Scoop Election 08: edited by Gordon Campbell

Gordon Campbell on no more Mr Nice Guy

August 19th, 2014

When future historians seek to identify the exact moment when the prime ministerial career of John Key hit the downward slope, they may well point to Key’s interview yesterday with Guyon Espiner on RNZ’s Morning Report. In particular, they’ll cite the broken record moment when Espiner repeatedly asked Key whether he thought the behaviour of his Justice Minister Judith Collins was OK, and Key kept on trying to ignore the question. Was it OK with Key that one of his Cabinet Ministers has admitted that she secretly released to Cameron Slater the name of a public servant that she thought might have leaked some information that had embarrassed the government, thereby exposing that individual, as Espiner noted, “to some pretty serious death threats.” Is that OK?

Key couldn’t or wouldn’t answer the question, choosing instead to repeatedly bluster about Nicky Hager’s motives for writing his book, Dirty Politics. As a result “Is that OK?” could well be chanted at Key every time he appears in public for the next five weeks. For now, the government is banking on the fact that relatively few New Zealanders have read Hager’s book – at best, just north of 4,000 copies are currently in circulation. Therefore, the strategy being followed by both Key and his Cabinet trouble-shooter Steven Joyce is to talk past the interviewer, talk past the press gallery, talk past the people who have read the book, talk past the people who were never going to vote for him anyway.

Instead, they are carefully pitching their message to the people who remain oblivious to the vile crew that the Prime Minister of this country has been cheerfully colluding with since 2011, at least. The message that Key is trying to deliver comes down to (a) the emails were selective (b) they were stolen (c) everyone does it, anyway, so no big deal and (d) its all a big smear campaign instigated by the left in collusion with the dastardly Dotcom.

None of this stacks up. Key, his ninth floor staff and the party he leads have been caught red-handed and the current response is simply damage limitation. If only, Key and his cronies must be thinking, we were back in the good old days of the Spanish Inquisition when we could just slap Hager’s book on the Index and forbid National Party voters to read it under pain of mortal sin. Forget the left wing stuff. The real damage to the party of Keith Holyoake, Jack Marshall and Simon Upton will come when National Party members get to read how viciously Cameron Slater and Simon Lusk screwed the National Party candidate selection in Rodney to get their man, Mark Mitchell, selected. Is that what National stands for now, and is this the company it now keeps? Will National Party members be happy when they realise their leader has been working in tandem with someone who chortles about the “scum” in Christchurch who supposedly deserved to die in the earthquake, because they voted for Labour?

After reading Hager’s book, a number of decent conservatives in the rural heartland may come to conclude that losing this election could be the price required to cleanse the National Party of its current running mates, and to restore its traditional values. In the meantime, lets look at the arguments that Key has been trying to run in the last 48 hours.

1. The emails are selective. Really? You mean there are other emails where Justice Minister Judith Collins urges Slater not to hang an innocent public servant – Simon Pleasants – publicly out to dry? Is there an email that shows Key contacted Slater to say that the mother of the West Coast ‘feral’ wasn’t a “slut” who deserved no compassion for the death of her son? If Hager was selective then there’s a clear remedy. Release the other emails that prove it. No? Didn’t think so.

2. Everyone does it like Slater. Well no, they don’t. No one else gets briefed by Beehive staff on how to write OIA requests – and no one gets them so speedily from the SIS. Slater’s status, and the vile tone in which he has conducted his operations, was unique. He got SIS files virtually on the same day he asked for them, while other journalists were being denied them. To liken everyone else to Slater – as Key has tried to do – is something every journalist in the country would reject, and with good reason. No blogger on the left operates like Slater.

Astonishingly, Key tried to argue on Morning Report that the particular OIA reply in contention was sent out unilaterally by the SIS without the relevant Minister – John Key – ever seeing it, much less signing it. According to Key, non one in his office even knew about it; presumably apart from Jason Ede. What was the Minister of the SIS, and Ede’s boss – Wayne Eagleson, chief of staff – doing at the time? How often, as Matthew Hooton speculated on Nine to Noon yesterday, would OIA ministerial responses go out from the office of say, MBIE Minister Steven Joyce without Joyce seeing them or signing them, or without any of his senior staff vetting them? Never. Not even when the OIAs are about relatively trivial matters. This OIA release was criticising the Leader of the Opposition three months before the 2011 election. As Hooton concluded, Key’s attempted “I knew nothing” explanation to Espiner was completely unbelievable.

