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.

Ugly reactions at Kiwiblog

Comments at Kiwiblog are dominated by intolerance of 1.6 biliion people because of abhorrent actions of a small number of supposed Muslims.

The posts are fine. David Farrar has two posts on the Charlie Hebdo murders. This morning he posted some of the controversial cartoons – The cartoons that 12 were killed for -and commented:

It is important not to reward the terrorists by self-censorship. Only if their actions lead to the cartoons getting more widely published, might they stop.

Huffington Post has the full set.

I don’t like derogatory and deliberately offensive cartoons and don’t fully understand the French cartoons and their context so won’t post them here.

Yesterday Farrar posted A murderous attack on free speech where he links to an early report on the atrocity and comments:

This is basically religious fascism – killing people who do not subscribe to their religious tenets. These killings will have a chilling impact on media around the world – who will self-censor in fear of similar executions.

What would be a great response is for every media outlet in the western world to publish images of Mohammad, to send a signal that the more you use terror to try and create censorship, the more it will backfire.

So he has followed up on that. Reasonable posts. But there is a large and ugly reaction to Muslims in the comments. Farrar suports free speech as a basic principle so allows people to express whatever they like, but a lot of it isn’t pretty.

A typcial comment from EAD

@ DPF – publishing cartoons is not going to cut the mustard and our PC media hasn’t got the balls to do such a thing anyway less they “cause offence”.

This is what years of PC culture does – instead of fighting these bastards and kicking them out of OUR countries, we make excuses for their bad behavior and keep letting them in.

Instead of expressing disgust in this barbaric behavior, we launch “twitter campaigns” to express sorrow or make sure Muslims feel safe #I’llridewithyou.

Currently 40 likes, 4 dislikes.

Unity:

We should take very serious note. We certainly won’t be immune to these ‘people?’. They should be confined to Muslim countries as they not only don’t fit in with our culture but they easily take offence which leads to tragic consequences in all too many cases. As far as I’m concerned I don’t want them in our country as they are not all peaceful as they try to make us believe.

25 likes, 4 dislikes

I posted a media link and said:

The France attacks won’t help the tensions and growing intolrance thoughout Europe.

Attacking and ostracising innocent Muslims is not dissimilar to terrorists attacking people. Both show a lack of tolerance of others.

6 likes, 45 dislikes

A response from EAD included:

You can take your tolerance and shove it where the sun don’t shine. While you’re at it, I suggest you read Classics and in particular Aristotle who had this to say on tolerance:

“Tolerance and apathy are the last virtues of a dying society”

39 likes, 4 dislikes

A response from IGM:

PG: Get your head out of your arse . . . you are the type these scumbags gain their support from.

24 likes, 5 dislikes

They are more likely to react against the likes of IGM than get any support from me – I don’t support terrorists at all.

MT_Tinman:

Maybe it’s time for the West to take some drastic measures:

Ban ALL immigration of muslims.
Export ALL non-citizen muslims, be they tourists, refugees, visitors or immigrants.
License ALL practicing muslim citizens.
Ban preaching of religious seperatism (of any kind).
Start treating anyone convicted of terrorism-type offenses the way they treat their victims (public death and dismemberment).
Ban ALL trade with any country overtly (or proven to be covertly) supporting islam in any form.

Now that ME oil is no longer able to hold the world to ransom, if the West as a group plus China take these measures I suspect the actual threat of islam will rather quickly fade.

16 likes, 7 dislikes

Dave Mann:

What would be a great response is for every media outlet in the western world to publish images of Mohammad, to send a signal that the more you use terror to try and create censorship, the more it will backfire.

Yes, that would indeed be a good prong to use in a two-pronged response. The other prong should be for the West, led by France, to nuke the whole area of Iraq and Syria which is currently held by these animals. Pour encourager les autres.

11 likes, 5 dislikes

mikenmild responded to that:

Ah, the first call for millions of deaths as an appropriate response. How about tracking down the actual killers and their supporters and financiers?

10 likes, 21 dislikes

That’s just some examples from the first couple of hours in a long thread.

It’s not all ugly reactive and intolerant.

Nigel Kearney shows some decency and commonsense and gets some support for it:

Splitting people into groups and setting them against each other is a leftist strategy. I prefer to judge people as individuals, irrespective of good or bad acts that have been done by others of the same race, gender, religion or whatever.

We aren’t going to protect ourselves from this kind of thuggery by deporting the guy who runs my local dairy.

14 likes, 3 dislikes

Late in the thread UrbanNeocolonialist commented:

To all those who would recommend war on Islam as the answer; would this be strictly an enlightened bomb them from afar war? Kill all the children babies and other non combatants and let Allah sort them out? Or would you be putting your life on the front line? would you be pushing your families and friends to be on the front lines? You know, a money-where-your-mouth is approach rather than frivolously spending other people’s lives.

War is not a toy you play with. Innocent people die both directly and indirectly from impoverishment, it creates injustices and animosities that are passed on for 50-100 years (during which time some of those aggrieved will get nukes) and lets the worst of humanity – the thugs and psychos – off the leash to wreck havoc (eg see Balkans, Rwanda, Taliban, Iraq …). It costs insane amounts of money both immediately and for the next generation or two as the human and material wreckage is managed, and is in sum the deadly fucking serious use-as-a-last-resort-only stick.

I know this is mostly internet chest beating and you are probably not serious, but for any that are: don’t be fucking idiotic.

Scott Hamilton:

‘I gave a definition of integrate I gave a definition of integrate and spelled out the reasons why it was impossible for
muslims to integrate into any western society’

I can’t find that definition in this thread, cricko. You’ve simply repeated that Muslims are awful for NZ and always will be, and that we should boot the devils out. As Kimbo pointed out, you’re recycling the same sort of generalisations we used to hear about Irish and Chinese.

Nor do I get a sense that you are familiar with any of the various quite different ideological currents and ethnic and linguistic groups that make up the Muslim community in NZ. How on earth can NZ’s sizeable community of Ahmadiyya Muslims, for example, which is outspoken in its rejection of jihadism and active in inter-faith activities, be considered a terrorist threat?

‘My points are self evident to most people Scott’

I think your grasp of NZ public opinion is about as sure as your grasp of Muslim opinion.

