Thursday, August 4, 2011

Cameron Slater's Greatest Hit

Cameron "WhaleOil" Slater has had a few decent hits lately. But today he has excelled himself, and scored the scoop that could potentially end Phil Goff's political career.

We don't make that statement lightly. Phil Goff emphatically denies having been briefed on the Mossad/Backpacker case by SIS head Dr Warren Tucker. Dr Tucker is just as emphatic in confirming that briefings took place, and the documents released to Slater by the SIS, whilst heavily censored, favour Dr Tucker's version.

The documents released to Cameron Slater suggest that:

  • The issue of the Israelis was discussed "at length" with Phil Goff on 14 March, and that Goff asked questions
  • the briefing on 14 March was on an agenda for a further briefing on 6 April, and
  • Dr Tucker has noted in writing that the issue was discussed with Mr Goff, who read briefing documents

Bear in mind that Phil Goff was under exceptional stress at this time. Early in March he was advised of the alleged incident at Annette King's residence involving Darren Hughes. The Hughes story broke in the media on Wednesday 23 March, after journalists had been sniffing around for a few days. Hughes resigned on Friday 25 March, and Goff was subject to widespread criticism of his handling of the matter. On Tuesday 29 March there was that extraordinary photograph of Labour's front bench united behind Phil Goff after they held an emergency meeting in Dunedin. It's fair to say that Phil Goff had a lot going on at this time.

Had Phil Goff stepped up today and admitted that Dr Tucker's version of events was right, and that he hadn't been able to recall the briefing he would have got a ragging, but the matter would have quickly blown over. But he didn't; this is a die-in-a-ditch issue for Labour's leader. Unfortunately for him, it was he who tried to make political capital out of these events two weeks ago, whilst John Key was in the USA. It hasn't worked out in the way he hoped.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out now. But let's not forget that it was Cameron Slater, a mere blogger who put two and two together, realised that Goff's story didn't add up, and fired off an OIA request to the SIS, to which they responded. If ever a local example was needed of how a blogger can do the work of an investigative journalist, Slater has provided it, and he deserves the plaudits.

This is most certainly Cameron Slater's Greatest Hit.


gravedodger said...

In socialism basic tactics pg 47 they, led by John Pagani and the usual suspects, are ignoring the very clear and present danger to the nominal New Zealand leader of the left wing and attacking messengers, surprise surprise.

"How come Cameron Slater could get information that Fairfax couldn't get"

Maybe the SIS fear the Whale more than some ignorant little repeater from Fairfax Eh.

Anonymous said...

God you're a dreamer. When's Slater going to stop bludging off the productive and get a job?

Robert Winter said...

This requires a full investigation to see who is lying. It's a simple as that. If it is Mr Goff, it is a final nail. But, personally, I don't think so, As I have posted elsewhere, there is something wrong about this, including the access issue. Let's have a full-on investigation

Inventory2 said...

@ Robert - what would be worrying for me if I was in Goff's corner is that he had three different positions on whether or not he had been briefed in three days; reminiscent of his handling of the Hughes issue. It was that which got Slater's attention.

I agree that there needs to be further investigation, but I can't help but wonder whether this is an issue worth dying in a ditch over.

Anonymous said...

This really looks like a Goof doesn't it, good on Whaleoil.
Mike Mckee

Robert Winter said...

I think that he's made it such an issue, right or wrong. You can't go public like this, and confront rhe reaction of, for example, Mr English, without demands emerging that the issue be resolved. Either we have an excellent public servant being maligned badly, or we have the Leader of the Opposition being dealt to by that same official and his masters. There is no middle ground now.

I'm quite serious about this - in other jurisdictions the media would have been on to this, making things hum with demands for investigation etc. I worry that we are beginning to allow these grey areas to emerge and stay grey, rather than holding officials and politicians to account for their honesty and probity.

Anonymous said...

The msm has largely displayed its leftie credentials. Barry Soper leapt into the fray attacking Whale and by implication Dr Tucker. interesting that the facts are always secondary to the ad-hominem attacks. leftie pricks! Go WO!!!


alex Masterley said...

Does anybody treat anthing Soper says seriously.

Anonymous said...

Alex, in a word NO.

But Soper does have airtime, luckily last night Larry Williams endeavoured to keep Soper honest, and dear Barry came across to me as a petulant prat.