Coddington: exposing secret agendas = bad, attacking sex victims = meh

Written By: - Date published: 3:17 pm, January 17th, 2010 - 28 comments
Categories: activism, spin - Tags: ,

Deborah Coddington, former ACT MP and author of the filthy racist article “Asian Angst: Is it time to send some back?” that killed North & South’s reputation, waffles on about ‘snitches’ in her Herald on Sunday article.

Coddington says snitching – informing the public or the authorities when someone is doing something bad or illegal in secret – is wrong. Good people, it seems, turn a blind eye and let people keep their dirty secrets even if it is in the public interest to know. Her piece purports to be about Cameron Slater’s violation of suppression orders put in place to protect sex abuse victims to get his 15 minutes of fame. In fact, she spends half the article attacking Kees Keizer, whose secret recordings of senior Nats revealed their secret agenda before the 2008 election.

Coddington writes of Keizer: “the pre-2008 election snitch who bluffed his way into National’s cocktail party and secretly taped senior MPs’ conversations before giving them to TV3 news. He justified his snitching as his own form of journalism (laugh? I almost started); and said it was in the name of democracy”. Keizer actually said “This is certainly in the public interest, it certainly enhances our democracy by having what politicians say in private have to come out in public, especially if it concerns policies that are good for ordinary New Zealanders, like Working for Families and Kiwibank.”.

Coddington coninues: “Keizer sashayed around the cocktail party pretending to be a National supporter, without informing anyone the conversations were actually interviews that would be made public.” Yeah, I think the point was to find out what they were hiding from the public. Would have rather undermined the exercise to let the Nats know, eh, Deborah?

The truth is, of course, that Coddington, like many on the right, knew all about National’s secret agenda and had kept the secret from the voting public without a moral twinge. They’re still fuming over the way Keizer managed to expose and undermine the secret agenda. National’s polling fell 5% on the back of the initial wave of tapes (the ones where English talks of “sorting out” Working for Families and says Kiwibank will be sold “eventually, but not now”, Lockwood Smith talks of “bloody dead fish you have to swallow” in order to do “some useful things that way that may not be policy right now”). John Key was forced to guarantee no asset sales in the first term to arrest the slide.

The sad thing is that having been so damning of a man who brought to light the secret agenda of a major political party that was trying to slip into government while keeping the public ignorant of its true plans, Coddington can’t even bring herself to make a judgment on Slater’s behaviour. Here’s a man who is simply trying to get more media coverage to fill a void within his on persona and doesn’t mind hurting the victims of sexual crime to do it, yet all Coddington can do is shrug her shoulders.

28 comments on “Coddington: exposing secret agendas = bad, attacking sex victims = meh”

  1. But Deborah Coddington is the NICE former ACT MP – if mainly for her support of the Yes Vote. Can’t you go after one of the less respectable ones?

  2. Pascal's bookie 2

    God that piece is a mess.

    Snitches come in many forms. Every evening when it gets dark our little cat appears at the veranda door miaowing loudly and persistently. She’s snitching. If I go out, I will find the dog (deliberately, I think) has left some of her eggy dinner for a hungry hedgehog to enjoy.

    Kitty takes exception to the local Mrs Tiggywinkle helping herself to the labrador’s leftovers, so, just because she can, scurries around and tells tales. For the good of the farmyard, or course. Much like that malicious duck in the film Babe that unnecessarily informed the pig he was ultimately going to be eaten.

    While I’m pretty sure that coddingwallops preferred version of Babe, sans snitching duck, would have been a pretty shit kids movie; and much as I enjoy the image of dear Deborah cursing said duck as she realises that she is not going to get to see the pig slaughtered and eaten, it seems harsh to call the duck a dirty snitch. I don’t really see what duty the duck owes to the farmer with regard to not letting the pig in on the picture, as it were.

    Also, there is the weird and sadly all too typical claim that politicians should be assumed to be off the record if they don’t explicitly state that they are on it. This is precisely, fucked.

  3. Jenny 3

    No condemnation by Coddington of Crusher Collins use of the cover of parliament, to read from the personal files on the circumstances of two beneficiaries, who displeased her.

    One standard for the rich and powerful, no respect at all for the dignity of anyone else.

