The Clayton’s photo…

…the photo Cosgrove uses when he doesn’t want to use a photo.

Yesterday a question came up on whether Clayton Cosgrove may have photoshopped himself a bit for his election hoarding.

Cosgrove hoarding

That’s not a very clear photo and it’s not clear when it was taken – at least one Labour is MP is known to be re-using their 2008 hoardings.

But it appears to be the same photo that Cosgrove is currrently using on his Facebook page:

Cosgrove FacebookIt is similar if not the same as on Labour’s campaign website:

Cosgrove campaign

Also on Facebook is a photo on a post that says …

“Today (Monday the 21st of July), I had my weekly radio slot with Chris Lynch on Newstalk ZB,

…with an accompanying photo:

Cosgrove radio

However that image is re-used as it also appears on his Timeline for his radio posts on June 30, 23, 16, May, April  etc.

Here is Cosgrove speaking in Parliament on Tuesday 22 July 2014.

Cosgrove Parliament 2014 July

Here’s something curious found on Google images.

Cosgrove van sign

That looks to be the same image as his current hoardings, Facebook profile and Labour campaign site.

Cosgrove is not MP for Waimakariri, he lost the  electorate in the 2011 election, but he is using the same image.

And if you look back at the first image he is implying he is still MP for Waimakiriri. Regardless of using old photos that’s misleading advertising.

MPs on cannabis

On Thursday 3 News political editor Patrick Gower asked MPs if they would vote to decriminalise cannabis and whether they have smoked cannabis – MPs and marijuana – politicians’ views on decriminalising pot.

Would you vote to decriminalise cannabis?

  • Paula Bennett (National, Waitakere): No
  • Peter Dunne (UnitedFuture, Ohariu): No
  • Mark Mitchell (National, Rodney): I definitely wouldn’t vote to decriminalise it.
  • Metiria Turei (Greens, list): Yes
  • Tau Henare (National, list): It’s illegal to smoke dope now, but it’s really easy to get Kronic. Work that one out.
  • Claudette Hauiti (National, list): ignored question.
  • Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi (National, list): I can’t answer that, I’m all getting late.
  • Sue Moroney (Labour, list): I’d be prepared to consider it in the context of wider drug law reform.
  • Eric Roy (National, Invercargill): No I wouldn’t.
  • Annette King (Labour, Rongatai): Probably not.
  • Andrew Williams (NZ First, list): I haven’t even thought about it myself.
  • Gareth Hughes (Greens, list): You know I used to work for Greenpeace, sailed in the Rainbow Warrior so what do you expect, and that’s why I support decriminalisation.
  • Phil Heatley (National, Whangarei): No.

No – 5
Probably not – 1
Yes – 2
Consider it or possible – 2

Wouldn’t say – 3

Have you smoked cannabis?

  • Paula Bennett (National, Waitakere): certainly not a no.
  • Peter Dunne (UnitedFuture, Ohariu): yes
  • Mark Mitchell (National, Rodney): maybe when I was 16 or 17.
  • Metiria Turei (Greens, list): Yes
  • Richard Prosser (NZ First, list) made faces and pretended he didn’t hear the question. Then he responded: Have you? Asked again: I don’t think I’ve got an answer to that question. After further questioning he kept avoiding answering, until when pressed he finally admitted: Yeah, I have.
  • Tau Henare (National, list): Yeah.
  • Eric Roy (National, Invercargill): Never.
  • Gareth Hughes (Greens, list): Yeah I’ve smoked cannabis. You know I used to work for Greenpeace, sailed in the Rainbow Warrior so what do you expect…
  • Christopher Finlayson (National, list): No
  • Catherine Delahunty (Greens, list): Yes
  • Annette King (Labour, Rongatai):Yes I did.
  • Jonathan Young (National, New Plymouth): No I don’t, obviously haven’t.
  • Todd McClay (National, Rotorua) I have in my younger days.
  • Phil Heatley (National, Whangarei):Never commented on it, never will.


Three month betrayal for Labour MPs?

Kim Dotcom has repeated claims that an electorate MP has committed to joining the Internet Party. If true this would amount to a three month betrayal.

Stuff reports in Dotcom launches into National:

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.

There’s no guarantee a sitting MP who jumped into the Internet Party waka would retain their seat. Far from it. If it happened there’s a high possibility they would be punished by their electorate.

But more important is what this means now. It would mean that at least one sitting MP has gone through (or is going through) their party selection process, and plans to represent their party and their electorate, with a plan to betray them in three months.

