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.”
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.