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Disappointing

Written By: - Date published: 9:33 am, September 15th, 2008 - 78 comments
Categories: john key, Media, national, slippery, spin, wages, workers' rights - Tags:

I just have to say, it’s incredibly disappointing that a simple prank, a google bomb, gets three newspaper articles and coverage on TV3 and when talkback radio suggests The Standard was tipped off on the election date that is an issue worth following up with the PM.

But when John Key is quoted in a newspaper saying “we would love to see wages drop” we don’t have a single article on TV or in a major paper directly on point and only a few mentions from columnists dismissing the quote with whichever ridiculous excuse John Key’s spin doctors were giving them that day.

Not a single article in a major newspaper saying ‘The Bay Report quoted John Key as saying ‘we would love to see wages drop’. Key responded ‘I was talking about Australian wages or, if you don’t buy that one, I was misquoted, or I was joking’.

Not a single stand up on TV with Key being asked about the quote, then, once he denied it, being asked how he would increase wages.

Not one reporter going back to Key after National’s Work Rights policy was released and saying ‘hey, these policies will make wages drop, doesn’t that conform with that quote that your spin doctors told us was all wrong?’

Disappointing.

On a similar note, on Sunrise this morning the hosts and their guests were discussing the election and everyone burst into laughter when someone made a joke about Key’s rubbish being rifled through. No-one believes that it really happened but no-one takes it the logical step further: National made the whole thing up; John Key knowingly lied to the New Zealand public. But will he ever get taken to task over that?

78 comments on “Disappointing”

  1. Tim Ellis 1

    Rochelle Rees’ google-bomb attempt almost crossed over from negative campaigning to dirty campaigning, because she was dishonest about her political affiliations. She is no more a neutral, interested observer than the Exclusive Brethren were. Her google-bomb was intended to encourage people not to vote for John Key, because she supports, presumably, the LPG group. It doesn’t matter whether she’s still affiliated to a particular political party. She is affiliated, as the Exclusive Brethren were, to a group of parties by taking the approach she did.

    I say almost crossed over, because I don’t personally see google-bombing, the way she did, as anything more than a prank from a young radical. I thought it was funny at the time. It also simply isn’t effective. Who, really, would google the word “clueless’ in a New Zealand domain, and press the “I feel lucky’ button? I just can’t see it as having any influence on voters, fullstop. It has been reported all over the show in NZ media, but I can’t imagine why anybody would go googling the word “clueless’ in New Zealand, and then click that button to bring up the result.

    Further, calling somebody “clueless’ is hardly defamatory. It’s like google-bombing Helen Clark as, let’s say for argument’s sake, “green-eyed’. How many people would actually google that expression?

    If somebody had google-bombed John Key with something downright horrible, with an expression that might actually be searched, like “rapist’, then that would be dirty.

    I note Rochelle has been flayed by a couple of the right wing blogs. I hope she has a sense of perspective. The official election campaign is only a few days old: this will be old news pretty soon. She should probably keep her head down for a little bit.

  2. r0b 2

    She should probably keep her head down for a little bit.

    Why Tim, because she dared to prank Key’s manifest destiny? The Nats have quite a history of trying to suppress critical opinion, and now you’re signing up to it. Hmmmm.

  3. Sounds like Rochelle might have thrown the pin rather than the grenade.

    “when talkback radio suggests The Standard was tipped off on the election date” That cannot be good.

  4. r0b 4

    “when talkback radio suggests The Standard was tipped off on the election date’ That cannot be good.

    Yes, because talkback radio is famous for its relevance and its sanity. Uh huh.

  5. Tim. who gives a crap about a google bomb?

  6. Craig Ranapia 6

    Well, Steve, Rochelle can play any silly pranks she likes. But, most practical jokers don’t put out press releases and get media coverage.
    (And personally, I don’t think it says much about the news judgement of the Herald on Sunday that it was considered worth running a story about.)

    But, come on, Steve… If the shoe was on the other foot wouldn’t you be rolling your eyes if she didn’t actually think being on the Young Nats executive less than a year ago was a relevant data point when asked if she had any party political links.

    Finally, here’s where your analogy falls over. You can’t help but know John Key is about as partisan and it gets; and if he pulled a “Hone Carter”, and rang into a talkback show with a silly accent pretending to be just another punter, he’d be outed. Totally humiliated. And deservedly so.

  7. Tim Ellis 7

    r0b, that’s not the reasoning I gave, and you’re trying to misrepresent what I said. From a guy who has so staunchly defended the Electoral Finance Act, dubbed by the chief executive of the electoral commission as having a “chilling effect” on democracy, it’s a nice attempt at trolling and winding me up from you, but better luck next time.

