‘Sick’ – Simon Lusk comes out at WO

It was unusual to see two posts from Simon Lusk at Whale Oil yesterday, he has fed content to be posted under ‘Cameron Slater’ for a long time but doesn’t often put his own name to it. This coming out may have been necessitated by  Slater having a break from posting, thought to be due to illness.

The Lusk posts revived attacks against the leadership of Simon Bridges after the Jami-Lee Ross debacle that backfired, probably bolstering bridges’ position as leader for the time being at least. Lusk was trying to stir up National MPs against Bridges.

His attempt at interference probably went down like a cup of cold sick in the National caucus, where it is thought that Lusk, Ross and Slater are politically toxic.

The first post: National’s polling released to caucus today

I think that is a regular part of National’s polling and caucus meetings so is hardly news. Lusk tried to suggest what the internal polling would show, but I would be very surprised if pollster David try to topple Bridges. So I think it is reasonable to assume that Lusk was guessing.

But apart from some of the usual sycophant and sock puppet type responses in comments, Lusk referring to a National MP as ‘sick’ (he repeated it three times) went down like a cup of cold sick at Whale oil.

ExPFC: Ok Simon. I guess maybe I’ve missed something so here goes anyway. Why “sick” Todd?

spanishbride: It is a silly ‘in’ joke. It is a criticism of his taste in something.

Jayar: “Silly” is the word. It’s demeaning and doesn’t seem to be deserved.

Cogito Ergo Sum: Yes, all A bit tiresome Mr Lusk. Riddles don’t add to the story. Neither does constant demeaning of people.

The ‘sick’ label can’t be passed off as a silly joke. Using ‘joke’ as an excuse for smearing name calling is an old trick.

The follow-up post: Polling advice for National MPs

An obvious overt attempt to influence National MPs. And to publicly promote dissent. And an attempt to get to pressure them – “Whaleoil readers should send a link to their local National MP”.

In this post Lusk repeated the ‘sick’ label five times. On this post the WO dissent cranked up straight away:

pisces: Why is he called ‘Sick’ Todd? I was under the impression this site didn’t nicknames etc

I think that nicknames are frowned on at Whale Oil except when Slater/Lusk/SB/Nige want to smear people – a typical double standard.

Terry: The repetition of such a demeaning nickname says much more about Lusk than it does about McClay.

Jayar: Absolutely agree!

Kaimai6: Thought exactly the same. The story could have been told without the use of the demeaning language. A bit pathetic really for a supposed political whizz kid.

The Lusk/Slater playbook is often pathetic, and impotent post ‘Dirty Politics’. Dirty attack politics is increasingly being seen as being as appealing as cold sick.

Talking of sick, Slater seems to have sufficiently recovered from his illness to start commenting again. Since his sudden silence three weeks ago, apparently suffering one or more strokes but not admitted in WO, Slater had posted (in comments) a couple of lame product promotions, but yesterday tried to bolster Lusk’s attacks. Weakly and poorly supported – there was far more support of the criticisms of Lusk.

While it still supports an active (but significantly smaller) community, as an activist attack blog Whale Oil is ailing.

Why has Lusk come out into open smear-mongering now? With Ross sick, and Slater sick, he may have had little option to dish up the cold sick himself.

Setbacks for Slater, Graham in defamation proceedings

Cameron Slater has been the defendant in three defamation proceedings.

Versus Colin Craig a recent judgment found that Slater had defamed Craig but Craig had harmed his own reputation and no costs would be awarded to either. Craig has indicated he will appeal this decision.

Also recently Matthew Blomfield finally (after 6 years trying) got Slater to trial. It appears that later had little or no defence and could potentially face substantial costs, but that is all happening behind the scenes.

And the third proceeding has come up in the courts and news, still pre-trial. Newsroom: Whaleoil and Peters’ lawyer suffer court setbacks

The Whaleoil blogger Cameron Slater has lost a bid to have hacked documents obtained by author Nicky Hager excluded from a High Court defamation case.

Slater, and a co-defendant Carrick Graham the son of former national minister Sir Douglas Graham, have also been ordered to front-up in court ahead of the defamation hearing to answer questions from the lawyers for the three health professionals who are suing them for defamation.

Justice Matthew Palmer ordered the cross examination in the court room because Slater and Graham had not cooperated satisfactorily with the written questioning from lawyers for medical researchers Doug Sellman, Boyd Swinburn and Shane Bradbrook.

Justice Palmer’s decisions were the latest setbacks for Slater and his lawyer Brian Henry, the longtime barrister for New Zealand First leader Winston Peters, in the defamation case.

The three health professionals sued Slater, Graham, ex National MP Katherine Rich and her Food and Grocery Council for defamation after Hager’s Dirty Politics book revealed emails and communications linking the defendants in blog posts critical of the three men.

NZ Herald: Hacked emails allowed in Cameron Slater cash for comment defamation case – judge

Blogger Cameron Slater, lobbyist Carrick Graham and former MP Katherine Rich have failed in their bid to have hacked emails excluded from a defamation case.

The High Court has also ruled that Slater and Graham will have to take the stand to be “orally examined” during trial, as their written answers so far have been “inconsistent”.

And all three defendants have been ordered to provide more paperwork to the plaintiffs – a trio of health experts – particularly around what payment agreements were made between them.

Slater, who writes the WhaleOil blog, is accused of being paid to write the posts by ex-National MP Rich through her employer the Food and Grocery Council (NZFGC).

They accuse Graham, son of the former National cabinet minister Sir Douglas Graham, of being the middle man.

Previously, the defendants tried to get the case struck out, but the court declined.

A jury trial should go ahead next year; High Court Judge Matthew Palmer issued a second judgement on preliminary matters before trial today.

In it, the judge declined Slater’s application to exclude hacked documents obtained by the plaintiffs from Nicky Hager – the author of Dirty Politics – at this stage.

He also said the defendants had not complied with discover. While Slater disclosed 32 documents, other than blog posts, including 27 individual emails to or from Rich – there was no evidence of payments received and only one document containing data from the Whale Oil website.

Graham disclosed 172 documents including four emails from Slater and 114 emails to or from Rich or NZFGC. None of the discovered emails to or from Rich pre-dated the publication of Dirty Politics, the judge said.

Rich and NZFGC disclosed around 1200 documents, including 24 items of correspondence with Graham. No correspondence with Slater was included.

The judge said there were grounds for believing Slater and Graham had not provided some documents, and requested they be provided.

Some documents about payments were included, revealing the fact Graham’s company received $365,814 from NZFGC over about five years.

