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Angry politics

Written By: - Date published: 7:04 am, March 30th, 2016 - 181 comments
Categories: Dirty Politics, john key, national, Politics - Tags: , , ,

A couple of cases of insults or threats directed at MPs have been highlighted in the media recently. Obviously personal insults are out of line, and threats are abhorrent.

Such nastiness has surrounded politics forever, and the political right perfected the art during the Clark government. A cynic might think that the media choosing to focus on a couple of cases lately is an attempt to distract from the Nats’ multiple woes – just another aspect of a well oiled comms strategy.

But let’s for the sake of argument assume that political anger is actually increasing. If so, why? Andrew Little was interviewed on this yesterday:

‘Tough economic conditions’ a factor in threats to MPs

Mr Little said today that a change in the tone of online communications, combined with tough economic conditions, were factors in the recent behaviour by members of the public towards Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett and other MPs.

He stressed that he was not condoning threats against MPs, but that he had observed a “palpable” difference in anger from New Zealanders compared to a year ago. …

It would make sense if increasing economic and social stress was contributing to the problem. It would fit with the pattern of increases in mental health emergencies, in domestic violence, in child abuse, and suicide and attempted suicide in NZ. The worsening trends in this cluster of indicators – life under National’s “Brighter Future” – is probably the main explanation for increasing anger and aggression (does not excuse, does explain).

So I think Andrew Little is right on his main point, but unfortunately:

Labour leader Andrew Little says “well-paid PR operatives” are part of the “vicious” online commentary which he said could be contributing to threats against Government ministers.

I don’t think it was at all helpful to chuck “online commentary” in to the mix. It enabled the nauseating spectacle of Matthew “Chop chop for Nicky” Hooton getting on his high horse about what a nice guy he was – for the last 12 months at least. (I threw up a little.)

And I don’t think the tone of online commentary has deteriorated recently either. Rock bottom was set a decade ago by vicious attack blogs like Kiwiblog and Whaleoil. These were used as a deliberate part of National’s communications strategy, as set out in Dirty Politics (and summarised here).

What has changed, what has deteriorated, is the obvious tenor of political leadership. National’s use of dirty politics has been revealed. Key “leads” by lying, by attacking journalists and scientists, by pulling ponytails, by never apologising (except to his pet blogger). In Parliament Key is the most aggressive and bullying PM since Muldoon (throat slitting, get some guts, accusations of supporting rapists and so on). If there really is an increase in anger and aggression in political culture, then (and this should get the victims of KDSDS going!) look to the old saying. “A fish rots from the head down”.

181 comments on “Angry politics”

  1. Kenya 1

    It’s interesting they quote parts of what he said but not the whole quote. I’d be interested to know what he actually said, because I bet you it wasn’t what the media claim.

  2. Incognito 2

    Politicians having a go at each other in the debating chamber has been going on for ages.

    Politicians of certain leaning showing disdain for ordinary people and citizens of NZ is also not a new development, sadly.

    What is a recent development is politicians bullying ordinary people by releasing personal information (Bennett) or direct bullying and even alleged physical harassment of people trying to their jobs (Key vs. Ambrose and Bailey).

    These are direct and personal attacks on ‘members’ the precariat IMO and this is the new scary thing that is happening here in our country that we love.

    • Gosman 2.1

      You really think that stuff hasn’t occurred before? Did you miss the Muldoon years?

      • Lanthanide 2.1.1

        So you’re holding up the PM who is generally most despised of all and saying “it’s ok, he did it too”.

        Interesting defense.

      • Graeme 2.1.2

        I think we remember it all too well.

        And look where that got the National Party. It could be argued that 21% in 2002, and the current poll driven fruit cake 49% government are the result of National failing to move on morally from the Muldoon years.

        The party members should be worried because at the current rate it’s all going to fall apart again, just like 1984 and 1999

    • Gosman 2.2

      You really think that stuff hasn’t occurred before? Did you miss the Muldoon years?

    • saveNZ 2.3

      +1 Incognito

    • aerobubble 2.4

      Sorry but Ambrose was left exposed by media. Fact. Key staged the event. It was his people who chose the table and messed up the picture with a girlly black purse left on the table. It was Key security detail that failed to keep a unknown device away from the area of the PM. iT was the press who ran with the govt Key line that Key was a victim of the press dirty tricks. When to anyone with h’alf a brain could see thst when the press handler says the are setting up a photo op that it must looj like they are having a private conflab so as to be percieved as stitching up a deal everyone knows already.
      Oh, please, there is no free press in NZ, Ambrose should now be suing the Police, the press, until finally the real dope stand up and resign.

      You poor victim of hacks.

  3. dv 3

    What every happened about the ‘firebomb’ attack on Tolleys office?

  4. b waghorn 4

    Off topic a bit but surely threatening to kill even if its on line should have the cops around at your door pretty quickly, ?

    • Graeme 4.1

      Or a very public complaint and statements by police of an investigation.

      I wonder why not? But haven’t this lot got form around behaviour like this. Which puts your observation firmly on topic.

    • gnomic 4.2

      Er no, as a complainant threatened with death three weeks later a letter saying we really don’t have time to look into your trivial concerns … perhaps different if you are a citizen with some leverage. But I am still alive you will be pleased to hear.

  5. Gosman 6

    Andrew Little’s interview on Morning report on this topic was so bad I honestly felt sorry for him and wanted it over. This is bad politics from him trying to gain political traction on this topic.

    • Draco T Bastard 6.1

      So, what you’re saying is that he was on the ball and you’re frightened of him and the traction that he’s going to get – gotcha.

      • Gosman 6.1.1

        Ummm…. no. What I am saying is from a purely political point of view this isn’t a good topic to try and make a point on as you get associated with people who threaten physical violence against people they don’t like.

        It doesn’t matter if you don’t actually support them. It is the perception created amongst many that you do that is damaging. This came out in the interview Little gave. It was a mess.

    • BM 6.2

      I’d say most of the rise in anger is because the Left wing is seeding inflammatory material into facebook where it gets circulating and shared among the stupid and easily led.

      • Gosman 6.2.1

        Agreed. Posting nonsense like the TPPA is essentially selling our sovereignty and it being the worst thing to happen to our country ever is a case in point. When you present such extreme absolutes it is no wonder people start going down the threatening path.

        • BM

          Especially with regards to Maori.

          So much bullshit and misinformation.

        • Colonial Viper

          The TPP does definitively sell out NZ’s sovereignty, something which has been accepted by NZ’s over the hill two major parties (and their blindly loyal tribal supporters).

          It is another step in tying the hands of future NZ governments and enabling transnational corporate power within our country.

          Is it the worst thing to happen to our country? Well, that’s going to be decided by historians in 10 years, 20 years time.

          • Gosman

            Bullocks. NZ is free to leave the TPPA (if it ever comes in to effect) any time it wants. The fact you avoid this inconvenient truth highlights the point BM and myself were making. You spout extremist nonsense on this subject.

