Peters torpedos left wing options

Winston Peters appeared to promote a Labour+NZ First coalition option yesterday but it looks more like a torpedo to the left, especially aimed at the Greens, perhaps to try and pick up votes from the debris.

The main question is whether Peters was trying to be noticed on a day that Kim Dotcom was sucking up most of the media attention, or if he was trying to slip a positioning statement in under cover of the big news of the day.

Peters put out a media release yesterday afternoon - Alternatives In Election 2014 which praised both Labour’s David Parker and National’s Bill English.

When David Parker was attacked by a former business partner, alleging a breach of the law by the Hon David Parker, I was the first MP to back David Parker because, over an extensive period of time, I believed that he was a man of honour and integrity.

Similarly, I have observed the Hon Bill English’s conduct regarding the allegations in “Dirty Politics” and his reserve in the defence of the Hon Judith Collins’s conduct.

In addition on the question of tax cuts by National, Mr English’s aversion to claiming that they were possible is further evidence for me, that like Mr Parker, he has a certain integrity and honour.

Consequently, I see both of them as capable of being Ministers of Finance.

By stating he would work with either Labour or National Peters appears to keep his coalition options open. But he also slams the Greens.

In this campaign the Green Party has twice, for reasons best known to them, in essence led an assault on the Labour Party.

“Of late the Greens have been talking about being co-deputy prime ministers and wanting the finance portfolio.

“Does that mean when the Prime Minister is abroad we are going to have two acting prime ministers instead.

“This situation would be farcical.

“If the Greens think they are going to take over the levers of economic management they are assuming other parties are not watching their record.

“This statement in no way challenges the Labour Party’s belief that in the right circumstances they could form an alternative government.

“Voters need to be disabused of the view promoted by the Greens that we in New Zealand First would stand by whilst they promote extremist policies in government.

“This is not indicating a choice but the media seem to have overlooked one option entirely, a Labour-New Zealand First combination in Coalition or Confidence and supply.

“This emerged in 2005, has precedent, and it was a stable, successful government that delivered the greatest surpluses in recent years.”

Things were considerably different in 2005 when Peters shut the Greens out of Government.

Labour got 41.1% (to National’s 39.1), NZ First got 5.72% and the Greens 5.3%. Labour and NZ First combined with United Future (2.67%) giving a total of 49.42%.

Current polling has Labour in the mid twenties and NZ First 4-8%. Even if a miracle happens and Labour recovered to 30%, and NZ First climbed to 10%, that gets only 40%, well short of a majority. Greens (polling 10-15%) would be essential to get over the line.

Labour+NZ First is likely to be closer to 35% and could go as low as 30%.

“A Labour-New Zealand First combination in Coalition or Confidence and supply” looks an unattainable option. Peters must know this.

If Peters rules out combining with the Greens as he appears to have done here then he has only two choices – a coalition with National (possibly alongside Conservatives if they make the threshold, giving National alternatives) or going on the cross benches.

Peters must see potential votes from Green bashing. He has u-turned on his word before but he has consistently avoided working in Government alongside the Greens.

This looks like a torpedo to the left, conceding a left wing coalition is extremely unlikely.

Three year campaign against the Government

We are nearing the end of what has been a near three year campaign against the Government – and remarkably despite all the attempts to disrupt and depose the polls indicate a probable return to a similar combination of parties in a National led government.

Dirty Politics has been just one of many attempts to shake National’s hold on power, with negative campaigning being prevalent.  Labour has tried an official Vote Positive campaign but proxies have continued the anti-Government action.

Anti-Government negative campaigning has included:

Anti-asset sales

Despite National’s ‘asset sales’ being only partial sales of three power companies and an increase in the number of private ownership in Air New Zealand – asset sale lite – there has been sustained campaigning against it through much of the term, including the hijacking of the Citizen Initiated Referendum process for political campaign purposes. National has managed to avoid this campaign continuing into this campaign proper.

John Banks

There has been a number of multi-party attempts to bring down John Banks to remove a pro-Government vote. This was eventually successful but too late to make much difference apart from forcing a renewal of ACT Party personnel. While the end result looks like being no immediate gain for ACT if David Seymour wins Epsom ACT may be in a better position than this term.

Peter Dunne

Although Peter Dunne’s temporary downfall was inflicted by a John key instigated leak inquiry there was a concerted attempt by Labour and particularly Winston Peters to convert this into an ousting of Dunne to again take an important mostly pro-Government vote out of the equation.

GCSB

Significant anti-GCSB campaigning was also anti-Government. This was mostly last year while the revised legislation passed through Parliament but there have been continued protests.

TPPA

Ongoing anti TPPA protests have also been anti-Government.

Education

Ongoing protests against Government education initiatives have continued through the term into the election campaign. This has included campaigning against National Standards, Charter Schools, Christchurch school restructuring and Expert Teacher implementations and proposals. Teacher organisations, especially Primary, are traditionally anti-National and have been running protests during the campaign targeting National.

Get Out The Vote campaigns

Too significant campaigns to get more people out to vote have significant left leanings, one organised by unions and the other by left leaning organisations. These have involved people with strong anti-National rhetoric.

Anti-Poverty

A number of organisations have run anti-poverty campaigns and continue to do this into the election campaign. These have been effectively anti-National.

John Key

Labour and left wing activists have tried to discredit John Key since he rose to take over leadership of National and this continued through the term and into this campaign. Despite Nicky Hager has claimed his Dirty Politics book was not politically motivated nor meddling in the election campaign his primary focus was dirty tricks from the top, implying John Key was directly and heavily involved. Insufficient evidence was produced and while rumours remain that a Jason Ede-Key smoking gun is going to be unleashed it hasn’t happened yet and Hager insists he had access to all the political material.

