Greens go grey

Written By: - Date published: 3:00 pm, May 4th, 2009 - 60 comments
Categories: greens, national, spin - Tags:

I see Russel Norman is now describing Labour’s Mt Albert Candidate, David Shearer, as the “grey” man.

Now I haven’t been around as long as I have without being able to spot a “line” and that is certainly a line, and one of the attack variety.

Thing is, the Greens don’t do lines. And they definitely don’t do attack lines. I’ve spent enough time working with various members of their campaigns and media teams (as well as their parliamentary arm) over the years to know this only too well.

In fact the “grey” man line is exceptionally good framing. In one word it conveys a sense of moral ambiguity, lack of personality, of something just a little bit nebulous and unpleasant. Its cynical genius is beyond the moral or PR capabilities of every Green I know or have known.

But I’ll tell you where I have seen this modus operandi. The National Party.

It may well be that the Greens have had a mini PR revolution and decided to be players. But I find it extremely interesting that they are playing using the same bag of tricks that are National’s hallmarks and are doing so just weeks after signing an MOU with them.

What’s also interesting is that Norman’s attempts to portray Shearer as right-wing (and thus himself as the only “progressive” candidate) also fit uncannily with the Nats’ dirty tricks strategy as rolled out by David Farrar last week which is focused on the idea that Shearer is “Goff’s man” and from the right of the party.

Someone needs to ask the Greens if they have received any PR advice from National and indeed if the two parties have been coordinating their Mt Albert strategy together in any way. I’m picking the nexus is personal discussions between Russel and John/John’s team where Russel comes back and sells their ideas as his own. It won’t be party to party because not one of the senior Greens I know would brook this kind of shit.

60 comments on “Greens go grey”

  1. gingercrush 1

    Oh this post is just going to provide more fodder for the nutters to accuse “The Standard” of being Labour’s pet blog. Have you seen the post by Tim Selwyn in reply to Tane’s post, “Progressive?”

    • Tane 1.1

      Selwyn’s being an idiot. Aside from the usual untruths and the wilful ignorance of my frequent posts attacking Labour, he obviously doesn’t understand my politics.

      I’m from the union left, and I’m a long time Green voter. I’ve handed out flyers for them, banged up their hoardings, stuffed their envelopes, the lot. I’ve written frequent posts supporting Green policy and the Green Party in general. And I’m right fucked off with their recent direction.

      Seems I’m not the only one. In the last week I’ve spoken to four different union officials from three different unions who’ve said to me they’re thinking of quitting the Greens over their current direction.

      • George Darroch 1.1.1

        Please don’t go without a fight.

        There’s still a lot of potential in it as an electoral vehicle. See what you can do at the AGM, talk your concerns through with Bradford and Turei, and other MPs (Locke, Delahunty especially) make your discontent well known. There are some fighters in the party, but parties often need a wakeup call from the grassroots. The ‘organic’ yuppies in the party are trying to co-opt the party for their own romantic upperclass visions, and if no-one stops them they might just succeed.

        And then, if things aren’t turning around leave.

        • Tane 1.1.1.1

          I’m not actually a member – I’ve never been a formal member of a political party, so I won’t be at the AGM.

          It’s a hard time being a leftie at the moment. Labour utterly bereft of vision, the Greens going down some collaborationist dead-end. I think I’ll just stick to independent activism for now.

    • IrishBill 1.2

      I don’t give a fuck what it provides fodder for. I’ve been a Green activist for a long long time and I don’t like what I’m seeing. Neither do a lot of other longstanding Green activists and members.

    • Eddie 1.3

      Irish has always been clear that he supported the Greens. He said he voted for them last time.

      You might not get this gingercrush but it is good and healthy for the base to criticise a party’s leadership when they’re going in the wrong direction. You should try it some time.

