Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: The best blogger there never was

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  • chris,

    Slater is a cowardly cockhead with a raging sense of entitlement.

    Slater is almost certainly an obnoxious prick regardless of his health.

    Is it really a mystery why New Zealand has such a high suicide rate? Are these comments befitting adults? What desire do they satisfy? Judgement was handed down. Personalizing it too much seems to overlook the fact that his was after all, little more than a very poorly staged protest against a law that contravenes the ethos of freedom of speech, is limited to a tiny minority of countries and lacks significant evidence to back it up.

    The bent of our society enables [name supressed] to succeed in setting himself up as a scapegoat, and to maintain notoriety after the fact.

    Mawkland • Since Jan 2010 • 1302 posts Report Reply

  • linger,

    What desire do they satisfy?

    A desire for accuracy? (Such descriptions are almost certainly not based solely on the specifics of this court case.)

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1935 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    I gather Slater senior genuinely despairs of his son's behaviour

    At a personal level, I totally agree that politician's families should be kept out of it unless directly relevant (eg: hypocrisy about a particular topic). That includes behind the scenes operators like Slater senior. We don't want to put off competent people being involved in our political system, though the balance for extra influence is greater accountability.

    I was talking at a conceptual level - acknowledging the existence of shitty offspring like Cameron tends to puncture the myth of the divine right of some to rule others because of their manifest 'success'.

    It's one of the underlying beliefs that internally justifies the current power grab in Canterbury - daddy knows best. 'Decisive' leadership, consensus is weakness, etc.

    There are other core beliefs across the political spectrum, and an informed citizenship would be more aware of them. Voters and accountability groups would then be better able to see individual political events in that light, and come to judgements, decisions and actions that match their own values.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19729 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Is it really a mystery why New Zealand has such a high suicide rate?

    It's not because we insist on certain basic standards of behaviour, Chris. Mental illness does not explain or excuse what Cameron Slater chooses to do. And because he does that beyond the court system (indeed the whole basis of the current case) then the response will also be beyond the Judge's verdict.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19729 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Surely a false analogy, Craig?

    No, I know John Slater a little better than most around here. You don't have to like his politics, but I've been reliably informed that John just despairs at 'WhaleOil' the blogger while still being a supportive father of his child. I'm not going to shit on the man for that.

    By contrast, in what way is Amanda's drug conviction politically connected to her father?

    It's not -- but if Labour (or Goff personally) takes an even marginally more liberal stance on drug policy, I'll bet you the price of two tickets to the Ghibli Museum that the usual suspects will try to make it.

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

  • Paul Williams,

    Is it really a mystery why New Zealand has such a high suicide rate? Are these comments befitting adults? What desire do they satisfy? Judgement was handed down. Personalizing it too much seems to overlook the fact that his was after all, little more than a very poorly staged protest against a law that contravenes the ethos of freedom of speech, is limited to a tiny minority of countries and lacks significant evidence to back it up.

    These are not unreasonable points Chris.

    I'll explain my own motivation. I challenge Slater for his role and his legitimacy in much the same way I periodically challenge Mathew Hooton or Cactus Kate or a handful of other bloggers who behave in a hateful manner on a frequent basis.

    Slater's engaged in some pretty disgusting activities on many occassions and though he has a right to protest this or any other issue, his track-record is of petty, mean bullying and he should be called out for that.

    I acknowledge that he's struggling with ill-health and I don't want to worsen his situation but I don't want to enable it either. I'd encourage him to stop visiting his malignance on others as a way to begin sorting himself out.

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock,

    I thought America was born out of "anti-colonial' sentiments, though I may have completely missed the point of the American Revolution.

    I guess it depends how you define 'anti-colonial sentiments'. The huddled masses didn't just wake up one morning yearning to be free from the tyrannical bonds of monarchy.

    The trigger for the American war of independence was the taxing of the colonies by the UK central government.

    The Crown was of the opinion that having spent a decade or so draining it's coffers to pay for an army to defend the colonies from the French to the north and the Spanish to the south, the colonies should maybe chip in a bit to help pay for it.

    That suggestion was not particularly well received in Boston and Philly, and here we are.

