PG attacks a Standard response

I raised a minor issue yesterday about an attack on Patrick Gower at The Standard.

Gower was quoted tweeting about Laila Harre quitting the leadership of the Internet Party but this was turned into an attack on Gower by also quoting two diversionary tweets directed at Gower rather than the news he reported. See End of the Internet Party?

I made a minor point about the author of the post not using his own ID but posting under ‘Notices and Features’. Anthony Robins later admitted it was him, but he then turned that into an attack on me.

I put up this post Pete. Does it matter? Your obsession with The Standard is unhealthy, and frankly creepy.

An odd over-reaction to being called on something. But that seems to be the normal approach, here are more reactions from The Standars welcoming committee.

lprent:

I guess your conservative spite blinded you into not reading the post.

Draco T Bastard:

You trolling already PG?

weka:

I see the trole is back then.

‘Troll’ is Standard vernacular for ‘I don’t want you posting comments here’. ‘Trole’ is a spelling variant to try and bypass auto-moderation.

Tracey:

It is all about pete. Isnt it?!?

It was obviously about something else, and some managed to discuss some aspects of what it was about.

Glen Jacobs (not a regular Standardista):

When and why did Pete George get his ban lifted?

Whilst I find his pathetic ways somewhat entertaining, I hope whoever was behind the amnesty does realise he’s just going to fuck the forum again

lprent responded as moderator:

[lprent: He doesn’t have one at present. They are generally time limited. His last one expired quite a while ago.

PG tends to ban himself to the great delight of most readers. I guess it helps with his usual senile victim routine as he routinely lies about why he got banned. But I believe he has recently been getting banned from other sites recently. So he is back to get his jollies here. ]

I’ve challenged him a number of times on his repeated claims that I lie about being banned from The Standard. And I’ve proven him wrong. And when facts are put to him he disappears.

weka:

“I don’t believe I lie about bans”

lolz at the senility of that statement.

Shall we start a book on how long it takes for Pete to either get a ban, or self-ban? His comments seem to be mostly about criticising ts, so I’m guessing he either goes quickly, or he’s trying out a new strategy for how long he can do this and stay just under the bannable level of offense.

felix (the king of the Standard jungle):

We all know how it ends.

Can’t someone just ban him in advance and be done with the stupid prick?

I responded to felix and weka:

I’ve no idea what ” just under the bannable level of offense” is weka. But I do know that when the usual suspects start to swarm it raises the prospects.

Thanks. And to you too felix. We know how it’s done, don’t we.

felix:

Yes we do. It starts with you raising stupid irrelevant points that no-one gives a fuck about (“omfg someone reposted a tweet”),

then you blow it out out of all proportion (have you written an OUTRAGED STANDARD DISGRACE post on your website about it yet?),

then you use this pretend issue to shoehorn your big issue (“why doesn’t the world take more notice of Pete George?”) into every thread on this site until one after another everyone here gets sick of you and, in one way or another tells you to fuck off,

and then you have a tanty because the web isn’t recognising your god-given right to post whatever you want on every site you stumble across as if you owned it,

and eventually a mod decides they’ve had enough of your passive-aggressive bullshit and bans you for something that, on its own, probably doesn’t rate as much of an offense without the context of the months of trooling that led to it,

and then you fuck off back to your site to write a martyrdom post that no-one except Lynn will ever read and spend the next three weeks reposting it at kiwiblog and whaleoil and having a big cry about the unfairness of it all.

Yes Pete, we know exactly how it works. And we know it’s going to work exactly the same this time too. Seriously, it would save everyone so much trouble if you just fucked off and started working on your martyrdom post now.

That’s a normal sort of manoeuvring from felix. He’s long practiced at trying to engineer bans for anyone he decides should not comment at The Standard. I responded:

You’re as funny as ever felix.

Wouldn’t the logical approach to comments or commenters “that no-one gives a fuck about” be to ignore them? /rhetorical

felix:

Yes Pete, the logical approach to things no-one gives a fuck about is to ignore them.

Your approach, however, is to take those things that no-one gives a fuck about, and mix them in a blender with your dog-shit of a personality, and spray the resulting filth all over this site,

and you’ll be doing it all day, every day, until someone bans you,

because that’s how it works.

My reply:

I don’t intend to comment here anywhere near all day every day. I have a lot of other things I usually prefer to do, unlike you it seems, destined it seems to grump it out here trying to chase anyone away you don’t approve of.

felix:

“I don’t intend to comment here anywhere near all day every day.”

No-one intends that you do. But that hasn’t stopped you yet.

Why don’t you comment on whaleoil instead? Cameron’s getting desperate for attention, he could do with the page views.

Tracey:

And the thread has deteriorated to be about pg, not the topic of the post.

ITS ALL ABOUT PETE

Tracey:

You mean the title of the thread wasnt

What is pete george thinking about today?

Stephanie Rodgers

have you written an OUTRAGED STANDARD DISGRACE post on your website about it yet?

Spoiler alert: he totally did, complete with pearl-clutching about the ~misuse~ of the “notices and features” handle.

Clemgeopin:

Oh, dear George! Did he now? What a witnit!

felix:

Oh gawd. Is he banned from ontheleft?

Stephanie Rodgers

Strangely enough he hasn’t graced many of our threads with his comments after the first few times I told him to stay on topic and cut the passive-aggressive BS.

I haven’t seen anything of interest to comment on there. Funny Stephanie talking about aggressiveness. She aggressively attacks people who stray off what she wants the topic to be confined to.

Tracey:

And the thread has deteriorated to be about pg, not the topic of the post.

ITS ALL ABOUT PETE

And when its not

ITS ALL ABOUT JOSIE

They don’t take kindly to Josie Pagani being critical of them either.

Such is the Standard of debate. And one of the next steps is for them to claim I am taking over threads and should be banned for it.

I don’t care if I’m banned again. It won’t stop me from criticising them when I see fit, and it won’t stop attacking me.

But this time it switched the bash wagon from one PG to another.

Bad language on blogs

Much has been made of a clamp down on bad language being behind the clampdown on comments and commenters at Whale Oil. In his announcement of Travis qutiting Whale Oil yesterday Pete Belt later conceded he over emphasised it. He initially said:

There has been a shift in culture, where we’ve changed a bunch of foul mouthed blokey commenters for (what they see) a knitting circle.

It all comes down to the ability for people to swear in the comments, and old commenters that could not change being resentful that they’ve lost “the only place on the Internet” where they felt at home.

Many pointed out that the issues were far wider and deeper than “the ability for people to swear” so later Pete conceded:

Travis has alluded to it – I deliberately oversimplified things. It isn’t just about swearing.

I’m puzzled by the over-emphasis on swearing.It seems to have been a simplistic approach that ignores a much bigger problem – abuse.

