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Insight: Politics Podcast with Cam Slater – Episode 13

Welcome to Insight: Politics – Episode 13 

This week I’m going to help Clare Curran remember some of her past history.

The sort of things she seems to have forgotten as she attempts to rewrite her past.

Then I’ll share with you the uncanny coincidence of the appearance of a baby whenever the government finds itself in hot water.

Lastly I will delve into what appears to be a very deep puddle of wetness inside National as they try to out-woke Labour in this election.

I’m Cam Slater and this is Insight: Politics.

Clare Curran Cries As She Forgets her History

The inept Clare Curran is finally leaving parliament, and so she has arranged soft media to try and re-frame the ignominious end to her political career.

Of course, she has glossed over her past, and cried a river of tears with the exposure of her incompetence.

She has, of course, blamed me for some of her demise.

Saying to TVNZ:

“Around the time I came into parliament, and even before, I was squarely on the radar of [Matthew] Hooton and [WhaleOil blogger Cameron] Slater and [blogger and pollster] David Farrar.”

She neglects to share why it was she was on the radar.

We need to reflect on a bit of history to understand this. 

It’s history Clare Curran has conveniently forgotten, but history that I haven’t forgotten.

In 2006 Clare Curran produced an infamous white paper entitled “Language Matters” where she outlined how Labour needed to control the narrative around climate change.

In reality it was a beginners lesson on how to frame the narrative.

The current Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, seems to be a student of this approach.

The key message delivered in the paper is that Labour must take control of the language: 

“This paper is about Labour taking greater charge of the language of debate and discussion in New Zealand . It is called ‘re-framing’ and it means gaining (or regaining) the use of concepts and phrases that spark public and media interest. If you control the language, you control the message. The media doesn’t create the message, they run with it”.

This is precisely what George Orwell wrote about in 1984 and we see the manifestation of this today with woke, political correctness. It was about this time that socialists started calling themselves progressives.

That’s a bit of background.

At this time Clare Curran also was very close to David Parker.

And at that time there were two particularly nasty attacks on civil servants by the name of Erin Leigh and Madeleine Setchell.

Clare Curran ultimately benefited from those attacks and was donkey deep involved in her own particular kind of dirty politics against civil servants.

Trevor Mallard attacked Erin Leigh’s professional reputation in parliament. 

It was a shockingly inappropriate attack on a young woman from a bullying Minister.  

It was designed to scare any other public servant from telling the truth, with the clear implication they would also have their professional reputations smeared under the protection of parliamentary privilege.

Erin Leigh eventually sued for defamation and won in the Supreme Court, but also claimed that Clare Curran was hired by the Ministry of the Environment to look after a minister’s political agenda.

She said at the time:

“I was told she was being employed to look after David Parker’s personal political agenda, and I could not work in those circumstances professionally or ethically. As a result of her appointment I resigned. I felt the situation was untenable,” 

That was when Mallard attacked her in parliament using parliamentary privilege to defame her.

This led to several inquiries but also to a separate incident involving Madeleine Setchell.

She was railroaded out of her job because of the direct involvement of David Benson-Pope who told the Chief Executive of the Ministry of the Environment to get rid of her.

At the same time the Chief Executive, a weasel by the name of Hugh Logan, was being told that Clare Curran was the right-hand person of David Parker.

What’s even more shameful was that Labour attacked Madeleine Setchell because she was the partner of Kevin Taylor, the then senior press secretary to the Leader of the Opposition, John Key.

This debacle eventually cost David Benson-Pope his career when it was also revealed that in his work before entering parliament he was a cruel and bullying teacher.

And who was it that took over his seat in parliament at the next election?

You guessed it, Labour’s own dirty politics practitioner, Clare Curran.

As an aside, Clare Curran, in her attack on me, seems to have forgotten that during the Botany by-election in 2011 she traveled to Auckland for a debate.

I picked her up from the airport and drove her to the debate. After the debate we went out to dinner with a few others at a Mexican restaurant in Botany. 

After dinner, I then drove her back to her hotel near the airport and dropped her off. 

