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Brooking vs Clarke43

Written By: - Date published: 8:53 pm, July 12th, 2013 - 20 comments
Categories: internet, Judith Collins, twitter - Tags:

An article about the editing of Judith Collins Wikipedia page has just been published on the NZ Herald site.  Author Phil Taylor makes a creditable effort to maintain some balance, pointing out the apparent biases of both Brooking and Clarke43.  He is asking for the identity of Clarke43, though, it looks like Clarke43’s bias is evident for all to see.

Come in Clarke43, whoever you are. Your time in the shadows is up.

Or is it? Clarke43 is the pseudonym of a volunteer Wikipedia editor who inadvertently came to attention in a “wikispat” between Justice Minister Judith Collins and a ministry critic.

Taylor goes into some background about how one or two politicians’ wiki pages have been manipulated in the past, but relies on Bryce Edward’s comments, in the concluding section of the article, claiming biased edits eventually balance each other out, and those with a “political agenda” eventually get exposed.  He claims this makes politics interesting for “the masses”.

Along the way, Taylor argues that Brooking’s additions to Collins’ page was clearly biased, while Clarke43 seems to lean more toward politicians of the right:

The ruckus about Collins’ staff was triggered by Wellington alcohol and drug counsellor Roger Brooking, a critic of Collins and the Justice Ministry and a prolific Wikipedia editor now banned under the username Offender9000. Brooking voiced concerns that Collins or her staff might be behind edits he has made being slashed from lengthy articles to brief stubs but admits he had no proof.


Brooking pointed to the removal by Clarke43 from Judith Collins’ page of a passage he inserted that quoted Sir Bob Jones that she had displayed on the Binnie-Bain compensation matter “breathtaking arrogance without precedence” and was unfit to be Minister of Justice.

“It’s a perfectly usable quote and a source was provided, but its critical of her so he removed it,” says Brooking.

Then, on June 15, Clarke43 added a direct link to Collins’ Twitter account in the reputation section along with the following quote: “She is active on Twitter and tries to reply to people personally, believing that the interaction is a good way to reach young voters and inject some humour into politics.” Brooking suspects hagiography. “Twittering is nothing to do with her reputation … [Clarke43] is “always trying to paint her in a flattering light”.


Clarke43 stated his motive was simply to “maintain the integrity of Wikipedia as a resource”.

The NZ Herald put a message on Clarke43’s user page, asking hir to phone Taylor. The message has been deleted (presumably by Clarke43), but shi hasn’t contacted the Herald.

Taylor does tend to give Team Collins the benefit of the doubt in terms of their involvement in dressing her wiki page up to make her appear in a more favourable light.  Taylor confirms that Collins’ staff,

having edited related pages a new photo was uploaded to the minister’s Wikipedia page and several paragraphs that her office says it considered defamatory were removed about her handling of David Bain’s compensation case. One of passages cut mentioned an “embarrassing public spat” between Collins and Canadian judge Ian Binnie, who reviewed Bain’s compensation case.


Collins’ office didn’t get into much bother because it declared its interest it chose the nom de plume “Jc press sec” and was upfront on discussion pages and this week stated that there had only ever been the two edits.

Did they acknowledge doing the edits, only after their clumsy choice of pseudonym was outed?

Clearly, though, Collins will need a very good PR team if she is ever going to make it to being Nat leader.  Whether or not Clarke43 is linked to Judith Collins, hir attempt to provide serious support for Collins’ self satire on twitter won’t cut it.


20 comments on “Brooking vs Clarke43”

  1. Sable 1

    Looks like the old spider has been caught in her own web of lies and worse still now the public knows.

    So while people might not have taken any notice of a Wiki page about her now everyone will be scouring the internet for every bit of negative publicity about the old battle axe.

  2. Jackal 2

    Interestingly, Jc press sec (later changed to Polkad0t), who has been identified as Judith Collins’ press secretary Rachael Bowie, only made one edit to remove a paragraph from David Bain’s Wikipedia page using that account. Here’s the removed paragraph:

    She then publicly criticised the report and leaked details of Fisher’s criticisms of it to the media – but refused to give a copy to Bain’s legal team.[12] The leaks led to an embarrassing media spat between Collins and Judge Binnie who pointed out (in an email subsequently released to the media by Collins) that Dr Fisher had not read the 10,000 pages of background files[13] and his report was the product of someone with “little familiarity” with the case.[14]

    However Judith Collins’ spokeswoman said on Wednesday that the Minister’s office had “removed several paragraphs relating to the minister’s handling of David Bain’s compensation case, which her office felt were defamatory.”

