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Just how wrong can you get it?

Written By: - Date published: 9:03 pm, December 6th, 2012 - 160 comments
Categories: community democracy, labour - Tags:

Word is that a senior Labour MP (who will go unnamed) has been lobbying National Council to put rules in place for party members who participate in the blogosphere. It appears they don’t like the idea that members might voice their concerns about the way their party is run. I can only assume that there would have to be some kind of a process whereby members who broke these rules would face a loss of membership or some other form of censure.

A cynic might feel compelled to point out the hypocrisy of such a policy. Especially when John Tamihere has compared the party to the head-hunters on national TV and then had the party leader intervene to get his membership approved. Double especially when Shane Jones gets to attack the Green Party on matters he holds no portfolio for and yet faces no censure. And that’s not even talking about the way caucus members themselves have brought the party into disrepute with their online antics.

But rather than be that cynical, I’ll just stick to pointing out the fact that the Labour Party membership is the lowest it has been in the history of the party and that to try to introduce such a proscriptive and draconian policy would only encourage that number to sink even lower.

It’s also antithetical to every theory of organising in the modern age that I can think of. Almost without exception member and volunteer based organisations are opening up their discourse and flattening their hierarchy as they realise that in the age of social media people need to feel connected and that they have a voice if you want them to join your organisation and help build your cause. In this light, telling people that joining the party means shutting the f*ck up on the internet isn’t really a winner.

160 comments on “Just how wrong can you get it?”

  1. Sanctuary 1

    “… (who will go unnamed) …”

    Why?

    • IrishBill 1.1

      Because I’m hoping they see the error of their ways and I don’t want to paint them into a corner.

      • Lanthanide 1.1.1

        Nah, just name ‘em.

        • mickysavage 1.1.1.1

          Yep. The members are wondering who should be persuaded/cajoled/forced into early retirement.

        • felix 1.1.1.2

          Yeah fuck ‘em. And what micky said.

        • Rich 1.1.1.3

          I’d “duck” that one…

        • paul andersen 1.1.1.4

          Ive had a gutsful of allegations against un-named people on this website. if you have proper proof and want to be taken seriously, for phucks sake name names, if not shut up!!!

          • One Tāne Huna 1.1.1.4.1

            Oh noes! Will you have a really big tanty?

            Anonymous public allegations have been a feature of politics since, um, I dunno, politics was invented. cf: Roman graffiti, etc.

            Get used to it.

            • lurgee 1.1.1.4.1.1

              As are secret meetings and decisions in camera. But everyone was crying foul about them the other day.

              I suspect a bit of murk in this. Someone may have said something in passing to someone, and it is now being blown up into a full paranoid wankfest. Actually naming someone would destroy the story. Even if it isn’t true, if it runs for a few days it will add to the sense of persecution that some here seem to thrive on.

      • dancerwaitakere 1.1.2

        They wont feel painted in a corner, after all, we just sit in rooms behind dark curtains. 

        What is threatening about us?

        Oh wait…

        You mean…

        That was all bullshit? Perhaps bloggers are real people.  

      • burt 1.1.3

        IrishBill

        Name em, for goodness sake – who the hell wants a party where the only way to silence some fool is to make them so scared of being humiliated that they shut up.

        You make a great point about the folly of their position, I agree entirely with what you have posted in this thread. If they are agitating to shut up party members so party members only talk the party line then lets know who these buffoons are. They are out of touch with the way of the world today and we deserve to know who they are so they don’t fool us into thinking they have the capability to represent us.

        • David H 1.1.3.1

          I don’t believe it I’m going to quote Burt

          “Name em, for goodness sake – who the hell wants a party where the only way to silence some fool is to make them so scared of being humiliated that they shut up. ”

          Burt’s got a point, the only way to shut a fool up is to expose them to even more ridicule, not only that, the speculation as to who will start. As soon as I read the post a name had already popped unbidden into my mind.

          Buckle up Burt, cos National’s going bye bye.

  2. Crimson Nile 2

    But rather than be that cynical, I’ll just stick to pointing out the fact that the Labour Party membership is the lowest it has been in the history of the party

    Surely it is more useful to have party followers who will passively take instructions, rather than active party members who may cause issues and express dissent.

    By the way, have you noticed how the Labour party machinery has been declining all over the country? This makes getting favoured candidates centrally selected a very easy process.

    • IrishBill 2.1

      By the way, have you noticed how the Labour party machinery has been declining all over the country? 

      Yes. And the party vote and the number of electorates the party holds.

  3. PlanetOrphan 3

    Blinded by the “Ideological Brilliance” coming out their own arse M8!

    Some DunnoKeyo phrases come to mind …

    “We have a Mandate”
    “The Party Line”
    “Off the Record”
    “Plausible Deniability”
    “Back Room Boys”
    “Old Boys Club”

    That’s it, no one’s gonna vote for a Gnat clone party , c yas :-)

  4. hush minx 4

    But if they don’t read blogs why would they worry about what people say on them? Or is it that they are concerned that members might do some independent thinking, oh a bit like they did at conference….?

    • fender 4.1

      Yes Little says the blogs don’t vote although he may need to rethink that one because folks interested in politics always vote. (people who talk about Little being a future leader think again)

      If these blog denier fools were interested in democracy they would take notice of what the people they claim to represent actually have to say. If having some home truths voiced upsets them they are in the wrong job or the wrong Party.

      • burt 4.1.1

        fender

        The whole basic mentality of solidarity must actually be challenged by blogs. Basically ‘we all talk as one’ is a founding principle for the Labour movement. Tough times for Labour…

        IMHO it’s a good time for Labour to return to it’s root’s – if that means party vote share of 30% then so be it. It’s a workers rights party not a everything to everyone party like it’s got away with being in a controlled media environment….

  5. just saying 5

    What sort of rules Irish Bill?

    On a possibly unrelated note, my membership has not yet been ratified though I paid my dues a couple of weeks ago.

    • lprent 5.1

      You will find that it takes a while. Head office is severely under staffed. Last I heard, the sudden rush of members put them literally weeks behind.

  6. Ron 6

    Maybe David will put a good word in for you. Seems to be the way to get membership

  7. rosy 7

    Attempting to censor the everyday conversation (apparently by non-voters that nobody pays any attention to) on the internet. Really, that’s just too funny…

    As for controlling it – imagine what it would take to work out the pseudonyms… and on the pseudonym point the reason for having them has just been established beyond doubt.

