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Granny gulled by National and Brethren spin

Written By: - Date published: 4:32 pm, November 15th, 2007 - 58 comments
Categories: brethren, election funding, Media - Tags: , ,

Granny Herald wants to run a campaign against the Electoral Finance Bill when it doesn’t understand the Electoral Act. Worse, because it doesn’t understand the Act it makes assertions that are neither true to the law or in line with the facts. So it keeps repeating National and Brethren spin.

One example is in yesterday’s editorial which says “The law also forbids others from publishing material that declares support for a candidate or party without their authorisation, lest it breach their spending limit.” What the law actually says is that “No person shall publish … any advertisement… which encourages or persuades or appears to encourage or persuade voters to vote for a party or candidate”.

Granny goes on: “The Brethren took care that theirs did not expressly support National while it attacked Labour.” This repeats the same misunderstanding of the law that Brash used in his defence – “encourage or persuade” does not need to be express in order to be captured by the law. Granny doesn’t understand the law.

Not only that the Herald’s facts are wrong. The Brethren showed draft pamphlets to the Chief Electoral Office when they were seeking advice as to how to run their $1.2million campaign in support of Brash and National without having it attributed to National.

One of these had blue ticks, similar to those used by National. The Electoral office advised that these were in a grey area and were probably captured by the Act, and care shoud be taken to avoid these grey areas. The Brethren did not take careful note of this advice and went ahead with the blue ticks which the Chief Electoral Officer decided were in support of National and referred to the Police.

Then National denied they knew about the campaign which we now know was also not true. Had this truth come out earlier than the publication of the Hollow Men the Brethren’s $1.2million would have been attriutable to National, and put it well over its limit.

New Zealand does have a highly regulated system, with low spending caps compared to other countries. We do not have political parties spending huge amounts of money as they do in Australia, Great Britain and the US where there are no limits on what can be spent to buy votes. If the Herald believes that money is not important in election campaigns, this is clearly not a view shared in those countries.

It is therefore even more important in our tightly regulated system that relatively significant amounts of money, half as much as National’s legal limit in this case, are not available under the counter to one party as was the case in the last election. It is this sort of rort that does need to stop; this is why the Electoral Finance Bill is needed.

58 comments on “Granny gulled by National and Brethren spin ”

  1. Camryn 1

    “We do not have political parties spending huge amounts of money as they do in Australia, Great Britain and the US where there are no limits on what can be spent to buy votes. If the Herald believes that money is not important in election campaigns, this is clearly not a view shared in those countries.”

    So the fact that they DON’T limit it means they think it IS important? Just like we don’t limit… say… blinking, because of the huge importance of limiting blinking? Doesn’t make sense.

    I will argue the opposite. How about they don’t think that money makes a huge difference, so it’s not worth the hassle of trying to limit free speech and come up with a bureaucratic and politically exploitable regime to generate some kind of poorly defined ‘equal speech’?

  2. Robinsod 3

    That’s what I love about you DPF claws you get some news and you come running to us first – it’s the glint of excited in your little eyes that I like best. Nice work on TV3 this morning too bro but maybe you need to work on your delivery a bit if you’re gonna stand for parliament.

  3. milo 4

    Thoughtful and interesting post John A (Lee). Leaving aside the rights and wrongs of the last election, the fundametnal problem with the EFB is that it seems like a continuation of the rorts, rather than a correction of them. Many independent commentators have expressed a similar view.

    When National proposed benefits cuts, 4 National MP’s crossed the floor. I’ll be interested to see whether any Labour MP’s will cross the floor to vote against legislation they must know to be wrong. Especially interested in the light of your blogging name.

  4. Robinsod 5

    milo – in light of the select committee changes can you lay out your problems with this bill for me?

  5. Santa Claws 6

    Well, Robespierre, once again it seems that the esteemed authors here won’t post on anything that isn’t supporting The Party.

    Despite it being obvious that DBP and now Anderton have been doing dodgy dealings with public service staff, it now appears that being a Labour party apparatchik is a prime qualification for contact employment. Surprise surprise!

  6. Robinsod 7

    Really DPF claws? Not at all like how you scored the exclusive polling contract for National?

  7. milo 8

    I’d like to Robinsod. But there is no select committe report on this matter on the parliament website. The parliament website says that it is still currently before the select committee.

    Can you point me towards the select committee report? A link would be appreciated.

  8. burt 9

    Keep shooting the messenger guys, it’s classic Labour party behaviour.

    Herald Bad – Standard Good !

  9. Robinsod 10

    Milo – You’re going to have to wait until Monday. Sorry, I got a bit ahead of myself there.

