A number of sites targeted in cyber attacks

The NZX website had problems last week with sustained denial of service (DDOS) attacks that rendered the site unusable at times. RNZ and Stuff were also affected.

Stuff: Govt spy agency has ‘no clues’ on source of cyberattacks on NZX

The Government does not have any clues yet on who might be behind cyberattacks on the NZX, Radio NZ and Stuff, GCSB Minister Andrew Little says.

Little told Radio NZ that other organisations in Southeast Asia and North America had been subject to distributed denial-of-service (DDoS​) attacks that had the same “modus operandi” and the Government was working with its Five Eyes partners to investigate.

It is believed the criminals claimed in ransom notes sent to some victims ahead of attacks that they were associated with a notorious Russian group called Fancy Bear but Little believed that was “a decoy”.

Stuff spokeswoman Candice Robertson said Stuff had been targeted by a DDoS attack on Sunday which it had successfully defended itself against.

“Importantly, the Stuff site remains secure,” she said.

Radio NZ spokeswoman Charlotte McLauchlan said it had also experienced multiple DDoS attacks during the past 24 hours.

“We understand this may have been the same group that has been attacking the NZX and we are currently investigating,” she said.

“Our site remains secure and this has not impacted our audience.”

This week the problems have spread, with Metservice and TSB targeted yesterday and today, and some news sites (Stuff) also saying they have been attacked.

NZ Herald: MetService latest NZ organisation to be hit by targeted cyber attack, TSB experiences tech issues

MetService is the latest organisation to be hit by the same cyber attack that crashed the NZX website for five days.

The weather forecaster was hit by a DDoS (distributed denial of service) attack today, but a spokesman said it was dealt with “in a timely manner”.

TSB bank also responded to an incident causing disruption to some of its services this afternoon.

CEO Donna Cooper said the bank had informed the appropriate authorities and would continue to work closely with them on this.

Cooper declined to comment on whether the incident may have been related to a cyber attack.

But it also seems that blogs are being impacted in some way.

LPrent at The Standard: The background traffic is loud.

Along with the grey weather, the weather around our local net is downright annoying at present. There are a massive increase in attempts to break into this site via backend systems and brute force front-end logins, a surge in scans from the search engine spider bots, and a lot of requests for putting up paid content. All of which have been ignored or dealt with. Good thing that we aren’t a target like the NZX, banks, mainstream media and the MetService are. 

The BFD: Speed Issues affecting The BFD

We are all too aware of the slowness affecting The BFD at the moment and despite a huge amount of effort behind the scenes have yet to resolve this.

This issue is not specific to The BFD and is affecting a large number of sites all over the world.

It’s happened because the latest security update to the WordPress platform the site runs on does not play nicely with all the extra add ons that make the site look and work the way it does.

So both blogs say they are not being subjected to DDOS attacks, but it’s a curious coincidence.

Slater now established at BFD but same old activism, grudges and dirty smearing

Cameron Slater is now established at The BFD in a very similar role he had at Whale Oil – promoting political agendas, showing he still holds deep grudges against past and current National MPs (particularly leaders), making unsubstantiated accusations and insinuations, and running dirty smears that he had become well known for.

He has rejoined co-author ‘Xavier’ in promoting Winston Peters and NZ First, a remarkable reversal to a few years ago where Peters was frequently attacked and ridiculed..

After having a stroke in October 2018 Slater was much less involved at Whale Oil, and stopped commenting altogether (at least under his own name) when it seemed convenient to try to avoid ongoing legal proceedings that ended up continuing anyway.

With large legal debts mounting and a disastrous outcome in the defamation case Matt Blomfield finally won against him, presumably with the expectation of more substantial costs and awards against him, Slater declared himself bankrupt in February 2019, relinquished his official involvement in Social Media Consultants Limited, the company running the Whale Oil blog, and soon afterwards the company went into voluntary liquidation – it was also liable to costs and awards in the Blomfield case (final judgment not yet delivered).

A new company was quickly set up, a new blog The BFD started with Slater’s wife now apparently in sole charge, and Whale Oil 2 was under way, but without Slater headlining the content.

Slater tried but failed to avoid being involved in another defamation case due to his claimed incapacity from the stroke – see SELLMAN v SLATER [2019] NZHC 1666 [17 July 2019]. At that stage Henry was still representing Slater but was trying to get leave to withdraw as Slater’s counsel – this was declined by the judge.

