Trotter tightens moderation

All blogs and social media forums have their own moderation policies. It is obviously up to each how they want to run things.

There have been a number of sites that have  put comments in the too hard basket and shut them down altogether, notably RNZ and The Spinoff and some have suggested that NZ Herald seems to effectively be doing similar.

This week Chris Trotter announced that he would continue allowing comments but under stricter moderation.

IMPORTANT MESSAGE TO READERS: Moderating Comments On “Bowalley Road”.

READERS’ COMMENTS to the postings on Bowalley Road constitute an integral part of the blog. That is why I do not intend to follow the example of Radio New Zealand and The Spinoff by switching-off the comments function.

I do, however, understand why those two sites chose to do so. The viciousness and crudity of anonymous commentators is extremely wearying to the spirit. Though the worst examples are swiftly deleted, they must first be read – and that is not a pleasant duty. Also vexatious are the tangential conversations and ideological disputations that ramble on between commentators. Though obviously engaging for their participants, they contribute very little to the overall enjoyment of the blog.

With these issues in mind, I have decided to tighten-up the moderation of comments to Bowalley Road.

The first and most important change relates to anonymous commentators. From now on all anonymous comments will be deleted without being read. My strong preference is for commentators to use their real names. I do, however, understand why some people feel very uneasy about doing so – especially on such an overtly political blog as Bowalley Road. Accordingly, I will continue to accept pseudonyms, but only with the proviso that commentators, having chosen a name, stick with it. The use of multiple pseudonyms, if detected, will result in the offender being permanently banned from commenting on Bowalley Road.

The use of multiple pseudonyms is a common problem where malicious people try to avoid moderation, some repeatedly.

But it can be difficult to differentiate between legitimate use of a pseudonym versus anonymity being used to avoid being linked to past abuses.

I tend towards giving people with pseudonyms the benefit of the doubt. The small number of serial abusers are usually easy to identify – the more they try the easier it is to pick up red flags.

The second change in moderation policy will be to shut down all tangential conversations and/or slanging matches between commentators. Those deemed to be straying from the issues raised in the posting will be warned once to stay on-topic. Persistent off-topic commentary will be deleted.

Chris can obviously do what he likes but I disagree with this approach, especially on ‘tangential conversations’. The more comments there are on a post the more they can naturally diversify. Often that diversification adds to the discussions in a very good way.

Trying to judge what is too tangential or off topic risks leading to selective pruning that can fit your own preferences, something I want to avoid.

There can be a fine line between banter, vigorously contesting opinions and slanging matches. Things can go to far but again I prefer to lean towards allowing freedom of expression. Otherwise there’s a risk of stifling discussion and picking sides (or a perception of picking sides).

With these changes, I hope to restore Bowalley Road’s commentary threads to their former high standard of tone and content. In essence, all I am asking from those who wish to participate in this blog is a modicum of self-discipline and a generous helping of courtesy.

Most of us would like that.

But ‘warts and all’ robust discussions are an important part of politics, as long as it doesn’t go to far, too personal and too abusive.

How to moderate is an ongoing challenge but I will continue to lean towards fair and balanced freedom of expression as much as I can.

This won’t be to everyone’s taste but there is a shrinking number of forums relatively free of restriction so I think it’s important to keep at least one going.


Trotter, the military and the TPPA

Earlier in the week Christ Trotter wrote in The Press that Josie Butler had claimed there was military protection at the Christchurch TPPA Roadshow.

Certainly, Ms Butler’s description of the Christchurch roadshow makes a strong prima facie case for concern. In her report of the event she states that: “I went to the first security check point which was at the front driveway to the [Rydges] hotel. The guards asked for my ID, and whilst I was getting it out I noticed one of the guys had an army badge pinned to his lapel, I asked him if he was military and he confirmed that all security present today were army personnel.”

Constitutionally-speaking, this claim is particularly alarming. The only circumstances in which it is justifiable for the Civil Power to call upon the assistance of the Military Power are those in which there is a demonstrable threat to life and property. Historically, the involvement of the Military has been confined to helping out during natural disasters and, extremely rarely, to the quelling of widespread public disorder – like that following the 1932 Queen Street Riot. Nothing even remotely resembling such circumstances were present last Friday in Christchurch.