    The Jc press sec/Polkad0t account has only removed one paragraph, while Clarke43 has made several edits to Judith Collins’ Wikipedia page and others relating to the New Zealand government. Here’s one of the paragraphs Clarke43 removed from Judith Collins’ Wikipedia page:

    Following her decision to peer review Judge Binnie’s compensation report on David Bain, businessman Sir Bob Jones commented that Collins’ behaviour displayed “breath-taking arrogance without precedence” and suggested she was unfit to be Minister of Justice.[5]

    It appears that government employees, if not National MPs themselves, have been whitewashing information on Wikipedia pages for a long time, in clear violation of the online encyclopedias terms and conditions.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 2.1

      Note one of Clarke43’s solo efforts was to create the Michelle Boag page .

      Other articles are on the SAS and the police special tactics unit.

      So Id guess an ex soldier , who moved onto the police

      • ghostwhowalksnz 2.1.1

        Clarke43 seems to be obsessed about Judge David Carruthers as well ( parole board)

        Maybe some one from the so called Sensible Sentencing Trust

        • ghostwhowalksnz

          I notice this entry on judithcollins.co.nz

          Papakura MP Judith Collins has been awarded an Honorary Life Membership by the Long Range Desert Group (LRDG).

          “I feel incredibly honoured to be made a life member of the Long Range Desert Group. They are one of a small group of Special Forces who would today be part of our 1st New Zealand Special Air Services Regiment,” Ms Collins says.

          The SAS !!

          And then this

          Long Range Desert Group Patron Major David Hopkins presented Ms Collins with the life membership.

          This David Hopkins fellow could be the one

  3. Rogue Trooper 3

    If this wasn’t so farking funny, it would be farkin’ hilarious.

    ‘battle not with monsters, lest ye become a monster, and if you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.’

    ‘Insanity in individuals is something rare- but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule.’

    ‘talking much about oneself can also be a means to conceal oneself.’

    ‘the visionary lies to himself, the liar only to others’.


  4. TheContrarian 4

    “The NZ Herald put a message on Clarke43′s user page, asking hir to phone Taylor. The message has been deleted (presumably by Clarke43), but shi hasn’t contacted the Herald.”

    Here is the message (which was deleted by Clarke43):

    Here are the last 500 edits by Clarke43:

    Clarke43 joined Wikipedia on 23 December 2012 (here is the first edit they made: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Special:Contributions/Clarke43&offset=&limit=500&target=Clarke43) while Collins Press Sec joined on 24 Feb 2013.

    Given the time frame and editing history my guess would be Clarke43 is a Collins fanboy rather than someone from the office.

    • Jackal 4.1

      So, after Clarke43 removes a message concerning Phil Taylor investigating a story for the NZ Herald concerning wikipedia and political bias, you claim that Clarke43 is just a fanboy rather than someone in Judith Collins’ office with something to hide.

      Why if Clarke43 has nothing to hide, did they remove the comment The Conformist?

      Why does the time frame of Clarke43 joining Wikipedia on 23 December 2012 to specifically edit Judith Collins’ page mean they’re not someone associated with the Minister?

      It seems that all you have as an argument in your current role as National party apologist is smoke and mirrors and baseless assertions The Conformist. But what else is new?

      • TheContrarian 4.1.1

        It is a guess, jackal. If I am wrong then I’ll be wrong. Unlike you I don’t just make shit up.

        • Jackal

          A guess based on nothing is making shit up The Conformist.

          • TheContrarian

            I have made nothing up. You, on the other hand…I am at lunch currently but when I get back home how about I list all the shit you have made up and been called on concerning this issue. That will be fun.

            • Jackal

              Knock your socks off TC. But first could you explain why you believe the time frame means Clarke43 isn’t associated with the Minister? You weren’t just making shit up there The Conformist to suit your own argument? Hypocrite!

              • TheContrarian

                OK, lets have some fun.

                You said “Twenty-two edits were made under the new user name [Polkad0t] in an attempt to whitewash her Wikipedia history.”

                Nope, sorry.

                “You don’t seriously believe that she was going to the trouble of changing her handle just to retire it from Wikipedia? She was obviously trying to cover her tracks”

                Nope not true either. She can’t cover her tracks and the name change was made openly. In fact she replaced the photo in her first edit and then her very second edit she declared a COI:

                You also said:
                “How do you expect to be taken seriously The Conformist when you make such obviously false claims that rely on people not checking the facts?”

                But you failed to tell me which claims were false and ignored the fact I provided links so people could check my facts.

                “Two edits were deleted that were not transferred over from the Jc press sec user name. They were there yesterday, but today they don’t exist”

                You never said what edits or how you knew so I confirmed with a Wikipedia admin that this didn’t happen and provided contact details for the admin so you could check this yourself.

                Then you got really confused and claimed edits were deleted from the Judith Collins page which didn’t appear in the history logs. But you provided a link to the David Bain page, not the Collins page. Not to surprising then that edits to the Bain page don’t appear in the Collins history.

