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More columns from O’Sullivan, please

Written By: - Date published: 11:07 am, February 4th, 2012 - 133 comments
Categories: class war, overseas investment - Tags:

Every time some rightwing ideologue calls 80% of New Zealanders racist or xenophobic because we don’t want to lose control of our future and sell our strategic assets to fall into the hands of a foreign dictatorship that is going around the world buying up key resources to secure their own supply chains at the cost of our sovereignty, and reminds us that National is letting this happen, I smile. Keep it up, Fran.

On a personal note, Fran, I thought that my fellow Standardista Redlogix’s branding you ‘enemy of the people’ was a bit off, what with its Stalinist connotations. But then I dropped the connotations and read the words: ‘enemy of the people’ – a person who works against the interests of the bulk of the population in favour of the interests an elite. In this case, in favour of military dictatorship called the Communist Party of China. Describes you pretty well, Fran.

Calling us the Klu Klux Klan though, Fran, displays a shocking level of historical ignorance and is pretty offensive to the actual victims of that group of elitists who attempted to preserve their privilege through the exercise of instituational power and violence.

Well, maybe not too shocking – you are a neoliberal after all. In the wake of the global financial crisis, still being a neoliberal demands a complete ignorance of history.

By the way, about half our regular posters use their real names these days.

I myself come from a long and proud line of Zetetics.


Lynn Prentice (lprent): The post that Fran was referring to was “Treachery” by RedLogix.

It isn’t quite the top in page views yet. That belongs to a post about some black humour on the christchurch earthquakes and the top opinion post was on the Assange warrants. It isn’t even the most read posts in the last month. Two posts of the ports of Auckland dispute were larger.

However Red’s post attracted 700 odd comments discussing the question of the sale of Crafar farms – more comments than any other post that has ever been on the site in the last 4 years. The discussion covered all points of view and looked at virtually every aspect of the deal. It is obviously a concern for kiwi’s and I suspect that Fran is more interested in throwing a blanket over the issue than in addressing those concerns.

Certainly in her columns on the subject she has never bothered to elucidate what value she sees coming to NZ as a whole in a overseas firm by owning (and not even running) some of our farmland. They don’t appear to bring anything more to the table than a wish to vertically integrate their supply chain to maximize their profits on sales in their home market. Which is presumably where they will be taxed. Where is the value to our economy?

Read the Treachery post and decide if Fran is just being as much of a idiot as I think she is about the topic of non-resident overseas ownership.

133 comments on “More columns from O’Sullivan, please ”

  1. DJL 1

    I saw Frans piece in the Herald online and thought…why bother…and didn’t.

  2. IrishBill 2

    I’m just pleased Fran published the whole of our URL. It looks like we’re picking up some more traffic off the back of it.

    I agree that red was playing a bit rough but to be fair so is trying to brand anyone that disagrees with you as racist.

    • RedLogix 2.1

      It was a comment from ak that best articulated the anger I felt when I wrote that post. It’s worth re-posting in full:

      Your anger is shared, Red, and justified. It’s the obscenity and breath-taking gall that rankles so much: the very same cheerleaders and architects of Orewa One and a million other racist dogwhistles down the decades now daring to label the left racist.

      Without a morsel of evidence and a lifetime of political and social experience to the absolute contrary. To follow that up by ignoring the argument and simply trying to “out” someone, knowing full well the repercussions and possible persecution that could result – and the utter irrelevance to the topic – is simply despicable.

      Grotesque, politically-motivated distortion and calumny followed by blatant bullying of any individual at hand. Disgusting from the least of us: from a so-called leading journalist inexcusable, but sadly quite representative of our entire, right-wing dominated media culture.

      The one bright light is the utter disdain and mistrust for our gutter-paparazi now growing in the community – as the circulations shrink, useful only as a laxative. Occupy the Web: and put the yellow press behind us.

      The two days prior both John Key and Maurice Williamson had been openly playing the race card on this issue; so on reading Fran’s nakedly partisan column, both gloating in tone and openly repeating the same canard… well it was time to take the gloves off. All I can say is if it got her attention … well and good.

      PS The ‘outing’ that ak refers to is a somewhat tangential issue relating to an exchange involving millsy. O’Sullivan made the error of posting his name in full, which I put down to her ignorance of the site rules. The name was deleted and no further action taken.

    • newsense 2.2

      Exactly about the racist and xenophobic thing. Cheap shots.

      Problem is though, Labour hasn’t had an eloquently articulated position on this. In my opinion Nationals position is more coherent at the moment. Different Labour Mps, different things, no clear justifications.

      This interested me:

      “This has deeply worried the New Zealand Chinese community as they gather round the country this weekend to celebrate their own Lantern Festival.”

      Who is this NZ Chinese community and how do they speak in one voice to Fran (and has RedL spoken with any of them?)

      “At various functions I have been to in Auckland this week to celebrate Chinese New Year, there has been much talk of reactionary feelings towards Chinese.

      Some told me they were frightened by the vehemence and the violent language used on websites and talkback radio shows as commentators damned the Crafar sale. Some Chinese said they felt this palpable racism is also aimed at them.

      There is talk about this within their own Chinese language media.”

      Some told me, Some Chinese, Some people, There is talk….

      Who are they Fran? Do they stand to benefit directly from the sales? If they are Chinese employers, do they intend to live here? Do pay their Chinese staff minimum wage or do they pay them less like second class people? How do they feel about investing in NZ long term or are they here to take the profits away before tax?

      So Labour who apologised to the poll tax and were the first to negotiate a free trade agreement with China is racist.

      Gee I’d hate if talk back offered violent language and vehemence about Islanders or Maori- I’m sure then Fran would ride in crying racism and protect them. Right, cos she’s not a hypocrite?

      As Lynn said above:

      ‘They don’t appear to bring anything more to the table than a wish to vertically integrate their supply chain to maximize their profits on sales in their home market’

      Not wrong to be concerned about this if you are a Kiwi. Labour needs to go about it in a way that doesn’t seem to contradict the former above and that shows some smarts on its position towards Chinese involvement in NZ.

  3. felix 3

    From Fran’s article:

    But I would have engaged them directly in the argument if they had signed their names.

    Whatever Fran. When are you going to denounce The Editor of the rag you happily write this troll-bait for?

    • IrishBill 3.1

      I’m not sure it would be good for my reputation to engage in an argument with someone who used accusations of racism in place of sound arguments.

