Calls to reopen police case, Barclay admits “misleading”

A double whammy for Clutha Southland MP Todd Barclay this afternoon, following revelations this morning – Politicians, police, and the payout –  with Newsroom also reporting  Southern Nats call for police to reopen Barclay case

Dozens of National Party members are calling for police to re-open the investigation into Clutha-Southland MP Todd Barclay’s covert recordings of a former staffer.

About 50 members of the National Party’s Clutha-Southland branch have called for police to re-investigate allegations Todd Barclay secretly recorded his former electorate agent, Glenys Dickson.

Mavis Smith, a National Party member of more than 20 years told Newsroom the case has upset southern members.

“We have discussed it as a group and if the investigation can be reopened then it should be. It was never finished, was it?

“All of us are long standing members and we would never do [anything] against the National Party. We are used to the party dealing with its own dirty linen so to speak, but this just hasn’t happened here.”

Police said the evidence to prosecute Barclay was not strong enough.

Earlier this afternoon David Farrar seems to have tried some damage control at Kiwiblog in About Todd Barclay:

  1. Todd ruffled more feathers than was necessary when he became the candidate and new MP.  Some of the criticism was unfair (some were unhappy that he chose to live in Queenstown instead of Gore, that he has a social life) and some was justified.
  2. For reasons unknown he and his senior electorate staffer fell out quite badly.
  3. The staffer started publicly and privately criticising Todd (as mentioned in this Newsroom article), and as I understand it actively working against him.
  4. Todd presumably heard that one of his own staff was using his own office resources and time to bad mouth him, and/or spread rumours about him. It seems (I have no first hand knowledge) he may have left a dictaphone running in the office to gather proof of this. It goes without saying he should not have done this and doing so (if he did) was a serious error of judgement.
  5. Since then a small group within the local party have been campaigning against Todd. They tried to get elected to the electorate committee and challenge him for the nomination. They failed massively, with Todd receiving the overwhelming support of the members.

But “about 50” and “dozens” sounds substantial compared to “a small group”.

Barclay has just made a statement to media which concedes that English was right, which means his statements this morning were not just “misleading”, he appears to have lied.

Labour called ‘lying losers’ over Sir John pettiness

There have been a number of attacks on John Key after his knighthood was announced in the Queen’s Birthday honours. These have largely come from Labour associated sources.

One of these attacks was in a Standard post Arise Sir John, which set the tone for many dirty comments there.

While no party seems to want to associate with Martyn Bradbury he also blasted the knighthood in Why I will never call John Key Sir. Ever:

This vacant optimism merchant banker whose laid back persona struck a chord with middle NZs anti-intellectualism made this country far worse for the poorest and most vulnerable amongst us.

That sums up a common level of pettiness and bitterness in New Zealand politics.

David Farrar blasts another example in Lying losers:

What a bunch of lying embittered losers.

Once she was out of politics, John Key gave Helen Clark the highest Honour there is – Order of New Zealand. He supported her campaign for UNDP Administrator and gave her 100% support in her campaign to be UN Secretary-General. He also knighted Michael Cullen and gave him significant board appointments.

Key is retired and out of politics. But the nasty losers at Labour are so choking on their bile they actually authorise an advertisement smearing and attacking him for getting a knighthood. Have you seen anything so petty before? They also repeat their lie about taking $1.7 billion out of the health sector when in fact Vote Health increased $4.8 billion in nominal terms, $3.0 billion in real terms and by over 10% in real per capita terms.

This was in reference to this post on the Young Labour Facebook page:

YoungLabourJohnKey

In the fine print at the bottom…

YoungLabourAuthorised

…is an authorisation notice: Authorised by Andrew Kirton, 160n Willis Street, Wellington

Kirton is Labour’s General Secretary so this attack on Key seems to be authorised by the Labour Party.

I’m not a fan of titles, but using Key’s knighthood announcement as an excuse to attack Key’s record in this manner looks bad for Labour.

