The Dim-Post

October 14, 2014

Hiatus

Filed under: blogging — danylmc @ 12:55 pm
  • I’m not saying I’m taking a break from blogging, exactly, because every time I do that something really interesting happens that I want to blog about and I look like a doofus. But I’m taking a break from blogging unless something interesting happens.
  • Partly because this is because I’m busy with other stuff. But I’m also feeling despondent about left-wing politics: Labour is a horrible mess and looks to remain one, and the Greens couldn’t capitalise on Labour’s failure and grow their vote. It’s depressing.
  • This might sound solipsistic but I feel like some of the left’s problems stem from over-engagement with social-media. If you’re listening to and engaging with a cacophony of voices online it’s easy to lose touch with the silent but demographically much, much larger section of the population that aren’t commenting via blogs or twitter etc, and have very different priorities and concerns. So I’m part of the problem!
  • And the left-wing blogoscape seems pretty bleak. I think The Standard, especially, need to stop and ask themselves some tough questions; right now it feels – to me – that they’re doing more harm than good, mostly to Labour and that having a bunch of anonymous and pseudo-anonymous bloggers widely suspected of working in the Labour leaders’ office hasn’t worked out for them.
  • Also, people should stop writing content for Bomber, or reading anything he says, or generally doing anything that acknowledges that he exists. He’s a fool and a buffoon and the suggestion that he speaks for the left, or is representative of the left is very harmful to the left.
  • If there’s one thing I think the left can learn from National it’s that we need to talk about what the public cares about, not what we care about – because nobody cares about what we care about. That doesn’t mean left-wing parties have to abandon the things we care about. It’s not like National have abandoned the TPPA, say, or expanding the powers of the security state. They just know that those issues aren’t relevant to that many voters so they talk about things that are. And it works.

 

103 Comments »

  1. •Also, people should stop writing content for Whale, or reading anything he says, or generally doing anything that acknowledges that he exists. He’s a fool and a buffoon and the suggestion that he speaks for the right, or is representative of the right is very harmful to the right.*

    *Although, bizarrely, he seemed to get away without any actual harm to the right. Unless you count Collins, but she was prob sinking anyways.

    Comment by Clunking Fist — October 14, 2014 @ 1:01 pm

  2. the other thing they can learn from National is how to manage their party – not be undemocratic, but actually get out there and do management stuff, which means some decisions have to (shock, horror) be delegated

    Comment by Paul — October 14, 2014 @ 1:04 pm

  3. G’day Danyl. Most of the active Standard bloggers – me (Anthony R0bins) Lynn Prentice, Greg Presland, Mike Smith, Ben Clark, Stephanie Rodgers – are not anonymous. None of The Standard bloggers (as far as I know) work for Labour’s office.

    Comment by r0b — October 14, 2014 @ 1:05 pm

  4. I think you are mostly correct, politicians are answerable to the voters and if they and their Party fail to remember that then they get the result that was delivered this year

    It seems the Hard left may be only 1.5% to 5% of the voting population, worth remembering when reading Bomber’s work or the loonier of the Standards commenters

    Do keep blogging when something catches your eye

    Comment by rayinnz — October 14, 2014 @ 1:06 pm

  5. Hear hear…

    Comment by sparksedit — October 14, 2014 @ 1:14 pm

  6. Danyl, look I hear what you’re saying. Now make sure to COME ALONG to the events of the year. Moderate this comment to the memory hole if need be. You clearly need to be surrounded by a pile of good people. Sunday the 30th November 6pm the big potluck dinner, Aro Valley Community Centre – lets see some of yr respondents there, too. And bring some people to the Holloway Rd cocktail after party. We’re going have a great time. Chin up. Get in touch.

    Comment by Richard McIntosh, 41 Holloway Rd. — October 14, 2014 @ 1:15 pm

  7. I think The Standard, especially, need to stop and ask themselves some tough questions……that they’re doing more harm than good, mostly to Labour and that having a bunch of anonymous and pseudo-anonymous bloggers widely suspected of working in the Labour leaders’ office hasn’t worked out for them.
    Shearer said something like that this morning. I read The Standard daily and can only wonder who these bloggers are. And what connection do any of them have with the Leaders office.
    Sounds to me Danyl like another Slater-like smear. Unless you can name even one anonymouse blogger from the Labour Party on the Standard? One?

    Comment by xianmac — October 14, 2014 @ 1:26 pm

  8. There are plenty of good left-to-liberal blogs, with cogent arguments and copious detail, along with moribund comments threads. As media barons have known since they learned to print, essays don’t attract comments, but shouting does.

    Comment by sammy 2.0 — October 14, 2014 @ 1:27 pm

  9. @Clunking Fist. I agree nobody should ever interact with Whale – he is awful. But, the difference between him and Bomber is that Whale has been extremely effective for the Right. Bomber is incompetent and ineffective.

    Comment by Torney — October 14, 2014 @ 1:32 pm

  10. The Standard does seem to have a bad rap with many middle and upper class lefties. Probably because there is relatively little attention paid to being polite so many such people see it as being a forum for the riff raff.

    Comment by wtl — October 14, 2014 @ 1:34 pm


  11. And the left-wing blogoscape seems pretty bleak.
    ….
    Also, people should stop writing content for Bomber,…

    Could it be that the Internet has for the first time allowed a widespread part of the public to really see what the Left wing thinks, both in terms of argument over policy before it’s released and perhaps more importantly, what the modern Left really thinks of the Great Unwashed? Because the latter is not pretty.

    Comment by Tom Hunter — October 14, 2014 @ 1:40 pm

  12. The Standard… feels – to me – that they’re doing more harm than good

    With respect to the hard working and passionate authors of the Standard, it’s hard to do anything (either harmful or good) when the site is nothing but an echo chamber of hard left yes-men and women.

    Also, most of the people who comment there are COMPLETELY MENTAL.

    Comment by Phil — October 14, 2014 @ 1:41 pm

  13. My impression is that social media haven’t benefited the centre left but although I have a few theories I’m at loss to explain why exactly.

    I started posting here a few years ago after being appalled by how most other liberal-left blogs treated Hillary Clinton.

    But feel like posting less and less.

    A while ago I argued for western intervention to support the moderate Syrian opposition, in the tradition of the Spanish brigades, but didn’t meet with a great deal if support.

    I just increasingly feel I don’t have a lot in common with the left, or the internet version thereof, any more.

    Comment by NeilM — October 14, 2014 @ 1:41 pm

  14. If we judged everything by the comments, we would never watch a YouTube video.

    Comment by sammy 2.0 — October 14, 2014 @ 1:44 pm

  15. So Carrick Graham has finally managed to buy your silence. Scum like you doesn’t deserve pants.

    Comment by Richard — October 14, 2014 @ 2:02 pm

  16. wtl – nothing wrong with riff raff – he managed to get his own statue after all🙂
    (ok – it wasnt REALLY for riff raff)

    Comment by framu — October 14, 2014 @ 2:10 pm

  17. …that having a bunch of anonymous and pseudo-anonymous bloggers widely suspected of working in the Labour leaders’ office hasn’t worked out for them.

