Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: The non-binary council

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  • Kumara Republic,

    I'm probably not the only one to suspect that the recent Monica Lewinsky-style stitch-up job on Len Brown is cut from the same cloth as the birther movement. And I doubt the Granny and Stuff are doing themselves terribly many favours by falling back on 'yellow fever' stereotypes.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5415 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Slater seems to have a issue with the order of events in his head. On Firstline he's just blamed the release of the story and the graphic details in it on the reaction of people to him releasing it.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • DexterX, in reply to Kyle Matthews,

    Slater seems to have a issue with the order of events in his head.

    This would cover his "hole" life, No?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1224 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen R,

    As someone who hasn't paid a lot of attention to the Auckland Mayoralty, it rather looks like the NZ Herald doesn't like Mr Brown very much. Their insistence that he should resign based on an online poll on their website seemed a little too pat to me, and felt a bit like they think they have an opportunity to reverse the election results they didn't like.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2009 • 259 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to izogi,

    the mere existence of a reasonably accessible list which matches votes to voters

    That’s actually one of the easiest things to tackle. Separate lists of login tokens and votes cast, burned directly to write-once media by computers that don’t have read access to that media. Those disks can then be stored with appropriate security, and in the event of a court order being issued they can be retrieved and the two databases compared by whatever criteria are required to track down the malfeasance.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Stephen R,

    it rather looks like the NZ Herald doesn’t like Mr Brown very much

    Bernard Orsman, who Russell mentioned in the OP, certainly doesn't, and he's senior editorial staff. Orsman supports sprawl, loathes public transport, and is generally against everything for which Len Brown stands. He doesn't make any secret of it, but it does give Granny a rather unhealthy editorial bias.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    Brown just needs to dig his heels in and refuse to resign. He can't be removed unless convicted of an offence carrying two years in jail, unless Key wants to sack the entire council. He isn't the candidate of a party, so they can't force him out and he isn't required to have the confidence of council. Them's the rules.

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

  • Tom Semmens, in reply to Stephen R,

    and felt a bit like they think they have an opportunity to reverse the election results they didn’t like.

    Well, you could observe that that waiting to unleash a ‘scandal’ until after a result you know you won’t win to try and nobble (and neutralise) the winning candidate is a piece of political filth direct from the good old USA. Since Cameron Slater’s father was John Palino’s campaign manager I expect Slater would have been privy to Palino’s polling and timed this release accordingly.

    As to motive – Cameron Slater is a confirmed failure, a child born to considerable social privilege who unlike almost all of his silver-spoon peers has never been able to leverage the considerable advantages of his birth to achieve anything positive. His sullen resentment at those who have achieved has acquired the status of a mental defect. His list of enemies – of those achievers whose success (in his mind) illuminates his failure – is broad and not always just of the left. It includes many who have simply incurred his undying hatred over some perceived slight that people of a more balanced mental disposition would find trifling. By taking down those who have achieved, Slater seems to believe he will achieve the success and status he deserves by right and that has otherwise escaped him.

    Personally, I have not bothered to waste my time reading the detailed salacious clap-trap on his website. By all accounts, it amounts to pornography from Slater and Cook, and I for one am not about to position myself to be an enabler of penny pornographers intent on destroying more lives. Any issues of morality are for Len Brown and his wife and children, not for me.

    I don’t think he should resign. One would wish that simple decency would win out in the battle with partisan opportunism at the Herald, but given what passes as a journalism these days at that paper I don’t hold out any great hope. So Brown’s enemies in the talkback Taliban and at the Herald and on the right wing blogs will have a field day, but they are no friends of his anyway. Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

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

  • Stephen R, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    Well, you could observe that that waiting to unleash a ‘scandal’ until after a result you know you won’t win to try and nobble (and neutralise) the winning candidate is a piece of political filth direct from the good old USA. Since Cameron Slater’s father was John Palino’s campaign manager I expect Slater would have been privy to Palino’s polling and timed this release accordingly.

    I would have thought releasing it before voting started might have meant Len Brown didn't win (although I freely admit I do not understand the Auckland political scene). I did read somewhere that Cameron Slater said he'd known for some time, but chosen not to publish until the woman in question signed an affidavit, and this controlled the timing.

    Has there been an answer to the question "Why did she go public?" - not just the timing, but at all?

    Wellington • Since Jul 2009 • 259 posts Report Reply

  • Gary Young, in reply to Stephen R,

    it rather looks like the NZ Herald doesn't like Mr Brown very much

    So much so that they devote the first five! pages of today's edition to this "scandal". I despair for the future of journalism in New Zealand.

    Brian Rudman pretty much says all that is needed in a modest handful of paragraphs at the end of these pages. I wish we could see more of his kind in the national press.

    Glenfield • Since Jun 2013 • 39 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    Five pages? Are you serious?

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

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Stephen R,

    “Why did she go public?” – not just the timing, but at all?

    On the timing, can't helping wondering if, with her having failed to get elected, the calculus has been "In three years' time when it's time to campaign the mistress will have been forgotten, but if we can get Brown to resign or, at the least, shred his credibility, then we've got a big political win on the back of not actually winning."

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    He can’t be removed unless convicted of an offence carrying two years in jail, unless Key wants to sack the entire council. He isn’t the candidate of a party, so they can’t force him out and he isn’t required to have the confidence of council. Them’s the rules.

    To do a Greater London Council job on ‘Red Len’ would be the ultimate in sour grapes for Banksie not getting in, and I’m not too sure that Key & Co would gain anything from it. And Len isn’t overtly partisan Labour like Ken Livingstone was (and still is).

    So much so that they devote the first five! pages of today’s edition to this “scandal”. I despair for the future of journalism in New Zealand.

