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Right wing lies

Written By: - Date published: 8:29 am, December 6th, 2019 - 110 comments
Categories: making shit up, Media, national, same old national, spin, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, uk politics, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags: ,

New Zealand and the United Kingdom are both cursed with the right wing parties having the same advisors and similar means of campaigning.  And it is starting to show.

Neale Jones in this series of tweets shows how far national is willing to bend the truth for political advantage:

If you feel sufficiently aggrieved you can complain to the Advertising Standards Authority although as Neale mentions the Authority’s response to political ads has not been great.

And in the UK  Google has banned a number of Conservative advertisements.  Six of them were released immediately after the launch of Labour’s manifesto.  The tories launched the website labourmanifesto.co.uk which purported to contain Labour’s policies.  They then paid Google to push their fake version of the Labour manifesto to the top of search results for those searching for the document.

Advertisements that were not cut include include links purporting to send people to “Corbyn’s Labour manifesto” but point to the fake manifesto website. Other uncensored adverts purported to be a link to Labour’s Brexit, Education and Defence Policies but instead send users to the Conservative website.

More recently complaints from the BBC caused two further videos to be taken down.  From the Independent:

Two Tory election videos have been banned from YouTube following complaints from the BBC.

The widely criticised videos took footage of BBC news presenters and edited them to suggest the journalists were agreeing with Conservative propaganda. One video showed a journalist saying the phrase “pointless delay to Brexit”, for instance – but the full video made clear that she had been quoting Boris Johnson.

The ads had been seen as many as a million times, according to YouTube’s ad library, and the party had spent as much as €30,000 on promoting them.

YouTube did not immediately respond to a request for comment or explanation on why the ads had been removed. Google’s ad library tool does not show why the videos have been taken down.

The party maintained the videos did not break advertising rules and said it saw nothing wrong with the ad. It said that the video had not been edited “in a manner that misleads or changes the reporting”.

Facebook also removed the ads but on the grounds of breach of intellectual property rights rather than for being false.  What standards Facebook has.

One of the subjects, Huw Edwards was pleased with the decision.  Again from the Independent:

Newsreader Huw Edwards, who alongside political editor Laura Kuenssberg was one of two BBC journalists featured in the ads, had praised the decision to remove the videos from Facebook on his Twitter feed.

“Good,” he wrote. “My thoughts on this kind of stunt are unprintable.”

These ads mark a new low.  Previously the Conservatives were prepared to doctor and alter interviews involving Labour Party politicians to seriously distort what they were saying.  Now they are doing the same to journalists.  Who will be next?

The basic problem as identified by Neale Jones is that the benefits outweigh the drawbacks.  There no longer seems to be sufficient effective outrage at lies, particularly from the media, while the benefits of stoked outrage and saturating the media with right wing propaganda is too much for a born to rule class of politicians to ignore.

110 comments on “Right wing lies ”

  1. Molly 1

    Interesting that Laura Kuenssberg is one of the characters in this post.

    She has been shown to be anti-Corbyn, editing an interview to misrepresent his replies during the last election campaign. I see she is at it again with a gotcha approach to Brexit.

    The fact that she is still a political editor at the BBC shows the direction of their own bias.

  2. pat 2

    sadly the great majority are largely disengaged from politics and the reaction is visceral

  3. tc 3

    "no longer seems to be sufficient effective outrage at lies, particularly from the media.."

    I don't recall our media ever being outraged at any of the number of porky's national tell.

    They're an echo chamber for them with spinsters like Hoots etc given soapboxes and columns to shill it up large.

    • Wensleydale 3.1

      People are just jaded, more so these days when getting a straight answer out of a politician seems to require threats of grievous bodily harm. The prevailing attitude seems to be, "They're all lying bastards who'll sell their own grandmothers for a comfy parliamentary seat and a fat pension, so fuck them all and let's leave them to it." Of course, leaving them to it just encourages their excesses, so it's a somewhat self-perpetuating cycle of misery. Until there's some genuine consequence for being a lying, scheming shit-wizard in the public sphere, it's business as usual. Businesses get bollocked harder for false advertising than politicians do for telling bare-faced lies to their constituents. Probably because the whole filthy circus is an exercise in "you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours… and provide a hefty campaign donation in time for the next electoral cycle. Oh, and if you fancy a directorship once you're turfed out of politics, you just let me know, my son." *nudge, nudge, wink, wink*

  4. Sacha 4

    What the comparative fuel price graphs should actually look like, by a Professor of Statistics: https://www.statschat.org.nz/2019/12/05/graphical-inflation/

  5. Gosman 5

    Ummm… yeah. This is a political graphic it ain't a stats project. I'm pretty sure the left are just as guilty of misrepresentation when it comes to use of data. In fact this article highlights that very fact.


