Is Giovanni Tiso racist? Is Graeme Edgeler a rape apologist and QoT proves hell hath no fury like a blogger scorned


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The blog war that has erupted on the left has been as vicious and brutal as a Tea Party conference sacrificing lambs to their angry Fox News God.

My calls for some type of peace by pointing out the feral descent into twitter bullying on the left was met with a tsunami of abuse by the Emerald Stormtroopers and aesthetic left of Labour making Wellington’s little brother complex look absolutely positively passive aggressive.

I appreciate that for me, a blogger who has always enjoyed a gadfly reputation for critiquing others on the left, to question the viciousness of the home goals being currently scored and call for a cessation of hostilities brings with it a certain irony, but even I have my limits.

The speed with which the fury has spun out of control has conveniently obscured the real issue which is Police inaction and a culture of misogyny within the Police force that seems to place sexual abuse alongside annoying elderly couples complaining about a neighbors dog digging up their berm.

The shear venom exchanged between the factions of the left is bitterly disappointing and I suspect has Green Party strategists smashing their faces into every keyboard in their office. Last election the Green leadership had to try and quell activists defacing billboards, this election it will be trying to reign in their supporters and staff members from using social media to push their own grudges and political posturing. I understand Labour strategists are keeping clear of it all and are shaking their head in total disbelief at the mishandling of it.

There have been a couple of interesting twists in the war this week worth reflecting upon.


TDB Recommends

Is Giovanni Tiso racist?
While Tiso is no friend of mine and whose constant twitter criticisms are a bit teenage, the assertion by blogging newcomer Donna Awatere Huata that he is racist is absurd. While watching an identity politics devotee like Tiso squirm as he’s attacked by another identity politics faction has a certain entertainment quality to it, Tiso is no racist. His blogs are insightful and despite some Middle Class fog horns on twitter complaining that my ‘unranked’ comment when assessing his impact on Radio Live was disrespectful, I hold Tiso in high regard as a blogger.

It’s his juvenile twitter feed that leaves much to be desired.

I think a lot of the criticism in Huata’s blog is unfair to Tiso and some of the other criticism leveled at his activism sounds more like the tired screams of mainstream pundit dinosaurs realizing their extinction in the age of social media is nigh.

Tiso should be congratulated for his activism and the righteousness of his desire to reclaim the public sphere from language and debate that was grossly offensive. That said, Donna does press home some interesting aspects of this debate by injecting race into it. That Willie & JT were punished while white broadcasters like Sean Plunket & Andrew Fagan (whose comments seem far worse) get away scot free will have many Maori feeling like they’ve been scapegoated once again.

That double standard isn’t Tiso’s fault, it comes back again to the ill-judged ignorance within Radio Live management. My understanding (confirmed from several sources) was that management had no problem with Willie & JT’s interview until the advertisers started calling to pull out. In that light, Tiso served an extraordinarily important service in bringing the issue to a head.


Is Graeme Edgeler a rape apologist?
Equally fascinating is the way Graeme Edgeler is being mauled by the Public Address faithful. His post on freedom of speech is a graceful and respectful argument defending Willie & JTs right to free speech. It is thoughtful and one would have hoped would have raised the standard of debate, pop into the comments if you want to see the acrimony it has generated.

While Graeme’s post is a really well argued blog, I think it misses the point significantly because I don’t think this is a freedom of speech debate. When the Police contacted me and threatened with with prosecution for posting a piece of satire that cut close to the bone, I pointed out that the issue wasn’t free speech, but was that the Police had the time to threaten me after 6 hours where as 2 years into the Roast Buster investigation no charges had been presented.

This isn’t about free speech, if JT and Willie want to post a podcast of their views on rape survivors, they are free to, this was about bringing consequences to a broadcaster in the public sphere who seemed oblivious to the level of offense it had generated. Calls to consider examples of South Park episodes or unpopular books in terms of speech that’s censored pales into insignificance when one considers the tens of thousands of historic rapes that have never seen justice.

That’s why I think such free speech debates in this context are technical or abstract. When you consider the horrific realities of the rape abuse that is being committed, arguing about the right to be offensive and ignorant seems to miss the point by several million light years.

I thank Graeme for stating his opinion, I disagree with it, but I am grateful for his inclusion in the debate. It is perhaps testament to how heated this discussion has become that so much vitriol has flowed his way for voicing his opinion.


