Has Labour misinterpreted their own polling & why National will never sign up to Facebook transparency


Labour have launched the political year with a speech by Jacinda promising relentless positivity and a demand for an election fought on truth and not fake news.

This first shot in the election is based on polling Labour conducted over the holidays

Analysis by Political Editor Tova O’Brien

Labour’s messaging was forensically calculated.

Political parties do immense amounts of work behind the scenes to try to predict voting behaviour.

Labour’s internal polling shows the country’s mood is generally positive – that people think it’s going in the right direction.

And in that context, Labour thinks negativity won’t thrive, that it looks petty and puts voters off.

…the problem however is that Labour have interpreted this polling data to say that NZers are sick of all the toxic partisanship politics BUT another way of interpreting this data could be that NZers are sick of the toxic politics they see in their social media feeds every day, not the tired silly antics of politicians in Parliament, and this is a problem for the Left as it is usually our activist base who are on woke social media lynch mobs demanding cancellation of this and deplatforming of that.

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In short the NZ electorate are sick of being screamed at and forced to self censor themselves in an age of subjective rage and sick burn put downs by woke identity politics mobs who mistake disagreement for persecution and only manage to alienate the very voters we are trying to recruit.

What Jacinda SHOULD have said is, ‘We appreciate in a democracy people have diverse thoughts and differences of opinion, so this election let us be mindful that we may disagree with each other but we do so in a bond of tolerance and kindness, let us not fall down the dark corridors of spite and rancour and come together to build a better NZ on universal values that benefit all of us and not just some of us.”

That way the demand for National to sign up to Facebooks transparency obligations would have sounded from a high ground that the swing voters we need to pull over would appreciate rather than the way it did come across, which was as a sly dig at National that sounded hollow as most people experience Left activists attacking them on social media, not Right wing ones.

But let’s also be very clear, National have no intention of signing up to Facebooks transparency rules because they intend to run a malicious campaign that requires duplicity and misinformation.

National’s social media campaign is the key to their win in a 2020 election. After meeting with the NZ team who helped elect Scotty Morrison in Australia using micro targeted social media messages designed to enrage white older men, Simon Bridges now has more social media designers in his Opposition Leaders department than actual researchers.

Electioneering previous to Facebook amounted to identifying voters from a known voting pool and serving that voting pool up messages that made them vote. This was crude targeting, but if you lived in a wealthy neighbourhood, you would hear messages attuned to you, if you lived in a poorer neighbourhood, you would hear messages tailored for that environment.

Facebook however allowed you to hunt not just for known voters, but that vast swathe of people who also don’t bother voting.

On the Left we have told ourselves that vast swathe of people who don’t vote are poor and brown and disenfranchised, and while that is certainly true, it also includes a large number of angry white men who don’t bother voting because they feel culturally alienated by the current paradigms of micro-aggression policing and Millennial sensibilities. This group of males are economically paranoid by their perceived lack of cultural power and whose economic anxiety clashes with being told they are the ones with the privilege.

Rather than engaging, these male white voters simply shield themselves in apathy and cynicism and don’t vote.

Facebook and Cambridge Analytica suddenly had hundreds of data points to know how to precisely push those angry white non voters into rage fuelled voting machines. This manipulation of white male anger become the driving force that saw Trump win, Brexit win and Scott Morrison win.

This is the playbook National are drawing from.

The structural reality of how National intend to make this the most negative election ever by playing directly to that negativity must be consistently pointed out and explained to our whanau so that they don’t get scammed into voting hatefully in 2020.

Don’t attack those who have been duped into believing the lies because that path leads to entrenching their vote to National, help show them how they’ve been deceived and give them the respect and agency to make their own decision once the scales fall from their eyes.

You combat negative populism with hope, care and love. Piss and vinegar on social media won’t get us anywhere.


