‘Cabinet club’ kock up

Karol is an an author at The Standard and claims to be a Green supporter. She promotes her researching ability and has been critical of my researching. Putting oneself on a pedestal  is risky, especially in social media.

She recently posted The politics of private dinners where she promoted a ‘National bad, Labour/Green good’ meme, which she summed up as:

a) the Nats secretive practices that support the profit-making, self -serving power of corporate elites, by exploiting their networks with backroom deals in private place (for the ultimate benefit of the few), and

b) Labour and the Greens very highly publicised acceptance of corporate wealth to publicly support policies to combat climate change (for the ultimate benefit of everyone).

I questioned this, and I asked her to substantiate some of her claims as her post didn’t stack up. She bollocksed me a number of times for “not reading” and “ignoring” her post…

Did you read the post, PG? A major difference is between National Party’s exclusive, and secretive fundraising practices, often seemingly arranged privately and without any verifiable rational organisation other than cronyism, and union activities and Labour Party practices that are transparent and open to public scrutiny.


PG, for goodness sake, you keep making statements that ignore the content of my post.

I tried to find out what Cabinet Clubs are and presented the evidence I’d found in my post. Go read. 

Obviously she saw her research differently to me. What was her evidence? She had used photos to back up her primary points of National’s privacy.

harper-key-abbott dinner

Karol’s comment after this:

However, a distinctive thing about Cabinet Club is the values embedded in the practices, and seen in the exclusive and private nature of the events.  These mostly seem to be focused around cosy private dinners, targeting wealthy donors. 

That was a world wide publicised photo showing the Prime Minister’s of New Zealand, Australia and Canada having a discussion over a meal:

No sign of Barack buddy David Cameron, but here are three of the Queen’s other prime ministers – Australia’s Tony Abbott, Canada’s Stephen Harper, New Zealand’s John Key – having a working lunch ahead of the memorial service.

But what I like about the photo is its ordinariness, right down to the restaurant decor, the wall print of wine bottles, and the spare chair.

From Government by Mere Mortals (Mark Steyn).

The ‘three Prime Ministers’ picture was a very public meeting. And the next example:

This was shown graphically on the 3 News report on the Chinese Cabinet Club event at which immigration minister Michael Woodhouse was a guest speaker.  3 News had obtained a slideshow with images of the event, including this one:

Cabinet Club Woodhouse Chinese

Here mainstream politics meet private activities, within someone’s home.  Woodhouse is set up to speak, with the cosy little dinner table seen in the background; the after-glow of a friendly bit of exclusive networking on a very personal scale.

I queried this a number of times because I wasn’t seeing what karol saw.

Great, PG, so you really haven’t read my post. @ 2.46pm. You said:

Did 3 News show a photo of a secret fundraiser in a private home? I didn’t see it.

head desk – if you want to continue commenting about my post, please make an effort to read (and understand) the post and stop wasting my time & discussion space.

PS; I don’t know how secret it was. I used the term “secretive” – ie that it’s kept pretty well away from public scrutiny.

I pressed her:

karol, the photo you posted didn’t look like a private home setting to me.

I’ve just viewed the news item you linked to again:

This looks nothing like your description. 3 News makes no mention of a home.

So my question stands – can you show any 3 News photo of a ‘cabinet club’ meeting in a private home? That would support your claim…

a) the Nats secretive practices that support the profit-making, self -serving power of corporate elites, by exploiting their networks with backroom deals in private place (for the ultimate benefit of the few),

…but I don’t think the coverage you posted and linked to does.

karol has now accepted that. She conceded:

Fair enough. It wasn’t stated as a private home in the vid. But to me the photo looks like it is in a private home.

The slide show in the link shows what is obviously not a private home. There’s sign writing on the windows and doors (in Chinese). There are toilet signs.

Karol seems to have been intent on pushing a “National bad, private meetings, secerecy” meme and was blind to what the evidence she presented actually showed. She insisted I was not taking any notice of her evidence but i saw what she didn’t – her kock up.

No one likes being proved wrong. As is standard at The Standard karol didn’t take this very well, as advised by lprent:


I would strongly suggest that you limit your comments on karol’s posts. She is rather pissed off with you. She really doesn’t like wasting the time that she could expend on research for another post simply saying “you’re wrong and here is why” on her posts without some actual useful discussion ensuing. For that matter neither do I, her posts are invariably interesting because of the research she puts into them (even though I seldom agree fully).

