The persuasive Dotcom

February 14th, 2014 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

I tweeted last night:

Isn’t it nice that Winston Peters has finally found an immigrant he wants to help stay in New Zealand!

It seemed to strike a chord with 32 retweets and 36 favourites. And that’s because it is all very curious. Peters was basically condemning the Government for letting Dotcom into New Zealand in the first place. He then met Dotcom at his mansion, and came away a defender of Dotcom. Winston – the great defender of immigrants’ rights.

Also of interest are the two dates that Russel Norman flew (at taxpayer expense, like Winston) to meet Dotcom. Again, how interesting that they go to him, almost like supplicants. He met Dotcom on the 1st and 29th of November 2013.

On the very same day he met him on the 1st, he attacked the Police on Radio NZ over Dotcom’s case. Shouldn’t the leader of a party that believes in transparency have revealed “Oh by the way I just met with my buddy Kim this morning, and tried to persuade him not to set up his own political party, and instead endorse the Greens”.

And then again on the 29th, when he again met Dotcom, he was again in the media talking about his case – again with no mention of his meetings, and attempt to get Dotcom to endorse the Greens instead of set up his own party.

Of course we now know that the plan Dotcom came up with is to set up his political party, spend up massively and then at the last minute self-destruct the party and endorse parties he approves of. Now Parliament has laws restricting how much a political party can spend during the regulated period. Wouldn’t it be a nice way to get around that pesky law by having a second political party able to spend a couple of million dollars running your attack lines, and then pulling out and endorsing you. I’m sure that isn’t the intent, but it could well be the outcome – and the sort of outcome the Greens would condemn with their most lofty rhetoric if it involved other parties.

Vernon Small writes on the issue:

But Norman went badly wrong by confirming in public that in government he would push for Dotcom’s extradition to be overturned.

On the political level it threw the door open to accusations of secret trade-offs – despite Norman’s denials. 

For a party that has made hay over ‘‘private’’ meetings and implied conflicts of interest between National ministers and corporate interests, it was a naive own-goal. Deny it all he likes, he has loaded a gun for National to fire at him every time he mutters ‘‘SkyCity convention centre dirty deal’’. 

But he also erred badly in apparently pre-judging the outcome of the ministerial consideration that must follow the court’s extradition ruling – especially if he is serious about being a senior minister or potentially the deputy prime minister in the next government.

Norman says the extradition is a two stage process – the court case and then the justice minister’s final call. 

But ministerial discretion to over-ride an extradition order should be something other than a purely political act and must be seen to be divorced from party political interests. 

To avoid bringing the process into disrepute, and to keep faith with partner countries, it has to be grounded – and the law contains specific grounds for rejecting extradition. Some are obvious, such as an assurance that the country seeking the extradition order will not execute an extradited New Zealander.

The minister’s decision should be exercised in light of all the facts at the time. Some of those may be illuminated by the court. None ought to be assumed months in advance.

Small points out that Norman has now accepted he can not be involved in any decision making around the case if he is a Minister. I suspect no Green MP could be.

I yesterday blogged on MPs who had met Dotcom and asked questions about his case. Trevor Mallard was one of those. I’m told his meeting was around 30 seconds in the gallery of Parliament, so fair to say that doesn’t count as a real meeting. Also fair to say that Trevor doesn’t need anyone to encourage him to ask parliamentary questions – he asks thousands.

Winston however is a much more curious case He flipped 180 degrees from wanting Dotcom never allowed into New Zealand, to championing his cause. Is it merely a mutual enemy, or something more? Could Dotcom endorse NZ First as well as Labour and the Greens at the election after he spends two million dollars on a fictitious party, which gets him around third party spending limits?

UPDATE: A good ODT editorial:

There are suspicions of a link between the number of questions being asked around Mr Dotcom and the conclusion the Opposition is seeking political favours from the man who has promised to start the Internet Party – but then added that he would not run in the election if the polling is less than the 5% MMP threshold (followed up by stating the party would be a contender in the election).

Parliamentary records show Labour MP Trevor Mallard has asked 132 questions regarding Mr Dotcom, New Zealand First leader Winston Peters 82, Labour MP David Shearer 36, deputy Labour leader Grant Robertson 17 and Green co-leader Russel Norman 13.

Actually Grant is no longer Deputy Labour Leader.

And it emerged that Dr Norman has suffered what is commonly called a ”brain fade” about his visits with Mr Dotcom. He cannot remember if he phoned Mr Dotcom first, or if it was the other way around, when setting up a meeting to ask Mr Dotcom not to

launch the Internet Party because it would take voters away from the Greens target.