On RNZ’s Checkpoint last night, lawyer Felix Geiringer – who in the interests of full disclosure had given Hager some legal advice in the book’s early stages – made the point that much of the illegal and unethical behaviour disclosed in the book (usually, in the very words of the people concerned) has yet to enter the public discourse. As Geiringer says, whoever hacked Slater’s site was committing an illegal act. Yet the accessing of private information on Labour’s site by Jason Ede and Cameron Slater was also illegal, regardless of the security measures – or lack of them – on the Labour site. As Geiringer explained:

If somebody leaves their door open and you walk in and take all their family silver you are guilty of a crime. And it’s the same with computer crime. The section is very clear. For it to be a crime, there needs to have been no authority – and no one is suggesting that the Labour Party gave the National Party authority to rifle around in this private data, and secondly you need to know you don’t have authority or be reckless that you don’t have authority. The suggestion that Mr Ede or Mr Slater thought, when they were rifling through this private information that mistakenly, they did have authority to do so, is frankly risible. On the surface of it, if what Mr Hager says in his book is true, there’s an overwhelming case of criminal activity.

So far, Key has not condemned the behaviour revealed in the book – either by Ede, or by Judith Collins. Nor has he distanced himself or National from the vile comments in the book from Slater and Simon Lusk. While there has been public discussion of the ethics and legality of hacking and the alleged conspiracy to commit blackmail (of Rodney Hide) Geiringer points to other evidence of what he sees as illegality contained in the book.

There appear to be breaches of the Advertising Standards rules. You’ve got Mr Slater pretending to be giving blog posts under his own name when he is actually posting materials written by commercial entities for their commercial benefit.

Slater’s subsequent denials on this point ring hollow, given the evidence in the book, and the subsequent email dump yesterday. As Geiringer says, Slater’s and Key’s denials about the content of the book have been shown to be completely untrue:

The denial that Mr Slater gave in the past few days is that he has never been advised by the National Party, Mr Ede or anyone else how to do OIA requests. And there we have in the email release [yesterday] Mr Ede telling him how rto do an OIA request, who to ask, what to ask for. All designed to embarrass the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. This is the Prime Minister orchestrating a campaign to embarrass one of his own Ministries because he doesn’t like them challenging the [MFAT] reforms…

And so on. The actions of the lawyers detailed in the book – one lawyer seems to have urged Slater and Hooton to facilitate physical harm to Hager – should be of interest to the Law Society. Geiringer’s final point is a crucial one about the bogus “balance” that is being applied. Over the last couple of days, the contents of the book – which are couched almost entirely in the actual words and emails of the people involved – are being set alongside blanket denials and claims that the book’s contents have been made up, and that its narrative is unravelling. Despite the lack of any evidence that these responses are true, the two elements are being given equal weight.

Again, Key and the National Party hierarchy are relying on the media’s notion of “balance” to help them muddy the waters with the majority of New Zealanders who have not read the book.

One last thing. Hager, however, does not appear to have contravened the law by reprinting the content derived from the hack. There is a ‘public good’ defence available in revealing said content. In this case, that puts Hager in a long and honourable tradition. Time and again, whistle blowers have obtained documents, emails and videos and released them publicly, for the greater good. Thanks to Edward Snowden, we now know a lot about the current systems of global surveillance. Thanks to Chelsea Manning and Wikileaks, we’ve learned a great deal about how the Iraq and Afghanistan wars have been conducted, and how diplomats have tried to manipulate public opinion.

Thanks to Daniel Ellsberg’s release of the Pentagon Papers, the American public learned how they had been systematically misled about the causes and likely course of the Vietnam War. Thanks to the Winebox papers, we learned about the corporate tax dodges that flourished here in the 1990s etc.

In each case, the public learned that the official version was not painting a true picture of what was going on. Similarly, what Dirty Politics illustrates – with any number of examples – is that a two-track system of politicking has been run out of the ninth floor of the Beehive. On one hand, Prime Minister John Key has been encouraged to project a likeable public persona and to deliver positive messages. Yet simultaneously, a series of “dirty tricks” have been outsourced by some of his staff, working in tandem with Cameron Slater and National’s other allies in the blogosphere. Sometimes against Labour, sometimes against trade unions, sometimes against ordinary members of the public.

It is Key’s ‘nice guy” persona – not the contents of Hager’s book – that is now unraveling.


