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.

SisyphusRock

Has Bradbury given up on Mana?

In a post at The Daily Blog Martyn Bradbury asks Is it over for the Greens?

From what he says (laments) it’s fair to ask if it’s over for the Mana Party. He starts his post referring to Mana but ignores them in hismusing about the future for the left.

With MANA knocked out of the election by Labour

That ignores the fact that Mana’s wounds were largely self-inflicted. Labour can’t be blamed for trying to maximise their vote and their electorate wins.

I helped start up MANA 5 years ago because Labour + Greens could never make it over 50% without needing NZ First.

He not only “helped start up MANA”, he was on Mana’s payroll a couiple of years ago.

His main point is how NZ First will cut the Greens out of power (which has happened before, in 2005)..

With Labour now chasing the middle, the Greens find themselves at risk of getting politically snookered again.

It was a scenario that was quietly bubbling away at the least election.

If Labour + Greens don’t equal over 50%, then they need NZ First. If Winston is in the mix he will want a Labour-NZ First minority Government with just the Greens as a support Party. This strategy will be the preferred option of Labour who showed last election how focused they are to killing off any real left wing politic

It’s a big question as to whether Winston will be in the mix in 2017. Without him NZ First will struggle to maintain support.

To avoid this political castration, the Greens need to kit 15% and Labour need to hit 36%. With Polls showing the sleepy hobbits of muddle Nu Zilind still love John Key, those totals 3 years out from the 2017 election look optimistic in the extreme.

Far more likely is Labour and NZ First cutting a deal that leaves the Greens out in the cold again.

Labour has to get back above 36% if they are to recover successfully, but Greens look like they have hit a support ceiling and 15% looks a difficult target for them, They were confident of getting 15% last election and failed to gain ground despite Labolur’s weakness.

But an interesting thing from this post by Bradbury is that he doesn’t include Mana in his musings about the future.

Has he given up on Mana?

Has Mana given up? The last post on the Mana website is a Media Advisory dated October 7, 2014.

Left versus lefter

Clash of the blowhards.

Lynn Prentice at The Standard: The prince and the pea

I have pointed out before that Bomber Bradbury is wee bit unsuited to the two way dialogue of the blogs. A fragile prima donna who doesn’t like to be contradicted by the people he gallantly slags off in his routine piques of bitchy ranting. Updated with Bomber proving the point as his manufactured myths fall apart.

In response Martyn Bradbury at The Daily Blog BLOGWATCH: Has Lynn Prentice apologised to his best blogger for outing him yet?

Having this clown lecture me about blogging when he cut Presland’s throat for the Labour Party is like Whaleoil lecturing people on ethics.

And Prentice then has a slanging match with Bradbury on the Daily Blog thread. It isn’t pretty.

But in this case on Bradbury’s initial accusation he is repeating is false, Greg Presland’s identity was known long before Bradbury’s claimed ‘outing’, and proof is provided of this.

But that’s not good enough for Bradbury. He has posted an update on his post:

UPDATED:

That precious little chump over at The Strandard, Lynn Prentice, has claimed that because Greg Presland’s identity was known by the Standard clique, then somehow that makes it okay for Lynn to have allowed Jossie Pagani  to have slagged him the way she did. Talking with Greg afterwards, he was shocked that Lynn would throw him under a bus like that. That was the point of this post, their sad need to avoid the manner in which they treated Greg is desperate and nasty.

Very much like Lynn Prentice.

He has gone onto make all sorts of allegations in the comments section here and his spite is a reminder of what a grumpy old twisted fool he is. The fact remains Scoop has massive internal issues, his claim that I have some sort of vested interest in Scoop collapsing is just the most ludicrous assertion I’ve ever heard. Try better next time please Lynn, even Slater can concoct a better conspiracy than that.

You are just lying now Lynn.

This is dirty debating, using an ‘update’ to try and win an argument. Read all the comments to see the reality.

And the fact remains that Bradbury keeps smearing Scoop – that’s what started this spat. And he keeps making false claims about Presdland’s ‘outing’. So he deserves a bollocking.

