National kettle calling the pork barrelled

Steven Joyce played a significant part in National’s embarrassing result in the Northland by-election, which included a pork barrel promise to build ten bridges.

Now he is accusing Labour of pork barrel politics in the Mount Roskill by-election. He has a point, but so do those who accuse him of hypocrisy.

NZ Herald: National says Labour’s $680m Auckland light rail policy ‘pork barrel politics’

National’s Steven Joyce has accused Labour of panicking and “pork barrel” politics for its Mt Roskill byelection pledge to put $680 million into a light rail system for Auckland.

In an announcement linked to the Mt Roskill byelection on December 3, Labour leader Andrew Little released part of Labour’s transport policy for Auckland – $680m to help pay for the first stage of a light rail system from Wynyard Quarter to Mt Roskill.

Little, joined by Labour’s byelection candidate Michael Wood, set out Labour’s plan on Sunday for the Government to pay half of the $1.36b cost for light rail and Auckland Council the other half.

Joyce said the promise was “taking pork barrel politics to a whole new level”.
“Labour are hitting the panic button fairly early on,” Mr Joyce says. “Promising a $1.4 billion rail link between the electorate and the city looks very desperate.

It has echoes of last year’s Northland byelection, when National was accused of ”pork barrel” politics after Transport Minister Simon Bridges and its candidate Mark Osborne announced a promise to upgrade 10 one-way bridges in the region.

Joyce had overseen that campaign in which NZ First leader Winston Peters took the seat the National Party had long held.

So Joyce is being rather hypocritical.

Little dismissed Joyce’s criticism, saying the light rail policy was completely different to National’s policy to upgrade 10 bridges in Northland.

Labour’s policy to fund 1000 more Police had also been timed for the Mt Roskill by election and Little said it also proposed to re-open a community policing station in the electorate.

Little said no further major announcements were expected for the Mt Roskill by election. A policy announcement he was making on jobs at Labour’s annual conference next weekend would be national.

Meanwhile on the @PaulHenryShow

Labour’s @PhilTwyford insists the pledge for a light rail is about solving the city’s transport woes and not about playing politics.

Twyford is claiming that this isn’t playing politics:

. & announcing for Dom Rd!


Yeah, right.

Politicians seem to be unaware or uncaring that porcine hypocrisy is likely to raise more cynicism than votes, as National found to their significant cost in Northland.

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.


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.

Height of hypocrisy and bull

Hypocrisy and falsity abounds still at Whale Oil in a post by Cameron Slater – FREEDOM OF SPEECH AND THE SHOUTING DOWN OF OPPOSING VOICES

Nathan Smith has a brilliant opinion piece at NBR on freedom of speech, but more importantly the proclivity of people, mostly the left-wing to shout down or wanting to ban those who they disagree with.

Anyone who has observed or exerienced the shutting down of opposing voices, and the ban machine Pete Belt at Whale Oil over the last eighteen months will see the hypocrisy in accusing others of ‘shouting down’ or ‘wanting to ban’.

 The media proved fickle guardians of free speech then, and they remain fickle guardians of free speech today…unless it is their free speech being impinged…then they are very vocal.

Same with Slater. He has been moaning about Nicky Hager since being out Dirtied by him in July last year. Like…

We saw this last year with Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics. An attempt by the left wing, and enabled by their fellow travellers in the media to shut down debate and people and political discourse because they didn’t agree with them.

It was about much more than “didn’t agree with them”. It was about politicians using a blogger to throw mud while bragging about being the dirtiest of political dirtbags.

We see the campaigns continue to this day, with the beige badger stating that he thinks we’d be better off without this blog.

I don’t recall stating anything like that and I doubt Slater could find any quotes to back it up. I’ve reported on and even praised achievements at Whale Oil. He just can’t handle being criticised, and he’s given plenty of opportunity to be criticised.

UPDATE: jaspa says ” I am pretty sure I have seen you state that you would not want WO shut down.”

The hate is palpable, the anti-democratic and anti-freedom attitudes prevail, all egged on by the baying of their quite mad and narcissistic microscopic audiences.

I’ve never said or hate Slater or anyone or any website for that matter. He is making up ‘poor me’ stuff to give himself an excuse to whine.

The bottom line is that they are threatened, they are jealous and they can’t or won’t do what is required to try and beat me, so they must try to silence me. They won’t.

The martyr moans.

