoness Judith Collins, determines the "focus" of the Electoral Commission -- which is an independent crown entity NOT part of the Ministry of Justice. That's laid out on in the Electoral Act, 1993 as amended by the Electoral (Administration) Amendment Act 2010.

    And nobody has their budget set by ministerial fiat. If Ms. Harre is an MP after the election, I look forward to her being a strong advocate for increased resources to the Electoral Commission so they can even better do the job they already do with the utmost integrity and political independence.

    As I said up thread, Judith Collins can take whatever slings and arrows come her way. But I think all politicians might want to think really hard about bringing electoral agencies into campaign argy-bargy in any way, shape or form.

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

  • nzlemming, in reply to Bevan Shortridge,

    Guy Espiner’s RNZ Morning Report interview with John Key At The End of the Day

    I thought that this:

    [Key] "anyone who knows Cameron Slater knows that he's a force unto himself".

    was interesting as it was almost exactly what Farrar was claiming last week. These guys need better writers.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2935 posts Report Reply

  • A S, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    Re budget setting by Ministerial fiat. In theory, no. In reality, that depends rather a lot on how much pull the Minister in question has. The number of frankly idiotic things that have been funded based on Ministerial whim over the years is mind-blowing. Equally mind-blowing, but much more tragic are the rather large number of successful programmes killed on equally ill-informed whim.

    I don’t know the specifics or whether the commissions funding levels match actual need, but I will say that any Minister offering up funding as no longer needed, or not seeking funding to maintain service levels, is not going to face anything like the level of scrutiny that would accompany a request for more resources.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2007 • 269 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Who is Robert Ridley? A corrupt cop or NZTA employee? Surely they'd use a pseudonym?

    (I don't think database misuse is illegal in NZ, but it does get you fired, or at least it should).

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

  • Sacha, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    it was a underwhelming interview

    a bloody mess

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

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