Dirty Politics, White Knights & A Reality Check

Published On: 2 October 2023| Categories: Editorial| 8.5 min read|

DIRTY POLITICS, WHITE KNIGHTS & A REALITY CHECK

 We are aware of a video doing the rounds making allegations against VFF and RCR. The video alleges that VFF is engaged in a psychological operation referred to in the video as a “psy-op” to mislead voters in the upcoming general election

Ordinarily, we ignore detractors because if we were to engage with every criticism hurled our way, we would never have achieved everything we have to date. However, due to the disappointing perpetuation of the disinformation by the media platform in question and one political candidate in particular, we feel compelled to address the issues raised.

So what is this so-called psy-op? 

Well, first, it’s alleged that VFF ran a webinar telling people who to vote for, and specifically telling them to vote for National, Act or NZ First. To this we say, anyone who knows us, knows this is not how we work. We don’t tell people what to do or what to think. Rather we give people the options and facts as we see them to enable them to come to their own decisions.

Since we launched RCR six months ago, we’ve conducted over 200 interviews relating to local, national and international politics, including over 150 concerning our 2023 general election and over 50 hours of interviews with the minor parties. You can access all our RCR election 2023 interviews here

Second, it’s alleged that VFF’s radio station RCR has been infiltrated by one Cameron Slater, who is said to be a ‘political operative’ for the National party, an infiltrator with powers to hijack both VFF and RCR. To that, we reply: do people really believe that we would be so naive or gullible to allow such a thing to happen? 

We have invested our lives into VFF and RCR these past three years. We have sacrificed precious time with our children, special occasions, sleep, health, friendships, family security, relationships and more to give it all to the cause. 

These personal sacrifices have made us very protective of what we have created with blood, sweat, tears, endless late nights, parental guilt, eye bags and grey hairs. Putting the organisations in jeopardy on a whim would mean all our efforts were for nothing. It’s simply not going to happen. Ever.  

The VFF Election 2023 webinar

The video alleges that VFF ran a webinar telling people who to vote for, specifically that VFF told people to vote for National, Act or NZ First.

Taking a leaf from the MSM playbook, the video spliced together statements taken out of context to present a particular narrative. Both the video host and the platform in question have not hidden the fact that, as media outlets, they are 100% behind NZ Loyal. Whilst unusual for a media organisation to come out and make a direct political endorsement, it is their prerogative to do so. However, to have no tolerance for other media making a choice not to do so is hypocritical, to say the least.

Most disappointing is that some people have swallowed the claims without any apparent critical thought or curiosity to seek out the original full content to see what we said for themselves. You would think the last few years would have taught people to question and not take as gospel the content of a hastily put together cherry-picked, politically motivated propaganda piece. 

We encourage you to watch the full VFF webinar or watch the 10-minute highlight video alongside the full webinar. When you do this you’ll appreciate the effort we took to ensure that we provided a range of perspectives for the audience to consider on a highly emotive topic. During the webinar, we deliberately refrained from naming any minor party due to the level of political tribalism present. 

The following slide on “Voting Strategies” is taken from the VFF webinar:

Cameron Slater’s opinion on voting was shared in the VFF webinar. As one example of how someone could choose to vote. Other opinions were also shared, including that of Rodney Hide, which contradicted Cameron’s. It was made abundantly clear during the video (and can be easily seen in the 10-minute highlight) that we are not telling people who to vote for but rather are providing them with the options available.

Cameron Slater on RCR

RCR provides a platform for the airing of different views, some of which VFF agrees with and some of which we do not.

At RCR, we fiercely uphold core standards of journalism and broadcasting, and our hosts have editorial independence to share their own thoughts and opinions. Often, these will coincide with our personal perspectives. But equally, there are many occasions when our views will diverge.  

Cameron Slater’s views are his own. As are the views shared by Peter Williams, Rodney Hide, Jaspreet Boparai, Tobias Tahi and all our other hosts. They are entitled to share them, no matter how unpopular they may be. 

