The Standard under a Labour led Government

Written By: - Date published: 9:58 am, January 28th, 2018 - 109 comments
Categories: greens, jacinda ardern, labour, Media, The Standard, The Standard line - Tags:

What will happen to the Standard in these post Jacinda days?

What I believe is different this year is we really have a fresh government.

Different in content and in tone.

I don’t believe we’ve had that context for nearly a decade at The Standard.

It’s less than two weeks to go before the Labour-led government completes its first 100 days in office. You know that list already. Planning seems to be working, as an actual thing.

In Martinborough last week the Labour caucus planned how to address the full year.

So how does a site like this deal with such an abrupt change in the tone of political leadership?

The team some of us belong to and support run the joint. And those of us who worked hard to achieve that we can own that.

As commentators on The Standard we have neither a caucus nor a plan. Nor should we. But we can think, and improve.

We can reserve the right to keep complaining and debating and expecting more. The Labour-led coalition is achieving what it promised, putting a premium on achieving stuff fast to show that it can be trusted, and to show that it consists of many good people doing good. That does not change our ability to critique power in all its forms from here.

Nor does it mean that there is a hive-mind, or that such non-existent mind may need changing.

But this change in government is a big change in context. So in the absence of a plan:

What would you like more of?

What kind of topics?

What kind of writers?

Can we do baby photos and puppies now?

Can we do more than critique?

What does The Standard do really well that needs to be built on?

How might our tone change now that the left are in power and rolling it out pretty fast?

Be good or your ass will be moderated.

109 comments on “The Standard under a Labour led Government”

  1. Carolyn_Nth 1

    From the front page blurb: How should the Standard adapt to the new Government?

    The post somewhat pulls back from this position, but it remains a bit of a sub text.
    The Standard is not a political, or human entity. And the participants are not a hive mind.

    e.g.: What does The Standard do really well that needs to be built on?

    How might our tone change now that the left are in power and rolling it out pretty fast?

    Why should we be restricted, or change our ways to suit a/this Labour-led government?

    it’s good if some people work to improve their contributions…. but “improve” is somewhat subjective.

    Not sure that is “good” enough for you?

    • Sam 1.1

      It takes a special kind of person to be able to resist conforming to false understandings. So if you are not feared then people take no notice but they know when I say something, for example, I mean it. People want to cross swords with me then they must be willing to get stabbed. If I set out to do what is necessary to do, and people set out to teach me then we fight. So to avoid a fight I make quite sure normies understand that I will fight. It’s as simple as that. In this place there is zero interest in being validated because there is no profit in it.

  2. Sanctuary 2

    The main job is to keep Labour from drifting to the centre and kowtowing to the entrenched neoliberal elites. But also show patience, and advocacy must be done in a positive way. Be a Momentum, act as an online left wing ginger group and advocate for MPs and policies that further socialism and name heroes and on the other hand don’t be afraid to single out those MPs those who are roadblocks to moving the party left in government.

    When it comes to the right – show no mercy and aim to completely exclude them from the dialogue. Do not accept their narrative. The aim should be to drag the Overton window as far to the left as possible over the time Labour is in government.

    • red-blooded 2.1

      I second your comments about patience, advocacy and positivity, Sanctuary. I think TS has a role as a ginger group and it shouldn’t be afraid to criticise when there’s good reason for doing so, but I’d also like to see more exploration of positive stories. And I think we have to accept that there’s a difference between a compromise (a reality of coalition government) and a betrayal.

      I wonder if there’s a way to choose a focus (maybe a new bill coming up, or an issue that’s been raised on Open Mike), choose representative questions from a range gathered over a couple of days or a week and then invite an appropriate minister or spokesperson to respond? It may well be that people here on TS would have different questions to those being canvassed in the mainstream media. That might not be practical, but you asked for suggestions, and that’s one from me.

      • Rosemary McDonald 2.1.1

        “….choose representative questions from a range gathered over a couple of days or a week and then invite an appropriate minister or spokesperson to respond? ”

        Yes.
        Yes.
        Yes.
        Please.

      • patricia bremner 2.1.2

        Excellent suggestion.

      • Stuart Munro 2.1.3

        A very good idea.

        We’re not trying to beat them up – but we often have reservations about policies or policy directions. Sometimes they can explain – and sometimes they might want to review.

      • JanM 2.1.4

        Great ideas

    • The aim should be to drag the Overton window as far to the left as possible over the time Labour is in government.

      After three decades of Labour being a right-wing party it’s going to be difficult to drag them back to the Left.

      They’ve always done better socially than National but they still refuse to believe that the present capitalist ownership system simply doesn’t work. That it always results in inequality and the eventual collapse of society as the rich take ever more while producing nothing.

      • weka 2.2.1

        they’re more left than they used to be. Think I am wrong? Consider the Labour Party with Shearer as PM and the Paganis as senior advisors 😉

        • Ed 2.2.1.1

          Yes that is true.
          And they still are about to sign the TPP.

          This quote from Orwell’s Animal Farm comes to mind.

          “The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say.”

