‘The Great Replacement’ promoted at Whale Oil

This isn’t about a 73-page manifesto titled “The Great Replacement”, a reference to the Great Replacement and white genocide conspiracy theories that expresses anti-immigrant sentiments including hate speech against migrants, white supremacist rhetoric, and calls for all non-European immigrants in Europe who he claims are “invading his land” to be removed.

It’s about The Great Replacement by Intern Staff on September 21, 2017

Voting for the leadership of this country may well be influenced by what is happening elsewhere. Jacinda, childless, pro-abortion, is up against Bill, with a family of six, with RC views on abortion. I have a thing about childless leaders of nations and many of these can be found in Europe. It is not news that demographics there are changing.

It is news to me to see it being called “The Great Replacement”. In a way, there is an absurd contrast to “The Great War” which continues to observe centenary commemorations. Millions killed in fighting then contrast with millions not present due to birth control and abortion.

To fill the vacuum comes others whose only “war” is against the poverty they flee from.

The invasion is changing Europe.

Imagine being fined 2000 euros for telling the truth. That’s what happened last week to Robert Ménard; one of Marine Le Pen’s key advisers. Ménard was charged with “inciting hatred” against Muslims because of two things:

  1. During a television interview, Ménard claimed that there were too many Muslim children attending the schools where he lives. He advised: “In one of the classrooms in my town centre, 91% of children are Muslim. Obviously this is a problem. There are limits to tolerance.”
  2. Ménard also shared an image on Twitter which compared a school in 1970, to a school now. On his tweet, Ménard referred to the “Great Replacement”; a term which was coined by Renaud Camus which suggests that France is being colonised by Muslim immigrants with the help of the government and the media.

It’s about  An Ant’s Story by Guest Post on February 2, 2019

New Zealand Sovereignty is a movement that hopes to harness the passion and determination of the countless New Zealanders who have had enough.

Please, do not listen to those who shake their head and say “this can’t work” or “things are moving too slowly.” These are the voices of the ants that remain in the shadows and outskirts…they are not the worker ants.

For me, the Molyneux/Southern debacle and the attack on free speech was the first time I REALLY saw red. As it happened I saw them in Melbourne, and had hoped to go here as well. In Oz there were hundreds of police out that night, a secret location, horseback cavalry, dogs…you name it. I saw buses being rocked and purple haired SJWs screaming like lunatics…

And of course then there was also Tommy Robinson. I became an avid follower of his journey. I also read The Strange Death of Europe by Douglas Murray” (a must read) and followed Molyneux, Turley, Rebel Media, Katie Hopkins, Martin Sellner and all the other countless warriors in Europe and the States.

I read voraciously about Islam and what this ideology means for the West, for Christians and for the Jewish people. My grandad fought in WWI in the middle east, against the Ottoman invasion.

The Great Replacement (by stealth) is STILL an invasion and it is war….though it is happening by stealth rather than the sword.

My guess, our New Zealand ant colony has until the next election to turn this around. After that, I suspect we will see UN ships and planes as a regular occurrence in our ports and airports and Islam will take hold to the point where what you have seen in Europe will happen here.

This lil ant shouts NO to Sharia Law and YES to controlled immigration. We need people who will respect our Judeo Christian heritage and laws.  Islam is not compatible with this.

So yes, you could say, after 2018 and the waves of attack on free speech (there was the Massey University affair as well)…something inside me said “Enough now.”

So I threw my hat in the ring 110% and I ask you now to do the same.

Eighteen months of your life – what can you do to help? Your skills? Do you have a boat? We may need a flotilla one day. Just imagine, if a UN ship came into New Zealand waters and we sent out 100 boats to block the harbour.

That’s what was promoted at Whale Oil last month. That was before the great replacement of the whale himself.

It wasn’t the whale who posted this:

What do France, Germany, The Netherlands and Britain have in common? by SB on December 24, 2016

What do France, Germany and The Netherlands have in common? They all have criminalised the free speech of their politicians. In Britain, the same thing is happening to political activists and even ordinary citizens expressing their views on Facebook. The one thing that they all have in common is who or what they are criticising. It is becoming increasingly obvious worldwide now that criticism of Islam and Muslims are like Voldermort; we dare not say their name out loud for fear of punishment.

And it continues. Face of the day by SB on March 19, 2019

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They are not about to let facts get in the way of their witch hunt. A quick glance at comments on a Newshub article today reveals that the hysteria whipped up by the MSM agst so-called Nazis is spreading rapidly.

Also this morning – Christchurch mosque shootings: Pig heads delivered to mosque in 2016

The mosque at the centre of Friday’s horrific massacre in Christchurch was previously subjected to the delivery of boxes of pigs heads by Hitler-saluting men who boasted “Bring on the cull”.

Video, intended to be shared within the 20-strong cell of local neo-Nazis, emerged online over the weekend showing tradesman Philip Neville Arps delivering the offal – pig meat is considered unclean by Muslims – to the Masjid Al-Noor mosque in March 2016.

In the videos – seemingly prepared to record and propagandise the activity amongst the group – Arps said the incident had led to an appearance in the Christchurch District Court where he was convicted of offensive behaviour and fined $800.

“It was a deliberate attack, and deliberate offence against Muslims, were the judge’s words. Obviously the judge knows me well,” Arps said while his cameraman sniggered.

“White power, my friends, my family, my people. Let’s get these f***ers out. Bring on the cull.”