But to see the two biggest left wing bloggers slanging off like this is not a good look for the prospects of a left wing recovery.

Hopefully this is a clearing of the air that will result in a bit of introspection (unlikely with both of them) and some resolve to use the left’s main political forums to look like they want to have their side back in government some time this century.

Andrew Little has a huge task in front of him. The Labour caucus has a big challenge to reform and rebuild.

But if the left wing blogosphere continues to look like a self ravaging rabble the perception of a recovery will be difficult.

Bradbury on “audacious win” for Labour in Northland

Martyn Bradbury was way wide of the mark with his election predictions. He was dreaming.

His record as political adviser last term wasn’t great either. He was paid for advice from the Mana Party, he was linked to being a paid consultant for the Internet Party. He supported the combined Internet-Mana bid. None of that worked out very well.

Along with reports of a police investigation into MP Mike Sabin there have been suggestions that a by-election in his Northland electorate is on the cards in media reports and on blogs.

Bradbury posted Possible Northland by-election test for new Labour-Green co-operation -

If Mike Sabin has to stand down as an MP, the possible by-election in Northland could be the first test of the strength of the new age of Aquarius love fest that has broken out between the Labour and Greens leadership.

The combined Green-Labour vote for Northland at the election was 12 608, Sabin won 18 269. The only chance of winning would be an agreement between Labour and the Greens to only run one candidate, probably the Labour candidate.

If Labour can field a strong enough candidate (possibly parachuting one in), they could start their fight back with an audacious win that would bloody National and strengthen Labour.

He doesn’t seem to have learned from his failures last election. Suggesting “an audacious win” for Labour in Northland looks no better.

I’m fairly sure Greens wouldn’t take his advice. They may choose to not stand a candidate but it would be for their own reasons. But it doesn’t make sense.

The Northland election result:

  • Mike Sabin (National) 18,269
  • Willow-Jean Prime (Labour) 8,969
  • David Clendon (Greens) 3,639
  • Ken Rintoul (Focus NZ) 1,661
  • Mel Taylor (Conservative) 1,555

Sabin got more votes than every other candidate combined. He slightly increased his vote (from 18,188 in 2011) although his share went down due to a higher turnout.

Even if Greens chose not to stand a candidate there’s no guarantee anywhere near all those who voted for Clendon would vote for a Labour candidate, or vote at all.

It’s interesting to see the party vote in Northland:

  • National 48.76%
  • Labour 16.56%
  • NZ First 12.73%
  • Greens 10.8%
  • Conservative 6.28%

Trying to engineer “an audacious win” for Labour on those numbers seems doomed to be a typical Bradbury flop.

Here is his last big flop: Final prediction on election result 2014

Here is my call

ACT – wiped out, will not win Epsom after a calculated campaign by Labour & Green voters to strategically vote Goldsmith in. Wasted party vote.

Maori Party – wiped out, will not win any electorates. Their relationship with National has burned them, even if they manage to hold onto one seat, they won’t generate enough Party vote to pull anyone else in with them.

United Future – Dunne may hold on, but it will be close.

NZ First – God damn it, I thought this election it would be over for Winnie, but Cunliffe’s ‘sorry for being a man’ comment revealed the deep seated conservatism and anti-feminist mind set of a lot of older male Labour Party voters who have all walked off to Winnie – 6-8% for NZ First.

Internet MANA – have had speed wobble issues as they moved from crawling to sprinting. Needed far better internal discipline than occurred.  Will win Te Tai Tokerau, will win Waiariki will win 4-5% of vote. Would have won 7% if their full employment and free education policies hadn’t been sidelined by ill timed attacks on the media.

Greens – sterling campaign, one of the best in the election will win 13-15% of party vote. Their time to be taken seriously and be at the table has come, will burn a lot of credibility if they do end up helping National out with policy. Looks likely to be snookered however by Labour & NZ First.

