Hide on Labour and Liu

June 30th, 2014 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

writes:

Deny, deny, deny. Attack, attack, attack. That’s been ’s response to businessman claiming he donated tens of thousands of dollars to the Party.

Labour’s strategy is risky. It is challenging Liu’s honesty and integrity. He’s no doubt feeling aggrieved. The danger for Labour is that Liu produces documents, witnesses and photographs confirming his substantial donations.

That’s what did it for Winston Peters in 2008. Sir Owen Glenn was able to prove the donations that Peters denied.

It is a very high risk strategy.

So where are we now? Confused. Liu said he gave substantial money to the Labour Party. The Labour Party says it has no record of it, and hasn’t reported any donations from Liu.

But it’s quite possible that everyone is telling the truth. The money could have been stolen. That would mean Liu gave the money but Labour never received it. Charity auctions and the like are often chaotic and it is too easy to have no one properly in charge of recording and receipting all payments and donations. This is especially so in political events. Volunteers are enthusiastic but not necessarily experienced and politicians are anxious to stay well away from money changing hands.

Indeed, a big part of Cunliffe’s problem – and Banks’ and Williamson’s – is that politicians shy away from fundraising details precisely to avoid the perception that cash influences decision-making.

The safer course of action for the Labour Party would be to say it was treating the matter seriously. That would mean thanking Liu for coming forward with his information and inviting the police to investigate. The police could try to trace the money, letting Cunliffe off the hook. He would have done everything by the book. He would be open and upfront. It would also kill the story. He couldn’t comment while police were investigating.

But Labour didn’t do that. It denied and attacked.

There’s a reason politicians do the things they do. Cunliffe couldn’t be sure what the police would find. Calling in the police runs the risk of finding out more than Cunliffe wants to know.

Or they could have asked if their general secretary could meet with Liu, get details off him, and then try to work out what happened. But instead they have all but called him a liar, and I am unsure if that will end well.

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44 Responses to “Hide on Labour and Liu”

  1. Ross12 (1,483 comments) says:

    Now Liu has lawyered up. Labour clearly do not understand anything about “losing face” in the Asian world. Labour is going to get clobbered.

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  2. RightNow (7,014 comments) says:

    It’s all a smear campaign orchestrated by National and the right wing biased media and it will backfire on them come September as the voters are sick of gotcha politics.
    (apologies to ross001, itstricky, thepeoplesflag and all you other satirists, I got this one).

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  3. anticorruptionnz (215 comments) says:

    wouldn’t this have been better if this had been properly investigated when the issue was first raised. like wie Judith Collins actions and Maurice Williams actions should all have been independently investigated instead of al this finger pointing and cross claiming.

    no politician is immune from accountability and the only thing that appears to be going on is mud slinging.

    why not put it on a professional level and investigate the alleged corruptions

    Oh I forgot we dont have an agency that is independent and who can do that.

    well guess we have to rely on the PMS top draw and roll out the dirt when it suits.

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  4. David Garrett (7,695 comments) says:

    Right Now: I am with you Sir…we are going to get a “September surprise” (with apologies to Michael Dukakis) as everyone suddenly realises that 1970’s socialism is the best way to run the economy; John Keys (you’d be amazed how many people still don’t know the PM’s name) is just another rich prick making his rich mates richer…and the hook up between Hone and Schmitz is the most natural pairing since…marmite and cheese?

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  5. Alan (1,087 comments) says:

    They didn’t “deny and attack”, Cunliffe said, the party president had informed him they had no record of donations and asked Mr Liu to back up his “$100k for wine” claim.

    They said if the claim is false they’d like an apology. Perfectly reasonable.

    Right now Mr Liu hasn’t substantiated any of his claims, photos of him standing next to Helen Clark aren’t going to cut it, he needs figures and dates. It’s been over a week and they aren’t forthcoming yet.

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  6. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    @ Ross12 (1,112 comments) says:
    June 30th, 2014 at 12:05 pm

    Perhaps Liu should have thought about ‘losing faith’ before he tried to buy his way into political favour. It might please you because it’s a’gin Labour but the consequences of allowing someone like Liu to buy favour with our politicians, (lets face it, he did it with National too) is really bad for all New Zealanders. That you are using it in your bitch fight is not surprising. None of you are thinking past scoring points, and especially not for the overall effect and welfare of this country if assholes like Liu are allowed to use money to buy favours (remember Williamson?).

    For god sake, pull your finger out of your butt and look at the bigger picture.

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  7. ross001 (233 comments) says:

    This wouldn’t be the same Rodney Hide who took his girlfriend on various overseas trips at the taxpayers’ expense, yet campaigned against exactly this sort of behaviour? Idiot.

