Civil war at The Standard

There has been a civil war amongst authors at The Standard today, escalating to the extent that one moderator has banned another – which is kind of funny to me because both of them were happy to have me banned a week ago for doing nothing but participating civilly.

Censorship on ideological grounds and on personal grounds has been common as long as I have been a Standard watcher but I’ve never seen then turn on each other like this before.

Colonial Viper has been ruffling a few feathers there for a while, especially with his pro-Trump, anti-Clinton stances, and that seems to have got a bit too much for some on top of Trump’s win.

I’m not quite sure how it all came about today but weka’s feathers have waggled more draconially than usual, slapping a ban on fellow author and moderator Te Reo Putake after he clashed with her over a post of his that weka deleted.

It seems to have blown up from about here and went on to:

Te reo putake:

Thanks for destroying the post forever, chief censor weka. TS readers should not have filth like that put in front of them. And on a political blog, too!

What’s the world coming to when sensible right wing posts about why President Pussy is Really a Good Thing can’t be published on a left wing blog without being attacked satirically? I feeling faint just contemplating the horror of it all.

Better to burn a billion books than let people make up their own mind. Better to shoot a few cartoonists than let people smirk at the pompous and the precious having their vanities pricked in print.

Yes, there are some posts that are too tricky for the likes of TS readers. Sadly, there are a few of us who are sufficiently sophisticated to make the big calls. You’re doing wonderful work, weka. Pip pip!

[you are welcome TRP. But seeing as how you have brought this to the front end, let’s just be clear about what has happened today. There are now 6 authors in the back end who are in general agreement that both yourself and CV have been causing serious problems for the site over a long period of time and that something needed to be done about that. At this stage I will leave it to Lynn to explain what action has been taken if he wants to.

I didn’t censor your post, and I didn’t destroy the post forever. I removed the post off the front page until such time as the authors could decide if it was going to cause further problems. A copy of the post was and still is available. No-one thought that post should be published, that’s why it hasn’t been.

Please don’t tell lies about me again, it’s against the site rules to do so. Given that I started the day wanting to write a post about the quake and one about the deep sea oil exploration off the East Coast that is happening as we speak, and instead spent the afternoon running round putting out fires you and CV had set, I’m in no mood to have my time further wasted. We can do better than this. Thanks – weka]

Stephanie Rodgers:

I deleted the most recent version you attempted to post, not weka.

CV’s behaviour has been dealt with through the appropriate channels, which you refuse to engage with. It did not need to have gasoline poured on it, which was the only thing your “satire” was going to achieve.

Te reo putake:

You removed the post. That’s censorship. I have never lied about you. Nobody asked you to censor the post. That was all your own work.

You’ve removed the only extant copy of the post, so for all practical purposes, you have destroyed it.

However, you say a copy exists. I’d like a copy of the post. Can you please email it to me? Thanks.

[I deleted the post after you reinstated it to the front page from its Private status, and I offered a copy of the post in the back end. Banned 2 months for telling further lies about me and wasting moderators time at a time when we have all got more than enough to deal with. I’m not going to hash this out in the front end any further, you still have access to the back end and the authors forum, so you can use that if you want to. – weka]

Lanthanide (who posted a link to an archive copy of the deleted post:

[deleted]

[Two month ban for such flagrant stupidity] – Bill

Te reo putake:

To avoid the wrath of Bill, readers might like to pop over to https://tereoputake.wordpress.com/ where the matter can be discussed without ban hammery consequences.

Cheers, y’all. The Standard is broken. But it can be fixed.

It looks like it could take a lot of fixing given how intent on message control and commenter banning some of those involved are.

Related post and comments: I’m a Muslim, an Immigrant and I voted Trump

Another related post: I’m a Racist, a Hater of Women and a Bigoted Troll. But I didn’t vote Trump. Here’s Why.

This is all quite a sad look for The Standard, but not really surprising considering how they have long established history of moderator supported censorship and personal attack against anyone deemed a risk to their comfy bubble.

If ‘NZ’s leading left blog’ can’t handle some discussion amongst themselves, let alone allowing the free flow of a wide variety of views and inputs, then the left in NZ will continue to find a way to lead.

It appears that Colonial Viper has been “demoted from being an author on this site now” – by the collective he used to be a part of.

No surplus?

Stephanie Rodgers claims that the surplus announced yesterday is not actually a surplus – because, she says, the Government should have spent more so there wouldn’t be a surplus.

There is no surplus

In Year Eight of this National government, the idea of a budget surplus is a joke (and not just because it’s been completely engineered by the catastrophic Auckland housing bubble). They’ve promised it for nearly a decade. They’ve fiddled the books to make the numbers come out OK. They even declared a surplus in the middle of the financial year – that’s how desperate Bill English has been to pretend that everything’s going along just fine in New Zealand.

That shows an alarming lack of understanding of how how a Government budget works, and why the surplus was announced now.

“Finance Minister Bill English has today presented the Crown accounts for the year to June”.

It’s normal to announce financial results a while after the end of the financial year, like about now.

The Government is required to announce crown accounts, even when the timing isn’t too Rodgers’ liking.

The truth is, there is no surplus.

This surplus isn’t a success for our government. It is a sign of their failure. It shows they do not understand what their job is: to look after the people of this country. To govern us – not bean-count.

There is no surplus – not if you care about people more than money.