    Short answer is that we have exactly as many active pseudonymous authors in Cunliffe (and now Parkers) office as we had in Shearer’s office and Goff’s office. In fact the only active author that I’m aware off that ever was employed in a political role at parliament was Mike Smith. For a while he was doing work in David Shearers office.

    While it is possible that some of the comments may come from political parliamentary staff, they aren’t doing it from parliamentary IP’s. But then they could do that here as well.

    The people like Shearer, Cosgrove, the Pagani’s, and anyone else making such claims are just lying. I’ve said this many times before. The only reason that it comes up at all is because those cowardly gutless wonders are aware that because we run an active privacy policy that we can’t prove that.

    Of course in the wake of the vindictive attitudes displayed by Collins, Slater, Ede, Shearer, Cosgrove, and even Josie Pagani – you can see why we hold to such a policy. We’re interested in open debate of ideas and not interested in having our commentators and authors persecuted by such people.

    Comment by lprent — October 14, 2014 @ 2:16 pm

  18. “If there’s one thing I think the left can learn from National it’s that we need to talk about what the public cares about, not what we care about – because nobody cares about what we care about. That doesn’t mean left-wing parties have to abandon the things we care about. It’s not like National have abandoned the TPPA, say, or expanding the powers of the security state. They just know that those issues aren’t relevant to that many voters so they talk about things that are. And it works.”

    Amen. The Left need to learn the lesson that the Right learned about 10 years ago: most people (70%+) don’t agree with our policies. That doesn’t mean we can’t implement some of them, we just need to do so slowly and as *part* of an overall palatable set of centrist policies that address what the public is actually concerned about. Just like National is doing. And if the centre right has an occasional good idea, we pilfer it and steal their thunder, again like National does.

    Winning elections is important. Unlike the opposition party, the governing party can (1) actually implement its policies, and (2) over time, slowly shift the location of the “centre”. Again, this is what National is doing. Every election the Left loses is another 3 years in which the Nats can gradually move the centre, or “common sense”, a little further to the right. Countering this without winning an election is difficult to impossible.

    Comment by eeeickythump (@eeeickythump) — October 14, 2014 @ 2:38 pm

  19. An “open debate of ideas” – is that what you call it? You don’t think “far-left echo chamber with many commentators being feral weirdos” would be more accurate?

    Comment by Mark — October 14, 2014 @ 2:39 pm

  20. Well written as ever Danyl and I look forward to you writing on the next thing that catches your interest even if I won’t usually agree with it. But, hey, interesting writing can be produced at any point on the political spectrum and there is also no requirement that stimulating writing be either wholly factually correct or accurate in its predictions. As an Economist writer once said, the house style is to simplify and then exaggerate. It can be a very good formula for diverting reading.Too many writers churn out the same article year after year. Whatever the subject they’re writing on the article is the same. Gordon Campbell, for example, has written the same article every week (and sometimes twice a week) for at least 20 years. Once you have read the first sentence you know what the rest will say. Brian Easton – most recently in Pundit – is exactly the same, as is Rod Oram. That’s not something I can say for either your stuff or David Farrar’s – and my apologies to you both for saying so.

    One part of your post I wholly agreed with was the isolation of left wing activists. My work puts me in contact with what I would assume is the traditional core Labour vote, skilled and unskilled manual workers in the big cities and the provinces. Especially this year I have often wondered who represents them in Parliament. I still don’t have an answer.

    Comment by Tinakori — October 14, 2014 @ 2:53 pm

  21. Good post, amazing to see some fleeting amount of self introspection on the ‘left’, this will of course, go down like the proverbial ‘turd in drink’ with all the intellectuals over at ‘The Standard’.

    Comment by Craig — October 14, 2014 @ 3:07 pm

  22. Oh fuck off Tinakori, you right wing concerned troll.

    Comment by Sanctuary — October 14, 2014 @ 3:11 pm

  23. “I think The Standard, especially, need to stop and ask themselves some tough questions; right now it feels – to me – that they’re doing more harm than good,”

    Don’t worry there is no chance of the Standard people doing that!

    “We’re interested in open debate of ideas” – Tui advert time

    You don’t think “far-left echo chamber with many commentators being feral weirdos” – thanks Mark best description of The Standard that I have heard for a long time

    Comment by Sb — October 14, 2014 @ 3:13 pm

  24. There needs to be a multi-pronged approach from here.

    1. Labour needs to get its shit together. Yesterday. And if it still can’t get its shit together, maybe there’s no other choice but for the factions to split into ‘Old Labour’ and ‘New Labour’ parties.
    2. Don’t hold back on the Dirty Politics investigations. David Parker has made the next step, and if the cops aren’t interested, take private prosecutions.
    3. Put in your bit towards a Royal Commission on the whole sordid affair.
    4. I suspect ‘beltway’ issues like the TPPA and mass surveillance weren’t so much ‘irrelevant’ to ‘middle NZ’, as they were poorly framed by the Left. Quite possibly it boils down to the factional politics in Labour, especially on free trade.
    5. Speculators driving up the costs of living and housing are a definite wedge issue, but Labour seemed half-hearted and lousy-shots in driving that wedge.

    Feel free to add suggestions. Enough talking and more walking.

    Comment by Kumara Republic (@kumararepublic) — October 14, 2014 @ 3:34 pm

  25. Too many writers churn out the same article year after year…pot/ kettle, Tinakori.
    You just aren’t paying attention to what you read. Put a wee circle around the first word in paragraph 3 – it’ll help you to recognize what you’ve already read. Or stick to property mags.

    Comment by paritutu — October 14, 2014 @ 3:36 pm

  26. “Put a wee circle around the first word in paragraph 3”
    Eh? Which (or whose) para 3 are you talking about?

    Comment by Clunking Fist — October 14, 2014 @ 3:40 pm

  27. So, on the one hand the majority of the population don’t read blogs, but nonetheless The Standard is a problem…I don’t think you have thought that through.

    Besides, I thought David Cunliffe was the problem.

    Comment by Ross — October 14, 2014 @ 3:57 pm

  28. on the one hand the majority of the population don’t read blogs, but nonetheless The Standard is a problem

    No, that’s not it at all.
    The problem is that Labour, and the left generally, appear to have conflated “left wing social media echo chambers” with “voters”.

    Comment by Phil — October 14, 2014 @ 4:22 pm

  29. David Cunliffe the problem? That’s a canard…

    Comment by Clunking Fist — October 14, 2014 @ 4:25 pm

  30. Yeah Danyl. like reading Dirty Politics is so last year already…

    Comment by Marcus — October 14, 2014 @ 4:43 pm

  31. I’ve found your blog a lot more damaging to the Labour Party than anything I’ve read on the Standard or The Daily Blog. Anyway so long.

