Woe is MickySavage

Anthony Robins has posted on the dismal news for Labour in Roy Morgan for May – 25.5% to National’s 54% and points out:

This poll was taken after Key’s ponytail harassment, clearly National have not suffered any damage from that fiasco. It was also before the budget, so the effects of that (positive or negative for National) have yet to be factored in.


Even allowing for the variability of the Roy Morgan I find this a very surprising poll, I don’t think anyone predicted it.

Anthony may not have noticed any predictions or reality, he has been too busy trying to attack John Key and National, but I don’t find this poll surprising at all.

Greg Presland adds:

RM bounces around. General confidence was up. More than anything else this one statistic is vital in determining how people are going to vote. They are willing to forgive all sorts of strange behaviour as long as their job looks secure.

Two major problems:

1. The right’s resources are way more than the left’s. Whether it be sycophantic media mouths placed in positions of power by corporates or Government appointees or campaign dollars progressives are missing out big time. And National’s resources are significant. All this flowing of resources to the top 1% is showing and they are not going to give up without a fight.

2. National is willing to sacrifice good public policy to retain power. Their micro management of issues is at one level inspiring but at another level terrifying.

It feels like progressives have one hand tied behind our back …

Another who has been too busy running negative attacks to notice reality.

Your hands aren’t tied Greg. You have become bogged down in negatives because you aren’t creating positives. You’ve tied yourself up in nots and seem to have forgotten progress is made by looking at whats.

The floggings will continue until moral improves.

When Greg and Anthony are enthusiastically promoting a credible Labour alternative then there could be some hope, but the nasty them, poor us, woe is us laments are why Labour is languishing, in part at least.

And they are still blind to it.

If you have a dead horse and all you can do is try and kill the other horse in the race then your chances of winning aren’t great.

lprent on Roy Morgan – “your usual shallow analysis”

In response to the latest Roy Morgan poll – see National 54% in May Roy Morgan poll – lprent looks like he has rushed into an analysis a bit carelessly.

[lprent: Don’t get your panties in a twist. It isn’t that interesting, Just looks like the usual outliers that RM’s small sample size throws out. This poll is unlikely… It is too big a jump and the explanations for it are pure trash.

Caution is warranted for a single poll with a big shift in support.

But Roy Morgan state “both landline and mobile telephone, with a NZ wide cross-section of 866 electors from May 4-17, 2015″ – that’s not a notably small sample size.

That was a 8.5% shift to National pulling support from every other party. It doesn’t seem likely.

Allowing for a margin of error of about 3.5% this could be an unlikely high but National got 52% in January, then 49%, 46.5%, 45.5% and now 54% so fluctuations over a wide range are normal.

The usual shit analysis at Roy Morgan as well. Talking about the budget last week when their polling period was May 4-17, 2015 and the budget wasn’t released until the 21st. Even the damn spin wouldn’t have been there for most of the polling period.

The headline states “Positive news in lead up to New Zealand Budget helps National”, and in his analysis  Gary Morgan, Executive Chairman, Roy Morgan Research, says: “National has enjoyed a strong increase in support in the lead up to last week’s New Zealand Budge”.

They are clearly referring to the lead up to the budget, which happened through the polling period.So the shit analysis is from lprent.

If it carries on through the next couple of polls I will get interested. But I’d expect a big adjustment down in the next poll.

Why expect a big adjustment down? Anything could happen in June – including a negative response to Labour’s poor budget response.

It is a pity that Roy Morgan are only releasing polls every month rather than every two weeks now. It means that their small sample size has 4 weeks until it corrects.

They have been polling monthly since the election last September, far more often than anyone else. So they provide the most useful data for seeing trends and fluctuations.

Again “their small sample size” is inaccurate.

Still good for a spinner to get excited about. I’d expect to hear you sprout your usual shallow analysis over the next weeks eh?]

Yeah. Ironic.

A symptom of Labour’s core problems

Labour have a number of deep seated problems – see What now for Labour and Little?

The Standard is a window into some of Labour’s problems. It is a blog dominated by National negativity with scant lauding of Labour.

They pretend they encourage robust debate on the Labour left but continually demonstrated the opposite.

Two long time regular Labour activists at The Standard are Te Reo Putake (‘the voice of reason’, yeah right) and Colonial Viper/Rawshark (Tat Loo) have highlighted the divisions and infighting and intolerance of dissent within Labour.