Slater also tried to claim that the proceeding could no longer continue against him because he was now bankrupt.

It was contended for Mr Slater that consequent upon his bankruptcy the defamation proceeding was against Mr Slater’s bankrupt estate, which was in the hands of the Official Assignee, and that the proceeding could no longer continue against Mr Slater in person. In the judgment under appeal delivered on 17 July 2019 Palmer J rejected that argument.

The issue here is whether Mr Slater’s bankruptcy necessarily negates the need to comply with the Court’s orders to date. Irrespective of the default legal effect created by Mr Slater’s bankruptcy, I consider it need not and that it does not.

Under the discretion, on 20 March 2019, I ordered this proceeding to continue against Mr Slater. I consider it is an implicit term of that order that Mr Slater must comply with orders made against him in the proceeding, which was one of the reasons why the plaintiffs sought its continuation against him. If that was not sufficiently implicit, I now make it explicit under that discretion and/or under the inherent jurisdiction of the High Court to supervise proceedings before it. That means Mr Slater must comply with the court orders irrespective of Mr Henry’s argument about the effect of his bankruptcy.

Slater, now representing himself, tried to appeal this decision, but tried to avoid the need to pay security for costs. This was heard by the Court of Appeal in December: Slater v Sellman [2019] NZCA 670 (19 December 2019)

On 22 July 2019 Mr Slater filed a notice of appeal which named the Official Assignee as second respondent. Security for costs was set at $13,200. On 15 August 2019 Mr Slater applied under r 35(6)(c) of the Court of Appeal (Civil) Rules 2005 (the Rules) for dispensation from security for costs. In a decision dated 20 September 2019 the Deputy Registrar declined that application but directed that security be reduced to $6,600.. Mr Slater seeks a review of the decision declining dispensation.

The Deputy Registrar concluded:

Mr Slater has not shown he is impecunious. Even if he had, there are no exceptional circumstances to justify dispensing with security for costs. Although the appeal potentially raises an issue of public interest, I do not consider a reasonable and solvent litigant would pursue the appeal because its potential benefits are outweighed by potential costs and its merits seem weak. In my view, it would not be right to require the respondents to defend the judgment under appeal without security for their costs.

Bankruptcy does not prevent a bankrupt from maintaining involvement in court proceedings, subject to orders being made under s 76(2) of the Act.

It follows that I consider that there is no merit in an appeal which seeks to challenge these well-established principles.

Consequently it is my view that a reasonable and solvent litigant would not wish to proceed with an appeal of the nature which Mr Slater has filed.

In other words, a ‘reasonable’ litigant would not risk costs in a weak appeal. It’s good to see a court putting a stop at least in this instant to a litigant taking ‘weak’ actions with little chance of success unless they are trying to delay proceedings and incur costs on respondents with no intention of paying costs. Slater and an associate Dermot Nottingham have been able to get away with this far too much (Nottingham is also bankrupt due to large amounts of unpaid costs)

The application to review the Deputy Registrar’s decision declining to dispense with security for costs is declined. Security for costs of $6,600 is payable by Mr Slater by 17 January 2020.

There are no further decisions online so I don’t know if the appeal was able to proceed.

Meanwhile a new author started posting at The BFD,  Xavier Theodore Reginald Ordinary, who was extraordinary not just in their name. The style of writing and the political activism had a lot of similarity to posts at the old Whale Oil under Slater’s name. It is known that different contributors had operated under Slater’s name, and it looked to me that one of them had simply switched to posting under a new name.

Xavier was as anti the current National leadership and as pro Winston Peters and NZ First that Slater had miraculously become about the same time long time lawyer of Peters and NZ First and trustee of the NZ First Foundation currently being investigated by the SFO, Brian Henry, started representing Slater in the Blomfield case. It is presumed that Slater clocked up large legal bills and left Henry with a lot unpaid when he went bankrupt.

Over the last month or so Slater has started to comment and post at The BFD, and is now doing both regularly, much the same as he had been at Whale Oil. The main difference now is that Xavier is doing his own anonymous posts still, but the dual approach looks very similar.