      As a Labour supporter I’m worried about where the Greens are heading under Russel Norman. I don’t want to see the Greens slip under 5% but Norman is pushing them that way. He wrecked their activist base when he was a party organiser and now with his deal with National and his nasty, egotistical style of politics he seems to be hell-bent on scaring half of their base support away to Labour just so he can pick up some blue-green votes.

  2. George Darroch 2

    I don’t think this is deliberate. I think that Norman has picked up National’s spin and decided to use it for himself. He genuinely sees his party as further to the left, and given the vacuum of information on Shearer and his apparent closeness to Goff*, has decided that he represents the right wing of Labour.

    Now, this may not be true, and I think this represents overstepping what can be reasonably inferred, but I don’t think it’s any evidence of working with National.

    *Goff is usually seen as being on the right of Labour. Given his leadership so far, it’s hard for me to say much he’s softened, apart from still espousing authoritarian approaches to rights.

    • IrishBill 2.1

      George, I disagree. I’ve heard Russel talk about Key as a nice bloke and someone you can work with. I also know that Key and Taylor are both more than capable of sniffing out a weakness (such as naive vanity) and using it to their own ends.

      I don’t think there’s deliberation from Russel but I think his weakness has allowed the Nats to gear this situation. And they have definitely done so deliberately.

  3. Well done. That must be conspiracy theory of the year.

    Dirty tricks?? I think you’ll find that’s glass house you lot don’t want to be in.

  4. Pat 4

    “I’ve heard Russel talk about Key as a nice bloke and someone you can work with”.

    Absolutely scandalous.

  5. toad 5

    Hey, IB, then why this?

    “Ramming unpopular and poorly consulted legislation through parliament is what the National Party campaigned against just six months ago, so why all the haste on the Super City and RMA reforms, both of which are set to deny ordinary citizens a voice in government?’ Dr Norman asked.

    or this:

    Green Party Co-Leader Dr Russel Norman’s questioning of the Minister for the Environment in Parliament today has revealed that the Minister has flip-flopped on statements he made when in opposition about the impacts of proposed increases in Environment Court fees.

    or this:

    “Councils tell us the changes will involve “huge’ cost to ratepayers,’ said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman, who is on the Local Government and Environment Committee hearing submissions on the Resource Management Act (RMA) amendment bill in Auckland today.

    “The Government’s Bill looks more and more like it will add cost and create confusion,’ said Dr Norman, “when it was intended to simplify and streamline.

    Oh, and by the way, it wasn’t Russel’s idea to stand – he was asked to by Auckland party activists including one with a very strong and long union background, so that puts the lie to some of the mischievous speculation on this thread.

    And, for those who think the Greens might be a little naive in their by-election strategy, just remember that it is being run by largely the same people who ran our election campaign last year. That was praised by most commentators as the best campaign of last year’s election, and helped the Greens increase their vote agaisnt a tide running to the right.

    • r0b 5.1

      Those are some mighty fine press releases Toad. How many people read them?

      Why didn’t Russel use his time on Morning Report, when people were actually listening, to say more of the same, instead of running dishonest attacks against Shearer?

      That was praised by most commentators as the best campaign of last year’s election

      Yes it was, and it was a campaign that was honest, appealed to core Green values, didn’t promote infighting amongst the Left, and actively ruled out supporting National. A great campaign.

      • Dean 5.1.1

        “Those are some mighty fine press releases Toad. How many people read them?”

        About the same number of people who read the H-Fee “scandal” I’d suspect.

        “Yes it was, and it was a campaign that was honest, appealed to core Green values, didn’t promote infighting amongst the Left, and actively ruled out supporting National. A great campaign.”

        I think you’ll find that the way Labour treated the Greens over the last 9 years compared with what they’re getting now then it’d be hard for them to be exactly on good terms with Labour.

        I’m sure Helen had promised them some baubles in return for ruling out National back then – and who could blame them for accepting? They’d been almost the last cab off the rank for 9 years, and they wanted to make some sort of difference.

        Let’s face it, when NZFirst were put higher up than the Greens then you’ve got a pretty unacceptable situation on your hands if you were ever a Green party member.

