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Hey “Chubby”…..

Written By: - Date published: 7:12 pm, May 12th, 2010 - 80 comments
Categories: blogs, dpf - Tags: ,

We clearly ruffled a few feathers among the Nats by exposing the official advice to the government that their three strikes bill may increase the number of murders.

Yesterday we got an email from Justice about an Official Information Act request for the names of people who have requested info under the OIA on the 3 strikes law.  It was from David Farrar – pollster for the National party, and their chief spinster on the blogs!

He was clearly hoping that one of the pseudonymous authors here had been stupid enough to request the info in their own name. None of them are that daft (and I’d be seriously annoyed if they were).

We have reasons for keeping our authors pseudonymous as is stated in our About under “Why don’t you say who you are?” and we take protecting them pretty seriously. I’ve had to previously castigate David on this topic.

Some of the authors here use their real names, but others choose to blog anonymously for a variety of reasons. Some of us have professional reasons for doing so, others of us are reluctant to expose ourselves to the kind of personal threats sometimes made online. Those of us using pseudonyms discussed this issue long and hard before we began and came down on the side of anonymity. We hope you can see why. You might also want to contemplate the implications of this link.

The link is about David Farrar’s sleazy camper-van buddy, Whaleoil, from long before he got around to dissing judges decisions. He does have a tendency towards inciting himself and others to break the law.

Anyway, the really amusing thing is that David Farrar cast the net so widely he got all the journos too and they’re justly pissed off about such heavy-handed tactics. In the Dom today (not online, but LexisNexis now has it here):

What happens when the Official Information Act crosses the Privacy Act and bumps into a chubby Right-winger blogger? A minor bureaucratic flap at the Ministry of Justice, it seems. A Dominion Post reporter was asked by the ministry if he objected to his name being released to Kiwblog writer David Farrar who had asked under the OIA for the names of all people who had filed an OIA request about the 3 Strikes Bill. The answer will be plain to readers who spotted the story: “Three strikes papers seen by not signed by justice minister”, bylined: Vernon Small.

I have written to Justice saying that the name shouldn’t be released under the OIA. It is clearly private information.

Moreover, it would set a bad precedent if anyone could find out the name of anyone else who made an OIA request.

The Offical Information Act process is there to make the processes of government more transparent to interested voters. It isn’t there for the governing party and its minions to collect information about political opponents.

But “Chubby” (I like that, and I’ll dig out the picture that fits a bit later), come close and I’ll whisper you the name on the OIA: it was Lynn Prentice.

80 comments on “Hey “Chubby”….. ”

  1. Get thee 1


  2. tc 2

    Quote Steely Dan “I’m a fool to do your dirty work” however in this case a willing and well rewarded one.

    What money on them ‘fixing’ that pesky OIA soon……hark tis that the smell of urgency anybody ?

  3. Margaret 3

    ahh Lynn…I think you have gained the “evil genius” tag.

    You’d think Dpf would have got a lackey to do the OIA…unless he thought he’d catch you out and be triumphant?

  4. Get thee 4

    DPF is a lackey

  5. What an utter clown. I hope he has access to a decent wheelchair as there seems to be several large gaping bullet holes in his foot.

  6. jnd 6

    What an evil little prick, you’d have to be bloody gullible to believe otherwise. This from the founder of the astroturf Coalition for Free Speech. Nasty nasty nasty.
    Good work for exposing Farrar for what he is Lynn.

  7. Kaplan 7

    hahahahahahahaha Brilliant post.

    Chubby does have a history of using the OIA for his personal titilation.
    Farrar: I Love The OIA

  8. does the OIA allow somebody to request all previous OIA requests made by a certain person?

    • MikeG 8.1

      my thoughts exactly!

    • Yes. If they think it’s vexatious or frivolous they might say no, or try to charge you or something, or they might withhold some of it for being private, but if you narrow your search (say last three years), and only request the requests, not the results (which could magnify it massively) it shouldn’t present a problem.

      I would note that not making a request under a real name might be a reason for a dept. to not release information (technically – simplifying – requests may only be made by NZers and people in NZ, and if they don’t know who you are they might say you don’t count).