What party or parties could be involved?

Dotcom has said it’s someone other than Harawira. NZ First and Greens don’t have any electorate MPs. That leaves National. Labour, Maori Party, ACT and UnitedFuture.

It’s safe to rule out John Banks and Peter Dunne. And it seems very unlikely it would be a Maori Party MP. That leaves the big two.

While it’s possible sitting National MPs would consider it this seems unlikely – why would they swap being in the biggest party that’s currently in Government for a huge risk?

If it’s not from National that leaves Labour. This is more likely in a climate of disgruntlement and division.

Clare Curran has visited Dotcom but has categorically ruled out leaving Labour – see Curran rules out Internet party.

Shane Jones has visited Dotcom and must be considered a possibility. He has ruled out leadership of Labour as an option for him.

But what this does is raise suspicions on a number of Labour MPs. If there’s a traitor among them – or two or three or four – for the next two or three months that would be a bizarre situation.

Is Dotcom making things up and deliberately making mischief? Possibly, but it’s more likely he is overstating his case  for securing a convert to try and establish political credibility.

But in announcing something as if it’s a done deal leaves a shadow hovering over electorate MPs, especially in Labour.

This isn’t a good way to kick off a new party. Either way it doesn’t look good – if it turns out to be an empty claim there’s egg on Dotcom’s face. And if it turns out to be try the Internet Party would have a severely tainted MP – until the election.

Darien Fenton “opens up” but with mixed messages

There’s been a lot of praise for Darien Fenton “opening up” about her historic drug addiction and fair enough, good on her for being a little bit open about it.

See NZ Herald: Darien Fenton: ‘It’s a miracle I survived’MP Darien Fenton speaks out for the first time about her battle with heroin.

But it’s an odd message. I can understand some defensiveness and self protection, but Fenton plays down her addiction…

So I’m well and truly passed it. It was decades ago, so I’m one of the lucky ones I guess.

… and provides scant details. It comes more as a carefully crafted PR political self promotion rather than a heartfelt revelation.

A comment on Facebook:

The words “public health services, work place accidents, poverty and struggle” appear in the article. This is a Labour Party propaganda article put together by their Comms unit to get publicity after Hoffman’s death.

That’s a fair point, although it isn’t known if it was done by Fenton alone (it doesn’t sound like her language) or by a PR team.

But what really changed me was a job where I experienced first-hand workmates who lost their lives through workplace accidents and coming face to face with families who were struggling.

That is a rather curious explanation for kicking her habit. A workplace death could impact on someone significantly, but it sounds unusual that an addict would give a toss about “families who were struggling”. It’s common for an addict’s own struggles to rule their life.

And it’s not a surprise revelation, I’ve heard it mentioned for years. Ian Wishart revealed Fenton’s addiction and subsequent methadone treatment in his Investigate Magazine in 2008 – Labour MP’s Class-A drug addiction battle.

Fenton has not opened up, she has admitted a little, played down it’s current significance and clammed up – “declined to give further details of her drug use”.

By being vague and not in fact opening up Fenton leaves questions unanswered, so leaves doubts. Should she at least be specific about when she completed her methadone treatment?

This all raises another question – is this just a private issue that Fenton has chosen to reveal a little about? Or is it relevant to Fenton’s job as an MP?

For example in her first term in Parliament Fenton served on the Health Select Committee – was her drug addiction past relevant? Was there any potential conflict of interest?

If Fenton is praised for admitting her past problems and it’s left at that does that show a double standard?

David Garrett got blasted and hounded out of Parliament because of the revelation he had illegally obtained a passport using a false identity – decades ago.

The use of heroin is also illegal, and addicts are often involved in other illegal activities to fund their addiction. Is that a more acceptable breaking of the law than what Garrett did? Garrett claimed his misdemeanour was victimless. Drug addicts impact on more than just themselves, including aiding and abetting other addicts, and making the drug market possible.

Fenton’s experiences with drugs may have been long in the past and could have ended up making her a worthwhile contributor to Parliament. But the same could be said of Garrett. His past, and his failure to be publicly open about his past, were his political downfall and it also severely impacted on the credibility of the Act Party.

I’m in two minds about whether Fenton should actually be open rather than giving a little information along with what seemed like a self serving political promotion – there were mixed messages for sure.

Fenton hasn’t “opened up”, she has confirmed what was already known, with a hint that it’s with political motives, and then clammed up.

