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Open mike 08/03/2014

Written By: - Date published: 7:17 am, March 8th, 2014 - 166 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

openmike Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step up to the mike …

166 comments on “Open mike 08/03/2014”

  1. is (third-run) shane jones preparing for a tilt at the labour party leadership..

    ..or is he just auditioning for the role of replacing peters in nz first..?

    ..phillip ure..

    • Stephanie Rodgers 1.1

      Matthew Hooton’s certainly been pushing the idea on Twitter – so interpret that how you will!

    • Sanctuary 1.2

      Shane Jones might want to be Labour leader. But he is also smart, and he knows that if he can’t be leader he at least wants to be in government and he is smart enough to also that being associated with the suspicion that he is part of a conspiracy by Labour’s deadwood to white-ant Cunliffe by doing a go slow to defeat will be fatal.

      We all know what will happen if Labour loses and senior MPs were obviously not interested in trying to win – the reaction from the newly empowered party membership next year would be up to and including attempting to expel from the party the guilty MPs.

      So Jones doesn’t want to be tainted with the label of traitor, and he is going out there and starting to campaign, and in doing so he is showing us all exactly how useless, how missing in action, how lazy, most of his senior colleagues have been over the last six years.

      I await the party list with great interest.

    • drongo 1.3

      Jones should have another crack at the leadership. Cunliffe needs to be challenged after his many mistakes, some the responsibility and on the shoulders of Mr Presland.

      • karol 1.3.1

        Jones has his followers, but his appeal, and I think ability to lead a party is a bit limited. I think he’s becoming the attack dog of Cunliffe’s Labour.

      • greywarbler 1.3.2

        Love your name drongo. Self deprecation? Silly idea to suggest Shane for leadership. But he’s going great guns. If all goes well Cunliffe will carry on doing what he seems to be good at as leader, as we don’t want instability now, and you should recognise that. We aren’t paying tiddlliewinks or ultimate frisbee here, this is our lives that are being shaped here.

        Shane can be in there, he is capable and will give some grunt to what has become a prissy party. If Mallard was an attack dog, Shane would be excellent to replace him. These days a lot of middle class men have as little to do with labour as they can. Manual labour is out, machines and leaf blowers, high pressure sweeping, sitting on lawn tractors is in. Real Labour should show up with each Labour MP hammering away at something with a solution ready to argue for that will improve said problem. And all having been discussed and well thought out within the Labour shadow caucus.

  2. Rosie 2

    Good morning http://blog.forestandbird.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/gw-whatipu.jpg

    There is a reply to you on the topic of “that” issue over on yesterday’s Open Mike. 🙂

  3. “..Robert Reich:..The Great U-Turn..”

    “..Do you recall a time in America when the income of a single school teacher or baker or salesman or mechanic was enough to buy a home – have two cars – and raise a family?

    I remember.

    My father (who just celebrated his 100th birthday) earned enough for the rest of us to live comfortably.

    We weren’t rich but never felt poor – and our standard of living rose steadily through the 1950s and 1960s.

    That used to be the norm.

    For three decades after World War II –

    America created the largest middle class the world had ever seen.

    During those years the earnings of the typical American worker doubled –

    just as the size of the American economy doubled.

    (Over the last 30 years – by contrast –

    the size of the economy doubled again –
    but the earnings of the typical American –
    went nowhere)..”



    phillip ure..

    • Chooky 3.1

      thanks philip …very interesting…when my friend in Florida shouted me a trip over there a couple of years ago i saw signs of destitute Americans in this most prosperous of States ..eg beggars on the motorway median strip….one who looked like my Father used to in his 40s ….a good working class man , well built , respectably dressed , a kind face …but newly unemployed now and down on his luck and forced to beg…it was absolutely heart wrenching….i saw a couple in their 30s outside the vets in tears as they held their beloved fat black cat for 20 minutes saying goodbye …this cat they now couldn’t afford to keep because they were forced to live in their station wagon with all their belongings….my heart goes out to these working class Americans now an underclass and unemployed in their own country….It is not the glitzy USA we see portrayed by Hollywood

      ….and while we are on Hollywood this is also interesting


  4. floyd 4

    So I see franny is still on the payroll. Keeping Cunliffe current.Last weeks news being reheated and served up as bubble and squeak. How very boring. Stench! Clutching at straws. I wonder if she knows where derp face got his info from to attack Winston with in Parliament regarding visits to dot com,
    or isn’t the possibility of him using gcsb as his source anything to worry about.

    • @ floyd..that one from o’sullivan..is possibly her worst..ever..

      ..and i think it is time shane jones was taken somewhere by labour leaders..for a talk..

      ..and told to stfu..

      ..phillip ure..

      • risildowgtn 4.1.1

        along with the abc club.. and told to just fark off already…… made to stand down and put out to pasture or off to the works they go……

      • David H 4.1.2

        If Jones did make a go at the leadership and won I should imagine that Labour would soon be the third largest party

    • karol 4.2

      Time to start leading the agenda for Kiwi battlers – focus on the issues that impact on ordinary Kiwis.

      The media and the right are focusing on the horse race and leader personalities. This is all a big distraction from things that matter to ordinary Kiwis, and will likely turn off a lot of voters.

      The left were gaining ground on the inequality gap and poverty. That’s why there’s been an onslaught of attacks on Cunliffe, and the a lesser extent Norman and the Greens.

      • Chooky 4.2.1

        @ karol …I have just got a feeling…and i may be quite wrong…that is is a case of as Jim Bolger said “bugger the pollsters”…the polls are wrong!!!!!!….i think there are a lot of New Zealanders out there who are going to vote Left ….ie anywhere except National and Act

        …so Labour has to keep pumping out those policies for the people ( and ignore polls and right wing commentators)

        ….i would say students will vote Labour if student loans and university fees are tackled head on….anything that makes it easier for young people to get a start in life will be a big winner for Labour from the youth vote….and they are the voters of the future

        • Bearded Git

          Exactly Karol and Chooky. Issues issues issues issues should be the mantra, not these petty distractions.

          Labour should role out a key policy now.

          Cunliffe is actually brilliant, that is why they are trying to destroy him.

          • risildowgtn

            “Cunliffe is actually brilliant, that is why they are trying to destroy him.”


            he needs to stop biting and ignore the tossers

            They (MSM) aint his mates and tis time to stop treating them as such

          • Once was Pete

            I totally agree that Labour must focus on matters that are important to the electorate, but I am not sure that Labour has these in ‘focus enough’ to communicate well enough.
            Labour has done too much of playing the person and not focussing on the issues that matter. Forget all this focus on Key, and the petty little labelling that is going on (tricky, Donkey, etc) this might make some of the ‘converted’ feel good but it is a fail-fail approach. Key is probably the most popular PM in history, and Labour is languishing in the polls. Who is the electorate going to ‘believe’ in all these stupid character assassination attempts? The most popular and probably likeable PM in history or the other guys? And besides it reeks of pettiness, anger and sour grapes. Hardly the way we want to be seen. And before you beat me up and say what about the right and their blogs? Well, I don’t think that is relevant, because they currently have the general support of the electorate (if recent polls are a guide).
            Honestly, can’t labour see this? Ever since before Key’s first election as PM Labour has been myopic about this. To get the hearts and minds of the electorate Labour has to focus on nothing but the issues.
            As for Cunliffe – brilliant? I think not. Cunliffe is doing a decent job of destroying himself. Some of his recent mistakes have been rookie stuff, and he is definitely not looking PM material. It was Labour that led the charge on trusts with the Electoral Finance Act. And then there was the John Banks matter. What on earth was Cunliffe thinking? The rest of us can only be left to conclude that there is something ‘off’ about the two mystery donors.
            Forget the focus on biased media, everyone thinks the media is against them, even National! Using media bias is a cop out and an excuse. At the moment Labour are just not good enough. The Greens seem to be able to do ok with it. Time for Labour to toughen up and stop deluding itself. There have been too many stuff ups recently. Cunliffe is starting to look like a novice, and not the person to put in charge of the country. That gaffe about Key’s house was just plain stupid. The policy release was bungled (probably with the help of others). The emailing of IT policy docs to Adams was incompetent. Worse, Cunliffe is beginning to look devious and if that tag sticks we can all wave good bye to the election. He badly needs high level media advice.
            Labour is supposed to be a team. To me the front rank has been missing in action.
            Just saying how it looks to me!

