Greens turn off comments

Greens have joined the growing number of websites turning off comments. Like others they say that commenting can be done elsewhere, like on Facebook, Twitter and Reddit. But that’s not the same.

This is a bit of a shame but political parties and political activists seem more intent on trying to control their messages than engage in open debate.

Sure it can be challenging dealing with trolls and those who try to deliberately disrupt and trash forums, but good democratic debate takes some effort.

The Green announcement:


A change to our blog – switching off comments

You might have noticed a change around these parts in recent days. Yes, we’ve deactivated the comment function on the Green Party blog.

We think it’s a good move that will allow us to keep delivering the views of our MPs direct to you. This isn’t a decision we’ve made lightly and we really appreciate our commenters who have engaged with us over the years. Still, it’s time to change things up.

Let’s be clear. The Greens love debate. We love hearing the views of New Zealanders. Indeed, one of our core Green principles is appropriate decision making/whakarite totika, something that only happens when you listen to others speaking. On the other hand, our values also mean that we should:

  • engage respectfully, without personal attacks,
  • actively respect cultural and individual diversity and celebrate difference,
  • enable participation with dignity, and challenge oppression, and
  • foster compassion, a sense of humour and mutual enjoyment in our work.

Over time, we’ve come to the realisation that the comments section on our blog doesn’t really fit with those values. Moreover, as social media has become the main tool people go to for news and discussion, we’ve decided to move with the times.

We’re not alone, indeed we’re in quite distinguished company. Radio New Zealand recently switched off its comment section, something news sites across the world have been doing for a while.

Back when blogging exploded onto the scene in the early 2000s, a lot of people were hopeful that it would usher in a new era of high quality democratic discourse. Sadly, the promise outshone the reality. Now, the most often quoted maxim about comment sections is: “don’t read them”. We’re saddened that the initial promise of online discussion has been undermined by bad behaviour.

But we’re also optimistic. Great conversations still happen elsewhere like Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit. Our MPs and staff work hard to deliver you interesting and relevant stories, videos, and images on these platforms. That will continue. We look forward to seeing you there!

While the comments might be gone on this blog, we’re not going away and we love your feedback. You can reach us via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, Snapchat, or good old fashioned email. We also like mail!

A blog isn’t really a blog with no commenting allowed.

One person’s account of comment ‘moderation’ at Kiwiblog: Frog Blog bans comments

David Farrar adds:

So the Labour Party blog has closed down and the Green blog no longer allows dissent. Sad.

Remember Labour’s Red Alert? That collapsed under the weight of increasingly heavy handed censorship of comments and MP paranoia ( believe Trevor Mallard and Clare Curran in particular tried to control the message there).

Remember National’s blog? Neither do I.

Labour’s massive malevolent malaise, continued?

It is almost universally that the Labour Party is in dire straights. On top of this they risk further deteriorating into yet another divisive leadership battle.

Labour remains burdened by a massive malevolent malaise, where intolerance of different points of view and vindictiveness against any deemed enemy – and also amongst it’s own.

They have transformed from a three term success to what looks like being a three term failure, unless they can turn around their attitudes and their fortunes.

Political fortunes are earned, something Labour has failed to invest in with any degree of success. They have pissed the last six years against the wall, and are stuck with another three years of little more than the same old in their ranks.

A comment from ‘Goldie’ aptly illustrates Labour’s predicament.

While 2002 was an even worse defeat for National in terms of the % of the vote, in many ways, Labour is in a much worse place than National was in 2002.

First, National in 2002 had still managed to bring in fresh blood despite the rout (this was when John Key entered parliament). Michelle Boag gets a lot of brickbats, but she did manage to rejuvenate the party, despite the short-term ructions this caused National.

The contrast with the hapless Moira Coatsworth is notable. Labour have not rejuvenated – they are pretty much the same failed team that crashed in 2008, lost badly in 2011 and got routed in 2014. Do Labour MPs rely believe that “the fourth time is the charm”?

