The Dim-Post

October 18, 2013

Code Brown

Filed under: Politics — danylmc @ 7:14 pm

The Herald has an update on Auckland Mayor Len Brown’s sex scandal.

I have a strong bias here. I’d like to see Len Brown survive. I don’t have any sense of allegiance for Brown, particularly, but I do think Cameron Slater is a walking slick of multi-cellular diarrhea so I’d like to see his enemy triumph.

But at this stage it seems dicey, The advantage of hitting a political opponent with this kind of scandal is that it shakes the tree of their incumbency, and you never know what else might fall out. Free hotel rooms for trysts, job recommendations, a mysterious cell-phone number used to send an ominous message. All of these are still up in the air, while Brown has gone to ground because this scandal is still developing and he doesn’t know what questions might get thrown at him if he fronts up to the press. He has no control over the story.

I think Brown is actually lucky this fell into Slater’s hands and not those of professional political operatives. Because Slater’s Dad is a former National Party president who ran John Palino’s mayoral campaign, the story is hopelessly contaminated and has poisoned Palino’s chance of re-running if there is another election. If the story was broken strategically it would have been used to force Brown into making denials that could be disproved, and rolled out over a series of days with separate components leaked to rival news organisations – the usual bag of tricks Labour and National employ when they get something juicy. But Slater just vomited it all out there on his blog, which possibly saved Brown’s mayoralty.

128 Comments »

  1. Brown is dead meat.

    Comment by bart — October 18, 2013 @ 7:16 pm

  2. Well colour me purple Danyl is brown boy who wuda thunk. Bad choice here fella!!!

    Comment by tony — October 18, 2013 @ 7:20 pm

  3. Honestly. You are kidding right? You support Len Brown despite his actions just because you don’t like Cameron Slater? So obviously trust and integrity are only required of those you support politically.

    Comment by Sal Amander — October 18, 2013 @ 7:41 pm

  4. Ah so that’s why he hasn’t lied. He never got the chance!

    Being caught lying is far more serious than being caught laying. And that’s Brown’s distinction compared to all the other shaggers – when asked he fessed up.

    His other distinction being that Aucklanders have just elected him with a massive majority and mostly want him to stay as mayor. He’s a popular politician despite the right wing elements in media swinging into overdrive and then some.

    Given the chance maybe he would’ve lied, maybe he would’ve been honest about it anyway. He had already told his family (better late than never) but we will never know because as you point out the multicellular slick of diarrhoea gushed it all at once.

    One thing that’s come of it is the clear left/right delineation of reporters and commentators. I haven’t read anyone without a definite opinion. And it’s always useful knowing where writers like Bernard Orsman stand on the political spectrum.

    Comment by nigelsagentinthefield — October 18, 2013 @ 7:52 pm

  5. Brown is dead meat.

    You can take the Tea Party primary. We’ll settle for the White House.

    In other words, Judith Collins can either keep holding hands with Slater, or try and become Prime Minister. She can’t do both.

    Comment by sammy 2.0 — October 18, 2013 @ 7:55 pm

  6. “One thing that’s come of it is the clear left/right delineation of reporters and commentators.”

    Wow so doing the dirty behind your seriously ill wife’s back in the ratepayer owned Ngati Whatua room is politically subjective? Who’d have thunk?

    Sorry but comment number 1 is correct, Brown is toast, not to mention a jerk..

    Comment by grant — October 18, 2013 @ 8:13 pm

  7. If Brown is toast, Palino is ashes.

    Stand by for some fast de-friending on the blue team …

    Comment by sammy 2.0 — October 18, 2013 @ 8:25 pm

  8. If Brown is toast, Palino is ashes….

    And Cameron Brewer is a very happy man.

    Comment by MeToo — October 18, 2013 @ 8:37 pm

  9. I thought you wrote walking stick – I couldn’t see how diarrhea could be that firm… slick makes much more sense😛

    Comment by MeToo — October 18, 2013 @ 8:39 pm

  10. Sorry but comment number 1 is correct, Brown is toast, not to mention a jerk..

    The last bit is right – or, rather, he’s been exposed as either very arrogant (“I can never get caught!”) or devoid of impulse control (“I know its wrong and very risky … but it just feels so good!”). But does this mean he “is toast”? Really not sure at the moment – the sex alone isn’t enough to get him, but the attached misdemeanors might.

    Point to note, but … as of yesterday, even Dick Quax couldn’t bring himself to say Brown ought to resign. Unless and until you see a number of councilors calling on him to go, he’s safe.

    Comment by Andrew Geddis — October 18, 2013 @ 8:57 pm

  11. I think he should resign if he proves to have pulled strings for Chuang, or intimidated people, or something of that nature. Merely shagging your illicit sex partner at work is something that hundreds of New Zealanders will be doing around the country as the office party season kicks in.

    In principle I too share Dany’s view that if Slater is for it, I’m against it, whatever it is. Also, I’m a lefty, and I would prefer Brown to be mayor, and this is majorly inconvenient for the cause. But keeping your dick in your pants when necessary IS an important political skill and it disappoints me that Brown hasn’t mastered it. Further, abuse of power relations by an office holder is a no no.

    My prediction is that Brown will tough it out, and by next election, he’ll be fine, and the more pious Christian part of his constituency will love a repentant sinner even more than they love a saint. We’ll see.

    Comment by Stephen J — October 18, 2013 @ 9:13 pm

  12. With the information we have got at the moment he will and can stay
    On the other hand I can’t understand why Palino is ashes because his opposition thinks it is ok to screw the crew and his managers son allows this to be common knowledge, that has to be a long bow

    Comment by Raymond A Francis — October 18, 2013 @ 9:16 pm

  13. Palino’s stuffed because (a) he’s either an incompetent who couldn’t stop his subordinates pressuring a vulnerable person into a pretty horrible position for his political gain, or he’s utter scum who used his subordinates to pressure a vulnerable person into a pretty horrible position for his political gain, and (b) no one actually thought he had a future in politics anyway, he was just taking one for the team, and was always going to be replaced next time round by a real contender.

