#219 Rodneygate – the saga continues

Poor old Rodney Hide. The man in yellow has had a rough few months. First he lodged an unsuccessful complaint with the Serious Fraud Office against Winston Peters over an illegal donation. It was later revealed that Hide’s own ACT Party had failed to disclose a $20,000 a year office space donated by property investor Sir Robert Jones.


He then fell victim to some rather nasty billboard tagging which I alerted him and his party to, and which they promised to fix swiftly. They did not. The billboard was finally removed yesterday, ten days after they had said they’d fix it.

They needn’t have bothered.

As you can see in the above two photos (taken this afternoon), that same billboard and it’s backing billboard on Dominion Road’s underpass were re-tagged, but this time the words MEIN FUHRER were replaced with NAZI HYPOCRITE.

I pointed out in my initial post that Hide’s past (and possible future) hardly screams of anti-Semitism. Firstly, he was the most outspoken of all New Zealand politicians when Helen Clark suspended diplomatic relations with Israel over an incident back in 2004. Secondly, Hide is prominently quoted on Canadian based academic John P Palmer’s EclectEcon blog, which bears a ‘Friend of Israel’ banner. And finally, if the National Party wins the election on Saturday, Hide’s coalition partner will be John Key; the son of an Austrian Jewish woman.

Those billboard tamperers’ Hitler remarks would therefore presumably bear no relation to the Nazi dictator’s anti Jewish sentiments.

And last but not least, the NZ Herald revealed this afternoon that Rodney Hide’s canary yellow jacket may have broken the laws of New Zealand’s Electoral Finance Act. According to the Act, any “published election advertisements” must carry the authorisation of the party’s financial agent. Hide’s $1300 jacket, which bears the ACT logo and “the guts to do what’s right” slogan, does not.

If Hide is found to have breached the Act, he faces a $10,000 fine, while the ACT Party’s financial agent faces a $40,000 fine.

Lucky he has wealthy friends like Bob Jones.

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  1. Anonymous says

    Isaac, it’s like you expect billboard vandals to be making some kind of stealthy-but-informed political comment. Painting “Nazi” over someone’s face isn’t a serious claim about that person’s politics, and it merits no investigation. This is a non-story.

  2. says

    I would assume that if someone goes so far as to continuously tag a billboard with swastika and NAZI words, there must be at least some political sentiment behind it.

    And seeing as Adolf Hitler’s most famous crime was against Jews, I found it particularly interesting that Rodney Hide has been publicly supportive of Israel.

    Therefore, while there is obviously definite political meaning behind the tagging, it doesn’t reflect Hide’s views on Jews.

    How’s that for a rhyme.

  3. Anonymous says

    I agree with Anonymous. This seems like a complete waste of time and your attention to it only serves to give Rodney Hide more ‘airtime’, as it were, and unless you are in fact a Hide supporter, it would probably be in your best interests to let it go. I think the taggers are not necessarily accusing Hide of anti-Semitism but rather his extreme right-wing views. I would have been more impressed if you’d seen the defamation and laughed about it and let it go, rather than informing the ACT Party. One of the only good things about elections is the witty things people come up with to graffiti on political posters. Leave them to it, I say.

  4. Amanda says

    I think it’s a waste of time, too. It might have been interesting to do a ‘Best Election Vandal Slogans ’08’ story, but to keep bringing this up seems a bit lethargic. Better still, why don’t you use your contacts and experience to do a story on the election that’s more relevant to your readers, like who’s personal image is better, or what each of them is doing about the creative industries?

  5. Anonymous says

    “I think the taggers are not necessarily accusing Hide of anti-Semitism but rather his extreme right-wing views”

    If this is the case, then why not just write ‘Fascist’ or something to get their point across? Instead of the Nazi Swastika. the intrications of which are synonymous with racism and evil? The reversed swastika is arguably the most widely recognised symbol for racism in the Western World.
    I sure as hell don’t look at a swastika and go, oh yes, those Nazi’s gee they were so Right Wing weren’t they?

    “Painting “Nazi” over someone’s face isn’t a serious claim about that person’s politics”

    Quite right. But it’s interesting that he’s been targeted as the ‘nazi’ isn’t it? What’s Rodney Hide done to earn that reputation?

    And going by you’re resoning, why couldn’t these uninformed taggers just drawn a stupid moustache on his face, or like what most taggers do, some big phallus sticking out of somewhere?

    Swastika’s carry a lot of weight in their implications.

  6. Anonymous says

    also. Isaac has the legitimacy of any post on here covered by the name of the website, issaclikes. He can put anything on here from any angle he likes, because it’s what Isaac Likes to talk about. Clearly he likes talking about Rodney Hide. and the anti semitism angle is something of a personal interest to him based on his own religious beliefs.
    The theme song for this blog should be ‘my perogative’ by Bobby Brown (not the Britney Spears version, that sucks).
    He shoul get Murray Bevan to clear the rights of that song with the copyright holder so that it automatically plays in the background when you’re viewing this page. haha

  7. murray says

    I LOVE that song! I haven’t heard the Britney version, but i bet it’s awesome.

    Who remembers Redhead Kingpin? He had a mad dance style.

    Britney’s going to make a huge comeback soon. You heard it here first.

    And I’m sure that Isaac can also clear his own song rights. He doesn’t need me to hold his hand.

  8. says

    The design story here is surely that people freely use symbols without the consideration of their true meaning. They in turn create more (looser) meanings. Then we propagate more meanings stemming from those distorted meanings!

    Then suddenly someone is lumped with, as anonymous says, the weight of the symbols implications. But which ones? If we did have a racist extremist among us (forming the next government no less), it would be a shame if the meaning of a genuine protest was lost because of a distortion in semiotics.

    I say stick with the phallus. You can’t bungle it – either in rendering it or in interpreting it.

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