Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: There's a lot of it about

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  • Jan Farr,

    The allegation you're referring to is baseless and malicious. If you bring any more Wishart slime here I will ban you permanently.

    Sigh of relief. Thanks Russell. I just had a sick feeling in my stomach and couldn't think how to deal with it without bringing up my lunch.

    Carterton • Since Apr 2008 • 395 posts Report Reply

  • John Farrell,

    Now you know why he's called "Chuck". Sorry.....couldn't resist...

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 496 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    __Sorry for the tangent, but I'll just offer this with no further comment:__

    Ex New Zealand First MP and High Commissioner to the Cook Islands, Brian Donnelly, has passed away at the age of 59. A family member says he died at midday on Thursday after a short illness.

    That's very very sad. I liked Brian. He was thoroughly decent bloke. I had a few dealings with him in the mid- to late-90s over various education issues and he was always informed, reasonable and honest. A genuinely hard-working and well intentioned man. Vale.

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    On an happier note, McCain is surely toast now. Letterman tracks a huge lie as it unfolds.

    Heh. Excuse me senator. You seem to have glued your pants around your ankles. Was that intentionally stupid or stupidly intentional?

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Carolyn Skelton,

    It seems to me one of the great benefits of Winston Peters being Foreign Minister is that he hasn't spent this term in parliament constantly sniping away at the government about targeted immigrants. As I recall, he did a lot of that last parliamentary term.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 39 posts Report Reply

  • JohnAmiria,

    Are you REALLY thanking shadowy people with an agenda paying private investigators to go through someones's dirty linen until they finally find a blue dress with a stain on it?

    Hmmm, is that as bad as 'researchers' in the PM's dept spending a lot of time going thru Key's share dealings of the last 5+ years?? Which brings me to...

    Nat guy "Hey, John. What are we going to do when they find out about the Tranz Rail shares?'
    JK "Ermmm, ah well I er didn't make on them, errrmmm I er actually lost money"
    Nat Guy "Yeah but your trust made a packet"
    etc etc

    You don't know much about Trusts do you? [deletes long answer and starts again:] If Key buys 1000 AirNZ shares at $2 and then another 1000 Air NZ shares under his family trust at $1 and then realises he can't criticize Air NZ in Parliament so tells his broker to sell them, which he does, at $1.50 a share .... well, he's hardly 'made a packet' has he?

    Let me go further, with my own story:
    I have bought stocks that subsequently dropped significantly in value. Because I believe in the stock and want to 'equalise' my losses I may choose to buy more stock. It's similar to 'doubling down' when gambling. Key says that's what he did with TranzRail, and I believe it. Whether part of the portfolio was in his name or his Family Trusts name is immaterial. (I've got a similar split amongst 'personal' and 'trust' holdings).
    I once held a large parcel of shares in an Index stock, after selling a house. I was mortified when the Annual Report was released and there was my name at the bottom of the list of Top 25 shareholders. I quickly sold half so that my name would not appear on any more lists. Why? Because people are funny, Cullen is not alone with his 'Rich Prick' view of the world. I really do think Key fudged/lied/deceived/whatever on how many shares he had because he probably thought 'What's that got to do with you?"

    No doubt many of you will have an opinion on that last bit!
    NB - even Cullen admitted there was no Inside Trading going on.

    hither and yon • Since Aug 2008 • 215 posts Report Reply

  • Jan Farr,

    Now you know why he's called "Chuck". Sorry.....couldn't resist...

    teehee

    Carterton • Since Apr 2008 • 395 posts Report Reply

  • Chuck Bird,

    Russell, is Winston’s slime banned here as well? You are wondering why Helen keeps Peters and I am telling you. Many years ago I was in NZF. I thought Winston did quite a few good things and I still do. It is a real shame how his career will likely end. He had a lot of talent and potential. Getting back to when I was in NZF, I raised the issue of Helen and Peter’s strange marriage to Winston. Winston repeated the rumour I had heard before about Peter Davis editing a homosexual magazine while at university. Before you get your knickers in a twist I do not know if this is true or not.

    The point I am making is that Winston has always been happy to dish dirt on his political opponents. If he feels rightly or wrongly that Helen has cut him loose and reneged on an agreement he will go feral at her – he will have nothing to lose.

