It is becoming clear that the Hollow Man book seems based entirely on the stolen e-mails and Hager has in no way gained confirmation from anyone as to the context of some of them, and what actions if any followed an e-mail.
Now this is not to say the entire book can be dismissed. On the face of it I have some concerns over MPs being too involved with fund-raising. I won’t comment more until I can read the book, but I am a strong believer in having this very much done by the organisational wing.
But many of Hager’s wild claims are melting away. The so called “smoking gun” e-mail which Hager claims was forwarded on to the Steven Joyce by Brash, was in fact never seen by Brash, according to him. Now of course some may say “He would say that wouldn’t he” but the burden of proof is on Hager to prove his assertion, and I doubt he can. Plus I know more than 99.9999% of people about how Don’s e-mail system works and can verify certain things.
Don is known to be a very proficient e-mailer. He does read and respond to his e-mail. In fact he is so diligent at doing this, that he would spend hours every week doing thoughtful replies to members of the public who e-mailed him. But once he became Leader the demands on his time were much greater, and he somewhat reluctantly agreed to have e-mail sent to his publicly known addresses to go to a staff member, and he got given a new e-mail address which was only known to a relatively select few, which he maintained.
So while I can not speak to any individual e-mail (esp as this happened after I left Parliament), I can say that it is absolutely correct that e-mail sent in May 2005 to Don’s public address would generally not have seen by him and staff would have made the decision on how it is responded to. If it had been forwarded onto Steven Joyce, then that would indicate they decided to refer it to HQ, and wouldn’t show it to Don.
Also Rod Deane has stated he had never given a cent to any political party, in response to Hager claiming he was a big donor to National. Can Hager verify his assertion?
Talking of funding, I understand I even get a brief mention as a funder because I attended one of the fund-raising dinners last year. My God it doesn’t take much to be counted as a funder.
This article in The Press also deals with more details of what the book has wrong.