“Bankruptcy is a joke” – Slater

Cameron Slater filed for bankruptcy in February in response to mounting legal debts in multiple defamation proceedings against him. He (via his lawyer Brian Henry) has also tried to use that bankruptcy to try to avoid complying with Court orders in one ongoing defamation case, but Palmer J didn’t agree:

On 20 March 2019, I ordered this proceeding to continue against Mr Slater despite his bankruptcy, under a wide discretion in s 76(2) of the Insolvency Act 2006 (the Act).

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. Further argument is not required.

I regard Mr Henry’s submission about the different legal personalities of a bankrupt and a bankrupt estate as a nice academic issue.

I would expect a bankrupt continues to be personally responsible for the discharge of duties in legal
proceedings which are purely personal in nature and unrelated to any property interest of the bankrupt.

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.

– see judgment CIV-2016-404-1312 [2019] NZHC 1666

In May 2014 Slater posted Bankruptcy is just a joke, really

Bankruptcy is like a toothless tiger that benefits the bankrupt more than the victims.

The number of times bankrupts hide assets and continue to operate companies by using a puppet on the paperwork is so frequent as to make the process of being in bankruptcy pretty much meaningless.

Use of trusts, partners or girlfriends to “own” things and plain hiding of assets from the Official Assignee are very common.

What isn’t common is for bankrupts to be prosecuted for this behaviour.

It is good to see this may be changing.

See (Stuff):  Whale Oil company previously owned by Cameron Slater goes into liquidation

And: Whale Oil company put into liquidation after rearrangements

In June 2014 Slater (Whale Oil) followed up with An insiders view of bankruptcy and insolvency in NZ

I read your blog from time to time and also tend to pick up pieces you run on insolvency type issues such as the one you ran recently titled “Bankruptcy is a Joke.”

I am in my 50s and have pretty well been part of the insolvency industry in NZ since the day I walked out of Uni all those years ago. I thought I would post a few pieces to you on insolvency to explain how it works and why we have so many issues in this area

By far the bulk of liquidations in NZ are voluntary appointments by shareholders. 75% of shareholders can vote to put a company into liquidation and appoint a named liquidator. If the liquidator consents to appointment then they are appointed.

There are two ways to get work as a liquidator, get clients who liquidate companies and get them seeking your consent to be liquidator or offer a service whereby shareholders can put their companies into liquidation (voluntary liquidation), or a mixture of both. Voluntary liquidations are by far the easier option.

But how do you sell yourself? – “Appoint me as liquidator and I will come after your company’s assets, the current account you owe and I will turn over those transactions where your mates got paid but others didn’t.” Not a great way to promote business.

On the other hand – “appoint me and I will just sit back and do bugger all. I will turn a blind eye to the transactions that have occurred and I will accept your weak ass explanations about how your current account had been paid back.” That is the dilemma facing a lot of liquidators who rely on voluntary appointments to make a living. Do I kick ass and lose business or do I go easy and get more business.

Some liquidators seem to do a good job some of the time but turn a blind eye at other times. Other liquidators are extremely active in providing a service to defeat creditors. They achieve this by simply doing nothing. They dismiss creditor enquiry and bury the company.

How can you deal with this? They are currently looking to regulate the industry and to have accountability back to an umbrella organisation. Will this work. I am sceptical, we already have chartered accountants doing liquidations who are under the supervision of NZICA with little in the way of holding errant liquidators to account. I actually don’t disagree with the powers liquidators have. They can get nearly any information they want, they can compel people to attend upon them and they don’t need to answer to anyone outside of reporting obligations.

The last thing a liquidator needs is people holding up a process of selling assets that wont cover everyone’s debt in full or even any of the debt. They need the freedom to do the job. But, and I think this is where the problem lies, the power granted to liquidators assumes that they are professionals with high integrity who will do the job properly, unfortunately I don’t think that is the case in all instances.

In the case of the liquidation of Social Media Consultants I expect the liquidator will do a professional job, although they may be constrained by the amount of funds available to pay for their services unless there are sufficient assets.

On Whale Oil on 6 June 2016: Rodney Hide on insolvency and the wild west of the industry

Rodney Hide writes in the NBR of the gobsmacking arrogance of the Official Assignee, the lack of accountability and the general parlous state of insolvency.

I have also been investigating several liquidators and I know of one who has recovered millions from debtors and also banked millions in fees leaving a few cents in the dollar for aggrieved creditors.

The whole industry appears peppered with former bankrupts, banned directors and convicted criminals.

The Official Assignee office is frankly tits at their work.

The whole industry is filled with ratbags and run like the wild west.

As I said the whole industry is filled from top to bottom with people who are little better than mafia stand over merchants.

On Whale Oil on 20 June 2016: Alarming incompetence at the Insolvency Service

One thing I admire about Rodney Hide, is that he sticks by his mates. But this story highlights some dreadful incompetence at the Insolvency Service. This is not an isolated case. I am sitting on files of equally alarming incompetence in the Auckland office of the Official Assignee.

It is so bad in some instances it might well be considered corruption, such is the inaction on several bankruptcies and the carry-on of the bankrupts.

It?s not that one officer with one decision screwed up. The very guidelines for their staff are based on the wrong law.

The minister should by rights have an independent inquiry into the Insolvency Service?s failure to stick within its own statute. I could help him. Indeed, I have enough in my own file to make his eyes water. I stand ready to serve.

As will I.

Slater has shown more interest in trying to serve his own interests.

But that didn’t work out for him in the current defamation case. I doubt he will be seeing bankruptcy as such a joke now.

Time will tell how his bankruptcy, his liquidation, and his blog will fare.

Sellman (and others) versus Slater (and others) – Slater and his lawyer want out

Another defamation proceeding involving Cameron Slater that is encountering persistent delays – this case starting in mid-2016, and three years later still looks a long way off going to trial.

(The Matt Blomfield versus Slater and Social Media Consultants defamation started after a series of posts on the Whale Oil website in 2012, and while Slater was last year found by a court to have no defence damages won’t be dealt with until next year. Colin Craig versus Slater began in mid-2015 and is still going).

Newsroom: Lawyer: Let me off Whaleoil case

In October last year and again in March, Justice Palmer decided Slater and Graham had provided insufficient answers to questions from the medical academics’ lawyers and needed to do so, both in writing and by turning up to court personally for face to face interviews.

Slater has not done so. On his behalf, Henry has argued Slater had two medical opinions saying he was too ill to continue with the case. Then he argued the personal bankruptcy meant the defamation action should be halted and any action that survived ought to be against the Official Assignee as legal custodian of Slater’s property and finances.

