Kim Dotcom

The Rachinger Posts

Image source: PC World

For the past six or so months, Ben Rachinger has claimed to have a deep knowledge of the extent of corruption in New Zealand’s political system. He has prided Nicky Hager’s book “Dirty Politics” for bringing to the fore the diseased apparatus toxifying the New Zealand government and media. Rachinger has recently begun publishing a series of posts of his direct experience in the Whaleoil machine at the centre of the corruption in this country. [Links to all seven posts he has published so far are available at the bottom of this post]

There has been some criticism of his posts. Some readers suggesting they don’t really reveal anything new, others criticising gaps in the information and some dismissing him as a tin foiler.

Whatever your view, here is what I surmise from the series so far:

Rachinger was a Young Nat and deeply concerned about the lack of information available to voters in the lead up to election. In particular, he took exception to Kim Dotcom’s play for political power and published a video explaining Dotcom’s criminal history and distasteful ethics. He also addressed the rot in the National Party who he supported at that time.  Both videos were published on Cameron Slater’s Whaleoil blog site.

Following this Rachinger built a rapport with Slater offering to assist him with his blog security issues – something Rachinger is apparently skilled in. This led to a job offer to join Slater’s ‘Freed’ media venture. Some emails were exchanged.

When Dirty Politics unraveled Rachinger began to question what he’d got himself into. This was confirmed to him when Slater showed a complete lack of empathy toward the murders of the WINZ workers who had been shot dead at their workplace in Ashburton.

Soon after the election Rachinger advises he was contacted by Police and subsequently did some undercover work for them to try identify Rawshark and gather intel on the Whaleoil machine.

[Missing information: Why did Police make contact with Rachinger in the first place?]

Rachinger continued to work with Slater and his network to identify Rawshark.  But claims to never have engaged in any of the illegal activity that was being carried out.

Communications took place via an encrypted service based in Switzerland called Threema. The service was used on the recommendation of the Israeli Embassy in NZ.

[Inference: Presumably this allowed operators to bypass detection by security agencies or the prying eyes of the State apparatus.]

Rachinger learned that Slater’s network consisted of ten people and they were trying to gather intel to use against Laila Harre and Martyn Bradbury. He was introduced to someone called Tomas with a criminal history as a black hat hacking operative. Tomas was allegedly based in Poland. A subsequent screengrab suggests that Tomas was Jason Ede – the mastermind identified in Dirty Politics.

[Missing information: There is a disjuncture between the screen grab stating (a) Tomas is Ede, and the suggestion that (b) Tomas was actually Tomas Grygoruk. I can’t make out if Tomas is (a) or (b) ]

Rachinger writes that the Israeli embassy were interested in investigating the Rawshark case too, for a not yet specified reason. He then shows he is eventually accepted into the Whaleoil machine when Slater tells him Tony Lentino has a job for him.

To summarise, the Whaleoil machine involves National Party heavies, the Israeli government, Cathy Odgers and a team of hackers not afraid to carry out illegal activities and Tony Lentino. They use an encrypted message service to bypass security agencies and hack into systems to illegally obtain information on people they want to get revenge on. Rachinger claims to have gone undercover for Police to help identify the Rawshark hacker and gather dirt on Whaleoil. Rachinger implies that Tony Lentino pulls a lot of strings.

This is the extent of the Rachinger posts so far.

At the moment there isn’t exactly anything new or at least anything that we hadn’t already inferred. But it is potentially a reinforcement of Dirty Politics and it is shaping up to look like an expose by a person who was directly involved in the Whaleoil machine and who claims to have a personal experience of how this disease operates and precisely who is involved and to what extent.

Shorter still? Here is how I’d describe what I think Rachinger is trying to say so far:

New Zealand’s political corruption – It’s like chucking back a stale marmite sandwich because there’s nothing else to eat and finding out afterwards Slater and his friends took turns discharging their lung butter into it.

Note: If you think I’ve missed something  or misunderstood let me know in the comments.

