Dirty sleaze content continues at Whale Oil

Even though Cameron Slater’s name has been virtually erased from Whale Oil content, his dirty legacy continues with regular derogatory posts still appearing.

Yesterday’s Face of the Day was posted by SB (Juana Atkins, Slater’s wife). It was another use old photo dregded up from Clarke Gayford’s past. He has repeatedly been targeted, attacked and smeared at Whale Oil.

Matt Blomfield, who has more cause than anyone to feel bitter at dirty and derogatory content on Whale Oil, said in statement in the weekend:

What got me thinking, though, was a book review on Newsroom by Finlay Macdonald – not his words but the image at the top of the page: Cameron Slater knocked out in the first round of his boxing match with Jesse Rider. He looks broken.

It follows that my mind takes me to a place of sympathy for Slater. He has a wife and kids just like me; he has tried to succeed, just like me. I feel increasingly concerned at the tone of some of the comments about him that are appearing online. I know what it’s like first hand to be ridiculed online, to be bullied and it affects more than just the individual. It flows through to that person’s friends and family.

I agree with Blomfield. But is sympathy for Slater and his family deserved  when ridiculing and bullying the family of politicians continues unabated at Whale Oil? (I know Gayford continues to have a public profile, but that is no good reason to dredge up old photos and repeatedly post them).

And the Whale Oil ‘family’ is a willing part of this. Comments on the above post all from WO ‘mods’:

Nige (Nigel Fairweather):

This is advice is apparently funny?

He’s a sicko.

Sally:

Thanks, Clarke. You’ve just given WO another opportunity to show you displaying your lace underwear.
You really lack self awareness.

Buzz E Bee:

Yup! All gift wrapped and dressed in a tutu…oh wait…

I wonder if they can look their families in the eye, their parents, their children, and say they are proud of what they promote.

From Whale Oil Commenting and moderating rules:

The golden rule of commenting

Each comment should:

  • be on the topic of the post
  • add information, a point of view or a contribution of some substance and
  • be respectful and do no harm to others.

Keep your language clean and respectful

  • Don’t put other people down.

If you don’t abide by the commandments a moderator will delete your comments

When moderators break the rules and allow others to follow their example it makes a mockery of their standards.

Slater may have slid into the background, but his hypocritical and dirty legacy continues at Whale Oil, with SB/Atkins leading and feeding the dirty mob.

Greens dirty on dealing with the devil

Green MPs and Green party members have made it clear they are dirty on any deal with National. They would rather spend another three years in opposition than do any sort of deal with National. They would rather risk an NZ First dominated agenda than offer an alternative.

Greens are not just dirty on any National deal. Some of them are filthy at the suggestion. They threaten to destroy their party if it attempts to deal with the devil, and they attack and abuse people if they suggest a National-Green government could be worth trying. Some Green activists are amongst the most abusive and least tolerant social media warriors around.

Green supporters are now even claiming that any suggestion of a deal with national is a National plot, some have even claimed finance by National.

Sure there may be some mischief making and stirring things up.

But I think there are many people who genuinely think that it would be at least worth trying a National-Green coalition.

I did a small Twitter poll on 25 September (107 responses):

  • National+NZ First 50%
  • Labour+NZ First+Greens 20%
  • National+Greens 25%
  • National+Labour 5%

In early September Colmar Brunton did a similar poll – “given the choice, would you prefer to see New Zealand First support a Labour or National-led government?”

  • 46% said they would prefer to see New Zealand First support a Labour-led government
  • 33% said they would prefer New Zealand First supported a National-led government
  • 7% spontaneously said they do not want to see New Zealand First in government, or do not wish to see it support either party
  • 14% don’t know which party New Zealand First should support

A representative sample of 1007 eligible voters were surveyed, with interviewing taking place from Saturday 2 September – Wednesday 6 September 2017. The maximum sampling error for the main question is approximately ±3.1%-points at the 95% confidence level.

That was before we knew that it was a choice between National+NZ First or Labour+NZ First+Greens (or potentially but impossibly National+Greens).

There are far more people than a few National activists saying they would be happy with a National+Green alliance.

I think many of those in support are likely to be floating centre-ish voters who would genuinely like Greens to push National into dealing better with environmental issues in particular, but also social issues.

But this is all moot. I don’t think there is any way Green MPs or activists would accept even talking to National over a potential deal.

This leaves the Greens with some risky possible outcomes.

  • If a Labour+NZ First+Green government the Greens are in a weak negotiating position and may end up with little more than whatever policy crumbs they are offered.
  • If a National+NZ First government the Greens are left right out.