In March, Justice Palmer used his discretion to order the case would go on, despite the bankruptcy. The plaintiffs then sought orders forcing Slater to comply and making him respond in writing to their application.

In April Justice Palmer decided there was no “medical evidence on the basis of which I could be satisfied Mr Slater was then incapacitated so that I could appoint a litigation guardian for him.”

The judge regarded Henry’s arguments about the different legal personalities of a bankrupt and the bankrupt’s estate as “a nice academic issue” but decided “I would expect a bankrupt continues to be personally responsible for the discharge of duties in legal proceedings which are purely personal in nature and unrelated to any property interest of the bankrupt” and “no further argument is required.”

Now, in his eighth judgment on these matters, delivered on Tuesday, he says Slater is either actually too ill to continue – in which case either a “litigation guardian” should be appointed or a proper court hearing on his illness and examination of his medical evidence needs to be held – or Slater simply does not want to want to do so. “In which case, he must face the consequences of the plaintiff’s current application.”

The judgment yesterday details the latest court saga:

[1] In this proceeding, three medical professionals sue Mr Cameron Slater, and other defendants, for defamation…

The proceeding

[5] This proceeding was commenced three years ago, in mid-2016. The plaintiffs are three medical professionals, Dr Doug Sellman, Dr Boyd Swinburn and Mr Shane Bradbrook. They sue Mr Slater who they allege defamed them in a series of blog posts on his Whale Oil website. They also sue Mr Carrick Graham and his company Facilitate Communications Ltd (FCL) for defaming them in comments on the posts. And they sue Mrs Katherine Rich and the New Zealand Food and Grocery Council Ltd (NZFGC) for allegedly procuring Mr Slater, Mr Graham and FCL to publish the substance and sting of the alleged defamation.

Slater’s lawyer Brian Henry is now claiming that due to a stroke suffered in late October 2018 Slater is unable to give him instructions, but had given him instructions on some matters that suited Slater. And Henry wanted the court to excuse him from representing Slater, but he has continued to represent him on a personal basis anyway.

It’s a messy situation for Henry, made worse by Slater filing for bankruptcy in February.

Slater and his family are claiming that he should no longer participate in the proceedingsfor health and stress reasons.

The state of play up until this judgment:

[1}…In an interlocutory judgment of 23 November 2018, I ordered Mr Slater to provide further particular discovery and to attend court to be orally examined. Since then, Mr Henry, for Mr Slater, has: applied for a temporary stay on the basis Mr Slater’s medical condition prevented him giving  instructions; foreshadowed an intention to apply for appointment of a litigation guardian; advised of Mr Slater’s bankruptcy; and advised that he has instructions to oppose new applications but that Mr Slater no longer defends the substantive proceeding.

[2] The plaintiffs have applied for orders that Mr Slater comply with the court orders for discovery and oral examination or be held in contempt of court. Mr Henry now submits, on Mr Slater’s instructions, that Mr Slater is no longer a party to the proceeding or able to engage a solicitor, because he is bankrupt, and he seeks a formal hearing on that issue. Mr Henry also says there are medical reports from February 2019 confirming Mr Slater is unable to give evidence in court.

[3] On 20 March 2019, I ordered this proceeding to continue against Mr Slater despite his bankruptcy, under a wide discretion in s 76(2) of the Insolvency Act 2006 (the Act).

The full judgment may be of interest to legal geeks (I’m not a legal person but have acquired a habit of reading through legal judgments), but here I’ll skip to the middle:

[16] In Minute No 15 of 2 April 2019, I did not consider there was any medical evidence on the basis of which I could be satisfied Mr Slater was then incapacitated so that I could appoint a litigation guardian for him. I noted Mr Slater appeared to intend not to comply with the discovery and oral examination orders, made in the 23 November 2018 judgment, and that he had sought to avoid complying with them from 14 December 2018 by successively applying for a stay on medical grounds, indicating he would apply for appointment of a litigation guardian, withdrawing instructions from counsel, indicating he would take no steps and applying for bankruptcy.

So the judge is nu buying Slater’s claims without evidence.

And to the end.

[28] Section 76(2) of the Act provides that “on the application by any creditor or other person interested in the bankruptcy, the court may allow proceedings that had already begun before the date of adjudication to continue on the terms and conditions that the court thinks appropriate”. That is, if anything, wider than the court’s discretion in the predecessor section which was characterised by the High Court as wide.

[29] 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. Given that, I do not consider the court and the parties need to incur yet further delays from, and the expense of, argument about that issue. Further argument is not required.

[30] Mr Slater must comply with the orders personally if the Official Assignee cannot do so through the exercise of the Assignee’s powers. The order to be examined orally must be complied with by Mr Slater personally, subject to what I say below about his medical condition. If the Official Assignee has possession of, and control over, Mr Slater’s documents sufficient to discharge Mr Slater’s obligations under the discovery order then I request the Official Assignee to arrange compliance with that order. Otherwise, Mr Slater will need to comply with that obligation personally too.

Mr Slater’s medical condition

[33] In terms of Mr Slater’s medical condition, I identify three possibilities:

(a) either Mr Slater is incapacitated and not able to give instructions, in which case a litigation guardian must be appointed for him under r 4.30 of the High Court Rules 2016; or

(b) Mr Slater is able to give instructions but is not medically able to provide discovery and/or be orally examined, in which case medical evidence of that must be provided and tested if required in response to the plaintiffs’ current application to compel compliance or sanction for contempt; or

(c) Mr Slater is able to give instructions, is able to provide discovery and be orally examined but does not want to do so, in which case he must face the consequences of the plaintiffs’ current application.

[34] I assume that possibility (a) is not the case, because Mr Henry has most recently said he has instructions from Mr Slater. If, now or at some future point, Mr Henry were to tell me Mr Slater is incapacitated and not able to give instructions, then I would want to see an affidavit explaining the basis of such a statement and its consistency with the various statements made to me to date and I would consider appointing a litigation guardian under r 4.35 of the Rules.

[35] If possibility (b) or (c) is the case, Mr Slater will need to file a notice of opposition to the plaintiffs’ application to compel compliance or sanction for contempt, with any supporting affidavits, by 1 pm Monday 22 July 2019, if he wishes to oppose the application.

Doubts have been raised here about claims of how debilitating the stoke was. Slater was commenting on Whale Oil soon after his stroke. And this was posted on Whale Oil in April:

Having just spent a bit of time with the boss I can tell you a couple of things.

He’ll be back if he chooses to be.

The mans grit and fortitude are unbelievable.
We had a reasonably active weekend and he stayed the course and even after he’d already told me he was knackered he then walked another kilometer.

