‘Dodgy Unions’ – details

The launch of Cameron Slater’s first book, Dodgy Unions, was marred by scant and sometimes misleading information about the book. Now it is available as a Kindle download from Amazon it has more details.

Dodgy Unions Kindle Edition

The Union movement has occupied a privileged position in New Zealand. It is a vastly wealthy, incredibly well resourced sector with a staggering amount of money.

The headline figures are the Union movement has combined equity of well over $120 million dollars. Unions’ revenues are over $120m per year. Unions’ wage bill is over $70m per year, meaning they have a massive and ideologically pure work force. Most unions make a significant surplus, with the Corrections Association making a surplus of almost half their annual revenue.

Unions seem to live in parallel moral universe where they can do no wrong. They escape scrutiny and live in an echo chamber. They do not realise that they are the group that New Zealand public has the least trust in. This book uses publicly available information to tell New Zealand the story of the unions financial might.

Cameron Slater is New Zealand’s most popular and most fearless political blogger. He has been blogging since 2005 and has broken numerous political stories including Mayor Andrew Williams pissing on a tree outside his offices, the Labour Party’s web site security flaw and the Len Brown Sex Scandal. In 2014 his emails were hacked and Nicky Hager wrote the book “Dirty Politics” which has helped promote and expand Cam’s political consulting and social media business.

The price is $8.79 (presumably US$).

Product details:

  • File Size: 1159 KB
  • Print Length: 100 pages
  • Publisher: Whaleoil Media; 1 edition (October 10, 2015)
  • Publication Date: October 10, 2015
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English

So at 100 pages it’s not a long read.

  • Dirty Politics is 166 pages.
  • Trinity by Leon Uris is 759 pages.
  • Mother Tongue by Bill Bryson is 270 pages (a very interesting read).

If anyone wants to read and review it I’d be happy to post here.

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  1. 4077th

     /  12th October 2015

    Its probably already available for free download on Mega 🙂

  2. Mike C

     /  12th October 2015


    If I could be bothered reading it … then it’d only take me less than half an hour 🙂

    Who would want to read it ???

    Spanish Bride and the rest of Slater’n’Co must be desperate for sales … if they’ve contacted you to ask for help. LOL.

    Slater’n’Co perceive you to be their enemy.

    Why would they reach out to you ???

    • I’ve seen no indication that Spanish Bride sees me as an enemy. She has engaged here a few times.

      She didn’t ask for help – she knew some people who read here are interested in the book so providing a link to them is useful.

      I chose to do a post on it because again it’s of interest to some. I might read it myself but I don’t have a Kindle.

      It could be a useful addition to political information.

      Sure I’m critical of some things WO but I’m also happy to praise or support where I see fit.

      • Kevin

         /  12th October 2015

        I’ve bought the kindle version so will read and post a review. Disclaimer: I consider myself a Whaleoil guy so the review may be bit bias but I’ll try to be balanced.

        • Thanks Kevin. It will be interesting to hear what you think.

          Putting things into a book is a lot different to stoking a blog along with multiple posts a day.

        • Mike C

           /  12th October 2015


          “The review may be a bit bias”.

          I can’t wait for your “Biased Book Review”. LOL.

    • kittycatkin

       /  12th October 2015

      I bet that it’s in huge print and that each sentence has a double space between it and the next one, to make it look as if there are more words on each page than there really are.

      There are probably huge margins as well.

      The chapter headings will have a page each, with a blank back…..

      And so on…….

    • You are the one who sees people as friends or enemies. I see those I agree with and those I disagree with. Cam was interviewed about the book by Leighton Smith on NewstalkZB today because today was the official launch day. Sales up to now have all been pre -sales.That is why Amazon wasn’t activated until today.

      • I didn’t realise that today is the official launch day.

        It’s been an odd launch, first pre-announced on Whale Oil, then sales were promoted on WO and marketed on Facebook, and the launch is today.

        Maybe you can learn from this and co-ordinate and communicate a bit better next time.

        • DaveG

           /  12th October 2015

          I didnt see anything wrong with the Comms Pete, its just some assumed and jumped the Gun a little. Look at the positive, not the negative!! 🙂

      • Mike C

         /  12th October 2015


        I guess your pre-sales haven’t done terribly well then 🙂

        You didn’t even offer to send George a copy of it, so that he could pass on his view of it to us here.

        If it really truely was a worthwhile and interesting read, then that’s what you would have done from the get-go.

        • DaveG

           /  12th October 2015

          It is well worth a read Mike, try it, but don’t be so tight, its around $10 on amazon, for the kindle version, and Kindle reader is free to download to almost any device these days. Its a damn good read. Leighton describes it as having a “Very entertaining style” but far from taking his word, or mine, but it, but then, you might have to admit, its a good read worth the small amount.

          • Mike C

             /  12th October 2015


            I’d rather stick needles in my eyes … and I thought Leighton Smith was a bit of a Leftie 🙂

  3. kittycatkin

     /  12th October 2015

    They’ll have to pay people to read it.

  4. RightOfGenghis

     /  12th October 2015

    I’ve downloaded the free sample and will splash out for the full monty when the price falls to match the sunday star. Unlike the slater haters I’ve got no skin in the game but I have a keen interest in unions having battled them in a former life. Put the angry, hurty, anti-slater sentiment to one side team, this is a story that needs to be told.

