You have enemies? Social media psycopaths?

It’s difficult not to acquire enemies in social media, particularly in politics, no matter what you do. Some people engaging in political debate seem to want to find, label and forever condemn people they think are enemies.Embedded image permalink

That was before the internet. You don’t even have to stand up for something to be labeled an enemy now. I’ve been enemised for allegedly being bland, beige, for being a non-committal fence sitter.

All you have to do is to be present and not agree with someone, particularly someone with extreme views, to be labelled an enemy in today’s online political world.

If you stand up for something the stakes go up and the risks of acquiring enemies goes up.

And if you stand up against crappy behaviour the chances of bad reactions from bullies is high. They think they can get away with unfettered bad behaviour, and escalating their behaviour is a common progression.

Social Media Psycopaths

Is Social Media Making Us More Like Psychopaths?

The rise in social media is having a disturbing effect on our behaviours. Are we becoming more self-obsessed and displaying psychopathic tendencies? We’ve taken a look at four psychopathic traits of a social media user. You be the judge.

4 Psychopathic Traits of a Social Media User

  1. Untruthfulness and Insincerity:
    • A survey of 2,000 women found that nearly 30% had lied about doing something when home alone.
    • 25% of Facebook users said they falsified some of their account information.
    • 20% were not truthful about their holiday activities or their jobs.
  1. Disconnection: Could We Be More Antisocial?
    • 24% of people missed important moments in real life because they were too busy trying to share them on social channels.
    • In a survey, 51% of respondents said they check social network sites at dinner.
    • Almost two in five people spend more time socialising online than they do face-to-face.
  1. Pathological Egocentricity: We’ve Become Self-Obsessed
    • 46% of participants in a Trakur survey had Googled their own name within 24 hours of taking it. Only 6% never have.
    • 37% of LinkedIn users change their profile picture regularly.
    • Individuals usually spend 30 to 40% of their conversations “informing others of their own subjective experiences.” On social media, this is closer to 80%.
  1. Poor Behaviour Controls: We’re Exhibiting Worrying Behavior
    • Cyber bullying has spread widely with 42% of young people reporting they have been victims.
    • A study found that 28% of children aged 11 to 16 have experienced bullying on the Internet or via a mobile phone.
    • 25% of people admitted to difficulties in relationships because of “confrontational online behaviour.”

What’s Your Verdict?

51% of people say social media has not changed their life for the better. You decide.

Source: Is Social Media Turning Us Into Psychopaths?

Climate: “Future is bleaker than we thought”

Some meaty topics for those who like discussing climate change from New Scientist.

Highly speculative. Full of conjecture. Based on flimsy evidence. Not supported by mainstream science. Not peer reviewed. Not suitable for basing policy on.

It sounds like climate scientists are talking about the claims of climate deniers. But this time they are talking about a 23 July discussion paper by James Hansen, the most famous and respected climate scientist on the planet.

In it, Hansen starts by arguing that the ice melting on and around Greenland and Antarctica will cause rises in sea level that are much faster than mainstream predictions, meaning that we are likely to see several metres of sea level rise this century. It is an argument he has been making for a long time: for instance in his 2007 feature for New Scientist.

Even more startling are the consequences that Hansen thinks will result from this rapid melt.

Around Antarctica, this surface layer will act as a blanket, floating on top of warmer, saltier water and preventing it from losing heat to the air. Instead, this heat will go into melting the underside of ice shelves and glaciers. Hansen argues that the growth in sea ice around Antarctica is a sign that this is starting to happen already, with freshening surface water forming sea ice more readily.

This freshwater layer will also shut down the ocean currents that carry heat from the tropics to the poles, so the tropics will warm fast while high latitudes cool down because of the cold surface waters. This resulting temperature difference, Hansen claims, will power superstorms of a size and fury unlike anything we have ever seen.

Such superstorms occurred towards the end of the last interglacial period 120,000 years ago, the paper claims.

Most terrifying of all, Hansen thinks that all of this could happen with just a 2 °C rise in temperature – the supposedly safe limit.

