National's fightback against the allegations in Nicky Hager's Dirty Politics gathered steam yesterday with a push to convince people the way Hager got his source material was dirtier than anything the Government has done.

Justice Minister Judith Collins and National MP Mark Mitchell didn't directly blame Hager for the burglaries and email hacking they complained of yesterday but their intent was clear.

In a show of teamwork that could have come straight from Hager's book, Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater joined those dots and a few more of his own, linking those burglaries, two more and the hacking of his emails to Hager, via his arch-enemy Kim Dotcom.

Hager yesterday said he was now unlikely to release emails underpinning his book. That is likely to bring more noisy attacks.


All that noise will probably distract the portion of the voting public that cares about all of this and the questions raised, which Prime Minister John Key and Ms Collins have yet to convincingly address.

Did Jason Ede, one of Mr Key's main spin doctors, have a poke around the back end of Labour's website and is it acceptable if he did?

What was Mr Key's office's role in the unprecedented release to Slater of the embarrassing document about former Labour leader Phil Goff's briefing from SIS boss Warren Tucker on Israeli agents in Christchurch?

Is it acceptable for Ms Collins to have passed on details of public servant Simon Pleasants to Slater, opening up the unfortunate official to unfounded allegations, abuse and threats from Slater and his readers?

Mr Key yesterday said it was "ironical" the book was based on stolen material when the left protests about the GCSB's lawful accessing of New Zealanders' communications.

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