            • Arfamo


            • Chooky

              blather on Mr Pete ( cant resist one troll a day)…what you say is going to do zilch to the final 2014 Election outcome which will be a WIN for Cunliffe and the Left…


              (xxxxxx several million NZ voters )

              • Once was Pete

                Dear Chooky (can’t tell yet if your the headless variety) but trying to ‘put me down’ by labelling me as a troll doesn’t effect the issue at the moment, and that is that David Cunliffe is doing a very mediocre job. He has the disadvantage of being the 3rd leader after a once in a generation leader (Clark), but having said that a combination of inexperience, naivety, or deviousness (haven’t decided that yet myself) plus really poor advice has him floundering. And this latest misstep over power prices is just a further example.
                Remember that immediately after his appointment as leader he made quite a big deal about how he was going to take the fight to National. So far all he has managed to do is make himself look inept. He is also facing a very formidable adversary.
                Wishing it was otherwise doesn’t change reality.
                It might be time for a change, but we won’t get it this way.

                • Bearded Git

                  Cunliffe v Key

                  Who is smarter? Cunliffe
                  Who is more trustworthy? Cunliffe
                  Who has better policies for all New Zealanders (Not just the top 10%)? Cunliffe
                  Who will win the tv election debates? Cunliffe
                  Who is younger/fresher face for electors? Cunliffe
                  Who has a viable and ethical coalition partner? Cunliffe

                  I could go on but….

                  • JustLikeTigerWoods

                    Who is seriously deluded….BG

                    Your man is plummeting, on fire, head first into the terrain. The only option now for Labour now is to replace him to prevent catastrophe.

                    I hope they don’t. Cunliffe is National’s most effective MP.

                  • Blue

                    Who has his head in the sand?
                    A Bearded Git

                  • Chooky

                    +100 Bearded Git

                    ……..who looks best in his swimming togs?…CUNLIFFE!!!

                    …….anyone noticed John Key is looking old, grey and paunchy these days? …bet he doesnt look so hot in his swimming pool now….where is the Woman’s Weekly photographer now?

                    …Cunlife needs to put on his aviator sunglasses and strut his Steve McQueen persona …maybe at the beach or behind the wheel of a a racing car…lol…he is the new young dynamic leader lets face it! ( Key is a has been)

      • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 4.2.2

        +1 Karol, well said

  5. Jim Nald 5

    Hewwo, would it be possible to have “Weekend Social” up this weekend please?
    I’d like to post some spice recipes for various kinds of curry paste. That would provide some practical money-saving tips to share around here and for people to give feedback.

  6. Skinny 6

    Another National MP not coming back next term making it 16?

    In a bit of a twist, rather than abandoning the sinking ship, List MP Paul Foster-Bell valiantly tried staying on board. However he was mercilessly thrown overboard to either sink or swim. He is now left in shark infested waters and their circling the hapless sole. Left flounder out the back-door on the National Party list. He is a soon to be a goner, although he will be reincarnated somewhere down the track.

    Meanwhile how fitting a Doctor joins National. Snake oil and now
    quackery. Makes for a great hoarding sign. “National Building a Brighter Future”
    Using Snake-Oil & Quackery


    • aww!!..he’s brownlees’ mini-me..!

      ..big-gezza will be bereft..

      ..oh..!..the humanity..!

      ..phillip ure..

    • BM 6.2

      Once again some one with real skills entering parliament, good news for NZ..

      I could imagine how useful some one with Reti’s skills would be as health minister.

      Quackery?, are you accusing Shane Reti of fraudulent medical practices, do you have any proof?

      That’s quite a serious allegation to make.

      • Skinny 6.2.1

        Bit titchy this morning BM with the defamation talk. Tell me what has the good Quack done for economic development in the Northland Region? Nothing-zero, therefore his line in the paper shows him up as just another spin-doctor.

        • Disraeli Gladstone

          It did seem like you were attacking his medical capabilities with the line “quackery”. That’s how it read.

          • Skinny

            No wonder the Nact shrills are getting all flustered, here are are few gems;

             Dr Reti said “he was right of centre in his political leaning.” 
             “I also believe in reward for hard work, 
            which makes me right of centre.”

            So reading between the lines of what the spin doctor is saying would be;

            A third term National Government suits my neo-liberal agenda. I will kiss arse, process rapidly to Minister of Health. Being a Tory Maori I will get used as a battering ram, like Parata & Bennett to front bad policy.

             As a qualified bean-counter, which is ‘my real forte’ and certainly handy for when Key-National want to carve up ACC and privatise it by stelth, and line the pockets of our sponsoring Aussie rich mates. 

            I will strongly advocate for further tax cuts for the rich.

            Now here is a link to a real Doctor of integrity, dare I say, not another snake oil salesman like Dr Quack.


            • Chooky

              +100 Dr Lance O’Sullivan is a hero!…the rest of these right wing donkey jockie Dockys are Uncle Toms and deserve no respect imo…or rather they should be treated with the respect they deserve ….which is zilch….contempt

            • greywarbler

              What a great line Dr Reti. Where did you get this one?
              ”I also believe in reward for hard work, which makes me right of centre.”

              We all believe in reward for hard work, so I hope that you will notice where it is not being received by so many under this NACT government and stir your way through the muddy waters to get better ethical treatment to match your high minded words.

              This guy sounds so self-congratulatory. When you joined the Masons, and probably this is still the case, there were things to be learned and rituals to be gone through, and the formal ‘Apron’. Is there some induction course where these RWs get to learn these lines like the one above.

              It is painful to read after what has been on the site today about people working for four weeks for no or little pay, and those that get thrown out after another sixty days on whatever is the minimum employers get away with. And the way that the market doesn’t work for low wage carers. There is the demand for them but a shortage and yet the wages don’t go up as they should. Court action may act as a laxative here Dr Reti. The constipation of the residential care employers is proving debilitating for all affected.

        • TightyRighty

          what had shearer done for mt alberts economic development before he got parachuted in to lead the labour party?

    • millsy 6.3

      It is a pity that a doctor would want to stand for a party that wants to restrict access to health care.

      • bad12 6.3.1

        Lolz, National have certainly come up with some ‘novel’ ideas on just ‘how’ to ensure such restricted healthcare is ‘managed’ in a way that would create the least amount of ‘noise’ and therefor bad publicity,

        As part of Tony Ryall’s going away present more on this should become glaringly apparent at the end of the month,

        i would suggest that on the way out, the door is about to give Tony a biff in the head that may just rock everyone out of their comfort zone…

  7. cg 7

    5 things that should be a concern to every voter:

    1)Cunliffe is being harassed because of what was a human error that was dealt with in July last year.

    2)Judith Collins seems to have once again escaped any consequence for doing something that she shouldn’t – she interfered with the David Bain review & now she is getting away with endorsing a product made by a company her husband derives a salary from. How anyone can try & claim that is not a serious conflict of interest is beyond me.

    3)John Key – our Prime Minister & someone who is meant to be beyond reproach, to lead by example & set a standard of decency & common sense – has admitted to being friendly & in contact with Cameron Slater the guttersnipe host of WO – someone who has no qualms with saying the death of a car crash victim “did the world a favour”.

    4)Electricity prices have been going up by an average of 4% since National took office & NOW they are expected to increase by anywhere between 7% & a whopping 24%. Everyone seems more concerned with the increases that we experienced under Labour yet it was John Key who PROMISED to lower electricity prices. So how come everyone is rolling over and accepted 4% & saying that it is not as bad as labour’s average of 7%?

    5) Your nemesis Slater is claiming to have turned over a new leaf & is now apparently going to set a new standard of commentary on his blog, He claimed yesterday his blog is & will be of a higher calibre than this blog – despite knowing that your blog has only ever ridiculed right wing politicians & him, that it has never ridiculed innocent people such as car crash victims, overweight 10 year old boys & overweight Food Bank managers. WO has declared that his goal is to secure more revenue & have politicians write guest posts. Given he has been rude & offended pretty much all but 2 of the 120 MPs I am guessing this is going to be a difficult task to complete. Assuming of course our politicians have enough spine to refuse his so-called olive branch.

    Of course WO’s focus is on the readers rather than the tone he sets as the host…..something that seems to have escaped him in terms of why he is perceived the way he is.

    What is of a concern though is giving people & forums like WO any more oxygen will mean our politics will become even more of a joke than it already is. We will see more ridiculous stories about affairs & the personal lives of politicians & public figures rather than a focus on real issues, real policies & real things of concern. This will result in the voter becoming even more disconnected which means an even lower voter turn out & our democracy becoming like the USA & the butt of jokes in the western world.

    • ya hafta give gower some credit for pushing key on that one..

      ..(the collins conflict-of-interest..)

      ..and for donation transparency/hypocrisy..

      ..but aside from that..a ‘soft’ interview from gower..

      ..nothing on nothing much..

      ..now gomer-pyle impersonator craig is up..

      ..(and stoopid stoopid of the greens to refuse to go head to head with craig..

      ..they missed a chance to monster him..


      ..instead they give craig a solo-platform..

      ..who is ‘advising’ them..?..)

      ..phillip ure..

      • cg 7.1.1

        Yep, Gower was unusually soft – seems media works have become all buddy buddy with the govt for election year.