  9. Dean 9

    “But “Chubby’ (I like that, and I’ll dig out the picture that fits a bit later), come close and I’ll whisper you the name on the OIA: it was Lynn Prentice.”

    Let’s all make fun of people’s appearances, because it greatly strengthens the point we are attempting to make. Perhaps we should talk about how much he eats or how little he exercises, because it is entirely relevant to the point we are trying to make.

    Or perhaps you should just go back to calling everyone who disagrees with you idiots.

    • IrishBill 9.1

      He’s quoting Vernon you pillock. So you can either take it up with the chair of the Press Gallery or stop being a whinging little PC idiot.

    • jnd 9.2

      Read the post precious. Then try addressing the issue of National’s DPF acting like the Stazi.

    • Kaplan 9.3

      If someone really wanted to make fun of his appearance I don’t think they’d use the word chubby.
      Just saying.

    • lprent 9.4

      Did I mention that he managed to piss off the current doyen of the parliamentary press gallery…. Take it up with him..

      BTW: Do you ever read the posts and then think before you comment, or are you just a wound up ball of reflexes?

      • Dean 9.4.1

        Can I be a moron and idiot too? Or have you graduated beyond such trifling silliness, and become too busy digging out pictures of overweight people?

        Irish (I love it when you accuse people of being PC, I really do): from the OP:

        “But “Chubby’ (I like that, and I’ll dig out the picture that fits a bit later)”

        Maybe LP should find someone black to call an Uncle Tom and you could congratulate him on his extreme un-PCness?

        • Marty G

          Pretty funny, Small calling Farrar ‘Chubby’

          Why don’t you write a strongly worded letter to him, Dean.

          Try to wipe your tears off before sending it.

        • r0b

          Can I be a moron and idiot too?

          Apparently. Dropping in to deliver moral lectures, Dean, the “man” who likes to drag a politician’s family through the mud because the reaction amuses him. Give him a big hand folks…

  10. Pascal's bookie 10

    DPF usually manages to squeeze a vanity reference to his msm mentions on to his blog somewhere. Maybe he’ll comment here instead, just to set the issue straight like.

  11. Richard 11

    @ Dean: what do you think DPF was going to do with the name of a standard author if he found one?

  12. The link to the page about Whaleoil and his posted comments are appalling. He really is in need of professional help.

  13. Gosman 13

    Gawd you guy’s are truly, truly sad.

    Have fun with your obsession with David Farrar and all that.

    • lprent 13.1

      Did you read the post?

      Something about doing OIA’s that I’m a bit peeved about, and probably a few journos as well. Rings a bell? Actually I suspect you’d drool on the ring of a bell with a pavlovian reflex.

      What is it with the mindless comments that tend to indicate an inability to read a post? Oh thats right – too much time in the sewer. You don’t have to think, just react…

    • IrishBill 13.2

      Um he’s the one using the OIA to try to stalk us you dipshit.

    • I will try to only use words with one or two syllables (damn).

      Farrar has asked which Kiwi citizens (damn) have asked for the identity (you know) of people who have asked for the list of people who have asked for information (really tough) so that he can embarass them.

      This is wrong.

      If a Kiwi wants information from the guvrnmnt then they should be able to do so privately.

      Care to address the issue?

  14. Ms X 14

    I would like to take issue with the word ‘spinster’ in this context – is that a recognised use for it? A spinster was a hard working single woman in years gone by, (not a derogatory term initially) and it seems a shame for it to have deteriorated to this usage. But while we’re talking about spin doctors – and I appreciate that the medical profession probably don’t like that term either – has this been aired on the Standard? http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/blog/2010/may/10/adam-boulton-alastair-campbell

    • r0b 14.1

      “Spinster” in this context is a play on words. DPF does “spin” for the Nats, hence he is a “spinster”. It’s a term that’s been used several times here (I’ve used it myself), and it will almost certainly be used again. No disrespect to unmarried women is intended, some of my best friends are spinsters and so on…

    • lprent 14.2

      It was one of those words that came up in conversation a month or so ago. The topic was words that were uniquely gender specific. None of us could think of the equivalent male word for the same thing (English being what it, I’m sure that there is one).

