Monday, September 22, 2014

When a fugitive German "poisons" elections to unseat a Jew… and it backfires.

When a fugitive German "poisons" elections to unseat a Jew… and it backfires.

Thakur Ranjit Singh

It is a pity the way NZ Election has featured. Every man and his dog has been trying to blame Cunliffe for the historical win for National, which even surprised Key. Labour caucus, which appears to have a happy-trigger, please before apportioning blame, look at yourself first and YOUR DEVIDED HOUSE. You have already let us down – please accept the view of people, and do not let us down again. Please allow Cunliffe to complete his unfinished job of sitting in the back seat of Prime Ministerial BMW. You need to sort out your difference, without hanging your dirty lined in public. Stop tearing yourself apart.

DAVID CUNLIFFE - He should be given an opportunity by Labour caucus to finish his job, climaxing as Prime Minister  Caucus in a divided house with some MPs with a lackadaisical attitude to shadow ministry, doing nothing, is equally responsible for the current plight of Labour. If  Cunliffe goes, they should bear  collective accountability and forfeit their positions as well.
Read this article and contemplate on what no mainstream journalist has propagated. But a nondescript ethnic media commentator hazards to claim that there were outside forces beyond anybody’s control (with your collective internal deficiencies) which contributed to Labours thrashing at the polls. Please do not make Cunliffe a scapegoat of something that is collective weakness of Labour within the caucus. Read on…..

Congratulations to the Team Key for their historic win – the first time in history when a government for a third term retained power with an increased best ever results, with an unexpected thrashing for Labour. It appears, nobody could really explain this phenomenon in the results, which appeared to have shocked most people, including the victors.

 We had an election scenario where Bill English could not give details of any new economic spheres, where David Cunliffe seemed to have drawn, if not being the overall winner, in leader’s debate; where National had a lacklustre campaigning with nothing outstanding, and we had muddied waters and distractions favouring opposition. In such a situation Labour and its coalition were expected to just make it. Surprisingly, it was a disaster, a historic third term loss. What caused this historic win for Key?

How come I have all the Aces and Queens, but John Key is still the King? The big fat German, Kim  Dotcom, with the power of money obtained via questionable activities, thought he was King. How badly he had judged New Zealand public? 

The answer, among others, lies in the White Flight from Labour to National. People should realise that some 3 million of New Zealand’s population is of European descent (White, Anglo Saxons), which accounts for some 69% of our population of around 4.4 million. Hence, proportionally, this also comprises over 1.5 million “White “or some 70% of total voters. And when John Key proclaimed that some million voters gave party preference to National, he was perhaps correct. But what he failed to inform was that he himself was surprised with the unprecedented and unexpected shift from left. The win was a miracle in form of some external forces that never existed or occurred within the weeks of past elections.

The German, Dotcom (right) and the Jew, Prime Minister John Key( who traces his lineage to a Jewish family). Dotcom's hatred for Key blinded him to the fact that  politics was not for sale in New Zealand. After his failure, he admitted that he had poisoned  the electoral system and the party he propped up, where Hone Hariwera was a casualty, among others.
Firstly, never in the history of New Zealand elections did we have a German fugitive (Dotcom) trying to poison and unseat a Jewish Prime Minster (Key). In the rebound and the consequent electoral Holocaust, we witnessed genocide of Internet Mana, Conservatives and part of the Maori Party, with Labour party and coalition suffering the collateral damage of the White Flight. The Moment of Truth, which was supposed to be an explosion, boomeranged into a bomb-out situation of phus phus…s and putt…putt...putter. On the heels of claims of mass spying by Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) came the Australian terror raids on home-grown Islamic terrorists associated with ISIS, so close to home.

Terror raids in Australia, unearthed through their successful spy agency work on the terrorists. This backfired on Dotcom who was trying to paint an evil picture of spying, when Australia was saved by it.
The terrorists were reportedly at the final plans of beheading to spread terror in Sydney and Brisbane. They were unearthed because of an effective spying agency, which Internet Mana Party (read Dotcom) was trying to curb in New Zealand. In absence of such spying, Australia would have seen mayhem and possible bloodbath by ISIS terrorists. Many Kiwis felt they were prepared to sacrifice their privacy in exchange for security and safety from this type of terrorism. Just coming on the eve of NZ elections, this incident made Kiwi voters feel secure with Key: cautious mass spying, maintaining status quo and erring on the side of caution against erosion of privacy. Hence they milled around to support Key when he was under threat from “outsiders.”. The intent of Internet Mana party had a negative effect of consolidating Key’s position – there was White Flight from Labour to avoid having a government propped up by such shady characters.

