Sunday, August 2, 2015

New Zealand First: "We've Always Been At War With Eurasia" - Embedded at the NZ First Convention Part 2

One interesting theme that regrettably resurfaces time and time again in politics is the comprehensive rewriting of history for strategic gain.

Or arse-covering.

Or, in some cases, as an act of retribution and revenge against a defeated (and therefore powerless) foe.

History, contrary to popular opinion, is not written by the victors - but rather by the literate. Hence why I'm sitting here blogging.

This morning's various executive officeholder reports featured a number of emphatic strategic rewrites of that which has gone before.

First up, the repeated claim that there were "no leaks" of the 2014 NZ First Party List prior to its official release during the last campaign.

This is clearly and demonstrably false - as detailed in my previous article chronicling Tracey Martin's rise and fall.

The only way to reconcile a claim that the List was not leaked with the fact that members of the media were contacting candidates with accurate copies of virtually the entire first half of the List within 24 hours of the Listing Committee's determination being reached ...
is to believe that pretty much *all* the candidates on said list first talked to each other, then talked to the media, who then contacted Andrew Williams, Asenati Lole-Taylor and Ron Mark - all within an *exceptionally* tight timeframe. And all, to a (wo)man in violation of the strict confidentiality clauses they'd each signed - which, let's remember, only Andrew Williams was ever actually pinged as having run afoul of.  

Now this is certainly within the realms of possibility. Albeit somewhat out on the fringes.

But I suspect there's a more plausible explanation: another name for a "leak" is a "strategic disclosure". And, from a certain point of view, if sufficiently implicitly authorized from On High, a "strategic disclosure" is not a leak at all - but rather something surreptitiously approved of.

But more infuriatingly, I also witnessed Party President Anne Martin's partner get up and pontificate about the "real" reasons why Andrew Williams was allegedly gotten rid of as an MP.

Not because he was an intensively hard-working and competent Parliamentarian who might have made certain other people feel insecure ... but instead, because he apparently gave "not a cent" in donations and had a sufficiently poor relationship with the Party President (Tracey Martin's mother), that he'd never invited her around to his place. I believe that's *actually* what I heard voiced to our meeting this morning.

Now, I can't comment upon the latter. And frankly, I have absolutely no desire to. That sort of claim is NOT something that belongs in a serious political form like a Party Convention - and I'll be *absolutely livid* if that's *actually* part of what motivated his demotion and shafting.

But the first claim - that he contributed nothing to the Party financially - is clearly and demonstrably false.

For starters, Tracey and Andrew used to share an office in Milford. Out the back of said office was a meeting room jointly paid for out of Tracey and Andrew's personal pockets, to the tune of $3600 each. I was also sitting with him at last year's NZ First Convention 21st Birthday Dinner and watched him put hundreds of dollars of his own money into a Party fundraiser auction. Here's a photo of the bottle of wine signed by Winston which he received for his efforts and coin.

Methinks what's going on here is the Martins are attempting to leave their mark on the official institutional memory of New Zealand First by once again sandblasting their fallen rival off the monuments - and taking advantage of their last weekend in pole position to do so.

How else to explain Anne Martin using her valedictory President's Report to fight back against allegations of "nepotism" and corruption, followed up very very swiftly by her partner getting up to buttress her defence - not by bolstering our positive impression of Anne. But instead, by making spurious assertions designed to literally cheapen in our collective imagination as a Party the legacy of someone they effectively conspired to get rid of.

It's infuriating. It's deceitful. It's politics.

And sadly, it's not the first nor the last time that powerful figures in a political party have engaged in an Orwellian sleight-of-hand in order to more "cleanly" dispose or distance themselves from somebody.

Anyway. While I've got your attention, I'd just like to say that I do, indeed, like Anne very much as a person. Throughout this weekend, she's been fundamentally decent to me. Her service to our Party remains extensive and arguably unparalleled - as Tracey was wont to point out in Parliament once upon a time, Anne effectively risked going to prison for us.

But I was not impressed with some elements of what went down this morning.

And I look forward with some interest to seeing which of Kristin Campbell-Smith or Brent Catchpole emerges victorious in tomorrow's Presidential election, with a view to taking us onward into the glorious Blacker Future.

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