I bet she didn’t disclose that when David Cunliffe was conducting an inquisition in 2014 as to who in Labour had contacts with me. Jacinda Ardern was the only MP who put her hand up to declare a lunch in Morrinsville in 2008.

I’m disappointed in Clare Curran. 

She should be a little more honest about her efforts to forge a bipartisan alliance.

But it doesn’t really work when everything you do is screw up.

Who can forget the photograph of her staring lovingly up at Kim Dotcom.

Which brings us back to the present.

Clare Curran is whining about how tough it’s all been, when she is amongst the dirtiest of players in politics.

She can dish it out but doesn’t like it when there is push back.

She complains about her resignation and tries to play the victim.

Melissa Lee, a victim of Labour’s own racist bullying in the Mt Albert by election in 2009, had it right when she said:

“I know she has talked about some of this before, it can be difficult in Parliament, there are issues related to being a woman, and me personally as an ethnic minority.

“I do feel for her, what she had to go through with mental health issues, and I am glad she got help.

“But she still can’t skirt around the fact this all happened as result of her incompetence, being a senior Cabinet minister, responsible for openness and transparency, and she herself could not set an example.

There was no campaign against her, I was asking the questions, as is my duty as an opposition MP.”

And that is just the crux of the whole end of her career. 

She was basically just useless at her job. Who can forget this shambles:

And she was resorting to form with her scurrilous secret meetings and communications with Carol Hirschfeld and Derek Handley, who, like all those before who had run into Clare Curran, lost their jobs.

Now it is Clare Curran who has lost her job. She only has herself to blame and can stop the blaming everyone else for her downfall.

She was like many in parliament, able to talk the big game while in opposition, but hopeless when sitting in the big chair.

Using a Baby as a Weapon of Mass Distraction

I’m not one for attacking families in politics, and astute politicians don’t involve their families either.

I thought the Prime Minister was going to do this when we were all told that Baby Neve was off limits.

The fact that this needed to be said is intriguing to say the least.

However as time has marched on we see the Prime Minister and her partner rolling out the child to the slavering and compliant media whenever a distraction is needed.

Since the so-called first family are involving their child rearing in the discourse of the nation then it is fair to look into the instances of the use of this most callous weapon of mass distraction.

The most recent case was where a cutsie story appears in the NZ Herald about Baby Neve getting a story about sharks and whales confused.

As is often the case the story followed as a result of Clarke Gayford’s tweets. 

This is a pattern that we see has become established.

What was the government distracting us from?

Last week the hapless David Clark finally resigned.

And the very next day it was revealed that the debacles inside Health under Clark’s watch also led to a massive privacy breach.

The Prime Minister must have known about the privacy breach before David Clark resigned, and so we get the weapon of mass distraction, Baby Neve rolled out to help cauterise the wound.

Clarke Gayford throws out an Instagram post about Neve in a recording studio to further add to the distraction.

It seems shameless, but there is more evidence.

On June 21 of this year, we get the obligatory birthday cake stuff up story, complete with a picture of the Prime Minister attempting to prop up a wonky piano cake with her elbow.

Coincidentally this was also the same week that Colmar Brunton were in the field polling. Their website states they polled 20-24 June.

On May 17 Clarke Gayford announces he gave Ardern a dye job and cut his daughters hair on Twitter.

And the Herald obliges with a story referencing his tweet.

What was the reason for the weapon of mass distraction?

This was the same week that the Prime Minister was having to answer questions in parliament about the two women who couldn’t manage to make two left turns to get onto the Southern Motorway to drive to Wellington and who were the new Chinese plague victims let out early from quarantine.

On May 4 the government was under the hammer for an illegal lockdown as revealed by us and Barry Soper.

Quick, a distraction is needed. What better than a big spider and the baby in the same tweet.

On March 27 we got the tweet from Clarke Gayford about the trials and tribulations of potty training Baby Neve.

On the same date we had the news that the Christchurch killer had secretly appeared in court to plead guilty, sparing us all a trial.

On top of that, we were in the first weeks of the illegal lockdown, and news was appearing that there were shortages of PPE supplies.