        “stooped stooped of the greens to refuse to go head to head with craig:

        Completely agree. I don’t agree with the Green’s social & fiscal policy platforms, but I do feel that they deserve far more kudos than what they get.

        I am not sure Norman’s statement about Craig was wise or perfectly formed, but there is enough evidence to prove that it was justified & far from defamation.

        And yes, you have to wonder why the media continue to give such an extremist any air time.

    • Sanctuary 7.2

      “…Your nemesis Slater is claiming to have turned over a new leaf & is now apparently going to set a new standard of commentary on his blog…”

      That will last as long as he sticks to his current medication.

      • felix 7.2.1

        Maybe. Or maybe he was given the hard word from on high that now that his sewerblog is on record as associated with the PM he had better fucking well watch it.

  8. Jenny Kirk 8

    The Local Government Commission has received 1865 submissions – the majority of them from Northland people opposing their draft proposal for a Unitary Authority for the whole of Northland.

    Over 300 of these submitters want to be heard at a public hearing – I don’t know if this is a record or not, but its taken the LGC by surprise obviously because they’re now having to re-schedule a whole lot more hearing meetings than originally intended.

    And I see in today’s Herald that a number of Mayors from around the country are getting together because they’re worried about the LGC putting up similar proposals for their regions.

    Can anyone tell me if things have improved for the residents of the whole of the Auckland region since Auckland Supercity was formed ?

    • karol 8.1

      It’s probably improved things for the relatively well off who are increasingly colonising the central areas of Auckland – and for the property developers and speculators. But it’s making things worse for those on lower incomes, increasingly marginalised in the outer areas of Auckland – having to deal with transport poverty, a weaker voice in council, etc

    • Sanctuary 8.2

      It should be remembered the supercity is still less than four years old and in addition to botching the new structure the actual merger was completely mismanaged by Rodney Hide and his cronies. When criticising Len Brown, people have little idea exactly how dire (to take one example) the IT situation was immediately after the merger or how terrible were the gaps in intellectual memory. The fact that no one noticed the chaos is a credit to the often maligned council and its employees.

      Even so, a lot has improved – although much of it is low profile, suburban newspaper story stuff. For example the local libraries have experienced an explosion of use as people realised they now have access to all the books in every library in the old cities via the interloan. Also, all the recent talk that Auckland has suddenly found it’s mojo as a place to be didn’t just happen miraculously. Much standardisation and centralisation has occurred and things like council run summer events (concerts, festivals, parades) are better organised and better attended than ever. That everyone has loved being in Auckland in January/February is as much due to the smooth running of the supercity’s part in things as any private promoter.

    • Skinny 8.3

      Good work bringing out submissions/submitters there Jenny. Credit where credit is due 🙂

  9. millsy 9

    Good on Shane Jones for having the guts to question the bi partisan consensus that cramming our unis and polytechs with international students is some how a “good” thing.

    I hope that this is followed through with a cap on international students and an explicit policy statement that our universites and polytechnics should be first and foremost, the education of New Zealanders.

    • Sanctuary 9.1

      It is a “good thing” because it allows the government to underfund our tertiary sector by prostituting it out on a pay-per-paper scheme to foreign students. Meanwhile, as our tertiary governance is being re-structured to better facilitate it being robbed by the usual suspects in our incompetent managerial class. And in return for their newly bloated salaries these new corporate managers are presiding over the collapse of the prestige of attending a New Zealand university:


      • Pasupial 9.1.1

        NZ Universities are also more prone to cheating as they increasingly become diploma mills for those who can afford the tuition fees:

        “The number of University of Otago students caught cheating and committing other dishonest practices increased by more than 50% last year… Of the 72 cases, 64 related to internal assessments, with the other eight involving cheating during exams.”


        If that’s how many were caught, then you have to wonder how many got away with it. “Students were usually caught by lecturers, who had access to software which could detect plagiarism, or when examination supervisors found unauthorised material during exams”. Which doesn’t seem to address those who could afford to get someone else (say a student who’d previously done the course) to take the exam for them. Sure; you have to have the right ID card with you, but the pics on those are notoriously small and fuzzy.

        I’ve heard (anecdotally) that the use of “tutors” who will write your essays for cash is increasing too. If they’re at all competent, then it’s hard to see how the plagiarism software would catch them out.

        • Sanctuary

          Yeah, four years ago I was offered money for an A+ assignment I did at Stage III.

          It used to be being caught cheating in an exam meant automatic expulsion. Nowadays, it just means being told off and made to resit a different exam.

        • Foreign Waka

          And thus the new elite is borne and the leaders of tomorrow. I have actually no confidence in the current situation in NZ, be it politically, legal and educational. This translates for me that NZ is slowly disintegrating into a tabloid story which has zero appeal and doing nothing to engage me and I suspect many others. I predict that the voter turnout will be the lowest this country has ever seen.

        • Murray Olsen

          There is also the problem that lecturers will report cheating and senior staff (at the Dean level) will refuse to accept any complaint. This has happened to me. In fact, I was told that the cheating was somehow my fault. Even when complaints are accepted and students get a tap on the wrist, their name is usually not made public.

          Students and ex-students also set up internet sites, including on Facebook, to sell old assignments. When lecturers try to do something, the administration again does nothing to back them up. The most important thing is the university’s reputation, which leads to them taking the same approach as the police do to complaints about officers. I ended up taking my own unofficial measures against cheating students.

          • RedLogix

            Personally I predict that rampant cheating will destroy the current University model within a decade.

    • BM 9.2

      Shane Jones is an idiot who’s just trying to get some traction with the moron voter demographic
      by banging the evil foreigner drum

      He doesn’t believe a word of what he’s saying.

      Shane should go join Winston First it seems to be more his type of party.

      • Sanctuary 9.2.1

        Wow, looks like he scored a direct hit.

      • newsense 9.2.2

        Actually have to agree with BM. As much as it pains me.
        This is nothing to do with education policy, but a major dog whistle to anyone from the rurals or suburbs who comes into Auckland and goes- “there’s too many Asians”

        Is Labour going to be happy with this blatant dog-whistling, Wisnton Peters type campaign?

        • felix

          Nah. Go talk to anyone who works in education. Ask them about “bums on seats”.

          Don’t get suckered into this fake racist outrage bullshit.

          • Skinny

            I note the shrill cry racist with what Jones is saying, however keep quiet and smile when Jones has a crack at his own tribe for not settling their Treaty claim. Jones is casting the net wide to capture as many votes as possible. Good boy Jones. I will choose to ignore him next time we are in the same room (maybe next week) I detest cunning lazy pricks, until they prove their worth to me. Btw he is nearly there.

          • newsense

            I’m just looking at Jones’ record of cheap shots and unuanced comments and this seems like another one.

            Jones isn’t saying that education is being hollowed out and feeble as we try and make it serve the purposes of a particular view of the state- he’s saying nod, nod, wink, wink that there are too many Asians in our unis.

            Labour party fail.

            • felix

              Is he? Or is he saying our education system should be focused on providing free education to NZers, and not run as an export business serving customers elsewhere?

              What did he say about Asians? Anything?

              Or is this just another example of shutting down discussion by accusing anyone who dares mention our national interests of a special kind of racism and xenophobia which can only be identified by a vibemeter?

              • Populuxe1

                Yessss. Some people seem to forget that New Zealanders themselves come in many flavours, including Chinese. The actual racism is assuming that it’s about race and not about not being NZ citizens – which consists of a bit more that just Pakeha and Maori. They never seem to worry that Maori might get crowded out of tertiary education, do they?

      • Populuxe1 9.2.3

        It primarily applies to restricted entry, limited seat courses like medicine. If you are a kiwi and can’t afford to study overseas, but want to be a doctor in your own country, it becomes extremely difficult to do so when many of those seats are occupied by foreign students who can afford to study overseas.
        Sadly there is a cretinous element who turns any questioning of protecting the interest of the citizenry (regardless of their race) as racist. It’s really stupid.

  10. Ergo Robertina 10

    Key skewered (and looking rattled) on the Nation this morning for hypocrisy over calling out Cunliffe on the TR trust, when National uses fundraising dinners to raise anonymous cash.

    • karol 10.1

      So I see on Twitter – perhaps will revise my judgement on gower & watch this interview…. pondering.

      Depends on how Gower reports it on the 6pm news.

      • cg 10.1.1

        ditto. Also did not know the Nats used their fundraising dinners as a way to raise anon cash).

        Never agreed with Key being a smile & wave, but I do think he is a smiling assassin in terms of transparency, keeping his word & running a clean office. He & his cabinet seem to be donkey deep in it – more so than any other govt & worse because he pretended to be different.

        • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)


          I suggest you read Nicky Hagar’s ‘The Hollow Men’ – it is all laid out in detail in that book including but not limited to the fundraising dinners… and the same players from then (2005 election) are still very much present in high positions in National (including Key).

