Deception and integrity in politics

Bryce Edwards the ‘Pope of Politics’ is having the time of his life.  Blogs are dirty and he’s lovin’ ittm

New Zealand politics is ‘a dirty, disgusting, despicable game. And it involves dirty, disgusting despicable people at all levels’.

That’s the view of National Party-aligned blogger Cameron Slater.

Is he right?

Some areas are obviously cleaner and more principled than others.

The blogosphere – although a particularly valuable part of the ‘public sphere’ – is often also one of the dirtiest and more deceptive.

This reputation will be further cemented by revelations yesterday that one of John Key’s spin-doctors, Jason Ede, has supplied content to Cameron Slater’s Whaleoil blog.

You might say that Bryce, but I couldn’t possibly comment.  

This story may seem frivolous or ‘beltway’, but it actually raises important questions about how political parties and politicians operate in New Zealand. For example, there are often allegations swirling around the blogosphere about who really funds the various partisan blogs, and whether they’re essentially written from within the taxpayer-funded parliamentary offices of the political parties.

There are constant rumours that the various blogs are closely connected to parliamentary offices – Whaleoil to National, The Standard to Labour, Daily Blog to Mana – but no evidence to prove the allegations.

The Greens are fairly upfront that Frogblog is produced by their spin-doctors in Parliament.

The problem is that no matter how many times you tell people the actual answer, it’s not as exciting as they would like it to be, so they stick with what they want it to be.

But just for you, and everyone else:  Whaleoil is not funded in any way by the National Party.  Anyone with half a brain should see that.  I have a good tilt at the usual party ratbags, and you think that I would be able to do that if I was in their pocket?

I regularly get requests and complaints to remove or change material, and I tell them they get what they pay for:  nothing.

I may appear to be National Party aligned, but that’s simply because that reflects some of my politics.  Whaleoil is actually fiercely independent.

But hey, I’m wasting my time, and some of yours.  Truth is the first casualty in war, and I’m fighting dirty all the time.

No matter how many times I tell people I receive no pecuniary benefits from the National Part, directly or via free room upgrades, they will believe and repeat their own firmly held views.

Of course the National Party is a source.  At many levels.  Including the Prime Minister’s Office.  Material received goes through a triage process.  A lot of of never makes it.

But as I’ve already stated the Labour Party is also a source.  At many levels.  Right near the top, as it happens.

“Let me tell you this. The whole planet’s leaking, everybody is leaking. You know, everyone’s spewing out their guts onto the internet. Putting up their, their relationship status, and, er, photos of their vajazzles. We’ve come to a point where there are people, millions of people, who are quite happy to trade a kidney in order to go on television. And to show people their knickers, to show people their skid marks, and then complain to OK Magazine about a breach of privacy. The exchange of private information, that is what drives our economy. But you come after me because you can’t, you can’t arrest a land mass, can you? You can’t cuff a country. You might as well just go and go, you can’t lynch that guy there, can you? But you decide that you can sit there, you can judge, and you can ogle me like a Page Three girl. You don’t like it? Well, you don’t like yourself. You don’t like your species, and you know what? Neither do I, but how dare you come and lay this at my door. How dare you blame me for this. Which is the result of a political class…which has given up on morality. And simply pursues popularity at all costs. I am you, and you are me.”

Welcome to Whaleoil.  Check your guilt at the door, and be informed and entertained.

At least I have the honesty not to pretend we’re doing anything more honourable than a dirty game of politics.  Come on in, the mud is warm, the pig is happy, and the wrestlin’ is easy.

Source: Dr Bryce Edwards via the NZ Herald


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  • blokeintakapuna

    Bryce Edwards the ‘Pope of Politics’

    Yeah nah… More the Brian Tamaki if you ask me…

    • It’s not an alliteration tho…

      Bish of Pish?

      • blokeintakapuna

        Pope nope?

  • Macca

    Yet another left leaning commentator who tries to come across as ‘holier than thou’ when the need suits them. Someone who spews the socialist mantra in their column(s) but doesn’t ‘like it up em’!
    I didn’t hear home being so righteous when Goff came forth with his leaked information! Like all the other pigs in the swill, he was more than happy to defend the messenger when it suited their own agenda!
    Just one more reason why the Herald is in free fall!

