Blog armies and militia

I don’t know if whale Oil does their ‘Whale army’ thing much any more but they included a reference in The Whaleoil Dictionary last year:

Oilers One of a number of names for WO readers, followers and fans. (Alternates: Whale Army and Ground Crew)

Earlier last year in A winning strategy for social justice warriors:

Milo Yiannopoulos, who reminds me so much of a gay, fashionable, fabulous version of Cameron (he doesn’t have a Whale army but he talks about the Milo army)…

Is organising an army of helpers a Breitbart thing?

The Daily Bog is trying something similar, but of course needed a different name – Don’t forget to join our social media militia and spread the views this election

Comrades, as the Daily Blog gears up to cover the 2017 NZ Election, we want to send out a reminder for you to join us on our social media platforms, Facebook and Twitter so that you are able to share and retweet blogs you want to spread.

Please join us today to keep up to date with the election this year.

Cheers

TDB crew

Does this mean war between the WO Ground Crew and the TDB crew? Perhaps fighting amongst themselves is all they have left, they have both become toxic to parties and their campaigns.

Like WO The Daily Blog claims to be an alternative to traditional media but are looking more like political activists.

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Bitter Bomber bums out

In wonder if Santa might have given the Bradbury house a miss, the turkey was burned, the sherry was drunk before it made it into the trifle and the sauce was made with imitation brandy.

Or the Boxing Day sales were a disappointment.

Whatever, Martyn Bradbury has had a bitter look back to last year in 2016 Daily Blog Media & News Awards.

In a year where the Mainstream Corporate Media screamed about ‘fake news’ while drowning us in clickbait bullshit, we salute, cajole and crap on those we loved, respected and hated in the 2016 NZ media sphere.

‘Crap on’ sums the predominate sentiment. Bradbury hands out some praise, but this is overshadowed by his bitter tirades against a number of journalists and media.

On Heather du Plessis-Allan:

God she’s awful. Everything she touches seems to turn to shit and her weird desire to throw dear old Duncan Garner and TV3 under the bus in her last interview was so unprofessional.

On ‘the media’:

It’s shit like this that makes us despise the corporate mainstream media.

A curse and plague on all their news rooms.

On Mike Hosking:

I fucking hate this sanctimonious prick with all my soul.

A curse on Mike Hosking and all those who follow him.

On Wellington Radio NZ Staff:

Never before has such a tiny clique in Wellington managed to alienate so many other NZers quite like the Wellington PSA comms team, and this award commemorates their counter-productive intellectual wankery.

On Stuff:

No one cares about the comments policy for a junk news site except the junk news site.

In a year when these corporate media screamed ‘fake news’ there can be nothing more ‘fake news’ than the opinions of Stuff readers masquerading as actual news. A curse on their ‘news’.

On NZME and Fairfax:

…I think it was because those members of the Commission are actual news consumers themselves and had seen the brain draining stupidity of the click bait bullshit both media empires were vomiting out daily this year.

On Story:

It should have been Seven Sharp because no one does vacuous bullshit quite like Seven Sharp, but it has to be Story because this abomination stunk so bad TV3 had to kill it off.

They ended up copying our Friday night panel show except ours was actually funny. Waatea 5th Estate managed to out trend Story on Twitter every week we were on air. If a show with the tiny budget we had could out trend TV3’s main flag ship current affairs show, you know they had a problem. Good riddance to bad rubbish.

On Breakfast:

Quite simply the worst pairing of anyone ever. Drinking goes with driving better than Jack and Hillary.

I have no idea who this show is actually supposed to be for. Coma patients? People with severe behavioural issues? The exceptionally stupid? Who the fuck are these people who would actively watch something so stupid? Closing my hand in a car door is preferable to listening to the infantile banter of these people.

Who sounds infantile?

On The Nation:

You would have hoped with Tim Watkin leaving that The Nation would have branched out and included people that Watkin’s had blacklisted, but no,m the same stale faces voicing the same stale opinions. How the Christ does this show manage to get a  million from NZ on Air each year?

By making a better case than Bradbury and Waatea Fifth Estate?

On the Transport Blog:

Transport Blog is the best promotional blog  for Auckland Transport that Auckland Transport could ever wish for. One of the most corrupt agencies in NZ manages to keep conning the good people of Auckland, here’s to their initiative and Machiavellian genius.

On The Spinoff:

Russell Brown called The Spinoff the future of journalism this year. Let’s all put a gun in our collective mouths and pull the fucking trigger if that’s true.

On Michelle Boag and Matthew Hooton:

Anything these two vipers have to say are infected with self interest. They are both as charitable as cancer and as unbiased as Russian State media. I would cross the road to spit on them.

