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Beltway news

Written By: - Date published: 2:37 pm, June 5th, 2019 - 121 comments
Categories: Carmel Sepuloni, Dr Deborah Russell, jacinda ardern, phil twyford, Simon Bridges, uncategorized - Tags: ,

It seems to me there must be a training course where National puts all of its politicians.  They then develop their sense of utter entitlement and complete indifference to behaviour which could open them up to criticisms of hypocrisy not to mention irrelevancy.

Take as an example how Simon Bridges went ballistic at the news that someone had leaked a couple of days early budget information about his spend on limousines.  Compare this with his glee at the exploiting of a system failure to publicise a couple of days early commercially sensitive budget information.  

Or this morning’s effort where he accused the Government of engaging dirty politics.  As if.

From Radio New Zealand:

National Party leader Simon Bridges told Morning Report today there were two possible scenarios, and the situation was likely a bit of both.

“You’ve either got bungling incompetence, and I think we can all believe that could well be the situation, or you have some broad form of deceit and … dirty politics.

“And we need to see what’s going on here.”

He said the GCSB told Treasury and the Minister of Finance that there had been no systematic hack, but Treasury came out after this and said there had been.

“The reality of this situation is it’s pretty black and white isn’t it.

“[Mr Makhlouf ] was told certain things by [the] GCSB, they made changes to their website to deal with what had happened, and yet they sat on a lie that there had been criminal hacking – and there hadn’t.”

He said said it was a question of when, not if, Mr Makhlouf resigned.

National’s behaviour is hypocritical given that it breached CERT protocols that the last National government oversaw the introduction of.  The protocols contained this part:

Wherever possible, CERT NZ encourages any individual or organisation that has identified a potential vulnerability (‘Finder’) in a product or online service to make direct disclosure to the individual or organisation that developed the product or service or is responsible for maintaining it (‘Vendor’). The Vendor may have its own vulnerability disclosure policy or provide guidance on how it will receive disclosures. 

Where the Finder does not want to contact the Vendor directly, or has not had any success in contacting the Vendor directly, CERT NZ is available to receive a vulnerability disclosure. 

Such optimistic statements are not for the National party obviously.

And although I agree that National’s behaviour did not involve criminal hacking it was hardly the behaviour of a responsible opposition.  Bridges could have declared that National had discovered a security problem and then not disclosed the information.  He would have received kudos for being responsible and for not being an idiot willing to compromise the country’s interests for political gain.  Instead of this he overreached.

Alexander Stronach has this accurate description of what happened:

Whether or not it’s a “hack” doesn’t really matter: it’s an intentional attempt to gain access to private data. It utilised an exploit to pull content that wasn’t meant to be public. It’s a breach. More than that, there are established protocols for what happens if somebody finds an exploit in government software. These rules were written by the National Party in 2014, and National failed to follow them. Their failure to follow protocol merits investigation: they let the particular use of an exploit go undetected for their own political gain. Even if the content was delivered to them anonymously by a no-good samaritan, they bear at least partial responsibility for this because they went public instead of reporting it.

Where did the Treasury fuck up?

  • They should’ve considered their SOLR configuration when they cloned their data to the staging server.
  • They probably shouldn’t have cloned their web server to begin with—making a staging server from scratch with the same dependencies might have been a pain in the ass (I’m honestly not sure: I don’t know what their dependencies look like) but it would’ve been a lot safer.
  • They could’ve been jazzier about this year’s subtitles.

Where did the National Party fuck up?

  • They identified an exploit but—instead of following CERT protocol—they used it for their own personal gain.

I’m not gonna lie, it’s bad. Somebody dropped the ball, and somebody else put a knife into it.

National was really upset that Robertson said they may be have been in possession of hacked information.  I am not sure why.

Obviously to allege that they may be in trouble with the authorities is an awful thing.  After all it is not as if an MP has been accused of sending inappropriate text messages or party officials and members have been partitioning donations for MPs positions to hide the donation from the Electoral Commission.

And what is it with how long it has taken to finalise these inquiries.  Police regularly take decisions on matters involving domestic relations within a matter of days.  I actually don’t think that a conviction is warranted.  But everyone should be treated equally under the law, even National Party MPs. and the public deserves to know what is happening,

The other investigation involving National, the Serious Fraud Office investigation into the $100,000 donation that was neatly partitioned into smaller non declarable donations, is also outstanding.  This one is important and I look forward to the investigation being concluded.

And today I attended a Budget Wellbeing meeting hosted in Waitakere featuring Jacinda and local MPs Carmel Sepuloni, Deborah Russell, Peeni Henare and Phil Twyford.  There was a lot of interest in what the budget will mean for the wellbeing of the local community.  And not one question concerning Treasury’s web server security.