But he wanted a more precise account of the terms and scope of services between Rich and/or the NZFGC and Slater or Graham including any associated documents.

He said the hacked emails would not be struck out because he was not persuaded they were not genuine.

After examining Graham and Slater’s answers to interrogatories, the judge said he was concerned their statements that WhaleOil did not publish blogposts for reward were “not consistent” with the plaintiff’s evidence.

“They are inconsistent with reasonable inferences from the emails obtained by the plaintiffs,” the judgment said.

In other words, the judge has concerns that Slater and Graham have not provided documents under discovery that they should have – and it seems that hacked emails provide evidence suggesting that they haven’t complied. This could be a serious matter, hence the call to answer to the court at a hearing.

“I am also concerned a number of other aspects of the interrogatories may not have been properly responded to, regarding: who was the author of the blog posts; the involvement of each of the defendants in their preparation; downloading of blog posts; authorship of the comments; and payments received. I consider Mr Slater and Mr Graham have made insufficient answer to the interrogatories. “

He said the pair would be required to take the stand for up to an hour during trial.

An important question to be answered is whether Slater, or the company he is director of and jointly owns with his wife Juana Atkins, Social Media Consultants Limited, have been paid to post hit jobs. Nicky Hager suggested money haad been paid in his book Dirty Politics.

Meanwhile possibly not coincidentally and somewhat at odds with what the judge is saying, on Wednesday at Whale Oil:  Whaleoil is not free and telling the truth costs

To continue to service our Oiler community with real-life get-togethers and interesting and entertaining content we have had to think outside of the box as telling the truth can have legal consequences that put a massive strain on the blog’s finances.

Embellishing the truth and making up allegations are more likely to have legal consequences, and can be far more costly.

We don’t want to put out the begging bowl so have instead been working hard on finding alternative revenue streams that give our supporters something fantastic in return.

All this litigation is expensive, even without awards of costs and damages.

It can also be a strain on well being. As far as I know this is till undisclosed at Whale Oil, and Slater’s sudden absence from posts and comments a couple of weeks ago is still unexplained (the absence of curiosity or comment about his absence in comments is very odd).

I have heard claims that Slater may have suffered from one or two strokes and is to some extent incapacitated. Perhaps WO management thinks that telling the truth about this will be expensive if it adversely effects fundraising. Perhaps spanish bride can explain the truth when she reads this.

UPDATE:

 

 

Lusk and Slater further connected to NZ First

Winston Peters has been a very successful political strategist over the decades, apart from the occasional hiccup, like losing the Tauranga and NZ First being dropped from Parliament in 2008, and losing the Northland electorate in 2017.

So it is odd to see him appearing to work with Simon Lusk and Cameron Slater. Slater is a discredited political activist and lacks support now even on Whale Oil. Lusk is not someone to promote on a politician’s CV given his negative methods and thrill of the political kill.

Richard Harman at Politic suggests more connections – Dirty politics, Russell McVeagh and Winston Peters. The bizarre story of two high priced dinners

One of the key players in the 2014 National Party “dirty politics” allegations appears to have become involved with NZ First.

The Hawke’s Bay political consultant, Simon Lusk, attended two recent NZ First “business networking” evenings with NZ First Leader, Winston Peters.

Lusk featured prominently in the “dirty politics” allegations along with his close associate, Cameron “Whaleoil” Slater.

The news of Lusk’s involvement comes at the same time as one of his longest term clients, Jami Lee Ross, has announced that he will give his proxy vote to NZ First but that they will cast it with National.

POLITIK has spoken to two business people who attended the functions.

They both said Lusk appeared to be very busy during the events in some sort of administrative role.

What is unclear is whether Lusk had any role broking the agreement for New Zealand First to cast Ross’s proxy vote while he is away from the House.

Peters and Slater share the same lawyer, Brian Henry who is also the NZ First constitutional officer who chaired the lengthy debate about re-writing the constitution att heir conference.

The impression must now be that Lusk and Slater are supporting New Zealand First and that Peters appears to go along with that.

Slater has shown obvious intent to inflict as much damage to National that he can since the party distanced themselves from him after Dirty Politics in 2014, and especially through last year’s election campaign and since Simon bridges took over the leadership.

This fits with Winston’s aims. Last year he had thought NZ First could take over Labour’s position as second biggest party, until Jacinda Ardern replaced Andrew Little.

He now seems to think that he can dump on National and take over from them, which fits with Slater’s agenda.

How will NZ First supporters and voters view this? Many of them were anti-National so may not be fussed on supporting New National.

And if NZ First score Jami-lee Ross as a candidate – see Ross to stand for NZ First in Botany – plan or joke? – that is not going to do much for their credibility. They already have a questionable line up of MPs.

Lusk has been promoted as some sort of master political strategist, but it’s hard to see a NZ First/Ross/Slater combination doing well with voters. Perhaps it’s the best of very limited options.

Harman:

The networking evenings bizarrely, were hosted in Wellington and Auckland by the top-drawer law firm, Russell McVeagh and drew around  60 prominent business people and industry lobbyists at each venue.

Among the attendees in Wellington, is believed to have been Business NZ CEO, Kirk Hope.

Some of the attendees are believed to have made substantial donations at the $300 a head functions to the party.

Perhaps Lusk and Slater don’t care as long as there’s money in it for them.

Nottingham fails again in Court of Appeal, judicial system faltering

Another failed Dermot Nottingham attempt to get leave to appeal from the Court of Appeal, this time against myself and Allied Press Limited.

This follows over three years of two related private prosecution proceedings. Last week Nottingham was also declined leave to appeal in the Court of Appeal versus Lynn Prentice and APN Limited – see Nottingham fails another attempted appeal.

All four parties were originally charged together in July 2015, but the cases against Allied Press and I were moved to Dunedin as they had been incorrectly filed in Auckland.

Prentice and APN went to trial in June 2016 and all charges were dismissed. They were eventually awarded costs. Nottingham unsuccessfully appealed the dismissal and costs in the High Court, and last week failed to get leave to appeal from the Court of Appeal.

The  week after those dismissals at trial Allied Press and I had a hearing seeking dismissal of charges prior to trial. Nottingham had not submitted opposing this. At the hearing Nottingham sought and obtained the Court’s leave to withdraw the charges.

We subsequently applied for costs and these were eventually awarded. In March this year Nottingham lost a High Court appeal against the costs, and has now failed to get leave to appeal from the Court of Appeal. After a hearing before three judges on 9 October 2018 their judgment has just come out.

[5] The private prosecution initiated by Mr Nottingham charged Allied Press Ltd and Mr George with breaching a suppression order by publishing articles on their respective websites in breach of s 211 of the Criminal Procedure Act.