And Slater is operating much the same as he used to. last week he posted By Dodging the Question Todd Muller Admits He’s Been Plotting – that’s a nonsense headline but typical of Slater making ridiculous claims to try to stir. He repeated similar claptrap in the post, and also made dirty insinuations – also typical of Slater.

Yesterday Slater posted National Is Bleeding Out, the Caucus Must Act Time for a Coup, Right Now. He has been calling for coups for years so this is nothing new. He also claims to have some sort of special insight with “I predicted” and “hat is what Chris Trotter and I discussed last week”.

The immediately following that post is one by Xavier – National Need NZ First to Form a Government

The National Party’s 29% poll is a disaster for Simon Bridges personally and for the 18 MPs who will lose their seats. It also means that the new National Party leader will only be able to become Prime Minister if a deal is done with New Zealand First.

We won’t know how many seats will be lost until the election which is over four months away, but on current polling National is nowhere near able to get the numbers with NZ First – in the UMR poll they total just 35%.

‘Xavier’ also pushes for new leadership who should then work with Winston:

They may not get a second election campaign so their one and only chance of becoming PM is to do so with New Zealand First’s support. Muller, Mitchell, Collins and Kaye should all be arranging a whisky with Winston as soon as possible, because, without his support, they will end their career as a failed opposition leader.

Slater, Whale Oil and The BFD have been pushing this since before the last election – National should dump Key/English/Bridges and put in a leader who will give Winston power, or at least give Winston a chance of claiming he has options that give him bargaining power after the election.

But while Slater and his co-conspirator promote one number from the poll, what National got, they are ignoring a bigger number, Labour on 55%. At that level Labour wouldn’t need NZ First to form a Government, and would put Peters in a very week bargaining position – Labour wouldn’t need him and National have ruled him out.

Even if National change leaders it would be very risky for a new leader to suddenly u-turn and say they would consider doing a deal with Peters, after what Peters has said about National and what he tried to do through the court – he secretly filed proceedings just before going into ‘good faith’ coalition negotiations with National after the last election on 2017.

It looks like The BFD is pushing a hopeless cause. Not only are their aims lame, but their influence is negligible. Their anti-National pro-NZ First agenda isn’t well supported even at The BFD, and they have virtually no support at Kiwiblog (and get a lot of criticism there for both National bashing and NZ First shilling).

And the mainstream media stopped given them any coverage six years ago after Dirty Politics was published, showing that Whale Oil had been used as an attack blog for hire.

Slater is back, his dirt is back, but he looks largely impotent. He and Xavier are even at risk of dragging NZ First down below the threshold this election, but that may end up being more influenced by the SFO investigation into questionable handling of donations and secret funding of party operations.

Winston Peters, WO/BFD and the Media Party meme

Winston Peters referred to “Media Party” in a tweet on 13 February:

This is more Wellington bulldust. The ‘Media Party’ are outraged because someone, not us, did to them what they do to others all the time. Corporal Jones was right, they dont like it up ’em.

That prompted suggestions on Kiwiblog that it sounded like CameronSlater/Whale Oil/The BFD language, for good reason. The post that started the furore that Peters was referring to closed with:

Corporal Jones was dead right when he said they don’t like it up ’em.

The BFD posted a transcript of Winston Peters’ Message to NZ First Supporters as a part of their ongoing support of Peters. It included:

That this is a political campaign by the ‘Media Party’ is clear.

The BFD keeps pushing the Media Party meme. One of their content contributors Chris Trotter has joined in with it in RNZ Must Have No Dogs In The September Fight.

Winston Peters is encouraging voters to think of RNZ as belonging to “The Media Party”. He wants them to see it as a politically partisan institution with its own, vicious attack-dogs in the electoral fight. If he succeeds, it will be, and probably should be, the end of public radio in New Zealand.

Trotter has defended contributing to The BFD:

I happily accepted Rupert’s cheques (even if they did bear the logo of INL!) Likewise, I’m happy to bank those from both “The BFD” and “The Daily Blog”. It’s called freelancing, mate.

It’s his choice of course, but he is looking a bit like he’s a member of the Winston/BFD party.

The BFD even include the term in their ‘dictionary’:

The Media party A Whaleoil blog meme to describe how the media act like a political party in opposition to the National government due to the woefully poor performance of the Labour party. It is a way of saying that, essentially, due to the gap left by an underperforming opposition, the MSM have stepped in to counter and criticise the government. They have made it their job so they have become a political party.

