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Worth affair warning to National – get directly connected

  • June 6th, 2009

 I helped Richard Prebble write the private letter in which he warned Helen Clark of the allegations of underage sex  by a Dover Samuels "relative". Richard emphasized its confidentiality. We did not mention it to anyone, including any in our caucus. 

The letter suggested that she get someone independent to investigate the circumstances. So I bitterly remember how the TV cameras turned up in our offices the following day and followed us around without telling us why, before Clark launched her attack on us in the House, as "muckrakers". Even though some members of the Press Gallery knew (as they later admitted) that Clark’s office released the letter, I remember the entire gallery choosing to make our "targeting of Dover" the story. Six months of voter Siberia followed for us, including from some of our own ACT members.

I remember the media studiously ignoring Labour’s breaches of Electoral Law before the 2005 election. On 5 September 2005 I called several journalists who knew that I did not make things up to background the following release – 

"ACT Justice spokesman Stephen Franks has written to the Auditor General seeking an investigation of the use of parliamentary funds for Labour’s red election pledge card.
The card bears the parliamentary crest to be used only on parliamentary material, not political election propaganda.
“If Labour has paid for this card, despite the use of the crest, it would be a minor matter. But at the Brooklyn community election meeting last night, Marion Hobbs defended her party’s use of taxpayer’s funds. 
“She told me and the meeting that it was paid for from Helen Clark’s leader’s fund and that was alright because the parliamentary leader’s fund was meant for that sort of thing. She compared it to an MP’s electorate office.
“The leader’s fund is subject to the rules against election propaganda. 

“Is this yet another rule that Helen Clark has decided does not apply to her,” Mr Franks said."

It took the Auditor General’s report months later to force any coverage.

What’s the connection between these two old pieces of history and the Worth affair?

John Key sacks a Minister who fails to live up to required standards – as soon as that is evident, and without demanding a Police investigation or conviction first. Think of the contrast with Clark’s corrupt protection of Field, Benson Pope, Peters.

Yet the media immediately parrot Goff’s rather desperate counter-attack, that John Key took too long. The media story is all about John’s difficulties.

National has to accept governing in spite of the media. They need to connect with the 80% of New Zealanders who mystify the media, those who do not want to be told how to rear their children, who see through the fog of in-group snobbery that suffuses NZ  political journalism.

The media are largely Labour’s. They’re incapable of objectivity. It is not calculated low ethics or un-professional standards. Most have a poor knowledge of history. They simply do not know how much they do not know.Though they earnestly believe they’re unbiased, in fact they fall in with Goff’s strategies with the eagerness with which they played their assigned roles for Clark.

National strategies should plan on by-passing the media to connect directly with voters as far as that can be acheived.

Obama is doing it now, for different reasons (he has an adoring media) but to by-pass the Democrat Party dinosaurs. He can’t be beholden to them, because they suffer much the same disconnect from mainstream US voters.

National needs to crank up its internet communication capacity urgently.


  • peterquixote
  • June 11th, 2009
  • 7:43 pm

PM NZ NAT PM John Key is not doing well with girls and that stuff Stephen,
look at Melissa Lee, and Christine Rankin and now the Worth less girl,
well what do you think dude,
he better look out, the wolves are gathering,
far sooner than i thought,

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