Monday 21 July 2014


T Minus Five ... And Counting: Kim Dotcom has promised to prove the Prime Minister a liar at a meeting in the Auckland Town Hall on 15/9/14 - just five days before the General Election. It promises to be a night to remember.

IT IS THE EVENING of Monday, 15 September 2014. The General Election is just five days away and the Auckland Town Hall is full-to-bursting. The Internet Party has made certain that every one of the 1,250 seats is occupied by making free tickets available to people online on a first-come, first-served basis. Many hundreds more are packing the rooms adjoining the chamber and, outside, Aotea Square is rapidly filling with people eager to follow proceedings on the giant video screen supplied by the man of the hour – Kim Dotcom.
The unprecedented public interest has been carefully nourished by the Internet Party’s constant drip-feeding of information to the news media. Week-after-week Laila Harre and her team have told the story of a small but proud Pacific nation transformed into the willing lap-dog of an overbearing super-power. At the centre of the narrative stands the Prime Minister of that nation: a man accused of turning over to that super-power not only his country’s national security apparatus but its police force as well. Not simply to curry favour with the super-power, the United States, but to expedite the commercial agenda of the giant media corporations making up the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA).
As the story has unfolded, other individuals and organisations have been drawn into the action. In the light of everything that happened afterwards, New Zealanders have been invited to examine afresh the events of late October 2010. The anti-union hysteria whipped up by Sir Peter Jackson and his movie industry allies over alleged “threats” to The Hobbit, and the way in which this was used to justify Government legislation (rushed through under urgency) effectively de-unionising the entire Kiwi movie industry, has come under particular scrutiny.
There are representatives of Actors’ Equity in the Town Hall tonight. They will be demanding to know whether Prime Minister John Key’s willingness to oblige Hollywood in the matter of The Hobbit is in any way linked to his willingness to oblige the MPAA in the matter of Kim Dotcom.
Fair Trade spokespeople and representatives from the New Zealand Council for Civil Liberties are also in the Hall. They will draw the linkages between John Key’s willingness to let the core institutions of his country be used to the advantage of foreign corporations and the dramatic erosion of New Zealanders’ civil rights. They mean to show how transforming New Zealand into a desirable destination for foreign direct investment necessarily entails the elimination of every civil institution and law capable of challenging investor priorities.
But it is Kim Dotcom himself that thousands of Auckland voters have come to hear (and that many more thousands are following on the Internet).
The Internet Party leader, Laila Harre, pulls no punches in her introduction. She does not ignore Dotcom’s past convictions and pokes gentle fun at his childlike delight in spending money. But then, having acknowledged his faults, HarrĂ© turns to his unlooked for and unwanted role as the symbol of what can happen to an individual when all the malignant powers of big business and the state are ranged against him. What he proposes to tell New Zealanders, she warns, may sound like a grudge-match between two men, but it is much more than that.
If the Prime Minister of New Zealand regards telling his people the Truth as a mere option, as just one more weapon in the arsenal of political spin, to be used whenever it serves his purposes and which possesses no greater or lesser moral weight than a more politically convenient lie, then New Zealand’s democracy is at profound risk. And what does “National Security” really mean if it can only be defended by such duplicity and falsehood? What could possibly require such ethical surrender to keep safe? If Kim Dotcom is able to convince this gathering that John Key has lied to the New Zealand people, HarrĂ© concludes, then in five days’ time the New Zealand people must use the Ballot Box to inform John Key that his services as Prime Minister are no longer required.
The Town Hall and the now overflowing Square outside erupt in thunderous applause.
Kim Dotcom rises from his seat and walks towards the microphone …
This essay was originally posted on The Daily Blog of Wednesday, 16 July 2014.
AFTERWORD: Since the original posting of this essay, Kim Dotcom has announced that Glenn Greenwald, the journalist who brought the CIA whistle-blower, Edward Snowden’s, revelations to the world, will be in attendance in the Auckland Town Hall on Monday, 15 September. And he may not be the only “special guest”. All-in-all, the evening of 15/9/14 is shaping up as an event not to be missed.


mark unsworth said...

