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.

John Stringer loses defamation case against Colin Craig

Ex-Conservative Party member John Stringer has lost a defamation case against his former party leader Colin Craig, adding to the list of court failures in the aftermath of the attacks on Craig run on the Whale Oil blog.

[1] In July 2015, after the implosion of the Conservative Party, Mr Colin Craig and Mrs Helen Craig said Mr Craig had been the victim of dirty politics as the Party’s former leader. They named three individuals as responsible, including Mr John Stringer, a former Conservative Party Board member. They gave a press conference and published a booklet saying so and distributed it to 1.63 million households in New Zealand. Mr Craig made other public statements saying so. The booklet was moderated, anonymously, by Mr Stephen Taylor. Party officials, Mrs Angela Storr and Mr Kevin Stitt, emailed updates to Conservative Party members about Mr Stringer and Mr Craig’s booklet and legal proceedings.

[2] Mr Stringer sues the five of them for defamation…The defendants fairly characterise their statements as falling broadly into six categories of meanings regarding Mr Stringer, that he: lied or is a liar; engaged in attack politics; coordinated with others to target Mr Craig; seriously breached the Conservative Party’s rules; acted unlawfully (by defaming Mr Craig); and betrayed others. The defendants did publish the statements complained of, most of which were defamatory of Mr Stringer. But, I hold:

(a) Mr and Mrs Craig have qualified privilege for all of their defamatory statements because they were made in response to Mr Stringer’s attacks on them. The force and vigour of their responses were not out of proportion to his, were not made in bad faith and were made for the purpose for which the privilege is accorded. With one exception, Mr and Mrs Craig’s defamatory statements of fact were also true or not materially different from the truth. Their defamatory statements of opinion were their genuine opinions and based on facts that were true or not materially different from the truth.

(b) Mr Taylor knew his moderation of the booklet would encourage its publication and he had the opportunity to influence, significantly, whether the statements were published. So, at law, he also published the defamatory statements. But the defences of qualified privilege for response to attack, truth and honest opinion protect him as they do the Craigs.

(c) Mrs Storr and Mr Stitt’s statements were made in discharge of their duty to communicate with party members and therefore benefit from the defence of qualified privilege of a duty to publish. They were also either true or their honest opinions.

[3] Accordingly, Mr Stringer’s claims all fail….

[10] By early 2015, there were persistent leaks of Board information to the media and, in particular, to Whale Oil, then one of the most read blogs in New Zealand. It is now clear, including by Mr Stringer’s admissions under cross-examination at trial, that Mr Stringer had been feeding information to the Deputy Editor of Whale Oil, Mr Pete Belt, from at least 15 November 2014…

[11] On 28 February 2015, in chairing a Board meeting, Mr Dobbs reminded Board members of their confidentiality obligations. All Board members, including Mr Stringer, re-signed the Party’s Code of Conduct which said, among other things, that “[a]ll media correspondence with regard to The Conservative Party of NZ business must be issued through the Party Leader, President or Press Secretary”.They also all signed a confidentiality agreement …

[12] Despite this, on 5 March 2015, Mr Stringer provided further suggestions to Mr Belt about possible stories regarding the Conservative Party…

Feel free to say you approached me, “but he declined to comment, citing Board confidentialities” but did say there were some widespread concerns over various matters the Party was seeking to resolve as amicably as possible.

In all other respects, cite “A Party member.” (Don’t mention Board as source). Is it better that we chat?

Stringer sent a text to Jordan Williams:

Pathetic jellyfish on Board wouldn’t even agree to release stmnt accepting CCs resignation last night. Done with them. Going nuclear. Time to carpet bomb the Colin Craig cult compound, make sure this clown doesn’t come back …

Getting so drawn into this now; and WO and I are gonna take him on if he goes us legally; wod kinda like opportunity to actually site the folders if at all possible, read the texts. I’m only responding to hearsay and accusations so far.

