Du Plessis-Allan jumps the shark

Written By: - Date published: 9:59 am, March 18th, 2018 - 87 comments
Categories: David Farrar, jacinda ardern, labour, Media, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags: , ,

My morning coffee was spoilt by doing something that I immediately regretted.  Reading Heather Du Plessis-Allan’s latest article, or as it is known colloquially, click bait, was something I should have prepared myself for.

It contains the sort of analysis that I would normally expect from Cameron Slater.  Even David Farrar has standards sufficient to not sink to these levels although he may prove me wrong.

For hot on the heels of her discovery that Chris Bishop’s social media difficulties were the result of a cunning attack by labour comes this earth shattering discovery, that there is a power struggle under way in the Labour Party and Jacinda is being targeted.

Her reasoning is this:

Labour HQ says its reason for keeping the incident secret from the Prime Minister was to protect the young alleged victims. They say they didn’t want the 16-year-olds further traumatised by fearing the story was spreading.

I don’t buy that.

Firstly, the 16-year-olds didn’t need to know Ardern was told.

Secondly, regardless of whether you believe Labour was trying to protect the kids — or protect itself by covering up the story — there is one obvious point at which the Prime Minister definitely needed to know. That point was when the Labour Party bosses knew the story was about to hit the media.

At that point, Ardern should have been told. The Labour suits should have realised how Ardern would look when confronted by media who knew more than she did. At best she looked like her own party won’t trust her with top secret information. At worst it looked like her own party is scheming against her.

They should have protected her. But they didn’t. Why?

In my view, there may be a power battle going on inside Labour most of us aren’t aware of. I wasn’t aware of it until I stumbled across it last year. It became so fascinating that I wrote an 11,000-word thesis about it at university.

The battle in my view is between party president Nigel Haworth and the Prime Minister.

In the Labour Party, the party president has as much power as the Prime Minister. This is one of the quirks of the party. The president has enough power to force Labour MPs to follow his instructions by passing party rules.

When MPs get badly out of line, the president’s part of the party deals with the discipline. Not the Prime Minister.

In my view, Haworth may have asserted himself as party president. He knows how much power he has, and he’s putting some of it to use.

Of course the party hierachy should have breached any understandings of confidentiality and told all and sundry.  And it is interesting that in Heather’s world breaching confidences is fine as long as no one finds out.  The fact that this issue is being politically weaponised because Jacinda did not know about it speaks volumes of those trying to keep the story running.

Anyone who knows Nigel Haworth would laugh at the assertion that he is engaged in some sort of power play with Ardern.  And the claim is clearly completely devoid of those things which should be a requirement before pontificating publicly, those things being facts.

And there has been this attempt to equate this with Ponygate and Todd Barclay’s Muller’s arguably illegal use of a recording device not to mention one or two other incidents involving MPs engaging in behaviour which probably did not meet the probity test.  The general secretary making an arguably incorrect call on how to treat the disclosure is not the same as engaging in behaviour that is at least morally offensive.

87 comments on “Du Plessis-Allan jumps the shark”

  1. Anne 1

    I start the ball rolling by repeating an altered comment I made on today’s O.P.

    After a week of hissy fits and histrionics unparalleled in NZ political history over a sexual harassment case that occurred within the ranks of the Labour Party, I present two articles which have appeared in the NZ Herald.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12013364

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12013908

    The first is a well written editorial… reasoned and captures the true essence of the matter.

    The second reads like it was produced by a 10 year old… is full of made up bullshit and whacky theories fit for an 18th century science fiction drama.

    Edit: and the thing that gobsmacks me most of all… none of the media protagonists who have indulged in the hysteria have given even half a thought to the distress they must have caused the young victims of this case.

    • newsense 1.1

      Yep, hypocritical spleen of the rump of the Tory press machine. NZHerald needs to go through more of a revamp. Just hiring Simon Wilson doesn’t balance out all your other commentators.

      • patricia bremner 1.1.1

        Simon who has cancer? That Simon Wilson? Nice guy, horrible situation for him.