    Comment by flotsy — October 14, 2014 @ 4:50 pm

  32. “every time I do that something really interesting happens that I want to blog about …”

    Collins or Mahuta?

    Comment by sammy 2.0 — October 14, 2014 @ 4:55 pm

  33. The Greens make a big play about not being interested in power, but in change. Fundamentally, this is the struggle going on in Labour. There is currently on the one hand a neo-liberal, managerialist and middle class caucus faction that fundamentally identifies more with the political establishment than it does with it’s core supporters and on the other a membership that wants power with a mandate for radical change. Labour has been a mess for thirty years, Danyl. While I understand “…the silent but demographically much, much larger section of the population that aren’t commenting via blogs or twitter etc, and have very different priorities and concerns…” are not interested in this fight, I’ve argued before you can’t have style without form. Unless the Labour knows it’s own big picture, it can’t style big and simply grasped policies that showcase it’s vision. It ends up with the sort of policies you see from it now – opportunistic, tinkering, visionless and uninspiring. In a sense, this current showdown going on now is just a continuation of the battle started in 1984. Social media has simply leveled the playing field in the Labour civil war by giving the radical membership new weapons. Will Labour survive? Who knows. Maybe social media has simply created a stalemate, with neither side strong enough to finish the other off. Personally, I would rather it die with a bang now and allow something to replace it than linger on for another 3-5 elections as a dwindling beltway party of the ideologically aimless dedicated to nothing except themselves and keeping the left out. The Standard has always been hard trolled by the right. Given what we now know from dirty politics I would say it isn’t particularly tinfoil to suspect there was deliberate strategy to destabilise it from day one. The Standard does not enjoy the sort of money available to Farrar and Slater and because of that it is amateurish and shrill at times. If it had a bit of money to afford a proper, full time editor, a webmaster and some consistant and tough anti-trolling moderation it would be a formidable online resource for the left. So who can be the George Soros for the Standard?

    Comment by Sanctuary — October 14, 2014 @ 5:15 pm

  34. “Oh fuck off Tinakori, you right wing concerned troll”

    Cheers, Sanctuary. Don’t ever change. You are an example to us all.

    Comment by Tinakori — October 14, 2014 @ 5:35 pm

  35. Sanc: off the top of my head, possibly Selwyn Pellett or Philip Mills. If the Left blogosphere has no choice except an overseas benefactor, Nick Hanauer comes to mind.

    Comment by Kumara Republic — October 14, 2014 @ 6:03 pm

  36. “we need to talk about what the public cares about, not what we care about”

    I doubt this is news to anybody. Nobody was consciously ignoring the public.

    Comment by kalvarnsen — October 14, 2014 @ 6:37 pm

  37. I’d just like to say

    http://blog.p2pfoundation.net/42339/2014/10/11

    Comment by chaosmogony — October 14, 2014 @ 6:43 pm

  38. … this will of course, go down like the proverbial ‘turd in drink’ with all the intellectuals over at ‘The Standard’.

    Followed almost immediately by:

    Oh fuck off Tinakori, you right wing concerned troll.

    Perfection.

    Comment by Tom Hunter — October 14, 2014 @ 7:01 pm

  39. The left has a problem at the moment re social media in that the two biggest left wing blogs are controlled by rather unpleasant sociopaths ie Martyn Bradbury and Lynn Prentice. Somehow the left needs to take back control of the social media narrative and make it a relatively pleasant place to engage in again, rather than the distinctly foam flecked zone it portrays. LPrents constant labelling of people as morons etc before he bans them for arbitrary lengths of time is deeply unattractive. At least the Daily Blog censors you without comment:) Way more tolerance of debate without labelling alternative views as “neo liberal fuckwits” might go a long way. You have to admit that Danyl and Farrar are unfailing polite as much as you might disagree with their views.

    Comment by Swingingvoter — October 14, 2014 @ 7:22 pm

  40. That’s a shame , Agood luck with your next book. If it’s the one Slater was whining about I’ll buy it.
    The left in NZ lost touch with their voters a looooong time ago. I’m a blue collar worker ( high viz is a more appropriate description these days.) and neither me or the guys I work with vote labour. Why would we ? Banging on about govt surveillance ? I already assumed if they wanted to read my texts or emails they could and if that’sk the price I pay for not having my head cut off on the internet so be it.
    Labour are screwed IMHO , they can’t get in without the greens and the vast majority on NZ don’t want the greens having a say I how the country is run.
    I tried posting on the standard , I was banned and I didn’t say anything obnoxious . My first post was in response to Mickey Savage asking what Cunliffe had done to move the party to far left and I replied bringing the unions closer to the party at a time where the Uk Labour Party is moving away from them. In response I got called the enemy of all that is good in the world and I wouldn’t be happy ti everyone was working for $2 an hour. These people are fruit cakes , they are completely out of touch with their country and speak for a tiny minority. They deserve to be ignored but for some reason they are not.

    Comment by andjh — October 14, 2014 @ 7:25 pm

  41. I’m taking a break from blogging unless something interesting happens.

    But, but …. what about my satire fix? You know, all that It is difficult not to write satire stuff. Did Juvenal never experience truly crushing despair, the little bourgeois poser?

    Comment by Tom Hunter — October 14, 2014 @ 8:35 pm

  42. Last time you did this you made a baby….

    Comment by MeToo — October 14, 2014 @ 9:21 pm

  43. Shearer hates Cunliffe, Cosgrove hates Cunliffe, Bomber hates Brown, Danyl hates Bomber, Danyl hates The Standard, Cosgrove hates The Standard, Shearer hates women and Maori’s, Davis hates Harawira, Flavell hates Harawira, Bomber hates Pagani, Pagani hates Cunliffe,…..

    Comment by Saarbo (@Saarbo1) — October 14, 2014 @ 9:22 pm

  44. He would wear trousers. He’d start writing, something fresh, something totally new, and he’d work without Labour’s dread shadow falling over his art.

    Comment by Psycho Milt — October 14, 2014 @ 9:38 pm

  45. “We need to talk about what the public care about”, the problem there is that ‘the public’ are only informed about the issues that mass media, mostly owned by the 1%, decide to talk about. So you can kiss goodbye to any meaningful discussion about climate change or inequality, because those raking in the profits from business as usual don’t want ‘the public’ to be informed and care about such issues.

    Comment by Corokia — October 14, 2014 @ 9:45 pm

  46. the problem there is that ‘the public’ are only informed about the issues that mass media, mostly owned by the 1%, decide to talk about.