Note: I infrequently swear on blogs but was banned from WO for, apparently, using the phrase ‘man crap’. The word crap is used so obviously allowed on NZ Herald and Stuff online.

Attitudes to swearing have changed markedly in my lifetime. When i grew up swearing at school was severely punished and you just didn’t swear in front of adults. Print media, radio, movies and TV were very particular about what language must be excluded. That has relaxed a bit in print media and radio, and substantially in movies and in TV programs where nearly anything goes at times. It reflects real life.

Younger people in particular swear far more openly than they would have last century.

While I don’t swear much I usually don’t have a problem when people swear, I’m now used to it being common, including on blogs.

I don’t recall much if any criticism of Whale Oil for the swearing. There was a far bigger problem with personal attacks, regardless of whether swearing was involved. Non swear words are commonly used to viciously attack people.

One of Cameron Slater’s biggest moments of infamy was not for swearing – he was quoted without censorship for language in the Greymouth Star:

Blogger puts the boot in

Provocative right-wing internet blogger Cameron Slater was today standing by a headline that described Greymouth car crash victim Judd Hall as “feral”.

Mr Hall, a 26-year-old from Runanga, died when a car in which he was a backseat passenger left the road and crashed into a house about 11 o’clock on Friday night.

At 7.21am on Saturday, Mr Slater’s Whale Oil blog site carried a brief story on the crash under the heading, ‘Feral dies in Greymouth, did world a favour’.

When contacted by the Greymouth Star today, Mr Slater accepted that he did not know Mr Hall or his family, but justified the “feral” description by saying: “It is Greymouth, isn’t it? Didn’t Helen Clark say that you are all feral?”

He said anybody travelling at 140kph in a car in a 50kph area was ‘feral’, whether on the West Coast or in south Auckland.

He did not regret the headline and would not be apologising for it.

Mr Hall wasn’t even responsible for the crash. Many may consider calling the driver a fucking idiot far more appropriate than the language Slater used.

Excessive swearing can detract from blogs, as it can detract from conversations, depending on the context and the company you are in.

But I think are worse than swearing on blogs are abuse, personal attacks, harassment and stalking.  And message control censorship.

Whale Oil didn’t have a bad reputation for swearing, it had a bad reputation for attacking people, sometimes viciously. Slater led by example.

The Standard has a bad reputation for one sided abuse and attacks, protected and even promoted by the site moderation, with lprent leading the way.

Kiwiblog doesn’t have a bad reputation for swearing, it has a bad reputation for personal attacks. David Farrar isn’t criticised for his occasional swearing, he’s criticised for allowing too much free speech – and his recent moderation improvements have clamped down on abuse, not swearing.

There’s probably more annoyance expressed and complaints on blogs about bad grammar than swearing. I saw someone complaining yesterday about mixing brought with bought. For some people the misuse of apostrophe’s seems to be a major offence (and I deliberately misused one there).

So what’s more important on blogs, having swearing police or grammar police?

I’d prefer that people were allowed to freely express their opinions and feelings, as long as it’s not done to attack and abuse.

I’d prefer less religious or Bain argument on Kiwiblog than less swearing.

I’d prefer an even playing field on The Standard to less swearing.

I’d prefer less silent censorship on The Daily Blog than less swearing.

I’d prefer more honesty on Whale Oil than using swearing as an excuse to ban people to sanitise and propagandise  the comments.

Each blog to their own. Cameron got around his own swearing ban yesterday by using an acronym – FIFO. That means fit in or fuck off. I don’t think it’s the swear word that is cringe in that, it’s the intent. If you’re careful not to speak contrary to the Whale Oil authors or sponsors and you’re lucky not to strike Pete Belt on a bad day (which seem to be frequent) then you can keep commenting there.

Fuck, I’d rather promote free and robust (with respect) expression than be mob controlled with crap like that.

The most damaging language in society and on blogs is not swear words. Bad language isn’t controlled by using banned word filters.

I’d prefer no censorship and more relaxed language dictates – and as I have my own blog I’m free to have that.

Pernicious dirty politics

Dirty politics as practised by Cameron Slater and associates was highlighted by Nicky Hager’s book “Dirty Politics”, to those who didn’t already know.

Slater is an attention seeker who can be brash and nasty, and is often boastful about it. But that’s just the headline making side of dirty politics.

Dirty politics is also practiced at a pernicious level across social media, via Twitter, Facebook and on political blogs.

Petty personal attacks can be more prevalent than sensible and reasonable discussion. Solo and mob attacks aiming to annoy, discredit and shut people up away are common.

Such is the nature of a lot of the active politics in New Zealand – dirty politics niggling away day after day.

And many of those decrying Slater level dirty politics are as much a part of the problem. Complaints about the major dirt are easily dismissed and ignored when those doing the accusing are no better.

A series of examples occurred yestedray in an exchange I had with Lyn Prentice, the setter of standards a The Standard. Like Slater he also boasts about how nasty he is – here is one recent example:

One person’s troll is another persons clear thinker.

There is a pretty clear definition on this site about what a troll is. It is someone that the *moderators* consider is disrupting the flow of robust debate according to the policy.

At least he’s sort honest about trolls at The Standard – they are people the moderators don’t like or disagree with.

The retribution for making the moderators have to work too hard tends to be balanced but mildly irritated. That of the sysop (me) is purely a matter of luck but could easily be (and frequently is) described as being excessive. That is because I’m a grouchy 3 decade veteran of the net and I enjoy being nasty and highly educational. Basically I’m a BOFH.

“Balanced” is questionable.

“Highly educational” is Lynspeak for “be careful what you say or I’ll abuse and ban you”.

“Grouchy” is accurate and “I enjoy being nasty” appears to be accurate but I can’t be sure how much he actually enjoys being nasty.

Another boast along with a warning.

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.

The reason for being like that (apart from some natural inclinations towards all of those traits) is because it makes people very wary about raising the ogre. Those who are aware of that role tend to stay well away from the behavioural edges unless they really really mean it and have a good argument that I might accept.

In other words he uses his power at The Standard to impose “behaviour” – people who aren’t part of his protected mob comment under constant threat of being abused and banned, both of which happen regularly.

In yesterday’s exchange Prentice – in this case it was here so his ban power was absent – happened to bring up the topic of Hager’s “Dirty Politics”:

Most of the “Dirty Politics” was about that. Knowing you, I suspect you haven’t bothered to read the book.

It has become a common practice to try and deny someone’s right to have an opinion on “Dirty Politics” by saying they haven’t read the book.

I responded” You don’t know me well at all, as your claims and insinuations about me show. I bought the book as soon as it was available (I actually pre-ordered a copy) and it’s open right beside me now, on page 13.”

