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Dirty Politics: The preface

Written By: - Date published: 9:17 pm, August 13th, 2014 - 57 comments
Categories: blogs, David Farrar, national - Tags: , ,

I do so want to read this book right now. The preface is online… http://dirtypoliticsnz.com

Some weeks later, out of the blue, I received a package: an 8-gigabyte USB digital storage device, the contents of which appeared to have originated from the attack on Slater’s website. On the USB were thousands of documents that revealed different parts of the National Party attack politics, a subject that until then had largely been a matter of speculation and denial. This was very different from my usual sources and investigations – I have not used this type of source before – but I believe not a single major news organisation in the country would turn down such fascinating and important material. Supplemented by some National Party sources, it has allowed stories to be told that the public has a right to know. I had no part in obtaining the material and I cannot say anything else about its origins.

The information that arrived on the USB consisted of thousands of pages of conversations on Facebook and by e-mail between Slater and his closest political associates: Jason Ede from the prime minister’s office, close friend and Cabinet minister Judith Collins, strategy consultant to National MPs Simon Lusk, Slater and Lusk’s apprentice Jordan Williams, their close collaborator David Farrar and a network of right-wing bloggers. There were also PR people such as Carrick Graham. It was clear that these materials were only a fraction of Slater’s documents, but they give a vivid picture of his and his colleagues’ activities. The project was suddenly much wider and more important than just the Whale Oil blog.

Important issues surround the use of leaked communications. First, everyone has the right to keep their communications private and there must be a very high public interest to justify publishing them. In this case, I believe most readers will agree that the materials raise very serious matters of political accountability, relating directly to the prime minister and other senior government ministers. They show a continuous collaboration between the prime minister’s office, bloggers and sympathetic media to arrange attacks on National’s opponents and to influence elections. This differs from the story and face presented by the National Party to the public and helps to explain much about what is wrong with contemporary politics.          On the other hand, there was also a considerable amount of very personal information about relationships and other subjects, where the right to privacy outweighs any public interest. This material has not been included in the book and will not be passed to others. The fact that Slater and his associates have made a career of exposing the very private details of other people’s lives does not make it right to do that to them.

 

57 comments on “Dirty Politics: The preface”

  1. WOOF 1

    It’s a dog eat dog world out there. 🙂

  2. Weepus beard 2

    The last sentence immediately places Nicky Hager several levels of morality above Cameron Slater.

  3. ropata 3

    Even the preface is a shocking catalogue of misdeeds. The book itself must be pretty explosive

  4. Grumpy 4

    So we hate the GCSB because they might look at our emails and breach our privacy but we are overjoyed to publish stolen emails if it suits us?

    • ropata 4.1

      Ahh what. These aren’t personal emails dumbfuck. They are part of a dirty tricks campaign to screw political opponents. Read the link on the OP

      • David H 4.1.1

        He can’t read that. His rose coloured, National Party filtered, glass lenses, will just turn it all into random anti Labour phrases.

    • weka 4.2

      Why do some people trust Hager more than the GCSB?

      Who gets to determine public good? Or right to privacy?

      Did you actually read what Hager wrote about using leaked emails? What did you comprehend?

    • Weepus beard 4.3

      Ridiculous argument. One is a prime minister using taxpayer funded intelligence agencies against political opponents, the other is outing the the practice for the public good.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 4.4

      Jason Ede’s emails belong to us in the first place.

    • Grumpy 4.5

      So now it’s OK for the GCSB to hack all Standard authors and commenters private emails and publish them?
      Supporting privacy is a bit like being slightly pregnant – either you are or you aren’t.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 4.5.1

        Do you understand what the public interest is?

        Criminals get their communications intercepted all the time. The criminals in the National Party are going down like John Banks 😀

      • lprent 4.5.2

        So when we see Slater in prison for his criminal behaviour, you may have a point. Since we don’t then you don’t.

      • trickledrown 4.5.3

        Grumpy I am having a snicker at your expense your spin is disingenuous their is a big difference between a govt dept in charged with spying and a blogger’s information released by an pissed of member of the public who was angry with Slaters nasty comments about their friends death on the west coast!
        Now Slater has been found to make similar comments about poor people in ChCh who lost their homes!
        defending the in defendable Grumpy!
        Me thinks you protest to much!
        This Exposure has more to come over the next few weeks as Nicky Hager release,s emails .
        the Intimidation by the right has begun more dirty tricks to cover up the existing dirty tricks enough to make any Nactional activist very Grumpy!

