Standard sucked into Blomfield versus Slater dirt

Lyn Prentice posted on The Standard today:

Yesterday I got contacted about Cameron Slater’s current address. Apparently the arsehole of the kiwi blogosphere hasn’t been paying his court ordered judgements against him that have been incurred in recent years. The person who contacted me wanted to serve a notice to bankrupt him.

An image of the bankruptcy notice shows it is Matt Blomfield versus Cameron Slater. It was originally posted with both addresses but they have been redacted. There is ongoing court proceedings between the two. I don’t know if this is a reasonable course of action by Blomfield or a stunt or an attempt at harassment. I won’t take sides between Blomfield and Slater except perhaps the opposite side to both of them. It’s not unusual for them to be going hammer and tongs and both have records of playing dirty. What is unusual is that Prentice has allowed the Standard to play such a part. It’s not the first time, in a previous slanging match The Standard posted a statement from Blomfield. It would appear that this time Blomfield has gone to Prentice to set up this publicity. And Prentice has obliged boots and all. Commenters have suggested it may not be the wisest thing to do (my view too) but it’s been done.

Apparently this has to do with the long running Blomfield defamation case. It has to do with court ordered judgements unrelated to his Slater’s current rather forlorn appeals as he continues to waste the time of the courts. Both in the court of appeal on the defamation and the privacy court about accessing dubiously obtained (probably stolen) private information to write the Blomfield posts.

I’d be surprised if Prentice doesn’t know exactly what it’s about. He keeps saying he wouldn’t risk putting The Standard in legal jeopardy, His blog, his choice to get in the middle of Blomfield versus Slater. Prentice also gets stuck into a continuation of Prentice versus Slater.

Is the blogosphere going to shift from being a space where people can express their honestly held opinions within the legal constraints of society, or is it a place where the malicious can hire a liar to defame others? It is pretty obvious which side I am on in this debate. It is important that this debate is held within the legal systems rather than the kind of lynch mob justice you appear to favour.

That’s rather ironic considering the lynch mob mentality he actively nurtures and at times leads at The Standard.

But unlike you I look at what was in the claims that Slater was making about Blomfield and are subject to this defamation action. That is what Slater will eventually have to defend and to date he appears to be doing a piss-poor job on that. Trying to pull in claims and areas extrinsic to that are as unlikely to sway me as they would a court. We don’t allow deliberate campaigns of smearing on this site. That is why you have limits on what you can do. I don’t want to waste my time in court in the way that Cameron obviously likes doing.

The bolded bit is brazen bull. Prentice supports and encorouages smear campaigns on The Standard. Slater’s wife Juana posted a comment:

I realise your blind hatred of Cam prevents you from looking too closely at the hand that feeds you the info ( Matt ) but sorry to burst your bubble but he has neglected to tell you some pertinent facts. 1. The court costs are in a Trust account and will be released when the Appeal process is complete IF Matt wins. If he doesn’t Matt will owe Cam court costs. 2. Cam has the money but has no legal obligation to pay the money until the appeal has been completed and Matt knows this. 3. Matt is trying to serve papers as part of his ongoing campaign of harassment.Something I know you all enjoy as you are his mate but nevertheless harassment is what it is.

Prentice replied:

Hi Juana, I already answered Marty about the “hate” bit. But I will repeat it for your benefit. I think your guy is a irresponsible arsehole who brings the rest of the blogging communities into disrepute. I intensely dislike being tarred with the same label as him because there are very few of us who act like such a complete scumbag. Perhaps you should consider that before trying to smear me. I don’t “hate” him (never met him for that matter). I dislike his actions and how they reflect on me. I wish he would desist from doing posts like those he did about Blomfield and many others. I’m prepared to exert some effort to help that to happen

I agree that Slater “brings the rest of the blogging communities into disrepute” more than anyone else in New Zealand. But it’s very ironic to see Prentice worried about being tarred by bad behaviour, of those bloggers with significant influence I’d rate him  second to Slater on the arsehole scale – he brags about being an arsehole (as Slater does). He’s a distant second but he surely he’s not blind to how much his own blog being tarred by bad behaviour.

Everyone who isn’t interested in the likes of arsehole scumbags like Cameron Slater attacking them in public and getting paid for it should also be interested in it. Since that kind of arsehole behaviour happens to be what I am interested in not spreading across our local blogs, I keep reporting on aspects of this long running case.

I doubt anyone at The Standard gets paid for attacking people in public but it’s common and supported by Prentice. He leads by example. I wouldn’t call them arsehole scumbags but there’s a few regulars who’s primary role at the Standard appears as arsehole scumbag behaviour. And being a willing party to Blomfield’s bankruptcy action doesn’t look very flash either. Prentice seems to have decided to lower himself to closer to Slater’s level. Marty commented:

I realise the enemy of our enemy is The Standard’s friend, but I’d be terribly careful snuggling up to Blomfield. His portrayal as a random drive by shooting victim of Slater is going to end up in tears. The man is, at best, no better than blubberboy. As for publishing his home address on the Internet… wtf? I don’t know anything about money, but going for bankruptcy when there isn’t a clear indication that the person is indeed bankrupt and is instead stalling on paying a debt, isn’t that just being a total prick for the sake of being a prick? Anyway. Don’t let your hatred for Slater blind you to this man. He’s a P.O.S. himself, and you’re being used.


