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Judith Collins and the book Dirty Politics – Nicky Hager

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In recent days an incorrect story has been repeated in the news about how Judith Collins had to resign after the book Dirty Politics was published but was later exonerated and returned to Cabinet. In the interests of accuracy, it is worth correcting this misunderstanding.

After Dirty Politics was published in 2014, National was concerned about falling support and decided to end this by removing Judith Collins — one of the Dirty Politics personalities — from her ministerial post. But National did not want to give credibility to the book by saying that it was the reason for her demotion. Instead the Prime Minister’s staff managed to obtain a new email, which had not been cited in the book Dirty Politics, involving Collins, dirty politics characters Cameron Slater, Cathy Odgers and Carrick Graham, and a campaign to smear the Serious Fraud Office head. It was on the basis of this separate email that Collins had to step down. After the election there was an inquiry into Collins’ actions in relation to that single email. She was indeed cleared of involvement in the smear and went back into Cabinet.

Here is a reference to the new email and exoneration. Judith Collins was soon saying that she had been cleared of all allegations in the book Dirty Politics. But neither the new email nor anything about a smear campaign against the SFO head appear in the Dirty Politics book.

Anyone can check the chapter about Collins in Dirty Politics. It shows a pettiness and meanness, as she sent snippets of gossip and dirt to Cameron Slater and helped him to attack people on his blog — including details of a public servant who was then strongly attacked on Slater’s blog, including receiving death threats. The chapter recounts where she recommended to Slater about some National Party internal politics: “Personally I would be out for total destruction… But then I’ve learned to give is better than to receive.” She called it the “double” rule: “always reward with Double”; and said “If you can’t be loved, then best to be feared.”

These are the sorts of things that were revealed about Collins in Dirty Politics. On none of them was she investigated and exonerated. It would be incorrect to allow this misunderstanding to continue.

Nicky Hager is one of NZs most important investigative journalists. 

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Face Your Plastic Footprint – Coke Told

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Greenpeace NZ is challenging Coca Cola to face up to its embarrassing contribution to ocean pollution for Plastic Free July.

Coca Cola Amatil floods NZ with hundreds of millions of plastic bottles annually – the majority of which end up in landfill and the sea.

“This is the time of the year when thousands of Kiwis do their bit to minimise plastic in their lives,” says Greenpeace plastics campaigner Holly Dove.

“We want to know when Coca Cola is going to take responsibility for its huge plastic footprint that’s filling up the oceans.”

Greenpeace launched a campaign against plastic bottles last month.

It follows the terrible death of a young toroa (Royal Albatross) that swallowed an entire plastic bottle off the Napier coast and starved to death. Video here.

“Nine out of ten seabirds will eat plastic over their lifetimes and many of their lives will be cut short like this poor toroa’s.”

In New Zealand drinks companies such as Coca Cola sell an estimated one billion plastic bottles every year and the number is climbing.

“Big corporates like Coca Cola will tell you the problem will be fixed by recycling but recycling just isn’t working,” says Dove. “Only nine per cent of the world’s plastic has been recycled.”

Globally it’s estimated that Coca Cola produces 3,400 plastic bottles every second.

Greenpeace is calling on the NZ Government to become the first country in the world to ban single use drink bottles.

Plastic bottles and lids are among the top ten pieces of pollution found on surveys of New Zealand beaches.

“In the sea they break down into tiny pieces called microplastics which are eaten by fish and are rapidly entering the human food chain. We can’t let any more plastic into our seas.”

Greenpeace’s Ban the Bottle petition has more than 30 thousand signatures and comes after last year’s ban on plastic shopping bags.

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Greenpeace Welcomes Green Party Plan To Boost Solar And End Coal/Gas

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Greenpeace is applauding the Green Party on their energy policy announcement today but seeks assurances that the Greens will make phasing out fossil fuels and investing in distributed renewable energy a bottom line in any potential coalition negotiations.