Judith Collins

Collins has been a target through the term, the email forcing her resignation as a minister only being an unexpected trigger. There were major attempts to discredit her over Oravida earlier this year with reported trips to China by Phil Goff and Winston Peters looking for dirt. In 2012 accusations from Trevor Mallard and Andrew Little resulted in defamation proceedings that were eventually settled out of court.

Kim Dotcom

Dotcom has been called a political wrecking ball. The raid on his residence and subsequent legal action has been linked to both Banks’ and Dunne’s problems, and he has had ongoing confrontations with John Key. This led to him piling millions of dollars into a political party aimed at defeating Key and National in this election. It seems to be more counter-productive with voters seemingly concerned about the very left leaning policies of Internet-Mana being a part of Government.

End Result

We won’t know the end result of all of this until the end of next week, or perhaps a week or two later if coalition negotiations take a while to determine the final makeup of the next Government.

But on current polls National’s steady-as-we-go minimal new policy approach looks to be more popular than the alternative.

The multi-faceted and sustained negative campaigning has so far failed.

Bad poll for National, Labour

The latest Roy Morgan poll has both National and Labour down into worrying territory with Greens and Conservatives being upwards movers:

  • National 45% (down 3%)
  • Greens 16% (up 4.5%)
  • Labour 26% (down 1.5%)
  • Maori Party 0.5% (down 0.5%)
  • Act NZ (1%, up 0.5%)
  • United Future 0% (down 0.5%)
  • NZ First 6% (down 0.5%)
  • Internet-Mana Party 1% (down 1.5%)
  • Conservative Party of NZ 3.5% (up 2.5%)
  • Independent/ Others is 1% (unchanged)

3% isn’t a huge move but 45% is into real worry territory for National, especially if it’s part of a downwards trend.

Labour appear to be either also tainted by Dirty Politics or just seen as crap. Greens are finally benefiting with their best result ever.

Internet-Mana seem to have lost traction while Conservatives are on the rise.

Electors were asked: “If a New Zealand Election were held today which party would receive your party vote?” This latest New Zealand Roy Morgan Poll on voting intention was conducted by telephone – both landline and mobile telephone, with a NZ wide cross-section of 762 electors from August 18-31, 2014. Of all electors surveyed 3.5% (down 3%) didn’t name a party.

Results: http://www.roymorgan.com/findings/5767-roy-morgan-new-zealand-voting-intention-september-3-2014-201409030312

PDF including table of results

Slater’s long game as good as pig shit

Cameron Slater has often claimed to be playing a ‘long game’, as he stated in a recent blog post: “You people know I play a long game.”

His ball is now seen as toxic and many people will have been rapidly re-assessing their willingness to play with him in the future.

His short game is in tatters with his friend Judith Collins’ career teetering on the edge of a cliff largely of Slater’s making. And National’s election chances have been severely dented, as noted by ‘Mark’ on Kiwiblog:

Key and the National leadership have very little time to try to get the election agenda back onto policy issues. The concept of a Labour/Greens coalition ruining the country is an awful prospect but thanks to Collins apparent indiscretions what looked highly unlikely is now becoming a very real threat

Despite Labour’s awful second term and Cunliffe’s inherent lack of popularity Collins and Slater may have achieved a defeat for National.

Also thanks to Slater Collins’ long game appears to be in tatters. She may be able to recover to Minister level but I doubt Key would giver her that back if National cling on. But Collins must have slipped down the National pecking order significantly, and any leadership ambitions must be burnt toast.

And Slater is toxic damaged goods. His revenue options must have been severely affected. And who in politics with serious ambitions would want to be seen to be associated with him. Apart from Collins the other MPs assisted by Slater and Lusk are remaining very quiet on any links. If they have any ambition or sense they will have cut their mentors off altogether.

When you keep abusing and kicking the referee, all the players of the other team and many players of your own team once the ball has burst as it has done future game prospects must be severely limited.

In a recent blog post Key’s not my guy either Slater wrote:

As Key knows, he’s not my guy either.

He also repeated something he often says:

You wrestle with pigs, two things are certain. You get dirty, and the pig likes it.

But sooner or later the number of people willing to go near or be associated with the sty will dry up.

On Q & A two weeks ago Slater seemed to suggest he was bigger than the current Prime Minister.

Susan Wood: You must realise now that from the Prime Minister’s perspective you’d be pretty toxic. He’ll be wanting to keep away from you to distance himself. Surely he will be doing that won’t he, and you’ll find yourself out in the cold?

Cameron Slater: It’s of no concern to me. Prime Ministers come, Prime Ministers go. You know in my lifetime I’ve met and dealt with almost every Prime Minister from Robert Muldoon till the present day. Long after John Key has disappeared from the political scene I’ll still be involved.

(Video)

What future Prime Minister or prospective party leader or Prime Minister would want to be associated with the dirty politics of Slater?

Slater has always been and remains unrepentant about his methods, but they must surely be consigned to a less than savoury part of our political history.

He may well be still involved in the political scene after Key has departed but his ambitions of being a major player must be as diminished as his credibility.

Bloggers come, bloggers go.

And hopefully the Slater style of dirty politics is as good as gone. It’s not the long game most people want in a decent modern democracy.

Slater may see his future as wrestling in mud but his long game is as good as pig shit.

The best election outcome

The best election outcome for the country is unlikely to happen, but it should be more carefully considered.

Labour don’t yet deserve to lead a Government. They have performed poorly through two terms in opposition. They are yet to clear out dead would and look like seriously rebuilding. They need more time to wake up and shape up.

