Cameron Slater and Judith Collins are both bare-faced liars.
Both of them.
Here is why…
In the latest revelations, information disclosed by Rawshark/Whaledump to the NZ Herald alleges in further leaked sensitive information from disgraced former Justice Minister, Judith Collins, to far-right psychopath and National Party blogger;
Former police minister Judith Collins is depicted in alleged social media conversations discussing the leak of evidence in a high profile case to blogger Cameron Slater, according to new information from the hacker Rawshark.
The alleged evidence was a video connected to the controversial Urewera raids that showed those arrested in an unfavourable light after charges against them were dropped, according to comments attributed to Slater.
The emergence of conversations between Ms Collins and Slater has sparked claims from both parties that the hacker has given the Herald manufactured forgeries.
When Herald reporter David Fisher inquired further, Collins replied;
Ms Collins said she had “no record” of “Facebook conversations” after the Herald sent her material supplied by Rawshark. “I believe you have forged documents. You are likely to have been taken in by a criminal. I am now considering lodging a complaint to police regarding what I believe to be forgeries.”
To which Fisher asked with perfect reasonableness;
When asked why she referred to Facebook when the Herald never said where the transcripts came from, she said it was the only social media outlet she used other than Twitter.
In the same report, Cameron Slater ‘tweeted';
“Latest smear is false, I have never had FB conversations with @judithcollinsmp.”
Collins also stated, via Twitter;
“I have no record of any FB [Facebook] conversations with Whale Oil. Cam Slater has advised that he had no FB conversations with me. Forgeries?”
Let’s check the evidence, shall we?
Claim: that Facebook and Twitter are the only social media outlet she uses other than Twitter.
Truth: Collins Collins does indeed use emails, as she candidly admitted on 14 August;
“I’m just not going to go into the details because the fact is I’m perfectly entitled to send emails to a close friend of mine, and I’m absolutely entitled to be as gossipy and friendly in those as I want.”
“They talked often by phone, and in the evenings and weekends they chatted via Facebook. In work hours Collins e-mailed him directly from her sixth-floor Beehive office.”
The entire chapter 4, “The Crusher and the attack dog“, is devoted to many Facebook conversations between Collins and Slater.
“6. Judith Collins, Facebook messaging to Cameron Slater, 27 August 2011. Collins’s Facebook messaging is recorded under the name ‘Facebook User’, presumably for fear of her words reaching the public, but there is no doubt it is her.”
“What happened is Warren Tucker didn’t come to me, he went to his legal adviser and his legal advisers told him this is the process they have to follow and when he was going through that process it was at that point he told me he’d release it because he has to tell me that under the no-surprises doctrine,” – John Key, post-Cabinet press conference.
“In the context of that video, ‘me’ meant my office,” John Key, media briefing
Splitting hairs. National Party style. Cute.
It is simply not remotely credible that Collins and Slater did not converse via Facebook. As Collins admitted on 2 September, “Facebook […] was the only social media outlet [I] used other than Twitter”.
Liars. Both of them.
Meanwhile, it should be noted that Judith Collins’ and John Key’s media strategists have given them new lines to use in public;
“You are likely to have been taken in by a criminal.”
“At the end of the day, I don’t know whom this criminal has been hacking.”
” I don’t know what’s real and what’s not. It’s not my job to prove that.”
“The responsibility is on the criminal to demonstrate that they are actually real or not,” says Mr Key.
Expect those phrases (or variations thereof) to be repeated like Key’s latest mantra.
It is another indication how desperate National is to discredit Rawshark/Whaledump.
There must be something truly awful in the works if the Nats are expending so much effort to smear an anonymous leaker.
The latest statement from whaledump/Rawshark;
“They think they can get away with it because they deleted the original Facebook account that Collins was using, so it doesn’t have her name on it. That’s stupid.”
Interesting to note that the Herald’s David Fisher is covering this story and Jared Savage is being kept well away from it.
NZ Herald: New leak claim hits Judith Collins
Fairfax media: Key’s ‘position correct’ on SIS briefing
Above image acknowledgment: Francis Owen/Lurch Left Memes
This blogpost was first published on The Daily Blog on 3 September 2014
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Looking through the on-line Budget document on Treasury’s website, I happened to notice something… peculiar.