And a couple of days later we had a soft news story expanding on Neve’s toilet training and an Instagram post about life in the Prime Minister’s bubble.

This is all part of Ardern’s messaging about bubbles, keeping us all compliant with the illegal lockdown, and all using her child to do it.

That was all followed up with another soft article a week later in Stuff about Neve’s toilet training and Easter eggs.

These were the early days of the lockdown and the avalanche of bad news was enormous.

Like the massive drop in air travel.

On Waitangi Day we got another story about Neve.

You might think that is no big deal, but Colmar Brunton was polling between the 8th and 12th of February and the day before Newshub had released their poll that showed things were tight.

On 9 September 2019 Ardern was mired in the middle of a sex scandal that had claimed the scalp of President Nigel Harworth.

How convenient then that Stuff ran a story about how considerate Ardern and her baby Neve were on a flight.

Of course, the story came obligingly from Twitter. Strangely, the tweet has now disappeared.

Nothing like cauterising bad news about sex pests with a soft sell story about how considerate the Prime Minister really is, and a nice video of the baby to boot.

On June 22 2019 we were greeted with the news that Jacinda Ardern, no doubt in a world first, had managed to discover how to bake a cake for Neve’s first birthday.

The day before the first bloke added to the news with a Tweet about the child, and Prince William.

Stuff helpfully spread the happy news.

Of course, the weeks before the rolling out of the baby were preceded with the news of the budget hack and the deliberate lying of Treasury Secretary Gabriel Makhlouf he quit and went off to Ireland.

We know the Treasury “hack” scandal was bad because the baby was rolled out a week earlier for the launching of a Navy ship.

Which also happily coincided with Colmar Brunton being in the field from June 4th – 8th. It’s almost like they know polling is underway.

Nothing like a photogenic cherub for distracting the masses.

How convenient was it that a play date with Pink was organised on the very same day as the news broke of rampant bullying with the Beehive.

I’m sure it was entirely coincidental.

You wouldn’t have thought that Jacinda Ardern needed anymore publicity the week after the Christchurch massacre. 

But March 22 was the moment of silence for the victims, but also the chance to roll out the baby again…for its nine month birthday!

Of course it was preceded with the obligatory tweet from Clarke Gayford.

September and October 2018 was a terrible couple of months for the government.

Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway was under the hammer for allowing convicted drug smuggler Karl Sroubek residency.

The drip feed of revelations went on for weeks.

What’s a girl to do when under the pump?

Roll out the baby of course.

And how wonderful Jacinda Ardern is doing what countless other mothers do by going back to work.

Ardern just laps it up and tries to make out she is better than every other mother.

And all of this is just weeks after we’ve all been told that the child is off limits.

As you can see there seems to be an uncanny connection with the appearance of the baby either shortly before or directly after the government is in the gun for some reason or another.

Or the amazing coincidence of a polling company being in the field.

So, on the evidence presented, and despite demanding privacy to protect her child, it would seem the Prime Minister is very willing in fact to use the child for political purposes.

We’ve never really seen such a callous display of hypocrisy.

Can anyone ever remember Jenny Shipley or  Ruth Richardson parading their children in the news?

What about Judith Collins?

Of course John Key’s kids were in the news but that was mainly aimed, by the media, at causing upset against John Key.

The media in this instance are willing participants in a subterfuge to distract from compelling negative news stories of the day or to give a metaphorical baby bump to the polls.

Ardern is shameless, but the complicit media aid and abet her.

You can’t wish for privacy for your child while pimping it out for publicity whenever your shabby and incompetent government needs a distraction.

I can’t hardly wait to see the photos of Neve on Labour’s campaign trail. 

Just you wait it will happen.

National and its woke-ness

This past week has seen Todd Muller continue to try to prove that National is more woke than Labour.

He has been under attack by the woke wombles since his re-shuffle when both Paula Bennett and Simon Bridges were demoted.

Apparently  National’s front bench were too white and had no brown faces.

Tokenism has never been National’s bag, but even when the first two spots were both Maori, the woke wombles said they were the wrong kind of Maoris.

