Whale Oil proposes new revenue model

Whale Oil is proposing to try a new means of generateing income in a difficult online environment.

Old media has struggled with income and the transition to extensive online content. New media is also finding it tough.

Much of online advertising revenue has become dominated by major international players like Google, through genereal websites like Facebook and Youtube.

Some New Zealand blogs raise a bit of revenue from advertising (Kiwiblog, Public Address) or sponsorship (The Daily Blog). The Standard ditched their advertisiing, citing modest returns that compromised site integrity (my words from memory).

The Standard and Public Address also ask for donations to contribute to site running costs.

Most blogs don’t even bother trying to raise any revenue.

The one big exception to all of this is Whale Oil. as Pete Belt explains in FROM THE PASSENGER SEAT: WHALEOIL IS CHANGING.

It’s been quite a ride since October 2012 when I put my hand up as an (unpaid) volunteer.

I get asked occasionally how I got ‘this job’.  Well, to be honest, I had to create it myself. About mid-2013 I said to Cam, “I want to do this full time and I want you to pay me.”  He didn’t flinch.  He replied that if I wanted to be paid for helping him out, I needed to grow the blog, so we could grow the advertising income that could pay for my exorbitant fees.

This made Whale Oil a two-income blog as it also supports Cameron Slater.

During Dirty Politics, the traffic on this blog went through the roof, and we had a reasonably good income from the advertising.  In fact, once I was paid, there was some left over for the Slater family too.

But before, and since then, Cam’s relied on your donations to supplement his income.  Mine is steady, but any lean month and the Slater family are having a tough time.

Whale Oil has tried a number of revenue earners, including intrusive levels of advertising, merchandising (Belt says that has been disappointing) and using the begging bowl.

But obviously revenues are an ongoing struggle. Despite this they are adding costs:

Worse, we’re growing.  It’s not just about meeting my costs.  As you have seen, Journalist Stephen Cook has been putting in serious hours on some very meaty stories, and he’s not doing it for free either.

I’m dubious about the claiming that they are still growing much. But if they are paying for a journalist (is this where Freed has ended up?) perhaps it’s the growth in costs that Belt is referring to.

He then sort of explains what they are looking at as a new way of generating income.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be introducing a new way for us to make money.   You will be able to opt-in to complete small consumer surveys.   You can opt-in to receive direct email from us.  In return for this, you get the chance to see much more targeted advertising, be offered “members only” deals and, in general, start a new money-making infrastructure that is going to succeed where the old models have failed.

Here’s our promise:  if you, our audience, commit to supporting this new way for us to turn a dollar, we will reduce the amount of advertising as it is displayed now.  And if that continues to work, we expect to remove all display advertising from Whaleoil.

The aim is two-fold:  1)  we can maintain what we do now, and we want to grow (that needs more money), and 2) we no longer rely on advertising for our ‘survival’.  This means any attempt by opponents to sabotage our income stream is going to fail.

I realise all of this is a little woolly, and you’ll want more details, but this is just to give you some background and explain why you may see, for a while, both advertising and other “pop ups” that want you to answer questions.

Yes, it is a woolly explanation. Time will tell how it works out.

I’ve been a strong critic of some aspects of Whale Oil, including Belt’s ‘moderation’ purges that began mid last year. Banning large numbers of commenters must have had an impact on particip[ation and readership.

And revelling in doing things dirty must also be an impediment to getting wider support.

Slater has to be credited with trying a new media venture that no one else in New Zealand has come close to emulating. Whale Oil has in many ways been a bleeding edge innovator.

Whale Oil has been both the best and the worst of blogging in New Zealand.

And credit has to be given to Belt as well. He’s tried a number of innovative fund raisers.

Time will tell how this new attempt pans out.

It must be a challenge trying to attract additional financial support while continuing to act as the bad boys of the blogosphere.

Another factor is that blogging is still just a narrow niche in online media in New Zealand. Most of the population has little or no idea they exist. Most of the social interaction is done via more general forums like Facebook.

So blogs don’t have widespread appeal and will find it a challenge to compete fort attention let alone revunue.

How much of a future do blogs have in general?

Can Whale Oil recover, or has it peaked and is now a waning whale?

Lauda Finem versus Whale Oil – bust up or sham?

