“The Downfall of Kim Dotcom”

Political junkie Geoffrey Miller details The Downfall of Kim Dotcom – How the Internet entrepreneur’s venture into New Zealand politics went off the rails.

Kim Dotcom’s foray into the tiny and normally rather placid world of New Zealand politics brought global interest to the South Pacific nation’s recent election – culminating with the involvement of other outside heavyweights, including NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden and Wikileaks founder Julian Assange.

Ultimately the über-wealthy German immigrant went head to head with the country’s prime minister – and lost. Dotcom ended up failing spectacularly – describing himself as political “poison.” His Internet Mana alliance, personally bankrolled by Dotcom to the tune of nearly NZ$5 million ($3.9 million), failed to win a single seat in New Zealand’s 120-seat parliament in elections held on September 20.

He summarises:

In May, Kim Dotcom described his pet political party as his “gift to New Zealand.” On election night, he was forced to concede that his very brand had been toxic. For John Key, Dotcom turned out to be the gift that kept on giving. New Zealand voters’ loathing of Kim Dotcom and his tainting of the country’s left played no small part in delivering Key’s center-right National Party a landslide victory.

After the election, a jubilant Key had only one piece of advice for the defeated Dotcom. “Go away.”

http://thediplomat.com/2014/10/the-downfall-of-kim-dotcom/

Harawira and the Greens

Hone Harawira has been talking publicly two weeks after his election loss. He talks about his key policies, child poverty, homelessness, unemployment and the Treay of Waitangi as if he was had been the sole crusader on these social issues.

From a Mana media release on Friday: Mana’s Challenge To The 51st Parliament

MANA defined its position when we announced that our constituency would be those we call TE PANI ME TE RAWAKORE, the poor and the dispossessed, and our last three years have been a challenging and vigorous time where we have staked out our place in the political world – a commitment to ending poverty for all and particularly those most vulnerable in our society, our kids; a commitment to putting an end to the grinding homelessness affecting tens of thousands of New Zealand families; a commitment to putting the employment of people ahead of the sacrifice of jobs in the endless pursuit of wealth for the few; and a commitment to a future where the Treaty of Waitangi is honoured as the basis for justice and good governance in Aotearoa.

Mind you – being so highly principled brings with it enormous risk, not least the fact that KIDS CAN’T VOTE AND POOR PEOPLE DON’T, but I am proud of what we have achieved in our short time in parliament.

When we first raised our FEED THE KIDS policy three years ago, everybody laughed, so we took our kaupapa on the road, we built a support coalition of more than 30 national organisations, we pushed the policy into the top 5 issues of the year, and with the support of a standout series on Campbell Live, we got a poll last year that showed more than 70% supported a government-funded food in schools programme.

When we called for 10,000 NEW STATE HOUSES EVERY YEAR until the housing crisis was over, other politicians squirmed, but after challenging them at a Housing Action protest outside parliament, Labour took up the same call for 10,000 new houses a year, albeit theirs was more a pitch to woo middle-class voters than a bid to help the poor.

We took up the call for FULL EMPLOYMENT because to accept anything less was to accept failure, and by pushing for the minimum wage to be the LIVING WAGE OF $18.80 AN HOUR, we forced other so-called left-wing parties to follow suit.

Other left wing parties might dispute that they have been “forced…to follow suit”, in particular the Greens.

This theme was also prominent in an interview on Q & A yesterday. It began:

Do you regret doing this deal with Kim Dotcom?

Harawira: No I don’t think I do, I mean…

You don’t think you do…?

Harawira: No no no no. I mean we have two hundred and sixty thousand kids living in poverty in this country, we’ve got more than thirty thousand families that are homeless, more than twenty five percent of Maori youth are on the dole.

There needed to be something to help Mana broaden our kaupapa, and to try to get more MPs into the house.

The Greens in particular have also strongly campaigned on very similar issues.

Harawira: There needed to be something to help Mana broaden our kaupapa, and to try to get more MPs into the house.

But you’re not there now to…

Harawira: Sure. But was it a risk worth taking? Absolutely it was, because even now that I’m out of Parliament I’ve received hundreds, probably more than a thousand emails, text, phone calls really regretting the fact that I’m not in there including from National Party supporters.

I think genuinely there needs to be a voice for te pani me te rawakore, the poor and the dispossessed in the house, and I think that was Mana’s role and it will be Mana’s role in the future.

Harawira’s voice won’t be in Parliament this term. Mana’s voice won’t be in Parliament this term. A major reason for this is Mana’s alliance with Kim Dotcom and the Internet Party.

