Whale freed from Economy

I didn’t know until now but Cameron Slater and his Dad are off to Gallipoli.

As you will all know Dad and I are on our way to Gallipoli.

We decided to fly Emirates and stop off in Dubai for a week to see my brother and his family.

Good for them. His finances can’t be so bad now.

We arrived at Auckland airport and were pleasantly surprised to find we had been upgraded to Business Class the whole way. We didn’t even realise we’d been upgraded until the check-in staff handed over the boarding passes and directed us to the lounge.

What a pleasant surprise.

He then goes on to praise Emirates to a fairly extreme extent. Not like the usual Whale Oil post. Except the promotional ones not written by Slater perhaps.

I guess this post now makes me a travel blogger like David Farrar…but who cares I am on a bucket list trip and Emirates just made it an extremely enjoyable one.

It doesn’t sound much like Farrar’s travel blogs – he’s being posting a few about his current trip around Australia on Kiwiblog.

Comparing Farrar’s Stanley to Slater’s EMIRATES A380 –  AUCKLAND-BRISBANE-DUBAI is like comparing the Travel Channel to the Shopping Channel.

But here’s a funny thing – one of Slater’s other revenue earners is the prolific advertising on Whale Oil. While he gushes about Emirates his blog is advertising Singapore and Malaysia Airlines.

WhaleOilEmirates

I guess Freed won’t be launching over the next week or two.

Bridges too far?

Did Simon Bridges got to far in seeking cost details on Northland bridges?

Mr Bridges’ office asked the NZ Transport Agency for information on the bridges and estimated costs of upgrading them prior to the byelection announcement that National would upgrade 10 one-way bridges.

Andrew Little thinks he did.

Labour’s leader Andrew Little said that was a clear breach of the rules for ministers’ use of public officials and Mr Bridges should be sacked.

John Key thinks he didn’t.

Mr Key said he did not believe it was a breach.

“My understanding is it’s quite okay to ask for information. You’re quite free to do that. The issue is whether you’ve got policy advice and Mr Bridges didn’t do that.”

The Cabinet Manual seems unclear.

The Cabinet Manual states that “any requests [ministers] make for advice or information from their officials is for the purposes of their portfolio responsibilities and not for party political purposes”.

Bridges would be responsible for fulfilling the bridges bribe so should be basing decisions on advice and information. Many policy decisions can be both part of Governance and for party political purposes – trying to get re-elected.

Anthony Robins at The Standard thinks it’s clear in Burn the Cabinet Manual:

Key won’t take any action over Simon Bridges’ clear breach (excellent work by Rob Salmond at Polity) of the Cabinet Manual. So, might as well burn the thing, at least for the remainder of this government’s term. Key has no intention of being held to account, or holding his ministers to account, by or for anything at all.

Did Helen Clark and Michael Cullen get advice and information before making their famous election rescuing Student Loan bribe? Was any Minister sacked as a result of that? I’m sure there are numerous examples of advice or information from officials being used for election (party political) purposes.

David Farrar at Kiwiblog calls it A beltway beltway issue.

I don’t believe that anything Simon Bridges did, is a breach of the Cabinet Manual. But regardless this is what you call a classic beltway issue. The number of people who get excited over this is miniscule. Mrs Jones in New Plymouth and Mr Smith in Hamilton want jobs, incomes, decent schools, good healthcare etc.

The sort of people who think this is great politics are the same sort who orgasm over who won question time in the House. I know, because I used to be one of them.

Ecch. But he may have a point, no matter how awfully he has put it.

In comments yesterday on Your NZ Alan Wilkinson commented:

This is b.s. If a Government makes a promise before a by-election it has to implement it and therefore it has to cost it responsibly and accurately.

Totally different to before a general election when it may not be reelected. No matter what the Cabinet manual says the Minister was making a promise in his ministerial capacity which he would have to implement and therefore fund.

Just to add the obvious corollary to this, in a by-election if the Cabinet Manual rule were to be applied it would mean the Government’s opponents in the by-election would be free to promise anything they wished and the Government’s candidate would be unable to promise anything new. Farcical nonsense. It shows exactly how incompetent or biased MSM journalism is that this is not pointed out and the opposition’s arguments rubbished.

There might turn out to be some sort of technical breach of the Cabinet Manual but Alan’s comments make sense to me.