      • felix 3.1.1

        It was the accusation of terrorism that marked her as a troll in my book.

        • IrishBill

          God lord. I’d missed that. It strikes me that she has just provided a fine example of how writing under your given name doesn’t guarantee a civilised result. Somewhat ironic in light of her complaints about our anonymity.

  4. randal 4

    she is just a high paid shill for the bosses.
    they believe in adam smiths invisible hand when al lthe time it is just compound interest backed up by the state.
    they start to freak when you call a spade a spade and start to squeal like stuck pigs.

  5. chris73 5

    Shes touched a nerve, people don’t like it when the truth is pointed out to them

  6. Bill 6

    Taking the ‘enemy of the people’ interpretation at face value, it follows that any people advocating resources or ‘assets’ be owned only by those elites who satisfy certain criteria are also ‘enemies of the people.

    The spectacle of these ‘enemies of the people’ (the soft or liberal left) dancing furiously on the head of a pin of late as they try to square the circle they’ves created for themselves has been both amusing and bemusing.

    If there is to be private ownership, then beyond adopting a Maoist stance (yes, yes, the irony and the Greens), a nightmare world of top – down income generating bureaucracy beckons.

    And you and I will still own nothing and have power over nothing. (Maybe the opportunity for a job administering an impossible set of rules and regulations mind 😉 )

    Don’t you ‘enemies of the people’ remember the concept of ‘the commons’? (And before anyone jumps in to rehash that tired old piece of bullshit ‘The Tragedy of the Commons’; anyone who sought to extract more than their fair share from the commons was generally dealt with/to by the wider community.)

  7. chris73 7

    Shes right in saying most of the contributors are cowards though, posting what they post without putting their names to it.

    [So far this morning you have directly implied that anyone opposed to selling New Zealand assets is a racist. Strike 1.

    Now you use the ‘coward’ argument in direct contradiction to site policy that openly encourages use of pseudonyms and actively protects people’s real life identities. Strike 2.

    And you have the unmitigated gall to make that argument when using a pseudonym yourself. Strike 3.

    How many more strikes do you want to accumulate? And how many do you think you have left?… RL]

    • McFlock 7.1

      the hypocrisy, it hurts…

    • lprent 7.2

      It is a bullshit argument.

      I write considerably more vitriolic posts than redlogix did and I do it under my own name. I’m just as comfortable doing it under a pseudonym.

      Anyway I’m thinking about writing a post on Fran’s wee outburst after I finish this round of coding.

      “Fran O’Sullivan: A pathetic failure”

      Talking about her inability to understand the nature of the net, blogs, and the limits of legal structure. Basically I will push the bounds of vitriolic abuse and surprise surprise – do it under my own name. I get irritated when people attack the site. I get even more irritated when people can’t take the type of criticism that they like to dish out.

      Anyone have a better title?

    • John drinnan 7.3

      RL is quite right about the pseudonym – but the reaction is over the top and smacks of student politics hissy fits. Are you saying that at The Standard only want to talk among yourselves and you’ll come down hard on dissenting views. The unwillingness of Standard contributors to give their real names prevents its growth. If you don’t have the courage to stand up for your ideas and you don’t acce[pt dissenting views then turn the Standard into a party political newsletter. ( PS is that strike one, two or three)

      • RedLogix 7.3.1


        I invite you to have a read of our many comment threads. We have something like half a million comments and the vast majority of them have been vigorous debates between commentors with dissenting opinions. And not just those dissenting across the obvious left-right divide either.

        And as I’ve just commented a few moments ago this is a completely different environment to the one I suspect you may be used to.

        The use of pseudonyms is an important part of creating that environment. (Although at the same time increasing numbers of long-time authors and commenters are choosing to use their own name, it is not something that confers any special status.)

        At the same time if you look at threads on places like Kiwiblog the debate is usually stillborn because of the sheer amount of mindless abuse and plain bigotted idiocy that is rampant. That doesn’t work either.

        The Standard by contrast is a moderated blog. While we allow open access to anyone to comment, and encourage people to use pseudonyms, at the same time a small group of volunteers monitor the threads to moderate them. It’s always good manners to read the site policy in order to understand what we are looking for. Protecting people’s identity is very high on our list of priorities… any attempt to directly or indirectly breach that will be responded to, often with a permanent ban.

        Moderation isn’t perfect; we sometimes miss things and different moderators interpret things differently. That flexibility is part of the magic if making it work.

        PS Part of what you say has some validity. The Standard authors are actually pretty much evenly drawn from both the Green and Labour parties, plus more than a few outside of those tents as well. On the face of it this makes us more ‘pan-left’ than ‘party political newspaper’. But it is a left-wing blog … no apologies. Is that a ‘confine’ we should have to grow out of? That is an interesting question.

        Frankly many of us believe that the MSM in this country is pretty much stuck in a political confine of it’s own… not so much partisan as an ideological one. Very little outside of the conventional narrative makes it’s way into our media these days. I only have to think back to the 70’s and realise just how shallow the public debate has become. The Standard is a community effort, it’s our attempt at redressing this … it’s way not perfect, but it’s what we’ve got.

      • lprent 7.3.2

        The unwillingness of Standard contributors to give their real names prevents its growth.

        You mean the about 50% growth in page views that we have had over the last year? It is hard enough keeping the system, authors, and moderation growing at that rate. Do you want us to die of exponential growth?

        Not that I think that putting Real Names in does anything of the sort. We have had several authors shift from pseudonyms to real names over the last couple of years and there is no difference that I can see in either what the write or what the audience is for it.

        Basically you are talking crap.

      • Hateatea 7.3.3

        Speaking only for myself, I have very good personal reasons for being anonymous on the blogosphere. Lack of courage is not one of them

  8. Hannah 8

    I agree with Fran. “Standard”????? No standard is as low as some of the comments accepted here. When someone disagrees with you in the msm and throws some of your shit back at you the flailing of arms and wailing starts. Take a look in the mirror – calling you the KKK is frankly insulting the KKK.

    • Eddie 8.1


      we do let some borderline comments trough. For example, calling someone worse than the KKK is pretty insulting, but it will be allowed to stand because we’re not in the business of censoring debate except where a participant’s behaviour is truly unacceptable and destroying the ability of others to join in the discourse.