And there’s also a very mixed message when a belated slight admission about past misdemeanours is highly praised while the misdemeanour of others were used to destroy their political career due to the impact on their family, with attempts to also destroy their party.




Standing for Parliament? One woman’s view

A lot has been said about whether is good for politics for Labour to “man ban” – to have an option for electorates to ban men from being considered as a candidate.

Ways of boosting the proportion of females in Parliament has a major talking point – whether to try and force it with quotes or on merit. But something has been overlooked is what might attract more women into politics, and what might put women off trying to become an MP. I asked a woman if they would consider trying to become a candidate.

A woman’s perspective of why many women don’t want to stand for parliament

I have always been very interested in politics; love to discuss how to make the world a better place. In my younger years I have been actively involved to bring about changes.  Now that I am more mature, have grown up children I still have the same convictions of making the world a better place but with the difference that these days I leave it to others to make this happen.

There are many reasons the main one being I want to live in peace and quiet out of the public’s eye.  Politics, especially in parliament often seems like a kindergarten not a place where mature adults our representatives find the best way to help govern our country. Why would I want to subject myself to insults, taunts, personal attacks, manipulative old hands and the like.  I feel that I have fought my battles with bringing up my children and also in my career.

As we all know this is not the half of it.  There is the press – always fishing for a so called “good story”.  For me that would mean to be always on guard with what I say.  Since I and many women I know have an impulsive personality this would be very difficult.

Women are being doubly judged, once for their looks and secondly for their ability.  It doesn’t matter what their appearance is, they cop it from all quarters often particularly harshly by their fellow females, men and the press.

If a woman looks great she gets dissed for it (everything is easy for her because she’s got the look) also is she just an airhead, or is there a man behind her to help?  On the other hand if she is not blessed with a great appearance she gets flack for that such as (she looks like crap people find it difficult to concentrate on what she actually says).  Off course one could say that may apply to men also and it does no doubt but sadly is seems to apply more to women and plays a big factor in not wanting to stand for parliament.

Prosser out on his ear, maybe next month?

Richard Prosser wrote an extreme column about Muslims, a very deliberate aim to inflame, and to sound like a tough guy. And he was apparently unrepentant. Patrick Gower reported:

No apology over Muslim statements

New Zealand First MP Richard Prosser has outraged Muslims. Both he and his leader, Winston Peters, refuse to apologise.

“If MPs don’t say this, who will?” Mr Prosser says. “We are here to represent and to speak about the views that people have.”

A tough stance from someone who will never back down. From his book Uncommon Dissent:

One of the best things about being a no nonsense right wing nationalist social and political commentator is never having to say you are sorry.

It doesn’t matter if you upset anyone, because the only people likely to be offended by your unabased dissertations of truth and common sense are pinkos and liberals and other whingeing minorities whose opinions don’t count anyway.

And get offended they certainly do!

And this his how Prosser is promoted on his book sales site:

RICHARD PROSSER is not just one of the country’s newest politicians. He’s also the outspoken, straight-talking, politically-incorrect mind behind Investigate magazine’s monthly “Eyes Right” column.

ON ‘LIBERALS': “I mean if people want to be weak, stupid, effeminate, erectile dysfunctional, naïve, apologist, namby-pamby, thumb-sucking, lefty pinko fantasy-land morons, let them find their own word for themselves, and leave “liberal” for us genuine freedom-loving, gonad-equipped, libertarian go-getters”


But that was last year. And his unrepentant refusal to apologise was last Tuesday.

By Wednesday Prosser had changed his tune. Stuff reported Prosser’s sorry but backlash continues:

The Waimakariri-based list MP has vowed not to write any more inflammatory columns, saying: “It’s what a shock jock does, and I’m not that any more.”

The “gonad-equipped, libertarian go-getter” is not that anymore?

He “unreservedly” apologised for his provocative Investigate magazine column, which said Muslims should be banned from Western airlines.

Last night, he insisted his mea culpa was genuine. “I think you can learn from these things and not make the same mistake twice.”

He added: “I suppose the disappointing thing is that you realise you have made some mistake and set out to make an apology and that doesn’t get accepted, then that’s a little bit on the nose.”

The article was “not his best work”, he admitted. “I shouldn’t have allowed that to go out and tar them all with the same brush. Nor should I have gone down the line of calling for a blanket ban . . . it’s not a political solution.

It’s an off-the-cuff, in-the-pub solution.”

The column was not an “off-the-cuff, in-the-pub” comment. Neither was what he wrote in his book. He has made big claims about his no nonsense unrepentant wish to offend people “whose opinions don’t count anyway”.