Flipper at Kiwiblog:

The closest that anyone has comes to the true worth of “The Cabinet Manual”: is Helen Clark. She amended “it” to suit each circumstance…and to her benefit.

The reality is that the manual is just a collection of “thou shalt nots” (well if it suits the PM), and “:thou shalls”. It has no stranding in law because it is not backed (compiled pursuant to) by a statute. Many matters upon which it offers guidance may well (probably are) covered by Statute. At best the manual is a collection of Executive fiats.

Back to the instigator of the beat-up to far, Rob Salmond at Polity, who responded to Farrar’s post in The “beltway” response:

By “acted in a political way,” of course, he means “breached the rules of his office.” Also, good luck passing off the actual job of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition, to hold the government to account for its actions, as “crying wah wah.”

I agree about Mrs Jones and Mr Smith, though. This is not an election defining issue. I’m guessing Labour’s 2017 election campaign won’t have much to do with this issue, in the same way National’s 2008 campaign didn’t say too much about Taito Philip Field.

The thing about so-called “beltway” issues is that they aren;t much good at election time in their own right, but if a number of similar issues emerge around a government then it forms a more general impression which does matter in elections. That was how National used Field. In National’s case, that general impression might be “arrogant” or “liars” or “duplicitous” or “corrupt.” They’re certainly handing out plenty of material…

So Salmond doesn’t seem to think think this is much of a big deal but is trying to chip away at National’s credibility.

Rob would help his own credibility on this if he didn’t try and compare what Simon Bridges did with what Taito Philip Field – Field was charged with “15 counts of bribery and 25 of attempting to pervert the course of justice”.

Field was jailed for six years on corruption charges, with the sentencing judge saying his offending threatened the foundation of democracy and justice.

Likening this to Bridges going too far seeking Ministerial information and advice looks like a beat-up too far.

Newspaper opinion bias

David Farrar has been collating data on newspapers’ political opinion and rated how pro and anti National and Labour they have been over the last five months.

Partisans on both sides of politics often make sweeping claims about the media. Some on the left have claimed that the NZ Herald is relentlessly pro-National and that (for example) John Armstrong is a cheerleader for the Government. Others think the opposite.

For some time I’ve wanted to try and collate data on the media, to try and ascertain where the opinion of certain editorials and columnists tends to end up, and for the last five months have been doing so. The data below is imperfect,but it is also new – in that we’ve never seen before a comprehensive analysis of the opinion columns of major newspapers and their columnists.

More attention is given to the governing party and more negative opinion is not unexpected but to varying degrees especially from columnists.

It’s quite interesting and worth a look:  Inaugural Media Opinion Statistics.

I expect there will be a few lefties who find the results hard to believe, it’s common to see claims that the media is supportive of the hard right and promotes it’s interests.

One of the stupidist arguments for clinging to a monarchy

David Farrar has posted Prince Charles’ letters to be released at Kiwiblog and says:

The advantage of a monarchy is that it is meant to be a politically neutral institution. These letters will show beyond doubt that Prince Charles is not in any way politically neutral. I don’t want him to be New Zealand’s next Head of State.

Some of one of the stupidest arguments for retaining a monarchy in New Zealand are repeated (they are often made).

Scott:

Prince Charles is fine. We like the monarchy, it is not broke and there is no need to fix it.

And I don’t want a NZ President because the President will one day be Helen Clarke and that thought I cannot abide.

That’s as good as saying that Scott can’t abide the thought of a democratically elected head of state. It’s stupid in the extreme to say we shouldn’t allow the people to choose in case Phillip John Smith  or Kim Dotcom get to become a symbolic head of state.

big bruv:

“So if you want to avoid Charles III, or George VII, or whatever he intends to call himself, you really have to start doing something about that now.”

As bad as Charles might be I will take him any day of the week over President Clark, Bloger, Peters, Fitzsimmons or some fat truck driver from the Waikato.

If New Zealand could elect a head of state and the people chose Helen Clark or Jim Bolger or Winston Peters then they should have them as their head of state. That’s what democracy means, as opposed to having a head of state imposed by some archaic system of succession from the other side of the world  by a country that effectively dumped New Zealand in the seventies.

mudrunner:

The energy of the anti-royalists seizing the weaknesses that he has shown swamp the benefits he brings.
I don’t want a President Clark or Bolger or Devoy either!