    Calling an ineffective “google-bomb” trying to suppress critical opinion really takes the cake.

    Rochelle is being attacked, and quite unfairly I think, because it doesn’t show much proportion, for misleading a reporter about her political affiliations. I have noticed a tendency of left-wing bloggers to preface their blog comments with: “I’m not a Labour voter”, and then proceed to attack John Key at any junction, and defend Labour policies and present a Labour Party spin. I’ve noticed the same on talkback with Winston Peters supporters, saying: “I don’t know who I’m going to vote for,” and then issuing a point-by-point attack on Owen Glenn, and a pronouncement of how glorious Winston Peters is and how he is right and everybody else is wrong.

    Partisan campaigning, according to the electoral act, is information that is intended to encourage voters to vote for a party or a group of parties, or discourage voters from voting for a party or a group of parties. Rochelle was until recently a Labour Party activist. The google-bomb was set up a year ago. It simply isn’t true that it was an apolitical experiment.

  8. Bill 8

    Steve.
    I guess most commentator on this log agree that the msm is fed pap and in turn feeds us pap.

    If it was a case of them missing an occasional newsworthy story rather than systemic non- engagement it would be a different matter.

    Surely the question is “What can be done about it?”, rather than another round of bitching.

    We know that ‘punters’ can ask the right questions (the tapes at Nat conference). We know that if a journalist had even bothered to make the same enquiry they would have received very different answers and only been able to uncover the truth by (sigh) investigating.

    It strikes me that journalists, like people choosing any career,are ambitious. So is there room to feed leads to more junior journalists who could then, hopefully, upstage their seniors and get them to pull their bloody socks up?

    Just a thought.

    Ha! Captcha just suggested Juanita as a possibility.

  9. deemac 9

    the biggest thing anyone who’s spent time in the UK notices when they return to NZ is the dire state of the media here. In the UK there are a variety of newspapers, here it’s like the Daily Mail (Daily Hell, who can we hate/fear today) or nothing (unless you live in Otago which most of us don’t). Also the lack of competition means very low standards (as The Standard has pointed out on numerous occasions) with journos who just recycle gossip instead of doing any real journalism, you know, unearthing a story and researching it. Why would they, when they know what Fairfax wants to say and there are no alternative employers. Deeply depressing – and bad for democracy

  10. Steve – have you ever considered the possibility that the MSM followed this issue, but after watching your attempts day after day to beat it up, that they might have seen that there was actually no issue at all? You do tend to overdo things sometimes eh 😉

  11. lprent 11

    Tim:

    Her google-bomb was intended to encourage people not to vote for John Key, because she supports, presumably, the LPG group.

    Not really. She tells me that the label was designed to make people think about what John Key stands for. She doesn’t know, I don’t know, and I’d swear that John Key doesn’t know what he is standing for.

    Of course this g-b was started last year. So at that time we didn’t know that John Key was being handled by Crosby-Textor. The PR/electoral group that specializes in putting people into power, while making sure that the voters are clueless about what they stand for.

    he should probably keep her head down for a little bit.

    Not likely. She is my niece and the family bloody minded persistence trait in pursuing objectives is expressed well in her. Besides anyone going over the top would have to deal with the whole family. I’m one of the mild ones.

    Now that should annoy her….

  12. r0b 12

    r0b, that’s not the reasoning I gave, and you’re trying to misrepresent what I said.

    Not at all Tim.

    You wrote: “I note Rochelle has been flayed by a couple of the right wing blogs … She should probably keep her head down for a little bit”.

    I don’t believe you were consciously trying to suppress free speech, but think about the assumptions that you held when you made that connection. An activist pranks Key, the frothing Kiwiblog right get angry, hence the activist better “keep her head down”. You are buying into a culture of fear Tim, a culture where people better not dare to speak out against the Nats.

  13. This is the most frustrating thing about this election, is that the MSM is trying its hardest to put National into power.

    Anything remotely negative about Labour is lept on and rammed home, but National can have policy leaks, secret tapes, out and out lie and the media brushes over it, or worse still completely ignores it.

    So much for democracy.

  14. Pat 14

    Craig’s right. The only reason Rochelle got press coverage was that she issued a press release herself. And then got caught out about her political affiliations (now she is using Helen Clark’s “but no-one asked me” line).

    I have a Young Lab(rador) myself. Like most young labs, he’s very enthusiastic, but not very bright.