Urgent efforts must be made to confirm the accuracy of Ms Butler’s claim. And if it is confirmed that the NZDF was involved in providing security for the roadshow, then questions need to be asked. First, of the Defence Minister, and second, of the Police Minister. Did Gerry Brownlee know that the Military Power had been called upon to assist the Civil Power in Christchurch? If so, at whose instigation? Does Judith Collins know why the local Police were deemed unequal to the task of preventing disorder at Rydges Hotel?

Frankly, it would be a whole lot better for New Zealand …whoever Ms Butler spoke to about his military lapel badge turns out to have been pulling her leg about the composition of the security detail. Because, if her version of events is proved correct, then New Zealand is in a world of trouble.

What sort of “trade deal” have we signed-up to, if its explanatory roadshow requires the protection of the armed forces?

This was potentially quite alarming but Butler was not an impartial witness.

Trotter has reposted Protecting The TPP at Bowalley and has added an update.

On Tuesday, 15 March the author received a call from Nick Bryant, Gerry Brownlee’s media officer. He informed him that, having checked with both the NZDF and MFAT, the Minister was able to assure him that no serving military personnel were involved with providing security at the Christchurch TPPA roadshow event.

When contacted, Josie Butler strongly reiterated her claim that the security personnel hailed from the military.

An appeal for assistance was issued over social media which quickly produced a link to a private security firm called October Protection.

According to its website:

October Protection is a Christchurch based security and protection company with branches in Auckland, Wellington, Queenstown, Dunedin and associates throughout New Zealand. We provide industry-leading hospitality security, along with VIP transport, helicopter services, secure event, travel and accommodation packages New Zealand wide ….. Many of our staff come from military, police, corrections and close protection backgrounds and their experience is diverse and extensive, providing October Protection with a vast array of specialist skills.

It would seem that both Josie Butler and the Minister were telling the truth.

Butler may have been sort telling something related to the truth, but Trotter embellished it somewhat. The TPPA Roadshow does not appear to have been protected by the armed forces as he intimated.


Trotter and rebooting the unions to fund Labour

Chris Trotter has another lengthy complaint about Labour in relation to the TPPA, posted at  both The Daily Blog (he must have an exemption from their exclusive post requirement) and at Bowalley – Burning Down The House: Why Does The Labour Caucus Keep Destroying The Labour Party In Order To Save It?

It’s heavy going so I’ll skip to the conclusion where he suggests a peoples’ revolution to get Labour on a Corbynite track to then facilitate the People’s Revolution of New Zealand.

Only a mass influx of people determined to make policy – not tea – can rescue the Labour Party from the self-perpetuating parliamentary oligarchy that currently controls it.

Only a rank-and-file membership that is conscious of, and willing to assert, its rights – as the Corbynistas are doing in the United Kingdom – has the slightest hope of selecting a caucus dedicated to circulating the whole oxymoronic notion of democratic elitism out of New Zealand’s political system altogether.

The way this can be done is discussed in the comments, with suggestions that a return to compulsory unionism is the way to fund Labour so they can be a proper party.


The Labour party has to go to the same sources to get funding as the Gnats, therein lays the problem they have. Which is why I have said that Unions should be made compulsory again and then Labour can get funding via them.

Green supporter Simon Cohen isn’t happy with this:

So Bushbaptist you want to make Unions compulsory again so that their members dues will contribute to the Labour Party and get them elected.And you wonder why so many of us are now anti union.I would object to my union fees going to support Labour when I am a strong supporter of the only true left wing party in NZ the Greens.

That makes him a traitorous fake to the left, or at least to Greywarbler::

You don’t know anything Simon if you don’t know that and you might as well be a Nat as you think like them. Perhaps indeed you are just playing at being a Green for the purposes of commenting here. Your anti-union stance doesn’t fit with the Greens I know. But perhaps you are part of a modern plan to subvert the energy and commitment to Green ideals as RWs did to Labour? That would be par for the course for an anti-union Nat.

And Greywarbler endorses the union revolution for Labour.

This is where the unions come in, to re-energise Labour, get Labour onto its avowed task which is to look out for the country and assist all to a reasonable and now sustainable living.

And to bring funds in from those who enthusiastically back that goal, just as National gets funds from those who back themselves and their narrow clique only, with gusto.

Trotter comes in and points out an obvious problem with this plan…

Our problem, Grey Warbler, is that in order to re-boot the union movement, it is first necessary to re-boot the Labour Party and get it elected. We appear to be caught in a classic “Catch-22” situation!

…but notably doesn’t disagree with compulsory unionism being a source of funding for Labour.

