Blog comments on the unpublished polls

Whale Oil broke the Labour internal polling story.I posted on The Standard’s take on it in Labour’s internal polling.

Cameron Slater has since posted THE DELUSIONS OF THE LEFT ON THEIR INTERNAL POLL.

Yesterday we published a couple of posts highlighting the stupidity of anyone believing the UMR polls, mainly because they are so far out of sync with the TV One & TV3 Polls. Remember that the two TV polls had Labour 15% behind National, yet Labour are now claiming their internal polls are at 41-35, a gap of 6.

The halfwits on the left immediately seized on this as a panic attack on Whaleoil, rather than a deliberate take down of a poll that has no credibility. Chris Trotter wrote at the Daily Bog:

“Something Very, Very Different”: Why rumours of Labour’s internal poll numbers are giving the Nats the heebie-jeebies

Who knows which National Party Chris is thinking about but the only thing Labour’s rigged poll has given National is a lot of laughs.

He also claims National polling had different results:

David Farrar occasionally takes time out of his hectic travel schedule to do some polling. He managed to squeeze in a bit of polling before heading to Fiji, and determined that Labour’s dog whistle hadn’t been heard at all, which is why National did not mount a vigorous attack on Labour’s racism.

That is also hearsay on unpublished polling so can’t be relied on.

To Chris Trotter’s post at The Daily Blog – “Something Very, Very Different”: Why rumours of Labour’s internal poll numbers are giving the Nats the heebie-jeebies

CAMERON SLATER is appealing directly to members of Labour’s caucus on his Whaleoil blog. Why? Because he’s just got wind of Labour’s internal poll numbers. According to Cameron: “Their internal polls show something very, very different from the publicly available polls. Apparently the gap between Labour & National is about 6 or 7 percent when the public polls have it at 15%.”

This can only mean that, in the usually highly accurate UMR poll, Labour is positioned somewhere between 34-36 percent and the National Party somewhere between 40 and 42 percent. At that level of support, it’s ‘Game Over!’ for John Key’s government. No wonder Cameron is doing everything he can to sow doubt in the minds of Andrew Little’s colleagues.

Clearly, these results have brought on an attack of the heebie-jeebies in National’s ranks. How else to explain the usually very crafty Mr Slater’s tactical lapse? Calling people’s attention to what he’s heard about Labour’s internal polling – when it’s this good – has given a major boost to the Left’s morale. It’s also boosted the credibility of the other big rumour doing the rounds about UMR’s polling: the one that puts the combined Labour-Green vote at 49 percent.

Cameron’s post may also serve to confirm the rumours about National’s own internal polling. According to these, Labour’s much criticised ‘China Play’ almost immediately began shaking erstwhile Labour voters loose from National’s tree in large numbers.

So there are contradictory ‘rumours’ about party internal polling. Surprise surprise. Which political pundit to believe? I’m very sceptical about what any of them say.

So, let us assume, purely for the sake of argument, that all the rumours are true and all the numbers are correct. It would mean that National has shed 6-7 percentage points directly to Labour. Interestingly, this is exactly what the Roy Morgan Poll of 17 July indicated.

It had National down 6.5 points to 43 percent, Labour up 6 points to 32 percent, and the combined Labour-Green vote on 45 percent. Admittedly, the Roy Morgan survey only caught the first day of Labour’s China Play, but, by the same token, it escaped the effects of ‘Paddy’s Play’ entirely.

Trotter talked up the Roy Morgan result, then disproves his initial point. He also as good as rubbished the latest published public poll:

That job was left to TV3’s Patrick Gower, who has been waging a virtual one-man-war against what he insists are Labour’s “cooked-up” statistics. How disappointed poor Paddy must have been when his week-long assault upon Labour for “playing the race card” was rewarded with a marginal increase in Labour’s support (from 30.4 to 31.1 percent) in the TV3/Reid Research Poll.

Trotter concluded his post with a Labour Party promo.

A UMR poll is mentioned but as it is unpublished it’s impossible to judge, either on a one on one comparison with other polls and on it’s trends.

David Farrar posted on the 3 News Poll – Latest poll.

I’ve blogged at Curia the results of the 3 News Reid Research poll broadcast last night.

