Thursday, August 7, 2008

Allegations - oh the allegations

It’s been a funny week hasn’t – apparently according to John Key, tapes have been doctored, Nicky Hagar hacked into Nationals computers, Labour are behind secret recordings and someone from Labour has spread trash all over John Keys lawn.

Funny how on the night Key pointed out that this was life in a goldfish bowl and that Politicians had to be careful what they said, overnight that changed after he was ‘consulted’ by his consultants to come out accusing the tapes were doctored, Hagar had hacked, Labour was behind it and someone had gone through his trash.

Really? Well the tapes being doctored is absurd, why would anyone Doctor these recordings when Bill English has apologized for the comments and John Key has defended Lockwoods comments – if they were doctored why defend and aplogise for the comments? The second farce is that Nicky Hagar hacked into National’s computer to get the Hollow Men e-mails, the Police have investigated this and have declared they have no evidence of hacking, and seeing as Don Brash read all his emails on paper at the end of each day their was no need to hack into the emails, Don provided them all each day. The question is what happened to those emails between Don reading them and their supposed destruction by the shredder. That neutron bomb is a ticking isn’t it, if John really wants to lie about this issue of how Nicky Hagar got the emails perhaps someone should enlighten him and the people of NZ – a neutron bomb can really flash fry any hopes of getting elected.

As for the tapes themselves, well English says he’s trying to sort out Working for Families and is consciously trying to shut it down as an issue in the election thus he can be accused of not seeking a mandate for the changes because he knows he couldn’t get a mandate from the public. He went on to say Kiwibank would be sold eventually, he says the public have been taken in by the song and dance man John Key “that nice My Key” while Locky confirms that that there is an agenda National intend to implement but not officially as it’ll scare the horses.

Add to this the past history of many of National’s old boys who lied about Policy before they were elected only to implement a completely different agenda when elected (it was that collapse of political capital that heralded the change to MMP in the first place) and look only to the last election 3 years ago to see the dirty tactics National were using to get elected. It would only be the most naive of people who would now want to give National the benefit of the doubt in a Colin James way believing that National really have moderated and are intent on winning two terms and thus they will be gently gently on policy if elected.

As for the ethics of taping someone secretly, Gordon Campbell from Scoop sums it up nicely…

…is it more unethical for a delegate to tape someone speaking candidly or a for a political party to dedicate its campaign efforts to not being candid, and thereby assisting the public to deceive itself?

Frankly, if a lone activist with a $200 dictaphone can defeat the massed phalanxes of p.r. bullshit, and thereby give the public a clearer idea of what the next government may actually do when elected, then surely that’s all to the good - isn’t it?…

So far, the public has been the winner. In the wake of the taping, National’s response this week has actually been quite informative. We now know more about what it plans to do about Kiwibank, Working for Families and Kiwisaver than we did before the tapes were leaked. This has been a big advance towards an informed electorate, in that the tapes and their aftermath have told us far more than the National Party’s skeletal policy releases.

The question really is have any of the below leopards really changed their spots, oh sure, that “Nice Mr Key” is charming and wins over those Labour-plus punters, but have any of these men changed and how will the addition of Rodger Douglas effect this?

Oh and gosh, wasn’t that nice Mr Hoskings hard on that nice Mr Key? Note how John won’t say he won’t sell Kiwibank on Close Up, just “we can’t imagine a sale” nonesense.

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