GUEST POST: Pat O’Dea – how hypocritical is The Standard?



A couple of weeks ago Lynn Prentice, editor of the Labour Party blog, ‘The Standard’ bitterly attacked editor of The Daily Blog, Martyn Bradbury for not publishing a comment from Alistair Thompson, Editor of Scoop, The Standard’s main source of income.

Bradbury responded to Prentice 

In terms of the essence of your latest criticism that I didn’t bother with Alistair’s reply 1)- his reply is just nonsense and 2)because people always have the ability to go post whatever they want about me elsewhere. If people want to take their own meanings with their own bias on my blogs, well they can go stamp their feet somewhere else. I appreciate the Standard’s business model is endless discussions on pointless chat boards that are ego stroking for the regulars, but content is the focus here.

So while Lynn is criticising TDB for not publishing comments, how about mine? Below is a forward of a letter of complaint to The Standard asking them to correct an inference made by a commenter that I personally abused one of their authors in a hidden comment, and that is why I am banned. I would normally ignore such comments, but in a follow up comment Lynn Prentice leaves an inference that this might be the case.

Unlike most of his commenters and authors I go under my own name and to accuse me even by inference that I have indulging in hidden verbal abuse personal abuse is damaging to my reputation and relationships with the online community.

Lynn Prentice has banned me, yes, but not for dishing out personal abuse to one of his authors. (In fact it was the other way around). Essentially Lyn has banned me for daring to suggest that the Left should work together in the Northland by-election.

Lynn Prentice has compounded this by agreeing with a commenter in a manner, that infers, that I personally abused one of his authors and that the only reason this comment can’t be seen by the public is that he blocked it.

All of this is a complete and total fabrication. I did not abuse his Author Stephanie Rodgers on his website, or for that matter on any other forum, or blog, or email, facebook message, or in any other written form, blanked or unblanked, or even in a private conversation.

TDB Recommends

For Lynn Prentice to back such a claim is a complete lie.

But of course, I can’t defend myself on his site from this sort of abuse because I am banned.

The weird thing is he doesn’t dish this sort of treatment out to some of the extreme Right Wingers who comment on his site.

To stoop to such tactics signals to me is that the Labour Party see the wider Left as a greater threat than the Nats and ACT. I think that this is what underwrote their strategy in the last general election and underwrites their proposed strategy for the Northland by-election.

It is interesting that in banning me that Lynn Prentice complains of having trouble of attracting authors to his site. The daily blog doesn’t seem to have that trouble. As the gate keeper of the Party line, I imagine that it would be very hard for Lynn Prentice to find even anonymous writers that agree with the narrow sectarian views he is looking for in an author.

I am giving Lynn Prentice the benefit of the doubt that when he gave the impression that I have personally abused Stephanie Rodgers on line in a hidden comment, which is not evident because he has blanked that abuse out, that he did so unintentionally.

So I am allowing him a period of grace to correct and apologise for his error.

Let’s see if he does.

Screen Shot 2015-02-04 at 6.44.17 pm


    • Very little to do with me. With certain rare exceptions, I seldom initiate attacks. Generally I react to attacks. However I will always react to sustained attacks from other websites. To do otherwise without refutation is to allow the people at those websites to build a silly meme about our site that is misguided or deliberately fraudulent.

      Being who I am, I am strongly inclined towards making sure that people attacking me or my site get disinclined to want to do it in the future. If this site’s authors or the political party they are associated with continue for much longer with this tactic, then I will remove my current constraints.

      Pat O’Dea clearly hasn’t read our policy on commenters telling authors how to write their posts or attacking them personally as I point out in my post below.

  1. I’m a big fan of TDB Martyn, but FFS the word is “hypocritical”, not hypercritical, which means something completely different

  2. Perhaps you missed the crucial point about why I had a go at Martyn. It wasn’t for banning people or deleting comments. It was quite specifically for making rebuttal comments by people attacked by Martyn disappear without explaining why.

    In your case the reason why future comments at The Standard are automatically deleted is perfectly clear. I see that you have neglected to link to the comment that finally got you banned. Here. Let me rectify that.

    You will note that when I looked further back while coming to a judgement about an appropriate sentence, I found these two comments in the previous couple of days
    Where you ‘corrected’ author Mickysavage’s post and then ran a diversion into your policy topic which is something that I ban people for.
    Where you ‘corrected’ a post by Stephanie and were nicely told by Stephanie what our policy is. You can argue about content, but don’t try to patronise our authors or personally attack them..

    In the comment that I banned you on, you completely overreacted to Stephanie disagreeing with one of your comments had what to me appears to be a deliberately contrived personal attack on her.

    That is when I intervened.

    I think that I adequately said why under our policy you got the boot for attacking our authors in three separate comments in three different posts. The reason that these comments were linked to was because it showed a deliberate pattern of behaviour that was unacceptable on our site. In making my decision, I read all of your comments for the last couple of months.