    No chance that this will be taken seriously.

    • weka 7.1

      Not to mention what might happen if they kicked Lynn Prentice out of the party. Honestly, you can tell this hasn’t been thought through.
       
      On the other hand, should all conversations held by members, esp higher up members, be fair game to be discussed on the internet? There is some kind of irony here, and I do feel somewhat uncomfortable with speculating about something that someone might have said – sorry IB, that’s not a dig at you, I’m just imagining hypothetical scenarios where this might be a problem.
       
      On the other other hand, if the Labour party hadn’t been so dismissive of its members, esp those members that spend time in the blogosphere, it might now be getting treated with more respect.
       
      The other issue is would the new rules apply only to blogging? What about other media? No letters to the editor? No commenting in discussions online? No talking out loud at public meetings?

      • rosy 7.1.1

        “The other issue is would the new rules apply only to blogging? What about other media? No letters to the editor? No commenting in discussions online? No talking out loud at public meetings?

        Yep, I can’t see why there would be different rules for different media.

        There is a valid issue of bringing the party that you are a member of into disrepute, but that’s a quite different to some people talking on a blog. There are, I guess, already rules around that, and John Tamihere’s membership shows that bar is set very high. I can’t see any reason for different rules for blogging and commenting on blogs.

      • lprent 7.1.2

        Got raised in NZ Council when the Tamihere membership went through from what I have heard. But I have literally been too busy to follow up.

  8. Lanthanide 8

    How to prove your political party is stuck in the past:

    Step 1: Try to censor people on the internet.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if whatever politician this was didn’t understand the difference between “the internet” or “the web” anyway.

    • QoT 8.1

      Step 2: Assume you can really identify who a person is on the internet, especially on sites you have no control over.

      I’d dearly love to see the logistical planning involved. Sourcing the naughty comments, doxing the commenters’ handles, comparing to the membership list … but let’s be honest, the whole point of any policy change would clearly be to punish members whose identities are already well-documented (and who have been saying things said senior MP doesn’t like.)

      • mickysavage 8.1.1

        You would be surprised QoT at the angst the Standard has caused some Labour MPs. 

      • GregJ 8.1.2

        They just need to set up a special team to coordinate and carry out a thorough “investigation” of these heretics…they could even dress in nice Party colours…perhaps something like this one

        Sorry – I’ll get my coat.

      • IrishBill 8.1.3

        I’d dearly love to see the logistical planning involved. Sourcing the naughty comments, doxing the commenters’ handles, comparing to the membership list …

        There’s already a bit of that kind of thing going on. It’s why I won’t comment on Red Alert.

        • the sprout 8.1.3.1

          same

        • dancerwaitakere 8.1.3.2

          There really must be a point where we decide that we don’t give a shit. 

          Who cares if Scary Clare, Mumbles or the rest of the gang put us on a naughty list?

          Lets see them try and win an election without foot soldiers, should they try to censor the internet. 

  9. QoT 9

    … I’m kind of tickled by the notion (taking the scenario of the post to the extreme) that Labour could theoretically ban its own members from commenting on its own blog.

  10. jaymam 10

    So, who’s a senior Labour MP who has been criticised a lot lately on blogs? I can think of only one. I bet it’s him.

    • Te Reo Putake 10.1

      Dya mean David Shearer?

      • QoT 10.1.1

        Ah, the joys of semantics … does IB mean senior as in power level, or senior as in tenure? Wheels within wheels …

        • fender 10.1.1.1

          Yes theres a few to choose from, despite being told to pull their socks up they would rather make barefoot anyone with constructive criticism.

        • KhandallaMan 10.1.1.2

          Queen Darling

          “Senior” in Labour parlance means you are inside the clique supporting/using Shearer.
          “Not Senior”, “Junior” etc means you are about to be purged.

          Examples of “Senior” are people wrecking safe seats like Clare Curran and Chris Hipkins or List only orphans like Fenton, Cosgrove and Ardern.

          Examples of “Junior” (about to be purged) are strong seat winners like Cunliffe, Manhuta and Wall.  

          Simple, when you get the hang of it.

          The person to whom IB is referring is Clare Curran.
          Her immediate target is Colonial Viper. 
          You and I are next.

           

          • Colonial Viper 10.1.1.2.1

            Her immediate target is Colonial Viper.

            She’d wreck the reputation of Red Alert’s confidentiality and security if she was actually behind anything like that, or behind any move to gag ordinary party members; RA is after all a blog site set up for the Labour Party. Nothing makes people run from a blog faster than sysops you can’t have confidence in.

          • burt 10.1.1.2.2

            When they came for the Colonial Vipers I didn’t protest because I wasn’t a Colonial Viper…

          • QoT 10.1.1.2.3

            Ha. Good luck censuring someone who isn’t a party member. Though I am now going to change all my passwords out of sheer online paranoia.

      • jaymam 10.1.2

        No I don’t know who it is. However if there is someone important in the Labour Party who wants to stop members expressing their views, that person and his/her mates should resign right now.
        Look what happened in the 1980s when Labour let Roger Douglas and Richard Prebble and others have free reign.

    • millsy 10.2

      That’s a big clue — I think I might know who it is now…

      Doesnt really suprise me, mind you.

  11. Skinny 11

    That’s laughable big brother stuff ‘censorship is good’ ‘freedom of speech is bad.’ 

    This from an ‘inclusive’  Labour party or should that be the new excommunicated    Labour party. 

    Hmm good luck putting that one to the affiliates.

  12. Anne 12

    telling people that joining the party means shutting the f*ck up on the internet isn’t really a winner.

    What about their own blogsite “Red Alert”? Party members won’t be allowed to participate unless they have prior approval? I thought we fought a World War to prevent fascism and authoritarian regimes taking over our lands.

    Would someone like to kindly tell this parliamentary Labour miscreant that a bit of honest reflection on certain very recent internal Labour events may assist him/her to comprehend why some in the Party have felt duty bound to be critical.

  13. Sam 13

    So let me get this straight, you’re launching an attack on the entire Labour party because somebody told you something that you can’t prove, and even if you did prove it it’s actually just one person’s action/opinion, that is, trying to convince a bunch of other people of something they believe with no ability to say for sure whether said opinion is actually going anywhere?

