Norman attacks academic

March 30th, 2009 at 3:51 pm by David Farrar

A bad-tempered e-mail forwarded to me reveals that Green Party co-leader has written to political scientists Nigel Roberts and Stephen Levine to try to stop them publishing the research of an academic opponent of the . Levine and Roberts are currently editing their traditional post-election book due out soon, and the book contains a chapter written by University of Otago political scientist who is evaluating the impact that the EFA had on last years’ election campaign. Norman has emailed them to essentially say that they shouldn’t be publishing it and that Edwards shouldn’t be researching in this area.

The email from Norman, which was sent to Edwards, and which he kindly forwarded to me, is rather extraordinary, and gives an interesting insight into how thin skinned the (or Norman anyway) is of dissenting views. Despite having a PhD himself, Norman is clearly he’s no fan of . Edwards has been widely published and reported on in the area of political finance, yet according to Norman, Edwards, “lacks academic credibility in this area”. Could it be that Norman still can’t handle having the EFA criticized? It seems that Norman and the have dug themselves into a hole on the EFA, and while everyone other former fan of the now-repealed legislation has given up trying to defend the indefensible, the are tying themselves up in knots over it all. They are in a political bunker on the EFA and the idea of an opponent of the EFA researching the effect of the legislation is just too much for them.

Worse than that – in Russel Norman’s view – Edwards has said some critical things about the Greens on his blog! Oh dear. Norman says in his email to Edwards, which Norman also creepily sent to the book editors, ‘you have demonstrated a long history of bias against the Green Party, and you have consistently made untrue statements about the Green Party’. Geez, is Norman turning into Winston Peters?! Norman says: ‘Your previous writing leads me to the view that you are simply unable to give a dispassionate academic account of the EFA’s impact on political parties due both to your virulent opposition to the EFA and to your one-sided and inaccurate commentary on the EFA and the Green Party’. Norman or his staff seemingly went through two and a half years of writings by Edwards to compile their dossier on him.

In fact Norman’s email tirade reads like something Rob Muldoon might have said when he was at his worst. The National Party gets requests from lefty academics all the time, but I doubt that the party then sends out hostile replies that question the academic’s integrity because they might be politically biased! I thought that everyone now accepts that academics have their own biases and that for them to pretend otherwise is just a sham.

Put it like this. Jane Kelsey has well known views on free trade. Think how much outrage there would be if the leader of the National Party fired off an e-mail to senior academics saying Kelsey should not be allowed to publish academic reseaerch on free trade, because she doesn’t support it, and she is biased against parties that do support it? There would be an avalanche of outrage – the Association of University Staff would leap in to defend academic freedom etc. Luckily most National MPs have better things to do than try and get academics prevented from publishing academic research.

And funnily enough, Russel Norman’s nasty little email was actually in response to Edwards kindly inviting Norman to have an input into his research. Considering the Green Party had problems obeying the EFA, I would have thought they would have wanted to detail these problems so a replacement law can avoid the mistakes of the EFA.

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120 Responses to “Norman attacks academic”

  1. Ratbiter (1,265 comments) says:

    “Put it like this. Jane Kelsey has well known views on free trade. Think how much outrage there would be if the leader of the National Party fired off an e-mail to senior academics saying Kelsey should not be allowed to publish academic reseaerch on free trade, because she doesn’t support it, and she is biased against parties that do support it? There would be an avalanche of outrage – the Association of University Staff would leap in to defend academic freedom etc. Luckily most National MPs have better things to do than try and get academics prevented from publishing academic research.”

    Yes – Jane Kelsey’s actions if your imaginary scenario were to play out seem very much better than what you are saying Russell Norman’s real world actions are! I don’t quite understand why you seem to be holding this interesting juxtaposition of the real and the imaginary up as some kind of coup for the Nats though…?

    Also, any chance we could see the Russell Norman e mail? Not that I don’t believe the veracity of your claims. But I am quite jaded to “The hypocritical Greens this… the ignorant Greens that…” comments here, as I suspect several other readers are also.

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  2. kyotolaw (52 comments) says:

    Can we get Edwards or the original recipients of the email to publish it? I’ve never been a fan of the greens, but as ratbiter says, it would be nice to see the mail and let Norman speak for himself.

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  3. Bevan (3,924 comments) says:

    I don’t quite understand why you seem to be holding this interesting juxtaposition of the real and the imaginary up as some kind of coup for the Nats though…?

    What makes you think it is made out to be a coup for the Nats? I think you are reading too much into the post, or confusing your own bias with what is posted therefore affecting your reply.

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  4. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “A bad-tempered e-mail forwarded to me reveals that Green Party co-leader Russel Norman has written to political scientists Nigel Roberts and Stephen Levine to try to stop them publishing the research of an academic opponent of the Electoral Finance Act. ”

    Ban ban ban ban ban ban ban ban…

    You shall not think unclean thoughts or speak unclean words…!!!

    Or we’ll all go to Kyoto hell.

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  5. Madeleine (230 comments) says:

    Unbelievable.

    Though not surprising. Academic freedom, like freedom of speech is not something collectivists think highly of.

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  6. Manolo (13,745 comments) says:

    Norman is a communist posing as a Green, and as such he detests and does not tolerate dissent. He will try to use his power to silence opposition.

    It’s good to see the Luddites being reminded of their lap dog role and the support they offered Labour around the vile Electoral Finance Act.

    Norman would like to rewrite history, but he has failed and it’s already too late. Himself and the Green Party have been exposed for the authoritarians they are.

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  7. Banana Llama (1,043 comments) says:

    Ban Academic research or the planet will heat up and light bulbs will turn into carnivores.

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  8. dime (9,972 comments) says:

    I’m not sure i believe this.. a Ginga with a temper!

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  9. village idiot (748 comments) says:

    Madeleine is right – Unbelievable ( I’m struggling to believe it DPF!)

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  10. burt (8,269 comments) says:

    When I asked Norman how he felt about the EFB (before it was passed) as he was protesting about ANZ in mid 2007 on Lambton quay he said he had no issue with it. I asked his fellow protestors how they would like needing to write their name and full address on their protest banners and they said they would not. Norman said I had no idea what I was talking about and that protestors would not need to do that if the EFB became the EFA. He went on to say that he had no problem with that requirement but his mates wouldn’t back him up.

    I passed him a pen and asked him to write his name and address on the banner he was currently holding and all he could say was “NO – becasue I don’t need to”.