This is the typical beltway issue.  Bridges taking it to the maximum may help preserve his leadership, at least for a while.  But it will not win National any support.

 

121 comments on “Beltway news ”

  1. patricia bremner 1

    This whole episode smacks of inside machinations, especially the letter from Paula Bennett. Mr. Makhlouf should at least have apologised for his poor management of this, as he dragged Grant Robertson into it with possible questionable information. (Which we may have settled by the inquiry.)

    The bad faith all round from National and a few shrills says what it is, an effort to tarnish the budget and to cause doubt about the competence of Government.

    There will be those who delight in this "one-upmanship", most see it as Hager explained.

    You are correct Micky, we are awaiting some other inquiries which are far more serious involving National Donations and List Members…….

    • Shadrach 1.1

      "as he dragged Grant Robertson into it with possible questionable information."

      1. There is no 'possible' about it. "The Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) has since responded to media questions to confirm it advised Treasury from the outset that it was not dealing with a hack." https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/113210553/pm-holding-judgement-on-treasury-boss-over-bungled-budget-for-investigation.

      2. Have you considered the possibility that Grant Robertson dragged himself into this? And that that is why the PM is taking so damn long to make a decision?

      • Anne 1.1.1

        Have you considered the possibility that Grant Robertson dragged himself into this?

        Have you considered the probability that Grant Robertson was telling the truth when he repeated what he had been told to Bridges? That he also expected Bridges, with his legal background, to show some restraint in the possible event of a police investigation?

        Instead he (Bridges) went off half cock re- a trumped charge of malicious intent on Robertson's part, which I'm sure gobsmacked Robertson just as it did a lot of other people who had followed the story from the moment it began.

        And now he and his cohort P Benefit are covering their tracks with further bullshit nonsense in order to try and make it look like there really was some dastardly conspiracy by the Treasury boss and Finance Minister for some ephemeral reason that nobody has yet fathomed.

        It's starting to look more and more like an unlawful act was indeed committed when a National Party hack dug into a web-site and stole some Treasury figures which they were not entitled to have at that stage of proceedings.

        • Shadrach 1.1.1.1

          “Have you considered the probability that Grant Robertson was telling the truth when he repeated what he had been told to Bridges?”

          I have considered most possibilities. And sat back and watched many others make absolute arses of themselves making claim and counterclaim.

          What we do know is that Treasury knew it wasn’t a hack very early on. So there are two options:

          1. Robertson knew, and is therefore implicated in some dirty politics.
          2. Robertson didn’t know, in which case the PM is weak.

          Which is it?

          “That he also expected Bridges, with his legal background, to show some restraint in the possible event of a police investigation?”

          Why? Bridges knew exactly how he came by the information. There was no matter to be referred to the Police, other than in the mind of a particular civil servant desperately trying to cover his departments incompetence.

          “It's starting to look more and more like an unlawful act…”

          So Rumpole, tell us what this ‘unlawful act’ was? And then you might want to inform the Police. There was no ‘hack’. There was an enterprising young worker bee who accessed publicly available information on a public website. And still the PM sits on her arse and does naught.

          • Anne 1.1.1.1.1

            You're a troll.

            • Shadrach 1.1.1.1.1.1

              …which is precisely what people say when they have no reasonable response.

              • mickysavage

                You are looking like a troll. Saying Robertson is involved in dirty politics or that he did not know that the treasury line was pretty weak are both attack lines without any foundation.

                Were you around when Dirty Politics happened? Are you really saying this is somehow equivalent?

                • Shadrach

                  You are referring to 'Dirty Politics' in a narrow context of a single set of events. I'm referring to the normal cut and thrust of politics played dirty.

                  But my question above stands. There are two options, either Grant Robertson knew there had been no 'hack' or he didn't. If he knew, he has dirt on his hands. If he didn't, why hasn't the PM sacked Makhlouf?

                  • mpledger

                    There were 2000 connections to a web server from 3 IP addresses, at least one of which was a parliamentary computer. Information that was meant to be confidential had been released to the public. That is incredibly suspicious and I would expect officials to call in the experts to investigate.

                    You don't allow for the fact that things were in flux – the situation was evolving as more information came to light – it wasn't a case of either/or.

                    Simon put himself in the false position, he has to wear the consequences if it takes people a while to work out how bad his position was.

                    • Shadrach

                      “There were 2000 connections to a web server from 3 IP addresses, at least one of which was a parliamentary computer.”

                      So you say. Do you have any corroboration of that beyond the musings of Treasury?

                      “Information that was meant to be confidential had been released to the public.”