    On another point you made about Key’s first instinct was to lie I can hardly argue with you on that – I seen him on TV as well. However, that would probably be the first instinct of the majority of MPs of all parties. It certainly applies to Helen – would you like some examples?

    I believe you have somewhat of a double standard regarding spreading baseless and malicious rumours. It is okay for the left to do so but not anyone else. Helen and her adviser Brian Edwards have repeatedly made the baseless and malicious allegation the National Party has started and spread rumours the Helen is a lesbian. I have yet to see one scrap of evidence to support this allegation.

    The last time I heard National spread rumours was Muldoon in his comment about Moyle. He was no doubt pissed at the time. Labour agreed not to retaliate and both parties stuck to an unwritten agreement until Mallard with Clark’s approval made comments about Brash’s private life.

    Since Apr 2007 • 55 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Hmmm, is that as bad as 'researchers' in the PM's dept spending a lot of time going thru Key's share dealings of the last 5+ years??

    Or covertly recording candidates at cocktail parties, and "leaking" the results to the media?

    In the end, Key should be held accountable for what he does or doesn't say.

    But here's a few impertinent questions:

    1) Does any know what the rules are at TVNZ regarding news/current affairs staff disclosing and managing conflicts of interest in their reporting? (Has anyone even asked HoS editor Shane Currie whether he asked Paul Holmes whether he gave Veitch media handling advice before allowing a rather soft interview to go out over his by-line? And one that came with some hellishly dodgy conditions attached.)

    2) Is there actually an argument here for the Register of Pecuniary Interests being a) more detailed and stringent, 2) having oversight completely independent of Parliament, and, 3) alleged breeches tried in an open court -- like any who is charged with making false declarations to the Companies Office etc.

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

  • Islander,

    Does this being have Literacy Check? I'm sure iMacs have it....

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • John Morrison,

    ...Mallard with Clark’s approval made comments about Brash’s private life.

    which turned out to be no rumour.

    In my remote part of the world any Nat member happily tells you the latest tittle-tattle/nasty rumour about Clark & co. They might not start them but they certainly don't stop them.

    Cromwell • Since Nov 2006 • 85 posts Report Reply

  • Rex Widerstrom,

    Is there actually an argument here for the Register of Pecuniary Interests ... having oversight completely independent of Parliament

    Interestingly, Gilbert Myles and I spent a lot of time drafting a Bill which would have imposed all sorts of accountability measures on MPs, including an independent Commissioner for Parliamentary Standards based on the UK model.

    Despite Winston's best efforts to ensure he didn't make it to Parliament in 1996 Gilbert did, and took the Bill to the NZF caucus (a caucus which included Winston, Peter Brown, Doug Woolerton and Ron Mark). While being unable to fault the Bill - and indeed praising it for its level of research and skill in drafting (Gilbert actually paid lawyers to do the drafting) the caucus adamantly refused to allow him to put the Bill in the ballot, from which it could have been drawn and become a Private Members Bill.

    It seemed odd at the time, but I attributed it to the fact that the malign influence of Michael Laws was still heavily influencing things in the background.

    Recent history suggests I was somewhat naive, and the malevolence was clearly endemic.

    Meanwhile, the Party (and NZ) has lost a man of undoubted integrity, huge intellect and unrivalled potential. RIP Brian Donnelly, former MP, former Commissioner to the Cook Islands, mate, and truly great New Zealander.

    Perth, Western Australia • Since Nov 2006 • 157 posts Report Reply

  • tussock,

    [...] or there's something we don't know.

    One could imagine Labour has something on Key that they're waiting to dish late in the campaign, with, say, three or four weeks to go; just enough time to let him deny it, show he's lied, and so on.

    They've based the campaign thus far around his honesty, while completely setting him up to go on about other people's honesty (people who aren't in the Labour party for a change), and keep pointing the media his way at every opportunity (despite the cluster of roger gnomes he surrounds himself with) for one more look at that special grin of his (I keep thinking, would you buy a used car from this man?).