    • rod 5.1

      " pretty sure" Where have I heard that before Gossy.

    • cleangreen 5.2

      Come on Gossie it is Xmas remember "goodwill toward all mankind"

      "It is better to be nice than it is to be nasty" – a wise man often told me.

      Merry Xmas.

  6. Stuart Munro. 6

    It's actually an attack on our system of government, which requires a loyal opposition in the Burkean sense, that doesn't stoop to lying but debates issues instead.

    Since they aren't doing the job for which they are frankly, massively overpaid, the Coalition's duty to fiscal responsibility requires them to adjust opposition remuneration downwards.

  7. Bill 7

    The social media stuff only works because pop media engages in woeful crap.

    What if pop media hadn't run with the anti semitism smears, the Russian hoax guff, the white helmets as heroes crap, the "Trump is a bad man ignore the genesis of his policy" garbage…and etc many times over.

    What if pop media employed actual journalists who questioned shit instead of creating shit? What if pop media sought not to push ideological tosh?!

    How do people reckon that would effect the impact of rubbishy social media memes/posts?

    Second train of thought. Instead of handing the power of censorship to a few elites and their cronies (that isn't going to end well), why not nationalise social media platforms and ban all forms of 'click for $' advertising from them?

    If nothing else it would free up a fair number of hands from that constant wringing they’re always engaged in.

    • Gosman 7.1


      "What if all the media believed in the same stuff as me."

      Much of the information you listed there (e.g. anti semitism claims, the Russian hoax, Trump acting appallingly) WAS revealed as a result of proper Journalism. You just don't like it.

      [I’m putting you in Moderation. Your disingenuous comments, your pathetic they-did-it-too ‘defence’, your apparent approval of inconsistency between misleading political ads and statistically sound facts, and your fake quotations are going to derail the discussions and lead to inflammatory futile cycles of chasing you around here, as usual. If nothing else, it will slow you down and take the sting out of it – Incognito]

      • Incognito 7.1.1

        See my Moderation note @ 9:54 AM.

        • Gosman

          What do you mean fake quotation? I did a tl;dr which is paraphrasing a longer post from someone else and therefore a quotation is entirely appropriate. This is common internet discussion forum parlance. I see no reason for you to get upset about it as it is clear I am not actually quoting directly.

          [You were too lazy to write a proper comment. Bill’s @ 7 was only 150 words.

          You pretended he had said what you put between quotation marks. That’s a fake quotation in my books.

          Your “proper Journalism” [with a capital “J”] and the presumed dislike is making an assumption (an attribution) and not a proper counter argument that addresses anything Bill said but just another of your wind-up replies.

          These are the sorts of reasons why you are in Pre-Moderation right now]

        • Sacha

          Thank you.

          • cleangreen

            Thank you again; it is Xmas remember "goodwill toward all mankind" "It is better to be nice than it is to be nasty" – a wise man often told me. Merry Xmas.

      • Gosman 7.1.2

        Btw I am highlighting Bill's refusal to acknowledge the reality of a number of commonly accepted views such as that Russia interfered in the elections in the US and in the Brexit referendum of 2016.

        [Highlight away, preferably supported with sound arguments and genuine facts not made up BS. When you have nothing new or of substance to add just say that so that we can ignore your comments and stop wasting our time on replying to you]

        • Incognito

          See my Moderation note @ 10:31 AM.

        • Bill


          I fully acknowledge the reality that it's 'commonly accepted' Russia interfered in the UK elections (beyond the usual stuff 'all' states do) and also that it's widely 'taken as read' they interfered in the Brexit referendum. The fact there's stuff that's "commonly accepted" is central to the points I was making in my comment.

          Bend your head a little. You ready? Just because something is "commonly accepted" – that doesn't mean it's true.

        • Karol121


          "Btw I am highlighting Bill's knowledge; the reality of a number of commonly accepted views that Russia red the elections in the US".

          Ah So, Ah So, you appear to have supported Bill's notion, Gosman.