I know it will be against the rules to discuss it here, so I won’t, but Blomfield’s true nature and true involvement in things outside the law have so far been carefully suppressed by everyone who knows better, because it doesn’t suit the Slater-must-be-silenced campaign. ALL I am saying is for lprent and The Standard not to to be seen as part of Blomfield’s fan club. There will be a time when that’s going to have some unwanted blowback. The last thing I want is for The Standard to join Bradbury as a source of justified ridicule.

Blomfield versus Slater seems par for a dirty course. A Prentice versus Slater escalation is risking a lot for The Standard. I’d be surprised if turns out to be worth the short term feeling of gotcha. Marty again:

Well, I didn’t want to be helpful to Blomfield, as he’s at least as despicable as Slater, and they deserve each other, but how hard is it to find Slater’s current address? Seriously? Which makes me go back to my previous point – you are allowing yourself / the blog to be used by this guy, and two wrongs don’t make a right. If you think that “bankruptcy” will silence Slater, I need to confess I don’t understand your thought process. You are allowing yourself and the blog to be used for someone’s personal harassment, and you are using your long term goal of ridding the world of Cameron Slater as your justification. Come on lprent, take a deep breath, walk away. We have more important things to achieve rather than help Blomfield out with his personal vendettas.

Whale Oil is at risk of crashing and burning. Doing dirty too long and pissing on too many people was bound to backlash. It would be a shame to see The Standard go the same way. Two major blogs down would be a significant loss to the blogosphere.

‘Dirty Politics’ not defined by Hager

I’ve had a few discussions at The Standard on ‘Dirty Politics’ where like elsewhere some are keen to stricly define what dirty politics is and what should be excluded from any discussions.

Ironically and typically a lot of dirt was thrown my way, after this cartoon was linked and likened to Whale Oil.

I pointed out there was a difference between hacker and blogger the usual sort of attacks were started by ‘weka’:

Irrespective of whether Slater fits a techinical definition of ‘hacker’, he doxes people, which puts him in the ‘wreck innocent lives’ box (and yeah, he uses a double sided coin). He also is eyebrow deep in Dirty Pollitics, so ditto.

You, PG, are a dirty politics apologist. Which puts you in Slater’s camp by choice and intent.

Weka then started to try and define ‘Dirty Politics”:

Accusing me of playing dirty? Oh dear, you really are digging yourself a big hole here. You still don’t have a grasp of what DP is do you. Or maybe it’s just that it suits your agenda to muddy the waters and make DP mean something that everyone does, instead of the very specific actions that Slater, Key and co engage in. Which would be another tick on the list of why you’re in their camp.

I said that Hager doesn’t own ‘dirty politics’ and doesn’t get to dictate what applies to it and what doesn’t just because that’s what he named his book. Neither does his fan base.


Pete, there’s a whole book about it. If you don’t understand the difference, best stop talking about it eh.

Dude, Hager invented the term in the NZ context.

It doesn’t matter whether you agree with Hager or not, he did get to define what DP means. You on the other hand want to redefine it to suit your own agenda, which makes you a hypocrite as well as a DP apologist and trole.

“I’d prefer to address wider issues of dirty politics”

I don’t believe you. If you did actually want to do that, you would differentiate between DP and the wider issues of how politics is conducted in NZ. Instead you just want to mix it all up and pretend that everyone behaves badly just because they’re rude.


The right deiberately set about applying the term ‘dirty politics’ to anything they could after the election, to neutralise its meaning (another Crosby/Textor ploy?). ‘Miss, she pulled my hair’. Opinion polls suggest they got away with it.

Pete, you’re being a tool of miscreants if you undermine a specific term just like they have done. Find another one if you want to talk more broadly. Better still, create a new one.

From what I’ve seen there’s been more of a campaign to try and restrict ‘Dirty Politics’ to the hacker/Hager election campaign and to attack anyone who points out it’s a much wider issue.


many in the media also seek to redefine it or deliberately misunderstand it. they had many many years to write about it and define it but it is mainly a phrase only in the consciousness of kiwis cos of hagers book.

This is all nonsense. The term ‘dirty politics’ has been around probably about as long as politics.

Duncan Garner wrote Politics is a sleazy business – regardless of who is in power in August just after Nicky Hager launched his book.

It’s worth noting this shadowy attack-politics stuff is not new and not the sole domain of National.

The then Labour Party president Mike Williams took a well-publicised trip to Melbourne to dig dirt on Key ahead of the 2008 election. It backfired: Labour found nothing and subsequently dropped in the polls.

Helen Clark was probably the biggest gossip of them all when she led the country. She leaked and spread rumours about people and even those in her own team – I wonder how her private communications and those of her senior ministers would look splashed across a book. I bet it wouldn’t be pretty.

