Tuesday, August 19, 2014

DPF on the last week, and on changes

David Farrar blogs:

Over the last week or so I have seriously considered walking away from . While some will take huge pleasure in what has happened, let me say that it is genuinely traumatic to have hacked e-mails to and from yourself (even if you were not the one hacked) floating around, and to also realise that because you are a blogger and pollster, it means you and your office is fair game. One of the worst moments was having a senior staff member of mine, who is also a very good friend, tell me that she had been worried that I might think she was the leak, as our politics are different. I hate the impact this is having on so many people.
Some of the revelations coming out, also do not show aspects of the blogosphere in a good light (to put it mildly) and I’ve thought quite a bit about how this impacts the wider blogosphere.
I don’t believe that the book shows me having acted in any way inappropriately. I have  gone out of my way to be open about my background and leanings and relationships, and I follow my own views when I blog – hence why I campaigned against the Government last year on the copper tax (despite being a Chorus shareholder!). I never have taken any form of money or kind for blog posts, and disclose even the mist minor gifts.
There is part of me that wants to walk away so I am no longer a target. Politics is far less important to me than family and friends. I’ve also considered whether to do what Cameron often calls me, and become a travel and arts blogger, and have less or almost no focus on politics. But the trouble is the blog for me is an outlet on what I think – what I like, what annoys me, what amuses me, what appals me. And I can’t imagine it can function as that, if I try and avoid politics. I do genuinely blog because I like having my say – that is my primary motivation.
Also I do like to think, without being immodest, that I do make good contributions to politics in NZ. I can data crunch, I have a 20+ year history of political knowledge which can put things in context, I have good relationships, and I generally get good feedback on my commentary in the mainstream media. I’m far far from irreplaceable, but there are not that many people who have the time, skills and employment situation that allows them to substantively blog.
So after some reflection, I have decided to carry on, but to make some changes. I want to improve trust in myself, Kiwiblog, and perhaps the wider blogosphere. So I’ve decided on the following.

You can read about the changes DPF is proposing to make to Kiwiblog here. He's obviously given this considerable thought before blogging his thoughts; the cyber-equivalent of putting pen to paper, we suppose.

We've been doing our share of thinking over the last few days as well. We've often said that actions have consequences, and we're reflecting on that at the moment. Where that takes us is yet to be decided.

It would be easy to walk away, and delete the blog and the seven years of effort that have gone into it. Whether or not that is the right thing to do however is one of the things we are reflecting on. It would be the path of least resistance, but that doesn't make it the right decision.

After the meeting we had yesterday, we have work coming out our ears. At times we have put blogging ahead of work, which isn't a good strategy. Our focus this week is going to be where it needs to be, and that may not be the blogosphere!

We'll still be blogging, but it's not going to be our first priority when we stagger out to the lounge in the morning, and our blogging will not be as frequent. And to be fair, we may even discover that there's more to life than trying to have an opinion about everything!

As we flew back from Christchurch late yesterday afternoon the views along the Kaikoura coastline and mountains and of the Marlborough Sounds were stunning. But they were also a reminder of how insular one can become. That's definitely food for thought...



Peter Carrell said...

Keep up the good work!

Keeping Stock said...

Thanks Peter, and thanks for organising such magnificent weather in Christchurch over the weekend.

Rich Prick said...

Well, I enjoy this blog. You posts are always considered, well written and enjoyable to read. I hope you keep it up.

nellie said...

KS, I feel if people like yourself and DPF (and probably to a greater extent WOBH) do pull back then it will be a sad day for media democracy in NZ.

It would essentially mean that the thought manipulators and social interventionists will have won completely the battle over balance and freedom of speech - especially in politics.

Keep at it KS (and DPF and CS), your efforts are appreciated big time!

bsprout said...

KS, I am hoping that one of the positive things that come out of Hager's book will be a lift in standards expected of bloggers. While I am sure there will always be rivalry between the left and the right I have appreciated your openness to my commenting on your blog and you even provided me with a guest spot when my candidacy was confirmed.

