Turkey vs Twitter

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

The Herald reports:

Turkey’s government on Saturday accused Twitter of allowing “systematic character assassinations” a day after social media users easily evaded a government attempt to block access to the network.

The attempted crackdown came after links to wiretapped recordings suggesting corruption were posted on Twitter, causing Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government major embarrassment before local elections on March 30.

The government’s effort to shut down the service backfired on Friday, with many finding ways to continue to tweet and mock the government for what they said was a futile attempt at censorship. Even President Abdullah Gul worked around the ban, tweeting that shutting down social media networks cannot “be approved.” Turkey’s move to block Twitter sparked a wave of international criticism.

Sad to see a country head down the path towards attempted censorship of the Internet. Of course it has backfired.

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How the world has changed

September 28th, 2013 at 1:38 pm by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

Breaking a third-of-a-century diplomatic freeze, President Barack Obama and new Iranian President Hassan Rouhani have spoken by telephone and agreed to work toward resolving their deep dispute over Tehran’s nuclear efforts.

Rouhani, who earlier in the day called the United States a “great” nation, reached out to arrange the 15-minute call. The last direct conversation between the leaders of the two countries was in 1979 before the Iranian Revolution toppled the pro-US shah and brought Islamic militants to power.

Obama said the long break “underscores the deep mistrust between our countries, but it also indicates the prospect of moving beyond that difficult history.”

“While there will surely be important obstacles to moving forward, and success is by no means guaranteed, I believe we can reach a comprehensive solution,” Obama told reporters at the White House. Iran’s nuclear program has been a major concern not only to the United States but to other Middle Eastern nations especially Israel and to the world at large.

Rouhani, at a news conference in New York, linked the US and Iran as “great nations,” a remarkable reversal from the anti-American rhetoric of his predecessors, and he expressed hope that at the very least the two governments could stop the escalation of tensions.

It’s only a phone call, but it is a very encouraging sign that Iran sees benefits in rejoining the mainstream.

What is remarkable is not just the phone call between the two Presidents, but the fact that news of it broke on Twitter – from the Iranian President. We do live in a very different world to 1979!

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10 mandatory tweets of the Left

August 17th, 2013 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

Dan Hodges provides his 10 mandatory tweets for the left:

1) “Great day campaigning on #Labourdoorstep”. To the uninitiated this may seem like some sort of code. But it simply means “I have pushed 30 leaflets through various letterboxes. I am a hard-working Labour party member. Now can I please be selected for a safe seat?” If possible, tweet with an attached photo of you standing next to Luciana Berger.

2) “Typical. [name of evil member of the Right] constructs another straw man”. This must be rapidly tweeted any time you see another member of the Left losing an argument on Twitter. It can also be combined with some sort of imaginary scoreline, such as “Oh dear. [name of member of the Left] 1 [name of evil member of the Right] 0”.

3) “Prayers/thoughts with Nelson Mandela”. Actually, that’s wrong. If you want to be a real member of the Left, you must always refer to the former South African president as “Madiba”.

4) “Why is it we never get any women x”. The x doesn’t actually matter. “On the Today programme” is a particular favourite, but any other current affairs news program will do. Women in positions of influence. Women talking about lumberjacking. Women elephant racing. Basically, the subject is up to you.

5) “Solidarity with x”. Every member of the Left must send a “solidarity” tweet once a month. You can express solidarity with anyone or anything, so long as they’re not officially an evil member of the Right. The great thing about this tweet is it neatly fits into 140 characters. You don’t need to bother explaining why you are in solidarity with your subject, or even what “solidarity” actually means in this context. In effect, solidarity becomes a verb. So having expressed your solidarity with, say, a group of Venezuelan miners stuck 500 feet underground, without air, water or hope, you can then go and make yourself a nice cup of tea.

6) “Louise Mensch”. One tweet a year must include a reference to the former Conservative MP for Corby. Why isn’t exactly clear. Some people on the Left have been pushing for her to be officially replaced on the LMT list by Melanie Phillips, without success. So for the moment, stick with Mensch. All tweets must be harsh and critical. But not sexist.

7) “Ed Miliband needs to be more x”. This is a relatively new addition to the list. Until recently the LMT would have been “Thank you Ed Miliband. Finally a Labour leader is saying x”. But the Left are now becoming a bit concerned about Ed. “He may win, he may not win. Ed Miliband needs to be [more proactive/clearer about what he believes in/taking the attack to the Tories more/etc]” is a much safer bet at the moment.

8) “Why don’t you just go away and join the Tories?” This should be tweeted at anyone on the Left ever caught disagreeing with anyone else on the Left. “Go away” is not compulsory; any hostile phrase will suffice. In fact, the more hostile the better. Can also be combined with the epithet “traitor”.

9) “It’s good, but not as good as the Shawshank Redemption.” For some reason, the Shawshank Redemption is the greatest film any member of the Left can ever see. As with many other LMT’s, the reason for this is shrouded in mystery. If, for some reason, you have never seen the Shawshank Redemption, it is now permissible to tweet something positive about “The Spirit of ‘45” instead. Or anything by Mike Leigh.

10) “Time to boycott x”. At least once a year every member of the Left must find something to boycott. The boycott has in effect become the Left’s version of Lent. Since the collapse of apartheid things to boycott are a bit thinner on the ground. But persevere. If you look hard enough you will eventually find something to not buy, watch or attend. And remember, it is not necessary for you to even have to been buying, watching or attending these things in the first place. It is perfectly permissible to boycott things you would never dream of touching with a barge-pole.

I must confess I also love the Shawshank Redemption.

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The perils of being an MP

August 15th, 2013 at 7:31 am by David Farrar

 

Now for most people, complaining about poor service on Twitter is a good idea. Companies tend to be pretty responsive to you when you have an audience.

But I have to say if you are an MP, companies are already pretty sensitive to keeping you happy. Using a public forum to complain about service is just not a very good look.

Hat Tip: Whale

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Reading tweets is not spying

August 5th, 2013 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

Gregory Hussey is wondering if “spooks” are monitoring him on social media after the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) demanded he remove a tweet just 20 minutes after he wrote it.

The Timaru man was working for a private company in Afghanistan’s Bamiyan province at the time and had only eight Twitter followers – two of them journalists.

Hussey said a friend, also in Bamiyan, contacted him on August 19, 2012, to tell him there was a gunfight happening 2km away and “not to go up there to the valley on your motorbike”.

Hussey tweeted : “Poor Kiwis under fire in Bamiyan :-(“.

Just 20 minutes later he was contacted by a member of the NZDF, told to remove the tweet and instructed to attend a meeting immediately at the NZDF base in Bamiyan where he was told he was a “security risk”.

A defence force officer had contacted one of Hussey’s friends in New Zealand, asked for his number and phoned him with instructions to remove the tweet.