More from the judgment:

[19] On 21 June 2015, Mr Stringer emailed Mr Watkin at TV3, saying Whale Oil had a “‘nuclear bomb’ re Colin and may disclose this week”

So Stringer, Williams, Pete Belt and Cameron Slater were all involved to various extents at Whale Oil.

[102] It is simply not credible that Mr Stringer did not understand the effect of feeding information to Mr Belt. Mr Stringer was sending emails to Mr Belt about scandalous topics of current interest. Mr Stringer is an experienced political operative. His wife attested to that. 

A person of Mr Stringer’s experience with the media would have expected that the information and allegations he was sending Mr Belt would end up on the Whale Oil blog. I do not believe his protestations to the contrary. Indeed, his email of 26 February 2015 was explicit in asking Mr Belt to “hold off publication” because of a “witch-hunt” due to a previous Whale Oil post. Mr Stringer’s email to Mr Belt of 21 June 2015 said “not for publication yet, lets wait for Magic Hands replies”. And despite Ms Rankin expressing to him her outrage about the Walden report being leaked to Whale Oil, Mr Stringer continued to feed stories to Mr Belt, as he had leaked that report. 

It was entirely foreseeable that providing salacious allegations and confidential information to the Deputy Editor of the Whale Oil blog would result in it ending up on that blog. I consider the evidence establishes Mr Stringer knew full well what he was doing when he emailed Mr Belt. He was providing a stream of leaked information and damaging allegations about Mr Craig for possible publication on the Whale Oil blog, including when he was a member of the Board of the Conservative Party. He was working with Whale Oil to attack and undermine Mr Craig.

[159] If successful, Mr Stringer sought declarations, damages, aggravating damages and, apparently, punitive damages against the defendants, amounting to a total of over $3.5 million dollars. I agree with the point Mr Akel offered in submission, that it is too late for Mr Stringer to put punitive damages under s 28 of the Act in issue, when he failed to do so in his pleading. I also accept Mr Akel’s point that Mr Stringer’s own conduct would be relevant to any damages award if he were successful. He provided a link to, and argued against the booklet, republished the three Party updates on his own blog and even used the term “Judas” as a heading for one of his own cartoons on his blog.And I accept the defendants’ submission that the amounts claimed are divorced from reality. But, as it is, Mr Stringer has not succeeded in any of his claims.

[161] Mr Stringer’s suit was misconceived. I dismiss his claim.

The public accusations against Colin Craig that destroyed the already failed Conservative Party led to a number of defamation trials that have kept courts busy for years.

This all blew up in 2015, driven by Cameron Slater and the Whale Oil blog, with Jordan Williams supplying information he had access to in confidence, Williams deemed the public good justified breaching that confidence, but dirty politics and self interest seemed to be prominent.

The ‘public good’ seemed to be an attempt to destroy the Conservative Party (it succeeded), or to oust Craig as leader and install different leadership.

Slater and Whale Oil also tried to have Auckland mayor Len Brown deposed just after the 2013 election with what amounted to a series of sleazy attacks. Brown served his term and then stood down.

Following a flurry of accusations and counter attack from Craig, Williams went to court and had a big win (awarded 1.27 million by a jury) against Craig, but that has been set aside after legal challenges and appeals, and was finally settled last December: Colin Craig receives apology, compensation from Jordan Williams

A long and bitter court feud between former Conservative Party leader Colin Craig and Jordan Williams has been settled, with an apology and compensation from Williams.

In the first High Court case, a jury had found overwhelmingly for Williams and awarded him $1.27 million in damages – a record for defamation awards in New Zealand.

But the Supreme Court found the High Court jury had been materially misdirected and the case should be run again.

“My options are to settle, however much it sticks in the throat, go bankrupt, or incur huge debt to fight on,” said Williams.

“With the comments the appeal judges have made about limits to damages in defamation, no one rational would go for the retrial.”

On Tuesday, Craig sent out a press release saying he’d received a full apology and a payment from Williams, after Williams admitted making false allegations about him.

It means a retrial of a case in which Williams accused Craig of defamation will not go ahead.