I would love to see bloggers from both sides of the political spectrum operating in a more ethical way and engaging in debating issues without dropping to the level of personal abuse.

I know that your anonymity has been exposed by Hager in his book and that you have at times supported Slater in publishing dirt on individuals, but you have also written many measured and compassionate posts. I respected the likes of Sir Keith Holyoake while the current leadership have allowed a very different culture to dominate that has led to a decline in political ethics.

I hope that you do keep your blog going and lead the change to recreating the National Party as the caring conservatives that they previously were.

Duncan Brown said...

Hi KS,
first up, it's your blog, your life/business/marriage, your decision, but I'd be sorry to see you go.
Here's my take on it:
I'm personally involved in blogging, the church, and the media, and I'm blowed if I'll let the actions of some others determine my interests, involvements or relationships. I don't agree with everything Cam Slater says or does, but the same goes for the church and the media, including at times, my own company.
What I love about the blogosphere is that it has become a community of people who have similar interests and is a forum where ideas and opinions can be discussed, and formed. Even today, too many social settings adhere to the old adage of refusing to discuss politics or religion, my two favourite subjects.
I really appreciate the thought that David Farrar has put into his decision and his proposed changes can only improve his blog.
I also realise that running a blog with regular current updates comes at a cost, so I wish you all the very best whatever decision you finally make. You have certainly made a difference thus far.

Ray said...

"I hope that you do keep your blog going and lead the change to recreating the National Party as the caring conservatives that they previously were."
What a smug and totally sanctimonious observation to make.
In fact, on re-reading the whole comment, your sickening dripping unctuousness perfectly typifies the attempts at moral superiority projected by every green utterance.

Rather than damnation with faint praise KS, let me just say, "I hope you keep going"

AndrewE said...

I've always thought you are one of the true gentlemen of the blogging community so keep it up. I'd be very disappointed if you stopped blogging entirely.

Keeping Stock said...

@ Dave - the only responsibility I have is for what I publish. Your implied suggestion that I can somehow influence what others choose to publish is akin to me suggesting that you can control what Martyn Bradbury, or the Greens' ubiquitous "Toad" contribute to the blogosphere.

And just out of interest, where do you stand, as a candidate for election to the New Zealand Parliament, on the hacking of personal computers, and the theft of information which is then used for political purposes? Do you think Cameron Slater has done the right thing by lodging a formal complaint with the Police. And how ethical is it of the NZ Herald to openly collaborate with someone who publicly boasts that they have hacked another person's computer, stolen private information, and are now leaking it?

I'd be very interested to see your answers.

Anonymous said...

I've only found your blog recently & I find it interesting & fairly balanced. (if anyone has a problem with the 'fairly balanced' comment, please provide a better example)
As to it's future, do whats best for you.

B Whitehead

Quintin Hogg said...

I2, Do what you have to do.
I have followed your blog since 2007 and appreciate the effort you put into it. Please keep it up.
I wasn't aware that Hager had exposed you in his "book" as I haven't read it. That is disappointing and really shows us who the man is more than anything he says.

nellie said...

Need any management help in AKL KS?

Paranormal said...

I hope you do keep going, there's very few voices of reason out there. Ultimately it is your life and your choice.

As a wise man never said: nihil illegitimi carborundum

Alex said...

Were you to condemn the strategy and the revelations (not allegations) particularly of Collins, Slater, Lusk and Ede and call for the PM to clean out the toxicity as you are so quick to do of the opposition, then I would believe you. Until then, you are part of the wider problem.
And for the record I've called out the opposition myself in the past. We can make our party better KS.

Anonymous said...

KBO mate, KBO.

bsprout said...

"Dave - the only responsibility I have is for what I publish"

I accept that, but despite Ray's criticism of me being sanctimonious and unctuous I do believe that bloggers can lead by example. You have some excellent rules for your blog and you would gain much more credibility if you applied them in a less obvious partisan way. Everyone knows the political perspective that you come from but at times the personal abuse that you have allowed in the comments have not been dissimilar to Whale Oil.

