Hobson’s Pledge versus National

The Hobson’s Pledge campaign is targeting the National led government. From Reddit:

Meet the people behind Hobson’s Pledge Trust:

Andy Oakley , Casey Costello , David Round , Don Brash , Fiona Mackenzie , John Bell, Kevin Moratti , Larry Wood , Mike Butler , Mike McVicker , Peter Shirtcliffe , Sarah Taylor , Tom Johnson , Wendy Clark

Why are they attacking National and Bill English? If they lose the election and Labour+Greens get in then they are less likely to get any changes they want.

The answer may be Winston Peters.

If NZ First hold the balance of power in a new government Peters is unlikely to concede on any ‘Hobson’s Pledge’ issues, and may demand changes that Hobson’s Pledge want, whether he goes with National or with Labour-Greens.

Someone else trashing National and English and promoting Winston Peters is Whale Oil.

Is there any connection Hobson’s Pledge and Whale Oil?

Earlier this month on WO: Why are only Maori being helped to get drivers licences?

This quotes Hobson’s Pledge and then comments:

This is clearly a racist policy, why is the government promoting it other than as a bribe to the Maori party?

Last month:  Hobson’s Pledge questions why we are revisiting the Foreshore and Seabed issue

This quotes Hobson’s Pledge, including:

The National Government in effect put coastal claims back on the table as a sop to the Maori Party when it helped repeal the Foreshore and Seabed Act in return for support, Ms Costello said.

Prime Minister Bill English has uttered soothing words that few of these claims would succeed.

The Prime Minister has confirmed that some groups will be awarded such rights.

The Prime Minister is yet to explain why some New Zealanders will be awarded property rights far beyond those exercised in 1840, with the ability to exclude all other New Zealanders should they so wish, Ms Costello said.

‘Cameron Slater’ adds:

Bill English can barely put a sentence together, so explaining this will be difficult.

It’s almost like Bill wants to lose….or is bending over backwards to help Winston take his vote.

Like Hobson’s Pledge, Whale Oil seems to very much want Bill English to lose, and appears to be bending over backwards to help Winston take National’s vote.

Is Whale Oil just using Hobson’s Pledge to help promote it’s political agenda?

Slater’s motives seem to be a mix of monetary, spite and trying to settle old grudges. I guess he also has some political and policy aims as well.

Are Hobson’s Pledge or anyone behind them working with Whale Oil?

They both seem to have very similar aims.

Craig, Whale Oil and weaponising of the court

Colin Craig has won his appeal against a judgment in which from Judge Mary Beth Sharp had ruled his copyright claim on a ‘poem’ as “vexatious”, “improper” and a “deception perpetrated on the court”.

NZ City:  Craig wins appeal in poem lawsuit

The former Conservative Party leader has won his appeal of a decision to throw the case out as “vexatious”, despite those opposing him saying he’s had enough court time.

Mr Craig’s lawyers this week appealed that decision in the High Court, saying he should have been cut a “bit more slack” because he wasn’t a legal expert and had run the case himself.

Justice Mark Woolford has now allowed the appeal, saying “Mr Craig’s claim cannot be seen as groundless”.

“Even if Mr Craig’s primary motivation was to protect his reputation, I am of the view that his copyright claim should still be determined on its merits,” he said.

“He is entitled to have his day in court.”

Justice Woolford also noted Mr Craig viewed himself as “a poet of some literary merit”.

To me that’s a very dubious claim but Craig’s view may be pertinent in a legal sense.

Whale Oil has quoted this article at length but doesn’t appear to have attributed it to the source.

‘Whaleoil staff’ also offers substantial detail and opinion on a case before the court. They again seem to be trying to prove their case to their readers in advance of the court hearing it.

Of particular interest to me:

It is therefore a good time to point out the elephant in the room.  In my view, Mr Craig does not consider winning necessary.  To him, grinding down all his opponents in a never-ending series of court events is enough of an achievement.   While he has millions to spend, he knows his opponents do not.

That may or may not be Craig’s aim, it is simply speculation.

Colin Craig currently has 12 current defamation/copyright cases on the go.  All related to one originating incident.  The stepping down of Rachel MacGregor.

Such weaponising of the court system is indeed  “vexatious”, “improper” and a “deception perpetrated on the court”.  And treating the copyright case as a stand-alone event totally divorced from anything else is a serious error in legal judgement.

I don’t know what is motivating Craig but there are indications it has been a mixture of things, including defending his reputation (that is in tatters as a result of this saga), and of holding an attack blog to account.

If Craig has been weaponising the court system and is indeed  “vexatious”, “improper” and a “deception perpetrated on the court” then I have some sympathy with the targets of his legal actions.

