- Date published:
1:31 pm, June 28th, 2020 - 19 comments
Categories: Dirty Politics, john key, Judith Collins, Media, politicans, Politics, The Standard - Tags: andrea vance, cameron slater, jason ede, kiwiblog, matthew hooton, whaleoil
I’ve just been reading Andrea Vance’s “The brutal business of politics: Judith Collins discusses memoir, John Key, David Bain, and being a survivor“, a review of Judith Collin’s released biography.
One thing that usually infuriates me is whining arseholes. Judith Collins has always been one of them as far as I have ever been able to see. She states others have her own lack of morality whilst trying to hold herself up as a paragon of virtue by comparison. That is as she impunes individuals and groups wholesale. I haven’t seen anyone whine and whinge about others quite so much since Cameron Slater dismally failed in his defense against the defamation suit brought by Blomfield.
In my case, that obvious hypocritical lack of morality and willingness to lie about people particularly comes with this statement (my bold)..
Dirty Politics alleged Key’s office was seeding information on opponents with Slater, to be published on his attack-blog. Jason Ede, a spin doctor, took the blame and resigned and Key successfully distanced himself from the fall-out.
But Collins firmly implicates her former boss. “I know, because he [Key] would often discuss it. I would like people to understand that prime minister’s offices and Opposition offices, of course they talk to bloggers who are friendly to them.
“Clearly, [the relationship] was very close. Jason Ede was collateral. He was not well looked after. Jason Ede was employed to do a job and he did his job.”
This is one of a number of behind-the-scenes revelations she makes in the book. It’s the first insider account of the Key-led government, a nine-year period that was notorious for a stranglehold over political narrative.
Well we know that happens in National. But elsewhere, I know it does not.
I’ve been operating this site for the last 12 years. Throughout almost all of that time, it has been the largest site on the left of our local politics by a good margin. We don’t do any of that crap. It simply isn’t good for the politics in this country. There were a couple of instances that our sewer trolls keep mentioning from 2007 and 2008 after more than a decade. They got stomped severely by me and the other authors. It was a learning experience in the first year of operation for a few authors.
We aren’t a gossip and backstabbing site like Whaleoil was, its successor site still is, and as Kiwiblog often is. David Farrar often appears to test-market negative memes amongst the residents of the sewer of local politics.
Judith Collins is clearly referencing her opinion of bloggers from Whaleoil and Cameron Slater. Probably because that was who she clearly had a close association with. That is the universe of ‘blogging’ that she herself is familiar and comfortable with. Obviously she is too stupid, bigoted, or close-minded to look beyond her own illusions to see what really happens in the vast worlds of blogs and social media.
While her social media universe has been foreign to this site throughout its history, it also appears to be foreign to the Labour or Green politicians, and even NZ First. We get some of the advance copies of speeches and the odd press release, the same that go to media. Most of the time I think that is only because individual authors ask for them. It is that sporadic.
But we don’t get the kind of back-biting and synchronised campaigns that were so evident in Whaleoil or Kiwiblog over the last decade. Here, we offer our opinions as authors – not parroting those of others. The bickering and disagreement of the backend of the site that continually goes on between authors spills out between posts and in comments pages are just a reflection of how often we make up our own minds.
The nearest I can remember was the argument that broke out between authors and comments within the Standard about the virtues of keeping David Shearer as Labour leader in the caucus. Mike Smith (who operates the site trust with me) and others thought that Labour should. Myself and other did not. We wrote posts and comments to argue it out. But it was our opinions, not a synchronised campaign.
After all who would want to be a narcissistic sockpuppet like Cameron Slater was (and probably still is). Taking money and political influence in exchange for lying and defaming people both in politics and in private life is just kind of disgusting at every possible level. It is also ultimately counter-productive. Well, in the grand tradition in the opposite, I guess that is why National has Matthew Hooton in the National leaders office these days – in my experience he does the garbage detail of dirty politics frequently.
For me, most of the political gossip has been when I’ve been at social occasions or talking to politicians and staffers at political conferences. Most of that has been opinion, and I treat it as both confidential and as grist for my thinking rather than something I’d parrot. From talking to other authors, they do the same thing – being able to think for themselves is part of the criteria that we select them for.
Where authors in their personal or professional life have moved into positions that could compromise the perception of their independence – they have stopped writing here. We don’t get fed dirt from those who have moved onwards into political or political staffer positions. There has never been a position in either Labour or the Greens analogous to that held by Jason Ede in John Key’s office for feeding us dirt or photos of media cigarettes.
Mostly what we do is to provide opinion on what is already in the public arena. We’re not a news site because we all have other things that demand our time and attention.
In my case, I have get more private factual information sent under anonymised emails from those I strongly suspect to be National politicians or activists than I have ever get from politicians or staffers on the left. Sometimes I even publish the right’s infighting if I think it is relevant for speculative debate – making sure that everyone knows how I got it and how little I trust it.
Our authors take their experience from their personal lives and the things that they observe in their private and professional interests. They offer opinion and back it with linked facts for commenters to peruse.
Facts were mostly clearly absent from Cameron Slater’s garbage writing. That is why he was successfully sued for defamation and probably still it. For that matter we see much the same from many of the mainstream media opinion writers – Mike Hosking in particular appears to operate in a fact free universe that dithers from day-to-day.
To be smeared by Judith Collins by comparing me or any of the authors here to low-life arsehole like Cameron Slater is simply appalling. To me it just demonstrates why her shallow and somewhat pitiful pretensions delusions to lead the National party or this country are the thing of nightmares.
We currently have example of similar personalities in Donald Trump, Boris Johnson and Jair Bolsonaro of a narcissistic idiots trying to deal with a crisis – and failing catastrophically. Personally I can’t see any reason to allow Judith Collins the opportunity to follow in their footsteps.
To me, Judith Collins is someone who doesn’t appear to be someone capable of ever acting in good faith. I have always gotten the impression of someone who vindictively stores up petty grievances, considers that other are always acting in bad faith, and envies those who hold the positions that she is not capable of doing successfully because of her toxic personality.
This comes through clearly (and unintentionally?) in Andrea Vance’s review. If you read that review with the above points in mind, it just sounds like a dimmer echo of Donald Trump. Grievances, unsupported suppositions, stupidity, narcissism – just like someone who is currently directly responsible for the disaster that is still unfolding in a covid-19 ridden USA.
While Judith Collin’s views are a perfect representation of a loud-mouthed ignorant minority of the National and Act party supporters. Fortunately it is not the bulk of them. It is the difference between those distasteful with few ethics and those who are worth arguing with.