The Series of The Hacker and All the PM’s Men by Ben Rachinger

Part 1: https://medium.com/@benrachinger/the-hacker-and-all-the-pms-men-part-one-a094cf55ac9c

Part 2: https://medium.com/@benrachinger/the-hacker-and-all-the-pms-men-4d3014ac4ace

Part 3: https://medium.com/@benrachinger/the-hacker-and-all-the-pms-men-part-three-53dc14a53a71

Part 4: https://medium.com/@benrachinger/the-hacker-and-all-the-pms-men-part-four-ac8c01388bc6

Part 5: https://medium.com/@benrachinger/the-hacker-and-all-the-pms-men-part-five-85cbc9d78430

Part 6: https://medium.com/@benrachinger/the-hacker-and-all-the-pms-men-part-six-da511d67e48d

Part 7: https://medium.com/@benrachinger/the-hacker-and-all-the-pms-men-part-seven-1bd54289b05e

Hijacking Tuhoe

At the beginning of the InternetMANA road show, Kim Dotcom claimed that he and Māori shared a commonality – both have suffered “a great injustice”. How he managed to get away with saying he had the mana and the mind while implying his injustice was equivalent to 174 years of colonisation is beyond belief.

But the analogy appears to be an InternetMANA campaign strategy, evidenced by Georgina Beyer’s comparison claiming that:

“the man [Dotcom] suffered some injustices just like those in the Tuhoe raids suffered injustices and he’s yet to have those remedied”

It also appears to be an incredibly sinister attempt to hijack the injustice of the Tuhoe raids in order to obtain credibility within Māori communities. But many in Tuhoe are rejecting Dotcom and InternetMANA’s attempt to advance this cause. Seeing through the despicable way in which their struggle is being used as political fodder for the benefit of Dotcom.

I am mindful that the Tuhoe raids are not my story. To try to express the experience of injustice as it was felt by the people of Tuhoe would be for me to commit yet another injustice. Instead, like many other Māori, I come from a position in which the Te Urewera raids resonate because at that time and to this day we were forced to face the reality that racial inequality will always result in abuses of State power over our people.

No specifics are proffered by Dotcom or InternetMANA as to the equivalence of the events instead the strategy seems to be to emote on the language of injustice.

The only similarity is that in both cases the Court found unlawful search warrants were used by the Police. However, there are multiple cases in which search warrants are found to be unlawful and where armed offenders squads are deployed in executing those warrants, so Dotcom could analogise his experience with many other defendants. Yet he chooses Tuhoe. He does so in a calculated attempt to enhance himself. Yes. the raid on Dotcom’s mansion was unjust but as mentioned other raids on individuals in materially similar circumstances have also been unjust but the injustice he suffered was not equivalent to that of Tuhoe or of Māori.

Remembering that Dotcom is an individual, not an entire community. He did not stand accused of the international crime of terrorism because members of his community were well known Māori activists and advocates for mana motuhake and tino rangatiratanga. He stood accused of white collar crime – fraud, racketeering and money laundering, similar in nature to crimes with which he had previously been convicted.

The injustice perpetrated against Tuhoe was not simply an unlawful warrant, it was the dark history behind the warrant – the State’s desire to impress its power upon an entire community detaining children and the elderly in some instances at gunpoint. So to reiterate, the Tuhoe raids and Dotcom Mansion raid are not comparable and the reasons mentioned in this post are not even an exhaustive list.

It is reprehensible then that Dotcom would even try to link his injustice to Tuhoe and to Māori more generally. It is deeply distasteful that those in MANA would allow Dotcom and their party alliance to proliferate the analogy without consulting Tuhoe. It is standard practice in Te Ao Māori to consult on matters that might affect another iwi’s mana. To link Dotcom to Tuhoe is one such occasion. Tuhoe deserve to comment about their own view. It’s disappointing to see that a kaupapa Māori approach is less central to MANA following the alliance, although Hone Harawira’s statement that “MANA has more non-Maori candidates than Maori ones, and in InternetMANA the difference is even more pronounced” may provide some insight as to why.

It’s not about character, it’s politics

[Image from NewstalkZB: Laila Harré and Kim Dotcom at the Internet Party announcement (Corazon Miller)]

I’m no Kim Dotcom fan. However, I do sympathise with his court case and the egregious way he came within the NZ justice system. Following Operation 8 sanctioned by the Labour government, I would have expected any future government to ensure the NZ Police met the procedural requirements for any search and surveillance warrants. As the High Court found, this wasn’t to be the case.

Whether Dotcom will be extradited is a matter for the Courts and the Minister of Justice. I’m not aware of the entire brief of evidence and given the case is ongoing with new information still emerging, it is difficult to know what the court will decide. My personal view, is that extradition is only appropriate where the crime alleged is so nefarious or amounts to a crime[s] against humanity.

But what about the granting of his permanent residence and the political pressure or political interference in his residency application?

Internet Party Leader, Laila Harre has stated that if she were the Minister of Immigration at the time Dotcom applied for residency, she would not have approved his application because of his criminal history, i.e. he didn’t meet the character requirements in her opinion.