On Monday Lauda Finem moved their blog site to a different platform and a different country .

Yesterday Whale Oil posted

ANMOL SETH: ‘FRAUDONAIRE EXTRAORDINAIRE’
by Cameron Slater on August 25, 2015 at 12:30pm

This post is presented as an investigation by journalist Stephen Cook into an alleged conman.

Soon after that Lauda Finem posted this:

‘FRAUDONAIRE EXTRAORDINAIRE’? Did Slater’s mob really think they’d get away with trying to pull the wool?

In this they slam Camero Slater and Pete Belt.

In this article there was absolutely no mention of who had in reality been largely responsible for investigating shonky Indian, Seth Anmol.

In fact Slater’s online associate and moderator “Pete” even went so far as to falsely lead W/O readers and commenters to believe that it had been their own investigative journalist, aka Stephen Cook that was solely responsible.

That claim by “Pete” is however not only disingenuous, it’s completely false. Now we don’t mind Cameron Slater using material from the LF’s investigations into Matthew John Blomfield, after all that’s why we’ve been investigating the bloke, but we do think that credit should given where credit is due.

And:

Now we don’t mind Slater using LF’s work, we don’t even mind the fact that he did so without consulting us or seeking our permission or approval, after all he is a desperate man. We do however draw the line at Slater and Cook taking the credit for finding Anmol and the hundreds of hours of research and investigative work that team LF have put into the investigation of the Anmol/(redacted) case over the past 12 months.

For either Slater, Stephen Cook or Slater’s flunkey “Pete” to now claim that their work resulted in the exposing of Seth Anmol is not only false, its disingenuous, in fact it’s nothing short of complete and utter bullshit.

And:

Slater’s own laziness, inability to investigate and lack of attention to detail has been largely responsible for the Blomfield defamation affair dragging on for as long as it has, it also put his sources at serious risk of becoming Blomfields victims for a second time.

Now given that there has been one person in particular who has promoted his feuding via both Whale Oil and Lauda Finem, does this post signal that there’s been a bust up?

Or is it a sham to try and distance Lauda Finem from Whale Oil?

Lauda Finem try to claim they have no connection with New Zealand although recent posts in particular have been obviously very NZ-centric with information posted that could only come directly from  NZ sources. They share a particular obsession with Blomfield.

But either some of those sources are becoming nervous about situtations they have got themselves into so are trying to isolate themselves, or there’s been some sort of bust up.

Slater slams Woodhouse and Key

Cameron Slater has slammed Michael Woodhouse and John Key over the Workplace health and Safety Bill in MICHAEL WOODHOUSE MAY BE AN IDIOT, BUT KEY IS LETTING HIM ROAM FREE.

But it seems to be a poorly informed diss with an underlying agenda.

Already watered down to keep all the rural MPs from revolting, the remainder is such a joke that I can only assume their attitudes were “fine, we’re not going to help you – see how the public like this”

This is what happens when you promote diminutive, metro-sexual, eyebrow tweezing, sun-bed tanning fools above their station in life.

Michael Woodhouse has never won election, he is a scum list Mp and so he is out of touch with constituents. An electorate MP would have read this bill, called up his officials and introduced them to Mr 2×4. Only a lazy, good for nothing idiot would accept these cut/paste legislative solutions.

Labour is so tits at their job that this John Key-led government is going to get away with being just as stupid. At least now everyone will know what I have known for years….Michael Woodhouse has tits for hands.

This is no surprise, Slater has a history of walloping Woodhouse – and Key since Judith Collins lost her spot on Cabinet. Talking of Collins:

You can see why wiser and more experienced heads stood up and told Woodhouse to can this abortion of a Health and Safety policy.

Who could Slater mean? One News reported in May:

Judith Collins says historic health and safety bill needs ‘tweaking’

Judith Collins denies there has been a backbench revolt over health and safety changes, but says a bill needs some “tweaking” before it progresses through Parliament.

One of those said to be agitating for changes is former cabinet Minister Judith Collins, although she maintained today there was no caucus division over the issue.

“I don’t think there are any bad things, I just think it needs a bit of tweaking and that’s the right thing to do.”

She would not elaborate what changes needed to be made, but said “it needs to be a little bit more practical for people”.

