Bishop, Snapchat and Dirty Politics

The story about Chris Bishop’s brief use of Snapchat was known about and ignored by media before the election.

Several months later, it has now become a dirty politics style smear after the story surfaced at Stuff:  National MP confronted about his social media messages to teenagers

National’s Hutt South MP Chris Bishop was confronted before last year’s election by a mother upset at the older man messaging her daughter and other minors.

Witnesses said Bishop was taken aside and asked to stop what he was doing.

“I wanted to confront him as many parents felt very uncomfortable that their children were messaged,” said a mother who wanted to remain anonymous.

“He admitted it straight away and thanked me for bringing it to his attention.”

Another mother, whose 13-year-old daughter was allegedly in daily contact with Bishop for a week or two on Snapchat, took to Facebook to vent her frustration.

The mother, who also wanted to remain anonymous, allegedly wrote to MP Paul Goldsmith to complain about Bishop’s behaviour.

None of the parents were concerned that Bishop’s intentions were anything other than misguided.

Note: “None of the parents were concerned that Bishop’s intentions were anything other than misguided”. In other words, this was a non-story.

But it has become a dirty politics story, with claims that it was an internal National Party hit job, and counter claims that it was a diversionary hit from Labour.

When David Farrar posted about it at Kiwiblog as Anonymous innuendo – some will see some irony in his comment “Disappointed Fairfax has run a story like this, with anonymous sources” – Matthew Hooton both played down what Bishop had done, but blamed National party insiders:

I guess the problem with Snapchat is the lack of a record. But I have no doubt the exchanges were as anodyne as when MPs usually communicate with school kids who contact them. This is a hit job, presumably by people associated with Bill English against one of the new MPs seeking generational change.

Note ‘presumably’ – in other words, no evidence. And:

This is the sort of thing that happens when National has a subterranean internal war. People just forget, because it’s been more than 10 years since the last one. But Labour also on the suspect list, of course. But, if it was them, I think they would have dropped it during the election campaign.

Plus speculation that it could have been Labour.

Cameron Slater went further – much further, delving into extreme dirty politics with carefully worded (arse-covering) insinuations. I won’t repeat the dirt, but Slater claimed:

Yesterday there was a hit job on National MP Chris Bishop.

When someone commented ” I am also upset to see comments from some that they think it came from Bill English” Slater replied “Because it did. Join the dots.”

I’ll join some dots – Slater has no evidence, Slater has a long standing grudge against Bill English, Slater has attacked Bishop before, and Slater’s word is wothr bugger all, he has a reputation of being wrong and making up malicious shit. He repeats:

“Not the left. Internal Nat hit job.”

“My information suggests it was a Blue on Blue hit job.”

Note ‘suggests’. No evidence at all.

But Bill does, to protect himself. As Sally points out, if Labour had this they would have dropped it the week before the election. This is patch protection from National party players.

That sounds like nothing more than speculation laced with a long standing grudge.

Why the hell would National, who spent last week playing down leadership speculation and papering over any internakl division, do a dirty on a popular MP?

And Slater’s ‘Dirty Politics’ partner Farrar is notably in disagreement (or spinning a different line): HDPA on the Bishop smear story

Real dirty politics, but I predict no book written about this.

Labour just hate the fact Chris Bishop worked so hard that he won Hutt South off them, so this is what they stoop to.

Farrar referred to Heather du Plessis-Allan on Newstalk ZB (about 11:30): http://120.138.20.16/WeekOnDemand/ZB/wellington/2018.02.12-09.15.00-D.mp3

Why is this a story now? Because it’s a Labour Party hit job. That’s what I think.

I’ll be honest. I knew about this before the election. I knew there were messages about this. Guess how I found out? From the Labour Party. The Labour Party knew about this. So the only reason it has been delayed is probably because the parents would finally talk about it.

The Labour Party has probably been working on the parents to try and get them to talk to the media. So this in my opinion is a Labour Party hit job. And I think it’s actually disgusting to be honest.

And HPDA’s partner follows a similar line – Barry Soper’s The Soap Box: Vilification of Chris Bishop is sick

The vilification of Bishop is sick, mainly by those with warped minds, and is obviously politically motivated, curiously coming at a time when Labour was on the ropes over its unfathomable closure of charter schools!

Also no evidence that Labour was behind the stuff story. But this deserves more investigation, whether National or Labour are behind the attack smear.

This is dirty, and I think alarmingly so. Disregarding the Slater sleaze, the insinuations against Bishop, even though the original story said “None of the parents were concerned that Bishop’s intentions”, are dirty politics at it’s worst.

