Dirty politics?

Anne at The Standard:

I hear tell Cameron Slater and co. are advertising through the appropriate channels for prospective right wing trolls to attend an urgently arranged training session. It has yet to be confirmed whether a payment for their services will be made, but assurances (in writing) to the successful candidates that they will receive preferential treatment by the parental political body is definitely forthcoming. (satire)

Who is playing dirty here?

“Nicky Hager had committed no such offences”

As well as Anthony Robins there’s a number of commenters Angry at Westpac At The Standard. Some are in the ‘Nicky Hager can do no wrong’ camp.

Freemark remarked:

A few comments out there regarding Hagar & his sources being untouchable due to the “Public interest.”

IMO we saw at the Election and subsequently how interested “the Public” were/are in the book and the issues.

Westpac (& every bank) is required by law & often does disclose many details of account balances, income/expenses etc to other Govt organisations such as IRD etc.

They will also on behalf of these organisations clean out bank accounts and pay them over to said Govt department.
Where is the outrage about this?

Anne replied:

We’re not talking about government departmental cooperation to obtain evidence of fraudulent or criminal behaviour. Nicky Hager had committed no such offences and the police were well aware of that fact from the start.

I don’t know how Anne can be certain Hager had “committed no such offences”.

As well as having an apparent god-like knowledge of everything Hager has done or not done Anne also seems to have an uncanny knowledge of everything the police are aware of.

What we are talking about is a band of corrupt police officers using a legal loophole for the purpose of harassing and intimidating a NZ citizen because he had the temerity to write a book exposing corruption within the government which lead directly to the Prime Minister’s office.

So Anne has judged the police corrupt, convicted them and would sentence them if that was within her powers.

The fact so many voters are ignorant and clueless when it comers to such matters is not the fault of the messenger – in this case Nicky Hager – but the lazy, dumbed down voters of which you appear to be one.

It’s the lazy dumb people who can’t see the truth as per Saint Anne. And they are too lazy and dumb to vote how Anne wants them too.

I don’t know whether the Police and Westpac acted properly in the investigation of Nicky Hager. If they did abuse law and process to gather evidence then I will be very critical of them.

But unless this is investigated properly and the actual facts become known I will keep an open mind about whether there is any fault or corruption involved.

Some like Anne can see no wrong in Saint Nicky.

But no one in New Zealand should be immune from investigation if it is warranted.

Those like Anne who wanted Dirty Politics to swing last year’s election their way seem to put their political ambitions above  the law.

I certainly have serious concerns about what Dirty Politics highlighted (it didn’t reveal much apart from some detail because i was aware generally of how Cameron Slater operated with Jason Ede and others).

I also have potential concerns about how the police investigated Hager, but that is subject to the whole truth becoming known.

I also have serious concerns about one sided books being launched during election campaigns.

And I have serious concerns about individuals being promoted as too perfect to be subject to the laws of New Zealand, and an assumption that any attention from the police must mean corruption.

I guess Anne will just label me as lazy and dumb. But I can claim I have committed no such offences.

Standard reaction to non-hacking

Despite Slater cleared of hacking claims there’s been an unsurprising reaction at The Standard.

First reaction from Anne:

Oh dear oh dear,

The police are covering up for Slater. Claim he and Ede committed no offence when they hacked into Labour’s computer system. Slater’s going to demand an apology from Little.

Geez… I hope Little ridicules him and tells him where to get off in the strongest of language.

It clearly wasn’t hacking.

Detective Superintendent R T Drew said:

I am satisfied that there is no evidence of criminal offending in relation to the accessing of the Labour party computer records.

Take your pick.

Alan W has asked Anne:

pretty strong claim there Anne, got any evidence to back it up??????

That was at 6.05 pm. No response so far, even thought she has commented four times since on it on another thread [Edit: and has just comment above Alan’s request to back up her claim.] – Daily Review, where mickysavage kicked of the incredulousness:

Despite Slater filming his attack on the Labour Party crippled website the Police are not going to be taking any action. They have to be fecking joking …

As a lawyer he should understand the legal aspects, perhaps he doesn’t understand the IT aspects.

And Anne adds:

The proviso: they’re not protecting so much Slater but JOHN KEY AND HIS OFFICE.