    • clare 1.2

      indeed,

      whatever they felt about it those young people have now been used as ammunition in a political attack that is nothing to do with them and has completely ignored their feelings and rights.

    • Michelle 1.3

      You are so right Anne the young people are being used for political fodder the party shit stirring don’t really care about these young people. We need to remember in our country a 16 year old can get contraceptive, have an abortion, have sex. work and pay taxes and get married all they can’t do is legally drink alcohol and vote. They are not children they are young adults. Now there is no excuse for this type of behavior but when we still have court judges in our country that still blame women for wearing skimpy clothing saying this encourages rape etc what do you expect ?

  2. Ad 2

    PM is defending, explaining, rotating.

    PM needs to attack, clean it, repair.

    • mickysavage 2.1

      According to conventional rules of political battle but do you really think this is hurting Ardern? Believe me I have no time for the general secretary but cries for his head seem to be somewhat excessive.

      • Ad 2.1.1

        Agree it’s excessive.

        Regrets.

        Now fire him.

        • ropata 2.1.1.1

          And cause another media stink over unfair dismissal. Are you a Nat mole?

        • Psycho Milt 2.1.1.2

          Now fire him.

          Firing him would effectively declare that all the bullshit spouted by right-wing pundits over the last two weeks was an accurate portrayal of events.

          • Ad 2.1.1.2.1

            It would.

            The Prime Minister would then have to eat it for a while.
            Another cost of doing business when you have to play the janitor when no other damn person in the Party is prepared to do it.
            Key fired people for less – particularly early on – and the caucus got stronger and stronger for 6 years.

            They learned.

            So then the alternative history is this:

            The media keep getting drip-fed stories and innuendo for months, which corrodes the confidence of the public in the Prime Minister … which is, dare we be reminded, the only reason we have this government in place.

            • tracey 2.1.1.2.1.1

              Ad

              Can you remind us who key fired early on?

              • Ad

                Remember that nitwit in housing?
                Heatley? Something to do with a hamburger?

              • Barfly

                Richard Worth?

                • That one’s probably worth a look as a comparison test. In that case, a National Party cabinet minister was sexually harrassing people and engaging in behaviour sufficiently bad for the victim to lay a complaint with the Police. The incident HdPA is frothing about pales in comparison.

                  Key did as Ad recommends and sacked Worth (well, gave him the choice between resigning and being sacked, which is effectively the same thing) and it did indeed protect National from having the details of the incidents made public. But is anyone here proud that Key’s political skills enabled him to put the lid on one of his cabinet ministers being a serial sexual harrasser (at the very least) and avoid any consequences from it?

                  • Akldnut

                    Yes Key acted as soon as he found out about Mike Sabin and sacked him thereby saving us millions by not having to have a by-election after the 2013 General Election.
                    I see clearly that HDA covered that one with the same critical gusto and impartiality as this case

                  • tracey

                    And with respectvto Worth. His behaviour was well known when Key made him a Junior Minister

              • Incognito

                Jason Ede? Where is Jason Ede?

          • stigie 2.1.1.2.2

            Helen would have fired him right away, why he isn’t being fired now is that the PM did possibly know about this early on in the piece and tried to shut it down.

            • tracey 2.1.1.2.2.1

              Please list the number of Presidents and MPs Clark fired.

              I mean Williams absolutely stuffed up the “we have something on Key” thing and stayed on

        • DoublePlusGood 2.1.1.3

          Sorry, why are we firing someone who did their job properly?

          • stigie 2.1.1.3.1

            Keeping it from the kids parents is not doing your job properly.

            “You’re fired”

            • Matthew Whitehead 2.1.1.3.1.1

              Incorrect, keeping confidentiality is best practice in this situation if your goal is to minimize any additional harm, and they should only have supported survivors in telling their parents with their consent. Talk to a survivor’s group to confirm, or listen to HELP’s interview on RNZ.