      • Bill 7.1.3

        Seriously Gosman, making up false attribution is bullshit. Anyway.

        The charges of antisemistism leveled against Corbyn and UK Labour are wholly politically driven. There's oodles of hard factual evidence that underscores the point if you care to look beyond your pop lens.

        Name me one single American who has faced charges or jail time for colluding with the Russian government. Just one. The entire Russia Gate narrative has been thoroughly eviscerated, and again, there is plenty of hard evidence you can peruse. (Aaron Mate has been particularly thorough)

        Trump appalling (and acts appallingly). That's obvious. Did I say otherwise? No.

        • Gosman

          Thank you Bill for making my point perfectly. Despite it being commonly accepted that the Russian government DID actively engage in meddling in both the Brexit referendum and the 2016 US elections your position is that it is fake news to report that. Hence why it would be extremely dangerous to allow people with ideological bias like yours to determine what can and can't be reported and why free speech (even information that might be factually inaccurate) should not be restricted UNLESS it could cause actual harm to specific individuals.

          [Letting this one through for Bill because it is a real Gosman doozy]

          • Bill

            Thinking I might have to get me some thread and a needle to sew my splitting sides back up if I read much more of your laughable idiocy 🙂

            Now. Did pop media report there was a commonly held view that "Russia this" and "Russia that"? Or did pop media generate and propagate the idea that "Russia this" and "Russia that" to such an extent it became "commonly accepted"? (Hint : it was the latter)

            Did pop media do that in a vacuum?

            No. They uncritically accepted the opinions and claims fed to them by selected individuals, some politicians and sections of the intelligence community.

            And that's a major factor that plays into the problem we face these days with the information we receive – pop media works hand in glove with the very people and institutions they should be holding to account.

        • Gosman

          What did Corbyn apologise for then if the claims about anti-semitism in the UK Labour party were all made up?


          • Stuart Munro.

            The moral cowardice of the fauxgressive left.

            Just like the Twyford Chinese names saga, and Lees-Galloway's currying favour.

            It just makes them look weak, and does nothing to settle the bad faith allegations.

          • Bill

            Aw c'mon, you're just being tedious now Gosman. No-one has said there are no anti semites among the 500 000 (or whatever the number is) UK Labour members.

            The point is that claims of prejudice have been weaponised for political gain. And it's pretty well established as fact (though maybe not "commonly accepted") that most of the anti semite claims being made are instances of Israeli interference being run on UK politics. And that's helped hugely by useful idiots who can't differentiate between criticism of Israel or Zionism, and anti semitism.

            Search out the Al Jezeera docu "The Lobby" if you want hear that admission of politically motivated interference come from the horses mouth.

  8. Karol121 8

    Agreed, right wing lies.

    Left wing lines, centre pantomime and the left or right of centre believing their expression to be both sublime and meaningful.

    What ever happened to just good, old radical expression and insult?

  9. Herodotus 9

    I hope me Jones will self report himself for his ability not to hold to the truth.

    he assumes that the units are linear on the left side. They could be exponential or some other ratio or the start point is not 0. They are valid in “graphing”, BUT you may not have thought of that

    oil does not follow inflation, but is a contributor to how inflation is calculated There is a difference.

    using the average for the Nat years in govt is valid BUT a bit mischievous 😏

    • Sacha 9.1

      The graphs are deliberately misleading, as has been pointed out. More than harmless 'mischief'.

    • Karol121 9.2

      Extrapolation and parody graphing, but where would we all be without it?

      However, we do need to move away from basing the nation's economic health on the current retail price of a Big Mac burger, and realistically base it entirely on the retail price of a litre of petrol at the pump.

      • alwyn 9.2.1

        I'm afraid that our Minister of Finance, the Prime Minister and the deputy Prime Minister find it hard enough to understand the concept of PPP with anything more complicated than the Economist's inspired concept of using the Big Mac index.

        That was its use of course. It was never used to look at inflation

        Complicated ideas like using motor spirit prices is way beyond them.

        • Karol121

          Oh well, back to the drawing board then I guess.

          I'm sure that we could dig something up that they would grasp and perhaps retain for more than five minutes.


  10. weka 10

    Good work by Neale Jones!

    I have questions.

    Why can't the governments of nation states regulate google (or FB/youtube or whoever) so that they cannot use commercial tools to push certain political advertising? Is it because google are a US company?

