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Shadbolt launches “Freedom of Sleaze” campaign

Written By: - Date published: 8:10 pm, January 27th, 2008 - 20 comments
Categories: election funding - Tags:

697732.jpgTerrible Tim has launched another campaign to attack the Electoral Finance Act by using as much sexual double-entendre as possible for Truth’s Page 2 readers. However this campaign’s main aim is to double the weekly’s circulation by the end of the year, in which case the paper’s owner will give $5,000 to the campaign against the Act. We do not know if Tim is also being paid by Truth for his regular scatological tirades.

Unlike Truth’s Page 2 “models”, Tim’s launch in the paper showed him clothed in his mayoral robes. One Invercargill Councillor has objected to his use of sexual double-speak when enveloped in their ermine and gold chain. Tim is reported as being unrepentant, and that his choice of language was deliberate, to fit the “Truth genre”.

I suppose The Herald won’t mind Tim giving another paper campaign publicity in that Truth isn’t their direct competitor. It does however remind one of the old saying “If you lie down with dogs, you wake up with fleas.”

20 comments on “Shadbolt launches “Freedom of Sleaze” campaign ”

  1. milo 1

    If you folks were a bit older, you would understand the significance of Tim’s opposition to the EFB. He was one of the original 1970’s anti-establishment figures, fighting against bullshit and oppression.

    So the message to that generation from Tim’s opposition is that the Labour government are now the the perpetrators of bullshit and oppression. The attacks on Tim, who is fundamentally pretty harmless, also reminds me of the classic Times quote (from Pope) about the police drug raid on the Rolling Stones “breaking a butterfly on wheel”.

    Better be careful. The baby boomer’s might have a bit of rebellion in them yet.

    Why are you breaking a butterfly on a wheel?

  2. milo 2

    PS. Sorry for the misplaced apostrophe … inspired by God, perhaps?

  3. Robinsod 3

    Hey Milo, nice call on the apostrophe. I’ve had a bit to do with Shadbolt over the years and I’ve gotta say I disagree with you over his motives. I last dealt with him in the late 90’s and I found him to be a bit of a shell of who he used to be. He took a hammering after he got on the wrong side of the Invercargill establishment in his first term as Mayor and I suspect that’s made him more inclined to stick to grandstanding and avoid substance. There are other things in his life that may incline him to poor judgment now but they’re best left out of the public realm.

  4. milo 4

    Robinsod – you may well be right. I’ve never had anything to do with the guy. But the problem is not so much the reality, as the perception. Coming down on Tim “The Harmless Rebel” Shadbolt seems like a big PR problem, and to play into the hands of the EFB (sorry EFA) opponents (which of course include me).

    A debate worth having, I think. What does a 70’s rebel’s opposition mean today?

  5. J 5

    Look whatever radical stance Tim professed to take in his youth ,it looks pretty hollow now with his, “Vote conservatism , vote right wing” stance.

    It’s stunning to see a radical babyboomer fall in love with his own political persona and to realise Tim never took the time to understand the nature of power he was initially opposing.

    Shadbolt is now a professional political gameshow dancer, nearly as bad as Bill Englishs boxing.

  6. Robinsod 6

    Yeah, you might be right but my intuition is that he’s gone too far with this one though. The fact that he’s had no further coverage in the herald since the backing from the Talleys came out and the fact he’s now in truth are signs of a dwindling campaign. Especially as truth has a circulation of only 10,000 readers a week (I would suspect this blog would probably be more widely read).

    As far as 70’s radicals go – I’ve had a lot to do with a lot of them over the years (though I was too young to be involved at that time) and a familiar refrain from them is that everything has been won now and it’s all good. That could be because many of them now live comfortable middle-class live or it could be the fact that we are a much better society now (although not perfect) in terms of rights for women, Maori, etc. Nonetheless all of them romanticise their activism and I don’t hold that against them it’s a natural thing to do but few of them would get back into the cut and thrust again. Perhaps Tim’s just trying to relive the old days?

  7. AncientGeek 7


    If you folks were a bit older, you would understand the significance of Tim’s opposition to the EFB. He was one of the original 1970’s anti-establishment figures, fighting against bullshit and oppression.

    I am that old. As you say, Tim was always anti-establishment, it didn’t really matter who or what the establishment was, he always played it for laughs. I don’t think he ever cared who was the establishment.

    My mother can remember him taking the mickey out of the Holyoake government when she was going to uni in the later 60’s. He made unkind comments about the the kirk government when I was a kid at a rally in Albert park. In the late 70’s, I thought he was a very good comedian when he was speaking at waikato uni.

    In fact I can’t really remember him doing anything except play whoever for laughs.

    Have a peek at his wikipedia article.


    In 1994, he contested the Selwyn by-election as a candidate for New Zealand First, but was placed fourth

    In the 1996 general election he stood unsuccessfully as a candidate for the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party.