My question then is, how does Harre think it is appropriate to lead a party founded and funded by a person she did not see as being of fit character to obtain permanent residency status in NZ, and in fact whom she herself would have denied residency?

Harre’s argument is that the issue for the Internet Party is not about Dotcom, but about the procedural impropriety of political interference that strikes at the heart of NZ’s independence. In effect, she alludes to the idea that it’s not about his character, it’s about politics. I wholeheartedly agree with her stance on political interference. However, I’m not convinced by her argument, that this issue is not about Dotcom. There is a fine line when you are working for a person you think is of questionable character while at the same time pushing that persons political agenda. The party make Dotcom an issue, when they use the granting of his residency application to support their claims for an independent NZ.

Caution is key

comsky

Its no surprise that the IMP alliance and the undying support for Kim Dotcom has perplexed me. I have stated this on numerous occasions. The above Chomsky quote is from Is the Man Who is Tall Happy? and I borrow it for this post because I think it is relevant for those who  like me, cannot quite get their heads around the predicament of the IMP alliance, but more particularly, the Dotcom fetish.

Mike Treen has written what appears to amount to a defence of Kim Dotcom (see: Why the Mana Internet alliance is a potential game breaker). In it, Treen attempts to counter the claims levied against Dotcom in order to justify the IMP alliance to his friends on the left. However, the post reads as a clear cut case of cognitive dissonance, i.e., ‘when dissonance is present, in addition to trying to reduce it, the person will actively avoid situations and information which would likely increase the dissonance’.

While dissonance appears to afflict many on the left, its also true that confirmation bias is rife on the right.

It’s not a simply an issue of whether or not we like Dotcom. Rather, it’s about whether or not we ought to support or even trust his reach for political power (and no I don’t here suggest that he is running as a candidate himself). I’ve written on Dotcom a few times see here and here specifically.

As noted in a previous post, some Internet Party supporters vehemently deny that Dotcom is the Internet Party, insisting he is simply its founder. I think that is a slightly disingenuous claim, given his formal constitutional title is the ‘Party Visionary’ and he is the only member the party cannot involuntarily remove [see rules 8.17 and 10.8].

My concern is that when an individual openly declares vengeance against a political party in power and then forms a political party to further that interest, we should probably approach the issue with caution. We might want to look at, the motivation behind the venture. For instance, whether there is some advantage the individual seeks that is not (or is unlikely to be) available to general members of the public, or alternatively, if the investment provides benefits to all members of the public in common. We might also want to think about how the government is (said to be) representative of the people that voted it in and in exacting revenge on a political party in power, how might this affect the proportion of the public that support that government? I do not suggest that the National Party or right wing voters shouldn’t be challenged at elections, my point is whether ‘vengeance’ on a particular party is a legitimate or morally justifiable basis for forming and running a political party. The arguments could go either way. However, unlike revolutionaries or anarchists that would prefer to bring down the institution of government, Dotcom’s motive is more narrow, in that it specifically targets the National Party.

So in approaching this from the left we need to ask: would we be happy with an individual person using their wealth in an attempt to force a change in government as an act of revenge, if the target were a left wing party that we voted in? The answer is an unequivocal no. Reverse arguing that National already do it is not a justifiable defence (nor do I think the argument would hold), and its dodging the answer to reduce one’s dissonance.

We might also want to consider whether the individual displays a propensity to invest their wealth in political matters for personal gain. For instance, there might be some weight to establish propensity in the bounty offered by Dotcom for Osama Bin Laden’s head on a plate (or information leading to his arrest) due to fear for the safety of his family in the Philippines or the John Banks mayoralty donation based on Banks’s apparent pro-internet stance. We might also consider how we can know that an individual, e.g. Dotcom, wont use this tactic to turn on the left? Clearly the John Banks’s case is an example of when things can go wrong. Sure, we can take the risk but the fallout in the long term might not justify the short-term gain and in fact, we cannot be assured of any short-term gain. So again, I think there is good reason to approach the IMP alliance with caution. Not because the candidates are cause for concern (they’re not), but because it’s unclear the extent of influence Dotcom might have over the party, the alliance and ultimately, the government.

There are two other points I want to highlight from Treen’s article, firstly, that people can and do change their political ideologies; and secondly, that people are admitted or denied entry on various criteria.

