Labour’s lessons

Written By: - Date published: 6:27 pm, November 23rd, 2008 - 55 comments
Categories: election 2008, labour - Tags:

54,982 votes, 2.3% of the total. That was difference in the election. If Labour had lost 55,000 fewer votes to National (it lost 142.966 in total, while voter numbers grew 69,000) then a Labour (47), Green (9), Progressive (1), Maori (5) government would have been possible, a more natural and stable government than one that combines ACT and the Maori Party.

While Labour’s vote went down 138,000, the Greens gained 37,000 votes. Combined they lost 100,000 votes, whereas they would have gained 32,000 votes had the vote increased in line with the growing number of voters. Let’s look at where the votes were lost.

So, it’s a pretty consistent pattern across the country – Labour lost 500-2500 party votes in the vast majority of seats (the Left gained votes in only 7 seats). In general, the loss as heavier in the urban seats (but remember, Labour had more votes to lose in those seats). Labour lost 20-30% of its votes in the Auckland seats and Hamilton. The loss in Wellington, Christchurch, and Dunedin was smaller and more went to the Greens.

Votes for Labour in its South Auckland heartland fell more than average. The 14,000 votes lost there account for 10% of Labour’s lost votes in an area that accounts for only 7.5% of its nationwide vote. Turnout in South Auckland (by which I mean the four Ms) was down 10,000 from 2005 and 5000 more votes were lost to the Pacific Party. That’s not a vote for National or right-wing politics but it does seem to confirm that some South Auckland voters disaffected by Labour’s focus on liberal issues. (btw, this rubbish about an extra 100,000 votes being turned out in South Auckland in 2005 doesn’t add up – the increase in Labour votes in South Auckland from 2002 to 2005 was only 12,000, and total vote up only 20,000).

Auckland Central, another seat with previously strong support also experienced a big loss to National. Perhaps next time, Labour will put up a decent candidate who is willing to put the effort in to win. We can see the same pattern in other electorates where poor performing Labour MPs have seen what were once large majorities continue to erode or disappear altogether.

So, what does this tell us? Well, the success of the vacuous ‘time for a change’ slogan appears to have been widespread. The situation, particularly, in South Auckland ought to improve as feelings over the s59 issue will, especially if Labour moves back to its roots in work rights and public services. The importance of committed, strong candidates cannot be over-estimated. One bright side of the losses and change of leadership will be that a new crop will get a look in – as with National in 2002, the deadwood has been stripped.

This election was not lost by a huge amount. Labour’s base remains strong and the reasons for the loss of votes are pretty clear. It amounts to simple message to Labour: re-connect with your core policies, re-connect with your core supporters, and put up energetic candidates who stand for those values.

55 comments on “Labour’s lessons ”

  1. lprent 1

    Useful. Looks more and more like an election that Labour lost – not one that the right won. Hardly surprising after 9 years. About the only thing that the right managed to do well was to be negative for a long period of time, and largely on side-issues and meaningless sound-bites.

    Could you send me the spreadsheet? I’m doing some number crunching on the same data. Mostly looking at where the drops in total votes happened. That low turnout is interesting.

  2. yeah, I’ll have to add column titles first 🙂

  3. Johnty Rhodes 3

    IPRENT – ‘About the only thing that the right managed to do well was to be negative for a long period of time, and largely on side-issues and sound-bites.’

    A bit like Labours campaign then, negative. Oh, I forgot, TRUST.

    [lprent: The NACT campaign ran from the end of 2005. It was only in the last weeks that they stopped being totally negative. Do you understand the meaning of the word ‘long’? Or do you just have a short attention span?]

  4. If is a small word with a big meaning.

    If National had of increased it votes, it could govern alone.

    The fact is, New Zealand wanted a change and like the USA, got it.