Conservative Party – Mr Christian Family Values has some issues with his Press Secretary resigning 2 days out from the election after calling Colin Craig a manipulative man. Will not get over 5% now – wasted vote.

National Party – Despite the media supporting Key and playing down every allegation, Dirty Politics has hurt National badly and the impact will be their supporters staying at home this time and undecided voters voting specifically to get them out. Expect National to get 43-45%

Labour Party – Cunliffe won all the debates, he has a vision but a deeply divided Caucus who seemed hell bent on being off message a lot of the time.  The saving grace of Labour is their massive election machine on the day being able to do far more than National’s can – this will lift them out of the poll doldrums – expect anything between 27%-30% on election night.

I think we will see a Labour-NZ First Government with a supply and confidence arrangement with the Greens.

Despite the mainstream media polls that have screamed National will win by a 50% landslide for 3 years, this election was always going to go right down to the wire, and it will.

And in Election. Down. To. The. Wire

Most political pundits in NZ have no idea that the CTU, Greens, Labour and Internet MANA have run specific get out the vote strategies for early voting and so don’t understand the almost 3 times larger voting stats.

This election was always going to be far closer than the media have claimed, and the mechanics of MMP will make it very difficult for Key to win, his only hope now will be that the Conservative Party get over 5% or he can woo Winston Peters, National won’t have the numbers to govern alone and ACT and the Maori Party are looking to be wiped out as parties altogether.

I don’t think Greens will be rushing to Bradbury for advice on throwing a by-election.

Bradbury’s latest post: TDB over the Holidays

Folks, we here at The Daily Blog are on a bit of a break over the holiday period to recharge our batteries and will only be posting now and again but we will be back to full compliment come mid January.

2015 is shaping up like a big year in the blogosphere and TDB will be looking at adding some new bloggers and features with some exciting possibilities on the horizon

Martyn may do better if he keeps the batteries as they are and replaces the toy.

Bradbury versus Scoop and The Standard

Martyn Bradbury claims at The Daily Blog:

With Scoop about to collapse next month,  The Standard, Public Address and Pundit are about to lose their largest revenue streams.

Alistair Thompson from Scoop:

No Scoop is not about to collapse. I have no idea what Martyn Bradbury is going on about. Looks like his messiah complex is getting worse.

Bradbury has not had a good record with his predictions lately.

And Lyn Prentice blasts him at The Standard in Poor (and rather pathetic) Bomber:

Oh dear, Bomber really has no idea how our site operates. Or how any of these sites operate. We haven’t really depended on advertising for most of the last year. I’d guess that nor has either of the other sites.

That Scoop has financial problems has been obvious for some time. Bomber gloating about it is a tad.. disgusting….

Yes, a tad disgusting if there’s no basis to his claim but not out of character. Malicious left versus left gossip is lose/lose.

Scoop about to collapse?

Martyn Bradbury sees Scoop as representing left wing media but claims they are about to collapse

Those voices representing the Left have been slowly killed off. The Herald was supposed to replace Matt McCarten as a columnist, they instead ended up simply appointing Rodney Hide to spout his right wing nonsense. When  a Left voice is included, it tends to be the same old tired right wing Labour voices they roll out.

With Scoop about to collapse next month,  The Standard, Public Address and Pundit are about to lose their largest revenue streams.

It would be a shame to see Scoop collapse. Is this just Bradbury hot air or is it accurate?

With the imminent launch of Slater’s new media weapon the Left are in total retreat along all fronts. The Standard is currently searching for a new direction as that voice of the Left, but their pathetic and limp criticism of Labour selling out on 24 hour surveillance shows that the leash around their neck from head office has tightened.

Bradbury and Prentice have fallen out and now diss each other (Prentice was a founding author at The Daily Blog).

The importance of a new media to counter this Right wing onslaught is more necessary than ever before.

It remains to be seen whether Freed will be a “Right wing onslaught”, with Slater heavily involved it’s hard to see them getting mainstream credibility, especially seeing how Whale Oil has been positioning itself as a carefully controlled mouthpiece with most content being Truth style magazine slush.

