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Chris Ford: Why the left should not venerate Kim Dotcom

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Chris Ford
Chris Ford
Kim Dotcom

 I believe the left is in danger of wrongly venerating Kim Dotcom.

As I wrote in my previous blog on this issue, the GCSB spying revelations and the John Banks-Dotcom donation saga have helped pull the main centre-left parties (Labour and the Greens) up in recent polls. This trend should be welcomed by all those within the electorate who despise National.

Also, I do have sympathy with Dotcom over the way in which the raid against him was conducted. I wrote back in January that it was very heavy handed and a popular consensus is now emerging that the police were indeed over the top. Furthermore, the John Banks donation saga has seen Dotcom become something of a hero to sections of the left. Undoubtedly, this is because Dotcom's (and Sky City's) damaging evidence to Police about Banks reported knowledge of who his donors actually were has undermined Banks and the ACT Party's public credibility. Banks' actions have also effectively endangered the government's majority as, if the Police had prosecuted, he would have had to resign from Parliament if convicted.

Lest we forget, though, that Dotcom is probably right wing in his views. After all, why do you think he chose to back the conservative Banks in his Auckland mayoral bid? If he were left-wing, he would have opted for Len Brown. Also, Dotcom invited Banks to lunch and to his private deck to view his New Year's Eve 2010 fireworks display gift to the City of Auckland. 

Dotcom has been feeling miffed too that it was a Democratic (read liberal-left) Administration that sanctioned the raid on his mansion at the US end. He has accused US Vice President Joe Biden of being behind the raids due to being, in his view, more or less in the pay of Hollywood. Indeed, in the populist lexicon of the American right, Hollywood is code for "liberal-leftie, pro-Democrat land" given the high number of entertainers who support the Democratic Party. Therefore, Dotcom will have no love for the left at all and probably views the raids as an invasion of private property and, thus, one that can only have been sanctioned by a so-called 'socialist' administration. That's why the left should stop thinking of Dotcom as someone who is standing up to America. Yes, he is standing up to the American Government but appears not to be aggrieved by its domestic or foreign policies.

For all these reasons, speculation has been growing that Dotcom could be part of, or even front, a new libertarian replacement party for Act. In fact, Dotcom has been angry at Banks ever since the Act Leader refused his requests for assistance as an MP while in prison following the raid. Remember, this incident is what prompted Dotcom to confront Banks over his so-called 'anonymous' donation to the 2010 mayoral campaign. So, Dotcom could get back at Banksie through being part of a new libertarian political force. But this all depends on the outcome of Dotcom's extradition court case and it could still go either way. 

Still, I believe that Dotcom's right wing sympathies have been overlooked by the left in this debacle. I agree that Dotcom has exposed National's huge political vulnerabilities for all to see and that is what the left should be grateful for. But as for the left using him as its latest new mascot, no, don't go there! It might all backfire!

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