Treen suggests that there is nothing on the public record to discern Dotcom’s actual political ideology so it is wrong for people to assume that he is some kind of neoliberal right winger. However, in a later paragraph Treen claims to be able to draw inferences that Dotcom has all the hallmarks of a German Social Democrat, protecting the poor, supporting higher taxes etc.  Now, Treen might be right in his assessment and I agree that people can and do change their political leanings. But I think Treen is wrong to suggest that inferences made about Dotcom as a neoliberal capitalist are unfounded when those  making the claims engage the same inferential reasoning Treen uses to make his own claim. Any conclusions drawn will depend on what information a person is using to make the inference. Treen has limited his information to a lack of public record and recent talks given by Dotcom, and that is certainly relevant. But past and present behaviour, actions, and statements – explicit or implied are also relevant considerations, so it’s not as clear cut as Treen implies.

Treen also downplays the alleged seriousness of the Dotcom’s past convictions. He writes:

“Remember that Kim was given residence in NZ despite this past so it can’t have been considered that serious”

However, ‘character‘ is assessed against a specific criteria, in particular, ss15-16 of the Immigration Act, which excludes only if you have been convicted and sentenced to imprisonment for 5 years or more or in the past 10 years you were convicted and sentenced to imprisonment for 12 months or more. As Treen points out and Dotcom clarifies in the article cited in Treen’s piece, he was convicted but not sentenced to imprisonment. It doesn’t mean his white collar crime, insider trading, is not serious, it just means his conviction and suspended sentence were not exclusionary grounds under the Act that grants residence.

The gravity of Dotcom’s plight for political power is not a simple case of liking or disliking Dotcom. There are a raft of considerations in which people are justifiably weary. And while I agree with Treen and Trotter/Bradbury that there is a  bias asserted against Dotcom in right wing blogs (often viciously), the defences they offer avoid the full context, and pass off unverifiable snippets as truths to bolster their support for an unprecedented alliance in what appears to be an attempt to reduce their own dissonance.

This post isn’t intended to persuade readers to vote or not vote a particular way, nor is it intended to demonise Dotcom, it’s about recognising that there are important ethical questions and concerns that go beyond the ‘Fuck National’ narrative.

Dotcom & Jackson are incomparable situations

Capture

As alluded to in the above tweet, there is a genuine question as to whether the outrage (media or otherwise) aimed at Dotcom is hypocritical given the silence on Peter Jackson’s (alleged?) ownership of a Nazi war plane. The replies to this tweet are diverse with some reasonable sounding but unverified claims.

At this stage, I think the inference that the situations are comparable is weak.

One line of argument I’d be willing to accept is that Jackson will enjoy the privilege of a disinterested media and largely disinterested public. That is, its unlikely that media outlets will make the same kinds of inquiries of Jackson as they did of Dotcom.

A relevant point here is that Dotcom has just started a political party and because of his potential proximity to political power greater scrutiny of his actions are required.

There are also some clear distinctions between Dotcom’s situation being a story and Jackson’s being a non-story and I am not convinced its related to the favourable light in which Jackson is cast compared to Dotcom.

While Jackson (allegedly) owns a Nazi war plane, as a film producer it could simply be a prop. Alternatively, if its not, it could be one plane among many planes he has collected. We know from recent news that he owns at least one other plane that has been sent to Western Australia to help in the MH370 search. My provisional view is that I don’t think the information we have about Jackson warrants the same kind of outcry that Dotcom received.

I need not repeat the disputed and undisputed claims about Dotcom, as they have been extensively published. What I will reiterate, is that it is disingenuous to ignore all the relevant factors in the Dotcom case by isolating the signed copy of Mein Kampf as the only notable aspect.

To clarify, this isn’t intended as a defence of Jackson, but for all the reasons one might not like him, or might think the media were too hard on Dotcom, the situations are not, in my view, comparable. There are contextual elements some of which intensify the claims against Dotcom and distinguish the circumstances, although I’m open to hear what others might think, i.e. are there features that are comparable that I haven’t raised?

 

Mana invite Dotcom to AGM

The Mana Party Executive have extended an invitation to Kim Dotcom to speak to its membership at their upcoming AGM.

Annette 1

Link to post here.

While I’m not a member of Mana, I still find the invitation troublesome.

Perhaps I’m naïve. I’ve never been a member of a political party and as such have never attended an AGM in this respect. Maybe this kind of thing is the norm.

But while Mana insist that any possibility of a merger is to be decided by members and not as a result of a unilateral decision made by the Exec, the image below tells a different story.

10173688_10203323887915074_3039928444921319891_n

Link to post available here.

