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Winston takes Northland

Written By: - Date published: 8:30 pm, March 28th, 2015 - 309 comments
Categories: by-election, john key, labour, national, nz first, winston peters - Tags: ,

I was planning on posting this in the morning … but it seems pointless to wait!

Well. The only word to describe that is “a pasting”.

Winston was hugely ahead from the moment the first results dropped on the Electoral Commission’s wonderfully sturdy website, and it only got better and better for him from there.

This cracks a few of the golden tropes of by-elections and MMP. It’s the first time in the MMP environment that a by-election has seen a total change of hands, with neither the former MP nor their party winning back the seat. It showed that even a once-safe seat – a seat National had held for fifty years – can change hands, and change hands decisively. It showed that voters do bloody well understand how to vote tactically when they want to. And it showed that, despite the protestations of many of my comrades on the left, Labour does know how to act for the benefit of the wider opposition – even in really complex circumstances.

Willow-Jean Prime is a fantastic candidate, and if she doesn’t get a very winnable list position in 2017 I’ll be shocked. But unfortunately Winston didn’t tell anyone about his plans to run until very late in the game – a luxury of being a one-man band who doesn’t have pesky party-democratic processes to deal with.

So Labour, and Andrew Little, were given a difficult choice: how to acknowledge that Winston was going to win – even give their blessing to staunch Labour voters to hold their noses and elect a former National Cabinet Minister – without opening themselves to cries of corruption and dirty deal-making.

Pulling a good candidate entirely, as some suggested, was simply not going to wash. It left Little with a delicate balancing act: not backing down on the fact Prime is awesome, not uttering the words “Vote for Winston” no matter how much Tova O’Brien and Patrick Gower tried to make him, but also sending the message that there was really only one way to defeat the Government.

And he managed it. Insert my usual statement of gross bias here, but the fact is I cannot see any of the recent leaders of the Labour Party – not Cunliffe, who I also like personally, not Shearer, not Goff – pulling it off. This was Helen Clark-level political pragmatism, and political message management.

The real loser in this isn’t Mark Osborne. It’s National. They threw everything they had at this by-election: huge commitments of time by senior ministers, tens of millions of dollars in bridge bribes, and they got owned. The John Key magic couldn’t carry him through, and you can decide for yourself whether that’s because the shine has rubbed off, or because he’s getting bored with the job, or because the stink of whatever reasons Mark Sabin had for resigning four months after a general election was just too strong.

Things are not going to go up for National from here.

Now we just have to hope that Winston doesn’t bite the hand that tactically fed him …

309 comments on “Winston takes Northland”

  1. Kooky 1

    I agree – and indeed this could end up being one of the decisive events of this parliamentary term.

  2. Lanthanide 2

    Beehive Live on stuff reported that Shane Jones turned up to Winston’s victory shindig.

    He’s been bandied about as the successor to Winston, but like a good seasoned politician, he’s denied any interest.

  3. Colonial Rawshark 3

    Winston’s political instincts were spot on from the start. Everyone else had to figure it out over the next few weeks.

    • Chooky 3.1

      +100 CR…great news

      ….GO Winston!….he is one of the Great Maori warriors!

      …Key and the Nacts are on the back foot now and will soon be on the run…

    • Draco T Bastard 3.2

      Well, I’m sure there were a few other that understood that a True Blue seat wasn’t about to go Red (even if Labour is more Puce than Red these days) but shifting from one shade of Blue to another was well within the realms of possibility.

      • Chooky 3.2.1

        @DTB….well the fact of the matter is that for a long time ….since NeoLib Rogernomics…Winston has been to the left of the Labour Party on many issues…and a far better Opposition spokesperson to John key Nactional than Labour in parliament

        ….the people out there notice these things

  4. Atiawa 4

    Key’s a jonah. Swallowed by the great fish of the north. I hope he doesn’t take his bad luck to Melbourne tomorrow.

    Stay home Jonah and start running the country for us all.

  5. swordfish 5

    Farrrrkkkkk !!! Winnie’s accomplished the impossible – turned a 9000+ Nat majority into a 4000 margin for his good self !!! Dang !!!

    All on an unusually high turnout for a By-Election.

    • Rodel 5.1

      SW -Yes as you say he’s “accomplished the impossible”- from 9000 to + 4000 – no matter what else you think of him he’s done it and should be congratulated.
      Wonder what Mr Key will be told to say about it?
      Probably somewhat ‘comfortable, relaxed and it’s only short term folks’. Quick –look over there….It’s my knighthood!

  6. Great win for winston and NZF – I’d imagine he’s going to build on this to solidify NZF in the public consciousness as a ‘winner’ party and that could prove troublesome to other parties but time will tell. Tonight the key was turned and hopefully the liar-reign is on the way out.

  7. Skinny 7

    Everyone is grateful to Labour and the Greens for working in unity for the common good. The partying begins no sign of Winston yet. I have joined my friends next door. Shane Jones coming over shaking my hand was a bit much, it got worst suffering his fishing tales. O’Brien looks I’ll. Bradford is showing her family roots and appears exstatic! OK will report back soon.

    • rawshark-yeshe 7.1

      We thought we might have lost you Skinny !! Great to read your notes on the spot.

      • swordfish 7.1.1

        “We thought we might have lost you”

        I suspect Skinny’s getting to the stage of throwing wild punches at no-one in particular. By 10, he’ll be lying in a Russell gutter somewhere comatose (albeit with a wry smile on his face).

      • Skinny 7.1.2

        Peters took a b line and come thanked me for coming and for the Labour/ Green support. My partner who is a vet nurse is talking animals with Tracy Martin. Apparently Winston’s dog beau has hip deplacement, Martin has run off to drag Winnie back to talk muscle extract.

        • rawshark-yeshe

          I think you might mean “mussel” extract Skinny !!!

          ( muscle extract is what Osborne seems to do !)

        • Hami Shearlie

          My dog had bad arthritis in the hips as he got older – Petvel (deer velvet for dogs) from those Silberhorn people in the South Island really made a big big difference – Hope Master Beau Peters finds something that helps him!!

    • Colonial Rawshark 7.2

      Very nice one mate.

      • Skinny 7.2.1

        Thanks CV your opinion mean a lot brother 🙂
        While I am still partying hard still on the job rubbing these fuckings noses in it that Peters was toast without our collective response, Peters got it and acknowledged it.
        Anyway playing pool with Bradford so will report indepth tomorrow 🙂

        • Skinny

          Edit the sour nat bar manager ( up rd) has shut the bar. Time too go will try make sense of it all later 🙂

          • the pigman

            Gonzo journalism. Not quite hunter s Thompson but I still enjoyed heartily 🙂

    • Chooky 7.3

      +100 thanks Skinny…and you were one of Winnie’s original supporters and advocated the other parties getting behind him

  8. infused 8

    Don’t think this would be news to anyone. Not that I think Peters is going to do anything better.

    • Lanthanide 8.1

      Probably not in the short term, no. But should the seat go back to National (and it could stay out in the wilderness for a long time), they won’t take it for granted anymore.

  9. ankerawshark 9

    Thanks skinny, our man on the spot!!!

    How hopeless the tele is! Coro Street on! Not covering the buy election till 9.30. Nothing on TV3, that I have seen.

    I always find out what really going on on The Standar

  10. Rodel 10

    Now we need another buy election in a Nat marginal seat or preferably a Key panic snap general election.
    Congratulations to Winston, to Little and Labour’s nous and especially to the good intelligent folk of Northland .

    • rawshark-yeshe 10.1


    • Paul Campbell 10.2

      yes people are going to be looking at each and every National MP’s closet checking how those skeletons are hanging

      • Unicus 10.2.1

        This government deserves a death of a thousand cuts – this could be one of the deepest

        • Paul Campbell

          no they just need one more electorate MP with an embarassing secret, people are going to be turning over rocks all over the country jsut to see what crawls out

  11. Ant 11

    I like Little, but I wouldn’t talk up his political nous over executing a basic strategy.

    The left should have been doing this for years, that it’s taken this long is sad. Hopefully it is a sign of things to come.

  12. weka 12

    I’m less surprised by Peters’ win than by the Labour vote. Well done them and Labour, and I agree that Little got the balance right, so this is win for them too and bodes well for the future.

    “It showed that voters do bloody well understand how to vote tactically when they want to.”

    Yeah, but I think that’s probably more to do with a number of factors that don’t necessarily exist at general elections. The Sabin factor, Peters’ campaign increasing the awareness of the election, National’s pathetic bribes, etc will have both increased people’s understanding of what is going on and their motivation to get out and vote.

    • Macro 12.1

      Yes there were a number of factors involved here. I’m actually surprised just how many were actually able to vote for Osbourne!

    • Puddleglum 12.2

      The important effect of this by-election – in electoral terms – is how voters outside Northland interpret this win for New Zealand First/Peters.

    • jenny kirk 12.3

      What probably counted most of all was Andrew Little’s “permission” to us Labour voters to vote for Winston. That was a very BIG thing for him to do. Those of us who initially felt uncomfortable about voting for Winston – and there would have been quite a few of us – were able to do so, comfortably. And at the same time Willow-Jean continued to hold her head up high, and the Labour flag, for us all.
      This has been a most extraordinary by-election campaign – its been a privilege to be a part of it – and we can only hope that Winston holds firm and continues to show up National for the lying fools that they are.

      • weka 12.3.1

        Thanks for that insight Jenny, always good to have the view from the inside. My respect for Labour has gone up both for finding a strategy that included integrity and for standing their ground in the face of a lot of criticism. Hope to see more of this.

  13. North 13

    TheGodKey is TheGoneKey ! This was never about National. This was always about the false magic of a man who hadn’t what it took to be there on the night to support his candidate. Instead in Melbourne sniffing out whatever glory he can bathe in courtesy of Black Caps. Disgraceful ! I imagine many, many Nats will find that utterly repugnant !

    • greywarshark 13.1

      Helen got hell for trying to get to a rugby game which she was supposed to attend. She didn’t shy away from her political duty to do it, and the game was in NZ and people were waiting for her and she wanted to show solidarity with the people and the sport. But Key finds it easy to leave NZ and his Party duties. Likes the three way handshake thing too much.