  10. Robinsod 11

    Burt – you’ve come back! I was worried you’d been picked up DIC and were languishing in a dark cell somewhere in our broken down court system!

  11. Monty 12

    If the Bill is such a good idea then surely lickspittle Government Departments such as Ministry of Justice would support it and Labour would release the official papers – but no – yet more deception and deceit and delay tactics from this arrogant and corrupt government. Question time in the house today was frustrating as Labour sought to lie about why the were not releasing the papers from the Ministry of Justice.

    This from Scoop …..

    Labour is suppressing the release of official papers behind the controversial Electoral Finance Bill.

    The public is entitled to see the advice that the Ministry of Justice has given the Government on these election finance changes. The Ministry is the Government’s key adviser on constitutional and electoral matters.

    If these internal reports were full of glowing praise for this bill, then you can bet the Government would have released every single page in a shot.

    But Labour is suppressing the official advice received by the Minister of Justice.

    The papers must be damning in their criticism of Labour’s attack on democratic values. Why else would they be delaying their release?”

  12. milo 13

    Fair enough Robinsod. I’ll look forward to debating the outcome. At the moment we seem to have management by leak and unofficial comment as usual. The latest seems to be:
    – Government departments will be exempt.
    – (Outcry)
    – Government departments will err on the side of caution.
    – (Outcry)
    – Government departments will not be exempt.

    To somebody like me, this smacks suspiciously of “We’ll get away with whatever we can.” In other words, it is a party political continuation of the rorts, not a cross-party correction of them.

  13. Leftie 14

    A generic National Party post containing all rightie typical catchphrases:


    What, do you guys get a template given to you where you simply fill the blanks? You missed out Helengrad and Liarbour.

  14. Robinsod 15

    Milo – the govt department thing is a red herring. Anyone who believes there is political interference in this spend is buying into the “big govenment” paranoia of the right. The real issue will be third party spending regulations, definition of advertising, anonymous donations and the official campaign period. My predictions are:

    Third party regulations that focus on party-aligned campaigns and leave issues campaigns to their own devices (probably modeled on a slightly tighter version of the current rules surrounding party spent and what needs to be deemed “party authorised”)

    The definition of advertising will probably exclude electronic campaigning and advertising below a certain cost threshold

    What’s been leaked about anonymous donations is accurate.

    The campaign period will be extended to the full year but spending caps will be lifted slightly to account for this.

    Feel free to call me on anything I get wrong on Monday but I reckon this’s how it’ll play out.

  15. The Prophet 16

    The main thing is, once this bill is passed, to turn attention onto the Greens. They have supported this the whole way through and if they fail to reach the magic number next Nov, Labour are toast.

    Forget taking Labour on face to face, aim for the Achilles.

    (captcha – vegetarian watch)

  16. Robinsod 17

    Question time in the house today was frustrating as Labour sought to lie about why the were not releasing the papers from the Ministry of Justice.

    Are you frustrated Monty? You could always try wanking. It won’t really make you go blind (and that’s not the only lie your mum told you). Go on monty – it’ll make you feel calmer and it’s better than spraying your vile lickspittle juice over the pages of the standard. For true bro.

    Oh and big ups to dad for inventing “lickspittle juice” – I’ve always though lickspittle described the little righties who suck up to big brother tory better than it describes the average progressive lefty. Transference issues?

  17. Monty 18

    yes Leftie – but address the question – but why should this lying bunch of socialist pricks refain from producing the MoJ papers if they talk about transperancy? surely in that case they should release the papers?
    What are they hiding?

  18. Robinsod 19

    The Profit – I think the problem you’ll face is once the bill’s passed nobody will notice anything different apart from a few vested interests. And there ain’t gonna be a massive grassroots campaign to fight for corporate interests’ right to donate large sums of dosh anonymously. Well, there might be but I’ll be bloody surprised if there are.

  19. burt 20


    Burt – you’ve come back! I was worried you’d been picked up DIC and were languishing in a dark cell somewhere in our broken down court system!

    Keep shooting the messenger Robinsod. That would be the broken down court system that Labour has been breaking down for eight years to try and rescue itself from the acute embarrassment of such an over crowded prison system.

    Hey you haven’t been denigrating John Key much in the last few days.

    Let me guess it’s because the nasty nasty Herald has been very very naughty and has been your current obsession?

  20. milo 21

    Robinsod: I don’t think the facts bear you out on government expenditure. Just look at government advertising last election year. And consider the fact that it was up about 20% in an election year. These seem to me to be incontrovertible obstacles to your argument.

