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I agree with Heather

Written By: - Date published: 11:03 am, August 23rd, 2019 - 37 comments
Categories: Carmel Sepuloni, david cunliffe, Dirty Politics, Media, paula bennett, phil goff, uncategorized, winston peters - Tags: ,

I suspect that Heather Du Plessis Allan may be off National’s christmas card list.  Because she has been pointing out some rather inconvenient truths.  Like how National has made the leaking of sensitive information an art form.  And she has squarely placed the leaking of news of Winston Peters’ superannuation overpayment at National’s feet.

From Newstalk ZB:

I’ve no appetite for the dirty politics that the National Party plays. In my time working in and around the press gallery in Wellington, in my opinion, there was no party prepared to stoop to the levels the Nats were to ruin someone’s reputation

Too often they made things personal.

Did the National party leak Winston Peters’ superannuation details? In my opinion, yes.

The reason I say that is because in the weeks before the leak, I was told by the Nats that the nats had the information. They told me they were considering leaking it. They told me how they would leak it, the process they would follow to cover their tracks. Without going into details, I can tell you that’s exactly how it played out.

So the chances that the Nats leaked it are about 99 per cent.

She then lists some other examples to suggest that National has form for this sort of matter.  These included:

  • Jami Lee Ross’s recorded conversations with Simon Bridges made at a time he was a National MP.
  • Paula Bennett’s attacks on Ross.
  • Todd Barclay’s treatment of a former staff member and allegations of hush money, and work by Ross to exit Barclay.

There are a many others that can be added to this list such as:

  • The Michael Woodhouse hit job on David Cunliffe over Donghua Liu where National managed to create a false controversy that Labour had received a donation from the Chinese businessman when in fact National had received a donation from him.
  • The release of SIS briefings to Cameron Slater to embarrass Phil Goff.
  • The leaking to the media that Carmel Sepuloni’s mother had been charged with benefit fraud.

Heather concludes her article with these comments:

I accept that politics is rough and brutal, but it doesn’t have to ruin lives and reputations.

The problem for the Nats is that this is becoming a branding issue. ‘Dirty politics’ is a label more likely to stick to them than any other party in Parliament. And it’s going to be used against them.

Do I think the Nats have changed their ways? No. They’ve just appointed Paula Bennett to campaign chair, the same Bennett who revealed Ross’ affair. She’s running next year’s campaign: what does that tell you about what to expect?

We could be in for an interesting 12 months.

37 comments on “I agree with Heather”

  1. Sanctuary 1

    IMHO, this explains who Simon Bridges went troppo over the setting up of a Parliamentary Budget Office. He has served in a government where the likes of Pullya Benefit and John Key used state institutions to gather confidential information that they then used to undermine their political opponents.

    His hysterical opposition to a PBO is easily understood if you stop and consider how Key, Joyce and Bennett would have abused their power and used confidential PBO data to launch unerringly accurate attacks on the opposition.

  2. Anne 2

    Every once in a while HDPA redeems herself in my eyes and this is one such occasion. There's every chance she'll blot her copy book again so lets make the most of it while it lasts.

    It's been said Winston Peters wants Paula Bennett's head on a plate. He wants to see her kicked out of parliament. I don't blame him one little bit. This is a personal vendetta now and one I can fully understand from some past experiences of mine – not to do with Bennett.

    PB in particular does not care about ruining the lives of other people who she has deemed to be getting in her way. The treatment she meted out to the two solo mothers (one in particular) back in 2009/10 was testament to that.

    And the National Party hit jobs listed by HDPA are only the ones that made it into the public arena. You can bet your bottom dollar there were more carried out behind 'closed doors' we’re never likely to hear about.

    • Dukeofurl 2.1

      "Peters wants Paula Bennett's head on a plate. He wants to see her kicked out of parliament. "

      The context of the story about a settlement , in my view, it was Bennett admitting she did it. Likely a financial settlement as well.

      It wouldnt mean she was kicked out of parliament. Its a civil action by Peters, not a criminal one.

      • Anne 2.1.1

        Doesn't alter the reported claim that he wants to see her out of parliament.

        • Dukeofurl 2.1.1.1

          This was the story from a few days ago

          https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12260304

          No mention of 'getting her' out parliament. What reported claim are you referring too. Helps to link to something you claim like that.

          There is no legal way she can be 'kicked out' as I mentioned, and shamed and humiliated wont make her go.

          Nick Smith had a conviction for far worse than a 'leak' and he just ignored it, indeed the Catholic mafia inside the national party attacked the Solicitor General who referred his actions for to the High Court when the District Court judge raised it in his sentencing.

          • Anne 2.1.1.1.1

            What reported claim are you referring too. Helps to link to something you claim like that.

            Saw it a couple of days ago on an online news site. Have no idea which one because I'm hopping across them all the time. If it was newshub well, maybe I should have taken it with a grain of salt.

