Open mike 22/01/2023

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, January 22nd, 2023 - 165 comments
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165 comments on “Open mike 22/01/2023 ”

  1. tsmithfield 1

    A word I have heard thrown around a lot of recent days in various forms, is "misogyny".

    However, I am wondering if that word is being used accurately. Language and its meanings matter.

    In respect to Jacinda, certainly very vile, and nasty things have been said of her by various groups. And I don't defend that. That stuff is totally unacceptable, and certainly not my style. However, the question I am asking is whether it is necessarily misogynistic.

    Here are several definitions of the word "misogyny".

    Mirriam-Webster: "hatred of, aversion to, or prejudice against women". "1. hatred, dislike, or mistrust of women, manifested in various forms such as physical intimidation and abuse, sexual harassment and rape, social shunning and ostracism, etc.:the underlying misogyny in slut-shaming;Historically witch hunts were an embodiment of the misogyny of the time.

    1. ingrained and institutionalized prejudice against women; sexism."

    So, based on those definitions, it seems that misogyny is referring to hatred, dislike or prejudice against women generally.

    So, to me the comment: "Woman, get back in the kitchen" would be highly misogynistic because the speaker is implying that women should be confined to domestic tasks to serve men. And, we can all think of male dominated groups that treat women as second-class citizens, and so would definitely meet the definitions above.

    But, I would argue that vile, nasty comments about a specific woman are not necessarily misogynistic according to the definitions above. In fact, it may even be possible to make criminal comments (eg threatening to kill a specific woman) without those comments being misogynistic by definition.

    I think a lot of hatred against Jacinda is from anti-vaxxers who may have lost their jobs or that they have felt like second-class citizens and, rightly or wrongly, see Jacinda responsible for that. Likely because she was fronting a lot of this stuff.

    So, in those cases, the anger against Jacinda would not have been because she is a woman. But because they think she is responsible for the suffering in their lives. And, they would likely be equally angry against a male leader for the same reasons.

    I certainly think these sort of people are likely misguided, because it was a very difficult situation to manage, and it wasn't only Jacinda responsible for the decisions.

    But according to the definitions of "misogyny", is the word being used accurately?

    • SPC 1.1

      Misogyny against left wing women for sure. Helen Clark and گلریز قهرمان (GG) and Nanaia Mahuta (and Kiri Allan if/when leader) here Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi, AOC, RT, and Ilhan Omar in Congress.

      Any women in the way of the selfishness of white middle class partriarchy capitalism – it’s as if such women were in rebellion against their God and mammon brotherhood cult (an American led broederbond as it were).

      • Corey Humm 1.1.1

        While I'll accept women in politics get a level of hate and scrutiny and criticism men don't get and the attacks and conspiracies on Helen Clark,Julia Gillard and Jacindas personal lives are disgusting.

        However the idea that Hillary Clinton and Pelosi stood in the way of capitalism? 😂😂

        Hillary Clinton is as corporate neoliberal as it gets and while running against Obama in 08 her campaign team resorted to despicable race baiting and islamiphobic accusations about Obama's religion.

        While noone deserves the level of conspiratorial hatred she got, 50% of the criticism HRC gets like her pro corporate votes in the Senate, ie her support of banking deregulation, her extreme closeness with wall street is legitimate and too often gets dismissed.

        And Nancy Pelosi is an unreconstructed corporate neoliberal who defended tooth and nail that members of Congress like herself should be able to use insider info to trade in shares of the very companies Congress were regulating.

        Clinton and Pelosi would be way to the right of the Act party.

        The personal attacks, the conspiracies, the poking around in politicians lives is disgusting, but too often legitimate criticis of policies and actions gets called misogynistic which dilutes the term.

        One thing that was always weird was the pearl clutching the left had over the nickname Cindy being misogynistic as if all prime ministers don't get infantilized nicknames like shonkey , the smiling assassin, Jonny boy, piggy, double dipping dipstick from dipton, Winnie, chippie, aunty Helen, Pullya benefits, Soimon, angry Andy, big norm, Scomo, Kevo, albo, Maggie, Tone, Bliar, Gordo, jezza, Keith, bojo, Slick willy, Jack, dubya, tricky dick etc etc etc Cindy was just another one of those and the freakouts were ridiculous.

        We should stop attacking politicians personal lives and focus on their policies and we need to stop expecting politicians to be perfect angels and have no past because the toxicity discourages regular people from standing for office and we'll end up with unrelatable robots with little life experience because they've never messed up or lived a real life.

        • weka

          One thing that was always weird was the pearl clutching the left had over the nickname Cindy being misogynistic as if all prime ministers don't get infantilized nicknames like shonkey , the smiling assassin, Jonny boy, piggy, double dipping dipstick from dipton, Winnie, chippie, aunty Helen, Pullya benefits, Soimon, angry Andy, big norm, Scomo, Kevo, albo, Maggie, Tone, Bliar, Gordo, jezza, Keith, bojo, Slick willy, Jack, dubya, tricky dick etc etc etc Cindy was just another one of those and the freakouts were ridiculous.

          Here's the difference. Women get called infantilising names by men in situations where it impacts beyond name calling. eg men do it to put women in their place and it works to an extent because of the constant background sexism and because system sexism means that men are often in positions of power to back that up. So if a woman says 'don't call me that', and then insists on it, the man can not promote her or whatever.

          Calling JA Cindy has a different meaning and purpose than calling JK Shonkey. The sexism is built in.

          • Belladonna

            So the sexist abuse addressed to Paula Bennett by the left (Pullya Benefit) was just as despicable?

            • Muttonbird

              What a dreadful take! Pullya Benefit has nothing to do with sex, it has to do with me first Tories hating on the vulnerable.

              • Belladonna

                So, in your world, to draw the parallel, Jabcinda, Taxcinda and Vaxcinda – are entirely valid as political commentary on Jacinda's policies.

                If you validate slurs against politicians you don't agree with, you can't complain about slurs against politicians you do agree with.

                Personally – I think that all of them are equally vile.

                But, clearly, your mileage does vary.

                • Drowsy M. Kram

                  Personally – I think that all of them are equally vile.

                  Just to be clear, in your respectful centrist mind, "Pullya Benefit", and the 'parallel' slurs ("Jabcinda, Taxcinda and Vaxcinda") you introduced in this thread, are "equally vile"? Looks like three-on-one to me.

                  How about "Paula Bennett" @ versus "Jacinda's policies" @9:32 am – still 'parallel'; equal treatment?

                  Clearly, our mileage does vary – quelle surprise.

                  • I'm commenting on the practice of making slurs out of politician's names or other physical characteristics.

                    I find this vile, in all instances (male, female, right, left, popular or unpopular)

                    Clearly, your mileage also varies. I'm also not surprised.

                • weka

                  So, in your world, to draw the parallel, Jabcinda, Taxcinda and Vaxcinda – are entirely valid as political commentary on Jacinda's policies.

                  Those aren't sexist, and politicised nicknames is a different issue than sexism (although sexists use politicised nicknames too).

                  • I think they are all unacceptable.

                    The point was made earlier on TS – that the volume of abuse that women politicians receive is increasing. I don't think it's helpful to distinguish between specifically sexist abuse, and politicised (and very deliberately designed to be hurtful) nicknames.

                    They are all unacceptable.

                    These are not 'friendly' jokes – they are used exclusively by the 'other side' to belittle and ridicule. (Which is why you don't see any of the 'nasty' names used for Ardern on TS).

                    And, to be fair – I don't really see why, if it's unacceptable to do this to women, it should be acceptable to do it to men.

                    [The only current exception, I can think of, is "Chippy" – which is used by right and left – although Hipkins has reportedly said that he doesn't care for it as a nickname – and therefore I wouldn't use it]

                    • Shanreagh

                      Agree with this. Now I know Chris Hipkins does not like Chippie I won't ever say or write it again.

                      I have been aware for many years of the so-called 'friendly' jokes since the 1970s. At that time I was had on about not having a sense of humour for not thinking they were funny. When I came back to PS in the early 2000s I was appalled at the sexism, jokes and lack of knowledge about the 'isms' that many of us had been fighting for previously. It was as if things had slipped back, needed to be constantly reinforced.

                      Call me old fashioned but I think the media should be guided by the actual person on how they what they want to be called.

                      Only got Ministerial office experience in this. Some Ministers liked to be called Minister Blue when talking about anything to do with any of their portfolios, others liked to be Joanne Blue Minister of Unicorns. or Popcorn or whatever The press releases ALWAYS have the preferred form of address.

                      Some news media were pretty much toerags and just called them Joanne Blue or Blue and you had to read through a bit to see what was what. Deliberate nasty policy and NZ Herald was one of the instigators of this, what a surprise that will be.

