Martyn the mastermind

Martyn Bradbury has masterminded a plan so cunning and so effective that polls and policies are irrelevant to this election. Everything is organised so the outcome of the election is inevitable no matter what anyone else tries to do.

Martyn was instrumental in setting up the Mana Party. He was instrumental in setting up the Internet Party. He engineered that planting of Matt McCarten in Cunliffe’s coterie and into the middle of Labour’s campaign team.

He was the brains behind the Mana-Internet Party merge for the election. He was right behind installing Laila Harre as leader of the Internet Party.

And Martyn is the communications guru for the New Auckland Left agenda, with central command being his The Daily Blog. He converted Chris Trotter from left wing columnist to his left hand man.

Ok, some of this could be a tad exaggerated, but Martyn is not shy of blowing his own trumpet and he has been unable to resist bragging along these lines.

And in a blog post this week he couldn’t resist broadcasting the culmination of his masterminded plan. This is quoted verbatim, no embellishment is required.

Why the polls, policy & smears now don’t matter until after 7pm September 15th 2014

There are so many twists and turns to come until the 15th, that I can not imagine that the entire Nation’s attention won’t be on the Town Hall at 7pm.

Martyn really was closely involved in the anti-GCSB protest meeting at the Auckland Town Hall last year. To remind everyone of his triumph he includes a picture of it.

That’s Martyn in a commanding position dead centre, with Dotcom under his watch.

Couple of polls out today, Roy Morgan and the stuff.co.nz/Ipsos Polls – and they don’t matter.

John Key could announce tax cuts from a live press conference in Hawaii, and it wouldn’t matter.

David Cunliffe could be mocked on ZB by Mike Hosking for 10 hours straight. And it wouldn’t matter.

All that matters now is 7pm Monday 15th at the Auckland Town Hall.

The beauty of what Kim, Internet MANA and those fighting the mass surveillance state have generated here for the price of just hiring out the Town Hall is the entire nations attention and total dominance of the election campaign.

Journalists like Duncan Garner, Vernon Small and Guyon Espiner have been highly critical that Kim doesn’t reveal the evidence linking Key to a conspiracy to collude with the US to entrap him right now so that they can decide if the evidence stacks up. This point ignores that throughout this case the Government have broken law, acted outside the rules and have been manipulating this process with ‘political pressure’ from the very beginning and Kim has every right to counter that by releasing the information when it’s going to be most damaging to Key.

5 days out from the 2014 election is the time that would be most damaging to Key.

There are so many twists and turns to come until the 15th, that I can not imagine that the entire Nation’s attention won’t be on the Town Hall at 7pm.

Laila Harre’s comments that Kim wouldn’t be allowed in have been seized upon as a giant awkward moment between the two. I think that’s a terrible misreading of why she said that.

The meeting will be live streamed on The Daily Blog.

Five days out from the 2014 election is the time that would be most damaging to Key. Not four and a half days. Not six days. This is how pin point Martyn’s planning has been.

We might as well forget the election campaign and ignore all the other parties. The outcome of the election rests on the Kim and Martyn show on September 15.  Trust Kim. Trust Martyn. We will have to get used to trusting them, they will be the brains and the management behind our next government.

Neither of them are standing for Parliament but don’t worry about small details like that.

What Martyn doesn’t explain is that if everyone ignores polls and policies and smears and parties and campaigning then how will they know who to vote for?

Bradbury doesn’t hint that he knows what Dotocm will reveal, which based on his usual keenness to brag about what he knows probably means he doesn’t know. But he knows that September 15 is the BIG THING and nothing else is relevant to the election. Trust or bluster?

Even if what Dotcom reveals on September 15, something so secret that he hasn’t shared the information with his party leader Harre, even if Dotcom blows Key out of the election, how will voters know who to vote for?

Will September 15 be so decisively dramatic that no one will vote? That’s not going to happen, although Martyn’s farcical circus is likely to disillusion more voters and reduce the turnout.

Or everyone will have a revelation and vote for the brilliance of Kim and Martyn? Ok, for Laila and Hone but we know they are just useful tools in this grand plan.

All eyes will be on Dotcom and The Daily Blog to see hints drip fed.

Or voters will not stand for this personal crusade of Dotcom, nor for the Bradbury bull.