“I was told that there would be widespread panic from the families of soldiers back in New Zealand if it got out,” Hussey said.

“I thought that was entirely reasonable, I don’t want the families of service people needlessly distressed, and I took the tweet down and apologised.”

So this happened a year ago. So why is it news now?

Yesterday, a NZDF spokesman denied Hussey’s communications had been monitored.

Jesus Christ, it was a tweet! They are public. Are we not getting a bit precious now when we do news stories about NZDF responding to a tweet, as if that is a bad thing?

The NZDF spokesman said over the Hussey incident: “Twitter is a public forum and any member of the public is able to see information posted there.

“This is how NZDF was made aware of Hussey’s tweet – not through any monitoring of him or his communications, as he suggests.

As to how they discovered the tweet, well has anyone heard of “search”. You can set up searches that update you with tweets mentioning particular words. I imagine Bamiyan was a search term they use.

Hussey said he had forgotten about the incident until recently with the GCSB in the news.

“Now I’m wondering if what they did to me was legal,” Hussey said.

OMG, it was a fucking tweet. Of course it was legal. This story is beyond a beat-up.

I’ve sometimes had Government Departments contact me after I blog something about them. This is an outrage – the Government is monitoring me. Is it legal for government departments to read my blog?

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Trevett on Twitter

July 18th, 2013 at 12:47 pm by David Farrar

An amusing article by Claire Trevett on MPs and Twitter:

Justice Minister Judith Collins is the biggest surprise in this regard. While many MPs delegate tweetery to their staff, Collins runs her own with a steel fist. And with what unbridled glee does she deploy that fist. She alternates between Agony Aunt and Iron Lady, dispensing kindly advice to some, but getting others with a swift upper cut.

So an exchange with Clare Curran over Family Court reforms somehow ended up being a critique of Green co-leader Metiria Turei and her jacket, both of which Collins decreed were “vile, wrong and ugly”.

She revelled in Labour’s man ban, telling Trevor Mallard she could see why Labour wanted a man-ban “if you’re anything to go by”. She reserves her best patronising tones for Chris Hipkins: after finding out he was calling her “Cruella” she replied “Chris is a dear boy. Probably stayed up all night thinking of that one.”

Superb response.

MPs on Twitter play to a relatively small audience. It is mainly beltway or enthusiasts of politics, rather than undecided voters who might be swayed by the persuasiveness of an MP’s tweeting skills. It can be useful for making announcements though – one of the more astonishing moments in recent times was last week when Labour MPs turned to Twitter to reject reported rumours that a coup was under way. Grant Robertson, Annette King and Chris Hipkins led the charge, getting their message out but also turning it from a virtual non-story to a story about their vigorous denials on Twitter.

The predominant motivation for those MPs, therefore, is pure fun. When the Speaker calls order on the interjections, the MPs simply turn to Twitter where there is no Speaker to rain on their parade. Should some earnest person try to intervene, they can simply be taken out of the game by being blocked to shut them up. There are no whips on Twitter, no Speakers. An honourable mention also goes to a former MP who may be an actual MP again in the future, Labour’s Kelvin Davis, @NgatiBird. His recent contributions include this on the Pakeha Party: “they want what Maori have. Excellent. They are welcome to our 16 per cent unemployment rate, lower life expectancy, and gout.”

And Claire wants Shane Jones on Twitter:

The MP who most people want to join Twitter is Labour’s Shane Jones, the master of the backhanded compliment. His recent insults include this, about the Green Party’s Ikaroa-Rawhiti candidate Marama Davidson: “Marama is a younger, somewhat smarter, version of Metiria.” It is a perfectly formed tweet, but in this case was said during an interview with yours truly, who never found an opportunity to use it. …

The only people who do not want Shane Jones to join Twitter are the Labour Party communications staff, who quiver in fear at the very thought.

A shame.

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All about the man ban

July 6th, 2013 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

Lots of commentary on Labour’s proposed man ban.

Colin Epsiner writes at Stuff:

Oh dear. I really didn’t think it was possible for Labour to top its own goal over the Sky City corporate box debacle. But it has. 

After a week where the Government ought to be on the back foot over the GCSB saga, Auckland’s nutty property market, and the death throes of one of its coalition partners, Labour has come out with a policy so politically barmy it makes you wonder whether it really has any interest in winning the next election. …

David Shearer has – after initially stating the policy had “some merit” – realised he’s dealing with a political bomb and come out against the policy, saying he favours targets rather than quotas. Senior Labour MPs Phil Goff, Shane Jones, and Andrew Little immediately recognised the damage the proposal would do and have denounced it too. 

But it may be too late. This idea needed to be taken out and quietly shot before it ever saw the light of day. From now until it’s debated at Labour’s annual conference in November, Labour’s opponents will have a field day. 

The Opposition needs to be talking to the electorate about jobs, housing, incomes, and hip-pocket issues. Not navel-gazing about its gender balance. The public, to be frank, doesn’t give a toss whether Labour has 41 per cent women MPs or 50 per cent. They just want good candidates and good policies. 

Adam Bennett at NZ Herald reports:

No Labour MPs other than Manurewa’s Louisa Wall will publicly back a proposal to have women-only selection short lists for some electorates to boost female MP numbers.

After his initial reluctance to comment earlier this week, party leader David Shearer has now come out against the proposal.

Outspoken male MPs Shane Jones and Damien O’Connor panned the idea in no uncertain terms, warning it risked driving away socially conservative blue-collar voters.

Of Labour’s 34 MPs, only Ms Wall has been prepared to publicly support it since it was revealed on Thursday.

Eleven, including Mr Shearer, have said they don’t support it or are yet to be convinced.

But is David Shearer not a member of the NZ Council that has proposed this?

So either he got rolled at the NZ Council meeting, or he has flip-flopped and was for it before he rages against it.

Fran O’Sullivan supports it though:

Congratulations to Party Central for putting gender equality ahead of diversity when it comes to the ranking criteria for selecting the next crop of Labour MPs.

Quaintly, the notion that a 21st century political party might opt to use its selection process to try to make sure that as many women as men represent us in Parliament has been met with howls of derision and barely disguised outrage.

That’s just on the Labour side of politics. Let’s point out here that the most vocal MP opponents (Yes, I am talking aboutyou, Shane Jones and you, Clayton Cosgrove) are only there themselves by virtue of their list rankings.

John Armstrong writes:

When you are in a hole, you can rely on Labour to dig itself into an even deeper one beside you – as it did this week with its shoot-yourself-in-both-feet potential change to party rules to allow women-only candidate selections.

This was not solely political correctness gone stark-raving bonkers. Apart from alienating one group of voters who have drifted away from Labour in recent years – men – such a rule change would be just as insulting to women in insinuating they could not win selection on their own merits.

The proposal should have been kiboshed by the leader the moment he saw it. That he didn’t – or felt he couldn’t – points to deep schisms in the party.