Prosser has a right to speak, like anyone in New Zealand. But that doesn’t rule out consequences.

And as soon as he feared consequences he backslid. He made a half arsed apology – he said sorry if people were offended, he didn’t ‘unreservedly” apologise. And then said it was “on the nose” if people didn’t accept his apology – having written “One of the best things about being a no nonsense right wing nationalist social and political commenter is never having to say you are sorry“.

And he didn’t stand by what he had written. When a motion was moved in the House making a statement distancing Parliament from what he had written Prosser was in the House and agreed with the motion. (See Parliamentary motion on religious equality).

Prosser’s words obviously can’t be trusted. He has not been an honest MP.

ON KEEPING POLITICIANS HONEST: “Our Prime Minister, and members of the Cabinet, need to have a similar Sword of Damocles hanging over them; they need to know that if they don’t perform, conform, behave properly, and do as We The People tell them, that they’ll be out on their ears, not maybe in three years time, but maybe next month. That should keep the bastards honest.”

He has not performed or conformed as an MP – all of Parliament made it clear they didn’t think he had behaved properly.

If one bastard was to be kept honest he would be out on his ear. Maybe this month.

Good reasons why MPs shouldn’t engage at The Standard

For several months there have been many please and demands that Labour’s leadership, caucus and MPs ‘engage’ with the peeps at The Standard. IrishBill posted on this last wee:

On engagement with the Labour caucus

Yesterday Annette King started talking with Standard commenters on a couple of threads. As I understand it this is part of a move to engage with the Standard.

While I can’t speak for other authors I welcome this as a good sign there’s a real desire to grow some trust and unity and I think MPs who post here should be made to feel welcome.

Bad habits are hard to break and there was some less than welcoming engagement with King and the next day with Darien Fenton when she had a go.

Update: As I feared I’ve already had to give two commenters a wee break so let me make the ground rules to this post explicit: I expect this thread to be a model of polite engagement and I will be heavily moderating for language and tone.

Many have had a free licence to attack as they please but for some reason MPs are prompting calls for some better behaviour and respect. (When I suggested better behaviour would make for better  engagement last August I was permanently banned for “telling them” how to run their blog).

Much comment followed about how MP engagement should be encouraged and conducted.

But there are a number of good reasons why MPs shouldn’t engage at The Standard.

  1. Engaging effectively in social media, especially blogs, takes quite a bit of time ongoing. MPs shouldn’t have the amount of time required.
  2. The Standard has a track record of un-moderated abuse and harrassment.
  3. It is common for single comments to be isolated, misrepresented and repeatedly used to discredit without being able to respond effectively.
  4. Most commenters are anonymous or use pseudonyms so it’s impossible to know who you are ‘engaging’ with.
  5. Some authors and commenters use multiple pseudonyms.
  6. Some authors and commenters use what appear to be real names but they are pseudonyms to disguise their identity.
  7. Some authors and commenters may hold office or employment at LECs, affiliates and parliamentary offices.
  8. You often need to follow the behaviour of people with pseudonyms for months to get an understanding of their motives, their associations and whether they can be trusted (and even then some change their behaviour markedly and sometimes suddenly – if it is the same person usuing the pseudonym). And some are too devious to reveal much at all.
  9. Labour party members are asking for more open discussion and transparency, that can’t be achieved on a blog where most commenters use pseudonyms.
  10. It’s an uneven playing field when one person in a discussion is clearly identified and their connections are well known (eg an MP) and those acusing, debating, discrediting could be:
  • anyone
  • a fellow MP or someone representing them
  • an MP from another party or someone representing them
  • someone from the MP’s LEC , or another MP’s LEC
  • someone (or their representative) competing with the MP for leadership,  spokesperson, electorate or list positions
  • a journalist
  • etc etc

In short, MP’s shouldn’t have time to do engage on blogs and it’s a political minefield.

There are effective ways for MPs to provide some degree of political blog engagement using a trusted intermediary, I’ve tried it with some degree of success. Open and honest identifying of those involved is essential.

And I’ve found that going to an MP (rather than demanding they come to your forum) can work, some are good at responding to questions and requests for clarifications – Darien Fenton one of them in my experience.

Some degree of interaction with MPs should be encouraged. But I don’t think a mostly anonymous/pseudonymous blog is a good forum. The Standard has a reputation of being a vipers nest of names, some of ill repute. Just look at who runs it, lprent is hell bent on lecturing and proving how abusive and nasty and unevenhanded he can be.

