Police versus The Daily Blog, free speech and censorhip

A clash between bloggers and business, with claims of heavy handed attempts at censorship – from a blog renowned for censoring comments.

On Thursday Martyn Bradbury posted overdramatically The NZ Police would like to have a word with me.

In this media landscape where progressive voices challenging authority get strangled off on a near monthly basis, hearing that the NZ Police are suddenly looking for you gives one a slight cold shiver up your spine.

I’ve just been contacted by friends that the NZ Police are keen to speak to me*. A Detective no less. I’ve been asked to meet with the Police tomorrow at midday to discuss this blog by John Minto.

Mr Talley and his rich friends certainly seem to have a lot of pull to be able to get Detective’s to contact blogs wanting a chat about negative coverage.

I will state here so there is no confusion, I will not censor or remove John’s blog from this site.

I  won’t be intimidated or threatened or pushed around by monied industries who make workers lives a misery.

I will explain that in polite language to the Police tomorrow.

If you don’t hear from me after midday Friday, I’m guessing it will be because I’m under arrest.

Welcome to the new world of intimidation.

Welcome to Bradbury’s same old dramatics.

He refers to another Daily Blog post, by John Minto, where he refers to someone as “butcher of meat and workers” and repeat’s a Mike Treen comment accusing a company of being “reactionary corporate murderers”.

And Minto calls on a boycott campaign.

Consumer products from South Africa were targeted. Companies importing South African wine were picketed and normal business disrupted while people were urged to boycott the likes of South African guavas and dried apricots.

Consumer boycotts themselves are difficult to make economically effective but coupled with a little bit of creative shopping their effect can be dramatically multiplied.

People would go into supermarkets with their car key and quietly puncture the bags of dried apricots and scratch the labels on the wine bottles to make them unsaleable. People would also take packets of dried apricots from the shelf into their supermarket trollies and deposit them at the bottom of the deep freeze under the frozen peas.

Small acts of civil disobedience like this are an appropriate response to the vicious attacks on workers’ rights.

So the aim is to sabotage products with an aim to sabotage a company. I don’t know how valid their complaints against the company – Talleys – is but this looks a bit like the campaign against TV3 for reducing current affairs by canning the John Campbell show. Sabotaging TV3 would significant;y reduce television diversity and coverage of current affairs.

Then yesterday Bradbury poisted again: NZ Police request Minto blog be removed or censored 

I have spoken with the Detective handling this case. He has asked me to remove or censor John Minto’s civil disobedience blog for public safety reasons.

I asked under what law the Police were asking me to do this and the Detective replied no law, they were just asking me to do so.

I asked if there had been an official complaint, the Detective said no, the blog had just ‘come to their attention’. I asked if the Police regularly monitored blogs to see if they were breaking laws he said no but this one had.

The Detective again asked if I would remove or censor the blog, I told him that no I would not as the principle of free speech was one I took seriously.

The Detective said I would be contacted next week.

Talley’s is a company with a well known track record for maiming their own workers, adopting hunger to starve 5000 kids as a negotiating tactic and Union busting work conditions. The only public safety issues here are the way Talley’s treat their workers, not activists intent on resisting the cruelty Talley’s operates under.

The Police should be arresting Talley’s, not demanding I censor blogs.

If Minto, Treen, Bradbury and accomplices manage to drive Talleys under that puts more than 5,000 people’s jobs at risk. Those workers may not appreciate campaigns against their livelihood.

From what Bradbury has said the Police didn’t ‘demand’, he describes it elsewhere in his post as ‘requested’ and ‘asked me’.

Involving the Police in trying to moderate blog posts does seem heavy handed by presumably someone associated with Talleys.

But the accusations and language used by Treen, Minto and Bradbury are quite extreme and could be legally actionable.

Many of the comments on both posts are also extreme.

One comment, by unionist and ex Labour MP Darien Fenton is more calm and chilling.

Next thing you’ll get a legal letter threatening you with defamation. So will John. You can add it to the pile they’ve already sent to the MWU.

There seems to be a flurry of threatening legal action to try and shut down commentary, with Colin Craig still promising multiple defamation actions and Jordan Williams yesterday actually filing against Craig.

There’s serious issues here involving free speech rights and responsibilities.

People with the financial or legal means of challenging online speech could be reasonably protecting themselves from damaging and false accusations. Or they could be using an imbalance of power to threaten and intimidate to clamp down free expression.

And people like Minto, Treen and Bradbury could be bravely holding corporates and rich and powerful people to account. Or they could be maliciously trying to damage businesses and threaten jobs.

It could be a mix of all of those things.

I don’t think taking conflict to extremes wil do either side any favours.

What should Talleys do when they don’t like the ‘free speech’ of Minto and Bradbury at The Daily Blog?

They could do what many people do on blogs – respond in comments and state their own case. They could also submit a right of reply. But Bradbury and the Daily Blog are notorious for filtering comments – that’s their own way of censoring.

Which makes “The Police should be arresting Talley’s, not demanding I censor blogs” rather ironic.

Bradbury is standing up against enforced editing, fair enough for that, but censors his blog himself, I’ve experienced that myseklf and many others have claimed comments submitted to The Daily Blog never get pass moderation.

