Small talk on party activists and blogs.

Written By: - Date published: 3:23 pm, March 29th, 2011 - 51 comments
Categories: labour, making shit up, Media, Politics - Tags: ,

I was just reading Vernon Small on Phil Goff’s reconfirmation today and I saw these sentences on Labour

Its activists on websites and blogs are openly questioning the party’s direction and Mr Goff’s judgment. Its union backers and foot soldiers need to be motivated but are in danger of being demoralised.

This reflects more on Vernon’s lack of understanding of who comments on websites and blogs than anything else. For instance, I really haven’t bothered to say very much about it, and I’m definitely a strong party activist. Why? Because it was pretty damn clear that this was just a bit of puffery and had very little relationship to any reality inside the party, either for activists or for MP’s.

I was at the Northland-Auckland list meeting this weekend. There were about 300 party activists in a school hall for two whole days, sitting in little kiddies seats in a school hall with a blatant disregard for their backs. They showed a high dedication to the party by being there for two days listening to speeches from 38 candidates and doing the exhaustive voting.

Was the leadership in the buzz? Not really, unless you count people speculating on how idiotic the media were on the topic. Darren Hughes was certainly a topic of conversation. But mostly it was ideas for the election and who was going to support whom in the candidate ordering.

This was much the same when I was moderating on The Standard over the last few days. This site probably gets more comments than all other left blogs combined. One would have to figure that it was one of the sites that Vernon was talking about. But he is wrong.

The people I know who are actually currently active in the party aren’t really saying that much on the topic of a possible Labour leadership change. The people who are unashamed straight Labour voters weren’t saying much and nor were the commentators that I consider are in the center. Mostly if the Labourites  have written comments on the topic, it is generally saying who they’d support as a contender if there was a leadership change.

The people who had the most to say are those on the extremist right, our recent intake of astroturfers (who usually state that they’d support Labour but…), and people on the left outside of Labour. The latter are probably who Vernon was reading. Many of them got disgruntled with Labour  in some decade (usually the 1980’s) and who tend to vote Labour reluctantly if at all. Many were New Labour supporters who broke away from Labour in the 1990’s. There are also a significant group of greens who’d like Labour to be a better junior coalition partner to the Greens. Neither group has does much work inside Labour campaigns, and cannot be viewed as being Labour activists.

There are a few actual Labour activists around who are up for a leadership change – like The Sprout. But from my viewpoint they are pretty few and far between.

Of course I have some advantages over Vernon Small in recognizing people on this blog. I’ve read almost every comment on the blog over the last 3 years in the course of moderating the site. I can usually remember most of their stories, including who that they’ve said they’d voted for in the past. I can recognize the astroturfers that have started turning up recently in large numbers. Many of them are using IP ranges that I haven’t seen since the 2008 election. And despite my anti-social nature, I’ve been around the current Labour activists for the last 20 odd years doing various systems level work, so I know many of them.

So basically Vernon is in my opinion talking bullshit, probably inadvertently. What he is seeing is a cloud largely being generated by the non-Labour left activists and the ubiquitous astroturfers that National and Act seem to have been reactivating over the last month. In fact, the best thing that that journos can do to understand the social media these days is to look at the concept of astroturfing in article like this one. Then they’ll have a lot better idea about what is happening around the blogs these days.

Mostly the actual Labour activists that I have talked to recently are just annoyed that the Darren Hughes investigation is getting in the way of the ongoing election campaign. We really don’t have time to piss around either with that or with this leadership nonsense. It is pretty damn irrelevant heading into an election. It may be considered to be important if you are a supporter of the right or one of those strange political animals of the beltway. But it isn’t if you are a actual Labour foot soldier.

51 comments on “Small talk on party activists and blogs.”

  1. Raymond A Francis 1

    What you say is quite likely correct but the votes Labour and the left need to win are those who are not activists, how many members does Labour have?
    I think Labour could win the next election, a slight swing to the left and Act down the gurgler and Goff would be our next PM

    • lprent 1.1

      Not really what was in Small’s article. But the number of those left activists who have been having a go at Goff for the last week are an even smaller (but noisier) bunch than the Labour activists. The even noiser astroturfers are even smaller.

      I suspect that like the Darren Hughes investigation and stand down, this really isn’t impacting out in the voting public very much. Outside of the politically active, the most I’ve had is comments about Darren being a silly bugger.

      • Jenny 1.1.1

        …..those left activists who have been having a go at Goff for the last week are an even smaller (but noisier) bunch than the Labour activists.

        Who are these people? Could we have a citation here Lynne?

        • lprent 1.1.1.1

          I’d have to dig through the OpenMike when I get back to a computer. I did note that most of the regulars here who were adamant that Goff should go were also people who I know are not Labour activists. Bored comes to mind as a good example. But the people who I know are Labour party activists with a very few exceptions were not. They were either defending like CV or were not particularly commenting on the subject.

