RedLogix gets it wrong

In a rare post at The Standard RedLogix details ten debatable claims.

John Key will see out five or six terms in office. He will then likely hand over to his carefully anointed National party successor. National will govern uninterrupted. Key is only the dark beginning. We already know most of the reasons why:

1. Key was appointed to run NZ from within his prior role at the the US Fed. He has powerful allies not just within the local establishment, but globally. In a highly globalized world this counts for a lot more than most of us imagine.

No evidence provided, just a claim of an international conspiracy.

Key was selected by the National Caucus as party leader, about sixty MPs. As leader he has been elected by about a million voters three times. That’s a lot of people involved in his ‘appointment’.

2. Thirty five years of neo-liberal dogma that is designed to appeal to the selfish and greedy in us all has eroded the foundations of civil society. 25% of us that were born here with pre-80’s pro-social values have left, and too many of those who have arrived came from countries where they are notably lacking.

It’s highly debatable that “neo-liberal dogma that is designed to appeal to the selfish and greedy in us all” – certainly not us all – and it’s also quite debatable whether it has “eroded the foundations of civil society”.

The second sentence is odd and unsubstantiated.

3. National is funded with a landslide of money. It almost doesn’t know what to do with it all. Labour by contrast can barely afford mailouts to it’s membership.

Apart from obvious exaggerations I don’t think National funding has increased enormously. Labour is just failing to attract funds – unlike the Greens who seem to manage very well proportional to their size.

The Conservative and Internet parties received landslides of money and it didn’t do them many good.

4. The National govt runs an extremely well resourced PR organisation that the left cannot and never will match. Because the left sees itself as reformers, our internal discussions will always be louder and more rambunctious. By contrast the right is always united around the power of money, and will not only stay on message discipline … it will ruthlessly exploit any perceived dissent or weakness the left exposes.

Why couldn’t ‘the left’ have a well resourced PR organisation? Again the Greens seem to manage. Internet-Mana had a very well resourced organisation.

The ‘right’ is not always united around power and money – ACT and Dunne differ from National at times. I’m sure there are differences within National.

Of course they will “ruthlessly exploit any perceived dissent or weakness the left exposes” – and they get plenty of opportunity on a plate. That’s not their fault.

5. At present there is no credible means for the left to effectively convey it’s message to the public. We have been shut down or marginalised, to the point we are pretty much constrained to social media.

That’s utter crap.

Labour and Greens get PR repeated by media. They have access to free post. They have email contact lists. They can go out and have public meetings and go door to door like successful parties have in the past.

They try to do a lot more on social media, just not very well sometimes. That’s no one else’s fault.

They marginalise themselves and then moan about it and blame everyone and everything else.

6. A large fraction of the middle swing voters are fundamentally dubious about ever voting left because they perceive, rightly or wrongly that Labour and the Greens are prone to being captured by ‘PC gone mad’ special interest groups. Yes this is a fraught and nuanced issue … but none of this matters to a segment of the voting public who just hate it at a gut level.

Or going PC mad.

But I think a lot of middle swing voters are happy to have a bit of Green influence, especially on environmental issues. And want to see a credible Labour return.

I think most concern from swing voters is barely disguised socialist policies.

7. At the same time too many of Labour’s senior people seem to have made their peace with the Establishment. And this just leaves another segment of voters uninspired, contemptuous of ‘beltway pollies with their snouts in the trough’, and lacking an option they want to vote for, they stay at home.

And too many of Labour’s rank and file foot soldiers have been deserted. And Labour’s rank and file activists sound like they will never make peace with the Establishment, unless it is transformed into their revolutionary ideal.

8. The continued assault on left wing institutions like unions, workers education, and social entities that once allowed us to organise effectively. Activism from behind a keyboard only takes us a certain distance; it’s weak at turning ideas into reality.

It’s hardly a continued assault. Governments bring in different policies to change with the times, and the remaining unions don’t want to change, and Labour in Opposition is stuck in the middle.

Unions, workers education, and social entities go through the motions of promotion their causes but have lost their drive and sit back blaming everything else.

9. Increasing state surveillance and loss of civil liberties. What has happened to Ambrose, Hagar, Vance and others will continue to chill the public debate.

It’s an issue that requires vigilance and push back but the left overstate the dangers far too much making it easy to ignore their weekly ‘same old’ protest marches.

10. Too many activists on the left repeatedly make the basic mistake of confusing a dislike for John Key and what he stands for … for a lack of respect for his considerable political and managerial skills. It’s really time we stopped making this basic error.

They’ve been making the same mistakes for eight years and if you read through posts and comments at The Standard and The Daily Blog and Public Address there’s no sign of that changing.

They keep trying to make Key look far worse than he is rather than working on being better than they are.

I used to think RedLogix was one of the more intelligent and realistic voices from the left but if he is joining the ‘poor us, it’s everyone else’s fault’ stuck in last century attitude then I don’t have much hope for a centre left recovery from worse than the political doldrums – it’s more like they are in a slow whirlpool and keep paddling with the spiral.

Which is a real shame, because a healthy democracy is best served by strength and positive ambition across the spectrum.

How can you tell if a jet load of left wingers has landed at the airport? The whining continues after the engines have shut down.

RedLogix seems to have become RedLostit. The left has lost it’s heart and soul and purpose and all they have left is lamenting and blame of others.

What now for waitresses and waiters?

Now that John Key seems to have adequately dealt with his hair pulling embarrassment what now for the focus of the issue, the way waiting staff are treated by customers and by employers?

