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Rob Gilchrist On Nicky Hager

Written By: - Date published: 12:24 pm, August 17th, 2014 - 88 comments
Categories: articles, Media, Politics - Tags: , ,

lprent: Rob Gilchrist was a police spy on activists for a long time. He was unmasked by Rochelle Rees (rocky) and Nicky Hager. Being involved in many activist groups around the country he’d known Nicky Hager as a person to send stories to.

Rob Gilchrist volunteered this post. He requested that it did not become a “Rob hatefest”. I agreed, so this post is under full moderation (all comments cleared by me at my convenience). The topic is Nicky Hager, Cameron Slater, and the evidence. I’m liable to award 6 week bans for off-topic comments. 


 

In late 2008 I unfortunately became a subject of an investigation by Nicky Hager. While there is considerable difference between why I became the focus of Mr Hager and the many news articles he wrote about me at the time, there are also considerable similarities in how he received the content for his latest book.

Now I am not going to go into why I became of interest to Hager, that’s well covered on this site in particular, however after reading a lot of comments in the mass media and on sites like this one about the book ‘Dirty Politics‘ (which I haven’t read by the way) I felt the need to finally put fingers to the keyboard and write about not the content of the book itself, but about Nicky Hager. And it’s possible some of this may come as a bit of a shock to some of you.

To say I was upset, pissed off and highly annoyed that Nicky Hager had decided to write a number of articles about me and my employment would really be an understatement. I had been emailed by Nicky to meet him for coffee at a local café, something we did semi regularly when he came to my home town. Having enjoyed chatting with him previously over the years I accepted and we met for coffee, just like normal. Except it was not going to be normal.

After exchanging to usual greetings and coffee, Nicky said something to me that I will never forget. “Rob, ummm this isn’t going to be nice but I know you’ve been working for police for over 10 years.”

After receiving about 4 heart attacks in the first 4 seconds, I knew that my secret was out. I also knew that I could not argue against what he had just said. If it had been anyone BUT Hager telling accusing me of working undercover for Police my response would have been different.

Indeed I had, over the years practised (and used) various responses for this exact situation. Its just something you train for. But this was different. This was Nicky Hager making the accusation. And even before he pulled out a rather large folder of notes and placed the on the table, I knew I was screwed. ‘Burnt’ is the usual euphemism used in such a situation. I called it ’Fried’.

I said very little to Nicky after I quickly flicked through his tatty file. There was nothing I could say. Partly because the words would not come out but, partly because Id been trained to say nothing. But mainly because it was Hager. He asked me if I had anything to say, to which I replied “Nah, I don’t think I can tell you anything that you don’t already know. I then got up, shook his hand and walked out.

I wont tell you exactly what happened next and over the coming days because I’d get myself into more trouble. But I obviously spoke to a number of people and told them all the same thing. If Hager has the story, there was no point in fighting it.

So, that’s a bit of my unfortunate experience with Nicky Hager. If I could offer some advice to those now having their own unfortunate experience with Mr Hager, if you do fight back, which it seems they
are doing, I suggest they be very very careful how they do it. Granted the people named in “Dirty Politics” have a lot more to lose than I did, I wasn’t Prime Minister, MP, or a ‘higher up’ in politics.

I was not even a right wing blogger (but living in Christchurch I guess I am just one of the scum that Slater spoke about). But I do hope these people have enough sense to know when they have been burnt (not an effigy this time) and not try to put the flames out by throwing oil on the fire. Sometimes, although highly rare in politics, putting your hand up and admitting the truth may be the way to go.

You see, Mr Hager is very good at what he does. He is not just a journalist who working to a deadline just makes stuff up to add to the word count. He researches the hell out of the subjects in his articles and books. He talks to the right people, asks the right questions and goes over every little detail he has available to him with a nit comb.

For PM Key to come out and call him a ’conspiracy theorist’ shows that,

  1. He is panicking,
  2. He getting some extremely bad advice from his minders,
  3. Maybe he is more ignorant / arrogant than I had previously thought.