    How fucking desperate.

    • QoT 13.1

      I guess that’s what IB’s post looks like after you’ve filtered it through Derail-O-Vision.

    • felix 13.2

      What makes you think he can’t prove it?

    • RedLogix 13.3

      I guess the problem Sam is:

      1. The person is not some ordinary member. It’s someone with considerable experience and organisational power. That anyone else in the Labour Party has treated this risible idea with anything other than a polite snigger suggests that either this person has a lot of clout, or the idea has fallen on fertile ground.

      Either way a bad look for the Labour Party as a whole.

      2. Sure it’s one ‘persons’ opinion. But then again Irish Bill has been an author here at The Standard least as long as I can remember and I joined up within a few weeks of when this blog began. Over that time IB has written many dozens of posts on numerous Labour Party topics and has earned his own reputation and credibility with many regulars. You can’t fake that.

      3. But you are right in this sense that until IB chooses for his own reasons to name the person he’s got in mind then it is more in the nature of a ‘warning shot over the bow’ rather than a direct hit. Fair enough.

      Doesn’t stop the rest of us expressing our astonishment at the stupidity of the idea all the same.

    • Colonial Viper 13.4

      I have personally witnessed some of the backstory to this post. And it is a damn nasty and personal business behind the scenes. If anything, IB has sugarcoated the facts of the situation with his restraint (that’s not a criticism btw).

  14. the pigman 14

    You won’t name them because you want them to see the error of their ways? Well, that’ll be effective.

    I’m not Labour caucus apologist, but your refusal to name this MP gives this whole article the smack of smear.

    Prove me wrong.

      • the pigman 14.1.1

        Sadly your link didn’t work QoT. Clearly the presence of both the word “man” and “pig” in my nickname has tickled your interest, since you’re still trying to paint everything I say in sexist, gendered terms. Keep it up!

        • galeandra 14.1.1.1

          Gendered as in prickly, hoggy? While semantic slippage evokes the thought of a prick, I have to say that your point is small enough to be missed.

          • the pigman 14.1.1.1.1

            This behaviour on The Standard reminds me of a great passage from Lord of the Flies:

            “There were no words, and no movements but the tearing of teeth and claws.”

            • Galeandra 14.1.1.1.1.1

              This behaviour on The Standard reminds me of a great passage from Lord of the Flies:

              “There were no words, and no movements but the tearing of teeth and claws.”

              Yeah, you’re right. The ‘Beast’ emerged from their caucus , it was the ugly expression the cabal of power-hungry black-gowned hunters, the suits, who resisted the attempts of Simon the meek and mild to unpick the real nature of their society’s ills.

              Now remind me again what this post’s supposedly about? Who are the victims in this? CV and a few others seem to be in the sights of the Thinkcrime investigators, and it’s a bit rich for the pigman to start blaming the littluns.

              btw with the moniker you’ve chosen, better watch out. The inquisition’ll be coming for you next.

        • QoT 14.1.1.2

          Nah, I was being snarky about your pointlessly aggressive tone. Try this link to get the point.

          • the pigman 14.1.1.2.1

            Well sometimes one lady’s “pointlessly aggressive tone” is another pigman’s probing sarcasm, but I enjoyed your pic so let’s leave it at that.

    • weka 14.2

      How do you smear someone without naming them?

      • the pigman 14.2.1

        You smear the Party, and even better the ABC club/Shearer (again, who I am no apologist for).

        You need only read the thread to see all the assumptions people are leaping to without a shred of evidence.

        • felix 14.2.1.1

          “You smear the Party, and even better the ABC club/Shearer”

          Where’s that, pigman? I don’t see anything in the post that points to, or even hints at the ABC club or Shearer. Of course if hearing that someone in Labour is being a fuckwit makes you immediately think of those people, then they’ve got bigger problems than this,

          “You need only read the thread to see all the assumptions people are leaping to without a shred of evidence.”

          Really? I see one person (Kandallah Man) leaping to one assumption, twice. Which is still only one assumption. What fucking thread are you reading?

          • the pigman 14.2.1.1.1

            One clearly needs a thick hide to survive on the standard against what quickly becomes a lynch mob of abuse… ergh.

            The obvious drawing of assumptions by people is not necessarily translated into public accusations/people naming names. But since you’re not going to read through the thread, I’ll pick out the people naming/publicly drawing assumptions:

            “Rich 1.1.1.3
            7 December 2012 at 11:34 am
            I’d “duck” that one…”

            “fender 8.1.1.2
            6 December 2012 at 10:47 pm
            That will explain their weird behaviour as they must taking tranquilisers for the anxiety.

            Is it the feathered one I wonder.”

            “@dancerwaitakere 8.1.3.2
            7 December 2012 at 12:09 pm
            There really must be a point where we decide that we don’t give a shit.

            Who cares if Scary Clare, Mumbles or the rest of the gang put us on a naughty list?”

            “jaymam 10
            6 December 2012 at 10:19 pm
            So, who’s a senior Labour MP who has been criticised a lot lately on blogs? I can think of only one. I bet it’s him.”
            Olwyn 10.1.2.1
            7 December 2012 at 1:01 pm
            +1

            Reply
            jaymam 10.1.2.1.1
            7 December 2012 at 1:17 pm
            Does anyone know who voted to resurrect Roger Douglas after he was sacked by Lange, and are they still in the Labour Party?

            Reply
            millsy 10.2
            7 December 2012 at 7:51 am
            That’s a big clue — I think I might know who it is now…

            Doesnt really suprise me, mind you.”

            “KhandallaMan 20
            6 December 2012 at 11:47 pm
            Only a PR professional from Dunedin South with a degree in anthropology would try to censor the Internet. ”

            “Jane 20.3
            7 December 2012 at 6:52 am
            It can’t be Claire, surely she would know better than to suggest something like this, maybe someone like Annette King trying to find a way to shutdown this annoying interweb thingy.”

            And fuck it,m I am not reading past post 20, because this is taking too much time and I don’t want to re-read this thread.

            Answer me straight Felix, do you really consider that this post not naming the culprit doesn’t have the effect of causing people to draw assumptions/speculate about the identity of the person? I wouldn’t have thought that’s exactly a controversial statement.

            • Pascal's bookie 14.2.1.1.1.1

              Those time stamps are funny. What are they all about?