There were hundreds, probably more than a thousand people warning against this. It looked like a huge clash of principles.

Sue Bradford resigned from the Mana Party because of the alliance. She had previously been a Green MP.

Laila Harre left a prominent job in the Green Party to lead the Internet Party along side Harawira’s Mana.

Russel Norman spoke strongly against the Internet Party and the Internet-Mana alliance.

Harawira and Harre chose Kim Dotcom over the Greens to try and help the poor and the dispossessed.

The Green Party has fourteen MPs in Parliament. Harawira and Mana are out.

Why did Mana choose to be backed by Dotcom? How many kids could have been fed by the four million dollars Dotcom wasted on a failed campaign?

Why didn’t Mana join forces with the Greens, who have very similar aims and policies?

If Harawira wants to continue his crusade for the poor and the dispossessed he could work with the Greens. Mana could ally themselves with the Greens.

What’s most important – speaking for the poor and the dispossessed from the sidelines, or being a part of a much wider campaign for the less fortunate in our society?

Perhaps Harawira wants to be ‘The Man”. He pulled out of the Maori party team to set up the Mana Party.

if Harawira joined the Greens, if the Mana Party allied with the Greens, many voices would be stronger than one man and his movement outside Parliament.

That would have more chance of real success than hitching hopes to Dotcom and Harre.

Green policies include:

A billion dollar plan to reduce child poverty

Workers will get a better, fairer deal under the Green Party

A healthy home for every child

Internet Party poll reaction ‘fun police’

There were interesting responses from the Internet Party to yesterdays two poll results. They tweeted:

.@ONENewsNZ poll has #InternetMANA at 4% before we’ve even launched our campaign. bit.ly/1qgoDCx NZers realise its time to change.

Support for Internet Mana had doubled in the One News poll from two to four percent – but the 3 News poll had them down 0.2 to 2.0% so mixed results and far from a comprehensive vote of support for change.

And I pointed this out and got a response:

Some New Zealanders may “realise it’s time to change” but the unknown is how many. Can’t generalise.

Thanks fun police. Gees Louise.

Valentine is the Social Media Engagement Manager for the Internet Party. Miriam Pierard @miriampierard – Internet Party Spokesperson for Education and Candidate for Auckland Central – favourited his tweet.

It’s no fun having a flawed claim pointed out? The exchange continued:

You must be a riot at parties. “Excuse me, not everyone might want to put their hands up in the air – EXCUSE ME”

This is politics – if you want credibility don’t cherry pick polls and don’t make sweeping unsupportable claims.

“Referencing a reputable poll in an exuberant fashion.” add it to my Pete George rap sheet.

Exuberance is good but 4% (or 2%) doesn’t represent ‘New Zealanders’. Polls suggest most don’t want change.

Kim Dotcom joined the cherry picking of polls:

is now at 4% in the polls. ChangingTheGovernment™

It’s not unusual for politicians to promote positive news and try to ignore less positive or negative news. It’s also not unusual for parties to misrepresent what polls mean.

It’s different to see them complaining that pointing out flaws is “the fun police”. Politics is not an online game.

Dotcom “invented cloud storage”

Kim Dotcom is claiming at Internet-Mana Party meetings around the country that he invented cloud storage. He seems to have his head in the clouds, or is generating clouds of hubris.

In Nelson – Dotcom roadshow wows the crowd:

His crime, he said, was to “basically invent cloud storage” on the internet and make “50 million people happy every day”.

In Dunedin – Otago Daily Times:

After claiming he invented cloud storage for the internet, Mr Dotcom said his crime was making 50 million people happy every day.

I was there and heard him make that claim. It doesn’t stack up, going by some simple research.

From A history of cloud computing (Computer Weekly):

The idea of an “intergalactic computer network” was introduced in the sixties by J.C.R. Licklider, who was responsible for enabling the development of ARPANET (Advanced Research Projects Agency Network) in 1969.

Other experts attribute the cloud concept to computer scientist John McCarthy who proposed the idea of computation being delivered as a public utility, similar to the service bureaus which date back to the sixties.

One of the first milestones in cloud computing history was the arrival of Salesforce.com in 1999, which pioneered the concept of delivering enterprise applications via a simple website. The services firm paved the way for both specialist and mainstream software firms to deliver applications over the internet.

The next development was Amazon Web Services in 2002, which provided a suite of cloud-based services including storage, computation and even human intelligence through the Amazon Mechanical Turk.

Then in 2006, Amazon launched its Elastic Compute cloud (EC2) as a commercial web service that allows small companies and individuals to rent computers on which to run their own computer applications.