      Since half of my female friends are working ‘spinsters’ these days, most of those with children, and being married is just about as common than either living on your own or living with someone – it seemed like a pointless word these days mostly used in insults. Frankly no-one (apart from Lindsey whatshername) gives a shit, so we decided that the word in its original meaning was on the verge of going obsolete.

      However it is a wonderfully short word, is instantly recognizable, fits the spinmeisters perfectly, and is a hell of a lot shorter than spin doctors – so I’ve been re-tasking it.

      It is one of the joys of English, that words can and do have several meanings based on context. They also gain more meanings as people use them in different contexts.

      • Lindsey 14.2.1

        Good collection of old names for female professions – many now adopted as surnames
        Spin-ster – woman who spins
        Brew-ster – woman who makes beer
        Bax-ster – woman who makes bread

        • lprent

          Yeah, spinster itself is an example of how a word has changed its meaning in the past.

          Umm, looks like I’m not the only one doing it. http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/spinster

          1. An unmarried woman, especially one past the normal marrying age.
          2. One who spins (puts a spin on) a political media story so as to give something a favorable or advantageous appearance; a spin doctor, spin merchant or spin master.
          3. (obsolete) Someone whose occupation was spinning thread.

          Personally I want to make the first item obsolete as well.

          Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spinster

          The term “spinster” was originally intended to indicate a woman who spun wool, thereby living independently of a male wage. These women were invariably single and did not have children. During the Elizabethan era, spinster (or old maid) came to indicate a woman or girl of marriageable age who was unwilling or unable to marry and had no children. Socially, the term is usually applied only to women who are regarded as beyond the customary age for marriage, and is sometimes considered an insulting term, more degrading than the term “bachelor” for males. While men can continue to have children into their 70s or 80s, women generally become less and less able to bear children as they get older. So the term “old maid” is only applied to women who are past a child bearing age but have never married.

          BTW: I was referring to the other Lindsey of course.

    • Alastair Campbell went up in my estimation. I understood him to be the dark knight of Labour’s PR but he is very talented. He has that ability that with a nod of the head or a look of incredulity to really piss the opposition off, even though at the same time he is using words that sound really reasonable.

      He is very talented! I am not surprised that Boulton became so pissed off.

    • BLiP 14.4

      Not quite. “Spinster” was a slightly disparaging word for a woman of a “certain age” who had remained unmarried. I think the proper term for Chubby would be “spinmeister” but, somehow, the word seems to convey an level of competence that doesn’t apply in this case. I would suggest that in future he just be described as a “spinner”.

      • Pascal's bookie 14.4.1

        Unless he pipes up with some sort of reasonable explanation for this I think I’m just going to run with ‘fuckwit’.

      • jcuknz 14.4.2

        Well as a spinner he certainly has caught a huge shoal of fish here including a few whales 🙂

  15. Rharn 15

    Farrer’s request for names can be for no other reason than to attack the messenger and not the message. It demonstrates the lack of intellect of those that the Nats use to counter their self seeking ideology.

    It’s pretty pathetic really when you boil it down to basics. Instead of acknowledging the Ministries findings on the three strikes law this piece of drivel (Farrer) goes after those that are in agreement with the ministries findings. Someone needs to ask Farrer what and if he is going to do about the authors of the Ministries report ‘and if not why not.’

    • the sprout 15.1

      that is truly very creepy.

      someone also needs to ask whether other National Party members, in particular parliamentarians, were aware of Farrar’s actions and what their opinions of them are.

      was Farrar just doing the dirty work for MPs irritated and embarrassed by and wanting to attack the Standard?

      • lprent 15.1.1

        Well the last time I had to chastise him was when he attacked the pseudonymous authors here in a post where he was defending Murray McCully.

        It wouldn’t surprise me if he was doing the ‘clean’ hands thing for his political mates. I have a vague feeling (ie I haven’t dumped his site and analyzed it numerically) that he seems to have a go at this site whenever we push particular MPs.

    • Draco T Bastard 15.2

      It demonstrates the lack of intellect of those that the Nats use to counter their self seeking ideology.

