“What the hell?” indeed

An assault in Auckland has been reported: Police called to home of former Hell Pizza franchisee

An investigation is underway after a high-profile Auckland businessman needed hospital treatment at the weekend.

Police were called to a property in Greenhithe on Saturday night after reports two men were fighting and that a gunshot had been heard.

Matthew Blomfield has confirmed to RadioLIVE police were called to his home and that he was taken to North Shore Hospital with facial injuries.

The 38-year-old owned a number of Hell Pizza franchises until 2008, before they went into liquidation, and has been credited as being the brains behind the chain’s controversial marketing. 

Last year, Mr Blomfield took a defamation case against Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater. The case is ongoing.

Mr Slater claimed he had the right not to reveal his sources and is appealing a judge’s decision that his website does not have the legal protection that is given to news media.

RadioLIVE

It was a little unusual that an unrelated  case (as far as has been reported) has been included in this.

This was commented on at The Standard, with a curious series of comments followed by a post.

mickysavage at 8.17 am

I wonder how Cameron Slater’s case with Mat Blomfield is going …
And if Judith Collins is busily distancing herself from Slater …

mickysavage at 12:29 pm

Well blow me down …

NBR is reporting that Matt Blomfield, the guy suing Cameron Slater in defamation, was attacked by a male on the weekend and may have suffered facial injuries from a gunshot.

That defamation case is going to get a whole lot of analysis now …

mickysavage at 12.41 pm

Nope fair dinkum article although it seems too bizarre to believe …

lprent at 3:10 pm

This is just outright weird.

(Quotes report as above)

Bearing in mind the number and severity of attempts that have been taken against Blomfield over the last couple of years, this looks pretty disturbing. The paid for (at least that is what it looks like to me) defamation campaign against Blomfield at Whaleoil in 2012 (and by assertions by the chronically moronic legally illiterate dickheads at Laudam Finen more recently) after ‘someone’ gave Cameron Slater his hard disk and documents to make copies from. Then the crap that has been going on with a defamation case arising out of it which has been characterised by Cameron squirming to not disclose where he received those stolen materials from.

I guess the police are going to have quite a lot to go on. Hopefully Cameron isn’t involved in the vendetta campaign this time. Bad look for bloggers. Maybe he is a journalist after all?

Then at 3.44 a post appeared - What the hell?

The NBR is reporting (behind the paywall) and now at TV3 news that Matt Blomfield, the person currently suing Cameron Slater in defamation, was attacked on the weekend by a male. A gunshot was fired and although it is not specified it is understood that Blomfield suffered an injury from the gunshot.

The police are investigating and seeking the assailant who left the scene after the gun was fired.

Mr Blomfield is the person involved in an ongoing defamation case with Cameron Slater. He posted on the Standard some of the background to the dispute at When the wolf cries boy

The police may have more than a passing interest in the defamation case and with the mystery of the hard drive that came into Slater’s possession. Cameron Slater has been trying to claim that he is a journalist to protect the source of who he received these items from. Mr Blomfield has asserted that these items were stolen.

No doubt they will want to talk to anyone who has discussed the case with Blomfield.

TS wishes Matt a speedy recovery.

A curious close.

There have been some predictable insinuations in the comments. I commented:

This appears to be a not very subtle attempt to connect two things for which no evidence of a link has been provided, already with a predictable reaction.

Why hasn’t the author put their name to this? It’s kinda easy to guess what might be going on but it seems more than a bit suspect.

lprent responded:

It was from several authors (including me) and most of it is a paraphrase of the NBR and TV3 articles. We don’t put a single author on when a group of us work on something or when we’re just paraphrasing entire news articles (we’re not the “Indeed” bloggers)

The media were the people who linked Cameron Slater to it which is what I presume you you’re objecting to. As usual you are a bit too coy to actually state what you object to sigh

I added the bit pointing out the prior criminality of the hard drive and documents.

And no, there are 4 things linked in this post (not 3) because the whole thing is just outright murky. You’ll have to go and read the contents of Blomfields post to figure out the missing bits.

But if I were the police I’d be damn suspicious of both Cameron and whatever source he is so valiantly “protecting”.

That’s a more direct suggestion of who could be responsible for the attack. I’ve replied:

You’re not the police, you’re a blogger. Police are not likely to investigate by reading a political blog. If you have suspicions have you contacted the police?

