90 Minutes, Extra Time, Then Penalties.
The most damning thing about the SIS email exchange regarding Kim Dotcom’s residency application is the hour and half between the digital discussion and the unusual decision to drop their veto.
There are lots of things that can fill an hour and a half; a movie, 9 holes of golf, a game of football. Or, in this case, a phone call or two to confirm that, yes, the Government really do want to let a known criminal and alleged fraudster who was likely to be busted by the Feds any minute settle in NZ.
That’s my belief anyway. Occam’s razor and the public service’s rules of engagement strongly suggest to me that the two spooks checked upstairs, got the nod and swiftly dropped the objection.
The only question left is ‘how far upstairs’?
But this post is about another, related, matter. And that’s the alleged evidence that Key lied about when he first heard of Dotcom. If the PM has lied, then that strengthens Dotcom’s defence against extradition. He can then rightly say he has not had a fair go; that the parties trying to send him to the States to stand trial do not have clean hands. He can argue, convincingly, the whole case was prejudiced and fatally flawed by the actions of the PM, various government agencies and the FBI.
The potential personal gain for Kim Dotcom is obvious. The effect on the election may not be quite as positive.
We’re used to Key lying. Hell, according to the polls, nearly half of us either can’t see it or just downright love it. Lie to me baby!
KDC and his hobby lobby, IMP, have decided that the killer blow will not be delivered until 5 days before the election. This timing seems off to me. Why not do it at the start of the election period?The polls actually open on the 3rd of September, two weeks before the big man’s big day. A significant number of advance voters, who might be influenced by the evidence, will have already done their democratic duty by the time KDC hits the stage at Auckland Town Hall. They can’t change their vote, even if Dotcom provides compelling evidence that might make them wish they could.
I think this extra time is a tactical error that is going to diminish the return on the revelation, even if it’s a doozy.
However, my biggest concern is the penalty the rest of the left will pay if it turns out that Dotcom’s Big Reveal turns out to be a great white on a trampoline. Rather than the triumphalist tone of Chris Trotter’s fantasy,we might be rolling our eyes at the biggest Meh in Kiwi political history.
It worries me greatly that Laila Harre says she does not know what the evidence actually is. Laila’s a clever negotiator, a fierce competitor and not one to rely on a big bluff. But her hands seem tied here. There’s no going back if KDC doesn’t deliver.
If we’ve learned anything from the H-Fee débâcle, it’s that a failure to deliver a knock-out blow leads to a loss on points. In this case, though, the damage is likely to be to the Greens and Labour. Hone might still scrape through in Te Tai Tokerau anyway, as he has considerable personal support to fall back on. Voter disgust is most likely to be focused on the larger parties who risk being tainted by association. By way of an example of this phenomenon, Winston Peters vacantly holding up a sign saying NO did Labour no favours at all in 2008.
Dotcom must deliver. Sooner would be better, but if we must wait, well, it had better be worth it. Or else we all pay the penalty on Election night.
I guess we’d better hope that Gary Lineker’s observation about football also applies to the former Kim Schmitz:
“Twenty-two men chase a ball for 90 minutes and at the end, the Germans always win.”
Te Reo Putake