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Shock revelation: Taper is Wellington Leftie

Written By: - Date published: 8:25 am, November 6th, 2008 - 98 comments
Categories: activism, bill english, election 2008, john key, national - Tags:

The secret taper has revealed himself as Kees Keizer, a leftie from Wellington. I spent quite a bit of time yesterday encouraging Keizer to tell his story, preferably to The Standard or the Herald (more credible), and he steadfastly refused. So imagine my surprise when I see a three page article of him talking to the Herald’s Patrick Gower.

It’s a facsinating read. Keizer says he just walked in, went up to people and started talking. He gave his real name and said he was interested in joining the Young Nats. And they talked back. Kees says he was ‘appalled’ by how readily the Nats talked about their secret plans when among what they assumed were friends. He says that all it took for English to start spouting off about Obama and the EU was for him to mention his interest in European politics. And we can hear on the first tape that English is basically just talking freely when he unfolds National’s view of the ‘punters’, ‘Labour plus voters’, his view of Key, and National’s plans for Working for Families and Kiwibank.

Now, I know Kees. Which is hardly surprising. We both studied international relations in similar areas (myself democratisation, he conflict resolution), we are both into environmental politics, we both went on cycle trips last year (myself through Europe and he through Europe and North Africa) and we exchanged comments on each others travel blogs. We get along well. I wouldn’t say we’re best buddies though. Frankly, as the face of The Standard, I’ve met just about every leftie in town. If National had identified someone else in leftwing activist circles from Wellington as the taper, then they probably could have found some link between me and that person as well. It would be more surprising if I’d never heard of Kees. Unfortunately, for the conspiracy theorists on the Right, I knew nothing of the fact that he’s the taper.

I have no trouble in believing Keizer acted alone. My impression of him is he’s that kind of character: a self-starter and one for coming up with unusual ideas. This is a man, after all, who cycled North Africa, up through Israel, Palestine, and Lebanon by himself introducing himself to various government ministers, militants, and ordinary people along the way. I don’t know who he talked to about the tapes, he says he ‘took advice’ from some people but I seriously doubt it was the Labour Party. His interest is international relations and he’s well to the Left of Labour on that. Times I’ve spoken to him he has been critical of Labour sending troops to Afghanistan and when I’ve taken slightly realist positions on conflicts he has accused me of being too like Labour.

It’s interesting to see Cameron Slater admitting that he and David Farrar work closely with the tax-payer funded National Party research unit to dig dirt on people. It’s also interesting to learn that National has known Keizer is the taper for some time, probably a couple of months since the Electoral Commission finding on Keizer’s EFA regarding the Employer and Manufacturers’ Association ads. That would fit with Key repeatedly saying they knew the identity of the taper but not revealing the name. Why didn’t they? Because they knew Keizer has nothing to do with Labour. Yet, despite that knowledge, they continued to claim Labour was behind the affair. That is disgraceful. Key has repeatedly lied to the media on this issue.

Matthew Hooton has constructed a bizarro world where a grab-bag of people who have been to Drinking Liberally is somehow behind the tapes. Maybe, Hooton should come along to a Drinking Liberally event to get a firmer grasp on reality. Drinking Liberally is not some secretive set, it’s just an organisation that gets speakers along to have a talk and gives lefties a chance to meet each other. Anyone can come along and everyone does. A typical Drinking Liberally Wellington event draws a hundred people. So it’s not surprising that Hooton can look at the pics of the events and the hundreds of members of the DL Facebook group and identify a dozen people (here’s a tip, secret groups don’t have Facebook groups); just about every left-wing activist in Wellington has been along to at least one event. It’s as if I took a whole bunch of pics from St John’s bar, identified the names of a few people in a few of the pics, and concluded there was a great conspiracy between young Tory wannabes in ill-fitting suits and stockmarket wankers.

I have to say, I think Keizer has done very well. He pulled off an audacious piece of work exposing National’s secret agenda (that audacity alone was enough to convince me there was no Labour Party involvement – you’ve never met a group of people more paralysed by fear of something going wrong). Thanks to him, there can be no doubt that National is telling the pubic one thing, while planning something else in private. On that score, isn’t Key’s response when asked whether he is worried there is a tape of him enlightening? Clark would just say ‘I’m not worried because what I say in private is what I say in public’. Whereas Key, dissembles, ums and ahs, and says ‘you would have to look at the context’. What has Key been saying behind closed doors? Perhaps we’ll find out shortly. What we do know is that whatever Keizer recorded can only be the tip of the iceberg. He was one guy at one National cocktail event. Who knows what else, what worse things, they talk about when there’s no-one to expose them?

Keizer has also explained his actions very well in the Herald piece, keeping the focus where it belongs, on the politicans and their secret agendas. If I were to give him one piece of advice it would be to release the full conversations to Duncan Garner so he can be confident that they haven’t been doctored (Keizer insists he just removed his own voice from the recordings). If I have one criticism of the Herald article it is that Gower calls The Standard ‘Labour-affiliated’ when just yesterday I was having a moan to him about how, as a Green Party member, I get sick of my work being constantly attributed to the Red Tories.

Basically, good on you Kees, you’ve done this country an invaluable service. No political party should be allowed to hide a secret agenda. I suspect that I’m not alone in saying I’ll buy you a beer next time I see you.

98 comments on “Shock revelation: Taper is Wellington Leftie”

  1. higherstandard 1

    Silliest beard since ……… Clinton Smith’s.

    Saying this chap has nothing to do with Labour is as believable as saying this site has nothing to do with Labour and that the site’s main reason for existence is to report in a balanced manner on the political parties of the day.

    [lprent: Don’t be a gratuitously simple wingnut. Read the About about the site – it has been there as long as the site has existed. It has never been claimed to be ‘balanced’. It is a LEFT blog site and focuses on labour movement type issues (and often green ones as well), and the authors write from their views from that side.

    Guess what – The NZLP is more ‘left’ than ‘right’ – it is left of centre. That means people like me who have looked at the pretensions of the right and disagreed with a number of them support them. Others on the ‘left” think that they (and I) are conservatives. If you aren’t a paranoid wingnut, then there are obvious differences between a rightist NZLP member like myself, and some of the people further to the left.