Like the One News Colmar Brunton poll the previous week, it shows no bounce for from its targeting of people with Chinese surnames.

What it does show is that has fallen below Winston Peters as Preferred Prime Minister.

This is a feat never achieved by Phil Goff, David Shearer or David Cunliffe.

The last time an Opposition Leader failed to poll in the top two as Preferred Prime Minister was in October 2003 – 12 years ago. Later that month he was rolled in a coup.

So the results of Labour’s concede Northland to Winston strategy has been to have their leader fall into third place behind Winston as Preferred PM.

And the results of their decision to highlight home buyers with Chinese surnames has been to achieve nothing in the , but alienate many Chinese New Zealanders.

Curia is Farrar’s own polling company that amongst other things runs National’s internal polls, but he never reveals the results of those. So he only comments on the published poll results.

The most comprehensive poll coverage is from the non-partisan Colin James at Radio NZ with POLL of POLLS. This looks at rolling averages of polls, far more useful than cherry picking polls, especially unpublished ones, by those with political leanings.

Combined support for Labour and the Greens has overtaken National in the latest four-poll average, covering polls taken during July. And Labour has crept back up to 32.4 %, its highest since March 2014.

The Green Party, sporting new co-leader James Shaw, has climbed a bit to 13.0% but that is below its November 2014 ratings.

National is down to 44.5%. That is its lowest since October 2013. Still, it remains far ahead of all other parties and not far below its election score of 47.0%.

But Labour’s trend seems to be up and National’s down (for now). And Labour and the Greens combined lead National by 0.9% for the first time since February 2014.

So Labour plus Greens are at their highest for over a year – but last year’s election didn’t turn out very well for them.

The poll average chart shows that National has dipped and Labour has climbed:

Average last 4 polls since 2014 election.

*The poll of polls is an arithmetical average of the four most recent major polls since the election from among: TV1 Colmar Brunton, TV3 Reid Research, Fairfax Media-Ipsos, NZ Herald DigiPoll, Roy Morgan New Zealand and UMR Research, which is not published.

The four polls in the most recent average were, in order of interviewing, Morgan, TV1, TV3 and UMR (all in July). The first point on the charts is the actual election result and the polls averaged in the next three points straddled the election. The first point for which all polls were taken after the election is in mid-November.

So that includes the unpublished UMR poll. Again, without knowing any details or trends from them it’s hard to judge.

We will probably get a better idea about mid-august when Roy Morgan put out their next poll, They tend to vary quite a bit but that may give an indication whether their last poll was an indication of a sustainable opinion shift or if it was an outlier, as their May poll was seen as polling National in the mid fifties.

When Cameron Slater says “the stupidity of anyone believing the UMR polls” and Chris trotter says “the usually highly accurate UMR poll” you have to take pundit commentary with a grain of salt.

Remember that it’s more than two years until the next election. And also note that all polls are snapshots in time and ever coincide with election day. This is how they fared last election:

Final result chart

That’s from pollster Andrew at Grumpollie in How did the polls do? The final outcome. He includes details of how he worked that out.

It’s worth noting that the most recent published polls, One News and 3 News, had fairly similar results, unlike pre-election.

Polls are polls, mostly used by press, pundits and parties to make up stories.

Farrar and Salmond agree on TPPA bottom lines

Last week Labour announced bottom lies on their support or opposition to any TPPA agreement – Labour will not support TPP if it undermines NZ sovereignty:

“Labour will not support the TPP if it undermines New Zealand’s sovereignty. This means:
•    Pharmac must be protected
•    Corporations cannot successfully sue the Government for regulating in the public interest
•    New Zealand maintains the right to restrict sales of farm land and housing to non-resident foreigner buyers
•    The Treaty of Waitangi must be upheld
•    Meaningful gains are made for our farmers in tariff reductions and market access

“The bottom line for Labour is that New Zealand’s sovereign rights must be protected. Anything else is unacceptable.”

David Farrar says these are reasonable conditions in Labour’s TPP conditions at Kiweiblog:

These are not unreasonable bottom lines. It is good to see have not abandoned their previous support for free trade.

I’d add a sixth condition on – that NZ does not have to make changes to out intellectual property laws in a way which would harm the Internet in NZ.

