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Brash emails hit headlines again…for the wrong reason

Written By: - Date published: 7:41 pm, March 8th, 2010 - 61 comments
Categories: brand key, brethren, crosby textor, Media, Politics - Tags: , , ,

The leaked emails which helped bring about the downfall of former Nat leader Don Brash hit the headlines again today, for all the wrong reasons.

Journalists have already forgotten the insidious tricks and dodgy connections still maintained by the top echelons of the National Party. The real story is not the emails, but their contents, published in Nicky Hager’s Hollow Men. The media have a duty to intensely scrutinise the modern National Party (and other parties) for the same old tricks.

These were emails that revealed National Party connections to shifty organisations like the Exclusive Brethren. They revealed underhanded donations, radical right-wing ideology, and “dog-whistling” strategies to attempt to trick Kiwis into voting for them.

And Don Brash was just one of the men involved.

The big players are all still present in National. They include the highly influential Minister Steven Joyce, who as the 2005 campaign manager for the Nats worked very closely with the Exclusive Brethren on their $1m campaign to oust Labour. During the campaign Joyce was adamant he’d had no such connections, but The Hollow Men revealed him to be nothing more than a liar. Now, the media love him.

Of course let’s not forget about the Prime Minister John Key himself, who was fingered in the book as receiving emails from the brethren, and treated as an ‘insider’ by the Brash camp. And Key’s Government is still using many of the same Crosby/Textor strategies today. In fact Crosby/Textor are still Key’s first PR port of call.

Key may not be crying ‘one law for all’ (rather, that seems Phil Goff’s forte lately). But Key is using the same old Crosby/Textor tactics to sell tax cuts and cuts in public services. The extent to which the deception of language is used pushes morality to the brink. Apparently, under Key’s regime tax cuts for the rich will make the poor better off, and cuts in the state sector will consolidate public services.

And why wouldn’t the Nats continue using the same tactics? It’s worked wonders for them.

Ironically it was those Crosby/Textor tactics that got the Nats out of the Hollow Men pit in the first place. The story was turned swifty away from the email contents to the question of who “stole” them… The story was now a “who dunnit”.

It was a remarkably successful Tory decoy that journalists are still falling for hook, line, and sinker.

It’s time they woke up.

The media have a duty to remember the book that did their job for them.

61 comments on “Brash emails hit headlines again…for the wrong reason”

  1. SHG 1

    There’s something about people who continue to rail against the demonic influence of Crosby/Textor that puts me in mind of geriatric Japanese soldiers on Pacific islands, refusing to believe that WWII had been over for decades.

    • Tiger Mountain 1.1

      Well SHAG, Crosby/Textor are still around, senior nats are still lying, doesn’t seem that too much is over.

    • Marty G 1.2

      Crosby Textor still does all the real market testing for the Nats,focus grouping etc. Farrar’s Curia is too useless to be trusted with anything but the fortnightly poll he does for them.

  2. I would say the leader of a political party having his emails hacked into, is a massive story.

    • Marty G 2.1

      they weren’t hacked. they were passed to Hagar by an insider. Bill English is the prime contender and there’s various other people inside National who had motive and opportunity. Including Key, who, remember had had a failed coup against Brash only months earlier and got Brash’s job when he resigned because of this book.

      What was in the emails is far more interesting than who leaked them.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.2

      Trying to spin away the corruption there Brett?

      • Brett Dale 2.2.1

        Dont care what party it is, someone getting into someone else’s emails and sending them to a Journo is wrong.

        • Mr Magoo 2.2.1.1

          So is lying. So is being a disingenuous, wretched troll of a human being.

          Like wot was uncovered in dem emails gov.

          The truth wants to be free.

        • lprent 2.2.1.2

          I suspect that parties had nothing much to do with it. However some individuals might – probably card-carrying members of the National party from the available evidence.

          • Mr Magoo 2.2.1.2.1

            I was talking about the contents of the email.

            Basically National were lying and cheating and being general bastards as per usual.

            This information wanted to be free.

    • Lew 2.3

      I would say that, too, Brett. Imagine if it had happened, and one of the two (three?) separate investigations had found the slightest shred of evidencethat wrongdoing had been committed — it would be a genuine story.

      L

    • I would say the leader of a political party having his emails hacked into, is a massive story.

      Hacked or copied?

      • the sprout 2.4.1

        Indeed.
        Unlike Brash but like the police, the report maintains it was extremely unlikely to have been a hack.
        Considering it was always obvious it was someone from the inside, it’s not surprising the police weren’t all over it like a crime of the century.

    • Kevin Welsh 2.5

      As they said on 3 News tonight, he would regularly leave printed out copies of his emails in the “to be shredded” basket..

