What’s up at Whale Oil?

It’s curious that there were no posts at Whale Oil yesterday under ‘Cameron Slater’ apart from a couple of regular posts that had no commentary, and none on Wednesday either since early in the day. I haven’t seen any messages that Slater would be on blog leave.

This is in contrast to a procession of posts under that author’s name in the previous week or so on the National Party leadership contest.

There could be a number of reasons for Slater’s absence, and I don’t care what the reason is, this is merely an observation.

In lieu of Slater’s activist style attack or promotion posts a number of authors have filled the gap, with a diverse range of topics – I think this is good for WO. Some of them are quite interesting.

SB has been doing some good posts on partnership schools and Labour’s education plans, for example Chris Hipkins described as ‘aggressive’ by CEO of He Puna Marama Trust. Education is an area of interest to her.

Something seems amiss by Orinjamba makes a good point:

Has anyone noticed that ever since the new Government took power there have been very few, if any, stories in the MSM about families with kids living in cars?

I seem to remember this being an almost constant running theme on a weekly basis while National were in Government, however, now it seems to have slipped off the radar entirely. One could even be forgiven for thinking that this is no longer even an issue given the apparent dearth of coverage on the subject.

Another noticeable absence has been the lack of wailing and gnashing of teeth from Labour supporters regarding the Trans-Pacific Partnership or whatever the bloody thing is called these days. I can remember the groundswell of antipathy towards the negotiating process for this deal back when National were pushing for it, followed by the momentous gushing of confused excitement when the deal fell over due to a lack of collective agreement amongst the proposed signatories.

Where is all the opposition now from Labour supporters who, only a couple of years back, were so against this trade deal?

There is some opposition to the TPPA still, but it is very muted. Obviously the diaries of Labour and Green MPs will be much busier now they are in Government.

I expect Slater will be back on deck some time, but in the meantime I think it’s good to see more variety and less of the abrasive attack culture at WO.


  1. On homelessness. As I said in the fox in the hen house piece on the lobbyist ( he hasn’t a Christian name and is respectfully and anonymously referred to by press kindly by his initials only), there’s nothing to see here.

    There was information in the immediate election aftermath – a mountain top proclamation of it being worse than National’s faulty data ( we’ve got more homeless than Kolkata apparently) . As a cynic I’d aver that that was fed to the obliging, fawning media so the government when announcing a drop commensurate with vast improvement despite doing nothing at all of consequence, could crow over

  2. PDB

     /  23rd February 2018

    “Has anyone noticed that ever since the new Government took power there have been very few, if any, stories in the MSM about families with kids living in cars?”

    Remember in the lead up to the election all the hysteria over water & those dirty farmers? The whole country was going to collapse if something wasn’t done but not to worry Labour promised a water tax – except Winston turfed that out during negotiations. The same people should be now marching in the streets but instead barely a word since.

    • Blazer

       /  23rd February 2018

      exported water will still be taxed.This concerned many…people.

      • High Flying Duck

         /  23rd February 2018

        No it won’t Blazer. Either all water (domestic consumption and exported) is taxed or none of it, so at this stage we’re still at none.

        • Blazer

           /  23rd February 2018

          at this stage…but Govt has confirmed a levy…on exported water.

          • PDB

             /  23rd February 2018

            The exported water tax affects very few businesses. The ‘water tax’ debate was mainly about taxing irrigation.

            IrrigationNZ: “CEO Andrew Curtis said: ‘It is wrong to say a water tax is about water bottlers when water bottlers will pay less than 3 per cent of the water tax. Farmers and growers will bear the brunt of it and pay 83 per cent of a water tax. The remaining 14 per cent will be raised from other rural commercial users like food processing plants, while commercial businesses on Council water supplies won’t pay any water tax”.

            “‘Commercial water bottlers on town water supplies won’t be paying the tax. So it’s not actually a tax on water bottlers, only on some of them.”

          • High Flying Duck

             /  23rd February 2018

            The Government confirmed it, and were then told they are unable to implement it…and have been very silent on it ever since.


            They are, however “determined to find a way through”.