Later in the day (Stuff): Nazi-themed company owner charged with possessing objectionable material

The owner of a Christchurch insulation company that promotes Nazi themes has been charged with distributing objectionable material.

Stuff understands the Avonside home of company owner Phil Arps was raided by police on Tuesday.

When asked to confirm this, a police spokesman said police executed a search warrant at an Avonside address at 11am.

“A 44-year-old man was charged with distributing objectionable material. He is scheduled to appear at Christchurch District Court tomorrow.”

Beneficial Insulation, which Arps owns, features a number of Nazi-related themes in its name and branding.

The company’s white extremist branding and Arps’ racist views, which he promotes online, sparked a public outcry in the wake of the mass shooting in Christchurch that left 50 people dead with another 30 still in hospital.

Stuff has also sighted an angry email from Beneficial Insulation owner Phil Arps sent to a customer which was signed off with a false Adolf Hitler quote and featured right wing extremist views.

Beneficial Insulation’s company logo is a sunwheel, or black sun, which was appropriated by Nazis.

Beneficial Insulation also charges $14.88 per metre for insulation – 14.88 is a hate symbol popular with white extremists.

The company’s website www.BIIG.co.nz, is an acronym for the company’s full name Beneficial Insulation Installs Guaranteed. BIIg was the name of a barracks at Auschwitz concentration camp, operated by Nazi Germany in occupied Poland during World War II and the Holocaust.

There’s nothing great about all of this.

Challenging future for Whale Oil

Whale Oil and Cameron Slater used to be the same thing – the names were interchangeable.  Now Whale Oil is trying to survive without any known personality. It’s going to be tough, even if they survive the substantial legal and financial problems they face.

Slater, with the help of others, grew Whale Oil into the biggest and most influential political blog in New Zealand. They were used by Prime Minister John Key’s office for conducting black ops, they were fed gossip and inside information by MPs from different parties.

And they were used by journalists to break news deemed to borderline or over the line for mainstream media, giving media an excuse to report it once it was out in public.

But Whale Oil peaked and faltered badly in 2014, for two reasons.

Slater took on a blog manager, Pete Belt, who probably successfully monetised the site, but purportedly to do this he conducted major purges of commenters. The claimed aim was to ‘clean up’ comments, but it looked more like heavy handed censorship. There have been many claims that posting comments that questioned or criticised Slater’s posts led to a raid ban. This in fact is what happened to me.

Through mid 2014 hundreds if not thousands of commenters were banned. This may have enabled message control, and it seems to have created a compliant community that survives by knowing what not to talk about, but it lost Whale Oil a lot of support.

The second reason was Nicky Hager’s book, Dirty Politics, which was launched in August 2014. John Key and his government survived the election later that year, but it made Whale Oil politically toxic, and was largely shunned by most National MPs and media. This removed Whale Oil’s major tool of trade, inside information and exclusive news.

So Whale Oil was no longer the force it had been. Slater flipped as far as campaigning against National through the 2017 election year and campaign. This annoyed a lot of the National leaning audience of Whale Oil. Slater openly campaigned for Winston Peters, adding to the angst.

After NZ First enabled a Labour led government, and backtracked or flip flopped on promises and perceived policies, the annoyance at Slater’s support of Peters grew, and going by comment numbers, the support of Whale Oil shrank.

2018 became a crunch year for Slater, with his defamatory past catching up with him.

After waiting over a year for a judgment, Slater was found by a judge to have defamed Colin Craig.  Although Craig was found to have damaged his own reputation and no damages were awarded, legal costs would have been financially damaging. Perhaps.

Eyebrows were raised when long time lawyer of Peters, Brian Henry, defended Slater in the defamation case (and also unsuccessfully counter sued Craig). Either this will have cost Slater a lot in legal fees, or raises questions about why Slater would be given cheap or free legal representation.

A double defamation whammy came in October last year after a defamation trial, which took six and a half years to get to court, found that Slater had no credible defence to defamation against Matthew Blomfield. More lawyers, more costs, and presumably a hefty damages award pending.

A triple whammy came at the end of October when Slater suffered a stroke. He has not posted at Whale Oil since then – there was silence about this for three months at Whale Oil.

And in November there was a quadruple whammy when in another defamation case Slater was taken to task by a judge who said he had not provided information required about claims that attacks on three academics were paid for by co-defendant Carrick Graham. The NZ Food and Grocery Council as fifth defendant is also implicated.

Slater and Graham were called to appear before the judge to explain (I don’t know if this has happened yet, Slater has used his stroke as a reason not to do any legal stuff).

So both Slater and Whale Oil had serious legal and financial problems.

In February 2019 Whale Oil announced that Slater would no longer contribute, indefinitely. He also stopped commenting after it was pointed out in courts that he may nor be as incapacitated by the stroke as claimed.

The future for Whale Oil

So what are the future prospects for Whale Oil? If they can successfully separate themselves from the legal and financial issues they could keep going, but this could be difficult. The company that had operated the blog, Social Media Consultants Limited, is second defendant in the Blomfield case, and recent ownership changes may be difficult to distance them.

At the moment Whale Oil continues with an active community, although comments are noticeably lower in number. They had been declining for months but have dipped further since it was announced Slater was no longer a part of the mix.

Over the last week Whale Oil seems to have been wiping themselves clean of Slater.

Until recently this was still used for the Whale Oil twitter and Facebook and website:

Whale Oil was still Cam Slater, and they were still promoting Dirty Politics as a badge of honour (more like dishonour).

