Blogging vs Journalism vs Politics – The 7 latest revolting revelations


Working for Whale Oil

So we now enter the most dangerous phase for National, the phase where the minutia of detail is so great now, the media have all the ammunition to keep asking questions that clearly show Key isn’t being honest in his answers. The Titanic is the National Party, Key the Captain, Whaleoil the iceberg & Sean Plunket, Mike Hosking and Paul Henry are the band playing on the deck.

The latest revolting revelations…

1 – Gerry Brownlee’s Press Secretary Nick Bryant, has been caught out and admitted that he posts anonymously on Whaleoil and encouraged a hate campaign against a public servant.

2 – In a delightful twist of irony, Slater is of course being sued for defamation for doing exactly what he is screaming Nick Hager has done, use private emails. If he wins his “I’m a Journalist so I don’t have to show my sources’ routine after the revelations in Dirty Politics, we can all lose hope in the justice system.

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3 – National are so terrified by a free fall in internal polling that Steven Joyce has told all candidates to not talk about Dirty Politics when it gets brought up in door knocking. Polling tells National that the sleepy hobbits of NZ are pretty thick and believe that despite National borrowing $10Billion in tax cuts for the rich while plunging NZ into massive debt and having no actual economic plan other than privatisation, Dairy, selling assets and rebuilding from an  earthquake, NZers impression (thanks to a previously compliant media) is that National are great for the economy and Labour are not. National’s plan is to not talk about Dirty Politics at all, but continue using economic jargon to confirm NZers misguided perceptions that they are better economic stewards.

4 – Judith Collins approved an Official Information Act request in a mere 37 minutes for Slater to attack another unfortunate who had become an enemy on Judith Collins list. As Grant Robertson quipped on TV3s The Nation, 37 minutes is a great time to expect a delivery Pizza, it’s an awful time for due process within a democracy.


5 – Key caught out in an interview claiming Tucker told him personally about the request to release info to Slater while then claiming all references to “I” and “Me” are actually “my office” while still not telling us who exactly in his Office was told the SIS were about to release sensitive information to Slater. Key’s position is ‘At the end of the day, when people say I was briefed, my office was briefed and when I say I’m briefed I mean I wasn’t briefed’.

Glad we managed to clear that up.

6 – Slater is being investigated again for ANOTHER breach of suppression orders. How a repeat offender like Slater who has prior convictions for this manages to continue offending and the Police remain sitting on their hands is a mystery. If ACT’s 3 strikes law was being applied here, Slater would serve prison time for this latest addition to his blogging crimes.

7 –  finally, when the largest cheerleader for the National Party in NZ like the Herald writes an editorial as critical as they have against Judith Collins, you know the claim that only beltway nerds care about what has been revealed is wishful thinking. not fact.

So what to make of it all so far?

I think in NZ we are used to angry politics, but what Nicky’s book displays in all its ugly detail is hate politics. It’s the vicious, needles cruelty of it all that is so shocking and it creates real questions over those within National who thought this kind of dishonourable brutality was in any way acceptable.
Sadly for Slater and National, the hacker who took the emails is not nearly as limited by journalistic principles as Nicky is and will continue to drip feed the personal elements of the correspondence.

Slater’s influence over the media in NZ is symbolic of the very intense time and resource constraints  now put on news rooms around the country. A Journalists ability to research and scrutinise critically what they are reporting upon are very limited now, and the ease with which to pick up stories from blogs  means there is a deeply symbiotic relationship between blogs and the news cycle. The problem for all of us is that Slater and his gang are not just bloggers, they’re political sadists.

30 years of neoliberalism has dragged the centre ground for public debate so far to the right, a crypto-fascist clown like Mike Hosking can be the election moderator on the national public broadcaster but I think Dirty Politics takes us all to a whole new level of critical awareness at the  cruel, dehumanising and humiliating manipulation of our democracy. That’s why what has been revealed can’t be merely shrugged of as either ‘the left do it too’ or ‘this is the way it is’.
Malevolence should induce revulsion, it shouldn’t be celebrated or meekly accepted.


  1. Twitter summary:

    Nat played #dirtypolitics. Stole 2011 election. Sell assets. Reduce our rights @ work. Attack Hager and lie 2 public Keep Collins on payroll

  2. So unfair to all the people who want information about whether they are being spied on and are told “neither confirm nor deny” is the policy. Now Slater get his info in 37 minutes- this really sucks!

  3. Surely the sleepy Hobbits that is the NZ Electorate is slowly awakening from their deep slumber and coming to the realisation that the current government has no moral compass and its values belong in the sewer. The affable Key is indeed nothing but a cynical power crazed Tory and his cabinet are dishonourable people who are corrupt and inherently evil. There is absolutely nothing for the majority of the citizens of New Zealand to gain with another three years of this reprehensible irresponsible government.

  4. The most frightening aspect to this affair is, if they get away with it and are re-elected, they will consider their behaviour to be untouchable and will become even more atrocious than they already are.
    Hubris is the National party’s middle name.
    They’re scared right now, but if they win, it’s us who should be more than scared.

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