Collins is doing her job, promoting what she thinks is best in the National Caucus.

And Slater appears to be doing his job, in this case not directly promoting his friend Collins but dissing Key and especially Woodhouse – it appears that Woodhouse doesn’t pay Slater for ‘online advice’.

A comment on the Whale Oil thread:

You have the facts wrong –Mr Woodhouse received more votes than Labour in Dunedin Nth that Clark in the last election.
Woodhouse is a good man.

While Woodhouse came second to Labour’s David Clark in the Dunedin North electorate the important party vote favoured National for the first time under MMP.

  • National 11,302
  • Labour 11,147

So Woodhouse seems to be helping out in the all important party vote in a very left leaning electorate (also contested by Metiria Turei).

On yesterday’s Q & A panel former National MP Tau Henare said:

I like Woody because I think Woodhouse is a very very capable Minister, in fact one of the most capable I would say.

But not with capabilities that Slater and Lusk like.

Slater has attacked Woodhouse a number of times before o an individual MP level, but at times now he now seems intent on helping Key and National lose. That’s probably the only way that Judith Collins has of taking over leadership from Key.

Note: Apart from being taited by her association with Slater I have thought Collins is a good MP and a good Minister – she’s one of the few Minister’s that has responded to questions from me personally and promptly.

Disclosure: I stood against Woodhouse in Dunedin North on 2011 although I was effectively campaigning with him as the campaign meetings in Dunedin are stacked in favour of Labour and Greens. I’ve engaged with Woodhouse once or twice in social/political settings, and I have had oe or two meetings with him in his electorate office – despite Slater’s claims from north of the Bombay Hills I have found Woodhouse willing to be in touch with his constituents.

Slater versus Boag (Sainsbury interview)

Yesterday Michelle Boag accused Slater of what sounded like receiving hush money (see Boag on paying not to be mentioned on a blog ):

Boag: I know people who pay money through an intermediary to a particular blogger so that he won’t mention their name.

That was followed by Slater responds to pay for silence accusation:

Slater:  Absolutely it’s a no. You can’t pay me to shut up.

Later in the day also on RadioLive Mark Sainsbury repeated some of Boag’s comments and interviewed Cameron Slater:

Sainsbury: Well pretty strong claims there because effectively what Michelle Boag is saying or inferring is that Camerosn Slater can be bought. That you can pay him not to say nasty things about you and if you want something nice said you pay three hundred bucks through an intermediary. So what does Cameron Slater make of it all. Good afternoon Cam.

Slater: Hey Sainso.

Sainsbury: Has she got you dead to rights?

Slater: No she’s making shit up as usual.

Sainsbury: So what you’re saying is that’s she’s lying.

Slater: Yeah she’s lying. There’s not a single person who has never paid me not to write anything about them, and if she knows of somebody like that then I want their name so I can invoice them.

Sainsbury: Because she appears to be saying that this is done through an intermediary, so supposedly meaning Cameron that you could then stand back and say”I’ve never done this”.

Slater: No well that’s not true. Ah you know I don’t take money to not talk about people. I mean for goodness sake I used to get calls from the ninth floor ah in the Beehive where they’d say “please Cam don’t say that about that Cabinet Minister” or “please Cam don’t say that” and I’d just say to them ah you know GFY basically, um listeners can work that out, I’m not going to say those words on radio.

That in itself is an interesting comment. Did people from the ninth floor of the Beehive ask Slater to pull posts that were already on Whale Oil? Or did he tell them in advance what he was goint to post and they asked him not to post them?

Sainsbury: Do you or have you ever offered good coverage to anyone in return for money?

Slater: No.

Chapter 7 of Nicky Hager’s book ‘Dirty Politics goes into detail that suggests otherwise. Hager claims that payments from lobbiest and friend Carrick Graham were a substantial part of Slater’s income. Rawshark revealed invoices.

And Slater’s response to Plunket in his earlier interview was wuite different, appearing to admit that he did (and didn’t deny it), saying “it’s a little bit sanctimonious of all these media organisations to point their fingers at me when they’re running native advertising, charging PR companies for putting product placement and all those sorts of things”.