      • Matt 8.1.1

        “…but it will be allowed to stand because we’re not in the business of censoring debate…”

        And also because there is no more damning indictment of her nonsense than the nonsense itself.

    • lprent 8.2

      “Hannah” – some of your comments are in that borderline area.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 8.3

      Hi anonymous Hannah. It’s easy to hurl foul abuse from behind your anonymity, isn’t it? Comparing people commenting on an internet thread to right wing terrorist murderers is deranged, if you ask me. Of course, if we were to ask you, we know what you’d say: “take a look in the mirror”.

      What is the most witless aspect of your comment? Is it the way your prejudice tars everyone with the same brush? Or the hypocrisy of your insults?

      Standard? Like your double standards do you mean?

    • felix 8.4

      Anonymous “Hannah” appears to be a another bitter Dunedinite with delusions of grandeur.

      Mate of Pete’s probably.

      • McFlock 8.4.1

        Hey! I’m a bitter Dunedinite with delusions of – well, adequacy with occasional bursts of fabulosity.
        Hannah probably went to Bogan Park. ’tis not her fault.

  9. chris73 9

    So far this morning you have directly implied that anyone opposed to selling New Zealand assets is a racist. Strike 1.

    – I believe that the opposition to the Crafer sales is a mixture of political oportunism and racism

    Now you use the ‘coward’ argument in direct contradiction to site policy that openly encourages use of pseudonyms and actively protects people’s real life identities. Strike 2.

    – Fair call in regards to site policy but I also believe that if people used their real life identites then the opinions posted would be different, less angry, less combative which as far as I’m concerned is cowardice

    And you have the unmitigated gall to make that argument when using a pseudonym yourself. Strike 3.

    – Thats a fair point also

    How many more strikes do you want to accumulate? And how many do you think you have left?… RL]

    • McFlock 9.1

      – Fair call in regards to site policy but I also believe that if people used their real life identites then the opinions posted would be different, less angry, less combative which as far as I’m concerned is cowardice

      So someone using their real name wouldn’t stoop to calling their opponents the KKK? 
      Now the amnesia is hurting, too…

      • chris73 9.1.1

        So someone using their real name wouldn’t stoop to calling their opponents the KKK?

        – That has nothing to do with the point I made

        • felix

          Nothing to do with “I also believe that if people used their real life identites then the opinions posted would be different, less angry, less combative“???

          Come on chris73 (or whoever you are lol) it’s exactly the point you made.

          • chris73

            No its not, she doesn’t hide behind a pen name. If she did then its more then likely her opinion pieces would be more aggresive and nasty than some people think they are now.

            Which was my point, posting behind a pen name means people become more likely to write more aggresively.

            • McFlock

              Holy  shit, she’s already throwing around shit that’s more combative and angry than almost all the commenters here. The only comparable stuff was the “traitor” and “enemy of the people” lines, most of what everyone else said was more mild and considered than that by far.
              If your position were correct and she did use a psuedonym, she’d be more fucked up than . . . everyone. Fran O’Sullivan, if she used a pseudonym, would be the most berserk angry troll on the internet.
              Or maybe pseudnyms have fuck all to do with how aggressive (or just insensitive) people are behind a keyboard. Whaleoil’s still a fucktard, so is Slater.

            • lprent

              Nope. For instance when Anthony was writing as r0b, I swear that his posts were far milder than when he was writing under his own name.

              I’ve been frequently told that my posts are just outright nasty and nastier than anyone else on site. Of course that is because I frequently have to defend the site from moronic statement like Fran’s, where someone tries to avoid actually looking at the arguments and prefers to discuss something else..

              Certainly that puffed up Cetacea seems to always seem to await my posts and comments with anticipation (and he is the epitome of nasty)… Ummm what do we have today.

              No doubt their Grand Wizard, Lynn Prentice will burst forth with some vitriolic rant that The Standard is some code and a machine and how silly of Fran to think otherwise.

              Yep, as stupid as ever. I’m not quite sure how he’d think that was a valid argument in the context of Fran’s article. But Cameron is not exactly the brightest person around. He seems to think that repeating a fatuous statement as many times as possible is the way to make it work. But of course he is a bit of a stranger to working or at least work that people are willing to pay him for, so you really can’t expect much from his understanding.

              Oh well back to coding.

              • ZDL

                “I’ve been frequently told that my posts are just outright nasty and nastier than anyone else on site. Of course that is because I frequently have to defend the site from moronic statement like Fran’s,”

                No, it’s because you are simply a nasty person.

                Save your pathetic excuses and justifications for the naive and sycophantic.

                You are what you are – a bully – who has found an outlet for their psychological deformity where there is no cost to pay.

                Clap clap clap for the interweeeb hero.

                [As far as I know you have zero track record here. Abusing the system administrator on your first post is plain dumb and you look very much like a troll. They don’t last very long here, and I assume you know that… and just you are using the ‘ZDL’ pseudonym as a ‘dump and run’…RL]

                • fender

                  You are mistaking forthright, assertive quest for truth and transparency as bullying.
                  I guess if racist/ xenophopic can’t stick you can always try “bully”, oh you just did!

                • McFlock

                  great contribution to the debate about whether people should use pen names, “ZDL”.
                  Lynn s soooooo nasty that you need to use a pseudonym. Thus validating the use of pseudonyms on the interwebz. Even though Fran reckons you’re “hiding behind” a pseudonym.

                • lprent

                  I don’t consider myself to be nasty. Just a bit intolerant

                  I just don’t tolerate fools talking crap much and I tend to educate them not to repeat the foolishness when I am around. You can regard that as a response to watching the public areas of usenet descending into extremely low information content environments.

                  Mostly I only have to be sarcastic to people a few times or to bounce them out of here and people either learn to comment well or they learn to love the sewer. Some just appear to be too stupid to learn.

        • McFlock

          Not even you can be that oblivious to what you wrote.
          Likening someone to the KKK isn’t combative and angry?

        • mickysavage


          You just have to go over to Slater’s blog and see what he does to people whose views he does not like.  It is no wonder some prefer the anonymity of a pseudonym.

          • chris73

            You people just don’t get it. Go through the comments on his site then compare those to the comments on here, no damn comparison.

            • lprent

              I think that mickey was pointing to the complete absence of people commenting who disagreed with Cameron.

              Cam’s usual response is to try and figure out who they are in real life from the IP’s or e-mail and then do as much damage in real life as possible. It is a pattern that he has followed as long as I have noticed him.