That Labour did not seek to promote young talent like Deborah Russell is bewildering, while leaving an embittered old tusker Trevor Mallard in a safe(ish) electorate says how useless the Labour leadership is.

Second, after 2002 National did a complete policy review. National sought to attract talent, and outside independent advice. And after 2005 National decided to swallow rats (WFF, interest-free student loans) as the price for power.

Labour’s problem is that they have no policy unit to speak of. Labour went into this election with badly conceived or (to be polite) incomplete policies. There is no sign of that getting better.

Third, Labour is struggling for a raison d’être. Clearly there is a vague willingness to intervene in the economy, but why or how seems to have not been thought through, and Labour’s current “policies” are completely incoherent. I think it is because Labour don’t have a coherent ideology.

Helen Clark had her “third way” (which was basically copied from Blair and Clinton) – hence why Labour under Helen Clark was generally ideologically consistent and therefore were able to project a strong vision and unity.

But the current Labour Party is floundering for ideological coherence and an overarching vision. (Overseas, left-wing parties are faced with the same problem, so Labour is not unique).

Still – 2017 is a long time away. Given the right leader, Labour can solve these problems.

Getting ‘the right leader’ is important, but it’s also essential  that the Labour caucus and the Labour Party gets in behind their leader with something far more constructive than knives and backs them fully.

Appearing to be constructive and positive through most of the next term is also important. Trying to market ‘vote positive’ when appearing as anything but positive was one of Labour’s many failures.

It will be very challenging for Labour to lift themselves back into realistic contention in 2017, but they have to at least make significant progress towards rebuilding and reconnecting with the electorate.

I’ve voted for Labour more than for any other party. I last voted for Labour in 2005.

After Clark’s loss in 2008 I approached Labour offering a fresh perspective and help to rebuild. I didn’t feel welcomed nor valued so I decided to try other ways of doing something in politics.

Labour supporters in the blogosphere are far from welcoming. I do confront issues and things I disagree with or think need examination but I mostly avoid personal attack politics, but most of the reaction I get from the left is personal attacks and exclusion.

I’ve been banned from all the major Labour leaning blogs – Red Alert, The Standard and Public Address. Unless you join their chorus they drive people away.

And Labour wonders why voters are deserting them. If their most ardent online support – predominately exclusive, intolerant, vindictive and negative – is any indication of the state of Labour then they have to do much more than switch leaders again.

A good leader can inspire and change attitudes – but when this same negativity, and intolerance overwhelms in the guts of the party then Labour will keep getting kicked in the guts by voters.

Unless Labour can reverse a massive malevolent malaise they will keep shedding support and wither away.

Dim-Post banning admitted

Danyl at Dim-Post has finally admitted that he banned me from his Dim-Post blog. That is the first time I’ve seen him say anything about it,

In February last year I challenged a post that linked to something I thought was disgusting.

This all resurfaced on Dim-Post in May 2012 with a lot of blog comment, where various claims and accusations were mad – I detailed it and the time of the banning in Rhinocrates and Dim-Post set straight. Rhinocrates has admitted to deliberately harrassing me and disrupting the blog to get me banned.

16. Comment by alex — May 9, 2012 @ 4:37 pm

I have a question for the moderator of this blog, is it true that Pete George is banned from commenting on Dim-Post?

At the time I commented – To my knowledge “the moderator” has never commented on any bans, blocked or deleted comments yet.

18. Comment by Clunking Fist — May 9, 2012 @ 5:31 pm

I’m not the moderator, but I believe Pete George was not banned from this site. Rather, he was hounded from it.

Not true. I was standing up to a sustained attack when suddenly my comments stopped appearing. I could no longer respond to accusations or abuse. Several comments were apparently blocked over a period of time. No notice or explanation was given.

21. Comment by Hugh — May 9, 2012 @ 5:57 pm

If he was hounded out my only regret is I didn’t have a hand in it.