    I still have a huge problem about the period. I can see the motivation to capture things like the National party billboards, but frankly the cure is worse than the disease.

    I also have huge problems about allowing Parlimentary expenditure, yet banning third party expenditure above a certain limit. To be fair, I can understand the Labour party being defensive about parliamentary expenditure in the climate of genearl rorts of the last election. But if you take a longer view, DPF is actually right on this: it is a huge subsidy for incumbents (National as well as Labour), while challengers are enormously disadvantaged. As such, it is fundamentally un-democratic.

    And here is another acid test: how would the protests over the Terrorism arrests have been treated next year … ????

    That is why I have grave concerns about the bill, and why I find it regretable that the Government has chosen to make this an issue of political management rather than genuine consultation. To me, it is an enormous failure of trust.

  21. Leftie 22

    Ah shit I don’t know, first I heard about it. You talk like I am inside the beehive. What’s the hurry?
    You mean as transparent as a National Party policy release?

  22. Robinsod 23

    Milo – the terrorism protests targeted an issue, not a party. I’d say that will be an important litmus test in the revised bill. As for teh govt spend? It was higher in election year and higher the year after that – it’s constantly increasing due to increased advertising prices and, more importantly, a continual increase in public services that need advertising. I’d expect the spend will fall in National gets in and services and entitlements contract.

    Burt – I was making a joke about the court system by ironically aping your rhetoric. Then I remembered you’re too dumb to understand irony. What a waste.

  23. burt 24


    I see you have your own Wiki page.

    I might add your “Burt – you’ve come back! I was worried you’d been picked up DIC” comment to this page to enhance the examples.

    Still – this is the blog for being harshly discredited if your don’t join the “here here” echo chamber.

  24. Robinsod 25

    Burt – well done but don’t you constantly mock Rogernome for posting wiki references? Seems a bit hollow bro.

  25. ak 26

    You’re on to it Leftie. Reliable inside sources tell me there’s a quota system with rewards for top Natword poster – works a bit like scrabble. e.g. 20 “corrupts” in any 5-day period gets a gold star, five gold stars gets you an autographed Key-ring (get it?) with a snippet of Nick Smith’s nose hair set in resin.

    “Lickspittle” scores highest of course – the current holder of the D4J trophy (the D-cup) used fourteen lickspittles, ten Liarbores, six corrupts and eight assorted Helengrads, deceptions and hypocrisies in one 24-hour period and narrowly squeezed out burt with ten bold retrospective validations and six socialists in an hour.

    Bonus points are awarded for alliteration: eg “lying lazy lickspittle Liarbour louts” scores double a mere “arrogant corrupt socialist feminazi thugs”; although “Natword-Multi” combinations such as “scum-sucking syphilitic circle-jerking dog-dorkers desperately dildoing depraved dykes” could put you in for a night out with Jerry Brownlee or even Ruth Richardson (in season).

    Monty is showing promising form for a Natword novice: nice work there Mont, leading with a good old lickspitttle followed by a very classy “deception and deceit and delay”. Fell away a bit in the latter stages, but a good start. Keep on practising, but don’t forget to warm up first: Natwording is very hard on the wrists.

  26. ak 27

    Burty’s back! Maaaate, what’s happened to your grammar? I can almost understand you now! Nice to hear hear from you again.
    (Hey burt – here boy, here boy – nip over to whaleoils site and smell the fear – gwarn boy, gwarn, gittem burt, gittem!)

  27. Leftie 28

    Yup you nailed it. Thanks for that – a good laugh and very applicable.

    Wouldn’t it be easier to write “the Labour Party” or “the government”
    It’s not like they need to throw in descriptive words to make up a 200 word essay.

  28. milo 29

    Robinsod – but an issue on which a party had taken a position. But I think we agree – it is a litmus test. So we’ll see. I might be sluggish posting next week, but I hope we can continue our interesting debate.

    ak – you are hereby awarded the inaugural Slim Shady award for the fusion of hip hop and political invective. Outstanding achievement!

  29. burt 30


    Burt – well done but don’t you constantly mock Rogernome for posting wiki references? Seems a bit hollow bro.

    Yes, guilt by association, it’s covered in the Ad hominem link.


    You are more the Association fallacy kind a guy. This link was found on the Ad hominem page I linked to earlier for Robinsod.

    You are both gold – don’t stop.

  30. burt 31


    No: I’m not constantly mocking roger nome for using Wiki links.

    Nome’s problem is he argues the logic of the link, fails and/or deviates in his interpretation of the logic and/or facts. Then he won’t give up his source (the Wiki link) till “his” argument has already been shot to hell.