I’m not trying to beat anyone, and certainly not Slater. I don’t want to be anything like him and I don’t want Your NZ to be anything like Whale Oil.

What is particularly hypocritical about this from Slater is that he was involved with friends in trying to gag me and gag you here by slapping a court order on this site, and that was done illegally, or at least without any legal basis. When the judge realised he’d been conned he discharged to order.

Again, I don’t hate Slater nor want Whale Oil shut down.

I just find it sad that a blogger and a blog tyhat once had potential is now resorting to posting such hypocritical bull.

WO #3: irony and hypocrisy on ‘free speech’

This is the first in a series of posts addressing claims at Whale Oil   that Google are ISIS friendly, that makes varying claims about why Google Ads ceased on Whale Oil for part of yesterday and then resumed again, that tries to raise donations to fund the ongoing operation of the blog, and that makes highly ironic claims about freedom of speech and censorship.


On October 29, Whaleoil published The only solution is to kill them before they kill us, an article covering how ISIS and other Islamic adherents bent on throwing gays off building and subjugating women are to be met by preemptive force to protect our way of life and freedoms, such as they are.

This set off a small but vocal part of Social Media.  No surprise:  exactly the same people who are always busy trying to damage Whaleoil in some way.   This time a petition was created to request the Human Rights Commission take Whaleoil to court for “hate speech“.   And as you’d expect, this was promoted by other blogs and even some main stream media journalists.  (Oh the irony).

This third post is about oh the irony of “Oh the irony”.

In this post a number of claims and comments about free speech, which are highly ironic and hypocritical given the the history of banning and censoring on Whale Oil and their involvement in trying to smear and shut up critics.

From the original post:

But our critics didn’t leave it there.  They have also been busy placing pressure on our advertisers.  

They can not just disagree with our position, we must be silenced.   The irony of fighting for freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of association, and so on, by denying someone you disagree with those rights is remarkable.

Fighting for freedom of speech? Yeah, wrong.


At these times, the community that is Whaleoil stands up against the bullying from those who want Whaleoil broken and to disappear.

It’s common for bullies to claim they are the victims of bullying when confronted.

More from comments, first their “featured comment”:

I don’t always agree with Cam’s views but freedom of speech is vital.

Obviously Don’s favourable comment was allowed by Whale Oil’s heavy handed censorship.


These plonkers are nothing but bullies, I don’t like bullies. I’ll put a bit in the kitty.

Someone frequenting Whale Oil who doesn’t like bullies – only the bullies they disagree with.

In reply to a comment by Pete Belt:

Which is of course censorship…by Google…who it appears are ISIS sympathisers.

Did Slater type that with a straight face? Perhaps he believes that attacks on free speech only matter when it’s his speech that’s being attacked.

He’s got the right to say whatever he likes, and to hold any opinion he likes.

All I want is for us to be left alone to do the same.

Except Belt doesn’t leave opinions he doesn’t want on Whale Oil.

We stand, we have a voice, and freedom to have that voice. Let’s keep it that way. Donation done.

‘We’ is those who have not been banned by Belt. There have been many claims that people who have donated to Whale Oil in the past have been censored and banned.

It wasn’t confined to that post, the very next post yesterday, by Spanish Bride, was Silencing Free Speech isn’t the same as changing people’s minds. This has ironic gems like:

They don’t realise that creating a hostile environment for debate enables them to intimidate and silence but it does not mean that they have changed anyone’s mind.

Many readers of Your NZ will see the high levels of irony and hypocrisy in this.

For anyone who hasn’t seen Whale Oil in action someone sent me some screen shots from Whale Oil yesterday that you won’t find there now.









It’s common for awkward questions and unwelcome opinions to disappear from Whale Oil, and for unwelcome contributors to be blocked and banned.

Now of course Slater and Belt can censor and ban as much as they like on their own blog.

But when they claim to be champions of free speech and criticise the censorship of others when they censor and ban as much as they do they deserve strong criticism of their double standards and their hypocrisy.

Belt said in his post’s update yesterday:

The Google Bot is even more merciless than I am as a moderator.

I hear many complaints about Belt’s ‘moderation’ – more like censorship, message control and propaganda enforcement – and few about the Google bot.

Free speech is as much a feature of Whale Oil as clean politics and honest disclosure – it’s a sad joke.