But that sympathy is somewhat mixed, given the apparent hypocrisy from Whaleoil here.

Someone who appears to have an association to someone with a close association with Whale oil posted a comment here two days ago under the pseudonym ‘Albert’, which included:

I think you will find defamation doesn’t work that way. The last few months have been a free for all in your comments against Slater with some really defamatory things said…

I have been careful to moderate anything that I think could be at risk of being considered defamatory.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Slater didn’t task that mouth breather Belt to collect everything ready for when he beats Colin.

You might find third party discovery a real bitch…

That sounds like a threat.

Much and all as I loathe Slater, he is that cunning to sit an wait and collect months of data. The publisher is Yournz not the commenters.

I’m not a lawyer but Slater is nasty when cornered…and if he has money then I doubt he’d hold back going after someone like you who is a soft target.

Freedom of speech Rights etc won’t stop him…and he will grind you down. He’s that much of an assholes.

There are some ridiculous statements here.

The “mouth breather belt” and “loathe Slater” references need to be taken with a grain of salt, self criticism is a common ploy to try to disguise a source.

I think there is a clear implication from someone probably close to Slater that if Slater gets award a big payout in his case against Craig he will use that to finance vexatious legal actions. He has already been involved in some against me, unsuccessfully, so “soft target” may be a misjudgement.

It will look highly hypocritical if anything comes of this, but I think it is more likely to be empty threats in yet another attempt to try to shut me up.

I think that weaponising of the court system is indeed  “vexatious”, “improper” and a “deception perpetrated on the court” – and with record of this already happening against me, further attempts would be seen as a continuation of an obsession with trying to shut down any criticism and holding to account.

I don’t agree with some of what Craig has done and some of the measures Craig has taken, but I think his attempts to hold a dirty blog to account have some merit.

NOTE: I will moderate anything that I think steps over any lines. As usual I will allow rights of reply but I will have low tolerance for deceit in pseudonyms and attempts by sock puppets to plant ‘incriminating’ comments.

On WO queries and whining

To those who question why I post on WO and Slater inaccuracies (made up claims or deliberate lies), hypocrisy, double standards, dirty blogging, dirty politics etc – see ‘Whale Oil for Winston’ versus Seymour and ACT:

Some of those pushing the ‘poor Cam’, “obsession” etc lines do so anonymously but have a close connection to WO so are trying to discredit the posts. Their attempts make it more likely I will continue to expose WO, not less. They are stupid enough not to have figured that out yet.

Some of those regular readers who genuinely question why I do it:
– I post here for a variety of reasons, a major one being to encourage discussion and cater for regulars here. Another is for a much wider regular readership than those who actively comment. And I also post for other purposes beyond the regular running of Your NZ.
– Posts exposing WO and holding them to account usually attract quite a few comments, aided by the sock puppets.
– Posts exposing WO and holding them to account consistently attract amongst the highest number of clicks/page views, showing there is an interest in them.

Like any post, if you don’t like them you can choose to ignore them. You are also free to criticise me or question what is posted – and you are encouraged to provide facts that might support what is claimed on WO, something I note that no one has done on this thread despite the general moaning.

On of my aims online has always been to hold political blogs to account. I also encourage cross blog commenting, something other blogs tend to discourage. So it is likely I will keep posting about WO, TS, TDB, KB as they are the biggest NZ political blogs.

Finally, a message to friends of WO – if you don’t want to be criticised then don’t post crap. If you want to keep bullshitting and attacking parties and MPs and people then expect to be critiqued. You like dishing crap out but whine when exposed in a mild way using facts – toughen up.

‘Whale Oil for Winston’ versus Seymour and ACT

David Seymour has been targeted by Whale Oil over his criticism of Winston Peters.

Last week:  Winston Peters criticised for telling Islamic communities to ‘clean house’

Winston Peters has told Parliament New Zealand’s Islamic communities “must clean house” and it “should start with their own families”.

Mr Peters was criticised by the next speaker, ACT leader David Seymour.

“There will have to be a more serious and wider debate about when and whether such an event can happen here,” he said.

“And it will have to be a debate without naked political opportunism, as we have heard from New Zealand First.”

Whale Oil has picked up on this. They have been campaigning against every party except NZ First, and frequently have anti-Muslim posts, some of them tending towards the extreme.

Cameron Slater has griped about National since he was cold shouldered after Dirty Politics, and he seems to have held a grudge Bill English for a long time.  Yesterday in  This election the choices are stark:

I can’t and won’t support a party led by Bill English. Not after the UNSC 2334 debacle, not after intransigence on immigration, and not for personal reasons.

