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Open mike 30/03/2015

Written By: - Date published: 6:30 am, March 30th, 2015 - 335 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

openmikeOpen 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 …

335 comments on “Open mike 30/03/2015 ”

  1. Paul 1

    ‘Peters promises payback’

    ‘Northland’s new MP predicts other regions will pick up seat’s discontent and also punish Government.’

    If I were a resident in other neglected provinces and regions of New Zealand, I’d be picking up the phone this morning to my National MP and asking why should I vote for you in 2017, when the threat of a vote against the National Party seems to guarantee lots of promises of infrastructure.

    Just an idea…..


    • tc 1.1

      The bridges were already planned, Nats just used the MSM’s unwillingness to ask the obvious questions.

      Its a shell game with northland at the expense of other projects/regions that get bumped back if they get accelerated at all now Osborne lost.

      Winston needs to go look at a few normal and charter schools and talk to health workers/teachers to gather plenty of ammo for his ongoing battle with the nasties.

    • DH 1.2

      I think people are reading too much into this. This differed from a general election because the effect was known before votes were cast, people knew in advance that voting Peters wouldn’t change the Govt. It was an opportunity and people took it, come next election I’d wager it will be back to business as usual.

    • ScottGN 1.3

      Young and Trevett spinning like the bloody Hadron Collider in the herald this morning.

    • Skinny 1.4

      Much better reporting by Claire Trevett after her attention grabbing headline yesterday, where she mooted Peters would not resign as a list MP. Something Peters has refuted as nonsense this morning.

      Speaking of the media TV 1/Corrin Dann needs a bloody good strum up. You can not blame Peters for being angered yesterday morning when Q & A chose to interview Joyce & Osborne ahead of Peters.

      Un bloody believable, they give 2 losers preference over the resounding winner, making him stand around in the rain, (which had me take shelter under a cafe umbrella) while master stroker Joyce spun all the excuses under the sun. I watched Q & A +1 hour later at our motel. Dann’s snitchy attitude was obvious, as were all the MSM media hacks, I said to one ‘geez anyone would think Osborne was the winner pretty poor making a near 70 year old winner stand around in the rain, I guess it is Northland.”

      • Draco T Bastard 1.4.1

        What the hell was Joyce doing in there at all? It should have been the two candidates only and at the same time.

      • ScottGN 1.4.2

        I wish Winston had told Q & A to go get fucked. The way they let Joyce monopolize the whole programme with his droning spin was appalling.
        Key on the national radio this morning has decided that National didn’t do anything wrong it was all Andrew Little’s fault because he didn’t behave predictably.

        • Skinny

          It been all about the ’40 hour week’ campaign Osborne put in, every media opportunity the 40 hours is in there by Key and his snake oil department. They are positioning themselves to protect honest John from the big issue of the Sabin fallout.
          Let us hope ‘tick tock’ Hooton will raise this during the election wrap up on nine till noon.

          I should have posted this in the other topic posted.

      • DH 1.4.3

        “Dann’s snitchy attitude was obvious, as were all the MSM media hacks”

        The taste of dead rat would probably make anyone snitchy. Politics aside Winston Peters win is going to provide plenty of quiet satisfaction and entertainment. The MSM loathe Peters because he doesn’t show them the respect they think they deserve and he despises them in turn for that weakness. That they’re so blatant in their dislike of Peters is testament to the poor state of the media this country.

        Whenever those in the MSM interview Peters from now on they’re going to interpret every body action and retort of his as a big ‘F-You’ whether it’s there or not. They’re going to squirm and eat more dead rats and it couldn’t happen to a more deserving bunch.

      • David H 1.4.4

        Yeah Dann is just another suck up jonolist who won’t do his job, and ask the hard questions of Joyce n co but tried it on with Winston. Didn’t get far Winston told him off lol But leaving the winner till last that really was a bad move.

    • Chooky 1.5

      @Paul…good Winston is doing follow through already and not resting on his laurels

      ‘Northland’s new MP predicts other regions will pick up seat’s discontent and also punish Government.’

      Already John Key is saying the RMA will have to be redrawn because he doesnt have the numbers after Winston’s win…Winston wont support it


  2. CnrJoe 2

    Anne Tolley – resign.

    • tc 2.1

      No no no…..incompetence such as hers needs to be left out in the open and focused on along with Parata, JLR, Brownlee, Barry etc

      The next sock puppet will be no better but get the ‘ I’m getting up to speed’ excuse, stick with the maniac we all know and love, especially one as thick as a whale omelette.

  3. Adrian 3

    The Curse strikes again. Radio NZ ” Key in NZ changing room at MCG”. Why didn’t he stay at fucking home, or Hawaii.

    • Paul 3.1

      Or go to Singapore, like Abbott

      • ScottGN 3.1.1

        And why is it we apparently don’t have a single journalist who can be arsed to ask Key if snubbing Singapore in favour of the cricket was such a good idea especially as MFAT is scrambling to counter the Snowdon revelations in the region.

      • David H 3.1.2

        That was a real bad move. cricket over a state funeral he should have gone to the Funeral. it makes the NZ govt look bad. If they can look any worse than they are already.

      • Tracey 3.1.3

        Even Abbott understands he is a statesman… his missing that final was like John key missing the All Blacks in a final at the world cup… and yet Abbott understood that is his job…

  4. adam 4

    Is it just me, but Winston. He is a Tory and quite authoritarian – not of the scum verity like much of the national party, I give you that.

    But, one right wing authoritarian, beats another right wing authoritarian – and it’s a victory for the left?

    OK, some seem to think it’s a defeated for national – May I remind people they still have the sock puppet’s Dunne and Rimmer.

    Anti-authoritarian victory – Here, a big fail.

    • weka 4.1

      Some people think Peters will limit damage to the RMA. But yeah, the apparent* victory is in taking National down a peg or two. Whether this works for the left in the medium and long term, only time will tell. Peters is still untrustworthy, so it’s a gamble (that some are willing to take).

      edit, *I’m not sure victory is the right term.

      • Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark 4.1.1

        Peters is ‘less untrustworthy’ than Nats.

        • weka

          Depends on what you are trusting I guess. I would say it’s comparing apples and oranges. Nact can’t be trusted on many many things.

      • North 4.1.2

        Yeah…….Monday morning after Saturday night…….why don’t we all cluck wisely and agree that Peters’ by-election win is actually a poison chalice for everyone but Peters and The Right ? FFS !

        Yes I overstate – a device to point-up that there are some regular contributors to this blog seemingly intent on vaunting and imposing their self-percieved moral and intellectual purity. With a roughness suggestive of an appreciation that they have proprietorial rights here.

        The immediate example is latish Saturday night on the post celebrating (?) Peters’ win. Around comment 28. Bitter tellings-off…….the threat of ban swirling ominously around the ‘lower order’. A crude bullying purportedly justified by “the rules”. No ! It’s immature conceit. A follow on from a couple of days earlier when commenter Brewer was viciously and disproportionately attacked by five or six individuals, all loudly ‘+100-ing’ one another they having discovered ‘imperfection’ in Brewer. Brewer ipso facto a detestable phillistine going by the bitterness of the attack.

        Re Saturday night’s utterly pointless fire-storm I recognise the sense of “walking on eggshells…….” subsequently noted by whom I don’t recall. This is a blog FCS, not the Court of Star Chamber ! Again I overstate – a device to encourage others pissed off with these borrowings from ‘third-termitis’ to say so.

        • Tracey

          no emotional over reaction by you then…

          • North

            No, admitted overstatement for acknowledged purpose. Perhaps we could settle for this…….I am sure there are people who see what I’m saying. You might see a bit of it in the brutal treatment Brewer got the other day. Will do a search to identify the post and get back. Notably, when I remarked that Brewer was being attacked unfairly and disproportionately so not one of those doing it cared to respond to put me right.

            • Tracey

              I don’t read every post but accusing TS of being a Labour Party site and attacking an author are pretty firm rules on the banning front.

            • North

              Check “John Key’s Lies Since The 2014 Election” starting @ 17. Note also lprent at 17.21.1…….the same lprent who is so lamentably rude and harsh but never complained about like poor Stepahnie is, apparently.

              The whole Saturday night thing wasn’t just about “the rules” in any event……..in my reading it had more to do with anger at being disagreed with. Which as I say is not uncommon from some. The reference to “the rules” then and since has a last resort ring to it, especially when preceded by a protracted bashing handed out to the miscreant.

    • DoublePlusGood 4.2

      We’re just desperate for any kind of good news in this screwed up country.

      • weka 4.2.1


      • adam 4.2.2

        But. that’s my point DoublePlusGood, is it good news?

        Do two wrongs make a right – well in this case – they do, another right wing victory.

        I’m just pointing out, is it really good, useful -maybe —— but good?

        • Draco T Bastard

          is it good news?

          Yes because:

          1. This government will not be able to ram through some of the nastier policy that they were going to
          2. As part of the whole it shows that NZ is sick of this government

          Of course, how that translates through to the next General Election is another thing and Key et al will continue doing massive damage while they’re in power.

        • Tracey

          This morning the RMA in its present form may be doomed. If Osborne had won, would that be the case? So if that is the case, it is a victory for those who didn’t ant the RMA changed to reflect Nats ideas.

          • adam

            OK Tracey – How about defining the debate around the RMA as you have the power – not the Tory scum?

            I’m pretty sure I’d not be the only who would be interested to hear you frame the debate for the good of all kiwis.

            • Macro

              But the left didn’t have the power to do anything about the proposed dismantling of the RMA. That’s the whole point! The Nacts could just ram it thru on their own. Now they can’t.
              You may say that Peters is just another Tory, but that is a great oversimplification. Peter’s is now not the whole of NZF there are others who have a firm stake in the Party as well. Read some of their policy statements and look at the spokespeople on such issues as Health Education and Welfare. They are far from the policies of Nact. That is why around 3500 Greens voted happily for Winston, because those policies are very much similar to those of the Greens and Labour.
              Who introduced free health care for children under 6?

              • weka

                NZF’s AGW policy is not NACT aligned either.

              • Draco T Bastard


                Winston’s an Old Tory which means that he’s far more socialist than the New National Party. And I think NZ1st may be even more socialist than Winston. Still conservatives of course but they’re looking to conserve rather than destroy as National and Act do.

              • adam

                Do you need a history lesson Macro? Do you know this Name – Otto von Bismarck.

                Any chance you may have heard of him?

                Look him up – see what he introduced to Germany.

                Winston is an authoritarian conservative, that is his atavistic norm.

                • McFlock

                  Did you just seriously compare Winston with Bismark?

                • Macro

                  Yes of course I’ve heard of Bismark.
                  That is a ridiculous comparison. Yes Winston is a bit of a master at managing complex political issues, but

                  a. He is not a war monger.
                  “In a fiery speech in Parliament this afternoon, New Zealand First leader Winston Peters asked Mr Key why he wouldn’t let Parliament vote on sending the troops.

                  “If they are so right, as Mr Key concluded, that it’s the right decision then why not trust the people’s institution called Parliament?” he addressed Mr Key.

                  “Canada did, other countries in the 60 have, why not you?

                  “Or is he special when it comes to these decisions where we go to war not as a country but as a Government because that is a minority decision.”

                  He says New Zealand troops are being sent into a “snake pit” and New Zealand will pay the price of belonging to the Five Eyes Club.”

                  b. He is not in the Cabinet. ie no executive power as had Bismark.

                  c. He has the strength of NZF to consider. The bigger the party gets – the more decision making is shared. It is not just Winston, although that is the meme promoted by the MSM and the “conventional wisdom” – I’m not sure that actually holds anymore.

                  For further analysis of just what this election outcome means I refer you to a very good post by Idiot Savant.

                  • adam

                    What social policy did he introduce?

                    • McFlock

                      rather than pretending to be a quizmaster, how about you make an explicit point to justify a comparison that, quite frankly, would probably have WP giving the same grin he had when he demonstrated how to nail up a hoarding?

  5. Michael 5


    Any thoughts on Martin O’Malley for US President? He seems similar to Elizabeth Warren. He may run from Hillary Clinton’s left for the Democratic Party nomination.


    • weka 5.1

      no thoughts yet, but as an aside, the Huffington Post sidebar promos are pretty bizarre and following one of them just reiterates how far down hill it has gone.

  6. Pasupial 6

    There are 13 days left until the banning of Murray Rawshark is finished. Marty Mars, Rawshark – yeshe, and phillip ure, have decided to exile themselves from The Standard for the duration in solidarity. Myself, the Pigman, Swordfish, Chooky, and Greywarshark, have chosen the path of merely avoiding any commenting to Stephenie Rodgers for this period. She has the privilege of moderating as she sees fit, our only recourse is to remove ourselves from those areas of the site she controls.

