Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Privacy and the Public Interest

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  • Myles Thomas,

    "having suddenly acquired the means to retain a Queen’s Counsel" I wonder who is funding the QC?

    Auckland • Since Apr 2011 • 130 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Dismal Soyanz,

    I hope you are right.

    Well, I still think it’s unlikely. But when you consider how many apathetic people will actually go all the way to a shop and then spend money just to get an extremely unlikely shot at something, I’d think that even a one in ten chance would be more than reason enough to say that “if you actually care who wins, then why not have a punt?”. iPredict has it 24%. That’s roughly as likely as getting heads twice in a row on a fair coin. I think I’d take that shot on a chance to change the government.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10650 posts Report Reply

  • Myles Thomas,

    Danyl's bias adjusted tracking poll has National on 44.7% which is a very different proposition. The Dom Post (and Stuff as a result) has always been right-wing, I think most Wellingtons realise that but it still frames their discussions and votes. There's nothing we can do about it apart from provide an alternative media outlet - much like MJ Savage did in establishing Radio NZ.

    Auckland • Since Apr 2011 • 130 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Myles Thomas,

    I wonder who is funding the QC?

    Maybe the QC is in the dump, and this is gratis.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10650 posts Report Reply

  • Andre Alessi, in reply to Keir Leslie,

    If we had stricter lobbying rules a lot of what Slater did when acting under pay would likely have had to have been made public, which would have defeated the purpose.

    The changes to the Electoral Act have certainly resulted in some interesting consequences.

    Devonport, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 864 posts Report Reply

  • izogi, in reply to Keir Leslie,

    how’s it not in the public interest to know that the Taxpayer’s Union spokesperson also ghost writes highly misogynistic content that seems almost designed to put women off involvement in politics, acts in misogynist ways in public, & then also discusses women with his political allies in precisely those terms?

    I have a Facebook friend who was crowing not long ago about the TU’s bribe-o-meter thing (see their website because I won’t do them the courtesy of linking to it), saying how awesome it is and how brilliant National is. I had a brief go at explaining a bit more about the Taxpayers’ Union’s background and how it’s basically a front/fan club for a small number of highly idealised lobbyists. She didn’t want to hear a bar of it, and that wasn’t an argument that seemed to be going anywhere.

    Despite her general outspoken-ness on misogynistic males, I don’t think even discovering all these “illegally hacked” communications from Jordan Williams would have made much difference. It’s too inconvenient-a-thing to hear, and I suppose that’s much of the issue. Why would people listen to stuff that they really don’t want to hear right now?

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1139 posts Report Reply

  • Alfie, in reply to Keir Leslie,

    But here's a guy who's apparently a creep, who writes misogynistic content for WhaleOil, and here he's being a misogynist with one of the guys who enables his public misogyny & is a horrific public misogynist himself. It's not a separate private thing, it's part of his public horribleness.

    Agreed. Jordan's Mum must be real proud of him.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1434 posts Report Reply

  • Ianmac,

    "Item (4) Terms of Reference:
    identify and report on any other issues relevant to the above matters, to the extent
    necessary to provide a complete report on those matters."

    Mai Chen said in an interview that there should be an item tacked onto any TOR that leaves open any further enquiry by the Judge.
    Not sure that item 4 does that. Seems to me that it closes it down and we suspect that no evidence will be found to harm Key/Collins because this enquiry will not go beyond the flimsy 2nd person chat.

    Bleneim • Since Aug 2008 • 135 posts Report Reply

  • Luke Williamson,

    Thanks to Rob & Dismal for the encouragement to keep on keeping on post-election. I assure you I was only talking about numerical defeat at the ballot box, not philosophical of spiritual defeat by the right. My brother said to me this morning, "What will we do if National win?", and I said, "We will carry on, just as we have for the last six years, and continue to do our bit in our community, donate money to good causes whenever we can, help those we can, and be happy to be living in this wonderful country. And we'll just pretend we don't have a National government."

    Warkworth • Since Oct 2007 • 297 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe,

    The Cabinet Manual -- the Book of Rules for how to govern -- says that the Leader of the Opposition must be consulted on all signficant decisions the govt makes within the official election period. Sir Geoffrey Palmer said on Morning Report on Tuesday that the consultation should include terms of reference.

    He also gave compelling reasons why it should be a Royal Commission of Inquiry - 3 members.

    Where has that gone? Who is going to hold Key to account for breaking the Cabinet Manual rules?

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2898 posts Report Reply

  • Ianmac, in reply to Hebe,

    "Where has that gone? Who is going to hold Key to account for breaking the Cabinet Manual rules?"
    He will go ahead untouched because he can. Since he can and does ignore unpleasant realities now and it seems that the Electorate is uncaring he just presses on.

    Bleneim • Since Aug 2008 • 135 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Hebe,

    Who is going to hold Key to account for breaking the Cabinet Manual rules?

    The electorate, hopefully, but that is far from assured. There is certainly no other recourse, as the CM has no legal standing as grounds to bring a suit (AFAIK. Graeme? Andrew?)

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    I assume Whaledump has pulled the plug and passed on the material because of today's hearing?