From MIT Technology Review’s Who Coined ‘Cloud Computing’?

Some accounts trace the birth of the term to 2006, when large companies such as Google and Amazon began using “cloud computing” to describe the new paradigm in which people are increasingly accessing software, computer power, and files over the Web instead of on their desktops.

But Technology Review tracked the coinage of the term back a decade earlier, to late 1996, and to an office park outside Houston. At the time, Netscape’s Web browser was the technology to be excited about and the Yankees were playing Atlanta in the World Series. Inside the offices of Compaq Computer, a small group of technology executives was plotting the future of the Internet business and calling it “cloud computing.”

Who Invented Cloud Computing?

Other scholars maintain that the roots of cloud computing date back to the 1950s when Herb Grosch (creator of Grosch’s Law) predicted that one day the entire world would function on dumb terminals powered by as few as fifteen mega data centers.

MetaOption: ‘Cloud Computing': Omnipresent Metaphor and it’s Invention!

Hardy Schloer, during the 1950s, went a step ahead by patenting his early execution and employment of cloud computing, which he termed as ‘One page web”. It comprised of cloud storage, multi user applications and back-end-servers replete with security features!

No mention of Kim Dotcom or MegaUpload (which was established in 2005) in any of these articles, nor in Wikipedia’s Cloud storage which says:

References to cloud computing in its modern sense can be found as early as 1996, with the earliest known mention to be found in a Compaq internal document

So why is Dotcom claiming he invented cloud storage? And if this is a fabrication should some of his other claims be checked a bit more closely?

Dotcom has claimed Key has been lying about when he first knew of him for some time. Internet Party leader Laila Harre has very recently accused John Key of lying – 3 News:

“You knew from your research, or should have known from your research, it had no relationship with the Internet Party,” Harre said.

“You allowed the prime minister to lie and to cast a slur on the Internet-Mana Party in your conversation with him yesterday.”

 Perhaps Harre should do some research herself, and see who might be telling porkies.

Why has overt anti-Semitism surfaced?

Questions are being asked about the higher level of billboard attacks, especially the use of anti-Semitic and Nazi symbolism, and whether it’s related to what’s happening in Gaza.

‘Deep Red’ at Public Address:

So why has overt anti-Semitism only surfaced in the 2014 election, and not the 2011 one? I suspect it’s because what’s happening in Gaza, as well as elections in general, are even more closely tied to social media than they were even only a couple of years ago.

 

BillboardJewNazi

I don’t see it as related to what’s happening in Gaza much if at all.

One significant difference in this election is a new party combination that is campaigning on being disruptive with a primary aim of taking down Key and National.I haven’t seen any evidence this party is involved in organised billboard defacement, but two things it is doing may have at least contributed to a significant increase in damage.
– deliberately provoking and using a higher level of political hate
– activating a new breed of party supporter

Old party activists (Labour and National) may dabble in billboard attacks but will know from experience what a costly and time consuming pain checking and repairing damage is so are likely to avoid all out graffiti war.

Greens were embarrassed last campaign when caught doing a nationwide hit job on National billboards so will either have warning off their activists or will be doing it more carefully. Some Greens were caught defacing billboards in Dunedin a couple of weeks ago (“casual fascists”) but I think the party leaders and campaign team would be horrified if any maverick activists were found to be involved in Jewish and Nazi attacks.

So what’s new this campaign?

The Internet Party obviously, targeting new demographics of the young, disaffected and angry. And they have teamed up with Mana giving a small radical party much more coverage – but the socialist core of Mana are old school union activists who should be aware of the disgrace and dangers of indulging in the more extreme attacks that are evident.

The introduction of Nazi and Jewish symbolism in attacks is a very bad look, and may be counter-productive for parties on left regardless of whether they are directly involved or not.

BillboardJew

Have the visionary or the leader of the new party made any statements disassociating themselves from any of this?

Related to this they have disassociated themselves from one chanting video but promoted and defended another which was an odd contradiction. Were they disassociating themselves from responsibility for the content of the second video or just the distribution of it?

They have a potential problem in that having promoted and owned anti-Key rhetoric and actions they may now be perceived as associated with the actions of people who are independent of the party organisation.

Whether they deserve it or not they may reap what revolutionary behaviour and discontent they sow.

Key ‘lying’ versus Mana accusations

Internet and Mana campaigners are shitting in the campaign nest, then crying foul.

There’s an interesting comparison of posts at The Daily Blog. In one Martyn Bradbury blasts John Key for ‘lying’

What’s worse than Key lying about Internet MANA effigy burning on Breakfast TV?