The following page is entitled Responsibly managing the Government’s finances and is part of Finance Minister Bill English’s summary. As such, it is a political document and not a Treasury report.
Note the five graphs on this page. Notice anything about them?
Let me “lump” them together, so they can be better compared;
Note the starting dates on each graph. They differ in nearly each case;
At first glance, there appears no reason for the difference start-dates of each graph.
That is, until you look at what each graph represents.
Graphs number 2, 4, and five show the previous Labour government in an unfavourable fiscal light.
#2: Shows “Core Crown Revenue” falling from 2006, and “Core Crown Expenses” rising from around the same time.
#4: Shows “Budget Operating Allowances” much higher under Labour – highlighted by the use of red and blue column lines – than National. The 2008 red-bar is erroneous.
#5: Shows “90 Day Interest Rates” higher under Labour than National – again highlighted by the use of red and blue graph lines.
Meanwhile, graphs 1 and 3 show National in a more positive position;
#1: Shows “Total Crown operating balance before gains and losses (OBEGAL)” starting from 2012/13, and reducing. There is no prior context depicted for any previous years. The overall impression is a favourable one to the viewer.
#3: Shows “Net Core Crown Debt” rising from 2009; peaking at 2013/14; and dropping thereafter. Again, there is no prior context depicted for any previous years.
If we replace the mis-leading charts with more accurate representations, the picture is unsurprisingly different. A verticle red line on the right hand, accurate graph, pinpoints where Bill English’s graph (on the left) starts.
1. Total Crown operating balance before gains and losses (OBEGAL)
The more accurate version on the right gives a more complete picture of successive government’s Total Crown operating balance before gains and losses (OBEGAL), and put’s National’s record in context.
2. Core Crown revenue and expenses
The more accurate version on the right gives a more complete picture of successive government’s Core Crown revenue and expenses, and put’s National’s record in context.
This next one is a personal favourite of mine, and National/ACT supporters hate it with a passion.
3. Net core Crown debt
The more accurate version on the right gives a more complete picture of successive government’s Net core crown debt, and put’s National’s record in context. It also happens to highlight Labour’s track record in reducing the country’s sovereign debt – something that jars with Right Wing historical revisionism that attempts to depict Labour as an incompetent fiscal manager.
4. Budget operating allowances
Whilst English’s graph (on the left) has a start point in 2004, it is highly inaccurate. Note the red bar for 2008, showing Labour having a Budget operating allowance of around $7 billion. This is false. As the blue bar on the graph on the right shows, the Budget operating allowance for 2008 was just under $2.5 billion – one third of what English’s chart depicts.
Note: the chart on the right, with the blue bars is taken from Budget 2013 – Bill English’s own document from last year. The correct data (blue graph) is supported by a 2010 Treasury working-paper, Fiscal Institutions in New Zealand and the Question of a Spending Cap.
Either the red bar for 2008 is an error – or a deliberate attempt to further portray the previous Labour government in a bad light. Considering that three out five graphs appear to have been selectively presented, the possibility that the 2008 red-bar was deliberately fudged cannot be excluded.
5. 90-day interest rates
English writes that “Future Budget allowances are set at sustainable levels… [graph inserted] ...which is helping to take pressure off interest rates“.
Actually, the reason that the OCR and 90 Day Rates are currently at a historic low has little to do with “future budget allowances“. The Reserve Bank does not set current OCR/90 Day Bill Rates against “future” budget allowances.
Indeed, the RBNZ dropped the OCR to 2.5% in April 2009, the following year from recession hitting our economy.
There is next to no reason for English to have included the 90 Day Interest Rate in his Budget document, except to attempt to take credit for historically low interest rates that were the result of a global financial crisis and not because of any actions his government took in 2007/08.
Not unless he, John Key, and the rest of the National caucus were sitting in Board Rooms across Wall Street?
Not unless he, John Key, and the rest of the National Party were in government a full year before the 2008 general election?
And not unless Bill English also wants to also claim responsibility for high interest rates in the 1990s, when the National Party governed under the leadership of Jim Bolger, with finance ministers Ruth Richardson and Bill Birch? When interest rates peaked at over 15% in 1990 and were consistently high throughout the 1990s.