Mr Key, the facts in the book may be ‘dissolving’ before your eyes, but not in the eyes of the public. Maybe National has a short memory, do that not recall a book called “The Hollow Men”, or what about “Seeds of Distrust” or the book “Secret Power” that blew the lid off the GCSB and ECHELON, unsurprisingly all by the same author of “Dirty Politics”.

Now before I get called a lefty, I want to point out that I’m not. Granted I am not a fan of Judith Collins or Paula Bennett. But I don’t support any political party at all. I also don’t vote. Never have, never will. And before I get attacked for not voting, I don’t vote because politicians lie. All of them, from both sides of the fence. To me politics is a dirty disgusting business.

However, I can speak from experience and knowledge. I know that Hager had more information available to him than he wrote in the articles about me. I also know why he didn’t include them, because he couldn’t back that information up independently. It may come as a surprise but I have the utmost respect for Mr Hager, He doesn’t write ’baseless allegations’, ’what-ifs and fanciful speculation’ Mr Hager is also not a ‘conspiracy theorist‘, he’s just extremely good at finding conspiracies.

 


 

lprent: I’ve closed comments on this post now. Looks like everyone has had a say, and I prefer not to have to release trailing comments for the next 25 days.

88 comments on “Rob Gilchrist On Nicky Hager ”

  1. Rob – thank you for sharing that with us. It can’t be easy, but you’ve been a lot more honest in this matter than our Dear Leader and his cronies.

  2. CeeH 2

    Truly touched by your honesty and courage Mr Gilchrist – bless you and thank you. In tears …

  3. Mike the Savage One 3

    “You see, Mr Hager is very good at what he does. He is not just a journalist who working to a deadline just makes stuff up to add to the word count. He researches the hell out of the subjects in his articles and books. He talks to the right people, asks the right questions and goes over every little detail he has available to him with a nit comb.

    For PM Key to come out and call him a ’conspiracy theorist’ shows that,
    He is panicking,
    He getting some extremely bad advice from his minders,
    Maybe he is more ignorant / arrogant than I had previously thought.”

    For a former exposed police collaborator to come out and say this, proves to me beyond any doubt, that Nicky Hager is one of the last rays of hope there is in the New Zealand journalistic profession! Sadly he is one of very few, amongst a herd of otherwise rather poorly researching, headline hunting, trend following opportunists, who do not deliver much at all worth reading.

    Key, Collins and gang are SCARED!

    They have been exposed, and I look forward to some really “juicy” documents to be leaked soon, by Hager’s source, as Hager indicated on Q+A today, that his source is now considering to reveal some information himself.

    The book ‘Dirty Politics’ seems like having just been the start of more to come. I was happy to see “The Whale” be lost for words, insecure, afraid and full of attempts to divert attention, when Lisa Owen challenged him during the interview on the Nation this morning.

    Watch out, this is going to get very, very interesting!

    Hager deserves highest respect, and a top award for his work!

    • Melb 3.1

      Didn’t Hager also say he didn’t have access to all the emails? That can’t have helped the research.

  4. Colonial Viper 4

    Thanks for contributing your point of view on The Standard, Mr Gilchrist. Your personal experience and background make your perspective particularly valuable – at some stage the hunter always becomes the hunted.

    The Prime Minister and his advisors are hoping that Dirty Politics (and Hager) will be a distant and discredited memory by the time Sept 20 rolls around. My interpretation of your message is that is not likely be the case.

  5. Anne 5

    Credit to you Rob Gilchrist for having the courage to come here and post.

    I disagree with your assumption that all politics is a dirty, disgusting business. There are many good politicians on all sides of the political spectrum who are not dirty and disgusting. It is also important that everyone follow the political campaign and go out and vote on Sepember 20. That is NZ’s best chance of ridding ourselves of this “gotcha” type politics that some associated with the National Party in particular are indulging in at present.

    Finally, thank-you for your respectful words about Nicky Hagar. I have had one experience of talking with him shortly after the publication “Other People’s Wars” and I found him a very likeable and trustworthy person.

    • Morag Lorigan 5.1

      Very true as in all professions there are good and bad practitioners so it is in politics. I totally agree that we all need to vote, it is the most powerful thing we have to instigate change. there are some excellent caring, politicians who really are in it for all the right reasons. It is a pleasure to vote for them and to know that I play a small but significant part in ensuring they have a voice in parliament.