The message voters will take from Labour’s warped priorities is that of a party which cannot get its act together in the snoozy backwaters of Opposition, let alone in the blazing sun of Government.

There is a reasons this never emerged under Helen Clark. She would have strangled this before it was born, even if she privately backed it.

Bryce Edwards has collected some of the best tweets on this issue. Here’s a few:

Bernard Orsman ‏@BernardOrsman

The ‘man ban’. Can things get any worse for Labour. PC madness. @nzlabour

James Macbeth Dann ‏@edmuzik

David Shearer is against the quotas. That should guarantee they get passed

Perfect Mike Hosking ‏@MikePerfectHosk

The Labour Party manban makes no sense at all. It’s like saying “drinkable organic wine.”

Patrick Gower ‏@patrickgowernz

Labour Party wants a quota system for MPs based on gender etc – not merit. Apparently this isn’t a joke.

Michael Laws ‏@LawsMichael

Labour’s next caucus rule – seats reserved for the disabled, the mentally ill, overstayers, gays, vegetarians, the over 70s, the under 20s.

Philip Matthews ‏@secondzeit

@harvestbird Over a couple of beers with my mates building a deck, we decided that the manplan has set progressive politics back decades.

Julian Light ‏@julianlight

Went for a coffee this morn but was refused service. Not enough women had bought a coffee. Seemed about as fair as Labour’s policy #manban

Aunty Haurangi ‏@_surlymermaid

Upside to the #manban : Less likely John Tamihere will get an electorate seat.

Keeping Stock ‏@Inventory2

Sean Plunket describes the #ManBan as “a completely co-ordinated attack by the Labour Party on itself”; and he’s spot on.

Ben Uffindell ‏@BenUffindell

@LewStoddart More women MPs just for the sake of more women MPs is not a noble goal. Sexism lies in the population at large.

Cactus Kate ‏@CactusKate2

50% of houses should b owned solely by women n we should hv zero interest loans 2 fund this #manban

Finally we have Chris Trotter:

AMIDST ALL THE CLAMOUR of its detractors, the true significance of Labour’s “Man Ban” has eluded most commentators.

Yes, the proposed rule change has undoubtedly damaged Labour’s election prospects.

Yes, there are many more important issues the party would have preferred the news media to focus upon.

Yes, it is further evidence of a party with no reliable political grown-ups in charge.

Yes, Labour’s opponents will dine out on it for months.

And, yes, it’s the only thing the 2013 Annual Conference will be remembered for.

But, the “Man Ban” is also proof of something else: that the distance separating Labour’s rank-and-file from Labour’s Caucus has grown as wide as the gulf that once separated the “old” Labour Party from the “new”.

The conference in November should be spectacular!

 

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Hillary is running

June 14th, 2013 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

Any doubts over whether Hillary Clinton will run for President in 2016 are gone for me. She has joined Twitter, which is a first step for candidates. But her Twitter bio is what is attracting praise and attention:

Wife, mom, lawyer, women & kids advocate, FLOAR, FLOTUS, US Senator, SecState, author, dog owner, hair icon, pantsuit aficionado, glass ceiling cracker, TBD…

A but of humour at her own expense with the pantsuit reference and the TBD a clear hint to watch this space.

Her first tweet also went down well:

Thanks for the inspiration @ASmith83 & @Sllambe – I’ll take it from here… #tweetsfromhillary

They ran the very funny Tweets from Hillary – so again she is trying to show she has a sense of humour.

I can’t see her not winning the nomination, if she stands. The Republicans will need a good candidate with strong appeal to beat her.

 

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TVNZ’s social media rules

June 14th, 2013 at 11:30 am by David Farrar

Rachel Glucina writes at the NZ Herald:

Ex-BBC consultant Michele Romaine, on contract with TVNZ’s news and current affairs department until the end of the month, has this week installed a rigid social media policy, dubbed “The Rules”, which has some journalists and presenters claiming it’s censorship gone too far.

TVNZ stars have been put on notice: follow The Rules or suffer the consequences.

So what are they?

But The Diary has obtained a leaked copy of the document in which staff are expressly forbidden from “expressing personal opinions that could compromise NCA’s [News and Current Affairs'] objectivity and independence”.

Online observations or anecdotes by reporters must be “confined to matters of intelligent insight”.

How silly. I like tweets from journalists that reveal a bit of their personality. It humanises them.

But Twitter should only be used for “newsgathering, showcasing our news and current affairs content, and promoting TVNZ and your own professional profile”. In other words: plug, plug, plug.

Boring!

However, former head of news and current affairs Ross Dagan, who left TVNZ in March, was in favour of reporters and presenters showing more depth and personality by sharing personal opinions on Twitter and conversing with One News viewers.

He told The Diary that Seven Sharp journo Heather Du Plessis-Allan had found the right mix – strong reporting on the issues and fun, personal revelations on Twitter.

Yep, Heather rocks. Her tweets are great.

Ruth Wynn-Williams was told off after filing personal holiday snaps from Rarotonga on her private Instagram page.

The striking blonde posted holiday pics, including bathing in a bikini and drinking cocktails with her boyfriend Matt Gibb, host of TVNZ’s U Live.

Ruth was disciplined for that? How disgraceful. As an indirect shareholder in TVNZ I protest!

“The use of profanities,” say The Rules, “are not acceptable”.

How about when trying to get Winston to agree to an interview? :-)

UPDATE: Someone has a sense of humour at the Sunday Star-Times. The official SST twitter account tweeted (since deleted):

For clarification, the @SundayStarTimes twitter account operates outside The Rules #fucktherules

Heh.

 

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Twitter not representative

March 6th, 2013 at 7:07 am by David Farrar

Miles Godfrey from AAP at Stuff reports:

If you’ve ever viewed Twitter as a gauge of public opinion, a weathervane marking the mood of the masses, you are very much mistaken.

That is the rather surprising finding of a new US study, which suggests the microblog zeitgeist differs markedly from mainstream public opinion.

“Twitter users are not representative of the public,” Washington DC think tank, Pew Research Center, concluded.

Experts in Australia, where Twitter comment is regularly used in media reaction to major new stories or a method of interaction for television programs, agreed with the US findings.

“While Twitter can give you a good idea of the extremes of how people feel about certain topics, when it comes to measuring opinion of the general public about major issues, it’s pretty useless,” Laura Demasi, of marketing firm IPSOS Australia, told AAP.

Pew Research’s study examined eight major US news events, including November’s presidential election, and compared views expressed on Twitter with national polling. …

The study highlighted a decision made in California’s Federal Court which ruled that laws barring same-sex marriage were unconstitutional.

Almost half of the Twitter conversations about the verdict were positive, eight per cent were negative and 46 per cent were neutral.