                      Happens all the time. No-one’s personal, confidential information was released.

                      “That is incredibly suspicious…”

                      No, it really isn’t. We know exactly how it happened. We even have a video demonstration.

                      “…and I would expect officials to call in the experts to investigate.”

                      I would expect officials to not lie about what happened. I would expect officials to be straight with the Minister of Finance. I would expect officials to not waste Police’s time.

            • Jimmy 1.1.1.1.1.2

              At least put up a counter argument

            • Jimmy 1.1.1.1.1.3

              At least put up a counter argument if you have one.

          • Louis 1.1.1.1.2

            A lot of assumptions in there.

            "Bridges knew exactly how he came by the information" Yeah it took over 2000 searches over 48 hours.

            "an enterprising young worker bee" You know this how?

            Embargoed budget material wasnt "publicly available"

          • Peter 1.1.1.1.3

            And the third opinion: Something you don't know about.

            You and others don't need the specifics, the exact timeline, the exact information, when it was passed to whom and how that impacted on what they said to questioning. You've jumped on the Bridges desperation bandwagon to smear Robertson.

            As for Bridges making comment on who knew what when and how that impacted on what they said publicly there is something else to reflect on.

            His utterances over the deleted petition suggest he's the last person to be accusing others of not being upfront and honest.

            As for Rumpole, I haven't seen his views on things about hacking or using information gained as it was. I've seen enough views from real people with differing views on the advisability, ethics and legality of using the information. Their opinion is more valid than Rumpole's and at least equal to yours.

            As for Bridges with his legal background, he's doing what he can to keep his job and will do anything to hold on. When he gets the boot and all the eulogies are being spewed out, there'll be some commentators who see his use of the Budget information as one of the nails in his coffin.

            If English had held on to the leadership and Peters or someone from Labour had used that information as Bridges has, you and others would be on here spewing, calling for heads to roll and talking about the 'lack of class.'

            Your acid references to Arden suggest the facts and all the facts aren't the real issue for you. Bridges attracts the class befitting his sad status. Those with big chips on their shoulder are no doubt desperately needed.

            • Shadrach 1.1.1.1.3.1

              "I've seen enough views from real people with differing views on the advisability, ethics and legality of using the information. "

              Really.

              "In an embarrassing twist for the Labour coalition government, police on Thursday said the documents were sourced legally using the search function on Treasury’s website, and the investigation had been closed. "

              https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/may/30/new-zealand-budget-leak-hackers-had-simply-searched-treasury-website

              "Your acid references to Arden suggest the facts and all the facts aren't the real issue for you. "

              Oh the facts matter, which is why I have sat back and watched some commentators here make absolute fools of themselves and waited for this to play out. Meanwhile, the PM must know which is true, and she has not acted. That is the extent of my criticism. On this issue at least.

              “If English had held on to the leadership and Peters or someone from Labour had used that information as Bridges has, you and others would be on here spewing, calling for heads to roll and talking about the ‘lack of class.'”
              Nope. I would be calling it what it is – politics. Both sides play hard. Simple as that.

          • patricia bremner 1.1.1.1.4

            "Robertson didn't know, therefore the PM is weak"

            What convoluted type of strange logic is that????

            Grant has offered all communications with Treasury et al, so he has nothing to hide. Makhlouf is looking worse by the minute, and Bridges protests too much as does Bennett IMO.
            After all who tried to get the information early???
            Why??? Who would benefit??? Not Robertson or Ardern.
            Always follow the money/reason.

            • Shadrach 1.1.1.1.4.1

              "What convoluted type of strange logic is that???? "

              Actually it's simple. If Robertson didn't know it wasn't a hack early on, then the PM should have sacked Makhlouf before now.

        • Louis 1.1.1.2

          Yes, exactly Anne. And Simon Bridges didn't bother to follow protocols that he set up, when he was the Communications Minister under the previous National government.

          "A new national cyber security unit will allow any New Zealander to report a suspected cyber threat – whether they're an individual being targeted by online scam, or a business the subject of major hack. The Computer Emergency Response Team will act as a single point of contact to triage all cyber security threats in New Zealand"

          "It is important that we strike a balance between innovation, security and privacy protection to ensure that all New Zealanders are secure, safe and confident online, in this increasingly digital world," Bridges said.

          https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/91473389/emergency-cyber-security-unit-to-handle-all-reports-of-cyber-threats-in-new-zealand

          • Anne 1.1.1.2.1

            That's interesting Louis. How come Ardern or Robertson have not referenced the setting up of the unit that Treasury used in this case eh? It shows what a load of hypocritical crap is coming out of the mouths of Bridges and Bennett.

