The Dim-Post

November 15, 2011

The obvious point about the Green Party linked billboard attacks

Filed under: Politics — danylmc @ 3:41 pm

Is that it highlights the disparity between the Greens’ desired voter target – middle class suburban voters who not anti-National and will vote for the ‘new Greens’ because they are a serious party and not a bunch of anarchists – and the Green Party’s activist base, who are a bunch of anti-National anarchists.


  1. Anarchist – you keep using that word but I do not think it means what you think it means.

    Comment by Hugh — November 15, 2011 @ 3:54 pm

  2. actually, I am anti-National, and I still don’t agree with this action.

    Election placards are one of the few methods of campaigning we have that are not mediated by spending power or media judgements. Editing other parties’ billboards may seem like a good way to get your message out, but where would it end once you set the precedent that it’s okay to interfere with other parties’ billboards?

    Comment by Kahikatea — November 15, 2011 @ 4:01 pm

  3. It could be said that convincing the “middle” voter to vote against their own interest and instead for the interests of an activist base is the goal of pretty much every political party.

    Comment by JB — November 15, 2011 @ 4:05 pm

  4. And here I was thinking this had Young Labour written all over it! Imagine my surprise.

    Comment by Jake Quinn — November 15, 2011 @ 4:14 pm

  5. Yes, which supports the “Greens can’t effect a get-out-the-vote effort on the day” meme and therefore (allegedly) underperform in the only poll that counts.

    Comment by garethw — November 15, 2011 @ 4:19 pm

  6. Far too clever for young Labour Jake. There was no visceral hatred of Key evident. But the middle class mums who want to feel better by voting green as they drive the kids to school in the Murano may not be amused.

    Will this be good or bad for Phil Goff?

    Comment by insider — November 15, 2011 @ 4:34 pm

  7. I don’t think this was anything aside from the actions of a few people. The Greens are a young person/activist party so even if they didn’t exist this same kind of action would be taken by someone. They are a victim of their own success in courting a certain group of people but this doesn’t represent the feelings of them all.

    Comment by Richard Watts — November 15, 2011 @ 4:55 pm

  8. Storm in a teacup that I suspect will, inadvertently, be great publicity for the Greens.

    Norman has handled this well; his response actually supports your the premise that the Greens are presenting themselves as a ‘serious party’ by publicly distancing themselves from these antics.

    Comment by Gregor W — November 15, 2011 @ 5:09 pm

  9. There’s a distinctly different approach with these billboard liberations from common placard graffitti. These are tasteful, thought provoking, removable modifications – to the point that I think Russell Norman probably erred on the side of over-correction in equating them them vandalism. Oh – and let’s not forget.. they’re totally representing National policy.

    Comment by timgummer (@timgummer) — November 15, 2011 @ 5:23 pm

  10. Not all Green Party “activists” are National hating anarchists. Not even the majority I would say🙂
    I am pretty heavily involved in the Greens and I had no idea this was being organized and nor did anybody else I know… still not a good look. At least Russel fessed up and apologized, although he probably doesn’t have that much control over what his EA’s partner does…

    Comment by Amy — November 15, 2011 @ 5:23 pm

  11. I really liked the new-look billboards! I’m glad somebody did something instead of just thinking those things like I was…

    Comment by katekf — November 15, 2011 @ 5:32 pm

  12. Oh, what drivel on this thread from the Watermelon supporters. You’re holier-than-thou attitude reeks of sanctimony.

    Comment by Nick K — November 15, 2011 @ 6:05 pm

  13. katekf – would you like it as much if somebody gave all the Green billboards a new look? Maybe it wouldn’t bother you if you don’t know how much time, effort and cost goes into them.

    There’s also the question of freedom to express – via billboards – that’s been overridden.

    The Greens had been running a great campaign and were looking decidely sensible beside Labour, so this has to be a major setback – and a kick in the guts for Russell Norman.

    Comment by Pete George — November 15, 2011 @ 6:06 pm

  14. I do not believe Russel Norman in his pious apologies.
    When the polls close and he quietly reinstates his PA from the “suspension” on full pay with a hearty but private thanks my disbelief will be justified.

    Comment by barnsley bill — November 15, 2011 @ 7:04 pm

  15. They’re political billboards FFS. I’d be worried about the health of our democracy if they weren’t being defaced. Normal people don’t give a crap.

    Comment by Guy Smiley — November 15, 2011 @ 7:14 pm

  16. I’m going to get a bunch of national supporters together and put stickers of Phil Goffs face on labour billboards.

    Comment by Raumatibeach — November 15, 2011 @ 7:44 pm

  17. Oh! Oh! Nick and Barnsley have joined us!! What’s wrong, the meat DPF is throwing to you not fresh and juicy enough?

    As for “I do not believe Russel Norman in his pious apologies”, you’re right. He’s been steadily shifting the Greens from an activist focused organisation concerned with change by any means necessary toward middle class respectability just so he could carry out his real plan of having a bunch of folks stick some stickers on National’s billboards and then brag about it to the press. I mean, it’s the only interpretation that makes any sense at all.

    Comment by Grassed Up — November 15, 2011 @ 7:45 pm

  18. “I’m going to get a bunch of national supporters together and put stickers of Phil Goffs face on labour billboards.”

    If you’re going to rip off DPF reposting Ali Ikram’s comments, then be honest enough to cite your sources.