          • weka 2.2.1.1.1

            Sure, I’m not saying that Labour are left wing. I’m saying they’ve moved left form where they were and that it’s possible for them to move further left still.

            So there is hope to shift the Overton Window.

            • Ed 2.2.1.1.1.1

              Yes there is hope.
              Signing the TPP however will make it a lot harder for a real left wing government to make those changes.

        • patricia bremner 2.2.1.2

          So true!

    • Peter 2.3

      Treat them like the Tory lightweight they are (God I hope I am wrong ) keep them on there toes, give them credit when when they deserve it.

    • Ed 2.4

      “The aim should be to drag the Overton window as far to the left as possible over the time Labour is in government.”

      Totally agree.
      I do wonder whether this is achievable.
      Like Draco, I sense Labour has been too compromised by 35 years of involvement with this poisonous and toxic cult.
      The New Zealand Labour Party has forgotten its roots. It is not a socialist party – instead it has morphed into a capitalist group.
      Yes it is better than National.
      But signing the TPP and other tinkering actions demonstrate it cannot ( in its present state) enact policies to create a fair society nor can it act quickly and decisively to mitigate climate change.

      • UncookedSelachimorpha 2.4.1

        I tend to agree – but it is possible for Labour to change from within I believe. Remember UK Labour was as right-wing as they come, but now we have Jeremy Corbyn leading along a very different path (imagine that – someone actually leading with principles, instead of just chasing polls).

        I was discussing with my sister and her partner last week – who could NZ’s ‘Jeremy Corbyn’ be? They suggested it could have been Helen Kelly if she was still with us (damn it that she is not!!). Who else is around? Someone with a strong track record of values and principle and also political skills. Maybe some one who doesn’t yet have the long track record but could develop that way – Chloe Swarbuck or someone..?

        • Ed 2.4.1.1

          Only way I see it is a 20% Green vote under Marama Davidson forcing Labour left

          • Chuck 2.4.1.1.1

            If the Greens were @ 20% Labour support would be decimated.

            Labour cannot go further left without bringing a large % of the current center-left / center-right voters with them.

            That is the issue you have Ed.

            No good moving around the current pool of left-wing voters…you need to substantially grow that pool.

            • Hanswurst 2.4.1.1.1.1

              Regardless of how realistic 20% for the Green Party is, that’s a phenomenally stupid post. If the Greens were on 20% under Marama Davidson, the electorate would have moved significantly to the left and your current assessment of what centre-left or centre-right means would be utterly irrelevant.

              • Chuck

                My point is valid…the left cannot bastardize the same voter pool between themselves, they need to take a large % of voters who would not normally support them to the left.

                It’s phenomenally stupid to assume you can wave a magic wand and have such a massive move to the left under the current conditions. Just look at the polls before the last election and when the Greens were doing well, labour suffered. This is your reality Hanswurst, so let’s see if between the Greens and Labour they can achieve a significant move to the left over time.

              • red-blooded

                Sorry, Hanswurst, but that’s wishful thinking. When the Greens vote was at about 15-17% some months out from the election, Labour’s vote was decimated (about 23%). With the ructions within the Greens, the media noise around Meteria and Labour’s change in leadership, the vote shuffled around, ending with Labour on 37% and the Greens on 6%.

                That wasn’t the result of the electorate moving left or right, it was votes on the left shuffling around. Chuck is correct that we need to grow the total number of voters on the left, not just reapportion them. That’s the issue that Labour confronts.

                • weka

                  I think where votes move is more complex than that. UK example,

                  https://lordashcroftpolls.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/2-Voter-flows.jpg

                  But assuming there was a big movement around between Labour and the Greens, this doesn’t preclude both Labour and the Greens increasing their vote (so I think Chuck is wrong if he is saying that’s all that can happen and thus no shifting of the Overton Window).

                  The Greens have already pulled Labour left, that’s what happened last year. I don’t see why that can’t continue to an extent.

                  And Shaw has said he thinks that one of the big factors in why the govt changed was because of issues like water, poverty, housing etc.

                  We need at least 3 terms from Labour and the Greens, so they have time to address those core issues seriously and gain the confidence of more voters who are swing voters, or even conservatives. There’s also the issue of what will happen if Peters can’t do another term.

                  I think moving the Overton Window isn’t just a matter of getting votes, it’s about making fundamental changes within society so people then want to vote for the parties doing the good and right things. We want those votes to move long term, not just for a few elections.

                  • red-blooded

                    You and I are not necessarily going to agree on currents within Labour, Weka. I think talk of the Greens “moving Labour left” is simplistic and misses the mark. There were plenty or us within the party, working over time to move it back further to the left. I used to vote Green and joined Labour specifically because I realised that we would not achieve a left-leaning government without a strong Labour Party, and I wanted it to be a more genuinely left (and environmentally minded) party. Plenty of others had the same ambition – basically reclaiming the party and pulling it back towards its roots.

