Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Everybody's Machiavelli

408 Responses

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  • Rich of Observationz,

    What's this centre-right? These people are right-wing.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    What's this centre-right? These people are right-wing.

    Indeed, I'm not so sure about the 'centre' bit. As I've mentioned upstream, they're taking a leaf out of the birthers' playbook by playing the Blackwhite card. And it seems Bevan Chuang genuinely didn't realise how big this would blow up.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5420 posts Report Reply

  • izogi,

    He can’t play the family-man card any more. And there is the matter of the allegedly threatening texts received by Chuang as the story neared release.

    Has anyone come close to tracking down their source? I've lost track of everything going on, so apologies if I've missed it.

    I'm sure it could have been from someone from Len Brown's side, but the more I hear about this the more believable it seems that it could have just been another dirty trick to convince her to speak out.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1139 posts Report Reply

  • Alex Coleman,

    which, whatever good oil you heard from Duncan Garner, never seemed all that likely

    Oil straight from the whale, wasn't it?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 247 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Aston,

    Grubby grubby politics . Len's actions are just kinda sad really but the actions of the Slater/Palino group were a deliberate and arrogant attempt to short circuit local govt democracy – what fragments remain of it – just to grab power.
    Thanks Russell for filling in more of the back story on the real story here.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 509 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe,

    I haven’t really looked outside Christchurch for a long time, so this is a fascinating murky tale for me. It sniffs deeply of US-style tactics: Brown won, so never give in, dump the bucket and keep up the front-page pressure until he resigns?
    Brown doesn’t look bad just silly: another middle-aged man who should have bought a red MG.

    Palino, OTOH, screams snake from his pictures. Teeth are too white, skin too buffed, you know what I mean. How could anyone trust him to run a city in everyone’s best interests. Can’t see any centre there: that’s the right’s schtick these days. Everyone from Cameron in the UK to Abbott in Australia and Key in NZ claim they are centre-right while aggressively pursuing far right policies, thus marginalising the centre and the left into threatening radicals. A Crosby Textor hymn-book anyone?

    Auckland would indeed be a prize to capture while the strategic decisions are being made.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2896 posts Report Reply

  • bob daktari,

    and people (media et al) have the gail to wonder why the public is generally disengaged from local body politics....

    we deserve so much better and I reckon things political will only get worse

    auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 538 posts Report Reply

  • Andre Alessi,

    I've been trying to formulate a response with more value that just saying, "I don't want to hear about the private lives of our elected representatives", but really, that's all I can come up with right now. No one (other than the obvious) seems to have gained anything from this clusterbark.

    Devonport, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 864 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    The political centre-right in Auckland does seem to throw up these ambitious, self-mythologising types

    It is a function of nature of the Auckland ruling class. Those born into it think it a jape to behave with a lethal buffonery that references the stupidest of the British aristocracy as role models, those that aspire to join it behave in the manner of all wannabe parvenus hoping to be accepted.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2213 posts Report Reply

  • Don Christie,

    David "Dredd" Harvey. He gets all the good cases.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1645 posts Report Reply

  • Mike O'Connell, in reply to Hebe,

    I heard Bill Hodge from Auckland University outline yesterday in an interview with Sean Plunket on Radio Live saying that should Len Brown resign before being sworn in, then Palino would become mayor. I imagine it wouldn't be in Auckland's best interests for that to happen given what has been unleashed from the right. I imagine if it comes to a point that Len Brown leaves office, then it would be after the swearing in - which would then allow Penny Hulse to become mayor.

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 379 posts Report Reply

  • Dylan Reeve,

    Given what we hear about the way this has unfolded, I don't find it at all hard to beleive that the "threatening text messages" received by Chuang, Slater and others were actually sent by someone involved in leaking the story. Slater himself, Wewege, someone from Palino's campaign?

    After all, according to Slater's "Why We Broke The Story" post it was the anonymous text messages that "removed all doubt from [his] mind"

    The whole story is a creepy and unpleasant pile of shit. It's not even slightly surprising to hear the different side of the story from Chuang.

    Auckland • Since Aug 2008 • 311 posts Report Reply

  • Andrew Geddis, in reply to Mike O'Connell,

    Mike,

    Bill Hodge was wrong. If Brown resigns now, he becomes Mayor again when the final election results from 2013 are announced. If he resigns after being sworn in again as mayor, then there has to be a by-election (see Local Electoral Act 2001, s. 117).

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2007 • 200 posts Report Reply

  • Dylan Reeve, in reply to Mike O'Connell,

    ..Len Brown resign before being sworn in, then Palino would become mayor..

    From what I've heard and read that would not happen. That would happen if Brown had withdrawn from the election (as all his votes would become invalid) but he didn't.