[8] Mr Nottingham’s principal argument in support of his application for leave to appeal is that convictions of Allied Press Ltd and Mr George were inevitable if he had chosen to continue with the prosecution. He submits that Davidson J’s finding that the prosecution was defendable was “inconsistent with the indisputable facts”.

At the time the charges were withdrawn the case was in a hopeless state. The 1000+ page long 3 month+ late initial disclosure was inadequate, a promised expert witness statement was never produced, and Nottingham repeatedly failed to comply with law, court rules and timetables.

Both APN and I had entered not guilty please, legally we were ‘not guilty’ when the charges were withdrawn by the prosecutor, and we both believe we are not guilty in fact and could have defended the charges. Seven judges have agreed that the charges were defendable, but as the cases had never gone to trial could not rule out the possibility that Nottingham could have eventually proved something. he never has.

[9] Mr Nottingham says that the issues of costs against a prosecutor and what published information will breach a suppression order require clarification…

[10] These questions are all fact specific and relate only to this case.

[11] We are of the view that the questions posed are not issues of general principle or of general importance in the administration of the criminal law by the courts.

[12] Nor are we satisfied that a miscarriage of justice may have occurred or may occur unless the appeal is heard. Discontinuation of proceedings will ordinarily have cost consequences. This was not a case where the prosecution would have clearly succeeded but for circumstances unrelated to the merits. We agree with the Judge that the prosecution was defendable. The issues would have included whether the publications contained any suppressed information and whether the requisite mental element was established for charges that are not of strict liability. Further, as the Judge mentioned, if the issue of “hidden computer search tools” had become relevant, then the legal and evidential issues would have been more complex. There were no clear answers to these issues on the untested evidence.

[13] We accordingly decline the application for leave to appeal.

The evidence had never been tested at trial, so despite Nottingham effectively trying to re-litigate the case at four subsequent hearings over costs we remain ‘not guilty’ (and, I believe, not guilty).

Note: there is suppression (Order prohibiting publication of evidence and submissions contained in
this judgment) related to a different prosecution (and conviction), so those details cannot be published at this stage, and the full judgment won’t be published pending the final outcome of the other case.

Prior to the last High Court appeal Nottingham indicated he intended taking the case to both the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court, so a further legal step is possible. I think this would be futile, and would use up more of the already overstretched court resources.

Nottingham currently has three cases pending before the Supreme Court following other failed appeals – see Case information 2018

Further attempts at appeal would incur further costs. Nottingham has admitted he has been insolvent for some time, has claimed to have debts of about $2 million (about quarter of a million in various court costs awarded against him), and he was adjudicated bankrupt in September – see HONEY v NOTTINGHAM [2018] NZHC 2382 [11 September 2018].

He seems to have had no intention of paying costs, and no ability to pay costs, yet he continues to force people to incur costs through the courts. In an email in 2015 he said that if various intended litigation took ten years ‘he was up for it”.

Nottingham has incurred all the costs but has not been acting alone.

Robert Earle McKinney has been closely involved with the proceedings against us. He arranged for the initial serving of documents (that was funny, I was photographed being served the documents on a Dunedin street). He shared the same email account as Nottingham, which was associated with his company Advantage Advocacy Limited (now in liquidation – see First Liquidators Report). Nottingham was said to be the sole employee of this company, and the company was registered at his address.

Cameron Slater was named as an informant to the prosecution, and was named as an expert witness (but never provided a witness statement). He appeared as a witness in the Prentice/APN trial. See NOTTINGHAM v APN NEWS & MEDIA LTD [2018] NZHC 596 [29 March 2018]:

  • calling a witness who had not been brief, Mr Slater. The detail and nature of this evidence had not been provided to the defence prior to the presentation of the witness to the Court;

Slater has been named by Nottingham as involved in ongoing attempts at litigation against me. He was also associated with the failed Court Order attempt by Marc Spring.

Marc Spring was also involved in serving court documents for Nottingham, and openly associated himself with @LaudaFinem in a campaign of harassment against me, at one stage suggesting I would be ‘fucked over’ as happens at Whale Oil. He has been involved in a number of ways in trying to trash and take down Your NZ. I believe he was also contributor to content (posts and comments under various pseudonyms) at the now taken down laudafinem.com blog. – see from sentencing notes:

“Either Dermot Nottingham is Lauda Finem (in other words, the leading mind of that blog) or he is so intimately related to it that it is proper to conclude that he provided information and draft articles to that blog site knowing and intending that they would be published.”

There is a lot more on Spring’s involvement in various things but that is for another story. Others have also been involved in various ways.

Due to all of this I have learned a lot about how our judicial system works. I don’t think it has coped well with people who use it to attack and use it to try to cause hardship to others, and who repeatedly abuse processes and fail to comply with laws, rules and conventions that lawyers are bound to adhere to.  They have wasted a large amount of court time and resources.

I think that private prosecutions are an important part of our judicial system, as is the right to represent oneself and act as a lay litigant.

But I think that far less leniency for breaches of laws, rules and timetables would make things more fair for the targets of vexatious litigation.

There are apparently strict requirements for filing court submissions according to defined timetables. In theory this allows for orderly and fair processes.  But Nottingham has been allowed far too much leniency, and due to his frequency of litigation he should not get away with the excuse of lay litigant ignorance. Courts have pointed that out.

Nottingham repeatedly ignored requirements. A few examples (from many) from my proceedings.

“At the commencement of criminal proceedings, or as soon as practicable after that time, and in any event not later than the applicable date, the prosecutor must disclose the following information to the defendant.”

“In this section, applicable date means—

(a) the date that is 15 working days after the commencement of criminal proceedings

That means he should have provided disclosure by mid-August 2015. After he failed disclosure was requested by counsel and instructed by the Court. He still failed to disclose, and at one stage said he was deliberately delaying disclosure. He finally served a 9cm think pile of garbage (that has to be all read in case there is something important, not cheap when you are paying a lawyer to do it) in December 2015, three and a half months late.

When we applied for and submitted on costs Nottingham filed his submission late with the court but failed to serve it on us (the Applicants). When just prior to a scheduled hearing we found out he had submitted but not served the Court directed that he serve, but he failed to do that. I had to spend half a day in Court reading through hundreds of pages just in case there was something in it that was important.

Nottingham failed to appear at the costs hearing, but instead emailed a further submission during the hearing. remarkable the Court gave us copies and the Judge ordered a short adjournment so we could read it (a ridiculous situation to put us in). Then when the hearing resumed another submission arrived in court. At least the judge refused to accept that one.