Share and Enjoy: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Scoopit
  • Digg
  • Reddit
  • NewsVine
  • Print this post Print this post
    1. 57 Responses to “Gordon Campbell on no more Mr Nice Guy”

    2. By lindsay shelton on Aug 19, 2014 | Reply

      10,000 copies of the book have now been printed, according to the DomPost this morning, plus another 1000 sold as ebooks.

    3. By Ross Middleton on Aug 19, 2014 | Reply

      I think the chant will be;
      “People can see!”

    4. By Grump on Aug 19, 2014 | Reply

      Could it be Key is scared of the Slater? Slater obviously knows how to get hold of muck, and has proven he’ll throw anyone under the bus to further his mischievous agenda. He’ll have tons of incredibly damaging material on Key, and probably most of the National MPs, that he’ll be holding as collateral.

      None dare criticise him outright; Key will never sack Slater’s ‘friend’ Judith Collins for the above reason.


    5. By Elyse on Aug 19, 2014 | Reply

      Thank you Gordon for so many excellent points.

    6. By John on Aug 19, 2014 | Reply

      So Hager makes serious accusations of blackmail, but admits he has “no evidence” of either the blackmail, or Hide doing anything wrong.

      He SIS claims have been shown to be false by director of the SIS. Goff has now been caught out a second time telling lies about the issue.

      The hacking claims were blown away three years ago when the National Business Review employed some of the countries top IP lawyers to look at the allegation, and they found that hacking requires breaching security measures – if there’s no security, then hacking can’t occur. Gordon Campbell’s expert independent advice comes from….Hager’s lawyer.

      Then there’s the call for Collins resignation, for doing something Helen Clark did repeatedly, to the point of civil servants were well know for being scared of saying anything against her.

      And by repeating claims that have already been shown to be false, Gordon Campbell should have a good look at himself.

      He is actively participating in a dirty tricks smear campaign himself.

    7. By Grump on Aug 19, 2014 | Reply

      John, please direct us to your detailed article in which you provide your evidence. You of all people should know by now that the “because John said” argument is rapidly turning rotten. Dissolving before your eyes, you might well say.

    8. By Laurence Boomert on Aug 19, 2014 | Reply

      More great stuff from you Mr Campbell and thank God (or whoever you like) for Guy Espiner who deserves an OBE for moral integrity as a journalist unlike most of all those other toady sold out presstitutes

    9. By elmer on Aug 19, 2014 | Reply

      On the behaviour of Judith Collins, see the latest release from Whaledump – hot off the press.

    10. By Nick on Aug 19, 2014 | Reply

      By John on Aug 19, 2014

      “So Hager makes serious accusations of blackmail, but admits he has “no evidence” of either the blackmail, or Hide doing anything wrong.”

      I believe that if you’d actually read the book, John, you would realise that Hager did not make accusations of blackmail. He presents the evidence and lets people draw their own conclusions based on that evidence – and the obvious conclusion is that blackmail was the name of the game.

    11. By cinesimon on Aug 19, 2014 | Reply

      John once again shows he cannot read. He’s so caught up in his ‘arguments’, that he fails to realize that he’s actually arguing against things that aren’t claimed.
      I guess that’s what happens when honesty and integrity become the enemy for a political party.

    12. By Mick on Aug 19, 2014 | Reply

      Agreed: Key is on a hiding to nowhere with his current strategy. It looks as if, having tied himself to the mast, he’s prepared to go down with the ship.

      Meanwhile, the frozen smirk seems to have melted/dissolved into a snarl …

    13. By Matt on Aug 19, 2014 | Reply

      Thanks for a great summary Mr Campbell. Please keep up the fantastic work that is so clearly needed to bring some balance to the inept work of our rather pathetic mainstream news media.

    14. By John on Aug 19, 2014 | Reply

      Hager has made accusations of blackmail several times, in several interviews.

      However both and his lawyers are suddenly quick to back-peddle and point out Hager’s own quotes where he says there is “no evidence” of blackmail, and “no evidence” of dodgy texts.

      Clearly they’ve realised smearing someone with blackmail claims when you have no evidence is about as dirty as it gets, not to mention legally dangerous.


      – the blackmail claims have been shown to be nonsense (by Hager himself).

      – the John Key /SIS allegation have been shown to be nonsense

      – the Judith Collins prisoner transfer alllegation has been shown to be nonsense.

      – and the hacking claims were proved to be nonsense THREE YEARS before Hager wrote them.

