Revolution In Pipitea Street: The Listener celebrates the Baby-Boomer takeover of the SIS and the GCSB

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WOW! The SIS Director marched against the Springbok Tour! And the Acting-Director of the GCSB is a lesbian. But, wait, there’s more: the Inspector General of Intelligence used to be a member of the Socialist Action League, and worked in a freezing works for six years! And they’re all women! Surely, with people like these in charge of New Zealand’s “intelligence community”, no reasonable, fair-minded citizen could have the slightest cause for complaint? Clearly, this is a new order in the making. No more Penthouses, no more pies. No more grim, trench-coated spies. The bad old days are as dead as Rob Muldoon. Gone, like the Cold War.

Or, at least, that’s what we are supposed to think. “We” being the readers of the Listener. Baby Boomers mostly. Well-educated and well-heeled. A great many of whom marched against the Springbok Tour, flirted with revolutionary politics in our student days, and then went on to bigger and better things. Some of our best friends are lesbians. Yep, “we” can rest easy now that our generation has taken over everything – even the SIS and GCSB. Baby-Boomers Rule – OK!

Was it Listener editor, Pamela Stirling, who came up with the idea? Or, did free-lance journalist, Rod Vaughan, pitch it to her? And was the deal clinched by the promise of access to all three chiefs? And whose idea was that? At some point, someone in the “intelligence community”, decided that a front page story about a “revolution” sweeping the corridors of Pipitea House would be just what the Director ordered. The question is: was that decision made in response to Rod Vaughan’s request for access? Or did someone make Rod an offer that he – and Pamela – couldn’t refuse?

Because a front-page story in the Listener, reassuring the Baby-Boomers that the SIS and GCSB are now being run by people just like themselves, was bound to prove very helpful – especially now. That’s because a Government-commissioned review of both agencies, led by Sir Michael Cullen and Dame Patsy Reddy, is about to start asking questions. A cynic might observe that Rod Vaughan’s article has very helpfully suggested most of the answers.

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What is there to fear, after all, from an SIS staffed by scores of bright-eyed young university graduates determined to keep New Zealand safe from “extremist behaviours”? Or, a GCSB run by someone who understands the importance of reminding “the troops” to “remain focused on the job at hand and to remember their responsibilities to all New Zealanders.”

Not that Sir Michael is likely to deliver a report recommending the upsetting of too many apple carts. As Helen Clark’s finance supremo, he always appeared to be doing his best to deliver what the state expected of its ministers. Yes, in the House he could summon up a rhetorical storm fit to set the Tories a-trembling. But, in the Joint Intelligence Committee, sweet reason seems to have prevailed. If Michael Cullen has ever been guilty of troubling the sleep of the “Deep State”, there is scant evidence for it.

On the off-chance that there might be New Zealanders less willing to let the Deep State escape all serious scrutiny, however, why not engage in a little pre-emptive PR? A story in the Listener, in which all the “news media, politicians, bloggers and activists” guilty of poking their noses into “the labyrinthine world of the New Zealand intelligence community” were shown to be “completely oblivious to [the] revolution that [is] well under way” within its walls, would undermine any future attempts to “pillory and hold accountable” those responsible for keeping the nation’s secrets.

That this could well be the case is confirmed by the Listener’s choice of headlines for Rod Vaughan’s article. The story about SIS Director, Rebecca Kitteridge is called “Secrets & Spies” – a clear reference to Nicky Hager’s exposé of the malign influence of PR on New Zealand politics entitled Secrets and Lies. The story about Una Jagose, Acting-Director of the GCSB, boasts an even more in-your-face thrust at the critics of the SIS and GCSB. It is headlined “Moment of Truth” – which is, of course, the name of the Kim Dotcom-sponsored event featuring Glen Greenwald and Edward Snowden that was held in the Auckland Town Hall just days before the 2014 General Election.

The triumphalism of the Listener could hardly be more explicit. In the words Sir Michael Cullen is said to have used to taunt his Tory opponents following the 1999 Labour-Alliance victory:

“We won. You lost. Eat that!”