Then the bloke that had lost all use of his right arm a few short months ago and has only regained a portion of its use and is in constant pain, picks up his shotgun, takes 3 practice swings and then proceeds to blow 9 out of 10 clay pigeons out of the air using the 2nd barrel only once.
If I hadn’t seen it (and scored it) I wouldn’t have believed it.

Bloody amazing man.

See Slater active recovering from stroke. Not such an amazing man when it comes to court matters – unless that grit and fortitude is applied to avoidance.

But it looks like the current avoidance hasn’t been successful.

 [32] …I will be hearing the plaintiffs’ application to compel compliance or sanction for contempt at 10 am on Friday 26 July 2019.

So the case will proceed, with Slater required to front up or risks being found in contempt of court for not complying with legal requirements. That can be a serious matter.

A large bit of deceit at Whale Oil

Whale Oil continues to deceive their readers, most of whom are likely to know at least some of the truth despite repeated posts that defy reality. I think that SB (Juana Atkins) is unlikely to be totally ignorant of what numerous court judgments and media reports have revealed over the years, but SB continues to make claims that are at odds with what Cameron Slater and Whale Oil have done – and some of which she has been a party to.

Posted yesterday:  A Little Bit of Justice

As I write this post I am acutely aware of my bias.

She begins with a frank admission, but it all goes downhill from there.

My view of New Zealand’s justice system is totally skewed by the fact that people with deep pockets were able to drag my better half through the court system for more than 7 long years until he had a debilitating stroke from the stress at only 49 years old and was forced to declare himself bankrupt.

I think it’s fair to say that Slater brought a lot of stress upon himself. he had his stroke last October, when he had embroiled himself in the Jami Lee Ross saga, was dealing with finally having to front up in court in the seven year Blomfield defamation, had just been slammed by another judge in another ongoing defamation case – see More court costs for Slater and co-defendants in defamation entree, abandons appeal in another case – and had just got bad news in his defamation tit for tat versus Colin Craig – see Craig v Slater – the biggest losers.

When SB first fronted up about the stroke at Whale Oil in February she blamed reporters for causing stress:

Prior to this event Cam was perfectly fit and healthy with no predisposing stroke risk factors. Doctors have concluded that the cause of the stroke was entirely due to stress.

That doctor claim has been debunked in court. The claim of no predisposing stroke risk factors also looks questionable if not downright nonsense.

“7 long years” has to be referring to the defamation case against Slater, doggedly pursued by Matt Blomfield after Slater had run an attack campaign of over a hundred posts on Whale Oil based on the contents of a hard drive that Slater had obtained that contained a large amount of private, personal and business information – Judge Asher found the hard drive and other documents provided to Slater “appear to have been obtained illegitimately”.

Being right didn’t matter at the end of the day as it came down to who could last the longest.

‘Being right’ is a ludicrous claim. Slater was eventually found to have been wrong about many things, with a court finding in the end that he had no defence to false and defamatory  claims.

And it was Slater who dragged the proceedings out for so long, trying to avoid being held to account with many delays and failed appeals. Some of the delays and the copious amount of inadmissible ‘evidence’ can be put down to legal incompetence. He was helped by Dermot Nottingham, who has a very poor record in numerous legal proceedings. But some appears to have been deliberate tactics to wear down legal opponents and to inflict as much financial hardship as possible.  That eventually backfired, with both Slater and Nottingham now bankrupt over hundreds of thousands of dollars of legal costs.

NZ Herald:  Whaleoil blogger Cameron Slater loses defamation case and gets told: ‘Your day will come’

Whaleoil blogger Cameron Slater has lost one of the country’s longest running defamation cases after failing to put up any credible defence.

The judgment made public today saw Justice Paul Davison find in Blomfield’s favour, ruling out a defence from Slater after long delays and failures to meet legal requirements to defend a claim of defamation.

The new judgment came after a defamation hearing as due to start on October 8 was adjourned when Slater and lawyers arrived at court without a proper defence.

In total, Slater had entered or attempted to enter five statements of defence over the course of the case which all failed to meet the legal requirements for attempted defences of truth and of honest opinion.

Davison said Slater had been “afforded considerable leniency” to meet deadlines and get a proper defence before the court.

There had been “indulgence” to allow Slater to change his defence with one High Court judge even providing the blogger guidance as to how to prepare for the defamation hearing.

Davison said Slater’s attempts to change his defence and to introduce new pleadings was rightly seen as “a last-minute attempt to prevent the (Blomfield’s) claim from being heard and determined by the court”.

He said it was possible to see delay as Slater’s objective when seeking court hearings on issues such as a security for costs.

Davison said the statement of defence Slater had arrived with when the trial was due to start failed to identify the facts which would have been used to prove his blog posts were true.

Instead, large piles of evidence had been pointed to which, in a number of cases, relied on “a third party’s allegations about the plaintiff”.

And instead of providing a defence of honest opinion, Slater’s court filings instead repeated his inadequate defence of truth.

Davison said it wasn’t necessary to rule on the merits of the case because of the legal, technical flaws in Slater’s attempted defence.

“However, in my view the documents relied on by the defendants do not provide cogent support for the propositions and conclusions they seek to draw from them in relation to the defences of truth and honest opinion, or the bad reputation of the plaintiff.”

So the judge found that Slater had no defence for making false and defamatory claims. SB must be aware of this, but still claims that Slater was right and is somehow the victim in this.

Slater appealed, but that appeal has since been dropped. Damages are yet to be awarded, that won’t happen until next year.

Costs on pre-trial proceedings have been awarded against Slater a number of times over the years (that happens when you’re wrong, not right). The last of these were awarded recently  – BLOMFIELD v SLATER COSTS JUDGMENT [2019] NZHC 1203 [29 May 2019]

By memorandum dated 23 November 2018, Mr Blomfield (the plaintiff), seeks an award of costs against Mr Slater and Social Media Consultants Limited (collectively “the defendants”), in relation to several interlocutory matters.

SB (Atkins) was a director of Social Media Consultants Limited (now in liquidation) so must be aware of all of this.

The defendants were planning on relying on a large body of evidence covering many different issues, and I determined that almost all of it was inadmissible.

The plaintiff is entitled to costs and disbursements of $59,000.29 as set out in the annexed schedule.

The Human Rights tribunal also found that Slater and Whale Oil were wrong – Human Rights Tribunal slams Cameron Slater:

This blog can only be described as a calculated attack on Mr Blomfield and an extended assassination of his character.”

Even if Mr Slater was not party to any illegality, it seems likely the information was obtained illegally by Mr Slater’s sources.