The consequences, of course, would be catastrophic. “It is not difficult to imagine that conflicts arising from forced migrations and economic collapse might make the planet ungovernable, threatening the fabric of civilisation,” the paper states.

Of course:

These claims certainly do not reflect the views of most of climate scientists, and the various lines of evidence presented in the paper are far from conclusive.


Here’s the take-home message, however: we cannot be sure that Hansen is wrong.

When it comes to sea level, just about every glaciologist now agrees that we are heading for massive sea level rises of at least 5 metres. The only contentious issue is how fast this will happen.

The speed question cannot be definitively resolved by studying how fast ice sheets melted in past interglacial periods because the planet has never warmed as fast as it is now. Nor can it be settled by ice models because we have no way of confirming whether they are right about the rate of melting.

Everything is still quite uncertain.

There have already been surprises. There is growing evidence, for instance, that much of the extreme weather around the planet in recent years is a result of changes in the behaviour of the jet stream as the poles warm. No one predicted this.

Indeed, the “official” projections of climate scientists have turned out to be too conservative time and time again. Antarctic melting is already a century ahead of schedule. Estimates of sea level rise by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change are going up with every report.

But significant uncertainties are towards the more worrying end of the scale.

Hansen, by contrast, has a history of making predictions that turn out to be bang on the money.

That does not mean he is right again. But the mere possibility that he might be should make us all pause for thought. We are still gambling that we can get away with continuing business as usual without reaping the consequences in our lifetimes. It’s a high-stakes gamble that could go horrifically wrong.

It could go horribly wrong whatever we do. Or not.

Andrew Little trying to sabotage democracy

Andrew Little continues to devalue our democratic process in an ongoing two faced attack on the flag referendums.

NZ Herald reports in Second flag referendum should be scrapped if voter apathy continues – Labour

Labour is opposing the bill despite leader Andrew Little’s own desire for a new flag and its 2014 policy to start the process to secure that change.

Putting petty politics before principles.

“New Zealanders all around the country have told us now is not the right time to change the flag. Almost no one turned up at public events to promote it, millions of dollars were wasted on websites and postcards and a celebrity panel of experts.

“And now John Key is continuing to push his pet project through despite overwhelming opposition.”

Over ten thousand entries were submitted as alternate flag possibilities. Many of those involved considerable thought and effort.

We have a robust inclusive consultative and democratic process in place including two binding referendums, and Little wants that all scrapped on his say so.

If fewer than half of eligible voters take part in the first flag referendum the second should be scrapped, Labour say.

Little is using a binding people’s referendum to try and score points against John Key.

He is actively trying to sabotage a referendum for his own political purposes, contrary to his and his party’s stated policy on flag change.

I think this is disgraceful Andrew. You should be ashamed of this cynical abuse of our democratic process.

But if Little thinks things should change based on popular opinion how about the latest 3 News/Reid Research poll for Preferred Prime Minister:

  • Andrew Little 10.2% (down 1.4)

That’s a lot less than half – will you scrap your leadership Andrew?

I doubt you will do that.

But more seriously, will you stop shitting on our democracy?

Open Forum – Thursday

30 July 2015

This post is open to anyone to comment on any topic that isn’t spam, illegal or offensive. All Your NZ posts are open but this one is to encourage you to raise topics that interest you. 

Comments worth more exposure may be repeated as posts.

Your NZ is a mostly political and social issues blog but not limited to that, and views from anywhere on the political spectrum are welcome. Some basic ground rules:

  • If possible support arguments, news, points or opinions with links to sources and facts.
  • Please don’t post anything illegal, potentially defamatory or abusive.
  • Debate hard if you like but respect people’s right to have varying views and to not be personally be attacked.
  • Don’t say to a stranger online anything you wouldn’t say to their face.

Moderation will be minimal if these guidelines are followed. Should they ever be necessary any moderator edits, deletes or bans will be clearly and openly advised.

The Dirge

I agree with Andrew Little about our second National Anthem, except that it’s worse than a dirge, it’s a dirge with embarrassing lyrics.

The Maori version sounds better, if we must keep The Dirge we should stop after the first (Maori) verse.

