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I don’t know if it hurts my eyes or my heart more

Written By: - Date published: 5:06 pm, September 16th, 2009 - 55 comments
Categories: labour - Tags:

WTF is this? I mean look at it. It’s got to be the worst website I have ever seen and I’ve been around since well before the web existed.

More to the point, how did this get up? What kind of process could possibly have let this through? Who signed off on it?

I wouldn’t normally do any analysis of something like this as I would expect it would speak for itself but it seems there are some pretty senior people in Labour (senior enough to sign off on the use of the brand) who clearly need a little 101 education on basic communications.

So here we go:

It’s ugly, not just “oh I don’t like that much” ugly but “it’s so ugly its bad vibrations (and it seems to literally vibrate!) hurt my eyes so much I can’t read it.”

It’s cynical. If you can manage to read the pixelated text you’ll realise it barely makes any sense. It’s about the ETS but we don’t really know why. Then it asks for money. It doesn’t tell you why it needs the money or how this will help “fix emissions trading” as the url promises. It’s like some mad guy that rushes up to you on the street, screams some gibberish and shoves a tin under your face demanding money just to leave you alone. It even looks like it’s roughed itself up a bit first to get your sympathy.

And it doesn’t engage the target audience or bring people into the campaign. In fact if you got a team of experts in and gave them the task of deterring engagement whatever they came up with would be Zsa Zsa Gabor compared with this.

It damages the brand. Not only does it use the Labour logo but it also links through to the official party site. If I were a Labour Party member this would make me consider resigning.

But like I said earlier the problem is not how bad this website is but that someone high-up in the party thought it was good enough to put the Labour brand on. That’s just not good enough.

Update: They’ve taken it down and redirected it to Chauvel’s excellent piece on Red Alert. Good.

55 comments on “I don’t know if it hurts my eyes or my heart more ”

  1. snoozer 1

    I hate it so much.

    I hate the way when you move your eyes it feels like the text moves and the box changes size… it gives me a headache before I can read any of the words, and when I do read them they are just a bit of whining about how the Nats aren’t playing fair and then ‘gimme money’

    Fire whoever did this and sort your stuff out.

  2. Steve 2

    Labour are very busy today.
    Chris Carter put up a post about warm fuzzy gay stuff. Nearly everyone who comments is banned

  3. Would it have been so hard to… I don’t know… not use a jpeg?

    Any other image format? Or html? Something?

    Actually, what galls me most is that it claims that Labour’s ETS would “fix” the problem.

  4. Perhaps someone is playing a prank on the Labour party and they didn’t set this up?

    • gargoyle 4.1


      “Refunds will provided at the discretion of the New Zealand Labour Party

      For further information or enquiries please contact the New Zealand Labour Party, PO Box 784, 160-162 Willis St, Wellington

      Authorised by Mike Smith, 73 Brougham St, Wellington”

      …and just when you thought they’d reached the height of imbecillity with the smear mission to Melbourne, come on Labour get your act together NZ needs a strong and credilble opposition – it can’t be that hard to score some hits against the Nats they’re hardly the slickest political machine the world’s ever seen

      • Bill 4.1.1

        Isn’t that ( the donation page you refer to and the authorisation) a part of the official Labour Party site gargoyle rather than the ‘death by a million fluorescent satsumas’ shite site?

  5. Bill 5

    If that is representative of the Labour Party for the coming few years then the Labour Party ( with apologies to Frank) needs to be rented a nice French bomb to poof them from existence.

    Actually. From the looks of that page they already swip-swiped their credit card…

  6. George D 6

    A whois lookup reveals that all the details are registered to Charles Chauvel.

    And I’ve just had a look at Charles’ Twitter, and there is indeed a link to it. It appears authentic.

  7. Clearly, it’s in my interests to allow this type of thing to perpetuate 🙂

    Politics aside, this should be a crime against web usability and design principles.

    Blame [email protected] according to http://www.domainz.net.nz/whois.asp or whoever registered under his name but it does look kosher.

    With Drupal or any other OS cms, they could have hand a similar site up and running without resorting to this amateur effort.

  8. lprent 8

    Urrgh. Something came back from the dead 90’s. It looks like it was designed run on ie3

    Mike Smith is not even the secretary as of the weekend.

    and Steve, knowing your warm fuzzie types of remarks, don’t try them where I can see them

    • Steve 8.1

      I merely suggested to Carter to take his self gratification to a chat room. No swearing or insulting.
      Moderators went septic. See Kiwiblog for others who were deleted or banned.
      I mean the duct tape was screaming off the roll.
      Red Alert and Labour expect future votes when they ban critisism?

  9. burt 9

    Note the page was generated from MS word.

    • George D 9.1

      Oh dear! It is indeed.

      • burt 9.1.1

        Very environmentally friendly, a thousand odd lines of HTML sucking up bandwidth and server resources every single hit to present a single image tag with a link. What idiots.

        • felix

          That truly is incredible, but it looks like they’re intending to put something else there.

          There’s no way anyone would write all those css declarations to display one pic.

          Then again, it was made in word so god knows what kind of abortion they’re intending to put there later eh?

        • burt


          A single line of plain text generated as an web page via word creates hundreds of lines of declarations. Try it. Type a single line of text and save as an html page. Great for the kids to build pages if you can’t be bothered teaching them some basic html or you don’t understand the principle of good tools.

          • felix

            Good lord it really is just malware, isn’t it?

