Garner and Keall on Dotcom and his party

March 28th, 2014 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

blogs:

There’s one major and terminal problem with ’s Internet Party: he can’t be the leader.

He can only be the shadowy, backroom figure that pulls the strings. He will do that. And that will turn off some voters.

The other thing that should, and will, turn people off is that he collects Nazi memorabilia. He should be treated the same as any other political leader found draped in the Nazi flag: they would be crucified.

If it was David Cunliffe or Peter Dunne or, in the past, Don Brash or Rodney Hide et al, they would be forced to resign. They would be shamed and sent packing. Dotcom should not be seen as any different. Why treat him as special?

Could you imagine the outcry if it turned out that (for example) the Leader of ACT purchased a signed copy of Mein Kampf, had a photo of him wearing an SS helmet and displayed a Nazi flag at his house? They’d be gone within hours.

I agree New Zealand needs better internet, but does it take an “internet party” to get us there? This party is a sham and a side-show feeding Kim Dotcom’s vast wealth and ego – not to mention his desperate ambitions to stay in New Zealand, rather than rot in some American jail.

This is the truth. He has a host of convictions:

He owes money to creditors; good hard-working Kiwis who are now out of pocket.

And he could have paid them months ago. He has chosen not to.

writes at NBR:

The first “action agenda” item listed on the website is 50% cheaper internet – and unlimited and universal, to boot.

I’d also like the price of books to be 50% cheaper, and the price of food.

I agree with the Internet Party’s stance that broadband at half the price would be “awesome.”

However, it’s not clear how we get to this state of awesomeness. 

The party doesn’t price any of its policies, say how they would be achieved or offer any other details. 

Details would be nice.

The 50% internet policy is actually the most fleshed out – if three sentences can be called fleshed out – with the line that  “We will take direct action to expand New Zealand’s infrastructure by building a second submarine cable.”

I’d like to see a second cable, too. I find it curious National has been quite willing to out-Labour Labour by sending $1.5 billion on the UFB and related projects, but offer only a paltry $15 million to assist a submarine cable startup (Pacific Fibre and others have estimated it will cost around $400 million to challenge the 50% Telecom-owned Southern Cross Cable’s monopoly on our broadband connection to the outside world).

I would also like to see a second cable. But Hawaiki is planning such a cable, and until we see if they succeed or not, I don’t think you can say the Government needs to step in. Far better to let the private sector compete.

I don’t think a second cable would make broadband 50% cheaper. In fact, I’d be surprised if it yielded savings of 10% or 5% or anything, based on what ISPs tell me (Orcon boss Greg McAlister recently said a $75 monthly connection includes about $7 in international bandwidth charges). 

This is correct. The price of international data is not a huge proportion of what we pay. The prices drop around 20% every year as capacity expands on the current cable. Also more of our international data is coming from Australia, not the US. 10 years ago it was over 90% US and 1% Australia and today it is 50% US and 37% Australia.

This is not to mean that a second US cable would not be a good thing. It would be. But it is not a silver bullet and will not reduce costs of broadband by 50% or probably even 5%.

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36 Responses to “Garner and Keall on Dotcom and his party”

  1. BeaB (2,123 comments) says:

    He is making a fool of us.
    I can just see the book in a few years time when he boasts about how gullible Kiwis are and how he manipulated the media and political system.
    However, he fascinates the media and they don’t pillory him for actions that are far worse than anything someone like Aaron Gilmore did.
    His main use as far as I am concerned is his ability to deny the Left any air time. Cunliffe has become invisible. He and others will rue the day they let this malignant poser anyone near them.

    John Key is our rock star statesman through it all.

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  2. notrotsky (84 comments) says:

    Having just been out for a boozy lunch I can state beyond the shadow of any doubt that on the evidence to date Kim Schmitz is a fucking cunt !

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  3. Huevon (222 comments) says:

    So what. The only people who would be dumb enough to vote for Kim Dotcom would be people dumb enough to support Labour or the Greens. Every vote for the Internet Party is a vote for another National govt.

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  4. Ryan Sproull (7,136 comments) says:

    There is a lot of anti-Dotcom sentiment on the left. Also a lot of dumbfounded open-jawed shock that anyone on the left is dealing with him at all.

    I mean, he’s a billionaire who underpays workers and either admires fascism or demonstrates a massive disregard for political correctness, including making a rape joke on Twitter last year.