  1. You absolutely hit the nail on the head regarding the woke twitter mob. I just wonder how many people in the north of England voted Tory as a reaction to these infantile people. If these pointy headed types do the same thing here they’re going to push people away. That’s not ‘positivity’

    The problem for Jacinda is metrics: By every measure you care to name, this government has failed. Numbers on the dole, kiwibuild, rents, elective surgery queues, violent crime, gang membership, numbers of homeless, progress of light rail, numbers of committees formed, money wasted etc. All National has to do is trot out the facts. It was particularly foolish of her to have made all those rash promises in the previous election. So I would suspect National would be more than keen to sign up to Facebook’s standards, because they have all the ammunition!

    • So then do you think it’s ethical for the government to allow people to freeze in winter and go hungry in summer? If this is the hill you wish to die on, then please allow me to hoist you up.

  2. I don’t think anyone cares except maybe the labour faithful who see Jacinda once more in all her purity.
    Everyone else sees more pretty words from a politician who fails to deliver- how truthful were labour on kiwibuild? Child poverty? Gun buyback? Immigration? TPPA? Police numbers?

  3. Broadly agree with what is being said here, but surely TDB own rants against ‘white, males’ are also part of the problem, aka thinking that somehow fb and political figures only target angry white males.

    The left blog rants seem to imply that anyone not white is therefore superior and we should go with the Chinese/African/Middle Eastern ways because they are richer or how they treat others, run their environments is superior even thought many rich and middle class (and now poor) are fleeing their countries due to massive pollution, over crowding and the money their governments get from assets is stolen from the people and so they can not develop their countries “How Angola’s state oil firm was left with just $309 in its account” https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jan/19/angola-state-oil-company-sonangol-isabel-dos-santos-investigation “Inside the global hunt for Nigeria’s missing oil billions” https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/05/12/inside-the-global-hunt-for-nigerias-missing-oil-billions/

    Meanwhile big global big business is all for supporting more and more pollution and deforestation… Africa’s forests ‘threatened by palm oil rush’ https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/feb/23/africas-forests-threatened-by-palm-oil-rush and tax vehicles for multinational companies are often behind it who have more rights and less accountability than individuals.

    Political social media are particularly targeting the woke and political bloggers from the left who themselves are so caught up in white rage/self hatred etc that they will give free water bottling/sand/fracking to overseas multinationals, allow quasi private water/power companies to charge the earth, or champion bringing in hundreds of thousands of worldwide low wage workers/students/income less people and make money off, in the global immigration semi- legal people trafficking rings and consumerism spikes…

    Political social media compaigns are targeting EVERYONE, every race and religion and any colour or creed is susceptible to it.

    In the Trump/ Hillary race, apparently black men and woman were targeted to think that Hillary was a racist for example and so many black voters did not vote for Hillary, (while they did for Obama).

    So it was not the angry white males who necessarily did the damage, political social media was targeting EVERYBODY including white men and collectively it did enough to change the result in favour of Trump and relied on the stupidity, complacency and out of touch thinking of the Clinton campaign and their inability to self analyse their own short comings, short sightedness, lack of understanding of ordinary people and how free trade is actually playing out for many (aka making more experienced people redundant, lower wages) and internal corruption/donation links.

    Sounds familiar!

  4. Labour shouldn’t do something just because Tova O’Brien thinks they should.
    She definitely does not have Labour’s best interests at heart.

    • Maybe they (labour & the coalition need to take Tova on some overseas trips) like john did nek minute he had all the wolves of his side.

  5. Labour have also backtracked on making even a modest reduction to immigration to ease pressure on housing and infrastructure. So housing affordability remains a major issue.

    • No not true Mike immigration has been reduced. Temporary visas have been increased due to business people , farmers and growers crying like babies.

      • if those on unemployment benefit could be persuaded to work then we would not need these temporary workers. At the same time the bosses need to pay a living wage instead of relying on the government topping up their poor pay with living grants. Labour and National are both reluctant to be leaders in getting stuck into bosses.

        • When ruth richardson implemented the Employment Contracts Act 1991, there was a mass exodus from NZ to Australia. Hence the popularity of the so called ‘ brain drain’.