          I have just finished rereading the chapter on their fundraising practices – which finishes by Hagar wondering why Labour got ‘done’ for something deviant re the electoral finance act and National didn’t – when they did the same thing and broke this act in plenty of other ways too.

      • phillip ure 10.1.2

        i said last week that this weeks’ interview would be a watershed for gower..

        ..and tho’ he got key rattled..and deserves credit for pushing that donations/collins stuff..

        ..for a longform-interview..there was nothing on bread and butter issues..

        ..nothing on poverty/inequality/3rd world diseases of poverty..etc..etc..

        ..and you can’t discount key getting ‘rattled’..because for so long he has had such an easy ride from the corporate/access-media..

        ..so just the very act of attempting to call him out on his bullshit…got him rattled..

        ..let’s hope the rest of that corporate/access-media saw/smelt that blood in the water..

        ..and will now start to ask key the questions that have gone so long unanswered..

        ..but all in all..gower did better than i had expected..(going on his/that adhd-attack-episode with cunnliffe..)

        ..the replay is worth watching..

        btw..w.t.f. has happened to politics/current affairs on tvone..?

        ..it is nearly halfway thru march..in a fucken election year..

        ..why the stunning-silences..?

        ..phillip ure..

      • Bearded Git 10.1.3

        Karol-I think this is because Cunliffe called his reporting “Scurrilous” on Morning Report this week. Maybe this has hit home and he is trying for a scintilla of balance.

        • karol

          OK. As, phil says, let’s see if the MSM starts focusing more on the important issues of policy, for Kiwis – not just stuff for the minority of political classes (aka “beltway”).

      • Skinny 10.1.4

        Will it be like last Week. I doubt it very much. Soft edit I’d say, prove us wrong Paddy!

  11. anker 11

    Yes Key didn’t look comfortable when asked about fund raising dinners, but notice how he slides it on to someone else in this case the President of the Nat Party.

    Re Fran O’Sullivans article in the Herald today she refers to DC as laundering the money through a secret trust account. This is surely liable less???? Laundering refers to money gained through criminal activity. Maybe Mr McCready needs to get hold of this.

    It’s absolutely disgraceful.http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=11215998

    • felix 11.1

      Key should be careful bringing Peter ‘more-fish-for-me-and-less-for-everyone-else-please-John’ Goodfellow and his finances into the debate.

  12. Not a PS Staffer 12

    10 out of 10 to Patrick Gower for his interview of John Key on The Nation this morning.

    • bad12 12.1

      Alfred E. Nuemann appears to be learning, albeit at a glacial pace, Gower must be made to understand that if He is to be seen as in any way ‘balanced’ then He must dish out the poison on both sides of the fence or better still just report ‘facts’,

      Perhaps the calls for the incoming Labour/Green Government to withdraw from TV3 and MediaWorks any and all NZ On Air funding has had wee Patrick re-examine His intent and content…

    • Skinny 12.2

      The Nation is for political junkies. It’s the corresponding 6.pm News, later day and tomorrow and the days after. For Labour it’s the dirty edit for Key it’s the dampened down version.

      However Gower and TV3 chiefs may have taken fright at complaints, threats of mass protests and boycotts of their 2nd revenue stream ‘advertisers’

      Ist revenue ( cash cow) being the Key-National Government.

  13. Conquestored 13

    Legalize Cannabis – Win elections, simple as that.

    • Bearded Git 13.1

      Ha ha but seriously Labour’s policy on reintroducing 10 year passports could glean enough votes to put them in the Beehive.

      • Conquestored 13.1.1

        Indeed a countries accessibility says a lot about it’s level of liberalism and freedom. We’re currently trying to bring over family members and the new bill to restrict sponsorship of elder family members will ensure that a whole part of the family won’t be able to come over.

        It’s not about experimenting though, we already have the examples set before us to know the outcome. Why win by a little when you can win by a huge margin and secure your lead as well as gain greater support of the people?

  14. Morrissey 14

    The BBC is supposed to be a public broadcaster
    It’s actually about as accountable, and serious, as Fox News

    If you, like many others, are concerned at the quality and integrity of the BBC, this disturbing email exchange will be enlightening.

    The arrogance, smugness and downright dishonesty of Jonathan Marcus is all too evident. Even worse, instead of engaging in a debate with Joe Emersberger, Jonathan Marcus peremptorily announces that he is not prepared to take it any further.

  15. Polish Pride 15

    In case you missed it, what could potentially be a major game changer took place on Whaleoil yesterday.
    New Rules were put in place. Rules that at the end of the day will raise the quality of the debate on Whaleoil. Those rules are to be strictly enforced. Information about them and the response from commentators can be found here.

    Why bother posting this here on the Standard I hear you ask. The reason is I see the Standard as historically the nicer and Left wing slanted equivalent of Whaleoil.
    I started out posting on Whaleoil offering a dissenting view. I was subject to all kinds of vitriol including one threat of physical attack on myself. But I am a big guy and have broad shoulders so whilst it kept others away I saw it as more of a challenge.
    It wasn’t until later on that I found the Standard and although there was a small baptism of fire it was at the time a breath of fresh air compared to what I had to experience on Whaleoil.

    Unfortunately it hasn’t stayed that way and I have noticed overtime that Whaleoil has lifted its game and the quality of debate significantly over the past year. The quality of debate has always and continues to be good on the Standard but there seems to have been an increase in ad-hominem and the use of swearing (including abbreviations which are just as bad) in order for commentators to get their point across. I only needed to go as far as todays open mike to find examples containing swearing or abbreviations for swearing. Like it or not in my view and I hope the views of many others it does nothing but serve to lower the tone and quality of the debate.

    If there are was a simple yet extreme way to describe the difference of R vs L wing politics to a lay person who had little to no interest in politics at all but wanted to know which side to vote for, I would say that those on the Left are interested in saving the world and ensuring that everyone is looked after whilst those on the right are more about every man for himself. So pick the side you want to be on and vote.
    My views are definitely more on the side of saving the world and ensuring everyone is looked after. I own a Business. I feel I need to put this out there and I am sure many reading will use this as a reason to dismiss what I have to say out of hand. I have no control over that and that is their choice. You should though before you do, know that I could get paid and choose not to. My wife works and makes enough to support us. At this point I’d rather give my staff a pay rise (and have many times) than pay myself. They need it more in my view.

    I accept that The Standard is not my blog and I am merely a guest here. I can appreciate that a lot of hard work and time goes into running a blog of this magnitude and do not want my comments to detract from the effort that LPrent and the other Mods put into running it. Yet there are reasons that Whaleoil in my view is a better site than the The Standard. These reasons actually have nothing at all to do with the posters on either site. It is to do with the format and the way posters of dissenting views are often treated by both other commentators and the Mods.

    First the format. The Standard is generally all about the issues with the exception of Weekend Social. I accept that this may very well be what you want it to be and that is your call. There are after all a lot of issues that need to be covered. But… The result is that it can be a negative place. Not intentionally I just think it comes with the territory of being focused on the political issues and things in our society that aren’t working and need to be addressed. Because of the negativity that comes with such an environment, I can’t come and contribute (through commenting) every day, it saps my energy to try and do so. Work commitments play a role in that for me too and I accept that there are those who can. There are regular commentators who provide good quality comments everyday. Felix, DTB, CV, Karol, Blue, McFlock and many others. Yes I get that it is a political blog but what is the point in having a political blog if your format could be detracting from helping you reach the hearts and minds of a much wider audience. If the purpose in your mind is simply a place to vent or to work through issues and nothing more then you can stop reading now as this post isn’t for you.

    So how is Whaleoil different and what in my view makes the format better and why…?

    Its not all about the issues on Whaleoil. Yes they deal with the issues from the R wing view point but only about half of the posts are about the issues. The other half of the items have nothing to do with the politics of day. The other half of items are either fun, thought provoking or something else. I get that at this point many of you will be thinking that piss off back to Whaleoil if that’s how I feel. But bear with me there is a point to this and it is for the benefit of the Standard the commenters and ultimately ensuring that the goals of the left in ensuring people are looked after can have the best shot at being realized.

    The items on Whaleoil that are about fun or points of interest. Daily proverb, face of the day(although can sometimes be political) daily trivia, map of the day, photo of the day. There are also a number of other items, viral videos and other items of interest that have nothing to do with Politics in NZ. Sure sometimes these items of interest will still support their political point of view but the key is that they are interesting and thought provoking whether or not you agree with them.
    It is these other items that keep me going back to WO. I will often at the very least check the daily trivia. It is that point I will often scan the other item titles and if I see something that interests me. If there is, I will then look at the comments, at that point if something riles me or I see a comment of interest I will reply.
    The point is it is not the political commentary that keeps me going back but the other items of interest and they often lead to me looking at political items and commenting on them. I know that from the comments of others that I am not alone in this.