All this opposition to an elected head of state when they participate in electing Helen Clark or John Key or potentially Andrew Little as the Prime Minister with a primary level of power.

We don’t need a head of state on the other side of the world, no matter how noble or stupid they are.

We don’t need a symbolic head of state at all.

All we need is our current democratic system that elects a Government and effectively elects a Prime Minister, with the addition of a democratic mechanism that allows the people to overrule our politicians if the need and appropriate level of support dictates.

Little slammed and slammed again

The Little payment debacle seems to have been played down here. It’s an awful look for Andrew Little and will take a lot to recover from.

The problems are detailed by David Farrar: Incompetence from Little and Labour

1. Hiring a right wing journalist to advise on your Labour Party leadership campaign in the first place
2. Not paying him promptly when invoiced on 10 November
3. Not responding to the next three e-mails from Cohen asking to be paid
4. The Leader’s Chief of Staff gets involved on 22 December and doesn’t get it paid that day or even tell the Leader
5. Two weeks later still unpaid, and COS gets e-mailed again.
6. Another three weeks goes by and it is unpaid, and the journalist (NB journalist!) has to e-mail again
7. The COS finally tells Little at the end of January and Little doesn’t get it paid that day
8. Another week and another reminder and still no action
9. Little gives a speech on how Labour wants to help small businesses, infuriating the self-employed journalist who e-mails again, now angry. Warning bells should be ringing loudly by now.
10. Two more weeks later Cohen writes an article in NBR that appears in their print edition last Friday complaining he has not been paid. The incompetence is so huge that this does not result in a payment being made by end of day, but is ignored
11. Four days later Steven Joyce raises the non payment in the House and finally it is paid
12. When confronted over the bad look for the Labour Leader to not be paying a worker the money he is owed, Little gets angry at the media and demands they call him a contractor not a worker!

Farrar also points out:

The public rate competence well ahead of ideology.

It’s not just the public who will be querying his competence (in particular the small business part of the public that Little is targeting for support).

But when the media spot incompetence they punish it. And when they get a bad reaction from their target they punish that too.

And a comment at Kiwiblog slams Little some more.

Little’s leadership campaign was a personal campaign and nothing to do with the Labour Party machine per see, so McCarten isn’t to blame at all. Thius is Andrew’s mess pure and simple as the CEO of his Leadership Campaign…..

Little should have had his campaign staff organised with a simple Accounts Payable spreadsheet recording all entities engaged, their tasks, agreed costs, whether those costs had been paid in part of in full, contact details etc.

The fact his staff weren’t organised and didn’t under take simple management of the engagements and costs indicates Little doesn’t have good organisational skills and/or good leadership skills – as obviously his campaign staff cocked it up completely and the work of his staff is a reflection of him interms of staff selection and management

He then compounds it by getting angry with the media. Why just not say yip organisational snafu by the campaign team, just found out about it and have paid up.

And then to top it off the Contractor v Worker BS. Personally as a CONTRACTOR myself I find his characterisation of a CONTRACTOR as not a WORKER bloody insulting!!!! Just because I’m not a Corporate/SME employee or a Unionised employee doesn’t mean I don’t damn well work for a living and am therefore not a WORKER.

Andrew thanks for confirming I shouldn’t listen to Labour any more – you have confirmed if I’m not an employee then I am not someone you give a damn about except as a potential source of additional taxes to fund your redistribution dreams…

Oh and great job distracting from Nationals multiple mismangaments of issues lately [Sabin/Sky City] I am sure Joyce will shout you a drink in Bellamys in thanks….

Little’s learning curve suddenly turns his public image to looking far less favourable.

And to top it off Cameron Slater gets in a payback dig:

And Cameron Slater points out of course that one of the condemnations in DIRTY POLITICS was that certain journalists did work for politicians, and lobby groups, and other interests without clearly revealing full authorship.

Rachinger previously

Following from the previous thread on Ben Rachinger I’m tracking backwards, recording this in case it disappears.

Sunday:

Standard operating procedure worldwide, attack the whistleblower & family, or set up honeypot trap.

Ben Rachinger:

Oh I know this one well.

I’m estranged from my parents since police came to the door looking for Rawshark. In October.