QoT proves hell hath no fury like a blogger scorned
Lastly, a word on Queen of Scorns latest diatribe against this Blog and my character. QoT left the blog with Nicole Skews who quit after I refused to allow Skews to abuse a fellow blogger on TDB. I have an enormous level of respect for both of them as bloggers, but since leaving  TDB, they have gone on to make absurd claims and down right defamatory remarks online which seem more wallowing martyrdom than genuine criticisms.

QoT’s latest attack is to claim that our desire on TDB to have more female voices is somehow a conspiracy to hide my true intentions of allowing the patriarchy to rule while paying lip service to diversity. She claims the lack of posts by the female bloggers in October is proof of this while I think that is a terrible slap in the face to the women bloggers on this site. QoT knows first hand from times she couldn’t get her blog through to us that there are many extra time issues for female bloggers to contend with. Family, work and study all impact on the time commitments people can commit to blogging, every blogger on this site has the ability to post whenever they want above the minimum commitments they agree to. This lack of voice is not the white men constricting a female perspective, it is the simple time realities of juggling blogging with real life. I get up at 4am to write all my blogs for the day, that’s not a commitment I ask of any other blogger to take onboard, to hold that up as evidence of a lip service to diversity is unjustified and mean spirited.

The insinuation that Amanda Kennedy, Christine Rose, Dianne Khan, Jenny Michie, Julie Anne Genter, Julie Fairey, LadyMac, Laila Harre, Latifa Daud, Louisa Wall, Marama Davidson, Moana Mackey, Penny Hulse, Phoebe Fletcher, Professor Jane Kelsey, Rachael Goldsmith, Sue Bradford, Susan St John, Tali Williams and Melissa Ansell-Bridges are somehow puppets being played for deceptive means by myself, Chris Trotter, Selwyn Manning, Frank Macskasy and Wayne Hope is as ludicrous as it is offensive to those women.

QoT is better than this type of snide commentary, it’s sad to see her anger overcome her cognitive skills as a blogger.

The current cycle of the progressive blogosphere waging war upon itself doesn’t look like  it’s even close to ending. The personal acrimony and grudge building that is being created now will cast long shadows into next years election.

Meanwhile $282million gets spent over a decade of war in Afghanistan while 270 000 children live in poverty, this Government continue to privatize public assets to the wealthy who have been given billions in tax cuts and the NZ Police continue to avoid being held accountable for an entrenched culture of misogyny.


PS – To Ruminator who commented on QoTs post: The reason I have vocal right wing supporters on Citizen A is because Citizen A is a NZ on Air sponsored TV show. If I have strong left voices, it’s my responsibility to balance that with strong right wing opinions, those are the obligations of public broadcasting. On my own blog I don’t provide space for the Right to bleat, as you did with Judith Collins. Your inability to appreciate that suggests Ruminators blog title of internalizing complicated situations is optimistic.


  1. People who try to claim that the reaction to Willie and JT is racist seem to be forgetting that one of the first criticisms of their comments came from a group of Maori women, Te Wharepora Hou. One of their members, Marama Davidson, in her speech to the Aucland protest against rape culture, said:

    “Rape apologists do nothing to inform and educate us so I applaud the stand made by many to get those mouths metaphorically taped. Besides, they have all had their damaging turns for far too long. And we need to do more taping of mouths. The dogma of people defending freedom of speech can go take a leap because they are confusing that freedom with a specific male privilege afforded to a few. It is this PRIVILEGE that has amplified their harmful irrelevant voices on dominating platforms. That is not freedom of speech and it is certainly NOT MERIT!”

    She also said: “…I do not believe that the current warped expectations of masculinity on our Māori men have worked for them at all, or for any men in our society. These warped concepts of masculinity do not even work for the stupid men who think they are enjoying their abuse of power.”

    As to why Willie and JT were suspended (not permanently removed) from air, while Andrew Fagan and Sean Plunkett weren’t – I’m not sure about Plunkett, but Fagan did give a genuine apology, not a pathetic non-apology (“We’re sorry if anyone was offended – but we’re still going to use the interview to promote our program.”)

    Are the people who are defending JT and Willie saying that it’s ok for Maori commentators to be sexist, victim-blaming, misogynist dickheads because “that’s their culture”? Now that DOES sound racist to me.

