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

Blog violence

David Farrar has posted about violent suggestions made by blog commenter Stuart Munro in They’re getting more deranged as the election gets closer. Stuart made a comment at left leaning blog The Pundit:

Labour’s problems are readily solved – you black-bag Armstrong and Gower and beat the everliving crap out them. You beat them so badly that doubt is expressed that they will ever walk again, and so that they tremble whenever they see a political discussion.

I’ve seen Stuart commenting on a number of blogs including The Standard and The Daily Blog and have encountered him occasionally. He can be aggressive and abusive.

But it’s a curious choice for a post by DPF. Threats of violence and defence of and tacit support for violent behaviour is not uncommon across social media. Including Kiwiblog, as was soon pointed out. SW commented:

Do you read your own blog commentators DPF?

Why are you highlighting one comment from this idiot from 2011?

Why is your headline ‘they’ – are you implying this is a reflection of people with views contrary to yourself? Again, do you read the comments left here from people of your political persuasion?

Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 19

That wasn’t popular, and neither was mikemikemike:

And how many right wing commentators and blog audience members have wished that Hone was in his office when it was shot it?

You have a crack at the left using the term Nazi, yet you have done this. You lament the left’s apparent lust for actual blood, yet the right are as bad if not worse. There are examples almost daily, I can’t wait for the election to be over so I can read something intelligent again.

Spare us the lecture about being decent, you and your ilk are as bad as the other side, if not worse because you defend/justify your comments.

Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 5 Thumb down 28

‘Scrubone’ countered:

I think it’s a valid point that bad behaviour should be condemned more often. Sometimes it’s good to stop and look around and consider if there hasn’t been a degradation in standards that has happened so gradually no one has noticed.

However, your “the left is better” comment would hold a lot more water if there was anything on that thread, other than someone wondering at the lack of condemnation. I’ve noted more than once that a few years ago I was looking at hundreds of blogs looking for NZ ones, and the ones who were all f$$k this and f$$k that were invariably left-wing – the violent rhetoric stood out long before the political bent could be detected.

Vote: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

That’s ironic, as I pointed out.

Examples from yesterday’s General Debate (on Kiwiblog):

No bloody use putting shots through the doorway if the targets absent!

Gota practice JB…next time use something bigger like a Parker Hale 270

starboard -I hope they pepper it with 50 cal holes. The local bros’ are unhappy he is teaming with a fat white Kraut.

Where as Dime has received the prestigious “Kiwiblog MVP” award on 3 occasions, you are a worthless cunt :) now go see if your 23 yr old bull dyke boss needs you to do some filing or something

id break the pricks neck with my bare hands if the courts said it was ok.

not much makes me angrier than violence against women & children. they can fuck off with their rape culture bullshit cause i know most blokes think like me.

If you confront these sorts of comments you’re likely to get abused and lied about. I’ve encountered Stuart a few times and he’s been no worse than some here.

Vote: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 5

And while proving the point swung opinion it predictably resulted in defence plus attacks and misrepresentations. Dime took exception to being quoted,

urgh. i’m sure you don’t hang out with actual men. just neutered wimps like yourself.

you suffer from the inability to tell when someone is talking shit, shooting the shit and being deadly serious. you lack the social skills it would seem.

i note you left the smiley face off johnboys quote. kinda changes the context dont ya think?

I asked “How does a smiley face change the context? Talking about shooting someone is ok if you joke about it?”

i cant help you.

Scrubone – do you think a smiley face signals they arent 100% serious or are taking the piss? cause i do. most normal people do.

Joking about and normalising violence is a part of the problem, as is blindness to it being a part of the problem. And it is a common occurrence on Kiwiblog. And obviously still sup;ported as the reaction to Judith’s comment shows.

Yes they are just as bad as anyone, including the right and especially the people on this blog who day after day use violence within their rhetoric, and yet now, here you are, getting all high and mighty (and acting just like the left) saying that a smiley face makes it different, in some way.

How about if someone smiles when they pull the trigger, does that make it better than someone who is frowning, does that mean they should get a lesser sentence, because it was ‘just a joke’ and ‘rather funny’?

The fact is that violent rhetoric etc contributes to the violence in our society because it assists in normalising it. Yes, its all a big joke, until someone takes it that step further, and then, its not quite so funny anymore.

Violence is not alright in any form. Whether it is a joke, a comment or an act. We are meant to be civilised and have control over our actions – and yet, we continue to support violence, because its ‘funny’ (providing its against someone you don’t like).

Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 9

Not just the thumb count – this was immediately followed by scrubone:

In reply to Judith.

A culture of violence is still thriving on Kiwiblog, which includes the disparaging of people trying to confront it.

I also saw tweets noting the irony of the Kiwiblog post considering the violent and abusive culture that persists there.

What do Conservatives stand for?

Supporters of the Conservative Party frequently comment at Kiwiblog, often defending Colin Craig and his party, and often attacking anyone deemed critical. They even jump on attempts to just discuss the Conservative Party.

Yesterday on General Debate I posted:

The Conservative Party slogan is “Stand for Something”. Stand for what?

A genuine question for Conservative supporters – what do you thing the New Zealand Conservative Party stands for?

That comment was voted 13 down, 8 up. Simply asking questions about the Conservatives is seen as negative.

An early response from ‘Harriett’:

What National USED to stand for!

No details with that.

There was ensuing discussion through the day but with little addressing of the question. I’ve skipped the attacks on Conservatives and looked for comments in support or defence plus reasonable criticism.

‘Colville’ said:

I quite like this bit of policy from the Conservatives.

The return to a single voter roll in New Zealand.
• There needs to be an end to the division of the voter roll on the basis of race. As this is a change to the way the people are represented we believe a binding referendum should be held to ratify this proposal.

‘Changeiscoming’ add to this:

Colville – Winston has the same position but he has had years to do something about it and he hasn’t. He is just talk and bluster.

‘Paulus’:

Why are so many people here viciously against Colin Craig ?
What are they so afraid of ?
Colin Craig is not a queer, but is a married family orientated male. We know that this frowned upon today thanks to the social engineering of Helen Clark. Not what she wants for New Zealand. Must be female, homosexual, party and union members, public service employees, and TV entertainers, and never had to work for a living, but have been brought up on the public purse
The media are equally simplistic but that is par for the course.

Nigel Kearney:

The Conservative’s opposition to foreign investment makes them impossible for reasonable people to vote for. Not because it’s a bad policy, though it is an awful one. The problem is that it reveals their socialist mindset.

If a foreign investor buys assets and takes the resulting profits offshore, we haven’t lost anything because we have the money they used to buy the asset and can use that to create more wealth, in addition to the benefit of any jobs and taxes from the asset they now own.

We don’t want a party in Parliament that can’t understand basic economics and puts wealth redistribution ahead of wealth creation. There’s too much risk of them turning into another NZ First.

‘Manolo’ is a regular attacker of anything directed aty Conservatives and posted a typical diversionary diss:

Q: What do you think UnitedFuture stands for?
A: The highest bidder.

He claims to have no involvement with Conservatives but is a frequent defender or counter-attacker.

Judith:

I am against Colin Craig and afraid that his whacky sense of politics will harm this country should he get the ability to influence any decisions.

That is not based on him being weird, we are all weird in our own little way because each of us is unique – but because he doesn’t know what the hell he is talking about.

For example, his criticism of the two referendums on smacking and assets sales. To make it clear I was against asset sales, but in favour of the antismacking legislation, but think it needs to be clearly defined, as at present it is not.

Colin Craig however critiques Key and the government for not listening to the two referendums on these issues and states he would alter the laws to suite them.

Both those referendums were poorly worded and poorly constructed, including questionable processes. John Key was perfectly right in rejecting and refusing to accept either of them.

And that is the difference. John Key probably doesn’t know the first thing about a well worded referendum but is astute enough to take advice, listen to it, and not be influenced by emotion. Colin Craig on the other hand is influenced by emotion, and prepared to act on a poorly worded documents, to change legislation. The implications of that sort of inefficiency, if he was allowed to influence our politics could be tremendous. I’m sure he’s a lovely man – but lovely men tend not to make good politicians.

Most critical comments were significantly down voted, with an exception from Chthoniid:

I’m not against Craig. I don’t intend voting for him (and as a voter in ECB I have that option)- but if he runs a successful electoral campaign to win 5% of the vote, or a seat, then good on him. He can be in Parliament.

What I object to is an inept campaign of petty manipulation, to try to get a free run at the ECB seat. I object to the assumption I’d vote for him when he’s made no effort to earn that vote. And if the Nats give in to that strategy, then that lack of principle will cost them my vote. I survived 9 years of Helengrad. I can survive 3 years of an squabbling, paralysed coalition of the left.

‘dirty harry’:

“I am against Colin Craig and afraid that his whacky sense of politics will harm this country should he get the ability to influence any decisions.”

