Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Moving right along?

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  • SteveH,

    The fact that Wewege seems to have attended one of the political training courses run by the self-styled svengali Simon Lusk introduces an internal narrative party leaders with whch party leaders are deeply unconfortable.

    That first "party leaders" shouldn't be there, I think. Also there's a typo in uncomfortable that I only noticed when spell check highlighted it in this post.

    Since Sep 2009 • 444 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to SteveH,

    Spotted that already. I don't have spellcheck in my CMS edit window ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22743 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    We’ll see. An independent inquiry has begun.

    First, I don't believe an inquiry has begun. Second, they've been calling it independent, but have we enough information yet to be confident that it is?

    Spotted that already. I don't have spellcheck in my CMS edit window

    We used to, didn't we?

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3202 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    It has apparently slipped his mind that he, Cameron Slater, gleefully published all that detail.

    I know it’s not a popular thing to say around here, but Cameron Slater isn’t the only one whose casta diva pearl-clutching deserves a rousing chorus of “bitch, please…” Let’s get real, bullies and sleaze bags need to be called out loud and often, but so do their enablers. I don’t think the people who’ve gleefully spend the last week lying down with a very nasty dog (and not for the first time), should be allowed to get up and walk away and pretend they’re victims too.

    And here’s another reason why Key would “want the Brown scandal to die down”. There’s a number of Auckland MPs and party grandees who have non-delusional “pull” in the National Party who are going to have enough to do to hold on to critical electorate and party votes, without having to catch Cameron Slater’s bullshit.

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

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Graeme Edgeler,

    First, I don’t believe an inquiry has begun.

    Very well. The inquiry has been ordered and we've been given some information on its scope and the terms will be published today or tomorrow.

    Second, they’ve been calling it independent, but have we enough information yet to be confident that it is?

    Yes, it is conceivable that the Auckland Council chief executive Doug McKay and other council officials have been actively misleading the public in describing it as an independent review. For the time being, the New Zealand Herald is describing it in that way.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22743 posts Report Reply

  • Carol Stewart,

    Dave Armstrong is also inclined to give John Key credit for his reaction to all this.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 821 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Yes, it is conceivable that the Auckland Council chief executive Doug McKay and other council officials have been actively misleading the public in describing it as an independent review.

    And let's be honest, for the usual suspects who've already decided Brown is guilty of every depravity they can imagine nothing is going to satisfy them this side of a guillotine in the middle of Aotea Square.

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

  • Graeme Edgeler, in reply to Russell Brown,

    For the time being, the New Zealand Herald is describing it in that way.

    The Doug McKay quote I have from today's Herald is:

    "I have received an assurance from both the mayor and his chief of staff that no mayoral office funds were used in relation to the mayor's relationship with Ms Chuang," he said last Thursday.

    "However, I have agreed to independently review this to confirm that is the case."

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3202 posts Report Reply

  • Andre Alessi,

    Given how spectacularly this thing has blown up in everyone's face, I'd hope people think twice before trying this kind of crap in the future.

    I know I'm being overly generous to the humanity and capacity for learning of some of the participants, but I can hope.

    I imagine there have been some terse conversations between the two Slaters in the last week.

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

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    And here’s another reason why Key would “want the Brown scandal to die down”. There’s a number of Auckland MPs and party grandees who have non-delusional “pull” in the National Party who are going to have enough to do to hold on to critical electorate and party votes, without having to catch Cameron Slater’s bullshit.

    OK, I should back that up with some numbers, because that's how PAS rolls. :)

    Paula Bennett's majority in Waitakere: NINE. Yes, it's exceedingly unlikely she's not going to a high list placing but it's never a good look, win or lose overall, to have a high profile Minister ejected from their electorate.

    Nikki Kaye's majority in Auckland Central: 717. I hear she's generally regarded as a good and effective local member, but she doesn't need Cameron Slater's sleaze becoming a campaign issue for her. Jacinda Adern's no fool - and neither are the people around here: "Nikki's a great person, but the company she keeps..." may be unfair, but it's one way to play out what's going to be an extremely tight race.

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

  • Andre Alessi, in reply to Carol Stewart,

    I don't have much time for Key as a general rule, but his restrained, mature reaction to this palaver has been exceptional, especially when every other person and their dog felt the need to snicker and snark. I don't know if the suggestions of shutting down a National party shitfight are even necessary: most people don't even register when party officials/boosters start sniping at each other, especially not on Facebook.

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

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    Nikki Kaye’s majority in Auckland Central: 717. I hear she’s generally regarded as a good and effective local member, but she doesn’t need Cameron Slater’s sleaze becoming a campaign issue for her.

    It's already getting needlessly messy for her, given that Hamish Price ran her last campaign. And yes, she's a capable and decent MP.

    In further amusement, Cameron Slater is now calling Price a "sleezeoid". I won't bother linking to it, but there seems to be a fairly high level of cognitive dissonance going on over at Whaleoil.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22743 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Andre Alessi,

    I don’t know if the suggestions of shutting down a National party shitfight are even necessary: most people don’t even register when party officials/boosters start sniping at each other, especially not on Facebook.