    • Puddleglum 13.2

      He left prior to tonight in order not to be associated with the by-election result (and not to have to front for comments).

      Too late though. Cutting short a state visit to Japan to head back to Northland links him to Northland like a manacle to a ball and chain.

      • jenny kirk 13.2.1

        and NOT going to the funeral for Lee in Singapore also shows him up as being opportunistic, and blatant.

        • Rodel

          I’d bet he enjoys the cricket and as an aside has an post election analysis meeting with Crosby T and co. while he’s there.

  14. ankerawshark 14

    Thanks skinny, our man on the spot!!!

    How hopeless the tele is! Coro Street on! Not covering the buy election till 9.30. Nothing on TV3, that I have seen.

    I always find out what really going on on The Standard

  15. Anne 15

    Pulling a good candidate entirely, as some suggested, was simply not going to wash.

    Agree. It would have been a bad look. What some of us did suggest at the outset was that it would be better if they didn’t stand a candidate. In the circumstances Labour and Little handled the situation remarkably well. They deserve kudos for that.

    • i agree that little and prime handled it well..

      ..not loud enough to scare the tory-horses back into their stable..

      ..and congratulations to the greens for not standing at all..

      thank you david clendon..

      and once on the ballot – prime couldn’t be ‘pulled’..

      even if she died – her name wd still have been on the ballot-papers..

  16. miravox 16

    Yeah, like many, I don’t trust Winston. Otoh I’m very, very pleased that the National juggernaut has broken down and maybe, just maybe, it’s the end of TPPA and the watering down of the RMA.

    I’d love that Northland might get a bit more attention now, but that’s up to Winston to keep hammering away. National know the numbers favour a return to the status quo come election time.

    End your career on a high Winston, and do your best for the Northland voters who sent Key a message that he cynically will not hear.

  17. Bill 17

    There’s something not quite crossing my mind about being useless with a hammer and getting hammered…

  18. weka 18

    Thank-you Northland!!!

  19. Hateatea 19

    I am not a Winston Peters’ fan as I had some dealings with him when he was still a NAT but there is no doubting that he has political nous. Whether he will now use this win as something to build on for the anti NACTS in the population at large only time will tell but I do congratulate him and the voters of Northland for blacking the eye of John Key, Steven Joyce and all the other NACTS who trooped through Northland these past 2 weeks

  20. b waghorn 20

    I don’t trust the old coot but I’ll be going to sleep with a smile on my dial
    🙂 🙂

  21. rawshark-yeshe 21

    Classy Metiria for Greens:

    “That John Key thought his bridge and broadband bribes would work in Northland just shows how out of touch he is with ordinary Kiwis.

    “Hungry kids can’t eat bridges.

  22. rawshark-yeshe 22

    and be sure to enjoy this sad photo of Paula Bennett … best get used to the feeling is my advice for her …

    have to scroll for it I think :


  23. Colonial Rawshark 23

    So, when’s the next National MP triggered by-election going down.

    • Lanthanide 23.1


      • Puddleglum 23.1.1

        ‘Knows when to fold em”?

        A gambler from way back.

        • Colonial Rawshark

          Paula Bennett for PM, 2017. You heard it here first.

          • Lanthanide

            She’ll have to duke it out with Simon Bridges. I hope Bridges wins.

          • rawshark-yeshe

            and we become an international joke with her worse than abbott has been in oz … great idea not.

          • millsy

            it will be English with Bennett as deputy.

            • Lanthanide

              Still not sure English is actually electable.

              He went on the List at the last election, implying he was done with politics if National were to lose.

              • Rodel

                Bennett or English as PM? Let’s celebrate Winston’s success now and cross those other bridges when we come to them.

              • Graeme

                Maybe not electable to the general electorate, but could be the best option for the Nat caucus….

                Slater had a photo of a bottle of Caesar dressing with a knife sticking out the back of it on his site last week, seems to have gone now.

  24. Ad 24

    It’s a grand day for Winston Peters.

    The degree of political capital Key and most of his Cabinet have spent on this is just so much burnt-offering smoke to the gods now. Key is damn lucky the Cricket will largely obliterate that. Fortunately the Gallery will not let him forget it in the weeks to come.

    It’s also a good succession-platform for New Zealand First; Peters can enjoy it as a well earned sinecure, and start a real generational shift of leadership for his party. They are around for a good decade on the strength of this.

  25. Rosie 25

    Great post thanks Stephanie 😀

    I’m going to take your second to last line

    “Things are not going to go up for National from here”.

    And go with a little celebratory song called Sucker

    and the lyrics, quite apt in some ways.


    No hard feelings eh Nats!

    Congratulations to all the people that campaigned so hard and congratulations to the people of Northland for doing the right thing.

    Kia Kaha!

  26. Alan W 26

    Stephanie, I fear that the last two lines of your article may be prophetic.
    I fear that Labour may just have handed National their major support partner after the next general election.
    I fear that the celebration evident here tonight might turn to tears.
    If Winston was a certain partner for the left, then i would not have these fears – but we all know that he isn’t, and neither is Shane Jones, Ron Mark etc.
    So for me this result creates more anguish than celebration.

    • the way to nail his support for 2017 is to do a pre-election deal with him..

      ..the greens and labour promise not to stand – so he keeps the seat..

      ..in exchange for a pre-election deal..

      ..he would go for that..

      • Ad 26.1.1

        That is such stupid advice.
        Winston will never deal before the game – he has said so, and acted on it, throughout his career. None dare call it conspiracy.

        Of the principles any man could have for wearing the Ring for that long, that’s the one he has left. And it worked like a charm here tonight.

        • Lanthanide

          Labour also stand in every seat. Of course 2017 may have to be the end of that tactic, so they can split the electorates with the Greens and end the Epsom and Ohariu rorts, and perhaps set up their own with Hone in TTT.

          And, the National voters of Northland, would hear “Greens and Labour form coalition deal with Winston to not stand in Northland”. Given that National clearly won’t be running a numpty in 2017, which way do you think these Northland voters would go?

          No, Winston has to win it in 2017 fair and square.

          • Ad

            To which Winston could reasonably respond after tonight:
            “Out of my cold dead hand!”

            (He is after all our very own political Heston)

        • phillip ure


          ..that was then – this is now – then will be then..

          • Lanthanide

            You realise that a pithy-sounding slogan isn’t actually an argument, right?

            • Ad

              But is a typical response from someone who is so pathologically clueless as to not recount any of the countless instances of Peters refusing to do deals beforehand, over a 40+ year political career.

          • greywarshark

            pu Oh dear those disagreeing don’t understand the simplest, plainest statement of fact. It is not clever and nuanced and shines in a dull way that doesn’t excite.

        • weka

          Winston doesn’t do pre election deals but it’s not a principle so much as power playing tactic. It’s good he’s do consistent because it means we know he can never be trusted except in this one thing. It’d be good if more lefties were up front about this.

          • Ad

            I can’t see what Labour has done to encourage trust from Winston Peters or the Greens in the last decade.

            Little needs to have the political skill to actually develop a pre-election relationship with Peters, without in any form looking like a pre-electon jack-up.

            It’s also real retrospective sugar-coating to think that the Greens and Labour essentially won this election for Peters. He won it on his own.

            • weka

              Yes Labour need to change too, but Labour could be exemplary and it still wouldn’t change the fundamental fact that Peters can’t be trusted.

              I don’t think that Labour and the Greens won the election, but it’s misleading to say they had no role in this. I haven’t looked closely at the numbers yet, but how much of Peters vote is ex L/GP, and how close is that number to the margin he won by?

            • fisiani

              Winston Peters will not be in a government with the Greens. Simple.
              He will not stand in 2017 in Northland despite his claim. He is quite sick.
              The next leader of NZF will not work with the Greens.
              Shane Jones could win Northland for NZF in 2017.
              Does anyone think Shane Jones can work as a junior with Greens?
              i got the Northland result wrong, I guessed that Peters would have a 2,000 majority but he doubled that.
              This result may well eventually result in a stable post Winston coalition partner for John Key.

    • Atiawa 26.2

      Fair point. The next 30 months will be the decider. With any luck Labour won’t stand a candidate in 2017 because Winston makes clear his coalition preferences. Then again he will be rising 73 and forgotten any promise made a few days previously. Ha.

      • Murray Rawshark 26.2.1

        When he hits 90, his memory will still be better than FJK’s at half that age.

    • marty mars 26.3

      That may be true Alan but we must celebrate the win by winnie – he did it and it is difficult to imagine how key can spin this. Whatever happens in the future – this will stand as a great day for anyone opposed to the gnats nasty, dirty agenda.

      • rawshark-yeshe 26.3.1

        and today it’s the first sunlight shining on the dirt .. and there is so much more to come out. the teflon is cracked.

    • Olwyn 26.4

      It is true that Winny is not of the left, but it is also true that he is cares about his country. Even if he buddied up with National he would not be the pushover that their other sidekicks are. And it is worth celebrating tonight because he has shown that the National juggernaut can be stopped.

      • Murray Rawshark 26.4.1

        NZ First is as much of the left as Labour is – i.e. not at all. However, he is well to the left of FJK.

        • Tracey

          he is a traditional conservative, of pre 1984 type, that is nothing like the Right wingers of today and since 1984, imo.I agree with your assessment Murray.

    • Ad 26.5

      Labour would have to pull off a generational-shift miracle to become attractive to the provinces, and also to those old folk who still remember a strong state with economic nationalist intent. That is the sole preserve of Peters now

      We can’t over-reach our conclusions from this to wider polling or to the health of parties as a whole. Simply, Winston pulled off the equivalent of one of Federer’s staring-in-the-opposite-direction-hit-the-ball-between-your-legs-for-an-on-line-set-winner.

      It’s magic. It’s not the long game.

    • Puddleglum 26.6

      There are a good number of soft National voters who would never vote for Winston Peters/New Zealand First.

      They’ll go to Labour before NZF.

      What the left needs to leverage now is that the myth of Key’s ‘winning ways’ no longer washes. Since his ascension to Parliament (his first political ‘win’) in 2002 when National’s vote collapsed up until 27 March 2015 Key had won every political contest he entered.

