Stopping the thugs

Written By: - Date published: 12:11 pm, August 30th, 2009 - 111 comments
Categories: scoundrels - Tags:

The Sunday Star Times reports that Sue Bradford’s security has been stepped up following a series of death threats being made against her via blogs, email and twitter.

I’m not surprised. Just about every poster at the Standard has had threats made against them by the thuggish elements of the right. Generally we don’t pay them too much heed as they are unlikely to have the spine to creep out from behind their keyboards but they are out there and what concerns me is they have had tacit endorsement from some members of the the established political right over issues such as section 59 and the EFA.

Now before our regular right-wing commenters start screaming I’ll make it very clear that I don’t think the Nat’s are in direct contact with these loonies (although I’m certain some elements of the Act party are) but I do think that they were getting pretty desperate after three terms in the wilderness and that they saw that they could garner activist support on the ground (something National has always struggled to do) by pandering to the kinds of far-right groups that produce these thugs. Thus you saw Bill English make absurd comparisons between Helen Clark and Mugabe in parliament and senior National Party activist David Farrar push the same messages through his Free Speech Coalition and provide an unmoderated forum for angry right-wing nutters to work themselves up into a frenzy.

Add to that the fact that there has been serious money put into some of these front groups by the same far-right US interests that are helping fuel the “death panel” lunacy over there and a media that has decided the answer to stalling its economic decline is to go more and more tabloid in an attempt to attract readership and you get the perfect environment for enabling the kind of behaviour seen in the death threats made toward Bradford.

“Political” nutters of the Left and the right will always be out there but we don’t need to feed them. I note that despite covering nearly every other policital story in today’s SST, Farrar has avoided this one. I’d like to see him post a piece making it clear to his huge right-wing readership that this behaviour is unacceptable. If political voices from across the spectrum don’t speak up against this kind of thuggery it will only grow.

Correction: As Dave points out in the comments the story was featured in the Sunday News.

111 comments on “Stopping the thugs”

  1. Marty G 1

    I had just read the article and was thinking of writing something on it too.. thanks for saving me the effort irish 🙂

    what i couldn’t help thinking as i read the piece was the different willingness to threaten and use violence between the right and the left. I don’t see people here calling for violence against ministers who are doing some pretty awful things that have far bigger consequences than the smacking issue.

    i’m also reminded of the sas deployment and the right’s gung ho attitude – put all the arguments to one side and the right were for the deployment because they like the idea of the army going and killing ‘our enemies’ while the left’s instinct is the opposite. that’s not to say we’re all pacifists and would be under any circumstances but i can’t think of any rightwing pacifists.

  2. Marty G 2

    hmmm that was awfully rambly. I guess my point is that righties seem to see violence as a solution or at least as justified far more often that lefites. i wonder why. maybe its inherent in their black and white worldview.

    • Ianmac 2.1

      Marty. Maybe that is it. The few rightish people that I know seem very dogmatic. Not fair to generalise but there doesn’t seem to be much room to move for them though some of those posting responses here do offer different and interesting perspectives.
      You would have to be a very angry person to threaten Sue given that her Bill was to protect kids, and there were 112 MPs who passed it. Perhaps if they should be angry with someone, why not the PM? If not why not?

    • Draco T Bastard 2.2

      The answers to your questions are in here but it’s sufficient to say that they act out of fear.

      • Ag 2.2.1

        Or you could read Altemeyer’s research on authoritarianism.

        The left and centre have a huge problem. They are treating the radical right as if they can be reasoned with, when they simply cannot be reasoned with. This is not a matter of mere opinion, but established science.

        The smacking stuff is a classic authoritarian backlash. The only way to deal with them is to marginalize them, by whatever means necessary.

        • So Bored 2.2.1.1

          I think you are correct Ag, I have right wing acquaintances who work on blind prejudice in the most irrational way, they also have left wing mirrors. I wonder if the commonality is an inability to utilise scepticism and doubt?

      • rave 2.2.2

        Or the book by Marxist psychoanalyst Wilhelm Reich called “Listen Little Man” directed at those authoritarian personalities who fell in behind fascism. The authoritarian personality is stunted and repressed and unable to express ones self and is a sort of overreaction to powerlessness. Its the types who rally in gangs and follow the leader. They are typical macho bullies. Reich has an interesting take on patriarchy too called “The Invasion of Compulsory Sex-Morality”. Puts smacking into perspective.

  3. IrishBill 3

    Marty, there are nutters on the left who I have heard verbalise some pretty aggressive stuff about right-wing figures but the difference is they are not pandered to by the established Left.

    I don’t doubt you could create a dishonest PR campaign comparing, for example, Hide to Mussolini and run it hard and continually to the point where some of the fringe left felt that they were being endorsed to threaten violence to him in the name of stopping fascism but I like to think that’s not the way the Left play the game.

    • Andrei 3.1

      I don’t doubt you could create a dishonest PR campaign comparing, for example, Hide to Mussolini and run it hard and continually to the point where some of the fringe left felt that they were being endorsed to threaten violence to him in the name of stopping fascism but I like to think that’s not the way the Left play the game.

      The F word

      • felix 3.1.1

        Can’t see any mention of Hide in that article at all, let alone any comparisons of Hide to Mussolini or to anyone else.

        What are you trying to say – that no-one should ever write about fascism lest someone might think it’s about Hide?

        Why would you think that – do you know something about Hide that you’re not telling us?