Scotland referendum to stay with the Queen and be part of United Kingdom may have rekindled nationalistic feeling that  prompted white flight to National, which is seen as a representative party of people of European descent in New Zealand.
The second was the Scotland referendum and possible flow-on effect of rekindled British nationalism with victory of “No” voters. British-origin voters make the largest chunk of National and their potential voters. With National representing largely White right-wing voters, this has some unconscious effects. The publicity and love for mother-Britain flowing from this may have had some ethnocentric effect on British descendants to mill around their comfort zone, which is National.

The atrocities of ISIS have helped in the white flight-where especially white voters rallied around whom they felt they could trust and be safe with. They saw these things in National.
Thirdly, the threat of ISIS and folly of Britain, France and Germany, (and now Australia) with migration of people of one particular religious belief in large numbers gave rise to threat of home-grown terrorism. New Zealand currently have these people in smaller numbers. Nevertheless, this may have prompted the White Flight of people of European descent feeling safer with status quo, Key’s stability and a relatively “clean” characters within National Government and its partners.

Fourth is something internal. That is a perception of Labour’s Party nurturing and treating beneficiaries as a possible vote - bank. Working people and small business owners are against Labour’s soft stance on beneficiaries and people who use unemployment as a lifetime occupation. While they (taxpayers) are working hard and paying taxes, they claim these people have parties, make babies, get high on alcohol and drugs, kill babies, and commit crime in their lifestyle of waste. Labour is accused of cultivating a welfare state. Voters have positively viewed and approved National’s strong-arm tactic in pushing such people into employment.

The threat if ISIS helped people seek refuge in their comfort zone.
Finally, Labour to me seems to have had a very wanting and ineffective media and communication strategy, if they had one. Right-wing blogs had field days in tarnishing image of Labour while they do not appear to have any ammunition to counteract those character assassination, from “the smiling assassin” and associates. It is one thing to have policies, it is quite different to sell and protect them against dirty politics.

Labour can relax a little in the knowledge that election results were buoyed by some factors beyond their control. But they cannot blame others for internal infighting, poor management and administration issues discussed above. Labour also need to sort out the revival of ABC (anybody but Cunliffe) team and division among itself that appears to be a common knowledge.

There is a year to sort things out and prepare for a victory for the next two years. I suggest as per majority opinion polls, David Cunliffe has to continue as the leader to consolidate his position.  Like Gordon Tietjens who has taken NZ Rugby Sevens to ups and downs for over a decade, without being fired for a loss, I feel Cunliffe has much potential and experience curve to deliver. Anyway, I cannot see anybody in the lengths and breadths of Labour Party who could spar with an experienced John Key in any skills as a leader, as Cunliffe has done.

Terror raid in Australia led to protest by migrants, and this unconsciously forces the mainstream population to rally in their comfort zone. National Party has been providing that stable leadership and trusted government, where voters appear to have chosen status quo 
Hence, with Cunliffe, and with a bit of damage-control, media strategy and coaching, Labour has the best chance to counteract dirty politics, and match experience and acumen  of Key, and provide continuity and prospects of victory, come 2017.

Please, I plead, resurrect Labour, do not let Cunliffe’s exposure and experience go to waste. If anybody has to go, it is not David – but some of the caucus members who have spent their lifetime in Parliament, and their use-by date is over. Ask Chris Carter-he has already spoken on this. Please make way for younger blood and new generation to take over the party.

Labour Party (like National has done), needs new blood to rise from the (almost) dead.


Thursday, September 18, 2014

DIRTY POLITICS-PART 5: When “the smiling assassin” Key assassinates characters, using hired hunting hounds.

DIRTY POLITICS - PART 5: Chapters 11 & 12

When “the smiling assassin” Key assassinated Labour’s characters, using hired hunting hounds

Thakur Ranjit Singh

We are in the eve of electing a new government and a desirable and honourable leader to be our prime Minister for another 3 years.
Coming from Fiji, dirt in politics in acceptable, but I am perturbed at naivety and gullibility of Kiwis who are passing off “Dirty Politics” as a left-wing conspiracy, with their heads in the sand. It is far from that-it reveals a face of John Key that average Kiwis do not know about. 

You can judge a person by the company he keeps, his accomplices and henchman – that term has come back to haunt Key. This article will reveal, and a read of “Dirty Politics” will divulge why John Key does not deserve to lead us if we wish to clean –up politics here. His association and reliance of hired hounds to depend on power rules him out as an honourable Prime Minister. Read on, please...