Rob Salmond notes that Farrar “broadly agrees” at Public Address in Too much to swallow on the TPP, and thinks that the eventual TPP agreement will be unpalatable to Labour.

There is no way the TPPA will meet those five or six conditions. No way. That means Labour will be opposing, not supporting, the agreement that makes its way finally out of the smoke-filled room. And I think that is a good thing.

He goes to to explain why, then concludes:

So I’m pretty clear that, given its current position, Labour will oppose the eventual TPPA text. The bigger question is: what will Labour do in government if it passes? Unraveling an agreement like this is massively harder than opposing it in the first place.

Sadly, my own guess is that, if National saddles us with an agreement that does undermine our social legislation or our rights to regulate who owns our country, then Labour will be pretty much stuck with it.

Getting out of an agreement may be political reality.

But we’re not there yet. An agreement is still to be reached. And National plus sufficient support votes are not guaranteed.

It could be that the Government broadly agree with Labour’s conditions too.

And it could be that that is why Labour has stated them as bottom lines.

Philip Lyth versus Key, Slater and Farrar

I see Philip Lyth on Twitter quite often, he seems to be a prolific tweeter. He describes himself there as “Husband, politics junkie, psephologist. Standing Orders.”

Last night he retweeted to a John Key tweet and responded:

Philip Lyth retweeted John Key
Wow John. You lead the party which includes David Farrar & Cameron Slater who dogwhistle Muslims at every chance?

That’s a silly shot at Key, he can’t be held responsible for what all party members do – and I don’t think Slater is even a member of the National Party.

On the accusation Lyth made – it’s certainly easy to get the impression that Slater is a Muslim dogwhistler although his wife ‘Spanish Bride seems to have been doing more anti-Muslim posts lately.

But I’ve been a close observer of Kiwiblog for years and I don’t recall much if any Muslim dog-whsitling from David Farrar (DPF). A quick search shows that DPF doesn’t post very often about Muslim topics.

His last post was in March: Why are so many Australian muslims radicalised?

Stuff reports:

A nightclub bouncer who reportedly became a terror group leader. A man who tweeted a photo of his young son clutching a severed head. A teenager who is believed to have turned suicide bomber, and others suspected of attempting to travel to Syria to join the Islamic State movement. All of them, Australian.

The London-based International Center for the Study of Radicalization and Political Violence reports that between 100 and 250 Australians have joined Sunni militants in Iraq and Syria. Given Australia’s vast distance from the region and its population of just 24 million, it is a remarkable number. The center estimates that about 100 fighters came from the United States, which has more than 13 times as many people as Australia.

That’s a huge number.

Experts disagree about why the Islamic State group has been so effective recruiting in Australia, which is widely regarded as a multicultural success story, with an economy in an enviable 24th year of continuous growth.

Possible explanations include that some Australian Muslims are poorly integrated with the rest of the country, and that Islamic State recruiters have given Australia particular attention. In addition, the Australian government failed to keep tabs on some citizens who had been radicalized, and moderate Muslims have been put off by some of Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s comments about their community.

It’s pathetic to even suggest that Tony Abbott is the reason. I’m not Abbott’s biggest fan, but the hatred and bias from many sections of the Australian media towards him is appalling.

I think the first explanation is the strongest. For well over a decade there has been a significant radical element who have not integrated. Many senior Muslim clerics in Australia have said appalling things, and use incendiary speech. We’re very fortunate that in NZ we’ve never had this problem. That doesn’t mean that there are not some extreme radicals – just that the senior leadership in NZ is not radical, and in fact very well focused on integration.

That seems like realistic comment and not dog whistling.

Sure the comments at Kiwiblog are often thick with anti-Muslim sentiment, as was the case on this post, starting with:

Odakyu-sen

Duuuh!

Don’t allow people into your country who despise your culture and don’t want to integrate.

wreck1080

Just ban muslims from coming to NZ.

The ones already here will eventually outbreed us all anyway so lets delay the inevitable .

It is too bad we cannot eject the more troublesome ones already here — or can we?

David Garrett:

DPF: How on earth can you say we are very fortunate not have this problem here ? How do you know what is being preached in the several mosques around the country? The little that does leak out is far from reassuring…just yesterday there was a report of some radical being trespassed from the mosque in Avondale, and that person going to the head sharing’s house and telling him “Jihad will start here”…

All that can safely be said is we have seen little outward manifestations of Islamic radicalism here…so far. I’m afraid it’s just a matter of time.