National have done a reasonable job seeing the country through very difficult economic times. David Cunliffe conceded that in the leader’s debate.They have mostly competent ministers and a moderate approach and being far ahead of Labour in support (up to double) they are the logical option to lead Government again despite being under pressure from some quarters at the moment.

Winston Peters has proven yet again that he’s prepared to smear and make unsubstantiated accusations to hurt parties and ruin careers. He is throwing his dirt now and has done it through his return term. This approach doesn’t deserve political reward.

Conservatives, Internet-Mana and Act are all new and if they get into Parliament they need time to establish themselves and learn the ropes. They need time to earn a place in positions of ministerial responsibility Government.

The other significantly sized party is Greens. They are overdue for playing an active role in Government. They are very well organised and as prepared as any party could be to step up.

While many people like some Green input, especially on environmental and social issues, there’s a resistance to them having to much economic input. They haven’t been helped by Labour’s weakness – this has exaggerated the perception of how influential they would be. Hence they have struggled to raise their support since the last election.

I think a National-Green combination would be well balanced. Greens have all but ruled out considering this but if they did it would be their best chance of increasing support.

If Greens got 15% to Nationals 40-45% we would have a stable coalition. Most Green ministerial positions would be at associate level to let them gain experience at this level.

National’s prudent economic management could continue, with the added benefit of a sizable and vigorous voice for environmental and social considerations.

Greens more reasonable and principled approach would also help moderate the dirtier side of politics.

National would probably include UnitedFuture, ACT and Maori Party as bit players if they survive the election.

If this worked well and I see no reason why it wouldn’t this would benefit Greens in the longer term, to the extent that it could enable them to establish themselves as a political force alongside rather than subservient to Labour.

When National are inevitably voted out (although a successful Green+National arrangement could extend their reign) the Greens would have the experience to transition to a new coalition in a very strong position.

Greens have virtually ruled out working like this with National, but they made that stand months ago. Since then National have shown they need more holding to account for mistakes and dirty politics, Labour have slipped rather than recovered, Internet-Mana has injected a left wing component that is off putting to many, and Winston and his NZ First have proven less deserving of serious consideration than ever.

Greens and National would both benefit if they reconsidered their non-association stances.

And the resulting Government would be the best way for the country to benefit. What’s best for the country should be the primary consideration of the parties and the voters.

I think this would be a very popular (with voters) way out of the current mess.

If Greens reconsidered their current stance they could make a compelling case to go with National. Some of their activists may  spit tacks but they should consider the Maori Party ethos of it being better to be influential at the table than perpetually frustrated out in the cold.

If Tame Iti can learn and change and see the sense in this approach then surely the Greens could.

This is by far the best election outcome I can think of.

Collins staunch with Slater

Judith Collins has reiterated her friendship with Cameron Slater and won’t condemn his “dirty politics”. Radio NZ reports:

Judith Collins digs in over Dirty Politics

Justice Minister Judith Collins is defending her friendship with right-wing blogger, Cameron Slater, saying she supports her friends no matter what.

She has admitted emailing details about public servant Simon Pleasants, including his personal phone number, to Mr Slater in 2009.

Mr Pleasants was subsequently abused on Mr Slater’s Whale Oil blog and also received death threats.

…she told Radio New Zealand she did not condone the death threats.

She would not say whether she approved of Mr Slater’s post.

Ms Collins refused to be drawn on whether she had effectively facilitated cyber-bullying by passing on Mr Pleasants’ details.

Obviously she couldn’t condone death threats but by not condemning how the information she supplied was used she appears to remain complicit.

Friendship defended

Ms Collins last night also defended her friendship with Mr Slater.

“Just because he is a friend of mine – as by the way are many hundreds of other people – does not mean to say that I condone everything that anybody who is a friend of mine does,” she said.

“That is the nature of friendship. You put up with your friends no matter what if you’re a loyal friend. And I’m a very loyal person.”

Loyalty to friends can be important but by refusing to distance herself from Slater’s behaviour she remains severely tainted by association with his dirty politics. Slater is now politically toxic.

Mark Mitchell, National MP for Rodney, is distancing himself, denying he paid Slater for assistance in his successful candidacy bid in 2011. See Conflicting claims over National’s Rodney selection.

Collin’s political career looks like being on life support so she may feel she has nothing more to lose by being seen to be remaining closely associated to Slater. That’s her call.

Slater often talks about one of his ‘rules’ – if you wrestle with pigs you’ll get dirty and the pig will enjoy it. Slater obviously enjoys getting dirty.

Collins has chosen to remain closely associated with this.

It’s a shame that Collins has been and remains tainted. By many accounts she has generally been a more than competent Minister of Justice.

In my own limited experience with Collins she has been approachable and helpful – earlier this year I asked for some information and she arranged for it to be provided – no OIA involved. Few ministers respond to requests like this.

But she has done a number of unwise things. The latest to be highlighted, and her continued loyalty to a friend who likes playing dirty means mud remains stuck to Collins as well.

She should hold her electorate easily as she got a close to 10,000 majority in Papakura last election.

She is currently Minsister of Justice, ACC and Ethnic Affairs and is National’s fifth ranked Minister, and is number 6 on their party list for this election. But it is predicted that if National retain power John Key will have to reduce her position and responsibilities.

It could be very awkward for National to have someone closely associated with Slater making the final decision (as Minister of Justice) on Kim Dotcom’s extradition – Slater has been waging a bitter public battle against Dotcom.

Collins is on a last last chance with Key and by continuing to remain staunch with Slater she may well be seen as a high risk and a liability, especially for a third term government.