    But we have a lot of people with distinct differences of opinion who write here. But of course the wingnut ideas usually consist of if you don’t agree with us, then you’re the opposition and all agree with each other. But then wingnuts are usually pretty simple folk.

    The NZLP doesn’t fund or run this site. I do. It tolerates a wide range of opinions from the left and (in the comments) from the right. But the site isn’t meant to be ‘balanced’, it is meant to offer a set of opinions (often differing) from the broad labour movement. Its reason for existence is to provide a forum for the broad left, You know that – so why such a stupid comment?]

  2. r0b 2

    The Standard or the Herald (more credible)

    More credible?

  3. darryl 3

    Me thinks thou doest protest too much

  4. r0b 4

    On that score, isn’t Key’s response when asked whether he is worried there is a tape of him enlightening? Clark would just say ‘I’m not worried because what I say in private is what I say in public’. Whereas Key, dissembles, ums and ahs, and says ‘you would have to look at the context’.

    Spot on. Honest and upfront vs secret agenda.

  5. darryl – you tard the quote is “doth protest too much, methinks” (it’s about scansion)

    Oh and regarding Cameron Slater and the Nat’s research unit told you so:


  6. darryl 6

    Congratulations on correcting me on my quote Robinsod. And for the record, I am mildly retarded and have some learning diffaculties, none of which have stopped me leading a pretty good life.

  7. Billy 7

    I’m with HS about the beard. When did looking Amish become fashionable?

  8. max@gmail.com 8

    Mild yawn.

    Some commie ‘infiltrates’ a NZ political party do. Fuck me, that’d be hard to do.

    Anyway, later.

    And robinsod, people in glass houses Forest…

  9. Ray 9

    Sort of blows the “secret plans” meme out of the water though if National MPs are so frank about these things, which on closer examination are not quite as exciting as some on the left are claiming
    As compared to a mini budget that no one is talking about, get me a tape on that boys

  10. Andrew 10

    I think it’s probably called entrapment. Secretly recording people’s answers and removing your own voice from the tape so no one will ever find out what questions you asked.

    Im sure it’s illegal.

    Whale exposed him the other day so it’s no supprise that he ‘came out’ today. You not knowing about it is as believable as me walking on the moon.

  11. coge 11

    Goodness me Steve, you actually know the secret taper? That was obvious months ago.

  12. tsmithfield 12

    So Kees had not been co-ordinating these releases with Labour?

    Yeah right!!

    So, why did the attack ad about Key and Iraq just happen to be playing when the English tape was released the other day? Just an amazing coincidence? I think not.

  13. william 13

    As far as I can tell, if there was a secret agenda it is still secret, as there was nothing “revealed” in these tapes that changes any public agenda. What is it, where some of you thinking National wasn’t a right of centre party?

    The only secret in this election has been the details of Labour’s planned December Budget…. exactly what was planned there and who would have had to pay for it? (productive people like me again, I presume)

    …. by the way, I love the fact that you say the only think the taper removed from the tape was his voice and therefore by implication that makes no difference …. so how about everyone post a message with one of the following answers, “Yes, I have stopped beating my wife”, or “No, I have not stopped beating my wife.” Just post the message please, no questions asked ….. yeah, right 🙂

  14. Pat 14

    SP and Kees were both at the National Party Conference, remember. It makes it harder to believe SP only found out about this yesterday.

  15. infused 15

    Only reason you’ve fronted up SP is because this story is going to explode today.

  16. coge 16

    Yes Pat. I seem to recall asking SP if he knew who it was & he denied it.

  17. Pat 17

    Duncan Garner said on Radio Live on Tuesday afternoon that the Herald was going to out the taper. It didn’t require SP to talk him into it yesterday.

  18. Daveski 18

    OK Steve here’s a question for you as the public face of the Standard:

    If I have one criticism of the Herald article it is that Gower calls The Standard ‘Labour-affiliated’ when just yesterday I was having a moan to him about how, as a Green Party member, I get sick of my work being constantly attributed to the Red Tories.

    So why is it that we almost never see any reference to the Green leaders and policies and fawning, reverence for Dear Aunty Leader? You can see how the rest of us can readily accept this is Labour-affiliated when the lines, the words, the strategies from you especially mirror those of Labour.

    As for this episode, it’s said that the left is celebrating crappy politics. Sure, in your view, the ends justify the means.

    I’m sure inside Labour caucus it is a love-fest based on completely consensus with no dissent or individual thought.

    The most interesting facet of last night’s debate was the change in strategy. Rather than attack and demonise Key, Clark took a softer line. Perhaps one of the insiders can tell us what the righties here have been telling you all along – the focus groups show that it’s turning people off?

    [lprent: I think that you’re consulting your imagination. With the exception of the debates, the posts don’t usually mention Helen much except when they’re being critical about strategy. I suspect what you mean is that there are few posts that look like the wingnuts misogynist ones concentrating on her hair. But then not all of us can so be as trivial in outlook as to become a wingnut.

    As for the ‘lovefest’, it is unlikely – I’ve been known to argue with her frequently on her electorate campaigns (I have worked in Mt Albert for decades), to disagree with her ideas, and suggest alternative more ‘right’ ideas. She tolerates that pretty well. And before anyone asks, she knew about this site months after we set it up. I think I introduced her to the wonderful world of the blogs. ]

  19. QoT 19

    Oh come on, people. If Keizer had been asking questions like, “So, Mr English, just hypothetically, if you were a pro-war conservative, what kind of thing do you think would be really bad for you to be revealed to have said about international relations right before the election?” you might have a tiny, tiny point.

    Crying “waa context” is exactly National’s style, and I draw your attention to Stephen Franks complaining that he was “taken out of context” in his comments on gay marriage.

    If there’s any kind of context where comparing gay marriage to marrying your dog is somehow not offensive, I’ve yet to hear about it. And if there’s a context where Bill English was not uttering support for invasion-of-Iraq-style international policy, I’m sure we would have heard all about it – instead of being treated to classic “PAY NO ATTENTION TO THE AGENDA BEHIND THE CURTAIN” bullshit.