            Btw. To get rid of the blank space when commenting, you need to hit the edit button and delete the extraneous gobbledygook after the last sentence.

  2. tc 2

    The only thing preserving his leadership are the hollowmen as always with national.

    Simon also has a few outstanding matters JLR would like addressed.

    He gets turfed when they say not a moment sooner….even better if he’s skewered himself as that makes it an easy call.

    • mickysavage 2.1

      I think this particular event has helped Bridges. Right wingers are sitting back and saying "har har har".

      Long term? I think this makes things worse for National. They needed a John Key character to rescue them last time. Bridges is no Key.

  3. McFlock 3

    The other outstanding issue was apparently the Lose Yourself final verdict was $225k. How does that affect their 2014 electoral expenditure? Everything still copacetic on that paperwork front? lol

    • Gosman 3.1

      That is nonsense. There is no way they are going to be stung for breaching 2014 electoral spending as a result of the outcome of a court case years later.

      • McFlock 3.1.1

        So basically it's fine to overspend for an election, so long as you refuse payment until you lose all the resulting court cases?

        #torylogic

        • Gosman 3.1.1.1

          No, the National party did not overspend at the time NOR did they think there was any chance that they would lose a subsequent Court case where they would have to pay additional money as a result. You are trying to argue there is a technical breach of the election financing limit which might be accurate (but is arguable either way). However the point is the National Party is unlikely to be penalised for a technical breach that occurred years after the election it was related to.

          • McFlock 3.1.1.1.1

            Technical or otherwise, it's still "pretty illegal" lol.

            ISTR it's not the national party in the gun so much as the registered promoter who used the stolen intellectual proterty in their campaign. s206, isn't it?

            • Gosman 3.1.1.1.1.1

              Noone but people like you (i.e. hard core lefties) think there is an issue for the National party in terms of breach of electoral spending as a result of losing the court case. Noone else that I am aware of is making a big deal about this. Now this might be because others are all incredibly stupid and/or biased towards the National party and you are incredibly on to it OR it could be that you are mistaken and this isn't actually a problem and you only think it is because you don't like the National party. I know which one of those I have my money on being the correct version of reality…

              • McFlock

                Dude, I didn't say it was a massive issue at the forefront of the nation's mind. The thread is in a post called "beltway news", ffs.

                It just seems to me that if the limit was $X and the cost of the stolen material took their spending up to $X+1, then the limit was exceeded. Is my understanding incorrect?

                • Gosman

                  Your understanding may be technically correct as I have stated but then the next question is whether it matters and the answer to that is – "Not likely"

                  • McFlock

                    Did you also think that the use of the music was "pretty legal"? lol

                    • Gosman

                      Why is this funny? I have little interest in the National Party's use of the music and whether it was legal or not. What I am interested in is whether any court ordered settlement impacts electoral spending limits on any practical sense. It dodn't look like it will.

                    • In Vino

                      Gosman, you are the perfect Pharisee. The letter of the law is all that matters.

                    • McFlock

                      It's funny because tory guesses about legalities and practicalities ooze conceit, but in this particular instance have come acropper once already.

              • WeTheBleeple

                I don't care about the electoral spending balance due to the way the imbalance came about.

                But screw the National Party for thinking they could steal artists work for their own nefarious ends. Den of Thieves.

                225K? Hahahahaha.

                • greywarshark

                  The were pretty hot on dotcom doing illegal filching of copyright material.

          • mickysavage 3.1.1.1.2

            No, the National party did not overspend at the time NOR did they think there was any chance that they would lose a subsequent Court case where they would have to pay additional money as a result

            I still think they have a problem. They spent more on the campaign than they should have. If the alternative interpretation holds then a party can do something outlandish, dispute the bill and claim that they are under the cap. There is also the question about what happens when the bill is paid and is the payer committing a corrupt practice.

  4. RedLogix 4

    Apologies for repeating this, but there are two separate problems that happened here: one is that some poor sod at Treasury IT didn't spot a vulnerability. Unfortunate and unintentional as it is, the good news is that it's an exceedingly easy problem to fix and will likely never happen again.

    The other problem is that National exploited the vulnerability for a venal, spiteful political point scoring exercise. They did this intentionally and in bad faith even when they had an acceptable alternative to report the problem constructively. The bad news is that National have doubled down on their malevolence and insist they will do this again if the opportunity arises.

    If I was asked to solve this from an engineering perspective, only one of these problems takes priority.

