And I just want to clear a few things up, if only to establish with some finality that Martyn “Bomber” Bradbury shouldn’t be trusted as far as you can piss facing into an emerald Wellington gale. Martyn’s post is here, or will be until he deletes it and pretends it never happened.
QoT left the blog with Nicole Skews
is a lie, and one which I have previously corrected him on . Coley (which is what people call her when they’re not trying to silence her with the threat of workplace-related drama*) left The Daily Blog on 12 September. Her side of the tale is here.
I, on the other hand, had stepped down from blogging there on 24 July, with the following email:
Hey man, my post for the week is now with you.Unfortunately I’m going to have to step back from TDB. As you’ve probably gathered, things in the meat-world have been pretty rocky for me this year and the past month has just taken all my spoons.It’s been great though, I really like what you’re achieving and the line-up is awesome – so I know I won’t necessarily be missed *too* badly. 🙂
You’ll want to keep this in mind for a bit further down. When in later email conversation I corrected him for claiming that my stepping down was due to Coley’s, he stated in an email of 20 September:
My mistake – I thought the 2 events were connected.
Next up. Martyn’s statement:
QoT’s latest attack is to claim that our desire on TDB to have more female voices is somehow a conspiracy to hide my true intentions of allowing the patriarchy to rule while paying lip service to diversity. She claims the lack of posts by the female bloggers in October is proof of this while I think that is a terrible slap in the face to the women bloggers on this site.
is easily compared with my actual post here – which Martyn does not link to. Please note: the statistics are not for October. They are for the entire running history of The Daily Blog, from February to October 2013, as noted on the post. I do not accuse Martyn of “allowing the patriarchy to rule”; I say:
With those kind of numbers, you’ve got to ask exactly what is being served by getting more women’s names onto the TDB roster. Is it women, or is it one guy’s liberal cred?
But Martyn claims that he’s actually the real feminist here:
QoT knows first hand from times she couldn’t get her blog through to us that there are many extra time issues for female bloggers to contend with. Family, work and study all impact on the time commitments people can commit to blogging, every blogger on this site has the ability to post whenever they want above the minimum commitments they agree to.
It’s a nice point, and a very valid one, and yeah, I’m not a perfect
employee contributor. But it struck me as odd that Martyn was suddenly so understanding of the pressures on women and how this might affect their ability to commit regular blog posts, because after I sent that email, back on 24 July, his response was far less accepting.
Martyn, 24 July:
WHOA – Hold up sister – QoT – mate, comrade – hold up.
I was out tonight at backbenchers and I had a couple of guys from out of town who had made the trip in special to watch it and they were raving about you and the impact you have made on their girlfriends in helping them find their voice.
QoT I do not want to lose you – how about this – how about we cut you down from weekly to fortnightly – would that help?
A day later, after I hadn’t responded – remembering that I’d explained life was a bit difficult at the moment.
So would fortnightly take the pressure off you?
Please note that is the entire text of the email. I explained – very nicely** – that it wasn’t a goer. He responded:
Doh – those personal things – bloody nuisance those.
I’ll back off for a month and then start gently prodding – you are simply too important a voice to allow quieting my dear QoT – there is genuinely a new generation of women reading your blogs and feeling real power from seeing a woman as staunch and powerful as you front footing it with anyone.
I know how passionate you are so know your personal trauma must be great to pause from blogging. Take time to heal comrade, I’ll hold your line in the fight.
And then a month later, with no further contact from me – and sure, I could have been more forthcoming, but Martyn could also have taking a fucking hint** – the boilerplate reminder emails began again. And I didn’t want to pick a fight, because I feared that Martyn would be nasty in retaliation. I think subsequent events bear this out.
But it does seem to suggest that he is not as open-minded about the pressures on women bloggers as he claims, and quite happy to apply it himself.