    And on Kiwiblog and Whaleoil. That's quite a lot of readers.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22743 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Russell Brown,

    It’s already getting needlessly messy for her, given that Hamish Price ran her last campaign.

    Funny thing is, I’ve heard from people on both sides that both Kaye and Ardern fronted tough-but-clean campaigns that reflected well on everyone involved. And while I don’t want to speak out of school, yes the 2001 campaign for the National Party presidency between John Slater and Boag was competitive and hard fought with plenty of bruised egos on both sides. Twelve years is an unhealthily long time to bear a grudge.

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

  • Alan Moore,

    I was interested in the Prime Minister's use of the word "mistake" - i.e. "Len made a mistake - we all make mistakes".

    When I last looked having an extra marital affair could hardly be described as....
    "an error in action, calculation, opinion, or judgment caused by poor reasoning, carelessness, insufficient knowledge, etc."

    ....I think we all know that if you view marriage as a worthy institution shagging around is wrong.

    Are there any ethics left in modern politics?

    New Zealand • Since Oct 2013 • 5 posts Report Reply

  • The Ruminator,

    The thing I've found disappointing, is the glee with which people have taken to ridiculing Wewege's name. many of us have had a good titter about it haven't we? Hilary Barry even giggled over it when she was covering it for 3News.

    Except we were ropeable when Paul Henry made fun of Sheila Dikshit's name.

    And I get that Ms Dikshit didn't do anything wrong, and Wewege allegedly did, but that doesn't give us license to ridicule someone for something cultural.

    Since Apr 2013 • 54 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Alan Moore,

    ….I think we all know that if you view marriage as a worthy institution shagging around is wrong.

    Private faces in public places
    Are wiser and nicer
    Than public faces in private places.

    (W.H. Auden, 'Letter to Lord Byron')

    That is all.

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

  • Cam Slater, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    Craig, it is Hamish Price who is connected to Nikki Kaye, and I’m not sure she is going to want THAT out there.

    New Zealand • Since Sep 2013 • 6 posts Report Reply

  • Deborah, in reply to Andre Alessi,

    I don’t have much time for Key as a general rule, but his restrained, mature reaction to this palaver has been exceptional...

    I agree. And it doesn't seem to be a one-off either. I thought his reaction to his daughter's fantastic artwork was good too.

    New Lynn • Since Nov 2006 • 1445 posts Report Reply

  • SteveH, in reply to Alan Moore,

    When I last looked having an extra marital affair could hardly be described as....
    "an error in action, calculation, opinion, or judgment caused by poor reasoning, carelessness, insufficient knowledge, etc."

    You don't think getting into that situation can be described as an error in judgment? I think that's exactly what it is.

    Since Sep 2009 • 444 posts Report Reply

  • bob daktari, in reply to Alan Moore,

    the mistake is being caught - cheating (generally) for politicians is their default setting - not being caught is the skill and art of their craft or so one would presume

    auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 537 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Cam Slater,

    With all due disrespect, Cameron, I find Nikki a more reliable judge of character and ethical probity.

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

  • Craig Young,

    And meanwhile, outside the Bombay Hills, let's try to keep this in perspective, shall we? The problem is not that Brown dipped his wick, it is that he allegedly may have interfered in a council employment decision to get Ms Chuang appointed somewhere, which is more serious. Does Brown's extramarital dalliance affect his capabilities as a public official? Clearly not. By and large, considering most recent New Zealand political scandals, politicians infidelity only merits censure and resignation if there is financial irregularity in tandem, and financial irregularity in itself is enough to warrant resignation or dismissal. Sexual scandals are only usually fatal if there are questions of rape, child sexual abuse or domestic violence involved eg Graham Capill.

    I do feel sorry for Ms Chuang. Honestly, shades of Hawthorne's "The Scarlet Letter."

    I do recommend Laura Kipnis' "How to Become A Scandal" New York: Metropolitan: 2009 and her consequent article about (US) political scandals in Harpers.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 559 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to SteveH,

    You don’t think getting into that situation can be described as an error in judgment? I think that’s exactly what it is.

    Yes, it is. And it's a lapse in judgement in precisely that part of human life where people do fail to act sensibly, make mistakes and do silly things.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22743 posts Report Reply

  • Mikaere Curtis, in reply to Alan Moore,

    Maybe Len's mistake was to think he could get away with it, which is consonant with how Key, IMO, prefers to operate relevant to his ministers: delegate, dissemble and deflect until it's clear the media have caught one of his ministers out; only then will he actually step up and do anything.

    No matter what you think (or even care) about Len Brown's behaviour, I think most people are going to view the Slater/Palomino camp as being on a continuum that begins with desperate and ends with vile. I personally have them pegged towards the latter end.

    Tamaki Makaurau • Since Nov 2006 • 528 posts Report Reply

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