One of Slater’s biggest difficulties as a political activist is he gets too personal, with long standing grudges and many burnt bridges resulting in ongoing flaming. He frequently attacks all parties – except NZ First.

For some reason Whale Oil has become very pro-Winston Peters – quite a turnaround from the past. And Peters’ anti-Muslim stance fits with the Whale Oil campaign – they often have several anti-Muslim posts a day, under the names of ‘Cameron Slater’ and ‘SB’ (Slater’s wife).

After Seymour’s criticism of Peters  Slater has switched his  attacks to Seymour and ACT.

On Saturday:  According to David Seymour it is Winston Peters who causes radicalisation and terrorism

Another email to David Seymour from a reader:

To: David Seymour
From: [Redacted]

An anonymous email which just happens to sound as contrived as many Whale Oil posts.

Dear Mr Seymour,

My party vote for 2017 was up for grabs after being a National voter since 1975. However, you blew it by castigating Winston Peters over his speech warning us that radical Islam is on our doorstep.

When you are a bit older, you might gain some sense about what the world is all about. Sadly, it appears that you are merely a product of mushy university-think and your actions re Winston Peters reveal that you are completely out of touch with the real problems of the real world.

You came tantalizingly close to getting a new voter but you have now revealed that your right-centre stance is fake.

That’s funny. Whale Oil has previously ran a number of posts purportedly from voters deserting National because of a handful of issues that happen to coincide with the Whale Oil campaign focus that is largely pro-Israel and anti-Muslim.

Dirty Politics alleged that Whale Oil was paid to promote certain lines. And there is some evidence of this in the past.

Stuff in 2014:  Blogging, money and blurred lines

The man at the centre of the Dirty Politics firestorm sits on a leafy street in Tel Aviv, Israel, just a block from the shores of the Mediterranean, sipping a blended mint lemonade.

Cameron “Whale Oil” Slater is bleary-eyed, having spent 24 hours on a plane, and now finds himself in a war zone during a ceasefire. It’s Friday in Israel; Saturday back home.

He’s one of a group of international journalists invited to visit by the Israeli government, which has been earning bruising international condemnation over the civilian death toll in the Gaza conflict.

The Israeli embassy approached him about the trip, he says, and covered some costs, but he is paying for a significant portion of his travels. He has posted anti-Hamas and pro-Israel stories on his blog in the past.

The arrangement may sound vaguely familiar to anyone who has read certain chapters of Nicky Hager’s controversial new book Dirty Politics, which is based on thousands of emails stolen from Slater’s computer.

Besides his central claims that National used Slater’s Whale Oil blog as an conduit for “dirty” attacks on its political enemies, Hager also says Slater took cash in exchange for running stories for a range of commercial clients.

That trip, paid at least in part for by the Israeli government, awkwardly coincided with the Dirty Politics implicating Slater as a mercenary blogger.

Seymour responded to the anonymous Whale Oil ‘reader’:

To: [REDACTED]
From: David Seymour

Date: 7 June 2017

There are 46,000 Muslims in NZ, 1 per cent of the population. The best way to make sure the few radicals amongst them do some thing stupid is to have an idiot like Winston persecuting the whole community for political gain.

Your vote, however, is your own,

David

‘Cameron Slater’ reacted to this:

A few?

David Seymour needs to understand some basic math. If just 1% of Muslims are radicalised then there are around 500 of them running around NZ spreading hate and plotting. That is a low percentage, a more realistic number would be 10%, that means there are 5000 of them…and it is thought that the actual percentage is much higher if you believe Pew Research…and I do.

It’s not so much basic maths that are absent, it is basic facts. There are none.

Slater needs to understand what Seymour actually said.

Seymour:  “There are 46,000 Muslims in NZ, 1 per cent of the population”.

Slater: “If just 1% of Muslims are radicalised then there are around 500 of them running around NZ spreading hate and plotting.”

That’s an assertion unrelated to what Seymour said, and not backed by any facts.

Slater continued:

That is a low percentage, a more realistic number would be 10%, that means there are 5000 of them…and it is thought that the actual percentage is much higher if you believe Pew Research…and I do.

A more realistic thing for a journalist to do would be to base their assertions on facts, but Slater is obviously not wearing is journalist hat here.

He mentions ‘Pew Research’ as some authority for his escalating 1%, 10%, “much higher” assertions but lacks basic facts.

A Pew Research from last month:  Muslims and Islam: Key findings in the U.S. and around the world

There is no reference to ‘radical’ or radicalized’ anywhere in the report (there are some in comments).

There is no mention of New Zealand (nor Australia except a couple of times in comments).