It’s more than a bit ironic that Bradbury accuses them of bias.  Spitting this sort of vitriol is very poor from Bradbury.

Duncan Brown got a comment through moderation:

That is just disgusting and severely reduces any merit your post might otherwise have had. Please consider retracting.

No retraction, just a response from ‘Blake’:

Duncan – freedom of speech is our right and our privilege.
If you feel offended, then go read the MSM and get mostly superficial fluff and more fake news and often lies and little or no ability to comment hence limiting FREEDOM OF SPEECH.

The ‘MSM’ (which comprises a range of companies and organisations) is of very mixed quality, but I haven’t seen anything as bad as this slanted and shitty tirade dressed up as awards on The Daily Blog, in which a bitter Bomber bums out.

And he wonders why NZ on Air turned down his funding application?

Bradbury appears to have alienated himself from just every political party and movement, and here he is demonstrating how offside he is with any media that he doesn’t like, which seems to be most.

Bradbury might have nice relaxing break and comes back refreshed and positive, leaving all this bitterness in 2016 – but he might find it increasingly difficult to be taken seriously. He has burned a lot of collaboration bridges.

 

Blogger of the year

Political blogs in New Zealand serve as a useful enough niche in discussions on democratic matters but are waning in influence and newsworthiness.This is largely due to the growing dominance of Facebook as a forum for just about everything, but is also an effect of ‘Dirty Politics’ on the two largest blogs.

Twitter has it’s uses in monitoring news, and views of the news writers, but as a forum it is also diminishing in importance. It has been tainted by misguided and often bitter social crusaders with too much bashing of anyone with different views.

Kiwiblog still chugs along as one of the biggest and most worthwhile blogs to watch. David Farrar was rocked by ‘Dirty Politics’ but kept going and is still a knowledgeable and very well informed political commentator. He is trashed by some on the left because he is closely associated with National but gives some good insights into the Government without being a yes man, he is prepared to criticise his own side and praise opponents albeit with an obvious preference overall.

Amongst the daily noise there are some good comments and a number of commenters are worth watching out for.

The Standard has had a difficult year, with internal divisions causing more than a few problems, and a couple of long serving and prominent authors/commenters being banned over differences. While it there are still strong Labour connections there is a growing influence – often negative – of Green supporters, active in effectively censoring The Standard by shutting out and driving away views and people deemed unwelcome.

There are some commenters worth watching out for but there is a lot of repeat bleating and unrealistic idealism.

The Daily Blog has waned. A lot of effort and resource went into Waatea Fifth Estate which was designed as a great alternative to the struggling traditional media, but failed to get repeat funding for next year -it was interesting at times but didn’t build an audience. Some posts are good but the messy site design and too many rants and ridiculously slanted assertions from Martyn Bradbury detract from overall credibility.

Commenters have been heavily filtered since the beginning a The Daily Blog, with Bradbury’s  lack of confidence in his arguments resulting in him protecting them from examination, so the comments threads are rarely of much value.

Whale Oil is still the biggest blog stats-wise, mainly due to having by far the most daily posts (25 yesterday), by many of these are fillers and click bait. Slater sometimes has some fresh and breaking content but not much these days, and tends to bang on about a few topics repeatedly. Insider sources have diminished markedly. He also now relies a lot on other media content, ironically heavily criticising that same media for being past it and irrelevant.

The commenting community is still very active despite major purges in 2014 in particular but you have search for good content, which can be tedious with the often very slow Discus system.

On blog comments – while Whale Oil keeps conquering the click stats their number of comments gives a better idea of comparative interest, with most posts getting few if any comments. There are often as many comments per day at Kiwiblog, and The Standard usually isn’t far off in comment numbers either (but not the last few days).

Public Address sometimes has some very good posts – Legal Beagle is always worth looking out for and  Russell Brown’s posts on drugs are worthwhile – but they are barely daily so it’s more of a magazine style blog. Comment numbers are spasmodic.

The Pundit is still there but only has the occasional post. Andrew Geddis is always worth checking out but otherwise, from a 16 strong line up of authors there isn’t much content, with only 9 posts this month.

No Right Turn is worth keeping an eye on but with no commenting allowed it lacks community and variety.

Blogger of the Year

For me there has been a stand out political blogger in New Zealand this year – Danyl at Dim-Post.

Dim-Post evolved from a semi-satirical site with an interest in literature into political activism to an extent in 2015. Danyl helped James Shaw in his campaign to take over Russel Norman’s co-leadership of the Green Party, and became a part of the Green campaign committee.

But this year, especially in the second half, Danyl has done something unusual for a political blogger – he has been prepared to examine his own political views and critique his own side, the left, with some very good insights and challenges. He has also been prepared to look across the political spectrum and mix criticism with praise and acknowledge positives with the current Government.

