The Labour left Standard has become synonymous with double standards. This is damaging for the Labour Party. Is The Standard just an embarrassing bad relation (uncle Lynn)? Or is it a symptom of rot at the core of the Labour movement?
The Standard doesn’t like being associated with Labour but there’s no escaping a widespread perception – nor the actual links.
There’s a number of double standard examples at The Standard from yesterday. Te Reo Putake in UK Election; the lessons.
The Greens. A million votes. One MP. It’s fundamentally wrong.
UKIP. Four million votes. Two MP’s. Still wrong, but feels right somehow.
He recognises the double standard but it “feels right somehow”. This one rule for the other lot and another for themselves approach is common.
Anne in comments on that post:
They are deliberately misinterpreting the nature of my comments felix and indulging in gang bullying behaviour. Its been going on for several hours. higherstandard’s comment below is totally uncalled for and I find it offensive. I hope something is done about it.
Deliberately (or ignorantly) misinterpreting the nature of comments is common by felix and Te Reo Putake and Anne. They all participate in gang bullying behaviour, felix and TRP in particular, it’s what they do at The Standard. I haven’t seen Anne complaining about their gang bullying behaviour. But they run to the ban machine at the slightest perception of aggrievement.
And the gang joined in, in this case ropata:
cleanup in aisle 3 please admins ( lprent , r0b, or mickysavage)
And the machine obliged:
[Sorry Anne I just noticed and these comments are offensive. HS has hit a particularly for him new low – MS]
[I am a gentle being respectful of the right of everyone to exercise the right of free expression. This is wasted on HS. I am currently working out how to ban him – MS]
[Now banned – MS]
It’s unusual to to see Mickysavage (Greg Presland) doing the banning. And for that matter it’s unusual to see Te Reo Putake doing the banning too – see his meltdown yesterday.
It almost looks like a deliberate gang ban in action.
Te Reo Putake is involved in a lot of the shit behaviour at The Standard and has tried to manoeuvre bans for people he wants to shut out for a long time. He has only recently been promoted to ‘moderator’ and only just seems prepared to do his own dirty work with banning.
Presland is a more mild presence but has long turned a blind eye to gang bullying – unless he’s protecting one of his fellow Labour party members like Anne it seems.
Another double standard yesterday, from the king of double Standard, Lynn Prentice.
[lprent: Bugger warnings. Never try to tell authors on this site what they should write directly or indirectly. In response, I will do exactly the same, except I will tell you one place where you cannot write. Banned 2 weeks. ]
Here he’s saying ‘don”t do something’ and then in the next breath “in response, I will do exactly the same”. IKt’s his blog, he can be as hypocritical as he likes.
The Standard is based on double standards.
We encourage robust debate and we’re tolerant of dissenting views. But this site run for reasonably rational debate between dissenting viewpoints and we intend to keep it operating that way.
What we’re not prepared to accept are pointless personal attacks, or tone or language that has the effect of excluding others. We are intolerant of people starting or continuing flamewars where there is little discussion or debate.
That’s a joke.Prentice (lprent) and Te Reo Putake lead by example with pointless personal attacks and banning people with ‘dissenting views’.
As Murray Rawshark pointed out yesterday:
This blog is turning into a fan club for a few right wing social democrats who use their moderator powers to shut down any criticism.
Apart from the ironic dig at “right wing social democrats” (right is relative, Murray is fairly left), and part from the fact that individuals, gangs and moderators have tried to shut down criticism for the years I’ve been familiar with The Standard, Murray is correct and an increasing number of people are speaking up about it.
Standard policy on Banning”
There are a number of topics and actions that are viewed as being self-evident attempts at martyrdom. They typically result in immediate and sometimes a permanent ban.
A partial list of these self-martyrdom offenses include:-
- Abusing the sysop or post writers on their own site – including telling us how to run our site or what we should write.
