Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Hager v Whale

Nicky Hager (rhymes with lager) alleges that politics is dirty. He alleges it as if that’s news. As if the corpses of a thousand political victims never happened.

He further alleges that John Key uses a friendly blog, mainly Cameron Slater‘s, to help get his message out. As if that’s unique. As if not one in a thousand leftwing blogs have any affiliation whatsoever with unions, Labour Party, Greens or the German Billionaire Marxist Maori nationalist party.1

He even further alleges, on the basis of emails and webs hacks he alleges were stolen (somehow) while Cameron’s website was hacked (which doesn’t explain how Cameron’s offline emails would be hacked, but there you go), that (and here I quote from Hager’s press release):

During the 2011 election campaign … the prime minister’s office used its knowledge of secret SIS documents to tip off Slater and arrange an attack on the Labour leader.

That last paragraph of mine is as tangled as Hager’s usual reasoning. Nonetheless, if true, it is political dynamite.

But is it true? Can he prove it? Has he proven it? Is this really news?  I have no idea. None whatsoever. And neither does anyone else who hasn’t read the book – but expect a slew of commentary by those who have by this hour tomorrow morning, and a to  of  innuendo from every politician on all sides of the electoral divide whether they’ve read it or not.

It’s no accident it’s released so close to an election that few will bother to check if the mud has any bottom – nor that Hager’s focus on dirt in politics shines a light only on Team Blue, when Teams Red, White, Brown, Black and Green have been and are no angels. Nor has Hager himself (once again, these are stolen communications he’s relying on, right? )

And it’s true too that Cameron has been happy all along to downplay the importance of the SIS and GCSB being granted powers to bug and surveil without warrants, mostly on the basis that it’s okay if his mates are doing it, or it’s being done  their behalf, or they’re the ones in power while it’s done. But if he had been leaked material from SIS with which to attack Phil Goff in 2011, it must have been pretty bloody innocuous since not one member of the commentariat can remember anything remotely larcenous raised against him.

So it’s entirely probable that, as with every other Nicky Hager book since publishing began, he is making too much stew from too few onions.

If however he can prove it, and if that proof is actually and only contained within the pages of his book, I’m sure you’ll hear about it– without having to pay him any money – in every headline between now and Christmas.  And it will be an outrage.

And Cameron will still enjoy every headline,interview and new blog reader that he gets. Which by September will probably be counted in their hundreds, if not the thousands.


1. Liberty Scott’s quip was so good I had to borrow it.

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6 comments:

  1. Hager like Minto distemper dogs, scum filth in our country,eat a snapper vote conservative

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  2. I'm over it already.

    B Whitehead

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  3. The biggest non event since that glass of milk.

    The idea that beating Phil Goff required a bit of extra effort is simply risible as Labour never polled above a range of 23 -27% from June 2011 and was written off weeks before election day.

    Goff himself conceded the election 2 years before it actually took place in an own goal TV interview with Guyon Espiner, so even at face value this whole notion is preposterous.

    I think this is solely about 'getting' Cameron Slater and little to do with attacking the National party.

    Hager's previous attempts to attack the National party over the Hollow Men was a fizzer (and unfathomable outside of the beltway) and this will be even less effective.

    What these lefties want to do is attack Slater and damage him personally - probably because his blog is more of a success than theirs are; it won't work as attacks simply energize Cameron when they come from these sort of people.

    The reason this election stunt will fail is this -

    By about Sunday the average man in the street will recall the last election, recall how he found the notion of Phil Goff as Prime Minister to be a joke, recall how nothing would have caused him to vote for Goff - and so the idea a smear against Goff occurred (which no one can recall) will not resonate because it never took place.

    Hager, like most upper class chardonnay socialists, do not understand working class people; they say things which are complicated, boring and actually of little interest to working class people - and then get all upset at the ingratitude when all the hard work on behalf of the workers against the capitalists comes to nothing.

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  4. Well said, Mr Lineberry. Attacking Whaleoil is rather like pulling a tigers tail I suspect, it bound to end badly for the tail puller. As for hager, Pffft, who cares

    B Whitehead

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  5. Thanks Bruce!

    If I was Mr Key dealing with this nonsense, I would focus on getting everyone to remember Phil Goff.

    If Hager is running the line of "Phil Goff was robbed of being Prime Minister by a Cam Slater smear helped along by Mr Key's Press Secretary and some spook from the SIS" - then get the average man in the street to think about that for a moment..

    Get them thinking about how they viewed Goff as a joke, get them thinking of Goff as PM....and then this fades away pretty quickly due to the hoots of derision which result.

    If Key is dumb enough to get into a "he said, he said, he said" debate it could tie him up in knots.

    Just focus on the one thing nobody could ever visualise: Phil Goff as their Prime Minister (and how nothing would have caused them to vote for him), and that will be the end of the matter.

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  6. What they're really upset about is that there is only one major party remaining in NZ: National.

    That's what the left just can't stand - even though National is, by any objective measure, a hard left party itself these days. I guess they think John Key might change his spots after three or four or five terms.

    They day we know the MSM is honest about NZ politics is the day when Labour is relegated to the minor party debates - and the leaders' debate is a Q&A by Mike Hosking of John Key.

    ReplyDelete

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