    • Its great that people called from some radio accountability, however there are some outstanding issues.

      – the focus did move quickly away from the police. In retrospect, when people think of the results of this case they will think immediately of JT and Wilie, and less so the cops being hopeless, or the white misogynist radio fullas.
      – this moving of emphasis is subtle and happens all the time.

      Most of these e-debates discussed apparently on the left are outside of my experience. If it wasn’t posted here, i would have carried on being unaware of them. it feels like an over reaction by bomber. Ultimatley its not about you and I, moreso the issues of power and control.

  2. Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought. -John F. Kennedy, 35th US president (1917-1963)

  3. To answer the first two questions: no and no. I dislike boycotts for various reasons, but Tiso is no racist.

    The Public Address thread had me in fits of laughter. That site is characterised by middle class angst and ill thought out and sanctimonious posts, but it reached a whole new level this week. I saw Graeme’s point, even if I’m not sure that I agree with him, but I cannot see why his relatively level-headed post should have attracted such acrimonious comments.

    Then again, I personally know a couple of people who post there, so it shouldn’t really be a surprise – the place reeks of the entitlement it is so constantly criticising.

    This blog is better off without the other two. QOT in particular is a caricature of a radical feminist who substitutes scorn and hyperbole for reasoned argument, and who cannot cope with disagreement. Such people have no real place in political discourse for obvious reasons.

    I’m sure the other women posting on TDB will do more than fly the feminist flag.

  4. I think you’re doing your case a disservice by saying that free speech issues pale into insignificance next to the matter of rape. Surely anyone who believes in both freedom of speech and freedom from sexual assault can seek a solution that preserves both freedoms. One need not override the other.

    I think that what’s going on is the free speech issues were insignificant to begin with. To be clear, I’m not talking about the right to be offensive. The big issue is the suspension of Willie and JT, and it’s not that big. They are no more censored by their lack of a Radio Live show than I am. They had a privileged voice and they screwed it up; excuse me while I cry a solitary tear. They’ll have a (presumably paid) vacation, some education about handling serious topics, and they’ll be back in the new year. It really is just like Dresden.

    Edgeler’s article is as you say thoughtful and insightful, but it loses me pretty early in the piece: I just don’t see this as censorship. It’s just an overblown act of contrition that, as Fagan’s textbook apology showed, could have been defused with an actual recognition of the rape apology. Surely, in their attempts to discuss a complicated issue, they should understand and engage with the criticism of them?

    The lesson here is that public organs of debate have to get out in front of controversy. They have to recognise their mistakes. If they’re going to tackle a complicated issue they should be ready for complications.

    I will say that the implications of advertiser boycotts are potentially quite chilling for freedom of speech – and that is why public broadcasting is so important. Advertisers routinely, even unconsciously, boycott voices they don’t want to be associated with, by never going into business with them in the first place. That is normal. Pervasive. Censorship is the default position of capitalist funding in the marketplace of ideas. An aberration in which this fact erupts into the public consciousness will draw outrage and fears for free speech, while the persistent structural fact remains invisible and unaddressed.

    • I can’t even see Fagan’s apology as an apology. It was all “I’m not responsible because the missus had been mean to me.” We’d laugh at a ten year old who gave that excuse.

    • I will say that the implications of advertiser boycotts are potentially quite chilling for freedom of speech…

      I keep hearing the refrain that criticising someone’s comments is an attack on their free speech.

      It isn’t. It’s using free speech in the same manner as the first person.

      Or that boycotts are an attack on free speech. It isn’t. It’s simply an adjunct to free speech.

      Why should anyone expressing an opinion not be subject to the same criticism that they themselves enjoy?

      That’s the thing about free speech – it cuts both ways.

      When someone complains that their “free speech” is being attacked simply because their opinions are being criticised, I suspect they have no response to the criticism.

  5. One of the unwritten rules of abusive culture (and proof of how deeply this problem runs) is that the lower someone is on the hierrachy, the easier it is to get away with abusing them. I tend to use abuse to describe behaviour that ranges from utterly hideous acts to the telling of “white” lies so…

    Why has the population gone vigiliante on the roast busters? – because they’re now non-persons, and can’t possibly defend themselves.

    Why have people put more pressure on a radio station than on the police, who clearly have massive internal problems? Because police have much more authority than radio DJs.

