The Standard a decade on

Written By: - Date published: 8:00 am, December 28th, 2018 - 113 comments
Categories: blogs, David Farrar, dpf, internet, Media, The Standard - Tags: ,

I recently scored a slot on Red Radio, Planet FM’s regular slot for Labour Party sorts in Auckland. I have had a couple or three interviews myself and I believe it is an important medium to consider. If radio, particularly talk back radio, drives us around the bend then the response should be to not complaint but to provide an alternative.

For my first show I thought I should interview someone who is very rarely interviewed but who has perhaps arguably had more of an effect on left wing politics over the last decade than any other person, the Standard’s own Lynn Prentice.

Researching what to talk about was a trip down memory lane.

History will show that the Standard first post appeared on August 15, 2007. It was a post titled Get your story straight John written by All Your Base.  It had a total of 2 comments and it had 5 unique views.

Get your story straight John

The site was in part a response to Kiwiblog. The left, particularly the trade union movement wanted an alternative voice. And so the Standard was born.

Ten years later there is still Kiwiblog, and the Standard as well as Whaleoil and The Daily Blog as the major political blogs

Whaleoil has clearly seen better days. The Daily Blog has not lived up to the aims of its founder. Kiwiblog still rolls on although the advertising, not to mention the comments, are a real turn off.

Looking back on the past decade the Standard has performed pretty well. At its zenith in 2015 it had 5,700,000 individual page views. Last year it was down a bit but was still at 4,700,000.

Posts follow three basic types. There are the general posts to allow for discussion of any sort. There are the breaking news type posts where the wisdom of the collective can analyse and update news as it develops. And there are the slightly longer philosophical posts where writers present analysis and comment one current issues.

Lprent and I discussed some times when in my view the Standard really stood out. They included:

  • Len Brown and Bevan Chuang
  • The trade union response to Peter Jackson and the Hobbit crisis
  • Dirty Politics
  • Donghua Liu
  • Ponytailgate
  • Jami Lee Ross

One other matter that we discussed was the demise of David Shearer’s leadership and how the Standard has been blamed, unfairly in my view, for this happening.

I believe the site has also had a major role to play in the Labour leadership campaigns.

Authors and commentators almost overwhelmingly supported David Cunliffe in 2013 and this was arguably reflected in the actual result.  And in 2014 when Andrew Little was elected support was more muted and [again reflected the result].

Lynn and I had the chance to discuss the future of the site.  We thought that as long as the site gets a good supply of authors it can keep rocking along.

The site itself I believe offers a rich historical repository of contemporary New Zealand politics.  If you want to understand what has happened during the past decade from a left wing perspective then this site is a good place to start.

Proposals for suggested changes and critiques all welcome.

 

113 comments on “The Standard a decade on”

  1. r0b 1

    How time flies when you’re having fun! Thanks to lprent and all current authors. Anyone out there thinking of contributing, why not start by contributing a guest post or two? An (early) “happy new year” to you all…

    • greywarshark 1.1

      Same to you r0b. Your views and ideas always gold. We will look forward to more as you have time. You help to keep us commenters informed and balanced.

    • mickysavage 1.2

      If you feel like a comeback r0b just yell out!

  2. Booker 2

    Keep up the good work! Although I don’t post much the site is a daily source of news for me, and is sorely needed given the MSM long ago gave up.

  3. Dennis Frank 3

    I’ve been expecting the re-invention of left-wing politics since the early seventies, so my hope is that this site can help with that long-deferred process. The default position persists because participants share the false assumption that everyone has the same understanding of what it is (or should be). History proves the contrary, of course!

    Social media ought to be more than idle commentary. It ought to provide for pro-active collaboration. Such a design would be more likely to produce political progress.

    “In an an address delivered at an NZ On Air seminar in 2009, then Planet FM broadcast manager Terri Byrne prophesied that by the year 2020 media would have splintered into so many niche channels that the ‘mainstream media’ would no longer exist.” https://thespinoff.co.nz/atea/23-11-2018/planet-fm-the-nicest-radio-station-in-auckland/

    “It will not be about ‘them’ becoming like ‘us’ or hopefully by 2020, it will not even be about ‘them’ explaining themselves to ‘us’. Hopefully it will be about all of us discovering who we are becoming as a nation.”

    An old friend of mine (since ’84), Terri recently bailed out as ops manager after 31 years in control, and the successful multicultural medium she established is a credit to her vision and expertise, but unfortunately the msm hasn’t quite died the death she foresaw. Although her prophecy has almost two years left, so maybe. Media niches have certainly continued to proliferate. The challenge for all politicos is how to build collaboration on common ground when media is pulling everyone apart.

  4. cathy 4

    “One other matter that we discussed was the demise of David Shearer’s leadership and how the Standard has been blamed, unfairly in my view, for this happening.”

    I hadn’t realised the Standard was blamed for that. In fact I believe the demise of David Shearer’s leadership was planned from the start and was only waiting on Robertson being ready to make his run.

    • greywarshark 4.1

      To me, The Standard may have been just a part of the backgrounding and profiling of David Shearer giving an understanding of the real man. People noticed the oxymoronic effect of someone being hailed as from the caring side of politics in the UN serving in foreign aid to distressed countries, and then being reported as making a snide put-down about a chap doing something to his roof when he was in receipt of ACC payments.

      This indicated that he belonged to the neo-liberal bent in Labour when the majority of die-hard Labour voters wanted the bend straightened to one of straight and proud, worker-supportive Labour encouraging people to be independent with welfare available for wellbeing.