What about the racist maori party ? You would rather them than Colin Craig saddle up next to the Nats? The racist party has done more harm than good to NZ. The brown mafia is alive and well in NZ. We need to biff the brown party in favour of the Conservatives. Colin will bring us back over to the right where the Nats should be. Thats the biggest mistake Key has made..taking the Nats to the centre left..absolute disaster.

Colin will sort it. Go Colin. All power to you.

Manolo supported this with “Well said, dirty harry.”

Redbaiter made a number of comments starting with:

Clintonoid- “I’m not against Craig.”

Bullshit.

Like so many others who flock to this forum you identify yourself by your obsessive atheism and your hatred and intolerance of anyone who dares to be a Christian or advocate for Christianity.

Craig is proud to be Christian and that means he’ll never get your vote, no matter how he campaigns or what policies he promotes.

Be honest about it you horrible bigot. You’ll white ant Craig as much as you can because of you’re obsession with atheism.

‘mikenmild’:

Colin Craig’s principles are a strange mish-mash of left wing conservatism (much like NZ First), mixed up with a bit of Maori bashing and some god nuttery.

I’m expecting Colin Craig to attract some support from the fringe, but not enough to threaten the threshold or win an electorate. People considering voting for the conservatives should really consider NZ First instead, they have very similar policies and are much more likely to be actually in Parliament after the election.

Redbaiter responded:

You’re not getting the issue. NZF have been there for decades and are part of the system that has gradually lead us into totaliarian socialism. Yes, if you want to tell the current bunch of pollies that you’re happy with the socialist status quo then of course, vote for one of the regular parties.

However if you want to give the traditional parties and politicians a kick in the arse, you vote Conservative.

60,000 votes last election. That’s more than parties who have seats in parliament. They’ll get more this time.

Again- Saying CP party supporters should rather vote NZF is just missing the whole point.

He posted a several more times with a similar theme of ‘give the traditional parties and politicians a kick in the arse’ without promoting any positives for the Conservatives.

You’ve seen Flipper’s comments here. Other Nat supporters comments. You see they won’t fight the left. Many others see their lack of fight. Their groveling to what they call the middle, really an illusion manufactured by the left and their media propagandists.

Other people not similarly afflicted by this cowardice see the need to break out of this condition and they see the newcomer Craig as the most effective way (and possibly the only way) of telling the Nats they’ve had enough of their capitulation and the current progressive political condition of NZ.

He is anti-everything currently in politics and media and thinks/hopes Colin Craig will start his revolution.

Scott Chris:

The fact that National haven’t ruled a deal out makes it seem likely that if the poll numbers are close come election time then McCully will quietly step aside. Still might back-fire with a big no vote rebellion but I expect enough National voters will be willing to hold their collective noses and vote pragmatically.

In which case Colin Craig will have become John Key’s bitch.

It’s unknown how Craig might negotiate in politics, he claims to have made no attempt to talk to National so far.

Also from Scott Chris, referring to Redbaiter’s Conservative support:

And with the likes of Dirty Harriet, igm, kowtow, imp, D4j and dime also throwing their lot in with the Cons gives you an idea of the calibre of person Craig appeals to.

If you add Manolo to that list you get a collection who think National is a traitor to the right, who are anti-Maori and pro-Christian/anti-atheist. Types who supported the Tea Party and Sarah Palin simply because they thought they would drag politics to the far right in the US.

It is difficult to get any idea of what supporters think the Conservative Party stands for, they just see a glimmer of hope that Craig will be anti what they don’t like.

While Kiwiblog participants won’t represent the whole support base for the Conservatives they are significant in the social media fight for Craig.

If Conservatives make it into Parliament and are in a position to negotiate concessions it’s unknown what they will demand and hold out for. Whatever they might manage it will most likely be a disappointment to the hard righties. Colin Craig may pander to their social frustrations and prejudices but he seems far from right wing on economic policy.

But Craig’s vague policy positions allow the politically disaffected to imagine what he might achieve for them.

Conservatives should “bloody well earn” votes

David Farrar continues a soft approach to whether National should or shouldn’t help Colin Craig in East Coast Bays – see Craig making it easy for National to say no deal.

A commenter at Kiwiblog is far more forthright, albeit from more of an ACT perspective.

This really boils my blood.

I was part of the Epsom campaign in 2005 (as were hundreds of others, and expertly run and managed by John Boscawen) that Rodney Hide won. We worked bloody hard for every vote.