Unsurprisingly, this is one graph that did not find it’s way into Bill English’s 2014 Budget document;
As for Budget 2014 – I suspect it is a document that will soon reveal more hidden surprises for us all.
NZ Treasury: Operating Balance (2002-2011)
NZ Treasury: Core Crown revenue and expenses (2000-2014)
NZ Treasury: Net core Crown debt (2002-2012)
NZ Treasury: Operating Allowances
Reserve Bank NZ: 90-day rate
Reserve Bank NZ: Mortgage interest rates — since 1990
Above image acknowledgment: Francis Owen/Lurch Left Memes
This blogpost was first published on The Daily Blog on 19 May 2014.
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When we break the law, the police come calling.
When National does it, they just change the law.
That’s how it’s done in New Zealand, circa 21st Century…
FROM: "f.macskasy" SUBJECT: Letters to the editor DATE: Thu, 08 May 2014 11:32:27 +1200 TO: Listener <email@example.com>
.The Editor The Listner . John Key’s government passed legislation last year which now legalises GCSB spying on New Zealanders, albeit with a “warrant” and with Prime Ministerial “over-sight”. Key says we now have legal protection to protect our privacy. Of course, that did not stop the GCSB from breaking the old law, and spying on eightyeight New Zealanders. That’s despite the old law being quite specific in it’s prohibition on domestic spying; Section 14 of the original Government Communications Security Bureau Act 2003 was quite specific “Neither the Director, nor an employee of the Bureau, nor a person acting on behalf of the Bureau may authorise or take any action for the purpose of intercepting the communications of a person (not being a foreign organisation or a foreign person) who is a New Zealand citizen or a permanent resident.” Which made a mockery of John Key’s mis-leading assertion on 9 April last year; “In addition, the Act governing the GCSB is not fit for purpose and probably never has been. It was not until this review was undertaken that the extent of this inadequacy was known…” Law-breaking and lies – the hallmark of National’s behaviour on this issue. But the supreme irony here? John Key has allowed the GCSB to spy on New Zealanders or to receive data on New Zealanders gathered by overseas spy agencies - thereby circumventing the amended law. But health-service providers are not allowed to share information with family members, where necessary, because of “privacy concerns”. Monty Python couldn’t have scripted this farce any better. -Frank Macskasy [name & phone number supplied]
Radio NZ: Hear more of Ian Fletcher on Morning Report (audio)
Dominion Post: Spy boss denies mass surveillance
John Key.co.nz: PM releases report into GCSB compliance
Legislation.co.nz: Government Communications Security Bureau Act 2003
Above image acknowledgment: Francis Owen/Lurch Left Memes
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John Key yesterday ( 10 February) admitted that his government had unilaterally cancelled the passports of “a small group” of New Zealanders, fighting alongside anti- al-Assad forces in Syria. According to Key, others have had their passports cancelled so as to prevent them reaching Syria.
Key’s actions raise several questions.
Firstly. Cancelling a New Zealander’s passport essentially renders that person stateless; unable to travel; unable to return home; and liable to arrest. Such a move leaves New Zealanders in an untenable position.
Secondly, it may also be illegal.
Unilaterally cancelling a New Zealander’s pass, without that person being convicted in a Court of Law, deprives that person of the right to travel. A citizen’s right to travel is a basic human right and up to now, only authoritarian governments have controlled such movements.
John Key has effectively lined up with the likes of North Korea and the former Soviet-bloc, in controlling the movements of New Zealanders who have broken no law, and been convicted of no offence.
Thirdly, John Key justifies his actions by stating,
“They obviously don’t put their hand up and say they’re going to be freedom fighters in Syria when they leave. They present a different set of reasons why they might be leaving the country. We have the capacity to cancel a passport if we believe somebody is going into a war zone, for instance, to fight in a way we don’t think is sensible.”
How patronising of our esteemed Prime Minister that he has taken it upon himself to determine whether or not “somebody is going into a war zone, for instance, to fight in a way we don’t think is sensible“.