                    I don’t know about Chuck, but I’m certainly not saying that we can’t grow the vote on the left, or shift the electorate further to the left. I do think that this depends to a large extent on convincing people who are currently uncommitted or in the middle of the current spectrum, though. Simply moving further to the left leaves those people out of the equation. It has to be more subtle than that and we have to accommodate those people’s concerns to an extent as well as trying to convince them to shift some of their thinking or see solutions that they hadn’t considered. A genuine shift is a long-term process and Chuck was certainly right to point out that it’s not enough to have Labour and the Greens fighting it out to capture the same pool of voters. Labour has to consider the voters in the middle of the spectrum, even if it tries to move the spectrum further to the left (and so the middle-ground shifts).

                    I do agree that the electorate were concerned about issues like water, poverty and housing. Labour and the Greens had both worked hard throughout the last term to not only highlight these issues but to present tangible ways to address them and I think the convergence/overlapping of messaging was helpful in showing the team in waiting (the MOU) – a realistic option.

                    And yes, we do need a long term Labour/Green government and yes, we do need to consider what happens to NZF and their constituency when Winston retires.

                    • weka

                      I didn’t know that about you moving from Greens to Labour, nice one.

                      “You and I are not necessarily going to agree on currents within Labour, ”

                      Hmm, I think we are probably on the same-ish page here. The Greens pulling Labour left doesn’t mean there aren’t solid left wing people in Labour. In fact the only reason the GP has had that influence is because there are strong LW politics in Labour.

                      What I meant is that the presence of a party to the left of Labour that is attracting votes will have a natural pull in that direction. It’s not even a criticism of Labour, it’s just a normal dynamic I think and would happen whatever the party was that was to the left.

                      That dynamic wouldn’t have happened if the Greens had for instance become more centrist and tried to appeal to that part of the electorate.

                      So a both/and thing re Labour and the Greens.

                      There’s some good stuff in Shaw’s speech about the need to include everyone across the political spectrum, esp those whose voices haven’t been heard and needs haven’t been met but who aren’t necessarily LW. I’m going to do a post on it, but I was thinking of that re the Overton Window. Not so much the need to gain votes, but of changing the deeper culture. Of course we need more votes to do that, so the voting things is very pertinent, but not sufficient I think.

                      I guess I’d like us to start imagining the Greens on 20% and Labour doing well. Because that’s what we need.

  3. Molly 3

    Can we do more than critique?
    The reason I have TS as a daily read is because of the well-reasoned critique that it provides amongst the rest.

    What does The Standard do really well that needs to be built on?
    IMHO, not expecting conformity and consensus amongst it’s authors and comments on posts. As a fluid construct, this sometimes goes awry, but after time, often reestablishes equilibrium.

    How might our tone change now that the left are in power and rolling it out pretty fast?
    One suggestion is to stop referring to the Labour Party as “the left”. Just write what is factual – the Labour led coalition. Whether they are what many of us would acknowledge as “left” is yet to be seen. Please don’t casually interchange the word – which has a vast spectrum of meanings – with an entirely accurate – Labour-led coalition.

    Also, many of the commenters here retain their tone, regardless of what they are critiquing. Are you really implying a change of tone is necessary because the critiques are now going to be with decisions made by a different government?

  4. Pat 4

    Does anything need to change?

    ‘Why “The Standard”?
    The Standard newspaper – from where our masthead comes – was founded by labour movement activists in the 1930s. They used it as a vehicle to share their views with a broader audience – a perspective they felt the mainstream media was representing poorly. We think the same is true today.

    What’s your political ‘angle’?
    We come from a variety of backgrounds and our political views don’t always match up but it’d be fair to say that all of us share a commitment to the values and principles that underpin the broad labour movement and we hope that perspective will come through strongly as you read the blog.’

    About

    • Kat 4.1

      Imagine Aunty Herald suddenly replaced with The Standard, with all current circulation, print and internet readership continuing but our content. Lynton Crosby and Mark Textor would be impressed.

  5. Antoine 5

    > How should the Standard adapt to the new Government?

    Disgracefully!

    Is the best advice I can give you 🙂

    A.

  6. Observer Tokoroa 6

    The Standard could have been in a position to form and become the NZ Blog Par Excellence.

    It may now be too late to recover from the often rubbishy off topic ramblings that it has favoured and cultivated over recent years.

    LPrent it must be said has done massive work. Managing tirelessly the hardware side of the Blog. Full Congratulations to Lyn.

    But the childish stuff presented by persons who rant on and on about 30yrs old disasters such as neoliberalism – clog up both the present and the future.

    Also the very free reign given to national party trolls – undermines the validity of the Standard.

    While fine authors are dumped from the Standard the endless stupidities of the capitalist national government are praised over and over, day in and day out by trolls. Dragging the Standard off down to the landfill dump.

    Andrew Little and Jacinda Ardern – along with Maori high Performers – have reshaped NZ politics for years to come. Between them they have taken tiny New Zealand around the Globe.

    Let us present a Blog worthy of them .
    .

    • Rosemary McDonald 6.1

      “But the childish stuff presented by persons who rant on and on about 30yrs old disasters such as neoliberalism – clog up both the present and the future.”

      What’s that saying about forgetting history and repeating it???

