Standard blog banning spree

The Standard (mainly lprent) weeded out quite a few voices leading up to and during the election campaign. Assumptions that the bans would subside after the election may prove to be false.

Since the election:

sockpuppet

[deleted]

[lprent: 2 week ban as a gentle warning. ]

Richard McGrath

Deserved carnage. Great to see the odious Harawira get his come-uppance after selling his soul to a [deleted].

[lprent: You made an assertion of a probable defamatory fact and certainly the statement as a whole is defamatory as it carries no public interest. It is not worth us trying to defend. Banned for 6 weeks. ]

Beasely petes

15% this site was saying.

[lprent: No it wasn't. Banned for 2 weeks for the stupidity of saying that a computer has an opinion. Read the policy. ]

Ants

To be fair, the Labour Party own this blog, given the $$$ they put into it. It is a mouthpiece.

LP is the administrator.

[lprent: To be fair you are a lazy pig-ignorant dickhead who hasn't read the about. (BTW: Has anyone else noticed that people who use that phrase "To be fair" are usually about to lie by omission and innuendo?)

The Labour party have never put a cent into this site in 7 years (not that I'd want them to do so). If you read the about you will find that I largely paid for it myself where required (with slowly increasing donations from readers and authors) until early 2010. The costs of growing traffic and server costs started to exceed my ability to easily keep paying for it while I was dealing with a leaky home. Since then the adverts have mostly paid for it as the costs kept rising.

Right now the site owes my bank account something like $800 (I haven't had time to calc for it fully in the last month). That is due to very late arriving advertising revenue and a couple of UFBs that I brought to maintain the power supply.

However I have also managed to drop its $600-$700 per month running cost to $330 last month. That was despite a a near doubling of traffic and was due to spending a sizeable chunk of my 6 weeks holiday paid time between jobs in dropping the data transfer from about 1TB/month to about 400GB/mo (despite rising traffic) by pruning everything that was increasing the transfer.

This month the traffic has jumped by 50%, but further site improvements mean that the cost for the month will drop to roughly $270. The downside is that that site's main server is now running on my personal home development box because that was what I had available (with 8 fast watercooled cores, 24GB of RAM, and 512GB of SSD) when I finally got fibre into my home.

It is a hell of a lot of work, and something that no political party could really afford my time (or interest) to do.

Quite simply the Labour party wouldn't know what in the hell to do with something like this site. Their best attempt was Red Alert which was destroyed by newbies (MPs) not understanding the social trust relationship required for a blog site.

It'd also have cost them an order of magnitude more to run at a technical level than this does. The party is made up (by my standards) of technophobes. So they'd have had to have paid for the expertise. After all I don't charge for my very expensive time.

The reason I do it, and why most if not all of its authors do it, is because it is a tool that the left needs to have. It needs to be pretty independent of all of the political parties, unions, rather strange MPs, their supporters, and their media people. The bad habits of building silo complexes to protect themselves from each other and their mutual interdependencies requires it.

There needs to be an avenue for people of the overall labour and green movements to talk to each other that bypasses all of those in a reasonably non-real-life manner. The Standard trust and I provide that. Many in Labour, Greens, unions, and the media find it disconcerting because authors and commenters aren't exactly nice to anyone and it is a communications device that bypasses everyones control systems.

And you are banned permanently for being a pig-ignorant dickhead who doesn't read the about or policy on a site, and who instead lies about the operator of the site because you are too much of a lazy fuckwit to look it up. ]

Disturbed

AW I voted for Robert Muldoon when he was a true National politician but my standards are way beyond choosing this simple yes-man Currency trader.

Why has Key been at meetings with the controversial Bilderberg group black ops world one order agenda group?

[deleted]

[lprent: Banned for 4 weeks for using stupid conspiracy theories that appear to have no basis in fact in a post that has nothing to do with them. If you want to write comments here then please don't be a dumbarse fuckwit. It just displays that you can't argue or have problems moving the rust in your brain. I really don't like seeing the other commenters (and me) bored shitless for a nincompoop who can't leave nutty conspiracy theories in OpenMike. That is what it is there for. ]

Jimmie

Yeah ok so the evil Jew John Key is actually a neo nazi, one worlder secretly plotting to rule the whole world. (maybe from his secret bunker in Wellington?)

Plenty of tinfoil hat material in that statement – big picture though if leftie folk keep thinking that the evil John Key is the reason why they’ve been left in the dust then 2017 is gona go the same as last night.

[lprent: Banned for 4 weeks for using stupid goodwin and wingnut stereotypes. If you want to write comments here then please don't be a dumbarse fuckwit. It just display that you can't argue or have problems moving the rust in your brain. I really don't like seeing the other commenters (and me) bored shitless for a nincompoop who has to resort to a godwin. ]

Doug Stuart

[deleted]

[lprent: You appear to be astroturfing, and I have already warned you. 4 week ban for being a astroturfing dumbarse. Indeed. Watch this space because you can't write here. ]

chris73

National on track for four terms
And the Labour caucus has more important things to discuss…..

[lprent: and you are astroturfing. I'm tired of it. 4 weeks ban. ]

Ron 9.1.1

Its a bit immaterial now since DC is contesting but you did not answer my question which was wondering If DC was not standing in New Lyn what sort of support would another Labour MP get. Looking at the Party vote for that electorate which from memory had National in lead

[lprent: Ok I am detecting a troll meme here. There were exactly 5 electorates that had Labour party majorities. They were Dunedin North with 24 ahead before the specials and 4 south Auckland electorates. No electorate candidate standing for this leadership did well in the party vote.

