We have had the election. But before we all move on, let's deal with one thing: the election campaign coverage was a disgrace.

We had 15 parties and 554 candidates vying for our vote. There was policy galore. There were numerous possible party permutations. There was the vexed issue of strategic voting.

The candidates and parties put in a huge effort. The campaign's purpose is for them to show their wares and for us to see what's on offer. The concerns for voters were what they always are: jobs, wages, the mortgage, poverty, security, health care.

The media are vital. They provide the window for us to see what's on offer and what's at stake. This election, that window was sabotaged. We had two premeditated and calculated attacks designed to inflict maximum campaign disruption.


The first was from a man not putting himself up for election, the second from a man who couldn't. They used the campaign period to insert themselves into the media and public eye. They did so puffed with their own self-importance and with half-baked stories never tested or properly investigated.

Nicky Hager's Dirty Politics dominated the campaign start, Dotcom's "Moment of Truth" the closing week. Health care? Wages? Jobs? Inequality? Pensions? All were knocked flying.

Hager wrote Dirty Politics from stolen private communications. He saw no hypocrisy in trawling through a blogger's personal affairs and deciding what was private and what was public interest. He never bothered to distinguish fact from political braggadocio. He leaped from a blogger's private emails to breathless condemnation of an entire Government from the Prime Minister down.

He held no warrant. He had no authority. The hacker was outside the law. And Hager lectures us about privacy?

Hager buried the campaign start in an avalanche of allegation and counter-allegation. Candidates and policies were drowned out.

Dotcom's "Moment of Truth" was anything but. There was no Moment. There was no Truth. His much-hyped proof that Key lied proved a school-yard fake.

Dotcom then attempted misdirection through a swirl of spying allegations. Our heads spun with acronyms, the he-said, they-said, and the arguing over semantics. The media lapped it up. It made great headlines.

We were told we should care. But we couldn't. We have the mortgage to pay and the kids' teeth to fix. We had our say yesterday. It's over to the politicians now. The media, Dotcom and Hager games will continue. And those elected? Well, they have a Government to run. Time they got back to it.