Trash and trashing – #turnardern and nasty politics

Since Jacinda Ardern became Prime Minister there has been ongoing petty and nasty attacks against her, from calling her names she had once been reported to not like to making derogatory animal references and running campaigns against her ability to be a PM and mother at the same time.

This has been prevalent in social media like  Twitter and Facebook, and is also very evident on right leaning blogs like Kiwiblog and The BFD.

This isn’t new in politics. John Key was subjected to a barrage of similar type attacks and snarkiness, except for being a father and PM, also in social media and blogs like The Standard.

I have seen a sustained petty and nasty campaign against Ardern by a bunch of numpties on Twitter. This reflected poorly on right wing politics, because that is what this group were seen to be a part of.

Recently and somewhat ironically this group started a relatively lame ‘protest’ that moved off Twitter and into real life. They started to turn magazines and books that featured Ardern in bookshops to hide her and the cover. It just seemed like more silly antics, until NZ Herald took it mainstream, revealing both the campaign and the identity of the ‘team leader’ to a much wider audience (albeit in the quiet Christmas period).

NZH (21 December):  The mystery man leading the bizarre online #turnardern campaign against Jacinda Ardern

The numpties seemed to enjoy the publicity, thinking it added some sort of weight and credibility to their antics.

Their right to conduct a harmless protest was supported by some – that’s something I agree with. I doubt they harmed book and magazine sales, in fact they were more likely to more draw attention to publications featuring Ardern.

But their petty nasty campaign provoked a nastier reaction, which has reflected very poorly on the left of politics, with doxxing and death threats being the worst of it.

Ani O’Brien (Stuff): Turn down the hysterics on #TurnArdern, or risk alienating many on the Left

In the last few weeks, a small group of Kiwis led by a 66-year-old Christchurch man has been quietly turning around books and magazines featuring our Prime Minister in stores around the country.

They contend that she spends for too much time on photoshoots and fluff pieces and not enough time working on the eradication of child poverty, homelessness, and the housing crisis.

Fair enough, right? We don’t necessarily have to agree with this, but good on them for peacefully demonstrating their political discontent with our Prime Minister and her Government.

The book turning campaign itself wasn’t a big deal but this group have a sustained record of nastiness on Twitter, so #turnardern shouldn’t be judged in isolation.

What should have been a flash-in-the-pan, barely noticed protest has now made not only national headlines but it has also been featured in international press.

This is thanks to the characteristically hysterical response of the increasingly militant and intolerant section of the Left who are determined to attribute the most horrendous of social crimes to anyone who holds opinions contrary to theirs.

The founder of the #TurnArdern movement has had his private and business information published online, been threatened, and – along with all who have participated – been labelled a misogynist, racist, white supremacist extremist.

Now, I do not know the people involved with the protest, but as far as I can tell turning books around is about as benign as political objection can get.

On it’s own it was benign, but because it was associated with years of snarkiness and nastiness it should be seen in a wider context.

It is also reminiscent of those who hid books about John Key when he was Prime Minister and if I recall they were not labelled anything other than ‘petty’ by their political opponents.

Again, this gutter level of politics isn’t new, it has been hap;ping for a long time – Helen Clark was also subjected to many nasty attacks (and still is).

The intolerant Leftists call the action a dog-whistle to more sinister motives. But it is their hyperbolic response that is a dog whistle to an increasing determination by the chattering classes to police political opinion, speech, and even thought.

Evident in the way angry tweets and reports about #TurnArdern almost always reference its founder’s working class job, the New Zealand hard-Left seem determined to uncritically follow the road to opposition that their counterparts took in Australia, the US, and – most recently – the UK.

The Left – of which I reluctantly remain a part – must reflect on to what extent the new values and rhetoric they’re espousing are no longer compatible with those who have been their core voters.

Politicians on the Left must be aware that parroting the neo-academic liberalism of their pals on Twitter will inevitably alienate those for whom economic stability and traditional values are most important.

If we learn one thing from our international counterparts it should be that you cannot spend election year insulting the working class and calling them bigots and then expect them to turn around and vote for you.

Intolerant leftists – here in Aotearoa that is largely Labour and Green supporters – are causing problems for the parties they are trying to boost by booing at the other side of politics. It looks ugly and it is ugly.

Intolerant righties cause similar problems for right leaning parties, here mainly National. It may be worse at the moment with Simon Bridges seemingly intent on dog whistling to the right, and moving National to the right (perceptively at least).

While there is little new in political animosity, intolerance and nastiness biggest loser here is democracy. This sort of bad behaviour excites those who are active in politics, both positively and negatively, but it tends to turn off ordinary voters who tend to see political nastiness as a whole dirty stain rather than one colour or another.

Political trash trashing others is a very poor reflection on politics and wider society.


