If you’re entitled to – Register and vote

A celebrity ‘Get Out The Vote’ ad with a difference.

This 2016 US presidential election is “a tipping point.”

Hard to argue with that. Nor with the description of Donald Trump as “a racist abusive coward”. See what you think.

The harms of government hacking, and some suggested controls (Access Now)

This is another very good, clear explanation of some of the issues around government-sanctioned, usually secret interference with the internet. Well worth watching.

In justifications for these ‘interferences‘ (that’s the legal term) with our privacy and other human rights – like freedom of opinion and expression – much is made of the ‘threats’ that we supposedly face. But the perpetual secrecy and lack of notice these government agencies impose is, in my view, damaging to our democracies and damaging to the internet.

I’ve got a lot of time this speaker Amie Stepanovich. I think she’s very good and this presentation is worth your time, if you care about these issues as I do.

Also, here’s a relevant post on the accession.org website:
We can’t let governments hack away our human rights

– P

From the summary of Amie Stepanovich's report 'A Human Rights Response to Government Hacking'

From the summary of Amie Stepanovich’s report ‘A Human Rights Response to Government Hacking’

3 page Summary as PDF on Access Now site

Recommended: Stephanie Rodgers on Rawshark’s latest intervention

“Who was that masked man?” Rawshark breezes in and out.

This afternoon the whistleblower who fed Nicky Hager much of the material which formed the basis of Hager’s book Dirty Politics broke his/her self-imposed silence to shed some more light on the activities of Jordan Williams.

Currently Jordan Williams is defending his reputation by suing Colin Craig for [allegedly] defamatory remarks Craig made about Williams.

The twitter account @Whaledump2 whirred into life briefly with a series of  images which revealed somewhat relevant interchanges between Jordan Williams and Cameron Slater.

Stephanie Rodgers did a great job of summarising what was released and also makes some excellent points and commentary on her blog bootstheory.wordpress.com.

Check it out: Beware, creepy men of the right: Rawshark returns (briefly)

It’s a bit hard to avoid the conclusion that rightwing men are so lacking a moral compass that they happily exploit sexual intimacy to manipulate women to gain political ammunition.

If women were doing the same thing to men they’d be denounced as cuckolding honeytrap Jezebels from every direction. That’s the patriarchal double standard for you.

(Good on you Stephanie.)

– P

Erk! My emails! Wot?

Tl;dr version

There’s a been a problem with the email account for The Paepae  since April. Sigh. It’s fixed now. Please re-send anything you need to.  Thanks. -P

Longer version:

So, I went looking for my invitation to be a character witness at the Jordan Williams trial thinking maybe it had gone straight to spam, but discovered a setting was set incorrectly so ALL mail was being deleted on receipt. Unintentionally. 

Yep, ALL emails sent to this blog’s dedicated email account (Gmail, I know. Shame) since April have been deleted before they’ve reached me. Rats. 

It’s fixed now. 

So, if you’ve sent The Paepae an email since 29 April (or Carrick? replied to a reply I sent you) and you haven’t heard back, sorry. 

Try again. I haven’t been rudely  ignoring you. I just haven’t got them. 

– P

PS I’m drafting a note to my pals at @GSCBIntercepts to see if they can help, like that time they remotely reset the clock on my DVR, but they get really stretched around Kim Dotcom hearings, so I’m not too hopeful. 

“I don’t wanna be caught in your social machine”

I like Kimbra, as we’ve discussed. (That’s why she’s got a tag: Kimbra.)

She’s a smart, talented, no doubt hard-working artist and performer who writes songs that are deeper than your average pop earworm.

I’ve had this one, ‘Posse’, from her album Vows (which I bought on release) in my ears on some thinking walks recently. It’s been thought-provoking and meaningful as I’ve observed some machinations in the Twilight Zone of social media. I’m sorry for being so cryptic.

Check it out (with lyrics) below — see if you get anything from it.


Why does Jordan Williams expose himself to so much loathing, contempt and ridicule?


Jordan Williams shredding his own reputation as a lawyer by making inaccurate, incomplete claims in sworn testimony. Pic: Cameron Burnell/Fairfax NZ

Lawsuits are always risky. There’s a term for it: ‘Litigation risk’. As a person with a law degree, Jordan Williams should know that.