  15. burt 15

    Ever since you guys started the dirty campaign of denigrating John Key 3-4 times a day the Labour poll results have headed in the wrong direction. Perhaps the best thing you could do to help Labour, and their ethical blood brothers NZ First , is to simply stop posting political threads on this blog.

    How much longer can you bang on about “we would love to see wages drop’ and still remain any credibility? Oh that’s right you only need to be as credible as Helen Clark saying she can be trusted keep going guys you can’t get any lower than the snakes belly level of integrity exhibited by the duo of dishonesty you support lowering the ethical standards of parliament for their own political expediency.

  16. Tim Ellis 16

    That’s an absolute nonsense, r0b, and to give you the benefit of the doubt I will suggest that I was imprecise in the way I expressed myself, and that it is my fault you took the wrong impression. My suggestion to Rochelle to keep her head down until things blow over aren’t about the prank itself, but because she seems to have been caught out being dishonest about her political affiliations. The frothing from the right, as I see it, appears to be about that, rather than the prank itself.

    It was a stunt. It was politically motivated. As CR notes, she put out a press release publicising it.

    Again, I suggest to you that you are winning prizes for sheer audacity, having defended the electoral finance bill for as long as you have, on every minute turn, to describe me as buying into a culture of fear, “where people better not speak out against the Nats”. This is not the thread for that discussion, but the person responsible for monitoring the electoral act has expressed a different view to you: it is the EFA that has the “chilling effect”.

  17. Bill 17

    Fuck it. Organise protests outside the media outlets and demand better standards. Push the point about information and democracy.

    Could be small as long as they are colourful. Banner drops? ‘Press tables’ with the real questions/ stories of the day?

    or

    Pick an issue and bombard the letter pages.

    or

    On the like of the Campbell website where they ask for story ideas, do the same.

    or

    Any ideas?

  18. Short Shriveled and Slightly to the Left 18

    come on rOb….. Tim was just giving friendly advice
    lay low and let it blow over

  19. Bill 19

    jesus. Better not post on topic, eh? Disappointing.

  20. Bill 20

    Is it feasible for ‘the standard’ to issue press releases on pertinent matters somehow? Don’t know how that would work which is why I’m asking. But the profile is quite high and….well, it’s a thought is all.

  21. Thomas the Unbeliever 21

    The Google Bomb was not the issue: a pathetic and ineffective prank not worthy of reporting. The lie about political affiliation is an issue – particularly in an election that supposedly all about trust.

    It is just one more sign that the political shock troops (regardless of their flavour) often tend to follow the tactics of their leaders.

    Isn’t it a first lesson of politcs that it is stupid to lie when you could get caught? The second lesson is that most political scandals are caused by the lie to cover up some small issue – not by the issue itself.

    I care little who funded Winston (more fool them) – but I am interested by his inability to tell a straight and credible story about that funding.

  22. Anita 22

    Bill,

    Anyone can issue press releases about anything 🙂

  23. higherstandard 23

    r0b

    I think you’ve got this one completely wrong – Tim was just trying to be helpful- to portray that as suppressing free speech and buying into a culture of fear is bizarre.

    [lprent: Have a look at the kiwiblog post. Then have a look at the comments section. It isn’t pretty, and that site has at least some degree of moderation.]

  24. Brett 24

    I can imagine what you guys would be saying, if there had of been a google bomb with the word “LOSER” and then a link to Aunty Helen’s website.

    Or maybe the word “Communist” and a link to Marion Hobbs website.

  25. Anita 25

    I have quite a lot of sympathy for r0b’s interpretation of Tim’s comment.

    One of the, long term and effective, tactics of the right in NZ (and overseas) has been to make political participation acceptable for the few but not the many.

    Every time I see someone arguing that it would be better to keep silent than to be active it gets my hackles up. Whatever Tim’s intention was it’s part of the framing of political participation in NZ created by the right.

    If Tim had said it would be better for Rochelle to be honest about her affiliation in future I would have nodded in agreement. As it stands it seems like Tim has, consciously or otherwise, started to argue that fear and silence is better than participation and strength.

  26. r0b 26

    That’s an absolute nonsense, r0b, and to give you the benefit of the doubt I will suggest that I was imprecise in the way I expressed myself, and that it is my fault you took the wrong impression.

    Wrong in what way Tim?

    My suggestion to Rochelle to keep her head down until things blow over aren’t about the prank itself, but because she seems to have been caught out being dishonest about her political affiliations. The frothing from the right, as I see it, appears to be about that, rather than the prank itself.

