The information being leaked to Nicky Hager is obviously coming from well-placed sources inside National The idea of hacking is farcical (Lyndon Hood mocks it beautifully). In the Hollow Men, Hager refers to his sources as â€˜six senior National figures’, in the SST article he talks of â€˜staffers’ being concerned about the actions of Crosby/Textor. Who might they be?
Leader’s Office staff: Only a leader’s office staff member could have detailed knowledge of the Leader’s diary and access to faxes and emails, which form the basis of the Hollow Men and are also in evidence in the SST article. The motive of a staffer might be loyalty to the English camp and/or personal frustration at being overshadowed by arrogant outsiders from Crosby/Textor.
Information obtained by the SST shows the million dollars that has been spent on creating Brand Key has come from the Leader’s Budget. Someone who knows how much the C/T visits cost gave the information to Hager, so they are probably in the Leader’s Office. A million dollars is a lot of money to anyone – a principled conservative would be offended by this massive, egotistical expenditure on the deification of Key personally, not improving image for the party.
Bill English: Bill English has every motive Brash’s leadership coup was only successful because Key promised his vote to English but actually voted for Brash. Now, the incompetent glory-hound is leader, while English has to do the hard work of preparing to govern for no credit. English wants a National election win but a narrow one so he can roll Key quickly; Key himself expects to be rolled by English within 2 years of becoming PM. And English is willing to talk to his party’s opponents to undermine Key; he recently told a person he knew to be a Labour associate ‘I don’t know how long we can hold it together’ with reference to National’s internal strife. Even English’s reaction to the C/T affair strengthens this argument he was up the first National MP to front on the issue, a sign he is seen as the probable leaker. And his performance on Radio NZ on Wednesday, where he used a cartoonish misdirection* strikingly similar to the one we predicted was akin to Iago pledging fealty to Othello while winking to the crowd.
[* English said ‘Labour is obsessed with who gives advice to National. The public I would have to say is much more concerned with an economy that’s turning down interest rates that are still too high and law and order that’s out of control‘ Why is this misdirection? First, Labour is not spending heaps of time on this issue, the PM works 14 hours plus a day, in the more than 40 hours after the story broke, she had about 1.5 hours of media work with four interviews a press conference, and a scrum. In each, she was asked about the C/T affair and responded with her frank, clearly unscripted views. Total time: maybe 10 minutes. And remember – in misdirection the handkerchief is actually empty. Likewise, English and National have no answers on the economy or law and order in fact, National have not asked a single question in the House on the economy or the Budget since before the Budget.]