33. Comment by Rhinocrates — May 9, 2012 @ 10:59 pm

Sorry everyone if I was such a nuisance in my role, but I thought that it was worthwhile to “go nuclear” as it were and destroy a couple of threads to drive him out (though I shouldn’t take sole credit).

36. Comment by Rhinocrates — May 9, 2012 @ 11:07 pm

Anyway, what I meant to say, in reply to eighteen and twenty-three, sorry if I was a bore, but I felt that it was necessary in my minor role in hounding PG, but it was his persistent stupidity that offended me. In this world, with the gift of life, one has no right to glory in being thick as if it made one a “nobel savage” and PG, like a true narcissist WOULD NOT BLOODY STOP. Sorry if it wreck a couple of good threads, but I felt that it was worth it in the long run. The Dimpost seems to be doing pretty well without him.

A repeat of a closing comment in February.

78. Comment by Rhinocrates — February 27, 2012 @ 10:19 am

Indeed, but I’m (perhaps vainly) hoping that the sacrifice of this or a few threads will finally drive the egomaniacal fool away for good.

A classic blogger irony, Rhinocrates calling me egomaniacal.

It has come up again occassionally since. Danyl (who runs Dim-Post) never said anything that I’m aware of.

Today (eighteen months since I have been on Dim-Post) I was mentioned again,

15. Comment by Hugh — July 28, 2013 @ 1:59 pm

Pete George doesn’t seem to post here any more, but Redbaiter still thinks it’s worth looking in on us every once in a while. I present this information without comment.

For some reason this initiated a response from Danyl.

17. Comment by danylmc — July 28, 2013 @ 3:36 pm

Pete George got banned a while back when I noticed that the majority of the comments threads were filled with awesomely boring Pete George comments.

So finally he has admitted banning me.

He could have just asked me to cease commenting, so the other commenters could find someone else to bore off the blog. He could have at least followed glog etiquette and decency and adviced what had hapened. But for some reason he maintained a silence on it up until now.

This raised doubts about the openness of Dim-Post – if I have been banned and my comments have just disappeared than how many others ahave been censored and banned without notification?

I think that a blog that silently censors seriously compromises it’s integrity. You have no way of knowing how uneven and message and messenger controlled debates are, unless directly involved yourself.

Ultimately every blogger makes their own rules and moderates their blog however they like. But in my mind blogs that silently control what is made public are are unreliable forums.

I don’t care that I was banned, it seems to be common practice on lefty blogs. So far my ban scorecard includes:

  • Dim-Post (Danyl Mclachlan)
  • Red Alert (Clare Curran)
  • The Standard (Lynn Prentice)
  • The Daily Blog (Martyn Bradbury)

Of those only The Standard was open and clear about the banning. The others all just started blocking comments.In a way it’s funny, in a way it’s a sad state of discussion.

Free speech and fair debate seem to be low priorities on the left. I think that is a real shame – for them.

I’m aware that many people will find this post awesomely boring. I have written it up not to entertain, but as a public record. It could be useful for future reference, especially when I’m accused again of making things up about being banned.

If Danyl ever reads this – can you answer how often you deleted comments without saying anything? And how often do you ban people without saying anything?

Final words from Dim-Post:

28. Comment by Hugh — July 29, 2013 @ 12:37 am

@danyl: Whoah, you can get banned for being boring? Bold move. You’re right, he did tend to regard his own opinion as intrinsically more interesting than anything else (including the original post) but if that was a generally bannable offense the blogosphere would be very small.

Yes, especially Dim-Post if academic egomaniacs weren’t exempt.

Still, it’s not as if we’re missing much. I could tell you Pete’s opinion on any given issue without needing to hear him actually give it.

Very funny Hugh. On a thread about the GCSB and spying. What’s your surname?

The Daily Blog forum flop

The Daily Blog has an impressive list of authors – 44 are listed on their front page. Some are well known political commentators, and there’s blog creator Martyn Bradbury too.