            • Blazer

               /  23rd February 2018

              Anythings doable in a Sovereign nation.Please name some countries you can pop into and help yourself to…water!Bloody Nats andf their…’open economy’.

            • High Flying Duck

               /  23rd February 2018

              Many of the agreements (including the China one) were signed by Labour Blazer – this is not a National Party thing.

  3. duperez

     /  23rd February 2018

    “SB has been doing some good posts on partnership schools …” On her blogs it says, “If you agree with me that’s nice but what I really want to achieve is to make you question the status quo. Look between the lines, do your own research. Do not be a passive observer in this game we call life.

    Does that mean if you are not a passive observer in the game we call life you post moderate reasoned opinion as a response to something there? If you question the status quo with moderate reasoned opinion on one of their hobby horses will be accepted or moderated off? I mean deleted. I mean censored.

    I realise it is their site and they can do what they like especially when they have no answer. Any time an intellectual deficit is filled with fanaticism expect the unexpected.

  4. Since you don’t care what the reason for Cam’s absence is I will not share it with you.
    However, I am glad you enjoy reading Whaleoil and our ever increasing range of regular writers. Currently, we have 9 regular writers that people who do not have a subscription have access to.
    For those who want more diversity and a range of political views we have Incite Politics magazine articles 5 days a week that can only be accessed by those with a Silver subscription or above, our writers there include Sir Bob Jones who has proved incredibly popular as well as Olivia Pierson, Chris Trotter, ( Australian writer) Lushington D. Brady, Simon Lusk, Paul Bailey ( for a Green party viewpoint) and of course Cameron Slater.

    Our Bronze subscription has proved very popular particularly when we added access to an online crossword from Bronze subscribers. We plan to add sudoku in the future if there is enough demand.

    Whaleoil has evolved to meet demand and we are very happy with its direction. Thank you for the compliment on my Education posts. I am passionate about education and am gutted at Hitman Hipkin’s termination plans for schools that are doing so much for Maori and Pasifika.

    • duperez

       /  23rd February 2018

      I feel that writing a reasonable comment on here in respectful language will see it not censored.
      I see Hipkins has become “Hitman”. Not the Heinous, Horrible, Hideous, Horrendous or Horrific but the Hitman. He’ll probably lose sleep over that.

      The rabid campaign for charter schools and rubbishing state schools brings its own particular ironies. One upset parent saying ““It’s (a charter school) so different from mainstream schools, there’s a wonderful community of learning and a great sense of belonging here.” With the overt implication that those qualities are unique to charter schools.

      And the child couldn’t cope with the pressure to learn in a school environment so had to be home-schooled. Pressure to learn? In a state school? I didn’t think they made demands of kids.

      Anyone can imagine the usual Cameron Slater on that site, if the same family were in the news for something he didn’t agree with putting the boot in. “The kid should’ve been told to suck it up. The parent now cares, the kid succeeds, whoop dee doo.” That’s the style.

      • “Hitman” is rather ironic from WO quarters, but there’s a tendency with some to accuse others of their own attibutes.

  5. PartisanZ

     /  23rd February 2018

    Hmmm, I wonder how SB feels about ‘diversity’ and the potential for a “divided society” with race-based laws, special cultural privileges and even ‘enclaves’ like, for instance, a fundamentalist Christian school for Pasifika students, a military ‘boot-camp’ type academy for Maori kids or a Muslim school for recent Middle East immigrants’ children?

    Personally I wouldn’t pay Whaleoil a ‘Tinfoil Subscription’ …

  6. unitedtribes2

     /  23rd February 2018

    From a couple of comments I read on WO the other day I suspect Cam has had a stint in hospital something to do with his throat

    • Gezza

       /  23rd February 2018

      Oh well, if so I hope he’s on the mend. Not someone I’d really want to look after me pooks, but I always feel sorry for hurt creatures, including cetaceans.

    • Jonny

       /  24th February 2018

      If you can access his Facebook you will see shots of him in hospital.

  7. oldlaker

     /  23rd February 2018

    I am missing Slater’s commentary on the National leadership race as it becomes clear that Judith Collins is coming nowhere. This must be her last shot at the top job, surely?