Gagging social media on election day

Now we have heavily promoted advance voting for two weeks leading up to the election, during which time campaigning for votes is full on, it’s more than a little anachronistic that on election day itself publishing anything that may influence how someone votes is forbidden by our electoral law.

This was originally an exclusion on media advertising or reporting. That is now extended to not only blogging but to all social media commenting.

Up until Thursday night (Friday’s figures haven’t been posted yet) the Electoral Commission report that 557,174 people had advance voted and they expect the final figure to be around 700,000.

In the 2011 election 2,278,989 voted. If a similar total votes this time that means about one third will have advance voted while campaigning and vote soliticiting was very active.

So it’s odd that the rest of us are protected from influence in election day.

The Electoral Commission states:

ELECTION DAY RULES FOR CANDIDATES, PARTIES AND THIRD PARTIES

This guidance has been produced to help candidates, parties and third parties comply with the law by setting out the general rules for behaviour on election day and during the advance voting period.

Any activities (including advertising) promoting the election of a candidate or party, or attacking a party or candidate, are prohibited on election day before 7pm (Saturday 20 September 2014) and are a criminal offence. The full list of prohibited activities is set out insection 197 of the Electoral Act which effectively prohibits anything that can be said to interfere with or influence voters, including processions, speeches or public statements.

Summary of the rules for candidates, parties and third parties

On election day you must not:

  • Display any hoardings – all election signs must be taken down or covered up before election day.
  • Display any other election advertising – cover up or place away from public view vehicles advertising parties or candidates (this includes flags and bumper stickers).
  • Distribute any campaign material.
  • Distribute or display anything showing political party or candidate names.
  • Post election-related material online. This includes election-related posts on social media such as Facebook or Twitter. 
  • Take part in any election-related demonstration or procession.
  • Wear or display clothing that promotes a political party or candidate.
  • Conduct opinion polling of voters.

In relation to websites and social media:

Social media on election day

There are additional restrictions on election day.  On election day (from midnight on 19 September until 7pm on 20 September) there is a general prohibition of the publication of any statement that is likely to influence which candidate or party a person should, or should not, vote for. 

Election advertising does not have to be removed from social media so long as:

  • the material was published before election day
  • the material is only made available to people who voluntarily access it, and
  • no advertisements promoting the page or site are published on election day.  

If you use social media, do not post messages on election day that could breach these rules.  The Commission recommends candidates and parties temporarily deactivate their Facebook campaign pages to avoid the risk of supporters committing an offence by posting on your page.  For other forms of social media where others can post comments the Commission recommends that where possible security settings are changed so that other people cannot post messages before 7pm on election day. 

Posts on social media that are not connected in any way with the election can of course be posted on election day.

So as long as you post something prior to midnight on election eve it’s fine, even if it is prominently displayed during election day. But you supposedly can’t post anything on election day.

While most of the Electoral Commission advice relates to parties and candidates “a general prohibition of the publication of any statement that is likely to influence which candidate or party a person should, or should not, vote for” implies that these gagging rules apply to everyone.

To an extent this is understandable, if individuals were allowed to promote party and candidate voting then parties would find ways to sneak around the rules.

But when an increasingly large proportion of people vote while campaigning is in full swing this seems anachronistic.

I wasn’t going to tell you who you should vote for anyway. Just make an effort to vote if you are inclined towards voting.

The Standard versus David Farrar and Dirty Politics

David Farrar was implicated in Nicky Hager’s “Dirty Politics” book. He remains a friend of Cameron Slater and appears to have worked in tandem with the Whale Oil blog via his own Kiwiblog. His disclosure statement is here.

His latest post at Kiwiblog is Issues that matter – the Economy where he says:

I think the economy matters and should be a much bigger issue in this election so I’ve put together almost a dozen graphs showing the difference between National and Labour’s record on 11 important economic indicators. These are issues that matter to families and businesses

He details eleven graphs with comment and concludes:

Government do not directly control many of these economic measures. But they can and do impact them with their economic policies. The difference between where we are today and where we were in the mid to late 2000s is stark.

The Standard has posted Dirty Politics Watch I with an image extract from Dirty Politics:

Standard Dirty Politics Watch IThe post then links to Farrar’s post and states:

It’s like deja vu all over again.

The ‘author’ is listed as By: – in other words, no name, no disclosure about their identity or their political links.

‘Gosman’ asks:

Ummm… what exactly is his ‘crime’ meant to be here?

‘Puddlegum’ responds:

As I understand it, the implication is that Farrar has been making use of the National Party Research Unit and posting it as his own work again (or the National Party Research Unit has been making use of Farrar, again).