In terms of The Daily Blog, we are in talks over the summer to look at where we can build. Hope to have some news in the new year.

The Daily Blog was launched as a great left wing media machine. Like Whale Oil now Bradbury also ruthlessly controlled comment content and is also over the top and self aggrandising. After the election Bradbury was shell shocked due to his brash predictions proving to be crap, and his blog diminished even more.

If Scoop collapses left leaning online content will look mean and lean.

UPDATE: Once again The Standard seems to be down this morning, it’s becoming a common occurrence.  Not a good sign for a blog that is looking to expand and build it’s presence.

The Daily Blog moderation change

The Daily Blog has announced a change to it’s moderation.

Commenting on TDB

We have a new moderator who will focus on all moderation on comments from now on – ‘Scarletmod’ will do our moderation.

We will also crack down on personal abuse between commentators, as well as sexist, racist and homophobic language.

Crazy comments on the truth behind 9-11, Jews running the planet, climate change denial and chemtrails won’t make it past moderation.

Basic rule is we don’t feed trolls.

Cracking down on abuse seems to be spreading, with Whale Oil and Kiwiblog pledging similar action over the last few months.

Of particular note is a switch of moderators, this presumably means that Martyn Bradbury is reducing his control – he seems to have become somewhat subdued since the election result confounded his overly optimistic predictions.

One could wonder if his some of his pre-election predictions would qualify as ‘crazy comments’.

Each blog can have whatever commenting rules it chooses, and exclude anyone they want. Bradbury’s moderation was known to silently filter out comments and he also banned commenters, including me. Disagreeing seemed to be a censorable sin.

Forbidding things like ‘climate change denial’ could easily be used as an excuse to exclude alternate views. The topic of climate change is complex and evolvin and should be debated openly and widely, not limited to one side.

‘Basic rule is we don’t feed trolls’ could be ominous – ‘troll’ can have various meanings, one common one in practice being “I don’t want you here saying things I don’t like’. It is a common form of abuse absent any argument.

Hide versus Hager, and poxy houses

Rodney Hide speaks some truths about the “speaking truth to power” of Nicky Hager and the supporters that think Hager can do no wrong.

To the anointed left, Hager is an investigative journalist. He is good and true. Blogger Cameron Slater is a smear merchant and paid shill. He is evil and false.

That’s how it appears. To an extent it’s true, Hager is an investigative journalist at times – but so is Slater (at times). And both sometimes speak “truth”, but they also both speak falsely at times, despite claims from some that Hager has never been proven incorrect.

An anonymous hacker stole Slater’s emails and Facebook messages.

Hager then published them in Dirty Politics to implicate Prime Minister John Key in dark and evil plots. The links were tenuous at best.

Some have taken Hager’s claims against John Key and National as gospel but they are tenuous and have not proven much apart from the nastiness of Slater and associates – which was already known.

I warranted a brief chapter myself. Hager alleges Slater blackmailed me to resign the Act Party leadership. It’s not true.

The first I knew of any allegation or blackmail was Hager’s book.

Hager never rang to check his allegations. He published them without a rudimentary check. Left-wing commentator Chris Trotter publicly defended Hager’s not checking his allegations. That would alert those he maligned who might then injunct his book. And so Hager denied his victims the usual rights and legal protections.

Hager made allegations which Hide has strongly denied. Hager didn’t fact check, he made a case without checking both sides of the story. At best that’s sloppy journalism.

The extreme left has no problem with that. The anointed have no need for legal process. They have no need to provide rights of reply. They have no need to check facts. They are right. The rest of us are wrong.

To an extent at least that appears to be true, you just have to read threads at The Standard and Public Address to see this.

Hager pored through stolen private and personal information. There were emails to the wife. Messages about a sick and dying mum.

Hager then decided what was public interest and published it. We do not know what became of what he regarded as personal and private.

To me, it’s clear a crime was committed. Slater duly complained.