Bushbaptist also slams the Greens.

Firstly the Greens have no show of becoming a major party in the medium term anyway, there is not enough grassroots support for them. Secondly they are NOT LEFT! THEY ARE CENTRIST! The only remotely thing one can say about their political position is that they are “Left” of both Labour and National. The Greens only support ordinary workers who vote for them not for the protection of all low paid workers in general.

So if the Greens aren’t proper LEFT…

Simon you have conflated what I said. You can vote for who-ever you wish. The Unions would support Labour by financing them.

…so should be forced to join unions and finance another party.

I wonder how many people choose not to join a union now because some of the unions finance Labour?

Rebooting the unions would be relooting the workers.

The revolution doesn’t look like threatening New Zealand any time soon.

‘Waitzen’ challenges Trotter on fairy stories versus reality

Following on from Trotter’s conspiracies – is something amiss with Chris? a commenter ‘waitzen’ at Bowalley has challenged Chris Trotter’s claims, suggesting he has “gone way over the top”.

Chris, I rarely agree with you but always enjoy your posts. However I do think you have gone way over the top with these recent anti-TPP posts. First you accused Helen Clark of being in league with the enemy, a saboteur and closet neo-liberal. Then you proclaimed the end-of-times with a forthcoming second wave of colonisation-apocalypse.

Now you have gone full tinfoil hat conspiracy-theorist and claim the SIS and GCSB will be deployed to monitor those that oppose the TPP. All without a shred of evidence and way too much rhetoric. The Left, if that is what you represent, need to present much more coherent arguments against the TPP if you are win the public debate. 

Lastly, using quotation marks around certain words to indicate ambiguity or irony is tiring after a while.

Trotter replied:

People like you, Waitzen, always remind me of the White House Press Corps under Nixon. They, too, had no clear notion of what the Deep State was, or how it operated, and when the Watergate break-in was reported they were happy to go along with the official line that it was nothing more than a “third-rate burglary”.

The activities of the Deep State are almost impossible to investigate without the help of a “Deep Throat”. Certainly, Woodward and Bernstein would never have gotten to the heart of the Watergate conspiracy without his help. [He was, you’ll recall, the Deputy Director of the FBI, W. Mark Felt.]

What is possible, however, is for people like myself to scrutinise the sequencing of related events. Helen Clark’s intervention in the TPP debate was one such event. (To suggest that she did not know exactly what she was doing is an insult to her undisputed political gifts!)

Another such event was Tim Groser’s publicly avowed intention to change Labour’s mind about the TPP. Yet another is the public revelation that the Government intends to spend millions of dollars on a “public information” campaign – explaining TPP.

What do you make of all these events, Waitzen? – No, don’t tell me, I can guess. “Nothing to see here, folks. Move along please.”

As for the SIS and the GCSB. What do we know about their behaviour? Well, we know that they were only too happy to make their services available to the FBI (acting for Hollywood and against Kim Dotcom) as well as to the PM’s Office (in order to embarrass Phil Goff).

But, according to you, they will take no interest in the TPP debate. Even though they are legally mandated to protect NZ’s “economic well-being”. (That two SIS agents were caught attempting to break into an anti-globalisation activist’s house is also, presumably, irrelevant to the probability that the building popular movement against the TPP is already under SIS/GCSB surveillance.)

You’ll have to forgive me, Waitzen, for becoming just a little testy with people who display zero knowledge of even their own country’s recent history. You may prefer the fairy-story version of NZ politics, in which nothing remotely like the activities predicted here ever take place, but, personally speaking, I prefer reality – no matter how grim.

There have certainly been issues with the way the SIS and GCSB have operated in the past. There have been significant changes made – but Trotter’s reality seems to be that that the worst will always happen.

And ‘waitzen’ responded back:

Chris, reflecting upon what you wrote I think what you are saying is that the organs of the state, including the intelligence agencies, will seek to spy on those who protest against the TPP, disseminate what they find to others in the so-called deep state, and thereby undermine the legitimate democratic process of opposing the TPP.

You point to recent examples of such activities and criticise those, such as me, who seem ignorant of what has actually gone on in New Zealand. There is, it seems to you, a vast web of interconnected people and agencies who are working together to advance the their cause, and that of their masters, at the expense of ordinary people. 