Yes, the media made a connection which as far as reported is unrelated, they do that a bit. But the media didn’t go as far as pointing suspicions from one event to the other. You’ve now done that, and as you are so experienced with blogging you will know what this post would be likely to encourage.

That’s your call of course.

There’s something disturbing about the attack, whatever happened.

And something seems very odd about the response at The Standard. It could be just blog and political rivalry.

A sickness within politics

There’s a pervasive sickness that runs through New Zealand politics from top to bottom, from Prime Minister to grass roots. There’s an entrenched culture of nastiness and abusive behaviour that wouldn’t be acceptable in most parts of a decent society, but it’s practiced and aided and abetted by politicians, parties, activists, supporters, traditional media and social media.

Some in politics protest but that’s usually futile – in fact it commonly attracts even more abuse.

The public generally hate it and show their displeasure through the ballot box, with increasing numbers being turned off any participation in politics.

The major parties have long seen nasty attack politics as an essential tool in their arsenals, so there’s often more of a focus on negative, nasty and dishonest tactics than promoting their strengths. Even the normally principled Greens have been drawn into mild forms of it.

Traditional media aid and abet the worst of politics, following their wider ‘if it bleeds it leads’ approach. The media sharks swarm at any hint of political blood. They promote dishonest or speculatory accusations and praise the attackers as effective politicians.

Attempts to demean and discredit are common, aiming to provoke character and career destroying momentum.

It goes far beyond robust debate and holding to account.

Social media has long been touted as a more inclusive way of doing politics but it has taken on the worst of toxic politics, largely because of the involvement of old school party activists.

In an interview on The Nation last October leading political blogger Cameron Slater said:

Well Auckland politics is the same as where any politics is, in that it’s a dirty disgusting despicable game, and it involves dirty disgusting despicable people at all levels. And to have this high and mighty belief that New Zealand politics is clean, it isn’t.

Slater has long been involved in dirty politics and has pushed boundaries with his attacking abusive style. Prime Minister John Key demonstrated an acceptance of this when he said recently that he often talks to Slater. Ironically Slater has made an attempt recently to clean up the comments section of his Whale Oil blog.

Another leading blogger David Farrar doesn’t do personal abuse the same but he is often involved in attack politics. He also enables and allows a toxic environment at his Kiwiblog where stalking and abuse are common.

Both Slater and Farrar have close links to National but it isn’t confined to the political right. Personal attacks are common at The Standard and Dim-Post and to a lesser extent at the heavily moderated/censored The Daily Blog.

Lynn Prentice calls the shots at The Standard and often brags about how nasty he can be. This sets the standard. Another Standard author Greg Presland has close links to David Cunliffe. Presland attacks far less now than in the past but he still allows abuse to go unchecked.

In one thread at The Standard yesterday here is some of the abuse that was allowed as normal – it was done by a small number of commenters but this sort of behaviour is rarely questioned (I’ve seen similar degrees of abuse at Kiwiblog). Ironically this was on thread of a blog post complaining about the use of blogs for political smears.

You are a walking smear campaign, a gossiping whispering nasty little insect. Every single comment you make oozes dishonesty like pus from a sore.

Oh look, here’s some weasel slime pretending butter won’t melt in his mouth. What an asshole.

What a passive aggressive, boring, dishonest asshole.

You, Mr George, are really quite a horrible person.

The MSM are a product of human discourse, not the sum of it. Political revolution was possible with a printing press and analogue distribution methods, so it is possible with memes and social media.

Rock-Snot as i said yesterday is a fungal organism that attaches itself to any mode of transport from gumboots to twigs to enable it to enter an untainted waterway from there multiplying to pollute the whole expanse,

Such is Pete George…

You sound like right-wing scum,(now have a whine about abuse why don’t you)…

Your right SSLands, i agree with you that John Drinnan,(why does that name make me think of drain cleaner), should lay off the abuse, and, quite frankly i did not think you had the intellectual where-with-all to have noticed the convoluted writing style of Mr Drain Cleaner,(have you got your Mummy reading the comments and providing you an interpretation tonight),

No, wait…this just in: you’re an asshole Pete.

SSLands, read my comment below at 8.30pm, its al the answer you either deserve or are going to get other than to be told to fiuck off back to ‘wail-oink’ and share your syphillated drivel with the inmates of that particular zoo…

Several blog moderators were active through that thread, at times directly supporting abusive comments. This is just a small symptom of a much wider and deeper problem.