    15. By John Monro on Aug 19, 2014 | Reply

      John Key is obviously now completely out of his depth. The interview with Guyon Espiner was totally bizarre. I cannot recall an interview quite so strange except perhaps Kim Hill’s “interview” with Jon Pilger.

      My theory is this. One of the frustrations I have had about John Key is the continued inability of the media to deal with John Key’s well practised technique of dealing with awkward questions. His manner remains firm, unflappable, authoritative, his composure is supreme, his smile rarely fails, and no one can doubt his quickness and mastery of the telling riposte. :Howeve, so often the content is missing – he just doesn’t engage in any meaningful debate. I have never heard a politician so adept at batting away awkward questions – he will obfuscate, he will divert, he will repeat what he’s just said, he will sometimes literally walk away. His teflon coating has survived some pretty feeble attempts by the media to scratch it. I suspect this composure was honed in his job at Merrill Lynch, when he was accountable to his superiors, not those under him, and where he was apparently known as the smiling assassin. I have marvelled as to how this man, for whom I personally have little respect for his politics or his manner, has managed to retain his shining image with so much of the population; why can I see so easily what they can’t?. .

      For once, at a very late stage, we’ve had an interviewer not afraid to really pin John Key down. The result was remarkable, the teflon is rapidly wearing away. Well done Guyon.

      I think that John Key has done so well personally and politically with this way of dealing with his relationship with the media, indeed this image being reinforced by the same compliant media that he is so adept disarming, that he can no longer react any other way.

      But the problem is that this is no longer appropriate or useful to him. The information about the behaviour Judith Collins, Mr Ede, the odious Cameron Slater is just so overwhelmingly bad, so definitive and unarguable, that he is incapable of realising or admitting that bluster and obfuscation are patently nonsensical – that he is just digging himself a deeper hole in which to be buried.

      It is truly an appalling performance; I am just pleased it has come in time for people to know who and what they may be voting for.

      PS I have just bought the book on Amazon for my Kindle. I shall read it this afternoon. It costs $21, but Nicky Hager deserves some rich rewards for his efforts. I hope Amazon’s profit is not so high though, I believe this is a source of some concern, a subject for another day.

    16. By John on Aug 19, 2014 | Reply

      Nick says “John, you would realise that Hager did not make accusations of blackmail.”

      Exactly the point. He HAS been making allegations of blackmail on tv interviews when promoting the book.

      But now even his lawyers are back-peddling furiously saying there is no evidence of blackmail, or even dodgy texts from Hide.

      Of Hagers major claims –

      – Blackmail – shown to be false by Hager himself
      – PM/SIS link – shown to be false by Director of SIS
      – Collins link to prisoner shift – admitted false by Hager
      – Labour website hacking – shown false THREE YEARS earlier by top NZ IP lawyers.

    17. By cinesimon on Aug 19, 2014 | Reply

      John the English language is not difficult to understand.
      They discussed blackmail on many ocasions. That is proven withthe actual evidence. Here is your problem: you haven’t read the book, and clearly you haven’t bothered to look into this issue very deeply. The emails are very clear about them wanting to attempt blackmail to get Romney to step down. Romney stepped down, after many days of insisting he wouldn’t.
      There is no ebidence the actual blackmail happened.
      There is no back-peddling, for goodness sake: everything that Hager and his “lawyers”(OOOH he’s in trouble! According to John) have said about this particular affair corresponds with what he wrote in the book. Just because you think 1+1 = 5, does not mean reality will agree with you.
      You haven’t even bothered to read the emails, have you John?

      And again, I see you don’t bother to offer any evidence for your myriad of claims. You really do think that because you believe it, and because you’re repeating virtually verbatim what John Key and Rodney Hide have said, that no back up is required, huh?
      For your logic to make sense, all the emails would have to be fake.

      Do you seriously believe that?

    18. By Grump on Aug 19, 2014 | Reply

      @ John

      Now, about the allegations you made on ‘that radio station’ a ‘few days’ ago that were even more outrageous. Suggesting that John Key is in fact a giant chicken?

      You’ve said multiple times, in many places, that John Key is a giant chicken in a man-shaped suit! This is so easily refutable. It’s right there in black and white.

      You also claimed that you once saw him lay an egg – not metaphorically, but literally! In fact you said to to that reporter on the telly just the other time.

      And what your lawyer has been saying ‘all over the place’ about him having a secret holiday nest at the top of Mount Eden is absurd.