            • Colonial Viper

              Sure, NZ is “free to leave the TPPA”, if it is happy to pay massive amounts of money to the corporations who feel that they will be disadvantaged by such a move.

              In other words, yeah, you can exit the contract, if you pay hefty penalties.

              But that’s what you get for getting into bed with blood sucking transnationals and their governmental political agents.

              Odd that you didn’t mention this in your blind support of the transnational corporation written TPP.

              • Gosman

                No. That is just your willful misinformation again. If NZ leaves the TPPA there are no penalty clauses written in to the agreement. There will be no mechanism to enable corporations to sue the country as a result. Stop making stuff up.

                • Lanthanide

                  There are no explicit penalties. But there will be plenty of implicit ones.

                  • Gosman

                    And that is the textbook example of what BM and I were discussing. You have no evidence that there is a mechanism to apply penalties in the case of a nation leaving the TPPA so you imply that there must be because you think it is so terrible that surely the ‘powers that be’ wouldn’t just let you go. I believe that is called scare mongering.

                    • Lanthanide

                      Sorry? I’m not implying anything.

                      The implicit penalties I’m talking about are companies that have made long-term trade agreements with foreign companies, and those deals will be put in doubt if NZ exits the TPPA – those other countries no longer have to give us favourable terms for the exports that our companies may have made business deals based on, and vice-versa.

                      Similarly, foreign corporates (particularly pharmaceuticals and hollywood) may decide to punish us by offering less favourable terms for future trade, on the basis that we’re no longer bound by the increased copyright and patent provisions in the TPPA.

                    • Gosman

                      Umm. .. yes if we leave an agreement we will no longer get the benefits we received from being part of the agreement. That is a given. It isn’t a punishment or penalty though. We will return to the situation we are currently in. If those corporates want to do that to us now they can. It is scare mongering to suggest there will be direct consequences beyond losing the benefits we received from signing up to the agreement.

                    • Lanthanide

                      “We will return to the situation we are currently in. ”

                      But we won’t “return to the situation we are currently in”.

                      If you have a company that has been built up that relies on this trade access, and then the government changes the rules on you and your company collapses, you are hardly in “the [same] situation we are currently in”.

                      You’re acting like the direct consequences of leaving the TPPA are somehow divorced from the action of leaving the TPPA. That doesn’t make sense.

                • Colonial Viper

                  There will be no mechanism to enable corporations to sue the country as a result. Stop making stuff up.

                  NZ has to give several months notice of its intention to leave the TPP.

                  In that time the corporations will begin Investor-State Dispute proceedings against NZ.

                  Which NZ will have to follow through and complete, even once it has left the TPP.

                  The country is at a disadvantage in the TPP, the transnationals are at an advantage.

                  It’s not an equal treaty.

                  I’m surprised you don’t understand how these things work, Gossie.

                  • Gosman

                    What evidence do you have that NZ will have to follow through on an Investor State Dispute process once started if they leave the TPPA? Stop making stuff up.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Once you are in an ISDS dispute you cannot stop the proceedings by simply saying you will withdraw from the TPP. That’s easy enough for everyone to understand.

                    • Tautuhi

                      What the hell do you expect from a 6000 page Agreement written by USA Corporate Lawyers?

                    • Gosman

                      That is not evidence CV. It is merely your opinion. Now where us the clause in the agreement that states that an ISDS process must be completed once started?

              • greywarshark

                ‘You can exit the contract, if you pay hefty penalties’.
                The Eagles confusing magical lyrics in California Hotel spell out our dilemma for us:

                Mirrors on the ceiling,
                The pink champagne on ice
                And she said “We are all just prisoners here, of our own device”
                And in the master’s chambers,
                They gathered for the feast
                They stab it with their steely knives,
                But they just can’t kill the beast

                Last thing I remember, I was
                Running for the door
                I had to find the passage back
                To the place I was before
                “Relax, ” said the night man,
                “We are programmed to receive.
                You can check-out any time you like,
                But you can never leave! ”


                • Magisterium

                  I’m lost. Who is the beast? Who is the master? Is it Obama? Who is the night man? Is Pharmac the pink champagne?

                  • mac1

                    Meaning doesn’t matter, magisterium. Don’t sweat looking for hidden meanings. It’s all to do with rhyme, sounding good, sounding meaningful.

                    That’s the meaning of Hotel California. Like politics. Sound good, mean nothing. Feel good, change nothing. Be entertained, but never get to the real world.

            • saveNZ

              To BM & Gosman

              From the law society on TPPA
              “Withdrawal is a technical possibility but a political, diplomatic and economic unreality.”

              But with Trump, Clinton and Sanders all against TPPA, you have to wonder, why does the National party thinks it is such a great idea? They disagree with the future US president?

              As well as leading economists, the law society and the public being against TPP….

              Just like Brownlee singlehandedly micromanaging the Chch rebuild, not a good idea to let our government run (or sign us up to) anything….

              • Bob

                “But with Trump, Clinton and Sanders all against TPPA, you have to wonder, why does the National party thinks it is such a great idea? They disagree with the future US president?”
                That could just say that the US aren’t happy with what a great deal it is for other countries such as NZ. Or are you trying to imply that Trump, Clinton and Sanders are all trying to get the best deal for NZ?

            • TopHat

              What a deluded little mind you own.
              if it was a simple as just pulling out we wouldn’t have such an issue with the tppa. But just like the cost of the flag fiasco. the right wing have no issue in stealing the money to pay for these outlandish mistakes.
              The simple way of getting out of it is to not get into it! Much less costly.

              • Whispering Kate

                Gosman, there are many many eminent people, economists etc with much more inside knowledge of the TPPA in the States and here, which us mere mortals have no idea about, that have come out strongly and said this is a dog of a agreement, and a mockery of a Trade deal. It must make us feel greatly assured that you know everything about this deal and therefore can trust what you say. What a stupid man you are.

                • Chuck

                  Don’t worry Andrew Little said not that long ago, that his Labour government will renegotiate the aspects of the TPPA that do not meet Labour’s bottom lines…so he must know a lot more than the rest of us as well.

                  • Whispering Kate

                    At least Labour cannot ever be blamed for the TPPA, it will be in history books forever more that the National Government brought it in – how does that make you feel Chuck when we find out what a dog it is and it was National’s legacy. Just like Rogernomics, Labour must live with regret that they let the pig farmer loose with radical policy which has brought so much pain to this country. It will take major reform to fix this country and the TPPA isn’t going to do it.

          • Tautuhi

            Looks like NZF hit a home run on their TPPA Policy!!!

      • Stuart Munro 6.2.2

        No, in fact it relates to the chronic failure of Gnat economic policy, the inhuman treatment of the poor and the sick, and above all Key’s constant lying. No surer way to piss people off than to lie to their faces.

      • Li 6.2.3

        The Left wing! I knew it was them! Even when it was the bears, I knew it was them!

