Green blog spins off Dotcom abuse

The Green author at The Standard appears to be trying to leverage off the Dotcom abuse approach to politics  with her latest post  Fuck inequality! Fuck poverty! Fuck the Nat govt!

Some of Karol’s posts are virtual campaign advertising for the Green Party. This post uses an expletive headline to promote a generic “Vote Left” message:

For the good of us all, and especially, for the good of those doing it really tough these days, VOTE LEFT this election! We are all in this together.

But it is ‘poverty” focused and also Green inclusive:

A couple of days ago, Metiria Turei had dropped by the Mangere Impact, to see for herself what was happening. She posted on Facebook:

Just been politely but firmly thrown out of the Mangere WINZ office. Ive been at the advocacy Impact at Mangere WINZ, talking with the advocates about the extent to which beneficiaries are still not getting their full entitlements. Then on the advice from the Ministers office, management asked that I leave. Protocols and all that. But for just this one hour I was transported back 25 years when I was doing this work. Nothing has changed for the better for people in need of some help. And needing help should not be an excuse for being treated like a second class citizen.

We will roll back these cruel welfare reforms. We will restore the principles of decency and justice in social security. National is hurting families. We have to make them stop.

I’m not sure what the “protocols” are that govern such days of advocacy.  However, Turei seems to have accepted the request to leave.  But she did have enough time to see for herself the struggles and the compassion.

Turei and Buckingham, like many others, are calling for  change of government, and new policies to “restore the principles of decency and justice”.

Karol’s prior post had similarities, with a leading push for the Greens in Counting the cost – long time dying:

In this year’s elections:

The Greens have a raft of policies to bring about and maintain a fair society.

Labour have policies that focus on full employment and living wages, also aiming for a “fair and decent society”.

The Mana Party has a collection of policy statements, aiming to realise their founding principles:

to bring rangatiratanga to the poor, the powerless and the dispossessed.  It is they who carry the brunt of government by the rich and powerful for the rich and powerful.  We will lead the fight against welfare that punishes children, against greed that is rewarded by corporate payouts, against the damage to Papatūānku by pollution and oil drilling and against governments who fill the pockets of foreign companies at our expense. 

The Internet Party is developing policies to:

 to get an open, free, fair, connected and innovative society. 

Vote Left this election to change the government, a start building towards a fair society!

vote left 2014

Her post before that one was a straight Green Party promotion – Tertiary education – a “public good”:

The Green Party is launching their “Election Priority for Students” at Auckland University today from 2-3 pm in the Auckland University Quad.  Russel Norman and Metiria Turei will be presenting it together, indicating it will  most likely have a financial ficus, and considerations of individual, social and community well being.

Green Party election priority student 2014

The Greens have had strong tertiary education and support for students policies for a long time.  They describe education as a “public good and an economic investment”.  

I think it’s fair to ask how closely associated Karol is to the Green party and their campaign.  If Karol was open and honest she would have clear disclosure of her intent and any political associations.

Should there be Green Party authorisations on her posts?

Regardless of this a Green blogger promoting voting with a similar abusive  approach used by Dotcom and the Internet Party will surely raise some eyebrows. Greens used to have a reputation.

Any appeal in new parties?

Most people are disillusioned and/or angry with politics. Most of the current parties are looking past their Use-By date.

There are a number of possible new parties offering themselves next year, including:
– (Colin Craig) Conservative Party
Act V
– Dotcom Megaparty
– (Matthew) Hooton Tootin’ Party
The Civilian Party

What would appeal to the politically dispossessed? Any of the above?

Yeah, I know it’s difficult to get the opinions of people who are pissed off with politics because they don’t read political blogs. In 2011 I floated a radical new party idea trying to appeal to people who don’t like the current offerings, but people in politics rubbished it and people not interested in politics never noticed.

Key apology, Shearer persistence (tapeless)

Why must people give a John Key type shrug at the accusation of forgetting something said six months ago – although this will be highlighted again today as Key clarifies comments in parliament – the backfire continues in David Shearer’s direction.

Waikato Times editorial: Dotcom case lives on

But questions are raised about Mr Shearer’s style, too, when he emulates the irascible Winston Peters. He has not actually seen the GCSB video recording; he claims simply to have been told it may exist. Hence he is trying to score political points based on hearsay.

More disquieting, if Labour does have inside sources, the GCSB not only has been operating illegally by spying on New Zealand residents, but some of its agents are willing to undermine their boss – the prime minister – by dobbing him in to Opposition politicians, thereby turning their secret service into a highly visible political football.

Similar sentiments were expressed on The National on Saturday by Colin James and also be Bill Ralston, which were agreed to by Brian Edwards.