      (Of course there’s no need for me to provide any actual evidence of your frankly bizarre claims – I’ve SAID you made them, that should be enough.)

    19. By Rick on Aug 19, 2014 | Reply

      From the king’s new clothes – Danny Kaye

      “Well, as the King came by the little boy looked and, horrified, said,

      “Look at the King! Look at the the King! Look at the King, the King, the King!
      The King is in the all together
      But all together the all together
      He’s all together as naked as the day that he was born.
      The King is in the all together
      But all together the all together
      It’s all together the very least the King has ever worn.”

    20. By reason on Aug 19, 2014 | Reply

      jeez your full of it john …..

      The alleged attempted blackmail of Rodney Hide? Nicky claimed that Cameron Slater and Simon Lusk conspired to get hold of some compromising text messages sent by (then ACT leader) Rodney Hide, to try to pressure him into resigning. (Let’s not mince words here: Lusk writes they should tell Hide someone has the texts “and will leak them if he doesn’t resign by friday.”) Nicky quotes Slater’s subsequent blog post, which contains hints about Hide so broad you could land a plane on them. Hide resigned shortly afterward. DimPost outlines Hide’s adamant refusal to resign until that point. Dirty Politics says there’s no evidence of any direct threat made to Hide, and there may well have been other reasons for Hide’s resignation.

      Hide has laughed off the suggestions that he was blackmailed or that this had anything to do with his resignation. But that doesn’t really answer the point, does it? Was there a plan to blackmail him? It seems there was. It can’t be said, anyway, that this said, anyway, that this suggestion is a “wild allegation” or ”made up” or ”a conspiracy theory” or “baseless”.

      Current rebuttals to nationals feeble spin about their dirt machine can be read here.

      john would do well to read it and stop being a silly troll defending sleaze merchants.

    21. By reason on Aug 19, 2014 | Reply

      I should have had quotation marks on the bulk of my post as it was copied & pasted from the link I gave ……. Steven Price is the author. :)

    22. By clairbear on Aug 19, 2014 | Reply

      “Is there an email that shows Key contacted Slater to say that the mother of the West Coast ‘feral’ wasn’t a “slut” who deserved no compassion for the death of her son?”

      if there is am email that is verifiable in which John key says this West coast Feral is a slut then Key is toast.

      I am assuming you are saying there is!! Let’s see it.

      “Was there a plan to blackmail him? It seems there was.” was there or was there emails about people talking about it – does that mean there was a plan. probably not as knowing Slater it would have happened.

      You can make up what you like and one persons version is just as good as anothers. I have even heard my wife say I will kill you if you do that again. Really!

      People say a lot of things – context is everything, conjecture is a lot of fun as well.

      I have read the book and there is a lot talked about that simply hasn’t happen – half of is a bunch of bravado and pub talk – it still sound uncomfortable – but would you believe it all – well some people will because it meets their expectations.

    23. By philj on Aug 19, 2014 | Reply

      Great work Gordon. There is quality journalism in NZ! Hopefully this is the beginning of a cleaner, greener, and fairer Aotearoa. Thank you, and Nicky.

    24. By Flying Gabriel on Aug 19, 2014 | Reply

      Nice accurate appraisal Gordon Campbell. The comparison to current and past whistleblowers and the relative value of the “public good” in the equation is a valid one, and too infrequently made. It’s hard to find a more weighty and compelling reason to publish, in New Zealand’s entire political history. A partisan view in this case is short-sighted and transparent. There are no winners, only losers, across the entire political spectrum, when dishonest, underhand, downright grubby and possibly illegal behaviour is tolerated. Contributor “John” would do well to take an introspective pause here; misrepresentation of content prior to even reading Hagar’s book, repeating the same thoughtless cliche’s over and over as if they will eventually come true … is a mirror image of the Dirty Politics we’ve all had an absolute gutsful of. Think it through John … you have much more to lose than Mr Key.

    25. By Ichiro on Aug 19, 2014 | Reply

      John, I’ve now read only a few of Gordon Campbell’s articles here, and it seems very clear that your participation in this forum is entirely for purposes of misinformation and sidetracking peoples’ attempts at reasoned discussion. Why is that? Who are you? Why do you spend your time wasting other people’s time, deliberately being obtuse, deliberately misinterpreting other people’s posts, deliberately playing language games? Do you think people don’t notice? Are you proud of your behaviour? Or are you just immature, not able to man-up and treat other people with respect? A wanna-be Cameron Slater?