        • Chuck 2.1.1.2

          It is a sideshow, Winston has a weak case he will struggle even in a civil court. To survive in 2020 he needs to give the appearance to his voter base that he can work with either National or Labour.

          The last thing Winston wants is a public court case underlining he claimed for years more $ than he was entitled to. A few Green aligned public servants took a dime view of this when their previous co-leader was shamed and sent to purgatory over her rorting of the system. It was calculated…Winston may have gone with National.

          • Rapunzel 2.1.1.2.1

            Is that seriously what and how you think this happened? I am closely related to someone who, oddly around the time the Winston story was news, "came clean" with his living arrangements. Like many 1000s of other in NZ this was a case of couple joining up later in life and who, in respect to family in both cases, kept their "financial" affairs entirely separate as individuals overlooking that living as a couple is relevant to superannuation. In short he owed money back but despite having ample finances to repay it given the option it is being paid back at a pittance per week and the person has gloatingly said that the debt will likely out-live him.

            It is not actually about the money in regard to the court action that is in regard to the simple and glaring breach of privacy that took place. There, but for the sake of it not being of political gain to someone, go 1000s of people who receive NZ super in the same but not publised boat.

    • OnceWasTim 2.2

      "Every once in a while HDPA redeems herself in my eyes and this is one such occasion."

      Every once in a while HDPA gets a dose of the guilts and worries about how far she's pushing her creds.

      She be off one two folk's Christmas Card list this year no doubt. I'm waiting for her book to come out – or maybe I should hold off with a purchase – it'll eventually be serialised in Granny

  3. Dukeofurl 3

    Not surprisingly HPDAs anti national opinion piece doesnt appear on Heralds web site , where she normally would be , but hidden away on Newstalk ZB

  4. vto 4

    This Heather du-Plessis Allan person is coming across all kinda socialist… Kinda proves an old adage with a vto twist…

    if you aint a socialist by the age of 25 you got no heart..

    if you aint a capitalist by the age of 35 you got no brain..

    but if you aint a socialist again by the age of 45 you got no brain or heart

    • fender 4.1

      lol

      It was so cold the other day I saw a socialist with her hands in her own pockets.

    • OnceWasTim 4.2

      That's really worrying @vto. It makes my prejudices hard to explain, but then I think possibly I could put it all down to things like 'comfyness' or ego or exceptionalism or even testosterone/estrogen imbalance, or maybe just not being the perfect specimen.

  5. AB 5

    HDPA may be correct on this narrow point – but in totality she is all over the shop. She’ll be praising the Nats for something particularly vicious and stupid in a week’s time.
    That's because she is unable to see that the Nats whole economic/social ideology is cut from the same ethical cloth that produces this scurrilous dirty politics behaviour at a narrow operational level.

  6. Dukeofurl 6

    Another story about Facebook advertising in NZ touches on possible dirty politics advertising

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/115198193/facebook-ads-will-dominate-the-next-election–but-our-politicians-dont-have-to-tell-us-about-them

    Facebook has not made a new transparency tool for political ads mandatory for New Zealand and none of our parties have signed up to it.

    ​The "Ad Library Report" is mandatory in several countries and allows the public to track every ad a political party or issue group puts out on the platform, and see how much money is being spent and who the ad is targeted at.

    The Greens so far seem to be the first ( or only) to embrace the transparency

    "The Ad Library Report is one of a number of measures rolled out by Facebook to stem the backlash after the US election in 2016, when a huge amount of fake political content was spread through the network, some of it by Russian state actors"

    • SHG 6.1

      Is "dirty politics" now just a euphemism for "stuff I don't understand"?

    • Incognito 6.2

      Yes, I read that too and must say I have mixed feelings about it.

      It does not judge in any way the ad's truthfulness, despite many complaints about misleading targeted ads in the recent Australian election.

      That election saw complaints about ads that falsely claimed Labor was going to "tax your ute" and introduce a "death tax". Even though this tool is active in NZ, there is no way to know if it would deter political parties posting untrue or exaggerated content.

      The Australian Labor Party complained bitterly about several Facebook posts suggesting the party wished to introduce a "death tax".

      Facebook did not remove the posts.

      Facebook says it is wary of regulating speech without explicit instruction from authorities or breaches of community standards. Misinformation does not necessarily breach its standards. [my emphasis]

      It feels to me that this tool is skirting around the real issue.

      The Greens were forced to delete and apologise for a more extravagant attack ad about Bridges that mocked both his polling and his accent. [my emphasis]

      Really? AFAIK, the Greens took down the ad voluntarily because of unease within the party.

      • SHG 6.2.1

        Facebook makes money by selling its users' eyeballs to advertisers. The eyeballs with the most value are those of outraged people, because outraged people engage with content more strongly. Facebook does not care if the content shared on its network is true or not; what it cares about is whether or not the content makes people angry. The more angry it makes people the more adamantly Facebook will defend it.