DAVID CUNLIFFE - the next Prime Minister of New Zealand after 2014 elections. John Key utilized attack politics and Cameron Slater to tarnish Labour's image in general and Cunliffe's in particular, trying to project him as a liar and untrustworthy person. It is hoped change in government is the only thing which will remove dirty politics so well nurtured between John Key, Cameron Slater and other right-wing bloggers.

Attack politics has been quite popular as many people in position of power have benefited from this. They are mostly respectable and successful people who were willing to use the dirty and dishonest services of Cameron Slater and his colleagues, on the assumption that their crimes would remain hidden and deniable. Personal and corporate advantages trumped ethics. But the biggest beneficiary of and collaborator in the attack politics was the Prime Minister, John Key.

By early in 2014 election year, John Key was working more closely than ever with Slater and Farrar. His staff was actively collaborating in a succession of political hits and stings. At that stage Key feared a close election and attack politics was a proven powerful tool.

Yours truly also felt something dirty was going wrong with the daily postings  in 2014 with relentless attacks against Labour and its coalition partners, and type of information revealed was as if Whale Oil had its ear to the horse’s mouth.

THE OSTRICH SYNDROME: National Party and John Key hoodwinks the nation by claiming that Dirty Politics is a left-wing conspiracy. This stance appear to expose more than the butts of the Ostrich and the National Party

There was this case to smear Winston Peters with the revelation through Whale Oil about “three visits “to Kim Dotcom’s mansion. It was also revealed that John Key “regularly called” Slater, and in one conversation, agreed that he discussed Dotcom. And Cameron Slater admitted” If the Prime Minister says I’m the source, I guess I must have been.”

As I noticed the trend of Slater to mount this attack on Labour Party on any and every small issues, such as when they farted and how it smelled [my comparison]. It became as dirty as it could get, with hound dogs, on constant trail of Labour There were about 500 articles attacking Labour in the first six months of the election year. Whale Oil in fact degenerated into Labour Party smear site. If David Cunliffe and Labour felt something was wrong, they were right-they were attacked by a pack of hunting dogs, hired by John Key and his National party hangers-on.

The Master and Prime Minister, John Key (middle) with key ( pun-intended) tag team of attack- right wing bloggers , David Faraar (left) and Cameron Slater, who is the leader of the attack-pack, which barks, bites and tarnishes the image of political opponents. Victims, among others, have been David Cunliffe, Winston Peters, Phil Goff and a very-badly mauled Mayor of Auckland, Len Brown. Informants include prostitute friends, among others.

There was the case of Cunliffe’s grandfather’s military records or anything that could prove Cunliffe was a liar or somebody who could not be trusted. It was similar to ways blogs were used by US Republican Party where one staff’s job was to record everything that an opposition target said, and at any time anything ’stupid” was said, it was put on internet within 24 hours to be seen by a great number of people. This was the scenario Labour and Cunliffe were placed by Whale Oil.

When Key first arrived back in New Zealand as a millionaire businessman and jumped into a safe National party seat, it emerged that his nickname while he was a currency trader had been “the smiling assassin” During the years he built closer ties and became more reliant on his lead hunting and attack hound, Cameron Slater, and his Whale Oil blog.

Slater became a victim of his own foul-mouth with his gratuitous insult about the young “feral’ who died in Greymouth and “did [the] world a favour.’ In the ferocious public backlash that followed, Slater’s friends rallied around him to support him. According to revelations in his Facebook, one of those who phoned him to commiserate (console) was John Key. When the rest of the country was feeling appalled by Slater’s offensiveness, the Prime Minister of New Zealand was calling to show support.

A two faced Prime Minister, using two-track policy of attack politics, with one face of PM as a nice, smiling person, while on the other side, hires mongrels and hounds  in form of right-wing bloggers to maul and discredit political opponents, mostly Labour Party and its Coalition partners, including Winston Peters.

Slater’s comments about the man’s death are what apparently led to his website being taken down and eventually to the leak of the information that allowed this book [Dirty Politics] to be written. So, it is perhaps fitting that Key should share in this political karma. The retaliation against the remarks exposed both Key and Slater, the friendly and unfriendly faces of National, who secretly collaborated throughout the period of dirty politics.

Now, from last paragraphs of “DIRTY POLITICS

Unfortunately, people sometimes succeed in politics, as in other spheres, precisely because they are not ethical (like National Party?) There are simple rules about what is fair game in politics. It is legitimate to expose deliberate untruths, hidden influence and abuse of power: things that stop political people acting with integrity and accountability for their decisions and actions. But attacking other people’s personal lives and denigrating them as a tactic is not fair play. An overemphasis on small errors and slips also trivialises politics.