But wider public opinion on the decision was more mixed – with 33 per cent saying it was a positive ruling, 44 per cent negative and 15 per cent neutral.

The reason, Pew Research Center says, is that only a “narrow sliver” of the population use Twitter.

A recent study by French social media analysts Semiocast showed there were 140 million Twitter accounts in the US – more than one third of the population.

But users tend to be younger and lean more toward the political left than right, the study said.

This story is a useful reminder, with relevance in NZ.

I enjoy Twitter, and you get some great humour there. But it is not a proxy for the overall population.

It’s one thing to take a few quotes from Twitter, but media should be careful about generalisations such as saying “The decision was heavily criticised on Twitter”.

The other area media should be careful about, is choosing whom to quote. I recall one episode of Seven Sharp where the tweep they quoted on a Christchurch issue was the local campaign chair for Labour. Of course, there was no mention of that.

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The Australian social media battle

February 15th, 2013 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

Speculation is growing in Australia that Kevin Rudd will (again) challenge Julia Gillard for the Labor Party leadership in March.

The article linked to has some graphics and stats on their social media usage, which I have summarised below:

aussocialmedia

 

Kevin Rudd has an incredible number of followers. Around 1 in 20 Australians follow him (and a few Kiwis). But he doesn’t just broadcast – he engages all the time with people tweeting him. So does Tony Abbott it seems.

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The future?

February 10th, 2013 at 3:47 pm by David Farrar

Green leader Russell Norman tweeted:

Lord Turner, chair UK Financial Services Authority, defends financing Govt spending by ltd printing money. radical!http://ow.ly/1S6b0Q

Labour strategist Trevor Mallard replied:

@RusselNorman stop thrashing dead horse and work on imaginative tools appropriate for NZ

This will go down well at The Standard! Russel then responds:

@TrevorMallard you just go back to closing schools and making housing unaffordable like you did in govt

Points to Norman I say. He follows up with:

@TrevorMallard 2002-2007 house prices doubled, current account ballooned. Greens repeatedly told Labour to act, but you did nothing

This is like the Iran-Iraq war – you don’t know which side to cheer for!

UPDATE: it continues. Mallard says:

Presume this is an intern not@RusselNorman but whoever it is needs to look to future not focus on rear vision mirror

And we also have a very tetchy Labour MP in Clare Curran:

@jordantcarter @pointoforder that’s bullshit Jordan

Maybe they are all nervous about Shearer’s reshuffle?

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A tweeting Minister

December 8th, 2012 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

Fran O’Sullivan at NZ Herald writes:

Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce has taken a leaf out of Obama’s book by taking to Twitter to chew out high-tech entrepreneur Selwyn Pellett for raising hell over the Endace takeover.

Joyce’s Twitter exchange was more prosaic than the US President’s, but no less focused.

What got up Joyce’s nose was the implication that Pellett – who is a cherished Labour Party favourite – was having a bob each way on the issue du jour: whether Endace should pay back $11 million of Government R&D loans it received before it passes into 100 per cent foreign ownership, substantially enriching its founders.

Let’s say upfront that Pellett has been a thorn in the Government’s side.

I expect he will be on the Labour Party list. He is their biggest cheerleader on Twitter.

He is a spokesman for the Productive Economy Council and has kicked the Government’s shins hard over its plans to sell down its holdings in state-owned assets. So it’s no surprise that Joyce – who has been remarkably unrestrained recently – took the opportunity to have a slash back. …

The Twitter battle between Joyce and Pellett was great sport:

“So you collect taxpayer support, decide to sell shares, make lots of money & then moan about it in @nzherald #unbelievable … BTW R & D co-funding is about doing R&D in NZ, not supporting individuals. But happy 4 u 2 repay so we can fund others,” Joyce tweeted at Pellett.

Pellett tweeted back: “Mr Joyce, you should check all yr facts. Interesting a Minister would target an individual for speaking out on policy.”

It’s called hypocrisy. It is fine to target people for that.

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He seems to be upset

November 19th, 2012 at 8:15 pm by David Farrar

One of the Homecrew crew seems to be a bit upset that I said the taxpayer shouldn’t fund events where they get to yell obscenities at the PM. They’re entitled to call him what they want, but I’d rather not have the taxpayer fund it.

Anyway it seems they are on Twitter, and you can see why they are a Labour Party favourite that plays at fundraisers for them. Some tweets:

  • Hey David Farrar lick my balls asshole. You mad coz you ain’t at the awards you fuck face.
  • @dpfdpf You’re just as ugly as I thought. Fuck you! Lose some weight fatty!
  • David Farrar didn’t take 2hrs & 45mins to finish that walk he said he did. He’s actually still walking the fat cunt!
  • If I see David Farrar anywhere I’m gonna roll his fat ass down the road. Someone set this up? It could be a YouTube hit.
  • Anyways.. What does his fat asshole know about music? Stick to politics David, your whole face looks like a dickhead.
  • David Attenborough > David ‘Fat Ass’ Farrar.
  • I bet you without using a mirror, David Farrar can’t see his own dick.
  • @dpfdpf Stay on the treadmill & those exotic walks you’re been taking & shut the fuck up. People will like you more.
  • @dpfdpf Sorry we don’t do 9XL Listen To Homebrew t’s, otherwise I’d send your biter ass one.
  • He sucks @JohnKeyPM‘s asshole every night

My reply was to encourage him to stand for the leadership of the Labour Party!

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A humourous slap

August 15th, 2012 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

From written questions:

Hon David Cunliffe to the Minister for Economic Development(01 Aug 2012): Has the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment deleted any tweets from members of the public which reference the Ministry’s official Twitter page; if so, why?

Hon Steven Joyce (Minister for Economic Development) replied: I am advised that the Ministry has no ability to delete ‘tweets’ of members of the public, their Twitter accounts, or their Facebook pages. I am unaware of any legislation proposed by the Government which would give the Ministry this power. Should the Member wish to pursue this possibility, I suggest he does so by way of a Member’s Bill.
Heh.
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Maggie Barry standing orders

July 27th, 2012 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

After Maggie Barry suggested during the paid parental debate that Labour MPs without children aren’t that well qualified to talk on the issue of paid parental leave, Twitter had a hash tag of #maggiebarrystandingorders. Pete George has some of the better ones:

  • Happy birthday @jacindaardern! Although it’s not MY birthday so I really shouldn’t comment…
  • only Maggie Barry may cite #maggiebarrystandingorders in the house
  • You can only talk about asset sales if you have three TradeMe stars or more.
  • Maggie Barry seems quite happy to talk about euthanasia. Maybe it’s a cry for help
  • Only MPs named Sarah can talk about CERA
  • MPs wanting to talk about taser will have to have been tased.
  • Maggie, I have 2 children so can talk about Paid Parental Leave twice as much.
  • No more references to Willie Apiata by MPs who haven’t rescued comrades under enemy fire
  • We can’t talk about #maggiebarrystandingorders because we’re not Maggie Barry
  • MPs wanting to talk about taser will have to have been tased.
  • You can’t make decisions about New Zealand unless you’ve never left the country.
  • No-one in National or ACT can talk about public transport
  • Under #maggiebarrystandingorders only Peter Dunne can speak on planking.
  • @DavidClarkNZ must be on the minimum wage to put forward a minimum wage bill
  • Louisa Wall must get married wage to put forward a marriage bill

All quite funny. I would point out though that I am a regular public transport user, unlike a certain former Green MP who didn’t even have a snapper card despite decades of going on about the importance of public transport in Wellington!