What relevance it has this this discussion is miniscule. So you don't get to participate any further in this debate here. 16 weeks should achieve that. And a mandatory 16 week ban for every fool who I find raising this astroturf in this and subsequent moderation sweeps.

Astroturfing is something that I really dislike and a primary tool to use to mark trolls. I suggest that you learn to use your brains and give your own thoughts rather than some lines someone has given you.

Banned 16 weeks. Adjusted to 1 week after an explanation.. ]

left for dead

nothing good about losing the party vote yet again,in Dunedin South.Have another look at those stat’s.By the way MickeySavage,will you not release that list you are compiling on the Labour caucus misfits/cretins.If we have to spill blood,lets have all the facts,for a cleaner fight.

[lprent: So get off your lazy arse and do it yourself. From memory, the specials still have to be counted and should be through at the end of the week. We're all short of time to do anything.

Demanding things of authors is bloody stupid. Read the policy.

Banned 1 week. That should give you time to do your own analysis. ]

JeffRo

Even gives an opinion and you go straight to attacking him personally.

Maybe get a job, it will enhance you with perspective.

[lprent: Her comment was valid, sarcastic, picked a profession where the practice does happen, and well within the robust rule.

Your comment was not. It was a classic troll comment. Play the victim and then abuse the person you are replying to. With overtones about how others should act (which is our purview).

Banned 2 weeks as a warning not to try troll tactics here ]

Ronnie Chow

The Labour party is no longer a party of the working man, but one for beneficiaries and social engineers. The battle for a 40 hour week has been won, and lost again by choice as people chase the consumer society dream. Weekend trading means more hours of work available to more people and from the looks of the crowds at Mitre 10, Pak n Save and the Warehouse on the weekend, the consumers are enthusiastically looking to consume.

[lprent: Off topic and not for the first time now I look at it. Banned 16 weeks because you look like a stupid troll and I find you need a robust warning. Moved to OpenMike. I suggest you read the policy if you want to avoid my personal attention. ]

Fats 30

Picking holes in National’s selections should be the least of your priorities.

How about choosing a leader who actually represents NZ workers? Labour hasn’t had a leader like that in decades (although Helen Clark made a good job of faking it).

How about policies that put ordinary NZers first instead of your union paymasters?

For example, why can’t we experiment more in education? Oh, that’s right – it might upset two of our biggest unions.

Why can’t you have a united caucus?

Why is the Labour party so desperately and tragically out of touch.

I remember when everyone knew our local Labour MP by name. He was part of the community, but too many Labour MPs (thankfully, not all) parachute in for surgery and to drum up votes during elections.

Get your house in order and I might even think about supporting you and even making a donation – but pull your head out of the sand, use this election defeat as an opportunity to make serious reforms.

[lprent: 16 week ban for deliberately going off topic. ]

steve

good lord, you guys are living on another planet, newsflash! Charter schools have worked just fine in USA,Sweden,and other countries.
translation! we dont want to even look at the possibility charter schools might work because that threatens our union, forget the kids its all about our control right??
Why can’t we defend children against people who experiment on them? what a tosser.

[lprent: Talking about tossers. Where are your links to back your assertions? One week ban for being a lying pillock. If you don't provide backing link(s) to asserted facts then you are by definition lying. ]

Gosman

I’m just telling you what’s happening in the right wing circles I participate in. We would all love if Cunliffe got re-elected. It would provide acres of fun for us.

[lprent: You are starting to read like a troll with a nah-nah fetish left over from when you were a child. You aren't adding anything to the debate apart from demonstrating one of your bouts of being a dickhead. Goodbye for 2 weeks. ]

That’s fifteen bans in ten days. It’s possible it is more banning than usual due to people coming off bans after the election but it’s a higher than normal ban rate.

Blogs ban however they like. The Standard is unusual in that they are very open about their bans with accompanying lectures so it simply may be more obvious.

Of the other major blogs:

  • Whale Oil and The Daily Standard seem to ban frequently but far less obviously.
  • Kiwiblog is open but bans rarely (but is currently reviewing moderation policies).
  • Dim-Post bans secretly so it’s not possible to know how much.
  • Public Address and Pundit seem to ban infrequently but don’t seem to have open moderation policies.

Casual blog readers can never be sure how open or controlled the discussion is on any blog. Message control and manipulation is more complex than banning certain political leanings or opinions.

For example Kiwiblog has very light moderation so discussions aren’t controlled by David Farrar but as harassment, bullying, personal attacks and lying have been uncontrolled participating individuals or groups can at least attempt to drive away opinions they don’t want or agree with. However Kiwiblog is more likely to be dominated by the most determined or persistent rather than any particular political agenda.

With the other major blogs it’s difficult to know how much of the discussion is manipulated by moderation and how much is people with similar leanings congregation.

It’s safe to assume that no blog is representative of any particular public opinion as there are many potential limiting factors.

Cunliffe’s position untenable

David Cunliffe’s position as leader of Labour is untenable. He never had the confidence of his caucus and that looks worse than ever since a disastrous election.

Despite the many excuses offered by Cunliffe and others in Labour Cunliffe failed to interest the voters that mattered.

His supporters had claimed that the exposure the election campaign would give him would win over voters. The opposite happened.

It’s been claimed the diversions of ‘dirty politics’ and Kim Dotcom stole attention from Labour. To an extent that’s correct, but I don’t think Cunliffe repeating the same learned lines more often will have helped him at all. Possibly the opposite.