Slater:I write what I want to write about ah anything that takes my fancy and if something’s ah poos then I’ll say it’s poos. You can’t pay me to say something’s nice if it’s not. And ah you know I’m certainly never going to say anything nice about Michelle Boag.

Sainsbury: Well certainly not now but ok you’re saying, because she was pretty clear what she was saying this morning and Shaun gave her the chance to, you know gave her the chance to be very clear about it, so what is it? You’re saying that she is lying.

Slater: Yes.

Sainsbury: And what motivated by what?

Slater: That’s not new from Michelle Boag though.

Sainsbury: What, you’re saying she’s a serial liar?

Slater: Well I’ve said that on RadioLive before, she had a complete meltdown once and screamed down the airwaves ah while Mike Williams sat there chuckling ’cause she was upset because I’d um called her a poisonous lying scumbag. Um I didn’t disagree with her.

Sainsbury: Look people listening I mean to be honest people listening to this Cameron probably think this doesn’t reflect well probably on either of you.

Slater: Oh well I don’t really care. Um look Michelle has got um delusions of grandeur, she thinks she’s still relevant in New Zealand politics, but the reality is she’s a really old snarly ah hunk of rancid mutton dressed as rancid mutton.

Sainsbury: Ooh jeepers, Cameron…

Slater: She might think that I might hate her…

Sainsbury: But Cameron isn’t, look, look, I can understand people having a crack at people who are their political enemies if you like, but what it sounds like there, that sounds deeply personal and offensive doesn’t it?

Slater: Ah look, you know the history of our family and Michelle Boag goes back quite some way. Ah she keeps having a crack and ah I keep defending our family.

Sounds like more attack than defence. Sounds very personal and bitter.

Slater: She she might actually think that i hate her but look I don’t hate Michelle Boag, but I tell you what, I would unplug her life support to charge my phone.

Sainsbury: If what she says is so wrong Cameron Slater, if she’s effectively defaming you, why don’t you sue her?

Slater: Well look, you know that’s for cowards running off to court. It’s for gutless wonders um who want to make attention for themselves.

Slater didn’t call Jordan Williams in this post: Colin Craig Demation Filed

Slater: Ah I’ve got big broad shoulders, she can say whatever she likes, it doesn’t it doesn’t ah matter to me, ah, what does matter to me is that she spends every waking moment thinking about Cameron Slater.

Now I don’t spend any moments thinking about Michelle Boag.

He’s spent quite a few moments not just thinking but speaking about Boag, turning her accusation against him into an extended attack on her over two interviews.

And he posted this about it yesterday: Michelle Boag is a bitter old bag and wrong as usual – and also took the time to comment in the thread, as did his wife ‘Spanish Bride’ a number of times.

And Whale Oil started today with this attack on her: Face of the day (posted under ‘SB’ – Spanish Bride).

Sainsbury: She has been a past president of ther National Party. She has been involved with major corporations in this country. She’s been involved in all sorts of stuff. It is, you can’t just write her off as a nobody surely?

Slater: Well I can, I can write off on the basis of what I know about her past. Ah you know she was the first visitor when my father became the National Party President. She was his first visitor on the first day he was the president. She rocked up with three foolscap pages of names of people she demanded board positions for.

John Slater was National party president from 1998 to 2001. Michele Boag defeated him and was president 2001-2002.

Slater: Ah, you know this is these are facts. They’re indisputable. Um she, the cheek of the woman to actually do that when she’d been running the campaign of the person standing against my father just the the utter ah capacity of duplicity for her.

And then ah you know there’s just been a long standing campaign. She doesn’t matter very much. She might have been the past president of the ah of the National Party but her and Bill English have got the record for the lowest ever polling of the ational party so you know I’m happy to stand on my record, she can stand on her’s but she won’t be very tall.

Sainsbury: All right so what you’re saying is there’l be no lawsuit from you. You’re saying she’s wrong but obviously what we do take out of this is there is a lot of bad blood between Cameron Slater and Michelle Boag.

Very obviously,

He says he doesn’t “spend any moments thinking about Michelle Boag” but feelings seem to run deep on this.

You can see this in action by doing a search on Michellle Boag at Whale Oil.

But Slater’s outpourig of angst took over from the original question.

I’d be surprised if Slater threatens people with publication unless they pay him.