    Comment by Keir Leslie — October 18, 2013 @ 9:32 pm

  14. Mayor Len did himself no favours by getting caught, quite literally, with his pants down. He’s getting to that age where he needs something like a Chevy Corvette.

    On the other hand, Team Palino had the political equivalent of a frag grenade, pulled the pin, and lobbed it – only for the grenade to bounce against a wall and back in their faces.

    Comment by deepred — October 18, 2013 @ 9:34 pm

  15. On the other hand I can’t understand why Palino is ashes…

    I rather think Palino is ashes because he was nothing more than a placeholder for the folks who’ll challenge Brown come 2016 (or earlier, if it all does turn to custard for him). Or am I just a dumb Dunedinite (I said just) who knows nothing of Auckland local politics?

    Comment by Andrew Geddis — October 18, 2013 @ 9:36 pm

  16. Oh – I see Keir beat me too it.

    Comment by Andrew Geddis — October 18, 2013 @ 9:36 pm

  17. Presuming that Palino really didn’t know anything about this, his choice of associates still does him no credit.

    Comment by Stephen J — October 18, 2013 @ 9:40 pm

  18. You’re on the money there, Andrew.

    Comment by Hugh — October 18, 2013 @ 9:54 pm

  19. I think the political risk can be managed by diverting the whole thing into a conversation about the correct pronunciation of “Wewege”.

    Comment by Tom — October 18, 2013 @ 10:00 pm

  20. I beat you to it Andrew – Cameron Brewer, comment #6

    Comment by MeToo — October 18, 2013 @ 10:01 pm

  21. Yes, on present evidence, I I think Brown will survive this. After all as salacious as the minuter details are, he’s only fallen from grace this once, and Cheung, let’s face it, was an isolated folly.

    Hopefully any enquiry will be able to put this all into perspective, and throw some kind of clarity on the sequence of events, then we can expose the concerted and grubby right-wing strategy to undermine Len Brown for what it is.

    Comment by Lee C — October 18, 2013 @ 10:14 pm

  22. “…Point to note, but … as of yesterday, even Dick Quax couldn’t bring himself to say Brown ought to resign…”

    The political establishment must be appalled with the behaviour of Slater and Cook. All politicians have skeletons, and there is a strong establishment impulse to support Brown. As long as this is simply a sleazeball exposing an affair (reminder: sex between consenting adults is not a crime) then Brown is safe.

    I am curious as to how this plays out within the National party. There is a definite faction that likes Slater’s tactics. Slater/Lusk/Collins (and wannabes like Luigi Wewage) fancy themselves as unbending Tea Partiers to the lilly livered RINOs of the National establishment. John Key has unambiguosly endorsed Brown – a slap in the face for Slater that he won’t like. A battle between those factions like we’ve seen within the GOP the recent US government showdown would be fatal in our more flexible and representative political environment.

    Comment by Sanctuary — October 18, 2013 @ 10:16 pm

  23. Yeah Palino is who I feel sorry for out of this. He only ran cause no one else put their hand up. He hardly seems especially political partisan. The story found its way into his camp by the looks – its not like anyone sniffed it out. He would never have known about it certainly at the time of choosing to run, if ever. The other issue is because Luigi is Italian everyone will be assuming these guys were tight as.

    Unless he really knew what Luigi was up to it is hard to see what on earth he could have done. It’s not like he could announce “I’ve caught wind of a rumour about an affair but I am not going to say anything because I’m a good guy.”

    Comment by Swan — October 18, 2013 @ 10:23 pm

  24. “Yeah Palino is who I feel sorry for out of this.”

    Lie down with dogs, get up with fleas.

    I feel sorry for Brown’s family, and I have some sympathy for Chuang, who seems to be well out of her depth at the very least and must surely be regretting the way her choices have played out. I bet Slater loves the attention.

    Comment by Stephen J — October 18, 2013 @ 10:30 pm

  25. But think of the children!

    Comment by Gregor W — October 18, 2013 @ 10:32 pm

  26. Sanc.

    I’ve recognised the same tea party stuff. The other thing to remember is that in those Lusk docs that were leaked, a main theme was that NZ polics is unsophisticated, and ripe for capture by the first team that takes, what lusk considers, a more professional approach.

    That seems to mean making our machines more like USian ones. My reckon is that political machines are emergent from the system they operate in. Some of it is really basic, like how parties will always evolve. You won’t get parliament without parties for long. They occur because groups of mps make allegiances and trade offs and compromises in order to capture a majority.

    I think the ‘professionalism’ Lusk is selling is emergent from the US system, and that it won’t be a good fit in our unicameral mmp landscape. It will die.

    Comment by Pascal's bookie — October 18, 2013 @ 10:33 pm

  27. “The other issue is because Luigi is Italian everyone will be assuming these guys were tight as”

    Because of course they will. First thing anyone would thin I imagine.

    Comment by Pascal's bookie — October 18, 2013 @ 10:35 pm

  28. I’m not sure why, but I like Len Brown a lot more than I did a week ago. Perhaps it’s because I’ve spent too long living in countries where a little extramarital diversion is practically de rigueur for politicians. Perhaps it’s because the Mayor of Auckland can manage to make even an adulterous fling look staid and dreary and faintly sepia-tinged. Perhaps it’s because any man who is hated by both Cameron Brewer and Brian Edwards has got to have something going for him. Perhaps it’s because – if I’m honest – I don’t entirely trust myself not to have done much the same thing in the same situation.