It’s rarely refreshing to see someone involved in politics prepared to break out of the bubble and look at the bigger pictures, even when they are not painting what they prefer to see.

Comments are also often worth skimming through as there are some good contributions there.

For a sort of a lefty Danyl is notably different to the idealists with entrenched views and no tolerance for alternative views.

Some of Danyl’s thought provoking recent posts – if you have spare time over the holidays it could be interesting to revisit these posts and comments.

I think Key’s tendency to blow with the wind has more to do with political expediency than intellectual honesty, and I said so. But I agree that the ability to change your mind is an important trait, and since then I’ve been trying to think of recent instances in which I’ve changed my mind on political issues, and I couldn’t really think of any, which worried me a bit.

I guess I know what twitter and all of the Green and Labour Party MPs have been talking about today. This poll conducted by a Feminist charity in the UK is a pretty typical example of the various surveys about public attitudes to feminism (I’m not aware of any similar work in NZ). Most people will say they believe in gender equality but very few people will self-describe themselves as feminist.

I’m not a fancy media strategist etc but when you’re twenty points behind in the polls and there’s a huge, unpredicted political change, probably not that smart to go around saying ‘nothing has changed.’

One of Key’s strengths was an apparent indifference towards his government’s policy agenda. There were no bottom lines, no hills to die on. With the exception of major natural and financial disasters, everything else in the country was pretty much fine as it was but could be changed, preferably slightly, if the public mood seemed to call for it. ‘We think we’ve got the mix about right,’ was Key’s first response to any problem. It gave him enormous flexibility, and he’s leaving his office with popularity and political capital unmatched by any other Prime Minister.

A series on Marxism:

The Standard has one of those ‘Maybe Marx was right‘ posts you see a lot on the left nowadays, linking to a column in the Guardian suggesting the same thing. Reading the Trotsky biography I’ve mentioned on here before has lead me to a lot of secondary reading about Marx and Marxism, and my half-informed take is that Marx was right about some things but very wrong about other, very major things, and his total wrongness on those major things hasn’t yet sunk in for the radical left, which is a source of a lot of their failure and irrelevance. I want to talk about one of the wrong things.

One of Marx’s big ideas was that history operates according to scientific laws. This was a much more sophisticated way to think about history than people back then were used to. A lot of intellectuals thought that history was shaped by a ‘world spirit’, viz Hegel. Most normal people – In Europe, at least – thought the Judeo-Christian God made everything happen. Most historians thought that ‘great men’ shaped history. The idea that technological and economic change and other materialist factors drove history was, well, revolutionary.

Yesterday a few people asked me why on earth I wrote a long confused rant about Marxism. Like, what does that even have to do with anything that’s happening in the real world? Possibly nothing, increasingly so, but I think it’s relevant to some of what’s happening on the left. The post is a culmination of stuff I’ve been thinking about for a while.

When I wrote my screed about Marxism one of my fears was that Scott Hamilton would show up and tear it to pieces. Happily he has not done this, instead he directed me to this post he wrote a few months ago also critiquing the base-superstructure model.

Giovanni Tiso has written a post about Why he is a Marxist.

I like forums that challenge norms, that provoke thought and encourage discussion. It’s lacking in the big blogs. I think that Danyl has done this better than anyone this year.

Clark on RM poll

The December Roy Morgan poll had National down 4.5to 45%, and Labour up 5.5 to 28%. These weren’t out of the ordinary movements but were predictably heralded by left wing blogs.

The Daily Blog: LATEST POLL SHOCK: National plummet to 45% Labour-Green jump to 43%

National have suffered a shock drop of 4.5% and Labour-Greens have jumped up 5.5% in the latest Roy Morgan Poll…

Typical exaggeration from Martyn Bradbury. It would be more shocking if RM polls stayed consistent.

The question as to whether or not National would retain its popularity post Key looks like it is getting answered.

That question hasn’t been answered at all by this poll.

The Standard: Nats take a plunge on the Roy Morgan roundabout

The erratic Roy Morgan poll has swung around again, Nats down 4.5% to 45% and Labour/ Greens up up 5.5% to 43%. Worryingly for the B-team, government confidence fell a “whopping” 10 points.

Less over the top but it was hardly a plunge, given that National was 42.5% in April,  43% in May and 41.5% in September (and swung to 48% in October and 49.5% in November).

This sort of over-excitement is  to be expected from them, just as silence from them is the norm if polls move against them.