      • kaya 3.1.2

        ditto

      • So Bored 3.1.3

        A couple of elections ago I saw Wodders speaking from the top of a platform in Wellington. From below it was a classic visual rerun of clips of Mussolini, Wodders movements, gestures and physical appearance were uncannily similar to Benito. Scarily so I thought, really spooky. Poor bugger I thought, if he could see for himself from here he would be horrified. I am not so sure anymore.

    • Swampy 3.2

      “but the difference is they are not pandered to by the established Left.”

      That is merely a matter of your opinion and credulity to claim that Bill English comparing Helen Clark to Mugabe is pandering to right wing extremists. It is of course no such thing. You may be referring to a piece of undemocratic legislation held dear by some on the left (The Electoral Finance Act) without understanding or being reasonable enough to admit that it might be a reason why Labour lost the election.

      I don’t see anything to support a conclusion that the established Right wing parties are more likely to pander to radicalism. There is a large degree of difference politically between the Act party and the Greens. The latter have fingers in many pies strongly connected to various movements known for organising street marches and protests, some of them very much on the fringe.

    • Swampy 3.3

      After the 2005 election that is exactly what happened when the Clark government set out to marginalise the Exclusive Brethren.

  4. outofbed 4

    Its probably got to a lot with misogyny

    Sue is a very strong women

    It it had been say, Kennedy Graham ‘s private members bill I’m sure he wouldn’t have been the subject of such vileness
    And I am sure If Key was female he would be taking a lot more abuse

    Look at the hate for Helen Clark, another very strong capable women

    IMHO Insecure small dicked men are the problem

    • QoT 4.1

      Kennedy Graham also has the suit-wearing, dignified, took-Latin-at-school class background, so I agree, there would not have been anywhere near the same level/kind of reaction.

  5. Anyone who threatens violence to a person, needs to be locked up. Simple as that.

  6. outofbed 6

    Anyone who threatens violence to a person, needs to be locked up. Simple as that

    Unless they are a parent?

  7. dave 7

    Speak up against these kind of attacks alright. Ive named the latest Twitter thug on my blog. Will you speak up and name him too on The Standard? Oh and it was the Sunday News not SST.

  8. illuminatedtiger 8

    Not a nice read but no surprises there, the right in this country can be very vicious lot. Nice to hear about her award from the Psychological Society. She deserved it for all of her work for children!

  9. I don’t know whether these threats really prove that the right are more prone to violence than the left.

    It’s more about the fact Bradford is trying to change the culture of violence towards children in this country.

    It stands to reason that some people who like bashing their kids would also quite enjoy bashing anyone they don’t agree with. These are people who think violence solves problems.They may be rightwing – who knows? They’re clearly nutters.

    • Swampy 9.1

      It’s entirely about the fact that Sue Bradford is trying to wrest the custody of children away from parents into the arms of the State.

  10. Bill 10

    So do you stop thugs by sitting down for a chat with them over a nice cuppa or just give a good kicking where a good kicking is due? Or something else?

    The ‘nice chat and a cuppa scenario definitely doesn’t work and the good kicking whilst being gratifying doesn’t exactly lessen thuggery…..or does it? If the response to thuggery is a swift painful kicking then maybe the thugs will think twice. If they do, then sweet. If they don’t then it’s all on.

    Any other suggestions?

    • IrishBill 10.1

      Doesn’t work. I’d suggest that the way to stop them is universal condemnation, followed by universal ridicule followed by ignoring them until they disappear.

      • Rex Widerstrom 10.1.1

        Agreed. And given that the issuer of these threats is (as dave has handily revealed on his blog) a well-known nutter with MS it seems the likelihood of his acting on his mouthiness is close to nil.

        So the appropriate response, if you really wanted to deal sensibly with it, would be to 1) perhaps quietly increase monitoring of the nutter by the DPS, 2) publicly ignore it so as not to encourage a further outpouring of nastiness and perhaps add to the roll of threatening nutters.

        But Bradford has 1) insisted Police resources be spent on “stepping up her personal security” and 2) whipped up a handy “poor me” story in the Sunday News.

        It happens to any politician, and particularly those who polarise. Even those whose personalities aren’t polarising but whose decisions are. I remember when mild mannered Wyatt Creech was Minister of Health they were burning effigies of him and of course Rick Barker’s electorate secretary was held hostage by a gunman.

        When I worked in Winston’s office I got to open the not-so-nice mail (the really nasty stuff, containing dead rats, excrement etc were thankfully intercepted further down the line). There were plenty of letters equally as “chilling” as saying Bradford “should be a candidate for NZ’s first political assassination”.

        I could have conjured a story a month on this sort of stuff if I had wanted. But the best way to deal with it is to deny it oxygen. Unless, of course, it provides handy publicity for your cause.

        • IrishBill 10.1.1.1

          Can’t say I agree with you there Rex. These people already have several outlets and are being feed by the more mainstream right. Every time Garrett says prisoners deserve to be raped, Farrar spouts hyperbole about how the Greens are communists or Clark was as bad a Mugabe, or McVicar gets to spout his absurd filth in the media or Bennett releases selective information to smear women on the DPB these thugs get a little hit of self-validation. They won’t be starved of oxygen until the establishment right stops providing it for them.

          • Rex Widerstrom 10.1.1.1.1

            Sadly the real nutjobs in society see pretty much anything as validation in their self-created worlds. Some of them are probably getting secret messages from the clues in the Herald crossword.

            The odious author of these threats will see an MSM story, reporting as it does the stress this brings to Bradford, as a victory in itself.