          To be frank, to me, Darren Hughes idiocy and the subsequent fallout feels just like a distraction from the election campaign that I can do without.

  2. RedLogix 2

    Despite all the ‘small-minded’ blather from Vernon…. my read is that many folk are going to be fair-minded enough to see that Goff hasn’t done anything substantively wrong here and will give the Labour team credit for not panicking through this sticky patch.

    Getting caught up in clever beltway political games is exactly what Labour cannot afford at the moment.

    • Anthony C 2.1

      I think the problem is that over his leadership Goff hasn’t been seen to do anything substantially good either.

      Arguably one of the biggest problems for the left is the indifference towards the person who is primarily responsible for carrying the message, and from this they become indifferent to the message itself.

      • lprent 2.1.1

        Always an issue. But really people don’t care. They’re more worried about where things are heading. At present they’re not that happy with it – they’re looking at their lives and worrying about their kids future. The issue is if Phil and the rest of the Labour caucus can capitalize on that.

  3. PeteG 3

    the ubiquitous astroturfers that National and Act seem to have been reactivating over the last month.

    What proportion of people who post here do you think are National or Act astroturfers, compared to non-associated posters? And compared to Labour and Green activated astroturfers?

    • lprent 3.1

      Comments or ‘people’? I haven’t bothered to look at it too closely.

      But either way, I’d have to write some SQL. The absolute easiest way to look at them is to look for people who haven’t commented before, but suddenly manage to comment a lot. The others are the low activity drones. Some others I’ll probably get after I backtrack through to the exchanges that their IP’s goes through.

      In the last couple of weeks there have a been quite a lot of activity from people that I haven’t seen before. And some of them when I’ve looked at them for infractions have been exhibiting IP numbers last used during the 2008 election campaign. It tends to raise my suspicions especially after reading on recent political uses of social media in the US and the UK.

      I can’t see any Labour or Green turfers – the nearest to it are probably some of the Labour activists like mickeysavage or colonial viper. But they hardly try to conceal anything, are quite open about it, and have been on here for years.

      What I have seen is quite a lot of ‘concerned lefties’ recently who write like righties in their concerns and have suddenly appeared. They also have some very similar messsage lines that they keep pushing.

      It is bloody boring really. Last election we had ‘concern trolls’. This years it looks like we’ll be getting the concerned astroturfers. If it gets to be too much of an issue in interfering in the dialogue, I’ll put some code and policy in place to eliminate the problem on this site.

  4. Draco T Bastard 4

    My reading on what happened to DH goes like this:

    1.) Group goes out socialising
    2.) Young guy makes social faux pas
    3.) Other young guy makes mountain out of molehill
    4.) MSM highlights non-existent mountain

    The whole thing was a media beat up and nothing more.

    [lprent: that is getting to be too close to speculating on the complainant – now that RL drew my attention to it. ]

    • Shouldn’t you wait to see if the Police agree Draco?

      • ianmac 4.1.1

        In2: Shouldn’t everyone have waited for a Police report instead of speculating?

    • Lanthanide 4.2

      I’m not sure 32 particularly counts as “young guy”.

    • big bruv 4.3

      A sexual assault charge is “making a mountain out of a molehill”

      Sometimes you people disgust me, I have not seem one of you comment about how life must be torture for the poor bugger who happened to be the object of Hughes unwanted attention.

      It has all been about “poor Darren” and all about Goff.

      Would you show the same leniency here at the Standard if it was a National MP facing these charges?…….of course not.

      • felix 4.3.1

        Has there been a charge?

        Nah thought not. More bullshit.

      • Pascal's bookie 4.3.2

        bruv, you’ve seen sod all of people talking about the complainant at all (coz the complainant isn’t the story, they are entitled to privacy)…

        … and we all saw how the right talked about the complainant when a nat was accused of sexual harassment. “must’ve been asking for it, leading him on, honey trap, liar, if it was real why didn’t she act exactly how we demand she act”, etc ad nauseum.

        I guess Worth will be filing those law suits and handing over the promised affidavits swearing that he is innocent any day now…. of course not.

      • RedLogix 4.3.3

        you’ve seen sod all of people talking about the complainant at all (coz the complainant isn’t the story, they are entitled to privacy)…

        Which to be honest is why as a moderator I was leery of Draco’s comment at 4.0 above. It’s said and done now, but I’d prefer to see it end here.

  5. toad 5

    Lynn, does the Labour list-ranking process allow those who participate in it (not sure who that is – in the Greens all members have that right, subject to minor adjustments for demographic purposes) total control over the list selection?