In retrospect not surprisingly that opened up two lines of petty attack. From Prentice:

So you are saying that you haven’t read it? It has been what – 3 months. You’re still on page 13?

Well I did say that you didn’t appear to have read the book.

And framu was as petty at The Standard:

loved this from “old whiney” (pete george)

in reply to iprents musings on wether PG had even read dirty politics

“I bought the book as soon as it was available (I actually pre-ordered a copy) and it’s open right beside me now, on page 13.”

so it nov and PGs only made it to pg13?

I think it’s the sort of book that many people would not read cover to cover. In any case I happened to be have been researching something and was interested in what Hager had claimed in his preface (which was at odds with claims he made elsewhere).

I’m a bit bemused that they would even think of an attack line like that. And there was more, from several of the Standard regulars following on from framu:

ropata:rorsach

PG is a strange bird, trying to be relevant with his boring brand of concern tr0lling and self-martyrdom. Annoying but ultimately a waste of time engaging with the silly old bugger.

Tracey:

how do you pre order it when no one knew it was becoming available?

Murray Rawshark

You retrospectively preorder it, otherwise known as lying.

Nit picking, nitwitting, which framu carried over with a comment here:

pete – ive considered the possible responses that i could spend days engaged in pointless circular debate with you

but i will just ask this – how the did you pre-order a book that no one knew was being released before hand? Your a liar and a very boring one at that

Your also a stalker

I posted a response at The Standard:

I suspected it was becoming available when Hager launched it in Wellington and media covered the launch (late in the day). First thing the next morning I rang a local bookshop and they said they were waiting for delivery, so I ordered one.

They rang and advised when stock arrived later in the day so I went and picked my ordered book up.

It’s odd that something so trivial and straightforward as that results in accusations of lying.

This is stupidly trivial attack lines, but it’s a very common feature of political blogs.

And framu repeated his claim of me being a stalker at The Standard

hes back stalking this thread – and reposting that which does not met his approval

oddly though – he chose my rather timid one liner to repost, but not anything more problematic for him to discuss (which is ood – PG can discuss anything for weeks)

the guys a stalker

How is reading a blog that is open to anyone in the world to read, with comments about me, stalking? It’s as if they want to be abusive and petty without being called on their dirt.

While they abuse and attack under Prentice’s protection at The Standard there has always been a sense of frustration there when their dirty tactics are exposed elsewhere. Of course they are free to respond here, but they seem to have a problem with debate on an even playing field.

Slater operates at the extremes of dirty politics, but many more in our social media contribute to a pile of political sludge.

The drip drip drip of dirty politics is more toxic and corrosive to our democracy than Slater’s occasional outbursts – and if Slater were to retire from blogging most of the dirtiness would remain, ingrained. That’s a sad reality of our politics in social media.

To some degree a very poor example is set at the top of our political chain, in Parliament.

But this cannot be adequately addressed when the top of the blogging chains keep flushing decency down the dunny.

Holding to account doesn’t work when in ways the complainants are just as bad.

This post may be on a petty level but the accumulated effect is a pernicious part of dirty politics.

Slater vows to continue doing what he does, nasty and all. Prentice also doesn’t look like backing off from his nasty boasts.

If Hager had taken a balanced look at dirty politics throughout our democracy he might have deserved praise. His one sided attack makes “Dirty Politics” look like another example of dirty politics. If he succeeds in shutting Slater up he won’t have solved the problem.

He may have highlighted Slater’s excesses but he has also added weight to self-righteousness on the left, and done nothing to address their blindness to their own nasty flaws.

Dirty politics operates at many levels, from dirty deeds done by the few to the pernicious dirtiness of the many.

Left troll good, right troll bad

In contrast to Kiwiblog’s tentative steps to clamp down on abusive behaviour The Standard continues to hand out bans almost left, right and centre – the left of the left continue to abuse with impunity while unwelcome contributors are excluded with bans, often accompanied by a tone setting abusive lecture from Lyn Prentice.

Here are examples of abuse and bans on a single thread at The Standard yesterday.

Hard left regulars can be abusive and make unsupported assertions while relatively innocuous responses can cop a harsh ban:

infused

cry me a river.

Another regular abuser makes an unproven assertion – “Prime Minsiter’s Office stealing”…

One Anonymous Bloke6.

Prime Minsiter’s Office stealing NZLP membership data and credit card details. Perpetrators admitted emails boasting of the crime are genuine. Prime Minister’s Office confessing crime to NZLP.

Open and shut case: a theft from the opposition by the government.

Your position: to cheer and wave a little Quisling flag.

  • Del Griffith

    I’m not sure why you saw fit to say I was waving a Quisling flag when I asked a genuine question. I don’t think people should be able to hack into other peoples computers and write books based on the stuff they find in there and profit from it.

    [lprent: That is an assertion that is defamatory, not supported by any facts, and recklessly puts this site into danger. Plus you look like a simple troll with your brains in a tiny deformed dick that you obsessively pump as you comment. Banned permanently. Don't come back ]

..and a relatively reasonable response cops a permanent ban, plus some typical abuse from the ‘moderator’. Yeah, his blog etc etc but he sets the tone and gives favoured lefties a free shot at anyone and typically if the target reacts he bans them.

It can’t be defamatory when it is a general comment and not directed at anyone in particular.

framu 

“He published stolen emails.”

ok – real slowly now – everyone clap along so infused can keep track

He published stolen emails. – AS…. A…. JOURNALIST. – not as an MP sneaking about someones computer system or as a hate blogger

Granted 

Oh, so are journalists entitled to steal emails?

[lprent: Asserting a crime that never happened - which is defamatory. Banned for simple trolling and simply being too stupid to be bothered with as well. ]

Being “too stupid” is Lynspeak for making the wrong arguments so the excising of unwelcome opinions continues although in this case it’s unclear how long the ban is.

Naki man

“they raid journalists over the tea cup tapes…

what is your definition of a journalist?’

This so called journalists hid a microphone at the table,
the smart arse little prick should have lost his job.

[lprent: You mean hidden like this?

See that wee bag in the foreground – that is it being “hidden”

Take 2 weeks off for bullshitting just a tad too much. If you want to make myths up, then do them on your own time. Stop wasting mine looking up an image for you. ]

A response to the ‘Infused’ ban:

greywarbler

Infused is hardly a worthy RW commenter is he. Just a twisted, sneering little twerp. If we want anyone to argue with, we actually can do that amongst ourselves without providing him with his perverse pleasure.

[lprent: I came to that conclusion after reading a series of his comments today. He needed time to refresh himself away from this site. So I gave him that time. ]

One Anonymous Bloke and Weka both abuse with impunity and both have been involved in actions aimed at driving away or prompting bans of commenters they don’t like.

