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.

Labour and “Denial in Politics”

Should Labour switch from ‘Key is crap’ to ‘better than ‘Bill’?

Mike Smith has a post at The Standard on ‘Denial in Politics’ – it begins with a focus on the Democrats in the US and Trump’s success, then turns to New Zealand:

Denial in politics can take a variety of forms. When you are in the middle of a campaign that is not going well, it is all too easy to construct and cling to an unrealistic path to victory, and even more importantly to underestimate the strengths of your opponent.

Labour did this in 2008; we built a  negative campaign around attacking John Key that was a mistake and did not work. As Bryan Gould has recently noted, we underestimated him to our cost.

Labour’s campaign style is still excessively negative, and not yet clearly focused. Now that Key has gone, it will be crucial that Labour does not underestimate Bill English.

Interesting from an ex Labour general secretary. Smith only occasionally posts at The Standard, and when he does there usually appears to be a specific party-related purpose.

He has many different and arguably more admirable characteristics than his predecessor. Nobody’s fool, he has been tested in the fire and not found wanting for some time now.

A reasonable assessment. English has flown mostly under the radar for years, and has surprised many now he has emerged from John Key’s shadow. He sounded like a well informed experienced Prime Minister as soon as he took over.

He does have some vulnerabilities with all his eggs in the so-called “social investment” basket, but they will need careful research and even more careful communication to be effective.

It’s unclear who Smith is directing that at.

It could be interpreted as support of English’s ‘social investment’ approach.

Or it could be suggesting careful research to Labour, advice they could do with heeding given their performance over the last eight years.

But certainly Labour should take note of “Labour’s campaign style is still excessively negative” – that continues to turn off voters and fails to present them as a viable alternative.

Social investment could be something that Labour embraces and supports in principle, but perhaps suggesting some different approaches and policy detail.

‘Better than Bill’ would be a hard idea to sell, but it would improve on their ‘Key is crap’ futility.

But on recent history it’s more likely Labour’s negativity will dominate their strategy.

Rachinger pleads guilty

Ben Rachinger was due to start a scheduled five day trial today in the Slater/Standard hacking case, but has instead entered a guilty plea.

Stuff: Former Whale Oil associate Ben Rachinger admits deception charge

Benjamin Rachinger, 28, appeared in the Manukau District Court on Monday for what was supposed to be his judge-alone trial on a charge of obtaining money from Slater.

Instead Rachinger pleaded guilty to the charge and a sentencing date was set for March next year.

Earlier this year Slater completed diversion after admitting he hired Rachinger, an IT worker, to break into The Standard blog site.

No hack actually took place.

The charges against the pair came after Rachinger made public claims in January 2015 that he had been paid to hack The Standard, sparking a police investigation.

The sentencing will be interesting. Rachinger had claimed he had been also acting as a police informant. Slater was controversially granted diversion for the part he played in this despite previous convictions.

Lynn Prentice has posted on this prior to the guilty plea: Whaleoil and Rachinger – the final chapter starts

UPDATE:More details from Newshub: Slater-hired hacker pleads guilty to fraud (it wasn’t fraud, it was ‘obtaining be deception’).

IT consultant Ben Rachinger, 28, was hired by Mr Slater to hack into left-wing website The Standard, with the aim of embarrassing the Labour Party.

Mr Rachinger was paid $1000 by Mr Slater, but never carried out the hack they discussed. Instead he blew the whistle to TV3’s The Nation, telling the programme he was asked by Mr Slater to figure out who The Standard’s contributors were and record their IP and email addresses.

Police alleged Mr Rachinger never intended to follow through with the promise he made to Slater. He was charged with obtaining $1000 by deception for saying he could and would hack the site.

A summary of facts shows Mr Slater believed Labour politicians were writing for The Standard and posting their views anonymously online.

He offered Rachinger $5000 – paying him $1000 up front – believing the hack on The Standard’s servers would uncover evidence of links to Labour.

Mr Slater admitted his part in the plot and was discharged without conviction in May.

Mr Rachinger is also seeking a discharge without conviction, and told Newshub outside court he’s looking forward to the chance to put the matter behind him.

http://www.newshub.co.nz/nznews/slater-hired-hacker-pleads-guilty-to-fraud-2016121211

 

 

Standard negativity post-Key

John Key’s resignation is Labour’s best opportunity in eight years to turn things around and look like a better governing option.

But going by reactions at The Standard left wing negativity is entrenched.

