The Herald reports:
Kim Dotcom has paid back about $400,000 of up to $900,000 he owes to creditors — but one sees the late payment as a public relations ploy.
Which it is. He could have paid them years ago.
Paul Davis supplied uniforms to the staff at the Dotcom mansion and is one of the creditors who spoke publicly to the Herald last month. He was owed $1138 and said yesterday he was paid as promised.
“But I don’t think it’s his conscience. We had absolutely no movement on this for two years until the Herald story and the TV stations following up. It was pressure which was needed, so I think he’s desperately trying to get some good PR.”
He certainly needs some.
Millions of dollars of assets were seized in raids and Mr Dotcom did not have a legal obligation to pay the debts of the limited liability company.
But creditors became more frustrated in recent months as Mr Dotcom started a high-profile marketing campaign for his Good Times album, took helicopter trips to the Rhythm and Vines music festival and a weekend at Huka Lodge and started the campaign for his Internet Party.
A lack of funds was also cited in the departure of Wayne Tempero, Mr Dotcom’s longtime bodyguard, who was being paid half of what he was getting before the raid.
Mr Dotcom has since obtained an injunction to stop Mr Tempero giving a tell-all interview, and four security guards who worked for the tycoon are also believed to be about to file proceedings in the High Court to seek backpay.
That will be interesting, as they claim they were effectively paid under the minimum wage. This court case could happen at the same time as the Mana Party does a deal with them, which will tell us a lot about how deeply Mana cares for low wage workers.
Fran O’Sullivan writes:
Kim Dotcom bought his New Zealand residency with a $10 million cheque; now he wants to buy off Hone Harawira to try to secure the balance of power at the September election.
Hone’s price is much cheaper.
Nor the fact that Dotcom owns a signed copy of Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf. So what? Mere ownership doesn’t make him a Nazi sympathiser. (I own a Chinese tract signed by the disgraced Bo Xilia and that doesn’t make me a Communist either).
This issue will remain a red herring unless evidence is made public — not merely hinted at — that Dotcom is a closet Nazi and anti-Semitic to boot.
It’s the combination of the book, the flag, the helmet and the testimony from his former friend.
What Dotcom is offering is a gift. Money and resources for a shared tilt at power.
The big question is whether Harawira sticks to the principles on which he founded the Mana Party, or sells out to Dotcom in a naked dirty deal to get more seats in Parliament.
Of course he will sell out.
To help the left remove John Key, the internet mogul has to attract voters that are beyond the reach of Labour and the Greens. Indeed, the best chance for the Internet Party to establish itself as a viable political force and (eventually) get anywhere near the 5 per cent threshold is to position itself in the centre of the political spectrum or slightly to the right, just like New Zealand First, but targeting a much younger catchment of voters.
Instead they’ll mainly take votes of the Greens I’d say.
That he is willing to contemplate a vote-sharing deal with Hone Harawira’s Mana Party is tacit admission that Dotcom knows he will not beat the threshold in September’s ballot. But taking advantage of Harawira’s hold on a threshold-removing electorate seat comes at what may be a heavy, even crippling price.
Harawira made it a precondition of further talks on such a deal that Dotcom commit himself to not working with Key and National post-election.
The immediate impact of that is to drastically cut any leverage — and thus appeal — that the Internet Party might have had if it had taken the same position as New Zealand First and hedged its bets on whether it would back a Labour-led or National-led Government .
Can you imagine a Labour-Green-NZ First-Mana-Dotcom Government!
Even more dangerous in political terms is the suspicion — quickly fuelled by National — that Dotcom’s purpose in setting up the Internet Party is solely to make it a bottom-line of any post-election talks that whoever is Minister of Justice quash any court ruling which would force his extradition. Such a bottom-line would be preposterous and would amount to Dotcom’s party being the sickest joke played on New Zealand voters.
I believe that is the of course the major intent of the party.
Every day that Dotcom deprives Key’s other opponents of the oxygen of media coverage is one day closer to election day on September 20. It is one day less for the real election issues and priorities to take centre stage.
National’s opponents can complain all they like. But the never ending Dotcom saga is a freak show of epic proportions with ever more twists and turns. The media simply finds it impossible to avert its eyes.
Yep, he is starving them of oxygen.