              He really isn’t interested in debate or dissent.

              I suspect that Fran O’Sullivan is another of those pumped up little gits. She wants to know who people are so she can put the boot in. It is a lot easier than actually developing and presenting an argument. Characteristic of bullies.

              • IrishBill

                To be fair, I’ve not chosen anonymity for fear of being harassed so much as not wanting to be know as “that guy from that standard blog”. I realise there are some bloggers out there who enjoy their minor New Zealand internet celebrity but writing for this blog is a very small part of my life and I’d rather it stayed that way.

                • lprent

                  I know that problem. Fortunately outside of the political circles, few know about the political blogs. Mind you, exactly the same is true about all political commentators. You mention Fran to most herald readers and you get that vacant look followed by a unconvincing acknowledgment of her existence.

                  Unfortunately though you can lose jobs because of google searches. Happened to a few freinds for one reason or another over the years – back to usenet.

                  Had it come up in just about every job interview myself – I warn them that it will be what I spend some work time on when there are problems. But it usually winds up into a discussion on politics. But people hire me despite that.

                  But I’m pretty established in what I do.

                  • RedLogix

                    Exactly. I’ve been out all day hence the lack of engagement in this.

                    My only new thought is simply this. Why would Fran O’Sullivan want to know who I am if not to visit some form of retribution on me?

                    Because otherwise who I am is of zero relevance to the argument.

                    • lprent

                      Yep. It is always the unanswered question.

                    • John drinnan

                      Because standing by what you believe in has more credibility.

                    • lprent []

                      Silly argument. I’ve posted both under my own ‘name’ (lprent is my long time login for Lynn Prentice) and under other handles for decades. There is very little difference between what I say on the net in any guise and what I say in person and never has been. Most people find it very difficult to sustain multiple ‘personalities’ to the point that one of our anti-troll techniques is to simply look at peoples writing style and opinions to determine who they were last time.

                      “standing by what you believe” is a totally dumb and meaningless statement. Where, how, and how much moderation is going on?

                      The only differences between the blogs and newspapers in any legal sense is that newspapers have a bigger pot to target, a self-regulation press council who mostly appear to be there to act a a limp wrist-whacker, and that they have more legal protection because they have explicit protection in public interest clauses in various legislation.

                      As Red pointed out, this environment is far far harsher on mistakes or malicious writing than the limp environment that you operate under. Here everything is immediate and quite literally a crap post will be torn apart by a rampaging mob of commentators either on the site or on the many others who are happy to pick apart the errors. It can will happen in minutes or hours. And in a multi-author blog like this, the worst critics will be your fellow authors.

                      Quite simply if you want to quote that aphorism as if it has any credibility, then perhaps you can point out how “standing by what you believe in” applies to anonymous editorials, “staff reporter”, newswires, and the whole of The Economist. None of which have any person standing by what they wrote, and a whole pile of case law behind supporting those practices.

                    • RedLogix

                      And even if I did post under a ‘real name’… how would you know if it was real or not?

                      And that problem can cut both ways; I recall a while back we had a commentor playing silly buggers pretending to be John Key’s son Max. It was a pretty transparent ploy, but as a moderator it gave me moments of real concern.

                      In the end names are simply not relevant.

                    • Blue

                      Nice try, John. But although RedLogix does not post under a name that would be recognisable in the real world, that doesn’t mean that there is no accountability.

                      That’s what people of the old ways of journalism struggle to understand about the internet age. RedLogix is a Standard author. No one else can post here under his name. You can look up all the posts he has ever made and check them for consistency of opinion. And anyone who wants to take up an argument with him can do so, right here and now, instantly, and he will reply back to them.

                      Dismissing someone who writes under a pseudonym is pathetic and hypocritical. How about getting whoever writes the Herald’s editorials to sign their name to them first before you start on the blogging world?

            • mickysavage

              Go through the comments on his site then compare those to the comments on here, no damn comparison.

              You are right there. I have a look occasionally.  The discussions invariably consist of people saying the left are fuckwits and others agreeing with them.  There is no development of ideas or debating of issues.  Yep, no comparison.

    • Draco T Bastard 9.2

      I believe that the opposition to the Crafer sales is a mixture of political oportunism and racism

      …but I also believe that if people used their real life identites…

      Your belief doesn’t make it true and those of us that you’re labelling through your belief know that it isn’t. You just don’t want to believe the truth.

    • Annette H 9.3

      Chris- 5 Chinese (variety of backgrounds, ages, political persuasions and countries of origin) and me around the table last week – all vehemently against the Crafar farm sale on the grounds of selling NZ land to foreigners. No political opportunism or racism there I would have thought. However, I concede it’s a small sample.

      • ropata 9.3.1

        It is very easy to throw around the racism accusation but it is not far from being a Godwin manoeuvre.
        Fran O’Sullivan is a fascist !

  10. ak 10

    The irony is that if Fran’s “argument” (essentially “because you use pseudonyms you are cowards and terrorists just like the KKK”) had appeared on a blog – any blog, even the right-wing sewers – it would’ve been ignored as just another baseless, hyperbolic hate-ranting one-liner from an ignoramus. Contributing nothing, unworthy of comment even from fellow hatemongers.

    The fact that it’s author is a “multi-award-winning journalist” (including “journalist of the year” – twice) is the starkest demonstration yet of the state of our media culture – and the qualities it hires, promotes, and then rewards. The sad demise of a once-proud institution: from respected pillars of informed independence to yellowing scraps; ignored, lazily rustling in gutters.

  11. Salsy 11

    Following on from my post in open mike yesterday, Fran again, is still unable to provide a single argument as to why selling a chunk of our golden goose to the biggest consumer of our golden eggs is a good idea. Again, abysmally, there no analysis on the impact of competition against our own dairy industry – she weilds the right wing spin machine’s favourite new word “Xenophobia”, then scuttles aways from her column responsiblities – Business Analaysis.

    Since you suggest Fran, that Kiwis are basically “unreasonably fearful” against China, then i assume that you and John Key will also be looking into deepening relations with other Modern Totalitarian regimes: North Korea, Zimbabwe, Burma or Cuba?