Her Maori Affairs Minister Dover Samuels was sacked for allegations ‘‘swirling’’ over allegedly having sex with someone under the age of consent decades previously – it was Clark and her team making them swirl.

Samuels, later exonerated by a police investigation, never got a fair hearing – the ninth floor of the Beehive killed him off. I was with him at his house the night he was sacked – he was devastated and blamed Clark for the dirty tricks.

The murky Left infiltrated a National Party cocktail function in 2008, secretly recorded MPs and leaked them (to me).

I was also involved in a series of stories about former Cabinet minister John Tamihere over financial irregularities at his previous job at the Waipareira Trust which saw him sacked as a minister. When I got home, my house had been broken into. Nothing was taken but all the windows and doors had been left open. TV3 hired a security firm to change the locks, watch my kids at school and investigate the break-in. The firm concluded that someone wanted to frighten me – and we left it there.

I also remember doing business with Labour’s chief of staff Matt McCarten in the 1990s, when he ran the Alliance. Matt was fun and charming – but let’s not kid ourselves, if anyone knew how to run a black ops sting it was him.

Senior Labour ministers and press secretaries rang to point me toward The Standard, a Left-wing blog, to read its vitriol on certain days. Who had written those posts? I’m told many were written under fake names by Labour staffers paid by the taxpayer.

My point is politics is dirty, no matter who is in power. Hager seems genuinely surprised at this. Frankly I’m surprised at his naivety.

Bryce Edwards wrote last year: Political roundup: Dirty politics means we all suffer

When dirt gets thrown around in politics, everyone involved emerges looking grubby.

That was about the Cameron Slater attacks on Len Brown just after the local body elections. Brown didn’t come olut looking very clean either.

In 2012 I posted Repeat of Labour’s dirty politics which amongst other things quoted Scott GN at The Standard:

Nice try Matthew. But you’re wrong. There doesn’t have to be a video. There simply needs to be an ‘idea’ planted into the public mindset. And that has happened. Dotcom has become toxic for this government. Key’s numbers are falling all over the place and that, sir, is the name of the game.

And if you keep going back and back there is more and more dirty politics to find. The Sunday Star Times published Dirty politics and the world wide web just before the 2008 election.

ROCHELLE REES threw some cyber-mud at John Key on the internet “as a joke”. The Auckland computer programmer was astounded at the fuss she caused. Her “harmless little prank” got a lot of publicity and raised hard questions. Was this a case of dirty tricks in cyber-space? After all, wasn’t Rees a former Labour Party activist?

The trouble started when, she says, a newspaper journalist misquoted her as saying she had no party affiliations.

Actually, she had been on the executive of Young Labour for some months last year. “One simple Google search would be enough to bring up my party affiliations. It would be ridiculous to claim otherwise. I’m just not that dumb,” she says.

She can’t remember exactly when she quit her post on the executive, and says it’s possible she still held the post when she planted the bomb (now disabled). But she says it was all her idea and not Labour’s.

Wanganui mayor and former National MP Michael Laws:

Michael Laws says dirty tricks – false rumours, character assassination – have been common in New Zealand politics. “When I stood for National in 1990, anonymous faxes were sent to Hawke’s Bay newspapers [saying] that I’d had affairs – an affair in particular with a journalist, had made her pregnant and then left her. These were sent from post office faxes and were absolutely aimed at white-anting my campaign.”

When he worked as a researcher for National Party leader Jim Bolger he was sent to Wanganui to check out a rumour – spread by Labour as well as by disgruntled Nats – that the local National candidate, the late Cam Campion, was functionally illiterate. Both parties actively promoted rumours about the private lives of MPs on the other side. National had helped spread a rumour that Labour leader David Lange had had an affair with a woman television presenter. Labour had spread rumours about the sexual orientation of a senior National figure. “I was at a cocktail party where a Labour MP was promoting that rumour.”

He was sent to interview a prostitute in Hawke’s Bay who had allegedly claimed that three Labourites had used her services without paying.

A dirty trick is a covert act “that you would be embarrassed about if you were exposed”. When he was a National candidate, he was the target of malicious faxes sent anonymously to newspapers. And when he worked for the National Party research unit, he was involved in gathering dirt on Labour MPs. This was part of a system of deterrence and mutually assured destruction practised by both main parties, he says.

Dirty tricks – the spreading of false rumours, the destruction of rivals’ hoardings – will certainly be part of this election campaign. What is newer, however, is the use of cyberspace – and it is here that allegations of dirty tricks are freely aired.

So dirty politics goes way back with both National and Labour involved in various ways (Winston Peters is a long time pro at dirty politics too).

And bloggers have been involved for years.

The owner of The Standard website, Lynn Prentice, a Labour Party activist, computer programmer for a small Auckland company, and Rochelle Rees’s uncle, says his name has always been on the blog. But other names were kept secret partly to protect them from personal attacks. These attacks – familiar to him from other blogs – became very personal and even involved attacks on the person’s family.

