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Pagani and the Straw People

Written By: - Date published: 10:34 pm, August 15th, 2014 - 41 comments
Categories: labour, making shit up, Media, The Standard - Tags: ,

I don’t like listening to talkback radio, it’s not my thing.  But I was prompted to listen today to a clip of Josie Pagani as she apparently named 3 regular ‘anonymous’ Standard bloggers.  More on that in a bit.

Whilst I’ve got as frustrated as others who have posted, I’ve not had an anti-Pagani post before – because I don’t think it’s helpful to have Labour attacking each other in public; that stuff is best behind closed doors.  A divided party is not a winning party.

But Josie Pagani keeps on insisting on doing it, even right now in the middle of an election, as she did in the Newstalk piece.

It’s incredibly frustrating.  To a large number of people who listen to talkback, she pretty much is the voice of Labour.

And what do they hear?  Her constantly bagging Labour, about how it’s divided, pursuing the wrong strategy, and don’t have a hope.  Thanks.

That’ll make them vote for us.

If you talk to activists, or MPs, it doesn’t seem there’s a lot of division (not now at any rate).  The division is in fact Josie Pagani.  It’s because she doesn’t agree.  And half the time the Labour people she doesn’t agree with are Straw People.

Her latest Pundit piece started off with a great horde of straw.

Labour’s campaign launch was great because it focussed on making great numbers of ordinary NZers better off… so far so good… but then she starts going on about how some in Labour think that’s not progressive and all that matters is hating Hollywood and whether you have a penis.

Gah! Having a problem with the Hobbit law isn’t hating Hollywood, it’s focussing on making workers better off, by protecting work rights – that’s the core of Labour’s principles. And whether you have a penis? Labour could quite happily make progress on improving the representation in Parliament (working against institutional sexism) and improve the lot of workers.. or at least it could if our most prominent talkback commentator didn’t spend all her time drawing a false choice between the two.

Banning trucks in the fast lane wasn’t a ‘progressive’ policy instead of workers’ rights, it was a quick way of making the news at Easter, and being relevant to those workers stuck in their cars listening to said news.  It was never a core policy to keep going on about… except by Josie…

But the icing on the cake for me was how having written this post about how great Labour had been at the launch and recently, and how sticking to their knitting was winning – then on the Newstalk piece when the latest poll is out and looks terrible, it’s all because Labour weren’t focussing on the stuff that she just wrote they were…  The cognitive dissonance is astounding.

To be fair the last 3/4 of her blog is good stuff.  But Josie, if you’re going to be the ‘left balance’ on talkback – either work for Labour or get off the radio.

Fact check on Josie Pagani’s claim that 3 named Labour head office staffers are regular authors at the Standard (and are using The Standard to attack her). Because Labour is dodgy like this they won’t want these Dirty Politics attacks to continue apparently.

Looking at August’s posts so far – which is also the last 100 posts – here are who the regular authors are at the Standard – and I think you’ll find it’s much the same since Anthony Robins (Dunedin, not a staffer) left us at the end of last year.

  1. notices and features: ie Open Mike and syndicated posts, 40 posts.
  2. mickeysavage: New Lynn lawyer, not a Labour staffer, 15 posts.
  3. karol: west auckland, not even Labour, 12 posts.
  4. lprent: Lynn, guy who keeps the site running, 9 posts.
  5. Guest post: a variety of irregular authors, 8 posts.
  6. Mike Smith: a former Labour Gen Sec, 6 posts.
  7. Me! Auckland Labour member, not a staffer, 3 posts

Beyond that Rocky and Stephanie Rodgers had 2 (both not staffers), and 3 other very irregular authors had 1 post (none of which were Pagani-related).

So… no Labour staffers there. And we could do with more non-Auckland authors… We used to have some – like Clint Smith, named by Josie Pagani, but who left a long time ago when he became a staffer…

Fact check #2: on her Pundit piece – Labour did have a campaign launch in 2011, I was there at Auckland Girls Grammar, even if she wasn’t.  It was great, looked good on TV, even if it was all thrown together desperately 2 weeks before the election.

On a non-Pagani note, this piece in the Herald needs reading. We need to vote this government out to save the good people of Christchurch and what’s left of their democracy…


41 comments on “Pagani and the Straw People”

  1. karol 1

    I thought Clint Smith had gone to work for the Greens…?