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  8. anticorruptionnz (215 comments) says:

    there is a very common practice called DARVO

    Deny
    Attack
    Reverse
    Victim and
    Offender

    what we have to establish on facts is who is the victim and who is the offender

    cant be done through mud slinging needs to be done through a proper investigation

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  9. Lance (2,708 comments) says:

    @ross001
    Anything but address the thread

    But hey if the left are all thinking like you, I say … go ahead with that sound strategy… it’s a real winner

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  10. ross001 (233 comments) says:

    Anything but address the thread

    Oh but I did. Rodney Hide has about the same credibility as the wife-beater Liu.

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  11. Ross12 (1,483 comments) says:

    Judith

    Question –who started all this muck raking ?? I’ve noticed Robertson has gone very quiet lately.

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  12. iMP (2,453 comments) says:

    John Key, PM in liu/lieu of an Opposition.

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  13. igm (1,413 comments) says:

    ross69: Hyde would still possess a lot more credibility than a piece scum such as Cunliffe. In fact he would bury any of the left-wing losers you adore.

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  14. ross001 (233 comments) says:

    scum such as Cunliffe

    Goodness, it’s time you had a lie down and a cup of tea. Even though John Key has told more lies than any other PM in living memory, I’d never refer to the guy as scum.

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  15. Akaroa (612 comments) says:

    Re=Judith at 1228.

    Nit picking I know, and it pains me to bring this up, but – Judith – the term is ‘Losing FACE’ not, as you have said ‘losing FAITH’.

    Probably just a slip of the finger on the key, and most uncharacteristic of your customary style and presentation.

    Forgive me for even mentioning it!

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  16. Grendel (1,013 comments) says:

    So Ross, no MP is allowed to take a partner on 1 overseas trip? their salary is not scaled to take their travel allowance into effect?

    oh wait, yes they can, in fact your hero chris carter was the king of this (dont forget your current hero Hone). so the only issue is that Rodney hide set a standard that he did not live up to. Chris carter had no standards so it was not an issue for him (whos travel outweighed hides by multiples, even in opposition).

    so as usual, the left is attacking someone they dislike becuase they actually have standards, but their own guys, who have none, can get away with whatever they like.

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  17. Psycho Milt (2,423 comments) says:

    The safer course of action for the Labour Party would be to…

    Well… not start taking advice on what it should do from Rodney Hide or David Farrar, first and foremost, but if we look at it from the perspective of what would benefit Labour rather than the government:

    1. Some rich twat of dubious character with ties to the National Party has made claims about donating money to the Labour Party, has since had to retract some of the more obviously silly ones, but is still claiming he donated some.

    2. Evidence for the claims to date: null.

    3. Appropriate course of action: tell the Nat smear squad to put up or shut up, then ignore them.

    This isn’t a “high risk strategy.” If they’re confident no donations were made, it’s a “well, duh strategy.” If they’re confident donations were made, it’s a “suicidally deranged strategy,” which suggests to me the smear has done its work with the headlines it got in the last couple of weeks and no evidence will be forthcoming.

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  18. burt (7,423 comments) says:

    ross001

    This wouldn’t be the same Rodney Hide who took his girlfriend on various overseas trips at the taxpayers’

    And then resigned as leader … You know, that thing that unemployable unionists and academics are too scared to do.

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  19. Psycho Milt (2,423 comments) says:

    Hyde would still possess a lot more credibility than a piece scum such as Cunliffe.

    Hyde was a grotesque, brutal, murderous (also fictional) monster, so I should think even poor old David Cunliffe has a bit more credibility than him.

    In fact he would bury any of the left-wing losers you adore.

    Well, I can imagine him murdering them, but it seems unlikely he’d trouble himself to bury them afterwards.

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  20. igm (1,413 comments) says:

    Ross69: I would be more concerned about cost and reason, when a RNZAF special flight was ordered to the States by Goff, as Minister of Defence, to urgently remove the Labour PM’s husband of convenience. Why did this take place, what was the cost? It would be insignificant to that of Rodney’s dirty weekend! Question: why does Peter Davis not visit his wife at UN? Seems very strange!

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  21. Chuck Bird (4,890 comments) says:

    “Even though John Key has told more lies than any other PM in living memory”

    How old are you 12? Do you not remember Helen Clark?

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  22. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    @ Ross12 (1,113 comments) says:
    June 30th, 2014 at 12:48 pm

    The Mud Raking started getting bad about the same time Key made his way into our political arena. I’m sure it’s just a coincidence.

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  23. Ross12 (1,483 comments) says:

    Judith @ 1.23 –absolute rubbish

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

    2. Evidence for the claims to date: null.

    It’s probably a good job that Rick “can’t remember meeting the guy” Barker isn’t a current Labour front-bencher.

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  25. Kimble (3,955 comments) says:

    1. Some rich twat of dubious character with ties to the National Party has made claims about donating money to the Labour Party, has since had to retract some of the more obviously silly ones, but is still claiming he donated some.