      That no longer applies – the myth therefore collapses under its own (now visibly false) weight and he becomes an ordinary politician.

      Vulnerable in all the usual ways – so long as there is no hesitation from here on in.

      Peters will know what he has achieved in that regard better than most.

      The left needs to know it too.

      I also imagine Key will be (in himself if not visibly) incredibly vengeful with regard to Peters. Key does not like someone else being the biggest man in the room (as one of his MPs put it).

      If he can’t get Peters to swear an oath of fealty and liege homage to him he’ll work to destroy Peters once and for all.

      And then depart.

      • David H 26.6.1

        “If he can’t get Peters to swear an oath of fealty and liege homage to him he’ll work to destroy Peters once and for all.
        And then depart.”

        Yeah right The liar up against the wily campaigner. It will be a brutal fight, but the outcome will be the same as the Ryder vs Slater fight. Ryder knocked him on his arse, and Winston will figuratively do that if TricKey tries those tricks on him.

      • Draco T Bastard 26.6.2

        That no longer applies – the myth therefore collapses under its own (now visibly false) weight and he becomes an ordinary politician.

        Nope. He’s become something far worse – a scaredy cat.

        He panicked when Winston entered the race pulling out all the stops with what appeared to be obvious pork, sending up as many ministers as possible to support a candidate that was obviously just pulled out of the bag without any thought, dumped his political duties to NZ to try his patented Smile & Wave on the people of Northland and then, on the night, took off to Oz so he wouldn’t have to face the music of the failed campaign himself and failed to support his candidate.

        Key has just become a pariah and, yeah, he’s going to be vengeful about it.

        • Tracey

          Slater hit the canvas on the same night key ran away to avoid a defeat…

          That image alone is enough for today…

      • Karen 26.6.3

        +1 Puddleglum
        I also think Key not turning up to support Osborne on election night was also a very bad look – nobody likes disloyalty and it just looks like Key is a bad loser.

        Key evidently has also cancelled his usual Monday press conference using the excuse that he won’t be back from the cricket in time. He is doing his best to distance himself from this defeat.

      • greywarshark 26.6.4

        The thoughts of Puddleglum and those of Ad as below –
        Labour would have to pull off a generational-shift miracle to become attractive to the provinces, and also to those old folk who still remember a strong state with economic nationalist intent.
        might be the basis of the next Labour drive for election.

  27. weka 27

    Rob Salmond ‏@rsalmond 21 mins21 minutes ago
    WJP had 20% before change of tack. Got 5% today. Difference of 15% is 4270 votes, more than Winston’s margin. #YoureWelcome #northvote

    • Colonial Rawshark 27.1

      A bizarre tweet which greatly over-estimates the power of Wellington signalling in the rest of the country.

  28. Anne 28

    Typical of John Key eh? Putting as much distance between him and the byelection.

    Its got nothing to do with me. I wasn’t there.

    Don’t think it’ll work this time.

  29. McGrath 29

    I’m going to throw a theory out there that this result may actually be good for National. National is suffering from major third-term stagnation, and nothing focusses a politicians mind like the threat of impending unemployment.

    If they have brains, they will look honestly at themselves and change (such as ditching state housing asset sales and some ego baggage). If.not, National will crumble in the next election.

    • Lanthanide 29.1

      “I’m going to throw a theory out there that this result may actually be good for National.”

      Very unlikely. The media are going to latch onto this as the beginning of narrative showing National are an arrogant, out-of-touch government that can’t even retain it’s safest seat.

      And this is all BEFORE Mike Sabin’s background has been investigated to any extent.

      A by-election 6 months after an election, with that sort of murkiness behind it, is a very bad look for this government.

  30. Sookie 30

    Well, Winston didn’t need our votes. We could have voted for the Legalise Cannabis lady 🙂 Always nice to see the Nats do an epic fail, even if it means nothing.

    • Tracey 30.1

      how do you know that? Unhappy Nats may have abstained meaning labours votes got winston over the line?

  31. Murray Rawshark 31

    “But unfortunately Winston didn’t tell anyone about his plans to run until very late in the game – a luxury of being a one-man band who doesn’t have pesky party-democratic processes to deal with.”

    Yeah, Labour really knows how to work with other parties. Step 1: insult them.

    Winston and his party have succeeded in rocking Key, so what does a good Labour social democrat do? Give the credit to Andrew Little. Way to make friends and influence people.

    • Lanthanide 31.1

      Stephanie doesn’t represent the Labour party. I’m not sure she’s even a member.

      • Murray Rawshark 31.1.1

        Yeah, it’s not an official party statement. It is however a statement from someone perceived as being aligned with them.

      • I am a member, but Murray’s comment is still rather too close to the line about ascribing posts on this site to official Labour statements.

        Murray – don’t do that again.

        And don’t tell me who I can give credit to. Winston clearly ran a good campaign but he got there with significant help from the Labour (and Green, and probably Mana too) voters of Northland.

        • Murray Rawshark

          Sorry for having an opinion. I will never ever comment on one of your posts again. Have a nice life. By the way, I didn’t tell you what to do at all. I said what I thought of what you’d done. Also forbidden, I see.

          [Stephanie: You said it two comments above: “Labour really knows how to work with other parties”, referring to my post. I am not the Labour Party, and you’ve commented here long enough to know that there are very simple rules about insinuating that this blog represents Labour. Pretending that you’ve been warned for “having an opinion” is just rubbish. But if you want to be a martyr so badly, take two weeks off.]

          • marty mars

            mate – I don’t want to lose your voice on here… kia kaha Murray

            edit: fuck

            • rawshark-yeshe

              not a great outcome for tonight, bugger. kia kaha, murray.

              kia kaha, stephanie … in honour of victory tonight, can you not resile from banning him ? please … was it really so bad ?

              maybe you can ban me instead and let him stay ? he brings such value for us all. me ? not so much. look on it as a prisoner swap 😀

              • Lanthanide

                Rules are rules.

              • No. Murray was given the gentlest of warnings and decided to respond with a snide “sorry for having opinions, have a nice life” – then flounced over on Open Mike insinuating that “some” moderators have gone ~mad with power~.

                I may be enjoying the day’s events but I’m not here to be undermined and demonized just because Murray doesn’t like the way I post.

                • Ad

                  He deserved it.

                  And in other news, Whaleoil lasted just under a minute against Ryder.

                • felix

                  Taking the “Standard = Official Labour” stuff out, Murray has a point.

                  This is the time for all supporters of opposition parties to be focusing on working together. Just look at what we can do, when we do.

                  • That’s a very generous reading of “Murray’s point”, which was quite literally, “how dare you make a joke about Winston, this is why Labour sucks, Andrew Little doesn’t deserve any credit.”

                    The opposition SHOULD work together. My point was that in this case, it’s not *Labour* who need to figure this out.

                    • felix

                      I don’t know what “quite literally” means. Something like “pretty legal”?

                      Meh, ban who you like. Bit rich though to ascribe a view to him that he quite definitely didn’t literally write, after warning him for ascribing views to other parties.

                • rawshark-yeshe

                  “undermined and demonized” ? sorry, I don’t see it, and I am a huge fan of your writing and would quickly defend you.

                  and isn’t ‘flouncing’ just a touch perjorative if one wishes to be truly PC ??

                  what a bloody shame at the end of this great day.

                  • Then I suggest you read his comments, especially phrases like “have a nice life” and “abuse of power”. And I’m done re-litigating this.

                    • rawshark-yeshe

                      I did re-read all of it, thx.

                      “And I’m done re-litigating this” has a clear touch of the flounce about it. imho.

                      Would have been fine tonight if all might have agreed in the light of victory, if only for this evening. sigh.

                    • Tracey

                      Pigman wrote

                      “That’s right Stephanie, we men are ALL RAPISTS!”

                      You might ant to ruminate on that for a while and work out what it just revealled about you.

                    • the pigman

                      At least quote in context, Tracey, the comment was a response to Stephanie’s dismissive line that the uproar about her arbitrary editing was down to “men not being able to accept a woman saying no”, in doing so she introduced a completely uncalled for gender/rape discourse to this thread.

                      You think that’s fine, most of us don’t.

                      Personally, I think it makes participating in discussions on her posts a tense and unpleasant experience akin to walking on eggshells.

                      Of course, the easiest way to avoid it is simply not to comment on anything she posts, a practice I’ll be adopting forthwith.

                      (For the record, until her derailing on Bill’s Assange post, served with scattershot derision for make commenters on ts generally, and subsequent excessively controlling discussions in another post this week, I regarded her as a good author whose views I often accorded with.)

                    • Tracey

                      the pigman.

                      whatever helps you to sleep at night.

                    • weka

                      “You think that’s fine, most of us don’t.”

                      Which is fine, but I’d still like to know why so many people think it’s ok to question Stephanie’s moderation when they don’t question other moderators? The only person that’s attempted to answer that is grey below, and she is basically excusing Lynn’s in some ways similar moderation style because he’s busy and responsible (as if Stephanie isn’t).

                      btw, I didn’t take Stephanie’s bit about saying no as anything to do with rape, so it looks to me like you brought that into the conversation. Pretty much like how you say Stephanie brought in the gender stuff. Ironic.

                      “Of course, the easiest way to avoid it is simply not to comment on anything she posts, a practice I’ll be adopting forthwith.”

                      A position that is valid and fits with the kaupapa of the place. If you don’t like how an author runs their thread, go somewhere else.

                    • tracey

                      “btw, I didn’t take Stephanie’s bit about saying no as anything to do with rape, so it looks to me like you brought that into the conversation. Pretty much like how you say Stephanie brought in the gender stuff. Ironic.”

                      Me too.

                      The first person who escalated it to being an accusation about rapists was, imo, the pigman.

                    • felix

                      “The first person who escalated it to being an accusation about rapists was, imo, the pigman.”

                      The timestamps would disagree with you there. Unless you don’t think that’s what Stephanie meant when she referred to men not being able to handle being told “no” by a woman.

                      It’s possible she didn’t mean anything by that of course, but I think the implication is pretty clear.

                      Btw I’m not saying she shouldn’t have said that either. Just trying to be clear and accurate about what we’re actually discussing.