    • Tracey 4.6

      hang on, do you think it is ok IF the PM’s office got hold of classified documents from the SIS, to use them against a leader of another party?

  5. ianmac 5

    A great summary.

  6. karol 6

    Interesting footnote about the Blomfield case.

    • Cancerman 6.1

      Will be interesting if the party that hacked the emails was to become exposed.

      • weka 6.1.1

        Interesting if the people that stole Blomfield’s computer and filing cabinet containing personal and business files and gave them to Slater to use publically in his usual nasty way were exposed.

  7. Pete 7

    I’d love to see Slater threaten a defamation action. The pre-trial discovery process would be glorious.

  8. Tom Jackson 8

    If the court rules Slater a journalist after all this crap, they’ll be a laughing stock.

    • Nick K 8.1

      Hager is not a journalist either. Journalists check their allegations. Hager hasn’t done that. He claims Rodney Hide was blackmailed. Did he ring Hide to check that or ask him before printing it? No. he just prints it as if it’s true. Journalist? Meh.

      • weka 8.1.1

        Bingo! “haven’t read it”.

      • Draco T Bastard 8.1.2

        Two things:

        1. Hager is a journalist who thoroughly checks and
        2. There’s at least 12 chapters detailing the apparent corruption of the National Party

        Your delusional rant can’t change any of that.

      • Lantahnide 8.1.3

        Obviously he could not ask Hide about it, because he was keeping the book a secret as much as possible.

        He said he has verified some parts of it with various people aligned with National, but obviously he would have had to have done this in a circumspect way.

  9. ropata 9

    Just the author’s precis of the contents is shocking enough… I shudder to think what other filthy tricks Hager has uncovered, and what OTHER abuses of power have this dysfunctional government been covering up?

    Quote:


    The chapters that follow will describe the origins and then the many facets of the covert attack machine run by the National Party and its allies. They include persistent attacks on Labour Party politicians, attacks that consciously set out to distract, wear down or demoralise them rather than trying to debate issues or win a political argument; orchestrated attacks on potential coalition partners; repeated searches for sexual scandal and other ‘dirt’ to use for political purposes; and supposedly independent ‘issue’ campaigns actually run by National Party figures to advance the party’s interests. Within the party there was concerted manipulation of National’s candidate selection processes.

    The attacks are heightened by the routine use of extreme and mocking language. Environmentalists are green Taliban. Almost everyone on the left of politics is a liar and a hypocrite. An environment is created and encouraged where anonymous commenters on blogs and news sites join in the attacks, competing with each other in abuse and ugly personal insults. It is more like political warfare than a debate of ideas and beliefs.

    The book begins by setting the scene and introducing the bloggers who became a political force only after the period covered by The Hollow Men. Then the serious material begins: the continuous close ties between the prime minister’s office and the attack dogs, the role of Judith Collins and the inside story of the political issues and campaigns that they manipulated – layer upon layer of hidden activities and dirty politics.

    • AmaKiwi 9.1

      Tonight National’s spin doctors are burning the midnight oil. Is their critically injured patient terminal?

      Can they use the medications that worked in the past: “I don’t remember, can’t recall, have no recollection of that, blah, blah.”

      Can they convince the public Nicky Hager is an undercover Taliban agent who has sex with retarded children and buys cute little puppies at the pet store so he can eat them alive?

      In Christchurch Dotcom led a chant, “Extradite John Key.” Do we have an extradition treaty with Hawaii?

    • emergency mike 9.2

      And the Cunliffe ‘Tricky’ meme quietly disappears…

  10. Rodel 10

    Looking forward to the film.

  11. SPC 11

    The Paul Henry show dismissal was a three pronged one

    Questioning – Is there any single detail that is the decisive smoking gun? If not, the question left is … is there too much hype …

    Editorial afterwards – saying there is equivalence between to using leaked emails exposing corrupt practices and hacking other people emails to gather dirt on them for political advantage.

    Independent reviewer, a fast reader who had read it twice – saying there is little in it that is new to those within the beltway, and the general public people should not buy it just borrow one from someone else (so few will have read this before the election).

    • Tracey 11.1

      dont buy it, cos we dont want it sitting above John Key’s face on the best seller lists…

  12. SPC 12

    My concern is:

    If someone is hacking the emails of political parties and their MP’s etc, they could be doing so for the purpose of blackmail as well as for political advantage (dirt collection).

    This is ultimately a potential security risk, so what does the SIS know about this activity/targeting of politicians and those involved?