So it’s not all awful. And the anti-Muslim segment of Kiwiblog represents only a small part of New Zealand society. But it’s a window into an ugly and intolerant segment of our socety.

David Farrar supports the right of cartoons to offend. He also supports the right of commenters to offend. That’s fine. It doesn’t hurt to see that we we do ugly in New Zealand.

Fortunately in the main New Zealand is one of the most tolerant societies in the world.

‘Dirty Politics’ not defined by Hager

I’ve had a few discussions at The Standard on ‘Dirty Politics’ where like elsewhere some are keen to stricly define what dirty politics is and what should be excluded from any discussions.

Ironically and typically a lot of dirt was thrown my way, after this cartoon was linked and likened to Whale Oil.

I pointed out there was a difference between hacker and blogger the usual sort of attacks were started by ‘weka':

Irrespective of whether Slater fits a techinical definition of ‘hacker’, he doxes people, which puts him in the ‘wreck innocent lives’ box (and yeah, he uses a double sided coin). He also is eyebrow deep in Dirty Pollitics, so ditto.

You, PG, are a dirty politics apologist. Which puts you in Slater’s camp by choice and intent.

Weka then started to try and define ‘Dirty Politics”:

Accusing me of playing dirty? Oh dear, you really are digging yourself a big hole here. You still don’t have a grasp of what DP is do you. Or maybe it’s just that it suits your agenda to muddy the waters and make DP mean something that everyone does, instead of the very specific actions that Slater, Key and co engage in. Which would be another tick on the list of why you’re in their camp.

I said that Hager doesn’t own ‘dirty politics’ and doesn’t get to dictate what applies to it and what doesn’t just because that’s what he named his book. Neither does his fan base.

Sacha:

Pete, there’s a whole book about it. If you don’t understand the difference, best stop talking about it eh.

Dude, Hager invented the term in the NZ context.

It doesn’t matter whether you agree with Hager or not, he did get to define what DP means. You on the other hand want to redefine it to suit your own agenda, which makes you a hypocrite as well as a DP apologist and trole.

“I’d prefer to address wider issues of dirty politics”

I don’t believe you. If you did actually want to do that, you would differentiate between DP and the wider issues of how politics is conducted in NZ. Instead you just want to mix it all up and pretend that everyone behaves badly just because they’re rude.

Sacha:

The right deiberately set about applying the term ‘dirty politics’ to anything they could after the election, to neutralise its meaning (another Crosby/Textor ploy?). ‘Miss, she pulled my hair’. Opinion polls suggest they got away with it.

Pete, you’re being a tool of miscreants if you undermine a specific term just like they have done. Find another one if you want to talk more broadly. Better still, create a new one.

From what I’ve seen there’s been more of a campaign to try and restrict ‘Dirty Politics’ to the hacker/Hager election campaign and to attack anyone who points out it’s a much wider issue.

Tracey:

many in the media also seek to redefine it or deliberately misunderstand it. they had many many years to write about it and define it but it is mainly a phrase only in the consciousness of kiwis cos of hagers book.

This is all nonsense. The term ‘dirty politics’ has been around probably about as long as politics.

Duncan Garner wrote Politics is a sleazy business – regardless of who is in power in August just after Nicky Hager launched his book.

It’s worth noting this shadowy attack-politics stuff is not new and not the sole domain of National.

The then Labour Party president Mike Williams took a well-publicised trip to Melbourne to dig dirt on Key ahead of the 2008 election. It backfired: Labour found nothing and subsequently dropped in the polls.

Helen Clark was probably the biggest gossip of them all when she led the country. She leaked and spread rumours about people and even those in her own team – I wonder how her private communications and those of her senior ministers would look splashed across a book. I bet it wouldn’t be pretty.

Her Maori Affairs Minister Dover Samuels was sacked for allegations ‘‘swirling’’ over allegedly having sex with someone under the age of consent decades previously – it was Clark and her team making them swirl.

Samuels, later exonerated by a police investigation, never got a fair hearing – the ninth floor of the Beehive killed him off. I was with him at his house the night he was sacked – he was devastated and blamed Clark for the dirty tricks.

The murky Left infiltrated a National Party cocktail function in 2008, secretly recorded MPs and leaked them (to me).

I was also involved in a series of stories about former Cabinet minister John Tamihere over financial irregularities at his previous job at the Waipareira Trust which saw him sacked as a minister. When I got home, my house had been broken into. Nothing was taken but all the windows and doors had been left open. TV3 hired a security firm to change the locks, watch my kids at school and investigate the break-in. The firm concluded that someone wanted to frighten me – and we left it there.

I also remember doing business with Labour’s chief of staff Matt McCarten in the 1990s, when he ran the Alliance. Matt was fun and charming – but let’s not kid ourselves, if anyone knew how to run a black ops sting it was him.

Senior Labour ministers and press secretaries rang to point me toward The Standard, a Left-wing blog, to read its vitriol on certain days. Who had written those posts? I’m told many were written under fake names by Labour staffers paid by the taxpayer.

My point is politics is dirty, no matter who is in power. Hager seems genuinely surprised at this. Frankly I’m surprised at his naivety.

Bryce Edwards wrote last year: Political roundup: Dirty politics means we all suffer

When dirt gets thrown around in politics, everyone involved emerges looking grubby.

That was about the Cameron Slater attacks on Len Brown just after the local body elections. Brown didn’t come olut looking very clean either.

In 2012 I posted Repeat of Labour’s dirty politics which amongst other things quoted Scott GN at The Standard:

Nice try Matthew. But you’re wrong. There doesn’t have to be a video. There simply needs to be an ‘idea’ planted into the public mindset. And that has happened. Dotcom has become toxic for this government. Key’s numbers are falling all over the place and that, sir, is the name of the game.

And if you keep going back and back there is more and more dirty politics to find. The Sunday Star Times published Dirty politics and the world wide web just before the 2008 election.

ROCHELLE REES threw some cyber-mud at John Key on the internet “as a joke”. The Auckland computer programmer was astounded at the fuss she caused. Her “harmless little prank” got a lot of publicity and raised hard questions. Was this a case of dirty tricks in cyber-space? After all, wasn’t Rees a former Labour Party activist?

The trouble started when, she says, a newspaper journalist misquoted her as saying she had no party affiliations.