‘We will test Key’, says Shearer

Mr Key says he can’t remember any reference to Dotcom during the February briefing, but on Tuesday he will apologise to Parliament for giving it incorrect information.

The Labour Party will take it from there.

“We will test him on that”, Labour leader David Shearer told NZ Newswire.

“There are still questions around it and the issue is broader than that – it is about the need for a wider look at our intelligence agencies.”

There are many questions around it. Some of the answers may be embarrassing for Key, but Shearer also risks being exposed with a lack of evidence to back up his accusations against Key and the GCSB.

From NewstalkZB, Shearer on Key…

“In his case it was just simply a matter of ‘brain fade’, he did not recall something that I believe that’s fundamental given what’s going on.”

He says not having the video of the incident hasn’t hurt his case.

“No it hasn’t, because what we have said is ‘what did you say Mr Prime Minister?'”

…and Key on Shearer:

But John Key thinks otherwise.

“He’s making wild accusations that, at the moment, he can’t substantiate. If he wants to play the tape I’m more than happy to respond to it.”

Key is looking increasingly fed up with the persistent hassling associated with his job and his involvement with thre Dotcom case, to the extent that Brian Edwards predicts:

$5 on Key to step down before the middle of next year thanks.

But, mostly, I think Key looks over it – tired, jaded, disillusioned. Good god, you can’t even make a bloody joke about some fat German with the ridiculous name of Dotcom without it coming back to haunt you.

Meanwhile Shearer is tapeless and looking hapless.

And most of the public shrug their shoulders at all the Kim Dotcom media attention.

Labour tactic continued…

Labour seem to have settled on “Key didn’t deny it and can’t prove he didn’t say it” as their victory. They have abandoned the video non-evidence and are repeating and repeating Key’s reaction as being the problem (standard tactics as posted in Repeat of Labour’s dirty politics).

They are pushing this hard at The Standard, Anthony Robins in Shearer, Key, credibility

Video of Key’s first reaction here – “I don’t recall it”. Just like every other evasion Key has ever offered. What he didn’t say was – “That’s not possible, such a video couldn’t exist, because I has no knowledge of Kim Dotcom at that time”. Why the shifty tactics instead, do you think?

And endless Labour hack comments:

Te Reo Putake:
No, it’s not, Chris. Shearer has never made any claim that requires proof from him. He’s raised the possibility, but never outright claimed Key made a joke about Dotcom at the meeting. Key fell into the trap of giving subsatnce to the claim, then went into Bart Simpson mode.

But Key’s lame ham fisted and possum caught in the headlights performance when questioned by Patrick Gower really makes you think that he did talk about Dotcom that fateful day.

mickysavage …
If Shearer has no proof why didn’t Key rubbish the idea from the start? His initial response suggested that he believed he had talked about Dotcom.

mickysavage …
Um my (quite gentle) criticism is that it was a risky manoeuvre and the potential gains were not great. But it does appear to be successful.

It is a sign of Key’s ungainly slide from grace that he has handled this so poorly and it is a measure of deepening scepticism in Key that the focus is on him and not on Shearer.

I am in two minds about it. I do not think that it is a simple “Shearer has no proof therefore it did not happen” situation. It does however further damage Key in his most vulnerable area, his credibility.

The speculation about KeY’s involvement in the DotCom spying activities will coninue to swirl and stick to him and his immediate side-kick, Banks. All Shearer has to do is to keep up the chorus of “Show us the evidence, John, that demonstrates that you are an honest broker.” As there is no evidence available that KeY is an honest broker the hammering can and will continue despite the blusterings of Fran O’Shillavan,

Its not up to Shearer to provide anything, he could well be making that shit up.

The crux of the matter is Key not denying he said it because he hadnt heard of Dotcom.

If he was played a recording there is no doubt that a copy of the recording or a recording of Mr Shearer viewing/hearing the recording was taken at the time ( and if not why not ?)

Bottom line though is plausable deniability and Mr Key has zilch credit in that account

You can’t be serious Bm…. “show us the tape”!!1 That would qualify as the next best thing to an admission of guilt you can get…..

You know, people really aren’t that stupid not to recognize the actions of a guilty man playing the age old game of you can’t catch me, so it didn’t happen….

This isn’t a court of law, with a presumption of innocence and a need for evidence of facts. This is a court of opinion. And anyone who knows anything about human nature knows that in a dialogue like this:

A: You told a lie about X
B: I don’t remember, and anyway, prove it

… B has not come off better.

Whatever chris. If Key was as smart as you he could’ve denied it and then Shearer would be on the ropes where you want him.

But Key didn’t deny it. He could have done but he didn’t, and that’s where we are now.

It is politics not a court room.  There is never any right or wrong response to something except what works.