    • Jenny Kirk 6.3

      Nonsense Gosman – @ 6. It was a good interview, and he’s not trying to gain political traction – he’s just telling it as he sees it, and he puts a great deal of thought behind his comments. Which is a heckuva lot more than you can say for Blinglish and the others masquerading as a government.

      • Gosman 6.3.1

        Try and remove your ideological blinkers for a moment.

        He was asked if he was perhaps muddying the waters on this topic and instead of immediately categorically condemning people who threaten violence he waffled and prevaricated before stating he didn’t support them but that there was a lot more anger out there.

        When asked why this wasn’t reflected in the polls he again waffled and suggested it was actually just not the polls the interviewer was talking about.

        • framu

          “categorically condemning people who threaten violence ”

          i must have missed the bit where he said repeatedly that such things werent acceptable

          its not that hard a mental exercise – there are unacceptable events that happen and there are underlying trends that lead to such events – admitting the second doesnt excuse the first. In fact it helps us understand why its happening

          It was pretty clear – but yes it was a terrible interview

        • adam

          “Try and remove your ideological blinkers for a moment.”

          pot, kettle, black…

    • One Anonymous Bloke 6.4

      Stop the press! Exclusive! Littlegate explodes!!

      Right wing nut job with well earned reputation for dishonesty doesn’t like left wing leader’s remarks!!!!

      Will you be ok Gosman?

  6. ScottGN 7

    Sadly whenever Paula Bennett comes out with stuff like this my first instinct these days is to wonder what other issue she’s trying to divert the public’s attention away from?

    • Gosman 7.1

      She may well have been doing that. If so then Andrew Little has played in to her hands by responding. Stupid, stupid politics on his part.

      • Stuart Munro 7.1.1

        Says the far-right shill.

        Paula was and is stupid and cruel – a liar and a pig. The more she is confronted for her shocking failures as a minister and as a human being the better.

        Go Andrew – Gosman is shitting itself.

      • adam 7.1.2

        Your fake pathos is gettting sickening Gosman

      • Whateva next? 7.1.3

        Are you being paid Gosman?

      • Magisterium 7.1.4



        If Opposition MPs wants a lesson in message management they could do worse than use, as a workshop for young players, Paula Bennett’s efforts on Tuesday.

        She used reporters’ questions about Chester Borrows’ driving, given she was in the car when he allegedly ran over a protesters foot, to segue into the aggressive tactics of the protesters, attack lines seen online, the growing unpleasantness of social media and finally to the awful and disgraceful threats she had received on Twitter some two weeks ago.

        From potential sympathy for a protester at the wheels of an MP to sympathy for an MP. Cynical, maybe, but you can’t help but be impressed.

    • Jenny Kirk 7.2

      The issues around the Corrections Department maybe? ScottGN.

      And of course, the fact that she was in the car when Chester Borrows drove over the woman protestor’s foot. Whatever Borrows says to the media, there’s a video floating around on Facebook clearly showing the car starting up and moving forward albeit slowly, the half-dozen women protestors walking forward across the path of the car to make it stop. it didn’t stop it just kept rolling on and the two cops there pulled the women out of the way (not quite in time for one of them) and the car kept going.
      So Bennett and Borrows’ defence on this appears to be : they do it too !

    • Molly 7.3

      Changes currently going on at the CYFS organisation.

      They are awaiting news about some form of restructuring…. according to our local office where we attend Te Reo classes.

  7. Whispering Kate 8

    Paula Benefit deserves everything coming at her, she is a bully, releases personal information she has no right to do about people and hasn’t any ethics. Its pretty obvious that if Cabinet Ministers are getting threatening action against them, then if the hat fits wear it. If a Government strives to be fair and treat all its citizens in a respectful manner then this sort of behaviour would obviously not be happening. Just watching question time in the house is cringe material, the behaviour in the house smacks of lack of manners and of a disrespectful regard for everybody. Sure, there will always be a few people who are bullies in society, but a citizenry who has decent employment, a reason to get up in the morning, a roof over there head which isn’t backrupting them, food in their bellies etc are not going to be wanting to waste their time denigrating/threatening their cabinet ministers this way.

    National have asked for this and they better get used to it, because I personally think people are going are going to be ever more desperate and who knows what might happen. Required reading “The Sugar Bag Years” by Tony Simpson might better help understand how it may all end up if our so called “markets” fail. And, by the way the polls are an unreliable tool and shouldn’t be taken too seriously.

    • Gosman 8.1

      So just to clarify here. You are suggesting threats of physical and sexual violence against members of the current government are justified are you?

      • sabine 8.1.1

        actually Gosman, trheats of sexual violence are common against females in the online community.

        and if you care to read some of the comments left under article in which Mrs. Bennett smears single women living in ChCH in Statehouse are living in P-Houses – because they had to de-contaminate four of these stathouses and suddlenly all must single parents in state houses must be must be P-users, or P-cookers, or girlfriends of P-Users, or P-Pushers, or P-Cookers you will see that threats of rape, murder, torture and the likes are nothing uncommon.

        Heck there have been dissertation written about what happens when female online gamers, commentators, or blog writers out themselves at female.

        There is a certain group of men (and yes i would venture to guess they are man) that have no issue threatening sexual violence to put a women in her place and to shut her up.

        Are you saying these threats are only credible when a certain women of public standing is on the receiving end? What about the vilification of the single mothers since she took office? The having children they can’t afford, the breeding for benefit myth and the likes, did you took offence at that too?
        what about the PM’s comment that the Ministers of the opposition party are supporter of Murderer and Rapists? did you took offence at that too?

        Or is it only when the National Party gets a booboo where you cry foul? Do as you say but not as you do?

        • Gosman

          Threats of violence in day to day life are never justified in my view. I’m trying to ascertain if others here agree with that view or think they are for political reasons

          • Sabine

            I think you don’t need to ascertain that here, as many of us have made it quite clear that we are against it.

            But in saying that, you know what an Echo is?
            It is a sound or sounds caused by the reflection of sound waves from a surface back to the listener…….
            Si maybe some of the National MPs now are only getting to hear the reflection of the noise they made some time ago.

            And in Paula Bennets case, no one can accuse that women of being civil and friendly. She is vile, has been vile, and will not ever be anything but vile. And maybe that is the price she must pay to make those Tories forget that at the end of the day she is nothing more then a single mother who lived on a benefit, who studied on a benefit, and who bought her property not with Daddies money but with the aid of the government. She will never be like them. And they will make sure she knows it. Same with John Key. No matter how much money he will make, he will only always be the “new rich” not from old NZ farming stock, or old settler stock, nope the son of immigrants, raised in a State House. I think that is where the mean and petty attitude from both stems from, the fact that they will never really fully be Tory, but only just poor folk that made good. And now they can’t even enjoy, but must insult and belittle others at any given chance.

            We have 8 years worth of anecdotes. So if you want to make sure that your views are agreed with, i suggest you address your issues with the National Party and their MPs that have no issue issuing threats, insulting peers, harassing women at their work place and punishing people for no other crime then joblessness and poverty. You are barking up the wrong tree. They reap as they sow.