National should have drawn a line on the re-shuffle criticism and said that unlike Labour they don’t have affirmative action spots for poofs, Maori or incompetents.

The National party will never have a Nanaia Mahuta, or a Phil Twyford as ministers because we select people on merit not for which intersectional sub-group they represent.

But they didn’t do that.

Instead they tried at first to explain it all away by suggesting that Paul Goldsmith was Maori and then by pointing out lesser ranked people of colour.

They were rightly mocked from both sides. 

By the left for taking the piss and by the right for trying to out-woke Labour.

You’d have thought they’d learned their lesson.

But no.

This week Todd Muller had another re-shuffle, and gave Simon Bridges the role he wanted in Foreign Affairs. 

After refusing it in the first place.

And he promoted Bridges.

One imagines so that he could brown up his front bench, despite the fact Bridges is the wrong kind of Maori.

But, probably the real reason was to try and staunch the leaks from within caucus.

If that wasn’t bad enough for capitulating to the woke wombles Muller then went a step further and decided to tell off Clutha-Southland MP Hamish Walker for speaking his mind on masses of quarantine candidates supposedly being housed in Queenstown’s hotels.

Walker had it right when complaints of racism were hurled at him when he said calling him racist was Labour’s “default tactic when they are unable to defend their blatant failures. It’s not about race.”

But Muller made it all about race, by caving to the woke wombles and telling off Hamish Walker and leaving him and the entire caucus under no delusions that when it comes to backing your team or virtue signalling to people who will never vote for you, then Todd Muller can be relied upon to go for a good long wade in a deep puddle of wetness.

Muller seems to be taking political tips from the Italian Book of War Heroes and France’s Almanac on How to March Backwards.

You can’t out-woke Labour, who subsequently proved that by cancelling one of their candidates for the hate crime of liking a tweet by Richard Prosser about Wogistan.

National will shortly find out that the age-old saying of going woke, get broke, has never been truer than now.

This election is looking more and more like a choice between the heavy rain of National or the monsoon of Labour.

David Seymour must be looking forward to 5 new MPs come September 19.


The election cycle is coming to an end and those politicians that are leaving are positioning themselves with generous versions of history.

Clare Curran is one such MP, who is trying desperately to paper over the fact she was not up to the job of being a minister.

She talked the big game in opposition, but fell back on her devious old ways to try to get ahead. 

She was destroyed by a far more researched MP in Melissa Lee who practiced the fine art of never asking a question you don’t already know the answer to.

Curran was exposed for the fool she was.

Now she is trying to re-write history and frame the narrative to make herself appear to be the victim of other people’s actions.

She forgets that others, like me, have long memories and we can frame the narrative too.

I’m appalled that she brazenly forgot her own legacy of dirty politics and then played the dirty politics blame game to hide her own inadequacies. 

Worse she played the mental health card too.

That’s just lame.

Speaking of lame, if Todd Muller doesn’t step up soon then he’ll be timed out like in cricket.

To continue the cricket analogy it is clear that he wasn’t even padded up, and was still sitting in the changing rooms in his underpants while his leader was being bowled out.

When he did eventually make it out to the middle he had his box in upside down, someone else’s bat, only one pad and forgot his gloves.

When the first short delivery arrived he also realised that half his team were now bowling for the opposing side.

He doesn’t look like a first drop and he sure as hell is no night watchman.

Watching him bat is like watching Ewen Chatfield bat for several hours for another duck. It is unbecoming and ignominious.

I still have grave fears for the National party come September.

But hey, Judith’s book was great  wasn’t it. Good to see some revealing details.

I might cover some of the more interesting parts…like the Cave Creek chapter.

Finally, I’d like to ask a favour of members. 

You are the life blood of this site. You clearly value what we do.

Could I ask you do something for me?

Would you contact your five best mates who you think would also value what we do here and ask them if they would like to join to support a strong conservative media voice.

If each of you convinced just one of you mates to do this then we’d double our membership.

Thanks in advance.

I’m Cam Slater and this was Insight: Politics.

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