    He is famous for the phrase ‘I don’t care where, as long as I’m mayor’, which was later part of a cheese advertising campaign that involved people repeating things that they wished they had not said.

    Yep and now he is playing it for laughs – in the Truth or all things.

    You have really got to take this guy seriously – yeah right.

  8. Phil 8

    Hey Rob,

    Seeing as you ‘know’ a few 70’s radicals, perhaps you can answer this (or AG, if indeed s/he is as ancient as claimed); what do they make of the current generation of professional protesters?

    I mean; in the 70’s NZ knew how to put on a good old-fashined protest! But it seems to me the latest generation have lost their impetus…

    Most we see today are simply anti-everything, as long as it will ge them a spot on TV. They’re the petulant children with lost political compasses, coming from familys where daddy’s longing for the next round of golf and a shag of his secretary, while mummy ‘retired’ when she got married and now is a closet alcoholic with her ageing trophy-wife friends.

  9. Robinsod 9

    I wouldn’t have portrayed John Boscowan or the FSC protesters I that way but if that’s what you think then that’s what you think…

  10. Sam Dixon 10

    the link in the article is broken

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/southlandtimes/4373916a6568.html – working link.

    interesting that Shadbolt should focus on the Prostitution Reform Act, given some of the stories you hear.

  11. Tane 11

    Cheers Sam, link fixed.

  12. insider 12

    Speaking of campaigns, isn’t this story interesting about a person forced to pull down a personal political attack website because they didn’t want to put their name and address on it. I thought this kind of thing wasn’t going to happen a long way out from elections and didn;t affect individual’s rights to express themselves.

    Odd that you can’t attack a political party without posting your name yet the Standard (and others) can mount political attacks on individuals and parties anonymously seemingly without restriction…


  13. AncientGeek 13


    I mean; in the 70’s NZ knew how to put on a good old-fashined protest! But it seems to me the latest generation have lost their impetus…

    Seems to me that I’ve seen a few good old-fashioned protests recently. Try this one on October 27th. That one was interesting because of the range of people at it and its size. Haven’t seen sizes like that one since probably the early 80’s.

    If you want to find out what the local protest action is around NZ, then I suggest you have a look at IndyMedia.

    Most we see today are simply anti-everything, as long as it will ge them a spot on TV. They’re the petulant children with lost political compasses..

    You are just talking cr*p. I have a number of younger relatives who are activists of varying degrees. The causes are different to the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s. Most of those battles have been won.

    Now they are interested in different battles. Of course they are interested in getting on the msm – how else do you get a message out. Much the same as the pathetic anti-EFB protests.

  14. Tane 14

    We’ve already discussed that over at this thread:

    DPF takes the moral highground

    Under the legislation blogs are exempt, but political websites that don’t fall under the definition of blogs and explicitly engage in campaigning are required to have an authorisation statement. It’s basically just an update of the requirements of the old electoral law around election advertisements to take account of new technology.

  15. AncientGeek 15


    Speaking of campaigns, isn’t this story interesting about a person forced to pull down a personal political attack website because they didn’t want to put their name and address on it.

    I’ve never seen the site. But from the stuff in the herald, I would have expected that he’d have a good case on the basis that it was his his views and he considered it to be a blog. If he thought it was a blog, he should have had the courage of his convictions and taken it to court for a determination. If legal cost was a consideration, then I’m sure he could have found a backer. But I’d say he did not consider it to be a blog, nor would any potential backers.

    The question is what is a blog under the act. See relevant section in Electoral Finance Act.

    Personally I associate a blog with frequent posts and an ability to comment. I don’t associate it with a static website. Simply whacking up a static site would not be sufficent if I was a judge.

  16. AncientGeek 16

    Read some other stuff from people who’d seen the site. It was a simple static site performing election advertising under the act.

    All he had to do was put his name and address on it.

    Oh I just did the DNS on the domain name. It is registered to Cameron Slater aka WhaleOil. That explains a lot. Obviously WhaleOil didn’t think it was a blog under the act. If he did, then he could have used it as a test case, rather than wasting money on billboards.

  17. insider 17

    Thanks Tane

    Isn’t the big difference that this would not have been an ad under the old rules because they only dealt with “vote for” not “don’t vote for”?

  18. gobsmacked 18

    Meanwhile, it turns out that Shadbolt’s antics are rapidly losing him support, even on his home patch:


  19. gobsmacked 19

    Otago Daily Times, today:

    “Mayor Tim Shadbolt has been asked to come clean on his Friends of SIT (Southland Institute of Technology) campaign, after it was revealed a donation of $140000 was pledged but with conditions attached.”

    (full story not online)

    What conditions, Tim?

  20. RANDAL 20

    HEY MILO timmy is a pretty flabby butterfly and god knows what he will hatch into if he ever grows up???

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