Bridges too far?

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

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

Andrew Little thinks he did.

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

John Key thinks he didn’t.

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

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

The Cabinet Manual seems unclear.

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

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

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

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

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

David Farrar at Kiwiblog calls it A beltway beltway issue.

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

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

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

In comments yesterday on Your NZ Alan Wilkinson commented:

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

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

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

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

Flipper at Kiwiblog:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Newspaper opinion bias

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

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

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

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

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

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

Blog rankings – March

Whale Oil Beef Hooked

  • September: visits 3,716,364 page views 5,309,045
  • October: visits 2,008,487 page views 3,275,031
  • November: visits 1,776,421 page views 2,981,810
  • December: visits 1,764,050 page views 2,999,841
  • January 2015: visits 1,549,207 page views 2,771,035
  • February 2015: visits 1,697,269 page views 2,947,932
  • March 2015: visits 1,497,906 page views 2,669,703

A surprise to see that down. Last month ‘Whaleoil Staff’ posted: “February is always the last month of slow results”. March may have been affected by cricket (but there were busy comments on cricket posts) and boxing distractions.

Kiwiblog

  • September: visits 695,190 page views 1,093,806
  • October: visits 373,637 page views 604,405
  • November: visits 301,119 page views 522,519
  • December: visits 278,787 page views 515,827
  • January 2015: visits 232,512 page views 447,489
  • February 2015: visits 299,472 page views 541,919
  • March 2015: visits 322,036 page views 579,501

In comparison that’s up a bit, and the highest since October/November.

The Standard

  • September: visits 429,438 page views 868,342
  • October: visits 255,449 page views 561,703
  • November: visits 194,646 page views 431,100
  • December: visits 182,211 page views 392,090
  • January 2015: 163,164 page views 356,129
  • February 2015: 189,833 page views 417,128
  • March 2015: 232,651 page views 490,905

Little cricket, no boxing but the by-election will have helped lift here significantly.

The Daily Blog

  • September: visits 504,304 page views 813,779
  • October: visits 210,877 page views 347,647
  • November: visits 160,716 page views 259,736
  • December: visits 126,534 page views 203,1264
  • January 2015: 116,155 page views 188,868
  • February 121,994 page views 205,870
  • March 163,445 page views 274,075

Some recovery there after a post=election slump.

Note that these are a rough measure. They can be useful to monitor trends on a blog but the value of comparing blogs is debatable.

Sitemeter can vary significantly from other measures. For example No Minister was ranked 11 with 23,215 page views but their own counter shows:

Last 30 Days Pageviews

Sparkline 92,048

The 30 day count was similar yesterday. That’s a huge difference to Open Parachute.

Note: not all blogs supply Open Parachute with site statistics, notably Public Address and Pundit.

Open Parachute sitemeter rankings:

Blogs on cricket

While Cricinfo is the go to place online for following cricket there’s better opportunities for discussing games. Twitter and Facebook are busy with big game comments.

How did New Zealand’s political blogs deal with yesterday’s cricket?

Whale Oil:

Kiwiblog:

The Standard:

(a couple of comments in Open Mike)

Public Address:

The Daily Blog:

Northland National’s ‘Battle of Britain’ fought with a bi-plane

As Reid at Kiwiblog says we are usually not on the same page, but on Northland “I agree with you”, and then comments:

Seems to me the media are going to use Northland to try and administer the coup de gras in the De-halo operation they’ve been running like shrieking hysterical schoolgirls since before the election which only went quiet for awhile immediately after the election while they absorbed the hatred and exposure of their tactics the result represented which they assumed always travel completely under the public’s radar, before resuming again in early November and ramping up to what we see now with the Little hype beyond reality etc and so forth.

Meanwhile National’s helping out the media big time in this operation by making every mistake it’s possible to make in the propaganda, political strategy and political tactical arenas over this whole affair which all began because Key insisted on hugging a corpse. And what a corpse it’s going to be when the public learn what it’s all about.

The only people who aren’t helping him out are the left and from that I exclude Peters, but the rest of the idiots are making it as hard as possible for Peters to get the traction he needs to allow the willing media liars to lay his smear and innuendo all over the nightly news.

But even the roaring incompetence of Little and Wussel won’t prevent this from happening as the campaign ramps up, and when the crescendo of WTF really happened to Sabin hits the fan, it’s going to be all over rover, whether or not National actually loses the seat or not. Because from a propaganda perspective, an actual loss is almost as good as a large dent in the majority, and one of those things is definitely going to happen, it’s just a question of which one it is.

