Cameron Slater

Michael Bassett on Dirty Politics

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Michael Bassett is one of the smartest men in New Zealand politics.

This is what he has to say on ‘Dirty Politics.

Reading the New Zealand Herald and watching Parliament this week, one could be forgiven for thinking that the 2014 election hadn’t yet taken place. Left-leaning editorial writers and opposition parliamentarians have been busy re-hashing stories that grabbed them during the election campaign as though the voters hadn’t yet passed judgment. It’s worth reminding these people; an election occurred on 20 September, and they lost. The people have spoken. Voters told them that they had weighed up Nicky Hager’s “Dirty Politics” amongst other things and decided his book was either irrelevant to the current state of things, or was a pile of crap. “Dirty Politics” is a corpse, and there’s little sense now trying to resurrect it.
Why would these journalists and lefties, too many of whom are one and the same, want to revive Hager? A few, I guess, want something to keep bashing National with. They are angry at the election outcome. I keep being surprised at how many people believed until the numbers went up that a left coalition was still on the cards. Others possibly believe in St Nicky, and admire his chutzpah in using stolen emails for pecuniary gain. That, they seem to think, is “investigative journalism” at its finest.

It wasn’t and it will eventually be revealed for the large criminal political conspiracy that it was. Then the media will have a choice to make, and watching them make that choice will be delicious.

There will be others again, many of them young or naïve in the extreme, who actually believe Hager’s story. They have so little understanding of political processes in New Zealand or anywhere else that they think there was something new and especially sordid about Jason Ede acting as a conduit to bloggers, passing information, and discussing tactics designed to put National in a good light. Some won’t know about the methods used by the Labour government while Helen Clark was in office 1999-2008, when press releases and exaggerated criticism of opponents were filtered to “The Standard”, Labour’s electronic broadsheet. Nor will they know about the priming done by cabinet minister Ruth Dyson each morning of her email tree with sleaze that the government wanted to be widely disseminated. The Prime Minister knew all about it. I found out about it: some of Dyson’s stuff was inadvertently sent to me! Some journalists won’t know that throughout her career Helen Clark had a list of journalists she’d ring to exchange gossip. Sometimes she would only hint, other times she’d tell the person on the other end of the phone about what she planned to do to some on her own side who had incurred her wrath. Occasionally she’d plant an idea that the journalist would be encouraged to follow up, hopefully with devastating consequences. A few people in today’s press gallery were involved and are currently keeping their heads down. If John Key rang Cameron Slater in any capacity, what’s the difference? The Herald’s editor might like to tell us?

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Someone is very very worried.

Terrified-Man-with-Three-Shadow-Figures-in-Background_10.04.20111

-innerpeaceandultimatefreedom

New Zealanders are a very generous lot. On charity sites such as Givealittle we help many different people and worthwhile causes.

It appears that many, many, New Zealanders thought that Independently wealthy Nicky Hager was one such worthwhile cause. The fact that he has made around $500,000 from his sales of the book ‘Dirty Politics’ doesn’t seem to affect their desire to help him financially.

I can’t help but wonder if two or three of the donations were rather large. I suspect there are two or three people in New Zealand who are rather concerned that if Rawshark is identified that the trail will lead back to them and their organisations.

Lets face it. If Hager expects us to trust him to read Cam’s stolen e-mails and only use what is in the Public Interest in order to make himself a not inconsequential chunk of change then SURELY he can trust the NZ Police to not reveal any information that they have to read in the search for information about the hacker Rawshark? Methinks the so called journalist protests too much. I suspect he has finally  realised that he was a pawn in a well planned and well executed Political hit. The people who used him knew how to reel him in and which buttons to push while keeping him ignorant of their agenda and who was really behind it all.

If he doesn’t fight the Police and the truth is finally revealed, his career and reputation will be destroyed in a spectacular fashion. In fact it will be so spectacular that I expect that it will be worthy of being made into a movie. Imagine… a book about dirty politics written by the pawn of a group of Black Op political operatives on a political mission to take down an extremely effective Political Operative on the other side of the Political spectrum. They use Dirty and criminal politics to frame him as being Dirty Politically in league with the government of the day.It was a plan so cunning you could pin a tail on it at call it a weasel!

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Another Fabian socialist using his paper to try to silence free speech

According to Rod Oram I am responsible for the ending of society and what it could have been because I call crusading scientists to account.

This Fabian socialist ignores the fact ( while he crusades on Nicky Hager’s behalf ) that a journalist was hacked and crimes were committed by the very people he is now crying a river of tears for.

He claims that I am trying to suppress debate.

Is free and rigorous debate increasingly suppressed in New Zealand?

No, says, John Roughan, John Key’s biographer and a New Zealand Herald editorial writer, in his article available at http://bit.ly/Roughan

Yes, says, Nicky Hager, investigative journalist. He laid out chapter and verse in a recent article in the UK’s Guardian (http://bit.ly/Hager), as he did in his book Dirty Politics. His piece triggered Roughan’s blistering response.