Well before I ever said anything publicly. Imagine senior cops at your old and conservative parents door.

As for honeypots…. I’m not a bee anymore and I know exactly what I’m doing. Estrangement radicalised me

Police thought you are Rawshark – morons.

Ahhh it’s more than that but nothing I couldn’t handle. I.e. Please report on all your friends.

Police were alright. Just the system we live in.

Monday:

It’d be amazing if Kiwis started talking about what they want in a new Political Party/System instead of giving the stagnant ones airtime.

About to school y’all why you should never play Mutually Assured Destruction with someone who doesn’t like power, money or living like you!

I first had interactions with C Slater in early 2014. I made the “Smoke and Mirrors” video series and he blogged them

I then subsequently was involved in discussions with C Slater about joining Freed Media, his new venture.

As a member of the inner circle of the Dirty Politics crew, I was privy to a lot of information. Bad quality but

I should have prefaced this with a NB. NB. Cameron Slater has been good to me at times. This dump isn’t about him. No low hanging fruit.

Anyhow, that’s just establishing my bone fides. I’m taking you down, Key. Your shit stinks and I’m not tolerating it any more

At some point I’ll tell you what the going rate for inter-party hacking and website takedowns is. Also who in MSM and Left is complicit.

This goes out to all my friends, allies and those who walk in solidarity. Im finally manning up

Farrar. Looking forward to showing New Zealanders about you, the Man who the PM thanked on election night. Sunlight is a beautiful thing

Even though the NZ Police came to my door… It was on 3rd party info. I have nothing against the Police. Unless they protect corruption.

It’s embarrassing how long NZ was prepared to let this shit go on for, don’t you have better ambitions for your children’s futures?

This is what my encrypted messaging app looks like (some redacted). Yeah. That’s right.

Embedded image permalink

And so it begins.

Embedded image permalink

I thought about leaking to a MSM journo but after checking the files, I could only find two that were clean. Can you imagine that problem?

People are never satisfied. Never.

Hey Mr Farrar, , got anything to say about this? Before I comment.

Embedded image permalink

Ok, I’ll comment The fuck planet are you living on dude. You think you and John rule us? State hacking on cits? Looked like it.

Parliament needs to be dissolved. This year.

Fair warning on my ambitions.

I haven’t even started on the ‘hostage’, the ‘blinded trust’ or the Left yet.

You have been lied to. Extensively. Knowingly. Fuckthatyes

Hey Trotter, you sweating yet brah?

Q: Who told Slater about a “left conspiracy” to have him suicide/anhero?

A: Chris Trotter

Solution: Fucking prove it, Trotter.

I could have called myself Rawshark or some fancy name and dumped this on you…

Or I could just be Little Old Me. No masks, no drama.

why have you chosen the whale over say, the bomber or Andrea Vance? – genuinely interested

Feb 16

Bomber is easy to pen and easier to understand. He’s essentially neutered. Vance, I cover later. She is NOT pure as snow.

haha interesting times indeed! Wouldn’t have thought of WhaleOil as a beacon of morality?

Haha he’s not. But he knows the really bad people.

Does Cam have stuff on Farrar & Key? Or just the left and MSM? Anywayz, thnx for the follow! I eagerly await whatever’s coming

On everyone. Hopefully he mans up and we clear the field.

Back to the main thread:

If its really an issue, someone else will take it up.

Goodnight, fragile and apathetic folk.

And following that: Ben Rachinger versus Cameron Slater

Slater still smearing National Northland contender

Cameron Slater has continued a smearing line of attack via Whale Oil on one of National’s nominees to stand in the Northland by-election. This can mean any of a number of things, in particular is it a paid for line of attack?

In contrast David Farrar has listed The five nominees for National in Northland

Mita Harris is the Chair of the Northland Conservation Board. A member of Ngapuhi, he stood for National in 2008. He is involved in numerous heritage, recreation and conservation projects in Northland.

Matt King is a local farmer, businessman and former police detective. He sought the nomination in 2011, and runs a private investigations company.

Grant McCallum is a local diary farmer and an elected board member on National’s Board of Directors.

Mark Osborne is the general manager of the Te Ahu Trust.

Karen Rolleston has stood for National in previous elections. She is the CEO of 3P Learning, and lives in Kumeu.