I think she was of the opinion that it was simple deliberate diversion trolling. I was of the opinion that you were being your usual crass and rather unthinking self. However she didn’t offer the fateful words taht would cause me to just accept her opinion as fact. But whatever it was, I suspect that you will be a short shift next time and I will have the pleasure of seeing karol do her very first ban. :twisted: ]

karol was pissed off because she was hoist by her own petard. “Diversion trolling” is Standard-speak for challenging authors who might not always be correct.

And there was a Standard outcome. As has happened before this initiated a campaign to hound me off the blog and initially resulted in me being put into auto-moderation (Standard-speak “the ban sword hovering to enforce meek compliance”). lprent took me back off moderation long enough to use a lame excuse to ban me – not ironically this was over pointing out evidence he provided proved a point I was making.

[That is a deliberate repeated lie and one that there is no absolutely basis in any fact for.

Standard-speak for “don’t debate with head censor”.

Banned for four weeks so we can talk without an idiot astroturfing. ]

Standard-speak for message control and protecting their bull from being challenged.

This just proves the obvious and resulted in the inevitable. Such is the level of debate at The Standard, where their resident trolls deliberately and repeatedly lie without any restriction to enforce message control.

I used to think karol was more reasonable and research and fact based, but she seems to have been sucked in to the Standard system. Unlike some of the others I put her kock-up down to sloppiness rather than the deliberate disingenuous messages of some of their other authors, but her reaction was part of the Standard regime.

Their blog, their rules, but I think debate on the left is the worse for it.


  1. Of course you never considered that you were just acting like an old arrogant fool, and that you might routinely be wrong eh? I have no idea why you never listen to other people explaining where you’re wrong and why, but that is exactly what you repeatedly do. It is exactly what you did on karol’s post. Effectively you thrashed the comments section for everyone else reading that post by simply not listening and then making up a varying range of meaningless objections that mostly showed you hadn’t read the post in any detail.

    No amount of selective quoting will prevent others from drawing that opinion. I guess you know that and that is why you didn’t link to the relevant comments and just selectively quoted instead.

    The reason you got banned by me was because you kept repeating a straight lie that unions were the only crucial vote in the Labour leadership election last year. The small number of affiliated unions had 20%. That was a simple lie, one that only required a minute of calculation to disprove*, and which you were fully informed about when you proceeded to repeat the claim.

    It started like this


    Argh I am just watching Key’s post cabinet press conference.

    Did you know that the Labour Party receives hundreds of thousands if not millions from the trade unions and that the unions select the leader?

    Where is a decent fact checker when you need one?

    You responded

    You get me the facts and I’ll post them.

    Some unions do help select the leader don’t they?

    To which you got many replies explaining the 40% 40% 20% split between caucus, members, and affiliated unions and the percentages in that leadership vote. Not that this is exactly hard to find. The 51% odd the Cunliffe got in the first round of voting required support from all three branches of the electoral college.

    Which you pretty much ignored and started waffling on about donations and how we don’t know who they are from and how they must be from unions and perhaps that explained the vote. That of course was an outright lie since the unions typically declare all of their donations in their own books which are audited, open to members, and are declared in the parliamentary

    FYI: Much of the “anonymous” donations for Labour come from people like me who long ago signed up for monthly or weekly direct debits, and who put in other donations to the party when asked. There are hundreds of members who do the same thing. They show up in the annual accounts for the NZLP which are given to all delegates at conference (I haven’t been a delegate for some time).

    My basic donation is about $300 per year and matches my monthly donations to Unicef and St Johns. I’ve been known to give donations to various parts of the party for several thousands of dollars, especially heading into elections.

    You got banned after I saw that you’d ignored a number of people giving you the basic facts, and asking you how you could keep asserting crap without any basis in fact. You just kept repeating the bullshit without variations. That is the classic technique on blogs of astroturfing. Just keep repeating bullshit while not really engaging with others telling you the errors in your facts or opinions. I quoted your repitition…

    [lprent: “It can reasonably be claimed that they can have a deciding vote.”

    No it cannot be reasonably be claimed as has been pointed out earlier. It simply makes absolutely no mathematical sense. Not to mention that the published second vote preferences in caucus clearly make it complete crap. That is a deliberate repeated lie and one that there is no absolutely basis in any fact for.