            • Olwyn 14.2.1.1.1.2

              You put my +1 next to the wrong quote, which was this one by Jayman:

              “No I don’t know who it is. However if there is someone important in the Labour Party who wants to stop members expressing their views, that person and his/her mates should resign right now. Look what happened in the 1980s when Labour let Roger Douglas and Richard Prebble and others have free reign.”

              I am not an insider and have no idea as to who said what and to whom, but I agree with Jayman that someone important in the LP ought not to be stopping members from expressing their views, and also that members should be vigilant in trying ensure that we do not get another round like the 80s.

            • felix 14.2.1.1.1.3

              Nice one piggy, as Pb says those are almost all dated after my comment, except for one that I already noted from Kandallah Man and two that don’t do what you said they would.

              For an example of what “leaping to assumptions” looks like for future reference, try this.

  15. gobsmacked 15

    Irish Bill’s second paragraph is the clincher here.

    Personally I don’t mind a bit of ruthless party discipline when there are elections to be won. Sure, round up all who show insufficient loyalty to the Cause, stick them in a dungeon, do whatever it takes. But start at the bloody top. Even the most rabid ranter on a blog can’t have the public impact of a Shane Jones or Trevor Mallard or John Tamihere. I’m still waiting for my invite from Q & A.

    We aren’t shutting up because they aren’t. They could change that any time they like. Or be made to, by the leader. If he was one.

    • One Tāne Huna 15.1

      “We aren’t shutting up because they aren’t. They could change that any time they like.”

      I suspect it would take something more than that to get us lot to shut up :)

  16. DexterX 16

    They need to go to the source and ban free and contrary thinking or views – once the ban has been adhered and enforced blog posts won’t matter.

  17. Pete 17

    That is completely the wrong way to go. Given that caucus seemed so surprised by the vote at conference, it’s clear that they are out of touch with the mood of the wider party. Perhaps a forum for party members would be the way to go. Lock it off from public view and give members their own login when they apply or re-up their party membership. But sure as anything, it would be folly to attempt to cow people who are politically motivated enough to join a party in the first place from exercising their freedom of speech.

    • burt 17.1

      Pete

      The problem that would occur in such a walled garden of party members only is that it would become quite inbreed and would serve little function in terms of robust debate. Any potential for flying a kite and seeing how it lifts would be lost also. However idea in terms of creating jerk circles for ‘yes here here’ debates about how perfect party policy is and how it will work so well.

      But sure, good for dissemination of party political broadcasts.

      The debate that occurs in the blogsphere has completely changed the political landscape, it has been doing so for years. Any jumped up ‘senior MP’ who hankers for the good old days of releasing carefully crafted press releases as the ‘last word’ on something has had their day….. Hopefully IrishBill will name this muppet so we get to know who the has been is.

      • weka 17.1.1

        The Green Party did, and I assume still does, run email lists for its members to discuss things on. It can be done in a good way.
         
        Pete, a membership-only forum might be useful but it isn’t going to stop criticism of the Labour Party on blogs by Labour members. The problem is within the party, not within the blogosphere. Ever wonder why the Green Party members aren’t airing their dirty laundry in public?

        • burt 17.1.1.1

          weka

          I don’t dispute blogs create sound members only forums. There is no dispute from me about this. My point was more that robust debate requires opposition to not just the party ideas but the party principles – the party is never “always right” on any level.

          My opinion is that political blogs where folk speak freely is healthy for a party – but I’m not surprised it’s repugnant to the old school mentality of controlled press releases with no public debate.

        • Saarbo 17.1.1.2

          “Ever wonder why the Green Party members aren’t airing their dirty laundry in public?”

          Because they have good strong leadership with integrity. The Leadership in the Labour Party hasnt got those qualities so leaves a VOID which is being filled up by…well…everybody!

          For a start, good leadership in the Labour Party would have dealt with the massive faction that has been generated in the Labour Party over the demotion of David Cunliffe (and his Team), instead it has chosen to ignore it….well, this is what you f#$%en well get.

          Good Leadership would have dealt with this in the initial decision.

    • lprent 17.2

      I have always thought that should happen. It’d leak like a sieve of course. But so do the LEC’s and members meetings.

      Of even more use and a lot easier to set up would be a campaign organizers forum for cross country campaigning. Don’t bother with the PR campaign. Just the old boring sharing of ideas on electorate level campaigning.

    • Neoleftie 17.3

      So a elite forum for a small elite cadre….from one black kettle to , IMHO open connective ness campaign for three years, clinics , walk umongst the people and hear their voices not walled off in a circular room looking at yourselves in a mirror reflecting across the room.
      Bang the drums, raise the flag, sing the song and raise the cry, united we stand and stand we must or too late for the people.

    • QoT 17.4

      re-up their party membership

      I’ve been re-watching The Wire recently, hence this phrasing is fucking hilarious to me.

  18. BillODrees 18

    ” telling people that joining the party means shutting the f*ck up on the internet isn’t really a winner.”

  19. Alethios 19

    They’re complete morons. It makes me sick.

  20. KhandallaMan 20

    Only a PR professional from Dunedin South with a degree in anthropology would try to censor the Internet. 

    FYI,  Clare Curran is screwing up the once great Labour seat that was Dunedin South.

    In 2011 Labour got 35% of the party vote, whereas we got 47% in 2008 and 57% in 2005.
    In 2011 Clare got 49% agains 52% in 2005. Good old Benson-Pope got 57% in 2005.

    She is performing very poorly. A Terrible Shocker, indeed.  It is time for the Labour members in Dunedin South to question this crazy Luddite. She should be hauled up on front of the NZ Council and put on probation.   

    • Arkonaut 20.1

      If it is Clare behind this then I would put money on her calling her amendment the “Promoting Internet Freedom and Engagement” rule.

    • burt 20.2

      The bigger picture is perhaps that people don’t like militant old school lefties who think they have all the answers.

    • Jane 20.3

      It can’t be Claire, surely she would know better than to suggest something like this, maybe someone like Annette King trying to find a way to shutdown this annoying interweb thingy.