For the Court of Appeal proceedings Nottingham:

  • filed his application seeking leave to appeal out of time
  • failed to file a submission as directed by a judge to give reasons for applying out of time
  • failed to file his submission as Applicant by the due date
  • after being told he had not filed by the court he set his own timetable
  • he finally filed his submission after both respondents had filed our submissions on time
  • two hours prior to the appeal hearing he filed another submission.

How did the Court deal with all of these transgressions? One of the three appeal judges said he two hour prior to hearing submission was ‘unhelpful’.

I made the point in oral submissions that all of these failures impose severe difficulties on the respondents, and also costs for those who have lawyers having to try and deal with the chaos. But that was not noted in the judgment.

I have been severely inconvenienced and disadvantaged through 3+ years of proceedings due to the actions and failures to comply of Nottingham. Lawyers would not get away with any of this (they wouldn’t attempt to get away with it).

While the various judges and courts have had difficulty dealing with a recidivist abuser of processes I believe hey have in effect aided and abetted these abuses by being so lenient with Nottingham time and time again.

If the courts want to reduce the pressure on time and resources they could help themselves by ensuring that litigants at least mostly comply with requirements.

This has been a huge learning curve for me, being my first experience in litigation and the courts. I found out what I was required to do, and did everything as required, on time. I have been severely disadvantaged by the numerous breaches by Nottingham, unchecked by the courts.

What have I got for this? Some costs awarded, with the likelihood that none of that will be paid. And I have got off cheaply compared to others.

The law is largely not an ass, and court staff and judges generally do good jobs under pressure, but the judicial system could be improved with some simple insistences that basic processes are complied with.

What’s up at Whale Oil?

There have been noticeable changes at Whale Oil over the last couple of days. After a frenetic few weeks in a resurgence of activity from Cameron Slater there was a switch on Monday to self and site promotion, and then yesterday a noticeable absence.

Slater had been doing little more than going through the motions for months, with little more than two or three token posts per day, and little of note. He came back with a roar getting involved with the Jami-Lee Ross saga, in support of Ross and ramping up his long running attacks against the National Party, Simon Bridges and other MPs, as well as bringing up his gripes against John Key and Bill English.

He also did a flurry of posts on the release of the Craig v Slater defamation judgment, claiming vindication and victory, despite losing on two counts to Craig, and failing to win on his claims. No damages were awarded, with costs to be dealt with but little likelihood he would come out on top let alone breaking even financially.

On Monday he was still making big noises about revealing information and identities involved in the Jami-Lee Ross issues.

But there were signs of change, with an admission that Whale Oil had been shedding subscribers due to his attacks on National, and a number of self promotion posts trying to say how great he was. Some of this sounded like jacked up endorsements.

Yesterday (Tuesday) there were a couple of posts under Slater’s authorship, but these looked like standard style scheduled posts that have been common for some time – often following the news by a day or two.

And Slater has suddenly stopped commenting – his last comment was on Monday night (9:25 pm).

It has been common for Slater to be away from the WO front line due to various commitments, like court appearances, but this was a sudden change from his recent activities and threats of revelations.

Also noticeable yesterday was a lack of input from ‘spanishbride’ – there were a few standard style and probably scheduled posts from ‘SB’, but also suddenly no comments.

The blog kept functioning with a normal range of innocuous posts from the various authors who have become involved over the last years or so, but there was a sudden subdued feel after the hectic couple of weeks prior.

Blogging can be a relentless job, especially when it is run as a business as is Whale Oil. And the way Slater operates, with his resurgence over the last couple of weeks attacking enemies and losing support, as well as getting some unfavourable and potentially costly court results, will have been tough.

For some time Slater has appeared jaded and worn down, and the lack of success in the recent flurry of attention and activity probably won’t have helped. He and SB have also talked of  health problems over the last couple of years.

There seemed to be a sudden and unexplained cessation of activity yesterday.

The non-naming of the National MP

The National MP who is alleged to have had a relationship with Jami-Lee Ross and is claimed to have played a part in precipitating a claimed attempt at suicide has not been named publicly by media. Ross did name her in a radio interview, but in replays her name was beeped out.

Discussions have continued on why she has not been named by media, and whether she should be named.

One of the strongest reasons put forward for not naming her is her well being. It has been claimed she is the victim of harassment, so naming her would add to the exposure and harassment.

It can also be asked whether there is public interest in naming her. Just about everyone with an interest in this probably knows who it is. I found out without looking for it. Naming her probably has more risks than good reasons.

But there could be some public interest in knowing of an MP who allegedly had a long term affair with another MP, and that that ended with a harsh text that some have claimed incited suicide (I don’t see that, especially looking at the timeline – the claimed suicide attempt event happened months after the text was sent).

And identifying the MP removes suspicion from other female National MPs, but this seems to be a minor consideration given that most people involved in politics will know who it is.

Why has the media not named her? Obviously they are not saying.

One risk that has been mentioned is the risk of it opening the floodgates of publicising Parliamentary promiscuity, and some journalists are alleged to playing a part in that generally, and accusations and names have been mentioned (no evidence that I’ve seen) that at least one journalist has been involved with Ross.

Do the public have a right to know if there is a compromised MP who may also be under severe mental health stress? That’s a difficult question. Usually there is no way of knowing which MPs are under health care. Most operate under some degree of stress. Medical information is governed by privacy laws.

It should be noted that Ross was the first to out himself as being subject to claims of harassment (as well as naming the MP on air).

Cameron Slater blames the MP (and a wider conspiracy) for Ross being dumped from the National caucus and for causing his mental meltdown (alleged, all we know about Ross’ mental state is what has been claimed by peoeple with vested interests, Slater being prominent.

He has all but named her a number of times at Whale Oil, making it easy to work out who it is (his obvious intent). He has also complained bitterly about the media not naming her, but despite repeated threats to out her himself, and despite promoting himself as media, for some reason he doesn’t want to be the first to do so. One can imagine that if mainstream media do name her he will be using that as an excuse to continue in ‘full retard’ mode against the MP, Simon Bridges and National.

One thing holding Slater back may be finances. He is facing what could be some large legal bills for overstepping in the past on Whale Oil, and is now mired in multiple defamation actions. He may be reluctant to risk another.

And he has admitted losing subscriptions at Whale Oil over his ongoing campaign attacking Bridges and National, which he escalated on the back of the Ross revelations. Subsequent self praise promotions and promotions of Whale Oil by SB suggest that the loss of subscription revenue is of concern to them. The timing is bad.

