Sir Bob Jones

Commentary on issues of the day from the property tycoon, author and former politician

Bob Jones: Dotcom, your no-hopers won't save you

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Kim Dotcom's loveable maverick reputation collapsed, despite his vigorous legal efforts to prevent it. Photo / Richard Robinson
Kim Dotcom's loveable maverick reputation collapsed, despite his vigorous legal efforts to prevent it. Photo / Richard Robinson

My urging John Minto to shut up and acquire a hobby induced his response claiming he once thrashed me in a Victoria University debate (I've never debated him or indeed anyone at Vic) and challenging me to debate with him publicly on any of a wide range of subjects.

As I, like everyone else, want him to shut up, I'd hardly provide him more oxygen by doing that. Minto repeated this in a letter to me. I replied by helpfully suggesting he could satisfy his pathetic craving for attention by putting on a one-man black and white minstrel show and suggested he start practising singing Swanee River.

And given his life-long socialist belief in spending others' money, I offered to buy him his banjo and face-paint. He would have gone down a treat in old folk's homes, but acting altruistically in a meaningful way is alien to him, aside from which there's the awkward need to smile, so instead he's shamelessly joined Dotcom's pretend party.

Dangle money before hardened lefties and they'll sit up and purr every time.

Kim Dotcom was granted residency in November 2010 under the "investor plus" category, despite his past offending in Germany, his persona-non-grata status in Thailand and his minor securities conviction in Hong Kong, the Immigration Service making a marginal judgment call given his expressed investing commitment.

This decision was thereafter supported by his generosity to a range of causes, and he quickly became a larger-than-life, jolly-jumbo figure who brightened our lives. But today, three years later, his world has collapsed and, flailing in desperation, he's become politically involved, something I'm sure he never anticipated given his background of frivolous excess. He's now best described as the Milan Brych of New Zealand politics.

So what went wrong? That's simple: specifically the revelation of his wealth source, namely the large-scale copyright theft of Hollywood movies, which has led to the extradition order by the FBI. Due to preposterously idiotic behaviour of the police, who, instead of knocking on his door and handing Dotcom a summons, mounted a scandalously infantile raid by 76 armed police and two helicopters, then wrongly threw him into prison, the public reaction became hugely sympathetic, more so when it was revealed he had been illegally spied on by the GCSB clowns.

Dotcom's loveable maverick reputation collapsed, despite his vigorous legal efforts to prevent it, once details of the FBI's claim became public. Hitherto he had presented his business as that of an innocent bystander, akin to a taxi driver delivering a passenger to a bank, then subsequently being charged with aiding and abetting a crime after it was found his fare had robbed the bank.

But the FBI claims he had the means to control his Megaupload site's content, but far from doing so, actively incentivised the placement of movies on his site.

In rebuttal, Dotcom points to the terms service users were obliged to agree to, which included an undertaking not to post copyrighted material. He further argues that the sheer volume of material was such as to prevent practical policing.

The user copyright undertaking won't wash in any court and he knows it. It was his primary income source, arising from many tens of thousands of downloading users exploiting his site's stolen movies, but Dotcom, the site owner, implausibly claims this was all unknown to him.

Anyone wrongly charged with a serious crime should be ultra-eager to get into a court and argue their innocence. Instead, Dotcom has wasted millions trying to avoid doing so.


"So he has resorted to a final desperation measure, namely to spend millions attempting to buy a change of government, which he hopes will override a court-backed extradition order, an inevitable outcome once he's used up all of his legal ploys."
Bob Jones

He's wasting his money as no government will do that, regardless of any undertakings from the soul-selling abysmal no-hopers he has garnered together to fund as a political party. If anything, his efforts will hugely harm the Opposition cause in Balkanising and confusing its message, thus presenting an electoral option with, on one side, a rabble of dissimilar, mutually antagonistic parties, all with unpopular leaders and wildly different messages, set against a stable governing party with the most popular leader in our history.

This is the fifth party Dotcom's new leader, Laila Harre, has belonged to, which speaks volumes. Laila will always be remembered for the funniest political gaffe in our history when she explained her 2002 defeat by lamenting on television that voters had voted with their heads rather than their hearts.

If she wants hearts, then far better she assists Minto with a one-man black and white minstrel act which will pull the punters in droves, but when it comes to heads, like Dotcom, she's history.

Debate on this article is now closed.

- NZ Herald

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