Dec 15, 2011

Darien Fenton and online discipline (updated)

This is a comment from Labour’s Darien Fenton on a post from Nov 28:

Morgan : what a load of cobblers. I found this on Annette Sykes website, and I was appalled. You've picked up the anti union/working class MSM line: I'm a working class woman, with ancestry you know nothing about, who has worked supporting low paid workers for many years and who has continued to do so in parliament. I'm no "high flyer" but do the hard yards and your comments are elitist and ignorant. You also need to understand MMP a little better. I was first elected as No. 43 on Labour's list and then 33 the following term. Stu was 28 and Kelvin 23 in 2011 - both great positions that recognised their potential and ability; but 27% of people gave us their party vote and we won four seats we didn't have at the last election. I'm annoyed at the shallowness of your analysis. I thought you might be better than this.

Darien is Labour’s new junior whip (JW). Whips are responsible for caucus discipline. However, as evidenced in the above, she has not exercised discipline herself. It is a cardinal sin for an MP to engage a blogger. The MP adds legitimacy to the blogger and the bloggers’ claim. You cannot win a fight with a blogger. You can win the battle, in other words you can win the argument, but you lose the war. Trevor Mallard smashed Whaleoil in their cycle race, but Whale still won the war. Trevor was pulled down to Whale’s level and smashed in the mud fight.

Darien, as JW, is unwise to go around engaging bloggers. She risks turning what was an irrelevant claim from a small time blogger, read myself, in to something serious. Imagine if this comment was left on Kiwiblog, or any other right blog for that matter. Darien would be crucified.

Darien (as JW) should impose online discipline on Labour MPs. No commenting on blogs would be a good start. Also, don’t acknowledge bloggers.

Now, I accept Darien’s right to take me to task. She has an even greater right given my unkind comments towards her. And hey, maybe I am elitist and ignorant. But isn't it just monumentally stupid though, to engage me?

(This post is written on the assumption it actually was Darien Fenton who commented, not some online loser. I'm sure I'll be corrected if this wasn't Darien). It was.

UPDATE: I may be elitist and ignorant, but cannot see for the life of me where I have picked up the "anti union/working class MSM line". Having said all of this, I accept my comment about Darien's ability was ungracious and uncalled for and I apologise.


  1. I suspect it will be on Kiwi blog when DPF notices it.

  2. As a politician i'd go the opposite and engage fully with bloggers, with a disaclaimer that any opinions expressed are purely those of the author and in no way represent those of the party.

    It'd make for great press and endear yourself to the public at large as something more than a porker with a snout buried in the trough too busy swilling around parliament to come up for air and get down and dirty with the great unwashed.

    though you'd need to offer something more than the limited perspectives of Ms Fenton.

  3. Hmmm... you got her on the run Morgan and the term has only started... I see another bike race coming up... BLOGGERS REVENGE... 2much... and your now legit

  4. Just because you think you should be able to say whatever you like about politicians without them having a chance to respond doesn't make it a "cardinal sin" when one of them politely responds to a very personal attack you made on one of them.

    Some MPs engage with bloggers, some don't. Some do it well, some don't. That is all.

    Finally, if you really think you get to make nasty personal attacks on people while they have no chance to defend themselves - what kind of person does that make you?

  5. Thank you Morgan. I accept your comments about caucus discipline. The on line community is full of traps for MP players, and I've made some mistakes. However, I am interested in engagement. Perhaps we could talk sometime?

  6. Hi Anita

    MPs have the right to respond, of course they do. However, a response is not always the smartest thing to do. Why give the issue oxygen?

    Hi Darien,

    Thanks for your comment. I will email sometime. Cheers.

  7. Bloggers are not allowed to be challenged?

    What sort of bully are you? Mongrel Mob or Black Power?

    As a brown skinned brat growing up in a white city I learnt very early how to deal to bullys.

    Back then they were white.

    You are confused (to be polite).



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