Red Alert

January 19th, 2012 at 3:18 pm by David Farrar

I highlighted saying “Farrar … is part of a group which is intent on censoring a prominent communication vehicle for the Labour Party” in a thread about NZ on Air. It seemed an obvious reference to NZ on Air being a communication vehicle for the Labour Party.

Now Clare has said she was referring to :

Apologies for not being clearer. Labour’s Red Alert blog has been attacked by a number of anti Labour bloggers and commenters for a while. I was referring to this.

Farrar is part of this group.

Once again Clare is sadly wrong. She is infamous for having invented the Vast Right Wing and Non Labour Left Wing Conspiracy (VRWNLLWC), but now the conspiracy has expanded to include Labour activists!

Let’s look at who has publicly expressed doubts about Red Alert:

 

Painting this criticism as an organised conspiracy or group intent on depriving or “censoring” Labour of a communications channel, sums up all the problems Labour has. Rather than accept any of the criticism as valid, they see it as being done by enemies of Labour wanting to punish them.

And now here is the irony. I am not one of those who has been advocating Labour should close down Red Alert. In fact, quite the opposite.

For some reasons I get invited to talk on the Internet and politics on a regular basis. I’ve talked to classes at Victoria, Canterbury, Auckland and Massey universities. I’ve talked to rotary clubs, to legal publishers, to chambers of commerce and even the Business Roundtable on this area.

And you can ask anyone who was at any of those talks, what I said about Labour and Red Alert. They will tell you that I have consistently praised Labour for Red Alert, and think I think it is laudable that they are communicating in such a direct way.

Sure in the last year I have pointed out some of the SMOGs or Social Media Own Goals that have happened on Red Alert, but I always make the point that a political party has to accept there will be occasional own goals if you use this medium, and be tolerant of them – so long as people learn from their mistakes. I specifically say that overall I think Red Alert has overall been beneficial to Labour.

As I said, there have been hundreds of people at these talks, who can all back up that I have always spoken well of Labour for Red Alert, despite the occasional SMOG.

Those same attendees will also confirm that I regularly describe the National blog at nationalmps.co.nz as the greatest cure for insomnia ever invented. They are so mind numbingly boring, that I only subject my eyeballs to them around twice a year, as they start bleeding as I read about some organic carrot farm they have opened.

Of course to some degree this is a deliberate strategy by National. When in Government they want boredom, not excitement and controversy. What will be interesting is to see what National and Labour both do in the blogosphere, when they are in opposition and government respectively.

So if Clare really was referring to Red Alert, not NZ on Air, she got it absolutely wrong. The vast majority of the criticism of Red Alert is coming from the left, and I am one of the few people who has praised it in dozens of forums up and down New Zealand.

My view on Red Alert is that Labour should of course continue with it. I’d like all parties and MPs blogging. I do think for their sake they should look at how to reduce the number of own goals, but note you will never eliminate them entirely as blogging is not a medium you can control. My suggestion would be to have perhaps a couple of the less excitable MPs act as a sounding board and have them just eyeball posts before they get published, so they can point out that the way something is worded may lead to misinterpretation etc.

At the end a blog is just a tool. You don’t stop using a tool because you have some troubles with it. You just get better at using it.

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31 Responses to “Red Alert”

  1. dog_eat_dog (742 comments) says:

    Sorry Clare but this:

    “His comments on Radio NZ this morning with regard to censoring the broadcast media contradicts his comments on his blog with regard to the internet. I pointed that out. Hypocrisy is important to point out when one is a political commentator in the public eye as Farrar is, and when he is part of a group which is intent on censoring a prominent communication vehicle for the Labour Party.”

    Has one clear and simple meaning. How could Farrar ‘censor’ Red Alert? Well the answer is because you were talking about NZ On Air. If Farrar had any sort of editorial oversight over RA, then you might have been able to claim it was ‘poor communication, or you’re just really bad at writing which is odd considering how you like to lecture everyone about PR and how it should be done. This smacks of backpedaling and it couldn’t be more obvious.

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  2. Manolo (13,315 comments) says:

    Red Alert, a lousy and highly censorious blog, which does not deserve to be read.
    The misguided (and hopeless) Curran would be better advised to do something else with her time.

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  3. AG (1,759 comments) says:

    “And you can ask anyone who was at any of those talks, what I said about Labour and Red Alert. They will tell you that I have consistently praised Labour for Red Alert, and think I think it is laudable that they are communicating in such a direct way.”