And finally, Martyn says:
The insinuation that Amanda Kennedy, Christine Rose, Dianne Khan, Jenny Michie, Julie Anne Genter, Julie Fairey, LadyMac, Laila Harre, Latifa Daud, Louisa Wall, Marama Davidson, Moana Mackey, Penny Hulse, Phoebe Fletcher, Professor Jane Kelsey, Rachael Goldsmith, Sue Bradford, Susan St John, Tali Williams and Melissa Ansell-Bridges are somehow puppets being played for deceptive means by myself, Chris Trotter, Selwyn Manning, Frank Macskasy and Wayne Hope is as ludicrous as it is offensive to those women.
It’s very nice to know that he can name all his remaining women bloggers. But again, it begs a question: if all of these women find my statements offensive and ludicrous, why isn’t Martyn giving them a platform to say so?
The rest of Martyn’s post is a masterclass in sexist double standards and tone argument. It shouldn’t need saying that the man who refers to me as “Queen of Scorns”, who coined the phrase “Emerald Stormtroopers”, and who categorised what is basically an argument over one comment on a blog as “completely fracturing the Auckland and Wellington left” is probably not the person who should be lamenting the horrors of blog-war.
Martyn is a liar. If you are dealing with him, screencap everything. This correspondence is now very much closed.
*In an earlier post, Martyn referred to her as “Nicole Skews of [her workplace]”. This has, like so many things, been silently retconned.
**And let’s all think for a moment about how women are programmed to be nice in order to not antagonise men because they fear being attacked by them. I don’t think it’s a stretch given the exact post I’m commenting on now.
A couple of months ago I was asked to write a post for the Ruminator and, rather optimistically, I agreed.The original brief was to respond to a post by Judith Collins. My post was going to be about snapper, not trout. But considering that issue, along with Judith’s leadership aspirations, has floundered, I’ll try another hook.
Idiot/Savant pretty nicely captures the self-satisfied Dad Joke tone of it all.
Judith Collins is a vile fucking human being. There are just so many things we can pick on her for. Using a tired old slur about her age, gender and appearance? Just fucking stop it.
Less than half the compensation awarded to New Zealand prisoners who have been mistreated has actually been paid to them – or to their victims.
The scheme, which came into effect in 2005, was set up to ensure that prisoners who have been mistreated do not receive compensation until any outstanding debt they owe to their victims has been paid.
One prisoner, Steven Brent Gunbie, was awarded $43,313 for [something]. However, the payment has been held in trust since 2007, and Gunbie will only receive the money after claims from victims of his crimes are settled.
However, only six victim claims have been successful since the scheme started in November 2005. The six victims have received payments totalling $49,000, and another $63,000 is being held in 19 cases for court-ordered reparation.
The delays are caused by [something].
The scheme was originally set up after prisoners at Auckland Prison at Paremoremo were forced under a programme called the “behaviour management regime” to live in isolated squalor and were treated inhumanely.
The prisoners were awarded a large sum in compensation. This led to public outcry over the rights of victims of crime. The Labour government introduced the current law on a trial basis to ensure money would not go directly to prisoners if their victims were owed anything.
The Government has now made the scheme permanent, even though its own advisers say it does not help victims of crime.
Prisoners have received $220,000 from a total pool of $516,000. Another $290,000 is being held in trust pending 12 claims from victims.
After the initial payments, almost all compensation payments are being made to prisoners who have been kept in prison beyond their release dates.
Correction Minister Anne Tolley said work was in progress to move to an electronic system to reduce the number of these errors, but also said prisoners should not receive taxpayer money, despite being illegally detained after their sentences finished.
Garth McVicar of the Sensible Sentencing Trust criticised the scheme for forcing victims of crime to re-engage with offenders if they wanted compensation. He said the Justice Minister at the time, Phil Goff, “was trying to pacify and tried to have a foot in both camps.”
Current Labour Party justice spokesperson Andrew Little said the law did not work and failed to meet victims’ needs. It also had the perverse effect of victims benefiting only when the state abused prisoners.