Related posts:

“Labour and Greens risk alienating their supporters”

The Green Party has just had a lesson in alienating supporters when they opposed David Seymour’s World Cup bar opening legislation. To their credit they quickly realised their mistake and made good.

Their attitude to the flag change referendums also risks alienating suporters, and more importantly, potential Green voters.

And more so Labour with their bizarre uber-hypocritical stance againts ‘the timing of’ the flag change process.

In The great flag debate is just starting to unfurl Audrey Young point’s out the risk of continuing what seemed at first populist opposition.

Labour and Greens risk alienating their supporters who want to make a choice.

Quite what Labour and the Greens will do when the debate gains momentum will present a conundrum for them. They cannot continue to attack the referendum process without indirectly attacking New Zealanders who are interested in it and want to be part of it.

They have ignored a basic principle in politics as in life: to thine own self be true, or the voters will see right through you.

It was understandable for the parties to rail against the Government asset sales programme last term – even though National won a mandate for it – because it was against Labour and Green policy.

But to rail against a review of the New Zealand flag – which National also promised at the last election – when it echoes your own party’s policy is simply dishonest and erodes trust in a party.

How can you trust a party that objects to its own policy?

Labour in particular has made a series of misjudgments over its positioning.

By describing it simply as a “vanity project” of Prime Minister John Key, Labour belittles those who don’t care what John Key thinks but who would like a say in what the flag should be.

Labour is creating a wedge issue among its own supporters, many of whom want a change.

And not just a wedge amongst their own supporters. Their pettiness risks annoying many potential Labour voters.

Sure they might have got feedback that many people bouth the ‘wrong timing’ and ‘should be spent on more important things’ campaign messages, but once the flag debate and the chance of once in a lifetime choice about our flag kicks in then Greens and Labour mayfind themselves wedged by their own petard.

Labour leader Andrew Little this week said he would not vote in the referendum.

And, more absurdly, the party’s flag spokesman, Trevor Mallard, said that in November’s preferential vote he would rank the flag he thought was best the last and the flag he disliked the most the best.

That way, if everyone were as clever as Trevor, the present flag would be pitted against the most horrible one in March, the present flag would stay and John Key could be accused of having wasted time and money.

I wonder if Mallard does similar in Parliament – votes for the legislation he likes the least and against legislation he likes the most?

Maybe he thinks all voters vote the opposite of what they want and that’s why Natiional gets twice the support of Labour

Greens will probably survive this unscathed, and in any case they haven’t been as blatantly hypocriticval as Labour.

But Labour can ill afford to keep alienating different groups of voters.

Espcecially with stances as stupid as in this case, where they are campaigning against their own policy and preferences.

Little: “That stuff on euthanasia, it isn’t the time for us to be talking about that”

Labour leader Andrew Little has criticised John Key ‘dodging’ the euthanasia issue. This would be fair criticism – except that Little has not just dodged the issue, he

From Act plans assisted dying bill:

Mr Little has accused Mr Key of trying to dodge the issue by refusing a Government move on it. But he has also ruled out a change in Labour’s decision not to put in a bill, saying his party’s preference was for a select committee inquiry.

Last term Labour MP Maryan Street had a Member’s bill on euthanasia, and that was taken over by Iain Lees-Galloway. But Little stomped on that.

Labour MP drops euthanasia bill

A bill which would legalise voluntary euthanasia has been dropped by Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway at the request of his leader Andrew Little.

Mr Lees-Galloway had been canvassing support for his End of Life Choice Bill before deciding whether to return it to the private members’ bill ballot.

But Mr Little confirmed yesterday that he had told Mr Lees-Galloway not to put it in the ballot because it was not an issue Labour should be focused on when it was rebuilding.

“It comes down to priorities at the moment,” Mr Little said. “We are very much focused on … jobs and economic security.

“There are more people affected by weak labour market regulation and weak economic strategy than they are about the right to make explicit choices about how they die.”

Mr Little said Labour was still a socially progressive party under his leadership.

“It’s not about avoiding controversy but it’s about choosing the controversies that are best for us at this point in time. That stuff on euthanasia, it isn’t the time for us to be talking about that.”

So Little has already dodged dealing with euthanasia. Criticising Key for not doing anything is highly hypocritical of Little, who deliberately kept a bill out of the ballot.

Little: “That stuff on euthanasia, it isn’t the time for us to be talking about that”.