The National Party were writing to their supporters telling them to vote for Richard Worth. We had to convince the public that Rodney was the best candidate, and by voting for Rodney you not only got him and a few other Act MPs (which would help National), but you also got Richard Worth. We had to sell that message week after week, day after day.

I knocked on so many doors my knuckles practically bled. Act worked bloody hard that year to survive; and a week out from polling day the Herald ran an article saying we couldn’t win and it was all over. There were so many things against Act in 2005, yet we earned every bloody vote we got. As we should have.

Fast forward to now. Craig has suggested he could win Rodney, Pakuranga, Epsom, Upper Harbour and North Shore. But he decides to stand in ECB. Then he says he doesn’t want a deal, but National could give him if they choose. Then he says he can’t win without one (in other words “I need one, help”!)

Votes are earned at elections. They are not given away. His party needs to campaign like nothing before and bloody well earn them.

It’s that simple. David Seymour (Act) has been knocking on doors and campaigning in Epsom for four months . It’s time for Craig to do the hard yards as well instead on bleating and moaning in the media like a hungry cat.

Kiwiblog has a small vocal number of keen Conservative supporters but they seem to have as much practical knowledge of political reality as Craig.

And there’s a much bigger number at Kiwiblog who would b every unhappy if Craig was given an easy ride by National.

Hide was widely admired for how he won Epsom through hard work and perseverance despite the odds and media coverage stacked against him.

So far Craig has paid much but earned little in political credit.

Finny on Fletcher

Charles Finny has responded to  Kiwiblog post  The Campbell Live Dotcom conspiracy episode with this comment:

Thank you for writing this piece David. The programme really got my blood boiling last night.

I am surprised that this multi-year research project did not throw up some other useful facts.

How about the fact that Ian Fletcher had signalled his willingness to return to NZ somewhat before the GCSB role came up. I think that you will find that he was interested in replacing Simon Murdoch as MFAT CEO and that he did rather well in that selection process. In the end John Allen came through, but the facts that Ian Fletcher was interested in a return, and that he was an obviously very strong candidate for a senior leadership role in the NZ public service were very much front of mind for people like Murdoch, Wevers, the State Services Commissioner, and externally focused Ministers. That he was thought of when GCSB came up is no surprise. It seemed totally logical. No conspiracy here whatsoever.

I am sure the fact that he had held a Top Secret security clearance in NZ and the UK for many years would have been helpful. That he had done a series of high profile jobs well in the UK, EU and Australia would likewise have been a factor.

The impression I had at the time was that a number of senior public servants were delighted that someone as good as Ian could be attracted back. The view seemed to be – let’s try him at GCSB and see where his career might lead.

I see nothing sinister in the GCSB Director being from a non-military background. GCSB began life as part of the military establishment, but the role has changed substantially. A non-military Director is all part of the growing up process. Ian’s background is perfect for the first non-military Director. He began professional life working with Foreign Affairs, serving one offshore posting. He then moved to DTI in the UK where he did a number of roles, most of which were external in focus. He was seconded into the EU’s DG Trade and again there did a core trade policy job. His background is perfect. There is no conspiracy.

Yes, Ian’s brother (who I also worked with for a few years in Wellington at DTI) was at school with John Key, and yes, John may have met Ian a few times as a result – both as a school kid, and adult. But so what?

Contrasting reactions to Campbell Live on GCSB

Last night Campbell Live re-ran an examination of John Key, the GCSB, US intelligence, Ian Fletcher. More revelations were claimed.

Key’s meeting with GCSB boss revealed

On December 16, 2011, the GCSB began its illegal surveillance of Kim Dotcom.

Neither the Prime Minister, nor the incoming GCSB head Ian Fletcher, were told about it.

But tonight Campbell Live can reveal that Mr Fletcher had taken leave from his job in Queensland, Australia, to be in Wellington that week, and that he and the Prime Minister met the GCSB that same week.

Mr Key and Mr Fletcher had a secret meeting that has never previously been revealed, despite all the requests for details of when the pair had met during the year of Mr Fletcher’s somewhat controversial appointment to the job.

Reaction on Twitter was very mixed (mostly along partisan lines) but the impression I got is that much of what was shown was a repeat of what had already been aired, with the addition of a little more information. Not a smoking gun, and a lot of coincidental meetings and events rather than solid evidence.

Blog reaction was also very mixed, also along partisan lines in both posts and comments.