    • Neoleftie 20.4

      I crunched the numbers after the election and pointed this out to Clare in response to an article from Bryce Edwards on the blueing of Dunedin south. Her response was “I won didnt I” my point that the party vote contribution from labour south was dismal and is decreasing even allowing for the swing.
      Dunedin south had a split and Helen Clark had to intervene as peace maker as the rebel branch controlled all the assets and cash.
      My whole stance for last ten years has been that labour must reorganise, reengergise, reconnect and provide a bold direction and policy plan focused on the economy at macro level from the local and central level party.
      Irony that Clare actively promotes OPEN government and the red alert interactive blog.
      Power to the people…even if we had to resort to having our voice heard only on our own blog.

      • QoT 20.4.1

        So on top of everything else, according to your anecdote Curran also doesn’t understand how MMP works. Wish I was surprised.

    • Ant 20.5

      LOL, as soon as I read this post I thought of Clare Curran straight away.

  21. mikey77 21

    So what they are saying is “let’s be like the Standard and ban anyone who has a different opinion to us?”

    [lprent: We ban for particular behaviours. Just avoid the types of behaviour in our policy especially the self-martyrdom offenses and you shouldn't have an issue. Of course the most common reason for getting permanent bans from here is to persistently express an opinion on how we should run our site. But I figure that people can best express their back seat driving skills from the back seat - kiwiblog for instance. ]

    • IrishBill 21.1

      But if we ban people who don’t agree with us and you clearly don’t agree with us you must be banned which means you couldn’t make that comment which means I can’t be replying to it which means… OMG is this a blogosphere/space-time singularity?!

  22. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 22

    But controlling everyone in everything they do to benefit the greater good is at the very heart of being left wing. That’s all they’re doing.

    • IrishBill 22.1

      You’re confusing the libertarian/authoritarian axis with the left/right axis.

      • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 22.1.1

        And where do you sit on that axis, IB?

        • IrishBill 22.1.1.1

          Left. Clearly.

          • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 22.1.1.1.1

            I meant the libertarian/authoritarian axis.

            • IrishBill 22.1.1.1.1.1

              Funny thing is, over the years I’ve been involved in the Standard I’ve shifted more and more to the libertarian end of the spectrum.

              • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

                …but from where you started, that’s quite a journey.

              • Ron

                Oh you’ve joined the ACT party then?

                • karol

                  Ron, you clearly need some political education.  The libertarian right have laid claim to “libertarian” in recent times.  But the libertarian left-libertarian socialism has been around for a long time.

                  • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

                    Except, if I recall correctly, IB has claimed as something of a virtue his status as a member of the authoritarian left.

                    ‘Cause he knows best.

                  • Ron

                    I am aware of the self proclaimed libertarian left and the L-Right for that matter, To be honest I would prefer they call themselves Libetarian Selfish. It seem to describe them more accurately.
                    but hey whatever floats your boat./

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      ‘Glibertarians’

                    • karol

                      libertarian socialists, aim for organisation in a network of small groups, nut without control from above by a state authority.  It involves community co-operation – far from “selfish”.  It’s not individualistic like the libertarianz right.

              • Lefty

                I’ve always thought that the only type of left worth being meant being on the libertarian end of the libertarian/authoritarian axis.

                Its one of the lessons of failed socialist experiments in the likes of the old USSR.

                Being libertarian doesn’t mean being sloppy, disorganised, unfocussed or undisciplined as a party.

                It just means accepting some of your supporters will be a bit like that from your point of view, respecting their right to be that way, and trying to find positive ways of working with them so they became a source of strength rather than weakness.

                This often leads to the joy of discovering somebody you thought was a dickhead sometimes actually knows better than you do yourself.

                When you give people the space to raise a dissenting voice and present a case for doing or seeing something differently it is surprising with what they can come up with.

                Doing this means sacrificing a bit of ego of course.

                But it opens up the opportunity to learn and to grow, it encourages better quality thinking and ultimately it is the only way anything can change.

                Authoritarianism can keep organisations focussed and on track for a while but ultimately leads to dumb organisations that need to become ever more authoritarian in order to cover up exactly how dumb they have become. Such organisations need leaders who aren’t too smart and surrond themselves with syncophants.

    • Tracey 22.2

      as opposed to the right agenda which is to pretend to not be trying to control everyone for the benefit of less than 10%.

  23. Peter 23

    Does National have an equivalent to the “Standard”?

    • Tracey 23.1

      They call them their “pollsters”

    • lprent 23.2

      Kiwiblog is probably the closest. Somewhat more sycophantic probably due to DPF deriving a lot of income from polling for the Nats. Whaleoil is less reverential, but I believe that he takes money from PR firms instead.

      Personally I tend to rate No Minister as being a better mix, if only because they are multi-author with a range of opinions.

      • Peter 23.2.1

        Thanks. I’ve just had a quick look at the comments on Kiwiblog and they don’t appear to allow so called bad language.

        I make this point because I suspect that the style of comment on The Standard may well put off many people who might otherwise support Labour. Like it or not The Standard is seen as Labour so maybe members of the Labour Party heirachy have good reasons to be concerned. In the end perceptions are reality, and votes caste in 2014 will be based on perceptions as always.

        National owe a lot of its electoral success to a slick PR machine that is in the business of managing perceptions, I just hope that the flavour of The Standard is not hindering the cause it so strongly supports.

        • bad12 23.2.1.1

          National owes ALL of it’s electoral success to ‘tax cut bribery’ and the promise to sell to those so enriched by the former the most profitable assets of the state,

          Just thought a small correction to your comment was in order…

        • felix 23.2.1.2

          “Thanks. I’ve just had a quick look at the comments on Kiwiblog and they don’t appear to allow so called bad language.”

          Then you didn’t look very hard.

          You also obviously weren’t scanning for overt racism, open support of n@zism and white supremacy, misogyny and homophobia, religious extremism, or threats of violence against political opponents.

          Seriously dude, holding up the comments section of Kiwiblog as an example to follow?

          For realz?

          • Pascal's bookie 23.2.1.2.1

            Be fair. Someone once pointed out to him that a commenter was saying that Brievik style action was inevitable, and he steped right up and gave them some ‘demerit points’.

            he has no problem whatsoever with people saying that ‘mulitculturalism’ (wink wink) is an existential threat to our way of life, but if someone suggests that we do anything about it, he’ll be writing them out some demerit points and recording them on a spreadsheet don’t you worry. If someone points it out him that is. He’s a busy guy.