    Talk about a double standard.

    But it is about what you would expect, coming from this class warrior for the rich and privileged.

    • BLiP 3.1

      That would be Basher Bennett.

      Remember her background? The battling Westie solo mum who pulled herself up by the bootstraps using the Training Incentive Allowance only to cancel the very same allowance for those following behind? The same woman who, moments after entering parliament and receiving her first pay, organised a female National Ltd® MPs shoe shopping expedition that required the shop to stay open after hours especially for them. Despite her new found position she seems still to suffer an internal lack of self worth as demonstrated by her brutal and gauche nouveau riche disdain for those in the same predicament she scratched and clawed her way out of. Crusher Collins is of the same ilk, only her inner nastiness is directed towards the storing of humans beings in shipping containers. As an odd turn of fate, interesting to note that among those human beings will be the father of Basher Bennett’s grandchild. What a wonderful role model he will become after a few years in a container, eh?

      Oooops – am I speaking out of school Ms Coddington?

      • Herodotus 3.1.1

        Is CBennet not in the same boat as those MPs who after getting a “free” degree then passed on course fees of 25% (I think this is where they stand)? No wonder many who have politicial afficilations forget history, or is somehow this example different?

        • BLiP 3.1.1.1

          I remember the day Minister of Education Lockwood Smith came to Victoria University campus and had “writ in stone” that National Ltd® would not have student loans.

          At the moment my task is to oppose National Ltd®, but you can betchya socks that when Labour is back in power I will have no hesitation in pointing out its many and varied flaws; until then . . .

      • prism 3.1.2

        Sounds grim when you spell out the facts like this blip. Ain’t that the truth!

  4. Herodotus 4

    “Lockwood Smith talks of “bloody dead fish you have to swallow’ in order to do “some useful things that way that may not be policy right now’).” And anyone out there believe that the same statement does not apply to ALL otyher parties. A bit of a beatup. If the public should be informed of what politicians reallythink, should not their personnel diaries be releaved to all? If nothing else would make interesting bedtime readings, and take Dan Brown off the best sellers in NZ !!

  5. Anne 5

    @ Jenny.
    Can’t recall the case involving Crusher Collins, but Basher Bennett is still under investigation for releasing the financial details of two women on the DPB who displeased her. I doubt whether Ms Coddington had anything to say about that case either.

  6. Jenny 6

    Oops I meant Bennett. These right wing politicians just seem so inter-changeable.

    Still seriously. No excuses for not checking my facts, before running off at the keypad. Please accept my mea culpa everyone.

  7. Brett 7

    Would it have been acceptable if a National activist went into a Labour conference, taped Labour politicians talking about the electoral finance act or supporting banning smacking?

    • felix 7.1

      Why not?

      If they were saying something different in private to what they were saying in public then I’d like to know.

      The Nats were. Kees showed that. Now we know how the Nats really think when they think they’re alone.

      You gotta problem with that?

      • QoT 7.1.1

        If they were saying something different in private to what they were saying in public then I’d like to know.

        Could not agree more. Of course, I’m a split-voter and not particularly enamoured of Labour at the moment, so to answer the obvious question: and I would agree no matter what party it was.

        If politicians of *any* stripe are saying one thing to their mates at after-Conference drinks and another to the public of New Zealand, I want to know, and I think a hell of a lot of voters would too.

        • felix 7.1.1.1

          and I would agree no matter what party it was.

          I’ll go one extra more and note that I’m actually more interested if it’s a party I’m considering voting for.

    • lprent 7.2

      Brett: That has happened. At conference – about 2005 from memory.

      Basically politicians shouldn’t say anything in private that the wouldn’t say in public.

  8. Anne 8

    @ Brett

    Actually clever dick, I recall somebody did exactly that! I remember the TV footage.

    It was a Labour Congress (conference ) that was held in Wellington. The person entered a room where a meeting for delegates only was taking place and recorded the
    discussion. I think the subject was indeed the EFA, or a related matter, and former president Mike Williams came under fire for some comments he made. It occurred shortly before the Nat. conference cocktail affair and, by the way, the culprit in that instance wasn’t a Labour Party activist. It sounded good though didn’t it.