I say yes.  Suppression of evidence, ideas and debate, in ways subtle and now increasingly brutal, is my experience as a business journalist in New Zealand. It is no consolation we are just a micro example of an accelerating trend worldwide.

Far from suppressing debate I am actually encouraging it. I am actually providing the other side of the debate. In order to have a debate one must have two sides, but all too often the Orams of this world and the so-called researchers he is defending don’t want a debate. They want their story only told…and when you push back against them they cry out that you are trying to suppress them.

The whole premise behind ‘Dirty Politics’, as stated by the hacker and his mouthpiece Nicky Hager was to “shut down” the network of people who were challenging their pals. Yes they used the words “shut down”. In other words it is they who have decided that the debate must be suppressed, that illegal means, foul means, criminal means must be used to justify the ends.

Let me give you two examples from my work last week. At the Population Health Congress very good experts from many science and other professional disciplines were wrestling with the escalating issue of childhood obesity, alcoholism, and many other extremely complex societal issues.

But many of them know they are taking great professional and personal risks to do this critical work. They are painfully aware of the ruthless way Cameron Slater, Carrick Graham and others have tried to destroy Prof Doug Sellman, director of the University of Otago’s National Addiction Centre.

The facts of their despicable acts were laid bare in Dirty Politics. It was just one of many such campaigns they continue to run.

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Looks like it’s a please don’t talk about my bike ride with Andrea Vance and our subsequent crash

Reader’s might not know but early yesterday morning Trevor Mallard and Andrea Vance were out cycling when they had a little crash…and altercation with a vehicle. Vance ended up in hospital with a broken shoulder and sources confirm that Mallard was banged up with cuts and bruises.

Not that you will read this in any media, such is the wall of silence that has gone up around the issue of politicians an journalists fraternising.

You will note that other journalists are tweeting in sympathy but for some reason don’t think it is in the public interest to explain the circumstances of the injury.

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There are plenty of other journalists crying tears of sympathy for Andrea, so why no reportage? Why the wall of silence from other media?

In fact it appears that there are smoke screens being quickly erected, here is Trevor Mallard in the Herald this morning defending Judith Collins!   Read more »

Rodney Hide on Hager’s outrage

Rodney Hide writes about Nicky Hager’s outrage at having the police raid his house.

It’s an outrage! A shocking abuse of police power! Oh my goodness. The police have raided Nicky Hager’s house.

The poor thing. He was “speaking truth to power”. The state retaliated.

Hager has said: “The police actions are dangerous for journalism in New Zealand.”

To the anointed left, Hager is an investigative journalist. He is good and true. Blogger Cameron Slater is a smear merchant and paid shill. He is evil and false.

An anonymous hacker stole Slater’s emails and Facebook messages.

Hager then published them in Dirty Politics to implicate Prime Minister John Key in dark and evil plots. The links were tenuous at best.

I warranted a brief chapter myself. Hager alleges Slater blackmailed me to resign the Act Party leadership. It’s not true.

The first I knew of any allegation or blackmail was Hager’s book.

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John Roughan on Hager’s preciousness

John Roughan makes a few telling comments about Nicky Hagers ongoing preciousness.

The day police searched his Wellington home he was in Auckland giving lectures at the university, so he ought to be able to tell us more about the fear gripping the faculties. I think it is time he did some regular reporting and told us the actual experiences of those “chilled” academics and the voices that have been “closed down”.

Like a real journalist, Hager says he will refuse to co-operate with the police in their attempt to discover who hacked Cameron Slater’s computers and stole his private emails.

“I believe the police actions are dangerous for journalism in New Zealand,” he said. “It matters to all people working in the media who could similarly have their property searched and seized to look for sources. People are less likely to help the media if the police act in this way. The police want people to respect their role in society; they should in turn respect other people’s roles in society.”

It always embarrasses me when we react hysterically like this. To the public we must sound precious, irresponsible and unprofessional. People know we have a job to do and so do the police.

The reason we reserve the right to refuse co-operation with criminal investigations is, as Hager said, because informants may be afraid to talk to reporters in confidence if they think we will comply. But we tend to garnish that practical reason with a great deal of self-righteousness about the public’s right to know.   Read more »

Health nazis complaining about dirty politics

The health nazis are complaining about Dirty Politics.

Apparently it is wrong to challenge them and their gilt edged troughs.

They are even whining in the UK where a massive moan has been published in the British Medical Journal.

Online attacks on public health advocates have been condemned in the British Medical Journal, with New Zealand cited as an example of dirty tricks campaigns.

In an opinion piece in the publication Martin McKee, professor of European Public Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, cited tactics described in investigative journalist Nicky Hager’s book Dirty Politics book as strengthening suspicions that large corporations were helping fund internet trolls.

While some online critics were the sort of people “who in the past might have spent their days on a soap box in the marketplace” others were “professionals, paid by large corporations to attack others,” McKee said.

Dirty Politics alleged links between Prime Minister John Key’s office, National Party politicians and party-linked figures, and WhaleOil blogger Cameron Slater. It was based on emails and Facebook posts hacked from Slater’s computer.