The only measure is what the public think.  And it seems that they are not as enamoured with Key baby as they used to be.

They seem to be saying that any tactics are ok, including making stories up about videos, as long as you get the desired result.

That’s dishonest. Disreputable. Disgraceful.

Repeat of Labour’s dirty politics

There are still serious questions that need answering regarding Kim Dotcom, the GCSB, and John key’s involvement. But once again this has been overshadowed by David Shearer’s inept attempt at a political hit job on Key. After earlier claiming he would not stoop to gotcha politics Shearer attacked using a tactic used by Labour repeatedly.

Labourites try to claim they are ‘holding Government to account’ but it’s obvious their main motive is to destroy political careers and if possible bring down the government by any means, fair or foul. I think this destructive politics needs to be held to account.

I’ve often heard the tactics discussed. For example:

Trevor Mallard ‏@TrevorMallard

yep “@KimDotcom: It’s not the original scandal that gets people into the biggest trouble – it’s the attempted cover-up. Be honest. Be fair.”

Except that honesty and fairness get trampled by ‘any means possible’ – they think that the cause justifies any means.

And from The Standard:


Nice try Matthew. But you’re wrong. There doesn’t have to be a video. There simply needs to be an ‘idea’ planted into the public mindset. And that has happened. Dotcom has become toxic for this government. Key’s numbers are falling all over the place and that, sir, is the name of the game.

So the ‘name of the game’ is:

  1. Raise an issue with as much attention seeking as possible, facts and evidence handy but anything that works will do.
  2. Put pressure on the target hoping they will react badly or make a damaging mistake.

Labour have been playing this ‘game’ repeatedly this year, including:

  • The Mallard and Little attack on Judith Collins ( where Collins called them on it and currently challenged by court action)
  • Cosgrove, Chauvel and Labour activists targeted Peter Dunne over his support of the MOM bill but this was  exposed as factually incorrect (possibly knowingly/dishonestly)
  • Multiple attacks on John Banks (where Banks obliged by stuffing up his responses and enabling a successful hit).
  • David Shearer’s GCSB video attack this week that at this stage appears to be a poorly executed and damaging failure.

This has all been going on under Shearer’s leadership, despite Shearer’s claim in February:

Labour leader David Shearer is poised to deliver a rolling series of speeches setting out his vision for the country – and has made it clear he won’t be pressured into changing his leadership style.

“I’m not the kind of leader who believes in rival tribes playing ‘gotcha…

Shearer appears to have drastically changed his leadership style, but it’s not known if this was under pressure or voluntary.

These all contrast with genuine holding to account, for example:

  • Phil Goff exposing Murray McCully’s restructuring fiasco at Mfat
  • Chris Hipkins probing Hekia Parata over her mishandling of Christchurch school closure proposals.

Political hit jobs aren’t confined to the Labour Party. Winston Peters is well known for his many attempts. Dirty tricks seem to be accepted by some politicians and also by journalists, for example Fran O’Sullivan in her Herald column today:

Labour leader David Shearer has forgotten – if he ever knew – Rule Number One of political scandal-mongering.

If the videos did exist, the Labour leader’s team should have made sure they had a copy locked away ready to be unveiled the moment Shearer had trapped John Key into making a denial. This is school for scandal 101.

Journalists like the juicy stories that can come out of dirty politics and seem to accept standard politics.

But attack politics, especially when blatantly dishonest tactics are used, is widely despised outside the political and media bubbles. It is probably the biggest reason why the reputation of politicians in general is so poor.

Politicians are seen as worse than kids fighting in a playground – it’s much nastier, and they are supposed to be running the country, not running everything and everyone down.

It’s not just despised on the outside. A number of MPs also express disgust at some of the individual and party antics and behaviour. I’ve had direct contact with MPs who hate the worst (and often the most prominent) of politics.

Nasty and destructive politics is similar to drunk driving and child abuse – the offenders will continue making a mockery of decent democracy unless they are confronted and held to account.

A minority of politicians and a minority of journalists are most to blame for the worst of it, but the rest of us need to speak up and stand up against deliberately destructive politics.

Political behaviour needs to be held to account.

Shearer’s memory lapse

David Shearer seems to have forgotten what he is reported to have said in February:

Shearer not buying into ‘gotcha’ politics

Labour leader David Shearer is poised to deliver a rolling series of speeches setting out his vision for the country – and has made it clear he won’t be pressured into changing his leadership style.

“I’m not the kind of leader who believes in rival tribes playing ‘gotcha’, where bickering and partisanship are prized. Of course that’s what a lot of people look for. They want to score the game, give points for the best smart remark in Parliament. But that’s not what most New Zealanders want,” Mr Shearer told an Auckland Grey Power meeting yesterday.