    Why have people put more pressure on brown DJs than white DJs? I don’t even need to answer that question. Although it should be noted that Sean Plunket has the mannerisms of an authority figure and Willie and JT cultivate a bit of a larrikin image so that’s in the mix too.

    Why do dysfunctional people on the left save their most vicious attacks for those they are closest too? I’m sure anyone from an abusive family will recognise this self destructive behaviour.

    The horrible truth is that if we’re born into this culture this stuff is in our blood. While the current debate and some of the actions that result from it will definitely be helpful we can’t hope to solve this problem until we’re prepared to confront ourselves.

    Suggesting self-improvement as a solution to a problem on this website is probably a waste of time since people come here for the enjoyment of the politics but what the heck, I thought I’d try.

  6. Donna Awatere Huata, ex MP of the foul party that supported Titford against the Te Roroa people? As far as I’m concerned, listening to anything she has to say has as much validity as searching for meaning in John Banks’s watery stools after he’s overdosed on whisky enemas.

    As mentioned above, wahine toa who are worth listening to spoke against Willie and Back Pussy. Who spoke out about Andrew Fagan? I spoke against the way the poaka handled all this, and the way they continue to ignore pressure to change. I listened and learned a few things from militant women speaking against rape culture. I support what they are doing, but do not support 100% how they all do it. I don’t buy package deals. They shouldn’t be upset by that.

    I still hold my view that a lot of the identity politics and arguments on the broad left come from a position of weakness, and perhaps even a little middle class impatience, which means any immediate result is often preferred to hard work with a long term goal. I think that’s what Rogernomics has done to us all, and we need to get over it.

    • >> I still hold my view that a lot of the identity politics and arguments on the broad left come from a position of weakness… <<

      Hear, hear, Ovicula. When feeling intimidated and marginalized, it's all too tempting to burn one's ideological neighbours as witches, rather than face the more difficult task of understanding and challenging the structural power wielded by the real oppressors.

      I have to say though Bomber, when I saw your otherwise laudable call for peace in the blogosphere, I saw an example of the very "own goals" you criticize, in your writing off a whole section of your allies as "emerald stormtroopers" – a sneering smear worthy of Lindsay Perigo (who likes to imply environmentalists are fascists by calling us "greenshirts"). Like QoT, you are capable of a more thoughtful and balanced approach than this, even in response to the juvenile toilet-wall scribblings that people too often put on Twitter. If you are going to call out "the Left" for self-destructive behaviour, please lead by example.

      • ‘Emerald Stormtroopers’ refers to those green party supporters whose fanatical middle class intellectual snobbery alienates online allies, and when one takes a gander at the twittersphere, I think the term is very apt. Similarly the aesthetic left of the Labour Party is a term for those who have very little political desire for change.

        I’m bemused that pointing out the fact that the meanest abuse I attract on twitter comes from Green supporters is such a no no.

        • I called the “twittersphere” toilet wall scribblings for a reason. It’s like making a political issue of people laughing at your haircut when you go into a particularly pub. Most kiwis don’t use Twitter, and don’t care what’s said there. Thinking it matters enough to write blog posts about and pidgeon-hole whole networks of people with collective labels like “emerald stormtroopers” comes across to me as an excellent example of “fanatical middle class intellectual snobbery”. It’s not a “no no”. It’s just beneath you.

          • Please keep in mind that for most people the phrase “stormtroopers” evokes Star Wars, in which they are faceless henchmen who mindlessly murder people in defence of an overtly evil empire. Riot police who brutalize non-violent protesters are often referred to as “stormtroopers”, and at some protests Darth Vader’s theme music is played on protest sound systems when they form up to do so.

            Calling fellow activists “stormtroopers” is a deeply insulting over-reaction.

  7. Edgeler’s problem was that he was largely correct, and the people who read his post were alarmed and disturbed by the cogency of his argument and their own inability to respond to it in a rational manner.

    Hence the abuse and the retreat into cultural studies nonsense about privilege and entitlement.

    Willie and JT were already taking heavy stick from others in the media, so the system was working as JS Mill intended and as is customary in NZ. We didn’t need some foreigner sticking his oar in.

  8. You seem to use the terms “Free speech” an awful lot. And then you have a crack at me for hosting a blog post by Judith Collins. Thus exercising mine – and her – right to free speech.