In reply I would say that bringing up Watergate is pure rhetorical flourish. That happened 40 years ago in another country in another time. It has, in my view, nothing to do with New Zealand in 2015. I understand you do think it does. I disagree and not from a position of ignorance either.

Secondly I profoundly disagree that there is a conspiracy of the deep state to undermine the democratic process and legitimate opposition to TPP. That the GSCB/SIS cooperated with the FBI over the Kim Dotcom affair does not make in an organ of repression. I do understand the history of my country, I just don’t see the things you see. 

You accuse me of preferring a so-called fairy-tale version of New Zealand politics. I assume this is a reference to so-called dirty politics. Well, yes, there is plenty of that around in all political parties but again, I simply do not see this as the massive conspiracy to fatally undermine democracy as you do.

Indeed you seem to delight in seeing the ‘grim reality’ as you describe it. The world is seemingly full of Machiavellian realpolitik players hell bent in advancing the interests of the ruling class at the expense of legitimate democracy. Maybe in the world inhabited by the conspiratorial Left, but I see New Zealand democracy at least as inhabited by people, from all parties, who genuinely want what is best for the country, and generally play by the rules. The organs of the state are inhabited by ordinary New Zealanders, just like you and me, who are generally decent, honest and law-abiding. A Fairy tale? I don’t think so.

I’ll add more responses if Trotter continues to engage.

Comments on Securing “Buy-In” For The TPP: The Deep State Takes Over.

UPDATE: the exchange has continued at some length from here.

It currently concludes with:

waitzen said…

Chris, you know of course that the quote by Disraeli was from his work of fiction, Coningsby published in 1844, before he was Prime Minister? That doesn’t necessarily mean he was wrong, but in mulling it over, I did take account of its fictional context.

Chris Trotter said…

Yes, I was aware of the quote’s origin, Waitzen. But, you know what they say: “if you want to tell the truth – write fiction.”

waitzen said…

Yes, I was aware of the quote’s origin, Waitzen. But, you know what they say: “if you want to tell the truth – write fiction.”

Does that mean your blog posts are fiction?

Chris Trotter said…

A little obvious, don’t you think?

It could be a case here of Trotter’s ‘facts’ being stranger than fiction.


Trotter’s conspiracies – is something amiss with Chris?

Early this week Chris Trotter posted on his Bowalley blog suggesting that due to the agreement made on the Trans Pacific Partnership a “second great wave of colonisation” would wash over New Zealand.

See Trotter on TPPA and “the storm of change that is coming”

He has followed that up yesterday with a post laden with conspiracies.

Securing “Buy-In” For The TPP: The Deep State Takes Over.

IT IS NOW CLEAR that Helen Clark’s Trans-Pacific Partnership advocacy in New York was just the beginning. The opening move in a chess game that will end with the Labour Party knocking over its King and returning to the bi-partisan fold on the issue of Free Trade. To achieve this turnaround will require the mobilisation of all of the non-elected elements of the New Zealand political system.

This is despite the mobilisation of the Trotterite conspiracists.

Applying the maximum of public pressure to Labour will be the responsibility of the news media and the numerous business lobby groups.

Poor Labour. No wonder they are having credibility problems, everyone is against them, even Helen Clark (who is now working for the United Nations to keep Labour out of power).

Behind the scenes, however, Labour MPs will find themselves on the receiving end of one-on-one briefings from old friends and colleagues (senior civil servants, leading academics) “deeply concerned” that Labour has positioned itself in the wrong place, on the wrong issue.

The Civil Service and all the Universities are against them too.

These “old friends” of the Labour Party will warn Caucus members that their failure to support the TPP will only end up driving Labour further and further to the Left. Just as they were beginning to make up much-needed ground, the party will spurn Middle New Zealand for the tin-foil-hat-wearing brigade. Not only will this render Labour unelectable, but it will also serve as an invitation for the news media to start casting about for a Caucus member who’s prepared to act in a more responsible fashion.

I’m not sure what Trotter means by that.

That such individuals exist within Labour’s caucus is indisputable. That money and resources will, very swiftly, begin flowing in the direction of these TPP supporters is equally certain.

That Trotter has not provided any evidence to support this claim is certain.

Even further behind the scenes, a mounting surveillance effort will engage the resources of both the SIS and the GCSB. Relying on the legal clauses that empower these agencies to protect the “economic well-being” of New Zealand, leading figures in the Anti-TPP movement will have their communications intercepted and their movements tracked. Opposition strategies, being known, are more easily countered. Any material likely to prove embarrassing, or, even better, discrediting, will find its way to sympathetic bloggers and/or journalists.