Cameron Slater of Whale Oil Blog (left) and Nicky Hagar, author of Dirty Politics. Hagar names Slater as Prime Minister John Key's lead hunting hound to discredit political opponents, so that National Party's and Key's name remains untarnished.

All countries need and deserve politicians who respect news media independence, freedom of information and the rights of their opponents; politicians who refrain from dirty tricks and abuses of power even when these could provide an advantage; politicians who would not knowingly use something as negative and unscrupulous as the Whale oil blog. It is never right to poison the political environment for short-term political game.

People have to make a choice whether they want this type of dirt in their next government. Go ahead and make that change to clean New Zealand politics.


[Disclaimer: All information in the above article is either direct quotations, para-phrasing, editing or interpretations from Nicky Hager’s book, Dirty Politics] 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

DIRTY POLITICS - PART 4: Sting on Cunliffe: “Tum ting Wong” (something wrong) in Donghua Liu’s immigration letter!


Sting on Cunliffe: “Tum ting Wong” (something wrong) in Donghua Liu’s immigration letter!

 Thakur Ranjit Singh

After reading Dirty Politics, I came out of it sick. (No wonder John Key wants to read it next week when he retires.) I decided to pick the ending chapter where PM’s office dug up 11 year old letter on a Chinese businessman, to discredit David Cunliffe in their plan of negative campaigning. The irony hit me when I heard that Kiwis have some observers in Fiji to observe their election today (17 September, 2014). What a hypocrisy- how can they advise Fijians on good governance with such a rotten lot at the heart of their own government?

This is a case of John Key’s Office making mischief by digging into the files of its predecessors, and breaching the civilised conventions of a “clean” NZ politics. Sitting in the midst of negative politics was John Key. For years Jason Ede had been working in his office, two doors along the corridor, coordinating attack politics for National Government and his master, Key. This is but one example of that… continue reading.

DAVID CUNLIFFE is destined to be next Prime Minister next week, unless New Zealand public has stomach to see next 3 years of same muddy waters  and sting on  opposition politicins, coordinated from National prime Minister's Office at ninth floor of Beehive.

National’s close ties to wealthy Chinese immigrant donors had become a serious vulnerability for the party and they were keen to turn attention back on Labour. This was after National Cabinet Minister Maurice Williamson was forced to resign in May 2014 after he had phoned a senior police officer to advocate, and reportedly plead on behalf of Donghua Liu in a domestic violence charges. The minister did that because Liu, a Chinese immigrant businessman was National Party donor.

DONGHUA LIU: National Party donor, on whose case of domestic violence, National Cabinet Minister, Maurice Williamson was forced to resign. National dug up 11 year old electorate letter that Cunliffe signed, to malign and discredit Cunliffe for not remembering signing a letter so long ago. How low can politics get in Aotearoa?.

Six weeks later, on Tuesday June 17, the monkey was placed on David Cunliffe’s back, when in a crafty and questionable media ethics, he was asked “leading” and well-rehearsed questions about his acquaintance with the same person - Donghua Liu. On whether he had ever met Liu, had anything to do in granting permanent residency or had advocated on his behalf, Cunliffe said “I don’t recall, no” to all the leading questions.

Lo and behold, the next morning, government released a letter to media under the Official Information Act, which Cunliffe had written to the Immigration Service in 2003 about Liu’s residency application. This was 11 years earlier.
Media and National party leadership jumped on Cunliffe, accusing him of telling a lie, being untrustworthy, not fit to lead. NZ Herald’s chief political commentator John Armstrong said that Cunliffe was in deep trouble and would have to resign as Labour leader. John Key, who was in New York, and had orchestrated and had prior knowledge of this charade, jumped on the gravy train, and said ‘politics is about trust” and asked Cunliffe to explain his lie about any involvement with their donor, Liu. Deputy PM Bill English also joined the sham, accusing Cunliffe of being “tricky” and could not be trusted.

For years Jason Ede had been working in his office, two doors along the corridor, (to John Key's office) coordinating attack politics for National Government and his master - John Key
Unbeknown to Cunliffe, National’s Cabinet Minister Michel Woodhouse, who had released the Cunliffe letter, admitted Key was aware of the letter around 10 May, 2014. Hence they has weeks to sit on the letter and plan what to do with the letter.

