Wednesday, September 20, 2006



And now in Victoria

The Australian state of Victoria goes to the polls at the end of November to elect a new state government. And goes who's come to the party? That's right - our friends the Exclusive Brethren. They've explicitly endorsed the National party after a series of meetings with state National leader Peter Ryan, and if they follow the usual pattern, will soon be spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on anonymous smear ads. Though having seen that pattern in three elections in Australia and New Zealand so far, the Australian media are wise to it and are already asking pointy questions about the Brethren's involvement and the extent to which the Nationals will cooperate with a group which uses such tactics. And it seems those questions are already bearing fruit:

The Victorian Nationals will not accept campaign funding from the Exclusive Brethren until the religious sect is cleared of dirty politics allegations in New Zealand.

Unfortunately, they are still quite happy to see them wage the usual sort of smear campaign. So much for the moral high ground...

You really have to wonder why a group which thinks itself too pure to sully itself with voting is trying to buy elections. But I guess they're just trying to ensure that their god makes the right choice this time round. Which I think says something about their (lack of) faith...

10 comments:

As you say, you email has been "munged up" and I sent the below but it came back. So, I apologize for barging in like this.

Down unda folks:

I just got around to refocussing my site and put your diary on the rec box. Any news you may care to contribute I will frontpage for you. When I can figure out how, if you want, I will give you permissions to auto post to the front section . This software has a high learning curve and I am slowly figuring out how to use it properly. The flags (I've started links to each locale and am about halfway thru) are the project I'm working on the next few days.

I want to involve other folks in the Pacific with developing this site. Any help or suggestions or contriobutions are appreciated and welcome. I need managers for each of the related sites also (grey buttons on the top) and especially myyoungpacific.com which I hope to aim at younger folks which I am not.

In the meantime I'll find some Tonga news and put it on the front next to your diary.
thanks again,

I'm John or Keone or Keoni, depending wupon where I'm writing:
Anyhow, I put this note on your diary at Pacific Tribune too. Folks can reach me at keone@pacifictribune.com

Posted by Keone Michaels : 9/20/2006 06:22:00 AM

As you say, you email has been "munged up" and I sent the below but it came back. So, I apologize for barging in like this.

Down unda folks:

I just got around to refocusing my site and put your diary on the rec box. Any news you may care to contribute I will front-page for you. When I can figure out how, if you want, I will give you permissions to auto post to the front section . This software has a high learning curve and I am slowly figuring out how to use it properly. The flags (I've started links to each locale and am about halfway thru) are the project I'm working on the next few days.

I want to involve other folks in the Pacific with developing this site. Any help or suggestions or contributions are appreciated and welcome. I need managers for each of the related sites also (grey buttons on the top) and especially http://www.myyoungpacific.com which I hope to aim at younger folks which I am not.

In the meantime I'll find some Tonga news and put it on the front next to your diary.
thanks again,

I'm John or Keone or Keoni, depending upon where I'm writing:
Anyhow, I put this note on your diary at http://www.pacifictribune.com too. Folks can reach me at keone@pacifictribune.com

Posted by Keone Michaels : 9/20/2006 06:28:00 AM

Getting pretty emotive this freedom of speech the EB's are demonstrating and exercising.

You have the right to draw attention to the fact that the EB's have distributed their opinions on leftish political parties to the voters. Just as I would have thought the EB's have the right to publish their viewpoints.

"Smear" is a pretty emotive word as well.

Define "smear". After the standard of behaviour in the peoples parliament these last few weeks I guess it wont be to hard.

Posted by Gerrit : 9/20/2006 06:36:00 AM

"smear", just poltics as usual really.

I'm not sure that the EB's attack on the Greens would have caused any Green Party voters to change their vote. And most people who vote Labour do so either inspite of the Greens or are indifferent to mildly supprotive of them. So in terms of worrying about their ihnfluence, I don't.

The real Christian influence comes from United Future, which is pretty tame, and the mainstream churches.

So the Left's scare tactic of linking the centre Right to the EBs is nonsense.

There is one issue oyu might want to chase up Idiot, and that's tax breaks for churches. Presumably part of the EB's wealth comes from their tax status as a church. If they are going to play poltics then maybe they should pay tax.


That might give them pause for thought.

Posted by neil morrison : 9/20/2006 07:14:00 AM

"smear" is very much politics as usual.

theres different levels of smear tactics going on all the time, after all character assasination is a very good diversion tool.

But at least we usually know you is saying what.

regardless of wether there were lies in the pamphlet or not (dont have one on hand so i wont go there without factual backup), the mere fact that the EB thinks it OK to hide behind fake names and addresses is VERY disturbing.

The have broken NZ law, gods law (which, being christians would apply to them)and they have done this in more than one country.

They have already been under suspician over some of their tactics re: people who want to leave the sect (can we use "cult" - thats what they seem to be to me. Whats the defining difference?)and now this latest sorry episode.

shamefull, grubby little sneaks.

fraser

PS: before anyone brings up the "oh but it wasnt the EB it was just some of their members", I would happily put money on this not being an independant action. And the tax break thing is also an interesting point

Posted by Anonymous : 9/20/2006 07:51:00 AM

Where does this "freedom of speech" bullshit come from? Has anyone anywhere suggested some kind of ban on right-wing cults expressing an opinion?

Here's what freedom of speech involves:
1. The EB's right to fund political campaigns, without trying to pretend it's not them doing it.
2. The Left's right to bublicise the fact that conservative parties are being financially supported by right-wing religious cults.
3. The Left's right to call a creepy right-wing loony a creepy right-wing loony.
4. The left's right to ponder the hypocrisy of people who don't vote and who think their god decides who'll be the govt throwing their cash at voters to try and persuade them how to vote.
5. The Left's right to wonder whether religious cults should be able to fund political campaigns while remaining tax-exempt.

Who's freedom of speech is bothering whom here?

Posted by Psycho Milt : 9/20/2006 08:08:00 AM

Slow down psycho.

Merely pointing out that because the EB's print something that you dont agree with doesn't make it "smear".

They have the same rights as you are entitled to make in your comments.

That all and it is not Bull.

The tax breaks all religious organisations get are huge and would love the media (hey Investigate Magazine here is a hot one for you!!) to explore how religious organisations set up in business and exploit these loop holes.

Wonder how hard the IRD will go to differentiating between a religious organisation and a religious business.

Posted by Gerrit : 9/20/2006 08:34:00 AM

"Getting pretty emotive this freedom of speech the EB's are demonstrating and exercising."

I hope so. Our democracy is similar to a working free market. It is healthier the more information as available to all the players. The EB's know this, so when they make a statement they make sure they are not around to justify that statement, hence the false names and addresses and front companies.

If Don Brash or Helen Cark m ake claims about a subject they are rightly held to account. That is not possible when people are running a covert campaign.

I think there is more than religion behind their unrelenting forays into international politics. Waiting for more information from Sweden.

Posted by noddy : 9/20/2006 08:51:00 AM

Understand and agree with your point noddy.

Posted by Gerrit : 9/20/2006 09:39:00 AM

As a rightwinger, I think Psyco Milk's five points are spot on. And the National Party should distance themselves from this group, for political and ethical reasons.

Posted by Anonymous : 9/20/2006 10:09:00 AM