Given that the image is publicly posted on an Exec members Facebook wall, I get the impression that the outcome of a merger has been predetermined, and that Dotcoms attendance at the AGM is simply a symbolic gesture to give the appearance of a democratic process in play.  Also note, the representation of Dotcom rather than any reference to the Internet Party.

The invitation appears to be an intention to reinforce or promote an existing relationship between Mana and Dotcom, rather than to ascertain the concerns of or to understand Mana members as postulated in the media advisory above.

Additionally, Dotcom’s  attendance  could be seen as an attempt to influence the decisions of the membership.

In my view, members should be free from any influence to discuss the matter with a clear mind and in an environment where members can express any dissent freely and without fear of reprisal.  Dotcom’s attendance may actually discourage some members  from speaking their minds, moreover,  others may not feel comfortable attending the AGM at all.

Because the Dotcom merger issue is the most controversial among Mana’s members, I would have expected the Exec to act more cautiously in handling this matter. As it stands, its possible to construe Dotcom’s attendance as the Exec forestalling dissent to ensure they get their [the Exec’s] desired outcome.

Too much of a Nazi thing?

I’ve considered writing about the Internet Party since it launched. But I couldn’t bring myself to do it. Firstly, because it was difficult to separate the party from the personality. Secondly, I wanted to avoid getting into heated debates about whether or not Kim Dotcom (KDC) was a Nazi sympathiser.

So I know I’m a bit late with this post since its already been covered extensively but it occurs to me that it is unfair and not particularly transparent on my part to criticise other leaders, parties, activists and politicians while staying silent on the KDC issue, especially when this particular issue is very significant.

My position is that based on the cumulative effect of the undisputed information available and KDC’s response to it, that it is incredibly inappropriate for KDC to be anywhere near political authority in NZ.

On its own, purchasing the copy of Mein Kampf and other WW2 memorabilia isn’t in my view sufficient evidence for claiming that KDC is a Nazi sympathiser. It might raise questions about his character, however, collectors do in fact purchase these kinds of items and we cannot ignore the news coverage of the raid on KDC’s mansion that referred to him as a collector of sorts.

But I think Giovanni Tiso is right about social norms in Germany and the improbability of German’s finding pleasure in collecting Nazi artefacts or posing for photo’s wearing Nazi memorabilia.  Tiso writes from his experience and understanding as an Italian, the difference between how neo-Nazism is approached in Italy versus Germany:

One of the reprehensible lines used in defence of fondly reminiscing about Italian Fascism is that we weren’t as bad as the Germans. German people don’t have that luxury, and although I cannot speak from any direct knowledge of this, it seems they have kept a firmer grip on what can and cannot be published, what will or will not be sold. Neo-Nazism, of course, exists (as it does outside of Germany), but it’s more effectively cauterised from institutions and the wider society than neo-fascism is in Italy.

Which makes it all the less likely that a German person would wear a Waffen-SS helmet as a joke, or do so out of mere ignorance.

I do have my reservations as to whether there would have been as much public interest or even outcry if only a single event tarnished KDC’s name. I’m sure there would still have been questions that lingered and general suspicions. Interestingly or even perhaps unsurprisingly, many bloggers who support KDC have limited their focus to a single factor attempting to minimise the weight attributed to the claims against KDC, including a post promoted by Vikram Kumar entitled The power of an open mind that hinges only on the fact that KDC owned Mein Kampf.

To my knowledge, KDC has not even made a decent attempt to apologise for his offensive behaviour or comments. Instead he dismisses the claims or events as unremarkable, or offers up excuses and weak justifications for his actions.

It is worrying the support people are willing to throw behind KDC, at his word, without all the necessary information to make an informed decision. Even if the anti-KDC articles and posts do form (in some way) part of a smear campaign, he and his supporters really need to grasp that there is a reason the claims made against him carry so much weight and there is some naivety in thinking that these actual acts together with the alleged acts are politically insignificant.

This post isn’t intended as a smear against KDC and I am by no means convinced that KDC is a Nazi sympathiser and an anti-Semite; however, I’m in no position to say that he isn’t either. I guess thats my point, neither is anyone else who is simply taking him at his word. KDC cannot escape the inferences drawn from the cumulative effect of the undisputed information against him, and as such I think people should be very cautious in deciding whether they will support his political agenda.

On the other hand, The Internet Party has potential as a participatory democratic party, which is desperately needed in NZ politics. On launch it did (and continues to for many) induce a sense of excitement and freshness in approach in stark contrast to the traditional, dry approaches of every other party.