Some think that if the Greens worked with National it would suck the life out of the party, if there was any life remaining after mass desertion, but for some reasons they don’t have the same fears of working with Labour-NZ First. A poor deal there may also damage their future prospects.

And it could be near future prospects. If both Labour and National decide that a NZ First coalition is untenable, and Greens continue to refuse to support a National government in any way, then we will have to have another election.

Greens were close to being dumped in the election that we have just had. They may be at even greater risk of missing the threshold cut if we have to go to the polls again.

Sticking to their principles (such as they are) is a high risk strategy for the Greens.

And the displays of abusiveness and lack of tolerance of different political policies and views are not helping save Greens’ support either.

I think that Greens have been flattered by support levels in the 2011 and 2014 elections. This was as much to do with Labour’s unpopularity as it was Green popularity.

In July polls went as high as 14% for the Greens, and dropped as low as 4.3% in August, before recovering to about 6% in the election last week.

This suggests that the core support for the Greens is less than the 5% threshold.

If NZ First and Greens are unable to enable the formation of a government and we have to have another election then they are both at risk of being dumped on by voters.

I was rubbished for pointing this out on Twitter, I was accused of putting blame on the Greens if a government proves impossible to put together. They would be just one of the parties responsible – but the point is that they are the party at greatest risk of missing the threshold.

Green activists seem to hate it even when the unpalatable obvious is pointed out to them.

The Green Party is looking shaky and their core supporters are dirty under pressure. rather than discuss possibilities some of them go as far as resorting to filthy behaviour.

See Time for a Green alternative Eco-Eco party?

Poll hits dirt, rewards clean

There can be many reasons for poll movements but whether by coincidence or not the parties most associated by dirty smear politics have all dropped in the latest NZ Herald poll, and parties not associated with dirt have gone up, especially the Greens.

Dirty parties:

  • National 50 (down 4.9)
  • Labour 25.2 (down 1.3)
  • NZ First 4.3 (down 0.3)

Clean parties:

  • Greens 13.7 (up 3.8)
  • Conservatives 2.6 (up 1.4)
  • Maori Party 0.7 (up 0.2)
  • Act 0.6 (up 0.6)
  • United Future 0.4 (up 0.4)

Others

  • Mana-Internet 2.1 (down 0.1)
  • Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis (down 0.1)

Having made that point poll to poll movements are not as important as trends.

Herlad poll trends Aug14

  • National’s last poll result may have been an outlier.
  • Labour continue to trend down.
  • Greens have surged but time will tell if it is temoporary or becomes a positive trend.

Herald poll trends small Aug14

  • Winston Peters has been struggling to sustain a profile in a very competitive media.
  • Conservatives will be hoping they are on the rise but 5% is a long way up from there.
  • Internet-Mana climbed initially but may be leveling off.
  • Maori, Act and United Future will be grateful for any scraps they can get.

The poll of 750 respondents was conducted between August 14 and 20 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.6 per cent. On the party vote questions 12.5 per cent were undecided.

Source: Greens spring in polls as National takes hit

Dirty, dirtier and dirtiest

There’s no doubt that of the major political blogs Whale Oil has been the dirtiest. It seems to have been a surprise to many how dirty, but to any observers of the blogosphere it just confirms with some specific examples what was already well known.

Barry Soper alludes to this in The Soap Box: Revelations? Hardly!

Anyone who’s shocked by the dirty nature of the emails that have tried to paint a smear campaign by National of its opponents understand little about two things – the hate speak that Whale Oil Beef Hooked blogger Cameron Slater’s known for and the business of politics which is anything but clean.

What about the rest of the blogs and social media? Certainly not as bad but there’s plenty of other dirt mongering and dirt mongerers.

In fact the hacking of Slater’s data and using it to hijack the election campaign must rate near the very top of the dirt scale.

Bunji at The Standard claims Left wing blogs aren’t “the same”.

On Morning Report yesterday John Key was busy casting all sorts of aspersions, and refusing to say that clearly odious behaviour by Judith Collins, Jason Ede and Cameron Slater was wrong.

But some of the aspersions were against shock horror left wing bloggers!

As a left wing blogger I take personal umbrage.

There is no equivalence.

He’s right, they are not the same. There’s no equivalence to Whale Oil across centrist and right wing blogs either. Cameron Slater is one of a kind, along with his co-dirt-mongers.