Not a crime, but, if correct, a post by Farrar that misleads his readers about the providence of its content. A potential fact that might influence how it is read and interpreted.

That’s the implication I understood.

‘Lanthanide:

A pure example of two-track politics as advanced by Hager.

Instead of the National Party themselves posting these 11 graphs (or National giving this to the MSM themselves) to show the differences between National and Labour, they outsource it to their blogs so as to maintain distance and plausible deniability.

Pretty obvious I should have thought.

The insinuation was pretty obvious.

There is no proof or indication that the post is anything but Farrar’s own work.

Farrar has responded on Facebook:

Some anonymous poster at The Standard thinks that me spending five or six hours compiling data to produce some economic graphs for my blog, is an example of dirty politics!!!

Instead it was an example of common tactics used in dirty politics.

The poster was of course anonymous, as most of them posters are.

But what I love is how they label as dirty politics basically anything that doesn’t worship David Cunliffe and Labour.

I guess it is easier for them to anonymously smear me, rather than actually do what I did, and spend a few hours going through the Stats NZ database compiling information.

The Standard, as I showed in “Vote Positive” and The Standard, seems to have given up on praising Cunliffe and Labour, almost all their posts are negative attacks on John Key, National, Slater and Farrar.

Farrar is right, the economy is a critical election issue and deserves critical examination. His post is predictably pro-National and also deserves critical examination, but instead an unknown person with unknown political connections tries to go dirty instead.

Ignoring the issue and trying to discredit the messenger is a standard dirty political tactic.

The first comment, by long time Labour activist ‘Anne':

David Farrar is as guilty as sin when it comes to Dirty Politics.

His whining and moaning over the supposed hacking of his computer following the launch of the book “Dirty Politics” was nothing but a cover-up job to try and claim victim status and distract from his involvement in the rotten game.

Anyone who has ever been the victim of a dirty smear campaign – more often than not involving unlawful conduct similar to Slater’s – will know that the perpetrator (or perpetrators) always use this tactic to cover for their own behaviour. The sad part is they invariably get away with it because the ‘powers that be’ (read establishment) let them get away with it. You have to ask yourself… why?

Some irony there with “dirty smear campaign” and “always use this tactic“.

‘Nadis’ comments:

I don’t get the problem? Some benign (but obviously cherry picked) partisan data gets published. I cant see why the source matters, if it in fact is not Farrar.

Now I’d get the point if it were an allegation of wifebeating or corruption etc, but some economic charts? How does it matter whether the source is David Farrar, a top secret black ops team, or my grandma?

I think for dirty tricks, you actually have to be doing something dirty. Otherwise the bleating just comes across as tinfoil hat conspiracy theory. And yes I have read Dirty Politics.

That addresses the non-problem of Farrar’s post, it questions the insinuation “if it in fact is not Farrar” and calls it ‘bleating’. Fair call.

But it doesn’t address the hypocrisy of The Standard alleging dirty politics while playing dirty politics.

Standard sysop and trustee Lynn Prentice often complains about ‘The Standard’ being referred to as an entity, claiming it is just  ‘a machine’. He recently posted in Meet The Standard:

So now when you see me saying that you can’t treat The Standard as a person with opinions because it is a machine. You’ll now know what I’m talking about….

But the reality is that this is just the hardware. The Standard is the sum of the loosely cooperative authors and their mixture of different viewpoints, and the commenters who have fun analyzing everything to death.

No attempt at analysis by ‘Notices and features”, just doing dirty to death.

An insinuating post with no evidence sounds like someone is hiding behind the machine. A dirty machine.

“Not as bad as Whale Oil”

Since the release of Nicky Hager’s book ‘Dirty Politics’ there has been much discussion and condemnation of what has been revealed – even though much of the dirtiness of Cameron Slater was already well known. He has boasted about his political uncleanliness.

Last year after the Len Brown revelations just after the local body elections Slater said on The Nation:

Mr Slater argued that Auckland politics was “a dirty disgusting despicable game”.

“It involves dirty disgusting despicable people at all levels,” he said.

“And to have this high and mighty belief that New Zealand politics is clean, it isn’t.”

(Frontpage)

He repeated this on his Whale Oil blog recently. He often quotes ” Never wrestle with pigs, two things are for certain if you do. You will get dirty and the pig will enjoy it”, along others from his list of ‘rules’.

