Phil Quin: our media’s goto dogwhistling Aussie

Written By: - Date published: 8:41 am, November 29th, 2017 - 93 comments
Categories: David Farrar, Media, Politics - Tags: ,

One thing that always disappoints me in NZ is the complete stupidity of who our local media consider are ‘left’ or ‘labour’ commentators. They are, almost without exception, just outright strange and weird relics of left behind history framing their commentary in terms of long past history of the political left.

For instance Phil Quin has been confidently commenting on NZ politics for many decades from offshore. I only vaguely remember him being involved as a staffer for Phil Goff in my neighbouring electorate of Mt Roskill in the days of the interim government of Jenny Shipley.

As his site bio says

I’m a New Zealander, but spent the past seventeen years between Melbourne, New York and Kigali.

I’ve worked in the field of political communications for a long time, including, most recently, a fascinating three year stint consulting in Rwanda. These days, I’m on an indefinite sabbatical, roaming between Wellington, Vietnam, Europe and the U.S., as I try to write in my own voice for a change.

It is an interesting starting point. But it hardly pertains to politics in NZ. Which is why Phil Quin has always felt to me like a political relic of the past. He seems to still be trying to fight the narrative of a internally disintegrating Labour Party in a new MMP environment.

This is hardly surprising. When he departed our shores is so damn long ago that I now have engineers working with me who would have been entering primary school about the time that he left. He was out of touch with local politics of the left then, and appears to have become more and more politically deranged ever since.

In 1998 when he left, MMP had just had its first run out of the gate, Act with its hard right wing contingent from Labour and National was a prominent part of the political landscape with 7 MPs, the Alliance with its conservative leftish agenda was about the same, and there were a plentitude of small parties all trying grow.

When I was aware of Phil Quin, my opinion was that he was a completely perfect natural for the Act party. He appeared to be one of the manipulative idiots who was more interested in plotting and leverage inside the parliamentary precinct rather than dealing with the obvious issues inside the party. He was engaged in a battle with a rabid female and left enemy that only he seemed to be able to see.

Whenever I think about the toxic Thordon Bubble of left politics, he is the person that I think who epitomises the sheer stupidity of its ego driven ambitions.

In the mid-1990s he was engaged in a persistent verbal war with anything on the left or female or conservation orientated in the Labour Party, including the incumbent leader Helen Clark. As I remember the rumours of the time, he was heavily involved with trying to get her dumped in favour of his Phil Goff. He wrote about it here with some interesting message framing and little

His tactics at the time weren’t those of discussion and consensus. They are those of chaos and disintegration. I have never ever been aware of his to being involved in the process of building anything – the underlying purpose of politics. Instead he is always at the edges trying to destroy social political progress for what? It appears to me to be only for his own advantage.

So why exactly do our media get him to comment on NZ politics?

Well Phil Quin’s only apparent political strength is exactly the same as that of David Farrar who came out of that same 1990s parliamentary hothouse – they are very good at framing dog whistles. Our media are very good at being controlled by dog whistles. It surely beats them having to actually think about anything substantively and keeps that airtime and column inches full.

This latest little effort of Phil Quin on a female green MP shows all of the usual signs of that 1990s bubble misogynist training. It allows the dickheads of our society to indulge in a little slapping down of women in society over a few carefully misinterpreted words. It adds nothing to the political debate apart from massaging their egos. And it is simple bullshit that can be framed in a silly season message for the simple minded.

Perfect for the media, who have been a bit bereft of political column inches recently as the government slowly jells into a working form.

 


BTW: Andrew Geddis has thoroughly debunked the factual underpinning at Pundit in “Contra Quin: Ghahraman still did nothing wrong”

So I’m really struggling to see what the moral difference is between a paid UN defence representative who has volunteered to be a part of the ICTR process (which Quin says is necessary and legitimate) and someone who gets put on a defence team after winning an official slot on the UN internship programme (which Quin seems to think is somehow being complicit with those who are on trial).

and

To then thoroughly damn a 25-year-old Ghahraman for helping to write an academic paper, largely because of the findings of a report that came out four years later, seems remarkably churlish. The paper may be bad or ill-founded (although having looked at its subsequent citations, no-one else seems to have had a problem with it before now). But some sort of apology for genocide or giver of comfort to those who committed it? I think not.

The bit that Andrew Geddis seems to miss is, in my opinion, that she is a conservationist woman in a position of power with a philosophy of fixing things. Personally I couldn’t imagine anything that is more threatening to misogynist egomaniac who thrives on chaos.


Note that the topic on this post is Phil Quin and Media. Comments on Ghahraman will result in simple bans. I expect people to read to the end of my posts before comments, so saying you didn’t see this just earns you an ban extension.

And for the benefit of media, this is not an invitation to get me to become a talking head. I have far better things to do – mostly too technical to explain to media airheads.

Besides, I’m way way too right wing to represent much of the left. These days I just help to make sure that all of the views of the left are aired here.



Updated: Worth reading a post by a international criminal law academic Kevin Jon Heller A Vile and Shameless Attack on Golriz Ghahraman in http://opiniojuris.org/. My favourite bit which completely undercuts one of Phil Quin’s li(n)es is:-

Bikindi’s argument, which Golriz helped develop as one of his attorneys, was that he did not conspire to commit genocide, that he did not commit genocide, that he was not complicit in genocide, that he did not incite genocide, that he did not kill as a crime against humanity, and that he did not persecute as a crime against humanity. And guess what? The Trial Chamber unanimously acquitted Bikindi on every charge other than incitement.