And the motives and methods of Slater, who claims to be acting for Ross who has gone silent, are highly suspect. he haas admitted making incorrect claims, and it is sensible to be highly sceptical of anything he says that isn’t backed up by evidence – and that means more evidence than screen shots of communications that are not authenticated and could be cherry picked and at real risk of being out of context.

Slater will probably keep agitating and complaining, but most people who had an interest in the Ross and MP issue are largely over it. As are the media.

I have considered naming the MP but continue to choose not to. I’m not aware of all the facts so can’t justify the potential risks.

One possible risk is legal – given the silence on identity there could be legal injunctions that have gagged the media. Similarly as for court suppressions, these make things difficult for non-mainstream media like Your NZ – there is no way of me knowing what I am legally not allowed to say.

So no names and no hints here please.

It may be best to move on, and to ignore a Wail Oil desperate for attention and intent on inflicting political utu. he may eventually do what he has promised and name names, but Dirty Politics has done it’s dash and should be trashed.

A discussion on the naming or not here (Kiwi Journalists Association):

https://www.facebook.com/groups/216332661716385/permalink/2424609580888671/

Slater had ‘good and lucid discussion’ with Ross just before ‘suicide’ text

Someone emailed me and pointed out what could be a significant part of Cameron Slater”s post Another hit job from David Fisher which I must correct and tell the truth that the National party fails to

Saturday 20th October – Jami-Lee Ross is back in Auckland, but he is homeless. He has slept in his car and hasn’t slept much over the past week. He phones me at approximately 8:30 pm and he is distraught. We had a good and lucid discussion. However, as he sat there in his car he began scrolling through his past messages and he came across the nasty text from the female MP. It set him off. At 8:51 pm he texts her and then turns his cell phone off. She frantically tries to respond via text and makes 4 phone calls to him. He turns his phone on and off over the next three hours.

This says that Ross was distraught before talking to Slater and before scrolling back through his texts.

There is very specific detail in this from Slater, in which he says he had “a good and lucid discussion” with Ross just before Ross scrolls through old texts and then replies “You get your wish” to a two month old text from a National MP which, Slater claims, triggers a suicide alert.

Slater says that the text “set him off” – but that wasn’t the only thing that would have been influencing Ross at that time, given he was having a discussion with Slater.

It could be that Slater was unable to de-distraught Ross, but that’s not the only possibility in this situation.

Also in the same paragraph:

At one stage, a journalist communicates with him. as her company had someone stationed near his house and had observed a Police i-car turn up. [WO:  The journalist concerned has contacted me to clarify this situation. I am satisfied that there was no company watcher in place] She was concerned. This short text conversation occurred at 10:25 pm as Jami-Lee Ross was driving to the Waikato.

Rather ironically in a post headlined “which I must correct and tell the truth” Slater stated as a fact something he now acknowledges was not the truth.

Jami-Lee Ross/Slater versus National continues

I think that most of the media and most of the public are largely over the Jami-Lee Ross saga, but Cameron Slater (Whale Oil) and David Fisher (NZ Herald) keep arguments and counter arguments going.

Another somewhat remarkable development is that some from the left (like The Daily Blog and in social media) have been claiming that National has been involved in ‘dirty politics’ with Ross, using claims by Mr Dirty Politics (Slater) as evidence. Slater has been getting some support (and some questions) on Whale Oil, but Kiwiblog comments have been near universally challenging and scathing of Slater’s muckraking methods and motives.

Slater has a history of making unsubstantiated allegations and dubious claims, and admitted to ’embellishment’ in a Parliamentary inquiry associated with the dumping of Judith Collins from Cabinet (as a result of Slater communications being made public). More on this later.

Fisher on Wednesday:  National’s leader Simon Bridges rings Dirty Politics blogger to talk Jami-Lee Ross

The Jami-Lee Ross saga has forced National Party leader Simon Bridges into conversation with Dirty Politics blogger Cameron Slater, who is in close contact with the rogue and unwell MP.

Bridges’ office confirmed to the Herald that Bridges called Slater to give the right-wing attack blogger assurances over decisions about Ross having been made after taking proper medical advice.

The phone call confirms Slater’s key role in the Ross affair, which has caused the National Party more than a week of anxiety and chaos.

Bridges’ call to Slater came after the Whale Oil blogger wrote a blog post promising retribution on the National Party for what he sees as its role in Ross’ deteriorating mental health and subsequent fall from grace.

It is believed Slater has been personally supporting Ross since the weekend and his assistance extended to helping the MP in his release from Middlemore Hospital’s mental health facilities yesterday.

Slater’s role has also extended to briefing media on aspects of the Ross saga.

This was a sudden change after Slater had claimed to be not involved at all up until last weekend.

Other media did not follow the story but Slater, on his Whale Oil blog, used it as a springboard to attack the MP for sending a “disgusting text message”.

On Tuesday RNZ reported on one historic (2 months old) text from a National MP to Ross which they only part quoted. It included the words “You deserve to die”- see Female MP sent abusive text to Jami-Lee Ross

Fisher on Friday: The chain of events which put Jami-Lee Ross in mental health care

The path to mental health care for unwell MP Jami-Lee Ross appears to have started with a text message to the fellow MP with whom he had an affair.

Through a range of sources, the Herald has been able to untangle the apparent chain of events leading to Ross entering Middlemore Hospital on Saturday evening.

It has revealed a National Party which moved quickly to do what it could for its former MP after he sent a text message to his former lover which appeared to reveal a man in distress.

The events are contrary to those being pushed by Dirty Politics blogger and National Party pariah Cameron Slater, who has emerged as a support person for Ross.

In a series of blog posts, Slater has painted a chain of events he claims shows the party – against which he has many grievances – is responsible for the state of Ross’ wellbeing.

Slater has pledged retribution for what he claims has been National’s poor handling of Ross. He has done so in blog posts which present knowledge apparently gleaned from the rogue MP.

While specific events presented on his blog have been confirmed, the motivation appears at odds with information discovered from political sources and those who know Slater.

Bridges is said to have contacted Slater “to make clear that he acted on appropriate medical advice throughout this process”.

Slater confirmed Bridges’ reason for the call in a blog post, although said he did not believe its intent.

Slater has been waging a largely ignored war against National since he was sidelined after Dirty Politics, he has been bitter about John Key, he campaigned (on Whale Oil) against National in last year’s election, he has repeatedly shown long term animosity towards Bill English, and has acted as an attack activist against Bridges since Bridges became National leader earlier this year.

So Slater is far from neutral in this.