Cunliffe’s seemingly unresolvable problem is that as with Labour’s caucus, voters simply don’t trust him. He has tried to be too many things to too many groups and comes across as an actor, a fake. He doesn’t appear genuine, or at least you can never be sure when he is being genuine.

Roy Morgan poll trends show that Labour has lost support since the 2011, and notably after a short surge of hope after Cunliffe took over the leadership support has been mostly downwards.

LabourVotingTrends

Of course Labour has more serious problems than Cunliffe. Just switching leader for the fourth time since Helen Clark left after the 2011 election is not going to fix much.

It looks like heavily criticised party officials may fall on their swords, as Stuff reports in Labour at loggerheads:

Party president Moira Coatsworth has indicated she will step down, with a council meeting scheduled for Sunday, when general secretary Tim Barnett’s future will also be under discussion.

That may be justified, but can they find better replacements?

The incoming Labour lineup looks largely the same as it has for six years. Dead wood MPs remain. The party has failed to rebuild it’s talent – and it’s stuck with nearly all of them for another three years. A big cleanout and replacement could happen in 2017 but that at best would prepare the way for the 2020 election.

If Labour’s activist support in blogs is any indication their problems run from top to bottom. Major blog leadership, from Lynn Prentice at The Standard in particular and Russell Brown at Public Address, tends towards abusive and intolerant of varying views, doing the opposite of encouraging wider support.

Prentice posted Our children in Wellington yesterday.

I’m pretty sure that David Cunliffe would win a members and affiliates vote. So suck it up MPs, stop playing your silly caucus games and do some frigging work this term rather than the self-indulgent posturing you wasted time with last term. We have to start building campaigning machinery as soon as possible. You are getting in the way.

One of a number of old school activists blustering away. He commented:

We really have to do something about egotistical MPs making fools of the party and wasting everyone’s efforts.

That’s ironic, The Standard is in a position where it could help lead Labour’s resurrection but tends far more towards making fools of the party and wasting their efforts.

Like this:

It is clear that you have a shallow analysis about how political parties operate. Perhaps you should try doing some basics like delivering pamphlets, organising pamphlet deliveries, running a branch or working in a LEC. But it sounds to me like you wouldn’t be good at actual work.

Have fun jerking off. You read like a concern troll to me rather someone who has *worked* for Labour.

That sounds like a party malaise – unless you slave away uncritically you are abused and rejected. Numerous potential Labour voters have been abused and driven away from The Standard and probably from Labour – the sort of voters Labour needs the most, to the centre of the hard (Labour) left Standard.

In lprent’s post:

What matters for Labour is that Cunliffe is in place, displays the competences required, has built an effective policy team and campaign team (the latter needs more work). He is in the same position as Helen was after the 1993 defeat with a uphill battle to make a working campaign team to fight a party vote election. No reason to change.

a) Cunliffe hasn’t displayed the competencies required.

b) The policy team was not effective at revealing policies – lax information and lacking detail was common – and some of it’s key policy decisions are questionable.

c) The campaign team must take some responsibility for their dire results.

“No reason to change” is about as head in sand stupid as it can get.

In an earlier post Another 3 years of work (first notes):

Labour’s team finally started to work well over the last 5-6 months.

Labour had an awful election result and seems to be very publicly in disarray.

Essentially once McCarten went in and started to make them work together.

Working together and Labour seem to be opposites right now.

Policies look good, but they really needed to be bedded down a lot earlier. Six months of effective performance hardly make up for the five and half years of backbiting crap that went on previously.

Cunliffe’s performance was strongly criticised from the start of this year. The back stabbing is more evident than every.

If Cunliffe and his team had performed well and were performing well now Labour would be dealing with their defeat calmly and sensibly. Stuff headlines reality: Carnage as Cunliffe clings on.

I will be voting for Cunliffe in the forthcoming Labour leaders election. Not so much for him (although he improved a lot through the campaign), but more for the team he has (finally) built and which Labour will need in the next 3 years.

With allies like Prentice and The Standard the future for Cunliffe and Labour looks bleak.

To just about everyone but Cunliffe and a small number of blind hard left activists Cunliffe’s position looks to be clearly untenable.

A commentator said on Sunday that things couldn’t get any worse for Labour. They seem to be deteriorating rapidly.

It’s not just a Cunliffe problem but he’s a very visible symptom of problems at different levels of the party.

Not all Labour Party supporters are blind. Scott Yorke is more perceptive in Today’s classifieds which uses black humour to sum things up.

It’s worth following the link to read but I doubt Prentice will be reposting that on at The Standard.

Cunliffe’s position is untenable. Whether his successor will survive the flailing failing party is important for New Zealand’s democracy but is not looking like an easy prospect in a party riven.

Labour’s caucus, the party organisation, the membership and their blog supporters all need a major makeover of talent, tact and tack.

Labour’s massive malevolent malaise, continued?

It is almost universally that the Labour Party is in dire straights. On top of this they risk further deteriorating into yet another divisive leadership battle.

Labour remains burdened by a massive malevolent malaise, where intolerance of different points of view and vindictiveness against any deemed enemy – and also amongst it’s own.

They have transformed from a three term success to what looks like being a three term failure, unless they can turn around their attitudes and their fortunes.

Political fortunes are earned, something Labour has failed to invest in with any degree of success. They have pissed the last six years against the wall, and are stuck with another three years of little more than the same old in their ranks.

A comment from ‘Goldie’ aptly illustrates Labour’s predicament.