That’s ridiculous. A primary job of media in a democracy is to hold the Government to account, which includes criticism. NZ First is a part of the current Government, but are whining because the media are criticising them.

The media certainly deserve criticism at times, but in politics they get far more than they deserve when politicians


The “Media Party” meme seems to have been started by Slater in the first newsletter of the subscription INCITE in December 2015:

The Advent of the Media Party – Cam Slater writes about why the media have moved from neutral, dispassionate observers to players in the political game, and why the public no longer trusts them.

And Slater/WO/BFD and now Peters have been banging the media bias drum ever since.

Media have been players in politics pretty much as long as there has been media, and accusations that they aren’t neutral have been around for as long, so this isn’t a big revelation.

Which is quite ironic really. Much of Winston’s past successes in politics is because he was accomplished at using playing the media and coaxing them into giving him free publicity.

And the success of Whale Oil was largely due to them feeding stories to the media, who then amplified them. Without the help of the media WO would never have succeeded like they did.

And now both Peters and The BFD grizzle when the media coverage isn’t favourable for them. They want media promotion, but get all cry baby when the media exposes their crap.

The media are far from perfect. In politics they can make or break candidates, and they can turn support for or against parties. They carry a huge democratic responsibility, and they don’t always do a good job.

But they are far better than the alternative, no media.

And they are far better than The BFD, who claim to be media:

The BFD is the fastest-growing media organisation in New Zealand. Its brand of news, opinion, analysis and entertainment is finding fertile ground with an audience that is feeling abandoned by traditional news media.

Whale Oil grew quickly, until Dirty Politics exposed them and the use of them by the National Party in 2014. John Key and National quickly distanced themselves, as did the media.

They were taken down due to financial and legal problems, but reappeared as The BFD. While they have some neutral content, one of their primary agendas is promoting NZ First and attacking National, National’s leaders, as well as Labour and the Greens.

In a post yesterday Why The BFD?

But if the media won’t do it The BFD is only too happy to oblige. If it weren’t for the majority of MSM sucking up to Ardern there would be no place for us here at The BFD at all. We only exist to fill the gap in the public’s demand for more factual, balanced reporting and a platform for honest, open discussion.

Do they really believe that?

Here at The BFD, unlike the MSM,we are free to declare our political allegiance if we choose to.

Funny. It’s obvious they are working for NZ First, but they choose to not declare what that relationship actually is.

The must be Big Dummies if they think they are fooling anyone.

The rest of the media are obviously not one ‘party’. They hold to account all parties to varying degrees, depending on what is newsworthy.

At The Standard they frequently claim that the media (companies and state run) are hopelessly biased towards National and the right, or worse.

At Kiwiblog they frequently assert that the media (journalists) are hopelessly biased towards Ardern, Labour and the left.

At The BFD they seem to think everyone is against them and NZ First. In other words everyone who calls bullshit on their agenda.

The “Media Party” is simply a figment of their perceived or claimed victimhood when their bias and agenda are exposed. s a meme it’s ridiculous.

The Winston Blog is closer to the mark.

 

 

Chris Trotter defending and supporting The BFD

Chris Trotter not only seems to support shutting down RNZ, in part for, as he asserts, “demonisation of The BFD”, but he also tries to justify his ongoing support of The BFD.

Bowalley Road: RNZ Must Have No Dogs In The September Fight.

That’s ironic as Chris is acting as a dog fighting for The BFD, which has much more of a (very narrow) political agenda than RNZ.

He does risk biting a hand that feeds him:

Nor should the mainstream news media be at all surprised that the photograph ended up on The BFD blog. Cameron Slater, of Dirty Politics fame, has publicly acknowledged his legal and personal connections with the lawyer Brian Henry. One of Winston Peters oldest and most trusted legal advisers, Henry also stood by Slater. Is this the explanation for what appears to be a decisive shift in the political allegiances of Slater and his colleagues from the National Party (which couldn’t distance itself fast enough from its favoured blogger following the publication of Nicky Hager’s book) to NZ First?