    Apparently what would happen is that the newly elected council would appoint a deputy (as they will anyway) and that deputy would assume the role of interim mayor until a byelection could be held.

    But all that is pointless because Brown needn't resign and hopefully he also believes that.

    Auckland • Since Aug 2008 • 311 posts Report Reply

  • Jim Welch, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    What’s this centre-right? These people are right-wing.

    Excellent post by Russell but, yes, I was wondering the same thing. This bunch of amoral crazies seems pretty right wing to me, no 'centre' about it.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 43 posts Report Reply

  • izogi,

    From Stuff not long ago:

    "We put her up in a hotel at our expense to stop the media hounding. Last time I text was about three days ago, the last email I sent to her was yesterday. Stephen Cook has been with her for most of the last 48 hours,” Slater said.

    That sounds like a nightmare in my book. Unable to leave a hotel due to media mobbing, but trapped inside with and monitored by one of those most directly responsible for exploiting her. Someone please give her an out, or at least an independent lawyer.

    If she had to come out with this some time, it’s a total shame she went the whale oil way to do it.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1139 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe,

    The more I read and think about this, the more chilling it becomes.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2896 posts Report Reply

  • HORansome,

    It’s like a village where everyone’s Machiavelli.

    Portmeirion

    Tāmaki Makaurau • Since Sep 2008 • 441 posts Report Reply

  • Euan Mason,

    Wewege comes across like a lying inconsiderate bastard.

    Canterbury • Since Jul 2008 • 259 posts Report Reply

  • Tristan,

    Do we have the text of these threatening messages? The only one I have seen is warning Chuang that her political career would be over if she went public. That is exactly what has happened and not by any sinister means. Sounds like a perfectly valid warning to me.

    The other thing that puzzles me is that apparently threatening messages were sent Slater, Chuang and their families everyone got text messages...Sounds like someone quite close to everyone might have sent text messages...someone with form...A mario brother maybe?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 221 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    I don’t think it’s at all controversial to observe that Aucklanders deserve better than the kind of shit we’ve seen revealed in the past two days – or, indeed, the past 10 years.

    What does seem to be the elephant in the room is that while we’re all busy heaping (well-deserved) ordure on Cameron Slater, where’s the hate for the allegedly “responsible” mainstream media that could have shut down this story by refusing to give it any play?

    Well, in the case of the New Zealand Herald, run a spectacularly disingenuous Rudman column where the organ-grinder screams that the monkey had rabies.

    The Slater family failed to defeat Len Brown by masterminding John Palino’s campaign in last week’s mayoral election, so now we have a dirty blow beneath the belt.

    Former National Party president and Palino campaign manager John Slater couldn’t topple the Mayor fairly, now his son, Cameron, is trying to humiliate him out of office.

    Cameron Slater seems to have forgotten what century he’s living in.

    I can only hope Rudman and Shayne Currie had the decency to blush and retch a little while putting that column to bed. I know someone's going to call me a Tory distract-troll for saying this, but I think Aucklanders are also entitled to expect a LOT better from their only daily newspaper, and we really need to hold the likes of Currie and Tim Murphy to full account for their editorial (lack of) judgement.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Andrew Geddis, in reply to Dylan Reeve,

    From what I've heard and read that would not happen. That would happen if Brown had withdrawn from the election (as all his votes would become invalid) but he didn't.

    Not even then. Once you are on the ballot, you can't take yourself off (unless you become "incapacitated"). See here: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11136334

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2007 • 200 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Love,

    It's like a village where everyone's Machiavelli.

    It's more like a village where everyone thinks they are Machiavelli. In fact, they are all contenders for the village idiot.

    Since Jun 2009 • 25 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen R, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    What does seem to be the elephant in the room is that while we’re all busy heaping (well-deserved) ordure on Cameron Slater, where’s the hate for the allegedly “responsible” mainstream media that could have shut down this story by refusing to give it any play?

    From my somewhat innocent point of view, I thought Cameron Slater was providing the NZ Herald with enough cover to do what they wanted to do - i.e. try to get rid of Len Brown.

    The NZ Herald, and Stuff, are not, in my view, behaving like responsible main-stream media. They're pushing a barrow, and seem to get quite snotty when the voters don't do what they're told.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2009 • 259 posts Report Reply

  • Brodie Davis,

    I completely agree Russel, Bevan Chuang has been used as weapon for political means, by people who are willing to do anything to get what they want. And its a shame, because it looks from this that she is vulnerable to manipulation by people she trusts. And then after the story broke, she has been thrown under the bus.

    This has likely destroyed any political future she had, and it must be very hard for her right now.

    I just don't get why anyone would let whaleoil have a exclusive for this story.

    Since Aug 2008 • 54 posts Report Reply

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