People who would regard themselves as intelligent and reasonable passively and actively allow this and often climb on the bash wagon.

Some see blogs and other social media as a grand opportunity to give ordinary people more of a voice in politics. By becoming infected the sickest and saddest of political behaviour they add to the problem rather than provide a solution.

The language is different to MPs in Parliament, due to anonymity and to a social disconnect.

Presumably most of this abuse would not happen face to face. The more intelligent would not think of allowing and participating in this manner in person, the others wouldn’t have the guts.

The aim is the same as MPs and parties – character assassination of perceived political enemies, although some may just use it as an excujse to be abusive. There’s nothing logical, democratic, decent or positive about it.

If this social and political sickness is allowed to continue then we will continue to have trouble attracting quality candidates and we will have diminishing voting percentages as more and more voters are turned off by the rot.

Unless it is dealt with from the top down – the top of parties and the top of blogs – the sickness will continue to vomit over our political discourse.

Confronting it simply invites more abuse. If I posted this at Kiwiblog or The Standard it is likely it would increase rather than decrease abuse levels.

I believe many MPs don’t like the standard of political and Parliamentary behaviour but they are drowned out and shat on by an entrenched minority of old school politicians who see and use dirt is their strongest weapon.

But this is a major weakness in our politics. It needs leadership to address it but our leaders are a part of the problem. David Shearer promised a better standard of politics when he became Labour leader but it became one of a number of failings for him.

If John Key really wants a laudable legacy he could lead a clean-up of caucus and party behaviour. It would do far more good for our democracy and our country than painting over the cracks of our flag.

Our democracy is flagging badly. Key has proven successful as a political manager but not yet as a leader. He could try leading by example.

Dotcom’s gagging order

Kim Dotcom has been granted an interim injunction to stop former security guard Wayne Tempero revealing anything about any of Dotcom’s (or his wife’s) business,  personal, musical or political details.

Court gags Dotcom bodyguard

Dotcom made a successful application for an interim injunction against Wayne Tempero in the High Court at Auckland yesterday. The action came soon after the Herald reported that Tempero was set to release “secret revelations” about Dotcom’s “mindset and megalomania”.

Tempero resigned from Dotcom’s staff in October.

Yesterday Justice Sarah Katz granted an interim injunction and ordered that Mr Tempero – and anyone else on his behalf – was “restrained from using or disclosing to any person, firm, corporation or entity, any confidential or trade information acquired whilst working for Kim Dotcom”.

The information included, but was not limited to, any information acquired by Mr Tempero “about Kim Dotcom, his role with Kim Dotcom, any information to do with providing services to Kim Dotcom and any other information whatsoever concerning Kim Dotcom, his businesses, his political party, his music, his family and friends, and all images of Kim Dotcom, his family and friends at any time”.

The order also prohibits Mr Tempero from disclosing computer software.

Mr Tempero was also ordered not to disclose any information about Dotcom’s wife Mona’s business or his other companies including Megaupload and Megastuff.

Peterwn at Whale Oil:

The judge probably adopted the lawyer’s draft order ‘as is’. The wording would cover his employees or anyone acting on his behalf. It would only cover Cam if Kim can show on the balance of probabilities that he was acting on Mr Tempero’s behalf – this would be an issue that Cam would need to consider but his sources go far wider than this.

I am surprised that Mr Tempero would do anything but have the utmost respect for his clients and ex-clients and keep things ‘in confidence’. His future engagements depend on it. I cannot believe he is disclosing such confidential information, seems to me Kim suspects he has, hence the injunction. The only other explanation is Kim is foul-mouthing him around the place and Mr Tempero feels a need to fight back to maintain his professional reputation.

Cam Slater responds:

Kim Dotcom already broke the confidentiality agreement when he spoke to Rachel Glucina about Temperos pay and conditions…game over after that.

This seems to relate to this from Rachel Glucina in NZ Herald last month (February 26):

Now it’s the Dotcom tapeKim Dotcom has been taped talking to an unpaid former staff member, The Diary has learned. It’s understood a news organisation is in discussions to air it. Dotcom is allegedly trying to stop it by enforcing non-disclosure agreements.

Dotcom came under fire last week from Kiwi small business owners who are owed as much as $500,000 in unpaid bills. A lack of funds was also blamed for longtime bodyguard Wayne Tempero’s exit.

