International Cat Speculators Since 2006

Thoughts on the Election

Some thoughts on the election, many of which you’ll probably see elsewhere too.

National

  • An impressive result, one which cements National as the center party. Key is not stupid, and he learned well from Helen Clark – something that cannot be said for Cunliffe.
  • In hindsight, should have considered stepping back in Napier. But no real damage done, so no biggie.
  • The “Dirty Politics” book was a tough time, but it was handled well and ended up helping a lot more than it hurt.
  • Getting rid of Collins was the right thing to do. There was a perception beginning that nothing would see her go, actually firing her was actually quite refreshing.
  • I really liked their closing statement. It was professional and didn’t pretend to be something it wasn’t.

Labour

  • Cunilffe’s best move would have been to resign, and in doing so unite the party under a new leader.
  • Their closing statement was a professionally produced bad joke. No one believes those were members of the public asking questions. Tip: if you really want to go down this road, chose a few more people who don’t look like they burned their bras in the 60’s.
  • 4 list MPs is a disaster, as is having Mallard winning Hutt South. [huge grin]
  • Labour is seriously factionalised. It’s possible that their long-standing nature may help them recover in the long term, but this isn’t going to happen anytime soon. Those factions will continue to fight each other, driving away the center.

As an aside, let’s not make the mistake that the center are people who believe in moderation between the left and the right. Really, the center are people who have no political leanings, and will simply vote on who looks like will make a better government, and can be trusted to hold power. Political boffins can find these people hard to understand, and the more political you are, the harder it is to understand these people.

  • Labour have a lot of very political people in their activist base. While the leadership contest focused on what these people wanted, middle New Zealand was not impressed. If the party is to recover, they need to restructure their party so these people are kept in the background, if not driven away.
  • Labour have serious issues in South Auckland. They lost the pacifica vote, and they will continue to lose more of it as long as their party pays lip service to that community. You cannot expect people to support you if you aggressively push policy which is the antithesis of what they believe. But again, that would involve pushing their activist base into the background, and it’s hard to see how anyone can do that.
  • The “Dirty Politics” book hurt Labour in two ways. First, it took eyes off them, and onto the National party. Second, they were running around smugly stating “we would never do anything like that”, while the man on the street knows full well that all politcans are the same. Worse, the boffins knew full well that Labour is actually worse in that they have bloggers directly on the payroll. It seems the result was that they only fooled themselves.
  • Let’s face it, Cunliffe is crap. He just can’t pull off being a serious and credible, yet likable, party leader. He may get one or two of those, but never all three. Key can, and does it as easily as breathing.
  • While the party said they were running a positive campaign, they didn’t. They can’t. You can’t take a bunch of people who honestly believe their opponents are the devil incarnate and run a positive campaign. That’s not to say they didn’t try, it’s just that reasonable debate isn’t in the DNA of the far left and it shows.
  • I actually clicked on a Labour party link once this past week, on a whim. I was honestly expecting something I would like, but I didn’t. They’ve been quite dishonest, particularly in their claims of costing their policies – you can’t claim that you’ve costed policies when you specifically got rid of the guy who could have done a credible job of doing it.

Greens

I’m as shocked as anyone that Labour’s lost vote didn’t translate to the Greens. However…

  • I realise in hindsight, that I was giving their billboards too much credit. I didn’t see what they were trying to say, and it appears that no one else could too.
  • It appears that a number of people who like their “help the poor” ethos were seriously put-off by their extreme abortion policy. Not something I would have expected, but that’s what I’m hearing.
  • The Greens have to decide whether they are an environmental party, or an extreme left party. At the moment, they’re the latter and we already have Labour for that.
  • They should also stop talking about a “green economy”. It’s been done, it didn’t work.
  • They’re quite lucky that most New Zealanders have swallowed their line about rivers. Those sorts of big lies can really backfire badly. Stick to the truth.
  • Finally, how many stories did we have uncritically showing a green leader introducing a policy? Seems that the public are not so fussed on media darlings.

Mana

  • There are some principles you just shouldn’t break. The Kiwi Party should not have joined up with Field, and Mana should have avoided Kim the German criminal.
  • Good riddance, one of the big positives of this election!

Internet

  • If there were any justice in this world Lilia Hare would be shamed out of public life in New Zealand. However, the far left are sufficiently unprincipled that she’s unlikely to suffer any lasting harm.
  • Perhaps it’d be a good time for Kim to just get on a plane and fly to the US. Go to the courts, put up your defense, and take your punishment (if any) like the man you allegedly are. By all accounts, he’s a really talented guy and I’m quite sure he would do very well in life if he decided to own up to what he’s done.