      That’s my take on what Labour should be about, and politicians have to drive their thinking along these paths to be properly doing their job. The Standard is good in that it enables people to be informed, discuss reactions, examine their own ideas,
      and hear the wild and whacky as well as the informed and balanced, the hopeful possibilities, and the new and old prejudices and decide whether they offer or detract from the philosophy and zeitgeist that drives the swirl of ideas, plans and actions daily.

  5. Jum 5

    ‘If radio, particularly talk back radio, drives us around the bend then the response should be to not complaint but to provide an alternative.’

    Absolutely, and what a great idea. I still keep on suggesting the same re newspapers and what about a broadsheet (as in as little as 1 sheet delivered by paid individuals) giving the facts and Left point of view to offset faction that too many NZers swallow with their breakfast.

    Not everyone has a computer or follows blogs or alternative radio. It must surely be the only reason so many still vote for nats???

    Meanwhile, at least we have The Standard and Radio alternative.

    Your work is much appreciated by me. It’s one of the few things that keep me hopeful for our future.

  6. Kevin 6

    Good site with an excellent range of topics. I miss some of the commenters who no longer participate but the general level of debate is very good. Less nit-picking/hair-splitting comments would certainly enhance the overall experience.

    • lprent 6.1

      Change happens all of the time. You really realize it when you go back to research old posts for upcoming ones and run across the people who no longer write posts or comment.

      But peoples lives keep shifting.

      • greywarshark 6.1.1

        I’m Tinkerbell the quote fairy!!

        We can’t be afraid of change. You may feel very secure in the pond that you are in, but if you never venture out of it, you will never know that there is such a thing as an ocean, a sea. Holding onto something that is good for you now, may be the very reason why you don’t have something better.”
        ― C. JoyBell C. https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/self-discovery

  7. Anne 7

    @ms

    The paragraph starting “Authors and commentators almost overwhelmingly…..”, the second sentence doesn’t make sense. Looks like the last bit was deleted.

    Still in Xmas mode….?

    • mickysavage 7.1

      Thanks Annie yes you are right. I did a cut and paste from some notes and did not tidy this up. Will try and drink more coffee before blogging!

      • lprent 7.1.1

        I’m on my first coffee of the day – I think that demonstrates a true dedication to holiday mode.

        However, I may have to resume active life again. At present as well as attempting to start on a new theme for the site, I am considering how I kitten proof the cables for the site.

        Our partially socialised rescue kitten has stopped considering himself to be prey after a couple of days of confinement and a visit to the vet.

        He is now intent on discovering if his teeth can get through USB cords. I’m sure that he will work up to Ethernet and power cords within a short time. Since that will affect my systems (and The Standard) adversely, I think that I need to tidy the cables up with the strong plastic covers that I have had for 5 years without installing. Oh woe is me…

        Mort contemplating the bars of his life – a Collie photo.

  8. feijoa 8

    I always read the Standard regularly, it helps keep a perspective going to balance out the other stuff we are bombarded with. With mainstream media controlled by the rich, it is vital to have this site. Thank you to all involved.

  9. Ad 9

    – Full time editor-in-chief

    – More MP articles

    – More NGO writers

    – More weekly blogs like Guytons one for nice safe spaces

    – Stronger feeds to Greater Auckland and union writers

    – Less whining about the media

    – more film reviews

    • halfcrown 9.1

      Agree with that Ad. Also I would like to see an article/book review section by posters who visit this site as I have been advised of good reading material by others on here.

      • greywarshark 9.1.1

        Why not have an Arts and Events section where anything that is good gets recommended or, perhaps slammed? Saturday thing. A book new or old and still worthy, getting a plug and short review. What’s on, a short report on what happened; how it was? Share the creative side of our lives, our localities, what others are doing and thinking in NZ particularly (no USA, or great power yap). Mainly but not exclusively, positive things that have surfaced and can carry us forward.

        Sunday hopefully – the big thing will be on the near and mid-future things. looking forward as well as backward, bringing them together to be looked at now – the Janus thing. What will we be when we grow up? Are we there yet? Will there be ice cream?

  10. Chris T 10

    It is a shit load less insular and is open to differing opinions than it used to be.

    Which is always nice.

    No one likes one continuous group love in with everyone agreeing with each other.

    • greywarshark 10.1

      Oh and what is your purpose in coming here Chris T? To fill in your time? To stimulate your mind as a hopeful means of delaying dementia?

      The idea here, I think, is to have lots of input and get as much informed opinion so we can find a way to proceed over the next 10-20 years as nature changes and deteriorates our living conditions, and our financial system breaks under the strain of its own fantasies and ad hoc machinations.

      We don’t have a lot of group love-ins. But if we can get ideas hammered out that are demonstrably useful after a number of people with similar interests and wishing to learn from each other for a greater good get together, then something is achieved.

      And achievement is necessary. Here once a group can work on ideas and information and others’ experiences, find agreement, give positive feedbacks, then go onto something else, we will have achieved something worthwhile.

      It would be a dreadful waste of this blog if it was dominated by a bunch of smart alecs and fault-finders. They probably would enjoy themselves more socially by going to a pub, drinking some locally made craft beer, and trying to outdo each other as wise-merchants. There are plenty of places to go and practise refining criticism as a physical presence, or on line. If people have no purpose in life except to be like a fly in a bottle, go there.

      • Chris T 10.1.1

        And there I was thinking I had given a compliment about how I thought it had changed for the good.

        Silly me

        • greywarshark 10.1.1.1

          Poor you. Can’t do anything right, so unreasonable of me to take the site seriously. It was basically regarding your poke at love ins. So silly. When we spend much time taking each others’ comments to bits and checking them for poor connections and bad soldering!

          Sneering at the idea of people working together and giving appreciation of others good efforts is not my idea of what sort of society I am hoping to see. So perhaps in a bit more time with say three months of thoughtful opinions from you there will be better understanding.

