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Hager posts Dirty Politics chapter on Mark Mitchell on web

Written By: - Date published: 10:17 am, February 21st, 2018 - 25 comments
Categories: Dirty Politics, national, Politics, same old national - Tags: ,

As a service to the body politic Nicky Hager and the publishers of Dirty Politics have made the chapter of Dirty Politics that deals with Mark Mitchell freely available on the web.  It is available here.  Hager obviously thinks that it is important for the details of Mitchell’s selection campaign to be subject to public view.

Rereading it brings back many memories, none of them good.

It appears that Mitchell was an enthusiastic user of Simon Lusk’s services.  From the book:

After discussing the utu post, Lusk said to Slater, ‘I reckon i can get a few candidates paying you to sort out their facebook pages, could be a nice little earner through the entire cycle.’ He continued, ‘I can sort out Mark no worries, he doesn’t mind spending.’14 Mark was Mark Mitchell, another of Lusk’s paying clients, who was competing for selection in the safe National Party seat of Rodney, where long-time MP Lockwood Smith had decided not to stand again. Mitchell was a good example of the hard right MP grouping Lusk was trying to build. ‘I’d really like to have him win to prove it can be done, and that you and I are crucial in peoples career.”

The chapter then details how the other main candidates for the Rodney selection, Brent Robinson and Scott Simpson, were undermined and attacked.

The chapter includes this classic Slater saying:

[T]hey obviously don’t know about [Whale Oil] Rule of Politics #43, Death by a thousand cuts is always better than a swift beheading.”

And Hager claims that the services were not being provided out of the goodness of Slater’s and Lusk’s hearts.

Mitchell, their selection candidate, was paying big money for this dirty campaigning, and was well aware of what he was buying. Slater wrote to Lusk, ‘I hope Mark is up with the play on these posts.’ Lusk said, ‘Yes am talking to him a lot. He is telling me that it is having a massive effect.’ Slater replied, ‘Hehe.’

Hager concludes by saying this:

Without Lusk and Slater’s vigorous and covert negative campaigning, it is unlikely that Mitchell would have won the seat. The successful candidate would most likely have been either Robinson or Simpson, probably Simpson. The painfully insincere blog posts, the obviously biased attacks and the rest of the heavy-handed negative campaigning had done its job. It was not hay baling that got Mitchell in. Mitchell’s main contribution in his first three years in Parliament would be a private member’s bill called the Prohibition of Gang Insignia in Government Premises Bill: law and order posturing that did almost nothing to change the problems it talked about. He spoke up for strip searching of inmates in private prisons, praised an amendment of surveillance laws and moved an amendment to the 2013 marriage equality law to reassure marriage celebrants that they would not be obliged to marry gay and lesbian people if it was against their ‘religious or philosophical beliefs’ (before he voted against the gay marriage law).

Mitchell clearly does not have a chance in this election.  But the chances of a Collins-Mitchell leadership of the National Party should fill everyone with dread.

Interesting times …

25 comments on “Hager posts Dirty Politics chapter on Mark Mitchell on web ”

  1. t 1


    [Thanks fixed – MS]

  2. tc 2

    Ouch the sunlight it burns…

  3. Anne 3

    I, too have a hang-up about the spelling of Hager. My best advice… whatever way you are sure a surname is spelled, do the opposite.

    Back to post;

    Mitchell will probably try to ignore it, but if he’s forced to comment he’ll rubbish it as being just another of Hager’s fairy stories blah, blah. But he won’t sue Hager for defamation just as he didn’t first time around. Pretty much says it all.

    • Ed 3.1

      Ask about Iraq too.
      “When you were a mercenary in Iraq, how many people did you kill?”

      “Were they Iraqi people, that is the people of the country you were in?”

    • Pat 3.2

      he already has…Campbell interview couple of days ago

      • Anne 3.2.1

        Thanks for that Pat.

        When asked what qualities he could bring to the leadership he responded by saying” he had leadership qualities”, and then went into a lengthy diatribe about what he’d done over the years. Not one word about making NZ a better place and looking after all its citizenry etc. In other words it was all about him.