    Why is the ASA so slack on this? Is it because the ASA is designed to deal with consumers/commercial advertisers?

    • pat 10.1

      The ASA (and others) is powerless even in the eventual event of a complaint being upheld as the is no penalty other than removal and censure (perhaps)

      With the speed and targeting (esp) of the most egregious examples the damage is done and the offending item often no longer in play by the time attention is drawn….and then theres content ostensibly based offshore.

      • weka 10.1.1

        Removal and censure and posting an explanation on their website of why is not a nothing. Doing that consistently might be picked up by MSM for instance, and have a dampening effect on the worst of it.

        • pat

          its a nothing if they continue to reap the benefit as there is no real cost….a point made re the UK this morning on RNZ….and even if the political parties determine the downside from public exposure is a net negative there are always third party actors available to take up the slack


          • weka

            well we don't know what National would do in response because the ASA apparently aren't dealing well with complaints about political advertising.

            I think NZ's situation is sufficiently different from the UK (size, amounts of $ involved, Cambridge Analytica involvement and so on), that we can gain useful knowledge from the UK without taking it on as a given here.

            • Sacha

              National are running exactly the same sort of campaign as seen in the UK, with the same advisors. This is the prep/testing phase. What do you think all those millions in the bank and 30 social media staff in the leader's office are for?

              • weka

                You think there are no differences between NZ and the UK?

                • Sacha

                  You think there are? 🙂

                  • weka

                    Yes. I said that already 🙂

                    • weka

                      some obvious differences:

                      We're not in the middle of a Brexit clusterfuck

                      We have MMP so vote splitting has different consequences than the UK

                      We're smaller so the ways that people can be influenced as different.

                      We don't have a serious threat to the Overton Window's centre right position that might prompt the reactionary neoliberal middle class and business powerholders to go all out against the left.

                      I think our MSM isn't as bad as the UK.

                    • adam

                      Totally disagree weka, in many ways our MSM is worse.

                      It's that kiwi sort of corruption, nothing overt, I'll scratch your back stuff. And whilst they rarely outright lie. They are deeply ideological to the point where a screaming Echo would not budge them.

                      Here read this – past reports are more of the same.


            • pat

              Consider the 'fact checking' groups that have sprung up in rece3nt times in many countries , often run by media organisations or supported by them, and the particular politicians and groups that have been demonstrated to constantly lie, (or manipulate 'facts' shall we say) and the impact that has…or rather dosnt have.

              The percentage of voters that a) notice the reporting and b) care is small and not the target audience…their judgement/interest is not the same as yours or mine.

              • weka

                I'm suggesting that if the ASA had some balls and the backing to act, then the MSM might start reporting on decisions about political advertising, and this would show that National are by far the worst offenders.

                That's not nothing.

                The idea here seems to be that we can't do anything eg the ASA are powerless. I'm looking at things that can make a difference, not in a silver bullet way but in a shifting culture way. I don't think NZ is a lost cause.

                • pat

                  I think you are ascribing them an impossible task that even if they applied rigorously would have little or no impact….the problem is disengagement (people overwhelmed, see no nuance etc) and as usual the small element of truth that makes most lies so dangerous…they do "all do it" to a greater or lesser extent, it is the nature of politics and politicians.

                  • weka

                    I can't see how MSM reporting that one party is doing it way more than the others would be read as 'they all do it'. Unless you are suggesting that MSM reporting has no impact?

                    • pat

                      I fear you continue to view the problem from the perspective of the politically engaged…as said you are not the target audience.

                      The disengaged cohort is large and increasing…they either disengage entirely and dont vote or they vote on gut reaction

                      Consider the typical response from Boris and Trump supporters when their often (obvious) lies are pointed out…..often it is to point to some example of their opponents being less than honest, that is the lack of nuance I mentioned

                    • Incognito []

                      The widespread disengagement is not limited to politics but extends to all corners of civic life. The political apathy is just one symptom.

                    • weka []

                      Not at all, the politically engaged either already know, or are being exposed to critique on social media. I’m thinking about people like my parents whose main source of news is their daily paper each morning, RNZ, and TV at 6 o’clock each night. And their centrist peers. Or busy mums who catch the news on the radio and might get some of the 6 o’clock news on TV.

                      You seem to be suggesting that there is no point in doing the right thing about truth in the media because everyone is disengaged. That’s simply not true.

