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Spin Slater Spin

Written By: - Date published: 12:21 pm, May 4th, 2014 - 93 comments
Categories: Judith Collins, national, same old national, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags: , ,

slater lusk

Cameron Slater is having a tough time.  There is that particular police investigation which is ongoing.  I suspect that the Police will be keen to discover how Slater did come into possession of Matt Blomfield’s hard drive.   And Judith Collins’ Ministerial career is under increasing pressure as more and more revelations about that private dinner are released.

You have to wonder about National’s normally slick handling of the media.  Admitting that Collins’ office had asked for a briefing from MFAT before that private dinner the same day that it was confirmed that Oravida had given National a $30,000 gift just before Christmas last year only amplified the impression that something dodgy has been going on.

So Cameron Slater has come to the rescue by asking questions about the actions of Labour’s Ross Robertson.  Collins was reported in this morning’s Herald as claiming that representations by MPs to Ministers on police matters are not unusual.  She refers to an incident where Robertson mentioned to her that his daughter who is a Police Officer and an aspiring Olympic writer runner wanted leave so that she could train more.  The approach seems completely innocent.

But Slater in typical style is going to town on the issue.  As at the time of writing he has posted two posts on the story and says that more are in the pipeline.

For Cameron’s information this is why trying to suggest that the two incidents are comparable is complete and utter bollocks:

  1. Maurice Williamson at the time that he was a Minister of the Crown asked the police to review the prosecution of a person who was not a constituent and who was a large donor to the National Party.
  2. Section 4.14 of the Cabinet Manual states “[f]ollowing a long-established principle, Ministers do not involve themselves in deciding whether a person should be prosecuted, or on what charge.”
  3. Williamson was clearly in breach of this requirement and deserves to have been sacked.
  4. By way of contrast Robertson merely asked about leave entitlements for his daughter who was a police officer.  The context suggested that it was just an informal question.

All that I can ask of Cameron is that he keeps digging.  Because he is so seriously off target on this one that his continued efforts will be hilarious to watch.

Update:  And now Collins and Slater seem to be threatening a Journalist who allegedly spoke to her about a family member who may have been in trouble with the police.  This is crazy not only because it will upset the media but because journalists are not Ministers of the Crown and not bound by the obligation not to interfere.

Judith Collins tweet

 

Update2:  And it appears that Collins was talking about Katie Bradford.  And it appears that John Key is not amused.  According to TVOne:

Asked if it was appropriate for Ms Collins to name a Press Gallery member in this way, Mr Key said: “Well I think that would be the wrong place for her to be in if that’s the case and I’ll raise the matter with her.”

Mr Key says in his view the National Party has a good, constructive working relationship with the media.

“That’s also what’s important for ministers,” he added.

“I’ll make sure I remind every minister and every MP that’s the sort of relationship we want to have with the media.”

Mr Key said: “The media have got a job to do and we’ve got a job to do and that’s where it should start and finish.”

93 comments on “Spin Slater Spin”

  1. logie97 1

    MS. Don’t want to detract from the thrust of this post. But on one point, a lot has been made of Key’s swift and decisive action on this. I thought actually that Williamson had resigned and wasn’t “sacked.” Indeed if he had been sacked by the PM then Key would have found it difficult to be already making suggestions of Williamson coming back into the fold.

    • mickysavage 1.1

      Agreed Logie that Williamson did resign and was not sacked. I did think about the wording at the time I wrote this. The phrase “deserves to have been sacked” is deliberate as IMHO Williamson should have been sacked if he had not resigned.

      • Tracey 1.1.1

        interestingly slater in his crusade thought brown should be exposed as cheating on his wife but not collins or williamson. on them he didnt dig and reveal at all.

        at a party last night and my staunch nat/ act voting brother was mocking collins and williamsons excuses.

        i doubt it will chanfe who he votes for but he used the following phrase

        “what pisses me off is how stupid they must think i am if they think i will swallow their bullshit.”

        • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1.1

          Well, if he still votes for them then he’s proving that he’s actually that stupid.