Slater also showed an appalling grasp of maths and facts in this post:  Muslims will outnumber Christians in New Zealand in 60 years – Pew Research that quotes RNZ:

There will be more Muslims than Christians in the world in fewer than 60 years, new research shows – and New Zealand is one of eight countries that will lose their Christian majority in that time.

The number of countries with a Christian majority is expected to decline from 159 to 151 by 2050, with the proportion of Christians in New Zealand slumping from 57 percent of the population at present to 44.7 percent.

At that point, according to the study’s projections, the largest religious category in New Zealand will be “unaffiliated” at 45.1 percent.

He takes two projections…

  1. There will be more Muslims than Christians in the world in 60 years
  2. The proportion of Christians in New Zealand slumping from 57% of the population at present to 44.7% by 2050

…and claims from that that there will be more Muslims than Christians here.

But he ignores or fails to notice “the largest religious category in New Zealand will be ‘unaffiliated’ at 45.1”.

So Pew estimates there will be about 90% Christians plus ‘unaffiliated’. Muslims and all other religious affiliations are estimated be only 10%, so Muslims alone will be nowhere near a majority.

Currently there are more Hindus (2.11%) and Buddhists (1.5%) in New Zealand than Muslims (1.18%), with ‘other religions’ and ‘Spiritualism and New Age religions also totalling 1.35%.

The Slater and Whale Oil attacks on Muslims, and on Seymour and Act, are based on bull – whether it is deliberately wrong or based on ignorance doesn’t matter.

I think it is fair to be very sceptical of the comments on the all the activist campaign posts at Whale Oil too. I think it’s well known that Whale Oil ‘moderates’ out comments and commenters that don’t fit with their messages.

And I think there’s a good reason to be very suspicious of who some of the commenters actually are. I know that some of those associated with Whale Oil have a habit of using multiple IDs.

It’s easy to guess why Whale Oil is campaigning against ACT/Seymour and it is obvious why they are campaigning against National and Bill English.

Why they have become a NZ First promotion blog is less obvious, but the open support for them and their strong bias against other parties and MPs is farcical for a site sometimes claiming to be ‘media’ and ‘journalism’.

And hugely hypocritical yet again given their attacks on other media as being ‘the media party’.

I’m not sure that al this will help NZ First. ‘Whale Oil for Winston’ is more likely to be a toxic association than a vote winner.

WO: political threats against Auckland councillor

This looks like political threats at Whale Oil against Auckland City councillor Denise Lee, under the name of ‘Cameron Slater’ in Will Denise Lee suffer at List Ranking?

National candidate for Maungakiekie Denise Lee surprised everyone in National when she voted for Phil Goff’s pillow tax.

Whale Oil may still speak for some in National with particular interests but nowhere near “everyone in National”.

This was despite a lot of lobbying from National Party Board Member Alastair Bell, who was trying to ensure National candidates actually followed party policy, and listened to him.

Obviously Denise failed to do either, so there are a lot of angry people in National who can’t believe National have a candidate who basically rolls over whenever anyone puts some pressure on her.

A very ironic claim about ‘anyone’ putting pressure on Lee.

This may be just posturing from WO, but if it is accurate I think it is alarming.

Lee is an Auckland City councillor, representing and acting for the people of Auckland.

She is also a National candidate, standing for an electorate and presumably also after a party list position.

There are a number of local body politicians standing in this year’s general election. They will need to campaign for their parties, but while they are still local body politicians they need to separately do their jobs there independently of their future aspirations.

It is alarming to see what looks to me like political blackmail – Lee voted differently to what Whale Oil/Slater/whoever wanted so they are attacking her and apparently threatening her chances on the National Party list selection.

I doubt that Slater actually has much if any input into the National Party list, especially given how much he criticises and attacks the party, the Prime Minister and other ministers and MPs.

The tipline has been running hot that Alastair Bell is furious because he has been made to look like a right fool by Denise, and his clients are very, very unhappy with him.

Without corroboration or specifics “tipline has been running hot” is WO hot air. My tipline is running hot that Slater is an arse.

Who are Alistair Bell’s clients and what do they have to do with this?

So now there is talk of a plan to give Denise a very low list position so she learns quickly that you cannot defy National Party policy and expect to get away with it, even if you are from the wet or Nikki Kaye wing of the National Party.

So now there is talk of a plan by shadowy political operatives using Whale Oil to publish barely veiled threats against a city councillor and national election candidate.

And they can’t resist dissing a successful National MP and minister in the process.

Let’s see how she copes when the rumoured third party campaign, funded by angry moteliers, gets underway against her.

This looks more like the ‘dirty politics’ part of Whale Oil in action, it certainly doesn’t look like journalism.

No supported facts, just ‘rumours’. Rumour mongering and Whale Oil are not strangers. Neither are dirty politics and Slater.