    But if Brown’s wife and children – the only people who have any right at all to be outraged about this – have the decency to keep their feelings private, then I’m not quite sure why the likes of Dick Quax and John Minto feel the need to posture so sententiously about it. If Len Brown doesn’t manage to do anything more scandalous than this in his second term, he’ll merely show that he’s almost as beige and boring as I’ve always imagined him to be.

    Comment by Higgs Boatswain — October 18, 2013 @ 11:05 pm

  29. Sycophant

    Comment by toby — October 19, 2013 @ 3:01 am

  30. Well said Higgs! Yes, it’s hard not to grudgingly respect Len as a more ‘lovable rogue’! After all, it was an isolated mistake, and practically every psychological study indicates that men, if they can do it undetected, are less likely to be able to resist the opportunity for sexual gratification than women are. If anything we should be raising more questions about Cheung’s motivations. Brown was clearly the victim of a cynically exploitative latter day ‘Mata Hari’ if you like. At least the cleaning staff had the decency to look the other way, and maintain a code of honourable silence which is simply fantastic, given that Len apparently has the power to hire and fire people.

    His staff and advisors must be mortified, if only they could have done more to supervise this potentially volatile situation, by recognising that Cheung, being young attractive and female, but sadly not very bright, might, quite naturally, be considered ‘fair game’ by poor Leonard.

    Perhaps if they had done their jobs a bit better, Len Brown wouldn’t now have had to bear the humiliation of being been victimised by this politically-motivated, shadowy coterie in this opportunistic and frankly, underhand manner. is there any depth to which they will not stoop, any contortion they are not prepared to engage in, simply to satisfy their blinkered political agendas?

    Comment by Lee C — October 19, 2013 @ 5:29 am

  31. Agreed Lee C – Len Brown and his family are clearly the victims here. Contortion for political gain indeed! All is being revealed on the Nation this morning. It looks like the ‘Mata Hari’ Cheung was a willing participant in this honey-trap. Her co-conspirators Palino, Wewege and both Slaters surely planned this from the start. The only question is how far up the National Party organisation does this scandal go? Key? Collins? Either way, it’s typical behaviour from a thoroughly corrupt and contemptible political party.

    Comment by Dem Young Sconies — October 19, 2013 @ 7:16 am

  32. One thing I don’t quite understand is WTF this came out just after the mayoral election not just before…. Incompetence on the part of the fecal-feeding slug brigade, or were they just not interested in helping Palomino win?

    Comment by Ralph — October 19, 2013 @ 7:36 am

  33. The relationship between Super Mario and Cheung is facinating. It seems incredible that the two would hook up just by chance when one could be so extraordinarily valuable to the other. Perhaps the cleaning staff did not completely keep quiet and whispers got back to Team Palino, and Super Mario was then tasked with performing a seduction.

    Comment by Aztec — October 19, 2013 @ 7:41 am

  34. One thing I don’t quite understand is WTF this came out just after the mayoral election not just before…. Incompetence on the part of the fecal-feeding slug brigade, or were they just not interested in helping Palomino win?

    I think that’s pretty clear. Cheung was standing for council, she knew that this story would ‘damage’ her chances so she refused to go public until after the election when she found out she hadn’t won.

    Comment by danylmc — October 19, 2013 @ 8:03 am

  35. @Swan,

    Yeah Palino is who I feel sorry for out of this. He only ran cause no one else put their hand up. He hardly seems especially political partisan. The story found its way into his camp by the looks – its not like anyone sniffed it out. He would never have known about it certainly at the time of choosing to run, if ever.

    Apparently he did: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=11142627

    Comment by Andrew Geddis — October 19, 2013 @ 8:09 am

  36. Andrew,

    Yep it is now obvious he got to know about it at some point. Even in that linked article it hardly appears he was any kind of instigator.

    Another issue for Palino is, people are now looking back and saying Palino lied about not knowing about it. But (I don’t know the precise minute by minute timeline) he was asked within minutes/hours of it being released. Had Brown even admitted to it at the time? It was anonymous initially. So does he tell all at that point and be accused of being part of the actual “leak”, and adding weight to the allegations? “No comment” might have been better but then he would have been utterly hounded.

    Comment by Swan — October 19, 2013 @ 8:27 am

  37. “…I think Brown is actually lucky this fell into Slater’s hands and not those of professional political operatives… …But Slater just vomited it all out there on his blog, which possibly saved Brown’s mayoralty…”

    I have been thinking about these two things. Would professional politcal operatives have been likely to have run this story? Sure, he had an affair but those are two-a-penny and this one features no misuse of public money. The addition of the source of the information and the nature of it’s acquiring would have put an enormous, raucous red klaxon on top of the potential for blow back. No, I doubt any professional political operative would have rtun with this. A Trevor Mallard might drop heavy hints in the house and those in the know would expand the knowledge base at every available cocktail party until it eventually spilled over into to the papers one or two years later, but no organised use of it as a political attack avenue. So really, it could only come out as vomit from a penny pornographer with an ego to stoke.

    Where Salter and Cook shot themselves was in the sheer vindictive purience of their revelations. They don’t just want to take Brown down politically. They clearly want to personally humiliate him, to hurt his family and wreck his marriage, to metaphorically knock him to the ground and engage in a savage head stamping whilst publically revelling in their own online Clockwork Orange. The nature of the tone of their assault of Brown has revolted decent people, and given a reason for the left to rally furiously to Brown’s defence and caused ambilivance on thw wider right.

    So I think you are incorrect on the first part, but right on the second.

    Comment by Sanctuary — October 19, 2013 @ 8:41 am

  38. @Swan 8.09am “He only ran cause no one else put their hand up. He hardly seems especially political partisan.”