It’s good to see Andrew Little stand up for something better. Will he pledge to engage the people of New Zealand in choosing a new anthem if he becomes Prime Minister? If he was seriously anti The Dirge then he would.

And another view or two:

Winston Peters: “I’ve never heard anyone singing our anthem when they’re happy.”

Hmm. NZF opens conferences with national anthem every year.


Craigs’ media statement

The Craigs’ media statement on the release of their booklet about the Dirty Politics Brigade and an announcement that Colin Craig would take defamation action for a total of $1,550,000 against Jordan Williams, John Stringer and Cameron Slater.

Colin and Helen Craig Media Statement re: Dirty Politics Brigade
29 July 2015

Thank you for coming. My wife (Helen) and I will be making statements after which I will be taking questions from the media.

It was just under 6 weeks ago that I stepped down as the leader of the Conservative Party. I did so because it had become clear to me that there was a strategy (involving some characters identified in the “Dirty Politics” book) to remove me as leader of the party.

Standing down enabled me to better understand the strategy being run against me and gave me time to plan and respond. We have made good use of that time.
There is in this country a group of people who believe that they can manipulate political outcomes. They have been labelled the Dirty Politics Brigade and last year in his best selling book “Dirty Politics” author Nicky Hagar shed some light on who these people are and how they operate.

Today is a good day because this is the day we start to fight back against the Dirty Politics Brigade who have been running a defamatory strategy against me.
The first of the 2 major announcements today is the publication of a booklet that outlines the dirty politics agenda and what they have been up to in recent weeks. There is a copy here for each of you to take away after the statements today.
Although I was broadly aware of the dirty politics agenda, I have after all read Nicky Hagar’s book, I had not expected to have such close and personal attention from them.

In our booklet we reveal that there has been a campaign of defamatory lies to undermine my public standing, a campaign that in the Dirty Politics Brigades own words they describe as a “strategy that is being worked out”. I shall briefly cover some of their lies so you have a taste of what the booklet contains.

The first false claim is that I have sexually harassed one or more persons. Let me be very clear I have never sexually harassed anybody and claims I have done so are false.
The second false claim being bandied about by the Dirty Politics Brigade is that I have made a pay-out (or pay-outs) to silence supposed “victims”. Again this is nonsense. Take for example the allegations around my former press secretary. Let me be very clear, the only payment I have made to Miss Macgregor since her resignation is an amount of $16,000 which was part payment of her final invoice. It was a part payment because I disputed her account which I had every right to do. Claims of any other amounts being paid and especially the suggestions of large sums of hush money being paid are utterly wrong and seriously defamatory.

Again in a similar vein is the false allegation that I have sent sexually explicit text messages or “SEXT’s” as they are known. Once more this is not true. I have never sent a sexually explicit text message in my life.

The fourth false claim that we highlight in the booklet and that was being spread about by the Dirty Politics crowd was that of another alleged “victim” of sexual harassment.

It is here that that many of you, the media, started to get suspicious and to “smell a rat”. A number of you in private conversation with me expressed concerns about a smear campaign and doubts that the story as it was unfolding in the media was true. While I am grateful that many of you chose not to run the “other woman” story I do wish that the same good judgement had been exercised earlier with other false allegations.

[I trust that you will be co-operative in retracting and correcting false reports that you may have posted/reported.]

The second announcement today is that we will be taking legal action for defamation against the Dirty Politics Brigade. It does not serve this country well to have a group of people who influence public opinion through a web of deceit and media manipulation.

We identify in the booklet 3 key people in the campaign against me. Each of these will be held to account for the lies they have told. Formal claims are being prepared and I expect these persons will have formal letters from my legal team within the next 48 hours. Due to the serious, deliberate and repetitive nature of the defamatory statements I will, for the first time, be seeking damages in a defamation claim.

The first defamation action is against Mr Jordan Williams. I will be seeking damages from him of $300,000.

The second defamation action is against Mr John Stringer. I will be seeking damages from him of $600,000

The third defamation action is against Mr Cameron Slater. I will be seeking damages from him of $650,000

Today the line is drawn. Either the dirty politics brigade is telling the truth or I am. The New Zealand public need certainty about the truth of these claims. This is about who is honest. Is Colin Craig telling the truth or is it the Dirty Politics Brigade. Let the courts judge this matter so we know whom to trust.