      • Whispering Kate 8.1.2

        Look Gosman, when people do not have their voices heard, the MSM ignores their concerns, government agencies treat them with contempt, Middle Class schools have kids hungry, Cabinet Ministers avoid quite often being questioned, or are “not available for comment” what ever that means, what do you expect. New Zealanders are not people who just lie down and accept this sort of treatment and get pretty desperate when they are in serious situations. Lack of money, jobs, food does that sort of thing, didn’t you know that? When, have you ever been in that sort of situation, never I would guess. Get a life Gosman, you are a pain in the neck on this site, puts one off their morning coffee you do. How about a dossier of your circumstances, what schools your kids go to, how much you earn, etc, have you ever, through no fault of your own been made redundant or put out on the street by a landlord, then we may be able to debate with you, right now, just go away and do something useful for a change.

        • adam

          Gossy is a hard right ideologue, Whispering Kate.

          Have a wee look on google at the images of libertarians. A wee few of the cartoons will give you a basic idea of where he is coming from. And why the ideology is fraught with difficulties.

          It is also a world view that must be right, and that is it’s most major fault. Maybe it has something to do with being dominated by white males, oh well we will never know. See above, the libertarian ilk will twist anything so they can stay right.

          A good example was the toilet paper issue in Venezuela, Gossy went on and on about how it was the governments fault. But the reality was that international corporations had stopped importing toilet paper in a bid to win concessions, and an attempt to debilitate the government.

          He never has admitted these attacks by the corporations to undermine Venezuela, it ended up by him twisting and turning to keep blaming a socialist government for ever attack by these corporations.

          It’s the lies that hurt…

      • Wensleydale 8.1.3

        No, Gosman. That’s not what she’s saying, as you well know. The fact that you’re choosing to be deliberately obtuse in order to bag Little (again) is disheartening, but hardly surprising.

      • Stuart Munro 8.1.4

        Much depends on whether they are in fact threats or merely expressions of dislike and dissatisfaction. Bennett has unquestionably earned an infinity of the latter.

  8. One Anonymous Bloke 9

    There are a few basic propositions with negative campaigning that are worth knowing about. It lowers turnout, favours right more than left as the right continues to turn out, and drives away the independents.’ In short, many people stop participating in politics. If politicians cannot be trusted, if politics looks like a petty or ugly game, and if no one seems to be talking about the things that matter, then what’s the point of bothering to participate? Just leave them to it. There are innovations in US Republican Party thinking on this point; election tactics do not have to be just about winning votes; they can be equally effective if groups of people in society just stop voting altogether. We should not assume that everyone thinks low voter turnout is a bad idea.

    Simon ‘Blabbermouth’ Lusk.

    Anger is often described as a wild emotion that endangers both social order and the possibility of constructive political dialogue. And yet, anger is an indispensable political emotion – for without angry speech the body politic would lack the voice of the powerless questioning the justice of the dominant order. Anger is not the opposite of order, for anger is domesticated by the dominant to serve order – in the form of force, authority, moral indignation and care. … A dialogical politics can only emerge when anger is heard with empathy, rather than domesticated or silenced.

    Peter Lyman.

    Where would right wing penal policy fatuous vengeance fantasies be without the cynical manipulation of public anger?

    • Stuart Munro 9.1

      Plato had this:

      . . . when he thinks that he is the sufferer of the wrong, then he boils and chafes, and is on the side of what he believes to be justice; and because he suffers hunger or cold or other pain he is only the more determined to persevere and conquer. His noble spirit will not be quelled until he either slays or is slain; or until he hears the voice of the shepherd, that is, reason, bidding his dog bark no more.

      Gosman of course speaks with the voice of sophistry – his bullshit will not quell the moral outrage of the oppressed.

  9. Nastiness? Threats? Dirty politics? Key “leads” by lying, by attacking and is the most aggressive and bullying PM since Muldoon. Increase in anger and aggression in political culture?

    The media for years has constantly portrayed Key as “Mr Nice Guy.” He goes out of his way to do that every week through the media opportunities he creates.

    The reality behind the bullshit facade is ignored through the biggest media but the Empire is Striking Back through individuals. Frustration has reached bursting point. The next phase is the demonisation of those who do put their heads above the parapets while the reasons for their states of mind and actions are ignored.

    • Gosman 10.1

      Are you stating threats of violence are justified?

      • Colonial Viper 10.1.1

        They clearly are against poor people that you don’t like.

      • Sabine 10.1.2

        Do you consider cutting benefits a form of violence?
        Do you consider outing peoples private details to the News a from of violence?
        Do you consider pulling a waitresses hair at her workplace (no more no less) a form of violence?
        Do you consider not providing funds for low income schools a form of violence?
        Do you consider keeping people on medical waiting lists till they have to be removed as they were to long on it a form of violence.

        Or is it only violence when you say so?

      • repateet 10.1.3

        Am I stating threats of violence are justified? Of course not. Because I (or anyone) don’t preface any comment about the subject with an expression of abhorrence of violence or the threat of it to someone else means I think they’re justified?

        Does a psychologist explaining or opining the reason for some psychopath’s behaviour mean they are justifying the behaviour?

        In this political context yours is a Farrar construct.

  10. Sacha 11

    The only reason Bennett is raising this is to justify Borrows driving over a protestor. Politicians have always attracted threats. It’s why they have security to protect them.

    However I totally agree that the tone of civic discourse was only going to get nastier when this govt set up its dirty politics operation to feed hate-mongering sewerbloggers, who have faced no real consequences.

    • Anne 11.2

      I think you could be right Sacha. Threats are common place in the political arena so why is Paula Bennett going public about it? It is well known recipients are usually told NOT to publicise them because it only encourages copy-cat behaviour. Helen Clark was the recipient of many such threats and she never talked about them for her own safety and the safety of others.

      As for Andrew Little’s aside about “well paid PR operatives”, I think it was a valid point to make. Some of these so-called experts and commentators have been making ongoing efforts to rev up anti-Labour feeling in particular (aided and abetted by a compliant MSM) and so it is appropriate they should share some of the blame. Little did not name names during his discourse on the subject. It was the media who drew attention to Matthew Hooton.

  11. The Chairman 12

    A study based on an anonymous survey of 102 sitting MPs found nearly all of them had been subjected to unwanted harassment.

    More than one in 10 had been assaulted, and a similar number had been stalked, or had received deaths threats.

    One in three had suffered property damage at the hands of angry constituents, and half had been physically confronted by their harassers. Most had been harassed more than once.

    One received 1080 poison in the mail, another had their back door smashed and a bullet thrown through the window of their family home, terrifying their daughter and partner.

    Attacks have involved a gun, a molotov cocktail, sticks and placards.

    See more here: http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/68344192/New-Zealand-MPs-attacked-and-threatened

  12. vto 13

    This is entirely expected …….

    frustration comes first, and here people get laughed at and ridiculed by exponents of the current political dynamic, namely neoliberalism. If the frustration of people is unanswered then …

    after frustration comes anger…. where we are now ….

    after anger comes hatred …. and then it is all over ….

    watch out
    the anger stage never lasts long

    • Stuart Munro 13.1

      Through passion, I gain strength.
      Through strength, I gain power.
      Through power, I gain victory.
      Through victory, my chains are broken.