If Collins lasts until and survives the election we’ll see then how she fares. And from then through the term whether her remaining staunch with Slater drags her (and National) down further.

Sticking by friends is laudable, but sticking by mud may tank her political career.

Conflicting claims over National’s Rodney selection

In the wake of “Dirty Politics” and associated data dumps there are conflicting claims by the successful candidate Mark Mitchell (who is now an MP) and Brent Robinson.

Mitchell claims he didn’t pay for help from Cameron Slater and Simon Lusk but a post by Slater in 2011 admits “If you want to be a National candidate there is a very small group of talented, experienced professionals who will greatly enhance your chances of winning. Yes they will cost…”

Newstalk ZB reported last Friday: National MP contemplates legal action against Nicky Hager

Rodney MP Mark Mitchell denies the suggestion he hired political strategist Simon Lusk and attack blogger Cameron Slater, to undermine his opponents for National’s candidacy in the seat back in 2011.

One of those opponents, Brent Robinson, told Newstalk ZB he’s considering legal action – as the revelations suggest Mr Mitchell broke the party’s rules to get elected.

But Mr Mitchell says that’s untrue – and after the election, he may take legal action of his own, over the book.

Robinson has just been interviewed by Radio NZ – Failed National candidate wants rogue elements kicked out:

Mary Wilson: A failed National Party candidate is demanding the party weed out rogue elements that he says sabotaged his campaign in rogue safe National seat of Rodney three years ago.  The Nicky Hager book dirty politics asserts party figures have used the Whale Oil and other right wing bloggers to attack opponents, but in this case the emails detail a campaign against one of their own during a candidate selection.

The emails between Cameron Slater and Simon Lusk discuss backing contender Mark Mitchell to prove they are crucial to people’s political careers. Mr Mitchell is now the Rodney MP.

Whale Oil blogs at the time attacked two other candidates, the front runners Brent Robinson and Scott Simpson.

Mr Robinson was called shameless, unethical, unscrupulous and unfit to hold office for signing up church members to the National Party. He says it was hard to take.

Brent Robinson: I’ve got to say the process itself was pretty atrocious. The accusations that were made slandered against my character, against my reputation, and it was very very hard on myself and on my wife and children. 

This was an orchestrated paid campaign to discredit other candidates.

And what was your sense in the electorate about how seriously these posts were being taken, and how much people believed them?

I think it made a significant difference to the selection process itself.  It was a tight run race, and there were seventeen National Party delegates that vote on it and I think it did make a difference.  Look whether I would have won or not, who knows, but the fact is it took place.

And were you signing up people from your church to become National Party members?

Look I’ve got an email from the National Party General Manager that he sends to all candidates encouraging people during the process to bring people in as members of the National Party.

So I think eleven people from my small church in Orewa joined the National Party..

As a result of a direct approach from you?

Yeah. Not for myself. Um there were all sorts of people wanting to join, and if someone came to me and said “I’d like to become a member of the National Party” I’d say goodie, here’s what you need to do.

But you were encouraging them, and there was nothing wrong with that?

No, no. And other candidates did the same thing. You know branches right throughout the Rodney area increased exponentially as a result of the selection process, but that’s not unusual, that’s what takes place during National Party selection processes. 

And so when you read this chapter, and I take it that you have…

Yes.

…we see Simon Lusk saying to Cameron Slater “I’d really like Mark Mitchell to win to prove it can be done, and that you and I are crucial in people’s careers”. Simon Lusk says there is the option of course in relation to you, in reference to you, of playing the man if necessary.

Yeah and that’s certainly what took place. I found out shortly after the selection process, a number people came to me from inside and outside the National Party, and said “look you need realise what went on here”, and so there’s no great revelation to me when the came out. You know it’s interesting obviously to see it in chapter and verse in conversations between these people, and that’s pretty distressing itself…

So who came to you and explained what had gone on?

Well, people within the party that had various ideas about that, and i don’t want to publicly name who they are, you know they’re individuals and if they want to come forward that’s fine…

And Simon Lusk saying at one point that Mr Mitchell was saying that posts were having a massive effect.

Yeah and I would concur with that.

Simon Lusk to Cameron Slater “we want Scott Simpson, the other candidate, we want his people to lean on Brent to get him out first, then we can smash Scott”.

Yeah, it was interesting seeing that, and obviously Scott left, chose to leave the selection process and went on to become you know the MP over in Coromandel.

And was that part of it though that Scott Simpson’s people were leaning on you to get you out first, is that how this all works?

I can’t think of any particular recallation where you know anyone rang me up and tried to muscle me out of the process or anything like that. I think it was a bit more subtle than that but certainly well orchestrated.

Have you got any other evidence that Mark Mitchell paid for this to be done?

At the very start f the selection process I was advised to contact Simon Lusk because he helped people writing speeches and so I rang him up and Simon Lusk said “I’m sorry I can’t talk to you because I’ve been engaged by Mark Mitchell”.

And what were you expecting to have Simon Lusk do for you?

I was advised by another National Party MP who’d just been elected that he helped people write speeches. That’s fine. I had no idea of the for the lack of a better word the black ops type scenario that Mr Lusk did for his candidates.

Look Mark and I, I’m still a National Party member, Mark and I have worked on various things in Rodney since the selection process since mark’s been elected as an MP, and we’ve talked about it, we’ve openly discussed it, and I expressed to him my disappointment and disgust in what took place in the process.

So for Mark now to say that he didn’t engage these people, that he didn’t pay these people, I just find absolutely mind blowing.

But did he tell you that he’d paid them.

Yes.

He told you that he’d paid both Cameron Slater and Simon Lusk?