  20. tsmithfield 20

    If Keizer was so upright and honest about all this he would release the whole tape. Since he isn’t prepared to do this, then the snippets he has released are invalidated. All we have is his word that his questions have no bearing on the answers or that relevant material has not been edited out that could completely change the meaning. It is complete rubbish.

  21. Carol 21

    If the edited tape strongly mis-represented what was said in the context, why haven’t the Nats/English explicitly denied it and clearly explained what English meant, instead of muttering nastily about Labour dirty tricks and rolling about in the mud with pigs? Silence about the content gives the impression of guilt.

  22. tsmithfield 22

    If the full tape supports the snippets released, then the best thing that Keizer could do would be to release the full tape. This would put any argument by National about “context” out of the game. The fact that Keizer is refusing to do this strongly suggests that he has cherry-picked soundbites to suit his cause.

    Can anyone who disagrees with me provide any logical explanation as to why Keizer would not release the full tape if it supports the snippets?

  23. An intrepid investigative young man and of Dutch descent too. That makes me so proud.
    The first revolution, the first republic and now this rebellious activist. it must be in the genes. LOL

  24. insider 24

    The problem I see is that it might have been a good laugh and some short term political gain but longer term it is not good for democracy as it will stifle discussion and further institutionalise ‘safe’ politics and carefully scripted positions.

    We know that all politicians say things behind closed doors that they won’t say in public – how can they debate policy otherwise. Ministers recently banned officials bringing cellphones into their meetings for that reason. Helen Clark admitted last night that she was a good party member over asset sales and publicly backed the party but you can bet she disagreed internally. Imagine if she as a senior minister had revealed her views on asset sales in the lead up to the 91 election. it’s just dirty and not good for anyone.

    I just don;t think this guy has done a service to democracy, as party meetings will become high security events and groups of infiltrators and security people will vie to seek and deny opportunity for breaches. I hope the electorate gives Keizer a serve by ignoring the tapes and voting in spite of them. THe ultimate two fingered salute would be a large national majority.

  25. I didn’t know about Kees until yesterday.

    I was at a protest outside the conference on the Sunday. The cocktail function was Friday.

    It’s nice you guys hold me in such high regard but I’m not some kind of master of puppets controlling everything that happens in politics.

  26. Matthew Pilott 26

    tsmithfield – Key has filp-flops in virtually every area – it’s pretty inevitable that something would overlap. As for the conspiracy theories about it being a coordinated release – I saw the ad on tv about two weeks ago. It’s obvious the latest tape was released to coincide with the US election, not the ad.

    Honestly, if it were a conspiracy involving Labour, do you think they’d be so obvious about it? Tin foil hat required for you!

    So there’s no secret agenda, and nothing really came out from these tapes – so…why has English steadfastly refused to take the opportunity given to him to clarify his comments about the flaws in being moralistic in international relations?

    fawning, reverence for Dear Aunty Leader..” Like when? Pull the other one.

  27. max@gmaail.com 27

    He is known as a Pakeha in NZ Eve.

  28. darryl 28

    You forgot about Apartied travellerev…

  29. Vinsin 29

    Logical as to why Keizer would not release the full tape. I’m pretty sure the tape will be released in full very soon. Why just snippets? How long did Keizer talk to English? An hour? Ten minutes? It doesn’t matter, tv3 is not going to play ten minutes of English talking, they’re going to play what actually matters and what is actually news. English’s views on Graham Henry’s coaching tactics, English’s favorite band, or what store he bought his suit from isn’t news worthy, what is news worthy is what he says when the policy of his party and his leader seem to be completely different. Let’s remember Keizer doesn’t run Tv3, Tvone, or The Herald who basically decide how they want to release something, they are all implicit in this and people should be asking them why they haven’t released it in full.

  30. lprent 30

    tsmithfield: It’d probably be illegal for him to release the tape. While it is legal to tape conversations you’re in and use the contents, it is illegal to tape 3rd parties and use that. It was a cocktail party so it is likely that some of that came in. Look around you’ll find whole debates on the topic from the first release of something off the tape.

  31. tsmithfield 31

    Iprent: He has stated he won’t even release the questions he asked. I am sure you would agree it is not illegal for him to do this. This whole thing stinks like a seven day old kipper.

  32. Max,

    That depends. If he arrived here with his parents he would be seen as a toaiwi. If he was born here then he would be pakeha.
    Me according to a Maori mate of mine I am and always will be a toaiwi (foreigner) even though I’m married to a pakeha. LOL.


    Absolutely and horribly true. I did not say we were perfect. In fact there is a lot that I am deeply troubled over. Like massacring thousands of Indonesians when we ruled there and apartheid. We were an empire once and we did things imperial rulers do and it ain’t pretty.

  33. coge 33

    Trav, don’t forget the SS Nederlander.

  34. Carol 34

    Insider said:

    We know that all politicians say things behind closed doors that they won’t say in public – how can they debate policy otherwise. Ministers recently banned officials bringing cellphones into their meetings for that reason. Helen Clark admitted last night that she was a good party member over asset sales and publicly backed the party but you can bet she disagreed internally. Imagine if she as a senior minister had revealed her views on asset sales in the lead up to the 91 election. it’s just dirty and not good for anyone.

    Actually, the more important issue to many of us, is the nature and content of the disagreements, rather than the fact disagreements occur.

    Clark’s disagreement with her party in the past, was in the party’s adherence to neoliberal restructuring policies – something the current Labour Party, and many of the NZ public, now dislike. In order to get elected the Nats seem to be presenting themselves as a lite centrist version of the current Labour Party positions, while in fact being much more right wing and neoliberal.

  35. Coge,

    Let’s not forget the many slaughters the English empire was involved in, the apartheid the English in south Africa participated in and the English Nazi party.

    Your point exactly? Or just a stab at someone you don’t like.



    Kees was born in Holland so that would make him a toaiwi.