[insert list of unsettled claims here if necessary]
This is the article which David Fisher wanted to run in the NZ Herald – an article about obstacles in the path of giving just compensation to prisoners mistreated by bungling corrections staff.
It’s just a pity the version which got published was headlined “Prisoners paid $500,000” – which isn’t true – describes Steven Brent Gunbie as “violent gun-wielding kidnapper Steven Brent Gunbie” and began,
A child sex offender was paid $26,600 in compensation by the taxpayer under a scheme which has awarded more than $500,000 to prisoners since it came into effect in 2005.
which puts a rather different spin on the matter, don’t you think? Or am I just unintelligent and poorly informed?
But let’s be serious – David Fisher could’ve written the above – or even something better. The NZ Herald? Ain’t got no time for giving a shit about abuses of prisoners’ rights. Not when there’s pageviews in them thar hills.
Well, that’s not actually Poe’s Law, which is about distinguishing satire from the real thing, but I am sadly uninformed as to whether a similar trolling-or-just-incoherent Law of internet arguments exists. Answers on the back of a red sportscar.
Point is, it kicked in when reading a blazingly bizarre post on a blog which, yes, will sadly go unlinked because ewwww. This blog claims to campaign for truth, justice and the Australian/New Zealand way, whatever that is, on behalf of people like Peter Ellis.
And this blog, when you point out that using the term “rent-boy” to describe Cameron Slater is homophobic, anti-sex-worker, and just plain lazy, makes statements like:
If in the process of outing crimes against humanity it means we here at Lauda Finem need to continue using non PC language such as ”Fuck Tard”, “rent-boy”” and “Cunts” to spread the message so be it.
Thing is, deep down I’m quite a positive person. I dearly want to believe that the writers of this blog are just really, really passionate about their cause to the exclusion of all else. (Their positive mentions of Micael Lhaws stretches this belief somewhat.)
So it just makes me sad that while stridently defending someone like Peter Ellis, a man who was persecuted and vilified primarily because he was Teaching Kindergarten While Gay And Male, they honestly don’t seem to understand how demeaning, oppressive language like that is part of the very system they’re railing against.
Or they’re just trolls. It’s probably the more likely answer.
I’m absolutely certain that Scott Yorke was not thinking of me when he wrote The Post I Never Posted.
I don’t believe I’m personally on his radar. I think he’s responding to a wider trend of Shearer-critical posts, predominantly at The Standard.
And I can see how people who are Labour supporters are getting a little annoyed with the constant pointing out of Shearer’s many clear failings. Look, people, we’ve already explained six times that he can’t answer basic questions about his political ideas in clear complete sentences, do we really need to go for round 7?
And I was feeling all warm and charitable about the broad variety of opinions on the New Zealand left, and how wonderful it is that we have so many leftie bloggers who can put their arguments forward for wider discussion.
And then I got to this sentence.
And even if I was wrong on that point, I went on to write, David Shearer was still not the best man for the job, because he had failed to demonstrate an ability to walk on water or bring the dead back to life.
How droll. Scott thinks we Shearer-critics are unrealistic, over-demanding, petulant children who expect the leader of the parliamentary Labour Party to be not just the perfect politician, but messianic.
It would be a super-cutting little barb if it bore any resemblance to reality. If, say, Shearer had blown the political debate wide open with his first big policy speech, taking the fight straight to John Key, if whoever the Labour Education spokesperson is/was had claimed the easily-findable scalp of Hekia Parata. If, say, Labour were still only at 30-odd in the polls, but this was clearly down to a set of un-Shearer-related botches, like Shane Jones getting caught using taxpayer money for porn. Again. And it was Sea Shepherd-themed.
Basically, if Shearer had turned out to be a fantastic, charismatic, visionary, inspiring leader, but Labour was still doing poorly in the polls because a lot of its MPs are complete muppets … then someone like Scott might very well have a good point to make about criticisms of Shearer being based on unrealistic expectations.
Here’s what I hoped – I won’t say “expected”, since he was such an unknown quantity at the time of his election to the parliamentary Labour leader position – of David Shearer.