      No…let the ‘children’ remind the Incumbents at every possible opportunity that that path leads to further misery.

      No excuses for failure to shake off the neo -liberal, free market yoke…

      • Louis 6.1.1

        They already know and it’s not about forgetting history Rosemary, but the endless rant after hate fueled rant leads to nowhere and change nothing. After a while, the constant drone only becomes counter productive. I completely agree with Observer Tokoroa’s entire comment.

          • Ed 6.1.1.1.1

            ?

            [I just had to flaff about shifting screeds of comments off to open mike. The ‘full stop’ was my nice way of indicating that I’d really appreciate not having to repeat the exercise off the back of this sorely truncated sub-thread taking off all over again] – Bill

        • Ed 6.1.1.2

          I agree with this bit.
          The Daily Blog does not tolerate trolls.

          “Also the very free reign given to national party trolls – undermines the validity of the Standard.
          While fine authors are dumped from the Standard the endless stupidities of the capitalist national government are praised over and over, day in and day out by trolls. Dragging the Standard off down to the landfill dump.

  7. adam 7

    No discussions about economics.

    Halt all talk on intersectionality

    Never talk about racism.

    Stop mentioning women as human beings.

    Then I’m sure people will be happy they towing the line of this new government, and you will have done your part to promote mediocrity.

    • red-blooded 7.1

      Adam, I don’t know how you’ve formed your opinions about the beliefs and priorities of this government, but they’re way off. Links that show them as indifferent to economic issues, racism, women’s issues and intersectionality please?

      • weka 7.1.1

        I think he was talking about TS not the govt 😉 Or at least it was a dark comment about how TS could serve the Labour govt better. You know, if we did those things then we’d stop being a thorn in Labour’s side. I find adam’s darkness a challenge at times, but he’s not wrong in his satire of what some might want for this site.

        • red-blooded 7.1.1.1

          When he says that halting discussion of these issues would be “towing the line of this new government” he’s making an assertion about the values of the government. There’s dark, and then there’s bullshit…

          • adam 7.1.1.1.1

            Maybe stand back from the elephant once in a while.

          • weka 7.1.1.1.2

            which values are you meaning? I thought it was about the whole thing of how not hassling Labour (or holding them to account) works well for Labour and Labour would be happier. That does strike me as a value.

            But if you mean that Labour has certain values around economics, identity politics etc, I think that’s not what adam was talking about, because obviously Labour support identity politics for instance.

            Adam doesn’t look like he’s in the mood for clarifying, so we can only speculate what he meant.

            • adam 7.1.1.1.2.1

              Just made the Whanue lunch.

              Was a totally around the TS and people who comment here, and not the government. If I have a go at labour, nz 1st or the greens I’ll do it directly.

              That said, if people thought my comments were solely about about labour, and not nz 1st, nor the greens as well, then I’m bitterly disappointed in my own utter lack of clarity in putting them down as well.

      • adam 7.1.2

        Was not the post around what the standard should be writing and it’s posts?

        I’d say missed the bowl overflowing in my comments.

  8. Anon 8

    There seem to be some who want this to be an echo chamber, I’m fairly an outsider but I say let people challenge your beliefs – in defending them you might just convince someone of your case. Don’t simply dismiss people who disagree with you, or whose inclination is towards pessimism, as trolls.

    • mickysavage 8.1

      Agreed Anon. I find the right wingers can provide the most interesting comments. And it is good for lefties to confront right wing beliefs to critique them.

      • greywarshark 8.1.1

        How about cutting the RW off before a possibly good thing turns into an irritating bindweed rooted in and spreading all over, suffocating and obfuscating what would otherwise be a bright discussion.

        Some people come here and seem to love setting RW up as an opponent. If you want to play squash go to another court is my feeling.

        And let’s stay robust. If we want to throw a pointed word sometimes why rush in and interfere, this isn’t a kid’s playground. But basic ground rules should be had, not saying they should be abolished – just not so bloody quick, to ‘eave half a brick.

        • Incognito 8.1.1.1

          I’d vote to have the flow and exchange of ideas as free and uninhibited as possible and this means no brakes or cutting off of “the RW” as this could be perceived as a form of censorship based on personal and/or political preference.

          Dirty Politics showed that some blog sites colluded (…) and anything that gives a hint of partisanship, prejudice & discrimination, or collusion should be avoided as much as feasible IMHO.

          Basic rules are already in place here on TS and the moderation works well although it comes at a cost …

          Just my 2 cts 😉

  9. Molly 9

    🙂 – second time today. Meant to be reply to adam above, who made me laugh with his suggestions at 7.0

  10. patricia bremner 10

    This is a welcome opportunity to thank the moderators. You do great work.

    • red-blooded 10.1

      I’m going to risk replying to this comment. I think most of the moderators do great work. I don’t think it’s great when moderators get personal and make ad hominem attacks, and that does happen at times. I know TS has a policy for commenters, but I don’t see one for moderators. I think that’s an area that could definitely be strengthened.

      • weka 10.1.1

        I’m going to do a post about moderation on TS at some point. In the meantime, have a look at this,

        How about a bit of balance on Hillary Clinton?

