Matthew Hooton’s assertions re the Prime Minister’s Office

hooton‘Explosive’ is one of those words that gets kicked around in politics and political reporting to the point where it’s almost lost its meaning.

But it’s not an exaggeration to describe right wing spin doctor and self-declared National Party loyalist Matthew Hooton‘s performance on RadioLIVE this morning as incendiary. He effectively called Prime Minister John Key ‘dishonest’, said the PM’s office and chief of staff Wayne Eagleson is implicated in the Dirty Tricks scandal (viz. the SIS-Goff-OIA affair) and more, described Jason Ede’s black-ops brigade as ‘acting under orders’.

And in a fiery exchange, he described former National Party President (and present-day apologist) Michelle Boag as ‘a hack’ with ‘no political views’ who is ‘all about is defending a government that has behaved in ways that [are] literally indefensible and you know it’ …

Listen for yourself.

UPDATE: The ‘fiery exchange’ has now been highlighted as a RadioLIVE editor’s audio pick here.

Available on demand at RadioLIVE.co.nz dial up Sunday 10am.*

Click to listen at Radio LIVE

Click to listen at Radio LIVE (archived below)

* I’ve archived it here too (audio player below) because RadioLIVE only keeps 7 days audio available and I’ve noticed sometimes Mediaworks launders its talkback station’s audio feed when things get … contentious.
Continue reading →

    Sean Plunket comes around on the Watergate comparison (‘Dirty Politics’)

    Sean Plunket-logoHere’s RadioLIVE talkback host Sean Plunket from this morning — thinking his way through the prickly situation revealed in Nicky Hager’s book Dirty Politics … and finding the comparison to Watergate and the dirty tricks orchestrated from Richard Nixon’s office is actually apt.


    Sean Plunket acknowledges the need for a high level inquiry into the matters raised in Nicky Hager’s book Dirty Politics.
    MP3 file

    “The book has been a catalyst …the parallel in terms of a sanctioned dirty tricks brigade is there…”


    Sean Plunket admits it’s taken him a while to see the implications of Dirty Politics.
    MP3 file

      Nicky Hager’s public meeting in Auckland last night

      Hager panorama DSC09471-1703w

      Author of ‘Dirty Politics’ Nicky Hager addresses a full-to-overflowing Mt Eden War Memorial Hall 27/8/14.
      (click to enlarge) Pic: Peter Aranyi

      Nicky Hager was in Auckland last night, at a public meeting called to give people the opportunity to hear from — and question — the author of Dirty Poltiics, book the author said is about ethics.

      Quite a good turnout (about 350-400) but I was surprised at the absence of MPs (did anyone notice a single MP?) in contrast to the anti-GCSB Bill public meeting last year.

      I understand video coverage of the meeting was live-streamed, so eventually there’ll be an archived video of it online. Let me know if you spot it and I’ll link to it here. (UPDATE: see below) I took some notes which I’ll add to this post later.

      Hager public meeting flyerSir Ted Thomas was excellent and spoke very warmly about Nicky Hager, then offered his analysis (as a retired judge) of the ‘public interest’ justifications for the invasions of privacy which reporting the content gained from the leaked emails, messages etc entailed.

      Nicky Hager explained the considerations he took to remove private, non-relevent items from the material, and how he weighed those issues. He described leaking as a ‘safety valve’.

      Hager’s talk was earnest and very reasonable in tone, i.e. not rabble-rousing. Just as he does in his book, he encouraged his audience to participate in politics — which he said is NOT the same as dirty politics

      Participate in politics. Otherwise we leave the field to the nastiest and most unscrupulous.
      Politics is the sum of the actions of everyone involved.
      Help build up the news media. Those of you who are bloggers, don’t imitate the attack blogs.
      Understand the politics we’re fighting and participate — participation is the antidote.

      More to come.

      UPDATE: Here you go … via Vincent Eastwood

      Continue reading →

        Read it and weep. Nicky Hager’s ‘Dirty Politics’

        DirtyPolitics-frame-1000w

        Nicky Hager‘s important new book Dirty Politics – How attack politics is poisoning New Zealand’s political environment is out (and quickly ‘sold out’ in some places).

        The information in Nicky Hager’s book exposes — and for some of us, confirms — our worst fears about the grubby activities being undertaken by nasty, dishonest people to manipulate politics in this country.

        Honestly, it is disgusting to read what they’ve been doing, and how they talk about it among themselves. That’s strong language, I know, but read the book and consider these matters for yourself. Hager has made the Preface of his book available here at www.dirtypoliticsnz.com

        I’ve just finished carefully reading it. Work obligations aside, I’d decided I wouldn’t comment on the book here at ThePaepae.com until I had read it all (including the detailed endnotes) partly to avoid fulfilling this:

        Haven_t_seen_this_many_people_commenting_on_a_book_without_reading_it_since_university_

        Besides frequent feelings of disgust and outrage about how dishonest, devious, cynical and downright nasty some of the players in this dirty game have been, I have come away from reading Dirty Politics feeling glad that I’ve opposed them and been a thorn in their side — even if in only a small way.

        Regular or occasional readers of The Paepae will know that for years I’ve tried to shine a light on some of the dark arts operators exposed in Hager’s book. I’ve criticised their actions, their deceit, their twisted ‘logic’, ‘morality’ and double standards. I’ve highlighted their abusive, fixated, relentless bullying and smears. And, as it turns out, I had fingered their hidden commercial PR, political propaganda activities and agenda.

        Balack-ops-300wA number of the characters exposed in Hager’s book have been the subject of scrutiny here …

        … as I’ve discussed their propagandising and smear campaigns.
        Looking back, I knew they were ‘dirty’ and I’m bloody glad I repeatedly hassled them for their deceit and manipulation.