ACT

  • Act needs a rebuild. They’ve started, but there is a lot of work to go. I suggests a 2:3 lose coalition with the conservatives – both could have gained had they done that this election (see my later comments however).
  • Also, find someone who can produce professional videos. Seriously, what’s wrong with you?

New Zealand First

  • New Zealand first continues to be a joke party. However, the joke is on us as they gained several seats.
  • So many times during the campaign, Winston was on the radio making one claim or the other, and when asked for details he’d abuse the interviewer. In other words, he was telling fibs, and really obvious ones.
  • It will be interesting to see how long he can keep up the pace.

Maori

  • Have done well with National, but their constituency can’t shake that feeling that they should really be going with Labour. Well, I’m glad it’s not my problem!

Conservatives

Pros:

  • Conservatives did well, and built their base.
  • They looked a lot better later on in their campaign.
  • They had some seriously impressive people on their list.
  • They were clearly getting under Cunliffe’s skin – his open abuse of them in the last debate was quite telling. (Vote positive anyone?)
  • A little bird tells me that Colin’s “take no s$$t” attitude is actually helping dampen what would otherwise be the open season that usually happens when a party smells llike it might be religious conservative.
  • They didn’t get in

Cons:

  • They grew during the campaign, but ran out of time. They really had to have a few poll results above 5% in order to not have people withdraw for fear of “wasting” their vote.
  • Their policy platform left something to be desired. This needs tided up.
  • The music in their closing statement was awful, and far too loud.
  • Colin needs time to build a better image, with the media but also with the grassroots.
  • The lawsuit with Norman, while well-founded will attract unwelcome attention whether it’s followed through or dropped.
  • I’m hoping that he’ll take the next 3 years and return for the next election with a sharp, professional team, one that can be taken seriously and contribute seriously. They’re not quite there yet but the potential is certainly showing.

Tyranny

 

 

Once upon a time, governments of the west faced down tyranny. They welcomed people running from it, and protected them once they arrived.

Woman-makes-if-over-line-between-East-and-West-Germany-Historical-Pics-589x442

 

I’m not so convinced they’re up to the job these days.

 

Fascism conceives of the State as an absolute, in comparison with which all individuals or groups are relative, only to be conceived in their relation to the State.

—Benito Mussolini, The Doctrine of Fascism

From Hogewash.

 

Life

med_1404917440_image

Sometimes it’s like that.

If I did this again, would anyone contribute?

If so, go to the TVNZ site and either:

  1. Email the results to yourself, and then to me [<youknowwho>@gmail.com]
  2. Share it to twitter and then tweat it to me – ScruboneHD

I’ll stick all the results in a database, and produce some nice graphs or something…

For those who have enjoyed reading the “Offensive Content Kiwiblog Files”, there’s a new page up as of tonight – January to March 2007. Only took 4 years to complete :D

Essentially, it’s an index of all the anti-Labour posts DPF put up during those months, with a few other items thrown in.

This one covers the period of the anti-smacking bill being passed, and I included several posts from the time attacking the bill. I think they stand the test of time reasonably well.

 

Dirty Politics Memes

The funny thing about going through the Kiwiblog archives, is that you come up with stories like this.

See here for more.

Update: Oh, and then there’s this one. And Nicky Hager has been wrong for some time, hasn’t he?

Some readers may recall the case of Brett Kimberlin in the US. Kimberlin is a convicted bomber, perjurer, drug runner and has various other crimes to his name.

Since his release from prison, he’s made a habit of attacking those who call him what he clearly is.

One of his lawsuits is against various conservative bloggers, filed in the state of Maryland. (There’s also a federal case). That case came to trial this week.

Obliviously, with his convictions, the idea that calling him a terrorist is not deformation. So the case ended up focusing on the allegations of paedophilia, a crime which he appears to have committed but not been convicted of. 

Here’s one version of what happened

In order to prove a defamation case in Maryland, the plaintiff must prove that what the defendant said or wrote was false. Brett Kimberlin could not do that. After putting his older daughter, Aaron, Ali, Stacy, and me on the stand, he had produced no evidence of falsity. He had no case. With the jury sent out of the courtroom, Judge Johnson incredulously asked him, “Is it your theory that you can come into court and say, “I was defamed,” and rest your case?” Because TDPK had offered no evidence for the jury to consider in its deliberation, the judge ruled that there was no case, and gave a verdict in favor of the Aaron, Stacy, Ali, and me as a matter of law.

Clearly, his first step would be to show that he was not a paedophile. But outside of calling his own daughter as a witness (which proves pretty much nothing), he called the people he himself was suing. That didn’t go so well.

