Is Newsroom doing dirty politics?

It looks like there is a dirty politics campaign is going on in the National Party, and it looks like Newsroom is either a willing vehicle, or is being used.

It initially looked like Todd Barclay was the target, perhaps some electorate utu involved. But he has lost his career and the campaign continues, with Newsroom repeatedly involved.

It is apparent now that Bill English was the main target. It seems likely that someone wants to seriously damage English at the start of the election campaign.

It could effect a change of Government. It could bring down the Government. High stakes.

It has gone way beyond an employment spat in a Gore electorate office.

It has all the signs of a dirty politics campaign, and Newsroom is at least a willing party to the campaign of deliberate damage.

 

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70 Comments

  1. Bring down the main boy and the whole party follows? I feel that this is just more of the usual Left’s pathetic artless maneuverings, rather than Nats internal machinations.

    Reply
  2. manoeuvring.

    Reply
  3. Loki

     /  June 28, 2017

    I find it astonishing that anybody would allow themselves to be a tool for the repugnant Judith Collins and Winston Peters.
    Memories are short in this country.
    You have to go to the Greens to find people less worthy of leading the country than those two.

    Reply
    • and yet the greens are finally ditching the last of the old hippies and going for next generation candidates. (Steffan browning, of homeopathy for Ebola fame)

      I think with Labour sucking so so very badly, the greens stand a good chance of increasing their vote.

      Reply
      • Corky

         /  June 28, 2017

        Not with Earth Mother Metiria at the helm they don’t. However, desperate measures are needed in Leftie-land. So like National with Winston, there may be major sucking-ups on all sides of the political divide.

        Reply
        • Im picking Greens to squeak into the 14% range. And maybe ACT to do a little better than they have been used to, though still not multiple seats….

          Reply
          • Pete Kane

             /  June 28, 2017

            And TOPs Shane?

            Reply
            • Waste of space, I like much of their policy, but that 5% threshold switches people off, I would likely vote for them if the threshold was only 2%…………

            • Pete Kane

               /  June 28, 2017

              Agree, 2% threshold approximating democratic representation.

  4. Blazer

     /  June 28, 2017

    it is fun…to watch..though.

    Reply
  5. alloytoo

     /  June 28, 2017

    MSM’s media’s desperate attempts to bury “Slavegate” suggest that it’s a concerted campaign. Extremely disturbing for our democracy.

    Reply
    • Blazer

       /  June 28, 2017

      pro rights desperate attempt to beat up a non story with the emotive label ‘slavegate’…is extremely …predictable….unfortunately.

      Reply
      • alloytoo

         /  June 28, 2017

        MSM media’s desperate attempts to bury multiple:

        Potential immigration frauds,
        Failure to pay minimum wages,
        Failure to deduct PAYE (IRD numbers?)
        Potential abuse of tax payers money for campaigning

        Suggest that it’s a concerted campaign. Extremely disturbing for our democracy.

        Reply
  6. Is Newsroom doing dirty politics?

    Is the Pope a Catholic? Do bears sh*t in the woods? Are the Kennedys gun-shy?

    Of course it’s “dirty politics”. This was embedded in the media to take the gloss of National’s conference at the weekend. The FACT that the woman in question, who has clearly breached the confidentiality agreement she signed, now works for a NZ First MP leaves little doubt as to the source.

    The irony of course is now that the Police are investigating Barclay, Bill English can simply say “I have nothing to say because this is the subject of a police investigation”, which is the absolutely correct and responsible thing for him to say. And there’s where this “dirty politics” hit-job has backfired.

    Reply
  7. Mefrostate

     /  June 28, 2017

    The problem is that good journalism can look be made to like dirty politics, and vice versa. What are the differences, and how can we tell the two apart?

    After all, isn’t this kind of investigative journalism exactly what the media are supposed to be doing? And shouldn’t Barclay be held to account if he did something illegal or dishonest? And shouldn’t English be held to account if he lied about it in interviews?

    I was also suspicious that this looked like dirty politics, and I also think that it’s dodgy that the details of the Labour volunteer scheme came out immediately afterward (appearing as if to deflect attention from Barclay). But what evidence do we have that either or both were dirty politics, rather than good journalism?

    Reply
    • High Flying Duck

       /  June 28, 2017

      It is more suspicious that the Barclay affair, which is over 18 months old, was brought to prominence just before the intern debacle surfaced.
      The Labour problems were always coming out now as it is current. And Labour appear to have gone to great pains to muddy the waters on the blame before it was exposed – so why did an old Barclay story suddenly hit the news just before the interns did?

      The Newsroom story is being drip fed in such tiny increments that is seems designed to keep it in the headlines for a prolonged period.