So ACT’s Seymour took over Labour’s bill. Little looks more than a little hypocritical for criticising Key for trying to dodge the issue.

The Standard’s biggest enemy – part 1

The Standard’s biggest enemy is itself. A blog with a lot of potential is hampered by hypocrisy, abusiveness and attempted exclusion of anyone who says anything some of the small ruling cliche take exception to.

Exhibit 1 today – the post Rachinger on dirty politics. The ‘author’ is ‘Notices and Features’. It looks more like a blog post by someone who hasn’t been willing to put their name (or pseudonym) to it.

Despite the relevance to this blog, we haven’t previously posted on Ben’s claims. It hasn’t been clear how seriously to take them, and we didn’t want to add to the many pressures that he is apparently under. Apart from a brief and inconclusive exchange between Ben and lprent on Twitter there has been no contact between Ben and The Standard authors.

Because word of Ben’s account is spreading we’re finally posting on it, but we do so without comment or endorsement at this stage. We suggest that readers not try to contact Ben. Evaluate his evidence carefully, but leave him be to tell his story in his own time. Don’t expect anything in particular. Masks and mirrors.

There’s quite a bit of ‘we’ in that, apparently talking on behalf of all the Standard authors. Which is interesting considering how at times The Standard goes out of it’s way to claim that they are not an entity, they are a loose group of individuals all acting independently.

As Greg Presland said here recently:

We do not sit down and coordinate and plot posts as part of some conspiracy. Well intentioned individuals post about aspects that they think are important and interesting.

There is a bit of a group think thing that happens with TS but there is no detailed discussion and no scheming. If we appear to be coordinated it is because we have the same world view and reflexively respond in the same way.

That was less than a week ago (27 April). But today is another day In Standardville.

Why can’t an author be honest about what they post?

And why can authors talk about ‘we The Standard’ but forbid anyone else from referring to anything other than individual authors?

It appears as if ‘Notices and Features’ is R0b, who comments a number of times including:

In Twitter. We don’t have any particular “inside info” on Ben at all, but there’s a couple of us who follow him on Twitter, and he’s been publishing snippets and hints there for a long time.

So ‘Notices and Features’ appears to be R0b who happens to be author Anthony Robins. It’s very clear who ‘we’ at The Standard is, isn’t it.

Maori views on Turei and racism

Two views of this from the Maori viewpoint. Joshua Hitchcock:

Reading Minister Tolley’s response to Metiria Turei and I do not see what all the fuss is about. But then, it is not my place to judge whether or not someone has experienced racism – it is a deeply personal experience and one in which context (in this instance, Metiria Turei’s life story) plays a huge part. Ad hominem attacks are a dangerous game to engage in, something Minister Tolley has found out this week.

Perhaps this presents an opportunity for the Green Party to take stock and reconsider some of their policy proposals that other groups consider racist. Anti-immigration, anti-foreigner policies which treat people differently based on the birth lottery have not gone down too well. It wasn’t that long ago the left were arguing that they were not racist. Racism is a personal experience – it is not for white liberals to argue racism along partisan lines. If foreigners feel unwelcome, or no longer welcome in New Zealand as a result of Green Party policy, then that is their experience and you cannot deny it.

Basically if it feels racist to you then it is. But that’s a double edged sword.

And Morgan Godfery: Anne Tolley: an agent of colourblind racism?

Tolley didn’t need to mention race. Her attack is loaded with social, political and racial assumptions. The unspoken context is that Metiria, a Maori woman who lives well and dresses better, is acting out of turn and out of step with her community. How can she be in touch with her community when she isn’t living like them? The premise is that a Maori woman cannot dress well and claim to represent her people. Because Maori live exclusively in poverty, amirite.

Is he right?

Many many debates and speeches in Parliament could be accused of being many things including sexist and racist and many other -ists if it is solely dependent on the feelings of the listener.

But dwelling on feelings, whether they are justified or not, resolve nothing.

Turei failed to address Tolley’s accusation of hypocrisy so that remains unchallenged. And it’s a common perception, even among generally Green sympathetic voters.

Once were tree huggers

The Greens were once widely respected as principled environmentalists with a few quaint ideas on wider policies. Jeanette Fitzsimons and Rod Donald were respected. They were seen as having an important message on saving the planet. And they were nice, and they were honest.

But Greens never made it into a Government coalition.

After the untimely death of Donald and the retirement of Fitzsimons the Greens made a successful transition to new leadership under Russel Norman and Metiria Turei.