      People expressing their hatred and contempt for a government as bad as this is perfectly normal.

  13. Bill 14

    I’m picking that this latest piece of soap is being driven by the comments placed on an RNZ’s facebook page under a recent John Campbell piece. RNZ was slammed by some standards authority or other for failing to remove the offensive comments fast enough… although the same comments are apparently still up on Slater’s site as photo captures.

    Putting all other considerations aside, I’d pick that if self identifying leftish peeps were in the habit of posting violent vitriol, then it’d have been evident in the trash and moderation filters here at ‘the standard’. Can’t say I’ve ever come across volumes of spew form ‘lefties’ in either folder in my sojourns through those back-end folders though.

    Which just might beg a question as to the source of those facebook comments, no?

    Anyway. Like I already contended – soap. Rinsing now.

    • gsays 14.1

      sometime last week, someone (sorry i dont recall who), put a comment along the lines of paula, hekia, anne and maggie haven’t run a distraction lately.

      very prescient, well done that person.

      makes me wonder what we must not know about currently.

  14. tinfoilhat 15

    Threatening or promoting violence is never OK.

    Some of the comments made about members of the current and past governments are reprehensible and vile and only serve to bring the persons proffering such comments into disrepute.

    • Bill 15.1

      And who do you think those people are?

      Take a popular liberal reporter from the mainstream (one who just happens to be ‘disliked’ by many on the National/Act side of the fence). Target the comments of one of his stories on a major, fairly open platform (face book). Spike it. Watch the resulting kerfuffle feed into the residues of the ‘Angry Andy’ meme and (hopefully) encourage ‘muddle NZ’ to associate passion and anger with death threats and such like. The way that some mps are hamming this up suggests a deliberate and somewhat concerted ploy by some peeps on the Nat/Act side of that fence.

      • tinfoilhat 15.1.1

        Bill as I said before threatening or promoting violence is never OK.

        That is all that needs or needed to be said.

        • Colonial Viper

          Promoting violence against the toffs and the aristocracy is never ok.

          Violence against the poor and marginalised is justifiable/tolerated.

          • tinfoilhat

            I thought what I has stated was quite explicit, once again..

            Threatening or promoting violence is never OK

            • Colonial Viper

              I’m not talking about idealism, I’m talking about the actual world that actual people live in.

            • Stuart Munro

              In self defence against malign aggression or in defence of the weak or the oppressed, or of human principles, violence may indeed be appropriate.

              • tinfoilhat

                Go away Stuart you are one of the worst offenders on this blog when it comes to threatening and inciting violence.

                • Stuart Munro

                  No you go away – the corrupt and guilty government officials must be punished. You give the Key government asset thieves a long custodial sentence and I’ll stop pushing for more colourful forms of justice.

                  • tinfoilhat


                    • vto

                      tinfoilhat, you say violence is never ok, and sure it seems a common mantra in these days..

                      but such mantra ignores human history whereby so very much, in fact close to everything, has been resolved by physical sanction..

                      methinks your call is simplistic and ignorant of much of human history and character in getting to our point today (for better or worse)

                    • tinfoilhat

                      @VTO that’s a thoughtful comment… in response I would suggest that as a species and as communities that the rejection of violence will surely lead to a better society for all.

                      Where would the world be today if the folly and slaughter of the last century and that is still happening today never occurred.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Generally speaking, the state guards its monopoly on violence very closely, although will sometimes sub-contract to right wing death squads, “Massey’s Cossacks”, etc.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      Clearly the best you can do.

                      Tremble Lefties! The RWNJ have learned to use smilies!

                    • tinfoilhat

                      Believe it or not Stuart one doesn’t have to vote for parties of the right or have political views to the right to disagree with your stance on certain issues.

                    • vto

                      Exactly OAB, the state reserves to itself the sole right to violence… which we are all ok with….

                      so what’s the problem with violence then??

                      tinfoilhat, thanks for your comment, my point was not whether it is better or not to have physical sanction as a tool to resolve matters in society, but more its existence and effect in getting humans to where they are today…. very much of it is due to physical sanction (violence)…

                      so we are fools to dismiss it so easily.. no matter its hurt and damage …

                      some 2c

                  • Red delusion

                    Key board warrior

                    • maui


                    • Stuart Munro

                      You righties are never happy – if I offer to kick your deeply unattractive bottom you moan about violence – but when I humiliate you in rational argument you resort to smilies and empty insults like ‘keyboard warrior. Go hang out on whaleoil where your inanity can pass for genius.

            • gsays

              hi tinny,
              you say ” in response I would suggest that as a species and as communities that the rejection of violence will surely lead to a better society for all.”

              do i take it correctly you are an anarchist?

          • gsays

            hi cv,
            derrick jensen in his book endgame, describes how violence is always visited down the hierarchy.
            violence ranges from the obvious physical type through to confiscation of property/monies.

            but when violence goes up the hierarchy it is seen as abhorent to all and thoroughly condemned and acted upon.

            i agree with a lot of the comments here, that denying the weakest of society a benefit/house etc is a sick form of violence, but seems to be ok .

            • Colonial Viper

              gsays: indeed I have time for Jensen’s views, and his explanation of how the elite feel free to visit the marginalised with violence while any instance of commoners pushing back is absolutely verboten, opened my eyes to the true nature of society.

        • Bill

          Well, no. I think there is more to be said and more that needs to be said. After all, if I smacked someone in the face but framed another person for the act, would you be satisfied to simply say that smacking someone in the face is never okay?

          • tinfoilhat

            Bill it smacks to me of the crowd who would say to a woman who has been assaulted that she had it coming because of the short skirt she was wearing out at that time of night.

            • Sabine

              and it most likely is the same crowd saying it.

              there, that was not hard?

              • tinfoilhat

                Quite possibly, so why are people falling over themselves to downplay and excuse threats and/or inciting violence.

                • Bill

                  Not seeing where anyone is downplaying or excusing anything.

                  Most I can see is a distinction being drawn between institutional violence and personal expressions of violence as a way of highlighting the hypocrisy of some who are tut-tutting.

                  • tinfoilhat

                    “Most I can see is a distinction being drawn between institutional violence and personal expressions of violence as a way of highlighting the hypocrisy of some who are tut-tutting.”

                    Well if that’s all you can see perhaps you need to check your eyesight.

                    • ropata

                      tinfoilhat can you please provide link or refs to these violent threats you are upset about? I’m pretty sure it’s against site policy to make these kind of comments at TS.

                      BTW your blanket statement “violence is never justified” probably needs qualifiers for self-defence or protecting others, or for combat sports, or hunting, etc etc.

                      Please be more specific in your feedback!

                • Sabine

                  but we don’t.