    That’s a comforting notion but let me give you an example about public understanding that pisses me off from a right wing perspective: http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2014/10/08/the-persistence-of-public-ignorance-about-federal-spending/

    a new Pew Research Center survey shows that most of the public is ignorant about the distribution of federal spending. Only 20% realize that the federal government spends more money on Social Security than on foreign aid, transportation, and interest on the government debt. Some 33% believe that foreign aid is the biggest item on this list, even though it’s actually the smallest. It accounts for only 1% of the federal budget, compared to a whopping 17% for Social Security, which is one of the biggest federal outlays and has been for decades.

    Comment by Tom Hunter — October 14, 2014 @ 10:58 pm

  47. But the real kicker in that article is the following:

    The problem is not that the public is stupid or that information is unavailable, but that for most voters it is actually rational to pay little attention to political issues. No matter how well informed you are about the federal budget and entitlements, the likelihood that your knowledge will actually influence policy is miniscule, because there is so little chance that your vote will ever decide an electoral outcome.

    That reality makes it extremely difficult to overcome political ignorance by increasing public knowledge through education, improving media coverage of political issues, or other oft-proposed remedies.

    Now that really depresses me – but you might like to consider that the same rule applies to the public’s disinterest in your left wing concerns.

    Comment by Tom Hunter — October 14, 2014 @ 11:01 pm

  48. Oh the irony- while Danyl (and Shearer and Farrar and …) does his eye-roll about TS and in his comments Lyn Prentice is called a sociopath and lumped in with Martyn Bradbury and Standard posters are called ‘weirdos’.

    As well as the work of Brian Easton and Gordon Campbell being dismissed, especially compared that doyen of journalism and innovative writing David Farrar, and two of the actual Standard’s regular posters have commented and been ignored.

    Dare I say that this is why the Greens are like they are and haven’t grown their vote- they always know better in their purity and often they are prone to being seduced by their desire to be better Nats- worthy wealth- they think if only they could talk to the Nats they’d see. The tone of that comment fit in?

    And Tinakori? You can fuck off from me too. John Key did his concern troll about the underclass and his McGehan Close girl lives in Perth, and Jackie Blue fired her mum when the media scrum had walked on by. If you gave a stuff…well. We’ve heard though that Shane Jones is the champion of the people. I’m sure he’s there helping them through.

    Comment by sheesh — October 14, 2014 @ 11:27 pm

  49. Prentice behaves like a sociopath, he isn’t interested in anyone posting anything he disagrees with, you get banned for that. Check out the current circle jerk about how wonderful Mahuta is, she’s only running to ensure she gets a decent job after the leader is selected. God help labour if she actually wins, the posters at the standard would love her too though. Try asking what she has ever done to deserve such high praise and you’ll get abused then banned .Mickey Savage wrote his usual smug self serving nonsense today and said ” dang” if she isn’t one of their most effective mps. I’d like to see some evidence of that other than he says so. He also thought Cunliffe was capable of getting elected pm . Dang.
    Christ the left are in a bad way and these people are their voice online?

    Comment by andjh — October 14, 2014 @ 11:46 pm

  50. Face it, most voters do not read blogs, do not twitter and don’t give a flying f about how many angels can dance on the pinhead of a green mp. To write them off as low information, ignorant, irrational, misinformed or whatever other comforting put-down you can come up with is just showing how little you know of your fellow countrymen. Try sitting back as an average NZer, kick away the echo-chamber mindset of The Standard/Dimpost/Public Address/WhateverTheFluck and think rationally about your situation and it becomes much easier to understand. It isn’t rocket science.

    Comment by GrantG — October 15, 2014 @ 2:21 am

  51. Shame bro. But much respect. Your coverage and its discerning voice has done a great service to journalism and politics over the past year or so.

    To Julian, Edward, and Chelsea! Salut.

    Comment by Iraq — October 15, 2014 @ 3:10 am

  52. Sorry to hear you got banned andjh but Lyn Prentice isn’t a sociopath – you need to read your DSM better. I’ve bumped into him a couple of times IRL and he’s nice and a bit geeky and nerdy but nothing that screams “sociopath!” He’s not charming enough for one…. If LynP says his posters aren’t working from Labour offices, I believe him because no one has actually shown that he lies. (Sociopaths lie). On that score I’m more likely to believe him that believe WO because WO has been shown to exaggerate and lie (wouldn’t be surprised if he uses the “I BS all the time” line in one of his court cases/ inquiries in an attempt to get off the hook).

    As for being banned from TS, the site has rules and these catch out people who aren’t regular readers who aren’t aware of how the site runs. And the site is very busy and sometimes moderators including Lyn jump into the middle of a shitfight without having read/followed the whole thing as it unfolded. Again, not sociopathic behaviour but the behaviour of someone who is stretched for time and, unlike dfp, gives a damn about moderation.

    Comment by MeToo — October 15, 2014 @ 6:44 am

  53. TBH, I can see why Danyl would give up discouraged. All that keeps me going sometimes is the fact that since 1916 a member of my direct family has always been a member of the Labour party, and I’ll be damned if I am the first not to be. I’ve sounded out a few overseas opportunities though, mainly because I find the entire cultural atmosphere of New Zealand these days stifling. The country has descended into a miasma of toxicity, a place where the mean spirited, the narrow minded and the mercenary are celebrated in gloating terms by a deliberately ignorant, deeply divided society. For this evil that has gripped our collective soul I blame our corporate media. It is beyond toxic. It is, in fact, an unchallenged tabloid media unrelieved by any sense of collective responsibility, ethics, or morals. With an arrogance born from thinking itself beyond retribution our right wing media is bullying, braying, self-important, partisan, mean-spirited and intellectually stifling beyond belief. I don’t think it a cultural cringe to enjoy the Guardian, and like reading the Telegraph as well. It is OK to love the Times Literary Supplement, the London Review of Books and read marxists.org and the world socialist web site. Hell, even the Miami Herald owns every newspaper in this country. You read the quality of writing in the Atlantic Monthly and Vanity Fair and you cry for the death of ideas in your beloved country.

    That in the end is why I will probably miss Danyl’s site the most. Even amongst the “political elite” readership of the internet blogs you can count on the fingers of one hand the number of civilised commentators who actually appear to like their fellow New Zealanders. David Farrar for example seems to regard New Zealanders as an occupied population with no desires of it it’s own in need of close supervision and extraordinary punishment from the occupying power if it dares challenge his chosen ruling authority. Cameron Slater is dangerous sociopath. Even Public Address largely addresses the wider population in terms of a weary school teacher. Danyl at least seemed to like us.

    Hope you have a good break dude.

    Comment by Sanctuary — October 15, 2014 @ 8:53 am

  54. @Sanc: Sometimes I wonder why you bother with these long, tent-revival-preacher style denunciations of National We know. You don’t like them. God knows anybody who’s seen even one of your posts knows that. What’s the point of endlessly piling on the invective? Do you think you’re going to convince somebody – somebody who might not see the light until the third or fourth biblical adjective – or is this just your way of venting? And if the latter, have you considered just yelling it down a hole in the ground or bending the ear of some helpless taxi driver, rather than trying to pass it off as informed commentary?