    Another part of fun being Dutch is that when you leave school you do so speaking at least three foreign languages and with a penchant for learning more languages.

    No I don’t speak te reo Moari but I love learning the language bit by bit.

  36. Hoolian 36

    [lprent: I’ll let this through moderation, but I’ll put my note at the top because of length. It appears to be the new attack line from the right. Almost all of the points are probably incorrect, and quite a few are just outright daft. It is noticeable that the politicians concerned haven’t denied the conversations.]

    Vinsin – Logical as to why Keizer would not release the full tape. I’m pretty sure the tape will be released in full very soon. Why just snippets? How long did Keizer talk to English? An hour? Ten minutes? It doesn’t matter, tv3 is not going to play ten minutes of English talking, they’re going to play what actually matters and what is actually news.

    Congratulations on utterly missing the point. The whole tape should be released to show what questions Keizer asked. It’s likely that the tape would go up on the internet where people interested would be able to see the full context of the questions and answers. Furthermore, I suspect that the very questions Keizer asked would be newsworthy.

    Mr Keizer said he would not be releasing the entire tape. “Most of it is useless. It wouldn’t do any credit to anyone.”

    What a coward. Release the full tape and let the public decide that for ourselves.

    This man has done nothing, absolutely nothing for this country or for democracy. What a disgrace to even suggest that he is some sort of patriotic hero doing a just cause for NZ voters.

    Let’s not forget:
    – He snuck into a cocktail party under a false name.
    – He targeted a cocktail party because he suspected MPs would speak “more freely”.
    – He pretended to be a Young Nat/member of the very political body he despises so much.
    – He did not reveal that he was recording the MP in question.
    – He used entrapment to seize answers from MPs
    – He cut up the secret recordings and, for all we know, has taken them wildly out of context.
    – He extracted answers MPs gave him willingly to maximise their impact.
    – Like a typical leftie, he decided for himself what was in the “best interests” and the “public good” of NZ, which really just equated to him putting his political beliefs foremost.
    – He drip-fed them to the media.
    – He did not reveal his identity until Whaleoil uncovered him.

    I don’t see what makes Keizer think we should assume he’s telling the truth about how honest and open he was when his whole actions speak of a diabolical sod who’ll give anything to cast aspersions on his political opponents.

    This guy might be a hero to Clinton Smith and the rest of The Standard but no Kiwi would ever consider Keizer anything other than a total geezer.

  37. toad 37

    tsmithfield said: So, why did the attack ad about Key and Iraq just happen to be playing when the English tape was released the other day? Just an amazing coincidence?

    No, not a coincidence, but also not a conspiracy.

    The day before the US Presidential election would have been the obvious day for Kees to release a foreign policy secret tape, just as it would be the obvious date for the NZCTU to release its video focusing on foreign policy.

    Good communications strategy from both of them.

  38. Bill 38

    So, does Keizer read the standard?

    Before the conference there was discussion here about the dishonesty of the Nats and a suggestion under comments that somebody ought to bowl up to one of their MPs at an airport or wherever and have them up, with a tape recorder running. (Can’t figure out the search facility to link to it, but it’s there)

    Could have got him thinking perhaps? Which would completely rule out any and all conspiracy theories regarding the Labour Party or their affiliates.

    Thereafter, the only advice he needs is the legality aspect under the privacy laws.

    If that is the scenario, then it says a lot for the potential usefulness of the internet, no?

    [lprent: search is a bit broken at present. Try google. Put “site:www.thestandard.org.nz” at the start followed by the searches. ]

  39. coge 39

    Trav you have said politics are in “your genes” How does that work? Do you mean extreme politics, as in the examples you & I have cited?

  40. Matthew Pilott 40

    This guy might be a hero to Clinton Smith and the rest of The Standard but no Kiwi would ever consider Keizer anything other than a total geezer.

    You might not be impressed, but a lot of people will be worried about the Nats selling kiwibank, or getting us involved in wars. The first has been very solidly ruled out by National now, so there’s a big tick for the many people who support it. the latter is certainly in our interests to discuss publicly.

    You are more extreme in your views than Clinton or pretty much anyone else here. Maybe not in reality, maybe it’s just your angry tone and over-used rhetoric – either way, you’re hardly the person to judge what other kiwis would think.

  41. Bill 41

    While JK’s politics are in his jeans and I don’t want to know how that works, thankyou.

  42. hoolian. I don’t think Keizer rhymes with geezer.

    Bill. we don’t reveal the identities of readers or commentators

  43. Akldnut 43

    If the bigmouth bragging in the tapes though what he said is so unimportant, why dosn’t he just clear it up? Simple! Case closed!!!

    Unless theres something to hide. (ahhhaaaaaa) Silence……….

    More like silence of the lambs. Watch out these pricks are dangerous!!!!

  44. Daveski 44

    MP – you obviously haven’t been reading SP’s write up’s of the leaders’ debates 🙂

    LP – as you know, my comments are not directed at the BOFH. You do a fine job and are open about your affiliations.

    However, IMO, SP’s is consistently pro-Labour rather than simply pro-left (which I wouldn’t expect given his professed affiliations).

    I completely understand that you can’t control the opinions and posts of others nor should you want to. However, you should be concerned about perceptions and I think it is reasonable to assume that that there is the general perception, even if you ardently disagree.

    Hopefully stated without an atom of trolling.

  45. Bill 45

    “we don’t reveal the identities of readers or commentators”

    Precisely my point Steve. A form of the idea was in the public arena. Thanks to the internet and the way (some) blogs work, the idea is disembodied as it were. Because of that, all conspiracy theories fall over. There was no need for grand strategies or planning….an individual taking an idea and running with it suffices. And the idea was in the public domain before any taping occurred. Anonymously.

    Oh, hang on. You mean the part where I ask if he reads the Standard? Not expecting an answer to that one. Just pointing out a possibility. A claim he could make which knocks all the Hootens and his ilk into touch.

  46. QoT 46

    Seriously, people who keep screaming “Release the whole tape, let us see the questions!!!” – please, do comment and explain just what “context” you think there could possibly be, how questions could possibly have been phrased, to make “swallowing dead fish”, “eventually sell Kiwibank”, and “need someone to pull the trigger” into anything other than they appear on face value.