Whaleoil’s Rules of Politics

1. If you are explaining, you are losing

2. Utu is good, even necessary

3. Never hug a corpse – it smells and you end up smelling like the corpse too

4. Always know where the bodies are buried

5. Don’t let mongrels get away with being mongrels

6. Don’t mess with The Whale or Cactus Kate

7. Never wrestle with pigs, two things are for certain if you do. You will get dirty and the pig will enjoy it.

8. Never ask a question if you don’t already know the answer

9. Speak plain, Speak Simple

10. Remember, I’m telling this story

11. Never trust a politician if you aren’t close enough to them to hit them in the back of the head with a bit of 4×2

12. Never trust a politician with a moustache or a hyphenated name

There might be a lot of people, especially politicians, giving serious consideration to rule 3 right now.

Slater’s personal attacks and vindictiveness are well known. There’s no one who comes close to his media prominence and dirtiness in New Zealand politics.

So all other bloggers can comfortably claim they are “not as bad as Whale Oil”. But that sets the bar very low and should not excuse lesser levels of dirtiness.

One of the more long serving and respected bloggers Russell Brown posted  We can do better than this at Public Address and concluded:

In one of the early reports that annoyed me, Radio New Zealand’s political editor Brent Edwards, talked about smears being unleashed to “blogs” and “the blogosphere”.

Actually, we’re not all like that. The multitude of bloggers, political bloggers included, have no part in this. And while the cynical side of politics is not new, I do believe that the scope, scale and nature of what is described in Hager’s book is unprecedented.

It doesn’t have to be this way. We can, all of us, do better than this.

Russell is right, we’re “not all like that”. No one else is as bad as Whale Oil. I agree that “the scope, scale and nature of what is described in Hager’s book is unprecedented” – although it shouldn’t really have been a surprise to Russell if he was aware of what Whale Oil has been doing for years.

But in comments Russell seems to think that the ‘all of us” in “We can, all of us, do better than this” doesn’t apply equally to all of us.

It’s over to you, Pete, to identify a left-leaning blogger with even a tenth of the venality and vindictiveness of WhaleOil.

I feel kind of icky agreeing with Pete (sorry, Mr. George) but if our baseline is “not as bad as Whaleoil” that’s a depressingly low bar you can clear without lifting your feet.

Which is really just a morally elevated way of saying “everyone does it”. It’s simply not true. What has happened in and around Whaleoil these past few years is actually of a different nature.

He seems to be claiming it’s not true that everyone doesn’t do it, despite calling for “all od us” to do better.

Some of what Whale Oil has done has been of a different nature” and of a more extreme nature, but there are many examples of dirt mongering across the blogosphere. Russell moderates Public Address fairly well but even his own blog shouldn’t be exempt from criticism. There’s dirt at different levels but there’s dirt – there were even mild attempts to attack me personally to divert from the issues being discussed on that thread (eg ScottY and Kracklite).

Public Address is relatively mild but still allows personal political attacks and dirty comments. The other major left wing blogs The Standard and The Daily Blog allow and promote a lot of abuse and attempts to emulate some of Whale Oil’s “success”.

Lynn Prentice (lprent) at The Standard often boasts about his nastiness:

That is because in my sysop role I’m deliberately a nasty vindictive mean old man with abuse of power issues, whose only redeeming quality is that he is too lazy to be bothered exercising those traits, but who often and almost randomly goes totally over the top when roused.

And as chief moderator that sets the tone for blog with support of a one sided attack culture.

And Martyn Bradbury is well know for over the top rants and abuse, as well as doing party promotional blog posting without revealing he is being paid by or seeking payment for his work, one of the things Slater is correctly criticised for.

Josie Pagan is very familiar with how nasty the left wing blogs can get, they have blasted her a number of times. She recently posted The politics of vilification.

Nicky Hager’s book exposes both the politics of demonisation and the National Government’s role in facilitating it. The right wing blogs have been more extreme, more violent and more coordinated with the parliamentary party and so the book is their comeuppance. 

I agree with that. Whale Oil is obviously the main culprit but Kiwiblog can be very nasty in it’s comments and I think the generally and widely respected David Farrar would admit to overstepping lines of decency at times (as most if not all bloggers do to varying degrees).

But imagine how much harder would it be for the government to deflect some of the disgusting stuff they’ve been involved in if some on the left blogs had not spent so much energy vilifying and demonising people they disagree with.

I’ve been suggesting to left wing blogs for a long time thatthey would be fdar more credible and effective if they cut down on the crap – I’ve been banned from The Standard for giving them advice along those lines.

At least Farrar recognises problems and has pledged ttake measures to try to improve Kiwiblog – Some changes for Kiwiblog.

Josie concluded:

But there is also a wider lesson to everyone about the way politics is conducted. 

As I wrote back in December, “The fundamental principle of the left is our compassion…. Ours is the politics of redemption, forgiveness and humanity.” 