Unfortunately at this time in politics nastiness and lying is getting a lot of an airing via the Political Trasher in Chief, Donald Trump, who sets a very poor example for a supposed world leader – he is probably the most divisive force in politics,

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49 Comments

  1. Reply
    • Duker

       /  30th December 2019

      Hmmm …the Turn Ardern dipstick is the issue ..not those who say whaaaat?

      “This is thanks to the characteristically hysterical response of the increasingly militant and intolerant section of the Left who are determined to attribute the most horrendous of social crimes to anyone who holds opinions contrary to theirs.”

      Horrendous social crimes ? Pleeese…its womens magazines

      Someone called Ani O’Brien, who no one has heard from before , but the self-appointed leader of a group ….
      “Speak Up For Women formed in 2018 in opposition to the government’s proposal to allow people to self-identify their sex in the Births, Deaths, Marriages and Relationships Registration Bill.”
      Theres another nutjob there
      “The group has also campaigned against the inclusion of transgender women in women’s sport. ”
      Apparently diversity is a one way street….because of “SAFETY” …exactly the same excuses for segregation in the US is the 60s.

      Reply
    • Corky

       /  30th December 2019

      I was musing the other day regarding Peter becoming a fully fledged Rightie. Looks like he’s confirmed that.

      The left strike me as a joyless bunch of malcontents. I don’t know why that is:

      1- Genetic inheritance?
      2- Weren’t given enough Xmas presents during childhood?
      3- Repressive sociopathic tendencies?
      4- Never owned a business or drunk good wine?
      5- Cold homes during childhood?

      I think about this puzzle often. Of course, I can find Righty’s with Lefty traits. John Banks comes to mind. But even he has a good sense of humour and can laugh at himself. How many times have you caught Andrew Little having a giggle about himself? Not many, if any.

      Reply
      • Blazer

         /  30th December 2019

        John Banks memory comes to mind!
        Can’t remember a trip in a helicopter,and can’t remember having a son,who is the spitting image.

        Can’t remember the Onehunga days either,at least the ones he wants to…forget.

        Reply
        • Corky

           /  30th December 2019

          Kim Dot whoever, proven to have lied. Amanda Banks tracked do the American businessmen (?) present at the meeting.

          Please remember what I wrote, Blazer:

          ”Of course, I can find Righty’s with Lefty traits. John Banks comes to mind. ”

          Lucky you aren’t a Lefty polly ,eh, Blazer.😊

          ”Politicians on the Left must be aware that parroting the neo-academic liberalism of their pals on Twitter will inevitably alienate those for whom economic stability and traditional values are most important.”

          Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  30th December 2019

          Blazer, he didn’t remember whose helicopter it was.

          He has or did have his own helicopter, so helicopter rides were no novelty to him as they would be to the rest of us; it would be like someone trying to remember which car they’d been in some years afterwards. theirs or someone else’s.

          Reply
          • Blazer

             /  30th December 2019

            yeah right!…I took a taxi to the airport…but can’t remember whose taxi it was!
            That was not the Q asked…regardless.

            Reply
  2. Blazer

     /  30th December 2019

    ‘ reminder that the left always takes politics far more seriously and grimly than the right ‘

    all those years in Parliament and not au fait with the Natz win at any cost mindset.

    Probably never heard of Jason Ede….what a..meathead.

    Reply
    • Duker

       /  30th December 2019

      yes. The wasnt any example of ‘lefties taking it too seriously’, in fact the main meme seems to be the intolerant right shown by this person offended by womens magazines covers ( but not those with Bridges and his lovely young family). Was the submitted column re written to get clickbait headlines ?

      Reply
    • Pink David

       /  30th December 2019

      “Natz ”

      It’s funny how many little tricks get used. This is an interesting one.

      Reply
  3. lurcher1948

     /  30th December 2019

    Coltheman
    @Coltheman1
    Founding Member of #turnardern
    Social Media Influencer. (Moaner)
    I Turn Books
    Joined October 2012
    1,713 Following
    2,120 Followers
    Not followed by anyone you’re following
    Im following the book turner, i also follow the lady who doxed him (Colin Wilson)the bricklay

    Reply
  4. There was discussion about this on he Standard yesterday, starting with

    Are the more rabid lefties turning people off?

    Bullying a silly git who turned a few books over is going to far.

    https://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-29-12-2019/#comment-1675824

    This is fairly typical of the campaign the ‘team leader’ has been running on Twitter:
    “Why does this stupid bitch…”
    “She is an ignorant bitch. There is no other way of describing her”
    https://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-29-12-2019/#comment-1675877

    ‘Anne’ did the very common attack the messenger thing:

    Good way to smear and down-grade the centre-left during the barbie season though isn’t it.

