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.

Blog vultures

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

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

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

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

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

Prentice responded.

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

Confronting crap is an important part of political debate.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

End of year blog rankings

Whale Oil Beef Hooked

  • September: visits 3,716,364 page views 5,309,045
  • October: visits 2,008,487 page views 3,275,031
  • November: visits 1,776,421 page views 2,981,810
  • December: visits 1,764,050 page views 2,999,841

Kiwiblog

  • September: visits 695,190 page views 1,093,806
  • October: visits 373,637 page views 604,405
  • November: visits 301,119 page views 522,519
  • December: visits 278,787 page views 515,827

The Standard

  • September: visits 429,438 page views 868,342
  • October: visits 255,449 page views 561,703
  • November: visits 194,646 page views 431,100
  • December: visits 182,211 page views 392,090

The Daily Blog

  • September: visits 504,304 page views 813,779
  • October: visits 210,877 page views 347,647
  • November: visits 160,716 page views 259,736
  • December: visits 126,534 page views 203,1264

Visits for the top three dropped a little in December which is to be expected.They are now all a bit under a half of the election month hits (September).

The Daily Blog has slumped to about a quarter (and The Transport Blog is now ranked ahead of it).

Not all blogs supply Open Parachute with site statistics, notably Public Address and Pundit.

Open Parachute sitemeter rankings:

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.

November’s top 4 blog rankings

Whale Oil seems to be a bit slower than usual to promote the latest Open Parachute blog stats.

Whale Oil Beef Hooked

  • September: visits 3,716,364 page views 5,309,045
  • October: visits 2,008,487 page views 3,275,031
  • November: visits 1,776,421, page views 2,981,810

It doesn’t look like Whale Oil have posted on this yet which suggests they don’t think there slide is good to publicise.

Kiwiblog

  • September: visits 695,190 page views 1,093,806
  • October: visits 373,637, page views 604,405
  • November: visits 301,119 page views 522,519

.David Farrar was on holiday for much of the month and his posting was substantially reduced.

The Standard

  • September: visits 429,438 page views 868,342
  • October: visits 255,449 page views 561,703
  • November: visits 194,646 page views 431,100

That’s a bit of a surpise, I though Labour’s leadership contest would keep them up.

The Daily Blog

  • September: visits 504,304 page views 813,779
  • October: visits 210,877 page views 347,647
  • November: visits 160,716 page views 259,736

Having pipped The Standard in election month The Daily Blog is slumping. It looks like Martyn Bradbury’s failure to come close to reality in his election picks has knocked the stuffing out of him and the blog.

Bradbury’s post today – So what does Cameron Slater have over John Key?  – has 7 votes and 3 comments, a very flat response.

Not all blogs supply Open Parachute with site statistics, notably Public Address.

Here the visits are down a bit but page views are up over 25% reflecting much more activity here – thanks for your support.

Open Parachute September and October and November Sitemeter rankings.

Mixed blog reactions signal a major challenge for Little

There have been mixed reactions to Andrew Little’s elevation to Labour leader around the blogs.

On the left there seems to be a stronger reaction than to the election result – that may be because it was a tight race with uncertainty in the result in Labour’s leadership contest, compared to a predictable election result, there were feelings of despair in Labour circles well before the September vote.

The Standard is mostly congratulatory and supportive of Little in And the winner is …

This isn’t a surprise, they have been Cunliffe supporters and promoters and switched to Cunliffe’s choice in this contest. And there are significant union leanings and involvement at The Standard.

In contrast Andrew Geddis at The Pundit is very negative about it.

Worst. Result. Ever.

The only thing worse than electing the wrong person as leader of Labour is electing him by the narrowest of margins, by virtue of the influence of a handful of individuals acting under instructions.

Labour just made the wrong choice, in the worst possible way.

Obviously, I think that the decision to choose Andrew Little over Grant Robertson was the wrong one however it came about … that’s because Grant is a good friend whom I think will one day make a fantastic Prime Minister of New Zealand.

Russell Brown is just about as negative:

News from home …

I’ll be brief (it’s 5am where I am and have to catch a plane) but the Labour’s leadership result and the means by which it was achieved both seem disastrous for the party and for the prospects of the centre-left.

Little didn’t win the support of the party or the caucus, he loses his electorate more badly every time he contests it, and he’s vowing to dump all the intellectual capital built up by David Parker. I can’t see any good thing about this.