On a supporting post at The Standard – Williams sues Craig and Bomber takes on Police – this comes uip in comments:

Mike the Savage One 10

Again, I tried commenting on TDB, from a different computer, again, it is blocked, that site has been seized by the cops, I bet, perhaps with GCSB assisting.

All Progressives out there, this is damned SERIOUS, we are being ATTACKED by state authorities, this is NO joke!

  • The Fairy Godmother 10.1

    No comments on this topic on the DB since 2:53 so I guess the site may have stopped comments due to legal advice. That’s my pick.

  • Anne 10.2

    They have a technical problem MtSO. It’s been going on for about a week now. Comments are ending up somewhere in space.

It’s been going on since The Daily Blog started – comments often end up “somewhere in space”.

Talleys are understandably annoyed at comments made about them which may be defamatory.

Bradbury is understandably annoyed at the Police becoming involved in asking for the editing of posts. But complaining about attempts at ‘censorship’ when he is renowned as a heavy handed censor himself is more then a little hypocritical.

Free speech is being drowned out here by a cacophony of extreme action and extreme overreaction.

Stink bombing Mediaworks

Martin Bradbury seems to be very sour about Mediaworks – in fact bitter about media in general.

How’s this for a stinker of a bombing?

Rachel Glucina, Pebbles Hooper and Cameron Slater – the MediaWorks dream team?

While the total meltdown at Mediaworks continues, it seems apparent that Duncs Garner and Heather Duplicitous aren’t going to be enough to stop TV3 from imploding under it’s own self mutilation.

Paul Henry has been a total flop, the axing of Campbell Live for political purposes ratings suicide, newsworthy? and the manner in which management have conducted the entire fiasco a lesson in how to destroy your brand in 6 weeks.

I am suggesting MediaWorks a saviour – why pretend to be anything other than what Mark Weldon and Julie Christie really wants TV3 to be – an unquestioning mouthpiece for the National Government.

Put hate speech merchant and part time fascist Cameron Slater on with pretend journalist Rachel Glucina to host the 7pm timeslot and call it ‘Open wide’. Each weeknight Cam and Rach spit on poor people and laugh at books. Pebbles Hooper can join in half way through with fashion advice for the homeless which always ends in her making jokes about dead babies.

For MediaWorks they can drop the pretence of being a reputable news organisation and for Rachel, Cam and Pebbles, they get to do what they love, voice ill informed right wing nonsense which is so hip with the kids these days.

Between climate change denial and kissing John Key’s arse, they can cut the crap and get to the big issues like ‘why are feminists hairy trolls’, ‘why are Unionists commie scum’ and ‘why are Maori’s so smelly’.

Cam can give weekly updates about conspiracies on who from the Labour Party is plotting to goad him into suicide while promising a big new news blog that never arrives, Rachel can tell everyone she’s in PR while turning journalistic tricks for the PM and Pebbles can mock people with disabilities.

TV3 and RadioLive seem to be still functioning to me, perhaps the meltdown was a bit of projection.

In comments Dave Head challenged Bradbury on some of his bitterness expressed as personal insult:

Actually Martyn her name is Heather du Plessis-Allan and I think she deserves a bit more respect than you just gave her by mutilating her name. In the last 6 months the results of her investigative reporting has certainly been seen by more people than anything you have written.

I thought you might have modified your style after getting dropped from national radio. I have in the past agreed with most things you have commented on. But this TV3 thing has warped your sense of proportion and detracted from the real broadcasting issues in NZ.

Bradbury responded:

I recall her atrocious piece sucking up to Cameron Slater on Seven Sharp one week before Dirty Politics broke – I tuned out after that Dave.

If every media organisation he does a story he disapproves of is forever after condemned then he will be left with nothing but himself in the debris.

Prentice, Bradbury and Slater feuds interspersed with Standard history

There seemed to be a bit of a lull in the Lynn Prentice (The Standard) versus Martyn Bradbury (The Daily Blog) feud but it has flared up again with the two trying to demonstrate who is the most bitter and obnoxious. The ongoing Prentice versus Cameron Slater (Whale Oil) feud is also in the bizarre mix of history and hissy fit.

In an otherwise interesting history of the origins of The Standard – A short history of The Standard – Maoriland Worker – Prentice managed to lace it with vitriol aimed at Bradbury and Slater.

In fact he made his attacks on Bradbury the main focus of the history.

There were some ridiculous statements by Martyn Bradbury at The Daily BlogBombast earlier this month continuing his snide comments about this site. His claims that the Labour activists founded the original Standard back in 1936 are bullshit. He gets there by ignoring the history of parent publications and where they formed from.

Clearly the bombastic author of that post was written by someone who spent his education in obtaining a master of  ill-informed juvenile ranting rather than learning much of history of the local labour movement (or much of anything else). So I dug around to see what I could find on the net about The Standard 1.0 and it’s parent publications to give that Mr Bombastic some remedial education in the local history that he is so clearly lacking.

Why the hell Prentice laced what could have been a great historical reference with feud fodder is hard to fathom.

A bit of history about The Standard follows, then a shot at Slater.

This can be seen quite clearly in the distortions that are the history of the Whaleoil blog. Because of its obsessive need by a broke (after his insurance disappeared) Cameron Slater’s need to please his larger funders of money and influence, the site would wind up getting into trouble doing the types of stories that please those funders. This is why Cameron Slater spends too much time in court. They’re still doing it today as far as I can tell.

Then a blast at both Bradbury and Slater.