      It also shows their nasty authoritarian/psychotic streak. No other psych profile would look up the names of people to attack them (which is the only reason for going after their names like that).

  16. Pascal's bookie 16

    Maybe he was trying to find out if someone on the select committee wanted Justice’s advice and was using the OIA to get around the govt’s ban on Justice offering advice to the justice select committee on a bill in their policy area.

  17. Makes you wonder what you guys really have got to hide. I don’t buy all this keeping anonymous for professional reasons bollocks, or that you’re afraid for personal abuse. Especially when you seem quite happy to dish it out.

    Nice to see your inspiration for nicknames are coming direct from the playgrounds of our primary schools. Well done!

    • Good attempted diversion. Do you think that the use of the OIA by a Kiwi entitles the National Party to discover that person’s identity?

      Yes or no?

    • IrishBill 17.2

      You’re coming the old moral highhorse? You? old Clint “paste Helen Clark’s head on transsexual porn” Heine. You’re an unfunny joke mate.

      • Clint Heine 17.2.1

        Yes I am Bill – and I stand behind it because I am not afraid for doing it. Until you use your real name I don’t think you can call me mate.

        Micky, I’m not intentionally diverting anything. I am genuninely interested to see who the Standard writers are. All this shit throwing and no names to pin it on – I’m very curious to see who these people are and why they seem to think they are better than all of us who are brave enough to use their real names.

        • IrishBill

          Brave? Who do you think you are? William Wallace? Get over yourself mate.

    • lprent 17.3

      It isn’t the personal abuse that is at issue.

      I’ve had quite a few e-mails that essentially say (in a cleaned up fashion) “we know where you live and we really don’t like you” – it is always interesting backtracking them against the IPs we store here. Every few weeks we have someone telling us we should shut-up because otherwise someone is going to sue us (has never happened) – but this helps get rid of nuisance suits. There have been a number of people who have been speculated on as being authors here and apparently the topic does come up in job interviews. Clinton had it when he was job hunting and that was one of the reasons that he dropped off writing.

      Personally, I don’t give a shit myself because my profession is so far away from politics that it really isn’t a consideration (and someone had to put their name to the domain). But as we’ve seen with Paula Bennett, sometimes politicians, their weaselly minions, and their vituperative supporters are frequently vindicative arseholes when it comes to political opponents, and are not too concerned about how they go about it.

      No-one particularly cares about your site, but we get a lot of reaction in real life to what gets written here. In the end it is the opinions that matter, not who writes them. Most of us prefer to separate our blogging life from our real life – as do most of your fellow bloggers on your site. Hell, I suspect that even though my name is known, that there isn’t a picture of me on the net. Not all of us want to be media whores like David and Cameron.

      • Clint Heine 17.3.1

        Perhaps so, but I also get threats and like what you get, they are hardly pleasant to read – but it’s nothing to me as people who do that are too chicken to say it to my face. I get plenty of feedback to my blog – you guys seem happy to link to it occasionally – but I stand by every word that I say and people respect me for it.

        It just seems a little silly to have all this secrecy unless it’s for a good reason, and that is why people are interested. Seems fair to me.

        • lprent

          You’re living in the UK right? I guess that makes it easier…

          • r0b

            Yeah that an the fact that the whole stalking / threatening with violence thing seems to be much more a tendency of the right wing (extremists) than the left. Just take a look at the aggression and filth on Kiwiblog every other day. Yes, you can find occasional examples of that sort of nonsense here, everywhere, but on Kiwiblog it’s a way of life. Some of those people are disturbed, and I don’t want them knowing where my family live.

            • Clint Heine

              Rob, I beg to differ which makes me believe if anything that both sides are equally as shitty to each other over threats and violence. By saying that, the huffing and puffing over at Kiwiblog is hardly the stuff that consists of anything that would keep you awake at night.

              I have been attacked physically many times and the amount of emails telling me I should be “taken care of” or told I will never get a job in NZ pile up. The left are very nasty, but I can be big enough to say that the right too are part of this nasty game.

              • lprent

                There are dickheads on all sides. However I’m primarily concerned with my authors.