Martyn Bradbury at The Daily Blog: Campbell Live Review: Extraordinary new GCSB revelations

What’s the difference between John Key and a Predator Drone? Trick question, there is no difference, both are controlled by Washington. Last nights astonishing revelations on Campbell Live prove how true that joke really is.

This country owe John Campbell and the Campbell Live team a standing ovation for the courage they have shown in pursuing this story. This is true journalism at its finest, not the National Party broadcast that is Seven Sharp. John and Campbell Live are revealing the true story of Power that John Key is desperate to hide.

There was once a time NZ would stand as one in disgust at this spineless subservience to America, we need to remind ourselves that we are not Obama’s South Pacific golf caddy and need that reminder this election.

Karol at The Standard: Campbell Live: Fletcher, Key, Clapper et al

Campbell Live is in the middle of showing a special on the GCSB. It is presenting information never before made public. It includes the US head of intelligence coming to NZ just before Key set up Ian Fletcher for the head of GCSB job.

Campbell is showing has shown how there was a major shift going on in NZ and 5 Eyes’ approach to intelligence.

3 News obviously think it’s pretty important.

Commenters thought it was pretty important too.

In contrast David Farrar at Kiwiblog: The Campbell Live Dotcom conspiracy episode

You have to all go and watch Campbell Live tonight and try and stop laughing.

It’s classic conspiracy theory stuff. You especially have to like the spooky sinister music they played. They say they’ve been working on the story for three years. Seriously? They even make it sounds sinister that a civilian instead of military was made GCSB Head and an outsider was made MFAT Head. Yes Allan and Fletcher were both plants by John Key, so that they could all conspire with the US to spy on Kim Dotcom!!

Also part of the conspiracy is that Fletcher had worked for the UK Government (also in Five Eyes) in the Intellectual Property Office (which ties in to Dotcom!).

This is the funniest episode ever. Please please watch it, so you can laugh.

Comments are more open and varied than the Daily Blog and Standard which have more restrictive moderation.

Campbell Live’s timeline:

March 8th 2011 – Jerry Mateparae is stepped down as head of the GCSB.

March 15th 2011 – Top NSA spook, James Clapper, flies to NZ to meet with Key to discuss ‘synchronicity’ between the NSA and GCSB.

June 17th 2011 – Key meets with Ian Fletcher for breakfast at Stamford Plaza.

July 22nd 2011 – Key is invited to Washington as pay back for this new ‘synchronicity’.

July 26th 2011 – Key side steps normal protocols and appoints his old school friend Ian Fletcher to take over at the GCSB.

December 8th 2011 – A letter states that Key is going to meet Ian Fletcher on 12th December

December 12th 2011 – Key meets with Ian Fletcher.

December 14th 2011 – The Police boss responsible for spying on Dotcom meets John Key with other intelligence agencies present.

December 16th 2011 – Kim Dotcom starts to be illegally spied upon.

January 2012 – Raid on Kim Dotcom.

UPDATE: A more measured post from Russell Brown at Public Address: Circumstance and coincidence

…certainly, the report was principally a re-stating of previously-aired facts. But its new claims were not immaterial.

It also seems unusual that the Prime Minister, the minister responsible for the GCSB, would not even have known who Dotcom was until January 19, the day before the raid on the Dotcom mansion. But no one can prove otherwise. There is only circumstance and coincidence.

There are misleading statements, unfortunate failures of memory, and the fact that almost everything we know about the whole mess has had to be dug out by journalists. Campbell Live may turn out to have grossly over-reached, as its critics insist. But there seems every reason to keep digging.

The desperation of political sockpuppets

Political bloggers push stories, they speculate, they try to score hits against their opponents. Some of them make things up – they lie.

Naitional linked blogs Whale Oil and Kiwiblog are major players.

Yesterday David Farrar posted Are Labour planning smear campaign on Shane Jones?

This is very unusual. Whale blogs about a poll being done, presumably on behalf of Labour, asking if people’s view of Shane Jones was:

  • Shane Jones delivered amusing one liners but his political career was accident prone and did not amount to much. The most attention he got was for using his parliamentary credit card to pay for pornographic movies.
  • Shane Jones was one of the few politicians who tells it like it is and with his attacks on Countdown has been the most effective Labour politician this year. He will be a huge loss to Labour especially amongst Maori and blue collar voters.