Such a shift would go a long way to explaining the rumours that NZ First is being assisted by one of Slater’s closest political allies from the Whaleoil years, Simon Lusk. A hard-bitten political operator, Lusk would have needed no instruction when it came to gathering intelligence on the two journalists responsible for revealing the closely-guarded secrets of the NZ First Foundation. The involvement of somebody like Lusk would certainly explain The BFD’s photograph of Stuff Reporter, Matt Shand. Recognising Espiner and Gray would not have been difficult. In that location, however, Shand was unlikely to be recognised by anyone not closely associated with the NZ First Foundation story.

But he then he switches to support of The BFD.

The demonisation of The BFD is yet another problematic aspect of RNZ’s coverage. Conservative blogs have every bit as much right to present their ideas to voters as liberal and left-wing blogs. In my time as a political commentator, I have contributed material to daily newspapers owned by Rupert Murdoch, and a weekly business publication edited by a devotee of Ayn Rand. So, when Cameron Slater invited me – along with a clutch of other non-right commentators – to contribute to a new pay-walled section of Whaleoil, I did not refuse. Similarly, when The BFD was launched, I agreed to contribute to its pay-walled “Insight” section. Nothing builds up one’s understanding of the Right like writing for their publications! And, although I have always been scrupulous to submit material I would happily see posted on The Daily Blog, or my own Bowalley Road, I’ve never once been censored.

“The demonisation of The BFD is yet another problematic aspect of RNZ’s coverage.”

His defence and support of The BFD (that could stand for Bullying For Dollars) is what looks problematic to me.

he is not just providing material for an agenda driven attack blog but also trying to help them finance their operations.

If they were just a right leaning blog and and he was just providing a left wing perspective that would be fine.

But they are not just a right leaning blog. Their attempt portray themselves as some sort of alternative media is largely a front for a means of running dirty attack agendas.

So he is not just adding a different perspective on political topics. He is  effectively aiding and abetting their narrow, nasty agendas, and not just morally, but he’s helping them finance it.

They are widely seen as unprincipled, nasty and toxic. His association and promotion affects his credibility.

And really, he seems to want RNZ shut down unless they stop being mean to The BFD.

Juana Atkins responsible for dirty ops at The BFD

SB/spanish bride/Juana Atkins has added to the vindictive assaults at The BFD, yesterday attacking myself and commenters here.

Pete George ( yes I know none of you have ever heard of him) likes to pretend that he has a higher standard of ethics than other bloggers but here is just a sample of the kinds of comments that he allows on his tumbleweed blog site where ex commenters from well-moderated websites go to bitch in a nice little circle jerk of nastiness . . .

Very ironic and funny, but the post looks to be some sort of a threat. Atkins hid the rest behind their paywall, so few will see it.

The post looked like it was on Lauda Finem – it even looks like an old photo from a post at LF five years ago was used. It’s actually protected by ODT copyright, Atkins would know that if she sourced it from there.

Since the NZ First/journalist photograph issue blew up following a past at The BFD there has been a series of attack posts there, targeting the journalists Guyon Espiner and Matt Shand. They even had a go at Sean Plunket – possibly to try and attract some publicity on talk back radio.

Journalism 101: a Remedial Primer for Sean Plunket was also posted under ‘SB’. Yesterday Plunket was targeted by ‘Xavier Theodore Reginald Ordinary’ in Rank Hypocrisy from the Media Party. They are in full on attack mode, except when they are running defence posts for Winston Peters and Jami-Lee Ross. What a combination.

While Cameron Slater has received renewed attention (and brought some attention on himself) over the past couple of weeks, Atkins looks like an integral part of The BFD operation.

She appears to have managed The BFD since they shifted to it from Whale Oil a year ago to try to avoid legal and financial problems.

Just before Slater declared himself bankrupt he handed over his shares in Social Media Consultants Limited to Atkins, leaving her as sole director and shareholder. Then that company was put into liquidation. From the Six Monthly Liquidators Report:

Action from that may still be pending. In the meantime, it looks like registration of the BFD website has changed.

Both the Registrant and Admin contact addresses are sb@thebfd.co.nz. And the Registrant Name and Admin Contact Name are Suva Media Company Limited.

This company was set up as Madas 117 Limited by an accountant on 25 February last year, around when The BFD was set up. The name was changed to Suva Media Company Limited a day later.

Atkins became a director on 6 March 2019, and the shareholding was transferred to her on 24 March. The initial director ceased on 7 August leaving Atkins as the sole director and shareholder.