[175.1] A declaration is made under s 85(1)(a) of the Privacy Act 1993 that Mr Slater interfered with the privacy of Mr Blomfield by disclosing personal information about Mr Blomfield contrary to IPP 11.

[175.2] An order is made under s 85(1)(b) of the Privacy Act 1993 restraining Mr Slater from continuing or repeating the interferences with Mr Blomfield’s privacy, or from engaging in, or causing or permitting others to engage in, conduct of the same kind as that constituting the interferences, or conduct of any similar kind.

[175.3] An order is made under s 85(1)(d) of the Privacy Act 1993 that Mr Slater erase, destroy, take down and disable any personal information about Mr Matthew John Blomfield as may be held on http://www.whaleoil.co.nz and on http://www.scribd.com. Mr Slater is to likewise erase, destroy, take down or disable any of Mr Blomfield’s personal information published by Mr Slater and which may be found on any other website or database which is within Mr Slater’s direction or control.

[175.4] Damages of $70,000 are awarded against Mr Slater under ss 85(1)(c) and 88(1)(c) of the Privacy Act 1993 for the humiliation, loss of dignity and injury to feelings experienced by Mr Blomfield.

The full judgment [2019] NZHRRT 13 is here.


SB continued yesterday:

Oh, how I hate the old “public interest” line. The New Zealand media and Nicky Hager justified what they did to us as being in the public interest. The information they had obtained was stolen and included private and personal communications but even though it revealed zero wrongdoing (no one had broken any law) they decided it was in the “Public interest” to publish what had been written between friends with an expectation of privacy.

‘Zero wrongdoing’ is a joke.

I have always expressed concerns about hacking for political purposes, but there is no evidence that Slater was actually hacked (although it seems likely). There have been suggestions a whistle blower inside the Whale Oil camp may have at least aided the revelations.

There was certainly public interest in revealing that staff (Jason Ede at least) in the Prime Minister’s office colluded with Slater and used Whale Oil as a medium with which to run political attacks – some of the dirtiest of politics (Slater used to brag about how dirty he played).

There was also public interest in revealing that Whale Oil was being paid to run attacks on businesses, academics and people.

Perhaps SB just hates being found out.

She is also being very hypocritical about personal information and privacy, given:

  • Slater and Jason Ede using private information obtained from a Labour Party website by dubious means.
  • Slater’s attempt to hack The Standard (he had to admit he broke the law to get diversion).
  • Slater’s use of Blomfield’s private information.
  • The attempt to overturn the Auckland Mayoral election, and the trashing of Len Brown, using private and personal information.
  • The trashing of Colin Craig’s political career using private information in a breach of confidence.

There must be few people now who are still deceived by claims of innocence at Whale Oil, and there will be little sympathy for their repeated claims to be victims.

They are running the risk of ongoing self inflicted stress. They could deal with this if they front up with some honesty, as well as admissions and acceptance of the harm they have dumped on many people, but there is no sign of that happening.

Sexuality, statistics, and blog ignorance and intolerance

Sexuality is talked a lot more these days. This is generally a good thing, although not when it’s like this:

Juana Atkins (SB) at Whale Oil:  Human Rights Commission Goes ‘Full Retard’

The Human Rights Commission have created a ridiculous engagement survey that lists various mental disorders as genders for participants to choose from. Instead of being asked if the participant is male or female they list no less than TEN options to choose from.

So what are the ten choices that the ‘woke’ Human Rights Commission have included as made up genders to choose from?

  • Male
  • Female
  • Transgender
  • Takatapui
  • Genderfluid
  • Non-binary
  • Agender
  • Don’t know
  • Prefer not to say
  • Self-describe

Six of the gender options in the survey are completely made up. One option is that the person doesn’t know what gender they are and the other is that they would prefer not to say. There is zero scientific or biological basis to the six other options. They are lies and falsehoods created to make those who suffer from a mental disorder feel that their delusion is real.

Read my lips. There are only two genders, male and female.

This is both arrogant and ignorant, unless Atkins is deliberately stirring up intolerance.

Oxford dictionary:

gender

1  Either of the two sexes (male and female), especially when considered with reference to social and cultural differences rather than biological ones. The term is also used more broadly to denote a range of identities that do not correspond to established ideas of male and female.

1.1 Members of a particular gender considered as a group

1.2 The fact or condition of belonging to or identifying with a particular gender.

Wikipedia: Gender

Gender is the range of characteristics pertaining to, and differentiating between, masculinity and femininity. Depending on the context, these characteristics may include biological sex (i.e., the state of being male, female, or an intersex variation), sex-based social structures (i.e., gender roles), or gender identity.

Most cultures use a gender binary, having two genders (boys/men and girls/women);[4] those who exist outside these groups fall under the umbrella term non-binary or genderqueer.

Historically, many if not most societies have recognized only two distinct, broad classes of gender roles, a binary of masculine and feminine, largely corresponding to the biological sexes of male and female.

However, some societies have historically acknowledged and even honored people who fulfill a gender role that exists more in the middle of the continuum between the feminine and masculine polarity. For example, the Hawaiian māhū, who occupy “a place in the middle” between male and female, or the Ojibwe ikwekaazo, “men who choose to function as women”, or ininiikaazo, “women who function as men”.

The hijras of India and Pakistan are often cited as third gender. Another example may be the muxe found in the state of Oaxaca, in southern Mexico. The Bugis people of Sulawesi, Indonesia have a tradition that incorporates all the features above.

In addition to these traditionally recognized third genders, many cultures now recognize, to differing degrees, various non-binary gender identities. People who are non-binary (or genderqueer) have gender identities that are not exclusively masculine or feminine. They may identify as having an overlap of gender identities, having two or more genders, having no gender, having a fluctuating gender identity, or being third gender or other-gendered.

Recognition of non-binary genders is still somewhat new to mainstream Western culture, and non-binary people may face increased risk of assault, harassment, and discrimination.

In her post Atkins promoted harassment and discrimination, and both were evident in the comments on her post. The first comment:

I think a lot of people are getting very tired of a small minority inflicting this time wasting insanity on the majority and would like an “F Off” option.

That appears to breach WO commenting rules, but they apply them selectively.

The HRC Community Engagement stated:

The purpose of the Human Rights Commission (HRC) is to promote and protect human rights of all people in Aotearoa New Zealand. We work for a free, fair, safe and just New Zealand, where diversity is valued, and human dignity and rights are respected.

That should include the right to choose individuals to choose what gender they identify with, and to not be subject to the imposition of rigid binary gender options, or to be ridiculed, abused and demeaned by those who are intolerant of differences.

People who feel their gender doesn’t fit within a rigid male/female construct are in a small minority, but they face difficulties due to discrimination and worse from the majority.