  5. Dave 5

    Yes, lets not hope for too much of a change. Costs are high enough at the moment without more foreign corporations getting footholds in NZ and charging more on top of the arguably, already exorbitant prices. Although NZ is capable and in need of further progress for everyone 🙂

    Good graph, it is looking like an election that Labour lost, the left could have done a lot better…

  6. Brett – the USA voted for change, not a change.

  7. gingercrush 7

    I think its far too simplistic to say that Labour lost the election. National also won the election. Really for National its been three years in the making. In 2005 they clawed back support from the devastating election of 2002 and were 2-3% away from forming the government. This time they consolidated that support, increased their vote and Labour’s vote went down and less Labour voters turned out.

    I won’t go into questions of negativity. The left claim National ran negative for three years and the right say Labour went negative in the election. Whatever side you’re on, you’re going to disagree with the other side.

    I do have a few questions about these graphs. Do they take into account boundary changes? What about wholly new electorates like Tamaki how do you take those into account?

    In regards to Maungakiekie. Far different electorate from 2005. Half of that electorate went to Manukau East, while the electorate extended out into natural National territory. I don’t believe you can treat it the same as the other three South Auckland electorates anymore

  8. ginger. with boundary changes, I’ve taken the comparison based on the former seat that most closely occupied that area. Botany is the new seat and I’ve left it without a comparison.

    Boundary changes may be a factor in some of the changes in support – I can’t say.

    A comparison at polling place level will be useful, it wouldn’t be affected by electorate boundary changes and nearly all polling places are at the same location election after election/ undoubtedly that’s something the parties will undertake. I’ve tried to make a list of the polling place results for 2008 on the preliminary results but it’s bloody hard work because every polling place has booths for both a general electorate and a maori electorate, and about 500 of them had booths for two or more general electorates – the polling places are listed by electorate and if you want to know how the population living around that booth voted you need to combine the double/triple ups together.. big block of boring work doing it manually. (and you can’t account for people voting away from the nearest polling place to the address they are registered at)

  9. Sarah 9

    Clint you’re missing one important thing — John Key was clearly the decisive factor on the night. It was his intelligence, and his ability to connect with all voters, that lead National to the victory they easily achieved.

    Don Brash tried to be centralist like John Key — it didn’t work. I think from hindsight we can all see that was because he didn’t believe in those centralist policies he put forward. John Key on the other hand was a different story. As much as particular posters on this site have painted him as a liar and a device of the far right, John proved himself to be his own man and a good guy that all New Zealanders could respect.

    As for your idea that this so called “mood for a change” was the most important factor in the election result, all I say is prove it. In my opinion the mood for a change was just as much of a factor as it was in Don’s time as it was two weeks ago. The difference for this election however was that National possessed an honest and trustworthy leader. The majority of the public based their voting pattern on this.

  10. gingercrush 10

    Ok thought as much. Good job nonetheless and even with boundary changes there isn’t that much difference in a number of those electorates.

    http://www.elections.org.nz/news/2007-media-releases/ceo-media-summary-of-major-features.html – Good link to see how electorates have changed.

  11. mike 11

    Gee, pretty grim reading for the left and they have just lost their 2 better performers in clark and cullen.
    Perhaps to stand any chance in 6 years they will not resort to the negative dirt digging and personal attacks that were so prevelant here.

  12. mike.. If you want to see grim reading try making the same graphs for the Right between the 1999 and 2002 elections

  13. deemac 13

    ha! for negative dirt digging and personal attacks, you can’t top the stuff that was thrown at Labour in general and Helen in particular over the last few years

  14. Pascal's bookie 14

    deemac, or even the unrelenting ‘advice’ that gets thrown at Steve here.

    “ooh you’re so negative you rotten leftie filth, that’s why you lost, because you are all such arrogant wankers, and I’m only saying this because unlike you, I know what real NZers think due to me being made of awesome. wibble.”

  15. Simon 15

    In the height of irony, the party that represents that section of the population that is too lazy to work names itself “Labour.”