    But there is little point in having a strike if no one knows about, so I will be giving a daily countdown on MR’s ban. If anyone is unaware of the circumstances leading to this unfortunate turn of events, see:

    Comment 5.3 (my own take) & replies on:

    Open mike 29/03/2015

    Comment 31 (original incident involving MR) & associated replies on:

    Winston takes Northland

    Comment 28 & associated replies (announcement from the Rawshark 4 of self-exile) on:

    Open mike 28/03/2015

    [r0b: If people want to protest a ban by taking time out from the blog then I’m sorry to lose them, but that is their right. However, I don’t see what good it does to re-litigate the issue every day for a fortnight. It’s actually damaging to author morale this sort of circus, when we are all volunteers with many other calls on our time. The fact is that folk here do react differently to Stephanie’s moderation than that of other authors, and the fact that they do is a worry for the culture of the blog. Moderation is a funny old business. Collectively I know we don’t always get it right, but we are always doing our best. Please be patient with us. Thanks…]

    • Chooky 6.1

      +100 Pasupial

      • Bearded Git 6.1.1

        +1 Pasupial and Chooky

        • Colonial Rawshark

          Marty Mars, Rawshark – yeshe, and phillip ure, have decided to exile themselves from The Standard for the duration in solidarity.

          + myself.

          • Chooky

            +100 CR…dont blame you!….you have come in for unwarranted flak and abuse from some …..look forward to you coming back though!…(you are one of the reasons i come here)

            …you are one of the best and most intelligent commentators here!….and generally unfailingly polite ..you are always educative!

          • Pasupial


            Okay, so that’s the; Rawshark 6, now.

            I wasn’t sure about Greywarshark when I typed the above comment, but having now checked, she hasn’t commented since;

            So I’m off too till Murray Rawshark comes back. He has much to offer about anything, and offers a useful viewpoint always.

            Winston takes Northland

            (Which was confusing me because; even though she said this on Sunday avo, it was on a post dated 28th, and I’d since seen her comments in the 29ths Open Mike).

            • Chooky

              Greywarshark is a boy ( I am pretty sure)…and an old (er) boy….just for your information

              …it does get confusing with all the sharks around

              • Pasupial


                Thanks for the info – I can’t think of any occasion when it has previously been necessary to know that.

                I’ve been procrastinating by checking various links for a while, but am about to try elaborate on the; “power imbalance between commenters and posters”. I reckon that using analogies is the best way to go about this. But I’m fully expecting to get insta-banned if I make a single mis-step on what will be a fairly long and windy wordpath.

                If this happens, could you take over the daily countdown till the; Rawshark Six’s return? You’d probably do best to stick with something short and simple.

                • Chooky

                  lol…will try ( salute commandant !)…last man on the deck…until…Penny is called up for duty…but hopefully you will remain for the daily countdown

                • weka

                  Pasupial, have you seen this from r0b, arguably one of the most tolerant and kindhearted people onsite, and speaking as a moderator to you?

                  [r0b: If people want to protest a ban by taking time out from the blog then I’m sorry to lose them, but that is their right. However, I don’t see what good it does to re-litigate the issue every day for a fortnight. It’s actually damaging to author morale this sort of circus, when we are all volunteers with many other calls on our time. The fact is that folk here do react differently to Stephanie’s moderation than that of other authors, and the fact that they do is a worry for the culture of the blog. Moderation is a funny old business. Collectively I know we don’t always get it right, but we are always doing our best. Please be patient with us. Thanks…]

          • Macro

            And me. I wasn’t able to comment at the time – but was appalled at the ban. Senseless.

    • weka 6.2

      “our only recourse is to remove ourselves from those areas of the site she controls.”

      I think it’s great when people take action. However it’s not your only recourse. Your other option is comment on Stephanie’s posts and abide by the rules.

      (btw, if you click on the the date/time stamp of the comment you want to link to, the URL changes to the link and you can post that instead of just the post URL).

      Open mike 29/03/2015

      Winston takes Northland

      Open mike 28/03/2015

      • Pasupial 6.2.1


        Thanks for the link-tip, though I did want to emphasize that it was not just a single comment in each instance, but also the replies to these.

        To make myself clearer; “our only recourse – if we want to display solidarity with the Rawshark 4, but don’t see TS itself as being worthy of boycott in this instance – is to remove ourselves from those areas of the site that Stephanie Rodgers controls”.

        I believe that I have abided by the rules when commenting on this site (barring taunting; fisiani, srylands & PR, now and then, but I believe their lying to our faces is as great an insult as anything I’ve said in response). As I said; “[Rodgers] has the privilege of moderating as she sees fit”, the thing that really annoys me in these events is that she waited until MR had stated; “I’m taking a holiday from here”, before banning him.

        Banning someone who has already self-exiled is disgustingly petty, and in my eyes (and those of many others) an abuse of moderating powers. You don’t agree, and that’s fine; go comment on SR’s posts as much as you want if that’s your choice. But I will not do so until after Murray Rawshark’s ban is finished.

        • te reo putake

          “Banning someone who has already self-exiled is disgustingly petty, …”

          Rubbish. Just about every commenter who realises they have crossed the line whines ‘go on, ban me, see if I care’ or words to that effect. If its ban worthy, then a ban will apply, whether or not the commenter concerns claims they are taking time off. Murray had the option of not making the situation worse when he was given some direction by Stephanie. His decision was to make a comment that was clearly going to inflame the situation. So, yep, a ban followed. As I’m sure he expected.

        • weka

          “Banning someone who has already self-exiled is disgustingly petty, and in my eyes (and those of many others) an abuse of moderating powers.”

          Care to prove that this is what Stephanie did? Bearing in mind there is no way to know timing because a moderator’s [bolding] isn’t time stamped, and there is also no way to know that Stephanie banned Murray after he self-exiled (she didn’t ban him on that comment, it was on a comment on the original subthread).

          But even if she did, it’s not uncommon for moderators to do this as TRP points out. And let’s be really clear, Murray didn’t get a ban for self-exiling.

          “I believe that I have abided by the rules when commenting on this site”

          Yet you join in undermining one of the authors.

          All I am saying is that you do in fact have choices here, so please don’t imply that you have no recourse but to avoid Stephanie’s posts.

          • Pasupial


            The time on the comments supports my interpretation, as does the fact that MR was able to leave his comment at all (if he’d been banned at that point, then it would have been automatically blocked, wouldn’t it?):

            I’m taking a holiday from here. I can’t handle the approach taken by a couple of authors in their moderation. It feels too much like abuse of power and suppression of debate to me. See you all sometime. Maybe.

            Open mike 28/03/2015

            There is no appeal to a moderator’s decision; so the way I, and others, have chosen to show solidarity with the Rawshark 4 is by boycotting SR’s posts.


            Murray Rawshark did not say; “go on, ban me, see if I care”, as you can see in the quote above. I do not expect to change SR’s mind about the banning, the point of this comment-strike is more to show MR that he his voice is indeed valued in this forum. And that we hope that his “holiday” will not be much longer than the remaining 13 days of his banishment.

            However, the incident does point to a power imbalance between commenters and posters. But I will elaborate on this later as I have work to do (which I should have started already).

            • te reo putake

              I didn’t say Murray said that, Pasupial. His response, however, was typical of others who have been in his position.

              Re: being able to leave a comment post banning, it’s not unusual and, in some cases, it’s lead to a ban being lifted in cases where there was confusion about what the commenter meant in the offending comment.

              As for ‘power imbalance’, well, d’uh! There’d be a power imbalance if I was visiting your house too. Commenters don’t have to abuse their hosts and if they do, they get asked to leave.

            • weka

              “The time on the comments supports my interpretation”

              I’m not sure they do. Did you see my point about moderator’s bold comments not being timestamped, so how would we know when Stephanie did the ban? I think you are assuming that Stephanie saw Murray’s self-exile before she banned him in the other thread. I’m suggesting we have no way of knowing if that is true. Just belabouring the point because this is why you say you are upset about it.

              “if he’d been banned at that point, then it would have been automatically blocked, wouldn’t it?”

              No, I don’t think that’s true. People sometimes continue to comment if they haven’t seen the ban. There is no automatic block on the commenter (unless Lynn goes in an does something with the IP addresses etc, eg for people likely to set up sock puppets, but I don’t think this happens for routine short bans).

              “There is no appeal to a moderator’s decision;”

              Stephanie suggested that people email Lynn. I’ve also seen people object to Lynn’s banning them and Lynn reverse the ban when he’s agreed with them.

              In this case, Murray got banned for associating Stephanie’s post with Labour and then for giving her shit when she warned him. It’s blatantly against the rules, so is there really anything to appeal in that?

            • weka

              “the point of this comment-strike is more to show MR that he his voice is indeed valued in this forum.”

              I totally support you in that (I value Murray’s contributions here even though in this instance he overstepped the mark). What I don’t support is doing that by undermining Stephanie (or any author) in the way that’s happened in the past few days.

              Power imbalance, yep, but I’d like to see you argue this as a matter of principle with all the authors in mind rather than focussing on Stephanie.

              • Thanks for your comments on this thread, weka.

              • Pasupial


                I am about to try address the power imbalance question, fortunately; Tracey at 6.8, has provided a selection of links to banning events which I can refer to without mentioning SR. Because I tend to be rather long-winded I’ll be doing this as a reply to my original comment at 6.0 (gives me more width to type in so it doesn’t look so long).

                In case I do get banned at some point in this comment-strike, I wanted to say that I have appreciated our discussions. While we certainly don’t agree on everything, I’ve always had the sense that you were assessing arguments on their merits rather than defending an entrenched position.

                • weka

                  Thanks Pasupial, I appreciate that, and I also appreciate your presence here. I can’t see you getting a ban for talking about power imbalance, but I do think that r0b’s moderation comment deserves respect.

                • Skinny

                  +1 the timing of this strike is terrible we should all be celebrating Key/Joyce/National being knocked off their perch not taking industrial action over an issue that can be resolved with everyone saving face. Christ its hard enough fighting the Nact regime in power as it is, without this dispute taking the acid off.

                  Spent a fair bit of time commenting on here the last few days, and i’m tired, however without the collective muscle of the brothers & sisters opinions I feel weakened. Therefore I seek immediate mediation to resolve this dispute or, with respect I am downing finger and walking off the job in unity.

      • North 6.2.2

        With respect Weka your comment “…….abide the rules” has the smell of a last ditch effort to justify rubbishy pretensions to omnipresence held by some on this blog. Which when offended unleashes first ugly dismissal, bullying and threats, then second, as if to sanitise the ugliness, “the rules….. “.

        A weird twist on TheGodKey’s frequent last ditch response – “…….within the rules……”

        • weka

          Sweet. If this is a principle dear to you, can you please run it past lprent next time he moderates in a rude and abusive way? Then let me know how you think the place would function without rules (Lynn is an excellent person to follow on site if you want to understand why the place works in the ways it does).

          • North

            Your tone supports my observation Weka. What “principle” Weka ? No “principle” involved. Observation only. Is that OK or are we back into the ‘high principle/deficit of principle’ carry on ? Referencing summary responses by lprent is beside the point.

            What is not beside the point is that there are those (lprent often liberal if rude in moderation not being one of them in my assessment)……those whom over time have exercised a propensity for the somewhat bawling, over bearing, bullying “How dare you……” demeanour. You’re welcome to go on believing that no one else sees this.

            • weka

              Ok, no principle. I don’t see what the problem is then. Some people, yourself included, don’t like Stephanie and/or her commenting/moderating style. I suggest you get over it. Or keep on with whatever you are doing and watch authors leave or not start in the first place.

              There are rules here, some of which are designed to protect authors in what can be a pretty hostile environment. Stephanie is an author. You want to have a go at her. I think it’s a mistake.

              btw, still waiting for someone, anyone, to explain why Lynn’s style is ok but Stephanie’s isn’t. The only person I’ve seen attempt this was Grey, and she put it squarely in the realms of gender.

              • North

                “…….in the realms of gender”. Rubbishy cry off advanced as a defence which actually tends to undermine the defence. Too much like “poor victimised me”. Definition of bully ?

                The majority of hostility I see is from Stephanie and Stephanie’s acolytes when Stephanie and Stephanie’s acolytes are crossed. Note I am careful to avoid gender…….just in case.

                • weka

                  First line, assertion but no backup.