  • Pingback: Cameron Slater on party funding and influence | Your NZ()

  • Rodger T

    Tana Umaga, for President!

  • cows4me

    “who really funds the various partisan blogs” , I believe Bryce is making a fundamental mistake. Even if various blogs are funded by their side of the political divide or receive information from their side of the political divide it would hardly alter the popularity or blog visits to various blogs. I’m willing to bet you could throw millions at the substandard and have every lefty political tosspot leaking ever detail they could get their hands on, it would still be eating dust. Bryce assumes success and gaining the high ground comes from money and political insiders, wrong. The readers of blogs aren’t stupid and will not take any ideas or political ideology simply because it comes from a will sourced blog. WO is successful because the exchange of ideas are not censured and it’s readers actually have a few clues and are treated as such. Bryce should question why the MSM continually loses ground despite the many millions at their disposal, because they have not yet realised the people have a brain.

  • LesleyNZ

    So what if Jason Ede sent in a photo. Big state secret! Now we know the truth about some of the dirty, disgusting despicable lobbyists and the press gallery who smoke. They don’t care where they drop their dirty, disgusting despicable butts.They have no respect for the clean, lovely, hard-working cleaners.

  • Pete George

    The other question that keeps coming up that would be good to have an open statement on – does Jason Ede or anyone else ghost write under ‘Cameron Slater’?

  • Pissedoffyouth

    I’d say you insult more National members then the Standard does – look at Aaron, Simon, etc

    • Pete George

      The Standard insulted and attacked David Shearer extensively, to the extent that lprent said he would vote Green instead of Labour next election.

      On the other hand they promoted David Cunliffe including trying to precipitate last year’s coup attempt. So they look to be more faction backers than party backers.

      • johnbronkhorst

        If you support labour, faction backing is what they are all about. A party of factions…ZERO actual unity…..just an attempt to keep up appearances.

  • ratmuncher

    Bryce Edwards, that weird looking old man with a teenage boy-band haircut, the Pope? Ha ha – more like the Goebbels of the left. His so called roundup of “must read” blogs or “best blogs” is purely subjective, couched in gushing language and if you follow the links turn out to be some toady’s leftwing rant.
    He hardly ever mentions Whaleoil and if he does it is usually in negative terms.
    His political “analysis” is pure Goebbels style propaganda.
    One of his techniques is the passive aggressive method of using one opponents comments out of context against another.
    i.e. In today’s herald he links Cam’s thoughts on politics – ‘a dirty, disgusting, despicable game. And it involves dirty, disgusting despicable people at all levels’ with John key.
    Thus implying That John Key is the target of Cam’s comment and that John Key is all of the above.
    He also compares the sending a pic to whaleoil of a pigsty mess left after a booze up
    With the shameful GOFF scandal – quite frankly loopy.

    Any thoughtful reading of his columns will see he is shallow thinking, and to paraphrase an old commie sobriquet, a running-dog of the left.

    A few week back one of his more nuttier columns linked labour’s women MP quotas to Jenny Shipley and liberalism.
    Quotas for women in politics is pure collectivism. The first country in the world to bring in quotas for women MPs was Cuba. The idea originated with Marx.

    This guy is supposedly some sort of Professor.

  • Col

    You summed that up well Cam.

  • johnbronkhorst

    If you want to know who is lying or who is trust worthy:
    Draw up columns with headings:
    National…Labour….Greens…..NZF…..Maori party….UFNZ…..Mana
    Make 3 pages this way.
    Page one…heading….lies told (actual lies. Untruthes that they knew were not true) in the past 10 years.
    Page two…Heading.. Dishonesty, fraud etc that , if prosecuted could or did end in conviction. over past 10 years (include electoral irregularities)
    Page three…heading…Misrepresentations, over past 10 years.
    Don’t just include MP’s, party members and local council.
    Now fill them in with a list under each party name.
    You will find National and the Maori party have the shortest list…..BY FAR.