Miller on Dotcom

October 9th, 2014 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

Geoffrey Miller at The Diplomat writes on The Downfall of Kim Dotcom:

Outwardly, Kim Dotcom’s Internet Party campaigned against mass surveillance and for free tertiary education and marijuana law reform. But by the end, New Zealand voters saw through the party – officially registered only in May this year – and deemed it a vanity project designed only to win Dotcom enough political support to hold the balance of power under the country’s proportional voting system and veto his extradition to the U.S. An unusual alliance with Mana, a leftist party advocating for the interests of New Zealand’s underprivileged indigenous Maori, seemed like a bold tactical move on paper, but was a disaster in practice. Dotcom’s flamboyant lifestyle and seemingly limitless cash ended up destroying Mana’s credibility of standing up for the downtrodden.

What’s amazing is none of the comrades to Mana still see the problem. At most they just think they needed to manage Dotcom better.

Dotcom led party-goers in a repeated chant against the country’s center-right prime minister, John Key. A video of the “f**k John Key” chant was uploaded to the official YouTube account for Internet Mana and widely circulated through social media. But many New Zealand voters appeared disgusted by the negative campaigning against an enormously popular incumbent.

Yep. That was a significant turning point.

The fact that no credible proof emerged at the “Moment of Truth” to support Dotcom’s much promised “big reveal” – which revolved around an outlandish conspiracy theory that New Zealand had granted him residency only to make it easier for the United States to extradite him – only added to voters’ impression that he was a charlatan.

In May, Kim Dotcom described his pet political party as his “gift to New Zealand.” On election night, he was forced to concede that his very brand had been toxic. For John Key, Dotcom turned out to be the gift that kept on giving. New Zealand voters’ loathing of Kim Dotcom and his tainting of the country’s left played no small part in delivering Key’s center-right National Party a landslide victory.

What we don’t know is if the damage to the left is short-term or long-term. But it has reduced the left’s presence in Parliament to just two parties.

Studying Simon Lusk

August 24th, 2014 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

Geoffrey Miller has gone back through Simon Lusk’s Master’s thesis on Ecampaigning, and makes some observations.


If you want to follow the 100 recommended on Twitter

August 18th, 2014 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

Geoffrey Miller (who co-authored the list) has set up a Tweet list of the 100 accounts to fllow for the election, for those interested.

Actually the list only has 99 members on it, because for some reason Martyn Bradbury has blocked him!

World Famous in Dunedin

March 28th, 2009 at 10:32 am by David Farrar

Had a great night out on the town in Dunedin last night. Started the socialisation at the University staff club around 3 pm having caught up for an old mate, Ross Blanch, for the first time in around 19 years. Ross was elected OUSA President in 1986 in a by-election when the then President quit to join the Labour Research Unit. Ross was actually declared the loser by one vote on the day voting ended (which prompted much alcohol to drown sorrows), but then the next day in the recount they found one vote had been placed in the wrong pile, and he then won by one vote (which prompted much alcohol to celebrate).

Nowadays he is very respectable managing the Clubs and Socs Centre, and is filling in for a year as the General Manager of OUSA. After drinks at the staff club with Ross and Andrew Geddis, I headed to the Cook to meet bloggers Bryce Edwards and Geoffrey Miller. Geoffrey does the ACT Watch blog “From Douglas to Dancing” and is just visiting Dunedin from Germany where he normally resides. Also in the group was a young Austrian socialist, who is here as part of her “masculinity studies” academic research. What a great research topic I thought – so she gets to study Kiwi males out on the town 🙂

After a few drinks at the Captain Cook we went to Mou Very – the self titled Smallest Bar in the Universe.

It was here that the Austrian gained the impression that I am a famous person. As we squeezed through the alleyway, a guy in the alleyway looked at me and asked if I was David Farrar. Then as we went outside, I had a brief chat with the owner (who I had done some polling for in 2007 when he stood for Mayor). Then we sat down on the pavement seats and were engaged in an animated discussion when a gentleman walking past stopped and asked the group if one of us was David Farrar, as he had heard me on National Radio but did not know what I looked like. God – I know my voice can be distinctive but that is weird to be recognised on voice alone. The gentleman was actually visiting from Timaru. Then finally a few minutes after that a IT tech and his girlfriend passed by and greeted me.

We then headed further south to the Octagon and went to Pequeno, where the stag party had been the night before. The waitress of course greeted me by name, further cementing the impression everyone in Dunedin knows me. We then took a corner booth and had several rounds of cocktails.  Pequeno is a gorgeous hidden away bar, and I recommend it thoroughly to anyone else visiting NZ.  The booths even have curtains around them so you can have total privacy. Mind you the staff were a bit alarmed, when we pulled the curtains so we could take a photo of our Austrian colleague’s tatoo!

I am technically half Austrian, so was interesting to talk to about Vienna, as I am planning to visit there next year.

Finally got home on Saturday morning. Partying in Dunedin is proving to be very tiring, and I may need a holiday to recover from it!