Mark Kennedy

There goes one of the perks of the job

Undercover work must be real tough…the constant risk of being discovered…the unpleasant consequences of that discovery…surely they can blag a root now and then?

Turns out if you are an undercover cop in the UK that would be no… no rooting on the job. Maybe Auckland Council could institute a similar ban.

Undercover police are to be banned from having sex with the people they are spying on.

A new code of ethics for all officers will be used to make clear to covert teams that they must not engage in sexual relationships.

College of Policing chief executive Alex Marshall revealed a new training course has been imposed to cover officers authorising undercover work.   Read more »

New Rule for Undercover Cops

No rooting hippy chicks because they weren’t into free love at all. They wanted commitment.

A group of women have launched landmark court action against Britain’s biggest police force, claiming they were duped into forming long-term relationships with undercover policemen.

The eight women, who have not been named, claim to have suffered emotional pain and trauma from the men who “deliberately and knowingly deceived” them for up to nine years.

They claim they became “deeply emotionally attached” with the unnamed officers who had concealed their identities, according to legal papers sent to police.

Reports claimed Mark Kennedy, an undercover policeman who infiltrated the environment movement for several years, had relationships with three of the women.

Last night the Metropolitan Police said it was considering a letter from their lawyers.

Useful post on Journalism 2.0

ReadWriteWeb has a useful post on what they call Journalism 2.0. It is a blo-jo viewpoint of blogging versus journalism without the whiny assed angst of the likes of Colin James or Deborah Hill-Cone.

Both of them would do well to read it and see where the world is heading.

Begone, You Self-Interested Tech Cynics

I have always been in the technology business. I like writing about the technology business because I find it fascinating and there are a lot of really smart people to talk to. But techies can spout the most self-interested baloney when it comes to content. The Web 2.0 vision of user-generated content is millions of passionate experts creating content that really clever algorithms deliver to audiences. The people who create those really clever algorithms become rich beyond the dreams of avarice while throwing a few crumbs to the content creators. Don’t try paying a mortgage with AdSense or other CPC-affiliate revenue deals.

To a techie, “content” is just something to throw in a software system. Content creators don’t talk about “content.” They talk about their art or craft. Journalism is a form of art, albeit closer to craft than art. To a techie, art is just content. Which is more important, code or art? If you had to choose between a world without computers or a world without art, which would you choose?

But let’s not get carried away with this. Journalism is still just a job.

Would Citizen Journalists Have Exposed Watergate?

Yes, they would have.

We don’t need to protect journalism with public money or grants. The greater social good will be delivered by thousands of people on the ground reporting what is happening. That massive flow will be analyzed and edited (“curated”) by a small number of experts who are motivated and trained to uncover the truth.

It won’t be perfect. But the current system isn’t perfect either. It is fair to say, though, that scumbags won’t rest any easier. They will still be exposed.

Sacrifices will be made. One cannot imagine foreign bureaus surviving in anything close to their current form. Instead of having a few stringers on a loose contract, media firms will have a standardized deal that applies to anyone who covers fast-breaking news. That way, whoever is on the spot becomes a “just-in-time stringer.”

Is that better or worse than what we have now? It’s worse for the people working today in foreign bureaus on good salaries. But mostly, it’s just different.


Colin James: Voters deserve better democracy

Colin James: Voters deserve better democracyHere’s a democratic promise John Key could make: that if Prime Minister he will promote a fixed term for Parliament. Republican Helen Clark has clung to the vestige of monarchical power that allows her in effect to set the election… [NZ Herald Politics]

Colin James makes the case for a fixed term for parliament and a known election date. He lambasts Clark for clinging “to the vestige of monarchical power that allows her in effect to set the election date.”

This is your election she has been playing with. It doesn’t improve her democratic record that, as Gerry Brownlee pointed out, in July she appointed swags of Labour lags to state-owned enterprise, Crown entity and other boards while she still could.

He implores Key to add a promise that if Prime Minister he will promote a fixed term for Parliament.He notes that John Key has already promised a binding referendum on the voting system.