            So I agree with you about all the things you’ve listed adding to the feeling of validation derived by nutbars. However I believe Bradford’s reaction, especially in terms of allowing herself to be portrayed as both victim and hero in the media, also provides encouragement. And I’m sure that was weighed in the balance before going public.

            So call me a cycnic, but I see some not-so-subtle manipulation here.

            • outofbed 10.1.1.1.1.1

              Rex
              you are a cynic

            • Rex Widerstrom 10.1.1.1.1.2

              Bah! Well, I wasn’t talking to you, OOB 😛

              If only character assassination were a crime… we could lock up everyone on IrishBill’s list, plus a few of my “special friends” like Lhaws and “Easy” Mark!!

            • Swampy 10.1.1.1.1.3

              Spot on.

              All political campaigning is about publicity and spin. There are a number of lobbyist organisations out there that conduct public campaigns, with carefully crafted press releases. It is pretty easy to shoot them full of holes. Anyone who chooses to campaign publicly for their cause has to take the rough with the smooth, the risk that the public will not sympathise with their cause and turn on them instead.

              Bradford has to weigh up the same risk herself, and I think that the general public does not care that much because not that many people vote Green. I think that she has chosen to publicise this as a way of countering the negativity of the referendum result.

          • Swampy 10.1.1.1.2

            I think the problem is that your own opinion is too polarised. This debate seems to have a lot in it of really the same sort of hard left opposition to the political right in general, that runs deep throughout much of this blog.

  11. Ianmac 11

    Andrei You beat me to it in relating Facism to Draco’s link to Conservatism Research. Thanks Draco.(I wonder if those on the Left can have Conservative Values? Maintaining the Status Quo? Resisting change of approach? Mmmm)
    Remember the Homosexual Law Reform and the storm that created yet now there has been no suggestions to repeal. Just hope that Sue stays safe from the bullies.

  12. Michael Foxglove 12

    Excellent point to bring to attention Irish. The descent into the violent and crass is a very unfortunate facet of our political culture.

    Because modern consumer culture and capitalism don’t encourage involvement in political society by average citizens, the debate can be hijacked by those whose “interest” in politics is somewhat fanatical and misguided.

    The solution must include, as with so many other problems, solving the fundamental problem of a disconnected citizenry to dillute the fanatics and elitists currently running the political agenda in New Zealand.

  13. Redbaiter 13

    A major part of the problem is that the left have cried wolf too often.

    They have for a decade or two attempted to stifle political debate using untrue allegations against their opponents, and “fascist” has been the most overused of these allegations.

    Similarly with the word “abuse”, which they have turned into a sweeping term that almost has as its default meaning now any point of view that is disparaging to socialism or socialists.

    They have made up terms like “homophobia”, and they use that as a derogatory term against anyone who disagrees with any aspect of the homosexual political movement. Same with the feminist agenda. Anyone who disagrees is today a sexist, but a few years ago, “male chauvinist pig” was commonplace. If you disagree with the left’s ideas on race or multiculturalism, you’re a racist.

    No debate is permitted.

    They do all of this while they attack the person and the families of public figures who are critical of socialism, and use their political agents who pose as comedians, (Stewart, Letterman, Franken etc) journalists etc to ridicule them with lies, edited video tapes and impersonation.

    I have been called fascist a number of times on a recent thread on this site, when all I have ever advocated from the very first day I started writing on the internet is small weak government expressly because that state precludes a government ever reaching the stage where it can be fascist or totalitarian.

    Given this proclivity for deceit, my own guess is that it would be leftists initiating the death threats against Bradford as a means to discredit the right. As they do on Kiwiblog where they deliberately attempt to create discord. Again it would not surprise me to learn that some of those who pose as rightists are in fact leftists doing what they can to discredit Kiwiblog.

    In the end, all this boils down to one thing and one thing only, and throughout history it has always been the way of the left. That is the shutting down of dissent, and nowadays, all of these false complaints from the left are targetted on that one objective.

    What is happening to Glen Beck, as he struggles to expose the corruption in Washington, is a disgrace. Beck is no fascist. Rather the people trying to shut him down fit the definition like a glove.

    I agree that fascism is something we should all worry about, but right now, there’s absolutely no argument that it is coming not from the right, but from the left.

      • Quoth the Raven 13.1.1

        That didn’t work. It was supposed to link to the last comment on that thread. I’ll just quote it:

        Recapping. You’ve been warned about the demonstrated problem you have in posting commentary about things you have not read or lack knowledge about. Compounding the error by making up lies when you are caught out does not help you out of the trouble you land yourself in. It is obvious when you are making stuff up. What has been demonstrated to you by several people on this site (and on others) is that you lack knowledge, even the most basic knowledge, of topics and issues that you post about. You need to do some honest research. Read. Think. Learn. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourself.

    • outofbed 13.2

      Again it would not surprise me to learn that some of those who pose as rightists are in fact leftists doing what they can to discredit Kiwiblog.
      funny i always had that opinion of you RB and have always admired your performance in much the same way as one admires an art installation
      Are you saying you are for real?

  14. outofbed 14

    deleted

  15. Matthew Hooton 15

    Death threats are nothing new. Jenny Shipley and Ruth Richardson received dozens. When I worked for Lockwood Smith when he was Education Minister there were a couple of years where he was followed round by armed police 24/7 after death threats over the student fee issue. Death threats mean you are making important changes in society that you think are important that some people, including extremists, don’t like. Sue Bradford should be very proud! The death threats suggest she’s achieved something in politics. No one is making death threats against Meteria Turei, and no one probably ever will.