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • A S, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    In theory the opposition and the media should play a key role in highlighting the inability of a government to abide by its own rules, but that is something of a quaint notion nowadays.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2007 • 269 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    no other recourse, as the CM has no legal standing as grounds to bring a suit (AFAIK. Graeme? Andrew?)

    Yeah I thought CM was convention, but a pretty heavy duty one. Even Muldoon followed the convention -- just -- post-election in 1984.

    If that convention is all we've got to protect this country, we need a Constitution.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2898 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    Every so often there is a an event which moves our understanding of ethics on in a major way. The process takes a long time and is painful. There is a lot of fightback against the messenger and the evidence from a minority of the population. The last one in NZ was probably the Cartwright Inquiry of 1988 which was a result of several years of investigation into unethical behaviour. It led to significant changes for patient rights, informed consent, and privacy etc over the next two decades, although is still subject to revisionism from time to time. I think we are dealing with something similar with Dirty Politics. I think its effects will be long lived and profound, and it has only just started, although many will remain in the denial stage, possibly for a long time.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3214 posts Report Reply

  • A S, in reply to Hebe,

    Theoretically we have a constitution (well a bunch of constitutional arrangements, albeit with a lot of it not actually written down), and apparently it can be rather... fluid sometimes.

    Once upon a time, breach of the CM would have seen the transgressing minister quickly sanctioned by all of their peers.

    For the CM to work, integrity is required. Seems to be an obvious flaw now, but it did work for a long time.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2007 • 269 posts Report Reply

  • Aidan,

    Attachment

    This is only peripherally related, but I downloaded my overseas voting papers (I usually don't vote as I don't want to tell you people how to live your lives, but sometimes an exception has to be made ....) and they seemed odd to me. NZF was all alone up the top, with a gap between it and the rest.

    Now I don't wish to call my fellow voters idiots, but there are studies to show that simple ordering and what not can make a big difference to voting. I'm guessing they use some sort of rotation/randomisation for the ordering? If not, expect a big NZF donkey vote

    Canberra, Australia • Since Feb 2007 • 154 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to A S,

    Once upon a time, breach of the CM would have seen the transgressing minister quickly sanctioned by all of their peers.

    Which is a problem when you are the senior-most minister and the party's hope of electoral victory.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • A S,

    Agree entirely. Hence my crack about integrity. If any was present, you'd expect to have heard of a collective demand for explanation from the Cabinet. So far... Crickets...

    Wellington • Since Nov 2007 • 269 posts Report Reply

  • Dan Salmon,

    The quiet voice in all this has been outrage within the National Party. (outrage that must extend from members and supporters to some of the more recently quiet front benchers)
    Whatever happens at the election, National could suffer internal damage on a level with what happened to Labour post-Rogernomics. If the election returns National to government, with a possible by-election in Papakura (and subsequent Winston fueled public outrage at the cost to tax payers), it's not going to be an easy three years.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2011 • 39 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Russell Brown,

    No, this isn't how everyone does it. That's a myth. And the failure to acknowledge that what has been uncovered here is unprecedented and unacceptable is dishonest, delusional, or both.

    But we have the weird situation where significant elements in the main media outlets are insisting that this is all just normal and there is nothing to see.

    I honestly don't understand what value there is for The Herald, TVNZ, TV3, and the main radio media outlets to all sit back and just let Key and his cronies who have taken over the National party just get away with it.

    Why won't the media expose this for what it is? Corrupt, vile, nasty, self serving political game playing the likes of which we have never experienced in New Zealand before.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4458 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    Every so often there is a an event which moves our understanding of ethics on in a major way. The process takes a long time and is painful. There is a lot of fightback against the messenger and the evidence from a minority of the population. The last one in NZ was probably the Cartwright Inquiry of 1988 which was a result of several years of investigation into unethical behaviour. It led to significant changes for patient rights, informed consent, and privacy etc over the next two decades, although is still subject to revisionism from time to time. I think we are dealing with something similar with Dirty Politics. I think its effects will be long lived and profound, and it has only just started, although many will remain in the denial stage, possibly for a long time.

    My dream scenario of a Dirty Politics Royal Commission: Brian Leveson from Britain, Raymond Finkelstein and Tony Fitzgerald of Australia, and Ian Binnie of Canada.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5429 posts Report Reply

  • JonathanM, in reply to Aidan,

    A weird order - with the exception of the top 4, it appears alphabetical? Maybe I'm seeing patterns in random?

    Since Jul 2012 • 64 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Aston, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    Every so often there is a an event which moves our understanding of ethics on in a major way. The process takes a long time and is painful

    Thanks Hilary for reminding us of the time frame for real change.

    We can remain hopeful that National does not get back in and all will be sweet but the dirty political PR gaming stuff has become systemic and will need addressing anyway. Just having the "good guys" in power won't necessarily clean up politics.

    If the Nats do get back in then the process continues - we hope - public perceptions will change over time , more will eventually be done to clean up politics and the PR industry generally.

    Its going to take a lot of seriously pissed off people to continue to voice concern and rage.

    I hope we all have the stamina , despair sits on our shoulders waiting to turn rage into a passive turn of the head and a whatever....

    Northland • Since Nov 2006 • 510 posts Report Reply

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