                  Second line, opinion and ad hominen, and assertion with no back up (please link to where I’ve been hostile when I’ve been crossed).

                  Third line, completely misses the point about gender.

                  This is pointless and as far as I can tell is just more of the attack on Stephanie.

              • lurgee

                The only person I’ve seen attempt this was Grey, and she put it squarely in the realms of gender.

                I thought lprent was female for ages but it didn’t make me think ‘her’ moderation was more or less inappropriate.

                I can’t understand what all the fuss is about. It’s only t’interweb.

                • weka

                  Have a look at what happens to women online when they talk about women’s business. ‘It’s only t’interweb’ doesn’t cut it I’m afraid.

                  • lurgee

                    I mean, I can not see why people are getting so worked up about a fiasco on this irrelevant corner of it. Women are subjected to insane misogynist abuse elsewhere; but it’s very much a stretch to claim it happening in this case.

                    • weka

                      It goes some way to explaining Stephanie’s low tolerance though (not to mention the yet to be explained difference in how people criticise Lynn).

                      You should ask some of the women here what it’s like commenting here. I think you would be surprised. It doesn’t have to be out and out insane misogyny.

            • the pigman

              Very aptly-observed North. I’m also amused that the bullying of several long-time readers as misogynists has been flipped around into “ohhh everyone is bullying SR by responding differently to her moderation vis-a-vis lprent’s!”

              The thing about bullies is that they’re incredibly adept at flipping it around to claim they were the one being bullied all along.

              We meet enough of these people in workplaces and other communities. It’s only fair we be allowed to avoid them here.

              • weka

                It’s also a well known dynamic to ascribe conditions or labels to people instead of addressing their points. Sometimes this is done to undermine people and/or their arguments.

                Please link to specific instances of bullying by naming people as misogynists. I don’t know what you are referring to and would prefer not to start guessing.

                • the pigman

                  The thing is weka, I don’t think it’s a good use of my time to trawl through the threads of the last two weeks picking out examples by SR et al. Wage-slave that I am, I am at work, charging my time in 6 minute units, so I prefer to do this on my train rides to and from work. I don’t like fluffing around with this discussion on the phone when I am parenting, because it tends to make me a less focused/emotionally-engaged parent.

                  felix has debunked the issue about peoples’ responses to SR’s moderation being based on her gender. The fact that she is a female is completely separate from her interpersonal style. Yet her supporters drop in and state like fact (Wendigo Jane and Hateatea to name a couple) that people objecting to her only do so because she’s a woman.

                  My bullying comment was directly in reference to attributing sexism to Murray without foundation. That needs to be seen in a backdrop of some ongoing conversations and comments, not all of them from Stephanie. In another thread where you and I were discussing, Hateatea just dropped in mid-thread to hint (darkly) that I was pushing some anti-women “agenda” (yes, her word was agenda).

                  I am proud of the fact that I spent years volunteering for shine* (formerly Preventing Violence in the Home). I don’t need people who don’t know me telling me what a misogynistic scumbag I am.

                  So frankly, I have no more time to dedicate to this self-destructive folly. I have never made excuses for the couple of people who have made genuinely misogynistic comments on this blog. On the weekend I had to keep pinching myself every time I reached for my phone to see where this discussion had got to thinking “Crap, it’s cherry blossom-viewing season, here I am sitting inside with my family on a beautiful day, why can’t I just follow marty mars’ example and take the kid to the skate park?”

                  • weka

                    SR’s original comment about Murray and gender doesn’t fit my definition of bullying. I don’t know the wider context unless someone links to it or explains.

                    Even if SR does bully people, I still don’t get why that’s not ok when Lynn plainly does his own version and no-one has a go at him about it.

                    And there have been explicit examples of gender issues – Grey’s comment, another from someone else today that talked about how karol was a better feminist because she wasn’t so obnoxious (that’s me paraphrasing) etc.

                    I totally support you to take the kid to the park. I’m sure I’d be better off if I wasn’t limited to the internet being my main daily non-work activity.

                  • Hateatea

                    @ the pigman
                    I would appreciate the link to where I make the following remarks

                    “Yet her supporters drop in and state like fact (Wendigo Jane and Hateatea to name a couple) that people objecting to her only do so because she’s a woman.”

                    “In another thread where you and I were discussing, Hateatea just dropped in mid-thread to hint (darkly) that I was pushing some anti-women “agenda” (yes, her word was agenda).”

                    If you cannot find the first quote in the thread re Winston winning in Northland, it will be because I didn’t make any such statement.

                    I cannot actually find evidence that I butted in to a ‘private’ debate between you and Weka either but I await enlightenment.

                    • the pigman

                      Hateatea – let me withdraw and apologise with regard to your “drop-in” here. As Ergo Robertina says, it is a case of mistaken identity in a swirling maelstrom.

                      You will not find any evidence in support of the suggestion that you “butted in to a private debate between [me] and Weka” because, as you know, that is not something I said or suggested. It is not a very helpful characterisation, either.

                      My point was that a perfectly civil discussion about attitudes to rape and what constitutes it (further to the discussion around Assange’s case) was subject to what I thought was a pretty uncalled-for and unfounded accusation that I was using the discussion to push an agenda regarding rape.

                      I don’t want to engage Ergo Robertina directly on it (nor do I want to fan these flames any further). But from what I can tell:

                      1) Wendigo Jane suggested men bringing their real life stories into discussions of rape was offensive and icky. From what I recall there was support for this expressed from some quarters;
                      2) I suggested (in reflection, using way too much sarcasm) that frankly incorporating real life experience into discussions of rape and the legal framework surrounding could be helpful (in fact, I think demystifying rape as much as possible is important since I think it is likely to increase reporting rates and probably the rates at which men are prepared to admit to it);
                      3) I suggested there was a double standard in encouraging females to frankly discuss sexual experience but regarding it as icky when men do it on The Standard (in this regard, I used the example of Carrie Bradshaw, the main character from Sex and the City. Illustrating my ignorance (I have only ever watched about 3 full episodes) I called it Sex in the City..) Anyway, apparently I picked the Wrong Example™; because
                      4) Ergo Robertina used this as a launching pad to suggest all kinds of things that weren’t anywhere in my post or the surrounding discussion. She said: “Your patronising attitude to women – that their ‘icon’ is materialistic and shallow, and that they’re easily led/waiting to be told what to think – is pretty revealing of your agenda, especially the comments about rape.”

                      Let me borrow Ergo Robertina’s expression and say I was flabbergasted by that.

                      Anyway, that, I thought (almost 2 weeks ago now) would be the last time I’d come anywhere near this topic.. unfortunately it has persisted because… some (this time I won’t use names since I might get it wrong)… are keen to characterise all sorts of gender-neutral issues as pertaining to gender, patriarchy, and violence against women. All valid topics for discussion, but entirely irrelevant to – say for example – writers and readers of the Standard trying to celebrate Winston Peters’ win in Northland.

                      So, let this be the last crossing of the paths and blades for us, ER, SR, Hateatea and co. Despite the protracted defense above, I’ll try not to worry what you think of me, and worry not what I think of you.

                    • Ergo Robertina

                      @pigman ”I don’t want to engage Ergo Robertina directly on it..”
                      That’s right, because you’d prefer to passive aggressively bitch about me, going over the ”agenda” comment for a second time without acknowledging I’ve said I shouldn’t have ascribed a motive to you.
                      You act the victim and take others to task, without being willing to acknowledge the effects of your own inflammatory comments.
                      And it’s really wrong and misleading of you to twist Wendigo Jane’s point into them denying a role for story telling around matters of consent and sexuality. They did no such thing.

                    • the pigman

                      OK ER – let Wendigo Jane’s comment speak for itself (unedited, in its entirety):

                      Wish I hadn’t read all through the comments. I don’t find TS a safe place at all whenever the topic is feminism/gender equality/ sexual violence. Too many old-school, angry ignorant blokes, debate soon gets dragged to a basic/somewhat offensive level. Reading most of the comments now reinforced why I don’t bother coming to this site often and don’t often bother to comment. Have also noticed when the topic is sexual violence, male commentators talk about their sex lives – little anecdotes e.g. condom use discussion above. Unnecessary detail and just plain eeuw. I wish there was a different left-leaning blog, more advanced in terms of gender issues.

                      I thought that position was absurd and worthy of ridicule, because when discussing legal principles and the application of the law, it is useful to have facts to apply them to. Indeed, the Assange case is all about condom use! And commenters aren’t allowed to talk about it? I regret bringing Carrie Bradshaw into it because apparently that was a big statement about my opinion of women generally…?

                      Let me draw a line under this now. It is probably bedtime in NZ and I don’t think people should go to sleep worrying about an argument on a political blog. Also, I don’t want to have these kinds of arguments, especially not with the florid, personally abusive stuff. That is why I will be refraining from commenting on SR’s posts. Good night!

                  • Ergo Robertina

                    Pigman, I believe you could be mistaken re Hateatea’s supposed agenda comment, and it was me who made the comment.
                    I responded because you had dragged in something from a discussion of which I had been part (about the ‘real life anecdotes’) and it seemed to me you twisted its intent.
                    I was flabbergasted by your comment’s condescending and sexist Sex and the City line. Nonetheless, I shouldn’t have ascribed a motive in respect of an ”agenda” (in what was an over-heated thread).
                    Did you mean this one?

                    All Apologies

                    ”(except when it’s Carrie from Sex in the City or other “icon” talking about it”[-pigman]
                    Yeah, right. Your patronising attitude to women – that their ‘icon’ is materialistic and shallow, and that they’re easily led/waiting to be told what to think – is pretty revealing of your agenda, especially the comments about rape.
                    In respect of ”real life anecdotes” – they are of course like most comments, less what is said, more how it is said, and its context.

                    • weka

                      Thanks Robertina and Hateatea. I didn’t know what that was all about in the pigman’s comment. I think they are making a lot of mistaken assumptions about what people mean. Understandable if they don’t have time to follow the conversation, but I’ll pay more attention next time to the accusations and whether they’re grounded in anything.

                    • Hateatea

                      Thank you, Ergo Robertino. I know I am considered to be elderly now, having left 60 behind, but I didn’t think I had said what was attributed to me. I really hoped I wasn’t losing my marbles!

                      Nonetheless, I am still in support of a free, vigorous, female perspective on issues of the day and congratulate all the women commentators and authors here for the way in which they comport themselves in a sometimes less than welcoming environment.

                      Time to leave the computer to make tomorrow’s bread and get some sleep. Hopefully I will awaken to a mellow Tuesday 😀

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      1. Stephanie’s right.

                      2. see 1.

                      3. Will it take a male moderator to “decapitate” the issue, and if so, would they consider changing their handle to Miss Triggs?

                      And everything Weka wrote.

                    • weka

                      ha ha, no pressure there then.

                      Miss Trigg’s reference for those that want it


                      Decapitation reference too

                      Open mike 30/03/2015

          • Tracey

            THIS ^^^^^^^^

      • the pigman 6.2.3

        It’s not really easy to engage though, weka. Not when you (whose comments I have always enjoyed) are decontextualising then characterising a comment I made as extreme or misogynistic when I was just ruefully observing the gratuitous subtext of Stephanie’s comment.

        It’s all very well to try and deconstruct the collective response of long-time readers but if you cherry pick I’ll-advisedly capitalized words without looking at the wider picture/trends then you get nowhere. It’s also lazy and reductive to ascribe it all to gender and misogyny when it might just be that Stephanie’s interpersonal style is what has rubbed many readers the wrong way, which is not a function of gender. What if some readers have decided from her scattershot lashing-out at people that she is just not a particularly nice person? Are they free to scroll past her posts then?

        You basically need to be incredibly dispassionately objective (and have a lot of time on your hands for trawling through past posts/moderation responses) to get anywhere when there is a chorus of people telling you it is all down to your problems with women… which is easy to say but actually pretty needlessly hurtful to a large group of people you know little about.

        • weka

          “Not when you (whose comments I have always enjoyed) are decontextualising then characterising a comment I made as extreme or misogynistic when I was just ruefully observing the gratuitous subtext of Stephanie’s comment.”

          Can you please link, because I honestly don’t know what you are talking about. Did you mean this? http://thestandard.org.nz/winston-takes-northland/#comment-992866 I think you have misunderstood what I meant. It’s possible that I misunderstood your comment, and reacted to the flaming via ‘all men are rapists’ thing.

          “It’s also lazy and reductive to ascribe it all to gender and misogyny when it might just be that Stephanie’s interpersonal style is what has rubbed many readers the wrong way, which is not a function of gender.”