62 Comments

  1. robertguyton

     /  February 13, 2018

    Jacques Steenkamp said:
    ““None of the parents were concerned that Bishop’s intentions were anything other than misguided”
    Why do you accept his claim, Pete?

    • David

       /  February 13, 2018

      Well clearly because the journalist asked the parent, the alternative is that the whole story was made up.

    • PDB

       /  February 13, 2018

      Do you have evidence Bishop had bad intentions? Did you speak to the parents like Steenkamp obviously did? Are the parents claiming otherwise since the story broke? Are you a very sad, nasty Green supporter hoping Bishop has been up to no good?

      • robertguyton

         /  February 13, 2018

        “Are you a very sad, nasty Green supporter hoping Bishop has been up to no good?”
        No, I’m not. I’m hoping Bishop has been “up to” only good. I’m asking for clarification about the meaning of what was written. What does misguided mean in this context? What did the parents mean when they said, if indeed they did say, that his intentions were misguided? Or am I missing the point? Your characterization of me, btw, PDB, reflects badly upon you.

        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  February 13, 2018

          No, your insinuations reflect badly on you.

          • Kitty Catkin

             /  February 13, 2018

            I think that he was misguided in that he didn’t see that the dirty-minded would make something dirty of this. To the dirty of mind. all things are dirty.

            It’s a damned shame that men have to prove themselves innocent and/or have to think if any action can be given a sexual meaning. Years ago, I heard a lot of boo hooing and cries of ‘Mummmyyyy!!!’ in the main street of Hamilton. A small child was bawling, and two McGillicuddys went up and said to the bawler that they’d find mummy. One of them put his hand down to take the child’s hand, and then quickly took it back.

  2. David

     /  February 13, 2018

    No way its a National hit job, they are getting good traction on charter schools and Ardern is back peddling Hipkins. Why would anyone from National risk the whole party with the inevitable reputation shredder that one of their MPs could be involved in that sort of thing.

  3. robertguyton

     /  February 13, 2018

    The parents believed that Bishop’s intentions were misguided; is that the meaning of the statement. What do you think that might mean, Pete? misguided .

    • High Flying Duck

       /  February 13, 2018

      So everyone involved seems to think there is nothing in this – including the parents, but you want to throw in snide insinuation based on one word, which refers to his choice to use the Snapchat platform?

      Great form there Robert – stand up guy.

      • robertguyton

         /  February 13, 2018

        “…one word, which refers to his choice to use the Snapchat platform.”
        Ah! Thank you, High Flying Duck. That’s what I was wanting to know. Why did people here get so lathered-up over someone wanting to know that? What’s “misguided” about using Snapchat?

        • High Flying Duck

           /  February 13, 2018

          I believe the issue is that Snapchat does not store messages – they disappear after being read. As such there is no way of knowing what anyone has said on the platform.

          It also had a slightly seedy past due to people using it to send nude pics on the basis they disappeared – until people worked out ways to screen shot or save the images before they deleted.

          It is however a legitimate communication platform used by mainly young people (including my kids).

          The Greens among other parties also use it, but only in broadcast mode, so the communication is one way.

          • robertguyton

             /  February 13, 2018

            Why would Bishop choose to use a platform like that then? Is he naive about social media?

            • High Flying Duck

               /  February 13, 2018

              He has the shadow Youth portfolio so interacts a lot with young people. He uses a lot of social media, and Snapchat was a part of that as it is a very popular platform.
              The issue was the lack of safeguards in direct communications given the current climate.
              It was apparently an issue for an extremely short period of time and was rectified pretty much immediately when brought to his attention.
              Blazer sums it up nicely just below…

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  February 13, 2018

              His campaign team set up the snapchat account according to a report I saw so it was obviously political rather than personal.

            • High Flying Duck

               /  February 13, 2018

              Thanks Al – I had seen that too. They set it up and recommended he use it.
              I don’t think there was ever any suggestion the account was personal.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  February 13, 2018

              I can’t IMAGINE why the fact that it was a campaign thing wasn’t mentioned by the Insinuators.

  4. Blazer

     /  February 13, 2018

    much ado…about…nothing.

    • robertguyton

       /  February 13, 2018

      His campaign team? They didn’t think that through then, did they. Are they naive then?

    • robertguyton

       /  February 13, 2018

      Much ado, certainly. Avoidable ado, I’d have thought.

  5. High Flying Duck

     /  February 13, 2018

    Slater has followed up with a wonderful “do you still beat your wife” story today.
    Because Bill wasn’t fingered in Seeds of Distrust, Hollow Men, Dirty Politics or the Winston Super leak it is obvious he is the mastermind behind it all – including the Bishop hit. It’s obvious because…joint the dots.
    It is telling the one comment at the time of reading basically his story down.

