Labour’s Napier MP Stuart Nash has a guest post in a monthly series at The Daily Blog – TDB Guest Blog Project – Stuart Nash: ‘The most pressing issue in NZ right now’.
In it he almost promotes and praises Whale Oil, and takes a swipe at The Standard and people on the left who want the freedom to express themselves.
He first says:
Everything Labour does from now until Election Day 2017 must contribute towards a Labour victory. For every strategic and operational initiative, the question needs to be asked “is this contributing towards a win in 2017?” If it doesn’t then drop it, don’t say it and keep clear of it.
Then on Whale Oil:
My experience is that our supporters, while just as passionate, are not so disciplined. We love to hate Whale Oil and yet we give him strength, purpose, relevance and breathe life into every pore of his existence time and time again by publicly throwing metaphorical mud at those with whom we are supposed to have a political affinity.
Labour once had a blog for MPs called Red Alert, and the rumour around at the time was that Cameron Slater wanted this closed down. Then I found out the opposite was true: it gave him some of his best material due to the occasional ill-disciplined MP.
Red Alert was a self inflicted wound, with Trevor Mallard and Clare Curran wielding the ban swords.
Our supporters have the same impact when they squabble, bitch and back-stab on so-called ‘left-friendly’ sites like The Standard (a dreadful 21st century bastardisation of a once proud Labour broadsheet).
Sounds like some bitterness directed at The Standard there, but the ‘labour left’ blog has probably done more damage than anything to Labour over the past seven years. It’s hard to know how much potential support they have driven away.
Criticising your favourite Labour MP is not the route to victory, no matter what you think of their philosophies, hair or politics.
If you feel so aggrieved by something an MP has said, written or done, then email them personally and you are more likely to get a response and, just perhaps, an explanation.
What will their Labour MP do? Shove some letter box leaflets at them and tell them to shut up?
But ill-disciplined rants typed from an anonymous keyboard will only provide Mr Slater and Mr Farrar with a wealth of information and powerful ammunition to fire back with twice the impact.
So is Nash suggesting The Standard should clamp down on any Labour dissent? That’s one of the things that destroyed the credibility of Red Alert.
If you want to change the government, then get behind the cause and become an advocate for the lines the leader is leading with, because there is a reason why we have taken the stance we have. 95% of the time it’s because it’s what we believe is right; but occasionally, the politics of political pragmatism must rule. That’s how you win, and that’s why we are here.
Whoa. That sounds like “toe the line and spin the line”. The Party rules, ok!
So Labour want a compliant membership and they want left leaning blogs to devote their efforts to spinning for the leadership.
That’s an awful approach to democracy in social media. And it’s an approach that has failed for seven years.
I don’t know if this is Nash’s own views or if they have the approval of the party hierarchy.
Perhaps he has followed his own advice – “get behind the cause and become an advocate for the lines the leader is leading with”.
He deserves to get blasted back by individuals at The Standard. If Labour still believes that silent obedience is the way back into power then I grieve for the corruption of modern democracy, where wider participation and diverse views should be encouraged and nurtured, and not told to shut up.
The Standard hasn’t done Labour any favours over the last few years but the Labour Caucus has self inflicted more damage and that looks like continuing.