There can be some interesting posts, although the layout can make tracking what’s new a bit difficult at times.

About The Daily Blog

The Daily Blog Unites Top Left-Wing Political Commentators and Progressive Opinion Shapers.

Launched on Friday 1 March, 2013, the ‘’ unites over 42 of the country’s leading left-wing commentators and progressive opinion shapers to provide the other side of the story on today’s news, media and political agendas.

It’s done fairly well in three months, sneaking in to the top five in the monthly blog rank, although they seem to be taking readership from the biggest left wing blog, The Standard.

With content it seems successful, although I find I have to browse through the volume to find articles of interest.

But as a forum of debate it seems to be lagging. Comments seem to be a secondary consideration. It’s not easy following discussions in various threads, the blog is not well designed for easy comment navigation.

The Daily Blog Editor, Martyn Bradbury says one of the primary objectives of the blog will be to widen political debate in the lead up to the 2014 New Zealand election.

I was able to comment there from the start, although even if you are registered all comments have to go in the moderation queue before being released by blog moderators. This means there’s a lag in comments appearing, which can discourage discussion. That seems to be proving the case at The Daily Blog.

I posted a comment yesterday which was critical but reasonable. After a few minutes it appear to be released and public – it appeared on the Your Comments list of recent posts. But next time I looked it had disappeared. There was no warning or notification.

This is the worst sort of moderation, silent censorship. Not only does the comment author know why their comment has been dumped. Other readers have no idea who is able to comment and who is being blocked or censored.

I wasn’t certain that yesterday’s deletion was a one of glitch or not so I tried a test today. I posted this comment on How & why Dunne resigned is nowhere as important as what he was trying to reveal

Daily Blog Censor

That was a deliberately non-controversial comment for a Green/Mana leaning blog.

The first problem from this was that it went into moderation and nothing happened for one hour fifteen minutes. This sort of very slow response is a killer for active discussion.

Then the comment disappear into the censor’s trash.

So it looks like The Daily Blog is another left wing blog resorting to draconian moderation to control who gets to say what. 

The old story applies – those who run blogs can choose who comments and what comments they will allow to appear.

But a blog being promoted as the best thing on the left this is pathetic.

The comment section of the blog can’t be trusted to be a fair discussion.

So it joins Red Alert (Labour’s failed attempt at online discussion that has been strangled by extreme moderation) and The Standard as forums that can’t be trusted as fair forums.


  • Red Alert and now seemingly The Daily Blog practice silent censorship. If Bradbury can explain what is happening I will post that here.
  • The Standard practices at times very uneven moderation, especially when it’s Basil Fawlty moderator in chief lprent is involved, but at least the moderators there give clear warnings and explanations of edits and bans, apart from the occasional times that lbasil is especially grumpy.

This is sad. I know that the moderating practices of these blogs frequently discourages participation in political debate. That’s not good for modern democracy.

There is still no prominent left wing blog that provides an open and fair forum. That’s bad.

Chris Hipkins and “Contempt for democracy”

Labour whip Chris Hipkins has posted Contempt for democracy at Red Alert. He makes some points about the Government’s Charter Schools legislation process that are fair and reasonable for an opposition spokesperson to make.

Amongst that he also says:

Sadly, the government isn’t listening.

This whole process has been a sham.

A comment at The Standard takes issue:

Glen Forrester

Your eyes will roll at this. Chris Hipkins put up a story on Red Alert called CONTEMPT FOR DEMOCRACY on Saturday here

Yesterday Chris deleted comments asking him if he thought the title was a bit hypocritical because he has been so criticized for his reaction to the democracy remits at the NZ Labour conference. Trevor or Clare might have done the deleting…

My comment never got through. I wasn’t even getting smart. I just said I thought it might be better to take critics on. Still in moderation or deleted though?!