    Support and opposition to the crown by the US population was roughly 1/3 for each. The remaining 1/3 were indifferent to either side.

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

  • Edward Siddle,

    @ kyle

    But the reading involved, particularly of historical theorists - I felt like history had sucked my brain out and replaced it with a robotic reading, note-taking, memorising and regurgitating machine. It needed healing and I spent a couple of years re-reading pulpy fiction

    snap! much as I really
    enjoyed English honours, I spent most of the next year reading James Ellroy books. Honours was a hard enough year that the thought of going back to university made me feel ill for years. Have finally ventured back, albeit not to carry on, but just to dabble in a few language courses.

    re-reading 'Dominion' - not that I ever read it particularly closely back at University - it seems not so much has changed in modern NZ. Some of the best bits, for those who didn't click the link to it:

    in the countryside the land is
    the space between the barbed-wire fences,
    mortgaged in bitterness, measured in sweated butterfat.

    the swollen river’s rush; or dries
    to a thin trickle, lies
    in flat pools where swarms of flies
    clouding the stagnant brim
    breed from thick water, clustered slime.

    Gross greed, mated with fear,
    that feeds on the bread
    of children, buying reprieve
    with philanthropic pence, making profession
    of charity

    The press: slow dripping of water on mud;
    thought’s daily bagwash, ironing out opinion,
    scarifying the edges of ideas.
    And the hirelings; caught young;
    the bough bent and twisted
    to the shape of evil; tending the oaf
    who by accident of birth has property
    in the public conscience, a ‘moulder of opinion’

    And the proletarian animal,
    ...
    a crucified ape, preached by Darwinian bishops,
    guarded by traitorous pens, handed the vinegar
    of a ‘belief in the essential goodness of human nature.’

    The army of the unliving, the cells of the cancer:
    small sleek men rubbing their hands in vestibules,
    ...
    dabblers in expertise, licensed to experiment
    on the vile body of the State; promoters of companies;
    efficiency experts (unearned excrement
    of older lands, oranges sucked dry)...

    councillors and legislators,
    toads in plush;
    octogenarians who have forgotten
    the heat of their youth, ... obtruding
    the rancour of a swollen prostate,
    upon the affairs of springtime

    The living saddled with debt. A load of debt for the foetus.
    A load laid by for the moment of delight
    hidden in the future, yet to be made flesh,
    trapped in the net of statistical laws, caught
    in the calculations of the actuaries.

    And over all the hand of the usurer,
    bland angel of darkness,
    mild and triumphant and much looked up to.

    Wellington • Since Sep 2008 • 54 posts Report Reply

  • chris,

    Good points Paul and Sacha, I'm just hung up on the fact that he seems to thrive on publicity and that even those against him, fuel the beast.

    For my part I was disappointed at the schoolboy nature of his protest, and the weak and the implausible defence. I wish he'd protested in a coherent manner and righteously stood by it. That to me would have been worth $6000+. Beyond this issue, I know nothing and care to know nothing about he who. To labour the point.. I think we can be more creative than 'prick' and 'cocksucker'. Naming him in any context seems like advertising money can't buy.

    Mawkland • Since Jan 2010 • 1302 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Is it really a mystery why New Zealand has such a high suicide rate? Are these comments befitting adults? What desire do they satisfy? Judgement was handed down. Personalizing it too much

    Oh, for goodness sake. Slater has deliberately been using this whole thing as a means of self-promotion all along. Even today, he's bragging that the exposure will make him a shoo-in for the Albany local board seat he's standing for. I really don't think it's people here who started "personalising it".

    seems to overlook the fact that his was after all, little more than a very poorly staged protest against a law that contravenes the ethos of freedom of speech, is limited to a tiny minority of countries and lacks significant evidence to back it up.

    Really? In one case, Slater helped identify a victim against her wishes. In another case, he published the name of a man who had yet to be convicted of an offence (Michael Dobbyn, who was duly named and shamed on conviction).