    • Mike C

       /  12th October 2015


      For someone with “no skin in the game” … you sure do blabber on and on a lot about “Slater-Haters” 🙂

    • DaveG

       /  12th October 2015

      Totally agree with your last 9 words R.O.G. I have also battled unions on both sides of the Tasman. Witnessed first hand the union hired thugs rip wipers off a workers bus crossing a picket line, slashing tyres and intimidating workers, even asking one guy, “I hope you value your kids mate”. We managed to get a tresspass order on him, banning him from being within 100 M of our premises. I have had unionists chase my vehicle when they thought i was carrying stock over a picket line, that was fun, two carloads of unionised workers and hired thugs trying to catch a V8 SS ute stacked high with distribution totes, I took them on a “wild goose” chase around western sydney for about 20 minutes, before stopping over the road from a police station to post the MAIL. I then purchased a coffee and drunk it slowly watching them as they watched me, and drove slowly back to the picket lines. Once over the picket lines, i took every tote out and showed them they were all empty. In that strike alone, 120 basic warehouse workers held out for a 15% rise plus a few conditions, and settled for 2% and no conditions, after the unions realised they were not going to get anything the longer they went on. And a lot of the workers had seen reason and returned to work. Our best move to stop the 24 / 7 Picket, we had massive spotlights set up near our front gates, and had classical music blaring 24/7. This denied them sleep, and they hated the music. Council stopped them from having several fires in barrells for warmth, as there was an oil distribution depot almost next door! Unions have had their day, the union movement needs the protective status removed, so any worker can go to an industrial advocate instead of unions, and workers should pay the union fees directly, not the employer. See how long they last then!

      • RightOfGenghis

         /  12th October 2015

        Well said Dave. My nemesis was the meat workers union. These guys ran the industry right up until 1991 when the employment contracts act changed the odds dramatically. They were a bunch of thugs but I had a grudging respect for some of the old timers. I was especially fond of Frank Barnard, a bear of a man who by his own admission “never made a deal he couldn’t keep and never kept a deal he didn’t make”

  5. Eh?

     /  12th October 2015

    So the free sample download is the first three chapters! Seems Slater believes if you’re good at something – if you achieve your objective you are dodgy. Nothing to read here…move along.
    PS Why is the electronic version so expensive? I’d pay 99c

  6. I missed the congratulatory comments to the Union movement for turning a financial profit. The aim in life is to do that – it is why we are put on God’s earth isn’t it? (apologies for the religious reference.)

    But to carry on the theme: On arrival at the Pearly Gates, “And what great things did you achieve in your life my son?”
    “I broke the story of a mayor pissing on a tree.”
    “Well, Wow, Whoop Dee Doo! A really special achiever.”

  7. Brown

     /  13th October 2015

    I might buy this so at least I can form an opinion based on content rather than author. I do hate unions but always have. I think its the whining Pommie accents and communist slogans or maybe my dad taught me well.

  8. Guest

     /  13th October 2015

    So here at the chapters/content for the book (remembering it’s only 100 pages):

    1. Dodgy Unions
    2. The Current State of the Union Movement
    3. Unions Financial Position (no apostrophe)
    4. Unions & the Labour Party
    5. Andrew Little & the EPMU
    6. Unions in Australia
    7. Questions for Unions & Others

    Can’t see the $20 value in any of that.

    • jaspa

       /  13th October 2015

      No apostrophe ?! 😡 No sale here then. Their grammatical mistakes generally irk me a bit but I am able to overlook them because it is a blog. I would not be able to stand them in a printed book.

      Why oh why not just get someone to give it a quick proofread before printing, ffs ???

  9. Guest

     /  13th October 2015

    Okay, so at the end of chapter one it says:

    “Whaleoil Media…will be updating this book regularly. Readers who find omissions or errors in this book should email the Whaleoil tipline with their suggestions…”

    • Mike C

       /  13th October 2015


      So … not only do Slater’n’Co want their readers to pay them $$$ for the privilege of adding this booklet to the pile of junk mail and newspapers at the gate each week … but they also expect their readers to do all of their proof-reading and fact-finding as well? LOL.

  10. Guest

     /  13th October 2015

    Also towards the end of chapter one: ” (the book) is also designed as a reference source for others writing about the unions. Footnotes and Appendices provide links and information that will make it easier for readers and writers to fact check this book.”

    Then part-way through chapter two:”This book…is based heavily on publicly available information and carefully referenced so readers can fact check the material themselves.”

    • Eh?

       /  13th October 2015

      So there is 50 pages worth of book then once you take out the extras?

      • Guest

         /  13th October 2015

        Am not sure as I have only downloaded the free sample, which is 3 out of the 7 chapters. From what I have read, I doubt CS is the true author. Remembering his very recent posts relating to F O’S, he clearly struggled to write succinctly. The tone of “the book” on the other hand, appears more considered and mature. Chapter 3 just regurgitates stuff from previous blog posts.

        • Loki

           /  13th October 2015

          Simon Lusk wrote it. He is the only one left writing grown up posts for our Hero.
          Easy to spot the slater authored bits. The grammar will be mangled and liberal use of big words in the wrong context will be littered throughout.