  2. George 2

    When I hear her on the radio, it’s being collegial with the scummy Slater and other horrific members of the right.

    Is she friends with that guy who tried to run as an independent?

  3. adam 3

    When liberal elites do not fear the working class they will work for the interests of the elites. Every time Ms Pagani opens her mouth she seems to put the interests of the elites before anything else. Yes she says some good stuff, but so does Rand Paul – and Mr Paul is not widely liked in this house.

    The question is, is she a Fox liberal at best, or a self absorbed wet at worst?

    Only she can up her game, but she won’t. It will be the same old spin, to support a corrupt system, which she thinks is just peachy. If only working people and bogans would stop thinking and just do as she says.

    P.S Ms Pagani, I’m not a labour supporter, member or the like. I’m way more left than that, think I.W.W type left. You know the people that help inspire the preamble to the original labour party constitution.

  4. I can’t believe I just sat through that audio. One of the men referring to Helen Clark’s work at the UNDP as “her OE” pretty much illustrates the level of the analysis.

  5. just saying 5

    As I said in open-mike – the Labour Party needs to distance itself from Pagani now – take away her platform. If she wants to imagine she is representing any part of the left, she can talk into her hairbrush in the bathroom mirror. That is the only platform she should be allowed.
    This Slater stuff is horrendous and she comes out defending him and is going to represent the left on the issue on the tv tomorrow?
    Do something Labour, please.
    Do you care about all this? People are scared to particpate in democracy

    • miravox 5.1

      Exactly js. Pagani might be a commenter on Labour but she certainly no longer is representative of Labour. Time for Labour to state loudly and clearly that Josie Pagani does not communicate the views of the current Labour leadership ir membership. We voted out her style of bowing to the right.

      • Draco T Bastard 5.1.1


        From what I can make out neither of the Pagani’s have got a clue as to what the original Labour was about. They believe in the free-market dogma and won’t go against it no matter how much damage that it’s doing to our people and society.

      • greywarbler 5.1.2

        @miravox 11.34
        Come on Labour you sleeping beauties. Give Josie the push. What are yuh? Is there anyone with some vitality there? Actually you aren’t very beautiful at all. But it’s like that old saying about the curate’s bad egg, ‘parts of it are excellent’, although it is all horrible. (The curate must manfully swallow it to avoid social offence and try and please his superior bishop, which requires all his reserves of obsequiousness).
        There are some good Labour people but they get covered with the bad egg smell too.

        So we hope that something can be salvaged from Labour but the leadership has got its strategy list out, goodies for us if Labour wins, goodies for us if Labour loses. Next step of strategy, reshuffle and appear to be doing something for the peoples. A top man to say something manly, a smart caring woman to say something about social conditions and their heartfelt concern – for the children. Kiddies are such a crowd puller. Don’t worry about the adults getting their bones ground down by the giant for his bread, or near enough.

        And using Vonnegut’s cynicism for the ongoing scenario – so it goes.

    • David H 5.2

      Well on TV3’s The Nation this morning, they did call her a political commentator, at which I spat coffee all over my Keyboard.

  6. Colonial Viper 6

    Well, let’s be clear and succinct: Josie Pagani is a natural supporter and advocate of the National Party who can’t bear to face that truth.

  7. trickledrown 7

    CV just googled Berend de Boer and found he is an imported political strategist fundamentalist creationist as well was helping under mine Democrat Howard Deans run for presidency!

  8. tricledrown 8

    His tech credentials are scary could fishing for private information through one of his personal sites !

  9. tricledrown 9

    CV also connected to ACT Farrer friends with Slater and creswel another one of the Dirty tricks brigade

  10. poem 10

    Trojan horse Josie Pagani is a nat, and is most certainly NOT the voice of Labour. it’s infuriating when the msm refer to her as such. But that’s their intention isn’t it.

    You will all recall, when TVNZ was trying to legitimize Cameron Slater, he showed off Judith Collins phone number on his mobile phone contact list, Josie Pagani’s number was there too.