I’d say Karen and Grant are the front runners but all five candidates are credible and strong, and it will come down to the 120 local delegates, as they meet them and hear from them over the next fortnight.

That’s typical of Farrar’s insight and relative fairness with Party business.

In contrast Cameron Slater continues his dirty smears on one of them in NATIONAL’S NORTHLAND NOMINEES.

When he attacks like this one becomes curious about whether one of the other candidates is paying him to dish out the dirt or if he is just annoyed his client didn’t make the cut.

Or it could be he’s still just feeling dirty about being shunned by National and is lashing out and stiring things up.

‘Rod’ commented:

So National selects its candidates on the grounds of drinking capacity, or whether or not they have the potential to impinge on the careers of others. Silly me, I thought they would be looking for someone who would be a good representative for the people of Northland.

Slater replied:

Every electorate wants the “next PM” or at the very least someone of “cabinet material”.

Mostly they are often very disappointed when the brilliant candidate they thought they selected turns into a bit of a useless twat.

Most electorates will be realistic enough to realise they won’t get rhe “next PM”, and they will know cabinet positions take time and need to be earned.

They will initially want someone who will represent their electorate well, and see where things go from there.

It’s always a lottery choosing an MP (or a party leasder) – they are all untried so it’s difficult to know whether they will shape up or not.

Slater’s judgement on who might turn out to be a useless twat has to be taken with a grain of salt.

He’s not exactly the most useful twat in politics right now.

Ironically Slater posted on Facebook yesterday:

I’m about done with lying, thieving, disloyal scumbags.

I’ve no reason to believe he’s a thief but it’s likely many in National would readily apply the rest of his descriptions to Slater himelf.

‘We shouldn’t choose out head of state because…’

David Farrar fomented some more happy mischief yesterday with An activist King?

Our future King of New Zealand – a messianic zealot with a saviour complex. And we don’t even get a choice as to our next head of state as we have a system where the UK decides effectively decides it for us.

Let’s just have a Governor-General appointed by Parliament for a five year term.

He got a typical reaction from the elderly English demcgraphic at Kiwiblog.

Some seem to think we can bypass the nuttier options and go straight to the darlings of the celebrity circuit but that’s not how an archaic heriditary monarchy living in the past on the other side of the world works. We get no say at all on who ‘our’ queen or king is.

One of the stupidest arguments against choosing our own head of state instead of having one foisted on us is ‘We shouoldn’t choose out head of state because…’

Those deemed unacceptable to a small far right troupe of traditionalists include:

  • I’ll bet Gareth Morgan is chomping at the bit right now.
  • King Helen or Queen Little Andrew would soon eventuate if we did
  • And who do you have in mind as that parliamentary appointed Governor General? Helen Clark? Jim Bolger? Richie McCaw?
  • Remember those who want a republic will have to endure Helen Clark as President. A vote for a republic is a vote for Helen Clark as President of Aotearoa New Zealand
  • Torn between Jim Bolger (too old) and Helen Clark (too militant), so at the end he will end supporting the pompous Geoffrey Palmer
  • Helen Clarke (the most common bogey head of state suggestion)

Warning of a dire head of state if we got to choose our own is as stupid as demonising democracy because we might get a Helen Clark or John Key as Prime Minister (a position with far more power than our symbolic head of state).

Dirty politics Standard style

A claim that John Key, NZ Herald and David Farrar have all been involved in the ‘dirty politics’ promotion of the meme ‘Angry Andy” has backfired after a failure to provide any proof. Lies, more lies and then resorting to abuse.

A post on Little’s leadership at The Standard quoted a ‘Rodney Hide penned the second piece’ and commented:

Now I know some are reading some Machiavellian “reverse psychology” intentions into Hide’s support, but I think they overestimate both his complexity and his influence. I take the comments at face value, that Andrew Little’s leadership is receiving broad-based support. And that’s good news, because that’s what we need for the Left (as a whole!) to win.

I agree with Anthony (Robins) here (except for ‘we need for the Left to win) but others took to the Machiavellian approach.

This led to a claim by ‘One Anonymous Bloke’ about the promotion of the meme ‘Angry Andy” by John Key, NZ Herald and David Farrar.