Even if Key and National are seriously compromised it’s likely most of the voters won’t look kindly on the hijacking of our democracy.

A collapse in voter turnout and an election lottery is possible. I wonder if Martyn has bought a ticket. That might be his best hope on September 20.

Martyn seems to think he has masterminded a dead certain election result.

But remember that he masterminded a grand left wing co-operative for the election, and that was quickly dashed when Labour made it clear they would have nothing to do with it, and Greens had already recognised the dangers in a Dotcom led political revolution.

It has been suggested that the September 15 town hall meeting will be a bomb shell. Martyn would like it seen as a Bomber shellacking of John Key  – but we’ve seen Bradbury flops before.

Martyn’s master of his own mind but his left wing revolution may be spinning in his head.

Footnote: the comments on Martyn’s post have been mostly very sceptical and negative.

Dotcom versus Key – bomb or fizzer?

Kim Dotcom is promising to reveal information that will prove John Key knew of him prior to the raid and his arrest in an attention seeking ‘event’ at the Auckland town hall the Monday before the election.

NZ Herald reports Dotcom promises election eve political bombshell:

Kim Dotcom has announced he plans to drop a political bombshell five days before the general election which he says will prove the Prime Minister has been lying about when he first knew about the German internet tycoon.

Dotcom made the announcement yesterday to 3News on the first day of the internet Mana party’s road trip campaign.

“On September 15, I’m doing a Town Hall event in Auckland and I invite everyone to come there because that is going to be the day when I’m going to reveal my evidence…..my evidence around the political interference and my evidence that John Key lied,” Dotcom said.

The proposed timing of his ‘revelation’ is suspicious, especially after Dotcom had previously claimed he wouldn’t reveal his evidence until his court case (which now won’t be until next year).

There’s been a lot of scepticism about this, with people presuming that if he had the nail for John Key’s political coffin he’d have produced it by now.

Dotcom has offered a $95 million bounty for information that nails Government complicity with the US. And he was asking questions via the media earlier this week – if he has the clinching evidence they were questions he should know the answer to.

The conspiracy theories are the least likely explanations. There’s a number of more likely possibilities including:

  • SIS didn’t think their interest in Dotcom was important enough to advise Key and likewise Jonathan Coleman.
  • Key is using semantics eg he hadn’t heard of ‘Kim Dotcom’ but had heard of ‘Kim Schmitz’ or of ‘a German being investigated’.
  • Key knew of Dotcom but is bound by secrecy (his SIS responsibilities) not to reveal it. It’s possible SIS were investigating Dotcom for a different currently un-revealed reason.

The Dotcom bomb is at least as likely to be a fizzer than a finisher, and could blow up in Dotcom’s face if his ‘event’ comes off half cocked. There’s already a lot of annoyance at him seemingly cynically trying to finance political payback.

NZ Herald leaning heavily towards ‘political pressure’

NZ Herald initiated the latest discussion on Kim Dotcom’s residency, releasing documents they obtained yesterday. They led this with Why our spy agency let Dotcom into New Zealand.

Prime Minister John Key must explain the “political pressure” government officials were under to process Kim Dotcom’s residency application, Labour says.

Documents declassified and released through the Official Information Act show the Security Intelligence Service tried to block Kim Dotcom’s residency application but dropped their objection 90 minutes after being told there was “political pressure” to let the tycoon into New Zealand.

There is a strong implication that ‘our spy agency’ let Dotcom get residency (he was already living here off and on) due to ‘political pressure’.

The article then quotes Labour’s Grant Robertson:

Labour’s Associate Security and Intelligence Spokesperson Grant Robertson said said Mr Key needed to explain the political involvement in the application.
“John Key has two important questions to answer, who was exerting political pressure on officials and why were they doing it.

“The Dotcom affair has always had the fingerprints of National Ministers on it, John Key must finally front up to New Zealanders and explain what he and his Ministers knew and what pressure they were applying.

The article then gives details of their investigation (by David Fisher, author of a book on Dotcom) and includes a number of official documents. It goes on to reiterate ‘political pressure:

The “political pressure” claim was made in October 2010 after the SIS blocked Dotcom’s residency application when it learned of the FBI’s criminal investigation into his Megaupload empire.

