Spring has sprung in Marlborough. The grape vine is sprouting the first flush of green leaves and flowing with the sap of rumour. The vine has it that during the recent ten-hour long police search of Nicky Hager’s house, the officers of the law fulfilled their allotted tasks with a zeal that would make swell with pride the bosom of any Minister of Police, current or recently past. Where could that pesky Rawshark’s identity have been so cunningly concealed? Even police imagination can run riot on occasion. No doubt, whether or not the vine is telling the truth, will emerge in the course of impending court proceedings.
Rawshark is the anonymous blogger who, while allegedly hacking Whale Oil’s blog ,has seriously hacked off Whale Oil’s powerful friends and was a major source of the information on which Hager’s ‘Dirty Politics’ was based. He, or she, was therefore instrumental in the political demise of the previous Minister of Police, the as yet not honourable Ms Collins. Now, at long last, with three uninterrupted years of uncontested power in prospect for a party, which has suffered such inconvenience at the same pen that led to the downfall of a previous National Party leader, it would appear that it is payback time.
Nicky Hager is one of the world’s most distinguished investigative journalists. In his first book, Secret Power, published in 1996, he was the first to reveal the US initiated mass surveillance system of which New Zealand is an important component. His several subsequent books have all targeted the abuse of political power within New Zealand. No doubt, his ‘Hollow Men,’ published in 2006, was particularly objectionable in the eyes of the National Party.
It was details of the Party’s shenanigans, contained in the introductory chapter of this book, https://www.nickyhager.info/the-hollow-men-chapter-1-the-path-of-principle/ that persuaded this blogger, despite his natural instincts as a business man, never again to vote for a party that would place in positions of power politicians with so little respect for our democratic system.
The chapter contains details of a letter from the Exclusive Brethren, a fringe, but wealthy religious sect, who it might appear, have a plug-in to one or other of the US global dominance agencies. The email offered a one million dollar contribution, in non-attributable, third party advertising, to the National Party’s 2005 election campaign – with strings attached. It was addressed “Good afternoon Don and John.” Don Brash was the then wannabe Prime Minister and John Key, the Party’s finance spokesman. Subsequently, John Key, the demonstrated master of the brain fade, flatly denied ever having read the email. Yea; right!
Other current National government ministers such as Joyce, McCully and Brownlee were heavily implicated in the fraudulent funding affair. Included among much else, was advocacy for the lifting of New Zealand’s nuclear free policy, increased public funding of private schools and for tax concessions to race-horse owners. It is clear to many New Zealanders that, as with ‘The Hollow Men,’ this time round, ’Dirty Politics’ could have presented National’s election campaign with a serious problem. Sensible citizens have cause to ask themselves whether or not this exercise of apparently disproportionate force by the police, serves to confirm Hager’s contention that political power in this country has fallen into hands unprincipled in its exercise.
The police clearly did not limit themselves to searching only for stuff relating to Rawshark’s identity. They took away written, electronic and photographic materials relating to all of Hager’s years of work as an investigative journalist. No doubt, they hold out the hope that trawling through it might reveal to them and their masters not only Rawshark’s identity but the identities of sources used by Hager in his previous investigative works.
For the time being, a court order is restraining the police from accessing the material they have in their possession. Should they succeed in gaining access, Hager will never again be able to offer protection to his sources or to pursue his chosen profession. All other investigative journalists will face similar inhibitions. Should such impunity be granted, it won’t be long before those seeking political power will feel free to ensure every election is manipulated and New Zealand’s democracy becomes one in name only.
Nicky Hager is fighting back with a counter-claim of his own. Those who appreciate his contribution to our country have already contributed some, but not yet sufficient money to help him fight his legal battle. https://www.givealittle.co.nz/cause/NickyHager