    What if Phil Goff ended up at 2 or 3 or 4 through the process, behind one or more of Grant Robertson, Trevor Mallard, Maryan Street, or David Parker?

    That could happen in the Greens, and would be an immediate signal to a Green Co-leader to stand down. Do Labour have a similar internal democratic process to test membership confidence in the leadership?

    • lprent 5.1

      Potentially. In practice the sitting MP’s sort out their own list between themselves (with considerable horse trading from what I understand) and present the local MP’s version to the meeting. We could vote against accepting it and start going through them with the same detail as we did with everyone else. A vote gets called to accept the sitting MP’s list and I’ve never seen an objection. Experience counts pretty highly in the Labour lists.

      From what I understand it is done on a much more hierarchical basis and probably more immediate basis than the Greens use. There were about 200 odd voting in this meeting. The 38 candidates (including the MP’s) all get an opportunity to speak for 7 minutes. The speaking is definitely part of the selection. Several candidates position was directly related to how well they presented themselves. We’d all read the CV’s and many of us had seen them present before, but you get really interested in how well they speak and talk to people. One of the main campaigning skills required by candidates.

      Who votes? The LEC’s send delegates through to the meeting based on local membership down to the branch level. ie so many for the LEC, so many per branch based on branch membership. etc. The voting is exhaustive because each position can have multiple candidates for it and if the winner in a round doesn’t get more than 50% of the vote, we drop the lowest polled one and vote again. When you have 5 or 6 candidates for slot this can be quite a slow process..

      But I can testify that it is a rather exhausting two day process for our region. This is my 3rd one. I often skip them because I’m often heavily in campaigning mode by now and unable to spare a weekend away from writing code.

      BTW: In my opinion, the list selections have been getting easier over the decades from my perspective. The 1996 one was a bit fraught. But they’ve been getting more and more interested in peoples capabilities as a candidate.

      The fun stuff happens when they start to put all of the lists together in a moderation committee between the regions. But that is done by delegates from the regional councils, and other specified people.

      • PeteG 5.1.1

        How much importance is given to public speaking skills, campaigning skills, fundraising skills, compared to an ability to debate in the house, look after a constituency, contribute to a select committee and potentially manage a portfolio?

        Or is it just up to each voter to put their own emphasis on what’s important?

    • big bruv 5.2

      Since when have the Greens taken any notice of a party list Toad?

      You are the last person to be giving any advice.

      • Tiger Mountain 5.2.1

        Not only whimp, but also willful idiot I see BB.

        Toad’s remarks as I take them are not about who slots in from party list rankings, but the process of determining the rankings in the first instance. The greens take this pretty seriously and are most diligent.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 5.3

      From memory , labour like national puts the leader and deputy at the top of the list automatically.

      • Rob 5.3.1

        That is to show support for the leader. If the grassroots were so unhappy with Goff’s leadership they could rank him lower in the expectation the Party would then change the leader to who they marked as 1. There is no chance of that happening this year though.

        • Colonial Viper 5.3.1.1

          Well, by the grassroots being unhappy, you must mean the Moderating Committee. And there are very very few situations where the Moderating Committee would do what you described, since it is tantamount to calling for caucus to perform a leadership coup.

      • lprent 5.3.2

        Not automatically. But by convention that is where they get voted to.

      • mickysavage 5.3.3

        labour like national puts the leader and deputy at the top of the list automatically

        Yep

        Constition says so.

  6. ianmac 6

    Well said LPrent. I was getting a bit saddened by the “bad-mouthing”. A sort of cannibalisation except for the Astroturfurfers who are just cheats. I would have hoped that our energy would have been towards helping to spread the word for answers and a better future.
    I wonder how Mr Key would manage especially since he ducks the difficult interviews? Phil fronted and continues to front but does Key?

  7. So, what you’re saying is that the Labour party thinks that Goff is the best leader currently available.

    That’s kind of depressing.

    • KJT 7.1

      Not half as depressing as NACT getting back to totally fuck us this time will be.

      A Rogering from Key, the incompetence of Brownlee and the double English dip.

      Another 3 years of NACT will not be recoverable.

      Goff needs to show some passion and vision.

      Positive changes that benefit the 80% of New Zealanders who have been Rogered and Ruthanased.

    • lprent 7.2

      No, I didn’t say that either. What I said is that we are in an election campaign. It may be exciting for those who don’t do the campaign work to think that changing leadership is a good idea. But people involved in campaigns tend to have a different view on it.

      We do not appreciate having a journo telling us how we think, when he is in fact mostly talking about people who are not currently active in the party. Or at least I certainly don’t

  8. Tiger Mountain 8

    As a regular, but not daily poster here I remember the waters boiling up over the ‘get Winston’ situation, the 08 election, and more recently the Hone ‘mofo’ and new left party pump ups. So any clues from admin that can explain this as something other than genuine heightened interest in a topic, are most useful to us not so tech types. Some of the comments stink suspiciously bad enough anyway to alert those without the “astroturf” background info.

