Written By: - Date published: 1:58 pm, July 1st, 2015 - 36 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, Deep stuff, democracy under attack, Media, the praiseworthy and the pitiful - Tags: cameron slater, dirty politics, whaleoil
On the left we are all busy people. Our activists are trying to balance work and family and the desire to make the world a better place. Our bloggers are trying to say or post something profound and take care of all of their other stuff like their jobs at the same time. Our MPs are doing their best to do their job with the limited Parliamentary Services funding and no other funding that they have and improve the life force of their party. It feels occasionally that we collectively do not respond to issues as quickly or in as principled a manner as would be ideal.
Yesterday the Cyberbullying Law was passed. This law is untested but it says ( I think) that if you are mean to someone on line and cause them serious emotional distress and would have caused an ordinary reasonable person distress then you may be committing an offence.
I saw this graphic last night online. It is one of those perfect Crosby Textor focus group graphics that you cannot fail but to admire.
Get that? If confronted about Dirty Politics National can now say it is doing something.
Perhaps Cameron Slater should be afraid of the new law although no doubt some on the right will think that the Standard is somehow worse than Whaleoil.
What rankles is that National has perfected the art of cyberbullying. They have poured resources into online attacks on their opponents as well as impartial civil servants and academics and managed to get the main stream media to act as nodding heads and repeaters.
Suddenly they are the solution? The left’s desire to engage rationally in the debate about the bill and try to make the bill somehow better is understandable but they should have realised that this was all a PR job and should have opposed it as a threat to the freedom of speech.
National is obviously relying on the shortness of peoples memories. According to them dirty politics did not happen and the left do it anyway even though no proof exists. National’s legislation is designed to stop the completely unacceptable and contemptible sorts of attacks that National engaged in.
It makes you wonder however about the left’s handling of the matter and the dissident Green MPs who voted against the bill did us all a favour.
This particular bill is a PR smokescreen to try and reduce the negative effect of Dirty Politics. We should have seen this and we should have called it for what it is, instead of thinking the best of National’s intentions and trying to improve their bill. Tim Watkin is right, the law is poorly drafted, will have a chilling effect on media reporting and cartoons, and is an example of cynical politics.
I wait with anticipation the first case under the legislation.