The latest edition of Incite Politics includes some political insights and incites, but overall seems quite lightweight and I think it’s questionable whether it’s deserving of a premium subscription except for devoted fans of Cameron Slater and perhaps political obsessives who must have everything.
In this month’s edition we have contributions from Chris Trotter, Don Brash, David Farrar and Jock Anderson, as well as the usual contributions from Simon Lusk and myself.
- Chris Trotter asks a very hard question
- David Farrar provides some long-term predictions
- Don Brash investigates Auckland’s affordable housing issue
- Jock Anderson discusses a very interesting case before the courts
We will also be looking at potential leadership options, what Labour can do about their dead wood and John Key’s not-so-secret strategy that is bleeding resources and support from Labour.
We make more recommendations for our Political Read, Political Video and Political Websites so you can stay as informed as we do.
Farrar’s predictions of the chances of various coalition arrangements after the 2017 election are detailed and interesting but there’s no surprises.
Trotter’s contribution Should Labour Be Euthanased is not much different to his prolific output via media columns, The Daily Blog or his own Bowalley blog.
Don Brash writes about ‘the blindingly obvious’ and ‘the solutions are now well understood’ on the affordability of housing in Auckland. Again it’s interesting but not remarkably enlightening.
Jock Anderson’s ‘A Most Curious of Cases’ is a curious inclusion in a political newsletter. He writes about serious charges against two men, one “an extremely rare one”, and how everything about the case are suppressed. There should be very good reasons for justice not to be seen to being done. This may or may not all remain a secret as the trial progresses.
The rest comprises items and comments by Slater and Simon Lusk. For me this is the biggest problem with Incite, as these two have known histories of providing services to politicians and aspiring politicians for fees.
So it’s fair to ask whether Incite is independent of fee paying customers or if it is in part at least a service to customers.
Much of what Slater and Lusk write is not much different to what would have been seen as posts on Whale Oil in the past, so it appears as a move to paid content by moving to another outlet.
But in doing this they may be reducing the potential effectiveness of their political promotions and hit jobs because Incite will have a much smaller audience than Whale Oil.
There’s little point in trying to spread scandal to a very limited audience, unless they think it might be useful as veiled threats that could be publicised more widely.
Lusk and Slater continue a series on potential leaders of National and Labour. Curiously it states ‘Please note that these comments are considered accurate at the time of writing, but time and events may result in them changing.’
Their comments on Jacinda Ardern are not much different to what you might expect in a Womens’ Weekly article.
Their National target is Paula Bennett. I think this has to be looked at alongside the knowledge that both Lusk and Slater have or have had political and financial ambitions and interests, especially with the National party, National MPs and potential candidates for Parliament or for leadership.
Both of them pile dirt on Bennett. This wouldn’t look out of place on the old Whale Oil. And if Bennett’s political career and ambitions took a dive it would not look out of place for Slater to claim credit for it.
Without another Rawshark type there’s no way of knowing whether this is just political skulduggery or if it is also undisclosed services rendered for fee paying opponents.
Farrar has already indicated he’s happy to provide services for Incite for payment. Brash, Trotter and Anderson are presumably also doing it as professional writers and their contributions look much like columns you might find in a number of media outlets. That’s up to them
But they risk being seen as padding out a newsletter that has other services involved.
Lusk and Slater could do something about this – they could declare that Incite: Politics was totally independent of any other business interests and not a part of paid for political services. But I haven’t seen them declare their interests before, so question marks are likely to remain.