If the polling was being done for a media client, then the question would be sensible – it would be for a story on the impact of Shane Jones. But presumably the poll is on behalf of Labour (as was being done by their normal polling company) and the question is why would you poll on Shane Jones…

It’s easy to make the presumptions made here. UMR is Labour’s usual polling company and it’s a Labour related poll question. but it seems very unlikely it was Labour, as pointed out in UMR poll on Jones not Labour.

Farrar did some research, possibly taking Russell Brown’s word for it but he may also have checked through polling company contacts (he is a pollster and runs polling company Curia). He appended his post.

UPDATE: I’m told from a very reliable source that in this case Labour is not responsible for this question. So it will be fascinating to discover who is, if it ever comes out.

Later in the day Farrar put up another post at Kiwiblog – Is this photoshopped? This showed a photo of David Cunliffe at a rally at Parliament. While the photo did look unnatural the implication that Cunliffe had not actually been at the rally was lame. Farrar again updated:

UPDATE: Have had confirmed that was at the rally. So the image may be touched up, but is genuine.

This isn’t unusual. It’s common for bloggers to float ideas without full details or evidence, often to initiate discussion and try to flush out more information – sort of crowd-sourced story development.

Farrar can be provocative and devious – note his masthead statement: “DPF’s Kiwiblog – fomenting happy mischief since 2003″.  He is also relatively open about his interests in About Kiwiblog which includes disclosure statement is here.

He sometimes oversteps, notably with an attempted hit job on Winston Peters just before the 2011 election. But as he said on Facebook yesterday “Umm, everyone knows my viewpoint”. If they don’t know they can easily find out.

Later yesterday Farrar and Whale Oil’s Cameron Slater were blasted by their main opposition in the blogosphere, The Standard. The iron fist behind The Standard, lprent (Lyn Prentice) posted The desperation of the National’s sockpuppets.

National Party pollster David Farrar must be seeing some numbers he really doesn’t like because he is claiming that David Cunliffe photoshopped himself into a rally that he was really at! Yeah right – a doyen of the local net governing body failed to use google before making a complete dick of himself on the net. I expect we will see a lot more of National’s paid for bloggers acting like fools heading into this election because National only being good at putting us heavily into debt (again!) rather limits the good news they can write.

There are a number of ironies in Prentice’s post and comments. Desperation comes to mind, as does sockpuppet. Pot/kettle stuff. In the thread Prentice says…

As you might have picked up, I am pretty pissed off about the lying that showed up today at the sewer. It is stupid, shallow, and something that needs quashing as a political technique.

However I am pretty sure that it is simple to make up such mischief. Farrar will make quite a good target between now and the election. With a bit of luck we can see if he appreciates the attention enough to donate me some discovery time.

Threats of a blogger war, one way at least. In the post…

This looks like another odd attempt to smear a man that the Nats are clearly worried about. It looks David Farrar finally realised how much of a dickhead he looks as he goes from this incorrect assertion (ie a lie) with a touch of plausible deniability.

Irony keywords: smear, worried, dickhead, incorrect assertion.

And on to a series of justification about why he David Farrar really is not just a petty dipshit putting out this kind of nonsense and never bothering to check it. I guess he is trying to remember the glory days when he was the single big voice in the local blogs and could lie like this for his paymasters with relative impunity.

He pushes the paymaster/sockpuppet theme strongly.

But even weirder (as usual) is the under-employed Cameron Slater, a blogger with no visible means of support and with lots of friends in the Prime Minsters office, posting creepy, paparazzi style pictures of David Cunliffe eating his lunch at parliament.

This picture was prominent on The Standard yesterday:

The question one has to ask is from whom did the bloated moron get this photo from? John Key our Minister for Photo-ops or his personal blogmeister Jason Ede perhaps?

And accusations of the Prime Minister’s office being involved in it all.  More pot/kettle.

The previous day The Standard ran a Q&A for David Cunliffe. When someone said “@ Lynn – thanks for organising this” he responded:

I didn’t. The request came from Cunliffe’s staff. They did most of the work.

I just went to work early so I could go home early to moderate.

And Prentice often brags, like yesterday:

I’d also point out that I spent several decades in volunteer work working for and with Helen Clark across 7 elections (whilst usually in disagreement with her) so I have a fairly good idea what is required for the task.

But you only find out about things like this if you see them in the comments. The Standard has very vague and misleading disclosures. From ‘About’:

We write here in our personal capacities and the opinions that are expressed on the blog are individual unless expressly stated otherwise (see the policy). We do not write on behalf of any organization.