    Comment by kalvarnsen — October 15, 2014 @ 8:59 am

  55. Hear Hear for the last paragraph of Mr Sanctuary’s post.

    Comment by Leopold — October 15, 2014 @ 9:05 am

  56. Oh and one comment on the Standard – like other commentators have noted, the Standard’s moderation is all over the place. Like I’ve said, it gets a lot of comments, many of them just trolling pre-arranged National party attack lines. Now, I’ve been moderating forums comments on different sites for over a decade now and I like to think I’ve developed a bit of a “nose” for those posters who look like the same people using multiple login names and I’ve seen a few on the Standard. In an attempt to control the tolling they’ve brought in a pile of rules that allow them to make quick decision to ban then quote the relevant bit of bureaucratica (I just made up a word!). With a bit of decent moderation from a team of experienced part-time moderators they would do a lot better. Personally, I just have just two rules. No trolling allowed at all, and that includes concerned trolling. And be polite. So for example, I might put Tinakori into moderation for being a concerned troll, but Pete George would be mouldering in a shallow grave out the back with Jonathan Swift. I’d I would stop swearing online.

    Comment by Sanctuary — October 15, 2014 @ 9:09 am

  57. @ kalvarnsen – “…Sometimes I wonder why you bother with these long, tent-revival-preacher style denunciations of National …”

    I think you need to re-read my post. I don’t believe I mentioned the National party once.

    However, if you want to associate my decrying of the state of the nation with the governance of the National party you are welcome.

    “…rather than trying to pass it off as informed commentary..?”

    This is a blog, my commentary is no more informed than the press gallery attempting to understand what is going on in provincial NZ. At the end of the day I’m a smart guy who has had a good education and who happens to think what I have to say occasionally deserves a wider audience. Isn’t that why we are all here?

    Comment by Sanctuary — October 15, 2014 @ 9:24 am

  58. Finally I’ve found someone who shares my sentiments about Bomber.

    Comment by Trish — October 15, 2014 @ 9:42 am

  59. The translation of Sanctuary’s two posts at 53 and 56 is that we, as a people and a nation have failed him. He has considered seeking other options but his sense of obligation is such that he, however personally desirable it might be, cannot. Is the implication that we the people and the nation must pull our socks up or be replaced? Now where have I heard that before?

    Miami Herald? Ya gotta be fucking kidding me.

    Unlike Kalvarnsen, however, I do enjoy your rants. Given your liking for the Miami Herald perhaps you are the long lost intellectual member of the Crowe family from Justfied? Dewey, Daryl, Kendall, Danny, Wendy and Sanctuary

    Comment by Tinakori — October 15, 2014 @ 9:57 am

  60. Your comments remind me of a memorable article by Robert Harris in the UK Sunday Times in 1992 after the Conservative party had just won a fourth election in a row, under John Major. In the article, Harris wrote in despair about whether the Labour party could ever win again and how having to write about Conservative politicians for another five years was a fate like that of the character in “A Handful of Dust” trapped in the jungle and forced to read Dickens to his captor every night for ever. Of course, things changed enormously in five years – Labour was returned in a landslide in 1997 and Robert Harris became a hugely successful novelist. Good luck!

    Comment by James S — October 15, 2014 @ 10:26 am

  61. Miami Herald? Ya gotta be fucking kidding me.

    When you consider that one of the Miami Herald’s main claims to international fame is syndicated humour columnist Dave Barry, Sanctuary’s comments begin to make marginally more sense.

    Comment by Phil — October 15, 2014 @ 10:46 am

  62. “…The translation of Sanctuary’s two posts at 53 and 56 is that we, as a people and a nation have failed him…”

    Pretty long bow dude. I like most New Zealanders, I was born here so I can’t help it – if I didn’t then that would be tantamount to saying I hate myself, and then I’d just end up with that weird passive-aggressive cultural cringe you get in so many Kiwis who DON’T identify with this country. You know, the sort of people who lustily sing the national anthem at All Black tests then look down their noses at Maori culture as stone age. Generally speaking the only ones I don’t like are our new aristocracy, the top 5-10% or so who are not so much New Zealanders as members of an indistinguishable, globally mobile, Anglo-Saxon settler class.

    I always think it pays to remember that the biggest secular monument this country has every built to one man has the simple inscription ‘He loved his fellow men’ on it. You can’t really govern this country wisely or well if you pretty much hate the people who live in it. New Zealand has been appallingly badly governed since 1975. Muldoon mis-governed by being spectacularly out of depth in a rapidly changing world, but the bad governance of this country since 1984 has really boiled down to us being ruled in bad faith by zealots who have by and large regarded the population as a menace and a threat to their purpose. Helen Clark at least seemed to like her fellow men, but she was only a manager. It is actually my belief that New Zealanders are a way, way better people than than our current neo-liberal theocracy pretends they are; and in their hearts even the maddest mullahs of our free market market know that – and that is what frightens them most of all. And THAT my dear dessicated cynic Tinakori, is what keeps me going.

    Comment by Sanctuary — October 15, 2014 @ 11:05 am

  63. PS – I am not going to make a defense of the Miami Herald, except to say that I doubt either Phil or Tinakori has actually ever read it, and therefore I suspect I am in a better position than them to judge it’s relative merits vis-a-vis what passes for newspapers here.

    Comment by Sanctuary — October 15, 2014 @ 11:08 am

  64. “New Zealand has been appallingly badly governed since 1975”. Yes life under the governance of Bill Rowling was great.

    Comment by Mark — October 15, 2014 @ 11:16 am

  65. David Cunliffe the problem? That’s a canard…

    I know, but so is blaming The Standard. The latter might be a symptom of Labour’s malaise but it’s hard to believe it’s a cause.

    Comment by Ross — October 15, 2014 @ 12:28 pm

  66. we need to talk about what the public cares about, not what we care about

    The trouble is that the people think about themselves. The public would probably love a 4 day week, more holidays, better pay, and upgrading the family home and car on a regular basis. Should the Government aid and abet that sort of attitude?

    In other words, although the public might not like a higher retirement age, sooner or later that particular medicine will have to be swallowed. If it’s done sooner, the taste won’t be so bad.

    Comment by Ross — October 15, 2014 @ 12:35 pm

  67. So, on the one hand the majority of the population don’t read blogs, but nonetheless The Standard is a problem…I don’t think you have thought that through. ?

    Ross – the problem is that the mainstream media which the majority of the population does pay attention to, amplifies the unattractive and factional messages erupting from the Standard.
    Which is bad for [insert new NZLP leader here].

    Comment by Gregor W — October 15, 2014 @ 1:49 pm

  68. Irrespective of how many people actually read blogs, some have much wider influence beyond the blogosphere itself. Dirty Politics exposed how certain higher-ups effectively outsourced the muck-raking in order to maintain plausible deniability – and getting away with it. The Standard & Daily Blog, being the old-fashioned soapbox platforms they are, have yet to master a countering strategy.