Statistics NZ: New sexual identity wellbeing data reflects diversity of New Zealanders

For the first time, wellbeing data for people of different sexual identities has been collected as part of the 2018 General Social Survey (GSS), Stats NZ said today.

This information is an important step towards better reflecting the diversity across New Zealand in official statistics.

A person’s sexual identity is how they think of their own sexuality and which terms they identify with.

  • 96.5% identifying as heterosexual or straight
  • 1.9% identifying as bisexual
  • 1.1% identifying as gay/lesbian
  • 0.5% identified as other identities (includes terms such as takatāpui, asexual, pansexual, others)

3.5% seems a small number, but that equates to about 168,000 people in New Zealand.

And it looks like it could increase as strict as oppressive legal and social pressures continue to change.

By age group:

  • 18-24: 0.8% gay/lesbian, 5.4% bisexual (total 6.4%)
  • 24-44: 1.5% gay/lesbian, 2.6% bisexual (total 4.1%)
  • 45-64: 1.2% gay/lesbian, 0.9% bisexual (total 2.1%)
  • 65+: 0.6% gay/lesbian, 0.1% bisexual (total 0.7%)

The higher total numbers in the 18-24 age group are probably due to different factors, including reducing social pressures on being ‘different’, and greater experimentation as young adults.

Most of those identifying as bisexual when young seem to decide on heterosexual  as they get older.

It is likely these numbers are also affected by different life risks and expectancies.

Higher levels of discrimination are not surprising, but it’s not as high as I thought it would be.

Discriminated against in the last year:

  • 39% of bisexual people
  • 34% of gay/lesbian people
  • 16% of of people identifying as straight or heterosexual

Heterosexual people feeling discriminated against may seem odd, but comments at WO give some indication as to why this may be:

By giving groups additional rights they in fact create other groups with fewer rights. Gay people, black people, women all get special privileges and whenever a new group self identifies they get additional rights. Human rights are individual, and apply to everyone.

They aren’t given ‘additional rights’, they are given rights that the majority have enjoyed.

What about pale, stale and male rights, perhaps we should not be compelled to die on the battlefield protecting everyone else rights?

I doubt that AWB has risked their life on a battlefield protecting anyone’s rights, let alone minority rights.

Other findings:

  • Bisexual people less satisfied with life
  • One-third of bisexual people report poor mental wellbeing
  • Gay/lesbian and bisexual people find it harder to express their identity
  • Gay/lesbian people the most socially connected with friends and less lonely

David Farrar posted on it at Kiwiblog: Stats Sexuality data – he stated facts and little else, but comments were heavily leaning towards intolerance and abuse, as well as claiming to be victims.

‘the deity formerly known as nigel6888’:

So we are turning over all of society for precisely nobody’s benefit

Good oh!

These weirdos can’t even manage 1% but we let them drive social policy. Remarkable!

Nickc2:

And all this PC BS for such small numbers. Why? All in the name of inclusiveness as espoused by our PM perhaps?
What a joke! Don’t forget, some of our laws are written around such garbage, not to mention the dreaded ‘hate speech’.

tknorriss:

Yeah. It isn’t cool to be known as straight, white, or male anymore.

So, I suspect a lot of young people would answer any way to avoid those options.

93.6% of young people surveyed didn’t avoid the straight option. I think it’s more likely that non-binary gender options are under-represented.

skyblue:

So why are we wasting so much money on homosexuals and other associated weirdos putting things into place to placate them?

Comments at Kiwiblog seem to have moved further towards a small minority of recently disaffected and increasingly grumpy people, mostly males. They are far from representative of the general population, but intolerance of differences in sexuality is still rife in some pockets of society.

Fortunately there’s a lot more understanding and tolerance of differences in sexuality generally these days, especially in Parliament, in the Public Service and in law.

Consenting adults should be free to choose their sexuality free from discrimination and abuse.

Personally I have always felt straight or heterosexual, but I’m happy to let others choose for themselves what their sexuality or gender is to them.

Blog statistics down since Canterbury mosque attacks

The number of page views here varies over time, usually with explainable changes. Up leading up to and following elections and around significant news events. Down at Christmas and when I am on holiday or busier than normal on other things.

A significant I have noticed is that after a jump in page views associated with the Christchurch mosque attacks ion 15 March this year, page views have settled back to be running 20-25% fewer than they had been prior to that.

Weekly page views over the last six months:

The bump two weeks ago was when the book Whale Oil was launched – posts about Whale Oil have always tended to be popular, but page views have been running consistently lower since March.

I can only guess why this has happened, but I suspect it is something that Google has changed in their search algorithms.

Views referred by ‘search engines’ (primarily Google) are a significant proportion of traffic.

This drop in page views appears to be not just here. Alexa isn’t proof of numbers, but it suggests drops in traffic at Kiwiblog, The Standard and The Daily Blog since about mid-March as well.

So that adds weight to a factor other than content here.

It’s difficult to judge traffic at Whale Oil, because they switched domains last month (from whaleoil.co.nz to whaleoil.net.nz) makes it hard to judge traffic trends there, but traffic numbers have long been suspect there, and there was an unexplained huge jump in traffic there last September.

They still claim “Whaleoil is the fastest-growing media organisation in New Zealand” which appears to be nonsense, the claim is unchanged for a number of years but other indications are that numbers are down there. Comment numbers have certainly dropped significantly, especially since last October when Cameron Slater had what appears to be a mild stroke and since he filed for bankruptcy in February, an since the company running the blog went into liquidation.

Slater and Whale Oil suffered a major hit in credibility when the book Dirty Politics was launched in 2014 and after a number of legal blows and revelations, particularly the defamation judgment of Matt Blomfield (October 2018) and the launch of the book Whale Oil last month. Despite rearranging ownership I suspect Whale Oil is facing a significant issue with the liquidation.

But WO aside, it seems that the major blogs have dropped page views since March when the Christchurch massacres occurred, as has Your NZ (while this is of interest it doesn’t bother me, I’m not driven by numbers or popularity).

 

Gavin Ellis on Whale Oil book: “a harrowing slaga” but enduring long form journalism

RNZ media commentator Gavin Ellis applauded what Margie Thomson’s book Whale Oil

Margie Thomson’s investigation into the Whale Oil blog suggests that books may be the most enduring type of long-form journalism.

Transcript (from 6:22)

Great cover on that book, it’s not a whale so much as a sort of a monster of the deep coming up from the bottom of the book.

I think it was Margie who said that a whale was inappropriate, too nice to depict Slater and the dirt he is infamous for.

I think the monster comes from Matt Blomfield’s famous wrestler grandfather Lofty, who created an octopus hold.