    Oh – and without the question being so blindingly obvious a trap that English et al should be publicly mocked for being so stupid as to answer them.

  47. milo 47

    We had a democracy where party conventions were reasonably open, and people could talk candidly to MPs. Most other countries don’t have that, and it was a treasure. Now we don’t it that anymore, thanks to a guy who, on his travel blog, says he isn’t even a New Zealand citizen. It’s a great shame.

    Anyway, there is no reason not to release the whole tape now, unless the spy has something to hide. Oh, and by the way Steve – even the spy says he did not act alone, but “took advice”. Whom from, eh?

  48. Matthew Pilott 48

    Daveski – I suppose SP could write about Fitzsimons’ and Norman’s outstanding performance in the leaders’ debate last night, would that make you happy? Do you see the problem there? I think you’re inventing a theme to suit your ideas. SP can be pro-left, and not specifically pro-Labour, but write about Labour a lot as they are the main party of the left, and the one left-leaning voters are more likely to vote for.

    So you can manufacture it as being pro-Labour instead of pro-left, but it doesn’t wash. The vote smart series explains it fairly well, I’d have thought. And in reality, the posts don’t really support your theory.

  49. tsmithfield 49

    Qot: “please, do comment and explain just what ?context? you think there could possibly be, how questions could possibly have been phrased, to make ?swallowing dead fish?, ?eventually sell Kiwibank?, and ?need someone to pull the trigger? into anything other than they appear on face value.”

    Here is a hypothetical example:

    “Ah… I see what you are trying to do. You want me to say that I am going to sell Kiwi bank…..”

    Simply edit out most of the comment and you get:

    …I am going to sell Kiwibank..

    Its called cherrypicking. Just looking for soundbites that appear to say something controversial if the surrounding context is stripped away. The media do this sort of thing all the time.

  50. Matthew Pilott 50

    We had a democracy where party conventions were reasonably open, and people could talk candidly to MPs. Most other countries don’t have that, and it was a treasure.

    Pity we don’t have a democracy where a party feels it can state its true intentions because they know they’ll be unpalatable, and they don’t heve the guts to start an honest public debate over what they believe. Pity we have a democracy where if you want to find out what a party really thinks, you have to be one of their supporters, because the public aren’t to know.

    I take it back – the problem isn’t with our democracy, it’s only with one party.

  51. Ianmac 51

    Matthew Pilott: Great letter to the Editor in the Listener re PSA position written by Brenda.
    I wonder how Key will handle the reply to Kees revelations?
    Stick to “Labour dirty tricks”?
    Point to ethics or not of secret recordings?
    Lack of context?
    Counter attack using Research material?
    They will use something won’t they!
    And congratulations to Kees on courage and initiative.

  52. milo 52

    And that is your fundamental problem Matthew: you seem to want to abolish the right.

  53. Daveski 53

    MP – I don’t think we are that far apart. Note that my comments were about perceptions so I’m being more of a messenger than a commentator.

    The *perception* is that this site is Labour-linked. This is not what I am saying but what others in the MSM particular are saying.

    I agree that anti-National does not make this site pro-Labour.

    However, I still stand by my view that SP is seen as being pro-Labour rather than left and than creates issues such as this.

    I do accept that there is a small ecosystem of actively motivated political beasts on both sides of the great divide.

    Regardless, the Batman incident coupled with this coincidence creates credibility issues for the Standard if it wishes to be seen as independent left and not affiliated to Labour. That naturally is up to those who read it to determine, rather than those who are actively involved.

    Frankly, i think this is a very healthy debate and I suspect I’m not the only righty to be supportive of the Standard as an entity given the willingness to allow such robust debate. Big ups indeed. Given LP’s strident denials – which I fully accept, I would hope that the independence of this blog isn’t in any way sullied

    [we’re the biggest leftwing blog. National wants to take us down, hence the constant linking to labour. the h-fee stuff was sent to us because we’re the biggt leftwing blog. im a left wing activist in wellington and i know most of the others including the one that happened to be the secret agenda taper. it’s easy to read whatever you want into those things. if you want to see a big conpiracy, you will. SP]

  54. NX 54

    A couple of days out from a general election and Labour’s affiliated blog has devoted a huge post to explain their connections, or lack of, to the dodgy secret recorder.

    I think that’s rather symbolic of Labour’s faulting campaign.

  55. Matthew Pilott 55

    …you seem to want to abolish the right.

    The Right, as an entity in or field of politics, or the ‘right’ for a party to basically campaign on false premises, lies and deceptions?

    I have no problem with the former, and if you meant the latter, it’s not really possible to aboilsh people’s righ tto lies and deceive – I’m happy for anything that will expose such lies and deception when it is to do with something as fundamental as our electoral process.

    Either way, I don’t see your comment making much sense, or being based in what I have said – perhaps you’re just generalising about the left, from a generalised extreme-right view.

    Daveski – so what you’re doing is commenting that the media reports The Standard is linked to Labour and such. There’s not a lot anyone can do about that, is there? It’s not as if the MSM reports based upon fact, when a good story will bring in more profit…

  56. Felix 56

    When did looking Amish become fashionable Billy? Quite a while ago I suspect, for the Amish at any rate.

  57. milo 57

    Matthew: how on earth do you reach the conclusion that I come from ” from a generalised extreme-right view”? Is it because I disagree with you, that I must be labelled in this way?

  58. Felix 58

    milo, it’s probably because of the generally extreme right wing views you express here daily.

  59. milo 59

    Felix – I’m about as right wing as Michael Cullen.

    You know, there is more to politics than economic views.

  60. Matthew Pilott 60

    Milo, I still don’t understand what you meant by ‘abolish the right’ but either way it alluded to absolute state control and draconian enforcement, Opposing Thoughts will be Crushed, Dissidents will be Smashed and the State Will Prevail etc etc.

    That’s what I consider an extreme-right view of what the left wants. That was the view you presented.