Actually, she had been on the executive of Young Labour for some months last year. “One simple Google search would be enough to bring up my party affiliations. It would be ridiculous to claim otherwise. I’m just not that dumb,” she says.

She can’t remember exactly when she quit her post on the executive, and says it’s possible she still held the post when she planted the bomb (now disabled). But she says it was all her idea and not Labour’s.

Wanganui mayor and former National MP Michael Laws:

Michael Laws says dirty tricks – false rumours, character assassination – have been common in New Zealand politics. “When I stood for National in 1990, anonymous faxes were sent to Hawke’s Bay newspapers [saying] that I’d had affairs – an affair in particular with a journalist, had made her pregnant and then left her. These were sent from post office faxes and were absolutely aimed at white-anting my campaign.”

When he worked as a researcher for National Party leader Jim Bolger he was sent to Wanganui to check out a rumour – spread by Labour as well as by disgruntled Nats – that the local National candidate, the late Cam Campion, was functionally illiterate. Both parties actively promoted rumours about the private lives of MPs on the other side. National had helped spread a rumour that Labour leader David Lange had had an affair with a woman television presenter. Labour had spread rumours about the sexual orientation of a senior National figure. “I was at a cocktail party where a Labour MP was promoting that rumour.”

He was sent to interview a prostitute in Hawke’s Bay who had allegedly claimed that three Labourites had used her services without paying.

A dirty trick is a covert act “that you would be embarrassed about if you were exposed”. When he was a National candidate, he was the target of malicious faxes sent anonymously to newspapers. And when he worked for the National Party research unit, he was involved in gathering dirt on Labour MPs. This was part of a system of deterrence and mutually assured destruction practised by both main parties, he says.

Dirty tricks – the spreading of false rumours, the destruction of rivals’ hoardings – will certainly be part of this election campaign. What is newer, however, is the use of cyberspace – and it is here that allegations of dirty tricks are freely aired.

So dirty politics goes way back with both National and Labour involved in various ways (Winston Peters is a long time pro at dirty politics too).

And bloggers have been involved for years.

The owner of The Standard website, Lynn Prentice, a Labour Party activist, computer programmer for a small Auckland company, and Rochelle Rees’s uncle, says his name has always been on the blog. But other names were kept secret partly to protect them from personal attacks. These attacks – familiar to him from other blogs – became very personal and even involved attacks on the person’s family.

The Standard was outraged in January this year when a photo of the house of John Minto – described on the site as a “socialist lickspittle” – was posted on Whaleoil. “Steady Eddy”, who posted the photo, had been stalking Minto, The Standard said. “People often ask us at The Standard why we don’t post under our real names. Tonight Whaleoil has provided a damn good answer to that question,” the site said.

There were no formal links with Labour, nor was it a front organisation for Labour, Prentice said. “I would say over half the writers are more Green than Labour. There’s a few that are obviously out of the unions. And I’m not really that interested in that. What we’re interested in is going off and writing stuff from a left perspective.”

It was possible some people in the Beehive sent material to the blog. Anyone with a public email address would find “people send you stuff if you can get it out”. What mattered with a blog, he says, is not the name of those who ran it but the quality of the material.

Prentice and Slater are still attacking each other, and their blogs are still attacking opposing parties and politicians.

Both left and right-wing bloggers accuse one another of hiding their real affiliations, and of malice. Slater’s Whaleoil blog specialises in attack videos against Labour and Helen Clark, with images of her manipulated to look ridiculous and with wounding soundtracks added, often with accusations of lying.

“I don’t think my videos are malicious,” he told the Sunday Star-Times. “For a start, I put my name to it, so everyone knows who I am, and I’m not lying about my affiliations… Yes, you could say they’re malicious in that I don’t pull any punches. I call them liars, but that’s my persona online, it’s in-your-face. I don’t see that as being malicious. If I catch out anybody as being a liar, they’re going to cop it.”

Slater has a big reputation of doing much maliciousness as well as building Whale Oil to being the biggest blog in New Zealand.

He and the well-known right-wing blogger David Farrar accuse The Standard of having undeclared links with the prime minister’s department, trade unions and Labour. They also attack a newish left-wing blog, No8Wire, on similar grounds. He and Farrar make no secret of their affiliations, he says.

Slater and Farrar have close connections with National. But the other lot are in on it too.

No8Wire was set up this year by a former employee of the prime minister’s department, Rob Salmond.

Salmond has more recently been blogging at Polity where he is open about his identity.

Dirty politics was not invented by Nickey Hager this year. I’ve been speaking and writing against dirty politics since I have been involved in politics.

And back at The Standard where they claim that John Key using a very limited range of tactics is the solely responsible for dirty politics this is the sort of response you get if you argue against them

You, PG, are a dirty politics apologist.

I’m going with PG as a DP apologist at the least, and probably a major contributor to the problem.

Pete, you’re being a tool of miscreants if you undermine a specific term just like they have done.

Liar. You don’t even understand what Dirty Politics is. Or you dissemble, because it suits your muddle of the road agenda to try and play both sides

Sorry, Sacha, I expect the tiresome lying sycophant will continue to disappoint until banned again.
(that’s from ‘One Anonymous Bloke’ one of the dirtiest regulars at The Standard)

The dirt-mongers don’t react well when their hypocracy and dirtiness is pointed out.

Dirt is still a common fall back position in political blogs.

And ‘Dirty Politics’ was not defined by Hager – to an extent he threw some dirt of his own into the election campaign. Some call him an investigative journalist while others think he is more inclined towards being a one sided and partisan hit man.

Goff to write for Sunday Star Times

Last week Judith Collins started a weekly column for Sunday Star Times. It was promised that someone from ther left would also have a column, and today they announced that it would be Phil Goff.

New columnist Phil Goff goes toe-to-toe with Judith Collins

When we announced last week that Judith Collins would be writing a column for the Sunday Star-Times, it excited comment across the broadcast and digital media.

1) Love her or hate her, Judith Collins is without doubt one of the most uncompromising, no-holds-barred personalities in New Zealand.

We think it’s time to respect our readers’ intelligence and let them make up their own minds on what she has to say for herself.

2) This is not new and shocking. Indeed, there is plenty of healthy precedent for senior MPs writing columns for the country’s big papers – among them, David Lange, Simon Upton, Deborah Coddington, John Tamihere, Jim Anderton and George Hawkins.