The Megaupload founder told The Diary he could afford to pay his minder only half of what he was getting two years ago.Dotcom, who continues to embrace an opulent lifestyle, has pledged to pay his debts when he has the money. But when? Who knows? Yesterday he told The Diary he did not want to talk about the tape.

Gagging orders are risky. They tend to get journalists more interested in issues and more determined to dig.

Whale Oil is promising to reveal much more. NZ Herald obviously has information too. And media interest is likely to be stoked up by this gagging order.

Has Bryce Edwards manufactured news?

No, he has prompted some blog opinion and then summarised it.

Whale Oil is acting upset about Bryce Edwards asking for bloggers to write on a specific topic. Edwards tweeted on Thursday:

I’m writing a Political Roundup for tmrw on ‘National’s overconfidence problem’. Any bloggers wanna address this issue, so I can link?

That’s a bit unusual, Edwards usually does round-ups of news and opinion that’s already published.But more widely it’s common for journalists to seek opinions that go with a story they are doing, it’s a core function of journalism.

The resulting column went online at NZ Herald - Bryce Edwards: National’s overconfidence problem  -and NBR yesterday.

Whale Oil blogged Herald and Bryce Edwards manufacturing news again today:

So there wasn’t any copy for him to use on his chosen topic so he went out and begged for it…to create the impression that there was over confidence and arrogance amongst National. He had nothing..and so begged for copy. And so his dutiful obedient left wing followers all piled in to help him with his column.

And concludes:

Bryce Edwards might be ab academic, but with his columns for the Herald in election year he is increasingly partisan, and in this case he has manufactureed his content and aided conveniently by a compliant and obedient left wing of the blogosphere.

So how bad was Edwards’ column? His opening paragraph:

Voters like politicians to be confident – and the National Government is certainly obliging at the moment with supreme self-assurance. In politics, however, there’s a fine line between confidence and arrogance, and any successful government risks tipping into overconfidence, with its associated pitfalls. It could be argued that signs of arrogance are emerging at the moment for National.

It can always be argued that a Government is showing signs of arrogance and overconfidence, right through their term. They are natural occurrences in a bubble of power. They are a potential danger in an election year so it’s reasonable to examine them.

Cameron Slater has long campaigned against standards at NZ Herald and this is a continuation, plus he makes the point…

I’m not upset, merely drawing attention to the double standards of people like Bryce Edwards who accuse me of manufacturing issues or stories and then go and do it themselves aided and abetted by useful idiots who can’t see when they are being manipulated.

Everyone commenting on politics constructs/manufactures their articles and posts. There’s just different ways of doing it. As Whale Oil well knows, he’s at the forefront of constructing political narratives.

See previous post: Overconfidence versus undercompetence

Herald claim about Judith Collins disputed

Both Cameron Slater and Judith Collins have disputed a claim made in the herald on Sunday in In bed with the bloggers:

The bloggers’ politics are fully disclosed. Bradbury has described Justice Minister Judith Collins as having “the bedside manner of a brain-hungry zombie on meth” and Key as a “cult of no personality”. As for Slater’s attacks on Labour and Green MPs – they just don’t bear repeating in a family-friendly paper.

They are rewarded for their loyalty with access at the highest level. The Prime Minister acknowledges phoning Slater regularly (“I speak to lots of blogsters,” he said last week, somewhat defensively) and Collins calls him a friend.

Indeed, when approached for comment for this article, she first called Slater to check whether she should return the Herald on Sunday’s call.

That sounded odd when I first read it.

Whale Oil in Nice try Jono, but you got some things dreadfully wrong [UPDATED]:

Milne also made up another bit…

They are rewarded for their loyalty with access at the highest level. The Prime Minister acknowledges phoning Slater regularly (“I speak to lots of blogsters,” he said last week, somewhat defensively) and Collins calls him a friend. Indeed, when approached for comment for this article, she first called Slater to check whether she should return the Herald on Sunday‘s call.

Judith Collins does not ask me for permission for ANYTHING, and she certainly didn’t do so in this case. Where Milne got that from is beyond me. I jibed at him on Thursday evening after the blog awards that he’d been phoning people but that is it. He really does his reputation no good at all by manufacturing claims.

Judith Collins tweeted:

Why can’t @HeraldonSunday tell the truth? When @JonoMilne wrote that I had checked with @Whaleoil if I could talk about him,that was Fiction.