    I personally think it’s less of a journalism issue, and more of a monopoly/cartel issue. Maybe it’s time for the ComCom to look at the media landscape? Or if it can actually afford it right now, the Guardian’s Oz branch could recruit an NZ correspondent.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5415 posts Report Reply

  • anth, in reply to Stephen R,

    I would have thought releasing it before voting started might have meant Len Brown didn’t win

    I think the reason that the turnout for the Auckland Council elections was so low was that almost all media coverage of it was focussed just on the Mayoralty, and most people thought that particular race was a foregone conclusion. If this scandal had happened a week or three earlier it would have put the result in doubt, which may well have increased Len Brown's vote by bringing out people who were only voting because they were worried that one of his opponents might have a chance.

    Since Nov 2006 • 77 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    The GLC was abolished because in the prevailing demographics of 1986, it would always be solidly Labour, whereas many of the boroughs were solid or winnably Tory.

    You can view the super-city as an attempt to pull the same trick in reverse, gluing vast swathes of National-voting countryside onto Auckland in an effort to cement a solid right-wing hegemony. It didn't work, not least because the yokels were pissed off at the anschluss.

    The NZ approach, as in Canterbury was simply to abolish the inconveniently lefty council and appoint commissioners over the wishes of the voters.

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

  • SteveH, in reply to Stephen R,

    Has there been an answer to the question “Why did she go public?” – not just the timing, but at all?

    Not that I've seen. She's really played down her own role in it, essentially claiming that she was a reluctant participant and tried several times to end it, but the story isn't entirely consistent. I'm picking up a significant "spurned lover" vibe so it could just be that. I suspect she was willing but conflicted at the time and now regrets what happened.

    Since Sep 2009 • 444 posts Report Reply

  • SteveH, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    Krum campaigned loudly on outright lies about the Unitary Plan

    In my area she was fear-mongering about three story apartment blocks popping up next door under the unitary plan despite there already being three story apartment blocks in the next street over. She was also spreading FUD about the airport's altered flight plan trial. I'm very disappointed the electorate accepted her lies.

    Since Sep 2009 • 444 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen R, in reply to SteveH,

    I suspect she was willing but conflicted at the time and now regrets what happened.

    I suspect the same can now be said of Len Brown...

    Wellington • Since Jul 2009 • 259 posts Report Reply

  • DexterX, in reply to SteveH,

    She's really played down her own role in it

    The issue Is not really about "her", or Slater.

    It is interesting that a security guard at the Edge venue was fired for having sex on the job and Len has done precisely that.

    Len Brown doesn't have my confidence - he is witless and compromised – I would not vote for him again – sure he could stay on - though it would likely make the mayoralty an ongoing train wreck of sorts.

    My preference is he is sworn in, forms the new Council and then resigns or steps aside for a time and allows Penny Hulse as Deputy Mayor to take over.

    The last time Len was held to account he, on live to air TV, cut up credit cards and whacked himself in the face, his public act of contrition – what is he going to do know castrate himself.

    Len’s emphasis in the interview on Campbell Live, came across to me as being all about what was best for him – not about what is best for those around him.

    People are largely disengaged from the political process because there is not much that one can place trust or have any regard. – Len has proved himself to be just another narcissistic self-serving arsehole.

    He was barely competent, yet was the "best" choice - now he is largely compromised.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1224 posts Report Reply

  • Rageaholic, in reply to Stephen R,

    Their insistence that he should resign based on an online poll on their website

    But the poll on Stuff says he should not resign! Now what?!

    Eden • Since Nov 2010 • 20 posts Report Reply

  • perplexed,

    Bottom line surely, is that Len Brown is a fool and a bit sleazy and now it is in the open. Conspiracy theories on the other person or the way if came public are interesting but don't alter the fundamental point.

    Just the same for the Dunne "affair", the Banks donations, the MSD kiosks etc.

    Wellington • Since Aug 2011 • 12 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    I’m talking about online voting vs ballot box voting.

    It took me most of an hour, three or four web sites, the newspaper and the posted out booklet to vote the other week. There's no way most voters are going to go to the ballot box at their local school or church, and rank 30+ voters for their city council election, 20 or so for DHB, 10 or so for Mayor etc. Won't work with such a large STV election, and we just worked our butts off a few years ago to get STV down here.

    With online voting, and postal voting for that matter, it could be a family violence issue with a partner standing over the shoulder demanding a vote be cast the “right” way. Maybe the one and only household PC simply isn’t in a private area, and it’s impossible to vote without feeling like being judged. It could be a fitting-in peer pressure thing, sitting with union mates at the pub when someone pulls out a laptop in full view and declares “it’s time for us to all vote for Candidate X”.

    That's not a problem with the method of voting, that's a problem with people and relationships. Fix the problem rather than focus on one outcome - protecting their ability to vote, ignoring the other outcomes - violence, bullying etc.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Kyle Matthews,

    Well, they can do their research, or just rank Green/Labour/others. Or we go to a list based system that makes voting simpler.

    Other countries do proportional representation voting in polling booths, you know.

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

  • Rich of Observationz,

    Here's a San Fran ballot:
    http://www.sfelections.org/sample_ballots/2013_11/SB_BT01.pdf

    Note they use three-choice STV (I think) rather than exhaustive STV.

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

  • Carol Stewart, in reply to Rageaholic,

    But the poll on Stuff says he should not resign! Now what?!

    Immaterial. The poll that should count was the election itself.

    As for timing, well, it seems calculated to cause the maximum possible chaos and damage. What an unspeakably vile piece of work Cameron Slater is, and I'm not forming a very good impression of Ms Chuang either.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 821 posts Report Reply

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