David Farrar was implicated in Nicky Hager’s “Dirty Politics” book. He remains a friend of Cameron Slater and appears to have worked in tandem with the Whale Oil blog via his own Kiwiblog. His disclosure statement is here.
His latest post at Kiwiblog is Issues that matter – the Economy where he says:
I think the economy matters and should be a much bigger issue in this election so I’ve put together almost a dozen graphs showing the difference between National and Labour’s record on 11 important economic indicators. These are issues that matter to families and businesses
He details eleven graphs with comment and concludes:
Government do not directly control many of these economic measures. But they can and do impact them with their economic policies. The difference between where we are today and where we were in the mid to late 2000s is stark.
The Standard has posted Dirty Politics Watch I with an image extract from Dirty Politics:
It’s like deja vu all over again.
The ‘author’ is listed as By:– in other words, no name, no disclosure about their identity or their political links.
Ummm… what exactly is his ‘crime’ meant to be here?
As I understand it, the implication is that Farrar has been making use of the National Party Research Unit and posting it as his own work again (or the National Party Research Unit has been making use of Farrar, again).
Not a crime, but, if correct, a post by Farrar that misleads his readers about the providence of its content. A potential fact that might influence how it is read and interpreted.
That’s the implication I understood.
A pure example of two-track politics as advanced by Hager.
Instead of the National Party themselves posting these 11 graphs (or National giving this to the MSM themselves) to show the differences between National and Labour, they outsource it to their blogs so as to maintain distance and plausible deniability.
Pretty obvious I should have thought.
The insinuation was pretty obvious.
There is no proof or indication that the post is anything but Farrar’s own work.
Farrar has responded on Facebook:
Some anonymous poster at The Standard thinks that me spending five or six hours compiling data to produce some economic graphs for my blog, is an example of dirty politics!!!
Instead it was an example of common tactics used in dirty politics.
The poster was of course anonymous, as most of them posters are.
But what I love is how they label as dirty politics basically anything that doesn’t worship David Cunliffe and Labour.
I guess it is easier for them to anonymously smear me, rather than actually do what I did, and spend a few hours going through the Stats NZ database compiling information.
The Standard, as I showed in “Vote Positive” and The Standard, seems to have given up on praising Cunliffe and Labour, almost all their posts are negative attacks on John Key, National, Slater and Farrar.
Farrar is right, the economy is a critical election issue and deserves critical examination. His post is predictably pro-National and also deserves critical examination, but instead an unknown person with unknown political connections tries to go dirty instead.
Ignoring the issue and trying to discredit the messenger is a standard dirty political tactic.
The first comment, by long time Labour activist ‘Anne':
David Farrar is as guilty as sin when it comes to Dirty Politics.
His whining and moaning over the supposed hacking of his computer following the launch of the book “Dirty Politics” was nothing but a cover-up job to try and claim victim status and distract from his involvement in the rotten game.
Anyone who has ever been the victim of a dirty smear campaign – more often than not involving unlawful conduct similar to Slater’s – will know that the perpetrator (or perpetrators) always use this tactic to cover for their own behaviour. The sad part is they invariably get away with it because the ‘powers that be’ (read establishment) let them get away with it. You have to ask yourself… why?
Some irony there with “dirty smear campaign” and “always use this tactic“.
I don’t get the problem? Some benign (but obviously cherry picked) partisan data gets published. I cant see why the source matters, if it in fact is not Farrar.
Now I’d get the point if it were an allegation of wifebeating or corruption etc, but some economic charts? How does it matter whether the source is David Farrar, a top secret black ops team, or my grandma?
I think for dirty tricks, you actually have to be doing something dirty. Otherwise the bleating just comes across as tinfoil hat conspiracy theory. And yes I have read Dirty Politics.
That addresses the non-problem of Farrar’s post, it questions the insinuation “if it in fact is not Farrar” and calls it ‘bleating’. Fair call.
But it doesn’t address the hypocrisy of The Standard alleging dirty politics while playing dirty politics.
Standard sysop and trustee Lynn Prentice often complains about ‘The Standard’ being referred to as an entity, claiming it is just ‘a machine’. He recently posted in Meet The Standard:
So now when you see me saying that you can’t treat The Standard as a person with opinions because it is a machine. You’ll now know what I’m talking about….
But the reality is that this is just the hardware. The Standard is the sum of the loosely cooperative authors and their mixture of different viewpoints, and the commenters who have fun analyzing everything to death.
No attempt at analysis by ‘Notices and features”, just doing dirty to death.
An insinuating post with no evidence sounds like someone is hiding behind the machine. A dirty machine.