        Please continue to lecture everyone about solidarity and hating National though. After all, it’s not like that didn’t lose your party the election, did it?

        By the way, how about that nice Mr Field? Was Helen correct when she said he was only guilty of trying to help his constituents?

        • r0b 5.1.1.1

          I’m sure Helen had promised them some baubles in return for ruling out National back then

          That tells us just about all we need to know about your understanding of politics.

          Let’s face it, when NZFirst were put higher up than the Greens then you’ve got a pretty unacceptable situation on your hands if you were ever a Green party member.

          I agree it’s unacceptable, but sadly the voters gave NZF more seats than the Greens.

          By the way, how about that nice Mr Field?

          Nice Mr Field was ejected from the Labour Party. Nice Mr Worth is still in National, surrounded by how many conflicts of interest? I lost count.

          • Dean 5.1.1.1.1

            “Was Helen correct when she said he was only guilty of trying to help his constituents?”

            Still unwilling to answer that one, r0b?

            Yes, Mr Worth needs the heave-ho, too. Fortunately for me I didn’t vote for him or any party currently in government, nor am I a member of any of those parties. I can understand your trepidation in answering it, though. It must be highly embarassing.

          • r0b 5.1.1.1.2

            Ahh Dean, the “man” who likes to drag MPs families through the mud just because the response amuses him, you truly are the lowest form of life I’ve ever met on this blog.

            “Was Helen correct when she said he was only guilty of trying to help his constituents?’ Still unwilling to answer that one, r0b?

            I’ve never been unwilling to answer it Dean. Helen never said that. Why don’t you go away and find out what she actually said, and in what circumstances, and then get back to me…

    • IrishBill 5.2

      I don’t doubt the Greens have a commitment to their policies Toad. It just didn’t take a political mastermind to realise that the MOU and the Mount Albert move would work in National’s favour and do so with a much higher profile than a complaint in a media release.

  6. toad 6

    Oh, and BTW, Russel repeatedly referred to Labour and National as “the grey parties” and as being closer to each other than either are to the Greens through last year’s election campaign, so it’s not a new line at all.

    • Eddie 6.1

      I’ll be a lot happier when Russel starts talking about policy, not this cheap National-style tactic of attacking the man. All he’s doing right now is hurting the Greens’ image in the eyes of lefties who have voted green in the past like my fellow standardistas. That’s a real shame.

      • jerry 6.1.1

        “not this cheap National-style tactic of attacking the man.”

        Ummmm this tactic is employed by National and Labour frequently in the house and during elections they are by far the worst offenders.

  7. The Voice of Reason 7

    Toad, can you date those 3 statements from Russel? Were they pre-MoU? If so, they count for shit. It is his lack of credibility here and now that we are talking about.

    This trotskyist crap about both major parties being more or less the same was rubbish in the thirties when it helped the German National Socialists get elected and it’s rubbish now. At a time when the left needs to broaden its appeal to the voters by acting in unity in opposition in a way that suggests they could act in unity as a government, your leader acts like a sectarian, ego driven tool.

    It’s two and a half years till the next election. The day after is too late to wake up, Toad. Wake up now, FFS and start working toward replacing Key and his mates, not entrenching them. The only difference between the greens and the Maori party is that the MP know how to do a deal. If you’re going to sell out, make sure it involves a ministerial salary, a big car and regular media ops to talk about how your ever expanding arse is going to help the little people one day.

    • George Darroch 7.1

      VOR, they’re all in the last week or so, if you follow the links.

  8. andy 8

    Bugger, National message control = Fail.

    National is holding a meeting in Auckland suburb Mt Albert this evening to select its candidate – but someone in the party has already decided who it is going to be.

    The National Party Mainland Conference agenda lists Mt Albert candidate MP Melissa Lee as a speaker.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10570319

  9. toad 9

    TVoR – they are all post MoU, as you would ahve seen if you’d clicked on the links to the full media releases.