That’s one of the biggest double standards at The Standard. The sysop (lprent/Prentice) and post writers (Te Reo Putake) are probably the most abusive people at The Standard. Prentice brags about his abusiveness. And then threatens and bans if anyone stands up to his bluster.
And while Prentice has zero tolerance for abuse (and little tolerance for criticism) of him or his authors he comes here and abuses me. Now I don’t care about that, I support free speech here and he’s fairly harmless outside his own self destruction bubble, and I think his abuse displays much more about him than the targets of his abusive and sometimes maniacal rants.
If all this was just about one bitchy abuse of power blog then it wouldn’t matter. But it has wider ramifications.
The Standard tries to separate itself from the Labour Party, frequently claiming that the ‘Labour left’ that they claim to represent is totally separate from the Labour Party.
To an extent they are correct, I don’t think the Labour Party plays a part in the running of The Standard. It must be an embarrassment to them, and Andrew Little must shudder.
But The Standard is inextricably linked to Labour.
Last year Prentice made it known he had resigned as a long time party member, to try and separate The Standard from the party and to try and insulate himself from pressure from the party to act civilised and provide a decent forum for debate (my paraphrasing, feel free to clarify Lynn).
But there’s still widespread perceptions that The Standard has some close associations with the Labour Party.
And it does.
Prentice’s co-trustee is ex Labour Party secretary and adviser to Labour leaders Mike Smith.
Presland has close ties with Labour in West Auckland, and particularly with New Lynn and David Cunliffe.
Te Reo Putake has been and may still be a union delegate active in the party (and I believe he knows Andrew Little personally but can correct me if I’m wrong).
One of the most active authors Anthony Robins has in the past been very active in Labour electorate campaigns. In contrast to some of the others I’ve never seen Anthony abusive or abusing his power at The Standard, but by association he at least has the appearance of tacit approval of the abuse and double standards. My guess is he doesn’t like it but tries to ignore it and keep a distance. But he is prominent on a blog that’s prominent for it’s poor practices.
‘Natwatch’ is an interesting pseudonym, who uses that? It’s used for attacking National.
‘Notices and Features’ is used for generic posts and also for reposts from other blogs., But it is also used to express opinions and to attack political opponents.
The Standard is inextricably linked to Labour, no matter how often they try to distance themselves.
This is a significant problem for Labour because it’s the party reputation that keeps getting a hammering. It is hampering their recovery.
There’s no easy solution for Labour, because The Standard is owned and run by Prentice and he is either oblivious to the damage he is doing or he doesn’t care.
And it could get worse, because Prentice seems to be getting worse. He and his lieutenants are not only driving away perceived opponents from the blog. They are driving away supporters of the left. They drive away voters and they drive away what Labour needs most, potential voters.
There’s relatively small numbers of voters involved but it can have a multiplying effect.
People interested in political blogs talk to other people. Swings away from the government of the day are groundswells from the voter base.
Journalists keep an eye on political blogs as they can be a window into what is happening. A poorly performing blog that’s closely associated with a poorly performing party is not a coincidence. It’s a symptom of a serious problem.
Much of the abuse and reactionary banning is probably out of frustration at a lack of traction out of a political rut. But the more mud they throw the more stuck in the rut they get.
National’s biggest asset is the lack of a credible alternative. The Standard helps perpetuate a lack of credibility and a lack of purpose.
When I see The Standard put more effort into genuine debate without intolerance of different views, when they put more effort into positive change and positive policy ideas (most posts are negative attacks) then I will see some hope for a real Labour recovery.
But if the Labour Party keeps getting dragged down by the Double Standard then I don’t like it’s future prospects. They might fall into government as a non-dominant player in a cobbled together coalition but that would probably be short term (single term) unless a miracle happened.
I don’t see any miracles happening at The Standard. The rot in the standard bearer of the Labour left is too entrenched. That may be symptomatic of Labour’s problem generally. Their base is bad and there’s no sign of a way out, if the Standard is any indication.