“I want a new kind of politics, pragmatic and attentive to what works, not tied up in the squabbles of the past

Since then Shearer seems to have completely changed his leadership style, and is now in full on ‘gotcha’ mode. The only thing that’s new about his politics is the questionable way he is doing ‘gotcha’.

John Key has contradicted himself – David Shearer

“What we understand is at that John Key made a direct reference to Dotcom and GCSB’s involvement with Dotcom. That completely contradicts… that he had no recollection of being briefed.”

Mr Shearer says he is not making accusations, he is asking questions and wants to see a video taken by a staff member at the event. However he doesn’t know if the video exists and wants someone from the GCSB to come forward and give some answers.

If it exists, he says John Key should release the video to clear up what has happened once and for all.

“This cuts directly to John Key’s credibility, he keeps forgetting things.”

This attack completely contradicts Shearer’s claim in February that he wanted “new kind of politics”.

And it seriously raises questions about Shearer’s judgement. He has made serious accusations, and has no evidence to back it up. And he is apparently acting on the word of informants within GCSB, he says “we have sources”. That seems to be highly inappropriate.

And now on TV3’s breakfast Shearer is saying that there may or may not be a video but that isn’t what’s important, he claims that Key’s reaction is what is important. That’s a classic ‘gotcha’ attempt – Trevor Mallard was tweeting about this metod of attempted entrapment recently.

And a comment at The Standard:


Nice try Matthew. But you’re wrong. There doesn’t have to be a video. There simply needs to be an ‘idea’ planted into the public mindset. And that has happened. Dotcom has become toxic for this government. Key’s numbers are falling all over the place and that, sir, is the name of the game.

It seems to be the name of a dirty political game, and Shearer is captain of the gotcha team. One thing Shearer said in February that he may have forgotten – “But that’s not what most New Zealanders want”.

Destructive politics is something that turns many people off politics.

And it can end up destroying the careers of those who take it too far, too often. David Sheare’s memory lapse may have led to a serious lapse of judgement.

Spy – Key problem

Feliz Marwick (Newstalk ZB) reviews the Dotcom saga and summarises the spy and Key problem:

Political Report: Trusting our spy agencies

The GCSB and the SIS have a legal and moral obligation not to break the rules that govern them.

We should be able to trust our intelligence agencies to do their jobs properly. They’re breaching that trust and that’s not acceptable, particularly for organisations that have limited obligations in the way of public accountability.

Those that are responsible for them have a duty to make sure they toe the line. For the agencies and their political masters, in this case the Prime Minister, to fail in this regard is inexcusable.

And it would be inexcusable not to deal with this as openly as secrecy requirements allow. It has to be seen to be addressed, more than adequately.

It’s more than trusting our spy agencies, it’s trusting the PM’s oversight as well.

It’s up to John Key.

Dotcom overkill and US puppets…

…but how much is our government involved?

A Waikato Times editorial points out some major concerns over the Dotcom fiasco.

NZ: 51st state of the US

In a brief media statement Prime Minister John Key heightened suspicions that this country’s relationship with the United States has become one of servility rather than friendship.

The statement said the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has been asked to inquire into “the unlawful interception of communications of certain individuals” by the Government Communications Security Bureau.

It seems unlikely we will ever know the full truth about the circumstances surrounding GCSB’s breach of the law, despite the prime minister’s recognition that intelligence-agency operations depend on public trust. He wants us to believe this was a rare error, rather than egregious wrongdoing by agents keen to help the Americans bring Mr Dotcom to book, by hook or by crook.

Mr Dotcom is wanted in the US to face nothing more threatening than breaches of copyright laws. The GCSB’s involvement – like so much about this case, including FBI agents, helicopters, heavily armed police and botched search warrants – has turned the pursuit of him and the operations of our law-enforcement agencies into the stuff of farce.

It is preposterous to suggest Mr Dotcom threatens our national security. The Government’s unquestioning readiness to co-operate with American authorities, on the other hand, seriously corrodes our claims to be an independent state.

But we don’t know how much the Government has been involved in co-operating with American authorities.

We know that the police have been heavily involved in what appears to be a gungho operation panedering to the FBI. And both pandering to Hollywood business interests and overdoing Hollywood type dramatics.

And the police involved the GCSB – that is a major concern, even though that involvement appears to have been on a relatively minor scale.

But so far, despite many accusations, there is scarce evidence of Government involvement.

So while New Zealand police and spies look to be guilty of overkill the Waikato Times seems to be over-emphasising  the known Government role.

There should be a clear separation between policing and governing, and ironically most criticisms of John Key and his government have been that he has been too separated from the GCSB he has overall responsibility for.