    Because of my left and union background I know and have time for what may be a surprising number (to some) of current Labour and Green MPs and party members. I support certain reforms while not embracing reformism as an ideology. The lesser of two evils, or the evil of two lessers, is usually a weak justification for supporting Labour. BUT, 2011 is a fork in the road election, no going back almost if Shonkey lands round two, and it has to fought that way. To do less is to abandon our country to a final comprehensive rodgering.

    Don’t get hung up on leadership and msm agendas, hammer the issues neighbourhood by neighbourhood. Memes and ‘narratives’ can change in the face of organisation. Even Len Brown could do it fer crissakes, in terms of an electoral win. 60,000 plus newly unemployed in Christchurch and surrounds. Twice as many unemployed courtesy of the repression. CPI, petrol, food and general craziness are all up. Things have changed and potential is there.

    • Jum 8.1

      Tiger Mountain

      I don’t know if you meant to say ‘repression’ but that is exactly what NAct is doing; repressing democracy and keeping the idiot JKeyll away from serious questioning.

      Totally agree with the ‘hammer the issues neighbourhood by neighbourhood’.

      • Tiger Mountain 8.1.1

        Good spotting Jum, word was meant to be recession, but it works both ways!

        Re “hammer the issues”, I do it daily, silence is condoning in my book, so I let everyone know my views, with brief non hectoring comments. dairy operator, people in the street, tradespeople, young people, never let a chance go by.

        • Jenny 8.1.1.1

          The ‘Great Repression’

          Hmmm

          Tiger, I think that works quite well, methinks I may even use it somewhere.

          (keep your eyes peeled)

  9. Talking about money I see that the complainant has applied for an injunction against 6 media outlets including Farrar and Danyl McLaughlin preventing publication of his name. I wonder why Slater was not joined.

    The application would be rather expensive. I wonder who is picking up the tab?

    • IrishBill 9.1

      I’d imagine they figured serving Slater would be a red rag to a bull. I don’t like what you’re implying about the alleged victim here MS.That sort of remark does you no favours.

  10. Marian Hobbs 10

    A quick thanks. I had never understood astroturfing before, and the link to Monbiot’s article has been invaluable. I normally get bored by some of the infantile personal attacks and do not always read comment sections, but am worried by the obvious effect on some journalists looking for proof of some hypothesis.

  11. Rob 11

    He probably read DPF’s blog about all the left wing blogs commenting on Labour’s handling of the scandal. Pointed out on there too it is the equivalent of blogs like No Minister or ACT on Campus criticising the Nats. Hardly something they are going to worry about. From what I can see it actually was the ACT on Campus head who first broached the subject of David Parker mounting a leadership coup.

  12. "astroturfer" 12

    So just to puncture your paranoid bubble for a moment, there are other reasons unidentified people turn up.

    1/ Running virus software on personal equipment.
    2/ Purposeful anonymity – while this is the internet, it’s also real life.
    3/ People who do not think the awfully amusing login names are as important as ideas.
    4/ Random people turing up – isn’t this a good thing, or is preaching to converted your only goal?

    Solutions (purely to ease your paranoia)

    1/ Registration verified with proof of identity.
    2/ Restrict some topics to registered activists only
    3/ Think and relax
    4/ Turn comments off completely and talk among yourselves by email

    It’s all getting a bit complicated and silly isn’t it – trying to discover whose opinion is an opinion and whose is more valid and oh god blah blah blah. Ideas man, what happened to ideas standing on their own merit?
    You don’t want anyone but Labour activists to comment on Leadership issues. Then you try to assemble a hierachy of who may comment and when – those who “do the work in the party” and those who don’t. Go outside and see the sun, man. Is this the Left? Closeted paranoid control freaks? The internet is full of trolls, get used to it, do something about it, but quit your whining.