Well down the article a contradiction is included:

An earlier statement from Immigration NZ – provided by the SIS – said “it appears the government interest in the success of the [business migration] policy may have been misconstrued as political pressure”.

The statement appeared to be contradictory, saying so much time had passed “it is impossible to know whether this is an accurate reflection of comments that were made” while adding “INZ can state unequivocally that there was no political pressure”.

This pattern was repeated in Dotcom: Why wasn’t I blocked? While the article leads with…

Mogul claims residency checks set aside to lure him within FBI’s reach but government denies interference.

…it quotes Dotcom and then goes on to repeat:

“…political pressure to process this case”.

Well through the article it gives another side to the story:

Immigration NZ, which denies any “political pressure”, confirmed the six-month hold for those under investigation. But an Immigration spokesman said the agency “was not aware of any active investigation under way by the FBI” – only that he was a “person of interest”.

“It was decided that the information received did not meet the threshold to trigger a deferral of the residence application because of character concerns.”

Mr Coleman yesterday denied any political pressure, saying the decision was made by Immigration officials alone.

The decision document, obtained through the Official Information Act by the Herald, contains no mention of the FBI interest in Dotcom. It was signed off by an official and approved by his branch manager.

So both the Minister and Immigration NZ deny any political pressure was involved.

But the article closes promoting ‘political pressure’ again:

Labour MP Grant Robertson said he was sceptical about Immigration NZ’s denial of political pressure.

“I’m very concerned about the idea that the SIS magically decided the hold on the case no longer mattered 90 minutes after they heard about political pressure on Immigration NZ. And the fact INZ were told to talk to police and didn’t do it really defies belief.

The Herald has a separate article Dotcom case: Minister denies pressure on Immigration NZ.

Immigration Minister Jonathan Coleman has denied putting pressure on Immigration New Zealand to accept Kim Dotcom’s residency application, but will not take questions on the subject.

He sent a short statement saying Immigration NZ had already issued a statement that “unequivocally that there was no political pressure regarding Mr Dotcom’s residence application”.

“The residency decision was made by Immigration New Zealand, not by me as Minister of Immigration.”

The head of Immigration was on Radio NZ late yesterday strongly denying political pressure was involved in the decision.

Stuff also cover this with Immigration boss rejects Dotcom residency claims.

The head of Immigration has rejected suggestions Kim Dotcom’s residency was approved as part of a United States move to make it easier to extradite him to face charges there.

Dotcom believes US authorities wanted to keep him here to make it easier to extradite him on internet piracy and copyright infringement charges. He has long claimed the Government was acting at the behest of the American film industry but has never offered proof.

But in an exclusive interview, Immigration chief executive Nigel Bickle said that from Immigration’s point of view he had seen no evidence of that and it was Dotcom’s advisers who had called for a fast decision in his case.

Bickle said then-immigration minister Jonathan Coleman had not been involved in the decision to grant Dotcom permanent residency, and the call was made by an official.

In 2010 the investor category Dotcom was applying under, requiring at least a $10m investment here, was a new policy. Ministers were interested in how it was going and were briefed weekly.

But in terms of Dotcom as an individual, Coleman had no involvement in the decision.

Bickle had told Coleman, under the ‘‘no surprises’’ policy, on October 28, 2010 after he had been informed Dotcom would be granted residency.

But it was not a decision that needed to go to the minister.

In an editorial today NZ Herald all the emphasis is on ‘political pressure’.

Documents declassified and released through the Official Information Act show the Security Intelligence Service tried to block Mr Dotcom’s residency application. It described him as a “bad but wealthy man” who was being investigated by the FBI for alleged copyright crimes. However, the SIS dropped its objection 90 minutes after being told there was “political pressure” to let the Megaupload mogul into New Zealand.

It does refer to Coleman.

Jonathan Coleman, the minister in 2010, denies there was political pressure. His signature was absent when residency was granted. Approval for Mr Dotcom was delegated by “special direction” to two Immigration NZ officials. But pressure comes in many forms.

There is no mention of Immigration NZ’s claim they didn’t think there was any pressure and they made the decision without the Minister being involved in the decision.