    What a Muppet. Somebody needs to tell him that when he’s up to his neck it is time to stop digging – there is no political capital in sucking up to Labour over the EFA now they don’t want it anymore. What is wrong with that man (other than he is a muppet)?

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  11. Ryan Sproull (7,112 comments) says:

    Unbelievable.

    Though not surprising.

    Those words. I do not think they mean what you think they mean.

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  12. James (1,338 comments) says:

    What a cock!

    Reason no. (some fucking huge figure) why the Greens are tools and should never be allowed near the leavers of power…

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  13. Gooner (995 comments) says:

    Norman simply fails to understand that if he disputes Edwards’ writing he can simply reply and respond with his own research and writing. That’s how freedom of speech operates!

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  14. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    “..and should never be allowed near the leavers of power…”

    heh..!

    ..(on so many levels..)

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  15. big bruv (13,884 comments) says:

    Come on Phool, give us the inside gossip on Comrade Norman.

    Is he a real Green or is he a Marxist who has leapt on the Green wagon as a vehicle of convenience?

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  16. burt (8,269 comments) says:

    Perhaps Norman got some form of monetry bonus from Labour which was conditional on supporting the EFA for [x] number of years… There is no other explanation why any sane person would continue to support it.

    Actually I think I just worked out why he continues to support it….

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  17. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “Is he a real Green”

    He’s a watermelon. They all are.

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  18. David Farrar (1,894 comments) says:

    The e-mail from Norman to Edwards, Roberts and Levine is:

    “Thank you for your email of 23 March 2009 seeking my input into your analysis of the impact of the Electoral Finance Act on last year’s general election campaign. I note that you have given me less than five days to respond.

    I will not be providing any response to your request.

    The reason for this is that I do not believe it likely that you will provide a fair and accurate reflection of my views.

    In my view, you have demonstrated a long history of bias against the Green Party, and you have consistently made untrue statements about the Green Party.

    The evidence for this is to be found on your blog, Liberation. I have attached a document to this email which includes a few casually selected quotes which demonstrate both your bias and inaccuracy.

    I strongly support your right to be a political actor and commentator but I do not believe that you should be writing this chapter as an academic. Your previous writing leads me to the view that you are simply unable to give a dispassionate academic account of the EFA’s impact on political parties due both to your virulent opposition to the EFA and to
    your one-sided and inaccurate commentary on the EFA and the Green Party.

    This leads me to the conclusion that you lack academic credibility in this area.

    Yours Sincerely

    Russel Norman”

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  19. burt (8,269 comments) says:

    OMG – I bet if Norman tried to bang in a nail and it bent he would blame the hammer.

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  20. big bruv (13,884 comments) says:

    Thanks for that email DPF.

    After reading that I am surprised that anybody could be of he opinion that Dr Norman is an arrogant man.

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  21. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “This leads me to the conclusion that you lack academic credibility in this area.”

    They say that about anybody who challenges their views. Take any position against the left, and in their eyes, you’ve automatically become “persona non grata”.

    Its an age old strategy that saves them from the embarrasment of otherwise being exposed as mumbling idiots unable to counter any contrary views with logic and reason.

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  22. Ryan Sproull (7,112 comments) says:

    That’s not really as bad as it could have been.

    [DPF: It could be worse. But to say he should not be writing the chapter as an academic, are unable to gave a dispassionate academic account and lack academic credibility is pretty awful stuff to say about a fulltime academic. I can't think of any other MP who has ever done such a thing, let alone tried to get him fired off the book he is contributing to]

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  23. PhilBest (5,121 comments) says:

    Seriously, anyone who follows Trevor Loudon’s essays in Investigate or on the New Zeal blog, knows that our Green politicians all come from a background of radical Communist beliefs. The term “watermelon” is appropriate, perhaps a term involving a fig leaf covering something red would be even more appropriate.

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  24. Murray (8,847 comments) says:

    Change of nappies for the greens please.

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  25. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    unsure..

    ..but i do know his greeness is only for vegetation..

    ..and that he is one of those walking self-delusionists/oxymorons..

    (..as are all green m.p’s..)

    ..a carnivorous ‘green’..

    ‘throw some more baby lamb on the barbie..!..eh russell..?..”

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  26. Danyl Mclauchlan (1,069 comments) says:

    That’s not really as bad as it could have been.

    Neither is it anywhere near as bad as DPF describes it – nasty, tirade etc.

    It seems pretty obvious that Russel sent this directly to Edwards and cc’d it to Roberts and Levine; if this is the case then it’s not very accurate for him to state:

    Russel Norman has written to political scientists Nigel Roberts and Stephen Levine to try to stop them publishing the research of an academic opponent of the Electoral Finance Act. Norman has emailed [Roberts and Levine] to essentially say that they shouldn’t be publishing it and that Edwards shouldn’t be researching in this area.

    [DPF: Why else would he cc it to those two (which is what made it so nasty) other than to communicate his view that they should not have Edwards involved as an academic. ]

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  27. Danyl Mclauchlan (1,069 comments) says:

    Also, the fact that Bryce forwarded his correspondence with Russel onto you (of all people!) does play rather strongly to Russel’s argument that Bryce is not a very impartial observer.

    [DPF: He forwarded it to many people. And the issue is not whether or not Bryce has views against the EFA. It is whether such views disqualify you from being able to write dispassionately and to an academic standard. Again I use the Jane Kelsey example.]

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  28. Right of way is Way of Right (1,122 comments) says:

    Edwards sought an opinion from Norman. That act in itself speaks to a deal of academic and intellectual honesty that Mr Norman has demonstrated he does not have in simply dismissing Mr Edward’s point of view before he has even seen it!

    There is one individual that has no credibility in this discourse, and it is not Mr Edwards!

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  29. Ratbiter (1,265 comments) says:

    Cheers for reprinting the Russell Norman e mail DPF.

    Norman says he believes Edwards is biased, and that is why he should not be writing the chapter of the book with his “impartial academic” hat on. He even spells this out in quite plain English.

    Not really a wholesale suppression of academic freedom, is it? Note the difference between “I think you should not” and “I decree that you shall not.”

    In fact it’s not even a “bad-tempered” e mail is it? A fairly abrupt refusal to co-operate, and he spells out why, but that is about it.

    You also seem to think there is something sinister in Norman having Greens staff research Edwards’ previous publications – I don’t really understand this..? (c.f: “Norman or his staff seemingly went through two and a half years of writings by Edwards to compile their dossier on him”)

    PS: Also I withdraw my obviously incorrect use of the name Jane Kelsey in my 4:00pm comment!