              What Kirton failed on was making sure the support they offered initially was available and that they maintained contact with the survivors in case they asked for additional support to what they initially requested.

            • tracey 2.1.1.3.1.2

              Do not take advice from Collins.

              She doesnt ( apparently)

              Understand conflict of interest despite being a tax lawyer
              Know that leaking private information to a blogger leading to an innocent man getting death threats is wrong
              Know that as a Cabinet Minister you shouldnt use your power to help your husband
              Know that bullying the police to fudge statistics is wrong

              Care about children? Collins would eat them if she thought it would advance her interests

            • Michelle 2.1.1.3.1.3

              They are not kids stigie they are young adults when they go to family planning they don’t ring us up and say by the way your daughter came today and got contraceptive its a no no ( privacy)

        • Stuart Munro 2.1.1.4

          REDUNDANT, adj. Superfluous; needless; _de trop_.

          The Sultan said: “There’s evidence abundant.
          To prove this unbelieving dog redundant.”
          To whom the Grand Vizier, with mien impressive,
          Replied: “His head, at least, appears excessive.”

          ~ Bierce

        • cleangreen 2.1.1.5

          Ad has some merit but here is what I think is going on now.

          https://thedailyblog.co.nz/2018/03/18/tv-review-qa-jacinda-under-omnishambles-pressure-the-madness-of-the-greens/

          Yes Jacinda was naive here.

          She was ignorant as we see that the National Party has already got their own “operatives” inside her cabinet now as Shane jones (who jioned the National Government as a Pacific Island representative years ago,) has already showed us this.

          We now see when Jacinda is busy signing off TPP or giving money to other countries the national Party “black ops” will strike to damage her.

          My advice to her now is; she needs to take a firm control so all her ministers must step up while she is “absent here”.

          But Jacinda now needs to get real and re-organise her cabinet soon!!!!!

          Because her ministers like Shane jones ” are now failing her sadly as Shane Jones is an arrogant man that will not meet the community groups and pushes his often right wing policies now since his Gisborne “fuck-up speech “when he said “I have not seen any support for rail”!!!!!!!!!

          Is he an idiot??????

          Our community has for a very long time been calling for Winston Peters policy to re-open our rail to be adopted by this labour NZF coalition!!!!!!
          But Shane Jones is appearing to be deaf it seems, and so far is unresponsive to our repeated requests to his office to meet us but still wont meet with us on this.

          Then now National are attacking Ron Marks to now also for using a helicopter so yes right wing attacks are abundant now so jacinda watch your back now.

          Shane Jones needs to be ‘sorted’ by Jacinda now.

      • RedLogix 2.1.2

        It’s 2018 mickey …. women do whatever the fuck they want.

  3. Pat 3

    ‘The government is in disarray!’

    If nothing else the current (and previously employed) strategy of the National Party is exposing its fifth column and cast of useful idiots….sadly, it is effective for a portion a the electorate and has the added ‘bonus’ of repulsing many from political engagement.

    The only effective counter is to get on and improve things for enough of the public to enable re election.

    • Pat 3.1

      P.S.
      …and console ourselves with the knowledge that the Herald will likely disappear from our lives in the not too distant future.

      • Michelle 3.1.1

        agree 100% with Pat also we can see why it wouldn’t be in our best interest for the dom and the herald to join forces, that would be double jeopardy. We know full well who our media favour and during election time the gnats get free lobbying and advertising courtesy of the herald and mediaworks.

  4. red-blooded 4

    I thought the discussion on Media Watch this morning was reasonably balanced. They don’t seem to have a link up – maybe later?

  5. newsense 5

    You say it was the kind of analysis that you would expect from Cameron Slater. Remember that time when there was a bizarrely partisan or some odd column that ran briefly under Heather’s name and then was posted under a different name?

    Anyway this is the headline news on the NZherald site and proof that, as they keep publishing Mike Hosking that they are the official National party opinion site. Did David Cunliffe help a constituent? Don’t apologise after, just don’t be partisan hacks in the first place.