    Comment by Kumara Republic (@kumararepublic) — October 15, 2014 @ 3:21 pm

  69. The Standard?

    I don’t think the voting public as a whole care too much about what’s said on The Standard, whatever that is.

    Comment by Mark — October 15, 2014 @ 4:26 pm

  70. Sanc & Kalv: Large numbers of blue-collars emigrated to Oz after Muldoon got in, and the then-newly elected Labour MP David Lange was playing the brain drain card in 1978 – who remembers that video clip of him at the Auckland Airport departure gate?

    Comment by Kumara Republic — October 15, 2014 @ 5:59 pm

  71. @Kumara: …and?

    Comment by kalvarnsen — October 15, 2014 @ 6:34 pm

  72. Kalv: … and what Sanc has just said isn’t a new thing.

    Mark: Compared with what KB & WO dig up, the Standard & Daily Blog preach to the choir and struggle to break many stories in the MSM.

    Comment by Kumara Republic — October 15, 2014 @ 10:37 pm

  73. Well yes. Danyl’s point was that The Standard is doing more harm than good, but I doubt that it is doing much harm with the ordinary voter, who has never heard of it. Or the Daily Blog.

    Comment by Mark — October 15, 2014 @ 10:55 pm

  74. @Kumara: Oh right. Yes, I know the brain drain isn’t new – which is precisely my point. Sanc perpetually acts like whatever “outrage” he’s discovered is a massive crisis that pierces to the very heart of our egalitarian society. Frankly, as long as NZ is a country of 4 million people, there’s going to be a brain drain.

    Comment by kalvarnsen — October 16, 2014 @ 12:00 am

  75. >Did Juvenal never experience truly crushing despair, the little bourgeois poser?

    Juvenal’s first Satire was a flounce, all about how he was leaving Rome because it had gone to shit. He hung around for another nine Satires, though, before finally doing what he reckoned and actually leaving town, whereupon he railed that he didn’t know what to live for anymore.

    But his style was never even slightly like Danyl’s. More like Redbaiters. But “Satire” was a more catchy title than “Angry Diatribe”.

    Comment by Ben Wilson — October 16, 2014 @ 8:22 am

  76. But his style was never even slightly like Danyl’s. More like Redbaiters.

    So Juvenal was just another of those nongs who’d have lost the plot over the likes of Sarah Palin.
    A bit like Paul Holmes or Fran O’Sullivan.

    Comment by Joe W — October 16, 2014 @ 12:22 pm

  77. Comment by Gregor W — October 15, 2014 @ 1:49 pm – i would suggest that such messages have more to do with the labour caucus leaking like a sieve and stabbing each other in the back and very little to do with whatever is the daily excitment over at the standard

    WO on the other hand

    Comment by framu — October 16, 2014 @ 12:55 pm

  78. “If there’s one thing I think the left can learn from National it’s that we need to talk about what the public cares about, not what we care about – because nobody cares about what we care about.”

    That isn’t true in the slightest. The left won a lot of arguments in the last three years, which were reflected in the National party’s policy platform during the election. By speaking out for social justice and equality the left made the number one issue for voters in NZ this election: inequality. National had to promise to feed poor kids and build state houses and so on. Which they will not do and people will remember that, which is how Labour usually wins in a “kick the bastards out” election. Because the left wing noise machine will spend three fucking years telling them, that is how people will know to stop believing their lies.

    Have a break, Daniel, you well deserve it. Maybe try to talk to some of those common folk you think you’re out of touch with, you’ll find they mostly agree with you, because people love left wing policy. Don’t imagine for a moment you’re anything other than a voice for good.

    Comment by tussock — October 16, 2014 @ 2:42 pm

  79. >That isn’t true in the slightest.

    It sure isn’t.It’s like saying “the one thing that Atheists can learn from Christians is that God does exist”. The whole idea of it, and a great many of Danyl’s posts of late, have been predicated around being popular rather than being right, and trying to make accurate predictions about what will happen rather than judgments about what should happen. That isn’t a recipe for the “left”, it’s a recipe for taking office without any interest in what is right. Which is probably a whole lot of why he’s losing the horn for blogging – because who the hell wants to go writing about the amazing rectitude of things they don’t believe, just because they happen to be popular?

    Which is not to say that a break wouldn’t do many people a lot of good. We just had the election, a time of peak interest in politics – it’s fairly natural to take a holiday. And yeah, it’s going to be a slow news year if all there is is endless speculation about what the party of the center-Right, Labour, should be doing with its leadership. Holding the frikken Opposition accountable is what passes for political news in places like Singapore. Perhaps the real message for left wing blogs is that they’ve actually been a bit too fucking nice for too long.

    Comment by Ben Wilson — October 16, 2014 @ 3:45 pm

  80. @ Framu #77 – True.

    But I do think the obsessive and pointless factionalism so beloved of lefty web-warriors who stomp on each others balls over doctrinal differences with as much gusto as they bray at baby-eating Tories (something you don’t see much so much from card carrying members of the VRWC it seems) is a symptom of the same problem.

    However seriously you take the Standard / Red Alert, I’m sure journos do skim it even if just to reinforce / add flavour to the narrative of the leaky, treacherous, backstabby lunacy that suffuses the NZLP.

    Comment by Gregor W — October 16, 2014 @ 3:51 pm

  81. “something you don’t see much so much from card carrying members of the VRWC it seems”

    Check out Kiwiblog – the comments are full of people complaining that Key is basically just a Labour politician with a thin blue sheen.

    Comment by kalvarnsen — October 16, 2014 @ 5:18 pm

  82. @81 exactly. The difference is DPF keeps his posts above board and only dares criticise enough so that he can claim he’s balanced when people accuse him of being a shill. The difference with TDB and TS is that they’re both pretty loose about what they’ll put up, so the fighting is in the bits the matter (the posts), rather than the bits that don’t (the comments).

    Comment by chris — October 16, 2014 @ 5:42 pm

  83. 1. This is one of the few left blogs I read, quote and recommend. For one reason Daryl can write, His skewering of the pretension of the Te Aro Valley was scabrous, accurate and hilarious. Cheered me up no end during the election. The reason Cameron Slater is read is because he also can write. Tabloid style, perhaps, but the red tops have broken more scandals than not. So I’m looking forward to the Dim Post after its hiatus.

    2. The reason the Keyster kept on saying that Kiwis did not care about Dirty Politiics was described by Daryl. He had Farrar polling people, asking not who you would vote for but what concerned you. He said this because he knew it… and every time he was worried — since, inevitably, he lives in the same bubble the media inhabit — he checked with Farrar. So the first lesson the left need to learn is that data matters, and in a democracy the electorate is always correct.

