Wednesday, 17 May 2006

Micheal Ryan is a hero

Michael Ryan (right) is a hero. If the story as told is true, then far from receiving dismissal, dirt and opprobrium as he has been over the last twelve hours or so, he should be given a bloody medal. As I said at the time of the Government's line grab:
Whoever the whistle-blower was, whoever divulged Cabinet's plan to nationalise Telecom's network, did exactly the right thing. What the whistle-blower did was warn a victim of burglary what he overheard the burglars planning to do to them. It was a moral act.
It sure was. There is a difference between a whistleblower and a 'snitch' (as Clark's spin doctors and the line grab apologists have called Ryan). The difference apparently lies in which side of the information diclosure you're on, and what information is disclosed. Some whistle blowers are admired. The US actually values people whistleblowers so much they have whistleblower laws designed to protect them; Woodward and Bernstein were feted for protecting their source, and helping him bring down a President; the recent Plame case raised the issue that "whoever leaked the information did so to expose potential government wrong doing."

And that's really the key, isn't it: despite the spin, this was government wrongdoing. As Deborah Coddington expained on Sunday, "the Government's taken a leaf out of National Socialism's book - leave the actual ownership in private hands but have the State dictate what private owners can do with their property." What Ryan did was the right thing. Ryan just gave the victims a heads up so they coud take whatever evasive action they could if they had the gumption to do so. He told the victims of theft in advance that a coterie of thieves was about to do them over.

Michael, if you're reading this, Good on You.

UPDATE 1: Helen Clark this morning called Ryan's passing on the information "an act of gross and disgraceful dishonesty." So that means that in Clark's rather arid world it is dishonest to pass on information about an impending theft, but presumably not dishonest to enact such a theft.

UPDATE 2: Southern Gent makes the excellent point that "he is not worthy of a medal" since in his own words "he did not do it for the money." Good point. :-)

LINKS: Messenger taking full blame for leak - TVNZ
Telecom leaker named - NBR
'Leaker' has been dismissed - Newstalk ZB
Deborah Coddington: Nationalising Telecom a more honest move - NZ Herald
Telecom: Who leaked? Who cares. - Not PC

TAGS: Politics-NZ


  1. Michael Ryan is a brave and moral individual who deserves a medal. Well done sir!

    I even got the distinct impression that the media tried to pin the blame for the 2 billion decrease of Telecom's value on Mr Ryan (correct me if I am wrong), thereby diverting attention away from the real vandals - the government.

    Nice work also Peter,


  2. Peter,

    In doing some more reading of your links, I came across this on the NewstalkZB website supporting my claim in my first comment.

    -The leak has seen more than $2 billion shaved off Telecom's share value and has forced the Government to release its decision early.

    In addition 2 other observations:
    1. National seems to be more focused on the leak than on the fascistic behaviour of this government in this matter.

    2. Telecom appears to have offered no support whatsoever to Mr Ryan. They appear quite happy to see him strung up by stating their satisfaction with the results of this inquiry into the leak. Maybe Telecom don't deserve our support after all.


  3. Peter, your post implies that Mr Ryan was working for the victims of an impending crime. I get the distinct impression he did what he did for his friend, not for Telecom. He said "for your eyes only" and "do not copy". This suggests to me he had no intention of helping Telecom, the alledged victim. On top of that, his friend returned the favour by dumping on him from a great height, by doing what he did.

  4. Andrew, I'm in now way suggesting that Mr Ryan was working for Telecom, any more than Deep Throat was working for Woodward and Bernstein. He did what he did for his friend; the effect was to warn the victim.

    That said, everything else you and Julian said is true. Telecom's fawning to government on this, throwing Michael Ryan to the wolves in the vain hope of averting further pillage, is just disgracefully spineless, as is (Williamson excluded) National's focus on the froth rather than the fascism. Says something about them, doesn't it.

  5. I was unspeakably furious when the unbundling was announced and, like you and Julian, can’t believe people are making the leak the big issue. Your blog post made all the important points and provided a link to what others were saying (Snide and Wimpiamson included; any chance a Libz PR could say the unbundling would be reversed, all other regulations/restrictions removed and challenge them to commit to the same?). I don't have time to put together a PR so it was a relief to see that someone was saying it. Thanks!


  6. I thought Ryan was quoted as saying "he did not do it for the money." In which case he is not worthy of a medal.

  7. I feel that Ryan is hard done by his friend who turned the document over to Telecom officials. Ryan asked him that the document is for him only, but his mate thought of the promotion that he/she is going to get by alerting Telecom officials about the document. I think, that Telecom is also pathetic. They should have protected the source at all cost. Now Telecom have suffered (stock price) and the hero Ryan is losing his job and a possible court action. Lets all protest to Telecom for doing such a heinous crime. This is a first murder degree. Ryan is being punished and the real criminals are still walking free up and down along the capital.

  8. welcome to the wow power leveling cheap wow power leveling service site,WoW Gold buy cheap wow gold,wotlk gold,world of warcraft power leveling buy wow gold


1. Commenters are welcome and invited.
2. All comments are moderated. Off-topic grandstanding, spam, and gibberish will be ignored. Tu quoque will be moderated.
3. Read the post before you comment. Challenge facts, but don't simply ignore them.
4. Use a name. If it's important enough to say, it's important enough to put a name to.
5. Above all: Act with honour. Say what you mean, and mean what you say.