So Rodgers doesn’t want a surplus because she wants more money spent, probably a lot more money than Crown revenue, which means a deficit. She would probably complain if a deficit was announced at this time of year too.

Blog moderation and hypocrisy

There’s been a bit of a spat on Twitter about lack of moderation at Kiwiblog, with a number of people joining criticism of David Farrar’s hands off approach to moderation.

It’s well known that Kiwiblog comments can at times get very abusive. I’ve commented there a lot in the past and often confronted the worse of the abuse, and have been abused and lied about there quite a lot, sometimes in reactions to confronting them. Several times I reported abuse to DPF, and on one occasion  I had him remove defamatory comments, which he did as soon as I contacted him.

I have also been subjected to a lot of abuse and mob attacks at The Standard, and have been banned from there several times for confronting some of that.

So I was a bit bemused when Stephanie Rodgers joined in put me up alongside Farrar in the Twitter spat.

SRTwitterModeration.jpg

There’s a bunch of irony and hypocrisy in that.

King Kong is a regular abusive figure on NZ blogs. Yet you never see them on mine, because – radical – I moderate them.

Yes she does ‘moderate’. But one person’s moderation can be another person’s message control or even censorship.

Bloggers like DPF and Pete George want to pretend it’s hard to moderate out abuse, and it simply isn’t.

Rodgers has made that up about me. It can be easy to moderate out abuse.

What is difficult is getting the balance right between enabling and allowing free speech and free discussion but minimising abuse and personal attacks.

It can be particularly difficult to keep their own views and disagreements separate from moderation.

Likening my moderation to DPF’s  shows quite a degree of ignorance.

DPF’s moderation is very hands off. He relies on people reporting abuse to him, and rarely engages in comments threads. With the number of comments at Kiwiblog it would be a huge job to vet each one.

I am actively involved in moderation here as much as time allows. I actively discourage abuse and act on it whenever I see fit. It isn’t required often, apart from the occasional burst from individuals, because the regulars here understand my aims and support and help achieving a reasonable balance between robust comment and debate but avoiding personal attacks.

It’s imperfect, and it is hard, nigh on impossible, to please all of the commenters all of the time. But it moderation is a continual effort for improving the commenting environment.

You just have to give a damn about not publishing pointles personal attacks – instead of actively encouraging them.

This looks like blind hypocrisy from Rodgers. As has been noted here in the weekend there was a typical mob attack on me at The Standard in the weekend, starting here.

That not only involved abuse, it was an obvious attempt to discredit, shut down, shout down and get me banned by someone some of the numpties there – a number of familiar names.

And Rodgers joined in. That’s a form of active encouragement.

For people like Rodgers moderation seems to be a tool to shut down comment they disagree with and shut out people they don’t like, but to allow attacks when it suits their prejudices and agendas.

it helps not to nurture a commenter base made entirely of deplorables.

But then who would comment on DPF’s obvious flamebait?

Rodgers seems to be blind to the culture of the commentariat she is a part of at The Standard, where flamebait and deplorable abuse are allowed by moderators like her.

Māori versus the environmental lobby

More on the lack of consultation with Māori, who have existing rights granted under a Treaty of Waitangi settlement, over the proposed Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary, and the reality that environmental groups are willing to put their own ambitions ahead of Māori rights.

And opposition parties.

Stephanie Rodgers has posted on the environmental lobby at Boots Theory and reposted at The Standard, where there are some interesting comments – The Kermadecs and racist environmentalism.

We’re not even arguing about meaningful consultation around establishing the Kermadec sanctuary, we’re talking about ZERO consultation by white politicians who assumed they knew best. National are literally in coalition with the Māori Party but didn’t even pick up the phone to give them a heads-up…

It was handled poorly by the Government initially, and worse since with Environment Minister Nick Smith making more of a mess of it, to the extent that the legislation has been put on hold until it is sorted out.

But Rodgers in particular blasts environmental groups.

This week has been a revelation in the racist imperialism of mainstream (white) environmental organisations.

Problem 2 is the (very Pākehā) environment lobby’s outrage that anyone might stand in the way of an ocean sanctuary. “Think of the planet!” they cry, which is appallingly arrogant coming from the ethnic group which has done the vast majority of screwing up the planet to start with.

We have to take a hard look at how environmental organisations and Pākehā liberalism exploit indigenous culture. When it suits us, we happily draw on the notion of indigenous people being ~more in touch with the land~ and having a ~spiritual connection to nature~ and painting with all the goddamned colours of the wind. When it helps our agenda, we happily retweet the hashtags opposing oil pipelines and trumpet the importance of honouring the Treaty.

But scratch the surface and all the smug superiority is there. We know better; our thinking is more advanced because we care about ~the whole planet~.

It’s very easy to care about the whole planet when you’re on the team who took it by force.

That’s scathing of the “very Pākehā environment lobby”.  Rodgers doesn’t name names, but there has been angst expressed over ex Green leader and now Greenpeace leader Russel Norman’s performance on The Nation in the weekend, where he appeared to see the Sanctuary as sacrosanct and effectively, to hell with Māori ownership of rights.

A press release on Friday:

Environmental Groups support Government on the Kermadec/Rangitāhua Ocean Sanctuary

Representatives of leading environmental groups have reaffirmed their strong support for the proposed Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary.