Tat is a party maverick and has recently been speaking up about Labour’s obvious problems. One response from TRP ironically sums up some of Labour’s problems.

Do you have anything new to try, CV? Seriously, your relentless negativity has its bleak charms, but unless you’ve got practical solutions, why bother? What specific, measurable, realistic and time bound ideas do you bring to the table?

TRP seems ignorant of the fact that his accusations sum up his own problems. And The Standard’s. And Labour’s.

When the activist core of Labour is this dysfunctional it’s hardly surprising that Labour is struggling.

CV tried to debate but TRP’s follow up comments demonstrate the deep seated intolerance and lack of self awareness:

So you’ve got nothing at all? Just the whinging?

So, nothing then. Good to know.

We’ve established that you haven’t got a clue, CV. Anything else you want to add?

Yep, nothing but negativity. CV has no answers.

Be honest. You can’t report to anyone, because you haven’t got anything to say. You’re stuck in a scratched groove son, time to change the record.

You enjoy a good sulk. Good for you. But boring for the rest of us.

Do you have anything new to try, TRP? Seriously, your relentless negativity offers little but bleak self harm. Unless you’ve got practical solutions, why bother? What specific, measurable, realistic and time bound ideas do you bring to the table?

Do you have anything new to try, Standard? Seriously, your relentless negativity offers little but bleak self harm. Unless you’ve got practical solutions, why bother? What specific, measurable, realistic and time bound ideas do you bring to the table?

Do you have anything new to try, Labour? Seriously, your relentless negativity offers little but bleak self harm. Unless you’ve got practical solutions, why bother? What specific, measurable, realistic and time bound ideas do you bring to the table?

Labour delusions continue

Post budget reaction from loyal Labour demonstrates a continued failure to accept their own deep-seated problems and an obsession with trying to trash National as being the pathway to success.

Anthony Robins has posted Outflanking Labour on the left at The Standard.

I’m seeing right wingers run the line “outflanking Labour on the left” quite a bit (just coincidence I’m sure).

We used to call it “swallowing dead rats”.

We used to call it “losing the argument”.

Please by all means National keep moving left. It’s shifting the political center to the left. Capital gains tax is OK now. Raising benefits is Ok now. The left is winning from opposition. Please keep outflanking us!

Another Labour try-hard Greg Presland added:

Well put.

As the dust settles a few themes are appearing.

National agrees that child poverty is an urgent issue but it has delayed implementation of measures until April next year.

National hates doing anything that lets us provide for our future.

National lied about “no new taxes”.

National is underfunding health and education.

National is doing nothing about our future and has a series of band aids being applied to urgent political issues.

Trying to make a win for Labour and disaster for Nationalout of an embarrassing budget response is kinda sad but loyal Labour activists have had a lot of experience at this over the last few years.

The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell pointed out contractions in the attack lines from Robins.

I thought this was the most evil right wing government in the history of NZ politics. I thought they were governing for their rich mates. I thought they were selling us out to America.

Is this all now untrue? Are they really, as others have been saying since 2008, quite moderate?

Instructions please. I have a dinner party with lefties tonight so need advice urgently.

Robins responded:

I thought this was the most evil right wing government in the history of NZ politics.

I don’t recall saying such a thing,

I thought they were governing for their rich mates.


I thought they were selling us out to America.

Trying to but it’s all going a bit pear shaped.

Is this all now untrue?

As above.

Are they really, as others have been saying since 2008, quite moderate?

As right wing governments go I guess they are relatively moderate, but that still means they don’t give a damn about the poor, the environment, or long term planning, and that irks me. What they’re mainly concerned about is being in power. And they’re prepared to swallow any number of dead rats to stay there. Which is what the post is about.

It’s not National who are in dire delusional trouble, it’s Labour.

It’s easy to see why Tat loo is a bit of a rebel in Labour – he’s had some perception about their problems for some time, clashing within the party.

With its Budget, National has made it plain to all how far Labour has moved to the centre and how much unoccupied room Labour has discarded on the Left in doing so. Nationals strategists have cunningly decided to grab that space for themselves, leaving Labour political-economically marooned in no man’s land.