                      Not sure what the Trump/Johnson example was for, as I am talking about NZ not the UK and US.

                    • pat

                      @ Incognito

                      Information overload?….its all too complicated?

                    • Incognito []

                      There is definitely more noise. I would preserve the term “information” for accurate facts and verifiable knowledge. Opinion pieces, for example, are generally a half-house between information and influence. Education needs to prepare us for properly dealing with information and influence. Education does not start and stop with school; self-education and life-long education are crucial to adapt to the rapidly changing environment. None of this is an argument to spread or not counter mis- or dis-information. In fact, with the increased noise levels it becomes more important to distinguish between fact and fiction.

                      This about it for a moment, you mould your life by what you engage with (or not) and through the lenses you view things and the filters you hear things. Your conditioned brain then ‘interprets’ all that noise into your perception of reality. Engage with fake facts and you create a fake reality. I’d choose the red pill.

                    • pat

                      @ Incognito

                      I can think of numerous examples of people who avoid politics like the plague often with the refrain, theyre all the same, I cant be bothered with that or I've got better things to waste my time on…there is no interest in policy or desire to determine how it will impact their lives ….these are frequently the same people who will repeat some lie theyve heard or seen in a headline….the misinformation is targeted to this cohort.

                      How do you change that?

                    • Incognito []

                      Pat, that’s a question with as many answers as there are people. People choose and some go for the ‘easy’ options and some for the road less travelled, which is equally valid nonetheless.

                      I can only really speak for myself. I don’t mind not knowing but I do mind being fooled. If I am knowingly fooled and then perpetuate that, I’d be contradicting myself, my values, my principles, my personal integrity. Therefore, I don’t do that, mostly, and I share my thoughts and give my reasons. Others are free to pay attention or ignore me. I think that’s all I/we can do: to give people a choice, be the example you want to be, and leave it to them to make up their minds and decide. Ignorance is no excuse, neither is amnesia. We should not assume that we can shape or change people in our image, not even our children, difficult as that may be to accept, sometimes.

                      I know this is not much of an answer to your question, sorry about that.

                • pat

                  Trump and Boris are the obvious egregious examples but the same traits are evident in NZ and have been for some time (think Key gov and dirty politics)…all well exposed and National still largest polling single party last election.

                  Are you suggesting that those centrist voters listening to RNZ, watching the 6 oclock news or reading their daily paper are incapable of critical thinking and the counter points raised in those various organisations?

                  Did i say everyone disengaged?….you know i did not

                  Nor did I say do nothing, just that what youre proposing will be ineffective

                  • weka

                    "National still largest polling single party last election."

                    What? This is MMP. The left split into Labour and the Greens many years ago. The right didn't. National will always be the single largest party unless the right also splits.

                    "Are you suggesting that those centrist voters listening to RNZ, watching the 6 oclock news or reading their daily paper are incapable of critical thinking and the counter points raised in those various organisations?"

                    No, I'm suggesting that if TVNZ and RNZ were reporting on ASA decisions against National that this would be taken notice of by those people. Not sure how you got me thinking they can't think critically from what I've been saying.

                    "Nor did I say do nothing, just that what youre proposing will be ineffective"

                    Based on the idea that people are disengaged? It’s entirely possible I’m misunderstanding your point, because I thought you *were saying that most people are disengaged so there’s not point in bodies like the ASA trying to combat lies in political media. If that’s not what you are saying, maybe restate it in a different way?

                    • pat

                      Based on the idea that the target audience for the strategy are the disengaged….and there are degrees of disengagement.

                      MMP is not a panacea and there remains obviously other motivations for how people vote i.e. tribalism, self interest, personality but that exists alongside the increasing disengagement.

                      "Not sure how you got me thinking they can't think critically from what I've been saying."

                      If they are actively following politics in the media as you suggest then they have the information and can assess its veracity (think critically) if they then choose to vote a certain way that is their right…but they are not disengaged.

                    • weka []

                      whose strategy? My proposed strategy is for people that are not disengaged. The point isn’t the content of that tweet, it’s the public knowledge around which parties are telling lies.

                      Engagment isn’t a black and white thing. The truly disengaged aren’t even voting. Us arguing on TS are at the other end. In between there is a wide range of levels of engagement. One doesn’t have to be actively following politics to be influenced by the 6 o’clock news. Often people don’t have time. Or they’re seeing headlines only.

