|Martyn Bradbury: Cheerleading for the Labour Party.|
While The Daily Blog continues to claim to be 'progressive', its continued support for the Labour Party says otherwise. Can it really be considered to be part of the New Zealand left or is it all smoke and mirrors?
THE DAILY BLOG was launched in March 2013 when John Key's National-led government was in its ascendancy. The editor, Martyn Bradbury, commented that one of the primary objectives of the blog was to widen the political debate in the lead up to the 2014 election. To that end, it had invited a large number of people to blog for it. Of that original list, over half no longer contribute today.
While the publicly stated objective of The Daily Blog might of been to act as a vehicle for progressive views not found elsewhere, under the editorship of Bradbury it quickly wheeled in behind the Labour Party. In the lead up to the 2014 election it was campaigning for the election of David Cunliffe's centrist Labour Party and, along the way, championed the disastrous alliance between Kim Dotcom's Internet party and the Mana Party.
Any hopes that The Daily Blog was to be truly progressive with a wide range of left wing views was quickly dashed by Bradbury aligning the blog with Labour. While there are sporadic 'pockets of resistance' from a tiny handful of writers like John Minto and Jane Kelsey writing on free trade, they have been largely been overwhelmed by the sheer volume of pro-Labour posts being generated by Martyn Bradbury and regular writers like Chris Trotter and Frank Macskasy.
Macskasy, who describes himself as a "social democrat, with centre-left tendencies in some areas; centrist in others" seems to be still fighting the 2017 election. The vast majority of his posts since the formation of the Labour-New Zealand First coalition government have been attacks on the National Party. Other than boosting the present government, its unclear what this is intended to prove.
Although The Daily Blog continues to promote itself as 'progressive' there is noticeable lack of progressive writing on the blog. Someone like Dave Brown, finds himself being ghettoised as a "Marxist guest writer' while one of its more prolific contributors, Chris Trotter, gets away with caricaturing any individual or any group left of the Labour Party as a "minority ' and "unrepresentative" of wider public opinion.
It adds next to nothing to the development of left wing politics in New Zealand. Indeed the blog has often displayed a hostility toward left wing and socialist politics generally.
|The Daily Blog promoting David Cunliffe in 2014.|
But, despite all its claims to be an expression of popular progressive opinion, the readership of The Daily Blog is reportedly in decline. It has also been in apparent financial trouble. Visitors to the blog in recent months would of been met with an appeal for donations to help keep the The Daily Blog online over the summer.
In August 2017 the NZ Herald reported that credit requests made by Bradbury in 2016 to "help keep The Daily Blog going" had been rejected by the bank, triggering a "huge depressive episode".
Bradbury's attempt to crowd fund a television show to replace Waatea Fifth Estate died a quick death.
The continued misrepresentation of the Labour Party as 'progressive' or, at least, 'the lesser evil', means that The Daily Blog now finds itself, by default, part of the very political establishment it once claimed to be opposed to.
But that was when the National Party was in power. Now that Labour has, with the invaluable help of New Zealand First, booted National out of the parliamentary clubhouse for now, The Daily Blog - under the seemingly permanent editorship of Martyn Bradbury - is more than happy to be part of Jacinda's gang.