  16. gobsmacked 16

    At 5.26 pm Redbaiter says …

    “my own guess is that it would be leftists initiating the death threats against Bradford as a means to discredit the right.”

    Less than an hour later, the author of the death threats is exposed on 3 News.

    And Redbaiter is proved 100% wrong. Turns out it’s a nasty right-wing blogger. Well, who would have thought it?

    (Answer: Anybody living on planet reality).

    • outofbed 16.1

      i wonder which which kiwiblog commentator is Van Helmond? Big bruv?

    • Redbaiter 16.2

      I’ve just had a look at this, and as I suspected, its left wing beat up. Just the kind of thing I’m talking about in my initial post to this thread. A false allegation founded in deceit and promoted by the left wing TV 3 newsroom.

      It is not a death threat, and I can find no evidence myself that the guy is a right winger.

      You people are just so desperate, so unprincipled and so shameless in your deceit, and then you dare wonder why you are objects of contempt to so many people.

      Completely dishonest nutters.

      • The Voice of Reason 16.2.1

        Well, you could start here, Red:

        http://cyfswatch.org/?p=323

        Then just navigate thru the site. Grade one, certifiable, looney tunes. So far to the right, he probably thinks you’re a dangerous pinko liberal, RB.

        I know SFA about twitter. Anybody out there able to squash his ‘somebody hacked my account’ excuse?

  17. dan 17

    GS,
    You are on the button. The TV3 item was so revealing and yet just as I expected: a nutcase who hides pathetically behind his door, whose world is his keyboard, and whose courage in fighting for his principles is as long as his little finger as he denied the offences and blamed a hacker!!! Advocating assasination indicates they can’t win the battle by words or logic or reason.
    Farrar at least fronts for his right wing excesses, but nevertheless, dogwhistles the creeps like all of NZ saw tonight.

  18. Redbaiter 18

    Over the years, conservatism has been fascism’s only adversary since conservatism fights for smaller government, Judeo-Christian values, entrepreneurship, and individual rights.

    http://www.elliscountypress.com/news/126/ARTICLE/4494/2009-08-27.html

    Who is actually the fascist?

    • Pascal's bookie 18.1

      Please explain the phrase “prematurely anti-fasc*st”, who used it, and who did it refer to? (Clue: It was used by conservatives to decry the leftists that opposed fasc*sm in Spain. The conservatives of course preferred the fasci*ts in that war.)

      In every single nation that fscsm has taken power it’s allied itself with big business and that nation’s conservative elites. In spain it stood side by side with the church. In every country it has mobilised in reaction to the left.

    • Quoth the Raven 18.2

      When you quote someone you should put it quotation marks or else it’s plagarism. Stop with your no true scotsman arguments. You’ve done this before when anyone points out to you any number of conservative governments and how they were all big government and didn’t uphold individual rights you simply say they aren’t conservatives despite them calling themselves conservative their supporters calling themselves conservative and just about everyone else considering them conservative. I’m just going to quote LGM again

      You’ve been warned about the demonstrated problem you have in posting commentary about things you have not read or lack knowledge about. Compounding the error by making up lies when you are caught out does not help you out of the trouble you land yourself in. It is obvious when you are making stuff up. What has been demonstrated to you by several people on this site (and on others) is that you lack knowledge, even the most basic knowledge, of topics and issues that you post about. You need to do some honest research. Read. Think. Learn. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourself.

      • Redbaiter 18.2.1

        “I’m just going to quote LGM again”

        Why?

        LGM is insane. Every post he ever makes is the same as the one before it. If you want him on your side you’re welcome to him.

        The NZ Libs are just a small gang of Secularists, Homosexuals and Progressives posturing as Libertarians anyway.

        • Quoth the Raven 18.2.1.1

          You’re great for a laugh, Red.
          I think it’s probably the best thing to do no point trying to argue with you.

          • Redbaiter 18.2.1.1.1

            “think it’s probably the best thing to do no point trying to argue with you.”

            Actually, I was wondering when you were going to start (arguing).

            Obsessively posting the demented rubbish of some deranged loon hardly amounts to debate.

        • Researcher 18.2.1.2

          I thought calling people insane was a tactic used by lefties to shut down debate, red?

    • So Bored 18.3

      God almighty Redbaiter, I just read the article you linked, there was not a paragraph that was not flawed and innaccurate. The twerp who wrote it needs to go back to school.

      To put the record straight, both fascism and communism are extreme varients of materialism. The left own communism, the right own fascism. Fascism was bankrolled in Germany and Italy by the conservative right, hardly a ringing endorsement for fascism being left wing.

      Conservatisms response to the probability of a left wing triumph was to co opt the fascist right. Judeao Christian values do not challenge the idea of autocratic rule, nor does entrepeneurship suffer from fascism. Conservatives dont even like entrepeneurs, they preser monopolies, oligarchies etc so long as they have competitive advantage. They dont however feel in the slightest threatened by fascism.

      In short RB get some better sources for your arguments, the one you linked to is obviously run by complete pillocks.

  19. Redbaiter 19

    Pascal, one of the reasons arguing with leftists is so boring is your constant obsession with re-writing history.

    Authentic Conservatives can never support fascism because to be an authentic Conservative one must advocate and work for small weak government.

    Fascism is more a leftist social construct in that to be successful, it demand big powerful government and totalitarianism. Same as Socialism.

    This is mere reason. Mere logic. Mere rationale. Simple and straight forward, and you have no real answer to it that you can phrase in truthful terms.

    • Pascal's bookie 19.1

      Nah. You’re mental mate. Under your crazy assed definition, monarchy is a leftist idea opposed only by conservatives.