  11. mickysavage 11

    Well said Bunji. Two further points:

    1. Talk about a straw man argument. The book is about the use of Ministerial resources and bending the rules to feed the particularly vile type of blogging that Slater engages in. The fact that Pagani cannot distinguish between the two is disturbing to say the least.
    2. Of my posts this month all relied on the use of publicly available information including either information in the media or if I was commenting on Labour policy links to documents on the Labour website.

    So for Pagani to say “labour does it too” completely misses the point that on the Standard it does not, and it certainly does not in that vile way that Slater has made his own.

    Although I must admit getting the occasional piece of information from Parliament but, drum roll, from the National Party …

    It is clear that there is a civil war happening under the surface within National and one faction is happy to provide the occasional piece of information to the Standard for political advantage.

    If you want a hint of what has happened and is happening I suggest you read this post:

    National’s Civil War

    • It is fascinating how one of the right’s tactics (which Pagani has completely bought into) is to basically reduce the book’s message down to its title: “Oh, it’s just about dirty politics, well they say mean stuff too, and they attack individuals too, so everyone’s doing exactly the same thing.”

      They are desperate to distract people from the fact that Hager hasn’t just documented “mean stuff” – he’s uncovered a deliberate conspiracy to bully and intimidate Labour Party supporters by threatening to reveal personal information about them, to physically endanger his own life, and to sway political opinion for private companies for money.

      That’s corruption.

      • Tracey 11.1.1

        and that is what the nats are so desperate to divert from… They know it is corruption… And by none other than the mi ister of justice who kindly lectured the chinese about it

  12. One Anonymous Bloke 12

    I bet she misrepresents this criticism of her behaviour and statements as a personal attack.

    • just saying 12.1

      I’ve just had a quick squizz into my crystal ball and seen Pagani buisily writing another incoherent, disjointed and illogical “poor me” Pundit Post on her being victimised again on the Standard and how it is totally just as bad as anything her pal Slater has ever done, but with no provocation whatsoever.

      • just saying 12.1.1

        I swear I hadn’t seen Ms Pagani’s column when I wrote the above.
        I guess my crystal ball is quite accurate.

        • weka

          lolz, although to be fair, you probably had equal chance of predicting the sun rising today 😀

    • greywarbler 12.2

      @ OAB 6.59
      Cheer leading chant for Josie at breakfast to set her up for the day.
      It’s all about me, me, me, me,
      (repeat twenty times along with star jumps and other vitalising exercises that don’t involve anything intellectual).

  13. lurgee 13

    <blockquote.It is clear that there is a civil war happening under the surface within National and one faction is happy to provide the occasional piece of information to the Standard for political advantage.

    I’ve always suspected Bill English’s allies were in involved in the HM revelations; he seems to come off very lightly in Dirty Politics as well. Whereas Collins, Key and the stars of the further right factions seem to be taking the big hits.

    Collins would – in any sane democracy – be on her way out over her continual abuses of power, by now.

    Weird how everyone seems to focus on her alleged transfer of a prisoner at Slater’s behest, which is a one line aside without much substantiation; but the persecution of Simon Pleasants is barely mentioned.

  14. Mike 14

    The Standard, once again focusing on the issues that matter: the impurity of the left.
    Apparently some book came out recently and someone told me that there is an election in 5 weeks.

  15. Ant 15

    No doubt she will use her spot on The Nation to grind that axe she has again.

    I think the crux of the situation is her media career is more important than left-wing values, saying what she does cultivates that career.

    She will interpret Bunji’s post as a Slater style “hit”. I’d suggest bickering between the left looks divisive, but Pagani isn’t left, and even if she was never criticised she’d keep on following her track.

    • Olwyn 15.1

      She will interpret Bunji’s post as a Slater style “hit”

      If she does do that, she will be following the same line as some of the senior National Party people – failing to distinguish between vehemently rejecting someone’s political position and ringing up brothels, etc, in the hope of find dirt on them.

  16. ianmac 16

    Dita writes deeply and heart-felt. Pretty perceptive too. As Bunji says a must read.

  17. Morrissey 17

    On his Whaleoil blog, Cameron Slater always announces when he is going to appear on NewstalkZB’s cretinous Huddle programme. If Josie Pagani is on, he refers to her as “my punching bag”.