The boy-wonder with a penchant for deceit first caught my eye as the ‘front’ (as in, public face) of the grubby and dubious anti-MMP campaign ‘Vote for Change’. I wrote about that at the time and Jordan Williams features here at The Paepae now and then.

Prior to that, he’d apparently been hired to perform services for Don Brash during the ACT Party leadership coup which saw Rodney Hide resign. ACT Party stalwart at the time Cathy Odgers (Cactus Kate) summed him up thus:

This is funny too.

This is funny too. Jordan Williams hawking for work with Trevor Mallard(!) in 2012. Cathy Odgers slamming him down.

The VFC frontchild Jordan Williams is [a] supercilious little prick who acted like a second rate twit during the recent Brash ACT coup. If anything I shouldn’t wish to be associated with them.

Jordan Williams was later revealed in Nicky Hager’s book Dirty Politics as Simon Lusk’s apprentice, and David Farrar’s apprentice, and Cameron Slater’s apprentice – and as someone willing to look for sleaze on his masters’ political opponents. Hager records a ‘mission’ Slater Jnr sent Williams on to try to get some photos of Winston Peters in a pub. (Failed.)

He also points to a pattern of fishing for ‘dodgy’ or embarrassing communications …


I make no bones about it: I long ago formed a personal view that Jordan Williams is a shallow puppet and nasty, vacuous, sleazebag who, like Slater Jnr, will hypocritically use other people as weapons to attack his elders’ enemies. Just like Slater Jnr, accuracy is not his strong suit. This week, presenting his ‘evidence’ in his defamation case against Colin Craig, it seemed to me he again confirmed my view.

It’s been revealed in court this week – out of Jordan Williams’s own mouth – that he has repeatedly made untrue, “wrong” and inaccurate statements.

Things like: that he had personally seen a text message (“with his own eyes”) when he had not. *see footnote Continue reading →

Auckland Law Revue strikes again

Nice. Gotta love ’em. – P

Guest post: Regan Cunliffe spreading “utter bollocks”

Media barons in their own lunchbox, Cameron Slater and Regan Cunliffe (pic: Rachel Glancing)

An appropriately blurry, smokey photo of media-barons-in-their-own-lunchboxes Cameron Slater and Regan Cunliffe. Now it seems they’re attacking other people’s integrity as a fund-raising technique. (pic: Rachel Glucina)

Newspaper journalist Bevan Hurley appears to be the target of wannabe media proprietors Cameron “FFS I’m not a journalist” Slater and his off-sider, bitter ex-entertainment blogger Regan Cunliffe.

By “target” I mean they’re repeatedly attacking him and his reputation, apparently trying to make him the face of alleged malfeasance  in the news media. The context is a breathless effort to express fear and loathing – as a fund-raising technique! “We desperately need to change how journalism is done”, Regan Cunliffe sobbed in a recent e-mail, with a deluded Trump-like We “has the answer”. It seems they want to raise money from cult members/punters to “invest” in their much-hyped, stop-and-go, deep-fried news business.

Here’s Bevan Hurley’s response to the part of Regan Cunliffe’s fevered tale of woe/begging letter that attacks him … – P

Apologies to those who couldn’t care less about this, I will soon rejoin your ranks.

A self-appointed freedom fighter by the name of Regan Cunliffe is circulating an email to encourage those who are “dissatisfied with the current state of media” to join him for “the next big thing in New Zealand”.
He’s seeking patriotic Kiwis who want to “invest in the future of not only Journalism, but New Zealand”.
Cunliffe explains how the domestic media scene is plagued with “misrepresentation, falsehood, and outright lies”, and cites one particularly nasty case of press intrusion as the raison d’etre for this noble crusade.
In the leadup to the 2011 general election, a chance encounter at a TVNZ leaders debate between Cunliffe, his wife Rachel, and a practitioner of these dark arts.

“After the debate, Hurley pressed Rachel for an answer. Refusing to disclose who she would be voting for come election night, Hurley was told that in previous elections she had voted for at least five different parties and that she wasn’t aligned with any of them. She gave Hurley a few other useful pieces of insight with the caveat that he could use her words but that there was no permission to use either her name or photograph.
“Over the course of the next few days, Hurley called multiple times, begging for permission to use Rachel’s name and photograph. He was told repeatedly, by both Rachel and myself, that permission wouldn’t be granted to use either.”

I’ll spare you the whole spiel, but bear with me.