    Finally, be positive. The right consider NZ the best little country in the world, and we generally do most things well. It’s the left who come across as moaning. You can do better. You used to do better. NZ needs a party that advocates for working men and women. It used to be Labour. It is no longer.

    Fix that, and you may be getting somewhere. It’s very hard to have a debate when the other side has thrown their toys out of the sandpit.

    Comment by pukeko60 — October 17, 2014 @ 8:18 am

  84. Yes, Daryl is almost but not quite as appealing to right wingers as WhaleOil. He just needs to drop the last vestiges of left wing opinion and he’ll be the best thing that ever happened to the left wing blogosphere.

    Might even get a call from the Keyster to talk up the war effort – what he could really do with during the run up to sending troops to the middle east is Daryl (Danyl’s shadow blogger) parsing what every Labour member thinks about it (especially if they commit the ultimate sin of having a different opinion to the leader), and showing how their uselessness is tantamount to provoking an attack from terrorists.

    Comment by Ben Wilson — October 17, 2014 @ 9:44 am

  85. I’ve read your comments off and on for years Ben and I cannot remember you ever sounding so bitter and sour.

    Cheer up. From my RWNJ perspective the left is doing fairly well: in terms of academia, culture and yes, media, your ideas are pretty much the only ones talked about. All the “welfare” programs remain in place (and I count things like interest free student loans and WFF as being part of that).

    About the only areas of practical policy failure for the left that I can see is the inability to re-nationalise industries, increase taxes and fully weaponise environmental laws to stop capitalists from doing bad things. Even in those cases it seems to be that rather than losing the arguments you’ve simply not been able to convince enough people to wear the costs.

    Comment by Tom Hunter — October 17, 2014 @ 10:52 am

  86. Sorry Tom, what taxes havent increased? Gst? Rego? ACC levies? Rates? Excise???

    Comment by jonocarpenter — October 17, 2014 @ 12:55 pm

  87. Passport applications? Oh, you meant personal income taxes, as opposed to the quiet death by a thousand cuts of increasing indirect taxes falling heavieset on the least of us

    Comment by jonocarpenter — October 17, 2014 @ 12:57 pm

  88. >From my RWNJ perspective the left is doing fairly well: in terms of academia, culture and yes, media, your ideas are pretty much the only ones talked about

    Which makes me wonder if you even know what my ideas are. I’m not the Labour Party.

    >Even in those cases it seems to be that rather than losing the arguments you’ve simply not been able to convince enough people to wear the costs.

    It’s not winning an argument if everyone agrees and then does the opposite anyway.

    >Cheer up.

    Your list of things that have only just got a little bit more fucked, and good things that haven’t happened is meant to cheer me up? Such has the bar lowered, that our government isn’t judged by the good it does, but by the comparatively low and slow level of shitty things it does. It’s only a little bit corrupt, a little bit authoritarian, only wants to cut a little bit of funding from needy people and only wants to block little improvements. We’ll probably only send a small number of troops to Iraq and only a small number of them will get killed, and only a few NZers will get their heads cut off in reprisal. Average incomes will only drop a little, and housing affordability will drop a lot but be compensated for by all the owners making heaps.

    Comment by Ben Wilson — October 17, 2014 @ 2:20 pm

  89. Check out Kiwiblog – the comments are full of people complaining that Key is basically just a Labour politician with a thin blue sheen.

    Sure, but they don’t spend all their time viciously slating each other in pathetic internecine squabbles which bleed over into the real world.
    Basically it seems to be that regardless of doctrinal differences, the (current) Right have enough presence of mind and editorial skill to basically stay on message. But it’s all swings and roundabouts I guess – given 6 years and the shoe well may be on the other foot.

    Comment by Gregor W — October 17, 2014 @ 2:30 pm

  90. Having read this thread from top to bottom a couple of times now, I still can’t fathom why a repulsive, bourgeois class traitor like Danyl would want to take time off blogging and spend more time with his family. What is his deal?

    Comment by Exclamation Mark — October 17, 2014 @ 5:19 pm

  91. “The reason Cameron Slater is read is because he also can write”

    Puhleese. Most of his site is copypasta churnalism if it’s not rambo video and the ‘man’ is not that literate otherwise.

    Comment by Sacha — October 17, 2014 @ 9:20 pm

  92. Which makes me wonder if you even know what my ideas are.

    Well there you go then, perhaps that’s the problem. Too much sniping and not enough shouting from the rooftops about the wonderful ideas you have for our society?

    Having occasionally read your comments over the years on various forums I’m assuming from your support of ACT years ago that there’s a libertarian angle on sex and drugs, combined with a move back to a full-blown, traditional left view of a greater state with more control over everything else – full public health, public education, public housing, public industries, regulations to the max, higher taxes on rich pricks, significantly more welfare to finally solve the problems of the needy, plus an all-out effort on dealing with AGW (regulations, subsidising “green” industries). Finally there’s a very hard-line pacifism / anti-militarism and an end to “Free” trade agreements, with some winding back on some older ones, short of starting a trade war.

    How am I doing on these assumptions? After all, if I still don’t know what your ideas are after occasionally reading your comments over the years, what hope have you got of seeing them implemented?

    I’m not the Labour Party.

    Who is?

    It’s only a little bit corrupt, a little bit authoritarian,….

    Sure. Small c conservatism. Reminds me of Helen.

    BTW, I wouldn’t sweat the troops in Iraq thing. Our capability is just about zero these days and Key is just playing the same game as Obama – except Key’s target is keeping onside with Democrat and GOP senators for that sweet TPP agreement, whereas Obama’s just playing to the “do something about ISIS” polls until the mid-term elections are done and dusted. After that the Kurds and company will be on their own again – well aside from the aluminium overcast of the drones of course, but we’ve got nothing to contribute there.

    Such has the bar lowered, that our government isn’t judged by the good it does, but by the comparatively low and slow level of shitty things it does.

    Pretty much – and that seems Western-wide, judging from the lack of success of various politicians who apparently believed in bigger, better government: Blaire, Obama, Hollande, Rudd, Gillard – even Mr Compassionate Conservative himself, among the more prominent of the folks who’ve lowered that bar – unintentionally too.

    All grist to my mill of course. I can’t wait to see the next Great Hope emerge to raise the bar on our government doing wonderful things for us: Fired Up, Ready To Go, We Are The Ones We’ve Been Waiting For, Fundamentally Transformed, yada, yada, yada.

    “The god that failed” seems appropriate – again.

    Comment by Tom Hunter — October 18, 2014 @ 8:31 am

  93. >How am I doing on these assumptions?