The Standard doesn’t disclose it’s own connections and it protects it’s authors’ anonymity – Prentice says they are not anonymous because he knows their identity, but most of the authors’ identities are either not publicly disclosed or are vigorously protected. Attempts to speculate on identities is discouraged with threats of bans – threats and bans are the standard way of discouraging questioning anything to do with authors.

Apart from Prentice who are the authors? They state:

Why don’t you say who you are?

Some of the authors here use their real names, but others choose to blog anonymously for a variety of reasons. Some of us have professional reasons for doing so, others of us are reluctant to expose ourselves to the kind of personal threats sometimes made online.

While there is no formal disclosure some details about authors have dribbled out over time.

Mike Smith is Prentice’s co-trustee of The Standard. Until recently he worked in David Shearer’s leader’s office.

mickysavage (Greg Presland) is closely associated with David Cunliffe via his New Lynn electorate committee and recently became known as the lawyer behind Cunliffe’s secret donations trust.

Ben Clark stood for Labour last election and is the brother of MP David Clark.

Stephanie Rodgers is “a member of the Ohariu LEC and campaign team I’m obviously very biased, but Ginny is a fabulous candidate and a wonderful person.”

Geoff has started to post and you can get an idea of where he’s coming from in Judith vs John and Moving Collins On.

Bunji is relatively mild but does his bit for the team. See John Key challenged!

Zetetic is unlikely to have been used by Trevor Mallard as some have alleged but has  fairly obvious intent. See Cabinet Club.

The ‘Eddie’ handle seems to be in remission at the moment but had strong hints of various internal hands.

Karol is currently the odd one out claiming to be a Green supporter.

James Henderson seems to have retired from The Standard but had close Green connections (which may have turned red again).

And the author messages are not to be messed with. Criticising authors is severely frowned on, proving them wrong usually invites wrath commonly leads to being banned.

Prentice illustrates this in his latest thread.

[lprent: That may be your opinion - and I'd say that it is impossible to tell. Go and raise your pet lies, assertions and conspiracies on your own post on your own blog or comment in Open Mike. Don't do it on mine, they really are just a diversion troll.

My post is almost entirely about David Farrar and Cameron Slater being a complete dickheads stalking Cunliffe with silly picture posts. ]

‘Diversion troll’ is Lyn-speak for questioning his bull and bluster.

But the post isn’t about the image it is about Farrar and the bloated moron being dickhead stalkers. So this is your warning. Try Open Mike for conspiracy theories.. or return to the banned… ]

Lyn is the only one who can refer to images apparently.

[lprent: I didn't say that you did. I said that David Farrar did? Is this a sockpuppet? But you didn't heed my warnings about what I the author considered this post to be about. Do not repeat the offense for which you got warned - banned 2 months. That is one fast way to de-amnesty yourself. ]

Lyn-speak translated means that if you say something they don’t want said you will be banned.

[deleted]

[lprent: Banned 4 weeks. ]

That one may have been fair enough.

As the most widely-read and influential leftwing blog in New Zealand, The Standard is a great platform to get yourself heard.

Only if you toe the line and are accepted as one of the comrades.

But there has been a significant change of tone at The Standard over the last few weeks. The resident trolls are protected from this sort of moderation for obvious reasons, anyone deemed a threat to Labour can be freely attacked, abused and harassed.

Some trolls are specialists at trying to initiate bans on people they decide are not welcome. They frequently make things up (lie). And the end game is for Prentice to use an excuse to ban them.

When Prentice posts about sockpuppets and desperation wry and black comedy (inadvertent) come to mind. There’s plenty of same old, but it seems to be deteriorating into sad farce. Debate on the left is dire.

The abuse will continue until the disillusioned absentee voters return to Labour. /wry

On ACT’s 3 strikes for burglars policy

ACT leader Jamie Whyte has announced more detail on his party’s three strikes for burglars policy. NZ Herald reports Jail burglars after third offence, says Act.

More than 2000 families will have returned home from the Easter break to find they had been burgled, and Act says it is the only New Zealand political party offering a serious solution.

Party leader Jamie Whyte yesterday outlined a three-strikes policy, under which burglars will spend at least three years in prison if convicted of the crime a third time.

Fewer than 2 per cent of burglaries resulted in a term of imprisonment last year, Dr Whyte said, and the Act policy would change this.

“Burglary is a problem that requires strong political leadership. Act is the only party with a policy that can significantly reduce this blight on our society.”