    I imagine you’re thinking up all kinds of gross dimensions for me. oooh, I must be an ACT plant? A counter-anti-double-disinformation agent? How dramatic. I’m a guy who has recently run anti-virus, never use my real email adress on formats like this (for privacy and protection issues) and can’t remember the last one I gave you. I don’t care what my log in name reads, I say what I think. My name address eye colour and how long I may have worked for the Labour Party, or not, doesn’t change the content of my ideas. Dismiss them, consider them, or don’t. You think I care? You really think that I think my ideas will change the face of NZ? Yes I voted Labour in the late nineties to remove a PM who was happy to enforce Chinese domestic policy in NZ. That makes me what? A bad guy? In the past I’ve voted Greens, National, ACT, Labour as the times required. Once MMP began I voted for all kinds of candidates on merit of their ideas. I’m not all that sorry if that offends the way you think the world should be. I recently came here because I had finally had my fill of the mindless, social climbing, condescending – dissolving into hatred of anything not them – supporters of the centre-right. Now it seems the Left are running on resentful paranoia, dissolving into hatred also. No make-believe grassroots movement here, no “astroturfing”. Just me, my observations and opinions. One man. But shit, close the shutters, stop listening to anyone but yourselves and continue to align with a spectrum of politics that says it “wants to connect with all people”. Clearly I am not one of the people. I will no longer comment on your site to ease your anxiety. I may read it from time to time – from the extremists, through to the calmer writers – will that be bearable? I enjoy ideas and variation.

    • felix 12.1

      That’s nice dear, but the first sentence about “unidentified people” turning up indicates that either you:

      a) have not understood what lprent was talking about, or

      b) do understand, but are swiping at a ridiculous strawman.

      Either way I’m not going to bother reading the rest of your dreck, thanks.

    • lprent 12.2

      Virus software really doesn’t get a look in. It is dumb so either akismet kills it or I do to show akismet what to look for. There are over a 100k comments that have been killed since the site started. And there are a pile of areas in the world that are under permanent suspicion in .htaccess including most of those that have the larger spam generator populations of systems. Those regions cannot leave comments.

      We deliberately leave the site so anyone can comment without registration. First comment requires approval and if it is too dumb, then we don’t approve it.

      Who relies on handles? IP’s are far more useful and a lot easier to track. Just using a C level check on the IP address is usually enough see if we have seen someone before. I really only do it if I have a reason to do so – usually when I’m about to ban them for bad behavior.

      If astroturfers become enough of a problem, then I’ll write code.

      But in the meantime, looking at the rest of your rather paranoid diatribe, I suspect that you’re just a little bit nuts. However being nuts isn’t part of the moderating guidelines.

  13. randal 13

    vernon small has a vested interest in some blogs and notice boards because they are operated by his employer.
    and they are the most virulent and grubby of the lot.
    frequented by farrar and hooton and ready to boot anyone off that disagrees.
    rather than being free forums they are just house propaganda sheets and nasty to boot.

  14. Sam 14

    I have just read wikileaks to see what an “Astroturfer” is.
     You probably consider me one, but rather than denigrating me, why not read and learn from my reasoned comments.
    Seems to me that the denigrations you attribute to astroturfers is really a case of selective blindness, where you assume that you and you alone are right, bit like a fundamentalist Muslim or Christian.
    If all you believe in is what a fellow party member or its hierachy tells you, then you will end up in the same one-eyed situation that these fundamentalists find themselves in.
    For the Labour party to rise again, it needs people like me to vote for them.
    How do you do that?  
    That is your decision to make, but remember that you only get one chance to make me vote Labour at an election.
    I have earlier posted that I did vote National last election, but I am a swinging voter, so you and Labour need to get people and policies into place to make me vote Labour. 
    For the record I am retired, on a fixed income (that is rapidly reducing because of spiralling costs and low interest rates) and don’t have a mortgage.
    I challenge you and Labour to show me how you are going to get my vote

    Surely you should look at intelligent posts about matters political and encourage opposing views.
    You may actually learn why a political party is in the doldrums and lagging in opinion polls.

    Quite often we hear that “I have always voted Labour”, “my father voted Labour that is why I vote Labour”.  
    That is irrespective of the fact that the Labour party is now not the working men’s party, but really the party of univeristy trained social engineers , who give lip service to the original ideas of the party, whilst revelling in the “baubles of office” we the taxpayer give them.
    Relying on people who still think like that will not get you back into government, except perhaps as the junior partner to NZFirst and the Greens.

    • Carol 14.1

      Who are you talking to, Sam?  Many of us here are lefties who don’t vote for the Labour Party…. why do you assume we all do?

    • lprent 14.2

      Who are you talking to? Use the Reply button – that is what it is there for (this isn’t kiwiblog – everything is a bit more functional than the sewer)…

      …but really the party of univeristy trained social engineers..

      Bullshit. That appears to be more a article of faith by the idiots of the right than what I see inside the party.

      You probably consider me one, but rather than denigrating me, why not read and learn from my reasoned comments.

      That is the question really. I choose to ‘denigrate’ people based on what they say and I’m not exactly nice about people who are stupidly self-opinionated and who clearly haven’t thought about an issue before stating the ‘truth’.

      So far you haven’t shown much sign of ‘reason’. What you have shown is signs of being politically pig-ignorant, ill-informed, and proud of it – in fact you sound like a troll (and I suspect that I will be treating you as such in my role as a moderator soon). You were given a direct answer on a matter of your idiot view of history by someone who was there and directly involved. So you choose to avoid it.