The Standard was outraged in January this year when a photo of the house of John Minto – described on the site as a “socialist lickspittle” – was posted on Whaleoil. “Steady Eddy”, who posted the photo, had been stalking Minto, The Standard said. “People often ask us at The Standard why we don’t post under our real names. Tonight Whaleoil has provided a damn good answer to that question,” the site said.

There were no formal links with Labour, nor was it a front organisation for Labour, Prentice said. “I would say over half the writers are more Green than Labour. There’s a few that are obviously out of the unions. And I’m not really that interested in that. What we’re interested in is going off and writing stuff from a left perspective.”

It was possible some people in the Beehive sent material to the blog. Anyone with a public email address would find “people send you stuff if you can get it out”. What mattered with a blog, he says, is not the name of those who ran it but the quality of the material.

Prentice and Slater are still attacking each other, and their blogs are still attacking opposing parties and politicians.

Both left and right-wing bloggers accuse one another of hiding their real affiliations, and of malice. Slater’s Whaleoil blog specialises in attack videos against Labour and Helen Clark, with images of her manipulated to look ridiculous and with wounding soundtracks added, often with accusations of lying.

“I don’t think my videos are malicious,” he told the Sunday Star-Times. “For a start, I put my name to it, so everyone knows who I am, and I’m not lying about my affiliations… Yes, you could say they’re malicious in that I don’t pull any punches. I call them liars, but that’s my persona online, it’s in-your-face. I don’t see that as being malicious. If I catch out anybody as being a liar, they’re going to cop it.”

Slater has a big reputation of doing much maliciousness as well as building Whale Oil to being the biggest blog in New Zealand.

He and the well-known right-wing blogger David Farrar accuse The Standard of having undeclared links with the prime minister’s department, trade unions and Labour. They also attack a newish left-wing blog, No8Wire, on similar grounds. He and Farrar make no secret of their affiliations, he says.

Slater and Farrar have close connections with National. But the other lot are in on it too.

No8Wire was set up this year by a former employee of the prime minister’s department, Rob Salmond.

Salmond has more recently been blogging at Polity where he is open about his identity.

Dirty politics was not invented by Nickey Hager this year. I’ve been speaking and writing against dirty politics since I have been involved in politics.

And back at The Standard where they claim that John Key using a very limited range of tactics is the solely responsible for dirty politics this is the sort of response you get if you argue against them

You, PG, are a dirty politics apologist.

I’m going with PG as a DP apologist at the least, and probably a major contributor to the problem.

Pete, you’re being a tool of miscreants if you undermine a specific term just like they have done.

Liar. You don’t even understand what Dirty Politics is. Or you dissemble, because it suits your muddle of the road agenda to try and play both sides

Sorry, Sacha, I expect the tiresome lying sycophant will continue to disappoint until banned again.
(that’s from ‘One Anonymous Bloke’ one of the dirtiest regulars at The Standard)

The dirt-mongers don’t react well when their hypocracy and dirtiness is pointed out.

Dirt is still a common fall back position in political blogs.

And ‘Dirty Politics’ was not defined by Hager – to an extent he threw some dirt of his own into the election campaign. Some call him an investigative journalist while others think he is more inclined towards being a one sided and partisan hit man.

Bradbury versus Scoop and The Standard

Martyn Bradbury claims at The Daily Blog:

With Scoop about to collapse next month,  The Standard, Public Address and Pundit are about to lose their largest revenue streams.

Alistair Thompson from Scoop:

No Scoop is not about to collapse. I have no idea what Martyn Bradbury is going on about. Looks like his messiah complex is getting worse.

Bradbury has not had a good record with his predictions lately.

And Lyn Prentice blasts him at The Standard in Poor (and rather pathetic) Bomber:

Oh dear, Bomber really has no idea how our site operates. Or how any of these sites operate. We haven’t really depended on advertising for most of the last year. I’d guess that nor has either of the other sites.

That Scoop has financial problems has been obvious for some time. Bomber gloating about it is a tad.. disgusting….

Yes, a tad disgusting if there’s no basis to his claim but not out of character. Malicious left versus left gossip is lose/lose.

Scoop about to collapse?

Martyn Bradbury sees Scoop as representing left wing media but claims they are about to collapse

Those voices representing the Left have been slowly killed off. The Herald was supposed to replace Matt McCarten as a columnist, they instead ended up simply appointing Rodney Hide to spout his right wing nonsense. When  a Left voice is included, it tends to be the same old tired right wing Labour voices they roll out.

With Scoop about to collapse next month,  The Standard, Public Address and Pundit are about to lose their largest revenue streams.

It would be a shame to see Scoop collapse. Is this just Bradbury hot air or is it accurate?

With the imminent launch of Slater’s new media weapon the Left are in total retreat along all fronts. The Standard is currently searching for a new direction as that voice of the Left, but their pathetic and limp criticism of Labour selling out on 24 hour surveillance shows that the leash around their neck from head office has tightened.

Bradbury and Prentice have fallen out and now diss each other (Prentice was a founding author at The Daily Blog).

The importance of a new media to counter this Right wing onslaught is more necessary than ever before.