    • Gosman 4.1

      The narrative is not what you imply it should be. Not even the Government is attempting to state the National Party were in the wrong here (even though it would be massively in their interest to do so). The general feeling here seems to be that National legally exploited a flaw and that Treasury massively screwed up by calling it a hack and linking them to this crime. Why do you think not many people (other than hard core lefties from places such as this) are backing YOUR view that it is the National Party that is at fault here?

      • Psycho Milt 4.1.1

        Not even the Government is attempting to state the National Party were in the wrong here …

        That's what's bothering me. We have a political party that carried out a deliberate data breach, the Police decline to prosecute and the government is acting as if it's not a big deal. If this kind of data theft genuinely is legal under our current legislation, that legislation needs fixing, and quickly.

        • Gosman 4.1.1.1

          Why then do you think the current Government disagrees with you and why aren't YOU taking up a Private prosecution over this given how important you obviously think it is?

          • Drowsy M. Kram 4.1.1.1.1

            At the risk of repeating myself, the answer is obvious – the Government wishes to sustain Bridges, as ‘leader’ of the opposition, for as long as possible.

            The longer, the better. They ‘keep their hand clean’; JLR can do the spade work.

            • Gosman 4.1.1.1.1.1

              Did Grant Robertson decide to actively involve himself with false allegations then just to keep Bridges as leader of the National Party? In which case Labour IS engaging in dirty politics.

              • Drowsy M. Kram

                Goss, do you have 'insider information', or is that pure speculation?

          • Psycho Milt 4.1.1.1.2

            I suspect the government's made a hard-nosed political calculation: that media blowhards have bought National's version of events so there'd be a public assumption that the government doing the right thing would be a politically-motivated attack on National. I'm not going to do their job for them.

      • RedLogix 4.1.2

        Everybody knows the Budget is a confidential, embargoed document up until the day the Minister releases it. It's that simple.

        To a large extent our society depends on people respecting the rules and conventions as a matter of trust. A society where everything is locked down and controlled is called a tyranny or police state. People who breach trust move us toward that hellish condition, people who are trustworthy move us away from it.

        When Bridges got hold of these documents he had a choice; and he went in the wrong direction.

        • xanthe 4.1.2.1

          "To a large extent our society depends on people respecting the rules and conventions as a matter of trust. A society where everything is locked down and controlled is called a tyranny or police state. People who breach trust move us toward that hellish condition, people who are trustworthy move us away from it."

          ahh just thought that was worth repeating thanks RedLogix

          • patricia bremner 4.1.2.1.1

            Yes exanthe and Thanks RedLogix. Well said indeed.

            • WeTheBleeple 4.1.2.1.1.1

              Bit of wisdom there RL that's twice in one day (ish) you've helped my thinking along, cheers.

              I've thought for a while we need to adopt a much lower tolerance of corruption and lying in leadership. Basically zero tolerance.

              A personal lie, who cares. A lie affecting the views of the country – gone!

              We can't move towards a trusting society with leadership who keep breaking that trust. I'd really like to believe in the people I vote for, I think that alone would improve my (and others) mental health considerably.

              As it stands I feel helpless at the hands of neo-liberal machinations within a backdrop of planetary collapse.

              It's heartbreaking watching a pathological liar stealing every news cycle. It's also pathetic.

              We can't expect perfection from humans but we can certainly expect at least professionalism.

          • I feel love 4.1.2.1.2

            Exactly Redlogix, I said the other day about the irony of the proponents of "small Govt" act like this, or come onto left wing blogs to defend it. They need rules otherwise they don't know how to behave, weird.

  5. JustMe 5

    Simon Bridges suffers badly from NPD. But then probably the entire NZ National Party does as well. The guy is making himself look like a complete idiot.

    Out of all this Bridges has proven to us all that the NZ National Party is a political party that no-one can trust.

    It makes me wonder if Bridges and co were prepared to release embargoed information so quickly then what else are they capable of? And if they were in government what other demeaning things would they do especially to the voting public eg beneficiaries?

    They chose of behave in a less than honourable manner just for the sake of Upmanship. So do they really merit being addressed as Right Honourable when they are so incapable of behaving like adults at the best of times?

    • vto 5.1

      "what else are they capable of?"

      Bennett is capable of releasing citizens private and personal information.

      Key is capable of lying and nothing else. Oh, and dodgy bank oversight.

      Shipley is capable of trading recklessly and while insolvent.

      Doug Graham is capable of intense and malevolent misleading and deceptive conduct.

      English is capable of rorting the system to double-dip.

      English is capable of cheating the rules to pay his South Canterbury Finance constituents $1.7billion

      I challenge anyone to come up with a comparable list of misdeeds by 'left' politicians. Go on Gosman, give it a crack

      • Gosman 5.1.1

        Ummm… why would i waste my time when some of those are debatable points and three of them are related to actions that happened when they weren't even in Parliament

        • vto 5.1.1.1

          Oh, I was so looking forward to something better than that response…

          Please do try again. And the ex-Parliament thing is important as it exposes their true nature.