38 COMMENTS

  1. I’m gob-smacked by stupidity in print. I leave it to others to have a field day with this one. Listener’s major influential shareholder guiding the article must be the girl who shot the giraffe. All the girls together. 😀

  2. U F-ing believable.

    The lengths the SIS and GSBC are going to, is sinister.

    With Ruth Richardson, Jenny Shipley, Margaret Thatcher, Paula Rebstock and our very own Judith Collins being representatives of women is power it shows that gender has absolutely nothing to do with fairness, honesty or moderation.

    Excellent Discourse analysis of how the SIS and GCSB are trying to manipulate the public and review by an ex Labour member to rubber stamp it via MSM.

    Wonder why the Listeners readers are falling?

    The problem is, without Cambell Live who actually broke the GSCB story and has now been effectively sacked, there is no one to trust or break these political stories anymore.

    In another manipulation John Campbell has handily been place off camera in a radio role to appease the masses as it will, there is not really many other journalists who both have ability, popularity and will to actually break a story like this. Radio is not TV and it would be hard to have broken the GCSB story via Radio as I am sure Crosby Textor knows.

    And the triumph getting Michael Cullen to rubber-stamp it in the up coming report. Nothing to see here, people, Labour support it all too.

  3. Astonishing. We all know the listener checked out of reality a while ago but this takes the cake! How on earth do they think this helps our society, when they are just enabling the kinds of institutional behaviour we’ve seen from GCSB and SIS (e.g. SIS colluding with the government to smear Phil Goff).

    The sooner this rag goes out of business the better. Please, all boomers boycott The Listener and send a message that this spineless collusion can’t be allowed to stand.

  4. Show your disgust at this constant manipulation by people in power than will only get worse when the government signs the TPP.

    Don’t let the rain put you off – don’t tell your kids your never made it cos you were busy. MARCH FOR DEMOCRACY AGAINST TPP

    Hokianga

    15 August protest, 11am at Kohukohu Village Green.

    Whangarei

    15 August protest, 11am at the Town Basin.

    Auckland

    15 August protest, 1pm at Aotea Square to march down Queen Street, featuring speakers and music.

    Hamilton

    15 August protest, Meet @ 1pm outside Cock and Bull carpark on corner of Church and Maui.

    Tauranga

    8 August, 10 am @ Red Square (Downtown Tauranga) for ‘Chalk n talk’.

    9 August, Johns Key’s birthday bash with live music and Cake Signing the giant card.

    10 August at lunch time, Banner making in Red Square.

    12 August, Nag banner from cambridge rd over bridge.

    13 August, signs on the road side

    14th August – public meeting

    15 August protest at 1pm, Red Square.
    Gisborne

    15 August protest, details to come.

    Napier/Hastings

    15 August protest, 1pm, location to be announced.

    Wanganui

    8 August protest, 1pm, march from Silver Ball in the market to Majestic Square.

    New Plymouth

    Protest planned, details to come

    Palmerston North

    (Before Action Week) – At 7pm on July 29th Palmerston North City Library is hosting a panel discussion on the TPPA, featuring Assoc Prof Jeff Sluka, Dr Deborak Russell and Dr Shamin Shukur (compere: Assoc Prof Bill Fish).

    Art and photo exhibition planned with accompanying information, concert and talks

    8 August Rally and concert, 1pm – 3:30pm in the Square in the quadrant opposite The Plaza. Keynote speech from Barry Coates, including Dr Romauld Rudzki, Dr Deborah Russell, Dr Jeff Sluka and Cr Lew Findlay, and local musicians.

    14 August will be a concert in the library at 5pm, then documentary maker and investigative journalist Bryan Bruce will speak at 6pm on Poverty, Inequality & the TPPA.

    Many committed P North activists will also be heading to Wellington on 15 August.

    Wellington

    7-13 August – The People Speak #STOPTPPA. NZ Photo exhibition (10am-5pm)

    12 August – Lunchtime rally outside Parliament with politicians and speakers.

    15 August – TPPA Walk Away! Protest action to stop the TPPA. Assemble at Midland Park and march to Parliament for speakers and music. More details to come.

    Nelson

    15 August protest at 11:00am, top of Trafalgar St – 1903 Square.

    Christchurch

    10 August political debate at 6pm, Canterbury Horticultural Society (57 Riccarton Avenue), featuring David Parker, Russell Norman, Fletcher Tabuteau and Marama Fox.