          I have never argued it’s all due to gender, and I don’t think I’ve argued it’s misogyny at all. I completely accept that Stephanie’s interpersonal style rubs some people up the wrong way, just as Lynn’s does, and sometimes TRP’s etc (and many commenters, myself included). So perhaps it’s not my laziness that is at issue here, but rather that people reacted to something they thought I said (but didn’t) instead of talking to me about it (some did try and engage constructively eg felix, but I think things had gotten out of hand by then, and felix and I disagreed on what was important to discuss).

          I agree it’s hard to take part in these conversations when some of us have the time and inclination to do lots of reading and others don’t. I don’t know how to solve that.

          As is often the case with these things, I think different things are being argued past each other. Mostly I’m arguing that we shouldn’t give authors shit in the way that Stephanie has been targeted, because I want the authors to not get put off writing here (huge respect to all the people that political blog regularly, it’s public service and hard work). I also think there the gender issue is worth exploring, but we haven’t gotten past flat out denial.

          Others want to argue that Murray was treated unfairly. I think that’s valid (although personally I think he broke the rules and copped a ban, end of), and I object to the way it was done. It IS possible to critique moderation without undermining the author/mod. There’s a good example linked in this thread by tracey.

          You basically need to be incredibly dispassionately objective (and have a lot of time on your hands for trawling through past posts/moderation responses) to get anywhere when there is a chorus of people telling you it is all down to your problems with women… which is easy to say but actually pretty needlessly hurtful to a large group of people you know little about.

          Fair point (although I felt a pretty lone voice on the gender issue for a while there, so I wouldn’t characterise it as a chorus of people). I think there is some misunderstanding here (personally for most of the commenters I didn’t think it was about personal sexism). And hurt all round I think. It’s a very hard subject to talk about online (most gender conversations on ts go like this). Again, I don’t know how to change that other than to keep having meta conversations about it.

          I’m sorry I didn’t get back to you the other week about Grey’s comment, because I get the sense we could go somewhere useful once we get past reacting. Am open to that in general with you, and appreciate you taking the time to raise what you do 🙂

          What if some readers have decided from her scattershot lashing-out at people that she is just not a particularly nice person? Are they free to scroll past her posts then?

          Yes. Honestly, the post belongs to her. That’s how ts works. It doesn’t belong to the commenters. If people don’t like her or her style, then stay away.

          • weka

            ug, sorry, have been messing up the html lately. In that second to last section your comment is in italics and then mine should start ordinary text from “Fair point”.

            [lprent; Fixed I think. ]

            • North

              Yeah, whatever re the tech’ Weka……but didn’t I tell ya there were people out there who understand what I was alluding to ? Jeez……talk about ‘entitlement’. To be listened to…….well that’s fine……but then the expectation of being automatically abided, submitted to. No ! And frankly, brusque intolerance tending to bullying is not saved by long winded ‘explanations’.

              Wouldn’t mind if the 70 year old Brewer, a life long Leftie, came on to tell how he/she felt after a vicious bashing from the Gang Of However Many the other day. And as I said above, when I stuck up for Brewer on account of the unfairness and the disproportionality of it, not one of the Gang cared to even attempt to justify their shit….they’d gnawed some hapless soul’s bones so why bother……I guess.

              • weka

                Sorry North, I have no idea what you are talking about.

              • weka

                wow, you really went to town on him there 😉

                (yes, it’s getting late and I’m resorting to that sarcasm).

                “And as I said above, when I stuck up for Brewer on account of the unfairness and the disproportionality of it, not one of the Gang cared to even attempt to justify their shit”

                North, it’s probably something to do with your comment in that thread being opaque and oblique. Plus the fact that there is no gang.

            • weka

              cheers Lynn.

    • DoublePlusGood 6.3

      The internet has plenty of space if people want to comment outside of the rules of the website. On a website with rules, stay within them or leave. They’re there for a reason – they stop the place turning into the kind of cesspit you see in the comments section in most of the rest of the internet.

    • r0b 6.4

      Please see my edit in in Parsupial’s comment at 6.

      • weka 6.4.1

        thanks r0b. And thanks micky in the other thread.

      • Psycho Milt 6.4.2

        Well said. Also: blogs aren’t exactly new – how is there anyone out there who hasn’t yet grasped the idea that you fuck with the site authors at your peril? No-one likes a whinger.

    • McFlock 6.5

      +1 r0b.

      For fucksake, murray has made a lot of good comments, but he spat the dummy and started all the victim-for-having-an-opinion crap that we all know and love from tory fucktards.

      As one who has received moderators’ warnings on one or two occasions, I found it quite simple to avoid a ban by realising that collecting a ban doesn’t make me Mandela and Snowden rolled into one. It just makes me find something else to do for fun for a couple of weeks. Long-time dickhead commenter, never had a ban as far as I can recall. If I can do it, it was certainly in the capabilities of someone more reasonable than not (like Murray) to pull his head in. He chose not to.

    • Draco T Bastard 6.6

      If anyone is unaware of the circumstances leading to this unfortunate turn of events, see:

      Quite aware of the circumstances and it’s a load of BS. Stephanie was quite right when she pointed out that her moderation gets a different response from that of LPrent and the other moderators. People always try to get her to change her mind but they don’t do that with the others. Why is that do you think?

      • Tracey 6.6.1

        Indeed… and some have delved into the archives to support themselves but didnt take Stephanie up on her research which showed she is treated differently to other moderators.

        I enjoy Murray’s contributions but to my knowledge the rules (NOT accusing TS of being a Labour Party site and attacking an author) apply to everyone not just those that some here don’t like.

        • Karen

          +1 Tracey.
          I think the reaction by some to Murray’s 2 week ban for a clear breach of the rules shows actually backs up Stephanie’s assertion that she is treated differently to other moderators.

          I don’t always agree with Stephanie’s opinions but I find her posts are always worth reading. I cannot recall her ever banning anyone who has not broken TS rules. If this has happened I’d like to see the evidence.

    • Hateatea 6.7

      Pasupial, I respect the right of you and the others to protest, if that is your desire. However, I do question your right to impose your viewpoint on the rest of the readership for fourteen days.

      Disagreements about substance and style are bound to arise in any community but those who find constructive ways to manage their responses to alternative viewpoints and styles are those who benefit the most from the dialogue that occurs here.

      Personally, I struggle with some of language and ways of expressing their viewpoint that some individuals here use but it is MY problem and I have learned to manage (mostly) how I feel. Likewise, knowing the site rules and observing the moderation of those rules enables me to keep within them, at least, I think I do!

      Some of those who constantly challenge the authors / moderators of this site need to reflect a little more on why they come under such close scrutiny from the moderators and, without changing their views, couch them in ways that do not breach good manners and community expectations.

      Having expressed your viewpoint with clarity and vigour today, I would hope that you might spare us all from daily repetition. It is my personal feeling that daily publication will actually create ill will to the protest rather than support. However, you must do what your conscience dictates.

      • North 6.7.1

        Care to check back on your OTT bashing of Brewer the other day Hateatea ?

        All credit to you for your rational non-bullying contribution today though.

    • tracey 6.8

      Have a read of these each day as well.

      Here’s Bill banning someone for a week for spinning a statement of Nicky Hager’s

      Spying on penguins

      Here’s lprent banning someone for two weeks for dropping a malware link

      Politicising banking

      Here’s lprent tearing strips off phil ure for not backing up a statement

      Open mike 02/03/2015

      Here’s lprent threatening a 4 month ban for using loaded questions

      Principled stands from Little

      Here’s lprent giving a 4-week ban for someone making a clumsy dig:

      The truth about The Standard

      Here’s a 4-week lprent ban for someone using the reply button poorly

      Key runs from poverty protestors

      Here’s a 4-week lprent ban for questioning another person’s ban

      Open mike 02/02/2015

      A month-long ban for mentioning a side topic not covered by the post

      3rd time today – when will they learn?

      A 1-week ban for criticising stargazer’s formatting

      it’s not censorship, it’s market forces

      A 4-week ban for being a smarmy shithead

      Open mike 02/02/2015

      • weka 6.8.1

        good work tracey.

      • lurgee 6.8.2

        Here’s lprent tearing strips off phil ure for not backing up a statement

        And coming in for some criticism and counter-argument.

        • KJT

          Just got back online and seen all this.

          To all involved.

          Stephanie’s post.
          She has every right to moderate, or not! as she sees fit.

          If you don’t like it, at least have the decency to re litigate it on open mike, if you feel you need to.

          Instead of taking the thread off topic, which is also a breach of the rules, by the way.

        • Tracey

          and how many of the other bannings in this list met with the same reaction as Stephanie got lurgee? Seems some here like rules when they dont like the offender (eg Pete George) and don’t like em when they like the offender (Murray). heck some here wanted PG gone despite breaking no rule.

          • lurgee

            I used to be a bit on Team PG, until I actually got into an argument with him … I think I recall criticising Rhinocrates for wilfully crashing a thread to attack PG. So I am, of course, blameless and pure. You squabbling vipers, on the other hand may have to check what your houses are made of before throwing those stones.

            I clicked on one link of the several provided – the one mention Phil Ure (because he annoys me …

            with his haiku style …

            Postings that don’t make …

            Sense even when you read …

            All the lines together …)

            And it looked like lprent came in for a bit of stick for his decision. So I’m not convinced SR is getting ‘special treatment.’

            • weka

              Yeah, she is.

              Open mike 30/03/2015

            • Tracey

              ” You squabbling vipers”

              omitting yourself of course 😉

              I am an Author here and I will defend an Author and the rules whether I agree with them or not.

              Greywarbler even saw fit to make up shit about me here to help her justify her dislike of Stephanie… not too many of those championing the injustice to Murray (perceived) leapt on Grey for that.

              So piss off with your “I am not perfect but I am better than you guys cos I am not stooping” crap. it’s transparent and false.

              • lurgee

                ” You squabbling vipers”

                omitting yourself of course 😉

                Of course. I’m a harmless Grass Snake.

                So piss off with your “I am not perfect but I am better than you guys cos I am not stooping” crap. it’s transparent and false.

                You mean I am perfect? How sweet!

        • weka

          “And coming in for some criticism and counter-argument.”

          Yep, and now compare how people criticising Lynn’s moderation related with Lynn, and how they related with Stephanie over the weekend.

          • lurgee

            What happened over the weekend looks like people become frustrated with an ongoing situation, so it isn’t really comparable to a one-off.

            Not generally following the silly little wars that go on here, I am not familiar with the full history of this contretemps. I think all involved should take some time away from their keyboards.

            • Tracey

              and yet happy to step in a stir the shit out of it. read ALL the links posted lurgee.

              • lurgee

                I’m not stirring shit, intentionally. I’m having a discussion. If you can’t tell the difference between the two …

                Choose a good one for me. One where a male moderator does something totally outrageous and unjustified, and yet everyone fawns on him.

                I looked on one, and saw lprent getting shit for his decision. Maybe some people just react badly to being told how to behave – regardless who is doing the telling.

            • weka

              Hang on, you just expressed the opinion that Stephanie is not treated differently than Lynn. I point to something that suggests she is, and now you are saying you don’t follow these things anyway and we should all just stop our silly fighting? Probably not the best way to go about that lurgee 😉

              • lurgee

                While you are hanging on, perhaps take a moment to re-read what is actually being posted, not what you think is being posted. There are two separate stands here:

                First, I mentioned that I haven’t been following the whole saga which is alluded to – something about Julian Assange, and various other spats on different threads, and people making up stuff about authors and piling in and blah blah blah.

                I pointed out, separately, that lprent gets a fair bit of stick for some of his decisions, and IN THAT AREA, there would appear to be no obvious difference.

                Do try to keep up, rather than going for cheap shots.

                • tracey

                  perhaps you could go back to your first comment and re-read chronologically from there rather than picking and choosing which comment you want to regard as your first…. Don’t forget to read all the links posted in support of Stephanie’s assertion.

          • Tracey

            Some folks don’t want to Weka… even when Stephanie first challenged them to yesterday at the near beginning of the original “to do”, none wanted to risk it in case they were wrong… today is no different it seems.

            • weka

              yep, it’s disappointing.

              • Clemgeopin

                Some here seem to have gone a bit nuts like dogs with bones or bees in bonnets or panties in twists? Why don’t we all cut the crap, concentrate on politics and more important stuff, instead of indulging in minor real or imagined, basically trivial stupid stuff and be good natured, kind and tolerant of each other rather than be annoyed, controlling and making mountains of molehills?

                Now digest that and dissect to your heart’s content.