Chris .You are possibly the first person in the world to drink the kool-aid while jumping the shark

Kat said...

Dotcoms revelations better have major impact otherwise the MSM/Key & co will have a field day.

Jigsaw said...

'She pokes gentle fun at his delight in spending money....' This is written by person from the left!! Probably even worse it's been put into the mouth of a gadfly of left who has been through more parties that some people have had hot dinners. When the left lauds a criminal then they really must be in trouble.

JanM said...

I have my fingers crossed!

Chris Trotter said...

Back again, Mark? It must be a slow day in Satan's Kingdom.

But, before you become even more insufferably smug than you are already, I suggest you read John Armstrong's piece in this morning's "Herald".

"Because something is happening here, and you don't know what it is - do you Mr [Unsworth]?"

Guerilla Surgeon said...

Jigsaw, the right has its own set of lauded criminals. John Banks for instance, who gets to keep his order of New Zealand. Doug Graham and Hugh Hamilton. Even good old Graeme Thorne apparently :-).I'm not a great fan of dotcom but let's be fair.
I'm amazed I don't even have to go back as far as the marginal lands board affair. Are they in trouble :-)?

Jigsaw said...

Gs - far be it from me to defend Doug Graham, I regarded him as a criminal when he gave Ngati Tahu their 5th and final(yet again) settlement. At least the list you gave were all New Zealanders-we don't need to import criminals-for that is what he is. We certainly don't need foreign crims in the political process. Be fair-state his criminal record....

The Flying Tortoise said...

Fantastic stuff!
If nothing else IM is making these elections a much more exciting event.
If only Labour good cause such excitment but unfortunately they are a spent force.
They are without doubt the least exciting political party on the planet.
Even the new boy on the block is more exciting than Labour.
A few more weeks and it's doubtful if Labour will be able to assume the major opposition status.
I don't know what Matt MaCarten is doing behind the scenes and if he's got any rabbits in the hat he should start letting us see them.
Perhaps he's trying to convince David Shearer to re-apply for the top job...
What a sad disaster you are Labour with others taking what should be your policies away from you...

Guerilla Surgeon said...

Don't want to be picky jigsaw – well yes I do – but you didn't say anything about foreign criminals and your original statement. "When the left lauds a criminal..."
Personally I don't think he should of been allowed into the country, but it seems to be a policy of the right to allow business people in even though they have shady reputations. He's not the first and probably want be the last. He is just big and German and a little bit louder than most of them.
Incidentally, I note that the putative revelations were discussed on national radio this morning in both the left and the right seemed dismissive. Could be wishful thinking.........?

Tiger Mountain said...

The Kelston edition Internet Mana Roadshow was politics as it should be, enthusiastic and positive. The Westies there were overwhelmingly working class and most receptive to the Internet Partys embrace of the future as well as Mana’s justice angle. Internet Mana is not exactly aiming to attract the denizens of political blogs but of course we are welcome too.

There are criminals and criminals it seems. Some commenters here if I remember correctly see Douglas Graham as ‘misunderstood’, Banksie not warranting charge let alone conviction and banishment from parliament. So Dotcom’s youthful hacking is more a convenient tory attack line than a genuine concern for Internet Mana supporters.

Involving Greenwald certainly lends some wider focus and credibility to the Sept 15 event which imo should be viewed as a tactic not a strategy in itself which some are over enthusiastically viewing it as. But the clock is ticking regardless and it is refreshing for someone other than Crosby Textor and ShonKey to be in control of a political narrative.

CarbonGuilty said...

Desperate, desperate stuff Chris.
It's a wonder you don't think the fat crook was let into the country just so Key could destroy the left. Surely Key is behind all your troubles, assisted by the CIA and the Jewish Conspiracy? I saw your ugly caricature of the Israeli PM in the Press the other day. So you have lost the minor respect I had for you. Today in the Press you defend Putin and his fascist regime. You are so bitter at the demise of the left you stoop to racist paranoid nonsense. What a shame. I predict the Dotty Commie Party's bull will get Key 60% by election day. Your antennae are completely off target due to your bitter disappointment I expect.