    12 August film screening of ‘Inequality for All” by economist Robert Reich, 6pm at The Auricle (35 New Regent Street).

    14 August New Economics Seminar and Expo, 7pm at Horticultural Hall.

    15 August protest at 12:30pm. Location: South Hagley Park (corner Deans Ave and Riccarton Rd) marching down Riccarton Rd.

    Little River

    15 August rally, 12pm at Little River Craft Station.

    Timaru

    15 August protest planned, details to come.

    Dunedin

    15 August protest at 1pm, marching from the Dental School to the Octagon.

    Invercargill

    15 August protest, 12pm at Wachner Place.

    • @Save NZ

      We are planning to join the action in Kohukohu.

      Please..could you produce a single page info sheet about the issues that we could hand out to those who are not following these discussions on line? MSM have failed to get the facts (such as they are!) out, and knowledge is power.

      Something easy( and cheap) to print off on a home printer would be good.

      Thanks.

      • That’s great. I got the info off http://itsourfuture.org.nz/

        Last time their website got overloaded so I am posting info around so that people can find out information if that happens.

        How about this for a slogan –

        Free trade – Why buy the Milk when you can Buy the Farm?

        Because under these ‘free trade’ agreements corporations are not buying the milk they are buying the entire farms. Soon we will be like the US and all the land bought up by huge corporations pricing out smaller operators and standards will be compromised.

        Another point is that under all the secret TPP being leaked will Fonterra’s co operative model be able to be maintained because someone might sue them as it is anti competitive? I don’t know but I bet Meryl Lynch would love to privatise Fonterra. Maybe that is the end game, who knows.

        Free trade deals are not helping local farmers at all – for example the milk solid price in 2008 was over $7 per kilo now the milk is forecast for this year at $3.85 per kilo. That means that the indebted farmers who borrowed for the ‘free trade’ bonus under the Chinese/NZ deal are now going into bankruptcy and prey for overseas corporations to purchase their farms.

        At least in China they protect their farmers by not allowing overseas corporations to purchase land, our governments can’t wait to sell us off. Let alone the loss of jobs in this industry to Kiwis as cheap labour is bought in.

        It is not too late for Labour to have a rethink and look clearly at what is happening. Do they support this sell off of our country or do they have a real policy (not some jargon about protecting our property).

        Also the so called capital gains tax actually falls on the seller, so it is the farmer or local who pays it, not the migrant coming in.

        Again trying to put further taxes on locals to stop the bubble which is fuelled by immigration, meaning locals have less money, pay more taxes and have lower wages and paying higher interest rates. No wonder we can’t afford to purchase our own property, with overseas investors who have much greater advantages than locals.

    • Shit I am 71 this month and very nervous.

      FJK was sent here to steer NZ into the same hole as Greece is in now.

      No matter what the “so called experts have said that in July our rock star economy will have an “Encore”!!!!!!

      Rubbish they span then now as you see.

      FJK must be an agent of Bilderberg Group Dutch Royal Shell CEO Queen Beatrix, Goldman Sachs, Rockefeller, Rothschild’s & all the corrupt dirty dozen.

      Key meets them at their secret meetings.

  5. Ah yes Rod Vaughn.

    Maybe it’s time for Round 2 with Sir Bob…

    Finish him Jonesy!

    And the Listener; the psychadelic neolib Q ship masquerading as an innocent merchant ship…

    It’s the old story Chris.

    Where do you go for your daily news?

    Everything I say is spin, including that…

  6. I’ve been giving this a bit more thought. Anyone been listening to the American finance analysts? Finance & Liberty.com good source. Finance/commerce as we’ve known it is over. The markets are crashing. What’s happening is a total expose of all skulduggery before Nesara rolls out and I rather think John Key has lost his mates and is now trying to save his own neck. That’s what I think. Want to reply, John?

  7. Ahhh – the gentle slop of ripples in the demi tasse.

    How many people read the Listener?

    Of that number – how many are nervous ‘Baby Boomers’?

    And how many loathe or despise the ‘authorities’ cited?

    And how many have sniggered and recognised ineptitude by the usual journalist buffoons?