And the real point is, all of these dynamics are a completely obvious open book to anyone who understands anything about politics and how it’s played so the real point is, if people like us can see the above and foretell it and pontificate on it as it rolls out as it definitely will, precisely like this, over the campaign. If people like us can do this, then what sort of roaring moron dummy idiot incompetents does National have in charge?

Because this was predictable for me, the instant I understood what Sabin is facing which for me was back in January and for the people in National was back in late November, and if I can do it then so can they. And the clear and present no-brainer obvious counter to all of this apart from ditching Sabin back in November with a ten foot pole which was Key’s massive error which will come back to haunt him but which does not have to destroy the party, only him.

But for the party, the obvious is to put your very best candidate in the whole country into Northland and watch him or her impress the hell out of all the punters with their shining skillset and competence which burns through all the propaganda and obfuscation no matter how much bullshit Peters and the idiot media care to throw, which will be a tremendous amount, but who cares, if you have a simply brilliant candidate with all the Ministerial support that an incumbent govt can offer with visits every weekend of the campaign from one Ministerial team after the other and policies galore that simply throw the spotlight onto our wonderful Northland winner. [Cue Tina Turner: Simply the Best…]

That’s what you do. And it’s real important.

Because this is make or break time in the Fifth National Govt. This is the point where the worm turns and where the fourth term is either won, or lost. This is the point where Little and Liarbore either start and keep gaining in poll after poll after poll or whether they keep bumping along the sea-floor.

It’s too late for Key. He’s lost his halo and he’ll never get it back because the public will never understand why he supported Sabin given what Sabin is facing.

Key’s amazing run with the public is gone forever, because of that simple strategic blunder he himself decided to make, back in November and which he himself needlessly exacerbated in January when he inexplicably and foolishly alluded to Sabin being on the fast track to Cabinet. Which he said knowing what Sabin is facing.

So what needs to happen is National needs to create sunlight between Key and the party during this election and keep doing it all through this term so it opens the way for Key to resign before the next election and someone else to take National into a historic fourth term. And this by election is where that process needs to start happening. And what I said above is a perfect way to start that process.

But clearly, no-one in National is going to do that, since they’ve decided instead to run a complete lightweight schoolboy whose going to get his trousers pulled down in front of the whole class by Peters every single time they are in the same room and this together with a media who simply can’t wait to plaster the very latest humiliation far and wide over the nightly news cycle, day after day, night after night.

So that’s what Northland is about, it’s National’s Battle of Britain. And so far, they’ve responded with bi-planes and a pilot from the local glider club.

– Reid

Blog rankings February 2015

February is a short month and the political year has just been cranking up. Blog stats at Open Parachute generally reflect this (although Your NZ hit a record high, beating the election months).

Whale Oil Beef Hooked

  • September: visits 3,716,364 page views 5,309,045
  • October: visits 2,008,487 page views 3,275,031
  • November: visits 1,776,421 page views 2,981,810
  • December: visits 1,764,050 page views 2,999,841
  • January 2015: visits 1,549,207 page views 2,771,035
  • February 2015: visits 1,697,269 page views 2,947,932

Kiwiblog

  • September: visits 695,190 page views 1,093,806
  • October: visits 373,637 page views 604,405
  • November: visits 301,119 page views 522,519
  • December: visits 278,787 page views 515,827
  • January 2015: visits 232,512 page views 447,489
  • February 2015: visits 299,472 page views 541,919

David Farrar was away on holiday in January and not posting for about a week.

The Standard

  • September: visits 429,438 page views 868,342
  • October: visits 255,449 page views 561,703
  • November: visits 194,646 page views 431,100
  • December: visits 182,211 page views 392,090
  • January 2015: 163,164 page views 356,129
  • February 2015: 189,833 page views 417,128

March may suffer unless they find someone else to obsess about in my absence (TIC).

The Daily Blog

  • September: visits 504,304 page views 813,779
  • October: visits 210,877 page views 347,647
  • November: visits 160,716 page views 259,736
  • December: visits 126,534 page views 203,1264
  • January 2015: 116,155 page views 188,868
  • February 121,994 page views 205,870

Note: not all blogs supply Open Parachute with site statistics, notably Public Address and Pundit.

These are all half or less than their election peaks. ‘Whaleoil Staff’ have posted:

February is always the last month of slow results.  We’re all enjoying the last of the warm weather, and the end-of-day daylight before the clocks go back again.   Various days off with anniversary days and Waitiangi day.  Add that to a short month, and we never get to see the number we expect to see.

Not so here.