    What difference does the reason for the frothing make? Does it matter why she angered the Kiwiblog Right? No. Your direct connection between provoking a response from the right (for whatever reason) and needing to “keep her head down” still rests on some deeply unpleasant assumptions Tim. I don’t see how to read it any other way. You may not have been aware of your assumptions, but there they are.

    to describe me as buying into a culture of fear, “where people better not speak out against the Nats’.

    And yet the Nats are working hard to do exactly that Tim. Just ask journalists. Just ask the EPMU.

    it is the EFA that has the “chilling effect’

    The purpose of the EFA was to increase participation in democracy, and on that basis it had wide cross party support. As for the “chilling effect” comment I think this is an excellent reply:

    Introducing Campaign Hub 2008

  27. Pat 27

    Great idea, Bill. The Standard should start issuing press releases. They could start with some Labour policy announcements, or dish some more dirt on that scoundrel John Keys. Since The Standard has no beehive connections, they don’t need to ask for permission from Helen or Mike. Just do it, I say.

  28. r0b 28

    Tim was just trying to be helpful

    Not you too HS! How is it “helpful” to scare people into silence?

  29. Bill 29

    Anita.

    I know anyone can issue press releases. But because of the way ‘the standard’ is set up, can the standard? That was the question.

    Pat.

    Your being a dick.

  30. lprent 30

    Pat: She did issue the press release herself, and she has a lot of experience doing it. She has been an animal rights activist for about 8 years (and she is only 22).

    In this case it was a reporter who screwed up. Rochelle said exactly what she meant to say. The reporter edited out a word ‘currently’.

    To tell the truth, I seem to detect a degree of sour grapes from the right. It is a simple trick that takes medium term effort and no outlays. It is a pity that most of the activists on the right appear to be unable to make that kind of effort.

  31. Ianmac 31

    Did NZFirst receive $100,000 from Owen Glenn? NO
    Did Winston Peters receive $100,000 from Owen Glenn? NO
    Therefore the NO’es have it! And still do!
    Did the Legal Fighting Fund receive $100,000 from Owen Glenn? Yes. And that is normal practice. Would WP be told about that? No. It is what all the MPs claim “We are not told so that we are distanced from the money.” I have never voted for NZFirst but am concerned about MSM pursuit of “truth”.

  32. burt 32

    Anita

    Every time I see someone arguing that it would be better to keep silent than to be active it gets my hackles up.

    I agree with you here. Why did Helen keep silent about Winston’s donations from Owen Glenn and why did people here support her saying it was not her place to hold Winston to the highest standards of ethical conduct required in parliament?

  33. Anita 33

    burt,

    It’s a mystery to me 🙂

    It is an equal mystery why no-one is examining who is behind the campaign against Winston. Whether one believes he deserves it or not, it’s clearly a well planned well orchestrated campaign which is newsworthy in itself. Who is behind it? Why are they doing it?

  34. burt 34

    Anita

    Winston’s actions are behind the campaign against Winston. All he had to do was follow the law and declare the donations he received. Not exactly rocket science – he demands that standard from others.

  35. Tim Ellis 35

    Quite the opposite, Anita. I encourage young people to get involved in politics. I am personally pretty lenient on people like Rochelle for their youthful radicalism (and is probably part of the reason I felt some sympathy towards Shawn Tan).

    I thought the google-bomb prank was funny. She has copped a lot of flak for being dishonest about her political affiliations. On that count, and on that count alone, I think she should pop her head down until that blows over. Hopefully it will be a lesson to her not to tell fibs like that. I think the reaction from some of the right wing commenters on other blogs has been excessive. Like I say, I’m pretty lenient and think she should be cut a bit of slack.

    I have noticed a pattern of people who through their actions and behaviour, look and sound and behave exactly as if they are Young Labour activists, yet go to great lengths to explain that they are either politically neutral, non-aligned, or aligned to the Green Party. In the latter case, they seldom seem to talk about Green Party issues. They are almost exclusively parroting the Labour Party lines of the day. I think that approach lacks credibility.

  36. Anita 36

    burt,

    Sure, without fire there would not be smoke.

    But many politicians have done many dubious things with money and truthfulness in the past. This one hasn’t just spontaneously hit the media, it’s a clearly orchestrated campaign. Isn’t the why behind/beneath the campaign a story in itself?

  37. Jeeves 37

    What’s dissapointing is that seemingly intelligent people like yourselves insist on running that line in your second paragraph despite the fact that the Newspaper that reported that quote has retracted it and apologised. You are like Crosby Textor writ-socialist with your silly Labour Party lines. Honestly. You should rename your blog The low standard.