One waitress has spoken out, but in doing so she created a political shit fight. And she became the target of an offensive defense that tried to paint her as the problem, not the victim.

Sometimes amongst the noise and sheep herding there can be interesting discussions at The Standard.

Mandy Hager’s post Pull the other one… ponytails, minimisation and male privilege is worth reading as a fairly feminine perspective. Perhaps a bit too feminine good/masculine bad but she makes some points worth debating.

On this post is a good comment thread, started by Colonial Rawshark (who’s name is still promoting the hacking of political opponents but that’s another story).

So, after several days of ongoing disgust, outrage, screaming and shouting, what courageous and concrete steps has the Political Left proposed to empower vulnerable and poorly paid service employees and contractors who find themselves in bad work situations?

What gutsy legislation, regulation, unionisation and other changes with real teeth has the Left proposed to enable vulnerable workers to fight back hard against bad treatment by customers, employers and media organisations?

Indeed has there been anything more substantial and concrete than ‘that’s disgusting, disappointing and an indictment of entrenched male power and privilege in our society’? No?

The Left couldn’t even get its shit together in the first day or two after the original story broke to protect the young cafe worker in question. Pitiful.

And IMO it’s exactly why, despite all the quite legitimate anger and indignation expressed, the self proclaimed Left is increasingly irrelevant to voters.

Initially this was attacked in the usual way, albeit moderately to a long time Standard leftie.

Stephanie Rodgers tried to dictate what should be talked about, as she often does.

Speaking of “both obvious and unavoided”, congratulations on completely erasing the key aspect of gender from the issue. On a post about how this issue is explicitly gendered, even!

Why not get outraged about the Left failing to take concrete steps to overthrow male entitlement? What about empowering vulnerable women, wherever they work? (The Roger Sutton case rather aptly showed how sexual harassment in the workplace isn’t limited to cafes.)

But I guess that would be terrible, no-one-cares-about-your-side-issues identity politics, wouldn’t it?

And then there was a branch that attacked Colonial Rawshark for not doing enough about what he was talking about himself. A common ‘attack the messenger’ practice.

But then there was some actual addressing of the issues raised. Redlogix:

Well expressed CV. By allowing the debate to be solely framed in misogynist terms, the Right easily fences the issue off into the feminist ghetto of NZ politics.

Which is sad. It’s way more important than this.

I’ve read Mandy’s excellent OP several times now with care. It’s a powerful piece, it emphasises, not just the idiocy of the PM’s behaviour, but the sickening response of so many to not only minimise it, but to attack the victim as well.

And then like you I’m left wondering ‘what next’? Why is the Left so powerless to act? Why when even something as tiny as Cunliffe expressing shame as a man for the violence perpetrated on women – why was that so readily ridiculed and belittled?

When Mandy writes:

There are also the online comments, proof (as if we needed it) that there is a deep seething underbelly of misogyny out there – and that issues of appropriateness, sexual intimidation, abuse of power and minimization of women’s complaints are not only misunderstood but carry no weight at all to a significant proportion of our population.

I am quite certain this is a subjective truth and reality for Mandy, yet when you are effectively telling half the population that they ‘hate women’ – something has gone badly wrong. This is not a vote winner if nothing else.

After 40 or more years of feminism, why is there so much misunderstanding, suspicion, and downright loathing in some quarters, between the genders? As this incident and it’s attendant blowback has demonstrated – it doesn’t seem to have taken us anywhere constructive.

There’s a good discussion on that, but it includes more attacks and diversions:


“effectively telling half the population that they ‘hate women’ ”
Quite the contrary. I find the article to be one of the more empowering messages on this blog for sometime. Reminding all of us, regardless of gender, politics or circumstance, we are all responsible and necessary as part of the solution, every day

Marty mars:

sadly what tends to happen now imo is that the discussion will be moved, in oh so reasonable and soft tones, into the other areas – this is, imo, cv and reds way of showing they care about the issues raised in the post itself /sarc and of course they get to talk about themselves and their experience which is just so riveting and important /double sarc


Your attempt at silencing and shaming is disgusting.

You’re tactics are no different, and lower than those being used by the Henry’s and Hosking’s of this world.

It’s not often that the common attempts to shut up and shame get called, but as an author Redlogix can get away with it. But not without being challenged:

One Anonymous Bloke:

It’s the violence inherent in the system. You’re being oppressed!


No – marty was doing the derailing thing. Oppression is something altogether different.

But make a joke of it – have a bit of a ‘horse around’ if you like.

Marty mars:

untrue red – I posted a comment to another comment not to you or cv – I did that because I didn’t really want to engage and encourage you to begin the calm dissemination of what you think – I’m not interested, I’d rather hear and learn from women.


Marty was spot on in naming a dynamic that occurs here. Thanks btw for confirming it, by misusing Bailey’s experience of sexual harrassment by the PM as if that in any way has anything to do with marty commenting to you here. It’s inconceivable to me that you cannot see the power differences, so that just leaves your politics.

The shame is already on you for how you’ve brought yourself into this conversation in the way you often do. Marty just pointed it out.

One Anonymous Bloke, marty mars and weka are frequent members of the shut up and shame brigade.

Back to Colonial Rawshark’s first paragraph.

So, after several days of ongoing disgust, outrage, screaming and shouting, what courageous and concrete steps has the Political Left proposed to empower vulnerable and poorly paid service employees and contractors who find themselves in bad work situations?