But Labour MP David Clark posted this on Facebook:

It has been an unusual political year. I wonder how much conflict within National’s ranks will cost them in next year’s election? Events like the frightened withdrawal in Mt Albert, the challenge to Todd Barclay, Jonathan Coleman’s unquenched ambition, and English’s early missteps in getting rid of broadcasting and housing portfolios – may have contributed to the sharp drop in the first public poll. Or is it just that people everywhere have decided it is time for a change?

Is Clark just trying to spin a line to his fan club or does he actually believe any of this?

The RM polling was actually being done (November 28-December 11) during the period that John Key resigned, Bill English was chosen as Prime Minister. English appointed his ministers and advised National wouldn’t stand a candidate in Mt Albert until after the polling period had finished.

Relative to normal poll fluctuations it wasn’t a ‘sharp drop’. The RM movements for National this year have been:

+1.5, -2.5, -3.5, +3, -2.5, +10, -7, -4.5, +6.5, +1.5, -4.5

National’s RM average over the year is 46.3%, well within the margin of error, so they haven’t finished far off that.

I hope Clark was just spinning a line. Otherwise his ignorance is alarming.

And also quite sad is Clark, The Standard and Bradbury seeming to accept Labour closing the year on 28.5% without concern.

Labour have only twice this year topped this, with 29.5% in May and 33.5% in September. For the rest of the year they have received 27.5, 27, 28, 26, 28, 25.5, 26.5, 23.

Labour have averaged 27.4% over the year and have closed just above that, which is similar to where they were leading into the 2014 election where they dropped to their lowest result for a long time at 25.13%

It will take several polls in the new year (and more than just the swinging Roy Morgan) to get a reasonable idea how party support is going  are doing under English’s leadership.

To look like a strong lead party Labour really need to get up to 35-40% at least by next year’s election, otherwise at best they will have to share power with Greens and probably New Zealand First.

Daily Blog and Whale Oil

Some tweets on Whale Oil and The Daily Blog from @JJPalethorpe :

I don’t think WO or TDB are hard-left or hardright. They’re conservative and nasty, but not exactly centres of political thought.

They are closer to extremes of thought and attempted activism.

They both use similar language in order to ‘tell the real story’ but what that consists of appears to be just ‘Don’t trust anything but us’

Using either as a regular, reliable source of information or informed commentary seems bizarre because neither offers anything of the sort.

They are both more vested interest promoters rather than informed commentary, but both do at times provide some useful information and some interesting insights (often inadvertently).

The immense bitterness shown by both towards any other platforms providing what they purport to shows that they’re in it for survival first.

Whale Oil in particular relies on a lot of content from media that they also condemn as out of touch and past their use-by date.

What doesn’t help either is that both have suffered a significant disintegration of relationship with those who offer exclusive information.

In WO’s case, it’s pretty obvious he’s not ‘in’ any more when it matters. With TDB it’s subtler, but it’s there. Both are becoming bunkers.

Yes, both have proven to be less than helpful to parties so have become toxic to sources.

Because neither are ‘in’ any more and aren’t trusted with inside information they are left making speculatory predictions and rants as observers left out of the play.

is right, they’re both low-rent Breitbarts. Although I’d put both of them closer to the Andrew Breitbart’s editorial spell.

That’s a warning. The places where the increasingly hysterical tone is equalled by a disconnect of factual info, is where bad stuff starts.

Slater in particular has tried to model himself in Breitbart, but that has proven far less successful in New Zealand than it did in the US.  New Zealand is probably too small to get away with the same level of blatant misinformation spreading.

The attack when under fire strategy hasn’t worked so well here either – Slater has had a bit of legal success against Colin Craig but that’s a skirmish on the sidelines. Both Slater and Bradbury have been sidelined by their own antics and actions.

But places of political thought? Nah. They’ve got volume and amplitiude. But don’t confuse noisy with important. That’s not how it works.

It seems that neither Slater nor Bradbury get that yet. Slater still seems to think that more of the same will somehow work – see Slater promises more dirty politics.

Bradbury has just lamented losing NZ on Air funding for Waatea Fifth Estate. This was supposed to be a new era in political media. While it was at times interesting Bradbury was so loudly slanted he condemned it to an unbalanced niche.

In summary, if someone tells you not to trust the MSM while asking you to trust them instead, scrutinise them hard out. That’s the lesson.

I think most have learnt that WO/Slater and TDB/Bradbury are more self-sidelined curiosities than serious players in New Zealand politics.

They often look full of their self importance but that’s more a sign of a lack of confidence. I’m not sure if they try to fool themselves or others.

Interestingly they are both reliant on fund raising, far more than any other non-mainstream media. And going into a quiet month they are both busy appealing.