“I wish to apologise publicly for the untrue statements I have made about Mr Craig,” the apology from Williams said.

Now John Stringer loses defamation court battle against former Conservative party leader Colin Craig

Former Conservative Party leader Colin Craig has won a legal defamation battle with the party’s ex-board member John Stringer.

During a High Court trial in August 2019, Stringer claimed the booklet – Dirty Politics and Hidden Agendas – sent to 1.6m households by Craig and his wife Helen in July 2015, hurt his political aspirations.

He took the Craigs to court for defamation, as well as Stephen Taylor, who moderated the booklet, and party officials Angela Storr and Kevin Stitt, who emailed supporters updates about Stringer and the booklet.

At the trial, Stringer claimed the booklet was designed to defame him “to as wide an audience as possible” and alleged he was involved in a “dirty politics conspiracy”.

Stringer also used Whale Oil in the stoush and afterwards so yeah.

In 2016, Stringer ran for a Christchurch City Council seat in the Papanui ward, but lost to current councillor Mike Davidson.

He claimed members of the public subsequently told him “that Colin Craig stuff” hurt his campaign.

Before the 2017 general election, Stringer was actively considered by NZ First as a potential candidate in South Canterbury’s Rangitata electorate.

However, Stringer said the person organising his candidacy later said the party wanted to withdraw it, “because I was one of those dirty politics brigade fellows”.

In a recently-released judgement on the matter, Justice Matthew Palmer found the Craigs were covered by qualified privilege for their statements as they were made in response to Stringer attacking them.

“The force and vigour of their responses were not out of proportion to his, were not made in bad faith and were made for the purpose for which the privilege is accorded.”

Their statements were factual, with the exception of one, he said.

“Their defamatory statements of opinion were their genuine opinions and based on facts that were true or not materially different from the truth.”

He added that as moderator of the booklet, Taylor was technically the publisher of the defamatory statements when it came to the law.

However, the defence of qualified privilege and truth and honest opinion protected him also.

As it was Storr and Stitt’s duty to communicate with party members, they were also protected.

Justice Palmer dismissed Stringer’s defamation claim, which he said was “misconceived”.

I think there was a lot ‘misconceived’ in the attack on Craig and his counter attack.

Williams must be out of pocket by a substantial amount.

Slater is bankrupt due to multiple defamation failures (he appeared to see defamation as a money making scheme, especially after the original award in Williams’ favour when Slater launched into his own case against Craig.

Craig made now monetary claim against Stringer who was already not in a position to pay anything.

Dirty politics via Whale Oil has been an expensive own goal for a number of people using the blog to attack people.

Judgment: Stringer v Craig [2020] NZHC 644 (3 April 2020)

 

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.

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.

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.

 

‘Dirty politics’ and NZ First financial issues

It looks like ‘dirty politics’ is back, with Winston Peters repeating insinuations made a number of times on Whale Oil 2.0 (The BFD) that look like trying to discredit an ex-NZ First official who has become a whistleblower.

On Wednesday at The BFD: Lester Gray & Nick Smith Playing Games with Parliamentary Processes

Lester Gray is using National MP Nick Smith to continue his wonky jihad against NZ First and now they are wanting to use parliamentary processes to try and destroy the party that Gray used to be the president of. Nick Smith seems intent on provoking the substantial lawsuit that is hanging over his head by continuing his own jihad against NZ First.

Smith went public revealing multi million dollar legal threat made against him by NZ First lawyer Brian Henry – see Brian Henry threatens Nick Smith and Guyon Espiner damages claim “as high as $30,000,000.00”.

‘Cameron Slater’/Whale Oil used too throw around legal threats (which turned out badly for Slater), but the Slater influence seems to have crept in to The BFD, which appears to have been set up to avoid court and liquidator actions.

Word has it that NZ First are relishing Lester Gray and Colin Forster trying this on.