    Oh. Sorry (about too many parentheticals (I do that (sometimes))). Also, the bullshit conspiracy theory, as if Labour have a plan or anything. 8]

    Since Nov 2006 • 609 posts Report Reply

  • Mark Harris,

    as if Labour have a plan or anything.

    It struck me that this is a key flaw in your argument ;-)

    (but, no, I wouldn't even buy a new car from him. He fair oooozes insincerity IMHO)

    Waikanae • Since Jul 2008 • 1343 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    2) Is there actually an argument here for the Register of Pecuniary Interests being a) more detailed and stringent, 2) having oversight completely independent of Parliament

    on the first point i've heard that the register is being overhauled as we speak, and has been in the process for several months.

    on the second, i think it's housed with the office of the clerk. i'm not sure where you'd want to move it to without spending money on a new, completely separate office.

    (but my knowledge of this area is not substantial)

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2042 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    __Hmmm, is that as bad as 'researchers' in the PM's dept spending a lot of time going thru Key's share dealings of the last 5+ years??__

    Or covertly recording candidates at cocktail parties, and "leaking" the results to the media?

    Craig, there's no suggestion the Labour Research Unit had anything to do with this is there? Not in anything I've read at least.

    But it's a fair point/question John. From my perspective, (I briefly had some time in the Labour Research Unit in 1996/97) I'd argue that researchers should and do focus on political and parliamentary matters and not search for irrelevant scandal. My experience was almost 100 per cent focused on substantive issues (the small exception being some very basic legal work relating to Trevor Mallard's defence against Tuku Morgan's defamation action).

    That said, Key's commercial record is not irrelevant, not least of all because he's made it a big part of his narrative, but also because it's relevant to his performance in parliament. He's claimed to be fresh and independent, to be uncompromised and a straight-shooter. This incident suggests he's at best naive, at worst corrupt, either way he's clearly not the cleanskin he claims and it's important that the electorate know (perhaps if National had some policy, the focus would be elsewhere, but in its absence, the leader's under the microscope)

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • Chuck Bird,

    <blockquote> which turned out to be no rumour. </blockquote>

    John, have you any proof? Were you a witness or can you produce one?

    Russell seems like double standard. Are you going to warn John Morrison about posting unsubstantiated rumours?

    Since Apr 2007 • 55 posts Report Reply

  • James Francis,

    Chuck, what I enjoy about PA is that it's refreshingly free of snideness and innuendo.

    And then you popped up.

    St John's, Newfoundland • Since Nov 2006 • 121 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    the other thing is that this is our community, and we can exclude if we want to.

    chuck, piss off, you dirty, dirty troll.

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2042 posts Report Reply

  • LegBreak,

    the other thing is that this is our community, and we can exclude if we want to.

    chuck, piss off, you dirty, dirty troll

    This is more fun than an after-school get together in Flaxmere…

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1162 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Chuck, what I enjoy about PA is that it's refreshingly free of snideness and innuendo.

    So long as it doesn't involve Sarah Palin. Perhaps it's okay so long as you don't slander New Zealanders.

    What? Me? On a high horse? I believe you're thinking of this picture.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    This is more fun than an after-school get together in Flaxmere…

    end of the fields for a smoke?

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2042 posts Report Reply

  • Don Christie,

    In the end, Key should be held accountable for what he does or doesn't say.

    Glad to hear it Craig. So next time Key whines about "personal attacks" and "digging dirt" in reference to perfectly legitimate questions you will be the first to waive the close association with Investigate in his face. Because if ever there was a definition of "personal attacks" it would be Investigate. Followed closely by the sick guy that just showed up here.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1645 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    This is more fun than an after-school get together in Flaxmere…

    Is this a chain I see before me?

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    @John

    Hmmm, is that as bad as 'researchers' in the PM's dept spending a lot of time going thru Key's share dealings of the last 5+ years??

    Sorry, but that's just nonsense. The issue relates directly to Key's declarations, his potential conflicts of interest and his actions in the House. Part of having a multi-party system is having the parties hold each other to account, on behalf of the public.

    And apart from anything else, I doubt it took that much time to look up the records. They've simply been holding it to drop when the privileges committee report came back. You'd be on safer ground complaining about that.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22811 posts Report Reply

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