Belt digs deeper

A day after it was revealed that Pete Belt, a close associate of Cameron Slater at Whale Oil, had written a review of Slaters book Dodgy Unions under the name ‘B Edwards’ at Amazon Belt has posted an explanation at Whale Oil.

The review is now deleted but this is what Belt wrote:

Didn’t want to like it, but it is unique both in New Zealand politics and political books, and for that alone it needs to exist. Although Cam Slater’s personal distaste of unions is clear and provided as a rider from page 1, the actual content appears factual. The main take-away point for me is that Labour allow themselves to be controlled by the union movement but are actually getting very little in return. If the book achieves anything, I would hope it makes the Labour Party take note and change its direction in proportion.

Belt gave the book a 5 star rating. The review appeared soon after the book was listed and looked obviously suspicious.

Here’s a reminder of Whaleoil’s Rules of Politics

1. If you are explaining, you are losing

2. Utu is good, even necessary

3. Never hug a corpse – it smells and you end up smelling like the corpse too

4. Always know where the bodies are buried

5. Don’t let mongrels get away with being mongrels

6. Don’t mess with The Whale or Cactus Kate

7. Never wrestle with pigs, two things are for certain if you do. You will get dirty and the pig will enjoy it.

8. Never ask a question if you don’t already know the answer

9. Speak plain, Speak Simple

10. Remember, I’m telling this story

11. Never trust a politician if you aren’t close enough to them to hit them in the back of the head with a bit of 4×2

12. Never trust a politician with a moustache or a hyphenated name

So Belt broke lame rule number 1 in CAM SLATER’S DODGY UNIONS BOOK NOW #1 BEST SELLER ON AMAZON (under a very misleading headline).

I have, of course, read the book, so I left a review on Amazon.   I didn’t create a fake account.  I put it under my own account, with my own name on it.   However, as we did that, we saw that you can have a “Screen Name” for reviews – oh what fun.   So I picked B Edwards.   B Edwards is a politically loaded name.  Brian?  Bryce?  Brent?  I knew that some people would be immediately check – is it you?  No?  How about you?

Note “as we did that, we saw that…” – Belt doesn’t explain who the ‘we’ is. He and Slater? He and Spanish Bride?

I was subsequently “busted” by some leftie sleuths who though they had ‘exposed’ me.   Oh my.  Twitter, The Blog of the Damned and other places lit up.   The outrage!    The orders!!!

It was good to see that the old Dirty Politics tricks still work. Create a bit of outrage, and the rest takes care of itself.

Odd to see Belt brag about breaking Amazon rules as “old Dirty Politics tricks’.

Yes, Belt generated publicity and probably some sales. But he also further trashed his own and Whale Oil’s reputation.

Now any positive review of anything Slater markets will be looked on with greater suspicion, now they have a proven and admitted record of deliberate deception. I’m not sure this is what Belt meant by “the rest takes care of itself”.

This increased suspicion also applies to product endorsements and enthusiastic donation comments on Whale Oil – Belt can deceive on his own blog as much as he likes, but using those same practices on sites like Amazon is not ‘Dirty Politics’, it’s ‘Very Dumb’.

In comments on Belt’s post ‘Mr Man’ asked “If your review was above board then why did you delete it?”

We didn’t want to risk sales by having a complaint lodged against it. It served its purpose.

It’s short term purpose was to deceive to sell copies of the book. It’s longer term effect isn’t so flash.

Belt explained some more in another comment:

It was in fact a real review. But I was warned that Amazon may not see it that way as I am associated with the writer (although I had nothing to do with it), so rather than give the TISOs a free stick to beat us with, thought it better removed.

The B Edwards thing was just divine inspiration. (It now says “GOTCHA!”)

So his explanation is that he was very clever.

But not clever enough to see how dumb this was. But it shouldn’t be surprising, it’s another dumb move that coincides with Belt’s involvement with and slide of Whale Oil.

An Alexa rating of Whale Oil from November 2014:

Alexa Whaleoil traffic

The dive in June July coincides with when Belt started a major purge, banning many commenters including long time loyal supporters. It bounced back up with the launch of Hager’s ‘Dirty Politics’ book followed by the election, but soon afterwards dived and hasn’t recovered since.

A current Alexa chart of Whale Oil:

WhaleOilAlexaOct15That sums up the Belt effect on Whale Oil, although Slater losing his mojo and his political confidants hasn’t helped.

Belt has been toxic for Whale Oil and Slater has become toxic in politics and media.

Belt’s dumb Amazon review strategy just reinforces this.

Leave a comment


  1. Loki

     /  16th October 2015

    You are blaming Belt for something that really isn’t his fault.
    Agreed he does behave like a junior Lprent, petty, spiteful and a lot stupider than the worlds greatest sysop. But a minime Lprent he is.
    The real issue is the catalogue of massive blunders started by slater being too lazy to change his password for a decade.
    At every major event from the book onwards he has made the wrong decision and is now nothing more than Nicky Hager and Martin Bradburys meat puppet.
    His backers in the weird church have washed their hands of him and the entire brains trust is gone.
    It is the vast right wing conspiracy. Not the vast anti key cuntastrophe.

    • Yes, ultimately Slater is responsible for the dirty ditch he has dug himself into.

    • Mike C

       /  16th October 2015


      Yes … at the end of the day, it was Slater who employed Belt and who also told him to milk as much money out of the Whale as he possibly could.

      Basically, Belt was only following the job description that Slater gave him right from the beginning.

      However, it is also quite clear that Belt does not possess any scruples or morals at all, based on all of the under handed money-making stunts he has pulled over the past 18 months or so.

  2. Urban Redneck

     /  16th October 2015

    As an aside, what happened Whaleoil’s to “The Decade Of Dirt” soiree ? Did it ever go ahead? I’ve heard nothing about it.

    • Loki

       /  16th October 2015

      They could have held it in a bathroom such was the lack of participants. Ironically a bathroom might have been a more familiar setting for Slater and his weird mate from the Hawkes Bay.

      • Urban Redneck

         /  16th October 2015

        *antenna goes up*

        Care to elaborate just a weeeee bit !!

        • Loki

           /  16th October 2015

          Yes, but no.

          • Urban Redneck

             /  16th October 2015

            I heard on the bush telegraph that after Whale’s affair with Debbie Brown, Slater Sr had to come in and offer Juana some huge financial incentives in order to get her to stay on in the marriage.

            • Loki

               /  16th October 2015

              That is incorrect.
              Not the affair obviously..
              But the suggestion that his Dad has any coin to offer up.
              Bank wouldn’t have forced the sale of their house if his family had any coin.

    • It went ahead in the upstairs room of a bar in the Viaduct….. but not a lot happened from what I saw online…… seemed a rather empty room and quite forlorn….

  1. Whale Oil censor in action | Your NZ

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