    [DPF: Two of the authors of the last Vic book were Labour Party activists (and academics) who did the chapter on online campaigning. I didn't try and get them sacked. I even met up wih one of them in Canada and co-operated.]

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  30. Gooner (995 comments) says:

    Oh come on Ryan, they asked him for input. He had the perfect opportunity to add his views or temper the debate but decided to spit the dummy.

    If the shoe was on the other foot do you think Norman would have asked Edwards et al for their views!

    [DPF: Norman could have just refused. But sending the email to Roberts and Levene was designed to silence Edwards or wreck his academic career]

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  31. greenfly (1,059 comments) says:

    Oh Farrar! What a crock of over-beaten, fluffy, insubstantial crap! Your hard-bitten minions love it though! Hooray! Into those Greenies eh! And Norman, why, he’s a Communist! Light up your torches, brothers! There’s gonna be a hangin’ tonight!

    [DPF: Norman is the one who was to use your terminology, trying to have a hanging of someone whose views he objected to]

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  32. Danyl Mclauchlan (1,069 comments) says:

    Why else would he cc it to those two (which is what made it so nasty) other than to communicate his view that they should not have Edwards involved as an academic.

    Maybe I’m missing something, but it doesn’t read to me as being particularly nasty. (You should see what biologists write to each other.)

    As I see it, Russel is explaining that he isn’t cooperating because he doesn’t think Bryce is an appropriate person to write the chapter; he’s cc’ed Levine and Roberts because they’re the editors of the book. He’s not trying to ‘interfere with academic freedom’, merely explain why he will not be assisting with this piece of research.

    That’s a totally reasonable attitude to take; re your Jane Kelsey counter-factual I would find it very reasonable for John Key to decline to be interviewed by Kelsey on the grounds that he did not think her research on trade was valid due to her personal bias. Kelsey and Bryce have a right to conduct their research and Key and Russel have a right to refuse to participate in that research and a right to explain why.

    [DPF: It is one thing to refuse. It is another to email the overall book editors and basically say they should not be using the academic you object to.]

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  33. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    i guess norman would add up my critiques of him/the greens..

    ..proof that i am anti-green..

    ..shit..!..there goes the interview for my phd doctorate…

    ‘the greens..wha’ happened..?’

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  34. Peter (1,712 comments) says:

    The letter seemed all ok to me until this:

    “I strongly support your right to be a political actor and commentator but I do not believe that you should be writing this chapter as an academic. Your previous writing leads me to the view that you are simply unable to give a dispassionate academic account of the EFA’s impact on political parties due both to your virulent opposition to the EFA and to
    your one-sided and inaccurate commentary on the EFA and the Green Party”

    An academic should not write an academic account if they are “biased”? Well, that would silence all academia.

    For the “smart party” they sure are dumb. Perhaps polite thanks-but-no-thanks reply would have been more politically astute.

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  35. andrei (2,639 comments) says:

    I’m with Dim on this.

    At the end of the day there would not be a political scientist that doesn’t have views on the EFB one way or the other, so the chapter is not going to be written by an unbiased observer.

    As for getting into a huff over the response being copied to Nigel Roberts and Stephen Levine its almost certain that they were copied on the original request to Russel Norman and therefore it would be a matter of convention to copy them on the response.

    Where you given the entire exchange David or just the response?

    It all seems like a trivial game to me.

    [DPF: Roberts and Levene were definitely not in the original email. Norman looked up their addresses specifically and added them on]

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  36. Right of way is Way of Right (1,122 comments) says:

    Br Brian Edwards is the author of numerous books, including a biography of Prime Minister of New Zealand Helen Clark, an autobiography: Daddy Was A German Spy, And Other Scandals , published in 2008, and is also a prolific newspaper and magazine columnist. He holds an honours B.A. from the Queen’s University of Belfast and a Ph.D. from the University of Edinburgh.

    Here is Russel Norman’s work history to date. Previous employment: Green Party Researcher/Advisor 2002-4; Executive Secretary to Sue Bradford 2001-2; Out-of-Parliament Secretary to Keith and Nandor 2001; Researcher/marker for Unitec Not-for-Profit Management course 2001; Organic market gardener and native bush regeneration 1998-9; Farmhand on organic farm 1997-9; PhD Scholarship 1996-7; Gardener 1994-5; Car assembly-line worker 1990-2; Sheetmetal worker 1989-90; Nurse’s Aid 1988. He also holds BA (Hons), PhD (politics).

    Given their relative expereince, I hardly think Norman is qualified to question Edwards academic credentials!

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  37. greenfly (1,059 comments) says:

    Russel Norman is showing plenty of grunt and decisiveness here and it worries those here (and there are plenty of you), who imagine (hope, pray)that the Greens are pale and wishy-washy. He isn’t, we aren’t and it worries you, don’t it! :-)

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  38. getstaffed (9,186 comments) says:

    Right of way… you’ve got the wrong Edwards there mate! But your assertion still stands :)

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  39. Ratbiter (1,265 comments) says:

    Right of way – it isn’t a question of whose tackle is bigger. Norman spells out REASONS why he thinks Edwards should write the chapter!

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  40. greenfly (1,059 comments) says:

    David Farrar says that Russel Norman is

    trying to have a hanging of someone whose views he objected to

    David. You’ve taken your whip-up a step too far. No one but your salivating lickspittles will swallow that drivel. Loving the game though. You’ve picked a losing hand this time.

    [DPF: No you moron, I used the word hanging because you did. I was showing how ridicolous you are when you use that term. Thank you for realising how extreme you came over]

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  41. davidp (3,581 comments) says:

    >Your previous writing leads me to the view that you are simply unable to give a dispassionate academic account of the EFA’s impact on political parties due both to your virulent opposition to the EFA and to your one-sided and inaccurate commentary on the EFA and the Green Party.

    People who originally supported the EFA:

    1. Labour.
    2. Greens.

    People who originally opposed the EFA:

    1. Every other man, woman, and child in NZ.

    People who STILL support the EFA:

    1. Greens.

    Norman wants only Greens to write about this hated anti-democratic legislation. Or he’ll spit the dummy.

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  42. Rob Salmond (246 comments) says:

    I agree with Danyl and others – this is much ado about very little. I think it is especially a shame that DPF over-egged the pudding to the extent that he did in the initial post. To suggest that Norman is trying to ruin a career or whatever in this case is really dumb.