I have screen captures of two other comments that were deleted. Anyone know how to post screen captures here at TS…

I had seen TS comments saying how Red Alert is censored like mad but I had not seen it myself. Do MP’s think you can censor voters when they go to vote? Daft.

Not exactly on topic but relevant to the question of democratic process.

Trevor (Mallard) and Clare (Curran) have reputations for very heavy handed message control and censorship at Red Alert – Clare admitted effectively banning me – but I don’t know if they still make the decisions there.

If true to recent form if Clare Curran found that Glen Forrester was a Labour Party member she might try to gag him from speaking at The Standard. Apparently she is still trying to get the Labour Council to squash critical and dissenting blog comments.

I think it would “be better to take critics on”, but that’s unlikely to suddenly start happening now.

Red Alert prominently claims:

These are the voices of Labour MPs on issues that we care about – and we’d like to hear what you think too.

Sadly, this party doesn’t want to listen.

This whole Red Alert has been a sham.

They do want to hear praise and supporting comments. But they have shown quite clearly that they don’t want to hear criticism, and they don’t want to answer reasonable questions.

It has been claimed by many, notably by Labour Party members and supporters, that Red Alert and the Labour caucus shows a contempt for democracy.

Labour attempting to convert The Standard into Red Alert 2?

The Labour strategy team seem to have come up with a cunning plan – rather than try and rescusitate a brain dead Red Alert blog they seem to be making moves on The Standard, trying to convince the troops their to become loyal party propagandists. Some are already propagandists, but loyalty to Labour leadership is very sparse.

As soon as David Shearer was re-confirmed by caucus as unchallenged leader there has been a flurry of visits by MPs and ex MP to The Standard. This is a different change of approach to ‘ignoring’ The Standard and dismissing it as insignificant anonymous no hoper no voters.

First was Annette King.

Next was Darien Fenton.

Yesterday Clare Curran had a go – particularly interesttinmg as she was very unpopular at The Standard last December, having been involved in attempts to muzzle Labour members who where being critical of the party leadership.

Hi there The Standard. Would like to comment occasionally. Our affordable housing policy and our monetary policy show we have moved a long way and are doing some deep thinking. Our relationship with The Greens is strengthening and mostly good and warm. We work together on many issues. The manufacturing inquiry is a very good example of this. We don’t agree on everything which is a healthy thing. My hope is that we can continue good, honest debates and be moving in the same direction.

That totally ignores sentiments and what has been discussed at The Standard for some time, and shows a total failure to understand the blog culture. It is an insulting attempt in soppy party PR – something many at The Standard have been highly critical of. And Curran had zero mana  points in the blog bank to try and pull a stunt like this off.

And today Stuart Nash has joined the campaign. He was an MP last term and was David Shearer’s first chief of staff last year (since replaced). After this comment in which he said things like:

I very much know what the issues are that good hard working NZers find important.

– an often repeated Labour parrot phrase that is widely despised at The Standard

and they need to be held to account along with all parties vying for labour’s votes and voters.

– talking as if Labour owns votes that others are trying to take off them

…he  has added…

I acknowledge all you say Anne, and agree with most, but I would just like to see this site as the place where the govt really is held to account for the way it has so badly failed the people of NZ.

There are some incredibly smart people on here (and I have immense respect for LP, who I have known for a while now) but let us never forget who the real enemy is: its not Shearer – or Cunliffe – its Key, Banks and the pricks who have driven up inequality to a dreadful level in this wonderful country we are all so passionate about.

Mind boggling. This response from Bill is probably typical:

I think what I detest – not above all, but it’s certainly right up there – is people trying to tell me what the fuck to do and what the fuck to think. And the noble defenders of the lost cause that used to be the Labour Party seem to be one trick ponies demanding silence and obedience/loyalty. There’s just nothing beyond that basic bleat. Whether it’s couched in pleading terms or accusory terms, it’s the same old, same old.

So to save you some energy and typing time, I’ll simply say this. It’s not happening. I won’t sit down. I won’t sit back. I won’t shut up.