The Standard 2.0, was deliberately designed by authors and myself who run it to be more like the early Maoriland Worker than Whaleoil or The Daily Bombast.

We haven’t taken money from any organisation including the PR industry, political parties or even from unions like the Daily Bombast does.

The repeated references to ‘Bombast’ in relation to someone else are ironic.

A bit more history and back to the feud.

We can do it with no tolerated external interference apart from obeying the current law (something Cameron Slater apparently has issues with) and the odd polite request from organisations we respect like unions or leftish parties.

And his conclusion includes a double barrelled blast.

Having learnt the lessons of the past (and those of other blogs in the present), that is what we intend to continue to do. That is what having sense of the history does for you. You don’t fall into the same operational organisational traps that the Bombast (set up and still supported by union funding) and Whaleoil (apparently mainly arsehole funding) appear to have tripped into.

That’s a bit of a shame because it would have been a good historical reference without the vitriol.

And it seems to have provoked a vitriolic response from Bradbury:

Your magnificent pettiness Lynn helps explain why the Labour Party had such a pitiful election last year. You have the social skills of a cancerous tumour.

When I say ‘The Standard is a Labour Party Blog’, I don’t mean that MPs feed Standard Bloggers information for black ops purposes. They are in no way shape or form similar to how the Nats use Slater. I’m sure there is pressure and terse words at the way the Standard conducts itself at times, but nothing more than that. When I call The Standard a Labour Party blog, I mean in the sense that…
-the original Standard in the 1930s was set up by Labour activists
-the latest incarnation in 2007 was seeded by the Labour Party
-And like the Labour Party, the Standard can be an alienating, tantrum throwing, bitter pus pit who can’t play well with others.

Grow up

Bradbury has a valid albeit overstated point saying “the Standard can be an alienating, tantrum throwing, bitter pus pit who can’t play well with others” but he obviously has a bit of difficulty playing well with others too. He could follow his own advice and ‘grow up’ but it doesn’t look like happening.

Prentice has achieved quite a lot with The Standard, but respect of himself and of the Labour left are not part of his successes.

Prentice and Bradbury represent the largest two political blogs on the left in New Zealand. Slater represents the largest on the right.

We are poorly served in political debate online by the three of them. No wonder the general voting public is turned off by politics.

UPDATE: And Prentice blasts back.

You have said that before in the post that I responded to. Is that all that you have? Parroted slogans?

You are wrong in all of your final three assertions. As I said in my post, you could do to learn some actual history rather than making up silly myths.

– The original Standard was setup by unionists, and run by them for 50 years from the Maoriland Worker to The Standard 1.0. Sure there was Labour party activists involved throughout (once the Labour party got formed). You’d kind of expect that to happen because they were also labour movement activists. People don’t fit neatly into the discrete labels that simple fools want to slogan them into.

– The current Standard was similarly set up by labour movement activists. Some were Labour party members, many were unionists, some had no party or union affliations. This is also not unexpected in a site from a labour movement that was pretty damn diverse back in 1910 and has been diversifying ever since.

– We tend to respond to your pettiness and snideness with pointing out the facts, in this case in 2000 odd words. If I creep a little terseness in because I doing it to educate a lazy fool, then you can hardly blame me. Fix your own stupid attitude and you’ll get less attitude from me. I’m getting really tired of having to respond to your stupidity.

“Fix your own stupid attitude” could equally apply to Prentice.

Where exactly is the backing for any of of your assertions. When did you invent these? Or are you just parroting someone else’s opinions – like Cameron Slater? Because that appears to be what you are becoming.

Ironic. The three of them can be as bad as each other.

Bradbury refutes claims on journalist images

Martyn Bradbury has emphatically denied claims that he viewed images of a journalist and said they could ruin her career. After the release of embarrassing photos of RadioLive political editor Jessica Williams and accusations that Ben Rachinger had used them to pressure/blackmail it seems that some people have put one and one together with vague memories claimed a ten. It was then claimed on Twitter that Martyn Bradbury (Bomber) had “let’s also remind viewers Bomber had seen the material and intimated it might ruin the journalist” (Giovanni Tiso) and “Martyn Bradbury blogged about having seen the revenge porn images and how it would ‘ruin the career’ of Ben’s ex” (Coley Tangerina). Bradbury has posted a strong denial of this in The latest Rachinger twists and turns and Wellington Emerald Stormtroopers.

Here’s what I actually wrote…

I will say this about Rachinger, if the comments from a certain female political journalist ever see they light of day, they will never work in the industry again

..I had heard about comments made by a Journalist to Rachinger, that is what I was referring to. Claims by ‘Coley Tangerina’ and Giovanni Tiso that I viewed anything are a total lie.

That clearly doesn’t mention images or photos at all, just comments. But it is also potentially confusing, especially without seeing the whole context. It’s not clear whether “they will never work in the industry again” refers to Rachinger, or to the journalist. It could be easily taken either way. I’ll try to get clarification.

I removed that comment as people involved felt it was offensive, which was not my intention at all. The point I was making was the Left have a tendency to see traitors everywhere…

Sure Ben hasn’t helped his cause one inch, but not hacking the Standard deserved some recognition, not pitchforks.

I have no idea of how and what has occurred here, and am as surprised as anyone that there were images released, but the ongoing smears and misinformation by some on Twitter not only reinforce the original point of the blog I wrote about the Left on Twitter, but it’s also childish.

