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] 

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