If the Labour Party wants ‘nice’ commentary then the onus is on the Labour Party to get its shit together and deserve ‘nice’ commentary.


I suspect many from within and outside the party would think similarly at The Standard.

Labour almost seem to by trying a strategy of converting ‘The Standard’ into a loyal Labour blog that will dutifully attack their enemies as directed by leadership. It’s as if they have given up on Red Alert, having squashed any dissent and banned it into a ghostblog, and are now trying to take command at The Standard.

I don’t see lprent giving up his collective of personal power easily, and the Standard troops are not going to stomach this apparent coup without out a major fight.

It’s more likely The Standard will rebel even more against Labour leadership.

The Standard and Labour authoritarism and censorship

Labour message control and manipulation of comments and commenters at The Standard took a new turn yesterday when ‘moderator’-in-chief lprent (Lynn Prentice) overrode how one of the blog authors dealt with a dig at them – deletion of some subsequent comments and warnings to desist – and banned commenter Morrissey for four weeks.

And later the ban was doubled – seemingly as an afterthought and due to the actions of someone else.

It started when commenter Morrissey posted a dig at the author (QOT) of a post on Wednesday evening –

QOT initially responded…

Tell you what, I’ll give Morrissey a little warning, but leave this one up there. And bookmark it for future reference.

But this evolved during the day to…

[QoT: I invite others to refrain from responding to Morrissey on this thread henceforth.]

…and then a final warning followed by a banning…

[QoT: Morrissey, your hurt feelings because I don’t like your hero’s contemptible actions do not make your comments relevant to this thread. This thread is not going to devolve into another circlejerk about Julian fucking Assange. Stick to the topic or fuck off. Final warning.]

[lprent: too slight – as in I can’t see ANY relevance. Looks like a deliberate hijack to me targeted off topic to attack one of my authors. Whilst QoT is having fun, I’m not. 4 week ban to discourage any repitition of this behaviour. ]

The banning is not unusual at The Standard (although lprent has been lately displaying increasing signs that his iron fingers run what is purportedly a ‘collective’ of authors).

Also in what is a trademark of Standard moderator ‘braveness’ after Morrissey was banned a number of his comments were deleted and replaced with attacks and attempts at ridicule – QOT knew she could do this without being challenged by someone she had banned.

She may have learned this from  the blog master lprent who often attacks people where he knows they can’t respond.

But wait, there’s more

But remarkably, when a friend of Morrisey posted a supporting comment, not only were they censored and banned for four weeks as well, but Morrisey’s ban was doubled – for something that may have had nothing to do with him.

And oddly this severed head was displayed at the entrance to yesterday’s (10th January) ‘Open Mic’ (the name of their supposed open forum is becoming a tad ironic).

Kiki 1
6 January 2013 at 10:10 pm

Morrissey: “I Shall Return”


As the French would say, quelle hypocrisie. Certainly, I am not without fault, but surely we should all be worried that someone as crude and vicious as QOT is able to set herself up as some kind of moral arbiter.

This message has been solicited and published by me as an act of support for my colleague and friend Morrissey.

[lprent: Oh piss off. The policy is clear on self-martyrdom offences

Abusing the sysop or post writers on their own site – including telling us how to run our site or what we should write. This is viewed as self-evident stupidity, and should be added as a category to the Darwin Awards.

Morrissey was acting like a complete arsehole. But he isn’t the only one who can do that.

Oh and see that other nice self-martyrdom offence….

Generally wasting a moderators time is just not a good idea. We’re there to deal with isolated problems. People persistently sucking up our voluntary time won’t like the results.

Since you’re such a friend then please explain to him that you just got a two month ban and collected him another another month. I’m uninterested in people acting like complete fuckwits and wasting my time.

Besides, after he e-mailed with some pathetic idea about what constitutes “defamation”, I had another look at the first comment he left for QoT on her post. Seeing it again just got me even more irritated with the pretentious dildo. ]

  •  karol 1.2

    As an aside: I’m just puzzled by the date on the above comment.