Now Whale Oil is just headed:

Whale Oil Beef Hooked

And their branding on twitter and Facebook has had a major makeover:

Note the change from Cam Slater to Whaleoil media.

Slater still  gets a brief mention on the website ‘About’:

Whale Oil Beef Hooked (Whaleoil) started in July 2005 as a personal blog with no audience at all.  Fast forward to 2019 and Whaleoil is a multi-award-winning media organisation.

Whale Oil won a couple of awards when? 2013 I think.  They were and award winning website.

At the centre is Cameron Slater.  Outspoken, controversial, but undeniably a major player in political views and news.

That’s wrong on several counts.

Slater is not centre any more, he has been severely sidelined. Now unspoken. And he hasn’t been a major player in political views for years.

Whaleoil is the fastest-growing media organisation in New Zealand. Its brand of news, opinion, analysis and entertainment is finding fertile ground with an audience that is feeling abandoned by traditional news media.

There is no evidence Whale oil is growing. To the contrary. It looks like support is abandoning Whale Oil. They have been deceived, and they have lost credibility.

If the legal and financial issues don’t stop them Whale Oil will be able to continue, but they are substantially different to the old Whale Oil/Cam Slater brand.

A number of contributors have stepped up admirably, but they don’t have to clout or personality of the old Whale, but it’s going to be tough for them to survive.

 

What Whale Oil isn’t telling their readers

Whale Oil is feeding misinformation to it’s readers about the defamation cases that Cameron Slater is embroiled in, and they are not telling them the facts that would enlighten readers to the grim reality of legal and financial holes dug by Slater himself. Claims that vexatious litigants have dragged out the cases are in some cases at least the opposite of the truth.

Particularly in the six and a half year Blomfield v Slater defamation it is Slater who has opposed, appealed, dragged things out, and failed to file a defence after numerous attempts (which appear to be mostly trying to continue the attacks against Blomfield).

Whale Oil is not being open and honest about the facts of the three cases involving Slater. And I haven’t seen them reveal at all that the company that owns Whale Oil, Social media Consultants, is also included in court actions.

As a result, comments like this are being posted at Whale Oil:

No other journalist in NZ has so many honest people behind him.

Karma will get them in the end, and the continued growth of WOBH will ensure increasing numbers of people get to hear what’s really going on.

You might have been temporary lost in some of the battles, but you will win the war.

Some people are so vindictive they just can’t let go.

I was wondering how many court cases were still pending and how that was going to be handled. I know you would rather fight on and take it to them, but I’m certain that you are getting the right advice, health comes first.

You’ve been brutally fearless and a force of nature on the political landscape.
Stay fearless and apply those traits in your recovery.

It’s too bad that those responsible for this, the vexatious litigants, will never face the costs they should do.

As for the litigants not giving extra time, have they not dragged this on for years already?

That’s more forthright than you normally expect, these days. Our martyr for free speech. Makes one want to join the Whale army, if it exists.

A lot of irony in there. And misconceptions and/or sock puppet misinformation.

Is it possible to tell us without too much detail just who the litigants are on the three outstanding actions?

Whale Oil is keeping the facts from their readers.

Yesterday in An update on Cam’s health ‘Whaleoil staff’ claimed:

This has led Cam to make the very difficult decision to declare bankruptcy, since he is unable to generate enough passive revenue to fund the three extremely expensive and in his opinion, vexatious, defamation actions against him.

They are right that the actions are likely to be extremely expensive. Costs alone are likely to add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars – Slater himself has previously said that’s the likely cost of defamation defences.

But court documents suggest that if anyone has been vexatious, or bringing costs upon himself, it is Slater.

From ( (pre-defamation trial) SELLMAN & ORS v SLATER & ORS NO 5 – COSTS [2018] NZHC 58 [7 February 2018] in which Slater was first defendant, and the plaintiffs were were Sellman, Swinburn and Frederick:

It is a fundamental principle of New Zealand civil law that costs follow the event – a losing party pays a winning party a contribution towards their legal costs. The question of who has won and who has lost is guided by the interests of justice and must be viewed in terms of “who in reality has been the successful party”.

Overall, I consider the plaintiffs  did enjoy substantive success.

The time-bar strike-out applications by all five defendants involved argument about, and determination of, a relatively untested aspect of New Zealand defamation law, based on policy considerations. But the applications all failed. I award costs to the plaintiffs in respect of this aspect of the applications on a 2B basis.

The abuse of process strike-out applications also failed…On a net basis, accordingly, I award costs to the plaintiffs, in respect of this aspect of the applications, of 90 per cent against the first defendant and 80 per cent against the second and third defendants.

Assuming, as I do for this purpose, that each of the three aspects of the strikeout applications of the proceeding by the first, second and third defendants were of equal weight, the result is that I award to costs to the plaintiffs of 93 per cent of the costs for the first defendant’s strike out application…I discount each award by a third. So the first defendant will pay 62 per cent.

The first, and the second and third defendants’ applications to strike out the ss 39 and 41 notices simply failed. They will each pay two thirds of the costs of that to the plaintiffs on a 2B basis.

All defendants will pay the costs of the one-and-a-half-day hearing and the plaintiffs’ disbursements jointly and severally.

So costs were awarded against Slater in failed actions. Slater was represented by two lawyers so presumably would have accrued costs of his own too.