The editorial goes on:

Those damaged by the Dotcom wrecking ball can at least take comfort in the latest revelations hardly being to his advantage. More importantly, they argue persuasively that ministers should not be in a position where they can make decisions on residency or citizenship against the advice of officials. There is too great a danger of them bowing to popular opinion or acting in a manner that is not in the country’s best long-term interests.

Officials, in turn, should not be left to make such decisions. People and their circumstances vary, a feature that would be disregarded if rules had to be enforced rigidly. Additionally, officials are apt to read the political winds and anticipate their minister’s preference.

The editorial is headed Dotcom saga shows why independent judges best and closes with “An independent panel would be much more sensible” so it is obvious they have a clear preference but that doesn’t excuse slanting their coverage so much towards the claims of ‘political pressure’ while downplaying or omitting claims to the contrary.

 

 

Cunliffe and the Labour blokes

Different columns on Labour, one from Rachel Smalley claiming David Cunliffe is trying to attract the female vote, and another by Duncan Garner on Labour blokes disregarding party interests and trying to shore up their electorate chances.

Rachel Smalley: Cunliffe courting the female vote

The most recent policy announcements suggest to me that David Cunliffe is not cutting it with women. You’ll remember Helen Clark lost the support of women in her final term, and I don’t think Labour has ever claimed it back. During his leadership challenge, remember that Cunliffe wasn’t popular with women in his own party. I suspect that’s resonating in the wider public too.

According to polls this year both Labour and Cunliffe have lost support from female voters.

So he’s going after the female vote. Women are more likely to bounce between parties. Men tend to vote for what’s right for their own wallets, but women are more likely to consider issues beyond personal wealth and economics.

A particular problem Cunliffe has is that women are more adept at reading body language and don’t like it when it differs from verbal language.

Even his “sorry I’m a man” speech, which was obviously targeting women, had suggestions of a lack of authenticity.

Meanwhile Duncan Garner posts Three Labour MPs say ‘stuff the party – I want to win my seat!’

Three Labour MPs have broken ranks in recent weeks – quite loudly and very publicly.

They are interested in one thing: self-preservation. They want to win their seats and they’ve given up relying on their party. They are clearly concerned Labour will poll poorly on election night, so they’ve decided to run their own campaigns – away from head office and away from the leader.

These MPs have either chosen not to be on the list or they have a low-list spot. They are vulnerable. It’s all or nothing for them.

They must win their seats to return to Parliament; this sort of pressure usually focuses an MP’s mind. They want to be back in Parliament and they want the $150k salary.

I’m talking about West Coast-Tasman MP, Damien O’Connor, Hutt South MP, Trevor Mallard and list MP and Te Tai Tokerau candidate, Kelvin Davis.

He has left Te Tai Tonga MP Rino Tirikatene out.

Take Davis: yesterday he engaged Labour in its biggest u-turn in years. He told me he supported the Puhoi-Wellsford road project that his party has openly mocked and criticised.

Davis is a staunch promoter of Northland interests and has put this before the party.

Further south in Wellington, Trevor Mallard is openly campaigning for the return of the moa – against the wishes of his party and the leadership. It’s a desperate cry for attention: Mallard needs visibility and the moa got him the headlines.

That has been a bizarre sideshow. Cunliffe initially responded “the moa is not a goer” but Mallard has kept on going on about his pet project of the future.

And further south again, Damien O’Connor voted with the Government 10 days ago to allow storm-damaged native trees to be harvested in protected forests.

Tirikatene also voted with the Government on the tree bill.

These three blokes are the outliers in the Labour Caucus. And they are blokes too; they need to make some noise to be heard. They clearly have issues with the tame approach within their caucus.

O’Connor and Davis certainly look in touch with middle New Zealand, their electorates and their issues. They have given the one-fingered salute to their struggling party and put self-preservation first.

O’Connor, Tirikatene and Mallard are relying totally on holding their current electorates in order to stay in Parliament, they don’t feature on the Labour list.

Davis is in a doubtful list position and to put a bob each way on his chances he needs to keenly contest Hone Harawira to try and win Te Tai Tokerau off him.

While Cunliffe is struggling to woo the women voters some of the strongest male presence in Labour is going their own way, disregarding the wider party interests, and as Garner says, putting self preservation first. This suggests they don’t hold much hope of the party doing well.