All indications here are that Government orchestrated the release of the letter to harm Cunliffe. First, as with Goff-SIS hit (Israeli backpacker case, see part 2), journalists have been tipped off to make the official information request-by someone who knew about the Liu letter.  Next, the requested information was fast-tracked and released two days after the requests were submitted- something unheard during normal situations.

But most obviously suspicious was the way the story came out. Why was Cunliffe asked very specific questions about his personal links to Liu just 24 hours before the fast-tracked letter reached the media? At that stage no one outside government supposedly even knew about the letter or any links to Liu existed. The political damage arose because Cunliffe was asked those questions when he did not know about the letter. It was the denial, not the letter itself that provided ammunition for the accusation of unworthiness and lying.

People need to appreciate that what Cunliffe did some 13 years ago was nothing wrong, something that all MPs do, writing or signing the letter. It was standard request what other MPs normally do. Hard-working electorate executives write hundreds like this every year. It noted that Donghua Liu, who lived in Cunliffe’s electorate, had been waiting eight months since his application had been accepted for processing and said “it would be helpful to Mr Liu to be advised of an estimated period of time in which he could expect a decision on his case.” That was all. Cunliffe has not “advocated” for Liu, or apparently even met him: the residency application, it seems, had been arranged by an immigration consultant.

The fact is that it was politically twisted to show that Cunliffe had lied. He had not. After 11 years, like most normal beings, he simply did not remember the letter. It was one of the thousands from his constituents who has asked for help during the years as an MP.
In a two track system of  Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, National recruited hunting hounds in form of bloggers, like Whale Oil to do their dirty work, while projecting the smiling nice face of John Key to NZ public. Jason Ede from Key's office was nurturing and feeding these hunting dogs.
There is a bigger implication in this case. In arranging to tip-off the media and release the letter, the government had abused its powers and its control over public files. Any government can make endless mischief by digging into the files of its predecessors, but they usually refrain from doing this. And the usual understanding is that the current government checks with the previous government before releasing politically sensitive material requested via the Official Information Act (OIA). But in this Cunliffe’s case, release without warning was the plan – a plan to discredit Cunliffe by throwing the bait at a gullible and wanting media. That is how dirty Key and National are. Do they deserve another term? You get what you deserve.


[Disclaimer: All information in the above article is either direct quotations, paraphrased or interpretations from Nicky Hager’s book, Dirty Politics] 

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Dirty Politics-Part 3 - When “Crusher“Judith Collins becomes the National’s horse, speaking into the Whale’s ear


When “Crusher“Judith Collins becomes the National’s horse, speaking into the Whale’s ear

Thakur Ranjit Singh

An indelible link between the Beehive and Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater has damaged the Key brand. The Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde character of John Key has been revealed by Dirty Politics. This will be further revealed on the election night when voters will decide on a leader lacking courage to stand up for integrity and a vision of shaping the country on foundation of a clean governance.

Is this how Dirty Politics projected the image of John Key: A nice smiling likable man to the public, who has hired hounds to do all National Party's dirty work?

The other excess baggage that voters will not forget is the unholy alliance between the “sacked” Justice/Police and ACC Minister Judith Collins and Cameron Slater. In this unethical and immoral marriage, confidentiality and sensitivity of Cabinet Office and executive arm of government have been compromised. This is when the Cabinet “horse” (or shall we say, the mare?) regularly mouthed such information in the blogger friend’s year, for equally unholy usages. Read on.

The adage, “birds of feather, flock together” is true for the unholy alliance between Cameron Slater and Judith Collins. While the contact point of other attack-bloggers to the National Government over many years have been John Key’s office, Slater seemed to be privileged in having his ear close to the “mare” in Key’s Cabinet.

Whale Oil blogger used to hear it from the horse's mouths, both from the Beehive (Prime Minister's Office) and the Cabinet Office of Justice/ Police/ACC Minister, Judith Collins
“One cultivated the iron woman persona of Crusher Collins, future Prime Minister, the other the reckless bully-boy persona of Whale Oil. They were drawn together by right-wing politics and a shared attraction to aggressive and often petty attack politics” (p.45).

“Slater was a devoted supporter of Collins, using his blogs to promote her and to attack her critics. Collins, in return, fed a continuous supply of material to Slater: public press release, political gossip, tip-offs and serious leaks. She boasted for him in 2013 that “you might not like it but Whaleoil is better informed and better read than any other news outlet or social media. “ They were in constant touch, via phone and e-mail. Perhaps this now explains why Whale Oil has unfair advantage and blessings (and hence reach and popularity) over others.

