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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Why I'm stepping down from Tumeke - what I have in common with the Pope today

Dear blogging whanau.

I never thought I'd ever have much in common with the Pope, but today is also the day that I am announcing that this will be my final month at Tumeke.

I think this may also be the first time in 600 years that a blogger steps down?

I began blogging as a guest blogger in 2005, took over as editor while Tim was the last NZer ever serving time for sedition and became a regular blogger when he returned as editor.

It's been a blast. Blogging is a full contact sport, no holds are barred and the bloodied noses and bruised egos are all part of the game. For those bloggers I've clashed against while on Tumeke, I at least salute you for being in the debate when so many of our fellow citizens seem asleep. I may never have agreed with what you had to say, but at least you had the courage of your convictions to say it.

Of course, it hasn't been all plain sailing. There were times when the fights got very nasty and it seemed at one stage that the word Tumeke was Maori for 'the blog Bryce Edwards refuses to reference'. The low point was the supposedly liberal Imperator Fish publishing my contact details online. Sewer tactics aside, it's been a fun and thrilling 8 years of activism and devil's advocacy.

I want to pay homage to Tim Selwyn who I consider one of the most interesting bloggers in the NZ blogosphere. His turns of phrase can make me bellow with mirth into my morning coffee. His foresight that blogs would increasingly be influencers in the news debate were well founded and Tumeke remains one of the grand old dames of the NZ blogosphere with our highest level ever of page views hitting over 100 000 in a month. I wish Tim all the best for the future.

Tumeke has also had Phoebe Fletcher and Ben Thomas (the current right hand of Minister Chris Finlayson) and even Ross Meurant as casual bloggers here as well. They are all marvelous.

All good things come to an end, and this is my end at Tumeke.

I've decided to step down at the end of the month because of an incident that occurred last year.

It was the Labour Party Conference. Watching the mainstream media manufacture a leadership coup because they were personally surprised by the shock of members and unions wanting to make the Party more democratic astounded me.

It made me realize how small and narrow the focus of the mainstream media really was. The manufactured crisis at the Hobbit, the Titewhai fetish at Waitangi, and the ease with which media are turned into a vehicle for Government spin rather than critics of Government spin are all to me, examples of what happens when we have so few avenues for a counter perspective.

As Seven Sharp becomes the new dumbed down bench mark for critical public debate, I'm determined to put together a counter weight to that narrative and start to not only challenge it, but to begin amplifying the arguments needed for us to find the solutions to 270 000 kids in poverty, a real unemployment rate in double figures and the highest rate of inequality we've ever had.

We need an economic debate, a social debate and a cultural debate that has no fear of slaughtering New Zealand's right wing sacred cows. Sadly we have a news media and hard right blogosphere that only seems to want to feed, water and maintain those sacred cows.

On March 1st I'm launching something new, consider it my media blow for a more egalitarian New Zealand. That announcement will be made next week on Tumeke.

Until then I'll see out my month here, albeit a wee bit less frequently due to organising everything for March, but it is time for me to take the next step and that next step begins in 17 days.

Kia ora and thanks for reading. I never expected you to agree with everything I said, but it was a humbling privilege that you took time out to read it.

I'm very excited with what I am about to launch. Beware the ideas of March.

Follow me on TWITTER or FACEBOOK for all the latest details.


At 12/2/13 9:07 am, Blogger Unknown said...

Kia kaha Bomber. I have always enjoyed your posts. Trust that you are moving onto bigger and brighter things and that you will fulfill the role of making sure that our national debates are fact based rather than spin based.

Kia kaha.

At 12/2/13 9:08 am, Blogger Unknown said...

I wish you would publish PANICs concerns about CYFS


At 12/2/13 9:18 am, Blogger Unknown said...

You'll be missed. You've inspired many people, myself included, to stand up and be counted for what we believe to be right - not least of all challenging the msm and their often very dodgy doings. Good luck in whatever your next venture is.

At 12/2/13 9:33 am, Blogger Zoe Black said...

Hi there,

I really enjoy reading your point of view even if I don't agree. This is because you have an opinion almost never voiced in the mainstream.

I will be sure to follow your next works.

Hopefully the page loads faster than this site.

At 12/2/13 9:41 am, Blogger Penny-Rose said...

Always enjoyed reading your posts. Very intrigued about what you will be doing and hope to be following you soon.

At 12/2/13 10:11 am, Blogger Canichett said...

My family have always loved your posts on Tumeke, Bomber! The First thing we do when we switch on the Imac in the morning is to read what you have to say! Hope the new venture is a great success! Can't wait to read what it is! Cheers, and thanks for all your great work!

At 12/2/13 10:12 am, Blogger evelyna said...