      • It’s the same linguistic trick used around Richard Worth’s resignation, isn’t it?

        • Tracey 1.1.2.1

          yp. remind me, did worth go for abusing diplomatic status for his business interest, or his harrassment of a woman.

          • Stephanie Rodgers 1.1.2.1.1

            I’m pretty sure we were never told. Everyone went to great lengths to avoid specifics.

          • toad 1.1.2.1.2

            Probably a bit of both.

            Worth was put on a warning for using a Ministerial overseas trip to promote his business interests. The sexual harassment allegations followed, but they didn’t result in his immediate sacking or resignation.

            There were rumours at the time sourced to National Party figures that the last straw for Worth was that he was caught AWOL from Parliament “entertaining” a woman when he was meant to have been at an official meeting, but that was to my knowledge never confirmed.

        • felix 1.1.2.2

          “linguistic trick” lol.

          Very polite way to put it.

      • Anne 1.1.3

        Well, he was told asked to resign Wed. night and he did so Thurs. morning. That’s tantamount to being sacked.

        • felix 1.1.3.1

          Yes, it is. So why didn’t Key sack him?

          • srylands 1.1.3.1.1

            Because it is highly uncoventional. Which of the 10 Ministers that Helen Clarke “ask to resign” and who did so were sacked? Give you a guess.

            • felix 1.1.3.1.1.1

              The difference, my little friend, is that Key actually says he sacks them.

              For example, officially Richard Worth resigned.

              But over the following few days, Key said he resigned, then he said ‘akshully I sacked hum’, then he said ‘nah I dudn’t he rusigned’.

              You would’ve known that Helen would never be so loose with language over such a serious matter, had you ever been to NZ.

    • aerobubble 1.2

      So Key can act swiftly and decisively, if he’s losing a minister, and the minister sees he has no other choice, and Key didnt have to do a damn thing except grin and bear it.

      • toad 1.2.1

        Whereas Collins just digs her toes in and says “fuck you, I’m not going anywhere”, and Key has to suck it up.

      • bb 1.2.2

        Williamson is on record (I can’t remember if it was the TV3 or RNZ interview) saying that he spoke to the prime minister who told him ‘he crossed a line and that he should resign’, and so Williamson said ‘ok, ill do that then’ (or words close to that affect). So technically its a resignation, but he would have been sacked otherwise. That’s pretty standard practice though I’d imagine? I do find it strange that Williamson is doing so many interviews, surely it’d be best just to shut up about it.

        • Puddleglum 1.2.2.1

          Hi bb,

          Yes, I heard that too. It was on Morning Report orNine to Noon.

          • felix 1.2.2.1.1

            It was on Nine to Noon. Sounded like he let it slip accidentally at first, then decided fuck it and ran with it.

            Up until that moment only the official line “he resigned” was being reported.

  2. Treetop 2

    What a childish minister of justice NZ has. Her memory is working overtime (using a past portfolio) to mud rake the opposition. May be there is nothing wrong in the justice sector in NZ, so Collins is sticking her beak into another ministers portfolio.

    I reiterate, Collins asked the police and not Robertson. A simple “No” like Winston’s sign would have sufficed.

  3. One Anonymous Bloke 3

    The official story around political donations is that politicians are kept away from fundraising activities, which are conducted by the party. The reason for this is that if politicians don’t know – or at least have plausible deniability of – their donors, they can’t favour them.

    Except selling meal tickets and photoshoots involves the PM directly in contact with party donors, and he knows it because that’s why we’re all here today.

    And then we see the favours, performed in plain sight.

    Never mind right and wrong, how is this legal?

    MS? Anyone except, well, you know who you are.

  4. Herodotus 4

    The depth of this counter claim says it all.
    Perhaps more light could be shed on what were these 4-5 times per year that Maurice has had need to contact the police on behalf of his constituents ( of which I understand Liu is not one ) I am sure that these other examples are not of such a serious nature as domestic violence.
    What is it about south ease Auckland :
    Wong , Collins and now Williamson ?