What will Labour do now? Perhaps Labour will launch proposals for bettering what beneficiaries are being offered in the NAT Budget? Or possibly more likely, Labour will start a discussion on new innovative ways in which NZ Super might be withheld.

NB anyone see any suggestions yet from Labour that they will look after beneficiaries better than National has done in this Budget? That Labour will broaden the scope or magnitude of National’s base benefits lift? Nah didn’t think so.

Philip Ferguson agrees:

I thought Viper’s comments were perfectly reasonable. It’s not that they have believe in National; it’s that they don’t have faith in Labour. And why would they?

Can anyone here who supports Labour explain why three Labour governments didn’t increase benefits?

I don’t think anyone on the left has said this is a “left-wing” budget. It’s a middle-of-the-road social-democratic budget.

It’s simply a comment on how far to the right Labour is on economic policy that Key-English have outflanked them to the left, in the sense of producing a more social-democraic style budget than either the 4th or 5th Labour governments.

For instance, Helen Clark had nine years of surpluses in which to reverse the Richardson benefit cuts and didn’t.

I’m totally opposed to National, but I’m bemused that Labour members/supporters are so hacked off about this budget when it’s an improvement on anything Labour has produced in the *15 years* of the 4th and 5th Labour governments.

It just looks like some folks are engaging in vulgar anti-National Party sniping when what they should be doing is reflecting on why Labour couldn’t even offer the miserable improvements that Key-English are to low-income earners such as beneficiaries.

But don’t expect the Labour loyalists to accept their own problems and address them. They seem destined to keep repeating the same mistakes.

Loo also remarked:

theres still time for Andrew Little to escape the grips of Thorndon Caucus Bubblethink and come back to the real NZ.

Little initially showed promise of something different but he seems to have been sucked in by the mangled message party machine. Unless he rebels and does something different – like as if he can be a leader or something – then Labour looks in big trouble as a party. Still.

Some of them seem to believe their rants

A couple of days ago The Standard had a strange post obsessing about David Farrar and I supposedly obsessing about them. Anthony Robins wrote:

David Farrar has a bad case of STD (Standard Titillation Disorder). He seems to find us endlessly fascinating, if the desire of him and his Dirty Politics mates to spy on / hack this blog are anything to go by. Take this post on us today, we’re flattered, really we are. David Farrar and Pete George, who can even tell them apart these days?…

I’m sure Anthony can tell us apart. It’s curious that he seems to be trying to link me in with the ‘Dirty Politics’ agenda – he doesn’t usually go down the dirt track, but where there’s mud there’s a muckraker.

Then lo and behold felix chimed in.

Oh dear. Went and had a look in Pete George’s dismal hole for the first time in a while and noticed four things:

1)In spite of his pretensions to politeness, he lets some pretty hateful stuff happen in his comments.

2) Whenever he posts on any topic that Cameron Slater has an interest in, his comments section is overrun by what appears to be one person using several handles (handles I’ve never seen before) to shout very loudly over anyone else.

3) He has begun to refer to the PM by his first name, beginning a post thus: “Graeme McCready’s criminal prosecution against John has been rejected by the District Court. ” lolz 

4) He is still utterly obsessed with everything that happens here. Forget about Big Brother. Weird Uncle is watching you.

Will check it again next year and report back if anything changes.

It’s common the hear people claim they wouldn’t ever go near xyz blog but just happened to notice something. “Weird Uncle is watching you.”  Very funny. You get to know who the “utterly obsessed” are.

If I referred to Key as ‘John’ it was a typo, I normallyrefer to him as ‘John Key’ or Key. I’ve never met him nor had any communication with him in anway, unless he comments on blogs under a pseudonym like ‘felix’.

But if missing a word out like that can get felix and Anthony all excited about where I might fit in within the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy maybe I should try it a bit more often.

Then the master of self-unawareness, lprent, posted this:

I see the pingbacks to the posts goinga into spam. Occasionally I click into them and go over to rev PG up a bit more in his obsessional spiral. I’m getting interested in testing how extreme I can make the guy get by simply pointing out his personality flaws.

It appears to be petty I know. But he really has this interesting inability to see himself as others see him, and never seems to have developed the self-critical ability that most people have that allows them to learn from criticising their own performance. I’m interested in how far I can push before he starts to develop it.