                    • the pigman

                      Thank you Felix. That implication in Stephanie’s comment is clear as day and it’s below both weka and Tracey to pretend that wasn’t the implication.

                    • weka

                      I didn’t take Stephanie’s comment to be about rape. Women encounter men who don’t like being told no in many situations, rape is just the extreme one. Nevertheless, equating what she said with the universally misused “all men are rapists” strikes me as inflammatory and unhelpful, and putting words in a moderator’s mouth.

                    • felix

                      Now that, weka is highly ironic given the circumstances.

                    • weka

                      @felix, how so?

                      @thepigman, I’m not pretending.

                    • McFlock

                      I don’t seem to recall extensive debates about the validity and reasoning behind bans issued by Lprent or Bill, no matter how arbitrary or harsh they might be. And yet I recall similar debates about previous bans by Stephanie and (ISTR) QoT.

                      Just sayin’

                    • felix

                      How so? It’s what I’ve been trying to discuss all along.

                  • felix

                    Yeah I think there’s been a bit of an overreaction there too.

                    Murray may have made a mistake in coming close to ascribing something to the Labour party, but there’s no way he told anyone who they could give credit to.

                    He just disagreed with it, and got treated pretty rudely for his trouble.

                    • rawshark-yeshe

                      Is there like a ‘court of appeal’ we can use ?

                      [Stephanie: Go complain to lprent about it if you like. I’m frankly sick of constantly having my moderation questioned just because some men apparently can’t handle a woman telling them “no”.]

                    • felix

                      The member will be leaving the chamber if there is any more talk of appeals!!

                    • not that I’m aware of – except for this

                      Open mike 28/03/2015

                    • felix

                      “having my moderation questioned just because some men apparently can’t handle a woman telling them “no””

                      Just… wow.

                    • If you have another explanation I’d love to hear it, felix. I just spent half-an-hour looking at previous bans handed down by my male colleagues Bill and lprent, and shockingly, they don’t get a wave of “oh take it back, he didn’t mean it” and “this is moderation gone mad!” every single damn time.

                    • Lanthanide

                      @ Stephanie:
                      Personally I find it really offensive when a woman says the way they are being treated by men has to do with the fact they’re a woman.

                      Reminds me of when travellerev accused me of discounting her crazy conspiracy theories because she’s a woman and I’m a man and obviously I’m just being sexist, and not because it was a crazy conspiracy theory that didn’t stand up to logical analysis.

                    • rawshark-yeshe

                      Stephanie — not a moment of this is about gender. I am a woman and was likely marching on Parliament for feminist causes before you were born, so lets get that out of the way. It isn’t gender-specific or aimed at you. Maybe allow a little breathing room and have a look if maybe Murray was not as offensive as you first thought?

                      And no, of course I am not going to lprent about this. It would only nourish any seeds you might have re male overlords. I am not going there.

                      But, along with martymars, I will disappear for two weeks in silence along with Murray Rawshark because I think you made a bad call.
                      Not because he is a man and you are a woman, but imho it was a gender-neutral bad call and I wish you might have resiled from it, as I first offered.

                    • felix

                      “If you have another explanation I’d love to hear it, felix. I just spent half-an-hour looking at previous bans handed down by my male colleagues Bill and lprent, and shockingly, they don’t get a wave of “oh take it back, he didn’t mean it” and “this is moderation gone mad!” every single damn time.”

                      Well for a start I haven’t said anything approaching either of those, and I also can’t recall having voiced an opinion about your moderation before, so I’ll thank you not to put words in my mouth.

                      Secondly there is no onus on me to disprove your hypothesis. There could be plenty of reasons why people are reacting to your moderation, like oh, off the top of my head, because you accused someone of telling you who you could give credit to when they “quite literally” did no such thing.

                      But who knows. Maybe if you were a man I wouldn’t have noticed that.

                      It’s possible I suppose.

                    • the pigman

                      oh my fucking God… “Can’t take a woman saying no”.

                      That’s right Stephanie, we men are ALL RAPISTS!

                      What’s the code for the eyeroll emoji again?

                      You are ruining this blog as a place for the free and respectful exchange of ideas.

                    • Tracey

                      Stephanie wrote

                      “I just spent half-an-hour looking at previous bans handed down by my male colleagues Bill and lprent, and shockingly, they don’t get a wave of “oh take it back, he didn’t mean it” and “this is moderation gone mad!” every single damn time.”

                      can those who have commented on her attributing the response to a gender problem address the comment I put in “…” because Stephanie attempted to give an evidential framework to her proposition, now dismantle it with factor your own evidence but not your assumptions.

                    • felix

                      Tracey, as I understand it the proposal is that the only difference between those three particular mods is gender.

                      Sorry, life is too short to bother with such drivel.

                    • weka

                      I didn’t take it to mean it was the only difference. Why are you?

                    • felix

                      Because of the words, weka. And that’s really all I have to go on.

                      As it stands, according to what Steph has actually written as opposed to what some people would prefer to discuss, the proposal is that (a) Stephanie is female, (b) lprent and Bill are male, (x) stephanie’s moderation elicits a particular response, (y) lprent and Bill’s elicit a different one, and therefore (x) is because (a).

                      Do you disagree that that is the proposal?

                    • weka

                      That’s not how I understand it and it’s not how I would frame it. I’ve opened up the conversation on this elsewhere in this subthread, including explaining at length what I think some of the factors are that are contributing to the dynamic, if you want to discuss those.

                    • felix

                      Could you perhaps explain why you don’t think that is the proposal on offer?

                      It appears to me to be a very straightforward rendition of it. The entirety of Stephanie’s proposal is that she is treated differently because of gender, and the evidence presented for this is that the other two moderaters mentioned are of a different gender and get treated differently because of it.

                      How is that not exactly what I wrote?

                    • Hey, felix. Just spotted your comment referring to my moderation. I’m glad you chose to compare my results with Stephanie’s, because, somewhat ironically, I’m not often criticised for my moderation*. Posts, yes, but moderating, no. Commenters generally cop my suggestions with good grace, even in fractious posts like the ISIS one or the recent one on rape apologies.

                      *PG did have a whinge a few weeks ago. Ended well 😉

                    • weka

                      re the a, b, x, y thing, sorry it’s just not how I think or process complex issues like this. I think dynamics aren’t necessarily that straight forward. I think context is important (eg being a feminist blogger), and I think understanding that one’s personal sexism or absence of sexism is not the only factor at play is also important (consider the ways in which people can be racist without meaning to).

                      I also think the fact that the only person who has really addressed the Lynn/SR comparison is Grey and she did it in a pretty obviously gendered way, lends weight to this being complex. i.e there are some people who probably are acting out of personal sexism, and others who are just more irked by SR’s style, others are objecting on principles (eg Pasupial), etc. Lots of things going on here. From what I can tell, some people have said “I’m not being sexist” and that’s as far as the conversation went. I wanted to get past that.

                      I can say that as an older feminist (nearly 50), I’ve had to look at my own responses to younger, internet generation feminists and how they relate online, esp when they’ve been aggressive or perceived as aggressive. It’s still taboo and it’s still a double standard when viewed by gender and it’s bloody hard to talk about. I think there is plenty of scope here to look at those issues, but it’s probably too personal all round now.

                      having said all that, I never thought the only issue was gender. People have assumed that, but it’s not where I’ve been at. That’s what I said upthread a few comments.

                    • felix

                      Hi TRP,

                      As weka pointed out earlier, there’s also often a blurred line between an author modding in bold, warning in plain comments, and just commenting. Obviously it’s not a perfect system you’re working with.

                      For example, if an author’s comment contains veiled threats of moderation, is that just a comment? Is it supposed to be taken as a warning even if warnings weren’t explicitly mentioned?

                      With that in mind it’s probably not particularly meaningful to draw a distinction between reactions to your moderation and reactions to your comments on your own posts.

                      However in this instance I believe I was referring to your All Apologies thread, In which a lot of your actual bolded moderation was questioned and discussed at length.

                      [lprent: Newish moderators get a reasonable degree of latitude because we don’t expect them to be as (ummmm) subtle as veteran moderators. If we expected them to be as obnoxious perfect as I am these days, then we’d never develop any new moderators. Generally the other mods are mostly interested that they follow policy and other people are willing to do the chore. ]

                    • felix

                      Thanks weka, I must have missed the upthread.

                      As I’ve written elsewhere I’m stepping out of this one for now as I don’t really like where it’s going, but I do appreciate what you’re trying to get across.

                    • felix

                      “*PG did have a whinge a few weeks ago. Ended well ;)”

                      A few weeks ago? Oh gawd that means he’s back soon…

                    • lprent []

                      My april fools joke….

                    • weka

                      Very cruel.

                    • “However in this instance I believe I was referring to your All Apologies thread, In which a lot of your actual bolded moderation was questioned and discussed at length.”

                      Not actually the case, felix. I can only find a single quibble (from a fellow author, as it happens). Despite the heat the post generated only one person, one time, disagreed with my moderation. And it was a heavily moderated post, so there were lots of opportunities to complain. But, nah …

                      Compare and contrast with what happens every time Stephanie goes to the black ink. There must be some reason for this disparity of treatment; I can but wonder what it might be.

                    • felix

                      TRP I also scanned the post and I reject your characterisation of it.

                      Not interested in being trolled tonight. Sorry to hear about the problems with your imagination.

                    • Seriously, bud? No doubt you’ll be able to find examples in the morning 😉

                    • felix

                      Happy to leave it for anyone interested to look at it themselves and see who’s full of shit.

                      Night night.

                    • Wow! Is this the real felix? Still, tomorrow will be fine if you want to find examples of the occasions on the All Apologies post where “a lot of your actual bolded moderation was questioned and discussed at length.”

                      Or we can discuss why my moderation there or anywhere else doesn’t actually get questioned and discussed at length, when a female author you compared me to does get that treatment. Maybe, between us, we can come up with a word that describes that situation.

                    • felix

                      I submit the entire thread as evidence. It’s there for anyone to read and come to their own conclusions.

                      I’m happy with that, apparently you’re not, but then again I’m not just trolling for a response.