The diversions, messenger attacking and shutting up has again prevailed (so far) as that remains unanswered.

It seems that waiters are frequently the target of poor customer behaviour.

Some on the right (it’s been rife at Kiwiblog) have tried to play this down by attacking and trying to discredit the waitress.

And some on the left have failed to address an important issue the hair puling raised.

Political activists are too active trying to wreck their opponents and too often fail to do anything practical to address the problems ordinary people, like waitresses, have to deal with day after day.

What now for waitresses and waiters?

UPDATE: another word from Colonial Rawshark:

My contention is that the Political Left has come forward with plenty of outrage and disgust, but it has not come forward with concrete proposals for change for empowering vulnerable workers victimised by customers or employers (regardless of whether that change is based on gender or on class).

And weka, one of the chief derailers of threads she doesn’t approve of, responded:

I’m sure it is CV. Pity you chose to bring it up in a way guaranteed to derail the thread and track it along the class politics vs gender politics path then.

I have no idea what you mean by the Political Left, but can only assume you are referring in part to authors and commenters here on ts. I’m seeing lots of activism and response to what has happened. Besides, I’m pretty sure that some legislation already exists to protect Bailey (and was ignored by the PM), and that the left wing parties already have policy that would give even more protection.


So take it to OM. This post and thread is about gender.

If the gender police speak then one mustn’t stray from their narrow path of discussion. How not to achieve anything outside one’s bubble.

Another promising discussion squashed. That has happened during the time I put this post together.

Middle ground

I often get described as a beige centrist fence sitter. That’s by people who don’t understand middle ground and don’t seem to understand practical politics.

There was yet another flurry of discussions about me in my absence at The Standard yesterday, they must have been missing me. I was mentioned in the post itself – The meaning of dirty politics – but that’s another story.

There were the usual calls to have me banned (but I suspect lprent appreciated the blog activity generated in a quiet time). However they are not all intolerant there, even though most of them seem to not understand some basics.

RedLogix commented:

Personally I’ve never had much problem with PG.

As Lynn said above – in his own infinitesimal fashion – he does respond and shift his ideas over time.

What most people perceive as ‘slippery’ is really just PG trying to avoid being dogmatic and looking for a middle ground. Most people here (or any other for that matter) want something more positional and clear.

I responded:

Of course I shift my ideas over time. Don’t others here want to learn from debate?

It seems that some in political forums have their ideas set in concrete but I find their lack of willingness to consider alternative facts and opinions is weird and frustrating. And I find it odd that others seem to see a willingness to adjust ideas to changing times and learning facts a problem.

Much of New Zealand politics is trying to find ‘middle ground’. That’s why those on the entrenched hard left and hard right get annoyed and frustrated. With politics (and with me I guess).

But middle ground itself shifts. Marriage equality is a good example. Civil unions became middle ground a decade ago. I thought it was a good balance – until I had discussions with people at a gay business group organised campaign meeting in 2011. I understood their point and became a strong support of marriage equality. And it became ‘middle ground’ in that it ended up being strongly supported in Parliament (and John Key’s influence in that deserves to be acknowledged).

There’s other things I support that aren’t yet middle ground. I think we should separate from the monarchy. I accept it will be a while before that happens. I support reviewing cannabis law but don’t think it will happen this term unfortunately. I strongly support a change of flag and there’s a chance of achieving that soon. I hope others will shift their ideas on those issues over time.

Does anyone here not learn and respond and shift their ideas over time?

What in practical politics in New Zealand is ‘positional and clear’?

That we will be taxed for sure. That there will be social welfare and health care for sure. But Governments have to find some sort of middle ground on these and on all policies.

Red logic versus an angry lack of logic

It’s easy to be angry.

Anthony Robins has posted Christmas at the extremes at The Standard:

Two New Zealands will shortly celebrate Christmas, the poor and the rich. Two recent articles really highlight the differences.

He misses out the mass in the middle, most of whom will be quite a bit poorer after their Christmas and holiday spend up, but that’s not the point of this post. He quotes from the second on tax avoidance:

Only half of NZ’s most wealthy paying top tax rate

Figures given to ONE News show many of those worth more than $50 million are only paying tax on around $70,000 dollars of annual income.

When the tax man comes knocking, most of us expect to pay our fair share. But some of us can avoid it. Even millionaire Gareth Morgan admits he’s not paying his. “Ah no, definitely not. But that’s the way the tax regime is,” he says.

Some comments addressed this. Sabine:

It is simple, I don’t want to ever hear this Gareth Morgan guy ever say anything about poor people, or social welfare recipients.

In fact, until the man pays his fair share, he should just go to his mansion and stay there.

I am sick and tired of these rich government depended f**wits to pretend that they made themselves and are still making themselves.

Yes. I am angry here.


Ah right. Here’s a couple who are using their wealth to advocate changing the very system you are so angry about – and you want to silence them.

Moments like this when I understand why the left is so fucked.


So when one Left person is angry, the whole “Left is so fucked”, but when one Right person says we have a rock star economy (in spite of the evidence otherwise), the economy proves the whole Left are wrong and can suck it?


Gareth Morgan has done far more than anyone else in the entire history of this country to argue and promote a much fairer, simpler and effective tax system.

But because he doesn’t comfortably come with a left/right wing label attached to him – he’s considered a fair target for the kind of silly spleen that sabine above has indulged in.

Politics is about building consensus, finding common ground and working towards achievable steps. You are not going to get it all your own way, and alienating people who might otherwise help get you some of what you want is immature and dumb tactics.