From SELLMAN v SLATER [2018] NZHC 3057 [23 November 2018]:

Should Mr Slater and Mr Graham be examined?

[60] I have examined Mr Slater’s and Mr Graham’s answers to interrogatories. I am concerned their statements that Whaleoil did not publish blogposts for reward are not consistent with the evidence to which the plaintiffs point, which suggests that was done in specific instances. They are inconsistent with reasonable inferences from the emails obtained by the plaintiffs. And they are inconsistent with Mr Graham belatedly accepting he did do so in respect of blog posts about Mr Clague once evidence of that was adduced. I am also concerned a number of other aspects of the interrogatories may not have been properly responded to, regarding: who was the author of the blog posts; the involvement of each of the defendants in their preparation; downloading of blog posts; authorship of the comments; and payments received. I consider Mr Slater and Mr Graham have made insufficient answer to the interrogatories.

[61] I consider the most efficient means to elicit answers to the plaintiffs’ questions is for Mr Slater and Mr Graham to attend Court for up to one day to be orally examined.

Slater has provided inconsistent insufficient answers and is being called to appear in a court hearing to answer questions.

It looks to me that either through evasiveness or incompetence (or both) Slater is prolonging the action.

Mr Henry advised at the hearing that Mr Slater would have to file a new amended statement of defence to substitute the new public interest defence for qualified privilege.

Similarly, the application to strike out affirmative defences falls away with the filing and impending filing of new affirmative defences. I record that, if the previous sets of pleadings by Mr Slater, Mr Graham and FCL had remained extant, I do not consider they should have been struck out but they would have needed to be amended to provide greater specificity of particulars in relation to the defences.

More insufficient information and changing defences.

Discovery

Mr Slater, Mr Graham and FCL will provide further particular discovery to the plaintiffs and other defendants, within 15 working days of this judgment

Costs

If costs cannot be agreed between the parties they have leave to file written submissions of no more than five pages within 10 working days of the date of the judgment

So Slater appears to be responsible for ongoing delays and further court appearances, and is incurring further costs.

A telephone conference was scheduled for this case in the High Court yesterday, the same day that Whale Oil posted:

The prospect of on-going ill health and potential further strokes means the advice of his medical team, lawyer, accountant, family members and those who, due to his incapacity, would have been appointed his guardians ad litem, is for him to completely withdraw from any activity other than rehabilitation.

It’s understandable that Slater would want to withdraw from any ongoing court actions, but I don’t know if the judge will buy it.

From CRAIG v SLATER [2018] NZHC 2712 [19 October 2018], just prior to Slater having a stroke, claiming media stress (Slater is first defendant, Social Media Consultants is second defendant):

RESULT AND ORDERS

I declare under s 24 of the Defamation Act 1992 that Cameron Slater and Social Media Consultants Limited are liable to Colin Craig in defamation for the untrue statements…

I dismiss Mr Slater’s causes of action in defamation against Mr Craig by way of counterclaim.

So Slater failed in his defence, and he also failed in his counter claim against Craig.

Costs

[655] Rule 14.2 of the High Court Rules 2016 provides as a primary principle that a party who fails with respect to a proceeding should pay costs to the party who succeeds.  The rule also provides that an award of costs should reflect the complexity and significance of the proceeding. Bearing in mind that each of the parties has both succeeded and failed in the proceeding in varying degrees, and having regard to the complexity and significance of the proceeding, it will be obvious that the determination of costs will require careful consideration by the parties and by the Court.

Due to his failed counter claim it looks unlikely that Slater will be awarded any costs, and may have substantial costs awarded against him.

From Blomfield v Slater [2018] NZHC 2781 [26 October 2018] (Slater first defendant, Social media Consuktants second defendant):

[139] It is therefore apparent that the defendants took no heed whatsoever of the description provided by Lang J in his judgment of 18 May 2018 as to the pleading requirements for the defences of truth and honest opinion. In the circumstances it is clear that the defendants have chosen to adopt the general and unspecific approach later taken in the 3ASOD pleading those defences.

[140] By adopting this approach, the defendants have entirely failed to plead any facts and circumstances relied on to support their defences of truth and honest opinion.

[142] Accordingly, in the absence of any proper particulars that would enable the trial to proceed in a focused and orderly manner, I ruled that the defendants may not adduce any evidence directed at advancing the defences of truth and honest opinion…

[144] The proposed evidence clearly contains opinions and conclusions that the first defendant cannot offer as admissible evidence…

Conclusion

[147] The effect of my judgments is to preclude the defendants from adducing any evidence directed at supporting the defences of truth and honest opinion, as well as any evidence directed at showing the plaintiff to be a person of bad reputation. This unusual situation is the direct consequence of the defendants’ failure to plead their case in accordance with the requirements for pleading the defences of truth and honest opinion and the requirements for adducing evidence directed at establishing bad reputation. The defendants have had considerable time and a number of opportunities to get their pleadings in order, leading to the Court giving them a final opportunity to replead their defences in May 2018. Despite this leniency, and the impending trial
fixture, the defendants failed to properly plead their defences in the 3ASOD and it was not until the trial was a fortnight or so away that they took steps to apply to file a further amended pleading that significantly recast their case yet still failed to comply with the requirements of pleading. Then, when that application was dismissed and the trial was to commence, they applied again to file a yet further amended pleading which also significantly recast their case and contained numerous deficiencies in pleading.

