Forget this week’s the Nation panel. Helen Kelly should have been on it.
She has read some of Dirty Politics, and was originally booked to be on The Nation’s panel. Martyn Bradbury describes what happened:
Todays panel discussion on The Nation was a bloody joke. Josie Pagani is Slater’s mate and she ends up sounding like the National Party spin machine where as Hooton called Nicky Hager a ‘Commie c**t’ on twitter and has also been a previous target of Hager’s work. That wasn’t a discussion, that was the sound of one hand clapping.
Interestingly, Helen Kelly was booked to be on the Nation’s panel but she was dumped last minute on Thursday. We need to have Helen on every political panel between now and the election, not having her dumped for a Fox News Democrat like Josie Pagani.
However, we do have Helen Kelly on a video of Vote Chat that was livestreamed yesterday:
Vote Chat is a series of public interviews of politicians, candidates and commentators brought to you by the University of Otago Politics
Council of Trade Unions President Helen Kelly is interviewed by Del Carlini
about 2 minutes into the video. Kelly talks about the MUNZ-Ports of Auckland industrial dispute, and Dirty Politics coverage of Cameron Slater’s participation in attacking the integrity of the workers.
PoA leaked information to Slater of union members work records, leave records and personal information. It included records of the amount of leave a worker had taken when his wife was dying of cancer. There were breaches of privacy.
A worker had gone on TV and said for him the dispute was about getting assurances that he would get regular work and pay, rather than having his job being made casual with no guaranteed work. the next day, personal information about Cecil was published on the Whale Oil blog. It called Cecil lazy and generally smeared him
In Dirty Politics messages from Slater said that the Chairman of the PoA board (Pearson) talked regularly with Slater during the dispute. Kelly asks if, as suggested in the book, PoA was paying Slater during the dispute.
This case is still in front of the court, and Hager’s book will probably be used in the court case.
Kelly says that Dirty Politics is an important book. It doesn’t matter if it’s important to the current election. Only time will tell that. She says it’s not so much about Whale Oil.
It is about the Prime Minister and his office and his ministers and the things that they have done. Whale Oil is a completely insignificant player in this book. This is about our Crown, the state and what it does. And there are stories in in the book, suggestions of moving prisoners around at the behest of some private individuals. Of using SIS files to be, you know, create Official Information Act requests, to get information out into the public.
There are questions in the book that New Zealanders should be concerned about, in the long term, regardless of the election outcome and what influence it might have on it.
The Prime Minster also has questions to answer about whether he supported Slater’s nasty attack on the family of a miner who died in the Pike River Mine, and who also lost a son in a car crash.
The Vote Chat video also covers various union issues. It is the sort of long form interview that our current media should be doing. instead they go for shorter, dramatic, and more superficial coverage, often with poorly selected commentators.
Maritime Union of NZ (MUNZ) asks a series of questions arising from material in Dirty Politics.
Maritime Union National President Garry Parsloe says Mr Hager’s investigative journalism has detailed that Ports of Auckland, a company owned by the people of Auckland through Auckland City, was involved on many levels with right wing “attack” bloggers and publicists to smear union members during industrial disputes.
If the Ports of Auckland would not come clean, they must be directed to by the owners of the port, Auckland City, on behalf of the ratepayers and citizens of Auckland.
See the questions at the link above.