    You’d be hard pressed to invent a more likely target of left-wing ire. And yet…

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  5. ShawnLH (5,017 comments) says:

    “You’d be hard pressed to invent a more likely target of left-wing ire. And yet…”

    I guess there is some opinion that in some way KDC might cause trouble for National and somehow inflate the Left’s vote. Colour me skeptical.

    Sadly the desire for power often trumps principle, on both the Left and the Right.

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  6. davidp (3,581 comments) says:

    Vodafone popped me up to a 500GB/month plan a few weeks ago. Unsolicited but welcome. The speed of the service has also increased and it flies now. Torrenting a 30 minute US comedy now takes under 5 minutes. It is a great service, and I know that the normal course of time will make it better… I am sure that I’ll be on an affordable 1TB/month plan by 2016.

    So how would Dotcom make this better? His record building a sustainable business is not great. He doesn’t seem to have any vision for technology, apart from simplistic slogans. And as the Orcon guy says, the economics just don’t work out for significant cost reductions.

    Just by the way, I’d be careful promoting extra capacity across the Tasman. It is going to encourage consolidation of services and that consolidation will take place in Sydney. It’d be sad if the NZ ICT operations and hosting industry was destroyed by the Internet Party.

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  7. thor42 (971 comments) says:

    @Huevon – “Every vote for the Internet Party is a vote for another National govt.”

    As long as they don’t get 5% of the vote.

    If we assume that (say) 1.2 million people will vote in the election, 5% of that is only 60,000. It’s not impossible.
    It wouldn’t surprise me at all if many Labour and Greens voters decided to support the I.P. just out of spite.

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  8. Bob R (1,371 comments) says:

    @ notrotsky,

    Yeah, calling him “Kim Schmitz” rather than Dotcom. Nice way of emphasising his german ancestry. A bit like Charlie Sheen calling Chuck Lorre by his birthname “Chaim Levine” to emphasise his jewish ancestry.

    “Abraham Foxman, the national director of the Anti-Defamation League, said that Mr Sheen had “left the impression that another reason for his dislike of Mr Lorre is his Jewishness”.”

    http://www.thejc.com/news/world-news/45877/charlie-sheens-chaim-levine-rant-borderline-antisemitic

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  9. seanmaitland (500 comments) says:

    In my opinion, KDC is simply doing this to cause havoc and chaos – he’s not seriously considering that his party will get enough votes. Its just another part of his grand vision for being a pseudo-celebrity, tinted with a bit of revenge for how he felt he was treated.

    The actual technical smarts behind his businesses was never his, so he can’t immerse himself in that, so needs his celebrity status as an outlet.

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  10. alloytoo (542 comments) says:

    Hold on boys, isn’t the national government the one investing in fibre to the door, aren’t they the true Internet Party.

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  11. Ed Snack (1,872 comments) says:

    Ryan, what KDC offers the left is something, to them, (and BTW, almost all politicians of all stripes) more valuable than ideological conformity: Money. I’d put it bluntly, KDC is fucking with their heads, basically.

    Any honest politician (but that’s surely an oxymoron)would spurn any advance made by such an obvious blowhard.

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  12. Psycho Milt (2,412 comments) says:

    Any honest politician (but that’s surely an oxymoron)would spurn any advance made by such an obvious blowhard.

    So far, the only politicians known to have accepted any advance from him are a couple of Auckland mayoral candidates, and whichever Nat MPs were involved in granting him residence.

    The other thing that should, and will, turn people off is that he collects Nazi memorabilia. He should be treated the same as any other political leader found draped in the Nazi flag: they would be crucified.

    It’s political correctness gone mad, I tell you!

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  13. chris (647 comments) says:

    I suspect the only way they would be able to make the internet 50% “cheaper” would be to subsidise it in some way, shape or form. Which of course means it wouldn’t be any cheaper at all, since it’d be half funded from the taxes we pay.