    From Wikipedia

    Totalitarian regimes are extremely strict and repressive. They repress against freedom of speech, press, religion, and other political rights. Not only do they repress against individuals, but also groups of people or labor unions.Those who live under the power of a totalitarian regime have very limited rights. The rights of the individual are controlled by the state. Many totalitarian regimes enforce their laws by fear. Propaganda, secret police, illegal to criticize the regime, and terror threats are just a few ways totalitarian governments maintain control. Through the propaganda tactics, totalitarian regimes are able to convince their society in believing that life outside of the regime is corrupt and immoral.Typically a single leader, with strong values and ideals, leads the totalitarian regime, to create a state with extremely limited freedoms and maximum conformity

    What you are actually demanding Fran, is that we drop our core national democratic values, lose our dairy market dominance, risk our hard earned reputation and drive farm prices out of Kiwis reach, just for the sake of not wanting to seem “unreasonably fearful”… Who seems unreasonable now?

  12. randal 12

    she hasn’t been back.

  13. randal 13

    colonial viper you are right that the left needs it own msm.
    the place to start is micropulse radio which can be up and running with license included for less than $5,000.
    they operate on line of sight so in an place like Auckland they would cover very large areas.
    the key is unformatted music, no ads and as much news as you like.
    no fran.
    no ryan.
    no krump!

    • chris73 13.1

      But who, aside from other loonie lefties, is going to listen to it?

      • Colonial Viper 13.1.1

        Oh don’t you worry your pretty little head chris73, we’re only broadcasting for the loonie lefties.

        randal…I’ll have to look into the technology.

      • McFlock 13.1.2

        Anyone who cares at  all about society in general, not just themselves. Or trolls like you who want to pick holes in a good thing just to keep people (possibly including yourself, at a subconscous level) from seeing how fucked up things have become.

        • chris73

          Thats why I listen to radio live, get views from both sides. I’m guessing you only like views from one side.

          • Colonial Viper

            Get views from both sides??? How about get information you can think through to come to your own conclusions – does that enter into the equation?

          • McFlock

            Um – yeah. If two sides have different perspectives, I will like one more than the other. Especially if one seems to be more propaganda than fact, and the other seems to have slightly more fact than propaganda.
            Doesn’t mean I don’t keep an eye on both, unless one strikes out badly each time I’ve looked at it (e.g. KB – I try not to go there after a few reasonable attempts to give it a fair go). The credibility of each source needs to be taken into account, too. But to suggest that, as an example, kiwiblog and the standard have equivalent levels of reliability in fact and similar balances of rational:nutbar commenters and equivalent as information and intelligent editorial sources… That would be bizarre. Don’t you “like” one more than the other?

          • Akldnut

            “Thats why I listen to radio live, get views from both sides. I’m guessing you only like views from one side.”

            What reality are you living in? Do you actually think before you type, I’ve called Radio Live a few times and been cut off every time before the end of my second sentence because Smith and Lhaws didn’t want opposing commentary to their vile right wing racist comments.

            The classic was Leighton Smith pushing the Nat. line on mining and denegrating Anti Mining protesters calling them all “Smelly rag heads and hippies.”

            • felix

              You often get a more balanced view from Willie and JT in the afternoons though.

            • chris73

              What reality are you living in? Do you actually think before you type,

              Did you know that in the afternoon that well-known right wing storm trooper Willie J has a slot?

          • mik e

            Radio live is subsidised by the right $44 million from shonkey and the rest from business.
            Anyone who comes up with alternate views are derided by the shock jocks the more right thinking the higher they are paid tell me one left wing shock jock on squawk back radio.

      • felix 13.1.3

        “But who, aside from other loonie lefties, is going to listen to it?”

        I was kinda hoping you would chris.

  14. Uturn 14

    An idea stands, on it’s own, in the mind of the person who reads it. Letting someone who disagrees decide that only they or their friends can have ideas is the lazy trick O’Sullivan plays. Here’s how it works:

    Anon posts an idea The Opposition doesn’t like.

    The mouthpiece of The Opposition proclaims it invalid because it is anonymous.

    The Sheeple, infatuated with the idea of one day becoming one of the Elite, follow the lead of the mouthpiece of The Opposition.

    Mouthpiece of the Opposition demands Anon follow “kiwi values” and give up “cowardice” to supply name, address, and any other information they demand.

    Mouth piece of The Opposition then researches and publishes private information on class and background of Anon, “proving” that original idea cannot stand because Anon is not a disciple of The Oppositon; they aren’t “one of us”; or maybe even that they went to the wrong school, suffered an illness or don’t own enough stuff. The mouthpiece uses cultural values of The Sheeple and shows how Anon has transgressed them.

    The Sheeple believe the words of the mouthpiece, providing material for the mouthpiece to quote, continuing a cycle. The purpose is to push Anon into self conscious silence or peer submission. If Anon is smart, they won’t fold, but usually it works. It’s basic psychological warfare.

    The Opposition use “kiwi values” against those dumb enough to believe that they are collectively regarded as social rules, or against those who can be baited into an angry heroic display. The Oppostion follow only one rule: I win. They’re psychopaths.

    In real life what happens is the situation reaches a stalemate where it can only develop into violence and the police get involved. From then on, The Opposition have the advantage because the Police and justice system is designed to uphold stereotypes developed by the Oppostion.

    So to cut a long story short, if you want to maintain your strategic advantage and avoid stupid situations, believe your ideas will stand (because they will, anonymous or not) and do not engage with psychopaths.

  15. Cin77 15

    Shes seems a little pissed off in her column, I like it. 🙂

    • seeker 15.1

      She has certainly shown herself up this time. Disgraceful stuff from a so called ‘reputable’ journalist. KKK did it for me – and my family.
      And I bet poor Natasha Fuller had wished she had used a pseudonym. After what happened to her I have been worried about Bennett and this government’s thirst for vengeance ever since!! They don’t even hold off for virtually nursing mothers – what chance do the rest of us have????

  16. Blue 16

    You know it’s all over when someone compares their opponent to the KKK and attacks their use of a pseudonym instead of addressing the argument.

    You can almost see the froth at the corners of her mouth. She’s lost it.

    Whatever would dear Fran do if the foreign buyer was not Chinese, but Australian or British or American? Her convenient dismissal of anyone who doesn’t love selling off their nation’s future could no longer be justified by branding them as racists. She’d have to think instead of just throwing insults.

    She wouldn’t be able to tell cute little stories about how threatened the Australian community in NZ feels because those mean, racist Kiwis don’t want to rent their country from its foreign owners.