        • fisiani 23.2.1.3

          Red Alert is a blog run by and for some Caucus members of the Labour Party. (The old guard)
          The Standard postings clearly have the impression of being far more radical.
          The old guard do not want policies as oft advocated on the Standard by some posters as they fear these will frighten the voters.
          The posters however genuinely believe that the voters will welcome and support the new (actually recycled) policies.
          When the caucus feels threatened by a blog – they will respond as they deem fit.
          In other words they perceive that the Standard has morphed from being a blog that generally supports the Labour Party to a blog that generally supports a revolutionary Labour Party.
          A fomenter of mischief.
          This tension will only abate if the caucus and this blog align more. Pigs may be airborne sooner!!!

  24. Tracey 24

    National avoids all of this and any suggestion of being undemocratic by not having blogs and being, well, undemocratic, while say they are for democracy and freedom./ It’s quite clever the way they deceive right out in the open like that.

  25. Saarbo 25

    Yes, this is an extension on the criticism of blogs by Shearer, Little and Cosgrove. The (older/dumber/backward) MP’s are annoyed at the transparency and openness of opinion that blogs create. The older Journo’s have the same issue. 

    MP’s have traditionally been able to use their powerful positions to bully members, the Blogs have clearly given members an avenue to disagree with the direction that their MP’s are moving, so the MP’s are looking for ways to stem this.

    I am sure that we will never hear anymore about this initiative. More progressive members in the council would have told this particular MP to zip it. But the worry is that Labour has such a dinosaurs like this in its ranks, if Labour is ever to succeed with a good strong 3 term stint in power it needs to clean out lightweights like this, people who are so out of touch with the direction of media and how many of us are getting our information these days.

    As a member I still feel embarrassed rather than proud of my representative MP’s…what a hopeless and self serving bunch. Unbelievingly their values seem so out of touch with the traditional values of Labour.

    • Neoleftie 25.1

      Power elite within labour are running scared that members both have power now, change is being forced upon them, and that via blogs etc we have a voice, are connected and are in some way, influencing event within labour and the MSM.

      Take the cunliffe saga for example. Most commenters on TS promote cunliffe as a real leader, a man of change and having a direction and plan that we the members support and this thread was picked p by the MSM which ran with the vague notion that power to the membership was smoke and mirrors for a coup from within or actually from the outer rim of labour as its us the member driving and demanding change not the scared and power hungry elites.

      Word of caution – words have power, a smokey mirror amplifies words, now we just need the deeds to reflect the words.

  26. bad12 26

    Damn, does this mean my chances of becoming a Labour Party member have been seriously diminished, the thought of that simply makes me want to giggle,

    What the latest sounds like is someone in the Labour caucus trying to score a few brownie points with the Leader, Bwana Dave,

    It’s a follow on from Bwana Dave’s wee moan about those who comment on The Standard, according to the word of the Bwana we should instead of openly commenting on-line, contact Bwana Dave personally with our concerns,

    Simply turns the giggles into laughter….

  27. higherstandard 27

    Dickheads

  28. My mum and dad, uncle’s and aunty’s, would be turning in their graves if they knew
    what the labour party has become, a party of dictatorship,a party where members are
    ignored, a party of division,a party of political self interest by mp’s/caucus, most mp’s are
    elected by the people who make comments on the ‘interweby’ thing,i say that with tongue
    in cheek,because obviously, those mp’s and leadership team dont really understand that
    computers are not automatic open ended comment makers, there is ‘real’ people behind
    the words that appear on blogs,message boards,twitter,etc,once mp’s etc understand
    that,then they may accept that there is a high interest in how their favoured political
    party is run and how it works for the people, who vote for it, also an interest for the people
    who they vote for in electoral seats around the country, the thing is that it’s those interweby
    people’s opinions that mp’s/caucus should be taking notice of and act in a manner that is
    inclusive instead of dismissing and requesting some sort of sensorship.
    The labour party,mp’s/caucus should get with the programme, this is 2012 , wise up.

    • Ron 28.1

      It’s not likely to change until we get new dynamic people elected as MP’s which in the MMP era means that we need to have better people high up on the party list.
      The question is how do we get good people on the list. Maybe the party needs to get rid of the deadwood in parliament and when in opposition is the only time to do this. Maybe we could hire Michelle Boag to come in and do a clean out. She certainly re-invigortaed National. But its not only the parlimentary wing that needs cleaning out we also need to look at the party itself. Part of the reason our Leader says he doesnt read blogs is becuase the whole technology thing is beyond him. We need a leader that understands the modern social media and knows how to use it.
      So better people in the party and way better people on the party list.

  29. ak 29

    Dear oh dear. The expression “trying to herd agitated cats” comes to mind, this time with the addendum “…by a sclerotic collie”.

    Hope your Word is wrong Bill (on the other hand, wee burt and hiyastan agreeing….mmmmm….)

    Dopiest bit is, the Stan’s influence is growing all the time: and the dreaded “infighting curse” is showing signs of losing effect, NB the last two polls. While the msm Tory scribes and the Farrarskis leapt on the Shearer/Cunners raruraru and whipped it up with glee, the result has been a shocker for them. Lab/grrr ahead leading into the hols.

    Looks like any publicity is good publicity for Labradour at the mo’; I take it all back Standardistas, redouble your efforts and put the hot poker up the old mutt. It needs it: http://www.stuff.co.nz/taranaki-daily-news/news/8047797/Cold-Creek-water-bill-at-final-hurdle

  30. One Tāne Huna 30

    I can understand the sentiment behind this brain-fart. Trevor Mallard’s Facebook springs to mind.

    My eyes glaze over and I imagine the pitiful Mallard dragged to the guillotine in the public square, but no, I must resist this tempting prospect.

    It would be a breach of his human rights.

  31. prism 31

    Wasn’t Putin trying to limit dissent in Russia, the Chinese, USA setting up (supposedly) spoilers who would distract threads on blogs? Why shouldn’t Labour join the anti democratic, dumb-down-the -proles classic reaction to criticism and uncomfortable new ideas? They don’t show any signs of being able to grow a flourishing sport on this tired old tree.

  32. Craig Glen Eden 32

    “Just How Wrong Can You Get It?”

    Well Shearer is the leader of the Labour Party he has no experience of the Party, Parliament, Public speaking, media presentations or management,he bumbles mumbles and he and his Caucus supporters have demoted and silenced Labours best performer.