A fairly clear statement that Bradbury was unaware of the images. It could be construed that he was aware of the images but was surprised they were released by my assumption from reading this is that Bradbury did not know the images existed until they were posted on Monday.

However “a total lie” and “misinformation’ may be a bit strong, it’s more likely to be imprecise memories and jumping to conclusions, which are common in social media. But for the wider story Bradbury’s clarification removes from the jumble of evidence one ‘proof’ that existence of the images was common knowledge amongst journalists prior to their publication this week.

As a side story, @b3nraching3r seems to be off-line again.

UPDATE: Martyn has given me some clarifications (at The Daily Blog):

1. The Journalist

2. I’d heard many different things after that blog, I was surprised by their release, not their existence

I had seen nothing, I had heard something that a Journalist had said to Rachinger, that was what I was referring to in the blog. Suggestions by Coley and Tiso that I did are a lie


Bradbury versus The Standard, continued

Martyn Bradbury at The Daily Blog has been feuding with The Standard for several months. It seemed to be as a result of  bitterness after Internet-Mana’s demolition in last year’s election. Bradbury in part blamed the Labour Party for that.

There was a bit of a make up recently but animosity has broken out again.

In Compare how long Slater’s complaint gets investigated to investigations against him Bradbury hit The Standard on something they are very sensitive to.

Compare that to Ben Rachinger who has made a complaint to Police with evidence showing Slater allegedly paying Rachinger over $9000 for black ops information and plotting a cyber crime to hack into a Labour Party blog.

Bradbury didn’t name The Standard, which is childish. But calling his fellow lefties “a Labour Party blog” raised hackles in  comments.

Peter Brittenden

Martyn I thought Ben Rachinger was allegedly paid to hack into The Standard. I didn’t realise it was a Labour Party blog site.


It’s not, and MB knows it’s not, he is spreading misinformation by saying that. Obviously the war between TDB and TS is still raging.

Bradbury responded:

Wow. Just Wow. You read that blog, and all you take from it is a war with the standard? That’s almost as petty as their sad post today, the poor wee things. I’m starting a war am I? Forgive me, weren’t the Standard the very same blog who were claiming the pony hair pulling story was bullshit? That Standard?

The Standard was set up by the Labour Party, the original creation of it was as a Labour Party newsletter for christ’s sakes. It’s a Labour Party blog, that’s why Slater was trying to hack it, to attack the Labour Party. You want to twist that into a ‘war’ go ahead champ. It’s not a war, it’s just a deep dislike of people as pompous as them. The Labour Party and the Greens got their lowest votes in the election, perhaps the bloggers on the standard might want to consider how vicious and tribal they come off when they throw tantrums as an explanation as to why no one wants to vote for them.


Actually I was reading blogs on the Daily Blog when you and Lprent were fighting with each other on here. That’s why I thought the war between you two was still raging, even though I know you hate Labour as well.

I do not think the pony hair pulling story was bullshit.

Have always believed that The Standard is not a Labour Party blog, just like The Daily Blog is not a Labour party blog.

Troops from The Standard joined the discussion. Anthony Robins:

Hi Martyn. Why do you keep repeating Slater’s lie that The Standard is “a Labour Party blog”? As you delete this question (for the fourth time) ask yourself why you are so full of hate. It’s sad. Bye now…


Wow Anthony, you are so self involved it comes across as terribly desperate. When people read the spiteful way you throw tantrums, do you think it helps them want to vote for the Labour Party?

As I said above, The Standard was set up by the Labour Party, the original creation of it was as a Labour Party newsletter for christ’s sakes. It’s a Labour Party blog, that’s why Slater was trying to hack it, to attack the Labour Party.

You read all that blog and all you have is some tantrum over not being a Labour Blog? Wow. Grow up champ.

I don’t hate you, I just dislike the manner in which your blog has personalised public attacks against me, end up sounding like a bunch of children in a playground and most recently your blog was the first to attack the pony tail story and then ever so quickly changed your tone when the PM admitted it and apologised.

I at least have the decency not to post on your blog, perhaps you could extend the same courtesy. Now bugger off.

Bradbury tends to be intolerant of criticism – note that Robins had four attempts to comment. It’s impossible to tell how many others may have tried to join the discussion but comment filtering at The Daily Blog is common.

Next up was Te Reo Putake:

The ‘labour party website’ dig at the Standard is really just Bomber’s little in joke. In the same way, I’ve been known to refer to TDB as the Palestinian Popular Front’s digital newsletter. Yeah, I know … it was funny at the time. Sort of.

There’s no real problem between the two sites, but it is a bit churlish to not even acknowledge the name of the blog in the post. It’s the Standard. thestandard.org.nz I’m not sure why the name of the blog that was the proposed victim of Cam’s cyber bullying was left off the post and I’m sure it has nothing to do with the latest Open parachute rankings. Probably.

It was “a bit churlish to not even acknowledge the name of the blog in the post” – but TRP resorts to his normal levels of snide digs. And he denies reality (not unusual for TRP) with “there’s no real problem between the two sites”.

Bradbury’s response:

Hi TRP – You’re the same one who wrote on The Standard that the pony hair tail pulling story was bullshit because it appeared on TDB. How did that work out champ?