                • weka

                  how about we be less judgemental too.

                  • Clemgeopin

                    There you go! What judgmental stuff?

                    • weka

                      Trivial stupid stuff, or that people are being controlling and making mountains out of molehills, those are judgements. Are they accurate? Who would know, but it’s kind of odd seeing people tell others off for being intolerant.

                    • Clemgeopin []

                      I was expressing my OPINION of what I consider as stupid crap that has been going on, unnecessarily and incessantly, and sometimes unfairly in my opinion. I think opinions are mostly judgmental, aren’t they? Anyway, I prefer not to continue this particular argument/chit-chat/judgement/opinion further as I think it is catty, divisive and quite pointless.

                    • tracey

                      I was pleased to see that within 3 hours of posting exasperation at being called judgmental you conceded you had been judgmental.

                      I have thought about “letting this go”, as some overtly or snidely have requested but it is actually important to some here. karol has already left because of a sense of an unwelcome and at times hostile environment (her opinion) and I do not want to see another talented Author leave because some here think she should shut up, suck it and fall into their world view of what this site is for, and who.

                      I am actually really lenient as an Author (dspite Greywarblers false characterization of me in the original thread), and have only once (I think) gone to private discussion with other authors to point out questionable behaviour.

                    • weka

                      expressing opinions is fine Clem, but if you are going to do so in ways that put other people and their efforts down then it’s reasonable to expect a response to that.

                      Mosly though I was just pointing out the juxtaposition of you telling everyone to be kinder and more tolerant while telling them they’re shit and they should change their behaviour.

                      @tracey, I appreciate you making the point about karol, and she’s been in my mind a lot during this latest round.

                • tracey

                  “… I think it is catty, divisive and quite pointless.”

                  As if to prove Stephanie’s original point in fact… why won’t these silly women just shut up and let the other people get on with real business.

                  • Clemgeopin

                    You are ascribing to me, in two of your replies above, things I didn’t say or mean about anybody in particular. Quite ingenious of you to jump to unfair conclusions. I don’t like to fight for fighting sake on trivial stuff where everyone ends up losing. Dogs go after chewed bones. I am no dog. Stop throwing them around.

        • McFlock

          Not sure there’s much of a comparison

    • infused 6.9

      Donno why they are banned, but she’s always been way over the top. If it hurts your morale, well sorry, but you probably shouldn’t be blogging.

    • miravox 6.10

      “But there is little point in having a strike if no one knows about, so I will be giving a daily countdown on MR’s ban”

      Ignoring all the other crap, this pretty much proves the point that the response to Stephanie’s moderation is different, and to me it seems like the culmination of people criticising Stehanie’s bans in a different way to how they deal with bans from other authors/modeerators.

      I don’t see a problem with asking for clarification if the understanding of the ban is unclear, I’ve seen it before that commentors have made comments on the perceived harshness of the ban e.g. the Phil Ure / lprent banning episode. But with these bans, the discussion left there, with odd comment in support of the person who was banned. Really, it’s not the commentors’ blog and the rules are there to be enforced as the author/moderator, not commentor, wants.

      Otoh, imo, it’s not helpful for the critics of the criticisers (!) to make assumptions about the reason why a commentor is criticising the ban, without also asking for clarification.

      Style, gender, perceived lack of ‘busyness’ compared to others, that it was a ‘leftie’ who was banned or whatever – It could be a combination of all, or some, or none of these points – but with comments over 3 threads and a couple of days, and an intention to push this out for another couple of weeks, this is obviously different (and unfairly so, imo) to what other authors/moderators have received in response to other bans that have been perceived by some as harsh.

      After the clarification has been given (which Stephanie clearly gave), don’t comment on someone’s blog, if you like, but please could you move on?

      [lprent: A couple of weeks?

      Highly unlikely unless people really want to get bans for being mosquitos. I couldn’t see any particular problem with the ban apart from Stephanie not being good at decapitations afterwards.

      BTW: I should point out that the project that has been occupying my time has been delivered. I have caught up on sleep. Read a series of 7 books over the weekend when I wasn’t sleeping. Above all Lyn is bugging off to Vietnam in the morning.

      I’m likely to be bored and mildly irritable for a few weeks. I can spend it improving behaviour towards moderators or I can improve the site in other ways. ]

      • miravox 6.10.1

        Jeez 7 books! I only read one – but then again there was the cricket at 5am…

        Pleased for you (and probably, with some trepidation given the extra time on your hands, us) that you have your project delivered. Nothing quite like that feeling.

    • lurgee 6.11

      Far more than the arguments of Weka and others, the gibbering from the self-righteous exiles and pseudo-martyrs is making me think there are some arse-holes out there who are simply out to get SR, for whatever reason.

      If we have to have sides in this stupidity, I was on Murray’s side when he was being Oppressed By The Powers That Be. Now I’m on SR’s side because there’s a nasty mob baying for her blood and mobs suck, massively.

      It ain’t always about who is right or wrong, but who is going to be big enough to get over the hump first.

      n.b. The above doesn’t apply to me, of course. I’m always right and that is all that matters.

      • Chooky 6.11.1

        @ lurgee ….lol…well actually imho all the best most intelligent people are jumping ship and leaving the righties like you on deck ….( not to mention some of the other unmentionables)

        ….is this a pirate takeover with the Jolly Roger flag going up the mast pole of the good ship The Standard ?


        …in which case some may be hunting for another space ship….and not coming back after two weeks

        • lurgee

          Rightie? I’m fairly left wing, Id have thought. Just not mad, and I don’t make the mistake of thinking my views are those of New Zealand’s. I just try to reconcile what I would like to see happen with what I think can happen.

          Still, if it makes people feel important doing this silly self exile martyrdom thing, I don’t suppose anyone can stop you. And I doubt we’ll miss the inane ‘+100’ type posts you specialise in.

    • Pasupial 6.12

      Regarding the power imbalance between commenters and posters on The Standard.

      We like to make a big deal over the comments because it is you coming on here, contributing your thoughts and ideas, that make The Standard what it is. Without all of you, it would just be a dozen or so people arguing with themselves, and if we wanted that we could hang out with the Libertarianz.

      400,000 comments (almost)

      Authors of posts can moderate comments on those posts, but there is no standard avenue for a commenter who has been banned to appeal this verdict (which may have been done hastily by someone who may not have been giving the issue their full attention). In the following example I assisted OAB in convincing lprent to rescind a ban (despite loathing the commenter):

      Open mike 27/06/2014

      But there may have been cases where there was no one willing to take the banished ones part. The moderators are free to ban commenters, even for; “wasting moderator’s time”, which is as flexible as a charge of loitering.

      At present The Standard has received over 900,000 comments off around 15,000 (?) posts. I have seen it stated by many that; the discussion in the comments section is as much a reason to visist TS as the posts themselves, eg:

      For me, the appeal of the Standard is the comments thread that occurs after each article. And like most regular readers, I have my favourites.

      Winston takes Northland

      Recently while thinking about the Green Party male coleadership contest, I was struck by Shaw claiming sole credit for a 50% increase in GP vote. I compared the efforts of the team he has spent the last few years assembling, to the preceding Kedgley team’s performance and was less than impressed. Yay Teamwork! (there was more but that’s the gist – I’ve done a lot of trimming and this comment is still way too long).

      The Standard authors gain the currency of mana as a consequence of their posts. Yes, they are monetarily unpaid, but so too are the commenters. I recall posts that bragged about the number of comments as a measure of their relevance (some involving the Cunliffe Q&As from memory, but no link found yet). It sometimes feels as if comments are viewed as a kind of feral animal that is enticed by the lush pasture of a particularly well crafted post and then branded as property of that post’s author.

      Imagine, if you will; a workplace such as a department store, where there are large semi-independent sections under the control of separate managers. Unpaid interns throng these areas serving to entice customers to inspect the wares. The main difference between the customer interactions of the managers and the interns is that the managers control the department hours. This allows the manager class to set the work conditions for the casual interns who are expected to endure the capricious firings and zero-hour contracts. When there are complaints, the interns are told:

      The [city] has plenty of space if people want to [work] outside of the rules of the [store]. [I]n a [store] with rules, stay within them or leave. They’re there for a reason – they stop the place turning into the kind of cesspit you see in the [workplaces] in most of the rest of the [city].

      (Adapted from DPG’s comment at 6.3 above)

      I’m not saying this is an exact analogy for commenting on blogs, but it does address some of the issues of the present situation. In this analogy The Standard would be more of a co-op than a department store. But while the managers of that co-op may be all aglow with their social virtue in sharing the profits amongst themselves, and being able to do much good with a fraction of the resources of the big chainstores. The interns are still caught in a precarious existence at the whims of their masters. Either they subsist on what crumbs they can scavenge from the cafeteria wastebins, or they leave to starve in the streets (where the rubbish skips are all territory of one gang or another).

      Within this analogy, I see Murray Rawshark as an intern who had stormed out after he’d been accused of; looking at a manager funny, only to be fired in revenge by that manager. The other five of the Rawshark 6, are those coworkers who have quit in protest. Whereas; myself and others who have chosen to stay but boycott SR, are the equivalent interns spending our lunch breaks wandering forlornly in front of a skyscraper holding signs scrawled on ripped cardboard with a broken biro.

      So, yes – I believe there is a power imbalance between the different writers on The Standard. The professional class of the post authors vs the precariat of post commenters (who even when told; “Open mike is your post”, are still monitored by that same group of moderators). Do I have an easy solution? No.

      A possible notion is that we could create an association of commenters (the “Aotearoan Union for Blog Commenters”?), who can discuss issues amongst themselves and present a clear proposals to (and mediate disputes with) blog moderators. However, I have neither the time nor organizational experience to set this up myself.

      So I’ll just keep on wandering up and down in front of the co-op doors with my picket sign, until the security guards come along with their fire hoses; to wash me down into the sewer with all the other trash.

      • miravox 6.12.1

        Interesting analogy.

        I always imagine TS as an invitation into a living room to join a conversation. I’m free to comment, argue a bit, and if I upset the host I might get kicked out.

        Otherwise I can come and go as I please.

        • weka

          Me too. Not only that, but I don’t have to clean up the place after a big party or bunfight, and I don’t have to do the maintenance on the place.

          • miravox

            ” I don’t have to clean up the place after a big party or bunfight, and I don’t have to do the maintenance on the place.”

            Very good point. I’m useless at tidying up 🙂 and many thanks to those who do this sometimes very messy job.

        • Pasupial


          I guess I’ve always seen The Standard more as a town square; where the custodians are certainly worthy of respect for all they do to maintain the space, but are more kaitiaki than proprietors.

          • miravox

            Hi Pasupial,

            I can appreciate the town square analogy, although that rather ruins the analogy you gave above.

            However it’s still the living room for me – you wouldn’t see/hear me in a town square discussion. I feel a lot more comfortable and able to ‘speak’ in a living room.

          • Psycho Milt

            I guess I’ve always seen The Standard more as a town square…

            Well, it ain’t one. It’s a blog, and bloggers are the owners, proprieters and absolute dictators of their blog. But feel free to go build your own ‘town square’ if that’s where you’d prefer to comment.

        • tracey

          Me too.

          I don’t think I am imagining that some of the most vitriolic threads in this place since I have been here involve so-called “gender” related topics… maybe I am wrong… but what is fact is that it is these topics which have seen authors and commentators of ALL genders leave TS.

          Food for thought maybe.

  7. northshoreguynz 7

    One of the many things I took out of the by-election is that Labour now has a leader who is prepared to make accommodations with other parties. Let’s hope the same thing happens in Ohariu in 2017. There are probably other seats as well.

    • Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark 7.1

      I see it as a leader who is being realistic and responds accordingly. And he did use the word ‘realistic’ several times in the interviews that I heard.

      • Bearded Git 7.1.1

        Claire Trevett’s take on this today in the Tory Herald:

        “Labour derided tactical voting on the right, but is rejoicing over its candidate’s abysmal result.”

        No bias there then.* (*irony)

        • Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark

          On another note, the Northland voters also saw through the hollow bribes that Nats will fall short in delivering.
          I am still waiting, after all these years, for the Nats “north of $50” bribe being delivered to me.

          Btw I remain quite unhappy about GST being raised to 15% despite the promise clearly given that there was to be be no hike. GST is a regressive tax and political parties offering an alternative to move us back to a fair society must propose policy changes.

        • Paul

          She writes for the Herald.
          What do you expect?
          Independent journalism?

      • northshoreguynz 7.1.2

        The other take away, is that there are votes out there in the regions.

        • Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark

          Yup and Labour should have a plan to get the party votes, or where appropriate, electorate votes out.

    • Bearded Git 7.2

      If Labour is polling say 38% at the 2017 election my guess is a combined Lab/Gr/NZF vote for National would bring Epsom back to the Nats given the Nats always split the vote by standing a candidate against the ACT sock-puppet. It would be so good to get rid of ACT.

  8. Clemgeopin 8

    What I want to know is, was our popular leader Key given the honour of presenting the WC Cricket trophy to the winners or losers of the final last night or not?

  9. logie97 9

    It has been said that Shane Jones may join his “mate” Winston in NZ First come 1917.
    I think Jones uses the word “Tiriti” too often for him to endear himself to Winston on the hustings.

  10. Penny Bright 10

    Sheesh people!!

    This Northland ‘buy’-election has popped ex-Wall Street banker (part-time) Prime Minister John Key’s carefully crafted, immaculately spin-doctored hot air balloon.

    The fortunes of the National Party have been absolutely intertwined with those of John Key.

    Winston Peters ‘nailed it’.

    National were ‘hammered’.

    In my view John Key will never recover politically from this, and ‘Mr Popular’ may now end up being one of New Zealand’s most UNPOPULAR Prime Ministers, now that the worm has turned ….

    Please be reminded that the 1984 Rogernomic$ Labour Government with its neo-liberal reforms was effectively far more right-wing (regarding economic reforms) than any previous ‘Tory’ government in NZ.

    Also – the anti-corporate tax evasion ‘Winebox’ Inquiry was NOT triggered by Labour, it was started, and finished by Winston Peters – NZ First.

    Facts are FACTS and truth is TRUTH.

    Lest we forget ….

    Penny Bright

    • Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark 10.1

      Cheers, Penny.
      I saw a tv clip of you holding your signs when John Key was walking past during his failed campaign in Northland.
      Good onya!

    • Chooky 10.2

      +100 Penny ….timely reminders

  11. Ennui 11

    I did some rough calculations on the Northland by-election. The vote was down 20% (7000) but last time half of that number (3200) voted NZ Focus or Conservative. Another 1300 voted for Willow on the weekend…I reckon that probably half of the 9000 majority Sabin won voted for Winston. My rough numbers tell me National lost 40% of their “core constituency” with probably half not voting and half voting Winston. Translate even a small part of that to a general election and National are in big trouble.

    • alwyn 11.1

      An interesting calculation.
      I did the same for the Labour candidate who dropped from about 9,000 to around 1300. After allowing for the smaller turnout that means they lost about 81% of their General Election numbers.
      Translate that across the country and that means that Labour will get about 4.6% of the vote in the next General election. They had better hope the win an electorate or they will be history won’t they?

      • The lost sheep 11.1.1

        Rude of you to point that out Alwyn, when so many posters here are working so hard to avoid confronting what the by election tells us about the Northland electorates faith in The Left.

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          Then you’ve nothing to worry about have you.

          • The lost sheep

            As you have followed my comments so avidly OAB, you will be aware that I arrived at TS on a search for evidence that the Left was rebuilding a fresh, strong, and compelling voice after a period of dire lack of vision and destructive in-fighting. (Didn’t find it here of course, but as I haven’t detected it anywhere else yet I keep coming back hoping.)

            So to see a situation where The Left is reduced to capitulating it’s own interests in order to gift voters to the Center Right Dinosaur of NZ First, and then to see The Left try to spin a huge Center Right vote as some kind of victory for Left Wing interests?

            Yeah. That worries me. I bet it worries you too.

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              That all sounds really really concerning. Apart from the fact that you made it up.

      • weka 11.1.2

        An interesting calculation.
        I did the same for the Labour candidate who dropped from about 9,000 to around 1300. After allowing for the smaller turnout that means they lost about 81% of their General Election numbers.
        Translate that across the country and that means that Labour will get about 4.6% of the vote in the next General election. They had better hope the win an electorate or they will be history won’t they?

        Disingenuous enought that I get to call you stupid.

        Plus, you really don’t get MMP do you.

        • joe90

          ^^ this ^^ ++

        • alwyn

          How could you possibly want to call me silly?
          I simply followed the logic (?) and reasoning (?) of Ennui’s comment.

          Did it lead to a silly conclusion?. Of course it did, but no sillier than the one Ennui himself came to. That was the whole point of it. Any argument trying to translate the features of a by-election into a conclusion about possible General Election results is foolish.

          And yes I do understand MMP. A great deal better than most of the people who comment on this blog as a matter of fact. That has been well exhibited in the past on various discussions of hypothetical election results.

          • weka

            I didn’t call you silly.

            I don’t think National and Labour are in any way similar situations, so the comparison looked daft and disingenuous. Plus you’ve obviously missed the intent in Ennui’s comment (hint, try including the word ‘small’ from their last sentence in your thinking).

            • alwyn

              You are of course absolutely correct when you say that you didn’t call me silly. I wrote the rest of it, used silly a couple of times and then when I added the line at the beginning I simply used it again rather than do a recheck on the real word used.

              I admit that I exaggerated the results over what was originally written. It was for effect of course and I remain of the belief that it is impossible to take something out of a by-election like this one and extrapolate it at all to a General Election.

              • weka

                Sometimes it’s better to just be plain and clear than clever. I took your comment as a direct jibe at Labour as much as anything.

      • McFlock 11.1.3

        Oh noes, based on the Northland buy-election, Alwyn projects NZ1 governing alone in 2017! You heard it here first!

        Or maybe plummeting support for national doesn’t translate to rises of support for the other candidates’ parties in the proportions received for each candidate.

      • ianmac 11.1.4

        Will you do the same for National re Epson alwyn? The National vote there must have dropped by maybe 80% so in 2017 National will get 20% of the vote. Aha! Flaw there somewhere.

        • alwyn

          I would love to do so.

          Will you please tell me when the by-election was held in Epsom?
          Those results are of course required to answer your request.
          Date of the by-election please. Surely you must have it at your fingertips?

          Alternatively you could read my response to Weka, which I had already posted before you offered your contribution.

          Open mike 30/03/2015

        • alwyn

          I am still waiting old chap.
          If you want me to work out what the effect of a by-election in Epsom implies about the next General Election you have to tell me when the Epsom by-election was held.
          Try as I will, I can’t find one.
          Perhaps you were just spouting a load of b**s?

  12. saveNZ 12

    If you want to send a submission against foreign powers being able to sue NZ under the TPPA then here is the link.


  13. Penny Bright 13

    Parsupial – I will join you in a boycott of commenting on posts by Stephanie Rogers on The Standard.

    I for one am NOT impressed with her ‘moderating’ style of work and her attempts, in my opinion, to stifle and effectively crush robust debate, then play the ‘you’re picking on me because I’m a woman’ card.

    Doesn’t work for me sorry – and I am a woman – who can ‘dish it’ as well as ‘take it’.

    Penny Bright

    • North 13.1

      Most times my reception of your point makes me chuckle Penny. This is one of those times. ‘Onya !

    • Chooky 13.2

      +100 Penny

    • Macro 13.3

      Hear! Hear!

    • Ecosse_Maidy 13.4

      Well said…Penny..

    • lurgee 13.5

      Good grief. This is why The Left are a bad joke. A minor squabble between a poster and a moderator – both of whom seem to be a bit in the wrong – becomes some massive “I am Spartacus” absurdity.

      Just grow up, The Left. None of this matters.

    • Ad 13.6

      OMG this from the woman who jeered right through the entire ordination of the Auckland Council after the election. How do I know? I was right behind you. You swore and ranted and screamed and yelled at huge volume for over an hour and a half, against people that thousands of volunteers had just worked thousands of unpaid hours to get into power.

      You are one of the least graceful, charmless, shrillest, most self-righteous, bullying, bellicose tryhards I have ever had the displeasure of meeting or hearing.

      You are known principally for roaring boorishly at Council meetings with no impact except sheer vanity. For your allotted 5 minutes. No one of the 21 elected members have ever asked you a single question in response. Except Cr Casey.

      And yet you have the nerve to tell someone off for holding writers to account for the same standard as the actual editor and controller of the site.

      Your continuing “boycott” simply increases the site’s average intelligence. Keep going and boycott the whole site.

      • Atiawa 13.6.1

        I will take your word for it Ad.
        Anyone who signs off every post with their already used name has issues – do you know who I am -. Strange.

  14. rich the other 14

    What did Labour gain ?
    Didn’t change anything and passed up an opportunity to obtain a genuine guide to how they are going , probably pissed off some of their supporters as well .

    Winston on the other hand must be quietly laughing at Labour .
    What makes anyone think Winston will support Labour , he will do what he wants .
    In hindsight I can’t help thinking Labour should have flown their own flag , they have gained nothing of importance from this result .

    • One Anonymous Bloke 14.1


      Why don’t you go to their blog and offer them your deep insights then?

    • Skinny 14.2

      You obviously haven’t Key say the RMA is going to now be reworked or stay as is. Now
      if that isn’t a win for democracy then I’ll be buggered by Joyce 🙂

    • Lanthanide 14.3

      “What did Labour gain ?
      Didn’t change anything”

      Actually, it means that members bills that Peter Dunne supports can now get past their first reading.

      Recently David Shearer’s food in schools bill was voted down, 60-60. Dunne voted for it, Act voted against.

      When Winston resigns his list seat and brings in another MP, it would become 61 in favour, 60 against, and go to first reading.

  15. saveNZ 16

    Labour and NZ First should have got together before the By Election to discuss future co operation. i.e. Before Winston is in his position of power. Labour has lost some strategic advantage in future negotiations with NZ First but they should be doing negotiations straight away (yesterday). The sooner the better. Find the common ground. Labour should also be doing that with the Greens.

    Hopefully it is now a bit clearer to the political parties that they need to work together to get National out.

    In my view it is not just Northland, the whole country has had a guts full of National.

    The problem for many voters is that there are not many strong candidates to vote for.

    A mix of policies from NZ First, Labour, Green would appeal to many voters.

    People just want fair moderate policies that put the welfare of Kiwis first.

    • Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark 16.1

      interesting point you’ve made.
      by getting together before the by-election, it would be important to also discuss about several policy platforms that include those NZ First was campaigning on.
      and that would involve the TPPA issue. having said that, what precisely is the Labour caucus stand now on TPPA exactly and how widely publicised is that? can a reader enlighten us?

    • Tinfoilhat 16.2

      While i can certainly celebrate a bloody nose for the Nats, Winston will do what he’s always done which is work in the best interests of Winston.

      I would not be surprised to see him offered a comfy retirement from the Nats…not that he won’t have one already after the amount of time he’s spent in parliament.

      I would also not be surprised to see Shane Jones contesting northland as the NZF candidate at the next election.

      • Chooky 16.2.1

        much wishful thinking and spoken like a Nact

        • the pigman

          I never understand where the Jones/NZF connection comes from (though I often hear it repeated by right-wing folk) so any background would be genuinely appreciated.

          As one of my right wing friends pointed out on Saturday, though, Shane was at Winston’s celebratory party in Northland and lining up to shake Winston’s hand for the camera.

          So I wonder whether he seeded the meme himself…? Hurts being paranoid all the time 🙁

          • Anne

            Winston and Shane have known one another for many years. Shane has always cultivated friendships across the political spectrum – especially if they come from the North. He’s quite open and proud of it.

            • Hateatea

              I think it highly possible that Winston Peters and Shane Jones may even be distantly related. I don’t know this to be a fact, merely musing 😉

            • veutoviper

              My understanding is also that Shane’s partner was involved in Peters’ campaign in Northland from various news reports. Being me, I would normally find links to this perception, but am currently weaning myself from here.

              • Anne

                … but am currently weaning myself from here.

                Why veutoviper? You pick up a lot of interesting information here. And your contributions are important. I know there’s a bit of crap goes on from time to time but I just scroll over without reading most of it.

                You will be missed if you disappear.

            • the pigman

              Thanks Anne, that makes sense.

  16. joe90 17

    Writing about the situation in Yemen the war nerd shines a light on the events that led to the ongoing chaos in the middle east.

    Because the modernizing Arabs were all killed by the US, Britain, Israel, and the Saudis.

    That was what happened in the North Yemen Civil War, from 1962-1967. After a coup, Nasser backed modernist Yemeni officers against the new Shia ruler. The Saudis might not have liked Shia, but they hated secularist, modernizing nationalists much more. At least the Northern Shia kings ruled by divine right and invoked Allah after their heretical fashion. That was much better, to the Saudi view, than a secular Yemen.

