Written By: - Date published: 8:46 am, July 16th, 2014 - 218 comments
Categories: john key, national, national/act government, same old national, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags: jonathan coleman, kim dotcom
Over at the NBR Standard lurker and occasional commentator Matthew Hooton has provided a perceptive view into the workings of the Government and the handling of the Dotcom fiasco with a headline “Nats in crisis over Dotcom SIS file“. The article is behind the paywall.
In it Hooton pours scorn over Minister Jonathan Coleman’s claim that he had nothing to do with the decision and that it was made by Immigration NZ and not by him. That may be so but as Hooton asks you have to wonder why Coleman had so many briefings about Dotcom if he had no say in the decision.
Hooton mentions the cock up theory vs conspiracy theory and how the phrase “political pressure” may just be referring to a desire to increase the number of successful applicants under the Business Migration Scheme. But he then rubbishes this idea. And besides Coleman and MBIE are refusing to accept even this explanation. They would have us believe that a staggering reversal and the acceptance of someone with a pretty dodgy background had nothing to do with political pressure being applied even though the change of heart was marked by an email saying there was political pressure applied.
The date the phrase was uttered is all important. The relevant date is Friday October 22, 2010 and the email sent which talked about “political pressure” was sent at 11:21 am.
That day the Hobbit dispute was raging out of control. There are dating back to that time a series of perceptive posts by IrishBill which gave a real sense of the games that were being played by National and by Warner Brothers. This post written the day before and the 516 comments attached to it clearly captured the intensity of what was happening. So on the Friday when the dispute was raging hardest political pressure was applied to let Dotcom stay in New Zealand against advice. Hooton claims that the conspiracy theory that Dotcom’s scalp was negotiated between Warner Brothers and the Government could be “a bit fanciful”. But give me a tin foil hat and call me a conspiracy theorist there has to be a better explanation than Coleman’s “nothing to see here”.
All credit to Matthew Hooton for criticising his side. I admire his inclination to fearlessly speak his mind.
But I am struggling to understand how Jonathan Coleman is the person to blame. It is hard to imagine how the Minister of Immigration could cause the SIS to change its position and drop its opposition or that the SIS would defer to Immigration’s preference to let someone with a colourful background and who was wanted by the American authorities stay in the country.
So I do not think that Coleman is the mastermind here. To find out who that person is you will have to look further up the food chain. Much further.