“We were distressed that our privacy requests were blatantly ignored and angry that the journalist had made things up in order to tell the story he had predetermined to tell. Rachel had calls from people, shocked to read she was a staunch National supporter.”

Now normally it’d be quite tricky to recall details of an unremarkable news article written nearly five years ago – I’ve written many hundreds since.

But this one was easy because I wasn’t at the debate in question, have never met Regan or his wife, have never spoken to her nor approached her for this or any other story. I shared a joint byline on the story he refers to, interviewed other people mentioned in the story, and supplied my quotes to a senior editor to pull together.

I was pretty annoyed when a version of this story first appeared on Cameron Slater’s website in April, only noticing it after it was brought to my attention by The Paepae blogger Peter Aranyi who asked me if Cunliffe’s account was true. But the fact that only one person raised it with me at the time, indicated to me that hardly anyone had read it, and those that did, didn’t take it seriously.

I forgot all about it until today, when Cunliffe sent out an unsolicited call-to-arms for people to join him for the “next leg of this incredible journey”.

There is a delicious irony in someone spreading utter bollocks about a journalist, and then holding themselves up as a knight in shining armour who can save us all from this media malaise.

To quote Cunliffe’s sanctimonious, and terribly written, smear-mail:

“When the media resort to fabrication of elements in a story that mean nothing in the greater scheme of things, you begin to wonder what else they’re making up.”

I couldn’t have put it any better.

– Bevan Hurley,  Auckland 9 August 2016

Nice insight into the woman who is ‘Christine and the Queens’

As I noted earlier, I’m impressed with this young French artist: pop musician and dancer Christine and the Queens (see: Tilted – Christine and The Queens).

This short Channel 4 news interview is a delight … discussion ranging from who she honours in her stage name, snippets of her life story, deceitful use of Photoshop (one of my bugbears as we have discussed) … to the very real sense of unease and fear in France, and in its Muslim community as the result of terror attacks.
Take a look:

– P

PS: May as well enjoy this, while we’re here.

More evidence that Carrick Graham is a paid character assassin

Spotted in yesterday’s news: two references to dirty PR (or as he likes to put it: ‘below the line communications‘) work carried out by Carrick Graham and his most-likely-only-doing-it-for-the-money glove puppet Cameron Slater.

In a case that seems to have been judged (by, like, an actual Judge) as attempted character assassination, Carrick Graham appears to have been one of the assassins, once again in part by using Slater Jnr’s deceitful PR attack blog.

Here are the references. Fairfax: Ex-Kristin principal recoups costs from ex-wife who judge said tried to ‘destroy’ him. NZ Herald: Principal accused of domestic violence awarded $145k

Top: How Fairfax reported Graham & Slater Jnr’s involvement. Bottom: The NZ Herald‘s more diplomatic rendering. (Click to enlarge.)

Personally, I’ve had all the evidence I need to form a negative view of Carrick Graham. Not that I expect that to bother him. The basis for some of my views can be found among these posts.

It seems to me that this Denham case can be seen as one more brick in the argument that Carrick Graham works as a professional smear artist using, among other things, Cameron Slater’s (yuck) slippery services to denigrate, demean and damage other people’s reputations. These mercenary, rubbery characters use ‘dirty PR’ tactics to attack others – as a business. We’ve seen that in Nicky Hager’s book Dirty Politics and elsewhere.

For instance, I’m reminded of the September 2014 story then Sunday Star Times business editor Tim Hunter recounted about how Carrick Graham tried to use a TV3 reporter to smear people involved in Allied Farmers through a proposed TV “documentary” – apparently on behalf of the sadly oh-so-misjudged Mark Hotchin.

This was, of course, the very same disgraced Hanover Finance director Mark Hotchin who, you will recall, the Chisholm inquiry showed had employed Carrick Graham, Cameron Slater and Cathy Odgers to (cough) “balance the media”. This saw a smear campaign launched against the heads of the Serious Fraud Office and the Financial Markets Authority – two enforcement agencies investigating Hotchin and Hanover at the time.

Hunter’s article was, typically in those days, one of the Fairfax business stories that bizarrely never made it into the news organisation’s online editions or an archive, but I scanned it:


PR representative Carrick Graham does his dirty work. Hilariously, it seems BILL RALSTON recommended Graham’s services to Mark Hotchin, the article says. Haha. (Click to enlarge. See links below.)