The groups include Greenpeace, WWF, Forest & Bird, the Environmental Defence Society and Ecologic.

Greenpeace Executive Director Dr Russel Norman said that he backed the Government’s determination to create the Sanctuary in spite of strong resistance from the fishing industry.

“The Kermadec proposal will be the largest ever marine protected area in our jurisdiction. It will have immense ecological benefits, allowing marine life in 15% of our Exclusive Economic Zone to prosper without any form of commercial exploitation,” said Dr Norman.

Which means all fishing rights should be removed.

WWF-New Zealand’s Senior Campaigner, Alex Smith, said that fishing industry lobbyists had consistently opposed the creation of no-take marine reserves so the current opposition was not unexpected.

“New Zealand has obligations under international law to protect the marine environment that surrounds us. The Government is entirely within its rights to create marine protected areas like the Kermadec/Rangitāhua Ocean Sanctuary,” said Mr Smith.

“The Sanctuary is backed by solid science and by 89% of New Zealanders. We urge the fishing industry to break away from its traditional opposition to full marine protection and get behind this initiative.”

That uses the term ‘fishing industry’ and omits the fact that Māori fishing rights are involved.

The Executive Director of Ecologic, long-time environmentalist Guy Salmon, said:

“This is the biggest conservation gain for our oceans in my lifetime and is of international importance,” he said.

“I don’t believe the Sanctuary involves a breach of property rights, and that claim will now be tested in Court.”

That’s a line up of “a very Pākehā environment lobby”.

But it’s not just environmental groups involved. The sanctuary has cross party support, with both Greens and Labour supporting National on it.

From an interview on Waatea News with Te Ohu Kaimoana chair Jamie Tuuta:

“…I think it is important for the Green Party to reflect on their view on the treaty and indigenous rights because it is fair to say if they support the bill in its current form, they are supporting the unilateral extinguishment of Maori rights and interests,” he says.

Normally the Greens put some value on Māori rights and would hate to be seen as “very Pākehā”.

In comments Rodgers again slammed the Government (with some justification)…

There’s nothing “novel” in the government’s approach on this. They announced a major decision affecting a Treaty settlement with zero consultation with the affected parties. Par for the course for European colonisers in New Zealander, really. No one can be surprised that now Māori have a (somewhat) larger voice in the public discourse, they’re raising hell about it.

It is clear racism when Māori are expected to accept “full and final” Treaty settlements, the Government of the day unilaterally changes those settlements, and then all the white folk run around pontificating about “commercial interests” and “gifts to the planet” and “extinction of the moa”.

…but doesn’t mention the Greens. Nor her own Labour Party. Alwyn brought them into the discussion:

  1. Labour take a Maori leaning approach, oppose the sanctuary, and cause a split in the MOU between them and the Green Party. The Green Party can hardly oppose the sanctuary can they?
  2. Labour supports the sanctuary, which was in the policy for the last election, and whip their own Maori MPs into line, thereby showing that Labour don’t really provide any reason for Maori to vote for them.
  3. Alternatively the Labour Party supports the sanctuary and the Maori members of the Labour Party Caucus cross the floor and vote against it.

Then you get the question of why the Maori members are remaining in the Labour Party at all. What do you think the Labour Party are going to do?

It was pointed out that the “Labour position is they support the sanctuary but oppose the process”.  And “that sounds very like their TPP stance and we know how that’s worked for them”. A bob each way politics, opposing the Government but supporting what they want to achieve.

Most people support the Kermadec sanctuary, including the Māori Party (and Māori generally as far as I’m aware).

It’s not just National who should be having a serious look at how they want to progress the sanctuary. Environmental groups and the Greens and Labour may like to have a rethink as well.

If more people get angry how will the world change?

Will getting angry change the world? In some ways it can. There’s been a few angry revolutions that have precipitated major  change. Some of that change has been for the better, eventually. And some to the detriment of the world. The problem with anger is it can work in different ways.

But generally anger isn’t an effective way to change things for the better.

This doesn’t stop some people from trying to talk up anger to promote their politics.

Stephanie Rodgers seems to be often angry online, and she’s just put up an anger promoting post at The Standard – Damn right I’m angry.

In advance of making any points she warns people about telling her to tone things down.

There’s a term: “tone argument”. It refers to the regular pleas directed at feminists, anti-racism activists, indigenous rights activists, trans activists, etc to stop being so aggressive and ask nicely for fundamental human rights and dignity instead ofshouting so much. It’s a derailment, a troll move, a way to undermine and ignore the actual arguments being made.

That’s Stephanie-speak for “don’t argue with me on my post or I’ll shut you up”. Arguments on her post most toe her line or they will  not be tolerated.

The irony is that these voices are already marginalized. Shouting is often the only way to get heard.

Getting heard is not the same as being effective. It’s easy to dismiss angry shouting as angry shouting. I doubt that shouting angrily at politicians in New Zealand has a major record of success.

Stephanie then goes on to detail what politics she’s angry about.

If you’re not angry, you’re not paying attention.

I’m not angry and I think I pay attention as much as Stephanie. I think she means that if you’re not angry like her you’re not paying attention to what she’s angry about.

And when you’re angry, you can change the world.

As I said at the start, anger can change the world, for better and for worse. But most often it’s not a good way to achieve change, especially in New Zealand.