We have it on good authority that some of the likely questions the select committee may ask will be as follows:

1. Why did Gray resign rather than go through the judicial process over his bullying of other party members?
2. Why is Forster complaining now? Is it because he was voted out of his position by the party?
3. What has NZ First done to support those bullied by Gray?
4. Why won’t Gray & Forster face NZ First MPs in a select committee?
5. What is Gray’s mental health condition and why did he request NZ First not comment on it, and does he believe that he should be questioned about it now he has demonstrated he is fit to appear before the select committee?

They don’t seem to have thought this through. Labour and the Greens will hammer hell out of them at the select committee even if NZ First does not have any MPs present. Those questions may prove rather detrimental to any barrow they are trying to push.

That is posted under the author ‘SB’ (Spanish Bride/Juana Atkins) but looks to me like same old ‘Cameron Slater’/Whale Oil style dirty politics.

This is part bullshit. From “Word has it that NZ First” it looks like The BFD is straight out shilling for NZ First – are they being paid for this?

“We have it on good authority that some of the likely questions the select committee may ask” sounds like bull, unless NZ First were going to tell Labour MPs on the select committee what dirty ‘attack the messenger’ questions to ask.  That’s unlikely – the Labour MPs blocked Gray and Forster from appearing before the committee anyway.

This isn’t the first time The BFD has raised “Gray’s mental health condition”.

This hardly seems a coincidence: Winston Peters lashes out at ex-NZ First party officials for request to give evidence

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters has accused his former party president Lester Gray of having “mental health problems” – a claim strongly denied by Gray, who has previously raised questions about the party’s finances.

The accusation emerged after National’s electoral law spokesman Nick Smith told Parliament that Labour MPs on the justice select committee refused a request for Gray and former treasurer Colin Forster to appear before it in a private session during their inquiry into the 2017 election.

Peters then suggested outside the House that Gray had mental health issues and it would not have been appropriate for him to give evidence to a select committee.

Ironic that Peters is using ‘mental health’ to try to discredit someone, when it looks to me like NZ First or one of their agents is using Slater’s dirty politics tactics at The BFD.

Smith said it was “appalling the lengths to which the Deputy Prime Minister is going to silence anybody that raises questions”.

Smith may have stepped over a select committee line (but claims not to have):

Labour is thought to be considering a privileges complaint against Smith to the Speaker for revealing closed business of a select committee – although MPs have absolute privilege in the House.

Gray and Forster made their request to appear in the wake of revelations about large donations to the New Zealand First Foundation, which funds party activities from donations that don’t have to be declared.

The pair wrote to the committee last week asking to be heard in its inquiry.

Specifically they cited “the recent serious revelations over the failure to disclose major donations, the significant expenditure on unauthorised campaign activities and the inappropriate running of a separate foundation without proper oversight of elected party officials.”

“The inquiry is a safe place for us to disclose our knowledge of what has taken place.”

Gray resigned in October two weeks before the party convention and according to Stuff, his resignation letter said he was unable to sign off the party accounts.

“I refuse to sign off the 2019 Financial Reports with the information I have been provided,” he wrote.

“As president, the limited exposure I have had to party donations and expenditure leaves me in a vulnerable position.

“This type of operation does not align with my moral and business practice values, and I am therefore not able to support the Party any longer.”

Peters outside the House questioned why Smith wanted to hear Forster and Gray.

“The reality is he wants to hear evidence from somebody who is no longer treasurer of the party and knew nothing about anything because he wasn’t there at the time so why would he be an expert witness on something he could not possibly know anything about?”

Asked about what would be wrong with Lester Gray giving evidence to the justice committee, Peters said: “Lester Gray’s lawyer wrote to me and my board and asked if we would have regard to his current then mental health problems and I have respected that letter and never said a thing about it but we are not going to sit here and take that sort of behavior hereon in.

“In short, if his lawyer pleads with us to give some understanding on his mental health problems, then perhaps the corollary should be that she should not try and think that some select committee because of his present state of mind is the proper place for him to make submissions.”