      Care to point out who was using the premature antifasci*t line against whom? Or would that little piece of history render your fantasy construct of what conservatism actually is a little too hard to maintain.

      Certainly you can argue that conservatism always stands against fasc*ism, but to do so you have to ignore conservatives as they have actually acted in real life history. You can only do so by holding to a definition of conservatism that bears no relation to the actual history of self described conservatives. It’s like comm*nists that argue that the USSR doesn’t discredit Commun*sm, because real c*mmunism’s never been tried.

      It’s horseshit when they say it, and it’s horseshit when you say it.

    • Ron 19.2

      Can you tell me then, Red why so many of the supporters of our rightists politicians come across as such fascists? Whatever the nature of classical conservatisim it’s pretty easy to spot that there does seem to be a clear and strong connection – in this country at least – between conservatism, racism, misogyny, violence, aggression and…fascism.

      • lprent 19.2.1

        …why so many of the supporters of our rightists politicians come across as such fascists?

        I suspect that it is mainly the noisy ones.. Those who cannot do much in the real world are usually good at moaning.

    • RedLogix 19.3

      Authentic Conservatives can never support fascism because to be an authentic Conservative one must advocate and work for small weak government.

      Point to me ANY government of the modern era that ever has implemented anything close to what you really have in mind (like 3-5% tax rates and no govt services except a very weak police force). There may be a few who have talked vaguely at the margins about it, but none who have properly acted. Right?

      Therefore by this definition there have never been any authentic conservative governments (at least not for several hundred years). Right?

      Which must mean that all actual governments must be statist, totalitarian, despotic regimes that run countries which are failed socialist suckholes. Right?

      You know I look at the same world you do. and I too see the greed, the vainity, the self-absorbed apathy, the same physical, moral and spiritual ugliness everywhere.

      Did it not ever occur to you that the reason why the governments we have are such brute, unprincipled, materialistic beasts, the reason why they do not govern very well…. is that because we the people are brute, unprincipled, materialistic beasts, that we ourselves have become virtually ungovernable?

      Did it not ever occur to you, that if we ourselves governed ourselves with personal dignity, fairness and self-discipline, then automatically, with no intervention whatever, your dreams of a smaller, less interventionist government would magically come true?

      • Quoth the Raven 19.3.1

        Did it not ever occur to you that the reason why the governments we have are such brute, unprincipled, materialistic beasts, the reason why they do not govern very well . is that because we the people are brute, unprincipled, materialistic beasts, that we ourselves have become virtually ungovernable?
        Would that we were ungovernable. You seem to have a lack of faith in humanity. I have much greater faith in humanity. Maybe it is my personal experience, but the vast majority of people I’ve met anywhere in the world have been kind and decent and far from “beasts”.
        Did it not ever occur to you, that if we ourselves governed ourselves with personal dignity, fairness and self-discipline, then automatically, with no intervention whatever, your dreams of a smaller, less interventionist government would magically come true?
        This is true in part, but not entirely people are simply not allowed to govern themselves, yet. Two quotes one from Thoreau the writer that made me say yes I’m an anarchist now:

        I HEARTILY ACCEPT the motto, — “That government is best which governs least”; and I should like to see it acted up to more rapidly and systematically. Carried out, it finally amounts to this, which also I believe, — “That government is best which governs not at all”; and when men are prepared for it, that will be the kind of government which they will have.

        and one from Gandhi an anarchist inspired by Thoreau:

        The science of war leads one to dictatorship, pure and simple. The science of non- violence alone can lead one to pure democracy…The states that are today nominally democratic have either to become frankly totalitarian or, if they are to become truly democratic, they must become courageously non-violent. Power is of two kinds. One is obtained by fear of punishment and the other by arts of love. Power based on love is thousand times more effective and permanent than power derived from fear of punishment….
        When a respectable minority objects to any rule of conduct, it would be dignified of the majority to yield…No organization can run smoothly when it is divided into two camps, each growling at each other and each determined to have its own way by hook or by crook…The spirit of democracy is not a mechanical thing to be adjusted by abolition of forms. It requires change of heart…My notion of democracy is that under it the weakest should have the same opportunity as the strongest. That can not happen except through non-violence…It is a blasphemy to say non-violence can be practiced only by individuals and never by nations which are compose of individuals…The nearest approach to purest anarchy would be a democracy based on non-violence…A society organized and run on the basis of complete non-violence would be the purest anarchy….

        • So Bored 19.3.1.1

          Well quoted Raven, Gandhis approach still leaves me in awe. Giving rise to other similar approaches like Mandelas “truth and reconciliation” sure is impressive. Seems to me that some people prefer to be hated to being forgiven, being shown as what you are in all your naked glory and forgiven for your ugly nature is so difficult and depowering. And if power and comand is your bag it is so hurtful. I might just send notes of forgiveness to Dodgy Roger and Jonkey (so long as he gives me a cycleway).

        • RedLogix 19.3.1.2

          That’s a really decent reply QOR.

          Maybe it is my personal experience, but the vast majority of people I’ve met anywhere in the world have been kind and decent and far from “beasts’.

          I’d agree at a personal level. Most people, at least 95% or so, are on a day to day level perfectly kind and decent, to family, friends, workmates and other people in their community like them. People within the limits of their moral horizon.

          But scratch a little deeper and there is a thick vein of short-sightedness, petty meaness, and suspicion and bullying of ‘outsiders’. Not a lot of people truly understand that ‘we are all in this together’… and are willing to act, even against their own self-interest, in that belief.