    I’ve also had posts from Metiria Turei, David Cunliffe and Tau Henare. I’ve got some more coming up from Winston Peters, Jacinda Ardern and Chris Finlayson.

    The pattern you may notice there Martyn my friend is that I am fair and truly embrace free speech. Let everyone have their say so it’s out in the open, then we can freely debate those words. Let’s not throw a hissy fit if someone that we disagree with is given a platform from which to speak.

    • Well, that’s all fine Ruminator, but your post on QoT was far more critical than that wasn’t it? Your point was what a hypocrite I am for allowing right wing voices on Citizen A when I said if I wanted to read hard right politician’s I’d read the NZ Herald rather than your blog.

      I’ve pointed out to you why I have those voices on Citizen A, and rather than saying, ‘Ooops, I didn’t know that yet formed a critical opinion I was happy to make public, perhaps I got that wrong and I should withdraw that comment’ you are on here trying to make it a free speech issue.

      Good for you Ruminator.

      • Nope. I stand by my statement. You paint yourself as the “Hero of the left” and now you’re trying to be the great unifier.

        Firstly, you’re not a hero of the left if you’re inviting the likes of Hooty and Craig on a show.

        And secondly, great unifier?

        Two words: David fucking Shearer.

        Righto, I have no beef with you Martyn, I think you serve a good role. But I will call bullshit when I see bullshit. It’s not personal you see. It’s just business.

        • Again – you missed the point. Citizen A is a publicly funded TV show, having both sides of the debate is important when you take funds from the public. What about this concept is so difficult for you to accept?

          I think your need to paint me as a hypocrite is overwhelming the truth of the issue.

          I criticized Shearer because he was unable to beat Key, if that makes my calls for some civility between progressive voices on social media to defeat Key hypocritical, then I think you are again setting a threshold more tainted by your dislike of me than the wider goals.

            • I think this comment is beneath you. NZ on Air fund Citizen A, that’s tax payer money, that requires balance. On TDB we don’t provide the right for a platform, they way you do at Ruminator.

              I think the spite in your comment helps strengthen the point I’m making.

              Have a wonderful day.

            • Ruminator: I’d have to say that was one of the silliest statements I have seen for a while. Perhaps you should have a look at the criteria that NZ On Air fund things.

              I’ve been rather too busy over the last few months to look at sites other than my own or even to write posts. But this inspired bit of ignorant commentary about the way that public funds can be used really doesn’t give me any confidence that you’re likely to much about anything political…

              Next thing you’d be sprouting other political myths as truth. Just like any other ignorant troll.

  9. Be very , very careful of the wily ways of the political/psychological confederate .

    Their job , by definition , is to infiltrate then destabilize and misinform .
    Get us at each others throats for the want of better words .

    If the Left is experiencing a renewed interest , particularly if from the 800,000 voters who didn’t , and the swing voter who went National but now loath jonky as the Judas ( Has anyone got a library , a pistol and a bottle of scotch ? ) liar he is and have seen the error of their ignorance then I will bet my left nipple , the good one , that there will be some very clever , well trained Confederates devoting an inordinate amount of time stirring up trouble for the aspirations of the Left .

    To believe otherwise is naive and extremely dangerous .

    The trick is how to spot ’em ?

    Well , firstly do the research . Who are they and where did they come from ? If they’ve just popped up out of nowhere all eloquent and convincing , as did jonky , then you’d best be suspicious of them in my humble view .

    This link may help .

    Please also see ;

    Zimbardo’s prison experiment and the Asch conformity experiment.

    • In the words of the Kris Kristofferson song immortalized by Janis Joplin ” Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose”

    • There’s no such thing as ‘free’ anything.

      Definitely not. Takes between $200 and $300 to run TS’s servers every month.

      But I guess if you’re small enough it’d be easier to pay for a site.

  10. Hi Martyn

    I’m a woman, a feminist for 40 years, and have been following the debate for the last number of weeks. I have also been raped and got into situations where I might have been raped. I never thought this was my fault but did think I could have been cleverer. But not my fault, not my blame.

    I guess that I understand the way this debate has gone because of the emotional heft it naturally engenders. The debate on Public Address was difficult to read. Graeme Edgler had a point to make about freedom of speech and the socio-political dangers of abandoning these lightly. I think he was theoretically right and, in this case, practically wrong.