  61. milo 61

    Matthew: we’ll probably chase our tails here – but I think your rhetoric, and it’s sub-text, tends to deny the very legitimacy of right wing views, and the integrity of people who espouse them. I think it important to acknowledge that people with opposing view can still have moral standing and respect.

    Indeed, that strikes me as the very rock on which Labour’s campaign has foundered.

  62. Matthew Pilott 62

    Perhaps, although I obviously don’t see it. I try to argue against right-wing views because I consider many of them a recipe for failure – I don’t deny their legitimacy or right to be.

  63. milo 63

    Yes, the trick is to argue against the views, rather than the person. I clam no special status here; it’s a challenge for us all.

    [lprent: Yep, including the BOFH]

  64. Coge,

    No, I did not say that politics were in my genes.
    I made a timeline connection from the Dutch having the first revolution in order to kick the toffs out via having the first royalty free republic and Kees doing some subversive info gathering. It seems we are a freedom and truth loving lot (at least most of the time) and ready to take action.

    Don’t see anything extreme in that. If a people are abused by a powerful elite they are entitled to take action, they are entitled to rule themselves and if politicians are lying they are entitled to find out what said politicians are lying about. Quite simple really.

    Still waiting for the explanation of the point you were trying to make so I guess the second option is more likely: You were just having a go at someone who does not support your right wing point of view.

  65. John 65

    Apparently the lead into Bill English’s answer was ” I’m concerned that Obama is too much of a pacifist…”
    It’s funny how the advocates of democracy are the first to take action when it may not achieve their desired result.
    This guy has not done anyone any favours. Politicians from all parties will talk in sound bites at party events in case some douche bag is recording them. The reality is that all policy evolves from robust debate.
    The only ones buying him a beer after the election may be the National party hierarchy.

  66. tsmithfield 66

    Hmmmmm interesting who Keizer seems to have a very close association with:


  67. insider 67

    And now courtesy KB we find the taper shares a flat with a person who is a Labour/Green staffer and former multiple union staffer. Murkier and murkier…

  68. Rex Widerstrom 68

    QoT opines:

    Crying “waa context’ is exactly National’s style, and I draw your attention to Stephen Franks complaining that he was “taken out of context’ in his comments on gay marriage.

    Sadly (for the state of politics in this country) QoT is right. While it is possible for someone experienced in politics and on their guard to be set up and taken completely out of context – it happened to me (whole sorry saga here if anybody gives a damn) – to be caught time and time again with your pants round your ankles seems to rule that out.

    If senior party people – some with decades of experience – are so astoundingly inept as to make such unguarded remarks then it bespeaks a level of stupidity that’s frankly horrifying.

    Ironically, if it were the fiendishly cunning plot some on the left were trying to spin it as, you’d know nothing about it. Instead, it strikes me as some aging adolescents trying to sound all right wing Rambo-like in front of what they naively assumed to be awe-struck young supporters.

    The Nats are specially good at this sort of hubris. I still remember, working as a stringer for radio while still at school, setting up an interview with Les Gandar, then Minister of Education. When I started asking him questions he looked confused, then angry. He’d assumed I was there just for the sheer thrill of meeting him. Seriously. (He later became our High Commissioner to London. I assume the Queen was equally thrilled with the honour of shaking his hand).

    On the other hand, sneaking round taping conversations bespeaks the kind of snotty little swat who’d annoy the bejeesus out of you all day, then run to teacher when you yanked their underpants over their head.

    Not a good look for either side, really.

  69. Carol 69

    Apparently the lead into Bill English’s answer was ‘ I’m concerned that Obama is too much of a pacifist ‘

    And this negates the left criticism of English’s response because…..?

    I can see it could be considered as a leading question that influences the kind of response given.

    But, in the context, apparently Keiser was posing as a potential recruit to the National Party. So if this had been for real, would English’s response have been OK?… because…?

    ….. English says anything that is needed to gainnew recruits?

    English had been influenced by a potential recruit’s leading question, and, even though he’s a seasoned politician, he can’t resist such pressures?

    English could have replied, as he should to any question that implies a policy he doesn’t agree with, that, he used to think the Iraq war was a good idea, but has come to see the reasons given for going to war were wrong, or that it’s had a bad effect on Iraq, been too many civilian casualities etc., and thinks it will be good if the US withdraws now,

    He might even have added that, in fact, Obama isn’t a total pacifist, and wants to strengthen the US’s war in Iraq. But instead English says he’s worried about, not only Obama, but Europe, and then, presumably unprompted, criticises Bush for not window dressing the Iraq invasion well enough.

  70. coge 70

    Trav, covert taping is an activity undertaken by authoritarian states, yes? So therefore it is in violation of the free society which we enjoy. I’m surprised you can support it.

  71. Ben R 71

    Coge covert taping was also attempted by Richard Nixon. J Edgar Hoover was another fan of covert taping, and of course Bill Clinton got into trouble because of it. No doubt in future more people will try to use it.

  72. coge 72

    Ben R, absolutely. I’m glad that the vast majority of Kiwis find covert taping a violation of our open society. They see it for what it is. Hence such occurances are thankfully rare in New Zealand.

  73. Matthew Pilott 73

    It’s a pity, coge, you don’t show the same enthusiasm for railing against a political party pretending to be moderate in order to gain election. Makes me suspect you’re, sort of, manufacturing this ‘NZ is so wonderful or at least it was until lately’ thing. Because that sort of thing shouldn’t happen in our wonderful and open society. Oh well, at least it is rare – there’s only one party out of all the parties in the 2008 General Election doing so.

  74. Coge,

    You clearly have never been in an authoritarian state. I have and it’s ugly. People are scared to talk about politics in public, scared to talk about politics to anybody other than a very small group of trusted loved ones. Nobody knows who are the moles and it is a sad and scary affair. Other than that everybody is shit scared of the police, the army and authorities and the authorities know everything about everybody. Every politician is on the take and everybody else is pisspoor.

    A little bit like John Key’s big example: the good old US of A. Where neoliberals have ridden roughshod over the country and its economy and have eroded every basic human right in the process.