                      I don't like Christian names, variations of Christian names when we talk of people in their official capacities. Another bit of old fashioned thought.

                      I find it helps to focus on the office and not get tied up with the person who is holding that office. When I was out and about more pre Covid I could adopt a slightly puzzled air when someone said 'Jacinda this' or 'that' & say 'oh you mean the Prime Minister'

                • Muttonbird

                  Jabcinda and Vaxcinda are variations on the same theme, that being the views of disturbed anti-vaxxers, so we'll put that aside.

                  Taxcinda is less outrageous but what did Jacinda Ardern actually do? The top tax rate moved to 39% for incomes over $180,000. You could say the extension of the bright line test might be considered 'more tax' but only one realised if you like flipping the houses in your vast property portfolio.

                  So the people using Taxcinda are conservatives punching down.

                  Pullya Benefit is a term used by lefties to punch up because she literally took benefits away from solo mothers.

                  She oversaw a crackdown on welfare, including requirements for single mothers to return to work or face sanctions, and sanctions for those who don't meet drug and alcohol work test requirements.

                  The National-led Government announced a major package of welfare reforms in 2010 aimed at solo parents, who it said should go back to work.

                  Bennett said that for some beneficiaries "the dream is over".


                  As a card carrying right winger masquerading as a centrist, I can see why you unable to tell the difference.

                  • Shanreagh

                    Whatever you are MB, rw/LW pick or purple, I do not agree there is any justification for either Taxcinda or Pullya. They are just not funny or clever and remind me of naughty wee boys showing Dad's penthouses behind the bike shed.

                    Are there recent male names like this that spring to mind or are these female only 'jokes' or witticisms?

                    NB I've never heard of many of these nicknames from Corey. Some like Big Norm were always said with affection, even Piggy possibly.

                    One thing that was always weird was the pearl clutching the left had over the nickname Cindy being misogynistic as if all prime ministers don't get infantilized nicknames like shonkey , the smiling assassin, Jonny boy, piggy, double dipping dipstick from dipton, Winnie, chippie, aunty Helen, Pullya benefits, Soimon, angry Andy, big norm, Scomo, Kevo, albo, Maggie, Tone, Bliar, Gordo, jezza, Keith, bojo, Slick willy, Jack, dubya, tricky dick etc etc etc Cindy was just another one of those and the freakouts were ridiculous.

                    • Muttonbird

                      NB I've never heard of many of these nicknames from Corey.

                      You are talking about sometimes TS commenter, "Tory? Hmm".

                    • "Are there recent male names like this that spring to mind or are these female only 'jokes' or witticisms? "

                      There are male equivalents, directed at Luxon and Seymour – mostly around appearance, rather than personal names – appearing on TS from the usual suspects (almost certainly males, who think this kind of juvenile locker-room humour is funny)

                  • As a card-carrying left-winger, I'm not surprised you can't tell the difference. Abuse is abuse. Except when the left do it, then it's justified /sarc/

                    • Muttonbird

                      Meh. One TS commenter, DMK, suggested there are some who hide their affiliation.

                      That's you. The rest of us are open so you might want to consider that when commenting.

                      You post from corrupt position which of course is natural for your right wing tendencies.

            • weka

              of course.

        • SPC

          but too often legitimate criticis of policies and actions gets called misogynistic which dilutes the term.

          Too often … when have legitimate criticisms of policies been called misogynistic?

          Clinton might be seen as centre-right here, but support for Obama Care and opposition to GOP cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid is seen as part of their centre-left.

    • Shanreagh 1.2

      There are a couple of simple ways to see if the abuse being heaped a person is personal or not

      1 to replace any words denoting gender from female to male

      2 to replace any personal names with the with rank or position or with first names of the other gender.. Then to be specific about these positions perhaps replace Cindy, with Prime Minister then with the Government. (She represents the Govt – she did not do all these things by herself.)

      so 'I hate Cindy, replace with Prime Minister replace with Government. or if you want to be really specific 'the Govt of NZ'

      I don't think it works as a insult when you do this. the insult relies on the use of the first name or versions of it (ie infantilising it to Cindy, or not using a preferred name. Obviously the insulters are not going to do this as they want it to be read as an insult.

      My family name is one that is subject to constant misspelling. Aside from responding in ways appropriate to the occasion we were always told a person's name is a person's identity, their existence, the fact they exist in the world. By misspelling, etc you remove an identity. Those flinging insults along these lines have picked up on this instinctively or more than likely deliberately

      You mention those who may have lost their jobs. You omit the point about choice.

      They chose to place themselves in a position where they lost their jobs. The conscientious objectors and those demonstrating in the Springbok tour, the 1951 strike were well aware of this. It was part of them that those at the time admired. They knew they faced opprobrium and the consequences.

      By contrast many of those antis who may have lost their jobs feel hurt and hard done by the fact that sanctions happened…..almost as though they had not thought through their actions and looked at, and accepted, the consequences.

      Christopher Luxon has had an easy run in comparison. He stated early on that his name was Christopher Luxon or rank/title and this is the name/rank/title he is given. Jacinda Ardern similar.

      However in large part due to insult, her name has been shortened to Jacinda, Cindy. often leaving off the surname and the rank. This is often used by news media and it is debatable if it is used to denigrate, I believe it is.

      So if you call it misogyny, insult, teasing, the end purpose is the same and that is to lower the person in the eyes of others. This is hugely powerful when that person is in a position of power as it goes not only to the person but the positon as well.

      • UncookedSelachimorpha 1.2.1

        There are a couple of simple ways to see if the abuse being heaped a person is personal or not

        1 to replace any words denoting gender from female to male

        2 to replace any personal names with the with rank or position or with first names of the other gender.. Then to be specific about these positions perhaps replace Cindy, with Prime Minister then with the Government. (She represents the Govt – she did not do all these things by herself.)

        That is actually a really enlightening and interesting tool. Thanks! Amazing what it shows actually.

      • Incognito 1.2.2

        Hurt people hurt people and when they do, they often use voodoo doll methods. When lashing out at and targeting a person they make it as specific as possible by personalising the attack. The more personalised the attack, the more effective it feels to the attacker – they feel they are hitting the intended target – and the more hurtful it feels to the attacked – it cuts closer to the bone. It is symbolic but symbolism is hugely important and powerful, as are metaphors.

        Anger and hatred are such strong emotions that peel away layers of pretence and scratch off the veneer of civilisation. This may uncover hidden & latent sexism and misogyny, or other prejudices, which are normally only surface in casual ways. One’s angry and hateful outbursts are limited by the available vocabulary and idiom – tell us what you really think. I don’t think there’s such a thing as a ‘rational PC outburst’.

        • Shanreagh

          I don’t think there’s such a thing as a ‘rational PC outburst’.

          I am the wrong one to comment possibly. Using words like 'hate' indiscriminately was pounced on in our family, teasing about personal characteristics ditto, the importance of addressing people by their correct name or title and spelling ditto. My nieces ditto by their mother.

          Having only ever heard my father say 'you silly sausage' and 'damn' when he hit himself on the finger when hammering I never heard words like Fcuk and C**t uttered. My husband could string together a good range of epithets, being Navy, but never at me, but I doubt he would ever have written them down, well I know he wouldn't have. My current partner is a bit like my father with silly sausage and damn even when skippering a two person yacht going round Cape Jackson, when epithets are more or less excused in tight situations no matter who the company.

          My dad was in the war and no doubt heard bad language, may even have said it himself. He and my partner would be able to speak and write rationally even in extremis or have the ability to move away/retire if the situation was getting heated. My dad had a boxing blue.

          He couldn't prevent me from going on marches but he did say 'look right, look left' and 'if you don't like what you see there, leave'. And I have a couple of times where it looked as though we were being accompanied by hangers-on there for the possible stoush. This simple maxim would have prevented the so-called (I have my doubts) ordinary folk from being part of the occupation at Parliament in the company of alt rightists, Nazis etc.

          Bad language is a habit. It is not ingrained it is not innate.

          This might sound prissy but there are families that don't swear and carry on.

          • Belladonna

            There are also commentators on TS who are careful to refer to politicians by name – and others who feel free to use deliberately-intended to be insulting nicknames.

            I know which ones I respect more.

    • Shanreagh 1.3

      On another matter……I am utterly appalled at the ignorance of Christopher Luxon on the matter of insults to woman in power. He really has lead a very sheltered life. Did he not have an inkling of this when in his much vaunted 'running a company' positions?

      Where was he at the time of the hounding of Aus PM Julia Gillard? Did he not see her powerful speech

      I can't help thinking that this ignorance is in large part reinforced by the patriarchal church he belongs to.