  6. Sparky 6

    Putting all of this aside a better question to address to Labour is do they still think they are a party of the left? After all like it or not its leftist voters who hold the real balance of power.

  7. It was Todd *Barclay* (not Muller) rumoured to have been secretly recording his staff and then Bill English subsequently helping him out by text bombing her and then quietly sweeping things under the rug, and deleting evidence.

    Also why is the media hunting this story instead of
    a) NZDF lies about Afghanistan
    b) The division of NZ into property owners vs renters that is effectively apartheid
    c) a Chinese company stealing Christchurch’s water supply and bottling it for sale

    [Right you are. Corrected – MS]

    • Venezia 7.1

      Exactly my thinking Ropata.

    • dukeofurl 7.2

      Was more than a ‘rumour’. Bill Englishs statement to police had him saying Barclay told him about recordings and asked him if ‘he wanted to listen to it’

    • Michelle 7.3

      what about Indian brides being abused and no qualified builders on Auckland sites with illegal immigrants found a huge immigration scam. Partly due to the gnats education policies that opened the flood gates and them interfering with market polices to drive down our wages.

      • Philg 7.3.1

        And isn’t it the responsibility of the owner to ensure that their house builders are competent in building a non leaky house, lest it should leak down the track?

  8. Baba Yaga 8

    “Of course the party hierachy should have breached any understandings of confidentiality and told all and sundry.”

    The PM is not ‘all and sundry’. She should have been told. On the other hand, HDPA’s turning this into some internal power play within Labour is total nonsense.

    • dukeofurl 8.1

      She is generating a ‘lead’ that can be followed up with more news stories during the week.
      Wait for the inevitable question to Ardern about a power struggle. Its nonsense but thats how stupid ideas become mainstream- someone has to be a useful idiot

      • Babayaga 8.1.1

        It should only gain traction if there is more to the story than HDPA’s ramblings. Emphasis on SHOULD. Unfortunately baseless innuendo can create a backstory that gains traction.

        • dukeofurl 8.1.1.1

          Yes . Too strange . HPDA isnt even a member of the Press gallery, thats the people who do follow what people are saying around parliament.

          • Incognito 8.1.1.1.1

            Hubby is a Life Member of the Press Gallery. They are still married, aren’t they?

  9. patricia bremner 9

    This is a useful distraction National supporters have used and Duplicity Allen to spread it further.

    In few articles do they mention the well being of the youngsters concerned, as that seems of no concern to them.

    Each time the story is repeated with more details, real and imagined. Now a “Witness” who is talking to the Herald but not the Police?

    The idea of a “split” in the Labour ranks is because National and Duplicity Allen can’t imagine not telling everyone and sundry. So, that is why Jacinda Ardern wasn’t told?
    Really???

    IMO Labour should not talk of it anymore, except to say “the police are looking into it, and we will await the inquiry findings at this juncture, as we have done what the law allows and it is out of our hands now.”

  10. Incognito 10

    So, HDPA wrote a university thesis on ABBA (all-bu-but-Ardern)? Given that she has repeatedly demonstrated that she cannot distinguish fact from fiction and cannot separate personal bias from critical & logical thinking I doubt that she passed with a high thesis grade. Then again, one can always become a tabloid writer for NZH …

  11. JM 11

    “Of course the party hierachy should have breached any understandings of confidentiality and told all and sundry.”

    If the Young Labour adult organisers of the event who kicked out the alleged 20yr old he day after the incident, then agreed not to communicate with police or the victims’ parents – is the communication with Andrew Kirton four days after the incident not a breach of the same confidential understandings they claim for not telling the Prime Minister?

    • dukeofurl 11.1

      So you know personally exactly what level of confidentiality they were promised ?

      Or you ‘have heard’ what they were told ?
      ‘Police and parents’ seems a particular group that werent told.

      • JM 11.1.1

        “So you know personally exactly what level of confidentiality they were promised ?”

        Nope, do you?

        It’s a genuine attempt to understand where the so-called “understandings of confidentiality” lines were drawn and/or breached.