                  We just point out that violence begets violence. And in the case of Paula Bennett it could be set that she has been meeting out violence to a lot of people.
                  The two women that she outed publicly to the news several years ago, when she cut the study aids. Outing a beneficiaries details is illegal. Yet she promised to do it again, knowing full well that these womens now public detail would not have made their lives easier, in fact could have put them into real danger. But I guess its ok when National does it.

                  Her ZIp it sweety in Parliament, showing not only a lack of education and class but also her lack of respect for her peers. But I guess its ok when National does it.

                  and just recently sitting in a car and not stopping the driver from what appears to be intentionally driving over a protester instead of letting polcie clear the pathway. Another thing i guess is ok when National does it.

                  I am very sorry, but the ‘treat others like you want to be treated’ comes to mind. There is only so much pity to go around, and when it comes to Paula Brennett, people have run out of pity to give.

                  So while i don’t condone threats of any kind, against men and women, i do see how this women Paula Bennett brings out the worst in people.

                  It is her unpleasant demeanor, her pettiness, her meanness, and her ugly soul, her greedy being, her delight at peoples suffering, her posturing to deflect from being nothing more then a single mother living on a benefit studying on a benefit buying her house with help of the government all the while cutting and gutting the same benefits that got her to where she is.
                  In short, she is not a nice person, has made a career out of not being a nice person, and is now crying for pity when people are not being nice to her?

                  And as others said, she is not the only one in receiving threats, she is just the only one in throwing the pity card.

                  Guess sitting in a car and not stopping the driver from driving over someone does not make her look good, no matter how much lipstick you want to put on her.

                  • Whispering Kate

                    Sabine, you are so correct, whenever I see or hear Paula Benefit I cringe, she has no grace, in her soul or her demeanour, she is a very bad example of a woman raised by the state from probably cradle to whenever and still being paid by the taxpayer, who should be setting an example for us females. I shudder to think that young girls could look up to her, what a disaster of an example she is setting. I cannot find one thing about her that is decent.

            • Stuart Munro

              Then you obviously are no judge of persons whatsoever.

              • tinfoilhat

                Oh I think I’m a quite astute judge of you Stuart – not that it’s very difficult based on your musings on this blog..

                • Stuart Munro

                  Oh really – you give me the distinct impression that you don’t know shit from clay.

                  • tinfoilhat

                    I can confidently say that you are not clay.

                    • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell


                    • Stuart Munro

                      Leaving aside the pathetic inanity of your insults – Bennet is a complete failure.

                      Democracy is easy.

                      You do what people want.

                      If you do, they like and respect you.

                      Bennett is enthusiastically loathed and increasingly threatened with violence and worse.

                      She’s doing democracy wrong.

                    • tinfoilhat

                      Leaving aside the pathetic inanity of your insults – there is nothing left.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      You should strive to grow up Tinfoilhat – no-one likes to read the ignis fatuus of seven-year-olds.

                      It’s the frontline WINZ staff I worry about – they don’t have the DPS to protect them from the violence of people made desperate by the vicious and irresponsible policies of the disgusting Paula Bennett.

                    • Ffloyd

                      @tinfoilhat. Boom!! Love it!

                    • Andrew

                      “Democracy is easy. You do what people want.”

                      How many people? 20% of voters? 40%, 50%?
                      Seems like that is happening now … democracy, but only if your team is in the hot seat. Otherwise it’s a sad old place.

  15. Tautoko Mangō Mata 16

    Thom Hartmann… on the Fairness Doctrine and rise of Trump, right-wing hate radio.

    “He explains that, “Those of us in the news media have sometimes blamed Donald Trump’s rise on the Republican Party’s toxic manipulation of racial resentments over the years. But we should also acknowledge another force that empowered Trump: Us.”

    Because the main way that stations “programmed in the public interest” was by producing news, real, actual, non-infotainment news, once Reagan lifted that requirement, the news divisions of the various networks came under the sway of ratings and profits.

    News was no longer the cost of keeping your broadcast license, instead, it became an opportunity to make more money with increasingly dumbed down and salacious reporting.

    Perhaps coincidentally, just a few months after the FCC did away with the Fairness Doctrine, Rush Limbaugh launched his show, and in the years following, conservative-owned corporations put commentators like Sean Hannity and Michael Savage on stations nationwide, so that listeners could tune in to right wing hate radio from pretty much anywhere in the country at any time of the day or night.

    This was given a huge boost by the Telecommunications Act of 1996, as well as a few other smaller laws and changes in FCC policy, that let a small handful of corporations buy up all the radio stations, TV stations, and newspapers in communities from coast to coast.

    Many of those radio stations were then programmed with hyper-corporate-friendly right-wing hate radio.

    It’s been a big factor in the rightward-shift of our country over the past 30 years.


    • Colonial Viper 16.1

      This was given a huge boost by the Telecommunications Act of 1996, as well as a few other smaller laws and changes in FCC policy

      Oh those naughty Republicans signing that pro-corporate media law into place!

      Whoops it was Bill Clinton, supported by the Democrats in Congress.

      • Sabine 16.1.1

        who was the very best republican president the US had.
        Bill Clinton and his democratic party are essentially what used to be the republican party.
        Seriously just don’t use any excuse to either go Hilary Bashing, Clinton Bashing, or Labour Party Bashing.

        it is just boring.

        btw. should Hilary win the nomination and win the election she will be the best republican president after Clinton and Obama.

        • ianmac

          It is said that the Democrats would be somewhere to the Right of our National And the Republicans to the Right way beyond ACT.

          • Sabine

            don’t get me wrong I believe that Labour is National and National is some closeted Libertarian experiment.

            In saying that, i still believe that Labour is better the National, and that Labour together with the Greens, NZ First, Maori Party and Mana could be a good government and in fact a better government.

            Wonder what those old school National Voters from the 40/50 would say to the current lot?

        • Colonial Viper


          Sorry that you are not entertained.

          But the stagnation and deterioration of two party/same elite politics throughout the western world is worth underlining over and over again.

    • Tautoko Mangō Mata 16.2

      Hartmann’s conclusion?
      Without the Fairness Doctrine and a roll-back of the ownership rules in the Telecommunications Act of 1996, media companies have no reason to act in the public interest, and no reason to cover inform people about issues of public importance like climate change, the Transpacific Partnership, Net Neutrality, or runaway income inequality.

    • greywarshark 16.3

      About hate approaches to others. I am reading Affluenza by Oliver James.
      He talks about the research into the authoritarian personality which was identified shortly after WW2 when looking for foundations of fascism (in Chapter Meet your chidren’s needs).

      He mentions parents and children brought up with punishment and fierce rigidity.

      Their personalities are organised around rabid hostility to ‘legitimate’ targets, often ones nominated by their parents’ prejudices. Intensely moralistic, they direct their hatred towards despised social groups. They avoid introspection or loving displays, preferring toughness and cynicism. They regard others with suspicion, attributing ulterior motives to the most innocent behaviour….