It’s understandable that there will be some jubilation about Key’s exit from Government, but most of the reaction at The Standard has been an attack on Key and his legacy and his party.

They’re dancing on Key’s grave before he has checked into the political hospice.

Before Key’s announcement it Labour and Green and Mana had been on virtual life support at The Standard, with only an occasional beep from the heart monitor – there was some joy after the Mt Roskill by-election win on Saturday.

But come Monday, before Key’s announcement, he was the only post focus:

Since then the Standard posts have been:

Even their two Daily Review posts featured Key images.

Absolutely nothing on Labour, Greens and the door opened to their opportunities next year.

Ironically ex-Standard author Te Reo Putake, a Labour supporter and Andrew Littler promoter and fan, asked to post a positive Labour/Little/Opposition here – Key to the Kingdom. He has been banned from The Standard following a civil war.

Key’s resignation is the best gift to Little and Labour (and the Greens) for a decade.

But the Greens and especially Metiria Turei have put most of their efforts into criticising and attacking Key, when he is no longer a political threat. Winston and other NZ First MPs have attacked Key. This sort of negativity is reflected at The Standard.

National are vulnerable. The public will have an extra  look to see who they think can run Government competently.

And I see mostly see Opposition mud flying, still.It seems like a particularly stupid first impression post-Key to present to the public.

If opposition parties, and supporting online forums like The Standard, want to take advantage of National’s current vulnerability surely they can at least try to look better, rather than worse.

Is the left capable of being positive?

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.

 

 

 

CV’s ideal Labour

Colonial Viper has been under fire at The Standard lately because he is prepared to challenge the Labour status quo, and  establishment Labour activists don’t like their boat being rocked. CV has had his author rights removed and there have been a number of calls to shut him up at The Standard altogether.

CV is a past Labour candidate (2011 in Clutha/Southland), and as a party member has clashed with Clare Curran in Dunedin South.

His disillusionment with the current version of Labour is obvious.

Last night he summarised his ideals:

I’ll support Labour 100% and Andrew Little 100% if he:

1) States that it is time to turn NZ away from free market neoliberalism and apologises for the role the 4th Labour Government played in wrecking the country.

2) Says that there will be a total clear out of the no-hopers out of caucus, Labour Parliamentary staff and consultants who have led Labour to electoral losses over and over and over again.

3) Commits to transitioning the nation to a livable UBI and/or living minimum wage within Labour’s first term in government.

Give me a call when it happens.

It is actually common to see those ideals expressed by current and ex Labour supporters, although not usually together like this.

This is a similar sort of leaning to Jeremy Corbyn’s UK Labour, and to Bernie Sanders’ preferred style for US Democrats.

I see one big problem with this in New Zealand. If Andrew Little and Labour took this path they would only be representing a part of Labour, and that would struggle to be a half of the party.

The CV type Labourites want to ditch their centre and focus to the left. Another comment at The Standard yesterday, swordfish on ex Labour member Nick Leggett’s possible move to National:

Yep, absolutely a Blairite. Along with his good chum, Phil Quin, Leggett’s a core member of the extra-Parliamentary wing of the old ABC brigade, very close to Shearer, Goff and Shane Jones, has written for the on-line presence of the lavishly-funded Blairite ginger group, Progress, and so on. Utterly opposed to anything resembling true Social Democracy.

Some in Labour have been happy to see Jones, Goff and Leggett  leave the party, and want Shearer out too. They try to drive away any suggestion of centrism from their discussions.

But it’s more complicated than this. Colonial Viper has been labelled a Right Wing Nut Job because he has been challenging the Labour establishment.

Some in Labour seem to want to paper over the cracks, or chasms, and pretend they are a united major party.

Andrew Little seems to be caught in no person’s land. He has managed to dampen down public dissent in the Labour caucus, but not at The Standard – Little supporter Te Reo Putake was recently banned from The Standard in what looks like an uncivil war.

Little’s uncertainty and lack of confidence is hurting Labour, but so is the fractious bickering amongst the troops.

Can Labour continue as a single party? If they do and ditch their centre they are likely to continue to shrink.

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.

Standard abuse, same old

Only at The Standard – yesterday I engaged in a bit of discussion (with a Standard moderator) there about the Roy Morgan poll, and OAB jumped in with a typical and deliberately disruptive attack, a game they play often.

One Anonymous Bloke 

🙄

Not fucking your pet goat would be a start.