After six and a half years Slater could not put up a credible defence. This played out in court mid October last year, with the judgment being given just prior to Slater having a stroke claimed to be due to stress from media.

[148] Although the effect of my rulings and judgments may appear harsh, this outcome underlines the importance of proper pleading and of compliance with procedural rules and timetable orders. In this case the defendants’ failure to comply with those requirements have resulted in them placing themselves in the situation in which they now find themselves.

“defendants’ failure to comply with those requirements have resulted in them placing themselves in the situation in which they now find themselves” – not due to vexatious litigants, due to hopeless defendants.

Both an award of damages and awards of costs are yet to be determined.

From Blomfield v Slater [2018] NZHC 171 [15 February 2019]:

[20] Here there is no concern that the reasons judgment contains any confidential information of the defendants, nor any information that would be likely to adversely affect the defendants’ fair trial interests if released for publication. While it is likely that publication of the results judgment may be unwelcome and somewhat embarrassing for the defendants, those consequence arise from the manner in which they themselves, particularly the first defendant, have conducted these proceedings during the past six-and-a-half years.

Again the responsibility for his predicament is Slater’s.

[24] I decline to determine the costs on the interlocutory applications brought by the defendants at this time.

Deferred pending an appeal.

[25] I direct that the Registrar recover $12,800 of the balance owing for Court fees from the defendants. The remaining $1,600 (unless it has already been paid by the time of this judgment) is to be recovered from the plaintiff.

Yesterday following the post on Whale Oil, Blomfield responded via NZ Herald:  Cameron Slater’s stroke – what defamation victim Matt Blomfield says the evidence shows about the blogger’s health

The businessman who successfully battled Whale Oil’s Cameron Slater over defamation claims the blogger’s claim ill-health drove him to bankruptcy is contrary to evidence and should be treated with suspicion.

Matt Blomfield told the Herald he was basing his view on evidence which had emerged during the final stages of the seven-year defamation battle.

He said he was making the details public over concern Slater was attempting to gain sympathy from the public and seek donations from readers, as he has done over the course of the prolonged court case.

Blomfield said the High Court ruling was followed by Slater filing with the Court of Appeal then seeking to delay the subsequent hearing on the basis of ill-health.

He said Slater was then obliged by the court to provide evidence supporting his claims around his health and “that evidence simply didn’t support his application”.

“He has told the public he had two strokes, but the evidence showed he had only had one. He keeps repeating the fact that the stroke was caused by stress and that he must now avoid stress.

“However, the medical evidence is that his particular stroke has nothing to do with stress and he is in no more danger of another stroke due to stress than any other person.

“He claimed to have cognitive and language impairment because of his stroke, but the evidence showed he had none.

“He claimed to be too incapacitated to communicate with his lawyers, but he was simultaneously engaging in political discussions in the comments section of the Whale Oil website.”

Slater was commenting on Whale Oil soon after he had his stroke, and continued for months until recently.

Blomfield said the Court of Appeal gave Slater until February 22 to provide evidence supporting his claims of ill-health.

“He filed no response at all. Instead, he applied for bankruptcy. He is now saying his proceedings need to be halted for that reason.

“He is doing everything he can to avoid the consequences of his own nefarious actions.”

Blomfield said “this will not work” and a full Court of Appeal hearing next month would rule based on the evidence.

So Slater failed to file evidence of ill health to the Court of Appeal, but instead unsubstantiated claims were made on Whale Oil yesterday, with most of the facts of the cases again omitted.

As well as the misinformation and misleading, Whale Oil seems to be in denial of reality. Comments from yesterday’s post:

He really sees that as a good thing? ‘Nige’ is one of the site managers. I wonder how much information  he has been given – I mean facts rather than fiction and fantasy.

The second last word from ‘Whaleoil staff’:

Contrary to many naysayers’ opinions, the Whaleoilsite is continuing to grow and expand. This is very similar to the way Breitbart survived its founder Andrew Breitbart’s death. Whaleoil has become very much bigger than just Cam. Unlike Breitbart, when and if Cam’s health allows, he will return to the site, subject entirely to his medical team’s clearance.

Deluded.

Rules on blog commenting

Each comment should:

  • be on the topic of the post
  • add information, a point of view or a contribution of some substance and
  • be respectful and do no harm to others.

Commenting here is a privilege, not a right. Comments can and will be deleted without warning. Depending on your history a comment can earn you a short term or permanent ban without warning.

If you want to comment here please read the rules and ensure that you are adding value to the blog.

I have observed the following issues over the holiday period.

  • Short ‘empty’ or ‘zero-calorie’ comments, such as ‘I agree’ or ‘Me too’.
  • Commenters who are captured by a single issue and that is all they seem to comment about.
  • Trolls visiting to stir up trouble

As a commenter your job is to add value to the blog.

How do you do that?

You do it by…

  • Sticking to the topic of the post
  • By sharing your knowledge or opinion of the topic with other readers.
  • By being respectful of the writers, the blog owner, the blog itself and other commenters and readers.
  • By leaving it out if you are unsure of whether or not your wording will upset the moderators.
  • By not getting upset and expressing anger on the blog because your comment was not immediately published but was held up in automatic moderation.

It should be obvious that this is from another blog, one that claims to champion free speech but with a reputation for heavy handed moderation and banning.

Where the ‘job’ of commenters is to ‘add value’ to the blog, to the brand, to the agendas being promoted, or otherwise you risk getting the arse card.