Cunliffe is struggling to appeal to women and failing to appeal to his own caucus for unity.

It’s hard to see how this can work out well for Labour.

Unless Kim Dotcom sinks National, giving Labour  a shot at forming a Government despite their shambles.

 

Dotcom bomb promised for election week

Two weeks ago Kim Dotcom tweeted:

>>>>>> September 15th
A big day for New Zealand
THE MOMENT OF TRUTH
Event details coming soon

Dotcom confirmed today that he will have a town hall event on Monday 15th September and drop a bomb, revealing evidence that he claims will discredit John Key and ensure his and National’s defeat in the election.

Dotcom prepares to drop ‘political bomb’

Dotcom says he will drop a political bomb, which goes right to the core of Mr Key’s credibility, five days out from the September 20 election.

“I invite everyone to come there because that is going to be the day where I’m going to reveal my evidence, my evidence around the political interference and my evidence that John Key lied,” he says.

Dotcom says he will release hard evidence.

“On September 15 I’m going to present my case.”

Part of his plan to inflict as much political damage as possible in the run-up to the campaign is also highly likely to include leaks about our spies from American NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.

That’s a high stakes risk which could in part at least backfire.There are some who want Key and National out of Government and don’t care how, the end justifies any means. But Dotcom is not trusted by others. And there are some who detest his extravagant manipulation of our politics and detest his keenness to destroy the political careers of anyone who he thinks deserves his wrath.

Greens versus Internet Party

The Internet Party is targeting green voters and this looks to be in deliberate competition with the Green Party.

Last year Russel Norman met with Kim Dotcom several times. He claims he was trying to talk Dotcom out of starting up a new party as he thought it would split votes on the left. That was an astute assessment, but Norman won’t have been aware of how much of a risk the Internet Party might pose to the Greens.

Norman wouldn’t have foreseen that someone working closely with the Greens on it’s campaign would have defected to lead the new party. Laila Harre was loaded with inside Green information.

And Harre has clearly positioned the Internet Party as another left of Labour party, which will have to compete with the Greens for votes.

What wasn’t known was how fiercely they would compete. We got an indication yesterday.

The Green Party announced it’s election priorities as scheduled – Green Party launches key election priority, rivers clean enough for swimming.

But several hours before the Green fanfare the Internet Party released it’s environmental policy – Internet Party to stop high-risk resource extraction -

The Internet Party wants a moratorium on fracking, the dumping of oil wastes, deep-sea and undersea extraction and other risky energy and mining industry practices.

In its final environment policy released today – its first full, digitally-driven democratic policy – the Internet Party also vows to restore the absolute right of Kiwis to protest at sea against deep-sea oil exploration.

This looks like it could be a virtual replication of Green policy. If you look at their full environment policy - Environment policy revised – the similarities are obvious.

Having very similar policies will compete for votes, but notably the Internet Party obviously tried to pre-empt the Green launch yesterday with their own green launch. It looks like they want to compete with the Greens head on.

One of the Internet Party’s main stated objectives is to remove National from Government.Elections are generally thought to be won and lost in the centre.

So it’s curious that the Internet Party has targeted the left of Labour vote, and clearly they are intending to compete strongly with the Greens.

They seem to be more intent on capturing as much of the left wing vote as they can.

This could suggest they are looking further than this election with bigger ambitions, perhaps to establish themselves as the dominant left wing party. That’s what Greens would like to become. It will be much harder for them to grow in the same space as the Internet Party.

And I wonder if there’s some payback going on for Norman not playing ball with Dotcom.

Dotcom and citizenship

During yesterday’s Internet Party the Candidate selection Kim Dotcom announced that he would seek New Zealand citizenship and stand for Parliament in 2017.

Dotcom to stand for Parliament in 2017

The German internet mogul said he would definitely considering running for Parliament if he gained citizenship, ideally before the 2017 general election.

“I would love to but this is not the time. Maybe at some time in the future when I have citizenship.”

I don’t know what the chances are of Dotcom getting citizenship but it seems unlikely it would be granted with the extradition and US legal action still pending.

Requirements for a Grant of New Zealand Citizenship

You may be eligible for a grant of New Zealand citizenship if you:

Good Character

You need to be of good character. 

