John Pagani

Civil War Continues – Labour Eats Its Own

The civil war in Labour continues.

This time the anonymous coward “The Sprout” from The St(r)anded lobs a grenade at both Josie and John Pagani in a post titled Two little Pagis Squeal and Squeak.

The use of the terms “Pagi” is just a little too close for comfort to the derogatory term “Paki” for my liking. ?It is getting nasty.

John Pagani is a patient, calm reasonable man but I would not want to be known to be any author working on that blog when he decides to deal with matters.

It is one thing to personally abuse a team mate to their face but from the safety of anonymity is gutless cowardly behaviour reserved for…..oh….. Labour’s ABC (Anyone But Cunliffe) in caucus.

Poor Martyn Feels Left Right Out

Martyn Bradbury makes this stunning revelation:

Before Shearer became leader, I and a few others would catch up with him every 2 months for a lunch and a chat and he was getting a far greater range of opinions, but that has stopped since he became leader. The last time I talked to Shearer was at the iPredict after party where his leadership was anointed.

On reflection, I should never have left that party early with him sitting next to Pagani and Hooton.

By two independent eye witness accounts at Matthew Hooton’s place that day David Shearer left “that party” very shortly after Martyn did. ?Shearer appeared to be staggering sideways from opinionated wanker overload from ?the ear bashing he was receiving from surely the lowest rating long-term TV & Radio host in New Zealand history who exists primarily from NZ on Air funding, and others. ?Martyn is completely irrelevant because he has had more than a decade in mainstream media and cannot pull the ratings with either a youth or adult audience.

Shearer has not spoken to Martyn since. This does not surprise me at all since the best ?advice Martyn can come up with is this:

Thankfully Labour have already put out feelers at the beginning of this week to left strategists so my hope is that they start listening now.

The solutions are bleedingly obvious, stop wasting precious time in the provinces and start creating the momentum online that feeds the mainstream media.

I will blog more on this later.


Tearing Up Pagani at 11

John Pagani and I will be hosting an hour of morning talkback at NewstalkZB Wellington from 11-12.

Sean Plunket is away and so we are doing a filler spot for him. It will be no holds barred crossfire from the two of us with talkback.

David Farrar has described the prospect as:

Whale and Pagani on air for an hour together should be like sticking a mongoose and a rattlesnake in a small container and watching the mayhem.

Maybe if he calls in we can both smack him up.

Unfortunately for Auckland listeners you will have?stream it live?if you want to listen to me smack up Pagani?again. Wellington listeners can tune in on 89.3FM 1035AM.

NewstalkZB tomorrow

Tomorrow I have a special treat for readers.

John Pagani and I will be hosting an hour of morning talkback at NewstalkZB Wellington from 11-12.

Sean Plunket is away and so we are doing a filler spot for him. It will be no holds barred crossfire from the two of us with talkback.

Unfortunately for Auckland listeners you will have stream it live if you want to listen to me smack up Pagani…again. Wellington listeners can tune in on 89.3FM 1035AM.

Lame Duck Puppet Leader of a Lame Duck

David Shearer has graced us with his?presence?after a holiday surfing and staying off line and out of touch. Nothing shows just how out of touch he is than the first news article showing him racing to Christchurch to cover a story that is weeks old. Like Phil Goff he is more interested in disaster porn than saving his ailing party.

Or is he just out of touch in his quaint way of appearing out of touch.

It also shows the folly of keeping new Chief of Staff, Stuart Nash, on gardening leave till February while Trevor Mallard sits in the office pulling the strings. While Stuart Nash has been busy with his newborn, Trevor Mallard, the old soldier is giving birth of his own to new plans…..he wouldn’t go on holiday, so fearful he is of losing the mechanisms of control within the party. Word has it that his lights have been burning bright in the parliamentary precinct during?the?break.

One thing for sure though is that the party is getting antsy. We have seen the hard left Labour local board?members?come out in support of the wharfies. Chris Trotter, ever the loyal servant of the party has expressed his?disappointment through an open letter to Shearer and Denis Welch is openly disdainful of the “New ” Labour party lead by David Shearer.

Wise head John Pagani thinks, like David Farrar, that Labour should stay silent, but in doing so they are ceding the moral high ground on the issue to the Greens.?They aren’t afraid to comment and are increasingly being seen as the go to guys for comment in the media. They are big fans of coastal shipping. Their credentials are much stronger than Labour’s which right now doesn’t even include platitudes for their long suffering funders.