Yesterday (Saturday) he posted Another hit job from David Fisher which I must correct and tell the truth that the National party fails to

Yesterday saw another personalised hit job against me from David Fisher after his quick trip to Wellington to get briefed. It seems his anonymous and gutless sources are trying to spin just how wonderful the National party has been towards the man they drove to attempt suicide as a result of their actions.

Of course they led with a shabby headline that tries to make out that the woman behind all of this is some sort of hero. Fisher claims that I got some things wrong, but presents not a skerrick of evidence to support his contentions.

Slater then posted a number of text exchanges between Ross and various National MPs. Ross must have given Slater access to private communications between MPs. This is a major breach of privacy from Ross will further alienate him from National.

Remember that the various Craig versus Slater and Jordan Williams defamation cases came about because of a serious breach of privacy after Williams (a lawyer) ignored confidence and requests from Rachel MacGregor that her communications remained private and publicised them via Slater and Whale Oil.

Slater gets some support in comments. ‘roblin’:

Advising someone to commot suicide is aganist the law, isn’t it. This female MP should be reported to the police.

I have seen no evidence that Ross was ‘advised to commit suicide’, and there are some hard to work out aspects to this. A text exchange published by Slater suggests that the mental health emergency last weekend (Slater claims it was a suicide attempt but that isn’t corroborated) was precipitated by the two month old text from a National MP. This tries to place the blame on Ross’ emergency on someone he allegedly had a relationship with for several years before it ended prior to the text.

Slater has also backflipped from insisting he knew “for months” that Ross was the original leaker to ‘believing’ not just the opposite, but that it was some sort of conspiracy:

I believe the female MP showed Bridges some frustrated texts from JLR about the leadership or policy decisions of JLR and resolved to rid himself of JLR, all based on a selected view from a scorned woman.

Slater has claimed a number of times that the Ross meltdown was all due to a campaign to oust Ross from Parliament, and that Ross is some sort of innocent victim.

“All based on a selected view from a scorned woman” is rather ironic given the record of attacks on National based on the selected view of a scorned political activist.

Another rather ironic ‘featured comment’, from ‘rantykiwi’:

As usual, Whaleoil is leading with verifiable facts and the MSM are two steps behind, still disseminating an incomplete version of events that suits their position supporting the CoL and damaging National as much as possible. I sincerely hope that as this whole sordid debacle plays out and the big players have to run with stories based in reality that they acknowledge Whaleoil as the ground breaker and primary source for their future articles.

I don’t see much in the way of verifiable facts.

“Acknowledge Whaleoil as the ground breaker and primary source for their future articles” probably encapsulates the primary aim of WO – to come up with stories that rely on other media to legitimise and publicise them. WO has been largely ignored by most media in the four years since Dirty Politics.

Slater’s post and the whole saga was questioned on Kiwiblog’s General Debate yesterday. RightNow:

Also this morning Slater has dumped screenshots of messages with JLR from that night. Anyone with experience of nutty partners will recognize JLR’s manipulative behavior. Apparently he was scrolling through messages from 2 weeks prior when he saw the one from her that set him off, so (2 weeks later in the middle of the night) he messages her with the suggestion he’s going to top himself. Then he turns his phone off while her and everyone else goes frantically trying to find him and get him help.

Actually I think the text was 2 months prior, not 2 weeks. While I’m wary of questioning someone with claimed mental health problems given what is at stake here and the allegations being made I think it is fair to question how genuine Ross’ mental health issues are.

Ross took leave from Parliament for ‘several months’, and two weeks later he was back in Parliament attacking Bridges and National.

Ross was an emergency admission into mental health care a week ago, yet two or three days later he was released.

I think it is fair to be sceptical of what Slater is now promoting, supposedly on behalf of Ross who has been silent for the past week.

‘tas’ at Kiwiblog:

WhaleOil has published many of Jami-Lee Ross’ text records

Slater claims this proves National has been lying all along. However, my reading of it is that it entirely supports what they have said. The texts that Slater has chosen to publish do not support his own narrative.

Slater has a record in court proceedings of putting forward evidence that does not support his own narrative – Blomfield versus Slater judgments over the years come to mind.

‘tas’ addresses a number of Slater claims:

(1) Bridges said that he took action against Ross as soon as he was made aware of the sexual harassment allegations. WhaleOil has records that prove that Bridges took action before the newsroom story made those allegations public. Slater claims this shows Bridges lied, but there is no contradiction here. Bridges did not say that the newsroom story was the first he heard of it.

(2) Slater says that National is lying about what happened on the night Ross was taken to hospital. Yet the text messages and call logs he published corroborate the timeline David Fisher published in the NZ Herald yesterday.

(3) Slater has, over the past few days, made it sound like Ross’ former mistress — the female MP — did something to provoke him on the night he was taken to hospital. However, he now says that what provoked Ross is that he re-read her text message from two months prior!

(4) The text message that the female MP sent to Ross is definitely not OK. There is no excuse for that. However, this was a messy breakup and I expect both parties have said and done things they regret.

(5) Paula Bennett sent Ross a text saying “I would like to see you to discuss a potential way through”. That sounds like National are trying to help Ross and sort things out. His response was just to cite his mental health. It sounds like Ross is the one who was not engaging constructively.

Later yesterday another article from David Fisher – Jami-Lee Ross: New text from ‘homeless’ MP reveals the tipping point

The contents of a text message which sparked National’s call to police regarding Jami-Lee Ross’ welfare has been revealed.

Ross is understood to have been sitting in his car mulling over a previous text exchange with his former lover, a National MP, before sending her a response stating: “You get your wish.”

It was these four words which reportedly raised the alarm. The former lover alerted a senior member of Bridges’ office, ultimately leading to Ross being found by police then taken to Middlemore Hospital’s mental health unit.

Blogger Cameron Slater has published some of the text messages in a bid to advance his claim the National Party is to blame for Ross’ condition. The Herald cannot confirm the text messages are genuine. The blogger did not respond to a request for comment.

I think it is fair to question the genuineness of texts (and any claims) put forward by Slater. I recall texts that surfaced in the Len Brown issue that looked suspicious, and then were quickly dropped from claims. I later heard allegations that they were fabricated.

Earlier this week a spokeswoman from the office of National Party leader Simon Bridges said: “When concerns were raised they were dealt with appropriately.

“The National Party is confident that we have followed advice and made the right decisions on matters concerning Jami-Lee Ross.”

When asked about the text messages tonight, a spokeswoman for the National Party said: “Out of respect for all of the people involved, including Jami-Lee Ross we will not be commenting on this any further”.

I don’t think that statements from National should be simply accepted without question, but they largely seem to stack up. And I expect that they will be being very careful with what they say about this.