TDB Christmas Contributions drive – please donate if you believe we need a counter media and an update on funding

Comrades, it’s that time of the month when we put out our begging bowl and ask you our dear readers to contribute cash if you believe the NZ media landscape desperately needs a counter voice. This project of a blog takes up an immense amount of time and it costs us to bring it to you.

We have a large drop off in revenue over Summer from adverts and we really want to be in a serious position for the election in 2017 to challenge what will be a vicious propaganda war to see who will lead our Country. If you see how important it is that we have a much broader voice than the mainstream media are providing, we need you our readers and supporters to help us do that.

A ‘broader voice than the mainstream media’? Who is Bradbury trying to kid. He wants to promote his narrow ideology to a large audience, but he’s dreaming.  He closes the post with “In solidarity comrades” and this Christmas party image:

dontbesadletspartycomrades_97cb8fc587956cab48c97d0af23836e3

Not very broad for the 21st century.

Over at Whale Oil the victim card is being played:

Want to make Whaleoil bullet-proof and stand up against those that want us shut down?  Click here to subscribe to ad-free Whaleoil for less than 30 cents a day.+

If you go to Why you should subscribe to Whaleoil: Reason five you have to somehow work things out from this:

wosubscribe

Good luck with that.

WO and TDB are useful niches for some people but the reality is that online information and discussion is very fragmented and there’s no way of being a dominant presence beyond the likes of Facebook and Twitter.

 

 

Debating Castro’s legacy

There have been contrasting responses to the news of the death of Fidel Castro. A hero who stood up to the US, or a brutal dictator? Both.

Wikipedia:

Castro is a controversial and divisive world figure.

He is decorated with various international awards, and his supporters laud him as a champion of socialism and anti-imperialism whose revolutionary regime secured Cuba’s independence from American imperialism.

Conversely, critics view him as a totalitarian dictator whose administration oversaw multiple human-rights abuses, an exodus of more than one million Cubans, and the impoverishment of the country’s economy.

Through his actions and his writings he has significantly influenced the politics of various individuals and groups across the world.

In Browning can’t understand why Cuban exiles are celebrating Castro’s death David Farrar points out  a Facebook comment of Green MP Stefan Browning.

I’m saddened by the death of Fidel Castro. He represented so significantly the battle against the worst of the forces of capitalist greed and the tyranny of oppression by the USA industrial military complex. Cuba has problems but its achievements and humanitarian reach have been significant too, especially considering the blockades and measures against it. I was disappointed by this Stuff announcement that has so much about those celebrating Fidel’s passing, when millions will be mourning.

Fans of socialism have turned a blind eye to some appalling un-democratic, authoritarian and brutal leaders.

Farrar comments:

I’m saddened by the fact an MP who has never had to live under an authoritarian dictatorship praises it so much and can’t understand who the hundreds of thousands who actually lived under it despised it.

Castro imprisoned gays, killed political opponents, tortured prisoners, censored the Internet, banned trade unions, made strikes illegal etc etc. But because he was an enemey of the US, Browning thinks he was a great guy.

Browning is attracting huge negative feedback on his Facebook page for his tears of sadness at the death of an authoritarian dictator.

Even on the left there has been a very mixed reaction to Castro’s death.

The Standard: Fidel Castro has died

Cuba is a unique place with some weaknesses and problems but with other features that are outstanding.

RIP Fidel Castro.

That was under the authorship of ‘Notices and Features’ so someone chose not to put their own name to it. There was some support and also harsh criticism of Castro’s legacy.

Martyn Bradbury: Rest in Revolution Fidel Castro

2016 has been a shit year, and it continues to find ways to keep killing off all my heroes, this time 2016 has managed to wrestle life from the Godfather of the Revolution, Fidel Castro…

…and the World lost an idea that common people could join together and fight the forces of Capitalism with weapons if need be.

A revolutionary hero just turned up at the pearly gates demanding a meeting with the workers – Rest in Revolution Fidel.

That must be the workers Castro didn’t torture or murder. It’s odd that Bradbury should suggest castro has arrived at the ‘pearly gates’ when thought that religious beliefs were backward and viewed the Roman Catholic church as ” a reactionary, pro-capitalist institution” (however Castro ended up organising a visit to Cuba by the Pope in 1998).

Is a Castro type revolution what Bradbury keeps trying to talk up for New Zealand?

Comments at The Daily Blog were also a mix of praise and condemnation.

 

 

 

The Daily Bloggers

The Daily Blog is unusual in how many bloggers/authors they have (most have one or a few).