Trained journalists need to tell the truth, not make up stories to suit the angle they want. Shame on @HeraldonSunday.

Let’s see if they’re professional enough to apologise.

UPDATE: Collins reports an apology:

Good that @JonoMilne from @HeraldonSunday just phoned me to apologise and has confirmed he will correct the record. That’s professional.

NZ Herald has now deleted the offending paragraph from In bed with the bloggers. Kudos to Jonathan Milne for promptly and professionally dealing with that.

Blogger linked to Cunliffe suggests incredibly vicious campaign

Blogger Martyn “Bomber” Bradbury has already had links to the Mana Party (as a paid consultant) and Kim Dotcom’s Internet Party (as a paid consultant) exposed.

Now NZ Herald reveals:

Bradbury says he regularly talks to Labour leader David Cunliffe, and his goal this year is to see Cunliffe elected Prime Minister.

No admission that Cunliffe or Labour are paying him.

Bradbury leans forward on his elbows at the cafe table: “The old rules are gone,” he grins. “This election is going to be incredibly vicious.”

Is he promising a vicious campaign on behalf of Labour or just out of the goodness of his heart? More likely it’s the only left wing party left for him to try and cosy up to.

Bradbury has separated from the Internet and Mana Parties and the Greens are unlikely to condone let alone utilise his firebrand of political activism.

What can we make of the Bradbury/Cunliffe/Labour connection? This is what Grant Robertson says about it.

Politicians can “manage the message” by talking through politically affiliated bloggers, says Robertson – whether that be Key talking to Slater, or Cunliffe talking to Bradbury.

“Bradbury is not someone I know that well, but I don’t have a high level of discomfort about him,” Robertson says.

Did Robertson say that knowing about Bradbury’s vicious intent?

It will be interesting to see how The Standard attacks this. They attacked John Key relentlessly for admitting an interest in Whale Oil.

  • KAROL: Dotcom snoopers: The “dirty, disgusting, despicable game”
    “This is looking like a sophisticated circular shell game.  Normally it’s thought that the PM’s office leaks stuff to right wing bloggers.”
  • ZETETIC: Rotten
    “We’ve always known that there were close ties between National and the abomination that is Whaleoil but now we know that the ties go right to the top.”
  • MICKYSAVAGE: John Key, Blogsters and the Dotcom leaks
    “And the confirmation that Key is regularly in contact with Cameron Slater shows how deep the relationship is between National and the Sewer is.  And there was the use of, as Key calls them, blogsters to smear opposition MPs with hints of corruption.”

With Bradbury admitting direct links to Cunliffe, an admitted lack of ‘discomfort’ from Robertson, The Standard should be horrified.

Waiting…

First response at The Standard, from ‘marty mars’:

I have to say that I am still struggling to get my head around the recent news that the prime minister rings slater up and chats – and the killer is, that is only if the lying dirty wanker is telling the truth – and he hardly ever does that! Dirty, dirty fight, dirty tactics, fight to win. Wake (further) up lefties the skirmishing is here.

He missed something.

Herald on bloggers – odd man out

Jonanathan Milne has done a profile of bloggers in NZ Herald – In bed with the bloggers. He looks at the biggest and the worst of bloggers and blogging but doesn’t look at the blogging scene in any real depth.

But is there a softer side to these abrasive, divisive voices? Nah, naff off.

He focusses mainly on the extremes, Cameron Slater and Martyn Bradbury, and misses the diversity of the blogosphere.

The leading bloggers trade on one core asset: the power of personality. They are loud, they are brash and they are, ahem, manufactured. The top ones admit creating personas that are more in-your-face than the real person.

David Farrar is mentioned but otherwise omitted – he is one of the “top ones”, one of the best established political bloggers. His knowledgeable and well-informed political commentary is widely respected. And he isn’t manufactured.

His Kiwiblog is his personal soapbox – he recently posted a series on a Tongariro tramp, he has just posted about Fringe Festival performances.

Sure, there’s plenty of load, brash and manufactered (and plenty more) in the comments section, but that isn’t Farrar’s domain.

Russell Brown only gets mentioned in a quote…

Slater wins.

He accepts the yellow trophy, and asks: “Is Russell Brown here? Any of you leftie suckholes who think I’m irrelevant? F*** off.”

…but has been around that long you can probably find him with Alta Vista, and seems to be his slightly snobby self. His political leanings are clear but far more subtle than the brash Bomber and way over the top Whale.