                    • Sacha

                      Stopping more people from becoming disengaged is a worthy goal.

                    • weka []

                      yes, this. Thanks for making that point succinctly.

                    • pat

                      As noted earlier ALL political parties tell lies ….it is the nature of the lie that is problematic,

                      The obvious and egregious lies are targeted at the disengaged

                      Any body keeping a tally of political untruths will be swamped and the reporting lost in the wash and largely ignored….as evidenced by the fact checking organisations mentioned earlier.

                      The ASA received 16 complaints about Nationals misleading advertising (2019) 2 were upheld and 1 partially…around 20%

                      The Greens had 1 complaint against in the same period which was upheld …100%


                      Who's the more honest Party?

                      I suspect what is being expressed is the frustration that too many are willing to overlook the lies or dont care (or dont vote) when it seems so obviously wrong to you (and i agree)…but keeping a scorecard aint going to solve it nor will it encourage greater engagement

                    • Sacha

                      Pat, political lies are not targeted at the already disengaged. Why would a party bother?

                      And it is simply untrue that all parties lie the same. That’s just a line combined with bad conduct to deliberately disengage citizens from participating.

                    • Robert Guyton

                      If you dare to wrestle with pigs, the pigs will claim that you too are a pig!

                      That's how it goes.

                      The Greens do not lie as the Nats lie.

                    • weka

                      obviously the Greens are the more honest party, but your example fails because the assertion from Neale is that the ASA isn't doing a good job. It's not about presenting numbers, it's about having processes that enhance democracy.

                      I'm with Sacha and Robert on this. There are obvious differences between National and all other parties. Smudging the picture so they all look the same doesn't help us here.

                    • pat

                      Would you like to point to where I say theyre all the same?

                      "As noted earlier ALL political parties tell lies ….it is the nature of the lie that is problematic"

                      "…..often it is to point to some example of their opponents being less than honest, that is the lack of nuance I mentioned"

                      Nuance….what I said, not what you want me to have said.


                      "Pat, political lies are not targeted at the already disengaged. Why would a party bother?"

                      as said there are degrees of disengagement…there are the voting disengaged as well…and why? why would you waste an obvious lie on someone engaged enough to spot it a mile away.

                      It is designed to reinforce their anger with 'the system'

                    • Incognito []

                      It is like the deliberate spelling mistakes in Nigerian scams: anybody who doesn’t fall off their chair laughing is exactly whom they want to target.


        • Sacha

          The ASA was designed for the gentle timeframes of magazine and billboard advertising. Totally unsuited for digital and a classic example of industry self-regulation. Look at how easily booze companies get away with advertising beer at the beach despite explicit 'rules' against it.

          • weka

            what's stopping that from being updated?

            • Sacha

              Political will, funnily enough. We would need some sort of fast takedown model like Netsafe uses for online harm complaints.

              The low up-front cost of production means that removing a digital advert is not much of a deterrent, unlike pulling down a billboard campaign.

              • weka

                Why are Labour and the Greens not moving on this? Or even NZF.

                It's not the removal of a tweet that is the deterrent, it's the number of decisions stacking up against one party being reported in the MSM that might make a difference.

                • Sacha

                  Good question, given that they can never compete with the money required to do this stuff properly. Only the righties have that.

                  Justice might undermine the 'both sides do it' line that increases apathy, true. However you can just imagine our current unprincipled media operators reporting one of each twenty times their favoured parties get caught but every single time the others do.

                  • weka

                    Maybe, but I think gotcha still holds its own in our MSM 😉

                    I was thinking the other day that one of the Greens' lesser campaigns at the last elections was to transform how politics is done, but that we haven't heard much on that recently. I'm guessing they've got their hands full, but I hope they pick this up again.

    • Herodotus 11.1

      Complaint over what ??

      As I pointed out what they are describing can easily be proven correct. Mr Jones is being as mischievous as National is, and about as honest to boot. Just because the graph doesn't agree with how he "wants" it to be interpreted, doesn't mean it is false, and I would expect someone with his background to know that.

      • Sacha 11.1.1

        You are totally wrong. The problems with the graph are matters of fact, not of opinion.

      • weka 11.1.2

        "can easily be proven correct"

        Just waiting for you to prove that. All I've seen so far is an assertion about some maths that you have even bothered to explain properly.