On just the one thread One Anonymous Bloke continues a string of abusive comments and highly questionable claims with no moderator demands to provide evidence.

  • PS: Oh look everyone: a National Party representative advocating that the Police use powers of search and seizure to punish witnesses.
    No wonder the National Party are trash with that attitude.
  • Didn’t take you long to expose your true character, did it, Wormtongue.
  • Keep denying reality, you already look like a complete idiot.
  • They’ll be raiding Slater and the Prime Minister’s Office to ascertain exactly who in that office hacked the New Zealand Labour Party’s computers, stealing membership and credit card details, any day now.
    Unless they’re enemies of society, operating under double standards, that is.
  • So Slater is either a thief or a perjurer, just to bring you up to speed.
  • Are you witless as well as ignorant? You’ve already been informed of the Police complaint.
    We need better wingnuts.
  • Please try and get up to speed Mike: Slater gave evidence in the High Court that the emails are genuine. In the emails he boasts about stealing credit card and membership details from the NZLP with as-yet un-named accomplices from the Prime Minister’s Office.
  • Please stop exposing your cretinous ignorance in public. You’re a joke.
  • It seems to you, and no-one else. Evidence that the Prime Minsiter’s Office has admitted to be true: they stole from the NZLP, doesn’t seem to concern you.
    That’s because you’re either mendacious or ignorant or twisted by bias. Which is it?
  • No murder has taken place. The theft, on the other hand, has already been acknowledged by the perpetrators, although the Prime Minister’s Office (which has also acknowledged its part in the crime) is harbouring one of the accused.

That’s a common tone day after day. One Anonymous Bloke has an undisclosed connection with Labour (lprent discloses a long time connection) and this image is quite damaging to the Labour Party.

It’s also quite ironic on a blog with frequent claims that ‘dirty politics’ only comes from National.

It’s not about reasonable or balanced discussion, it’s about ‘fun’:

Once Was Tim 

Back to Hobbitville – the trolls there are just funny rather than frustrating me with their UTTER stupidity despite lprent’s valiant efforts.

[lprent: I don't try to eliminate them. I just try to keep the rabbits down to an acceptable level. Why would I spoil the fun. ]

Another regular from the left gets far more lenient treatment for making a far more blatant assertion, this accusation against a Labour MP and leadership contender:

Colonial Viper

Grant has solid left wing values, and stood up for the membership’s right to be heard and involved in that process, while still being a respectful chair and a loyal deputy leader.

I’m sure that is the case. However, a large number of notable MPs voted against the inclusive, democratic leadership selection process that the NZLP now uses. Grant Robertson was one of them.

[lprent: Offhand I can't think of anyway to prove this one way or another unless you were watching him in the 2012 conference. There are no records of the hand or card votes there down to branches or people. If you want to assert that, then you should also say how you know otherwise I will satrt getting finicky. KL below is completely correct in their objection. ]

If someone deemed from the right (which means moderate left to right) made an assertion like that (or probably if it was a similar claim against Cunliffe) proof would be demanded to avoid a ban. This accusation was strongly refuted…

  • Keir Leslie

    That is a bare faced lie. Robertson voted for, organised for, fought for, helped win us the inclusive, democratic process we use now.

    I don’t know how or if he voted on Cunliffe’s divisive and self-interested attempt to make it easier to roll a leader chosen by that inclusive and democratic process by giving a minority in caucus the ability to depose them. That was a different fight, and one the membership at conference was pretty closely divided on.

    But Robertson was a staunch driver of the party democratisation process, while making sure that the leader of the party wasn’t undermined.

  • Roztoz

    I was next to GR at that vote. He voted for democratisation.

    And that was only after a year of pushing the changes through caucus and keeping NZ Council and caucus talking on it.

…but no action was taken despite two witness accounts.

And on another recent thread an ominous response that hints that moderator mood could play a part in behaviour.

  • Don’t the Nat$i party supporters wish fisi !, why are they so afraid of DC?(why are you going so RED prime mincer?)

    [lprent: sigh, still auto-spamming. I will be back later so will look then if I am sober enough.. ]

Political blogs like The Standard and Whale Oil (which also bans prolifically) continue to do a disservice to political discussion. They seem to be vehicles for the egos of bloggers and little consideration is given to bettering democratic debate. That’s their choice.

Kiwiblog has it’s problems but at least the discussions are not politically biased by bans of unwanted opinions.

At The Standard it’s very much left troll good, right troll bad.

The term “troll” refers to someone who deliberately incites or disrupts a social media discussion but it is more often used as a pejorative meaning little more than “I don’t want you or your opinion here”.

On blogs irony is very common, rationality far less so. Noting that Kiwiblog and Whale Oil seem to carry significantly larger audiences than The Standard and acknowledging that Prentice likes to have the last word (often enforced with a ban) I’ll end with this “more rational” comment:

Many blogs won’t carry much of an audience because of what people write. The arseholes of the net will choose to hang off the self-destructive like Slater or dive into the older sewer at Kiwiblog. The more rational will come here or to Public Address or Transport Blog where the conversations may be robust but their comments can be heard.

Labour try to moderate members’ and blog behaviour

The Labour Party are trying to improve the behaviour of MPs and party members for the upcoming leadership contest. A letter has been emailed to members, and at least one blog has been requested to remove a post (which The Standard complied with).

Claire Trevett at NZ Herald reports that a letter has been sent to Labour Party members in Labour member told to keep behaviour in check:

Labour’s President Moira Coatsworth has sent an email to all Labour Party members telling them to keep their behaviour in check during the upcoming leadership contest.

The party’s rules are require members and leadership candidates to abide by a code of conduct – and Ms Coatsworth was clearly keen to emphasise the importance of that.

“Robust exchanges about the merits of any candidate for leadership need to be based on performance and attributes which are relevant to their ability to be the Labour Leader. Members (including candidates for leadership) should not directly or indirectly refer to a candidate for leadership in a way which is denigrating or disrespectful.

“Members should be cautious to ensure that any statements they make are factually accurate and fair. They should ensure that any public comment on the candidates, the Party and the leadership election system uphold the status of the Party and its chances of election to Government, and do not bring it into disrepute.”

Mr Barnett said earlier today that the aim was to run a fair and democratic process and it was not unusual to try to stop damage by over zealous supporters when the candidates themselves were bound by a Code of Conduct.

Labour’s acting leader David Parker said he had given a similar message to the MPs.

The letter was posted by party member Phil Quinn.

Mr Quin took exception to the instructions, labelling them as “a sinister Orwellian gambit designed to restrict speech.” He wrote back to Ms Coatsworth asking who was charged with ruling on breaches of the rules and what the consequences were.

I agree with the principles of behaviour detailed by Coatsworth but you would think that telling people what they should or shouldn’t do in social media would be red rag to a bull.