          • Chris T 10.1.1.1.1

            “Poor you. Can’t do anything right, so unreasonable of me to take the site seriously. It was basically regarding your poke at love ins. So silly. When we spend much time taking each others’ comments to bits and checking them for poor connections and bad soldering!”

            That was what I was complimenting.

            If you spent a bit more time reading my words and a bit less trying to find hidden messages in them you might find you are less uptight and precious, which maybe would hold you back from going on rants like your last two posts.

        • Ad 10.1.1.2

          Don’t worry it won’t be a circle-jerk

      • Chris T 10.1.2

        “Oh and what is your purpose in coming here Chris T? To fill in your time? To stimulate your mind as a hopeful means of delaying dementia?”

        Oh and I missed this bit.

        Is there a specific reason you need me to justify my presence here?

        • greywarshark 10.1.2.1

          Chris T
          Is there a specific reason i can’t pass an opinion on you who pass opinions?
          You sound more like a troll than an interested commenter, and trolls are deadening agents. That is why I question your purpose and presence.
          Are you a troll do you think? Define what you think is a troll and then why you aren’t one?

          I consider the purpose of The Standard is to assist reasoned discussion about politics and society, and encourage people to enter into it. It is a rare blog in NZ which is much needed for the above purpose. Our world as we know it is coming to an end. I want to see society helped to cope with it and get better politicians and those in the managerial class who are creaming off benefits from the capitalist system for themselves. They are trying to do as little to maintain a decent society for the majority of the people as possible. We have to work to stop our society being sliced and diced and sold off. It’s work and occasional fun.

          But I know it is not cool to be serious about serious matters so have a laugh at me, such pretensions. I don’t come here to read facile comments from people who just throw ideas and thoughts around like fast food And if you read to the end I will send you an online chocolate fish, when I can find out how to do it. Just a test to see if you can handle comments bigger than two sentences. So boring of me.

          • Chris T 10.1.2.1.1

            “I consider the purpose of The Standard is to assist reasoned discussion about politics and society, and encourage people to enter into it.”

            This I agree with

            The rest is utter drivel

            Which politicians and those in the “managerial class”?

            How do you even define “managerial class”?

            Plenty of decent hardworking kiwis work their way up to management. There are plenty of left wing managers. Plenty of left MPs who have been managers.

            There are union managers.

            And by all means, take yourself too “seriously”

            • greywarshark 10.1.2.1.1.1

              I won’t read or reply to this as I have had my say and am not able to make any decisions individually. You seem an example of an anomic man full of freedom thunks, brouhaha and hubris and wonder at the importance of yourself to yourself.

              To go on further, arguing uselessly, would make me a troll which I despise, so for mental health I cease this discussion.

    • Robert Guyton 10.2

      I thought your comment:

      The Standard a decade on


      was quite generous, Chris T. It’s interesting to see though, how very easy it is to misconstrue something someone has said and how things can spin out of control quickly when that happens. I agree that “less insular and is open to differing opinions” is praise for the blog and those who comment here.

    • veutoviper 10.3

      Chris T, as per Robert’s comment, I also though your comment at 10 was a genuine compliment and actually mirrored some of my own thoughts about the site.

      In addition, I consider that your follow-up replies have also very reasonable and low key to the comments that IMO were out of line in questioning your reasons for being here.

      As far as I am aware, that person is not a moderator or administrator here; and therefore has no greater rights to question anyone else’s presence or rights to comment here than any other commenter such as you and I – and is ” not able to make any decisions” individually or collectively in regard to you or anyone else. If it is of any consolation, you are not the only one to have had their presence here questioned by that person recently.

      Kia kaha

      • Muttonbird 10.3.1

        It’s about your motivation for commenting. Mine is social consciousness. The building of communities not disrupting them. Warm safe secure homes for renting families. Proper immigration management and NZ homes for kiwis. A robust and clean ecosystem and rivers largely the way they were before we got here.

        Those are my values. Chris T’s are different and it’s quite right to question why he is here.

        It would be great if you could direct your feuds with other commenters to them rather than the forum at large.

  11. patricia bremner 11

    Trolls should cop bans along with genuine participants who lose control.
    Trolls should be allowed to comment if they genuinely talk to the subject only.

    More background articles would add interest/ book reviews/ suggested topics.
    Invited guest contributors and writers on general or high interest topics would be good.
    Memory lane topics? View the Future topics?
    Thanks TS, you have kept me sane (Ithink!!) during the last 18 months of waiting .

    • halfcrown 11.1

      Sorry can’t agree there Patricia. Take James for an example, he has been called a troll at times and although I don’t agree with his politics, he does put up valid opinion at times. but I think with James the majority of the time it is a wind up to get an re action Treat it as such. The only time I replied to one of his comments I started with the sentence with something like ” I’ll play your silly game James” etc Start off with something like that and it will emmediately takes the wind out of their sales.
      The other thing is, there are a lot of bright people who visit this site and I am sure they can handle or just ignore these trools when they visit.
      Well, that’s my opinion for what It’s worth.

      • patricia bremner 11.1.1

        Fair enough halfcrown. You are right, as reading others comments I realise I’m just annoyed at the interruption to the flow of thought those trite comments cause.

  12. Ankerrawshark 12

    My wholehearted thanks to I prent. And to all the other contributors. I wasn’t that political when I first started to visit the site (circa 2011). I was becoming increasingly concerned about the Key govt. I credit the standard with being hugely motivating for me and increasing my awareness of what’s really going on.

    Happy new year everyone. And thanks to everyone who participates in the standard….I rarely miss a day of it and often I find out what is going on here before anywhere else.