Mark told me that he hired them to perform this programme of work for him to get him the selection.

The programme of work being a smear campaign?

Well yes. We’ve openly discussed it in the past. That’s why I’m really surprised by this.

And understand I don’t do this to get any form of retribution. My reasoning for now for answering questions to persons like yourself , is because I wouldn’t want anyone else who put their hand up to be involved in politics in New Zealand to go through what I’ve gone through and what my family’s gone through.

Well you’re saying that the National Party needs to clean up it’s act.

They’re your words not mine. Certainly there is a rogue element that’s grown in the National Party that I think needs to be weeded out.

That’s Brent Robinson. We’ve been unable to contact Mr Slater or Mr Lusk whp’s phone message says he’s away hunting til the end of the season.

The MP Mark Mitchell says he’s very surprised by Mr Robinson’s comments. He says he’s never had a discussion with him about the Rodney selection process, or Cameron Slater or Simon Lusk.

He says he has never paid a cent to either.

  Just after the Rodney selection in 2011 Slater posted this on Whale Oil – Rodney Selection Winners and Losers.

Mark Mitchell won the acrimonious selection in Rodney last night, and it was a privilege to have been in the room during the process.

Winners
Mark Mitchell: Mark’s reputation is such it would have been an absolute travesty not to have had him selected. Reputation alone is not enough, and delegates in Rodney have told me what a fantastic guy he is, very good with people, and very genuine. It is hard to remember the last time a National candidate met delegates by helping them bail hay and then had a few beers afterwards, but this kind of touch builds loyalty, loyalty that helped Mark win on the first ballot.

Peter Goodfellow: Peter was ultimately responsible for the selection process and deserve credit for taking bold decisions to stop a deeply flawed process. Good work Peter, you have done the right thing.

Losers (0r as Phil Goff would say Not Winners)

Brent Robinson: Brent was outed as a branch stacking, immoral fundamentalist, and his preachy style on selection night really grated. He should never have tried to rig the selection as he probably would have won if he had not tried to rig the process.

Cehill Pienaar: As branch chair this man tried to ensure the fundy take over of the electorate by colluding with Brent over membership and events. His horrible political past has been exposed, and his backing the losing candidate now makes it inevitable he will be told to resign if he does not resign himself.

Karen Rolleston: For someone I keep hearing such good things about she needs to stop making dumb decisions, engage proper professional advise and start listening. She was told by respect senior party people she would lose Palmerston North. She did. She was told she would lose Rodney. She did. She was told she could well win North Shore, and she ignored this, meaning Maggie Barry is now the presumptive candidate in a field of pygmies.

Amateurs: Some boneheads in the Auckland region hierarchy have been putting about that candidates should not pay for advice or pay for strategy. They are as prissy and as puritanical as the old amateur era rugby people and need to stop this silliness. Laughably the main proponents of this argument are people who earn a living by charging for their services themselves.

If you want to be a National candidate there is a very small group of talented, experienced professionals who will greatly enhance your chances of winning. Yes they will cost, but who else won’t you pay – your lawyer, your accountant, your printer, your speech coach, the petrol station for the gas to get to delegate meetings? Professional advice costs money all over town, why not in politics?

What I can’t understand is why paying for someone who gives you the best chance of a long career in politics is wrong or unethical or whatever else the buggers muddle in Auckland seem to think is reason for not engaging professionals. Aspiring candidates should call the tip line if they want introductions to competent political advisors.

Blog readers are well aware of my views on people who behave unethically, and the best way to out them is to publish information. I realise pride is a sin, but I’m feeling just a little bit proud that I have contributed so meaningfully to the selection of a really good candidate and future National MP. I am also proud that National know that they cannot cover up skullduggery in the party. The tipline callers are many and varied and the truth will out.

There’s a number of very ironic comments in that.

Slater makes it clear who he supported. He also makes it clear about the need to pay “professionals” for results.

The data dump of online conversations between Lusk and Slater also make it clear there was a relationship between Lusk/Slater and Mitchell and that money was involved:

Simon Lusk, 1/29, 9:53pm

classy

i’ll try to line up the woman in palmerston north

i can sort out mark no worries, he doesnt mind spending

i’d really like to have him win

to prove it can be done

and that you and i are crucial in peoples career
————————-
Cameron Slater, 1/29, 9:55pm

i want to stamp out the nasty whispering campaigns like those run by HP and the cunt in Rodney
————————-
Simon Lusk, 1/29, 9:55pm

yes

which cunt in rodney?

i beleive in going negative if an opponent does
————————-
Cameron Slater, 1/29, 9:56pm

the one spiking the outsiders
————————-
Simon Lusk, 1/29, 9:57pm

i dont blame him, he has worked for it

and it isnt nasty yet, just patch protection

i want to see mark selected

but if brent plays fair i am going to play fair
————————-
Cameron Slater, 1/29, 9:58pm

well a post about sometimes when an MP has been there forever it is time to look outside the party hierachy because the MP has stifled the best
————————-
Simon Lusk, 1/29, 9:58pm

obviously with the option of playing the man if we decide it is necessary

yes

and that we need a genuine star

someone that has made it on a global scale
————————-
Cameron Slater, 1/29, 9:59pm

yep
————————-
Simon Lusk, 1/29, 9:59pm

and while brent is a willing toiler for the party

we must stop selecting second raters
————————-
Cameron Slater, 1/29, 9:59pm

youve got it
————————-
Simon Lusk, 1/29, 9:59pm

i’ll have a proper post when we pull the trigger

nice but create doubts in the minds of the delegates
————————-
Cameron Slater, 1/29, 10:00pm