        I have more to say about that, but will do so when I put up a post.

        (edit, sorry, I realise that’s under your post, which is a bit awkward, but all good 🙂 ).

        • red-blooded 10.1.1.1

          No problem with the link – a good reminder of an earlier discussion. I’ll be interested to read your post. This is an issue that’s affected me recently (and I still think, unfairly) and I do think some moderators cross the line between monitoring debate and trying to shut it down or dominate it. There’s also a difference between rebutting an argument and personal abuse, and that line gets crossed by one moderator in particular far too often. And bans shouldn’t come out of nowhere – that’s what warnings are for.

          Anyway, I don’t want to derail this thread, but I do think it’s an issue that needs to be actively reflected on, not just defended.

  11. Stuart Munro 11

    For myself I think the government needs to answer some mighty tough questions about things like the TPPA, 1080, immigration and land sales.

    On the TPPA – what is the full cost benefit breakdown (and if you haven’t done one how dare you propose to sign on our behalf?)

    On 1080 – why do we have this broad spectrum program when it is localized and integrated pest management approaches that are effective?

    On immigration – what is the base level you’re calling ‘skilled’ to allow large numbers of cheap migrants into agriculture, horticulture, and apparently teaching? Don’t you get that this is a short term approach with negative long term consequences?

    Why by all gods and little fishes are you still letting foreigners buy land? Better than 80% of the country strongly opposes it – and most of these ‘investors’ have done and will do nothing for our country.

    Labour of course does not answer questions, the idea that they might be publicly accountable is one they would prefer died quietly – and the Gnats are simply crooks – the public interest doesn’t interest them at all, so they’ll never hold Labour to account.

    If we want better governance we shall have to demand it. The Standard could choose to play such a role.

    • Ed 11.1

      Agree totally

    • red-blooded 11.2

      Which brings me back to my suggestion at 2.1 – intended to be a practical way of providing the chance to get answers about issues of common concern. After all, we’re unlikely to find Ministers and MPs simply dropping by to see what people are worried about and answering questions thrown at random into the Open Mike section. But we could try to set up a process that would allow for questions and responses.

    • weka 11.3

      Stuart, a Guest Post on any of those topics would be welcome. If you are interested, grab one of the authors’ attention and we’ll walk you through the process.

      • Stuart Munro 11.3.1

        I’d be glad to.

        • Unicus 11.3.1.1

          All very well to ask The Standard to hold Labour to account but remember that Jacinda’s government is already forced to contend with an avowedly anti-Labour Fairfax press and a NZ Herald 40 per cent owned by Murdoch’ s Newscorp – with its international dedication to disseminate anti-progressive hate .

          “Can we do more than critique ”

          The Standard does a very good job of sticking to its antecedent ‘s principles and purpose.but could be a little more conciencious and hard edged crusading for valuable LG issues . The current TPP article is a case in point providing a government policy perspective not available on MSM

          The new government deserves the support of a strong pro active Standard without the constant need for obligatory critique’s –

          As we have seen already print MSM has a huge we’ll lubricated shit bucket to dump on Jacinda and her Government at every opportunity – does the Standard really want to join that tacky chorus

          • Stuart Munro 11.3.1.1.1

            I too am concerned by the virulent bias of the mainstream press. But their bias is consistently pro-National, which is to say neo-liberal and favouring entrenched systematic corruption. The MSM, like the opposition, are unpleasant but dysfunctional.

            They are not producing public interest critique, and although a number of Labour initiatives are very positive, some, like those I mention, deserve the kind of full development and explication that were once produced by a competent public funded media.

            Think of it as a quality assurance function – to achieve better governance we necessarily focus on shortcomings that can be remedied.

            • Unicus 11.3.1.1.1.1

              No problem accepting critques on ” shortcomings that can be remedied” – no government is perfect this one will be no different .

              The moral flaws in MSM are not The Standards responsibility to correct however-glaring and constant they may be .

              The Standard has its own voice and its own audience – let it dedicate itself to serving that constituency by enhancing the noble course it has set for itself

              Let MSM till its final day wallow in the filth of its own making

              • Ed

                If I were the government I would renationalise the airwaves and put them out of business

                • Stuart Munro

                  There is certainly some merit in the argument that media should not be owned by foreign entities like Murdoch or Gina Rinehart. This is one of Speight’s policies, and one of his better ones at that.

                  • Ed

                    Speight?

                  • Unicus

                    Agreed-
                    As a matter of supporting the lesser of two evils – it’s not pleasant supporting the authoritarian actions of a tin pot dictator – Fiji was absolutely within its rights to send APN Fairfax and Newscorp packing .Just as New Zealand would be –

                    We!’re not talking about attacking the “free media ” here .

                    Corporate media companies sell information – true or false- with the aim of returning profit to themselves and their shareholders .People working within these companies do so on the understanding that their task is to write marketable news.This within the prescribed boundaries of company editorial preference.In Newscorp and Farfax’s case that means a deliberate distortion of the intentions and actions of progressive political forces everywhere – including obviously New Zealand

                    Such companies have long abandoned self describing as members of a “Free Media” – and their journalist similarly are no longer ” Impartial messengers ” rather they are described as – Fairfax reporter – or – celebrity columnist or some other nebulous title.