That’s why anger scares them so much.

I don’t know who would be scared by political anger posted at The Standard, at all let alone ‘so much’.

Acting and claiming extremes suggests to me that Stephanie is too intent on expressing anger to listen and observe beyond her bubble of rage.

She even reinforces her bubble by threatening anyone who might dare disagree with her. She doesn’t want to listen to anything but her angry argument.

Anger is ok at times but level headed determination and persistence are likely to be listened to more by those able to change the world to any extent.

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:

‘freedom:

“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

RedLogix:

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!

RedLogix:

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.

weka:

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.

“regardless”

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.

Prentice proves himself wrong, and more

Ok, I know this sort of post bores the hell out of some people but I like to put things like this on record so that next time people like Lynn Prentice try to claim I have lied it’s easy for me to produce proof to the contrary.

And I think it’s useful to challenge and expose the way New Zealand’s standard bearer for the Labour left operates – under a culture of lies and abuse. While it’s on a lesser scale to what Whale Oil was The Standard persistently practices dirty attack politics, promoted and protected by Prentice.

One of the most ridiculous aspects of Prentice’s April Foolish outburst is he proves himself wrong. He says:

So lets see you find evidence to the contrary in previous bans. Go and find any instance on this site where you have been banned where this site got upset at “…being challenged or having alternatives to their controlled message being expressed.”, as opposed to being kicked off for violating an existing rule on our site that you either walked too close to, ignored or disliked.

I already checked while writing the post and there are none. I have provided explanations each time for why you were banned framed in terms of OUR policy. So show me one where that isn’t the case.

I’ve already provided Proof that Prentice is wrong on a past ban, and there’s more examples. He must not have had time yet to post his apology (based on his past record he’s more likely to launch another fact-less rant).

He also proved himself wrong with his latest rant and ban. He posted:

You have consistently lied here and on other blogs about why you were banned. You have been banned from other blogs and then lied about why you were banned. In my opinion, you are a toxic blogger who seems to lie. In all cases you appeared to lie to play the victim.

To give you an incentive – you are banned for a year for lying about this site – unless you can provide one by the end of easter.

Bizarrely with this ban he proves himself wrong. He hasn’t kicked me off “for violating an existing rule on our site that you either walked too close to, ignored or disliked“. He hasn’t referred to anything I have done or said since returning from my previous ban.

He has quoted something I posted last month here on Your NZ that obviously got up his nose as the reason for the ban.

So beware, under Prentice’s new application of his make-them-up-as-he-goes rules if he finds something anywhere in social or mainstream media he doesn’t like he can and will ban someone for it if he chooses. That’s a new level of ridiculous blog moderation, more so than the Cameron Slater/Pete Belt and Martyn Bradbury levels of paranoia at being criticised.

And it’s especially ridiculous because a blog moderator can ban anyone they like any time they like for any reason, it’s their blog, their rules. At least Slater/Belt and Bradbury don’t go to thios amount of bother  to come up with erroneous ‘rule’ breaches as an excuse, they just do it (albeit secretly to not draw attention to their  controlling of their messages).

But wait, there’s more.

All high comment blogs have rules which you expect to follow when you are on those sites. They are there to minimize the amount of work that the moderators have to do. But Pete often doesn’t follow the rules as can be seen in this comment to an author that got him banned.

Thanks for the reminder about your deliberate dishonesty.

And thanks for the opportunities to keep demonstrating your dishonesty. So far you’ve managed to keep that out of your authoring (that’s been promising) but you’ll find it’s difficult to keep the two separate – lying at one level will end up impacting on another.

He attacked one of the new authors directly and personally, which is something that I can do but he is very limited in what he can do. That is against the policy about attacking the site or authors. That policy is in there for a particular reason. It is hard to get authors to write for nothing on a site. So we tend to protect those people who give up their time to do so because this is the authors site.

This relates to Te Reo Putake who is a long time commenter at The Standard, and has a history of persistent lying and abusing and breaking Standard rules with impunity – I can recall Prentice defending his behaviour, typical of his double Standard.

This incident began with a comment from one of TRP’s stalker apprentices, One Anonymous Bloke, who said:

No, I mean none of your false interpretations, Racist George, and I haven’t the slightest inclination to explain it to you.

Why weren’t you at the Pegida rally?

That, as is common with OAB, breaks Standard rules but that’s allowed for some. I replied:

You always seem to duck for cover when challenged to back up your rhetoric. And you’re off topic on this thread.

“Why weren’t you at the Pegida rally?”

Because it was on the other side of the world. I thought even you would have worked out something obvious like that. Why weren’t you at the counter protest?

But I’ve backed Newcastle Unites from here. Have you?

OAB frequently attacks people (not just me) and rarely backs up his attacks with any facts, and as he does here he refuses to support his attacks. This is against the rules but again, usually impunity.

Te Reo Putake joined:

Wow! Only distance prevents racist Pete from marching with the fascists. Thanks for the unintended honesty, schmuck.

And that’s when I responded (as per above), to TRP as a commenter. This was on Open Mike where TRP had no involvement as an author. But he tried to protect himself with author status.

You acknowledge I’m an author, yet you call me a liar. The TS policy is pretty clear about abuse of authors. Would you please withdraw and apologise.

I responded:

I made it clear you’re a liar as a commenter, not as an author and re-emphasise that. A persistent liar that pre-dates your authoring. You can’t hide behind a higher status for your low commenting.