    They do thinks like fingerprinting everybody, forcing people to have ID’s on them all the time and the smallest infringement can send you to prison for years.

    Authoritarian governments don’t just happen. They happen when citizens don’t partake in the democratic process. That’s when the powerful elite starts to fingerprint everybody who is suspected of a crime. Hell, they’ll go even further and they’ll DNA you. They get “tough on crime”, privatise prison systems so their cronies can earn a buck or two out of every poor sod who gets in the jaws of that system. You get where I’m coming from Coge?

    If politicians think it’s OK to lie it is our responsibility to find out why.
    This is about keeping our society free from marauding, corrupt, lying, scumbag politicians and us free from greedy capitalist plunderers.

    When meeting with a politician, any politician (Well, perhaps not Jeanette) and especially politicians with a propensity to say one thing in private and another in public, I think it should be compulsory to record everything they say.

    In a truly free society it is not the citizens who are afraid of their rulers but their rulers shit scared of their citizens because power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely and it’s up to us to keep our politicians on the straight an narrow and exposing their lies does exactly that.

    Captcha: WADSWORTH One. LOL

  75. higherstandard 75

    Which authoritarian state have you been in Eve ?

  76. HS,

    East Germany, Czechoslovakia just after the Prague spring and Russia had invaded it (bullet holes everywhere burn marks of someone who had burned himself in protest and everybody shit scared), Yugoslavia.
    My parents believed in hands on political education and wanted us to know what a police state was and how it felt to live in one and since Russia was only a three day trip they got us as close to the “evil” empire as possible. It taught me well.

    Will that do ya?

  77. coge 77

    Trav. Why the hell do you support covert taping then?
    It represents a symptom of what you decry. That’s why I say it’s not the Kiwi way, like we don’t dob in our neighbours, as totalitarians states encourage & foster. We both enjoy a free society here in NZ do we not? I imagine that’s why you choose to live here.

  78. Pascal's bookie 78


    covert taping is an activity undertaken by authoritarian states, yes? So therefore it is in violation of the free society which we enjoy. I’m surprised you can support it.

    Ben R

    covert taping was also attempted by Richard Nixon. J Edgar Hoover was another fan of covert taping, and of course Bill Clinton got into trouble because of it. No doubt in future more people will try to use it.

    Silly stuff guys. The point where your analogy falls squarely on it’s arse is that this guy is not the gov’t. If the state was engaging in illegally spying on it’s citizens the comparison would be apt. But this guy was just recording a conversation of which he was a party, as a private citizen.

    Are you suggesting that he should not be allowed to do that? Is the stupid ‘target’ programme on tele just like the gestapo. No, it’s not.

    Perhaps politicians have a right to lie to the public about their plans. I think they do, but I don’t like it. Citizens, have they the opportunity, have the right to ask them personally about their plans. If the stories differ, those citizens have the right to tell the public about it. Makes sense to record it, seeing the politician is a liar.

    Seems you clowns are just trying to divert attention from English’s comments by trying to claim, outlandishly, that recording conversations that you yourself as a private citizen are having, is just the same as the government spying on third party private conversations.

    Silly, dishonest, insulting stuff.

  79. higherstandard 79


    Do you really think any of the recordings of Labour or National have discovered anything ?

    In my opinion all of it has been nebulous boring cak, at least the British parliament and MPs know how to have a good scandal ours can’t seem to muster up much at all.

  80. higherstandard 80


    It must have been fascinating, I travelled to USSR and East Germany before the wall came down but it would certainly have been nothing on the fascinating (and scary) experience to be in those countries during the sixties.

  81. Pascal's bookie 81

    hs, yes I do. I wish English would explain to the public what he meant by the comments so that we could know even more.

  82. Coge,

    Maybe you should get some reading glasses because you clearly missed the bit about what we as private citizens need to do with lying politicians.
    compulsory recording of every thing they say

    Anyone who wants to be the boss over a lot of people must do so under the gravest of scrutiny and if he is caught lying than that should make the alarm bells in the back of our heads go off.
    Lying politicians are usually disrespectful politicians and disrespectful politicians are usually greedy politicians and that means they steal… from people like us.

    When the state spies on us we have not done our job as private citizens: KEEP OUR POLITICIANS HONEST BY FORCING THEM TO TELL THE TRUTH AND DO RIGHT BY US

  83. Rich 83

    I’m just so chuffed to be part of a secret conspiracy. I’ve never been in one before. We need a handshake and trenchcoats and stuff.

    (BTW, if pakeha refers only to NZ-born people of European descent, how come it was (AFAIK) used by Maori to describe the first settlers, who definitely were not born here. or has it changed meaning since then?).

  84. coge 84

    PB, if you believe Kiwis are o.k with covert taping of private conversations you are both deluded and disconnected. Answer this, who stood to benefit from these recordings?

  85. Pascal's bookie 85

    Are kiwis ok with covert video taping of tradesmen going about their business?

    The ratings for ‘target’ suggest ‘yes’.

    As for who stood to benefit, the answer is, obviously, everyone who cares to know that what some National party MP’s are saying to the public is not what they say to those they suspect are the National party base.

    Now you answer this. What’s wrong with knowing that? Does the public have a right to know that, or do National MPs have a natural right to BS the electorate?

  86. Jess 86

    “exposing National’s secret agenda”!


    Secret for you to pass on to Kees if you should run into him, straight from my old Nancy Drew books. Tell him should he really wish to dig the dirt and make it stick, tell him to at least get a quote that reeks slightly of right wing agenda.

    You should be all very embarrassed, as if your efforts pouring over Elders documents weren’t enough of a faux pas, you consolidate your already sullied reputations with this claptrap

  87. HS,

    Having to buy money on the black market knowing you or your friends could go to jail, having to spend compulsory amounts of money each day, bringing pantyhose and chocolate to friends of friends of ours in Holland because you could only buy them with western money in expensive shops and eating exactly the same portions of drab food in state owned restaurants and most definitely not talk politics anywhere with anyone was very scary.

    My biggest memory was of a frontier crossing though on the way back.