The SIS and the GCSB are also set up to defeat Labour. I’m waiting for them to feed me material so I can question the mental condition of Labour supporters who warn us of the web of conspiracies.

Why will the key elements of the Deep State: the upper echelons of the news media; senior civil servants and academics; judges; the Intelligence Community; act in this way? Why is the restoration of bi-partisanship on the Free Trade issue so vital? The answer is brutally simple.

The judges are all in on it too.

Were Labour’s opposition to the TPP allowed to stand, an opportunity would open up for voters to elect a government committed to its rejection.

If only all these people weren’t conspiring against Labour the people would see what a truly wondrous party it was and vote for them.

The election of such a government would not only put at risk all the secret material pertaining to the negotiation of the TPP, but it would also force into the open all of the deeply undemocratic assumptions underpinning the deal. Such exposure would seriously compromise the reputations of the politicians and civil servants involved in negotiating the TPP. Even more seriously, it would expose the true intentions of New Zealand’s “friends” and “allies”. It is the duty of the Deep State to make sure that such potentially catastrophic political revelations never happen.

One could wonder whether Trotter was in a deep state of something.

If everything and everyone wasn’t against them Trotter’s dream of a political revolution would surely happen.

With Labour and National – the two parties indispensable to the formation of stable government in New Zealand – both singing from the same TPP song-sheet, that fraction of the New Zealand electorate opposed to the TPP will find itself reduced to voting for a party (or parties) too small to successfully negotiate their country’s exit from the TPP.

That seems strangely out of synch with the rest of Trotter’s desperate dialogue. Is it sarcasm or confusion?

To paraphrase Henry Kissinger: The Deep State doesn’t see why it should stand by and watch New Zealand’s membership of the TPP put at risk because of the irresponsibility of its own people.

The people of New Zealand are so irresponsible not taking the true Labour and Trotter seriously and rising in revolt.

Is Trotter writing some very clever satire? Or is he seriously nuts?

Trotter on TPPA and “the storm of change that is coming”

Chris Trotter seems to have rushed into uninformed eloquence over the Trans Pacific Partnership news this morning – scant details of the agreement are available but there is nothing out yet on “much that is precious” passing away, or “loss of power”, or “the second great wave of colonisation” washing over us.

The TPPA is a trade agreement between twelve countries, in general improving the opportunities for trade between al these countries.

I don’t know how increasing trade between eleven other Pacific Rim countries will result in a furious storm that will “blow us far away”.

There will be a furious storm of protest in New Zealand from some long time opponents of the TPPA and of international trade agreements – Jane Kelsey will be more devastated by this agreement than the English were over their World Cup failure – but they have been blowing so hard against the TPPA already it will be little more than repeat performances with less ammunition available.

Trotters full post:

The TPPA Deal Is Done: Reflections On The Struggles To Come.

NEW ZEALANDERS are heading into a great storm of change. Much that is precious to us will pass away. As Pakeha we have grown accustomed to being the colonisers rather than the colonised. Loss of power will be a new experience for us. As the second great wave of colonisation washes over us, our best chance of survival will be to reach out our hands to thetangata whenua – whose feet are sunk deepest in the earth of Aotearoa. In the storm of change that is coming, the strength which that position gives to Maori will make them the only solid point around which everything else twists and turns. If we, as Pakeha, do not reach out and grasp that strength, the fury of the storm will blow us far away.

Deliberate or not he centred the post in a single paragraph.

As a trading nation our future is very reliant on trade with other countries. There’s little future in the protest movement.

The anti-TPPA storm that is coming will mostly be confined to a teacup.

“If the Greens were a Mafia family…”

Chris Trotter has written some odd stuff recently, and his latest post at his Bowalley blog is no exception.

A Green Offer National Couldn’t Refuse

THERE ARE PEOPLE in the Labour Party who take an almost forensic interest in the Greens. They can discourse at length on the “fundi/realo split”; “Deep Green” versus “Red Green”; and whether the electorally perilous potential of “Blue Green” will ever be realised.

Labour’s ongoing surveillance of the Greens should not, however, be compared to the twitcher’s hobby of watching birds. Labour’s interest in the intricacies of green politics is much more akin to the FBI’s interest in the intricacies of the Mafia. Agents may be able to rattle off the names of the heads of the Five Families; which gangsters are on the way up; and where the gangsters who used to be on the way up are buried; but this does not mean that the FBI loves or admires the Mafia. Far from it! The FBI is interested in the Mafia only because it intends to destroy it.