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A free speech appeal

June 30th, 2012 at 9:15 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

Comedian Stephen Fry has attended a court hearing to support a British man appealing his conviction over a tweet saying he would blow a snowed-in airport “sky high”.

Paul Chambers, 27, from Doncaster, was convicted in May 2010 of sending a “menacing electronic communication” for a tweet that said: “Crap! Robin Hood airport is closed. You’ve got a week and a bit to get your **** together, otherwise I’m blowing the airport sky high!!”

Chambers has attracted the support of several British comedians and he was accompanied by Fry and stand-up comic Al Murray to his High Court appeal on Wednesday.

Fry said the outcome of the case would be “very important” for freedom of speech, the BBC reported.

I agree that it is. We all understand you do not joke about bombs at airports. But joking about them on Twitter is rather different.

“God I hope common sense and natural justice prevail,” he later tweeted.

Chambers was fined NZ$1962 for his tweet, which he wrote when a snowstorm closed the airport and stopped him from flying to Northern Ireland to visit a woman he’d just met.

The Guardian reported the tweet was seen a week later by an off-duty airport worker who passed it on to authorities.

This is the astonishing thing. If the tweet had been seen at the time and taken seriously, I could understand why they might proceed. But they saw it a week later. Massive over-reaction.

The Guardian said Mr Cooper said if jokes were tested in courts, poet John Betjeman may have thought twice about writing “Come, friendly bombs, and fall on Slough”, adding “and Shakespeare when he said ‘kill all the lawyers’.”

The Lord Judge replied: “That was a good joke in 1600 and it is still a good joke now.”

Sounds like the Judge has a sense of humour, and may let sanity prevail.

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Labour concentrating on the big issues

June 18th, 2012 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

Clare Curran at Red Alert is focusing on the issues that really matter to New Zealanders – how some of John Key’s followers on Twitters may be “ghosts”.

Labour’s theory is that the PM may have been “buying” followers!

Yes I can just see the Cabinet meeting. Let’s not talk about the economy, or government debt, or the Christchurch earthquake. Instead they are no doubt discussing how to increase the number of followers John Key has on Twitter. Presumably 1% of the asset sales proceeds go towards purchasing these ghost followers!

Next I await the expose on Red Alert that John Key is not in fact personally friends with all his Facebook friends!

UPDATE: It gets better. Clare has done a second post on the issue, demanding an answer into the question:

how did John Key acquire nearly 30,000 bogus  followers?

I hope Labour pursue this vital issue in the House next week. I urge them to devote all their oral questions to this issue. They should not rest until they get a Royal Commission of Inquiry established into this pressing issue.

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MPs Social Media Details

March 27th, 2012 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

I’ve compiled a table of Internet and social media contact details for the 121 New Zealand Members of Parliament. This list is intended as a public resource. MPs are welcome, and indeed encouraged, to let me know of any corrections or change, via e-mail.

The table is a permanent page on Kiwiblog.

In terms of the data:

  • The e-mail addresses come from the official parliamentary contact list.
  • The websites come from searching on Google, and my 2011 candidates list.
  • The twitter details come from the @nzparliament twitter list of MPs. Incidentially the @nzparliament account has me blocked for some reason, which is strange. So does Charles Chauvel, but I presume that is because he sulked over something I wrote.
  • The Facebook details come from searching on Facebook. Sometimes there has been more than one page to choose from. Happy to change pages linked to upon request
It great we have so many MPs who make themselves accessible via the Internet. The purpose of the page is to allow people to follow, friend, e-mail and read about MPs they have an interest in.
I considered adding in extra columns for other social media such as Foursquare and Linked In, but don’t think many MPs use them. If there is demand, I could look at adding them in future.
A screenshot of the page is below, but note the actual page with hyperlinks is here.
I don’t have the capability to add on features such as how many followers an MP has on Twitter or friends on Facebook, but someone else might be able to do that, as a few people have said that would be useful.
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MPs Social Media Details

March 25th, 2012 at 9:00 pm by David Farrar

I’ve compiled below a table of Internet and social media contact details for the 121 New Zealand Members of Parliament. This list is intended as a public resource. MPs are welcome, and indeed encouraged, to let me know of any corrections or change, via e-mail.

