Posting in Taking the Gap (at The Standard) ‘Eddie’ takes an attack line commonly used there.
The free rein Shearer has given Jones to attack the Greens’ economic policies just shows the leadership’s instincts are rightwing, which is why their economic position comes across so weak…
Many on the left seem to take this approach – if you have different views or a different approach you must be the opposite side, the enemy. This has been evident in many of my discussions on leftwing blogs, and I’ve often been called a right winger, a RWNJ and similar.
They don’t seem to be able to comprehend that there might often be common ground found somewhere closer to the middle than hard pressed against either side.
And the other side is always weak, they lie, they are unintelligent, they are seen as the opposite of everything the attacker perceives themselves to be.
This makes it interesting when the left fight amongst themselves, leading to attacks like this where Shearer (and Jones and Tamihere) are not deemed far left enough so they must be rightwing. They are also called neoliberal and scorned as virtual traitors.
Update: And here is a variation on the same – “You’re with us or you’re evil”. From The Tumeke NZ Blogger Alignment Awards 2012:
Lawful Evil Blogger
Examples of this alignment include tyrants, devils, undiscriminating mercenary types who have a strict code of conduct, and loyal soldiers who enjoy the act of killing.
Neutral Evil Blogger
A blogger of this alignment can be more dangerous than either Lawful or Chaotic Evil characters, since she or he is neither bound by any sort of honor or tradition nor disorganized and pointlessly violent.
Chaotic Evil Blogger
The Chaotic Evil Blogger is referred to as the “Destroyer” or “Demonic” alignment. Bloggers of this alignment tend to have no respect for rules, other people’s lives, or anything but their own desires, which are typically selfish and cruel. They set a high value on personal freedom, but do not have any regard for the lives or freedom of other people. They do not work well in groups, as they resent being given orders, and usually behave themselves only out of fear of punishment. It is not compulsory for a Chaotic Evil blogger to be constantly writing sadistic blogs just for the sake of being evil, or constantly disobeying orders just for the sake of causing chaos. They do however enjoy the suffering of others, and view honor and self-discipline as weaknesses. Serial killers and monsters of limited intelligence are typically Chaotic Evil.
While that may seem over the top it’s standard rhetoric from Bradbury.