It remains to be seen whether Freed will be a “Right wing onslaught”, with Slater heavily involved it’s hard to see them getting mainstream credibility, especially seeing how Whale Oil has been positioning itself as a carefully controlled mouthpiece with most content being Truth style magazine slush.

In terms of The Daily Blog, we are in talks over the summer to look at where we can build. Hope to have some news in the new year.

The Daily Blog was launched as a great left wing media machine. Like Whale Oil now Bradbury also ruthlessly controlled comment content and is also over the top and self aggrandising. After the election Bradbury was shell shocked due to his brash predictions proving to be crap, and his blog diminished even more.

If Scoop collapses left leaning online content will look mean and lean.

UPDATE: Once again The Standard seems to be down this morning, it’s becoming a common occurrence.  Not a good sign for a blog that is looking to expand and build it’s presence.

Prentice versus Campbell and The Nation continued

After posting a very grumpy Scott Campbell: Liar on The Nation at The Standard Lyn Prentice continued his attack on Scott Campbell on Twitter.

@lprent (first reacting to me):

The lying Scott is reticent. Still no attacks at site either. All Fiction?

You still are “factchecker”. Why don’t you look for attacks? Or too lazy?

I suggested working collaboratively with The Standard (and other blogs) on fact checking and in response they bitterly attacked me, and continue to attack me on it, so I might not be that inclined to fact check for them.

No evidence? Responsibility is on the side of the assertor. They attacked.

Sound like Slater. Gives others private address. Hysterical on own privacy.

Who’s hysterical? He should be careful accusing others of sounding like Slater.

But you frequently play the weeping victim yourself with no real cause

Who’s weeping?

@SCampbellMedia then joined in:

Been working. Said no names. I respect the 3 people. Also said Beehive posted..

If I’m wrong, who was Batman? FYI I’ve got no links to a party.

So the brave @lprent turned his attack to him.

What post were you attacked in. Or are you just a gutkess lying spinner?


Loads of references to gallery of which I was a member. Whos lying? Who was Batman


Bruce Wayne, wasn’t it?


Mike Williams was Batman

@lprent returns as grumpy as ever.

So point to some attacks. Basically you are full of bloody useless lies.


You claimed there were posts about you, and that’s how you knew.


There are none. Not about Scott, tv3, or radio live. Lies.

I get the impression that the gallery were being suckers

That I am unsure of. The authors were pissed about HFee

So no evidence? You go for diversion. You really are a complete arsehole.

One might think that last comment is a bit ironic.

The Standard diversion

Further to the last post The Standard is actively excluding discussion about the main point made by Scott Campbell on The Nation.

karol commented:

Missing the point. Diversion.

Spelling it out.

The post is about a smear against The Standard.


I was referring to a part of the ‘smear’ that was quoted in the post, but they want to exclude that part of the alleged smear from the discussion.

I then posted another comment and got this:

[deleted as being diversonary]

[lprent: The claim was made by Scott Campbell that posts attacking journalists were written. They were not. You are trying diversion. Do not comment on my post again or I will ban you from the site. ]

That’s more than a bit curious given in his post Prentice states:

Unlike Cameron Slater, who removes posts and even comments for politically or legally expedient reasons, we don’t remove comments or posts which have gone up on the site and passed initial moderation.

“They still have standard bloggers on staff”

In a text to John Key on Monday Cameron Slater said “They still have standard bloggers on staff”. ‘They’ meaning Labour.

Lyn Prentice has long denied this has ever been the case, but while posts continue at The Standard from unidentified sources they will have difficulty batting this sort of claim away.

On Saturday I posted Attacker hides behind ‘Notices and Features’ and was attacked at The Standard for asking why ‘Notices and Features’ was being used for attack posts. The degree of attack suggested a sensitivity to this being raised.

Despite claims ‘Notices and Features’ was only used to “report” and not to post opinions it has continued to be used through this week to attack political opponents.

I would post proof of this but currently The Standard is out of action.

Prentice has also been involved in “Dirty Politics” and The Standard has promoted a one sided slant on who plays dirty.

Being devious and dishonest runs a high risk of blowing up in one’s face. Prentice may not care, he is likely to bluster on regardless.

But Labour should be very careful about how they deal with this.

“Dirty hypocrisy” is not a good look.

Good Standard on Labour leadership

An unusually good post and comment thread at The Standard on Labour’s leadership contest – My (late) vote.

Lyn Prentice is a campaigner from way back and has a good idea about how things work, especially with Labour – he’s it bit off the mark with some of his claims about National but that’s not his strength.

For a review of the leadership contenders and an insight into Labour campaigning it’s worth reading through the post and most of the comments.

Prentice happens to pick the leadership contest similar to I would (I’m not a Labour member so haven’t had to decided):

  1. Andrew Little
  2. David Parker
  3. Nanaia Mahuta
  4. Grant Robertson

I think I’d reverse Mahuta and Robertson.

And another old school Labour campaigner Anne names her preferred front bench.