Considering that – up to the invasion of Iraq in 2003 – successive New Zealand governments have not hesitated to committing New Zealand troops into war-zones, it it a bit late in the day for a Prime Minister to be worrying about “somebody going into a war zone to fight in a way we don’t think is a sensible step for them”. Tell that to the 18,500 troops killed in World War One; 12,000 killed in World War Two; 33 in the Korean War; 37 in Vietnam, and others since then.
Fourthly, the sheer hypocrisy of Key’s actions and comments defy belief. Not once has he, nor his predecessors, commented on those New Zealanders who have join and actively served on foreign armies.
Such as New Zealanders serving in the Australian Army;
Note the comment in the above story,
“The NZ Defence Force, meanwhile, confirmed yesterday that it employs a similar “lateral recruitment” process to attract soldiers from around the world. A spokesman said it was “fairly standard practice” for international armies to trade staff…”
And New Zealanders serving in the British Army;
The above story also refers to other New Zealanders serving in other armies,
“He is the fifth New Zealand-born soldier to die in action in Afghanistan.
Two were serving with Australian forces, one with US, and one with New Zealand troops.”
Plus New Zealanders joining the Israeli Army;
Or the curious case of Tony Resnick, who departed New Zealand under a cloud, and ended up in the Israeli Army.
So there is nothing particularly unusual about New Zealanders taking it upon themselves to enlist in the armies of other nations. Quite a few even end up on battlefields where some are killed
Has John Key ever cancelled their passports?
Is Key also worried about New Zealanders returning from foreign Army involvement?
“From time to time, we need to track the activities of New Zealanders, we need to be sure of their whereabouts and we certainly need to be clear that if they return to New Zealand, whether they pose a threat to other New Zealanders if they have become radicalised.”
Key has also been reluctant to disclose how many New Zealanders have been affected by this potentially illegal decision. He said “a small group“.
Ali Akil, of Syrian Solidarity New Zealand, has said in a NZ Herald story that he was aware of only two brothers who had been affected – and the cancellation had not been instigated by the GCSB or SIS,
“According to my sources, their parents are the ones who called up and asked for them to be stopped,” he said, accusing Mr Key of “scaremongering and providing twisted information for political gain”.
Ali Akil also added,
“John Key has suggested very few people have [gone to Syria], and mentioned they have gone there to fight against the Assad regime which is actually something that we should honour them for, not strip them of their rights for,” he told Morning Report.
He questioned why Mr Key would “criminalise” those who decide to fight against Bashar al-Assad’s regime, which is known to have used chemical weapons against civilians.
“The New Zealand Government has actually sent our own New Zealand soldiers to Iraq and Afghanistan to liberate them from dictators, or so we were told. Isn’t it ridiculous to now criminalise those who choose to do exactly the same thing in Syria?”
It is rather strange for Key to be harassing freedom fighters who are wanting to topple one of the worst dictatorships in the Middle East, as it was only last year that Key condemned the Syrian government for using chemical weapons against it’s own people. In fact, Key was reportedly critical of the UN Security Council not doing enough;
Key, who made a stinging attack on the Security Council in his address to the UN General Assembly yesterday, said the resolution did not go as far as New Zealand would have liked in holding the Assad regime to account.
“But it does do the most important job which is set out a programme for how chemical weapons will be collected up in Syria, destruction of those chemical weapons and hopefully a process for ensuring Syrians are kept safe form weapons that should never be deployed from anybody.”
He stated in no uncertain terms;
“This organisation would not also have been a powerless bystander to the Syrian tragedy for over two years if the lack of agreement among the Security Council’s Permanent Members had not shielded the Assad regime.”
Mr Key called for the Security Council to take strong action by passing against Syria for its use of chemical weapons.
“These are war crimes.”
New Zealanders want to fight a regime that has committed war crimes – and Key repays their willingness to oppose this evil by stripping them of their pass ports, and in other cases, actively preventing them from leaving the country?!
Especially when, on 30 August last year, Key himself voiced support for the United Nations using force against the Syrian regime,
He quite clearly said,
“We think that’s the right thing to do but we wouldn’t hold our breath that that would receive the unanimous support that would be required.”
Do I detect the rank, rotting odour of hypocrisy (again) from our Prime Minister?