  6. robertguyton

     /  February 13, 2018

    ” it has now become a dirty politics style smear”, writes Pete.
    Whodunnit, Pete?

  7. robertguyton

     /  February 13, 2018

    From the story:
    “I wanted to confront him as many parents felt very uncomfortable that their children were messaged,”
    Why were those parents “very uncomfortable”?

    • alloytoo

       /  February 13, 2018

      Because they were staunch Labour, and didn’t want them corrupted with rational discourse?

      • robertguyton

         /  February 13, 2018

        Political response with no connection to reality, allytoo. Projecting much.

        • alloytoo

           /  February 13, 2018

          Not at all bobguyton, labour are tribal, often to the point to irrationality. The reality is that they were rather peeved that they couldn’t censor this form of communication from a National MP

    • High Flying Duck

       /  February 13, 2018

      They were squeamish about an adult messaging their teenage daughters…simple as that.

    • Gezza

       /  February 13, 2018

      Why were those parents “very uncomfortable”?
      Only one way to find out, robert. Get onto it. Find out who they are & why they were. Report back?

  8. artcroft

     /  February 13, 2018

    I will always be amazed at how accurate Slater was regarding the Sabin affair. He said the allegations were to horrible to repeat and would lead to Key’s downfall. Three years later and Key is gone. JOIN THE DOTS people.

  9. david in aus

     /  February 13, 2018

    My concern is not who’s hit-job it was but what kind of journalists or newspaper writes this rubbish and innuendos. There are always people who will smear but either the media is biased or are nothing more than Chinese-whispers mongers.
    The moniker “Fake-Media’ would have no currency if there weren’t some truth to it. If the media holds itself to be an important part of democracy, it needs to confront this kind of nonsense.

    • High Flying Duck

       /  February 13, 2018

      It seems clear that Labour MP’s were at least trying to make it a hit job, as HDPA and Soper confirm it was shopped to them by Labour.
      It seems fairly likely it was Labour this time also, but it is unllkely we will ever know.
      Just like it seems likely the Nats were the leak on the Winston super issue, but that has also gone nowhere…despite Slater posting ad-nauseum about how the hammer was about to drop on Bill and Paula over it.
      I guess with Labour in Government again we can go back to the realisation that “dirty politics” is actually just politics as practiced by all sides, no matter what Hagar wishes to portray.
      Jacinda appears to have managed to execute a number of devastating hit jobs without getting any blowback – she could be more Teflon than John!

      • Blazer

         /  February 13, 2018

        it only seems clear’ to those with blurred …vision or those that are..one eyed.

      • robertguyton

         /  February 13, 2018

        ‘…we can go back to the realisation that “dirty politics” is actually just politics as practiced by all sides…” – just what the Dirty Politics team would like. It’s not true though, is it. The various teams are not the same when it comes to the use of “dirty” methods, no matter how many times you repeat your claim.

        • High Flying Duck

           /  February 13, 2018

          So when Mike Williams went to Australia to look up dirt on Key it was what?
          And the Metiria Turia take down?
          And now Chris Bishop? As HDPA said:
          “I’ll be honest. I knew about this before the election. I knew there were messages about this. Guess how I found out? From the Labour Party. The Labour Party knew about this. So the only reason it has been delayed is probably because the parents would finally talk about it. The Labour Party has probably been working on the parents to try and get them to talk to the media. So this in my opinion is a Labour Party hit job. And I think it’s actually disgusting to be honest.”

          • robertguyton

             /  February 13, 2018

            “Probably”??
            You can do much better than that, HFD.

            • High Flying Duck

               /  February 13, 2018

              It was a quote – I can’t change what was said.
              But despite the ‘probably’, which was around timing only I note, the source for the hit is so clear that only you and Blazer could doubt it.

          • Blazer

             /  February 13, 2018

            ‘So when Mike Williams went to Australia to look up dirt on Key it was what?’…what evidence can you produce to back this up?

            • High Flying Duck

               /  February 13, 2018

              It was major news at the time Blazer. Look it up. 2008 election…

            • Blazer

               /  February 13, 2018

              hearsay and conjecture…sorry to say.

            • High Flying Duck

               /  February 13, 2018

              If by hearsay you mean caught red handed, you’re spot on.
              Not going to argue this, but it happened, they were caught and we all moved on, but with National in power…

            • Blazer

               /  February 13, 2018

              no mention of ‘dirt’…Meacham does catch Key out on another lie…however…’The court documents showed that Key was working at Elders Finance when one of the illegal transactions took place, despite Key previously saying he left a month beforehand.’