    And, for the 0.001% who were comforted and reassured by this paen, how many have any influence anywhere to make it a viral issue?

    Makes you wonder…

  8. Haven’t read a Listener in years and am not going to start now. But having read Trotter’s post I have one [sarky] question:

    How come, under these “baby boomers” we have more surveillance than ever before?

    We can’t walk to the local dairy to buy a loaf of bread without passing a surveillance camera somewhere. If I want to have a sneaky peep at a blue movie (nah, not into them) then my name is recorded somewhere. If I expend loads of vitriolic tantrums towards the prime-minister on the internet (and express the hope he gets-umm… shot down in flames) then my every waking hours is likely to come under the remotely operated watchful eye of those self-same boomers.

    I have long since come to the view that the authoritarian/secret services are there to protect the wealthy and powerful in this land and that us ordinary folk come in low on their list of priorities.

  9. Hah, I have met a fair few former “revolutionaries” and protestors that have become total turn-coats and strong supporters of capitalism and what else we have now rule our lives.

    Such a Listener article does NOT impress me one bit, as there appears to have been some keen willingness by the top bosses of the mentioned agencies to participate and “share” their information.

    They will have thought, hey, what a great opportunity to “sell” our image, and to “polish” it, so people stop hedging suspicion or dare even criticise what we do.

    I follow with great concern what is going on in the NZ media, like a Paul Henry and his show being “sposored” or supported by AMP, like Duncan Garner having a “tour of the regions” sponsored by Westpac and like having others pay their travel and offer other perks, for reporters to write about them.

    The MSM is becoming a mercenary or even “prostitute” assembly of media outlets and players, where we must treat every news with great suspicion and a grain of salt.

    No wonder we have a greasy merchant finance player and currency gambler called John Key be given so much space and tolerance, no matter what his government stuffs up, and no wonder the brain washed populace voted him and his government in for a third term. With such media as we have it, anything not nailed down is up for sale, I guess.

    No, it does not matter what people in charge once did, it matters what they do now, and who and for what cause they have sold their souls.

  10. Unfortunately, all too often young socialists and activists have a fairly quick change of attitude and ideology when they land a good job with plenty of money. They want to forget the days when they railed against what they have now become.

  11. Man is a pattern -seeking animal. That’s how we came so far. (Or screwed up so badly, some would say).
    It is also why conspiracy theories abound and why between the lines became as important as the actual text to some readers.
    I don’t doubt that the Listener is a repository of Remmers refugees, but the cosy and complacent have a right to be entertained according to the (imaginary) broadcasting charter of New Zealand. How else can you explain Jim Mora’s Panel. (And the care of his guests not to scare the horses for fear of exclusion).
    But sometimes a mildly referential sub heading is the work of lazy sub-editing. It isn’t always a signal to the sleeper cells of the Tri-partite Commission. One suspects that in this article there is much less to see than meets your eye, anyway.
    Correct me if I’m wrong.
    (You will of course have to leave a hastily scribbled note in your own blood on the doorstep before they frog-march you away, but at least you will have the last laugh).

  12. Ha… I suspect most Intelligence Service people have been card carrying members of radical groups… the name on the card different to the one on their govt. pay slip of course. So they marched against the tour…. was that when they first met their current employer?
    If only we could have an honest and open audit of the SIS and their investigations. I for one suspect most of their time is still spent keeping an eye on trade unionists, Green Peace members, Maori radicals (anyone who takes a Maori language course that is) , you know, the bomb throwing anarchist type!

  13. Just for fun you could go and look at the questionnaire Cullen et al have put out, well presumably the spie agencies wrote it:

    Would you be happy to have your email spied on if it stopped a terrorist attack in NZ? YES/NO

    There are many many dumb questions it is a joke.

    However there is no question that asks: should we be spying on Antarctica, the Pacific, Bangladesh, Spain and south america so that we can pass the information on to the other 4 in the 5 eyes alliance.

  14. Shit I am 71 this month and very nervous.

    FJK was sent here to steer NZ into the same hole as Greece is in now.

    No matter what the “so called experts have said that in July our rock star economy will have an “Encore”!!!!!!

    Rubbish they span then now as you see.