Today the Green Party released their Clean Energy Plan, which includes grants for households to adopt solar power, support for community energy schemes and a commitment to phase out industrial use of coal by 2030 and gas by 2035. An end to onshore oil and gas permits, a clean energy training programme and a plan to solarise all social homes are also part of the policy.

Greenpeace climate and energy campaigner, Amanda Larsson, has welcomed the policy, saying:

“We’re pleased to see the Green Party presenting a bold vision for transitioning the New Zealand energy system away from its reliance on the dirty fuels that drive climate change.”

“The Australian bushfires and this autumn’s droughts are a stark reminder that we’re experiencing a climate crisis. We urgently need to phase out the polluting fuels that are causing this crisis – oil, gas and coal – and replace them with clean energy.”

“New technologies like solar, wind and batteries allow us to power our homes, businesses and transport systems with energy made right in our communities, owned and looked after by the people who use it. It’s good to see the Greens committing to seize this opportunity.”

While Greenpeace has applauded the policy, Larsson says they still need convincing that the Green Party’s wishlist of energy initiatives will translate into action, should the Greens form part of the next Government.

“The Green Party needs to assure New Zealanders that they will make climate change and renewable energy a non-negotiable bottom line in any potential coalition agreement.

“This term we’ve seen a number of strong Green Party policies stutter and stall, such as the promised electric vehicle ‘feebate’. Climate change doesn’t negotiate. We need political leaders that will stand firm in their commitment to safeguard the natural world that we all depend on.”

Greenpeace is calling on all political parties to commit to using the Covid-19 recovery as a springboard from which to build back better and address the worsening climate and environmental crises.

“Today’s young people will need to deal with the debt from our economic response to Covid-19. We must build back in ways that create a more secure and resilient future for our children.

“As we invest in creating jobs to address the impacts of the pandemic, we have a unique opportunity to build back better,” says Larsson.

“Our aspiring political representatives must be bold and forward-thinking about the economic rebuild project ahead. As well as investments in renewable energy, we need to see political parties committing to support farmers to shift away from intensive industrial agriculture to regenerative farming.

“Policies should include pledges to expand and electrify the rail network and public transport. And political parties must commit to fixing New Zealand’s plastic waste problem by replacing single-use plastic bottles with systems that collect bottles for sterilisation, refill and reuse.”

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Green Party Unveils Clean Energy Plan

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The Green Party is today unveiling part one of its plan for a fossil-fuel free Aotearoa, including an immediate ban on new industrial coal boilers.

To ensure a just transition away from fossil-fuels, the Green Party’s Clean Energy Plan will:

  • Establish a Clean Energy Industry Training Plan to support thousands of people into jobs.
  • Introduce grants to halve the price of installing solar in privately-owned homes, and offer grants and low-interest loans for businesses to transition.
  • Upgrade all 63,000 social and community homes with solar panels and batteries.
  • Ban new industrial coal boilers within the first 100 days in Government.
  • End coal use in Aotearoa by 2030.
  • Create a $250 million Clean Energy Fund which communities can draw from for local renewable energy projects.
  • Simplify planning rules to make it easier to build wind turbines.

Green Party Co-Leader James Shaw said today:

“Our Clean Energy Plan is the first part of our transformational plan to end the use of fossil-fuels in Aotearoa. It will help to ensure our grandchildren inherit a world where they can not only survive, but thrive.

“When all our energy comes from the sun, the wind, and the flow of rivers, we won’t need to burn the fossil fuels that cause the climate crisis.

“Over decades, Governments have failed to respond to the climate change challenge by supporting the use of dirty fossil fuels. Our window to act is shrinking and we must make meaningful changes now to secure our children’s future.

“Our Clean Energy Plan empowers communities, businesses and families to create a truly sustainable Aotearoa which runs on the energy nature provides.”

Green Party Energy Spokesperson Gareth Hughes said today:

“This plan allows us to go further and faster on climate action by supporting all of us to move to clean energy. This is a comprehensive plan to ditch fossil fuels once and for all.

