Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

‘Dirty Politics’ revisited: More evidence of deceit and covering tracks

It’s funny how the brain works. Earlier this week, I passed a copy of Nicky Hager’s book Dirty Politics on to a new workmate after he’d expressed a harshly negative opinion of Hager — but when I asked him if he’d read any of Hager’s books he admitted he had not. Rather than lend him mine, I […]

The Hollow Man: PM’s “fabricated” smear on Snowden documents

Evoking FUD (Fear Uncertainty and Doubt) is a tactic commonly used by tobacco lobbyists and climate change denialists – attempting to impugn the veracity of evidence. In this case the Prime Minister’s empty smear has been exposed …   The NZ Herald‘s David Fisher reports … The Prime Minister’s office has said it has no factual basis for […]

Russell Brand’s (quieter) Ed ‘Milibrand’ interview

I heard excerpts of this interview on BBC PM early this morning — and wanted to watch it. I’m glad I did. Good to see the ‘despondency message’ (“Why vote? It doesn’t matter”) Brand has promoted being challenged. Miliband’s points – making change through politicians can be hard work, slower than you want, and subject to […]

Public relations and the anti-democratic style of politics

I had an interesting chat online with some other journos yesterday/last night about the place (or, in my view, lack of place) of paid PR propagandists like Matthew Hooton as ‘pundits’ or ‘panelists’ in news and current affairs shows. (Click the image below to read around the conversation on Twitter. There was quite a lot […]

Guest post: The history of Propaganda

Paul Bieleski from Nelson sent this in as a comment on the last post … I found it interesting. – P Propaganda The “Congregation for Propagating the Faith” founded by the Catholic Church in 1622 is where our use of the word propaganda has come from. Its activity was aimed at “propagating” the Catholic faith […]

“Cameron Slater/Whaleoil is a bastard and we’ll do him over.” Reaping what you sow.

By happy coincidence, as I was driving with family to Hunua Falls (above) for a swim and a picnic on Good Friday, I tuned into Radio NZ National in time to hear a panel discussion from a book festival held in Christchurch last year. It featured Guardian reporter and The Snowden Files author Luke Harding, Perth (Australia) […]

Sorry, but this man is treating us like children (or fools)

John Key's line:   As I had reason to tell someone in a completely different context recently … No doubt Mr Key's line, “Look, members of the news media, despite what those NSA/GCSB documents say, you're completely wrong — but it's not my job to tell you how you are” approach will work for some […]

BBC Scotland on spying. Some of the same issues and questions as New Zealand

I heard part of this BBC Scotland report by Eamonn O’Neill as he “explores the world of contemporary espionage” this morning and recognised several of the same talking points about increased state security agency surveillance keeping us ‘safe’ as are deployed here in New Zealand — it’s right there in the title: ‘How safe are […]

So why say it, Mr Cameron?

Very odd. See also Cory Doctorow’s article at Boingboing: ‘What David Cameron just proposed would endanger every Briton and destroy the IT industry‘

From ‘News of the World tactics’, journalists as ‘little henchmen’ to … #hypocrisy

See earlier: Teapot tape saga sputters out with withdrawal of ‘costs’ action against cameraman.

“We love surveillance”

On the day it’s announced that Ian Fletcher is to depart from the GCSB, a few thoughts about surveillance … British PM David Cameron is already making the appropriate noises … nicely framed by John Gruber at DaringFireball.net. And, for context, here’s Mr Fletcher’s rather soothing speech to the 2014 Privacy Forum …

Alexa O’Brien, Amnesty International, testimony to Catalonia Parliament re Chelsea Manning

This testimony by Alexa O’Brien provides a good, compact ‘highlights’ package/history of the treatment whistle-blower Chelsea Manning received at the hands of the US Military judicial system. The video features her speaking with a translator (21 mins) while in the audio below (mp3 10 mins) the translator has been trimmed out. Worth paying attention to, […]

Lawmakers and ‘leaders of our community’ in action

“Pungent aroma of dickwad” — not my most eloquent criticism, but it will suffice. When they’re not busy enabling warrantless spy agency surveillance powers (under urgency) these lions of the Parliament, Peter Dunne and Jami-Lee Ross take potshots at opposition MPs as ‘muppets, cult-followers, hillbillies, bigots and racists’. How ignoble. [View the story “Conversation with […]

Peter Watts at Canada Privacy Symposium — ‘Burn the Data to the Ground’

A surprising and very interesting presentation about authoritarian surveillance — its link to fear, and being aware of hard-wired responses including dominance and anti-predator behaviours … with a side swipe at the roots of ‘religious belief’. I like Peter Watts’ approach to the topic, looking back at the powerful and another take on ‘only the […]

John Pilger on the shabby persecution of Julian Assange

I have respected John Pilger since before I trained and entered journalism in the 1980s. I respect his courage and his tenacity, his willingness to show up and tell the truth as he sees it. He’s also no fool. So, although it may not be a popular stand, in terms of some people’s interpretation of […]