3) Finally, for those who believe commissioning Judith Collins was an outrage, I have more bad news … as foreshadowed, I’ve taken on a second MP, too. Phil Goff will go toe-to-toe with Collins in the Sunday Star-Times every week. Goff, once the leader of the Labour Party, has now been moved off new leader Andrew Little’s front benches. Like Judith Collins, he is freed of the constraints of collective responsibility – both of them can call it like they see it. If that means they sometimes criticise their own leaders, so be it. This weekend, the former foreign affairs minister will examine whether Kiwis should be allowed to go take up arms in foreign wars like those in Syria and Iraq.

David Farrar posted on this, saying that after Collins’ first column was published “The outrage on Twitter was hilarious.” It was.

And on this announcement he said “This is hilarious as many on the left regard Goff as a right wing sell out. I look forward to more howls of outrage.”

And sure enough the far left aren’t happy, or still aren’t happy (are they ever?)

At The Standard Phil Ure:

but..but..two rightwing neo-lib/fuck-the-poor warmongers..

..what will they find to disagree about..?

And Mark:

What – Two right wingers having a column in a Sunday paper. You would have thought that they would have gone for someone from the left for balance but why break the habits of a lifetime.

And I checked out one who spluttered the most on Twitter, Giovanni Tiso. But he seems to have taken offence at me posting Giovanni Tiso et al versus Judith Collins a few days ago, when I tried to view his Twitter account I got “You are blocked from following @gtiso and viewing @gtiso’s Tweets.”

Many on the hard left are intolerant of different opinions and especially of criticism. Tiso would probably shut down most of the media and most of the Internet if he could. He tries – after the Collins column last weekend he started a campaign against the Sunday Star Times.

But it’s not hard to find out what his response to the Goff news was.

@gtiso responds predictably:

HAHAHAHAHAHA! oh my God.

Milne must have been on the phone for like six days straight until they got to Goff. Fuck me.

A hard-hitting left wing politician! HAHAHAHAHAH!!! I swear they are trying to kill me. They’ll find my corpse under my desk. HAHAHAHA!!!

I’m dying over here. Goff. Christ. Mr TPP! Hehehehe… [wipes tear] Okay I’m good now.

He might have fancied his own chances of being a left enough balance, but having tried to organise a subscription cancelling campaign against the SST I doubt he would be considered favourably. They are unlikely to pander to the perpetually pissed off.

I doubt whether Tiso and others will be happy until and the government conform to their ideals. Which will be never.

Mike Smith does a dirty on David Farrar

You might wonder if Mike Smith is being paid by the Labour Party to attack David Farrar through The Standard.

Smith is ex general secretary of the Labour Party and has worked in the Labour leader’s office during the last term. Is he still a paid advisor?

He is a trustee of The Standard, and has posted there:

Blowing smoke

You have to wonder if David Farrar is also being paid by the smoking lobby to attack plain packaging – he posts on it frequently. His latest quotes Australian research which the Melbourne Age describes as pushed by the smoking lobby. The post also  links to and misrepresents the views of New Zealand researchers.

“He posts on it frequently” looks a bit of an exaggeration. Smiths search link shows that Farrar has posted ten times on ‘Plain Packaging’ over the past two years, but four of those posts were on food and drink, not tobacco.

I have no evidence suggesting Smith is paid to post this, or has been fed this information from the Labour leader’s office or somewhere in the party.

But Smith has made an unsubstantiated smear suggesting Farrar might have been paid to post by the smoking lobby. That looks like dirty politics to me.

I’ve read a few of Farrar’s plain packaging posts and they seemed like personal comment to me.

And Smith is taken to task by Psycho Milt on his claim that the post “misrepresents the views of New Zealand researchers”.

You have to wonder if David Farrar is also being paid by the smoking lobby to attack plain packaging…

Dunno about him, but they’re certainly not paying me, and my reading of this is that the study he points to is as useful as anyone else’s study on this subject, all funded as they are by lobby groups with agendas, and that the Uni of Otago blog post he links to does indeed categorise plain packaging as “uncertain but possible” in terms of its likely effect.

Big tobacco companies are easy to hate, but that doesn’t mean any bunch of wowsers with an anti-recreational-drug-use agenda is automatically the good guys if theyr’e opposing ‘big tobacco.’ This ‘smokefree by 2025′ bullshit is a huge waste of taxpayers’ money, being doomed as it so obviously is to utter and abject failure – not that any of these wowsers ever accepts that any of their prescriptions for our betterment haven’t worked.

Just have a look at that Uni of Otago post – once plain packaging’s failed, they’re already cueing up measures designed to restrict supply of an addictive product, just as though it had worked for any other addictive drug in the history of the planet.

Smith’s co-trustee at The Standard has been deleting comments that don’t provide evidence for claims:

[deleted]

[lprent: I can’t see any evidence one way or another. That topic is off-limits unless I see a credible link. ]

I don’t expect Prentice to demand a credible link from Smith though. Many attacks and smears are made on The Standard without credible links being demanded.

Whether paid or not Smith’s unsubstantiated smear attempt on Farrar looks like a dirty deed from the Labour camp.

Sutton and confidentiality

David Farrar asks a reasonably question about breaches of a confidentiality agreement with the Roger Sutton/CERA misconduct issue.

Doesn’t confidentiality apply both ways?

I, along with many others, have been critical of Roger Sutton for breaching the confidentiality around the complaints against him by a CERA staffer. The press conference was a very bad idea, as it allowed him to spin his side of what happened.

But if one is to criticise Sutton for breaching the agreed upon confidentiality, doesn’t that apply both ways? A number of stories make it very clear that either the complainant is anonymously briefing media, or someone is on their behalf.

Now don’t get me wrong – the complainant is the wronged party. But if one is to criticise Sutton for talking publicly, then doesn’t the same apply to the other party?

iMP details a sequence of events.

1. Several female staff had issues with Sutton.
2. One eventually complained, formally, a fairly senior staffer
3. A several weeks investigation ensued.
4. Sutton chose to resign of his own accord.
5. Both parties agreed on confidentiality.
6. Sutton held a press conference, breaching that agreement and painted his victim a certain way.
7. She has little recourse, so friends have expressed views.
8. Then Sutton was further stood down.
9. Then Sutton was replaced, forthwith.