The police are investigating. In the course of their investigation they convinced a judge to grant a warrant to search Hager’s house.

The search was subject to the law. It was authorised. Hager’s personal information is to be protected. It won’t be made public.

Presumably the raid on Hager’s house was done correctly and lawfully, but there remain questions about whether it was on a scale that was justified.

Any alleged wrongdoing will have to be backed by evidence to be tested in court.

Those alleged to have done wrong will be presumed innocent. They will have their day in court.

Yes – but police action can have a major effect on their targets, including legal costs and in this case the confiscation of computers and information that Hager requires to do his work can be significant.

If only Hager’s victims had been afforded such rights.

Of course, there’s no need: his victims are made guilty by their politics.

Slater’s computer was ransacked. Information was taken. The hack was illegal, furtive and anonymous.

Hager then published the stolen information, wrapped his own story around it, and gave no right of reply.

Hager tried to convict Slater, John Key and associates in the court of public opinion. He failed to do what journalists are usually expected to do – allow those being accused to give their side of the story.

It has been claimed that this was necessary so those being accused wouldn’t injunct Hager’s book.

Journalists don’t usually package a grand conspiracy claim in a book and inject it into an election campaign. Journalists should normally check both sides of a story, give a right of response and publish revelations as they come to hand. Then there can be immediate reactions and follow up additions, corrections and counter-claims.

Journalism doesn’t start and end with a one-sided book that it’s supporters claim is beyond reproach.

Hager raised some important issues in his book, but it was not good journalism, it looks more like political activism.

His evidence was never checked or tested.

That’s not true.

Martyn Bradbury claims to have been interviewed while the book was being written. Bradbury is a far left activist and an adversary of Slater.

Lyn Prentice is a left wing activist and a long time strong critic of Slater. He claims to have been involved in researching the book. He sponded to a comment by RRM at The Standard:

Big old BS – the e mails were STOLEN, it is as simple as that.

Political-type people will make of that what they will.

Perhaps if Hager had interviewed a few people, instead of just writing a book of one-sided allegations ABOUT them, based on STOLEN e mails, and published at a slightly less cynical time than a few weeks before the election, he might not be in this position today?

[lprent: Based on reading the blog posts of the various people that were referred to in the emails passed to him. You really can’t get much more independent that the actual actions of arseholes.

Plus doing a pretty widespread verification among many people who read those blogs and keep an eye on Slater, Odgen, Farrar, Ede, and others of that dirty brigade. Like me and the score of people that I pointed to and introduced to Hagers people.

Why would you ask Slater? He is currently saying that yes he made those statements in those emails, but that he was lying and bullshitting. What makes you think that he wouldn’t lie or bullshit to a journo or for that matter the police or a judge?]

Hager appears to have got “verification” from “various people” who were the political opposite of Slater and had been feuding bitterly with Slater for years.

Hide concludes:

But that’s okay. That’s because those he attacked have their politics wrong.

What’s not okay is the police investigating the crime and exercising a lawful warrant.

As far as the extreme left is concerned, Slater has no rights and Hager enjoys super ones.

And they wonder why we laugh at them.

I don’t laugh at them. I think it’s a sad reflection on politics and those involved at the extremes.

Has Hager used the left in a major political hit job? Or has he been used by the left? Possibly a bit of both.

Some of the revelations in Hager’s book bring attention to the very sad side of Slater, Whale Oil et al. But the nature of the book and it’s political one-sidedness and it’s attempt to bring down a government doesn’t look flash either.

Hager’s hit job was a poor advertisement for both political activism and for journalism.

All their houses look poxy.

“Not as bad as Whale Oil”

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

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

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

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

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

(Frontpage)

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

Whaleoil’s Rules of Politics

1. If you are explaining, you are losing

2. Utu is good, even necessary

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

4. Always know where the bodies are buried

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

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

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

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

9. Speak plain, Speak Simple

10. Remember, I’m telling this story

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Josie concluded:

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

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

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

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

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

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

UPDATE: Russell has responded via Twitter:

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

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

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