      Typical troll behavior… Astro-turfers usually have better social behaviors. You just look like a fossil troll from the 2008 election.

      And as Carol says, in the commentators (and probably authors) on this site – the Labour supporters like myself are a bit of a minority.

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • GM Strikers Are Waging a Battle on Two Fronts
    Reprinted from Jacobinmag by Jane Slaughter and Chris Brooks Almost 50,000 UAW workers are on strike against GM and a two-tier labor system that undermines worker solidarity. But members may need to wage a battle on two fronts — against the company, but also against their own union leadership. Forty-nine ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 hours ago
  • Who Will Be Fed Next To The Hungry Gods Of Politics?
    Before Jacingrant There Was Gracinda: Grant Robertson and his 2014 running mate, Jacinda Ardern. She stood at his side: loyal and obliging, as she had ever been. The media dubbed this duo “Gracinda” – a sort of political “Brangelina”. The other young people who worked alongside Robertson were also ambitious ...
    11 hours ago
  • Simon Bridges: the 15 March Christchurch massacre and winning at any cost
    . . Just when you thought Simon Bridges couldn’t sink any lower – he has. After the March 15th  Christchurch terror attack, the (current) Leader of the National Party issued strong committments to support urgently needed gun law reform; “We will be ready and prepared to be constructive and to ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 days ago
  • Only the least intelligent students, with bad parents, will attend the nonsense climate strike
    We all know that bad parents simply don’t care about their children’s education. Most truants have loser parents, and grow up to be involved with crime, or in low paid employment usually like their parents. The nonsense so-called “climate strike” coming up will be attended mostly by the least intelligent ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    2 days ago
  • Professional Internet Trolls being used to push manmade climate change lies
    Is the terrorist Organisation Greenpeace and the loony Green parties around the World hiring professional internet trolls? I have noticed a trend lately where if you post research, news articles or even comments that show the manmade climate change scam to be just that, you are immediately attacked, often within ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    2 days ago
  • Climate Change: Strike!
    Today is the first day of the global climate strike. Led by schoolkids, people all around the world are going to protest to demand action on climate change. New Zealand isn't doing it till next Friday (join us!), but if you want to get active early, there's plenty to do ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Climate Change: Squandering our opportunity?
    The Herald has a story today about the 400 MW of wind power currently under construction. Good news, right? Except that none of it is being driven by policy (instead, its about replacing Contact Energy's Taranaki Combined Cycle gas-fired power plant, due to shut down in 2022), and most of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Protect The King!
    To Protect and Serve: When the Prime Minister finds herself enmeshed in the coils of a full-blown political scandal, her colleagues and party comrades have only one priority: to release her as swiftly – and with as little lasting injury – as possible. Is this what Jacinda Ardern’s colleagues and ...
    2 days ago
  • The rot at the top.
    When military leaders cover up and lie to elected civilian authorities, the foundation of democratic civil-military relations is undermined because it is those authorities who are entrusted to hold the military accountable to the public that they mutually serve. But this is only true if civilian political authorities take their ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 days ago
  • Challenging the voting age in court
    The Make It 16 campaign to lower the voting age is launching this afternoon, and they have already announced plans to challenge the law in court:The campaign, named "Make it 16" will launch at Parliament on Friday, with plans to take their case to the High Court, testing the rights ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Israel’s elections herald a long siesta
    by Daphna Whitmore The long years of Netanyahu’s reign are drawing to an end. For years he has epitomized reactionary zionism as he oversaw hundreds of thousands of Jewish settlers seize land in the West Bank. There are now 700,000 settlers, putting an end to the myth that Israel was ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • Petrol companies promise prices will come back down once peace is restored to the Middle East
    BP, Z and Mobil all insist that petrol price hikes are temporary, “in a very literal sense.” The nation’s major petrol providers are trying to allay customer fears over prices, promising that they’ll move to lower them again “immediately” when the Middle East is returned to its formerly peaceful state. ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    3 days ago
  • All Blacks unveil boat for Rugby World Cup 2019
    South African coach Rassie Erasmus says he has no idea what they’re going to do about the boat. In a highly anticipated press conference this afternoon, All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has finally unveiled the team’s boat for its Rugby World Cup 2019 campaign. In a press conference that went ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    3 days ago
  • An increasingly shoddy coverup
    The Operation Burnham inquiry continued to question senior NZDF staff today, and their shoddy coverup over their knowledge of civilian casualties continue to fall apart. If you recall, first, we were asked to believe that it was all a series of "mistakes and errors": a senior officer with multiple degrees ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • If we are to avoid making the earth uninhabitable, we need to rapidly decarbonise our civilisation, and cut emissions to zero as quickly as possible. This seems like an impossible task, but its not. Pushing hard on a few technologies and trends will let us halve emissions in a decade:Greenhouse ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • A further attack on transparency