                    • No worries, felix. Even you can’t win ‘em all 😉

                      The point remains that responses to my moderation and Stephanie’s are distinctly different. I simply don’t get the crap she does, and frankly, as far as I can see, nobody does. And now we have an attempt to bully her by some regulars, which happily seems to have backfired. Now it might just be Stephanie’s style that brings out the haters, but as you recognised by comparing me and her, I tend to do the same. Yet commenters seem to respect my moderating authoritah. There must be some explanation for that phenomenon, and it’s hard to go past it being a gender issue, in the absence of any other explanation.

                    • felix

                      That’s ok, after reading some of your moderation/comments/troll attempts lately I don’t actually expect you to be able to follow what I’ve been saying, and you haven’t.

                      Keep repeating your bollocks all you like, but the thread is there in black and white.

                    • Well, you’re not actually saying anything, felix. You believed that my moderation also gets serious grief and it turns out it doesn’t. So, the big question … what’s the reason for the disparity of treatment?

                    • felix

                      I’ve said plenty over the last couple of days, you just haven’t read it. And if you had, based on what I’ve observed, you wouldn’t have followed it. And no I’m not repeating it all for you.

                      Now off you fuck, you’ve got another one of your troll-posts to look after haven’t you.

                    • Apology accepted. Better luck next time 😉

                    • felix

                      Gee, it’s not like you to blatantly misrepresent someone’s statements.


                      I’m going to stop feeding the troll now.

                  • It’s not like you to get something so very wrong, make an incorrect statement about it, fail to back it up and run away whining. For shame, felix, for shame.

                • meconism

                  Murray was not ‘given the gentlest of warnings’, you warned him. If you are too scared to write your statements in the active rather than the passive sense so be it. Also, your use of ‘snide’ and ‘flounced’ are dripping with sarcasm and you need to look up the meaning of ‘undermined’ and ‘demonized’ in this context as well. If you are going to moderate fine, but that isn’t moderation, it is an inaccurate account of the conversation and reflects poorly on this site.

                  • jenny kirk

                    You may not realise it – guys – but you are all being overly defensive – which rather pinpoints what Stephanie is telling you.

                    • felix

                      You may not realise it jenny but we are not all guys, which rather doesn’t.

                    • rawshark-yeshe


                      and see you in two weeks when Murray is permitted back — marty mars and I are off voluntarily with him in the injustice of it.

                    • Molly

                      Definitely not a gender issue.

                      Agreed with the sentiment of Murray’s first comment, and the explanations and comments created by this thread from marty mars, felix, rawshark. In particular the summing up from meconism.

                      For me, the appeal of the Standard is the comments thread that occurs after each article. And like most regular readers, I have my favourites. Those above are a few of them.

                      Will be greatly missing the analysis and pithy comments of Murray Rawshark, marty mars and rawshark for the next two weeks and will look forward to their return.

                    • weka

                      If you take out all the personalities it looks feasible to me that people treat Stephanie’s moderation differently than other moderators. I don’t know if that’s a gender issue but it’s one of the more plausible explanations. If it’s not a gender issue then I’m curious why do many people think it’s ok to argue with a moderator when that’s plainly against the rules.

                      I’m also curious why people think that the value of a commenter should have bearing on whether they get moderated or not.

                    • weka

                      Moderation should be neutral on the person being moderated and focus on the behaviour or content of the comments, not whether the commenter is popular or not.

                      Murray did something that Stephanie, the author and moderator of this post, thought wasn’t ok. She asked him to take a step back. He didn’t, so he got a ban. This is entirely consistent with ts moderation policy and is what Lynn does routinely.

                      From listening to Lynn’s explanations my understanding about the rules, esp the moderation ones, is they exist to protect authors and encourage people to become authors. If an author moderating their own post has to argue with commenters then theyre more likely to not bother writing a post next time.

                      Even if some people here would prefer that Stephanie left the site, there’s still the flow on effect to other authors who will just not bother because the place is hostile. Myself I think that Stephanie’s voice is crucial in a number of areas, and her stopping posting here would also most definitely be a gender issue on a male dominated blog that is trying to encourage more women authors and commenters.

                      ‘my blog my rules’ is a long standing internet tradition. On ts, this applies to the individual posts i.e. if you want to comment on Stephanie’s post then you have to work within her boundaries of what’s ok or not. It’s not like this is the only place you can comment on the Northland election on ts, so if you don’t like how Stephanie (or anyone) moderates her own posts then go somewhere else.

                    • Yep – just dropped in for a quick visit after my last comment a week or two back about how unwelcoming this site is at times for women = inability of some of the males on here to comment in a sensible informed way around feminist issues…. and what should I see but the males are attacking Stephanie. Some of you guys on here *really* do have a problem.

                    • weka

                      Stephanie, really sorry you’ve had to deal with another round of this, and fwiw I’d support you to just shut it down next time by doing multiple moderations once you’ve asked people to stop challenging your moderation. If people have a problem let them email admin.

                      The only thing I would say (and this is about moderation in general on ts) is that sometimes there is confusion when moderators post in a separate comment instead of [bold]. I think this happened with the second moderation comment to Murray. If people take the time to read properly and think, it’s clear, but I’ve noticed a few times people missing the importance of a non-bolded moderation comment. It probably wouldn’t have made much difference last night, but it does make things extremely clear and solid.

                    • weka

                      +1 Wendigo Jane.

                      If it’s a gender issue, it doesn’t mean all commenters are posting from that place (or that all commenters have to be men for it to be an issue). But if you are in any doubt that it’s part of the dynamic here, have a look at this comment (which IMO should be removed because it clearly breaches the rules on attacking authors and telling them what to do. It’s just a more extreme version of some of the other comments here),

                      Winston takes Northland

                    • felix

                      Has this happened before with Stephanie’s moderation? It’s not something I’ve noticed. For my part I almost never argue with moderators here, partially for the reasons you describe re- not discouraging participation in the site.

                      Those reasons cut both ways though if mods are just going to be dickish.

                      Do you think Te Reo Putake is also female? Is that why his/her moderation attracts criticism?

                    • weka

                      It does seem to happen with Stephanie. From what I can tell we often don’t see the whole of it because people getting moderated or banned can email ts admin and that stuff can get nasty and gendered (another reason for letting moderators get on with it).

                      For me the boundary lies in expressing an opinion about a moderation but not then arguing with the moderator about it.

                      In this case, because I’ve seen historically what Stephanie has to deal with, her responses to Murray made sense.

                      I haven’t noticed what’s going on with TRP’s moderation but will keep an eye out.

                    • felix

                      I’m sure you’re mostly right, but I struggle to see anything gendered in the exchange. You make a good point about the blurred lines that can occur with bolding etc. For example, Stephanie’s reply to Murray where she instructs him not to tell her who she should give credit to. If that is read in the context of a comment, then it just seems like the usual argy-bargy. However it’s hard for me to read it in that context as it begins with “and”, and the preceding sentence was clearly an official moderator warning.

                      Whatever the intention, it looks like a moderator telling a commenter not to disagree with a post and I don’t think that is helpful at all.

                    • weka

                      Murray in his original comment is clearly critical of Stephanie because of what she wrote in her post andbecause she is perceived as connected with Labour. How is this not in breach of the rules? He got a warning, then self martyred (and a seasoned commenter like Murray knows the risks they run if they do this). He pissed Stephanie off and got a ban. That’s what happens on ts routinely. Semantic arguments about whether the second part of his original comment meant he was telling Stephanie what to do or simply commenting on her post, or whether Stephanie is telling Murray to not disagree with her post*, are beside the point IMO, and a distraction from the fact that this is Stephanie’s post and her rules apply.

                      *(eg he could have made his point without having a go at her in the way that he did).

                      Re gender, here’s a context to consider this in. Stephanie is a highly visible feminist blogger. Feminist bloggers routinely received harrassment and threats simply because they are feminist. There is no male equivalent of this (although there are equivalents for other classes of bloggers). Many women blog under extreme circumstances and the harrassment they face is specifically gendered. This is true even when they’re not blogging about feminism or politics but are simply feminists blogging about anything.

                      Then consider a place like ts, which is pretty blokey, often macho, and which has something like a 30% female readership despite the focus of the blog being supposedly gender-neutral. The number of women authors here falls way below the number of men. Ts is better than a lot of places online for feminist bloggers, but it’s not entirely without its own share of harrassment. Lots of women have talked about how hard it is just to be here at times. Many women will just stay away.

                      In the context of all that, that Stephanie might moderate short and sharp is me entirely understandable.

                      I think people are looking at this subthread and going oh that was unfair on Murray and there’s no sexism here. I’m looking at this subthread and thinking, same old shit for women in Stephanie’s position. You (felix) don’t have to be personally sexist here for the dynamic to exist that Stephanie as a woman blogger here is always going to have a harder time than a man. It’s also true that women get responded to differently when they step out of traditional gender roles (hence undermining tropes about angry feminists etc). If Stephanie wants to define this as a gender issue, that’s actually her right. She’s gained that right by being a regular ts author, and by her extensive experience as an online feminist. This isn’t a discussion about gender, it’s a discussion about moderation.

                      If people feel there is a pattern of things being wrongly attributed to gender, they can always take it to Open Mike and if they don’t want it to be a shit storm, they can figure out how to talk about it in ways that don’t undermine women authors.

                    • Tracey

                      Weka @ 1.26pm


                    • felix

                      weka would you mind addressing the part I was actually referring to? Right from the start of this thread I have avoided criticising the banning itself and have not argued that Murray didn’t breach the policy. I’m not interested in arguing with moderators about moderation, male female or otherwise.

                      I have referred instead to other comments made around the same time, in particular comments accusing Murray of doing something he demonstrably didn’t do.

                      If you think there is anything gendered in anything I’ve written about this, point to it. I realise that gender dynamics exist regardless, but that doesn’t mean I have to answer for things I haven’t said, does it? Stephanie can define this as a gender issue if she wants. Fine. I disagree. I think it’s because I’m black.

                    • weka

                      Fair enough felix.

                      IMO, the whole of Murray’s comment was problematic. Let’s break it down.

                      28 March 2015 at 9:29 pm
                      “But unfortunately Winston didn’t tell anyone about his plans to run until very late in the game – a luxury of being a one-man band who doesn’t have pesky party-democratic processes to deal with.”