    Primarily a notion that “Labour are always good” and “National are always bad” (a bit like my good mate Rob Owen) usually isn’t helping how he delivers his thoughts.

    Although I must say that roger is making progress recently. Sometimes it’s “National are bad and Labour are not as bad as National”. I think a few more months of full time blog therapy and he’ll be ready to return to productive employment.

  31. r0b 32

    “Still – this is the blog for being harshly discredited if your don’t join the “here here” echo chamber.”

    Burt my dear, if you take a look recent threads I think you’ll see some good examples of dissenting views treated with respect. Now compare and contrast with the level of humanity displayed in the Kiwibog thread on Phillida Bunkle. Or DPF making fun of Karen Carpenter. Really Burt, take a good look at the company that you keep.

  32. Matthew Pilott 33

    Burt, we’re not such great fans of the Labour Good/National Bad theme. It lacks the dashing eloquence of D4J’s Lickspittlicious posts.

    I’m not sure of the regime, but there’s word out there that you might be docked points for it – lacks imagination, y’see.

    Functions the same (avoids the need for any form of valid argument) but we’re after style – it’s not like we’re getting substance!! 😉

  33. Spam 34

    Milo – the terrorism protests targeted an issue, not a party.

    Well, “Helen Clark, Terrorist” is an ‘issue’, but because she is also the leader of a party, isn’t it a grey area?

  34. Santa Claws 35

    “treated with respect”

    You mean shouted down, or told to F off?

    Get real.

  35. PhilBest 36


    “the govt department thing is a red herring. Anyone who believes there is political interference in this spend is buying into the “big govenment” paranoia of the right.”

    So you can tell by looking at the EB leaflets, who they were designed to support, but no-one could tell that about the pledge card, or about Health Dept “information” telling us how much the Labour Government has done for “our” health? Orwellian, mate.

    “I think the problem you’ll face is once the bill’s passed nobody will notice anything different apart from a few vested interests. And there ain’t gonna be a massive grassroots campaign to fight for corporate interests’ right to donate large sums of dosh anonymously. Well, there might be but I’ll be bloody surprised if there are.”

    Is National in favour of anonymous donations and Labour against? DOH. There ain’t gonna be a massive grassroots campaign to fight for corporate interests rights to donate large sums of dosh anonymously, and in fact there’s never been “large sums” of corporate dosh donated in NZ politics. The unions and other backers of Labour have always been relatively in the hunt on this score. Its not as if they’re outspent ten to one or anything remotely like that.

    The “vested interests” you and Labours backers are using as an excuse consist of seven small businessmen who belong to an unpopular minority. A lawnmower and chainsaw shop owner, an office fitout guy, a hydraulic fittings maker……..BLOW YA MIND. Where’s the deep dark plot in cahoots with Fay Richwhite?

    Bloody leftwing propaganda, just like all those dirt-poor “capitalist” “enemies of the State” that those outstanding lefties, Pol Pot and V. Lenin had to deal with so their utopia could proceed, eh?

  36. Spam 37

    And of course, its not like the Labour government gives taxpayer money to the unions, who then give donations in the form of campaigning to the Labour party?

    Nice little ‘churn’, isn’t it?

  37. Robinsod 38

    DPF Claws – Fuck off (that should give you the victim-fix you’re after)

    Spam – I recently looked at development money put out for a forestry union/industry initiative. From memory the two unions that represent about 8000 forestry workers got $170,000 whie the companies involved (some of whom have dontated to Labour and National) recieved about $7m.

    You’re talking out your arse mate.

    PhilBest – I see you’re using the “seven small businessmen” meme again – you’re off message mate the Nats gave up trying to rehabilitate the brethren’s image around the same time the child sex prosecutions came up.

  38. Spam 39

    Spam – I recently looked at development money put out for a forestry union/industry initiative. From memory the two unions that represent about 8000 forestry workers got $170,000 whie the companies involved (some of whom have dontated to Labour and National) recieved about $7m.

    So are you denying that unions get money from the labour government, and that unions advertise on behalf of labour?

    Thought not.

  39. PhilBest 40

    Robinsod you guys are at the exact moral level of J.Goebbels with your lies about the “Super Rich” plot involving the “very wealthy” exclusive brethren. Your mates in the media did a sustained beat up and all they could give us was the lawnmower and chainsaw shop owner, an office fitout guy, a hydraulic fittings maker..BLOW YA PUNY SOCIALIST MIND, WILL YA?

