Cam Slater

INCITE: Politics Summer Edition released

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Our latest edition of INCITE: Politics has been released. It will be in subscribers’ inboxes as you read this.

In this month’s edition we have contributions from Chris Trotter, Don Brash, David Farrar and Jock Anderson, as well as the usual contributions from Simon Lusk and myself.

  • Chris Trotter asks a very hard question
  • David Farrar provides some long-term predictions
  • Don Brash investigates Auckland’s affordable housing issue
  • Jock Anderson discusses a very interesting case before the courts

Read more »

INCITE: Politics launches today

INCITE

Today is the day and shortly the first editions of INCITE: Politics will begin landing in people’s inboxes.

Little in trouble – David Farrar writes about the fundamental problem for Andrew Little, his negative approval rating, and contrasts it with the very popular John Key.

The Route to Victory – Simon Lusk considers the potential routes to victory and the relative institutional strengths of both the Labour and the National parties in the 2017 election.

Ten Questions – Winston Peters takes the time to give some thoughtful answers to some important political questions.

Politician of the Year – Review our choice for the inaugural INCITE: Politics Politician of the year.

The Advent of the Media Party – Cam Slater writes about why the media have moved from neutral, dispassionate observers to players in the political game, and why the public no longer trusts them.

Pundits & Media –  Cam Slater’s view on the New Zealand media, with a counter view from Simon Lusk.    Read more »

Five days to go, have you pre-ordered INCITE: Politics?

There are five days to go to the launch of INCITE: Politics, the rest of the media have gone on holiday but we are busily putting together the first edition.

The polling has been completed and provides some very interesting and exclusive “incites” into what is happening out there. One thing for sure is one politician in particular is not going to enjoy reading our polling numbers.

I am really pleased to be able to announce the launch of this new premium report called INCITE: Politics. We will grow this exclusive report with more and more contributors. January’s edition is already likely to be a ripper.

This is a monthly insider’s report on politics in New Zealand.

This is an exclusive report. None of the information contained in INCITE: Politics will be available either on this blog or in any other publication.   Read more »

If you thought it was bizarre that Mr X was Colin Craig wait until you read this

Colin Craig (both of them) with the interviewer and Mr X

Colin Craig (both of them) with the interviewer and Mr X   Photo/NZ Herald

When Colin Craig held his press conference and announced that he was suing me for defamation and had also printed a pamphlet and sent it to every household in New Zealand, I saw there was something familiar in the pamphlet.

He had used one of my photos. Initially I thought it was a Getty Image but I checked with them and they confirmed that it wasn’t one of their images, but was one of the five images their photographer took that I own the rights to exclusively. Colin Craig had taken one of my photos, edited it in the background then used it twice in his defamatory pamphlet to attack me. He never asked for permission, nor would it have been given.

So I invoiced him for it. It is my intellectual property and I own all the rights to it. He can’t use my property to attack me.

His response was to tell me to nick off and to threaten me to drop my claims or he would charge me for ‘using’ his poem “The Two of Me“. Understandably I thought he was crazy even suggesting that.

I didn’t think he could be any more crazy but yesterday he went full retard and actually did bill me for ‘use’ of his poem…a poem he has previously said that I fabricated. Well that little falsehood is well and truly busted.

I replied to Colin Craig and copied in media who have now picked it up.

Stacey Kirk at Fairfax covers the story best.

Colin Craig appears to have admitted a poem allegedly written for his former press-secretary Rachel MacGregor, is one of his original works.

He is now attempting to invoice WhaleOil blogger Cameron Slater $15,000 for it, after Slater published the leaked poem on his site.

In the latest twist of a drawn-out series of events, Craig is also demanding Slater retract the blog post, and “provide written apology to me for using my work without permission”.

The poem, called Two of Me, spoke of how there could be two of the author; “that would be one for all the others and one of me, for you”.    Read more »

The mendacity of the NZ Herald and David ‘Tainted’ Fisher

Yesterday David “Tainted” Fisher wrote an article in the NZ Herald. He contacted me on Friday afternoon for comment, but I didn’t respond. There is no point responding to David “Tainted” Fisher because he has an agenda and is on a mission to protect Nicky Hager and to ultimately protect himself.

He is a mendacious scumbag.

The NZ Herald appends each of his stories about Nicky Hager’s predicament with this rider:

Fisher-disclaimer

But even that isn’t really truthful. You see in the documents released from the court and the common bundle we can actually see that David “Tainted” Fisher actually swore his two affidavits for and on behalf of Nicky Hager.  Read more »

Karl du Fresne on the media’s fascination with Nicky Hager’s rights while ignoring mine

Karl du Fresne and I do not share much in common, but we are at least free thinkers and outspoken critics in important matters.

He writes about the media’s fascination with protecting Nicky Hager’s rights but ignoring mine.