                      Yeah, Labour really knows how to work with other parties. Step 1: insult them.

                      Murray implying that Stephanie is the Labour party (against the rules)

                      Winston and his party have succeeded in rocking Key, so what does a good Labour social democrat do? Give the credit to Andrew Little. Way to make friends and influence people.

                      Again the implication that Stephanie = Labour. Then that she is wrong to give credit to Little because this is unfriendly towards NZF/Peters.

                      We can have an argument about what Murray meant or what was reasonable for Stephanie to take from his comment etc (eg you think he wasn’t telling her what to do, I think he was). But we’re not in a general conversation in a thread. Murray is making an overt attack on an author and linking her to Labour. From that point on all the conversation is in that context IMO. You want to talk about it separately but you do engage in various levels within the sub thread on moderation even though you don’t go hard out like some did. I just think it’s going to be fraught to have the conversation separate from the breaking the rules issue, esp as other commenters then openly criticise the moderator.

                      as an aside, I did just try to rewrite Murray’s comment in a way that wasn’t an attack on Stephanie, and I find I can’t. It’s just an out and out attack, and I can’t see how it can be read as anything else. When you take out the bits about Labour, what you have is this:

                      Yeah, Stephanie really knows how to work with other parties. Step 1: insult them.

                      Winston and his party have succeeded in rocking Key, so what does a good Stephanie do? Give the credit to Andrew Little. Way to make friends and influence people.

                      There is a clear implication there that she is seriously wrong for both criticising Peters and giving credit to Little. How is that not an attack on her as an author? (it’s possible that if his language were different it would have passed, but I suspect a fight has been brewing).

                      btw, I value Murray’s contribution to this site and I hope he comes back. But he messed up here and I’m wondering if it’s been something that’s been building up for some time and he might be better off having a break.

                      There’s a skill in being able to comment on how this site is run, and on the content of author’s posts, without pissing off the authors. I hope Murray and others can find ways to talking about the things they want for the site without undermining the people who do the bulk of the work here.

                    • weka

                      “If you think there is anything gendered in anything I’ve written about this, point to it. I realise that gender dynamics exist regardless, but that doesn’t mean I have to answer for things I haven’t said, does it? Stephanie can define this as a gender issue if she wants. Fine. I disagree. I think it’s because I’m black.”

                      I’m not thinking about individual comments and whether they were sexist or not. I’m thinking about a dynamic that exists here whereby Stephanie gets treated differently than the male authors, and to what extent that is because she is a woman who doesn’t behave in the ways people want, esp as a feminist.

                      “I think it’s because I’m black.”

                      This implies that Stephanie just made some shit up about gender without basis. I don’t think she did, I’ve explained why. Several other women have talked about this. Stephanie has said she’s taken the time to look at moderation history. What I’m hearing from a number of people is variations on “but I’m not sexist”. For me that’s beside the point, but it’s also worth remembering it’s what sexists say. I think the more pertinent question is “how am I contributing to the undermining of a woman author on ts?”. Some people are overtly. I wouldn’t count you as one of those. But you are arguing about something that detracts from that reality. It’s likely you personally are not being sexist, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a gender dynamic at play.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      + 1 Jenny & Weka & Stephanie.

                    • felix

                      “There is a clear implication there that she is seriously wrong for both criticising Peters and giving credit to Little. How is that not an attack on her as an author?”

                      Since when did saying someone is seriously wrong become an attack on an author?

                      And please keep in mind I am not disputing the grounds for banning or the moderation policy. Assuming Steph’s views represented those of the Labour Party was the sin, wasn’t it?

                      How did we get to the sin being implying that someone is wrong?

                    • felix

                      “This implies that Stephanie just made some shit up about gender without basis. “

                      No, you inferred that. I’m quite willing to accept that Stephanie has a basis for making shit up about gender.

                    • weka

                      Felix, I’ve said quite clearly what I think about Murray’s original comment, including the fact that trying to talk about one aspect of his comment separately from the moderation aspect is problematic. I’ve also said that I tried to rewrite Murray’s comment so it wasn’t an attack on Stephanie and I couldn’t. If you want to parse the thing to death, by all means go ahead. If you want to try and prove that Stephanie was wrong and overreacted because of one thing she said amongst others, by all means go ahead. Myself I think in this context it’s just part of undermining her as an author. I’ve suggested that if people have concerns about moderators overstepping their bounds that there are ways to do that without underming the authors. Ball is in your court on that.

                      “No, you inferred that. I’m quite willing to accept that Stephanie has a basis for making shit up about gender.”

                      And that would be the end of good faith in this conversation.

                    • felix

                      Frankly weka I’ve given up.

                      I was optimistic in thinking it would be possible to discuss this on the crater rim so to speak.

                      I haven’t once criticised Steph for banning Murray or anyone else, but the conversation has devolved to the point where any criticism of anything she did appears to place me in the company of people whose words/actions I don’t necessarily agree with at all, and who are criticising something else entirely.

                      I’m not blaming you for this weka, I think you have the patience of a saint to walk me and others through some fairly complex and nuanced ideas, but I also think we genuinely are coming at it from different angles and seeing different dynamics at play.

                      I’m not blaming Steph either. Not that it’s any of my business, but she did have cause for banning Murray.

                      I think I’ll leave this alone for now.

                    • felix

                      Frankly weka I’ve given up.

                      I was optimistic in thinking it would be possible to discuss this on the crater rim so to speak.

                      I haven’t once criticised Steph for banning Murray or anyone else, but the conversation has devolved to the point where any criticism of anything she did appears to place me in the company of people whose words/actions I don’t necessarily agree with at all, and who are criticising something else entirely.

                      I’m not blaming you for this weka, I think you have the patience of a saint to walk me and others through some fairly complex and nuanced ideas, but I also think we genuinely are coming at it from different angles and seeing different dynamics at play.

                      I’m not blaming Steph either. Not that it’s any of my business, but she did have cause for banning Murray.

                      I think I’ll leave this alone for now.

                    • weka

                      Thanks felix. I think one of the problems here is the commenting structure (it just gets so much harder to have sub or side conversations when the threads get long). Maybe next time we take it to a new thread of its own. But yeah, appreciate the point that we are talking about different things, and I think once it got heated and lots was going on it was going to be hard to separate them out and find meeting points.

                    • Marksman33

                      Bullshit Jenny, Stephanie is one of the most thin skinned, aggressive commentators on this blog. If that makes me a chauvinist, then so be it, I don’t think very many of my female friends and relatives would agree but maybe at 54 I’m a bit old school and things have changed so much and I just havn’t been aware.

                      I went to Stephanie’s other blog the day that it started, and was having a nice little conversation with another poster, when an hour or so later I realised my post had been edited, I found out that Stephanie had taken exception to me using the expression ” Lame stream Media “, to be honest I was taken aback, she also growled me for using that term and gave me a link that was obviously going to show me the error of my ways. So I thought it was only right that I should go to that link and see where I went wrong. Well low and behold I walk straight smack into a big row on that blog, because someone had the temerity to use the word Weak.

                      So needless to say, that was the last time I visited that Left blog. I will finish by saying that I have never taken to Word Nazis’s or bullying and Stephanie does both, it was unfortunate that I even read her blog the other night, but as it pertained to my electorate by-election I got sweeped up in the excitement of the night.

                      Won’t do that again.
                      Won’t do that again.

                  • Marksman33

                    Agreed, 100%.

                    • Marksman33

                      Agreed with Meconism that is.

                    • Ive had at least two weeks off voluntarily but I dedicate them to Murray.
                      I havnt commented on the Buy election because imo its a symptom of the weakness of the left that we would even dream of a buylection win by Winston as anything but a defeat for the left.
                      I don’t see a hell of a lot of difference between Winston and Key. They both stand for a rampant, rapacious, capitalist NZ.
                      The difference is that WInston wants it to be run by kiwis while Key knows that it is being run by Yanky banks.
                      The left needs to grow up and realise that Labour should stand for the disenfranchised and go and mobilise them, not hint that they should vote for a petty bourgeois kiwi chauvinist party.
                      MMP should have been used to do a pre-election deal between Labour, the Greens and Internet-Mana.
                      Had that been the plan instead of running scared of dirty politics, Key might not have a government today and we might well have a genuine centre-left government.

                  • greywarshark

                    Well I need to worry about things at home instead of worrying on TS about little ole’ NZ and where we are going. So I’m off too till Murray Rawshark comes back. He has much to offer about anything, and offers a useful viewpoint always.

                    And if I get banned it wouldn’t be a great loss if the blog is going to be ruled by you Stephanie, or anyone who is like an authoritarian Head Mistress of some superior girls school. I think Tracey came up with a similar ban instead of just giving the commenter a right telling off. Lprent is in a different position, being busy, so much the responsible person for the whole caboodle, and time-poor with resulting impatience.

                    If anyone is going to pinprick a lot according to some tight little rules then it is going to close down discussion. This is a place for reasonable, robust debate which tends to stir the pot, and helps us to see things differently. I think it should foster open discussion, with not too much loss of civility and have a tolerance for the earnest carers for the left and for fair democracy. And those ideas may sometimes result in a call for restraint but not result in snapping out ‘Go to the naughty corner’.

                    • Tracey

                      ” I think Tracey came up with a similar ban instead of just giving the commenter a right telling off. ”

                      You need to post a link to your proof of this, particularly because I have no ability to ban anyone on this Blog.

                      Stephanie is an authoritarian head mistress, Tracey just arbitrarily banned someone and Lynn is a hard working man, in charge and kind of the Boss who just does his gosh darn best. Another poster who could consider some rumination given the harshness of Lynn’s bans and words he chooses to his explain them from time to time..

                    • weka

                      Amazing. So Lynn is excused his style because he’s busy and responsible, but Stephanie is pilloried in a directly gendered way? And there’s no gender issue going on here? What is this then, a playground where we pick sides based on who we like? Seriously?

                      FFS, the rules on ts are pretty bloody clear. Don’t attack authors, don’t undermine them or ts for connections to political parties, don’t tell authors what to write, don’t attack moderators or tell them how to do their job. It doesn’t actually matter if you like Stephanie’s style or not, those are the rules that have been broken in the last 24 hours. By commenters. Repeatedly. Ask yourselves why you think it’s ok to do this on Stephanie’s thread but not other authors’ (I’d really like to know), and if you think this isn’t real, try running this shit next time Lynn moderates or bans someone.