Using a sporting analogy I see many political bloggers as the equivalent of aggressive sledgers who use sledging rather than pure sporting skill to gain an advantage. I guess it also comes down to whether you are comfortable being the political equivalent of Glenn McGrath or one of these: https://in.news.yahoo.com/five-gentlemen-cricketers-recent-times-135631256.html

Keeping Stock said...

Fair suck of the sav Dave; you're not exactly shy about a bit of sledging yourself, normally couched in a few dozen links. But I'm flattered to be compared with one of the great fast bowlers!

Kent Brockman said...

Do what is best for your long term strategy

bsprout said...

"But I'm flattered to be compared with one of the great fast bowlers!"

I guess it depends if it's just the winning that is important or the manner in which is achieved ;-)


SteveRemmington said...

All very nice Sprout but you didn't answer KS question regards condemnation of the hackers and media.

Keeping Stock said...

Well spotted Steve; it seems that Dave is far more concerned with Glenn McGrath and his sledging.

Ray said...

"I do believe that bloggers can lead by example."
Why??? What the hell does this even mean?? Have the greens become the self appointed arbiters of blog standards?

"You have some excellent rules for your blog and you would gain much more credibility if you applied them in a less obvious partisan way."
Consider yourself marked by an ex schoolteacher KS. Not sure if this is a B or an F though.

"at times the personal abuse that you have allowed in the comments have not been dissimilar to Whale Oil."
No.... not even remotely close to the truth.

Your arrogance and penchant to lecture others knows no bounds Mr sprout.

Lofty said...

Well KS I for one would be sorry to see you stop.
Slowing down or redirecting your priorities I can understand, try that as a first step in your decision making.
I actually agree with Dave in some respects, particularly from an elimination of personal abuse aspect..

As an offender of leveling abuse, I feel I am qualified to take a view on this, and my standards have let myself down at times. I have encouraged myself to lift my game and be more accepting of others views, while not necessarily agreeing with them.

In general you run a very tidy and informational blog, and your viewpoints are allowed while we have a modicum of free speech.

Hang in here as you see fit KS, and make decisions for yourself and family. I hope you stay on doing this, as you do provide balance.

Lofty said...

If I may just add a bit to my post above KS. I have indulged myself in fits of fury on your blog,just because I can and this just lets myself down, more importantly, it is an imposition on you, and the rants reflect on your blog, and for that reason alone as a commenter I can and should lift my game.
You deserve better from me and my ilk :-)

gravedodger said...

Iv2 Your bit about the Kaikouras from the air has awakened a very clear memory recall from from my farming days before Sir Roger made his lifechanging moves, No1 daughter (numerical not rating) persuaded me to resume skiing that had been in pause mode for a few years.

On a glorious day, somewhat rare on Ruapehu, I climbed to the crater rim and just because it seemed a good idea at the time climbed to the highest point with the skipoles for an ice axe.

Things were not all that well farm wise, financially and personally but that climb, somewhat stupid riskwise, put my world back into perspective and the whole adventure was cathartic. I could see Kapiti Island and in the far distance, Mt Tapuaenuku in my beloved South Island that spiritually I had never left.

Kia kaha My friend you have carved out a unique place in the ether but what you do going forward is for you and you alone as regards Keeeping Stock.
My kindest regards and very best wishes, whatever the future.

Anonymous said...

Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one's definition of your life; define yourself.

Harvey Fierstein

B Whitehead

Kim said...

Completely off topic, but I just wanted to share with you why I stopped reading your otherwise excellent blog. It's completely a personal opinion, and others may disagree.
I find it really difficult to read your blog because of the constant use of "we" and "us". It's as if you and your partner take turns writing a word each, or you share a brain.
If someone can create a Google Chrome extension that converts "we" to "I", we will return ;)