yep
————————-
Simon Lusk, 1/29, 10:00pm

frame the race as a very successful man who is turning down millions a year to do the best he can for NZ
————————-
Cameron Slater, 1/29, 10:00pm

yep
————————-
Simon Lusk, 1/29, 10:00pm

and from a family with a history of public service
————————-
Cameron Slater, 1/29, 10:00pm

succesful but tough
————————-
Simon Lusk, 1/29, 10:00pm

yes, is excellent under pressure
————————-
Cameron Slater, 1/29, 10:00pm

not a panty-waist
————————-
Simon Lusk, 1/29, 10:01pm

not a bent cop becuase he didnt go up the ranks
————————-
Cameron Slater, 1/29, 10:01pm

we can sex it up with the war sotries then the media will pick it up
————————-
Simon Lusk, 1/29, 10:01pm

his dog stories are awesome

czar nailed a lot of bad bastards

including ripping a monsoon sheild of a car to sort out three gang members that were taking on mark
————————-
Cameron Slater, 1/29, 10:01pm

hope it chewed on them hard
————————-
Simon Lusk, 1/29, 10:02pm

i believe it did

mark said you when they start screaming you know the fight will go out of them
————————-
Cameron Slater, 1/29, 10:02pm

lol
————————-
Simon Lusk, 1/29, 10:02pm

one other collar czar broke a guys elbow
————————-
Cameron Slater, 1/29, 10:02pm

so tough in business, tough in terrorists, tough on crime
————————-
Simon Lusk, 1/29, 10:02pm

that is fucken impressive, bite hard enough to break and elbow
————————-
Cameron Slater, 1/29, 10:02pm

just plain tough
————————-
Simon Lusk, 1/29, 10:02pm

compassionate though
————————-
Cameron Slater, 1/29, 10:03pm

doing for the underdog

nabbing bad bastards since xxxx
————————-
Simon Lusk, 1/29, 10:03pm

how good are your media contacts to get coverage of some of his stuff protecting his staffers after the iraqi terrorists killed lots of people
————————-
Cameron Slater, 1/29, 10:03pm

easy
————————-
Simon Lusk, 1/29, 10:04pm

all his non western staff were in the same gear as the westerners, same weapons, same everything

reckoned it worked a treat
————————-
Cameron Slater, 1/29, 10:04pm

once i start pumping his story they will pick it up anyway
————————-
Simon Lusk, 1/29, 10:04pm

we need to set the scene

brent is an ok guy, a bit arrogant and not good at pressing the flesh

people dont warm to him

dont want to waste as safe seat on him

can you start finding stories about him

i think it would also be worth talking to jason ede about mark, not yet but soon

saying that he is a good news story that will appeal to the masses
————————-
Cameron Slater, 1/29, 10:06pm

ok will work on that

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10702986

nailed

another Gotcha
————————-
Simon Lusk, 1/29, 10:10pm

yes we need to think about this

how to tell the story about the nailing

that it isnt random

it is smart people making smart decisions to fuck up opponents

ede needs to know that it is your set up
————————-
Cameron Slater, 1/29, 10:12pm

he has two trips scheduled for next week

i bet the car drops him off and legs it into town
————————-
Simon Lusk, 1/29, 10:13pm

can you OIA mileage records?
————————-
Cameron Slater, 1/29, 10:14pm

yepo

SST is already doing it
————————-
Simon Lusk, 1/29, 10:14pm

good

Simon Lusk, 2/3, 9:01am

we need to sort out marks facebook page tomorrow if possible
————————-
Cameron Slater, 2/3, 9:02am

i need an awesome photo…i will make it look cool….we also need to ditch all the cheesy shit out of the photos and tidy up his personal info
————————-
Simon Lusk, 2/3, 9:03am

ok can you email me with what you need as far as photos go

i will write the story tomorrow though it might be tomorrow evening i have to get on a ferry at 110

 

————————-
Cameron Slater, 2/3, 9:05am

for the phot i need a high quality photo of him…doesn’t matter if it is warry…i’ll crop out an guns or stuff…just crisp and good quality, the bigger the better

I’m going to cut it into 5 and array them in his profile….it look scool done right
————————-
Simon Lusk, 2/3, 9:07am

hes got professional ones i have asked him for them
————————-
Cameron Slater, 2/3, 9:07am

good

send a selection

also need his login details for FB and I’ll get it sorted tomorrow
————————-
Simon Lusk, 2/3, 9:08am

ok

good message that at risk stuff is always good

 

————————-
February 7, 2011
————————-
Cameron Slater, 2/7, 8:46pm

what time and where tonight
————————-
Simon Lusk, 2/7, 8:47pm

puhoi dunno the edetails will let you know after 3 when i have met mark off the plane

 

————————-
Simon Lusk, 2/20, 4:34am

can you tell hooton that mark is a good option etc

he will be asked about it on red radio tomorrow
————————-
Cameron Slater, 2/20, 4:34am

ok

 

————————-
Simon Lusk, 2/21, 2:09am

you bet, the best way to be

did they work out you were on JLRs side

or think you remained neutral
————————-
Cameron Slater, 2/21, 2:10am

no they knew i was on jlr side

they have no idea that im on marks though

just that you are
————————-
Simon Lusk, 2/21, 2:10am

yes peter warned mark off me

in october

 

————————-
Simon Lusk, 2/21, 2:43am

sweet

mark has access to a good deer block

i think four private huts in the kaimanawas

 