  • The e-mail addresses come from the official parliamentary contact list.
  • The websites come from searching on Google, and my 2011 candidates list.
  • The twitter details come from the @nzparliament twitter list of MPs. Incidentially the @nzparliament account has me blocked for some reason, which is strange. So does Charles Chauvel, but I presume that is because he sulked over something I wrote.
  • The Facebook details come from searching on Facebook. Sometimes there has been more than one page to choose from. Happy to change pages linked to upon request
It great we have so many MPs who make themselves accessible via the Internet. The purpose of this page is to allow people to follow, friend, e-mail and read about MPs they have an interest in.
I considered adding in extra columns for other social media such as Foursquare and Linked In, but don’t think many MPs use them. If there is demand, I could look at adding them in future.
A spreadsheet of the details is on Google Drive. Also thanks to Ashley Murchison who updated the details for another project and shared the updates with me.
Name Party E-mail Personal website Twitter Facebook page Facebook profile
Adams, Amy National a.adams@ministers.govt.nz amyadams.co.nz @amyadamsMP /MPAmyAdams /AmyAdamsMP
Ardern, Jacinda Labour jacinda.ardern@parliament.govt.nz jacinda.co.nz @jacindaardern /jacindaardern /jacinda.ardern.1
Ardern, Shane National shane.ardern@parliament.govt.nz ardern.co.nz /shane.ardernmp
Auchinvole, Chris National chris.auchinvole@parliament.govt.nz @auchinvolemp /chris.auchinvole
Bakshi, Kanwaljit Singh National kanwaljit.singh.bakshi@parliament.govt.nz bakshi.co.nz @bakshiks /Bakshiks
Banks, John ACT j.banks@ministers.govt.nz @johnbanksnz /johnbanksnz
Barry, Maggie National Maggie.barry@parliament.govt.nz maggiebarry.co.nz @maggiebarry /maggiebarrynz /maggie.barry.1238
Beaumont, Carol Labour carol.beaumont@parliament.govt.nz @CarolBeaumontMP /carol.beaumont
Bennett, David National david.bennett@parliament.govt.nz davidbennett.co.nz @DavidBennettMP /david.bennettmp
Bennett, Paula National paula.bennett@parliament.govt.nz paulabennett.co.nz @paulabennettmp /paulabennettmp
Borrows, Chester National chester.borrows@ministers.govt.nz borrows.co.nz @ChesterBorrows /chesterborrows
Bridges, Simon National simon.bridges@parliament.govt.nz simonbridges.co.nz @simonjbridges /Simon.Bridges.MP /simon.bridges.5
Browning, Steffan Green steffan.browning@parliament.govt.nz @SteffanBrowning /steffanbrowning
Brownlee, Gerry National g.brownlee@ministers.govt.nz brownlee.co.nz /hongerrybrownlee
Calder, Cam National cam.caldermp@parliament.govt.nz camcalder.co.nz /drcamcalder
Carter, David National david.carter@parliament.govt.nz davidcarter.co.nz @DavidCarterMP /DavidCarterMP
Clark, David Labour david.clark@parliament.govt.nz davidclark.org.nz @DavidClarkNZ /DavidClarkforDunedinNorth
Clendon, David Green david.clendon@parliament.govt.nz @DavidClendon /david.clendon
Coleman, Jonathan National j.coleman@ministers.govt.nz jonathancoleman.co.nz @jcolemanmp /jonathan.coleman.56
Collins, Judith National j.collins@ministers.govt.nz judithcollins.co.nz @JudithCollinsMP /judith.collins.3367
Cosgrove, Clayton Labour clayton.cosgrove@parliament.govt.nz claytoncosgrove.org.nz /Clayton-Cosgrove/259517910850713 /clayton.cosgrove.7
Cunliffe, David Labour david.cunliffe@parliament.govt.nz cunliffe.co.nz @DavidCunliffeMP /david.cunliffe.labour
Curran, Clare Labour clare.curran@parliament.govt.nz clarecurran.org.nz @clarecurranmp /clarecurranmp
Dalziel, Lianne Labour lianne.dalziel@parliament.govt.nz @LianneDalzielMP /lianne.dalziel.3
Dean, Jacqui National Jacqui.dean@parliament.govt.nz jacquidean.co.nz @jacquidean1 /JacquiDeanMP /jacqui.dean.73
Delahunty, Catherine Green Catherine.delahunty@parliament.govt.nz @greencatherine /catherine.delahunty
Dunne, Peter United Future peter.dunne@parliament.govt.nz honpfd.blogspot.co.nz @PeterDunneMP /hon.peter.dunne
Dyson, Ruth Labour ruth.dyson@parliament.govt.nz porthillspulse.org.nz @ruthdysonmp /ruth.dyson.3
English, Bill National b.english@ministers.govt.nz billenglish.co.nz @honbillenglish /billenglishmp /honbillenglish
Faafoi, Kris Labour Ferila.betham@parliament.govt.nz krisfaafoi.weebly.com @KrisinMana /krisfaafoi /krisfaafoimp
Fenton, Darien Labour darien.fenton@parliament.govt.nz @DarienFenton /darien.fenton
Finlayson, Christopher National c.finlayson@ministers.govt.nz chrisfinlayson.co.nz @chrisfinlayson /CFFinlayson
Flavell, Te Ururoa Maori Party teururoa.flavell@parliament.govt.nz waiariki.maori.nz @TeUruroaFlavell /TeUruroa /teururoa.flavell.3
Foss, Craig National c.foss@ministers.govt.nz backingthebay.co.nz @CraigFossMP /craig.foss
Foster-Bell, Paul National paul.foster-bell@parliament.govt.nz @PARFosterBell /pfosterbell
Genter, Julie Anne Green Julie.genter@parliament.govt.nz julieanne.co.nz @JulieAnneGenter /julie.a.genter
Goff, Phil Labour p.goff@parliament.govt.nz @phil_goff /philgoff.labour
Goldsmith, Paul National paul.goldsmith@parliament.govt.nz paulgoldsmith.co.nz @PaulGoldsmithMP /PaulGoldsmithNZ
Goodhew, Jo National jo.goodhew@ministers.govt.nz goodhew.co.nz /Jo-Goodhew/317621700194
Graham, Kennedy Green Kennedy.graham@parliament.govt.nz @KennedyGraham /DrKennedyGraham
Groser, Tim National tim.groser@parliament.govt.nz nlnats.co.nz
Guy, Nathan National nathan.guy@ministers.govt.nz nathanguy.co.nz @HonNathanGuy /nathanguy4otaki
Hague, Kevin Green kevin.hague@parliament.govt.nz @KevinHague /kevin.hague1
Harawira, Hone Mana Hone.harawira@parliament.govt.nz @HoneManaMP /MPHoneHarawira /hone.harawira
Hauiti, Claudette National claudette.hauiti@parliament.govt.nz @ClaudetteHauiti /claudettehauitiformangere
Hayes, John National john.hayes@parliament.govt.nz johnhayes.co.nz @JohnHayesRAPAMP
Heatley, Phil National p.heatley@ministers.govt.nz heatley.co.nz @PhilHeatleyMP /PhilHeatleyMP /phil.heatley.1
Henare, Tau National tau.henare@parliament.govt.nz @tauhenare /tau.henare
Hipkins, Chris Labour chris.hipkins@parliament.govt.nz chrishipkins.org.nz @chrishipkins /chrishipkins
Horan, Brendan Independent Brendan.horan@parliament.govt.nz @BrendanHoran /brendan.horan.336
Hughes, Gareth Green gareth.hughes@parliament.govt.nz @GarethMP /garethhughesmp
Huo, Raymond Labour raymond.huo@parliament.govt.nz huo.co.nz @RaymondHuo /Raymond.Huo
Hutchison, Paul National paul.hutchison@parliament.govt.nz drpaulhutchison.co.nz @PaulHutchisonMP /PaulHutchisonMP /paul.hutchison.581
Jones, Shane Labour shane.jones@parliament.govt.nz @matuashane /ShaneJones.nz