  1. Andrew Little
  2. David Parker
  3. Grant Robertson
  4. Nanaia Mahuta
  5. David Cunliffe
  6. Phil Twyford
  7. Jacinda Ardern
  8. Annette King
  9. Phil Goff
  10. David Shearer

Her comment:

Yep. I came to the same conclusions for exactly the same reasons as lprent. A Little/Parker combination is what the Labour Party needs with Robertson, Mahuta, Cunliffe, Twyford, and Ardern taking the next five places. Annette King and Phil Goff still have a lot to offer in the way of experience and knowledge, but they have to give way to a new team. Having said that, I think they should – along with Shearer – take the next three places.

Leader plus ex leaders/acting leaders fill half of those positions – experience is valuable but it’s time the worked out how to work together and put the party ahead of their own ambitions or grievances.

I’d swap Robertson/Mahuta and Twyford/Ardern to put more female presence up the list. And I’m not sure that Goff should be that high, I’d rather look to the future more through Hipkins instead.

It’s worth repeating – interesting and worthwhile post and comments at The Standard.

Climate change at Kiwiblog

An unusual ‘request’ or challenge to post on Climate change from Lyn Prentice at The Standard.

I can think of that happening several times in the past, and not just in the climate ‘skeptics’ area. There is one ‘fact’ driven ‘political’ site that appears to specialise in it. Now if we could just persuade PG to write a post on climate change maybe these idiots could find a hero to follow…..

I wonder how I could do that :)

I suspect Lyn is making assumptions again and has no idea what my views are on climate change, despite me having debated climate change for years at Kiwiblog – often as a lone voice against the entrenched “nothing’s wrong, do nothing” hard core there.

But the vocal few are not the Kiwiblog opinion.

David Farrar occasionally posts on climate change. His last is Fisking deaths from climate change in which he concludes:

As to the facts:

Professor David Spiegelhalter has already savaged this one elegantly on his blog.  All the projected increase in temperature-related deaths in the UK is due to the increase in the number of elderly people.

If you compare people of the same age, the projections say cold-related deaths will fall by about twice as much as heat-related deaths rise, as his graph of the numbers from the paper shows.  That is, the paper actually predicts that global warming will reduce the number of temperature-related deaths in the UK.

Will Stuff run the truth as prominently as the original story.

Finally a point worth noting:

In the USA or Australia, let alone Africa, India, and other less-wealthy tropical places, there is going to be a real problem with temperature-related deaths from global warming.  In many more parts of the world, there’s a potential for weather-related deaths from drought, flood, storm, and ‘tropical’ disease.

Heat waves in the UK are not in the top ten list of things to worry about from global warming. Pretending they are is likely to be counterproductive.


Previous to that he posted a Climate change update quoting a new report from the Office of Prime Minister’s Science Advisory Committee is on . He concludes

The key projected changes for NZ are:

  • Ocean acidification: pH changes are greater in cooler waters
  • Temperature: The midrange of projections is an average temperature increase of 0.9°C by 2040, 2.1°C by 2090
  • Wind: Increase in strongest winter winds by 2100
  • Precipitation: Little change for the overall mean, but large geographical variation
  • Extreme weather: Heavier and more frequent extreme rainfalls, but also more droughts. On average, 2 or more extra weeks of drought annually by mid-century for much of North Island and eastern South Island.

In terms of the recent temperature trends, the report notes:

  • Over short time periods, natural variability has a significant impact on the global warming trend
  • Short periods of no change or even slight cooling are to be expected, despite a continued long-term warming trend; 
  • At times natural variability may even amplify warming;
  • Global surface temperatures are only part of the picture, the ocean is a much larger heat sink than the atmosphere;
  • The reported recent ‘hiatus’ in the rate of rise of temperature does not signal that climate change has ‘stopped’ or is no longer a concern

The report is around 20 pages long, and for my 2c is very well done. I suggest people actually read it, rather than jump to conclusions about what it does and does not say.

This is similar to my approach on climate change – concerns but with some cautions about overstating and over-dramatising potential problems.

In contrast some of the Kiwiblog regulars react to this last post. Andrei:

The report is around 20 pages long, and for my 2c is very well done.

I haven’t read it but will though my prediction. from your extracts, is that it will be twenty pages of gobbly gook and double talk trying to paper over the well proven fact that political airheads have been sucked in by charlatans, willingly in many cases since they have used crap science to justify new taxes and what politician can ever resist a chance to implement a new tax?


Wind: Increase in strongest winter winds by 2100

Cannot see a year ahead, let alone ninety! Laughable, fucking laughable.
Let’s tax stupid NZers now is what this Labour Lite government is saying.

I dabbled in that debate but didn’t get too involved, I’ve learnt the futility of trying to argue with entrenched denial. Debating with the likes of Andrei and Manolo is like whispering in a Dunedin southerly blast.

Both those comments had 31 likes, and they had 7 and 8 dislikes. That’s probably fairly indicative of the active opinion on climate change at Kiwiblog.

Comments along the lines of “it’s cold today, what happened to global warming” are common. There was such a dig in the snow yesterday by Kea:

Yet another frigid winter in the Northern Hemisphere. I just heard, on the radio, some cities have vastly increased their coal supplies to deal with the cold.