Not so at The Standard where a post that was highly critical of Clayton Cosgrove has been removed at the request of Labour’s General Secretary Tim Barnett.

lprent: At the request of Tim Barnett, Labour’s returning officer, the Karen Price/Clayton Cosgrove post has been withdrawn during the primary.

lprent elaborates in a comment:

In a most unusual step, I had Tim Barnett, Labours general secretary, request that I remove the Clayton Cosgrove post.
Rather than make this leadership issue more corrosive than it already is and because I am sometimes moderately cooperative to polite requests. I have removed it from public view. It will be restored back to being visible after the election is completed.

This is unusual from someone who usually claims to be strongly independent of Labour MPs or party management (despite being a long time active party member).

How much will the party try to control what can be said in social media? And what will they do to members who don’t comply with their requests?

The Standard post:

Cosgrove, the whining MP

Written By:  - Date published:8:56 am, October 2nd, 2014 - 103 comments
Categories: blogs, Politics - Tags: 

In case anyone had missed it amongst the nasty and vicious level of attacks on David Cunliffe, Karen Price has been on twitter having a go at the people attacking her husband. As Brian Edwards put it in “Shock! Horror! Wife defends husband!!!!”

I suspect that she’d rather not be the wife of a politician. But the wife of a politician she is and he happens to be the newly resigned Leader of the Opposition and his party and much of the country has turned its face against him. And much of what is being said about Karen Price’s husband really isn’t very nice. Tough call!

Well, her method of attacking those who were attacking her husband might not have been well-advised and might have been lacking in Machiavellian subtlety, but you really have to admire it. “Good on you, Karen!” I say. “Well done!” “No apology required.” Those people are assholes anyway.

Amongst the various bits of media debris was this gem from an old fossil Clayton Cosgrove, Labour list MP talking about Karen Price :-

Mr Cosgrove said Mr Cunliffe must have known about his wife’s account.

“Let me put it this way. If my partner set up a Twitter account to attack members of the caucus I would know about it.”

Mr Cunliffe rejected this claim.

But I’d have to say that Clayton Cosgrove is an old fossil quite unsuited for the modern world. All his statement above does is that it makes me wonder what frigging century he is in and why is he so damn certain?

And  I’m not surprised that David Cunliffe wasn’t aware.

If my partner Lyn was twittering or facebooking about me then I am probably the least likely to know. She has her own life, her own career, and her own interests. She wouldn’t appreciate me trying to pry into them too much. I’m not trying to keep her in some weird arse kiwi version of purdah. Mostly I just like it if she keeps me apprised on when she is going to be bugging off to film on remote polynesian islands, on the border between India and China, Shanghai, and other interesting places without good internet connections.

Conversely of course Lyn really isn’t that interested in the minutiae of local politics and my daily grind at The Standard, she usually groans a bit when I start talking about it.

Plus she is more engaged with that side of the social nets than I am and I don’t have time to follow either my own twitter or facebook feed more than sporadically.

This is similar to his comment about blogs.

Mr Cosgrove said Labour MPs had been very loyal to their former leader, yet had repeatedly found themselves attacked on blogs and other places online.

Now I make allowances for our average technophobic MPs who don’t understand the cultures of the net that have grown up over the last 3 decades. But this whining by Cosgrove has several bits of outright bullshit.

Firstly, I’ve been aware of some of his habits of whining and leaking to the press for many years whenever he is unhappy. He really hasn’t changed his pattern. It  is the same old one that I recognize from observing Mike Moore many years ago of “senior Labour MP(s)” and “senior Labour figures” blabbing to the press. Now there are probably other MPs with the same traits, but his statements to someone reading it from the inside are pretty distinctive to lex. He is after all an old fossil stuck in old habits.

Secondly, dissatisfied caucus MPs haven’t been particularly silent in their unhappiness with having the party members imposing David Cunliffe on them. The leaking and whining has been less in the past few months, but it has persisted throughout this year and last. Comments from various people around Wellington suggest to me that he was in the core of the attacks on Cunliffe both before and after his accession to the leadership. It sounds right to me and certainly fits his pattern. That is just my opinion, but I am pretty sure that it is  correct.

Thirdly, the left bloggers don’t have that much interest in being directed by politicians, in fact we tend get irritated when some whining fool suggests it. Sure some of us are loyal to various politicians for reasons of long association, but that particular bias is usually quite evident and well signalled. We’re not interested in doing that daft backdoor creeping of semi-anonymous attribution to gallery journos that Clayton Cosgrove seems to specialise in.

Finally, I suspect that Clayton is feeling a bit stung by some of my comments after the election when he started his destabilisation campaign post election. But I merely said what I thought. Clayton can suck it up and live with it.

Welcome to the modern world of publishing. Having privileged access to the press gallery with its incestuous world of traded favours is less useful than it used to be. The cost of running a major political site is about $300/mo and a lot of skill. The people publishing there are as good as their credibility in their chosen audience.

That I have enough credibility to say such opinions and have them believed is the result of hard work over the past 7 years. It isn’t the result of being a Slater style sockpuppet for people who pay for or request opinions. That isn’t real blogging.

That post went up at 8.56 am and the last comment was made at 3.01 pm. Maybe Clayton did more than just suck it up, and lprent blinked.

The last paragraph in lprent’s post is particularly ironic.

How far are Labour going requesting withdrawal of online posts or comments? How balanced will compliance be?

UPDATE: Labour’s full email:

“The agreed principles of our leadership election process are:

democratic integrity and certainty;
transparency and fairness;
membership participation; and
Party growth.
If the process is to deliver this, it must be conducted in a spirit of respect and with the realisation that many from outside the Party are watching the process. This applies across mainstream and social media, our husting meetings, other Party meetings and the informal networks which we all have. The greater our discipline the stronger our foundation will be to unite behind the leader who is selected.

New Zealand Council last night agreed the following expectations for Party members.

Robust exchanges about the merits of any candidate for leadership need to be based on performance and attributes which are relevant to their ability to be the Labour Leader.

Members (including candidates for leadership) should not directly or indirectly refer to a candidate for leadership in a way which is denigrating or disrespectful.

Members should be cautious to ensure that any statements they make are factually accurate and fair. They should ensure that any public comment on the candidates, the Party and the leadership election system uphold the status of the Party and its chances of election to Government, and do not bring it into disrepute.
I ask all members to comply with these expectations throughout the process.

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.

Is The Standard “a mouthpiece for Labour”?

Lynn Prentice keeps adamantly denying that his Standard blog is a mouthpiece for Labour. Technically he’s probably correct – but there’s no doubt many mouths of Labour are active at The Standard.