          Now, Australia is home to over 650,000 New Zealanders ( old counting’s, btw) from a population of around 3.2 000,000.

          You think the diaspora of Ireland during the potato famine of the 19th century was big?

          We almost matched it.

          Now, we have mass unemployed , huge numbers of homelessness, and wages that cant even feed and clothe a family let alone pay a weeks rent. Unless both parents work. On minimum wages.

          Did you realize- or did you even give a privileged shit about – , the fact that when ruth richardson was Finance Minister of the odious cowardly bolger govt,… she actually commissioned a group of home economist’s to ascertain what a family of four would need to SURVIVE on a benefit?, – and then slashed those findings by TWENTY PERCENT ???!!???.

          And that was in 1991 !!!

          FFS !!!

          So , the whole NEO LIBERAL thing was to destroy trade union AWARD RATES in order to put em all on contracts.

          No overtime payments, no danger money , no time and a half, no double time, – NOTHING.

          Just flat rates.

          Treating people like peasants.

          Meanwhile our assets , – our state owned assets which generations of New Zealanders had built up with their taxes, – were flogged off to foreigners for bargain basement prices. With the corny crap arsed faux lie that prices will come down because of ‘competition’. Which those same corporations used to feed THEIR foreign shareholders dividends.

          And to date? , – we have family’s and pensioners and children shivering in their homes during winters and dying of third world , preventable respiratory diseases.

          And that’s just electricity, arsehole. And whats this Bill English B.S about … ” if those on unemployment benefit could be persuaded to work then we would not need these temporary workers”… are you saying that little DOUBLE DIPPER FROM DIPTON was correct in saying ‘ most NZ workers are too drugged out and useless to work a full days work so we have to import cheap workers”?

          Is THAT what you are implying?

          F@CK OFF , CHUMP!!!

          What degraded planet did you just crawl off ?

          You DON’T fix NEO LIBERALISM with even more NEO LIBERALISM.

          And that includes YOU ,…mike.

          Here’s something for the pair of you closet NAT party clones to chew on. Take heed :

          Ruthanasia – Wikipedia

          And a quote from Ken Douglas, the trade union sell out:

          Ken Douglas, then president of the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions, recalled in the 1996 documentary Revolution:

          ”The Employment Contracts Act was deliberately intended to individualize the employment relationship. It was a natural outcome of the ideological propaganda of rugged individualism, of self-interest and greed and the appeal to individuals that you could find better for you by climbing over the tops of your colleagues, your mates, and so on. Ruth Richardson was very clear, very blunt, very honest about its purpose. It was to achieve a dramatic lowering of wages, very, very quickly.

          So there you go.

          Learn your bloody history before you comment , idiots.

          That is, if you were even born back then. Which I strongly suspect both of you were not.

  6. O’Brien has become an anti-Ardern brat masquerading as a journalist. Her handling of the farcical alleged sexual abuse was absolutely disgraceful and an extremely poor example of NZ Political journalism. The despicable and vested interest Bennett and Bridges had Ardern convicted of covering up alleged sexual abuse despite even Blind Freddy being able to see there was something enormous rotting in Denmark at every turn concerning the alleged “victim”. Tova O’Brien had a professional and moral responsibility to remain impartial in her reporting but she totally failed. She would have had Ardern shot at dawn if she had her way. No need for a trial. Guilty as charged. Even in December when the truth came out, O’Brien couldn’t bring herself to redress some balance back into her reporting. Instead, she again spouted off how the “complainant” was now distressed that her farcical sexual assault and harassment allegations had not been upheld.

    I think we all know what we can look forward to in 2020 from the likes of O’Brien and other National Party cheerleaders masquerading as journalists. More slagging off and undermining of Ardern opinion pieces being passed off as news while latrine Rodents within National are given their usual free pass. Obviously to the gutless and morally corrupt, Ardern is a much easier target than Bennett and far less likely to bite back. Musn’t forget that attacks against Ardern will score brownie points from the in-crowd and their imaginary friends.