————————-
Simon Lusk, 2/23, 6:56pm

there are a number of people who dont want scott

they should be paying you to write for them
————————-
Cameron Slater, 2/23, 6:56pm

lots of people should be paying me to write for them

i hope Mark is up with the play on these posts
————————-
Simon Lusk, 2/23, 6:57pm

yes am talking to him a lot

he is telling me that it is having a massive effect
————————-
Cameron Slater, 2/23, 6:57pm

hehe

 

————————-
Cameron Slater, 2/24, 6:48pm

i imagine my old man will explode

the pressure is going to be intense

the fact that Alistair is trying to knock out Mark shows that they know where the threat is from

he will shit himself reading that post that he is next to be outed
————————-
Simon Lusk, 2/24, 6:49pm

yes, and the extra time means mark can out compete him on the ground
————————-
Cameron Slater, 2/24, 6:49pm

yep

 

————————-
Cameron Slater, 2/28, 4:11am

Alistair was up seeing delegates directly, including John Evans

he is showing them the print out of the website article about mark and saying he has a dodgy past

Kate set John Evans straight…he will now be working aginst scott on that

bad move by Alistair

muckraking without substance
————————-
Simon Lusk, 2/28, 4:12am

he wants to be careful, mark likes lawyers
————————-
Cameron Slater, 2/28, 4:12am

lawyers take too long
————————-
Simon Lusk, 2/28, 4:13am

for a weakling like alastair

they dont

it is a threat
————————-
Cameron Slater, 2/28, 4:13am

I reckon a post saying that I have been asked to leak this article suposedly because it is about mark and a dodgy past
————————-
Simon Lusk, 2/28, 4:13am

he is not the kind of guy to say “Dear Lawyer”

please fuck off

yes thats a good idea
————————-
Cameron Slater, 2/28, 4:13am

by Simposn loyalists
————————-
Simon Lusk, 2/28, 4:13am

yes dirty pool
————————-
Cameron Slater, 2/28, 4:13am

, so I thought I would check a few things out before publishing it
————————-
Simon Lusk, 2/28, 4:13am

and apparetnly the 9th floor are furious

and those behind it are going to find it career limiting
————————-
Cameron Slater, 2/28, 4:14am

and the provide a link and an explanation
————————-
Simon Lusk, 2/28, 4:14am

why dont you write something, email it through to me, i will sort it out with mark and it can go online
————————-
Cameron Slater, 2/28, 4:14am

ok

i’ll write it up about how they are saying it is supposed to be bad but not actually showing people the info, so in teh interests of getting things out in the open here it is…seems pretty above board to me etc etc
————————-
Simon Lusk, 2/28, 4:16am

yes thats a pretty sound idea
————————-
Cameron Slater, 2/28, 4:16am

then theirmuck raking is exposed, it turns out to be bullshit

and we can link alistaor to shopping it at the board level in an effort to have Mark chucked out because scott fears a fair fight at selection
————————-
Simon Lusk, 2/28, 4:17am

with the threat that you are hearing that legal action is almost inevitable in rodney no matter what happens

yes and we need boag in to crack heads and feast on corpses to make sure everyone stops playing silly games
————————-
Cameron Slater, 2/28, 4:17am

also fits with President’s claim that I was to be putting in teh hit on Mark

also call for Boag, Kirk and Slater to be appointed to oversee delegate selections

 

————————-
Simon Lusk, 2/28, 6:55am

the quote is taken from another web page and used out of context

mark reckons that the original quote is a real good one
————————-
Cameron Slater, 2/28, 6:55am

send me the link then
————————-
Simon Lusk, 2/28, 6:55am

so that needs to be in there, i have asked him to send the link
————————-

Simon Lusk, 3/3, 7:12pm

aotearoa legalise cannabis have a bloody funny earthquake policy

i might write something up on this, depends on how much work i do with mark i guess

 

————————-
March 28, 2011
————————-
Simon Lusk, 3/28, 12:23am

did you talk to mark?

he is pretty pissed of with scott et al going after him with an H fee type scandal
————————-
Cameron Slater, 3/28, 12:24am

not yet

another scandal?
————————-
Simon Lusk, 3/28, 12:24am

they are saying part of his business has a dispute with the US

it does but it is a separate subsidary
————————-
Cameron Slater, 3/28, 12:24am

the cunts
————————-
Simon Lusk, 3/28, 12:24am

no link to mark at all
————————-
Cameron Slater, 3/28, 12:25am

sue
————————-
Simon Lusk, 3/28, 12:25am

yes i think some lawyers letter sstart soon
————————-
Cameron Slater, 3/28, 12:25am

what are teh details
————————-
Simon Lusk, 3/28, 12:25am

you could tell your father that people need to be careful as mark has very deep pockets and is not interested in the results

just hammering opponents
————————-
Cameron Slater, 3/28, 12:25am

i will
————————-
Simon Lusk, 3/28, 12:25am

because he can afford it and they cant

cant remember the exact details but they found it on google
————————-
Cameron Slater, 3/28, 12:26am

give kate a call

does this mean he is still in rodney
————————-
Simon Lusk, 3/28, 12:26am

i told mark i am happy to make some calls
————————-
Cameron Slater, 3/28, 12:26am

Time for Julian Miles
————————-
Simon Lusk, 3/28, 12:26am

i think it is just a reflex reaction from scott and his mates

try ot run down anyone in any way possible
————————-
Cameron Slater, 3/28, 12:27am

so he has bolted and laid a minefield

cunts

Mark should sue them…is this recent
————————-
Simon Lusk, 3/28, 12:27am

i think we should play a big game of pker with them and bluff them out of the game completely

yes today

based on yesterdays article
————————-
Cameron Slater, 3/28, 12:28am

fuck they must be bitter about the sst articel

Well I will do what ever is required

 

March 29, 2011
————————-
Simon Lusk, 3/29, 3:00am

heard from mark?
————————-
Cameron Slater, 3/29, 3:02am

nope

he has just rung

 

 

Poll hits dirt, rewards clean

There can be many reasons for poll movements but whether by coincidence or not the parties most associated by dirty smear politics have all dropped in the latest NZ Herald poll, and parties not associated with dirt have gone up, especially the Greens.