But the biggest odd man out in Milne’s lineup:

Public Address blogger Graeme Edgeler filed a submission with Parliament’s regulatory review committee demanding a change to draconian Teachers Council suppression rules.

Graeme Edgeler filed a submission! Demanding! How evil is that? Graeme pops up all over the blogosphere, always non-partisan, reasonable and willing to give advice on legal matters to anyone who asks. And in this case he was trying to improve the way we do our politics based on sound, sensible principles.

Graeme is one of the most respected and influential participants in the political blogosphere. It was good of Milne to mention him, but remiss of him for not differentiating the Edge from the loud and brash.

Back to the other side, the Herald headliners.

Whale Oil is well known for saying politics is a nasty business and he works hard to keep it that way. I disagree and have confronted him on this, we continue to disagree.

Bradbury leans forward on his elbows at the cafe table: “The old rules are gone,” he grins. “This election is going to be incredibly vicious.”

Maybe vicious is all Bradbury has got left, he lost a lot of credibility over his involvement with Dotcom’s Internet Party after party hopping from a paid position with Mana.

I don’t think the old rules are gone. Dirty politics just has a new forum, a new means of being nasty, smearing, trying to manipulate politics and power.

But it doesn’t have to be all dirty and vicious. There are some who are the opposite, like Edgeler. I’m also strongly opposed to dirty politics and to abusiveness on blogs, and often challenge and confront it. I often get abused for doing it, but that makes more determined to keep pushing for better standards.

There are other quiet achievers scattered across the blogosphere. They stand out for their sense and reason, if you care to look for it.

And there are signs of more political decency emerging,  with the establishment of Politicheck:

Politicheck.org.nz’s goal is to analyse all statements made during the election by all parties and say whether or not, based on evidence available, they are telling the truth. The website looks to operate in a similar way to the US political fact checking website Politifact.com - although we have no affiliation with that website.

It is in the interest of all New Zealanders that we hold our politicians accountable for what they say, or print- they are the voice of this nation chosen to represent us. All fact checking will be shown through a transparent process, open to the public, and ready for scrutiny.

There’s certainly loud, brash and vicious prominent in the blogosphere, but promoting facts and truth in politics is something that has been long called for and will be popular.

Politics must be strongly debated. But it can be done with decency. Social media can become a powerful force for promoting honesty and decency in Parliament.

Whale Oil and Bomber Bradbury are a new incarnation of old school politics, old boy dirty dealing, attack and destroy tactics.

The strength of the blogosphere can be accessibility and transparency. It is as easy to confront crap as it is to spew it. If enough people push for a far better – and more effective – political forum then we will get it. Political thugs will remain and will be loud, but it can be made much better.

And then more women might get involved more openly – most of half of our population can’t be bothered with the crap, or venture into the blogosphere with caution and usually under cover.

If enough people get involved and stand up to the loud and vicious and dishonest the old school bullies will become odd men out.

And our democracy will be the better for it. And if that’s something the Herald would like to see perhaps they will give more sides to their story.

Dotcom considering legal action against Key

Kim Dotcom has tweeted that he is considering legal action against John Key for “political interference” in supplying Whale Oil with information.

Herald journalist David Fisher (@DFisherJourno) tweeted (at 9.48 pm Friday 14th):

A factor in the Dotcom extradition is political influence. Was the PM looking to get dragged into the case? #PMintheWitnessStand? #Whaleoil

Dotcom re-tweeted that and tweeted (at 9.59 pm Friday 14th):

Lawyers are looking at political interference by John Key leaking information to Whaleoil & supporting Dotcom smear campaign. #WitnessStand

Fisher has written a book on Dotcom and there seems to be an ongoing relationship between the two. It seems risky for a senior award winning journalist to get so close to such a controversial figure. Dotcom seems to seduce people (politicians and journalists) into risking their careers. I don’t know what the attraction is, other than money and power.

Dotcom tweeted on Thursday:

I invite every serious NZ journalist to read this: http://Kim.com/whitepaper.pdf  and David Fishers book about my scandalous case. Educate yourself.

I have no idea what sort of legal action could be taken on this. I presume it has something to do with Dotcom’s (and Winston Peters’) allegations. Dotcom tweeted several times on this on Thursday:

The fact is my case is a POLITICAL case. Paid for by Hollywood. Executed by White House & John Key. NZ politicians talk with me about that.