    • George.com 2.6

      You would be correct Brett, a massive story if the leader of a political party DID have his emails hacked. It would be Brett, if it ever occurs. In the meantime, we are left with the story of someone inside National leaking Brashs emails. That is also a massive story. You should be more careful where you leave your ‘trail of blue herrings’.

      I note (Ron McDon) Key is still spinning the myth about a hack. Wonder what he has to gain by it?

  3. Bill 3

    Who stole the global change emails? The media ignored the messenger and focussed on the message.

    Who taped the Nats at their conference? The media focussed on the messenger and ignored the message.

    Who leaked the Nats emails? The media focussed on the messenger and ignored the message.

    And I’m willing to bet my shirt that by and large, leaks or info gained by stealth will be treated in the following predictable fashion.

    If the message is detrimental to market fundamentalists and their bull, then the messenger will be sought and the message ignored.

    If the message is useful to market fundamentalists and their bull, then the messenger will be ignored and the message trumpeted.

    C&T and their ilk might help to make the dynamics from a situation play out as outlined above, but they are only acting under instruction.

  4. Draco T Bastard 4

    The story was turned swifty away from the email contents to the question of who “stole’ them The story was now a “who dunnit’.

    I’m still amazed, and saddened, that that actually worked. The journalists should have been all over that with questioning like; “Ok, So the emails were stolen so you admit that they are real then?” followed by “As they’re real and accurate what do think of the corruption that the emails show as being endemic to the National Party of which you appear to be a main practitioner?”

    Unfortunately, our journalists are rather pathetic at their job of informing the public.

  5. Key went down in my estimation today, hard to imagine I know but it is possible, if only just.

    Nicky Hagar has stated that he received emails from no later than 2004. The election occurred in 2005. If Labour had any of the information contained in Hagar’s book before the election you can bet with boots on that they (we) would have used it.

    Hagar is not Labour’s friend. Anyone remember “Seeds of Distrust” launched just before the 2002 election?

    And Key says today without support that a leftie hacked the PS server??

    He really is full of siht.

    When is the next election?

  6. the sprout 6

    Yep, you really have to wonder who in National stood to gain the most by taking Brash down.

  7. Wow the temperature of the posts over the last 15 minutes is really, really high. I sense universal opposition to the crap line that Key is spinning.

    He could at least harbour the possibility that what he is saying has the slightest chance of being true before saying it.

  8. mike 8

    Forget their stooges the national frontmen – how the hell are we going to destroy crosby textor?

  9. Tanya 9

    National are a joke, they can’t even be honest, or listen to the public. Smile and wave – boring.

  10. mike 10

    without wishing to be conspiratorial – I believe the whole of this present bunch are a political mafia, and their agenda threatens our society and culture. we need to defend ourselves. I don’t see that garlic is going to do it.

  11. Anne 11

    I disagree about the messenger. It has become a story in itself. We now know it is a current, senior politician because Hagar confirmed as much on TV3 tonight. Have a look at the Tumeke blog site. Bomber has a highly plausible story to tell!

    I’m still struggling to learn how to link to other sites. Could someone link to Tumeke?

    [lprent: Try this link. ]

  12. Rodel 12

    The rumour I heard about the email disclosure started something like , “Hell hath no fury……”

    • Marty G 12.1

      yeah, this was the first one I heard.

      She worked in Brash’s office. Had access to all the materials including the non-email stuff, and had motivation. She’s mentioned, if I recall correctly, twice and by first name only in the book. But I don’t think she could have acted alone.

  13. Heaton 13

    Hi Anne.
    The way National work it wouldnt surprise me if Key or English leaked the emails as they would have the most to gain.
    They are great for rolling there leaders from past experience.

    Here is the URL to Tumeke. http://tumeke.blogspot.com/
    In that link I Cant work out why a IT manager would make a comment as should of operate in strick confidence and not pass on any information.
    Anyway Tanya Mickey etc I would wount vote for them either as full of Lies

    • Marty G 13.1

      From Tumeke:

      “And if the leaker was a spouse of a front bench National Party MP wouldn’t you be the first to spin it elsewhere?”

      The Mary English theory. She couldn’t have done it alone.

      From memory, at the start of the book Hager says there were six senior National figures involved, and I have no reason to doubt him.

      Giving this info to Hager was a very well thought-out move, I find it hard to believe one person did it all on their own and has never talked, never been found out.

      Farrar’s posts on the issue and his comment to Hager that he owed it to history to reveal the leaker shows the Nats are still desperate to find the mole in their ranks.