But if as it appears he has had a substantial income from PR and political posts there can be some fuzziness about what that money might be paying for.

And as far as Slater versus Boag goes, animosity appears to run very deep.

UPDATE: Slater has posted again on Boag: NO ONE LIKES A BOAG-UN

Mark Sainsbury wanted to get to the bottom of her allegations and I had 6 or so minutes to have a crack back at her outrageous lies.

He had a crack at Boag for sure but the allegations/lies didn’t get much attention. He seems to be promoting the interview as if it’s something to be proud of:

Slater responds to pay for silence accusation

In a panel discussion on RadioLive today Michelle Boag explained how on a certain blog you could pay $300 per promotional post and you could also pay not to be posted about.

Here is the transcript of that segment: Boag on paying not to be mentioned on a blog

Transcript of the follow-up interview, Shaun Plunket with Cameron Slater:

Shaun Plunket: During the course of the Friday panel this morning Michele Boag made the very clear suggestion that one blog site…Michelle Boag suggested that there is a well known blog site which you can pay through an intermediary to never be mentioned on…

That’s not how Boag put it.

…as well as being paid to be mentioned on or perhaps have nasty things said about your commercial or political opponents. You can actually pay this blog site not to be mentioned by the blog site.

And the blog site she confirmed that she was talking about was Whale Oil Beef Hooked and that is run, well The Boss he’s described as. Whale Oil Be Hooked is Cam Slater, and i thought rather than muck around and seek affidavits we’d just talk to Cam Slater direct and try and sort this out.

Look, what do you say. Essentially the information we have is that people pay you or can pay you via Carrick Graham to not appear on your website, on your blog. Is that true?

Slater: Well Michelle Boag is just a bitter old bag really…

Plunket: No No that wasn’t my question. Didn’t ask your opinion on Michelle Boag.

Slater: The answer is categorically no.

That’s no, I don’t receive any money from anybody to not be mentioned on the site. That’s just a, she’s got no evidence to support that, and if I was a sooky pants who was prone to conniptions and rushing off to lawyers then she’d be in trouble.

I’m not. She just wants to have a slag at me and that’s fine, she can be like that, she can purse her lips and ah roll her eyes and show her nasty side to herself all she likes. It says more about her than it does about me.

Plunket: Ok. And does Carrick Graham in any way work for you as a marketer or you know an intermediary?

Slater: I don’t discuss anything to do with how I operate um ah, my business or what I do…

Plunket: So Carrick Graham is part of your business.

Slater: Carrick Graham’s a mate of mine. We’ve known each other for many many years, it goes back to when he was even before he was dating my sister so you know we’ve got a long association, we’re bloody good mates, and ah and that’s essentially the basis of it.

Answer avoided.

But it’s a little bit sanctimonious of all these media organisations to point their fingers at me when they’re running native advertising, charging PR companies for putting product placement and all those sorts of things. You know I don’t really care what anyone says…

Plunket: Ok but you are saying today, absolutely categorically that you cannot pay, well you can obviously pay to be mentioned on your website right, you do admit you do that right?

Slater: Well just like every other media organisation in the country.

Excluding most if not all other blogs. And some other media organisations might argue that they don’t do paid political promotions presented as blog posts/articles like Slater does.

Plunket: Right. Ok, but you don’t disclose it always, they’re paying you. But you say that you do not like run a protection racket whereas I will not be nasty to you on Whale Oil if you pay me some money every month?

There’s a bit of wiggle room there.

Slater: That that, you know, that would be if I like I said if I was a person who was a sooky pants and ran off to lawyers that would be a highly defamatory comment. But I’m not like that. These are the slings and arrows…

Pluinket: So that’s a no. I just want to check, so that’s a no.

Slater:  Absolutely it’s a no. You can’t pay me to shut up.

Plunket: Alright Cam, I will I accept that you have answered the call, you picked up the phone, you’ve answered the one question I wanted to put to you and you’ve answered it in the negative. And I would hate to besmirch your reputation further by paying this any more attention, this scurrilous accusation.

Slater: Well you know Michelle will hurl these things out there. That’s her business. She just looks like she’s incredibly focussed and still living in the battles of the nineties.

An odd close to a not very probing interview. In response to an oddly vague accusation from Michele Boag.