As I’ve researched the use of ‘Angry Andy’ it looked to me OAB was making things up so I challenged him to prove his claims. He made lame excuses, diverted, got more lame and ended up resorting to abuse, all common tactics of OAB.

It clearly looks like he lied and kept lying.

Here’s the thread (as it is at the moment):

Incognito 7.3

The way I interpreted Hide’s opinion piece was that he’s trying hard to build a (new) narrative to box in Little. Perhaps the “Angry Andy” narrative wasn’t powerful enough.

  • Pete George 7.3.1

    It was a stupid narrative and only Slater seemed to be trying to push it.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 7.3.1.1

      And John Key.

      And the New Zealand Herald.

      And David Farrar.

      Only they didn’t “seem” to be doing it – I’ll leave the weasel words to you.

      • Sacha 7.3.1.1.1

        Just a beige coincidence, surely. Oh, you mean someone wrote a book last year about similar conniving?

      • Pete George 7.3.1.1.2

        Are you making that up or do you have evidence?

        I don’t remember seeing Farrar use it. Nor Key. Only once by Steven Joyce in Parliament on 26 November (the “cut the crap” day which I thought was good from Little).

        Searching NZ Herald they reported that from Parliament but that’s the only hit on ‘Angry Andy”.

        And only from Slater (frequently) since.

        If you have other evidence I’ll add it to my post.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 7.3.1.1.2.1

          Yes, I have evidence, gained from one simple Google search using the terms “Andrew Little angry”.

          Google tailors its results though, so I expect you’ll just end up reading interesting facts about beige.

          • Pete George

            Well it will be simple for you to prove it with your evidence.

            And if you don’t I’ll presume you’re buillshitting again.

            • Incognito

              A Google Advanced search on “Angry Andy” on the Kiwiblog site or domain gave me 50 hits. Do you want me to list all 50 links for you?

              • Pete George

                Just the ones made in posts by David Farrar will do.

                I’m well aware of the term being used in comments, sometimes that’s been directed at me.

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              :roll:

              No-one cares what the chief fact-checker presumes. Sad and true.

              Can you do something for me, Pete? Every time you plagiarise my remarks at Yawns, include the following disclaimer, there’s a dear.

              OAB says: get your petty unoriginal shite, right here at Yawns, with Petty George, the beige parrot.

              • Pete George

                So you must have bullshitted again. And have switched to your usual diversion and evasion.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Or, I’m not providing you with links on principle. I told you how to find them, and that was more than you deserve.

                  No wonder your fact checking website was such a complete embarrassing failure, just as everyone said it would be.

                  I’ll post the links if you’ll give me your word that you won’t use them, or any material they contain, at Yawns.

                  Edit: and 3News.

                • Pete George

                  You’re digging yourself deeper. Caught out lying? Unless you can prove you weren’t.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Key, Joyce, Farrar, 3News, The Herald, even Jamie Mackay has no trouble finding the facts.

                  Either find the links yourself, or commit to not using them at Yawns. Your choice.

                • Pete George

                  It seems clear “you are unable to substantiate with some proof”. Hard to see that as anything but a lying smear followed by lame excuses diversions.

                  Thanks, you’ve been helpful.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  What you find hard is none of my concern. What you find credible loses credibility thereby, as a result of your persistent banal unoriginal mendacity, as has been demonstrated here many many times.

                  You’re a liar, your website is a vehicle for lies. My contempt for it is matched by my contempt for you, and what’s more, it’s widely shared. The contempt, that is, not your website.

                  This website’s boring, mindless, mean.
                  Full of pornography.
                  The kind that’s clean…”

                  Apologies to Johnny Clarke

I’ve searched Google and know that OAB doesn’t have some magic version that gives him results no one else can get. I’ve also searched NZ Herald and Kiwiblog, and have found nothing backs up OAB’s claim.

And neither has he found anything obviously. Nor has Incognito come back with anything.

OAB often plays dirty, lies and smears like this. And claims that the left don’t do dirty politics. OAB is worse than Cameron Slater in some ways, although shares his vindictiveness if caught out..

OAB claims to not belong to a party and there’s nothing to suggest he (if it’s a he) is acting for any party.

But OAB is allowed to act like this at The Standard, Lynn Prentice has defended and made excuses for what he does in the past, and let’s him lie and abuse with impunity, as do the other moderators.