    But the point is that in a civilised country we have the law adjudicated by the courts -- not by mentally unwell bullies and attention-seekers. Name suppression orders can and are overturned through those same courts -- as in the case of Peter Lewis, the dope-smuggling billionaire whose case was decided by the same judge as ruled on Slater's case.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22839 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Beyond this issue, I know nothing and care to know nothing

    Then perhaps you might stop lecturing those of us who have bothered to take a longer term and broader interest.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19729 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    Even today, he's bragging that the exposure will make him a shoo-in for the Albany local board seat he's standing for

    I saw that. Fuck! Surely not, surely he's unelectable?

    This is what troubles me most - he's a faux celebrity because he's a malevolent miscreant. He's no Tim Shadbolt or even Ken Mair. He seems entirely devoid of authenticity (whatever you think of Shadbolt or Mair, they appear sincere).

    Why does NZ reward and not revile this kind of character?

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    I saw that. Fuck! Surely not, surely he's unelectable?

    He's not unelectable, but he is deluded. I highly doubt receiving a conviction for obvious crimes has helped his chances with the conservative electorate, and even being brought to the attention of the left will help them steer clear of accidentally ticking him on the ballot.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10655 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    Slater isn't so much suffering from depression as the downside of Narcissism, all publicity is good as far as he is concerned. The fact that his relationship with his father is rarely mentioned just bolsters my opinion that the Wailoil blog is part of Nationals machine as much as Kiwiblog is. It is the huge sense of entitlement that comes across in those quarters that exposes the meanness and shear hate of those concerned. The fact that Slater doesn't need to work because of his trust fund adds more to the hypocrisy of his attitude to those on the lower rungs of society. His demonization of those on ACC, whilst he complains about his insurance company withholding his benefits, says as much about his double standards as his refusal to accept the rule of law, pertaining to him, as he campaigns for harsher punishment of its infringers.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    The fact that Slater doesn't need to work because of his trust fund

    No, not the case at all.

    For quite some time he was receiving employment insurance payments, on the basis that his depressive illness prevented him from working -- but was such a prodigious blogger (he even declared he'd created a whole media company with Gotcha) that it was inevitable that his insurer would decide that if he was well enough to do all that, he was well enough to work.

    He complained mightily about being persecuted after his income was shut off. He's now on a sickness benefit. People might find some irony in that, given his history on benefit issues.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22839 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    (whatever you think of Shadbolt or Mair, they appear sincere).

    I think Ken Mair has matured, actually. His role in the story we're looking at on Media7 tonight seems to have been a very constructive one.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22839 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    His demonization of those on ACC, whilst he complains about his insurance company withholding his benefits, says as much about his double standards

    I believe the argument from him and others hinged on one being a private arrangement while the other was public funding.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19729 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    I do feel sorry for his own children (can't quite muster a belief that they've chosen him as a parent).

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19729 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    I think Ken Mair has matured, actually. His role in the story we're looking at on Media7 tonight seems to have been a very constructive one.

    I'm not surprised at all.

    And, for the record, I don't mean to be critical of Tim - quite the opposite, I have enormous regard for him having spent a few weeks in his company overseas circa 1995.

    I certainly don't see Slater in the category of honest/earnest protester-cum-local-body-politicians. I still see him as a thug, albeit an unwell one.

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    This just in from David Garrett's personal explanation to Parliament* ...

    He created a fake passport in the name of a dead baby.

    It was discovered as part of the Mossad thing.

    He was dismissed without conviction.

    And he got permanent name suppression.

    That's going to make Slater's Act party fan club look pretty silly, isn't it?

    *I'm assuming I can report this to you as it's been aired by him in the House.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22839 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    WTF?

    I figured he was clown but now this is way-more-whacky than I expected (which was more like, he'd got into a fight in a rugby game or some such).

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    A scrap in Tonga, and a stolen ID? He's only got one more strike.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10655 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    *I'm assuming I can report this to you as it's been aired in the House.

    Yes, qualified privilege applies to statements made in parliament.

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    A scrap in Tonga, and a stolen ID? He's only got one more strike.

    Thought crimes?

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Yes, qualified privilege applies to statements made in parliament.

    As I thought. Couple of people on Twitter seem less sure.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22839 posts Report Reply

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