There’s been a wide range of opinions expressed at Kiwiblog in ACT proposes three strikes for burglaries including ‘FE Smith’ with a warning for ACT.

It is sad that a right wing libertarian party has to adopt the policies of the most authoritarian UK government in 100 years, and a Labour one at that, in order to be relevant.

I seem to remember that ACT was doing its best in the polls when it concentrated on economic issues, which is why I have generally supported it.

The Herald summarises ACT’s three strikes:

• Offenders will be sentenced to three years in prison without parole if convicted of a third burglary offence.

• Juvenile offenders will not have their convictions treated as strikes unless they are convicted of a further offence in adulthood.

• The third-strike penalty may be overruled by a judge who believed there to be extreme hardship in sentencing the offender to three years in prison.

PaulL covers the main policy points at Kiwiblog and makes some comments:

Gee, there’s a lot of people talking crap on here today. Luckily some nuggets in there, which include:

  1. The policy only applies to those over 18 on getting their third strike
  2. The policy as proposed is retrospective. That’s a bad idea, and needs to be changed, we don’t want some political parties getting the idea that we agree with retrospective law changes
  3. The policy as proposed can catch someone for three offences all in one go, rather than needing a warning, then a repeat, then a warning, then a repeat. That’s probably also a bad idea and needs changing.
  4. A policy like this is no use without also increasing the clearance rates for burglary investigations. Is it a case of increasing police resourcing, or do they actually know who did most of the crimes and don’t have time/inclination/laws to deal with it? I seem to recall some suggestion that 80% of property crimes are committed by a very small group of people (the ones this law would hopefully lock up)
  5. We also need some attempt to address some of the prompters of crime. That is to say, many people commit crimes to feed their (illegal) drug habit or due to mental health issues. – so both decriminalise drugs, and provide better treatment options for drug and mental health issues.

That would be a reasonable and comprehensive policy. Where’s Jamie Whyte on that?

One comment was that “Three years in jail equals about $270,000″ – would that sort of money be best to go towards more and longer sentences, or towards prevention, apprehension and conviction under the current laws?

ACT links:

Lawyer Graeme Edgeler has added:

I don’t agree that the policy is retrospective.

The law change being proposed is that those with the prior convictions for burglary must receive a sentence with a non-parole period of at least 3 years. The burglary for which this is imposed must be a burglary committed after the law enters into force.

There is no retrospectivity in this proposal.

Not saying I support it, and you could argue everyone should get at a formal warning, like the three strikes for violent offending regime, but it’s not retrospective.

‘SPC’ on Labour’s predicament

Another response to Kiwi in America’s essay on Labour’s failings, SPC has posted at both Kiwiblog and The Standard.

FACT 1 – The Rogernomics era had no mandate from the party. It nearly destroyed Labour.

FACT 2 – It took till 1999-2002 and a Labour government that delivered on its manifesto to restore trust between caucus and party member – this lead to the end of any need for “New Labour”.

FACT 3 – However this alone was and is insufficient for restoration. The Labour Party is not yet over what Rogernomics did to it (but then nor is New Zealand).

To have a party based on democratic, and meritocratic, selection involves trust that candidates will remain loyal to the party and its manifesto. This was something completely breached in the 1980′s. So between 1987 and 2011, selection was based on a party faction patronage – this of course meant it was somewhat insulated from inclusive participation by the general public.

The Labour Party was so abused by its caucus in the 1980′s that only the recent party reforms, the retirement of the last of the 1980′s era personnel and the decline of the party factions of recent decades will enable renewal.

Too much focus on the people involved just obscures the circumstance in which they operated.

However

FACT 4 – Being expert in managing factions gave Clark an advantage in MMP.

The irony however is in that with a majority in caucus being of the ABC persuasion, when he was the choice of the wider party, we have continuance of the caucus and party divide that began their problems 30 years ago. And for the same reason, those dominant in caucus “knew better” (about policy or who should be leader).

FACT 5 – Cunliffe will only get confidence from his caucus if the membership of it changes or he wins an election.

FACT 6 – Labour Leaders are now required to retain the trust of their party, and thus the idea that a caucus leader can lead the party in new directions without first getting a mandate is now buried. The party can no longer be hijacked by turning its leader or finance spokesperson – a message to Treasury, whether in domestic and international aspect, as much as to the caucus.

Whether this makes for a more left wing party is harder to say. The party activist is less likely to want caucus to compromise for centrist votes, yet a more open party means more internal diversity and a broader base membership.

 

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 212 other followers