‘Sick’ – Simon Lusk comes out at WO

It was unusual to see two posts from Simon Lusk at Whale Oil yesterday, he has fed content to be posted under ‘Cameron Slater’ for a long time but doesn’t often put his own name to it. This coming out may have been necessitated by  Slater having a break from posting, thought to be due to illness.

The Lusk posts revived attacks against the leadership of Simon Bridges after the Jami-Lee Ross debacle that backfired, probably bolstering bridges’ position as leader for the time being at least. Lusk was trying to stir up National MPs against Bridges.

His attempt at interference probably went down like a cup of cold sick in the National caucus, where it is thought that Lusk, Ross and Slater are politically toxic.

The first post: National’s polling released to caucus today

I think that is a regular part of National’s polling and caucus meetings so is hardly news. Lusk tried to suggest what the internal polling would show, but I would be very surprised if pollster David try to topple Bridges. So I think it is reasonable to assume that Lusk was guessing.

But apart from some of the usual sycophant and sock puppet type responses in comments, Lusk referring to a National MP as ‘sick’ (he repeated it three times) went down like a cup of cold sick at Whale oil.

ExPFC: Ok Simon. I guess maybe I’ve missed something so here goes anyway. Why “sick” Todd?

spanishbride: It is a silly ‘in’ joke. It is a criticism of his taste in something.

Jayar: “Silly” is the word. It’s demeaning and doesn’t seem to be deserved.

Cogito Ergo Sum: Yes, all A bit tiresome Mr Lusk. Riddles don’t add to the story. Neither does constant demeaning of people.

The ‘sick’ label can’t be passed off as a silly joke. Using ‘joke’ as an excuse for smearing name calling is an old trick.

The follow-up post: Polling advice for National MPs

An obvious overt attempt to influence National MPs. And to publicly promote dissent. And an attempt to get to pressure them – “Whaleoil readers should send a link to their local National MP”.

In this post Lusk repeated the ‘sick’ label five times. On this post the WO dissent cranked up straight away:

pisces: Why is he called ‘Sick’ Todd? I was under the impression this site didn’t nicknames etc

I think that nicknames are frowned on at Whale Oil except when Slater/Lusk/SB/Nige want to smear people – a typical double standard.

Terry: The repetition of such a demeaning nickname says much more about Lusk than it does about McClay.

Jayar: Absolutely agree!

Kaimai6: Thought exactly the same. The story could have been told without the use of the demeaning language. A bit pathetic really for a supposed political whizz kid.

The Lusk/Slater playbook is often pathetic, and impotent post ‘Dirty Politics’. Dirty attack politics is increasingly being seen as being as appealing as cold sick.

Talking of sick, Slater seems to have sufficiently recovered from his illness to start commenting again. Since his sudden silence three weeks ago, apparently suffering one or more strokes but not admitted in WO, Slater had posted (in comments) a couple of lame product promotions, but yesterday tried to bolster Lusk’s attacks. Weakly and poorly supported – there was far more support of the criticisms of Lusk.

While it still supports an active (but significantly smaller) community, as an activist attack blog Whale Oil is ailing.

Why has Lusk come out into open smear-mongering now? With Ross sick, and Slater sick, he may have had little option to dish up the cold sick himself.

Whale ill

Cameron Slater has posted at Whale Oil that he is suffering from a debilitating illness – Quick update on my health – it turned out to be not very quick as he responded with details a number of times in comments through the day, and has also commented on it on Facebook.

He says that it is stress related, after a tough year last year.

The stresses of 2016 have come home to roost, and it is something else I can thank Colin Craig and others for.  I’ll make sure I’ll bring this up as one of the outcomes of what happens when a rich angry man uses the courts for personal leverage without any merit to the case.   His last court room encounter with me was thrown out as vexatious before it even went to trial.  So I’m somewhat annoyed my left brain has decided to go all sookie on me and chuck it all in for a bit.

Jokes aside, I’m not in great shape.  I can barely work.  I’m on morphine to keep the worst of the pain at bay.  But you know me, I can still take and make phone calls, and I have a great team I can dictate, direct and delegate to so it is business as usual.

The others at Whale Oil say they are doing more to keep things ticking over on the blog but some are still appearing under the authorship of Slater.

When Slater recovers enough to think things through clearly he should do more than just blame others – it would be an opportune time for him to re-evaluate his approach to blogging.

Many of his old sources seem to have dried up since the ‘Dirty Politics revelations, so continuing to promote himself as a dirty political activist, and promising to get dirtier this year, doesn’t seem a very smart approach.

Slater could be incisive and hard hitting without resorting to murkier dirtier tactics – if he actually tried to be a well informed new media journalist rather than trying to be dirtier and click batier than the old media he keeps criticising he may be able to reinvent Whale Oil as an effective and credible media site.

One problem with Whale Oil is their commitment to half hour posts . This often results in repeats on the same topics, many times on some topics, which either look like fillers, or like promoting an agenda. There are too many petty repeats of whine-posts.

An emphasis on quality rather than quantity would declutter the daily post lists and would probably attract more interest. When skimming 20-30 post titles it’s easy to miss worthwhile posts.

Slater would do well to reassess his approach to blogging. He may not only improve Whale Oil, potentially substantially, but also reduce his stress levels. The latter may be essential if he wants to recover properly and avoid any recurrence of stress induced illness.

A tighter, better focussed and less dirty Whale Oil would be more effective as a media site and also as a political activist site. And it may mean the difference between blog and blogger surviving online or not.

Air travel – no perfect protection against calculated malice

It’s shocking when there’s a major air disaster, despite air travel being one of the safest modes of travel for the majority of us.

It’s especially shocking when one nutter can deliberately cause the deaths of 150 innocent travellers as seems to have happened in the French Alps. It’s been reported that the co-pilot locked the pilot out of the cockpit and then aimed a Germanwings Airbus at the ground.

It’s now also being reported that the co-pilot failed to reveal a sick note to the airline: Co-pilot Lubitz ‘hid illness’

The co-pilot suspected of deliberately crashing a Germanwings airliner into the French Alps hid details of an illness, German prosecutors say.

Torn-up sick notes were found in the homes of Andreas Lubitz, they say, including one for the day of the crash, which killed 150 passengers and crew.

A German hospital confirmed he had been a patient recently but denied reports he had been treated for depression.

And in BBC’s Investigation Latest:

Markus Wahl from the German Pilots Association has been reacting to the news that Mr Lubitz had been issued with a medical note by doctors, but chose not to share it with his employers.

He said: “If a colleague was signed off sick then I have to be very clear, someone with a sick note has no business being in a cockpit. He should have stayed home. I cannot comprehend that.”

Preventing pilots from ignoring regulations and protocols is very difficult, pretty much impossible.

The same report asks “Could the Germanwings crash have been avoided? James Fallows, at The Atlantic, says probably not”.

He reflects on the problem of cockpits that have to be impregnable yet accessible in emergencies – an “unavoidable dilemma” – and he questions whether better screening is necessarily the answer.

“This is a terrible episode, all the worse-seeming because it was intentional. But even as we absorb its horror and extend deep sympathies, it is worth resisting the temptation to think that some new regulation or device can offer perfect protection against calculated malice. Unfortunately, none can.”

There will always be risks with flying – small risks, but unavoidable risks. Checking the mental state of every pilot before every flight would be totally impractical, and not infallible.

Flying is a risk that most of us will survive.

Living is a risk that eventually none of us will survive. It’s sad when lives end ‘prematurely’ but unfortunately shit happens.

There’s no perfect protection against calculated malice.

There’s no perfect protection.