    Time to get a Herald business columnist who can actually engage with facts and analysis rather than dishing out a dollop of ideologically-driven emotive crap every week.

    • felix 16.1

      “Whatever would dear Fran do if the foreign buyer was not Chinese, but Australian or British or American?”

      Probably just call people “anti-american” as the globalists usually do when any objection to their agenda is raised.

      They throw “anti-australian” around a bit too whenever the NZ banking system and kiwibank in particular is discussed.

    • seeker 16.2

      +1 Blue.

  17. rob the dog 17

    You guys are fuckwits and cowards

    [lprent: There is no point to that comment. You haven’t said why. Read the policy. I realise that it may be hard for you to grasp the idea of what ‘debate’ is about, but it does consist of making points rather than simply hurling abuse.

    What is kind of interesting is that also appears to be a concept that escaped Fran. Rereading her article it appears that her actual dislike was being called “enemy of the people”, which she doesn’t bother to explain why this was a bad thing. ]

    • Colonial Viper 17.1

      At least we’re not still in high school.

    • rob the dog 17.2

      IrishBill: goodbye.

      • fender 17.2.1

        Robbing the dog of its fleas and worms has had a serious effect on your health, get the cat to make an appointment for you at the vet, though its likely you are beyond help and will be put down.
        p.s. take Fran(kenstein) with you for the same treatment.

  18. randal 18

    chris 73 you’re are right that comments on whaleshits blog are milder than here but that is because like leighton smith, michael laws, that creepy ex all black and the other right wing creeps hogging the meedja, they cut off every dissenter in a flash so only the brown nosers and the crawlers ever get a say.
    thats democracy the way THEY like it.

  19. ianmac 19

    Rightious Fran is no doubt going to demand that Editorial Writers (Righters?) on the Herald sign their opinion pieces with their own names. Otherwise Herald Editorials will be branded Cowards and Hypocrites! How dare they!

  20. Colonial Viper 20

    Dude, YOU are the breakdown.

  21. Your original poster said they would spit on Fran. You seem to gloss over this. To me that is inciting violence. If you are going to proffer hate speech, the very least you could do is take the hood of anonymity off. I would say “Treachery” was repulsive because of the violent undertones rather than disagreement with a political opinion.

    [Clearly you don’t understand what a metaphor is. In this case I was using it as an expression of contempt. And given that she had just accused anyone of who opposed asset sales as a racist, and now anyone who has ever used a pseudonym as a coward, she qualifies as a contemptible bully …RL]

  22. Carol 22

    It’s interesting the way today’s column for O’Sullivan starts off talking about Shearer, how she likes his statements de-politicising this year’s Waitangi Day This is followed by saying how she is luke warm about him and dislikes him stirring up xenophobia in relation to the Crafar deal, then goes on to smear Shearer and Labour by association with the Standard.

    So far, I’ve found Shearer underwhelming. Too ready to scratch every political itch, including (although I am sure this did not start out deliberately) ramping up anti-Chinese sentiment as a result of his campaign against the Crafar dairy farms sales to Shanghai Pengxin.

    […]I experienced a bit of this myself last week when the website, thestandard.org.nz, branded me an “enemy of the people” for supporting the sale.

    To my mind the deal provides much greater upside for New Zealand than many of the other farms sales which have gone to foreign interests in recent years.

    The Standard is reputed to have been started by a bunch of Labour Party activists. Most posters won’t sign their names to their comments because they are frightened they will be held responsible. They are frankly cowards.

    The back catalogue of O’Sullivan’s op ep pieces are an interesting example of what many Standardistas predicted following the rightie and MSM (kindof) endorsements of Shearer’s leadership….. ie predictions that it wouldn’t be too long before the MSM started trying to undermine Shearer the way they did Goff. O’Sullivan was kind of praising Shearer just before Xmas:


    Although she continues to be more pro-Key in her subsequent op ed pieces:


    She’s certainly been a bit obsessive lately over the Crafar deal and NZ-Chinese relations. Why is that?

    • Jackal 22.1

      I don’t think it’s a new obsession. Here is O’Sullivan espousing the benefits of China’s expansionism in 2009, while trying to brush aside the Sanlu poisonous infant formula disaster and paint John Key as some sort of saint:

      Just the day before the Wen meeting, the New Zealand Embassy had skilfully changed the protocol order to ensure that van der Heyden was at the top table with Key in his discussions with the Chinese President.

      You might recall the gold cutlery they used that the MSM were salivating over?

      Major Chinese investors – such as China’s sovereign wealth fund – have also expressed an interest in buying shares in Fonterra if it is ultimately listed. But Key stresses that Fonterra’s capital structure is up to its farmer shareholders to decide.

      Van der Heyden acknowledges the pressing need for Fonterra to address its capital structure so it can take up international investment opportunities. The co-op is already testing proposals with its Shareholders’ Council.

      But Key says Fonterra needs to hurry.

      Looks like they found a better way of “investing” in New Zealand’s dairy industry.

      O’Sullivan was also accused of being treasonous in 2005 by Winston Peters, who was then Minister of Foreign Affairs. Fran reported misinformation about what was said at a meeting with Condoleezza Rice… a meeting O’Sullivan was not even present at.

      It looks like RedLogix touched on a couple of nerves that caused Fran O’Sullivan to wig out… now she is sulking and refusing to talk.

  23. CnrJoe 23

    New Rule
    a variation on Godwins
    When a person mentions the Ku Klux Klan first in an argument
    O’Sullivans Law 

  24. randal 24

    hey moaniqiue.
    I wouldnt spit on fran.
    I wouldn’t piss on her if she was on fire either.

    IrishBill: And that’s a week off.

  25. BobBobson 25

    For the record, China is not a military dictatorship.

    Please look up the meaning of these words in a dictionary then possibly use the correct definition of their political system. You just sound ignorant to any semi-educated person reading your post (not many here).

    Or are all Asian countries just ‘evil and bad’ so it doesn’t matter how you refer to them? If not, then which Asian countries are the O.K. ones?

    • RedLogix 25.1

      Maybe you’ve glossed over the fact that it is a One-Party State, and last held a General Election when?