But I think it’s unfair to blame DPF for dog whistling, this is more a result of his very liberal moderation and the fact that a number of extreme right leaning commenters have made Kiwiblog their pulpit.

Muslim bashing occurs on Kiwiblog far more frequently than DPF posts anything related to Islam. There’s virtually a daily dose from Manolo, like yesterday where he posted the first comment on General Debate:

Manolo (16,656 comments) says: 

The daily dose of Islamic love and peace: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/at-least-28-dead-in-suspected-isis-suicide-attack-on-turkish-border-town-live-10401885.html

Manolo started calling me the Mullah of Dunedin a while ago because I didn’t agree with his extreme views.

But this isn’t due to DPF dog whistling, it is due to the principle of free speech exercised at Kiwiblog.

John Drinnan had responded to Lyth’s tweet:

John Drinnan retweeted Philip Lyth

“wogs” is the term du jour.

That’s correct for Whale Oil, try a search their on ‘wog’ and there’s ample evidence.

But Drinnan is not correct regarding Farrar, his last ‘Wog’ post was in 2013 – Wogistan – that was comment on Richard Proctor’s bizarre comments. And that’s it from Kiwiblog.

So I challenged Lyth on his accusation.

Philip Lyth ‏@philiplyth 11h11 hours ago

Philip Lyth retweeted Pete George

Where’s your evidence Pete George is not a troll?

That’s a lame way of avoiding responsibility for a serious accusation against Farrar and directed at Key and National by association.

It looks like Lyth is the dog whistler here.

Philip – if you can make a case that Farrar is a Muslim dog whistler I’ll post it. Otherwise I think a retraction is in order.

Herald story on poll changes

Newspaper stories aren’t always like the used to be, fixed in print once the presses roll.

David Farrar pointed out in A Labour member complains:

First let’s deal with the headline of the story:

Has the leak worked? Poll boost for Labour

The headline writer should be shot.

Labour has lifted by six points to its highest level since March 2014 in the Roy Morgan Poll.

Labour is up to 32 per cent in the poll – up six points from a fortnight ago while National was down six points to 43 per cent support.

However, the impact of Labour’s analysis of leaked Auckland real estate data remains unclear.

The poll of 886 voters began on June 29 and ended the day after Labour released that data on July 11.

So 90% of the poll was before the release. So the headline is trying to manufacture a story.

However NZ Herald currently has this headline with the story:

Poll boost for Labour

By David Fisher, Claire Trevett

Labour has lifted by six points to its highest level since March 2014 in the Roy Morgan Poll.

Labour is up to 32 per cent in the poll – up six points from a fortnight ago while National was down six points to 43 per cent support.

However, the impact of Labour’s analysis of leaked Auckland real estate data remains unclear.

The poll of 886 voters began on June 29 and ended the day after Labour released that data on July 11.

What Farrar probably doesn’t know is that the story has changed since the headline was written, and then the headline was changed.  I saw the original version, as did Keith Ng who pointed out:

Oi . I mathed it for you.

The data was released by Labour with substantial help by NZ Herald six days prior, not a week.

One of the article authors responded:

ha! I was so busy trying to find it in the fine print I didn’t look at the top bit!

Since then the headline and story have now been edited:

From:

Has the leak worked? Poll boost for Labour

However it us unclear how much of the poll was taken before Labour released it’s analysis of leaked Auckland real estate agent data, which was a week ago.

To:

Poll boost for Labour

However, the impact of Labour’s analysis of leaked Auckland real estate data remains unclear.

The poll of 886 voters began on June 29 and ended the day after Labour released that data on July 11.

Farrar must have copy pasted after the story was edited, but before the headline was edited.

Unequal posts on inequality

Anthony Robins has posted an unusually detailed economic analysis in Inequality – Treasury reportnot his usual style at all.

Last week Treasury came out with a detailed and interesting report, Inequality in New Zealand 1983/84 to 2013/14. The web page is here, and the full document (pdf)here. From the summary:

The results indicate an increase in the inequality of market and disposable income per adult equivalent person (using the individual as the unit of analysis) from the late 1980s to the early 1990s. Subsequently, inequality has – with some variability – remained either constant or has fallen slightly.

