Quote of the day: Wellington City Council on the Taxpayers’ “Union”

Hats off to Richard MacLean of Wellington City Council for nailing the time-wasting pointlessness of the National Party’s most shameless astroturfer:

Mr MacLean said Mr Williams’ comments say more about the Taxpayers’ Union that it does about anything else.

He said the amount of time and money spent responding to the union’s truly pathetic requests is an enormous expense.

‘One day we’ll have to sit down and cost out how much their useless approach to official information requests is costing the ratepayer’.

Doesn’t Jordan Williams have anything better to do, like try to get footage of drunk MPs for his mates or breaching women’s confidentiality?

Beware, creepy men of the right: Rawshark returns (briefly)

An old handle flickered back into life briefly this afternoon:

Rawshark – presuming the account is still held and operated by the hacker who exposed the dodgy shenanigans between the WhaleOil blog, corporate lobbyists and senior National Party politicians – started with a screenshot from the previous run, in which Cameron Slater and Jordan Williams allegedly discuss how to get damaging anti-wharfie stories into the media at the time of the POAL lockout.

whaledump-screenshot-1

But something appears to have changed his or her mind.

So a bit more information has been released. (Highlighting added by me)

whaledump-screenshot-2If this is ringing a bell, it should, and not just because it’s no surprise that Jordan Williams has an … odd perspective on women:

It also sounds a lot like the way Luigi Wewege used sex to pressure Bevan Chuang to reveal details of her relationship with Auckland Mayor Len Brown.

Bevan Chuang told the New Zealand Herald she entered an intimate relationship with Luigi Wewege, a member of Mr Palino’s failed campaign team, who wanted her to expose the mayor’s infidelity when he found out about the affair.

“Luigi started pursuing non-stop about how I should tell on Len,” Ms Chuang said. “I was asked to record phone calls because that’s when Len would say all the dirty stuff.”

She says Mr Wewege wanted to publish the allegations on the Whale Oil blogsite, run by Cameron Slater, to ruin Mr Brown’s reputation before the election but she refused to swear an affidavit and produce text messages to corroborate her story.

It’s a bit hard to avoid the conclusion that rightwing men are so lacking a moral compass that they happily exploit sexual intimacy to manipulate women to gain political ammunition.

If women were doing the same thing to men they’d be denounced as cuckolding honeytrap Jezebels from every direction. That’s the patriarchal double standard for you.

So here’s my question, rightwing dudes: you love demanding that other people denounce extremism in their culture or party or religion. Are you going to denounce Jordan Williams and Luigi Wewege, and any other man who’s “taken one for the team” to manufacture a political scandal?  Or are you happy for us to assume that all rightwing men are sleazy creeps?

~

A quick note: I’m sure commenters will be quick to point out that leftwing men can also be abusive creeps, but show me (a) where a leftwing dude has used sex to gain political ammunition and (b) the bizarro universe in which I didn’t condemn that as scummy, too; otherwise sod off with your derailing tactics.

~

And a final thought, on a related topic: Rawshark’s brief return sent a very powerful message to the Dirty Politics crew. I’m still here. I’m still watching. And there’s a lot I didn’t reveal, so don’t make me want to come back.

Good on ya, mate.

QOTD: Herald Insights on NZ voting patterns

Credit where credit’s due, some great work is coming out of the NZ Herald’s Insights data site, like this interactive exploration of how different groups in NZ vote. But there’s a lot more to it than you might think on the surface:

  • Best predictors for National voters are places with high proportion of people from European ethnicity.
  • In a Labour versus Greens contest, places with higher proportion of educated voters are more likely to vote for Greens.

A comparison between different parties allows readers to see the shift in voting patterns for different population characteristics.

However, it is not possible to infer voting patterns for individuals using this analysis.

Even considering the social patterns, such as higher proportion of European ethnicity, it is useful to consider whether it is the ethnicity or living in a less diverse neighbourhood that has the impact on voting patterns.

[Edited slightly in solidarity with lost subeditors]

It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking “Pasifika people all vote Labour” or “small business owners all vote National” or “this person is a middle-aged white male tradie, he’ll be really conservative”. We have to go a lot deeper, and consider each individual’s place in their community, to understand why they vote the way they do.