      Trapped in an inescapable family system which is usually linked to fundamentalist religious or other ideologies, they deal with their deep loathing of their parents by feeling intense hostility towards despised minorities…

      He refers to research and studies as listed below. When trying to understand the certainty and rigidity of those involved in hate thought, the research is helpful in showing the ways that this mental attitude is inculcated in vulnerable minds often as children, and then reinforced by the conditions experienced as adults. It seems to me that many in society wish to offload their negative feelings towards others near but not dear to them, on to safer targets low on the social scale, and these people are then scapegoated.

      In this wikipedia link the positions of left and right wing are referred to and it explains them in a different way than is often held.
      The phrase right wing in right-wing authoritarianism does not necessarily refer to someone’s politics, but to psychological preferences and personality. It means that the person tends to follow the established conventions and authorities in society.

      Psychol Bull. 2003 May;129(3):339-75.
      Political conservatism as motivated social cognition.
      Jost JT1, Glaser J, Kruglanski AW, Sulloway FJ. Author information

      Analyzing political conservatism as motivated social cognition integrates theories of personality (authoritarianism, dogmatism-intolerance of ambiguity), epistemic and existential needs (for closure, regulatory focus, terror management), and ideological rationalization (social dominance, system justification).

      A meta-analysis (88 samples, 12 countries, 22,818 cases) confirms that several psychological variables predict political conservatism: death anxiety (weighted mean r = .50); system instability (.47); dogmatism-intolerance of ambiguity (.34); openness to experience (-.32); uncertainty tolerance (-.27); needs for order, structure, and closure (.26); integrative complexity (-.20); fear of threat and loss (.18); and self-esteem (-.09).

      The core ideology of conservatism stresses resistance to change and justification of inequality and is motivated by needs that vary situationally and dispositionally to manage uncertainty and threat.

  16. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 17

    Is our political culture getting more angry and aggressive?


    If so, why?

    Because the Left is so entitled and thinks it is right about everything and cannot bear that the electorate keeps rejecting them. This has caused them to turn so nasty.

    • Stuart Munro 17.1

      No, it is the Right that think they are entitled – riding roughshod over the decent society like the cavaliers of a former age – they drive over the ‘peasants’ feet like drunken princelings and then complain about the rope and pitchforks which are the natural and inevitable consequence of their arrogant disregard for the people they are paid and sworn to serve.

      • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 17.1.1

        riding roughshod over the decent society

        Says the man who advocates imprisonment of the PM.

        • Stuart Munro

          He’s a liar and a crook.

          Nothing decent about him whatsoever.

          • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

            Why so angry and aggressive?

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              Why are you cuddling up to crims?

            • Chuck

              Gormless its basic human instinct when all else fails…

            • Stuart Munro

              I don’t want a crook leading my government. If he were doing a good job I might tolerate it briefly – but this government is an utter shambles. People are being hurt by Key government failures.

              Key’s like a 3 year-old with an AK47 – someone needs to take it off them.

              • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

                So, don’t vote for him next time round. Isn’t it a bit arrogant to think that your opinion is more important than everyone else’s?

                • Stuart Munro

                  Just because someone is in government does not give them free rein; they do not get the satanist’s licence “Do what you will shall be the whole of the law”. They must govern competently and in the public interest – the Key government does neither.

                  Besides, Key the despicable tyrant in his colossal conceit and arrogance disenfranchised me at the last election. This makes him an usurper, and thus I have a civic duty to depose him.

                  • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

                    Disqualified under Section 80(1)(c) of the Electoral Act 1993?

                    That would explain a lot.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      I thought you might jump to that conclusion – RWNJ – so predictable.

                    • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

                      C’mon, they’re obvious dots to connect.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      And obvious is about all you’re capable of.

                      Why not try to talk sensibly about policy for a change?

                      I used to be a deepsea fisherman – your worst insults are milquetoast to us.

    • adam 17.2

      Is our political culture getting more angry and aggressive?


      If so, why?

      Because the Right is so entitled and thinks it is right about everything, and cannot bear anytime the electorate keeps rejecting them. This has caused them to turn so nasty.

  17. Chuck 18

    Ok, I think we can all agree the fringe political culture is getting more angry and aggressive. I say fringe – the protest movement (Bradford etc) and the activists. Where do they come from? the hard left. The reason is clear…utter frustration that no matter what they do, John Key just keeps on winning elections and stays popular.

    Half my family supports National the other half Labour / Greens. Politics is discussed every now and then, there is no anger or aggression towards Key (from the left of the family) and same for Little (from the right of the family). We do think each others leaders and policy are bonkers…but no hate towards them.

    I maybe wrong but this is properly the same for most other NZ’ers, its the fringe parts of the left who have all the hate bottled up, as Stuart Munro makes clear in his posts above.

    • Stuart Munro 18.1

      You really have no idea Chuck, about who or what the fringes are.

      Sue Bradford is far from aggressive – it is the right who without a shred of a public mandate have dragged NZ to the right for thirty years.

      The centre, finding itself impoverished by the chronic failures of neo-liberalism to produce anything of value are swinging against the excesses of far-right nut-jobbery.

      You can see this in the US where the moderate leftist Bernie Sanders attracts majorities of nearly 80%.

      We don’t hate the right Chuck – their ignorance is curable.

      But when Paula takes the bread from childrens’ mouths she must expect to attract strong condemnation from literate humanists, and more tangible expressions of dislike from those who do not choose words as weapons.

      • Anne 18.1.1

        Stuart Munro is right Chuck. I’ve met Sue Bradford and in reality she is far from being aggressive. I know the right-wing brigade have painted her as such and I know she does sound a bit strident sometimes, but personality-wise she is warm hearted, natural and extremely likable. I know of influential people who have a great deal of time for her as a person. She is on a lifelong mission to stand up for the rights of the under-dog, and she is the one history will treat kindly and with respect – not the Paula Bennetts of this world.

        • Anne

          Ooops: that was a reply to Chuck.

        • Chuck

          I have never met Sue Bradford, so Anne I accept your assessment of Bradford at face value.

          However the right-wing brigade don’t have to work very hard to paint Bradford in a bad light. Stopping law abiding citizens from entering buildings or from driving around a city, can easily be construed as aggressive tactics.

          Now I know you will say that is how Sue Bradford gains attention!…but it is also a double edged sword when it comes to public opinion.

          • McFlock


            Yes, everybody’s entitled to protest, but it’s impolite to inconvenience the rich.

            I mean, you can make the poor jump through hoops until the cows come home and call it “conditions of your benefit”, but slowing sot stopping for a few seconds to get people off the footpath in front of your driveway, that’s practically terrorism /sarc

          • greywarshark

            ‘how Sue Bradford gains attention’. Anybody would think she was a celebrity hungry starlet. It’s a demeaning comment, and the rest of your remark shows ignorance of how hard it is for the left to dent the complacency of the RW and the refusal to serve the needs of poorer people, getting poorer every day. The issue has to be forced, there needs to be some action to get any reaction from current governments plural.