      While other churches and their leaders may stand up in the pulpit and draw attention to many unfair aspects of modern day life …..what is happening in his life/church? Russell Marshall was called the Red Reverend.

      Church leaders stood up against the Springbok tour

      How many other aspects of modern day life are we going to uncover that he does not know about?



      'bottom feeders'

    • tWiggle 1.4

      This article has a good (short) summary of politicised misogeny (Firefox is your friend).

      This is the most worrying comment in that article:

      "Studies have found that anti-women attitudes [link to a Monash international study of misogenistic behaviour] are the biggest predictors of attitudes of violent extremism, and this is true for far-right groups as well. Research from Swinburne University [extensive report on politicised misogeny in Victoria, Australia] has shown that far-right sentiments were most often coupled with anti-feminist and anti-women statements, in comparison to anti-left sentiment or racist sentiments."

      And some completely woo-woo opinion from me, that misogenistic people probably have poor relationships with their mums, or grew up in families with abusive parents (of either sex). The hatred that spews forth seems to come from a deep subconcious well. It is far in excess of that generated by the visible target.

      And I remember despising Piggy Muldoon for his authoritarian actions and his pleasure in ripping opponents down with personal attacks. But I never wished him dead, only dribbling into the obscurity into which he eventually sunk.

    • Mike the Lefty 1.5

      Good discussion about misogyny and its implications.

      I think a lot of the problems faced by female politicians is that there remains the underlying, but usually not publicly expressed, expectation that males are dominant, females submissive and when a female politician is successful and powerful many males feel threatened because this is reversal of "the natural order of things".

      Julia Gillard, Helen Clark, France's Sigourney Royale, Margaret Thatcher, Finland's Sanna Marin – only a few successful female politicians that have suffered abuse because they represented a challenge to the male ego – they were better than the male politicians that they replaced.

      Male politicians never get asked about their reproductive wishes or history, male politicians seldom are questioned about what clothes they wear or how they can reconcile their gender with making decisions that can detrimentally affect their people. Female politicians always have more things they are expected to justify.

      But why left female politicians seem to get it so much worse is an interesting question. My answer is that the political right are generally much nastier and less inhibited to display their nastiness, but perhaps that is an over simplification.

    • weka 1.6

      So, in those cases, the anger against Jacinda would not have been because she is a woman. But because they think she is responsible for the suffering in their lives. And, they would likely be equally angry against a male leader for the same reasons.

      for some, sure. But it's how they express that that changes between a male and female PM.

      I notice that you didn't provide examples of the speech or abuse that you think is not sexist. If you give three examples and their context, then we can see if your theory is correct.

  2. Francesca 2

    I think it is

    Statements like "she's just a pretty communist", remarks referring to her teeth, "ding dong the witch is gone"the prevalence of the "C" word referring to Ardern on social media.

    I have never known such hatred and frightening vitriol against any other leader, and I do think misogyny is rising, particularly against any woman who raises her head above the parapet.We live in a climate when even the existence of women as a distinct sex based class is under threat.

    These are not good times for women

    • tsmithfield 2.1

      I agree with those particular comments as being misogynistic. And I am not trying to say none of it is misogynistic. But that it is easy to conflate nasty vile statements with misogynistic ones.

      For me, comments that reflect hatred or dislike of Jacinda because of her gender are clearly misogynistic. However, comments that are based on dislike because of things people perceive she is responsible for, probably are not.

      I agree that there certainly is a nasty side of society showing itself at the moment. I think a lot of that has been due to too much pandering of groups that subjugate women.

      I am very happy to see the court action against Gloriavale leadership at the moment, who are misogynistic in the extreme. I think that is long overdue. We shouldn't be tolerating groups treating women in that way due to the message it sends to society generally.

      • Belladonna 2.1.1

        It's often hard to draw a specific line, between general abusive comments and misogyny.
        There seems to be no doubt, that women politicians (and women in the public arena in general) 'attract' more abusive comments – both in quantity and vileness – than their male counterparts.

        In itself, that can be a form of misogyny. And, the volume of abuse has a logarithmic multiplying factor (it's much easier to dismiss 2 comments as being random nutters who don't share the same planet as the rest of us, but 2,000 are much more worrying)

        The type of abuse is also worrying, as is the (apparent) ineffectiveness of our policing/courts over direct and specific threats. They seem to be being treated as keyboard warriors who won't take action – but a publicly-made threat to kill or commit some other offence, should be treated very seriously. And a court process operating months after the threat was made, is an absolutely ineffective deterrent.

        However, commentators (including those on TS) should look at the log in their own eye first. How many abusive comments are directed at politicians rather than at their policies? How many nasty and dismissive nicknames are used for the politicians we consider to be the 'enemy' and/or the commentators who disagree with us? And, if we do (or condone) this, how can we then complain if bile is then directed against the politicians we support?

        • Shanreagh

          From Belladonna.

          This is the crux

          There seems to be no doubt, that women politicians (and women in the public arena in general) 'attract' more abusive comments – both in quantity and vileness – than their male counterparts.

          In itself, that can be a form of misogyny.

      • Drowsy M. Kram 2.1.2

        For me, comments that reflect hatred or dislike of Jacinda because of her gender are clearly misogynistic. However, comments that are based on dislike because of things people perceive she is responsible for, probably are not.

        Just a simple yes/no question for you, tsmithfield: In your comments here, have you ever referred to the current leader of the opposition as "Christopher" or "Chris", i.e. sans surname? You know, in the same way that you've referred to our current Prime Minister as "Jacinda" four times in your comment @1, and nine times in your comment @7.

        Food for thought?

        Refusing to address them by their surnames belittles their power and position

        • Shanreagh

          Good point.

          Sexism can be hiding in plain sight.

        • Belladonna

          I agree that just using a first name for women politicians can be sexist – but the analysis isn't quite as straightforward as that.

          There are elements of 'convenient shorthand' – picking the most unique name – while that wouldn't affect Jacinda Ardern – only one Jacinda, only one Ardern currently in NZ politics) – it does affect politicians like Winston Peters (widely known as 'Winston' – since there are lots of 'Peters' around. And, obviously affects Luxon – plenty of other politicians called 'Chris' including Hipkins – so a real route to confusion.

          Politicians can also embrace the 'first name' option- as a way of enhancing their 'relatability' to the public (Winston Peters has certainly done this, and I think also Boris Johnson & arguably Jacinda Ardern).

          I think you’ll find that plenty of very left commentators on TS, have referred to Ardern as ‘Jacinda’

          • Drowsy M. Kram

            I think you’ll find that plenty of very left commentators on TS, have referred to Ardern as ‘Jacinda

            Prefer and try not to – comes down to whether the intent is to belittle, imho, with context a deciding factor. Might be a subconscious ‘tell’ in some cases.

            I'll happily refer to Luxon as 'Luxfusion' – cLux cLux cLux smiley

            • Belladonna

              My preference is to refer to most politicians by their surname – though I will admit that I've not always been 100% successful. And probably have been least so with Winston Peters – how much of that is subtle denigration, and how much use of the most clearly identifying name – is open to interpretation.

              I do, however, refuse to use derogatory nicknames – and think less of those who do.

              • Drowsy M. Kram

                I do, however, refuse to use derogatory nicknames – and think less of those who do.

                Whereas I may choose to use derogatory nicknames and descriptors that I personally find apt. Piggy Muldoon springs to mind.

                Presumably you wouldn't have much time for the motley crew who thought up and use "Jabcinda, Taxcinda and Vaxcinda" – even mentioning these three might raise the odd eyebrow.


                • Nope don't use them. Yes I have seen them (as a centrist, I keep informed of all sides of the political debate – rather than remaining cocooned in an left-wing echo chamber). Just as I've seen the TS equivalents for right wing politicians.

                  I have no patience for any of it, from any side of the political spectrum.

                  Choosing to use derogatory nicknames says more about you, and the quality of your discourse, than it does about the subjects.

                  In addition, any political point you may wish to make, will be immediately discounted (except, of course, by your fellow travellers), as you've announced your intention to demean rather than debate up front.

                  And, surprise, surprise, it's not your fellow travellers that you have to convince.

                  • Muttonbird

                    But you've not made comment about the outsized abuse JA and her little girl have faced from your friends on the right.


                    That is because you accept it for political purposes.

                    • Should I have? It's the first time you've raised the issue.

                      As someone who clearly finds any verbal abuse of politicians unacceptable – I very clearly find it even more unacceptable to have abuse (let alone threats) directed at politicians families.

                      Tell me – did you approve of the song explicitly talking about raping Stephie Key – put out by your friends on the left?