Dr Norman, who has often attacked Prime Minister John Key about his apparent lack of recall on meetings with senior government officials, dismissed a regulation question of who contacted whom as of no material value.

Dr Norman, when pushed in an interview, also indicated he would be prepared to overturn any extradition ruling that ordered Mr Dotcom back to face charges of internet piracy in the United States if he was in a position to do so.

Given that admission, and the fact the visits to Mr Dotcom appear an attempt to stop him from launching the Internet Party, Dr Norman has effectively ruled out any hope the Green MP could have at becoming associated with the justice portfolio in a Labour-led government.

That is a good thing!

Dr Norman and Messrs Peters, Mallard, Robertson and Shearer need to make public statements declaring whether they have met Mr Dotcom and, if they have, in what capacity.

If they are offering political deals, then their outrage at Mr Key saying who he is prepared to work with after the election later this year can be seen in its true light.

If taxpayer-funded transport was used to travel to the mansion, that information should also be released.

As I said above, Trevor Mallard has clarified it was a 30 second meeting at Parliament.

 

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53 Responses to “The persuasive Dotcom”

  1. mikemikemikemike (334 comments) says:

    LOL – I never considered the immigrant angle. Remember though that KDC is white – White immigrants don’t count only asian/black/everyone else Winnie doesn’t approve/get bribed by.

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  2. Pete George (23,793 comments) says:

    Jessica Williams ‏@mizjwilliams

    So the PM just more or less admitted @Whaleoil was his source on Winston Peters’ visit to the Dotcom mansion. They speak regularly.

    Due to the fact Whale has been hinting about it for months and blogging specifically about it since Glucina broke the story last Friday that’s hardly a revelation.

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  3. Manolo (14,161 comments) says:

    How much, Winston? Tell us how much the obese German promised you.

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  4. rouppe (983 comments) says:

    The statement from Watermelon Norman that I found most interesting was that he believed that the Internet Party “wasn’t necessary” because they consider themselves to be the party of internet freedom.

    How arrogant. Shows that Norman believes that no-one should start an organisation that might be in the same business as him. Really doesn’t like competition in the market, does he

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  5. BeaB (2,164 comments) says:

    Dirty deals by very dodgy people.

    Imagine being in the same stinky room as Dot Con, Winston Peters, Aussie Norman, Don Brash, John Banks, Len Brown. Claire Curran and Trevor Mallard. And they are the only ones we know about so far.

    Politics certainly does make for strange bedfellows.

    Especially when the common thread is money – and oodles of it, however ill-gotten the gains.

    I still can’t understand why anyone on the Left would support the massive ripping off of Kiwi and other artists.

    No wonder they have no problem ripping us off, the poor old taxpayers.

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  6. James Stephenson (2,265 comments) says:

    Well at least Dotcom could never be accused of being chin-less.

    He is a scarf-wearer though.

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  7. queenstfarmer (782 comments) says:

    What I want to know is

    1. Why did Winston Peters enter into a “confidentiality agreement” with Dotcom, apparently as a pre-condition to Dotcom meeting him?

    2. Has Winston Peters entered into a confidentiality deed with anyone else? If I ask to meet him, will he sign up to my confidentiality deed?

    3. Will Winston release the confidentiality agreement – if not, why not? There should be no problem releasing it because Dotcom has purportedly waived it.

    This gets more and more murky.

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  8. Duxton (658 comments) says:

    “Small points out that Norman has now accepted he can not be involved in any decision making around the case if he is a Minister. I suspect no Green MP could be.”

    Actually, it’s worse than that. If any Minister in a Labour-Greens-whatever Govt overturns an extradition order now, it can reasonably be claimed that that the Greens were complicit in the decision: ie, this has been an unwritten condition of Greens support.

    I had thought this issue should go away, but now I’m not so sure :-) Certainly it is interesting how the MSM are starting to pick up on it. I haven’t seen the Greens and NZ First (or possibly even Labour) under so much scrutiny this term.

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  9. Cunningham (846 comments) says:

    I wonder how some of the previous Greens like Jeanette Firtzsimmons would feel about this? Although I didn’t agree with her on most issues, she at least seemed like a women of integrity. I bet she would be pretty disappointed with how the current leadership is going.

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  10. chris (647 comments) says:

    This is all good stuff. The public are finally getting to see what the Green party is really like, i.e. no better (and possibly more conniving and corrupt) than the other parties. “Party of principle” my ass.

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  11. Duxton (658 comments) says:

    Chris – they are definitely worse.