    As an academic political scientist with partisan biases of his own, I am very aware of the tricky road that Edwards (and Levine and Roberts as editors) have to tread, and aware of the concerns that Norman raises. I do not think, and nor does Norman from my read of the email, that having partisan views and providing academically-credible analysis are impossible things to do at the same time, but I agree with Norman’s underlying point that anyone in that position has to be very careful not to let their partisan views undermine their academic credibility.

    I think we’ll have to wait and see what Edwards publishes in the book before we can make any kind of judgement on how Edwards tackled the challenge of retaining credibility in this case. Any judgement on either side is premature until you have seen what Edwards was writing.

    For the record the two draft chapters I have submitted for the Levine/Roberts book both declare my biases in a footnote, and I have asked for the editors’ assistance when I thought my own views may have clouded my analysis.

    [DPF: I would note that Rob is an active participant in party politics, yet when he interviewed me for the 2005 book I never considered refusing, let alone complaining to the authors that they were using him]

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  43. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    could someone get right of ways’ cocoa..and tuck him in..?

    right-o..!

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  44. slijmbal (1,236 comments) says:

    DPF – seems like several long bows drawn here eg Norman or his staff seemingly went through two and a half years of writings by Edwards to compile their dossier on him what dossier ?- easier to think they read various blogs on a regular basis and his is one of them. Comes across as OTT.

    Generally though I agree that Norman is a politician and that is the key difference here – as a politician it’s stupid to do petty stuff like ccing the email – as an individual I might do it. It’s also a bit dim to accuse someone in an academic publication of bias ie saying “you are a dishonest person” and it’s certainly insanely stupid to not enter some level of dialogue first expressing one’s concerns before graciously declining to assist stating said concerns around potential bias. So he’s stupid – but we know that as he passed the test and joined the phlegms :) but I don’t see this as anything more than underlining that.

    In terms of the theme of his response thought I’ll go and read Bryce’s blog – check the facts – and he’s pretty hard on most of the parties though harder on the smaller parties. Certainly, plenty of the parties get analysed and criticised – he doesn’t seem to pick on the greens especially. I can see his writings getting the greens’ knickers in bunches as several of them indicate dishonesty on their part – not a good look for tree huggers. I quite liked his analysis of their election spending (hopefully not off topic – more to show part of what got Norman so stormin;) …….

    I’ll include the conclusion …. trying formatting for the 1st time – so could be nice or look stupid – I would do it the day the edit function disappears … faint heart ……


    Conclusions: the opaqueness of Green Party finances

    Despite pushing heavily for transparency in the political financial arrangements of New Zealand parties, the Greens are somewhat less than open as to their own finances. Researching the details of the Greens’ finances is one of the more difficult tasks in political finance in this country. In this sense the party is almost on a similar level to New Zealand First.

    This raises the question of whether the Greens be trusted to declare their donations? Certainly the rules are very open to abuse and avoidance. So in terms of whether the Green Party receives large or dodgy donations, it should be kept in mind that there were many ways to get around the donation disclosure regime of the Electoral Act (just as there are many easy ways of getting around the new EFA). Therefore the public shouldn’t give too much credence to the figures supplied annual to the Electoral Commission for any party.

    What’s more, the scandal over the donations to Winston Peters and New Zealand First show that the political parties that claim to be the most clean and claim to be the most in favour of transparency can actually turn out to be the worst in practice. It is therefore interesting that the Greens have taken over NZ First as the party most likely to make allegations and raise questions about unethical political finance.

    Even as recently as last weekend, the Greens were raising questions about whether Labour and National are correctly following the law about donation disclosure. Yet the Greens should be open to similar queries. In the 2002 election the party tripled it’s election expenditure to $765,035, but declared only $86,000 in donations! By the party’s own logic, it has some explaining to do.

    But opaqueness aside, the more important points to take out of examining the political finances of the Greens is that the party has been a very good example of the idea that a lack of capital resources is no insurmountable barrier to electoral success. But it’s subsequent transformation into a highly-professional electoral party based on parliamentary and business funding should raise questions about its political nature.

    The publishers must be very happy – if this story gets legs then it will help sales :)

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  45. rolla_fxgt (311 comments) says:

    While I agree with some that it’s not as bad as DPF makes it out to be. It does appear that Norman had something of a brain explosion in sending this to the authors and Edwards.

    Norman obviously thinks the EFA was marvellous, and as such knew Edwards was critical of it, and when asked for input obviously used his green party researchers to find whatever evidence they could ( no matter how tedious), to undermine Edwards, and thus shore up his own point of view.
    Norman needs to learn that there is a variety of opinions out there, and that not all are going to agree with him on all things It’d be near on impossible to find anyone to write a chapter on the EFA, who hasn’t written on it in the past, and formed an opinion. The test of a good academic is to treat all valid arguments fairly, and reach a conclusion that someone of reasonable sanity and ability would reach if they had the time and the research.

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  46. Rakaia George (313 comments) says:

    Memo to Russel:

    Just because when the Green Party’s announcements of “consultation” before coming to a conclusion are a sham (ETS anyone?) it does not mean that everybody elses’ are…

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  47. kiwi in america (2,439 comments) says:

    The old adage that who you cc correspondence to is often as or more important than who the recipient is holds true in this case. David is right – ccing Roberts and Levine is the real tip off to Norman’s motivation in sending this email. If he wanted to fob Edwards off, which as others have said is Norman’s right to do, he could’ve done so in private. To include the publishers was churlish and impetuous and does indeed demonstrate Norman’s thin skin.

    After all, if Norman’s (and by inference the Green Party) views on the EFA were defensible then he of all people should be front and centre defending the law and giving cogent reasons for his/Green’s support. In the marketplace of ideas, he should have welcomed the chance to defend the law that he still seems to approve of – to correct as he would see it all the misinformation about the Act. Edwards is professional enough to edit material in such a way as to give the defenders of the law their day in court. Edwards clearly tilts to the left – one could understand Norman reacting this way had Ian Wishart chosen to write a book on electoral finance and had sought Norman’s input as Wishart would be somewhat biased. The fact is that the law was so obnoxious that there is almost no one left in Parliament to defend it. As the only co-leader not about to leave political arena left from the only party in Parliament still supporting the EFA it was the proper professional thing for Edwards to do to contact Norman.

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  48. Nomestradamus (3,320 comments) says:

    Philu:

    ..shit..!..there goes the interview for my phd doctorate…

    Were those questions (posed by Philbest, I think) about your Auckland University degree ever resolved?