And the Greens are evolving.  Environmental issues have faded into the background. Norman has converted himself into a new age wannabe financial guru, and Turei has become a leader in promoting social policy with a strong emphasis on socialism.

In fact the Greens haven’t just evolved. They have morphed.

Nice is now out. Norman seems to have put his ambitions and quest for financial and political power before those quaint Green ideals of the past. He is becoming a ruthless, no holds barred anything goes political operator. He has become one of them.

The morphing of Norman (and the Greens) became more apparent yesterday in Normans speech at the Green Party annual conference.

Green leader tears into ‘smiling’ Key

Green Party co-leader Russel Norman has made a sharp personal attack on Prime Minister John Key, all but shutting the door on working with National after the next election.

Key described Labour and the Greens as the “devil-beast”; Norman hit back at his party’s annual conference yesterday by labelling Key “corrosive” and “extremely divisive”, repeatedly comparing him to former Prime Minister Robert Muldoon.

“Next time you see John Key smiling, remember he’s not smiling because he likes you, he’s smiling because he’s giving favours to his mates while undermining your democracy,” he told an audience of around 120 people in Christchurch.

The Greens have previously avoided personality politics. Asked whether his speech signalled a new approach, Norman said: “It’s important to put a line in the sand about what’s happening to our constitution and our democracy.”

In doing this Norman has ignored stated values.

6. Engage respectfully, without personal attacks

Respect is out, personal attacks are in.

So is hypocrisy. From Norman’s speech:

Fair treatment. To be equal before the law. To fight our fights on an even playing field. This is democracy. And today I want to talk to you about our democracy.

Kiwis don’t agree on everything. We argue around the dinner table, at the pub, in the media, in the courts and in parliament.

Some of us love it and some don’t but we all agree that everyone should get their day in court; we all agree that people should be equal before the law; we all agree that the courts and the government should be blind to the size of our wallets; we all agree that there should be an even playing field on which the contest of ideas takes place.

That’s directly contrary to the Greens use of parliamentary funds and staff to promote an anti asset sales campaign in the guise of a Citizen Initiated Referendum. Ordinary citizens don’t have those resources available to petition Parliament. Greens have created a new playing field that gives them a distinct democratic advantage.

And honesty is also out. Blatant lying is also a new Green value.

Stopping free speech at sea

John Key has now banned protest at sea.

To ensure nothing stands in the way of the oil profits of other big foreign multinationals, the Government has passed new laws under urgency to ensure those who stand up to defend our oceans and beaches from a devastating oil spill will go to jail or face a heavy fine.

Overnight, National took away our constitutional right to freedom of speech.

As blogged in More on Norman’s ‘protest at sea’ lie this is a blatant misrepresentation of what happened. Free speech is still allowed, but the legislation was changed to ensure safety in protest situations and enforce the right of the legal right of passage at sea.

Russel Norman had some valid points to make in his speech, but his credibility was severely marred by the un-Greenness of his approach.

Greens have morphed into old school politicians where any dirty tactic can be used – any means is seen as acceptable to achieve the end result they want.

Green is fading, and socialist red had become much more prominent. It is also now being dominated by a dirty brown.

Once were tree huggers. The Greens have morphed into just another version of political warriors, where no holds are barred in their quest for power.

Shear Shearer hypocrisy on asset mandate

David Shearer shows incredible hypocrisy questioning National’s mandate on assets sales but he doesn’t want Labour’s position on buying back shares with Winston Peters to be judged in the next election. He says Labour won’t make a commitment until  after the election.

Shearer won’t rule out buy back

Mr Peters said it would make sense to borrow to buy back shares, and commentators who said it did not make sense were “unreconstructed economic morons”.

He  his NZ First party was renowned for going into negotiations “knowing what we want and getting what we want”.

“Borrowing money would make economic sense because the returns would make that totally feasible, but there are other resources,” he said.

“You’ve got the superannuation fund, KiwiSaver or a number of avenues or options you could exercise.”

Mr Shearer said, “We won’t rule it out but we won’t rule it in either.” Labour would not be able to make any commitment on it before an election.

We know all about trusting Winston, but can we trust Shearer?

This is remarkable non-stance and incredibly hypocritical – any post election decision would have zero mandate.

Would Shearer commit to waiting for the result of any referendum before buying back shares?