Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: On joining the international troll circuit

177 Responses

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  • Andrew Geddis,

    "And yet, what the Powerstation owners did was potentially a breach of the Bill of Rights Act."

    Human Rights Act. NZ BoRA only applies to public actors.

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2007 • 200 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Elliot Ikilei, who was presented as a supporter of the Canadians' message

    An interesting choice by the director and producer, given his lack of fit with nearly every other local acolyte.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19538 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Andrew Geddis,

    Human Rights Act. NZ BoRA only applies to public actors.

    Damn, you read it before I corrected it on Eddie Clark's advice :-)

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22584 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Meanwhile, some third-degree burns in Dan Satherly's story for Newshub about the sad grifting video Molyneux posted this morning:

    He said the funding is necessary for him to keep speaking out against the "encroaching mob and horde of mindless violence the left seems to want to unleash on the failing remnants of civilisation".

    Without more money, Mr Molyneux fears "self-contempt, self-hatred and possibly incarceration or death itself", because "that's what happens when the left gains power".

    He then took a shot at Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who at the weekend said Kiwis were "hostile" to Mr Molyneux's views.

    "The Prime Minister was the head of a youth socialist organisation not a decade ago, so that's what you get."

    Ms Ardern was indeed elected president of the International Union of Socialist Youth in 2008, but since becoming Prime Minister in 2017 is yet to sentence anyone to "incarceration or death" based on their political views.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22584 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    Attachment

    Now is a great time to rerun XKCD's polemic on freedom of speech - of course it's based on US rather than NZ law, but it's a great summation of how I feel about the subject

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2586 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    I do rather feel that they’re basically internet trolls, largely trolling for the money – they showed up charging a large amount of money for something the could have done on any street corner for free, and without the venue issues.

    and I think that the fact that they didn’t go out and do exactly that when they couldn’t find a venue that would host them kind of proves it.

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2586 posts Report Reply

  • simon g,

    I went down to Aotea Square for the anti-racist event on Friday. I am a tame non-protestor, generally preferring to shout at the telly than stand up and march. A drop of rain would usually be enough to extinguish my fire.

    But this was worth supporting, particularly as it had morphed into a celebration (by the time I left home the racist rally was confirmed as cancelled). I didn't do anything more than mill around for a while, on the fringes of the crowd, but it was time enough to observe the event as it was - not as portrayed in soundbites and clickbait columns.

    The overriding impression was of peacefulness, indeed a complete absence of fear. The police stood around, looking bored but approachable. There were no shields, batons, tear gas. The "rentamob", or whatever term of abuse the angry want to use, was thoroughly non-threatening, and the cops didn't need to tell anybody to behave, not even to blow on the pie.

    There were speeches and waiata, humour and heart, as everyone exercised their free speech in a public place (no, it's not hard to do, Don). But what really struck me was how everybody else in and around Aotea Square was just going about their business, on a pleasant, spring-like evening. Meeting friends, having coffee, cheerfully oblivious to the Extremist Threat To Society that was gathering in front of them. There were AUT students celebrating graduation, taking family snaps under the archway. There were the Hare Krishna devotees, entertaining, loud and harmless. I saw two Muslim women in conservative attire, each with small children, bothering nobody and being bothered by no-one. Passers-by saw rainbow flags and signs in Te Reo, lefty placards and assorted piercings, and nobody fled to the other side of the street. Sharia law or Stalinism were clearly on hold.

    This is why Southern and Molyneux, and their apologists or advocates, have got it so wrong. The absence of fear is what they fear. The Canadian visitors showed no grasp whatsoever of today's Aotearoa-New Zealand. In fact, they showed contempt for it (Southern's parting shot was to say that her NZ homework was now "useless"). Yes, we have plenty of problems, including home-grown bigots. But I think we can keep muddling our way towards a better future without inventing a false present.

    It was a good weekend.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1255 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to simon g,

    The absence of fear is what they fear.

    Boom. Exactly.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22584 posts Report Reply

  • Jason Kemp,

    My concern is that even noticing them gives them a bigger platform than they should have. Difficult to articulate but I don't read certain columns in the Herald for exactly the same reason.

    Ignore them and hope the numbers drop off but reactionary clickbait seems to be an end in itself?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 358 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    yeah but I bet pre-nazi german people hoped they would just go away too - I think we do need to continue to speak up

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2586 posts Report Reply

  • Jason Kemp, in reply to Paul Campbell,

    Thanks Paul - I got that. Just wondering how best to do it without validating them in some way.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 358 posts Report Reply

  • Neil, in reply to Jason Kemp,

    Ignore them and hope the numbers drop off but reactionary clickbait seems to be an end in itself?

    They deliberately play into that dynamic and social media is the perfect communication technology for them to do that.