Or, as Nicky Hager elegantly stated on The Nation this morning, “if anyone is doing it, they should stop.

It’s hard to see Whale Oil changing it’s degree of nastiness but if we are to improve political discourse in New Zealand it’s up to all of the rest of us to do what we can to improve – bloggers and politicians.

Directing all the blame at the other lot and demanding action from them ignores those shitting in our own nests.

Yes Russell, we can, all of us, do better than this. ‘All of us’ means not opting out because we’re are not as bad as Whale Oil.

UPDATE: Russell has responded via Twitter:

Thanks for another droning restatement of what you’ve already said. I’m at a loss as to what I’m supposed to do about it.

I replied: Try using your stature showing some leadership in the blogosphere in raising standards perhaps?

Kiwiblog steps up

David Farrar has stepped up to a major challenge and is promising improvements at Kiwiblog – see Some changes for Kiwiblog.

Farrar has always been one of the most open bloggers on disclosure, and he is are taking that even further. 

I receive up to a dozen unsolicited e-mails a day, suggesting stories to me. Most are from people who are not politicians or staff – just ordinary readers. Some are just links to stories, some make some points on a topical issue. I sometimes quote these e-mails in posts. I have always been very careful to distinguish between content I write, and content people may send me (which I quote as coming from a reader). But I’m going to go a further step and if any content substantially comes from a parliamentary, or political party staffer, source I will state so when using it. I will not name individuals, but if I quote someone I will include information on their affiliations, when relevant. You will find this is very infrequently.

The comments and commenters at Kiwiblog have a reputation for being many things, usually negative. There’s no doubt it can be a very abusive and insenstitive forum at times. Amongst the noise there are also many very worthwhile and interesting comments and commenters, but reputation focuses mainly on the worst.

After the election (ie when I have more time) I am going to consult on a tougher moderation policy for the comments. I want them to be robust and forceful, but focused more on issues than people. I have very limited time to read them myself, so probably will ask for some readers to step forward as moderators. We’ll have that discussion in October.

Moderation can be very time consuming, a difficult beast to confront. It’s a REAL SHAME that more responsibility and respect isn’t shown by commenters who are guests on Kiwiblog. This will be a challenge but it’s worth doing.

Farrar is setting a higher standard for himself – now it will be interesting to see if the blogs to the left who have been busy claiming they are not as bad as those on the right step up and follow your example.

As Bunji has just posted at The Standard – Left wing blogs aren’t “the same”.

No, they are not the same. Are they willing to up their standards too? What about it lprent? 

UPDATE: Already The Standard has indicated where they stand on this, showing their hypocrisy in claiming the moral high ground – No Changes for Kiwiblog.

Whoever wrote and posted that didn’t even have the guts to disclose their name or pseudonym.

Who’s been hacking?

This post follows the Hager precedent where it is ok to float a few bits of information and let others join the dots.

Cameron Slater has accused Kim Dotcom of being involved in hacking his email and Facebook data. Dotcom has stated:

For the record: I haven’t hacked Whaleoil. I have nothing to do with Hager’s book. There will be legal action against Slater & co

However that is a loose disclaimer. I asked for clarification:

Can you confirm that you had no knowledge of or anything to do with the hacking of ?

No response to that.So there’s an obvious possibility there.

The next dot – David Farrar claims I’ve either been hacked or spied on.

I started reading more fully the book yesterday, and the footnotes in the book. To my shock I realised that Hager had info in the book that could not have come from the hacking of Cameron Slater, but could only have come from my computer, my apartment or my office.

Specifically he refers to copies of two scripts used by my company, Research, this year. There is absolutely no way they could have come from Cameron Slater’s computer systems, as Cameron doesn’t have them. No one has them but me and my office.

I thought about how this could have happened. The two most likely scenarios are that my computer systems have also been hacked, or that someone physically removed the scripts from my office (or possibly apartment).

A commenter ‘berend’ points out:

The source is an employee. Footnote 17 for chapter 9 says “Confidential source.” Footnote 18 calls him “The employee said”.

Next dot – as I posted yesterday, the gmail account I use for political correspondence and my Facebook account have been hacked.

What would I have in common with Slater and Farrar? They are big time bloggers with long and substantial involvement in politics and with the National Party.

I’m a small time independent blogger with scant political connections.

Another dot – suddenly another blogger who usually shuns mainstream media is going public – see Prentice irritated by Labour links and he was interviewed on Radio NZ this morning. Lynn Prentice, known as lprent.

Prentice and I have sparred online for years. He has made some funny claims like this last year in an ironic Pete George – an example of right wing blogging falsehoods (his grand entrance at The Daily Blog). He and many other left wing activists cal me a right winger. That’s very funny.