Your NZ is more modest overall but is going up. We would easily make the Open Parachute top ten if WordPress stats are equivalent (there’s debate about that). The trend looks good:

YourNZstatsFebruary2015YourNZ (WordPress stats) to February 2015

Time will tell whether the record high in February is a temporary bump or if it’s a trend upwards.

So thanks to all those who come here to read my news snippets and musings, and thanks especially to those who join in the discussions. This is a team effort – your involvement helps me look forward to getting up at five in the morning to add a wee bit to the political discussions.

Open Parachute sitemeter rankings:

Little slammed and slammed again

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

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

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

Farrar also points out:

The public rate competence well ahead of ideology.

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

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

And a comment at Kiwiblog slams Little some more.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Manolo Manumpty

Manolo is one of the politically frustrated regulars at Kiwiblog. As Psycho Milt said there yesterday:

I know the concept of commenting in some form other than one-line ad hominem or variations on “I hate Muslims” is a really big, hell probably too big a stretch for you…

That’s how he operates, usually putting down Muslims, Barack Obama (and sometimes both at the same time), Maori criminals and me plus a few others he has taken to stalking.

He’s not very original, often repeating the same lies and smears. He seems to feed off a few fellow numpties who uptick his attacks.

He has recently taken to claiming I will join Labour and stand for them as a candidate in 2017. That’s the sort of nonsense he dreams up. So yesterday I posted this:

Setting the record straight – Manolo is well known for lame smears and repeatedly making things up.

I have no intention of joing the Labour Party or any political party. I have no intention of putting myself forward as a candidate in 2017 – and I think there’s no way Labour would consider me as a candidate even if there was a vacancy here (which there is no sign of), apart from other things I’m probably from their least sought after demographic for candidates.

Manolo  is either wildly guessing or being deliberately malicious. His past record suggests at least partly the latter.

Sure I’ve put myself forward as a candidate on two occassions, 2011 and 2013. On both occassions that was for particular reasons and very worthwhile and interesting experiences, getting to meet and know better politicians I wouldn’t otherwise have had any contact with. But that’s in the past.

And I learnt a lot about the practicalities of our democratic system, including the difficulties of going against the status quo that is dominated by media selection. A very useful insight.

I’ve written about some of the successes and positives of Andrew Little, that’s all. And about some of the negatives and challenges facing Little and Labour.

I hope that Little does succeed in rebuilding Labour (but it will take much more than him).

This doesn’t mean I support Labour over any other party. I support all parties being as useful and as strong as possible, because that’s good for our democracy, for our Parliament and for our country.

Manolo seems to prefer a one party state but there’s no party in New Zealand that fits his fringe ideological wishes. So he seems to have nothing to do but continue to be an armchair smearer.

I’ll keep promoting positives in politics and also hold to account those who try to smear – and if they contnue to do it then it will prove it’s malicious.

Predictably Manolo couldn’t resist responding.

What a disappointment! Silly me who thought Don Quixote of Dunedin would stand for socialist Labour.
I forgot that sitting on the fence, a la Humpty Dumpty, is always his style.

Don Quixote of Dunedin is one of several names he calls me. Another is Mother Theresa. Very funny, but he seems to think it’s insulting or something.

‘Sitting on the fence’ is often thrown at me,just another lame ad hominem in absence of any substance – Manolo rarely actually debates or substantiates any of his claims, he’s just another gutless hit and runner hiding behind anonymity.

He knowingly repeats falsehoods. His acknowledgement of reading my statement will confirm that any repeats are simply malicious. I expect that to continue, it’s the numpty way he operates. This post puts this on public record.

Blog vultures

In the previous post Left versus lefter Martyn Bradbury proves to be the champ of chumps but one barb against Lynn Prentice does have some (partial) merit.

Blah blah Lynn – you are a Labour Party middle class stooge from the old school. 60 years olds using ‘dickhead’ as vernacular is embarrassing.

I’m not 60 and I know Lynn is younger than me so that part is nonsense (although he does come across as a cranky old bugger).

But Prentice is an old school Labour activist floundering in the 21st century, as he demonstartes in a response to me at The Standard.

I said “perhaps left wing blogs will stop their bloody mindedness, stop attacking anyone deemed to not fit some narrow ideal, and stop infighting (as per today) and support the recovery instead of scrapping over who gets to dig deeper holes.”

Prentice responded.

It’d be nice. However there is the usual problem. We could “turn the other cheek” to left blogs, right blogs, blogs that think they are in the ‘centre’, politicians, media or whoever. However experience tends to show that when we do that all it does is simply encourage idiots to attack more.

Confronting crap is an important part of political debate.