[Bryce Edwards] seems to suggest that because I wrote a column back in July arguing that Hager is not a journalist in the commonly understood definition of the word, I might not share the media concern about the apparent overriding of his right to privacy by the police and Westpac.

Not so. It’s one thing to dispute Hager’s claim to be a journalist; quite another to approve of the police delving into his private affairs without first having to satisfy a court that it’s justified.  In fact I see no connection. Objecting to the way Hager’s rights have been violated has nothing to do with whether he’s a journalist. The police action, and Westpac’s apparent complicity, would be just as obnoxious if he were a gravedigger or hairdresser.

As Edwards acknowledges, I said in my July column that Hager does some important work. I wrote that he could teach journalists a few things about uncovering information that powerful people would prefer to keep hidden. I also said his books made an important contribution to informed debate on issues such as state surveillance and honesty in government.    Read more »

Not just Nicky, it also means you David, and Matt and anyone else who worked with the hacker

David ‘Tainted’ Fisher has yet another article in support of his partner in crime Nicky Hager.

This time catching up on something everyone else has been talking about since last week…that a recent Supreme Court decision regarding data as property and what that means for people working with criminal hackers.

Dirty Politics author Nicky Hager may face criminal charges over accepting the hacked material used to write the bombshell book, according to documents obtained by the Herald.

Police will not say whether the investigative journalist is again a suspect, instead of simply a witness, after a pivotal Supreme Court decision which ruled computer files were property.

Documents show the new definition from the court puts Hager back in the frame over the computer files he was given by a hacker which he used as the basis for his book.

An Official Information Act response to Hager’s lawyers in June saw police lawyer Carolyn Richardson explain there had been a decision – apparently just before the journalist’s house was searched – to treat him as an “unco-operative witness as opposed to a suspect”. It was based on legal advice over an earlier Court of Appeal decision which said computer files weren’t property, she said.    Read more »

What about respect for my privacy, Vernon?

Vernon Small has written an opinion piece at Fairfax, complaining about Westpac allegedly breaching Nicky Hager’s privacy.

The revelation Westpac handed over author Nicky Hager’s bank records to the police – without so much as a by-your-leave from the courts – should send a shiver down the spine.

It ought, too, to be a wake-up call to any other corporates out there who think their customers’ records are fair game for any authority figure that comes knocking.

They are not.

Kudos to the likes of Spark, Vodafone, Air New Zealand, Jetstar and TradeMe for recognising that – and refusing a similar request from the police.

In the case of Hager’s records – sought when the police were trying to find who hacked blogger Cameron Slater’s computer (providing the material for Hager’s book Dirty Politics) – there is more at stake than simply tracking down a potential criminal.

As the Media Freedom Committee’s Joanna Norris has pointed out, there was no suggestion Hager had committed a serious crime.

The main investigation was aimed at a third party, the self-named Rawshark. It would be bad enough if the police had come seeking the records of a member of the public but it is more chilling still when it is a journalist, who relies on being able to keep his or her sources confidential and who will on occasions interact with people “of interest to the police”.

But that should not be an excuse to access their bank, phone and travel records willy-nilly.

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A newspaper seems confused about freedom of speech

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Yesterday a newspaper had an editorial about freedom of speech, the way it was written it appears that certain columnist with a jumped up opinion of herself was the author.

Helen Kelly has been an impressive president of the Council of Trade Unions, “fearless”, as Labour leader Andrew Little described her in his address to the CTU conference last week when she stood down, her career cruelly cut short by terminal cancer. When someone as fearless as she is devotes part of her farewell speech to a call for more gentle public debate in this country, it deserves consideration.

Kiwis needed to be aware, she said, of attempts to belittle and deride those who dare speak out against official wisdom. “Attacks on those that speak up in this country – and we saw it with the author Eleanor Catton – are really an attack on democracy. A country where alternative voices are silenced, including by derision from the powerful, is a country that won’t develop as it could.”

This is not the first time we have heard this sort of appeal lately. It was a theme of the book Dirty Politics last year. Author Nicky Hager, in the book and whenever he talked about it, said critics of the present Government, especially in universities, were becoming afraid to speak out because of the abuse they were liable to receive.

He was mainly concerned about websites and blogs. But concern of this kind has not been limited to blogs and discussion online.

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READT Chair Paul Barber must resign, threatening journalists is unacceptable

The revelations over the past few days about the actions and qualifications of Paul Barber, the current chair of the Real Estate Agents Disciplinary Tribunal leave many questions unanswered.

Perhaps the most serious allegations now are regarding the very real threats by Paul Barber against a journalist asking reasonable and polite questions of the chair.

Near the end of the conversation with Whaleoil journalist Stephen Cook, Barber becomes agitated, threatening and demands the journalist’s personal details and ends with the warning to him to be careful.

“Where do you live?” he demands, “Give me your address please?”. Cook refuses and Barber continues with his demands.

“I’m going to sort this out” and “Where do you live?”.    Read more »