Chris Trotter said...

To: Carbon Guilty.

It's a little early to be quite so cocky, CG. Sixty days from now those who dismiss Kim Dotcom's political effectiveness may be singing a very different tune.

As for my columns in "The Press" - I simply challenge you to refute any of the facts upon which my opinions are based.

CarbonGuilty said...

Yes I may be being too cocky, and extreme at times but don't you think upon reflection you are too? Don't you look in the mirror and wonder if perhaps you are desperately grasping at straws in the hope this rather flawed character has an ace up his sleeve, and that even if he does, the voters will give a damn?

Chris Trotter said...

As if, CG, there are no flawed characters in the history of New Zealand's right-wing parties!

As for Internet-Mana: it would only require 5-10 percent of voters to "give a damn" for the entire electoral framework constructed over the past 6 years to come crashing down.

Apropos of which, you appear to be under the impression that "the voters" represent a single, undifferentiated, bloc. But a moment's reflection must surely tell you that this is not the case. Political parties exist precisely because not everybody shares the same interests, or believes in the same political prescriptions.

Although I suspect you strongly lament the fact, CG, we do not live in a one party state - or, at least, not yet.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

Ha! Netanyahu manages to be an ugly caricature without anyone actually caricaturing him. Or maybe it's just that no caricature can match up to his real life.

CarbonGuilty said...

You are becoming like Slater, who I hear has major dirt on the Dotty Commie threesome. Bet it's irrelevant too.
I see that racist Minto is at it again supporting Islamo-fascists. Funny how it's the left that supports religious conservative reactionaries these days . Their hatred of the US & friends has no limits.

Since you are concerned with faces like the Israeli PM's perhaps of note is how ugly those on your side are currently (Cunliff, Harre, Minto, Hone,Dotty), and by your implication this discloses their inner ugliness.

Chris Trotter said...

Your welcome at Bowalley Road is wearing mighty thin, Carbon Guilty.

Stick to the issues or you'll be banned.

CarbonGuilty said...

You say this in another column:
"The black eyebrows angled sharply like the wings of an Eagle poised to seize its prey. The lopsided mouth, all curves and creases clutching at a single line, like a snake coiled ‘round a stick. And the expression in those dark, unblinking eyes? How often do we observe lightly, “if looks could kill”? Just study the Israeli photo-journalist, Gali Tibbon’s, most recent photograph of Binyamin Netanyahu and you will know – to a chilling certainty – that they can."

And you think I'm getting close to the edge?
Your reference to the looks of a Jew clearly hark back to dark days in Europe. They are base anti-Semitic stuff which is even happening in NZ with racists like Minto doing it too. That's despicable.

Mark Unsworth said...

Hi Chris
I would score two of your blogs a ten.I point for this one and 9 for the one you wrote today.
No, I know nothing and care even less about DotCom but agree with Ms Pagani and Danyl that Labour would be better off distancing themselves from him .Happy to have a quiet bet that the big announcement will be a damp squib however .Winston's ferry stories are more believable .
PS Happy to chat via email anytime

Guerilla Surgeon said...

Carbon guilty, there is a difference between being against foreign policy of Israel, and the right wing policies of its leader and being anti-Semitic. There is an increasing use of the terms 'anti-Semite' and 'self hating Jew' amongst those who troll for Israel, I suspect in an effort to shut down debate – as decent people don't like to be called anti-Semitic. As far as I could see the description was purple prose, but could really have been applied to anyone :-).

CarbonGuilty said...

Yes GS I agree that the labels 'anti-Semite' and 'racist' are over used and I try to restrain myself but do not always succeed.
But I am very clear in my view that Minto is both. Mr Trotter is not but that reference to a Jewish man's face is dodgy territory.
Minto on the radio said it is ok to draw swastikas on the Star of David flag as Israel is behaving like Nazis. He is either ignorant of history or racist, and I do not think he is ignorant, but maybe he is. He is certainly obsessed with race so that is one definition of racist in my book.