          The dirty dirty Nats eh – there aint nobody quite like them. Dirty cheats – in and out of Parliament. They are what I come across in business on an almost daily basis – they are thick on the ground and boy oh boy do you need to watch out for them.

          • Gosman 5.1.1.1.1

            Taito Phillip Field

          • Gosman 5.1.1.1.2

            Clare Curran

            • Marcus Morris 5.1.1.1.3.1

              Metiria did "rort" the system many years before she entered parliament as a beneficiary struggling to make ends meet (doesn't make it right of course)- confessed and was crucified. English rorted the system while holding a senior government position – wasn't he Minister of Finance or something at the time – he was "found out" and later knighted for his honourable behaviour. The outcry from the "righteous" Tories over Metiria's historical misdemeanour bordered on the hysterical – spiced I feel by more than a little racism.

            • Marcus Morris 5.1.1.1.4.1

              Cleared of all charges of sexual impropriety but did disgrace himself by urinating in a hotel foyer. Behaviour not to be encouraged but pales into insignificance with the financial debacles which affected thousands of "Mum and Dads (Nationals favourite term) who suffered from Doug Graham's lack of judgement (actually one of the few National MP's that I had any respect for in the Muldoon era.

          • Gosman 5.1.1.1.5

            Shane Jones

            • Ad 5.1.1.1.5.1

              Alamein Koopu

              • WeTheBleeple

                "Mana Wahine became significant when, in 1999, the governing National Party found itself reliant on Mana Wahine's support (along with that of various former New Zealand First MPs). National, left with a precarious majority when its coalition with New Zealand First collapsed, needed as much support as it could find, and managed to obtain Kopu's backing.

                • Ad

                  Alamein is the Greatest waka-jumper of all time, from the Alliance to the sludge.

                  After jumping, became, "party leader", hence earning an extra $80,000 on top of her backbench $140,000. Nom nom nom.

                  Ah but three days before jumping, made a written promise to Jim Anderton that she would not jump.

                  Corrupt flea.

            • Marcus Morris 5.1.1.1.5.2

              Shane has certainly had a chequered career and has been indicted for several indiscretions – and paid for them. It would appear that he is handling his present portfolio with panache (not regarded so if you are a Tory of course). The scandal of the SCF bail-out is still being exposed and cost the tax-payer (another favourite adjective of the self-righteous right winger) more than a billion dollars.

              Lets keep things in perspective.

            • Chris 5.1.1.1.5.3

              Phillida Bunkle.

            • vto 5.1.1.1.5.4

              Thanks Gosman, but there are some glaring features in the difference between the two ….

              Nats include the highest flying leaders – PM's x 3, Ministers, Dames and Knights. Misdeeds are financial ripoffs.

              Labour lot are generally minor players and exclude any high flyers, leaders etc. Certainly no Dames or Knights. And misdeeds are not financial ripoffs (ex-Taito)

              Summary? The Nats are dirty cheats and it goes right to the top echelon. The Labour lot are a bit useless at times but they are kept at the low level and not allowed anywhere near true power.

              The results should wake you up Gosman.

              There is a difference between the two peoples.

              • Marcus Morris

                Then again we haven't mentioned the Hon. Judith Collins. Didn't she get temporary demotion from Cabinet for her shady use of her privileged position in furthering her husband's business interests in China. Okay for some eh? What a can of worms we are opening up. Then of course there was the sudden resignation of the erstwhile National MP for Whangarei. Did we ever get to the bottom of that one.

          • Gosman 5.1.1.1.6

            Lianne Dalziel

            • lprent 5.1.1.1.6.1

              Did some exemplary work on various laws. Mayor of Christchurch during earthquakes and notable for how she operated during that period.

              BTW: You do realise that every MP you have highlighted is female and/or brown?

              Way outside sampling error now. It makes my fingers start to itch to add a warning tag to your handle "misogynist racial bigot" just so others have fair warning.

              But then I remind myself that really you just look like the average National supporter – a old white male too stupid to be self-reflective.

              • Foster Foster

                Bob Parker was the Mayor of Christchurch during the earthquakes. So I am not sure what was notable about how she operated during that time….because she wasn't the Mayor?

            • Psycho Milt 5.1.1.1.6.2

              Can you find a Labour leader who arranged a data breach at a government agency, publicised the confidential data obtained via the exploited security hole and then proclaimed that they'd acted "entirely appropriately?"

