Clare Curran has confirmed via the ODT what everyone knew, that she was the senior Labour MP who approached the Labour council to try and address members criticising MPS and the party online.
Ms.Curran said the people she complained about were party members, some of whom were using pseudonyms and had contributed to other party members being attacked and the Labour Party being undermined.
”There are questions about the conduct of anonymous bloggers who belong to the party but may be bringing it into disrepute, and it’s an issue the party needs to grapple with in the digital age.”
Ms.Curran said she had sought discussion at the party council level about what was an ”acceptable” standard of behaviour, particularly when a member was expressing views anonymously, in a way in which was intended to damage other party members and the party overall. She also made suggestions about how the party could deal with the issue professionally.
”Not at any point have I sought disciplinary action against any individual.”
In her correspondence, she said she had not used individual names, instead using an online pseudonym as an example of how the behaviours were being manifested.
”That person had previously identified themselves as using that pseudonym to me in an email conversation, and in subsequent face-to-face conversations.”
Curran confirms correspondence to the council, that’s the letter that has been talked about, so that doesn’t need to be chased any more.
An ”acceptable” standard of behaviour
This is mind boggling. Acceptable to whom? To Clare? To the party leadership?
Is she proposing monitoring party members online? Who would do that? What standards would be stipulated? What would happen if someone has been deemed to have breached the standards?
“in a way in which was intended to damage other party members and the party overall”
Would that rule out taking anyone to task, robust debate and leadership challenges?
That is ludicrous enough on it’s own, but Clare has a reputation for perceiving any questioning or alternate opinions as criticism. She has a reputation for draconian control at Red Alert, banning anyone who she thinks is off message. I’m one of the many that have been stunned by her hypersensitivity to perceived criticisms – and reasons she gave for banning me were, to be frank, screwy.
Identifying Colonial Viper
The way Clare identified Colonial Viper has already been questioned. And Lynn Prentice at The Standard says:
We know that CC spoke to CV about being CV in person on at least one occasion. When she was threatening to “out” him during lobbying at this years conference.
From what I understand she has reversed the order of events. She asked if he was CV after getting it from other means, and he confirmed it after she pestered. After all what would a Labour MP do to Labour member, right? You can trust them right?
That confirms who was involved at the conference. And the online gagging seems to be a continuation of that. It’s imprtant to remember that others were also gagged, not just CV, so how they were identified is still an issue.
But all that aside, some serious questions remain unanswered.
1. Did Clare play a part in gagging Colonial Viper, millsy, Peter Wilson, the sprout and possible others online?
2. Has private information from Red Alert been used in cross matching data with other blogs to identify people using pseudonyms?
(people in a position to know say Trevor Mallard did this last year)
3. Did Trevor Mallard play any part in this over the last month?
4. Has the Labour council approved of this gagging?
5. Has David Shearer approved of this gagging?
6. Should Labour succeed in leading the next Government would similar (anti-government) criticism control be used?