14 Jun 2009

Ralston,bloggers, journalists, photographs and things

Bill Ralston's commentary on the sorry saga that is the Worth affair is an indictment on someone who claims to be a reputable senior journalist and political commentator, at least in the small journalism pond that is Auckland.
It is a poor effort because it is obviously derivative of the spin lines being provided by the National Party HO sourced blogsites - the repeated mantra of a "purposely created honey trap" set and sprung on a poor and unsuspecting Richard Worth by a woman who had been primed to do so by forces greater than herself.
The line is then spun out for credibility sake with photographs of Ms Choudary at various functions around Auckland where she is seen posing beside Labour Party MPs from Helen Clark down with the assertion that Ms Choudary is, therefore, a high ranking activist because she unsuccessfully nominated for the Botany Electorate in 2008.
One should be clear about Ms Choudary's involvement in the NZLP to assess how high ranking she is. Enquiries would indicate that she is not a member of the NZ Council of the Labour Party. She is not an active member of any of the NZLP's policy committees and she is not a member of any of the Party's regional committees.
All that can be substantiated is that she is, or has been, a member of the Botany Electorate Committee and was involved in the Botany Campaign during 2008. She is or was also heavily involved in the various Indian community groups through out Auckland.
To imagine her, as Ralston and others in the NACT spin machine have attempted to do, as a high ranking activist is to allow one's imagination to soar to stratospheric levels.
We should, if we were objective, be wary of any collection of photographs showing an individual in close proximity to any person of status, be it political or social, for these merely record the prescence of the individual at a function where he or she could meet and be seen. For example a photograph of Ralston, Slater and Farrar with Clinton and Obama doesn't suddenly make them high ranking members of the American Democratic Party or personal friends of Clinton and Obama. It simply meeans that Ralston and company took the opportunity to be snapped in the company of Clinton and Obama and, perhaps, use the photograph to enhance their own petty status.
One could contend that Ms. Choudary is in the same situation as the Ralston example - that she has been a regular attender at functions where she could be seen to rub shoulders with MPs and others and that she, like many people, especially those from countries where meeting and or seeing one's MP is a remote possibility, has taken the opportunity to be photographed in their company.
One wouldn't be surprised if, on digging through files of photographs taken at functions hosted by the Indian community during the 2008 election at which there were National Party MPs looking for support one could find photographs of Ms Choudary and others like her posing beside Key, English, Williamson and Worth etc. These photographs could easily be construed as implying that Ms Choudary was a high ranking member of the National Party.
One could also presume that these MPs encouraged such photographs to be taken without enquiring about the political persuasion of the Indian, Korean, Chinese, Japanese... person concerned because such a photograph could be used for political advantage - a photographic endorsement of the National Party policies from the members of the ethnic community concerned.
Perhaps, too, Mr Worth attempted to recruit Ms Choudary to the National Party as he probably did, during the election campaign, to all people who he may have come in contact with in the hope that this would give him an in to the community. That he attempted to carry this invitation past the enquiry about the individual's possibilty of joining his campaign was his "honey trap" and his own nemesis.

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