Dirty parties:

  • National 50 (down 4.9)
  • Labour 25.2 (down 1.3)
  • NZ First 4.3 (down 0.3)

Clean parties:

  • Greens 13.7 (up 3.8)
  • Conservatives 2.6 (up 1.4)
  • Maori Party 0.7 (up 0.2)
  • Act 0.6 (up 0.6)
  • United Future 0.4 (up 0.4)

Others

  • Mana-Internet 2.1 (down 0.1)
  • Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis (down 0.1)

Having made that point poll to poll movements are not as important as trends.

Herlad poll trends Aug14

  • National’s last poll result may have been an outlier.
  • Labour continue to trend down.
  • Greens have surged but time will tell if it is temoporary or becomes a positive trend.

Herald poll trends small Aug14

  • Winston Peters has been struggling to sustain a profile in a very competitive media.
  • Conservatives will be hoping they are on the rise but 5% is a long way up from there.
  • Internet-Mana climbed initially but may be leveling off.
  • Maori, Act and United Future will be grateful for any scraps they can get.

The poll of 750 respondents was conducted between August 14 and 20 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.6 per cent. On the party vote questions 12.5 per cent were undecided.

Source: Greens spring in polls as National takes hit

Bill English on dirty politics

There’s a number of tweets reporting comments from Bill English about dirty politics.

Bill English visibly uncomfortable today answering questions allegations, partic those regarding Judith Collins.

English [on Collins giving Simon Pleasants' name to WO]: “That’s a style of politics, it’s not a style I like and I don’t participate in it”.

Bill English says it is not the sort of politics he engages in.

Bill English does not condone attack politics outlined in Nicky Hager’s book but won’t be drawn on whether Judith Collins should face consequences.

It’s not English’s call (in public at least) on the possible fate of another Minister.

It’s good to see someone in National speaking up against dirty politics, albeit seemingly reluctantly.

UPDATE: Radio NZ Report:

English critical of colleague’s behaviour

Deputy Prime Minister Bill English has criticised the behaviour of Justice Minister Judith Collins, as outlined in the book Dirty Politics, saying it is not how he operates.

The Nicky Hager book outlines how Ms Collins passed the name of public servant Simon Pleasants to right-wing blogger Cameron Slater, believing Mr Pleasants had leaked information in 2009 about Mr English double-dipping on his housing allowance.

Mr Pleasants had not leaked any information but was subject to abuse on Cameron Slater’s Whale Oil blog and also received death threats.

Mr English said today he had nothing to do with it and did not condone blog attacks on public servants.

However, he would not be drawn on whether Ms Collins should be reprimanded.

“The Prime Minister (John Key) has expressed confidence in her. She’s a minister, you know. We’re all answerable for how we deal with things, just like I was over the housing issue,” he said.

“I was publicly answerable for that. It wasn’t a matter of legality or otherwise, it was a matter of judgement, and people make up their minds about it.”

The Prime Minister has also since reprimanded Collins.

Dirty politics must be cleaned from the top

Dirty politics has been raised to new heights with the launch of Nicky Hager’s book.

Hager claimed that what he reported in his booked was terrible – but not that terrible that he couldn’t hold it from the public long enough to write a book and market it a month before the election. Some are calling that dirty politics, with some justification.

The book has pointed out examples of dirty politics played by Cameron Slater in particular in collusion with senior National Party people and with connections to the top, the Prime Minister John Key.

Key says what Slater has done is nothing to with him. To an extent that may be technically correct, depending on how you look at it. But they have admitted regularly communicating.

Today Slater repeated something at Whale Oil that he said on television several months ago – this is on a blog post called I love the smell of Napalm in the morning:

Politics is a dirty, disgusting, despicable game. And it involves dirty, disgusting, despicable people at all levels.

No stepping back by Slater.

But I don’t think this should be acceptable in a modern democracy, especially in  a country like New Zealand.

Labour appear to have taken a step towards more positive politics with their Vote Positive slogan for the election. They will find it heard to keep living up to that and will keep getting reminded of any transgressions – this will hopefully help them move towards a more positive approach. It will take time to work it’s way down the party, negatives prevail in social media, still.

However examples for political behaviour should be set from the top.

That Prime Minister John Key should dismiss concerns and distance himself from the dirt of our current politics is poor.

The least Key should be doing is accepting responsibility for the behaviour of his party and MPs – and although he can’t be held responsible for the actions of a self described “dirty, disgusting, despicable” blogger he should make it clear behaviour anything like that is not welcome in the National Party or in Government.

By playing down and ignoring this he is complicit up to his eyeballs in the continuation of dirty politics.

Meanwhile the public are poorly served by their supposed representatives and are likely to continue to be turned off by the continuing dirty politics.

It’s been claimed this is deliberate, less voters means less people to appeal to in order to win elections. That would be dirty despicable democracy.

If the Prime Minister can’t be seen to demand better then perhaps he doesn’t deserve to be there. He is not elected to serve the dirty, disgusting, despicable” minority.

Dirty politics must be cleaned from the top. We need someone at the top who is prepared to do that.

UPDATE: this is how dirty it can get:

Bit bloody rich of Hager to complain about death treats resulting unsubstantiated allegations on @SevenSharp. My 1st one arrived last night

 

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