    Comment by Grassed Up — November 15, 2011 @ 7:47 pm

  19. Election billboards insult our collective intelligence and it’s not only heroic, it’s practically a duty to deface them. I lol-ed when I read about this and the only ones who are upset are butthurt Nats that are pissed off because these mods starkly underlined their party’s true intentions without a glossy layer of PR bullshit making them look less appalling.

    And Pete, personally I wouldn’t give a toss if someone vandalised Green billboards. I might get a laugh out of it and it wouldn’t affect my vote one iota anyway.

    Comment by Purple-Shirted Eye Stabber — November 15, 2011 @ 7:58 pm

  20. Yeah I’m sorry but it used to be there was a tradition of public response to billboards. Pity we’re all too worried about our mortgages and tv’s to do anything anymore.

    And the activists being more active than the majority of a party? OMFG, call the papers. Just make sure you book in advance. And don’t leave anything untoward on the table.

    Comment by Ornery — November 15, 2011 @ 8:31 pm

  21. Heroic on the way home on the skateboard after a late night game of D&D when ones dander is up eh PSES!

    Comment by will — November 15, 2011 @ 8:46 pm

  22. meanwhile out in mt roskill i noticed that along a certain strip all the billboards were ‘defaced’ with ta moko drawn on all of the candidates’ faces – thing is it was done exclusively on the chin and so i started wondering whether there was an implied insult to the male faces represented (key, goff, shane williams) …hmmm… am i over thinking this?…

    Comment by dylan — November 15, 2011 @ 10:09 pm

  23. I once spent a part of my mid semester break (back in the day) scanning and ‘shopping a particularly noxious A5 sized real estate card that kept getting delivered to our flat’s letterbox (which was clearly marked ‘no junk mail’). The card had a wanky full body length photo of the agent. I made him look like Ali G, rewrote his blurb (including testimonials) all in faux Ali-street talk and mailed it back to him. Worked a treat.

    Comment by Adze — November 15, 2011 @ 10:47 pm

  24. A more obvious may be that the least pleasant part of being a party leader during campaign season is being stuck with the migraine when some numb-nuts activist or candidate has a sudden rush of blood to the head. Is that fair? Nope, but neither is life so suck it up.

    Comment by Craig Ranapia — November 15, 2011 @ 11:55 pm

  25. Yep for NZ anarchist is the right word. NZ anarchists are fighting hard to live in a country where the state pays their university fees.

    Attacking Nationals bill boards such a lame own goal got to think it was deliberate to undermine Wussel & whatshername.

    Green leadership trying to go mainstream but the anarchist base want to keep it real.

    Fairly lame all round.

    Comment by Simon — November 16, 2011 @ 7:22 am

  26. In 2005 I was fined $1,500 for spray painting on 2 National party billboards, then I was charged $160.00 to remove a sign I placed in front of, but not touching another National party billboard. Defacing 700 should generate a penalty/cost of something like $112,000, to remove any stickers etc.

    Comment by Robert Atack — November 16, 2011 @ 7:44 am

  27. You have to admit though, pasting up stickers that are designed to look like part of the billboard (and possibly fool onlookers for a few seconds into thinking the additions are legitimate) is a lot more sophisticated that drawning glasses and beards on the signs.

    Having said that, Norman handled the situation well: Apologising right from the start and setting things right (with the benefit of showing the general public that the Green Party won’t be led around by the nose by their offbeat fringe members). Other pollies should take note of Norman’s style.

    Comment by Ataahua — November 16, 2011 @ 8:22 am

  28. Norman is an Australian, should he be allowed to be a politician in New Zealand? I dislike his twang

    Comment by Betty — November 16, 2011 @ 11:32 am

  29. “NZ anarchists are fighting hard to live in a country where the state pays their university fees.”


    Comment by Clunking Fist — November 16, 2011 @ 2:00 pm

  30. The first comment is right, you clearly don’t know what anarchist means. Anarchists in New Zealand aren’t Green Party members or activists.

    For a look at what actual anarchists think, check out, the website of the Aotearoa Workers Solidarity Movement, a nationwide anarchist organisation.

    Comment by An actual anarchist — November 16, 2011 @ 8:16 pm

  31. Norman is an Australian, should he be allowed to be a politician in New Zealand?

    Betty: If we were talking about the presidency of the United States, he wouldn’t.

    Now, if you’re saying otherwise qualified New Zealand citizens should be disqualified from holding elected office because they were born elsewhere, I’ll pretend I’m a gentleman and just say “what a load of foofy-tosh”.

    Comment by Craig Ranapia — November 16, 2011 @ 11:02 pm

  32. Hi An Actual Anarchist. There was an interesting post on your website about conspiracy theories. Of course, it perpetuated one of it’s own, but there you go.
    The post included the following:
    “It is the accumulation of surplus value, stolen by our bosses, that forms the wealth of the ruling class. But because the goods and services that create this surplus value ultimately come from our hands and our brains, through collectively withdrawing our labour, we can force the bosses to give in to our demands.”
    So, if a business is making losses, where is the workers’ surplus value going?

    Comment by Clunking Fist — November 17, 2011 @ 1:02 pm

  33. PS I’d ask the question at your website, but there appears to be no comments facility.
    PPS AWSM is awesome. Clever.

    Comment by Clunking Fist — November 17, 2011 @ 1:05 pm

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