The disclosure of the fresh text messages by Slater appears to confirm one of National’s fiercest enemies has access to Ross’ phone and its contents.

Someone with a record of operating with clear political activist anti-National agendas.

Slater previously wrote of Ross scrolling through his messages last Saturday evening while sitting in his car “assessing what had happened for him to end up where he was”.

Ross was “homeless, career over” and facing public accusations by his former lover and other women who worked in Parliament for the National Party, said Slater.

“He felt destroyed,” Slater wrote, leading to the four-word text message which sparked the scramble for help.

Is Slater saying just what he thinks and perceives? I don’t think much weight can be put on his perceptions, which have a history of being slanted and selective.

Or is Slater some sort of official mouthpiece for Ross who is apparently unavailable for comment in person?

This seems to be a very odd situation.

Slater’s posts on the issue paint Ross as the victim of a conspiracy by the National Party to drive him out.

It has been termed a “hit job” by Slater, who has previously presented convoluted theories to support other claims.

In 2014, he developed a theory of a vast conspiracy involving academics, media, political staff and politicians as being behind the Rawshark hack of his computer.

In that theory, the large network of conspirators were apparently working together to trigger Slater’s own mental health issues and drive him to suicide.

Slater and Ross may genuinely have genuine mental health issues. But that doesn’t rule out the possibility that they are playing on that to paint themselves as victims, when that may not necessarily be completely accurate.

They could easily be victims of their own fallibilities and mistakes.

Those with knowledge of the events which unfolded have described Slater’s Rawshark theory as ridiculous.

There are probably quite a few Slater theories that could be described as ridiculous. He switches position and contradicts himself often enough. Claims by Ross have not been consistent with himself or with known facts either.

In trying to inflict as much damage on National as they can Slater/Ross may end up doing a Craig by accentuating their own personality issues and dire political situations.

Craig v Slater – the biggest losers

Finally after waiting eighteen months for a judgment on their tit for tat defamation trial Colin Craig and and Cameron Slater are both claiming some sort of victory, but the overwhelming response is that they are both losers.

Craig technically won – he succeeded on two claims that Slater defamed him. But:

  • he lost most of his claims
  • there was no award of damages because “the reputational damage which Mr Craig suffered throughout the events traversed at length in the judgment resulted almost entirely from his own actions”
  • “It is true that Mr Craig was guilty of moderately serious sexual harassment of Rachel MacGregor, on multiple occasions”

Technically Slater succeeded in defending most of Craaig’s claims, but he failed on both his claims of defamation, as Craig was found to be “entitled to the defence of qualified privilege in reply to an attack on him by Mr Slater”, so no damages there either (he asked for $8,117,010).

Costs are yet to be decided. Craig represented himself so cannot claim much in the way of costs and disbursements.

Slater lost the case, and Craig won a part of his case, so Slater may have difficulty claiming much if any of what will be substantial legal costs. There seems no chance of him getting all costs, and any he might get will be going to his lawyers, so the dream of a legal fighting fund that was mentioned when Whale Oil eyes lit up when Jordan Williams was awarded over a million dollars (now quashed) is now a financial burden, if not nightmare.

Summary from Courts of New Zealand:

The claimant, Colin Craig, laid 15 separate defamation claims in relation to statements made by Mr Slater
either on his blogsite or in other media.

Mr Craig alleged that he suffered serious damage to his reputation as a consequence of allegedly untrue statements published by the defendants, Mr Cameron Slater and Social Media Consultants Limited (SMCl) (the company which establishes the Whaleoil blog).

Mr Slater made two counterclaims.

The matter was heard by judge-alone over 17 days in May – June 2017, with final submissions not received until September 2018.

In brief, Mr Craig alleged that Mr Slater and Whaleoil caused him serious reputational damage by publishing untrue statements based on information leaked to him by a friend of Ms MacGregor, Mr Jordan Williams, and a Conservative Party board member, Mr John Stringer, about Mr Craig and the Party’s internal problems; electoral funding and the Party’s finances; and a rumoured sexual harassment claim by Ms MacGregor.

Mr Craig sought declarations under s 24 of the Defamation Act 1992 that the defendants are liable to him
in defamation. He also claimed general, aggravated and punitive damages of unspecified amounts and
costs.

Mr Slater counterclaimed, saying he was himself defamed in a booklet entitled Dirty Politics and Hidden Agendas which Mr Craig published, allegedly in defence of the attacks he claims Mr Slater and others made upon him, following his resignation in 2015. The booklet was circulated to more than 1.6 million New Zealand homes. Mr Slater claims that the contents of the booklet defamed him by implying, among other things, that he developed or coordinated the strategy to defame and spread lies about Mr Craig and published material on his blog knowing it not to be true.

Mr Slater claimed general damages of $8,117,010 on a proposed basis of $5.00 for each of the 1,623,402 New Zealand homes to which the booklet was delivered.

The result and orders

Mr Craig failed on his principal causes of action against Mr Slater. He did so because the Court found, for reasons set out in full in the judgment, that Mr Craig had been guilty of moderately serious sexual harassment of Ms MacGregor; that he had made a substantial financial settlement with her on confidential terms in exchange for the withdrawal of her claims to the Human Rights Tribunal; and that he had deliberately misled the Conservative Party board about those matters.

The court found other statements and assertions were untrue statements. However, the court held that Mr Slater could rely on the defence of “responsible communication on a matter of public interest” with respect to all but two of these untrue statements and imputations.

This new defence was available to Mr Slater despite his personal animosity towards Mr Craig, because the Court found he was principally motivated to release into the public arena information which he believed to be reliable and which would inform public discussion on a matter of undoubted public interest.

The Court found that to hold that Mr Slater was deprived of the defence of responsible communication on a matter of public interest, merely because of his views about Mr Craig, would be to tilt the balance between freedom of expression on a matter of public interest and protection of reputation too far in favour of the latter. Such a finding would have an unduly chilling effect on political discourse of the kind which the public interest defence is designed to recognise.

HELD: The Judge declared, under s 24 of the Defamation Act 1992, that Mr Slater and SMCl are liable to Mr Craig in defamation for only two untrue statements:. The Court found Mr Slater had no defence for the untrue statements that Mr Craig:
(i) had placed Ms Rachel MacGregor under financial pressure to sleep with him; and
(ii) sexually harassed at least one victim other than Ms MacGregor.

The Judge dismissed the remaining causes of action in defamation, either on grounds that the defence of truth was upheld or on the basis the publications were responsible communications on a matter of public interest.