    • I agree, but even worse is her ‘gotcha’ style of “journalism” inherited from Paddy Gower.

      It would seem the main aim is for the journalist to be THE ONE, THE HERO, the only person to cut through all the hype and get to the truth. Except, the supposed truth was predetermined before any actual investigation or (god forbid) fact checking is even considered. Come up with some nasty angle, and repeat it until its proven to be empty rhetoric.
      Next time Tova et al ask if someone will resign because of unfound and uninvestigated allegations, how about the same applies to you. Will you resign if your next allegations prove to be nothing more than a bogus National Party press release?

      How many times have we seen this cycle of Tova bleating at someone “Will you resign….” only to later discover it was all fabrciated partisan nonsense. We deserve better.

  7. The term woke is now interchangeable with fellow traveller/cultural Marxist/UnAmerican/urban liberal left. It is now used to marginalise those so described as a some sort of danger to the established order.

    Why, does the presence of younger females – GT/Neve threaten patriarchy capital and thus a social conservative reactionary climate is required to preserve the status quo (why no CGT why …).

    • woke and wasp seem to be the same thing to me. Ready to sting when they perceive their personal interest is threatened. I want to think politically beside people who are concerned about all in society, are practical and knowledgeable about the world and our faults and environmental problems and don’t confine themselves to their hand-picked icons.

      • Well amongst other things I am a progressive liberal. I want more freedoms for woman, trans, minorities ect and I speak to them. When I speak to the activist they say vastly different things to what the people they report to advocate for actually say. So I am a progressive liberal. Those fighting to make womanhood redundant or to mainstream transpeople are the radical woke lefties, they’re not liberal at all. Those that say centrism is the issue is so patronising. Most people don’t care about other people’s rights and responsibilities. And compared to the centre, woke radical lefties are a crazy minority, most of whom congregate at the standard.

      • And when those of the centre see the old white patriarchy – once described as WASP (an estalishment not offended without consequences) and those who most radically challenge it as equally the problem – then those for change have been successfully divided against each other. Thus the old order can survive.

        • I see the radical left as dictatorial and cult forming the same as the WASPs. The centre is trying to brainstorm for new ideas, much needed. The two divisions of unshakeable truth can go and fight each other. The rest of us are trying to find a way to get through the dread decades ahead and still maintain harmony and co-operation with respect, but also freedom of thought and discussion about differing perceptions. One of my perceptions is that a majority of the wokes are homosexual, lesbian, undecided, or those suffering from violence or neglect whether sexual misdeeds were involved or not. Such people are the exception and should be recognised as part of the community, but not in charge of it. I guess this will be received with scorn, disgust is a word I have had used about me because I didn’t feel the right sympathy for a careless adult who was on a holiday with extras and ignored the precautionary approach.