    •  bad12 1.2.1

      Ah it might be a warning to ALL, could have sworn when i looked this morning that the first 3 comments were from ‘Jenny’,

      Course if your in the ‘chair’ you probably get to move things about…

Yes, the first comments were originally from Jenny but the banning has been presumably moved from an earlier thread, and promoted to the top of yesterday’s general forum thread. It looks like the date has been tweaked to achieve this.

This does appear to be a warning that not only is criticism of blog authors severely frowned on, but showing any support of banned commenters is a banning offence – and people can be banned (in this case a ban was doubled) because of the actions of others.

The Standard collective appears to be becoming ruled by an increasingly authoritarian ‘leader’.

This has parallels in the Labour Party.

Labour and The Standard integrity

Labour’s Red Alert blog is best known for it’s suppression of unwanted comment. It has become a farce, with a handful of regular commenters rolling a few tumbleweeds. Many people (including Labour Party members) report being banned.

Last month several commenters at The Standard said they would cease commenting due to pressure from Clare Curran to stop criticisng David Shearer.

This created a flurry of indignation at attempts at Labour censorship at The Standard. And there have been accusations that while the Labour membership voted at their recent conference for more democratic processes in the party it appears tha David Shearer and his caucus supporters are asserting more authority from the top.

It’s quite ironic that in parallel more heavy handed banning, censorship and ‘behaviour modification’ plus much more obvious displays of draconian leadership are apparent at The Standard.

Not just the leader and the sysop

This mode of message control and messenger targeting runs deeper than party leader and blog sysop.

Some participants a The Standard often join in the ‘moderation’. Weka pointed out early in the banning thread:

Also of note is that you’ve forgotten that it’s against ts rules to attack authors esp in their own threads.

In the same thread the accusations of misogny aimed at Morrissey expanded:

Populuxe1 3.4

Antisemitic, misogynistic, what next?

 felixviper 3.4.1

I’d wager he’s not all that keen on gay dudes either, but it’s just a hunch.


I sensed as much – see you all in the death camp, guys.


Another swing and a miss. You’re not clever enough to do this, my friend. You just look desperate.

I admit my nasty little message to QOT was unacceptable, but you are going way out on a limb. You know, I’m sure, that there’s a special place in Hell for Malicious Liars.


Nah, I don’t think I’m far off the mark. The various strains of bigotry tend to be found in close proximity to one another.

It is also against the rules at The Standard to flame and provoke, but some regular trolls there have a free licence to harrass with virtual impunity. Malicious liars? ‘Felix’ has a longstanding habit of unsubstantiated accusations to try and manoevre people he chooses to eliminate from discussions into bans.

And this continues on another thread…

felixviper 9.1
11 January 2013 at 12:51 am

Oh look, another creepy stalker turning up just to leave off-topic sexist abuse for QoT.

It’s like this morning all over again.

Another day, another victim in the sights.

Labouring under free speech

Parties can allow or (try to) suppress free speech and discussion as much as they like. Their party, their rules.

Or as seems to be the case, their leader, their dictation of who can speak about what.

Blogs can censor and ban as much as they like, and they can encourage or attack a diversity of comments as much as they like.

Or as seems to be the case, his blog, his dictation of who can speak about what.

The Standard and Red Alert are widely seen as the online forums associated with the Labour Party. Red Alert is run by Labour MPs, The Standard is run by Labour Party members, and Labour has directly interfered with commenting there.

Both blogs seem to be mirroring Labour leadership in authoritarian behaviour enforcement, censorship and message control.

Red Alert revamp?

Labour deputy leader Grant Robertson hinted at a major revamp of Red Alert next year in one of his rare blog posts:

In terms of Red Alert, watch out in the new year for a re-launch with a different approach and way of doing things. Exciting times ahead.