    Aha! More proof of how devious and sinister you are. You see, by praising Red Alert, you cause The Left to think that you must want them to think that you must want them to think that you must want them to think that … I forget what I was saying. But it’s still all your fault. And Crosby Textor’s, of course.

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  4. V (668 comments) says:

    I think Red Alert needs to be renamed at the very least. Many of the posts are hardly a ‘red alert’ in the informational stakes.
    For me it seems to have cold-war era (read soviet) overtones, the blatant censorship of opposing views in comments doesn’t help. May as well be the Ministry of Propaganda. Perhaps a more accurate title is ‘Confirmation Bias’.

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  5. ZenTiger (425 comments) says:

    As a paid up member of the VRWC, I can’t recall attacking Red Alert. I’ll attack them when they can aim above their feet.

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  6. RightNow (6,642 comments) says:

    “My view on Red Alert is that Labour should of course continue with it.” – agreed, Red Alert has been invaluable to National.

    “I’d like all parties and MPs blogging.” – now that would just be fucking insane. National have done very well to avoid injudicious use of blogs and other social media. If National had their own version of Red Alert I doubt they’d be in government now.

    edit: but supposing they did, I reckon “Blue Rinse” would be a suitable name.

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  7. Keeping Stock (10,088 comments) says:

    I’d love to go and comment at Red Alert, but I am persona non grata there. That of course is indicative of Labour’s way of dealing with dissent; they simply ban you. So it’s just a wee bit rich for Clare “Own the Message” Curran to be moaning about censorship when she is so handy with the cyber-scissors at Red Alert.

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  8. Nick C (340 comments) says:

    Interesting that Labours communication specialist considers NZ on Air a prominent communication vehicle for the labour party. How else to explain her refering to censorship in that context.

    The alternative is that Curran has a poor grasp of the English language and is prone to hyperbole and conspiracy.

    Hold on, I suppose that is more plausable

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  9. david (2,531 comments) says:

    Keeping Stock – ditto, permanently it would seem and what irks is that I know not what for. I probably wouldn’t mind if I could recall saying anything so radical that I could wear the status with pride.
    Mind you it has encouraged me to stop going there and thus avoid having to put up with the idiot Spud.

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  10. Nostalgia-NZ (4,896 comments) says:

    She’d be no good in a brawl such is her confusion over who is on her side and who isn’t. Pretty rare distinction confusing who your detractors are, just because they’re on your own side. Butchy blokes these days!

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  11. RightNow (6,642 comments) says:

    I wonder what spud (Goff) is doing now anyway?

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  12. BeaB (2,056 comments) says:

    I didn’t realise she is so dim!

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  13. Dick (80 comments) says:

    Of course to some degree this is a deliberate strategy by National. When in Government they want boredom, not excitement and controversy.

    The biggest fucking problem with the National government – fucking useless. Key cares more about populism than NZ, doesn’t have the balls to make real social change like Douglas or Richardson did.

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  14. Put it away (2,888 comments) says:

    Nuts. Just totally nuts. No argument is too ludicrous for the left.

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  15. Dave A (61 comments) says:

    I wonder what spud (Goff) is doing

    Spud, as everyone here should know, is Jim Bolger. He was so named because of his uncanny resemblence to Mr Potato Head.

    He so liked the nickname that the plane he flew around in during election campaigns was known as Spud One.

    So there!

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  16. Daigotsu (450 comments) says:

    Red Alert is a fucking stain on the internet, DPF I have no idea why you think it has been positive for Labour except I guess that it allows them to see what complete basket cases they are

    Nationalmps.co.nz is actually about the real business of governance, which is good stuff

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  17. Steve (4,490 comments) says:

    Red Alert is where Trevor and Clare do their ‘anger management’ Banning people who do not have the same opinion make them feel all warm and fuzzy. The rest of the followers have less than one brain cell.
    Spud is just pathetic, should not let children on political blogs

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  18. scrubone (3,044 comments) says:

    Just posted the following. One can only wonder if Clair will chose to censor on a post about censorship :)

    The irony is of course is that comments like that are exactly why the right think that Red Alert is one of the best communication vehicles ever invented by the Labour party.

    Given Farrar’s rebuttal, one would have expected an MP with integrity to have withdrawn the comment by now.”