Whale Oil by Margie Thomson really is a harrowing tale about a man, a businessman called Matt Blomfield and his decade long fight to clear his name after it was besmirched in a pretty serial fashion by Cameron Slater on the Whale Oil blog.

The book itself, I thought Finlay Macdonald summed it up perfectly, let me just read you one sentence of what he said. he said:

“Many readers will need a shower after a session with this book, and and Margie Thomson is to be applauded for her willingness to go where only trolls and the spiritually misshapen could feel at home.”

And that’s really, this is a, when I say it’s an awful book, it’s a very very good book. What it said is really quite awful about the ability of social media to basically destroy the reputation of an innocent person, and she sets about disproving virtually everything that appeared on the Whale Oil blog.

Of course Matt Blomfield has won defamation cases against Cameron Slater over it, but it’s a harrowing slaga, saga, but the thing that impressed me most I think is that it shows, with books like this it shows that this sort of excellent very long form journalism, you know the book chronicles a saga over ten years.

It may be that the most enduring form of journalism that we have.

The work that we do as daily journalists is ephemeral, you know it’s here one day and gone the next. I used to hate people saying that today’s newspaper is tomorrow’s fish wrapper, but there’s an element of truth in that.

This sort of deep investigation, and of course she’s not alone, we have a number of other journalists who’ve written books about different subjects, Rebecca McPhee, absolutely, and I think that they do us a real service by having an enduring form of journalism.

Now of course books are not regarded as a news activity, which is a problem under the Privacy Act, which makes them vulnerable, more vulnerable than a daily journalist would be.

Whale Oil was carefully vetted by lawyer Stephen Price to avoid possible legal actions.

Even with proposed changes to the Privacy Act I don’t think that this form of journalism enjoys the same protection as news activities do.

However books have an advantage of time to check out their accuracy and reduce risks.

But nonetheless I really commend not only this book but the whole process of committing to books.

This sort of long form investigative journalism, it really is great reading but also the lessons in them remain for the future, and that’s something in daily journalism we’re in danger of losing, particularly with the avalanche of material that we have bombarding us every day that is so ephemeral and this sort of anchors it with a degree of permanence. let’s hope so anyway.

It’s true that newspapers are published and sold one day, and disappear off the newsagents’ shelves by the end of the day. Books remain for sale on bookshelves for weeks.

But publishing news online means that it does endure far more than it used to. It can be just a Google search away. Enduring news – and blog posts – provide a lot of readily available research material for books like Whale Oil.

The difference with well researched and written books like Whale Oil though is that they collate and filter and edit a vast amount of material – and there is a vast amount of material in the Matt Blomfield story.

One of the successes of Whale Oil is that Margie took a huge amount of information and made it interesting and readable, while putting on record an awful campaign of attack that took place over many years.

It was, as Ellis says, a harrowing Slater saga, or saga.

Dirty sleaze content continues at Whale Oil

Even though Cameron Slater’s name has been virtually erased from Whale Oil content, his dirty legacy continues with regular derogatory posts still appearing.

Yesterday’s Face of the Day was posted by SB (Juana Atkins, Slater’s wife). It was another use old photo dregded up from Clarke Gayford’s past. He has repeatedly been targeted, attacked and smeared at Whale Oil.

Matt Blomfield, who has more cause than anyone to feel bitter at dirty and derogatory content on Whale Oil, said in statement in the weekend:

What got me thinking, though, was a book review on Newsroom by Finlay Macdonald – not his words but the image at the top of the page: Cameron Slater knocked out in the first round of his boxing match with Jesse Rider. He looks broken.

It follows that my mind takes me to a place of sympathy for Slater. He has a wife and kids just like me; he has tried to succeed, just like me. I feel increasingly concerned at the tone of some of the comments about him that are appearing online. I know what it’s like first hand to be ridiculed online, to be bullied and it affects more than just the individual. It flows through to that person’s friends and family.

I agree with Blomfield. But is sympathy for Slater and his family deserved  when ridiculing and bullying the family of politicians continues unabated at Whale Oil? (I know Gayford continues to have a public profile, but that is no good reason to dredge up old photos and repeatedly post them).

And the Whale Oil ‘family’ is a willing part of this. Comments on the above post all from WO ‘mods’:

Nige (Nigel Fairweather):

This is advice is apparently funny?

He’s a sicko.

Sally:

Thanks, Clarke. You’ve just given WO another opportunity to show you displaying your lace underwear.
You really lack self awareness.

Buzz E Bee:

Yup! All gift wrapped and dressed in a tutu…oh wait…

I wonder if they can look their families in the eye, their parents, their children, and say they are proud of what they promote.

From Whale Oil Commenting and moderating rules:

The golden rule of commenting

Each comment should:

  • be on the topic of the post
  • add information, a point of view or a contribution of some substance and
  • be respectful and do no harm to others.

Keep your language clean and respectful

  • Don’t put other people down.

If you don’t abide by the commandments a moderator will delete your comments

When moderators break the rules and allow others to follow their example it makes a mockery of their standards.

Slater may have slid into the background, but his hypocritical and dirty legacy continues at Whale Oil, with SB/Atkins leading and feeding the dirty mob.

Sprung – damaging attack tactics of Marc Spring

Many years of attacks against Matt Blomfield have been detailed in the book Whale Oil launched last week. Most focus was on Cameron Slater, but it also shows how involved Marc Spring was in a sustained campaign against Blomfield.

Two days before a hearing in the defamation trial Blomfield versus Slater last October, Spring sent an email to Blomfield’s lawyer, Felix Geiringer:

Perhaps a thought: when it goes to trial, the reporters will be there all day, every day, as the scores of witnesses give evidence against your client, so your client will be able to read all about himself for weeks on end in the mainstream media. That should leave a great footprint for all to see for the rest of his days. That will end any chance of a job or company ever being successful for your client. Oh the notoreity!!!

That brazenness is typical of Spring. And his obsession with trying to destroy Blomfield’s life. The book details how the campaign against Blomfield included extensive efforts to destroy any businesses, business relationships and employment opportunities.

Obsessed with attack that Spring and Slater thought they could use the trial to continue their attacks on Blomfield. But they put so much of their focus on attack they missed the boat on defence.

The trial judge ruled that Slater had no defence. All the attacks and claims and accusations he and Spring had made against Blomfield were distortions, misinformation and lies.  The judge saw through their tactics, refused to allow them to attack, and threw out Slater’s hapless and hopeless defence.