They usually go off to create stupid myths that consist largely of people telling each other that they have heard for someone else. It then causes considerable extra work explaining to thick buggers who can’t think (umm a face comes to mind) that regardless what they’d heard, it didn’t happen.

These days I’ll ignore some of it, do a few warning shots. If people don’t take the warnings then I will go into problem fixing mode. That consists of wading in when the tactical position is suitable, ripping their entails out and spreading them on the ground for the vultures.

He thinks that’s what he does. And he has a very loose leash on his resident vultures at The Standard. It might have been effective in public bar political arguments last century but when printed in permanent public record in new century social media it looks at best big dickish.

If it happens again, then I will simply escalate how badly I eviscerate. If it gets too irritating repetitive then I figure out a debilitating meme to cover them with to see if I can increase the risk of peritonitis. It isn’t pretty, but it is usually highly effective eventually at preventing people trying to climb somewhere on our sites carcass.

But it isn’t effective. Prentice doesn’t seem to have comprehended the sating about repeating the same old mistakes.

However the reflex is almost entirely reactive. If people stop attacking stupidly then I will usually stop ripping into them (unless I start thinking that they are a real danger).

I do find it pretty damn irritating when fools start trying to claim silly crap like blogs screwing them up because they’d prefer to believe it rather than looking at real problems. Like what in the hell are their MSM liasons and politicians doing? Having a single “senior MP” playing silly games is a hundredfold more damaging. Chris Carter for instance.

Blogs may have a major impact on general public opinion. They sometimes do if they manage to get the MSM interested – because you’re trying to affect millions of people. That was the success of the dirty politics resonance chamber until Hager nobbled it.

Despite the grand dreams of Cameron Slater in particular blogs rarely have a major impact on general public opiniion. The vast majority of people don’t know that Whale Oil or The Standard exist let alone carfe about there attempts at influencing opinion.

And as Slater has discovered if they repeat the nasty bastard approach it is more likely to turn opiniion against them. They might have small wins but eventually the shit catches up with them.

But where blogs have an effect is inside the political parties and chattering classes. The reason for that is obvious. There are only a few 10’s of thousands there. In the case of political parties, when politicians start working at cross-purposes with their party members that starts showing up in the public sphere pretty damn fast these days.

When blogs keep working at cross purposes to decent debate it contributes to making their associated parties look like dirty rabble.

If a politician can’t convince their own members that a course of action is the way to go, then I suspect that they will fail badly with the public as well. David Shearer being a particularly good case in point. perhaps he should have read the blogs?

The most vociferous participants on blogs like The Standard and Kiwiblog (comment at Whale Oil has been neutered and is now a tame chorus) are not a good target for parties to impress. Many of them are the unsatisfiable idealists and extremists.

Reading The Standard will give a neutral observer little idea about Labour Party thinking and behaviour is likke. It is likely to do little other than deter an imvolvement in poltical debate or with Labour. Most people don’t want to walk into an abusive uninviting environment.

So the blog becomes little more than a poor advertisement for it’s associated party, discouraging decent debate and contributing to widespread disillusionment with politics.

And Prentice and his entrailing and wailing is one of the biggest culprits, one of the left’s worst enemies of progressing and rebuilding in the 21st century. Which is a shame because The Standard could be far more effective if it encouraged far less vitriol.

Ditto Kiwiblog and National, except that David Farrar has a hands off approach and isn’t a recidivist arsehole.

Political blogs could contribute a lot to the political discourse in New Zealand. Unfortunately when some olf the biggest are controlled by the likes of Slater, Prentice and Bradbury the prospects don’t look great.

It’s their own entrails that they are spreading out, and their own vultures picking over the bones.

Maybe there simply isn’t the market for positive political blogs.

Which would be a pity because the voting public are fed up with dirty politics and dirty blogging.

It baffles me why Prentice things that being a blowhard arsehole will achieve anything positive.

“Capitulated to the mongrel bastards”

In Ugly reactions at Kiwiblog I linked to contentious Charlie Hebdo cartoons but chose not to show the cartoons myself because I don’t like offensively provocative satire and I don’t fully understand the French context.

The right to choose what one publishes is at least as important as the right to free speech and freedom of the press.

But a comment at Kiwiblog sees things differently. IGM:

DPF: I must endorse Fletch, it is good to see you have intestinal fortitude, unlike Pete George, who has capitulated to the mongrel bastards.

I think that’s a mongrel bastard accusation IGM.  Your attitude and intolerance is as bad in it’s own way as that of the terrorists. All you lack is their physical violence.

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