                      I've made my position clear. Abuse and threats are not acceptable from any side of the political spectrum. Yours still seems to be 'it's OK if the left do it'

                    • Muttonbird

                      Yeah, typical aggressive centrist position. Defend what the lunatics from the right do and attack the left at all cost.

                      Neve is 5 years old and your friends have threatened her so mush so that the PM had to resign.

                      I do hope you are proud.

                    • Typical compassionate left-wing attack response.

                      You are quite frankly sickening.

                    • Muttonbird

                      At least I am honest.

                    • "Neve is 5 years old and your friends have threatened her so mush so that the PM had to resign."

                      OK. This is over the top. You have no evidence, *none* that this is true.

                      Either link to a reliable source, or withdraw and apologise.

                    • Muttonbird

                      Christ, you are wilfully blind. That's typical of the pretend centre…

                    • Ah, yes. Called to produce evidence, you produce personal attacks instead.

                      Reaching a new low, even for you Muttonbird.

                    • Not one word about Neve or the rest of Ardern's family in that article.

                      But plenty about the attacks that (predominantly) men make against women politicians. That includes you, Muttonbird.

                      You are part of the problem, here; not part of the solution.

                      [Stepping into to stop this escalating (including at a later date). Take a day off to cool down. Back on Weds morning. I know it can be hqrd, but please don’t stoop to the personalised comments having a go at a commenter. – weka]

                    • weka []

                      mod note.

                    • Muttonbird

                      Yawn. There's only one person here apologising for attacks on politicians and their families.

                      It ain't me.

                      [Stepping into to stop this escalating (including at a later date). Take a day off to cool down. Back on Weds morning. We are increasingly intolerant of personal attacks going into election year, and you’ve been told this many times already. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself with a long ban at some point – weka]

                    • weka []

                      mod note.

                    • Exactly. You're not apologising for attacks. You're carrying them out.

                      As I said. You are part of the problem. Not part of the solution.

                      Can't be bothered wasting any more of my time on an unapologetic misogynist.

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      Good point Muttonbird. Belladonna's urgent universal condemnation of verbal abuse of politicians might be genuine, but that particular respectful centrist seems unable to discern either quantitative or qualitative differences in the political abuse emanating from current supporters of right versus left political ideologies.

                      Instead of facts, they clutch at whataboutism anecdotes. It's as if their very 'centrism' conveniently blinds them to obvious differences, and I can’t help wondering why that might be.

                      % of female MPs by party: Grn 70%, Lab 58%, MP 50%, NAct 34%
                      An obvious political left-to-right trend (apologies for any errors).

                      'Relentless' abuse against women MPs on the rise
                      [March 2022]
                      A rising tide of “deeply sexist” abuse and threats against women MPs is part of a concerted effort to push them out of public office, an expert says.


                      The hatred and vitriol Jacinda Ardern endured 'would affect anybody' [20 January 2023]
                      But in the last two years the misogyny and violence directed towards Ardern has not only increased in volume, but also become more dangerous, says Hannah, who studies online hate speech and disinformation.

                      The issue is not getting but keeping women in politics’: The impact of violence against women in politics in the Belgian context [October 2022]
                      The results show that all these difficulties added up can lead female politicians to consider leaving or actually leave politics. The article therefore concludes that the impact of VAWIP is twofold: it drives women out of politics but also significantly reduces their input while they are active in politics.

                      Increasing the cost of female representation? The gendered effects of harassment, abuse and intimidation towards Parliamentary candidates in the UK
                      [23 August 2021]
                      This article argues that the harassment of women candidates in the UK is gendered, both in its motives and outcomes as it forces women to modify their campaign activities in ways that diminish their chances of gaining office. Our findings contribute to the theoretical and empirical understanding of violence towards women in politics and gendered political violence.

                  • Drowsy M. Kram

                    Choosing to use derogatory nicknames says more about you, and the quality of your discourse, than it does about the subjects.

                    Won't comment further on the 'quality' of your discourse in this "left-wing echo chamber". As a proud centrist, you'll no doubt have levelled critiques of 'echo chamber' discourse in right-whinge blogs – carry on.

                    In addition, any political point you may wish to make, will be immediately discounted (except, of course, by your fellow travellers)…

                    …it's not your fellow travellers that you have to convince.

                    It's unsurprising and unimportant that you will immediately discount any political points I make. I don't have to convince anyone – do you?

                    • As a centrist, if you (not you personally, but the left in general) want me to vote for you – then yes, you do have to convince me.

                      People who construct intelligent, informative arguments (as you in general do) are much more likely to achieve this goal. People who resort to juvenile abuse of opponents, much less so.

                      Otherwise, I'll leave you to your happy little echo chamber….

                    • Muttonbird

                      Let us all bow down to the arrogant Belladonna and beg for her vote.

                  • Drowsy M. Kram

                    As a centrist, if you (not you personally, but the left in general) want me to vote for you – then yes, you do have to convince me.

                    It's becoming increasingly difficult to determine when you're talking down to me, and when you're talking down to "the left in general."

                    Otherwise, I'll leave you to your happy little echo chamber…

                    Your centrist charity knows no bounds – thank you laugh

      • fender 2.1.3

        I may be completely wrong but I believe many of these creeps feel they have been given a licence to show their rude, crude, misogynistic, obnoxious selves by copying the behaviour of that vile orange guy from the U.S.A.

        That wouldn't explain the same behaviour from before that creep became influential, but I certainly think much of todays degenerate attitudes have resurfaced because they no longer have any sense of shame in showing their true selves. They're just copying his example.

        • Anne

          You are completely right. They haven't the brains for rational thinking and that opens the way for the Trumps of this world to drag them down ever deepening rabbit holes.

  3. aj 3

    Keep digging.

    • tsmithfield 3.1

      So, what part of what I am saying do you disagree with and why?

      • bwaghorn 3.1.1

        Does it matter if a few of the keyboard warrior, gutless shit bags haven't technically crossed the line into misogyny??

      • aj 3.1.2

        It's fine to disagree with policies but anyone who personalises in the way these scumbags have are crossing a line.

        • tsmithfield

          I totally agree with that. The people who say this sort of stuff usually would only do it behind the anonymity of their keyboards.

          • Descendant Of Smith

            You really think that.

            They are plenty vocal elsewhere and many have no compunction at all about letting you know their insulting thoughts verbally. From the signs on the protests to the abuse shouted to every day discussions they are there. Suggesting they are just keyboard warriors is to severely minimise them and their behaviour. I hear this stuff pretty much daily.

            Since the PM resigned it has been quite pleasant to be honest to not hear it / have to challenge it (past the initial chorus of claiming credit for her resignation the usual culprits in my life have gone silent).

  4. bwaghorn 4–and-friends-say-he-can-do-it

    Shot Chippie should hire Vance as his public relations manager.

    I find myself liking the guy and thinking maybe act and National arnt a shoe in now.

    Hard to bet a likable guy that's gonna fight you in the gutter if needed

    • Belladonna 4.1

      Agree, a very good article, designed to appeal to the centrist voters (the group Labour need to target for October 2023).

      • bwaghorn 4.1.1

        Trying not to think the fix was in but it sure felt like stuff and others where trying to influence labour in the short window after Ardern stood down,

    • Ad 4.2

      Worth the read

  5. joe90 5

    Russian photojournalist Dmitry Beliakov on Poots' war propaganda.

    The state-run war-supporting outreach program bears all the hallmarks of a Soviet method. Mobilization cures drug addiction and alcoholism: either get high, or go and fight for the Fatherland. Solve your apartment issue: become a soldier and leave behind those annoying relatives or neighbors in the communal flat. Volunteer now! Look after yourself and your family through benefits from the State, free medical treatment for yourself and family, veteran combat status – in short, the respect of the surrounding tribes!

    Russians are bombarded with propaganda from all sides, brow-beaten into supporting the war. Churches pray for Russian troops fighting the world evil. In schools, children are asked to write letters to hero-soldiers who protect Russia from NATO. State enterprises hold patriotic rallies and organize voluntary fundraising for the operation on denazification of the Ukraine. Federal TV channels are full of propaganda hits performed by Russian pop stars of varying calibers. Commercials by private military companies fighting in Ukraine stream solicitations to apply; others to sign a contract with the Russian army.