“It is an investment in all of our futures, which creates firm targets, clear oversight, and an example for the world to follow.

“The Green Party’s package is ambitious, wide-ranging, and achievable. By making the right decisions now, we can secure the future we all deserve.

“Everything depends on us acting now, but if we do, we can create an Aotearoa we’re proud to pass on.”

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Launch Of The Vote Climate 2020 Campaign – VOTE CLIMATE 2020

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With the 2020 general election nearly three months away, a new campaign is asking voters to vote in line with the future. Vote Climate 2020 aims to highlight the opportunity to build momentum behind climate change, ensuring climate justice is a key election issue. With only three election cycles left before the window to take the necessary action to halve greenhouse gas emissions closes, the stakes for voters have never been higher, say Vote Climate.

“Our responsibility to safeguard our planet for now and future generations by voting in candidates with strong climate policy has never been so prominent” says organiser Sophie Handford.

In the 10 weeks leading up to polling day, Vote Climate is holding events across the country to encourage New Zealanders to vote climate, beginning next Friday the 17th. Events, spread across cities and regions, encompass everything from rallies to cross-party climate debates. The campaign aims to inspire voters to find more about their parties and candidates’ stance on climate change, and push every party to provide a comprehensive climate action plan that aims to keep us below 1.5 degrees of warming by halving our greenhouse gas emissions.

“Now more than ever, we need to build momentum and keep the pressure on because climate change is not slowing down – we cannot afford to slow down, in fact we need to step up our game.” said Sophie Handford.

The Governments post-covid-19 recovery has had an emphasis on shovel-ready projects so far, but as Vote Climate note, there is a unique opportunity to create transformational change throughout New Zealand’s systems to value both people and planet. Now, as we learn to adjust to a new reality, is the time to adopt the urgent action on climate change that was pushed by many last year. Voting, the campaign claims, is the best action an individual can take to get the Government to take crucial action on the climate crisis.

This year, the world has seen an inkling of what a climate-altered future could look like: the Australian bushfires, extreme events like the pandemic around every corner, political instability and tension. But activists push that a new normal could instead be a better future: it could involve a zero-carbon, inclusive economy that prioritises people and planet and limits the consequences of a warming world.

“The kōrero and support surrounding the government taking climate action was incredible, however, it’s important that we let people know that they can use their vote to make some real change happen”, said organiser Zoé de Malmanche.

Vote Climate push that the votes in this election will count: the impact of actions taken now will last for the next century. There is no more time to wait: the campaign maintains that we need action now, and as voters, we have the power to deliver that.

More information and updates can be found on Vote Climate 2020 Facebook and Instagram profiles

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Too Many Tahr, High Court Says – Forest And Bird

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Forest & Bird is pleased Friday’s High Court ruling on the introduced tahr population control is clear – Himalayan tahr must be reduced to 10,000 animals, removed entirely from National Parks, and the Department of Conservation (DOC) can get started immediately.

The High Court judge was clear is his opinion, stating in paragraph 88 “I am satisfied that quashing the decision to adopt the [tahr control] plan would be disproportionate and is not warranted”.

Download the full decision here.

Forest & Bird spokesperson Nicky Snojink says “The High Court’s ruling means DOC can begin their planned cull without delay, that DOC are to stop leaving bull tahr in national parks for trophy hunters, and there is not to be more than 10,000 tahr overall”.

“We welcome the Tahr Foundation’s support of this decision, especially keeping the tahr population at 10,000, as noted in the ruling “Mr Hodder [for the Foundation] sought to deflect such concerns by submitting that the Foundation does not resist a move towards a total herd of 10,000 tahr.” [Para 90]

While the control plan proceeds, DOC is to have an additional period of discussion with the Tahr Liaison Group, of which Forest & Bird is a member.

“Forest & Bird has been warning for many years that the Himalayan tahr population is out of control. This ruling confirms that tahr control is well overdue, and they must be removed entirely from National Parks, in accordance with the law. There will still be plenty of tahr for hunting, just not in our national parks, which exist for native species not for bull tahr or trophy hunters.”

