Labour's links to Police, Hager exposed!

Don Brash might dream that Helen Clark hacked his computer, leaked the contents to Nicky Hager, forced the High Court to allow his book to be published, and then oversaw the police investigation which kept her role secret.  The truth is more prosaic

If there was ever such a thing, the Labour Party’s police wing would not be very large. And when you think of policemen-turned-MPs (Chester Borrows, Ross Meurant, Rana Waitai, Peter Hilt, Clem Simich, Judith Collins [in her dreams], et al), there’s not been many joining Labour’s caucus. Trivial little facts such as these, however, don’t stop paranoid right-wingers from mythologising about Labour’s supposed links to and collusion with police.

Don Brash has been at it again, with his claims that the police investigation into the leaking of his emails to Nicky Hager was hampered by political pressure from Helen Clark and the Beehive. Helen Clark’s more likely to become an elected office holder in Federated Farmers than she is to collude on anything with our police.

To support their claims, Brash and some other geniuses on the right of politics like to cite the police’s failure to prosecute Helen over paintergate, speedgate, and numerous other weird complaints which they and their brethren lodged with police. If they stopped and took a deep breath, they might realise that the fact that police even investigated her in many of these cases was what was truly bizarre.

Hager has previously published exposes of the SIS and GCSB based on leaked material handed over to him. Do Don and his acolytes put that down to some smart Labour hacker too? It would’ve been nice if Labour’s army of sophisticated computer whizzes had directed their energies to developing a decent Labour cyber-campaign for last year’s election. Instead, they were too busy mining cyberspace on Hager’s behalf for more evidence of dastardly right-wing plots... Obviously.

These brainiacs of the Right just can’t seem to deal with the fact that some people in Don’s caucus and office didn’t worship him and leaked a rather large bundle of material to Nicky Hager. The claim that Hager got his information from some Labour hacker is as historically accurate as Hitler’s claim that the Poles started it all in 1939.

The inability of the police to track down any illegal activity could, just possibly, be due to the fact that there was no illegal activity. It could, just possibly, be due to the fact that one of Brash’s trusted aides is rumoured to have printed off every email he ever received. Someone, just possibly, could have copied those files one evening, and then passed them to Hager. But no. That’s crazy talk. It had to be Labour.

Having worked in the Beehive at the time Hager’s book was released, I can assure Don we were as much in the dark as he was. At the time, there were many rumours about a book coming out. Most of them were prosaic compared to what eventually emerged in Hager’s book. We knew the Nats had few morals but we never thought they could be quite as shamelessly mendacious as that. After the shock, we were quietly impressed that anyone could be that devious.


But having one’s ear to the ground in Wellington and being among the few thousand people who heard the rumours is, Dr Brash, not evidence of being party to a conspiracy. Remember we’re dealing with journalists and politicians. Rumour is to them what silage is to cows. Hager had already shared some of the material he had with other journalists during the 2005 campaign. (Where does Don think the Sunday Star-Times and TVNZ got the emails they revealed during the campaign? Labour again? Please.)

Ultimately, the conspiracy allegations are little more than amusing. While it’s disturbing to realise someone regarded as rather bright, like Don, could become captive to such views, it’s reassuring to see our lovely right-wingers haven’t lost the ability to hate since Helen left the country.