  13. WeTheBleeple 13

    I’d pretty much given up on regular news and all manner of social media till I found TS.

    I’d not like the place so much without the range of people who comment.

    The fact I (and others) have over time toned down internet language/behavior voluntarily, or with a nudge, speaks volumes about the nature of TS at present, and the value of the content and community.

    Kudos.

  14. Westykev 14

    Congratulations on the 10 year anniversary. Been a regular reader for the past 8 years even though I’m a right-winger. Always good to read views different from your own and in some cases my view has changed. Wishing the Standard at least another 10 good years.

  15. Just let it evolve as is. We have seen the result of tinkering – inertia takes over and we end up in the same spot. It is what it is and I love it for that – sure a rest home, sure not many self identified Māori or many minority groups, sure women are represented, and sure the usual left racists and mysogynist wankers abound but it is a beautiful thing – finely balanced and traversing a knife edge of sensibilities it does the job magnificently. Thank you to everyone.

    • greywarshark 15.1

      Thank you for your words that add meaning and flavour to the mix marty mars.
      Kia kaha
      Meri Kirihimete me ngā mihi o te tau hou ki a koutou katoa.
      Mauri ora!
      (Got those from Omniglot Maori phrases – good for getting started or refreshing
      what I know. Guyon Espiner is such a show-off.)

      • greywarshark 15.1.1

        T S Elliot has words to say on how we go around and end up in the same spot but presumably with increased self-knowledge and appreciation of our lives and place, so not exactly the same – not deja vu.

        “We shall not cease from exploration
        And the end of all our exploring
        Will be to arrive where we started
        And know the place for the first time.”
        ― T. S. Eliot, Four Quartets

      • marty mars 15.1.2

        Thanks grey. I value your comments please keep them coming. I suppose I am a grumpy bastard but i really want to discuss left options and left thinking – I have less tolerance for farting around indulging James and arguing the same old bullshit with rwnjs. It really is just a waste of everything – but as you’ve said to me my opinion is just that and other people think different.
        I’ve read some interesting comments from so many strong lefties here, I’ve adjusted and readjusted my thinking within my left worldview and I love that. And this forum is good for that, the best in fact.
        Thank you to everyone.

        • greywarshark 15.1.2.1

          mm
          I think that the grumpy bastards here are the ones who are truly concerned about the future and realise how hard it will likely, get. It is seeing the lack of care by people for their own future, and then because of that, the government’s inclination to siphon money away from projects that need doing and be blatantly self-interested, and damn well get away with it. That other people recognise what is going on, and put their precious time into this blog to keep hope and belief in our abilities alive, well it is just marvellous and I think we all keep each other sparking and hopeful.

  16. peterlepaysan 16

    LP called me a troll on this site. I have no idea why. I have never had an apology either.

    Entitlement does strange things to mental processes. Look at the national party.

    • greywarshark 16.1

      peterlepaysan
      Perhaps you made a thoughtless statement, or repetition, and caught Lprent at a crucial level of irritation. I have noticed some cliche’ RW things from you at times. All is not lost, it has encouraged you to think about what you are doing and follow Aristotle:

      “Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.”
      ― Aristotle

      • peterlepaysan 16.1.1

        Is there anything you do not comment about? I am not suggesting you are a “know all”. Just saying.

        i

    • lprent 16.2

      I seldom apologize. I have also failed to apologize to myself when I have dissed myself (that has happened at least twice over the last decade).

      A lack of time along with the numbers of comments tends to make going back through comments a fool’s errand. Typically I’d use the word ‘troll’ when I scan a repeated anti-social pattern that is doing nothing for the discussion and appears to be designed to disrupt it. In other words it is a behaviour pattern that transcends politics.

  17. McFlock 17

    From a purely selfish perspective, I think the commenters and authors on the site have helped make me a better person.

    I’m more aware of differences between people, and how many of my assumptions are born of my privilege. For example, in staff meetings I notice that I sit back more and listen to what others have to say rather than just assuming that my opinion is a valid use of everyone’s time. I don’t think it was on the level of “I am a man and therefore what I say is important”, but more that I just realised that many people have been trained to not say the first thing that enters their brain as and when it occurs to them.

    Some of it is age, maybe. But cheers to everyone for ten years, and thanks 🙂

  18. weston 18

    I,d still like to see an extra venue for people who cant comment during the day . Getting the jist of whats been happening during the day can take a bit of doing if the comments are hitting the 150 mark which they often do .Personally i would like a small space something like a small cosy bar to attend of an evening 30 or 40 comments a bit like this attendance .If as someone suggested moderation was a problem at nighttime the hours could be set at 6 til midnight perhaps ?

    • Andre 18.1

      Daily Review that mickysavage goes to the effort of putting up every weekday at 6pm doesn’t do that for you?

      • weston 18.1.1

        no it doesnt do it for me Andre and much as i appreciate micky,s effort as previously stated, The Daily Review is never gonna be The Nightly Review or whatever it may be called .Im suggesting something NEW !Not as yet another place for the same commenters to say something else after exausting OM etc but for people who Cant comment during the day while and when the (or their )discussion is taking place .Imo theres a disconnect if u cant speak with people at the time they are engaged .I think TS could benefit from the creation of a new venue specifically for night time engagement hopefully not called anything as boring sounding as the Daily Review ! (sorry micky )

        • Andre 18.1.1.1

          So how do you want it to be different to Daily Review?

          Do you want everyone who comments during the day to be excluded from your new forum?

          Do you want every topic that’s already been discussed during the day to be excluded from your new forum?