With this approach to moderating it is impossible to know how manipulated comments are in support of ‘adding value’. I think we just have to assume that commenting freely at Whale Oil is unlikely to be happening.

One funny thing – ‘zero-calorie’ comments like ‘I agree’ or ‘Me too’ seem to have been common on posts promoting subscriptions, meat sales and donations. Agreeing and promoting the brands there is ok, going against the manipulated message is what seems to be verboten.

Whale Oil has been significantly devalued as a political blog because of it’s ‘value added’ censorship. There is no way of knowing how jacked up comments are in support of their agendas.

That’s their choice of course.  And it’s my choice to laugh when they claim to be some sort of protector of free speech.

Comments are the lifeblood of blogs

Posts are obviously essential for blogs, that’s what they primarily consist of. But comments give blogs life. A healthy commenting community is almost aan essential

There are exceptions – No Right Turn is followed and respected with no comments.

But mostly a blog with no or low comments is a sign of struggling to reach an audience, or ‘moderation’ that deters lively discussion – The Daily Blog is a good example of this (but the awful site layout and difficulty with knowing what the latest posts and comments are are also problems there).

Whale Oil still has an active commenting community, but this has diminished somewhat and seems to be concentrated on social rather than political discussion – a sign that message control moderation suppresses decent debate. Activity at Whale Oil has noticeably reduced since Cameron Slater had a stroke and stopped commenting altogether. Site failure to disclose what happened and apparent pretence that nothing had changed – possibly an attempt to try to protect revenue streams – has probably disappointed a number of now ex commenters too.

The most active commenting is on Kiwiblog – significantly more than on Whale Oil on political issues. This works in parallel to the often well informed posts from David Farrar. Very light moderation encourages a lot of commenters and comments, but detracting from this at times is the level of abuse tolerated there.

The Standard has changed significantly over it’s eleven or so years, in part due to substantial coming and going of authors. It’s commenting community has also changed quite a bit – recently I think for the better. They used to revel in gang attacks on anyone deemed some sort enemy of of ‘the left’, which was a form of self trashing as a serious forum for debate.

Then they turned over authors and moderation was dominated by ‘weka’, who tried to manage and manipulate comments to fit her agenda. She suddenly disappeared at about the same time Greens got into Government with Labour and NZ First. Since then there seem to be fewer posts apart from stalwart mickysavage keeping things ticking over, But the often toxic commenting environment seems to have improved significantly.

Recently MICKSAVAGE posted The Standard a decade on:

The site itself I believe offers a rich historical repository of contemporary New Zealand politics.  If you want to understand what has happened during the past decade from a left wing perspective then this site is a good place to start.

Proposals for suggested changes and critiques all welcome.

An interesting comment from Te Reo Putake (whose approach to blogging has evolved somewhat over many years involvement there):

He aha te mea nui o te ao? He tangata, he tangata, he tangata.

What is the most important thing in the world? It is the people, it is the people.

For mine, it is the commenters who make this place special. If you look at our comrade Bomber’s blog, which often has posts on the same topics as TS, there is no life in the comments section. As I understand it, each comment at TDB is held until released by a moderator. That means that there is no flow, no conversation, no engagement.

It’s different here. The commentary is effectively live and takes on a life of its own. This permissive approach to debate is vital to the Standard’s success. As WtB notes above, the community has to a large extent self regulated and the moderation workload has dropped considerably in recent times.

That may in part be due to a change of Government changing some agendas, but there seems to have been a noticeable change in moderation practice, with open support for diverse views being expressed, quote a contrast to past toxic intolerance..

I’d also like to give a nod to the righties who comment here. TS is not an echo chamber and differing opinions make for good debate. It’s great that conservative opinion is not shouted down, but rather, is argued against rationally. Well, mostly!

The site is better for the contributions from people we don’t agree with, in my opinion.

In my opinion this is a positive change at The Standard.

I’ll take up the challenge “Proposals for suggested changes and critiques all welcome”.

Fewer posts attacking the Opposition.

More posts debating topical Government initiatives and proposals, and allowing wide ranging discussions (with personal attacks discouraged).

Through that I think that The Standard could become a more useful part of wider political discussion in New Zealand – comments are the lifeblood of political blogs. Too much bad blood is a real negative and puts many people off, but The Standard seems to have found a fairly good formula for now.

Victim complex at Whale Oil

It’s not just Cameron Slater and SB who play the victim card hard at Whale Oil. Some of the remaining support crew there are joining the loyal cry baby choir, making claims that are closer to the reverse of what has actually been happening.

From Comment of the day today (from ‘George’):

Have you ever asked yourself why the left, in cohorts with the MSM, exert so much energy, time and resource, both legally and illegally, attempting to discredit and silence Whale Oil Beef Hooked?

I will tell you why. Because we are “Focusing on what matters to us”. So next time the media asks you whether you read Whaleoil, don’t be intimidated by association. That’s playing into the left’s objective of silencing opposing views. They fear Whaleoil because it represents a real opposition to their ideological cancer. You are either for us or against us. Get off the fence and “Focus on what matters to us”.

I don’t see the left or the media spend much energy, time and resource attempting to discredit Whale Oil. Most of the discrediting of Whale Oil has come from the right of politics, and from a sole blog operating outside the mainstream media. Slater, Lusk and Ross (and a few others) have inflicted the most blows to credibility at Whale Oil.

“Focusing on what matters to us” – not unusual for a blog. That’s what just about all of them do.