    And I’ve just stumbled across another interesting piece of information – this is the voting record (all readings) of the number of times each party has voted with National in Parliament to date since the Nats took power.

    Act = 19
    United Future = 18
    Maori = 12
    Labour = 9
    Progressive = 7
    Green = 1

    Note: Labour 9, Greens 1.

    Now, who is it that is snuggling up to the Tories, I ask?

    • The Voice of Reason 9.1

      Thanks, Toad and George for the timeline.

      If I was a cynic I’d claim the disparity between his words (press releases) and his actions (MoU, Mt Albert) was further evidence that he shouldn’t be trusted. But we’ll leave the gutter stuff to the others, eh?

  10. Peter 10

    In the last week I’ve spoken to four different union officials from three different unions who’ve said to me they’re thinking of quitting the Greens over their current direction.

    Which just goes to show that the Greens are doing something right, for once.

    Siding with last centuries ideological losers has, after all, got them absolutely nowhere.

  11. Yeh right 11

    last centuries ideological losers?

    err…would that be the ones who are headed by a Merril Lynch man, who with their greed and unfettered self-interested excess have plunged us into international recession?

    Norman is an unprincipled, ambitious Australian prick. He doesn’t seem to really care.

    There has to be a better way to take the party to the centre than to be the Nats Green deflector shield. anyway…the kind of opposition where you don’t really oppose I suppose.

    • Peter 11.1

      Yes.

      Why should the Green Party care if crusty unionists, marxists and other sure-fire vote losers abandon the party?

      They’d rise above 7%, for starters.

      >>unfettered self-interested excess have plunged us into international recession

      I think you’ll find that had to do with Clinton and his self-interest. Fanny & Freddie were no accident, and nothing to do with the free market.

      The opposite, in fact.

  12. outofbed 12

    thanx toad I thought i was by myself here

  13. mike 13

    “But I’ll tell you where I have seen this modus operandi. The National Party.”

    It’s great seeing the two left parties at each others throat but don’t bring National into it. Flattering to think that if a line is that good it had to come from the right though.

  14. Go figure 14

    You guys are pathetic. Norman’s criticism of Shearer wasn’t even about him. It was really a criticism of Labour. You pretend to be concerned about the “centre-left”, but are really only concerned about Labour no matter how bad it gets. The Greens aren’t doing anything other than what they said would do for years, which is to work with whoever they have to to further their policy. Suddenly its the Nats for the first time and the conspiracy theories abound – its all such crap. Labour needs to wake up. You should be hoping they lose Mt Albert and clear out the right-wingers from their leadership. Regardless, the next govt will be Labour/Green and will be all the stronger because the Greens are showing they are truly independent. That means not beholden to either grey party, long may it last.

    • IrishBill 14.1

      Further what policy? The home insulation fund that was already on the cards? Or perhaps you mean the hokum about natural remedies?

      The Greens fucked up with both the MOU and their Mt Albert campaign. They could have stood a local Green member and I would have probably endorsed them. But they didn’t, they just showed they are as cynical and PR driven as every other party and they’ve done so in a way that harms the broader Left by working for the Tory government.

      I don’t care about Mt Albert and I would’ve been happy to see the Greens win it if they were still the Greens I supported. But they aren’t and they won’t be while Norman holds the reins because, as I have pointed out, he is under the delusion that Left and Right don’t matter anymore. The Greens are a naturally Left party and they may not realise it but a lot of that crucial 5% is from the Left.

      This post isn’t about Labour and National but about the Greens and what has become of them.What’s pathetic is the number of Green supporters who are jumping to defend this fiasco of a leader rather than challenge him. That’s not the Greens I know.

  15. jerry 15

    “This post isn’t about Labour and National but about the Greens and what has become of them.What’s pathetic is the number of Green supporters who are jumping to defend this fiasco of a leader rather than challenge him. That’s not the Greens I know.”

    So clearly the Greens you know are there to be Labour’s bitches and nothing more.