    The importance of blogs and their influence is only going to increase. More and more people are becoming disenfranchised with mainstream media and more and more will find blogs and begin reading and commenting as they do. After all a blog enables you to put your point of view forward and political blogs make you feel like your voice is heard more than any other political medium or avenue. They really are a magnificent way to get people interested in and engaged in politics.

    There is and always has been a battle for the hearts and minds of voters from both the left and the right wings of the political spectrum. Blogs are going to play an ever increasing role in that and in getting the message out there. But not everyone is as into politics as many of the commenters on here are and perhaps it is time to look at whether any changes to the format are needed if it is your goal to get the political issues and messages you have out to a wider audience. This is your call not mine. At this point I am sure many will be saying that if that’s the way I feel I should fark off and start my own blog. Sorry have neither the time nor energy nor the inclination to do this.

    Many will think I am a loon for writing this and will dismiss the potential influence of Whaleoil out of hand. You need to know it is not the same blog it was even as recent as 18 months ago, it has gone through and is still going through what for the blog can almost be described as a paradigm shift. What I want you to understand is that the transition Whaleoil is going through is positioned itself well to appeal to a much much wider audience from all walks than it has been able to appeal to prior to this. This is more hearts and minds that the views and policies of the right will reach. With the goals most on here want to see achieved in our society, the last thing you should do in my view is to dismiss this. As I said before I am in business. My business is successful and it is a brand that most of you will like and respect a great deal. The reason my business is successful is that I never dismiss the competition no matter how big or how small. I am always looking for opportunities to evolve and improve the product/service I provide. The reason my business is still here and growing is that my competitors (much bigger companies than mine) did dismiss me. So stop for a second and ask yourself if the Right has a mechanism that as it continues to grow enables it to get its message out to more and more of the voting public and in an election year what does that mean? Draw your own conclusions on this one.

    The other key is Brand recognition. The Standard has the market (sorry not the best term) for the bogisphere view from the Left. It has the opportunity to attract more of the voting public to it and as such enable them to understand more of the goals of the left and contribute to the best way of achieving them. But that may not be what you want to be about. If not then if things keep heading in the direction that they are well then you will need to rely on things getting a lot worse before people start searching for alternatives in my view.

    A few last points The dissenting view on a blog should be cherished, welcomed, and engaged with respect. Why? It makes for interesting reading and will help retain newcomers to the blog. Others who are not necessarily interested in politics……yet. I have seen dissenting views attacked with a vitriol to a point that makes me simply not want to bother commenting on The Standard. I have also seen Mods including Lprent treat a dissenting view with a much shorter leash than those espousing the views of the left and it isn’t healthy for debate, nor is it healthy longer term for democracy. Given what little democracy we have left these days it might be worth considering. Food for thought perhaps.

    I am good at is seeing the bigger picture often long before others. The thing I am not good at is communicating as effectively as I need to through the written word. I hope I have here and I hope you can see the intention behind this. If not DTB is often able to translate what it is that I am meaning to say…

    LPRENT I’d encourage you to take a look at love marks by Kevin Roberts many of its concepts will apply to the Standard especially if you decide to look at any major changes and could help in thinking about any transition should you determine that where the blog is now is not quite where you want it to be.

    Lastly this is merely my opinion and I have posted it here to well do with what you will. That is all of you. Peace.

    • mickysavage 15.1

      Thanks Polish Pride. Worthy of a guest post.

      • JustLikeTigerWoods 15.1.1

        PP makes a lot of sense.

        This blog is insular. It’s an echo chamber for the left. Views that stray from the orthodoxy are typically met with personal abuse, ganging up and bullying.

        That’s fine if that’s what you want, but a better model would be more inclusive. That’s what Whaleoil is doing – not necessarily of the left, but of people on the fringes who are only “a little” interested in politics, “some of the time”.

        Your 800K non-vote reside in that space.

        Slater gets that. I’m not sure you do.

        • Pasupial


          You seem to fundamentally misunderstand the purpose of this site. LPrent says it best in 15.7, (though at considerable length). Rather than an island, or an echo-chamber it’s more like; a biathlon skifield for “cross-country arguments between different ideas on the left” with stray bullets taking out careless spectators now and then.

          Criticising TS for not being as entertaining as WO or TDB is like complaining that you don’t get HD video on a radio broadcast.

          • Foreign Waka

            Pasupial, this is not what I feel this site is – not at all. If it is published so that people (like me) can comment, guest are invited so to speak. Therefore, it stands to reason that comments and point of views can be made according to ones conviction as long as these are within acceptable standards (no pun intended). Any such debate is healthy and should convince by reasoning and not emotions.
            If however, this site is only meant for labor party assignees than this should be made clear by changing the title or sub to The Standard – debating forum from and by labor party members.

            • Pasupial


              You can comment as much as you want, others aren’t compelled to agree with you. Generally, I avoid profanity; mostly because it distracts from the discussion, and anyway, just seems weird and stilted to type that someone is a “Fuckin’ Scumbag” or similar (it works better verbally, where at least the tone of voice carries some information).

              In retrospect, the biathlon metaphor is a bit strained. It was just an image that came to mind when I read LPrent’s “cross-country arguments” line. To clarify; I see the commentors standing side by side seeking to hit the target of truth after a long slog through a frozen wasteland, rather than some gunfight scenario.

              I’m a Green Party member myself, so have a somewhat distant interest in what the Labour Party are up to; mainly as our likely coalition partner in the next government of Aotearoa NZ. As far as a subtitle goes, if you put your cursor over the tab for TS you’ll see; “The Standard – The New Zealand voice of the labour movement”. That seems to constitute fair notice, but there’s always the About at the top of the page if you’re feeling confused.

              • Foreign Waka

                Your first sentence is indicating that I seek agreement – well, I don’t, I have stated my position. Swearing is a helpless tool to express what these social small talk formats cannot provide. That’s OK as long as it is not used like a personal attack. We all need a relief of pressure sometimes.
                I am a green voter too but I feel that labor is not looking at the wider political landscape when the set themselves up for slam dunks.
                What I refer to my comments of the subtitle is the understanding that if you open the door you will have to accept comments that may not fit with the agenda. I find this a brilliant thing, absolutely! Its like a club tat allows opposite views, imagine a real live democracy 🙂

            • Murray Olsen

              I doubt very much if more than half the commentators here are Labour Party members. At least half my comments would be critical of Labour, but when I am, I try to put forward an alternative, even if I don’t flesh out the details. I try not to mouth slogans such as TINA, or the other simplistic rubbish righties come up with.

              Personally, I get my daily trivia elsewhere. I don’t look for it here. I look for political debate and information. Apart from some of the harsh personal stuff that breaks out sometimes, I’m pretty happy with this blog. I’m not at all convinced that this blog should, or that WhaleSpew does, aim at the non voters.

              If BlubberBoy has lifted his game, I suspect it’s more in a belated effort to convince a judge that he’s a journalist. I think he’s about as keen to name his sources and have it made public how he came up with the pizza stuff as Key is to put photos of his fundraising dinners on his facebook page. Call me an old cynic if you like, but oil slicks don’t even have spots to change.

          • JustLikeTigerWoods

            Like I said, it’s an echo chamber.

            It’s symptomatic of the problem with the modern Labour movement. They spend most of their time looking inwards. The petty internal squabbles about slightly different shades of red. That’s why you’re not connecting with the 800K.

            The people of NZ have moved on from ideological politics. It’s all so 1970s and student-y.

    • idlegus 15.2

      comedy gold, thanks for the laugh!

    • w.t.f..!

      ..phillip ure..

    • felix 15.4

      Thought provoking, Polish Pride. Thanks for your insights.

    • unsol 15.5

      PP I had wondered whether you saw yesterday’s post…!

      You put an interesting case forward & make some good points regarding the format of WO vs here, but only in terms of being user friendly. Content – well it depends on what you are after….superficial dribble or something that actually tries to live up to its terms of reference (daily trivia & viral videos hardly fall in with WO’s vision of being “New Zealand’s number one news and information blog site where Cam Slater critically analyses politics and current affairs”!).

      But the key thing you seem to miss is that commentators will be commentators. The new found class that seems to have appeared on WO will be short-lived. Most of the old regulars have departed – either left or banned – so the majority are all newcomers post the Len Brown affair & have yet to form the same level of attachment & familiarity. But once they do the tiptoeing around on eggshells will cease & the same ole same ole will happen. Already yesterday I saw a bit of dissent, the daring to step away from the party line & Pete the sensitive petal was all over it like a dog on heat.

      The reason being is people are people. If there is an opportunity to make a snarky dig behind the safety of ones keyboard, most will take it….especially if the topic is particularly contentious (west coast car crash victims, Len Brown, same sex marriage, religion etc).