            • burt

              Well yes and no – it’s a waste of space and resources in that the same could be published with a single line of html, however it allows people with the tiniest understanding of the inter-web to publish shit.

              (although in this case I’m not saying that is a good thing)

          • lprent

            Only if you do it in word. I always write directly in HTML because the tools generally write crap HTML/CSS. You spend more time trying to get the clumsy things to get the effect that you want than you save.

            If I wanted to write “Hello World” then it takes exactly 11 characters. If I wanted it big or bold than it takes about 9 more to put a H1 tag in.

        • burt

          Also not the author is: [taken the name out, it’s just a dude doing what he was told, not his fault] – whoever that is.

          • burt

            That dude’s name is published in the web page source – No digging past clicking on ‘view source’ was required to find it.

            Hell – moderation gone crazy.

          • burt

            OK, so the dude’s name has been removed from the web page source – I take back the ‘moderation gone crazy’ since the name published here would have been saving something that has been removed elsewhere.

            Lesson for junior web publisher – Word might be easy to use but is a pig of a tool for authoring web pages.

  10. Zepher 10

    It looks like they hired a web designer who got drunk last night, has a hangover and was rushing to meet their deadline.

    • burt 10.1

      This is what Labour get when Helen sends a txtda to the web designer telling them how they must do their job 😉

  11. Chris S 11

    From the code, the author is mentioned as [taken the name out, it’s just a dude doing what he was told, not his fault], who has a page on Grassroot Labour page:

  12. singularian 12

    Ok, I’ve put his details up on 4chan for interwebs stupidity.

    The last guy that did something like this got 14,600 wooden flooring samples sent to his house, along with a veritable flood of religious callers.

    Let the love flow.


    More seriously, WTF?

    Edit – alt text for the image is “Planned_screen_for_ETS_website.gif”

    so maybe put up a little early. How did you find it Bill?

    Still ugly but.

  13. illuminatedtiger 13

    Did Labour fire their web designer?

  14. rocky 14

    Wow that’s incredible! The whole website consists of an image and a link. Perhaps Charles Chauvel did it himself?

  15. Trevor Mallard 15

    @ steve – you were banned from Red alert not for dissent – and if you look carefully through the comments on Chris’ and my posts today you wil see that that is not a reason for moderation – but for offensive comments and trolling. We just apply a higher standard than you do on kiwiblog and your other natural homes If you look at http://blog.labour.org.nz/index.php/2009/09/16/money-laundering-hypocrite/ you will see that sometimes we are harder on supporters than opponents.

  16. infused 16

    It was made in word… enough said.

  17. doug h 17

    truly awful

  18. IrishBill 18

    I’ll just be clear on this. I don’t blame the person who made this, they were probably just an enthusiastic amateur and god knows we all do things we’re not really that good at and get really proud about them. You should see some of my DIY from the 80’s.

    However just as I wouldn’t expect the Labour party to sign off on me renovating their head office I wouldn’t expect them to sign off on this. That they did shows that someone high-up who should understand this stuff clearly doesn’t.

    • Daveski 18.1

      Couldn’t agree more and this could easily be a cross party thing.

      There’s a worrying trend that the web is becoming so pervasive that everyone thinks they are now a web expert and that they know better. Because you can do DIY doesn’t mean you should.

      There is a worrying process – or lack of it – behind this.

      Actually, I’ll interested in the whole splash page concept at labour.org.nz – again, it’s another “trend” that’s almost 10 years late.

      Seriously, you would think that there’s a core here of people who could advise Labour from within and do a better job – and connect with the activists. God help me if I’m starting to offer Labour strategic advice 🙂

  19. Michael Foxglove 19

    I reckon it’s part of a master strategy to fundraise for a new ETS website. They’re implicitly saying “We can’t do any better than this. Please do us and the internet a favour, by donating to consign this website to history”

  20. Anita 20

    Also no macron on Māori.

    Also a capital letter after a comma.

    Also the double “each” in the third paragraph is just poor.

    It’s not just a website debacle, it’s badly written and probably unedited as well.

    Is there anything not bad about it?

  21. Swampy 21

    Is this normal, washing your dirty linen in public?

    • Marty G 21.1


      Oh I get it, we don’t criticise Labour enough for your liking, therefore, we must be Labour hacks but when we do criticise Labour, rather than re-examining your conspiracy theories, you attack us for that too.

    • lprent 21.2

      In case you hadn’t noticed

      1. We aren’t a labour site – please read the policy.
      I don’t appreciate even implied attempts to say that we are. My lack of
      appreciation and the way I express it are well known.

      2. We all spend large amounts of time on the web, and get offended
      by crap sites. This one is a particularly bad example.

      3. Most of us probably have strong feelings about that useless piece of
      junk ETS that the Maori party are about to foist on us. Sites like this
      detract and impede more effective sites.

      4. Labour has a particularly fraught relationship with its computer-savvy
      volunteers. It could do with the criticism. Especially after I went to
      a conference that kept saying that they are going to do this better.

  22. Pat 22

    I think fixemmissionstrading is really a veiled reference to Sio:

    Fix em! Is Sio ons th Radling?

  23. trotsky 23


    “it damages the (labour) brand”

    No help needed, its poked already chaps.

  24. Jono 24

    Simple question

    What exactly is donating to the Labour Party going to do to ‘fix’ the emissions trading scheme? The one they cooked up the first time around was shit (the greens should’ve voted it down…) so I don’t know why I’d want to give them money to go back to red mediocrity instead of the slightly worse tory scheme we’re getting now

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