How is the requirement assessed?
To determine whether you are of good character the Minister will consider the answers you have given in your application. We will also complete background checks with the New Zealand Police and other agencies. Things that are taken into account include:

  • criminal convictions;
  • infringements;
  • having an active protection order against you;
  • any other information received from other agencies.

Convictions
Except in very rare circumstances, you will be disqualified from meeting the good character requirement if:

  • you have been in prison for five years or more; or
  • you have been sentenced to an indefinite term of imprisonment capable of running for five years or more; or
  • within the previous seven years you were subject to a sentence of imprisonment of less than five years; or
  • within the previous three years you were convicted of an offence but did not receive a sentence of imprisonment.

Pending charges
If you have committed any offence against the law of New Zealand or another country for which you have not yet been sentenced in court you may not meet the good character requirement. 

Overseas police clearance
You may be asked to provide a police clearance from overseas if you have spent a long time outside New Zealand in the past twelve years. Generally, clearances may be requested if you have been settled in a place outside New Zealand for:

  • four or more months during the previous three years; or
  • twelve or more months during the previous four to twelve year period (with New Zealand residency); or
  • four months or more during the processing of your citizenship application; or
  • four months or more after approval and before attending a ceremony.

However, overseas police clearances may still be requested from you even if your situation does not meet the general guidelines above. This will be assessed on a case by case basis.

Please Note: The Clean Slate scheme only applies to convictions in New Zealand. Any conviction you may have received outside New Zealand must be disclosed.

http://www.dia.govt.nz/Services-Citizenship-General-Requirements-for-a-Grant-of-New-Zealand-Citizenship?OpenDocument#three

According to Die Welt on Kim Schmitz/Dotcom:

After 9/11, Schmitz offered a $10-million reward on the Internet to anyone who provided information leading to the capture of Osama Bin Laden. That initiative did not meet with success, but the same year Schmitz promised the ailing firm letsbuyit.com 50 million euros to get it back on its feet. As news of this spread, it ended up resulting in the biggest turnover ever registered in a single day in the history of the Frankfurt stock exchange. He then sold his shares in the company for a record sum. When the district attorney’s office started investigations for insider trading, Schmitz legged it to Thailand.

He was arrested in Bangkok in January 2002 after he announced he would be committing suicide live on the Internet. He was convicted of insider trading and sentenced to a year and eight months of prison.

Wikipedia:

He was deported back to Germany where he pleaded guilty to embezzlement in November 2003 and, after five months in jail awaiting trial, again received a suspended sentence (of 20 months). After avoiding a prison sentence for a second time, he left Germany and moved to Hong Kong in late 2003.

That would appear to be outside the twelve year limit, especially if it’s a year or two before he applies, so may not be taken into account.

There was a further seemingly minor conviction in Hong Kong 2011, just after he was granted New Zealand residency.

On Oct. 26, 2010, an immigration manager, Gareth Grigg, sent a memo to a colleague saying that he’d been advised by Cooper that “Mr. Dotcom wants a decision on his application by 1 November 2010 or he will walk away” and consider his residency options in Australia or Canada.

He noted Dotcom’s charitable contributions, but also noted in a section titled “Risks” that: “Mr. Dotcom may be seen to be controlling the processing of his application;” that he may “attract ‘buying residence’ criticism;” and that proceeding with the application without all the outstanding information “may amount to Mr. Dotcom being afforded special treatment because of his wealth.”

Nevertheless, six days later — on Dotcom’s November 1 deadline — New Zealand immigration officials decided to grant him residency.

Two months after he was granted residency, Dotcom was convicted in Hong Kong on several counts of failing to disclose his shareholding levels to the Securities and Futures Commission, and was fined 8000 Hong Kong dollars. New Zealand immigration authorities decided the convictions were too minor to consider deporting Dotcom.

(Sydney Morning Herald)

Before that comes into consideration Dotcom has to deal with his extradition to the US.

Update: Further to this, Dotcom has convictions for insider trading in Kong Kong.

Dotcom had been previously convicted of insider trading and computer hacking in Germany, but these convictions were wiped under Germany’s clean slate legislation.

However, in official documents from Immigration New Zealand released yesterday, it has been revealed that in December 2010, Dotcom was facing eight charges relating to the purchase of shares on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

Immigration New Zealand was advised a month later that Dotcom had been convicted on the charges and fined HK$8000 (NZ$1250), Radio New Zealand reports.