Blogs respond to ‘Hit & Run’

Blogs have been abuzz on the Hager and Stephenson book “Hit & Run”.

At Kiwiblog David Farrar plays it down saying *if* and comparing 6 civilian deaths to total civilian deaths in Afghanistan (26,000) – TLDR: Hager book summary

So far at The Standard it has been left to comments with no posts other than Nicky Hager’s book launch but that does include some politically aimed tweets including:

And:

The Daily Blog had live stream coverage of the book launch but that was apparently quite unreliable. Martyn Bradbury has since had a major rant in a post targeting John Key – you have to tell NZ if you committed a war crime:

If we as a country are going to cheer when our troops go to war to fight ‘da terrorists’ then we have to demand accountability when they kill civilians! We deserve to know the truth before John Key steps down – did he or did he not order a poorly planned strike that killed 6 civilians?

Jesus wept this disgusts and angers me so deeply – if you send troops to a foreign land you are fucking responsible for what they do!

Brothers & sisters, we fund the NZ SAS – when they pull a trigger, we help pay for that trigger – Key has made us all killers here.

The Prime Minister has blood on his hands and we must demand some answers before he steps down.

In Bombers eyes know inquiry is needed, he has already tried and convicted the whole country. He seems to have missed the fact that Key stepped down from being Prime Minister last year. Key is due to give his valedictory speech in Parliament today and then leave. I’m not sure if he will have time to consider Bradbury’s demands.

Tim Watkin at Pundit – The O’Donnell raid in Afghanistan: The seeds of the new Hager book

The 2010 raid in Afghanistan detailed in Nicky Hager and Jon Stephenson’s new book, Hit and Run, was first revealed on a TV interview I produced in 2011. It’s time for some official answers

Andrew Geddis at Pundit: Killing in the name of?

Nicky Hager and John Stephenson’s book, Hit & Run, presents compelling evidence that our SAS was responsible for killing at least six Afghani civilians, wounding at least another fifteen, and handing over a man to be tortured for information. And then we were systematically lied to about what was being done in our name.

He concludes:

I say that again now. If our SAS must dissemble and lie by omission or commission to those for whom they fight, then it should not be fighting. If military leaders and their political masters are complicit in those lies, then we should follow the German example and require their resignations.

For at a time when our defence forces are asking us to give them some $20 billion from the public purse to upgrade their equipment, it is incumbent on them to prove to us that they deserve it. And the first step they must take in doing so is showing that we can trust them to tell us just what it is that they do in our name.

I thought that a law professor might have listened to the other side of the arguments before coming to strong conclusions.

To date Whale Oil has no posts on the book. Perhaps they are disappointed it isn’t about them again. Apparently Slater has been otherwise occupied and no one else has stepped up. There have been some comments on it in Whaleoil Backchat.

Minimum wage increase

The Government has announced that the minimum wage will increase from $15.25 per hour to $15.75 per hour from 1 April.

A release from Michael Woodhouse:

The minimum wage will increase by 50 cents to $15.25 an hour on 1 April 2016, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Woodhouse announced today.

The starting-out and training hourly minimum wages rates will increase from $11.80 to $12.20 per hour, remaining at 80 per cent of the adult minimum wage.

“The Government has once again taken care to ensure the right balance has been struck between protecting our lowest paid workers, and ensuring jobs are not lost,” says Mr Woodhouse.

“An increase to $15.25 per hour will directly benefit approximately 152,700 workers and will increase wages throughout the economy by $75 million per year.

“With annual inflation currently at 0.1 per cent, an increase to the minimum wage by 3.4 per cent gives our lowest paid workers more money in their pocket, without imposing undue pressure on businesses or hindering job growth.

“The Government has increased the minimum wage every year since coming to office, from $12 to $15.25. This is an overall increase of 27% compared to inflation of around 11%.

“Our steady increases to the minimum wage reflect the Government’s commitment to growing the economy, boosting incomes and supporting jobs.”

So it is a little bit more than inflation.