    FJK must be an agent of Bilderberg Group Dutch Royal Shell CEO Queen Beatrix, Goldman Sachs, Rockefeller, Rothschild’s & all the corrupt dirty dozen.

    Key meets them at their secret meetings.

  15. The listener has gone bad, and taken over by Corporate NatZ machinery, CIA/NSA control as the entire media is today.

    We need a entirely independent public news service run by opposition parties to bring “Balance “to the community not this right wing rubbish.

  16. Doesn’t let you blog here any more What’s wrong?

    [ Cleangreen, your post ended up in a Folder it shouldn’t have. I’ve only just found it and allowed it to be published. Glitch in the system? I’ll let Admin know. – ScarletMod ]

    • Yes as a 71yr old I am scared of the takeover of our MSM now and the listener finally.

      We need a strong credible leader and Winston showed us this today.

      The MSM and Listener are lying to us all now.

      Q+A today and Winston won over the pundits firmly today as he cut through all the verbal double speak that Andrew Little and the Farmer federation NatZ guy was trying to ramble through without saying bad things about Planet Key.

      Fonterra was stupid and seemed not to be up to the world of competition now at all.

      No wonder we are in such deep shit here.

      Winston is a formidable ally for us to roll this Government now as they are very shaky, and even their Financial trumpets are making massive errors in their Economic forecast, in July about our failing “Rock star economy” he was saying is about to “Encore” the same one that is crumbling as we speak.

      So compare last month to now with this from a senior Bank financial forecaster.

      http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/70373538/hsbc-economist-frederic-neumann-predicts-encore-for-rock-star-economy

      • Doesn’t let you blog here any more What’s wrong? cant send a longer blog than this one as I tried five times. Has the site been bugged or controlled by CIA/NSA/GCSB?

        I am adding my blog to this brief message to see if it will go now.

        Q+A today and Winston won over the pundits firmly today as he cut through all the verbal double speak that Andrew Little and the Farmer federation NatZ guy was trying to ramble through without saying bad things about Planet Key.

        Fonterra was stupid and seemed not to be up to the world of competition now at all.

        No wonder we are in such deep shit here.
        Winston is a formidable ally for us to roll this Government now as they are very shaky, and even their Financial trumpets are making massive errors in their Economic forecast, in July about our failing “Rock star economy” he was saying is about to “Encore” the same one that is crumbling as we speak.
        So compare last month to now with this from a senior Bank financial forecaster.

        http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/70373538/hsbc-economist-frederic-neumann-predicts-encore-for-rock-star-economy

  17. Yes as a 71yr old I am scared of the takeover of our MSM now and the listener finally.

    We need a strong credible leader and Winston showed us this today.

    The MSM and Listener are lying to us all now.

    Q+A today and Winston won over the pundits firmly today as he cut through all the verbal double speak that Andrew Little and the Farmer federation NatZ guy was trying to ramble through without saying bad things about Planet Key.

    Fonterra was stupid and seemed not to be up to the world of competition now at all.

    No wonder we are in such deep shit here.

    Winston is a formidable ally for us to roll this Government now as they are very shaky, and even their Financial trumpets are making massive errors in their Economic forecast, in July about our failing “Rock star economy” he was saying is about to “Encore” the same one that is crumbling as we speak.

    So compare last month to now with this from a senior Bank financial forecaster.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/70373538/hsbc-economist-frederic-neumann-predicts-encore-for-rock-star-economy

  18. Yes as a 71yr old I am scared of the takeover of our MSM now and the listener finally.

    We need a strong credible leader and Winston showed us this today.

    The MSM and Listener are lying to us all now.

    Q+A today and Winston won over the pundits firmly today as he cut through all the verbal double speak that Andrew Little and the Farmer federation NatZ guy was trying to ramble through without saying bad things about Planet Key.

    Fonterra was stupid and seemed not to be up to the world of competition now at all.

    No wonder we are in such deep shit here.

    Winston is a formidable ally for us to roll this Government now as they are very shaky, and even their Financial trumpets are making massive errors in their Economic forecast, in July about our failing “Rock star economy” he was saying is about to “Encore” the same one that is crumbling as we speak.