While 2002 was an even worse defeat for National in terms of the % of the vote, in many ways, Labour is in a much worse place than National was in 2002.

First, National in 2002 had still managed to bring in fresh blood despite the rout (this was when John Key entered parliament). Michelle Boag gets a lot of brickbats, but she did manage to rejuvenate the party, despite the short-term ructions this caused National.

The contrast with the hapless Moira Coatsworth is notable. Labour have not rejuvenated – they are pretty much the same failed team that crashed in 2008, lost badly in 2011 and got routed in 2014. Do Labour MPs rely believe that “the fourth time is the charm”?

That Labour did not seek to promote young talent like Deborah Russell is bewildering, while leaving an embittered old tusker Trevor Mallard in a safe(ish) electorate says how useless the Labour leadership is.

Second, after 2002 National did a complete policy review. National sought to attract talent, and outside independent advice. And after 2005 National decided to swallow rats (WFF, interest-free student loans) as the price for power.

Labour’s problem is that they have no policy unit to speak of. Labour went into this election with badly conceived or (to be polite) incomplete policies. There is no sign of that getting better.

Third, Labour is struggling for a raison d’être. Clearly there is a vague willingness to intervene in the economy, but why or how seems to have not been thought through, and Labour’s current “policies” are completely incoherent. I think it is because Labour don’t have a coherent ideology.

Helen Clark had her “third way” (which was basically copied from Blair and Clinton) – hence why Labour under Helen Clark was generally ideologically consistent and therefore were able to project a strong vision and unity.

But the current Labour Party is floundering for ideological coherence and an overarching vision. (Overseas, left-wing parties are faced with the same problem, so Labour is not unique).

Still – 2017 is a long time away. Given the right leader, Labour can solve these problems.

Getting ‘the right leader’ is important, but it’s also essential  that the Labour caucus and the Labour Party gets in behind their leader with something far more constructive than knives and backs them fully.

Appearing to be constructive and positive through most of the next term is also important. Trying to market ‘vote positive’ when appearing as anything but positive was one of Labour’s many failures.

It will be very challenging for Labour to lift themselves back into realistic contention in 2017, but they have to at least make significant progress towards rebuilding and reconnecting with the electorate.

I’ve voted for Labour more than for any other party. I last voted for Labour in 2005.

After Clark’s loss in 2008 I approached Labour offering a fresh perspective and help to rebuild. I didn’t feel welcomed nor valued so I decided to try other ways of doing something in politics.

Labour supporters in the blogosphere are far from welcoming. I do confront issues and things I disagree with or think need examination but I mostly avoid personal attack politics, but most of the reaction I get from the left is personal attacks and exclusion.

I’ve been banned from all the major Labour leaning blogs – Red Alert, The Standard and Public Address. Unless you join their chorus they drive people away.

And Labour wonders why voters are deserting them. If their most ardent online support – predominately exclusive, intolerant, vindictive and negative – is any indication of the state of Labour then they have to do much more than switch leaders again.

A good leader can inspire and change attitudes – but when this same negativity, and intolerance overwhelms in the guts of the party then Labour will keep getting kicked in the guts by voters.

Unless Labour can reverse a massive malevolent malaise they will keep shedding support and wither away.

Blog rules on election day

The Electoral Commission has a blanket ban on influencing voters on election day:

On election day (from midnight on 19 September until 7pm on 20 September) there is a general prohibition of the publication of any statement that is likely to influence which candidate or party a person should, or should not, vote for. 

See Gagging social media on election day

The major political blogs are taking this seriously.

Kiwiblog:

It’s election day

September 20th, 2014 at 12:01 am by David Farrar

It’s now election day so no discussion of NZ politics until 7 pm please. This especially includes preferred outcomes, how people should vote or how you voted.

And if you haven’t already voted, make sure you get out there and vote.

The Standard:

Have a happy and legal election day

Written By: Date published: 8:05 pm, September 19th, 2014

At 12pm tonight, the comments section on this site will (largely) stop accepting comments. The reason for this is that the electoral law and the electoral commission are quite clear. On  election day you may not urge others to vote or not vote a particular way.

This means that we won’t accept comments on this site as a simple way to ensure that no-one may use this site to violate the law or to get this site into trouble. Besides you all should be out working for parties to turn the vote out.

The Daily Blog:

The Daily Blog will be closed for Election day as this should be a day of celebration, not ongoing debate. Harsh words and anger have separated and divided us as a country for the last month of campaigning, let us put aside our bitter arguments and rejoice that we are blessed to live in a country where the transfer of power can occur without violence, without intimidation, without the gun. Few places on earth are so lucky.

Whoever has the privilege of leading our country  has a great responsibility to seriously tackle the many complex issues we face, not as individuals, but as a whanau.

Kia kaha Aoteara. Vote now.

Whale Oil:

Participating (commenting) on Whaleoil today – EXTRA RULES
by Pete on September 20, 2014 at 5:00am

Even though any breach of the Electoral Act on Whaleoil today will probably be met with a caution at worst, we would like to run a decent show.  None of our articles will breach the rules.  But people that comment are also required to change what they would normally do to fall within the requirements of the Act.

Failure to adhere to the rules set out here today (until the polls close at 7 pm) will result in having your commenting access permanently withdrawn.  Even if you did it out of ignorance.

Summary

Whaleoil is under constant scrutiny by those that want to trip us up or want to cause financial, legal or reputational harm.  Anyone who places Whaleoil in a position to be complained about will lose their access.  In simple terms, avoid talking about politics!   Whaleoil will be quite different on election day as we will also need to run articles that fall within the guidelines.

