Sunday nightCap

The science of depression


Today’s Trivia




Welcome to Daily Trivia. There is a game to play here. The photo above relates to one of the items below. The first reader to correctly tell us in the comments what item the photo belongs to, and why, gets bragging rights. Sometimes they are obvious, other times the obvious answer is the decoy. Can you figure it out tonight?


Half way through writing ‘A Brief History of Time’, Stephen Hawking fell into a coma and his wife was asked if she wanted the doctors to switch off the life-support. She refused and fortunately he came around. (source)


Read more »

This is totally stupid

….but half-way I was giggling. ¬†Let’s see if the same happens to you


Drunk driver lucky not to kill himself or others

Caution:  unedited, bad language


Daily Roundup

Whaleoil Backchat

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Police looking into Greg Presland’s money laundering rort for Len Brown

Greg Presland. ¬†You may recall he was a ‘close adviser and friend’ to David Cunliffe. ¬†You may also recall he writes as Mickey Savage on The Standard. ¬†You may also recall he put together David Cunliffe’s dodgy secret trust.

Seems the paragons of virtue, Brown and Presland have come to the attention of the police.

Police are investigating an entity that funded Auckland mayor Len Brown’s 2010 and 2013 election campaigns.

More then $750,000 in backing for Brown’s two successful campaigns was paid by a trust that kept donors’ identities secret. Since February police have been investigating whether the trust breached the Local Electoral Act.

The Sunday Star-Times has confirmation from Brown’s former campaign team that Greg Presland was involved in the donor trust. He was also the main trustee of the trust that paid almost $20,000 in anonymous donations to former Labour leader David Cunliffe during Labour’s 2013 leadership contest.

Cunliffe has since said using that trust was an error of judgment, and keeping donors’ names secret didn’t fully represent “the values I would like to bring to this leadership”. Cunliffe eventually named three donors and returned donations to two others who did not want to be named.

Brown sees no need to do the same with the “New Auckland Council Trust”, which donated $499,000 to his 2010 mayoral campaign and $273,375 last year .

Let me fast-forward to the end for you all: ¬†1) ¬†Len Brown will not stand down. ¬†He has done nothing illegal and he’s not ashamed about anything. ¬†2) ¬†Greg Presland, in spite of being poison to whoever he gets involved with, will happily continue to ply his trade. ¬† Read more »

NBR on Key’s lame apology to Slater

by Pete

National’s third election win in a row was marred by only one thing: a fallout between Cameron Slater and John Key.

Now, an attempt by the PM to mend fences with the Whaleoil blogger has fallen flat.

The PM isn’t attempting to mend fences. ¬†So his letter, which was produced under duress lest the Privacy Commissioner take John Key to the Human Rights Review Tribunal, is simply the latest iteration of a number of attempts to fob Slater off.

It emerged today that Mr Key has sent Mr Slater a letter apologising for the release of an email that led to the resignation of Justice Minister Judith Collins from cabinet.

But the blogger tells NBR, “It’s not really an apology … more an expression of regret with a re-write of history.”

The 2011 email in question was sent from Mr Slater to PR operator Carrick Graham, Mark Hotchin and another person whose name was blanked out. It discussed efforts, in concert with Cathy Odgers (aka Cactus Kate) to place stories in the media that would undermine the credibility of then Serious Fraud Office boss Adam Feeley. In the email, Mr Slater says he has talked at length with Ms Collins, and says “she is gunning for Feeley”. Mr Feeley reported to Ms Collins. Mr Hotchin’s former company Hanover Finance was at the time under investigation by the SFO. Ms Collins is awaiting the outcome of an independent inquiry into the alleged smear campaign against Mr Feeley. She denies any wrongdoing. In April this year, the SFO wrapped up its 32-month investigation into Hanover Finance without laying any criminal charges. It found¬†“While many may view the conduct that occurred at Hanover Finance as egregious, that alone is not sufficient for me to commence a prosecution.”

The “gunning for Feeley” email was released by the Prime Minister’s office during the election campaign.

Its release coincided with the leaking of dozens of Mr Slater’s emails by Rawshark, aka Whaledump¬†‚ÄĒ the hacker who supplied Dirty Politics author Nicky Hager with thousands of emails and documents copied from the Whaleoil blogger’s computer.

However, Mr Hager only touched briefly on Ms Collins’ relationship with Mr Feeley in his book.

Indeed. ¬†Hager never saw it as an issue to raise. ¬†One of the few things he managed to do right. Read more »

Update on the polos and the legal fund fundraising

Whale Oil Blogger Cameron Slater Portrait Session

Eagle eyed observers will have spotted that about $10,000 costs were awarded to the Herald and Fairfax et al, and about $500 court costs. ¬†Even though Cam’s legal fighting fund didn’t have $10k in it, he’s taken a chunk of the income saved from advertising and I’m happy to report that right now, Cam Slater doesn’t owe anyone anything in terms of legal bills – ALL THANKS TO YOU. ¬† Read more »