[That is a distinction that I do not recognise. Tone it down – MS]

And so it went on until later lprent stepped in and banned me because I “attacked one of the new authors directly and personally”. Because that long time commenter had attacked me directly and personally. But because that commenter has just become an author his abuse and attacks can’t be confronted.

Back to lprent’s April foolish post where he also said:

But what got him banned was not that directly. It was that he managed to make a whole long comment thread about this purported “dishonesty” and didn’t provide ANY examples. Not one link. No referenced quotes to point to it. Nothing…

OAB and TRP and a number of others contributed significantly to making “a whole long comment thread “. That’s what they frequently do, and they’ve also often then accused me of disrupting threads. Standard practice.

OAB and TRP didn’t provide ANY examples. Not one link. No referenced quotes to point to it. Nothing…

And lprent even acknowledged that TRP had provoked things (a frequently broken Standard rule “we’re not prepared to accept are pointless personal attacks”):

But banned one month only because TRP was winding you up.

While the comments thread now doesn’t show this because moderator comments aren’t time stamped apparently on reflection  lprent later acknowledged:

lprent: It is a valid point. But FFS phrase the responses better. I don’t like cleaning up reaction messes.

Except that it wasn’t a ‘valid point’, it was deliberate pointless personal attack.

After the ban I requested a right of reply, which I was given.

Can I exercise a right of reply?

But I really find it objectionable to see it when the idiot critic (ie you) neither links to an example of whatever they are moaning about nor explains what it is so that I can look at the issue. That is lying by omission in my book – something that in my mind characterises your usual writing style.

I’ve explained here a number of times – and have specifically pointed that it was TRP lying by omission. Which he has continued to do.

He claimed to have quoted me but hadn’t, and then when called on that repeatedly part quoted me, lying by omitting the whole quote.

If you support that sort of tactic from one of your authors then so be it, it’s your blog.

Don’t ever target my authors again with unsubstantiated and unlinked smearing as a tactic. To me that appears to be what you are doing here.

It’s pretty obvious that this began and continued with TRP “with unsubstantiated and unlinked smearing as a tactic” and continuing doing that.

If you don’t allow any response to that sort of tactic you’re being as bad as Bradbury and Slater in the way you censor out things that show up your crap.

That’s a bit sad isn’t it, especially after you claiming the high ground on comment control in your spat with Bradbury.

Yes he wound you up. Complain to me or in general. Don’t target authors personally because I really really need them more than I need you.

FFS. He and others try to wind me up all the time. As if you hadn’t noticed. And then get wound up when I call you on it. You sound wound up now. Tch tch.

The next time that I see you do this kind of deliberate targeting, I will boot you off for a year.

You’re accusing me of deliberate targeting. Very funny. But somehow I suspect you don’t see the joke.

But banned one month only because TRP was winding you up. ]

I’m not questioning that, I’m happy to have a month off. TRP et al with have to find someone else to try and wind up.

Cheers.

[lprent:

As I (think) I probably said. I don’t have time to trace every previous discussion and I lack the ability to read minds remotely. So I look at the comment based what is in it and have a brief look at the conversation around it. Which is why TRP got a public warning and a private discussion about future behaviour. Which is a bit unusual because I generally rap knuckles on authors using the back channels.

It appears that he jumped in and banned me, then had a proper look at it and gave TRP a rap on the knuckles for being at fault. Standard double standard.

But treat authors differently. Link to supporting info when having a go at them because the balance of the moderation shifts for them. I don’t treat them as commentators anymore simply because we need to retain them to write conversation starters for this site. With authors I balance my need to retain authors against ‘fairness’. But the supporting information had better be in the comments I am looking at because I won’t go looking for it. I simply don’t have time with the numbers of comments that flow through here. ]

So commenters need to dot their ‘i’s and cross their ‘t’s with supporting comments and stil get banned but authors can personally attack and then make things up that were demonstrably false – I provided supporting information despite lprent claiming I didn’t.

Now lprent et al can do whatever they like at The Standard. Their blog, their lop-sided rules often ignored rules and double standards.

And I can point this out here, putting the way they operate on record.

And I can also point out that this is a very poor look for the main New Zealand forum representing ‘the Labour left’.

And I’m not the only one pointing out the dogs breakfast of standards at the Labour left Standard led by the mongrel who’s all bark, lprent.

There’s been lengthy and on-going (up to yesterday) examinining the culture at The Standard with no involvement from me, that amongst other things has discussed things like authors abusing their status, imbalance of power and the use of bans – Murray Rawshark was banned much to the consternation of supporters, some of whom have gone on a comments strike for the duration of his ban.

This began on a post Winston takes Northland by author . Murray’s comments from here:

“But unfortunately Winston didn’t tell anyone about his plans to run until very late in the game – a luxury of being a one-man band who doesn’t have pesky party-democratic processes to deal with.”

Yeah, Labour really knows how to work with other parties. Step 1: insult them.

Winston and his party have succeeded in rocking Key, so what does a good Labour social democrat do? Give the credit to Andrew Little. Way to make friends and influence people.

And:

Yeah, it’s not an official party statement. It is however a statement from someone perceived as being aligned with them.

Stephanie’s response/warning:

I am a member, but Murray’s comment is still rather too close to the line about ascribing posts on this site to official Labour statements.