Enter Helen Kelly, long time friend of hard core unionists like Trevor Mallard and Darien Fenton. Mallard has been?furiously?re-tweeting her assistance for MUNZ.

If the CTU can change Shearer’s mind it will prove once and for all that Labour is STILL in the pockets of their funders – the Unions…and Labour is no different than the one that polled its lowest in 80 years in November. Labour would have learned nothing from its electoral defeat.

David Shearer has to do something. It is clear that Labour hasn’t focus grouped this, otherwise we would?have?had some sort of?pronouncement?from the spokespeople concerned. So the old warhorses like Mallard have been quietly?txting Shearer to stay tight and at the same time keeping a muzzle on Fenton because she is feral and can’t help herself saying something nasty.

Is it a slight on the confidence in Darien Fenton that she has been muzzled by the men from becoming the fourth woman on the wharf?

However in doing so Shearer now stands charged with becoming the puppet, albeit a silent puppet of Trevor Mallard. You have to wonder why he didn’t put his name forward for the?leadership.

It might be his first week back but David Shearer can’t sit tight any longer. The test of his leadership will be the day of the strike. If Fenton shows up and says or does anything to show support for the striking unionists then it shows his control over the party caucus is tenuous.?Shearer will?have?to act to exert caucus discipline otherwise he will be a lame duck leader, the puppet of Mallard.

Time and pressure will tell…sometimes it makes diamonds but most times dirty coal.

A challenge from John Pagani

John Pagani has a challenge:

I challenge anyone to find a single intentionally funny sentence anywhere on?this blog.

It is a toughie…doubt he will get a single entry.

I hope he runs a second competition to find something similar on The Standard.

Not Trev’s campaign then?

Every year in the US they have the Reed Awards.

The Reeds recognize excellence in campaign management, political consulting and political design, and will bestow honors in more than 60 categories for television ads, direct mail, GOTV operation,?online advertising?and technology. The competition also includes 15 special categories such as Best Campaign Comeback, Best Social Networking Technology, and Most Daring (and Successful) Tactic.

There are some awesome categories. The finalists have now been released. The “Best Use of Social Networking Technology” is interesting:

Clearly that wasn’t Trevor Mallard’s spectacular cluster-f*ck of a campaign. Poor old Blue State Digital, they must rue the day that the numpties from labour darkened their door.

I think the awards have some merit, perhaps John Pagani and I could start up a Kiwi version so we can get some decent political advertising happening in New Zealand.

A valid point

Cactus Kate must be really annoyed. She has completed two posts inside 24 hours. She raises some valid points about the last vestiges of any credibility The Standard might have had:

When a blog unsuccessfully attacks on a conspiracy basis Whaleoil and myself on the right and then to the left Mallard, Curran and Pagani – and we have all spent time successfully refuting all conspiracy theories as nonsensical.

You have to ask – do The Stranded have any credibility left as a blog?

The new leadership of Labour could do nothing better than to ensure that no Labour staffers are involved in authoring, associated with or handing information to such a rag tag discredited anonymous unaccountable blog. The only reason the posters are anonymous is to protect their employment. Lynn has been clear about this. Which is code for they all have political positions and shouldn’t be blogging in the first instance, least of all attacking their mates on the left.

The same goes for The Greens if Mallard’s claim as to the identity of Zetetic is correct. To do this both organizations will have to find out who is authoring the sort of posts above under anonymous pen names and staining the left with inaccuracy, conspiracy and attacking even their own with lies.

Kind of ironic really The Stranded takes so many pot shots at Red Alert.

Missing the point

The leftwing’s eagerness to clutch at straws in opposing ANY reforms in education in New Zealand they are pointing to the curious case of Finland. They highlight that there are no national standards, no testing and the system is supposedly all about equality and as a result Finland performs very well against the rest of the world.

However they miss a very important point about Finland:

As for accountability of teachers and administrators, Sahlberg shrugs. “There’s no word for accountability in Finnish,” he later told an audience at the Teachers College of Columbia University. “Accountability is something that is left when responsibility has been subtracted.”

For Sahlberg what matters is that in Finland all teachers and administrators are given prestige, decent pay, and a lot of responsibility. A master’s degree is required to enter the profession, and teacher training programs are among the most selective professional schools in the country. If a teacher is bad, it is the principal’s responsibility to notice and deal with it.

