The Dim-Post

November 14, 2012

Audrey Young trolls the left-wing blogosphere

Filed under: media,Politics — danylmc @ 8:17 am

By profiling Josie Pagani. It’s a good article. A couple of highlights:

“I got very involved in the miners’ strike in England on the picket line. Being radical when I was in my 20s meant having ‘Coal not Dole’ stickers and standing on the picket line. Nowadays … you’re standing outside the mines with a ‘Keep the Coal in the Hole’ sticker.”

Almost as if there had been some horrible scientific discovery made about the impact of coal on the environment between Thatcher’s first term and today.

She happily debates right-wing opponents such as Matthew Hooton, Deborah Coddington, David Farrar and Cameron Slater. There is no personal invective; they are often complimentary about her.

She wonders jokingly if they are trying to destroy her career “by showing me so much love and support”. The most severe criticism is from the left of politics’ left, usually by anonymous bloggers who question her left-wing credentials at best and can be personally abusive. A “neo-liberal apologist” is one of the more constructive criticisms. “Useless” and “loathsome” are more typical.

Why do so many see Josie Pagani as New Zealand’s answer to a ‘Fox News Democrat’? (ie, someone who provides the illusion of balance by advocating for a left-wing party, but is incapable of making a robust argument or articulating left wing values?). You can’t go past the impressive triple negative opening line of her debut opinion column in Cameron Slater’s Truth:

People who say there’s no such thing as unaffordable housing are out of touch

Now how could anyone not on the left not fail to struggle to not disagree with that?


  1. “Now how could anyone not on the left not fail to struggle to not disagree with that?”

    That’s so beautiful…

    Comment by Sam — November 14, 2012 @ 9:11 am

  2. I’d be genuinely interested to know how JP explains the uncanny correlation between beneficiary numbers and the state of the economy in terms of responsibility, and whether she agrees terms like “welfare reform” and “responsibility” are actually question-begging frames that automatically concede the “debate” to the right. But I expect Audrey Young actually shares those beliefs, and so can’t ask the hard questions that would tease out why JP’s views are not widely accepted on the political side she claims to inhabit.

    Comment by Stephen J — November 14, 2012 @ 11:04 am

  3. Stephen, I think you’ve nailed it. When dumb, poor people become even more irresponsible than usual and go on benefits the economy nose-dives and we all suffer. The only solution nis to kick them off those benefits so that the economy has a chance to recover.

    That is what you meant, isn’t it?

    Comment by Moz in Oz — November 14, 2012 @ 11:22 am

  4. Agree with Sam. That was a wonderful piss take of Josie’s statement

    Comment by lprent — November 14, 2012 @ 11:50 am

  5. why do we even have paganis?

    Comment by kahikatea — November 14, 2012 @ 11:56 am

  6. There has been a definite shift in tactics from the right recently. The neoliberal political/media establishment feels it’s hegonomistic control of the political and media agenda could be about to come under threat as the intellectual shockwaves of the GFC start to lap our shores. The general tone is to shore up the neoliberal carapace. Thus, we have O’Sullivan trying to destabilize Labour by writing pieces the endorse the candidate of the neoliberal parliamentary clique in terms calculated to enrage the party base, Audrey Young doing puff pieces on “acceptable” (as in a Blairite neoliberal) “left wingers” like Pagani and some frankly hysterical posts from David Farrar attempting to smear a whole range of moderate social democratic measures to try and scare the likes of Josie Pagani into being petrified to implement anything vaguely left wing. Mind you, Farrar’s latest rant against Homebrew whose crime appears to be solely daring to robustly insult John Key in public where he advocates stripping funding from any body that criticizes the government seems to have completed his descent to tea party loon status.

    (just as an aside, what is it about Homebrew that seems to have gotten so under his skin? Did they ban from a uni gig for being to old?)

    Comment by Sanctuary — November 14, 2012 @ 12:22 pm

  7. The neoliberal political/media establishment feels it’s hegonomistic control of the political and media agenda…

    Or, they could just be playing to the audience.

    Comment by Gregor W — November 14, 2012 @ 1:12 pm

  8. @6’s aside – They are getting more and more popular, and don’t really seem to give a shit about the consequences of what they say, so are politically somewhat untouchable. That, and they don’t come across as ashamed of being poor, would really get the wind up Farrar.

    Comment by alex — November 14, 2012 @ 1:12 pm

  9. “so are politically somewhat untouchable”

    hence Farrar attacking the funders and awards organisers with his mobster threats, since the band themselves probably don’t know or care who dpf is.

    that man who in 2008 (I think) was quite active in getting a bunch of billboards comparing his political enemies to mass-murderers and dictators warning others about the consequences* of exercising one’s right to free speech . of course, if you’re sitting on John Key’s lap you’re slightly more shielded from such consequences…

    *(in his case: being thought a hyperbolic godwinning doucheface)

    Comment by nommopilot — November 14, 2012 @ 4:50 pm

  10. I think I can see(hear?) what irritates DPF..

    p.s. Listen to Homebrew

    Comment by Rob — November 14, 2012 @ 6:43 pm

  11. 7.The neoliberal political/media establishment feels it’s hegonomistic control of the political and media agenda…

    * hegemonic, from hegemony

    Comment by Tim G. — November 15, 2012 @ 1:55 am

  12. Calling the PM a cunt is exactly my idea of incisive left-wing discourse but expectations have been lowered considerably in recent years.