    This wasn’t just an mere unthinking pique in the manner that this site has seemed to prefer when silently deleting comments in the past. This was a deliberate decision following long established and clear policies.

    The policy you violated was in the list of self-martyrdom offenses:-

    Abusing the sysop or post writers on their own site – including telling us how to run our site or what we should write. This is viewed as self-evident stupidity, and should be added as a category to the Darwin Awards.

    That is exactly what you did – 3 times in short succession.

    So I am allowing him a period of grace to correct and apologise for his error.

    Of course not.

    You didn’t explain anything about the comments that got you banned. In fact you still don’t appear to have read our policy because if you had then you would have framed your argument in terms of our stated policies.

    Perhaps you are too arrogant to read them or too incapable to understand them? More likely you are simply playing silly games, certainly some of the sockpuppet activity appeared to support that. In any case. you are still banned from leaving comments at The Standard until the 2nd of March.

    Now because I am expected to be impolite and because I need to conform to this site’s policies…

    Can I suggest that you please get a dictionary and learn to use it. Your title of this post really makes no sense.

    I believe that the word you were grasping for in your title is ‘hypocritical’ not ‘hypercritical’. I am inclined to take immediate effective action rather than criticise, as you and Martyn have found out. So I seldom have a need to criticise, I usually just damage until my point is made. So hypercritical doesn’t really describe what I did.

    Hypocritical doesn’t really fit either as you are compare between two quite dissimilar events. One where someone disappeared a perfectly reasonable rebuttal comment to a post attacking them, where the disappearance was in violation of the local comment policy. And one where a banning of future comments was highlighted in bold, and then the subsequent comments were auto spammed.

    BTW: I note that the local comment policy does not preclude me from ‘correcting’ your post. Perhaps the moderator should consider making the policy a bit more precise.

    BTW2: I’m not sure that I would be happy with having my unsolicited advice if it was at TS from someone who didn’t contribute many posts to this site. But if the policy is imprecise enough to allow it, then I can’t help but highlight that.

    BTW3: I expect to see this rebuttal comment posted. Clearly if Pat O’Dea considers that he should have had that right, then the absence of a policy against it here indicates that he would have to be hypocritical not to eh?

    • What I find incredible is that the Authors of The Standard refuse to point blank discuss the issue that I was banned for, which is not what Lynn Prentice claims at all. I was clearly banned for suggesting that the Left should work together around the Northland by election, which would mean that the Labour Party would have to drop their support for off shore oil drilliing in the North.

      This is something that they don’t want discussed not here, at the Daily Blog, not on their site, and definitely not on the hustings.

      Lynn Prentice uses pedantic quibbling over the rules of his site as an excuse for banning me, while admitting that he had been looking for an excuse for some time to do so.

      [lprent: Pat O’Dea had been riding for moderation for some time because of his behaviour. He just happened to trip over the rule that said do not attack authors personally. Just as you just did. ]

      The actual sin according to Lynn is that I was telling his authors what to write. As an admitted science fiction fan, has Lynn Prentice not heard of the genre of ‘Alternative history’? I used an accepted writers technique of presenting an alternative headline to Stephanie’s sectarian, “How can Labour win in Northland” to a broader “How can the Left win in Northland”.

      According to Lynn this is a breach of his site’s rules. But notice he didn’t ban me for it. What he did ban me for is when I objected to Stephanie calling me a sexist accusing me of exploiting a child’s existence. I didn’t reciprocate with personal abuse of Stephanie, as Lynn Prentice alleges, all I said was how “How dare you”.

      I might also mention here, that this was after earlier abusive personal comments directed at me by Stephanie which I didn’t react to.

      I have learnt that bullies often use personal abuse to divert attention away from the topic being discussed and will try to goad you into replying in kind, so as that they don’t have to address the issues being debated.

      But in spite of being aware of this tactic, to accuse me of “exploiting a child’s existence and sexism” is unacceptable. What Lynn finds unacceptable is that I dared defended myself from these accusations with a mild rebuke, of “How dare you”. The authors of The Standard reserve for themselves the right to dish out offensive personal ad hominem abuse but you are not allowed to defend yourself.

      Further to this Lynn Prentice is lying when he says that I personally attacked one of his authors. In fact if you read the posts you will clearly see that it is Lynn Prentice and Stephanie Rodgers who indulge in ad hominen abuse and personal attack. Lynn Prentice then goes on to leave an inference that this alleged abuse by me, which is not evident anywhere in the text, is hidden in comments that he blocked.
      This again is a total misrepresentation. And one that Lynn is also not prepared to admit to, or correct.

      “lprent, it has just dawned on me that you may have deleted part of PO’s response to Stephanie because it contained the personal attack. If so, could you be more explicit in future. I have been going on at Stephanie for being precious when she may have had very good reason to be upset. That upsets me. A note like [offending material deleted] at the beginning will help newbies like me to understand what is going on. Thanks.

