So, it was a typical Wednesday in our house; the wife parked on the couch watching Packed to the rafters, me messing on the interweb…. Anyway, after a bit of ‘The Standard’, a little ‘Trade me’ and a short ‘Red Alert’, I thought it would be fun to have a laugh at the lemmings on Whaleoil.
Well, would you believe it, he’s gone all ‘Youtube‘ on us!!
Anyway, to save you having to suffer his intolerably boring narration, he basically gives some pointer, firstly, how he used a specific site to identify the source of sites. For the relatively IT dumbfounded like me this was a revelation, so I thought “if it’s good for the goose it is good for the gander”
Blubber bucket used a website which identifies which sites are co-hosted on the same server. In his video he lists several sites where he announces that Labour is ‘has been caught red-handed using parliamentary services funding to host websites, collect donations and membership fees and staff working in parliamentary services to process this information. So, I thought I’d give it a try and see if his accusation holds any truth….
My-IP reveals a very interesting list of people; what Blubber bucket did next was run a ‘Who is’ search – this is how he ‘claimed’ Labour had been using ‘parliamentary services’ to run their websites. In fact, Labour has two staffers which work for the Parliamentary party part time and at party HQ the rest of the time, which is when they administer the party website. There is no use of publicly-funded staff time to run the party website.
So, what does National do??
It appears Nathan Guy’s domain was registered by one Kate Pullar, who, by the power of Google, is (or was) a certain Chester Burrow’s parliamentary secretary. Of course that wouldn’t be the Nat’s doing the same thing would it? And yes, she also registered Chester’s domain.
I must have randomly picked a random one (well Key’s at least went to a ChCh address!)
The deputy Prime Minister, double Dipton English was next for a check and guess what, his is listed as a certain Benjamin Wilson, also of parliamentary services; surely not the same Ben Wilson that regularly posts here?
Interestingly Lockwood Smith is also mates with Ben Wilson on the domain registrant basis, as is David Heatley and look at that Office that he was working in!!
The one that is really interesting is Brownlee – his does NOT provide any info, as it appears to be secured.
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Eddie: Very good work, ianupnorth. I think I can add something of value with a bit of examination of the rules around MPs using parliamentary resources for communications. The rules are summed up on Parliament’s website:
Obviously, that’s a fine line, very often.
All the National MPs’ websites that I checked had the Parliamentary seal on it. This means that they are being publicly-funded by Parliamentary Services. ACT’s (ironically) are the same. None of the other parties’ MPs (at least, none of the couple of dozen I checked) have the Parliamentary seal, indicating they are being paid for out of private party funds or by the MPs personally.
Do National and ACT’s websites not “explicitly seek support…party membership… or financial support” while the other parties’ do? Looking at the sites, I can’t see the difference.
To confuse matters, National MPs’ webites, like John Key’s, have both the Parliamentary seal and the authorisation statement that has to go on political advertising.
So, do National’s MPs’ websites break the rules by being publicly-funded, or should Labour’s be allowed to be publicly-funded? It seems to me that it’s one or the other.