Gotta admit to feeling somewhat uneasy about leaking further bits of this and that to Whaleoil.
Until now Alf had understood he was doing the party a big favour by passing on anything that might show up pinkies, greenies and their ilk in a bad light.
What’s more the encouragement of Jason Ede had given Alf the strong impression this sort of thing was good for scoring personal brownie points – and enhancing one’s political ambitions – up there on the Ninth Floor of The Beehive.
Ede should need no introducing. His name has been peppered into umpteen news reports in recent days (whereas Alf, dammit, hasn’t been mentioned once).
But maybe his encouragement was misunderstood.
Alf until now had no qualms about his relationship with Whaleoil.
He openly talked about it, because he thought he was hob-nobbing in the same august social media company as The Boss.
Here’s how he got his understanding of the lie of the land earlier this year:
Key revealed today that he speaks regularly with Slater.
The blogger runs the Right-wing attack blog Whale Oil and was recently under fire for branding a West Coast man who died in a car accident a “feral”.
Key was responding to NZ First leader Winston Peters who had said the only way Key could have known Peters had visited Kim Dotcom three times was if Peters was being spied upon.
Key rejected the accusation today.
“I can absolutely swear my life on it, that there’s been no public agency [involved],” he said.
Such a move would spell “the end” of his time as prime minister and of his government. Peters was “out to lunch and in La La land,” Key said.
He confirmed he and Slater spoke regularly, including this week when they discussed Dotcom, but Key hedged when asked if Slater was his source.
“I wouldn’t say that … I wouldn’t say either way, I’m just telling you it’s not GCSB or SIS.”
Key said he regularly called Slater, who broke the story of the Len Brown affair, “to see what he’s got on his site and mind”.
Key’s office has long been rumoured to be linked to the blog.
Get the picture?
If The Boss was regularly calling Cam, then Alf didn’t have to keep too quiet about calling Cam too.
But the bloody newspapers obviously misreported The Boss at that time, thereby encouraging the innocent and well-intending Member for Eketahuna North to be more open about his relationship than might be good for his political health.
The reality can be checked out in this more recent report.
Prime Minister John Key says a staff member has been “briefing the bloggers” but has distanced himself from Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater, saying: “He’s not my guy.”
The comments on Radio New Zealand this morning come after Nicky Hager’s new book, Dirty Politics, revealed Mr Key’s close adviser Jason Ede had worked with bloggers Slater and David Farrar on “attack politics”
He said Justice Minister Judith Collins had “a strong relationship with Cameron Slater, they always have. They’ve known each other well”.
Mr Key said he did not have a relationship with Slater in the same way.
“You can ask Cameron, he’ll tell you that. I talk to David Farrar, because he’s our pollster, so I talk to him very regularly. In the case of Cameron, I have very few conversations.”
Mr Key had “occasionally” called Slater because he wanted to discuss a particular topic.
Furthermore, and just to heighten Alf’s twinges of concern, The Boss is telling us he thinks dear old Crusher has gone too far. Getting information from Cam is one thing. Passing information on to him is another.
Judith Collins’ decision to leak information to blogger Cameron Slater was “unwise” and she is now on her last chance, Prime Minister John Key says.
Speaking before the anniversary celebrations of the Maori King’s coronation outside Turangawaewae in Ngaruawahia, Mr Key said he could only take Ms Collins’ word that she only leaked private information such as public servant Simon Pleasants’ numbers and not his name.
“I think there are some details there which I think it is unwise of a minister to pass on,” but he said it did not change the basic point that she was very strongly of the view that she did not leak the name, just the numbers.
It’s a good thing The Boss can’t count, because this happens to be the second time he has put Crussher on notice. The first time was when he put her on notice that she was on a final chance after failing to mention a dinner she had with the heads of Oravida during a trip to China.
Mr Key said that was still in place and denied she was now on her “last last” chance.
“What she’s on is on her last chance after what happened last time. But at the end of the day she’s also subjected to a left-wing smear campaign. And people will actually see that as well for what it is.”
The heartening thing about this is that should Alf be put on a last chance, then he could reasonably hope that he will be given at least one subsequent last chance.
The other heartening thing (as he disclosed yesterday) is that he has avoided being mentioned in leaks from Cam’s email system because he uses non-electronic means of communication.
But the last message thus despatched – some snide stuff about grubby goings-on at Labour Party HQ in Eketahuna North – has not yet been turned into the salacious Whaleoil post that Alf was hoping to see.
This suggests the pigeon was intercepted before reaching its destination. Pity. It was a particularly plump specimen and it would be a shame to think it had provided nourishment of any sort for lefties or greenies.