    IrishBill: there was a clarification issued. Not a retraction and not an apology. And only after Key’s office pulled some strings through management.

  38. burt 38

    Anita

    So the fact he might not be the only one doing such shit should give him a free ride? NO!

    Winston has been one of the biggest campaigners against other parties “big business in politics”. He deserves everything he gets and the people who outted him deserve to be recognised as acting in the best interest of transparency.

    Winston should take his medicine like an adult and stop blaming everybody else because he got caught. He’s a baby and his nappy is over flowing – time he cleaned his act up.

  39. Crank 39

    You chaps need some new material. Still banging on about the “wages drop thing”.

    Maybe the Labour party needs to have a rummage through John Key’s bins again as they obviously couldn’t find any “dirt” last time. Now all we have is the endless repetition of hate lines that didn’t work first time round.

  40. r0b 40

    What’s dissapointing is that seemingly intelligent people like yourselves insist on running that line in your second paragraph despite the fact that the Newspaper that reported that quote has retracted it and apologised.

    The Newspaper that reported it “retracted” and “apologised” when told to by their management as a result of political pressure from John Key and the National party. Pressure that is reputed to have included attempts to get the journalist who reported the quote sacked.

    This is exactly an example, and part of a Nat pattern, of the kind of suppression of contrary opinion that Tim was exhibiting (on a much smaller scale) just above.

  41. Santi 41

    SP, the perennial socialist whinger!

  42. Tim Ellis 42

    Rob said:

    What difference does the reason for the frothing make? Does it matter why she angered the Kiwiblog Right? No.

    Actually it does matter to me. If Rochelle hadn’t lied about her political affiliations, then the kind of vitriol that is being directed towards her wouldn’t exist. The issue would only be about the google-bomb, which was reported here at the Standard, and which I laughed about. Tane postulated that the right were being excessively sensitive about it. I pointed out I wasn’t, and then gave another example of “I Feel Lucky” in google, which Tane proceeded to get very sensitive about.

    And yet the Nats are working hard to do exactly that Tim. Just ask journalists. Just ask the EPMU.

    More hyperbole, r0b. How many members of the press gallery are there? Fifty? Name five of them who will say that National is trying to shut down the media. As for the EPMU, last I heard they had registered as a third party, so they could campaign against National, despite being an affiliated union of the Labour Party. They haven’t been cowed into submission. Nice attempt at distraction again.

    The purpose of the EFA was to increase participation in democracy, and on that basis it had wide cross party support. As for the “chilling effect’ comment I think this is an excellent reply:
    http://www.thestandard.org.nz/?p=2995

    That isn’t a reply or rebuttal at all r0b. Helena Catt, the chief executive of the electoral commission, made a clear, specific statement: that the EFA is having a chilling effect on democracy and participation. You pointing out that a small group of left-wingers have managed to organise themselves and don’t feel cowed by the EFA, does not negate that Catt believes that many other people have been cowed into not participating in the election process this year, because of the EFA.

  43. Anita 43

    burt,

    I think you’ve misunderstood what I’ve been saying.

    Yes, the allegations against Winston are a real news story, and should be investigated by the authorities and acted on and and and.

    I am saying that as well as that…

    The media should be questioning the hows and whys about this old story coming to light now. Why this one not one of the others? Who’s pushing the story? What are they gaining from it? That is also a real news story.

  44. r0b 44

    time he cleaned his act up

    Speaking of cleaning up ACT – what’s your take on this Burt:

    Break open the trusts

    Oh – and this?

    The truth behind the Shawn Tan affair

  45. randal 45

    the whole national campaign is disappointing and its only day one. Key would not front radio nz for an interview and it has got worse. now burt is going on about winnie. I thort they were going to talk about the future not the past. the fact is that winnie will get back in and national is not going to win because they have no policies except driving wages down and looting the treasury and any other state assets they can get their hands on. they are destroyers and wreckers and standover type people and the electoratge knows this. Furthermore they had to have key as a marionette because english’s eyebrows meet in the middle and is seen as untrustworthy. the flaw is that Key is bad tempered so looks like they are stuffed all round.

  46. Jeeves 46

    Also, you’re barmy if you think there is an orchestrated campaign against Winston. The only reason this is dragging on is because he’s a dodgy mofo who won’t give a straight answer (instead, he makes his key point of defence about who Owen Glenn has as his lawyer, for goodness sake!) . The friggin Herald even printed his statement word for word so he could get his two cents in. Who else would they do that for?! Good gracious.