    Michelle Hewitson’s interview with Palino gives some clues to his motivations and political views. He is an admirer of Ronald Reagan, for example, one of the United States’ most polarising presidents.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10897453

    Comment by Laura — October 19, 2013 @ 8:52 am

  39. @Swan,

    Sure – I don’t think he was the instigator of this becoming public. But, by the same token, it doesn’t look like he he did anything to try and convince those involved to back down … and he may have been complicit in it being used as a way to try and force Brown out (or else why even bother meeting Chaung – what business of his was it?).

    However, it’s a bit of a sideshow. Palino isn’t going to feature in future Auckland politics, so what he knew and when isn’t really that important. Nor do the motives of those who made this public really matter (except to show there’s no real “goodies” in the story) … even if they are ethically challenged and pursuing their own ends, that doesn’t change the basic question: do Brown’s actions disqualify him from the office he’s just been elected to?

    Comment by Andrew Geddis — October 19, 2013 @ 9:01 am

  40. Oh sure he is to the right ideologically that’s not in question. I mean he is partisan in the sense of the NZ political establishment. Reagan is a bit like Thatcher as being your typical “favorite” politician.

    Comment by Swan — October 19, 2013 @ 9:03 am

  41. Andrew agreed Palino is unimportant now. Brown will stay. The only thing that would have rocked him is the job reference IMO, but it doesn’t appear to have got much traction apart from being one of many plot twists.

    In a few weeks he will be back on the job. People will have short memories for everything apart from the actual affair which most people don’t care about.

    Comment by Swan — October 19, 2013 @ 9:11 am

  42. @Swan,

    Agree completely (subject, as always, to any unknown unknowns lurking out there!).

    Comment by Andrew Geddis — October 19, 2013 @ 9:14 am

  43. But if Brown’s wife and children – the only people who have any right at all to be outraged about this

    If I was a frequenter of Auckland Council premises then I’d probably be hoping the two of them had cleaned and disinfected things afterwards. (Yeah it’s probably no worse than all the people who obviosuly don’t wash their hands but still… ew). Otherwise I tend to agree, notwithstanding anything clearly inappropriate arising about conflict of interest breaches or whatever.

    Comment by MikeM — October 19, 2013 @ 9:34 am

  44. MikeM. re cleaning up. There were often rumours a long time ago that the Speakers Chair was misused and abused by various wicked MPs. Probably just rumours, but…..

    Comment by ianmac — October 19, 2013 @ 11:30 am

  45. Has the Palino penny dropped yet (for Raymond et al)?

    “General chit chat” deserves to enter the political lexicon, along with “tired and emotional”, “Ugandan affairs” and other old classics.

    Comment by sammy 2.0 — October 19, 2013 @ 2:37 pm

  46. Point of order Sammy. It’s not “Ugandan affairs” but “Discussing Uganda” (cf Private Eye and for Cherie Lunghi fans The Manageress)

    Comment by TerryB — October 19, 2013 @ 2:52 pm

  47. The other thing is the treatment of Bevan Chuang- a 32 year old woman described as drvien conducting affairs with powerful men- as some kind of innocent. It seems like racism to me.

    Imagine if it was Jacinda Adern was one who had had the affair with somone in a higher position of authority- would we be saying ‘oh my gosh, how taken advantage of” for her?

    Comment by sheesh — October 19, 2013 @ 3:48 pm

  48. sheesh makes a sound point. There is a stench of racism about those ‘holier-than-thou’ types who are rushing to defend the young woman on the premise that she must have been a ‘victim’ of the imperialising tendencies of white power-structures.

    But let’s not overlook the elephant in the room – that it was possible her ‘geisha’ (FFS) charms that so enflamed young Leonard, if we are to look at any unconscious racism by those who attack Brown by allotting Cheung victim status on the basis of her race.

    If another female politician had engaged in such a tryst, and found herself threatened with having her career euthanised, should she discuss it, I dare say, considerations of her race might, however have to take a temporary back seat, in that event.

    Comment by Lee C — October 19, 2013 @ 7:38 pm

  49. Sanctimonious you dont get it. Len Brown rooted in council premises while his wife was being treated for Cancer. Sure I’d understand Danyl and the rest of the “Wellingtin” crowd, (they have an agenda to make Russ kingmaker, fuck knows why, guess the public tit has something to do with it) but ffs come on, is this the sort of shit you really want to see for your city? Cant we seriously do better? Lets start from scratch and have new elections for mayor, where non arseholes may apply.

    Comment by grant — October 19, 2013 @ 8:35 pm

  50. …but ffs come on, is this the sort of shit you really want to see for your city?

    Apparently, the majority of Aucklanders would say “yes” (or, rather, “we don’t really care that much”): http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11142590

    Comment by Flashing Light — October 19, 2013 @ 8:54 pm

  51. Grant – assuming you are a shareholder in some major NZ companies, either directly or via Kiwisaver, are you ok with demanding that all CEs prove they have stopped beating their wives?

    I mean, do you really want people like that running NZ commercial interests?

    Comment by Gregor W — October 19, 2013 @ 8:59 pm

  52. Jeez Grant, let’s examine in excruciating detail the private lives of all mayoral candidates just in case any of them have ever been arseholes in their lives. Have they ever contradicted themselves? Offered to pay a tradie cash in return for a discount? Been insensitive to a partner during a break-up? Driven a couple of ml over the legal drink-driving limit? Used a work phone for a personal call? Said something stoopid on facebook they later wished they hadn’t?

    Let’s see how many candidates are still standing. Let’s see how many people even bother to offer themselves for the role…. Let’s apply the same test to our current MPs and see if half of them pass…

    Comment by MeToo — October 19, 2013 @ 10:01 pm

  53. wow.