Page 2 (jpg) | Article scan as readable PDF

You’ll see Hunter’s story quoted businessman/developer Kevin Storey:

Storey said he played along with the idea and it led to a meeting to discuss a programme with Graham and then-TV3 reporter Tony Reid. When it was clear the proposal was aimed at casting Allied as the villain, Storey said he backed out. “I said Allied took it off Hanover. It was Hanover that defaulted.” (emphasis added)

It seems to me, that line: “aimed at casting Allied as the villain” — that’s Carrick Graham’s professional modus operandi right there. That’s what he does. Distortion. Mercenary, weaponized fact twisting. He may see some dry flakes of satisfaction in that career choice. I see none.

Et tu, Ralston?

Bill Ralston’s involvement was interesting to note too. So – he was part of the pitch for the proposed  60 minutes “documentary”. Hmm.  Also:  Hunter says it was Ralston who introduced/recommended Carrick Graham’s (cough) services to Hotchin. Well, who would have thought it?

I personally hope the defamation case being undertaken by the three public health professionals who’ve been relentlessly, viciously and personally targeted by Carrick Graham and Slater Jnr (see Apparently this choir boy and his glove puppet are being sued for defamation) works its way through the courts with the same outcomes as this ex-Kristin principal case: exposing this shabby ‘dirty PR’ stuff Carrick Graham does for the deeply cynical, deceitful crap it is. And hopefully with a financial penalty.

– P

Facts are stated to the best of my knowledge and commentary is my honest opinion. Corrections or clarifications are always welcome by email. Comments are open, but may be moderated.
– Best wishes, Peter Aranyi

Update: Wow, this extract from the decision pulls no punches, does it?:

extract Denham judgement

Calling a spade a spade – and singling out the “various media campaigns” (presumably Carrick Graham’s work?) as “an extraordinary aggravating feature” sweeping the case well into “bad faith” territory. Seems right.

Michelle Obama’s full speech at the 2016 Democratic National Convention

What an astonishing person Michelle Obama is. – P

The zeitgeist of this photo of Ieshia Evans #IeshiaEvans

Look at this. Please click to enlarge and just take a few moments to take it in. I’ll wait.

Leshia Evans being arrested at Baton Rouge. Pic by Jonathan Bachman/Reuters. Please click to enlarge.

Ieshia Evans being arrested at Baton Rouge. Pic by Jonathan Bachman/Reuters. Please click to enlarge.

The BBC reports people’s comments about photographer Jonathan Bachman’s powerful, gripping soon-to-be-legendary photograph and he was interviewed on Radio New Zealand’s nine-to-noon show this morning. He sounded like a good man. Saying demonstrators have been trying to tell us what’s been going on for years, but now with cellphones … Listen to the interview yourself at Radio NZ. (Archived as MP3 at The Paepae here.)

Like many others, I saw it first on social media – Twitter in my case – and was stopped by it. Her posture, their protective armour compared to her summer dress. It screams.

What a moment. What an iconic image.

Now read this: Fighting the Future: White Supremacy vs Demography by Eoin Higgins and tell me if you think he’s wrong in any way. Because I can’t find an argument against what he is saying.

It’s July of 2016, and black men are being killed because they threaten the fundamental bedrock of the modern authoritarian racial hegemony in the US: Only whites may be armed, only whites may have authority in society.
Any threat to that shaky premise must be swiftly dealt with. Early on the morning of July 4, an off-duty NYPD officer killed a black man in his car with his family after a road rage incident. Delrawn Small struck the off duty officer during the conflict and the policeman retaliated by shooting him to death. Even off-duty, the policeman refused to accept a threat to white police authority and responded with murder. …

Read on. Warning: it gets worse. So important. (Archived as PDF here.)


Update: some confusion but it seems her name is Ieshia Evans, not Leshia Evans.

Tilted – Christine and The Queens

Spotted on Graham Norton… Wow.

Opening lyrics …

I’ll die before Methusalah / So I’ll fight sleep with Ammonia

And every morning with eyes all red / I’ll miss them for the tears they shed

But I’m actually good / Can’t help it if we’re tilted …

Copy editor slacking on the job 

Nice to have some assistance with this latest book project. But look at her slacking on the job. It’s hard to get good help these days.

Let’s Enhance

Let's Enhance (HD) from Duncan Robson on Vimeo.

Lovely. Some of my best friends are clichés.

h/t to @thegrugq