    Clumsy agitation videos are shot with third-rate actors shared with the most mediocre social advertising (respect your elders, wash your hands before eating, get the flu vaccine now!), or play in provincial theatres. Scripts are banal, though sometimes unbelievable. For example:

    • A married woman looks with lust at a stranger who has signed a contract with the Conscription Office, and exclaims with envy in her eyes: “Well, you cut the mustard in military service! You’re the real deal, not like my klutz at home.”
    • A father, a veteran of the Chechen conflict, returns home from the war in Ukraine, and hands his happy daughter a new iPhone.
    • A grandson, having served under Army contract in Ukraine, rescues his poor grandfather, who dreamed of buying real beef sausages in the supermarket, for which it would be necessary to sell the much beloved dilapidated family car, a Russian Lada. But the miserable abomination of the Soviet car industry is saved by Army benefits! Grandfather looks with pride at his patriotic grandson.


    At the very end of the music video you can see a fragment of one of the most sinister appeals of Russia president, specially integrated into the clip, where shining with anger Putin threatens a nuclear strike in order to save Russia from the aggressors and at the same time admits that it would be a catastrophe for all mankind, for the whole world, but immediately resorts to a clumsy argument, saying that why a world without Russia is needed?

    Things must be bad for Putin, yet the ridiculous limericks written by his butt-injured lackey are not as vulgar as the daily killing of Ukrainian civilians.

    • Francesca 5.1

      Now living in Vermont, he has certainly carved out a reliable career working for the western press.Easy coin

      I was interested in this article from the Economist

      Available online if you have an account

      If you don't there's a precis from Telegram

      Has Poots managed to turn the Economist?

      • joe90 5.1.1

        Now living in Vermont,

        Yeah, he should have stayed put and been murdered.


        • Francesca

          He knows which side his bread is buttered on , he's a very able propagandist himself

          • joe90

            If the 22.74810RUB party says so.

          • Jenny are we there yet


            22 January 2023 at 10:28 am

            ….he's a very able propagandist himself

            This accusation fits you better.

            Every atrocity is denied by you.

            Every crime is justified by you

            Every critic of the Putin regime is attacked by you.

            It seems that Tucker Carlson (and no doubt a few other far right propagandists) are to be spared from Putin's nuclear genocide.

            …..“First of all, our main enemy is certainly the United States. What does the U.S. react to? They react to two things: the threat of physical annihilation….

            ….Not one pundit in the studio argued against Satanovsky’s macabre proposal. Drobnitsky had only one exception: “In our country, we embraced one American we wouldn’t want to kill: that would be Tucker Carlson.”


            Maybe you too Francesca, will be 'embraced' as one of the far right propagandists promised to be spared from Russia's threatened global holocaust

            [Although Francesca’s comment @ was pretty petty poor yours added nothing but a personal attack on another commenter, yet again. Last time ( it was one week and you were warned it would be doubled at the next time you were doing this. Take 2 weeks off and next one will be doubled again or even longer since it is Election Year – Incognito]

          • tWiggle

            I have to agree with Francesca, that piece of writing IS propaganda, designed to sway emotion primarily, rather than set out lots of facts. The well-designed campaign from Ukraine to maintain outside support for their struggle (which I think as a good thing, by the way) is propaganda too (child refugees, valiant soldiers at the front). The definition of propaganda is an element of one-sidedness to the information presented to shore up a cause, and we should be clear-eyed about spin, wherever it comes from.

            Where propaganda becomes dangerous and immoral is when it demonises opponents and spreads lies. The article Joe90 posts is a bit heavy-handed, but doesn't quite cross that line.

            • Incognito

              Francesca didn’t say that the article was propaganda – she may have implied it by but not in her comment per se – she said the writer was an able propagandist. But unlike Francesca you actually commented on the actual article rather than on only the writer of it.

  6. bwaghorn 6

    Wouldn't betting it'd improve the fishing too.

    Goes engineering on a global scale, not so sure about this one

  7. tsmithfield 7

    Further to my comments above, I think it is interesting to understand why Jacinda went from being almost universally loved to being seen as divisive and truly hated by many.

    My comments below may be interpreted as victim-blaming. But that is not my intention. There is no justification for the sort of vitriol hurled at Jacinda. But it is interesting to see how this has arisen. It didn't just come out of a vacuum.

    I think there is an extent to which Jacinda went away from being seen as compassionate and loving, as seen with the mosque shootings, or the "be kind" message, to being intentionally divisive herself. For instance, Jacinda, apparently quite coldly, and confidently, tells an interviewer that the aim is to set up a two-tier society.

    Intervierwer: So you've basically said, you probably don't see it like this, but two different classes of people. If you're vaccinated or unvaccinated….

    Jacinda: That is what it is…..

    Now, there is a clear greater good argument here. I think the vaccination rate was higher due to the government approach. And I know people in my own business who reluctantly got vaccinated because they wanted to keep their jobs. So, I think the effect has been to save lives. So, I think what the government did was probably the right thing.

    But, looking at Jacinda's comments in this video from the perspective of someone who just lost their job due to their own personal choice about their own body, I can imagine they would feel really angry if they thought that Jacinda was deliberately and callously setting up conditions that would destroy their lives.

    So, it seems to me that Jacinda may have gone off message to some extent, and this may have fueled the anger in the side of society who may have been directly or indirectly affected by the government decisions. And the comments below the video certainly suggest that.

    This apparent contradiction may have led some to believe that Jacinda was wearing her compassionate side as a mask, and that underneath she was cold and calculating.

    I certainly don't see it that way. I think there was an incredibly hard job for the government to do, and maintaining an even-handed approach was incredibly difficult. But, some sectors of society definitely did not see it that way.

    • Shanreagh 7.1

      Again you leave of the point about choice. It weakens your argument to a nullity really.

      There was no force.

      In agreeing that society may be vaccinated and unvaccinated the PM was stating a fact.

      Again, I believe that Labour has/had misread the intellectual capacity of the electorate. They have thought that the electorate was wiser than it turned out to be. Again I mention the standard Comms canon about pitching to an 11 year audience.

      Again I mention the conscientious objectors and those in the 1951 strike.

      They knew the consequences of their actions, some were so anti war that they knew they would go to camps or be drafted as stretcher bearer etc. In 1951 the strikers knew what was happening and what would happen to them. They had a choice and exercised it. They were proud of the choices they made and accepted the consequences.

      I am sure there were many who had serious grounds not to accept vaccinations and had been refusing vaccinations their whole lives. People with serious grounds are not the ones believing in trackers, magnets, big brother.

      The ones who had the best of intentions and knowledge about Covid 19 but did not want the vaccine are the ones who abided by the other aspects such as masking and distancing.

      • Peter 7.1.1

        Of course Labour misread the intellectual capacity of the electorate. The lunacy around so much of vaccinations and the whole coronavirus thing showed that. And the sad spectacle of the Brian Tāmaki mob.

        The ironic thing is that online forums have the tripe which shows the same impaired individuals going crook about educational standards and telling us how schooling should be done.

      • tsmithfield 7.1.2

        To make it clear, I think the anti-vax movement that I think has largely been responsible for the crazy stuff, including the really nasty comments sent to Jacinda is batshit crazy.

        I have no tolerance for there sort of conspiratorial nonsense. But, I think they would feed off the sort of video I pointed to as a justification for their hatred.

        • Shanreagh

          I am sure they did.

          But there is actually no justification for hatred especially when you personify the actions of a Govt elected to govern it to one person.

          This sort of feely stuff when there is no justification needs to be dealt with. I know some are not able to understand, who were overly influenced and we need to look at civics, choice, decision making, history to make sure it lessens the chance of it happening again.

          Again, once/if the Police release the report on tracking the funding flows for occupation we will be given more idea of warning signals to look for in term of undue overseas influence etc.

          • tsmithfield

            But there is actually no justification for hatred

            Agreed. That is the sane way to see it. Unfortunately "sane" is not high in a lot of these people.

    • Belladonna 7.2

      TBH – I don't think that it has much to do with actual policies – but rather that she's associated very strongly in people's minds with a 'disaster' (Covid, the lockdowns and the quarantine system) that people want to forget.

      While the anti-vax movement despise her (for what they, no doubt, consider to be legitimate reasons), they're only a tiny minority of Kiwis – and it's a much larger group who have become anti-Ardern. Whether they are anti-Labour we'll wait to see.

      The parallel has been made with Churchill – who went from the 'great leader' who saved Britain in WW2, to being turfed unceremoniously out of power at the next general election.

      That's not to say that many of the policies which have been floated and enacted over the last couple of years haven't been divisive (because they have). And, while I believe that more could have been done to bring NZ with the Labour government in making the changes; making significant change is almost always going to incur divisiveness, and (I believe) Ardern and her government were keenly aware that they had a narrowing window of opportunity before 2023 – when their guaranteed majority was going to evaporate [even if the left wins in October, there is no way the Labour party will have a majority].

      • Muttonbird 7.2.1

        But rather that she's associated very strongly in people's minds with a 'disaster'

        I do love how the right wing try to slip this crap through.