They have just announced the addition of four more ‘bloggers’:

  • Paralympian Aine Kelly Costello
  • Artist and social commentator LaQuisha St Redfern
  • New Green MP and anti-TPPA campaigner – Barry Coates
  • Arts reviewer – Genevieve McClean

They add to an interesting list of current bloggers:

  • Palestinian rights activist – Leslie Bravery
  • Cannabis reform advocate – Chris Fowlie
  • Human rights, justice and equality activist – Donna Miles-Mojab
  • Environmental activist – Christine Rose
  • Author and political commentator – Chris Trotter
  • Enfant Terrible of NZ First – Curwen Rolinson
  • Head of Pacific Journalism at AUT – Dr David Robie
  •  AUT School of Communication – Dr Wayne Hope
  • Chairman of the Otara-Papatoetoe Community Board – Efeso Collins
  • Investigative Blogger – Frank Macskasy
  • Green Party MP – Gareth Hughes
  • Human Rights Activist and anti-rape campaigner – Jessie Hume
  • Political Activist and Teacher – John Minto
  • Unionist Rights Activist – Kate Davis
  • Former Green Party MP & Human Rights Campaigner – Keith Locke
  • Economist – Keith Rankin
  • Labour Party Candidate and lawyer – Kelly Ellis
  • Homeless rights advocates – Lifewise
  • Labour Party MP – Louisa Wall
  • Political Cartoonist – Malcolm Evans
  • Blogger and Broadcaster – Martyn Bradbury
  • Human Rights Lawyer – Michael Timmins
  • General Secretary of Unite Union – Mike Treen
  • Deputy Mayor of the Auckland Super City – Penny Hulse
  • Public Academic and TPPA campaigner – Prof Jane Kelsey
  • Actor and commentator – Simon Prast
  • Child Poverty Action Group Economist – Susan St John
  • Unionist – Tali Williams
  • The Nomad – The Nomad
  • TV reviewer – Tim Selwyn
  • Wellington Activist – Sam Gribbon
  • Auckland based human rights activist – Siân Robertson
  • Unionist – Joe Carolan
  • Living Wage Campaigner – Annie Newman
  • Labour Party MP – Sue Moroney
  • Sex worker rights advocate – Ruby Joy
  • Co-leader of the Maori Party – Marama Fox
  • Protestor – Josie Butler
  • Prisoner Rights Advocate – Arthur Taylor

However most of them are not daily bloggers, they post occasionally at best.

The Daily Blog has a core of regular authors and the rest pop up every now and then.

Having such a big lineup of authors provides diversity of topics and opinions. This can detract from the personality side of the site, which is something some blogs thrive on.

However the diversity is concentrated on one side of the political spectrum. Their About describes their leanings:

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

The Daily Blog is supported by UNITE, the Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU) and the New Zealand Dairy Workers Union (NZDWU).

The Daily Blog unites over 42 of the country’s leading left-wing commentators and progressive opinion shapers to provide the other side of the story on today’s news, media and political agendas.

‘Opinion shaper’ may be a better description for their moderation, which has tended to filter out opinions that aren’t welcome there.

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

It’s easy to forget about updating your site ‘About’.

With their fairly narrow emphasis on ‘left wing’ and ‘progressive’ they probably don’t do much widening of political debate, as they didn’t do much widening of left-wing and progressive support in the 2014 election.

“Global trends continue to point to blogging and social media as key influencers of mainstream media reporting as well as public opinion. With so much at stake in 2014 we plan to use this online platform to fortify the collective voice of the left and progressive opinions, and enhance the quality of debate across the political spectrum,” says Mr Bradbury.

Some initiatives have been worth trying, like Waatea 5th Estate, they have hardly set the quality of debate on fire on the left let alone across the political spectrum.

Like most blogs The Daily Blog caters for a useful niche in political discourse, but that just a small part online discussion.

Most online authors don’t last long, but if The Daily Blog gets more ongoing contributions it will help with their aims.

The biggest left wing blog?

A few days ago The Daily Blog posted a fund raising drive – July Contributions drive – last days

Brothers and Sisters, if you think The Daily Blog is an important voice in the NZ media landscape, then we need your contribution.

The Daily Blog is the largest left wing blog in NZ and you know how dire the mainstream media has become so these few platforms left to fight back at the Government and corporate power are more essential than ever before.

Asking for pocket money from brothers and sisters aside, the largest left wing blog in New Zealand?

Yesterday The Standard made a slightly different claim in Offer to NZLP candidates:

As the most widely read left blog in New Zealand, the Standard is a regular stop for most Labour Party members who spend time online.

Whether the largest or most widely read blog doesn’t really matter, a lot of political discussion happens on other types of forums anyway, especially Facebook.But the two posts highlight the different niches that the blogs are trying to cater for.

The Daily Blog:

Putting together a 5 night a week 7pm current affairs show and co-ordinating 40 of the best left wing progressive voices each month don’t come cheap.