    If it seems more organised than other accusations levelled at MPs it’s probably because journalists want to make sure they have all the evidence before they start making accusations, because Winston is what Aristophanes would have described as a litigious maniac. For someone who stands up for the “little man” he sure likes to use his old money “pro bono-some of the time” barrister to ensure any opposition to him is judicially gagged.

    Also, I remember this thing about money and election rules that played out in the media after the last election for quite some time…there were several interviews, a book, a play, a film and gosh darn it even a fascist law passed in respect of it! So um…it really is par for the course.

  47. randal 47

    oh and I have to laugh about the msm getting pissed off because they are getting scooped on every front. the blerks and the slobs are getting their comeuppance….hahahahahaha

  48. Tim Ellis 48

    Pressure that is reputed to have included attempts to get the journalist who reported the quote sacked.

    r0b you have made that statement many, many times, and to paraphrase your own advice on Labour smearing Owen Glenn, I have seen a lot of Labour sympathisers say that happened, but haven’t seen any evidence of it. It looks like an urban myth.

  49. Janet 49

    The media (apart from little outposts like The Standard original and current) has always served the interests of those who own it – the powerful right. They own, they employ, and they expect to see their biases and prejudices reflected (which they see as normal views). I have been around a long time and I have never ever seen any pretense at balance in the media, particular the print media but also television and radio which is ultimately owned by the same interests. Even public broadcasting is usually run by people who aspire to join the big boys club. That is why The Standard is so refreshing – it’s investigative, analytical, honest and self-reflective, youthful, and gives detailed information such as graphs. It scares the rest of them so will be attacked at any opportunity.

  50. randal 50

    labour never smeared owen glenn. he smeared himself by being an indian giver.

  51. This is totally ridiculous! Not once was Rochelle dishonest nor did she lie. She is not a current member of the party and hasn’t been for quite a while. Why should she have to mention it if the journalist DID NOT ASK HER FOR PREVIOUS AFFILIATIONS. Anyone that knows Rochelle knows she works bloody hard for all sorts of left-wing political causes and if she had to declare them all every time some appalling journalist neglected to do their job it would be a very long article.

    Rocky on Rochelle 🙂

  52. r0b 52

    Actually it does matter to me.

    You’re trying to dig yourself deeper? You’re now saying that there are some reasons for which it is OK that Kiwiblog right stalking should be allowed to shut down free speech?

    If Rochelle hadn’t lied about her political affiliations

    I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that you haven’t read lprent’s comment of 10:41 am above. I’ll expect you to post an apology to Rochelle though.

    Name five of them who will say that National is trying to shut down the media.

    I’ll do better than that – I’ll name a whole newspaper full of them:

    Journalists react to attack on media freedom

    As for the EPMU, last I heard they had registered as a third party

    Yes, a victory for free speech after several successive legal actions from the National Party to try and shut them down.

    That isn’t a reply or rebuttal at all r0b.

    Certainly is. Catt is entitled to her opinion, but it doesn’t mean she is correct. Take a look around you Tim. There is more robust political debate going on than ever before.

  53. Jeeves 53

    Look, the media seems to be anti-Labour at the moment. I accept that, and I am a Tory. Unfortunately that’s what happens when the political winds change – the media report on juicy stories people want to read – it’s not political editorial bias and it’s not ingrained. None of the lefty-liberal crowd complained when the media acted as Helen Clark’s personal mouthpiece from 1997ish to 2004ish. So get over it, you’re acting like spoiled children who had your toys taken away.

  54. burt 54

    rOb

    Lodge a complaint with the police and/or the SFO. If there is substance they are sure to investigate as they are doing with Winston. I’m always the first to call for the courts to sort these things out rather than some form of corrupt “validation” or “move on” – You know that very well.

    As to the EPMU – well – Tan would have been fine if he was doing stuff for Labour so I don’t see how ACT are responsible for the double standards of the EPMU. Perhaps you could explain it in terms of “It’s OK when Labour do it” ?

  55. Tim Ellis 55

    I get it, r0b, so you’re saying Rochelle was misquoted when she responded about her political affiliations, but you have repeated the meme that John Key was not misquoted on the “love to see wages drop” line, despite the fact that had he said it, it would have been reported everywhere, at length (and it hasn’t); and then repeated further the meme that left-wing bloggers appear to have created, that John Key then tried to hound the journalist out of a job.

  56. r0b 56

    “Pressure that is reputed to have included attempts to get the journalist who reported the quote sacked.” … I have seen a lot of Labour sympathisers say that happened, but haven’t seen any evidence of it. It looks like an urban myth.