    Pretty well, actually. The only thing you missed is that I’m open to alternative ideas on macroeconomic management, so the idea of massive tax hikes is not necessarily built into it. There could be far more effective ways to redistribute wealth than to tax income and spend it, something the rich are notoriously good at getting around. I am open to ideas involving changing the way money supply works completely, taking it out of the hands of the finance sector, and controlling the way they can issue debt far more tightly. I’m not actually that committed to the state controlling industry, other than the most significant infrastructural parts, and I’m not that hardline about environmentalism – it’s something I agree with but over a very much longer term, whereas human poverty and suffering is fixable in very short term time frames. It’s almost entirely within human power to eradicate poverty, whereas it may be quite outside our power to make significant changes to the climate, and the consequences of doing so may not go as planned. Essentially we should be taking a scientific attitude and making changes, and observing how they work out. It’s a massive slow long term project.

    >BTW, I wouldn’t sweat the troops in Iraq thing.

    To me it’s a moral issue far more than a practical one. I’m sure that no part of western civilization is under any significant threat from terrorism, even if they stir the hell out of that hornets nest. In fact, clearly not, because that is exactly what has been done for years. As a military threat, terrorism is pathetically tiny. It’s less trouble than the French Resistance was to the Nazis, basically a symbolic resistance, incapable of changing anything except for the perception of complete 100% dominance (and even then it can and does work backwards, giving the oppressor a strong excuse for harder repression). I’m not afraid Auckland will disappear in a mushroom cloud just because we send a platoon to Iraq.

    What I am afraid of is even being associated with this stupidity. Much like Apartheid, which had no practical effect on NZ life, other than that we had to hear about it. It was still wrong, and worth opposing strongly. It was still an evil in the world that we could oppose through symbolic action, and it was right to do so.

    >After all, if I still don’t know what your ideas are after occasionally reading your comments over the years, what hope have you got of seeing them implemented?

    My own influence over politics is barely worth considering. But I am glad that you’ve seen the consistent threads. As for predicting the future, I’m no better at it than most – some things like the disastrous consequences of engaging in open-ended war against a mass-term hardly require any genius. One only needs to have seen the idea fail many times to see the point. But guessing what direction my own country will take is very difficult, which is why I don’t try to do it very much. For me, the point is not to guess what will happen, but to say what should happen. That is the purpose of political debate. Playing guessing games can be fun, but it doesn’t pass for debate. It’s my opinion that convincing people of the rectitude of the ideas is the starting point of positive change, NOT trying to predict the Machiavellian machinations of government. If you can’t even form an idea in your head of what is actually right and wrong you can’t even begin to point yourself in the right direction.

    I wouldn’t care to commit to whether incremental or sudden change works better. Both work better than each other under different circumstances. For instance, maybe liberalization of drug laws can be done incrementally. Or maybe it just requires a sudden commitment by a brave government to end yet another neverending foolish war on a mass term, and incrementalism is trapped in a local optimum, the way hill-climbing algorithms so often can be. Maybe it had to get worse and go to total prohibition (as it has done here) before it could get better.

    Comment by Ben Wilson — October 18, 2014 @ 2:05 pm

  94. …a libertarian angle on sex and drugs, combined with a move back to a full-blown, traditional left view of a greater state with more control over everything else – full public health, public education, public housing, public industries, regulations to the max, higher taxes on rich pricks…

    Well, duh. People who aren’t cunts tend to have those values. The sex/drugs part is self-evident if you accept that humans have rights, and for the rest, only a sociopath would want to see capitalism operating as Marx described it.

    Comment by Psycho Milt — October 19, 2014 @ 8:31 pm

  95. ” The sex/drugs part is self-evident if you accept that humans have rights”
    Although I’ve noticed with the socialisation of medical costs comes greater regulation of behaviour, in order to control cost, both in ca$h terms and “social cost” terms, after all, many progressives worry about people on their behalf.

    Comment by Clunking Fist — October 21, 2014 @ 1:33 pm

  96. Many progressives are of course a royal pain in the arse and should shut the fuck up for a change.

    Comment by Psycho Milt — October 21, 2014 @ 9:03 pm

  97. many progressives worry about people on their behalf.

    Sure, but without that we wouldn’t for example have regulation around seat belts, speed limits and drunk driving.
    Human psychology is particularly poor at rational cost-benefit analysis, particularly when externalities are involved.

    So in that sense drug liberalisation might be fine at an individual level, but only if you assume that
    (a) the mental competency and knowledge about the consequences of the individuals actions exist,
    (b) sovereignty outweighs the notion of compulsion as a result of addiction (is the individual competent and sovereign once addicted?), and
    (c) any adverse externalities (poverty, crime, violence) inflicted upon others resulting from drug use are, on balance, outweighed by the sovereign rights of the individual to lead the life they wish.

    Worth noting of course that all of the above is commonly held to be the case with alcohol consumption.

    Comment by Gregor W — October 22, 2014 @ 11:20 am

  98. Well, you could have drug liberalization that still forbids them to some people. Children, for instance, but also possibly to some adults known to have problems with them. I doubt that would be effective, but prohibition isn’t that effective either, for the same reason. Users gonna use. One of the most basic assumptions of liberalization is that problems with drugs are treated as medical problems, and health care resources are available to users that do not automatically target them to police. There could still be many prohibitions around the sale of them.

    Comment by Ben Wilson — October 22, 2014 @ 10:28 pm

  99. “Sure, but without that we wouldn’t for example have regulation around seat belts, speed limits and drunk driving”
    Indeed: if you paid for your own injuries, you (or your insurer) could decide whether to wear a seatbelt). Speeding and drink driving CAUSE accidents, not wearing seatbelts: doesn’t. So regulation can be justified when there are externalities. With seatbelts, the only major externality is taxpayer paying for your injuries.

    “Human psychology is particularly poor at rational cost-benefit analysis, particularly when externalities are involved.” Indeed, look at how hysterically some people react to the word “radiation” even though few people have died from nuclear accidents, esp cf gas explosions and mine disasters. And coal fired power stations can release more radiation than nuclear power stations.

    Comment by Clunking Fist — October 25, 2014 @ 5:25 pm

  100. 100!

    Comment by Sanctuary — October 25, 2014 @ 7:15 pm

  101. CF – wrt seatbealts I meant more that car manufacturers are required to install then, as opposed to an individual wearing them.

    A certain proportion of people will always choose be dicks to prove a point – and as you note, quite happily let the taxpayer foot the bill – even when simple practical precautions can be undertaken.

    Comment by Gregor W — October 26, 2014 @ 9:52 pm

  102. Apologies: I assumed “wear”. Of course, you could be free to choose seat-beltless cars, just as some choose cars WITHOUT reversing cameras. Leave aside running people over: what about the selfish objective of simply trying to avoid damage to your new purchase? I am constantly amazed at how poor the rearward visibility is on most vehicles.

    Comment by Clunking Fist — October 28, 2014 @ 2:00 pm

  103. Exactly. Why I stopped blogging. But then, and perhaps I’m fantasizing that I was one of the saner voices of the left, aren’t we handing the pulpit in its entirety over to the likes of Bomber?

    Comment by jafapete — November 2, 2014 @ 7:38 pm


RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: