Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Sykes to Co-Lead the Menage of Convenience? [update 2]


NBR is apparently reporting the leader is Laila Harre (right), formerly of New Labour, the Alliance, the CTU and the Greens – and one of the architects of Rodney Hide’s super-shitty Auckland mega-bureaucracy.

If this is true, it might suggest I’m just talking complete bollocks and the only thing DotCon wants out of this is getting Laila Harre and John Minto into parliament.

I guess we’ll have to wait and see …

Despite the tangled menage with the Mana Party in a bid to leverage the electoral system in their favour, I had imagined Kim DotCon’s Internet Party were nonetheless serious in the policies they claimed to stand for – most notably being against the rise of the Surveillance State.


With the apparent naming of the Internet Party leader, if true, it would seem I was mistaken.  The leader is apparently Tame Iti’s lawyer and long-time Maori activist Annette Sykes, until today the Mana Party President.

Yes, really.

This would confirm that the Menage of Convenience is more convenient for some than for others.

Hone gets money, ad lots of it, and if he can buy with it just 1.2% of the voting public he gets two MPs in Parliament.

In return Kim DotCon gets two MPs at least who will help veto his extradition.

And supporters of his Internet Party? I guess the real joke is on them, because this decision makes clear there is only one real policy in which this party is interested. And that’s to keep the jolly German out of gaol.

UPDATE 2: Andrew Geddis talks up the Harre news (if indeed the speculation is true):

Which makes me wonder if the whole "Dotcom's bought MANA off" meme has got things completely the wrong way around. Harre's appointment instead makes it look a lot like the Internet Party and Dotcom's money has been appropriated by a group of fairly savvy left-wing political operatives of long standing, who've fashioned it into something that its founder/funder/"visionary" may not have anticipated. We're used to thinking of Dotcom as some kind of super Bond-villian who we assume is playing a very clever long-game that we can't really understand. But maybe, just maybe, he's a bit of a political naïf who is shit-scared of being sent to the US, has lots of legal and personal problems that are consuming his time, doesn't really get how to go about organising a political party, and so actually has ended up serving the agendas of others around him.
    … And now, with Harre at the helm and the Internet-MANA deal stitched up, the practical effect is that the first 4 MPs it will put into Parliament are pretty staunch left-of-center political activists of long standing.
    Who, then, are the big losers from all of this? The Greens will be pretty horrified about what has just happened. Not only was Harre working for them until recently, but put her in a bundle with a party espousing hip techno-freedom policies, stauncher left-of-center fighters for social justice (when was the last time you saw Green Party banners protesting outside the PM's visit to a school?) and strong advocates for Maori empowerment and you've got a major competitor pushing into their voter base.

I do find it passing strange that Geddis, and others no doubt, are talking up the prospects – as if Harre were the living reincarnation of Sonja Davies, Dame Whina Cooper and Mother Theresa. (Matt McCartnen gets talked up the same way, in case you hadn’t noticed.)

I find it strange, because the last time Harre was in charge of a party espousing hip techno-freedom policies, stauncher left-of-center fights for social justice and strong advocacy for Maori empowerment that party was called the Alliance.

And at its last election, under her leadership, it polled less than Libertarianz.


  1. There is the slight matter of Kelvin Davis winning up North meaning it all falls apart before it begins.

    Unfortunately for Kim Dotconartist he has not studied NZ elections for 30 years like some of us, and so has thrown away a great deal of money for nothing.

    Something to 'repent at leisure' during this 15 - 25 year sentence in a US Federal Penitentiary.

  2. I'd suggest Kelvin Davis's efforts in the electorate will be a direct function of both David Cunliffe's wish to cobble together a coalition after election using Hone's MPs, and the placement of Mr Davis on Labour's list.
    Neither of which would mitigate against Hone getting his feet under the Parliamentary table again.

  3. Well - there is that, yes, they could do a deal like in Epsom with National/ACT if Davis was given a high list placing.

    But the issue of Hone's lack of attendance at Parliament, despite trousering a huge salary, is really hurting him up North.

    There is also a block of around 1000 people who gave National their party vote but left the electorate vote blank and are being discreetly encouraged to vote for Davis to get rid of Hone.

    Short of a cuppa between Cunliffe and Hone it is hard to see Davis actually losing in the seat haha!

  4. This elections getting rather surreal. A German, who just happens to like Nazi artifacts, of dubious character, with a 'colorful' past, and been sued by Hollywood to boot is financing a party that he can't legally lead, and is proposing to merge it with an extremely left/racist party led by an indigenous person with a chip on his shoulder.
    The purpose of this is to prevent the present Government from been re-elected, in order to get a government to bend the rules in his favour, to prevent his extradition.
    Are people dumb enough not to see this?
    If I wrote a novel with this plot, I'm sure it wouldn't get past a decent publisher for lack of credibility!

    B. Whitehead

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. Opps, I deleted my last comment due to a grammatical error.
    What I wanted to say was, it does indeed seem to be the case that people are too dumb to see this.
    So the choice this time is between the blancmange, the loons and the criminals, nice...

  7. I thought it said menace of convenience, which Sykes is as a cheerleader of vileness and violence across the globe.

    I do recall a story from around 14 years ago when Rodney Hide castigated Laila Harre for going on about the poor yet happily taking business class seats, when they existed, on her domestic flights. She was once hyped up as the bright young future of the left, she thankfully was so rabidly Marxist that at least one Labour cabinet colleague found her unbearable (I happened to be in the meeting when she said companies that aren't subject to specific regulation "might do anything" that rips off consumers and workers).

  8. All may not be lost!

    It seems the Nats are putting their money (and marching feet) where their mouth is.

    The 'general' electorates which overlap the Te Tai Tokerau seat - Helensville, Rodney, Whangarei, Northland, Northcote, East Coast Bays, North Shore - have huge National party organisations; lots of members, lots of door knockers.

    What they are starting to do is say "We know there are 1800 National and 3000 Maori party voters in Te Tai Tokerau - so let's find these people".

    Their canvassing is including those on the Maori roll, so when they supposedly canvass for Mike Sabin/Mark Mitchell/Maggie Barry/Jonathan Coleman/John Key etc they are actually seeking the National (and Maori party) supporters.

    It seems there were a dozen National party canvassers out door knocking last weekend in that well known hotbed of National support - Rawene, in the Hokianga haha!

    Naturally they were canvassing for Mike Sabin (ahem!) - (afterall it is only natural, and not in any way odd, that for the first time since 1969 the National party are door knocking in the Hokianga) haha! - but seemed to be going to great lengths to locate the 5 people on the Maori roll who voted National, and were giving enrolment cards (for the Maori roll) to at least 3 teens whose parents vote National or Maori party.

    Fancy that!

    Could it be once they find these 5000 people - (3000 Maori party, 1800 National) - they all get personal letters from John Key, and cosy visits from Pita and Tariana (and Tau?), in the weeks leading up to election day urging them to vote for Davis?

    I think as far as the Nats are concerned they are delivering 5000 votes to Kelvin Davis to elect him MP for Te Tai Tokerau - whether he likes it or not! hahahahahaha!!


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