It will be extremely difficult not to trip up if you want to talk about New Zealand politics.  Simply do not comment on any political issue directly or obliquely, until 7 pm.   If you can’t restrain yourself, you’re in a lottery where you may ‘win’ a permanent ban.

Whaleoil will help you by posting articles that have nothing to do with New Zealand politics.

 

Final note:  I fully expect the usual trolls to sign up and leave offending comments in an attempt to get Whaleoil in trouble.  If you see such comments, simply flag them.  Do nothing else.  Do NOT respond.  (Do not feed the trolls).

 

Thanks.

Public Address is by far the least active on this, with a minor paragraph at the end of a post Time to Vote.

I’d appreciate if the discussion for this post was not rancorous – and, of course, please don’t upset the Electoral Commission tomorrow by appearing to persuade any other reader to vote in a particular way. But apart from that, rock on everyone. See you at the polls.

The Standard versus David Farrar and Dirty Politics

David Farrar was implicated in Nicky Hager’s “Dirty Politics” book. He remains a friend of Cameron Slater and appears to have worked in tandem with the Whale Oil blog via his own Kiwiblog. His disclosure statement is here.

His latest post at Kiwiblog is Issues that matter – the Economy where he says:

I think the economy matters and should be a much bigger issue in this election so I’ve put together almost a dozen graphs showing the difference between National and Labour’s record on 11 important economic indicators. These are issues that matter to families and businesses

He details eleven graphs with comment and concludes:

Government do not directly control many of these economic measures. But they can and do impact them with their economic policies. The difference between where we are today and where we were in the mid to late 2000s is stark.

The Standard has posted Dirty Politics Watch I with an image extract from Dirty Politics:

Standard Dirty Politics Watch IThe post then links to Farrar’s post and states:

It’s like deja vu all over again.

The ‘author’ is listed as By: – in other words, no name, no disclosure about their identity or their political links.

‘Gosman’ asks:

Ummm… what exactly is his ‘crime’ meant to be here?

‘Puddlegum’ responds:

As I understand it, the implication is that Farrar has been making use of the National Party Research Unit and posting it as his own work again (or the National Party Research Unit has been making use of Farrar, again).

Not a crime, but, if correct, a post by Farrar that misleads his readers about the providence of its content. A potential fact that might influence how it is read and interpreted.

That’s the implication I understood.

‘Lanthanide:

A pure example of two-track politics as advanced by Hager.

Instead of the National Party themselves posting these 11 graphs (or National giving this to the MSM themselves) to show the differences between National and Labour, they outsource it to their blogs so as to maintain distance and plausible deniability.

Pretty obvious I should have thought.

The insinuation was pretty obvious.

There is no proof or indication that the post is anything but Farrar’s own work.

Farrar has responded on Facebook:

Some anonymous poster at The Standard thinks that me spending five or six hours compiling data to produce some economic graphs for my blog, is an example of dirty politics!!!

Instead it was an example of common tactics used in dirty politics.

The poster was of course anonymous, as most of them posters are.

But what I love is how they label as dirty politics basically anything that doesn’t worship David Cunliffe and Labour.

I guess it is easier for them to anonymously smear me, rather than actually do what I did, and spend a few hours going through the Stats NZ database compiling information.

The Standard, as I showed in “Vote Positive” and The Standard, seems to have given up on praising Cunliffe and Labour, almost all their posts are negative attacks on John Key, National, Slater and Farrar.

Farrar is right, the economy is a critical election issue and deserves critical examination. His post is predictably pro-National and also deserves critical examination, but instead an unknown person with unknown political connections tries to go dirty instead.

Ignoring the issue and trying to discredit the messenger is a standard dirty political tactic.

The first comment, by long time Labour activist ‘Anne':

David Farrar is as guilty as sin when it comes to Dirty Politics.

His whining and moaning over the supposed hacking of his computer following the launch of the book “Dirty Politics” was nothing but a cover-up job to try and claim victim status and distract from his involvement in the rotten game.

Anyone who has ever been the victim of a dirty smear campaign – more often than not involving unlawful conduct similar to Slater’s – will know that the perpetrator (or perpetrators) always use this tactic to cover for their own behaviour. The sad part is they invariably get away with it because the ‘powers that be’ (read establishment) let them get away with it. You have to ask yourself… why?

Some irony there with “dirty smear campaign” and “always use this tactic“.

‘Nadis’ comments:

I don’t get the problem? Some benign (but obviously cherry picked) partisan data gets published. I cant see why the source matters, if it in fact is not Farrar.

Now I’d get the point if it were an allegation of wifebeating or corruption etc, but some economic charts? How does it matter whether the source is David Farrar, a top secret black ops team, or my grandma?

I think for dirty tricks, you actually have to be doing something dirty. Otherwise the bleating just comes across as tinfoil hat conspiracy theory. And yes I have read Dirty Politics.

That addresses the non-problem of Farrar’s post, it questions the insinuation “if it in fact is not Farrar” and calls it ‘bleating’. Fair call.

But it doesn’t address the hypocrisy of The Standard alleging dirty politics while playing dirty politics.

Standard sysop and trustee Lynn Prentice often complains about ‘The Standard’ being referred to as an entity, claiming it is just  ‘a machine’. He recently posted in Meet The Standard:

So now when you see me saying that you can’t treat The Standard as a person with opinions because it is a machine. You’ll now know what I’m talking about….