    Pfft to her. Wonder if her National Party controllers wrote the piece?

    https://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-29-12-2019/#comment-1675843

    Reply
    • James Thrace:

      Your quotes from Ani’s piece weren’t responded to with anything other than a statement that didn’t address her points.

      Weka’s point stands – people on the “left” are too busy trying to dissemble every statement and turn it into an argument as to why it’s “wrong” rather than adopt a holistic viewpoint and accept that the sometimes sanctimonious, holier than thou attitude, is a massive turn off for those who are not tribal and are “leftist”

      It’s terrifying how many people I’ve seen on twitter who formerly voted Labour or Green, and are now considering ACT, because they feel Green and Labour want to restrict what people can say, how they say it, what should be said. ACT is seen as supporting “free speech” which believe it or not, is attractive to people in allowing them to explore their thoughts and ideas, and not be told they can’t have such thoughts or ideas which are anathema to accepted diktats.

      It might not be true, but it’s the perception. And in politics, perception is everything.

      So Anne, while I know you’ve got years of experience of Labour background, perhaps instead of arguing the toss, the conversation that the “left” needs to have should be focused on “how can we respond to people’s concerns and educate them on what we’re going to do about it, instead of telling them why they’re wrong and leaving it at that”

      https://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-29-12-2019/#comment-1675994

      Reply
      • Duker

         /  30th December 2019

        Its also part of ‘viral marketing’ to drum up ‘outrage’ over something minor to get it more coverage than it would otherwise recieve…that is not by accident its in the playbook.!
        Remember nationals ‘campaign’ against ‘ticketing those not using cycle lines’ …quite a few were duped by that social media play by people who fell for the setup.

        We would not be surprised that Ani O’Brien in her day job is an internet marketer.

        Reply
      • Corky

         /  30th December 2019

        Thankfully the damage has been done..with a whole lot more to come next year. Reasonable Lefties like this chap have an uphill battle to get through to feral Lefties who cannot be reasoned with.

        Reply
        • Duker

           /  30th December 2019

          Please….have you even seen the daily diatribe and hatred on the old Whaleoil and Kiwiblog ( improved since moderation was introduced)
          Trouble is if you read those ‘soft’ hate blogs you probably agree with most of their comments , you read Thestandard , you disagree and see twisted lefties.
          I’m read both sides and see complete nutters , fools and pre cursor morons as well as the haters.

          Reply
          • Corky

             /  30th December 2019

            As a matter of fact I have been enjoying the introspection going on at The Standard. I have never posted on Kiwi Blog. Rarely posted on Whaleoil. I posted on YSB blog a few times, but as I stated before, it’s just an echo chamber for pissed off Righties, although I have sniffed a couple of Lefties from this blog having some fun. My how their political alliances did a 360.😃
            But this is all old news. How many times do I have to repeat myself?

            Reply
  5. And ‘Honest Col is continuing with his less than honest general attacks on ‘the left’:
    https://twitter.com/Coltheman1/status/1211356908390453249

    Reply
  6. @coltheman1??

    So ex-bricklayer Colin Wilson feels a need to label himself “the man”?

    Reading between the lines, I suspect that Col considers himself less than truly masculine and is anxious (and overcompensating) as a result.

    Research has shown that failing to live up to society’s definition of a manly man is not, in itself, a risk factor for violent behavior. But if a guy’s self-perceived lack of macho cred gnaws at him emotionally … watch out.

    Men like that are likely to respond to stress by acting out in a stereotypically masculine way: through violence.

    I suspect that his insecurity is an underlying motivator behind Colin Wilson’s hysteria about Ardern.

    Reply
    • Pink David

       /  30th December 2019

      “Reading between the lines, I suspect that Col considers himself less than truly masculine and is anxious (and overcompensating) as a result.”

      Are you qualified to read minds?

      Reply
      • I suspect that you support Coltheman… amirite?

        Reply
        • Pink David

           /  30th December 2019

          I don’t know who or what that is. This ‘turn Ardern’ thing seems about as important as the time invested in watching a kettle boil. The way people are reacting to it is, however, more interesting.

          I’m fascinated at your ability to look into other peoples minds and predict their future actions. I’m especially interested in your ability to make sweeping statements like this;

          “Men like that are likely to respond to stress by acting out in a stereotypically masculine way: through violence.”

          You make a judgement on what you believe you have read in someone’s mind through your insightful power, then predict a future outcome from a generic and laughable stereotype.

          I’m wondering if you do childrens parties? You would be great entertainment.

          Reply
          • Corky

             /  30th December 2019

            This chaps worse than me, PD.

            Reply
            • Corky

               /  30th December 2019

              Please don’t be offended,CMI. But I had enough of that when I did my social workers course many moons ago. The tutor had the decency to tell me to my face what I was beginning to perceive….social work wasn’t for me.

              However, that course taught me a few things. One was always go to the terminology section to understand what an article or paper will be about.
              I quick read through the terminology told me all I needed to know.