If that includes ditching the paranoid censorship it may improve Red Alert substantially. It has been severely stifled by extreme moderation.

One of the most common comments in the blogosphere is “I’ve been banned from Red Alert” – and that’s seen across the political spectrum.

When I questioned my apparent banning with Clare Curran she said she didn’t trust me. If MPs can’t trust people to engage in honest discussion then they won’t be trusted, and they have a lot more to lose from that than us voters. And ex-voters. And ex-Labour voters.

Red Alert has turned a potential to engage into a part embarrassment. It will take a lot to turn that around.

The first step should be keeping MPs fingers off the ban buttons if they want to be seen as anything other than propaganda pushers and protectors. MPs should be encouraged to participate (much more than they have) but they can’t be players and referees at the same time.

Whatever Labour do to try and revive Red Alert it will be a challenge, starting with overcoming a severely tarnished reputation.

Request to reverse Red Alert bans

Therre was a couple of blog comments suggesting the reversing of mass bannings at Red Alert. At The Standard:


Intesingly red alert isn’t being moderatated to the same degree these days…love live CV.
Maybe they should unban everyone and start again.

And at Red Alert itself:


Uk without being rude or incurring the wrath of well CC perhap a salute to CV and freedom of speech is in order.
Also can I make a suggestion too.
We need a vibrant interactive labour blog so perhap delete the ban list and start again.
Labour is surely about freedom of speak differing opinion in broad broad tent of people.
We the people need a voice, we need connection and we need to interact in a free equal reasonable manner…
What say allow the banned voices back and start again…

CC refers to Clare Curran, who confronted CV (Colonial Viper) at the Labour Party conference over critical blog comments and then apparently heavied him and other Labour party members to cease commenting at The Standard.

However Curran has reiterated she wants to clamp down on free speech on blogs, to try and stop criticism of Labour (especially from within the party). So it’s unlikely she will listen – she may not hav even read the Red Alert request, because it hasn’t been deleted yet.

Alert! Red Alert has become a bloody blurt

More on  Labour gagging and the serious problems at Red Alert with a red flag warning. Lynn Prentice comments on the Colonial Viper gagging at The Standard:

Based on the known misuses that went on at Red Alert last year, Occams razor would tend to suggest the simplier explanation of technical means is a damn sight more likely than someone referring to themselves by their psuedonym in a email. Matching email addresses or IPs for a admin at RedAlert is a hell of a lot more likely.

But I suspect it isn’t that likely he was signed as colonial viper. We know that CC spoke to CV about being CV in person on at least one occasion. When she was threatening to “out” him during lobbying at this years conference.

In any case, he was operating under a psuedonym all and saying no more than you’d expect a party member to say. If describing the deficiencies of last years campaign is making the party lok bad, then the MP’s and their staff should look in a frigging mirror.

Quite simply you kind of think that Clare and some of the other MP’s would prefer that we were mindless bots…

Labour leadership and (some) MPs seem to want silent and subservient party slaves, but obviously Lynn hasn’t been (successfully) gagged by Clare Curran’s clampdown campaign yet.

Problem is that there have been similar leaks like this from people at Red Alert in the past. One resulted in someone losing their job. 

Basically when it comes to breaches on the net, you have to look at what is likely from the access and what has happened in the past. The presumption is that there won’t be any definitive proof and usually the behaviours are not illegal. So you warn people about likely idiotic behaviours instead. 

Some people running Red Alert have been doing some seriously stupid stuff for quite some time. Threatening to out people for mere political advantage kind of tops even the previous low of getting someone fired for comments that they left on RA.

I’m merely voicing my opinion on exactly how people should avoid such arseholes of the net.

Lynn has already warned any party members that they shouldn’t comment at Red Alert if they value the privacy of their information, safety of their pseudonym and if they value freedom of speech unimpeded by harrassment.

Promoted as a great Open Labour forum for the people Red Alert has become a bloody blurt for paranoid MPs.