A post at The Standard (ironically on a post called Happy Labour Day):

The likes of Cam Slater, David Farrar, Brett Dale, John Key, Jami-lee Ross, Mike Hosking, Leighton Smith, Lucia maria (she also want to see the gays exterminated), Colin Craig, John Banks, Simon Bridges, Bob McCroskie, Gosman, Fisiani, Santi, Grumpy, Matthew Hooton Monique Angel, Pete George and all others that I have left off my list (sorry, will be here all night), are to trade unionists what the SA brownshirts were to the Jews in 1930′s Germany, common thugs who see those who belong to a trade unions (along with homosexuals) as vermin to be exterminated in a Final Solution.

Get ready folks, post 2014 we will see trade unionists streaming through our court system when National make joining a trade union to be a crime, and the PPTA outlawed in our schools.

Slavery, here we come.

That’s not an unusual view from the far left, anyone seen as an opponent is viewed as an enemy to be defeated by an means possible. 

Some of the Twitter respnses to Dotcom’s hacking denial are also indicative:

go get him kim, teach him a lesson the old fashioned way. Bet em’ at their own game! Eradicate the problem!

Slaters are nasty creatures. Slimy, greasy and sticky to stamp on.

Pete is missing the point. Whoever hacked WhaleOil’s computer deserves congratulation.

Back to a Standard stalwart, ‘felix':

felix

The thing that sticks out for me about the Slater boy, Farrar, and their unpaid intern Pete George, is that they all resort to variations of “He’s got to be more careful, there are some real scumbags out there who will twist his words against him at every opportunity”.

Hey dicks, that’s you guys.

No-one else gives a fuck.

And another:

Clemgeopin

@Pete George
The way you come across with your posts is that you are here to put down Labour and the left, and take the side of the right wing. That is irritating and mostly time wasting rather than genuine debate or discussion.

If your intention is to push the agenda of the right, your natural place to hang would be the well known right wing blogs, of Slater and Farrar.

And back to Prentice who links me with Slater

Leaving the perverted obsessions to Cameron Slater and even Pete George seems like a wise thing for us to do.

and the right wing

Appointing PG makes me immediately suspect the organisation is just another right wing shill like the Taxpayers union and other previous ones.

…etc etc – it’s fair to say I have irritated Prentice for some time and he seems to have had a habit of targeting me. And David Farrar. And Cameron Slater.

I have absolutely no evidence who hacked me. I haven’t seen any evidence who hacked Slater or Farrar.

There’s a likely connection between the hacking of Slater and Farrar. Who on earth would think to put me in that same basket of cases?

There is one piece of evidence linking lprent and the hacking of my gmail.

Got one of those this morning. Looks like PG’s email has been hacked. Virtually identical to several others over the years.

That’s just because he (and mickysavage) were in my gmail address book.

Who’s been hacking? I don’t know. But there’s as many dots here as in a Hager hatchet job.

In any case would lprent have the IT expertise or the desire to axe some opponents to resort to illegal hacking? 

 

I’ve also been hacked

A major part of the Nicky Hager ‘Dirty Politics’ book revelations is who hacked Cameron Slater and apparently illegally obtained emails and Facebook conversation data.

It would be an even bigger issue if the hacking was more widespread.

  • my Xtra email was hacked last year (Xtra were having major problems with email security)
  • at the end of last year one of my gmail accounts was hacked (the account I use for political correspondence only)
  • early this year my Facebook was at least flagged as under attack

I have no idea if this is related or not but one does wonder.

I have a fairly minor voice in the blogosphere and in especially politics in New Zealand, but I have been labeled by some as right wing alongside Cameron Slater and David Farrar, by people like Lynn Prentice at The Standard and Martyn Bradbury at The Daily Blog (in fact Prentice’s debut post at The Daily Blog did just that – Pete George – an example of right wing blogging falsehoods)

I’ve exchange a small number of emails with Cameron Slater of the years – and also with David Farrar of Kiwiblog, Prentice and other authors at The Standard, Bradbury and other authors at The Daily Blog, and other bloggers across the spectrum.

I’m not exactly on good terms with Slater (and never have been):

  • I’ve had a number of confrontations and debates with Slater on Whale Oil and in Twitter
  • I was banned from Whale Oil about a month ago with a trumped up excuse (I was arguing contrary to Slater’s views on issues around rape and cultures).
  • A few weeks ago Slater posted ‘Breaking News’ that tried to dump me in legal trouble over breaking name suppression.

While Slater has been ground breaking with his blogging/on line media and has had unprecedented levels of success – and I applaud him for that, to an extent – I have always been opposed to his dirty approach to doing politics and have argued against him on that.