In social media, especially when there is a huge power imbalance like what they had with Whale Oil, attack can work in lieu of a defence. But when it came to the crunch in court the attack tactics failed. As they should have. Slater initiated an appeal of the decision, but after spinning the courts along for a few more months he withdrew the appeal as his lawyers deserted him.

In the years before this, despite a court agreement not to attack Blomfield, despite a restraining order, Spring kept attacking Blomfield wherever he could find an outlet. The worst of these attacks were on the Lauda Finem website. Last year Dermot Nottingham was convicted of five counts of criminal harassment and two of breach of suppression (a representative tip of an attack iceberg) and was found to be the principal participant in Lauda Finem, which in court he maintained was outside new Zealand law.

A lot of the attacks on Blomfield there, via posts and comments, look to me like they have at least the input of Spring. Multiple identities support each other in comments – and this looks suspiciously like Spring’s style and tactics, and he has proven motives.

He tried similar here at Your NZ. See: The many identities of Marc Spring and The many identities of Marc Spring

THE TYRANT (Spring) 8 May 2015:

Its just days away until another Blomfield scam gets made public. The guy is a recidivist criminal with no thought for any of his actions, or the consequences he leaves for people. Someone close to me just got taken for a ride – post his bankruptcy he just continues on and on, telling lies, acting like a thug, bragging about being a gang associate, and just being a general piece of shit. How many of his lawyers have complaints against them???? i was told 2 from one firm have multiple issues they face from working for this scum bag – i am betting soon multiple people will face multiple charges. The guy i was introduced to seemed pretty straight up, and a “take no shit” person. If more like him stood up to scammers like Blomfield the place would be all the better for it. Luckily my mate has met up with this person and he is going to facilitate the story becoming public.

Now we know that Blomfield has been vindicated, and Spring is totally discredited. This is typical of him – he repeatedly accuses others of doing what he has himself been doing.

Shagger (Spring) 5 May 2015 referring to Lauda Finem:

Posts are long, informative, pull no punches, and link often with legal speak of a well versed lawyer, or knowledge of the local laws. Or in some cases our lack of law. They are neither left nor right, but in my view slightly left at times. They have also been HIGHLY critical of Cameron Slater at times and certainly seem to not share much he says – with the exception of the Blomfield issue. Blomfield has unwittingly become the man who has opened up the rules surrounding the blog space. His case of defamation against Slater is also doomed to failure. I would not be surprised if Blomfield is the whipping boy for Prentice and co as they are using him to get to Slater.

– “link often with legal speak of a well versed lawyer, or knowledge of the local laws” is laughable. A long line of failures in court show how poorly versed Nottingham is in law. An attempted diversion from involvement for Slater, he was criticised in some posts but he was also complicit at Lauda Finem.

THE TYRANT (Spring) 8 May 2015:

@shagger – funny you mention the Thompson / Torensen dicks. I read the “Pet Detective” post at Lauda Finem today – the picture showing the dad with that ape had me in fits of laughter and tears rolling down my face with the “Reverse Darwinism” line. Great humour to say the least and actually quite uncanny the resemblance

I found that often here Spring was responding to his own comments under different identities to try to make it appear there was support for his accusations.

THE TYRANT (Spring) in reply to Hustler (Spring) 8 May 2015:

he sure is well known as a scamming fraudster – just ask ANYONE who has done business with him. i see back in the day Slater was using Blomfields own emails as evidence – that being the case then if its your own emails it can only be what Slater wrote. Blomfield could always provide a different set if they existed or provide his side of the story – but alas i guess what Slater said was in fact 100% true so now Blomfield continues to further his lies to try and make it go away. does anyone know what happened to the guy who attacked Blomfield in his home? something tells me it was a set up and that the DNA on the mask worn was not actually meant to be there

Slater misused Blomfield’s emails, he cherry picked them, he misrepresented them, he embellished meanings to a ridiculous degree. There are a number of examples in the book. At trial the judge rejected them. All of them.

THE TYRANT (Spring) in reply to Shagger (Spring) 15 May 2015:

oh how great that would be! Blomfield could turn up and serve another baseless defamation tort and waste 3 more years going round in circles trying to clear his dogshit name. Oh wait he ain’t got the nads for that. I suppose Blomfield will be at [deleted] 10 year orgy. A wankfest of epic proportions! [deleted], Blomfield, [deleted] and all the dodgy gaggle of layers – [deleted], [deleted], [deleted], [deleted], [deleted] – what a gang! bang !

THE TYRANT (Spring) in reply to BUCK WIT (Spring) 23 May 2015:

Pretty sad state of affairs by the Parole Board and the NZ Police force. This guy needs Preventative Detention. When reading the report thats attached to that link even the writer seems to be having some difficulty in defining the subject as to who he might prey on next. Appears to not just be little kids.

THE TYRANT (Spring) in reply to THE GRIM RAPER (Spring) 23 May 2015:

Busy allowing the Court, Cops and Parole Board time to come up with a story to cover their arses for allowing what happened to happened. Heads need to roll.

There are many more like this. I think that anyone familiar with comments and posts at Lauda Finem will recognise this style and content, especially some of the latter posts that suggest someone with an altered or ill mind is involved.

These are more extreme examples, but I think that it’s Fair to suspect that Spring used these same multi-personality tactics at Whale Oil, Kiwiblog, and elsewhere – I believe there is evidence he was also active in the comments sections of news sites.

The book Whale Oil shows that the attacks on Blomfield over many years were defamatory, deplorable, false and often extreme. The obsession with ‘fucking over’, and the tactics Marc Spring used, were a major factor in causing Blomfield and his family (and others) significant hardship – and from what I have experienced and heard this is continuing, albeit with much more limited opportunities.

He has complained here about his own life being adversely affected. He has blamed me and others for what are self inflicted problems.

It’s not just those who he has targeted who have suffered – this dire situations Nottingham and Slater now find themselves are in part self inflicted, but Spring has contributed sign to their predicaments.

I hope Spring seeks and gets help before he does more damage.


See also: Statement from Matt Blomfield on ‘Whale Oil’ book

Statement from Matt Blomfield on ‘Whale Oil’ book

Statement from Matt Blomfield (posted on Facebook):


On Tuesday last week we had the launch for the book Whale Oil by Margie Thomson. It was an incredible and humbling experience. About three hundred people turned up. My wife and kids attended and afterwards they talked about what an amazing night they had with other friends and family.

This weekend with the dust starting to settle I looked back at the week that followed the launch and I felt uncomfortable. It was a busy week with media appearances and messages of support, and naturally there was a big focus on the details of my protracted battle against Cameron Slater. What got me thinking, though, was a book review on Newsroom by Finlay Macdonald – not his words but the image at the top of the page: Cameron Slater knocked out in the first round of his boxing match with Jesse Rider. He looks broken. I needed to beat Cameron in court in order to win back my reputation. It was never my intention to break the man.

