Dunedin South MP Clare Curran admitted she was the senior
MP attacked online at the weekend and yesterday for complaining
to Labour Party hierarchy about comments made by commentators
The Otago Daily Times contacted Ms.Curran after noting
the increasing number of mentions the Labour Party MP and IT
spokeswoman was receiving on Twitter.
Among the allegations was that Labour Party MPs identified
anonymous bloggers by their IP addresses on the party's Red
Ms.Curran said the people she complained about were party
members, some of whom were using pseudonyms and had
contributed to other party members being attacked and the
Labour Party being undermined.
''There are questions about the conduct of anonymous bloggers
who belong to the party but may be bringing it into
disrepute, and it's an issue the party needs to grapple with
in the digital age."
While not saying who her complaints were against, several
left-wing bloggers named the person as ''Colonial Viper'',
from Dunedin, a member of the party.
Blogger Eddie wrote on The Standard: ''To be clear, a
senior MP is attempting to change the membership rules of the
party to punish a member for writing some things that the MP
doesn't agree with in the comments section of blogs, which
everyone knows Labour MPs don't read anyway. Talk about
breaking a butterfly upon a wheel. Talk about abusing your
institutional power in an attempt to insulate yourself from
criticism, no matter the cost to the party itself."
''Apparently, the letter also included reference to bringing
The Standard 'back into line'.
"Which is funny, because I remember those conversations when
we set up this site - and none of us talked about toeing any
party's line. We talked about countering the Right's
dominance of the blogosphere, providing a Left voice on
Ms.Curran said she had sought discussion at the party council
level about what was an ''acceptable'' standard of behaviour,
particularly when a member was expressing views anonymously,
in a way in which was intended to damage other party members
and the party overall. She also made suggestions about how
the party could deal with the issue professionally.
''Not at any point have I sought disciplinary action against
In her correspondence, she said she had not used individual
names, instead using an online pseudonym as an example of how
the behaviours were being manifested.
''That person had previously identified themselves as using
that pseudonym to me in an email conversation, and in
subsequent face-to-face conversations."