    You’ll notice I used the word “reputed” Tim, because I’m aware that there is no explicit proof (not the sort of thing it is easy to find explicit proof on is it). The issue is discussed here, among others:

    Some questions

  57. Anita 57

    Tim,

    That isn’t a reply or rebuttal at all r0b. Helena Catt, the chief executive of the electoral commission, made a clear, specific statement: that the EFA is having a chilling effect on democracy and participation. You pointing out that a small group of left-wingers have managed to organise themselves and don’t feel cowed by the EFA, does not negate that Catt believes that many other people have been cowed into not participating in the election process this year, because of the EFA.

    I would argue that the chilling effect comes from two sources

    1) The EFA’s not well drafted, so it’s ambiguous and lacks clarity.

    2) Some people and organisations, for political reasons have hyped up that lack of clarity, have complained about a variety of things, and threatened to complain about a variety of others. They have deliberately dialled up the fear, uncertainty and doubt.

    Without the second part we could have had open participation in the election. We could have started off with good will and worked through the drafting issues. We know now that organisations and individuals can campaign within the framework set out by the EFA. We could have had a fully open election campaign.

    Instead the EFA has been turned into a political tool used to silence opposing views – to keep the debate for the political elite rather than the rest of us. The right has been more vicious and strategic with it, they know that groups on the left are less likely to be able to afford a legal opinion, plus it’s hard for the parties that voted for the EFA to use the EFA in quite the cynical way the right can.

    So, the EFA, badly drafted, not what I would have hoped it could be – yep.

    But the current chilling effect – largely a creation of the political right spreading FUD to silence the voices of real people.

  58. Tim Ellis 58

    And r0b, I’m just going to try to ignore future attempts from you to imply malevolent motives on my behalf from now on. Implying that I am encouraging others to stalk people, or trying to shut down free speech, is patently ridiculous. If you want to behave constructively that’s fine, but I’m not going to respond to your petty smears and dishonesty.

  59. r0b 59

    I get it, r0b, so you’re saying Rochelle was misquoted

    That is lprent’s claim Tim. When are you going to apologise to Rochelle?

  60. r0b 60

    And r0b, I’m just going to try to ignore future attempts from you to imply malevolent motives on my behalf from now on. Implying that I am encouraging others to stalk people, or trying to shut down free speech, is patently ridiculous. If you want to behave constructively that’s fine, but I’m not going to respond to your petty smears and dishonesty.

    Getting a little grumpy Tim? Perhaps you should switch to decaf.

    You haven’t been able to say what you did mean by those words Tim, so they pretty much speak for themselves. And there I too am content to let the matter rest.

  61. Tim Ellis 61

    I think your first two points are quite valid, Anita. But they would only have the chilling effect if:

    3) The electoral commission is so confused about how to interpret the EFA that it cannot advise voters or prospective participants in democracy as to where they stand. The Electoral Commission is shamefully under-resourced. They were lumped with a piece of legislation changing the rules, just weeks before the election period, having warned Parliament that it needed to provide clarity, only to have the Minister respond that the “law of common sense” would apply.

    If the Electoral Commission was able to provide clarity and offer fast responses and advice, then the chilling effect wouldn’t exist. But it can’t, and it does. Instead, as a result of the law being rammed through parliament, many parts of the law haven’t been tested.

  62. Tim Ellis 62

    r0b, unlike you, I have the personal integrity to post under my real name. I don’t go around applying false motives to people behind an anonymous screen. I did not promote or encourage stalking, and no reasonable reading of what I wrote would say that. I won’t engage with debating with you if you continue to smear me like that.

  63. Dom 63

    Brett –

    “I can imagine what you guys would be saying, if there had of been a google bomb with the word “LOSER’ and then a link to Aunty Helen’s website.”

    Yes, but the difference here is that calling Clark a loser is incorrect.

    Calling Key clueless on the other hand…well, he IS clueless…

  64. Anita 64

    Tim,

    Yeah, I’m quite disappointed by the Electoral Commission’s role in all of this. Sure they were given something messy to deal with, but they could have made a better fist of it. One of the joys of being in the public service is having hot potatoes tossed at you; other agencies would have coped better than this.

    As it happens I included in my submission on the EFB a discussion about the confusion for community groups and a recommendation that the EC provide education about how to advocate legally; pretty bloody commonsense I would have thought. I haven’t seen a great deal of evidence that they’ve done that. They don’t have any handy “how to advocate for an issue” information, or an EFA-for-community-organisations sheet, or anything pro-active. Bah 🙁

  65. r0b 65

    r0b, unlike you, I have the personal integrity to post under my real name.