                What I think has happened is that Clarke43 (whom I don’t doubt has had some dealings with Collins in some respect) alerted Collins team to material which they considered defamatory. Collins team replaced the photo and debated about other issues surrounding Collins. I am not making shit up, I am telling what I think happened based upon what I see in the history logs. That isn’t “making shit up”. I have come to a conclusion which may very well be wrong. I have made no statements of fact, just an educated guess which I declared as such. You on the other hand made up reams of bullshit, claimed it as fact and have refused to address your lies when they have been exposed.

                • Jackal

                  I agree that the paragraph you refer to was worded incorrectly…

                  Twenty-two edits were made under the new user name in an attempt to whitewash her Wikipedia history. In one deleted entry Bowie even seems to lament that she didn’t use a different user name in the first place, so as to surreptitiously edit Judith Collins’ Wikipedia page without people realising she was associated with the Minister.

                  What I believed at the time was that the user name change from Jc press sec to Polkad0t was made to try and hide Rachael Bowie’s connection with Judith Collins. I subsequently based this paragraph on that belief. Calling me a liar for this just makes you look like a troll The Conformist, a troll with a vested interest.

                  Then you got really confused…

                  I was under the impression that Judith Collins’ office had only edited her Wikipedia article, not David Bains’ Wikipedia article as well. You will note that I have addressed this issue here.

                  Thanks for highlighting these problems TC, but this isn’t about me, or Roger Brooking’s for that matter. It’s about Judith Collins whitewashing Wikipedia.

                  Being that this is a serious issue, I have sent an OIA request to Judith Collins to try and find out exactly what paragraphs were removed from Wikipedia by the Minister, her associates or her employees.

                  I’m still waiting for an explanation as to why you believe the time frame means Clarke43 isn’t associated with the Minister?

                • felix

                  “Nope not true either. She can’t cover her tracks and the name change was made openly. In fact she replaced the photo in her first edit and then her very second edit she declared a COI:”

                  I think what you’re missing about this whole name-change business is that while to a seasoned expert long-time wiki editor such as yourself it’s all out in the open, to a casual observer “Polkad0t” as a username looks quite different to “jc press sec”.

                  In my opinion, it is very strange behaviour for a press secretary, editing in a work capacity, to change their name from one which lets people know what their role and interests are to one that doesn’t.

                  And, importantly, just because this is easily seen through by someone like yourself doesn’t mean she didn’t think it was a way to conceal her capacity. And frankly I can’t think of any other reason for such an odd name-change other than a misguided attempt at discretion. Can you?

                  It’s possible that upon realising the transparent nature of the name-change, controversial edits were done under an entirely different handle anyway.

                  Anyway, the details are interesting only to a few of us. Maybe not even to me actually. The problem for Collins is that it just doesn’t smell right, it smells like smoke, and where there’s smoke there’s fire.

                  And explaining that the fire is under control, and that they had a hose on site, and that they checked the wind first…. well we all know what Collins’ PR team say about “explaining”, don’t we?

  5. aerobubble 5

    David Bain served over a decade at her Majesties pleasure,
    and there’s no amount of money that can return that
    time to him. He never plead guilty. The Privy Council
    found his first trial to be unfair. He was found not
    guilty at his second retrial. Are we now as a country
    supposed to assume that people who fight for justice
    and win, are still guilty as. And the corollary, that those
    found guilt, are innocent as, because that what it means
    to doubt the ability of the courts to do Justice.

    And what gives, asking a man whose nephew, he believes,
    is a murderer because he obviously can’t bear the thought
    it wasn’t his brothers son, but his brother instead. Its
    a real shame because the more close he was with his brother
    the more likely he would know but also the more likely he
    wouldn’t want to think it either of his brother, or his nephew.
    I mean isn’t bad enough that a close family relative is a
    mass murderer? Which guzumps which? Victim of a
    tragedy or close relative of a mass murdering criminal?
    But what bets me, is why anyone would want more attention
    for the name Bain, and not want compensation and closure for
    his nephew whatever he feels. Saying it very definitely, and
    very deliberately, that he’s not ashamed a member of his
    family is a mass murderer, but that it wasn’t his brother,
    just comes across as very strange. But then it was a strange
    family by all accounts. Its the mark, surely of a man, that they
    can doubt themself; Robin Bains brother has no doubts despite
    the Privy Council, despite the retrial, despite the decade in jail,
    David Bain must broach no consideration…