Quin conveniently fails to mention that the Trial Chamber agreed with Bikindi that the other charges had no merit. So when he says — with regard to the genocide deniers’ “twisted view of history” — that “[w]ittingly or not, Ghahraman jumped on that bandwagon. As a public figure, she ought to be judged by such choices,” he is indicting the Trial Chamber no less than Golriz.

Golriz is not a genocide denier, of course. Golriz is a lawyer who defended an individual accused of committing horrible crimes, a necessary role for anyone who takes due process and natural justice seriously. Quin might not care about whether ICTR defendants received fair trials, but the Tribunal itself does. As it notes on its website, “[a]s with other tribunals and courts of law, the Defence has been playing a crucial role in ICTR proceedings, upholding the principle of equality of arms and ensuring the fairness of proceedings.”

Quin’s argument, therefore, is not simply factually challenged. It is offensive.

That is the role of the defense, to challenge prosecution case and to make them prove it. In this case that was exactly what was done. It also means that Phil Quin has been talking bullshit.

hattip: Lew on twitter.

93 comments on “Phil Quin: our media’s goto dogwhistling Aussie”

  1. RedLogix 1

    I’ll repeat the essence of an earlier reply; this isn’t just a typically scummy hatchet job on an individual; it undermines a critical component of our legal process, the right to a competent defense.

    It’s time for some legal and political heavyweights to step up and end this nonsense. The admirable Mr Geddis has made a stand, but if this is greeted by silence from the left leadership I’ll be damned dissapointed.

    Also the UN itself might well have something to say, as reluctant as they be may be to dignify this with an answer.

    PS. I may be biased, but Quin is no more an Aussie than I am. It’s hardly fair to rope them into this.

    • Booker 1.1

      Completely agree on legal authorities need to step in and make a statement on this – criticizing someone for acting as legal defense for someone you don’t like is criticizing the legal process itself, there’s no way around that conclusion.

      • greywarshark 1.1.1

        If he isn’t to be regarded as an Aussie well we don’t want him do we? What about sending him to North Korea then. With some strict military training and a long worm in his guts getting more off the meagre diet than the host, he would be bound to make a run for it, then the North Koreans could deal with him in their inimitable way.

        A fitting end to a wasted life as John Cleese said in the cheese sketch. (Time for some old and tried black humour).
        (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uT3OQECSDoQ

    • this isn’t just a typically scummy hatchet job on an individual; it undermines a critical component of our legal process, the right to a competent defense.

      Perverting the course of justice perhaps?

      The admirable Mr Geddis has made a stand, but if this is greeted by silence from the left leadership I’ll be damned dissapointed.

      The present parliament should be making a united stand against the BS. That not happening then the the present government should do so.

    • lprent 1.3

      …but Quin is no more an Aussie than I am.

      That was pretty much to highlight that he had been based out of Melbourne for so long now that he was effectively completely ignorant in his understanding of NZ politics.

      It is hard to find many Aussies who have even a vague awareness and understanding of NZ politics or our political system. This shows up both in the rather ignorant aussie politicians and even in many of my relatives who have been there for more than a decade.

      Besides. It is a classic dogwhistle to denigrate him as being just another aussie.. Why should Phil Quin have all of the fun with that technique?

  2. greywarshark 2

    I’m really concerned that this type of democracy destroyer like Quin can get in line with a bunch of similar others and fire verbal depleted-uranium bullets. We are under attack by these people who are not someone else’s side, that can provide better pay and perks.

    They are just mercenaries – the USA is concerned about Russians and terrorists within their midst – but they, like us, have agents within their society that prompt the cliche ‘With friends like that, who needs to look for enemies?’

    Who are these so-called journalists working for? Why do they try and sell their poisonous product in NZ, get money for it, and yet wish to destroy the country and prevent a healthy economy to be the norm. It’s as senseless as any feral predator breeding rapidly and eating its host to a skeleton.

    What links do we have available to us to put our point to these ‘yellow press’ entities?
    Why should open mouthpieces like Quin and others have the red carpet laid down for them to drive their verbiage into the maw of this badly composted heap of crap.

  3. weizguy79 3

    Don’t forget, Quin was the champion of one Nick Leggett, he of the “Labour Party in exile.” Quin claimed that Leggett was the real deal, a true Labour party up-and-comer. Leggett lost the mayoral race, promptly left the Labour party and (in short order) joined the Nats in the hope he might be able to run for National in Mana.

    Quin is your classic bully – happy to throw shit at others, but very thin-skinned when called on it.

  4. roy cartland 4

    And it’s worse when the ‘media’ parrot his bullshit. Andrew Geddis as ever, demolishes the idiocy with accurate, level-headed devastation:

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/99345190/rwanda-criticisms-against-golriz-ghahraman-dont-stack-up

    main points I got from the article:
    • She didn’t ‘choose’ to defend the War Crim; she was appointed by the UN body onto the defence legal team.
    • She was an intern – hardly a clout-weilding attorney; so the equivalent of the old court-appointed-lawyer that any old crim must have in any functioning democracy.
    • If the guy didn’t deserve a lawyer, tell that to the UN, not the intern who was doing her (their) job.
    • She was a volunteer lawyer, not a paid one, which Phil Quin apparently despises.
    • Phil Quin is an utter, utter, shit-stirring dickhead.

    • RedLogix 4.1

      Credit to the Herald for publishing Geddis’ level-headed and restrained response. I wonder if there aren’t a few editorial red-faces in the office this morning for giving Quin’s drivel oxygen in the first place.