    Yet, pathetically, she continues to try to find common ground with him, and with Bill Ralston, and with Jock Anderson, and with Janet Wilson, and with host Larry Lackwit-Williams.

    • Foreign Waka 17.1

      This is called an opportunist, a low and distorted form of making the best of it…

      • Mike the Savage One 17.1.1

        You are so right!

        Pagani is nothing but an opportunist “commentator”, as she is so irrelevant from a political point of view now, she does all to keep feeding her stuff to media, and chatter along with others, to somehow please them. She seems keen on staying in the TV pictures, and on radio, as that is her last “lifeline” as a political socialite of sorts.

        Apart from that she is just another common citizen as “Joe Average”, with no public profile and much relevance to the wider society.

        As she loves attention and a bit of limelight, she keeps feeding the mainstream media, who are so amateurish, they would not know and expert from a wannabe one.

        That is also why Slater is given so much attention and time by MSM, even being interviewed and asked for his views.

        Just now, some in the MSM are starting to see how damaging and nasty he is, and they are starting to distance themselves from him.

  18. philj 18

    With the MSM in your pocket, the Government knows it has a good chance of survival, nay, prospering from the political games played according to the Crosby/Textor manual. Pagani should be with Nats, or Act along with Shane Jones, Prebble, Douglas, Shirley etc. Labour needs a good enema, if it to be healthy.

  19. Mike the Savage One 19

    This morning I watched The Nation, and yes, that Mrs Pagani was on there too, as part of “the panel”, toghether with Hooton.

    Indeed, her comments about Hager and the book seemed little different to what Hooton was saying, and it struck me with astonishment, when she said, well, there is nothing in it that shows anything “illegal” happend (with Whaleoil and the ones in Key’s Office, and with Collins and others feeding him information to use for damaging and slandering opposition politicians).

    Yet Slater was interviewed at the start of the show, and he did admit having gone into the Labour Party website and computer, gathering information. Now that was illegal, even-though the site may have had poor security.

    Hager stated clearly that Whaleoil’s computer IP address was identified, same as one National Party one (“national.org..”), and one with a changing IP address (quite clearly Ede’s) that accessed the Labour Party computer.

    Phil Goff was interviewed alongside Metiria Turei, and Goff said that Key is a liar. That was, because he stated that as Minister for the SIS, Key would also have had any OIA request and release cross his desk, which must have been the case with the OIA from Slater.

    Key denying any knowledge of it, or misrepresenting details re that, clearly makes him a liar.

    I would say that with her excellent interview with Cameron Slater (from Israel) Lisa Owen deserves a top media award, for being the first MSM journalist, to take the bull (Slater) by its horns, and ask the questions that must be asked. Last week most journalists were though starting to cast doubts on Hager and the book, and many even ridiculed or rubbished it, falling hook, line and sinker again for the propaganda line the Nats used.

    So for Pagani to chatter around as she usually does, letting Slater off the hook, she deserves no more time by the media. She does NOT speak for “the left” as a commentator, and she should also get a stern warning from the Labour Party, to shut up, or take a hike.

    The media are now challenged and asked, to take Hager’s book seriously, and do some digiging, research and analysis, stuff they are supposed to be there for, not just repeating lines from National Party propaganda spreaders. Time to do your jobs, dear journalists!!!

  20. philj 20

    Listened to the jabbering gibbons on The Commercial ZB, I’m glad I don’t listen to it. CV + 1. Pagani is a National supporter who is deluded to think she is from the left. She gets the ZB gig because she is a lazy right winger. Mike Williams as a spokesman from the ‘left’ is another right wing plant on RNZ.
    Labour needs a clean out of the right wingers in the tent. Pagani is a test case. Labour Party, authorize your spokespersons and get your message out.
    And don’t authorize Pagani and co.

  21. philj 21

    To Pagani–
    “Who would you trust more, Hager or Slater? ” Seriously! lol

  22. Any spokesperson for the Left who thinks this is just business as usual is an idiot or an entryist – and any journo who isn’t interested in digging deeper into some or all of this is not worthy of the name.
    If I was a journalist I’d be having difficulty deciding which rock to start looking under.

    One of the most interesting things about the book is the orchestrated attempts to take National further to the right by discrediting candidates and bringing young people up through the party under the wing of far right ‘mentors’.

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