The denials of being very Labour are bizarre. It’s not like Peter three times denying Jesus on one day. It’s more like the twelve disciples denying Jesus throughout the writing of the New Testament.

In a radio interview yesterday Prentice was at best blatantly misleading – see Lynn Prentice on radio on The Standard.

Here’s a list of most of the current and recent Standard authors.

lprent (Lynn Prentice) – Standard trustee, editor, sysop, author  and chief moderator (banner of unwelcome opinions). Prentice is a long time Labour Party member, has often mentioned how much he helped Helen Clark in her Mt Albert electorate, attends Labour conferences but has pledged to vote Green this election. No disclosure on The Standard but this of the “brilliant blogger” is still at The Daily Blog.

lprent (also known as Lynn Prentice) is an ancient geek who fell out of management in the 90′s after getting irritated with accountants and doing an MBA and back into programming. During the process he became involved in real world politics as a reluctant socialist. He hasn’t really emerged from those twin obsessions since.

Lynn Prentice is Editor of The Standard, the largest left wing blog in NZ. Lynn is a brilliant blogger and resides in the high ranking Jedi Knight category. He likes Don McGlashan, a facebook page called Whaleoil Sucks and the Ponsonby Fish and Chips shop.

Currently he programs anti-collision devices in c++, linux, Qt, and touch screens. Since he also acts as the sysop of multi-author blog The Standard, that large left-wing nest of vipers that plague the NZ politicians of all hues. He finds the same predictive algorithms useful in educating the trolls who waste his time. Occasionally he finds time to write the odd blog post on whatever interests him.

Mike Smith – Standard trustee (since 2010) and current author. Retired as “the long standing party secretary of the Labour party in 2009″. Worked as an adviser in David Shearer’s leader’s office up until last year.

mickysavage (Greg Presland) – current author.  Former chair of David Cunliffe’s New Lynn electorate committee and presumably still on the committee. He was the lawyer who set up Cunliffe’s secret trust during the Labour leadership campaign last year.

Bunji - current author and active Labour Party member.

I’m a Labour party member – as I’ve mentioned that - and from my topics, that I’m based in Auckland. That’s further confirmed by the fact that I’ve blogged about Labour conferences in Auckland – which might cause an accurate assumption that I’m actively involved in my local Labour Electorate Committee.

Stephanie Rodgers – current author (also blogs elsewhere). On the Labour campaign team in Ohariu. Communications officer at EPMU.

Stephanie Rodgers is a communicator who lives in Wellington with her partner and two guinea pigs.  One of them was once the Dominion Post’s Pet of the Day (the guinea pigs, not her partner).  She is a communications officer at the EPMU and member of the Labour Party, but blogs in a personal capacity in her own time.  Opinions are her own.

UPDATE: Stephanie was grumpy at me because she has a disclosure statement – but it is on her own blog, not at The Standard. Some of her posts have a link to her blog ‘Boots Theory’ and if find a hidden menu with ‘About’ on it (the black square on the left) she has a different disclosure:

Disclosure statement

All opinions expressed on this blog are my personal views.

I work as a communications officer at the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union.  I am a member of the Labour Party and have previously worked for Labour’s team in Parliament as a lowly receptionist.  Nothing on this blog should be construed as a statement made on behalf of any of these organisations.

Stephanie has been a lowly staffer working for Labour in Parliament but that was before she began as an author at The Standard (which was in February this year, she was working at EPMU last year).

karol – current author (since 2012). Strongly promotes Greens. Previously used the pseudonym ‘carol’. A recent ‘Disclaimer’:

Disclaimer:  My primary political allegiance is to the Left. I am not now, nor ever have been, a member of a political party.  I don’t speak for any party.  I have party voted Green in recent elections, and intend to do so again this election.  I will give my electorate vote to Carmel Sepuloni.

James Henderson – author April 2010 until December 2013. Closely associated with Greens. There have been rumours he was Clint Smith who had authored under the pseudonym ‘Steve Piersen‘ until March 2009 when he went to work in Parliament for Labour.  Smith switched to Greens as media and political adviser (of “Hey Clint’ fame), and then in April this year switched back to work for Labour.

Rocky (previously as Rochelle Rees until 2009) – past author, has just started posting again (last posts before this week were in 2012). Prentice’s niece. Political and animal rights activist. Prentice blogged in 2008:

My niece Rochelle Rees has uncovered some unsavory practices operated by element of the NZ Police directed at peaceful protest groups.

You can read them either by buying the paper, or by these links to articles from Nicky Hager.
Police anti-terror squad spies on protest groups
Who the police were spying on
The activist who turned police informer
How Gilchrist was found out:

Twenty-two-year-old Rochelle Rees got involved in politics as a schoolgirl, determined to do something about issues such as cruelty in battery hen farms.

Since then she has handed out leaflets, been arrested for locking herself to a shop selling clothing made with animal fur from China and made the news during this year’s election campaign for a cheeky “Google bomb” calling John Key “clueless”.

Ben Clark – occasional author.  Labour Party member. Brother of Labour MP David Clark. Stood for Labour in North Shore in 2011 and was 69 on the party list. Not on the 2014 list.

Irish Bill - past author (last post September 2013). Earlier in 2013 Prentice denied – “Labour party member”.In the words of a Tui ad – “Yeah right!” but IrishBill corrected him:

We’re a loose collective at TS. I’ve a policy of keeping myself to myself outside of what I write there but would like to correct a couple of things here. I am a Labour party member (and have been on and off for a long long time) and my call for joining up certainly wasn’t tongue in cheek – having seen what happens when the broader left walks away from the party I’m very keen to see as many lefties as possible sign up now – it’s more important for us to be in the party now than it has been since the dark days of the 80s.

Eddie - author until January this year. Seems to have been strongly connected to one of Labour’s factions – see a post from March last year Labour’s three factions. Many rumours since way back about the identity, notably that it is a pseudonym that has been used by a number of Labour insiders or staffers, both male and female. The name Jennie Michie keeps coming up back a few years. Always denied. From Dim Post in 2009:

It’s rumoured that Eddie, the author of the rumour is a senior Labour comms advisor so if there’s a story to be found here I think it’s that Labour are begging the gallery to start smearing cabinet Ministers.

UPDATE: Eddie and IrishBill from The Standard refute the rumour that Eddie is a comms advisor with the Labour Party.

Comments:

“Eddie is not a comms adviser. You need to quote her job title 100% correct then ask her and Irish to deny it again. That is the game they play.”

“Does anybody actually believe Rob and Jennie when they keep denying who they are via their nom de blogs? Ridiculous.
“Senior EPMU staff member and labour staffer spend all day trying to smear and build mountains from molehills. Quelle surprise.”