      The mere fact of them publishing Quin’s utter nonsense in the first place signals their weaknesses. At some level someone wanted this crap to be true, or knowing it to be false, wanted it to cause damage to an entirely innocent party.

      What we really need now is for Ghahraman to get some heavyweight support. Not just to repudiate the attack on her, but more importantly, to signal that the left is in power and will use that power when needed.

      • Anne 4.1.1

        What we really need now is for Ghahraman to get some heavyweight support. Not just to repudiate the attack on her, but more importantly, to signal that the left is in power and will use that power when needed.

        Absolutely, because this bunch of seething, malice driven Nats and their enablers are going to pick off govt. members and their supporters time and again with similarly false memes. It has the potential to hurt many innocent people and should be stopped here and now before it gets out of hand.

      • roy cartland 4.1.2

        “What we really need now ”
        +1.

      • greywarshark 4.1.3

        Ms Ghahraman was doing the defence work of a what was very likely a piece of s..t or the person wouldn’t have been being tried for bad offences. Basically it was a dirty job, and someone had to do it so that the trials and tribulations of justice got properly exercised.

        Why would anyone, anyone, take it upon themselves to think badly of anyone doing this job, especially anyone like Quin, who doesn’t see to have a facility for deep thought. After reading his resume I think it is important to keep his name in the public eye so as to keep his self-promotion going and more jobs coming.

        This is what his site has:
        http://www.philquin.com/pqc/
        BACKGROUND
        After throwing myself into politics and campaigning in my twenties, I’ve been a strategic communications specialist for the past fifteen years. Between 2011-2014, based in Kigali and New York, I consulted to the Government of Rwanda: setting up a whole-of-government communications operation, as well as assisting Rwandan Government as it successfully sought a UN Security Council berth; commemorate twenty years since the Genocide against the Tutsi; and navigate a raft of sensitive and complex diplomatic and political challenges.

        For seven years, I worked as a public affairs consultant in Melbourne after a stint advising Premier Steve Bracks. In 2007-08, I was engaged by the Victorian Government to coordinate communications around the policy response to an historic drought.

        These days, I’m slowly working on a book of autobiographical essays, writing occasional columns on politics for Business Spectator and other publications, while offering strategic counsel, as well as writing and editing services, to clients in Australia, NZ and the U.S.
        http://www.philquin.com/pqc/

    • Unicus 4.2

      Phil Quin is an utter shit stirring dickhead”

      And a darling of NZs Australian owned media monopolists Fairfax .

      A lot of nasty anti- progressive crap has come our way from Aussie lately both before and after the election all of it proliferated by Fairfax – expect more .

      The Libs are donkey deep with National – clearly they preferred an incoherent cynic as PM rather than the erudite highly principled individual they are now confronted with . It is more than a handy coincidence that the Libs favourite media flunkey also owns most of NZs newspapers metropolitan and regional alike.

      Fairfax printing such baseless propoganda in an attempt to undermine our democracy is untenable – time for a very hard look at the legitimacy of their operation here.

  5. Anne 5

    Through some past personal experiences of mine, I have learnt that types like Phil Quin are very good at ingratiating themselves with those in the media and elsewhere whom they believe to be in – or close to – positions of influence. Over time they manage to convince them they are the appropriate ‘go to’ people for comment and supposedly non-biased analysis. Because too many of our journos are lazy and ill informed (or simply don’t know how to do their jobs properly) they tend to use these types because its easier than trying to track down the people who have the real knowledge, experience and understanding of the issues at hand.

    • greywarshark 5.1

      I was listening to Brent Edwards being interviewed by Espiner this morning over Winston’s determined legal review of journalistic chicanery and Brent said it was reprehensible for Winston to do so. A veritable attack on j. integrity etc.

      Perhaps it has happened because too many journos have become ‘lazy and ill-informed’ and forgotten all the things they have been taught about integrity. Rub the dirt in has become the motto for a significant number. No wonder Winston would want to expose this and help them get cleaner.

      Brent has no doubt read Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics but he didn’t mention it while he told his tale of woe about the bad politician who is reacting to being used as clickbait by journos and their bosses who have $ signs decorating their doors, not rules of engagement with the polity.

      • Anne 5.1.1

        I didn’t hear that interview but I think I understand where Brent Edwards is coming from. Journalists need to be able to protect their sources both for themselves and the person/persons who have briefed them. But he seems to have failed to take into account that this particular exercise was ‘dirty politics’ in action designed to bring down Peters. Peters has a right to clear his name of wrong-doing and seek justice in the process.

        I have always classed Brent Edwards as one of our better journalists so I’m surprised he has taken this tack.

        • RedLogix 5.1.1.1

          Brent Edwards has made the mistake of thinking all rights are absolute. They’re not. In this case, one important right … protection of sources, needs to be balanced against two other important rights … the right to privacy, and defense against malicious defamation.

          The indisputable facts of this case are pretty simple; private information held by a govt dept was leaked into the public domain to defame a political figure immediately prior to an election.

          There is clearly no ‘public interest’ defense here; the leak had only a malicious political purpose. There is zero public interest in Winston Peters, or anyone else’s, overpayment of Super. A mistake is solely of concern to WINZ and no-one else.

          If Peters had refused or failed to make repayments in a timely fashion there would have been a story, but this is clearly not the case. WINZ made a mistake, the matter was resolved. End of.