    Good for you. Among other reasons, I use a screen name because I don’t want me (or my family) to have to deal with the dangerous stalking behaviour that some on the Kiwiblog Right indulge in. Yes – I’m affected by the culture of fear that we have been discussing above. You should ask Lynn Prentice or Steve Pierson to describe the kind of hate mail that they have to put up with. It’s sad, but there it is.

    I did not promote or encourage stalking, and no reasonable reading of what I wrote would say that.

    Never said you did. I said the your comment displayed attitudes that brought in to the culture of fear about speaking out against National. You need to challenge it, not accept it as a given.

    I won’t engage with debating with you if you continue to smear me like that.

    It’s not a smear Tim, it’s a wake up call.

  66. Bill 66

    You know, chilled could mean ‘frozen out’ or it could mean that something is made calmer, taken down from a bubbling frenzy.

    Any links to the comments in their full context?

  67. r0b 67

    Ahh yes, there it is. On Key trying to get the “we would love to see wages drop” journalist sacked, the source is information which seems to have come to Cullen, as described in Hansard:

    Did Key try to get ‘wage drop’ journalist sacked?

  68. Tim Ellis 68

    Anita, from memory, the Electoral Commission operated for much of this year with only the chief executive, the communications specialist, and an admin person. It really isn’t any wonder that a body that is supposed to ensure that the players in democracy know, understand, and operate within the rules can’t do its job properly.

    I think that given its chronic underfunding, the poor state of the legislation it was handed, and the chronic politicisation of electoral law (which I don’t think is just the fault of the EFA’s opponents: both sides turned it into a political football), they’ve done remarkably well.

    r0b I can helpfully tell you that in the time I have been commenting on blogs, which probably isn’t as long as you, I haven’t received a single piece of hate mail or threatening correspondence. Might you, I don’t make a habit of going around trolling, or misrepresenting others’ motives.

  69. Anita 69

    Tim,

    I’m pretty sure they have a lawyer on staff, and I would have thought they’d have access to a variety of MoJ resources, the last cabinet paper I read about EC business was an MoJ paper I think.

    But… whose dumb idea was it to under resource them? 🙂

  70. bill brown 70

    Tim,

    I think that the main reason you aren’t targeted is that you do not publish dissenting comments on blogs like Hootons but on blogs like this.

  71. randal 71

    tim..its a questionof mind over matter. we dont mind and you dont matter. are you hip to that timmy baby?

  72. Tim Ellis 72

    Bill, I do post on policyblog. I recently posted a response to a suggestion from Hooten that the electoral commission was cowardly for not laying a complaint to the police about NZ First, countering it. Far from being hounded, stalked, or targeted for offering a dissenting view, Hooten wrote a follow-up post thanking me for my contribution.

  73. Anita 73

    randal,

    You may be pleased to know that none of your comments on this post have made any sense to me 🙂

    (although you did spur me into checking whether Bill English’s eyebrows do meet in the middle)

    ((they don’t seem to))

  74. bill brown 74

    Well, lucky you Tim, I’m very happy for you, but it doesn’t lower my sense of unease.

  75. randal 75

    oh dear…I thought they were all blindingly obvious. None of the rightwhingers seems to want to tangle with randal the barbarian so even in their tiny brains they seem to be getting the message. they cant twist my words if it is only one sentence and they dont seem to be able to gloss anything with any substantive content.

  76. r0b 76

    r0b I can helpfully tell you that in the time I have been commenting on blogs, which probably isn’t as long as you, I haven’t received a single piece of hate mail or threatening correspondence.

    I’m pleased to hear it. We on the left are not perfect of course, but in general we don’t go in for the personal stalking thing that some the extreme right are prone to. Once again – ask Lynn or Steve what kind of filth they get sent.

    Might you, I don’t make a habit of going around trolling, or misrepresenting others’ motives.

    And I have done neither Tim, as the record above shows. Your “protest too much” behaviour shows just how uncomfortable you are about this issue, but you need to examine your assumptions, not lash out at those that point them out to you.

  77. Crank 77

    Randel,

    The reason no one responds to your comments is because no one reads them.

    There are a few contributors here (you, d4j and matthew pilot) that after wasting too much time reading their nonsense I now just don’t bother with.

    I am sure most others do the same.

  78. the sprout 78

    good commentary here from Gordon Campbell on the state of NZ’s political journalism

    http://election08.scoop.co.nz/%e2%80%98horse-race%e2%80%99-political-journalism/print/

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