National's death by association | The Jackal

14 Aug 2014

National's death by association

You know that things are going horribly wrong for John Key's government when his propagandists are going out of their minds trying to downplay the revelations made in Nicky Hager's new book, Dirty Politics.

Not only has the seedy association between the National party and the right wings favourite attack bloggers been exposed for all to see, it appears that Nicky has done our democracy a great service by highlighting just how dirty and low down John Key's government is willing to sink.

Yesterday, Nicky Hager gave us some insight into how attack politics is poisoning New Zealand's political environment:

Early in 2014 Nicky Hager was leaked a large number of email and online conversations from Cameron Slater’s Whale Oil blog.

Many of these were between Slater and his personal allies on the hard right, revealing an ugly and destructive style of politics. But there were also many communications with the prime minister’s office and other Cabinet ministers in the National Government.

They show us a side of Prime Minister John Key and his government of which most New Zealanders are completely unaware. Key has constructed an easy-going and relaxed public image, declaring to the public that ‘there’s no room for negative campaigning in New Zealand.’

The reality is very different. His government has worked hand in hand with Slater and his collaborators in a sustained campaign of personal attacks against their political enemies, a deliberate but hidden strategy to avoid being held responsible for negative campaigning.

Everybody has speculated that this must be the case. However hard evidence that Cameron Slater and David Farrar were in effect working for John Key's government wasn't to be found, until now.

In my opinion this must read book should be a wake up call for the left wing. No longer can we be under any illusion that National or their propagandists are going to fight fair.

Clearly their underhanded tactics won't play well with many right wing voters either. In fact this will most likely mean the political death by association of John Key and the National party.

Here's the bit of Nicky Hager's preface that I found most interesting:

But when it comes to smears against Labour and other political opponents, the government and the attack bloggers do work together, with Ede as the primary conduit. When I write about National Party attack politics, readers will see that some attacks are collaborations with the prime minister’s office and the National Party, and some are with different parts of the Beehive, reflecting National’s deep factions. Sometimes political allies such as Slater and Farrar understand perfectly well what is in the party’s interests and do not need to be asked. But overall these activities systematically promote the interests of the party leadership, who are aware of and closely involved in many of the operations.

It wouldn't surprise me if National MPs actually have a hand in writing some of the disgusting articles on the aforementioned blogs.

The prime minister appears in the early chapters mainly through the work of his senior staffer, Jason Ede. But by 2014, later in the book, it is clear there are regular communications between John Key and Slater.

What New Zealander's really need to ask themselves is: do they want a party that's so closely associated with right wing hate merchants like Cameron Slater to be in power? Also, how illegitimate is National's governance considering the way they go about trying to secretly discredit their opponents?

The main problem here is that the government has enormous powers to gather whatever information they want. Who is to say that these powers haven't been abused just so that National's bloggers have something to attack the opposition with?

Clearly John Key has never once spoken out against Cameron Slater's slanderous muckraking, which coupled with the recent revelations contained in Nicky Hager's book, implies that he agrees with every disgusting sentence they have published on Whale Oil Beef Hooked.

The dirty tactics used by the National party lay exposed for all to see. Make no mistake; these are ugly people who are being shown up for what they really are...evil people doing evil things. It's about time that John Key did us all a favour and simply resigned.