The judge says in para 86 “I am not persuaded that there is any relevant circumstance that requires DoC to exempt bull tahr located within national parks”.

Forest & Bird also welcomes the judge’s statement that “Promotion of the tahr hunting industry, or any statutory obligation to protect it, is clearly not an end in itself… In current circumstances, control is not left to the hunting industry because all projections of the number of tahr are substantially above that maximum [ of 10,000 animals]. In those circumstances, official control constitutes culling by DoC to get the number down near the 10,000 maximum.”

Ms Snoyink says “Most of New Zealand’s alpine plants only live here in NZ, but they’re just a quick snack to these hungry goat herds. DOC estimates that there were 34,292 tahr on public conservation from 2016 – 2018. That number could be much higher by now.

“New Zealand has 4000 native species staring down the barrel of extinction, many of them in alpine habitat. Nature needs us to look after it, and one way we can do that is by reducing tahr numbers in our precious mountain ecosystems.”

Forest & Bird note the judges final statement “…the Foundation has justified costs at a relatively modest portion of 2B scale, given the extent to which DoC has successfully refuted challenges on a much wider basis.”

Forest & Bird on tahr on social media

Read the Department of Conservation’s factsheet on tahr here.

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How Free Games Are Designed To Make Money

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Obviously it takes time and money for a developer to create a game. Offering that game for free to players is certainly not going to recover the cost of developing the game. This is why from the longest time, games had a purchase price. You might think free games are not as profitable as paid games but the truth is with free to play games, it’s actually simpler than you think to make money off of freeloaders, and that may be the way most developers offer up games in the future like free slots casino. But before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s look at the most popular monetization methods for free games.

Adding More Slots

There are a number of games out there where you can have a number of different either characters, monsters, cards, etc when you play the game. Now there are a lot of these items than the slots given to the player in the game. This will restrict the player’s ability to play the game as they don’t have access to as diverse a range of the items that go in those slots. Thankfully, the developers are more than willing to offer up additional slots for you to collect more of the things within the game.

Microtransactions

Microtransactions allow players to purchase additional virtual goods like extra game play levels, cosmetic skins, exclusive gear (e.g. armor, shields), loot boxes, or in-game currency. In-game purchases vary – some enhance the player’s power or speed up their progress within the game, while others are entirely cosmetic. Since the purchases are usable within the game, microtransactions are especially tempting for avid, devoted players. Microtransactions can potentially lower the skills barrier needed to progress within the game, which can make the game feel out-of-whack for those who choose not to spend.

Advertising

One of the most frequent approach most of the games use nowadays is advertising. Straightforward to implement and driven by third-party networks, setting up advertising on your app is quite a simple task. The app developer just has to display the advertisements in the app space and earn from the third-party ad networks.

Removing The Wait Period

In games like Candy Crush and even Angry Birds Go!, there is a set number of turn that a player can attempt a level or play a specific character. When they reach the limit, they are forced to wait for a period of time before they can play again. Players can avoid this waiting period if they are willing to spend money to remove it.

Shareware Model

Shareware model games will allow you to play a free trial or demo version of a game, but require payment to unlock the full game license. Shareware gives free users limited gameplay compared to the full game – the idea is to entice users to pay for the game once they’ve gotten a taste. 

Conclusions

As we have seen, there are lots of different methods that developers have to try and get players to actually spend money in Free To Play games. The general trend is that by spending money, players can in essence omit the amount of time they have to spend playing the game to advance to higher levels. Most developers will often use several if not all of the various techniques mentioned as a way to generate revenue.

 

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Greens Energy Policies; Positive For Working Kiwis – CTU

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“Working people have signaled their commitment to do more to address the most pressing issue of our time; climate change. The energy policies that the Green Party have launched today provide a meaningful contribution to addressing climate change,” CTU President Richard Wagstaff said.