It wasn’t widely reported. What coverage there was repeated the message of the The New Zealand institute, that inequality is supposedly not rising.

Dig beneath the surface however.

Someone has certainly done some digging.

One could almost suspect he could have help from his local MP, who happens to be the Opposition spokesperson for economic development and small business. But they say at The Standard that authors only ever post their own personal opinions without any party or Parliamentary input.

As we all know inequality increased sharply with the neoliberal reforms of the late 80’s – early 90’s. From the report:

It appears that the 1980s reforms – involving cuts in the top income tax rate along with benefit cuts and the ending of centralised wage setting [i.e. the ECA] – are associated with increasing inequality.

The measures level out (damage done) during the late 90’s. They begin to fall with Labour’s increase to the top tax rate in 2001, and Working for Families in 2004. The momentum of this fall continues until 2010, when there is another sharp upturn in inequality following National’s reduction of the top rate and increase in GST.

In short, the last Labour government acted to reduce inequality, the current National government has acted to increase it. Because of the slow (but cumulative) nature of such changes, it is almost certain that the full effect of National’s changes have not yet been measured.

In short, Labour good, National bad.

But there’s an unequal post by David Farrar at Kiwiblog – Despite the rhetoric, inequality not increasing in NZ – this looks at the Stuff article that Robins tried to refute.

New Zealand needs to “change its tune” on , think tank The New Zealand institute says.

The group, which is supported by many leading business people, made the call following the publication of a Treasury paper which found inequality in this country has, with some variability, largely remained constant for the past 20 years. …

The new Treasury report acknowledged inequality in this country did rise from the late 1980s to the early 1990s. But it said that since then inequality had – with some variability – remained either constant or had fallen slightly. (Read the report in full here)

In a statement on Friday, NZ Initiative head of research Eric Crampton said “New Zealand simply has no problem of rising inequality”.

In contrast, income inequality had risen in may parts of the world and New Zealand seemed to have imported the narrative that the gap between rich and poor in this country had been widening to the same degree.

“The most striking finding in the latest Treasury work is that inequality in consumption is lower than it was before the reforms of the 1980s. While salary-based measures of income inequality have not declined as dramatically, a lot of work ignore the fact that the tax and transfer system already works to equalise incomes,” Crampton said.

“In the end, it’s consumption-based measures that give us a better picture of real differences in how people live.”

Farrar concludes:

So when you take account of the tax and welfare system, there is less inequality in NZ than the early 1980s when for some bizarre reason socialists hark back to as a golden era.

There’s lies, damn lies, statistics, economic analysis, bloggers and political proxies.

Interesting poll reactions

The latest Roy Morgan poll has National down 4.5 to 49.5% and Labour up 0.5 to 26.0% – see Roy Morgan poll – June.

National supporter David Farrar showed on Facebook that the drop for National doesn’t bother him.

National is in real trouble in the polls. They have dropped to 49.5% in the latest Roy Morgan!!

They would have only 62 seats on this poll, while the surging Labour Party would have 32 seats.

He also posted briefly at Kiwiblog – Latest poll – and linked via “I’ve blogged the latest poll at Curia”.

In contrast there has been no post on it at The Standard (to date), only a brief mention and exchange between two Labour actiovists, the first of whom is also an author.

Latest Roy Morgan out. 4.5% drop in support for National. Judith Collins will be well pleased!

http://roymorgan.com/findings/6300-roy-morgan-new-zealand-voting-intention-june-2015-201506240227

So no mention of Labour’s result by Te Reo Putake, and a snarky response when a fellow party member details some fairly pertinent results.

And another tries to dredge up a diss…

Clemgeopin

Support for Independent/ Others = 2% (up 1%).

That is more than the support for each of the following patsy parties
in Government…

ACT P=1%
Maori P=1%
Uni Fut= 0%.

Pathetic !

…while also ignoring the polling elephant in Labour’s room.

Standard goes dirty on dirty politics?

The Nation is promoting:

Tomorrow morning on The Nation, an investigation into allegations of more dirty politics by blogger Cameron Slater. A former confidant of Slater’s has supplied The Nation with documents, texts and bank statements raising serious questions about his online activities and plans to hit back against some of those who attacked him last year.