I quoted site rules “What we’re not prepared to accept are pointless personal attacks, or tone or language that has the effect of excluding others. We are intolerant of people starting or continuing flamewars where there is little discussion or debate.”

That intolerance is very selective.

One Anonymous Bloke

Step away from the goat and pull your pants up.

It’s a metaphor for your relentless weasel negativity and rank nauseating hypocrisy.

Typical irony, given OAB’s record of weasel negativity and hypocrisy.

Then Weka stepped in as moderator and gave OAB some advice on being attacking better.

[I know you see yourself as the frontline rapid attack dog against the RW trolls, but when you start scaring away the cats who are here for the debate (or to play with the mouse), or when you are leaving your dogshit lying around, then there is a problem. You are quite capable of ripping apart RW arguments, so how about you put some effort in.]

And I was told off for responding…

[did you see the moderator warning to you yesterday? By all means engage in escalating a fight with OAB (or anyone) and see how I feel about wasting moderator time – weka]

..and got blamed for ‘escalating a fight’. So I replied:

Weka – I saw your ‘moderator warning’ and responded. So you are blaming me for “escalating a fight” because I pointed out the site rules you asked me to check out yesterday?

Are you suggesting that if attacked here people should do nothing about it?

“in escalating a fight with OAB”, warned about wasting moderator time “don’t escalate esp in ways that require moderators to spend their time sorting it out” and banned for a day. OAB was also banned for a day but had achieved their objective with weka’s support they have both openly discussed baiting and banning people they don’t like.

Te Reo Putake also tacitly endorsed OAB’s attacks and put the blame on me:

[Give it a rest, Pete. You’ve been around long enough to know you’re heading rapidly toward self martyrdom. No more, please. TRP]

And weka went further, banning me.

[no Pete, I’m saying don’t escalate esp in ways that require moderators to spend their time sorting it out. If you don’t know what that means then err on the side of caution. You can now take the rest of the day off – weka]

I thought The Standard may have improved a bit but this shows their selective moderation is as bad as ever – some of their moderators are a part of the game. They’re enforcing a ‘don’t complain about being harassed or we’ll ban you’ rule.

TRP is a Labour supporter, weka is a Green supporter. They seem to have a Memorandum of Understanding with OAB that personal attacks are moderator supported behaviour at The Standard, and if you react you will be blamed and may be banned.

This had followed me commenting the previous day on Labour’s conference and their use of social media. Again I had engaged in a discussion with a Standard moderator when weka stepped in.

[There seems to be an implication there that The Standard is connected to the Labour Party organisation. As you well know it’s not, and I don’t care what you now assert about your comment, the implication is still there. Given your substantial history of asserting that there is a connection, and your history of walking the edge of the commenting rules here, I’m going to err on the side of caution and make this a warning. Have a think about the site rules, including the bit about wasting moderator time. – weka]

I responded:

Weka – you are reading something into my comments that wasn’t there. There are usually posts here about Labour conferences so I thought there might be something here about it – as there later was.

There are often posts here about specific Labour Party matters, like conferences. Some of the authors and some of the regular commenters have obvious and open links to Labour. That doesn’t make this a Labour Party website, it’s not, but it’s well known as one with some Labour content. And Green content, and Mana content, and other content.

If a moderator chooses to waste their time they can pretty much pick on anything they like to warn or ban. That’s your call of course. To clarify, are you warning me to not mention Labour here in case someone interprets it as something more than it is?

After yesterday’s exchange weka came back to this:

[no, I’m suggesting you grow some social intelligence and understand that your long history here affects how people interpret your comments, including your history of implying and/or telling lies about the connections between the authors, the site and political parties. IME, you are an expert in riding the edge of the rules to avoid bans but still manage to substantially disrupt the community. But thanks for pointing me back to this from the other thread, more than happy to moderate on the basis of self-martydom so I don’t have to deal with this shit for another week (and a day on top of the other ban) – weka].

Social intelligence – funny.

She accuses me of telling lies but makes things up. I don’t intend to ‘disrupt the community’. There is a history of ‘the community’ – of which weka has been a prominent player – creating disruptions as an excuse to give moderators an excuse to ‘waste their time’ so they can justify a ban. She’s a bit vague but that looks like an extended ban.

Petty and pathetic but that’s how some of them keep playing  it. And the credibility of The Standard as a serious political forum suffers, as does the credibility of the parties associated with those nasty and exclusionary practices.