            • High Flying Duck

               /  February 13, 2018

              No mention of “dirt”?

              1st para:

              Labour is trying to avoid the fallout from the so-called “H-bomb” it has dropped on John Key as it emerges taxpayer funds have been used in the attempt to find dirt on the National Party leader.

              But you keep that delusion bubble wrapped around yourself…

            • Blazer

               /  February 13, 2018

              I just don’t accept confirming Keys employment background as being dirt.He did lie,that came..naturally.

            • High Flying Duck

               /  February 13, 2018

              You are in a minority of 1 there Blazer.
              It was blatant dirt digging.
              Labour were bragging about an “H-Bomb” they were going to drop on Key to discredit him.
              They used Government money to pay for their top operative to fly to Australia and dig up the docs, and then had parliamentary staff working through it to find the non-existent evidence.
              They got one minor fact of no importance (which i note you leapt on, but no-one else gave a shit about) and were caught in the act.

              Looking back, I can now see how Dot Com got his idea for a “Moment of Truth”…maybe Labour should have saved time and written their own incriminating email like he did!

            • Blazer

               /  February 13, 2018

              nobody cares about lies…thats interesting,as for your non sequitur ,you should…know…better.

      • robertguyton

         /  February 13, 2018

        “Jacinda appears to have managed to execute a number of devastating hit jobs without getting any blowback – she could be more Teflon than John!”
        Utter drivel.

        • Kitty Catkin

           /  February 13, 2018

          I kept a cartoon of Mike Williams and Helen Clark digging. One is saying something like ‘Nothing so far but a two-edged sword.’

  10. Looking at whale its all ads and subscriptions. And dying

    • High Flying Duck

       /  February 13, 2018

      It is certainly a pale imitation of what it used to be. Tilting at windmills and pissing in the wind. It is amazing how many attack pieces they post that the commentors vehemently disagree with.
      His love fest with Mr 3% and hatred of BE has removed the last shreds of credibility from what was once a genuine player in the blogosphere.

      • Conspiratoor

         /  February 13, 2018

        Blog owners worship at the alter of page views so I’m sure he appreciates your continued patronage and in depth analysis high flyer. But rest assured your opinion is of no interest to him, nor the steady stream of pundits who have been signalling his imminent demise over the last few years. At some point it just begins to looks silly

        • Gezza

           /  February 13, 2018

          * altar
          (Don’t tell anyone I said this. You know what some people are like!)

          • Conspiratoor

             /  February 13, 2018

            Cheers G but there’s only room for one eejit for any given blog …if you know waddya ah mean

        • “Blog owners worship at the alter of page views”

          Some might. I certainly don’t.

          Opinions here must be of some interest to other bloggers given a visit from one this morning.

        • High Flying Duck

           /  February 13, 2018

          I’ve seen his thoughts on other people’s opinions and he’s right – his blog his rules. All power to him.
          I do still visit his site. But what was compulsory reading is now a short drop in and out. The enjoyment factor of it has reduced to almost nothing.
          There is always the whiff of ulterior motive, and there is nothing new ever posted. Only rehashes of other people’s news and the latest hit job.
          Much of what he posts is proven to be wrong, but is then promoted as prescience on his behalf down the track.
          Maybe it’s better behind the paywall, but the front office offering doesn’t do enough to remotely entice me to subscribe.

  11. namron

     /  February 13, 2018

    Here we go again! Malicious Robert Guyton gives cause to question his intelligence, logic, and sensibility.
    Again his silly comments on the comprehension and reaction – “None of the Parents were concerned that Bishop’s intentions were anything other than misguided” – are like of most of his contributions -pathetically stupid.
    As I have said before, there are NORMAL people in Western Southland who will be cringing at this latest embarrassment from Robert.

    • High Flying Duck

       /  February 13, 2018

      Don’t be silly namron – there are people all over NZ who cringe at the bile Robert writes.
      For a tree hugger he is pretty vindictive and nasty in many of his comments.

  12. duperez

     /  February 13, 2018

    HFD, You said, “Jacinda appears to have managed to execute a number of devastating hit jobs”. What? Things happen and you attribute them to her? What ‘devastating hit jobs’ and what are the indicators which lead back to her. The fact that she is the leader of her party? In other words some end incidental result means that things were orchestrated by her?

    It’s been raining a fair bit in our area in the last couple of days. Using what appears to be the randomness of what you say, should I expect to hear, “Duperez appears to have managed to damp down the North”? Unless of course there is reasonable explanation.