Cameron Slater has had his struggles in life. He’s had business failures. He struggled with mental illness; he lost his home. More recently he has had health issues. It follows that my mind takes me to a place of sympathy for Slater. He has a wife and kids just like me; he has tried to succeed, just like me. I feel increasingly concerned at the tone of some of the comments about him that are appearing online. I know what it’s like first hand to be ridiculed online, to be bullied and it affects more than just the individual. It flows through to that person’s friends and family.
Slater is not well. His attacks against me are not the actions of a right thinking individual. He needs help.
I’m concerned that some of the coverage given to the publication of Margie’s book gives the impression this book is a tit-for-tat exercise. It’s not, and that’s clear to anyone reading it. Yes, it’s the story of my long struggle to rescue my reputation and get justice, but
it’s about much more than a fight between two individuals. It is about our changing world and a system that needs to change so that our children are protected. It introduces readers to some incredible individuals and shows that even during the hardest of times good people will stand up and be counted. It’s about never giving up, and that sometimes the decision to fight can come from a place of love, compassion and family. Finally, it’s about people as a whole and how we choose to live not only on the internet but as a society.

The people who have read the book have all had the same reaction; a feeling of surprise. It follows that those same people have expressed to me what an important book this is and how much it impacted them as individuals.

I am now going to focus on my family, my health, my education and hopefully move past this. My story has been told.

I hope that people will move past attacking what can be only be described as a damaged individual. Let’s put him where he belongs, in the footnote of history, and move on to talking about the important issues he only symbolizes.

 

Newsroom review: Whale Oil

Finlay Macdonald has a very good review of the Maggie Thomson written book on Matt Blomfield book, Whale Oil – Where only trolls and the spiritually misshapen go

Many readers will feel like a shower after a session with this book, and Thomson is to be applauded for her willingness to go where only trolls and the spiritually misshapen could feel at home. As she explains early on, her book was born from a footnote to Nicky Hager’s 2014 bestseller Dirty Politics, arguably the book that marked the beginning of the end for Slater by laying bare his methods and the scabrous demi-monde he inhabited.

Calling their vendetta “Operation Bumslide” (a lexicon of vulgar and puerile Slaterisms would make a short book in its own right), these detractors harnessed the then-popular Whale Oil machine to depict Blomfield as a fraudster, a thief, a liar, a pornographer and a lunatic. Strange and sinister things happened along the way, including a violent home invasion and assault, which was at the very least worthy of far greater scrutiny in the context of Blomfield’s other travails than the police gave it.

Being from the same publisher and with an admiring foreword by Hager, you could be forgiven for thinking Whale Oil might represent one dip too many into the same dank well of character assassination, paid hit jobs and vicious mockery of undeserving victims. It’s not. Rather, Thomson has constructed an elegant psychological study of both main protagonists, equally obsessional in their own ways, locked in a kind of death-embrace from which only one can emerge the winner, but which will leave neither unscathed.

The term Kafkaesque is over-used and mis-used, but Blomfield’s predicament surely meets the criteria. Defamed, denigrated and physically attacked, he was nevertheless incapable of defending himself through any normal channel. The police, the courts, the media, the bureaucracy all live down to Kafka’s vision of a system designed to serve only itself and its own absurd purpose. The more Blomfield struggles to extricate himself from this web of perfidy and stupidity, the more he appears fixated and vexatious to indifferent observers. The more he professes his sanity, the more insane he appears.

It really is a wonder that Blomfield didn’t go completely raving mad – or just give up, as so many of Slater’s targets did.

I think that many of Slater’s targets will be grateful that Blomfield had the determination and tenacity to see this through, as far as it has come at least – a successful defamation after over six years of delays and attempts at avoidance by Slater, and of course the book detailing it all.

But this shouldn’t be the end of it. It would be worth following through with more holding to account. There are serious unanswered questions about inaction by the police on a number of occasions, including doing nothing about attack death treats that came very close to a murder being committed.

And accomplices of Slater should be nervous about being held to account for their actions too.

When truth finally does arrive, albeit on crutches and with a bandaged head, it’s almost an anticlimax. Having gamed the courts for years, delaying and prevaricating (for much of the time continuing to gleefully defame and otherwise harass Blomfield), Slater has nothing to offer; no proof whatsoever that anything he posted was true, fair or reasonable. So he loses. But the outcome is less than our aforementioned primitive instincts for story might demand. Slater is a bankrupted wretch, those who conspired with him are untouched by the verdict.

Some are untouched, like Warren Powell, who (the book claims) probably paid Slater at least in part for the protracted attacks on Blomfield, and also Amanda Easterbrook, who has kept a low profile.

Others have been affected to an extent. Dermot Nottingham is now bankrupt as a result of court costs incurred after multiple unsuccessful private prosecutions, some related to the Blomfield saga. He is also currently serving a home detention sentence which includes a ban on him using the internet, but remarkably Blomfield wasn’t included in the prosecution of him on five charges of criminal harassment.

Marc Spring has been at least as involved in abuse, false claims, defamation and harassment as Slater and so far has avoided court action against him – more due to police inaction than anything. He continues to attack Blomfield, although his major online options are now limited. He conducted sustained attacks against Blomfield in 2015-2016 when Blomfield had a restraining order against him, but the police decided not to take action.

But Spring has been affected. His credibility, his employment, his business affairs and his family have all been victims of his obsession with trying to destroy others, this has become more a self destruction.

What animates the likes of Slater and the haters he attracts remains a mystery, other than that they lack normal empathy and a sense of decency.

This whole affair is bad enough on it’s own, but there are very important wider issues.

That they are enabled by the failings in our systems and our souls is more the point, and this necessary but unpleasant book should be required reading for anyone interested in reforming the media-legal nexus for the realities of the attention economy. That will be too late for Matt Blomfield, but at least he’s finally out of the shit, while those he wrestled are still in it.

Blomfield’s long fight has finally managed to prove his attackers were malicious and almost totally wrong, and he himself has won back some of what was taken from him. The book has resulted in almost universal sympathy, admiration and respect – as far as I have seen the only exception being a small number of Slater apologists at Kiwiblog (I was accused of hate speech there yesterday for being critical of Slater and his accomplices).

Things should get better now for Blomfield. He will never get back everything that was taken from him, he and his family will bear the scars of vicious attacks online and physically,

The same can’t be said for the trolls and the spiritually misshapen, who still claim to be victims (as bullies do when someone stands up to them), have shown no remorse, and show no sign of recovering from their self inflicted miserable situations.