      “I always do. For instance”

      It seems that Labour Party activists like Lynn Prentice and Stephanie Rodgers will go to any lengths to prevent discussion of their support for Deep Sea Oil, or of working properly and respectfully with the Green Party and the wider Left.

      Just one more example of this and the proof that they are trying to censor any alternative viewpoint, is a link that Lynn Prentice gave to a comment I made that he found particularly objectionable. In line with The Standard’s refusal to take climate change seriously, I was amazed when one of The Standard’s authors could do a whole post on the downfall of Australia’s Tony Abbot and Campbell Newman and not mention even once the main cause of their downfall.

      Of course The Standard will do some public handwringing on climate change, that present evidence of the terrible threat that it poses to all of us, but dare suggest that we all (including Labour) need to take a real world stand against new coal mines, or deep sea oil drilling, or fracking, is to risk beeing banned.

      Instead Labour activists insist that the Green Party and others must submit to supporting these technologies if they want to work with Labour.

      The main purpose of Lynn Prentice Banning me, is to enforce the strict radio silence on deep sea oil drilling on fracking on new coal mines, observed by the Labour Party, to hide these policy stands of Labour from the public view.

      • I was clearly banned for suggesting that the Left should work together around the Northland by election…

        Bullshit. We really don’t care what you were saying. What we care about is how you behave on our site.

        We get thousands of people reading the The Standard every day. We get hundreds and sometimes thousands of comments a day. Thousands of people comment every month.

        We simply don’t have time to be worried about every pissant egotist says. We also aren’t that interested in stroking your fragile ego. Moderators have enough of a problem just reading the comments. Beyond a few legal and taste issues we don’t care what you say. We just care about how you say it, where you say it, and that you don’t make it harder for us to run our site. These are operational issues and have little to do with the dumbarse stupid personal politics that you appear to enjoy.

        You have been behaving badly and steadily getting worse. Directly having a go at an author on our site was simply the last and final straw.

        Anyway, I have had enough of this. If you’d read our sites policy, you’d have seen that we take people making claims about ulterior motives pretty seriously. That is exactly what you have just alleged in your comment. Clearly you also haven’t read our about which states exactly who and what we are.

        This particular policy also happens to be is the one policy where I can notice what people say off-site, and enforce onsite. So you are now permanently banned from commenting at The Standard. That makes you the first person of the left I have had to ban for leaving false accusations on another site.

        As you have always noted in your comments and posts, except curiously this post, that you are the spokesperson for Mana on Climate Change. You are making in your comment a quite explicit serious accusation about our site. In my view you are doing it on behalf of the party that you are speaking for, and this is a deliberate attack on our site by a representative of the Mana party.

        So I will also formally notify this decision and send a complaint to the Mana party explaining the reasons why. Bearing in mind your poor behaviour, I will request that they ask any Mana party spokespeople to not comment on our site until they have been given some training in how to represent them. Based on you as an instance, they are clearly untrained, incompetent at promoting their party, and are only good at bringing it and the left into disrepute with their online behaviour.

        Which is a pity as one of our Labour supporting authors commented in the private channel about you and Mana:-

        That is one of life’s great mysteries. I love their policies, but I have trouble relating to those who are fronting them.

        Sums it up when it comes to your behaviour from this Green voting ex Labour member.

  3. The Standard is not a blog site for the Labour Party, just like the TDB is not either.

    The Standard and the TDB are supposed to be on the same side, not fighting each other. The right wing nut jobs would be loving this, more evidence of a divided left.
    This tit for tat bullshit has to end.

    Pull yourselves together gentlemen, and get your acts together, the cause is a lot bigger than your egos.

    Pull yourselves together gentlemen, and get your acts together, the cause is a lot bigger than your egos.

    Follow Weepus beard’s advice, because like he said, WE DON’T NEED THIS.

    The fight shouldn’t be between two so called left blog sites, it should be against evil corrupt John key, and his equally corrupt government, who are selling out this country and the people in it.

  4. So while Lynn is criticising TDB for not publishing comments, how about mine?

    If you’ve read more than a few comments threads there, it ought to be pretty obvious that lprent doesn’t take kindly to people who want to argue with a site author who tells them to back off. No “abuse” is required to cop a ban in that situation. Why not just accept that perhaps the birth of someone else’s child isn’t an opening for you to concern-troll them about the state of the planet?

  5. “freedom of the press belongs to them that owns one” as a rather mangled old saying goes

    Pat is an expert at sniffing out differences going back to the old “Compact” days when some unions were into class collaborationist tripartism and some were not.

    But he is on a hiding to nothing taking on a blog proprietor what ever the perceived rights and wrongs are. Literary spats are incredibly boring for those other than the offended parties.
    But more importantly this one diverts people from the main issue–increasing left political participation.

  6. The bare fact is that a person has to have a certain amount of ego to start and persevere with a blog. Both Lyn and Martyn qualify. They have differing styles, but I believe there is room for both. How about a truce?

    After all, the real enemy is the Romans. Their aqueducts were Ok, but their bloody convention centre is going a bit far.

Comments are closed.