        • Belladonna

          Do you have an alternative explanation for the rapid switch in popularity?

          Covid is, and remains, one of the biggest global disasters of my lifetime.
          Ardern did much to mitigate this in NZ. However, she remains strongly associated with the negative impacts (and be honest, lockdown was a serious negative impact) on Kiwis.

          • Muttonbird

            I do have an explanation. Generational progressive policy on Maori involvement in decision making on water. And generational progressive policy on how NZ Ag pays their way and stops polluting this jewel of a country.

            In my opinion you slyly attempted to convince this forum that Jacinda Ardern is 'associated with disaster'.

            Reality is in the eyes of almost everyone who is paying attention, globally and locally, she's associated with unprecedented compassionate response to disaster.

            Stop trolling.

            • Belladonna

              I don't see how your explanation results in dropping popularity for Ardern.

              If your examples above are true – then Labour under Hipkins has no show of winning in October, unless he ditches both policies.

              If Ardern had dropping popularity because of this – then Hipkins must as well.

              I think that you must not be very familiar with opinions on the 'other side' of the political divide – because Ardern is very much not associated with compassionate response to Covid, for them.

              I'm not saying either side is right. I am saying there is a big difference in perception.

              • Muttonbird

                I'm not saying either side is right.

                There it is. I am always amused some people are too afraid to take a position on anything.

                • Belladonna

                  Centrist. Remember. Not a died-in-the-wool advocate for either side.

                  Awaiting your response to the actual points I made.

                  • Muttonbird

                    I will not bother with responding to your introduction of Chris Hipkins into the argument done seemingly to deflect from your initial outrageous claim.

                    Your fellow traveller Tinder has attempted something similar vis a vis Labour’s inaction on tax brackets.

                    • Belladonna

                      You do realize that centrist and right wing people vote too….

                      And that they have opinions – even though not ones sanctioned by you.

                      If you refuse to take the perspectives of the 'other side' into account, you will perpetually be surprised when things don't go the way you believe they should.

                    • Muttonbird

                      Again there is this idea we should meet libertarian lunatics half way.

                      We should do no such thing.

          • Shanreagh

            The rapid switch in popularity, in my view, is because parts of the electorate got tired of a woman being PM, or in charge, or seeing a woman in charge. They saw her every day for a while and had plenty of time to get riled up at the 'unnatural order' so called, of things. That she was personable and genuine and popular because of these characteristics would have made them angrier. "the world should not be ruled by fluffy and caring'

            I keep saying about my experience seeing all those 40s-50s men driving their utes/wagons down to the protest and saw some of their signs. But before that they saw the PM being logical, her Cabinet members being logical and also caring and thought, this is just so much B-S.

            She lost popularity because she was a women and she was unable to hide anywhere as normal people (like us) expected her to lead.

            Others can say it was this or that but using my age old trick of imagining a male being in charge instead of Jacinda Ardern this would not have lead to the vituperative anti male, derisory comments. I don't think we would have seen maddened people running after a male PM if he had visited a school.

            The orange man inspired anti vaxx movement was far reaching, was glib and found fellowship in several countries such as Canada & NZ to play havoc in. He personally had an astoundingly bad attitude towards women and that would have been a reinforcement for bad attitudes here. .

    • tWiggle 7.3

      Going from almost universally loved to being seen as divisive and truly hated by many…

      I personally don't think she was almost universally loved, rather respected for her emotional openness and her refusal to shitmouth others. She knows how to communicate well and reach people with simple messaging. How that deteriorated..

      Firstly, the choice to front up daily during the pandemic lockdowns meant a loss of novelty. An element of head girl exhorting us, yet again, to keep our uniforms tidy crept into our dynamics with her. We think of Winston Churchill as always spouting away to the British public during WW2, but in fact he only made 30 speeches in 5 years.

      Secondly, going into lockdown 2 in Auckland, the government seemed to lose control of the narrative. Contrast the negative effect of this on the general perception of our government with that of Dan Andrews, Premier of Victoria.The Melbourne lockdowns were much worse than anyone experienced here. Yet Dan Andrews was swept back into power in recent state elections, despite that history.

      I think in part this is because Ardern had become (by accident or design) an international figure, and was therefore targetted by right-wing media like Fox News. They pushed the idea of Dictatorship NZ, and, suckers as we are, many fell for the false mirror being held up to us. Not helped by those whinging about being shut out of NZ, despite being told to come home very clearly at the start of the pandemic. And not helped by government backtracks in response to individual cases, which made the whole quarantine system look poorly designed.

      Thirdly, 3Waters legislation was a mistake, conflating Māori governance with a sensible water management policy that was already a hard sell, due to local body scepticism. It is true that this Labour government has acted strongly to lift the status of Māori in NZ, and we've come a long way in 2 and a bit years. Still, many feel they've been dragged rather than led. And the Labour Party did not educate the electorate about WHY, either before the election, or since. So Ardern and her government are seen widely (and perhaps fairly) as lacking transparency about this agenda.

      Finally, mud sticks. Obama couldn't shake off birthist lies. Hilary Clinton eats babies. There's plenty of evidence that blatant lies like this repeated often enough just stick, and eventually are seen as true by some. For others, doubts about the probity of the target creep in. The Parliament anti-vax protest did huge harm to Ardern's image by parading their memes in front of the public day after day, and I think that was another nail in the coffin.

      Nice to have the chance at the Standard to put me 2 cents in.

      • Belladonna 7.3.1

        "Not helped by those whinging about being shut out of NZ, despite being told to come home very clearly at the start of the pandemic."

        This is absolutely not true. At the beginning of the pandemic, Kiwis overseas were specifically told to 'shelter in place' if this was at all possible.

        One week (since the initial announcement) was entirely unrealistic for Kiwis to return to NZ – especially as there were few flights, and pretty close to zero tickets available.

        • Visubversa

          Absolutely – the flights stopped. We had British friends here who were booked to return to the UK in late March 2020. They got back on a repatriation flight in June.

        • tWiggle

          I remember the PM saying clearly in her announcement of the lockdown words to the effect of 'come home now if you can', with the implication that a ready return may not be feasible in the future. Borders were held open for a short while afterwards for citizens. I remember repatriation flights organised up to 3 weeks afterwards.

          Why are you upset entry to NZ was controlled? Seems sensible to me, with no good vaccine initially available. We evaded the chaotic, destructive rolling lockdowns in the UK, Europe and Aussie.

          A few of the exiles' stories tugged my heartstrings – those caught with no money and no visas. However, many fighting for places in quarantine seemed to be tantrummy and entitled, frankly.

          At least we let people leave NZ if they wanted, unlike Australia, who refused people the right to leave.

          • Belladonna

            I've provided the link to the actual advice given by the Ministry – and Peters as the Minister concerned, at the time.

            If you have an alternative source, please link. Recollections (3 years later) of what someone might have said, aren't always the most reliable.

            And, the fact remains, that for most people caught overseas – there was no possibility of return within the very short timeframe before the borders closed – there were no additional flights – and tickets were completely over-subscribed.

            I'm not upset that entry to NZ was controlled, I'm concerned over the (frequently repeated) lie that all Kiwis were told to return home (and, by implication, had the opportunity to returm home) at the beginning of the pandemic.

            • Drowsy M. Kram

              I googled "Ardern come home now if you can" and found these links – hope they help with the recollections.

              Call to Kiwis overseas: 'If you can get home – get home now'
              [18 March 2020]

              Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern: 'We have an obligation to let NZers come home' [20 March 2020]

              'Kiwis – go home': New Zealand to go into month-long lockdown to fight coronavirus [22 March 2020]
              I say to all New Zealanders: the government will do all it can to protect you. Now I’m asking you to do everything you can to protect all of us. Kiwis – go home.” – PM Ardern

              Imho, no Government is perfect (mistakes were made), nor can they work miracles. Still, as I recall, our Govt didn't do so badly, given the circumstances.

              • Your quotes from Ardern refer to Kiwis already inside NZ and/or those already in transit (or who would be in transit within the next few days).
                It was not possible, and there was no possible mechanism, to get Kiwis who were overseas home before NZ went into lockdown on the 25th of March.

                For those Kiwis, the official message (via Winston Peters and Foreign Affairs) was 'shelter in place'.

                You, are of course, right – no government can work miracles. And it was physically impossible for all Kiwis who were overseas to return during that very short timeframe.

                However, those people are (quite rightly) angry when they are subsequently told 'you had they chance to come home, and didn't take it'. They didn't have that opportunity.

                I do think that there is a lot that we could learn about the whole MiQ process – what worked, what didn't, and how it could be improved if (God forbid) we actually had to do it again.