This Whale Oil post has tried to present itself as representing the views of “everyone in National” and “a lot of angry people in National”.

What it shows is that Whale Oil is still being used to target and threaten sitting local body politicians and general election candidates.

And it smells dirty. Not just against Denise Lee. This may also be deliberately trying to muddy National’s election campaign. WhaleOil/Slater has been showing signs of campaigning against National for some time, and dirtiness seems to be starting to kick in.

Whaleoil Party?

A Whaleoil Party was prompted by someone suggesting Cameron Slater in response to the Stuff poll question “If you could choose any living person in the world to be prime minister of New Zealand who would it be?”

KGB said “I was thinking there should be a WO Party 2017”.

Pete Belt posted The Whaleoil Party.

I seriously contemplated it about a year ago and even pitched it to Cam.

It could have been good for Whale Oil statistics, and would have generated a bit of political discussion (always a good thing) but not much else.

The three main reasons it didn’t happen are

1) We have respect for the election process.

Yeah, right.

Like trying to overturn the election of  Len Brown as mayor of Auckland in 2013?

Like running a concerted campaign against Colin Craig, Kim Dotcom and to a lesser extent others.

Like Dirty Politics.

To create a party simply for disruption, publicity and self interest wasn’t respecting voters. If we’re going to do it, then we need to be serious enough to give it a real go.

Who would even consider “a party simply for disruption, publicity and self interest”? Belt seems to have.

2) We knew we’d be severely hamstrung with three defamation suits being worked through. We wouldn’t be able to do the idea justice, no matter if it was done tongue in cheek or seriously.

Again Belt suggests a non-serious party, but he’s right in that with their legal battles efforts to get a new party started and contesting an election would severely hamstrung.

3) Whaleoil believes it has more influence in our current role than we would have with a parliamentary presence.

And interesting comment.  Whale is Whale Oil’s current role? At times they claim to be journalists doing media stuff, but this suggests more of an agenda or vested interest in particular outcomes.

Their actual current influence is actually quite small.

After the last election they may have ended any hope of the Conservative Party getting into Parliament, but Craig would have struggled to succeed anyway.

Their influence on National and the Government now appears to be minimal.

Whale Oil seems to be trying to promote Winston Peters and NZ First, but NZ First had been polling well long before Slater did his weird switch of political allegiance, and Peters has been promoted as ‘kingmaker’ for many elections, coming up just short in the last two without WO help (actually despite WO opposition).

I was still keen to run a pretend party. That is, we’d go through the motions. We do the policies, the web site, the public appearances, but we would NOT register as a party. But. Due to 2) above, I knew we couldn’t do it justice the way I would have liked to have seen it done.

Again he suggests it may have been something along the lines of “a party simply for disruption, publicity and self interest”.

The chances of succeeding with a new party are very small, as even those with more money than sense like Craig and Kim Dotcom have found out.

There is a restlessness.

There may be a restlessness on the fringes, as expressed on Whale Oil, The Standard and The Daily Blog, but the vast majority of voters are closer to being mostly disinterested.

At this stage we are trying to give it a voice. But it does not have a home.

Whale Oil seems to be trying to promote political restlessness, and they have some supporters who have a home where they can discuss it without much real challenge due to their comment filtering (moderation/censorship).

So their niche of restlessness has a voice. It’s just a small voice in a large political wilderness.

There only real chance of significant political influence is to find another scandal and promote the hell out of it, and hope that the mainstream media that they have always relied on picks it up and makes something of it.

The way things currently look at Whale Oil the most likely attempt to influence the upcoming election might be a scandal promoted jointly by Winston Peters and Whale Oil.

At least Peters still gets all media attention he seems to want.

But what about the future?

If Slater and Whale Oil score a $16 million award from the current defamation trial, or even a significant fraction of that, it could finance a future party but even if there is no appeal (that would be unusual with Craig involved) it is too late for this year.

What if NZ First get to call the coalition shots and get into a position of real power in the next government?

Slater as media and communications manager? Shades of Steve Barron?

I doubt it. I suspect that Slater’s promotion of NZ First is nothing more than the only way he can see to try to cause disruption, more likely as pay back for being left on the political outer rather than with any positive aim.

A Whaleoil Party could use it’s blog support base to sign up 500 members, but from there it would be difficult. They are busy enough raising revenue and donations to keep the blog afloat, trying to finance a party and campaigns would be a stretch unless they found one generous benefactor.

The media would likely write off as a stunt and virtually ignore a Whale Oil party, so it’s reach would be limited to their own publicity – preaching to the converted.