              • r0b

                Rob, I beg to differ which makes me believe if anything that both sides are equally as shitty to each other over threats and violence

                That’s an interestingly circular piece of self-gratification Clint.

                The left are very nasty, but I can be big enough to say that the right too are part of this nasty game.

                By any measure you like the right wing blogs are far more squalid places. You’re part of it, with your photoshopped Helen Clark porn. Whale is too, with various similar efforts. Let me know when you find anything like that on The Standard eh. DPF himself is at least a little bit classier than that, but his trolls are not.

                And as for threats of violence, that’s not my decision alone, it’s a decision for my family. And unless you’ve been held up at knife point in your own home, or had your place of work firebombed, you’re in no position to comment on our decision.

      • jcuknz 17.3.2

        I think that comes under the classification of a whale Lynne 🙂

    • Eddie 17.4

      pseudonymous, not anonymous

  18. r0b 18

    DPF and Whale have long been obsessed with who the writers here are. So far I’ve been accused of being Rob Salmond (an academic in the USA), robinsod (a mad bastard but we miss him), and one or two other “Rob” type names that I forget. Lord knows which Rob I’ll be next, perhaps this guy, or this one, perhaps her (she has a cool day job!), maybe this guy (nah, I have a much stronger chin). All very imaginative guesses to be sure, but here’s the thing, my handle is chosen as a nod to the politician that got me interested in politics, Rob Muldoon.

    Anyway, enough with the stalking already. You two (DPF and Whale) get off on the minor celebrity (very minor!) of being bloggers. Good for you. We prefer to keep that part of our lives separate. Good for us. What’s so hard to understand about that? It’s the quality of the arguments that matters, not the name signed to them.

    [lprent: Added search links in for robinsod and Rob Salmond. It occoured to me that some readers may not have experienced the robinsod ‘charm’ – once seen, never forgotten. ]

    • ghostwhowalksnz 18.1

      Hasnt Farrar being running anon posts on Pravadablog recently.

      The Afghan story was a hoot- who was that guy who writes like Biggles ?
      And of course he writes about his social activities, all ways referring to his friends in code. There is a current friend who seems to be so secret ‘she’ doesnt have a code at all. naturally the reasons for doing so are obvious

  19. Santi 19

    I think “Mercenary” or “Hired Gun” is a more accurate nickname for National’s Farrar.

  20. jcuknz 20

    The trouble with giving people ‘names’ is that they become “pseudonymous, not anonymous” and some will say that is a bad thing … if you believe in what you say you should stand up to get your head cut off.
    Personally I am quite sure anyone with a modicum of computer skills can find out who I am and after all this time [ compared to common computer usage .. post Sinclairs ZX80, of which I once owned an eighth share] I’m reluctant to change. I think ‘Chubby’ is quite a nice nickname. A mildly horrifying thought is that the moment you say anything on the web it is likely to be picked up by the search engines and it is usually the comments that on reflection one would wish to be forgotten, like this one probably 🙁

    • Pascal's bookie 20.1

      “if you believe in what you say you should stand up to get your head cut off”

      Why? ‘If you believe something, you should say it’ I can run with.

      Seems to me that identity is irrelevant. The ideas stand or fall regardless. Also seems to me that the demand for identity is just a way to avoid discussing the ideas, ad hom. (or ad pseud. if you like). Alternatively, the demand for identity is just a way of saying ‘shut up’.

      I really don’t get it.

      Anyway, it’s been good enough for thousands of years of political writing, eg the US constitution’s framers and their opponents in the federalist and anti-federalist papers.

      • lprent 20.1.1

        Not to mention most of the writers in broadsheets in almost every country for many centuries. Today, every newspaper still has a daily pseudonymous column – it is called ‘editoral’. Their pages are full of “Staff reporter” and the like.

        Even my favourite magazine, The Economist, continues in the pseudonymous tradition with Bagehot and others.

        jc, you’re arguing against a long long tradition. Perhaps you’d like to elucidate about how newspapers and magazines should change their policy?

  21. Ministry of Justice 21

    If the names of people making OIA requests is private information then why did the justice inform X* that the requester was David Farrar?