          • weston 18.1.1.1.1

            nope dont want anyone excluded andre im not big on rules an regs in my case i usually find myself reading the comments that have occurred during the day out of interest without commenting much myself ; if a night time community developed perhaps the daily contributors would act similarly ?Since quite a few people comment quite late in the evening i imagine there could be some engagement from the regulars depending on the topics etc

  19. Cinny 19

    Love TS, it’s the only social media I engage in. I keep coming back because of the intelligent conversation, the humor, the broad range of views and exception knowledge of all who contribute.

    Everyone here, the writers, commenters, left and right, have broadened my mind and enhanced my life. Very grateful for that, big up’s and big thank you’s to ALL.

  20. He aha te mea nui o te ao? He tangata, he tangata, he tangata.

    What is the most important thing in the world? It is the people, it is the people.

    For mine, it is the commenters who make this place special. If you look at our comrade Bomber’s blog, which often has posts on the same topics as TS, there is no life in the comments section. As I understand it, each comment at TDB is held until released by a moderator. That means that there is no flow, no conversation, no engagement.

    It’s different here. The commentary is effectively live and takes on a life of its own. This permissive approach to debate is vital to the Standard’s success. As WtB notes above, the community has to a large extent self regulated and the moderation workload has dropped considerably in recent times.

    I’d also like to give a nod to the righties who comment here. TS is not an echo chamber and differing opinions make for good debate. It’s great that conservative opinion is not shouted down, but rather, is argued against rationally. Well, mostly!

    The site is better for the contributions from people we don’t agree with, in my opinion.

    Speaking of opinions, it’s obvious from the hundreds of comments in OM each day that there are commenters here who write really well, who spark debate and who have obvious potential to become authors. I’d love to see more guest posts for a start.

    I’m only too happy to work with anyone who wants to give it a go; you supply the words, I’ll find a photo and a headline and let’s see what happens. You may surprise yourself!

  21. Robert Guyton 21

    The Standard is a great forum for “people watching”, or rather, a chance to quietly observe how other people think, reason, debate, argue, present their ideas, “hear” the ideas of others and weigh those up against your own. It’s very good to have your own ideas and perceptions challenged and to recognise how redundant or faulty some of your own views are. It’s also a good chance to learn how to discuss issues in a manner that doesn’t alienate others. Trolls are interesting in that they challenge your views and your temperament; they hold a big advantage over us in that they can employ simple methods that are difficult to counter quickly – most trolling requires multiple responses to nullify; it’s just how it is; Gish Gallop would be a good example. I think it’s not useful to call anyone, “troll” or describe their behaviour as “trolling” as nothing is ever gained by doing so, imo and that shorthand just simplifies and solidifies the problem, in the way that calling someone a “commy” might do. Veutoviper’s response to James recently is the exemplar for addressing such behaviour: informed and well-reasoned, without recourse to name calling, it stopped him in his tracks and drew praise from all over; that’s how ya do it (that, plus elegant mockery, if you can pull it off 🙂
    Aside from that, the authors at TS are to be congratulated for their perseverance in what is a difficult forum; we don’t see the behind the scenes wrangling and tangling, but in a team of political activists, it must be a factor. Lastly, I have to say I reckon the commenters here are great people, bright and buoyant and well-intentioned. It’s fun chewing the fat with you all.

    • Anne 21.1

      The Standard is a great forum for “people watching”, or rather, a chance to quietly observe how other people think, reason, debate, argue, present their ideas, “hear” the ideas of others and weigh those up against your own.

      Couldn’t agree more. A fascinating microcosm of a NZ community with a slant towards the more progressive among us. Having said that, there are times when some of our rwnjs (and I don’t use the term in a negative sense – most of us here are lwnjs) give us a well deserved bollocking and I thank them for that. We, that is none of us, are right all of the time.

  22. greywarshark 22

    There is room for deeply felt intransigence here. Then it’s good to be aware of it and regard it as a rock that is handy for a location place, to which a different argument can refer. The thing is not to spend precious time trying to adjust and change that commenter who is not interested in rationality, just stating theory or possibility. So two quotes could apply to the same person in this case:

    Dorothy L Parker’s:

    “In youth, it was a way I had,
    To do my best to please.
    And change, with every passing lad
    To suit his theories.

    But now I know the things I know
    And do the things I do,
    And if you do not like me so,
    To hell, my love, with you.”
    ― Dorothy Parker, The Complete Poems of Dorothy Parker

    and
    ― gerard way
    Sometimes you have to kind of die inside in order to rise from your own ashes and believe in yourself and love yourself to become a new person.”
    https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/self-discovery

  23. Bobo 23

    Congrats on the ten years, I used to comment on here in the earlier days but still keep an eye when topics flare up.

    Cheers 🙂

  24. Observer Tokoroa 24

    By their Fruit you shall know them

    The Standard has allowed many of us to express an Opinion. For that alone, we owe a profound Acknowledgement to LPRENT for Hundreds of Thousands of Topical Articles, Conversations; and Digital References. On a Daily Basis !

    Many knowledgeable writers have stepped forward to give of their Expertise, and to table important issues. Adding Stature to our Blog of Aoteroa Blogs. Micky Savavge has been one such Writer.

    Gradually, during the past 10 years, ruthless death bearing Capitalism is losing ground – across the Democratic World. Only pathetic Monsters hang on to Capitalist Crap and destroy their Nations.

    The Trolls – who inevitably have shallow lives and swamp the blank spots on here, are a comic copy of the Putins, Aristocracies – Trumps. They simply cannot understand that all humans have a right to equality. They are a very grumpy lot. Wealthy people always are.

    The Standard allows the Trolls their stupidities, within bounds.

    I doubt there will be any Capitalism left in ten years time . Well Done The Standard. There will be no more puffed up National thieves either.