“The COVID-19 crisis has presented us all with an opportunity to re-imagine how we do things for the better. These policies provide that.”

“The commitment to establish a Clean Energy Training Plan to help facilitate a just transition alongside working people and their unions, communities, iwi, and the energy industry is celebrated. The union movement has been calling for a just transition for some time so we are especially pleased to see that the Greens are not only making tangible plans to work towards this goal but that they also see the critical role that working people in union have to contribute.”

“We are also pleased to see proposed job creation through direct government investment in rooftop solar power systems and assisting businesses to transition from industrial fossil fuel use to clean alternatives.”

“We must be bold in the solutions we identity if we are to make a meaningful impact on reversing, not simply halting, climate change. After all, there are no jobs on a dead planet,” Wagstaff said.

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Political Caption Competition

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All quiet on the Western Front.

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The Daily Blog Open Mic – Wednesday – 15th July 2020

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Announce protest actions, general chit chat or give your opinion on issues we haven’t covered for the day.

Moderation rules are more lenient for this section, but try and play nicely.

EDITORS NOTE: – By the way, here’s a list of shit that will get your comment dumped. Sexist language, homophobic language, racist language, anti-muslim hate, transphobic language, Chemtrails, 9/11 truthers, climate deniers, anti-fluoride fanatics, anti-vaxxer lunatics and ANYONE that links to fucking infowar.

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Darth Mutter has arisen as the new leader of the National Party

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Oh my god, the manics have done it! National have drunk the Kool Aid and have elected Darth Mutter as the new National Party Leader…

Judith Collins announced as new National Party leader – source

Judith Collins is the new leader of the National Party, according to a Newshub source.

…the reason Judith Collins was never given power was because the Party feared what she would do with it – in their hour of total desperation they have reached out to a politician they can barely control – this will end badly.

Top 9 People thrilled Judith Collins is the new leader:

-Cameron Slater
-Chinese Government
-House of Slytherin
-The Sith
-White Walkers
-The Joker
-Swamp Kauri Exporters
-Labour strategists
-Nicky Hager’s Publisher

National have replaced a dirty politics scandal drenched leader with another dirty politics scandal drenched leader while an inquiry into the first leaders dirty politics is due out in a month.

If Judith is the answer, the question is ‘what can make it worse’.

When the inquiry findings comes out, we will all understand why Muller has suddenly walked the plank and no one will want to be Leader of the National Party on that day.

NZ doesn’t want or need Judith Collin’s dead eyed Prime Ministership. She loves blood more than your average Great White Shark.

She’s adored by the raw meat chewing base, but frightens in a way Simon Bridges couldn’t.

Middle NZ will recoil in terror from the gleam of her fangs the way they do from capital gains taxes and gluten.

The manner in which Judith positioned herself to be just within reach if Muller imploded was a masterclass alongside the Book launch in rebranding while knife sharpening.

I have zero doubt Judith would declare Martial Law for the most tiny of infringements.

Has Cameron Slater been appointed as Press Secretary yet?

Increasingly having independent opinion in a mainstream media environment which mostly echo one another has become more important than ever, so if you value having an independent voice going into this pandemic and 2020 election – please donate here.

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LATEST ROY MORGAN POLL: Labour 54.5% National 27%

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The latest Roy Morgan Poll is the kiss of death for National.

Labour are 54.5%

National 27%

Greens 9%

ACT 5%

NZ First 1.5%

‪Dear National‬

‪Please, please, please, please, please elect Judith Collins as Leader. The way the blood gleams on her fangs in the pale moonlight will terrify middle NZ the way a capital gains tax & glutin does‬.

‪Labour will form a majority Government in September.

Increasingly having independent opinion in a mainstream media environment which mostly echo one another has become more important than ever, so if you value having an independent voice going into this pandemic and 2020 election – please donate here.

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The Waterstone 2020 Election Podcast – Todd Muller Bombshell

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The Waterstone Election 2020 Podcast on The Daily Blog with Damien Grant and Martyn Bradbury discussing the Todd Muller Leadership bombshell.