Look and sound better on the telly than Phil Goff did
Difficulty rating: not found
Phil Goff was actually a damn fine speaker when he was on form, but on TV he just had an unfortunately grumpy-looking face. Then someone worked magic behind the scenes during the 2011 campaign and he figured out how to smile. Apparently this someone is no longer employed by the Labour parliamentary office.
Tell us what Labour is about
Difficulty rating: minimal
I understand that I’m a big scary ranty feminist with big scary feminist political goals (like SHOCK HORROR comprehensive sex education!) I do understand that mainstream party leaders cannot actually go on Campbell Live and say “First thing I’m going to do is make abortion legal, free and available in every town in New Zealand.”
What I feel it was entirely reasonable to expect, though? A big, sexy commitment to a guaranteed living wage. To a 40 hour working week. To expanding Kiwibank, or offering a public option for KiwiSaver, to crack down on Aussie banks who don’t pay tax and millionaires who hide their assets in trusts.
What we got was analogies about lazy roof-painters not pulling their weight.
Lead the Labour caucus
Difficulty rating: pretty low for a dude whose work experience includes literal warzones
Instead, a damn fine spokesperson and one of the most competent (one might almost say one of the only competent) frontbench MPs gets paddled over a non-coup … and Shane Jones shits all over the Green Party while Clare Curran antagonises the biggest online ally the party has.
Take the hammer to National when the opportunity presents itself
Difficulty: kinda your job
Remember how David Shearer completely caned John Key over the Christchurch school closures debacle? That was totally awesome! … Wait, the dude with the big ears who says “marvellous” all the time isn’t David Shearer? He’s a journalist, you say? Well damn.
And yes, I would’ve liked a giant, fluorescent shift to the left, some repudiation of previous shitty Labour policies, even the slightest glimmer of acknowledgement that the Waitakere Myth was a stupid basis for policy, but guess what, people, the fact I say “fuck” a fuck of a lot doesn’t actually mean I’m a totally unreasonable echo-chamber-constructing bitch.
What I really wanted David Shearer to do, was show he understood that in the first year of a big, public, direction-setting role like leading the parliamentary Labour Party, you need to make an impact. You need to put your mark on the situation. You need to show you have a reason to be there which isn’t “keep the member for Hutt South in bike pants” and a passion for the job. Please note: constantly using the phrase “I have a passion for this job” is just breaking the cardinal rule of show, don’t tell.
For any of the above to be the political equivalent of “walking on water” I must actually be situated on another planet, like Mars. Where the water is frozen damn solid for a lot of the time. What I’m saying is, it’s not hard. Unlike the water.
And the only “dead” that Shearer was meant to bring back to life was Labour’s poll ratings. Given the performance of the government in recent times, Labour clawing its way back to its crushing 2008 defeat levels of support is barely a flicker in Lazarus’ eye.
What’s super-ironic is that the most recent example of Shearer-pedestal-setting I’ve seen comes from … still-a-Shearer-fan Mike Smith, quoted by Colonial Viper at The Standard:
Labour’s new leader promised a fresh approach. He’s delivered already in his speech in reply today. Gone is the ritual opening denunciation of the government’s programme – Shearer begins with where a new Labour government would start.
He puts Labour firmly on the path to winning in 2014 – the intention is clearly stated and the programme for the clean, green and clever New Zealand is exactly the right one. He understands what New Zealanders expect of their MPs. It’s a very good start.
I never expected Shearer to be the messiah of the Labour Party. Other people told us he would be, but I am nothing if not a cynic.
I just wanted a leader.
Apparently this was far too much of me to ask.
(Here’s the hilarious thing: before I saw Scott’s post I’d already drafted tomorrow’s post, an apology to David Shearer. Because it is actually possible to seriously dislike a guy and have not a shred of faith he’ll lead Labour to victory and simultaneously not think he’s the Antichrist.)
There’s a little thing I’ve been noticing since posting more at The Standard. Mansplaining.