    The Left lost this election because decent New Zealanders voted for a decent society. What we need now is work camps, to introduce the Left-voting parasites to the actual meaning of the word “labour.”

  16. lprent 16

    Sarah: What was surprising was how little the right managed to win by. I realize that people locked into a FPP mindset (like DPF and his blue charts) keep thinking of it as a landslide. But in MMP terms it was a narrow victory.

    If I was the NACT’s, I’d be very uneasy. It really only takes a single bad political event to cause them to get people voting against them. For that matter it will require extraordinary discipline to maintain their coalition agreements (of various types) for even a 3 year term.

    I personally have a difficult time seeing how Key will be able to control his caucuses – doesn’t have the experience

  17. Razorlight 17

    I just hope the Labour Party itself is having a much harder look at itself and the reasons they lost. I am sure they are being alot more critical of their own performance rather than this honorable loss rubbish we are reading here.

    National fell into the trap of changing little after their defeat in 1999. They thought they had lost because the country wanted a change. They didn’t realise it was their policies that had been rejected. The result of this failure to critically look at their failings was the 2002 election hammering.

    Labour will be back in power one day but this business as usual approach will not win them the 2011 election.

  18. Pascal's bookie 18

    Razor, In 99 Labour ran on actually changing the way things were being done, (taxes, HNZ, ACC, ECA, privatisation) They changed those things and increased their vote when people liked it.

    National has adopted most of Labour’s policy from the last nine years, promising little change. They’ve gone into coalition with ACT, and given ACT lots of room to make mischief.

    We shall see how that works out for them I suppose.

  19. lprent 19

    RL: In 1999 Labour ran on quite different policies to the nats.

    In 2008, National ran on the policy basis of being Labour-Lite. It is hard to distinguish any significant difference between Nationals stated policies and that of Labour.

    It is kind of hard to see the point of your comment. A bit like trying to find out where the Nat’s haven’t just followed Labour policies.

    Of course there is always the usual trait of National, they seldom keep to what they specify as policy. Historically, it has always been “a mandate to change” their policies once in power.

  20. Mark M 20

    I think the Maori party would be upsat that you think they would would be stable under a Labour partnership and unstable under a National Government.
    Maybe they were right when they said Labour treats them with contempt.

    Your comment about the vacuous “Time for a change ” slogan should have compared for fairness the Labour slogan ” Dont change horses in mid stream” which was probably equally “vacuous”.

    You continually refer to Kiwiblog for some reason , perhaps you wish to emulate them.
    As an occassional Kiwiblog reader , although I havent posted on that site I would make some observations.
    David Farrar , at least seems to try and put a fair and reasoned veiw across from his right wing perspective whereas this blog makes no pretense at being fair or reasoned in a lot of its postings

    Farrar also dosent spit bitter comments at the bottom of postings he dosent agree with.
    This blog would be a lot better without those bold black comments which I suspect will be added to this post.

    The only positive difference in the sites is the level of posting is probably better than at Kiwiblg

  21. Mark. Farrar does add comments to the bottom, he just doesn’t put them in bold. We add bold because it’s easer for the person we’re responding to to see that we’ve responded.

    We do have a higher level of comments (and higher number) than Kiwiblog. To keep the level high, we have to ask some people who just want to rant not to comment – as these people are often Farrar’s regulars we tell them ‘go back to Kiwiblog’

    You misunderstand: I say a leftwing alliance including the leftwing Maori Party would have been more inherently stable than one that includes both the leftwing Maori Party and rightwing ACT… it’s not about the Maori Party in particular, its about trying to govern with contradictory ideologies the same would be true if it had been the Greens.

    You may disagree but where you go off the rails is saying my views somehow reflect Labour’s views.