    So I would call it “Shearer Wrong” thats how wrong!

  33. SPC 33

    This is about how the Labour Party caucus still includes people of the 1980′s era.

    They took action in the 1980′s that did not have party membership support and the party broke up – New Labour/Alliance.

    Now Labour members have a part in electing Labour leaders – but not the one supported by the majority of the current caucus. And also a role in formulating policy.

    How a future Labour caucus led government adapts to this will be interesting – that some in it want a strong central command over members is unsurprising – this gives the leader and his majority caucus faction the chance to use party discipline to bend the party to its will (silence those who might say that the Labour led government is not following party policy).

    It reflects that some (1980′s era) MP’s feel subjugated by the greater party democracy (like a tyrant by the growing power of a parliament in the old era) then they want the same discipline on the party member as themselves. A sort of revenge. Some in caucus already leak stuff to the media against their own caucus rules – but possibly with their leaders knowledge and consent. I suppose they are asking party members to be bound in the same way – not to leak stuff openly under their own name, but to do so indirectly via third parties. To have to act as they do.

  34. Professor Longhair 34

    “…a senior Labour MP (who will go unnamed) has been lobbying National Council…”

    Why exactly is he or she going unnamed?

  35. SHG 35

    Is Clare Curran going to impose a ban on saying “LOL” on the Internet?

  36. chris73 36

    Seriously though, how cool is the internet? Look at the power its given to the plebs (sorry population)

  37. lurgee 37

    Note the first words of the article – ‘Word is’ that a nameless someone has said something pretty vague and unspecified to persons unknown.

    This is rumour-mongering.

    Dismiss it.

    • the pigman 37.1

      Sure is, but at least we can see from the trackbacks that its giving the right wing blogosphere plenty of oxygen (that is sarcasm, before anyone sticks me, guts me and skewers me on a spit roast).

      Of course it would be rubbish for the LP to try and censor its members online. It’s terribly unnecessary and counterproductive because those who are actually members (and are not just serial politics junkies) would probably think twice about the kind of information they put out there about the Party.

    • IrishBill 37.2

      Nope. That was a turn of phrase that perhaps made it sound more like gossip than fact but it is fact.

      I can also assure you that I don’t air the party’s laundry like this without good reason. 

  38. “I’ll just stick to pointing out the fact that the Labour Party membership is the lowest it has been in the history of the party and that to try to introduce such a proscriptive and draconian policy would only encourage that number to sink even lower.”
    Or just push more of the left over to the Green Party (even Labour party members might vote Green with the party vote and Labour for their local electorate), mainly due to the fears over Labour being weak towards National come 2014. Either way will still be voting Green, as their environment and education policy is more promising that Labours at the moment.

    • Rhinoviper 38.1

      Considering that my electorate MP is Grant Fucking Robertson, I’ll vote for the Green candidate with my electorate vote even if they stand a stale Christmas pudding, the embalmed corpse of Leonid Brezhnev, the second law of thermodynamics or a greyish shade of brown. They’re all less dreary and toxic and show less bad faith.

      • Chris 38.1.1

        I’ll certainly be voting Mana or Green or in some other strategic way to keep Labour’s vote low. It’s worth the risk to hope a Left coalition can still be formed but with the minimum of power needed for that coalition going to Labour. A powerful Labour coalition partner would be in many ways worse than a National government. At least another term of National may create just the tiniest flicker of hope that it just may be possible for the Left to begin thinking that maybe, just maybe, they need to start talking about whether it could be time, perhaps soon, for them to look at the viability of whether or not they should get their fucking act together.

        • Tim 38.1.1.1

          As a life-long Labour supporter……..me too. No way can I support a party of betrayers, insipid little whip-masters with over-inflated egos, and a number of others who’ve come to hold some sort of sense of entitlement. There’s an entire extended family and group of friends that comes with the same committment.
          Shearer is no Clarke, and even IF Clarke were still around, she’d have to have ditched the 3rd Way/4th Reich bullshit. And for all those that harp on about how we should get in behind and effect change from within – how long do you propose that should take? How long before those that have hijacked a party’s principles and who live out-of-touch and with a sense of entitlement come to realise?  Too long so far I reckon – especially when there are alternatives.
          I gave them till the end of year to get real and wake up – hasn’t happened and it isn’t going to.
          The thing I object to most I spose is that the Labour Party has no moral right to the label.
          They’re obviously going to have to learn the hard way.

  39. Rhinoviper 39

    All of this makes me think of an oldie but a goodie:

    “Your majesty, the peasants are revolting!”

    “Yes, I know.”

    Except that there’s a real element of panic obvious.

  40. Tanz 40

    I’m thinking of going with another party. If one cannot participate as a party member on social media websites, then what is the point? The members are the backbone, are they not, or should be. Sometimes wanted, sometimes not?

  41. lenore 41

    I know a few people including myself that think – should join the labour party and up the support. But then I think of all the times I have been involved in environmental, political, feminist groups over the last 30 years and think oh god – there will be the GDA’s (grim dour activists with no sense of humour) present, there will be boring meetings where it is run in a way that the GDAs put you off saying anything because :they “know everything” and there will be also very little fun in it because how can we possibly have fun when the issues are so serious

    If the labour party wants more support, there has to be change in the approach and people who have been involved for ages need to look at themselves and think ” how inclusive am I” .

    I know not everyone is like that, but it only takes a couple of GDAs who are, to put people off and it puts me off.

    Also I try and read Red Alert but find it really patronising and they are trying to be so “clever” with their words that I think WTF are they talking about and why would I want to go to meetings when it is all pontification blah blah blah.

    At least here I can read the stuff, understand it and there are always further posts to clarify what I don’t get or links.

    • Tanz 41.1

      Yeah, Red Alert is quite patronising, agree with that. I notice some MPs never post on it, yet others often do.

    • Just viping 41.2

      Damn, forgot to press ‘reply’ earlier.
      Anyway, testing this to see if it works:

      http://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-08122012/comment-page-1/#comment-560097

      • lenore 41.2.1

        Yes that pretty much sums up some of my experiences. In regard to your:

        “… don’t see activism as a social outlet, or expect “fun”, and I think I understand that the left is diversity by definition, and solidarity in diversity is much harder work than I imagine a National Party fundraising dinner would be. Fighting oppression will never be a smooth ride, and so in that respect I do understand and share your trepidation at rejoining the fray”

        This reminds me of a parent who withdrew their child from a teacher friend of mine’s class because they were having too much fun – and how can you learn when you are having fun?