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  12. coge (189 comments) says:

    This would never have happened under Rod Donald.

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  13. Nookin (3,557 comments) says:

    The fact that Norman chose to become vociferous about dotcom at the times of the meetings is obviously a matter of some concern.

    The greater concern, however, is the fact that he was a member of the security and intelligence select committee meeting on 3 December 2013 and sought to grill Ian Fletcher about the Dotcom saga. Specifically, he asked about data collected by GCSB.

    I think we can all assume that Russel Norman failed to disclose to the select committee his closeted meeting with Dotcom just a few days beforehand.

    I imagine that he will have us believe that such issues as the GCSB were not mentioned at any stage during the course of the discussion which, he will say, centred solely on the need for an Internet Party.

    I also expect that he will say that dotcom, knowing that Norman would, within a matter of days, have the opportunity of examining Ian Fletcher, graciously recognised the difficult position that Norman would be in if the matter were to be raised in the meeting and, in accordance with high ethical standards, deliberately chose not to mention the matter.

    I also imagine that the meeting took place on the terrace of the property as they watched Air New Zealand’s squadron of pigs performing aerial acrobatics.

    At the very worst, Norman has shown a huge error of judgement not only in having the meeting but the timing of the meeting itself. The inferences to be drawn from the timing, the public statements and the questioning on issues that were not really pertinent to the hearing itself speak volumes.

    Norman needs to make a detailed personal statement on the everything that was discussed, whether dotcom expressed interest in any particular subject involving GCSB and whether there was any contact subsequent to the hearing.

    Dotcom might also allay our concerns by disclosing whether the meetings with Norman and Peters were taped and if so, he should release those tapes.

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL1312/S00020/gcsb-and-sis-directors-at-intelligence-committee-meeting.htm

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  14. davidp (3,585 comments) says:

    Kim Dotcom is trying to buy a country. And the Greens, NZ First, and Labour (to a lesser extent) are trying to sell him ours.

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  15. RightNow (7,014 comments) says:

    What is Dotcom so scared of that he’s spending so much buying politicians? It’s making me think he knows he’s guilty.

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  16. alloytoo (582 comments) says:

    @Davidp

    I sense a meme here:

    “Stop Labour/Greens from selling NZ to Kim.com”

    Lets consider this years election a referendum on the issue.

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  17. Ed Snack (1,936 comments) says:

    But surely it is indeed relevant to ask the GCSB about “bugging” KDC, because, as we all know, it is illegal for them to do so. Regardless of the merits of KDC’s case, there seems no doubt that the NZ Government did act illegally over the case. Now the have apologized and one trusts dealt with it appropriately, but as an embarrassment to a government, well, that’s what oppositions do, try to make such incidents into major scandals.

    Norman’s meeting with KDC (in regard to querying the GCSB at least) is IMHO OK unless he was being paid to ask questions, KDC was illegally spied upon and I doubt that without relevant background information no general sort of questions are going to elicit forthcoming answers from the GCSB. So the point does turn on what if any inducement KDC offered, and on Norman’s vagueness and elusiveness regarding his meetings. That does at least undermine Norman’s case for representing his meetings as “proper”; if they were so why obfuscate them ?

    So thinking wider, imagine the roles are reversed and National are in opposition, I think most here would want to argue that meeting KDC, provided no impropriety is involved, is perfectly reasonable. Most would also be severely embarrassed if National didn’t come clean about the facts though.

    I have no time for KDC or his supposed “Internet Party”, it does start to look like he is enjoying himself playing ducks and drakes with money hungry politicians. But I don’t think that the US indictment has any good faith behind it at all, it is a pretty transparent “pour encourager les autres” sort of “object lesson” exercise launched by the democrat money machine in the US assisted by the FBI as a political favour. And the local police cowboys were just all to ready to play along.

    But settle the case on its merits, that’s my opinion, we shouldn’t accept the US indictment at face value in this case. If KDC is involved in the alleged shenanigans and the evidence stacks up, boot the bastard. But so far, he’s good entertainment, almost a living honeypot for corrupt politicians to flock to, and as such, damn near a public service provider.

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  18. MT_Tinman (3,315 comments) says:

    coge (146 comments) says:
    February 14th, 2014 at 11:58 am
    This would never have happened under Rod Donald.

    Balls!

    Nothing has changed in the reds except names.

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  19. Joanne (177 comments) says:

    We are letting a convicted fraudster monopolise political debate in election year.

    It offends me that he boosts about this year being the most disruptive year in NZ Politics. Who does he think he is?

