Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Moving right along?

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  • Alan Moore, in reply to Russell Brown,

    "Are there any ethics left in modern politics?" was where I was getting to. :-)

    New Zealand • Since Oct 2013 • 5 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to 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.

    Well, Namesake O’ Mine, from my perspective it’s much more serious when the media have taken it on themselves to demand the resignation of someone who actually won a free, fair and credible election on grounds that barely qualify as flimsy. Over the weekend in particular, I know journalists and commentators have been downright cute about finding passive-aggressive ways to slut-shame Chuang, and paint Brown as a corrupt john with Yellow Fever, but where’s any evidence of ANY wrongdoing?

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

  • James Butler, in reply to Mikaere Curtis,

    Slater/Palomino camp

    Inanimate representation of a horse!

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 856 posts Report Reply

  • Andre Alessi, in reply to Russell Brown,

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

    Fair call, although I would hope that concern for the opinions of WhaleOil readers isn't a significant part of the PM's thought processes when making public pronouncements. The Kiwiblog commentary on the nuts and bolts of the background disputes doesn't seem to be nearly as detailed, as far as I can tell.

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

  • Hebe, in reply to Russell Brown,

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

    They are not the swing vote battleground: Kiwiblog and Slater commenters seem convinced of their views, at whichever end they sit. Likewise the left sites.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2895 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe, in reply to Russell Brown,

    unconfortable

    Now that's a good new word for some circs.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2895 posts Report Reply

  • simon g, in reply to Alan Moore,

    “Are there any ethics left in modern politics?”

    As opposed to old politics ... when? Can you suggest an era?

    There are certainly fewer secrets in modern politics, and overall that's probably a good thing. Judging by the past week, the public seem able to distinguish between sin and crime, between shaking their heads or waving their fists. Despite - or perhaps because of - the media frenzy.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1317 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell, in reply to James Butler,

    Slater/palomino makes me think more about some sort of high performance creepy crawly

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2605 posts Report Reply

  • Alan Moore, in reply to simon g,

    OK you got me there - thanks. ;-)

    New Zealand • Since Oct 2013 • 5 posts Report Reply

  • Mikaere Curtis, in reply to James Butler,

    Inanimate representation of a horse!

    Doh! I just googled for him and copied the first name that came up - which, it turns out, was from a satire site.

    Tamaki Makaurau • Since Nov 2006 • 528 posts Report Reply

  • Alison Poole,

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

    Less than 10,000, if you exclude bots?

    Not an electorally significant population - it's more that journalists give these sites more credence than they deserve.

    Christchurch • Since Oct 2013 • 2 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Russell Brown,

    cognitive dissonance

    In order for that to be the case you'd have to demonstrate cognition.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4449 posts Report Reply

  • SteveH, in reply to Craig Young,

    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.

    "... allegedly may ..." Your choice of qualifications there reveals how uncertain you are that anything improper occurred. So I don't see a lot of justification for concern.

    Since Sep 2009 • 444 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, 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.”

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

    When I was 17 I thought much as you have just described. And then I experienced life. I noted that enormously intelligent, moral, decent people had affairs, some messier than others. I discovered that what occurs within a relationship can be vastly different from what one sees from outside. I learned that a LOT of people have affairs. You may not have had the same experiences as I have so you may have a different view but for me I would pretty much describe most affairs as mistakes.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4449 posts Report Reply

  • martinb,

    I think this is a lesser crime than that of Nick Smith pressuring ACC over Bronwyn Pullar.

    In a public precedent Smith had to stand down, but really is now back and not much has changed with his career. He is still a senior minister charged with fractious portfolios and tough campaigns.

    In the case of Pullar, Smith used Ministerial letterhead in an attempted to go around procedure and directly invoke the Minister's support. Len Brown was one of 5 references from well known community leaders. The normal procedure of the reference was followed and as far as we know he didn't go above and beyond what is normal procedure.

    We will have to wait on the others, but as we have seen Ms Chuang was a great networker and Brown was not the only influential person who helped her.

    Brown's is one voice among several backing Chuang for a job she was qualified and had experience to suggest she could do.

    It is unethical as the nature of the relationship isn't clear, but as we have seen with Nick Smith it shouldn't be a hanging offence. As far as we have seen so far, Brown didn't give her a job, or create a job for her, he gave her his support through the correct channels.

    How Brown does his pennance will be the question, as it seems he still so far retains the support of the community in his role of mayor, if they perhaps think a bit less of him personally and his integrity has taken a hit.

    Auckland • Since Jul 2010 • 203 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie,

    Have to say, I very much doubt AAG HR respond to a mayoral reference with total deference. Apart from anything else, I suspect the mayor's office spits out hundreds of references, mostly generic and carefully worded.

    Since Jul 2008 • 1452 posts Report Reply

  • Don Christie,

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

    What about if we don't view marriage as a worthy institution? It's a crock.

    It's love that's worthy, and not an institution.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1645 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Carol Stewart,

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

    My comment to that article: "More likely that Team Palino was fast asleep at the wheel of a political fuel tanker."

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5414 posts Report Reply

  • SteveH, in reply to martinb,

    It is unethical as the nature of the relationship isn’t clear, ... Brown didn’t give her a job, or create a job for her, he gave her his support through the correct channels.

    Whether it was unethical depends on the nature of the reference IMO. If it was essentially a character reference then I don't think it was unethical at all. Character referees are assumed to have a personal relationship with the applicant and I don't believe it's necessary to know the full extent of that relationship. If the reference was more along the lines of "do you think she could do this job", then it could be argued that it was unethical as Brown had little experience working with her.

    Since Sep 2009 • 444 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to martinb,

    I think this is a lesser crime than that of Nick Smith pressuring ACC over Bronwyn Pullar.

    Just to repeat, Brown is not known to have committed any crime . Had he and Chuang not been involved, it would still have been reasonable for him to have given her a reference.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3887 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle, in reply to Don Christie,

    It’s a crock.

    None taken.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • martinb, in reply to SteveH,

    but still was reasonable to expect that he may have heard of her capabilities through her volunteer work with the council and other community groups.

    All these potentials for unethical behaviour in my opinion fall well short of the the threshold for resignation from a position. This would be an over reaction.

    But as Russell kind of notes- it seems to be more down to how the National party chooses to handle this one, almost, rather than Brown, as to how it will play out. It would also be important to see who has leverage over Brown from this incident and how his ability to be mayor is affected. Metro was close to giving him Brownlee like omnipotence and importance. How will that change?

    EDIT: sorry sorry Lillith- it's a common expression! but bad timing after the McCarten thing.

    Auckland • Since Jul 2010 • 203 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2210 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to martinb,

    I think this is a lesser crime than that of Nick Smith pressuring ACC over Bronwyn Pullar.

    Well, that's frightfully generous of you, considering neither Brown nor Smith have been convicted of a damn thing anywhere that has standing as a judicial body. I understand it's a distinction the media have largely given up making, but do we have to follow suit?

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

  • Katita,

    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 ...

    Actually, I snorted at Luigi Wewege's name, but then I laughed at the Sheila Dikshit incident. In fact I also wondered why Ms Chuang had a man's firstname. But then I guess I may not be grown up enough to be part of the PA crew.
    Mind you I personally don't give a rat's about Len's affair. There are plenty of more morally bankrupt shenanigans afoot in this National government that we could be ‘outraged’ over.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 65 posts Report Reply

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