        • Herodotus

          The graph could be using a truncated y-axis, which I would guess is the case. Yet the data and graph is still "valid " . Here is one example that a contributor using this truncation technic in a graph from a posting Anthony Robins made, he maybe able to educate you on this 🧐


          • weka

            how is truncating the y-axis valid in this case? What's the evidence that the y-axis has been truncated?

            • Sacha

              Red herring. The units do not line up in the slightest. Someone is grasping at straws and their motivation for that is the only interesting thing.

            • Herodotus

              Why not ask some of those who post entries on this site as to using "truncated graphs " ?.

              Labour tax $1.12 National $0.87 and using that the gap of Nat:Lab is 2:1 then the x/y intercept would be $0.62, and the graph could then be said to be "true" to the data.




              • UncookedSelachimorpha

                Truncated axes are mainly used to make a smaller difference look misleadingly large. I encounter them often at work – marketing departments use them to mislead customers, while engineering and science (who generate the actual data) hate them.

                Best not to be informed by bullshit marketers!

                The analysis linked to by Sacha at (4) is accurate and well-reasoned.

              • weka

                because the person in front of me making a claim about the post I am currently commenting under can't even explain what they mean.

                If you can't be bothered providing evidence that apparently easily proves your point that's on you.

                • Herodotus

                  I gave you an example of how this graph can be true. Not my problem if you are not able or wanting (most likely IMO) to see this.

                  Perhaps take a breath and reread the example. Will follow all future posts and look forward to viewing an avalanche of comments dissing any posts that include referencing/linking to any truncated graphs. 😜

                  • McFlock

                    But each of the examples you brought up very clearly labelled their axes, leaving no doubt.

                    The nats didn't do that, did they? They painted a picture that from the most natural angles is incorrect. Who cares if you can make it resemble reality if you fold it is 8 dimensions. The point is that to any normal person the graphic is misleading, and you'd need additional information unknown to most people to be able to make the assumptions you show are necessary for the chart to even approach accuracy.

                    It is, in shorter words, a lie.

                    • Sacha

                      It has been a lie all day. Yet here we are.

                    • greywarshark

                      MAD magazine used to have on the back cover a specially drawn image that was okay in full, and then if you folded it on a certain line and took that edge to another line, you got a completely different picture.

                      But MAD was too clever for the present day punter, who couldn't follow the subtleties. Unfortunately the magazine has gone out of business.

                • Sacha

                  I'll have you know these hands have been waved in several different languages maam!

          • Gabby

            'Could' isn't good enough though is it hroddy. There's oughtn't be any 'could', should be 'is'.

      • Incognito 11.1.3

        A bar chart or bar graph is a chart or graph that presents categorical data with rectangular bars with heights or lengths proportional to the values that they represent. [my italics]




        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Misleading_graph#No_scale [are you paying attention?]


        A graph with a high lie factor (>1) would exaggerate change in the data it represents, while one with a small lie factor (>0, <1) would obscure change in the data.[23] A perfectly accurate graph would exhibit a lie factor of 1.

        In the case highlighted by Neale Jones the lie factor > 1.

        National is lying. Case closed.

  11. greywarshark 12

    How can we get a clear message over in election year? And find out what is real, what is a dozy idea and why, and what is better if there are some people who just want to disturb the blog and interfere with attempts at reasoned thought by constantly starting off on a negative, or bringing positives down with a negative. Or just preaching a load of irrelevant stuff that used to be the norm in the 20th century which has presented us with this load of shite we now see around us, and which some of us realise have partly been brought about by ourselves. We need to concentrate on something different before some of us go mad, give up and top ourselves.

    A Jonathan Pie finish. 'Hoping that this finds you well as it does me.'

    • Sacha 12.1

      The skill is not to react every time.

      • Incognito 12.1.1

        If wisdom is a skill then that is a skill.

      • greywarshark 12.1.2

        So Sacha you save your powder for something else each time you see an unfortunate happening, but oh dear it may be too wet and soggy to fire when you decide that something is important.

        That echoes: – It is about the cowardice of German intellectuals and certain clergy (including, by his own admission, Niemöller himself) following the Nazis' rise to power and subsequent incremental purging of their chosen targets, group after group.

        First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—

        Because I was not a socialist.

        Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—
        Because I was not a trade unionist.

        Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
        Because I was not a Jew.

        Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

        • Incognito

          Choose your battles wisely.

