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Shut it down

Written By: - Date published: 3:15 pm, January 31st, 2012 - 38 comments
Categories: blogs - Tags: ,

The same day as we learn that Labour won’t be allowing press gallery journos free access to their wing of Parliament as previously (apparently a desperate attempt at message control by keeping off message MPs and journos apart: someone better tell Fran Mold what a cellphone is), Labour’s bizarre cult of David Farrar has performed its first human sacrifice.

If you want to read Raymond Huo’s piece, it’s here. But I wouldn’t bother. Just think the whining passive-aggressiveness and poor execution of Clare Curran’s haiku combined with long-windedness and an abysmally poor understanding of even the basics of politics.

Basically, Huo spends about a thousand words pleading with Farrar to be nice to him an recognise all the important work he does so that the voters will recognise the good he does. As if Farrar is both a fair arbitrator and an opinion leader. Wake the fuck up, Raymond. Farrar’s a political player.

Here are a couple of the comments:

Scott says:

Jesus wept. The way some of the authors on this site go on about David Farrar, you’d think he was the PM, and not just some blogger.

The post title is accurate at least: it sure is a belated Christmas gift for David Farrar.

deano says:

What is it with Labour MPs promoting and, now, kowtowing to, David Farrar? Have some pride for your party’s sake!

You’re MPs representing over half a million New Zealanders. Farrar’s a fat little loser who makes his money on the public teat. Get some damn perspective and write some useful posts.

And no more self-pitying haiku. God damn. No-one’s going to elect a bunch of whiners and self-effacers to government.

I’m with Deano.

It’s worse than cringe-making. It’s unworthy of a representative of the New Zealanders who vote Labour. It is simply the exact opposite of the action and mindset that Labour needs to display if New Zealanders are going to trust them to lead the government in 3 years. The same, unfortunately, can be said for far too much of what we see on Red Alert.

(Clare: next time you write a haiku passively-aggressively whining to one of the very gallery journos that Labour desperately needs to win over if it’s to start winning the media battle with National – a) get the rhyming structure right and b) bin the fucken thing)

I see Grant Robertson and Nanaia Mahuta are writing stuff, trying to lift the quality. But the problem isn’t too few good posts, it’s the bad posts.

See, Red Alert’s a bit like Backbenches. It’s readership will always be too small and too politically active for the good stuff to be seen and impress any swing voters (which is why good blogs attempt to influence discourse), but any bad stuff will be picked up by the Right and, worse, the media and waved around as proof of what a bunch of useless c*nts Labour are.

Until Labour gets a plan for Red Alert and the will to stick to it, they’ve got to shut that shit down.

38 comments on “Shut it down ”

  1. Lanthanide 1

    Your link to Raymond’s post is broken.

    Typo (Freudian slip?):

    “Basically, Huo spends about a thousand words pleading with Farrar to be nice to him an recognise all the important work he does so that the voters will recognise the good he foes

  2. Rich 2

    Very true. Except that the “gallery journos that Labour desperately needs to win over” are also part of the National spin-machine.

    Labour should be aiming to bypass the gallery and do stuff that just can’t be ignored by the media – a good example was last years (Green-instigated) mining protests. You can’t ignore 40,000 people on the streets of Auckland.

    • squirrel 2.1

      Actually the protest was almost entirely run by Greenpeace, the greens have never been good at mobilizing the public. They are very good at providing on point useful soundbites however and so punch above their weight in the media.

  3. Yep Red Alert needs either a complete reorgansiation or it needs to be put to sleep.  At times it has really fired but lately it has struggled.  It does not get the type of in depth discussions that you get here and it has become an opening for trolls to attack MPs.
    Mind you even now it it still way better than the alternative.  Although this is not much of an argument.

    • alex 3.1

      Oh dear god, scroll down the page a bit and look on the right of the screen, you see a box with photos of the ‘National Ethnic Team’. How patronising and tokenistic is that?