  14. Armchair Critic 14

    WTF is this even being discussed?
    We all know who leaked the emails, in our own minds, and most of us will never have it confirmed beyond reasonable doubt.
    The only news today is that the Police will not proceed further.
    But this is old, old news – what is it, six years ago, now? Meanwhile the NACT juggernaut bowls on with its plans to raise taxes, ruin Auckland and privatise its publicly owned assets, mine national parks, rort the taxpayer, increase subsidies to farmers, remove the right to freedom of expression, encourage the extinction of whales and do nothing about the economy or unemployment.
    It is not as if the content of the emails told me anything I didn’t already know about the principles held by the National party.
    Will the senior figure resign as a result? Unlikely. This is a distraction, and a not even a particularly interesting one.

    • Marty G 14.1

      It would rip National apart if a senior minister was implicated.

      • Armchair Critic 14.1.1

        True.
        It’s a question of whether the “high damage-low probability of success” strategy is more likely to succeed than the “low damage-high probability” strategy. Much as I’d love to see a senior minister implicated, I don’t expect it will happen. Meanwhile, even in a parliamentary recess, the destruction elsewhere continues.

  15. BLiP 15

    Hooten makes an interesting comment at 2:30 in this piece saying that some of the leaked information could only have come from Diane Foreman’s home . . .

    But, yeah – the “who” is far less significant than the “what”. While the media is tearing around disappearing up its own arse, Crosby/Textor has simple lifted the template and plopped it down around John Key. The sorts of questions that need asking now are: did National Ltdâ„¢ campaign on a platform of strip mining the conservation estate, trashing the 100% Pure brand, industrialising the whale fisheries, raising taxes, dismantling ACC, removing legal protections in the labour market, reducing wages, privatising Auckland, and shredding the public service? What else do they have in store for us?

  16. gitmo 16

    I think you should organise a trip to Melbourne to check out Key’s signature again.

    captcha panty sniffing

    Ah I see Armchair critic has made th same point.

  17. This is from our Glorious Leader as reported in the Herald:

    “That’s a great, sort of, nonsense, fiction put out by the left. Or bollocks is another way of putting it.”

    He firmly believed that the system had been hacked into – “but I can’t back that up” – and he had a theory on who it was.

    When pressed by journalists, Mr Key said: “There’s no question other people had access to that system. It’s a statement of fact. There are contractors that had access to those old systems.

    “The system had no capability of knowing who went in and out of it. That was one of the faults of the system.”

    Mr Key said he was not worried about his email being hacked.

    Putting to one side the language it appears that our Glorious Leader firmly believes in something that he cannot back up. There is a word for that isn’t there?

  18. The Baron 18

    You know what I still find disgusting about this whole matter?

    Labour’s horrible treatment of the Exclusive Brethren – and the perpetuation of what is basically a demonisation for political purposes, and further carried out by you here Michael.

    I understand that Labour didn’t like the fact that someone wanted to stump up $1m to oppose them. I’m not arguing the merits of that. But what I don’t like is how Labour and its members continue to persecute these people in a manner that is simply unacceptable in a supposedly free and liberal country like New Zealand. “Shifty” organisations like them huh?

    The Brethren have extreme religious views, and indeed some hinky social practices. Fine, not my cup of tea, but good luck to them. But they do not deserve to be continually singled out, ridiculed, and slandered by desperate Lefties who want to create an enemy as part of their political agenda.

    So why do you continue to perpetuate this, Michael? Wanna tell me why you see fit to tar the thousands of Exclusive Brethren with this brush, based on the actions of, what, seven of their leaders? When will you stop and just leave them alone?

    And I’d also love to know how all of you on this site think this persecution is justified?

    • The Baron 19.1

      Wow, thats some pretty blatant link whoring. If I wanted to read you, Bomber, I know where to look.

  19. Bomber 20

    Cheers Baron, here’s something special just for you

    The Brethren have extreme religious views, and indeed some hinky social practices. Fine, not my cup of tea, but good luck to them. But they do not deserve to be continually singled out, ridiculed, and slandered by desperate Lefties who want to create an enemy as part of their political agenda.

    They deserve all the contempt they receive. They HID who they were with their smear campaign, they tell their members NOT to vote yet are prepared to use their tax free wealth under church charity status to try and spin who we should vote for. They are intellectually bankrupt and without honour. They deserve nothing less.

    • They HID who they were with their smear campaign…

      Seven members of the Exclusive Brethren may have done this. The church did not, and the members of the church certainly didn’t all do it. Save your contempt for the “secret seven”.

  20. Stacktwo 21

    So let me see if I’ve got this right – This was some sort of wizard adventure involving the Secret Seven and the Famous Five, Brash, Key, Joyce . . . and Mr and Mrs English? And Constable Plod, as usual, let them all get the better of him. My question is, does anyone know what Noddy was up to?

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