But the reality is that this is just the hardware. The Standard is the sum of the loosely cooperative authors and their mixture of different viewpoints, and the commenters who have fun analyzing everything to death.

No attempt at analysis by ‘Notices and features”, just doing dirty to death.

An insinuating post with no evidence sounds like someone is hiding behind the machine. A dirty machine.

“Vote Positive” and The Standard

Labour’s campaign slogan is “Vote Positive” but it doesn’t seem to be working very well for them, with poll results going negative.

But Labour’s polling is in a parlous state – at 23.8 per cent two weeks before the election.

It is the lowest it has ever been in the Herald’s records of DigiPoll, going back to October 1999.

The only time either of the two main parties has been lower under MMP was in July 2002. Two weeks before the election National polled 23.1 per cent (and 20.93 per cent on the day).

(NZ Herald – What’s eating Labour? Just 12 days left to save campaign)

Some party candidates have gone negative, with negative results.

The Labour Party election campaign is in a mess after one candidate reportedly made an anti-Semitic jibe shortly after another candidate sent a bizarre email telling a political journalist to “grow a pair”.

(NZ Herald – Labour candidate on ‘last, last chance’)

And Labour activist orientated blog The Standard is going hard out negative. On their current front page their last thirty posts are featured. Most of these are negative posts attacking National and Whale Oil (and trying to link him to National). Five are general debate posts, one is a self promotion for The Standard and of the rest the primary focus is not on promoting Labour, except one of the oldest posts which mostly tried to promote Cunliffe’s Christchurch debate effort.

Thoughts from the crowd on Tuesday night’s debate

Written By:

I was in the front row of the audience at the Press leader’s debate between David Cunliffe and John Key. While the media in Auckland and Wellington might have called it one way, the people in Christchurch were only presented with one leader who understands the issues in this city, and it wasn’t the Prime Minister.

Even the post summary was negative against the Prime Minister.  James Dann is a Labour candidate.

The self promotion is as much self promoting Standard sysop Lynn Prentice as The Standard

Meet The Standard

Written By: Date published: 4:39 pm, September 7th, 2014 – 24 comments

This tries to portray The Standard as independent authors:

The Standard is the sum of the loosely cooperative authors and their mixture of different viewpoints, and the commenters who have fun analyzing everything to death.

They are having fun trying to analyse National to a campaign death but lprent is a long time Labour activist who tries to distance The Standard from ‘Dirty Politics’.

It appears this blog runs on quite a different model to those on the right that have been  exposed in Dirty Politics.

But the attack nature of the posts is in stark contrast to that claim.

More from Thursday 4th September:

Whaledump twitter account suspended

Written By:

shushing key

Whaledump’s account on Twitter has been suspended.

Someone is trying to lock the stable door after the horse has bolted.

Update: @Whaledump2 is providing more dumps and No Right Turn & lprent comment on it.

More Nat lies

Written By:

hekia parata and john key

National’s been lying about increased teacher numbers, and the state of the economy – and now they’re promising unaffordable tax cuts.

TolleyOil?

By:

NetworkOnNet posts about the Ministry of Education under Tolley bullying good principals though WhaleOil. And also in Education news: this week all 4-7 year olds will be eligible for a free hot school lunch… in the UK.

Bunji is a Labour activist.

Show us the money John

Written By:

john-key-9John Key and National are talking about tax cuts. But when you think about the actual cost of the Christchurch rebuild and tumbling international milk prices you have to question if tax cuts are affordable or even justifiable.

mickysavage (Greg Presland) is closely associated with David Cunliffe’s New Lynn electorate.

Local Bodies: Whale Oil and Tolley Attacked Principals and Myself

Written By:

tolleyThe stench of National’s dirty politics is reeking like decayed blubber. Today it appears that Anne Tolley appears to have used Cameron Slater  to attack critics of their flawed education policies. The question is how much taxpayers funds did the ministers use on their vindictive support for the countries most despicable ‘blogger’?

NRT: Sensationalising the status quo

Pity the political reporter. Committed to horse-race style reporting and desperate for an ‘angle’. Patrick Gower on 3 News last night was desperately talking up how “complicated’ National’s… current arrangements are?? Use your brain Paddy…

Two re-posts selected for their negative attacks on National.

National’s sockpuppet is trying to muzzle press?

Written By:

Cameron Slater looks like he is the front person for National’s attempt to muzzle the press over their dirty politics for the next few weeks. How else can someone who has been pleading poverty in court seeks a High Court injunction against reporters writing about whaledumps of his emails? Updated with a offer to keep feeding and publicising the whaledumps.

Friday 5th:

Tories! Scared of Internet/Mana? I have the solution …

Written By:

Labour are going to lead the next Government. So what’s a Tory voter to do to keep the damge to a minimum? If the possibility of Hone Harawira and Laila Harre being Ministers in the Cunliffe administration is keeping you up at night, then Te Reo Putake has the answer.

This post tried to bizarrely talk up a 2002 style collapse for National when it looks like Labour is in danger of a similar fate. The ‘Guest’ is Labour activist ‘Te Reo Putake’.

Polity: The big lie

Rob Salmond looks at the Big Lie technique coming from the right and being gormlessly swallowed by some pundits. That Labour and the left aren’t talking about policy. They have been brimming over with policy. The right have vague possible ideas. Pundits are too obsessed in dirty politics to look at the detail of actual policies.

Rob Salmond is an adviser to David Cunliffe, closely associated with the Labour leader’s campaign.

