Hi Guyon!

Written By: - Date published: 1:25 pm, August 15th, 2014 - 22 comments
Categories: democratic participation, Media, radio, The Standard - Tags:

So Bill Ralston and Guyon Espiner think it’s terrible this pseudonymous blogging.  And Lynn gave a good defence – but I felt I wanted to add to it…

The thing is being only pseudonymous (like much on the net), all the important details to my argument are out there.  People know where I’m coming from far more than whomever is doing today’s Herald editorial.

They know I’m a Labour party member – as I’ve mentioned that – and from my topics, that I’m based in Auckland.  That’s further confirmed by the fact that I’ve blogged about Labour conferences in Auckland – which might cause an accurate assumption that I’m actively involved in my local Labour Electorate Committee.

So people can take that background into my opinion.  But my words (like the Herald‘s editorial) should stand or fall by the argument on the page.  And the good thing about blogging to a wide community like The Standard, is that I have it wrong (or even any of the minor details…), it’ll be exposed within a few comments…

Why not say who I am?  Well, my employer’s not left-leaning and probably isn’t happy about me blogging left-wing propaganda in my lunch half-hour.  And while it might get me targeted by WhaleOil (how many people’s houses and addresses has he published over the years – usually encouraging people to turn up there.  It’s not just Nicky Hager & John Minto he targets…), it really wouldn’t add to my argument.  So why bother?

Also Guyon, there’s quite a large difference between a blogger who is on endless personal vendettas (and not just against MPs) being fed personal attack and private information – as well as confidential Government information – versus us on The Standard (without the nasty personal vendettas) getting the odd embargo-ed media release from sympathetic parties, or links to newspaper stories pointed out to us (and I’ve not had either of those since 2011, they’ve obviously forgotten me…).

On a separate note I fear that Tim Watkin is all too correct that the result of Dirty Politics will be a depression in turnout.

From looking over my wife’s shoulder at her far less biased or political facebook feed last night there was a lot of “plague on all their houses”.  In the wider electorate this is seen as nasty, but politics as usual, however unusual it actually is.

It’s important the Left keeps positive to have a contrast, and lets the media get on with their job.

And when people express their cynicism about politics, we need to point out the way to stop this is to get involved (and vote them out!) not leave running the country to the politicians.

22 comments on “Hi Guyon!”

  1. tinfoilhat 1

    Thanks for this interesting post Bunji much appreciated.

    “And when people express their cynicism about politics, we need to point out the way to stop this is to get involved (and vote them out!) not leave running the country to the politicians.”

    That is true, however it is tough not being revolted by the public face of New Zealand politics in NZ at the moment which seems to be dominated by an amalgam of Key, Slater, Hager, Dotcom and Bradbury

    It looks more and more like a spiritual home for a bunch of egocentric narcissists and I’m fed up with the lot of them.

  2. shorts 2

    Bill Ralston and Guyon Espiner and all those who trot out the same old tired pseudonymous line… show just how antiquated they and their notions are


    • Tracey 2.1

      can anyone name the year either of them last did a genuine piece of investigative journalism, rather than relying on orchestrated press release from very interested parties?

      • TheRealist 2.1.1

        Honestly I didn’t even realise they were still around

      • left for dead 2.1.2

        a genuine piece of investigative journalism, Tracey,I think so,Bill Ralston at lest.A wine interview on NatRad a few years back.Maybe that might help us understand why he reflects in that manner,just thinking out loud.

  3. fambo 3

    The best thing Labour and Green supporters can do right now is get out and do some door knocking for their respective parties.

  4. Anne 4

    Good on you Bunji

    And may I add to your sentiments by introducing a bit of light relief and the promise of a hearty chuckle or two:


  5. weka 5

    First, will just point out that people that use a handle consistently online are pseudonymous, and those that don’t are anonymous. Important difference. Bunji uses a pseudonym, the editors at the Herald are anonymous. Like people using their RL name/ID, pseudonyms build up a recognisable identity over time and people know who they are on the internet. Most people who object to pseudonyms are people who don’t spend much time online in community or social media, and they fail to appreciate that the rules and the culture are different than in RL.

    Two more reasons why someone blogging (politically or otherwise) might do so pseudonymously –

    One is that women, particularly but not limited to feminists, get a massive amount of gender hatred, including sexualised content and sexual violence, directed at them when they blog politicially. This isn’t just on political blogs, but also in special interest topics where they bring in issues related to women. Many also get stalked and/or threatened. Using a pseudonym in that case is just common sense. This is a very well documented phenomenon on the nets.