In light of Dirty Politics, does this look familiar? Whose character does this represent, who projects two-faced image to Kiwis?

While Chapter 4 illustrates cases of various other communication, including the case of transfer of a prisoner, where Slater used to “hear” directly from the horse’s mouth in the National’s Cabinet Office, the case of Bronwyn Pullar, a former National Party activist, needs mention. This is a case where details of some 6,700 Accident Compensation Commission (ACC) clients were accidently sent to Pullar, who herself was a client of ACC, of which Collins was the Minister. The support person of Pullar in negotiations was former National Party President Michelle Boag. Slater had an axe to grind with Boag because she was the person who replaced John Slater, Cameron’s father as president of National Party many years earlier. Hence, he regarded Boag as an enemy and attacked her at every opportunity. A leak was made to Herald on Sunday and key players were named and it became a controversial issue. Collins denied that she or her office leaked the letter.

That in gist reveals what happens when the Captain of a ship refuses to make himself informed of the message because he is so busy shooting the messenger. It may be too late, or perhaps useless for John Key to read Dirty Politics after the election. Perhaps that may be appropriate, as he may have more time on his hands as Opposition Leader, if he chooses to remain so. Or perhaps he can read it in his retirement at his Hawaiian retreat batch, and regret that a Prime Minister, like rust, should never sleep. He should have fired Collins a long time ago. He needs to continuously and continually get informed, even from those he despises.

Chapter 4 “raises a number of concerns about Collins: she was apparently unworried about the leak of police evidence; she was directly involved in providing information about and attacking a Ministerial Services staff member; she disclosed confidential department and client information, not to mention possibly leaking controversial Pullar e-mail; she made it her business to feed a stream of information, gossip and documents for use on the Whale Oil site. She was also a close friend and trusted confidante of Cameron Slater, which says much about her as a politician.

"You naughty boy! I was after your position,  but you got rid of me. Thanks for taking your time, and not reading Dirty Politics". [Photo from The Daily Blog, KIWI PUNDIT caption]
What surprises yours truly, this Kiwi Fijian, who has seem much muck in Fiji, is the uncanny ability of mainstream Kiwis to be unaffected by the filth that Dirty Politics digs up. And more so, their uncanny ability to take so much of s**t from a government whose leader appears to project such a clean and likeable image.

People have to make a choice whether they want this type of dirt in their next government.


[Disclaimer: All information in the above article is either direct quotations or interpretations from Nicky Hager’s book, Dirty Politics] 

Friday, September 12, 2014

DIRTY POLITICS - PART 2: When hired hounds of National Government mauled Opposition Leader, Phil Goff


When hired hounds of National Government mauled Opposition Leader, Phil Goff.

Phil Goff’s memory lapse in 2011 was minor but there were serious issues involved. The Prime Minister John Key had abused his position as Minister in charge of the Security Intelligence Service (SIS) to embarrass another politician only months before election.

The thinking behind National Party’s two-track approach was to strenuously protect the party leader’s friendly and approachable image (Dr Jekyll) while relying on other people for a continuous barrage of attacks and negative campaigning (Mr Hyde).

Do you want such person to be your PM for another 3 years?

Hearing from horse's mouth got a new meaning: Cameron  Slater's Whale Oil blog site had a privilege of getting information direct from Beehive and other confidential sources, not available to all.

The adage, “hearing from a horse’s mouth” took another meaning when day after day, people were wondering, including yours truly, how come Whale Oil blog site seems to be saying as if it had ear to the horse’s mouth? In fact that was the case, where Judith Collins, her office, Prime Minister’s office and hangers-on drip-fed the blogger with “inside’ and perhaps confidential information that others were not privy to.

And bestowed with the benefit of an ear to the horse’s mouth, Whale Oil blog site was National Party’s attack dog, among others. In doing so, and with an ear to Beehive, it glossed over and became a very well-read blog, which even Ministers read to get inside information. At the same time, John Key’s clean and smiling image remained untarnished.

The Dr Jekyll face of John Key projected him as the smiling and well-liked Prime Minister, while a darker side of Mr Hyde hired and fed information to hound dogs and mongrels, masquerading as independent bloggers and media, who were out protecting National, but attacking their opponents, especially Labour Party. 

Phil Goff, Opposition Leader in 2011 was a victim of “gang-attack” by National’s mongrels in the case of the “Israeli backpacker” episode, where information was drip fed to a blogger to discredit Phil Goff. I thought this only happened in Third World fledgling democracies. But it happened here in a “clean” New Zealand. Are Kiwis na├»ve enough to give the same people an opportunity to further their nest for the next three years?