I’m going to use stronger language ms. I call it bloody disgusting. I wouldn’t even rule out interference from some quarter on this one. But of course the police will deny it.

Actually I’m so disgusted I think I will write a letter to the police and tell them what I think of them. Can anyone advise me who to send the letter to… ?

She is probably as likely to get the response she wants as Slater gets from Andrew Little.

Draco T Bastard:

The police seem to be operating at the behest of the National Party.

Lynn Prentice posted on this recently in Charge Cameron Slater or let me hack systems:

  1. In 2011, Cameron Slater, Jason Ede of John Keys parliamentary office and an unnamed IT tech at National party head office accessed files without authorisation on the NZ Labour party website. Far from being the innocent accident that he and National portrayed it as being at the time, subsequent revelations in Dirty Politics (pages 28-36) and the rawshark email dumps showed that they’d actively opened files and paid someone to open database files.What is quite clear from those sources is that this group were deliberately attempting to gain political advantage using this material (which makes it a dishonest purpose under Section 249) and that it involved clearly reckless, unauthorised,and repeated access to the Labour party computer system. This was part of a formal complaint by the Labour party to the police in December 2014 after the election.There appears to have been no outcome from this to date, more than 6 months afterwards.2The Labour party deserves some flak for not laying a complaint with the police in 2011. They generously chose instead to believe the public lies that Cameron Slater and the National party hierarchy were using in 2011.

UPDATE: Bunji has put a post up ta The standard on this now: Whitewash

I just have to express my astonishment with the release late on a Friday afternoon (dump time!) that thepolice will not be pursuing any action against Slater/Ede for hacking Labour’s website.

Given a whole year to investigate, they didn’t manage to find out how to spell Nicky Hager or Tim Barnett’s names.  Yup, that’s how much effort and thought they put into whether a clear case of illegal behaviour warranted police action.

And yet, they seemed to be able to get Nicky Hager’s name right for an invasive search warrant on a journalist and mere witness to discover how Hager found out the details of this illegal behaviour.  How dare he do their job for them!

The incompetence and bias is staggering.  The police need to get to understand computer crimes, and be less scared of prosecuting political/electoral crimes.  Our democracy is in sad need of protection…

The comments generally concur with this, and Adam tries to compare two quite different cases:

So if Jason Ede committed no crime, neither did Rawshark, so the prosecution of Nicky Hager is a waste of police resources.

But there are some alternative takes on it – for example ZTesh:

All I’m seeing are people biased against the outcome complaining against it.

Trying to suggest that the Police are corrupt purely because you don’t get the decision you want is rather churlish not to mention ridiculous. Given that they undoubtedly expect the decision to be legally analysed, I highly doubt that they would lay their careers on the line to protect Cameron Slater….

mickysavage (Greg Presland) is reported to be preparing his own post on it, I hope he is able to put aside partisan emotions and have a decent look at the legal aspects of it.

Guerin responds to Prentice

Ben Guerin has responded to the attack on him at The Standard Ben Guerin: a dirty politics fuckwit by Lynn Prentice.

Dirty Politics Fuckwit

Good morning! As the subject of this post, I felt it was only appropriate that I provide a response.

Last night I tweeted the following: https://twitter.com/bjhguerin/status/620538187501277185

Monday 13th July 2015
Ben Guerin

Comment on How Kiwi Are You website

On Sunday the 12th of July I was a member of the Young Nats team that produced the Kiwi-O-Meter on the url http://howkiwiareyou.nz. I would like to publicly state that this website is not at all affiliated with the New Zealand National Party, New Zealand Parliament, or any National Party MPs; and is not endorsed by, or representative of, the views of my employer.

The Kiwi-O-Meter was developed solely by the Young Nats, with no financial compensation, for distribution on the Young Nats Facebook and Twitter pages.

Within 6 hours of launching, more than 25,000 people visited the site. Feedback from users was overwhelmingly positive, with people from all over the political spectrum indicating their support for a light-hearted, satirical website that lampooned the racist and ill-conceived statements made by Phil Twyford and Andrew Little regarding the Auckland housing market over the weekend.