      • Ad 5.1.2

        Jim Anderton.

        Crime of terminally bloated ego, leaving the Labour Party out of spite, forming the terminally dysfunctional Alliance, then anointing himself leader of his own party to get the $80,000 for being a parliamentary "leader".

        • Blazer 5.1.2.1

          a real Labour stalwart,that tried to stymie Rogernomics a neo-lib doctrine that has had devastating effects.

          Gave NZ Kiwibank…why don't we all support it.

          • In Vino 5.1.2.1.1

            Dead right, Blazer. Ad is out of step this time. If Anderton was so self-centred, how come he wasn't in the party of the self-centred? (National, if I have to make it really clear.)

          • Marcus Morris 5.1.2.1.2

            Great comment Blazer. Jim Anterton stuck to his principles throughout his parliamentary career and you have to wonder at the partisan nonsense that Ad comes out with (most of the time). This "calling out" of those who have "misbehaved" while in Parliament can go on and on. Wasn't it someone with the name of Worth who was summarily dismissed early in John Key's reign. Dirty Politics has been around for a long time and Muldoon was a past master at it. Remember the "Moyle affair". Not so long ago David Benson Pope was virtually hounded from office by trumped up charges of bullying while he was a teacher. It turns out that the so called victims had never met the man – straight out of the Crosby-Textor manual of attack politics. Mind you, C-T possibly weren't around then so perhaps they learned their craft from aping the Nats. now there's a thought

            • McFlock 5.1.2.1.2.1

              It's just a shame that one of those principles wasn't "asking the party before rubber-stamping invasions".

              I might have said it before, but his commitment and willingness to oppose lab4 took the same ego as his assumption that the party should be happy with his decisions or he will do his damndest to destroy it. And then he wandered off into his titular party, which was mostly Dems rather than NLP stalwarts, as I recall.

              • Marcus Morris

                "Invasions"???Bring me up to speed. I seem to recall he worked very well with Helen Clark – not that opportunist Peter Dunne – how many times did he "morph" to keep his wretched seat – did he have any other principle?

                • McFlock

                  Afghanistan ring a bell? Contrary to party policy, the wishes of the membership, and the party constitution, as I recall. But no, all of a sudden the Alliance was in lock-step on the march to war, much to the surprise of much of the party membership.

                  People had overlooked the warning signs for a while, making shit up on the fly here and there, but that was the final straw. The Greens might have left, but there were still a lot of pacifists in the party. and they had a point.

                  • Marcus Morris

                    Thanks for that. I will do some research. I was out of the country at the time, actually working in England so missed that glitch. I do remember John Pilger's headline in the Mirror the day the invasion was announced "ITS ALL ABOUT OIL". As usual Pilger was absolutely right and eighteen years later the Afghans are still suffering. Good to see that they have a team in cricket's World Cup though.

                    • McFlock

                      I was ok with Afghanistan (not Iraq), but it was still surprising to find that the Alliance had apparently supported it without any internal discussion when we had specific policies around pacifism. Literally woke up one day to find we're supporting a war.

                      But there were other issues before then – speeches from his close allies at national conference obliquely marginalising queer issues, unquestioning acolytes vs more critical analyses of what he said, and so on.

                      But he did stick it to Lab4.

                      Interesting to contrast him with Winston Peters, who seems to have a certain give and take within his party.

      • Anne 5.1.3

        I see he ain't going to give it a crack but if he did it would be all about paintings and lightbulbs and shower heads and speeding police driven motorcades.

  6. Gosman 6

    Why is the labelled Beltway news? Is the implication that this ENTIRE matter is something noone outside the beltway cares about or just the National party response to it?

    • Muttonbird 6.1

      Lol. You yourself called it a beltway issue on this very forum, then proceeded to comment 80 times on the subject over the course of that day.

      • McFlock 6.1.1

        heh

      • Gosman 6.1.2

        I agree it is a beltway issue. I find it funny now that people here are trying to argue it is one when last week the view being push was it was something people outside this would care about

      • I feel love 6.1.3

        He doesn't care about it a lot.

  7. Kat 7

    The next round or two of poll results should tell us all who cares what about what, and who is going to ultimately lose their job.

  8. bewildered 8

    i fear you are going to be a sad little Kat when your bubble busts in 2020

    • Drowsy M. Kram 8.1

      Bewildered, don't bubbles usually burst, or pop?

      "Bubble busts" barely bear thinking about!

    • Kat 8.2

      Ah, the wilder-person…..nothing like a bit of grammatical snakes and ladders, you could have a go at Scrabble. I would stay clear of Poker though, my bust is bound to burst your bubble and beat your busted flush any day.