      Reply
      • Mefrostate

         /  June 28, 2017

        I think the Barclay affair would have been much more damaging to National if public attention hadn’t immediately been distracted by the Labour interns. So if indeed Labour were orchestrating a dirty politics hit via Newsroom (which is what you seem to be alleging), they would have been far better to take their knocks on the interns and then run the Barclay affair later.

        RE the drip-feeding, see my point to Shane Le Brun below

        Reply
        • High Flying Duck

           /  June 28, 2017

          It depends where the intern story is heading.
          Not sure if the Visa’s are really an issue, but election and parliamentary funding are areas Labour has form in breaking rules and they have had prior warnings over repeated infringements.
          This story is heading down the funding rort track, and Little is paddling pretty hard to distance himself from the whole situation.
          If it turns out they have skirted the rules – again – and in such a big manner, it would make it a far bigger story than the Barclay one, which I think is starting to die despite the ongoing media coverage – people are sick of it and don’t really understand why it is a big deal.

          Reply
          • Mefrostate

             /  June 28, 2017

            I think you’re applying a weirdly uneven attitude to these two issues, HFD. You seem to be brushing aside the story which contained a police investigation and a settlement payment, whereas you call the story with neither a “far bigger story”. Why shouldn’t we be vocal and pissed every single time our politicians do something illegal or even dodgy?

            I think the Barclay story has legs, and is worth continuing to cover since the police reopened the investigation as late as yesterday.

            I think the Labour story also has legs, and will continue to read about it as details emerge. And I’ll be equally pissed about it as the Barclay story, if there turns out to have been illegal action.

            And I think we should have conversations about the possibility of political hits, but not to the extent that we downplay bad behaviour by our representatives.

            Reply
            • High Flying Duck

               /  June 28, 2017

              I’m not brushing aside anything.

              The Barclay story involved a police investigation where no charges were laid and where an employment settlement was made.

              At this stage there is no crime, just innuendo and accusation.

              The settlement payout keeps getting trotted out as something sinister, when it was simply an employment settlement.

              From Newshub:

              ****

              “The leader of the opposition has revealed it too has used its leadership budget to pay employment settlements.”

              Police have reopened the investigation of National MP Todd Barclay, who stood down after allegations that he made secret recordings of a staffer who was later paid out using the leader’s office slush fund.

              Labour leader Andrew Little says his party’s done that too.

              “There’s certainly been employment settlements, they typically go through the leader’s budget. I think what’s interesting about this case is the text statement from Bill English that this was larger.”
              ****

              So nothing unusual about using the Leaders budget for a payout meaning it is sinister just because it was large?

              It was also done through John Key, not Bill English.

              While recording a staff member is obviously a potential crime and a sacking offence, it remains a crime of overstepping rather than anything I can get overly vexed about – and the guy who did it is not hanging around.

              If it can be proven that Dickson was pressured to drop charges then I will call it a major issue as that is unconscionable behaviour – although that part seems to have been over egged from what I have read.

              The rest of it is a bit meh.

              Given it was settled that would usually mean all parties were satisfied to some extent.

              The Labour issues are potentially as big or bigger with visa issues, a major cover up and electoral financing.

              As per the above it is still ‘potentially’ because all we have is innuendo and accusation.

              But stuff like this doesn’t look good (qouted from WO):

              “Andrew Little’s Rodney candidate, Marja Lubeck has been tweeting pictures of the interns and his candidates standing in front of Labour signs…at a meeting that Andrew Little attended, along with other MPs including deputy leader Jacinda Ardern.”

            • Mefrostate

               /  June 28, 2017

              This seems like a pretty reasonable attitude towards each story, and isn’t too far off where I sit on it.

              But I still think you’re applying a slightly harsher lens to the intern story than to the Barclay one.

              I certainly encourage the media to carry on getting stuck into both. I currently don’t see any evidence that either are political hit jobs. And I don’t see anything here to tarnish Newsroom’s credibility.

            • High Flying Duck

               /  June 28, 2017

              The harsher lens is only in response to the levels of coverage each is getting in the media.
              Seems to be a lull day so far, so interesting to see if either story reignites, or if it is yesterdays news until the Police or Parliamentary services spark something up.

    • Also, in the day of revenues and click bait, it is in the media’s interest to drag things out to a slow mo train wreck for maximum return on investment.

      Reply
      • Mefrostate

         /  June 28, 2017

        It’s also a good strategy to drip-feed the facts because it gives politicians the opportunity to lie and contract themselves. It’s usually the cover-up, not the crime.