    The politicians are really looking amateur due if this. They don’t seem to see what eggs they are being and how much the rest of us are laughing at them.

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  20. Cunningham (846 comments) says:

    Funny how the communist Greens who despise anyone earning more then the living wage should be so keen to cuddle up to a guy who is worth truckloads of money. Should they not be criticising him for earning so much when there are people in poverty? They have some serious double standards.

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  21. Pete George (23,793 comments) says:

    Cunningham – perhaps Norman and Dotcom were discussing joint policy on rich prick tax.

    And perhaps Dotcom’s political aims have the good of New Zealand as his foremost priority.

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  22. OneTrack (3,347 comments) says:

    “The statement from Watermelon Norman that I found most interesting was that he believed that the Internet Party “wasn’t necessary” because they consider themselves to be the party of internet freedom.”

    The Greens putting out more bullshit about “Internet Freedom”. How “free” will WhaleOil and Fox News be in their communist nirvana? Would I still be allowed to start a web site “denying” Global Warming ™. How long before I was declared an enemy of the people?

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  23. Ed Snack (1,936 comments) says:

    OneTrack, no, they mean it. You would be perfectly free to communicate all any ideas and “facts” that they approve. That’s true freedom isn’t it ?

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  24. Sofia (856 comments) says:

    Pete Glucina on Whale Oil:
    Jessica Williams – “So the PM just more or less admitted Whaleoil was his source on Winton Peters’ visit to the to the Dotcom mansion. They speak regularly.”

    Meanwhile Rachel Glucina, the journalist who broke the story last Friday Feb 7,  hints at her possible sources in her column today.

    So Winston, John Key’s personal spy agencies are not in sight – it is just who you is suffering a case of Glucina, old chap :-)

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  25. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    Peters was basically condemning the Government for letting Dotcom into New Zealand in the first place. He then met Dotcom at his mansion, and came away a defender of Dotcom

    Which just goes to show that Winston is more open-minded than you are. :)

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  26. chris (647 comments) says:

    Of course, if John Key had flip-flopped like Winnie has, ross69 would be calling him a hypocrite, not open-minded.

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  27. Manolo (14,161 comments) says:

    The obese German is doomed or so it seems: http://news.msn.co.nz/nationalnews/8799476/dotcoms-party-is-doomed

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  28. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    So the PM just more or less admitted Whaleoil was his source on Winton Peters’ visit to the to the Dotcom mansion. They speak regularly.

    Jesus, having the Herald as a source was bad enough. Who’d have known it could get worse!

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  29. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    Of course, if John Key had flip-flopped

    You should’ve stopped there. Key hates Winston’s guts and wouldn’t work with him prior to the last election. But now he’d be happy to work with Winston after the election.

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  30. chris (647 comments) says:

    It’s a stretch to say JK would be happy to work with him. It was something more along the lines of it being an option. But all politicians are dirty and will do what they can to stay in power.

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  31. tvb (4,553 comments) says:

    By travelling TO HIM means they want something. That means money. The hypocrisy in criticising Banks (OK fair enough) but then playing homage themselves is sickening. Norman even offered to overrule any extradition order of the Court in ADVANCE of the case. Disgraceful as the Herald said today in a very good good editorial about this clown.

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  32. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    all politicians are dirty and will do what they can to stay in power

    Some are dirtier than others. :)

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  33. Zapper (1,047 comments) says:

    You’re right ross, the ones you support and make excuses for are as dirty as they come

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  34. DJP6-25 (1,389 comments) says:

    So, he has a use after all. Showing the sainted left up for what they are. Not what they pretend to be.

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  35. RightNow (7,014 comments) says:

    ross69:

    Key hates Winston’s guts and wouldn’t work with him prior to the last election. But now he’d be happy to work with Winston after the election.

    See how open minded Key is :)

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  36. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    “Contrary to what he might want to believe, I can read, it happened to be in the New Zealand Herald, it happened to be on the Whale Oil website,” Mr Key said.

    So, the PM is relying on Cameron for his info. Another schoolboy error by Key. Anyone would think he really doesn’t want a third term.

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  37. burt (7,423 comments) says:

    Winston’s new one liner …

    Have you noticed the shortage of cat5 in Howick lately !

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  38. Pete George (23,793 comments) says:

    But now he’d be happy to work with Winston after the election.

    Key never said that. He said he wouldn’t rule it out but it was “most unlikely” he would talk to Winston after the election. At a guess I’d say it’s even less likely now. Or at least it should be.

    Is National+NZ First now more than “very unlikely”?

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  39. burt (7,423 comments) says:

    ross69

    Another schoolboy error by Key.