    Mark. This blog is written from a leftwing perspective. in this post for example, I’m interested in what went wrong for the left, not what went right for the right. But our posts are well-argued. No blog provides the level of statistical analysis we do. We draw on first principles for many of our arguments. We argue our beliefs because we don’t just want people to accept whatever we say but, rather, to think about things. In contrast, most of Farrar’s posts are cut and paste jobs of sections of articles in the media that he approves of. His statements are usually bald statements (eg “The Greens have an extreme anti-road views, but the reality is that NZ’s future includes both more roads and more public transport” – the statement is arguably true but it is not argued, it is presented as fact, true because farrar says it is)

  22. Stephen 22

    A most impressive effort!

  23. LeftRightOut 23

    I don’t think I buy the claim that Nat-Act-Maori(-UF) is likely to be unstable. Neither Act nor the Maori Party are likely to want to rock the boat.

    Neither party is going to want to let the other drag National too far in the “wrong” direction by opting out and giving the other the big stick of being able to bring National down.

    National only need one of Act or the Maori Party to govern and pass legislation. That alone is likely, IMHO, to make them both behave better than if they were both required. They all get more of what they want by compromising than by threatening to withdraw support.

    Not to mention the legendary baubles.

  24. George Darroch 24

    “It amounts to simple message to Labour: re-connect with your core policies, re-connect with your core supporters, and put up energetic candidates who stand for those values.”

    And promote those policies. I literally wondered for weeks on end when Labour was going to fight National on promoting themselves, rather than attack. Not until the race was well and truly lost did they do so.

    The Greens would do well to heed the last of those two as well – connect with potential supporters (face to face beats everything else), and put up energetic candidates and run a 70 seat strategy. There is no reason why they should be limited to several hundred votes in many seats, and rely on Rongotai etc. to get that 157,000.

  25. Mark M 25

    Steve

    fair points

  26. Daveski 26

    I’ve re-read this a number of times – it’s a lot more balanced than I gave it credit for the first time I scanned it.

    Overall, it was a strange result best described as Clayton’s change – the change you have when you don’t want to change. Given this, Labour needs to look a lot closer to home for why this happened given the desire to retain the status quo in terms of policies.

    SP’s consistent thesis has been the left wing alliance of L/G/P/MP and his view that it would be “more natural and stable”. Yet using the numbers he has project, the left would only have 62 in total which is a recipe for instability as each party can screw more out of Labour. Conversely, the broader based relationships National has engaged will deliver greater stability because there is wiggle room for one of the parties to throw their toys out of the cot without destabilising the govt.

    The left seem reluctant to criticise Labour or particularly Teflon Helen for her failure to include the MP or even attempt to build a relationship. Had this happened, it would have made SP’s argument (about it being more “natural”) more convincing.

    Having said that, there is a risk factor for both the MP and the Nats – if they don’t deliver, the MP may simply lose their seats back to Labour. Yet again, it underlines the inherent instability at present with the MP trying to work with Labour when in effect the MP is in a death match for survival.

  27. Phil 27

    Steve,

    For a champion of MMP, you seem pretty cynical about the chances of this government… 🙂

    Internationally, cross-“wing” governments are actually pretty common, the Italians do it all the time – granted, they’re not the greatest example for stability, but then again they’re running coalitions of 7/8/9 parties. The French and Germans are also pretty good at that kind of coalition arrangement.

  28. Santi 28

    Nveer more grateful for that swinging 2.3%. Hooray!

  29. LeftRightOut 29

    I agree with Daveski. This election wasn’t about changing direction on the major policy settings of the economy, health, education, etc. It was more about reining in the “born-to-rule” attitude that Labour was beginning to exhibit (ironically, after accusing National of the same thing in the 1990s).

    If Labour had dumped HC and some of the other tired full-of-themselves old hands mid-term, and the Greens had shoved Sue Bradford to an unelectable position on the list, I suspect they both would have done a lot better.

    Burgeoning bureaucracy is another weak point for the outgoing government. I’m traditionally left-leaning, but I think there’s something to be said for having the right come in and prune once in a while. If they stay moderate, they might even get a second term.