But as stated some saw me as linked to the right wing conspiracy.

I would be flattered if I was the target of political hacking – but would also view it with extreme concern.

Data being stolen from Slater is a serious issue. If political hacking has been more widespread then it would be even more serious.

The hacking aspect of Hager’s revelations should get as much scrutiny as the dirty politics Hager claims to have revealed.

 

Hager’s book – early impact

Nicky Hager’s just released book Dirty Politics seems to mostly conform common knowledge but some interesting bits have been reported, especially:

@BrookSabin

Hager says Slater blackmailed Rodney Hide to stand down.

Felix Geiringer @BarristerNZ

To embarrass @phil_goff, it seems @johnkeypm told @Whaleoil to OIA classified docs, declassified them, and expedited release

Whale Oil and Kiwiblog comments are playing it all down as nothing to worry about but Cameron Slater and David Farrar should have some concerns, as should John Key.

Timing is awkward for Slater as he has just been in Fiji and is now in Korea. He has posted (with numerous comments following):

Hager’s Book

No doubt you will all want to talk about Hager’s book, even though none of us read it yet. This is the post to chat about it if you like – leave the Backchat for other things.

It is of course likely to be a very single sided affair, and a direct attack on the government to hurt it at election time. What is being framed here is only one side of politics in New Zealand. Hager conveniently appears to avoid what happens on the left.

But that’s ok. Nothing changes.

 A lot is likely to change. Maybe a Government, depending on how damaging this is.

I’ve only just got to Korea where I have pre-existing arrangements.

To other media – I will be hard to get hold of for a while. Time difference and a full schedule will get in the way. If you like, get your stuff to me via email instead of phoning me.

And if you like, my absence can be spun as part of the conspiracy story that Hagar has put together.

Of course it will be fascinating to get a glimpse behind the scenes of New Zealand politics. Hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I do.

I’m finding it very interesting, but I don’t find dirty politics enjoyable.

Farrar has played it light on Twitter but hasn’t posted yet. General comments on it at at Kiwiblog from here.

UPDATE: now posted The Hager book

Rather bemused to find an entire chapter of Nicky Hager’s book is on me, and also how banal it is. Almost everything in there is in the public domain, as I live a pretty open life. But what Hager has done is wave his normal conspiracy theory through everything and make the fact that bloggers and other talk to each other, some sort of sinister thing.

Basically the chapter is a revelation that I am a member of the National Party! I didn’t realise this was a big secret.

It’s worth reading his whole post, which includes some counter punches – of course there are left wing bloggers (anonymous) who are close to other parties.

The best of the blog threads so far is at Public Address where the comments discuss doubts over claims of how the data was obtained. There could be a lot more to be examined and possibly revealed on this yet.

The Standard has two posts so far:

Martyn Bradbury is going off like a bomber – The Nicky Hager Book – Dirty Politics. How Attack politics is poisoning New Zealand’s political environment

Interesting that two days ago Bradbury posted ‘guesses’ about the book:

Here are my 3 guesses on his book.

1 – Right wing spin doctors in Wellington will be crying harder than Matthew Hooton post the Hollow Men.
2 – We won’t hear from the Taxpayer Union for a while.
3 – This won’t be the only time Nicky makes an impact before the election.

I wonder how he knew. Dotcom and Harre seemed to be taking a close interest in the book release today.

Regardless of how serious this gets for National – and other parties that ‘secretly’ use blogs should be careful how much exposure on this they wish for – I hope this gives the party and social media dirty tricks a damn good shake up.

New Zealand democracy and Parliament and Government deserves much better. Now could be a good time to demand it.

Left and right criticise Labour’s health targeting

Labour has been criticised from both the left and the right for their targeting of health handouts.

David Farrar at Kiwiblog provides data to back up his claim that the elderly are the age group least troubled by access to  health care in Labour’s health promises not well targeted 

The Ministry of Health done an annual health survey. One of their questions is whether someone has not gone to see a GP in the last year due to the cost. Here is the breakdown, in order, by age:

  • 25 – 34: 22.3%
  • 35 – 44: 17.8%
  • 15 – 24: 15.8%
  • 45 – 54: 13.9%
  • 55 – 64: 12.1%
  • 65 – 74: 6.3%
  • 75+: 4.7%

Here’s the breakdown by age of those who did not get a prescription filled because of cost:

  • 25 – 34: 7.6%
  • 45 – 54: 7.5%
  • 35 – 44: 7.2%
  • 15 – 24: 6.1%
  • 55 – 64: 5.6%
  • 65 – 74: 3.2%
  • 75+: 1.9%

Also the Health Survey shows a positive trend for prescriptions, not a worsening one.