    If there was Fay Richwhite money involved, the brethren haters in the media would have dug it up. We’re NEVER gonna see any scrutiny of the ethics of any of their lefty mates in the unions or other funders of the Labour Party though.

    Some Japanese official went to Germany in the late 1930’s (before WW2) to sign the various agreements and when he was asked what he thought of Naziism, he said “its magnificent, but we can’t do it in Japan because we have no Jews”. Some Venezuelan would probably say today that they couldn’t do anything like Our Dear Leader’s electoral reform, because they have no Exclusive Brethren.

    We’re seeing the dirty true colours of the left end of the political spectrum in NZ now. Here’s wishing it blows up right in your smarmy, hypocritical faces.

  40. Nih 41

    You’re not a very nice person, are you?

  41. The Prophet 42

    Watch it Phil – Nih will call you a cocksucker or some other complement to show what a well balanced and nice person he is.

    Funnily enough Nih has no problem with his frwend Robinsod (one of the moderators on this site)saying –

    the Nats gave up trying to rehabilitate the brethren’s image around the same time the child sex prosecutions came up.

    But you Phil are not a very nice person.

    I’m sure it makes perfect sense to nih, just not anyone else.

  42. Nih 43

    Don’t be such a cocksucker Prophet.

  43. Nih 44

    Oh I suppose I should be serious for a moment.

    It looks to me like the comment you’re vilifying Robinsod for is perfectly reasonable. Don’t tell me you’re put aside the wellbeing of children to side with people who were prosecuted for paedophilia. All for some perceived tiny foothold in a political battle you’re not part of, to support a party who you think represents your sociopathic view of the world.

    Think of the children, Prophet. Put aside the delusions of godliness for a moment and be normal. Don’t support a party that turned a blind eye to children’s suffering and honest governance for the sake of money.

  44. the sprout 45

    nih there you go again, assuming they’re sane and all.

  45. Robinsod 46

    frwend Robinsod (one of the moderators on this site)saying

    I’m not sure what’s more funny – this muppet’s misspelling of “friend” (in a “nice but dim” accent) or the fact the dude thought I was a moderator just ‘cos I put it into my posting name. I mean how do you argue with these folk at any level when they don’t even get the lowest form of humour?? I’d give up in despair if I wasn’t so smallminded as to enjoy shooting fish etc…

  46. Nih 47

    If Robinsod WAS a moderator he’d be piping me all your IP addresses so I could perform satanic rituals with them.

    [Robinsod says: Shhh! Don’t even joke about that, they’ll find out!]

  47. Robinsod (moderator) 48

    Jeez Nih – you know we need their hair to do that properly…

  48. r0b 49

    “Robinsod you guys are at the exact moral level of J.Goebbels”

    OK, so, Friday night, everyone went off to the pub, and left the doors wide open. And now we have a new troll infestation. Well that’s just great guys ‘n gals. Sheesh. Lock up next time will ya?

  49. Robinsod (moderator) 50

    I’m interested to know how this fella figured out I ‘m the “exact” moral level of blah blah blah. I’m assuming he’s got some kind of moral level ruler or other measuring device. I wonder if it’s in cm or inches ?

  50. The Prophet 51

    Poor old Robinsod, He’s so busy pissing out of the tent that when he gets pissed on himself, he just thinks its raining.

    Nih – Stick with the games bro, at least you’ve got a chance of winning them.

  51. the sprout 52

    i don’t think “frwend” was a typo, i think he’s trying to sound like DPF.

  52. thomas 53

    The Sprout
    I think I enjoy you thoughtful, clever and damn funny comments more then any others.

    Its a shame to have use snatch to drive up your ratings You shouldn’t need to

  53. the sprout 54

    thomas i agree about the snatchploitation… blame it on the tabloid bean

  54. Nih 55

    Nih – Stick with the games bro, at least you’ve got a chance of winning them.

    So you’re saying politics is not a door that’s open to me, by your decree?

    What a fucking fascist. This is exactly what’s wrong with you political sociopaths. Good think you’re a minuscule minority in an otherwise normal population.

    Oh and fuck off back to your 3bags account. Stop adding rows to the database.

  55. The Prophet 56

    Nih bub bub

    I’m just saying that by your anger and fake fruit problems you appear to be one of life’s loser’s and that maybe you’re better off sticking with video games that you actually have a chance of winning.

    No need to bite my head off


  56. Nih 57

    What rubbish. Your only goal by being here is to put the boot into everyone. You’re still a fascist who wishes he was the only one with a vote.

  57. the sprout 58

    Profit, no need to be blaming others for your predicament. your head wasn’t bitten off, it’s clearly always been that small.

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