Murray – don’t do that again.

And don’t tell me who I can give credit to. Winston clearly ran a good campaign but he got there with significant help from the Labour (and Green, and probably Mana too) voters of Northland.

Murray responded:

Sorry for having an opinion. I will never ever comment on one of your posts again. Have a nice life. By the way, I didn’t tell you what to do at all. I said what I thought of what you’d done. Also forbidden, I see.

So he voluntarily opted out of commenting any more on any of Stephanie’s posts but was still slapped with a ban.

[Stephanie: You said it two comments above: “Labour really knows how to work with other parties”, referring to my post. I am not the Labour Party, and you’ve commented here long enough to know that there are very simple rules about insinuating that this blog represents Labour. Pretending that you’ve been warned for “having an opinion” is just rubbish. But if you want to be a martyr so badly, take two weeks off.]

A lengthy discussion ensued, and later continued from Murray’s right of reply statement here. The Standard is not a happy place.

The Standard proclaims it is a forum for the Labour left, and most of the named author posts are from Labour party activists, but for some reason they are super sensitive about being seen to be associated with the Labour Party.

The more they make a fuss the more attention they bring to it.

Prentice in particular goes to great lengths to stomp on on any suggestion of any party influence in Standard posts. His super sensitivity is curious, as is their secrecy.

If The Standard openly and honestly promoted Labour Party interests, and if they applied even handed moderation on personal attacks and lies (that would cramp lprent’s style), they could be a great standard bearer for the Labour left.

But they choose to be anal and abusive. That’s a real shame.

Not all of them. Greg Presland and Anthony Robins do the bulk of the author attributed posts their at the moment and they mean well, do a fairly good job usually, and keep clear of most of the dirt. But their credibility is dragged down by the general culture of The Standard. That’s also a shame.

But they choose to operate within the culture and at least tacitly approve of it. Presland gets drawn into the double standards less than he used to still dabbles at times.

Prentice leads from the bottom and a number of other regulars lead frequent often abusive attacks on anyone and anything they disagree with or deem an enemy is some way, under Prentice’s example and protection.

And that’s the impression many casual visitors to The Standard will get of how the Labour left operates.

And as hard as he tries Prentice can’t separate the Labour left and the Labour Party in many people’s impressions.

They keep shitting in their own nest, led by Prentice with his verbal diarrhoea.

(And I’m aware that offering advice like this to The Standard is a ban-able offence – I’ve been banned for it before for doing it at The Standard but new rules of anywhere apply – so lprent may use this as an excuse to slap an extended ban on me. Funny in a sad sort of way.)

Apology to Stephanie

On the previous post Is The Standard “a mouthpiece for Labour”? I criticised The Standard for what I felt was inadequate disclosure statements about the authors. Authors aren’t identified and don’t make disclosures in the site’s ‘About’ or via other menu items.

Some authors sometimes (infrequently) make a disclosure on a post or in comments but if you miss it it can be difficult to find.

One of the authors, Stephanie Rodgers, was not happy with what I posted.

Stephanie Rodgers @stephanierodgrs
LOL Pete George is basically trying to dox the Standard’s authors. Congrats on compiling totally upfront, public information about me, troll

 

Keep spinning, Pete, especially when I DO give disclosure and you magically avoid acknowledging it.

God you’re a sad little liar.
bootstheory.wordpress.com/about/

I cannot be responsible for your inability to use the internet, Pete.

Long story, won’t go into detail but the end result is this – you can find Stephanie’s disclosure when she posts at The Standard.

  1. Find one of her standard posts where she links back to her own blog. I took a while to see this as it’s a link just under the post details:
    Stephanie Standard
  2. If you notice ‘Boots Theory’ and realise it could be is Stephanie’s own blog with a disclosure statement you can click on that.
  3. This is the current home page. I had to search for a while to find her disclosure statement.
    Stephanie Boots Theory
    I searched at the top for ‘About and also at the bottom but couldn’t find it. But I eventually discovered if you click the black square on the left it pops out a side menu which has a link to About on it, which has this Disclosure:

Disclosure statement

All opinions expressed on this blog are my personal views.

 

I work as a communications officer at the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union.  I am a member of the Labour Party and have previously worked for Labour’s team in Parliament as a lowly receptionist.  Nothing on this blog should be construed as a statement made on behalf of any of these organisations.

Apology two – sorry for annoying you and not finding this on my own Stephanie.

I guess your day job as communications officer doesn’t apply in your political world.

I see that you have been a Labour staffer, I’ll update the details on the previous post.

 

Is The Standard “a mouthpiece for Labour”?

Lynn Prentice keeps adamantly denying that his Standard blog is a mouthpiece for Labour. Technically he’s probably correct – but there’s no doubt many mouths of Labour are active at The Standard.

The denials of being very Labour are bizarre. It’s not like Peter three times denying Jesus on one day. It’s more like the twelve disciples denying Jesus throughout the writing of the New Testament.

In a radio interview yesterday Prentice was at best blatantly misleading – see Lynn Prentice on radio on The Standard.