                    • Karen

                      OMG Greywarshark, you have just given a perfect example of what Stephanie is talking about. It is okay if LPrent bans people for breaking the rules because he is “busy,” but Stephanie is not allowed because — I dunno. I guess by your reasoning she can’t have a real job because she is just a girl.

                      FFS – Murray broke the rules and got a 2 week ban. Get over it.

                    • lurgee

                      For what it is worth, I thought lprent was female for years and years. Because people called Lynn usually are. I never thought ‘her’ moderation out of line, however.

  32. Penny Bright 32

    At last – ‘the left’ has practiced strategic voting in Northland, and Winston Peters has taken Northland off National.

    This is historic and unprecedented.

    The most significant development in my view, is how this Northland
    buy-election has destroyed the years of carefully crafted spin-doctored imagery of ex-Wall Street banker John Key as some sort of ‘okey blokey’ genuine Kiwi joker.

    Winston Peters has NAILED it.

    National have taken a HAMMERING.

    Glad to have helped.

    Penny Bright


  33. barry 33

    I think it was necessary for Labour to support Winston here. It will make National be a bit more reasonable in some of their plans (e.g RMA), so may prevent some damage this term.
    However it may hurt Labour at the next election. NZF are not a natural ally for them and this result will help NZF tremendously. It may mean the difference between NZF being in partliament over the medium term. Those are votes that Labour wants.
    At least it is early in the election cycle and much of it may be forgotten in 2-3 years.

  34. North 34

    Calling Fisiani calling Fisiani…….

  35. georgecom 35

    “So Mr Key, 2 weeks ago you said Winston had no chance”.
    “Ahhhhhh, I cannot recall. I don’t know if I said that or not”
    “It was recorded on television Mr Key”
    “Ahhhhh, I will have to check with my office about that. I cannot recall if it was in my diary”
    “Mr Key, you have that dead fish look in your eye”
    “Ahhhhh, I’m pretty relaxed about that”

    Out of interest, this entire bye election campaign, has anyone heard Mark Osborne start a sentence without the words “Ah, look…”

    I am, ah look, struggling to remember a sentence where Mark, ah look, Osborne didn’t.

    • kiwigunner 35.1

      My favourite Osbournism was “No, not at all….” in response to almost every question he was allowed to answer.

      • Rodel 35.1.1

        I still prefer Melissa Lee’s “look..look..” 15 times in a 2 minute interview .

      • georgecom 35.1.2

        I hope Mark Osbourne didn’t resign his day job.

        Just think, 6 weeks ago he thought he was on his way to parliament on a safe ticket. 2 weeks ago his leader was predicting Peters had ‘no chance’. Today Peters is the MP in “Osbourne’s seat” and osbourne is back to work on Monday.

  36. mac1 36

    60% of Northland voters in 28 March 2015 election did not believe Honest John Key- neither his lies, his promises or his party.

  37. Sable 37

    Lovely. Looks like Shonkey and his creepy pals are finally being seen for what they are and not before time. This is in spite of the blanket lies from the MSM bottom feeders who paint this neo con mob as the new economic messiahs.

    As to Labour, Peters won in spite of their predictable inability to work meaningfully with alliance partners. Maybe he will give them a job washing the politicians dishes after the next election.

  38. Corokia 38

    This has been about Winston, not NZF. He’ll have to keep standing, and winning, until he’s 80 for NZF to still be in Parliament in the medium term.

  39. Molly 39

    Lisa Owen on the 3 News election special, has just referred to Mike Sabin. And not in regard to “personal reasons”.

    Is this allowed?

    • felix 39.1

      Why wouldn’t she be allowed to refer to Mike Sabin? What did she say about him?

      • Molly 39.1.1

        No, on reflection probably not.

        Had a look after I posted the comment. She referred to National’s empty seat – and then about the “police investigation into Mike Sabin”. That is in the public arena, so I presume that is OK to repeat

        • felix

          Everywhere except in Parliament where Mr Speaker is being a total dick about it. He makes his own suppression orders, apparently.

          • Capn Insano

            Yeah, that’s getting old fast. There does seem to be the impression that everyone is talking about it except on Parliament TV?

    • I don’t see why not. There was no suggestion that his resignation or publicly-stated reasons were connected to any currently-suppressed court proceedings.

    • Paul Campbell 39.3

      what hasn’t been made public is whether or not Sabin is (either of) the “prominent NZers” – that’s purely conjecture – equally the details of what the “prominent NZer” did, whether or not he or she is really Sabin are also not officially public.

      It’s a funny situation, releasing the facts is banned, but public speculation is legal – if you know for certain you can’t speak about what you know, if you don’t you’re allowed to guess – it’s a nationwide game of telephone – by not releasing the truth the courts risk it all getting stupidly out of hand – someone with a parking ticket getting slandered nationwide with murder

      Despite this a lot of people seem to ‘know’ what Sabin was supposed to have done, either from personal knowledge or from friends with personal knowledge illegally telling them, it’s pretty obvious that the cat is out of the bag – what’s missing though is a robust investigation into what the National government did when it discovered what Sabin had done – that’s likely not going to happen until the public at large, and TV in particular, get incensed with the details of the case.

  40. Upnorth 40

    So the centre right and far right parties picked up 94% of the vote – wow that is a amazing.

    only 6% of Northland don’t agree with centre right policies

    Labour should hold their head in shame – this now reflects the worst polling by any Labour candidate in the history of NZ politics.

  41. BLiP 41

    Well done Northland. I know you were speaking for yourselves and sending National Ltd™ a message about the way it has neglected your region but, in doing so, you have spoken for all New Zealanders who have been neglected. Thank you. May your message echo loudly for the next two and a half years.

    BTW, where’s John Key? Acting on the advice of Crosby/Textor he was all over the show using Mark Osbourne like an old dish-rag to ensure that his “brand” remained polished. Then, under the cover of darkness, perhaps with Jo de Joux at the wheel, he fled Northland. Tomorrow he flies first class to Melbourne to sit in his VIP seat and enjoy the World Cricket Cup Final. Nice for some, eh?

  42. georgecom 42

    look for slime trail between Peter Dunnes office and Keys office monday morning

    • Atiawa 42.1

      I have it on good authority that Dunne & Jon(ah) were both seen boarding a plane to Melbourne – business class -. The 2 Maori Party MP’s were on stand-buy.
      My source is unsure if they boarded.

      Keep up the good work Stephanie and take no shit. I’m with you.

  43. Colonial Rawshark 43

    Talking to my mates here in Dunedin, we reckon that the Northland result is a historic one in NZ politics, but with consequences that won’t be clearly seen for a year or more.

    Duncan Garner is doing a great job on the TV3 coverage, Paddy is being uncharacteristically lineless in this live format.

    • Lanthanide 43.1

      Agreed with your first statements. Not watching the tele so have no opinion on that.

    • Olwyn 43.2

      I was a bit annoyed with them all at the end, insisting that Little had done a deal with Peters. Looking at the lay of the land and deciding what to do on the basis of what you see is not making a deal. Pulling back a bit in an election that you can’t win is of a different order than handing over a seat you can win to a splinter party, so as to allow them funding and yourself an excuse for policies that you haven’t yet mentioned.

      • Raf 43.2.1

        Agreed. If a deal was made, as some of these reporters keep insisting – then what did Winston promise in return for Labour’s support?
        If Little asked for nothing and Winston promised nothing – and they’re both adamant this is the case – if no exchange of favours was discussed and agreed to, then NO deal happened. That’s what a “deal” is – tit for tat.
        I imagine Little might be hoping that Winston will feel indebted and may be inclined to help Labour out one day, but that’s all.

      • felix 43.2.2

        I think Labour, the Greens, and Winston all made a pretty flawless job of playing the hands they were dealt.

  44. felix 44

    Hate to say I told you so.

    Actually that’s not true at all. I told you so.

    • Colonial Rawshark 44.1


    • weka 44.2

      Let’s hope some of us don’t get our told you so moment in 2017.

      • marty mars 44.2.1

        lol I think I’ll bookmark some of these pages…

      • felix 44.2.2

        Unfortunately that may well be the case. I happen to believe that it needn’t be so if we don’t wait until then to start working together.

        • weka

          True although I can’t see how to work with someone who doesn’t want to work together and actively works against in some cases. Best thing that can happen now is for NZF to exist without Peters. I’m open to being wrong about this if anyone can describe how the left might work together otherwise.

          • felix

            I agree Labour has been problematic in this regard in the past but I sense the new leadership has a far better grasp of this stuff. All opposition parties played the cards they were dealt in Northland near perfectly.

            I would still like to see a lot more co-ordination in question time. Far too often Labour, the Greens, and NZF are asking damn near identical questions on the same day which is a terrible waste of one of the few mechanisms in the system for holding the govt to account.

            • weka

              I wasn’t talking about Labour, I was talking about NZF 😉

              Agreed about the opposition parties in this election. The question time cooperation makes sense too. I wonder if Labour and the GP working together more overtly (in a ‘we’re separate parties who collaborate’ kind of way) would prompt Peters to also play better with others, but it might also just prompt him to use it against the scarey lefties esp in 2017. In other words, there is no way that Peters can be trusted, so how can the left work with that?

              • felix

                Good question. I think he’s got to be in there as part of the team from the start otherwise your second scenario (“scary lefties”) is a certainty.

                Whether that’s better done overtly or not is interesting. I think it’s probably more important to just do the actual co-operating and not worry about trying to explain it to the public too much. They’ll see it in action if it’s working. They’re not silly.

  45. venezia 45

    barry…you overlook the fact that Winston worked very productively with Labour in Helen Clark’s last term and did a great job as Minister of Foreign Affairs. Update yourself mate.

    • Atiawa 45.1

      Peter Vela and his mates reckon he was the best Minister of Racing ever! You’d have to wonder why. The Dargaville Racing Club should make him their patron.
      He likes a punt. He and Brendon had a couple of things in common. – foreign affairs & racing.

  46. Brian 46

    Oh happy day! All respect to WJP & AL for taking this one on the chin to give Win the win.