  9. Brett 9

    Fair enough.
    The two examples I gave were obviously not spur of the moment policies.
    Labour would have known both policies would be particularly unpalatable to their core voters especially the anti smacking legislation, so kudos to Labour for managing to keep these both under the radar.

    • DeeDub 9.1

      Brett, you will of course recall that National voted for the ‘antismacking legislation’ as well. And that it was Green Party, not Labour policy.

    • Herodotus 9.2

      Are you not forgetting Helen Clark interview with Bob McCroskrie, where there was to me outright misrep of the Labour position, and you are willing top give kudos for this “management”
      We have a crap media, poor responses to corrospondance from MP’s (Ruth Dyson, some donot even bother to reply,from my experience Chester Burrows & J K)
      Then there is he likes of Red Alert with the covering note that “What you’ll read are the individual opinions of MPs” so there is an out there.
      And finally there is the protection of any statement from spin drs. How are we to find out? There are not many out here that take anytime to just skim a topic let alone delve into any depth.

  10. What I find absolutely astounding is the fact that so many pro-National people are prepared to overlook such an expose of a deceitful modus operandi, when they would completely condemn it in other parties.

    Doesn’t National trust the voters to make an informed decision about their policies vis-a-vis Labours, Greens etc, in an open and frank debate?

    We might slag off the far-right (i.e. ACT, BRT) here but at least those two organisations have the integrity to outline their preferred policy platform. Certainly, with regards to Section 59 Amendment, it may have been disingenous to not state a public position by Labour, but this doesn’t even rate in comparison to a whole political-economy whiteout by National.

    The irony of the whole situation is perhaps best represented by the fact that Labour itself publically offered the most difference from the 2005-08 government, and National seemingly won on a me-too political-economy policy front, yet at the same time, claiming Labour was terribly unpopular with the punters. If ipso facto, so unpopular, why copy?

  11. jcuknz 11

    Anyone with a modicum of common sense knows that individuals can have different concepts of what should be done than what the collective wisdom of the party machine stands for. So if they make off the cuff comments one would hope that it is not blandished around as ‘secret policy’.but rather personal opinions. How does any party advance or degrade, how you like to think about it, unless individuals can float ideas at party meetings for support or rejection..

    It was sneaky and undesirable what Mr Keizer did and it takes a fair and reasonable person to understand this and not try to make politcal capital out of it. On the other hand I think every support should be given to whistle blowers raising awareness of ‘wrong doers’ … but FCS surely expressing a personal opinion is not a ‘wrong doing’ Every heard of the free speech principle?

    • Marty G 11.1

      senior Nat party MPs talking about their party’s ambitions is not ‘expressing a personal opinion’ , it is revealing National policy.

      captcha: reported

    • prism 11.2

      jcuknz
      Sneaky and undesirable, is your term for repeating private conversations of a political nature. But the voters and citizens have to resort to this like listening at doors by children, to try and gauge the truth of expressed policy and direction versus the PR lies and obfuscations and possible secret agendas.
      We can’t afford to be simple-minded trusting fools as we were lulled by Muldoon’s strong (tyrranical) leadership to the 1984 rescue at sea with the ship and too many lives lost.

  12. jcuknz 12

    Some of you need to get to terms with our form of government …. we have had an MMP elected government for sometime now which in its purest terms means that the old solid party vote should have gone out of the door and parties and individuals vote for measures which they think are good, irrespective of who originated the idea. The fact that National sold out the majority of voters on the measure DeeDub quotes is another matter.

    • Pascal's bookie 12.1

      Nope. MMP means parties recieve party votes. There is more reason for whipping under MMP than FPP as voters are explicitly voting for a party.

  13. Tigger 13

    This has the same stink of the whole ‘protestors should just shut up and go away’ vibe that appears to be making the rounds. Make no mistake, under National anyone who doesn’t tow the line, or keep their mouths shut, isn’t welcome anymore. Of course, that sort of nonsense bullying only makes some of us shout louder and longer…

  14. Patrick 14

    What is Deborah Coddington’s problem with asian immigrants? Asian women are hot.

    Ever since 1987, when the immigration rules were relaxed, New Zealand has had more good looking women due to the influx of asians.

    I have noticed many white women resent asian women, due to sexual competition. Maybe that explains Coddington’s article.

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