So Labour = FBI, Greens = Mafia.

He goes on.He includes this insight into Labour’s problems.

Labour’s problem may be summed up in two words: proportional representation.

I don’t think so. They would have been likely to have stuff up their rebuild after Clark left and gone through leaders blaming them with or without MMP. Labour’s main problem is that voters have thought they would make a crap government. It’s been a several leaders, three caucuses that have hardly changed and party problem.

Trotter concludes:

The same Mr Shaw’s adroit handling of the Red Peak flag issue in the House last week will not have lessened Labour’s forensic interest in the Greens’ ultimate intentions. His parliamentary “deal” with National, relatively insignificant though it may have been, was seen by Labour as an alarming portent of things to come.

If Labour operated like the Mafia it would know exactly what to do. Without seeking permission, Jimmy “The Business” Shaw, and his Green Gang, made approaches to a rival family.

Huh? Labour = Mafia now?

I guess Labour can be anything they like as long as they can blame someone else.

Trotter promoted his post on Twitter:


If the Greens were a Mafia family, Labour would be “going to the mattresses” over Red Peak.

Matt Nippert Retweeted CHRIS TROTTER and added:

If punditry was a Hollywood comedy road trip, Trotter would be “Lloyd Christmas” to Bomber’s “Harry Dunne”.

I think that’s funny, and I don’t even know who Lloyd Christmas and Harry Dunne are. I’ll find out and update the post.

Thanks grantaviuskennarius for saving me searching. Here they are:

Dumb & Dumber (1994) Poster

“Banal is what gets you elected”

Chris claims that “banal is what gets you elected” so that’s what Andrew Little and Labour are busy doing – full bore banal.

He has posted at Bowalley that Busy Doing Nothing: Why Andrew Little Needs To Keep Labour Out Of The Headlines:

BELIEVE IT OR NOT, the Labour Party is currently engaged in a critically important political campaign. No, it may not look like Labour is doing very much at all at the moment, but that is the whole point. After the sheer mayhem of the last four years, a period of tranquillity is crucial to Labour’s chances of re-election.

All of the party’s research suggests that by the end of 2014 the New Zealand public was fed up to the back teeth with Labour.

As 2015 loomed, what Labour most needed to do was to get its name out of headlines. No more leadership elections. No more Caucus back-stabbing. No more shots of furious rank-and-file party members calling for the heads of the “Anyone But Cunliffe” faction.

The new leader, Andrew Little’s, best course of action, after he’d spent a little time reassuring the voters that he could string together a coherent English sentence, and that he wasn’t in the least bit sorry for being a man, was to say and do as little as possible and just let the people of New Zealand get used to him.

One problem with this approach though is that Little has gone backwards this year, especially with his capitulation to Winston Peters in Northland.

And while Little stays out of the headlines it gives more opportunity for Winston Peters and now Ron Mark, and James Shaw and Metiria Turei, to build profile and support, or at least keep Labour’s support in the mid-twenties along with Little’s missing in action strategy.

At some point, however, Andrew Little is going to have to give the voters something more than an absence of embarrassing headlines. Part of establishing that all-important connection with the people who vote is to say or do something powerful enough to bind them – the politician and the voters – together.

By far the most effective way of doing this is through words and gestures; symbolic moments that imprint themselves on the voters’ minds; events that leave people thinking: “That guy would make a damn good prime minister.”

Little has done more of the opposite this year, and with the inaction added to that it’s a very risky strategy.

Perhaps National will keep being over-cocky and cock some significant things up, and Little’s Labour may come through be default, but with the current numbers that will be with substantial power sharing with NZ First and Greens (if NZ First will go that way).

Labour hasn’t just treaded water this year, they have slipped under the surface a little more.

It won’t be easy to swing from banal into overarm.

SIDE NOTE: Trotter has made several references that suggest he has been fed inside information from Labour…

“All of the party’s research suggests…”

“Except that is not what the polling and the focus groups are telling Labour.”

…and has done a friendly post with a bit of added input of his own.

Lefty blogs – Standard, Daily Blog, Whale Oil

I think No Minister may be a fairly right leaning blog. They too seem to have noticed how anti-National and anti-John Key that Whale Oil has become.