“So Eddie aka Jenny Michie senior Labour comms wallah and IrishBill aka Rob Egan, Communications Advisor of the EPMU are getting their nickers in a twist over being outed ? Why don’t they just come out of the closet, it really would be much easier for them in the long run.”

An article on blogging in 2009 got a response from ‘Eddie’ plus a counter claim.

Eddie: Sandra. Sorry that we didn’t get back to you on your email about us commenting for this article. Clinton used to handle the public stuff and he tells me he got your email when he was pulling out of the whole blog scene, forgot to pass on the email.

I’ll take this opportunity to clear up a few things.

The Standard is a broad-Left blog, about half the regular writers support the Greens and the other half Labour. We don’t toe party lines and we’re more likely to write critical articles on the parties of the Left than supporting ones.

You could have found this info on our About page and might be nice if you could edit the text to reflect them, at least noting we dismiss Hooton’s conspiracy theories.

Hooton’s got no evidence of any association with Labour, much less than any of us are paid by them. It’s simple lies from a man who has made a career out of spouting extremist rubbish. How’s his blog doing these days? Oh yeah, it died.

Roger: Eddie at the standard is Jenny Michie who is the communications officer at the labour party. When she says there are no labour party link with the standard that isnt credible.

Zetetic - current occasional author. Obvious Labour/left leanings. Rumoured to be many people including Trevor Mallard (I don’t think that’s credible) or associated with Mallard (feasible). Another denial from Prentice here, this time about Zetetic’s Labour-ness.

I can’t remember Zet ever mentioning unions and his posts that even mention Labour are usually somewhat disdainful. However as he mostly stirs in his posts it is frequently difficult to see the difference. He said he was voting for the Mana party in 2011 (and RAM in 2008).

But Zetetic was quite clear here early last year. In For a February leadership vote

No one in Labour can deny there’s a real issue with internal disunity. Not only is the caucus divided (and more than ever since the Shearer camp’s handling of the conference fallout), but there’s a major breach between the membership and the caucus. Unless this is fixed and we can get the party united we’re looking at another term in opposition after 2014.

Increasingly, people are coming to the view that the only way to heal this rift and unify the party is for caucus to take the leadership issue out to the membership this February so we can put it to bed once and for all. That’s what the conference was about. We wanted to make sure we were never ignored again. We simply want our right to vote, and whatever the outcome is I believe that will settle it.

Nearly all of these authors are proven to have close Labour links or are likely to have close Labour links. There are union links as well which isn’t surprising.

Later in the day on Newstalk ZB ex Labour candidate Josie Pagani named three people including Clint Smith who she says blogged as staffers at The Standard. The other two were Neale Jones (ex EPMU) and Rob Egan.

I’m baffled why Prentice and others keep trying to deny that The Standard is closely associated with Labour.

Sure it may be a group of semi-independent bloggers. But most of them have an obvious strong common interest – Labour.

Why do they try to hide from this? Prentice told blatant mistruths on Radio New Zealand about The Standard and it’s authors.

I would have thought they would be proudly promoting Labour, but they seem embarrassed or afraid of something.

They could be a very effective mouthpiece for Labour but they want to hide in semi-anonymity and denial. It’s bizarre. 

Note: I’ll amend this with any credible corrections or additions. Put in comments or email me at petedgeorge@gmail.com

UPDATE: Duncan Garner writes in Politics is a sleazy business – regardless of who is in power

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

More Labour connections

The Standard re-posts from Polity by Rob Salmond:

Rob has wide experience relevant to public affairs. He has been a Parliamentary adviser to two leaders of New Zealand’s Labour party (Helen Clark, David Shearer), and through Polity continues to work with Labour leader David Cunliffe.

They also re-post from Imperator Fish by Scott Yorke:

My name is Scott Yorke. I’m a lawyer, but this site doesn’t really have anything to do with my day job, because, really, what kind of twisted job would that be if it did?

This blog is my own, and the posts do not represent the opinions of anyone other than me.

Nor does anything on this blog represent legal advice. This is my hobby, not a job. I don’t give out legal advice over the internet.

Disclosure

Yes, I am a bit left leaning. But some of my best friends, etc. etc.

I am also a long-suffering member of the Labour Party. Now you can’t say I didn’t tell you.

Scott is also active in electorate campaigning for Labour.

These are both very good disclosures and they both do some very good posts, but it makes a nonsense of The Standard claiming no Labour input into their blog. 

 

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? 

 

Standard election authorisation notice

The Standard is trying to cover electoral advertising rules by having it’s own authorisation notice. This may not cover all authors and posts.

The Electoral Commission on the ‘regulated period’ for the upcoming election.

SIGNIFICANCE OF THE REGULATED PERIOD

The regulated period for the 2014 General Election will start on 20 June 2014 and ends with the close of the day before election day (19 September 2014).

What is the significance of the regulated period? This can be a source of confusion. The answer is that it is significant for election expenses and Parliamentary Service funding.

In terms of election expenses the regulated period is the period during which the expenditure limits for parties and candidates operate. Currently these limits are: $25,700 for candidates and $1.091 million plus $25,700 per electorate contested for parties.

However, it is not the only time that the other rules regarding election advertising apply. The requirement for a promoter statement and the requirement for written authorisation to promote a party or candidate apply at all times.

A post in typical lprent fashion at The Standard:

Time to do the authorisation notice

This site frequently has opinions from authors and comments promoting promoting political positions and telling people who they should vote for or not vote for, and why.

Because of whining in previous election periods by some of the more obnoxious fools around the blogosphere, you’ll notice that we now have a notice at the bottom of the site.

Here’s an example of some whining by an obnoxious fool (love the irony) coming up to a previous election period, in July 2008 - Why is Labour so hypocritical on transparency?

Then in 2007  burst into life. They would have you believe it is a totally independent collection of activists who just happen to not like National. The reality is somewhat different.

The Standard says they are all independent bloggers. However the following e-mail has been forwarded onto me:

From: xxxxxxx xxxxxxx
Date: 11 June 2008 12:24:42 PM
To: labourmembersofparliament@parliament.govt.nz
Cc: pm@ministers.govt.nz, mike.williams@labour.org.nz
Subject: The Standard Blog

Dear all

I have a serious issue to raise with you all. It has come to my attention that two Ministerial staffers – Chris Elder and Andrew Kirton, both political employees – are blogging anonymously at the Labour-hosted, anti-John Key blog the Standard, http://www.thestandard.org.nz.

Given that a large number of these posts (most notably those by Chris Elder or all_your_base, a communications staffer on the ninth floor) occur during office hours, do you all believe it is appropriate that political employees are spending their time blogging anonymously? Is this approved behaviour?

