Isn’t it ironic?

Alanis Morrisette has re-released Ironic with modern lyrics. It also came out at the same time as the release of the Panama Papers, which in New Zealand also coincided with Privacy Week.

It’s almost like the Media party sat around with their editors and when someone asked how they were going to mark Privacy Week they brilliantly suggested they’d release millions of private documents stolen from Mossack Fonseca.

It was no surprise that Nicky Hager, who runs off to court over his own privacy thought nothing of breaching other people’s privacy off of the back of a criminal act, just like he has done several times before, including to me.

Isn’t it ironic?

Nicky Hager, for his part, is unrepentant despite there not being anything in the papers other than evidence that lawyers do trust work and accountants account for things.

Nicky Hager denies claims the searchable database of people linked to the Panama Papers is a smear campaign.

Mr Hager – and one of the people given access to the Panama Papers by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) – tells NBR ONLINE the list is a “simple step of transparency about tax havens.”

“I don’t think it is smearing people,” he says.  

“I think it is actually a trade-off between a small number of people getting a surprise to find their name [on the list] and [exposing] the harm, crime and corruption that occurs as a result of tax havens.”

He says he has been through the papers “in great detail” and admits there are not many New Zealanders named.

Of the ones who are, he acknowledges “it’s possible that some of them are amongst people who use offshores who haven’t broken a law in any way.”

“I would argue that this is an act of transparency but I’m not suggesting every person on there is somehow a tax dodger.”

The searchable database, which went live overnight on the ICIJ’s website, has come under fire by some for being a political smear.

And there is some more irony.

Political commentator Matthew Hooton told NBR Radio this morning the names and addresses of roughly quarter of a million people have been released for no reason other than they have had some commercial association with the world’s fourth largest trust-law firm.

“This is the biggest orchestrated political smear in history,” he said.

He added that Mr Hager himself was quite upset about the prospect of his own address being outed when he was researching and writing a study about people using tax havens in 2013, as detailed in his Dirty Politics book.

Asked how he felt about supporting the publication of the Panama Papers list, despite his opposition to his own name and address being made public, Mr Hager says it’s about context.

“When I objected to my name and address being published, it was in the context of a letter inviting the Chinese mafia to possibly do me violence,” he says.

I have my address in the telephone book. When people get their lists on the Companies Office or somewhere, that’s much more about transparency.”

So he made a huge song and dance about his address, despite it being in the phone book. This is the lie that the left pushes every day. That I breached his privacy…yet his address is public, he even publishes it on his submission to parliament.

Nicky Hager also doesn’t mention that he avails himself of the protection of trusts too. For all his houses.

It certainly was ironic that in privacy week Nick Hager was once again front and centre in massive privacy breaches, aided and abetted by a complicit media.

 

– NBR


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

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