  4. randal 4

    and farrar is a fibber.
    go to his blag and you will see that he professes not to read the standard.
    pull the other one farrar and pray that the god of sausage roll stuffers doens’t send you to purgatory.

  5. Bored 5

    Clare is an electronic noise creation device….blog / tweet / email / web releases. Its a bit like the white noise you routinely block out / ignore.

    Could somebody please tell Clare less is more. Before my kids grew enough to be sent on their own way they would call me by my first name…I often did not hear or respond. When they called me Dad it was something serious (they needed cash or had broken a bone)….there’s a lesson there for Clare.

    • the sprout 5.1

      curran reminds me of shelley bridgeman
      (although i once read an article of bridgeman’s that was alright)

  6. Populuxe1 6

    (Clare: next time you write a haiku passively-aggressively whining to one of the very gallery journos that Labour desperately needs to win over if it’s to start winning the media battle with National – a) get the rhyming structure right and b) bin the fucken thing)

    Haiku don’t rhyme

  7. Tanz 7

    MickeySavage, they have to be careful. RA is run by MP’s, who are paid public servants, and could be in power again soon. Fair enough, I see why they can’t be too in-depth online.

  8. queenstfarmer 8

    … but any bad stuff will be picked up by the Right and, worse, the media and waved around as proof of what a bunch of useless c*nts Labour are.

    So what are you saying here? That you don’t want the real views of Labour MPs getting out?

    • Eddie 8.1

      Everyone stuffs up. That’s why professional organisations have checks and balances so stuff ups are caught before they go public. To err in private is human; to let it rip holes in your organisation’s brand and media narrative is diabolical.

      In Red Alert, Labour has sort of assumed that each MP has those checks and balances internally and functioning well. Which is a strange assumption given that it is manifestly not the case and not how any party treats other media interactions by MP. They would never let an MP write and publish whatever they like in a press release without it going through the press team, or let an MP call a press conference on whatever topic they like whenever they like, not matter what they had to say on the issue.

      Red Alert should not be any different: it is part of the party brand and, therefore, should live up to the same professional standards. It clearly does not.

      • insider 8.1.1

        I think RA is incredibly brave by Labour, or maybe make that ‘brave’…

        I can;t see it being sustainable though, which would be a loss. It could never survive a transition to govt and if it is more controlled I suspect it will lose appeal as control means bland and on message.

        Sad thing is, the more we get the personal engagmeent of MPs the less tolerant we are of the occassional brain fart. If we all gave a general collective shrug about some of the sillier things being said – as in, ‘that could happen to anyone, just ignore it’ – rather than parsing everything from a shrill-ly partisan perspective, we’d probably get a much more mature engagement across all parties.

    • insider 8.2

      It’s only ok if they are surreptitiously recorded

      • McFlock 8.2.1

        I long for the day that NZ politicians of any flavour can be relied on to not be complete fuck-ups in public, be it party blogs or media events in cafes.

        • Eddie

          or cocktail parties.

          The difference is on Red Alert Mallard, Curran, and Huo are just being useless at PR – the solution is don’t let them be useless at it in public. Key, Banks, and English were secretly discussing their policies and political plans – a legitimate topic of public interest.

  9. The thing is, there’s a big difference between a “normal” blog and one belonging to a Political Party.

    With the former, such as “The Standard” or my blog, we can indulge ourselves till the cows come home to roost. No one’s voting for us.

    Butr “Red Alert” is different. Whether the Labour Party like it or not, the media and other people associate posts on “RA” with Labour Party policy.

    Therefore, they have to be more disciplined with what they write. They have no choice, if they don’t want off-the-cuff, personal remarks taken out of context and used against Labour.

    Considering that Labour is fighting an ideological war for the hearts and minds of the electorate, they cannot afford to be ill-disciplined with their writings. Every word they write can be C&P and used against them.

    They need to tighten their Blog admin and exercise ruthless self-discipline in what is written by MPs and party officials. (If an MP or party official wants to make a personal comment – use a pseudonym.)