Boag Audio: Are Kiwi bloggers taking payment to stay silent?

Follow-up audio: Cameron Slater denies Michelle Boag’s claim he takes payment for silence

A story in common

On Monday Lauda Finem posted New Zealand IRD – The Blomfield frauds, the liquidators, the lawyers, the police and the media collaborators.

Four days later Whale Oil posted TIME TO SHOOT THE SHERRIFF – A SPECIAL INVESTIGATION CTD which covers some of the same material – and does actually name some people. Unlike the Lauda Finem ramble it was concise and made  a few specific claims. Cameron Slater must have confidence in his source.

However it would appear that there’s a leak, collusion, or there’s a common source who could be supplying both Stephen Cook/Whale Oil and and someone involved with Lauda Finem.

Both blogs name some of the same people. They both feature the same photos of two people.

Are Whale Oil and Lauda Finem working together directly? It looks suspiciously like a two track approach, one post presented as responsible investigative journalism, the other as open slather blather.

Or is someone using both blogs to promote their cause, in different ways?

There certainly seems to be something or someone in common here.

Regardless of commonaility or possible collusion the Lauda Finem spraying doesn’t do Whale Oil’s Special Investigation any favours. It detracts from credibility. And it seems to be getting little traction beyond the two blogs.

Who’s in the team?

Twitter can be a bit of a mess of comments at times but it can be possible to piece together some common associations. Here’s a series of tweets from a short period of time last night.

Lauda Finem @Laudafinem Aug 19
@PeteDGeorge but @tereoputake has also established, for team LF at least, something far more important ;-)

Lauda Finem @Laudafinem Aug 19
We somehow doubt that…

Lauda Finem @Laudafinem Aug 19
We just knew…

Lauda Finem @Laudafinem Aug 19
We know that…

So that seems to establish that Laudas Finem see themselves as a team. Who’s in that team? And who just has frequent associations? Here’s a few tweets form the last few weeks.

Lauda Finem ‏@Laudafinem Jul 31
“(Not so) Dirty Politics: Police clear blogger” interesting @nzherald doesn’t use Slater’s name when cleared of wrongdoing @ShayneCurrieNZH

Marc Spring ‏@MarcSpring Aug 1
@PeteDGeorge @Whaleoil @nzherald all of the above #hatchetjob

Marc Spring ‏@MarcSpring Aug 3
@Whaleoil @Laudafinem @nzherald @ShayneCurrieNZH that’s because @Whaleoil they have an agenda – and they are a pack of cunts

Marc Spring ‏@MarcSpring Aug 3
@Laudafinem @nzherald @ShayneCurrieNZH no surprise there. The get Slater Team not doing so well @Whaleoil

Another team reference.

Marc Spring ‏@MarcSpring Aug 4
@Whaleoil @ColinCraigNZ just got my flyer in the mail – very timely as I just ran out of shit paper mid dump! @Laudafinem

There seems to be some common associations.

Pete George ‏@PeteDGeorge Jul 30
@MarcSpring and it’s fairly obvious you’re trying to be helpful to @Laudafinem

Marc Spring ‏@MarcSpring Jul 30
@PeteDGeorge @Laudafinem and that makes me what Pete?

An open admission.

Marc Spring ‏@MarcSpring Jul 30
@PeteDGeorge oh how one eyed are. Go read the 3 REAA/Honey stories at WO – tell me who got fucked over.

Pete George ‏@PeteDGeorge Jul 30
@MarcSpring Who’s agenda? Haven’t you just revealed that @LaudaFinem are working with @WhaleOil ?

Marc Spring ‏@MarcSpring Jul 30
@PeteDGeorge ahh so your moaning about your upcomig court issues with the doc you got served @Laudafinem

Marc Spring ‏@MarcSpring Jul 30
@Laudafinem @PeteDGeorge he’s writing a post about it

At that stage very few people knew about the ‘court issues’. Spring obviously did, he brought the topic up. He also associated @Laudafinem. And he seems to suggest that @WhaleOil was writing a post about it.

This all suggests some teamwork on Twitter.

I haven’t seen a post at Whale Oil, yet. I’d be surprised if Cameron Slater wants to be seen to be too closely involved with ‘Team LF” at this stage, he has enough legal issues to deal with as it is at the moment. But there is court evidence that he has been closely associated with Marc Spring in the past.