    • IrishBill 15.1

      No the Greens I knew would’ve balked at personal politics and would not have allowed the MOU to go through without proper membership consultation.

      Labour didn’t do the Greens any favours and should have gone into coalition with them instead of Peter Dunn but the Greens also don’t do themselves any favours cuddling up to the Nats and running their lines for them. They’ve proven they’re just as bad as Dunn.

      Your lame attempt to defend that poor behaviour on the part of the Greens by labeling any criticism of it as pro-labour spin shows exactly how caught in the game some Greens supporters have become.

      The problem you now face is that the Greens aren’t good at the game. I can see the whole party being crushed to dust because of the hubris of Norman and his supporters. No wonder the Nats love you guys right now.

      • Go figure 15.1.1

        The the MoU is based on longstanding Green Party policy. The thinking behind it has been canvased in the Party many times. Even Bradford supports it for christsakes. This is not about Norman.

        And this is personal politics?

        “The right of the party – the Goff faction – have got their man. Labour have chosen the grey machine man. I’m sure he’s a very nice guy, but it means we’ve got National versus National-lite versus the Greens.”

        If its a personal attack, its against Goff, not Shearer. But get a grip, its not even a personal attack. Stop over reacting.

        “they’ve done so in a way that harms the broader Left by working for the Tory government.”

        You need to wake up. Labour vote with the Nats way more than the Greens do as toad points out. You should be complaining about them, not the Greens.

        • George Darroch 15.1.1.1

          So that’s what was actually said (I haven’t been able to access the MP3). Thanks. Puts the responses here from all parties in context.

        • IrishBill 15.1.1.2

          I’m constantly criticising Labour and when I do so a good portion of the Labour supporters here agree or disagree and discuss why. It seems now I’m pointing out a few home truths about the Greens many Green supporters can’t show the same political maturity.

          Frankly, I’ve got serious issues with the Greens recent actions, as have many of their other supporters. By dismissing these issues with denialist arguments like “get a grip” and “you’re over-reacting” your unwittingly mimicking the kinds of “arguments” we normally see from supporters of the right.

  16. ripp0 16

    IB,

    “grey” — not an anglicised redux on gris eminence aka bureaucrat, by any chance..?

  17. The Baron 17

    Oh my, National doesn’t really need to do anything here… not with the way you lot seem to be content with ripping each other to pieces…

    I predict a looooooong stint in opposition as long as this sort of thing continues. Sort your shit out, team Red. I don’t think that the Greens are your biggest problem.

  18. toad 18

    IrishBill said: …the Greens also don’t do themselves any favours cuddling up to the Nats

    IB, the Greens are not cuddling up to the Nats FFS. The MoU is merely doing what the Greens have always said they would do – work with whatever party on whatever common ground they can find.

    And attacking Labour is not cuddling up to the Nats. Who the hell is responsible for the undemocratic right wing government we have now? It wasn’t the Greens who tolerated Taito Phillip Field’s corrupt behaviour, who tried to defend the pledge card for months instead of admitting they had broken the rules on Parliamentary Service funding and offering to pay the money back, who tolerated David Benson-Pope’s economy with the truth for so long, who fed the Nats ammunition by making such a shambles of the EFA which was in principle good legislation, and who continued to snuggle up to Winston Peters despite overwhelming evidence that he had lied to Parliament and been involved in dodgy electoral donation scams.

    And then, following the defeat that they singlehandedly (well, maybe with a little help from Winston) brought upon themselves, the Labour caucus goes and endorses without challenge possibly the most right-wing leader the party has ever had (Lange, I believe, wasn’t actually right-wing – just economically illiterate and hijacked by Douglas and Prebble).

    Go figure! It is Labour who are responsible for foisting the crap that’s going to be dumped on us by this Tory Government, and they respond by moving to the right themselves. And you expect the Greens to be nice to them?

    • r0b 18.1

      Who the hell is responsible for the undemocratic right wing government we have now?

