Bradbury claims disputed – dirty politics?

The sun rose this morning and Martyn Bradbury made some claims about Labour and the Greens, and Greens and National, that have been disputed – some say he is wrong.

Bradbury has been promoting Labour and their conference over the weekend. Like co-Daily Blog stalwart Chris Trotter he seems to be manic depressive on politics.This was one of Bomber’s very enthusiastic phases, so much so that  Shayne McLean @NZGTMedia tweeted:

@BowalleyRoad meanwhile Martyn Bradbury looks like Labour has given him an Apple laptop to match the one Dot Com bought him

That refers to his of colluding with party operatives for money – is he being used by Labour in some sort of attempted ‘dirty politics’ two track strategy as described by Nicky Hager in his ‘Dirty Politics’ book? Chapter 1 The Rise of the Bloggers, Page 16:

The idea that Key, as party leader, would be presented as friendly and positive, while other people did the attacking.

Slater and Ansell understood this tactic because they had been working together closely on precisely this sort of arm’s length attack campaigning in the previous months.

Slater wrote back saying “If the Nats won’t attacj [Labour] then let us, but we need some cash to do so…I can put together a consortium of bloggers to attack…

Bradbury was posting conference reports on over the weekend. On Saturday he said:

Beyond all the nice words in public about the Greens and NZ First there are private mutterings. At this Conference, Labour were going to tell New Zealand who their preferred political partners would be so that there is no confusion about what form of coalition government could be formed post the election, but those plans of transparency were put on hold when the Greens and NZ First refused to agree to that announcement.

Inside NZ First, the Ron Mark faction who are closer to National than Labour don’t want to commit and within the Greens, James Shaw doesn’t want to lose the strategic edge he’s created by working with National.

In Notes on the Labour AGM Danyl at Dim-Post disputes this:

I don’t know about New Zealand First but I checked with the Greens and no such approach or proposal was made to them. I guess Labour are still seething about the Red Peak thing and prevailed upon Bomber to write this. It’s not true.

Danyl helped James Shaw in his campaign to become Green leader so I presume he has contacts high up in the Green Party.

Green supporter Weka also commented on Bradbury’s claims at The Standard:

There’s a few probems with that. One is that we only have Bradbury’s word that Labour had intended to make an announcement re coalition partners and that NZF and the GP refused. I’d like to see that corroborated somewhere else (Bradbury’s stance on the whole GP/National thing doesn’t make any sense, he also hasn’t backed up his claim and I think this makes him a biased and unreliable source on this issue).

If it is true, we’d also need to see the reasons that the GP refused, they might have been quite valid.

The other problem is that Bradbury is expressing opinion that Shaw can make the GP form a coalition with National, but it goes against all the evidence. Please have a look at my link above for an explanation of why it’s not Shaw’s choice, and how it would be extremely difficult for that to happen even if Shaw wanted it (which he doesn’t). It would require a nationwide change of stance amongst the membership including going through a remit process at least one AGM. Have a go at explaining how you think that might happen, because I can’t see it.

When you make factually incorrect assertions as you did with your first comment, you damage the left. What you said is almost word for word a right wing dirty politics meme aimed at undermining the GP and thus preventing a left wing govt. Is that what you want? If you can back up your statements, please do so, but I’m afraid ‘Bradbury said it’s true’ doesn’t count in this case.

And Joseph commented on The Daily Blog:

Highly unlikely, because the Greens public position is still to govern with Labour. This position was confirmed during the recent leadership contest where both Shaw and Hague said they did not support forming a govt with National. Someone spinning you, Martyn?


As I said on Martyn’s blog, I think it is flat out false that the Greens rebuffed Labour and he is being spun by someone. The Greens position is firmly to work with Labour to form a govt and James Shaw stated in the recent leadership campaign that he did not support forming a govt with National. He would not be leader now if he’d said otherwise. It is the Party that makes the decision on coalition choices and they are clear on this.