        Jason Ede, cast in the book as the PM’s ‘black ops’ staffer, almost doesn’t feature at all here on The Paepae. Just one mention: Deceitful “PR blog” questions worth considering. That says a lot about the spin doctor’s determination to keep his actions on behalf of his masters hidden, below the radar. (Well, until now.)
        Wayne Eagleson, the Prime Minister’s chief of staff, features only on the periphery. I mentioned him around media management (vomit) at the ill-fated Urban cafe ‘cup of tea’ stunt with John Banks, and in relation to spying on Fairfax’s Andrea Vance around the Kitteridge report leak. I’ve always liked Wayne, since he was Rob Eady’s offsider in Jim Bolger’s office.
        Sarah Boyle doesn’t appear here. Maybe she should. Continue reading →

          Nice ‘Fancy’ spoof — ‘Ponsonby’

          from 2014 Auckland Law Revue featuring Miriam Moore.

            Robin Williams RIP

            pic: robinwilliams.com

            pic: robinwilliams.com

            What can one say about Robin Williams that hasn’t been said in the last 24 hours?

            I loved him, what I knew of him from his work.

            His brittle, manic side seemed always near the surface — but so too, even nearer and unmistakable, was his sensitive, heart-warming, generous, warm and encouraging side.

            Robin Williams inspired me.
            Farewell. Rest in peace.

            - P

              ‘Scarecrow’ by Alex and Sierra

              Boy, I’ve been looking forward to hearing what this heart-warming couple comes up with …

              Very nice.

              - P

              Acoustic version here, which I actually prefer.

                The escape of exnzpat, Part 23

                The Precipice

                I know much about my cell, too much, in fact.  In my more lucid moments there, I explored every inch of it, looking for ways and things I might use to kill myself with and, just because I live now, it does not mean to say I found nothing. Continue reading →

                  Quinn Norton talking sense about ‘surveillance’

                  An important message and perspective delivered in an entertaining way. Good on her.

                  Quinn Norton – When You Are the Adversary

                  (52 mins) If your name isn’t Barton Gellman, Laura Poitras, or Glenn Greenwald, chances are that while the NSA may be a rights-violating threat to all, it’s not your actual, day-to-day adversary. Real world adversaries tend to be spouses, parents, bosses, school administrators, random drive-by malware, and maybe local law enforcement. While federal threats create a terrible security culture, they aren’t stepping into the lives of most people. And while obsessing over various intelligence agencies and trying to build tools against them makes you feel like a badass, it doesn’t help most people. Fixing Flash and building easy to use communication tools does change the lives of countless people. This talk will focus on the infosec needs of the 99 percent – who aren’t geeks. This talk will touch upon the value of bad crypto when it lets someone escape an abusive spouse, and the common situations where tools that let people sidestep the requirements of their IT departments make the world a better place. Yes, the big bad guys still matter, but fighting a billion little bad guys probably matters more. — from HOPE X

                  More videos here

                    Obviously the start of a ‘We [fill-in-the-space]ed some folks’ meme

                    How the admission was covered at Mashable (click)

                    How the admission was covered at Mashable (click)

                    During an otherwise sleepy news conference about immigration and the economy, the president answered a question about the impending release of a Senate report that criticizes the CIA’s treatment of detainees after 9/11. “We did some things that were wrong,” Obama said. “We tortured some folks. We crossed the line and that needs to be understood.”
                    Obama said he believed the mistreatment happened because national security officials felt pressure to forestall another attack. He said Americans should not be too “sanctimonious” about passing judgment through the lens of a seemingly safer present day.

                    How long before we hear: “We spied on some folks” ?

                      Laid-back Tennis Court – Lorde (Diplo’s Andre Agassi Remix)

                        Look Up: a poem to make you think about ‘social’ media

                        ‘Look Up’ is a lesson taught to us through a love story, in a world where we continue to find ways to make it easier for us to connect with one another, but always results in us spending more time alone. — Written, Performed & Directed by Gary Turk.

                        Nice work. Think about it.

                        - P

                          Orwell on writing, sincerity and simplicity

                          Wonderful advice — especially in election season, when dealing with politicians and partisan nut jobs.

                          from Advice to Writers (click)

                          from Advice to Writers (click)

                          - P

                          Update: thinking about this reminded me of this just fabulous cartoon:

                          A writer? she gasped

                            Lovely work from ProPublica: The NSA Revelations All in One Chart

                            Click to visit the DYNAMIC chart at www.propublica.org

                            Click to visit the DYNAMIC chart at www.propublica.org (or right-click to enlarge)

                            The NSA Revelations All in One Chart — ProPublica.org

                              An (extra) step in the right direction: Apple extending two-factor authentication to iCloud.com log-in

                              A while back, I enabled two-factor authentication to a number of my accounts following Mat Honan’s terrible hacking story.*

                              This morning I noticed that, without any fanfare, Apple has extended that preference to the iCloud.com website portal …

                              Verify_iCloud_screen_1_7_14

                              … so that to log in to iCloud, I need to have one of my ‘trusted devices’. (Well, given the Snowden/NSA revelations, ‘trusted device’ is a relative term now, surely?)

                              iCloud_verify

                              Apple sends a four-digit verification code which is entered and voila!

                              iCloud_digits

                              Anyway, that’s a good step.

                              I highly recommend you enable two-factor authentication on your key accounts. It’s a small inconvenience with a huge potential pay-off in terms of security.

                              - P

                              * See Learning from Mat Honan’s disaster (Apple & me)