 

Whale Oil and NZ First

It’s been obvious for some time that Cameron Slater and therefore Whale Oil had gone off National – politics hath no fury like a Slater scorned.

After Dirty Politics was published in the lead up to the 2014 John Key and most National MPs distanced themselves a politically toxic associate. Slater was noticeably peeved about his contacts and his sources of insider stories drying up. Regular anti-National posts became the norm on Whale Oil.

Slater has long held an obvious grudge against Bill English so when John Key stepped down and English took over, and in doing so easily beating Slater favourite Judith Collins, National was cemented on Slater’s hit list.

Since then, as a number of people here have noted, Slater has often been promoting Winston Peters and NZ First. This seemed surprising given Slater’s past treatment of Peters and his party. It has been speculated that there may be some connection with this to Slater’s lawyer in his defamation case with Colin Craig being Brian Henry, who has been associated with Peters in the past.

There could be a more politically pragmatic reason why Slater is promoting NZ First.

If NZ First are in a position to determine the outcome of this year’s election and enter a coalition with Labour  then there’s a good chance either English would resign as leader or National will dump English – I think English would be more likely to jump first. This would open another opportunity for Collins.

Alternately if NZ First form a coalition with National that would be likely to be National’s last term in government. That would mean Collins would need to be more patient, or it could give another Slater client a chance to establish themselves in the leadership stakes.

Or it could be simpler than this – Slater has been abandoned by National, David Seymour and ACT have no time for him, and he may see NZ First as the best way to do some political damage out of spite. It’s difficult to know when he is operating out of political interest and when he is simply dumping on those who have annoyed him, pay back seems to be a common motivation.

The reasons for Slater are turning on National and English are well known. Whatever the reasons for him trying to promote Peters and NZ First he is fighting a battle with Whale Oil supporters  who still tend to lean far more National than NZ First.

PDB posted on this yesterday:

Had a look at Whaleoil and he continues to push his anti-National party agenda with a recent post that tries to lay a case for NZL First being a better bet than ACT. I note the large majority of comments disputed that. A comment from ‘KGB’ sums it up well;

KGB • 7 hours ago
In my opinion no.
A stronger NZF will not take National to the right ‘IF’ they went with National. They would certainly move Labour towards the left of centre more.
NZF policies are mostly a left-wing list.
NZF have weaker Law & Order policy than ACT.
NZF immigration policy is more ridiculous than Labours numbers.
NZF will close Charter Schools.
NZF does not really care about Israel. (1 or 2 questions in the house were about ‘catching’ them out proceedurly, NOT morally). NOT even an ever popular…bottom-line.
NZF has an aweful list. Always has.
Winston is too lazy, and too old to be in Government now, let alone for 3 more years.
Winston has achieved nothing for anyone but himself since losing Tauranga.
Most NZ’ers have never owned a gun, and hate the things.
And lastly, ask Northland how its working out for them?

That got 9 up ticks. Slater responded:

Be that as it may…they have more MPs than Act. The reality is Act is and will remain a spent force. It is a waste of time voting for Act. There simply isn’t enough of them to get a slipping National party across the line on current numbers. One MP won’t do it.

Gun owners number around 230,000 voters. That is nearly ten percent under MMP. Ignore us if you want, but piss us off and we vote for parties who will protect our rights…right now that is NZ First.

I think you are wanting NZ First to be a major party in its breadth of policy offerings. The fact they have policies is a good start. Where are National’s? Go look…i think you be will disillusioned quite quickly.https://www.national.org.nz…

Basically it is a numbers game and Act simply doesn’t have the numbers. It is a shame, I’m a natural Act voter, but there is no way I can bring myself to waste a vote by voting for them.

Just 1 up tick for that. A ‘niggly’ response also got 1 up for:

Plus NZF is still anti NZ-China FTA (despite that helping NZ’s economic growth during and after the GFC), is anti-TPPA and anti free-trade in general. I wonder if NZF’s solution to economic growth is borrowing the Green’s money printing press?

They talk big on being pro-defence, but constantly attack spending up on non-offensive necessities like new strategic lift transport aircraft and medium,ift tactical helicopters (and if we hark back to 1998 it was Winston First that pulled the plug on the National cabinet wanting to go ahead with the 3rd ANZAC Frigate purchase … to the anger of the Aussies as they bent over backwards ensuring NZ got hundreds of millions of dollars in offsets that provided jobs for many NZ businesses supplying the Frigate project. Then we wonder why the Howard Govt a few years later made things tough for Kiwi’s living in Oz)!

In a post today Pete Belt claims:

Whaleoil believes it has more influence in our current role than we would have with a parliamentary presence.

