Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Dirty Politics

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  • David Hood,

    There are actual reports of criminals who have been entering into people's homes in Auckland through unlocked windows and copying the credit card information without removing anything from the premises. I am not being metaphorical about this. But since it was not secured access and they only copied things (though they knew they didn't have the rights to the information) does anyone want to argue no crime was actually committed?

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 1445 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Sjorn,

    Yes. The Prime.Minister has said a few times "it was unsecured anyway" as if this makes theft somehow ok and no one challenges him on it? This episode has not only highlighted to me the awful poisonous beetles we have running our.country but also underlined in bright red vivid the failings.of.our journalists. The question is are our media just clueless or are they actually somehow in league with these arseholes?

    New Zealand • Since Sep 2013 • 39 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Sjorn,

    Sorry for using rude word. Feeling despair.

    New Zealand • Since Sep 2013 • 39 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Telfar Barnard,

    Except that if you make a copy of everything you found there, as Ede apparently did, that's different from just going in to check that noone's robbing the place.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 585 posts Report Reply

  • Rosemary McDonald, in reply to Trevor Nicholls,

    actually leads to the conclusion that (c) both sides are as bad as each other.

    Kaching! Right on the money Trevor....IMHO.

    Perhaps we should all accept that this is how it really is in the internet age...NOTHING can be considered 'private', 'confidential' or 'secret' once you click 'send'.

    So we should all perhaps HTFU and move on.

    Now, who y'all gonna trust with your precious vote?

    Waikato, or on the road • Since Apr 2014 • 1346 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Meyers,

    Seriously, why not just go read the book? It’s quite short! Hager’s pretty good at telling a story. It’s quite an easy read.

    You know, I probably will. I just haven't read it yet. I know it's short. And a good read.

    Are you a troll?

    No. Just suspecting that John Key and Judith Collins will shrug this off (again) and be washed clean following an election win. This book is big news bit it's not a panacea. The next few weeks will be interesting though.

    There used to be these people back in the 90s who the most pressing issue in their lives seemed to be that they couldn’t get takeaway in containers like they saw on Seinfeld. Horribly, they appear to have procreated. Ain’t a terminally self-absorbed fanboy a wonderful thing,

    What? I don't even understand what that means?

    Wellington • Since May 2014 • 56 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Littlewood, in reply to Keir Leslie,

    [Seriously, why not just go read the book? It’s quite short! Hager’s pretty good at telling a story. It’s quite an easy read.]

    Yep. It’s only 150 pages (not includes the mutlitude of footnotes and cross-references). Compared to the Hollow Men, the tone is a lot more urgent and even gobsmacked, but Hager is, on all occasions, very careful not to make direct links when he doesn’t have the information (unlike some of those who have made comments about the book this far). If the Hollow Men was principally about the education (and ultimate corruption) of a political novice, then Dirty Politics is about a group of individuals desperately trying to get into the system and trying to poision it for their own means. In fact, the chapter that was most surprising (and disturbing) for me isn’t so much the alleged shenanigans of Slater, Lusk et al- it’s awful, but you wouldn’t expect anything less of them.

    What really galls me is the way Carrick Graham (and possibly even Katherine Rich) tried to use Slater et al as proxies to smear public health advocates. It’s horrid. And certainly worthy of wider investigation. (I guess it’s similar to the chapter in the Hollow Men about how various proxies tired to launder political campaign advertisements through the racing industry)

    Dirty Politics packs a lot of detail in its 150 pages. It’s kinda breathless at times. The Hollow Men was more, shall we say, accumulative in its narrative. But it’s a rare investigative journalist who can write as well as they investigate, and Hager is one of those.

    Today, Tomorrow, Timaru • Since Jan 2007 • 449 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Rosemary McDonald,

    Perhaps we should all accept that this is how it really is in the internet age…NOTHING can be considered ‘private’, ‘confidential’ or ‘secret’ once you click ‘send’.

    So we should all perhaps HTFU and move on.

    Well, Rosemary, I’m sure Cameron Slater (and Hager’s source, who Hager’s hinted is going to release material he wouldn’t touch) would agree with that. If that’s the company people want to keep, that’s their call.

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

  • Steve Parks, in reply to Matthew Littlewood,

    ...certainly worthy of wider investigation.

    My faith in journalism in NZ in general will be restored if one or more mainstream journalists takes up the points you're referring to, Matthew. Won't hold my breath, tho'.