      Ahh – the parties that are supporting it?

      the Labour caucus goes and endorses without challenge possibly the most right-wing leader the party has ever had

      A little quick to judge there Toad. Why don’t you wait and see what Goff does before going nuclear, and possibly condemning the Left to further terms in opposition? Why assume the worst and wreck it all?

    • IrishBill 18.2

      So now you’re measuring the Greens via the actions of Labour and Winston? I never said I expected the Greens to be nice to them. I never thought they should have been as pliant as they were and I voted for them in the expectation Labour would form a coalition with them and we would get a more left wing government.

      What I did say was I expected to see a better level of politics than attack lines and an MoU being slipped past the membership on a technicality.

  19. Ari 19

    Can’t say I really ever expected to see conspiracy theories about the MoU on the Standard, lol. 🙂

    Laughing aside, I don’t see what you think is new here- we’ve been claiming that Labour is grey and doesn’t have any interesting ideas of its own to run for quite some time. That’s not cuddling up to National, it’s pointing out the reality that Labour is now New Zealand’s centrist party.

    • IrishBill 19.1

      Indeed, nothing to see here. I’ve been around long enough to be able to spot a sea change in a party’s discourse and that’s what I’m seeing here.

  20. Maynard J 20

    Toad, to be petty and decend to your level, let’s not forget the main reason Labour lost, your mate’s S59 amendment. How did you manage to leave that one off the list? If you’re angry about a tory government, please stop propping it up. Are you masochistic or incredibly naive?

    I really like your principles, Toad, you’ll sign an MoU to do “what the Greens have always said they would do – work with whatever party on whatever common ground they can find.”

    Yet you happily admit that you’re working with “the undemocratic right wing government we have now”. What does that make you?

    Just keep plugging away, sink the Greens early on and Labour will happily lap up your support. Some strong-left ex-green members will be a real asset to Labour.

    The Baron, I hope your beliefs are representative of the right. Nothing like standing smug, complacent and blank-gazed that will aid your chances. Honestly.

    • jerry 20.1

      “Toad, to be petty and decend to your level, let’s not forget the main reason Labour lost, your mate’s S59 amendment”

      Labour lost due to the S59 amendment …… ah so it was all an evil plan devised in a back room by the Nats and Geens ….gosh it’s so obvious now…………. there’s a Tui billboard in there some where.

    • SPC 20.2

      Good grief, from accusations that calling a gray man to account (its the democratic process and the gray man needs to refute them effectively or remain the gray man) is adopting National attack lines and now claiming that the S59 amendment cost Labour the election.

      National is now in government and the legislation went through because of them.

      National won because they ran as Labour lite and because Labour lost the peoples trust (the use of money in 2005, the denial and the EFA being bungled more than anything otherwise).

      • Maynard J 20.2.1

        Sure SPC, it’s as simple as that. Talk to a few people and see how much they like S59 and who they blame for it, then get back to me. Start with the blue areas in those electorate maps around the place.

        Why not have a think about who else voted for S59 and the make-up of the current government. You believe the EFA was a bigger issue than S59?

        Look at what I said – it was the “main” reason. Not the only reason but yes, the main one. I support the amendment but let’s not pretend it didn’t cost what it cost, or pretend that it wasn’t the Greens that kicked it all off.

        • jerry 20.2.1.1

          Maynard if you think S59 is the main reason that Labour performed poorly at the election you’re deluding yourself.

          • Maynard J 20.2.1.1.1

            No I’m not.

            You’ll have to try harder if you want a useful response.

  21. Whacky Lefty 21

    A guy who has spent his working life working for the UN by definition must be a “Grey man”.

    There is very little ambiguity about Shearer as he still defends Private Armies and uses phrases like “Post 9/11 world”.
    The world didn’t start spinning the otherway after 9/11, nothing changed, but an existing Terrorist group who has attacked other America targets offshore, excecuted a mainland attack.

    Shearer, scarily see this as a factor which has changed the world. He has not distanced himself from Private Armies but has praised their activities, only wanting a little oversight of their activities.