    And the west agreed. To the Americans of that time, “secular” sounded a little bit commie. To the British, it sounded anti-colonial and unprofitable. To the Israelis, it raised the horrible specter of an Arab world ruled by effective 20th-century executives. States like that might become dangerous enemies, while an Arab world stuck in religious wars, dynastic feuds, and poverty sounded wonderful.

    Why do you think the IDF has not attacked Islamic State or Jabhat Al Nusra even once?


    Arabs are reduced to choosing which Allah and which Emir to support because a half-century alliance between the worst oligarchies in the West and the most reactionary elements in their countries wiped out the alternative. That’s why it’s so grotesque to hear right-wingers blaming the Arabs for the lack of commitment to democracy and even more ridiculous that Leftists demand respect for fascist thugs like Islamic State, as if they were the voice of the Muslim people.

    These sectarian wars are what’s left when you’ve killed everybody else who was attempting to provide Arabs with an effective, secular, modern existence.


  17. Philip Ferguson 18

    Interesting article on the Israeli elections and why the right won, by Tony Greenstein:


  18. Treetop 19

    Privy Council has recommended that Teina Pora is not retried for the rape and murder of Susan Burdett. Cold cases give no closure for the victims family.

  19. The Chairman 20

    Will Labour voters continue to vote strategically come 2017?

    Winston and Prime both plan to stand in Northland for the 2017 general election.

    Labour and National voters alike will once again be able to ensure the region secures an experienced representative (Peters) while using their party vote to support their own camp – win-win.

    Prime is expected to be positioned well on the Labour Party list as likely compensation for the Party’s support of Winston. And with Winston planning to stand, it is unlikely Prime will achieve her 2014 election result, let alone win.

    Winston made history taking out Team Key in the Northland by-election. However, the pressure will now be on Peters to secure substantial benefits, prove his worth, thus re-win the seat in the General election.


    • The Chairman 20.1

      Additionally, how should the Labour Party position itself?

      Should they once again tell voters to vote strategically?

      • David 20.1.1

        Maybe they could just let the voters vote how they like? Jeez you Curia staffers are busy this week.

      • Skinny 20.1.2

        Well as Saturday’s result suggests under MMP ya have too. By holding a primary maybe if there is no stand out.

  20. Ennui 21

    Mr Chairman. ..One word. EPSOM. Labour voters learnt to be tactical. Good thing too as Labour would probably have lost a two horse race for Northland. The real key to Labour winning is the proportional vote. Overall even on election night the total anti government vote was within a few percent of winning so that’s where a small swing can win it.

  21. Coffee Connoisseur 22

    Random question for the day..
    What would happen in the event of the following…

    Introduction of a Universal Basic Income of $150K per person, per annum,
    Coupled with an accross the board fix on prices.

    • weka 22.1

      All the jobs that people hate doing wouldn’t get done?

      • McFlock 22.1.1

        and a black market for common household products.

      • I wonder if that’s true, weka. Is there maybe an argument that a lot of the jobs people hate to do are stressful and taxing precisely because they’re currently undervalued?

        I think of this because I have a friend who (inexplicably) loves to clean. She did housecleaning part-time all the way through uni. It’s just that cleaning doesn’t really pay the bills. If she got a healthy universal income and could do whatever she enjoyed in life, she might well go back to being a cleaner.

        Obviously there would be some awful jobs which don’t get done (like sweatshop-style production, anything where the conditions are kept unnecessarily unsafe or gruelling in order to maximise profit) but I kind of have this fluffy-bunny feeling that we’d manage to make it work as a community …

        • weka

          It would certainly be an interesting social experiment! I can imagine many like your friend. And also many jobs would change when employers realised that the person wants to keep doing the job but just wants the conditions to change. But I think a fair few jobs just wouldn’t get done. Not that that’s necessarily a bad thing.

          On the other hand, I’d expect to see a big uptake in many jobs that currently aren’t being done in things like conservation, environmentalism, the arts. Stuff that people would love to do but their day-job for pay prevents them. Community projects etc.

        • Karen

          There are lots of people working as caregivers at rest homes who actually love the work. Many do that job only because there are no other options for them, but lots do it because they love it. That doesn’t mean they don’t deserve a much higher rate of pay than they get now.

          I’ve seen what they have to do and I wouldn’t want that job even if it paid 10 times the measly amount it it does now, but I don’t think there would suddenly be nobody willing to do those kind of jobs if there was a UBI.

          • weka

            I think the numbers would drop though. Many women doing low paid community based domestic work (as opposed to rest homes) do it because it’s the only work they can get that fits around childcare or school hours and they use it as a stepping stone to something else. I can see some of those women stopping and doing something else instead.

            People working long hours in hospitality, or fruit picking or call centres (just to pick some at random), too many of those jobs are either stressful or the conditions are strenuous. If the conditions changed maybe the people would stay, but I’d guess still a fair few would leave.

            • Karen

              I agree that there would be a drop off in the numbers of people willing to do some kinds of work if a UBI is set higher than the minimum wage. I was just saying that there are people who love doing jobs that may not seem very appealing to most of us.

              Ideally the pay and conditions of all work would be such that there would always be people willing to do it, and the UBI would be set at a rate that enabled those unable to work, for whatever reason, to have a decent standard of living

              • weka

                Ah, ok, I’ve been commenting specifically on the idea of the UBI being set at $150K per year. There is no financial incentive to work, so that leaves the other incentives, which are interesting to consider. It also raises the issue of how many jobs are not that necessary when it comes down to it.

                • KJT


                  ‘On the Phenomenon of Bullshit Jobs

                  August 17, 2013 admin
                  ← →

                  Ever had the feeling that your job might be made up? That the world would keep on turning if you weren’t doing that thing you do 9-5? Anthropology professor and best selling author David Graeber explored the phenomenon of bullshit jobs for our recent summer issue – everyone who’s employed should read carefully…

                  Exploited ApeIllustration by John Riordan

                  On the Phenomenon of Bullshit Jobs by David Graeber.

                  In the year 1930, John Maynard Keynes predicted that technology would have advanced sufficiently by century’s end that countries like Great Britain or the United States would achieve a 15-hour work week. There’s every reason to believe he was right. In technological terms, we are quite capable of this. And yet it didn’t happen. Instead, technology has been marshaled, if anything, to figure out ways to make us all work more. In order to achieve this, jobs have had to be created that are, effectively, pointless.’

            • KJT

              Could be that many more people are able to look after their kids, or elderly relatives at home, instead of having to work in miserable paid jobs, and leave their care to strangers.

              Monotonous manufacturing jobs are best left to machines. Employers may have to do some “wealth creating” and actually invest in plant for their companies, instead of relying on tax payer subsidised workers.

              Employers who are prepared to treat their employees fairly may find employees who are prepared to put in ‘sweat equity’ for a share of future profits.

              • weka

                It would be very interesting to see what happened at a community level with more people spending time at home and like you say looking after their family. I (and others) would be screwed of course, being dependent on paid help because of disability and not having family to step in if the workers disappered.

                • McFlock

                  I’m not sure the workers would disappear.

                  Not having to slave for monetary reward would leave a certain chunk who do the work (whatever it may be) either because nobody else will and the consequences of not doing it are beyond their personal tolerance, or because they feel worth and social reward from doing it, or because there is some other sort of recognition for their work. Which they can pursue because there isn’t the suck on their time and energy from having to earn a living.

                  But that’s the optimistic pov 🙂

                  • weka

                    mine’s the realistic pov 😛

                    I think it’s true that your scenario would work to an extent, but not always or enough and that means people falling through the cracks. Which is the situation we are in now, so hey ho. Maybe that just means we need to relearn how to be a caring and fair society.

                    I’m not arguing against the idea of a large UBI, just curious to explore what it might mean.

                • KJT

                  $150k UBI would pay for a lot of help. 🙂

                  I suspect there would not be many who would want to do my job. But then, I get bored doing anything else.

                  It could be a reversal in that the real shitty jobs pay very highly and sitting at a desk shuffling bs from the in to the out box becomes a low income, instead of million dollar job.

                  • weka

                    “$150k UBI would pay for a lot of help”

                    Yes, but would there be enough people wanting to do it? I’m assuming the UBI comes with no strings attached. If you get $150K, and don’t need any extra income, why work doing something you don’t want to do?

                    I did like the point that people will do things they don’t want to do because they can’t tolerate them not being done at all.

                    • KJT

                      I know a lot pf people now who do not need to earn any more money, comfortably retired who do a great many of those sorts of things.

                      Unfortunately comfortably retired working people are soon to be a scarce commodity, as the lack of income after a lifetime of “flexible” work begins to bite.

                      Many volunteer organisations are resorting to under/paid staff as their present volunteers get too old.

                      We are all going to be poorer because we do not value necessary community work done by pensioners, women and the “unemployed” enough.

                    • weka

                      “I know a lot pf people now who do not need to earn any more money, comfortably retired who do a great many of those sorts of things.”

                      Can you give some examples? what kinds of jobs?

                    • KJT

                      Meals on wheels.
                      Riding for the disabled.

                      Are just a few of the top of my head, wholly or mostl,y volunteer.

                    • RedLogix

                      To my knowledge a fair amount of track work, weed control, hut maintenance and other volunteer work in the Conservation estate is undertaken mainly by retired people.

                      Many retired people look forward to retirement as a time of life when they can choose what they want to do.

                      One commenter a while back expanded on this theme quite a bit – and concluded that overall NZ probably gets quite good value for money from it’s so-called ‘retired’ population.

                    • weka

                      Unemployed people do a lot of voluntary work too.

                      I think my point might have been missed though. There is no doubt that some people with spare time do do voluntary work. I was talking about in the mythical scenario of everyone having enough money without a job, what happens to the people who are dependent on others who get paid. I don’t believe there are enough kind people to meet the need voluntarily.

                  • Coffee Connoisseur

                    it could be that ‘tax’ becomes not monetary, but a minimum set of hours to work each week set at a rate far less than we have today. (perhaps 3 days per week, perhaps 2 days if you elect to do a job in society that society deems as ‘less desirable.’

                    Add to this having the goal of society to automate those fewer desirable jobs (And any other jobs that could be automated) and then look at what you have…

      • b waghorn 22.1.3

        I can’t see to many people leaving home before 5 am and get home after 5 pm to go toil in a shearing shed or forestry job if they had 3 k a week coming in I reckon 20 k would do enough to alleviate poverty but still keep the wheels turning.

        • McFlock

          But how many would work a few hours a day amongst the trees, or monitor the machinery from home, just for something to do?

          That’s part of the essence of the thing – employers won’t be able to break their employees’ backs (sometimes literally) simply because it’s cheaper and easier than working smarter. But if they learn to give a bit more, they’ll have a happier and more productive workforce.

          Although the “arbitrary high UBI + Muldoonesque price freeze” idea is farcical in the real world, it is an interesting thought experiment as to how people would behave in some aspects. How do you persuade people to willingly do a hard, dangerous or just gross job?

          • weka

            With the forestry example, you could change the ownership model so that the people that live in the area have a vested interest in the wellbeing and functionality of the forest. eg they want firewood or timber or access to hunting etc. That’s incentive for some people to do the work. We could change how we do forestry too, so the job is less dangerous and more rewarding.

            • b waghorn

              I not sure changeing the ownership model is relevant to a ubi.
              There’s plenty of multiple owner farms and forestry in nz and from what I’ve seen they seem to still have to hire in there labour force

              • weka

                I’m talking about community ownership or similar, not multiple owners per se. Where people have a direct vested interest. Plus, if we don’t do extractive export driven forestry, the whole scenario changes.

          • RedLogix

            One experiment has been done. Mincome

            She found that only new mothers and teenagers worked substantially less.

          • b waghorn

            A high level of automation would definatly be one answer but that would lead to a more inactive population and all the health problems that go with that.
            The other issue with to high a ubi is how do you stop rents and house prices spiraling out of control.

            • weka

              You need human workers to enable automation (unless you want to rely on yet non-existent AI). We might find that humans don’t want to actually do that (create an automated society). Plus, peak oil/AGW.

              • RedLogix

                We might find that humans don’t want to actually do that (create an automated society).

                Precisely. As you know I am one of those human ‘enablers’. (Right now in parallel with typing this that’s what I am doing.)

                But a lifetime of doing this has convinced me that while automation is useful up to a point, the law of diminishing returns kicks in quite hard. I don’t think we will ever see a fully automated society.

                And certainly not AI. It’s a failed dream.