If you want to be taken seriously in politics you have to be seen as able to work with other people, with different ideas. So often the left gets trapped in an impotent ideological fervour which achieves nothing.

It’s easy to be angry – and get trapped in an impotent ideological fervour which achieves nothing

It’s much harder to achieve something positive in politics. At least Gareth Morgan tries things that might work.

“Farrar, Slater and George form the dark-triad of NZ blogging”

When you become known around political blogs some weird stuff pops up, but this would have to be one of the more bizarre  comments at The Standard from RedLogix:

Farrar, Slater and George form the dark-triad of NZ blogging.

Every interaction I’ve had with them confirms that essentially we are dealing with very real and harmful personality disorders.

Having lived with one for many years I can testify how very baffling, manipulative and damaging these people are. Normally over time they simply burn off so many people that their reputation is tattered and they are ‘ring-barked’. Isolated so as to cause the least harm, to others and ultimately themselves.

But to make matters much worse there are other people willing to use these damaged individuals for their own ends, which has only amplified and exacerbated matters. This story will not have a happy ending.

I’m puzzled about which people he thinks might try and use me for their own ends.

From the ‘dark triad’ link:

The dark triad is a group of three personality traits: narcissism, Machiavellianism and psychopathy. The use of the term “dark” means evil and reflects the perception that these traits have interpersonally aversive qualities:

  • Narcissism is characterised by grandiosity, pride, egotism, and a lack of empathy.
  • Machiavellianism is characterised by manipulation and exploitation of others; a cynical disregard for morality, and a focus on self-interest and deception.
  • Psychopathy is characterised by enduring antisocial behaviour, impulsivity, selfishness, callousness, and remorselessness.

All three traits have been associated with a callous-manipulative interpersonal style. A factor analysis carried out at the Glasgow Caledonian University found that among the big five personality traits, the trait of agreeableness is strongly absent in regards to the dark triad, while other traits such as neuroticism and a lack of conscientiousness were associated with some.

“Every interaction I’ve had with them” – I’ve had very occasional interactions with RedLogix online as far as I’m aware, and I doubt he has ever met me in person.

I find this blog diagnosis both amusing and puzzling. I won’t try to diagnose RedLogix but it makes one wonder where the heck  this bizarre post came from.

When blogging produces comments like this it’s just as well most of the public have no idea what goes on in the dark depths of political discourse. It’s often got little to do with democracy.

And here I am thinking all I am doing in my own small way is contributing to better political discussion and doing politics better.

PS: and being associated with Slater and Farrar like this is weird, I’m on a different blogging planet to them, my politics is quite different to Slater’s in particular, and I have strongly opposed Slater’s dirty approach to doing politics.

Thread and sharp needling on violence

Discussions on violence can get very antagonistic, there can be raw emotions involved. But we have to be prepared to talk about it and expose the problems. It’s a very complex issue.

A Standard post What Maurice Williamson’s shock tells us about domestic violence followed a common path of destructive squabbling until some very good comments from Redlogix led to some more useful discussion (from here):


This isn’t a political discussion. It’s a personal one. That’s obvious.

I’ve sat here for the last 10 or 20 minutes having a long hard think about my own life. Here’s a truth about it:

Apart from some drunk idiots in a pub once I’ve never been physically threatened by another male in my life. And apart from one rather extraordinary incident on literally the last hour of my secondary school days I’ve never, ever, hit anyone. I count that as a blessing and good fortune.

I find with most men if you treat them with some modicum of respect and keep out of their faces – they will respond in kind. Most normal men hate physical confrontation and will do anything to avoid it. I know I do.

Except when we are drunk, emotionally wrought, or something has disrupted our routine self-control. And there are many things which fall into that category such as brain damage (A huge portion of male prison inmates have brain-damage symptoms) or PTSD (as did a whole generation of ex-WW2 soldiers.)

In my experience physical violence by men is a very abnormal condition. Due to our size and upper body strength we are especially capable of it – but compared with most other mammal species we are also remarkably co-operative and non-violent – most of the time.

But I wish I could say the same about all the other forms of abuse I’ve encountered over the years. In my own personal experience that both genders participate in non-lethal, non-injury causing sexual, emotional and psychological abuse at about the same rates. Neither gender has a monopoly on virtue.

And this seems to be backed up by considerable research over the last decade.

Dangerous physical violence, is a uniquely male challenge. It’s our problem due to our genetics. While relatively uncommon in daily life, it’s extreme and highly visible consequences demand attention and a responsibility we must own. Our strength is both a blessing and a curse.

But in every other respect – abuse in general is a universal challenge that both genders are responsible for. And what I see here on these threads is shouting at each other from increasingly polarised and mutually incomprehensible positions that takes no ownership on this whatsoever.

False frame that.

Stephanie Rogers:

The thing is, you’re taking your personal experience and extrapolating it to the whole of society. The actual facts of violence in our society are that it is not abnormal, that many, many people commit violent acts without the excuses of alcohol or ‘disruption’, and that the overwhelming majority of violence is committed by men.

The false framing you’re applying, RL, is to draw a line around ‘dangerous physical violence’ and pretend it’s an aberration, in order to continue your argument that nobody should be allowed to identify male violence as a male problem.

To me, the reason there’s ‘increasing polarisation’ in this discussion is because some people, including you, are simply determined not to let an honest, fact-based conversation happen, and consistently jump in to say ‘but it’s not just men, it’s not just men, women have to do something too, it’s not just men’. When – as has been clearly stated many, many times – nobody is saying it’s just men.