    • tricledrown 5.1

      aerobubble another conspiracy theory predictable!
      Look on the website justice for Robin Bain !
      You will find the T shirt that David was taken to hospital in ,the fresh blood stains all over that T shirt are from Stephen Bain.
      The fresh blood skin and hair found under the fingernails of Stephen Bain are all Davids no one elses!
      The soap powder box in the laundry had fresh blood from Stephen and David,s finger prints embedded in the blood!
      As Robin Bains brother said Binnie’s report was incredulous!
      i agree I have read the report and find that Binnie asked a series of leading questions of David when David could not answer or answered incorrectly Judge Binnie put words in his mouth!
      judge Binnie is a judge not an investigator!
      Aerobubble before you make up another conspiracy theory or copy others check your facts read the Binnie interviews and read and look at the evidence put forward at the first trial!
      Its available on the Justice for Robin website!
      Their is a mountain of evidence against David which was thrown away by police as they though that after the first appeal to the privy council was the end of the road for David!
      its on record or we would not have the photos of the scratches on Robins fingers that look like he’s been doing some light metal work without gloves ,I do a lot of roofing repair work in my job and have similar scratch cuts on my finger not quiet parallel not very deep!
      The scratches on Robins hands and fingers were looked at extensively by police during the investigation of the Murders and found to be older than several days as healing had progressed.
      While all the scratches and bruises on David were found to be fresh!
      A fresh piece of skin was found in Stephens bedroom slightly larger than a 10 cent piece it was found to be from a wound that David had sustained on the in side of his leg matching Davids DNA ,DNA does not lie!
      If Robin had used the gun and the cartridge bullet holder their would be finger prints on it! only Davids were found on the bullets cartridges and gun!
      Finally the socks that David had changed into he thought wouldn’t have any blood on them and he had committed the perfect crime!Not so blood was found on the souls of these socks and blood and brain particles were found on the top part of the foot part of these socks ,the pattern of the way this blood and brain particles was spread over the socks was the same as that sprayed over the room which mean David was behind the curtain in the computer alcove with his feet sticking out underneath the curtain.
      Hearsay evidence was aloud in court in the second trial but not allowed in the first!
      The paper run rape scenario and th e girl who visited the sister in the house and was told that David stalked the house with his gun intimidating everybody was not allowed but the hearsay of a shop keeper who was owed money by a girl who a prostitute was allowed!
      Her drug addicted pimp had 2 chances to front in court but never showed

      • aerobubble 5.1.1

        Those who have looked at this rightly saw the first trial as faulty, the retrial exonerated David. Now however Davids uncle likes it, he is either the brother of a murderer, the uncle to one, or some combination of self-defense and insanity. The idea that Davids Uncle can be so definitive despite the exoneration at the second trial says more about him than about what happened on that dastardly morning. Our justice system requires that the innocent go free, and if that means the odd murder gets off, or even gets compensation, I think its a small price, and a quite nature one considering that we humans tend to muddy stuff. So what eats me is how a man whose brother family imploded in a mass murder has the gall to make definitive verdicts, it just smacks that the family culture isn’t all that given to compassion, self-doubt, tolerance, or moving on. What person wishes so ill of their relative that they would argue against compensation, its not like compensation would bring back a decade of jail. What a weird family.

  6. Daveosaurus 6

    This attempt to ‘out’ Clarke43 is deeply creepy behaviour on the part of the Herald, no doubt egged on by the vandal * and spammer ** Brooking.

    * Seriously. His behaviour was no better than if he’d walked down a main road scraping “Judith Collins is an evil bitch!” into cars’ paintwork with a ten cent coin: that it’s correct isn’t the issue, it’s that doing so is damaging people’s property. Inserting the sort of grossly defamatory content he was inserting into Wikipedia articles was no better, and in serious breach of Wikipedia’s ‘biographies of living persons’ policy, which is much stronger than defamation laws require. The aim at Wikipedia is to build up a neutral encyclopaedia, while the sort of bullshit Brooking was writing was more appropriate for a fact-free zone such as Whale Oil.

    ** Many of his edits included advertising for a self-published ‘book’ he was selling.

    • Jackal 6.1

      ‘Grossly defamatory content’ like the two paragraphs Roger Brooking’s wrote that I have referenced above Daveosaurus? That’s not defamatory, that’s factual information that people should know about. Brooking has written about actual notable events that occurred and therefore should be recorded in Wikipedia. If Judith Collins doesn’t like people keeping a record that makes her look bad, then perhaps she should simply stop acting badly?

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    2 weeks ago
  • Domestic Violence – some advice for the media
    For the purpose of this piece, I’m going to use Domestic Violence (DV) as a proxy for intimate partner violence. DV is not isolated to physical abuse in a relationship between people with the same power. DV is a pattern of ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    3 weeks ago
  • Leroy’s New Paw Prints
    Leroy, an Auckland great dane recently received a new 3D printed bionic leg after cancer was discovered. I think this is a fantastic story and highlights the real potential of additive manufacturing, or 3D printing Leroy’s prosthetic was printed in titanium and was ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    3 weeks ago