There has to be a name for the condition – it is like megalomania, but probably less extreme. I have observed it before (Pat O’Dea seems to have it as well) and I’m still kind of puzzled about how adaptive such people are. They are a pain on the net because they seem to pull all of the opinions out of their arse and hate discussing alternate viewpoints. They also are usually pretty poorly informed on their obsessions because they never seem to research them.

I won’t bother responding to most of that. Anyone who knows me and just about anyone who has observed lprent here or at The Standard can judge that for themselves.

Except I will say that I think I’m fairly well informed about The Standard, having done a fair bit of research and having experienced a lot of the comaraderie there first hand. That seems to get up their noses a bit going by their ongoing reactions.

And then Sacha repeated an absurd claim despite having been told before how ridiculous it is (and being told at The Standard about the dangers and the stupidity of online psychological diagnosis.

I reckon he might be an aspie. Not that it means anyone should have to tolerate the crap way he engages in conversations.

I don’t know and don’t care what Sacha’s mental condition is, all I know from observation is that he is intolerant of people having different views or approaches to politics that he has to the extent that he actively tries to shut them out of forums.

Sacha and lprent are well known intolerants. Robins is, or has been, different. When he jumps on the ‘Dirty Politics’ bandwagon and makes nonsense assertions and insinuations then it’s more notable (whoops, I shouldn’t have referred to him as ‘Anthony’ earlier, felix might start to think I’ve been colluding with him).

Some of them at The Standard seem to believe their nonsense. Some just get sucked in to the dirty party game.

And when people like Little and Robins do it doesn’t bode well for a Labour recovery. It may simply be the lack of other viable options that keeps them on life support.

I await Lynn coming back here to “rev PG up a bit more in his obsessional spiral”.

I’m getting interested in testing how extreme I can make the guy get by simply pointing out his personality flaws.

Prentice really did post that line. How extreme can I get? Letting him display himself perhaps.

Reaction to Little’s speech from the left

There has been some loyal party responses to Andrew Little’s pre-budget speech at the Labour leaning Standard but there has been far from a universal approval.

One of the first comments is from ‘Reality':

Excellent speech. Andrew Little gives a great sense of being a genuine “good guy” not smile and wave PR driven.

The pseudonym is ironic, and one I haven’t seen at The Standard before. Looks like a one off party PR driven promo.

It didn’t take long for a different thread of response.


Same speech we’ve heard from all the leftie leaders over the last 5 or 6 years, just worded differently.

No vision, no solutions deeper than empty rhetoric and one-liners, and nascent xenophobia.

And the left wonder why they fail to get traction.


Labour is hardly a left leaning party. They have more in common with your money wasting mate Mr Budget Blow Out Key…..


Strange you say that – when reading through the speech I tuned out a thought it could as well have been john key giving it.

Bah and humbug we need some green power in parliament !


I thought similarly tinfoil… a little like his 2008 campaign speeches.

Then Labour Party maverick Colonial Rawshark:

Any government which believes in surpluses as a good thing, is a government which believes that austerity, tax increases and service cuts are a good thing.

We should be damned pleased that National is abandoning its goal of getting to surplus. If you really want to push them to achieve their surplus, you know how they will. Tax increases on the poor and service cuts for the poor.


It’s like Labour have looked at what’s worked for National and said, “ok… we can do that too”. They are trying to create the steady as she goes image so that WHEN the electorate get tired of FJK (and they eventually will), there is someone “safe” to take over.

It’s not leadership… it’s management. It’s not visionary… it’s pragmatic. It’s not what NZ needs but it probably what NZ wants.

Jenny Kirk fights back for the party:

Yep – I expected the negative criticism as above.

What none of you negative types are taking into account is the fact that Labour IS working on its work/jobs policy and WILL come up with some realistic policies within the timeframe announced – and you are just all going to have to be patient and wait for it.
Rome wasn’t built in a day – and neither will the rebuild of the Labour Party be done in a quick space of time !

Phillip Ure:

it reads like it was written by a committee..

..are there no decent speech writers in labour..?


Yup, and every time Labour comes up with these policies, they’re like Little’s speech… the same old stuff worded differently.

Nothing has changed, nothing will change.

The “same old stuff from the 90’s” doesn’t work any more… get that through your head, that’s why Labour keeps getting rejected… the world has moved on, but Labour is still looking backwards.


