King v Farrar

Am very amused by this story on Stuff:

In the spotlight over whether the taxpayer has funded Labour’s party activities, deputy leader has taken a pot shot at right-wing Stuff blogger David Farrar. …

King said Labour was very careful about what its staff did during paid time at Parliament.

”We have looked at it and we have made sure they are doing what is appropriate for them to do.”

Other parties should also check their staff, she said.

”Because I have no doubt that in the past someone like David Farrar setting up his blog, a lot of it was done within Parliament.

”I’m not accusing him of using Parliamentary time but every party has to be careful of what they do in their own time, in their own equipment and in Parliamentary equipment.”

Farrar admits he was working at Parliament when he set up the blog in 2003, and over the nine months he spent working in the National Party’s leader’s office he occasionally blogged from Parliament.

”But the blog was hosted on the NZ Pundit server in Dunedin. No Parliamentary resources were used.

”I worked an 80 hour week, they were getting free time from me, so the taxpayer didn’t pay for my time.”

I literally laughed out loud when I heard Annette was talking about eight years ago in 2003. And as I told Danya, my blog was never hosted on servers paid for by Parliament. Gordon King from NZ Pundit hosted it back then.

I definitely did blog from Parliament during the nine months cross-over with working there, but did this openly and under my own name. I actually think parliamentary staff should be encouraged to blog – so long as they do it openly like with Frog Blog.

But with me, it was very much as an individual. I did not seek permision from, or even inform in advance, any MP or staffer that I was starting a blog. For me it was just continuing on the debates I had been having in Usenet since 1996.

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