      The only reason why Cameron’s blog is the most popular, why he is now a ‘brand’ is become it thrives on mud-flinging, pulling people down, ridiculing, making a mockery of others so commentators can feel better about their sad, pathetic, inadequate lives. Have a look at what has made his blog popular – just look at the key themes over the past 9 years & you will see a pattern, a rather ugly one.

      But popularly gained via the denigration & ridicule of others always has a use by date so that is why he is trying to lift his game. He wants to be taken seriously so he can get more revenue & be seen as a genuine bona fide political medium. Aint gonna happen. He has more chance of being elected as a local councillor or making the Truth a viable paper (& look at how well that turned out!)…..in order to be taken as something other than the occasionally useful hot-headed fool he will have to at the very least, apologise to all those he has offended & takes back posts like the one about the West Coast man. This will not happen so WO will continue to be the venomous pit it has always been – primarily because in order to demand a standard you have to meet it yourself; nothing like blatant hypocrisy to garner a bit of unity & Cameron is all hypocrisy, zero credibility.

      So no, WO isn’t popular because of it’s trivial format – in fact, if you look at most of the comments & look at past observations by his 2IC Pete & ex mod Travis, most of those posts don’t even get a look in. There are there to generate traffic so that anytime anyone googles anything on any given subject WO has more chance of popping up on the first page.

      It is popular because people naturally love to pick on the underdog; in the old days it used to be the romans watching the christians get eaten by lions & nowadays it is the entertainment provided by online guttersnipes like Cameron.

      But remember negativity & ridicule never foster positive change & parasitic wasps always eat their own. Eventually.

    • fender 15.6

      Interesting, I only sped through it and will return to it for another read but a couple of things made me scratch my head…

      -The proverbs at WO stink of hypocrisy considering the polar opposite way Slater behaves and treats people.

      -Some of the people you name here who you enjoy comments from (and I agree, they are commenters I like too) often use swear words you say you dislike.

    • lprent 15.7

      I probably noticed many of the changes at Whaleoil well before you did.

      The basic difference is that we’re working people (or living in agony on a sickness benefit) who happen to blog in whatever free time we have available. For instance I’m working 50-80 hours per week to get another startup exporter profitable.

      Whereas Cameron Slater is an unemployable who is trying to make a living for himself and his family out of blogging.

      Because he is unemployable, he has the time to find and pump large amounts of clickbait. Those are the kinds of hours that I know none of the authors here can spare for an activity outside of family and work. But to achieve the kinds of levels of advertising revenue required, he needs to get a lot of readers. So he is moving from blogging about politics to blogging for clicks and page views.

      It was inevitable that he’d start chasing audiences who aren’t interested in politics. There are hell of a lot more of them and they’re easier to attract than the small number of people in NZ with a grasp on local politics. There are even more outside NZ. These days I suspect that the majority of his audience is from outside NZ because I’ve watched him using increasing amounts of search engine optimization techniques to draw those overseas audience. It isn’t hard to build an audience, but you do have to dilute whatever you want to talk about to whatever people are interested in reading.

      However if you’ve read our about, you’ll be aware that we’re interested in talking to and with a quite specific audience and those are people in and around the labour movement. If others happen to want to read what we write then that is fine with us and a lot do.

      If they wish to join the 5-10% who comment, then there are some rules. They must not try to disrupt debate that is done on the topics that our authors choose to talk about – which is what the site is here for. If they want to raise their own topics then there is OpenMike.

      However the standard of debate was defined originally to be “robust”. That was so people could say what they thought provided it was within the context of the post and they were respectful of the person of the author who’d taken the time and effort to write it. Moderators don’t care much about swearing, personal attacks between commenters, etc provided that they carry an actual point of debate and/or disagreement. Those are all within the bounds of what the site was designed to provide.

      People who want a different standard of discussion in comments could go to sites like Public Address, Pundit, The Daily Blog, etc all of which provide for different levels of debate in their moderation styles and they frequently do. Our robust debate is not for everyones taste.

      However it is very effective at getting issues thrashed out so everyone knows exactly where others sit on any particular issue and to do it fast. It is meant to operate and does operate to break down intellectual silos in the broad labour movement of the left and to trash out issues in a public forum. That was the design.

      You’ll notice that with few exceptions we don’t have large amounts of criticism from the left for this either on this site or on others. Just from a few people like John Pagani who I suspect have a basic problem with uncontrolled (by him) debate. I suspect that many on the left at various times feel threatened or uncomfortable with the debate happening here. I also suspect that if we weren’t here then we’d have to be reinvented to allow cross-country arguments between different ideas on the left.

      That is why there is an asymmetry in the moderation style. Generally those on the left/labour/green movements want to have a site like writing about topics on the left that aren’t covered in mainstream media. It’d be fair to say that the majority of those who incur the wrath of moderators are from the right and who’d prefer that the site didn’t write on the topics that it does. It shows in their behaviour which is what we moderate on.

      Since we got rid of the narcissistic flamewar trolls, something like three quarters of all moderator interventions are for people attempting diversions inside authored posts away from the topic that the author wrote about. Most of the rest are to do with attempts to attack authors personally. A few are to do with people trying to order us to change how we run the blog (BTW: I appreciate that you have taken effort to avoid that).

      In some ways I tend to view them as being an accolade to us doing the task that we intended. We’re not here to make those on the right in NZ comfortable. We’re here to provide a discussion area for the far flung areas of the labour movement in NZ that started in the 19th century and have been making those with a right wing authoritarian hierarchical bent uncomfortable ever since.

      If I’d wanted to help make clickbait site of the type you’re suggesting we should try to do, then I’d have formed a company at the onset like any of the other many startups I’ve worked at over the last 20 years. We’d have raised some capital and bootstrapped it up. Hopefully you’ll now see why we aren’t likely to head in that direction. This isn’t a commercial project trying to make a profit. It is an ordered argument for the labour movement.

      • unsol 15.7.1

        “Because he is unemployable, he has the time to find and pump large amounts of clickbait. Those are the kinds of hours that I know none of the authors here can spare for an activity outside of family and work. But to achieve the kinds of levels of advertising revenue required, he needs to get a lot of readers. So he is moving from blogging about politics to blogging for clicks and page views.”

        That is it in a nutshell isn’t it? The pproblem is Cameron seems to think that he is going to be able to get politicians – presumably not just his friends, but also those he has mocked – write guest posts.

        If they do – from far left to far right – then doesn’t that make his blog much more than a click whore?

        And if so, does it concern you? He, like Colin Craig, is getting publicity for all the wrong reasons, but it is still publicity which, for advertisers, can mean viable revenue if the politicians decide to give him the validity he so desperately craves.

        And what then of NZ politics? I disagree with PP’s (or coffee connoisseur as he prefers to be called on Whale Oil these days) suggestion that trivial crap is the way forward, but let’s face it, all left wing blogs & even Kiwiblog are lagging way behind & have been for a long time in terms of ratings & brand. Further, despite being unemployable & by all accounts a very unlikeable & what I consider to be a morally vacuous man, Cameron may end up having the last laugh as he moves from being the mainstream story to the source.

        So perhaps his change about face is a good incentive to have a rethink about this blog’s direction.

        Like you say, it was set up to thrash the whys & wherefores post 2008 when Labour was not interested in any self-analysis, but that was 6 years ago.

        Perhaps this blog could still maintain its original mandate but extend it further, reach the silent majority, the mass swing vote, the under 24s & low income, the 800K or so non vote (as someone referred to above) so that Labour is seen as connected & relevant to all facets of society, so that people like Cameron are seen as extremist & not representative of what most NZ voters want.

        Just food for thought…

        • lprent

          Ah you have rather completely missed the point of my comment (perhaps you have a problem concentrating). I will write it in a shorter format

          The general target for this site isn’t populist. It is for the political activists, journalists, and politicians. By and large, the same applies to KB and number of other blogs.

          The focus for Whaleoil is his wanking great ego and a need for income.

          If we followed his ‘lead’, then we’d have to diminish our effect in our current audience.

          Personally I’m rather glad that he is abandoning his “army’ for the the pursuit of income.

    • Ergo Robertina 15.8

      The Daily Blog is more multi-media, with political pop culture posts, reviews of political films and so on. So I think of that as more of a counter to WO.
      I like the Standard’s crisp and clear format, and its focus on issues. I would like to see a bit more economic analysis, perhaps from people who have skills at breaking down complex issues.
      I agree with you dissenting views are fine, especially if they are well argued. Commenters who urge others not to engage with trolls are actually engaging in a bit of trollery themselves, in my view.
      I think the site has become a bit moribund. I’m not sure why, but my guess is that one of the Standard’s (unofficial) roles was as a platform to discuss where Labour went post-2008. It hosted a debate, which, sadly, few Labour MPs wanted, because they have no wish to evaluate Labour’s intellectual colonisation. Now it feels like that debate has been held, Cunliffe is leader, but no-one’s quite sure whether to give him the benefit of the doubt, or whether to continue to critique Labour in the same fashion.