I doubt there many in the media going around asking people if they read Whale Oil. Why would they? Curiosity about who has survived there, and why curiosity about why they remain loyal? That would be kind of interesting, but most people, and most of the mainstream media’s audience, don’t know about or don’t care about political blogs.

Who has been legally challenging Whale Oil? It doesn’t seem to be the media. The legal challenges I have seen have been:

  • The police, who successfully prosecuted Slater on five counts of breaches of court non-publication orders (suppression).
  • The police, who charged Slater with attempting to procure an illegal hacking of a left wing blog (The Standard).
  • Colin Craig, who sued Slater for defamation. The court found that Slater had defamed Craig, but no damages were awarded. Craig is not left wing.
  • Matthew Blomfield, who sued Slater for defamation (and appears to have been successful). I’m not aware of any political preferences involved there, the campaign against Blomfield on Whale Oil was due to a business relationship turning sour.
  • Dr Doug Sellman, Dr Boyd Swinburn and Shane Bradbrook are currently suing Slater for defamation as a result of an attack campaign on Whale Oil. The biggest issue here seems to be whether the New Zealand Food and Grocery Council paid PR company owner Carrick Graham and/or to Slater attack the academics. There appears to be no direct link to politics.

I don’t see any sign of the media being a party to any of these legal proceedings apart from reporting on some of them some of the time.

There are some legal proceedings involving Slater and media:

  • Slater was an informant and a witness in a failed private prosecution of APN Limited and Lynn Prentice  – Slater and Dermot Nottingham were trying to silence NZ Herald and The Standard blog.
  • Slater was an informant and nmed as a witness in a failed private prosecution of llied Press limited and myself – Slater and Nottingham were trying to silence Otago Daily Times and Your NZ.
  • Slater was associated with a failed attempt by marc Spring to silence Your NZ.

So Slater has been actively involved in trying to silence opposing views, the reverse of what ‘George’ claims.

“The left’s objective of silencing opposing views” is a topical issue, but Whale Oil doesn’t figure in that debate, which is mostly raging on the left.

There’s probably more people who fear tadpoles than fear Whale Oil.

“You are either for us or against us” – funny. I think this is a risky way of trying to consolidate some sort of power base. There are shrinking numbers at Whale Oil, and it is increasingly common to see challenges to the activist aims there, especially when anti-National. Trying to run an ‘us versus them’ campaign will likely alienate more of the remaining stalwarts.

Whale Oil is a victim of sorts – of their own failures. Making ludicrous claims while claiming to be victims just damages their own credibility further, if that were possible.

‘Sick’ – Simon Lusk comes out at WO

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The follow-up post: Polling advice for National MPs

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

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

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

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

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

Jayar: Absolutely agree!

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

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

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

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

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

Whale Oilers fed up with Whale Oil attempts to push JLR agenda

For about a week Cameron Slater pushed the Jami-Lee Ross agenda hard, then suddenly and mysteriously last week dropped out of sight. That could be through illness, or it could be a stunt. Whale Oil management has not informed the loyal following that remains (numbers suggest many have given up on Slater and WO) what is going on. Slater’s name is being used to promote a mail order meat business but otherwise has gone to ground.

SB has tried to keep stoking the Ross agenda, using similar techniques to Slater to smear and threaten by insinuation (presuming it is her writing the posts, uncertain authorship has long been a WO thing).

But apart from a few die hard supporters and sock puppets SB and Ross are getting a negative message from commenters at WO.

A post today:  How long can Simon Bridges avoid questions about Jami-Lee Ross?

Simon Bridges is trying the strategy of refusing to answer any more questions about Jami-Lee Ross.

This is not going to work out well for him. The media are following every tweet from Ross and are publishing it within minutes. Then there are the other questions the media want answers to.

Who is she trying to fool? Most of the media are over it. And going by this, so are the Oilers:

WIC:

I have said it before and I will say it aging. Except for the media, No One Cares.

rantykiwi:

I actually feel that ignoring the yappy little JLR who hasn’t yet managed to back up his words with evidence isn’t a bad strategy.

omlete:

from the transcript published yesterday it seemed like Simon and Paula were being pretty kind to JLR.

Jman:

I think the JLR story is pretty much over with the general consensus being that JLR has acted like a boofhead and Bridges and Bennett have come away relatively unscathed. If I’m being perfectly honest, I actually think Bridges appears to have handled this whole thing with some integrity. I say this as someone who has never been a Bridges fan.

kayaker:

If some people in the media persist in giving this oxygen (stalking JLR’s Twitter and reporting every little tweet, how sad are they), I hope they feel proud of themselves when JLR hits the wall again.

DJG:

I think ignoring JLR is the right strategy for now.
If he returns to parliament and starts to release more “tales out of school” I think the public will lose interest in him very quickly. It will not help his chances of re-election in Botany.
If he starts to “lift the bed sheets” on National the best solution would be to drop a current journo’s past in to the mix, the media will soon stop prodding JLR for gossip

Des:

It’s incredible how long the media have spent on this non-issue, as opposed to their efforts dissecting Labor’s policies…

Osiris:

Absolutely the right strategy.They should have started earlier, though. Nothing magic. It’s just the ‘in a hole, stop digging’ advice. Don’t comment and you can’t be questioned further. Well done Simon et al – at last.