Someone seems to have provided The BFD with this mental health information some time ago. A post from 21 November: Brian Henry puts Bridges & Smith on Notice

Brian Henry has smacked Simon Bridges and Nick Smith hard, threatening to sue the cowards for smearing him in parliament.

So, Nick Smith is a coward and won’t repeat his allegations outside of parliament. The amount talked about are the direct provable losses that Simon Bridges and Nick Smith have caused Brian Henry because of their false accusations in the house.

That was posted under ‘SB’ but it doesn’t look like normal SB style to me.

Nick Smith also, rather stupidly, continued the attack with Question 9, despite having been informed of the action and then even more stupidly tabled his legal letter in parliament, though with some redactions regarding Lester Gray and the real reasons why he left NZ First.

The BFD has obtained copies of the letters and they are outlined below…

So, now we are starting to find out the real reasons behind the rather sudden departure of Lester Gray from NZ First.

Sources tell us…

There is also the rumour that …

Sounds very much like Slater/WO dirty politics (although the style hints that it may not have been written by Slater either).

…when this was discovered by people close to Lester Gray he suddenly had his “mental health” episode.

It looks to me like someone with close links to NZ First is providing information to if not writing posts for The BFD.

So Dirty Politics appears to be back, this time via NZ First/The BFD but with a lot of similar tactics used by Slater/Whale Oil.

The BFD ‘nothing to do with Whaleoil’, except…

The BFD sold themselves as a new look to the old Whale Oil blog, but with the same authors and descriptions and promises of ‘moderation’ (effectively message control censorship). They even claim to be the same ‘fastest growing media site’ they same as they falsely claimed at Whale Oil.

But as legal pressures grow they are trying to claim that the new website is separate and nothing to do with Whale Oil.

A comment from All_on_Red at Kiwiblog yesterday:

‘ matter the Disqus list (note that the controlling login’s and associated passwords for the Disqus account is ‘property’
Sigh, I’m afraid I have to call it.
You’re an idiot.
Any blog can register with Discus to have Discus member sign in to use it.
WOBF doesn’t ‘own’ Discus members.
This has been explained to you multiple times but you still don’t seem to get it.
Now you are calling being banned a ‘criminal act’
Lol
Do you not understand TheBFD is a separate website and nothing to do with Whaleoil.
Are you retarded? It certainly looks so.

Resorting to personal abuse suggests they may be feeling some pressure. Making claims that conflict with what looks obvious won’t help their situation.

“TheBFD is a separate website and nothing to do with Whaleoil” – so why does whaleoil.net.nz have show this…

We have new home visit The BFD.

Don’t believe everything you read online, just login and enjoy.

..and link to The BFD?

Why does @Whaleoil @CamSlater on Twitter have http://www.thebfd.co.nz as it’s website and now solely consist of links to posts at The BFD?

Why does Cam Slater @whaleoil on Twitter have thebfd.co.nz as it’s website, and consists solely now as a promoter of TheBFD posts?

The last post at whaleoil.net.nz

Today it is a farewell to the site from the team and I and a grateful thank you to you all for being part of the Whaleoil community.

We are bigger now than just one man. We have a large community across the country and the site has constrained where we need to go to counter the increasingly shrill fake news that is delivered up by our mainstream media.

It is time to do something about that.

Join the new team and enjoy the new site where you will be able to enjoy the varied content along with features and functionality that a blog format could never deliver.

We have created a new home for our community. It is called The BFD.

  • It begins on the 1st of August.
  • It has a completely new look and feel.
  • All the same, writers you’ve enjoyed at Whaleoil will be on The BFD
  • Your existing subscriptions will be honoured at The BFDIn other words, just log in and continue as usual.

They claim a new team, but with “all the same writers you’ve enjoyed at Whaleoil”. This post was authored by SB/spanish bride/Juana Atkins, who appeared to be managing Whaleoil since October 2018, and is also prominent as an author at The BFD, with the same author description she used at WO.

When launched on 1 August The BFD content was all migrated from Whale Oil posts dating back to April 1 2019.