  6. delia 6

    Thank you.

  7. Pete 7

    Thank you for sharing your story, Rob. It can’t have been an easy decision to come into the lion’s den. I too think Hager’s work is very important and from all appearances he has laboured to be ethical in his approach to the content.

  8. Hami Shearlie 8

    Thank you for your fair and frank analysis of Nicky Hagar’s work, and his integrity, Mr Gilchrist!

  9. TheContrarian 9

    Highly interesting

  10. ianmac 10

    Yes Rob Gilchrist. Totally impressed. It would have been possible to have held it against Nicky had you been a lesser man. And clearly you are a man with integrity and honour. (Perhaps ironically you should be the one to be an MP.)
    I was moved by your words and in reading them out to my wife I found a lump in my throat.
    Thankyou Rob.

    • Tracey 10.1

      Perhaps read a bit about rob before attributing honest and integrity to him. Certainly as someone with reason to be bashing hager, that he has actively posted shows some class previously lacking.

  11. weka 11

    So Gilchrist knows Hagar the Horrible too??!

    http://www.arcamax.com/thefunnies/hagarthehorrible/

    (joke, running out the door for the rest of the day).

  12. Craig Glen Eden 12

    Thanks for your view on Nicky Hagar Rob I have never met him or you but if I do I certainly want to shake his hand and buy him a drink ( what ever he drinks). We need more people in this country that are interested in the truth and not spin it wouldnt be an easy job to do his work or be him.

    • wisestwoman 12.1

      HAGER!!!.

      [lprent: Yeah I know. That is my fault as I edited it but missed some.. Now I’m home and not trying to do it on a laptop with a limited screen, I will fix it. ]

  13. CnrJoe 13

    Like Anne at no. 5 – I too don’t swallow the Slater line that politics is a dirty disgusting business etc Rob. But I teared up as I read your piece – very honourable and yet – sarc- we call Collins Key et al, ‘Honourable Members…. ‘

  14. Jrobin 14

    Lucky that John Key doesn’t read. And I hope the Nats don’t take your advice. Hager is precise, ethical and persistent. Dangerous combination Judith.

  15. RBG 15

    Well said Anne. Thank you Rob, it is brave of you to speak out here at the Standard. That you have done so to support the reputation of the person who exposed you is commendable. I hope Hagar’s book reminds other NZ journalists what it means to do their job properly and professionally and that we get some properly researched stories on the real issues during this campaign instead of just recycling PR spin.

  16. marsman 16

    Thank you Rob Gilchrist. Your last sentence ‘He’s not a conspiracy theorist, he is very good at finding conspiracies’ is pure gold and should be quoted to Key, Slater, Collins et al.

    • vto 16.1

      Exactly. All of what the fat slug gets up to is conspiratorial, and same with the Liar-in-Chief John Key. All they do is conspire.

      Some journalist should throw the accusation back in Key’s face where it belongs.

  17. tricledrown 17

    Refreshing Rob light needs to be shed on anyone trying to undermine democracy.
    pouring Oil on the flames is a hard hitting analogy ,your explanation is so direct an clear ,
    that’s a rarity in todays world where political spin’s job is create confusion to avoid resposibilty!!
    Thank you Rob!

  18. While I find this point of view interesting, I have to say I’m not thrilled to see someone like Rob Gilchrist given a platform at The Standard. He is not “just” someone who worked as a police informant. He sent his handlers – and possibly neo-Nazi websites – naked photos of a young anti-fascist activist who wouldn’t sleep with him and then had the temerity to sue the police for “mental pain” after he was caught. He’s a creep.

    I do not find anything particularly “brave” about a post which attempts to paint Gilchrist as a victim, and tries to elicit sympathy for his being discovered, on the way to making a point about Nicky Hager’s journalistic integrity.

    This may well run foul of the “Rob hatefest” moderation rules, and if so, so be it. But I’m also unimpressed at the pre-empting any criticism of Gilchrist’s documented harassment and creepiness by framing it as “a hatefest”, so there you go.