…and Farrar comments:

So Labour’s policy is not just slightly badly targeted – it is as far away from the area of most need as possible. They are saying we must provide free GP visits to the age group that has the least problem paying. It’s is purely about middle class welfare votes, not about health.

And in Labour – “Ready to Win” at the Labour/left Standard ‘Oh Busby’ comments:

This was Labour’s big roll of the dice.

And free health-care for the over 65s is an incredible waste of cash. Poorly targetted, largely unnecessary, and incredibly expensive.

It’s a naked vote grab for the vote-rich elderly demographic, subsidised by the working poor. Workers who will get their superannuation taken away from them until 67.

Labour had a real mandate for bold change, and this is what they served up. I’m disgusted and appalled.

This is shameful.

How the hell can any Labour activist try and sell this to a working age person?

Targeting votes rather than targeting the most effective spending of taxpayer money on health.

RockEnrol and Action Station

On a post on Kiwiblog Rock Enrol and the unions a commenter AG asks for a source for Generation Zero being a left wing group. Looking into this brought up some interesting names and causes in common.

Generation Zero is also a left-wing group.

Source?

If the folks running Generation Zero consist of three Green Party/Labour Party activist members under the figurehead of some ex-journo, then yes, there is a direct comparison to be drawn. I accept that.

Why three? Interesting that AG chose Generation Zero. Why not Action Station?

What is ActionStation?

ActionStation is here to enable the large community of Kiwis with shared progressive values to take powerful, coordinated action on urgent issues we care about.

“Progressive” is usually associated with the left wing. They say:

Who’s behind ActionStation?

Independent and member-led, we are affiliated with no political party, and answer only to our members.

The website is ” Authorised by Megan Salole” – she has been involved in setting up Action Station.

Megan Salole is a social innovator and agitator who is actively championing green issues, social justice and democratic voice.

http://www.philanthropy.org.nz/node/8563

And Megan has more then an interest in green issues, she was Green campaign director last election.

Campaign Kickoff! with Megan Salole

Megan Salole, National Campaign Manager, introduces hersef and kicks off the campaign!

https://my.greens.org.nz/campaign-resources/campaign-kickoff-with-megan-salole

See also her LinkedIn Overview, Past:

National Campaign Manager at Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand

National Campaign Manager at Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand

http://nz.linkedin.com/in/megansalole

Her web page About Me:

I ran the 2011 Green Party National Campaign.

I am in the process of establishing ActionStation – New Zealand’s own progressive community here to active call power to account.

And Metiria Turei commented on an Action Station job advertisement on her Facebook page: “Jobs like this are rare, closes Friday”.

Talking of Facebook, earlier this year Megan had a Generation Zero graphic on her cover page. Details of all of this: How Green is ActionStation?

There’s more at Happyzine, including:

8. Who should be NZ’s Prime Minister and why?
I am interested in a Co-Prime Ministership, and look forward to a time when extraordinary politicians like Metiria Turei and Russel Norman are at the helm.

http://happyzine.co.nz/2012/06/13/world-changer-megan-salole-actionstation-intersect-and-more/

The Action Station web address is registered under this name:

registrant_contact_name: Joseph Cederwall

http://www.whois.com/whois/actionstation.org.nz

Joe was involved in ‘Stand Up’, along with Megan, from which Action Station has evolved.

StandUp, an independent, citizen-led platform for online activism, will begin campaigning in New Zealand next month.

The first campaigns will potentially target asset sales, paid parental leave, coal mining in conservation areas and a sustainable rebuild in Christchurch.

http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1204/S00256/online-campaign-group-launched.htm

There’s more than a little hint of left wing there.

‘We will enable tens of thousands of Kiwis to have their say,’ said acting director Joe Cederwall, a Wellington barrister. ‘New Zealanders believe in a fair go, yet there’s a glaring disconnect between the values of the majority and the actions of government and business. StandUp will collaborate with the growing progressive movement, to bring participation back into politics.’

There’s that word “progressive” again.

Joe’s profile on Loomio:

Oh – I’m Joseph Cederwall. I am a Lawyer, social entrepeneur and currently co-editing a journal on ‘the commons’ as well as working on a crowd investment platform. I was part of the team that founded ActionStation with the goal of seeing it create a citizen led campaigning tool and currently act as secretary of the society. I am currently very interested in exploring the potential of a ‘commons’ approach to resource ownership in New Zealand and how this could radically change the way we deal with issues such as indigenous sovereignty and environmental stewardship in the future.

https://www.loomio.org/d/4TqCUjIo/welcome-introduce-yourself-here

Joe is keen on the Commons approach, see http://www.projectfreerange.com/author/joe-cederwall/ – this seems to be an alternative to property ownership and people holding wealth.