      All I can say is that the release of the actual emails on WhaleDump completely destroys the points you have tried to make, i.e., we now know that on balance the material in Nicky Hager’s book reflects what Cameron Slater and others have actually been saying and doing.

      So unless you’re willing to stop playing games and discuss these matters knowing that there actually is evidence backing them up, your credibility is nil, you’re just being a troll. So please man-up. There are important things at stake.

    26. By John on Aug 20, 2014 | Reply

      When Hager was trying to sell his book in his first flurry of interviews, he made accusations on both TV and radio of blackmail – not conspiracy to blackmail, not an attempt at blackmail – but actual blackmail of Rodney Hide, and the accusation had no qualifications.

      Which is why his supporters, lawyer etc, are now all furiously back peddling.

      Not only does it show he makes up false accusations when even he himself says he has “no evidence”, but it could also be costly enough to more than wipe out any book profits.

    27. By Goodabbu on Aug 20, 2014 | Reply

      You are a funny man John. Just like Key. A broken record.

    28. By Elyse on Aug 20, 2014 | Reply

      Clairbear, I have read the book too and I find it chilling that John Key has deliberately imported to New Zealand the kind of swift boat/Willie Horton/Nixonesque tactics that have crippled democracy in the USA where I live. I am a kiwi, love my country, and have long been able to see what Key was up to. Unfortunately there has never been a smoking gun. This still is not it, as he has cunningly kept his hands off the actual dirty dealings. The point of the discourse as I see it is that Cameron Slater and David Farrar are mouthpieces for the National party and corporate interests. Demoralising opponents and creating a poisonous atmosphere to create low voter turnout are their aims.
      But this has all been said by the venerable Gordon.
      I’m surprised that if you have indeed read the book, you would be happy to support a PM and party who have such a close association with a vile character like Cameron Slater. Have you read his blog and the comments section? It makes the discourse here look positively civilised, and all from mostly progressives! Critical thinking is in order.

    29. By onenzer on Aug 20, 2014 | Reply

      remember well at the polling booth, a vote for key and his henchmen is a vote for the israeli terrorists

    30. By Grump on Aug 20, 2014 | Reply

      John, Please. Your strategy of attacking the man is boring.

      Hager the ‘person’ is irrelevant. The same is even true for Slater.

      1. The TEXT of the EMAILS are what is being debated. They may have been obtained illegally it hasn’t been tested yet (and despite your name, you aren’t the King, you don’t just make a sweeping pronouncement which becomes Fact).

      2. The ACTIONS of ministers are what is being debated; Hager is not a representative of the crown, and hasn’t been engaging with said reps as Slater has.

      Let’s debate credibility and ethics down the pub – keep it to evidence thanks.

    31. By George on Aug 20, 2014 | Reply

      Felix Geiringer was brilliant on Checkpoint.
      Key’s dilemma is likely that Collins has emails linking him to things he has already denied knowing about. Who knows, maybe Dotcom. And she is, let’s face it, coming to be seen as a pretty vindictive person with nasty friends.
      If he cuts her loose, he goes down too.
      My feeling is that Collins will be back. Key won’t. If he wins or loses, there’s a strong possibility he’ll quit. Then who’ll take over?
      This is a fight for the soul of the National Party.

    32. By Nic Farra on Aug 20, 2014 | Reply

      Do we really need a barrage of rhetorical questions to tell us what to think?

    33. By elmer on Aug 20, 2014 | Reply

      For those interested in a complete rebuttal of the “he’s making stuff up” argument – here is an excellent article by Nicky Hager’s lawyer.

    34. By awryly on Aug 20, 2014 | Reply

      The media have a duty to put the contents of Hager’s book before the NZ public in ways it cannot ignore. I have bought a copy but most haven’t. What National is doing is an attack on democracy. NZders need to know how it has been systematically subverted by this government in the interests of the elites using instruments of the state like the GCSB and parasites like Cameron Slater. If moderate National voters are not appalled, they do not deserve to live in a democracy.

    35. By awryly on Aug 20, 2014 | Reply

      Write that yourself, John Boy?

      Or did Jason Ede?

    36. By BobbyJ on Aug 20, 2014 | Reply

      John obviously suffers from a form of dyslexia that renders everything arse-about-face. Gordon, can you run his posts through an invertor – that should clear everything up.