Joyce, Steven National s.joyce@ministers.govt.nz stevenjoyce.co.nz @stevenljoyce /HonStevenJoyce
Kaye, Nikki National nikki.kaye@parliament.govt.nz nikkikaye.co.nz @nikkikaye /NikkiKayeMP /nikki.kaye
Key, John National j.key@ministers.govt.nz johnkey.co.nz @johnkeypm /pmjohnkey /johnkeypm
King, Annette Labour A.King@parliament.govt.nz @annetterongotai /annette.king.of.rongotai
King, Colin National colin.king@parliament.govt.nz colinking.co.nz @ColinKingMP /colin.king.77
Lee, Melissa National melissa.lee@parliament.govt.nz melissalee.co.nz @melissaleemp /mpmelissalee
Lees-Galloway, Iain Labour Iain.lees-galloway@parliament.govt.nz iainleesgalloway.co.nz @iainlg /iain.leesgalloway
Little, Andrew Labour Andrew.little@parliament.govt.nz @AndrewLittleMP /alittlemp
Logie, Jan Green Jan.logie@parliament.govt.nz @janlogie /jan.logie
Lole-Taylor, Asenati NZ First Asenati.Lole-Taylor@parliement.govt.nz asenatitaylornewzealandfirst.org.nz @asenatitaylor /asenati.loletaylor
Lotu-Iiga, Peseta Sam National peseta.sam.lotu-iiga@parliament.govt.nz lotu-iiga.com @MaungakiekieSAM /PesetaSamLotuIigaMp /pesetasam.lotuiiga
Macindoe, Tim National tim.macindoe@parliament.govt.nz timmacindoe.co.nz @timmacindoe /TimMacindoe
Mackey, Moana Labour moana.mackey@labour.org.nz @MoanaMackey /moana.mackey
Mahuta, Nanaia Labour nanaia.mahuta@parliament.govt.nz @NanaiaMahuta /Hon-Nanaia-Mahuta/563920696964287 /nmahuta
Mallard, Trevor Labour trevor.mallard@parliament.govt.nz @TrevorMallard /trevor.mallard1
Martin, Tracey NZ First Tracey.martin@parliament.govt.nz @traceymartinmp /tracey.martinmp
Mathers, Mojo Green mojo.mathers@parliament.govt.nz @mojomathers /mojo.mathers.7
McClay, Todd National todd.mcclay@parliament.govt.nz toddmcclay.co.nz /Todd.McClay.MP
McCully, Murray National m.mccully@ministers.govt.nz mccully.co.nz
McKelvie, Ian National Ian.mckelvie@parliament.govt.nz ianmckelvie.co.nz @ianmckelviemp /ian.mckelvie.18
Mitchell, Mark National mark.mitchell@parliament.govt.nz markmitchell.co.nz @mitchell4rodney /mitchellforrodney
Moroney, Sue Labour sue.moroney@parliament.govt.nz @suemoroney /suemoroney
Ngaro, Alfred National Alfred.ngaro@parliament.govt.nz alfredngaro.co.nz @AlfredNgaroMP /alfred.ngaro
Norman, Russel Green russel.norman@parliament.govt.nz @russelnorman /russelnorman
O’Connor, Damien Labour louise.vickerman@parliament.govt.nz @DamienOConnorMP /damienoconnormp
O’Connor, Simon National Simon.OConnor@parliament.govt.nz simon.org.nz @SimonOConnorMP /SimonOConnorMP /simon.oconnor
O’Rourke, Denis NZ First Denis.ORourke@parliament.govt.nz
Parata, Hekia National hekia.parata@ministers.govt.nz hekiaparata.co.nz @hekiaparata /hekia.parata
Parker, David Labour david.parker@parliament.govt.nz davidparker.co.nz @DavidParkerMP
Peters, Winston NZ First anne.moore@parliament.govt.nz @winstonpeters /winstonpeters
Prasad, Rajen Labour rajen.prasad@parliament.govt.nz @RajenPrasad /rajenprasadmp
Prosser, Richard NZ First Richard.prosser@parliament.govt.nz @richard_prosser /RIvorProsser /richard.prosser1
Robertson, Grant Labour jen.toogood@parliament.govt.nz grantrobertson.co.nz @grantrobertson1 /WellingtonCentralMP /grantrobertsonmp
Robertson, Ross Labour ross.robertson@parliament.govt.nz /ross.robertson.338
Roche, Denise Green denise.roche@parliament.govt.nz @DeniseRocheMP /denise.roche.372
Ross, Jami-Lee National jami-lee.rossmp@parliament.govt.nz jami-leeross.co.nz @jamileeross /jami.lee.ross
Roy, Eric National eric.roy@parliament.govt.nz ericroy.org.nz @ericroymp /eric.roy.75457
Ryall, Tony National t.ryall@ministers.govt.nz @TonyRyallMP /HonTonyRyall
Sabin, Mike National mike.sabin@parliament.govt.nz mikesabin.co.nz /sabinfornorthland
Sage, Eugenie Green Eugenie.sage@parliament.govt.nz @EugenieSage /Eugenie-Sage/219143001447426 /eugenie.sage/219143001447426
Shanks, Katrina National heather.henderson@parliament.govt.nz katrinashanks.co.nz /katrinashanksmp
Sharples, Pita Maori Party Pita.Sharples@parliament.govt.nz @papapita /PapaPita /pita.sharples
Shearer, David Labour david.shearer@parliament.govt.nz @DavidShearerMP /davidshearernz
Simpson, Scott National scott.simpson@parliament.govt.nz scottsimpson.co.nz /ScottSimpsonCoromandel /ScottSimpsonForCoromandel
Sio, Su’a William Labour sua.william.sio@parliament.govt.nz @SWSio_MP /suawilliamsio
Smith, Nick National nick@nick4nelson.co.nz nick4nelson.co.nz /nicksmithmp
Stewart, Barbara NZ First barbara.stewart@parliament.govt.nz /barbarastewartmp
Street, Maryan Labour maryan.street@parliament.govt.nz @MaryanStreetMP /maryanstreet
Tirikatene, Rino Labour rino.tirikatene@parliament.govt.nz @RinoTirikatene /rinotirikatene
Tisch, Lindsay National lindsay.tisch@parliament.govt.nz @lindsaytisch /lindsay.tisch.1
Tolley, Anne National anne.tolley@parliament.govt.nz annetolley.co.nz @AnneTolleyMP /honannetolley
Tremain, Chris National chris.tremain@national.org.nz christremain.co.nz @CJTremain /ChrisTremainMP
Turei, Metiria Green metiria.turei@parliament.govt.nz @metiria /metiria
Turia, Tariana Maori Party t.turia@ministers.govt.nz tetaihauauru.maori.nz @TarianaTuria
Twyford, Phil Labour phil.twyford@parliament.govt.nz @PhilTwyford /phil.twyford.mp /phil.twyford.1
Upston, Louise National gabrielle.stewart@parliament.govt.nz louiseupston.co.nz @LouiseUpston /louiseupstonmp /louise.upston
Wagner, Nicky National nicky.wagner@parliament.govt.nz nickywagner.co.nz @nickywagner /Nicky-Wagner-MP/30605591344 /nickywagnermp/30605591344
Walker, Holly Green holly.walker@parliament.govt.nz hollywalker.co.nz @hollyrwalker /hollywalker82
Wall, Louisa Labour mereana.ruri@parliament.govt.nz /louisawall.labourmanurewa
Whaitiri, Meka Labour meka.whatiri@parliament.govt.nz /MekaIkaroaRawhiti /meka.whaitiri
Wilkinson, Kate National k.wilkinson@ministers.govt.nz katewilkinson.co.nz /honkatewilkinson
Williams, Andrew NZ First Andrew.williams@parliament.govt.nz andrewwilliams.co.nz /andrew.williamsmp
Williamson, Maurice National m.williamson@ministers.govt.nz @williamson_nz /maurice.williamson.54
Woodhouse, Michael National Michael.woodhouse@parliament.govt.nz michaelwoodhouse.co.nz /michael.woodhousemp
Woods, Megan Labour megan.woods@parliament.govt.nz meganwoods.org.nz @Megan_Woods /MeganWoodsWigram /megancwoods
Yang, Jian National jian.yang@parliament.govt.nz jianyang.co.nz /JianYangMP /jian.yang.545
Young, Jonathan National jonathan.young@parliament.govt.nz jonathanyoung.co.nz @JonathanYoungMP /jonathan.youngmp
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Results from an informal electoral system survey

