And Now For A Shocking Twist…! Jones Has Left The Building

Progressive Enterprises will be heaving a collective sigh of relief knowing that the most prolific bully in the anti-Countdown campaign will no longer be around to harangue them and their practices, nor will he be making any more outrageous allegations.

In a shock announcement today it has been revealed that Labour MP Shane Jones has abruptly decided to quit both his party affiliations and politics, opting to focus on ‘other things’. He is expected to leave by the end of this month.

It is a dramatic change from his previous angle, with his all-out assault against Countdown (“Those Australian Supermarkets!”) which has continued since mid-February.
The last example which I wrote about in my previous post was publicised in the media just last week, when he claimed he had received a letter highlighting the relationship between the  Lotteries Commission and Progressives, simultaneously accusing Countdown of bullying the lotto giant and inferring that Countdown and Lotto had been working together in some dastardly plot, trying to suck New Zealanders into gambling without abandon and making claims that both companies were receiving substantial payments and funding for working together.

Jones and Cunliffe are tight-lipped around the reasons for his departure and the surprise resignation seems to have come as a shock to the party as a whole. However Jones claims there have been discussions going on ‘behind the scenes’ and he had not sprung the announcement on the party.

Last year, Jones made a leadership bid but lost out to Cunliffe.
Could there be an underlying resentment and case of sour grapes lingering?
It might explain why he went rouge against Progressive Enterprises – but it doesn’t explain why no one stopped him.

It has also been revealed today that Sir Wira Gardiner, husband of National party MP Hekia Parata, donated $1000 last year to Jones’ leadership bid.
Legislation requires MPs to declare donations which total more than $500.

Recently Labour leader David Cunliffe came under fire when it was revealed he had set up a private trust account to collect donations for his campaign last year. He was forced to admit that it had been wrong and he should have been more transparent. In total he received 5 donations over the threshold. Three of those donors agreed to be named, but two declined and so their donations (totaled at $8300) were to be returned to them.

Could these donations from the husband of a National MP be part of the motivation for Jones’ shock exit?

Or could it be because he has been head-hunted for an ambassador level role as confirmed by foreign Minister Murray McCully?
Jones claims he has not yet been formally offered the role and that he is also considering ‘other offers’.

It does make you wonder if he’s been planning to cut and run for some time.
If so, he’ll certainly exit having made a name for himself.

Watch this space – What will be revealed next?

Jones’ surprise exit as reported by Stuff.co.nz

Similar reporting from NZ Herald

It’s Official… The “Menancing” letter, That Is….

Following the public interest in the so called ‘menacing’ letter from Progressive Enterprises to the Commerce Commission, Parliament today released a copy of the *ahem* offending correspondence.

Lo and behold, it is nothing more than a request for information in a standard format written by their legal team, Russel McVeagh.
Cosgrove’s
lacklustre excuse for his Jones-esque use of terminology in his description of the letter was that “Progressive could have easily obtained the information without making the request through its lawyers.”

Who does Cosgrove think it would be suitable to receive the letter from? A customer, perhaps?

It seems perfectly acceptable to me that a formal request such as the one Progressive made would be sent by their legal team, considering the formality which would be required in such a situation.

As suspected, Cosgrove has made a great deal of unnecessary fuss over what appears to be an entirely unsubstantiated allegation over a simple and perfectly reasonable request which took care to go through formal protocols.

Why Pro – Boycotters Agressively Attack Countdown Employees and Their Supporters: The Psychology of Online Behaviour

Reading through some recent comments from pro-boycotters over the last couple of days I have been thinking quite a bit about the increasing trend of the “Online Disinhibition Effect.”

As I have mentioned previously people who support Countdown and its employees – and especially employees themselves – have been the repeated targets of attack from pro-boycotters.

You remember Jerrard from my previous post? Apparently he is now taking his ‘anti Kiwi’ theory to the next step – he claims he is collecting all of our “many anti Kiwi” statements and that he plans to publish them/send them to someone (Julian Assange perhaps, or the NZSIS? Maybe he plans to get all us traitors kicked over to Australia?).
While he works on that task, he continues to attack perceived errors in people’s use of the English language and contemptuously dismisses any argument as ‘ridiculous’. Perhaps it helps him focus and put his expose together? Who knows.
*UPDATE* He has since changed his name to The Scarlet Pimpernel. This is the name you’ll see when following any links referring to him. Unsure what motivated this change, but perhaps he wants to go incognito while he gathers his damning evidence?

Another particularly vicious contributor is a woman who going by her profile picture appears to be at least in her 50’s if not older. The disturbing thing about this woman’s personal attacks on people (and they are very personal, and very nasty) is that it is the type of behaviour you would expect from a teenage girl. Vindictive, cruel, deliberately looking for a fight. Rude, nasty and with no respect at all for anyone.
Certainly not the type of behaviour you would expect from a woman of her age. Or any adult in her age group, for that matter. Yet, there seem to be a few older folks on Boycott who display similar attitudes – although they can’t hold a candle to this particular woman. She’s right out of Mean Girls (The Reunion?).

Even the admin jumped on the “anti Kiwi” bandwagon.
Rabidly pro wp edit

If you’d like some examples of the above descriptions the thread makes interesting reading.

In regard to these personal attacks – even Foodstuffs employees aren’t safe.
One poster made the point that Foodstuffs has their own bad habits as does any large retail business. He was immediately set upon by a group of people and called disloyal, a traitor and told to leave. The admin accused him of ‘sending hate emails’.
Countdown workers who have posted in defense of themselves and their employer have continually suffered the same attacks.

So what about this Online Disinhibition Effect?

Linked is a study I found when looking for more information. It explains the reasoning behind the  attitudes and behaviours manifesting themselves regularly on the Boycott Countdown page.
Toxic Disinhibition, Disassociative Anonymity and Invisibility are particularly relevant to the situation we now find ourselves in.

It is fascinating, yet highly disturbing.
Sadly, this is what society is coming to as technological advances and the popularity of social media continue to expand.

No one and nothing is safe.
Who will the mob turn on once they’re finished tearing Countdown and its employees to shreds?