As the registrar of the domain my details were publicly available. Perhaps this was a mistake, but I am a supporter of transparency, and made no secret of my involvement. The fact that the site was made by Young Nats was publicly acknowledged by myself personally and on the Young Nats social media pages.

Unfortunately, after my personal details including phone number, postal address and email address were published on an article on The Standard, I receive a significant amount of hatred-filled vitriol directly at me personally via txt message, phone calls, emails and messages sent to my personal Facebook and Twitter accounts.

As a result of these communications, the Young Nats have pulled the site from thehttp://howkiwiareyou.nz domain, and we have no plans to re-launch it.


It’s a pity Ben has said that the site was pulled because of hatred-filled vitriol directed at him because Prentice published his phone number and email address. That may encourage more dirty attacks.

I presume that Prentice intended to encourage personal attacks like that. He certainly didn’t have any problem with this comment encouraging attacks:


I just sent him a text letting him know what a shit head he is. Can’t see much harm in anyone else telling him the same.

Prentice was closely monitoring comments, heavily edited some and claims to have thrown a quarter of the thread comments in spam, so he must have decided this mob motivator passed his standards.

And in response to Ben’s comment Prentice then posted my phone number and home address. It’s easily obtainable but the obvious intent is to encourage more harassment and abuse. That exposes women and children to risks more than me.

Prentice posted:

In short – you acted like a fool. Take some personal responsibility for it and learn from it.

He has a habit of describing himself, but I doubt he will learn from it.

Most Standard regulars have kept away from this thread, showing good sense. But one Labour Party stalwart joined the jeering


Oh boo hoo, hoo, hoo. My heart bleeds for you.

Serves you right. Shows what a bunch of mentally challenged, inconsequential, puerile minded itsy bitsy twats you all are. May your days be awesomely fruitful and enlightening.😀

That speaks for itself.

And is a very poor reflection on The Standard, on Labour by association and on political discourse in general. No wonder a million people don’t vote. And perhaps no wonder Labour is resorting to deliberately divisive politics – dirty politics – to try and rescue themselves from a dire situation.

A Standard obsession

I’m far from obsessed with The Standard. I occassionally comment and get into discussions there. But with an onslaught of angst against me in my absence yesterday suggests some there have an obsession.

On Saturday I responded to a comment from Draco T Bastard who said:

You’ll find that that is the position of National and Act and probably a large part of Labour as well. They control inflation by keeping wages low through high unemployment. This is what gives the lie to National’s rhetoric about jobs while they attack beneficiaries. They don’t want more jobs but they do want more people in deprivation.

This sort of claim comes up often on the left. I think it’s nonsense that National or Labour want people to remain poor and ‘in deprivation’.  Stephanie Rodgers joined in:

Of course having a lot of people living in poverty makes economic/business sense to short-term capitalist thinkers. Larger pool of desperate labour = drives wages and work conditions down = short-term profit.

This has been explained many times before, Pete, so your hand-wringing is utterly insincere.

Nonsense rhetoric. I’ve never seen it explained properly why ‘rich people’ – and National and Labour governments – would want to deliberately keep most people poor. That’s bad for business and bad for economic growth. Short-term capitalist thinkers? How many people want to be rich today, broke tomorrow?

I stayed in the ensuing discussion for about an hour and a half and then left for the day, I had other things I wanted to do. The discussion continued. One comment from Murray Rawshark:

The main purpose of the measures taken to encourage people on benefits to get employment is to make their lives hell. Neither party gives a damn about unemployment, except that it can be used to keep wages down. WFF was a great example, and was used to unburden employers even more of their duty to pay a living wage.

That was challenged by The A1lien but Murray stuck to his claim that the aim of Government to get people off benefits and into work is to make life hell for them. That’s nonsense but a common line from the left.

That was all Standard as usual, far left rhetoric and an intolerance for being questioned.

Then on Open Mike on Sunday morning Anne commented:

On behalf of all of those commenters and readers who come here daily to be intellectually titillated, educated and entertained… could I point out the endless, boring diatribes with that duplicitous dullard, Pete George is putting us off this site in a big way.

Why is he still here?