The shrill scream of the right at trying to paint Internet MANA as some sort of fascist movement would be laughable if it wasn’t actually being promoted by the mainstream media.

No attempt is made to substantiate the accusation  the John Key lied about anything, although Laila Harre has also promoted the lie claim.

“The Prime Minister cast a slur and told a lie on your programme yesterday,” she said.

“You presented that video to the Prime Minister and you knew from your research, or should have known from your research, that it had no relationship with the internet Party.”

The effigy-burning video appears to have been first posted on a Facebook page called National Party Billboard Makeovers, which features pictures of defaced National Party hoardings.

TVNZ aren’t apologising.

However, although a TVNZ spokeswoman confirmed last night that a complaint had been received from Internet-Mana, “we’re not making an apology”.

Mr Christie had not suggested any connection between Internet-Mana and the video, she said.

“It was the PM who made this association”.

And neither is John Key but he has explained further.

Mr Key later said he was “not in the slightest” worried about the threat of legal action over his comments.

Asked whether he thought Mr Dotcom was behind the effigy-burning video, Mr Key said: “I don’t honestly know. That was the way it was indicated.

“My broader comments were really around the one that internet-Mana put up on their site that they actively encouraged people to watch, and look, in the end New Zealanders will judge whether that’s all positive.”

Harre’s Internet Party left itself wide open to being connected to less savoury campaign tactics after it promoted an abusive video featuring Kim Dotcom with a chanting crowd – a video that Harre defended.

Now she is complaining that an association is made with another video showing similar chants.

Immediately below the ‘lying’ post at The Daily Blog is a featured guest post by Mana Party candidate Joe Trinder:

GUEST BLOG: Joe Trinder – National still destroying billboards? 

This post makes no attempt to back up the headline accusation.

DailyBlog hypocrisy

 

The Daily Blog is strongly promoting the Mana Party, the Internet Party and Internet Mana, led by Martyn Bradbury.

Both Bradbury and Harre seem to be so wound up in campaign attack mode they fail to see their double standards and hypocrisy.

Internet and Mana are dishing it out but taking offence when it’s thrown back at them. They’re reaping what they are sowing, and crying foul when they are the substantialy behind the fould wind to blow over this election campaign.

Chris Hipkins on Dotcom bomb

Labour MP Chris Hipkins has tweeted on the latest Dotcom bomb.

Finally had a chance to see the Dotcom video everyone’s talking about. It’s alarming. No place for that kind of thuggery in NZ politics

Getting a bunch of people drunk and getting them to chant abuse isn’t political leadership. It’s thuggery and megalomania intertwined.

I want more young NZers to vote to be heard, not because they’re being wound up & manipulated by the worst kind of cynicism and thuggery.

Sad to see argument the only way to get young ppl to vote is to fill them with anger & resentment. This from the party of free information!

It’s good to see someone from Labour confronting Dotcom and the Internet Party on this. Hipkins has made very good points.

 

Dotcom bombs could blow up Labour’s chances

While Laila Harré defends Internet Party video the ongoing prominent involvement of Kim Dotcom in promoting his party must make her job as party leader challenging at times – challenging to accept and defend some of what Dotcom and the Party does at meetings and on social media, and challenging to Harré’s principles.

This must also pose additional challenges for Hone Harawira and the Mana Movement. Harawira has closely associated himself with Dotcom.

How will Dotcom’s social media bombs go down in Harawira’s Te Tai Tokerau and Mana’s wider constituencies? Perhaps they will be grateful that Internet coverage isn’t as good yet as they would like it to be. But the Dotcom impressions are also hitting television screens.

And it’s likely the Dotcom imagery will be used to campaign against Internet-Mana, accentuating the stark contrast between Dotcom and Mana.

Labour will probably not be welcoming this attention either. David Cunliffe has been gradually putting more distance between Labour and Dotcom, to the consternation of the left of the left who are demanding Labour joins forces to depose Key and National from government.

Moderate voters who may consider voting for Labour may have significant concerns about the potential influence of Internet-Mana in possible coalition support.

The ongoing Dotcom circus is likely to discourage potential Labour voters from fronting up at the ballot box and may move some votes further to the right.

Dotcom makes his main aims clear:

Are you ready for a revolution?

Are you ready to take down the Government?

Are you ready to extradite John Key?

His controversial and confrontational approach may win the support of some rebellious young people, if they can be encouraged enough to actually vote as opposed to attending a musical event.

But Dotcom’s bombs could backfire. He could blow up Labour and Green chances of election success.

Internet Party Party or Dotcom cult?

What could possibly go wrong?