So what was “the mission” that these two men embarked on? Lisa Owen has an exclusive report.

This is believed to be about the Ben Rachinger accusations that Slater paid him to hack The Standard.

Lynn Prentice has also hinted at revelations which suggests he thinks they will be favourable to The Standard, or at least will dump on Slater, someone he has feuded with for years.

Prentice has admitted assisting Nicky Hager with his ‘Dirty Politics’ book but hasn’t said to what extent that assistance went.

The Standard post includes a ‘ben rachinger’ tag which is a good indication he is involved.

If Slater did pay to have The Standard hacked that would be both playing dirty and highly hypocritical of Slater, who has frequently slammed Hager and the hacking of his communications and has stated he wouldn’t do anything illegal himself.

So Prentice and The Standard may be justified in basking in utu.

But The Standard may be playing dirty themselves on this. They have posted a teaser for The Nation – ‘they’ being the anonymous

Included on this post is a photo of Slater with John Key and David Farrar.

StandardTheNation

And on their home page they are promoting a Slater/Key link:

StandardTheNation2

If they know that the item on The Nation will implicate or prove involvement of Key and Farrar then this may be fair enough.

If there is no link that Key or Farrar had any involvement, especially Key, then this would be cynical dirty politics from The Standard.

UPDATE: posted at The Standard by Weka

“@lprent: @lprent On my 56th birthday. I go on camera for the first time in the seven years of running The Standards systems. Clean up NZ politics …”

That’s a bit ironic considering how dirty Lynn plays at The Standard.

UPDATE: there was no accusations of anyone beyond Slater except for a funder who was ‘not a Nat. So trying to link Key and  Farrar to this story was dirty politics from The Standard.

Reactions to spy reviews

There is a general review starting this year of the GCSB and SIS as stipulated for in legislation passed in 2013, and the Inspector General of Security and Intelligence has initiated a review of the way the GCSB undertakes foreign intelligence activities.

Radio NZ political editor Brent Edwards in Spy agencies come under scrutiny:

What is most needed from the review is a clear summary of how the intelligence agencies can best work to protect New Zealanders’ safety and interests while not compromising their privacy and freedoms.

Most people accept there is a need for spy agencies.

The challenge is to ensure they are able to do their job without trampling on the rights of the citizens they are meant to protect.

If Sir Michael and Dame Patsy can achieve that they will do much to improve public confidence in the country’s intelligence agencies and ensure those agencies have the appropriate powers to keep the country safe.

In the meantime, too, the investigations by Ms Gwyn might also reassure the public.

Mr Key will argue, with some justification, that this is all evidence that under his government the country’s spy agencies face greater, not less, accountability.

But the critics will wait for the review and inquiries to report back before deciding whether he is right.

Green MP Kennedy Graham in Warning Govt must not influence GCSB review:

Green Party security and intelligence spokesperson Kennedy Graham is happy former Deputy Prime Minister Sir Michael Cullen and lawyer Dame Patsy Reddy are leading the review.

“You’ve got two good people undertaking the task, but the precise terms of reference will determine a lot of what the two reviewers can do and can say.”

Graham asserts the most important thing is for the Government to be totally hands-off.

“Subliminal or even explicit messages from the Government as to what the reviewers can or can’t do or should or shouldn’t do…whether the Government signals an advance.

“[It’s to be seen] whether it will take certain aspects of a review seriously.”

David Farrar at Kiwiblog in Cullen to head up security law review:

Having Michael Cullen as one of the reviewers is an inspired move, as he will take a sensible approach to such a vital issue, and it will be very difficult for certain political parties to attack the recommendations if he is part of them.

Green co-leader Metiria Turei in Spy agencies investigated for political gain, again:

John Key’s lack of oversight of our spy agencies has once again made them the subject of an inquiry by the Inspector General of Intelligence and Security (IGIS) into their political spying.

The IGIS review is oversight in action.

The IGIS has announced she is looking into allegations that the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) was spying on Tim Groser’s rivals for the position of the director-general of the World Trade Organisation (WTO). This investigation comes in the wake of IGIS investigations into allegations contained in the Dirty Politics book and allegations of spying in the Pacific.