Two track approach of National party stipulated that on one hand they were to maintain a clean ans untarnished image of a nice and smiling John Key, while on the side, National fed and nurtured hounds and hunting dogs, in form of bloggers, to attack, bite and maul political opponents.
An utu or revenge by National Party is well illustrated when John Key was visiting President Obama in USA and the massacre in Oslo took place. Key took this opportunity to score political mileage and blame Islamic terrorist for global terrorism. But this was not the case, a far-right local racist had committed this terrorism. It was embarrassing for Key to have shot off his mouth without knowing the facts.  Goff, as Opposition Leader took this opportunity to rub it on Key, advising him responsibilities of his position, and lecturing him of knowing his facts before saying anything.

Phil Goff, Opposition Leader in 2011, who was targeted by the pack of dogs in form of bloggers who tried to discredit him and have him removed as Opposition  Leader. While he has a lapdog, the hounds from the Prime Minister's kennels were unleashed on him to have him removed from the position.
National Party and its hired hands found a good opportunity to get even with Goff when an Israeli backpacker, who was on suspicion of spying, was killed in Christchurch earthquake in February 2011. Apparently, Security Intelligence Service (SIS) had briefed Goff, who could not recall, but later admitted his mistake, and agreed he was briefed. Hound dogs pounced on Goff with Slater calling “Goff needs to go” after accessing information from SIS under Official Information Act (OIA). This type of meeting notes are not generally accessible to public, or within that short time. Slater sent a request to SIS Director Warren Tucker, asking for copies of briefing notes and details of any acknowledgements that Goff had read them.

With well-rehearsed information on what to ask by somebody in SIS or PM’s office and about which Slater already appeared to have advance knowledge, this information was received within a week. Regular users of OIA know that to get a reply within 20 days is almost impossible. It is strange how Slater got his in quarter of that time. Coincidence? It was also intriguing that such information was not normally privy to public, but it was clear somebody in the know overruled the usual practise and declassified the information on the day it was requested by Slater. Coincidence?

Armed with this information that Goff was briefed by SIS, National, hired bloggers and John Key himself, got on the bandwagon to discredit Goff. The team of bloggers, PR and communications people, including Aaron Bhatnagar, Whale Oil, David Farrar, Matthew Hooton, and with links to Newstalk ZB, had a field day in running down Goff. This was on information questionably obtained with the sanction of key (pun intended) players in PM’s Office, taking unfair advantage of their positions to wage a bad publicity campaign on political opponent- the Opposition Leader.

It is worth stepping back and considering what happened. Goff’s memory lapse was minor but there were serious issues involved. The Prime Minister had abused his position as Minister in charge of the SIS to embarrass another politician only months before election. Person who liaised with Slater over SIS papers is Jason Ede from Prime Minister John Key’s office.

Jason Ede: Black Ops man in Beehive- in Prime Minister's Office.

The question that goes begging is, do we Kiwis deserve the same leaders and government for another three years? Does crime pay? Why should it pay in this case where the hounds of a smiling John Key, were out mauling Goff, while Key also joined in as a respectable , smiling Prime Minister, taking advantage of inappropriately (illegally? unethically? ) acquired information.
People have to make a choice whether they want this type of dirt in their next government.


[Disclaimer: All information in the above article is either direct quotations or interpretations from Nicky Hager’s book, Dirty Politics]

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

DIRTY POLITICS PART 1: The Rise of Negative Campaigning, and Key’s Black Operation Man in the Beehive.

DIRTY POLITICS - PART 1: Chapters 1 & 2

The rise of negative campaigning, and Key’s Black Operation Man in the Beehive.

[Compiled, researched and quoted from “Dirty Politics by Thakur Ranjit Singh]

In a newspaper report, Nicky Hager said Mr Key had "cultivated a very respectable image of being friendly and relaxed" but in his view there was an unseen side to his politics the public needed to see before voting. He said links to bloggers by staff and ministers who answered to Mr Key meant he should be "accountable for ... using such an ugly tool as part of his political management".

Key (pun intended) players: From left-Cameron Slater, Simon Lusk, Jordon Williams, Carrick Graham and Cathy Odgers ( NZ Herald photo)
Negative Campaigning that became trademark of George Bush’s election to White House in 1988 was adopted by team Key. There was unauthorised and uncoordinated campaign that would say things and run advertisements that could not be said by the official Bush organisation (18-19). For National, this became a model on how to use outside groups to deliver hard-hitting “mongrel –type” messages on behalf of the Party.