                • Drowsy M. Kram

                  However, those people are (quite rightly) angry when they are subsequently told 'you had they chance to come home, and didn't take it'. They didn't have that opportunity.

                  The link @7.3.1 outlines the why they didn't have this opportunity.

                  Is there a link showing 'the government' subsequently saying "you had they chance to come home, and didn't take it."?

                  Who were “those people” angry at?

                  • Read the original comment for the context – and the very strong implication that 'you had the chance to come home and didn't take it'

                    Which has been shared on multiple platforms and by multiple commentators.

                    "There is a significant popular undercurrent that some people had the temerity to leave NZ, and are coming back when the going is tough."


                    The Grounded Kiwis court case made the point that a significant proportion of "those people" (i.e. Kiwis who were effectively unable to return to their own country) were angry with the Government over the operations of MiQ.

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      Read the original comment for the context – and the very strong implication that 'you had the chance to come home and didn't take it'

                      Which original comment contains that very strong implication?

                      I replied to your comment @7.3.1, which was clearly focussed on "the beginning of the pandemic" and its impact on the ability of Kiwis to travel internationally at that time.

                      Your comments @ ("Recollections (3 years later)…") and @11:19 am ("on the 25th of March [2020]") also clearly refer to events at the beginning of the pandemic.

                      "There is a significant popular undercurrent that some people had the temerity to leave NZ, and are coming back when the going is tough."


                      Only an unbiased respectful political centrist would then dredge up a quote from a Malpass critique of the MIQ regime published 18 months later (in Sept 2021) to support their original contention that someone/thing (our Government perhaps?) had “very strongly” implied “you had the chance to come home and didn’t take it.

                      Perhaps some respectful political centrists are predisposed to believing that the left and right are as bad as each other. In my humble and biased opinion such a narrative serves the right well.

                  • " In my humble and biased opinion such a narrative serves the right well."

                    Glad you're acknowledging your bias.

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      Glad you're acknowledging your bias.

                      Why it might be so difficult to self-diagnose and/or acknowledge political bias is a real puzzle. I've never knowingly hidden my (fairly obvious) political bias here, lacking the inclination and necessary skills to do so, although The Standard is a good teacher.

                      And I'm pleased it's so easy to gladden you wink

            • tWiggle

              Fair points, I apologise for my tone and assumptions, and stand corrected on fact.

              Reading comments in the Guardian about Ardern's resignation, there's more than one kiwi/expat kiwi pushing the Fortress NZ 2 year tyrannical lockdown, worse than NKorea story.

              Kiwis returning to NZ during the quarantine were wealthier or could access $$ for the flights. Those with less money simply had to stay where they were. I admit I had less patience with returnees' stories in the media due to that fact. The stories co-incided with a strong political push 'to open NZ, as it's throttling business, etc'. My sense of an element of whinge remains intact.

    • Cricklewood 7.4

      I would argue the mandates weren't a good thing, yes they increased the vaccination rate but they came at a heavy cost as it polarized a whole bunch of people both for and against. Basically long term damage to NZ societal fabric. That will take a very long time to heal possibly generational.

      I don't believe that cost was worth the extra 5-10% it probably added to the vax rate.

      • tWiggle 7.4.1

        I think you confuse these public health measures, ie. the mandates, with political decisions. A problem again introduced by the close personal involvement of the PM with public health messaging. I doubt the government would have followed a mandate path without extremely strong recommendation from the Director General of Health (Epidemic Preparedness Act 2006).

        We saw in the UK how Boris Johnson's government repeatedly ignored Health Ministry and pandemic taskforce recommendations. Perhaps you would now be contributing sad tales of dead parents to the Pandemic Response Inquiry, instead of complaining about disruptions to those who chose to not be vaccinated, even though they knew well in advance they would lose their jobs.

        It was divisive to introduce mandates, but 75% of people did support them. The division was inflamed by those making political capital and those fomenting outrage to get their social media numbers up.

        • tWiggle

          Riffing on the mandates and thinking about the 75% support, this is pretty close to those who got vaccinated in response to the public health 'carrot'. The carrot campaign was extensive public health messaging that a 90-95% vaccination rate would keep hospital cases manageable and lower death rate, and it was run for months.

          25% ignored the carrot, and the mandates became the 'stick' once community transmission appeared likely. I think the mistake was too much time lead-in time for mandates, so resistance had time to build and political agitators jumped in, including the international anti-vax movement.

          Perhaps if the mandates had kicked in almost immediately for critical jobs, and the government had just coughed up 2 months' severance pay for the 'no jabbers'?

          Other counties, for example Spain, ran very smooth vaccination campaigns with high compliance. On the other hand, they were watching people dying, a 'stick' you could not ignore.

          For many employers, I imagine the mandates were a blessing. Who wants to run a business where everyone's getting Covid?

        • Shanreagh

          I agree with this summation of tWiggle rather than that of Cricklewood.

          I think the so-called damage is overstated. The damage will be like the effects of the Springbok tour……you get yourself on the wrong side of history eventually, those supporting the Springboks, and those who were on the wrong side of history at the time, the marchers, but when it all washes over and time goes on it recedes.

          Those of us who let it continue to be a feature of their lives need compassion to readjust and this can be hard just as it can be hard to readjust with any momentous/psyche threatening thing that happens to us. Separation /death/divorce/losing a job through restructuring are dealt with by some but others need a helping hand, counselling. But you come right or rather life piles on experiences that push those experiences back.

          In the case of the occupation, I read somewhere that someone going there felt that there perhaps was a higher percentage of psychologically damaged people there.

          The constant rehashing unless it is part of a conscious process of learning is hopeless. We will never learn from what happened, we will never be able to say dispassionately this was done then but now we have learned we will do it that way. Not to close the circle invalidates the experiences and keep them conscious and ticking over, brooding. This is no good for an individual and no good for the huge organism we call NZ.

          That is why I made the point earlier on, Anne agreed, that we are overdue a report from the police on finding flows. We have excellent reports from the Disinformation project (ongoing) and from the Director of SIS on the threats but really need more information about these groups VFF, Destiny, the rt wingers on the grounds etc. The documentaries are excellent as well.

          Just on the mandates some friends (nurses) did not actually mourn those who left pointing out that their actions had a possibility of affecting colleagues and patients alike. The younger nurses going through the Uni system have to have up to date vaccinations to start training and once trained to maintain them. There is a group where no such expectation/requirement exists. Other friends working in the PS were adamant they were working from home if non vaxxed were able to work.

    • Bearded Git 7.5

      Tsmith-Jacinda wasn't hated by "many". Where is the statistical support for this statement? She was still the most popular choice as PM when she resigned.

      She was hated by loony VFF people because of her sensible and effective Covid policies. She was hated by hard right National and ACT voter's who couldn't stomach her policies, popularity and success.

      The MSM, especially the Herald, should hang its head in shame for the way this was reported. The MSM was particularly culpable in its reporting of the highly effective border quarantine system. The tiny percentage of self-serving people who had problems (which was bound to happen) portrayed the system as a failure. This was all done to help big business who wanted the border open and bugger the deaths.

      • Shanreagh 7.5.1

        Agree with this.

        Loony tunes Antivaxxers disliked her with a passion and some Aucklanders who felt they were long past wanting to play their part in eliminating/moderating the risk when the infections were at their highest in Auckland.

  8. Ad 9

    Presumably we get reshuffle end of today.

    • Drowsy M. Kram 10.1

      The replies! Don't know whether to laugh or cry.

      • Visubversa 10.1.1

        It is more than obvious that for may of them, their marbles have long since rolled off to reside under the refrigerator.

        On a local community page I follow, a chap spent most of yesterday insisting that Jacinda and Clarke were both crackheads, and that the entirety of the Police and the Judicial system were involved in a massive cover up on their behalf. No amount of evidence – Police statements, the ODT reporting of the court case that Clarke won etc was going to shift him.

        When presented with any kind of dissenting view – his response was abuse and threats of violence.

        Seems to be a common feature of cult behaviour.

      • Shanreagh 10.1.2

        I've just spent a wee while replying.

    • Mac1 10.2

      Listened to the video. Hipkins said we would 'chase up' those who have not been vaccinated. I don't think that the presumably American commenters understand the Kiwi usage of 'chase up', meaning 'to get in contact with a second or more time".

      They seemed to hear ‘hunt down’……

      • Incognito 10.2.1

        What some pre-conditioned people may have heard is:

        I will look for you, I will find you, and I will vaccinate you.

        • Mac1

          As opposed to "will be given the opportunity"….

          • Incognito


            • Mac1

              'Choice' in many ways, from the vernacular meaning of approval to meaning options, to meaning things like voting, which many of the commenters seemed to think we did not have, living as they think Kiwis do in a brainwashed autocracy where freedom of choice had to be defended by guns.