    On the subject of this thread, Norman states: “I will not be providing any response to your request. The reason for this is that I do not believe it likely that you will provide a fair and accurate reflection of my views.” Surely this could have been addressed by Norman providing a response, and a request to review any summary of his response before publication. I’m sure Edwards would have been happy to oblige.

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  49. Tauhei Notts (1,711 comments) says:

    I think it is worth considering the history of the Greens’ angst.
    In 2005 some God-Botherers searched through the Greens’ web site and published details sourced from that web site so that many New Zealanders could then see, in a succinct manner, what sort of devious creatures the Greens were.
    Russel Norman & Co. should have edited those bits out of their web site. They did so after the Exclusive Brethren made them public. Russel Norman & Co have been bitterly upset ever since.

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  50. Grant Michael McKenna (1,159 comments) says:

    dear Burt, nobody answered your question [What is wrong with that man (other than he is a muppet)?], so let me try: Russel Norman is a muppet ideologically committed to control over all aspects of our lives so as to ensure that all are equal- the fact that we shall all be equally poor is irrelevant; in short, he is not just a muppet, he is a communist muppet.

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  51. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    Strange.

    No comments from Toad on this issue.

    Real strange.

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  52. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    Of course he should be disqualified from commenting on the same grounds as Mr. Norman’s attempts to prevent Mr. Edwards from commenting on the EFB.

    (previously demonstrated political allegiance).

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  53. Paul Williams (878 comments) says:

    David, now that I’ve read the email from Norman to Edwards, I gotta Danyl’s spot on; this is a complete beat-up. Chill-out will ‘ya. Last week it was faux outrage at Hillary’s home, now this. Neroesque.

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  54. greenfly (1,059 comments) says:

    You’ve gone too far with this silly beat-up Mr Farrar. You’ve been caught out. Pull up before your nose hits the dirt!

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  55. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “You’ve gone too far with this silly beat-up Mr Farrar.”

    In the opinion of a gang of partisan wittering leftists???

    Pffft..

    What impact do you really expect that worthless opinion to have???

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  56. Paul Williams (878 comments) says:

    In the opinion of a gang of partisan wittering leftists???

    Pffft..

    Whereas the veracity of your views is well known right?

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  57. Ratbiter (1,265 comments) says:

    Baiter – greenfly seems to be fairly aligned with the more outspoken side of the Greens.

    Who did you say you were, again?

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  58. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “Whereas the veracity of your views is well known right?”

    At least I’m mature enough to know the difference between opinion and fact.

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  59. greenfly (1,059 comments) says:

    DeadSlater – you’re sounding a little desperate!

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  60. Bevan (3,924 comments) says:

    You’ve gone too far with this silly beat-up Mr Farrar. You’ve been caught out. Pull up before your nose hits the dirt!

    So why do you think Norman CC the email to the other two gentlemen?

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  61. peterquixote (231 comments) says:

    Russell Norman will have a short career as Green co-leader.
    I predict he will ousted before next election.
    If not well, goodbye green.

    He is boring.
    He has a boring name, a boring face, and a boring persona.
    His qualifications are interesting but boring.

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  62. greenfly (1,059 comments) says:

    Bevan – because he’s got spine and he’s not afraid of this kind of heat at all !
    Quixotic Peter – your clairvoyant powers have deserted you – Norman will co-lead the Greens to a startling resurgence. Stand back! Get out of his way!

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  63. greenfly (1,059 comments) says:

    Quixote – He has a boring name, a boring face, and a boring persona Que! :-)

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  64. peterquixote (231 comments) says:

    How much money you got Greenfly. I bet you $1000 at 2:1 in your favour that a Russel Norman leadership will reduce green votes next time. I send $2000 to Farrar and you send $1000 and Farrar the judge,
    It noyt that Norman not a good person, and a good leader, I see his work all the time, all the time,
    it just that times is tough dude,
    and we need
    more sex and girls and things, like all the time I been in the party I never saw a girl wearing green frilly knickers, and so i thought well jeez i might join the ACT party, and God there she was,

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  65. the deity formerly known as nigel6888 (852 comments) says:

    actually I do think the leader of a political party:

    a refusing to comment to an academic about a topical election issue
    b during the preparation of a book of essays that is always published following an election,
    c where his comment has been expressely sought
    d saying the reason is that he believes that the academic is too biased to make it worth his while commenting
    e forwarding the email to the books editors

    Is indeed a news story. When the leader of a national political party tries to heavy a writer who may have the timerity to disagree is very much of interest to the public.

    DPF is entirely correct in his read of this. It is clearly an attempt to prevent an analysis that may be critical of the greens from being published. Given that Edwards has demonstrated he has little backbone when challenged – viz the spat about the leadership of the electoral committee, I think its fair to say that norman knew precisely what he was doing, and that it was more than likely going to have the desired effect.

    Good on Edwards for not caving this time.

    So the green’s are cynical bullying opportunists – who knew?

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  66. Bevan (3,924 comments) says:

    Bevan – because he’s got spine and he’s not afraid of this kind of heat at all !

    The only way that line could have answered my question is if you are suggesting that he was looking for a fight. Was he purposely trying to cause conflict between three people? Sounds childish and silly.

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  67. Chicken Little (741 comments) says:

    Greenfly – a nice chamomile tea for you my friend, you’re sounding a little stressed.

    Stand back! Get out of his way! You jest?, surely?, Norman, ha

    Anyway, nice little lie down and come back tomorrow, ok? Gotta save your energy, it’s only Monday.

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  68. slijmbal (1,236 comments) says:

    Hello deity – (haven’t said that since I was an altar boy)

    but Norman’s response is so stupid – Bryce would never cave and has sufficient nous to use this against him (oh that’s right he has). I do agree it’s a news story as it shows the greens up in a light that they hope to hide e.g. their intolerance and thin skinned nature – cue greenfly. Do I really think he had any hope of succeeding? No and we should thank him for his rank stupidity – hopefully it’s got legs, helps sales, highlights the greens behaviour and Bryce gets royalties. If we’re lucky some of Bryce’s astute analysis of the phlegms will hit the light of day at the same time. But DPF did come across as OTT in his posting – not up to his usual standards.

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  69. slijmbal (1,236 comments) says:

    give me back my edit !!!! please!!!!

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  70. side show bob (3,660 comments) says:

    Poor old wussel, sounds like he needs a nice fat joint and a class of home brew. Must be really frustrating out in the political wilderness where no one really gives a fat rats fart what you say or do.