Whale Oil continues to provide a popular forum, but their political influence seems minimal. About the only thing Whale Oil has in common with Peters is being anti-establishment – sort of. Neither can claim to be a fresh change in politics.

Whatever Slater’s reasons are for campaigning for Peters and NZ First if he can’t win over his own Whale Oil faithful he’s unlikely to influence the outcome of this year’s election much.

Craig versus MacGregor today

Colin Craig will cross examine Rachel MacGregor today in the Craig v Slater defamation case. It seems odd that Craig, who MacGregor still claims sexualy harassed her, gets to question her in person in court, but according to ‘Whaleoil Staff’

Whaleoil understands Mr Craig has been handed a strict set of rules issued by the court, and if he does not stick to them, then the court will step in.

Things didn’t seem to go well for Craig in court yesterday when MacGregor gave evidence. Especially (as reported by Stuff):

Rachel MacGregor has told a court that Colin Craig threatened her by saying he’d set aside $1 million to “destroy” her.

Craig’s former press secretary claims the threat was made during a confidential Human Rights Commission mediation after she brought a sexual harassment complaint against him.

Cameron Slater’s wife Juana atkins (SB) has posted Best day in court ever! but expressing herself with a depiction of violence against Craig doesn’t seem a wise thing to do during a court case.

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Twists in Craig v Slater

The Craig v Slater defamation trial ended it’s second week on Friday with media silence. On Saturday ‘Whaleoil Staff’ posted:

Yesterday, the media published nothing regarding the Colin Craig v Cameron Slater defamation case.

1/ the day finished early for a reason we can’t publish

2/ critical twists and turns are suppressed

3/ something…. happened

Yes, I’m teasing you.  But I wish I could actually tell you.  I just about begged to be allowed to give a broad-brush outline of events in court on Friday, but I got a firm “no”.

In subsequent posts and in comments both Pete Belt and SB/Spanish Bride (Juana Atkins) revealed a little. Whale Oil seems to be fighting two battles, one in court and one on it’s website.

Despite the firm “no” ‘Whaleoil Staff’ (presumably Belt) gives more of a broad brush outline.

On Friday, new evidence was introduced which I described as a “TV plot-twist”.

Over the weekend, legal manoeuvrings have taken place where both parties are stuck until the judge can untie the knot.  I suspect a fair amount of this morning will be spent “in chambers” (just the judge and the parties, no public).

Because of Friday, I was expecting a brand new (up to now unknown) witness to appear first thing today.  Because of the manoeuvrings, it may be decided that one party in this case hasn’t had enough information and/or time to prepare for the witness’ appearance.  That’s my personal guess.  Cam will tell me nothing, so it really is a guess.

I’m not sure what the Court will do.  Either let the witness take the stand anyway and offer the other side the option to recall later or to shelve it and just progress the case as if last Friday never happened.

The pressure is ratcheting up on everyone involved.  Rumours are floating around that yet another media story that is only tangentially related to the case may break this week as well.   And just to add fuel to the fire, that independent story and the court case hold-up this morning overlap.  Even though they have nothing to do with each other.That’s about all I can say about it this morning.

to the case may break this week as well.   And just to add fuel to the fire, that independent story and the court case hold-up this morning overlap.  Even though they have nothing to do with each other.

That’s about all I can say about it this morning.

A convoluted description of a ‘rumoured’ media story.

Does Whale Oil have a different story on Craig? I doubt it, surely they wouldn’t post a story on Craig during the trial, even if ‘only tangentially related to the case’.

‘May break this week’ is also an odd comment. If it is new news then it would ‘break’ when it happens and is known about.

A rumoured story that may break some time in the future sounds more like something from the past that has been dug up. I can find no new news on Craig or Slater.

“That independent story and the court case hold-up this morning overlap” – Belt knows something else that is going to happen this morning and will become news?

Craig v Slater trial – funkstille

There has been radio silence (no media coverage) of the Craig v Slater defamation trial yesterday for legal reasons that will remain unknown until next week when the trial resumes. However ‘Whaleoil Staff’ couldn’t resist saying something about it – against advice.

Yesterday there were no media reports of the trial, and I couldn’t find anything on it this morning.

Until Whaleoil Staff explained. They claim to be journalists and media, and have reported on court proceedings, so I believe I’m allowed to repeat a media report from Court.

Yesterday, the media published nothing regarding the Colin Craig v Cameron Slater defamation case.

1/ the day finished early for a reason we can’t publish

2/ critical twists and turns are suppressed

3/ something…. happened

Yes, I’m teasing you.  But I wish I could actually tell you.  I just about begged to be allowed to give a broad-brush outline of events in court on Friday, but I got a firm “no”.

‘Whaleoil Staff’ then goes on to give a broad brush outline of events.