The documents show that under the Immigration Act, because of his convictions, the default position is that Dotcom would not have been eligible for residency.

However, this position can be overridden by a special direction from a senior official, which is what happened in Dotcom’s case.

Immigration New Zealand stood by its decision to grant residency, saying Dotcom’s character issues were outweighed by the benefit of his financial investments in New Zealand.

http://www.3news.co.nz/Dotcom-share-trading-convictions-revealed/tabid/423/articleID/245749/Default.aspx

Kim Dotcom and the Internet Party

Is it ever going to be possible to separate Kim Dotcom from the Internet Party (and now the Internet/Mana campaign constriction)?

Harawira Harre Kumar Dotcom

When the Internet Party was launched two months ago the Chief Executive Vikram Kumar talked about a separation between Dotcom and the party he created. From The Internet Party’s biggest challenge:

The launch is scheduled for this afternoon, and Mr Dotcom won’t be personally involved.

Mr Kumar is trying to distance the party from the internet tycoon, his upcoming extradition hearing and his various other legal issues.

“He is the founder and visionary but the party is separate from Kim,” Mr Kumar said.

“There is a close association but over time people will see the policies and the candidates, and it will be quite distinct.”

But Dotcom was very involved. The launch was held at his massive Coatesville house. Since then Dotcom has remained very prominent in what has been happening with the Internet Party.

It was a difficult time for the party as there had been no candidates and no party leader. Kumar was an occasional spokesperson but Dotcom remained the centre of attention. He has continued to campaign for the party via Twitter. he was prominent in ongoing discussions with the Mana Party, and he has been prominent in the announcement of the party leader.

Since then Dotcom has been inextricably linked, if not by his own actions the media have made a clear connection. Dotcom’s Internet Party unveils environmental policy:

It was obvious Dotcom’s money was going to to be a big feature of his party. And it is. Dotcom clear to pay candidates a salary:

In what’s thought to be an unprecedented move, the internet millionaire has promised them an MP’s salary as soon as they’ve been selected.

A backbencher with no additional responsibilities is paid a basic $147,800 a year.

Mr Dotcom says he wants to attract top leadership talent.

“Become a candidate and earn the salary of an MP immediately,” he tweeted on Wednesday.

“Only the Internet Party pays its candidates an MP’s salary before they are even elected. Like to join?”

Two days ago – Dotcom’s Internet Party donations:

Two new donations totalling three million dollars, from Kim Dotcom to the Internet Party, have been declared to the Electoral Commission.

That follows an earlier $250,000 donation declared by Dotcom.

Dotcom 3m“This week three million on top of that”

A day before that: Internet Party ‘a gift to New Zealand’ – Dotcom

“There’s a lot of speculation about why I created the party and it’s going in a bad direction – everyone is thinking it’s about my extradition,” he said when Laila Harre was named as the party’s leader on Thursday.

“That’s absolutely not true.”

Dotcom said he was arrested, most of his assets were seized in the raid, and he was alone.

“What saved me was the support of the New Zealand public, the media, and especially the young people – this party is my gratitude and my gift to those who stood by me.”

Is it a gift? Or is Dotcom inseparable from how the party operates? So far that appears to be the case.

The announcement of the deal between Mana and the Internet Party was fronted by Hone Harawira and Kumar – Mana confirms election year deal with Internet Party

Kim Dotcom’s influence is set to be felt right at the heart of the corridors of power with his Internet Party looking like riding into Parliament on Hone Harawira’s coat tails.

Mr Dotcom’s party has secured top billing in the newly formed Internet-Mana Party alliance.

Mana’s leader says the name was still being discussed right up until this morning.

“My own personal choice was Mana Dotcom, but clearly this isn’t about Dotcom,” ” Mr Harawira says.

But when Laila Harre was announced as party leader Dotcom loomed large.

Mana leader Hone Harawira, Internet Party leader Laila Harre, party backer Kim Dotcom
and Internet Party chief executive Vikram Kumar.
Source: Stuff

Dotcom pays the wages and is financing the Internet/Mana campaign. He looks like a kid at his best Christmas ever – and he looks like keeping his hands on all his toys.

