After that National Party Presidential Election thing blew up in your face (you know, where you had the audacity to tell members not to vote for Goodfellow, and they basically shat on you), I thought you might have faced reality, and made a quiet retreat. I thought you might have been humbled by the experience of a very public ass-whipping. I thought you might have realised that, hey, maybe there’s more to life than trying to maintain the semi-dubious status of “Controversial Right Wing Blogger”. I thought you might have come to appreciate the hypocrisy in allowing an anti-welfare quote to sit on your front page. I thought you might have realised the irony of a depression sufferer telling people to “HTFU”; of a sickness beneficiary telling people that he doesn’t take easy handouts; of a Grammar Boy son-of-a-millionaire University drop-out, who had his 21st birthday party at the Northern Club, telling people that he was educated at the school of “Hard Knocks”.
But, nah. There you are, still pontificating, still bullying from the pulpit, still gagging to be mentioned in the (sneer while you say this) “MSM”. To be fair, the newly-polished website does seem to attract the attention of “repeaters”, however that’s probably the fault of lazy journalism more than anything else, and you should stop representing it as a badge of credibility. While we’re at it, labeling the left as “commies” and “pinkos” is just a bit fucking tired. And don’t get me started on your gun-nuttery and faux military delusions – I don’t care who the Mighty Legions of the Whale Oil Army are declaring war on this week, just get out of my phone-booth.
However, here’s why I’m REALLY pissed off. Your crusade (or “wonky jihad” – thanks, Andrew Geddis) against name suppression could have, in the right hands, had some merit (even putting to one side your sloppy anti-Muslim dog-whistling). You made a point about the unfairness of the rules, about the randomness of their application, about the abridging of the right to freedom of expression. You highlighted the injustice of the almost automatic grant in favour of the moderately-well-known. You showed the absurdity of anti-publication orders in the era of the internet.
And when you had your grand platform, the one on which you were going to show the world why Cam Slater was far wiser than some crusty old git with a law degree and four decades’ worth of legal experience – you blew it. You chickened out. You piked.
“Yes, I breached those orders, because they were bullshit, and should never have been made!” That’s what you could have – should have – said. That was the apparent basis for your whole seemingly-crazy crusade. But you denied the charges. You denied them, and then refused to appear in the witness-box. You made it abundantly clear that the entire exercise was all about getting noticed.
“The Whale” (as you lovingly self-reference) was obviously gagging on the number of site-hits his flagrant and premature disregard of the law created. But what about Cameron John Slater, unemployed, of Howick? Was it really worth the utter destruction of your personal, financial and marital well-being? Was it?
Update: There was a Michele Hewitson interview with Cameron on the Herald this morning. It looks as though she was about as amused by Cameron as I am.
He said, perhaps hopefully, that he thinks the blog has become more temperate. “I’m not using nicknames and derogatory terms.” (He was still calling North Shore mayor Andrew Williams a “clown” last time I looked, but that’s almost affectionate for him.)
I’m not sure most people would term “corpse fiddler” temperate, but that was off-blog.
Clown I can live with (I’m not exactly temperate in language myself), but the “corpse fiddler” is a pretty classic Whaleoil meaningless phrase and the main reason why I stopped even scanning his site some time ago. The drivel factor was overwhelming any content.
It is good to hear that Cameron was off the drugs and hopefully into some effective treatment. I hope that makes some difference to his more obnoxious writing – but I wouldn’t hold out too many hopes.