  19. disturbed 19

    TO’ Mr Robert Gilchrist,

    You are one fine human being for posting all those admissions, that were presented so honestly and respectfully, all the details of the history between you and Micky Hagar in which may have personally caused your own family some fallout perhaps.

    I admire your humanity at a time when the National side are trying to turn Mr Hagar into a crook.

    You are worthy of respect and humility for proving and producing the background that exonerates Nicky Hagar also.

    Over the least week we have learned to have respect for Nicky for sticking his head out where others would not and this morning we will also extend the same respect to you sir as Nicky’s past friend, (and hope a future friend some day).

    You have given many fighting for Democracy & Freedom new sense of purpose for saving those values, thank you again Mr Gilchrist.

    “The price of Freedom & Democracy is constant vigilance.”

  20. Hamish 20

    It would have made more sense to turn the comments off rather than turning into a Gilchrist love-fest.

    • Agreed. To be honest seeing people use words like “integrity” and “fine human being” are making me feel a bit ill.

      • emergency mike 20.1.1

        +1

        While Gilchrist’s post may have some corroborative value to any right wing lurkers who are trying to figure out if John Key’s labeling of Hager as a “left wing conspiracy theorist” is bullshit or not, I don’t think any of the commenters here are going to have their opinion on that question changed one way or another by it.

        He hasn’t exactly delivered us any smoking gun here, so those commenters who are gushing with love about this post might want to look into who Rob Gilchrist is and what he has done.

        [lprent: On the edge. But I will let it through. ]

    • wisestwoman 20.2

      Haha. Yes, it is getting a bit diabetic.

  21. KJS0ne 21

    Brilliant piece, and very timely. Thank you so much.

  22. Rob Gilchrist 22

    Stephanie, you’re entitled to your opinion however you are wrong. This isn’t the thread nor forum to go into your accusations however. A lot has been written about me on the internet, the vast majority by people I pissed off by what I did. I, up until now have never written anything nor responded to any of the allegations. One day, I will. But not here not now. All I can say is that I did things I’m now not overly proud of. But your accusation is wrong.

    • It is not “opinion” that you were a police informant, that you had nude photos of a 16-year-old activist on your computer, that you emailed those photos to the police, or that multiple people involved in the activist movement you infiltrated have attested to your creepiness and bullying, sexist attitudes.

      And I am not going to sit by silently while you get reinvented as an “honest” or “brave” person by exploiting a very serious issue of political manipulation, or try to write off your critics as liars who are “pissed off” at you.

  23. John Darroch 23

    As someone who was a victim of Rob’s spying (and lies to the police about me) over many years I have mixed feelings about this. I respect the fact that Rob is highlighting Hager’s integrity and the seriousness with which he takes his work.

    However Rob also has considerable information which he has still not disclosed to anyone about the police spying program – in the above post he references his training in a way which he has not disclosed to Hager, or any of his victims (to my knowledge).

    Rob if you have genuine respect for Hager how about sending him an email with some of what you know in it? I’m sure that once this dies down he would be happy to work with you in a respectful way to get to the bottom of how the police run their covert intelligence programs aimed at political activists.

  24. RedLogix 24

    I had the privilege of spending several hours one on one with Nicky on a car journey many years ago.This was in the early 90’s before he became well known.

    To say it was an interesting conversation is to say the least.

    The abiding memory I have of him was how intelligent and thoughtful he is. And of how much Hager knows but has never published.

  25. disturbed 25

    Stephanie Rodgers;

    Human nature dictates no single person throughout life has been perfect and has erred or strayed from the path of righteousness, so would have you no doubt’

    “To err is human – to forgive devine,”

    learn what the bible says if you are a Christian about forgiving which appears to not be your forte’..Pity you wasn’t so critical about your National party mates eh!

    • I’m not entirely sure what this comment is meant to say, but I utterly reject the idea that the “good Christian thing to do” is just blindly forgive people – especially people like Rob Gilchrist who have caused huge amounts of harm, who have continued to do so since being exposed, and who clearly feel no remorse for their actions.

  26. disturbed 26

    Watergate to feature on TV next week.

    Tuesday on History channel.