I can’t find any response from Bradbury on this. He has in his conference review Labour Party conference 2015 – winners and losers he has reiterated his claim of Greens working with National:

Identity Politics – the inability for identity politic activists to debate the issues in a way that doesn’t cause allies to become enemies and alienate the broader electorate has seen identity politics put on the naughty step for some time out.

It gives the Greens some room to move on those issues but that could also erode the strategic edge the Greens have by pretending to work with National.

He seems to be trying to shame the Greens into shunning any contact with National and devoting themselves to becoming an obedient add-on to Labour’s election ambitions.

Is Matt McCarten using Bradbury here?

After Bradbury’s over-enthusiastic (paid for) promotion of the Mana Party and then the Internet Party last term perhaps Labour should be very worried about his association with them.

Especially if he makes things up, or is a ‘dirty politics’ repeater of misinformation fed to him from within Labour.

Bradbury is a political mercenary (similar but different to Cameron Slater) but apparently is not yet recognised as potentially toxic to Labour.

Ironically one of his first conference tweets:

Which journalist will be the first to now misrepresent what Annette King said as a ‘sugar tax’

Has Bradbury misrepresented the Green’s relationship with Labour? If so did he dream up his claims or was he fed them? If he was fed them, by whom?

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  1. Alan Wilkinson

     /  9th November 2015

    Whatever medication Bradbury is on, it isn’t working. Except as a study of the afflicted Left he is of little interest.

  2. traveller

     /  9th November 2015

    My take is that nobody of seriousinfluence within Labour would dream of using Bomber (Mana/Internet Party)to influence the Greens to “come over” to the National lite team of Little nor that it was imaginable they would commit at this stage. Whose interests would be served by announcing any sort of coalition two years out ? I get they’d work on being more aligned gradually, but formal coalition never. Imagine Winnie!!😀
    Bomber either imagines he is a bigger influence than he is or he is vying for political influence or relevance that belies the reality of his unreliability, fringe nuttiness, activist idealism. Strategists, movers and shakers will steer well clear of him.
    Whatever, he’s dipping his red little toes in centrist think waters – it’ll be fun to watch the merry dance 🤓😊

    • That was my initial thoughts too.

      Bujt Bradbury’s claims about the Greens were quite specific and would have had to have come from someone in the Greens or someone in Labour – ok, he could have made it up but i think that’s unlikely.

      If someone in Labour fed him that to promote then it’s a form of Hager-defined two track dirty politics.

      It’s also significant that suddenly Bradbury is gushing about how great Labour are. I’ve seen simiklar from him over Mana and the Internet party – and then found out he’s been paid for his efforts.

      This has similarities to how Slater operates.

      • traveller

         /  9th November 2015

        Oh yes Pete, he’s the Slater of the left, but with nowhere the influence Slater has had (note past tense!).
        He probably does have watermelon fringe Green friends and they probably do despair of ever being in a government. Perhaps this is an attempt to put the message out there for a united and strong left and as we know Bradbury’s Mana/IP options have been seriously dented. There could also be a Green split after Shaw’s ascendancy intent on stirring things up. We’re hearing nothing from Metiria and Hague who had serious profile. Watch this space.

  3. Maggy Wassilieff

     /  9th November 2015

    Someone on Bradbury’s blog opined that his rave about Little’s speech was a spin piece from Little’s speech writer.
    I’d agree… There’s only one sentence written in Bradbury’s tortured prose.
    The rest is clipped and clear….. so unlike Bradbury’s style.

  4. Ray

     /  9th November 2015

    I feel traveller has it right
    Bomber is another fantasist who thinks he can both have his finger in the pie and make it move
    Judging by his last two efforts Labour should cut him dead

  5. jamie

     /  9th November 2015

    I just noticed the alternative headline in the url. Very funny, Pete 😀

  6. jamie

     /  9th November 2015

    Oh and my 2c worth: Cui bono. Who benefits from Martyn’s stirring?


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