This is typical of the worst of The Standard, and commonplace.

Normal blog etiquette is to back up claims with evidence. Standard Rules state this too:

We are intolerant of people starting or continuing flamewars where there is little discussion or debate. This includes making assertions that you are unable to substantiate with some proof (and that doesn’t mean endless links to unsubstantial authorities) or even argue when requested to do so.

They’re only intolerant when it suits them.

Dirty politics is common like this on the left, and they are either blind to it – it’s only dirty if the other lot do it – or they are being deliberately malicious and hypocritical.

UPDATE: Here’s an ironic comment from OAB:

As an author you have more power than the rest of us. I like Lprent’s strategy of re-posing unanswered questions and giving the tr*ll the option of a citation, a retraction, or a ban.

I didn’t see lprent do that with unanswered questions from OAB today. Which is not surprising given lprent’s support of how OAB operates, like here:

OAB is a determined stirrer. It is often a bit like getting a accidental look into a mirror when I read their comments.

Except over the years OAB has been steadily paring down the number of words required to perform their effect.

And considering OAB’s efforts todazy this one from lprent is very ironic:

OAB expresses opinion, links to facts, and I can’t recall them ever putting a quote out of context. That you don’t like what he says doesn’t make it “dirty”. It just means that you don’t like it and rather than arguing (and having to work for an argu!entire), you prefer smearing. To me that is just lazy.

No links to facts and when called on it he went dirty. And for lprent to accuse me of preferring smearing when he allows OAB to smear at wil and he brags about smearing himself is extreme chutzpah.

A follow-up post here: OAB follow-up

An accurate pollster on the payroll

David Farrar posted Is Key on drugs ask du Fresne? at Kiwiblog. He quoted from a column by Karl Du Fresne: John Key: Mr Nice Guy’s unbelievable aura of serenity:

I have never met John Key, but like anyone who follows politics I’ve been able to observe him via the media. And after studying him carefully, I think I now realise the explanation for much of his behaviour. He’s on drugs.

Not the illegal kind, I should stress, but the mood-calming type that doctors prescribe. This may sound flippant, but consider the following.

In the 2014 election campaign, Key was subjected to possibly the most sustained media offensive faced by any prime minister in New Zealand history. Day after day he was tackled by an aggressive media pack trying to trap him on dirty politics, illicit surveillance and other touchy issues.

His answers were often unsatisfactory, which served only to ramp up the media frenzy. But through it all, he appeared supernaturally imperturbable. He patiently batted away reporters’ questions and accusations with his familiar bland inscrutability. There were no meltdowns, no hissy fits, no petulant walkouts.

This was downright unnatural. No politician should be that unflappable. He can have achieved it only by the ingestion of large amounts – indeed, industrial quantities – of tranquillisers.

Cameron Slater explains at Whale Oil that the serenity is based on accurate polling.

No Karl, the serenity comes from having an accurate pollster on the payroll.

That way you know that, despite the baying pack of dogs that is the press gallery, your policy platform is being well received, your party is performing well and that Twitter and Facebook aren’t the real world.

This is why John Key thanked David Farrar on election night, he was the one who provided the information daily to John Key to let him know that Dirty Politics, the plot of the left-wing to unseat his government, wasn’t working as they expected.

I agree. Knowledge may not be power but it can help a lot, if it’s accurate knowledge.

Contrast that with the inept polling and claims by people who should know better like Rob Salmond and David Talbot. Salmond constantly inflated Labour’s real poll results, sometimes by up to 10%, giving his small band of readers and assorted hangers on, including the leadership of Labour at the time false hope.

Inaccurate knowledge can be worse than none.

Serenity comes from accuracy, panic comes from idiocy and losing your head.

Slater can still write insightful posts (if he wrote it).

It is said that Key relies heavily on his monitoring of public opinion as provided by Farrar’s Curia polling. It is certainly going to be more useful than reading blog opinions, which are slanted towards the vocal fringes (except here of course!)

Thomas Jefferson to Joseph Cabell, 22 January 1820:

…my hopes however are kept in check by the ordinary character of our state legislatures, the members of which do not generally possess information enough to percieve the important truths, that knolege is power, that knolege is safety, and that knolege is happiness.

Key may not always be happy with what happens but he is safely in power for now.

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