David Farrar promotes and defends this at Kiwiblog in The minimum wage under National

So I thought I would point out how the minimum wage has moved from 1 April 2008 to 1 April 2017.

  • Hourly rate – from $12.00 to $15.75 – a 31.3% increase
  • Gross Annual FT minimum wage – from $25,029 to $32,850 – an increase of $7,821 or 31.3%
  • Net (after tax/ACC) Annual FT minimum wage – from $19,798 to 27,684 – an increase of $7,886 or 39.8%
  • CPI (inflation) gone from 1044 to 1218 (estimate) – an increase of just 16.7% (includes GST increase)
  • Real Net Annual FT minimum wage – from $23,097 to $27,684 – an increase of $4,587 or 19.9%

So a FT worker on the minimum wage has 20% higher spending power than nine years ago. That awful oppressive poor hating National Government.

An alternative view from Anthony Robins at The Standard in Minimum wage increase doesn’t meet real costs (the CPI is broken)

Any increase in the minimum wage is better than nothing, but National’s increases have not kept pace with the real cost increases (notably housing) faced by low income earners. That is why we are seeing the rise of the working poor, and increases in homelessness and poverty.

The skyrocketing cost of buying an existing house is not included in the CPI (“Inflation is 0.4 percent, and Mr Eaqub calculates that if house price growth was included, inflation would have been 2.5 percent, or more, in each of the last three years”).

The cost of rent is factored into the CPI with a weighting of 10%, in fact for low income earners rent can be 40% to 50% of their income or more (“The report said the lowest 20 percent of earners spent 54 percent of their income on housing in 2015, compared with just 29 percent in the late 1980s”). So the CPI already massively underestimates the real inflation that low income earners face – and rents are rising fast in Auckland and elsewhere.

There are similar issues with other basics like electricity, which is how power prices have risen more quickly than the CPI.

In short, the CPI is broken, especially with respect to housing. (Over the last three years we have developed a better measure, why aren’t we using it?). Under National minimum wage increase have failed to keep up with the real cost increases experienced by low income earners. That is why we are seeing the rise of the working poor, and increases in homelessness and poverty. Shame.

He also took a swipe at Farrar:

* National’s pet blogger tried to spin the snakeoil on Twitter too – an interesting discussion followed.

From one of Labour’s pet blogger? Throwing around pet names leaves one open to boomeranging.

Another view from further left, Mike Treen at The Daily Blog: $20 an hour now! Make the minimum wage a living wage!

There are widespread and unacceptable levels of poverty in this country and inequality is getting out of control. One way to address those issues in a meaningful way is to progressively increase the minimum wage in real terms.

Should every 16 year old or 18 year old in their first job be paid $20 per hour?

Housing costs are a real and large issue, but bumping up all wage rates to compensate seems to be silly. Far better to sort out housing supply and costs.

Farrar on Israeli settlements

David Farrar has posted his thoughts on the UN vote on Israeli settlements (he thinks it was unfair to Israel) but he thinks the settlements are an ongoing problem for Israel.

Personally I support Israel around 95% of the time, especially when it comes to their own security. But I’ve never been persuaded that settlements on occupied territory are a good idea, or will lead to a two state solution. A one state solution is worse for Israel as that would mean having to give citizenship to those living in those areas and Jews would become the minority in Israel.

Hamas are evil and Fatah corrupt and the Palestinian leadership bear most of the blame for there being no peace settlement. They have rejected some very good offers in the past, and I remain sceptical that their leadership are interested in a two state solution.

There’s certainly some serious problems on the Palestinian side. But Israel doesn’t help the situation, especially with the provocative settlements.

In my view the settlements are wrong and provocative. Israel surrenders the moral high ground when they persist with them. The settlements are not the cause of the conflict, but they aggravate it and make peace much harder.

And while some have portrayed the UN vote as the world against Israel there’s a lot of opposition within Israel to the settlements.

The settlement policy is divisive even in Israel. Most acts of the Israeli state have widespread support (such as military action against Hamas) but the settlements are a policy most associated with the Likud party. They do have majority support, but also significant opposition.