Do you think your petty point scoring is what will attract progressive voters or are you too tribal to notice?

Petty point scoring seems to be in overdrive between The Daily Blog and The Standard.

Meanwhile at The Standard  Robins had taken a return swipe at Bradbury in his post Update on dirty politics developments:

Martyn Bradbury, who hates us so much that he cannot even bear to mention our name…

The biggest voices for the left in the New Zealand blogosphere going hammer and tongs is not a good look for political prospects of the left.

The Daily Blog spike

The Daily Blog is has congratulated itself for a record month of hits last month, beating Kiwiblog on the April Open Parachute blog ranking, the first time a left wing blog has done this.

Milestone for The Daily Blog

For the first time in NZ Blogging history, Kiwiblog has been beaten by a left wing blog.

few people believe Whaleoil’s numbers are real, so Kiwiblog has been number 1 or 2 since the blog rankings began and this is the first time it’s been third.

Many thanks to our readership and our bloggers.

Fair enough. Something they can be proud of. But this was due to one thing, the Amanda Bailey/John Key ponytail pulling story. With the right stories it’s easy enough to get spikes in numbers. It’s much harder to sustain those numbers.

Here’s the numbers for the last few months:

  • September: visits 504,304 page views 813,779
  • October: visits 210,877 page views 347,647
  • November: visits 160,716 page views 259,736
  • December: visits 126,534 page views 203,1264
  • January 2015: visits 116,155 page views 188,868
  • February visits 121,994 page views 205,870
  • March visits 163,445 page views 274,075
  • April: visits 353,964 page views 511,527

So April was over double March.

Weepus Beard commented:

Congrats on the visits/month stat, and the statistics king David Farrar will be seething at his demotion.

I’m surprised he hasn’t congratulated TDB himself but then he only comments on/misrepresents stats that support his own narrow, right wing view of the world. He deliberately ignores/misrepresents any stats which damages that view or supports any socially responsible view of the world.

Strange to turn congratulations for The Daily Blog into baseless diss of Farrar. And it should be noted that The Daily Blog beat Kiwiblog on just one of the two measures.

  • Kiwiblog April 2015: visits 311,709 page views 566,587

Kiwiblog still had 10% more page views. And Open Parachute is just one way of ranking sites. Currently Alexa shows:

  • Kiwiblog – rank in New Zealand 273, global rank 135,533
  • The Daily Blog – rank in New Zealand 868, global rank 283,412
  • The Standard – rank in New Zealand 1,489, global rank 364,133
  • Whale Oil – rank in New Zealand 138, global rank 79,442

Weepus Beard continues:

I’d like to say though that these very encouraging views per month are not translating into comments. The heart of a blog is in it’s commentators and some improvements could be made on the back of this result.

TDB authors are the equal and in some cases way better than The Standard authors but this does not seem to make much of a difference.

I’m not qualified in blog studies to know what improvements might be made to increase the number of comments left here at TDB.

There’s a number of major reasons why The Daily Blog usually gets significantly fewer comments than The Standard and Kiwiblog.

Weepus Beard comes up with one of them:

Aha! I think I’ve got it. One of the reasons why TDB visits do not translate into comments is…

…real socially conscious people with real social,ly conscious comments to make do not like their having their comments stuck in moderation for hours upon hours as if we were mistrusted right wing trolls.

No one likes their comments going straight into limbo, having to wait until a moderator gets around to publishing it.

That’s if they release it. The Daily Blog has a reputation for ‘disappearing’ comments that it doesn’t like. Martyn Bradbury has been known as a site censor and comment manipulator for a long time.


  • It takes time to build up a commenting community (especially with the above practices). The Standard and Kiwiblog have been going much longer than The Daily Blog, and people tend to stay with what they are familiar unless there’s a compelling reason to switch favourite commenting communities.
  • The Daily Blog’s target market tends far left. Bradbury has associated himself with small parties and narrow interests, like Mana and the Internet Party. The Standard has Labour and Green and Mana supporters, a much wider catchment.
  • Bradbury has a credibility problem, often being an over the top ranter who is wide of the mark in his claims and predictions.
  • After the disappointment of the last election there was much less frequent posting at The Daily Blog.Number of posts is a significant factor in number of visits, number of views and number of comments.

The Daily Blog deserves some statistical glory for their April results, but that doesn’t mean it will become a sustained recovery. See what May’s rankings are to see how much it settles back, unless they manage to break another big story.

In praising Martyn Bradbury

Greg Presland has joined the list of bloggers praising Martyn’ Bradbury’s handling of the Key/waitress/hair story.

Firstly in relation to the story I wish to praise Bomber Bradbury’s handling of it.  Unlike Cameron Slater and his attempts to bring down Len Brown with the Bevan Chuang story Bradbury did some important things.  He let the story be the story and did not inject himself into the story at all.  He let the waitress tell her own story in her own words.  And unlike Slater whose grandiose yet ridiculous plan to have Len Brown removed from office and John Palino somehow installed as mayor Bomber had no intention of achieving any particular goal.  He just facilitated the telling of a very creepy story.

He also quotes Danyl Mclachlan of Dim-Post:

[Bomber] simply published the waitress’s own account as a primary, information-rich source that the mainstream media could base their stories off. Reporters called the PM, but the scandal had already broken and the media were all matching each other’s stories. It couldn’t be shut down. And Bomber kept himself out of it all. That approach – publish a primary source and make it available to all media simultaneously – turned out to be a really awesome way to get the story out there.