  47. Marksman33 47

    Geez, that felt good ticking that box today, and knowing I was backing a winner for a change. Have to say, in the last week only one person I spoke to tried to convince me to vote for Osbourne. Everyone else was giving me the nudge to vote Winnie,actually talking politics is quite unusual for most people up here, so that was odd in itself.
    I would say, bit of a shame for Willow Jean on paper and as others have said won’t be the last we see of her, she may not be left enough for my tastes but she is a very nice and competent young women, so all the best to her. So when alls said and done,

  48. millsy 48

    Good result. Go Winston. Not too sure what happens now. Everything and nothing probably.

  49. rational thinker 49

    Its not on topic but the right literally took a hammering tonight, Its called karma http://www.3news.co.nz/sport/video-ryder-pulverises-slater-for-ko-win—super-eight-2015032822

  50. philj 50

    Peter Dunne has more power following this bloody nose for the Government. This was a vote against the Govt and not so much a vote for Winnie. Winnie picked his time and place masterfully.

  51. Hateatea 51

    And still nothing from John Key. How long do you think it will take for him to be able to speak publicly on this drubbing? Maybe he is hoping that the Black Caps will win and he can bask in their reflected glory because there is surely no positive for him and NACT out of this defeat.

  52. Philip Ferguson 52

    I thought, and said, from the start that Winston would win. I thought he would from the moment he announced he was running.

    But I certainly wouldn’t have voted for him. This is a guy that has consistently beaten the drum of anti-Asian racism to cohere support for his party at elections. To me, it’s a mark of how far the left has sunk that his victory is seen as some kind of gain for the left and the working class more generally.

    In my view, it points up the fact that we have a pretty shallow left in NZ. Most of it is simply anti-National Party rather than anti-capitalist.

    Sure, there’s some satisfaction in wiping the slimey smile off Key’s face, but that’s very small chips indeed.

    Today, tomorrow and the day after the employers as a class will still be exploiting the workers as a class. And chunks of the left, instead of facing up to the fact that we need a new left movement – of, for and by workers – will be taking satisfaction from giving the National Party a knock as if they, or Key, is the problem, rather than a reflection of the problem.

    I thought it was interesting that Mana only got 55 votes. The Hone factor clearly doesn’t amount to much among Maori voters on the general roll in Northland, or among poor pakeha there.
    The sad story of InternetMana:
    Winston Peters and Northland workers: https://rdln.wordpress.com/2015/03/27/winston-peters-and-northland-workers/

    And what won’t be changed: https://rdln.wordpress.com/2012/02/08/low-pay-longer-hours-and-less-social-mobility/

    • Tracey 52.1

      i dont see it as a victory for the left but a victory for anyone who wants to see this government dented or stopped. Sometimes you have to walk the long way round.

      • Sacha 52.1.1

        Reducing the harm to the Resource Management Act counts as a win.

        • weka

          true, but Philip is right too about this is how far the left has sunk.

          • Sacha

            Philip’s idea of the left represents about 2% of voters – and yes they all deserve to be saddened by how this byelection has not ushered in the glorious workers’ revolution, comrades.

  53. North 53

    This was about nothing other than TheEmperorNoClothesKey being found out. Gutless swine not even there to support Osborne. Who only ten days ago was beamingly telling Northland that John Key is his political hero FFS ! Wonder what Steven “Bad Joyces” promised him to come out with that startlingly gauche crap ? Ackshilly feel a bit sorry for the poor bugger……especially when the others said Churchill and Michael Joseph Savage.

    • David H 53.1

      It just seemed that Joyce and Key said Winston cannot win. And went to sleep for 2 weeks. And then they were all there like fleas on a dog for about 2 weeks. Then like the Rats they are they left Osbourne to face the music when they knew he couldn’t win.

      • dv 53.1.1

        Interesting that Key did not have the Guts to support the losing candidate on election night

        BUT Little did.

  54. Contrary to National Party assertions the next on the N.Z.F. list actually has very strong Northland links. Her family left their Northland Marae and moved down south, and she has raised her family down there.

  55. Odysseus 55

    Am bloody pissed that Key is going to wreck the BCs chances at the MCG tomorrow…

  56. Weepus beard 56

    By Tracey What?-kins:

    The size of the protest vote in favour of NZ First leader Winston Peters will rip aside any complacency that National’s huge election mandate is unshakeable.



    If it can be rocked by the loss of one single seat, was the huge mandate really as huge as Tracey wishes it was?

  57. One Anonymous Bloke 57

    Yay 🙂

  58. North 58

    Watch the false narrative run – not only did Peters hand out a bashing to National he did the same to Labour ??? Well that’s according to LovePerksHide anyway.

    And AuntyArmstrong envisages StillMyGodKey reacting magnanimously. Yeah right ! As exemplified by his absence from the Kerikeri Golf Club last night, the clubrooms that is. He was around…….hunkered down in a bunker smack in the middle of the third fairway. As directed by StevenBadJoyces and Crosby Textor. “Bugger that loser Osborne……you can’t be seen associated with failure John !” Taipa’s gonna be furious that their son got treated so shabbily. Worse, Northland’s longest one way bridge is gonna be Taipa’s forever !

  59. ScottGN 59

    Osborne just said more on that interview on Q & A than he was allowed to say during the whole campaign.

  60. Lefty 60

    To pretend Winston is anything other than an awful little tory is a mistake.

    This by-election has been a loss for National but a victory for the right.

    I understand the desire to teach National a lesson and how Northlanders might have taken a deep breath and voted Winston.

    But when the left decides the only viable political choice is between two varieties of the right we are in a very bad way.

    I am not convinced that strengthening the power base of one party of the right vs another party of the right is a particularly sensible strategic thing to do.

    • Tracey 60.1

      the difference is that:

      1. the left was never going to win Northland so the alternative was returning a government member

      2. now dunne has to stand up and be counted, every time (literally);

      3. the MP might find its voice (it has been appalling silent since October 2014)

      4. 1 or 2 nats have an opportunity to make a difference should they choose. Out of 59, 2 may not be too many to ask for as we get closer to 2016.

      5. The government could never be changed by this buy-election so no point pretending that was an option, unless being deliberately mischievious.

      5. The self proclaimed national party mandate is gone (59 seats is not the mandate it was once claimed to be )

  61. Hotze 61

    NBR uncharacteristically have called this best……
    “A win for Winston — and no one else”

    Well done Northland, you certainly have been !

  62. Pat 62

    a nice bloody nose for this government but has little if any bearing on the way the general election in two and a half years time will proceed….a lot of water to flow under those bridges (be they single or multi lane)

    • Sacha 62.1

      Only takes another Minister or two getting into trouble and there will be an election sooner than that.

      • Pat 62.1.1

        the whole cabinet could be caught with their pants down and this admin wouldnt call an early election….unless JK takes to the bottle and calls one in a drunken stupor.

  63. Tracey 63

    Doesn’t this mean the Gummint’s mandate is gone cos it only has 59 seats? Or is Key gonna say he didnt mean that kind of mandate

    • Draco T Bastard 63.1

      For Key and National having a mandate is anything they say it is even when ~70% of people indicate that they don’t want National’s policies.

    • Sacha 63.2

      He meant a spiritual mandate. Cos he’s that deep.

  64. Wonderpup 64

    I’m looking forward to the photo of Abbot and Key at the cricket tonight. Two increasingly marginalised losers..

    So, does this result mean the media will be more prone to report on Hager’s book? I’m assuming the scandal of a ‘prominent New Zealander’ who was known to be under investigation before the general election will need background on similar events, all nicely laid out for them in ‘Dirty Politics’.

    • Karen 64.1

      Abbot won’t be there, he’ll be at Lee Kwan Yew’s funeral. As Key should be if he was a real statesman.

  65. MrSmith 65

    Great result.

    So could we now see NZF, Dunne, Greens, Maori party and Labour passing legislation over Nationals head.

  66. Stuart Munro 66

    I liked the slick way Winston excused Osbourne – it wasn’t his fault as he hadn’t been MP. I’m guessing Winston would love to run against him again next time…

  67. Philip Ferguson 67

    Nice to see key and co. brought down a peg or two, but here’s a useful antidote to over-fascination with parliament and its usefulness to anyone serious about social change, written by veteran workplace and political activist Don Franks:

  68. rod 68

    Northland Tsunami leaves John Key and his campaign guru Steven Joyce, floundering and wallowing in their own bullshit and lies. Northland has finally woken up. Congratulations to all concerned.

  69. reason 69

    Well done to the voters of Northland and to all the parties involved in this buy-election defeat for national.

    Winston was the only politician who had any chance to upend the nats in this former stronghold of theirs and the man with more come-backs than Jesus delivered …..

    I have never voted for Winston but I do have a grudging respect for him and its not related to his continual resurrection s, which I do admit watching with delight as it always seems to happen when National is trying to stamp on his throat and kill him for good.

    My respect for Winston stems mainly from him refusing to shut up over the rich criminals and wealthy national supporters wine box tax scams……

    Personally I think our unnecessary private prisons should be full of the white collar criminals who always support ‘right wing’ governments …….

    And on that note there’s enough exposed sleazy stinking National Dirty politics, back-room sky style deal making and lets face it ‘sabinization’ of this government to bury it…….

    Key will be out of the country when this finally happens too.

  70. https://willsheberight.wordpress.com/2015/03/29/national-counting-the-cost-of-the-northland-by-election/

    I hope that the cost is more than what is summarized above. Northland were brave enough to tell National they didn’t believe Osborne was the best.

    Now it is up to Winston to pay Northland for their intelligence.

  71. One Anonymous Bloke 71

    Skite 😈

  72. Michael 72

    It’s a shame that Labour is so unelectable but that’s the way it is and the way it looks likely to be for a long time yet. It might be worth looking at what makes Winston so attractive to so many people; FWIW, I think it’s his conservative populism, together with (just) a hint of racism that speaks to so many provincial New Zealanders. I deprecate the racism, and I don’t really think Winston believes even half of his bullshit, but he knows a lot of his voters believe all of it and he tells them what they want to hear. I don’t think Labour should adopt those tactics but some of Winston’s other tactics might be useful.

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