But I knew things were going to go very bad for Brett when he asked me the question “why do you believe I am a pedophile?”  You do notask a guy with a semi-photographic memory a question like that.  So I went over Jessica/Debbie Barton, another fifteen year old girl he told singer he had been “romancing,” his teen dream, and then as I was getting to his wife, I got interrupted, but I got to that story a few minutes later.  He did not enjoy, for instance, hearing me recite the story his wife told me about her walking in on him kissing her twelve year old cousin.  In short I was able to recite most of the facts laid out inthis post (which this title is riffing off of) and he clearly regretted it.

 

One thing that kept occurring, also, is Brett kept expecting me to spontaneously blurt out his narrative, rather than, you know, reality.  So he asked me if I said that we should destroy his daughter’s life “because of the corruption of the blood?”  All of this comes from having written this post which, as you might notice, does not say that at all.  So I remember specifically answering “no, I have literally said the opposite.  I have said that we should as much as practicable shield your daughter from the effects of your misconduct.”  

Here’s the thing: if someone acuses you of a crime, and you sue them for deformation, your first job is to show that they are wrong. Really wrong. Reading these accounts of the trial, Kimberlin really didn’t bother to do that. He didn’t even come close to trying.

So, the court had no choice to (effectively) declare that “Brett Kimberlin is a paedophile” is a true statement. I mean, he didn’t bother to refute it, did he? And it wasn’t like he had spent months of effort filing a case in order to “clear his name”. If he had the proof, that was the time to present it. If he didn’t have it, he should have withdrawn the case.

Biggest legal backfire in history? Quite possibly.

New Zealand’s Watergate

In 1972, the Deomcratic party’s HQ was the subject of a bungled attempt at a break in.

This lead to a scandal that is so well known, that it became known as “Watergate” after the hotel, and almost every scandal in the English speaking world having the “-gate” suffix attached.

Why would you break into a competing party’s headquarters? Well, you’d find information, strategies, and other things that the opposing party is using legitimately. But you’d also find material that would be embarrassing – possibly even criminal if released to the general public.

What’ we’ve seen this week has been much the same.

Imagine the Republican party operatives who broke into Watergate succeeded.

Imagine they leaked the documents to a known, friendly journalist who wrote a book without checking with any other sources, compromising principles that journalist previously claimed to hold proudly. Imagine that those affected were able to claim with credibility that not just one break-in had occurred.

What we have here is a lot like Watergate. Only, where that break-in failed and backfired, this one succeeded. Only, it didn’t really find anything much, in 8gb worth of stolen material. So little new material in fact, that the media are really struggling to find anything. So little, that an entire chapter is about a man who’s email wasn’t even hacked, and thus, relies entirely on banal, already-public information.

And, just in case you thought this book was somehow principled, it ignores long-standing allegations of worse behaviour from the other side of the isle. (For all Slater’s faults, he has always blogged under his own name, and has never made the slightest secret of his connections to that party.)

Yet, what we have are opposition leaders praising those who engaged in the dirty trick, claiming that the stolen documents show serious flaws in our democracy. There are even journalists condemning the condemnation of the guilty party.

Here’s what the politicians said about it:

Labour Party leader David Cunliffe says allegations made in Nicky Hager’s new book ‘Dirty Politics’ are “the closest New Zealand’s got to its own kind of Watergate”.

How about The Greens?

The Green Party is to lodge a series of official complaints over allegations contained in Dirty Politics.

The party was also promising to hold a Royal Commission of Inquiry if elected “to get to the bottom of what has gone on and to seek recommendations on how to rebuild a clean and fair political system in New Zealand”.

[I would note that I have previously called for a Royal Inquiry into the 2005 election, and the attempts by the Labour party to intimidate public servants regarding their theft of $800,000 of public money and their breaking of electoral law and the subsequent attempt to change said law to their own advantage.

To the very best of my knowledge, the Green Party never came close to making such a demand, and still defends and supports the law changes to this day.]

“The New Zealand public cannot have any confidence in our democracy until these claims are investigated and [alleged] offenders held to account.”

The party revealed this morning complaints would be lodged with the police, Parliamentary Service, the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security and the Privacy Commissioner relating to the allegations of “corruption and abuse of power”.

John Key has degraded our democracy,” Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei said.

What about Winston Peters?

Winston Peters is comparing the revelations in Nicky Hager’s book Dirty Politics to the Watergate scandal that brought down US president Richard Nixon.

Note the language used. People are comparing the allegations spun from material from a successful break in, with a failed attempt at a break in to extract similar material.

Ladies and gentlemen, a more cynical bit of politics you will not find.

Update: Try this: There was a break in, the material gathered is being compared to water-gate.

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