    2. Evidence for the claims to date: null.

    3. Appropriate course of action: tell the Nat smear squad to put up or shut up, then ignore them.

    1. If true then that is all the more reason to take the conservative approach of someone who is innocent.

    2. If true then that is all the more reason to take the conservative approach of someone who is innocent.

    3. No, take the conservative approach of someone who is innocent.

    The conservative approach is to say that you have no record of those donations, but thank the accuser for their concern and call in a neutral and powerful third party to get to the truth of the matter.

    That way, when your innocence is proven it is obvious that you were confident that you had nothing to hide and that you were merely calling the dubious characters bluff.

    As a bonus you have a reason not to discuss the matter further until it is resolved, meaning people have a reason to stop asking you about it.

    Of course, that is all assuming that Labour is innocent. Which you are. Because Left.

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  26. Kimble (3,955 comments) says:

    The Mud Raking started getting bad about the same time Key made his way into our political arena. I’m sure it’s just a coincidence.

    Yes, how dare he force Labour to engage in a decade of muck raking.

    I mean, he practically bought the ticket and forced the Labour party President on to the plane to Australia on a muck-finding tour. Remember that?

    He deliberately created a blind trust so that Labour would be forced to complain about it.

    Then there are the COMPLETELY-THE-FAULT-OF-THE-LABOUR-PARTY gaffs the John Key forced upon Labours new leader. Which is all a form of muck-raking if you think about it.

    Yep, being a popular, competent, articulate, likeable leader plums the depths of under-handedness.

    How very dare he!

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  27. David Garrett (7,695 comments) says:

    Ross69redux: Well, apart from the fact that Rodney’s trip was within the rules (which he had indeed campaigned against, and it well and truly bit him on the arse), and there was only one of them (trips, not arses)…

    Grendel: You have put it better than I..

    igm: come on man!! I am DYING to know the whole sordid story of “Peter and the Bath House”

    “Once upon a time, in a land far away…”

    Do tell…you are using a pseud man….

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  28. Psycho Milt (2,423 comments) says:

    The conservative approach is to say that you have no record of those donations, but thank the accuser for their concern and call in a neutral and powerful third party to get to the truth of the matter.

    It’s very tempting to treat as plausible the idea that conservatives are not very bright, but I don’t think anyone would regard as ‘conservative’ an approach that involves working to keep your opponents’ unsubstantiated smear story in the media for even longer than it would otherwise have stayed there.

    Of course, that is all assuming that Labour is innocent. Which you are. Because…

    …no-one’s yet presented a reason to assume otherwise. I realise that’s an outlandish and unfashionable an approach on this blog, but nevertheless I’m sticking with it. Also: ‘innocent’ of what, exactly?

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  29. Rex Widerstrom (5,013 comments) says:

    That would mean thanking Liu for coming forward with his information and inviting the police to investigate

    Invariably that would open the question of how he was allowed into this country against the advice of officials, because that’s almost certainly linked to the exchange of money. And no one involved wants that looked at – not Labour, and certainly not Liu.

    Of course if we were as virginal as we like to believe we are when it comes to corruption, by now there’d be an inquiry into Liu, his links to Labour, and how many other donors to political parties have bought their way in.

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  30. Kimble (3,955 comments) says:

    that involves working to keep your opponents’ unsubstantiated smear story in the media for even longer than it would otherwise have stayed there.

    Oh yes, you are totally right. As evidenced by the fact that Labour’s deny-and-attack strategy killed this story off on its first day.

    Except it didn’t.

    So other than a cringing denial of observable reality, what have you got?

    Also: ‘innocent’ of what, exactly?

    Depends on what Labour is so eager to hide. Because that is how they look.

    Playbook on how to look very fucking guilty indeed.
    Step 1: Deny the allegation with an odd degree of vehemence.
    Step 2: Accuse others of conspiring against you in an obvious attempt to deflect attention.
    Step 3: Get caught lying about your association with actors in the event.
    Step 4: Threaten everyone involved with legal action, again with an odd degree of vehemence
    Step 5: Do not in any way try and get a neutral third party to confirm your innocence

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  31. Psycho Milt (2,423 comments) says:

    Oh yes, you are totally right. As evidenced by the fact that Labour’s deny-and-attack strategy killed this story off on its first day. Except it didn’t.

    Sure – what killed it was the Herald having to backtrack and making everyone who’d been promoting it look like an idiot. But even without that, you’re proposing a false dichotomy of “either your tactics killed the smear immediately, or you should adopt tactics guaranteed to put it back on the front page and keep it running.” That second one remains a bad idea that plays into your opponents’ hands regardless of how well other approaches have or haven’t worked.

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  32. David Garrett (7,695 comments) says:

    Rex W: Well said…I don’t believe either major party would come out well from a thorough investigation of how these “businessmen” found their way into this country contrary to official advice..