Love your work! Don't let the man push you down! I'm studying journalism this year and I'm quite excited to see how it all works but I will more than likely not be going down the msm path. Is the new TV channel only on Sky?

At 12/2/13 11:18 am, Blogger Nitrium said...

Sad to see you go, but looking forward to whatever new project you begin. Good luck!

At 12/2/13 11:22 am, Blogger Recess Monkey said...

"We need an economic debate, a social debate and a cultural debate that has no fear of slaughtering New Zealand's right wing sacred cows. Sadly we have a news media and hard right blogosphere that only seems to want to feed, water and maintain those sacred cows."

I don't always agree with what you write, most often because, while you are slaughtering New Zealand's right wing sacred cows, you take a few swipes at those in the centre left. Lets have that fight when we have won the ideological battle.

However, If you stick to that mantra then I look forward to your new venture - please don't disappoint us with vitriol and mud slinging.

At 12/2/13 11:53 am, Blogger Fantail said...

Like what you've done, bomber. Your reasons for stepping down from blogging are part of why I barely started... Can't wait to see what you've got planned.

At 12/2/13 12:27 pm, Blogger Unknown said...

Well done Bomber even little old me has to agree with your comments regarding this countries media.
All the best look forward to March.

At 12/2/13 1:09 pm, Blogger LynW said...

Will miss you on Tumeke but look forward to following your new venture. Keep up the wonderful work you do voicing a viewpoint that needs to be heard. Wishing you every success.

At 12/2/13 3:09 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I disagree occasionally but you make a great contribution to this country. Best of luck for your new project - I'm very interested for more details!

At 12/2/13 3:09 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I disagree occasionally but you make a great contribution to this country. Best of luck for your new project - I'm very interested for more details!

At 12/2/13 5:01 pm, Blogger blueleopardthinks said...

Thank you for your work, Bomber, you have done a great service here.
I look forward to what comes out of the Ideas of March.
Keep up the great work.
Best wishes for your new project.

At 12/2/13 5:09 pm, Blogger frances jane said...

You're a poet & a gentleman & I wish you cool-God speed.
Thank you for being funny, informative and well, always always interesting.

At 12/2/13 5:54 pm, Blogger Unknown said...

See you are loved !!!!

Wheres the piss up.

At 12/2/13 8:11 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow! What a day! The pope resigns, Bomber quits Tumeke, a bigoted MP goes berserk, and a suspected North Korean nuclear test.

I rarely ever disagreed with the insights you posted, along with Tim you’ve both done a great job providing a perspective unlikely to be found in the mainstream media. I hope Tim can keep up the good work I’d hate to see Tumeke fade into obscurity. Along with the commentators, Tumeke is a great place for the company of like minds.

2012 Was a particularly atrocious year in this country’s history and I fully understand your concerns. Worthwhile media was practically obliterated, and the overtly fascist face of this government exposed with despicable policies such as birth control for beneficiaries, etc.

I think you deserve a special commendation for your objection to working prisons. Throughout the media and blogosphere I was shocked to find ridiculous approval of or absence of concern. Policies like this openly show how extreme this government is.

It’s great to have someone with a conscience prepared to make a difference, your future venture sounds like something big. I hope it changes the tide.

You’ve got my full support! Best wishes and good luck!

At 12/2/13 8:54 pm, Blogger Paul said...

Good luck Bomber...will be watching with interest!!!

At 12/2/13 8:59 pm, Blogger ani nil carborundum said...

It's like the end of a great movie ... Shane wait for me!

At 12/2/13 11:11 pm, Blogger Joey Station said...

Thank you Bomber for being the people's champion, good luck and all the best for your new vehicle

At 13/2/13 3:28 am, Blogger Mike said...

Good on ya Bomber. I wish you much success in your new venture and I hope that whatever form it takes, that it will be a catalyst for the changes so desperately needed in this country.

It's great and lucky that many of the uninformed populace have people like yourself, putting themselves out there to do what they can to improve things for everyone. It is also brilliant to have someone tell it how it is, as you do. That is always the best way, regardless of how people may take it.

Further, I have had several years experience working in various roles on different TV productions and would love to get involved and help in whatever way I can. Let us all know if you are looking for people to fill any roles whether it is in Television or other areas.


At 14/2/13 5:40 pm, Blogger Phil said...

Shocked and saddened. I really appreciated the analysis and commentary you provided. Thanks for your courage and conviction. Best wishes for your, and our countries, future.

At 14/2/13 8:30 pm, Blogger snigie said...

Your a legend, I have had this site unchanged on my favorites for years ever since I heard my favorite radio host was on here and can sy you have truly expanded my ideas on the world.

Thank you


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