I’d love to see John Pagani, the teachers unions and Labour tell all the existing teachers they need to do more work on their qualifications to keep their jobs. That’ll see at least seven eighths of existing lose their jobs, which could be a good thing.

They also miss the point that?Finland?has a clear ‘no wogs’ policy on immigration, only Swedes and Laps want to live there and if you want to emigrate to Finland you not only have to learn one of the hardest languages in the world and put up with the generally surly and uncommunicative population thus ensuring immigration is minimal.

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Whaleoil Redux 2011 – The SIS files

On July 25 Phil Goff made an extraordinary claim?in the media:

Labour leader Phil Goff denies he was briefed on the SIS investigation into suspicions that Israeli backpackers were spying in Christchurch. Goff is furious over the Prime Minister?s entire handling of the affair, including claims yesterday that the Labour leader was kept in the loop. Goff insists he was not briefed before, during or after the investigation and says he has texted the head of the SIS to complain about John Key?s comments? ?He said the Prime Minister has to understand the responsibilities of his office and cannot ?mouth off? without checking his facts first.

Phil Goff in trying to score a cheap political point against the Prime Minister was trying to say that the head of the SIS, Warren Tucker, had not followed the law. As I wrote at the time extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof. Phil Goff has form in throwing civil servants under the bus in order to score a political point. It is now well known that he lied about a foreign affairs briefing to make his claims about the “gone by lunchtime” comment. Now he was saying that a?senior?civil servant hadn’t followed the law. I thought I would try and find out and so I sent an email to the SIS on 26 July, just the day after Phil Goff made his accusations:

Dr Warren Tucker
Director New Zealand Security Intelligence Service
Box 900

26 July 2011


Dear Dr. Tucker

Under the?Official?Information?Act 1982, I request a number of documents. If you require clarification on any of these requests, please do not hesitate to contact me on021 535 xxx.

  1. Copies of briefing notes and/or documents given and/or shown to The Leader of the Opposition during any briefing held in March 2011 regarding Israeli nationals.
  2. Copies of diary notes made at the time or subsequent to the March briefings to The Leader of the Opposition.
  3. Details of any acknowledgement by The Leader of the Opposition of having read or received any of the aforementioned briefing notes and/or documents.

If you wish to withhold any documents I request that you supply me with a list of documents withheld.

I also request that you supply electronic copies of any documents released via email to me.


Cameron Slater

Little did I know the storm that was about to be unleashed. As days went on Phil Goff dug a deeper and deeper hole with his public pronouncements on the matter. He couldn’t get enough press and he thought he was onto a king hit against the Prime Minister. I simply watched and waited, I had no idea what was going on except that which was in the media.

On August 4 Phil Goff issued a press statement that accused Warren Tucker full out of lying. He was saying that he had lost confidence in him. I didn’t know at this stage that Phil Goff had been told by the SIS that they were going to release the OIA request information to me on that day. I hadn’t heard a word at that stage and after writing that post I went my post box and cleared the mail. In the mail was a plain envelope with OHMS on it…I was gob-smacked. I raced back to the car and opened the letter. In that letter was the response from Warren Tucker to my OIA. I was sitting on a bombshell. It took me 20 minutes to drive to the office, in that time I made some phone calls to media. I agreed to release the documents to Tv3, little did I know Phil Goff at this point was busy feeding the media himself.

When I got to the office I hastily posted a few questions for Phil Goff, I still didn’t know that he had been advised by the SIS that the documents were being released. Those questions were designed to let Phil Goff that I had the documents, that they were about to be released and that they proved he had been lying. Phil Goff had a choice when he was advised by the SIS about the document release. He could have concocted a plausible story about forgetting the details, that he was more concerned with the details of Christchurch and so it slipped his mind. Or he could attack me, the head of the SIS and attempt to brazen it out. He choose poorly.

At 6pm on 4 August I dropped my bombshell and released the documents. (SIS-OIA pdf) Tv3 ran the story as their lead item. Phil Goff went on attack. Meanwhile I was on NewstalkZB with Larry Williams just after Barry Soper had run Goff’s attack lines. My segment followed.

It was now clear that Labour’s attack lines were against me and against Warren Tucker. They weren’t interested in the truth.

