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.
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.