    • Tracey 4.1

      their constituents thingkthey are for sale, for some reason… and by constituents i mean some very wealthy businesspeople.

  5. Sanctuary 5

    Slater has a nihilist view of human nature and politics which makes his actions predictable. That is why he is so useful to Jason Ede and John Key, they know exactly how their puppet will frame a story. This all seems fairly run-of-the-mill Ede/Slater – try to smear your opponents as distraction as part of a wider narrative of discrediting democratic institutions in favour of authoritarianism.

    It is frankly boring. Slater is just a holier than thou sleeze merchant. His attack on Len Brown was his apogee. It exposed him and methods to a wide audience and people outside his wing-nut echo chamber were revolted. People do read him, but most now do it to laugh at him and see which of his wingnuts has the craziest comment.

    Slater is all over. He is a one trick pony trading in same old slander from the same old stall day in day out, week in and week out. The media has wised up to him. He is past his use by date.

    • Mary 5.1

      I liked how slater vowed there was “more to come” on Brown that would “finish him off” but there was nothing. He’s said that so often about many things. “Cam” is a complete comedy act, right up there with jordan williams when he’s on The Panel.

  6. McFlock 6

    This also raises another thing that concerns me about this government: in previous parliaments I got the distinct impression that the major ideological differences did not overly disrupt the day-to-day cooperation between representatives. The sort of thing where if a constituent has an issue, their local MP can raise it in good faith with a responsible minister or civil servant without having to go all “moral outrage” in the House, or where a truly non-political issue can be discussed and lobbied for across the House.

    WINZ were always a good one for that in my neck of the woods, and I assume IRD were, too. Situations where a minor bureaucrat clearly overreached themselves, the appeals process would take days or weeks, but a visit to the electorate office on the way home would mean that by the time you got home the phone was ringing with an apology and the money would be transferred overnight (true story).

    There was (no doubt) a process to follow for the MPs to avoid improper interference, but it seemed to work fine for decades. Until Collins decides to use what seems to be a similar routine interaction as hyped-up political ammunition. Now every MP will have to think twice before approaching someone across the House.

    Basically, for a short-term minor political point or distraction, Collins and Slater might well have given representative government a swift kick in the nuts.

    • RedLogix 6.1

      Collins has track record for misusing her role as a Minister. The first big clue was her mishandling of the David Bain compensation matter.

  7. Papa tuanuku 7

    sl8ers h8ers

  8. fender 8

    It’s pleasing to see writing is now an Olympic sport :grin: (“…. and an aspiring Olympic writer wanted leave so that she could train more.”)

    Needless to say Slater need not enter any writing events, there’s no category for his brand of “pipeline” prose..

    Funny to hear (as I won’t go to that shit library) how desperate these fools are getting in an attempt to distract from the practices of the National Corruption Party.

  9. andy (the other one) 9

    Ouch, Collins has decided to take on The Gallery

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11249346

    Collins then took to Twitter, effectively daring TV3 to raise the allegations she made about Bradford.

    its going to be difficult for Collins to get positive news after today. She just broke the Mutually assured destruction agreement.

    Mr Key tried to down play any suggestion of an ongoing war on the media just over four months from the general election.

    Biting the hand that feeds and all that…

    • felix 9.1

      Yep.

      Although to be fair it was going to be difficult anyway. She’s a really hilarious train-wreck.

    • mickysavage 9.2

      Key must be absolutely seething …

      • felix 9.2.1

        Yeah you’d think he could just sack her, eh?

      • ianmac 9.2.2

        Key must be furious offstage especially in the weekend of an important Northern National Conference.
        “Judith dear. The distractions are meant to distract from the Labour Party and not us. So be a good little girl and gently close that sweet little mouth of yours – please!”

    • Tracey 9.3

      shes now apologised to the journalist…

      not nzers.

  10. felix 10

    Slater has had months to spin this.

    Is that the best he can do? ffs.