Simon Bridges has been invited.

 

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Todd Muller’s shock resignation: Winners & Losers

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5 things in this poster aren't true

Fascinating rumours are circulating. The National Party factions were always shocked at Muller’s coup and felt that Simon had earned the right to run the campaign his way and he would only face a challenge to his leadership if he failed at the election.

Those angry factions have leaked against Muller from the beginning of his leadership and there was a deep animosity towards Hooton.

Like poisonously so. Apparently Hoots had no idea of this going down and may have been blind sided.

Ouch.

He blew up his media career on RNZ and the Herald for this???

Dude. Unbelievable.

Here are the winners and losers of this entire Muller fiasco.

 

WINNERS:

Judith Collins: Finally, she is licking her lips in delight. The terrified Caucus will swarm to her and the steely eyed Goddess of Death shall arise like Darth Vader at the end of the 3rd movie after Anakin Skywalker got chopped up with a light sabre and 3rd degree lava burns. I always start imagining Darth Vader whenever I think of Judith. NZ doesn’t want or need her dead eyed Prime Ministership. She loves blood more than your average Great White Shark. She’s adored by the raw meat chewing base, but frightens in a way Simon Bridges couldn’t. Middle NZ will recoil in terror from the blood dripping from her fangs in the silvery pale moonlight.

Labour: The argument that Labour managed to win 2017 with a change of leader out 8weeks is a nonsense comparison to National imploding now. Jacinda was a phenomenon, that’s why she turned Labour’s fortunes, National are floundering with no one close to Jacinda’s talent. At this stage National could put Elvis, Jesus and Ronald Reagan in as co-leaders and Jacinda would still beat them.

ACT: The meltdown in National will have those angry enough to want to ensure their spite is politically represented to vote ACT this election. David could have won a large chunk of vote without allowing his Party to have been taken over by the NZ NRA. Now he has to nod his head when they start foaming over 1080. Oh David, it’s just so sad seeing you held hostage by these far right gun nuts. We hope to rescue you one day. Stay strong David. Care package in the mail.

Simon Bridges: How hard is he laughing right now?

LOSERS:

The next Leader: The problem for any National MP wanting to step up and claim the poisoned chalice that is Leadership of their party is that no one will want to be the Leader when the inquiry into the Boag leak comes out.

Todd Muller: Muller had all the false confidence of a tall man. His coup was inspired by spooked backbench MPs frightened they would become unemployed and that cowardice mixed with his unconstrained self appreciation of his skill set. The whole things has been a farce.

Mark Richardson: I’m sorry. I want to be a better person.

But.

Mark Richardson’s tears on The AM Show as the National Party melts down are delicious.

Pour me another pint Mark.

Matthew Hooton: Please God, let Matthew Hooton return to Twitter where we can all ask him how it went?

 

Increasingly having independent opinion in a mainstream media environment which mostly echo one another has become more important than ever, so if you value having an independent voice going into this pandemic and 2020 election – please donate here.

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BREAKING: TODD MULLER HAS RESIGNED!!!

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BREAKING NEWS:

Todd Muller has resigned. 

My understanding is that the nature of the information Boag sent had digital fingerprints that would make the track and trace of it very easy.

Muller clearly has said things in the last few weeks that once the inquiry is finalised might demand some urgent answers from him.

Who now leads the Party is an open question, this might be the exact moment Judith Collins has been waiting for.

The reek of dirty politics and the betrayals inside the different factions of National are all at play here. Since Muller took over there was a destabilisation campaign run and he has paid the price for his reckless ambition.

Muller had all the false confidence of a tall man. His coup was inspired by spooked backbench MPs frightened they would become unemployed and that cowardice mixed with his unconstrained self appreciation of his skill set.

It has predictably imploded.

There is so much more to come.

Increasingly having independent opinion in a mainstream media environment which mostly echo one another has become more important than ever, so if you value having an independent voice going into this pandemic and 2020 election – please donate here.

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