    History of Nixon and Watergate folks go get the lesson we need to follow here with Slatergate..

  27. Kia ora Rob, this is a very courageous post. I have no experience of what this must have been like for you, but rights and wrongs aside I can be compassionate that it must have been very painful. Thanks for putting it into words; unfortunately your wise reflections will not be picked up by the people concerned.

  28. Rob Gilchrist 28

    Stephanie, your opinion is yours. I disagree with you. Like I said, right here, right now this isn’t the place. I’m quite happy to discuss Nicky Hager here and I’ll do so openly and honestly. I knew coming on here I’d get all sorts thrown at me. But such is my respect for Hager, a man who pulled no punches writing about me, that I decided to ask both potent and rocky if I could say what I have on here. That fact that the post is moderated is simply to keep the subject on track as it is, in my ey

  29. Rob Gilchrist 29

    … In my eyes a highly relevant and current one. Its not up to me but if lprent, rocky etc want me to do a questions and answers thing on here then maybe that would be a better bet than now. Maybe after the elections or whatever. I’ll be happy to comment on whatever. Right now, Dirty Politics is more important. Unfortunately I can’t recall ever having met you Stephanie.

    John, ummm will comment to you off here re your post if that’s OK. I’m sure you’ll get why.

    • Nope, I’m not onboard with allowing you to hand-wave away the abusive parts of your history. Especially given your clear lack of actual remorse or self-reflection.

      And it’s not long-long-ago history either, given you apparently threatened one of your critics with publicly releasing those naked pictures of her which you are still in possession of after she blogged about your behaviour last November:
      http://boundmaus.wordpress.com/2013/11/07/better-work-stories/

    • One Anonymous Bloke 29.2

      In depth analysis of your “training” – although I expect it will look more like “brainwashing” – won’t detract from the Key/Collins/Slater/Lusk/Williams narrative: it will augment it, and give you another opportunity to do right by those you’ve harmed.

  30. disturbed 30

    With you all the way Rob,

    I also cant imagine what both you and Nicky are facing.

    But the words for you both is Courageous.

    The same respect given all our fallen solders on battlefields who stood defending the Freedoms and Democracy that many died for on foreign fields.

    We owe them our lives and liberty to carry on the fight for Freedom & Democracy now under threat from the National Party and others, says me ex army 70rs old.

    [lprent: A teeny bit over the top. Perhaps someone should gently put in a link to a rocky post on the subject. ]

  31. Morag Lorigan 31

    Disturbed I agree to err is human to forgive divine. Hating another person or what they did is like swallowing a cup of poison and expecting them to drop dead. It’s amazing what total forgiveness does, it lightens your load and helps you feel freer. Stephanie I am a Christian and I know from personal experience the compassion you extend to others, especially others that have done extremely hurtful and harmful things flows into you own life and helps you know that you are loved absolutely. Also the person who wronged you is loved absolutely and when you truly understand that, you will put down the stone you are trying to cast and realise we all have fallen short, not one of us is blameless. This is not easy to do and can take years of searching for answers. You have to be humble enough to admit you need God in your life and then you will find the path you need to be on. Judgement and condemnation never will give you correct guidance. Try watching Joyce Meyer a lady who could have spent her life in bitterness and resentment but instead has become a shining example to millions of people worldwide, myself included. Watching her programme on youtube saved me many times from jumping to the wrong way of dealing with things and maybe she can help you too.

    [lprent: straying off topic. ]

    • I thoroughly reject the idea that holding Rob Gilchrist accountable for his abusive and creepy past means I cannot feel or express love, compassion or empathy. In fact I have all three in spades for the women he has victimized.

      • travellerev 31.1.1

        Stephanie,

        I don’t know you but I can see that you hurt for Rochelle. Nobody has forgotten what Rob did but if Iprent decided to print this letter he probably also considered what happened to his niece.

        I think it is important that people like Rob Gilchrist come forward in this situation.

        That doesn’t mean he is forgiven. It means that we have more support from someone who knows how diligent Nicky is in his research.

        Right now that is what we need and maybe this is also a step forward in the process of healing for Rochelle.

        I think it took courage to for him to come out like this and I do appreciate him for being straight up about this.