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  14. lastmanstanding (1,293 comments) says:

    As well as manipulating our political system for his own self ends he is also manipulating our capital markets for the same self ends. Interests ( quaint term but that’s the business jargon) associated with Mr Dot Com are proposing to do a back door listing of MEGA via a shelf company TRS Ltd. As an aside the 73% share holder in TRS Ltd is facing 25 charges of market manipulation and insider trading in Australia.
    But back to TRS Ltd and the proposed deal for MEGA to buy TRS with undisclosed assets of $210 Million. The shares in TRS were trading at 0.1 cents that one tenth of a cent each before the announcement of the proposed deal. Since them 40 Million shares have traded at between 1.2 cents and 1.9 cents per share. At this price they are equivalent to between $1.63 and $2.81 after the proposed 1 for 148 shares in TRS.
    Yet the deal with MEGA is for TRS to issue shares at a nominal 30 cents each. Go figure. So without any details or better still an independent report on the assets of $210 million some are prepared to pay a multiple of up to 9,4 times the 30 cents to be a less than 1% shareholder in the renamed MEGA.
    Interested associated with Mr Dot Com will own 99% of the shares in the renamed TRS Ltd after the deal. Under the current regulations a back door listing doesn’t require a prospectus with all the information and details these require.

    So again I say Mr Dot Com is very cleverly exploiting our capital market law and rule to his own advantage and taking a bunch of locals to the cleaners at the same time.

    Now some would say so what who cares. Well my friends when the NZX is seen as a Casino on steroids then forget about the economy expanding because no one (except the above investors in Kim Dot Com) will go anywhere near the NZX with a 40 foot barge pole.

    And at that point EVERY Kiwi will suffer.

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  15. Weihana (4,537 comments) says:

    DPF,

    > The first “action agenda” item listed on the website is 50% cheaper internet – and unlimited and universal, to boot.

    I’d also like the price of books to be 50% cheaper, and the price of food.

    David, I think you’re missing the brilliance of this pledge.

    I recall the joy in 1996 at being made aware of an internet deal which cost about $60 for 60 megabytes per month. About a dollar per megabyte. This was about double what I could get before… and this was at dial-up speed.

    Today I can get about 500,000 megabytes for $75 per month or equivalently I will pay roughly 0.015 cents per megabyte. This is at about 10Mbit/sec.

    If someone said I could use 500,000 megabytes a month in 1996 the number would be meaningless. It would be “unlimited”.

    The Internet Party doesn’t have to do anything and their promise comes true!

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  16. Weihana (4,537 comments) says:

    davidp (3,290 comments) says:
    March 28th, 2014 at 1:28 pm

    I am sure that I’ll be on an affordable 1TB/month plan by 2016.

    Just in time for the 2017 election and voila, promise delivered! :)

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  17. Pete George (23,559 comments) says:

    Psycho Milt: “So far, the only politicians known to have accepted any advance from him are a couple of Auckland mayoral candidates”

    Two mayoral candidates?

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  18. Weihana (4,537 comments) says:

    Ryan Sproull (6,475 comments) says:
    March 28th, 2014 at 1:20 pm

    I mean, he’s a billionaire…

    Nah, just a multi-millionaire.

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  19. davidp (3,581 comments) says:

    Weihana>Just in time for the 2017 election and voila, promise delivered!

    Except it is nothing to do with any government, regardless of ideology. It’s just improvements in technology, and price reductions due to the infrastructure having paid off most of its set up cost.

    So I’m on my first month of a 500GB plan, and I’ve been driving it REALLY hard. I went mental at the start of the month treating it as a challenge to use up my quota. It is getting close to the end of the month and things are getting a bit tight… I’m having to watch the gigabytes to ensure I’m not throttled down a couple of days short. I’m not sure what is going to happen next month, because the opportunity to go wild just isn’t there. I’m out of ideas for things to download and pirate. So, essentially, 500GB is unlimited for me. Any increase in quota above that is just icing on the cake… like a reason not to bother checking usage at any point during the month.

    I’m also not sure whether I care about increasing internet speed. Youtube streams without delay. BitTorrent is screamingly fast. I can do videoconferencing with a nice clear stream. Maybe there is some benefit if I lived with ten other people and we all wanted to run BitTorrent at the same time? Otherwise, I’m happy.

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  20. davidp (3,581 comments) says:

    Pete G>Two mayoral candidates?

    That is speculative. Brown funnelled all his election funding through a secret trust so we don’t know who financed him. For some reason I don’t understand, Banks tried to avoid declaring his donors and is in court while Brown successfully avoided declaring his donors and isn’t.

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  21. bhudson (4,740 comments) says:

    I would also like to see a second cable.