Standard practice at The Standard.

I think that the bans are, in part at least, preventing any defence of their attacks. Weka is  making things up, and doesn’t have to courage to allow any challenges.

Standard gang bans CV 2/2

Yesterday Colonial Viper was singled out by  Standard moderator TRP to comply with ‘;site rules’ despite them often being ignored by regulars – see Colonial Viper’s “extreme right wing views” 1/2.

Tensions must have risen there later in the day. Apparently a pro-Trump post by CV has been deleted, and there is a claim on Clinton vs Trump: Debate 3 that “much of the thread has been removed”. And on that thread CV has been banned.

Leading up to it:

Colonial Viper 27.3

Hey Sabine, the US kept selling arms and Treasuries to Saudi Arabia during the Obama/Hillary Clinton years, and is providing military support in their war against Yemen. What’s the Saudi record on abortions and the treatment of women?

Sabine 27.3.1

Go away Colonial Viper.

go the fuck away. Go have your Donald Fucking Trump make America Great again just like Hitler made Germany great for a while.

In the name of all those that perished during the great fucking time of the third reich Fuck off.

In my books you are useless, you serve no purpose, you have no champion and that is why you want to see the world burn.

And just for what its fucking worth, the US American Women and girl have as much value as any other Women and Girl on this planet.

Fuck off.

Only a select few get away with that sort of attacking at The Standard. It is somehow seen as acceptable but expressing a different opinion is ‘bad behaviour’.

marty mars 27.3.1.1

+ 1 well said – Kia kaha

rhinocrates 27.3.1.1.1

Exactly. Don’t play his game. Call him out on his trolling and derailing.

weka 27.3.1.1.1.2

+1, 2, 3

Great response Sabine.

Some of the usual mob joins in.

Colonial Viper 27.3.1.2

Do you think Clinton will return the tens of millions of dollars that horribly misogynistic women stoning Gulf States like Saudi Arabia have donated to the Clintons (like Trump suggested), or will she keep all that money?

weka 27.3.1.2.1

Go the fuck away, man who supports and promotes a sexual predator and rapist into a place of power and then tries to make out he cares about women being abused in other places so that he can score political points.

Your constant derails are really, really obvious, CV. You have no answer for the fact that your preferred candidate is a vicious bully, a sexual predator, a liar, and an unrepentant misogynist.

Literally no one is saying, “Hillary is the best person in the whole wide world and has no flaws.”

But on the issue of protecting the rights of women, there is absolutely no fucking contest between Clinton and Trump.

Stop exploiting other women as meat shields to deflect attention away from that fact. You’re just making it more and more clear that fundamentally, your problem with Hillary Clinton stems from her gender.

Someone dared defend:

fender27.3.1.4

That’s just nasty abuse. CV may have been a loud Trumpet lately but he doesn’t deserve that.

But

weka 27.3.1.4.1

He’s trolling, repeatedly. And his politics are vile. I’m not talking about him thinking Trump should be president, I’m talking about the weeks of rape apology, support for fascism and oppression and then misusing women’s pain to score political points as he has just done in this subthread. If any RWer was doing this people would be all over them with far worse.

At some time during that CV copped his ban (that isn’t time stamped):

Colonial Viper 23.2.1.2.1

The Clintons and their big money donors use exactly the same tax write offs available in law as Trump’s companies do. They’re such hypocrites.

[No they don’t. Different parts of the US tax code as has previously been pointed out.

CV, you were asked to substantiate some other bit of bullshit earlier today and you ignored the request. The policy around responding to requests for cites was pointed out to you as was the section covering trolling. However, you seem relentlessly intent on posting provocative bullshit as often as possible, presumably to troll and start flame wars.

You posted earlier today that Hitler made Germany great again, which is either a sad admission of how far you’ve fallen or the most epic bit of trolling seen here at TS for yonks. Either way, it’s offensive, deliberately provocative and not conducive to civilised discourse.

Trolling, ignoring moderation, starting flame wars, wasting mod time. Lets call it a week. Come back next Friday. TRP]

That’s what can happen if you challenge Standard group think and dare to raise controversial issues.

Some discussion followed, which included some defence of CV.

In Vino23.2.1.2.1.4

TRP – he said Hitler BRIEFLY made Germany great again. I suggest you go look at a map of who held what in Europe in 1942, and see if CV was right.