I have also said that Bradbury deserves some praise for how he presented the initial post that broke the story.

But Presland and Mclachlan take a very narrow view, focussing on the first post only. Bradbury has gone on to try and link it all with Dirty Politics – his next post on it headlines this:

UPDATE: The Prime Minister and the Waitress Part 2 – Dirty Politics?

This post, about the horrendous Herald coverage of the issue – opened with a photo of David Farrar with Rachel Glucina with this caption:

Rachel Glucina and Government pollster and right wing political blogger, David Farrar

Glucina was at the centre of that controversy. I haven’t seen anyone – including Bradbury, Presland nor Mclachlan – provide any evidence that Farrar (or Cameron Slater or the Government) had anything to do with this issue.

But Presland and Mclachlan compared Bradbury extensively with Cameron Slater.

In pushing Dirty Politics links they are all playing dirty, while praising Bradbury for playing it clean. Sheesh.

I don’t think it’s deliberately hypocritical. Most likely they are blind to their double standard.

And before Greg accuses me of suggesting a conspiracy again, this is probably not a co-ordinated or planned approach.

Left wing bloggers seem so obsessed with ‘Dirty Politics’ and the narrow definition they try to apply to the term they are blind to their own mode of operation.

To keep Felix happy I won’t say they’re playing ‘Dirty Politics’ themselves (I understand what you want that term to mean Felix) so I will describe it as playing dirty to promote a political attack.

As Presland did in his post after praising Bradbury.

Rachel Glucina’s attempt at turning the story around by suggesting there was a political angle in the complaint failed miserably and only succeeded in providing an institutional target and showing that Dirty Politics is alive although not so well.

If Felix was consistent he would point out that this doesn’t fit his version of Dirty Politics.

The right had no where to go on this.  Every time one of their nodding heads in the media tried to turn the story around there was blow back.  And as the story took off and international media ran with it you could sense John Key’s credibility ebb.  Crosby Textor will have their work cut out to repair this fiasco.

I think Greg pushes the CT conspiracy quite often. And he brought Farrar into the post:

The response of the right wing bloggers has been interesting.  David Farrar obviously wanted to have nothing to do with it and his early post inappropriate if accurate was as realistically as positive as he could go.

So Farrar “obviously wanted to have nothing to do with it” but Presland said “I wish to praise Bomber Bradbury’s handling of it” – that’s in relation to the story which was Bradbury’s first post but that’s disingenuous considering Bradbury’s ‘Dirty Politics’ follow-up.

Cameron Slater  is obviously no longer running pro Key lines and is preparing to support his mate Judith Collins in a leadership battle that when it occurs will be bloody and divisive and will leave National in far worse shape.  Let’s be real here.  There is no other leader of the quality of John Key in National.  The possibility of a leader emerging from the ranks of Collins, Joyce, Bennett, Adams or Bridges is one that fills me with confidence that the the next Government will be a progressive one.  Key is their only chance.  And he has been significantly damaged.

Slater’s lack of complicity (despite Presland associating him with it) is turned into a lame leadership hit.

Slater’s line on the story, that the left had stuffed up the chance of a political hatchet job spoke volumes about his world view.  He could not believe obviously (donotlink link) that a left wing blog could publish a story with no intent other than making sure that the story was told.  Subsequent posts suggesting that the waitress should toughen up just reveal a shallowness of human understanding that has always been apparent.

So “subsequent posts” at Whale Oil are relevant but Presland tries to judge Bradbury on one post in isolation “with no intent other than making sure that the story was told”.

If Presland wishes to “praise Bomber Bradbury’s handling of it” then he is in effect praising Bradbury’s attempts to widen the issue in to another example of ‘Dirty Politics’ – which Presland also does himself. He commented here yesterday:

Basically I thought Bomber did really well, way better than Slater in his attempts to achieve similar things.

Presland has been an integral part of an attempt to tie the Herald, Slater and Farrar into the hair story as an example of ‘Dirty Politics’.

He speaks on behalf of all at The Standard:

The rest of the posts were spontaneous. We do not sit down and coordinate and plot posts as part of some conspiracy. Well intentioned individuals post about aspects that they think are important and interesting.

A number of bloggers at Dim-Post and The Daily Blog may have also been spontaneous and un-coordinated.

But they all seem to be singing the same tune – Bradbury impeccable, Key/Herald/Slater/Farrar/right dirty.

If it’s all spontaneous (and it may well be) does that just indicate “well intentioned individuals” are already thoroughly indoctrinated in the ‘Dirty Politics’ campaign?

In praising Martyn Bradbury for one isolated play they have ignored the bigger game and seem oblivious to theirn involvement in the whole dirty sport of politics.

The Left’s handling of Key’s hair pulling

Labour and the Greens have had a bit to say about John Key’s hair pulling but this is a look at how left wing blogs have handled the hair story.

It began with EXCLUSIVE: The Prime Minister and the Waitress at The Daily Blog, and was introduced:

This is a guest blog from an anonymous waitress about the way John Key kept touching her when he repeatedly visited her place of work.  The waitress contacted us with her story, The Daily Blog did not seek her out or pressure her in anyway to write this blog. We are protecting her identity so she is not punished by her employer or social media victim blaming.

