Beware, creepy men of the right: Rawshark returns (briefly)

An old handle flickered back into life briefly this afternoon:

Rawshark – presuming the account is still held and operated by the hacker who exposed the dodgy shenanigans between the WhaleOil blog, corporate lobbyists and senior National Party politicians – started with a screenshot from the previous run, in which Cameron Slater and Jordan Williams allegedly discuss how to get damaging anti-wharfie stories into the media at the time of the POAL lockout.

whaledump-screenshot-1

But something appears to have changed his or her mind.

So a bit more information has been released. (Highlighting added by me)

whaledump-screenshot-2If this is ringing a bell, it should, and not just because it’s no surprise that Jordan Williams has an … odd perspective on women:

It also sounds a lot like the way Luigi Wewege used sex to pressure Bevan Chuang to reveal details of her relationship with Auckland Mayor Len Brown.

Bevan Chuang told the New Zealand Herald she entered an intimate relationship with Luigi Wewege, a member of Mr Palino’s failed campaign team, who wanted her to expose the mayor’s infidelity when he found out about the affair.

“Luigi started pursuing non-stop about how I should tell on Len,” Ms Chuang said. “I was asked to record phone calls because that’s when Len would say all the dirty stuff.”

She says Mr Wewege wanted to publish the allegations on the Whale Oil blogsite, run by Cameron Slater, to ruin Mr Brown’s reputation before the election but she refused to swear an affidavit and produce text messages to corroborate her story.

It’s a bit hard to avoid the conclusion that rightwing men are so lacking a moral compass that they happily exploit sexual intimacy to manipulate women to gain political ammunition.

If women were doing the same thing to men they’d be denounced as cuckolding honeytrap Jezebels from every direction. That’s the patriarchal double standard for you.

So here’s my question, rightwing dudes: you love demanding that other people denounce extremism in their culture or party or religion. Are you going to denounce Jordan Williams and Luigi Wewege, and any other man who’s “taken one for the team” to manufacture a political scandal?  Or are you happy for us to assume that all rightwing men are sleazy creeps?

~

A quick note: I’m sure commenters will be quick to point out that leftwing men can also be abusive creeps, but show me (a) where a leftwing dude has used sex to gain political ammunition and (b) the bizarro universe in which I didn’t condemn that as scummy, too; otherwise sod off with your derailing tactics.

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And a final thought, on a related topic: Rawshark’s brief return sent a very powerful message to the Dirty Politics crew. I’m still here. I’m still watching. And there’s a lot I didn’t reveal, so don’t make me want to come back.

Good on ya, mate.

A great few days for sexism in New Zealand

Team, I can’t.

But who needs feminism any more? Let’s just lean in, amirite?

If you haven’t been keeping a keen eye on the ongoing

I’m talking about this headline:

revenge-headline

And the perpetual nudge-nudge joking tabloid tone taken in almost every headline about Colin Craig’s sexual harassment of a person who worked for him – “Colin Craig’s love poem!!! More love letters to press secretary revealed!!! Details of explicit text read in court!!!”

And then there was this (thank God once again for The Spinoff’s cutting snark):

Good news: The Chiefs scandal didn’t really even happen!!!

… There was an apparently rigorous investigation into the events of the evening conducted by the general counsel of New Zealand Rugby – a guy who loves his job and has been on the NZR team for over a decade. Which means that one branch of New Zealand Rugby investigated another branch of New Zealand Rugby and found that everything was basically okay.

This is a little bit like Colonel Sanders being put in change of an inquiry into the 11 secret herbs and spices and pronouncing them delicious. At a press conference today three blokes delivered the verdict: everything is fine, none of it really happened and wow isn’t fried chicken the best.

Look, ladies, it’s easy to stay out of trouble in New Zealand. Just don’t break up with men, don’t work for men, don’t call out men for assaulting you, and generally just don’t be in the vicinity of men. Especially if they’re someone you know, someone you loved, someone you worked for or a team of someones celebrated as the peak specimens of your country’s masculine prowess.

Now let’s all get back to overcoming sexism by asking for payrises. Or alternatively, listen to some good angry music.

[Content note: sexual violence]

It could be worth keeping an eye on the Conservatives

It might be nice to daydream about a world in which we never have to listen to Colin Craig opine about the promiscuity of Kiwi women or threatening The Civilian with legal action ever again. Unfortunately, as a nation which has suffered/triumphed in Winston Peters being on the political scene for nearly four decades, overcoming deathblow after deathblow, we may have to accept that he’ll be around for as long as he can keep funding a political machine.