I’d say that The Standard needs to do a heck of a lot of proving they deserve engagement from MPs before anyone should risk their reputations and careers by diving into that fray. Abusing, discrediting, undermining and demanding, often by pseudonyms of ill repute and questionable connections and motives will take a lot of turing around into a trustworthy forum.

Electorate MP responsibilities

How should an MP prioritise their responsibilities? Should they work for the electorate, party, the country or themselves?

They are elected by the people of their electorate but some (possibly many) of their votes will have been more for the party than the persdon.

I’d like to find out what people think of what are the most important duties and responsibilities of an MP.

Some of an MP’s main responsibilities are…

  • Electorate
  • Country
  • Party leader
  • Party policies
  • Party ideologies
  • Self and family

And how should they prioritise what is most important?

For example…

20% Electorate
40% Country
5% Party leader
20% Party policies
5% Party ideologies
10% Self and family

What do you think?

Why do our MPs behave so badly?

Sue Kedgley asks this question. It’s not all MPs that behave badly, I’ve had communication with a number of MPs who strongly support better parliamentary behaviour – see Members of Parliament (Code of Ethical Conduct) Bill.

But some MPs do behave badly, and behaviour in parliament, especially during question time, often seems dominated by the bad behavers.

It’s no wonder we don’t trust MPs

Why do our MPs behave so badly?

I seldom watch Question Time in Parliament these days.

I sometimes wonder who does, other than the press gallery, parliamentary staff, lobbyists and those with a masochistic streak.

It’s supposed to be the high point of the parliamentary day – a time when the opposition can grill the government and hold it to account.

But more often than not it’s a low point – an hour when MPs let off steam by shouting, jeering, point scoring, hurling abuse and bickering with each other.

Few questions are actually answered during Question Time, either, as most ministers are trained in the art of evading rather than answering questions. And some questions aren’t intended to solicit answers, but simply to score points or attack the Government.

A lot of time is wasted on points of order, too, or barracking or interrupting the other side. And the general impression is that nobody is listening, or is there learn. So I decided to watch Question Time the other day, to see if it had improved at all in recent months.

Sadly, it hadn’t. The session was banal, frustrating and pointless.

Sadly that’s the impression of parliament that a lot of people get. Much parliamentary work goes on away from the cameras and media coverage.

But what should be the showpiece of Parliament is odten a shampiece.

To be fair, the present Speaker, Dr Lockwood Smith, has tried harder than most of his predecessors to get ministers to answer questions.

But despite his best efforts, Question Time remains a hopelessly unsatisfying political game. For most MPs, the objective is not to elicit or divulge genuine information, but to score points and attack the other side.

This is a real pity, as Question Time is one of the few times when the House is full, and the press gallery is in attendance. Most of the rest of the time the House is deserted.

Yes, if you watch parliamentary television coverage, apart from question time the house looks mostly deserted.

It’s easy for MPs to get caught up in the daily ritual of Question time, and to end up thinking that the shouting and abuse is normal and acceptable behaviour.

But outside of Parliament, many find it off-putting and even pathetic.

Yes. Many of those outside the political beltway and bubbles often see it as pathetic.

Back in 2002 a group of Wellington High school pupils observed Question Time, and wrote a report about it, expressing their shock at the aggressive, bullying culture in Parliament.

“There was a lot of verbal violence. MPs shouted at each other and abused each other. They would groan or jeer or interrupt if they disagreed with what was being said.

“They didn’t listen to each other and there was no sense of working toward anything.”

The behaviour in the House would not be accepted in the classroom, they concluded, or even the playground.

Fairly typical observations of people not familiar with ‘normal’ parliament.

Many MPs dismiss these sorts of criticism, and defend Question Time, arguing that it is all part of the robust cut and thrust of politics. But I believe the constant sniping and personal attacks have a corrosive effect on public perceptions of parliament and politicians.

Political activists also think that negative, attack politics and bad behaviour is “the robust cut and thrust of politics”.

And political activists seem to behave at their worst when defending this bad behaviour, they seem to hate being confronted on it. In my extensive experience on political social media the worst I see sems to be when activists are trying to defend bad behaviour like blatant lying or abuse.

I’ve been banned or blocked from commenting from three major political blogs for confronting nasty politics.

And when I suggested on Trade Me Message Board yesterday that Labour were acting badly I got the usual attacks.

Bad MP behaviour is supported by political activists.

This needs to be countered. ‘Good’ MPs need to be more vocal in demanding better behaviour of their colleagues.