  30. gingercrush 30

    Labour’s greatest strength was Helen Clark. Had Helen Clark not been there I would suggest to you the vote would have been even worse.

    It was right for Clark to go when Labour lost but the reason no one even thought of disposing Clark was they knew had they kicked her out their support would have dropped rather considerably.

  31. James Pole 31

    gingercrush: Tamaki isn’t a new elecorate. It’s been there for many years IIRC. I’ve voted in this elecorate twice — in 2005 and the recent election.

  32. gingercrush 32

    Ack made a mistake. I meant Botany.

  33. Oli 33

    I like the way you lefties continue to tell yourselves that the “vacuos message of change” misled the sheople. It means that you’ll miss some of the key points.

    In my view the lessons are that:

    NZers prefer aspiration to running down the “rich-pricks”.

    People didn’t believe Labour’s claims on the efficacy of its law and order policies in the face of widely published violent crime stats.

    Bad behaviour from Labour MPs and Mike Williams put people off.

    The single most authoritarian anti-democratic piece of legislation since the end of WWII put people off.

    People preferred the way that National actually pulished policies whereas Labour just said “Helen’s great, John’s a villian”.

    People preferred a lot of the National candidates that were out and about because they actually had real world experience to bring rather than more run of the mill Labour candidates.

    Labour took a lot of the (for want a better term) “ethnic minority” votes for granted when National and Act got in amongst it on this front.

    Finally in your calculations as to how many vote National took of Labour you alos have to think about how many votes Act took off National and National still won a bunch more votes than Labour.

  34. lprent 34

    Oli: Apart from being a dickhead, you obviously can’t count.

    From memory, Act managed to increase by about 45k voters between 2005 and 2008. That of course still left it as a minority interest party trailing NZ First. Probably the only reason that Act managed to get into parliament this time was they had a clown leading it who is good at dropping people. It is amazing how much people will vote for clowns – ask Winston.

  35. milo 35

    I do hope you keep up this claim that the election was a “vacuous time for a change vote” for as long as possible. National needs people like you to help keep the Left’s head firmly fixed in the sand.

    But really, if you can’t respect the voters, why should they respect you?

  36. Oli 36

    Iprent,

    Calling me a dickhead in response to my comment reflects more on you than it does on me.

    Furthermore yor response makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. If Act gained 45 000 votes they gained them from National. Therefore any votes that National gained from Labour were in addition to the votes that shifted further right to Act.

  37. lprent 37

    So – I was merely being accurate. I think that you think more with your jock than your brain, a characteristic of a troll. Perhaps you should let the blood level rise and activate another organ.

    Act went from being a party similar in size to United Future to one that is considerably less in votes than NZF. Probably the only reason it got into parliament was because it has a leader who is prepared to operate as a clown. After all Hide almost epitimises (with Winston) the adage that any publicity is good publicity. This allowed Act to win an electorate seat with the help of a lot of National supporters.

    Should I respect such a pipsqueak performance? Should I respect you for considering that it is politically significant? Personally I’m getting tired of these one-electorate parties. Perhaps we should change it so that if the party doesn’t make the threshold, then they should just get the electorate seats that they win. That will abbreviate the inevitable rise and fall of the one seat wonders.

    BTW:

    Calling me a dickhead in response to my comment reflects more on you than it does on me.

    That is about phrase 50 on my troll phrasebook (shortly to be released as Wingnut version 1.0). It is used when the troll in question prefers not to answer the criticism of their previous comment (usually because they didn’t understand what they said in the first place), but prefers to divert elsewhere.

  38. higherstandard 38

    “Personally I’m getting tired of these one-electorate parties. ”

    Aye – surely Jim’s well past his use by date.

  39. sweeetdisorder 39

    Isn’t the only reason Jim is a party of one, is that as the leader of a party he gets about 15K more a year.

  40. Oli 40

    Iprent,

    You’re behaving like a 9 year-old and proving my point that loads of Labour supporters are so upset by the results and so desperate to find excuses that their not learning any lessons.