Law professor Andrew Geddis posted:

But if one is to criticise Sutton for breaching the agreed upon confidentiality, doesn’t that apply both ways?

No. No it doesn’t.

If Roger Sutton breached the confidentiality agreement, then that releases the complainant from her obligations under it. In the same way as if you don’t pay me for the car we’ve agreed I’ll sell to you, I don’t have to hand over the keys to you. That’s how contracts work.

Farrar replied:

AG: Good point but if the complainant believes Sutton’s behaviour has released her from her obligations (and if I was her, I’d check her employer’s views on that) I’d rather she gave interviews directly (not suggesting she be named) rather than this ongoing series of indirect attributions.

Kimbo:

She can’t, or else she will be, as you imply, in breach of the agreement. And while on the balance of probabilities she is almost certainly feeding the information either directly or indirectly, neither you, me nor Rennie can prove that for sure. Which is exactly the situation Sutton was faced with.

Piecing together the contradictory self-serving bullshit that has come out of Rennie’s gob, Sutton on the balance of probabilities almost certainly committed acts of serious misconduct, but it was probably too difficult to prove it such that he would lose his job. So instead everyone concerned was offered an adult way out – he resigned.

But that wasn’t good enough for Sutton, his PR flunkie wife, and his flaky sister-in-law. Instead, they had to try and air-brush it and put a favourable spin on a situation where he had one obligation…shut his gob and walk away. And Rennie the incompetent let them do it.

As that act was yet another abuse of his position and power, I say good on whoever is leaking the details. Team Sutton doesn’t like it? Tough! Your guy should never have got himself into a situation when resigning was his only reasonable option, and then breached the agreement that would have let him walk away relatively unharmed – or at least less harmed than what has happened since the manipulation that occurred on Monday.

And sorry, DF, but for all those reasons your expression and wishes of what “I’d rather” the person in question does are about as pious and hand-wringingly ineffectual and worthless as Rennie’s moaning about how legal niceties are no longer being observed as this is now being played out in the public domain.

As you’ve suggested, she is likely NOT released from her legal obligations, and the prospect of a long and expensive battle to prove otherwise means morally she is entitled, even obligated to leak like a sieve…

Kimbo again:

Confidentiality agreement are there precisely to prevent the sort of allegations that were first directed at the complainant in places such as this blog from last Monday on.

They are usually a standard means of damage control, and a reassurance that all parties (including the employer) can emerge from the matter with no chance of come-back. All parties agree to let by-gones be by-gones on the basis of the new circumstances (which included, in this case, Sutton’s resignation).

Which would have been the case if Team Sutton had kept their mouths shut, just as hundreds of others have to do in similar circumstances.

Harsh on Sutton but it looks like fair comment.

Jarrod Gilbert overplays “Dirty Politics’

In an ongoing issue about erroneous gang statistics sociologist Dr Jarrod Gilbert plays the ‘Dirty Politics’ card, but some of his implications are contradicted by the article he refers to at NZ Herald.

He recently posted Inflated gang figures corrected in Cabinet – but not in public.

The Herald’s David Fisher has today revealed that the grossly inflated gang data used by then Police and Corrections Minister, Anne Tolley,  have now been corrected –  behind closed cabinet doors.

Among a raft of others, the Minister said that 4000 gang members were responsible for 34 percent of all class A and B drug offences, when in reality the figure was 4 percent. The homicide related charges cited by the Minister were 25 percent, itself an inflated figure, but using a consistent data set, that figure was actually zero.

So far fair enough comment. But then he goes ‘Dirty’.

Despite this, the government has not corrected the figures publicly, which they sought to defend pre election via a right wing blogger. 

David Fisher’s work is proof this is not the case. He chipped away until the truth was revealed. It’s his second story on this issue. He first reported the erroneous data and uncovered collusion between the Minister’s office and Right Wing blogger David Farrar, who was then seeking to defend the inflated data. Now Fisher has gained Cabinet papers showing that the numbers have been retracted.

To me it is surprising that more journalists haven’t dug around like this in relation to the issues raised in Dirty Politics, after all there are names to be made. 

Fisher’s article on 25 September showed that police data was not clear.

A police spokesman said in the information supplied to the minister it was not clear that people other than gang members were responsible for the crimes.

He said the crimes were also committed by family of gang members, people charged with crimes which also included gang members and others with an “identified connection” to gang members.

The minister’s office refused comment on whether the figures in the press release were wrong but said police “should have been clearer”.

But also in that article Gilbert was claiming ‘Dirty Politics’.

It’s all Dirty Politics – even after the election.

That’s the verdict of Dr Jarrod Gilbert, who pointed out statistics errors used by the Minister of Police Anne Tolley when launching a new gang policy.

At the time, National Party pollster and Kiwiblog owner David Farrar said he had “seen the actual stats the Minister is referring to” and Dr Gilbert was wrong.

What followed was an online argument which Dr Gilbert says derailed his attempt to point out inaccurate figures. “The Minister was forgotten, I was now the one trying to mislead the people. I was being discredited by mischief and fiction, not by facts and reasoned argument.”

He said it was his own experience of Dirty Politics, pointing to the book which alleged the National Party used bloggers including Farrar to attack those which criticised it.

Farrar blogged several times on this, first in Gangs and crime on 6 August.

Gilbert is wrong when he says the specific offences don’t match published data. As an academic, I am surprised he has not discovered the website run by Stats NZ.

He seems to disbelieve that somewhere between 1,620 and 4,000 gang members (some of those in jail will have been out during the year) could commit:

  • 25% of aggravated robberies and robberies
  • 36% of kidnapping and abductions
  • 26% of grievous assaults
  • 34% of class A and B drug offences

UPDATE: I have been sent the actual stats the Minister was relying on, which are for the first quarter of 2014. They are:

  • Class A/B drug offences total 218 out of 649
  • Kidnapping and abduction 16 out of 44
  • Aggravated robbery/robbery 72 out of 284
  • Grievous assault 130 out of 506

I look forward to the Herald covering the Jarrod Gilbert eating his carrots.

Gilbert refers to this as a “Dirty Politics’ attack, but Farrar was using information he believed to be correct and was challenging Gilbert’s claims – hardly a dirty attack.