This is about who you can trust ….. and you can trust my husband, he is a good and trustworthy man. In the nearly 28 years I have known him, Colin has proven himself to be a man of integrity and honesty, one who owns his faults and doesn’t dodge responsibility. And that is why I again choose to stand with him today and why he has, and will continue to have, my full and unwavering support.

For those of you who will wrongly assume, once again, that I have been dragged into making a media statement by Colin you are, once again, wrong. I am here today because there are important things which I want to say for myself.

Indeed, I have to say, I find it very surprising that some commentators have criticised my choice to speak out. We have good women in this country and a good woman knows how to stand with her man when he is under attack.

The last 6 weeks have been a very difficult and surreal experience for us. It has not been fun to be victimise by those responsible for a series of false allegations.

I have been astounded with each new allegation and wondered what absurd thing they could come up with next. I did not expect politics to be easy but I did hope it would centre around fair debate of the issues. Such a determined campaign of defamation was not something I ever expected and I do wonder how the Dirty Politics Brigade can sleep at night.

On a more positive note, however, there have been our many dear supporters. I did want to again say thank you for the wonderful love and care we have been shown as a family. To family, friends and the many hundreds of supporters whom have taken the time to contact us I want you to know it has made a difference and encouraged us more than words can easily say. We so appreciate you and can’t thank you enough.

That is all I have to say today and I won’t be answering questions. Thank you.

3 News video of the media conference, report and a copy of the booklet: Colin Craig takes ‘Dirty Politics Brigade’ to court

Note that Craig begins with “It was just under 6 weeks ago that I stepped down as the leader of the Conservative Party.”

But as posted here, Craig still acting as Conservative leader

A Little disingenuous on flag choice

Andrew Little has supported public consultation on flag change in the past. But now that we are getting just that he doesn’t want it – because it’s not the right time apparently.

ODT reports:

Mr Little said while thousands of New Zealanders wanted a change of flag, they did not believe it was the right time.

“This is not a poor reflection on New Zealanders, many of whom would like something different. Many of them want a change to the national anthem too, because they are sick of singing a dirge every time you turn up to a festive occasion. Most of them sing along to the Australian national anthem before they sing along to our own.”

He repeated his call for the Government to halt the flag referendums process.

This is very disappointing from Little. He wanted a flag choice process, he wants a flag change, but he opposes the current process. This looks like petty political pissiness.

And he is speaking too much for “New Zealanders” who he doesn’t represent nor listen to very well.

I don’t sing along to the Australian anthem. On a recent occasion I stood respectfully but silently for the Australian anthem at Fig Tree Pocket State School in Brisbane at my granddaughter’s weekly assembly. It was a weird feeling standing surrounded by Australians singing their song. It felt foreign to me.

Mr Little made the comment during debate in Parliament on the Flags Referendums Bill, a bill Labour is opposing despite Mr Little’s own desire for a new flag and Labour’s 2014 policy to start the process to secure that change.

What happened to “cut the crap” Mr Little?

Blog comments on the unpublished polls

Whale Oil broke the Labour internal polling story.I posted on The Standard’s take on it in Labour’s internal polling.


Yesterday we published a couple of posts highlighting the stupidity of anyone believing the UMR polls, mainly because they are so far out of sync with the TV One & TV3 Polls. Remember that the two TV polls had Labour 15% behind National, yet Labour are now claiming their internal polls are at 41-35, a gap of 6.

The halfwits on the left immediately seized on this as a panic attack on Whaleoil, rather than a deliberate take down of a poll that has no credibility. Chris Trotter wrote at the Daily Bog:

“Something Very, Very Different”: Why rumours of Labour’s internal poll numbers are giving the Nats the heebie-jeebies

Who knows which National Party Chris is thinking about but the only thing Labour’s rigged poll has given National is a lot of laughs.