                    These companies operate in opposition to New Zealands national interest – just as in Fiji it is within our Governments right to demand their departure.

          • Louis 11.3.1.1.2

            Unicus +1000 couldn’t agree more.

          • alwyn 11.3.1.1.3

            You state that
            “a NZ Herald 40 per cent owned by Murdoch’ s Newscorp”

            I think you are wrong on that claim.
            NZME which owns the Herald, separated from APN which did have a 14.9% (not 40%) Murdoch shareholding in 2016.
            Murdoch’s Newscorp then sold all its shares in NZME and currently doesn’t own any shares of the company
            This from
            http://www.aut.ac.nz/study-at-aut/study-areas/communications/research/journalism,-media-and-democracy-research-centre/journalists-and-projects/new-zealand-media-ownership-report
            Where do you get the 40% you claim that Rupert owns?

            • Unicus 11.3.1.1.3.1

              Accept I could be wrong here on the percentage of Newscorps interest in the Herald
              Wikipedia details APN morphed into HT&E which has Newscorp as ” one of two major shareholders .

              • alwyn

                That is still correct about HT&E I believe.
                However NZME had been separated out of the group, listed as a separate company and then Newscorp sold all its shares.
                HT&E still exists in Australia but has no ownership or interest in NZME and hence no ownership of the Herald.
                What a modest wee name they chose though when renaming APN.
                HT&E stands for “Here, There and Everywhere”.

                Don’t even consider buying into NZME. Bitter experience taught me that when Murdoch sells out of a business it is a real dog. By the time he gets out the companies the accounts only look good because the accountants have applied lipstick to a pig. Air New Zealand forgot that when they bought Ansett of Murdoch. That just about broke Air New Zealand which was then bailed out by the New Zealand Government.
                Mind you the Government should have let SIA buy Air New Zealand when they wanted to.

        • weka 11.3.1.2

          Great! Have a think about what you want to write. I’d suggest starting with a shorter post e.g. 300 – 500 words. There are some guidelines here,

          Contribute

          It would be good if you could include a title, and blurb and photo for the front page.

          When you have something ready, let me know and I’ll send you an email you can submit the text to (don’t use the one in the link, it goes to Lynn and I won’t see it).

          Let me know if have any questions.

  12. One Anonymous Bloke 12

    So long as authors and commenters at The Standard don’t get into the kind of National Party behaviours that the right wing blogs indulge in I think it’ll be ok.

    • Stunned mullet 12.1

      For those of us who don’t visit the blogs in question can you explain more fully.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 12.1.1

        Sure. The way the National Party interacts with the blogs in question was documented and exposed in Nicky Hager’s book, Dirty Politics, and summarised here. It’s also been covered extensively at The Standard, and by eg: David Fisher in The New Zealand Herald.

        I doubt this is a risk for The Standard because of the relative ethics and character of the people and parties in question.

  13. patricia bremner 13

    A suggestion. When a major speech such as Jame Shaw’s “The state of the planet”
    takes place, could that appear on the Standard for comment and to inform?

    All speeches appear on Scoop, but there is no exchange of ideas. We have that advantage.

    Legislation, speeches and focus groups could fund discussion.

    • Ed 13.1

      Good idea

    • weka 13.2

      I’ve just about finished a post about the speech, it will probably go up tomorrow.

      Mostly we put up posts that interest us and that we have the time for. In this case I didn’t put up the transcript/video on the day because I wanted to write a post about it (such a good speech). But quite often transcripts/videos do go up. It really depends if someone is around to do it.

      • weka 13.2.1

        it’s probably worth pointing out that the more time we have to spend moderating the less time we spend on posts. If the community self moderated more, there would be more posts going up.

  14. Incognito 14

    A very timely and pertinent Post, thank you. There always is room for improvement and this Post puts if fairly & squarely at our feet and rightly so IMO.

    Let me start by saying that the OP’s are generally of very high quality; they can be strongly worded and provocative (i.e. challenging and though-provoking).

    On the other hand, the comments vary widely in style and content, as one would expect. A (awful) lot could be said about the comment section here on TS but perhaps most important is to remind ourselves that we’re not alone with our devices. Here’s a trick: when commenting, imagine that you’re in a room full of people wearing masks and hearing every word you say. In other words, you do have an (mostly silent) audience! [This today’s comment illustrates it very well: https://thestandard.org.nz/manaakitanga/#comment-1440524%5D

    More tolerance and mutual respect; less ‘normativity’; agree to disagree – marks of a pluralistic society. Also, comments are almost never intended as personal (insults) in the first instance, i.e. play the ball and don’t shoot the messenger and don’t get hung up on the perceived tone (or just ignore and/or let it go …).

    Personally, I’d like to see much less focus on US politics, especially national/federal, although I’m aware that the boundaries between national and geo-politics can be very blurry when it comes to the US of A.