While others may be acting as apparent agents of NZ First and Jami-Lee Ross on The BFD, attacking the National Party and it’s leadership in particular, and journalists who expose what they are doing, Atkins is clearly involved in the dirty politics too. And appears to hold financial and legal responsibility for the website.

NZ First, Jami-Lee Ross and The BFD seem destined for self-destruction, but will likely keep lashing out as they spiral downwards.

They should have learned by now, journalists like Espiner and Plunket, and I, won’t be intimidated into silence.

Winston Peters has more explanations than photos

Explanations from Winston Peters over who took photos and video of journalists and gave them to The BFD attack blog continue to change.

He originally said on Magic Talk Radio “we took the photographs”…”to prove that was the sort of behaviour going on”.

He later tweeted a different variation:

“NZF has no interest in following Mr Espiner or any other journalists. The very reverse applies. No private investigators have been engaged to follow Mr Espiner or anyone else. A supporter thought it odd seeing ex-president Lester Grey with Mr Espiner so took a photo. Simple.”

Yesterday he tweeted what appeared to be emphatic, but it didn’t actually refute the “we” and “a supporter” claims.

Let there be no doubt that after caucus today I can confirm no NZ First Minister or MP sent any photos to any website.

I think that no one thought that a Minister or MP was directly involved in taking the photos or giving them to The BFD, so this is nothing but (typical) bluster from Peters.

From NZ First Leader Winston Peters denies his MPs sent covert photos to far-right blog (NZH):

This morning, Peters would not answer media questions about the photos.

Instead, he directed reporters to an interview he did with Magic Talk earlier that day.

“I don’t know anything about it, and I’m not responsible for it,” he said of the photos.

This sounds similar to his claims he knew nothing about the NZ First Foundation but also claimed to know exactly how they had handled donations.

Speaking to Magic Talk again today, Peters said he had “no idea” how the photos and the videos ended up on the blog.

“I’m a busy man, I’m flat out – I’m not wasting my time with this. I have no idea who did what or when.”

So another variation. Of course he doesn’t want to answer questions about this. But fudging and playing music clips and trying to make a joke of it doesn’t reduce the seriousness of NZ First connections to The BFD.

It’s been obvious that Whale Oil and it’s replacement The BFD have been shilling for Peters and NZ First for three years, since before the last election.

Prior to being a Peters promoter Cameron Slater had been a dirty critic of Peters and NZ First. The sudden switch to doing dirty work for NZ First of course raises suspicions of why.

It’s also well known that Winston’s friend, NZ First Party lawyer and NZ First Foundation trustee Brian Henry represented Slater in defamation proceedings and will have clocked up big legal bills of some sort. That raises some obvious (unanswered) questions.

The “dirty Politics’ book provided evidence that Whale Oil was paid to attack a variety of people in the past, and that Simon Lusk was involved both in making payments to Whale Oil, and ghost writing attack posts that appeared under Slater’s name.

Since the journalist photos were used in an attack post both Slater and Lusk have suddenly been named several times at The BFD, they seem to be bragging about finally getting some media attention for one of their hit jobs.

But their ongoing attacks just draw attention to how the core Dirty Politics crew are back in action, how compromised Peters and NZ First are over this connection. No amount of shifting stories and shifty non-explanations will reduce the dirty stench.

The ongoing antics at The BFD, apart from keeping the ‘look at how dirty we are’ in the spotlight’, keeps emphasising their complicity with NZ First, which keeps Peters squirming and ducking.


And on cue Xavier Theodore Reginald Ordinary has just posted again, revisiting Hager and Dirty Politics and attacking media yet again. He mentions ‘Media Party’ more often than Peters did recently.

At least the National party has finally found a willing coalition partner, the Media Party, led by Guyon Espiner with Sean Plunket as the communications director.

All they need now is some candidates and a logo.

That’s very funny from someone who, sort of anonymously, is openly now doing the dirty work for a party that already has a logo and candidates.

Is he out of control? Or is this all with the approval of Peters? Either way it’s a political cluster fuck.

Slater, Lusk connection to The BFD confirmed

After staying under cover for a year Cameron Slater has started to openly comment and post at The BFD. And Simon Lusk’s association with the blog has also been as good as confirmed.