He also claims National polling had different results:

David Farrar occasionally takes time out of his hectic travel schedule to do some polling. He managed to squeeze in a bit of polling before heading to Fiji, and determined that Labour’s dog whistle hadn’t been heard at all, which is why National did not mount a vigorous attack on Labour’s racism.

That is also hearsay on unpublished polling so can’t be relied on.

To Chris Trotter’s post at The Daily Blog – “Something Very, Very Different”: Why rumours of Labour’s internal poll numbers are giving the Nats the heebie-jeebies

CAMERON SLATER is appealing directly to members of Labour’s caucus on his Whaleoil blog. Why? Because he’s just got wind of Labour’s internal poll numbers. According to Cameron: “Their internal polls show something very, very different from the publicly available polls. Apparently the gap between Labour & National is about 6 or 7 percent when the public polls have it at 15%.”

This can only mean that, in the usually highly accurate UMR poll, Labour is positioned somewhere between 34-36 percent and the National Party somewhere between 40 and 42 percent. At that level of support, it’s ‘Game Over!’ for John Key’s government. No wonder Cameron is doing everything he can to sow doubt in the minds of Andrew Little’s colleagues.

Clearly, these results have brought on an attack of the heebie-jeebies in National’s ranks. How else to explain the usually very crafty Mr Slater’s tactical lapse? Calling people’s attention to what he’s heard about Labour’s internal polling – when it’s this good – has given a major boost to the Left’s morale. It’s also boosted the credibility of the other big rumour doing the rounds about UMR’s polling: the one that puts the combined Labour-Green vote at 49 percent.

Cameron’s post may also serve to confirm the rumours about National’s own internal polling. According to these, Labour’s much criticised ‘China Play’ almost immediately began shaking erstwhile Labour voters loose from National’s tree in large numbers.

So there are contradictory ‘rumours’ about party internal polling. Surprise surprise. Which political pundit to believe? I’m very sceptical about what any of them say.

So, let us assume, purely for the sake of argument, that all the rumours are true and all the numbers are correct. It would mean that National has shed 6-7 percentage points directly to Labour. Interestingly, this is exactly what the Roy Morgan Poll of 17 July indicated.

It had National down 6.5 points to 43 percent, Labour up 6 points to 32 percent, and the combined Labour-Green vote on 45 percent. Admittedly, the Roy Morgan survey only caught the first day of Labour’s China Play, but, by the same token, it escaped the effects of ‘Paddy’s Play’ entirely.

Trotter talked up the Roy Morgan result, then disproves his initial point. He also as good as rubbished the latest published public poll:

That job was left to TV3’s Patrick Gower, who has been waging a virtual one-man-war against what he insists are Labour’s “cooked-up” statistics. How disappointed poor Paddy must have been when his week-long assault upon Labour for “playing the race card” was rewarded with a marginal increase in Labour’s support (from 30.4 to 31.1 percent) in the TV3/Reid Research Poll.

Trotter concluded his post with a Labour Party promo.

A UMR poll is mentioned but as it is unpublished it’s impossible to judge, either on a one on one comparison with other polls and on it’s trends.

David Farrar posted on the 3 News Poll – Latest poll.

I’ve blogged at Curia the results of the 3 News Reid Research poll broadcast last night.

Like the One News Colmar Brunton poll the previous week, it shows no bounce for from its targeting of people with Chinese surnames.

What it does show is that has fallen below Winston Peters as Preferred Prime Minister.

This is a feat never achieved by Phil Goff, David Shearer or David Cunliffe.

The last time an Opposition Leader failed to poll in the top two as Preferred Prime Minister was in October 2003 – 12 years ago. Later that month he was rolled in a coup.

So the results of Labour’s concede Northland to Winston strategy has been to have their leader fall into third place behind Winston as Preferred PM.

And the results of their decision to highlight home buyers with Chinese surnames has been to achieve nothing in the , but alienate many Chinese New Zealanders.

Curia is Farrar’s own polling company that amongst other things runs National’s internal polls, but he never reveals the results of those. So he only comments on the published poll results.