Just has to be in time for the next election… I won’t hold my breath. Coming from a staunch Labour family, which included a Labour MP in the First Labour Government (the values of which still resonate strongly with me), it seems to me the sun has well and truly set on the party it once was.

The Murphey:

Jenny it makes no difference what the policies are because they are underpinned by a failed ideology which is literally destroying the earth and its inhabitants

The speech was a waste of air and until someone addresses the money as debt situation then listening to them is a waste of time.

Anthony Robins fights back for the party:

Excellent analysis of the problems and missed opportunities. Light on the alternatives going forward, but you’d expect that at this stage. Overall a very good speech.

But Bill disagrees:

I disagree. We all know it’s fucked. Who cares about the precise details? Damned few. All he had to do was say things are fucked and that Labour believes in and is committed to change. Then lay out that roadmap of hope that takes us to big change.

Timorous wee beasties.


Little is playing the long game. What would be the point in showing your best hand this early in the electoral cycle. The gloss is fast wearing off Key & his government and Little is establishing his cred’s with the electorate.
Little is the only alternative and if you don’t like it, bleating won’t produce the answer you crave.


It’s not a fucking game. It’s people and real lives. Given that, there is no ‘best hand’ – there is only ‘getting your shit together’ and boldly representing people and their wishes.

Or should politicians sit above us all and gamely compete with one another and on their own terms, for a spectators cross on a ballot paper every election? The winners!! Yay!!! Now back to the sports TV, the drudge and the nonsense….my team won/lost.

Te Reo Putake (a party activist):

It pretty much is a game. At least in the sense that it has rules, competitors and judges.

Atiawa is dead right. And not just because we don’t want to give the right two years to attack the policy platform. It’s also because Labour are doing exactly what the SNP have done for the last couple of years. Listening to the people and trying to find policies that the people actually want. I don’t see a problem with that.

Colonial Rawshark

Trust me, NZ Labour are NOT doing “exactly” what the SNP have done LOL

Bill (who has Scottish links and a good knowledge of the SNP):

I can’t agree with you on this TRP.

NZ Labour’s main internal force is its crushing inertia.

What they’re doing is essentially what UK and Scottish Labour did…they saidthey were listening, but ignored everything that didn’t fit with their pre-conceived notions of what the right thing was. For those things that kind of fitted with their view, they tweaked what they heard to make it fit better.

NZ Labour is at best going down the same track as UK Labour in England, or worse, the track they took in Scotland where, yeah…they’re dead. They won’t be coming back.

There’s a lot of negative, which is sort of surprising from a ‘Labour left’ blog. But I’ll leave some of the last words to some party stalwarts.

Jenny Kirk:

It seems, finally (after 7 years in the wilderness), Labour has a Leader who has real old-fashioned Labour values, knows how to articulate them – and what is more, can deal to the current government in terms that we all understand.


That is exactly my impression from meeting him and attending several events where he spoke. Consistent, never wavers, knows exactly where he is going to take the party and it ain’t down any neo liberal track!! The other thing I like about him… he is not the least bit phased by Key. There’s nothing Key and co. can throw at him that he hasn’t encountered before.

I know its frustrating – I get frustrated too – but be patient folks. He would be a fool to articulate policy details now. Time after time over the decades Labour announced their policies too early only to have National pinch them and walk away with victory. Holland, Holyoake, Muldoon and Bolger governments all did it.

  • Holland Government 1947-1951
  • Holyoake Government 1960-1972
  • Muldoon Government 1975-1984
  • Bolger Government 1990-1999

We are in a different age of communication. People aren’t patient. News cycles are very short. Issues come and go quickly.

Hoping to get things right in two years time, leading up to the next election, is a huge risk, something that hasn’t worked for Labour in the past two elections.

Last term Labour went through three leaders in impatience for a turnaround.

Little’s problem with this speech is that it will have struggled to impress the centre, too negative, vague and obviously out of step with reality.

And reaction at The Standard shows that apart from party faithful it failed to impress the left.

The Daily Blog doesn’t appear to have even covered Little’s speech. Neither has Public Address. Neither has Pundit.

Polls don’t ask voters “will you support Labour in two years time if they come up with some worthwhile policies?” Poll momentum, or lack of momentum, reflects what people think now.

If Labour are intent on playing ‘the long game’ they risk playing to a crowd that has long gone to something where there’s been some sign of action.