  11. captain hook 12

    its becoming more and more obvious that National is on the ropes. The public have just about had enough of them and wail boil too. He may appeal to that slimy section of society that wont admit who they are but they are on the run and anda good dose of disinfectant will see them gone at the election.

    • Ant 12.1

      The real skill of their media management has really been about a lack of sunlight on their own actions, once someone opens the curtains it’s all on.

  12. Aotearoean 13

    I just saw Judith Collins on TV3 news. What a performance! If she keeps this up Labour is bound to form the next Government.

    • Ant 13.1

      What Collins and her cronies haven’t realised is that she is unlikable at the best of times. The best thing for the left is that she stays front and centre, like Joyce she is about as unlikable as Shipley was, the only way either are going to get to the top is by coup, completely unpalatable to the electorate.

    • karol 13.2

      Collins comments on 3 News, about the media needing to be held to account like MPs is so mind-boggling hypocritical….. given the track record of Team National’s media spin, and various Collins’ cronies – eg WO.

      She jumps on board when the media, too often, get their hooks into Labour and/or/Greens/Mana, but when on occasions it’s turned on her and other Nats…. they look shell shocked – Williamson is also looking like he’s feeling the strain.

      Raises the admiration for those opposition MPs constantly being under Nat-spun attacks followed through by the media.

      • veutoviper 13.2.1

        Thanks for the link, Karol. I’ve been living in the real world most of today and have only caught up with today’s ‘activities’.

        Collins was unbelievable in that interview.

        My money is on …..

        Tomorrow or Tuesday (late) morning, we will be told that Collins is taking a period of [health] leave as she has been under considerable (unwarranted) pressure from Labour and others over the last few months. She will not be resigning; she is a very hard working Minister etc etc etc. Key has full confidence in Collins etc etc Add your own bits.

        She is not in the House on Tuesday with others answering questions in Question Time – eg Tolley? Cannot see it being Joyce.

        Someone else (Findlayson?) will be covering her Justice portfolio informally in the meantime. But she is still formally Minister of Justice etc etc

        Something along the lines a few years ago when Nick Smith lost the plot – cannot remember the details and don’t have time to research these.

        • miravox 13.2.1.1

          “Collins was unbelievable in that interview.”
          That was not a healthy response – in terms of understanding what a conflict of interest means, of anger management and her career.

          I think you’re right veuto – a wee bit of time out is called for. I see Key is already distancing this outburst from her other transgressions. I think it’s pretty clear she will use what she has on him if she’s crossed.

          • felix 13.2.1.1.1

            “I think it’s pretty clear she will use what she has on him if she’s crossed.”

            Thinking about the lies and scandals that Key has batted away without much of a care gives an idea of the scale of what Collins has on him.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 13.2.1.1.1.1

              Not necessarily: the spectacle of open warfare between Key and Collins is damaging enough. Nah, it’s the death of a thousand cuts for Slippery :D

      • Murray Olsen 13.2.2

        On TV3, she came across as very threatening towards journalists. She looks like a horrible, corrupt bully who has little idea about democracy at all. I’m finding it hard to think of a Kiwi politician with such an ugly image and find it incredibly easy to believe what I’ve heard about her views on prison rape. With any luck, she’ll run a palace coup against Key, become leader, and watch National support drop to something like 20%.

        • SpaceMonkey 13.2.2.1

          Breath-taking arrogance and aggression from Collins… if Collins ever became National Party leader and then Prime Minister, she would be Margaret Thatcher on steroids!

    • idlegus 13.3

      yep, collins has gone ‘turbo’ (i just watched ‘wreck it ralph’, its where the computer game characters leave their games & create havoc!)

    • Red Rosa 13.4

      +1

      • idlegus 13.4.1

        “Raises the admiration for those opposition MPs constantly being under Nat-spun attacks followed through by the media.” – great point karol!

  13. Paul Campbell 14

    so will the National Party be gibing the $80,000 pack, especially since with this media kerfuffle around it it seems pretty sure they’ll be unable to deliver on whatever Collin’s husband’s company expects in return for the donation

  14. felix 15

    Oh god she really sucks at this!