Hager’s book also made allegations tobacco, food and alcohol companies were paying Slater.

Companies engaged public relations consultant Carrick Graham, the son of a senior National Party politician, who reportedly paid Slater $6555 a month to promote his clients’ interests on WhaleOil, and attack those whose work threatened his clients’ interests.

Slater has previously denied any claims that he was paid for content.

McKee said advocates of public health policies were paying the price of speaking out, and big corporations were funding campaigns to undermine them.

“Most of us soon realise that this is the price to be paid for taking a stand and refuse to engage with our attackers, whose main aim seems to be to provoke a hostile response that they can ruthlessly exploit,” he said.

Attacks of this nature were not limited to New Zealand, but had also been made on British public health professionals, particularly those active in tobacco control, he said.

So the paid troughers who push their pet projects are not allowed to ever be criticised?   Read more »

Herald editorial minimises a crime, defends criminals

The NZ Herald is fast gaining a reputation for the media outlet that protects the interests of bludgers, ratbags, crooks and scumbags.

Today their editorial minimises the criminal political conspiracy to hack and then attempt to pervert an election as a mere theft.

I wonder if they are minimising because they are complicit in the crimes committed against me and my friends?

On one level the police search of author Nicky Hager’s home and their seizure of his electronic files can be argued as standard measures in a criminal investigation. A complaint of theft had been made and Hager had been identified as the eventual user of the stolen material. The missing information was email and social media data and therefore Hager’s computers and devices could be suspected of holding it.

They are wrong right there. I did not lay a “complaint of theft”, and to my knowledge the Police have not identified the charge or charges they intend to lay, but I will bet a million dollars that it will not be a charge of theft.

But the editorial continues to minimise the crime by constantly referring to “theft”.

Yet the case, with the police actions and the ensuing battle to prevent officers examining the material, are far from straightforward. In response to a complaint of theft – common old theft – five police officers spent the best part of a day searching the Hager home and taking away everything from computers to an iPod. Not because Hager was considered a “suspect” but because he could be a “witness” to the crime.

It is not a complaint of theft. Why are the Herald minimising this crime? Their other pages are full of celebrities having their phones and computers hacked and nude photos published, that is a crime to the Herald, but a raid on my intellectual property by criminal means is just a simple theft?

And again they call it theft.

If every theft complaint made to police resulted in this kind of response, searches under warrants of houses and businesses would be constant and not much else would be achieved by our constabulary.

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Face of the day

Danyl McLauchlan - flickr.com

Danyl McLauchlan – flickr.com

Would you employ a writer to write a book about a book if he had no intention of interviewing the main protagonist of the original book?

Victoria University Press have.

Would you hire a published writer of fiction to write a non fiction book?

Victoria University press have.

Would you hire a writer who sends e-mails like this one to the people you have employed him to interview?

Victoria University Press have.

Hi XXXXX

XXX  might have mentioned this to you: Victoria University Press has asked me to write a book about XXX  XXX’s  XXXXX book, and one of the aims of the book is to get comments from the people written about in XXX’s book who didn’t get a right of reply there. And, so, gallingly, I have to interview you, or at least ask you for an interview.

If you consent to this – And you DON”T have to! – I’m trying to arrange a time to come up to Auckland, but if you find yourself in Wellington in the near future and have an hour to chat then that’d be great. Also, if you have any questions you want me to put to XXX, or anyone else, then let me know.

Cheers,

Danyl

 

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The ‘moments of zen’ in the election

Paul Thomas analyses the election and the “moments of zen”.

The Daily Show‘s Jon Stewart’s signature sign-off is “Your moment of Zen”: a clip of a public figure making a goose of themselves through tone deafness, crassness, vehement ignorance, random imbecility or unconscious irony.

If Stewart had taken notice of our election, he would’ve had more moments of Zen than you could shake a stick at. After a rigorous process of elimination, I’ve chosen a top three.

Third was Internet-Mana party co-leader Laila Harre commiserating with the people of Te Tai Tokerau over the loss of their sitting MP and her co-leader Hone Harawira. Before her next political incarnation Harre might care to familiarise herself with the workings of democracy: the people she was consoling for being deprived of Harawira were the very people who gave him the broom.

Second was Labour leader David Cunliffe’s concession speech in which he did a passable impersonation of a man who’d just won an election. If his year-long impersonation of a leader of the opposition had been half as convincing, neither he nor Labour would be in the dark place they are now.

His shout-out to his staff and Labour’s campaign team was a riot of superlatives – “amazing”, “incredible”, “fantastic” – which raised the question: how catastrophically badly would Cunliffe and Labour have done if he’d surrounded himself with mediocrities?

Number one was Harawira’s comment, early on in the evening, that the people of his electorate “don’t like being ganged up on”. The general reaction to interlopers trying to influence the outcome in Te Tai Tokerau, he said, was “why don’t you guys piss off and leave us to make our own decisions?”.

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