Colin James: Facing an opponent with no fatal flaws

Colin James: Facing an opponent with no fatal flawsHelen Clark, beset by John Key, is watching John Howard to see how (and if) he sees off Kevin Rudd this year. But some places Howard goes, she can't. Howard's latest cocktail of morality and politics is gobsmacking – send in police… [NZ Politics]

Colin James explores the similarities in situations in New Zealand and Australian politics. This is a very good piece from the wise man of Political journalists. He concludes that Key has "no fatal flaws". 

Colin James: Don't forget the bailer if your boat has leaks

Colin James: Don't forget the bailer if your boat has leaksTwo important rules for ministers are: when in a hole, stop digging; when water comes over the side, start bailing.Education Minister Steve Maharey has spent most of this year bailing the "20 hours free" waka and might just keep… [NZ Politics]

Colin James explains why Damien O'Connor is rooted when it icomes to Corrections. I disagree with him on Maharey, but time will tell on 20Free to see whether James is right or wrong. 

Colin James wanks on in Management Magazine

[Imported from Whale Oil Beef Hooked on Blogger]

Colin James has spoofed all over the page in Octobers Management Magazine.

Typical of the tired old man of New Zealand political writing is the following drivel. Whilst I tend to agree with him it is meandering to his inevitable long winded conclusion. That conclusion is usually “Gee, I sound good on paper, aren’t I wonderfully erudite”. No Colin, you aren’t, you are certifiably past it.

In the 1970s and 1980s the Labour party was colonised by groups — most prominently Maori, women and homosexuals — hoping Labour would do the same for them as it once had for the working class: even up their life chances. Labour responded, thinking it was thereby uniting society. But others saw it as “political correctness”. So the initiatives may actually have sharpened divisions between the newly de-stigmatised groups and many among those who see themselves as the majority. That leaves this and future governments and Parliaments the delicate task of finding a new durable balance.

So there we have it Colin James thinks Labour is a party of Maori, Dykes, Fags and bolshy feminists, and on the surface he would be right. Then he gets stuck into Mrs Peter Davis with a wet bus ticket.

Clark’s challenge over the past six years was to contain the Maori push for control over government-funded social services to Maori, a larger place in the power structure and special status as indigenous people while at the same time building Maori capacity to use tribal structures to improve management of assets and deliver social services.

In essence she failed in near-impossible conditions. After the Appeal Court decision on the foreshore and seabed, Don Brash’s Orewa I speech in January 2004 drove a wedge between a puzzled or angry white majority and the Maori minority continuing the rights push.

Puzzled or Angry white majority???? We were not puzzled, angry maybe, but certainly not puzzled.

This “race” issue was Brash’s most effective weapon in the election campaign. It restored party membership, morale and money in 2004 and sharply boosted poll ratings after he returned to the theme on 29 August. He claimed to be fighting against “racial separatism” by insisting on “one law for all”. But the result was to heighten tensions and, if anything, to drive people into corners. That included moderate Maori.

Of course it was effective. How can anyone seriously argue with “one law for all”. Oh yeah, Labour and it’s apologists and hangers on. Seriously though, New Zealand will not and cannot progress until we have “one law for all”.

But the real Colin James waited unitl the final paragraph to finally show his typical left leaning media bias by perpertrating myths as fact yet again. Yes, Yes I know that Colin James hasn’t voted since the 70’s but so what, whatever he writes does, can and will influence people, so the least he can do is get it right.

This was not just between Labour and National, sparked by National’s attack billboards. National turned the blowtorch on Winston Peters in Tauranga; ACT went for Richard Worth in Epsom; a pamphleteer who chose National-blue for his trademark spread a pack of lies about the Greens; Labour scarified Maori voters leaning towards the Maori party with an improbable line that a vote for that party would bring about a Brash government; the Greens and United Future went at it hammer and tongs.

Well Colin, a brief analysis by even a semi-competent hack would have established that only one of the accusations was remotely false and all of the others were proven to be demonstrably true. While New Zealand possesses a partisan hackery for what passes as independent media we will get the governement we deserve.