<q>"As an invisible woman the affair itself is not at all the issue… We’re rather relaxed about shaggery – it’s the sleazy politics surrounding this outing that is concerning..Chuang is an unlovely character…"
You were invisible to me as female, Ms/Mrs Hebe. I am not sure that all NZ women are relaxed about shaggery, nor that the politics around this is ‘sleazy’ , but I do think the Mayors behaviour appears to be. Nor do I share your view that Ms Chuang ‘is an unlovely character’ (neither is the Mayor, for that matter).
As for the nature of the professional working relationship between the Mayor and Ms Chuang, Russell, I still stand by my view, until proven otherwise, that there is a subordinate relationship in the nature of employer-employee.
Its true the moralising, of which I must confess some guilt, is pointless. The reality is the Mayor has just been elected (although arguably on false pretences), and a majority of the council, many with an eye to the immediate future no doubt, publicly support him, except one or two brave souls. A new election seems beyond the pale, and uneccessary in the circumstances. If interested, Colin Espiner’s article in Thurs.18th CHCH Press may offers a nuanced view.
Simply standing for a community board, unsuccessfully, does not qualify for the the epithet ‘politician’. And if she wasnt an employee of the council and therefore not in an employer-employee type relationship, then why is she listed on the Council website – Home > About council > Representatives and bodies > Advisory panels. Advisory panels “work within Auckland Council”, and the Ethnic Peoples Advisory Panel was established by Auckland Council as a requirement of the Local Government (Auckland Transitional Provisions) Act 2010 (section 86). Information pertaining to them is available from the Manager, Community Development, Arts and Culture Department. They do not seem to be self governing bodies, autonomous from the council, and one of those employment lawyers you mentioned may agree, particularly if these are paid positions ‘within’ the council.
To me the ‘affair’ isnt the issue (although it will be to many – particularly women, who, incidentally, seem somewhat invisible on this site) – its how and where it was conducted.
Good point about the council continuing to respect Len, because, correct me if I am wrong, it is only they who have the power or ability to make him take responsibility for his actions in this particular matter.
“The married man issue is irrelevant, firstly. Secondly, clearly you can have a sexual relationship with people who you share a workplace with, and clearly you can provide a reference for them. This stuff is just weasly attempts to bring private morality into the public sphere”.
I would have thought the ‘married man thing’ would be relevant to a great deal to his voters, otherwise he would not use his family status as electioneering material. Indeed, had they known of this ‘irrelevancy’ before the election , he may not be the mayor. And no, you cannot have a sexual relationship with someone who is subordinate in power in the workplace, unless it is open and declared, so that any conflicts of interest that may arise can be dealt with in the interests of the workplace and its purpose, and not in the interests of one or both of the trystee’s, whose motives are usually a lot more narcissistic, complex and unmanageable, than those of a workplace.
“I think he’s made it pretty clear he regrets that. But we should be clear that most of this does seem to have occurred in private places”
I am sure he regrets using public offices for these 'private' and 'personal' activities ' , but that doesnt make amends to those who believe those places not be used for salacious purposes by those who temporarily hold the permanent public office of Mayor.
"I assume Chuang and Brown had a legitimate working relationship if they were able to avoid suspicion at the time. So a reference wouldn’t necessarily be out of place".
I do not agree they had a 'legitimate' working relationship - a married mayor in a sexual relationship with an employee is not a legitimate relationship, working or otherwise. Therefore giving the reference was not legitmate.
"If I had worked with a Mayor on anything I’d expect to get mileage from it in job applications". Yes but while job sharing on the Mayoral libido?
"Brown doesn’t look bad just silly: another middle-aged man who should have bought a red MG"
That is exactly the point, he didnt buy an MG to get his jollies- he used public property (and mana) for his personal predilections of a salacious, and arguably nefarious, nature, as if he owned them. He doesn't.
“The political centre-right in Auckland does seem to throw up these ambitious, self-mythologising types, men who will scheme and dish (often on each other) and even tell you about it as if it is a point of pride. To be the author of a plot like the one Wewege apparently attempted is merely proof of a necessary facility in the dark arts. It’s like a village where everyone’s Machiavelli”.
I took my cue from your blog Russell, and the posts immediately following but which aimed further to the right, which you did not correct.
I think Len is entitled to be enamoured with a mistress and practice its attendant arts, but in his private time and private places, and not in places that have social dignity attached to them. They don’t belong to him to use as he pleases, nor should he do so on ratepayer time. As I am sure he is aware himself, being Mayor of AK is 24/7 – there is no ‘personal’ time – unless you make YOUR OWN PRIVATE PLACE and time available for it. If he acknowledges that this is his where transgression lies, all would be forgiven, at least from this fallen soul.
No doubt about it. It is a coterie of right-wing conspirators who are responsible for His Worships libido, and its alleged exercise upon his mistress in the Mayoral Chambers, Ngati Whatua room, and who knows which other public spaces (with or without chains).
"during various votes on the same-sex marriage legislation, where people watching from home (and, I understand, from overflow rooms in the Parliamentary precinct), spent several minutes watching a basically blank screen while elevator music was playing".
Our very own North Korea moment. I cannot see MPs' wanting to be seen, really seen, voting against equality, but I hope I am wrong.
I have had a letter to the editor published in todays CHCH Press (2nd Oct) concerning John Keys comment that the party with the largest vote has the ‘moral mandate’ to govern, rather than a main party with less votes (but which has a coalition partner). If you are interested, you might wish to read it – I would appreciate comments from fellow blogsters, and of course, the topblog, GE. (The Press should be accessible via your public library website under databases and newspapers on line).
Isn't National the likely winner of that seat if Dunne should go?
I am not sure what you mean by 'should go'. What I am saying is that if he is in the race - National hasn't a hope of winning it. If he isnt in the race then you are probably right, although it may be closer than we think. I am not sure if Dunne voters will all vote for a National candidate, as they seem to be swingers by nature, if you will pardon the expression. The deciding factor may be the Act party vote going to National, if these voters realise they are wasting it on Act. My interest is more in whether there will continue to be advantages for National in having Dunne retain the seat ahead of their own candidate, as per the discussion above.
"The same applies to Peter Dunne's seat". You mean if Dunne had lost, and Labour won - National would have been one seat down for a coalition. however Dunnes seat is a bit different to the Epsom example, as National hasn't a hope of winning it, and cannot really influence the result.
"You're much more likely to do it if that party was bringing in 3 or 4 MPs, one is really starting to be marginal, particularly when they're outside of you on the political spectrum (there's probably a fair chance if you knew they were only going to get one MP"
I am wanting to keep things as realistic as possible - which means, realistically, there will be no 'coat tails' MP's coming in with Act 2014. Allowing John Banks to win Epsom as a lone MP , however, is a no brainer as it is one extra seat for National (going on 2011 results). As far as 'killing Act' goes, it is simply a matter of letting them die, as they only survive there by tint of National party strategy as it is National heartland.
An electoral arrangement could also be made by National with Colin Craig in Rodney (a long shot but possible), if the numbers favour it ie if doing so would give them an extra seat, as with Epsom.Polls going into the election would clarify the numbers of as to the likehood of this happening.