“Waves of Cold, Snow to Invade Midwest and East Into Next Week

After a weekend with record cold and snow, more waves of cold air and snow are on the way through the middle of November from the Midwest to the East.

A storm last weekend produced the earliest snowfall on record in Columbia, South Carolina, on Saturday. Freezing temperatures settled over much of the South and, when combined with the snow in the southern Appalachians, allowed some ski resorts to open early.

Snow buried part of New England later in the weekend, as the same storm pushed off the coast, turned northward and ramped up.”

Nasska obliged with a response:

They must have got it wrong Kea. Just the other day, on these very forums, someone reckoned that the temperatures have been soaring & that it’s probably too late to save the planet.

Can you check that link….it could be one of those sceptic sites.

…”The freezing snow and ice is on the ground”….

Quick! Carbon taxes must increase….only they can save the planet.

Griff does most of the counter debate at Kiwiblog these days:

Yet another frigid winter in the Northern Hemisphere.

Nope yet another cold blast in the north eastern usa The south western usa and Alaska is still baking
From the site you linked to.

A powerful storm is slated to move over the Bering Sea this weekend, possibly becoming one of the most intense storms to ever impact the region.According to Senior Meteorologist Brett Anderson, “In brief, when a typhoon curves away from Asia it causes the jet stream [steering winds] farther to the east across the Pacific and into North America to buckle and amplify days later.”This is the case for the remnants of Super Typhoon Nuri as it has already curved away from Asia and tracking northward toward Alaska.As a result, arctic air is expected to invade the Plains, Midwest and Northeast next week.

Dry conditions will persist over the Southwest well beyond the upcoming weekend, as the drought intensifies and fire danger continues.
The usa is experiencing climate change. Stronger storms. More extremes in precipitation. More drought in dry areas.

That will fall on deaf ears despite the overwhelming scientific evidence that the world has a potentially very serious problem with climate change.

Climate is very complex but local signs and global science suggest it is changing and it’s very likely humans are partly responsible.

The main questions for me are on the degree and the severity of the changes, no one can be sure about that (the IPCC quote confidence levels of varying possibilities), and whether we can do anything effective about it.

A blog post on CBC News an hour ago:

Urgent IPCC climate change warning demands action: Bob McDonald

IPCC report is that doing nothing will cost much more than taking action now

By Bob McDonald, CBC News

The latest report from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the loudest shout to come from the scientific community about the urgency to do something about global warming. Yet less than a week later, it’s barely talked about.

The 116-page report is a synthesis of the last four reports – intended to act as a summary of where we are – leading up to the next big UN climate summit in Paris next year. Normally, the wording of these reports has been somewhat cautionary, using phrases such as, “very likely,” or “strong evidence,” when referring to changes taking place in the Earth’s atmosphere since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution.  

Not this time.

The message from the scientists is now clear. Fossil fuels must be gone by 2100 or we will pass a tipping point into a future calamity.  

While this message from scientists has been growing more urgent since the first report in 1990,  the response from politicians has been slow. Global carbon emissions continue to rise, along with rising temperatures in the air and the oceans.

I’ll post that on Kiwiblog this morning. The response there will be more predictable than the weather, but that won’t change to facts and the need for action world wide.

Bob McDonald concludes:

The most important part of the message from this IPCC report is that doing nothing will cost much more than taking action now. That’s an economic argument.

Let common sense prevail.

Common sense is unlikely to prevail at Kiwiblog on this topic but at least both sides of the arguments are allowed and debated there.

Pernicious dirty politics

Dirty politics as practised by Cameron Slater and associates was highlighted by Nicky Hager’s book “Dirty Politics”, to those who didn’t already know.

Slater is an attention seeker who can be brash and nasty, and is often boastful about it. But that’s just the headline making side of dirty politics.

Dirty politics is also practiced at a pernicious level across social media, via Twitter, Facebook and on political blogs.

Petty personal attacks can be more prevalent than sensible and reasonable discussion. Solo and mob attacks aiming to annoy, discredit and shut people up away are common.

Such is the nature of a lot of the active politics in New Zealand – dirty politics niggling away day after day.

And many of those decrying Slater level dirty politics are as much a part of the problem. Complaints about the major dirt are easily dismissed and ignored when those doing the accusing are no better.

A series of examples occurred yestedray in an exchange I had with Lyn Prentice, the setter of standards a The Standard. Like Slater he also boasts about how nasty he is – here is one recent example:

One person’s troll is another persons clear thinker.

There is a pretty clear definition on this site about what a troll is. It is someone that the *moderators* consider is disrupting the flow of robust debate according to the policy.

At least he’s sort honest about trolls at The Standard – they are people the moderators don’t like or disagree with.

The retribution for making the moderators have to work too hard tends to be balanced but mildly irritated. That of the sysop (me) is purely a matter of luck but could easily be (and frequently is) described as being excessive. That is because I’m a grouchy 3 decade veteran of the net and I enjoy being nasty and highly educational. Basically I’m a BOFH.