November 16th, 2011 at 10:42 am by David Farrar

On Twitter and Facebook I did an informal survey asking people how they will vote in Part B of the Referendum. I did not ask about Part A. The results were:

Twitter Facebook Total Twitter % Facebook % Total %
FPP           4               1       5 10% 3% 7%
PV           2               1       3 5% 3% 4%
SM           8             22     30 21% 63% 41%
STV         25             11     36 64% 31% 49%
        39             35     74 100% 100% 100%

The difference between the Facebook responses and the Twitter responses are interesting. Twitter people went massively for STV while Facebook went massively for SM. Very few people went for FPP or PV. Almost all those who chose FPP said they were doing so tactically as they were MMP supporters, and see FPP as the system least likely to win in 2014 if there is a second referendum.

Some tentative conclusions I draw.

  1. Those on Twitter and Facebook (well those who follow me anyway) are far more politically astute than the general population, as FPP is by far the most popular option with the public who only know FPP and MMP, but very few picked it in this survey.
  2. If one assumes that those who punted for SM tend to be more right leaning, it suggests that people on Twitter are more left-leaning. This reinforces my general impression over a couple of years.
  3. I think those who are of a different political persuasion to each other are generally more willing to engage on Twitter, than on Facebook. You tend to see someone’s Facebook page as “their property” so don’t challenge them as much, while Twitter is seen as basically neutral ground and one gets far more challenging of views.
  4. Most MMP supporters will vote for STV and most MMP opponents will vote for SM, at least amongst the politically aware. This is based on my general knowledge of those who responded. I didn’t ask about Part A as I didn’t want it to turn into a debate on MMP. I may do a later informal survey on Part A.

I’m still amazed that to the best of my knowledge there are no TV debates scheduled on the referendum. Sure there has been the odd segment on Breakfast TV or Close Up where proponents have exchanged views. But I think the referendum deserves the same scrutiny as the election. There should be a 60 to 90 minute debate or debates. I’d do it like a leader’s debates. Have a couple of proponents for keep MMP and change MMP and a panel of journalists questioning them. Pretty much like Radio NZ did it, but you know on TV where you reach massively more viewers.

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Trevor can’t tell a fake Twitter account from the real thing

October 31st, 2011 at 3:40 pm by David Farrar

Trevor Mallard has got all excited. he has blogged a tweet from @NZNational stating (falsely) that the mock town hall meeting in National’s opening address was a real one.

The only problem with Trevor’s “gotcha” expose is that @NZNational is a fake account, probably run by one of his activists.

Now I’ll give Trevor the benefit of the doubt, and assume he didn’t know it was a fake account, rather than the alternative which is he was deliberately setting out to deceive.

But so Trevor doesn’t make himself look foolish in future, here’s some things to look at, to work out a fake account.

  1. Check their full description on their homepage.
  2. Look at some of their recent tweets. Do they look like the tweets you would expect from that person or organisation
  3. Check out how many followers they have. As this one had only 91 followers, pretty obvious it is a fake.

It’s not that hard to work out real and fake accounts. The only time I had difficulty was working out the difference between the parody Catherine Delahunty account and the real one.

UPDATE: I have had it pointed out to me that Mallard in fact knew the account was not rea as he had been told multiple times on Twitterl, so it was a deliberate attempt to deceive. Nice to know Labour’s campaign manager continues high normal high ethical standards. It’s a silly strategy because it means the public and journalists will distrust stuff on Red Alert.

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Superb

August 26th, 2011 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

Heh. Hat Tip: Toby Manhire at The Listener

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MPs tweeting

July 31st, 2011 at 10:58 am by David Farrar

The Daily Telegraph reports:

MPs are spending almost 1,000 hours a year on Twitter, the social networking site, according to research.

The number of MPs tweeting – sending messages of 140 characters or fewer – has more than doubled from 111 in January last year to 275 today, and is expected to go on rising as more politicians sign up.

Keen tweeters include Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister and Ed Miliband, the Labour leader.

Only 1,000 hours a year for 650 MPs? Hell, I reckon Tau and Trevor do 1,000 hours just between them :-)

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Taniwhas on Twitter

June 10th, 2011 at 9:43 am by David Farrar

Michael Field at Stuff reports:

Horotiu, the taniwha potentially blocking the tracks of Auckland’s multi-billion dollar rail dream, is the latest celebrity to open a Twitter account.

The taniwha has also gone global, with London’s Daily Telegraph headlining: “‘Swamp monster’ threatens Auckland railway project”.

Drawing on a Stuff story, the Telegraph quotes Glenn Wilcox, a member of the Auckland City Council’s Maori Statutory Board, demanding protection for Horotiu.

“As kaitiaki, or guardians, they protect people, but they also get up and bite you if they do not like what you are doing,” Mr Wilcox said.

On Twitter the debate has sparked two new accounts – TaniwhaHorotiu and HorotiuTaniwha.

The first carries an early complaint that taniwha do not make an international list of mythical creatures.

The two twitter accounts have even been chatting to each other Some of the tweets have been:

  • @TaniwhaHorotiu Yur a dirty faker, I’m the real Taniwha, go find your own drain bro
  • @LIVENewsDesk What about hate crimes against taniwha? Lots of haters out there dissing Horotiu
  • @AKcitymission Can i join youse fellas?…i’m about to be made homeless by Len Brown
  • Steven Joyce has been bad mouthing my bros the Fiscal Taniwha http://bit.ly/jZcjWG

Steven Joyce’s quote was superb:

Transport Minister Steven Joyce said the project appeared to be plagued by taniwha.

“It does not massively surprise me,” he said. “Treasury found a few fiscal taniwhas as well, so it doesn’t surprise me that another one has turned up.”

I think the term “fiscal taniwha” should be adopted by Treasury for use in all future business case evaluations.

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