    Banned for four weeks so we can talk without an idiot astroturfing. ]

    You wasted your final comment with this

    What a weak excuse. Again.

    [lprent: Whatever. I suspect it will be in your sole opinion. It is exactly what others have been stating for some time.

    You simply do not check your facts and when presented with facts, links to facts, and other interpretations you simply ignore them. In this case what you are saying is simply mathematically impossible especially since it was a three horse race in an electoral college. I’d suggest that you read up on how they operate because it is quite clear that you don’t have the faintest idea.

    Instead you just repeat crap rather than listening. That is either gross stupidity or astroturfing. I really don’t care which. The effect is that it clogs the comment stream from any chance of real debate because you simply aren’t listening when people tell you why you are wrong. Hell you don’t even seem to pretend to listen to them… ]

    The comments after that were full of rejoicing.

    * On the first round their actual vote for Cunliffe in the final count for the electoral college was about half that of the members, and similar to that of caucus. All three groups were required Cunliffes 51.15% first round victory. All three groups were crucial. But obviously the members at about double the other two groups were the most crucial.

    If it had gone to the second round as it so nearly did, then the caucus vote would have been close to double that of the affiliated unions.

    But hey, lie away about our site as well. I’m sure this will keep increasing our readers if they know for certain the site will be a Pete George free zone.

    Ban doubled.

    • “Of course you never considered that you were just acting like an old arrogant fool, and that you might routinely be wrong eh?”

      What about you? You’re not exactly the best listener are you.

      I’ve now posted in detail on donations. Thanks for re-emphasising that the union vote tipped Cunliffe over the 50% he needed. “All three groups were required Cunliffes 51.15% first round victory.”

      Very funny accusing me of lying. You support rampant lying at The Standard.

      It’s a bit sad the The Standard actively controls, coerces, threatens, abuses and bans to try and avoid criticism and threats to the Labour message. It’s a lost opportunity for open and honest left wing debate. I don’t know if you’re blind to what you are doing or if it’s by draconian design.

      It was fun until the inevitable and you wimped out (again) with another lame excuse to excise me. You don’t seem to like robust debate, you keep protecting your flock from examination. Use all the excuses you like, you don’t want honest debate, you want control. That’s your call but the New Zealand blogosphere still badly lacks an open left wing forum that has the guts to back their arguments.

      • You_Fool

         /  May 13, 2014

        Interestingly, you continue to miss LPrent’s argument. You stated that the unions decided the vote, and by repeating it ensured that your opinion was well understood that you believed that only the unions decided the vote. As everyone at the standard pointed out, the same can be said for any of three sides of the vote, i.e. you can as easily say that the membership vote decided the outcome, and given the actual voting % my opinion is that the membership was much more influential in the final outcome than the unions or caucus – which is a very good thing.

        Interestingly the only people who are in danger of being banned from the standard are those who continue to repeat obviously wrong anti-labour or anti-green statements. The standard to ban people stating obviously wrong things about Nat is less, but then that isn’t a surprise. That said people who say intelligent things who happen to have right wing views are reasonably tolerated and not threatened. But then I doubt you will understand that

  2. Phil Wild

     /  May 13, 2014

    Can be seen easily why Whaleoil won the best blog award, fully allows both sides of the discussion. No danger of the standard ever raising theirs.

    • I’ve had some ding dong debates at Whale Oil, including with Cam, but have never felt under threat of being shut out for disagreeing or having an alternate point of view.

      • You_Fool

         /  May 13, 2014

        PG: That is because Cam is a troll as well, he is trolling you while you troll him.

  3. Goldie

     /  May 13, 2014

    Life is too short, Pete, to bother descending into the Hard Left/ conspiracy theory echo chamber of The Standard.
    In ten years time will you think “Gee – I wish I had spent more time trying to reason with assorted conspiracy theorists and tinfoil hat wearers at The Standard”?

  4. I thought it was just me that was being wound up by the low or double standard that the moderators (who are anything but moderate) apply, their instance on proven links in reposes from an ‘outsider’ and the rampant abuse and personal attack are astounding.

    I used to read it to try and get balance or alternate views, now I read it for comedy value.

    That and I can’t think of a sentence that includes “neolibral dogma” in it that would clearly bring me into the fold.