And those commenting in political social media should speak up more demanding a better standard of politics.

Why do our MPs behave so badly? Because we let them keep getting away with it.

Clare Curran’s accusations

Clare Curran has been busy on social media this week criticising National, especially Bill English, about a lack of availability to constituents. She posted on Red Alert:

A message to Bill

Bill English, it appears many people in your electorate don’t want you to sell our assets. And how about being a bit more available to them!

She tagged this ‘representation’. Clare has often talked about more open government. This is something I’m also interested in, it is the main reason why I got involved in politics.

Clare followed up with another post on Red Alert:

How many electorates aren’t being well served by National MPs?

Posted by  on September 4th, 2012

My post yesterday on Bill English and his mostly closed electorate offices in Balclutha and Gore has attracted some interest on Red Alert and on facebook.

A number of people commented that they were experiencing the same issues in other National-held electorates.

I’m wondering how many National Party electorate offices are actually staffed on a regular basis?

And how much direct constituency work they do and what options are open to constituents if they try to approach their local MP and are rebuffed, ignored or can’t make contact because it’s always closed.

Would be interesting to find out.

As it happens, I’ve been ‘rebuffed, ignored or can’t make contact’ with Clare and also my electorate MP David Clark. Both usually ignore emails. And both have blocked me from their social media. So I commented:

Pete George says:
September 4, 2012 at 7:38 pm
MPs can be too busy to be available all the time.

Both my local Dunedin electorate MPs don’t usually respond to my emails.

And my own electorate MP (Dunedin North)seems to want to avoid contact on Twitter:
“You have been blocked from following this account at the request of the user.”

I was having a dig for sure, but Clare was having a dig at the unavailability of Bill English and National MPs so I think it’s fair to point out her own deliberate unavailability.

(I have once had an email reply from Bill English but he usually ignores my emails too).

Clare responded:

Clare Curran says:
September 4, 2012 at 7:50 pm

Oh Pete George let’s be honest here. I didn’t know you had been blocked on twitter, but I have unfriended you on facebook.

You are a troll. You are one of Cameron Slater’s (Whaleoil’s) tipsters. You pretend to be something you aren’t and you remain a commenter on Red Alert on notice.

I am a very liberal person. I believe in free speech, but I also believe in honesty and accountability. I don’t believe in pushing false information.

My response:

“You are one of Cameron Slater’s (Whaleoil’s) tipsters.”

What do you base that claim on?

“You pretend to be something you aren’t”

What do you base that claim on? I’ve been very open about who I am and what I do.

Calling me a troll is a cheap and/or ignorant shot. At times I promote and publicise what Labour (and you) do. At times I question you. Shouldn’t MPs and parties be open to scrutiny?

“I am a very liberal person. I believe in free speech, but I also believe in honesty and accountability.”

That’s not how you are acting here.

“I don’t believe in pushing false information.”

Can you clarify the intent of that comment?

I’m very active in social media but I’m not a troll – that’s a term that’s often misused.

I’m not ‘one of Cameron Slater’s (Whaleoil’s) tipsters’.  I’ve had some contact with him as I’ve had with other bloggers, that’s common. And I comment on his blog as I comment on others, including Red Alert.

‘You pretend to be something you aren’t’ is an outlandish accusation, I’m one of the most open people on political blogs. What on earth does Clare think I’m pretending to be? She ignores me, blocks me, she refuses to engage and then thinks she knows about me. She is wrong.

I also believe in free speech. On the same blog thread:

whodunnit says:

Offensive. Banned. Clare

I don’t know how offensive the comment was so can’t judge on how justified this was.

I also believe in honesty and accountability. Clare seems to actively avoid accountability while criticising other MPs for being unavailable.

“I don’t believe in pushing false information” – neither do I, I don’t know what she is implying by saying this. I’ve asked her to explain but she hasn’t responded yet.

I first contacted Clare about three years ago and have tried to actively engage with her and other MPs in Dunedin. I’ve criticised her at times, but I’ve also praised her and published positive information about her.

One of my main aims in politics is to improve communication between Dunedin MPs and the people of the city. This has to be two way. And it means MPs have to be prepared to communicate with people outside their comfort bubble.

People want to be heard more. In Clare’s own words, “how about being a bit more available to them!”

If Clare is serious about open government and if she’s serious about MPs being available to the people then I invite her to work together with me to achieve a better connection between MPs and people in Dunedin.

I’ll email Clare as well to make sure she gets this invitation.


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