ANOTHER FLAG PANELIST
PROVES DODGEY AS.
Yet another Flag Panelist turns out to have credibility issues and to have major conflict of interest issues.
In this case it is General Rhys Jones who in 2011, when the head of the NZDF, implied that respected war correspondent Jon Stepherson was lying about his account of the NZ SAS role in the Afghanistan. In 2013 Jones was stood down short of the usal full term as head of the NZDF.
At the time Jones suggested Stephenson was making things up Prime Minister John Key also attacked war correspondent Jon Stephenson’s credibility in 2011 stating “I’ve got no reason for the NZDF to be lying, and I’ve found [Mr Stephenson] myself personally not to be credible,” Mr Key said in May 2011.
John Key provided not one shred of evidence to back up this smear on Stephensn who responded by sueing the NZDF for defamation.
Yesteday Jon Stephenson awas award $500,000 in dmage relating to Jones attack on his credibiity.
In 2015 when it was revealed that Flag Panelist Julie Christie who sits on several government paid panels and had a conflict of interest (revealed in documents released under the Official Information Act) regarding her board membership with New Zealand Trade and Enterprise whe she sat on a committee which promotes the use of the Fern Mark, the black and white silver fern, as a branding symbol for New Zealand. Key responded “It’s how you manage the conflict of interest, she seemed to indicate she’d managed it.” He rejected the suggestion Ms Christie’s membership of the panel skewed the result. Again Key offered not one shred of proof to show he could support his statements.
Nicky Bell Saatchi and Satchi was also revealed in these documents to hae a conflict of interest but the government refused to reveal what that is. Yesterday the Electoral comission confirmed that it was working with Saatchi and Saatchi to run the Flag Refenderum.
Jones was also appointed to the “independent” board of Flag Panelists in 2015 even though he is a member of John Key’s inner ring known as the Free Thinkers. The ‘think tank’ was set up to identify threats to the government and John Key and neutralise them.
At time ofJone’s leadership of the NZDF a NZDF training book was uncovered by Nicky Hager which classed “investigative journalist” chillingly as being “subversives” and demonstrates a dangerous mindset by government whose leaders have repeatedly called journalist’s not credible or the worn out conspiracy theorists (including Puillitzer winner Mark Grenwald ) label with out providing any proof to support their smears. In contrast Key himself has being repeatedely caught engaging in ‘dirty’ politics of the lowest and darkest kind.
A statement of fact which can be backed up with a massive paper trail and a mountain of case studies who Key’s government has being shown to have used millions of public tax dollar to mount attack campaing against critics and millions to promoted a Flag agenda that is blantantly undemocratic and openly corrupt. A Flag panel which is being foistered on to us absurdly trys to sell the tlie this waht we want when it clearly is not.
The Flag panel is dominated over whelmingly by those who have a history of kissing the governments proverbial butt or who can be seen to have a gross and serial history of cronyism. Being made up of professional spin doctors, whose firms are pulling in millions in government contracts, awarded to them by National, to run and manipulate the referendum process and the media, a dodgy mayor nicked name “Corrupt chin” by locals in Dunedin, and a iwi aristocracy with a reputation of throwing lesser hapu under the bus and finally hand ful of sports people and a teenager who know nothing about constituional matters or government.
This panel is a total farce and the referendum has degenerated into outright bloodless execution of democracy in this country.