Good, the Evil Feminist Jargon should have scared away the wankers.
Here’s the Know Your Meme summary. Ah, the good old days of Livejournal.
In practice, it looks like this:
Woman blogger: “It really bugs me how passionfruit cheesecake usually has those gritty pips on the top.”
Male commenter: “You’re completely missing the point! Cheesecake doesn’t have to be passionfruit flavoured!”
Because given two options:
- the woman blogger likes passionfruit cheesecake except for the pips or
- the feeble lady-brain is too small to encompass thoughts like “there are other types of cheesecake”,
… option 2 is obviously the one a rational, helpful dude is going to come to.
Woman blogger: “I hate the way recreational drugs like marijuana are stigmatised by a society which embraces tobacco and alcohol.”
Male commenter: “You and Barry Bonds!”
Because given two options:
- engage with a thoughtful, step-by-step argument about recreational drug use
- try to derail the conversation with something completely irrelevant and assume the feeble lady-typist won’t notice while you also try to associate her argument with a Big Bad Icon,
… option 2 is clearly the choice of guys who want to engage sincerely with your post.
Woman blogger: “I really hated working in retail.”
Male commenter: “Well, sure, but there are lots of other types of job out there and you shouldn’t be hating on all forms of paid and unpaid work.”
Because given two options:
- the woman blogger is quite aware of the boundless variety of career paths in the world but was specifically commenting on a specific case which she specified
- the silly bint doesn’t know what she’s typing! She only thinks she’s mentioning a specific instance but everyone with ManVision (now in Technicolor) can see she’s talking about something completely different!
… option 2 is the one for men who respect your intellect and ability to determine what you want to talk about.
Woman blogger: “Tonight I think I’ll have scrambled eggs for dinner.”
Male commenter: “But you do realise don’t you that to get a souffle to properly rise you have to … [okay, QoT doesn’t actually know how souffles work but go with it anyway.]”
Because given two options:
- a woman blogger is talking about a specific, fairly simple concept because that’s the concept she wants to talk about
- you just don’t understand that there are more complex things related to that concept! I must educate you! For your own good! Fuck what you actually posted about, my topic is far more important!
… you’ve almost certainly figured out the pattern by now, haven’t you?
I’m happy to be proven wrong, but I simply do not see this behaviour as frequently when dude-identified authors post. Sure, you get the trolls, the pointless abuse (as opposed to pointed abuse, which I am of course largely in favour of), the derailing … but none of it seems to come from that same starting point of “Now see here, young lady …” and none of it could have the phrase “you silly bitch” added to the end without really changing the tone of the comment at all.
(Go on, try it.)
I know it’s one of the crosses I must bear as an avowed bloggerette. And fuck knows it’s never going to change until we get some real social dynamic shifting going on. But sometimes it does you good to vent. Even if that just inspires more of the same …
So, in an effort to make a post not calling for the head of David Shearer, I decided to take a look at the Labour Party’s conference webpages.
And oh boy are they a treat.
The good: pre-empt discussion with a hashtag like #Labour2012 so the discussion can be monitored/participated in widely.
The bad: try to lay down rules about how people get to use their own personal Twitter accounts.
No, I’m deadly (depressedly) serious:
We encourage you to participate in the discussion on social media, and share your thoughts, photos and experiences online.
Labour looks forward to robust conversations on social media, but respectfully draws attention to the Comment Participation Policy that guides our engagement online.
– Stick to the topic. This will help the online discussion to flow and be more interesting, allowing ideas to develop in a useful way.
– Be Respectful. Profanities, name calling, personal attacks on fellow supporters, politicians or public figures are prohibited.
– No junk mail. No advertising or promoting products or repeatedly posting the same point.
– Have fun! Share your photos, experiences and the exciting ideas that are being discussed.
My urge to jump on Twitter right now and just tweet “FUCK FUCKITY FUCK FUCK FUCK #Labour2012” is strong, friends.