    Picture an late afternoon (my parents wanted to do the drive overnight) snowy empty hills, a couple of snow laden trees and a shack in the middle of nowhere and some ten soldiers with fur heads and those typical Russian long green coats and big AK47s.
    They stopped our old ford sedan and told my parents to get out of the car with their guns in their hands and they had my parents take every little thing out of the car, open everything and us kids (me 14 and my sis 12) cold in a blanket waiting for hours for everything being checked. In the end they made us spend the last of our Czech money on shit and we were allowed to put everything back in the car and continue our journey. Very scary and this was from going to Czechoslovakia into East Germany!

    I returned to Berlin the winter after the wall fell and rode the subway past the station which had the entrance to Hitler’s bunker. It was a time warp HS.

    However you seem to be a bit of a traveller yourself though!

  88. Pascal's bookie 88

    Is it the kiwi way to send out death threats? ( TV3 News, just now)

    Not in my book, but that’s the lardish one’s fanbase I guess. And him working with the National party too. For shame National party. Just like Hitler I tells ya coge, those tories with their pastel shirted minions. For shame.

  89. JamJars 89

    In case you guys didn’t know, David Farrar is funding Curia Research, which conducts phone polls in Wellington. This company uses leading questions to convince people to vote for National – I got a call once, and ended up agreeing that National would be a great party in almost every area, even though I’m an avowed Labour supporter.
    Nice huh? Dirty tactics, or what?

  90. Pascal's bookie 90


    In the NZ electorate a desire for SOE privatisations is generally considered right wing. As is support for the Bush doctrine of ‘preventative’ war, (as opposed to the internationally recognised right of nations to engage in ‘preemptive’ war that Obama, the ‘Europeans’, and The NZ Labour Party hold to).

    I agree that it is sometimes difficult to make these charges stick with people that lack the basic background knowledge of the issues, but I trust that many kiwis are a bit more knowledgeable about the issues and know for example, what ‘right wing’ means in the NZ context.

    It’s a shame, and I’m sure you’ll agree, that our ratings driven media, (so intent on short cycles and silly narratives), don’t spend the time outlining some of the background facts. It would serve to better inform the electorate, and also save people from making fools of themselves. But we have the media we have, not the media we might wish to have, so informing ourselves is a duty we must be more active about.

  91. ohdear 91

    Pascal’s bookie,

    If you’re talking about the Kiwi Bank line, I have to say disparagingly say, “So”.

    As for the intent and agenda implied, I would agree that most Kiwis do have more than a nodding acquaintance with a brain cell, but if there is one thing a Clark run Govt has afforded them it’s a healthy dose of cynicism.

    Clark may have successfully distanced herself from her years as part of the neo-con 1980s where she reaped the rewards of acquiescence as Deputy PM – enough to to satisfy you anyway 😉 – but those of us old enough to remember her tenure recall them pawning off the largest part of our silver.

    We are also bright enough to begin to imagine say, the spitting sarcasm of an entrapped Michael Cullen discussing his enemy the Farmer on concealed tape, or perhaps Clark on her real feelings on WRP, a man she must detest personally.

    This has been the most unsuccessful political beat ups I have seen, and my instinct tells me that Kiwis by and large, are sick of negative politics, are sick of the Winston connection/distraction, and that any Labour coalition will be most unhappy with any coalition it may cobble together on Saturday.

  92. Vinsin 92

    Very well put together comment. It was a pleasure to read, possibly the best thing i’ve read all day.

    Jam Jars, i flicked over to kiwiblog a few minutes ago – will not be doing it again – the curia poll is on the site, calling it 46% National, 33% Labour, 8% Greens – not surprising but what can you expect.

  93. So whats the difference between Mr Keizer recording this, and whale oil (possibly with the help of the national party research unit) trawling every known left supporters social networking site, taking “screen prints” of all their pages, copying all their photos, building up who knows who webs, cross referancing any number of online search facilities, cross referencing IP addresses with a number of sites, liaising with various opinion writers and reporters. (Far out, having just written all of that, which seems like only half of what he does, I can’t possibly believe he does it all himself)

  94. KITNO,

    For starters Kees does not have Labour connections it seems whereas Whaleoil and lardyman are dedicated National supporters with a known tendency to smear. I’m sure all parties research their opponents.

    If National as a party does all that you claim they do than that supports my comment earlier on about us having to be extremely vigilant with them.

    In other words we need more Kees’s recording every uttering of Nationals leaders

  95. Why am I in moderation?
    This is the third time in a row

  96. Pascal's bookie 96

    ohdear Jess, “so” ?

    So, there is the asked for hint at a rightwing agenda. The desire for privatisation. The point, as it were.

    Neocons are not neoliberals by the way. Very different beasts. Neocons don’t for the most part, give two shits about economics. Just a means to an end for them. We don’t really have them in NNZ, to our credit.

    I’m not sure what Helen Clark has got to do with it, other than to serve as a pathetic attempt at subject changing. Yes, she was a minister in the 80’s. Her leadership however has been quite different, and the neolibs were mostly gone from the party by the time Labour regained power. I’m sure you are aware of this. They mostly went to ACT, and are looking to be in coalition with Mr Key’s alledgedly centrist National party.

    So there you go.

  97. jackp 97

    I suppose that since Keizer is the brother in law of Day who works as a laison between the greens and labour, more specifically Sue Bradford, has nothing to do with the tapes. It is just all coincidental and Auntie Helen made her campaign on “trust”. Simply all coincidence. Just like Winston Peters not knowing about Glenn Owen’s 100,000 donation and not campaigning in helicopters. I don’t think the tapes reveal much, only a scare mongering tactic by greens and labour.

  98. jackp,

    I reckon you’d be hart pressed not to know or be a “brother of” someone who knows someone in NZ. Bloody hell it’s only four million people. Even in Holland everybody knew someone or were related to someone who was someone and that is a country of 17 million people.

    You sound a bit like a conspiracy theorist; this person knows so and so therefore they must have planned it. LOL

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    2 weeks ago
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    2 weeks ago

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    22 hours ago
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    3 days ago
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    5 days ago
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