          As a journalist I can understand why ‘protection of sources’ is a principle Brent Edwards values highly. Without it his job would be much harder. Yet like all rights it has limits, and abuses of it are still subject to scrutiny.

          • Draco T Bastard 5.1.1.1.1

            The indisputable facts of this case are pretty simple; private information held by a govt dept was leaked into the public domain to defame a political figure immediately prior to an election.

            There is clearly no ‘public interest’ defense here; the leak had only a malicious political purpose. There is zero public interest in Winston Peters, or anyone else’s, overpayment of Super. A mistake is solely of concern to WINZ and no-one else.

            And the journalists should have known that before publishing it and then thus refused to publish it. This makes the journalists themselves culpable.

            I’m left wondering if the journalists are worried that Winston will drag them before the courts as well now that they’ve realised that they did something wrong and that they have no protection from consequences. He certainly should do.

        • greywarshark 5.1.1.2

          I don’t know what I should think about this and maybe Brent brought something forward that I didn’t hear. This is the Radionz piece I am alluding to.
          http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/morningreport/audio/2018623432/deputy-pm-seeks-money-from-journos-over-superannuation-story

          politics
          Deputy PM seeks money from journos over superannuation story
          From Morning Report, 7:21 am today
          Listen duration 5′ :07″

          Winston is seeking money from two journalists over his superannuation over-payment. Our former political editor, and representative on E Tu Union, and the International Federation of Journalists Brent Edwards says it’s an attack on journalists and “reprehensible”. He says Winston Peters should re-think his stance on pursuing members of the press.

          • RedLogix 5.1.1.2.1

            Edwards can’t have it both ways; he can’t insist on absolute protection for journalistic sources, while also denying editorial responsibility for clear cut malicious damages.

            The buck has to stop somewhere.

    • Through some past personal experiences of mine, I have learnt that types like Phil Quin are very good at ingratiating themselves with those in the media and elsewhere whom they believe to be in – or close to – positions of influence. Over time they manage to convince them they are the appropriate ‘go to’ people for comment and supposedly non-biased analysis.

      This is how psychopaths operate.

      • Anne 5.2.1

        Yep. And I was on the receiving end of one. They are also extremely clever at hiding their extracurricular non-verbal activities (nice way of putting it) so that the victim does not always know who the perpetrator is. By the time they find out the evidence can be so difficult to obtain, they end up getting off scot-free.

  6. Ad 6

    A big reason a small political story is getting blown up is because the government is not doing its own good stories to form a more competitive media narrative.

    Even Winston Peters’ election leftovers are getting more traction than the government.

    Mike and Heather know how to feed meat to a dog.

    Chop chop team.

    • RedLogix 6.1

      Nah … it’s tough to trust a dog that hackles, growls and nips every chance it gets. Especially when you can see it being as good as gold for it’s real owner.

    • I tend to agree ad – the government should have stories ready to drop into the media to sort this out. Supporting support parties is essential. This is politics, get into it. You are the government labour – own it and the narratives. Slam dunk the dirty gnats – rub their noses in their snot and stop reacting and start bloody being what we’ve elected you to be.

      • RedLogix 6.2.1

        It’s only a month and everyone is still getting their feet under their desks. The DP crew know this and are working the gap. Throw in the email spam stunt, ongoing coalition agreements, staffing processes … this govt has a very full dance card right now.

        Worst response would be something rushed and politically flawed. I think the best responses would come from the UN itself; Quin is essentially attacking one of their own important programs. Geddis has shown the way.

        • marty mars 6.2.1.1

          Waiting for the un? Yeah nah. Front foot it and expose it for the rubbish it is. A month is enough time to get the feet under the desk. Act like the government and swamp the swamp with messages the government wants the people to believe. Timidity is not a trait for government and either is waiting for someone else to fix it. And get some good un pushback as well.

          • Reality 6.2.1.1.1

            The ministers’ offices have to be staffed with advisers, press secs, portfolio secretaries, so a month is not a long time given incoming appointees no doubt have to give notice if they are in other employment. Maybe three months is a more likely time to be up and running.

        • Ad 6.2.1.2

          This is a fresh government, who have had 9 years to practice what they are going to say, what they are going to roll out, who is going to do it, how to manage the media, and how to succeed as a government.

          “Getting their feet under the desk” is the kind of excuse that only works when your side is failing.

          This lot I voted for have only 36 months – 6 for holidays = 30 months in a whole term to get all their promises done, and to look so good while doing so in the media that they get another term.

          This government needs to get their media shit together.

          • BM 6.2.1.2.1

            This government needs to get their media shit together

            Winston Peters has sunk any chance of that with his court action.

          • red-blooded 6.2.1.2.2

            Don’t be so unreasonable, Ad. These folk didn’t even know that they were going to be in government until Winston revealed all, let alone what responsibilities they’d have. They couldn’t hire staff until they’d sorted out ministries. As an example, I know of one minister who’s appointed a chief press secretary – great, but that guy needs to work out a month’s notice before he can take over (it should be happening in the next few days).

            The Nat team also took time to get started, it’s just that we haven’t had a real change of government for quite a while – we’re used to them just rolling on, and on, and on, and on…

  7. Can’t stand the guy or his pathetic views. Feel some disquiet in aiming at him – just going to make him more of a go to guy but choices are limited. The fact he hasnt lived here is a good one – out of touch, doesn’t know, old ideas and patterns are good media lines to use for this gallah.

    • lprent 7.1

      Feel some disquiet in aiming at him..

      I always do when I’m talking about specific individuals outside of the politicians and their actions.