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  June 28, 2017

          Yes, you’re articulating a point I raised the other day that, rather news on these cases being drip-fed to the media by some malevolent cabal other in the parties, the media – or some individual or team in it – already had most of the details & are feeding out in bite-size chunks,

          Labour’s current adventures I think are just a fascinating unwinding tangle of twine as journos start poking around & asking questions. I think the two leaders are both facing scandals & questions of honesty & integrity & cover-ups that are roughly on about a par.

          But the Labour intern saga seems to to me to be still developing more fraying stands, as has been discussed above.

          Reply
  8. Tipene

     /  June 28, 2017

    No, I think we are just so unused to seeing solid investigative reporting, that when it happens, we are tempted to cry “conspiracy!”.

    Take a look at the quality of the Newsroom staff on their website – combined, they represent over 100 years of reporting experience.

    The perfect political storm has erupted on two fronts: just because it’s timely, doesn’t mean it’s dirty.

    Reply
    • I disagree Tipene; what differentiates the Barclay story is that Newsroom, quite deliberately and quite shamelessly, is gloating about what’s to come next. Almost every day I have seen “But wait; there’s more” tweets from the likes of Tim Murphy, which of course then get retweeted by the other journalists who are in on this.

      The media has to be very careful, lest like Hager they gild the lily, and we all end up with Barclay Fatigue. That could cause a rebound effect.

      Reply
  9. unitedtribes2

     /  June 28, 2017

    Sex !!!!! Drugs !!!!!! Cant wait for the Rock in Roll

    Reply
  10. duperez

     /  June 28, 2017

    When should Newsroom have pulled the pin? Not presented the story at all?
    After the first article?
    New information comes to hand, however that happens, which adds to the previously published stuff. Ignore it? Don’t publish in case you’re ‘being used’? Don’t publish in case there’s more to come? And wait for that to do it all?
    Present it all but editorialise on motives on how the information came to hand?

    It’s just anther episode of people and politics, a facet of our lives which for some starts out with the most noble of intentions, which ends up polluted and rotten.

    Reply
  11. Alan Wilkinson

     /  June 28, 2017

    As usual world-wide the Left have no intelligent policies and their only strategy is to try to throw dirt via their tame journalists. Who cares?

    Reply
    • Mefrostate

       /  June 28, 2017

      Pathetic Alan.

      Who cares about possible illegal behaviour by our politicians, right?

      Far more important to feel like our team is winning and the other side are dumb.

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  June 28, 2017

        It’s a half-wittedly stupid law at best, Mefro, and no-one really knows what it means.

        Sometimes you need to make a secret recording to prove crime or bad behaviour. That’s all. Get over it.

        Reply
        • Mefrostate

           /  June 28, 2017

          I’m sorry, do we live in a society where we’re allowed to break laws we disagree with?

          Regardless, at least you’re actually making a relevant point now rather than just throwing your feces at everyone on your left.

          Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  June 28, 2017

            Yep, so long as we have politicians who are allowed to make idiot laws we disagree with.

            I made these points earlier so it is just tedious to reiterate them.

            Reply
            • Mefrostate

               /  June 28, 2017

              Insanity.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  June 28, 2017

              No, bad laws are only defeated by those (usually few) courageous enough to break them. They serve the rest of the community at their own cost.

            • Mefrostate

               /  June 28, 2017

              So Barclay was courageously serving the community when he made this recording and then tried to hide it from the public?

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  June 28, 2017

              Sounds like it. Seems the police thought so too.

            • Mefrostate

               /  June 28, 2017

              The police have reopened the case. And Barclay has resigned. And the media are continuing to discuss it, presumably because the public continue to show interest in it.

              And for some reason you’ve jumped in to attempt to diminish the significance of the situation, and defend dodgy behaviour by our MPs. And still found time to yell at leftist clouds.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  June 28, 2017

              Barclay hasn’t resigned. He has said he will not stand again. The police are politicking as usual. The Left are ranting and posturing as usual. Situation normal,

            • Mefrostate

               /  June 28, 2017

              Hypocrisy from you as usual.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  June 28, 2017

              B.s. from you as usual.

  12. oldlaker

     /  June 28, 2017

    I’m with Audrey Young in the Herald about the relative merits of Labour’s woes and National’s over Barclay. And she’s hardly a Labour Party shill. http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11881086

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  June 28, 2017

      Crap. No reason Barclay should not have taped an employee acting treasonably.

      Reply
      • oldlaker

         /  June 28, 2017

        So, Alan, you’d be happy for anyone to tape your own private communications for whatever reason they thought fit?

        Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  June 28, 2017

          Certainly if I was being paid to work for them but was actually conspiring against them and trying to undermine them during working hours. I guess you wouldn’t then?