    OK, igm doesn’t want to play…One of you pseud carrying commenters must know the story of Peter and the Bath House…

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  33. Kimble (3,955 comments) says:

    This story isnt dead. Not by a long way.

    Labour have kept this story going by carefully and comprehensively ticking off each step in the playbook I posted above.

    Threatening to sue? Idiocy. Claiming a conspiracy? Idiocy. Dragging National in by accusing them of orchestrating this? Utterly utterly stupid. Throwing that out there without a shred of proof accomplished nothing but to highlight Nationals non-involvement and make themselves look desperate and guilty.

    You dont kill a story like this by adding to the intrigue.

    You kill it by making it boring.

    Call in the cops. Make it procedural. It will be off the front page in a week. This should be obvious to even the most incompetent political operator.

    So what is Labour reason for doing the opposite?

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  34. burt (7,423 comments) says:

    David Garrett

    OK, igm doesn’t want to play…One of you pseud carrying commenters must know the story of Peter and the Bath House…

    I heard it was Peter in a toilet with another male at LAX ….

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  35. ross001 (233 comments) says:

    Ross69redux: Well, apart from the fact that Rodney’s trip was within the rules (which he had indeed campaigned against, and it well and truly bit him on the arse), and there was only one of them

    I think you’ll find there were 4 trips…not including his Dancing With The Stars trip. :)

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/3042812/Rodney-Hide-says-sorry-for-trip

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  36. Psycho Milt (2,423 comments) says:

    Throwing that out there without a shred of proof accomplished nothing but to highlight Nationals non-involvement and make themselves look desperate and guilty.

    Yes, Key’s inability to keep the smirk off his face while refusing to say how he knew about the smear before the Herald got hold of it was a study in how to demonstrate a total lack of involvement…

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  37. lazza (401 comments) says:

    Labours laughingly called “Strategy” in matters such as their denials (Liu/Cunners CV/ his Trusts/unknown donations da de dah) speaks volumes about a pretender-alternative Gummint.

    Geez! … if these bozos with their best attempts to plan and strategise come to this then …

    Please … Please fellow NZ voters … DON’T give them ANY chance!

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  38. OneTrack (3,347 comments) says:

    pyscho – “Yes, Key’s inability to keep the smirk off his face ..,”

    I would be smirking too, while thinking “How many cockups can Labour come up with. Just when you think things are settling down, they screw it up again. New Zealand needs a better opposition”

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  39. Scott1 (588 comments) says:

    haven’t they pretty much explained the dotation’s already?
    50k for the trip
    15k for a bottle
    15 k for a book or something
    2k and probably other small donations to clubs and whatever
    total about 100k
    I cant remember all the details, abnd he may have explicitly said some things were not in the 100k – but so far my impression is the 100k includes everything.

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  40. David Garrett (7,695 comments) says:

    burt: Details man, details! How old was the male? Who was the pitcher and who was the catcher? Was little Peter arrested for breach of California Law? Did he spend time in the can – sorry, the jail – and if so how long? Is the rumour that an RNZAF aircraft was sent up there just for him true?/

    One Track: New Zealand needs a better opposition…classic….

    lazza: Nice to meet you recently…

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  41. burt (7,423 comments) says:

    David Garrett

    As a caution, DPF has dished out demerits for people making assertions about this. So care is clearly needed on several fronts.

    I know nothing I haven’t gathered on blogs. Public domain you may say. The story seems to go something along the lines of what you say, an incident involving a violation of Californian law along the lines of George Michael in the BMW – but apparently in the airport ? The story goes that Winston as foreign minister at the time (??) arranged an airforce pickup and umm, err, diplomatically dealt with the proceedings.

    I’ve seen it quoted that Californian law records are searchable, but I’ve never tried to dig it out. It’s hard to imagine such an incident wouldn’t be protected with some form of suppression, if it happened at all.

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  42. Kimble (3,955 comments) says:

    Yes, Key’s inability to keep the smirk off his face while refusing to say how he knew about the smear before the Herald got hold of it was a study in how to demonstrate a total lack of involvement…

    Key’s smirk damns him, but Cunliffe’s scowl means nothing, huh?

    …no-one’s yet presented a reason to assume otherwise [that Labour is not innocent]. I realise that’s an outlandish and unfashionable an approach on this blog, but nevertheless I’m sticking with it.

    Well, you stuck with it for a couple of hours. Is that a record for you?

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  43. David Garrett (7,695 comments) says:

    burt: thank you…ol’ DPF’s demerit policy – at least in its application rather than theory – is something of a mystery to me but there you go…you own the real estate I guess you gets to decide what gets posted on it…

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  44. lazza (401 comments) says:

    You David G. Pretty grouse Pub eh? Love Lazza.

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