But Bunji and many others who frequent The Standard, by participating or not taking umbrage, support an often dirty forum there. Similar to varying degrees for Kiwiblog and The Daily Blog and Dim-Post and Public Address – and other social media forums including Facebook, Twitter, the Trade Me boards etc etc

(To be fair Bunji isn’t one of the dirty ones at The Standard, but I haven’t seen him speak up against the in-house dirt their either).

Saying “we’re not dirtiest so we’re ok” is making excuses for dirty and dirtier. They can’t wash their hands of it like that.

Political forums seem to attract a dominant minority of people who are intolerant of opposing (or even non-agreeing) views. And they can be bullying, lying and very nasty. Not quite in Slater’s league but some come close.

John Key has been justifiably been criticised for make the “but they do it too” excuse.

It’s nearly as bad saying “but we aren’t as bad”.

I’ve been banned from Whale Oil because my opinions were contrary to their agenda.

I’ve been banned from The Standard for suggesting they would promote their political ideas better if they didn’t play so dirty.

I’ve also been banned from Dim-Post and The Daily Blog. 

David Farrar has often been criticised for allowing dirty commenting run rampant at Kiwiblog – but at least I’ve never seen him ban anyone for having a different opinion, and that’s a major. And he’s never banned me despite me being strongly critical of him, his blog and National at times.

Whale Oil may be dirtiest, but there’s plenty of dirty and dirtier about as well.

This all reflects very poorly on our political discourse. Of course that our top politicians lead the dirt mongering by example doesn’t help. And media are caught in this too – it’s difficult to avoid reporting on what is attracting attention (they shouldn’t) but it’s easy to get stuck in a dirt mongering rut.

Some are suggesting that politics is just dirty and nothing can or should be done about it. That’s one of Slater’s favourite excuses for his excesses.

I don’t buy that rolling over and let our democracy be savaged. 

It’s time enough good people stood up against it and made a difference.We don’t have to (and shouldn’t) accept degrees of dirt.

We should demand decency and dignity in our democracy. We can’t eliminate dirt but we should replace most of it with a decent political contest.

That’s sort of what Nicky Hager seems to have been aiming at, but his book is likely to make things worse in the short term.

The challenge is how to create something better once the carnage has died down.

Who is up for this challenge?

 

Dirty politics must be cleaned from the top

Dirty politics has been raised to new heights with the launch of Nicky Hager’s book.

Hager claimed that what he reported in his booked was terrible – but not that terrible that he couldn’t hold it from the public long enough to write a book and market it a month before the election. Some are calling that dirty politics, with some justification.

The book has pointed out examples of dirty politics played by Cameron Slater in particular in collusion with senior National Party people and with connections to the top, the Prime Minister John Key.

Key says what Slater has done is nothing to with him. To an extent that may be technically correct, depending on how you look at it. But they have admitted regularly communicating.

Today Slater repeated something at Whale Oil that he said on television several months ago – this is on a blog post called I love the smell of Napalm in the morning:

Politics is a dirty, disgusting, despicable game. And it involves dirty, disgusting, despicable people at all levels.

No stepping back by Slater.

But I don’t think this should be acceptable in a modern democracy, especially in  a country like New Zealand.

Labour appear to have taken a step towards more positive politics with their Vote Positive slogan for the election. They will find it heard to keep living up to that and will keep getting reminded of any transgressions – this will hopefully help them move towards a more positive approach. It will take time to work it’s way down the party, negatives prevail in social media, still.

However examples for political behaviour should be set from the top.

That Prime Minister John Key should dismiss concerns and distance himself from the dirt of our current politics is poor.

The least Key should be doing is accepting responsibility for the behaviour of his party and MPs – and although he can’t be held responsible for the actions of a self described “dirty, disgusting, despicable” blogger he should make it clear behaviour anything like that is not welcome in the National Party or in Government.

By playing down and ignoring this he is complicit up to his eyeballs in the continuation of dirty politics.

Meanwhile the public are poorly served by their supposed representatives and are likely to continue to be turned off by the continuing dirty politics.

It’s been claimed this is deliberate, less voters means less people to appeal to in order to win elections. That would be dirty despicable democracy.

If the Prime Minister can’t be seen to demand better then perhaps he doesn’t deserve to be there. He is not elected to serve the dirty, disgusting, despicable” minority.

Dirty politics must be cleaned from the top. We need someone at the top who is prepared to do that.

UPDATE: this is how dirty it can get:

Bit bloody rich of Hager to complain about death treats resulting unsubstantiated allegations on @SevenSharp. My 1st one arrived last night