What are posts here for?

Lynn Prentice recently expressed many criticisms of me here, most without substantiation. He seemed to be annoyed and was lashing out – bullies don’t like being exposed outside their own domain where they can’t impose their power imbalance.

He showed his ignorance of what blogs can be used for, and at the same time ignoring what his own Standard is used for. In one of his outbursts:

Look at your posts. About half of them now consist of whining about other bloggers, and the remainder appear to be taking what other bloggers have said and then adding a bit of silly spin on top.

Look at The Standard posts. Many of them consist of whining about John Key and National, taking what others say and adding a bit of silly spin on top.

For example their first post yesterday, from Anthony Robins – Uncomfortable reading for Key. That consisted mainly of quotes from two opinion pieces. Followed by a bit of silly spin.

Exposed on dirty politics and mass surveillance. Defeated in Northland. A laughing stock for his hair “habit”. Breaking his core economic promise. A growing narrative of third-term decline. No wonder Key’s heart doesn’t seem to be in it anymore.

Robins is currently one of the most prolific authors at The Standard. He could be regarded as a Labour Party activist. Most of his posts are attacking Key and National. A lot of whining.

A search of Robins’ posts shows mostly attack and negative spin posts. You have to go back nineteen posts to find one that’s something positive about Labour and of 31 posts only two are about Labour and their policies.

Anthony can post about whatever interests him, and trying to trash the Government seems high on his interest list.

As Prentice (lprent) posts whatever interests him – if you’re interested here’s his recent authorship history.

And I post on whatever I like here, and however I like. I’m not trying to be a boastful arse like Prentice, and I’m not promoting Labour interests like Robins or Presland (they seem to think attack posts are in Labour’s interests).

I have created my own niche in the blogosphere. And part of my niche is critiquing and exposing what is being done on New Zealand’s major political blogs. Lynn seems to think it’s all about him but it’s not. I also critique Slater and Whale Oil, and Kiwiblog, and other blogs and other media.

And as for quoting other media and adding my two bobs worth, that’s a very common way of blogging. It’s common at The Standard.

I’m not trying to say how great my programming or sysopping or education or banning is, I don’t wish to compete with lprent’s space.

I post things of interest to me, hoping some of it will be of interest to others.

And I try to encourage and even provoke discussion. I think that’s a major strength of blogging, allowing people to join in. It seems stupid to ban people I disagree with (as lprent does), I want a diversity of opinion, I want robust and open debate. I enjoy debate and I learn a lot from it.

If I can achieve that by quoting something else then that’s what I’ll do.

I certainly don’t want to be like Prentice or the Standard. I am for better standards.

Labour’s biggest problems – The Standard

Following on from Labour’s biggest problems – Dim-Post Danyl’s post has been re-posted at The Standard. It looks like Greg Presland did the reposting as he’s first off the blocks in comments.


One of the aspects of this is generally the Nat’s framing of issues is closer to optimal than Labour’s. This is because they have polled and focus grouped the hell out of issues.

This really shows at times of crisis. After Dirty Politics and Ponytailgate Key and the nats looked really messy and out of touch and it took a few days for them to work out their lines to counter these issues. Then the consistent message is decided on and they then keep saying these things ad nauseum.

The superior resources is a big part of this. For the left to improve things it will have to get better resourced.

Political money follows success. To be better resourced (ie get more donations) Labour needs to be get better resourced – in personnel, in party activists, in blog support.

Presland (who is active in the Labour Party in West Auckland) is hoping for a Labour Lotto win to deliver them what he thinks they deserve. Elections don’t work like Lotto.

Another Labour member Colonial Rawshark (Tat Loo) he has a more realistic take on it.

The professional political left is culturally disconnected from the majority of potential voters. More resourcing will not fix that.

I’m particularly worried about the staffers and advisors. And the List seems to have made things even worse – now there’s a whole class of MPs (the majority of the Labour caucus) who don’t have to engage with ordinary people in ordinary electorates at all.

Tat battles the party status quo in Dunedin South and in social media. But he is only partially right here:

One MP who shall remain nameless was overheard while watching an anti-TPPA rally comprising of several hundred people (a very solid turnout) – he remarked that the people at the protest didn’t reflect the views of middle NZ regarding the TPPA and therefore didn’t really count.