While this meant Cameron Slater and Social Media Consultants Limited were liable to Colin Craig in defamation for these two statements, the Court ruled he was not entitled to an award of damages because the reputational damage which Mr Craig suffered throughout the events traversed at length in the judgment resulted almost entirely from his own actions.

Mr Slater’s counterclaims

Mr Slater counterclaimed for allegedly defamatory statements made in the booklet.

The Court dismissed Mr Slater’s counterclaims against Mr Craig. It found that while many of the assertions Mr Craig had made about Mr Slater in his booklet Dirty Politics and Hidden Agendas, were untrue – including the assertion that Mr Slater made up allegations and was a liar – Mr Craig was entitled to the defence of qualified privilege in reply to an attack on him by Mr Slater.

On that basis, Mr Slater’s counterclaim in defamation was dismissed.

From the judgment on costs:

Bearing in mind that each of the parties has both succeeded and failed in the proceeding in varying degrees, and having regard to the complexity and significance of the proceeding, it will be obvious that the determination of costs will require careful consideration by the parties and by the Court.

Costs are reserved for the exchange of memoranda and will be determined on the papers unless the Court directs otherwise.

This could take some time.

Full decision of J Toogood: PDF document icon CSEJ.pdf — PDF document, 1.82 MB, 250 pages

Craig has claimed a win but acknowledges that is limited. He says he is considering an appeal.

Mr ‘explaining is losing’ Slater has done a number of posts on the judgment at Whale Oil claiming some sort of victory and vindication, but it looks like trying to make a silk purse out of a boar’s bum. There has been only a a little bit of congratulations and support in comments, seemingly from a mix of blind supporters and sycophants with perhaps some sock puppets.

David Farrar seems to have obtained an advance copy of the judgment and what looked like a pre-prepared post that appears to be trying to paint lipstick on a pig – Zero damages in Craig vs Slater.

Comments there are overwhelmingly negative towards Craig and to Slater in particular.

There was a brief flurry of response on Twitter, largely critical of the two litigants, and also praising the ‘both losers’ result.

Craig’s reputation was already in tatters, this just reinforces that. The decision puts pressure on his ongoing defamation proceedings versus Jordan Williams – arguing appropriate damages in Williams v Craig, and his counter suit Craig v Williams.

Surely Craig must now drop his defamation claim against Rachel MacGregor.

And any political ambitions must be gone or futile.

Slater comes out of this with his reputation of a political activist and dirty attack blogger largely intact (remember that his attacks were based on information supplied by Jordan Williams in a breach of MacGregor’s privacy and highly questionable for a lawyer). His financial stress remains.

And Slater has another legal headache looming as he awaits a judgment on the Blomfield v Slater defamation case. This is similar in that involved a series of attacks on Matthew Blomfield via Whale Oil, but it is different in that Blomfield didn’t get drawn into a public spat and overreach like Craig. Blomfield just tenaciously pursued Slater through the courts, despite numerous appeals and delays.

Whale Oil has also suffered. Slater’s bold claims of legal success have proven to be like many of his claims, over-optimistic and overblown, so his credibility has taken another hit, at the same time that he continues shedding support due to his ongoing attacks on National.

In five consecutive posts on the decision at WO there have been a total of 56 comments (23 on one post is the most), compared to 85 comments on a single post at Kiwiblog.

 

Bridges versus Slater escalates

Cameron Slater seems to have been largely speculating from the sidelines of the Jami-Lee Ross saga, until the weekend when Ross was committed to mental health care. That is now getting very messy and ugly.

Yesterday from NZ Herald: National’s leader Simon Bridges rings Dirty Politics blogger to talk Jami-Lee Ross

The Jami-Lee Ross saga has forced National Party leader Simon Bridges into conversation with Dirty Politics blogger Cameron Slater, who is in close contact with the rogue and unwell MP.

Bridges’ office confirmed to the Herald that Bridges called Slater to give the right-wing attack blogger assurances over decisions about Ross having been made after taking proper medical advice.

The phone call confirms Slater’s key role in the Ross affair, which has caused the National Party more than a week of anxiety and chaos.

It is believed Slater has been personally supporting Ross since the weekend and his assistance extended to helping the MP in his release from Middlemore Hospital’s mental health facilities yesterday.

Slater’s role has also extended to briefing media on aspects of the Ross saga.

A spokesman said: “Mr Bridges contacted Mr Slater to make clear that he acted on appropriate medical advice throughout this process.”

The spokesman would not say how long the call was or if other matters were discussed, although said: “It was a brief conversation focused on Mr Ross’ health.”

The phone call was referred to by Slater in a lengthy blog post in which he accused the National Party of arranging publication of the claims by the four women who spoke out about Ross’ behaviour.

Slater wrote: “When I spoke to Simon Bridges on Monday he was continuing to deny a hit job.”

Last night Slater posted:

Thanks for calling by. Funny thing is…or concerning…is that when Bridges called me he had zero concern for the safety of JLR, despite his own office being involved int eh incident on Saturday night. Something he now denies. When confronted with some salient facts on the call all he did was lie and lie some more. The fact is his chief of staff contacted JLR’s doctor on the evening of the incident. There is a text record of it, and yet this morning he denied ever knowing what was going dow. Despite one of his MPs calling the police, despite the two members in his office and the MP fabricating their stories to Newsroom. Dear old Simon bridges knows nothing.

All Simon Bridges did on the call was explain and lie.

Even worse is this claim that he is the brilliant mastermind who leaked his call tot eh media. Idiots…I wrote about it this morning.

I’m sorry that you think caring for the life of a friend is more important that your stupid political party. You should distrust a political party that is prepared to kill someone by setting him up rather than a blogger who only seeks to tell the truth about people who lie.

You will find out at 1100 tomorrow how that works out for people who accuse me of lying.

And:

Yes I don’t like the smell either, of lying politicians who are prepared to kill people.

There’s a bit of hypocrisy here, given what Slater had suggested happen to the leaker. Earlier Slater has claimed “They do not have mental issues”, and said “He should be hunting down this person and cutting their throat.”see Slater reverses his claims about leaker.

There are also some serious accusations. It was hard to imagine this getting messier, but that’s how it looks.

A post just up on WO: Herald breaks news that Simon Bridges called me, after I already wrote about it in the morning

I have been piecing together the evidence. There is evidence. The stories of National, Simon Bridges and Paula Bennett don’t add up. They know they don’t add up, and so they roll out David Fisher to break the news I had already posted in the morning that Simon Bridges rang me.

The posts and comments of Slater don’t seem to add up either.

This is deadly serious and sometime politics should be trumped by humanity.

Slater actually said that. Perhaps the problems Ross has have been a wake up call for him. perhaps.