    Another other group of people who have specific vulnerabilities are beneficiaries, particularly ones who are unwell or have a disability. There is so much prejudice in NZ now that makes beneficiaries blogging politically unsafe for many. One issue that comes up is if someone can blog/tweet etc, why can’t they do a job? This isn’t just random people offering ignorant prejudice, it can and does actually affect the income of people with disabilities.

    We also know that the current govt believes that beneficiaries as a class are exempt from the Privacy Act at the whim of the govt. So again, blogging without revealing RL ID is just common sense.

    The issue then becomes whether that person’s need for safety is outweighed by the public’s need for accountability vis a vis Dirty Politics. I agree with Bunji – content stands on its own merits, and people usually give enough context to put that content into a wider frame. I also think that most bloggers aren’t journalists (who have a higher level of accountability if blogging professionally), and most bloggers don’t have the degree of influence of Slater.

    Having said all that, Slater is not pseudonymous, and here he is doing all this nasty shit, with a secret background context. So what does it matter if his RL ID is known or not? It’s his actions that are being questioned here, not what it says on his birth certificate or voter enrollment.

  6. Papa Tuanuku 6

    so the left needs a four week plan to get thru the election?

  7. ianmac 7

    Even if people used their real names it would not mean as much as the tone and style of their writings. Puckish Rogue is known as a quibbler who is tireless in trying to twist and spin for Mr Key et el. He may of course be paid to quibble but not a good bargain. Ralston is just using a Key deflection and thus is able to avoid the wider issues.

  8. Papa Tuanuku 8

    Listen folks as Guyon turns the mike off when he disagrees with what she says. Is this the next story – media shutting supporters of Hager up?


    • marsman 8.1

      @Papa Tuanuku- Listened to the audio-player link you provided. Didn’t notice any tape turning off only silly Espiner continually interrupting and trying to stick to his ‘But the Greens did it too’ attack/ agenda. But Meteria wouldn’t have bar of it and countered him at every point AND at the end of the ‘interview’ basically told him calmly and politely that he was being a fuckwit. Very worth a listen. Go Metiria. Have put it on Facebook.

    • marsman 8.2

      PS- She made much the same sane points that BUNJI made in this Post.
      Thank you BUNJI.

  9. Another aspect is that because people have expectations of many many things including what they expect people to be like, to look like, to sound like – when presenting certain arguments about certain topics, that often the actual message can become subsumed by the discussion about the person writing the article instead of the actual content. This article is an example.


    I am 98% positive that if this NPR article wasn’t accompanied by a photo, we wouldn’t be having this conversation. There is very little commentary challenging my ideas, or what I had to say about Native students transitioning to college–it’s all focused on how I look.

    You wonder why I care so deeply about representations? This is why I care. Because all those people think that Native identity is tied to looking like something off the side of a football helmet.

    Pseudonymous authors have a thin layer of protection from that and I think that is good.

  10. Plan B 10

    Guyon an Bill probably don’t read The Economist- they do not attribute authorship except when review books written by one of their own team.

  11. papa tuanuku 11

    What if the left set 5 goals in relation to the revelations:

    • Collins must resign.
    • Ede arrested.
    • Police, GCIS to state official positions on the revelations.
    • Mass distribution of the book through our volunteer efforts (donate a book anybody?)
    • Media must out themselves where they have been complicit with #teamkey (like having Slater as commentator after he made ‘feral’ comments, removing any credibility).
    • weka 11.1

      I think the imperative for the left is to get people out to vote, and to counter the ‘they’re all the same so why bother voting’ meme. I’m a bit stumped on this, because mostly I want to throttle people that believe that.

  12. BLiP 12

    Nice work, lprent. I too appreciate the anonymity offered and protected by <i.The Standard because I have little doubt that my job, and those of various family members, would be at risk otherwise. Also, as Oscar Wilde once said . . .

    . . . Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth . . .

    • Murray Olsen 12.1

      That’s not my favourite Oscar Wilde quote 🙂

      I listened to Metiria and Guyon Espinha. She is very good, sharp and won’t be bullied. I wish Labour would be a bit more proactive on this, even if only to announce that they don’t participate in the sort of crap outlined in the book.

  13. vto 13


    being able to bash political content around without identification prevents bloodshed

    simple as that

  14. Jrobin 14

    Guyon did not acknowledge either, that it is more deceitful to work for RNZ using your real name but not acknowledging your political bias, than writing with a consistent psuedonym and being honest. His underlying motive is often obvious despite his lack of anonymity.

  15. Inky 15

    I don’t have a problem with anyone using a pseudonym, there are legitimate reasons for doing so, and a potentially unhappy boss is definitely high amongst them. The only bloggers I have an issue with are those who are willing to let any sod write under their name and proclaim any garbage they churn out as their own. That’s zero credibility right there. But I guess the good folk on the right just can’t understand that.

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