    I would like to see less partisan politics and tribalism, often under the umbrella of misguided ‘principle’ and/or ‘loyalty’ (for the sake of it?), and not an ‘echo chamber’ or group-think or ‘hive mind’. As is often said, politics is a contest of ideas, and if it becomes a contest of parties, first and foremost, it’ll easily become a competition between binaries with little bearing on real issues (quite the opposite, in fact). Please don’t ban/block ‘trolls’ or RWNJs out of hand or too quickly; they add to the TS dynamic in a unique way IMHO.

    As part of criticism I’d like to see fewer reactionary and more progressive and forward-looking stuff, i.e. trying to come up with alternatives and creative solutions (or wacky ideas even) that make people think rather than ‘returning fire’ straightaway without asking any questions first to attack any thinking (or thinker rather) outside the (preapproved or permitted) box (e.g. Overton window). Put differently, less commenting on stuff written & said by others (e.g. in MSM or SM or here on TS for that matter) and more original stuff (constructive criticism) for want of a better word.

    I’d like see more diversity of topics and writers. Ideally, I’d like see more ‘deep stuff’, e.g. in-depth analysis and/or pieces that span more than one major topic (area) and make connections that are crucial IMHO for full & real understanding of the major issues & problems and thus essential for real & lasting (meaningful) solutions.

    A technical request is whether it would be possible to collapse/expand long threads. This would also make it easier to follow the various sub-threads; having to scroll past the many comments can be off-putting, especially on a phone (not that I use one).

    I think that’ll do for now; apologies for the length 😉

    • greywarshark 14.1

      Just a thought Incognito. I don’t feel I have time to write a post but sometimes I will be looking up something and note all my links, present a bit of context, and put it in an appropriate pace, or in Open Mike. I can spend a lot of time on something affecting us or our wider world, but not get any comments and so don’t know what interest there was.

      But I note that people really like to write in on something they can work up good indignation about. Gaining knowledge and understanding so that people can write more than a yay or nay in one sentence as their contribution often seems to be more than many people have time for, or are willing to spend the time on.

      So I don’t know if a lot of deep thought goes on in many of the heads that visit here. Perhaps some would like to have a presence of sorts as Followers as Chris Trotter has showing on Bowalley Road.

      • Incognito 14.1.1

        I like your comments when they’re constructing an argument put in (a) context with links and invite further thinking & reading and not always and necessarily an instant reply – it would be short & superficial and just to acknowledge that I’ve read it 😉

        Like you I (can) take quite a bit of time to write even a brief comment but it is not all about the comment per se because I like to think and learn (educate myself) while I ponder the comment under construction. For this reason I don’t mind if nobody replies also because according to Lynn there are “currently approx 23x lurkers to commenters” (https://thestandard.org.nz/the-standards-most-commented-on-posts-of-2017/#comment-1431122) and in all likelihood someone will have read the comment.

        Many comments are fast & fleeting and more like banter but they are also important for the dynamic here on TS. Some commenters are very prolific and I frankly don’t know where they find the time & energy to keep this going virtually 24/7 and week after week …

        I guess we need fast as well as slow (hint: Daniel Kahneman).

        I’m afraid you lost me with your reference to Chris Trotter.

        • greywarshark 14.1.1.1

          Incognito
          Have a look at Bowalley Road and down the left hand column I think after the list of previous month’s/year’s offerings archived, there is a note of how many Followers there are to the blog and each has an image, I think he has about 260 now. I guess this means that everything that occurs on the site gets sent to their address. TS might like to do the same.

  15. RedBaronCV 15

    Labour seems to be Tony Blair than Jezza Corbyn what could go wrong. Too timid.

    But I’m assuming we want to have influence. After all we have as much right to be heard by our government as the special lobbyists trailing into parliament.

    When legislation comes out for submissions there are usually a range of questions & justifications that have shaped the legislation. Input before this stage happens, is the best time to shape what is up for comments. Notice how very few large entities comment to any degree – they have already been heard.

    I like some of the suggestions above –
    I think we could look at upcoming areas of legislation – and look at the range of things we would like included (and get a minister / labour MP along to answer the questions and push for our summaries to be included for legislation & comment ) .

    I see David Parker is talking about reopening the Overseas Investment Act for more comment now they know the TPPA date.
    Well what do we want to see in it.

  16. JanM 16

    “I’d like see more diversity of topics and writers. Ideally, I’d like see more ‘deep stuff’, e.g. in-depth analysis and/or pieces that span more than one major topic (area) and make connections that are crucial IMHO for full & real understanding of the major issues & problems and thus essential for real & lasting (meaningful) solutions”
    Absolutely!

  17. Michael 17

    Praise the Labour caucus when it keeps faith with the Movement’s principles. Excoriate it when it does not.

  18. McFlock 18

    To summarise articles and comments over the last nine years, on reflection they seem to come under a few main topic:

    1: highlight when the government does something stupid
    2: on occasion, give credit when the government does something good
    3: give background on nationwide and global political, social, and environmental topics (e.g. climate change, Rimutaka prison containers, water quality)
    4: argue for the author’s long term vision (utopian dreams can be useful as a target for incremental change)
    5: argue for specific policy advances that should be given consideration
    6: provide a platform for generally left/liberal politicians to talk about their beliefs and objectives, and maybe to get feedback from the commentariat.