    She’s desperate for attention, constantly on the verge of tears, quite insane, and not bright enough to realise that her trying to sell a story is the story!

    And the best part? She’s picked a scrap with the press gallery and John Key apparently isn’t able to get rid of her.

    Should be a fun few months…

  15. Tanz 16

    Key looked angry on the news last night…and was arrogant towards the reporter.

    • Skinny 16.1

      So the indian summer honeymoon with the press is about to end in a bitter winter divorce for National. A huge congrats goes out to the party’s own Godzilla Queen-Judith Collins, and in no lesser part, a hearty congratulations must go out to their Leader Jackarse-John Key for his stubborness to seek marriage counseling with the New Zealand media.

      Looks like Key is running out of options so I’m picking Collins will be sent to cool her trotters off on the back benchers with Williamson.

  16. Vic 17

    Just sit back and watch this national oil tanker sink .

  17. Ad 18

    Key has no option but to keep Collins, irrespective of the damage she has done and will continue to do.

    His caucus is now so weak from all the resignations and non-repeats that he faces having to form a 2014-17 cabinet out of his Captains Brownlee, English, Joyce and sadly Collins, but the rest are toxic infants.

    The unfortunate asymmetry is that while prospective third term caucus newbies can foresee the path to fast promotion, Key would see too clearly that it makes the whole third term government highly vulnerable to massive mistakes and melt-downs.

    Even if they survived a whole third term, the public would be so pissed off with them at the end of it that they will be back to Bill English levels of support.

    But John will be too cocky and proud to quit when the party and leader polls are still so massively high. He will go down with a Muldoon-scale of opprobrium late in the third term.

    Alternatively, Key could lose the election itself. Neither prospect would appeal to him now.

    • veutoviper 18.1

      i agree with most of what you say, Ad. Key cannot afford to ‘ask for a resignation’ from Collins. I personally think her veiled threats today where as much to her colleagues/leader as to journalists. She knows too much – including about Key.

      But she is now a loose cannon – and Key will have to do something to lessen the risk.

      At 13.2.1 above is my assessment of what will happen in the next day or so. Collins goes on leave – been under unreasonable pressure etc; Key still has full confidence in her etc.

      • Anne 18.1.1

        Yes, veutoviper. I think you’ve hit on it. The last thing they want to see happen is Collins facing a further barrage of questions from Labour/Greens and NZ First. If she’s out of the way then they can fend off the barrage by saying “I/we can’t answer those questions. You will need to direct them to Minister Collins when she returns from her leave”… knowing full well by then there will be other issues filling the headlines.

        • felix 18.1.1.1

          Urgent debate?

          • freedom 18.1.1.1.1

            one urgent debate the Nats will be having is, Who’s left to put the pin back into the grenade?

        • veutoviper 18.1.1.2

          As I said at 13,2,1, I think her veiled threats were as much to her Nat party colleagues/leader as to the media. She knows too much – especially re Key and his involvement in Oravida etc.

          In terms of the media, she has crossed the line, however. Much as I don’t have much time for Paddy Gower, his tweets tonight indicate that he has the bit between the teeth. So watch this space

          Twitter is a great source – especially those of media people. They don’t seem to aware of what they give away in their tweets. LOL

          Collins’ tweets are also worth visiting. She has been eliciting sympathy with a sick dog for the last few days amongst other things!

          • freedom 18.1.1.2.1

            and from what I saw on karol’s link, Key gives his team extra strikes for new issues :(

          • idlegus 18.1.1.2.2

            ralston totally scathing of collins on twitter, & off topic but hooton & taxpayers union having public spat on twitter, very entertaining!

      • Ad 18.1.2

        Key will be pissed that Coins contaminated Regional Conference on Auckland.

        There may be further small announcements other Ministers can roll out until Budget on May 15th. But that’s 11 days from now turning the good ship into stiff side-on waves. Wayne Eagleson will scrabble round for little stories. as best be can. After May 15 the news cycle us all theirs again.