    We have a second cable. It is also owned by Southern Cross

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  22. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    Why can’t Dotcom be leader of his party?

    Could you imagine the outcry if it turned out that (for example) the Leader of ACT purchased a signed copy of Mein Kampf, had a photo of him wearing an SS helmet and displayed a Nazi flag at his house?

    Nah, the leader of ACT is more interested in incest. :)

    But you’re right, Dotcom should burn all his books. Now wouldn’t that be ironic?

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  23. Pete George (23,559 comments) says:

    Why can’t Dotcom be leader of his party?

    Because he’s not a New Zealand citizen.

    He has ambitions of becoming a citizen and an MP according to an interview on Seven Sharp last night and on their website.

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  24. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    Because he’s not a New Zealand citizen.

    He doesn’t need to be a NZ citizen. I’m surprised DPF didn’t point this out in his post…

    “The Electoral Commission confirms Dotcom cannot stand for Parliament himself because he is not a New Zealand citizen. However, he can still play a central role in the party as leader or president without being a candidate.”

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/9600518/Dotcom-sets-sights-on-politics

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  25. Psycho Milt (2,412 comments) says:

    Two mayoral candidates?

    Banks and Brown accepted donations from him.

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  26. Pete George (23,559 comments) says:

    Ok, he could be leader but because it rules him out of being a candidate I think that would be unprecedented.

    And it would be contrary to the Internet Party’s expressed wish to distance itself from Dotcom. Perhaps the first real sign of this happening is announcement that Dotcom is being replaced by Vikram Kumar in an interview on The Nation tomorrow.

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  27. Pete George (23,559 comments) says:

    Banks and Brown accepted donations from him.

    Is there any proof that Brown accepted donations from him?

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  28. Psycho Milt (2,412 comments) says:

    Actually, now that you mention it I was mixing up the Sky City donations with the Dotcom ones. Sorry. It was Sky City that donated to both but was only declared as anonymous by Banks.

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  29. Pete George (23,559 comments) says:

    I asked because I was caught out making the same mistake yesterday and no evidence of Dotcom->Brown was found.

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  30. emmess (1,428 comments) says:

    Can anyone show me a comparable country with substantially cheaper broadband?
    I.e relatively wealthy and not densely populated.

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  31. Anthony (796 comments) says:

    I wonder if Dotcom has posed as Sergeant Schultz?

    http://knowyourmeme.com/photos/431020

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  32. Tom Jackson (2,553 comments) says:

    You guys are nuts.

    I cannot understand your palpable fear of this man. He’s accused of abetting what is in most countries a civil crime, and people in this thread have admitted participating in the same crime (witness the discussions of bitorrent above).

    What does he have on your beloved leader that has you all in such a fluff?

    The Nazi jibe is about the weakest, most pathetic attempt at discrediting him I can imagine, yet here you all are honking on about it in concert.

    The only people who really give a fuck about Kim Dotcom are the National Party, and I’m still not sure why.

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  33. Ben Dover (526 comments) says:

    Yeah But

    The Leader of the National Party wants to remove the Union Jack

    Imagine if an “Irish Catholic Prime Minister”
    had mentioned that
    could you imagine the bigotry and “over reaction” to that

    Imagine if an Irish Catholic Australian Prime Minister attempted that

    Imagine if an Irish Catholic “Australian Born” New Zealand Prime Minister
    who actually declared was on Germany
    and was New Zealander of the Century

    mentioned in 1 sentence removing the Union Jack or altering the Flag

    The Jews and Protestants would go apoplectic

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  34. Ben Dover (526 comments) says:

    Jesus the guy must pose a threat to KEY or someone else

    if there is so much fuss over him

    what are scared of he will hack the Tea Tapes or something

    does he pose a threat or challenge to chinese control of the NZ internet?

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  35. Ben Dover (526 comments) says:

    The only people who really give a fuck about Kim Dotcom are the National Party, and I’m still not sure why.

    >

    He must have something on them

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  36. adze (2,126 comments) says:

    I cannot understand your palpable fear of this man. He’s accused of abetting what is in most countries a civil crime

    You’re forgetting he was convicted in Germany for insider trading and embezzlement, which are both criminal offences.

    And if National is the only party that “give a fuck” about him, why did a procession of non-Nat politicians visit him for apparently political reasons (Norman, Harawira, Peters, among others)?

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