    Until they sort out their problem with “RA”, it will be more of a hindrance than a valuable tool to spread Labour policies and social democratic values.

    My 5 cents plus 12.5% 15% gest worth.

  10. Pete 10


  11. chris73 11

    I disagree, red alert needs to stay. In fact I feel that the problem is not enough MPs are posting on it.

    • Eddie 11.1

      The thing is, you could have a dozen good posts from the likes of Robertson, Cunliffe, Ardern and they will be seen by few and forgotten quickly. Whereas one silly post by one of the others can make national news.

      Like I say, there’s a reason that National stopped its MPs going on Backbenches before the 2008 election. All risk, minimal gain.

      • Drongo 11.1.1

        Too bloody true. Try telling mad-dog Mallard that. He’s addicted to fucking gadgets – that’s half of his bloody problem.

  12. One Anonymous Bloke 12

    Politicians tread a tightrope.

    The National Party sends cookie cutter press releases to its MPs and they forget to add local colour before they repost them.

    At least Labour MP’s get to sound fuckin stupid on their own.

    Best thing they can all do is become part of the debate in a well moderated forum.

    Like this one. Sorry to be such a fan boy 😀

  13. higherstandard 13

    The sad state of elected and non elected representatives evident once again.

  14. the sprout 14

    RA really has become truly fucking pathetic.
    i hope it doesn’t represent whatever’s left of the NZLP.
    it’s a disgrace.

  15. Blue 15

    “It’s readership will always be too small and too politically active for the good stuff to be seen and impress any swing voters (which is why good blogs attempt to influence discourse), but any bad stuff will be picked up by the Right and, worse, the media and waved around as proof of what a bunch of useless c*nts Labour are.”

    No more needs to be said. Cost-benefit analysis right there. There is no upside to having Red Alert, and plenty of downside.

    This tragic little experiment has gone on long enough. Time to can it.

  16. Tenfoot Bella 16

    Red Alert has become an embarrassment – time for it to go.

  17. brybry 17

    Red Alert could be excellent. A good way to engage with *some* of the elctorate. But could they not get all Labour MP’s to blog on whatever they like, and then have a moderator, a sort of keeper-of-the-brand that just makes sure they don’t stray to far from the message. At the very least it would stop these obvious train wrecks.

  18. newsense 18


    Not breaking news?

    especially on a day that there seems to be a lot of other pressing news going on- Robertson writes about section 9 and yesterday linked to Oram on Crafar farms, Twyford writes about the sincerity of Labour’s foreign land sale position…and Huo says deregulation is bad and errr…hey remember those leaky homes? Any other new regulation Labour would suggest or re-introduce to correct imbalances that have happened since National came to power?

  19. interesting 19

    “As if Farrar is both a fair arbitrator and an opinion leader. Wake the fuck up, Raymond. Farrar’s a political player.” …….agreed.

    But i hope you dont think that “the Standard”site or its contributors are any less than political players either…..or that this site and its contributors are any more “a fair arbitrator or an opinion leader” than Farrar either.

    The reality is that people who take the time to write on such sites as this (and kiwiblog etc) are all bias to their particular views…and from what i have evidenced…this site (and RedAlert) appear to sensor descenting opinions more readily opinions than what Farrar ever seems too.

    in fact… it would not surprise me if this comment is in some way sensored…

  20. Drongo 20

    When did Redalert start up? When did Labour start losing almost all of its support? Do things look like they’re going to change? Redalert’s neither red, an alert, or even alert. Shut it down – it’ll give the usual suspects time to concentrate on the real issues. WTF can knowing what the likes of bloody tracey or jennifer do to help the poor and struggling in this country? The things those two come out with makes it pretty clear they’re a couple of right-wingers whose parents voted Labour all their lives. Shut the stupid thing down. Make Labour staffers tracey and jennifer work for their salaries.

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