  9. Mr soy 9

    Never commented here before but hello, and: The way I see this is if you leave your door open it is not ok for someone to come on in and rifle through your undies let alone run around town wearing them on their head. And no your undies are not of public interest even/ especially if you are planning on airing them in the next two days…. In this day and age we should all realize Goldilocks was actually a thief…

  10. Cinny 10

    What I do know is… it's really put the public off simon, big time.

    And after this mornings interviews he's looking even worse. Train wreck material.

    His twitter is a disaster and no one is buying quotes from the national party thesaurus of propaganda anymore.

    It's hilarious ! heart

    Standby… he's just done it again!!

    • Marcus Morris 10.1

      National's plan for roading was more room for the huge trucks that they have allowed on our roads. The speed limit through the Karangahape Gorge is 80 kph, the safer driving zone on SH2 from the Thames turn-off to Pokeno is 90kph, again on SH2 from Whakamarama to Tauranga it is 90kph. All three stretches used to have a shocking accident rate. Those rates are now much, much improved. It beggars belief that 100kph is still in force around the whole of the Coromandel. I have recently driven from Napier and right around the East Cape. There are very few stretches of road where 100kph is appropriate. We have thousands of kilometres of roading where 100kph is inappropriate. How many trillions of dollars does Bridges have to widen and straighten roads and build tunnels to make our highways like those of Europe's trunk roads.

      • Cinny 10.1.1

        Thanks for that info Marcus, that's really encouraging to hear re lowering the speed limit and the resulting reduction of accidents.

        I know around Tasman district we have been getting numerous complaints about the speed limit. There are some treacherous pieces of road with high accident rates and unnecessary fatalities.

        Recently one of our accident hot spots has had the limit changed from 100kmph to 80, if it results in less loss of life then any sane person should celebrate it.

        The new speed kills ad, where the driver isn't visible but the passengers are… that missing driver is totally simons mindset…. vacant lolz.

  11. Sacha 11

    I agree that National’s behaviour did not involve criminal hacking

    We really do not know that until the matter is tested in court. In the meantime we get Bridges shrieking about what Mahklouf and Roberston 'must have known' early on. And yes, most citizens will not give a stuff.

    • xanthe 11.1

      I disagree Sacha

      It was a deliberate (and successful) attempt to access unauthorized information on the Treasury website. That's criminal regardless of advice from the GCSB (who dont have a particularly good reputation of understanding the law) Mahklouf properly advised the Police and informed the minister.

      there was never anything "appropriate" in Bridges subsequent abuse of that information.

      A heck of a lot of people are being led by the nose by media and spin doctors misreporting/misrepresenting into a different view.

      • Puckish Rogue 11.1.1

        Very cunning of them to use the search function to carry out this nefarious deed…

      • Sacha 11.1.2

        The cybersecurity team does not decide on legality, hence referring it to police. The cops have a bad record of investigating matters involving politicians. But it's not over yet.

      • Anne 11.1.3

        A heck of a lot of people are being led by the nose by media and spin doctors misreporting/misrepresenting into a different view.

        What they tend to do is leave out the little bits of info. which enable the populace to make an informed judgement. Happens all the time.

  12. ankerawshark 12

    I think most people are interested in what the budget delivers. Having my hair done today and the young woman said she didn't really follow politics at all. No interest really but did volunteer she thought the spend of mental health was fantastic and that Jacinda was doing a good job.

  13. Jackel 13

    Bumbling incompetence or dirty politics conspiracy? There is a third option, Simon, decent people making honest mistakes about something they couldn't have reasonably been expected to know, especially when they were focusing on something far more important. Apparently humans do that kind of thing, Simon. Anyway, me thinks thou dost protest too much.

    • Gosman 13.1

      What do you mean he protests too much? Are you implying he did do something illegal?

      • mac1 13.1.1

        "The lady doth protest too much, methinks" is a line from the play Hamlet by William Shakespeare. It is spoken by Queen Gertrude in response to the insincere overacting of a character in the play within a play created by Prince Hamlet to prove his uncle's guilt in the murder of his father, the King of Denmark.

        The phrase is used in everyday speech to indicate doubt concerning someone's sincerity."

        Wikipedia.

      • Marcus Morris 13.1.2

        Far be it for me to put words into other peoples mouths Gosman but I would have thought the Jackel could be implying that Simon will not gain a great deal of traction out of this issue and the more he "bangs on" about it his only cheerleaders will be from his own tribe. The rest of the nation will have moved on to examine the really important issues – those that take an interest in politics of course.

        • Sacha 13.1.2.1

          The intended audience for his public chest-beating are really National's internal factions. Will only delay the inevitable.

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