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  71. burt (8,269 comments) says:

    The Green party is a party founded in activism. Environmental activism & political activism yet they supported a law that seeks to shut down activism during an election period. I mentioned earlier that I fronted Norman when he was protesting against the ANZ (being an activist holding a protest banner). At that time I asked him how he could reconcile a political party founded in activism supporting a law that seeks to restrict peoples rights of free speech and seeks to shut them down from protesting by placing draconian “identification” requirements on them. The Muppet said I had no idea what I was talking about.

    He needs to be removed from the Green party – he is a disgrace and completely undermines everything (at the grass roots level) that it stands for. If he really wants to protect the EFA and it’s anonymous donation clauses, use of secret trusts and the requirement for protesters to publish their full name and residential address etc then he’s not a Green party person – perfect for the self serving Labour party though.

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  72. Manolo (13,745 comments) says:

    “Russel Norman is showing plenty of grunt and decisiveness here ..”

    Disguised as intolerance, maybe. Russell has made an obvious mistake and I hope he get the exposure he deserves.

    Two perspectives: 1) the naive great majority of Green supporters, lovers of the “care for the environment” mantra do not read political blogs and will not notice Norman’s slip of the tongue. They would vote Green even if Winston Peteres were the leader; and 2) the old guard, the hardened socialist/communist core of the Luddite Party, will close ranks in defense of their comrade feigning outrage at the attacks.

    The anti-progress Green Party is really a dangerous organisation. Heaven forbid this mob get even closer to power.

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  73. burt (8,269 comments) says:

    Manolo

    I would have probably voted for an environmental party in the last 3-4 elections had they actually been an environmental party and not just sock pupets to the most left of the major parties. Rod Donald was a great loss, he reminded the “Green” party what being green was and that being green was not about standing up and loudly shouting What ever Labour said!.

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  74. Right of way is Way of Right (1,122 comments) says:

    philu (4046) Vote: 2 3 Says:

    March 30th, 2009 at 5:36 pm
    could someone get right of ways’ cocoa..and tuck him in..?

    right-o..!

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

    Ignore message, attack messenger! How very socialist of you!

    And that illustrates EXACTLY what Russell Norman has done! Yet the irony escapes you.

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  75. greenfly (1,059 comments) says:

    Quiote said: I bet you $1000 at 2:1 in your favour that a Russel Norman leadership will reduce green votes next time.

    har har, bloodfy har. That’s not what you said! here’s the real oil – you said:

    Russell Norman will have a short career as Green co-leader.
    I predict he will ousted before next election.

    Russell Norman will have a short career as Green co-leader.
    I predict he will ousted before next election.

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  76. greenfly (1,059 comments) says:

    Caught out by the missing edit function, but Peter, you’re spinning it! Not like you at all! So clear and certain usually, but here, you’re hedging your bets! get it tgether Peter. Get your story straight!

    Manolo – ‘the exposure he deserves’ YES! (or the exposue he desires) :-) Thank you David Farrar – you’re a brick!

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  77. Ross Miller (1,704 comments) says:

    Lets cut to the chase …. who supported the EFA

    Labour
    Greens
    Progressives
    Winston First

    Who Opposed

    National
    ACT

    Question … Where is that Act now

    Answer … Consigned to the dustbin of history

    Question … Who subscribes to the revisionist view of History in respect of said Act

    Answer … The Greens

    Nuff said

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  78. Ferdinand (93 comments) says:

    I think Bryce wrote this post. David. Is this your own work? If so why did you change your style so much to write it?

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  79. Tauhei Notts (1,711 comments) says:

    greenfly,
    you may have a wonderful day next Sunday.
    The christians, apparently with wankers like you in mind, have called the day “Palm Sunday”.

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  80. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    “..Ignore message, attack messenger..”

    you were banging on about brian edwards..

    ..idjit..!

    ..what else to do but ‘ignore’/laugh at..?

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  81. Ferdinand (93 comments) says:

    Another witty riposte from a KBR local. ow about DPF tells us why he’s got Bryce posting as him? Are others posting as you David? How many authors does KB have?

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  82. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    and it seems that pretty much everything ‘escapes you’..

    eh..?

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  83. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    “..Were those questions (posed by Philbest, I think) about your Auckland University degree ever resolved?..”

    yes..

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  84. greenfly (1,059 comments) says:

    Don’t ‘tauhei’ your self in Knotts – the Christians you insult by your ‘clever’ allusion, will despise your words and rally behind the poor oppressed greenie.

    Ferdinand – Farrar’s been on the turps over the past several days and he’s slipped up. Let’s forgive and forget and move on. He’ll come clear and straighten up his act in a day or two. This is too easy for us greenies. Put someone up who can match us Farrar (or whoever it may be posting under the DPF tag). ,

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  85. Peter (1,712 comments) says:

    >>Put someone up who can match us Farrar

    A luddite, stoned snail, perhaps?

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  86. burt (8,269 comments) says:

    I mentioned before I fronted Norman outside the ANZ.

    Here is the first time I mentioned it and
    Here is another time.

    I made a mistake before when I said ( @ 4:26pm) it was mid 2007 when it was actually late 2007.

    The Green’s are surely in trouble when they don’t want people to have an unrestricted right to protest at the same time as they want to retain the right to have anonymous donations funneled through secret trusts.

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  87. Inventory2 (10,337 comments) says:

    greenfly said “the Christians you insult by your ‘clever’ allusion, will despise your words and rally behind the poor oppressed greenie.”

    Sheesh – that “love your enemies” bit is really tough sometimes greenfly – but it’s always worth it in the end :-)

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  88. Chris Diack (741 comments) says:

    DPF is right.

    Russel Norman (the Tassie Bruiser) needs to seriously lighten up.

    To me his sensitivity over the EFB is because the Greens were caught out. Their considerable credibility over matters electoral took a hammering – they lacked the warmth and judgement of Rod Donald and instead displayed the iron fist of the Aussie hard left. Norman must know that any work done on the EFA will probably on balance reflect badly on those who pushed it.

    It would be better for the Greens to fess up and say they messed up over the EFA.

    And then move on to approach any review of the Electoral Act 1993 looking forward not backward.

    The other thing that worries me about this episode, is the notion that academics who blog privately (which should be encouraged) are open prey for attack in their professional capacity.

    I am surprised Dr Rob Salmon (as a former blogger/uber spin mister for Labour himself) thinks this is ok. Much of what he blogged wouldn’t pass muster in an academic setting but nonetheless he wasn’t universally wrong – just mostly.