                • weka

                  I’ve read too much SF to get with the AI thing 🙂

                  “But a lifetime of doing this has convinced me that while automation is useful up to a point, the law of diminishing returns kicks in quite hard. I don’t think we will ever see a fully automated society.”

                  That’s interesting. It’s quite different talking about automation in a society where people are freed from the financial imperative to work, than talking about it because capitalism is driving automation.

                  • RedLogix

                    In my experience automation changes the nature of work, but it doesn’t eliminate the need for people to be involved.

                    Automation is good at replacing dumb, repetitive tasks that don’t require judgement, experience or creativity. I see it as freeing people up to do what they are innately good at.

                    The problem is when we mis-apply automation. For instance 200 years ago most people worked close to the land – and while it was hard work – it was also very skilled work. It took a lot of observation, wisdom and experience to be a good farmer. And to do it sustainably for generations was even more of a challenge.

                    For sure mechanised farming has eliminated a lot of the drudge work from farming – but it’s eliminated much of the wisdom as well.

                    There is also an upper limit to how much complexity automation can handle. For instance we are probably at that limit with automation on aircraft. While the systems are fine almost all of the time — there still remain mostly unforseeable scenarios of human or equipment failure and weather conditions which can never be handled. The code base would get insanely complex and no-one could ever test it fully.

                    The pilotless plane is another failed dream – despite the tragic limitations of pilots themselves.

                    • KJT

                      Piloting planes is one of those boring repetitive jobs which could be automated.

                      The automation of planes, was solved when accurate satellite navigation was in general use. They only have pilots to please the customers and check on the humans.

                    • RedLogix


                      I agree that about 99.99% of the time the job can be automated. Unfortunately it’s that other 0.01% which is a much harder ask. And that’s just not good enough.

                      I have taken a modest professional interest in this area – and there remain some serious unsolved, almost unsolvable in my opinion, problems to pilotless planes.

                  • KJT

                    Is it really sentient, or does it just act like it is?

                    If you map your brain onto a computer is it still you?


                    • RedLogix

                      As a programmer I tend to think not.

                      Maybe I’m just too familiar with computers, but I would suggest that because most non-tech people regard the things as rather mysterious boxes – and therefore a little magical – they tend to ascribe to computers capabilities that they don’t really have.

                      But I could be wrong. It has happened. 🙂

                • Coffee Connoisseur

                  the law of diminishing returns only applies if you apply a monetary value. If on the other hand automating frees someone from having to work then arguably the automation becomes invaluable provided you have a mechanism to still have the person who is freed able to have their needs and wants met.

                  • weka

                    Doesn’t that assume that automation can do the same job at least as well? I just keep thinking of those appalling self-cleaning toilets that took over public spaces 15 years ago. And compare that to the rest rooms with attendants that were being phased out in my youth. They were amazing spaces. Clean, comfortable, often beautiful, the antithesis of utilitarian. That’s the problem with automation being driven by capitalism.

              • Coffee Connoisseur

                under an automated society you will actually be able to tackle AGW much more effectively. People needing to work less, finding better technological solutions to problems that enable us to reduce emissions at a far quicker rate especially as the profit motive becomes less important.

                • weka

                  Jevon’s Paradox says that as technology increases and efficiency increases, more resources get used not less.


                  Besides, automation will be heavily reliant on fossil fuels at precisely the time that we need to be weaning ourselves off. If we’d started the shift 30 years ago to renewables, we had more of a chance, but now there is always going to be a direct conflict between development and the need to lessen ghg emissions.

            • RedLogix

              Initially I would imagine that the UBI would be set at net levels not too much greater than how the current system works.

              Rents and house prices are spiralling out of control for other structural reasons that have little to do with a UBI. The core problem is the ability of the banking system (and the speculators who are their bagmen) to extract far too much profit from housing.

              • KJT

                Excessive immigration and the highest mortgage interest rates in the Western world attracting hot money, plus favorable tax treatment.

                • tracey

                  Are folks from overseas who are buying homes in, say, Auckland, borrowing from NZ banks or homeland banks? If the later, they are quids in from day one, yes? Cos overseas rates of borrowing are way lower than ours? Genuine question exposing my economic ignorance.

                  • KJT

                    The ones I am acquainted with had the money well before they arrived/bought in New Zealand. Often from selling houses in somewhere like Holland, or the UK.

                    I can’t really tell without the numbers;
                    But, if I was a North American, for example, I would not pay 6% mortgage interest rates in New Zealand, when the equivalent in the USA is 3%. Or business interest rates in New Zealand of over 12% when I can get 2% in other countries. Of course, big businesses have access to overseas finance rates, SME’s do not.

                    One of the reasons for the haemorrhage in our balance of payments is the fact that firms borrow offshore, while lending here. So the excess interest balance is negative, for New Zealand.

                    New Zealanders have always lived within our means, as far as the balance of real goods and services is concerned. We export more goods and services than we import.
                    Our trade deficit is due to profits, financial charges and net interest going offshore.

            • KJT

              Spiraling out of control now because too many people on very high incomes find them an ‘investment’. A more even distribution of income means less people with millions to put into unproductive speculation.

              • RedLogix

                Right now, personally I am both a landlord and a tenant. I’ve never held back from stating that openly and that I believe there is a legitimate market for rentals and therefore landlords.

                At any one moment about 60% of the market is homeowners with or without mortgage.

                About 15 % are simply too poor, or for one reason or another will never qualify for a mortgage and these people should be targeted for social housing.

                The other 25% are tenants. They are either too young, too transient or just not interested in buying at the moment. But they do need a place to live and therefore they rent. This is a fair and legitimate market to be serving. And normally a fair portion of this group will eventually transition into home ownership. Sadly in the current political environment that number has diminished a lot.

                The problem as I’ve stated many times before is that too many people fail to distinguish between property investors who are in the tenancy business long-term and property speculators who are mainly interested in capital gains. There are ways to deal to the latter problem without kneecapping the former.

    • Draco T Bastard 22.2

      Do you really mean $150k?

      • Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark 22.2.1

        S/he is trying to cast the UBI idea as a bad one by suggesting that amount and also coupling it with universal price fixing bwahaha

        • KJT

          Thought experiment.

          • b waghorn

            One thought I’ve had is that it seems to me the more money people have the more they want so a big ubi might make people greedier.
            Surely removing income tax on the 1st 30k of income and getting rid of gst would achieve the same thing as a ubi.

            • weka

              What about WINZ benefits?

            • Coffee Connoisseur

              not necessarily. A UBI set at the right level ensures people can have their wants and needs met. That is of course if The System is for everyone. For Human Beings.

        • Coffee Connoisseur

          No far from it. Instead, it comes from understanding that the system should work for everyone. Everyone has needs and wants…. what is the best way to deliver those needs and wants in the context of the current system but not so to limit our thinking only about what will work under the current system,

          A question the scenario raises is

          What if all countries in the world adopted this and the monetary system was reverted to simply being a mechanism for exchange (its original intended purpose rather than having a continual drive for profit.
          It is after all the unending drive for profit that is stripping the planet of resources.

      • Coffee Connoisseur 22.2.2

        Yes although it could be any figure that enables people to have both their needs and wants met.

    • felix 22.3

      Some jobs could just get done a lot better because people could afford to spend more time per unit. Tradespeople might become artisans.

    • Draco T Bastard 23.1

      Dammit, hate it when I do that. Hit submit and go off and do something else and then come back to find that I stuffed up the blockquote 😳

  22. Chooky 24

    Dangerous Times: On censorship and freedom of the media. Why is RT and Crosstalk now regarded a threat by monopoly media and certain politicians and organisations and governments and political alliances?

    ‘West Vs RT?’


    “Media wars have entered new territory: Secretary of State John Kerry, EU officials and the NATO military alliance all have singled out this television station, RT, as some kind of security threat. Since when is holding and broadcasting a different opinion or narrative a threat to global media freedom?

    CrossTalking with Anthony Salvia, Martin McCauley and Don DeBar”

    When the media is censored and censured what does this say about the health of Democracy and freedom of speech and exchange of ideas?

    • Potato 24.1

      The irony for me, is that only by watching RT am I reminded that there are plenty of decent, honest, intelligent, kindhearted individuals left in the US.

      • Chooky 24.1.1

        yes well many of RT’s commentators/interviewees ARE American…and very fine and intelligent individuals most of them are too!

  23. ankerawshark 26


    This is priceless. I think we actually did win the world cup. We were/are the better team imho.

  24. ianmac 27

    I know Whaleoil is out of bounds but having just strayed there, via Bryce Edwards, I thought this post was curious given the previous close connection with Key/National.

    • ianmac 27.1

      Actually, the writing style doesn’t scan like Cameron’s.

      • Anne 27.1.1

        Do you think Judith Collins might have written it for him? 😉

        • b waghorn

          Ha I wondered that same thing I would imagine she’d smell blood in the water after nortland.

      • felix 27.1.2

        Who writes there under Cameron’s name?

        Could be Carrick Graham, Katherine Rich, Greg O’Connor or any other PR hack who buys a slot.

        But in this case it’s more likely to be Lusk or even Collins.

    • veutoviper 27.2

      Hi Ianmac

      Used your link and did a quick scan of the post, and it seems very much in line with WO’s posts over recent months re Key/National. Did not stay as these days I check out WO using Donotlink; and will check it out further using this – after cooking and eating something. I am starving …. Will get back to you when fed.

    • the pigman 27.3

      Seems like Slater has been beating this drum for a little while, but it’s getting louder and louder. Collins and her generals must be hoping to move. A bloodless change of leadership 2 years out from the election while National are still polling around 50% is their best shot.

      The best part about that article however are the comments. There is a big difference between the righties here and the brave-faced fisianis et al. who come here to tell bald-faced lies about how high they’re riding in Team Key.

      The spoonerisms are the best among righties. I liked the guy who said “Very pungent analysis Cam” 😀

      You can say that again! I like to think he might genuinely be commenting on how fishy it is that Slater is white-anting Key (Hooton is doing the same of late, I’m sure TS readers noticed). He need only follow the money, after all.

      • Anne 27.3.1

        The plot thicken because I’m pretty sure Hooton isn’t a Collins fan. Unless he’s had a change of heart. What it does say though is that the boys and girls in the Beehive are getting restless and the drums of factional disunity have started to beat. Must watch parliament tomorrow and observe the general demeanour…

    • lprent 27.4

      We got lost the people trying to astroturf the site here a long time ago. It has been removed from the auto-moderation for a while.

    • tracey 27.5

      Remember Slater’s MO. He is about Slater and his Besties. Hence he can turn on a seeming ally. My first thought is also Collins…

      Where does Bennett sit in relation to Collins? Does anyone know? I mean are they just colleagues cos they stood for the same party? Are they “friends”, are they ideologically close?

  25. felix 28

    What a horrible weekend for John Key (lbp).

    First he misses out on a funeral that he said he really wanted to go to,

    Then he gets trounced in a by-election by a 70-year old who had no chance at all,

    So to avoid getting the loser-germs on him he runs off to the cricket, where he watches his team get slowly and miserably defeated,

    Then to top it all off, his best mate gets knocked out in his undies.

    At this rate he’ll almost be looking forward to going to parliament to answer questions about Mike Sabin.

  26. Paul 29

    When is name suppression removed for a prominent New Zealander?

    • the pigman 29.1

      AFAIK Asher J ordered that it to continue until the end of the criminal proceedings. It will be interesting to see what happens once a verdict is reached.

      • weka 29.1.1

        any idea on the timeframe of the trial?

        • tracey


          I am very confused, again. The prominent NZer is having a trial, didn’t plead guilty and is awaiting sentence?

          • weka

            A prominent New Zealander facing 12 charges of indecent assault has retained name suppression.

            Judge Roy Wade denied the man name suppression in February in the District Court but the man lodged an appeal last week.

            That appeal was heard on Thursday in the High Court at Auckland by Justice Raynor Asher.

            Asher ruled that suppression should remain through to trial.

            The appeal was opposed by an application from combined media interests.

            Most other details of the case are suppressed to protect the identity of the victims.

            The man has pleaded not guilty and elected trial by jury. He remains on bail.


            • tracey

              Thanks Weka

              Am lucky enough to be back in full time employment so miss alot these days.

              Just tried to fin the decision online. Thought it might be there as a case in the public interest. Not looking for details but for reasoning.

              • weka

                not worries, it’s good to be able to something useful with my time. Good to hear you have the work thing sorted now 🙂

      • tracey 29.1.2

        Does that mean Asher ruled on the Appeal of name suppression? Sorry, I missed that reporting.

    • lprent 29.2

      When the courts decide that it should be.

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