Whale Oil About states:

Most articles come from a centre-right political viewpoint, with constant analysis and commentary of political events. Whaleoil also breaks its own news, is a media commentator and provides other topics of interest and entertainment to its readers.

Whaleoil 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.

Whaleoil wears its opinions on its sleeve, allowing readers to be informed and entertained even though they may not even share the same position. Whaleoil allows comments from its readers, so any mistakes or excesses are quickly curbed.

Because of this, Whaleoil is also a community (The Ground Crew), with a vast network of people from all parts of the spectrum contributing and assisting in the effort.

If you are new to Whaleoil, we ask you to pop in once a day for a week and see if it suits you.

The BFD About states:

Most articles on the BFD come from a centre-right political viewpoint, with constant analysis and commentary of political events. The BFD also breaks its own news, is a media commentator and provides other topics of interest and entertainment to its readers.

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.

The BFD wears its opinions on its sleeve, allowing readers to be informed and entertained even though they may not even share the same position. The BFD allows comments from its readers, so any mistakes or excesses are quickly curbed.

Because of this, The BFD is also a community, with a vast network of people from all parts of the spectrum contributing and assisting in the effort.

If you are new to The BFD, we ask you to pop in once a day for a week and see if it suits you.

The only difference is the name.

I suspect that retarded idiots may be able to see some sort of a connection with all of this.

They have even replicated “The BFD is the fastest-growing media organisation” – this was a dated claim at Whale Oil, which has been waning since Dirty Politics lifted a scab in 2014, and Slater and WO was suddenly seen and treated as toxic by politicians and media who had helped WO grow. It is nonsense to transfer this same claim to The BFD.

The BFD allows comments from its readers, so any mistakes or excesses are quickly curbed” is another misleading claim. WO was notorious for censoring and banning comments that challenged or contradicted false claims in posts.

The day before The BFD was launched this was posted by ‘Nige’ at WO: A Message from a Mod

As we approach a new political cycle with the imminent appointment of a new National party leader and as we get closer to the election at the end of next year, I would like to make it clear that the Moderation team have certain expectations.

We expect our commenters to get back to basics as we want to run a tight ship. We will be paying close attention to the comment sections on serious “authored” posts.

The comment sections help commenters to express their frustration with the New Zealand mainstream media as well as the rubbish that is being dished out and sold to us literally as news via online publications and the dead tree media, which somehow still manages to exist despite plummeting readerships and sales.

They do irony well.

So it is with great pleasure that I announce on behalf of the moderation team that we will be buckling down and taking more of a quality over quantity approach for the next few weeks on serious posts.

I hope that those of you who are part of our community will be responsible for your actions and will not cry victim but will learn from your mistakes. This post is the warning shot over the bow.

Our deleted bin is going to overflow in the next few weeks as we ruthlessly cull unsuitable or unacceptable comments.

There will be no warnings, comments will simply be deleted.

Commenters seem to be used to support and add weight to posts no matter how ridiculous or extreme they are, with alternate views and corrections censored out.

That seems to be how Whale Oil operated, at times at least, so even that hasn’t changed.

In addition, the domain registration of both whaleoil.net.nz and whaleoil.org.nz lists ‘Andrea Parkes’ (email @whaleoil.org.nz) as Technical Contact.

The domain registration for thebfd.co.nz lists exactly the same person and contact details (including email @whaleoil.org.nz)

But All_On_Red claaims “TheBFD is a separate website and nothing to do with Whaleoil.” Who are they trying to kid? Possibly lawyers and courts. But lawyers and judges tend to not be idiots or retarded.

They are trying to be different things to different audiences – they promoted themselves as largely the same Whale Oil with a new name and website, they had to do that to move their audience across from the old Whale Oil to the revamped The BFD.

But this looks like it could cause them problems with the liquidator of the company that ran Whale Oil and the Official Assignee dealing with Slater’s bankruptcy, and legal problems with possible asset stripping and not coperating with their liquidator.

Claiming The BFD has nothing to do with Whale Oil has hints of desperation from people who have dug themselves into a hole.