Most Muslim and all Arab countries are openly racist about Jews and as most of them were allied with the Nazis in WW2 most Jews and Israelis have no time for them and some are correspondingly racist back. Kiwis should butt out of the topic I think and not import such stuff here. We have our own race issues.
That's why I condemn Arab anti-Israeli protests here in NZ which Minto & co always lead. Why not march against the war in Syria. Is it 200,000 dead there yet? Minto clearly thinks it only matters when Jews kill Arabs. Racist.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

Islamic anti-Semitism is mostly a result of the policies of Israel. Research has shown that the further you get away from the Middle East, the less anti-Semitism there is – even among Christians.
Allied to the Germans? Crap. The grand mufti of Jerusalem was allied to the Germans, because he wanted the British and French out of the Middle East probably. Plus of course you might remember that the British Italians and Germans were fighting a war all over their countries at the time – without so much as a by your leave. Even so, many Muslims served in the British Army – and the free French forces. So I'm calling bullshit on that one too. Perhaps you should be called carbon ignorant :-).
As for Minto I don't take a great deal of notice of the man any more, he's sort of jumped the shark – but certainly Israel's policies have certain aspects which could be characterised as fascist.

CarbonGuilty said...

GS your ignorance exceeds mine & is exhibited by:
"Islamic anti-Semitism is mostly a result of the policies of Israel"
So the day after the UN created Israel in 1948 its Arab neighbours attacked and tried to exterminate it and its Jews (not its Arabs). So what policy of Israel was that they, according to you, rightly hated Jews for?

Islamic and especially Arab woes are from very poor leadership, tribal hatreds, envy, chauvinism, sexism & racism. Those are the source of their general failure to construct sound societies and of the Arabs failure to live with Israel and each other peacefully.
They remind me of a well known Russian joke told to me by a Russian: A man lived on his run down farm next to a well run productive small holding, white painted fence and all plus a good milking cow within. But he sat idle ruminating on the success of his neighbour and his productive cow. One day a Genie appeared and granted the man one wish, anything ....
The man without hesitation said: "I wish my neighbour didn't have a cow"

Islamic anti-Semitism is a result of their own failures.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

Carbon guilty, your story is simply usual knee-jerk propaganda. As I said "research has shown..." I suggest you look it up. What actually happened in 1948 is at the very least subject of some debate, even within Israel, which you would know if you have read Israeli "new" historians. Got help us even a skim through Wikipedia would help you. So don't go on about ignorance please until you have corrected your own.

The other side of the story is that in 1948 Israel engaged in ethnic cleansing on a large scale, and is now refusing to let the descendants of those people return to their homes.
Yes of course the Arab nations do have on the whole poor leadership. If they didn't, they will probably be getting precision guided weapons from the USA like Israel does. But again you only look at one side of the story, there is a huge amount of chauvinism and sexism in Israel. You really need to read more widely. But of course you want, because you are true believer.

CarbonGuilty said...

You need to get out more and see the world as it is GS not through your mouse. Mr Google can be a source of ignorance is seems.

I have been to Israel & Palestine three times (and Ukraine and Russian, re other columns)
I recommend it. Or have I got you wrong? Have you been out there in the real world too?

One thing you'll notice out there is a large majority of Israelis & their neighbours just want to live and let live like you and I, but the leaders of one lot, seldom elected of course, want to exterminate the other. So that would tend to divide you and I too I expect, although it is common in war I know. But what if another bunch of fascists had actually exterminated 6 million of your relatives in the heart of civilisation just the other day? Wouldn't that tend to mean your current neighbours threatening the same may cause you to build guided ordinance systems. (yes Israel mostly builds its own weapons, they are not US these days). Get out more GS. Get some ME sun on your face.

Chris Trotter said...

If you want such claims to be taken seriously, Carbon Guilty, you will have to use your real name.

Without it none of our readers have any means of verifying your claims.

You could be Mike McRoberts - or you could just be making stuff up.

Lose the pseudonym and we'll be able to tell which it is.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

I didn't need to go to South Africa to know that Apartheid was immoral carbon guilty :-). There are lots of people have been to the Middle East who know pretty much fuck all about it, I suspect even you. Certainly most of the American Senate and House of Representatives.
So believe a reputable historian, who has actually studied the events of 1948 – or some random guy on the Internet (you). No contest.