      And you’ve also spun right past the fact that if you are in China and your activities come to the attention of the CCP authorities for any reason; you’ll find yourself being covertly tracked, followed and monitored. It is a state that rarely hesitates to use it’s considerable military/enforcement agencies for it’s own political purposes. (Although of course they are not alone in that either…)

      And your forgetting the 10,000’s of civil disturbances that are constantly occuring within China; the result of massive social forces of dislocation and discontent with the corruption and lack of any reliable accountability on the authorities, either in the media or legally

      And you may have also forgotten about that other amazing thing; the Great Internet Wall of China.

      So while China is not a military junta in the traditional configuration… it’s pretty damned close to it for most practical purposes.

      • BobBobson 25.1.1

        Close enough is close enough eh. {Nasty racist crack deleted…RL]

        • BobBobson

          Haha nasty racist crack? Whatever dude. I think you’ve glossed over the fact you don’t know what you’re talking about. Good luck with that. Sayounara.

      • KJT 25.1.2

        Not much different from the USA, then!

        • RedLogix

          Yes … as I was writing I had that exact thought in mind. Hence the (Although of course they are not alone in that either…). The response in the USA and other western nations to the Occupy protests has to be the most proximate example, but by no means the only one.

          And that has to be the point. The left in this country has a long and proud record of sane nationalism. It was a Labour government after all which stood up to a very dominant US hegemony and told them where to shove their nuclear armed ships for instance.

          And has been the left, in particular The Greens, who have consistently spoken out against the apparently unstoppable sell off of New Zealand land to overseas owners. They have done so for many years… long before the Crafar affair… and regardless the nationality involved.

          New Zealand is not a large nation. Only some 14.1m hectares is farmed, around 60% of that is marginal hill country; leaving some 5.7m hectares of valuable productive land. Already some 700,000 hectares is overseas owned, strongly suggesting a pretty large portion of what really matters has already gone.

          Now if this were a self-limiting process there would be fewer grounds for concern; but it isn’t. There is no reason whatsoever to prevent overseas buyers continuing the process for a decade or two… and finishing up the owners of the all the land that matters. The rest of the world is vastly larger than us, and with access to much cheaper capital can easily outbid any locals.

          If anyone doubts this, where do you think the term banana republic came from?

    • felix 25.2

      “Or are all Asian countries just ‘evil and bad’ so it doesn’t matter how you refer to them?”

      I can’t believe after all the to and fro here over the past week you still have to ask.

      As has been very patiently explained again and again, all Asian people are born with what scientists call an “evil gene”.

      The reason we don’t want our assets sold to the Chinese govt (or their proxies) is because because we don’t want the evil gene jumping the species gap and getting into the dairy herd. There are far more cows here than people and if they all turned Asian – and evil – we could be in deep shit.

      If an oppressive African, Middle Eastern, or Russian empire-building dictatorship wanted to get a foothold in NZ and capture a vertical supply chain at our expense that would be fine because they don’t have the gene.

      • grumpy 25.2.1

        very true……but really, if there was only one tree left in the world – who would be cutting it down?

        one tiger – who would be trying to kill it to grind down it’s bones to give himself a better erection?

        one elephant – who would want it for the ivory?

        evil gene?? really??

        • Wayne

          Well since Westerner have polluted more than anyone else, caused the extinction of more animals than any other race, gobble up the vast majority of the world’s resources, out of all proportion to their actual numbers, and of course were largely responsible for driving whales to the brink of extinction, the Asian misdemeanours you happen to mention pale by comparison.

          And it is only white Westerners who go out and shoot animals simply for ‘sport’.

    • mik e 25.3

      Bob What is it then bob trying to imply that we are xenophobes maybe you should try and live their and become a union leader religious leader or political activist.

  26. Reality Bytes 26

    I think she’s merely doing her job. That job being “National party PR tool”.

    Whether she officially has such a title or not is beside the point, she is performing such a role for them. Maybe she’s seeking an official endorsement and employment from them in the future.

    It’s just typical blatent self-interest PR spin, along the lines of Mr Baghdad Bob’s school of PR for failing dictatorships 101.

    i.e. Ernestly represent a position regardless of how ludicrous it is, but do it with utmost conviction and gusto to earn brownie points with the team you are brown nosing.

    • RedLogix 26.1

      I think she’s merely doing her job.

      I wonder which is more inexcusable; advocating something wrong, but which you are sincerely convinced of; OR advocating something wrong that you know is wrong…but you do it anyway because ‘I’m just doing my job’?

      Because so far when challenged O’Sullivan has responded with nothing but bluster, bullying and intimidation. She knows where The Standard is; if she attempted a proper debate she would be assured a proper one in response. But instead we’ve seen no attempt the kind of argument you might expect from someone who was sincere at all.

      Therefore I can only conclude she is not sincere, that she knows that the continued sell-off of farmland to overseas owners is wrong…. but she will professionally say the exact opposite because she believes it to be in her own personal interest for some reason.

  27. The Voice of Reason 27

    Gabba gabba hey!
    Try singing along to the long lost alternative lyrics:

    She went away for the holidays
    Said she’s going to HK
    But she never got there
    She never got there
    She never got there, they say

    The KKK took my Franny away
    They took her away
    Away from me
    The KKK took my Franny away
    They took her away
    Away from me

    Now I don’t know
    Where my Franny can be
    They took her from me
    They took her from me
    I don’t know
    Where my Franny can be
    They took her from me
    They took her from me

    Ring me, ring me ring me
    Up the Editor
    And find out
    Where my baby went
    Ring me, ring me, ring me
    Up the Herald guy
    And find out if
    My Franny’s alive
    Yeah, yeah, yeah

    o o o o o o
    o o o o o o

    She went away for the holidays

    The KKK took my Franny away

    They took my girl
    They took my Franny away

  28. Regards Shearer. This weekend will be the first he is wheeled out in front of the public. A press release today:


  29. Wayne 29

    because we don’t want to lose control of our future and sell our strategic assets to fall into the hands of a foreign dictatorship that is going around the world buying up key resources to secure their own supply chains at the cost of our sovereignty

    Well there you have it.

    In spite of all your protestations to the contrary, that you are against Americans or Europeans buying agricultural land just as much as you are against the Chinese buying land, the paragraph above shows you are far more concerned about this one, relatively small, Chinese purchase.

    Haven’t a logical bone among the lot of you.

    But you still have an ‘out’. To avoid the ‘racist’ label you need to:

    (1) prove that China’s so called ‘imperialism’ is a greater danger to the world, is more ambitious than US or Western imperialism.