    And in the background there are people like Putin funding these sorts of activities.

    Since Nov 2016 • 212 posts Report Reply

  • Cassandra,

    I was surprised by how shabby and basic their schtik was and how poorly prepared for NZ Context the ugly little circus act was. Also disappointed that such easily refuted nonsense was enough to seemingly discombobulate Paddy Gower - maybe there wasn’t enough time to really get stuck in.
    Very appreciative of learned and well expressed commentary from various sources that has given me material to draw on in a couple of awkward discussions socially.
    I hope the joining-together of political and social movements i.e party in Aotea Square will gain strength so that NZ is ready for when Nigel Farage turns up. The tide has begun to lap on our shores let’s not underestimate it’s reach.

    Since May 2011 • 9 posts Report Reply

  • Jeff Howell,

    I know we're all talking about the how the media provided a platform for the neo-fash Canadians, but how about the fact they will have lost a big wodge of money on their NZ visit (assuming they honour their promise to refund tickets....).
    That could well have the effect of discouraging other far right provocateurs from giving it a go here.

    Fairfield, Hamilton • Since Aug 2018 • 1 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Cassandra,

    I was surprised by how shabby and basic their schtik was and how poorly prepared for NZ Context the ugly little circus act was. Also disappointed that such easily refuted nonsense was enough to seemingly discombobulate Paddy Gower – maybe there wasn’t enough time to really get stuck in.

    Same and same. Gower didn't do well. The way to handle an interview with people like that is to quote exactly what they said to them and invite them to explain what they meant. Otherwise they'll just throw the question back, deny, divert, etc.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22584 posts Report Reply

  • martinb, in reply to simon g,

    Any chance of this being worked up into a shareable post? This is one of the best commentaries on the whole mess- not giving focus to loud mouths, but to the society that really finds them unnecessary.

    Auckland • Since Jul 2010 • 201 posts Report Reply

  • martinb,

    And exactly, if this bs were about free speech use the parks, the squares and the street corners.

    Free speech doesn't mean the right to soil a venue's brand- surely the right to treat comes in here? There is no requirement to offer a venue to anyone? Though, yes, well aware of this being a slippery slope and this being turned back on legitimate politics, rather than rah-rah self publicists.

    Auckland • Since Jul 2010 • 201 posts Report Reply

  • Daniel Wilton,

    It is always interesting seeing what happened to people you went to school with, I remember Elliot Ikilei discovering Farrakhan.

    I am not sure he thoroughly understands the beliefs of those who he is championing, those who wish to actively disenfranchise people with similar backgrounds to himself.

    It will be interesting to see which conservative leader's path he chooses to follow.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2009 • 53 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Kendall,

    After we’ve self-righteously enjoyed telling off these frightful Kanucks, can we now discuss returning all the stolen land back to its rightful Maori owners?

    Auckland • Since Jul 2013 • 2 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Daniel Wilton,

    It is always interesting seeing what happened to people you went to school with, I remember Elliot Ikilei discovering Farrakhan.

    Wow!

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22584 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Meanwhile, another good Dan Satherly story – interviewing Professor James Flynn, who is often (mis)quoted by Molyneux and his fans, but who says Molyneux can fuck off, basically.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22584 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Ross Kendall,

    Attachment

    After we’ve self-righteously enjoyed telling off these frightful Kanucks, can we now discuss returning all the stolen land back to its rightful Maori owners?

    From the current Stuff homepage. Yesterday's trolls don't appear to have rated a headline.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4585 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    This story, like the Democrat Dolchstoßlegende (sorry, Russia probe) or accusations (mainly from the opinion pages of the hysterical Blairite borefest the Guardian has turned into since Corbynism and Brexit) that Jeremy Corbyn is an anti-semite, got most of it’s legs from a media whose commentators still by and large believe the teleological end point of our politics is bourgeois neoliberalism.

    Screeds and screeds and screeds have been written on all three of these topics by a MSM that has utterly failed to notice that in our example no one in NZ (outside perennial fringe dwellers like Slater) really gives a brass razoo about Southern’s and Molyneux “freedom of speech”.

    People know a pair of trouble making shit stirrers when they see them, and the population has not been much exercised by the shenanigins that have gone on.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2198 posts Report Reply

  • Kevin McCready, in reply to Cassandra,

    I agree that Paddy Gower was discombobulated. This doesn't surprise me because he describes himself as an entertainer who doesn't have enough time to find the truth like a real journalist. http://pantograph-punch.com/asking-the-right-questions-patrick-gower/

    Auckland • Since Jun 2013 • 115 posts Report Reply

  • John Farrell,

    Kim Hill would have been the right interviewer.

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 468 posts Report Reply

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