          • greywarshark

            Unfortunately sitting round being wise isn't going to cut it for the 21st century. Thinking, being wise, and making effective, ethical as possible plans for the future and doing them is, what is.

            NZs are good at being wise. We practised that through most of the 20th century. 'Now is the time for all good men and women to come to the aid of the party.' And finding people both wise, good and proactive is of vital importance.

            So uttering saws at me is a waste of time. I recognise Jenny HTGT points in her anxious verbiage, but that doesn't cut it either. But a mix of Jenny's approach and the practical say of WetheBleeple or Robert G and those with good trade skills, business sense, (hello WTB Merry Christmas if you're looking) is what is needed. I'm lazy enough without people telling me to wait on the sidelines till they till me to go.

            Time for a song – Do Nothin' till you hear from me …
            Remember Lena Horne?

            • Sacha

              Don't "stand around waiting". But do not bark at every passing car either.

              • Incognito

                Animals caught in approach–avoidance conflict often groom. It is known as displacement behaviour. Thus, I suggest that grooming is the answer. At least, it would improve our appearances.

        • Sacha

          First they came for the socialists

          That's a great example of "stuff from the 20th century", a more refined time. Wrestling pigs is the new normal. Great distraction from what's going on beyond the sty. Like the bank foreclosing on your log cabin. Cheered on by the local estate agent who donates to a certain political party.

  12. AB 13

    This is a long video – but it is a quite brilliant dissection of the contemporary media and social media by the amazingly youthful Ronan Burtenshaw of the Tribune in the UK. He concludes by saying that "we are going to be reliant on a hostile media until we build our own and make it sustainable…"

    • Stuart Munro. 13.1

      Korea did that – built the Hankyoreh, a mass subscriber newspaper in response to the problems of the Park/Chun do Hwan years. Lee Myung-Bak did his best to kill it for telling the truth about him.

      • greywarshark 13.1.1

        I wish that one or a few of the wealthy could combine here to buy up stuff – they aren't too bad. Is there anyone with money here who has ideals of quality intelligent democracy about the country they live in? There are other ways of using money wisely than putting your name on buildings, or trying to make profits by investing in other countries with money earned in NZ.

  13. Andre 14

    As best I can tell, the only petrol tax the current government has raised is the Land Transport Management Fund when increased from 59.52 cents/litre to 63.02 cents/litre sometime between Sep 18 and Dec 18. That's only 4 cents/litre (inc GST), not the 25 cents/litre tax increase the liars are trying to make people believe.

    The Auckland regional fuel tax was imposed by the Auckland City Council, and affects Aucklanders. The government enabled it to happen, sure, but didn't impose it.

    Source is a MBIE spreadsheet linked from:


    edit: December 08 petrol taxes were 52.57 cents/litre, Sep 17 they were 66.48 cents/litre (and had been higher)

  14. "New Zealand and the United Kingdom are both cursed with the right wing parties having the same advisors and similar means of campaigning. "

    Please tell me you haven't JUST woken up to all that @ Mickysavage!

    And it's not just political advisors – hopefully you're able to see the copying/plagiarising/aping in social and public policy advice (in this space, going forward) across the former colonies.

    It's almost like a second, or third wave.

    Whereas once (during the 50s and 60s) we had an imported influence to show us the way culturally and politically, now the imported influence is more to do with economic and political imperatives – the last vestiges of a dying Empire.

    Oh Dear – how fucking sad!

    • Incognito 15.1

      I don’t think MS writes purely for himself. It is important to remind others and ourselves from time to time about what’s going on, what’s the same, and what’s different. You know the famous quote about eternal vigilance?

  15. greywarshark 16

    What's up in the UK with lies. Heading from BBC about a diplomat resigning in protest. Time – 18 minutes ago.

    British diplomat resigns over having to 'peddle half-truths' on Brexit

    In her letter, dated 3 December, she wrote: "I have been increasingly dismayed by the way in which our political leaders have tried to deliver Brexit, with reluctance to address honestly, even with our own citizens, the challenges and trade-offs which Brexit involves; the use of misleading or disingenuous arguments about the implications of the various options before us; and some behaviour towards our institutions, which, were it happening in another country, we would almost certainly as diplomats have received instructions to register our concern."

    It's a happening – https://www.theguardian.com/politics/live/2019/dec/06/general-election-boris-johnson-jeremy-corbyn-final-tv-debate-live-news
    Conservative leader faces off against Labour leader in last televised debate before the election

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