      However, since 2005 and especially since Dirty Politics lifted the lid on why it was being done and how it was financed, it has become quite apparent that if you don’t express opinions on the motivations of some of the nasty buggers around politics that everything just keeps turning to shit. So over the last decade, I increasingly target individuals who act like arseholes when they get obnoxious enough to start targeting others with dog whistles.

      But I restrict myself to expressing my opinion about them and how I arrived at those opinions – with links. People can take or leave those based on how they view me. It ensures that there is an alternative narrative about them that comes up fast on a search. It is all part of making sure that there is a informed robust debate in the local political sphere.

    • OncewasTim 7.2

      You may have noticed this petulant blokey gallah has now taken to twitter to give his own ego a bit of a stroke in true tuff guy fashion.
      A pathetic ‘widdle’ attempt to belittle those that criticise his message.
      Oh so tuff this man of the whurl (/sarc)

      • OncewasTim 7.2.1

        Actually, the more I think about PQ, the best place for him would be Kigali WITHOUT a credit card

        • DoublePlusGood 7.2.1.1

          Well, his current twitter says he’s in Medellin, Colombia.
          Which makes me wonder what he’s been Medellin in to be over there. It would be nice if he would Rwander somewhere far away from New Zealand and the internet and stay there.

          • OncewasTim 7.2.1.1.1

            Well he sure as hell has been out of NZ long enouğh to have taken on an Okker accent.
            I won’t be surprised when they start locking up Kiwis in Villawood for being fuckwits in charge of an ego…he’ll be screaming the loudest

  8. greywarshark 8

    Can Quin be called a Rhinestone Cowboy? Where does he get money from to enable him to roam about the world talking in his own voice, whatever that is, presumably the voice of the current paymaster? So who is it? Who manipulates this sock puppet?

    Perhaps he will get a voice that will enable him to be the new DarthVader?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7mv7hmnWkmo

    Looking at the lyrics of Rhinestone Cowboy they really tell his tale – from the excellent AZLyrics site.

    “Rhinestone Cowboy”
    I’ve been walkin’ these streets so long
    Singin’ the same old song
    I know every crack in these dirty sidewalks of Broadway
    Where hustle’s the name of the game
    And nice guys get washed away like the snow and the rain
    There’s been a load of compromisin’
    On the road to my horizon
    But I’m gonna be where the lights are shinin’ on me

    Like a rhinestone cowboy
    Riding out on a horse in a star-spangled rodeo
    Like a rhinestone cowboy
    Getting cards and letters from people I don’t even know
    And offers comin’ over the phone…

    (And repeat with a slight change to ‘There’ll be’ indicating a future same as the past.)

    There’ll be a load of compromisin’
    On the road to my horizon
    But I’m gonna be where the lights are shinin’ on me…

    ‘Look out ‘possum and don’t get dazzled by the lights shinin’ on you’ cries Dame Edna Everage from Australia where he belongs – up a tree! He should be able to get some entertainment role in Oz that would use his vivid and protean imagination.

  9. weka 9

    I thought it was interesting that The Newsroom piece by Quin has this as his byline,

    “Phil Quin is a former Labour staffer in New Zealand and Australia.”

    It’s kind like describing Prebble as a former Labour MP and not saying anything else. Maybe that’s an attempt to frame Quin as left wing, or maybe as Lynn’s points out there’s just not much else to say about him that’s politically pertinent.

    • Hooch 9.1

      They always run that line whenever he is used for comment. I think it is to create the meme that labour are an infighting rabble.

      It should read that he is a former Labour Party staffer who didn’t have the balls to join ACT.

      There must be quite a few former labour staffers. Why this joker always gets air time is beyond me. Is it because it’s always critical? Seems likely.

    • greywarshark 9.2

      Sounds like he is desperate to hang onto something that gives him some background, but it is pretty thin so why do the media put up with him? Is it a guy thing? I worked for Labour as an electorate volunteer but what exalted information does that imply about me for a CV? Lots of people have worked in political parties at different times, but wouldn’t be given a by-line as if they have been an advisor or confidant of the Party’s inner workings.

  10. Bill 10

    Hmm. A puerile, and easily countered attack is made on an MP.

    Prominently placed “column inches” are chewed on the attack and associated phenomenon…with the result that those launching the attack control the greater narrative.

    What have they drowned out or distracted our attention from? (Maybe nothing.)

    But when it’s all done and dusted, are people in general – those who pay scant attention to political news – going to have any impression other than some vague notion that there’s something untoward about Golriz Ghahraman?

    If so, then it’s “mission accomplished” from the perspective of those who blew smoke.

    • +111

      And the ones who blew smoke won’t be held accountable for their immoral actions.

    • SPC 10.2

      This was timed for the end of the Oz detention camp in Oz and the asylum seekers being forced into local centres on Papua New Guinea.

      The USA has just agreed to take 70 of them (including some on Nauru as refugees) – they have first pick. As this develops there will be calls by the UN for other nations to do something as well.

      Whaleoil has already reported on moves within the government to prepare for hosting (greater number) refugees – and suggested that this is linked to taking some from Papua New Guinea.

      National will try and raise the issue of impact on relations with Oz, if and when anything is announced, and seek to make this unpopular. An attack on Greens (via critical attention to an Iranian refugee,when some of the asylum seekers are from Iran) is designed to impugn their human rights activism “moral high ground” ahead of this.