      • lprent 15.8.1

        I think the site has become a bit moribund. I’m not sure why..

        It is more basic than that. At the end of the year before an election we usually have a bit of a shakeup in authors. That is when they decide if they want to focus their campaigning efforts here or elsewhere.

        Plus they usually have a comprehensive holiday. Anyone who has been involved in the 8-9 month long NZ campaign season knows that it is bloody difficult dividing time between work and being politically active – family gets crushed in there somewhere. So you usually have a damn good holiday with family and friends. If you’re like me, you’d usually also organise a lighter workload for the year ahead.

        We saw this same slowdown happen at the start of 2008, 2011, and now 2014 and the end of the preceeding year. The number of posts drops a bit and there is a change of authors. It picks up in March/April.

        I would like to see a bit more economic analysis, perhaps from people who have skills at breaking down complex issues.

        That depends on what authors skills are. There have been a number of authors with that focus on digging into the treasury and stats reports over the years. Sadly fewer now. Anyone want to put up their hand for a gig of it this year..

      • karol 15.8.2

        This blog isn’t just about the Labour Party – it’s about the broader labour movement/left & incorporates people who vote for Mana and/or the Greens.

        • lprent

          And that as well.

          It has tended to focus on the Labour party quite a lot after the 2011 election. But that is mostly because they’re the largest party of the left and have the biggest underlying issues in who and what they are.

          With the Green party and even the Mana party, those issues are at nearly the same severity.

          • Ergo Robertina

            Yep, that’s understood, re the role of the site, which was what I meant by ‘unofficial’.
            BTW thanks for your reply a couple of comments above; I’m appreciative of the time you and others put in here to keep the site rolling every day.

      • greywarbler 15.8.3

        I suggest when thinking about trials and how much control there should be, it would be a good idea to think of a garden with weeds getting out of hand. The trials might be okay in another place but a useless weed when they smother the threads. It’s better to have a smaller number than endless repetitive whining and stirring.

    • Ad 15.9

      You are not a loon, you should keep writing here, and it’s great you see this site as a brand to be nurtured.

      You will see from LPrent’s reply that he and the other founders are resolutely clear about the kind of market space that they occupy, and that it is not likely to change.

      What you are pointing out however is that Whaleoil is flourishing and gaining greater market share of the overall media market, both the online and MSM kinds put together. I do respect his success in that. The Standard is not in my view seeking to compete with Whaleoil.

      People will visit this site, and possibly comment, for different reasons to the Whaleoil market:

      • The Standard’s length and quality of the posts is generally more thoughtful, and usually has multiple sources.
      • The Standard’s degree of moderation is generally higher and more persistent, and generates a more civil tone. Unlike Whaleoil, it is not always seeking outrage or belly laughs as its emotional default.

      • The Standard’s niche is more akin to a specialist newspaper similar to The Guardian, whereas Whaleoil is going directly for the talkback radio audience

      I believe that there is a broader family of blogs and websites of reasonable popularity that favour the progressive end of politics. The DailyBlog and TransportBlog are but two of a broad spectrum now. So there is no market driver to take on Whaleoil head to head, like The Daily Telegraph vs The Mirror or suchlike.

      Personally I think that you are right that there is market space for a more populist progressive site. I also prefer Wheloil to this site for its Video of the Day features, and I think even a progressive site needs a bit more sugar on its porridge.

      As for who would have the inclination to fund and staff a populist progressive site, well that’s well explained by LPrent re the time people have available. That broad populist site will never be The Standard, but that doesn’t obviate your point about the need for one.

      • lprent 15.9.1

        I also prefer Wheloil to this site for its Video of the Day features, and I think even a progressive site needs a bit more sugar on its porridge.

        That broad populist site will never be The Standard, but that doesn’t obviate your point about the need for one.

        I think that is where The Daily Blog may be heading / being driven / being pulled. It has the characteristics because it is being driven more by media people and journalists than citizen bloggers and they are ultimately looking to make money off it. While Cameron is more of a “waanabe seen as a journalist” than one who takes the responsibilities of being one. He is in the media attention craving mindset and wants to make a living off it. I think that TDB is in the same position whether they realise it or not.

        The underlying end imperative for both sites is to keep growing outside of NZ, drop their NZ focus levels, and to head out into satisfying wider audience. It is pretty damn hard to build a scale model of a Huffington post type operation with its emphasis on political and social analysis when you have a population of 4 and bit million. You can however build a shallower clickfest for a local and/or international audience with a left or right lean pretty easily.

        Blogs like Transport Blog, No Right Turn, this site, and even Kiwiblog have any particular imperative to grow that way. We all have interests outside of the cloistered and deeply unsatisfying media world (always amusing talking to journos and realising that they don’t really grasp that), and this is more of a hobby than than a vocation.

        • Ad

          I hope you are right about The Daily Blog, but it comes down to the leadership and commercial acumen of Mr Bradbury who is a bad combination of bombast, hard left, and spectacularly naive as evidenced by his dealings with Mr DotCom. Personally I am more pessimistic about TDB.

          Agree about the domestic focus of most sites. But in terms of it being a hobby not a vocation, I am certainly aware of authors here who have three screens + tablet + cellphone operating simultaneously, and running a business. Regrettably authors such as those take far more of the weight of posting when others reshuffle their lives – and at no small personal cost.

          The questions of ‘whether such a situation ought to change’ and ‘whether such change is possible from human resource available’ are entirely separate.

          • lprent

            But in terms of it being a hobby not a vocation, I am certainly aware of authors here who have three screens + tablet + cellphone operating simultaneously, and running a business

            grin I’m at work now with the build system offline for robustness upgrades before we release the next major upgrades next week. I’m also writing new systems to remove the manual parts of the that build system that I can’t test until the build system RAID is done. So I’m fixing build issues on the windows and mac side.

            I have 5 screens running on 4 computers (workstation, build, windows laptop, apple laptop) + tablet (book) + cellphone. Those runs take some time to complete….

            • Skinny

              Wow and I thought I was doing it tough on a phone. I have the others but prefer to use ph on the run, more productive with my time.

        • karol

          I’m happy to leave TDB to cover more broader entertainment stuff. I am not interested in that side of it as much as the political posts there.

          As I see it, the main strength of this site, compared with other left blogs, is the discussion. It can get a bit raucus, but there is a value in a bit of creative chaos. Mostly the moderators like Lynn keep an excellent balance between banning, deleting and allowing the discussion to flow. I don’t know how the main moderators manage to keep it up over time, and manage a full time job.

          This enables a reasonable amount of people to participate. Some people do best at producing one-liners, others have the time and motivation for more in depth analysis. All make a contribution to the overall flow.

          For me, the main difference between the likes of WO and KB and left blogs, is the blatant and often very nasty misogyny, homophobia and racism, etc. That is why I rarely go to them. They don’t seem like very women-friendly spaces to me.

          Also, I think that the right has a strong track record of diverting people from the main issues, and soft selling right wing values through entertainment – it’s what happens too often in the infotainment mainstream media.

          • Pasupial


            I mostly agree with your comment, but:

            “For me, the main difference between the likes of WO and KB and left blogs, is the blatant and often very nasty misogyny, homophobia and racism, etc”. Implies that men are okay with all that shit. I rarely go near them myself (and then feel a pressing need to shower afterwards).

            Perhaps better to say: “They don’t seem like very human-friendly spaces to me”.

        • Polish Pride

          “I think that is where The Daily Blog may be heading / being driven / being pulled. It has the characteristics because it is being driven more by media people and journalists than citizen bloggers ”

          Unfortunately for The Daily Blog, they won’t be able to do it in my view. There is a growing distrust in those associated or who have been associated with Mainstream Media. They often don’t appear to write the full story. Likewise the blog could never be Red Alert. It would need to have a quality level of discourse and be genuinely independent by all involved in running it (from both MSM and politicians). Otherwise it just won’t have the credibility required. It needs to be run by citizens with the views on the left for citizens.

          • Ergo Robertina

            I just had a look at Red Alert; its last post was February 14, and there is no post about Best Start, and little to no content about any of the big news stories in 2014. It seems there is little effort going into the site, but even when it had more posts and traffic, it was bland and banal.
            It is a little sad MPs don’t seem able to write interesting or thought provoking articles that inspire debate and argument.

          • unsol

            “There is a growing distrust in those associated or who have been associated with Mainstream Media”

            More so than a blogger who is associated with porno film makers & close ties to senior cabinet ministers?

            “They often don’t appear to write the full story” which implies you assume WO does.

            All news is manufactured; what makes it palatable is the tone & how it aligns with ones own views.

            If TDB goes down the same path as WO then no doubt they will procure higher ratings too; substance is never a draw card for page clicks.