          Part of me can see inside RB’s head on this. He’s right about one thing, that if we all dream of a better, more just, equitable and sustainable way of living, that it cannot ever be successfully imposed from the top down.
          If we want a better world, it has to come from within us. It has to come from each of us being willing, trusting and having enough faith in ourselves (the same word you have used) … to choose from the list of ‘good behaviour’ options we each have.

          Which is of course why the ‘thugs’ are so much a threat. Unleashed they destroy trust, they urge us to pick from the list of ‘bad behaviours’ innate to all of us.

          Sorry, a bit rambly…

      • RedLogix 19.3.2

        Yes, that quote from Ghandi is exactly what I had in mind… well chosen.

  20. FELIX:

    Self defense is another issue.

  21. Mothers4Justice 21

    It was dad4justice – just ask grizz and ALL the other cowardly wimps that infest kiwiblog!!

  22. JD 22

    “I guess my point is that righties seem to see violence as a solution or at least as justified far more often that lefites.”

    There are some pretty extreme elements in the animal rights movement in the US and UK who have used violent terrorist techniques such as bombings. Anybody who saw the anarchist response to the National Front marches in Wellington knows that there are violent elements in both the extreme left and right.

  23. Redbaiter 24

    “Point to me ANY government of the modern era that ever has implemented anything close to what you really have in mind”

    The US had such a government from the end of the War of Independence until Roosevelt’s “New Deal”. I advocate a return to that form of government.

    “we the people are brute, unprincipled, materialistic beasts,”

    No we are not. People are inherently good. Your claim reminds me of something I read the other day-

    ‘One of the keys to understanding the left is how they invariably resort to ‘projection.’ By projection, I mean they foist their own shortcomings and failings onto others, then criticize them for acting with such base motivations…’

    http://wolfhowling.blogspot.com/2009/08/projections-thuggery-racism-of-left.html

    • So Bored 24.1

      Check the record of US good deeds south of their border in latin America for 150 years prior to the New Deal (and after). Your faith in the good nature of people, especially those who advocate US style democracy is both misplaced and crass.

      QED.

    • RedLogix 24.2

      Ah… read my post above. People are neither inherently good, nor bad. They have to make a choice, it is how they act that counts.

      And when I look about me I see a lot of ugly actions. Is that clear?

      The US had such a government from the end of the War of Independence until Roosevelt’s “New Deal’. I advocate a return to that form of government.

      This would not be the same form of govt that raped and pillaged the Native American’s off their lands, fought a catastrophic civil war to defend their right to own slaves, fought a war of aggression against Mexico, was a major player in casuing WW1to drag on three more futile years, was hammered by not one but two major economic depressions (1890, 1929), was the roost of the Jim Crow laws, the KKK.. oh hell I could go on.

      No I’m not indulging in anti-American hatred; as a nation it has a remarkable and diverse history. I’m just reading Churchhill’s ‘The Great Republic’ which is a fantastic journey through the details of the time period you have in mind… a period of huge ferment, turblence and brilliant potential…. but some kind of idyllic nirvana to be emulated?

      Not on your nelly.

  24. Redbaiter 25

    Revisionism. Without it, where would the left be? They’d never have an argument.

    • felix 25.1

      I’m not too well read on American history so if the comments above from RL and SB are what you mean by revisionism, I’d appreciate you pointing out where.

  25. Redbaiter 26

    The revisionism does not matter, for its not any kind of distinguishing factor. If one wanted one could claim that similar perversions occurred since Roosevelt. Its just a typcially leftist dishonest gimmick.

    They’re merely trying to divert attention from the fact that low taxing small governments did exist, and that civilisation did not collapse because of the lack of socialism.

  26. RedLogix 27

    They’re merely trying to divert attention from the fact that low taxing small governments did exist,

    Sure, as were most agrarian pre-Industrial governments. The point is that none exist now; science, technology, the replacement of slave labour with oil, universal education, global travel, communication, commerce, the growth of the cities, science based medicine, the enormous complexity and inter-dependence of modern life… has compelled our forms of governance to change in response. (Not that all of these developments have been unalloyed blessings, but neither can we turn the clock back and wish them all away either.)

    Of course if we were to return to the rural, low population density, low technology mode of life, typical of post-Independence America, then plausibly the kind of small govt you wish for might work. Are you sure you’re not a closet deep greenie?

    • Quoth the Raven 27.1

      I seem to be answering questions for Redbaiter today. I think it is time for another quote Noam Chomsky this time:

      Skepticism is in order when we hear that ‘human nature’ or ‘the demands of efficiency’ or ‘the complexity of modern life’ require this or that form of oppression or autocratic rule.

      I think it could be equally asked whether government can regulate such a complex society. Why should it? of course. I know you’re sincere but I just don’t see anything behind the argument: “society is too complex we need government”. That seems to be the entirety of the argument and one is entitled to ask why? One could equally say that such technolgical development makes it easier for a society to be free. Related politcal movements like socialism and anarchism acutally arose in response to industiralisation and capitalism, though there has always been a very strong agrarian streak in anarchism. I haven’t had time to read it yet, but Carson is always good so I think this maybe of interest to you:MOLOCH: Mass-Production Industry as a Statist Construct

      • RedLogix 27.1.1

        I know you’re sincere but I just don’t see anything behind the argument: “society is too complex we need government’.

        Well no it is not the entirety of the argument, but blog comments are notorious for taking shortcuts in the interests of brevity.