The question to ask after reading her words is if this bullying behaviour is acceptable from the Prime Minister of NZ.

It was entirely predictable that protecting her identity and preventing social media victim blaming was never going to succeed. Was ‘anonymous waitress’ duped and used by The Daily Blog, or were they really that dumb that they thought they could protect her?

The post has a date stamp only – April 22, 2015. It shows Last Modified: April 22, 2015 @ 6:02 am. The first comment was posted at April 22, 2015 at 6:22 am.

Two days later, on Friday evening, Danyl posted The story behind the story at The Dim-Post:

The other interesting (to me) thing about ponytailgate, or whatever we’re supposed to call it, is how the story broke.

If you take it to a blogger then that check for a balancing comment doesn’t happen. Bloggers don’t play by the rules. But what they do – and I’m thinking of Cameron Slater here, as well as his homologues overseas – is insert themselves into the story. They write it up, in imitation of a mainstream media story and then accompany it with commentary and interviews on the MSM outlets they affect to despise, and attempt to frame the story and promote themselves. In Slater’s case that tends to dilute the story since the attack is so clearly partisan and motivated by malice.

Bomber didn’t do that. Instead he simply published the waitress’s own account as a primary, information-rich source that the mainstream media could base their stories off. Reporters called the PM, but the scandal had already broken and the media were all matching each other’s stories. It couldn’t be shut down. And Bomber kept himself out of it all. That approach – publish a primary source and make it available to all media simultaneously – turned out to be a really awesome way to get the story out there.

Except that this isn’t The story behind the story, it’s only the first chapter.

If Whale Oil had posted an exclusive and David Farrar had picked up on it (or vice versa) possibly Danyl and certainly many on the left would have been shouting ‘two track Dirty Politics!’.

At 9.49 am on Wednesday morning there was a post at The Standard – My Little Ponytail. It looks well researched and carefully written post (not a rush job) by Te Reo Putake. He may well have been able to put that together in three hours. But he probably wouldn’t excuse a time lag between posts on Whale Oil and Kiwiblog. The concluding paragraph:

I simply don’t know if it’s accurate, but I do think we should be told Key’s side of the story. Or be presented with his head on a platter if it’s true.

So ” if it’s accurate” TRP wanted Key’s political head on a platter. And comments that followed feasted on a similar diet of downfall.

The Standard has been busy since then. Related posts so far:

22 April:

23 April:

24 April:

25 April:

Dirty politics was a common accusation – directed at the ‘attack as defence’ from Key defenders. The left forbid calling it dirty politics when they do similar.

And Danyl is wrong when he claims “Bomber didn’t do that. Instead he simply published the waitress’s own account ” and “And Bomber kept himself out of it all.”

That may apply to the initial post but on a blog you can’t look at one post in isolation.

Bradbury posted a follow-up statement from the waitress: UPDATE: The Prime Minister and the Waitress Part 2 – Dirty Politics? While he introduced it with this…

I think the young woman at the centre of the Prime Minister’s bewilderingly abusive and arrogant privilege is a hero. She has shown courage and fortitude that is pretty rare. To tell the Prime Minister to his face to stop touching her took enormous strength when you consider the power dynamics.

I did not believe her bravery should be denigrated by a mainstream media who look to get a victim blaming ratings kick. That was why I said I wouldn’t confirm her identity to any of the media who contacted me.

She thanked me for this but accepted that her name might be made public. This understood,  she was determined to direct that voice and allow it to be her narrative and her story told on her terms.

Out of her genuine concern for the reputation and economic ramifications her possible outing might have on her employers, she met with them Wednesday afternoon and was left in a position she had not agreed to.

She also challenges some of the comments the Prime Minister has made.

These are her words. She raises hard questions about the NZ Herald.

…the use of Dirty Politics in the headline and two photos, including this one…


Rachel Glucina and Government pollster and right wing political blogger, David Farrar

…make it fairly clear that Bradbury is far from keeping himself out of it. As far as I have seen Farrar has had nothing to do with this issue, he has commented a little (two posts) but has kept out of it far more than Bradbury.

I’ve seen no evidence Farrar had anything to do with Glucina’s hit job on the waitress in The Herald. Linking them like this is disingenuous. Some would call it dirty.

The Daily Blog currently features that same photo in it’s headline post. Dirty.

The Daily Blog (that Bradbury is a very prominent part of) has also been busy with other posts that aren’t ‘keeping out of it’:

22 April:

23 April:

24 April:

25 April:

26 April:

Danyl himself has also been busier than usual, beginning with this:

I’ve already printed this out and posted it above my desk


I wonder what else he has posted above his desk. It’s easy to see what else he’s posted at Dim-Post:

Left wing blogs have been very busy on this story. The haven’t simply let the waitresss story speak for itself. They have promoted and exaggerated the hell out of it.  They have made all sorts of claims, assumptions, accusations and demands.

Like Psycho Milt encapsulated::

Which left-wing prime minister has been bullying service staff and then getting their friends in the media to do a hatchet job when the person complains?

That’s blogging.

I’ve posted a few times on this myself. But I don’t claim one side does Dirty Politics while trying to pretend the other side is squeaky clean.

There has been a concerted effort from the left to bag Key and damage him as much as possible. Some of them think that at last they have found the straw they can break the back of his Prime Minister-ship with.