A lot of Bradbury’s and The Daily Blog’s focus is now on Waatea Fifth Estate streamed talk show. It is quite a commitment and a big task rounding up participants for that every week day. It can sometimes be interesting but I doubt whether it makes impact beyond a fairly small audience.

Meanwhile The Standard and Labour have both moved in new directions – more openly campaigning for local body elections.

We think that offers candidates for Labour Party positions a great platform to get their ideas out to members and to debate them. Which is why, with nominations for various significant party positions closing soon, we’re offering candidates the opportunity to provide guest posts ahead of the conference in Auckland this year.

Democracy works best when people know who they’re voting for and the Standard is about democracy. So if you’re planning to stand for a Labour role and you want to speak to thousands of Labour members, contact us via thestandard@gmail.com

We’ll make sure that your post is at the top of the site for at least half a day and will moderate comments.

In the past The Standard has been adamant it represents the ‘labour left’ and not the ‘Labour Party’. Despite this they have dabbled in party politics at times, but is the most hard out Labour campaign approach I have seen there. This looks to be a significant change for both the party and the blog.

Will The Standard offer similar campaign support for Green candidates, especially now that Labour and Greens are promoting themselves as a joint election deal? Or are Greens not labour left enough for them?

There’s an opportunity for attracting more Green blog discussion now that Frog Blog has shut down comments.

War for Auckland

The Spinoff has announced ‘the war for Auckland’ (they now have a separate ‘Auckland’ menu):

War?! We know, we know. But what else would you call the vastly differing visions for Auckland presented by Auckland 2040 and Generation Zero? We feel like the next few months will define this city’s future, and will thus cover the Unitary Plan and the subsequent election with a rare fury. Read on to hear our justification – and to find out how you can help.

Today The Spinoff launches a new pop-up section. For the next three months, alongside Television, Sports, Politics and all that, we will also have an unashamedly campaigning new part of the site called The War For Auckland.

The name is a little provocative, sure. But we think it’s what we’re living through.

Today Auckland Council will receive a final set of recommendations from its Independent Hearings Panel on the Unitary Plan. That sounds like a wonky, impenetrable thing. But we think it happens to be a pivotal moment for the Unitary Plan – the single most important publication for this city in our lifetime. Potentially the most important it will ever know.

What I’m saying is: if we lose this fight, we might as well all leave. We think that’s a deeply depressing thought. We don’t want it, and won’t give up the city without a fight. That’s why we’re getting worked up and belligerent in naming the section.

They are also seeking funds to run finance the war.

So this post is to announce our intention. But it’s also to say that, if you believe this is important too, then we’d love your help. We’ve funded every part of our coverage of this election and the housing crisis ourselves to this point – from satirical takes to deeply reported features. It’s part of how we give back to the community which raised us. But it’s also exhausting, and expensive.

So for the first time we’re opening up the opportunity to contribute to The Spinoff financially via our PledgeMe campaign. We’re asking for money for this specific project, from both businesses and individuals, to chip in either publicly or anonymously. What we’re saying is: if you think it’s important that we live in a modern city which is fit for purpose into the future, then we would love your help to cover this election with that in mind.

The money we get will be ploughed into paying contributors, increasing the social reach of election-specific posts, creating collateral, developing election-specific parts of the site, paying fact-checkers, creating video – basically anything we can think of to make the young and the interested care more about the election, and get them voting.

But someone has tried to bomb the war effort.

SpinoffVersusBomber

Chloe King is right, Bradbury and The Daily Blog have long had a reputation for censoring comments that don’t fit their narratives and for banning people they don’t like, so that’s very ironic.

And yes, Bomber’s tweets are unavailable to me as well as The Spinoff and probably a lot of others that are seen as in the wrong army to the far left revolutionary’s.

The Spinoff ‘war for Auckland’ seems to have sparked a war on online fund seekers and attention seekers.

More on the Morgan poll

Apparently continued silence by Martyn Bradbury on the latest Roy Morgan poll which came out a week after he posted BREAKING EXCLUSIVE: UMR SECRET POLL – National 41% Labour/Greens 45%

Since the Memorandum of Understanding, the First Past the Post mainstream media have had to start reporting the results as MMP ones. This perception change now allows Opposition voters to see they can win.

National is in trouble…

Once these private internal polls start becoming reflected in the TVNZ and TV3 Polls, National will start to implode with a power struggle.

The Roy Morgan poll has National on 53%, Labour on 25.5% and Greens on 11.5%. No word on what Bombers perception of this is.

One perception at The Daily Blog though, from Cleangreen. On the UMR ‘secret poll’:

Yes joy rings out finally National are on their way out hooray.