There have been some polls inside Israel on them. They have found:

  • 42% say the settlements hurts security and 27% helps security
  • 41% say Israel should leave the West Bank/Judea and Samaria and 48% are against

Farrar’s suggestions for solutions (which hi is not optimistic about):

  1. There should be a two state solution
  2. Palestine should be given territory equal in area to the pre-1967 borders based on the original mandate.
  3. The territory for Palestine must be good enough to allow them to form a viable prosperous state, not just a series of enclaves, and be agreed between the two parties.
  4. The settlements should cease as every extra settlement is less flexibility for agreeing final boundaries.
  5. The Palestinian leadership of Fatah and Hamas must agree in words and actions to the right of Israel to exist and cease terrorism
  6. Palestine would be a demilitarised state
  7. Jerusalem is the most difficult question and is the biggest challenge (after the fact the Palestinian leadership has little interest in peace). In theory it serves as the capital to most countries, with all citizens allowed in all of the city, but different areas under different control.

To get anywhere near solutions like this it would take significant changes in attitude from both the Israelis and the Palestinians. Neither look likely to go there at this stage.

Debating Castro’s legacy

There have been contrasting responses to the news of the death of Fidel Castro. A hero who stood up to the US, or a brutal dictator? Both.

Wikipedia:

Castro is a controversial and divisive world figure.

He is decorated with various international awards, and his supporters laud him as a champion of socialism and anti-imperialism whose revolutionary regime secured Cuba’s independence from American imperialism.

Conversely, critics view him as a totalitarian dictator whose administration oversaw multiple human-rights abuses, an exodus of more than one million Cubans, and the impoverishment of the country’s economy.

Through his actions and his writings he has significantly influenced the politics of various individuals and groups across the world.

In Browning can’t understand why Cuban exiles are celebrating Castro’s death David Farrar points out  a Facebook comment of Green MP Stefan Browning.

I’m saddened by the death of Fidel Castro. He represented so significantly the battle against the worst of the forces of capitalist greed and the tyranny of oppression by the USA industrial military complex. Cuba has problems but its achievements and humanitarian reach have been significant too, especially considering the blockades and measures against it. I was disappointed by this Stuff announcement that has so much about those celebrating Fidel’s passing, when millions will be mourning.

Fans of socialism have turned a blind eye to some appalling un-democratic, authoritarian and brutal leaders.

Farrar comments:

I’m saddened by the fact an MP who has never had to live under an authoritarian dictatorship praises it so much and can’t understand who the hundreds of thousands who actually lived under it despised it.

Castro imprisoned gays, killed political opponents, tortured prisoners, censored the Internet, banned trade unions, made strikes illegal etc etc. But because he was an enemey of the US, Browning thinks he was a great guy.

Browning is attracting huge negative feedback on his Facebook page for his tears of sadness at the death of an authoritarian dictator.

Even on the left there has been a very mixed reaction to Castro’s death.

The Standard: Fidel Castro has died

Cuba is a unique place with some weaknesses and problems but with other features that are outstanding.

RIP Fidel Castro.

That was under the authorship of ‘Notices and Features’ so someone chose not to put their own name to it. There was some support and also harsh criticism of Castro’s legacy.

Martyn Bradbury: Rest in Revolution Fidel Castro

2016 has been a shit year, and it continues to find ways to keep killing off all my heroes, this time 2016 has managed to wrestle life from the Godfather of the Revolution, Fidel Castro…

…and the World lost an idea that common people could join together and fight the forces of Capitalism with weapons if need be.

A revolutionary hero just turned up at the pearly gates demanding a meeting with the workers – Rest in Revolution Fidel.

That must be the workers Castro didn’t torture or murder. It’s odd that Bradbury should suggest castro has arrived at the ‘pearly gates’ when thought that religious beliefs were backward and viewed the Roman Catholic church as ” a reactionary, pro-capitalist institution” (however Castro ended up organising a visit to Cuba by the Pope in 1998).