            The question is though, what on earth changed you from being objective, an either side of the fence kind RBE of guy to WO latest blind follower? The PP I knew would never have even considered placing advertising on his site!!!

    • Morrissey 15.10

      It takes a fair degree of chutzpah to upbraid an online community about occasional swearing—and then to cite WHALEOIL as an exemplar of higher standards! So, right from the beginning of that ludicrous post, this “Polish Pride” was going to be struggling to be taken seriously by anyone with an IQ above an ACT voters’. There will of course be some that bend over backwards to find something positive to say about virtually anyone—essentially decent folk like Mickey Savage, who is such a nice guy that he was even prepared to treat Matthew Hooton as serious when he posted up a ludicrously insincere mock-tribute to Nelson Mandela in December. And I see that dear old “felix” has offered a kind word—no doubt being praised for offering “good quality comments everyday” helped with the generosity in this case.

      The worst of Polish Pride’s abysmal little lecture, however, is saved for the penultimate paragraph….

      …. I’d encourage you to take a look at love marks by Kevin Roberts…

      Kevin Roberts? The advertising halfwit? The one who reckoned we should send SAS troops to Ground Zero in New York to dance a haka on the smoking ruins because the publicity would have been priceless? Either this “Polish Pride” has the most wicked sense of humour in New Zealand or he/she is particularly stupid, even, perhaps, a cretin.

      By the way, anybody who wants to find out more about the dismal Kevin Roberts, who is without a doubt “un cretino con lampi di imbecillità” might like to read the following critique by this writer, i.e. moi….

      • felix 15.10.1

        Don’t worry moz, no-one expected you to comprehend a word of it.

          • felix

            Ok moz, let’s start at the start.

            It takes a fair degree of chutzpah to upbraid an online community about occasional swearing—and then to cite WHALEOIL as an exemplar of higher standards

            Citation required. Please quote Polish Pride – verbatim – “cite[ing] WHALEOIL as an exemplar of higher standards” in relation to “occasional swearing” at The Standard.

            No fucking around please I don’t have all day.

            • Morrissey

              You obviously didn’t read the piece. I did. Maybe you scanned it for your own name? I do that too!

              But seriously, my friend: READ IT! He upbraids us—i.e. me, you, Te Reo, McFuck, in fact the lot of us—for being not quite as good as…the genii who contribute to WHALEOIL. Obviously you missed that.

              READ IT!

              • McFlock

                We can’t read what’s on the inside of your eyelids, we can only read what was actually written.

                I think it was a bit long, and gave blogs a bit more importance than they really have, and was essentially an argument against specialisation (whereas I think specialisation is a strength of the web). But nothing to get your knickers in a twist over.

                • Morrissey

                  We can’t read what’s on the inside of your eyelids, we can only read what was actually written.

                  Unless you are terminally stupid or terminally blind, you will have noticed the following remarkably delusional and/or dishonest passages in our Polish friend’s dire attempt…..

                  Exhibit No. 1: “In case you missed it, what could potentially be a major game changer took place on Whaleoil yesterday. New Rules were put in place. Rules that at the end of the day will raise the quality of the debate on Whaleoil. Those rules are to be strictly enforced.”

                  Exhibit No. 2: “I see the Standard as historically the nicer and Left wing slanted equivalent of Whaleoil.”

                  Exhibit No. 3: “Whaleoil has lifted its game and the quality of debate significantly over the past year.”

                  Exhibit No. 4: “Whaleoil has lifted its game and the quality of debate significantly over the past year.”

                  Now, even you and your sad little acolyte “felix”, despite all your ideologically driven determination to smear and distort whatever I say, cannot deny that Polish Pride wrote exactly those words, all praising Whaleoil and having a go at this blog, and that they were not written on the inside of my eyelids, but were written in his turgid sub-sophomoric essay.

                  Word of advice: If you’re going to lie, you have to be clever. You’re not clever. So lying is not working for you. You need to change the game-plan, my friend.

                  • Morrissey

                    Whoopsy daisy! Eagle-eyed readers as well as nasty captious naysayers like “felix” and McFlock will have noticed that my Exhibit No. 4 is exactly the same as Exhibit No. 3!!!!

                    What a right charlie I am!

                    This means that our naysaying friends have been dealt three crippling blows to their credibility in that post, not four.

                    They can breathe a little easier, perhaps….

              • felix

                The quote please moz. Hurry up.

                • Morrissey

                  See my reply to your superior McFlock, written at 8:17. I’ve provided you FOUR quotes from that dismal essay, so you have no grounds at all to squeal.

                  The advice I proffer to our good friend applies of course to you as well, felix.

                  • felix

                    And none of those quotes say anything like what you claimed, which was that Polish Pride said Whaleoil’s standards are higher than The Standard’s standards.

                    You’ve misread, misinterpreted, and misrepresented what Polish Pride said.

                    As. Per. Usual.

                    • Morrissey

                      Your dismal tactics as well as your fundamental dishonesty could not be more clearly laid out for everyone to see. You are an embarrassment, not least to yourself.

                    • felix

                      Yawn. You’re right, it’s all there for everyone to see. Goodnight.

                    • sockpuppet

                      I don’t know why you bother trying to educate these sad individuals Morrissey, once they’ve decided to hate someone that is it.

                    • felix


                      In the parlance of 4chan, “samefag”

                    • Skinny

                      Felix I missed the Nation been out and about enjoying the sun & surf fishing, will catch the replay of the Nation tomorrow. I read your post about the slack tech problems at tv3, that link still wasn’t working when I looked. How was the 6.pm edit coverage of Slippery John’s interview?

                      Nathan Guy, Goodfellow and Key-National’s name is mud talking to fellow boaties, they are incensed about the lower of our catch. The new Nat quota makes it cheaper to buy fish at the supermarket once you add up the costs. Vote slippage galore 🙂

                    • felix

                      Well that’s the funny thing, Skinny. The news edit (unflattering to Key) has been online for a couple of hours here: http://www.3news.co.nz/Key-tricky-with-donation-dinner-details/tabid/1607/articleID/335103/Default.aspx

                      …but still no sign of the full interview from this morning.

                      Tech issues, they say…

                    • Skinny

                      Tech issues my arse, more like being understaffed, the cost and hassle of rendering it.

  16. Ray 16

    Geez phil, was it a soft interview or was the PM rattled make up your mind
    Just in case you need help Bomber claims he was smashed

  17. drongo 17


    I wish to express my dismay and disgust at the tone of your political coverage.

    I find it astounding that your political reporters continue to find fault with Labour Party politicians, while almost completely ignoring all of the terrible things being done by National. What exactly has Labour done wrong to justify this negative coverage, apart from make a number of terrible blunders?

  18. Tigger 18


    Colin Craig – says he wants to get past ‘childish’ politics and name calling but distributed pamphlet which described John Key as ‘too gay’ for Helensville.

  19. leftriteleft 19

    Thought this site may give some insight into the TPPA.

    I apologise if this has been linked before.


    [karol: your link didn’t work for me – took me to another TS page. Doing a copy and paste of the raw link, took me here.]

  20. Ray 20

    Sorry phil, but that doesn’t compute

  21. karol 22

    Curious Intercept article on Snowden’s leaks that shows spy bosses spying on their workers.

    An NSA official, writing under the pen name “Zelda,” has actually served at the agency as a Dear Abby for spies. Her “Ask Zelda!” columns, distributed on the agency’s intranet and accessible only to those with the proper security clearance, are among the documents leaked by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. The columns are often amusing – topics include co-workers falling asleep on the job, sodas being stolen from shared fridges, supervisors not responding to emails, and office-mates who smell bad. But one of the most intriguing involves a letter from an NSA staffer who complains that his (or her) boss is spying on employees.

  22. felix 23

    Well so much for Cam Slater turning over a new leaf. Barely a day since he promised a new standard of conduct on his site, he’s back at it again posting about “ugly, stupid, lazy violent Maori” and encouraging support for men who bash prostitutes.

    John Key you are judged by the company you keep.

  23. greywarbler 24

    I have just heard on Radionz a really good interview with David Grant about his book on Norman Kirk. I had forgotten how well he was doing. Apparently he had a flair for international relations and pushed NZs and the South Pacific case well. The interview was very good if you can get to listen to it. Norm’s death caused people to cry.

    People had high hopes of him but he didn’t look after his health and particularly his diet was not good for a busy, obssessed man. He just fuelled up with sweet stuff, coke, and fast food. We have to look after our Labour leaders – it’s so hard to get them into parliament we don’t want them passing out before their time. Kirk was only 51.

    The Mighty Totara, David Grant – Shop Online for Books in NZ
    http://www.fishpond.co.nz › Books‎

    This is what Chris Trotter had to say from The Press.

  24. Morrissey 25

    Message from Venezuela: “Peaceful here
    if you stay out of rich neighbourhoods.”


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