Bassett on Labour's smear machine

Guido Fawkes has outed the nasty smear machine in the UK and brought down a top Downing Street advisor and Michael Bassett has an article about the links between UK Labour and NZ Labour and the existance of a similar smear machine here in New Zealand.

Those with memories might recall the parade of dirty tricks used by the beleaguered Labour Party prior to the last election to smear their opponents. First there was the hacking into Don Brash’s computer and the stealing of a selection of emails that found their way to the egregious Nicky Hager. He spun a tissue of fabrications worthy of the Holocaust denier, David Irving. Labour’s leaders had a very good idea about who was the culprit, but they sat back and smiled while calumny was heaped on the opposition leader, and Hager made money from the book he published based on stolen goods. For myself, I have always believed that someone inside the Beehive was responsible for stealing those emails in the first place. The Police’s investigation was scandalously conducted and found nothing.

What is disgusting about the Police investigation into the Brash email theft is the total disregard of Police HQ for the rule of law with regard to OIA requests. Don Brash is still waiting for his file.

Then there was the establishment of a blog called The Standard. The Labour Party ran a weekly newspaper from 1934 to 1959 that published political material. It was subject to the normal journalistic standards of the time. But the new blog version made no pretence at following even the reduced journalistic standards of modern times. Registered to an address in Helen Clark’s electorate, and operating out of the Beehive under ministerial supervision, it gave an airing to innuendo and false stories that ministers hoped might get picked up by the mainstream media. They often did. Indeed, several gullible reporters happily took their leads from the Beehive’s dirty tricks brigade. I saw an email sent by Ruth Dyson that had clearly been prepared by her apparatchiks. It denounced me, and urged her mailing list to protest to a newspaper that was running my columns. I’m told that the apparatchiks watched the news, made it their business to pick up material, true or false, and fed lines to people like Brian Rudman of the Herald. The same dirty tricksters fabricated a story about John Key that had Mike Williams rushing to Melbourne to check records, only to return empty handed, and red-faced, just before the election.

Yes the H-fee smear, led by “Batman” and Clinton Smith at The Standard attempted to smear John Key. When you look back across The Standard and look at the endless posts about shares, share parcels etc and then look at the parliamentary questions for the same time you can clearly see the colusion. The H-Fee smear backfired ultimately on Labour and on The Standard. Also don’t forget the orchestration with TV3 over the secret recordings, yet another link to Labour and the Standard.

Whilst we on the right are largely self employed the leftist lap-bloggers are by and large publicly funded.

The significance of all this is that New Zealand’s Labour dirty tricksters were all on the public payroll. They operated mostly from the Prime Minister’s Office where Helen Clark appeared to operate a kind of training school for younger versions of herself: people with degrees and absolutely no experience of life. Graduates of student politics, they regarded possession of the reins of power as some form of divine right. Mostly in their 20s, they were designated “advisers to the Prime Minister”. Since they had little general knowledge, and consequently nothing to advise with, they were paid good money, and put to work on dirty tricks. Several are now on Labour’s backbenches, where they are still being supported by the taxpayer. The Standard still exists, but it has been hollowed out by the end of the Beehive’s funding. It would be interesting to know whether, in its current withered state, it is being funded from Phil Goff’s office.

The full information of how The Standard operated is yet to emerge but slowly but surely the leaks are flowing, eating awway at the facade of their indepdence.