  11. mauī 11

    I’m finding it bizarre that Quin, a guy probably 99.9% of the New Zealand public don’t know of, writing out of Colombia or some other far off land can get headline media coverage here across print, internet and tv and hold one of our politicians to account. Almost like he’s the head of state of another country who is an expert in human rights, and his target who is the real expert we should have been hearing from is put into the defensive position from the get go.

    Surreal.

    • Ed 11.1

      The question is how and why he gets such access.

    • Ad 11.2

      We are one of a handful of left governments in the world right now, and the only one with the Greens in it.

      The whole of the world’s Labour and left and Greens are watching us.

      So don’t be surprised if we get more than our fair share in The Guardian and elsewhere.

  12. Psych nurse 12

    This whole exposure from Quin has the feel of something personal rather than ideological.He obviously was in possession of information not available to others.

    • red-blooded 12.1

      Well, for starters he’s worked in Rwanda and so would be more likely than others to keep track of who did what in the UN team.

      Plus, if you read that old Herald article Lprent links to (the one written in 2012), it’s clear that he feels he was hounded out of the Labour Party by the “left” and by women in power. He seems to see Helen Clark as an extremist lefty – I think that tells us a lot about this guy. And the idea that the party is now led by a woman again..? I think there’s a lot of anti-feminist ideology that oozes out of PQ’s writings.

      • SPC 12.1.1

        He’s been on the outer since he was part of the team seeking to remove Clark as leader in 1996.

        His commentary since 2008 is his way of trying to be return to relevancy in the post Clark era. A man seeking a patron within the party on the one hand and on the other offering external critique until he gets it. A bitter ex.

  13. SPC 13

    What’s truly bizarre is that Quin’s attack lines were so inconsistent, a mere volunteer intern on the one hand and then somehow the one culpable for the defence strategy (and described in an over the top way as “denying the genocide”). Yet no one in the media has questioned this.

    It must have been apparent that there was some agenda behind this and rather than just provide a vehicle for it, some attempt to determine what it is. But no.

    It does demonstrate how easily our media can be used as a vehicle to magnify Trumplike trash talk on social media, well at least once they are repeated on Kiwiblog and Whaleoil – soon followed by our Fox media/ZB right wing talk.

    Ardern should consider Key’s strategy, often on ZB seldom on National Radio, in reverse.

    • Muttonbird 13.1

      There’s a wider inconsistency too.

      Quin’s beef is that she, according to him, specifically chose to defend the Rwandans and therefore she is complicit with, and endorsing of, their crimes. This is bizarre in itself but also inconsistent with his fellow RWNJs who have no issue with her role in the UN defence teams, but rather the flimsy charge that she deliberately hid her defence work from the public.

    • marty mars 14.1

      Awesome response.

    • RedLogix 14.2

      Excellent rebuttal from someone who really knows what he’s talking about. A must read.

      Turns out if you read the comment from Ruth under that post, Quin himself may well have some questions to answer; ie is he being completely transparent about who he’s working for.

  14. ianmac 15

    Are we surprised? Jordan Williams now claims Green infighting and that,
    ” Her former clients, Simon Bikindi – sentenced to 15 years in prison by the International Criminal Tribunal for incitement of genocide in Rwanda – and the “Butcher of Bosnia” – responsible for the worst atrocities in post-war Europe – seem odd picks for the then 27-year-old to pause her career as an Auckland barrister to defend.”
    Williams is ” a Wellington-based lawyer, lobbyist, commentator, and former member of the Green Party.” Is that all he is???
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11949712

    • dv 15.1

      Who to believe

      http://opiniojuris.org/2017/11/28/a-shameless-attack-on-golriz-ghahraman/

      Bikindi’s argument, which Golriz helped develop as one of his attorneys, was that he did not conspire to commit genocide, that he did not commit genocide, that he was not complicit in genocide, that he did not incite genocide, that he did not kill as a crime against humanity, and that he did not persecute as a crime against humanity. And guess what? The Trial Chamber unanimously acquitted Bikindi on every charge other than incitement.
      Quin conveniently fails to mention that the Trial Chamber agreed with Bikindi that the other charges had no merit. So when he says — with regard to the genocide deniers’ “twisted view of history” — that “[w]ittingly or not, Ghahraman jumped on that bandwagon. As a public figure, she ought to be judged by such choices,” he is indicting the Trial Chamber no less than Golriz.

      • greywarshark 15.1.1

        Simon Bikindi is a musician. I repeat a link put in by roy cartland at 4 about him and when Ms Ghahraman met him. I am reminded of what emphasis the music of the people has on them, and how governments like to make them scapegoats. Greece did this with its popular musician Mikis Theodorakis, and he had to flee the country. In the way of following or arousing widespread emotions and thoughts, the musicians can be blamed by some without them having turned a violent hand.

        If only we could do more dancing to music when in military uniform. These music titles refer to Bikindi. (But feelings run hot, the comments in English below some of the music are still show negative feelings.)
        (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ePCIAn9v4aw
        (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZR0ZsEFypoo
        (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N-nSCyfn3fM

        Here is Mikis Theodorakis composition around a Greek poet’s recollections of being imprisoned in WW2 in Germany, which also happened to Theodorakis.
        (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YfCThxxRE48

        These are all real people who know suffering and aren’t just bit players come into the international scene to make some money being useful functionaries. Quin echoes the experiences of other UN workers who achieve some understanding but ultimately are not deeply moved.