Here’s a list of most of the current and recent Standard authors.

lprent (Lynn Prentice) – Standard trustee, editor, sysop, author  and chief moderator (banner of unwelcome opinions). Prentice is a long time Labour Party member, has often mentioned how much he helped Helen Clark in her Mt Albert electorate, attends Labour conferences but has pledged to vote Green this election. No disclosure on The Standard but this of the “brilliant blogger” is still at The Daily Blog.

lprent (also known as Lynn Prentice) is an ancient geek who fell out of management in the 90′s after getting irritated with accountants and doing an MBA and back into programming. During the process he became involved in real world politics as a reluctant socialist. He hasn’t really emerged from those twin obsessions since.

Lynn Prentice is Editor of The Standard, the largest left wing blog in NZ. Lynn is a brilliant blogger and resides in the high ranking Jedi Knight category. He likes Don McGlashan, a facebook page called Whaleoil Sucks and the Ponsonby Fish and Chips shop.

Currently he programs anti-collision devices in c++, linux, Qt, and touch screens. Since he also acts as the sysop of multi-author blog The Standard, that large left-wing nest of vipers that plague the NZ politicians of all hues. He finds the same predictive algorithms useful in educating the trolls who waste his time. Occasionally he finds time to write the odd blog post on whatever interests him.

Mike Smith – Standard trustee (since 2010) and current author. Retired as “the long standing party secretary of the Labour party in 2009”. Worked as an adviser in David Shearer’s leader’s office up until last year.

mickysavage (Greg Presland) – current author.  Former chair of David Cunliffe’s New Lynn electorate committee and presumably still on the committee. He was the lawyer who set up Cunliffe’s secret trust during the Labour leadership campaign last year.

Bunji – current author and active Labour Party member.

I’m a Labour party member – as I’ve mentioned that – and from my topics, that I’m based in Auckland. That’s further confirmed by the fact that I’ve blogged about Labour conferences in Auckland – which might cause an accurate assumption that I’m actively involved in my local Labour Electorate Committee.

Stephanie Rodgers – current author (also blogs elsewhere). On the Labour campaign team in Ohariu. Communications officer at EPMU.

Stephanie Rodgers is a communicator who lives in Wellington with her partner and two guinea pigs.  One of them was once the Dominion Post’s Pet of the Day (the guinea pigs, not her partner).  She is a communications officer at the EPMU and member of the Labour Party, but blogs in a personal capacity in her own time.  Opinions are her own.

UPDATE: Stephanie was grumpy at me because she has a disclosure statement – but it is on her own blog, not at The Standard. Some of her posts have a link to her blog ‘Boots Theory’ and if find a hidden menu with ‘About’ on it (the black square on the left) she has a different disclosure:

Disclosure statement

All opinions expressed on this blog are my personal views.

I work as a communications officer at the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union.  I am a member of the Labour Party and have previously worked for Labour’s team in Parliament as a lowly receptionist.  Nothing on this blog should be construed as a statement made on behalf of any of these organisations.

Stephanie has been a lowly staffer working for Labour in Parliament but that was before she began as an author at The Standard (which was in February this year, she was working at EPMU last year).

karol – current author (since 2012). Strongly promotes Greens. Previously used the pseudonym ‘carol’. A recent ‘Disclaimer’:

Disclaimer:  My primary political allegiance is to the Left. I am not now, nor ever have been, a member of a political party.  I don’t speak for any party.  I have party voted Green in recent elections, and intend to do so again this election.  I will give my electorate vote to Carmel Sepuloni.

James Henderson – author April 2010 until December 2013. Closely associated with Greens. There have been rumours he was Clint Smith who had authored under the pseudonym ‘Steve Piersen‘ until March 2009 when he went to work in Parliament for Labour.  Smith switched to Greens as media and political adviser (of “Hey Clint’ fame), and then in April this year switched back to work for Labour.

Rocky (previously as Rochelle Rees until 2009) – past author, has just started posting again (last posts before this week were in 2012). Prentice’s niece. Political and animal rights activist. Prentice blogged in 2008:

My niece Rochelle Rees has uncovered some unsavory practices operated by element of the NZ Police directed at peaceful protest groups.

You can read them either by buying the paper, or by these links to articles from Nicky Hager.
Police anti-terror squad spies on protest groups
Who the police were spying on
The activist who turned police informer
How Gilchrist was found out:

Twenty-two-year-old Rochelle Rees got involved in politics as a schoolgirl, determined to do something about issues such as cruelty in battery hen farms.

Since then she has handed out leaflets, been arrested for locking herself to a shop selling clothing made with animal fur from China and made the news during this year’s election campaign for a cheeky “Google bomb” calling John Key “clueless”.

Ben Clark – occasional author.  Labour Party member. Brother of Labour MP David Clark. Stood for Labour in North Shore in 2011 and was 69 on the party list. Not on the 2014 list.

Irish Bill – past author (last post September 2013). Earlier in 2013 Prentice denied – “Labour party member”.In the words of a Tui ad – “Yeah right!” but IrishBill corrected him:

We’re a loose collective at TS. I’ve a policy of keeping myself to myself outside of what I write there but would like to correct a couple of things here. I am a Labour party member (and have been on and off for a long long time) and my call for joining up certainly wasn’t tongue in cheek – having seen what happens when the broader left walks away from the party I’m very keen to see as many lefties as possible sign up now – it’s more important for us to be in the party now than it has been since the dark days of the 80s.

