Not a right wing blog

This isn’t a right wing blog. Nor is it a left wing blog. It’s an open blog where I can post what interests me, promote what is important to me, and encourage wide ranging discussion – which happens to be one of my interests. A lot of our political discussion seems to be silo-ed into left or right but I think it’s important to debate across the political divide.

On some things I lean right – we need free enterprise and free trade. On some things I lean left – we need social welfare. One of the challenges of politics is getting a good balance. If we have more successful business and more and better paying jobs that reduces the need for welfare – but means we can afford to help those who genuinely need state assistance more.

My first interest in blogs was participation for several years at Aardvark – I just checked, Bruce is still sort of keeping things going there having just revived forums.

Then I found Kiwiblog and jumped in there. I was painted as a leftie but found the challenge there a lot of fun. I’ve been quite prolific in comments there but that has reduced substantially over the last year or two.

After a while I looked around and found The Standard. I was recognised as being “from Kiwiblog” so was immediately painted as a rightie. That made it even more challenging there and it has continued like that, they tend shun anyone deemed to be not one of them, regardless of what you say.

I’ve also dabbled on a number of other blogs including Whale Oil, Public Address, The Daily Blog, red Alert, and have been banned from all of them (and a number of times from The Standard). Criticisms have ranged from being to bland and boring (I’m sure I have been at times) and being to provocative and contrary – DPF’s “fomenting happy mischief” is a practice I sometimes enjoy.

I have generally enjoyed debates on the right more, because people on the right seem more inclined to argue the issues one to one on their merits. Sure it can get very robust, but that’s healthy in debate, especially in politics.

The political left seems more abusive, exclusive and pack orientated, where “if you’re not with us you’re against us” seems a common mentality – but the right isn’t immune from that as Whale Oil is currently demonstrating.

The “Dirty Politics” attempt to swing the election has become a one-sided “right bad, left perfect” campaign.

I have experienced bad abuse from the right, and there’s a few dishonest regulars at Kiwiblog who lie and abuse to try and discredit, with little or no attempt to debate.

But abuse and harassment has been worse from the left, for me at least. They may not be as extreme and direct as Cameron Slater but the intent and the practices are just as dirty in their own way – they also try to discredit and drive away alternate opinions.

And until Whale Oil’s clampdown on dissent and alternative views the left was clearly the worst for censorship.

So I’m sort of in the middle politically but swing either way depending on what makes sense to me. I’ve voted both ways over the years – I think governing competence is more important than election campaign inspired policies.

And this isn’t a left wing or a right wing (or a centrist) blog.

It aims to offer something a bit different – open debate across the spectrum, with an emphasis on robust but respectful debate backed by as many facts as possible (one thing that seems to get up the noses of some blogs is arguing against them with facts).

Many in political blogging want to impose their opinions, their ideals, their favoured parties and politicians. And in doing that they often try to exclude alternate views, frequently through name calling, abusing and making false accusations.

Your NZ is for something different – debate from all sides is welcome and encouraged. We can learn a lot by exploring issues with the other side of the argument.

It’s a well used phrase but right or wrong versus right or left.

And accepting that right or wrong is often not simple or binary. Sometimes it’s looking for the least bad alternative, as in dealing with the ongoing problems in the Middle East.

This is not a right wing blog, but people who consider themselves right wing, or left wing, are welcome to contribute.

Generation Zero and the left

There’s obvious similarities between Generation Zero’s focus on climate change, sustainability, cleaner energy and transport and reducing fossil fuel use to the Green Party environmental policies. And also to the Internet Party’s environmental policies.

This will be obvious when Generation Zero rate the parties during this campaign as they rated candidates for local body elections (with strong correlations between support for their aims and left wing candidates).

While environmental policies needn’t be exclusive to the left (and they aren’t) both the Greens and IP are regarded as left wing parties, so it aligns Generation Zero fairly clearly with the left of New Zealand politics.

Generation Zero publicly indicated support for aspects of the Labour and Greens’ policies, including the focus on renewable energy and energy efficiency.

http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1304/S00295/generation-zero-welcomes-focus-on-electricity-industry.htm

Generation Zero Tells the Naked Truth About Our Transport Future:

Generation Zero’s has launched its 50/50 campaign, which is calling for the Government to allocate a greater share of its transport spending to “smart transport” options such as public transport and cycleways.

And…

Generation Zero lays down election challenge in new report

Youth organisation Generation Zero has released a report today calling for political parties to show leadership on climate change by committing to develop and implement a plan that will see New Zealand phase out fossil fuels for all energy and transport needs by 2050.

http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1405/S00034/generation-zero-lays-down-election-challenge-in-new-report.htm

That’s far removed from Act or National policies.

While their policies could in part at least be supported by any party Generation Zero focus is clearly far more closely aligned with the left than the right.

While Generation Zero is a non-partisan party in principal in practice it works alongside the left in New Zealand.

I applaud their aims, but I question the financial and social costs of fully implementing their ideals. It’s good to have a strong young person environmental lobby, but they are yet to learn the realities of the potential impact of making such major changes so quickly.

How right wing am I?

It has been implied that I’m a right wing blogger going by this The Daily Blog headline:

Pete George – an example of right wing blogging falsehoods

That’s a post by Lynn Prentice but he may not have written the headline, as he reveals in a comment at Public Address:

The Daily Blog? So I sent it to them since they were starting the next day.  Looks like they toned down my title, corrected some grammar and typos and put it up.

It would be interesting to see what his choice of title was.

I have often been called right wing  – on left wing blogs.

And I have been called left wing on right wing blogs.

Accusing someone of being of the other wing is a common attempt at abuse, but can also just be through ignorance, as I suspect could be the case here.

It’s common to see people at leftie blogs like The Standard labeling everything they don’t agree with as right wing. David Shearer is accused of being right wing, as is the Labour caucus.

It’s also common to see people at rightie blogs like Kiwiblog labeling everything they don’t agree with as left wing. John Key and National are sometimes described as left wing. Some extreme commenters accuse everyone else at Kiwiblog of being socialists.

How right wing am I?

I don’t do wings.

I have a left arm and a right arm, a left leg and a right leg, a left eye and a right eye, a left hemisphere and a right hemisphere.

I speak from the centre. My heart is slightly to the left.

More seriously, I don’t buy into this political polarity painting, I don’t see things as a left/right divide. Most things are degrees in between.

I look at each issue and judge it on it’s merits. Like most people I see a need for some state assistance and regulation, but see the benefits in private enterprise.

I see the need for both personal responsibility and community responsibilities.

A right wing blogger?

Many participants in the blogosphere find a left orientated or right orientated favourite place. The seem to view other blog places as enemy territory.

But I’ve been a cross-blogger, participating in a wide variety of online forums. The reason why I am more active on right wing blogs is because I’ve been banned or blocked from some of the most prominent left wing blogs – they seem to have less tolerance for alternative views and approaches to blogging.

Here I look to sources from both the left and the right, attempting to get a variety and balance of views.

If I appear to be harder on Labour that’s because I think they deserve it, I have serious concerns about the lack of quality in alternatives to National.

If I appear to be harder on The Standard that’s becasue I think they deserve it – and also because I can challenge people at Kiwiblog and Whale Oil directly and on an even playing field, including Cam and DPF, but I’m banned from The Standard so can’t address general issues and personal attacks there.

I seek and publish views from MPs from across the spectrum.

I’m not left or right, I have cross-party interests.

I’m not a right wing blogger, or a left wing blogger. My niche is as a cross-blogger  – but I don’t very often get cross!