    Comment by Lee C — October 19, 2013 @ 10:30 pm

  54. I wasn’t really thinking of the ‘imperialising tendencies of white-power structures”, I was in fact wondering if Bevan had been another career focused woman of similar age if there would have been such a rush to look at her as a victim and and I made the point that the shadow cabinet position for police is held by a woman of similar age.

    Her race is a key part of her identity and promoting awareness of her ethnicity and related issues seems to be an important part of what she did at the council. I was just thinking if Len had had an affair with an up and coming woman of another ethnicity we would probably stereotype her in completely different ways- here we talk about how she’s been used, naive etc etc. I imagine if she was Pakeha we’d probably call her bolshie or manipulative some such.

    Comment by sheesh — October 20, 2013 @ 12:56 am

  55. Cheung is far from being a victim here. She’s a conniving Tory c**t. Her and her odious co-conspirators set up Len, and took him down in their honey trap. It was a clear attempt to subvert democracy. She doesn’t deserve any sympathy. All the villains of this piece (Cheung, Whaleblubber jnr, Whalebulbber snr, Mario & Luigi deserve to be put in prison for their crimes. Watch teflon John come to their rescue though. Tory scum always protect their own interests, and have no regard for the people they are supposed to represent.

    Comment by Dem Young Sconies — October 20, 2013 @ 5:45 am

  56. Nice series of balanced views *cough, bullshit, cough*

    Comment by bart — October 20, 2013 @ 6:21 am

  57. Please indulge my pedantry and refer to Chuang as Chuang, not Cheung – it’s like reading a thread full of comments referring to the mayor of Auckland, Len Green.

    Comment by Psycho Milt — October 20, 2013 @ 6:31 am

  58. One eyed and mostly mindless sums up this thread

    Comment by bart — October 20, 2013 @ 6:48 am

  59. I love how this is a so called right wing plan. So the right wing got Len to fuck another women while is wife is copeing with cancer ? If this Is true no labour mp is safe. The left is always about the ends justifiy the means.

    Comment by Graham — October 20, 2013 @ 6:54 am

  60. psycho your point is good – it’s not pedantic Chuang it is, my bad. and unintentionally ironic in a discussion about stereotyping and lack of racial/cultural respect.

    Dem Young Sconies – nice work – one need not be a neoliberal to drop casual mysogyny into every conversation. Surely the worst thing we can call someone should not be by denigrating a piece of female anatomy. Isn’t how this all started?

    If this were a right wing plan they’d negate any claim to power by the sheer incompetence they have shown in its execution. I think this whole sordid affair has all the hall-marks of a good old fashioned kiwi clusterf**k.

    End result? Practically every grown-up in the room has betrayed our childlike trust in their abilities to do the right thing – our political representatives, commentators and savants all appear to have either sawdust or viagra between their ears…

    Huh, like this is the end …. long before any of this mess, I put a little photocopy of a Tui advert over my desk “It only happened Once” – I guess in this case, time will tell.

    Comment by Lee C — October 20, 2013 @ 7:26 am

  61. Five or so years ago I was at a party enthusiastically advocating what I thought would be a great features story to a journalist friend of mine. She disagreed, and in the discussion she said to another journo friend in the discussion “It is funny what non-journalists think would make a good story”. Armed with that observation, listening to Fred Tulett on MediaWatch this morning has crystalised my thinking on this matter. First of all, it is largely a myth that the media won’t report on the private lives of our politicians once they get any sort of green light for relevance. Once Slater broke this story, the frenzy was inevitable.

    Secondly, Tulett returned repeatedly to the issue of the level of coercion by Slater, Cook and Wewage on Bevan Chuang. We all need to ask where the text message that pushed over the edge came from, because from where I am sitting the obvious suspects are Slater and Cook. We’ll never know, unless perhaps the minister of the GCSB could have a quiet word with them to use it’s new powers to do something useful for once. After all, isn’t this why they want to spy on all New Zealanders now – to monitor rogue elements who wish to destabilise the state? (and I am only half joking in those last two sentences). Anyway, the level of coercion by Slater, Cook and Wewage is a matter at least as relevant to this story as the matter of the affair itself. So the two narratives from left and right have both focussed on key aspects of this story. Since I am supremely uninterested in the sex lives of other people, the adultery thing was a day of schoolgirl giggling and ribald jokes, and I find the issue of coercion much more serious one.

    Thirdly, Cameron Slater is not a journalist. He has my friend’s non-journalistic “funny idea” of what makes a good story (granted, Cook is a journalist – but Slater would have called the publishing shots, not him). Slater’s visceral hatreds blinded him to the fact that his control of the narrative depended entirely on the somewhat flakey Chuang and his lack of understanding of how journalism works meant he didn’t grasp that the media would find the conspiracy angle with the links to John Palino a bigger story than the one of adultery, however salacious the level of detail might be.

    Comment by Sanctuary — October 20, 2013 @ 10:11 am

  62. You really are a diversionary try hard Sanc.

    Comment by toby — October 20, 2013 @ 11:50 am

  63. Point taken Lee C. I withdraw and apologise. Chuang is a conniving Tory prick.

    Comment by Dem Young Sconies — October 20, 2013 @ 12:52 pm

  64. Where are you getting evidence for pressure from Slater and Cook Sanc? Have you just made that up?

    Comment by Swan — October 20, 2013 @ 12:57 pm

  65. “Her and her odious co-conspirators set up Len, and took him down in their honey trap. It was a clear attempt to subvert democracy”

    Where on earth did you get this idea from? Are you just making things up?