Or not?

While everyone’s has been distracted by Winston’s big blue bus, the Lundy re-trial and our not-too-hot, not-too-cold deployment to Iraq, Andrea Vance has been keeping an eye on Colin. And it looks like things may not be going brilliantly for him:

Colin Craig insists his Conservative Party is not in turmoil, despite questions over his leadership and the expulsion of former MP Larry Baldock.

The party’s board met on Saturday and since then rumours have swirled about an attempt to roll Craig as leader and replace him with Napier candidate Garth McVicar, who quit the party after the general election last September.

Craig said he was not challenged and was unanimously reinstated as leader.

He was unaware a board member had asked McVicar to the meeting – an invitation that  was declined.

Craig said the speculation about his leadership was “intriguing”.

“I wonder who is trying to spread rumours,” he said.

Probably the person who’s thinking about rolling you, Colin. But who can say with an outfit as out there as the Conservatives? Maybe it’s all a grand plan to pique our interest by manufacturing some drama. Or maybe Garth McVicar, riding high on his successful campaign to split the rightwing vote in Napier and deliver the seat back to Labour, is using the Sensible Sentencing Trust as a decoy to hide his plans for parliamentary domination.

Three years is a long time in politics, and if the National Party keeps hitting roadblocks (Iraq, Sabin, Liu, etc) we may start to see more right-of-the-right voters looking for an alternative, and the Conservatives – who got 3.97% of the party vote compared to ACT’s 0.69% – may look like a viable alternative to them. The question is whether that’s with or without the man who got them that far.

What kind of government would National lead?

The choice for NZ voters is becoming clearer in the last days of the 2014 election. The irony is that after John Key’s persistent scaremongering about the “five-headed monster” of the centre-left, the two most likely options we have are a three-headed coalition of natural allies versus a five-or-six headed hydra of extremists and sworn enemies.

David Cunliffe has signalled today that he only sees three parties around the Cabinet table in his government: Labour, the Greens, and NZ First. All three parties have a good number of policies set out, with obvious overlaps – there are clear differences of opinion, but coming to a mature compromise is a key part of how MMP is meant to work.

Meanwhile, John Key has been forced into opening the door to Colin Craig’s Conservative Party thanks to the abysmal polling of his preferred ally, ACT.

Colin Craig is talking a softer game as he sees his poll results edge closer and closer to the magical 5% threshold. But neither he nor Jamie Whyte are men built to compromise their passionately-held extremist beliefs. So what will each of them demand?

Is Colin going to get binding referenda? Or the abolition of parole? Or a curfew for the “most promiscuous” young women in the world?

Is Jamie going to get his wish of scrapping the RMA and OIO so overseas investors can buy up our land and poison our rivers, or abolishing all school zones except the one around Auckland Boys’ Grammar (and all building regulations except the ones that keep Epsom leafy)?

And how can any of this possibly be workable with middle-of-the-road Peter Dunne (if he wins Ōhāriu, and that’s not guaranteed), with “not crazy”-conservative Winston Peters (who can’t stand Whyte or Craig) and with the Māori Party (who may have a thing or two to say about ACT and Craig’s anti-Treaty ways)?

If NZ First and the Conservatives both get over 5%, it’s going to be impossible for National to get its long-dreamed-of governing-alone 50%. They’d have to pull together four or five coalition partners who hate each other, and their closest ideological friends are frankly bizarre.

As that becomes clearer it’s got to be a huge turn-off for the moderate voters who have bulked out National’s support for the past six years – and a Labour-Green-Winston coalition is looking rock-solid-stable in comparison.

The Nation’s leaders’ debate

This morning in New Zealand politics can best be summed up with one fantastic image.

Image swiped and cropped from @petergraczer
TALK TO THE HAND, COLIN.

I dragged myself out of bed at the ungodly hour of 9am to tune in to the first leaders’ debate of the election season – and it’s mostly Colin Craig’s fault. Had he not taken legal action to force the producers to give him a speaking slot I might honestly have missed that it was even on!

For that, and for trying to talk over Metiria Turei, resulting in the photo above, you have my grudging thanks, Colin.

In the true spirit of 21st century pseudo-journalism, here are my thoughts (and some others’) as they were tweeted in real time.

(Sale to overseas buyers, obviously.)

(It’s a great line, but also a deliberately-engineered political meme.)

(Full credit to @petergraczer for the fantastic pic of Metiria’s take-no-crap attitude.)