    I think that’s pretty good, and can be useful no matter who is in government. I’d expect the proportions of 1 and 2 to change under the new government, though. Not because of any editorial agenda, but because I think this government might actually be competent and interested in helping people.

    • adam 18.1

      They can’t be as incompetent as the last lot.

      Especially in relation to the civil service.

      On that note, my money is that we are going to get a failed census becasue of the last woefully incompetent national government.

      Going to be lots of gnashing of teeth very soon. Coupled with lots of attempts by tory fools/tools to blame labour.

      Roll on Tuesday, 6 March 2018.

  19. carlite 19

    I think the main difference that should be considered when making substantial changes to this community/site is that this government actually stands for things and has promised to do much more than the previous government. This means we should be approaching it all differently.

    Labour have promised a lot and, while they have done well sticking to the promises in the first 100 days, I cannot see how they can get through all of it in the next three years. The only way we can get them to do the things they promised is to pressure then and critique them.

    It may sound counter-productive but people will forget the criticism if it produces results.

    • greywarshark 19.1

      Could also try offering suggestions based on –
      1 What someone else is doing in this country, who and where and for how long and too what effect, ie do some research and offer something worth while, write to the Minister with attached info. Then write back again two weeks later if haven’t had confirmation of receipt, and if did have, write back a month later and add something to what was originally written, some new info, new success, someone from overseas using it. Just supply so much info and be ready to back it up in person, or with informed advisor so it can’t be dismissed as ‘dreamers.

      2 What have they done overseas successfully? What have they managed cheaply and got people input? What have they done with business and corporates on side?
      What can government hold out to them so that they are prepared to add some extra duty, or process to their system.

      Pollies and their advisors might not know all you know. There is so much info and business here and overseas can channel it to them so that their product seems to be the answer to everything. So be people-powered policy-players thinking for ourselves the ideas that might work, and check if they do work – immediately but with short-term effect, or fairly quickly and with lengthy effect, or starting slowly but increasing exponentially.

      The unexpected is happening now frequently it seems. Scientists and observers have tried to extrapolate what they know but still surprise – up in northern waters in Scandinavia, a first mackerel was recorded in 2014, and recently it was tonnes – which was alarming as I hope they are going to be careful not to fish it out like they did with I think, cod. And there are orcas I think, which come after the mackerel. Heard it on Radionz today.

  20. reason 20

    The Labour coalition is ham strung by the Huge clean up bill our rock star Nact Govt left New Zealand…when they trashed our rivers and damaged everything else they touched.

    The banking sector also has NZ by the balls…. and could bring the government down relatively quickly …. Bankers like John Key would love to control or bring down a Labor led Government …
    .
    Tackling the multi billion dollar problems will take time to fix …. which trolls like james will try to exploit…. I say exploit the trolls …. use them to expand on topics and bring context to our problems.

    For National to get re-elected they need people to forget or not understand just how bad they were ….. So posters could use the trolls to bring up specific examples of how dishonest or horrible Collins/Benett/English etc were in Government….

    National need their misdeeds to disappear down the memory hole … Use trolls to keep the Nacts legacy alive and fresh … Talk about the stuff they want to bury.

    Author wise …It would be good to see some expert opinion … from people like Mike Joy …. for establishing the scale of Nationals damage ….. and making a plan to fix things…. maybe invitations to the likes of Joy, Hager etc

    There are also many things our coalition government could do or legislate for that would cost very little…. or in some instances save money ….. the standard could act like a extremely loose and argumentative think tank … posting about or pushing for these low cost changes.

    Maybe have links and ‘how to’ sections on activities outside the standard …. like writing to your mp, Newspaper editors etc

    In the movie ‘shock doctrine’, it ends with Naomi Kline extolling viewers to ‘make our governments make changes’.

    It would be good see the standard helping in efforts and unlocking the puzzle of how to …. ‘make them do it’.

  21. Sparky 21

    Different how exactly? CP-TPP still under way? Check.
    90 day law still in place? Check

    and on and on…….Same shit red bucket…..

  22. ropata 22

    I don’t care what happens to The Standard but I do care about the success of New Zealand. The best thing TS can do is help Kiwis to flourish, and this means largely supporting the Labour led Government, countering RW narratives, and showing the electorate how this Govt is working in their best interests.

    It also means continuing to smack down trolls & exposing the misdeeds of the old Nat administration, keeping them out of power for the foreseeable future.

    I hope and expect angry rants about capitalism, systemic injustice, elite criminality to continue as normal, but directed at the RWNJ community at home and abroad. All good if TS/TDB are seen as left wing loonies by some, it gives Labour room to move to the left without appearing too radical.

    It was interesting over the last few years seeing articles or commentary from TS appearing in Parliament’s Question Time. TS is a great resource for the Left and consistently high in Google search rankings.

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