Further to Stephanie’s spot-on response of RL.

It is also false framing to claim we all can experience emotional and psychological abuse and that it is far more damaging than physical and sexual abuse.

But, the problem with that is that we women also experience that emotional and psychological abuse. I would categorise the physical kinds of abuse as oparticularly damaging to very many people in society, especially those that are physically vulerable. The threat of physical abuse from average strength able-bodied males can be life threatening, and life limiting. It’s not possible to tell in advance which men will resort to physical abuse.

And physical abuse usually includes emotional and psychological abuse – a double whammy.

As Stephanie indicates, our whole culture is permeated with ways that normalise such physical violence.


The false framing you’re applying, RL, is to draw a line around ‘dangerous physical violence’ and pretend it’s an aberration, in order to continue your argument that nobody should be allowed to identify male violence as a male problem.

Utter fucking bullshit. What exactly do you think I am saying here:

“Dangerous physical violence, is a uniquely male challenge. It’s our problem due to our genetics. While relatively uncommon in daily life, it’s extreme and highly visible consequences demand attention and a responsibility we must own.”

That somehow I’m ‘not allowing male violence to be a male problem’??? Frankly I’m beginning to wonder if lousy reading comprehension is not a uniquely female problem. It’s really hard having an honest conversation with someone who just makes shit up.

The difference between the genders when it comes to abuse is simply this; men cause more physical harm and it’s a lot more visible and it gets a lot more attention. Rightly so. No quibble. No compromise.

And very briefly (to avoid traversing territory we are all familiar with) yes it is plain our society has a legacy of ‘normalising’ this violence in some ways. And some men do shelter behind it, cycnically using their strength to intimidate or hurt because they think their victim is helpless or unable to fight back. The cowardly have always been with us.

But most men do not. Really. While it’s common among a smallish minority of men, for most of us actual violence is a rare occurrence in our lives. But we also understand that it is a potential in any one of us and with maturity we learn to guard against it.

However as we get older we also learn that it is not possible to predict in advance which women will resort to abuse as well. Particularly emotional abuse.

As a rule each gender, when under threat resorts to the weapon that lies nearest to hand – with men it tends to be their physical and sometimes economic strength, with women it is their superior emotional and psychological abilities. When men abuse it is dangerous and usually very stupid; when women abuse it is often subtle but very nasty. One is visible and overt, the other is not. Different patterns of behaviour, but neither command a scrap of moral high ground.

A forty year battle against a predominantly patriarchal society means that feminists have justly invested a huge amount into the battle against male violence. It’s no surprise that this investment is defended fiercely. So when a someone suggests that there is a wider abuse issue both genders need to own in common – it gets promptly shouted down because there is a threatening sense it shifts the framing away from a narrow attention on male violence, diluting and detracting from what is important to you.

And for this reason the discussion diverges into hostility, instead of converging to mutual understanding.

When – as has been clearly stated many, many times – nobody is saying it’s just men.

When I read that I hear weasel words because what I’ve yet to see (and fairly I’m no world expert so feel free to point me) is any women in this discussion honestly owning to any possibility they may have a responsibility here.

You know -like you have been demanding of men for a a while now.

marty mars:

“When men abuse it is dangerous and usually very stupid; when women abuse it is often subtle but very nasty.”

Guess what red, abuse from men also contains the subtle and very nasty as well as the dangerous and very stupid. I don’t hear women commenting here saying it is all men who abuse but that doesn’t seem to matter to you.

“The difference between the genders when it comes to abuse is simply this; men cause more physical harm and it’s a lot more visible and it gets a lot more attention.”

That is just wrong imo – the difference is that predominately men abuse women – physically, emotionally, and all the other – allys you may be able to think of. Note the word ‘predominately’ that should give you a hint.

“So when a someone suggests that there is a wider abuse issue both genders need to own in common – it gets promptly shouted down because there is a threatening sense it shifts the framing away from a narrow attention on male violence, diluting and detracting from what is important to you.”

No I don’t think so. You want to widen the discussion – why again? It is just imo a tactic to avoid confronting the very real, large and ingrained issue of male abuse and violence. Once again, as a male and imo, changing the framing does actually dilute and detract from the main issue of male violence which is most definitely important to me. Note the term ‘main issue’.


Guess what red, abuse from men also contains the subtle and very nasty as well as the dangerous and very stupid. I don’t hear women commenting here saying it is all men who abuse but that doesn’t seem to matter to you.

In a single sentence it’s neither possible, nor desirable, to hedge all the possibilities. Of course men can be subtle and nasty, just as women can be physical and dangerous – but I was of course generalising. Which does not nullify the point I was making – that each gender is capable of abuse, but tend to dish it out in the form they are most competent in.

That is just wrong imo – the difference is that predominately men abuse women – physically, emotionally, and all the other – allys you may be able to think of.

Sadly – and I mean that – the more recent research on this suggests this just ain’t so. Turns out that if you exclude the dangerous physical violence (but leave in the pushing, shoving and slapping that doesn’t typically lead to visible injury, hospitalisation and visits from the police) that both genders are guilty of physical, sexual and emotional abuse at comparable rates.

Men have somewhat higher rates, but not that much higher. The difference is much less than the conventional wisdom suggests. Several reasons are given.