    Wellington • Since May 2007 • 1165 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    This week's __Media Take_ (and a post I'll write on Tuesday) will be in part about the responses of other journalists and broadcasters -- which have by no means all been bad. The pissed-off younger Gallery members who quizzed Key in this extraordinary 20-minute standup were righteous.

    But some older media people dismissing the whole book -- including evidence that sitting Ntional MPs paid Lusk and Slater to destroy their opponents in selection contests -- just really need to take a good, hard look at themselves.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie, in reply to Matthew Littlewood,

    Yes -- the conversation where Slater speculates whether or not there's some kind of Granita Pact between Joyce and Collins is priceless. And it's worth remembering that it's not like Slater's been there for ever or anything. In 05 he was not a big deal; now he is. Why? Because the National Party made him.

    Since Jul 2008 • 1452 posts Report Reply

  • stephen clover, in reply to Matthew Littlewood,

    In fact, the chapter that was most surprising (and disturbing) for me isn’t so much the alleged shenanigans of Slater, Lusk et al- it’s awful, but you wouldn’t expect anything less of them.

    Perhaps not. However I can’t understand how they get away with some of it. How, for example, were they able to manoeuvre their guy Mark Mitchell into position as candidate for the Rodney seat? Through publication of complete and utter falsehoods they systematically destroyed the other hopefuls. Why didn’t the party tell them to fuck off and stop corrupting the process!?

    Simon Sjorn

    Are journalists afraid?

    Quite possibly. At 0:37 does John Key basically threaten Patrick Gower that someone has something on him?

    You know, if nothing else happens, a great outcome from all this for me would be that Hooton, Farrar, Stephen Franks, Jordan Williams, and anyone else of their ilk never, ever, appear again on RNZ* as “political commentators.” Or in print anywhere. That of course extends to anyone else operating in a similar manner and aligned to, for example, the Labour Party. Probably a pipe dream though, ay?

    * And additionally that Jim Mora and his producer(s) are seriously scrutinised since as far as I can remember they first started appearing in that kind of role on The Panel.

    wgtn • Since Sep 2007 • 355 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Michael Meyers,

    What? I don’t even understand what that means?

    Michael, I allowed my dismay at what I took to be the shallowness of your response to what are very serious issues to get the better of me. I apologise, and can only wish that I could have displayed the kind of large and generous mind that Matthew Littlewood has done here.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • stephen clover,

    From the "really didn't see that coming" files, Rob Gilchrist On Nicky Hager:

    It may come as a surprise but I have the utmost respect for Mr Hager, He doesn’t write ’baseless allegations’, ’what-ifs and fanciful speculation’ Mr Hager is also not a ‘conspiracy theorist‘, he’s just extremely good at finding conspiracies.

    wgtn • Since Sep 2007 • 355 posts Report Reply

  • "chris",

    Seriously, why not just go read the book? It’s quite short! Hager’s pretty good at telling a story. It’s quite an easy read

    I haven’t read it, hope to one day but. But I can think of someone who these words should be directed at. To generalise, when damning allegations are made about a member of your team, perhaps the legality of their actions have been called into question, perhaps they have shown a lack of ethics or they’ve outed themselves as being unfit for their position, then you can be damn sure that any team leader worth their salt is going to investigate.

    If you’re a political leader seeking reelection and allegations are made against a member of your party, then any leader worth their weight will look into it, check it out, if only to ensure none of the member have committed actions that might compromise the stab at the crown, to make sure none of your number has done anything to downtrow the party and open you’re clan up to a stern kick up the jacksy, to clarify whether these members have the integrity, the judiciousness, and the ability to handle the responsibility entailed in being a Minister in the New Zealand Government and occupying that position in a manner befitting the honorific Right or Honorable. You want to be working with the elite, surely?

    If you’re in fact the Prime Minister, then ideally you really want what’s best for your country. When allegations are made against the Government you want details, you want to read the police report, you want to stay abreast of developments in the political and legal sphere because they’re your police and that’s your sphere. You want to know, because more knowledge enables you to govern more effectively. That is exactly how you do a better job. Same in any industry, field or hobby.

    Mr Key said he would not read the book until after the election

    If you don’t know, if you’re too busy playing golf and dreaming of war, if you’re unwilling to find out with your own eyes, then how on earth can you be expected to make the most informed decisions? How in hades can you expect to do your job as well as someone who does know? And how in that scamp Satan’s name can you vouch for your Party and your Minsterial team and their aptitude to lead when you’re willingly ignoring evidence and information (with citations) generously (and for a small fee) presented by a neutral third party. And if you don’t know, willfully so, then how can you expect us to place any faith in you whatsoever, much less vote for you?