          Reply
      • Zedd

         /  June 28, 2017

        @AW
        ‘treasonably’ ??

        sounds more like Barclay, just didn’t have any trust in his staff member, who had worked ‘faithfully’ for the party for over a decade !

        His actions are again being investigated by Police !!

        Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  June 28, 2017

          Yes, the police are political worms as usual.

          Reply
          • Zedd

             /  June 28, 2017

            the ‘word on the street’.. most cops vote Natz ?!
            eg. Borrows etc.

            Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  June 28, 2017

            We are not talking the cop on the street. We are talking police HQ. They vote for themselves.

            Reply
            • Conspiratoor

               /  June 28, 2017

              Pleased to see you’ve qualified yourself there Al …and called zedd out for his nonsense

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  June 28, 2017

              I made it clear I was talking about the political police in Wellington HQ yesterday, C. Just reiterating. A world away from the cop on the beat.

    • PDB

       /  June 28, 2017

      This is before Little has blatantly lied as to even knowing about the scheme until recently which is proven on this very site. The Labour story has a long way to go yet with the donor to be announced and the extent of Labour’s lies yet to be fully revealed.

      Watch this space.

      Reply
  13. Dave K

     /  June 28, 2017

    Have you people every met Ms Dickson? I suspect I’m not alone in my assessment (based on dealings that had nothing to do with politics) that she is a ‘piece of work’. Struck me as part of the Eastern Southland born to rule and maybe a touch crazy….possibly ideally suited to her current position?

    Reply
    • duperez

       /  June 28, 2017

      So people who work in electorate offices are “pieces of work”? Just women? In National Party offices only? Only in Southland?
      All Eastern Southland people are born to rule and are a touch crazy? Or just Eastern Southland people involved in political parties? Or in one particular party?
      Or Ms Dickson is a piece of work, an Eastern Southlander, a touch crazy, with a born to rule mentality?
      Or Ms Dickson is a piece of work, an Eastern Southlander, a touch crazy, with a born to rule mentality who is being got at by others not from Eastern Southland, attacking her because she threatens their chance to rule and do that how they want?

      Or Ms Dickson is an ordinary person doing ordinary work, in an ordinary place who disagreed with a jumped up, arrogant little shit? And in doing so became Public Enemy No.1 for those born to rule and the sycophants of them? Or something else?

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  June 28, 2017

        I don’t know the people at all, only what has been reported. So I judge them on this basis:

        1. Barclay lied repeatedly to the media.
        2. Dickson accepted a confidential settlement and then went to the media in a political assassination attempt.
        3. English tried to keep details of a confidential settlement under wraps after reporting what he knew to police.

        Anything else relevant?

        Reply
        • duperez

           /  June 28, 2017

          I was simply questioning the glib description of Ms Dickson and Southland people by Dave K.
          It led you to claim that she went to the media. Was she getting on with life when the media approached her because of information they got elsewhere and she was putting the record straight? What did it say in the confidentiality agreement which meant she shouldn’t answer specific questions? (Not trying to play Bill English semantics like “reported to the Police”.

          You assert it was an attempt at political assassination. How do you know her motivation?

          Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  June 28, 2017

            She’s been all over the media. A confidentiality agreement is normally what it says – that details of the dispute and settlement will remain confidential and neither party will go public on the other.

            I infer motivation from her actions.

            Reply
            • duperez

               /  June 28, 2017

              Quite simply you infer her motivation because you want to make her out to be the ‘bad’ person.
              You say “she’s been all over the media.” Is that a condemnation I sense? You use ‘normal’ as a condemnation having no idea what parameters are in the confidentiality agreement.

              The woman is being portrayed as a rat by supporters of Bill English possibly because they consider she has put him under pressure.

            • patupaiarehe

               /  June 28, 2017

              I posted this link last week Alan, and I’m going to do it again. It seems relevant, IMHO, seeing as how ‘confidential settlements’ are being discussed…
              [I have put this in a post https://yournz.org/2017/06/28/workplace-bullying/%5D
              I have no knowledge of anything that has gone on in that electorate office, other than what I have read/heard in the media. I suspect that you don’t either…

      • Dave K

         /  June 28, 2017

        Ha…cityboy. You obviously know little about the ways of the world outside the ‘burbs

        Reply
        • duperez

           /  June 28, 2017

          As a country boy I know about the born to rule classes and how the world’s supposed to work through their eyes.
          The gumboots at the back door might be different than the shoes at the door of the city-slicker born to rule types, but their airs and graces are the same. The spawn from both lots mixing at the “best” schools sees the afflictions passed on.

          Reply

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