    The Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2) had part of its committee stage yesterday. its a generally tedious bill about the nitty-gritty of local government reorganisation. But it includes a clause making the Local Government Commission subject to the Ombudsmen Act, and hence the OIA. Great! Except of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Ihumātao and Treaty settlements
    Yesterday Ihumātao's mana whenua reached a consensus that they would like their land back, and asked the government to negotiate with Fletcher's for its return. The government's response? Try and undermine that consensus, while talking about how doing anything would undermine existing Treaty settlements. The first is just more bad ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Protecting our history
    Its Suffrage Day, the 126th anniversary of women winning the right to vote (but not stand in elections) in New Zealand. And to celebrate, the government has bought Kate Sheppard's house in Christchurch:The government has bought Kate Sheppard's former home in Christchurch for more than $4 million. The Ilam villa ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: Ostracising the coal-burners
    The UN climate summit is happening in new York next week, and unlike previous years, coal-burners and denier-states are not being invited to speak:Leading economies such as Japan and Australia will not be invited to speak at next week’s crunch UN climate change summit, as their continued support for coal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Jojo Tamihere Salutes Herr Goff.
    Get Back Jojo! The elation in Mayor Phil Goff’s camp may be easily imagined as they watched social media light up in indignation at challenger John Tamihere’s "Sieg Heil to that" quip. Just when JT’s notoriously right-wing, sexist and homophobic stains were beginning to fade back into his ‘colourful’ past, ...
    4 days ago
  • Hard News: A fun but flawed weed documentary
    Patrick Gower is good value when he's high. Not that I've ever, you know, got stoned with him. But in the second part of his documentary Patrick Gower on Weed, he does what you'd expect in a modern weed documentary and immerses himself – first with a doctor, then a ...
    4 days ago
  • Candidate Survey: Western Bay of Plenty – Local Body Elections 2019
    We surveyed candidates on their attitudes to issues facing the Western Bay Region, find out what they think: “Closing the Gap” Tauranga, one of the area groups of Income Equality Aotearoa NZ Inc., has surveyed all candidates in the three local body elections to discover attitudes to some basic issues ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    4 days ago
  • Project Nettie calls on scientists to defend biology
    Please spread widely, and sign, to support science and rationalism over the new irrationalism sweeping universities and institutions.  PROJECT NETTIE Sexual reproduction, the generation of offspring by fusion of genetic material from two different individuals, evolved over 1 billion years ago. It is the reproductive strategy of all higher animals ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • I’m glad I don’t live in Auckland
    Just when I was thinking that Palmerston North's mayoral race (which includes a convicted child molester / public wanker and a convicted child beater) was the worst in the country, Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere opened his mouth:Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere is being slammed for using the words "sieg ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Index of Power Update, 2018-19: China #2
    We reprint below an article from the excellent website the Economics of Imperialism by Tony Norfield This is an update of the statistics for my Index of Power, using data for 2018-19 and discussing what a country’s ranking reflects. The major change is that China’s rank has shifted up and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: A history lesson
    Why is New Zealand climate change policy so crap? The Herald this morning has a long article on the twists and turns of climate change policy in New Zealand [paywalled / depaywall script], which shows where we've been. The short version is that the government first began worrying about this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • What the All Blacks Mean to Us
    The All Blacks have been, for more than a century, arguably the most successful International sports team in the world. But they are more than that; even for those Kiwis who are immune to the charms of rugby (and there are more than a few), the All Blacks are ambassadors ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    5 days ago
  • No one is born into the wrong body
    A short and incredibly powerful speech from a young lesbian woman. No one is born in the wrong body. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Contempt
    Back in June, the UK Court of Appeal ruled that that country's continued arms sales to Saudi Arabia were unlawful. So you'd expect that the UK government stopped approving them, right?Of course not:The government has apologised for breaching a court ruling against the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Covering up the cover-up
    Yesterday NZDF officials were put on the stand about the lies they had told over Operation Burnham, making implausible claims that it was all a big mistake. But along the way, we learned they had already been put on the spot about it by a previous Defence Minister, who had ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Not as important as they think they are
    Farmers have been whining a lot lately, about the methane targets in the Zero Carbon Bill, about Canterbury's proposed nitrogen limits, and about the government's new proposals to stop them from shitting in our lakes and rivers. These policies are "throwing farmers under the tractor", they will force farmers off ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Behind Every Good Woman Should Stand – Another Good Woman.