        • travellerev 31.1.1.1

          I just read that Rochelle approved of posting Rob’s letter. Iprent your niece is a very courageous and strong lady. Chapeau!

        • You need to actually read the thread. I am not “hurting” for Rochelle because she is not the only woman who has been abused and victimised by Rob Gilchrist.

          And there’s very little courageous about doing a post which completely erases his abusive history on conditions of no criticism.

  32. BLiP 32

    . . . I also don’t vote. Never have, never will. And before I get attacked for not voting, I don’t vote because politicians lie. All of them, from both sides of the fence. To me politics is a dirty disgusting business . . .

    Not voting isn’t rebellion, its surrender. I don’t know if your position on this is a result of your experience or was a part of your belief system exploited by those who used you but, either way, you are now repeating the narrative used, in part, to justify why Nicky Hager’s latest revelations can be ignored. Think about it.

  33. Once Was Tim 33

    Kia Ora Rob.
    I have a relative (2 … or maybe that’s 3 degrees of separation) in your predicament. I can’t choose my relatives but the activity he was involved in was constant torment to both his father and myself.
    I appreciate your post and I’ve no doubt you have disappointments about various of your minders. At least you’re able to still live in NZ – but if all this shit keeps up, maybe you’ll feel like leaving for the “3rd World” as I do, and probably will if this next election goes tits up.
    Christ the hypocrisy! as various former minders turned up to my “relative’s father’s” funeral. The last vestiges of such regime are still busy learning their lines (and panicking) because they know (or at least the bright ones do) that nothing is forever. The strategy is to simply prolong – which when you think about it – is very very very cowardly.
    Same shit, different stink I know, but the spin is really toxic, and the spin meisters fundamentally evil – if and when you have the luxury to be able to stop and consider.

  34. Rob Gilchrist 34

    Stephanie, I’m not hand waving anything away. Like I’ve said, I’m not going to comment on anything other than Nicky Hager right now. As I’m confident we have never actually met, anything you refer to is your opinion based on others opinions. I have no issue with you having an opinion. I disagree with Toves post. It may be her opinion but its not entirely factual, accurate or truthful.

    I’ll say it one last time, if people want to enter into a Q&A with me at some stage in the future then I’m prepared to do that. When and where would need to be decided.

    Here and now isn’t the time or place. If anyone wants to discuss Hager, my opinion of him, my experiences with him over many years, then I’ll be more than happy to do so. I won’t be commenting on anything other than that.

    • And I will continue to point out whenever and wherever I can that your version of events is highly whitewashed and erases the manipulation and abuse you are responsible for.

      • Once Was Tim 34.1.1

        …… even though there’s an obvious attempt to atone.
        thumbs up for calling bullshit when its needed, thumbs down for kicking those with the capacity for critical thought, prepared to change their mind.
        very Judith Collins!

        • There is no “attempt to atone” at all. I see no apologies to any of the women he victimised, just “oh that’s their opinion”. No apology even for the extensive work he did as an agent provocateur for the police, trying to get peaceful activists arrested, just a refusal to comment.

          Comparing me to Judith Collins in this instance is just bizarre.

          • Once Was Tim 34.1.1.1.1

            Just so you don’t misread me – I don’t disagree with you in giving ROB shit for all the bad things he did. I think he’s a dickhead for that (a cnut even).
            Having said that, I’m ALSO very aware of the pressure placed on ‘undercovers’ not just amounting to bribery, entrapment, and various other techniques that may cause people to do things they might not otherwise do.
            I also believe you should call shit at every opportunity where there is shit happening.
            It’s NOT that I’m trying to have a bob each way either. Don’t misread or make assumptions about MR Gilchrist’s reasons for supporting Nicky Hager. There is not NECESSARILY any agenda other than what his post states.
            None of us are EVER ALWAYS right (i.e. correct).
            My perspective of all this is simply
            – The guy’s a dikhead that’s done some nasty stuff
            – He’s looked at current issues and is in support of Nicky Hager (and is probably well qualified to do so given he’s familiar with the environment various ‘masters of the Universe’ operate in)
            – I don’t detect any attempt to minimise the cnuty/hikeady things he’s done in the past. I presume, given he probably recognises his mortality, finiteness et al his motivation in publicly supporting Hager is some sort of recognition that things have gone TOO far (Shame he didn’t many moons ago, and for you – shame he didn’t/doesn’t live up to your standards – he doesn’t actually live up to mine either)

            Pardon the Jude reference – it just seemed to me at the time that whatever has gone before is no reason to kick a person when down, when living in the land of the bewildered, when they hold an alternative opinion, or when they attempt excuses.