    • greywarshark 24.1

      Broad sweeping ideas Observer, It’s like looking at the vista from a mountaintop reading you. Maybe it will happen as you imagine, but it’s good to discuss the trends towards or away as we go and that you have stayed around, and sounding more positive than earlier.

      …dotted everywhere,
      Ironic points of light
      Flash out wherever the Just
      Exchange their messages:
      W H Auden
      http://www.poemdujour.com/Sept1.1939.html

  25. Observer Tokoroa 25

    Yes Yes – Greywarshark

    “The Poem of the Day”. W H Auden.

    I feel rather scrappy and bitsy in such company as yours. And in that of Anne and Patricia Bremner. Others too.

    Meanwhile, I get energised by the much needed Houses being flung this way and that way by a determined courageous Giant named Phil Twyford. New Zealand’s finest Mr Fixit. While his detractors are mere simpletons.

    Ugly pimples such as Judith Collins shit on him. Ditzy Paula too. The Herald creeps who do nothing other than list the dead do nothing; neither the innane Hosking. who grabs more or less all for himself . A jester. A joke. An idiot. A nobody.

    For, in the past 10 years, Sir John Key and that strange little Knight of the Realm, Billy English allowed Housing only for the wealthy Capitalists. Has there ever been such an appalling NZ tragedy as that handed out by the Scum we know as National ?

    Fonterra – Fletchers – rolling around in their own mess – typical examples of NZ Industry. Useless Management. Praise them. They will steal the money from the poor to rebuild their mistakes. Of that we can be sure.

    New Zealand is ever so proud of praising itself . Perhaps we should set ourselves real standards for the next 10 years.

  26. A couple of suggestions.

    Fewer posts attacking the Opposition – don’t try to match barking at every passing car with barking at every bark. Pick your battles.

    More posts debating topical Government initiatives and proposals, and allowing wide ranging discussions (with personal attacks discouraged). This would be more useful to policy developers than PR/propaganda style repeating.

    • Muttonbird 26.1

      Go easy on the National Party, you say. What have they done to deserve that.

      • Pete George 26.1.1

        I didn’t say go easy on them.
        I say pick your battles and do fewer critiques (or holding to account) better. I think that is a more effective approach – too much ongoing noise, and too many trivial quibbles, are more easily ignored.

        • Robert Guyton 26.1.1.1

          “Fewer posts attacking the Opposition ”
          “I didn’t say go easy on them.”
          Hmmmmm….

        • mickysavage 26.1.1.2

          I hear what you say Pete but the problem is they offer so many targets …

        • Muttonbird 26.1.1.3

          Like you picked the Sroubek case to attack Labour? How’d that work out for you?

          • Pete George 26.1.1.3.1

            It was probably the most discussed political story of the last couple of months. The media took a lot of interest in it. It was an issue that deserved answers, and deserved a change of decision.

            It didn’t involve me so there was nothing to work out for me.

            More importantly, how did it work out for Iain Lees-Galloway? I think he was a promising Minister, but this was a damaging mistake for him. He rushed a decision, stuffed up, tried to defend it, but ended up changing his decision. It was embarrassing for him and for the Government.

            How did it work out for Jacinda Ardern? Ok in the end, perhaps, but she let questions fester for weeks before making a clear statement in Parliament. The way she acted, or failed to act, made it look like she was trying to hide an awkward association. It was one of the more notable missteps form her as Prime Minister.

            November 3 – PM Jacinda Ardern has lost confidence in decision to grant Karel Sroubek residency

            Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern believes the public will judge the Government on how it responds to the Karel Sroubek situation from now onwards.

            Speaking at the Labour Party conference on Saturday, Ardern said she no longer has confidence in the decision to grant Sroubek residency “given the information we’ve now seen in the public realm”.

            “When you are in government these kinds of situations do present themselves, it’s all about how you manage – it’s all about the way you fix mistakes when they do occur.”

            I think it too long to fix. The story was still getting a lot of attention a month and a half later.

            17 December –Tova O’Brien: She may not be, but Jacinda Ardern looks dodgy

            Just as Jami-Lee Ross was the most damaging political scandal of the year for National, Karel Sroubek has been the most piercing dagger in Labour’s side.

            And just as Mr Ross tainted Simon Bridges and his leadership so too does Sroubek damage the Prime Minister.

            … her failure to disclose a text she got from her buddy – and Sroubek’s good mate – Richie Hardcore is so problematic.

            It’s extremely unlikely there’s any great conspiracy here – no Ardern/Hardcore/Sroubek alliance – but this is a perception issue and it looks dodgy.

            Ms Ardern promised to lead the most open and transparent Government New Zealand has seen. That doesn’t mean picking and choosing to be open and transparent when it benefits her.

            It was not a good way for Ardern and the Government to end the year, reversing a dodgy decision and looking dodgy in dealing with it.

            It didn’t work out well for them, and may still cause them more problems.

            • Muttonbird 26.1.1.3.1.1

              Very negative I must say. It’s almost as if you are obsessed with dumping on your opponents…

    • Sacha 26.2

      Interesting to hear Slater has had a stroke. Could you see the effects at court?

      • Pete George 26.2.1

        I believe he has, although they seem to have kept that hushed at Whale Oil.

        I haven’t been in a position to see any effects at court. He hasn’t posted at Whale Oil since his medical event (he had been going hard out versus Bridges over Jami-lee Ross and abruptly stopped) but after a few weeks funkstille has been commenting from time to time, so seems to not be mentally incapacitated. I presume you’re referring to the Blomfield v Slater defamation where I think an award against Slater is to be decided, but I understand that Slater is represented so his health shouldn’t be an issue.