        Seems weird that in the cold-light-of-day after an ugly incident like this, four 16yo victims raised the sexual assault matter with whichever adult organiser(s) were on-site the next morning. If, as has been reported by Kirton, the same victims were NOT keen to disclose the incident to a “wider circle” i.e. parents and police, why was that same adult circle widened to include him FOUR DAYS after the fact. He was clearly NOT one of the adults they confided in on-site.

  12. Tracey 12

    How come John Key could not remember things for 9 years and it was pretty much okee dokee by the media etc, Ardern isn’t told something and the world is ending.

    Constantly forgetting important matters of government and public interest is much worse than not having been told about it at all.

    • dukeofurl 12.1

      Key was very matey with all the commentators, calling them all the time on the phone, offering tips, gossip, spinning stories.
      You name it, but they almost never gave the game away as ‘coming from JKs lips’

  13. JustPassingThrough 13

    Well one instance is not enough to prove a conspiracy as opposed to simple idiocy and incompetence. But if a pattern emerges of Labour party officials dropping the PM in the crap then you have to start to wonder. Correct?

  14. adam 14

    Definition of crass
    1 a : gross 2a; especially : having or indicating such grossness of mind as precludes delicacy and discrimination
    b : being beneath one’s dignity crass concerns of daily life
    c —used as a pejorative intensifier crass flatterycrass propaganda
    2 : guided by or indicative of base or materialistic values crass commercialism crass measures of success
    3: Du Plessis-Allan

  15. Kat 15

    This weekends MSM lead lines:
    “PM made to look like chump”
    “this already weak govt”
    “power struggle in Labour”
    “one of the quirks of the Labour party”
    “Winston Peters out of control”
    “greens do deal with national”
    “Labours honeymoon is over”

    And so the ramping up is ramping up…………..

  16. dev 16

    What a ridiculous thing to say. Why on earth would Haworth want to bring down Jacinda? What purpose would that possibly serve?

    Also, I’m fairly sure he doesn’t unilaterally set rules for the Party and the MPs. Nor does he discipline MPs.

    She has to know that none of this is plausible. I’m kinda curious to have a look at this 11,000 thesis on the Labour Party she wrote. Is it online anywhere?

    • rightly or wrongly 16.1

      Well, thinking hypothetically, say that proposition was correct you would have to ask who would benefit?

      Ardern holds the position as PM and leader of Labour so presumably the conspirators would be either wanting to assume these positions for themselves or for someone they support. (I can’t imagine anyone conspiring to be able to replace her as Minister of Children)

      Given that her public profile is likely the only reason why Labour is in Government it would seem somewhat foolhardy to turf her out.

      I think it is a bit far fetched. The old adage, ‘Never ascribe to malice what can be explained by incompetence’ rings true.

      The only possible credence is whether factions within Labour are crystal ball gazing and are jostling for position in the event that for some reason (medical/life choice) Ardern decides not to return to politics after giving birth.

      In this unlikely eventuality then there would be indeed be ructions around who would replace her and how would this affect the coalition government.

    • Incognito 16.2

      I’m afraid not as only Masters and PhD theses must be deposited in the Auckland University Library. So, unless HDPA makes her Honours thesis publically available it will be lost to mankind.

      At first, I was also interested in her thesis but I’ve now changed my mind; I can do better things with my time than reading 11,000 words written by HDPA – I even refuse to read her tabloids in the NZ Herald.

  17. Pete 17

    I too have a thesis. It doesn’t run to 11,000 words, only 51.

    “Opinions are neither right nor wrong but merely personal views and the act of them being published is no measure of their value, sense or reasonableness.

    Many of the nearly five million people in New Zealand are old enough to have opinions. Heather Du Plessis-Allan is just one of those.”