    Comment by Swan — October 20, 2013 @ 1:00 pm

  66. Ummm. A journalist is somebody who has a readership. CS ia right on the nose – precendet being coverage of NY Mayoral candidate Weiner:http://www.enlightenedhousewife.com/2013/10/len-brown-puts-new-zealand-world-stage/

    Comment by Monique Angel (@Orcs2Elves) — October 20, 2013 @ 2:46 pm

  67. Wow. Supporting a politician simply because he’s an “enemy” of CS? It’s hard to tell when your posts are satire or not these days.

    Comment by Adze — October 20, 2013 @ 5:22 pm

  68. >is this the sort of shit you really want to see for your city?

    It’s the sort of shit I don’t care about in my city. People fuck. It’s their business. Sexual sanctimony is for conservatives, and so often turns out to be total hypocrisy. It’s just not something the majority, and especially not the left, believe in making a fuss about. Of course I felt somewhat relieved when I heard Brash had been boning someone who wasn’t his wife, because I knew his support base might care. But this is water off a ducks back in this day and age for a progressive candidate. Brown doesn’t have any case to answer, there’s no crime committed, and I expect that at this point his marriage is the more important thing – he’s the Mayor for the next term, that’s in the bag. He doesn’t have a huge lot to do, since he’s incumbent and it’s business as usual. He doesn’t have to say a damned thing to anyone about it. He can just wait, and when eventually someone like Slater actually libels him, he can sue the guy into bankruptcy. The rope is just lying around and Slater isn’t the kind of guy not to stick his head in the noose.

    Comment by Ben Wilson — October 20, 2013 @ 6:02 pm

  69. ” It’s just not something the majority, and especially not the left, believe in making a fuss about. ”

    Funny the amount of coverage this thing is getting then eh.

    Comment by Swan — October 20, 2013 @ 6:46 pm

  70. “People fuck. It’s their business. Sexual sanctimony is for conservatives”

    It’s always interesting though to see if people keep their promises. And marriage vows are one of the more major promises.

    And yet of no real concern to many on the Left.

    Dismissing issues of honsty as mere Puritanism doesn’t wash.

    Comment by NeilM — October 20, 2013 @ 6:54 pm

  71. Code Brown = Lens supporters shitting themselves.

    Comment by toby — October 20, 2013 @ 7:34 pm

  72. It’s three years to the next mayoral election. Even the NZ Herald isn’t going to be able to run this on nearly 1000 front pages.

    Mayors are elected by popular vote and can only be dismissed if convicted of a serious offence, or if Key decides to steal the election and sack the whole council, as in Environment Canterbury. They do not require the confidence of council, the CEO, the NZ Herald or anyone else.

    So unless Brown has committed a crime carrying a two year jail term, he’s best advised to staunch things out.

    Comment by richdrich — October 20, 2013 @ 7:45 pm

  73. >Funny the amount of coverage this thing is getting then eh.

    Not really. I’d expect it to get covered, it’s still news. It’s just not going to make people magically hate the mayor, if they didn’t already. This will blow over.

    >And marriage vows are one of the more major promises.

    Most of them are non-binding religious hocus pocus, and the decision about the “enforcement” of them an entirely personal one between the parties concerned. That’s the real damage Brown will have to deal with. As the popular Mayor-elect, he’ll just get on with the job. As a husband, I expect he’s going to have a hard time that he brought on himself. We’ll see. I know nothing about his relationship with his wife. I’m not much interested, either.

    >Dismissing issues of honsty as mere Puritanism doesn’t wash.

    I’m commenting on his chances as the Mayor which are basically fine. If you want to get all teary eyed about some old guy having a shag out there, by all means clutch your bible to your heart and weep for Jesus, if it makes you feel good.

    Comment by Ben Wilson — October 20, 2013 @ 8:02 pm

  74. So marriage vows are religious hocus pocus eh, is that why the gays in the village were so keen on marriage?

    Comment by bart — October 20, 2013 @ 8:08 pm

  75. Bring back Shadbolt

    Comment by bosun — October 20, 2013 @ 8:11 pm

  76. >is that why the gays in the village were so keen on marriage?

    Don’t know, don’t care. They want to get married, they should be allowed. That’s something worth setting to rights.

    Comment by Ben Wilson — October 20, 2013 @ 8:23 pm

  77. Here are the “marriage vows” that are required to become married:

    During the solemnisation of every such marriage each party must say to the other—

    (a) ““I AB, take you CD, to be my legal wife or husband””; or

    (b) words to similar effect

    If people want to pile on more than this (“through sickness and health”; “honour and obey”; “we shall be close as two coats of paint on a windswept wall”), then knock yourself out.

    Furthermore, to say that how people comport themselves in regards their private affairs tells us something about how they will function as public figures seems easily falsifiable. Do we regard FDR’s presidency and the achievements thereof in any different light, now we know he conducted a series of affairs throughout it? Or, by the same token, do we think Tony Blair was any more upfront an honest about the invasion of Iraq because there has never been a hint that he has strayed from Cherie throughout the years?

    Comment by Andrew Geddis — October 20, 2013 @ 8:30 pm

  78. I want Brown to remain as mayor of Auckland because the buy who came second opposes most of the important policies brown supports: like the City Rail Link and the ability to build more densely / intensely. Both of these are no-brainers for ANY city of 1.5m soon to be 2.5m. That the right in Auckland claim otherwise simply means they are dishonest (they know it has to be done anyway….but will say otherwise to win) or stupid (they really believe Auckland can be small-town NZ on the Waitemata forever)…..or both.