    Alone, Alone, All, All, Alone: To argue that the Prime Minister is the victim of her advisers’ failure to keep her informed may offer Jacinda some measure of exoneration – but only at the cost of casting her as a hopeless political ingénue. A star-dusted muppet, whose only purpose is to ...
    6 days ago
  • Poor quality, poorly educated kiddie ‘Journalists’ spreading fake news
    In times of hysteria about the “World coming to an end” and “rising sea levels” so-called ‘Journalists’ who can barely spell words longer than four letters are having a ball! Though the majority of the Public have worked out that manmade climate change is nothing short of pseudo-science, and the ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    6 days ago
  • Chris Trotter on the BFD
    I don't want to give pblicity to certain parts of the internet that are better left to fester in their own irrelevance (I know, a bit like this place) but the listing of Chris Trotter as a 'author' on Cameron Slater's spinoff website, the BFD requires some explanation.Now, I don't ...
    6 days ago
  • Sex is not a spectrum
    The text below is a Twitter thread by Heather Heying that explains the essence of sexual reproduction and it long evolutionary history. She is an evolutionary biologist and a “professor-in-exile” after she and her husband, Bret Weinstein, stood up to supporters of an enforced “Day of Absence” for white staff and teachers ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: Trees, aviation, and offsets
    With crunch time for new Zealand climate policy approaching, most of the New Zealand media have got on board with a global reporting effort to cover the issue. There's one strand of stories today about polling and what it shows about changing public attitudes to the crisis, but the strand ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Pissing-Off The Israelis Is A High-Risk Strategy.
    Dangerous Foes: For those readers of Bowalley Road who feel disposed to dismiss any prospect of an Israeli destabilisation of New Zealand politics, the example of the United Kingdom repays close attention. Ever since the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the British Labour Party, the Israelis have sanctioned, funded and ...
    6 days ago
  • Something to go to in Wellington
    Make It 16, the youth-led campaign to lower New Zealand's voting age, is holding an official campaign launch at Parliament this Friday from 16:30. If you'd like to attend, you can register using EventBrite here. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • A founding member responds to Peace Action Wellington
    by Don Franks It was a lovely sunny Wellington afternoon with blue skies above  the beaches.  In Courtenay Place, political activists packed out a stuffy upstairs room for an important meeting. The assembled pacifists, anarchists, communists and independent young radicals of Peace Action Wellington felt the need for a mission ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • “Mistakes and errors”
    Current and former NZDF top brass are being publicly grilled this week by the hit and run inquiry over their public responses to allegations of civilian casualties. Previously, they've claimed there were no casualties, a position which led them to lie to Ministers and to the public. Now, they're saying ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • “Homosexuality is same-sex attraction and relationships, not heterosexuals with delusions of gende...
    by Rafael D. Quiles (gender-critical gay man from Puerto Rico) The writing on the wall is right in people’s faces and people just don’t see it or don’t want to. What could actually possess a heterosexual male to want to feminize himself and claim that he is a lesbian? Because ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Trump: “Where’s my favourite dictator?”
    From the Wall Street Journal:Inside a room of the ornately decorated Hotel du Palais during last month’s Group of Seven summit in Biarritz, France, President Trump awaited a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi. Mr. Trump looked over a gathering of American and Egyptian officials and called out in ...
    1 week ago
  • Magdalen Burns, 1983-2019, fighter for women’s liberation
    by the Redline blog collective At Redline we are very saddened to hear of the death of Magdalen Burns who passed away on the morning of Friday, September 13 (British time). Magdalen was a great fighter for the rights of women in general and lesbian women in particular, a defender ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Parliament and the Executive
    The Brexit issue has certainly brought with it a series of apparently difficult constitutional issues, many of them concerning the respective roles of the executive and parliament. Most of them arise because of the unwillingness of MPs, despite their professions to the contrary, to be bound by a constitutional rarity ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • The Abigail Article; Martyn Bradbury’s Article, and My Response
    . . This blogpost is different to my usual format of reporting on issues… Since July 1011, I have blogged on a variety of political issues; near always political and/or environmental; mostly highly critical of the previous National Government. Other issues included Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and repression of ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Police will have to wear silly Buckingham Palace hats from now on, says Police Minister
    Those close to the Police Minister believe the initiative may be the result of Nash “seeing a great deal” on AliExpress. In a move that comes seemingly out of nowhere, Police Minister Stuart Nash announced this afternoon that he expects all frontline staff to don bearskin hats, famously worn by ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • A sensible crackdown
    The government has released its Arms Legislation Bill, containing the second tranche of changes to gun laws following the March 15 massacre. And it all looks quite sensible: a national gun register, higher penalties for illegal possession and dealing, tighter restrictions on arms dealers and shooting clubs, and a shorter ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • California bans private prisons
    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    2 weeks ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago

No feed items found.