    • AB 17.1

      Pete
      Could I please add another 19 words?
      “And there is no reason why her opinions should be published in preference to yours, mine or anyone else’s”

    • Carolyn_Nth 17.2

      ex- Auckland University students statements:

      Heather du Plessis-Allan, Journalist

      “I loved studying Political Science so much so that other subjects were dull by comparison. I loaded my degree with as many Political Studies papers as I could find that would give me not only a major, but also a minor and a third subject. That turned out to be a good choice because it was while studying politics that I finally decided on a career in the media. I believe my study of media politics has given me the skills to analyse and question not only my stories but also my industry. When I’m writing a story I find that one of my yard sticks is whether my former lecturers would approve.”

      Oh dear.

    • tracey 17.3

      I heard another version of this

      Opinions are like arseholes. We all have one.

  18. mikeyapples 18

    Totally sick of opinion pieces by her and Hoskings being given literally top of the page placement over news. Surely this transparent click bait/bias is grounds for a press standards complaint. Any advice out there? I am sick of this shit in the Herald and would love to stick them up one over this crap.

    • tc 18.1

      Exactly and wtf is Curran through all of this dirty politics 2.0.

      Thought she was tasked with toughening this space up, its not too hard if you mandate such words as OPINION and ADVERTISING as bold headings for non factual pieces.

      These shills need bells around their necks for the sheeples benefit to assist in digesting an owned media.

      • tracey 18.1.1

        Are you advocating censorship? Surely all Curran coukd do is speed up funding into public broadcasting? Mind you they could reintroducing the Charter?

        • tc 18.1.1.1

          I’m advocating that factual pieces are identifiable so any errors in them can be pursued.

          If it’s a rant opinion piece, advertorial, postulation then it should state as much so it can be treated as such i.e. non factual.

          Public broadcasting is a part of the clean up however you ignore this type of deliberate positioning , casually passed an item off as if it’s factual, at your peril if truth’s a valued commodity.

          • Wensleydale 18.1.1.1.1

            So anything authored by Hosking, Hawkesby, Soper or du-Plessis Allan would be tagged ‘hyperbolic nonsense’, ‘delusional conspiracy theory’ or ‘further evidence of profound mental illness and/or the abuse of psychotropic drugs’?

      • Carolyn_Nth 18.1.2

        Curran appointed a digital advisory group this week. Some on the left that don’t rate Curran that much, were pleasantly surprised by the line up.

        Clare Curran announced the first eight members of the Digital Economy and Digital Inclusion Advisory Group today.

        “This Government wants to see every New Zealander able to participate fully in our society and it’s clear that our future will be a digital-rich world. The economy and everyday interactions will be increasingly driven or supported by digital technology,” says Ms Curran.

        The government can’t stop and bark at every passing car. Labour did well in managing the Labour Youth camp failings.

        Someone from the government needed to step up about the Operation Burnham lies and cover ups.

  19. Lloyd 19

    Surely this story is the perfect example of a Cambridge Analytica meme. If you haven,t followed this story in The Guardian on-line, I urge you to check it out.

    You might also want to delete your Facebook account while you are cancelling your Herald subscription.

  20. Venezia 20

    Has The Herald exposed the long standing sexual misconduct of Russell McVeagh and other big law firms to this degree? It is interesting that a journalist trained to Honours level can produce such unsubstantiated click bait, ignore the advice given after consultation with sexual abuse support groups, and make opinionated statements about relationships of Labour hierarchy. Would her lecturers approve??

  21. Peter 21

    What I want to know is who finances Du-Plessis-Allen to write her typical nonsense in MSM. Clearly she is someones puppet.

  22. Delia 22

    This column was one of the most childishly written, I think I have read in 48 years of reading newspaper social commentary and that is really saying something.

  23. UpandComer 23

    Why wasn’t Ardern told? If we believe she didn’t know, why wasn’t she told Labour had resided over the sexual assault and intoxication of underage girls, then did nothing except for utter banalities about covering it up ‘for the victims sake?’. Looks like the feminist air has gone out of that particular bilge.

  24. Michelle 24

    she ( Jacinda) could have done a jhonkey and said ‘I cant recall’ many dumb dumb kiwis had no problem with that line

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