    Comment by Steve (@nza1) — October 20, 2013 @ 9:09 pm

  79. So marriage vows are religious hocus pocus eh, is that why the gays in the village were so keen on marriage?

    I assume you’re trolling, but on the off chance you really don’t know…

    Because
    a) those vows do mean things to people (it’s just that they’re *personal* so some people don’t care, some care a lot, and some people at each end of the spectrum are gay, therefore some gay people think the marriage vows are a big deal). Disclaimer: the religious aspect also means either a) a lot or b) absolutely nothing, or c) somewhere in the middle, and may or may not be Catholic religion. And again, that applies to both gay and straight and bisexual peoples.

    b) Because marriage is also tied up with a tonne of property and civil and other misc legal rights. Marriage is the official marker of “I want this person to have this responsibility and authority in relation to me”.

    Comment by Flynn — October 20, 2013 @ 9:28 pm

  80. “That the right in Auckland claim otherwise simply means they are dishonest (they know it has to be done anyway….but will say otherwise to win) or stupid (they really believe Auckland can be small-town NZ on the Waitemata forever)…..or both.”

    You clearly have no idea about the costs of the CRL. It amounts to a perpetual subsidy of around $20 a passenger! Even with billions of capital investment, fares won’t even cover operational costs!

    Comment by Swan — October 20, 2013 @ 9:46 pm

  81. Bingo Flynn. That is why Bens argument was bullshit.

    Comment by bart — October 20, 2013 @ 9:53 pm

  82. “…You clearly have no idea about the costs of the CRL. It amounts to a perpetual subsidy of around $20 a passenger…!”

    Dude, I recall reading the thread where you made this claim on the Auckland Transport blog, and you were comprehensively smashed by the transport experts over there. So please take your zombie facts and shove them up your arse and please, stop telling zombie fact porkies.

    Comment by Sanctuary — October 20, 2013 @ 9:56 pm

  83. You remember wrong. Feel free to disprove* it if you can but no one ever has and it is the dirty little secret no one wants to talk about. They generally get hyper defensive like you or pretend that two wrongs make a right because some road projects are just as bad.

    *obviously the $20 figure is an estimate so the exact number can be disputed, but it is in that ballpark even using the proponents patronage projections.

    Comment by Swan — October 20, 2013 @ 10:18 pm

  84. Kudos on the Duck Shaped Pain reference Andrew Geddis. Kudos.

    Comment by Tom — October 20, 2013 @ 11:26 pm

  85. Up at comment 22 I mentioned i was interested in how this played within the national party – and now the blubber boy has come out on his site with this model of paranoia:

    “…she has engaged one of Auckland more distrusted weasels to spin on her behalf….Hamish Price. If she thinks she was manipulated by Luigi Wewege then she is going to be really shocked to find that Hamish Price, an acolyte of Michelle Boag’s is further manipulating her in order to seek revenge for not being employed by John Palino’s campaign. It is no wonder Boag has been out there sticking up for Len Brown. He also deeply loathes me and my father and he will be seeing this as an opportunity to get us…”

    Slater appears to believe that he is the centre of the universe and it is all about him and his Dad. Granted, he has considerable mass to the point he may have developed his own gravitational field (decency appears to get sucked into a black hole) but the most important thing is it shows that Slater think there are enemies on the right worth hating every bit as much as those on the left.

    Comment by Sanctuary — October 21, 2013 @ 7:47 am

  86. Granted, he has considerable mass to the point he may have developed his own gravitational field…

    Sanc; Fat joke? Really? Slater provides more than enough material by virtue of being an unhinged ranter with all the charm of a pustulent monkey scrotum, without restorting to tubby baiting.

    It amounts to a perpetual subsidy of around $20 a passenger! …obviously the $20 figure is an estimate so the exact number can be disputed, but it is in that ballpark…

    Heh.

    Comment by Gregor W — October 21, 2013 @ 10:30 am

  87. Yes Heh Gregor.

    What is interesting is the “per trip” figure has obvious meaning to people, which is why I have been using it for a while. If someone said “the CRL will cost $1b” vs “the CRL will cost $3b” people would not instinctively have a different reaction to either number (on the basis they only heard one of those numbers). But the per trip number puts it in language people can understand.

    After I had been using this tactic around the traps for a few months, the Greens happened to wisely use the exact same tactic against Transmission Gulley (something like “$15 a car”). Coincidence?

    Comment by Swan — October 21, 2013 @ 10:52 am

  88. “…tubby baiting…”

    That is so sweet.

    BTW, Is it wrong of me imagining Bevan Chaung in a Princess Leia bikini choking Cameron Slater with a chain? I think it is a reasonably funny sort of revenge fantasy skit for Saturday Night Live or something.

    Comment by Sanctuary — October 21, 2013 @ 11:14 am

  89. “…Sanc; Fat joke? Really..?”

    Does Slater deserve to be treated with dignity and respect? Has he accorded respect and dignity to others so that he may demand it be accorded to him? It the case of Slater, I think the best way to deal with him is to take him at his word, and be fearlessly honest and brutally frank. After all, isn’t that how he claims he runs his blog?

    Comment by Sanctuary — October 21, 2013 @ 11:21 am

  90. Does Slater deserve to be treated with dignity and respect?

    That’s up to your individual preference I guess.
    I’m just not sure it’s good to go for the fatty angle given that (i) there are better attributes to go for (ii) he’s not really that fat and (iii) it’s mean to fat people by lumping them in with Slater.

    Comment by Gregor W — October 21, 2013 @ 12:03 pm

  91. >…she has engaged one of Auckland more distrusted weasels to spin on her behalf…

    I imagine Palino and Slaters seated in a darkened basement, heads down, bodies slumped, frowns on faces. Senior Slater slowly leans forward and rests his elbows on his knees. His hands hold his chin. He stares at the floor. He whispers. “What have we forgotten”

    Comment by Tonka — October 21, 2013 @ 12:20 pm

  92. @30. “At least the cleaning staff had the decency to look the other way, and maintain a code of honourable silence which is simply fantastic, given that Len apparently has the power to hire and fire people.”