    I think there was a time when being radical was a little more courageous and focused.

    Comment by NeilM — November 15, 2012 @ 9:32 am

  13. isn’t exactly”

    Comment by NeilM — November 15, 2012 @ 9:34 am

  14. If you think Homebrew are lacking courage and focus then you aren’t listening properly

    Comment by Rob — November 15, 2012 @ 9:44 am

  15. If you think Homebrew are lacking courage and focus then you aren’t listening properly

    But it is nice that they have ‘lacking talent’ in common with their buddies in the Labour caucus.

    Comment by Phil — November 15, 2012 @ 12:01 pm

  16. Lacking talent eh.. How many industry music awards have you won again? For you to make that call I can only assume you’re either dense as the proverbial batshit or simply haven’t listened to their music.

    Calling them buddies of the Labour caucus is a bit of a stretch as well.

    Easily the best hiphop group to come out of NZ. Just because you don’t like the message doesn’t mean they lack talent.

    Comment by Rob — November 15, 2012 @ 12:57 pm

  17. Nah, Dam Native’s the best hip hip group to come out of New Zealand:

    either that, or Jay Roacher

    Comment by SouthDeeznuts — November 15, 2012 @ 2:16 pm

  18. *Although Jay’s a solo act…

    Comment by SouthDeeznuts — November 15, 2012 @ 2:17 pm

  19. The surrealism of the Dim Post is just enhanced by it becoming a hip hop critics forum.

    Comment by alex — November 15, 2012 @ 2:55 pm

  20. 99 problems but satire ain’t one

    Comment by Gregor W — November 15, 2012 @ 3:21 pm

  21. An industry music award is worth something? To whom?

    Rap is music? To whom?

    Busking is begging.

    Musicians are buskers.

    Rappers (=non musicians = non poets)are buskers.

    Is it not great that beggars guide our social discourse?

    What is the difference between dam native and dpf?

    Not much.

    Comment by peterlepaysan — November 16, 2012 @ 12:00 am

  22. If you think Homebrew are lacking courage and focus then you aren’t listening properly

    self-promoters saying rude things to get attention doesn’t suggest to me any sense of left-wing commitment.

    That they became instant left-wing heroes for abusive language was a bit of a surprise.

    I think dpf had a point, if a right-winger had said that about Helen Clark there would have been tremendous outrage from the Left. But I suppose since we had 9 years of “Klark”, “Helengrad” etc from the Right we’ll just have to put up with the same juvenile nonsense from the Left as some sort of pay-back.

    Comment by NeilM — November 16, 2012 @ 12:58 am

  23. I never understood what was supposedly so hurtful about Klark. Was it meant to be a KKK reference?

    Comment by alex — November 16, 2012 @ 10:59 am

  24. Is the criticism valid? Key has exhibited a profound lack of integrity.

    Clark has integrity. She has moved on to bigger and better things; a reflection of the esteem for her character and abilities.

    Put yo’self in their shoes; a fools errand no doubt being outside your realms of comprehension. Young musicians of the maligned underclass witnessing within their communities the crippling consequences of neolib subjugating greed. Imitating their admired brethren from the US and UK. Using the parlance of those examples and sadly their social environments. Commendable they’ve achieved such political awareness and motivation.

    ‘instant left-wing heroes’ I think not overwhelming support; over a year online | 105K views | 1151 Likes vs 55 dislikes.

    “Busking is begging.” “Rap is music?” Tone deaf are we peter? Music is joy; from hymns to rap. Learning an instrument (ones voice included) is a truly rewarding experience and proven to be emotionally beneficial. Sharing music is a wonderful thing; one is not obligated to chuck a coin in the case. I sincerely hope you were taking the piss.

    Comment by Luke. — November 16, 2012 @ 2:49 pm

  25. Onya Luke. Yes the NeilMs are right to fear and corral their pitiful efforts to denigrate art: it’s the one thing they can’t buy, and the perennial herald of the demise of evil. Keep creating bud, you know not what good you do, but your reward is guaranteed.

    Comment by ak — November 16, 2012 @ 10:19 pm

  26. NeilM “That they became instant left-wing heroes for abusive language”

    That’s disingenuously reductive.

    Comment by prgcnt — November 19, 2012 @ 6:36 pm

  27. I never understood what was supposedly so hurtful about Klark. Was it meant to be a KKK reference?

    Now that you mention it, it is odd. There is a left-wing thing with “Amerika” which I think is a KKK reference. How that gets transposed to a right-wing attempt at insult of a left-wing politician is a mystery.

    Perhaps there’s some link to “de Klerk” but that doesn’t make much sense either.

    Comment by NeilM — November 20, 2012 @ 12:38 am

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