Right Thinking: Nice try, Tricky Nicky


Authoritarian libertarian columnist Dr. Frank Shizenhausen on the dangerous leftist agenda behind the dirty politics scandal

So Nicky Hager’s attempt to steal the election from the people of New Zealand has failed miserably. National are riding high in the polls, while Tricky Nicky’s leftist mates are now wondering what went wrong.

The public weren’t fooled for a moment by the various things alleged in Tricky Nicky’s book. They examined the evidence carefully, which sensibly for most people didn’t involve giving money to that smear merchant’s publishers, and decided there was nothing to it. The whole book is built on a foundation of lies, and not a word of it is true, except for the bits that have subsequently been confirmed as technically 100% accurate. At least one footnote in the book has been proven to contain incorrect information, and if an author can’t get his footnotes right, then why should we believe a single thing he writes? A man who will get his footnotes wrong isn’t a man to be trusted. He is a man who will rob your house, steal your DVD player, and sell your wife into slavery.

The book was a clumsy attempt to subvert our democracy, and it failed. The people of New Zealand recognise a smear campaign when they see one, which is why they are now punishing Labour in the opinion polls. Labour has been guilty of astounding hypocrisy, and the voters are going to make them pay.

But even if some of the things Tricky Nicky wrote about turn out to be true, it’s no big deal. They all do it. All political parties engage in the sorts of things exposed in his book.

A close relationship between minister and bloggers is perfectly normal, and indeed healthy, in any democracy. Ministers have always leaked material to journalists, so why shouldn’t they do the same to bloggers? The problem with journalists is that they are bound by ethical rules about what they can and can’t report. If a New Zealand Herald journalist gets it wrong their newspaper can end up being sued for defamation or finding itself the subject of a Press Council complaint. But if Cameron Slater publishes something he knows is false, or malicious, or even evil, there’s not much anyone can practically do. That’s why there’s nothing wrong with politicians briefing bloggers. How else are they meant to put the boot into their enemies?

Labour are just as guilty of this as National, and their cries of outrage over dirty politics are sickening. Indeed, the stench of hypocrisy is overpowering. Wasn’t it the Labour Party that leaked to Cameron Slater their entire membership database? Good god, they even gave Slater the credit card details of their members! Their own people! If that’s what they do to their friends, imagine what they’re going to do to their enemies if they gain power.

And now Labour are trying to take the moral high ground by claiming their website was hacked. Even if it turns out to be true that Slater and Ede went into the site uninvited and downloaded material without authority, what’s the big deal? These socialists are intent on destroying our economy and stealing our property, so isn’t it fair that we steal their property first? When Slater and Ede downloaded Labour’s membership list, weren’t they doing the nation a service? Now at least they have a reliable list of enemies of the state.

The trouble with these leftists is that they mean harm, real harm, and they’ll do anything they can to get their way. That’s why they took Judith Collins down. I have always admired Collins’ take-no-prisoners attitude, and wouldn’t she make a marvellous prime minister one day? John Key has been effective in keeping the radical left out of government, I’ll give him that, but I have no time for wishy-washy centrists. Judith Collins would certainly get a few things done. Working for Families? Student loans? Welfare for feral breeders? A progressive tax system? Gone by lunchtime!

Collins has been hounded out of office, and for what? An email that suggested she might be involved in attacks on the then head of the Serious Fraud Office. But even if she has been involved in undermining a public official, it’s hardly a hanging offence. I’m all for smaller government, and if that means making life intolerable for officials and bureaucrats, then that’s okay with me.

Collins has also been harassed by the left for giving details of a public servant to Cameron Slater, but what of it? We are supposed to believe that Collins and Slater thought this official, Simon Pleasants, was responsible for leaking to the Labour Party details of Bill English’s accommodation allowance, but that theory just doesn’t stand up to scrutiny. If Bill English was rorting the taxpayer, wouldn’t his exposure have been a blessing for all right-minded fiscal conservatives?  So why did Collins give Slater the official’s details? Perhaps she was arranging for Slater to deliver a nice bottle of wine to Pleasants in recognition of his efforts in exposing waste and corruption.

Slater then wrote a blogpost attacking Mr Pleasants, but I can only surmise that Pleasants rang Slater to complain about the wine, and then Slater grew cross and decided to dish out utu. So this is really all Simon Pleasants’ fault. He shouldn’t have been so ungrateful, and then all those death threats wouldn’t have come his way. But that’s the way it is with the left. You give them something for free and they complain. You threaten them and their families with death and they bleat and moan.

The general public know Judith Collins has been hard done by, and I have no doubt she has a bright future ahead of her in the party. National needs someone like her: someone prepared to dish dirt, engage in vendettas, smear opponents, and undermine public servants. Someone has to do this work, because if we don’t kneecap our opponents on the left, they’ll end up owning the debate. Imagine what would happen if we allowed political debate in this country to be dominated by good faith discussions and the rational analysis of verifiable evidence? Imagine what could be achieved if we worked together to solve problems like poverty, housing affordability, income inequality, and climate change.

Exactly. What a disaster!

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