        Granted I missed the last few minutes because I couldn’t stand his me, me, me attitude. What a prat.

  4. greywarshark 4

    Nicky’s approach to politics is to listen and think ‘er, what’s that? – Hager.
    The other is a cartoon Viking, a rogue -ar – Hagar the Horrible.

  5. prickles 5

    Mark Mitchell has sanpaku eyes – ie the white is visible below the iris. Eastern cultures read a lot into this but generally those exhibiting such eyes are recognised as being ruthless and unconcerned about the impact of their actions. Cold hearted and often venemous. John Key also had sanpaku eyes. I wouldn’t/don’t trust either.

    • patricia bremner 5.1

      The picture of John Key between a smirking Lusk and Whaleoil remains clear.

      A timely reminder of the game of long knives. A nasty lot. The mention of Farrar and Ede means sooo … much more.

      We now have a group of right wing politicians who had close relationships with these slugs vying for the power of leadership. Who is the lesser of the evils?

    • AB 5.2

      And from listening to him yesterday – hapuku brain. That is, cavernous empty bits sitting right under other cavernous empty bits.

    • Rosie 5.3

      Sanpaku. Haven’t heard that term for awhile, but yes indeed, he is. And if there’s any doubt about his attributes, his actions confirm the sanpaku theory.

  6. veutoviper 6

    I am another one that gets the spelling of H’s name wrong – but jumps up and down when others do. We’re all hypocrites from time to time.

    Good post, MS. And the thought of a Collins-Mitchell leadership team certainly fills me with dread. If that happens, however, I really think the reaction would be such that it would not last long.

    If you haven’t already done so, can I also suggest reading Carolyn Nth’s post last night at 7.04pm at 19.2.1 under “The battle of the five political midgets” post.

    I haven’t had time yet to fully go through the contents but there appears to be some good research there on Mitchell’s past as an ‘international security adviser’ well worth reading – all kudos to Carolyn. Plenty of interesting links; don’t overlook the ones in the second para.

    We only have another week or less to find out the result of the National leadership vote, thank goodness. I cannot see Bennett surviving the Deputy vote, but who knows …

  7. Rosie 7

    Mitchell’s candidacy is like a hideous monster rearing up from our Dirty Politics past. This way of doing politics goes against the grain of the new feeling of hope, transparency and progression we are in now.

    Also, of concern is the reminder of Mitchell’s war profiteering past:


    Even, EVEN, by National Party standards, Mitchell I would hope would be considered too damaging and too negative to be installed as leader.

  8. One Anonymous Bloke 8

    Hager is trolling the National Party leader’s election 🙂

    Reminding them all who they’re dealing with, and letting them know that we know they know.

    Meanwhile, the NZDF OIA story made just a tiny ripple at TDB and here. It has to be kept alive. The alternative is leaving it up to the UN whether or not a war crimes investigation commences.

    Maybe the UN won’t investigate. Does anyone think running that risk is in this country’s best interests?

  9. mosa 9

    Mitchell i believe would be worse than Key if he ever gets the leadership and would operate a dirty tricks brigade through his cronies and his sympathisers in the NZ Police.

    People like Nicky Hagar and others would soon feel the boot on the neck.

    He is menacing and has a negative vibe that should be obvious to anyone except the people of Rodney and his supporters in the caucus.

    And money will never be a problem as he will have powerful support.

    Adams and Bridges are lightweights compared to Mitchell and his connections.

    At least Key smiled at his prey.

  10. Brian Tregaskin 10

    Anyone have a link the chapter?

  11. Brian Tregaskin 11

    To be fair i don’t see any concern or negative about running in house security for a supply contractor in Iraq. Don’t get what the panic is all about?

    • One Anonymous Bloke 11.1

      Really? You can’t see how privatising war might cause problems?
      Democratic accountability, for example.

      Perhaps you see nothing wrong with mercenaries. There’s a reason the Geneva Conventions treat them as common criminals rather than prisoners of war.

  12. Jackel 12

    It’s just so damn refreshing to have a Labour government finally, and not to have to put up with that Orwellian style tory governing we had for 9 long years.

  13. dukeofurl 13

    Links from Hagars site not working
    Coincidence ?

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