“It is unprecedented for a government agency to be investigated by a watchdog three times in the space of nine months,” said Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei.

“Once again, the investigation relates to John Key using our spy agencies for his political purposes and gain.

“Every major allegation made against John Key and his spy agencies has been, or is being investigated, by the IGIS; yet John Key continues to deny our spy agencies are out of control.

“It is further evidence that John Key’s hands are off the wheel in his own department.

“We need a comprehensive and independent review of our spy agencies; the two person beltway panel the Government has set up appears to be a stitch up.

“We need independent experts who can fix our spy agencies and make sure they operate within the law,” said Mrs Turei.

The Greens may never be happy as long as there’s a GCSB and an SIS.

Greg Presland at The Standard in Spy watchdog to investigate GCSB’s help for Groser’s campaign:

All strength to Spy watchdog Cheryl Gwynn.  She is probably going to drop off John Key’s christmas card list for doing so but she has announced an investigation into the GCSB’s spying on friendly nations to help Tim Groser’s tilt at the top trade job.

Farrar on Minister’s brother being charged

David Farrar at Kiwiblog has a carefully worded post Why standing down a Minister for their brother is absolutely wrong.

Most people accept you should not stand down a Minister because a family member has done something wrong.

In general I think that’s correct.

Now a few have argued that it is different if the Minister holds a portfolio in the justice sector, such as Justice, Police, Corrections etc. Again, they are wrong. They are not wrong that it may create a conflict that needs managing, but they are absolutely wrong that the way you manage that is by the Minister standing down.

And that’s a fair point. The Opposition tend to cry resign or cry stand down too readily and too often.

Let’s say the person charged is the brother of the Minister of Justice. Should they stand down because their brother has been charged? Well if you stand down the Minister of Justice because their brother has been prosecuted, then you’re saying that they may have been able to interfere in the case if they had not stood down.

Now that is wrong. The Police and Crown Law have statutory independence in their functions (apart from a few small areas where the Attorney-General plays a role). No Minister can interfere in decisions around police investigations, charges, bail, prosecutions, trials, convictions, sentencing, or parole.

The proof of an independent justice system is when (as has happened here) the Police can and do investigate the sibling of a cabinet minister, and do decide to prosecute them and charge them. The fact this happens while the Minister remains in office is a strength, not a weakness.

Yes, it can be seen as a strength. Except by some people who will inevitably claim political/police collusion.

If a minister who holds a portfolio in the justice sector has a family member charged with an offence, the only thing that needs to be done is to make sure that the Minister is not briefed or in the loop in any way on the prosecution. As Ministers are not briefed on such things anyway, that should not be difficult.

Sounds reasonable to me.

In praising Martyn Bradbury

Greg Presland has joined the list of bloggers praising Martyn’ Bradbury’s handling of the Key/waitress/hair story.

Firstly in relation to the story I wish to praise Bomber Bradbury’s handling of it.  Unlike Cameron Slater and his attempts to bring down Len Brown with the Bevan Chuang story Bradbury did some important things.  He let the story be the story and did not inject himself into the story at all.  He let the waitress tell her own story in her own words.  And unlike Slater whose grandiose yet ridiculous plan to have Len Brown removed from office and John Palino somehow installed as mayor Bomber had no intention of achieving any particular goal.  He just facilitated the telling of a very creepy story.

He also quotes Danyl Mclachlan of Dim-Post:

[Bomber] simply published the waitress’s own account as a primary, information-rich source that the mainstream media could base their stories off. Reporters called the PM, but the scandal had already broken and the media were all matching each other’s stories. It couldn’t be shut down. And Bomber kept himself out of it all. That approach – publish a primary source and make it available to all media simultaneously – turned out to be a really awesome way to get the story out there.

I have also said that Bradbury deserves some praise for how he presented the initial post that broke the story.

But Presland and Mclachlan take a very narrow view, focussing on the first post only. Bradbury has gone on to try and link it all with Dirty Politics – his next post on it headlines this:

UPDATE: The Prime Minister and the Waitress Part 2 – Dirty Politics?