        • Incognito 6.2.1.1

          Yes, you have said this before and it is correct. In this context, however, the “advertisers” are political parties buying vying for votes.

          • SHG 6.2.1.1.1

            Not necessarily. The lesson of Russia's Facebook campaign before the last US election is that building communities of angry people and then telling them to NOT vote can be even more effective than convincing people TO vote.

            • Incognito 6.2.1.1.1.1

              Good point. The seeds of discontent to switch off voters, interest in, and engagement with the political process in general.

        • Dukeofurl 6.2.1.2

          Facebook has what it calls 'community standards' , breach those and you are gone

          Fake news sites ARE breaches

          https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/22/us/western-journal-highlights.html

          This right wing news site

          "The Western Journal has had one of the biggest online audiences. But it now finds itself clashing with Silicon Valley tech giants. Here are highlights from a Times investigation."

        • David Mac 6.2.1.3

          Facebook's edge is not the delivery of pairs of eyes nor providing a platform for the loud, misguided and disruptive. There is an old saying with regard marketing: "Only half of my advertising works but I'm buggered if I know which half."

          Facebook's edge is their ability to measure and meter.

          They can look at what interests me and match me with an ad. They can then look at how long I spent with yesterday's video compared with today's one. Algorithms can zero in on what pushes my hot buttons when it comes to tyres, trousers or political messages.

          • David Mac 6.2.1.3.1

            eg: If Facebookers I'd start my ad to cleangreen with "Current progress with East Cape rail links." I'd start my ad that Rosemary gets with "Are live-in carers fairly funded?"

            We see thousands of advertising messages everyday. The hard bit is standing out from the acres of wallpaper.

  7. It's actually possible that HDPA is a bit of a visionary (whenever she's able to get out from under the cloud of a Bazza). She may actually be concerned about her future – you know, the one where the commercial MSM is not able to sustain itself and has to go grovelling for government corporate welfare (ALL in the interests of a PUBLIC of course and nothing whatever to do with preservation of a status q-q-q-q-quo)

    No more opportunity for the likes of someone to turn to camera and declare: "I'm Louise Wallarse", and another: "I'm Mex Headroom"; and yet another: "I'm Bazza the Soapartist!!! and THUS is suxty mun nuts".

    What chance an HDPA? Even the name isn't as exotuk ez a Terr-Ear-lun.

    Yea, but Nah. A Krus is consulting and deliberating and proceeding at the pace of a f-f-f-f-f-f-f-aaaaaaaaaaaaFoi (going forward)

  8. It was partly because of all that filth that at least those on the center left crystalized their opinions, … those of tribal origins on the right either excused, agreed, or outright attacked any such notion of the sort of subterfuge and below the belt political smears that in particular, the John Key era and incumbency encouraged yet denied ,…

    But that sort of gross assault on the democratic process has a limited shelf life and as always , and in fact did occur,… went rancid and was turned back on them. There is an irony in a certain website that was one of the hubs of all this activity in that website being bought out by the very man that website sort to destroy , in both reputation and financially.

    Others have escaped the net, but in other positions have cast their dubiously welcome shadows over other incidents of skullduggery. Still others remain as they were, hoping against hope peoples memory's will be short and knowing the cumbersome machinery of the law and parliamentary privilege's are ample enough to shield them.

    How pitiful.

    It is refreshing to see some honest commentary by a journalist who was frequently seen as a lap dog for the far right . However,… even that will be monitored by those who remember that journalists support for one of the most corrupt governments this country has ever known… and we will wait to see if the song changes once,- and if ,- National regains power.

    Such is the stench that clings to those who support the corrupt , – only to denounce it once their side of the 'bread and its butter' becomes threatened.

  9. SHG 9

    It is refreshing to see some honest commentary by a journalist who was frequently seen as a lap dog for the far right

    It always is. Ensuring that you don’t write them off is how they keep your eyeballs for advertisers.

  10. David 10

    Lovin’ it. Suddenly HDPA is everyone’s best friend here.

    Flip flip. Flip flop.

    Queue personal insults on me like Tuesday when the truth hurts …

    • Incognito 10.1

      Sometimes, it is best to ignore comments/commenters here and move on; we all have good and bad days and it is too easy to get the wrong end of the stick …

  11. New view 11

    Who gives a fuck. So they leaked Winston’s Super policy details. Like nobody ever leaks stuff. Please:move on. HD is just bored and all you lot do is go into a feeding frenzy. Zzz.

    • Incognito 11.1

      It happened during the election campaign IIRC. But you’re right, that’s just a boring trivial detail and we/they all do it, which makes it all right?

  12. peterlepaysan 12

    Well this was unexpected. I view all media types suspiciously.

    I suspect that HPDA has plans beyond what media nonetiyism space she is currently occupying. Difficult to argue with that.

    Writing for The Herald for a lifetime has to be construed as a "cruel and unusual punishment".

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