    I gain great pleasure and learn a lot from reading blogs written by some of the finest academics in the world. I don’t always agree with what they say; but what they say is worth weighing. I am always grateful that they freely share knowledge which is of course their trade and livelihood. I also like the less rigorous standards that apply to blogging because over time one gets a feeling for their personality – many are interesting in their own right.

    I hope the editors ignore Dr Norman’s political manoeuvre and judge Bryce Edward’s chapter on its content rather than his blog. They should consider the consequence of using blogs to gauge academic professionalism: academics simply won’t blog.

    And of course Dr Norman is hardly in a position to complain about a chapter that he refuses to contribute too.

    All-in-all the Aussie doth protest too much, methinks.

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  89. greenfly (1,059 comments) says:

    The Green’s are surely in trouble
    Nah. We aint Burt. We’re cookin’. Watch out!

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  90. expat (4,050 comments) says:

    Shoot the messenger Russel, that’ll fix the problem, I mean it worked for Hulun and the systedictatorship didnt it? Just ask Trevor Mallard.

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  91. burt (8,269 comments) says:

    greenfly

    Perhaps you could answer the question that Normal refused to answer when he decided to denigrated me (incorrectly) rather than explain the Green parties position re: how a party founded in activism can supporting legislation to stifle dissent?

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  92. the deity formerly known as nigel6888 (852 comments) says:

    the greens are “cooking”?

    yeah right, a slow broil methinks.

    this is what always happens when communists infiltrate. The nice cuddly middle class activists who care about trees and birds slowly get stripped away, leaving only the hardened cadre – the “social justice” people who want to ban everything that isnt compulsory.

    hope wussel enjoys his moment of fame. In that letter he managed two strikes, he defended the indefensible, and revealed the bullying ideolog that he really is.

    just as well that the three strikes and you’re out policy isnt law yet (or maybe being an aussie ginga already takes him over the line?)

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  93. Patrick Starr (3,674 comments) says:

    “Nah. We aint Burt. We’re cookin’. Watch out!”

    so why dont you take peterquixote’s bet???

    “I bet you $1000 at 2:1 in your favour that a Russel Norman leadership will reduce green votes next time”

    are you greenchicken?

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  94. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    Spot on Deity.

    Don’t forget readers that the prelude to all of this was the Watermelon’s anger at the fact that one small sector of the electorate had managed to circumvent the lying mainstream media’s blockade and get the truth out about what the Greens really were.

    The watermelons were determined that this should never happen again, and so cheered for and supported in parliament Klark’s anti-democratic EFB.

    Its not suprising they would now attempt to silence criticism by such nefarious means.

    As for the attempts by some here to make light, just imagine the outcry if a National Party member had attempted something like this.

    The Watermelons, with their dedication to propaganda, and scare mongering, and the demonisation of their opponents, and the indoctrination of school children, and the socialist/totalitarian ideas that underpin their political party, are the worst group of zealots to attack the civilized world since the Third Reich.

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  95. burt (8,269 comments) says:

    greenfly

    Either way I guess, the Greens would be on a hiding to nothing just for having supported the EFA, might as well look like a party of principle while people laugh at you I guess. Problem is that Norman is dragging out the pain and embarrassment of having ever been associated with the shoddy piece of self serving BS (election poison) from Labour.

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  96. greenfly (1,059 comments) says:

    so why dont you take peterquixote’s bet???

    are you greenchicken?

    Come on Starr! You know Quixote fudged it. Claim 1 didn’t match claim 2. He’s just blowing, like you.
    The Green vote will bloom. Tagging it to Norman will be impossible, given that the new female co-leader will have a significant impact :-) on the popularity of the party.
    Deity – a ‘slow broil’ is still cooking.
    DeadSlater – your fear of the Greens is palpable. Keep it under your hat.

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  97. greenfly (1,059 comments) says:

    DeadSlater says: the Greens are the worst group of zealots to attack the civilized world since the Third Reich
    You’re worth more to us than 20 D4J’s, DeadSlater. Rock On!

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  98. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “Rock On!”

    You can bet I will sleazebag, with or without any faux encouragement from the likes of you.

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  99. greenfly (1,059 comments) says:

    DeadSlater – faux No! Not faux! I want you to blaze away! Let me be your oxygen!

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  100. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    Yawn.. commies are always so false and simultaneoulsy so predictable.

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  101. burt (8,269 comments) says:

    greenfly

    Save some oxygen for yourself. Apart from making absurd claims you have still done nothing to justify Normans and the Green parties positions on the EFA. Do you think it is a good piece of legislation the party should be wanting to keep and if so why?

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  102. oob (191 comments) says:

    # greenfly (834) Vote: Add rating 2 Subtract rating11 Says:
    March 30th, 2009 at 5:25 pm

    Russel Norman is showing plenty of grunt and decisiveness here and it worries those here (and there are plenty of you), who imagine (hope, pray)that the Greens are pale and wishy-washy. He isn’t, we aren’t and it worries you, don’t it! :-)

    I am worried.

    The Greens are a cancer, feasting upon New Zealand society. They mean to inflict their communist/luddite vision upon New Zealand. The future that the Greens present is a bleak one – state farms, shortages, collectivisation, discrimination, poverty, fear, hunger, oppression.

    Decent New Zealand needs boots on the ground. We need to be busting up Green Party gatherings, we need to be administering punishment beatings to Green Party members and activists.

    We need to maintain our standards. We need to show the Greens in no uncertain terms that ordinary Kiwis will not bow down under the yoke of communist oppression. We need to fight and we need to punish.

    Any Green is a legitimate target.

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  103. oob (191 comments) says:

    ..but on a lighter note, that Russell Norman seems like an awfully nice fellow.

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  104. burt (8,269 comments) says:

    oob

    Any Green is a legitimate target.

    <sarcasm>
    Hit em with a base ball bat. The watermelon ones are great to eat but the occasional real one makes a fricken mess that takes ages to clean up.
    </sarcasm>

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  105. ScaryThoughts (15 comments) says:

    All this focus on the now defunct EFA

    Just wait till there’s the Select Committee on Climate Change underway for the real “you’re not qualified” comments to start flying.

    This could set a dangerous precedent – Good to get it out in the open so we can see what’s coming.

    AGW anyone?

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  106. racer (257 comments) says:

    “burt

    Apart from making absurd claims “

    As far as I can see it’s DPF and his disciples making absurd claims.