  19. why would they go to the bother of doing a PR job Cullen has already been bought and paid for and probably spent it all, more like a stupid jurno trying to claim brownie points to keep their job

  20. But spies have been gay or bisexual since… Christopher Marlowe, let alone the Cambridge three….

    I wonder why they are so scared of being painted as homophobic. Would it interfere with a pink-washing campaign/s? Or…

    I hear ya GCSB. At least you are making an effort to talk publicly, if not to people you have fucked over who may or may not be gay.

    When being gay or a minority prevents you from using or passing on intelligence to target family areas in drone strikes and sticking up for minorities you know are being mistreated, please come out even more loudly (I know you have been trying your best on that last one, now. Thank you)!

  21. I have not seen the Listener article but appreciate your dissection Chris. Undertaking a generational and gender change in intelligence community management may or may not be helpful but it is not equivalent to institutional change. Therein lies the problem.

    Bringing in younger female managers from outside the NZ intelligence community is a decent first step but runs the risk of their being subject to “institutional capture” whereby the deeply rooted mores, ethos and traditions of the agencies involved temper the new managerial thirst for substantive change in how and why they operate. This is compounded by bureaucratic intransigence on the part of career intelligence officers upon whom the new managers largely depend for their understanding of the intelligence collection and assessment business and the terms of agreement with foreign intelligence partners, which also mitigate against a fundamental reordering of NZ’s relations with them.

    I believe that for it to not be a whitewash, or at least for it to be impossible for Cullen and Reddy to claim that they exhausted all avenues of inquiry but decided against significant reform of the NZ intelligence community, the approach needs to be two-pronged: on an “external” level public submissions need to question they very orientation and necessity of NZ intelligence agencies (of which there are twelve). On an “internal” or technical level there needs to be public submissions from interested groups and individuals that are technical, sophisticated and rigorously focused on the terms of reference of the Review. These are quite narrow but offer a window of opportunity for those adroit enough to exploit it by addressing the deficiencies in the legislative framework and oversight mechanisms governing the NZ intelligence community (the two main reference points in the Review).

    Informed proposals in these areas will be difficult to ignore because doing so will expose Cullen and Reddy as lackeys of the agencies they are supposed to be reviewing. I therefore heartily urge you and TDB readers to join me and download the submission forms, ignore the stupid and leading questions in them and proceed to offer substantive critiques of the how, why and when of NZ intelligence collection and analysis.

    In may all be for naught, but at least we can say that we tried and if nothing else the NZ intelligence community will be put on notice that at least some portion of the public are on to them in an informed way.

  22. China has numerous $trillions it has earmarked for overseas investment.
    China has stockpiled milk powder in vast warehouses.
    China has since reduced its purchases, driving down the milk powder price.
    China has now put highly geared farms into distress globally.
    China wants to increase protein security by purchasing foreign farms and supply chains.
    China can purchase more farms, at mortgagee auctions, caused by the milk powder glut.
    China is able to mold the world to suit its needs, just as it is able to build new islands rising up out of the South China Sea right now, to extend its influence into what should be international waters, with the Chinese navy warning off anyone getting too close.
    You don’t need a bumbling spy agency to analyse developments like these, but it would be a cool job to have, listening in on the conversations of old buddies, neighbours and ex spouses, with a few hours of surveillance for amusement. Less than 24 hour warrantless surveillance now being completely legal, and no one ever need know

  23. Hah, many former protestors or revolutionary minded youth from way back have become turn-coats, so will have some of these spy bosses. They have given up their ideals a long time ago and fell for the temptations or second best opportunities in life, being careers and high salaries. They have sold their souls to the devil.

    It does mean something what people once did and stood for, if they honestly stick to it, or at least do not make a 180 degree turn-around, and can in all sincerity and in a convincing manner explain their new position.

    To move from being a youthful protestor against nuclear arms and power, against racism, injustices, against capitalism, against oppression or whatever, to become a senior boss or even middle ranked player in the spy business, that is what I describe as a total turn-coat, a traitor of sorts, not worth to be given all that much credit.

    This kind of desperate attempt, to use the media and a reporter, for an opportune chance to present our spy agencies as progressive and human, it does not convince me, sorry.

Comments are closed.