This became hallmark of National party election strategy. This in nutshell, was the thinking behind the national party’s two-track approach: strenuously protecting the party leader’s friendly and approachable image while relying on other people for a continuous barrage of attacks and negative campaigning.

Nicky Hagers Dirty Politics that may cause change of a government in New Zealand, and which reveals New Zealand appears to have a Third World Prime Minister in a First World clean country.

This commenced in 2008, with amassing of right-wing bloggers when they started tasting the power of blogging that was little known to the world. The first attempt was to try to smear businessman Owen Glenn, who donated money to Labour party (19). Relationship developed in 2008 elections between Slater and other bloggers and prime minister’s senior adviser and attack politics coordinator, Jason Ede. Other bloggers include Cathy Odgers and Aaron Bhatnagar, a close friend of Slater, who is named in the book as the one who “wandered “into Labour party’s unprotected website and stole information, which they used to damage Labour party (20).

The strategy was that there would be no official links between Key’s office and the right-wing bloggers, but Jason Ede would become the ongoing connection. Ede became key (pun intended) player and having daily conferences with key (again, pun intended) bloggers and other influential bloggers to mount their action plan. Ede became known by his Beehive colleagues as the Black Ops man, co-ordinating the smears against Labour and other opposition party.

As earlier stated, plan for attack politics took place in 2008 when bloggers were not too visible. Ede-Farrar-Slater, with Lusk in the background formed the tag team, and fed stories to a series of journalists and under-resourced news organisations willing to take easy scoop. Farrar’s brand was independent, rational analysis and Slater’s aggressive attack dog, but the consistent mission week after week was defending their party and mauling its opponents.

Succession plan for replacement of John Key was hatched in 2011 when it was discussed that “a Crusher (Judith Collins) – (Steven) Joyce combo would smash the shit out of Labour for at least another two terms.” Plans were then hatched to ‘destroy” Winston Peters if he came in the way.

The strategy of “attack campaigning” and “two-track” approach was for John Key to cultivate a very respectable image of being friendly and relaxed but at the same time have another part of his politics which New Zealanders do not come to see. Being seen engaging in attack politics would not fit the plan and strategy, so negative campaigning was left to his parliamentary staff, their political allies and mongrels and mauling dogs that came in form of vicious and offensive bloggers. A survey of 400,000 comments at Whale Oil blog between 2008 and 2014 showed the volume of abusive attack language , including in diminishing order of occurrence: fuck (about 20,000 times), idiot, bullshit, corrupt, homo, prick, cock, hypocrite, liar, c**t, scum, bitch, bludger, wanker, vile and commie.(142)ouse in 1988in

Jason Ede and Slater both accessed Labour’s insecure site ( 32), but the details on donor list, credit card details etc were “taken” by the part Indian Aaron Bhatnagar. John Key has publicly given interview that it was okay for somebody to “take’ anything if they are not protected, and prove a point that internet security was wanting. However, this was NOT the aim of Bhatnagar, Slater and the part of the “hit” group who did not merely want to prove a political point, but to do as much damage as possible to the Labour party, undermining its ability to maintain its membership and campaign for its policies. It also proved another objective of causing massive distraction, where they embroiled the opposition in petty crisis and scandal so that they cannot get on with promoting their own message, policies and plans. It was exposure, attacks that distracts political opponents. The real goal of information release was to try and scare off Labour’s donors and activists.

It is unusually grubby to have a member of prime minister’s staff digging around in their opponent’s computer system for dirt. Ede was doing all this in his role as “senior advisor” to the prime minister, based in his ninth-floor Beehive office, number 9042, only two doors away from John Keys. Senior party officials were involved as well as the senior advisor, and it seems improbable that either would do it without informing the prime minister. (35)

John Armstrong, New Zealand Herald columnist summed revelations of Dirty Politics very aptly:

John Key may adopt an Ostrich Syndrome, or discredit the author, but no one has ever produced the evidence to question the veracity of the content of Hager's book

“If John Key wishes to avoid being labelled the Richard Nixon of New Zealand politics, he is going to have to do more than deny knowledge of what was going on in a neighbouring office. The same applies to any attempt to denigrate Hager - as Key did on Tuesday - by describing him as a "screaming left-wing conspiracy theorist". The left-wing bit is correct. But no one has ever produced the evidence to question the veracity of the content of Hager's books.”

In short, Hager is credible. It is thus Key's credibility against Hager's.

The question is: do Kiwis want this type of Third World prime minister for a clean First World New Zealand? Go ahead, make my day, and make that change.