    I’m using his interview on Nat Radio as the source of his views.

  22. Dean 22

    r0b:

    “I’ve never been unwilling to answer it Dean. Helen never said that. Why don’t you go away and find out what she actually said, and in what circumstances, and then get back to me ”

    STILL unwilling to answer the question. Never mind, I understand. You’re a Labour patsy and Helen could never do any wrong.

    Was Helen right when she said Field was only guilty of trying to help his constituents? Why do you refuse to answer?

    We all know why, r0b. You’re afraid to admit Helen might have been covering something up.

    Isn’t it interesting that the enquiry she commissioned failed to find anything, but then the police took a case againt him anyway? Isn’t it funny that everyone from you to Jordan Carter were only too willing to defend his actions with so much prose until he ended up in court?

    Perhaps you’d better consult with your local Labour executives before you answer.
    I’d hate it if you actually had to, you know, be honest about your feelings on this matter. It’s obvious you don’t want to be.

    “Ahh Dean, the “man’ who likes to drag MPs families through the mud just because the response amuses him, you truly are the lowest form of life I’ve ever met on this blog.”

    Particularly rich coming from you, r0b. You defended the Brash marital affair Labour so gallantly ran to the media with and spoke in the house about, and you defended it as acceptable because it had something to do with him making it a political football. Meanwhile, you get in a complete tizz when anyone dares do the same with Helen.

    Your sense of irony certainly needs some calibration, but then, you ARE a member of the same party that rammed through the EFA and then voted against it. It’s no wonder you are so confused.

    [lprent: You’re probably aware that I dislike the point scoring “I won, I won” approach to discussion. To me it is a sign of a trained troll because it contributes nothing to a debate, but does lead to flame wars. In this case you’re claiming ‘victory’ for statements that rOb says were never made, and are just myths. If you want to use them, then I’d suggest that you link to something reasonably definitive like a msm news article. Otherwise it puts you in the same class as some of the banned. ]

    • felix 22.1

      So provide the quote from Helen for r0b to answer. Simple.

      Or is this another of your “feral inbred” lines that you just know you heard somewhere but (still) can’t find a source for?

    • r0b 22.2

      Was Helen right when she said Field was only guilty of trying to help his constituents? Why do you refuse to answer?

      As above, Helen never said that. If you claim that she did, please supply the reference. (Hint; I know what she actually said Dean, it is clear that you do not).

      You defended the Brash marital affair Labour so gallantly ran to the media with and spoke in the house about, and you defended it as acceptable because it had something to do with him making it a political football.

      Another lie. I said I wasn’t at all happy with that direction from Labour, but that Brash’s alleged relationship with the deputy chair of the Business Round Table was arguably politically relevant.

      The longer you make lying accusations without the quotes to back them up the sillier you look Dean.

      • r0b 22.2.1

        Well, since our spat has attracted the attention of the sysadmin (apologies Lynn) let’s just get this over with.

        Dean and others like to offer up the claim that Helen Clark tried to excuse the actions of Field by saying something like “she said Field was only guilty of trying to help his constituents”. It was interesting to trace the evolution of this particular Tory lie – I’ll call it that, because Ryall started it by misquoting her in parliament.

        What Clark actually said, she said on Sept 14 2005, before the first enquiry, before any of the facts of the case were known. What she actually said was: “I think the only thing he is probably guilty of is trying to be helpful to someone”. Later (around June 14 2006, again before the report) she was challenged on this opinion and confirmed: “Indeed I think he was, but I am awaiting a full report.” So there we go – “I think” and “probably” and awaiting the full report – a perfectly reasonable position before the facts were known. The Tory lie machine has turned this into the “Clark ignoring Field’s heinous crimes” version that Dean and the other fools push so hard on the blogs.

        As to Dean’s attempts to lie about my opinions, my supposed crime is to have “defended the Brash marital affair” story. This appears to be based on one exchange here, so draw your own conclusions.

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