I’ve finally finished Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics. I could have read it quickly. It isn’t long and it wasn’t as though I wanted to savour its contents by reading slowly. The exact opposite was true. It took some willpower to go on after getting about halfway through on the first night. It was the grubby feeling one gets when exposed to war porn or court cases on television and simply switches off.
At the launch Hager spoke haltingly about the books contents: it’s awful, bloody awful. The following morning I felt terribly sad for him, driven as he is to expose the dark, ugly side of politics and demand better of our politicians. And ourselves. Proud of our democracy we pretend too often nothing too ugly is going on. One good outcome for me was a sea change in the level of respect shown for Hager’s hard work and credibility in many mainstream media outlets. It is long overdue but may encourage more investigative journalism which currently requires considerable financial sacrifice and very hard, sometimes unpleasant work. Not to mention nasty, sometimes threatening personal attacks.
Andrew Geddis excellent piece on the The Pundit blog best describes the book as a ‘Cri de Coeur’. Oh indeed. I would advise reading Geddis’ review at the very least as he includes excerpts he considers worst. Better still buy the book. Don’t let it get you down and switch off because, as Hager compellingly argues, that is exactly what the perpetrators of dirty politics want us to do. VOTE, ENCOURAGE AND HELP OTHERS TO GET OUT AND VOTE.
POSTSCRIPT: Like most media, I got it wrong in regard to the subject of the book. Great, I’m not into mystical claptrap. Here’s another crystal ball effort: Key is waiting, desperately and too late to save face, for Judith Collins to fall on her sword.