John Key about how he knew Winston Peters visited the mansion: “From time to time people see things, and from time to time they tell me.” :)

None of the people who have “seen” Winston Peters visiting the mansion have “told” John Key about it. Come clean Mr. Key. Who told ya? GCSB?

In the interest of transparency John Key must release information about how he knew about Winston Peters “three” visits. School mate Ian?

The more political Dotcom makes his case the more chance he seems to think he has of avoiding extradition to the US.

The claim that the GCSB told Key told Whale Oil is very dubious. Ironically Dotcom later tweets:

Leaks are tricky. They are worthless if not substantiated. You might be tempted to use them anyway. But then you get into ‘serious’ trouble.

His accusations are worthless unless substantiated too. It is far more likely (supported by statements and evidence) that a leak from Dotcom’s mansion found it’s way to Whale Oil (Cameron Slater) and/or Rachel Glucina who both publicised the visits by Peters days before John Key brought it up in Parliament.

Dotcom is fighting a very interesting battle. It is big stakes for him. He may succeed, or it may backfire and make his case more difficult for him – especially if he keeps making unsubstantiated and apparently absurd claims

UPDATE: Fran O’Sullivan has a column in the Herald today that’s related: Content creators can have a beef with Dotcom and there’s some discussion on her Facebook link to this where she has commented:

David Fisher had lost the plot. Dotcom’s former staffers leaking like sieves. Seems they don’t respect confidentiality agreements. Hard to sue them when you don’t respect property rights either.

Winston’s Dotcom visit source revealed

John Key seems to have revealed what was obvious to just about everyone except try hard Labour activists and Winston Peters – he learnt about Winston Peters visiting Kim Dotcom from Whale Oil.

So the PM just more or less admitted @Whaleoil was his source on Winston Peters’ visit to the Dotcom mansion. They speak regularly.

Whale Oil has been hinting at politicians visiting Dotcom for months and has blogged about the Peters three visits all week, so this is hardly surprising.

It was as much a revelation as the Pope suddenly discovering something that was said in the bible.

Meanwhile Rachel Glucina, the journalist who broke the story last Friday,  hints at her possible sources in her column today. First some self praise:

The Diary broke the news that Russel Norman visited the Dotcom mansion twice to talk the millionaire out of setting up a political party. This column also busted Don Brash making a visit, and Winston Peters, who dropped around three times.

Some more gossip:

Labour MP Clare Curran, who hails from the Deep South, was at Dotcom’s Coatesville estate “at least twice, and once with a large suitcase”, a source said. She caught a taxi once and was chauffeured another time. But why the baggage?

You can fit a lot of cash in a large suitcase (but that’s a Mallard type insinuation).

BAD NEWS KEEPS FOLLOWING KIM

Dotcom has endured abysmal album reviews, a botched foray into politics, a broken ankle and MP mates scarpering for cover. His bodyguard Wayne Tempero left his employ in October, and now four security men have walked off the job. They resigned last Saturday.

Dotcom is relying on the strict enforcement of confidentiality agreements to ensure former employees won’t squeal and reveal anything private.

“They resigned because they have had a better job offer,” he told The Diary.

As for Tempero, Dotcom admits he could no longer afford to pay him what he was earning. “Wayne resigned because he was getting half the pay of what he was getting two years ago and he couldn’t sustain that. He is starting his own company. We are still friends.”

“Four security men” and…

Ask John Key how he knew about Winston Peters visiting the mansion 3 times. Only 4 people knew about it & probably Ian Fletcher at the GCSB.

…is obviously a coincidence but it only takes one talkative person. Tweeted on Wednesday:

@patrickgowernz Chase the disillusioned former employees. They tend to talk.

 

Clare Curran, Kim Dotcom and the Internet Party

Clare Curran is yet another MP linked to Kim Dotcom and his mansion in Coatesville.

This came up yesterday amidst attention on Russel Norman and Winston Peters. Norman has admitted visiting Dotcom – see Russel Norman transcript with Duncan Garner – and it has been alleged that Peters has visited at least three times and Peter has refused to deny it.

Bill Ralston asked on Twitter:

It might be helpful if all politicians who have had talks with KDC declared their interest and what was discussed, who’s been with him & why.

Whale Oil replied:

Clare Curran and Jacinda Ardern.

Yes, Clare twice at least, plus rings him, Jacinda to be fair at social function only.