Male violence is a lot more visible, even taking into account that it tends to me more dangerous. For instance if a man slaps a woman in the face there is a good chance she will report it and will have a decent bruise as evidence leading to charges. When a woman slaps a man – it’s very rare for it to be reported, much less for charges to be laid.

Secondly a man being slapped is highly likely to consider it his fault. “We were arguing and it was my fault she was that pissed off” is the common (and familiar) rationalisation. And thirdly of course there is the humiliation of his friends and workmates finding out. So this leads to a massive under reporting of female physical abuse. Much the same massive under- reporting applies to when women sexually abuse.

And emotional abuse, the kind women specialise in, is not even a crime. No-one reports it, and it never leads to charges.

What after all is the difference between breaking a leg on a skiing holiday and having it broken because your male partner threw you off the first floor balcony? The difference is not the broken leg – it is the emotional and psychological impact of having someone you maybe still love and care for use violence to intimidate, control, humiliate, and coerce you.

What after all is the difference between date-rape and a happy night out? Consent – which is the absence of intimidation, control, humiliation and coercion.

All abuse is at it’s heart emotional and psychological in nature.

karol’s argument It is also false framing to claim we all can experience emotional and psychological abuse and that it is far more damaging than physical and sexual abuse. is of course a gross inversion and misrepresentation. She should know better.

What determines how ‘damaging’ any given abusive scenario is hard to predict, but in simple general terms relates to emotional intensity, repetition and the degree of helplessness experienced. And this applies similarly across all forms of abuse, physical, sexual, emotional, financial, etc.

And this without elevating any one form above another, or giving one a specious precedence for reasons of gender politics.


“Turns out that if you exclude the dangerous physical violence”

Why would you exclude “the dangerous physical violence”? What does that actually mean in terms of domestic violence statistics?

“And emotional abuse, the kind women specialise in, is not even a crime…

On the one hand you say women are as physically violent as men, and on the other that women specialise in emotional violence. So despite or you protestations of equality you seem to either imply women are more culpable in domestic violence i.e. they specialise in emotional violence plus are just as bad as men in the physical violence (when you exclude the dangerous physical violence), or you haven’t framed your argument properly.

Imo, it’s false to say emotional violence is worse that physical violence, or even on the same level. However I do see that emotional injury can be very difficult to recover from – especially if you’re not murdered or permanently physically scared or disabled from being hit, kicked or whatever. Many, many times emotional abuse comes with the physical added extra so both are intertwined (is looking at physical damage everyday emotional or physical abuse in your mind?). I’ve yet to see physical domestic violence come without emotional abuse from the a dominant partner – male or female. And I’ve seen a fair bit.


RedLogix – where do you conjure this bizarre “rule” up from?

As a rule each gender, when under threat resorts to the weapon that lies nearest to hand.

The issue here is that there are very many men in NZ who take it as their right to beat, smash, kick, deafen, sexually abuse or terrorise a female partner.

You seem to suggest that name calling or abusive and nasty language causes the same kind of harm. It does not. But – combine abusive language with physical violence and it’s a wholly different scale of damage. It’s this – typically – male violence against women which demands our serious attention.

RL, perhaps you don’t believe that there are many men who are like this because you aren’t one of them, and because when you see men in the street or at work they ‘amazingly’ control this violence. Don’t underestimate the ubiquity of male violence against women and children, nor their ability to behave like decent human beings when they are not behind closed doors. The Women’s Refuge organization in NZ receives a call every six minutes on its crisis lines.

Research conducted in 2004 concluded that 33 to 39% of New Zealand women experience physical and/or sexual violence from an intimate partner during their lifetimes, and that 4.9% of NZ women suffered moderate to severe physical violence or sexual abuse at least once in the previous 12 months. ….. This is a shocking statistic…..

Whether the number is in the thousands or the tens of thousands, it’s clear that male physical and/or sexual violence against women is a serious cancer in our society. It causes physical damage, psychological scars and in most cases a lifelong legacy of emotional consequences.

imo – any discussion about the serious problem and prevalence of male violence against women is absolutely not an appropriate forum for “oh poor me” comments from (a very small number of) men who feel that they have been damaged because they have been pushed, slapped or had ‘nasty’ language directed at them from a female.

Once the scourge of male violence in New Zealand is fixed, then perhaps we can write another post turning our attention towards how to stop abusive language.

Pete George:

Redlogix has raised some very good and valid points. He’s right that men are mostly stronger and more likely to physically hurt and damage more. But they are not alone in relationships and they are not alone in relationship issues that tip over into violence.

There are different reasons for domestic violence. Some people use violence to impose power and control over a partner. This is predominately male with links to historical attitudes of men ‘owning’ their wife/partner.

Some violence is the culmination of built tensions in a relationship that can result in a violent act (that can be out of normal character). One reason for this can be that under pressure one person (usually male) reverts to a behaviour learned as a child, that you ‘sort out’ or react to behaviour you don’t like by hitting.

So far here it’s only been adult versus adult violence discussed. Adult behaviours are often learned in a child’s first few years. Some kids learn that hitting is how to deal with things, especially when anger is involved. Kids learn this off both male and female parents and caregivers.

I won’t and can’t quantify except I’ll acknowledge violence is predominately inflicted by males but not exclusively.

But saying violence is a male problem that must males must ‘fix’ before any other factor is discussed ignores the complexities of the problem.

And saying that ‘men’ must own the problem and deal with it can cause a lot of genuine indignation and anger amongst men who are non-violent – possibly sizable majority of men. If you want to see this try mentioning ‘rape culture’ on Kiwiblog. Some men may use indignation to mask their guilt but others are offended to be blanket included in a problem they abhor.