There is more to this issue than some young men wanting to join a fight to rid the world of a despotic dictator and his bloody regime (and this blogger will not shed a tear with the inevitable demise of Syrian President Bashar Assad and his criminal stooges).
Key obviously has a hidden reason for releasing this information, and I doubt very much if it relates one bit to any so-called concerns for the well-being of these young men.
Key has his own agenda:
So what does John Key and his National Ministers do? Do they, make the law more explicit that the GCSB “may not authorise or take any action for the purpose of intercepting the communications of a person who is a New Zealand citizen or a permanent resident”?
Instead National has amended the law – in effect legalising the illegal “88 cases identified as having a question mark over them since 2003” (source) through a new Government Communications Security Bureau and Related Legislation Amendment Bill.
National is also enacting the new amendment – under Urgency – which will give the GCSB the right to now spy on a person who is a New Zealand citizen or a permanent resident.
Remember – there is no Cold War. That ended 24 years ago.
But you wouldn’t think so.
Instead, Key now makes references to other “threats” to New Zealand,
- “There are people within our country who have links to offshore terrorist groups.” – John Key, 15 April 2013
- “…covert attempts to acquire New Zealand’s science and technology for programmes related to weapons of mass destruction or weapons delivery systems.” - John Key, 15 April 2013
- “This shows New Zealand’s public and private organisations are facing increasing risks of cyber intrusion which could compromise their operations and could result in the theft of valuable intellectual property.” – John Key, 7 May 2013
When asked to be specific about these claims, Key replied,
“I cannot tell New Zealanders everything our intelligence agencies are doing, or what the details of their operations are.” (Source)
And as reported, Key was less than forthcoming about other matters relating to the GCSB’s activities,
He refused to say what the support was that the GCSB provided to the Defence Force, police and SIS.
“I’m not going to go into the details of what they do.”
He also refused to say whether information on New Zealanders was passed on to foreign agencies.
Acknowledgement: John Key – PM releases report into GCSB compliance
But he did admit that not one of those 88 New Zealanders spied on by the GCSB has been prosecuted for any wrongdoing whatsoever.
Not one, as Key admitted,
“ Police have conducted a thorough check of all their systems. Police advise that no arrest, prosecution or any other legal processes have occurred as a result of the information supplied to NZSIS by GCSB .”
It is an old, tried-and-tested, simple plan; spook the public using a variant of a reds-under-the-bed bogey-man “threat”, and watch them run into the ballot booth to tick the ‘National’ box.
It worked in 1981, when Muldoon portrayed the anti-Tour protestors as “commies” and a threat to the “Kiwi way of life”.
Will up-coming Edward Snowden revelations refer to New Zealand, including material that is absolutely damaging to John Key’s government?
And is the so-called threat of New Zealanders being ‘radicalised’ in a Middle East conflict, and returning home to wage an implied “Jihad”, a scare-tactic to justify whatever shonkey or illegal activities that the GCSB/SIS/government has been engaging in?
Is this yet another distraction during election year (see #1 above), with more to come?
Because – and here is the point – governments very rarely (if ever) disclose what the SIS and GCSB have been up to.
So – what was the motivation of standing up at a media conference, in front of the entire nation, and telling everyone what our security/intelligence agencies have been engaged in?
There is much, much more to this than Key has let on.
And it has bugger all to do with Al Quaeda bogeymen or a bunch of idealistic young men who want a dictator gone. Remember – this is John Key we’re talking about.
What was it that Ali Akil, of Syrian Solidarity New Zealand, said about John Key? He accused…
“… Mr Key of “scaremongering and providing twisted information for political gain”.
It didn’t take long for this immigrant to our country to suss our Prime Minister, did it?
The Jewish Agency for Israel: Canadian youths leave home to join Israeli army
NZ Herald: At home with the Mossad men
NZ Herald: We’ll watch returning fighters, says Key
NZ Herald: Kiwi fighters being misinformed, says Syrian
Fairfax media: Key: Syria deal doesn’t go as far as I’d like
NZ Herald: John Key’s scathing attack on UN failings
NZ Radio: Syria action ‘may be outside law’
Previous related blogposts
This blogpost was first published on The Daily Blog on 12 February 2014.
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