They were there…Curran at least twice, cabbed it once, driven once

So Ralston asked the MPs.

Hi @clarecurranmp & @jacindaardern can you clarify @Whaleoil comment that you visited @KimDotcom. When, why and what was discussed please.

Strange. I haven’t heard anything back from @clarecurranmp or @jacindaardern about their meetings with @KimDotcom Anyone heard anything?

Can @clarecurranmp confirm the number of meetings with @KimDotcom & what was discussed and @jacindaardern confirm Xmas lights the only time?

That’s strange @clarecurranmp was on twitter just an hour ago. Must have got too busy to reply.

So we have @winstonpeters@clarecurran and @jacindaardern too embarrassed to talk about their dealings with @KimDotcom OK. Got the picture.

To Jacinda Ardern:

You sure you didn’t go to a party at the mansion or a panto thingey and met him there?

Ardern replied:

Nope. He appeared via film footage the nights I was on stage. Just the good old Franklin Road Lights!

Ralston turns to Curran:

Thanks Jacinda, much appreciated. Now, where’s @clarecurranmp ?

Ok, I’ll come back tomorrow and see if @clarecurranmp has come clean on how many Dotcom meetings and what was discussed. Somehow doubt it.

That was at 5.06 pm yesterday (12 February).

Curran made a general statement on Twitter 1t 10.30 pm.

In my work I’ve met @kimdotcom 4 times, including at public events. In NZ it’s no crime to meet critics of the state.

So she hasn’t denied visiting him at his mansion nor denied phoning him.

It’s no crime of course. That sounds very defensive. But it is looking increasingly obvious that being connected to Dotcom is politically unwise.

Curran’s liaisons with Dotcom are interesting. They do have issues on the Internet and communications in common. And of course in defeating the current Government in this year’s election.

Doubts have been expressed about Curran’s position with Labour.

She is obviously out of favour with David Cunliffe. Curran had openly campaigned against Cunliffe becoming leader and Curran was involved in an incident with Cunliffe’s wife at the Dunedin leadership forum.

And she was also involved in another controversy during the leadership contest:

Ms Curran caused some controversy last week with an ill-timed comment on Twitter accusing opponents of Mr Robertson playing the ”gay card”.

Whether that comes back to bite her will be known early this week.

It did come back to bite. Cunliffe dropped Curran from 18 to 29 (out of 34) in the MP pecking order when he took over the Labour leadership.

Since then there have been suggestions that Curran could be dropped by Labour from her Dunedin South electorate. Audrey Young in NZ Herald/ODT on 18 December 2013.

Challenges of sitting electorate MPs are rare in most parties but Prime Minister John Key ousted sitting MP Brian Neeson in 2002 to get his candidacy for Helensville, and Judith Collins ousted Warren Kyd in Clevedon.

There has been speculation that National’s John Hayes could face a challenge in Wairarapa and that Labour’s Clare Curran could face a challenge in Dunedin South.

I have heard other suggestions of this possibility from Labour Party members. From Curran’s position in doubt in Dunedin South? posted on 27 December:

An interesting Public Notice on the ODT on Tuesday regarding Clare Curran’s electorate:

“The New Zealand Labour Party wishes to advise all Electorate, Branch and Affiliated members that nominations for the Dunedin South constituency remain open. The closing date has been amended and is now February 28 2014.”

This may be normal process, or it may be an indication that rumours of attempts to replace Curran within Labour have some substance.

Curran ousted sitting MP David Benson-Pope from candidacy in Dunedin South for the 2008 election.

She was demoted by David Cunliffe to 30 out of the 34 current Labour MPs.

An interesting comment on this from a Labour member from Dunedin:

 No one, including myself, has put in a selection nomination against Clare Curran that I know of. More I cannot say at this stage :twisted:

Interesting, especially the last bit.

I haven’t heard anything about this since.

Has Curran been sounding out the possibility of jumping from the Labour waka and standing for Dotcom’s Internet Party? Or is she looking for alternative options if she is pushed overboard by Labour?

Dotcom’s statement that he would “self-destruct” the Internet Party if it looked like missing the 5% mark must be discouraging for anyone considering standing for his party. It would be high risk with a likelihood of being career destroying. Dotcom has a growing reputation as a political wrecking ball.

I’ve asked her about this on Twitter this morning. I’ll update this post if I get a response.

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