Many non-violent men and women are not to blame for violence but have a joint societal responsibility to do something about our problems with violence. Kelvin Davis recognises this so is speaking up about the problem, as do others.

Shaming and bullying men (and women) who are not violent into silence or quiet compliance with a ‘men bad, women victims’ approach alienates potential allies in attempts to address our problems with violence. The more voices against violence the better to make it clear to the sizable minority of violent people that it is not acceptable.

It’s a very difficult and touchy topic because many people have physical and psychological scars from violence. However we need to avoid fighting against each other and find ways of working together to reduce violence and the many things that contribute to violence.

Pete George:

As a rule each gender, when under threat resorts to the weapon that lies nearest to hand.

That’s a fair point, but it can get very complicated.

Women should be encouraged and helped to remove themselves and their children from violent relationships and situations (so should men). But threats to remove a father’s rights to have access to his kids has been reported as a weapon too. In some cases threats – or perceptions of threats and this can get complicated in the heat of battle – could escalate into self fulfilling prophesies as tensions and emotions boil over.

It’s complicated, as anyone who has experienced relationship difficulties will know. The other partner is not the only one who has been imperfect. And the weapons (or defences or what you want to call them) either uses can contribute to the conflict.

There’s no excuse to resorting to violence (in general, there are exceptions), but there can be many reasons for it happening.

Five broken things at The Standard

That’s a deliberately misleading attention seeking heading.  I see some broken things at The Standard and have a go at taking them to task, but there are many things that work well there too.

There’s a post at The Standard this morning called Five Broken Things, which is Redlogix’s take in Gareth Morgans book The Big Kahuna:

Morgan identifies five principles that a good tax system would achieve, namely: vertical equity, horizontal equity, individual responsibility, efficiency and adequacy.

It’s an excellent summary and well worth reading – and discussing. Reforming our tax and welfare system would be a huge undertaking and no party currently puts much priority on giving this serious consideration. They should.

Thats boquet number one. And number two – Colonial Viper is one of the most prolific commenters at The Standard (when Clare Curran doesn’t gag him).

Colonial Viper is generally quite left wing, having some ‘interesting’ ideas on politics and policies. He has posted the first comment on Five Broken Things and demonstrates an empathy beyond the ‘left good, right bad’ that is very common at The Standard. He provides more reasoned balance to something Redlogix said:

“While locally there is the story of a farmer who owned properties worth tens of millions presenting a Community Services Card. The left has long denounced this kind of gross unfairness.”

You’ll find that a lot of National voters absolutely hate situations like this with a vengeance too, and would support it being stamped out asap. A typical example would be a corporate manager on a good salary, say $150K pa, putting two kids through university, and having to put in a substantial sum of money for both childrens week to week expenses flatting in another town.

Yet his farmer mate, whom he knows is considerably better off than him in both wealth and income, well the farmers kids get $1600 in student allowances per month in total, while his own kids get zip.

He’s right, many people across the political spectrum get pissed off at people who take advantage of loopholes in benefit and allowances systems and act selfishly against the principles of those systems and against principles of a decent society.

I doubt we can come up with a revamped tax and benefit system that won’t be abused by some people, but we should at least try and make it much simpler and better than it is now.

Redlogix – not

Another post on anonymity and media (by Redlogix) at The Standard that seems somewhat illogical – Media Medicine.

One stark contradiction is that while journalists and media pundits love hurling the ‘cowardly anonymous blogger’ line at us; while they themselves zealously guard the anonymity of their own sources whenever it suits them.

And their papers routinely publish thundering right-wing editorial pieces without names attached. They cannot have it both ways; they cannot belittle and discredit bloggers for not using ‘real names’, while they themselves uncritically resort to the same. It’s a remarkable blind-spot.

This is a common defence of online anonymity – “if they do it we should be able to too”. But Redlogix ignores majors differences.

Newspapers are businesses that have to stay financially viable, which means maintaining readership and income. To do this they have to maintain a reputation.

Journalists are employees, and have to maintain standards to keep their careers.

Newspapers are heavily edited. They don’t realtime abusive rants and attacks, even in their online comments.

In contrast blogs are usually part time hobbies. Blog authors and commenters can come and go as they please using as many blogs and identities as they wish. They can hit and run. They can assassinate a character and disappear unnoticed into their day to day lives.

It’s a remarkable blind-spot

Redlogix has one of those him (or her) self.

They go on to suggest…

There is no reason why political journalists should not be required to reveal and name ALL of their sources. If you want to quote a politician, someone elected to Parliament to serve New Zealand, then you have to name them. No more ‘off-the-record’ or nameless ‘senior sources’.

…and more. Good grief, bloggers don’t reveal their own identities, many don’t even reveal what relevant groups, parties or organisations they associate with yet, journalists should reveal absolutely everything?

That’s a huge double standard.

The Press Gallery are accorded by convention special privileges, protections and access us ordinary bloggers don’t have, yet increasingly it’s obvious that as a whole we’re doing the better job.

Wow, really? I have far more respect for information and opinion delivered by Colin James, Fran O’Sullivan, Vernon Small  or Felix Marwick than I do of Redlogix, Eddie or Zetetic (they can be interesting and informative but…). Apart from anonymity it’s impossible to be sure what you are dealing with – my guess is that Redlogix is a one person pseudonym but the last two are highly debatable. Actually more than that, multiple people, one slush pseudonym is not only allowed at The Standard, it is a core part of it’s operation.