I wasn’t there and hadn’t been for nearly a day. But that didn’t stop a core of regulars from jumping on the bashwagon. Paul responded:

Totally agree Anne.
I stop reading a thread when I see it derailed.
Better things to do than watch puerile and pointless debating.

Anne again:

There is no point anyone wasting time and energy trying to argue with someone who constantly derails and distracts away from rational debate out of some kind of personal, perverse pleasure.

‘Derails and distracts’ is Standardese for expressing a different opinion. If you don’t just join the circle jerk you are deemed an enemy jerk and need to be shut up and shut out.

And a handful of them spent the rest of the day dominating Open Mike complaining miserably about me (and others) taking over and derailing threads. A couple of people pointed out that I wasn’t there, like Adele:

PG is not even in the room and yet he can cause random people to perform random acts of dullness in this space.

Surely the irony is not lost.

The irony was lost on most of them and it didn’t stop the outpouring of angst and the calls to ban. Sacha said:

It is not harmless, and nor is it accidental. When somebody repeatedly despoils a conversation place despite previous warnings, any decent community will eject them. He’s poisoning the well.

I was nowhere near the water. They were busy pissing in their own well.

Sacha again:

And the solution has not changed either.

He wants the final solution. Like he helped engineer at Public address. Shutting up inconvenient opinions is not confined to the left but it’s more common from the left.

It seems odd that so many at The Standard chose to spend their Sunday flooding the thread with bitter complaints about me being there when I wasn’t there.

Most of the claims and accusations they make are nonsense. I’m just one relatively obscure person who joings discussions occasionally.

Has the Standard’s labour left not got anything important or positive to look forward to in 2015? Apparently not.

I seem to create more havoc by staying away from the Standard. Wouldn it be less disruptive if I joined in more often? No. They seem to just like beat ups and I seem to have become a target of choice. It has become an obsession for some and a bandwagon for others who want to be seen as belonging to the labour left. That makes for a bit of a sad and sorry looking Standard.

Comments on media news sites

Comments and likes/dislikes on media news sites have always been contentious. With an election looming they risk becoming meaningless, with armies of message manipulators likely to be busy.

A comment at The Standard from ‘Anne’ highlights part of the problem.

What I have done in the past few days is to set up log-ins for most of the media outlets so that I can instantly respond to their crap stories – stories that are only going to increase in number the closer we get to the election.

Note to self: write down the different pseudonyms in case you muddle them up girl.

Potentially many people using multiple anonymous identities to create the appearance of approval of party messages and disapproval of opponents means the numbers are worthless.

The same applies to online polls, with orchestrated voting likely to be common.

Recent comments from ‘Anne’ under one of her identities at The Standard:

Yes, there are journalists deserving of respect and praise David. There are also journalists who are deserving of nothing but contempt.

An ironic comment considering Anne’s tactics.

I. for one, would be more than happy to donate to a Labour initiated fund so they could hire lawyers to fight the case (against the Herald) for them without dipping into campaign funds. If the Herald comment section is any indication, I think there would be a substantial amount of money flowing in from non-members and even non Labour voters who nevertheless want to see a fair election campaign on a relatively even playing field.

A “fair election campaign” using deceit.

Talking of a Labour is bad smear campaign…

Anyone else see the Good/Bad banner in yesterday’s HOS? (It usually appears mid way through on the top right side. Under Good is a photo of someone who has ‘done’ Good and ditto for Bad.) This week Prince George was awarded the “Good” title. No prizes for guessing whose photo appeared alongside for the “Bad” title. Couldn’t have produced a more stark contrast could they… the cherubic little prince and the nasty, nasty politician called David Cunliffe.

I actually found that piece of slimy, subliminal messaging far more offensive than the written stuff. I’m rapidly coming to the view that the Labour Party can’t roll over this time. They must investigate and then start legal proceedings against the HOS at the very least.

The old campaigner seems to be bitter about all media that’s negative to her party.

Comments are from this search – some interesting reading.

There are likely to be hordes from most parties all over social media trying to fight for their patch.

It’s likely that many online comments forums are dominated by party operators preaching to the already converted. Most ordinary voters aren’t interested in politics, especially on a day by day basis.

It’s like a rugby test match with no audience. Converting the online fray to votes is a dubious benefit.