    (2) prove that the Americans and Europeans are an inherently more ‘moral’ power than China.

    Now if (1) and (2) cannot be shown to be true, then you are either (a) racist or (b) plain dumb.

    So let the challenge begin!

    • felix 29.1

      No Wayne, those of us who oppose the sell-off of NZ assets and land to any overseas interests don’t have to play your silly game at all.

      Having said that, it’s also fairly obvious to anyone who takes an interest that the Chinese govt is responsible for moral failings that the worst examples of recent U.S. and European govts couldn’t come close to in their wildest powermad dreams. This is a matter of public record and there’s no need for anyone to debate it with you. It’s an argument Rick Giles could competently put forward.

      In other words even though logic dictates that your criteria don’t need to be met for your question to be answered, they already are.

      I know it’s hard for you to accept, but we don’t all view the world in the racist, homophobic, culturally imperialist, historically revisionist, artistically illiterate terms that you do.


      • Wayne 29.1.1

        it’s also fairly obvious to anyone who takes an interest that the Chinese govt is responsible for moral failings that the worst examples of recent U.S. and European govts couldn’t come close to in their wildest powermad dreams.

        No. That is not obvious to Chinese. Nor to most non-white people in the world.

        The Chinese government has not come anywhere close to killing the number innocent civilians in its history as US imperialism has.

        Consider the past decade. How many innocent people have been killed by the Chinese govt.

        Now compare this with the record for US imperialism.

        Lesley Stahl on U.S. sanctions against Iraq: We have heard that a half million children have died. I mean, that’s more children than died in Hiroshima. And, you know, is the price worth it?

        Secretary of State Madeleine Albright: I think this is a very hard choice, but the price–we think the price is worth it.

        The fact is the West (including New Zealand) became wealthy through the plunder of the East and Africa. Now things are starting to level off just a little bit, some bitter white people wail and gnash their teeth.

        • stephen


          [lprent: you already have a ban as ‘rob the dog’. Now permanent. ]

        • IrishBill

          Arguing west versus east on moral grounds is a bit, um, redundant. Yes the US has waged a war on the middle east (not just Iraq) that has cost hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of lives but China has the Tibet issue and it’s general disregard for its citizens lives to answer to. I don’t think that you can apply some kind of arithmetic to decipher who’s mass murder is the most morally acceptable.

          If I was pushed I’d have to admit I prefer China’s global economic approach to the US’s as it seems more cooperative but I also like liberal democracy. Go figure.

      • Wayne 29.1.2

        Rudy Rummel is a right wing anti-communist hack. But even he recently has had to come out and admit that Western colonialism in the 20th Century killed 50 million, at a conservative estimate.

        However even Rummel, an arch-conservative, has come out to admit that the Western imperialist powers killed at a conservative estimate 50 million Africans and Asians in the 20th Century.

        The worst case was perhaps King Leopold’s Belgium (who significantly outdid Pol Pot in kill rate – both in absolute and relative terms).

        So Felix. Is it OK now when whites kill non-whites but not when non-whites kill non-whites or non-whites kill whites?

    • KJT 29.2

      Don’t have to prove anything, except that I have protested consistently against sales of our lands, assets and industries to anyone offshore. Since 1985, I may add.

      It is only RWNJ that are trying to pretend that we only started opposing land sales when China started buying.

      It is only that the newspapers ignored us, until the RWNJ chattering classes decided they could play the race card. to justify their plundering and giveaway of New Zealand.

      Anyone who has read my writing over the years knows that I am equally, if not more concerned, about the loss of economic sovereignty, with the giveaway of our banking to Australia, land sales to wealthy foreigners and the selling of our manufacturing.

      • Colonial Viper 29.2.1

        whooever can lie the best to the middle classes and upper midle classes, that they as a political party can continue (or return) steady economic growth and therefore ensure the continuation of a very comfortable lifestyle and safe economic circumstance for the top 20% will continue to be voted into power.

        The vast majority of the top 20% do not want to hear that they are living in a way which is unsustainable and which is costing the country its future. If what it takes to maintain the illusion of an ongoing comfortable lifestyle of consumption is the gradual and incremental selling off of the land, furniture and silverware from the family mansion, so be it.

  30. ropata 30

    Ethnic Affairs Minister Judith Collins … this week told an ANZ lunch to celebrate Chinese New Year that “having discussed this with the Prime Minister yesterday, we will not be stopping people from being able to buy lands just because they are Chinese

    What kind of people are these? Delusional at least. More likely the greedy tools of global financiers, willing to carve up and flog off NZ for a few pieces of silver.

    “Treachery” seems like an appropriate word.

    • ropata 30.1

      The first responsibilty of ANY government is to preserve the integrity of the nation that elected them to office.
      What do you call people who sell the territorial and economic integrity of NZ to their pals?

      • grumpy 30.1.1

        but…..be fair….they are getting more than a bucket of beads and a few rusty muskets……or are they?

        • KJT

          Soon to be worthless US dollars. Not much difference.

          As Ngapuhi used the muskets to take over most of the North Island, I think the muskets were much better value.

  31. BLiP 31

    “. . . I finally branded [The Standardistas] the “Ku Klux Klan” of the internet world on Twitter. A bunch of lily-livered word jocks who hide behind their virtual cloaks of anonymity . . . “

    lol u mad?

  32. John Drinnan 32

    Iprent says.
    Silly argument. I’ve posted both under my own ‘name’ (lprent is my long time login for Lynn Prentice) and under other handles for decades. There is very little difference between what I say on the net in any guise and what I say in person and never has been.

    Which is why you have more credibility than other contributors who do not have the courage of their convictions.

    • lprent 32.1

      I don’t think it makes any difference to the value of the argument. If someone is a fool then they still look like a fool regardless what name they use. If they are worth listening to, then it doesn’t matter if they call themselves Bagehot or whatever journo is using that label this year.

      I have probably read terabytes of information around the net written by journos, commentators, posters, programmers, support people, etc. A name is just a handle regardless of if it is real or not.

      Actually the most important thing that I tend to judge people by is if they have good links and the links are relevant for the topic on non-set piece topics. I will usually drop down them for a few layers to see where they go to. It is a crucial difference between someone who knows what in the hell they are talking about.

    • Colonial Viper 32.2

      Which is why you have more credibility than other contributors who do not have the courage of their convictions.

      I guess you mean whatever anonymous persons write the NZ Herald editorials.

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