            • I’ve read above – you’ve picked someone up on a quote that involves something faith-based then proceded to progress you argument assuming they’re Christian/ a believer.
              Binary thinking.

            I wish you luck and good fortune (and of course it’s pointless engaging further on this issue – other issues, well I’m usually in agreement with you so probably no point in commenting there either other than to provide an ego boost)

  35. Simeon 35

    Far be it from me to question the wisdom of putting this post up, so I’ll keep comments confined to the topic at hand. Until the release of the book, I had no idea how integrated WhaleOil was into the National Party’s communications strategy. Cameron Slater has obviously always been a Nat mouthpiece, but I’m genuinely shocked at the level of closeness that Hager has revealed. Kind of blows my mind to think about it.

    Of course, the fact that I’m surprised probably is more a reflection of my own naivete than anything else. Faith that the Tories would be in possession of even basic standards of decency when it comes to politics was clearly grossly misplaced. From reading the media reports on the contents of the book, my eyes have been opened to the levels the Nats will stoop to, and it’s not a mistake I’ll make again.

    Since the launch of the book on Wednesday, I think a lot of people have already woken up to how National really operate. Cameron Slater and John Key both have a lot to worry about, in my opinion. Unless I’m mistaken, all the right-wing attack dogs are going to be in 24/7 crisis mode until the election. Media slant can’t sweep this under the table like it has for so much else. Barring some sort of major fuck-up by Labour, I think this could directly contribute to a left-wing victory in September. After 6 years of Tory rule, we’ll finally have a government of the people again. Granted, that depends on Labour not majorly fucking up in the interim, which is far from impossible, but I like to think positive.

  36. Awww 36

    Interesting post and vastly different from what we see in the mainstream media. Thanks Rob.

    This would suggest that maybe the real reason Key isn’t threatening a lawsuit is because it is all true.

  37. Ada 37

    I see an unrepentant abuser gets to deny things that have been confirmed, whilst you cushion him, standard.

    What are some girls worth when we’ve got totes srs bigger games to think of.
    Congrats.

    [lprent: Rochelle Rees (rocky) is my niece, she was the person who figured out he was a police spy when he was her boyfriend, also the person who gathered the evidence to expose him, and the person who approved this post. She and I had an extended discussion about the pros and cons of putting up this post and it was quite a difficult decision. ]

    • felix 37.1

      Extended discussion?

      Could’ve thouroughly prosecuted the matter with a very short one, I’d have thought.

  38. Rob Gilchrist 38

    It appears the media read this site. Just had a call from a journo wanting an interview. Not sure what to do…..

    [lprent: My best advice. Probably just avoid it. I think you have said everything that needs to be said about Hager in the post. I suspect that you have everything to lose and little to gain from an interview. ]

    • Once Was Tim 38.1

      DEFINATELY – give it a miss!
      If you want to do something constructive – just admit to some of the shit you’ve engaged in, is not what you would normally have done outside the Police ‘brutha-hood’ -IF that is the case.
      Otherwise, kick back, repent/rationalise/apologise in whatever way is meaningful to you, and what you HOPE is meaningful to your ‘victims’.
      I’m not sure how you could be capable of doing anything else – obviously others have different ideas

  39. prgcnt 39

    Someone, please get this man (Rob Gilchrist) on the six o’clock news!

  40. gCaisle 40

    Rob,
    I’m with you that all politics is somehow dirty, and I too will be exercising my right not to vote. I can’t in all conscience validate the current system, I too was once part of it and like you eventually saw the light. Keep safe. Keep your powder dry.

  41. It’s certainly interesting that Rob Gilchrist is anxious to speak well of someone who helped bring his career as a police spy to a close.