Is a Castro type revolution what Bradbury keeps trying to talk up for New Zealand?

Comments at The Daily Blog were also a mix of praise and condemnation.

 

 

 

3 strikes law aimed to protect

David Farrar at Kiwiblog writes in A third strike on the recent sentencing where a man who grabbed a female prison guard by the bum was given a maximum seven year sentence but the judge used the ‘manifestly unjust’ provision to remove the ‘no parole’ requirement.

I have no problem with this sentence. A third strike is not just about the most recent offence but also the previous offences. He seems an unrepentant criminal and we’re safer with him in prison – even if the prison officers are not.

The purpose of is a deterrent, and this case should act as one.

But in comments the architect of the 3 strikes law, David Garrett, says that victim protection was the primary purpose.

The PRIMARY purpose of 3S was always to protect victims – deterrence was and remains a secondary purpose…if it occurs, that’s a bonus.

This guy is now in jail for about three times as long as he otherwise would have been but for 3S…the public is therefore protected from him for at least three times longer.

If his lawyer (who I know well) is correct in his view, this sentence is a real game changer for him and he will not reoffend when he is released. If he does, and it is his preferred crime of robbery or aggravated robbery, it is back to jail for him for seven or 14 years respectively.

The 3 strikes law was also supposed to keep ‘the worst of the worst’ criminals off the street, but that is not the case here.

When he committed his third strike offence while in prison Campbell had been serving a 3 year, 5 month sentence for an aggravated robbery, after being convicted in April 2014 and getting his second strike warning. His first strike conviction was for robbery and demanding to steal in 2013.

Garrett also said he was “quite comfortable” with the judge using the ‘manifestly unjust’ provision.

But let me put on record that I am quite comfortable with the Judge’s exercise of the “manifestly unjust” proviso in this case: this is exactly the kind of case it was designed for. No-one – least of all me – would be comfortable about seven years for what is unquestionably a low level indecent assault.

So Garrett agrees that in this case a maximum sentence with no parole for a low level indecent assault would have been manifestly unjust.

This is the first time a third strike sentence has been given. Time will tell whether ‘manifestly unjust’ is the except or the norm.

All of that said, the following must also be taken into account – things the MSM strangely didn’t mention: Campbell has a number of non strike violent offences to his name, including being found with a knife in a public place without lawful purpose; his first two strikes were robbery and aggravated robbery respectively, the second committed while he was on parole for the first; a probation officer assessed him as a person whose violence is growing worse, and portrays him as a real risk to society.

Lastly, as I said on Nat Rad yesterday, the Judge’s remarks actually neatly underline why the law was necessary in the first place. The Judge said that absent 3S, Campbell would have got 12 months at most. The Sentencing Act automatically reduces that sentence to six months, with parole at one third, i.e two months.

I believe the public were and remain sick of violent offenders getting two months in jail; the proverbial slap on the hand with as wet bus ticket. Most people – when they know the full facts of this case – will be quite happy with the sentence.

I don’t know about ‘most people’ but the judge was obviously quite unhappy with the sentence he was required to give. The legal fraternity in general seems to be unhappy with the law and with this sentence.

Law professor Andrew Geddis wrote in Three strikes and you still get out at Pundit:

New Zealand has had a “three strikes” sentencing regime in place for some six years now. It was controversial when introduced. It’s effectiveness is the subject of some debate (I urge people to read Warren Brookbanks’ excellent Greg King Memorial Lecture Paper here). But what is indisputable, I think, is that the judiciary really, really doesn’t like it.

The Brookbanks lecture is worth reading.

But Garrett took a swipe at Geddis:

Geddis’ piece is disingenuous as usual: Unless Campbell really acts up in jail, he won’t serve anything like seven years – he is eligible for parole in two years three months, so is likely to be out in three years at most.

Secondly, Geddis seems to think no-one can be a victim of a crime committed inside jail (read the piece)…The victim in this case was a lowly paid female Corrections Officer who remains badly affected by what happened, and had time off work as a result of it.