        That’s a long time in politics to hope throwing chaff out the window will work.

  18. Redzone 19

    Today we witness Collins going completely feral and it’s not pretty. Taking on the media direct and so personally has made this go nuclear and the half arsed apology means jack, not that she had any sincerity to begin with
    The narcissist bully has completely lost touch under the pressure. She’s a slow motion train smash.
    Can key put her down or will she try and take him down with her? She has to go one way or another.
    This promises to be one hell of a week.. .

    • Skinny 19.1

      Meanwhile Slivering Joyce looks over his shoulder and hisses at Brownlee and McCully who both have desires above their stations.

  19. Brian 20

    I look forward to the [Deleted. Can we use slightly more sophisticated phrasing? – MS]

    • felix 20.1

      Jeez, that’s a bit rough mate.

      And also, heart?

    • Skinny 20.2

      I assume your referring to Gerry Brownlee? Look Gerry would be a worthy replacement as leader of the opposition, very popular in Christchurch with his hand off approach to the people of the City. His health will be fine if he lays off eating too many pork pies, and gets out and about on a bicycle more often. I suggest he gets in the saddle and enjoy John Key’s ‘solution to the 2008 job summit’, you know one of those cycle-ways.

  20. Redzone 21

    The minister of destruction has to go – he’s doing his best to completely fuck up ChCh.
    Joyce will be rejoycing as he sees Collins the minister of corruption self destructing

  21. Pascal's bookie 22

    Usual right wingers gone very quiet hereabouts, guessing coz WO hasn’t worked out quite what to say yet.

  22. geoff 23

    Why is Key letting Collins get away with this crap?

    He must not being enjoying how weak it makes him look.

    She must have something on him.

  23. logie97 24

    Ms Collins is proving to be a “sensitive wee sausage” isn’t she …

    • Clemgeopin 24.1

      A rottweiler gone rogue!

      • veutoviper 24.1.1

        Please don’t insult rottweilers! They are much nicer than Collins when handled correctly. Mine is a great big teddybear – all 60kgs of him.

  24. Mad Plumber 25

    I think Ms Collins has moved from a 20T digger to a 40T and even that might not be reaching the bottom of the Hole.
    If you rubbish someone on camera at least give an apology on camera.

  25. Clemgeopin 26

    The Justice minister has been very unjust to an ordinary person by naming her and unjustly sullying her reputation for some cheap point scoring. What a disgrace! Collins deserves to be sacked for this callous behaviour alone.

    Otherwise, the whole country can see that the Prime minister and his cabinet ministers are wearing no clothes any more!

  26. Stuart Munro 27

    She’s out, out on the streets
    Out on the streets, she talk to everyone she meets
    Out on the streets, she’s no illusion
    She tell me she’s right when she knows that she’s wrong…

  27. Huginn 28

    ‘ . . . Collins and Slater seem to be threatening a Journalist who allegedly spoke to her about a family member who may have been in trouble with the police.’

    It’s weirder than that.
    Turns out that Katie Bradford was asking informally about her partner who wanted to apply to join the police but was told that he had no chance because of the familial connection with Sue Bradford.

    I’m a bit surprised that no one seems to have a problem with this man being automatically blacklisted because of his mother-in-law’s political activities.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 28.1

      Katie Bradford: “…I recall that this came up in informal conversation…”

      In other words it was banter, which makes Collins’ reference to it even more desperate and pathetic.

  28. irascible 29

    Key wriggling on a well taken hook (RNZ 5. 5,14) as he tries to evade questions about Judith Collins’ behaviour and arrogance. Obviuosly Key is desperate to retain a source of donations rather than address the ethical issues around her behaviour and ignorance of the Cabinet Manual.
    Collins must go if Key is to retain his Crosby-Textor created image as being a “dear leader.”

  29. Puckish Rogue 30

    http://www.whaleoil.co.nz/category/blog/

    Yep hes having a tough time all right

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