    • McFlock 18.2

      So if the left have all the hate bottled up, why was it a tory shill who said “I hate unions pathologically. I’ve hated them since I was 15 years old and I would do it for free.” (h/t a href=”/hollow-men-2/#comment-641830″>Karol)?

      Was it a lefty who fired shots into Hone Harawira’s electorate office?

      Did Burrow accelerate into protestors out of calm calculation, rather than in passion or hate – and wouldn’t that make his crime worse?

      Was the commenter here who was banned for suggesting greenpeace protestors be shot, were they a leftie?

      Your blinkers to tory violence are showing…

    • greywarshark 18.3

      Oh easy peasy Chuck. All good sorts together. No one really worrying too much about the state of the country and the precariat. It will all come out in the wash.

      And the contortions of politics don’t get your stomach tied up in knots? Like that Labour oiled the way with Neo Lib for the NACTs to take it further, and then Labour came in and played around with policies, nothing too spicy, just keep it bland and be grateful for the food on your table. Then the sort of losing at elections that if it was sport, the coach would be sacked forthwith.

      Yet we are dependent on Labour to wake up, and we’re searching to see who will be the Sleeping Prince or Princess and the appropriate person to whack a smacker on their lips, and get them moving from their dozy beds. And we aren’t sure yet who it will be.

      Watch transfixed for the next thrilling instalment. It’s better than a soap opera. And somebody will be sleeping with somebody for sure, though they may spoil the fun by being married. And someone will be doing something dodgy but no-one’s letting on and it might go to high drama at the Court, almost like Boston Legal.

      How, Chuck, can you all be so relaxed. You must be watching the wrong show. What do you talk about at the water cooler? Get with it and watch this unique ground-breaking drama made right here in little ol’ N.Z.

      • Chuck 18.3.1

        Greywarshark its clear we are poles apart on the current direction of NZ.

        Do we need to kept working on improving NZ? for sure…however as per my first sentence I fear each of our paths to improvement are quite different roads. And if I take a guess your road is waiting for a Bernie or Corbin type to lead NZ Labour onto victory.

        • greywarshark

          I missed on not asking what your path to improvement is, so different from what you have observed here, or in ‘the fringe, hard left, activist’ group?
          Do we need to kept working on improving NZ? for sure…however as per my first sentence I fear each of our paths to improvement are quite different roads.

          Is there something that we keep missing that will lead to improving NZ? Give us your opinion, there is a possibility that there is more than one route, and we should be trying a two-pronged pitchfork as a more effective tool.

  18. Tautoko Mangō Mata 19

    “Ok, I think we can all agree the fringe political culture is getting more angry and aggressive. I say fringe – the protest movement (Bradford etc) and the activists. Where do they come from? the hard left.” @Chuck

    Whingers are people who moan and do nothing to change the situation. They have made themselves impotent by their inaction. Even writing an email, a letter, a submission, marching with a group to highlight a cause: all contribute to putting pressure on those in power to consider making changes but whingers won’t put themselves out there.

    Activists are people who also moan but decide to do all they can to bring about the changes that they believe in. Activism can be small acts, like emailing Bunnings re defibrillators, to more vocal and noisy demonstrations. The most violent act that I have seen in NZ TPP demonstrations was when one Policeman dragged a protestor by the hair. Chester Burrows driving may be another.

    I dispute the” hate bottled up” statement. The protests have been held in good spirit, without violence. The attitude towards the PM is one of disrespect of his shameless distortion of the truth, his behaviour that denigrates his position and yes there is frustration that so many people are still duped.
    I know this is a hard concept for a Tory to understand, but activists don’t put themselves out there for their own personal benefit. They are doing it for other people, sometimes in another land (eg Springbok Tour). Activists look beyond their immediate families and want to make Aotearoa/NZ the best it can be for everybody, not just themselves. If this is being “hard left”, then please define “hard right’!

  19. Amanda Atkinson 20

    “He stressed that he was not condoning threats against MPs … but … ”

    well … you know what they say about using saying “but” … it nullifies the “not”

    • sabine 20.1

      A bit of history and violence by the unwashed masses against their god given overlords…………

      I personally don’t condone the cutting of heads, but I can understand the french peasantry doing just that to the aristocrats, the clergy in bed with the aristocrats and all those that ate cake while the rest of the population died in a ditch.

      I personally don’t condone the throwing of boxes of tea in the water, but I can understand the self identifying Americans that did just that to voice their anger at England and King George about the unjust taxes levied.

      ………see some can not condone something, all the while still have enough imagination and intellect to know that when you bite the hand that feeds you one day that hand will slap you for biting or stop feeding you. 🙂 I think it is a think called life 🙂

      And politicians should never forget that while they are in office the hand that feeds them is Jane and Jo Ordinary Taxpayer.

      • Red delusion 20.1.1

        If you don’t like the politician, vote them out, that’s how democracy works, violence has no place no matter how you want to dress wrap it . your buts are analogous to I am not a racist but.,…….

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          Why do lackwit wingnuts pretend that reasons are excuses? Are you complete dullards or is it some feeble attempt at a rhetorical trick?

          • Red delusion

            Why is your every post like a 101 philosophy paper , who are you trying to impress, plain English please

    • Gangnam Style 20.2

      So he was condoning attacks against his own MPs including himself?

  20. So many aspects of violence have been canvassed and bits have come up like “riding roughshod over the decent society” and “People expressing their hatred and contempt for a government as bad as this is perfectly normal.”

    It seems only fair in the context of “Angry politics” and what that means to mention that in a number of years the Minister of Education has talked about and deplored bullying in schools.

    Hekia Parata has the gall, the sheer effrontery, to talk about bullying in schools when she and her agents often have that as their normal game.

    Now how are people supposed to feel about that, what are they supposed to do? You could say she and her minions are acting like Hitler. Of course that would see opprobrium poured on the unfortunate who’d finally had a gutsful and made the declaration. Then all the talk would be about lack of respect, over reaction and the Holocaust. And the bullying would go on. The PR operatives would be out own tut-tutting force and the tirades from the defenders of the dastardly would be unceasing. That’s why mild people like me simply make mostly mild rebukes like this and are prepared to tolerate the crap that comes in response. I can see why some go too far.

    In Gosman’s world it could be that everything is nicely ordered and controlled and things are done nicely. It’s a real bastard when an occasional dog breaks the rules and bites back isn’t it.

    • Anne 21.1

      Hekia Parata has the gall, the sheer effrontery, to talk about bullying in schools when she and her agents often have that as their normal game.

      Remember the day a few years back when her predecessor, Anne Tolley sat a bunch of experienced teachers around a table and began to read from a children’s story book? I can’t remember the issue at stake, but there was supposedly a moral to the story that she was attempting to convey to those recalcitrant teachers who had the temerity to express some concerns. It was probably something to do with National Standards.

      I call that institutional bullying and unwarranted abuse of position.

  21. Neil 22

    Wait for it incoming, Next thing Key will say “Its all labours fault, you’ve only got to look at Angry Andie”

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