Chauvel’s barb backfired on party office links to blogs

Charles Chauvel made an accusation against bloggers in his valedictory speech in parliament:

In the case of the two better-known right wing blogs, those online sources are proxies for the present government, with much copy supplied directly out of ministers’ offices at taxpayers’ expense.

It has not been disputed that he was referring to Kiwiblog and Whale Oil.

“Much copy supplied directly out of ministers’ offices” is totally unsubstantiated by Chauvel, and at the new The Daily Blog Lynn Prentice implies the same accusation:

The implication that Pete George is evidentially trying to imply is that The Standard is run by Labour in the same manner that those two blogs are.

There is no evidence for and much evidence against the claim that Kiwiblog and Whale Oil are “proxies for the current Government”. In a blog post headed Pete George – an example of right wing blogging falsehoods it’s ironic that Prentice is promoting a falsehood made in parliament.

I haven’t claimed and have no reason to believe that The Standard is “run by Labour”, I was simply showing significant connections with Labour. And Prentice actually agrees with (and clarifies) Labour-Standard connections – doesn’t deny one that is directly linked to Shearer’s office.

Mike Smith – “works in David Shearer’s office”. Wow – what a inordinate level of omission. Mike retired as the long standing party secretary of the Labour party in 2009. We asked him to join me as a trustee of the trust that runs The Standard in 2010. He couldn’t resist starting to write posts later that year.

However I don’t think that anyone who knows politics is surprised that David Shearer’s office also wanted his advice on a part-time basis. He has a rather lot of political experience (unlike Pete apparently).

Smith is only an occasional poster but even Labour Party members at The Standard raised eyebrows via their keyboards about his posts during the leadership/conference stoush in November, and suggested it was copy supplied directly out of David Shearer’s office.

And I had also said:

‘James Henderson’ – believed to work for Greens in Parliament.


James Henderson – 22 posts. I’ll ignore the unsubstantiated whaledreck Pete George asserts. But JH always party votes Green.


However with the exception of Mike Smith for Labour and JH for the Greens…

…Prentice confirms those party links.

And the other pseudonyms could be fed by anyone. This highlights problems with using pseudonyms for political purposes on blogs. David Farrar  has blogged on this:

Again, because readers have no way of knowing if an author is a genuine unique individual, one associates things they say more with the site, than them as an individual – because we do not know them as an individual.

And because we don’t know them as individuals, and they don’t openly identify their connections and motives, pseudonym users (and sites like The Standard that allow them for political purposes) leave themselves open to reasonable speculation.

‘James Henderson’ – is not a known identity, virtually any blogger using their own name reveals details about themselves over time. Not so with James Henderson. There is no indication it’s anything but a pseudonym – which could be seen as misleading and dishonest trying to pass themselves off as a ‘person’ they are not.

I don’t have direct evidence that ‘James Henderson’ is a pseudonym that uses copy supplied directly out of Green offices but there are ample indications that this could be so, and there is no denial from Prentice or anyone else.

The Greens could deny any link between their offices and ‘James Henderson’, that would settle this. Both David Farrar and Cameron Slater make detailed disclosures about themselves, their pasts and their connections.

I am not claiming (or implying) that either Labour or the Greens run The Standard.

But Chauvel’s barb has backfired, as has Prentice’s grand entrance to The Daily Blog. They have made unsubstantiated accusations about right wing blogs with “much copy supplied directly out of ministers’ offices at taxpayers’ expense“, and Prentice has shown that in fact Labour and quite possibly Greens are doing exactly that from opposition party offices (as a part of the overall blogging at The Standard).

It’s a double own goal.

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