Eddie – author until January this year. Seems to have been strongly connected to one of Labour’s factions – see a post from March last year Labour’s three factions. Many rumours since way back about the identity, notably that it is a pseudonym that has been used by a number of Labour insiders or staffers, both male and female. The name Jennie Michie keeps coming up back a few years. Always denied. From Dim Post in 2009:

It’s rumoured that Eddie, the author of the rumour is a senior Labour comms advisor so if there’s a story to be found here I think it’s that Labour are begging the gallery to start smearing cabinet Ministers.

UPDATE: Eddie and IrishBill from The Standard refute the rumour that Eddie is a comms advisor with the Labour Party.

Comments:

“Eddie is not a comms adviser. You need to quote her job title 100% correct then ask her and Irish to deny it again. That is the game they play.”

“Does anybody actually believe Rob and Jennie when they keep denying who they are via their nom de blogs? Ridiculous.
“Senior EPMU staff member and labour staffer spend all day trying to smear and build mountains from molehills. Quelle surprise.”

“So Eddie aka Jenny Michie senior Labour comms wallah and IrishBill aka Rob Egan, Communications Advisor of the EPMU are getting their nickers in a twist over being outed ? Why don’t they just come out of the closet, it really would be much easier for them in the long run.”

An article on blogging in 2009 got a response from ‘Eddie’ plus a counter claim.

Eddie: Sandra. Sorry that we didn’t get back to you on your email about us commenting for this article. Clinton used to handle the public stuff and he tells me he got your email when he was pulling out of the whole blog scene, forgot to pass on the email.

I’ll take this opportunity to clear up a few things.

The Standard is a broad-Left blog, about half the regular writers support the Greens and the other half Labour. We don’t toe party lines and we’re more likely to write critical articles on the parties of the Left than supporting ones.

You could have found this info on our About page and might be nice if you could edit the text to reflect them, at least noting we dismiss Hooton’s conspiracy theories.

Hooton’s got no evidence of any association with Labour, much less than any of us are paid by them. It’s simple lies from a man who has made a career out of spouting extremist rubbish. How’s his blog doing these days? Oh yeah, it died.

Roger: Eddie at the standard is Jenny Michie who is the communications officer at the labour party. When she says there are no labour party link with the standard that isnt credible.

Zetetic – current occasional author. Obvious Labour/left leanings. Rumoured to be many people including Trevor Mallard (I don’t think that’s credible) or associated with Mallard (feasible). Another denial from Prentice here, this time about Zetetic’s Labour-ness.

I can’t remember Zet ever mentioning unions and his posts that even mention Labour are usually somewhat disdainful. However as he mostly stirs in his posts it is frequently difficult to see the difference. He said he was voting for the Mana party in 2011 (and RAM in 2008).

But Zetetic was quite clear here early last year. In For a February leadership vote

No one in Labour can deny there’s a real issue with internal disunity. Not only is the caucus divided (and more than ever since the Shearer camp’s handling of the conference fallout), but there’s a major breach between the membership and the caucus. Unless this is fixed and we can get the party united we’re looking at another term in opposition after 2014.

Increasingly, people are coming to the view that the only way to heal this rift and unify the party is for caucus to take the leadership issue out to the membership this February so we can put it to bed once and for all. That’s what the conference was about. We wanted to make sure we were never ignored again. We simply want our right to vote, and whatever the outcome is I believe that will settle it.

Nearly all of these authors are proven to have close Labour links or are likely to have close Labour links. There are union links as well which isn’t surprising.

Later in the day on Newstalk ZB ex Labour candidate Josie Pagani named three people including Clint Smith who she says blogged as staffers at The Standard. The other two were Neale Jones (ex EPMU) and Rob Egan.

I’m baffled why Prentice and others keep trying to deny that The Standard is closely associated with Labour.

Sure it may be a group of semi-independent bloggers. But most of them have an obvious strong common interest – Labour.

Why do they try to hide from this? Prentice told blatant mistruths on Radio New Zealand about The Standard and it’s authors.

I would have thought they would be proudly promoting Labour, but they seem embarrassed or afraid of something.

They could be a very effective mouthpiece for Labour but they want to hide in semi-anonymity and denial. It’s bizarre. 

Note: I’ll amend this with any credible corrections or additions. Put in comments or email me at petedgeorge@gmail.com

UPDATE: Duncan Garner writes in Politics is a sleazy business – regardless of who is in power

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

More Labour connections

The Standard re-posts from Polity by Rob Salmond:

Rob has wide experience relevant to public affairs. He has been a Parliamentary adviser to two leaders of New Zealand’s Labour party (Helen Clark, David Shearer), and through Polity continues to work with Labour leader David Cunliffe.

They also re-post from Imperator Fish by Scott Yorke:

My name is Scott Yorke. I’m a lawyer, but this site doesn’t really have anything to do with my day job, because, really, what kind of twisted job would that be if it did?

This blog is my own, and the posts do not represent the opinions of anyone other than me.

Nor does anything on this blog represent legal advice. This is my hobby, not a job. I don’t give out legal advice over the internet.

Disclosure

Yes, I am a bit left leaning. But some of my best friends, etc. etc.

I am also a long-suffering member of the Labour Party. Now you can’t say I didn’t tell you.

Scott is also active in electorate campaigning for Labour.

These are both very good disclosures and they both do some very good posts, but it makes a nonsense of The Standard claiming no Labour input into their blog.