    There was no loss to Willie’s and JT’s right to free speech – they were simply barred from speaking from privileged and paid airwaves – there are other avenues for their speaking because they are well-known people in public life with a high profile. I am sure they will continue to do both their good and bad in the world. And the thing I think is that we all do that kind of stuff – things we regret and things we can be proud of. And I understand Donna Awatere Huata’s pointed comment that it is two Maori men who have been singled out.

    So, that makes me seem like a middle-left mediator type person. No I am not. I’ve always been in the left/socialist arena.I hate rape culture. I abhor the inequality I see happening in our country.

    But,you know what, I despair when I read the blogosphere eating itself with dismissive vitriol – even to the trolls.

    This is my first post ever, and it’s a bit scary!

    • Zoe, first time caller eh? 😉 Thanks for your balanced and thoughtful comments.

      >> There was no loss to Willie’s and JT’s right to free speech – they were simply barred from speaking from privileged and paid airwaves <<

      I'm going to respond to this here since you've mentioned it, but it's an argument I've seen in all of the comment threads I've browsed on this issue. This point Graeme Edgeler is making is not about Willie and JT's freedom of speech as private citizens. You're quite right that this is unaffected by their temporary stand-down from broadcasting on RadioLive.

      What Edgeler warns about is the chilling effect of encouraging private companies to police the content of media they fund through their advertizing dollars. While it's true that commercial media content is often filtered on the basis of whether it's friendly to the interests of capital and profit (see Chomsky and Herman's classic analysis of the various levels of gatekeeping involved in 'Manufacturing Consent'), this is something we should be criticizing and discouraging, *not* demanding and normalizing!

      In my younger days, in the aftermath of the a registry occupation I supported at Auckland Uni, I engaged one of "Prebble's Rebels" in a heated debate in order to distract him, while my fellow occupiers pinched his copies of "I've Been Thinking" for a private book-burning. If the same thing happened to an Occupy activists who was selling copies of David Graeber's 'Debt' (for example), I would be furious, and rightly so. While it would be an overreaction to claim my confederates and I were taking our first steps towards erecting Stalinist gulags (as Chris Trotter seems to have done), in hindsight, I regret it, and I wouldn't do it again.

      In a democratic society (whether capitalist, communist, mixed, or other), as Chomsky reminded us in his comments on Robert Faurisson, basic liberties like free speech exist only to the degree that we defend them even for people with whom we strongly disagree. Edgeler reminds us of this acid test; would we be as happy to see the same tactic used against someone whose views we support? For the same reason I didn't support the Police disbursing Occupy camps, thus preventing us from demonstrating in a public place, I wouldn't support the Police preventing swastika-wearing nationalists from demonstrating in a public place, cringe-worthy as it is to see them waving NZ flags in front of the Cenotaph. I do support the direct action approach of a counter-demonstration, making use of the same freedom of expression they are, to challenge and mock their cookie-cutter politics.

      Returning to Willie and JT, Edgeler is right that suspending them from their RadioLive show will do nothing to the attitudes which apologise for "rape culture" except to entrench them, and drive them underground. The direct action response to redneck talkback shows, like most of those on RadioLive, would be to set up non-redneck talkback shows, to create space for the voices that RadioLive's shock jocks tend to hang up on. As Ovicula so rightly points out though, so much easier and more immediately gratifying to use a moral panic and the fear of middle class consumer power to shoot the messenger.

      • Excellent post Danyl. One of the very best, most considered things I’ve seen on the subject. (I wouldn’t lose any sleep, however, over nicking some copies of the Roger Douglas book!)
        Jackson and Tamihere are boorish sexists, but the threat of capitalist firms – which exploit workers every day – having them put off air is worse.

        Rosa Luxemburg made the point that free speech isn’t free speech unless it applies to people we completely disagree with (which would include people we are offended by). I won’t shed a tear for Jackson and Tamihere over the stand-down, but it is a dangerous precedent and it will be used more against the side of liberation than against the side of oppression. The big picture issue, as you note, is not about them but about a first principle.

  11. If Paul Henry had done the uncouth thing on talkback radio, and advertisers had withdrawn their dollars – would that have been racist? Would Ms Awatere Huata have spoken in his defense? Perhaps not. She’s known to be parochial and partisan, after all.

