Monday, September 18, 2006

Very dirty pool II

And just when you thought it couldn't get lower, you see this in the Dominion-Post:

There have been rumours about the Brethren, which campaigned to unseat Labour, hiring a private detective to follow Mr Davis.

Members of the church have denied doing so.

So, a deliberate campaign by the religious right to target people's families so as to push their proxies into office. Labour thinks National is behind it, or at least colluding in it, and this seems to have caused Trevor Mallard's creepy behaviour in the House a couple of weeks ago (on the basis that National had already gone nuclear, so it was time to retaliate). National naturally denies any role, and DPF says

I have also heard that the Brethren have been involved in spreading the rumours. if correct they should be condemned for this and quite frankly told to piss off. Some-one needs to tell the Brethren the best contribution they could make to politics is to stay away from it.

I'd suggest it should be the National Party that does so. They're the intended beneficiaries, and its their leg Wishart and the Brethren are so urgently rubbing against. If they don't want to be tarred by the association, then maybe they should make it publicly clear that there will never be any.


When the Brash story first broke I was pretty appalled by Mallard's behaviour. As it has unfolded I still have some concerns about Mallard but boy have I changed my mind about the need for sympathy for Brash.

Some questions for those interested in our democracy:

1. Is it a good thing to have a large political party bought for a very good friend? "No Brash No Cash" has a slightly different ring to it these days.

2. Does delcaration of interests mean anything?

3. Can National reveal those names behind the Waitemata Trust. I ask this, because if a friend is willing to buy a party, would they also be willing to buy an election?

If National believe an election can be "stolen" then there is no doubt they also believe it can be bought.

Ever since being forced on National as their leader Brash has been very secretive. He has hidden his meetings with parties like the EBs from his own deputies. He has misled the electorate over his association with this group. He has revealed so little policy that it seems as though this is hidden from the electorate. He unilaterally negotiated away our nuclear free status (and then "forgot" about it). He has suggested that he would accept support from "anyone". It seems he is willing to go to great lengths to get that support.

Covert election campaigns, secret funding, secret deals, and yes, alleged affairs with hugely rich sponsors are not the hallmarks of an honest gentleman.

And they are a death knell for democracy if we allow them to continue.

Posted by Anonymous : 9/18/2006 12:09:00 PM

Yes, and perhaps we can ask some question about why it took Clark twelve days to make an unambiguous and explicit public statement critical of Trevor Mallard.

From page A1 of today's Herald:
But she condemned for the first time one of her senior ministers, Trevor Mallard, for his threats 12 days ago during crossfire over election spending to reveal secrets of MPs' private lives.

Mr Mallard made the first public reference in Parliament to an affair between National leader Don Brash and businesswoman Diane Foreman.

Helen Clark said last night: "Trevor went off the deep end. I don't condone it. I condemn. I condemn all those personal attacks."

Not in the House at the time when it would have had some real impact, Prime Minister. Instead, we had a funny (ha-ha and peculiar) throwaway line in her post-Cabinet presser the next week about tastering Mallard. She has every right to be fucking ropable (pardon my French) about this story, but pimping it into an attempt to politically distance herself from the sleaze on her own front bench really makes it hard to spread the sympathy beyond Peter Davis himself.

I'd also note that when the House returns from recess, Clark can seek leave to make a personal statement and name names about which National MPs and officeholders have been spreading these rumours to the media and (allegedly) have hired private detective to stalk her and her husband. As a member of the National Party, I certainly think that kind of behaviour (if proved) is grounds for immediate expulsion from the party.

And most of all, she can reveal who exactly has made these allegations to her, and why she gives them any credibility.

MORE unsourced rumours just aren't going to cut it, Helen.

Posted by Anonymous : 9/18/2006 12:33:00 PM

I feel much sympathy for the friends and family members of politicians who are getting caught in this drive-by mud slinging. Especially for people like Brash's son.

It's very poor behavior and New Zealand doesn't need it, and I hope (and think) doesn't want it.

Anyone who sets private investigators to discover private scandal is acting like pond scum. Likewise Mallard's snip in the House. Likewise threating to publish personal emails or gloating about it happening.

I don't think I have ever seen NZ politics this bad. And it's not even election year!

Posted by Muerk : 9/18/2006 12:46:00 PM

Craig, I am not discussing Brash's alledged affair per say. It is the constant secrecy surrounding his leadership, what has been bought, for whom and why. I think the answers are becoming clearer and not before time.

Posted by Anonymous : 9/18/2006 01:16:00 PM

"There have been rumours about the Brethren, which campaigned to unseat Labour, hiring a private detective to follow Mr Davis."

Maybe the DomPost can now stop writing hysterical editorials in defence of the EBs. The issue is not that they are Christians, the issue is that they represent a real threat to our democracy.

Posted by Anonymous : 9/18/2006 01:37:00 PM

The private detective allegation may be as false as the Davis rumours. The PM has an agenda when she brings them up, without substance.

But as I said I do undrestand the EB have been helping push the Davis stuff. If this is true they should indeed piss off. And while National can not prevent the EB from campaigning they should be very careful about meeting with them.

Posted by David Farrar : 9/18/2006 03:01:00 PM

and if Don Brash is found to have co-ordinated another compaign with the EBs would you say the same to him, DPF?

I notice that you are still actively linking to Wishart articles on this topic. What does that say about your blog?

Posted by Anonymous : 9/18/2006 03:29:00 PM

Perfect writing with the "rubbing against leg" image i/s. Well done!

Posted by Anonymous : 9/18/2006 05:11:00 PM


What does it say about I/S that he's willing to uncritically circulate allegations of conduct that most reasonable people would describe as stalking? I'd also like Clark to name these National Party people who've been shoveling this shit about her husband around the media, not least because her 'credible persons' and a growing number of senior journalists and Press Gallery members can't both be telling the truth.

Again, Miss Clark can make a personal statement in the House and name names under privilege - if not sooner. If she won't, then I've got to say I'll be looking forward to those "questions about integrity" from the Opposition as much as she was a couple of days back.

Posted by Anonymous : 9/18/2006 05:40:00 PM

I find it hard to believe that National could behind the rumours. Why would they want to spread these rumours? all the rumours have sone is to distract attention from Labours theft of taxpayers money and Helen's attempt to intimidate the Auditor-General. It may seem a bit left-field / man on the grassy knoll but it would seem more logical for the rumours about Davis to have come from the Labour Party. The distraction has benefited them more than anyone else.

As for their reportage: the behaviour of both Trevor Mallard and Ian Wishart is despicable and quite frankly embarassing for anyone associated with them. As for the bruhaha about it, it'll just suceed in pushing the sales of Investigate magazine.

As for Noddy's comments about the Waitemata Trust: Labour only started to care about anonymous donations once their polls were down and they were caught with their hands in the cookie jar. Labour also gets anonymous donations. And if Labour's deputy leader, Michael Cullen, is going to threaten APN after the NZ Herald writes unflattering editorials then you can see why some people might like the protection of anonymous donations.

Posted by Anonymous : 9/20/2006 09:07:00 AM