Kind regards

xxxxxxx xxxxxx

After I was forwarded a copy of the e-mail by a parliamentary staffer, I asked the e-mailer the basis of the information, the e-mailer replied “A young Labour person I know who is also a blogger”

It has in fact long been speculated that Elder blogged as All-your-base as this was allegedly a favourite saying of his (referring to the tag line of a famous hacking group). He has denied being involved with The Standard, and it is of course impossible to prove or disprove without computer logs.

But it is likely that two of the bloggers are Beehive communications employees, and a third is the Labour Party Head Office Communications Manager. A fourth and maybe a fifth are employed by the EPMU – Labour’s largest affiliated union.

The Standard still promotes itself as a collective of independent activists, although admitted at one stage

We set The Standard up as an independent left-wing blog in August last year. As you probably remember by about November our traffic had got so large our server was crashing every day, sometimes for hours at a time. We put out a call and at the end of last year someone from Labour emailed us and offered us some temporary server space until we worked something out.

They have worked that out long ago and have also worked out a number of operation matters. Pseudonymous authors have come and gone. Like ‘Zetetic’, who coincidentally posted not long after lprent.

John Key on Iraq in the Herald today:

We are not a country out there looking for a fight.

John Key on Iraq 2003:

That links to a video on Youtube that was first uploaded leading into the 2008 election by ‘greenwoman’, who loaded seven videos around that time all critical of John Key. Zetetic must have a good memory.

Back to the lprent post that warns of the consequences of “comments left on our site”:

Thereafter I will consider that that comments left on our site about our conformance to the Electoral Act 1993 and the Broadcasting Act 1989 about any content on site will in themselves constitute unwanted advertisements on our site, and I will take the appropriate action. This is logical extension of our existing policy about handling people who try to tell us how to run our site.

Perpetrators will have their comments deleted and will be banned until after the election.

It’s interesting doing a search at The Standard on ‘banned until after the election’. The most serious offences tend to be challenging what authors post, speculating on the identity of authors and (allegedly) diverting from the message that authors want to promote.

From The Standard ‘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.

That links to:

The authors write for themselves with the following exceptions.

  1. If we are putting up material from a guest poster, then it will go up under “Guest Post” and may or may not have a name or pseudonym attached.
  2. If the site is reposting material from another site with no opinion or minimal opinion from an author, then it will go up under the name of “The Standard” (aka notices and features).
  3. There are some routine posts like the daily OpenMike that will also go up under the name of “The Standard” (aka notices and features) because they also offer no opinion.

The bar is high because we like robust debate, but there is a bar.

One could imagine their barn door:

The bar is high because we like robust debate, but there is a bar on debate we don’t like.

There’s been a number of other coincidental posts from the independent authors recently. Try this search:

http://thestandard.org.nz/?s=david+farrar&isopen=block&search_posts=true&search_sortby=date

lprent has frequently been accusing David Farrar of being a paid operative of the 9th floor of the Beehive.

It’s interesting that lprent has decided to put a blanket ‘authorisation notice’ on The Standard. But that’s under his own name.

The key messages are:

  • Publishers and broadcasters must ensure that election advertisements or election-related advertisements published at any time, in any medium, contain a promoter statement.
  • Publishers and broadcasters must ensure that any election advertisement that promotes any candidate and/or party has  been authorised in writing by the candidate and/or party secretary(s) before it is published/broadcast.

(Part 1 Election Advertising)

But lprent is registering as a ’3rd party promoter’:

1.3         Registered promoters

Any individual or group who is a third party promoter who spends, or intends to spend, over $12,300 (including GST) on election advertising during the regulated period (20 June to 19 September 2014) must register with the Electoral Commission. 

The following cannot be a registered promoter:

  • a constituency candidate,
  • a list candidate,
  • a  party,an overseas person,
  • a person involved in the administration of:

                – the affairs of a candidate in relation to the candidate’s election campaign, or

                – the affairs of the party.

http://www.elections.org.nz/third-party-handbook/part-1-third-party-promoters-and-parliamentary-elections

So he must not be involved in the affairs of any candidate or party (he has previously been involved with Labour and with Helen Clark).

What I don’t know is how lprent’s site authorisation statement affects anything that could potentially be posted or commented at The Standard by candidates, parties or persons involved in the administration of candidate or party election campaigns.

But it seems logical to me that parties, candidates and any person involved in the administration of campaigns would still need their own authorisation statements.

If they were being honest and transparent. lprent concludes his post:

In my opinion this policy should neatly eliminate some of the nuisances that we have had in previous elections.

It would be a nuisance if an author or commenter who disguises their connections and their intent by using a pseudonym would have to use an authorisation statement.

The use of pseudonyms at The Standard is strongly defended. It is explained that it doesn’t mean they are anonymous, the identities are known to the blog administrator.

So lprent should know which authors and posts may not be covered by his own authorisation statement, if any. He said:

So if you think that there are issues to do with how we have done this, you now have between now and prior to the start of 20th of June 2014 to comment in this post and only this post.

I can’t comment on his post, I’m currently banned from commenting at The Standard, but lprent will see this post. He could clarify by stating that any post at The Standard by anyone or on behalf of anyone associated with a candidate or party campaign will have it’s own authorisation notice.

Gutless Standard

The gutlessness of The Standard via the self touted tough enforcer:

[lprent…

We don’t (usually) ban for what people say on other sites. The one exception to that was Pete George and his rather continuous lying about why he gets banned from here.

…]

This is an assertion without any evidence. I was banned (again) a few weeks ago so lprent knows he can make claims like this without being challenged. Typical gutlessness. And wrong.

Why I have been banned is out in the open, anyone can make up their own minds about why, but I think it’s obvious and widely known that The Standard doesn’t tolerate their assertions and attacks being questioned or challenged. They insist on proof of any slight perceived (often incorrect) insinuation but make blatantly wrong or unsupported accusations frequently.

The irony here is that lprent took this gutless swipe in response to a comment that pointed out another attack post absent any evidence -  Why does David Farrar hate Winston Peters so much?

I simply pointed out that there is no corroborating evidence to support your post. There are far simpler explanations, and IMHO your post is pointless because many many posts could have been written with the exact same ‘facts’ but completely different implications. Your post is the equivalent of gossip at best, and making shit up at worst.

And, as I pointed out before, if someone accused Labour, a Standard author, David Cunliffe or Matt McCarten of the same (on the same evidence) on this blog, they would cop a warning or a ban. Unquestionably a double standard.

It’s a bad post, just own it.

It was a bad post. It’s the sort of nonsense lprent himself might write, and warning a commenter challenging the claims shows that lprent supports what was posted.

It’s obvious why this sort of gutless attack is allowed, lprent sets the Standard. In this case he has blatantly lied by accusing me of lying, under protection of his own extreme form of blog ‘moderation’.

This reinforces Labour’s lost credibility and respect.

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