  27. Observer Tokoroa 27

    Hi Pete George

    It is exceedingly difficult to think of anything worthwhile that the Opposition has done in the last 30 years. Everything they touch goes only to their lobbyists, and Corporate small time buddies.

    But if you could think of something, I would try and borrow a few gushing lines from that blatantly one eyed kinderfutilegarten “The Herald”.

    Although the problem there, is that they have more strokes, dementias and trash – than any other publication in the Southern Hemisphere. Mostly because of their inability to Employ clean Journalists and Commenters.. They are a “toe the line” mob. A nightmare!

    If you could personally bathe daily the men and women of the National Mess Party, I would for my part try very hard to get them to resign, and find jobs cleaning up Auckland. It needs it.

    In the meantime – thanks Pete.

    • “It is exceedingly difficult to think of anything worthwhile that the Opposition has done in the last 30 years.”

      It depends on how hard you look and what your prejudices are.

      Budget 2015: Benefits rise in bid to tackle child poverty

      The package, announced in the Governnment’s Budget on Thursday, will give families on benefits with children a $25-a-week boost to their incomes, while-low income working families will get at least $12.50 a week extra.

      The increase to benefits is the first, beyond inflation, since 1977.

      https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/68742199/null

      Every Government does good things as well as questionable things as well as making poor decisions, or make changes that turn out to have negative effects.

      • Kay 27.1.1

        Still trying to push that load of bullshit Pete? Points for persistence I suppose.
        Say something often enough and you’ll believe it’s true. I guess you have to keep telling yourself because the cold hard truth that’s it’s nothing more than Natz propaganda is too much for you to cope with.

        We all need to call out posters who persist in pushing alleged wonderful things or crimes made by any Government that are known to be blatantly false or grossly exaggerated. They keep pushing it, we keep calling them out.

        Happy New Year.

      • Jum 27.1.2

        And what did your owned political dementors steal from the beneficiaries via richardson and co before then?

        Not to mention what your party of the greedy did to remove any financial or dignified advantage of that $25. You must be so f grateful for the short attention spans of so many Kiwis. But I certainly won’t forget your greed, your self-interest, your self-interested membership of global fiscal tentacles.

        You and your greedy philosophy to benefit the monied destroyed these people’s lives and every word you type is tainted with selfishness.

        • Pete George 27.1.2.1

          You’re a long way of target here. I have had nothing to do with any of what you claim.

        • Robert Guyton 27.1.2.2

          Yeah, Pete – we “won’t forget your greed, your self-interest, your self-interested membership of global fiscal tentacles”!!
          Ya rotter!

          • Pete George 27.1.2.2.1

            I have no idea what you’re on about Robert. What you have quoted has no connection to me, even though you’ve implied that it has. Looks dishonest to me.

            • Robert Guyton 27.1.2.2.1.1

              Just teasing’ ya, Pete; Jum seems to know (or at least think) something about you that provoked him to post those words in your honour. You’re very serious at the tail end of the year; I hope the new year provides you with the opportunity to let your hair down a little, loosen your truss a bit and enjoy life; 2019 going to be the full 365 days – pace yourself, Pete!

              • “Just teasing’ ya, Pete”

                No, you were making up bull to smear me. Claiming ‘just teasing’ is a slimy non-excuse when called on it.

                I’m quite happy with how I pace myself.

                It just came to my attention today that you either misunderstood or made something up:

                Open Mike 24/12/2018

                You haven’t been banned. After repeatedly ignoring requests and warnings you are currently on moderation, meaning comments need to be cleared. That’s because you have proven untrustworthy too many times.

              • WeTheBleeple

                Scenious.

                Experienced this twice. New Plymouth 1980’s punk (and mushroom) scene, all manner of art, bands, comics, books, albums, clothing etc. NZ 2000’s, comedy scene that emerged in Kitty O’Briens but boomed around the emergence of The Classic. Many famous names cutting their teeth. Many many laughs now enjoyed worldwide.

  28. Pablo 28

    From a small progressive site to a much bigger one, congrats. Different cups of tea but generally on the same side, so may yours be another productive year in defence of what is good and just.

    • mickysavage 28.1

      Same to you Pablo. I enjoyed your recent Trump post. Any thoughts on us running it here with attribution?

      • Dennis Frank 28.1.1

        The most interesting bit: “suspicions emerging in print that he is addicted to the prescription stimulant Adderol (which is a 25th amendment grounds for removal”.

        Watching the Dems voting to install a fundamentalist christian as president would be a thrilling experience for leftists the world over, d’ye think?? Anyway, the fascinating question is will Congress subpoena his doctor for confirmation (and will the doctor be as keen to testify as his lawyer).

        • Pablo 28.1.1.1

          Dennis:

          The story about Trump’s possible addiction to prescription medicine surfaced in the media but died quickly. I have a feeling it will resurface once the Dems take over the committees responsible for investigating his behaviour and then yes, his doctors could well be summoned to testify under oath. You may recall that the White House physician who he had initially was forced to resign after Trump nominated him for a cabinet job because of allegations that he passed around pills and was drunk on duty. That guy as well as the present WH doctor could well wind up sitting across the table from those committees. Should be interesting.

      • Pablo 28.1.2

        Micky: Thanks for that. You are welcome to use it is you think it might appeal to your readers.

  29. Marcus 29

    I forget the name of that pre-08 election hooton/trotter hosted messageboard which Trotter never returned to so it became hooton’s stream of consciousness anti Labour argument briefly interrupted by anyone who could be bothered to engage. But in amongst the red whine appeared a comment announcing ‘The Standard’ with a link, declaring there had to be a left political blog. Quite right.

    Robinsod. Why was he ever banned. In years to come when I’m recalling that old blog called The Standard, I’ll always remember Robinsod lol

  30. Observer Tokoroa 30

    About Bribery and Corruption

    The General Election September 2017, which brought MMP to life and dumped the National Mess came as a massive shock to Party “that cares only for the few”.