The Big Lie in action

Written By:

This morning Rob Salmond did a great post about the “big lie” – the spin coming from the Right that Labour hasn’t concentrated on policy, just dirty politics.Like clockwork, David Farrar has a post up about the latest polls, suggesting “Their focus on hacked e-mails instead of policy  is backfiring.”

Stephanie Rodgers is working for Labour’s Ohariu electorate campaign.

The Streisand Effect (mickysavage) and ‘Dirty Politics’ symposium, streaming today (‘Karo’l, a Green Party promoter) promote National with ‘Dirty Politics’.

Child Poverty March tomorrow and Child Poverty March are promoting what amounts to an anti-National event. It was claimed to be non-partisan but a National MPs was jeered when he tried to speak at the rally. The latter was posted by Ben Clark who was a Labour candidate in 2011.

Saturday 6th

Slater deleting posts is by ‘Natwatch’, targeting National by an un-identified author with help fron lprent. There is no ‘Labwatch’.

Two weeks to go
By micksavage

Two weeks to go and polls suggest that National’s slide in the poll may be arrested.  But for how long?

 

Perceptions of National’s government
By lprent

There is how John Key and a few of his acolytes like to think of his government. Then there is how everyone else now does. The many ministers who have been abusing their position, were caught and ‘resigned’.  Now we can see the true nature than lurks beneath. A vote for National is a vote for Cameron Slater.

 

“‘Allo, ‘allo, ‘allo, ‘allo” -Final episode – (Series One) “Chaos and Mayhem”

Written By:

The Whale Oil Cafe has taken a hit. The walls have holes punched in them.  Most of the windows are smashed  and broken glass and dirt covers the cafe  floor.  The pictures of John Key are still hanging on the cafe walls, although the frames are smashed and glass broken… A whale of disaster has happened

susannact is an occasional anti-National satirical author.

Sunday 7th

There is no plan

Written By:

bill-english-sad

Name one new thing you’d do in the next 3 years in government.  Bill English: “-“

Airbrushing the VRWC

Written By:

In today’s Sunday Star Times, is an article on a Matthew Hooton & the VRWC (Vast Right Wing Conspiracy). Hooton criticises John Key, does a couple of mea culpas, but ultimately, airbrushes the whole disgusting mess of dirty politics.

Democracy under attack

Written By: Date published: 10:10 am, September 7th, 2014 – 60 comments

How long before “they” use control of the internet and media to bury adverse information, subvert democracy and vilify and silence those who disagree. “They” are doing it, NOW! A Government no longer has legitimacy, when they regard their own citizens as the enemy.

Who is KJT? No disclosure but their political leanings are obvious, as is their Anti-National intent.

Tax cuts – simple question simple answer

Written By:
Categories: bill english, election 2014, john key, national, tax
Tags: , ,

Duncan Garner asks – “when we’ve just borrowed $55b over 6 years how on earth are tax cuts suddenly affordable?”. Presumably it’s a rhetorical question…

Anthony also has a history of Labour involvement – but his target here is not Labour nor is it positive.

And Sunday also had a re-post Imperator Fish: Hand’s Off

John Key has served up so many lies, half-truths and evasions over his party’s role in dirty politics, that if he’d been David Cunliffe John Armstrong would have demanded his immediate execution.

But let’s go on, and keep up the fight. These crooked Tories may take away my country, my hope, and even my self-respect, but there’s one thing they’ll never have.

Wait a minute. It seems they have taken my freedom too.

Scott Yorke is also a Labour Party member active in electorate politics.

So much for Positive. The Standard and it’s Labour activists are going hard out negative – and wonder despair about Labour  struggling in the polls.

UPDATE: KJT has responded to this at The Standard, repeated here in full.

Note to Pete George.

I have had nothing to do with Labour since I resigned my membership in 1986.

Since my job was threatened by one of the then ACT infiltrators in Labour. One who is still there, by the way. The reason why I do not post under my own name. I was shocked that so much effort would be expended to silence a voice that had as little power as I did. It was my staunchly Republican gun nut US boss who saved my job. “I think you are talking a load of crap, but no-one should be sacked for a political view”. I have had a soft spot for genuinely principled right wingers, ever since.

All the negativity is simply accurate descriptions of how truly entitled, greedy and awful National’s senior figures have been exposed to be. how anyone who claims to have a conscience or any regard for Democracy thinks they still deserve support is beyound me.

Too many Authoritarian followers like Pete George, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bob_Altemeyer, Who ignore reality because it would interfere with their comfortable world view.

Lately I support the Greens, in removing the ongoing disaster that is National’s destruction of New Zealand.

I would post on “yournz” but we cannot trust the right wing not to breach our privacy

The problem with no disclosures at The Standard is that you can only by chance – or by reaction like this – discover the political affiliations of authors.

Polls show that currently a majority of people feel different to KJT about National.

I’m not “right wing” and I have never breached privacy on this blog – ironically considering KJT’s comment it was not right wing hackers who ilegally obtained Whale Oil data and it was not a right wing author who breached privacy in a book.

Standard promotes Labour over Greens

The party opening addresses were televised last night (competing with the All Black-Wallaby test which is nuts).

The Standard has posts of both the Labour and Green addresses, but have chosen to promote the Labour address as the primary post today.

Labour Green opening addressesThey were posted at similar times last night, but the Labour post has been given prime position on the blog.The Internet-Mana address has been added to the Green post rather than posted separately.

Possibly as a result of greater prominnence given the Labour post and probably due to greater interest in Labour at The Standard it currently has significantly more comments.

“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?