When Whale Oil was shut down and The BFD started up in February last year they tried to distance Slater from the new business, to try to avoid legal and financial problems – Slater had just declared himself bankrupt, and the company that owned Whale Oil, Social Media Consultants Limited had been put into liquidation. Just before liquidation Slater was removed as director and shareholder, leaving his wife Juana Atkins as sole director and shareholder.

Slater didn’t openly contribute to The BFD, but Atkins was had a prominent role under her pseudonyms SB and ‘spanish bride’. The content and style of some of her posts had a Slater look to them.

The pro-NZ First and anti-National agenda that Slater had been running at Whale Oil gradually emerged at the BFD, with familiar styles and targets.

Posts started to appear under the name Xavier Theodore Reginald Ordinary (who uses a photo of explorer Xavier Mertz who died in Antarctic in 1913), They had a similar style to some of the Whale Oil posts that had appeared under Slater’s name. And they continued the anti-National and pro-NZ First agenda.

A recent post by Xavier Theodore Reginald Ordinary got attention because it used photos taken by ‘a NZ First supporter’ who Winston Peters had initially referred to as ‘we’. This post was typical WO style dirty politics, attacking journalists and threatening them with legal repercussions. More posts from the same author have followed, attacking a number of other journalists and media.

Last week Slater posted under his own name for I think the first time at The BFD.

I Just Had to Let It Go

On the morning of October 28 2018, just four days from my 50th birthday, I awoke to find my life changed dramatically. As I travelled to hospital by ambulance I felt confused, sad, despondent and very, very angry. I didn’t know what the future would deliver anymore, my whole life was in tatters as a result of a stroke.

His life was already in tatters, facing massive court case losses and costs as his attempts to avoid being held to account for attack agendas ran out of options. The stroke just added to this mess, and the stress of his predicament may have contributed to it.

The rest of the  was available to subscribers only, so the need to encourage subscriptions seemed to be greater than the wish to getting his story out.

Another attack post by Xavier Theodore Reginald Ordinary yesterday –  Where Was Andrea Vance When Rawshark HACKED a Journalist? – was much the same as many past laments about the Dirty Politics exposure. It looked like a Slater post.

And in comments where someone may have been getting close to a sensitive topic Slater commented in response.

His denials can be taken with a grain of salt, as can his accusations aimed at National.

Today at The BFD is yet another attack on Paula Bennett in The BFD Face of the Day

Most of it is same old smear sort of stuff, but one paragraph stands out as significant.

This week she stated publicly that she and National have nothing to do with experienced political operator Simon Lusk and ex Whaleoil editor Cameron Slater. She is telling the truth because both of them have a no dickheads policy.

Apart from the hilarious ‘no dickheads’ irony, this appears to confirm that the old dirty partnership of Slater and Lusk is openly operating at The BFD.

This doesn’t help Winston Peters or NZ First, who have been getting a hammering for working with The BFD to run dirty politics attacks on media.

James Shaw speaks on NZF/BFD use of photos against journalists

After growing pressure to make some sort of statement Green co-leader James Shaw has commented carefully on NZ First handing photos to an attack blog who then threatened the journalists.

NZ Herald: NZ First Foundation saga: Greens break silence on ‘chilling’ photos of journalists

The Greens have broken their silence and expressed alarm at published photos of an ex-NZ First president with journalists who have been reporting on donations to the party.

The photos were published on website The BFD, which has been linked to Whale Oil, the blog at the centre of the 2014 book Dirty Politics.

The BFD has increasingly been used to promote NZ First and to attack the Greens, Jacinda Ardern, Simon Bridges, National and the media.

Shaw told the Herald that the details of what had happened were unclear.

“But regardless of who took the photographs and why, the fact they were passed to a blog that is designed to undermine trust in our political system is a concern.”

Shaw also took a step further in relation to questions about the NZF Foundation and whether it has properly declared donations to the NZF party.

“The allegations are concerning and due process must be followed while they are investigated,” Shaw said.

“We know New Zealanders will be looking at this issue and worrying about what it means for their democracy, which is why we are focused on making the system more transparent and fair.”

This is something, but seems a lot more measured than Green condemnation of John Key and National when Hager’s Dirty Politics in 2014 revealed the use of Whale Oil for political attacks.

Shaw has previously answered questions about the foundation by saying that the country’s electoral system needed to be strengthened.