Am I missing something?

Martyn Bradbury laments the languishing of his revolutionary dreams:

And the new Labour Leader is ZZZZZZZZZZ

The dullness and caution of the latest Leadership race will be served well by Andrew, he was the leader of the EPMU, one of the most conservative Unions in NZ, so don’t expect revolution, expect tepid evolution. With MANA killed off, Labour can now try and out-gallop the Greens to the centre because activists and members can’t politically go anywhere else so expect National lite for the next 3 years.

Some interesting blog votes though. That post currently scores a low 2.2/5 approval. And in comments:

MIKE THE LEFTY says:

Martyn, why are you writing off Little before he has even had a chance to do anything? This is not helpful. Give him a chance and stop bagging him before he has even started.

Rating: +44 (from 60 votes)

MARTYN BRADBURY says:

I’m not writing Little off – Labour are trying to reach muddle Nu Zilind now, they aren’t waving the flag for the Left – their pitch will be centrist, not progressive.

Rating: -14 (from 62 votes)

John Minto also has a post at The Daily Blog:

Lack of policy ambition is Andrew Little’s main problem

The corporate sector will be particularly happy with his appointment because they know that when the tide runs out on John Key and National they can be assured Labour will continue to run the economy on their behalf.

His personal style is thoroughly inoffensive and this is what Labour thinks it needs at the moment.

But how important is this to the progressive movement in New Zealand?

Not much. Little will lead a Labour Party which seeks power not because it has a policy programme to make a big difference for working New Zealanders but because senior Labour MPs hope they will soon get another turn to run the free market economy and receive the baubles of power which go with it.

Little won’t cause waves outside the party either. The mainstream media have endorsed him as Labour’s best choice for leader because he is deeply conservative economically and in particular doesn’t support a capital gains tax. He hasn’t advocated any change to economic policy settings that would make a significant difference either to corporate profits or the plight of hundreds of thousands of families struggling on low incomes.

The ability to drive an ambitious policy programme to back up a big vision for working New Zealanders is simply not in Andrew Little’s genes.

Not surprising that Little is not revolutionary left enough for Minto.

And Chris Trotter’s post is more of a Grant Robertson lament:

Too Close For Comfort: Reflections on Andrew Little’s narrow victory over Grant Robertson.

THE TRAGIC SCREENSHOT of “Gracinda” in defeat bears eloquent testimony to the bitter disappointment of the Grant Robertson-led faction of the Labour Party. And, yes, ‘Party’ is the right word. The Robertson machine has now extended its influence well beyond the confines of the Caucus Room to become a genuine party-wide movement.

It’s all there in the numbers. From being the strong partisans of David Cunliffe, the allegiance of a clear majority of ordinary, rank-and-file members has shifted to Grant Robertson. It is a measure of just how hard Robertson’s people worked for their man’s victory that another 100 votes would have clinched it for him.

He went on (and on) about Robertson and his campaign, and barely touched on Little until the final paragraph – with the only positive comment being directed at Robertson.

Little’s victory is, therefore, a win for those Labour members who still believe in the party’s emancipatory vision and in its antagonistic stance towards the demands of Capital. That it was so narrow is not simply a testimony to Robertson’s political skill and determination, but a worrying indication of just how strong the temptation has become among Labour members to stop struggling against the treacherous currents of capitalism – and turn the boat around.

The left remains strongly divided, with both the hard left (Bradbury and Minto) and the centre left (Brown and Geddis) bitterly lamenting Little’s elevation.

Andrew Little has a massive challenge – and so does the Labour caucus and Labour Party.

Whale Oil: And yet another medical use for cannabis

The momentum world-wide for allowing legal use of cannabis for medical use keeps building – but not in New Zealand. Whale Oil posts:

And yet another medical use for cannabis

I wonder when politicians will start to realise that they are on the wrong side of the debate when it comes to legalising cannabis.

More and more studies are proving that the plant has more benefits than issues.

This is an issue that I think can and should be be campaigned on across the political spectrum, in social media at least. Whale Oil, Kiwiblog, The Standard, The Daily Blog and Public Address are all sympathetic to relaxing use of cannabis for medical use at least.

Time to start a proper discourse, the only problem is finding a politician with some courage.

Time to put political differences aside and working cross-blog on this? It is difficult finding an MP or a party willing to address this, but a joint effort by blogs could build pressure on them to do the decent thing on this.

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.

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