Geoffrey Firmin:

I’m with Simon on this. I’ve read my last article about J-L Ross. I’d never heard of him until he went on mental health leave a few weeks ago. He’s a nobody getting far too much attention.

sarahmw:

And he has given his proxy vote to NZFirst ?Now why would Winston want or need that? I felt sorry for the guy but this dripfeeding of so called info is not helping him. I’m over it and hope the people advising JLR encourage him to take the time to get well.

Second time around:

The main thing the JLR saga has done is raise Dirty Politics again along with the Exclusive Brethren and the murky National Party back history. To a swing voter that is all poison and will undermine Judith Collins’ prospects of ever becoming party leader and PM.

kayaker:

Bridges has read it pretty well. People are over it. Those who remain interested strike me as ambulance chasers who have a ghoulish interest without any concern for the mental health of Jami-Lee Ross. This is another disaster (for JLR) waiting to happen and I hope someone who cares can get to him and help him soon. I’ve said before that I really feel for his family (especially his children), it’s hard to fathom that he wants to keep hurting them.

It looks like Whale Oil management has lost their own base on this, following eighteen months of pissing off their base with a torrent of attacks on National while promoting NZ First – who have decided to proxy vote for Ross in Parliament.

Slater and Peters supporting the most toxic MP in Parliament, while the Whale Oilers send a clear message they are over it all. If Whale Oil keeps trying to flog National dead all they may have to flog off is a dead whale without ant meat.

They have proven the blog can survive without Slater, sort of, but if they keep trying to be lame versions of dirt mongers they may become the tumbleweed.

What’s up at Whale Oil?

There have been noticeable changes at Whale Oil over the last couple of days. After a frenetic few weeks in a resurgence of activity from Cameron Slater there was a switch on Monday to self and site promotion, and then yesterday a noticeable absence.

Slater had been doing little more than going through the motions for months, with little more than two or three token posts per day, and little of note. He came back with a roar getting involved with the Jami-Lee Ross saga, in support of Ross and ramping up his long running attacks against the National Party, Simon Bridges and other MPs, as well as bringing up his gripes against John Key and Bill English.

He also did a flurry of posts on the release of the Craig v Slater defamation judgment, claiming vindication and victory, despite losing on two counts to Craig, and failing to win on his claims. No damages were awarded, with costs to be dealt with but little likelihood he would come out on top let alone breaking even financially.

On Monday he was still making big noises about revealing information and identities involved in the Jami-Lee Ross issues.

But there were signs of change, with an admission that Whale Oil had been shedding subscribers due to his attacks on National, and a number of self promotion posts trying to say how great he was. Some of this sounded like jacked up endorsements.

Yesterday (Tuesday) there were a couple of posts under Slater’s authorship, but these looked like standard style scheduled posts that have been common for some time – often following the news by a day or two.

And Slater has suddenly stopped commenting – his last comment was on Monday night (9:25 pm).

It has been common for Slater to be away from the WO front line due to various commitments, like court appearances, but this was a sudden change from his recent activities and threats of revelations.

Also noticeable yesterday was a lack of input from ‘spanishbride’ – there were a few standard style and probably scheduled posts from ‘SB’, but also suddenly no comments.

The blog kept functioning with a normal range of innocuous posts from the various authors who have become involved over the last years or so, but there was a sudden subdued feel after the hectic couple of weeks prior.

Blogging can be a relentless job, especially when it is run as a business as is Whale Oil. And the way Slater operates, with his resurgence over the last couple of weeks attacking enemies and losing support, as well as getting some unfavourable and potentially costly court results, will have been tough.

For some time Slater has appeared jaded and worn down, and the lack of success in the recent flurry of attention and activity probably won’t have helped. He and SB have also talked of  health problems over the last couple of years.

There seemed to be a sudden and unexplained cessation of activity yesterday.

Slater had ‘good and lucid discussion’ with Ross just before ‘suicide’ text

Someone emailed me and pointed out what could be a significant part of Cameron Slater”s post Another hit job from David Fisher which I must correct and tell the truth that the National party fails to

Saturday 20th October – Jami-Lee Ross is back in Auckland, but he is homeless. He has slept in his car and hasn’t slept much over the past week. He phones me at approximately 8:30 pm and he is distraught. We had a good and lucid discussion. However, as he sat there in his car he began scrolling through his past messages and he came across the nasty text from the female MP. It set him off. At 8:51 pm he texts her and then turns his cell phone off. She frantically tries to respond via text and makes 4 phone calls to him. He turns his phone on and off over the next three hours.

This says that Ross was distraught before talking to Slater and before scrolling back through his texts.

There is very specific detail in this from Slater, in which he says he had “a good and lucid discussion” with Ross just before Ross scrolls through old texts and then replies “You get your wish” to a two month old text from a National MP which, Slater claims, triggers a suicide alert.

Slater says that the text “set him off” – but that wasn’t the only thing that would have been influencing Ross at that time, given he was having a discussion with Slater.

It could be that Slater was unable to de-distraught Ross, but that’s not the only possibility in this situation.

Also in the same paragraph:

At one stage, a journalist communicates with him. as her company had someone stationed near his house and had observed a Police i-car turn up. [WO:  The journalist concerned has contacted me to clarify this situation. I am satisfied that there was no company watcher in place] She was concerned. This short text conversation occurred at 10:25 pm as Jami-Lee Ross was driving to the Waikato.

Rather ironically in a post headlined “which I must correct and tell the truth” Slater stated as a fact something he now acknowledges was not the truth.