A bold double negative

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has boldly stated, “We don’t have Russian undeclared intelligence officers here.” [in New Zealand]

My English teachers (and my maths teachers for that matter) told me that a double negative was a positive, so what Ms Ardern is actually saying is, “We do have declared Russian intelligence officers here in New Zealand.”

So, if there are Russian Intelligence Officers (aka spies) here then why are we not expelling them in solidarity with our trade and defence partners? Especially since it was the UK that was offended against and the PM is on record as saying that her government would be looking to form bilateral trade deals with the UK, post Brexit.

Well, that’s another one down the gurgler in terms of trade and Five Eyes partners this PM has offended: USA, tick; Canada, tick; Australia, tick; UK, tick.  I wonder which other trade partner is next on her list?

Fifteen European Union countries, the United States, Canada and Ukraine have announced they’re expelling more than 100 of Russian diplomats over the poisoning of former double agent Sergei Skripal in Britain.

The move is an act of solidarity with the UK, following the attack and its expulsion of Russian diplomats, over which Russia has retaliated.

Ms Ardern told Radio NZ today that she had been assured by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade that there were no Russian diplomats acting as spies in New Zealand.

“The people who are being expelled are, by large, undeclared intelligence officers,” she said.

“We’ve done a check in New Zealand. We don’t have Russian undeclared intelligence officers here. If we did, we would expel them.

How would we actually know if we had undeclared spies? Is the GCSB or SIS really that good, or do we rely on our Five Eyes partners for that information? And the other four are not talking to us because no one in the current administration knows how to shut up when they need to?

“When there’s a range of international interests … does it surprise me New Zealand is not top of their list? No, actually.”

We do not need to be top of their list, simply on their list; and I am sure we are on their list somewhere.

The New Zealand government has condemned the attack in Britain and put its free-trade talks with Russia on ice as a result.

You’ve been a naughty, naughty boy and I am not allowed to come out a play with you for at least a week.

There are 17 Russian diplomats listed by MFAT as working at the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Wellington.

TVNZ

Last evening RadioNZ also picked up on the fact that New Zealand is the only Five Eyes member out of line on this issue:

New Zealand is now the only member of the ‘Five Eyes’ alliance not to take retaliatory action against Russia over the nerve agent attack on a former Russian spy and his daughter.

The comments from their security interviewee were damning:

Security consultant Paul Buchanan said he couldn’t tell if Ms Ardern’s comments were highly democratic, disingenuous or just plain naive.

He said three of the eight Russian diplomats in New Zealand were attaches, who were widely known to be intelligence collectors.

“They can be military, they can be from the intelligence services – but they are the credentialed intelligence collectors assigned to any embassy, particularly great power embassies,” he said.

“It’s akin to an open source intelligence collection service…they don’t engage in espionage per se but they’re there.”

So, declared or undeclared, the Russian spies are still here. Why? What are we not being told about our current government’s relationship with Russia?

Perhaps she is getting paid the PM’s salary because she was put in by Putin and we were all fooled into thinking it was Winston who was responsible?

 


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In solidarity with the those in the world’s most despised demographic, WH has decided to ‘come out’ as an old white male. WH enjoys exercising the white-male privilege that Whaleoil provides for him by writing the occasional post challenging climate change consensus; looking at random tech issues that tweak his interest, as a bit of a tech nerd; or generally poking the borax at anyone in public life who goes on record revealing their stupidity. WH never excelled on the sports field because his coaches never allowed him to play in his preferred position on the right-wing. WH also enjoys his MG.

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