Time will tell whether potential voters will be attracted to the ballot box by this.

From Dotcom’s dead cert to dead end

Kim Dotcom had been adamant that a current electorate MP was going to join the Internet Party and this would be announced in June.

He repeated his claim that it would be represented in Parliament, whether or not it achieved the 5 per cent MMP threshold for list seats, because a sitting electorate MP would join.

He would not name the person or say which party he or she represented, because of a confidentiality agreement, but it was not Harawira. The MP’s name would be revealed in June.

Party chief executive Vikram Kumar said another three sitting MPs had expressed interest in joining the party.

Now the Internet Party has put out a press release:

Internet Party And MP Agree to End Talks
As previously advised, the Internet Party has been involved in discussions with a current Member of Parliament to join the Internet Party to contest the 2014 General Election.

Following the recent decision of delegates at the MANA AGM to continue negotiations with the Internet Party regarding a possible alliance, the current MP and the Internet Party have mutually agreed to end further discussions.

Respecting the confidentiality agreement entered into by the MP and the Internet Party to allow for free and frank discussions, Kim Dotcom, who led talks with the MP on behalf of the Internet Party, advises that no further comment will be made on this matter.

Dotcom had promoted having secured a sitting MP as a dead cert recruit, plus suggessting several others were interested – raising suspicions about a number of MPs – but now the Internet Party implies it was just talks and they have come to a mutual dead end.
If hot air goes cold like this too often Dotcom will build credibility and believability problems.

More detail at Politicheck: The Internet Party’s phantom MP

Dotcom’s boarding school in a castle

There’s been some nitpicking at The Standard about Kim Dotcom’s childhood schooling – with implications that attending a boarding school in a castle doesn’t detract from an ‘impoverished’ childhood.

At the Mana conference Dotcom spoke:

“My mother had to work three jobs to feed us. I would go to bed hungry, often, and I would eat toast with sugar, and I would eat toast with ketchup”.

That may refer to earlier in his childhood – family circumstances can change, and at some stage Dotcom’s parents divorced.

Die Welt on Kim Schmitz/Dotcom suggests that Dotcom’s childhood wasn’t all hardship.

He is reported as getting his first computer when he was nine (in 1983 computers weren’t cheap) and at twelve he ran ten phone lines out of his bedroom.

Die Velt said “Kim wurde auf das Plöner Schlossinternat geschickt” – he was sent to the boarding school at Plön Castle.

Staatliche Internat Schloss Plön – a state boarding school, as the links show it’s not an ordinary city or town high school, it was a boarding school located at an historic castle.

A German source has described an Internat as a “special school for special children”.

In Germany children started school at six in Hauptschule. The most academic children were moved to a Gymnasium (like Internat Schloss Plön) usually at nine years old until eighteen.

See Plön Castle and Schloss Plön.

In 1969 Der Spiegel said it cost 300 marks per month to attend Internat Schloss Plön. If Dotcom attended it would have been in the eighties. It’s possible he could have had a scholarship.

Court documents from his first arrest in 1994 confirm he attended Internat Schloss Plön from second year (usually 10 years old), he advanced a year and  graduated at 17 with a better than normal diploma. It sounds like he was a smart child.

It wasn’t an ordinary school for average or impoverished German kids.

The translation described the school as ‘posh’ – Die Velt wrote “Kim wurde auf das Plöner Schlossinternat geschickt”. That doesn’t say “posh”. The translator may have assumed posh because Schlossinternat implies a flasher then normal school, a boarding school in a castle.

After he left school he lived in an apartment and was given an allowance of 1200 marks per month by his mother who was now with a stepfather. That’s a substantial allowance. He wouldn’t live with his father due to alcohol problems.

Die Velt also says Dotcom got his first computer when he was 9. That was 1983, even basic computers weren’t cheap then, a ZX81 was about $300 in New Zealand but to expand from a paltry 1 kb of RAM to 16 kb cost about another $200.

Die velt says “Three years later, well before the World Wide Web was available to everyone, Schmitz used 12 telephone lines to hack into other computers” – Dotcom would have been 12 then, obviously with some resources.

This barely scratches the surface of Dotcom’s childhood, but it doesn’t sound like an average Mana family lifestyle.

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