Williams v Whale

August 16th, 2010 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

North Shore mayor has threatened legal action against right-wing blogger WhaleOil. …

Williams said he was undergoing “harassment” from WhaleOil which was “entirely politically motivated” and no other local body politician had been subjected to such “dirty politics”.

Williams told Fairfax he had already spoken to the police about possible criminal harassment charges and was seriously considering pursuing such an action.

“I spoke to my wife about it today and think I will,” Williams said.

When I read the headline that Williams was threatening legal action, I assumed he was considering defamation. He has every right to take civil action if he believes has defamed him.

But to try and get the Police to charge a blogger with criminal harassment, just because he says mean things about an elected official on his blog is ridicolous and offensive. It is also arguably defamatory itself. The definition of criminal harassment is:

Every person commits an offence who harasses another person in any case where the first-mentioned person intends that harassment to cause that other person to fear for that other person’s safety; or the safety of any person with whom that other person is in a family relationship.

Andrew Williams will be a good fit for NZ First. He is like Winston, in that he can not tolerate criticism.

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18 Responses to “Williams v Whale”

  1. Murray (8,835 comments) says:

    Its all true, Cameron has been using a behaviour control drug on Williams that makes Williams behave like a complete cock in public then reporting it to the world.

    The WRWC strikes again.

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  2. Rex Widerstrom (5,124 comments) says:

    It’s not a conspiracy, Murray, it’s just the behaviour of the native inhabitants. Hence the reason the rest of us call it Dorkland ;-)

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  3. Murray (8,835 comments) says:

    People get the government they deserve Rex.

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  4. Jibbering Gibbon (200 comments) says:

    “…But to try and get the Police to charge a blogger with criminal harassment…”

    Try to get the cops to charge anyone with harrasment – it’s pretty difficult even when it’s a lot more agressive and direct than one man posting silliness on the internet.

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  5. Pete George (21,789 comments) says:

    Can’t see this going anywhere. Williams seems to have a bit of the same poor me bug that Laws has had.

    Interesting to see Whale consorting with the MSM, he seems to have become a regular TV3-er.

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  6. Nigel (503 comments) says:

    If the harassment is purely the writing on the blog then Williams should toughen up, but if there is more to it than just writing on the blog, I’d say Whale OIl is fair game.
    Personally I think they are a match made in heaven & should be left on an uninhabited island somewhere to sort it out & leave the rest of us in peace.

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  7. Murray (8,835 comments) says:

    If Slater gets pinged for harrasment will the same wagon haul off Williams for his early hours abuse-o-text antics?

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  8. Nick R (443 comments) says:

    I reckon they deserve each other. I hope they make each other very happy.

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  9. Bevan (3,965 comments) says:

    People get the government they deserve Rex.

    When the pool of options is barely puddle deep – the people dont get much fucken choice!

    I often wonder what the voter turn out was at the last Nth Shore Mayoral election? Can’t have been more than 15%…

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  10. JiveKitty (869 comments) says:

    This is a stupid response. First and foremost, the threat is unlikely to be successful as WhaleOil doesn’t appear to have met the definition for criminal harrassment. Secondly, given that Whaleoil doesn’t appear to meet the definition, either Williams has been misinformed as to what criminal harrassment is or he’s bluffing without intent to follow through. Both scenarios have the same problem in that the threat is not credible and that Williams looks like a fucktard – and it’s not like he shouldn’t be attempting to minimise that perception. In the first he’s an idiot who doesn’t bother to think or fact check before opening his mouth and in the second he’s a fuckwit who can’t rebutt or even deal appropriately with criticisms offered so seeks to bluster and bluff in order to shut down such criticism. I suspect, however, that the most likely situation combines both. Thirdly, WhaleOil is unlikely to care much even if the threat is credible. He’s likely to respond to such antagonism and combativeness – which ignores his critiques/exposes/whatever you want to call it by ramping up his efforts to prove that Williams is a fucktard. So there’s a failure to understand simple game theory when it comes to strategy and a failure to even consider the psychology of the individual that’s being targeted.

    This leads me to some questions:

    1) Is this really somebody that should be involved in any kind of politics at all?
    2) What the fuck is his strategy team thinking?
    3) Given the apparent dearth of high quality candidates in New Zealand politics (using the Auckland microcosm as representative of the macrocosm) it seems incentives need to change, both in attracting high-quality candidates and in ensuring those involved in politics act in the long run best interests of they people they are meant to represent (restrictions and oversight). What incentives are necessary to attract high-quality candidates, and what incentives are needed to ensure they act in the appropriate manner once they have attained the roles?

    I find this somewhat relevant: http://insight.kellogg.northwestern.edu/index.php/Kellogg/article/losing_touch/

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  11. jaba (2,068 comments) says:

    Williams is a wanker but the bars and restaurants in Wgtn would love to see them (Peters) join up in a resurrected NZlast.

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  12. peterwn (2,932 comments) says:

    What is scary is Andrew Williams as a mayor could succeed in conning the local senior sarge or inspector into ‘running in’ Whaleoil even if they then find his alleged behaviour falls short of criminal harassment.

    Interestingly UK broadened the scope of criminal harassment and it can catch debt collectors or power companies who keep sending up dunning threatening letters where the debt is not owed or has been properly challenged.

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  13. Steve (4,313 comments) says:

    Might go down to Portafinos next Thursday wearing my WOBH tee shirt

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  14. fatman43us (165 comments) says:

    @peterwn (980)

    “a mayor could succeed in conning the local senior sarge or inspector into ‘running in’ Whaleoil”.

    Not too likely, they’d have to leave their comfy station in Takas, and travel to the wilds of Manukau to do this. Seeing the North Shore cops couldn’t catch a cold, it seems highly unlikely to me.

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  15. neil (26 comments) says:

    What Rex said 2:43pm, i second that!!!!

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  16. Tauhei Notts (1,508 comments) says:

    I saw Andrew Campbell at a memorial concert for an inaugural president of the North Harbour Club, who died a year ago.
    A friend was intrigued to see The Clown from Campbell’s Bay there. Apparently The Clown had been sacked by the deceased some years ago for incompetence.

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  17. Poliwatch (335 comments) says:

    “and no other local body politician had been subjected to such “dirty politics”.”

    Good lord, I could think of a dozen politicians that have come in for more criticism, although I am struggling to think of many that have come in for more deserved criticism. The man has ideas of importance above his station.

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  18. Banana Llama (1,105 comments) says:

    The North shore had a 35% Turnout for the last council election, may as well sell off the council land to Kalmar and tell the mad mayor to shove the council development contributions (see bribe) up his arse.

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