Go check out the whole thing!

The vast rightwing conspiracy: REVEALED

Readers, I have earth-shattering received information which will blow the lid of one of the greatest scandals of our time.

An internal WhaleOil document, exclusively created by released to Boots Theory, show the innermost workings of a corrupt, depraved, unmitigated, cryptofascist conspiracy to control our media, our government, our daily lives and even our rare Pepes.

Nicky Hager ain’t got shit on this.

I’ve uploaded the documentation at full resolution so it can be available to all in the event of my sudden disappearance.

Click to view the full, horrific truth.
Click to view the full, horrific truth.

Now, this may at face value appear to be a really obvious two-minute job with the SmartArt functions in Microsoft Word and some Google image searches. The kind of “evidence” which shouldn’t even seem compelling to the people who really, really want to believe it’s true. Don’t worry, loyal Booters: I’m suspicious too.

But it’s so important to unveil the terrible depths that the rightwing will sink to – the secret Bitcoin payments, the hidden overseas blind look-through trust fund trusts, the pineapple on the pizza – that I am willing to pay hundreds, nay thousands of dollars to an elite super hacker who can’t even spell the names of my targets correctly and thinks screenshots of a Notepad file counts as “documentation”.

I’m doing it for you. I’m doing it for our country. And above all, I’m doing it for myself.

witness me

With absolutely no apologies nor credit to Cameron Slater or his self-important creep of a conman, Ben Rachinger.

Damn right I’m angry

It’s funny (or depending on your point of view, completely predictable) how often feminist analysis and leftwing analysis overlap.

There’s a term: “tone argument”. It refers to the regular pleas directed at feminists, anti-racism activists, indigenous rights activists, trans activists, etc to stop being so aggressive and ask nicely for fundamental human rights and dignity instead of shouting so much. It’s a derailment, a troll move, a way to undermine and ignore the actual arguments being made. As summed up by the Geek Feminism wiki:

The tone argument is a form of derailment, or a red herring, because the tone of a statement is independent of the content of the statement in question, and calling attention to it distracts from the issue at hand. Drawing attention to the tone rather than content of a statement can allow other parties to avoid engaging with sound arguments presented in that statement, thus undermining the original party’s attempt to communicate and effectively shutting them down.

The irony is that these voices are already marginalized. Shouting is often the only way to get heard.

But it occurs in “normal” politics too. The idea that rational, reasonable, calmly-delivered arguments are inherently superior to loud, assertive, passionate – emotional – arguments is strongly ingrained.

And thus Cameron Slater and his little helpers jumped to label Andrew Little as “Angry Andy” from the moment it looked like he was going to put his name forward for the party leadership. Look, he’s so shouty, the meme goes. Voters don’t like shouty people. Shouting must mean you’re not very sensible.

We’re not mean to get angry, you know. But why wouldn’t we be?

We have a government which has shrugged its shoulders while families have been forced to live in cars and chronically-ill people have been driven off benefits. A government which has sat back and let the people of Christchurch wait five years – and longer – to get their homes repaired to liveable standards.

A government which removed the right to regular rest breaks at work and refuses to take a strong stand on health and safety. A government literally making it up as it goes along on dealing with the Auckland housing crisis – a crisis it barely acknowledges exists.

A government which refuses to properly fund sexual violence services and has done the absolute minimum to ensure the clients of Relationships Aotearoa are being properly cared for as they transition to new counsellors. Which let a diplomat accused of sexual assault flit off to his home country and bad-mouthed his victim for her political beliefs.

A government which is selling us down the river on the TPPA, paying off Saudi millionaires for vague promises of free trade, and sending Kiwi soldiers into harm’s way in Iraq to please our (former?) colonial masters.

We have a government which has consistently eroded our democracy, our work rights, our public services, and our social safety net – and expects us to go along with it for the promise of an illusory Budget surplus and maybe some small tax cuts after the next election.

A government which has cemented its power with a dirty tricks campaign run out of the 9th floor of the Beehive and paid for with your tax dollars.

If you’re not angry, you’re not paying attention.

And when you’re angry, you can change the world. That’s why anger scares them so much.

(Note: Video NSFW, sweary awesomeness)