“Balanced” is questionable.

“Highly educational” is Lynspeak for “be careful what you say or I’ll abuse and ban you”.

“Grouchy” is accurate and “I enjoy being nasty” appears to be accurate but I can’t be sure how much he actually enjoys being nasty.

Another boast along with a warning.

That is because in my sysop role I’m deliberately a nasty vindictive mean old man with abuse of power issues, whose only redeeming quality is that he is too lazy to be bothered exercising those traits, but who often and almost randomly goes totally over the top when roused.

The reason for being like that (apart from some natural inclinations towards all of those traits) is because it makes people very wary about raising the ogre. Those who are aware of that role tend to stay well away from the behavioural edges unless they really really mean it and have a good argument that I might accept.

In other words he uses his power at The Standard to impose “behaviour” – people who aren’t part of his protected mob comment under constant threat of being abused and banned, both of which happen regularly.

In yesterday’s exchange Prentice – in this case it was here so his ban power was absent – happened to bring up the topic of Hager’s “Dirty Politics”:

Most of the “Dirty Politics” was about that. Knowing you, I suspect you haven’t bothered to read the book.

It has become a common practice to try and deny someone’s right to have an opinion on “Dirty Politics” by saying they haven’t read the book.

I responded” You don’t know me well at all, as your claims and insinuations about me show. I bought the book as soon as it was available (I actually pre-ordered a copy) and it’s open right beside me now, on page 13.”

In retrospect not surprisingly that opened up two lines of petty attack. From Prentice:

So you are saying that you haven’t read it? It has been what – 3 months. You’re still on page 13?

Well I did say that you didn’t appear to have read the book.

And framu was as petty at The Standard:

loved this from “old whiney” (pete george)

in reply to iprents musings on wether PG had even read dirty politics

“I bought the book as soon as it was available (I actually pre-ordered a copy) and it’s open right beside me now, on page 13.”

so it nov and PGs only made it to pg13?

I think it’s the sort of book that many people would not read cover to cover. In any case I happened to be have been researching something and was interested in what Hager had claimed in his preface (which was at odds with claims he made elsewhere).

I’m a bit bemused that they would even think of an attack line like that. And there was more, from several of the Standard regulars following on from framu:


PG is a strange bird, trying to be relevant with his boring brand of concern tr0lling and self-martyrdom. Annoying but ultimately a waste of time engaging with the silly old bugger.


how do you pre order it when no one knew it was becoming available?

Murray Rawshark

You retrospectively preorder it, otherwise known as lying.

Nit picking, nitwitting, which framu carried over with a comment here:

pete – ive considered the possible responses that i could spend days engaged in pointless circular debate with you

but i will just ask this – how the did you pre-order a book that no one knew was being released before hand? Your a liar and a very boring one at that

Your also a stalker

I posted a response at The Standard:

I suspected it was becoming available when Hager launched it in Wellington and media covered the launch (late in the day). First thing the next morning I rang a local bookshop and they said they were waiting for delivery, so I ordered one.

They rang and advised when stock arrived later in the day so I went and picked my ordered book up.

It’s odd that something so trivial and straightforward as that results in accusations of lying.

This is stupidly trivial attack lines, but it’s a very common feature of political blogs.

And framu repeated his claim of me being a stalker at The Standard

hes back stalking this thread – and reposting that which does not met his approval

oddly though – he chose my rather timid one liner to repost, but not anything more problematic for him to discuss (which is ood – PG can discuss anything for weeks)

the guys a stalker

How is reading a blog that is open to anyone in the world to read, with comments about me, stalking? It’s as if they want to be abusive and petty without being called on their dirt.

While they abuse and attack under Prentice’s protection at The Standard there has always been a sense of frustration there when their dirty tactics are exposed elsewhere. Of course they are free to respond here, but they seem to have a problem with debate on an even playing field.

Slater operates at the extremes of dirty politics, but many more in our social media contribute to a pile of political sludge.

The drip drip drip of dirty politics is more toxic and corrosive to our democracy than Slater’s occasional outbursts – and if Slater were to retire from blogging most of the dirtiness would remain, ingrained. That’s a sad reality of our politics in social media.

To some degree a very poor example is set at the top of our political chain, in Parliament.

But this cannot be adequately addressed when the top of the blogging chains keep flushing decency down the dunny.

Holding to account doesn’t work when in ways the complainants are just as bad.

This post may be on a petty level but the accumulated effect is a pernicious part of dirty politics.

Slater vows to continue doing what he does, nasty and all. Prentice also doesn’t look like backing off from his nasty boasts.

If Hager had taken a balanced look at dirty politics throughout our democracy he might have deserved praise. His one sided attack makes “Dirty Politics” look like another example of dirty politics. If he succeeds in shutting Slater up he won’t have solved the problem.

He may have highlighted Slater’s excesses but he has also added weight to self-righteousness on the left, and done nothing to address their blindness to their own nasty flaws.

Dirty politics operates at many levels, from dirty deeds done by the few to the pernicious dirtiness of the many.