The victim said she hoped that the court would rule non-parole as manifestly unjust. From the victim impact statement:

[11] About three weeks after the assault, the victim provided a victim impact statement. She said she felt angry, frustrated and totally degraded by the offending. She had been left feeling vulnerable and uneasy when performing her work duties.

[12] When speaking to the pre-sentence report writer recently, the victim stated that she hoped the Court would allow you the opportunity for parole as you are young and need help. She said you do not grasp appropriate relationship boundaries and she would like to see you offered assistance.

It will probably some time before we get a number of third strike sentences on which we can judge how the 3 strikes law works out in practice – it can be presumed that the worst of the worst criminals will have lengthy first and second strike sentences so unless the offending happens in prison (as in this case) the worst won’t be out and able to offend again quickly.

So it is likely to remain a contentious and unproven law for some time.

Key points from the sentencing on this case: Third strike sentence “grossly disproportionate”

Full decision: http://www.courtsofnz.govt.nz/cases/r-v-campbell/@@images/fileDecision

Salmond back on Labour staff

Rob Salmond has announced (at Public Address) that he as back as a Labour Party leader’s staffer. David Farrar thinks this will be to utilise his data skills for voter targeting and turnout.

Salmond has been in and out of Labour offices. Back in January 2013 Farrar posted at Kiwiblog:  Salmond rejoins the Labour Leader’s Office

on his website discloses:

I am a native-born New Zealander, and also hold US citizenship. I work as Political Director in the Office of the New Zealand Party Leader, a position I have held since early 2013.

I have been a member of the labour party since 1998, and have worked on various partisan and independent campaigns for left-leaning government in New Zealand since 1996.

Earlier New Zealand-based work included positions in the Office of the Prime Minister (2007) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (1998-2001).

It’s fascinating that Rob has moved back to New Zealand to take up this role. A very smart appointment by Robertson and Cameron as I rate Rob’s political and data skills very highly. I expect to see his presence lead to significant changes in Labour’s political operations.

A month before the 2014 election Stuff reported:

Labour leader tried to score a point over John Key yesterday by saying he rarely talks to bloggers, but that seems a stretch.

One of his closest advisers (priming him for the televised debates) is Polity blogger Rob Salmond.

Labour’s vote dropped to 25% in that election, so any changes introduced and advice given by Salmond didn’t help.

Yesterday Salmond announced at Public Address where he had been blogging:

Catch you later

This is my last PA post for a while, as I’ve recently taken on a staff role as Deputy Chief of Staff in Andrew Little’s office

Today Farrar commented on this in Back to the mothership:

Rob specialises in data and politics. I suspect this means Labour will be focusing much more on voter targeting and turnout.

However as we saw with the US election all the data in the world won’t get the wrong candidate elected.

Salmond must think he’s backing the right candidate this time.

He and Labour seem confident that their mayoral campaigning – see Salmonds previous post Four thoughts on polling in Wellington’s mayoral election – had the right formulae.

A key question though – is Andrew Little electable? Perhaps. He shares something in common with someone else’s campaign. Donald Trump had never previously won an election.

Hager, Farrar on privacy

Nicky Hager at The Spinoff: “‘If you’ve done nothing wrong, you’ve got nothing to fear’ is like a slogan from a police state”

The claim “If you’ve done nothing wrong, you’ve got nothing to fear” is like a slogan from a police state. I agree with the writers who say that privacy (like freedom of speech) is an essential part of a person being able to develop their personality and beliefs. It’s as crucial and fundamental as that.

I know as a writer on intelligence that most people by far aren’t being spied on. But if the idea or fear is around that our lives aren’t private, it undermines this vital stuff about who we are. (Also, by the way, the loudmouths who say “If you’ve done nothing wrong, you’ve got nothing to fear” would actually be enraged if their privacy was breached.)

I think Hager would be outraged if his privacy was breached, for example via a police raid. Fair enough, he should be outraged if the police act improperly or illegally.