As I’ve shown in Key “didn’t deliberately intend” to abuse power Key accepts that what he did was “very very silly”.

But left wing blogs – authors and particularly commenters – have been overplaying their hand, as blogs often do.

They saw blood and scratched for all they were worth.

It could all be completely uncoordinated spontaneous series of attacks. And every attack and perceived from the right could be orchestrated by John Key and his minions.

But both sides will be somewhere in between those extremes, despite their screams.

And amongst that there’s a bit of Dirty Politics Derangement Syndrome

Bradbury dreaming about Peters and Northland

One day Martyn Bradbury might get one of his dreams or predictions right but I don’t think it will be on the Northland by-election.

In a post yesterday he asked Will Labour stand aside in Northland to let NZ First beat National?

I don’t thinK there’s any chance of Labour standing aside and not contesting the by-election. They already have a very keen candidate.

Labour confirms nomination for Northland by-election candidate

Willow-Jean Prime is set to be confirmed as the Party’s candidate in the Northland by-election after nominations closed this morning.

Prime campaigned for Labour in the 2014 general election and has served on the Far North District Council  as a locally elected councillor since 2013.

Labour launched their campaign last weekend with a strong show of MPs including leader Andrew Little. So it seems preposterous to think Labour would suddenly change their mind and stand aside.

Winston Peters has milkied media attention over possibly standing but has made no announcement yet.

3 News reported Winston Peters’ Northland by-election run decision ‘soon’:

The decision on whether Winston Peters will stand for New Zealand First in the Northland by-election next month is expected to be made “very soon”.

The party “decisively examined” the idea in a meeting last night and will meet again in the coming days about Mr Peters’ possible candidacy.

That was on February 10. ‘Very soon’ hasn’t eventuated yet.

Bradbury is undeterred by reality. He has been banging on about  Winston all month – on 2nd February: Winston’s time to shine in Northland by-election.

And in his latest post he’s trying that old trick of trying to talk up chances through a ‘private poll’:

There is a private poll doing the rounds that shows NZ First neck and neck with National in Northland if the Labour candidate doesn’t stand.

Private polls have been notoriously unreliable, if they ever existed.

Seeing as National’s outright majority is under threat with a loss in Northland, such a tactic could be under consideration.

Could be? So Bradbury is dreaming.

Labour may not have the guts to make the decision as clear cut as removing their candidate, but there will probably be a lot of nods and winks given to Labour voters throughout the campaign to ensure National loses Northland.

That sounds like his claims that Internet-Mana were going to sweep to a substantial and balance of power holding position last September.

Currently on iPredict:

Nominations for candidates close next Tuesday 3 March.

The Northland by-election will be held on 28 March.

National have a short list of five but haven’t announced their candidate yet.

New anti-austerity radical Left Party?

Forever dreaming of a left wing revolution Martyn Bradbury asks Could MANA be the new anti-austerity radical Left Party?

He recognises that an anti-austerity party needs to have severe austerity measures to campaign against, and New Zealand is nothing like the economic basket cases in Europe like Greece and Spain.

What Greece shows is that the economic conditions have to deteriorate significantly and the contempt in the current elites incredibly intense before people dump being consumers and suddenly become citizens.

The poor need to see their lot as getting worse while the inequalities in a NZ led by a multi-millionaire money speculator so grotesque that people demand a State that will step in and put people first not corporations.

Is NZ at that level? At one extent it is. Those being thrown off welfare in their thousands and those too ill to work being threatened with ongoing and intrusive work testing are running out of options and becoming more desperate at the bureaucratic cruelty Departments met out to them

New Zealand is nowhere near this level.

And Bradbury seems to have pretty much given up hope for the Mana Party.

MANA could easily hold their current economic platform up as proof that they could be a Radical Left anti-poverty Party. But would MANA go down that road again? One possible way back for MANA is a sit down talk with Marama Fox from the Maori Party to look at co-operating in the Maori seats to win them back from Labour. This would require Flavell either eating a lot of humble pie or retiring at the election.

Tripping up a newly right leaning Labour for the Foreshore legislation and knifing Hone would be a great pay back for both parties.

Knifing Hone?

So MANA may not necessarily adopt the mantel of a NZ Syriza.

It doesn’t look likke Mana has any mantel right now.

So anti-austerity urgency and Mana fading away, So not much hope of a Bradburyesque revolution.

So Bradbury is left forlornly dreaming of his political utopia.

Any NZ version that did launch if MANA was focused on just the Maori seats however could have a policy platform like this…

– free tertiary education
– feeding the poorest kids in the poorest schools
– new state houses
– increase in benefits
– warrant of fitness on houses
– clear food labelling
– sugar tax
– adult education
– financial transaction tax
– Renters Rights
– public broadcasting
– Universal income
– environmental research and development
– Living Wage
– Anti-TPPA
– Cannabis legalisation
– recognition of the role of the Treaty as a founding document with the necessary constitutional changes
– more free health care
– making public education truly free
– Living Wage
-independent foreign policy

That sounds a lot like the Green Party. Another party with near identical policies would struggle to find any space on the left.

Bradbury seems to have no desire to work with the Greens, and they are probably happy to keep a distance.

So he’s a radical without a party.

And a country without any need or desire for a revolution.

Bradbury and the futility of founding an anti-austerity radical Left Party have a Greek connection – the myth of Sisyphus.



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