        At the same time you seem to be asking me to defend the capitalist mass production society, with it’s innate wage-slavery, it’s crass and unsustainable exploitation, the reduction of all human impulse to miserable consumerism. I’m not.

        Nor am I suggesting that the current forms of government are eternal; I’ve explicitly suggested above that if people were better at governing themselves, they would likely flourish with less governance imposed upon them. But the unavoidable historic fact is that as we moved away from simple agrarian, low-tech societies, all the simple, small, low tax governments dissapeared and evolved into something larger, directly in response.

        Nor are many of these changes reversible. I believe that we will always have an internet (or evolution of it), we will always have the sciences, computational power, quantum mechanics and nuclear weapons. We have let a genie out of a bottle, and he’s not going back in. Neither are we going back into RB’s Peter Pan world of childhood nostalgia. His faith in the supposed excellence of that age is misplaced, childhood’s innocence is more located in a weakness of limb, than purity of heart.

        We have are as a race, moving through the final turbulent stages of our adolescent evolution, undertaking for the first time something of adult responsibilities, for ourselves, our neighbours and fellow citizens, and the planet who so gracefully obliges to suport us all. Our future forms of governance will be less brute, intrusive and clumsy. But at the same time it will be subtle, pervasive and more complex. The dominance of the nation state will recede, giving more place to stronger local and global elements, with a greater interconnectedness, reflecting the fact that most of the most pressing issues of our age are global in nature. We will need to evolve more sophisticated methods of electing representatives, and better way of creating democratic participation at all levels, local, national and global.

        And most critically, we will need to answer Ghandhi’s challenge, the question of how to govern with love rather than fear.

    • BLiP 27.2

      Ooops

  27. Galeandra 28

    Redbaiter said:”I have been called fascist a number of times on a recent thread on this site, when all I have ever advocated from the very first day I started writing on the internet is small weak government expressly because that state precludes a government ever reaching the stage where it can be fascist or totalitarian..”

    Well, your manner of delivering your views is abusive and vituperative, qualities I regard as trying to stifle reasoned disagreement. Text book ‘fascism’ may be different, but I see verbal bullying , labelling and so on as weapons to intimidate and to appeal to ‘brownshirt-ism” in your community of interest. I’m not at all surprised by the desire for real blood that I’ve seen expressed in KiwiBlog strings. Fascism seems to be associated with a lack of empathy.

  28. Redbaiter 29

    “Well, your manner of delivering your views is abusive and vituperative, qualities I regard as trying to stifle reasoned disagreement.”

    Sorry poseur. Such sanctimonious hypocrisy does not wash any more. In a free country, it is not a crime to hold socialists in disdain and to express that disdain.

    You wish to make it different, and for every online forum to be a duplicate of the echo chambers that exist where people like you are in control. Where censorship reigns supreme and sneering leftists routinely abuse the power that running a blog gives them. Where anyone who does not buy into the false theory that socialism is a positive is banned from the discussion, vituperative or not.

    Its all a pretense. A fraud designed to shut down ideas that are not helpful to socialist totalitarianism. Perpetrated by tiny minded power drunk Progressive obsessives with such narrow political perspectives they cannot see further than the deceitful artifice of socialism. The gold brick sold to the poor. The dream that becomes a nightmare.

    “Abusive and vituperative”?

    What a friggin laff.

    Check this link you cowardly posturing sanctimonious hypocrite, and then get back to me and tell me what abuse really is-

    http://michellemalkin.com/2005/02/08/comments-trolls-and-the-lefts-continued-whore-fixation/

    • RedLogix 29.1

      RB,

      You are a guest here. Comments in which you put forward constructed ideas, opinions or attempt the rudiments of a conversation have always been respected and never deleted. The moment you descend into abuse or vituperation you are on borrowed time.

      This is exactly how it is on all moderated blogs the world over, and you know it.

  29. Redbaiter 30

    “You are a guest here.”

    I have no complaints about how the site owners treat me. You tho can stick your sanctimonious hypocrisy in the same place as Galeandra can stick hers.

    I have never abused leftists to the extent they have abused me. Do you read any of the vicious cowardly comments attacking Redbaiter and others that are almost daily left on Kiwiblog by your hate driven comrades??

    ..and if you want respect, you need to start with the realization that socialism is extremely morally offensive to many people, and no matter how hard you attempt to change that, you never will.

    Even when, as your comrade Ag says so chillingly above, you try to “marginalize” those people “by whatever means possible”.

    Those words have been heard often in the history of the left. Anyone with any knowledge of the work of past leftist regimes knows what they signal.

  30. sagenz 31

    Red – I dont write this to be at all patronising. I stopped reading comments at No Minister and Kiwiblog a long time ago because of the mindless back and forth abuse.

    I was impressed on reading this thread that right up until the last couple of comments you managed to keep a thread on abuse going for 80 odd comments. Whilst people did not agree with your comments there was some respect.

    It seemed you had moved on from the past. You are not a victim so I suggest you dont play one. You give as good as you get.

    I see what you are getting at in your comments about small government and political correctness even if others do not.

    Two comments – drop the abuse/victim and get taken more seriously. If you approach negative remarks from the perspective of having to take a child in hand and explain gently to them it is a lot less stressful.

    What is on the table here is cross spectrum labelling. collectivism is the enforced will of the majority. fascism is the enforced will of the ruling elite. authoritarianism comes from either.

    Libertarianism insists the rights of the individual to self determination trumps the right of the state to enforce the collective good.