The day started off with Cam Slater in the witness stand and Colin Craig continuing his questioning.  It was mostly around the issue where the responsibility lies if one media organisation republishes content from another.

After Cam was stood down from the witness stand, Colin Craig asked the Court for permission to introduce new evidence.  After some debate, the Court has allowed it.

This caused a TV-like plot twist that left everyone reeling.

Sadly, that’s the extent to which I’m allowed to cover the detail.   But it explains why no other media has filed on Friday’s proceedings, and we all will have to wait until 10 am Monday morning for the case to continue to discover what, if anything, will be allowed to be published.

With this end of week cliff hanger perhaps Whale Oil will get the attention and publicity they seem to want when Court resumes on Monday.

UPDATE: ‘Spanish Bride’ (Juana Atkins, WO author and Slater’s wife) posted in what looks like graphical exasperation, and has added in comments:

I wish I could tell you all what was revealed unexpectedly yesterday but I can’t. Suffice to say it threw the court into disarray and we were unable to continue. We finished for the day early and retired to a wine bar to process the revelations.

Edit: The revelation struck Cam speechless and I was so shocked tears came to my eyes.

I can imagine that a court case like this with potentially so much money at stake – and potentially the future of Whale Oil – it will be harrowing and emotionally draining. And to be hit with something totally unexpected will make it even harder. The pressure is showing.

Pete Belt has also posted ‘An Easy Weekend’

You people say “I don’t know how they do it every day, filling that blog”.

Well, I do.  And I’m seriously ground down.

So if some of you want to fire off a guest post, I’ll put them up if you email me.

We’re probably going to have a pretty soft weekend to try and recuperate a bit.  I normally don’t let you people see what it takes but I was still working at 1:30am the night before to get all the stuff sorted.

With “developments” late on Friday, it may be that the court case will run over its three week timetable.  So to ensure those of us that make the smoke and mirrors do what they do are not going to fall apart by the end of next week, we’re going to phone it in this weekend.

It will have been a full on week for them. And the trial may be only half way through, according to a comment from Belt:

But I had paced myself for a 3 week trial. Told my mum I was coming to visit for a bit afterwards. And now it looks like it may be a 4 week trial. So it required a reset in thinking, planning and pacing 🙂

The strain is palpable.


UPDATE: One media article has since come out this morning but it’s in general about the trial only – Craig v Slater: Please make it stop

What to make of the shabby and often excruciating slow-motion train wreck smashing into tiny pieces every day at courtroom 14 in the High Court at Auckland, where former Conservative Party leader Colin Craig and Whaleoil blogger Cameron Slater are talking about sex while going at each other in a defamation counterclaim?

Craig claims Slater wrote libellous things about his conduct with his former press secretary Rachel MacGregor and “other victims”. Slater claims Craig wrote libellous things in response. Yeah, whatever. It’s all so unseemly. And kind of pathetic. Not even titillating. “Please,” emailed one of our most cherished broadcasters this week, when I mentioned to her how I was spending my days, “make it stop”.

…Forget Slater. He doesn’t give a stuff what Craig says about him, couldn’t care less. He’s heard a lot worse, he’s a tough cookie. The real damage is to MacGregor. She took her boss to the Human Rights Commission on sexual harassment allegations, and this is what happens?

…Slater’s lines are the same: “Politics is the best game in town. There are no rules”, etc. At one point he said, “Most MPs I know use the same cab driver all the time because they know they can trust them.” Everybody’s got something to hide. Yeah, whatever.

…And so there’s Craig, the politician manque (everybody’s got something to hide, including a manque), with his soft-faced McKenzie friend Tom Cleary beside him, much of the time going it alone, bashing through the jungles of his personal life. As a skilled defamation lawyer performing the art of cross-examination, he makes a good accountant. “You can’t ask questions he can’t answer,” Justice Kit Toogood admonished him, during his lengthy cross-exam of Slater. On another occasion, he said: “This is not appropriate, Mr Craig.”

So much inappropriate behaviour.

Craig’s argument with Slater is all mano a mano but the people who have to suffer it the most are two women. MacGregor is due to appear in court on Monday or Tuesday. This week, it was Helen Craig’s turn.

“Horrible…Deeply upsetting…Stressful…Horrible….A nightmare….Horrible,” she said in court. She was describing the trauma of reading Slater’s blog posts on Whaleoil. What about her husband’s long, secret history of “inappropriate” poems and all the rest of it? “I was not happy with Colin…I was hurt and annoyed.” Annoyed? Is that all? Improper to ask and even to wonder.

Private lives, private distresses.

All exposed in court – two people trying to prove points against each other, and the rest are collateral damage.