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  19. Bevan (3,965 comments) says:

    Has one clear and simple meaning. How could Farrar ‘censor’ Red Alert? Well the answer is because you were talking about NZ On Air. If Farrar had any sort of editorial oversight over RA, then you might have been able to claim it was ‘poor communication, or you’re just really bad at writing which is odd considering how you like to lecture everyone about PR and how it should be done. This smacks of backpedaling and it couldn’t be more obvious.

    Hmmm, dog_eat_dog. Take your post on another angle. Clare couldn’t possibly expect anyone to believe she was implying David was trying to shut down Red Alert (an Internet site) when you review her hypocrisy comparison.

    DPF is on record as saying: No govt should censor the internet – therefore why would anyone believe he would want to censor an Internet blog site. The only thing he has said remotely related to censorship is regarding NZ on Air – that speaks volumes. Shes been caught with her pants down admitting she thinks NZ on Air is the advertising play thing of the Labour Party.

    This is my shocked font.

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  20. flipper (3,533 comments) says:

    My god, Bevan, you are implying sexual impropriety, are you not?

    You deserve two hundred DPF demerit points for saying that Curran has “been caught with her pants down”.

    You naughty boy!

    Bottom line …. Labour have not taken on board the message from November 26.

    I say, let us encourage them.

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  21. V (668 comments) says:

    @Bevan/Flipper

    The only problem with the “pants down” analogy, is the supposition that they were ever “up”.

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  22. Keeping Stock (10,088 comments) says:

    @ V/Bevan/Flipper – I wonder if a certain cycling MP has an opinion on that …

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  23. Scott Chris (5,869 comments) says:

    Does this (abridged) statement condone censorship of the internet or is it merely advocating compliance with the law?

    25th November 2011

    :arrow: David Farrar said:- “The Electoral Act states in Paragraph (g) of Section 197(1) that it an offence at any time on polling day…….

    “This means I will not be posting any material after midnight that could be seen as influencing any elector as to how to vote, or not to vote……

    …. If any commenter does post a comment that could be considered in breach, I will be happy to supply their e-mail address and IP address to the Electoral Commission. I will also delete the comment and suspend the account.

    If a number of people act retarded and post stuff they should not, then I may stick moderation on for comments so they do not appear automatically. I’d rather not do that, unless necessary.”

    http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2011/11/kiwiblog_tomorrow.html

    Which is fair enough, but it doesn’t sound like a post made under protest.

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  24. Nostalgia-NZ (4,896 comments) says:

    I can’t recall seeing a photo of dear Clare, but I’m always in expectation of a change in the weather.
    Does anybody know her record on arm wrestling, or even slap and tickle?
    I know that generally speaking the inclination is to keep certain things in the bike shed, but you never know unless you ask.

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  25. The Scorned (719 comments) says:

    I was salivating at the thought of ordering some chicken and apricot stuff crust pizza….after the Curran pants down thing…not any-more.

    Thanks for keeping me on my diet.

    ;-)

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  26. Nostalgia-NZ (4,896 comments) says:

    Oh gosh.

    I was part way through a rather original invitation…

    ‘Clare, Clare, how does you garden grow?
    just out the back of the bike sheds
    doing what you know?’

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  27. bhudson (4,734 comments) says:

    Which is fair enough, but it doesn’t sound like a post made under protest.

    No Scott, it sounds like a post complying with the law. If you think that is censorship, and you have any sort of issue with it, or a perception of inconsistency with respect to censorship, then take it up with your local MP – it has nothing to do with DPF

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  28. burt (7,789 comments) says:

    Red Alert; against censorship – I’m confused.

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  29. Sublime (41 comments) says:

    So much for ‘Open Government’ from Labour.

    They don’t even have an open blog where everyone can have their say without censorship.

    Turkey territory.

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  30. Ed Snack (1,733 comments) says:

    Flipper, you simply CAN’T say that someone has been caught with “their pants down” …and then use the phrase “bottom line”. Please !

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  31. KevinH (1,131 comments) says:

    Politics is of course a “contest of idea’s” that is played out in the print and broadcaste media and now, the blogosphere.
    It is a competiton to articulate your idea’s in the mass media, to get your philosophical message across to the masses, and DPF is an experienced and successful communicator.
    Clare Curran should take time to reflect on the merits and failures of Red Alert, for instance is it effective and relevant?Who reads it, and whom is the target audience?.

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