Lauda Finem @Laudafinem Aug 19
We’re collectors @PeteDGeorge, we collect evidence and then we distribute it via LF to those who might need it to defend or prosecute ;-)

There are some hints that Slater may have been quietly helping, unless there have been some unusual coincidences.

The latest distribution of ‘evidence’ via LF is this post on Monday – New Zealand IRD – The Blomfield frauds, the liquidators, the lawyers, the police and the media collaborators.

‘Team LF’ make serious allegations against a number of people, including myself. If they are as far off the mark with others as they are with me then they could find that a number of organisatiionsand people who have some interest in who is in ‘Team LF’.

Just the other day New Zealand’s Whale Oil Blog ran a couple of stories on a series of fraud and corruption allegations inveigling New Zealand’s Inland Revenue Department (IRD). Whilst the journo responsible, Stephen Cook, would undoubtedly have preferred that those involved be named the Whale Oil blog is unable to do so.

The Whale Oil association again.

The ring leader involved is a protected species in New Zealand for legal reasons that the courts have so far foolishly entertained.

Team Lauda Finem however have no such limitations as we are not subject to New Zealand’s laws, its courts or the bullshit gag order Whale Oil has been subjected to.

Complaining about gagging made me gag.

As aforesaid we here at LF have no such limitations when it comes to who we can name.

And they name names, including Government departments, companies, and I gave up counting after twenty individiuals were named. This adds to numerous targets in past posts.

Some of what they say indicates a knowledge of information that that I don’t think is public. For example:

Interestingly, once again APN’s New Zealand Herald, Herald on Sunday and the independently owned Otago Daily Times have been implicated in a conspiracy to conduct a smear campaign…

And:

LF’s investigations into these two particular cases over the past four years has now been expanded. We’re now also looking very closely at the behaviour of at least two political blogs, the New Zealand Labour Party aligned The Standard and another Dunedin based publication, Your NZ.

I have emails and court documents that make it clear who individuals are that are involved with ‘Team LF’. I’m sure I’m not the only one with evidence. This latest LF post amounts to a brazen admission of association.

Team Lauda Finem however have no such limitations as we are not subject to New Zealand’s laws,

I wouldn’t be surprised if there are a number of companies and individuals lining up to claim otherwise. It appears that Team Lauda Finem may think they can post what they like online with impunity, and they may think they can threaten and intimidate people into silence.

Unless someone stupid is shitting in the team nest. It’s hard to fathom who in the team would think their latest post would help their case. Or cases.

WARNING: Please don’t answer “Who’s in the team?” with names or any way of indentifying individuals. I suspect that all those who need to know, know. Any comments that risk legal action will be edited or deleted. It’s been obvious that members of ‘Team Lauda Finem’ have been commenting here using a variety of pseudonyms trying to create problems.

Most commenters are fine as lomg as you show common sense and prudence. Those who are part of the LF team have been easy to identify.

NOTE: I’ve left the comments of a dirty diverter intact in comments to show what depths some people will lower themselves to when they don’t have an argument and don’t like the message.

Political irony of the day?

Ok, the day has barely started, but this must be a contender – the Political Proverb of the Day posted at Whale Oil:

colin02

Williams versus Craig

Jordan Williams has beaten Colin Craig to the draw, filing defamation proceedings against Craig. This story broke this afternon via Twitter:

The Conservatives party saga continues.Jordan Williams has filed defamation proceedings against Colin Craig over his Dirty Politics brochure

Defamation proceedings also against Conservative office holders Nathaniel Heslop, Kevin Stitt and Angela Storr.

Williams: “Untrue and defamatory statements have been made about me and my conduct in relation to disturbing material I received” re Craig

Media reports followed (NZH 2:22 pm): Legal action taken against Colin Craig:

Lawyers for Jordan Williams have filed a statement of claim under the Defamation Act in the Auckland High Court against Mr Craig and Nathaniel Heslop, Kevin Stitt and Angela Storr, all officers of the Conservative Party.

In a statement, Mr Williams, an executive director of the lobby group the Taxpayers’ Union, said the action related to statements made by Mr Craig at a media conference on July 29, and a leaflet subsequently distributed to households across the country.