    If it’s not private information then why is the justice consulting with X?

    It sounds like the justice is acting illegally – they must be a lefty 🙂

    * X to represent the unidentified member of The Standard.
    BTW: I think a reasonable case is made here for not identifying OIA requesters.

    • Pascal's bookie 21.1

      I guess it’s a privacy act issue (which the dompost piece alludes to).

      If someone (dpf) is requesting info that Justice holds about private citizen (x), then Justice is obliged to ask x for permission to release that info to dpf. They need to identify who the info is going to be given to so that x can decide whether it’s ok or not.

      • Ministry of Justice 21.1.1

        Pascal’s Bookie –
        Is your opinion based on a law?

        If so, which one?

        • Pascal's bookie

          It’s based on

          i) my common sense understanding of what the Privacy Act is for and does,

          which leads to

          ii) a guess about what the Privacy Act says and demands


          iii) the fact that the original dompost clip says “What happens when the Official Information Act crosses the Privacy Act and bumps into a chubby Right-winger blogger?”

    • lprent 21.2

      Privacy Act overrides the OIA in this case. The government must consult with ‘X’ before releasing details held on them by the government to third parties.

      BTW: Obviously you’re capable of reading small fonts. Read the end of the post to find out who ‘X’ is.

      • Ministry of Justice 21.2.1

        lprent –
        Thanks, I didn’t noticed the small print.

        Was your permission sought or were you just notified about the request?

        • lprent

          Asked if I would give permission to release. Which was (in my view) the correct action in view of the privacy act.

    • r0b 21.3

      Alas for your budding conspiracy theory MOJ, Lynn didn’t do a post on this until DPF’s tactics were already outed by Vernon Small. Read the post.

      • Ministry of Justice 21.3.1

        r0b –
        I was only commenting on the actions of the justice – not a conspiracy; and I wasn’t going to comment on lprent publicly discussing what they consider to be someone else’s private information.

  22. Ron 22

    “But “Chubby’ (I like that, and I’ll dig out the picture that fits a bit later), come close and I’ll whisper you the name on the OIA”
    But “Chubby’ , come close and I’ll clip you in the chops more like. Boy needs a good smack, I reckon

  23. Steve 23

    ‘Such a child, always reaching for the cookie jar..’
    Who is the child Lynn? That DPF is such a nasty person, we will get the rent-a-mob to attack him. Runs rings around The Stranded. When will Phil Goff tell us what Labour is going to do, instead of telling us what National and Maori are not doing? Critical in retro, but no idea!
    Well Ill be fucked, see Gotcha for explaination

  24. Hamish Gray 24

    Whether or not you disagree with Farrar, he at least has the guts to publish under his own name. And those who disparage him? The same people who don’t use their real names because they fear being disparaged/threatened. That’s right – the authors at The Standard, who then disparage posters with whom they disagree.

    Dysfunctional much?

    [lprent: Are you referring to me since I wrote this post? Sounds pretty dangerous as I do write under my own name. In fact piss off and stay away because you look like a idiot to me – and that is under my name. I ‘disparage’ David more than anyone else here.

    Roughly translated – it makes f*ckall difference what name you publish under. There are few differences in our legal structure between slagging politicians off under your own name or a pseudonym. Read the judgment of Lange vs Atkinson. Come back when you can show you understand the implications or in a week.

    That is just a crutch that David prefers to cling to, and unthinking people like you swallow up because you don’t bother using your brains. ]

    • The coolest thing about the interweb is its essential anonymity, Hamish. Ideas can be judged on their merit. It’s kinda like voting. Every voter is anonymous in the booth. Unless you’d prefer a system where’d we all have to declare our preference?

  25. jnd 25

    What sad, pathetic attempts to avoid the actual issue – that ‘Free Speech’ Farrar is behaving like the Stazi.
    What does it feel like to defend that sort of behaviour? Skin crawling much?

    [lprent: The comment about the stazi was un-called for. I haven’t noticed that DPF has set up an informant network based on co-opting family members to grass on each other. (at least not yet). It fits Cameron more than David. ]

  26. really 26

    people in glass houses – how funny

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