Labour and Phil Goff had dug a very deep hole. The hole also threatened to swallow Maryan Street and Annette King who had been put up by Goff to run the attacks against John Key. Their words were now damning them in the face of documentary evidence that Phil Goff had lied.

Maryan Street said she would apologise if she got anything wrong. I have yet to?receive?her apology. At this stage Phil Goff still had choices, he could apologise and move on or he could die in the ditch he had dug.

The attacks against me were flying thick and fast.?For some reason the left wing elements of the media, including Scoop, Barry Soper, John Pagani and to a lesser extent Chris Trotter?have?all tried to say that I should never have been given the documents. They all ignore?the?fact that I asked for the documents under the OIA and I asked for details that wouldn?t be secret,?I was very specific?and not only that I published the exact questions I asked.

Some in the media were upset that I was given the documents first, ignoring that all but one news outlet hadn’t actually asked for them. The one that did asked a week after I did and only at the prompting of Phil Goff and Labour. I guess the SIS figured that because I asked first I should get them first. I found out later that despite my request for them to be electronic they inf act posted them to me. I turned into a race between NZ Post delivering to me in Auckland and Stuff getting theirs delivered in Wellington. It was a race I had no knowledge of.

Instead of apologising fro making amistake Phil Goff decided to make an even bigger issue of the story.

Phil Goff said questions need to be asked:

Labour leader?Phil Goff says questions remain over how a right-wing blogger asked the SIS for a confidential document about a briefing he had with the spy agency.

Questions also remained over why the SIS released the material with such urgency ? four working days after receiving the request under the Official Information Act. Most requests are either rejected outright or take at least three weeks to action.

The simple answer to the how a right wing blogger asked the SIS is that?I simply asked for it. I watched Phil Goff and then Annette King change the story about the?briefing?he says he never had, but documents prove that he did. I was angered that Phil Goff was using?the?same tactics that he did when caught lying over the Darren Hughes affair, so?incensed?I wrote an email. That email proved to be Phil Goff’s undoing.

Their attack dogs are unleashed. John Pagani describes the SIS and a rogue agency committing treason. He and other left wing commentator ignore the fact that the SIS had to follow the law.

After I wrote that email the law took effect. The SIS had to, by law, answer my request. The leftwing, Phil Goff, the media all needed to ask themselves a very?pertinent?question.

Do they think that the SIS should selectively answer OIA requests based on the political views of the person asking and the political views of the opponents of the person asking?

They never answered that question because where it leads to is where they were trying to smear the SIS, that there was political involvement in the SIS when they know very clearly that there was not. If they were to answer in?the?affirmative then they supported the?politicization?of the SIS.

Phil Goff has a proven history of leaking, he has a proven history of lying and he just keeps on keeping the story alive. Phil Goff needed to accept he forgot about the briefing, got it wrong, and was wrong to attack a senior civil servant. There was a point where I could have accepted that Phil Goff just forgot. That point passed when he insisted that he and he alone has things right.

But pause for a moment and think about what Phil Goff was suggesting. If he was right and he was never shown anything, or even briefed. Remember his first contention was that he was never briefed, then it changed to he was briefed just a little bit. But think, about what Phil Goff was really suggesting.

He was suggesting that Warren Tucker had falsified?documents, made up minutes for?briefings?that never?occurred?and lied about it all. That really is too unbelievable. The alternate was that Phil Goff simply forgot about it, tried to make political capital, got sprung and then made some stuff up to cover for his faulty memory.

What was more believable? That the head of the SIS falsified documents and lied about meetings, or that Phil Goff forgot.

The sad thing for Phil Goff is that when confronted with the truth he continued to lie and continued to extend the lies. Now more than a few people have accused me of using too strong a description of Phil Goff’s actions. That they weren’t really lies. I could have accepted that at the start but when he continually insisted something didn’t occur when it demonstrably did, and then changes his story from ‘it never happened’ to ‘it happened but I never got any documents‘ and an attack on the?integrity?of a senior civil servant then that crosses over to lies. When he says he?received?different briefings and documents prove he?received?the same briefings then yes that is lying.

This issue, started with a little email OIA request proved without a shadow of a doubt that Phil Goff was and is a liar. I?believe?it was one of the defining moments of the year. On top of Phil Goff’s poor handling of the Darren Hughes affair this should hav been the issue that finished him off as leader, but for the cowardice of his caucus.