Rosemary McLeod writes:
The big guy’s not wrong when he admits he was toxic for the Internet-Mana Party. Actually he’s toxic for New Zealand. We don’t admire personal feuds and personalised attacks on this scale in our part of the world, and to tag it on to a general election was too much.
Dotcom’s squeals of pleasure, as his tame speakers attacked John Key, would have turned many stomachs, not just mine. They knew nothing about Key that could justify their attack on his character, and the only good thing about their display of viciousness ended up being that it perversely gave a landslide victory to Key at the end of the most bizarre campaign I can remember.
Who would have thought Harre and that martyr of all Left-wing causes, John Minto, would be enticed by big bucks? Was that how truly principled paragons of the Left should behave? Dotcom has looked and behaved like the epitome of the kind of fat cat they would normally deplore, throwing his money around, but that very money had them mesmerised.
They threw away their credibility, and it can hardly have been worth it.
A sadder case is Hone Harawira, who threw away his ability to advocate in Parliament for issues he genuinely believes in. Did he think Maori voters would follow him blindly?
They were too intelligent for that.
Hone and Laila were genuine principled advocates for their beliefs. And then they sold out. They took the money, and aligned themselves with a rich criminal’s jihad against John Key, as they thought it would get them into power. The former staunch unionists had not a word to say about the allegations of his former staff who claimed Dotcom paid them $5 an hour only.
Even the sainted Nicky Hager, who the overseas speakers lauded for his series of indignant publications, is tainted by the campaign waged against Key. It was a cynical and calculated gesture to publish his book so close to an election, hoping to derail National’s predicted chances. He managed to knock Judith Collins out of the running, and WhaleOil will never look so beguiling again, but he doesn’t look any cleaner for it. When you’re praised by the kind of crowd that whooped and hollered in the Auckland Town Hall you’re not in classy company. At least he had the good sense not to be present.
Both Hager and Dotcom made the same mistake – doing their attacks during the election campaign. New Zealanders don’t like gotcha politics like that. Any serious issues they had would have been far more effectively considered if they had released them three to six months before the election.
And for those who are about to attack McLeod as being a cheerleader for National:
I voted Labour – out of nostalgia, though I knew it would fare badly. …
And for the record, I’ve never voted National in my life.
And I suspect never will.