    Why is the ‘racist’ slur so popular for shutting down debate and expressions of opinion? It’s usually the least thought-about description of what is in play, too.

    And where does the ‘privilege’ argument come from? Discrimination can fall on any sex, any coloration, any status. It’s a human thing to do. However, it makes a great put downer and shutter-up, doesn’t it?

  12. QOT had me perma-banned from The Standard, for being a woman who didn’t agree with her, as far as I can see. Therefore, ’nuff said.

    • Huh? Ok “Deborah” – I see who you are…

      The person that got you banned was yourself. I guess that you simply can’t accept that eh? QoT was perfectly capable of banning you if she’d felt it was required. But she never even mentioned it to me, and as far as I remember she simply said that you weren’t allowed to leave ignorant comments on *her* posts.

      I was the person who banned you. I guess you conveniently managed just lie about that huh? Mind you that is on a par with your usual obnoxious behaviour.

      I simply got tired of you making crap up with the sole authority of yourself as being the reference. You’d then attack everyone that said you were talking crap, pointing out the flaws in your weird interpretations of almost everything, and who had the audacity to ask you to link to some supporting evidence. In other words you appear to have picked up the habit of being a congenital bullshit artist whose main value in an online forum is to provide entertainment.

      You’d been warned often enough about those traits and your obnoxious habit of dropping irrelevant diversion comments about your obsessions into posts.

      Eventually you picked up a smaller bans from me without discovering the obvious point. That your behaviour was unacceptable in online forums. I’m sure that same lesson will be learnt here.

      But in the end your bans got doubled up to the point that you are at present banned from TS until sometime next year. From memory, the last ban resulted from you claiming that Labour and the Greens had conflicting policies on greenhouse gas emissions. That may even be the case (their policies are a bit undetailed) – but you were unable to offer a single link in support of that.

      Perhaps you should learn that simply bullshitting and lying simply isn’t the way to convince anyone of anything. It may seem to be the lazy person’s shortcut to avoid having to really learning about the things you’re trying to promote. But in an online world it is simply a way towards personal distress for yourself.

  13. We all like to be a bit “hitting” with our comments at times, but I agree, this can get out of control and turn into subjective nastiness, which is not serving good quality blogging and commenting.

    Maybe by sticking more to simple facts, by being a bit more objective, focused and mindful with expressions of views and positions, we can all improve.

    It tends to get nasty and out of control, when labels, slogans and even abuse and accusations are mingled into words.

    This whole debate about the “roast busters” brought out the good and bad in many commenters, and some bloggers, and it should help them all to learn to improve and act more maturely.

    Personally I like to also read more about social issues that affect many, be this unemployment, income disparity, the appalling welfare reforms, medical issues, migrant, ethnic and cultural issues, the environmental challenges, human rights, and how we can create an economy and society that addresses most of these as well as possible, in practicable, sensible and effective ways.

    Hopefully “the left”, or “left of centre”, social democrat, socialist and labour movement will work more together up towards the next election, as otherwise, the public will be turned off by too much in-fighting and rivalries.

    Let us work on all this together, somehow.

  14. One word – reflection – look it up in a dictionary – it has been the strength of the left to take the time and think things through. But most of the left in NZ are reactionary, they equate listening to, indeed pushing a view point of identity politics, or even agreeing with it at any point as weakness. Well guess what – dialectic materialism is not the answer to the worlds ills, nor is the unseen hand.

    Unity is a bad joke, when it comes from the top – unity is a worse joke when it’s the same old click with the same dam lies to sell, telling the folk to unify. Next we will hear – For the common good…

  15. WOW… a few people need to stop sucking on their lemons.

    I’m sort of new to the world of “political” blogs, I occasionally make a comment, here or elsewhere.

    For many months I sat back and read the various contributors and learned very quickly that there are people out there who just cannot bear the thought of somebody disagreeing with them (mostly the righty tighties).

    I have to say a couple of lefty female contributors scare the shyte out of me and I avoid any contribution to their topics like the plague.

    The silliest thing of all though is the number of folks who jump from blog to blog running each others articles/contributions down.

    It’s like taking sides in a kiddies sandpit tiff and if this is any reflection on the calibre of the left then dog help us in 2014, while everyone is scrapping over who said what to whom pin o key o , the fat controller and other miscellaneous caricatures will be hanging out on the Treasury Benches for another 3 years

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