Um, Labour? Your social media team … they do know how social media works, right? They’re not just jumping on some “Barack Obama totes used social media so that makes it cool!” bandwagon, please God?
Sure, you aren’t going to respond to random abuse (unless Cameron Slater asks Clare Curran to guest-post again). You aren’t going to retweet vicious personal attacks. You reserve the right to block trolls.
But you don’t actually get to fucking tell other people what they may or may not tweet on “your” hashtag. You don’t get to act like you have some kind of authority over other people’s participation in social media.
You do get to lay down the law on some sites, i.e. what people can and can’t say on your own Facebook page, but … that’s a bit different from “social media” as a whole.
Gods, what am I doing? I’m trying to educate people who refer to tweets as
and expect conference attendees to charge the venue’s WiFi to their credit cards for fuck’s sake.
Ever wanted to talk like the esteemed leader of New Zealand’s biggest leftwing party? Of course you haven’t. But I’m going to show you the secrets of his success anyway, because I think you’ll be surprised just how completely flaccid you can make yourself sound with just a few tiny tweaks to normal, innocent English.
This week I’ve been in [ insert location]. The people there are [hard-working/real] New Zealanders with a great sense of [fairness/justice/community/family]. But they’re [having a hard time/losing their jobs/worried] because of [insert recent National policy implementation].
This isn’t [good/just/fair/helpful]. This is [bad/stressful/unjust/unconstructive]. Labour will stand by the people of [insert location] and help them through the tough times ahead.
National was elected on a promise to [insert promise here]. Instead they’ve [insert policy here]. This isn’t [the way forward/the right thing for New Zealand/what they promised]. As the Leader of the Labour Party, I will do something to fix this [optional: and will shortly be announcing our policy in this area].
Labour knows that [jobs/children/the environment/the economy/the heartland/our communities] are important to New Zealanders. Under National, [insert previous] is [suffering/in decline/living below the breadline/spiralling out of control/neglected] while they [insert policy implementation]. As Leader of the Labour Party I’m committed to fixing this [optional: and will shortly be announcing our policy in this area].
Leader of the Labour Party
For more staggering examples of punchy, convincing prose in action, I refer you to The Standard’s reprints of Shearer’s weekly e-newsletter, sure to be driving the voters to the polls in Election ’99. Tune in tomorrow to learn about the John Key approach to revealing when you’ve been coached on what to say!
H/T for the inspiration: Rhinocrates
Not even mentioning the name, you all know who I’m talking about.
But I wanted to repeat a comment I made on The Standard:
My question, weka, is why are otherwise-intelligent people sincerely trying to argue that being charged with rape is Totally The Worst Thing Ever?
We all know that very few rapes get reported, even fewer get prosecuted, an infinitesimal number get convictions, and whenever the accused is a celebrity (reference: any rugby played accused of sexual assault EVER) there is in fact the complete oppositeof a negative societal response. Woman’s Weekly covers are practically guaranteed.
Yet we’re meant to believe that the Globalised US Hegemony can’t come up with better shit than rape accusations? At least in Blake’s 7 they had a sufficient understanding of human culture to make it child molestation.
Further thoughts: it’s like people who whinge about “freedom of speech” when what they mean is “freedom from being told your speech is offensive and wrong”. You sit there thinking, “Hello? The moderators let through multiple, maybe dozens, of your comments before declaring it was off-topic and derailing. If they really wanted an echo chamber they’d probably have cut you off from the word go.”
Similarly, here: the sheer volume of people, including celebrities and mainstream media, who are jumping up to support a person accused of rape … and they don’t see how the widespread support he’s getting is kind of illustrative that rape isn’t the death-knell of celebrity, isn’t a one-way ticket to Gitmo, isn’t actually doing much to harm An Hero’s reputation?
No, clearly it’s the Feminist Hive Mind at work, so powerful we have to, um, keep Rosemary McLeod churning out shitty columns in order to obfuscate our real plans for world domination through rape complaints.