    That “few ” being a few Newspaper Millionaires, A few large Businesses that still refuse to pay its Staff the proper wages. A Future that removed the possibility of the ordinary New Zealander to ever afford to buy His/her own home.

    It also prevented the normal renter from gaining even a small income – to have even the tiniest amount of money to live upon and raise family.

    Well Done Sir John Key. The Queen of England has Knighted you. Well done Billy English, the same Dame has Knighted you. You have handed out the most massive Poverty this nation has ever suffered.

    To put it politely, You Wealthy useless lots are scum and thieves.

    In that Election you promised each wealthy person over $100. You promised each worker $25.

    I may have my numbers a little wrong. I apologise for that. But I must ask that NO Political Party in any Election must ever BRIBE any voter with MONEY. Even if the money is provided by The Brethren or the Destiny or Whatever. Or by Mrs Boag or David Farrar.

    National Mess has scummed itself forever, by endeavouring to buy the Votes ($100 for the Wealthy, $25 for the worker).

    And on top of that they have dragged the Queen of England into their National Mess.

  31. Observer Tokoroa 31

    The intelligent journalist (yes there has been one ) GK Chesterton, England (1874-1936), described himself as a person who wrote on the back of Advertisements.

    The modern Journalist is a Goebbles. Operating under the pseudo word “Media” for the cunning Wealthy.

  32. Exkiwiforces 32

    I would like to say thank you for a wonderful blog site and I’ve still got that pile of cash I was meant to deposit into The Standard bank account on my last visit to NZ.

    This site and 5 other sites (the daily blog, Pablo’s site, Wings over New Zealand Forum site, the Greater Transport blog for my rail fix and old Trotters blog) are the only NZ blogs I comment. But I spend a fair bit here or over at WONZ.

    I’m not the usual type of lefty or the hairy unwashed as some of fellow bloggers say to me at another site dealing with Defence related issues. But I hope what I’ve post here explains or gives an understanding or my rather some times blunt reply on what goes on in the mind of service personal at Tactical or at Strategic level and or from my own experience on Warlike or Peacekeeping operations. If some still at The Standard think that having a Peacekeeping focus Defence Force is the easiest and the cheapest way than maintaining a Warlike Defence Force? Please think again as Peacekeeping is far more dangerous than fighting some mad bloke wearing a dish dash armed with an AK- 47 or firing an SA-7 at you than some one who really doesn’t give a shit about basic human rights where rape or cutting one’s limbs off is more efficient and effective than shooting someone while wearing civilian or a mix of civilian/ military clothing.

    Yes I’ve had a boot up the backside from Lyn over the White Poppy article after I had one to many rums on ANZAC Day and when I got to Singers 2 days later, I then realised i probably shouldn’t have written it. The other is getting a one mth ban from Bill when old Wei popped up and I call him out for what he was for and thence why I’m a little gun shy IRT old mate Mark of late atm.

    I would like to write some posts on Defence, CC effects from a Military POV or NZ Sea Lanes Of Command a number of other areas in which I have an interest in. But every time I write something it turns out to be a War and Peace like paper / essay type which would more likely bore the shit out of most people here.
    Any tips or tropic that you would like to discuss would be most helpful as have an awful amount of time now.

    Cheers and best wishers the year ahead and for another 10yrs.

    Exkiwiforces from a rather dry (should be wet) Darwin. Bloody CC atm we need to fix this shit up.

    • RedLogix 32.1

      Well I’m in Weipa at the moment and have plenty of wet today.

      Cyclone Penny was only a Cat 1 landfall a few hours ago, went right over the top of us. My first cyclone, but really not much worse than a typical NZ storm.

      Still it’s the second one in four weeks, it seems every moderately well organised low that gets into the gulf this year intensifies rapidly. Fortunately this one only had 24 hours or so over water before it turned back towards us.

      As for our marxist mate Mark … well it’s always better to talk these things through. All the alternatives are worse. It’s the best justification for why The Standard exists in my mind.

    • McFlock 32.2

      I’d be interested in those articles.

      I’m not a big writer, but in some respects trimming down to a word limit is more difficult than space-filling.

      I tend to write in my conversational style, so I have lots of side-comments and redundancies that can be trimmed. There’s the Hemingway idea about never writing sentences longer than twelve words. It forces you to use more precise language. It also ensures distinct concepts are kept separate. That’s an essential step to making one 20,000 word essay twenty 1,000 word articles. Numbers don’t count as words 🙂

      • RedLogix 32.2.1

        Hi … we’ve had a few good debates; sometimes going over the edge into snark, but generally any rancour has been short-lived thankfully. I appreciate the challenge and your honesty.

        As for length; when I discovered that any email longer than 1000 words never gets read it became a wonderful gambit. I could always go back and say “hey didn’t you read this?” 🙂

      • lprent 32.2.2

        I’d be interested in those posts as well.

        As I think that most people here are aware I have a finely tuned sense for when people are behaving badly on a tactical or strategic level. That is primarily a side-effect of reading far too much history over the years and in particular the history of conflict and political misdirection.

        It appears to an inherent part of almost* human society that I have ever looked at above the size of a small band (and seems to be common there as well). Sometimes cycles up into systematic societal violence, but often just bubbles below. But it is the reason that every surviving stable society maintains reserve powers that are draconian and forces to back them to limit a spiral into extreme stupidity.

        I’d prefer to not have to use either, but I also think that both need to be precise and well trained respectively.

        And that is before you start to consider natural disasters and disaster shock issues.

        * Bushman society? I’m still skeptical.

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