But in a comment yesterday on the Open Mic thread Cleengreen said:

Latest Roy Morgan and any other political poster companies we think we should trust! – well don’t – read below.

The Politicians are all under orders from the Bilderberg Group and are simply minion’s that carry out orders for the global elite and that is why you see a clear hard nosed similarity over every issue now, and the media is the same parrot for these cabals also as the pollsters are to!!!!

Does anyone understand how flimsy and vulnerable and easily rigged results of Pollster’s polling data can occur where the companies cannot verify their results or edit them to see if they are changed?

Poll result good, pollster good. Poll result bad, pollsters bad.

There was a lot of talk about the 10% bounce back for National (but interestingly no one seemed to bat an eyelid at Labour dropping 2.5 to 25.5%).

Chris Keall has posted Roy Morgan manager defends *that* poll at NBR:

The chattering class was quick to scoff when at the new Roy Morgan poll which showed a 10% jump for National (864 eligible voters were surveyed by phone).

There was eye-rolling from the left and the right, and I can see why: there were no political bombshells during the survey period (June 17 to early July) to warrant such a shift.

In a press release, executive chairman Gary Morgan pegged the Nats’ bounce on John Key’s announcement of a $1 billion housing infrastructure fund.

I’m not so sure.

Keall “asked Mr Morgan if he was confident of the poll result” and the RM poll manager responded:

We are very confident these results reflect a shift in voting intention in New Zealand towards the incumbent.

That is very likely to be correct. The questions are by how much, and why.

Andrew Little has had nearly two years to cut through and even before this poll, had really made little headway.

The New Zealand economy is booming at present with Kiwis returning to the country after years of outflows across the Tasman.

Also, specifically with this poll we conducted some additional research during this period which indicates that Housing Affordability/ House prices/ Shortage of Houses/ Homeless etc. has increased significantly as an issue in New Zealand this year.

The announcement of the $1 billion housing infrastructure fund is perfectly timed to take advantage of this sentiment. There are a large number of Kiwis out there who believe they will see the benefit of this $1 billion infrastructure fund personally.

It could be that housing has been a significant factor – perhaps a lack of confidence in Labour’s policies, or a desire by many voters to retain the capital value increases.

There was also a discussion at Dim-Post: Roy Morgan wild guessing game

No doubt Labour will start leaking that their secret polls show them getting a major bump after their conference. If you added all the bumps they’ve claimed from their private polls they’d be on about 500% by now.

Danyl has been quite cynical about Labour lately.

My guess about the swing – if there was a swing – is that the news recently has been dominated by horror, fear and uncertainty. Terror attacks, racial violence in the US, Brexit, and so voters are looking for political stability and supporting National. If they are.

Swordfish, a regular poll commenter at The Standard, joins the discussion. Another pseudonym I’m not familiar with, Pollster,  joined in.

It has nothing like the spikes the Roy Morgan does, and when it does it’ll be an occasional 2-3% shift, not a 5-10% (or in this case 16%) swing as the Roy Morgan has. What the UMR has shown since the election has been a pretty static political environment. The Roy Morgan suggests that from month hundreds of thousands of people are swinging wildly from Labour and the Greens to National and back again. It’s why no one in the business takes them seriously.

As the UMR polls aren’t published their claims can’t be verified, although Swordfish says:

Last 4 UMRs had Labour on 28-33%. Over the same period, the Public Polls put the Party in the range of 26-31%. Not an enormous divergence.

That’s a 5% range from UMR, the same as for ‘public polls’.

The last four RM polls for Labour were 25.5, 28, 29,5, 26 which happens to be a smaller range of 4%.

Pollster also said:

As for Labour staffers briefing internal polls, that’s not something I’m aware of, but I wouldn’t assume that’s why the UMR poll occasional finds its way into the public arena.

Frequently it’s Hooton who claims to have had a leak of Labour’s secret internal polling, when actually he just gets the UMR Omni from one of his clients as I do. I can also confirm he often makes up the figures, because he is a shameless liar.

Hooton bit back:

I think I have mentioned specific quantitative numbers from UMR polling data twice in the media. UMR polling is what “Labour’s secret internal polling” is – or, has been historically. It is also sold to corporates as you indicate.

Unless you think UMR does one quantitative study each month for its corporate clients and then another one for Labour. Perhaps it does. I don’t see that point in that though. Whenever I have mentioned polling of any kind the numbers have been correct.

Pull your head in with your lying accusations, whoever you are, anonymous guy on the internet.

Anonymous people on the Internet who appear to have a vested interest, and who promote polls only when their cherries are ripe, but never publicly publish any poll details, and make lying accusations about people with different political leanings, barely deserve to be taken with a grain of salt.