        Imagine having fun and being an activist at the same time – they are around – musicians, clowns, artists, etc

        I think you mis interpret my meaning of fun and humour – and just had such a good laugh at the thought of me attending national dinner parties and will have a great time telling my friends so thanks for that. I also think that while being involved in groups is not solely as a social outlet, I have made plenty of life long friends who share the same values and connect, so I think for some people it is their “social outlet” and why not?

        Anyway I actually do quite a lot of work and still have elements of fun and humour while I am doing it, even when the work is serious.There are alot of community initiatives out there where people are gathering together with music, kai etc and having some fun while also workshoping ideas that are important to them. No endless boring speakers, no people coming to the meeting saying these are our ideas and then feeling threatened if you have other ideas.

        I think we do need to have some creative ideas around how to get people involved and I am sure there are plenty out there and plenty of people who have great ideas, they are just not going to go along to “meetings” and share them. Sure still have meetings for those who love them but lets get some other ideas, that’s all.

        • Just viping 41.2.1.1

          …. I have made plenty of life long friends who share the same values and connect, so I think for some people it is their “social outlet” and why not?

          Quite true. I do hope it will be different this time, I’d really like to enjoy myself, I shouldn’t be pessimistically preparing for the worst. It would be great if the established groups did some soul-searching about being inclusive, and open and welcoming.

          Imagine having fun and being an activist at the same time – they are around – musicians, clowns, artists, etc

          I remember all that, and the helium balloons, when the Green Party used to visit the university, and feeling jealous that our lot was so boring by comparison. But frankly, we couldn’t have pulled off a carnival atmosphere if we’d tried.

  42. Just viping 42

    Hi, I’m going to reply to this in ‘open mike’ because I can’t really see the relevance of your comment to this thread.
    (I wish I could put a link to ‘open mike’ to make things smoother but I haven’t figured out how to do that yet).

    • weka 42.1

      If you click on the date/time link of any post (I like to open it as a new tab or window) then then you can cut and paste teh URL of whatever you have opened.

  43. Neoleftie friend in arms of CV 43

    Perhaps in solidaratory we all keep the CV thing going as a minor part of your nic….and hide within our ranks the real CV and if one falls bleeding from the knives then as ROB states rise the army of CVers. Beware the circling radish wolves….red on the outside but white streaked with blue on the inside.

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  • How to make farmers clean up their act
    Order them to stop milking until they've fixed their effluent problems:A Thames farming company has been hit with a $47,000 fine and ordered to stop milking until it fixed the overflowing effluent system at its Kopu farm. The order came...
    No Right Turn | 29-07
  • The Truth About What Keeps People In Poverty From Those Who Live It
    Click here to read this report from the Family 100 Research Project July 2014...
    Closing the Gap | 29-07
  • Eye Candy, Window Dressing and Deep Pockets.
    I came back from six weeks abroad to see the beginning of the Internet Party’s “party party” launches. It leaves me with some questions. It seems that what the Internet Party has done is this. Using Kim Dotcom’s wallet as...
    Kiwipolitico | 29-07
  • Wealth, Income and Inequality in Australia.
    worth a read click here...
    Closing the Gap | 29-07
  • World News Brief, Tuesday July 29
    Top of the AgendaLull in Gaza as Pressure for Cease-Fire Mounts...
    Pundit | 29-07
  • National’s roads are pure pork
    Last month the government announced it would be spending $212 million on regional roads. Every single one of the priority projects (and eight of nine lower priority projects) is in a National-held electorate, which suggested immediately that this was pre-election...
    No Right Turn | 29-07
  • Another fluoridation whopper from Declan Waugh
    Declan Waugh is a self-proclaimed “scientist and fluoride researcher” who seems to spend all his time misrepresenting and distorting  scientific literature and health data to promote his anti-fluoride cause. Waugh has an avid following, among fellow anti-fluoride activists and propagandists. The...
    Open Parachute | 29-07
  • Whyte supremacy
    Emphatically, he says, an ACT party led by Whyte would not go to war on Treaty issues. “I’ve got no interest in Maori-bashing as a political game.” Dr Jamie Whyte back in January when he assumed leadership of ACT.  The...
    DimPost | 29-07
  • Whyte supremacy
    Emphatically, he says, an ACT party led by Whyte would not go to war on Treaty issues. “I’ve got no interest in Maori-bashing as a political game.” Dr Jamie Whyte back in January when he assumed leadership of ACT.  The...
    DimPost | 29-07
  • New Fisk
    It's not just radicalised Islamists - what about foreign fighters who flock to the other side?...
    No Right Turn | 29-07
  • How we should deal with rorting MPs
    Prosecute them for theft:Former parliamentary speaker Peter Slipper tried three times to have criminal charges thrown out of court following claims he misused his travel entitlements during several trips to some of the Canberra region's most prestigious wineries. But three...
    No Right Turn | 29-07
  • July 14 AT Board Meeting
    The Auckland Transport Board is meeting today and as usual I’ve had a look through the papers to see if there is anything interesting. Below is the collection of items or comments that caught my eye. The rest of this...
    Transport Blog | 29-07
  • Powerful and Cold-hearted
    click here to read this compelling article ...
    Closing the Gap | 29-07
  • Wilkinson and Picket Lectures in New Zealand
    Click here to get these lectures. Folks who missed the Douglas Robb lectures last month can view them here l...
    Closing the Gap | 29-07
  • The Changing Priorities Of Protest
    The Changing Face Of Protest: In marked contrast to the theologically- and ideologically-driven protest movements of the 1960s, 70s and 80s, contemporary protest, like this demonstration against the latest Israeli assault on Gaza, tends to be led by those whose stake in...
    Bowalley Road | 29-07
  • Why Voters Aren’t Angrier About Economic Inequality
    This is the USA but there are strong parallels here in New zealand ...
    Closing the Gap | 28-07
  • Goodbye Nick Smith
    On the back of recently trying to silence DOC over their concerns about the impact of the Ruataniwha irrigation project on water quality in central Hawke's Bay, Nick Smith is once again bullying a statuary body with threats that clearly...
    The Jackal | 28-07
  • Minister for Conservation of What?