    I wasn’t going to post anything about this but it has elicited a curious sort of sentimentality on the part of some people and upset and confused some others and it seems that a lot of people, me included, are struggling to understand why The Standard agreed to it.

    It’s a bit odd when a ‘trained’, paid police informer who infiltrated and spied on activist groups and unions for 10 years (leaving aside the other issues) says he wants to counter right wing lies about Nicky Hager – by posting an article on a left wing website.

    Most people who post and read the Standard don’t need to be told that Nicky Hager is a principled and capable journalist – so why preach to the choir? Who’s Gilchrist hoping to convince – and convince them of what?

    I doubt Gilchrist’s testimony will change the minds of right wingers about Hager but it seems to have changed the minds of some left wingers about Gilchrist.

    [lprent: There are hell of lot more readers on the site than the people who comment. Usually 3-4000 unique people per day (currently closer to 6000) directly read the site. 50,000+ over a 30 day period. A high number of those are media, parliamentary and public service staff (who invariably read rather comment), and an assortment of centrists to rightists as well. At least another 500 pick ups happen on RSS feeds daily which we don’t track. And of course there are the facebook and twitter audiences getting notified about every post.

    As you say, we know what Hager is like. So do most people in the “beltway” and engaged. But others don’t, and we’re providing good linkages.

    For instance there were more than 1500 reads of that page today from Twitter, Facebook and Reddit. Almost all of those are not regular readers. Most will read most of the post. Many of them won’t go too deeply into the comments but sometimes they do. You’re in a public forum…. ]

    • I do realise I’m in a public forum and I hope it’s becoming even more widely read by people who are open to having their minds changed – and I hope Gilchrist’s piece has the positive effects you thought it would.

  42. Thinker 42

    I put this as a comment on an earlier article, but it applies here, more.

    If you have a copy of the video documentary of “Hollow Men”, check out the opening bit. Or, you’ll probably get it on youtube.

    Same spin doctors. Same spin – almost word for word – and a few key messages to avoid having to give a detailed answer to the curly questions. It is the coomonality to the response on “Hollow Men” that says to me that a lot of energy must have been put in, quickly, to shoring up an early defence. In “Hollow Men” it was a response based on there being some substance to the material.

  43. philj 43

    xox
    Thanks Rob for coming out. You have to live with your past. I wish you well.

  44. Sable 44

    I guess the question is will anyone actually do anything meaningful with Hagers insights irrespective of their validity or possible provability.

  45. Earl Mardle 45

    My take is that Gilchrist has posted here not to reassure lefties like me but rather to provide some ammunition for when we are dealing with those who are of other social and political persuasions who are being led astray by the invidious comparisons with Slater’s methods etc.

    I doubt he would get a hearing on the right except to engender the hatefest of which you speak.

    If this is part of his atonement for his past, good. Is it everything? No.

    Rather than gush or needle, we should thank him for his candour and wish him well with his other obligations to those whose lives he has affected.

  46. Rob Gilchrist 46

    You got it Earl. I have more things to do but this is highly current and I felt needed to be out now. There is much more coming, maybe not on here but there is more to follow.

  47. NZJester 47

    When one of the former targets of Nicky Hager who was spying on the left is writing to tell you that you should put your hands up and admit to what you have done as he is very through with his research, you should know you don’t have a leg to stand on trying to paint him as a conspiracy theorist.
    Core National voters will forgive John Key either way, but I hope most of those on the fence will see that John Key has lot his chance to come clean from any real feelings of remorse he has and any future admittance will only be due to the overwhelming evidence having forced him to do so. I’m hoping some previous right-wing voters will vote left because of this, but I think the only real place some of those right wingers will possibly go that might benefit the left is to Winston. I am worried that due to this the conservatives might also get a boost of previous National voters instead of a right wing party like NZ First that has shown it will at lest try and work with the left.
    I am sad though that Rob feels that all politicians are lairs and so has decided he will never vote in any election.
    I believe you should always vote for who you think will do the best for the country, even if you do not believe all of their promises. It is better to vote for the lesser of two evils and then try and hold that party to account to do what they have promised, than never to vote at all.

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