Like everyone else, I don’t read the Listener or Kiwiblog, so it was 3 months until Anthony drew this article to my attention. Apart from nearly falling out of my chair laughing when Farrar’s voice is described as “gravelly” and raising my eyebrows when I read National had the power to shut Kiwiblog down, the bit that caught my attention was oil and gas shill John Pagani saying The Standard‘s “idea of political is embittered and angry” (in contrast to Farrar’s supposedly more relaxed style). Allow me to respond.
First, I don’t buy that analysis. Only the politically naive look at Farrar’s blog and don’t see the calculation and dog-whistling behind every post (save the endless travel pictures – which is why I gave up reading). And one of the trademarks of The Standard from the start has been self-depreciating humour. Whenever an author writes about something involving themselves, we tag it ‘vanity post’ and we don’t seek personal attention because it’s the issues that matter, not us. Contrast that with the way Farrar desperately tries to inject himself into every story. (I don’t know about the style of the blog Labour paid Pagani to write was angry because no-one I know ever read it)
Second, damn right I’m angry.
I’m angry that 400,000 New Zealanders are unemployed, jobless, or under-employed while the elite pockets billions in tax cuts.
I’m angry that our civilisation is cooking itself alive, and knows it is doing it, and yet the elites value their short-term interests over protecting our climate.
I’m angry that the people who work the hardest, often into an early grave, are the least rewarded by our economic system while the elite gets richer and richer, demanding an ever larger slice of a cake that is no longer growing.
I’m angry that the elites are constantly lining up for public hand outs – tax breaks, irrigation subsidies, covered stadia, bail-outs etc etc – while those same elites say that New Zealand, as one of the wealthiest country’s that has ever existed, can’t afford to end poverty.
Fundamentally, The Standard is anti-elitist. That sets it apart from most other blogs and most political commentators. And that’s what drives the anger. Because the world and this country are unfair – needlessly, unjustifiably unfair – for the vast majority of people. And I – we – believe those people matter.
Of course Farrar isn’t angry, neither is Pagani. They represent the elite. Why would the elite be angry? They have the world that they want; it works for them and no-one else.
Pagani doesn’t want change any more than Farrar does – for them, politics is a competition over who gets to be king of the castle for the next three years, not about tearing the castle down and building something better.
So, I’m not sorry if The Standard is angry some times. The fact is, for most of us, when it comes to politics, there’s a lot to be angry about. And the audience clearly agrees – that’s why this is the most-read blog in the country.*
*what about Slater you say? Have you ever seen how few comments Slater’s posts get? Isn’t it odd, given that viewership and comment numbers are so tightly linked on other blogs, if he’s getting so many hits and so few comments? The truth is, he artificially boosts his hits by posting lots of images of girls, cats, and guns – three of the biggest google images searches. He’s using hits via google images to fake his viewership.