    Anyway, hypocrisy much, normally kiwiblog is the first place you’d find people advocating the censoring of ivory tower academics. Then again, as soon as it supports your own views, it must be right! (its ok for us but not ok for them remember!)

    And oob, care to remind me of the party vote statistics, ACT compared to the Greens, for the last few elections.

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  107. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    The Watermelons and their propagandising mainstream media acolytes tried to push the lie that Earth Hour actually showed some savings in power use.

    The truth is there was no reduction in power usage last Saturday night.

    Whaleoil has the graphs from Transpower, and they show that power usage during Earth Hour was actually up on the previous Saturday.

    http://www.whaleoil.co.nz/?q=content/earth-hour-bollocks#disqus_thread

    A complete farce. A lie that the mainstream media are happy to participate in.

    Redbaiter is constantly accusing journalists in the mainstream media of being liars. Liars for leftists. Untrustworthy propagandising soviet style scum.

    Here’s the proof.

    The watermelons are liars and so are their mainstream media acolytes.

    It is a plain and indisputable fact.

    Whale’s charts are proof that the NZ news media is largely in the grip of cowardly cheating leftist liars and propagandists who have betrayed the once honourable craft of journalism to the cause of global socialism.

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  108. racer (257 comments) says:

    Yes redbaiter we are well aware what the graphs show, enjoy your next power bills righties, that’s where your tax cuts will be going.

    Earth hour was never about using less power, as shown many other places, turning everything off for an hour saves far less than swapping a few bulbs for energy saver ones.

    You lot can fight the battle of the graph anyway you like, but unfortunately for you lot, many thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of people turned their lights off for it, you can show overall consumption graphs all you like, but it is undeniable that many people switched off for that hour, you lot are acting like a bunch of tools. It has always been about the PR and awareness, rather than the power savings, always.

    I’m sure how ever if you chumps are so willing to be martyrs to the cause, the power companies might be keen to have an earth hour every month.

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  109. Haiku Dave (265 comments) says:

    haiku dave is so
    important he now speaks of
    himself in third person

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  110. Right of way is Way of Right (1,122 comments) says:

    philu (4049) Vote: 1 4 Says:

    March 30th, 2009 at 9:16 pm
    “..Ignore message, attack messenger..”

    you were banging on about brian edwards..

    ..idjit..!

    ..what else to do but ‘ignore’/laugh at..?

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

    Yes Phil, I made an error.

    Unlike the Greens, I acknowledge that, and I move on.

    This does not change the fact that Mr Norman appears to insist on academic and intellectual honesty from everyone, save himself.

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  111. goodgod (1,348 comments) says:

    I can tell Russel Norman would love to set up a re-education camp here in NZ. Can’t be having free thought.

    I saw agood film about communism taking power over people a few days ago, it’s called Journey from the Fall and is about what happened to the Vietnamese people after the Americans withdrew from Vietnam in 1975.

    the Green-Communist party needs to be outlawed in NZ. It’s inhuman.

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  112. racer (257 comments) says:

    Russel Normal and redbaiter could set up a competing re-education camps, they could have brain washing competitions, it would be superb.

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  113. Ross Miller (1,704 comments) says:

    Greenfly said at 9.46 pm (in reply to Burt) …….. “Nah. We aint Burt. We’re cookin’. Watch out”.

    Cookin what Greenfly … ‘P’ perhaps?

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  114. expat (4,050 comments) says:

    The EFA was peice of stalinist legislation that made NZ look like a laughing stock.

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  115. unaha-closp (1,164 comments) says:

    It has always been about the PR and awareness, rather than the power savings, always.

    The EFB was always about PR and profile, rather than the fairness, always.

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  116. racer (257 comments) says:

    The EFA was peice of stalinist legislation that made NZ look like a laughing stock.

    Apparently not.

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  117. Ryan Sproull (7,112 comments) says:

    Oh come on Ryan, they asked him for input. He had the perfect opportunity to add his views or temper the debate but decided to spit the dummy.

    If the shoe was on the other foot do you think Norman would have asked Edwards et al for their views!

    Depends. It seems that Norman believed they were asking for his contribution so that they could quote him out of context and attack his own views. If Norman had asked them for their views for a work specifically aimed at discrediting their views, they might have been similarly suspicious.

    It’s a bit like how Dawkins hardly does interviews any more, because so many evangelical Christian film-makers trick him into doing interviews he thinks is about other stuff, and then they ambush him with questions they think make him look foolish.

    It’s possible that the authors actually wanted Norman’s views and that they would be taken constructively, but it being an ambush is not so outlandish an idea that Norman can be blamed for suspecting it.

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  118. burt (8,269 comments) says:

    and then they ambush him with questions they think make him look foolish.

    So any question to Norman in an interview would be off limits then ?

    As I said earlier; The Green’s are surely in trouble when they don’t want people to have an unrestricted right to protest at the same time as they want to retain the right to have anonymous donations funneled through secret trusts.

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  119. Danyl Mclauchlan (1,069 comments) says:

    It seems that Norman believed they were asking for his contribution so that they could quote him out of context and attack his own views.

    And, as I said before, Norman’s accusation that Bryce was biased and acting in bad faith has been nicely confirmed by Bryce’s decision to forward their correspondance on to a National Party blogger.

    Reading the post again this morning it seems even siller than it did last night. Example:

    Norman or his staff seemingly went through two and a half years of writings by Edwards to compile their dossier on him.

    I guess it’s possible Norman had his staff compile a ‘dossier’, possibly working away while prisoners screamed in agony from the torture chambers that possibly exist in the Green Party offices, but it seems rather more likely that Norman went to Bryce’s web site, clicked the the Green Party tag in the word cloud, spent a minute scanning the posts, realised that every single one was highly critical and cut and pasted a few selections into a document. Admittedly, this scenario isn’t as fun as imagining a cadre of KGB style Green Party functionaries compiling a ‘dossier’ though.

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  120. ross (1,437 comments) says:

    > It seems that Norman believed they were asking for his contribution so that they could quote him out of context and attack his own views.

    Hmmm, so if Norman said that the EFA was flawed and should never have been enacted, how exactly could he be quoted out of context? A more likely scenario is that Norman realised that his voice was a lone one and that he would be made to look like a clown for supporting the EFA.

    Normam should have just politely declined to be involved with Edwards’ work.

    Oh, and Danyl, given your propensity to appear on PA, should we conclude that you too are biased and therefore anything you say – no matter how well researched it might be – should be taken with a grain of salt?

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