The most comprehensive poll coverage is from the non-partisan Colin James at Radio NZ with POLL of POLLS. This looks at rolling averages of polls, far more useful than cherry picking polls, especially unpublished ones, by those with political leanings.

Combined support for Labour and the Greens has overtaken National in the latest four-poll average, covering polls taken during July. And Labour has crept back up to 32.4 %, its highest since March 2014.

The Green Party, sporting new co-leader James Shaw, has climbed a bit to 13.0% but that is below its November 2014 ratings.

National is down to 44.5%. That is its lowest since October 2013. Still, it remains far ahead of all other parties and not far below its election score of 47.0%.

But Labour’s trend seems to be up and National’s down (for now). And Labour and the Greens combined lead National by 0.9% for the first time since February 2014.

So Labour plus Greens are at their highest for over a year – but last year’s election didn’t turn out very well for them.

The poll average chart shows that National has dipped and Labour has climbed:

Average last 4 polls since 2014 election.

*The poll of polls is an arithmetical average of the four most recent major polls since the election from among: TV1 Colmar Brunton, TV3 Reid Research, Fairfax Media-Ipsos, NZ Herald DigiPoll, Roy Morgan New Zealand and UMR Research, which is not published.

The four polls in the most recent average were, in order of interviewing, Morgan, TV1, TV3 and UMR (all in July). The first point on the charts is the actual election result and the polls averaged in the next three points straddled the election. The first point for which all polls were taken after the election is in mid-November.

So that includes the unpublished UMR poll. Again, without knowing any details or trends from them it’s hard to judge.

We will probably get a better idea about mid-august when Roy Morgan put out their next poll, They tend to vary quite a bit but that may give an indication whether their last poll was an indication of a sustainable opinion shift or if it was an outlier, as their May poll was seen as polling National in the mid fifties.

When Cameron Slater says “the stupidity of anyone believing the UMR polls” and Chris trotter says “the usually highly accurate UMR poll” you have to take pundit commentary with a grain of salt.

Remember that it’s more than two years until the next election. And also note that all polls are snapshots in time and ever coincide with election day. This is how they fared last election:

Final result chart

That’s from pollster Andrew at Grumpollie in How did the polls do? The final outcome. He includes details of how he worked that out.

It’s worth noting that the most recent published polls, One News and 3 News, had fairly similar results, unlike pre-election.

Polls are polls, mostly used by press, pundits and parties to make up stories.

Labour’s internal polling

A lot is being said online about a claimed internal Labour poll. Anthony Robins at The Standard has posted Internal polling apparently good.

The word is that Labour’s internal (UMR) polling has them up 6 to 35 with National down 6 to 41. I’d be inclined to dismiss that if it wasn’t similar (same 6% move) to the most recent Roy Morgan just 10 days ago.

But he also posted:

So we at TS don’t usually write on the occasional rumours that we hear. (No – we don’t have any writers who are Labour staffers so we have to rely on rumours like everyone else.)

That’s a bit of a stretch, particular after Te Reo Putake admitted recently of being in high level Labour meetings with Andrew Little. Te Reo Putake is very active commenting on the post.

Is the poll right? It’s possible it was at one point in time. It could also be a cynical attempt to try and manipulate public opinion.

But without knowing the polling period, the size of the poll, the questions asked and the order of the questions then ‘rumour of internal poll’ is meaningless.

That’s if the poll actually existed.

Open Forum – Wednesday

29 July 2015

This post is open to anyone to comment on any topic that isn’t spam, illegal or offensive. All Your NZ posts are open but this one is to encourage you to raise topics that interest you. 

Comments worth more exposure may be repeated as posts.

Your NZ is a mostly political and social issues blog but not limited to that, and views from anywhere on the political spectrum are welcome. Some basic ground rules:

  • If possible support arguments, news, points or opinions with links to sources and facts.
  • Please don’t post anything illegal, potentially defamatory or abusive.
  • Debate hard if you like but respect people’s right to have varying views and to not be personally be attacked.
  • Don’t say to a stranger online anything you wouldn’t say to their face.

Moderation will be minimal if these guidelines are followed. Should they ever be necessary any moderator edits, deletes or bans will be clearly and openly advised.


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