    The 8 or so things that I put forward are based on mixture of my own observations and the observations of my colleagues. Incidentally I’m a Wellington public servant working in an area where frontline workers rub up against back-room policy and comms types.

  41. lprent 41

    Lets have a look at some of these assertions of yours.

    The rich-prick statement was a single statement from Cullen about something different. Of course the idiotic wingnuts never check facts, they just like being negative.That is also in my wingnut file – which is full of similar idiotic inaccuracies.

    The law and order stats show that crime has been going down overall for the last 9 years. Of course there are statistical blips seized on by wingnuts like yourself. In this case according to the police – domestic violence stats have been increasingly reported since they started a campaign to get more reported.

    The EFA is actually designed to increase democratic transparency. It simply makes sure that people have to declare their sources of political campaign funds and accurately account for who is running political campaigns. Tell me what is anti-democratic about that?

    Anyway, you get the picture – all of your assertions as far as I can see are just troll lines.

    BTW: If you follow the usual level of troll stupidity, your next attack line would be about bludger or civil servant. I’ve been in the top 5% of earners for the last 30 years of so. I’m a programmer with an MBA who doesn’t work for government. I also consider that the Act has approximately the moral and mental framework of a 10 year old bully trying to screw down everyone else around..

  42. lprent 42

    hs: I agree, also Hide and Dunne.

  43. Pascal's bookie 43

    I think Hide’s coat-tails are going to be quite the distraction for the next couple of years. While there are many ACT followers that are OK types, the party does seem to attract more than their fair share of egos.

    I know that plenty of the Natties, as represented here at least, reckon that Key has neutered them but I can’t see that reflected in the coalition agreement. What is the story with that funding they’ve been given to do ‘research’. I/S was asking what budget that would be coming out of and it’s a very good question. The other question raised is why does ACT need to do private research in any case. The obvious answer is to get the answers they want and pay for. Why the taxpayer should be funding this is a seperate question. As is why the National party would agree to this.

    But the New National Centrist Party Who is Just Like Labour Without the Nanny but With More Tax Cuts, knows what it’s doing I guess. Maybe they’ll let us in on it one day.

    Mind you, all it took for Key to change his mind about Labour’s evil policies that would be the destruction of NZ was losing the election in 05, so perhaps any old crap ACT can pay our money for will be enough to return him to the ever-loving arms of supply-side-Jesus.

  44. Oli 44

    Cullen may have been the only one to say rich pricks but loads of people heard it and didn’t like it, it left a lasting impression. Equally Labour had no response to the aspiration angle played by National, the closest they came was referring to Key as “money trader Key”.

    I never mentioned overall crime stats, I mentioned violent crime stats (that were more than a blip) and Labour’s reaction to them that suceeded in turning a bunch of people off Labour. Also a break down in violent crime stats shows that it was a lot more than just domestic violence. The large increase in assaults on police for example can not be pinned to the “It’s not okay” adds.

    The intention of the EFA was not particularly anti-democratic but the its effect was. Helena Catt agrees with me on that. Poorly drafted legislation routinely leads to unintended consequences, another example is the state (I forget which one) that has parents abandoning 16 year-olds at local hospitals.

    Also on the EFA, plenty of people were offended by the manner in which that was written. Electoral law should be passed in a more consensual manner than was the case in this. Goff seems to agree with me on that.

    Disagreeing with you isn’t trolling but calling me a troll, a dickhead, a wingnut and an idiot and then showing off about your income is pretty poor form and only further proves my point that plenty of Labour supporters can’t see objectively through their disapointment.

  45. maxx 45

    Oli wipes the floor with lprent. FACT.

  46. mike 46

    I think Oli is getting under Iprents skin.

    Never heard him having to get nasty or pull out the CV before….

  47. lprent 47

    Mike: I just get irritated seeing the same stupid lines getting pulled mindlessly out. You have to admit that whatsitnames monologue was incredibly boringly predictable.