A ‘very solid’ few hundred protesters don’t reflect the views of middle New Zealand. Anti-TPPA is another in an ongoing series of cry wolf protests that are part of the left wing struggle. Anti-GCSB and all the other anti-protests didn’t swing the last election.

Rent-a-protest and rent-a-petition seem to be major strategies being used by the left and they are not exciting the masses.

From the UK election, the common narrative now is that all the polls were wrong and we need to have an inquiry into why all the polls were wrong.

I run with a simpler concept: the polls were all mostly correct within the margin of error – but the analysts and pundits who were interpreting the polls were the ones who fucked up because their perspective (personal hopes and fears) was off. That is where I think NZ Labour is also at now.

Pretty much.

It’s not an issue for them because they have enough highly paid advisors who are good at their jobs and who have figured out what the right things to say at the right time are.

Critically, I also believe that the Right ask better questions of their focus groups than the left does.

They ask what people think and what people want. And listen. And act accordingly.

Lew at Politico after last year’s election:

Mostly the responses I get from the faithful fall under one or more of the following:

– National has inherent advantages because the evil old MSM is biased
– the polls are biased because landlines or something
– the inherent nature of modern neoliberal society is biased
– people have a cognitive bias towards the right’s messaging because Maslow
– it inevitably leads to populist pandering and the death of principle
– The Game itself devours the immortal soul of anyone who plays ( which forms a handy way to demonise anyone who does play)

Evidence and strategy are here to stay. Use them, or you’re going to get used. The techniques available to David Farrar and the National party are not magic. They are available to anyone. Whether Labour has poor data or whether they use it poorly I do not know. It looks similar from the outside, and I have heard both from people who ought to know. But it doesn’t really matter. Data is only as good as what you do with it. Whatever they’re doing with it isn’t good enough.

…effective use of data: not asking questions to tell you what you want to hear, but to tell you what you need to know.

But Labour and the left generally seem to think they already know best and expect the voters to recognise this and reward them with votes, so long as money, the media, consultants and aliens don’t unfairly foil their ambitions.

Labour and the left still have big problems that many of them fail to recognise. Just a few days ago Labour’s Party secretary scored another own goal – Labour proposes withholding tax credits unless enrolled to vote – that one was slammed from across the spectrum.

The part secretary is supposed to attract donations so, as Presland said, “for the left to improve things it will have to get better resourced”. Which donors would want to throw money at crap like that?

One of Labour’s biggest problems is repeating dumb politics.

They need to either fix the dumb or replace the dumb. Neither will be easy or quick.

Flag consideration or pissy political pointscoring?

It hasn’t taken long for the flag discussion process to be ambushed by pissy political point scoring.

This could be the only chance in a generation – or in a lifetime – to consider alternatives to our current flag and decide whether as a country we want to change or not.

I think the approach taken by the Stand For website is a bit strange, they seem to be trying to do more than just consider a flag change.

But to attack it as a way of attacking John Key because he instigated the process shows how childish and petty our politics can be.

And The Standard is promoting the pettiness as if it’s a win against Key and National.

Standfornz – when social media goes bad

The site www.standfor.co.nz is supposed to get us all excited about the flag distraction:

“Before our country decides which flag we’ll stand for, we want to know what you stand for”

It’s not turning out the way the Nats intended.

And the comments show that a number of blog participants don’t respect democratic process or serious debate about a serious issue.

Sad to see individuals doing this.

It says a lot about the gravitas of New Zealand’s main Labour left blog for them to be promoting this.

And they will probably be amongst the quickest and loudest to complain if a new flag is chosen that they don’t like.

UPDATE: surprise surprise – lprent is against any flag change so is against any sensible debate about it.

Who cares. A flag is a meaningless cloth to me both as a citizen and an ex-soldier. I’m usually pretty proud to be a New Zealander. I don’t need some manky cloth to remind me of that.


Tell me what the point of having a flag at all is again?

I can’t see any point nor reason to change it. Certainly the idiots promoting it have yet to make a single argument for having either a flag at all (see my post on that) or a change in the design.

We aren’t changing constitution. So what are we doing this for?

As far as I can see, only because John Key has such a pitiful track record that he wants to charge everyone for a face saving exit.

That’s how dire our political discourse has become.

The Standard double standards damage Labour

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.


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