      • ianmac 15.1.2

        Great dv. Thanks

    • marty mars 15.2

      Dirty politics in action, in real-time. CNN Live will be showing it soon.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 15.3

      Williams is wrong. Golriz Ghahraman discussed this with Duncan Garner on the AM show. I wonder how long the Herald is going to get away with publishing these defamatory smears.

      Stage 2: Anger. When the individual recognizes that denial cannot continue, they become frustrated, especially at proximate individuals.

      Nice to see the National Party moving on a little bit.

    • greywarshark 15.4

      Former member of the Green Party. Well they are a public party and don’t go round weeding out people on the basis of wealth/aspirations or having good, positive attitudes to the polity or commitment to as much truthfulness as possible. Really they are awfully common, they will accept anybody, and I am sure that Mr Jordan Williams soon found that he could better himself elsewhere and eventually formed the Taxpayers Union with David Farrar (which is based on an implicit lie that there are special people who pay unreasonably high Tax and a whole lot of others who pay low ‘tax’ or freeload.)

      6/2/16 The 29-year-old set up the Taxpayers’ Union three years ago, with National Party pollster David Farrar, to expose wasteful public spending and advocate for fiscal conservatism. They claim independence, but won’t reveal the source of their $191,000 a year in donations.
      http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/76443761/National-portrait-Taxpayers-Union-founder-Jordan-Williams

      Now an expensive spat with Colin Craig is finalising. 22/11/17
      https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/99111861/jordan-williams-might-be-victim-of-his-own-success-in-defamation-case

    • Ed 15.5

      Do the media still use Jordan Williams as a source?
      After Dirty Politics?

      • One Anonymous Bloke 15.5.1

        Journalists will use anyone as a source. Especially someone who’s so widely spread.

    • red-blooded 15.6

      This guy seems to have been taken on as a hitman by The Herald.

      No evidence of in-fighting, I notice – just a bold assertion that he hopes will embed itself in people’s thinking.

  15. Ed 16

    Maybe the Herald could trawl through Twitter looking for anyone with an agenda against the government.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 17.1

      Typical right winger: projects his own shit.

      • Anne 17.1.1

        And typical psychopathic behaviour.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 17.1.1.1

          Pop-science aside, I suspect Psychology isn’t based on replicable results, and that being so, using its terms to form judgements may be unwise.

          Neurolaw provides better ground.

    • greywarshark 17.2

      5/11/2011 ‘Phil Quin is a New York-based writer and commentator on media and politics.’
      The world is his oyster and everyone that does anything positive to help in any situation is fodder for this man to undermine or attack, if there is some advantage in it for him. That seems how he makes his living.

      On Rwanda –
      Last month Human Rights Watch said that authorities have arrested, forcibly disappeared and threatened political opponents since the August presidential election. President Paul Kagame, who has been de facto leader or president since the end of the country’s 1994 genocide, won the election with over 98 percent of votes.
      https://nypost.com/2017/10/10/watchdog-rwandan-military-routinely-tortures-beats-detainees/

      https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/02/rwanda-paul-kagame-americas-darling-tyrant-103963
      Kagame, credited with commanding the rebel force that put an end to Rwanda’s genocide 20 years ago, has made himself a global celebrity. Bill Clinton hails him as among “the greatest leaders of our time.” Tony Blair calls him a “visionary.” Bill Gates works closely with him. Kagame has spoken at Harvard and received honorary doctorates from a number of universities in the United States and Europe. U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is also a fan, telling Kagame in May, “I hope many African nations will emulate what Rwanda is doing. I highly commend you.” The praise inside Rwanda, in the press and public forums, is even more effusive. When I ask Rwandan citizens why there is no criticism of their president, I am told there is nothing to criticize. The political “opposition” consists of parties that refuse to speak out against Kagame even during elections, and there is talk of soon scrapping the constitution’s two-term limit for presidents so he can run in 2017 for a third time.

      https://www.reuters.com/article/us-rwanda-politics/mother-of-rwandan-presidents-challenger-tells-court-of-torture-idUSKBN1CI23P

      It worked for Robert Mugabe and in Zimbabwe they are delicately edging him out in his 90s. Trying to do anything against a military mindset that likes parades with soldiers goose-stepping is chilling. We need to take notice as the left wing are in a minority around the world. Can we hold off against the freelance mercenaries who know that the pen can be mightier than the sword.

    • Muttonbird 17.3

      Presumably Phil Quin is very happy with events around the arrest and charging of this woman, Diane Shima Rwigara.

      https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/democracy-post/wp/2017/09/29/she-tried-to-run-against-rwandan-president-paul-kagame-now-shes-looking-at-20-years-in-prison/?utm_term=.76640834dd83

      It would fit nicely with Quin’s attitude to women in politics, as outlined above. And in light of his very personal and emotional attack on Ghahraman it also fits nicely with Quin’s attitude to vocal women in politics – that they have no place there and should resign, or be thrown in prison, simply for doing their job.

      Quin’s problem is that the more he squeals about Ghahraman, the more his own endorsements, like that of the increasingly despotic Paul Kagame, will come under question.

      I suspect in Quin’s mind though, like most other pure capitalists, the fact Rwanda (like China) has lifted some people out of poverty is reason enough to turn a blind eye to abuses of power and vacuums of democracy.

    • marty mars 17.4

      Wow he really is dirty and bloody nasty.

  16. Muttonbird 19

    I think a lot more work needs to be done investigating Phil Quin’s advocacy and consultancy for the anti-democratic Kagame government of Rwanda.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/aug/05/paul-kagame-secures-third-term-in-rwanda-presidential-election

    For instance, Paul Kagame won this year’s election with 99% of the vote, and by 98% of the vote a constitutional amendment to remove a two term limit allowing him to continue to 2034.