  8. I’m sorry. I must apologize for not entirely reading your post above @ MB.
    I’m sure it’s full of promise and good intentions but from what I read, I read detailed analytics of the in’s and out’s of an old molting labour-cats wormy arsehole. No disrespect.
    This, is what Labour should do.
    Firstly, un-fuck what they fucked up back in 1984.
    Essentially reverse everything. Every single thing that short arsed little prick douglas and his vomit worthy minions did. All of it.
    Re nationalize electricity and dip into our tax take to maintain and ensure supply.
    How about a winter power bill of, say, $15.00 a month?
    Anyone? Would anyone like that?
    Public transport.
    Would you rather wrangle a humorless little Korean car for eight hours cheek by jowl with the Greater Feathered Moron to visit the kids at Uni’ in Dunners? Or would you rather drink a chardonnay and eat cheeses aboard an elegant and luxurious train that rolls past some of the most beautiful countryside left in the world to get there? Hmmmm…? Would that be better than having some brain dead dip shit up your arse for kilometers and kilometers and kilometers of black top? You can watch them in your rear view mirror clinging to the steering wheel at 11.00 and 1.00 as though they’ve only just discovered a use for the opposable thumbs they thought were pointless things.
    “An’ why… an’ that..for th’ thumbs? What good are they then an’ that? ”
    How about tertiary education? Free?
    Then, our most intelligent, most creative and most drawn to nurturing an evolving culture would stay in AO/NZ and flourish.
    We, the collective ‘we’ ,should see apprenticeships again. My personal opinion on apprenticeships is that everyone should be taught how to grow food, fish and be able to build a basic structure within which to live.
    Mill your own timber, build your own house? It’s not as hard as you are being lied to believe it is. And no ! You don’t need to own ten traffic cones and an ill-fitting flour orange vest to build a house. Amazing, right?
    Computer stuff. Free! Free high speed interwebbery. Why not? Who says it must cost an arm and a thumb?
    I can tell you who… The fuckers who’re rorting you for the internet like they do you for YOUR electricity, that’s who.
    How about foods minus the supermarkets? That means minus the rort ups.
    Why did the Jonk of E rush through game changing restrictions to produce at ever-rising-in -popularity farmers markets produce again?
    Been to the farmers market in Dunedin? Is awesome. No, really is.
    So, to conclude: Why is it that our politicians are digging their toes in while they drag their heels? Why is that…? While I’m no podiatrist, I smell something very, very smelly with the way this whole fucked up shit show’s evolving.
    Our politicians are not there for us per se. That’s clear. So, what are they hiding? What are they up to?

    • Why,… through all the colorful phraseology and humor ( pardon my american / English computer settings ) is this guy not being listened to more often ?

      Things like :

      …’ This, is what Labour should do. Firstly, un-fuck what they fucked up back in 1984.
      Essentially reverse everything. Every single thing that short arsed little prick douglas and his vomit worthy minions did. All of it ‘…

      And this :

      …’ We, the collective ‘we’ ,should see apprenticeships again.Mill your own timber, build your own house? It’s not as hard as you are being lied to believe it is. And no ! You don’t need to own ten traffic cones and an ill-fitting flour orange vest to build a house. Amazing, right? ‘ …

      And again :

      … ‘Computer stuff. Free! Free high speed interwebbery. Why not? Who says it must cost an arm and a thumb?
      I can tell you who… The fuckers who’re rorting you for the internet like they do you for YOUR electricity, that’s who ‘ …

      Yet again :

      … ‘ So, to conclude: Why is it that our politicians are digging their toes in while they drag their heels? Why is that…? While I’m no podiatrist, I smell something very, very smelly with the way this whole fucked up shit show’s evolving ‘…


      The Nazi con job of the century, right here in lil’ ole Nu Zealand..

      Read carefully.

      New Right Fight – Who are the New Right?

  9. Is this the same outfit that wants the Government to bail them out? Lol. This ‘journalism’ is digging it’s own grave. RiP. The Government needs substantial change to TVNZ and RNZ ( it’s fading fast imo)

  10. Left wing, right wing, wings of the same bird.
    Im having issues identifying the difference between National and Labour these days, both have big promises full of sincerety prior to elections then shaft everybody afterwards. The Greens come across as inexperienced school children who do whatever they are told to, ACT comes out with cheesy comments but sits there and does fuck all, NZF has winny doing whatever he likes, its his way or the highway regardless of the number of times hes been pulled up for corrupt practices he just carries on business as usual.
    As a voter at the bottom of society, unemployed because of disability, I dont feel I have gained a damn thing in the last 20 years, my life has just gone backwards.
    On the medicinal cannabis front it was compassion that was being shown before the election, yes the voter was finally getting what was asked but then afterwards some shady coalition deals saw the promises fade immediately, the industry has been handed to corporations who did fuck all to get it to where it was AND the govt promised it would be up and running by April this year, thats actually been pushed out to September! No home grow so we are going to end up with expensive products nobody can afford with no legal ability to produce your own, zero compassion shown by Labour.
    Then add in This immigration situation and the lack of houses being built. The 5 eyes network has concerns over the influence of China, recent papers by a local academic also points in this direction, our entire democracy is disintegrating thanks to donations and influence of China with all our political parties, we have been compromised at the expense of voters, they dont give a shit about us. in fact Labour just sold off another $12 billion of our forestry to overseas interests, how the fuck are we meant to create affordable homes if we have to buy local timber off an overseas company!!
    At the point now where I think I will be voting in a referendum but not voting for any party. Vote of no confidence should be an option too!