The participatory mechanism for the formulation of policy to calls for assistance in building their wikipedia page is a very progressive start:

and it appears the NZ Greens are impressed to in that they seem to have borrowed from this participatory ideal for their Arts, Culture and Heritage policy:

Other interesting features from the Internet Party are broadening monetary policy debates to include digital currency, and in particular, how a dual currency system might work in NZ, changing or updating copyright protection rules and introducing a Digital Bill of Rights.

However, there is absolutely no way that I could throw my support behind a political party whose founder appears to find some pleasure in collecting or fetishising Nazi memorabilia, and whose membership appear to support him to those ends.

Opposites attract? Harawira & Dotcom

Speculation has begun regarding the assertions Kim Dotcom made in the Herald on Sunday (HoS) about recruiting at least one current sitting MP to his Internet Party, with others in talks from across the political spectrum.

Although Dotcom confirms that he is in talks with the Mana Party about a potential merger, its unclear if Harawira is the sitting MP Dotcom claims to have already secured.

However, the idea of a merger between the Mana Party and the Internet Party is rather bizarre.  Two glaring issues complicate the Dotcom/Harawira relationship:

  1. Harawira’s recent grotesque assertions endorsing public executions; and
  2. The Mana Party’s press release that unequivocally states that the meeting between Harawira and Dotcom did not encroach on discussions about a possible merger

In regards to (1),  Dotcom’s crusade against the excesses of government is entirely inconsistent with Harawira’s totalitarian outburst.

Its quite possible that Dotcom is oblivious to Harawira’s revolting comments, or that he hadn’t seen them prior to his interview with the HoS. But, in any case, Dotcom will have great difficulty reconciling that inconsistency or justifying why he would want to unite with a party whose leader would endorse excessive government force.

I imagine it may actually damage Dotcom’s campaign, since those who might otherwise support a party that advances internet freedoms, may be loathe to support it with Harawira’s involvement (whether or not Harawira had spoken so vilely on public executions).

I should also point out here, that many Mana supporters also despise Dotcom as a representation of the excesses of capitalism, so a merger could be the worst outcome for both parties.

In regards to (2), it was only a few days ago the Mana Party admitted to meeting with Dotcom and Harawira states unequivocally:

For the record, I didn’t ask him to fund MANA, and he didn’t offer either. I didn’t ask him to join MANA, and he didn’t ask me to join his party.

But Dotcom tells a contrary story:

he was also in talks with Mana Party leader Hone Harawira to unite their two parties under one umbrella, enabling the Internet Party to ride into Parliament on the coat-tails of the Te Tai Tokerau electorate MP

Despite Harawira’s assertion that:

There are no further meetings planned

While the HoS confirms that:

Only the Mana Party admitted having talked to Dotcom about an electoral accommodation

And:

The Mana Party executive will this week consider a merger proposal. Mana would bring one or two electorates, the Internet Party would bring a more broadly-based party vote and $1 million-plus in campaign funding.

Harawira may have made a disclosure, that at the time seemed both a responsible and respectable position for him to take. But his disclosure was clearly dishonest and that should concern Mana Party members. It also doesn’t bode well for the solidarity of the relationship, given the contrasting accounts of the meeting.

Kim Dotcom: Left or Right?

A number of reasons were cited as to why Kim Dotcom’s Internet Party will align itself to the left. I have listed some of the more common ones I’ve seen below:

  1. Dotcom is incensed at the legal treatment he received under a John Key led National government, so will presumably align his party left;
  2. Martyn Bradbury (The Daily Blog) a very vocal left wing anti-capitalist blogger was recruited as the Internet Party’s political consultant, indicative that the party intends to align itself to the left;
  3. Dotcom appeared alongside left wing activists and political parties during the GCSB protests and public meetings, suggestive that he is sympathetic to the left.

On point 1, Dotcom is understandably bitter but I think it highly unlikely that he would have expected any different treatment under a left led government because Operation 8. His angst is personal not ideological.

On point 2, any anti-capitalist blogger that gleefully teams up politically with a capitalist who is part of the 1% the anti-capitalist despises, does not indicate alignment to the left for the party. It indicates a hypocritical blogger.

On point 3, Dotcom had every reason to attend those protests and meetings, the fact that the protests and meetings were run by the left was inconsequential.

The benefit of Dotcom’s Internet Party is making privacy, civil liberties and internet freedom an integral part of the political debate in NZ during election year. The debate is important.

My reckon, is that Dotcom will support whoever gives him what his party demands. Its not obvious to me that the Internet Party will align to the left. Its politics after all.