This post, about the horrendous Herald coverage of the issue – opened with a photo of David Farrar with Rachel Glucina with this caption:

Rachel Glucina and Government pollster and right wing political blogger, David Farrar

Glucina was at the centre of that controversy. I haven’t seen anyone – including Bradbury, Presland nor Mclachlan – provide any evidence that Farrar (or Cameron Slater or the Government) had anything to do with this issue.

But Presland and Mclachlan compared Bradbury extensively with Cameron Slater.

In pushing Dirty Politics links they are all playing dirty, while praising Bradbury for playing it clean. Sheesh.

I don’t think it’s deliberately hypocritical. Most likely they are blind to their double standard.

And before Greg accuses me of suggesting a conspiracy again, this is probably not a co-ordinated or planned approach.

Left wing bloggers seem so obsessed with ‘Dirty Politics’ and the narrow definition they try to apply to the term they are blind to their own mode of operation.

To keep Felix happy I won’t say they’re playing ‘Dirty Politics’ themselves (I understand what you want that term to mean Felix) so I will describe it as playing dirty to promote a political attack.

As Presland did in his post after praising Bradbury.

Rachel Glucina’s attempt at turning the story around by suggesting there was a political angle in the complaint failed miserably and only succeeded in providing an institutional target and showing that Dirty Politics is alive although not so well.

If Felix was consistent he would point out that this doesn’t fit his version of Dirty Politics.

The right had no where to go on this.  Every time one of their nodding heads in the media tried to turn the story around there was blow back.  And as the story took off and international media ran with it you could sense John Key’s credibility ebb.  Crosby Textor will have their work cut out to repair this fiasco.

I think Greg pushes the CT conspiracy quite often. And he brought Farrar into the post:

The response of the right wing bloggers has been interesting.  David Farrar obviously wanted to have nothing to do with it and his early post inappropriate if accurate was as realistically as positive as he could go.

So Farrar “obviously wanted to have nothing to do with it” but Presland said “I wish to praise Bomber Bradbury’s handling of it” – that’s in relation to the story which was Bradbury’s first post but that’s disingenuous considering Bradbury’s ‘Dirty Politics’ follow-up.

Cameron Slater  is obviously no longer running pro Key lines and is preparing to support his mate Judith Collins in a leadership battle that when it occurs will be bloody and divisive and will leave National in far worse shape.  Let’s be real here.  There is no other leader of the quality of John Key in National.  The possibility of a leader emerging from the ranks of Collins, Joyce, Bennett, Adams or Bridges is one that fills me with confidence that the the next Government will be a progressive one.  Key is their only chance.  And he has been significantly damaged.

Slater’s lack of complicity (despite Presland associating him with it) is turned into a lame leadership hit.

Slater’s line on the story, that the left had stuffed up the chance of a political hatchet job spoke volumes about his world view.  He could not believe obviously (donotlink link) that a left wing blog could publish a story with no intent other than making sure that the story was told.  Subsequent posts suggesting that the waitress should toughen up just reveal a shallowness of human understanding that has always been apparent.

So “subsequent posts” at Whale Oil are relevant but Presland tries to judge Bradbury on one post in isolation “with no intent other than making sure that the story was told”.

If Presland wishes to “praise Bomber Bradbury’s handling of it” then he is in effect praising Bradbury’s attempts to widen the issue in to another example of ‘Dirty Politics’ – which Presland also does himself. He commented here yesterday:

Basically I thought Bomber did really well, way better than Slater in his attempts to achieve similar things.

Presland has been an integral part of an attempt to tie the Herald, Slater and Farrar into the hair story as an example of ‘Dirty Politics’.

He speaks on behalf of all at The Standard:

The rest of the posts were spontaneous. We do not sit down and coordinate and plot posts as part of some conspiracy. Well intentioned individuals post about aspects that they think are important and interesting.

A number of bloggers at Dim-Post and The Daily Blog may have also been spontaneous and un-coordinated.

But they all seem to be singing the same tune – Bradbury impeccable, Key/Herald/Slater/Farrar/right dirty.

If it’s all spontaneous (and it may well be) does that just indicate “well intentioned individuals” are already thoroughly indoctrinated in the ‘Dirty Politics’ campaign?

In praising Martyn Bradbury for one isolated play they have ignored the bigger game and seem oblivious to theirn involvement in the whole dirty sport of politics.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 4,095 other followers