In this week’s Across The Ditch bulletin on FiveAA.com.au Selwyn Manning and Peter Godfrey discuss how allegations of dirty politics continue to dog the Prime Minister John Key’s third term in government. Also, internet tycoon Kim Dotcom says he’s broke!
Recorded on 27/11/14 – Captured Live on Ustream at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/multimedia-investments-ltd
The Prime Minister John Key’s credibility and truthfulness has once again become an issue after he misled Parliament yesterday stating that he had not spoken to an attack blogger about an embargoed intelligence report.
Within hours Key had to return to the debating chamber to make a personal statement, in essence to point out his answers to questions from the Labour Party opposition were incorrect.
Labour had asked the prime minister whether he had had any contact with Controversial blogger Cameron Slater about one of two reports: the Government Inquiry into whether former Justice Minister Judith ‘Crusher’ Collins had acted dishonourably to undermine the Serious Fraud Office boss; or a report by the Inspector General of Intelligence and Security.
Cam Slater was earlier this year alleged to be the main recipient of information leaked by the Prime Minister’s office, information that was acquired through the extensive powers of government, then formatted and released in a way so as to destroy the reputations of the National Party’s opponents.
On Monday, information began to surface in mainstream media, details of what was about to be released on Tuesday by the Inspector General into her inquiry into allegations that the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service had become politicised by the Prime Minister’s office and selectively provided documents to Cam Slater so that he could attack and undermine the reputation of then Labour Party leader Phil Goff.
As it turns out, Goff discussed in Part the findings of the Inspector General’s report while bound by confidentiality conditions.
The Prime Minister hit out at Goff on Wednesday for breaching his obligations to maintain secrecy prior to the report being released.
So when the Prime Minister was asked in Parliament whether he too had discussed the report, by saying ‘no’ John Key was able to assert the moral high ground and to continue to attack his opponents.
But his answer became untenable after Cam Slater had forwarded screenshots of a txt exchange to another blogger, who published redacted screenshots on the internet.
So John Key returned to the House and said: “On Monday the 24th of November I received an unsolicited text message from Mr Slater with a reference to the IGIS report. There was a very short exchange where I briefly acknowledged that text message.”
Here’s the background:
On Tuesday, Key was asked by Press Gallery journalists when was the last time he had spoken to Slater. He replied: “I don’t know, I can’t recall,” and added: “I haven’t spoken to him on the phone for months and months and months on end. He sent me a text once, but I can’t recall when that was.”
As it turned out, the Prime Minister was in a txt exchange with Slater the night before.
The issue has once again elevated the question whether New Zealand’s Prime Minister is a liar, when it suits his interests.
For the record, the Inspector General’s inquiry was highly critical of the NZSIS criticising the former Director Dr Warren Tucker for providing misleading redacted documents to Cam Slater, documents that were then used to attack the reputation of Phil Goff. The report also confirmed that a senior advisor in the Prime Minister’s office, tipped Slater off and assisted him with the specific wording of his information request. This occurred after the senior advisor was briefed by the Prime Minister’s deputy chief of staff of the existence of the intelligence information and suggested Slater be used to attack Goff.
On Tuesday, the NZSIS apologised to Phil Goff for its part in the smear campaign. The Prime Minister John Key was asked to also apologise for the role his staff played, but he refused.
Internet tycoon Kim Dotcom stated this week that he is broke.
After three years of fighting in the courts against USA extradition applications, living the high-life while on bail from alleged mass copyright infringement charges, alleged money laundering charges connected to the Megaupload site business – Kim Dotcom says his lawyers have abandoned him after he ran out of money to defend himself.
He said while taking part in a live video exchange that he may be forced to go back to jail today (Thursday) as he was running out of options.
Up to $50million in assets and wealth have been exhausted since he was arrested in an FBI driven raid on his north Auckland mansion in early 2012. Much of those assets have been acquired post-arrest and transferred to a family trust, the beneficiaries being his estranged wife and children.
Dotcom was celebrated by Kiwis and the media while he took on the government and big wheeling Hollywood movie moguls. But he says, since founding the Internet Party and entering politics, since then the public has turned against him, as have the media, especially after the Prime Minister began, as Dotcom says, to demonise him, refer to him as a Nazi, and brand him as manipulating the political campaign to serve his own needs.
If Dotcom is correct, it does seem like the Kiwi tall poppy syndrome, the great down under clobbering machine has struck a heavy blow against this once celebrated Internet freedom hero.