This brings us back to the subject of privacy. It is awful if people wonder needlessly whether someone is reading their private email, or decides they’d better not be involved in politics, or generally shrinks down and limits who they are because of an unnecessary fear of surveillance. Because, unfortunately, the fear that we’re being watched does almost as much damage as the reality would.

Given that Hager has more than once been the recipient of private communications and has published these details in books, there’s a degree of conflict in what he says.

He used a major privacy breach to both make money and to try and influence the outcome of an election with his ‘Dirty Politics’ book on 2014.

It’s as if he thinks that breaching privacy for the right cause is fine, otherwise it’s evil.

David Farrar responds to Hager on privacy.

I have had my private e-mails read. They have twice appeared in books published by Nicky Hager.

I have considered quitting politics because of the fear of surveillance.

I’ve had spies put into my business to steal documents.

So pardon me if I have trouble reading the above without getting a bit angry.

I think that’s a reasonable reaction. Farrar  has also tried to influence elections, but I’m not aware of him using illegally obtained communications to do that.

Hager generally seems to be reasonably intelligent, but it almost seems as if he doesn’t see the contradictions in what he says and does.

 

Blog moderation and hypocrisy

There’s been a bit of a spat on Twitter about lack of moderation at Kiwiblog, with a number of people joining criticism of David Farrar’s hands off approach to moderation.

It’s well known that Kiwiblog comments can at times get very abusive. I’ve commented there a lot in the past and often confronted the worse of the abuse, and have been abused and lied about there quite a lot, sometimes in reactions to confronting them. Several times I reported abuse to DPF, and on one occasion  I had him remove defamatory comments, which he did as soon as I contacted him.

I have also been subjected to a lot of abuse and mob attacks at The Standard, and have been banned from there several times for confronting some of that.

So I was a bit bemused when Stephanie Rodgers joined in put me up alongside Farrar in the Twitter spat.

SRTwitterModeration.jpg

There’s a bunch of irony and hypocrisy in that.

King Kong is a regular abusive figure on NZ blogs. Yet you never see them on mine, because – radical – I moderate them.

Yes she does ‘moderate’. But one person’s moderation can be another person’s message control or even censorship.

Bloggers like DPF and Pete George want to pretend it’s hard to moderate out abuse, and it simply isn’t.

Rodgers has made that up about me. It can be easy to moderate out abuse.

What is difficult is getting the balance right between enabling and allowing free speech and free discussion but minimising abuse and personal attacks.

It can be particularly difficult to keep their own views and disagreements separate from moderation.

Likening my moderation to DPF’s  shows quite a degree of ignorance.

DPF’s moderation is very hands off. He relies on people reporting abuse to him, and rarely engages in comments threads. With the number of comments at Kiwiblog it would be a huge job to vet each one.

I am actively involved in moderation here as much as time allows. I actively discourage abuse and act on it whenever I see fit. It isn’t required often, apart from the occasional burst from individuals, because the regulars here understand my aims and support and help achieving a reasonable balance between robust comment and debate but avoiding personal attacks.

It’s imperfect, and it is hard, nigh on impossible, to please all of the commenters all of the time. But it moderation is a continual effort for improving the commenting environment.

You just have to give a damn about not publishing pointles personal attacks – instead of actively encouraging them.

This looks like blind hypocrisy from Rodgers. As has been noted here in the weekend there was a typical mob attack on me at The Standard in the weekend, starting here.

That not only involved abuse, it was an obvious attempt to discredit, shut down, shout down and get me banned by someone some of the numpties there – a number of familiar names.

And Rodgers joined in. That’s a form of active encouragement.

For people like Rodgers moderation seems to be a tool to shut down comment they disagree with and shut out people they don’t like, but to allow attacks when it suits their prejudices and agendas.

it helps not to nurture a commenter base made entirely of deplorables.

But then who would comment on DPF’s obvious flamebait?

Rodgers seems to be blind to the culture of the commentariat she is a part of at The Standard, where flamebait and deplorable abuse are allowed by moderators like her.