While Chris Trotter at Bowalley is prepared to debate, and Red Alert (the Labour Party blog) is defunct, there’s something in common with a number of the other lefty blogs – they all seem to have an intolerance of views different to their own. That’s not just a lefty blogroll, it’s also a list that contains all the blogs who have banned me (but not No Right Turn bans where all comment except from it’s author is blocked).

Whale Oil, The Standard, The Daily Blog, Dim-Post and Public Address have all had hissy fits at being challenged or having alternatives to their controlled message being expressed.

I’ve never tried commenting on No Minister so don’t know whether their ‘moderation’ is Goebbels inspired or not.

Chris Trotter shocker

Chris Trotter has responded to Brian Edwards (The Anonymity Pandemic) and the debate on pseudonyms and MSM versus blogger. He makes some  quite remarkable claims in Islands In The Mainstream.

The big problems will only arise when the stories people read on the blogs begin to sharply contradict stories being printed in the newspapers and broadcast over radio and television. That’s when the MSM should really begin to worry.
But if the note of alarm that has crept into the MSM’s coverage of blogs – especially political blogs – over the past few weeks is anything to go by, some of that worrying has already begun.

The tone of these attacks leaves little doubt that not only do these political journalists consider bloggers to be unwelcome and illegitimate contributors to the nation’s political discourse, but that nothing would make them happier than to see them tightly regulated and controlled. It’s an attitude that should send a shiver down every New Zealander’s spine.

A genuine “Fourth Estate” would welcome the democratisation of the gathering and distributing of news which the Internet has made possible. That so many MSM journalists have greeted the competitive spur of the blogosphere with a mixture of self-serving patch-protection and outright authoritarianism is cause for considerable concern.

Ah, where’s the authoritarianism? All I’ve seen is some journalists expressing their opinions. Seems like an attack of victimisation.

The recent Labour Party conference demonstrated in the most dramatic fashion the MSM’s capacity to misrepresent and mislead the NZ public.

Yeah, and all the bloggers did was report the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

How many bloggers were there? How many journalists? Drastically outnumbered and still managed to fight the good fight.

Mr Gower’s conspiracy theory…

The one he started via his agents Guyon Espiner, Vernon Small and ‘Eddie’?

Once it becomes clear that those principals have agreed upon an interpretation of events it is extremely hazardous for any political journalist to offer an alternative view

The integrity of how many are being questioned? Can you name names  Chris? Unlike bloggers, they aren’t anonymous.

Is this the real explanation for the sudden spate of attacks on the anonymity of these citizen-journalists?

Ah, bloggers are citizen-journos now. I guess those of us writing under our own names aren’t included amongst the comrades.

Has a focus group warned the MSM that the stories it declines to tell – and which are now turning up in blogs – are being believed?

The great focus group conspiracy.

Are more and more of the MSM’s readers, listeners and viewers coming to the conclusion that the Fourth Estate, far from speaking truth to power, has become its willing stenographer?

Are they? Has Chris been checking some focus groups of his own?

If this is true, then the decision by so many active participants in the blogosphere to remain anonymous or write under a pseudonym becomes entirely reasonable. Any system powerful and mendacious enough to suborn the one institution specifically charged with exposing its malfeasance is probably not the sort of system to be openly challenged or taunted by vulnerable individuals using their real names.

No, can’t have any old school journos holding anyone to account, can we.

The day focus groups and their deliberations cease to be confidential is the day bloggers will gladly abandon their pseudonyms and the “pandemic of anonymity” will be over.

And Chris is speaking for all the anonymous bloggers? As soon as the revolution has been won they will reveal themselves in their glory?

And the AB’s at The Standard have picked up on Trotter’s column and are praising it in “Name” journalism & voter dis-engagement:

just saying
29 November 2012 at 5:52 pm

A lot of great minds thinking alike. A very relevant and eloquent column form Chris Trotter today:


29 November 2012 at 7:18 pm

I’m so glad the Internet still provides a diversity of voices to hold the MSM to account, and hope that it won’t be regulated down to an exceptional minority by banishing the use of pseudonyms…. if it was even possible?

But no one should hold anonymous bloggers to account?

And I’m not aware of any proposals or suggestions to banish the use of pseudonyms. Paranoia piled on the conspiracies now.

And it’s worth noting that The Standard is billing that as the main post of the day.

The Cunliffe camp lost the leadership battle so they switch to the great media war.