              I do feel a little guilty not reading your link. So I’m up ticking you and saying on this occasion you are the better poster.

            • Pink David

               /  30th December 2019

              It was certainly entertaining.

          • What fascinates me is the fact that a group of men are so threatened by the image of a powerful woman that they can’t even bear to look at her face.

            Reply
            • Kitty Catkin

               /  30th December 2019

              She’s famous, I wouldn’t call her powerful. I think that she’s a lightweight.

              If these men were threatened by women PMs, they’d have been anti the other two.

            • Pink David

               /  30th December 2019

              “image of a powerful woman”

              lol, of the many things Ardern may or may not be, powerful is not one of them.

              “that they can’t even bear to look at her face.”

              Here you go, mind reading again.

            • Oh come on, PD, Ardern is Prime Minister. Can’t get much more power than that in dear old NZ.

              “Here you go, mind reading again.” would have to be one of the silliest comments that you’ve made. #turnardern is all about turning over books and magazines featuring Ardern on the cover so her face can’t be seen.

              Coltheman’s Twitter feed reveals a racist, misogynist, bitter right-wing boomer. This is not a one-off, nor is it light-hearted or children’s entertainment or whatever other minimisations you might choose.

              Unfortunately it resonates with some people because it fits within their base narrative, which is a distaste for a woman who have minds of their own and are not afraid to express themselves.

              Here’s some more “mind-reading”: I suspect that Coltheman is a type who can’t accept an alternative view or the truth and gets aggressive and angry with those who do.

            • Pink David

               /  31st December 2019

              “Oh come on, PD, Ardern is Prime Minister. Can’t get much more power than that in dear old NZ.”

              I wonder what you think powerful means. She has some positional power. That is, in reality, very limited both by the nature of her need for NZF, and by her ability to exercise it.

              She has good qualities, but you actually make her look silly by claiming she is ‘powerful’ simply on the basis on a political position.

              “Unfortunately it resonates with some people because it fits within their base narrative, which is a distaste for a woman who have minds of their own and are not afraid to express themselves.”

              You are really lacking self-awareness. Everything you have posted is you for-filling your own desired narrative. Look at this rather tied laundry list;
              ” racist, misogynist, bitter right-wing boomer”

              I’m surprised you didn’t go for the whole set and include homophobic.
              You could easily just be a bot for all the difference it makes.

      • Blazer

         /  30th December 2019

        ‘lol, of the many things Ardern may or may not be, powerful is not one of them’

        so you are of the opinion that the P.M and Presidents have no real power…who has then iyo?

        Reply
        • Pink David

           /  31st December 2019

          “so you are of the opinion that the P.M and Presidents have no real power…who has then iyo?”

          She can’t even hold Shane Jones in line. Just how powerful do you think she is?

          Margaret Thatcher was powerful. Theresa May was not. Power is not simply the result of a job title. To believe this is the height of naivety.

          Reply
  7. Trevors_elbow

     /  30th December 2019

    What an interesting thread … full of left snark completely proving Ani’s point…

    Happy New Year to everyone on this blog… Trevor’s Elbow is retiring…political life in NZ is broken and NZ is basically sliding in to 3rd world status as the left want…. enjoy the declining services delivered by Jacinda snd her motley crew..

    Ciao. Its been real

    Reply
    • Duker

       /  30th December 2019

      You could prove anything by cherry picking things on blogs, twitter, facebook etc…the earth is flat even.
      O’Brien is an internet marketer , she know how these things work to her favour….outrage magnifies her story , well at least in the MSM

      Reply
    • duperez

       /  30th December 2019

      ‘NZ is basically sliding in to 3rd world status as the left want….’

      Using that in commenting on ‘left snark’ risks drawing a comment on the origination and home of snark. Which I would suppose would then itself be condemned as another example.

      Reply
    • Blazer

       /  30th December 2019

      promise!…haha..ha.

      Reply
  8. Reply
  9. lurcher1948

     /  30th December 2019


    WOW if simon bridges thinks hes the answer, what was the question

    Reply
  10. Alan Wilkinson

     /  30th December 2019

    Spent the last couple of days finding and fixing a couple of leaks in the horses’ water trough reticulation. Seems a healthier activity than the pointless political slagging off in this thread.

    Ardern does what she is good at. Seems that puts her one step ahead of Simon at present, at least for the Left. The Right are entitled to say that doesn’t make her a PM but the Left are just happy their tribe is in power. I doubt the mud dwellers on each side make much impact on voters.

    Reply
    • Blazer

       /  30th December 2019

      you can lead a horse to water..Al…but you can’t make it..drink…just like a lot of..people.

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  30th December 2019

        No need to lead them or make them drink, B. Just keep the troughs full and nature takes its own course. Just like voters.

        Reply

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