              Do these folk not believe we are to have a free election here in October?

              • Incognito

                Do these folk not believe we are to have a free election here in October?

                Initially, I thought this was entirely rhetorical, but then I realised that some (??) Kiwis have started to believe what others believe and the views those others express online, be they real people and/or bots, who have never lived or even been to NZ. And by linking & liking, and re-tweeting it spreads to friends & ‘friends’ and people you (think you) know and (can) trust, which creates an illusion and perception of ‘pretty truthful’. Also, it is often picked up & aided by MSM, and so on and so forth, giving it another ‘layer of legitimacy’.

  9. Reality 11

    Drowsy M – exactly. It amazes me there are all these deranged people who have been brainwashed lurking in communities everywhere. How do they manage the normal chores of daily living when their heads are in outer space somewhere?

    Made the mistake out of curiosity of having a look at Kiwiblog a short while ago. Unbelievable. Two minutes of it was more than enough.

    • Peter 11.1

      Deranged people who have been brainwashed lurking in communities everywhere?Some of them are doctors and lawyers.

      Our farmer friends have an offal pit. It is a lot more savoury than Kiwiblog. At some time that site used to carry a slogan, something like "Fomenting happy mischief." It operates like a 24 hour a day night cart the driver happy to collect and spread as much crap as possible, present and misrepresent as much as possible.

  10. Jax642a 12

    New poster here so be gentle.
    I don't know if this has bee brought up here – there is a lot of things to read. What does everyone think the cabinet reshuffle will look like? Hipkins will no doubt move pieces around but does anyone have an opinion on who will go up and who will go down?

    • Mac1 12.1

      That is yet to be decided. Meanwhile announced but eclipsed by the PM's announcement was the spokesperson reshuffle by Luxon. Some up, some down. Any thoughts about what happened there?

      • Belladonna 12.1.1

        You can tell I'm still on holiday time – I'd missed it completely.

        I don't think there is too much to read – it's a fairly minor re-shuffle on the face of it – although the rehab of Collins and Muller is interesting – possibly a sign that the factions are aligning behind Luxon as the best route to success for National in October.

        A quick glance gives me the following points of commentary

        • Kuriger has been demoted even further. Given Conservation – clearly as a sop – which tells us all the importance that National assign to that portfolio. Not that this would be much of a surprise. Although Labour's Poto Williams – current Minister – isn't exactly a shining star, either (although, at least she's not been tarred with using her office for personal/family gain)
        • Tama Potaka gets Maori Affairs (unsurprisingly), and associate housing – with a focus on social housing. That looks like a cunning move – to use him to challenge Labour in this area. It will be interesting to see how he stacks up against Megan Woods in the house – who is very typically on top of the issues of her portfolio.
        • Judith Collins is on the road to rehabilitation. Many on the left will look at her in disbelief, and wonder what it takes to bury her for good [NB: tongue in cheek, not a misogynous comment, or a threat]
        • Todd Muller is also on the rebound. Moving up to 12th – and gaining Agriculture (permanently) – which is a really significant portfolio for National in their October 2023 positioning.
        • Chris Bishop picks up urban reform and RMA. And National will be expecting him to be a significant attack strength on this in the House. Parker is currently point on this for Labour – will he retain this role under Hipkins?
        • I don't see much in Michael Woodhouse being Shadow Leader – he and Bishop have been tag-teaming this for the last couple of years.
        • Incognito

          Slim pickings for Luxon and a stale uninspiring gang that says opposition but not election. Just as well, ACT is looking after the policies.

        • tWiggle

          Judith Collins: Nats attack dog. A strong indication of a dirty, no-holds-barred election campaign.

          Nats seem to apply a recurrent strategy to their female MPs. When in government, hand them hot potato portfolios to do the dirty work, then replace them six months before the election, for the 'clean hand' look, leaving them to carry the karma.

          In the case of Judith, the boys allow her out to maul the government when in opposition, by hook or by crook. But when in power, they try to muzzle her again. Not someone you'd trust behind your back once PM, as history shows.

          • Belladonna

            Agree that Collins is an attack politician.

            However, I'm unable to think of another National women MP who fits your characterization – and who has been replaced just before an election – thus making it a trend.

            The two high-profile National MPs I can think of who have been demoted (Collins and Bennett) had rankings change as part of a leadership coup. I think it's a bit of a long shot to describe this as being replaced "six months before the election, for the 'clean hand' look, leaving them to carry the karma."

            Others, like Kuriger – have hardly been prominent enough to be described as doing the dirty work (and her demotion is entirely her own doing)

    • Craig H 12.2

      There's a possibility that Ministers who have announced their retirements will go down or even out. Ardern herself has an obvious set of portfolios to move to Hipkins, and clearly Hipkins' portfolios needing shifting.

      Robertson has been confirmed as continuing as Minister of Finance – not sure if he will retain his other ministerial portfolios e.g. sport, but there's no real reason for him not to unless he wants less on his plate or is getting other big portfolios (acting Leader of the House and Minister of Public Service until the reshuffle).

      Jan Tinetti as Minister of Education is obvious. Stuart Nash has been announced as acting Minister of Police – could see him retaining it.

      Upwards could be Dr Deborah Russell, Barbara Edmonds, Dr Duncan Webb and Camilla Belich.

      • Visubversa 12.2.1

        I know it is a wee while away – but who do we think will be the new MP for Mt Albert? I would put a dollar or two on Helen White MP. She lives in the Electorate and has been the assigned MP for Auckland Central – which was the role Jacinda had before she came to Mt Albert.

        Helen is very cap[able – she is a lawyer and specialised in representing people in work disputes. She has maintained a good electorate organisation in Auckland Central.

        • Craig H

          Would make a lot of sense for it to be someone who is already an MP living in the electorate.

        • Belladonna

          I have a lot of time for Helen White. And she's definitely someone who has put the hard-yards in campaigning under thankless conditions over several elections. She's not exactly shone in the House or Government over the last 3 years (although, to be fair, she's had little opportunity as a backbencher)

          If she does shift to Mt Albert – what impact do you think it would have on the electorate in Auckland Central?

          Swarbrick has been a game-changer in that electorate for the Greens – and has the reputation of being a very good local MP. She may well have the strength to hold off all challengers.

          But the 2020 results (which, aren't anything like the usual picture) were Greens: 12,631; Labour: 11,563; National: 9,775. This in an election which sent National to historic lows. That's not a comfortable margin for Swarbrick.

          And, remembering that this was the electorate that Nikki Kaye held from the strong challenge of Jacinda Ardern, within very recent memory.

          • weka

            Yeah, but the solution to that voting situation is for Labour voters to vote Green.

            • Visubversa

              Not necessarily. The Greens have got their 5% plus – even when their Co-leader committed political suicide just before an election. The Greens ran Auckland Central like a by-election last time – there were people from all over the country working there – a friend of mine from Riccarton spent 4 weeks campaigning in Auckland Central. That is not going to be sustainable in the long term.

              If the Greens can't get 5% overall, they should not be heavying Labour people in Auckland Central to vote Green in the electorate.

              • weka

                I meant the solution to Nat potentially winning the electorate due to vote splitting.

                • Belladonna

                  I agree that it's a solution – and one that's historically worked well for ACT in Epsom.

                  However, I'm not seeing any indication that Labour are prepared to give Swarbrick the nod (even unofficially) – and, indeed Helen White fought her to the wire in 2020.

                  I don't see a lot of evidence of tactical voting favouring the Greens (though plenty the other way around – people party-voting Green, but voting Labour for the candidate).

      • Belladonna 12.2.2

        That's a tricky one.

        On the one hand – you can see the need for new ministers (who will be hopefully staying on after October 23) to gain the ministerial experience they'll need to hit the ground running.

        On the other hand, Labour won't want to be exposed to any rookie Ministerial mistakes.

        Perhaps lots of associates – taking an increasing amount of the load throughout the year?

        • Shanreagh

          Good points. No need really to move aside those who are performing well. Associates are able to share the load and learn at the same time.

  11. Muttonbird 14

    So depressing for JA and her family. Protection in perpetuity because anti-vaxxers and their stablemates NACT voters are too dangerous.

    “The security requirements for ex-Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern are going to be far tougher than any previous prime minister – by a lot.”

    Threats against Ardern are well documented and were recorded to have tripled between 2020 and 2022. In mid-January police started investigating after leaflets threatening to “eradicate” Ardern were delivered to houses in Northland.–expert

  12. joe90 15

    Aww, poor babies had to wheel their stuff … for like one hour up a massive hill...and then they had a cry to mum.


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