CarbonGuilty said...

Verify what claims? That I have travelled?
No issue with who I am but it is irrelevant I think. I am Charles Etherington, born here 58 years ago. Married to a Brit immigrant; Anglican Atheist. Forest Investment manager; retired lawyer. Loud mouth. Voted Wizard's party before National.
Now the rest of you reveal who you are.
And Chris, why not make it compulsory & why do you want me to be exposed & not others? Can I take it as a compliment?

CarbonGuilty said...

Yes I have read a lot too GS (are you Lindsay Roger's ghost?) but nothing beats talking to people on site although I guess good historians are the next best thing. Yet like us they all have their biases.
I lived on a communist kibbutz for six months in 1981 in the Jezreel Valley, near Megiddo, the place called Armageddon in the Bible (there is a fully underground air base there, probably containing nukes so perhaps they got that story right). Most of the older folk on our kibbutz had numbers tattooed on their wrists, and some others were descendants of Jews who had walked to Palestine from eastern Europe & Russia decades earlier to escape persecution. It was somewhat of an eye opener to a young Kiwi for sure. There were Palestinians on the kibbutz too and we went on outings all over the West Bank & Israel. And I travelled alone throughout the West Bank, drinking tea with locals. Been back twice since.
Vibrant hard describes it.
One night on the kibbutz, after consuming our weekly ration of vodka we went with soldiers over the border to Lebanon for a cuppa with Christians & Druse allied to Israel. Military just waved us through!
Some of the Israeli soldiers I met were Druze & Arab Israelis too.
Very very complex place so hence I get a bit upset when people watch a clip on YouTube or the sound bites on tele and castigate Israel for it's fraction of the horrors in this world. More and bigger bastards are out there and way way worse for sure.
We do not have to choose sides here, indeed we should refuse to mostly, but if we did I would be on Israel's, especially re Gaza. But I wince thinking about the children caught in that conflict and wish it

Chris Trotter said...

Thank you, Charles, for having the courage to give us your name.

I wish everybody contributing to Bowalley Road was willing to do the same.

It would, I think, make for a much more civilised discourse.

Charles Etherington said...

...... wish it would stop .... and the world would live as one.

I read in the Economist last week (July 12-18) that everywhere young adults are getting nicer, more sober, hard working and sensible. Sort of like the daughter in 'Absolutely Fabulous'. They say it is a dramatic change for the better and will continue the overall decline in violence and nastiness across the planet outlined by Pinker in his 'The Better Angels of our Nature'

This is my experience of the young too. Much nicer and more sober than me and my cohort back then. We were immature and worse, quite anti-social. Not all the time but I recall the 70s as pretty uncivilised and Pinker's statistics show, it was a more violent, savage world.

I wonder if it applies in the Middle East. I expect it does or will and so perhaps there is hope in the young there. Their parents may not have created peace but through their children perhaps .......
For my part I will try to be nicer... now that I'm not hiding behind CarbonGuilty. It may be a struggle but if the young can do it .....

Guerilla Surgeon said...

Some of those don't need our bosses knowing our political persuasion thank you very much :-).
Even so Charles, I bet you never spent time in Gaza :-). Of the people I know who have been to Israel most of them were shown exactly what the Israeli government wanted them to see. The rest were Jewish and naturally inclined to ignore the plight of the Palestinians.

Charles Etherington said...

Fair enough GS, I was a little concerned my dear lefty sister would read my name and spit! It's bad enough she has to put up with my letters to The press. One today on Gaza e.g. will not impress her.
No you are right, not been to Gaza but next time I go. I will.
Last time my wife was doing voluntary dental work in a poor area right next to Gaza but I just went to the beach which is pathetic! It was occupied by Israel then.
As my letter said today I think that the first step to peace has to be Hamas changing its charter. If they do Israel will have to end its blockade. And equally important Egypt too. Not many mention their role. They have often been hand in hand with Israel on Gaza. Don't see any placards on that in the demos.