    37. By nic on Aug 20, 2014 | Reply

      Elyse, you have obviously not spent a lot of time reading Whaleoil and kiwiblog. If you had you would know these guys are not mouthpieces for National. They are both of National ilk so the majority of what they say will be more pro national by nature of their political views. And being that they are right wingers it is natural that National will feed them info, just like Labour does with the left wing blogs.

    38. By Mike on Aug 20, 2014 | Reply

      Too true, John. Finally some real facts and data are released and our prime minister is now being recognised as the compulsive liar and deceiver that he truly is.

      As you have mentioned, it is absolutely astounding that Key still enjoys so much popularity. Hopefully by the time the truth is told, Key will be thankful to be voted out before he is sacked, post election, by the Governor General.

    39. By kieran on Aug 20, 2014 | Reply

      So the chirpy lefties would have a man who admits he’s ashamed to be a man, an obese german fraudster, a commie called harre who takes the fraudster’s money, the looney-tune greenies who would ban the means to a strong economy and a maori party who are committed to separate development [aka as apartheid] ….all cobble together a ruling clique. God forbid the day !

    40. By john on Aug 21, 2014 | Reply

      grump says “Your strategy of attacking the man is boring.”

      Call it what you want. Hager pretty much attacked his own credibility, all by himself.

      That’s what happens when you say there is “no evidence” of blackmail, when you’ve just been throwing around accusations of blackmail.

      He seems to have largely disappeared after being seen to be unable to back up several of his allegations.

    41. By Grump on Aug 21, 2014 | Reply

      Sorry, but your argument that there is no evidence is… not strong.

    42. By reason on Aug 21, 2014 | Reply

      John going to put up dozens of links backing up his fanatical posting rate in this thread.

      But meanwhile another day and another lie from key:

      Both Gower and Garner have turned on team sleaze.

      The books ripples have turned into waves and Collins looks like the first to be washed overboard from the sinking boat.

      Hagers shocking facts are being read and spread, downloaded and digested.

      We are watching a political party suffer gangrene from its own filth right at election time.

      We’ve never seen anything like this before. Its a national party train wreck which will not stop……. and more trains are coming.

      In a prime example of be careful of how you go about what you’ve wished for, slater looks to have achieved his dream of being a decisive factor in a general election .

      And Wall Street ethics make you a shit prime minister.

    43. By reason on Aug 21, 2014 | Reply

      The first line in my post above should have read …

      ‘ Is John going to put up dozens of links backing up his fanatical posting rate in this thread ?.’

    44. By Paul on Aug 21, 2014 | Reply

      @ reason John probably would if he could…. unfortunately there aren’t any links that back his blinkered view, all the actual evidence so far is backing the truth of Nicky Hager’s claims, so he has to keep endlessly trotting out the party line.

      Who’s exhibiting “Commie” behavior?

    45. By john on Aug 21, 2014 | Reply

      Grump says “Sorry, but your argument that there is no evidence is… not strong.”

      Why are you arguing with me? You should be arguing with Hager. He’s the one that said it.

      And his lawyer as well. He said “Dirty Politics says there’s no evidence of any direct threat made to Hide, and there may well have been other reasons for Hide’s resignation.”

      That’s furious back peddling from Hager’s TV and radio interviews that Hide had been blackmailed.

    46. By john on Aug 21, 2014 | Reply

      Pauls says “all the actual evidence so far is backing the truth of Nicky Hager’s claims,”

      So why did Hager and his lawyer backtrack on the blackmail claims?

      And why did he apologise for getting the Collins prisoner allegation wrong?

    47. By Delia on Aug 21, 2014 | Reply

      Hello John, it is all there is black and white you just need to read the book. Discussing blackmail shows intent. Do read the book, it is hard to discuss when a person has not and by now everyone I discuss it with has.

    48. By Grump on Aug 21, 2014 | Reply

      John – ahh, I see it all now, thank for enlightening me! I can’t believe it took me so long.

      You don’t know the difference between evidence and proof.
      There is no proof of anything – that the world, or even you – exist. You just take in evidence and make conclusions.

      There is ample evidence for blackmail, from which strong conclusions can be made. My copy arrives tomorrow, but I’ve read through the awful whaledump released the other day, here’s some:

      Cameron Slater, 4/25, 10:47pm

      Hide has much more to lose
      Aaron Bhatnagar, 4/25, 10:47pm

      Cameron Slater, 4/25, 10:47pm

      i have txts as recent as three weeks ago between him and his latest root
      Aaron Bhatnagar, 4/25, 10:48pm

      you are joking
      Cameron Slater, 4/25, 10:48pm

      Nope I am not

      he goes feral on Brash those come out
      Aaron Bhatnagar, 4/25, 10:48pm

      hide? with a baby being born?
      Cameron Slater, 4/25, 10:48pm

      Aaron Bhatnagar, 4/25, 10:49pm


      you are sure about that?