    Assertions made without thinking are just irritating. Like maxx – boring dreariness personified.

    Actually I get nasty frequently – usually when I’m about to kick peoples arse out of the site permanently. However Oli looked from some of his other comments to actually have a brain – admittedly under-utilized and under-trained. Disappointing to find it spouting mindless regurgitated drivel like any normal troll. So it got treated as partially human to see if it was able to change its behavior (Socratic model). Looks like it may have reached a higher standard. Oh well I’ll leave him alone and see if can maintain a human standard.

    Oh well I think I’ve fixed the bug in the code, it will probably clear up the degree of crankiness. These idiots should take up programming and learn a degree of humility. It is like looking into a mirror of your inability to think of obvious solutions.

  48. maxx 48

    Pot calling the kettle black there lynmiester.truely.

  49. Oli 49

    Iprent,

    I’m not regurgitating drivel, I’m talking about some of the hings that formed hardened impressions amongst voters. Often the most firmly formed impressions remain impervious to logic, facts or rhetoric. As it stands your behaviour on this string of comments is a prime example. Because you don’t like what you’re reading you refuse to accept it. There may be plenty of perfectly good arguments against the items I listed but they still had an impact on voters.

  50. lprent 50

    Often the most firmly formed impressions remain impervious to logic, facts or rhetoric.

    Pretty good at describing yourself… But forget the rhetoric. It is usually crap anyway – like listening to a Key or Hyde.

    I’d agree that they had an impact on voters. The question is if the effects last. NACT are now in government, the rules change. I’m going to enjoy the next few years. I’ve learned a lot about FUD, now that the amateurs are in the target zone, we can really start to go to town…

    I think that 14th December is when the heat wave will get interesting

  51. maxx 51

    That sounds suspiciously like Lynn has resorted to a pseudo academic “I know you are I said you are but what am I” argument.

  52. lprent 52

    maxx: Hey, that one sounded like you didn’t just spout a canned line. Thats very good. Keep it up.

  53. Oli 53

    Iprent,

    I was referring to you as much as any voter with that comment you quoted back at me. Also on the Socratic front the greatest lesson we can get from the grand old Greek man is that is that individually any one of us holds such a small part of the world’s total knowledge that any enlightened person knows that intelectual arrogance has no place in the world. For an example of that sort of intelectual arrogance see below:

    “However Oli looked from some of his other comments to actually have a brain – admittedly under-utilized and under-trained. Disappointing to find it spouting mindless regurgitated drivel like any normal troll. So it got treated as partially human to see if it was able to change its behavior (Socratic model). Looks like it may have reached a higher standard. Oh well I’ll leave him alone and see if can maintain a human standard”.

  54. lprent 54

    Oh dear, it appears to have gotten under your skin. So sad – not!

    Probably acts in much the same way that the irritation I feel when I see people making bold assertions based on nothing more than vacuous soundbites based on what someone maybe said in your hearing. Generally when I notice comments like that (after all I scan thousands of comments on here per week), I tend to react with a degree of sarcasm. To let them slide just encourages more trolls. To react by attacking the trolls with the various resources at my disposal helps to increase our readership. You’re actually lucky, most trolling simply gets a permanent ban – I’d suggest that you read our Policy (and I’d suggest avoiding IrishBills more abrupt moderation).

    Of course you could always learn how not to attract my BOFH attention. Making boring and unsubstantiated assertions is the second fastest way to attract my site defense responses. It always reminds me of badly written code that needs a good restructure and a strong debugging session.

    Of course there are other people of all political stances who don’t get this BOFH problem. I even argue and discuss things with them. But you’ll have to lift your Standard to at least the sites minimum levels. The site comes with the sysop and moderators and their respective irritation levels. After all it is our site.

    Anyway, I think thats all I’ll bother discussing behavior with you. You’ll either measure up or you’ll find out what other nice things sysops do when they’re peeved…

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