This video was taken, produced and posted on Youtube by the Internet Party as a promotional video.

Join the Revolution – Change the Government
Published on Aug 1, 2014

During the recent Party Party series of events, Internet Party Visionary & Founder Kim Dotcom spoke to a huge crowd of students in Christchurch, New Zealand. The spontaneous chanting from the crowd said it all. They too want to Change the Government. Together we are strong. Join the Revolution. Party Vote Internet MANA this election.

Transcript and images:

PartyPartyChch1

Kim Dotcom!

Kim Dotcom!

Kim Dotcom!

Kim Dotcom!

Kim Dotcom!

PartyPartyChch3

Hey! How are you doing?Are you ready for a revolution?

Are you ready to take down the Government?

Are you ready to extradite John Key?

PartyPartyChch4

Fuck John Key!

Fuck John Key!

Fuck John Key!

Fuck John Key!

PartyPartyChch5

This year you all have to vote. You all have to vote – you have to make it happen!

I’m, going to come down there, and I’m going to give every single one of your hugs!

I love you guys! Thank you.

PartyPartyChch6

Fuck John Key!

Fuck John Key!

Fuck John Key!

Fuck John Key!

PartyPartyChch7

Internet Party Party or Dotcom cult?

Reactions have been wide ranging, for example:

Actually the “Fuck John Key” chant is very widespread throughout NZ.

Keir Leslie:

Yeah imagine young people actually expressing a political view! And getting excited about voting! Can’t have that.

Russell Brown:

My only problem with those parties is that they were originally pitched as general get-out-the-vote events, but wound up very much as Internet Party campaign things.

Tinakori:

So, if a party crowd like that was being incited to say the same sort of things about a Labour leader or the previous Labour PM, Helen Clark, you’d be quite ok with that too, just exuberant youth having a good old right wing time?

Stephanie Lloyd 

He’s put on an awful lot of weight and shaved off his funny little mustache…?

Inthisdress:

The lightning bolts, the single arm aloft, the shouting and demogoguery. I’m racking my brains to recall where ‘ve seen that kind of thing before.

Chris Trotter:

Mass enthusiasm for a German politician?

What could possibly go wrong?

Davis raises hackles over Te Tai Tokerau

Kelvin Davis continues to try and wage a vigorous campaign in Te Tai Tokerau against Hone Harawira and Kim Dotcom, despite apparent Labour Party attempts to tone him down. 3 News reported last night Labour MP told off for anti-Internet Mana website

Emails leaked to 3 News reveal plans by Kelvin Davis’ campaign team for an online smear campaign against Internet Mana, until the party shut it down.

In Te Tai Tokerau there are a lot of billboards, but they are not for Mr Davis. His campaign team has been pushing for the new website instead – part of an anti-Internet Mana smear campaign.

According to emails leaked to 3 News, Mr Davis’ team doesn’t see Prime Minister John Key and National as the enemy. It says its fight is against Mr Harawira.

Who leaked the emails? They must have come from someone within Labour, either in protest against Davis’ campaign methods – or to attract media attention.

His team’s edgy web campaign was shut down by the Labour Party. It thought it was too negative for its “vote positive” campaign slogan – a cartoon of Kim Dotcom was deemed too offensive.

“It wasn’t really offensive; it was edgy,” says Mr Davis.

Emails show the divisions within Labour about whether to work with Internet Mana or fight them. The hierarchy clearly wants to play nice, but the tension between the two parties goes beyond Te Tai Tokerau – it’s nationwide.

It’s normal to attack an opponent and highlight potential negatives for them in an election. Labour have been doing this against National and John Key despite their ‘Vote Positive’ slogan.

Harawira was given a response:

“I’m gutted by how low they would stoop to do this,” says Mr Harawira. “He’s got to take responsibility and either admit it and resign or dump this campaign.”

“The whole thing is set up for Labour to solicit money from National to come after me,” says Mr Harawira. “That’s ugly.”

It’s ironic he describes it as ‘ugly’ considering his coalition with Kim Dotcom and acceptance of a rich man’s substantial funding, which has raised many eyebrows as an inappropriate liaison.

Te Tai Tokerau could be a pivotal electorate this election as it could be the difference between success and failure for the Mana Party and the making or breaking of Dotcom’s Internet Party.

Davis’ parliamentary future may also rest on the electorate as hi has a precarious list position. Taking a vigorous fight to Harawira and Mana will get a lot of support but there have been questions about Labour preferring to allow Internet Mana to win to assist a Labour coalition.

One thing’s for sure – there will be a lot of attention on the ongoing campaign in Te Tai Tokerau.

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