    But WhaleOil had it right – another schoolboy error by you playing the man rather than the ball. Go back to the standard where you will find a pile of other people stupid enough to have never noticed that socialism always ends in tears ( recession ).

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  40. igm (1,413 comments) says:

    ross69: The political germs you adhere to are the authors of their own misfortunes, and hopefully, you will get burned somewhere along the track, your comments being infantile and objectionable.

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  41. KiwiGreg (3,278 comments) says:

    I suspect once the money runs out (and it will) this dot com thing will all come to a bitter end. I certainly wouldn’t extend him credit.

    You wouldn’t need more than a few million to give the appearance of money for quite some time in New Zealand.

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  42. burt (7,423 comments) says:

    My pick in this is that Dotcom is going to fund Winston to be ‘disruptive’ and give the old boy one more chance at the tax payers teat. Winston will, like he did for the Vella family, come to the coalition table with some major pay day for Dotcom. Of course the left will continue to poke jokes at Key about forming a government with Winston then they will defend Winston as honourable once he is part of getting their team into office.

    Situation normal in NZ politics – the serial liars get away with being serial liars and the tax payers get shafted.

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  43. Viking2 (11,665 comments) says:

    This whole case is now more interesting because with Knox trial in Italy she has now adjudged her guilty all over again. The evidence looks spurious as best and it seems to be a way of not fronting the real background issue of a black man presumably Muslin that has been jailed for what appears to be the same offense.
    The issue now is that IF the Ities want Knox back they will have to apply to extradite her from the States and the attorneys in the States are saying it will be a cold day in hell before that will happen based on the evidence available and they will fight it all the way based on the evidence.

    boot on the other foot.

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  44. jackinabox (776 comments) says:

    “Kim Dotcom is trying to buy a country. And the Greens, NZ First, and Labour (to a lesser extent) are trying to sell him ours.”

    How many dairy farms or high country runs has KDC bought?

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  45. davidp (3,585 comments) says:

    jackinabox>How many dairy farms or high country runs has KDC bought?

    Farms aren’t “the country”, regardless of their altitude. They’re just land that is used for agriculture. The Greens, NZ First, and Labour have been trying to flog our parliament and our justice system. Those things are core to our democracy, and our existance as a first world country rather than a corrupt banana republic.

    Greens, Labour, NZ First: The Banana Coalition.

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  46. Nookin (3,557 comments) says:

    Nice to see that you place material assets above ethical and honest standards of behaviour, jack.

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  47. jackinabox (776 comments) says:

    “Nice to see that you place material assets above ethical and honest standards of behaviour,”

    That’s a good one Nookin, all of the governmental bods I’ve ever had dealings with have turned out to be far from ethical or honest. The f$%^ing cops and ministers of police for example, ………………

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  48. itstricky (2,020 comments) says:

    You lefties are always jealous of rich pricks.

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  49. itstricky (2,020 comments) says:

    So JK is palsy with a guy who likes to call accidentally deceased young men feral. Stay classy PM… Stay classy. I betcha the PRs are standing in the background going NO Johno! No! Don’t play the casual kiwi bloke card on that one..Oh NO!

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  50. Scott1 (588 comments) says:

    Interesting that John Key felt he had to go and check something before he could say he read it on whale oil.
    That would be almost as if he needed to go back to whale oil and check the dates on the post first.

    The other less conspiratorial reason could be that he feels Whale Oil is a dubious source and he doesn’t want to be associated with Cameron so he wanted to clear it with his advisers to see if it was worth it.

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  51. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    Dr Norman and Messrs Peters, Mallard, Robertson and Shearer need to make public statements declaring whether they have met Mr Dotcom and, if they have, in what capacity.

    Actually, the Prime Minister needs to make public statements as to how often he meets or chats with Cameron and in what capacity these chats take place.

    Ironically, Key thought he could land a blow on Winston but it has back fired spectacularly.

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  52. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    So JK is palsy with a guy who likes to call accidentally deceased young men feral.

    Slater has admitted he knew absolutely nothing about the dead man before he launched his personal attack. Maybe the PM could disclose who else he looks to for info. Has he got a wide range of sources with mental health problems? Surely, the public have a right to know.

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  53. Ross Miller (1,618 comments) says:

    Gueez Ross69 … take your partisan glasses off. Key can talk to anyone he likes and so can Norman/Peters/Curran/Horse et al.

    Problem for the latter mob is why they would want to talk to a convicted criminal and a fugitive from justice currently fighting extradition proceedings …. endorsements and dosh perhaps.

    Dodgy2

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