    • What you are saying is what you know is the root cause of it all:


      Now Martyn doesn’t like me posting a particular site too much because it gets repetitious. I can understand that. However,… there are literally thousands who dont. Many born wayyyy after the fact. So , at the expense of Martyn and his sensibilities and the yawn factor of many at TDB, here it is again. Please forgive me . And yet, … if it educates just one activist or budding political scientist in NZ, I can consider my job done. And I owe my thanks to Hugh Price of Hugh Price Publishers ( RIP ).

      ( Cringe) Here goes:

      New Right Fight – Who are the New Right?

      Our job is to read it. Takes 20- 30 minutes. Depending on how fast you read. Easily read, layman’s terms. All will be educated and many will be vindicated.

      Here you will see the current kerfuffle surrounding idiot Brownlee in the Philippines and his high ranking official Philippines friend and Nazi sympathizer.

      And Simon Bridges. Here you will see who drives the advisers to the National party. And their agenda for you , the Kiwi battler. And rest assured , you don’t figure in their calculations one bit.

      It is all about ‘ them’.

      Just think ‘ Mont Pelerin society’.

  11. After reading Jacindafan I was prompted to go to the original article by Tovah who is apparently Newshub’s Political Editor. I really can’t respect anyone who would spread the mud about Labour and that anonymouse who was sexually assaulted at a youth camp. Jacindafan spelt out what I had noticed re the febrile reporting of this. So I am not giving T O’Brien any credence.

    But something caught my eye in O’Brien’s original piece on PM Ardern:
    Prime Minister Ardern used her first speech of the year at the Labour Party caucus retreat in Martinborough to call for a “factual” election campaign and announced Labour will be committing to Facebook’s ad transparency rules.
    “A perfect platform to recommit to a relentlessly positive election,” Ardern, Labour leader, said at the retreat in Wairarapa wine country. She said she’ll be delivering “a positive campaign, a factual campaign, [and] a robust campaign”.

    I notice that O’Brien dismissively refers to our Prime Minister as. ‘Ardern, Labour Leader’ which seems ill-mannered and petty. I also notice that PM Ardern referred to “A perfect platform to recommit to a relentlessly positive election”. That sounds OTT and impossible to do in a straight-forward factual way.
    It smells of 100% targets, of zero limits etc which set up unreasonably high levels of expectation and compliance.

    What about – ‘We will be as positive as possible when we present our policies and in our discussions, but there are many unsatisfactory and difficult things today to be considered when we look for solutions. And they can’t be fixed quickly by tomorrow. But we will talk these over with you and look for positive ways to best outcomes’.

    • No well we have to look past the bias. All Jouros are hurting right now. There watching colleagues get fired of get the fuck out. So they have to produce the spin or they get fired. We just have allow them to talk until it’s our turn to talk.

    • I agree with you Grey, insofar as I’ve thought before that our PM seems to be receiving some bad or at least inadequate advice on P.R. Apart from that “Factual only” line. Eg, Those “Our achievements in 2 minutes” nonsense. I’m someone who wanted to understand it and take note, yet I gave up trying. Others less sympathetic would have had a field day. The opposite of that is what is needed, – the careful outlining of any particular achievement, clearly, understandably, with main items highlighted. …without having to search for these, and then to search through masses of less relevant stuff to find them.

      They really need some sort of good P.R. happening, and ongoing. Not hype, not sales pitches, and certainly not distorting the facts, but at least putting it out there clearly.

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