At 9am today Slater is probably going to publish a list of some of the donors to the Labour Party. I’ve got two quick comments.
First – a big thank you to every person on that list! I’m an active member of the Labour Party, and a regular donor. My name would be on that list too, except that it covers web based credit card transactions and I donate by electronic banking. (Don’t worry, no credit card details have been exposed or are in Slater’s possession.) As a donor I am proud to be in your company, you are all generous and compassionate people who are committed to a fair go for everyone in the country that we share.
To anyone who is upset at having their name made public, I for one certainly apologise on behalf of Labour. It’s a stuff up to leave anything accessible on the web, however obscurely. I suspect that most donors won’t mind – if you’re donating to a political party you’re probably pretty open and active about it (I certainly am in the real world). But if you are pissed off, please don’t blame some hapless web admin working for Labour, please blame the people who took this information and illegally made it public. The best way to get back at them is to donate again to Labour, that’s what I’m doing.
The second point I want to make is to consider the motives of the Nats (Slater’s handlers) in orchestrating this leak. A list of minor personal donors to a party is of no conceivable public interest. The Nats are trying to create a “climate of fear” by attacking their political opponents at an individual level, just as Paula Bennett illegally identified and gave details of individual beneficiaries. They think that publishing the names of donors to Labour will in some way intimidate or damage these people. I’d like to think that they’ve miscalculated there!
In a post last night Slater tries to compare himself to Wikileaks, and lists posts on The Standard that refer to it. In particular he links to a post of mine, which he says is “a good one”, so I’m very happy to repeat part of it here:
Like most other activities in the complicated real world, whistleblowing can be a grey area. Some thugs, like Paula Bennett with her attacks on individual beneficiaries, or Cameron Slater with his violation of name suppression, might think of themselves as whistleblowers, but they are not. To my mind the crucial distinctions are (1) whether information being released relates to an individual (probably wrong) or to an organisation like a company or the state (probably right), and (2) the level of genuine public interest in socially significant issues.
Slater is not a whistle blower revealing important information of public interest, he’s just a thug trying to intimidate people. Slater’s National Party handlers should be ashamed of themselves.