    This is Robert Mugabe territory.

    He did this while having the election commission strike off any challenger but one and then arresting and charging another challenger in September. Even to Phil Quin these numbers and actions must ring alarm bells as they seem to be the result of anti-democratic conditions on the ground in Rwanda. The strong-arming of opponents must be disturbing to Phil.

    Phil Quin did consult for this one party state government and one wonders whether he wants the same sort of arrangement here in New Zealand, the National Party being in charge forever.

    The media hasn’t really touched on Phil Quin’s work for the Kagame government so far. I’d like to know more.

  17. millsy 20

    Latte-drinking hipster Phil Quin is/was a supporter of Bush, Blair and Clinton. 3 of the biggest war criminals out. He doesn’t mind a good massacre, as long as those doing the massacaring have UK and US flags on their uniforms.

    And it’s a bit rich of him to complain about how out touch Labour is, when all he does is go to cafes and gallery openings.

  18. millsy 21

    That said, Golriz and her party should have known that this was going to cause a shit storm and planned accordingly.

    This governments opponents will not show mercy or quarter or anything like that. I don’t think it’s members and supporters realise that.

    • Benny 21.1

      Phil’s attack’s on her are classic Rwandan PR strategy which he thought he had perfected. Attack anyone who criticizes the despotic regime with claims of genocide denial, shame them into submission so that they would back off forced to resign from their positions. Classic mate!

      The mistake he made this time round was an unsubstantiated defamatory attack on someone in a country that demands accountability from folks who won’t be bullied or brow beaten into submission. And he did this to a lawyer who has all the time, resources and knowledge to pursue a defamation case against him!!! He’s since realized his tenuous situation and apologized to her, probably under the threat of legal action.

      Rwanda’s PR tactics are no longer effective and their leader is being called to account for his human rights abuses. This time round, Phil Quin will be the wiser if he understands this and disassociates himself and his mercernary penmanship from this government: if he ever hopes to work for a respectable organization in the future.

  19. Alexandra 22

    More on Phil Quin- how he quickly dismissed and deflected from a criticism of torture in Rwandan jails. http://digitaldjeli.com/2012/amnesty-international-denounces-use-of-torture-in-rwandan-military-detention-rwandan-pr-reacts/

    • Benny 22.1

      Quin’s attack on Ghahraman is classic Rwandan PR strategy which he practiced and honed while working for that government’s PR department: attack any critics of the regime with claims of genocide denial, cower them into submission and hope that eventually they will resign.

      The mistake that he made this time round is that he did so in a country that demands accountability for baseless claims and character assassination. In a country that wasn’t going to take this sitting down. He also made the claims against a lawyer who is backed by a legal fraternity that sure knows everything about character defamation. They have all the time, patience and resources to take Quin down in the courts. How dumb can one be? He’s since had to issue a half-witted apology to Ghahraman on Twitter and retract his “genocide denier” claims.

      The fact is, the Rwandan regime is increasingly being called to account for its human rights abuses. Mr. Quin should act now and reexamine his support of this regime and his career in mercenary penmanship. Act now before you have to face the consequences of a tattered reputation!

    • Muttonbird 22.2

      A couple of thoughts having read that article:

      It’s important to know what people’s motivations are and take that into account when listening to their ‘message’.

      In Phil Quin’s case he has acted directly (and probably still does indirectly) in PR consultancy for the Paul Kagame government and at one point specifically for Rwanda Police.

      It’s worth noting the Kagame regime and its police and military are heavily criticised for human rights abuses including the use of torture.

      In reality Phil’s work in Rwanda involves actively and in current time defending the regime for contemporary abuses and advising them on how to paint any opposition as ‘genocide deniers’. This what he did to Ghahraman.

      Interestingly while his website does say he did consultancy work in Rwanda, it doesn’t say it was for the Rwanda police who seem to be indulging in torture. Absolute clarity of course is something he and other RWNJs demand of Ghahraman.

      Oddly though the media tells us he is a saint who ‘worked with genocide victims’.

      • Benny 22.2.1

        What is very important to understand is that the Rwandan regime’s legitimacy and raison d’etre stems from the narrative that they stopped this genocide and committed no abuses themselves. They will do whatever it takes to disrupt contrarian views, including hiring consultants such as Phil Quin.

        Think about the lengths the Trump Administration is going to in order to deflect and hold back what Mueller is about to uncover about Russia. It is the same intensity and the same relentless drive to preserve legitimacy.

  20. Benny 23

    Quin’s attack on Ghahraman is classic Rwandan PR strategy which he practiced and honed while working for that government’s PR department: attack any critics of the regime with claims of genocide denial, cower them into submission and hope that eventually they will resign.

    The mistake that he made this time round is that he did so in a country that demands accountability for baseless claims and character assassination. In a country that wasn’t going to take this sitting down. He also made the claims against a lawyer who is backed by a legal fraternity that sure knows everything about character defamation. They have all the time, patience and resources to take Quin down in the courts. How dumb can one be? He’s since had to issue a half-witted apology to Ghahraman on Twitter and retract his “genocide denier” claims.

    The fact is, the Rwandan regime is increasingly being called to account for its human rights abuses. Mr. Quin should act now and reexamine his support of this regime and his career in mercenary penmanship. Act now before you have to face the consequences of a tattered reputation!

  21. Priss 24

    Shame on Quinn for his dirty politics against a new MP!!

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