Kiwiblog steps up

David Farrar has stepped up to a major challenge and is promising improvements at Kiwiblog – see Some changes for Kiwiblog.

Farrar has always been one of the most open bloggers on disclosure, and he is are taking that even further. 

I receive up to a dozen unsolicited e-mails a day, suggesting stories to me. Most are from people who are not politicians or staff – just ordinary readers. Some are just links to stories, some make some points on a topical issue. I sometimes quote these e-mails in posts. I have always been very careful to distinguish between content I write, and content people may send me (which I quote as coming from a reader). But I’m going to go a further step and if any content substantially comes from a parliamentary, or political party staffer, source I will state so when using it. I will not name individuals, but if I quote someone I will include information on their affiliations, when relevant. You will find this is very infrequently.

The comments and commenters at Kiwiblog have a reputation for being many things, usually negative. There’s no doubt it can be a very abusive and insenstitive forum at times. Amongst the noise there are also many very worthwhile and interesting comments and commenters, but reputation focuses mainly on the worst.

After the election (ie when I have more time) I am going to consult on a tougher moderation policy for the comments. I want them to be robust and forceful, but focused more on issues than people. I have very limited time to read them myself, so probably will ask for some readers to step forward as moderators. We’ll have that discussion in October.

Moderation can be very time consuming, a difficult beast to confront. It’s a REAL SHAME that more responsibility and respect isn’t shown by commenters who are guests on Kiwiblog. This will be a challenge but it’s worth doing.

Farrar is setting a higher standard for himself – now it will be interesting to see if the blogs to the left who have been busy claiming they are not as bad as those on the right step up and follow your example.

As Bunji has just posted at The Standard – Left wing blogs aren’t “the same”.

No, they are not the same. Are they willing to up their standards too? What about it lprent? 

UPDATE: Already The Standard has indicated where they stand on this, showing their hypocrisy in claiming the moral high ground – No Changes for Kiwiblog.

Whoever wrote and posted that didn’t even have the guts to disclose their name or pseudonym.

Dirty, dirtier and dirtiest

There’s no doubt that of the major political blogs Whale Oil has been the dirtiest. It seems to have been a surprise to many how dirty, but to any observers of the blogosphere it just confirms with some specific examples what was already well known.

Barry Soper alludes to this in The Soap Box: Revelations? Hardly!

Anyone who’s shocked by the dirty nature of the emails that have tried to paint a smear campaign by National of its opponents understand little about two things – the hate speak that Whale Oil Beef Hooked blogger Cameron Slater’s known for and the business of politics which is anything but clean.

What about the rest of the blogs and social media? Certainly not as bad but there’s plenty of other dirt mongering and dirt mongerers.

In fact the hacking of Slater’s data and using it to hijack the election campaign must rate near the very top of the dirt scale.

Bunji at The Standard claims Left wing blogs aren’t “the same”.

On Morning Report yesterday John Key was busy casting all sorts of aspersions, and refusing to say that clearly odious behaviour by Judith Collins, Jason Ede and Cameron Slater was wrong.

But some of the aspersions were against shock horror left wing bloggers!

As a left wing blogger I take personal umbrage.

There is no equivalence.

He’s right, they are not the same. There’s no equivalence to Whale Oil across centrist and right wing blogs either. Cameron Slater is one of a kind, along with his co-dirt-mongers.

But Bunji and many others who frequent The Standard, by participating or not taking umbrage, support an often dirty forum there. Similar to varying degrees for Kiwiblog and The Daily Blog and Dim-Post and Public Address – and other social media forums including Facebook, Twitter, the Trade Me boards etc etc

(To be fair Bunji isn’t one of the dirty ones at The Standard, but I haven’t seen him speak up against the in-house dirt their either).

Saying “we’re not dirtiest so we’re ok” is making excuses for dirty and dirtier. They can’t wash their hands of it like that.

Political forums seem to attract a dominant minority of people who are intolerant of opposing (or even non-agreeing) views. And they can be bullying, lying and very nasty. Not quite in Slater’s league but some come close.

John Key has been justifiably been criticised for make the “but they do it too” excuse.

It’s nearly as bad saying “but we aren’t as bad”.

I’ve been banned from Whale Oil because my opinions were contrary to their agenda.

I’ve been banned from The Standard for suggesting they would promote their political ideas better if they didn’t play so dirty.

I’ve also been banned from Dim-Post and The Daily Blog. 

David Farrar has often been criticised for allowing dirty commenting run rampant at Kiwiblog – but at least I’ve never seen him ban anyone for having a different opinion, and that’s a major. And he’s never banned me despite me being strongly critical of him, his blog and National at times.

Whale Oil may be dirtiest, but there’s plenty of dirty and dirtier about as well.

This all reflects very poorly on our political discourse. Of course that our top politicians lead the dirt mongering by example doesn’t help. And media are caught in this too – it’s difficult to avoid reporting on what is attracting attention (they shouldn’t) but it’s easy to get stuck in a dirt mongering rut.

Some are suggesting that politics is just dirty and nothing can or should be done about it. That’s one of Slater’s favourite excuses for his excesses.

I don’t buy that rolling over and let our democracy be savaged. 

It’s time enough good people stood up against it and made a difference.We don’t have to (and shouldn’t) accept degrees of dirt.

We should demand decency and dignity in our democracy. We can’t eliminate dirt but we should replace most of it with a decent political contest.

That’s sort of what Nicky Hager seems to have been aiming at, but his book is likely to make things worse in the short term.

The challenge is how to create something better once the carnage has died down.

Who is up for this challenge?

 

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