Farrar followed up two days later with Dr Gilbert now concedes gangs are responsible for the proportions cited.

Now sadly Dr Gilbert won’t accept he was wrong, but is now trying to argue that there is a difference between gang associates and gang members. So he is not at all disputing that are responsible for 25% to 36% of kidnappings, robberies, grievous assaults and serious drug offences. He is now just saying that the crime figures may include associates, not just gang menbers:

I spend a lot of time working in prisons and I spend a lot of time with gangs. The prisons are not so full of gang members and not a single gang I know has anywhere remotely close to half of its members inside.

Is Dr Gilbert Saying the Corrections Department is lying when it says 28% of the prison population are gang members? They supplied the data, and I see no reason why they would make it up.

What the 28 percent prison number represents is gang members as well as gang associates in prison.

So it is a technical argument over definitions. I don’t care what you call them.

A few years back The Police Association said gangs and associates numbered 60,000.

The Police Association are not an official source. The Police are. They say there are 4,000 gang members. I don’t know if they includes associates in that. I presume Police and Corrections are using the same definition.

This sounds like Farrar is using known information to dispute claims and debate with Gilbert. It turns out some of the information was wrong but Gilbert provides no proof the Government or Farrar knew it was wrong.

On 24 September Farrar concedes Jarrod was right.

I’ve just been told that the Corrections Department figures do include associates and family – something they did not make clear at the time.

So Dr Gilbert was quite right that the Minister was not comparing apples and applies, as one figure included associates, and one did not.

UPDATE: of course I apologise for doubting when he says Police and Corrections were using definitions of gang members. They were!

Farrar followed up on 10 October with Is disputing data dirty politics?

is tweeting that he has an OIA showing I asked for information to attack him. This is not true. I asked for information to dispute his data, and he seems unable to see the difference. This is the legacy of the Hager book, that people now call anything they disagree with as Dirty Politics. In fact the record will show I have never attacked Dri Gilbert or called him names, while he in fact has called me a range of names of which quisling is one of the politer.

However I can understand he is upset because at the end of the day he was right in the assertion he was making, and I was wrong to be dismissive of it. I get things wrong sometimes.

In my experience Ministers tend to be pretty careful about using correct figures, and the nature of Dr Gilbert’s promise to eat carrots attracted my attention, so I had a look at the data under dispute.

I should point out that no one suggested to me to write my blog post. I didn’t talk to anyone before I wrote it. I saw Dr Gilbert’s post, and thought that the number of crimes in those categories made it very possible gang members were responsible for the proportions quoted.

He quotes his original blog post claims.

So this was me responding to a post on data, with data. How this is dirty politics I don’t know. After I did the blog post, a staffer from the Minister’s office e-mailed me and said:

Hi David – I have a breakdown which backs up the stats. Let me know if you want them.

Again, nothing extraordinary. In fact sensible pro-active work. I understand the data was also provided to Radio NZ. I did not ask for the data, it was offered to me.

So I made it very clear I had been sent the stats, and implicitly of course from her office.  Nothing secret.

Farrar provides more details and concludes:

While I think my second blog post on the topic was not something I’m proud of, I reject that I was seeking to damage or attack Jarrod. My focus was on the data. It should be apparent from my blog posts that I blog on data all the time. What was meant to be a fairly friendly exchange on offending stats, become more than that. I accept my responsibility for that, but it was never my intent to have Jarrod feel slighted. I would point out again that I have never resorted to name calling, and while I appreciate that some of the comments about Jarrod by some of the commenters here were not pleasant, the same goes for comments on Jarrod’s blog about me.

Again I repeat my apology to Jarrod, but at the same time I reject his assertion that I was conspiring to attack him.My aim was to attack his data and arguments, not him.  Regardless I will in future tread more carefully.

Gilbert will have almost certainly read all of this, but his latest post still tries to claim Ministerial-blogger collusion and ‘Dirty Politics.

Fisher’s latest article Ministers acted on inaccurate gang data repeats that wrong information  was provided.

Cabinet signed off tough new measures to tackle gangs on the basis of inaccurate information which over-estimated the scale of the crime problem.

The briefing paper told ministers 4000 gang members alone were responsible for a huge number of drug and violence crimes, including murders.

The release of the document through the Official Information Act followed the earlier discovery the wrong information had been used in a press release to justify the policy.

Cabinet ministers were also given the wrong information.

The information, which appeared to have been provided by police to the minister’s office, went before Cabinet in June before the August announcement.

He also quotes Gilbert:

Sociologist and gang researcher Dr Jarrod Gilbert outed then Police Minister Anne Tolley over the inaccurate press release and said it was “absurd” the wrong information had also gone to Cabinet. “This was an error of epic proportions. The problem by comparison is almost insignificant.”

Gilbert acknowledges the wrong information had gone to Cabinet and was used in the press release that led to his spat with Farrar.

But he continues to play the ‘Dirty Politics card. He has just posted “which they sought to defend pre election via a right wing blogger”  but provides no facts to back up his accusation and Farrar has strongly denied that’s how it happened.

To me it is surprising that more journalists haven’t dug around like this in relation to the issues raised in Dirty Politics, after all there are names to be made.

Who is doing dirty politics? Gilbert is making assertions with no evidence – in fact the evidence all points to incorrect data being provided and policies and arguments relying on it were made on that.

At the end of his post Gilbert says “Two further questions still remain, though.”

Why is it good enough for the numbers to be corrected behind the private doors of Cabinet but not in public?

Farrar has publicly corrected the numbers. Why is it good enough to claim that a Minister ‘colluded’ with Farrar to promote erroneous data but then ignore his correction?

And, given Cabinet documents reveal that the incorrect data were not just used to justify the government’s policy but were the very basis for creating it, should the policy be reevaluated now the problem is so vastly different to what the government was originally led to believe? 

That is a very good question. Unfortunately it is tacked on to the end of an attack post and could easily be ignored.

It turns out that Gilbert was right about the wrong data.

But his continued attacks on ‘Right Wing blogger David Farrar’ and his claims of being a victim of ‘Dirty Politics’ substantially muddies the important parts of this issue.

Climate change at Kiwiblog

An unusual ‘request’ or challenge to post on Climate change from Lyn Prentice at The Standard.