There is nothing offensive about this, except in your eyes for some obscure reason. CV did not directly praise Hitler – yet you leap eagerly to the conclusion that he did so.

An impartial moderator should be impartial. You appear to have lost the ability to be dispassionate.

[CV didn’t get banned for a single instance. It was multiple issues, and he had already been warned about them. That is clear in the moderator’s note, please reread it – weka]

In Vino

Sorry Weka, but much of the thread has been removed, and in the note you refer me to, which, conveniently, is the only one left on the thread, TRP still makes this unjustified assertion:

“You posted earlier today that Hitler made Germany great again, which is either a sad admission of how far you’ve fallen or the most epic bit of trolling seen here at TS for yonks. Either way, it’s offensive, deliberately provocative and not conducive to civilised discourse.”

CV’s word ‘briefly’ is omitted. I hold that entire assertion in contempt, regardless of whether it has been uttered by a moderator.

Of course TRP won’t be required to retract and apologise.

weka

I’m not sure if anything has been removed. Most of the moderation before the ban happened in the Daily US discussion thread.

https://thestandard.org.nz/the-us-election-daily-discussion-post-2/

If you can be more specific about deletions please do so.

Irrespective of what one might think about TRP’s moderation style (and I have my own reservations), CV has been causing a problem, and IMO it was only a matter of time until he got a ban. He’s had one before for similar behaviour (in the winter?). I agree the omission of the word ‘briefly’ misrepresents what CV said and was a mistake for the moderator to say that. However even if a moderator got that one paragraph wrong, there are still enough other reasons to issue a ban.

Commenters pointing out mistakes is useful IMO, thanks for that. I disagree with your assessment of the overall issue with CV. As bad as his politics are to many, it’s his behaviour that has copped him the ban (IMO).

I have seen some fairly bad behaviour given a free pass over the years at The Standard, including from Weka and TRP. Especially when getting into mob attacks and trying to exclude views they want to gag. They and others have blatantly broken their own rules.

Bizarrely I was brought into the conversation.

rhinocrates

Nope, I’m not playing. Your trouble is that like your idol saying “Nobody respects women more than me”, you don’t make a very convincing feminist. The insincerity sticks out enough to be a hazard to aviation.

People see what you’re saying as trolling and deliberate distraction from the actual point that anyone’s trying to make.

You’re not actually trying to have an honest discussion, you just want to continue your narcissistic and spiteful little martyr’s game. Pete George lives in Dunedin. Call him and the two of you can have a pity party together. Take lots of chocolate.

weka

I was just thinking about PG and what happened when it got to this point with him as a troll and someone who was damaging the community. Methinks it’s time to adopt the same response.

They still obsess about me and I rarely bother commenting there now.

It’s sadly ironic for Weka to say “a troll and someone who was damaging the community” given how much she has been involved in shutting out opinions she disagrees with. She has been a prominent part of the mob censorship that the Standard is well known for.

I only have to comment once there for “the community” to pile in and disrupt the thread, and then blame me for it. Much like CV has been blamed, shamed and banned for annoying the perpetually annoyed.

I see The Standard as a symptom of the intolerance of the left, Labour and the Greens to anyone deemed an enemy of their group think and therefore labelled extreme right. One of the few things I have in common with CV politically, condemned and labelled because we express views beyond their narrow and bitter alleyway.

While the mob rules at The Standard they will fly a flag of discontent, intolerance and abusiveness.

A late comment:

weka

“When CV makes comment on social policy, I see them as left wing, not extreme right.”

His views on identity politics, and rape and rape culture suggest is he alt-right. His views on Trump suggest he is in some weird no-mans land, but I definitely wouldn’t call it left wing. His views on the political spectrum in NZ suggest he is centrist (hence his praise of Peters). And yes, some of his views are left wing. I actually think it’s not possible to know what he thinks now, because his naked hatred of the left clouds most of the things he says. It’s not him challenging the centre-left, it’s him burning bridges with every natural ally he has who doesn’t see the world in the way he does.

The recent accusations of him being right wing are a lot to do with his promotion of Trump. As I’ve said, it’s possible to have a left wing analysis of the groups of people in the US who’ve been disenfranchised and thus vote Trump, but CV insists on throwing others under the bus as he tries to do that and he actively supports the right at times.

In case that’s not clear, there is the problem with his political shift in the past year, and then there is his behaviour. I think we’ve reached the point of intolerance for both because of how they intersect.

“We’ve reached the point of intolerance” may be telling.