As AG likes to see three connections here’s another:

Laura O’Connell-Rapira is our Campaigns Director focusing on membership engagement. She’s been doing amazing things with RockEnrol and Oxfam, and we are thrilled to have her.

There’s those RockEnrol and Oxfam names again. And this from Volunteering New Zealand:

Campaign Director, Laura O’Connell-Rapira has joined forces with youth-led groups Generation Zero, AskAway and The Wireless, as well as various promoters, venue owners, and event organisers to build and activate political power for young people in Aotearoa.

And there’s that Generation Zero name again. And again here:

Who wants to be a Climate Voter?

Game shows don’t come with a bigger jackpot than a safe climate future.
Brought to you by Generation Zero.

Panel discussion – Laura O’Connell-Rapira.

On Laura’s Facebook page:

Organising a RockEnrol + AUSA – Auckland University Students’ Association + Generation Zero bass + beats + hip hop night on Thursday 24th July at SHADOWS TAVERN – your student bar. We have booked Third3ye + Tali.

Her take on Action Station:

ActionStation is getting ready to launch. Led by you, we are committed to making New Zealand a more fair and equitable country with thriving environments and an accountable government.

And up to July 2 2014 she worked at another name in common, Oxfam:

My last day at Oxfam NZ today. Thanks for the good times team. I love the wonderful work you do to bring about a fairer, safer, more sustainable & equitable world.

Laura organised a picnic and concert in March:

Another young organiser is Laura O’Connell-Rapira from Laingholm who is running New Zealand’s first post-carbon picnic and holding a concert with a one-of-a-kind soundsystem.

She specialises in creating “people powered parties with purpose” such as the post-carbon picnic which will encourage people to “share more and waste less” she says.

“It’s a celebration of what our lives will look like without being so dependent on fossil fuels, while also getting to experience the amenities New Lynn has to offer,” Ms O’Connell-Rapira says.

“The whole idea is to get a conversation going around how we use transport, food and how we consume material possessions and energy.”

Teachings in Dub with Lion Rockers HiFi will raise money for Generation Zero with reggae music blasting from the home-built, giant Lion Rock soundsystem.

http://i.stuff.co.nz/auckland/local-news/western-leader/9849075/Try-out-weed-dating

A fundaiser for Generation Zero.

Matthew Beveridge also addressed the leftishness of Rock Enrol and it’s connections with other organisations in ROCK ENROL: NON PARTISAN OR NOT?

A group of young voters have started an organisation called Rock Enrol. It is based on the Rock the Vote campaign in the US.

On this page they make the following claim “Rock Enrol is a non-partisan campaign”. But there are some things that indicate this may not be the case.

The three people behind Rock Enrol are Laura O’Connell-Rapira, Sam Dyson and Lizzie Sullivan.

Laura O’Connell-Rapira has been in the media before, ‘Business hippie’ plans $1m eco retreat, she also runs Our Place Events, who claim to be “tree huggers”.

Sam Dyson is a key person in the Generation Zero campaign.

Lizzie Sullivan has been a little harder to track down, however a Elizabeth Sullivan made a submission against the VSM bill on behalf of The Victoria University Young Greens.

I also found a linkedin profile in the same name that has a number of details that indicate it is the same person. Who has worked for Caritas.

http://www.matthewbeveridge.co.nz/politics/rock-enrol-non-partisan-or-not/

There seem to be quite a few people and organisations in common here. And a number of issues in common with the Greens and Generation Zero.

The difficulty of speaking up

David Farrar posts at Kiwiblog about The power of speaking up:

This is the great thing about being brave enough to reveal what someone like Harris did to you. Suddenly everyone else who has had it happen to them, doesn’t feel quite so alone. It’s great that they now have someone they can share their stories with – of course would be greater if this had never happened. If a dozen have contacted Maggie Barry, how many scores more may be out there?

Former TVNZ makeup artist Lee Howden told RadioLIVE she was also sexually assaulted as she did his make-up for an on-air interview. She said she fled the room after he put his hand into her underwear.

While she never reported the incident, she was inspired to come forward after hearing Ms Barry’s account and was prepared to make an official police complaint.

Good.

Not so good in the following comments though, there’s ample proof of why it has been and still is difficult for many to speak up about sexual abuse.

I’ll add examples later, but many comments are making excuses for Rolf Harris and criticising people claiming to be victims of abuse.

http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2014/07/the_power_of_speaking_up.html

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