Yes, Cam has a history. Yes, we are well aware of his past. That does not disqualify him from having a voice. And although it is not required, he has indeed changed. You can listen to his candid explanation of this and how his stroke impacted his life here.

We have had three years of interacting with Cam throughout the lockdowns, mandates and turbulent times. He used his BFD platform for good to call out the BS from Labour and the other ‘opposition’ parties that did nothing to stand against the tyranny of Labour. He often reposted our content from VFF to give it further reach to a different audience. Which was welcome when were were being shadow-banned on social media and being banned permanently from Facebook.

We find it peculiar that the video host, who has reminded us on more than one occasion that she is a Christian, takes the view that no person is redeemable and that a person’s past must forever define their future.  

Have journalistic standards gone AWOL?

Interestingly, the media platform that produced the video in question contacted us three weeks before the video release to ask about our position on endorsing political parties. Our response was crystal clear:

“Neither VFF nor RCR are backing or endorsing any political party. On RCR, we have interviewed leaders and candidates from a range of political parties (and those intending to register), including the major parties like National and Act and the minor parties like NZ First, DNZ, New Conservatives, Freedoms NZ, Heartland, Leighton Baker, and Alfred Ngaro. We have also interviewed Dean from Voters United. We have sent multiple invitations to Liz Gunn, but she has yet to appear. 

Many of our hosts remain undecided on the voting issue and are free to discuss their thoughts on the matter as they wish.

Our organisations continue to advocate for people to make informed and strategic voting decisions based on evidence rather than emotion. We will likely run a couple of polls closer to the election to help people with their decision-making. And we continue to encourage people to take action in their personal lives to improve their family and community resilience.”

The platform did not include any part of our statement in their video nor otherwise give us any right of reply to the serious allegations made prior to going to air. Instead, they portrayed the angle that we suggest people act like powerless victims, which is the polar opposite of all we have advocated for these last three years. 

How is RCR different from other media?

The clue with RCR is in the name – Reality Check Radio. 

As with our approach at VFF, we aim to deal with facts, evidence, and reality at RCR. We hope that when provided with a full range of information, people can make educated decisions for themselves. We leave room for people to change their minds and positions when presented with new information. 

We do not tell people who to vote for or what to think, but we do give people the options and facts as we see them. People are free to disagree with the analysis of those featured on the station. 

As we mentioned above, there are over 200 political interviews already on RCR and over 50 hours of minor party interviews. You can access them all here

Our hosts have interviewed leaders and representatives from a wide range of political parties as well as many respected political commentators. In keeping with our philosophy, we have provided information and insight to you, our audience, so that you may weigh your options and make your own educated voting decisions this October.

We do not wish to see a continuation of the political status quo, whether red or blue, green, yellow – whatever. We travelled the length and breadth of New Zealand saying as much last year, urging people to stop looking for ‘white knight saviours’ and instead take radical responsibility for their lives. We have encouraged people to connect with others in their communities to find local solutions to local problems and stand for local government positions. 

We believe we cannot afford to place hope in a political solution with such a broken and corrupt political system. 

The REAL dirty politics

These last few months have seen the most vile behaviour come to the fore from so-called freedom lovers in our community. Political tribalism and cult-like behaviour encourage people to take leave of their humanity to engage in a nastiness that makes us despair. We don’t need to worry about the Dirty Politics of old; we have our own version right here within the “freedom movement” in 2023. 

We all face a choice: stand for our values and promote the goals and actions we have been striving towards for years or succumb to the latest flavour of agenda-driven distraction. It’s up to you.

We know which path inspires us: staying the course, endeavouring to grow and educate an ever-increasing population of Kiwis to feel inspired and compelled to stand up and speak out against tyranny… for our children’s future. 

Alia Bland
Co-Founder
Voices for Freedom & Reality Check Radio

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