      And the lawyer backpeddling? I think not, pleeease go and read it:

      “As far as I can tell, there is not a jot of evidence that Nicky has “made stuff up.” Nor is there any that his reporting is “baseless”, or that he “doesn’t want facts” as the PM puts it.”
      – Lawyer Steven Price

    49. By Glump on Aug 21, 2014 | Reply

      @ keiran:

      “So the chirpy lefties would have a man who admits he’s ashamed to be a man, an obese german fraudster, a commie called harre who takes the fraudster’s money, the looney-tune greenies … ”

      The left votes for policy, not personality. No one cares about these people’s gender-crises, weight or names. Don’t want or expect to “have a beer”, and a selfie, with them.

    50. By john on Aug 21, 2014 | Reply

      Hager accuses blackmail in interviews.

      But Hager says there is no evidence of blackmail.

      Hager even says there is no evidence of dodgy texts.

      And the lawyer who vetted the book says there is no evidence.

      The only evidence is hearsay from stolen private emails that worth no more than pub talk.

      That’s extraordinarily weak evidence in a defamation case. So weak that it probably wouldn’t even be allowed to be admitted as evidence in the first place.

      Yet Hager makes the laughable claim that he goes to great lengths to ensure he is correct – that claim couldn’t be further from the truth

      I don’t know of any journalist who does so little as Hager before making such serious allegations. On second thoughts, perhaps Slater, but no real journalists.

      But I suppose that’s what happens when you are so sanctimonious that you can’t see that what you are doing is a magnitude worse than what you are accusing others of.

    51. By Grump on Aug 22, 2014 | Reply

      @John – notice something below:

      “Hager accuses…”
      “But Hager says…”
      “Hager even says…”
      “the lawyer who vetted the book says…”
      “Hager makes the laughable claim…”

      “The only evidence is hearsay … worth no more than pub talk.”

      Now read that last sentence again, with previous comments in mind.

    52. By john on Aug 22, 2014 | Reply

      So you are now saying if Hager makes an accusation or says something, it’s nothing more than pub talk.

      No one in the book had done anything nearly as bad as Hager has himself.

      They haven’t made false accusations of criminal behaviour, or used stolen private communications.

    53. By Grump on Aug 22, 2014 | Reply

      No, I’m saying all your comments are pub talk. In fact, you’re saying it yourself.

    54. By john on Aug 22, 2014 | Reply


      We now have Goff admitting he “hit the roof” at Tucker, and got him to delay the release of the OIA request.

      Is this the same Goff accusing Key of political interference in the timing of the release?

    55. By reason on Aug 22, 2014 | Reply

      I’m still waiting on John the defender of sleaze to put up even one link…… Like this one

      Key 2011 ” it was at that point he told me he’d release it because he has to tell me that under the no-surprises doctrine.”

      So, who are we to believe? Key-now, with fading memories and every reason to lie, or Key-then, with an immediate grasp of events and none? I think that’s a no-brainer. Key is lying to us to minimise his role in National’s dirty politics. And the fact that he feels the need to lie tells us something important: his sticky fingers are all over it.


    56. By AB on Aug 25, 2014 | Reply

      The dismantlers of our hard won democracy show their colours again. And now it is cleat that the SIS, whom ALL taxpaying citizens fund, are actually working for the National Party. The polls are incidental. If you support these traitors you are an enemy of thosof of us who are of citizens of a democratic New Zealand. Adolph was popular too.

    57. By Elyse on Aug 26, 2014 | Reply


      You hit the nail on the head.Well said!

    58. By Lynne Hertnon on Aug 30, 2014 | Reply

      Thank you for an excellent article. I also got my copy from Amazon and wondered the same.

      That said, knowing that all sorts of ducks and dives happen behind the scenes, I was gobsmacked by the extent of manipulation and underhanded deeds that a select few have been orchestrating.

      Key was groomed for the position thus the ability to keep looking like the good guy.

      What is so sad and frustrating is the fact that a very large percentage of the public will be oblivious to all that has been going on. This knowledge should be out in thew open for all to have knowledge of for democratic voting to happen.

    Post a Comment