I can think of that happening several times in the past, and not just in the climate ‘skeptics’ area. There is one ‘fact’ driven ‘political’ site that appears to specialise in it. Now if we could just persuade PG to write a post on climate change maybe these idiots could find a hero to follow…..

I wonder how I could do that :)

I suspect Lyn is making assumptions again and has no idea what my views are on climate change, despite me having debated climate change for years at Kiwiblog – often as a lone voice against the entrenched “nothing’s wrong, do nothing” hard core there.

But the vocal few are not the Kiwiblog opinion.

David Farrar occasionally posts on climate change. His last is Fisking deaths from climate change in which he concludes:

As to the facts:

Professor David Spiegelhalter has already savaged this one elegantly on his blog.  All the projected increase in temperature-related deaths in the UK is due to the increase in the number of elderly people.

If you compare people of the same age, the projections say cold-related deaths will fall by about twice as much as heat-related deaths rise, as his graph of the numbers from the paper shows.  That is, the paper actually predicts that global warming will reduce the number of temperature-related deaths in the UK.

Will Stuff run the truth as prominently as the original story.

Finally a point worth noting:

In the USA or Australia, let alone Africa, India, and other less-wealthy tropical places, there is going to be a real problem with temperature-related deaths from global warming.  In many more parts of the world, there’s a potential for weather-related deaths from drought, flood, storm, and ‘tropical’ disease.

Heat waves in the UK are not in the top ten list of things to worry about from global warming. Pretending they are is likely to be counterproductive.

Indeed.

Previous to that he posted a Climate change update quoting a new report from the Office of Prime Minister’s Science Advisory Committee is on . He concludes

The key projected changes for NZ are:

  • Ocean acidification: pH changes are greater in cooler waters
  • Temperature: The midrange of projections is an average temperature increase of 0.9°C by 2040, 2.1°C by 2090
  • Wind: Increase in strongest winter winds by 2100
  • Precipitation: Little change for the overall mean, but large geographical variation
  • Extreme weather: Heavier and more frequent extreme rainfalls, but also more droughts. On average, 2 or more extra weeks of drought annually by mid-century for much of North Island and eastern South Island.

In terms of the recent temperature trends, the report notes:

  • Over short time periods, natural variability has a significant impact on the global warming trend
  • Short periods of no change or even slight cooling are to be expected, despite a continued long-term warming trend; 
  • At times natural variability may even amplify warming;
  • Global surface temperatures are only part of the picture, the ocean is a much larger heat sink than the atmosphere;
  • The reported recent ‘hiatus’ in the rate of rise of temperature does not signal that climate change has ‘stopped’ or is no longer a concern

The report is around 20 pages long, and for my 2c is very well done. I suggest people actually read it, rather than jump to conclusions about what it does and does not say.

This is similar to my approach on climate change – concerns but with some cautions about overstating and over-dramatising potential problems.

In contrast some of the Kiwiblog regulars react to this last post. Andrei:

The report is around 20 pages long, and for my 2c is very well done.

I haven’t read it but will though my prediction. from your extracts, is that it will be twenty pages of gobbly gook and double talk trying to paper over the well proven fact that political airheads have been sucked in by charlatans, willingly in many cases since they have used crap science to justify new taxes and what politician can ever resist a chance to implement a new tax?

Manolo:

Wind: Increase in strongest winter winds by 2100

Cannot see a year ahead, let alone ninety! Laughable, fucking laughable.
Let’s tax stupid NZers now is what this Labour Lite government is saying.

I dabbled in that debate but didn’t get too involved, I’ve learnt the futility of trying to argue with entrenched denial. Debating with the likes of Andrei and Manolo is like whispering in a Dunedin southerly blast.

Both those comments had 31 likes, and they had 7 and 8 dislikes. That’s probably fairly indicative of the active opinion on climate change at Kiwiblog.

Comments along the lines of “it’s cold today, what happened to global warming” are common. There was such a dig in the snow yesterday by Kea:

Yet another frigid winter in the Northern Hemisphere. I just heard, on the radio, some cities have vastly increased their coal supplies to deal with the cold.

“Waves of Cold, Snow to Invade Midwest and East Into Next Week

After a weekend with record cold and snow, more waves of cold air and snow are on the way through the middle of November from the Midwest to the East.

A storm last weekend produced the earliest snowfall on record in Columbia, South Carolina, on Saturday. Freezing temperatures settled over much of the South and, when combined with the snow in the southern Appalachians, allowed some ski resorts to open early.

Snow buried part of New England later in the weekend, as the same storm pushed off the coast, turned northward and ramped up.”

http://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-news/cold-shots-snow-midwest-east/36784624

Nasska obliged with a response:

They must have got it wrong Kea. Just the other day, on these very forums, someone reckoned that the temperatures have been soaring & that it’s probably too late to save the planet.

Can you check that link….it could be one of those sceptic sites.

…”The freezing snow and ice is on the ground”….

Quick! Carbon taxes must increase….only they can save the planet.

Griff does most of the counter debate at Kiwiblog these days:

Yet another frigid winter in the Northern Hemisphere.

Nope yet another cold blast in the north eastern usa The south western usa and Alaska is still baking
From the site you linked to.

A powerful storm is slated to move over the Bering Sea this weekend, possibly becoming one of the most intense storms to ever impact the region.According to Senior Meteorologist Brett Anderson, “In brief, when a typhoon curves away from Asia it causes the jet stream [steering winds] farther to the east across the Pacific and into North America to buckle and amplify days later.”This is the case for the remnants of Super Typhoon Nuri as it has already curved away from Asia and tracking northward toward Alaska.As a result, arctic air is expected to invade the Plains, Midwest and Northeast next week.

Dry conditions will persist over the Southwest well beyond the upcoming weekend, as the drought intensifies and fire danger continues.

http://www.accuweather.com/en/us/winter-weather
The usa is experiencing climate change. Stronger storms. More extremes in precipitation. More drought in dry areas.

That will fall on deaf ears despite the overwhelming scientific evidence that the world has a potentially very serious problem with climate change.

Climate is very complex but local signs and global science suggest it is changing and it’s very likely humans are partly responsible.