He is now calling for an independent citizens’ assembly to “clean up” political donations, which have been clouded by questions over the NZF Foundation, as well as the SFO charges laid in relation to a $100,000 donation to the National Party.

Perhaps an alternative to fixing the laws would be a good idea, rather than politicians dominated by the large parties who receive large donations doing what suits their own interests.

Shaw’s response tends towards too mild and too late.

Jacinda Ardern has remained fairly silent on the NZF/BFD issue, and has been widely criticised for this.

National Party leader Simon Bridges said there remained many unanswered questions about the “chilling” photos.

“It beggars belief to think that somehow by chance these journalists were photographed with Lester Gray and the photos somehow found their way onto a blog.”

if the National Party had been involved in such a thing, Labour and the Greens would be shouting from the rooftops.

“The Prime Minister appears to be hiding. Her silence is damning. Has she asked who took the photos, did they pay for it, and how did they end up on the blog?”

National were involved in this sort of thing up until 2014, but then distanced themselves from Whale Oil. Cameron Slater then turned his attacks on Key, National, Bill English, Paula Bennett and Bridges. This has continued at The BFD, although Slater now seems to have a more peripheral role.

While the change of position from National is stark it does turn pressure towards Ardern.

Asked about Bridges’ comments, a spokesperson for Ardern said the Prime Minister was focused on the issues New Zealanders care about.

“New Zealand First Party matters are for them to respond to,” the spokesperson said in a statement.

That is a very lame response. Ardern will no doubt be questioned about this in her weekly media conference – and will no doubt have some sort of response prepared. It will have to be much better than her spokesperson.

Links between NZ First and The BFD journalist threat agenda

David Garrett at Kiwiblog suggested I also post this here. Thanks for your advice David. Funny to see you playing interference for NZ First and The BFD.


In response to a post at Kiwiblog on The mute PM

Winston Peters “we took the photos” used in ‘dirty politics’ post at The BFD

It’s seemed obvious since before the last election that there were some sort of arrangements between NZ First and Whale Oil.  The replacement The BFD has been increasingly being used as a shill and dirty politics attack medium for Peters and NZ First.

Winston Peters now seems to have admitted “we took the photos” used in a recent post at The BFD that tried to discredit RNZ after the revealed details of NZ First Foundation donations.

RNZ – Winston Peters on photos of reporters: ‘We took the photographs’

NZ First Leader Winston Peters says he was involved in having photographs taken of RNZ journalist Guyon Espiner, Stuff reporter Matt Shand and former NZ First president Lester Gray.

The photographs, and a video, were posted on The BFD, a Whale Oil-linked website which has been running stories defending New Zealand First and trying to belittle reporting about the NZ First Foundation donations.

The photos ran with an article criticising the reporting, which Espiner and Shand have both been involved in.

The deputy prime minister has said two reporters were photographed going to a meeting with Gray “to prove that was the sort of behaviour going on”.

When the photographs were raised with him by Magic Talk Radio, Peters said “we took the photographs”.

The photographs were shown on this post – REVEALED: Source Behind RNZ Hit Job by Guyon Espiner

Which states:

The BFD. Lester Gray and Guyon Espiner. Photo supplied.

We have even obtained video of it: Lester Gray and Guyon Espiner from The BFD on Vimeo.

It would be good if the media now investigate who is operating as Xavier Theodore Reginald Ordinary at The BFD, and whether any business or financial arrangements are involved. And whether there is any association with the NZ First Foundation.


UPDATE

One News:  ‘No interest’ – Winston Peters backtracks on photos taken of journalists investigating NZ First Foundation

During an interview with Magic Talk Radio this week, Mr Peters discussed the photographs.

When it was raised to him, he responded: “We took the photograph just to prove that that’s the kind of behaviour going on.”

But tonight, after the RNZ story was published online, Mr Peters distanced the party from the photographs.

“In response to media inquiries, I can confirm that NZF has no interest in following Guyon Espiner or any other journalists. In fact, the very reverse applies,” he told 1 NEWS.

“No private investigators have been engaged to follow Mr Espiner or anyone else.

“A supporter did think it odd when they saw ex-president Lester Grey with Mr Espiner so took a photo. Simple as that.”

But it isn’t that simple. There was also a video taken.

And then the “supporter” seems to have passed the photos and video on – to the party ending up at The BFD in a dirty politics style post.