    Any leader worth the price of their trouser leg would see this as a gift horse, a chance to better understand the goings on and machinations of your own party beyond your office walls, beyond appearances as normally presented by your underlings to you as that leader. That shit’s the gold Thatcher couldn’t mine.

    Unless of course you already know it all and you are dick deep in pig shit.

    But yeah. Kiwis are a hard bunch, people talk about tall poppy syndrome but in fairness, the nastiness, the contempt, the name calling, and the brutality is pretty much cropwide, in all directions. Even so, we do manage on occasion to look past our tribes, our bias and our vindictiveness and make a fair call. Perhaps we need more leadership there. Perhaps we need a Prime Minister with the capacity to step up from this glug of trashing our people. A leader who can reach beyond denigrating New Zealand citizens and taxpayers as a “sugar daddy” or a “terrorist” or “a bit silly” or in the case of Nicky Hager “a screaming left-wing conspiracy theorist”. Perhaps it’s high time we once again had a Prime Minister who can both call and see the value of our people for what we are, in this case

    A five time best selling author, and a member of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.

    Because anything else, anything less than this is simply a blueprint for how attack politics is poisoning New Zealand’s political environment.

    location, location, locat… • Since Dec 2010 • 250 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Telfar Barnard,

    Has anyone asked the PM whether he thinks attack politics are a bad thing?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 585 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock, in reply to Michael Meyers,

    Michael, even without reading the book (which I haven't either), you're still overlooking:

    1) the allegations of blackmail against Rodney Hide.

    2) the allegations of trawling of brothels for material to use against their opponents.

    Two points that have come out in the media discussions. I can't think of anything similar that any other political party has been accused of.

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

  • Russell Brown,

    Danyl on the "suspicous burglaries" spin.

    Farrar's post, which amazingly completely leaves out the fact that National MP (and darling of the Lusk-Slater set) was burgled *last year*.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Littlewood, in reply to Steve Parks,

    My faith in journalism in NZ in general will be restored if one or more mainstream journalists takes up the points you’re referring to, Matthew. Won’t hold my breath, tho’.

    David Fisher has already picked up on the Katherine Rich/Carrick Graham angle, as did this interesting feature about Slater by Fairfax's Kate Shuttleworth. And the young gallery members' grilling of Key during his 20 minute stand-up was robust stuff. Andrea Vance, who I rate as a phenomenally good journalist (almost a bit jealous at her talent!), has picked up on the fact that Jason Ede still has parliamentary access. Considering the book was only released a few days ago, there's a lot of material being explored by the journalists. It's actually quite heartening.

    Today, Tomorrow, Timaru • Since Jan 2007 • 449 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Littlewood, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Farrar’s post, amazingly completely leaves out the fact that the National MP (and darling of the Lusk-Slater set) was burgled *last year*.

    See also Farrar’s Sometimes people say jerky things in emails to explain some of the more noxious material of the conversations coming out.

    To be fair, I’d also be pretty pissed off too if someone leaked my commercial documents. But he clearly wasn’t hacked.

    Also, there's no way you can defend Slater's comments about ChCh's earthquake victims, private conversations or not.

    Today, Tomorrow, Timaru • Since Jan 2007 • 449 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Meyers, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    Reading the responses to my post, I do wonder if I didn't write my original post with sufficient care.

    I'm certainly not trying to dismiss the seriousness of the allegations. I'm more despairing that Key and Collins are covered in teflon. Nothing sticks to them no matter how serious, unless it's ironclad.

    Wellington • Since May 2014 • 56 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Matthew Littlewood,

    Also, there’s no way you can defend Slater’s comments about ChCh’s earthquake victims, private conversations or not.

    Given the kind of vicious cynicism that's been playing out here in Chch they're probably not too much of an exaggeration of mainstream Party fear & loathing.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to stephen clover,

    From the “really didn’t see that coming” files, Rob Gilchrist On Nicky Hager:

    Woh! That IS a surprise. Comments are interesting too, though I also tend to choke on the lauded 'honesty and integrity" attributed to Gilchrist.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2935 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to nzlemming,

    I also tend to choke on the lauded ’honesty and integrity” attributed to Gilchrist.

    If he's doing it to seek some kind of absolution then he has a way to go

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Matthew Littlewood,

    Attachment

    David Fisher has already picked up on the Katherine Rich/Carrick Graham angle,

    "one of these things is not like the other..."
    (also, really nasty shots of Slater and Collins. Someone at the Harald is pissed off)

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2935 posts Report Reply

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