The main questions for me are on the degree and the severity of the changes, no one can be sure about that (the IPCC quote confidence levels of varying possibilities), and whether we can do anything effective about it.

A blog post on CBC News an hour ago:

Urgent IPCC climate change warning demands action: Bob McDonald

IPCC report is that doing nothing will cost much more than taking action now

By Bob McDonald, CBC News

The latest report from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the loudest shout to come from the scientific community about the urgency to do something about global warming. Yet less than a week later, it’s barely talked about.

The 116-page report is a synthesis of the last four reports – intended to act as a summary of where we are – leading up to the next big UN climate summit in Paris next year. Normally, the wording of these reports has been somewhat cautionary, using phrases such as, “very likely,” or “strong evidence,” when referring to changes taking place in the Earth’s atmosphere since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution.  

Not this time.

The message from the scientists is now clear. Fossil fuels must be gone by 2100 or we will pass a tipping point into a future calamity.  

While this message from scientists has been growing more urgent since the first report in 1990,  the response from politicians has been slow. Global carbon emissions continue to rise, along with rising temperatures in the air and the oceans.

I’ll post that on Kiwiblog this morning. The response there will be more predictable than the weather, but that won’t change to facts and the need for action world wide.

Bob McDonald concludes:

The most important part of the message from this IPCC report is that doing nothing will cost much more than taking action now. That’s an economic argument.

Let common sense prevail.

Common sense is unlikely to prevail at Kiwiblog on this topic but at least both sides of the arguments are allowed and debated there.

“Farrar, Slater and George form the dark-triad of NZ blogging”

When you become known around political blogs some weird stuff pops up, but this would have to be one of the more bizarre  comments at The Standard from RedLogix:

Farrar, Slater and George form the dark-triad of NZ blogging.

Every interaction I’ve had with them confirms that essentially we are dealing with very real and harmful personality disorders.

Having lived with one for many years I can testify how very baffling, manipulative and damaging these people are. Normally over time they simply burn off so many people that their reputation is tattered and they are ‘ring-barked’. Isolated so as to cause the least harm, to others and ultimately themselves.

But to make matters much worse there are other people willing to use these damaged individuals for their own ends, which has only amplified and exacerbated matters. This story will not have a happy ending.

I’m puzzled about which people he thinks might try and use me for their own ends.

From the ‘dark triad’ link:

The dark triad is a group of three personality traits: narcissism, Machiavellianism and psychopathy. The use of the term “dark” means evil and reflects the perception that these traits have interpersonally aversive qualities:

  • Narcissism is characterised by grandiosity, pride, egotism, and a lack of empathy.
  • Machiavellianism is characterised by manipulation and exploitation of others; a cynical disregard for morality, and a focus on self-interest and deception.
  • Psychopathy is characterised by enduring antisocial behaviour, impulsivity, selfishness, callousness, and remorselessness.

All three traits have been associated with a callous-manipulative interpersonal style. A factor analysis carried out at the Glasgow Caledonian University found that among the big five personality traits, the trait of agreeableness is strongly absent in regards to the dark triad, while other traits such as neuroticism and a lack of conscientiousness were associated with some.

“Every interaction I’ve had with them” – I’ve had very occasional interactions with RedLogix online as far as I’m aware, and I doubt he has ever met me in person.

I find this blog diagnosis both amusing and puzzling. I won’t try to diagnose RedLogix but it makes one wonder where the heck  this bizarre post came from.

When blogging produces comments like this it’s just as well most of the public have no idea what goes on in the dark depths of political discourse. It’s often got little to do with democracy.

And here I am thinking all I am doing in my own small way is contributing to better political discussion and doing politics better.

PS: and being associated with Slater and Farrar like this is weird, I’m on a different blogging planet to them, my politics is quite different to Slater’s in particular, and I have strongly opposed Slater’s dirty approach to doing politics.

Prentice “lies” again

Lyn Prentice has posted an attack on Cameron Slater at The Standard – The bad blogger, which is in response to a Whale Oil post I’m alive and have something to share.

He makes some fair points, Slater does seem to be playing the sympathy card in a legal defence fundraising drive.

But there’s dark irony as well.

He has been willing to lie and walk over the legal bounds that govern everyone in this society in the process. That isn’t the actions of a responsible blogger or “journalist”. It is the behaviour of someone that I don’t want besmirching the reputation of blogging.

Prentice is not the best example of blogger reputation himself. Like Slater he often brags about being nasty, and he abuses and bullies and fosters a bullying and abusive environment at The Standard (while Slater has actually clamped down on abuse at Whale Oil).

And Prentice appears willing to lie, or at least repeat claims that have been frequently refuted and for which he has provided no evidence.

He is quoted in a Stuff article Should Left-wing bloggers just shut up?

“Unlike Slater’s or Farrar’s professional efforts on behalf of National, we don’t get paid either directly or indirectly for our volunteering to work for politicians or writing blogs and never have,” Prentice says.

“We” presumably meaning all the Standard authors. There have been claims, including by John Key and Labour member Josie Pagani, that Labour staff have had posts at The Standard. In fact the other Standard trustee (prentice is one of two) was employed in the Labour leader’s office as recently as last year.

Slater has responded to this accusation, repeating denials that Whale Oil is funded by National.

Nice of Lynn Prentice to defame me again, this time in a major publication. I have not ever, nor will I never take money from the National party. There is not a professional relationship with them, their never has been.

But that just suits Prentice’s narrative. Unfortunately for him I will start telling the truth about him as frequently as he tells lies about me. The “World’s Greatest Sys-Op” isn’t so clean either. Prentice himself wouldn’t know the first thing about serving an audience, he allows defamations to stand, if it is against an enemy, he allows hate and loathing to cloud his better judgement and he is precisely what he accuses me of being. He really should look in the mirror.

David Farrar has also denied any party funding of Kiwiblog. He provides a detailed disclosure statement (unlike Prentice or any Standard author).

Prentice will be well aware of previous denials but continues to make the assertions. Dirty is as dirty does.

Having just written that last senence I thought I’d research it – and coincidentally found a post heading that on Whale Oil.

Dirty is as dirty does

Nicky Hager reckons I play politics dirty.

He is right, I do….So what?

Slater has often bragged about doing politics dirty. While he claims to be clean in some ways Prentice is no better.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 3,377 other followers