The claim seeks general damages of $250,000 and punitive damages of $50,000 in relation to Mr Craig’s statements at the media conference.

It also seeks general damages of $500,000 and punitive damages of $100,000 in relation to the leaflet.

While Craig threatened Williams did. Craig says that his action is still on it’s way.

Mr Craig said he expected to lodge his own legal action imminently, and was still committed to it and the reasons he had given for it.

“We are in the process of compiling our claims. I mean we have such a vast amount of material that we have got to go through, particularly from Mr Slater and Mr Stringer.

“We haven’t got an actual date by which we will file. Although I would expect it to be in the next week or two.”

And at about the same time (2:21 pm) Whale Oil also posted an announcement: BREAKING: Colin Craig defamation filed [UPDATED]

Mr Williams says, “Untrue and defamatory statements have been made about me and my conduct in relation to disturbing material I received relating to Mr Craig.”

“Reputation is important to me so I take very seriously any accusations that I have acted improperly or dishonestly. Ongoing public smears left unchallenged can gain currency even if they have low credibility.”

“I have made it extremely clear to Mr Craig that I have not made up any allegations or fabricated material, nor conspired to do the same with Messrs Slater and Stringer.”

“Though this is not a course I take lightly, I am confident in my position and look forward to due process in Court.”

I have instructed defamation specialists Peter McKnight and Ali Romanos to act for me in these proceedings and do not wish to make any further comment at this time.

And I posted this at 9:09 pm – been a busy day doing other things.

Fear of death for blogging

There are risks blogging but surely there’s very little chance violence or death. Cameron Slater posts at Whale Oil: THE POWER OF WORDS, AND THE DANGER OF A BLOGGER

I’m just some guy, you know?

Why would what I write be anything more (or less) important than the next person?   Yet it seems so.  I write on my blog.  And people just want me to go away.  Die even.

Slate has written about death wishes directed at him before. My inclination had been to think he has overstated the threats but I wasn’t on the receiving end of attacks directed at him. However in the past I have see how vicious people can be online when they don’t like what you say or what you highlight that others have said.

Slater the referred to another death of a blogger in Bangla Desh as reported by Ruma Paul and Reuters (from Blogger hacked to death in Bangladesh, fourth this year).

Attackers armed with machetes killed a blogger in Bangladesh, the fourth such killing of an online critic of religious extremism in six months, prompting calls by human rights groups for a swift and thorough investigation.

Militants have targeted secularist writers in Bangladesh in recent years.

He comments:

We live in a world where someone having ideas and a platform to share them is dangerous enough to trigger crime, criminal conspiracy and murder.

An overseas world, surely. Reuters :

“We are speechless. He was demanding justice for the killing of other bloggers,” said Imran Sarker, head of a network of activists and bloggers.

“The violent killing of another critical voice in Bangladesh shows that serious threats to freedom of expression persist in the country,” UN special rapporteur on freedom of expression David Kaye and the special rapporteur on extrajudicial killings Christof Heyns said in a joint statement issued in Geneva.

Amnesty International urged Bangladesh to send a strong message that killings aimed at silencing dissenting voices were despicable and would not be tolerated.

Slater ponders:

Sometimes I wonder:  will I be the first?

Slater has been on the receiving end of a lot of online, media, author and legal attention. If he feels there may be threats to his well-being and life then those fears are real and are a major concern.

Whether you like what bloggers say or not, whether you wish them silent or not, in New Zealand at least you would expect that the protection of speech is a high priority in a decent democracy.

Intimidation to try and shut people up, whether there are threats of violence or other types of threat, should be strongly resisted.

Slater has been ground breaking in New Zealand blogging. Whale Oil has been at the forefront of some of the best and the worst of blogging here. I’ve applauded some of what he has done and been strongly critical of some of his behaviour that at times can be seen as intimidating and threatening to those he targets.

So there are some ironies in Slater’s situation.

But if Slater feels sometimes that he is at physical risk due to what he says, and even he feels that at times his life could be at risk, then the state of our online discussion is seriously threatened.

No one should be afraid to speak, or write, because of the threats of others who don’t like what they are saying or what they might say.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 4,105 other followers