Authors and commenters have been rightly been far more noticed lately, but especially with the attitude and practices comonat The Standard it is a long way from competing for credibility with the traditional media and journalists.

Related posts:

RedLogix and pushing buttons

RedLogix started a bit of a kerfluffle at The Standard with what he later admitted to be a deliberately inflammatory comment. His explanation made some good points about pushing buttons (although he got it wrong about who’s buttons were actually pushed).

16 July 2012 at 9:10 pm

Now you find my comment inflammatory and offensive … and yes on face value, this is true. Mea culpa. It was deliberately constructed to push Pakeha buttons. But also you now have some sense of how Maori feel when WE push THEIR buttons.

Most commenters didn’t find the comment inflammatory and offensive – until I pushed a button they didn’t react at all. But when I pushed a button all hell broke loose, that storm carried through the next two days on progressing threads and resulted in me being banned.

It’s significant that the explanation that RedLogix posted got one response, and that was questioned by one other commenter. Why was there so little interest? Was it due to embarrassment at being caught out flying off the wrong handle, and not wanting to be seen changing course?

Or that there is little interest in serious discussion. Are most there for war games and don’t care about anything worth debating?

I thought RedLogix’s explanation raised some very interesting and important points, and I would have discussed them, but by then I was banned. But it was good I remained out of that, because it continued the experiment, albeit not as intended.

The majority of commenters had little interest in the actual topic. They simply used it as an excuse to attack.

So, it started when one person posted what they admitted was ‘deliberately constructed’ and was ‘inflammatory and offensive’. They were patted on the back, and then their wider point was virtually ignored.

I posted a deliberately constructed response – opposing something that was ‘inflammatory and offensive’ – and was mob mugged and run out of town.

If I had posted the original comment instead of RedLogix what would the reaction have been? One has the protection of blog moderation, and the other has blog ‘moderation’ actively supporting ongoing prejudice, including vicious attacks.

Blog moderation is still justifying their stance:

[Bunji: he’s on a week’s ban for misrepresenting an author]

But the author hasn’t said they have been misrepresented. I could show many examples of me being misrepresented.

Plenty of ironies in an experiment on pushing buttons and blog behaviour.

So far they have been, by and large, pretty patient and generous about the whole deal. So all things considered you may want to think about how they might feel about constantly having their buttons being pushed.

We know you don’t PG.

I think I know more about button pushing and prejudices than RedLogix is prepared to give me credit for (and not just from my experiences at The Standard).

And if the usual suspects from The Standard read this they will, if true to form, say this is a moan and whinge post. What they seem blind to is they do most of the the moaning and whinging. What this experiment has shown is that moan and whinge – and worse, raising that to frenzied attacks on targets – is a favourite pastime of commenters at The Standard. And authors. And actively supported by the moderators.

It must be The Standard they want.


This isn’t satire, but it is

RedLogix posted this at The Standard on Sunday night. I’ll quote it here in full, some people seem to think that posting a complete paragraph is “out of context”.

RedLogix 4.1.1
15 July 2012 at 6:17 pm

Maori are in effect via article two of the Treaty of Waitangi the only legitimate source of the granting of any consent to use any water from the rivers and lakes in their possession at the point of the signing of that treaty….

And all other land and resources in this country.

All you filthy colonising white maggot scum can crawl back to the slums you came from now.

(Maybe I should add a tag to this one, but for the life of me I can’t think which one…)

I responded, and that started ‘a bit of discussion’ that resulted in the target of abuse copping another ban on the chin. And in the meantime, RedLogix came back to explain his post:

16 July 2012 at 9:10 pm

Oh dear … I’ve been too busy with work to keep track of this.

First of all it was not really satire. Not even irony. It was simply meant to provoke a thought experiment.

So far you can tell from the Maori reaction to this whole issue that they find John Key’s position pretty inflammatory and offensive. (As they did when Helen Clark was pushed into making a similar mistake over the Seabed and Foreshore… the difference this time of course is that Key has pretty much dug this hole all by himself.)

Now you find my comment inflammatory and offensive … and yes on face value, this is true. Mea culpa. It was deliberately constructed to push Pakeha buttons. But also you now have some sense of how Maori feel when WE push THEIR buttons.

However I carefully added another sentence which everyone else has understood as a great big fat clue as to my actual intent.

And I should add that stripped of the offensiveness, there remains a core of truth. Like it or not the Treaty more or less reads that the iwi are indeed the legal ‘owners’ of all resources in this land. That’s what we signed up to for better or worse. Of course what Maori meant by ‘ownership’ and what Pakeha mean by the same word have two rather different meanings and connotations.

Up until very recent times Pakeha have been able to exploit their dominant position to interpret this ‘ownership’ word as suited us. Which has consistently turned out pretty much the worse for Maori.

Now the tables are turning and by adopting our own tactics Maori are forcing us to re-examine this cosy, convenient arrangement we have made for ourselves. So far they have been, by and large, pretty patient and generous about the whole deal. So all things considered you may want to think about how they might feel about constantly having their buttons being pushed.

We know you don’t PG.

That should clarify quite a bit, especially for those who jumped to conclusions without thinking. The ensuing shitstorm was full of irony and unintentional satire that  continued in my absence through yesterday from here.

RedLogix, I put it to you that I understand more than you give me credit for, and certainly more than some of the participants. You should at the very least acknowledge the part I played in your experiment.