Whatever the politicians or the media say about it, the usual 'it's the economy stupid', that carries election debate in centre field has been overshadowed by the left wing dirty tricks campaign and 'conspiracies' by our intelligence services.
In keeping with the rise of social media, journalism standards have sunk to the level of used car salesmen. In reviewing all of the recent commentary, it seems a number of journalists are intent on 'making the news' rather than reporting it.
What a hypocritical bunch rise to the surface at election time. The lead up to the election has degenerated into lies and theft along with the usual spending promises. Don't believe any of it. Kim Dot Com has shown up the terrible weaknesses in New Zealand's legal processes and On-line privacy standards. 'Hacking' into computers to obtain access to private information including discussion and comments of an informal nature is totally unacceptable.
Hager is a serial sneak using illegally obtained information to cut and paste a story, not to find the truth, but to airbrush it to his smug self-satisfied plan. Anyone who times a book release highly critical of the sitting government, four weeks before an election has a clear agenda. So cut out the pious bullshit Hager.
The biggest failure comes from the media who have given wings to these people. Say what you may the appearance is of lip licking at the feast. That the media has not focused on the dishonesty and hypocrisy of these wreckers rather than chewing at politicians, shows extreme incompetence. Of course you will all take the high ground 'of informing the public' coming first. Rubbish! You should all hide in shame.
One of the biggest media failures is analysis of Hager, his history and the tame legal geriatric who introduced his speech at a rally four weeks ago. Edmund Thomas expressed admiration for Hager and, using his past legal status, attempted to justify the use of internet theft.
'Hacking is not only a crime but an invasion of privacy' admits Thomas. He then goes on to justify Hager's book revelations as being 'in the public interest' (whatever that means legally) and 'the decision to publish falls to be determined by the individual who would publish'.
Legal mumbo jumbo. Theft is illegal. One can assume using the same logic that a thousand other cases where 'public interest' is assessed as possibly desirable, could have confidential information leaked and made public using illegal activities.
An analogy before the internet arrived, is a person who breaks into your house and steals documents off your desk he alone assesses may be of 'public interest'. The perpetrator then gives these documents to a colleague who publishes them.
Investigative journalism so heroically espoused as 'the lance' of the media may now embark on malpractice activity anywhere providing the journalist considers it, in his opinion only, as suitable to obtain by any means and for release. Dear oh dear!
Hager no doubt saw himself as on a roll. He is the main beneficiary of the publication released. Money, publicity, notoriety or status - take you pick. Has he been smeared? The recipients of his selected texts apparently have no right of reply.
What about his subject matter? What about the timing of its release? What about the one-sided nature of the party detail selected? What about a balanced expose? What about his own conflicts of interest? Slater is right. 'A criminal hacker mounting a political conspiracy to subvert our democracy and undermine our election, has done that and the media and all of you are complicit'.
This nonsense appears to have continued on with Dotcom's circus at the town hall, the moment of truth and a forged email. The Herald states that intelligence reports to parliament are 'insultingly scant' but also criticises the PM for releasing some detail. Looks like an illogical each way bet to me.
'Time spent on reconnaissance is seldom wasted', is an old military principle. So all this conspiracy theory stuff about our intelligence surveillance being devious looks like twaddle to me. People are doing their job. If an aircraft departing from Auckland is blown up mid-Tasman, watch the armchair critics and journalists all run for cover.
Internet security has become a major problem particularly with a torrent of informal information both written and photographic flooding social media. That journalists can feed off this for their stories with little regard for the private nature of comments and then criticise intelligence services is grossly hypocritical. Not so long ago the media played a significant harassment role that resulted in Princess Diana's fatality.
Freedom of the press? Not if abused. Time for some legislation.