    Political correctness is social labelling to enforce conformity.

    sue bradford was out for publicity because she understands that is the oxygen for her causes. she wants to label those of us who resist state interference in our homes as death threat issuing nutters. Rex is bang on the mark.

    For what its worth I think it is only valid to use state power in the form of police or military intervention to support individual self determination, not to enforce the rule of the majority or the political elite

  31. sagenz 32

    And for those of you who think that big corporates are evil capitalist libertarians, you simply do not know inside them. They are the best examples of enforced collectivism controlled by overcompensated elites you can possibly imagine.

    hahaha: antispam word – compromise.

  32. Mothers4Justice 33

    My friend Sue will get pc cops to charge this nasty man meanwhile Banjo eyes up another baby twin hammer attack. Well done Keystones you Brainless Fucks.

  33. Funny thing, the Slater under his rotting log @ Gotcha! has a post saying David Tua gets to whack people in the ring for a living but fronts for a campaign to deny parents the smack of their kids – the Slater calls it ironic.
    Does this strange man think of discipline as sport?

    captcha: appropriate

  34. Bart 35

    1-0 to Farrar. IB will you be apologising for suggesting Farrar edges these sorts of creeps on?

  35. Bart 36

    Is that not obvious enough for you felix? If I am suggesting IB apologise for suggesting Farrar edges these people on, then I obviously do not feel that Farrar edges them on. I personally think Farrar is quite careful in his posts to try not stir up the looney far right.

    [lprent: Bloody hell – there are nutters to the right of the sewer? People stupider than big bruv, nastier than expat, …. Ummm the world (the worst ones are always expat’s) is more dangerous than I’d thought. ]

    • felix 36.1

      Have you ever actually read a comments thread at Kiwiblog?

      You might think it’s ok for Farrar to spend years breeding an online army of goons as long as he does his “don’t shoot me, I’m just the piano player” post whenever his carefully manufactured ugliness spills out into the real world as criminal violence, but I don’t.

      I/S put it well:

      Lie down with dogs, get up with fleas. If DPF doesn’t like his blog becoming a byword for a particularly odious strand of political extremism, then he has a simple option available: clean up his community. But if he continues to support and encourage such extremism, he can hardly complain when it begins to reflect badly on him.

      • Bart 36.1.1

        Yes I have read a comments thread at Kiwiblog. I would prefer if Farrar continued posting but turned his comments section off, as he does put forward the views of the right very well. The comments section is often filled with trolls however I don’t think you can attribute the disgusting opinions to what Farrar is posting, as his posts are often not written in highly emotive language, and tend to be well thought out. Do you not think that if Farrar banned the trolls at his blog, that they would simply vent their anger on some other right-wing blog?

        • felix 36.1.1.1

          Do you not think that if Farrar banned the trolls at his blog, that they would simply vent their anger on some other right-wing blog?

          Yes of course. And that’s what he should do if he wants to disassociate himself from them.

          He’s choosing to provide a safe haven for these freaks. It’s not something that’s happened to him which he can’t control, it’s something he chooses to allow every day.

          And if he continues to choose to allow it, why would anyone think he disapproves?

      • Swampy 36.1.2

        That’s a bit rich coming from someone who banned all comments on his blog a long long time ago, a person who believes no one should be able to challenge the views he posts on his blog.

  36. DavidW 37

    Thanks Bill,

    I have for years been trying to reconcile the actions of the wool store union rep who threatened to “accidentally” drop a dumped bale of wool on me if I didn’t join the Union as a holiday student and later the bullet hole in my office window which appeared during a wage round with the peace-loving, warm and cuddly left. Now I know that the perpetrators were really nasty thuggish right-wingers in disguise. ….. whew!

  37. toad 38

    Seems there is a history of Henk van Helmond not knowing who is responsible, even though the events are closely connected to him:

    Finally Henk van Helmond, the man behind all the sites, says he did not know who threw the bricks at Clark’s office. He has said he doesnt know them, nor has he met them – just had “contact” with htem. He says he doesnt know the people who post on his sites either – that includes Bryn Rodda. But he certainly knows a lot about the brick chucking. And he knows Bryn Rodda more than he makes out. Both have had contact with the woman who used the riding crop on her son. They`re all connected.

    I know that.

    Thanks, Dave C, for that.

  38. Swampy 39

    Your viewpoint on this issue appears to place you away from the mainstream of political expression in NZ, definitely heading somewhere out onto the radicalised end of the left wing. That is for anyone who appears not to understand why the Electoral Finance Act was an attack on free speech and that as the catalyst for the formation of the Free Speech coalition. The EFA has been repealed yet it seems there is still a few percent of the electorate who believed in it.

    When we hear a lot about “democracy under attack” supposedly in Auckland it’s worth remembering what happened before the last election, the Electoral Finance Act as a piece of pure Labour ideology, disconnected from reality and public opinion – along with a number of other laws.

  39. Swampy 40

    “Add to that the fact that there has been serious money put into some of these front groups by the same far-right US interests”

    Just the usual xenophobic bogeymen.

    Right now it’s about time for every political group on the left in NZ to tell us how much support they get from overseas.

  40. Swampy 41

    “what i couldn’t help thinking as i read the piece was the different willingness to threaten and use violence between the right and the left.”

    What difference is that?

    At best there is no difference at all. I think you would be best to get off your hobby horse and admit this before you get your foot stuck any further inside your mouth.

    So called “peaceful protestors” in various left wing causes use physical force and violence fairly often in their protest actions. Sue Bradford herself is no stranger to this having been arrested numerous times in such kinds of protest. Ditto for Hone Harawira and others.

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