A Standard strategy

February 5th, 2013 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

I was fascinated to see commenting on several times, in different threads. In one comment she said:

I hope more colleagues engage on the Standard, a must read for me. Constructive comment and exchange of ideas would be of two way benefit.

This is quite remarkable considering David Shearer has said how he never reads the blogs, and his caucus and office have tried to poo-poo any influence they have.

I joked on Twitter:

The really impt vote in caucus was to select who would be sacrificial MP to post on The Standard. Annette got short straw :-)

But I think there is substance behind the joke. Smart people in Labour know they can not afford to have the most read blog on the left remain a cesspit of anti-Shearer hatred. So they obviously decided on a strategy of waiting until Shearer wins the leadership vote and then do two things.

  1. Have Labour-friendly authors post how it is time for people to accept the leadership is settled, and that it is time to focus on defeating National
  2. Send caucus members into The Standard to make them feel less alienated and constructively engaged

It’s a pretty smart strategy. I could guess who came up with it. It won’t be a silver bullet as the depth of ill-well runs very deep. It isn’t just against Shearer, but also Mallard, Curran and more generally the old guard (which makes the choice of Annette to engage with them a very smart one). But I do think it will work in reducing the level of hostility and bile.

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22 Responses to “A Standard strategy”

  1. dime (10,095 comments) says:

    cant wait for annette to cop her first ban :D

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  2. RRM (10,001 comments) says:

    Smart people in Labour know they can not afford to have the most read blog on the left remain a cesspit of anti-Shearer hatred.

    Now, I don’t really get that. The place is, as you say, a cesspit. Most of those people are batshit freaking INSANE.

    Why would anyone, even Labour, waste energy courting them?

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  3. graham (2,346 comments) says:

    dime at 12:04 pm

    cant wait for annette to cop her first ban :D

    LMAO

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  4. Pete George (23,680 comments) says:

    Yes, there’s been a noticeable infiltration of party fixits to try and sort out the infighting.

    But it will take a while for the Standardistas to learn the new way. The post you link to is an attack on King by Zetetic for some half baked intepretaion of a quip she made on Twitter (that I think made a valid point).

    And then the same commenters who had been screaming for Labour’s caucus to come and talk and listen to them set about attacking King and making her unwlecome – it’s a habit that might prove hard to break at The Standard, there are numerous examples of them harrassing off newbies.

    But amongst the resident trolls there is an increasing amount of interesting and worthwhile comment there. But it will take a lot to change The Standard culture. And the Labour caucus.

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  5. lastmanstanding (1,300 comments) says:

    The really interesting bit will to see how Shearer and the Socialist Party fare in the next round of polls. Unless both rise then IMHO the rumbling will continue from the back benches especially if the Mellons take Socialist Party support.
    Unless Shearer does to Slient T what happened to Don Brash then the threat to Shearer will remain hanging over him like the Sword of Damocles.
    All the whilst those of us on the RIGHT can keep the pop corn buckets filled and watch with amusement as the Socialists do what they do so well. Eat their own

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  6. RF (1,446 comments) says:

    The old worn out Tusker King will be hanging on by her claws and will say anything to keep herself in the Labour food chain.

    I expect see more greasing on the Standard from her trying to win back the pissed off left.

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  7. Pete George (23,680 comments) says:

    Why would anyone, even Labour, waste energy courting them?

    Because some of them are party activists deeply involved in the party. One of the fixit crew hinted strongly yesterday that a certain LEC in Auckland was involved in some of the stirring – that goes right to author level.

    And one of the biggest offenders from the unwelcoming committee has morphed into one of those pushing the fixit campaign. But the nasty attack approach remains, it’s just changed to red on red.

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  8. Roflcopter (465 comments) says:

    It’s probably easier for the Labour Party to continue to discredit them as a bunch of extremist nutjobs, and maintain the distance, than it is to actually get them to change.

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  9. Pete George (23,680 comments) says:

    Shearer’s next big test is his reshuffle, unless he changes his mind and doesn’t do it.

    From what I hear Cunliffe is regarded as permanently damaged goods (for good reason). If he is left out of the front bench the ‘Eddie’ brigade are unlikely to roll over and leave it at that.

    It was funny that Clare Curran tried to clamp down on minnows while sharks remain, embedded in the collective.

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  10. Kimble (4,443 comments) says:

    About time they started commenting on the Blog they developed and financed to fake “grassroots” support.

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  11. Pete George (23,680 comments) says:

    Kimble – I presume you mean commenting openly and honestly rather than via proxy pseudonyms.

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  12. thor42 (971 comments) says:

    “…most read blog on the left….”
    That’s not saying much….. :)

    I’m blowed if I know how on earth they manage to always come 3rd in the monthly blog ratings. They must hire a secret army of dole-bludgers “on the quiet” to click away on it to increase the hit-count.

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  13. graham (2,346 comments) says:

    Pete George, there are varying opinions on the use of pseudonyms, as I’m sure you’re aware. Some people have very good reasons for using them, as was discussed yesterday.

    http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2013/02/general_debate_4_february_2013.html#comment-1091238

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  14. Kimble (4,443 comments) says:

    Kimble – I presume you mean commenting openly and honestly rather than via proxy pseudonyms.

    Funny you should bring that up “Pete” “George”.

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  15. Pete George (23,680 comments) says:

    graham, I’ve often said I have no problem with the honest use of pseudonyms. But things like using an alternate pseudonym to say things you deny saying with your known one isn’t being honest. Neither is multiple people using a pseudonym. (I’m not talking about here).

    And it’s also dishonest for the blog sysop to claim that use of pseudonyms is all aboveboard.

    And I think all MPs and their staff should be open in how they communicate. When a culture has been established using pseudonyms for political black ops it can then get nasty when it becomes supposed friend versus friend.

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  16. Sidey (254 comments) says:

    thor42 12:58 pm

    I’m blowed if I know how on earth they manage to always come 3rd in the monthly blog ratings. They must hire a secret army of dole-bludgers “on the quiet” to click away on it to increase the hit-count.

    No army needed, just Pete George checking in a few hundred times a day to report back to us!

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  17. Pete George (23,680 comments) says:

    Haha, but Sidey, that would boost the hit-count here just as much. More when you take into account the times people comment on me doing it. Happily fomenting for DPF.

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  18. Sidey (254 comments) says:

    Fair comment Pete, hope you’re on some form of retainer or $ per click. Has to be some compensation for dipping your toes into that sewer so often. Or is it a full body emersion and facial? I’d hate to be paying your hot water power bill. Having said that, I do generally read your comments so keep it up. I find them somehow soothing and just so damn reasonable!

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  19. expat (4,050 comments) says:

    RRM, because the press read it and they frame up the debate. Labour has finally realised this since whats his face has come back to the fold as camp counsellor.

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  20. Mary Rose (393 comments) says:

    >Constructive comment and exchange of ideas would be of two way benefit.

    And a bit of a novelty for the Standard.

    Quick glance on there now finds:
    ‘So I guess what I’m asking, in the name of developing engagement, is whether anyone for Labour wants to come on and assure readers there will be no “tough on welfare” or “tough on crims” stuff under a Shearer-led Labour party. ‘

    Asking MPs to tell you only what you want to hear is a funny definition of exchanging ideas and developing engagement!

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  21. Pete George (23,680 comments) says:

    That’s the nature of many there Mary Rose, they only want to hear what they want to hear.

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  22. JonL (3 comments) says:

    Rather like on here…….

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