    If they knew the PM was connected to one of the participants and there was a political partnership between the two would they presume there was no security concern and just look the other way?

    If they did not know, then there is a potential security risk when this can occur without their knowledge.

    The security problem resulting from turning a blind eye is that foreign interests can infiltrate these political “gangs” for their own purposes – and independently seek to blackmail those vulnerable to this.

  13. Mike 13

    So whats new? Cunliffe has Presland aka Micky Savage, John Key has Slater!

    • dave 13.1

      whats new is there criminals breaking in other politicals partys computers thats whats new

    • Tracey 13.2

      what’s new is it appears (havent read the book) that the PM or his office used classified SIS documentation to attack the leader of another party. that sir, if true, is an abuse of power in a democracy

  14. Stuart Munro 14

    In the meantime, why not run a sweepstake on Slater’s location?

    Different sources place him in:

    Fiji
    Korea
    Israel
    Hiding under his mum’s couch

    Sooner or later even a whale has to come up for air…

  15. Clean_power 15

    A very poor performance by Nicky Hager with Hosking this morning.
    He was hesitant and unable to answer the main point: it is OK to hack when people like him do it, not when Slater does it. Very unconvincing by Hagar.

    • karol 15.1

      Keep telling yourself that. It’ll make you feel better and avoid facing what is to follow.

    • Roflcopter 15.2

      So Hager admits, on Hoskings interview, that nothing in his book is verified… hilarious.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 15.2.1

        😆 Do you need your blankie?

        • Roflcopter 15.2.1.1

          hehehee, nah, just a box of tissues to wipe the tears of laughter from my eyes 😀

          • One Anonymous Bloke 15.2.1.1.1

            Yes, I’m sure your opinion will carry the day.

            If John Key wishes to avoid being labelled the Richard Nixon of New Zealand politics, he is going to have to do more than deny knowledge of what was going on in a neighbouring office. The same applies to any attempt to denigrate Hager – as Key did on Tuesday – by describing him as a “screaming left-wing conspiracy theorist”. The left-wing bit is correct. But no one has ever produced the evidence to question the veracity of the content of Hager’s books.

            In short, Hager is credible. It is thus Key’s credibility against Hager’s.

            The outcome of that showdown may not turn the election.

            The book, however, potentially has huge ramifications for National’s campaign and how the party portrays its figurehead. If Key did not know of the alleged dirty tricks being concocted in close proximity to him, then that raises questions about how loose and lax are the management, discipline and ethics under which the Prime Minister’s office functions.

            If the Prime Minister did know and did nothing about it, then he is skating on very thin ice.

            John Armstrong. My bold.

            • David H 15.2.1.1.1.1

              And Joyce defending Key and National, first question asked. “Did you read the book”? Answer “No, I got better things to do an a Wednesday evening” Yer what? and here we go again. Unable to read the book. Because the National party, rose tinted glass lenses, only let in Anti Labour slogans from 2011.

      • Tracey 15.2.2

        Are you saying cameron Slater made it all up and was fantasising in his emails?

    • lprent 15.3

      Umm so what you are saying is that Slater and Ede should have been convicted and tossed in prison for extracting information from the NZLP’s computer? That his use of copies of information from Blomfield’s computers should have resulted in long prison sentences?

      I agree! However the police have set a really low bar.

      So I guess you are saying that there is one standard for arsecracks like Slater and one for everyone else? That figures, you always are a hypocrite.

    • Tracey 15.4

      what hager hasnt published is telling, and separates him,in some way from Mr Slater.

      Was that Hoskings main point, not the alleged misuse and abuse of PM and/or pm office power by misusing SIS classified documentation against another politician?

  16. redfred 16

    Interesting lack of legal threats of defamation from either Key, Ede, Slater, or Collins. Hagers and the publishers lawyers would have been very rigorous in there inspection of the evidence.

    My guess is Ede will be on a plane today… OZ or somewhere further away; otherwise he is going to chucked under the bus by Key as the fall guy.

    This shit is going to stick, I’m hoping Hager is holding something back as a coup de grace.
    Or is that going to be left to Dotcom?

    Who is going to make the complaint to the police first regarding the Prime Ministers Office accessing the Labour Partys computers illegally?

  17. redfred 17

    There is hope

    Collins has to go if she has been found to move a prisoner at Salters behest…. OIAs away!

    ” a prisoner was moved to a remote prison who ended up attempting suicide because Slater’s mate didn’t want his daughter visiting the inmate”

    Bye bye Judith

    good riddance

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