    The Chief Executive hires (and fires) the staff of a council, not the Mayor; the only employee of a council is the CE. (Having said that, I see mentions of the ‘Mayor’s staff’ and I don’t know if they are hired directly by him, outside of the council structure, or if they are council people employed by the CE to staff his office. However the cleaners wouldn’t be part of the Mayor’s office.)

    I’ll give credit to Cameron Slater for two things: He made sure he had facts to back up what he was saying, and by laying all his cards on the table he has avoided looking like a wannabe power-player who doles out damaging information when it best suits him. But this story is a classic case of somthing being of interest to the public (gossip!), but not ‘in the public interest’ – no one needed to know about this except for Len’s wife.

    Len will come through this because he gave a full apology on the day the news broke, and Cameron, Bevan and Wewege are coming across as despicable.

    Comment by Ataahua — October 21, 2013 @ 12:36 pm

  93. “…(iii) it’s mean to fat people by lumping them in with Slater…”

    OK, you got me on that one.

    Comment by Sanctuary — October 21, 2013 @ 1:22 pm

  94. I think Len Brown shouldn’t have a choice. He should be sacked as Mayor. You don’t screw the crew, or John Palino’s crew, or whatever. Quite a few ‘privileged’ people around like this Mayor who need to realise that they cannot use their position of authority to get staff to sleep with them. A lot of company managers need to understand this too, especially in small tinpot companies.

    Comment by Dan — October 21, 2013 @ 3:42 pm

  95. I think Len Brown shouldn’t have a choice.You don’t screw the crew…

    Fuck you democracy. Dan’s moral compass has spoken.

    Comment by Gregor W — October 21, 2013 @ 4:23 pm

  96. I think Len Brown shouldn’t have a choice. He should be sacked as Mayor.

    The mayor can’t be sacked.

    Quite a few ‘privileged’ people around like this Mayor who need to realise that they cannot use their position of authority to get staff to sleep with them.

    He didn’t sleep with his staff.

    Comment by Flashing Light — October 21, 2013 @ 4:27 pm

  97. Typical FL response. Resorting to facts when mock outrage will suffice.

    Comment by Gregor W — October 21, 2013 @ 4:57 pm

  98. Honestly for all anyone knows, Len and his wife have an open relationship in which, I dunno, she’s sick and not interested in sex, and says as long as he checks with her, he can find someone else. Or maybe this is just the classic “old guy/hot secretary” trope. But they’re certainly not going to go sharing which it is with the newspapers, and they shouldn’t have to.

    Also the whole “but council premises!!” thing amuses me. It’s not as if he can take her home/be seen checking into a hotel. Could be worse – they could have gone to a library.

    Comment by Flynn — October 21, 2013 @ 5:03 pm

  99. Well Flynn, if the Library wasn’t available there was a lovely big shiny table to do it on. What a turn-on.

    Ataahua – I knew this would happen! – Yes! know Len wouldn’t and can’t literally hire and fire the cleaners, it was a flippant reference to his evident pulling power (excuse the pun) as a referee, and with the powerful social position (you know, The Mayor) that he might hold over someone who is obliged to do the ‘spray and wipe’ on the nightshift.

    Comment by Lee C — October 22, 2013 @ 6:12 am

  100. “… but I do think Cameron Slater is a walking slick of multi-cellular diarrhea so I’d like to see his enemy triumph…”

    Reading the media coverage the past few days, I realised that in a small country like New Zealand you discount the personal at your peril. A lot of people in the media I would wager would feel the same as Danyl, and that is going to translate into something Cameron Slater won’t like – especially now that Bevan Chaung has got herself a proper media handler.

    Comment by Sanctuary — October 22, 2013 @ 7:01 am

  101. Sanctuary you said media people didn’t think the same as you in an earlier post

    Comment by bart — October 22, 2013 @ 7:14 am

  102. Huh? And?

    Comment by Sanctuary — October 22, 2013 @ 8:02 am

  103. @Lee: Yes, what a Mayor can do and what staff might think he can do could be different things. Certainly any number of local body candidates had no idea of the limits of Mayoral power, going by their election promises.

    Comment by Ataahua — October 22, 2013 @ 11:41 am

  104. Ataahua – ironically, that is Len’s saving grace, isn’t it? Rodney Hide & John Key set up the Akld supercity so that CCOs control almost all the ‘council’ budget & staff (with no Mayoral input other than signoff on a statement of corporate intent), and Richard Prebble back in the 1980s made council structure a corporate hierarchical dictatorship – meaning Len has no authority over any actual Akld council staffer other than the ceo Doug McKay.

    That leaves Len unable to employ council staff, and with no direct authority over art gallery or museum staff at all (and only the most tenuous ‘mana of the mayoralty’ claim of indirect authority). Can’t see any legal problem there.

    The immorality of Len’s affair, on the other hand…. still that is between him, God and his wife Shan.

    Comment by bob — October 22, 2013 @ 2:49 pm

  105. well duh “A lot of people in the media I would wager would feel the same as Danyl” says that you now know what the people in the media think which is the opposite of what you said before although I do find it hard to decipher your ramblings in any event

    Comment by bart — October 22, 2013 @ 4:39 pm

  106. Good to know that employees can now initiate and carry out “official enquiries” into their employer’s actions though……

    Comment by ak — October 22, 2013 @ 5:34 pm

  107. “Good to know that employees can now initiate and carry out “official enquiries” into their employer’s actions though……”

    Yeah but can they root their chicks in the Ngati Whatua room though? Or the mayoral couch.

    Comment by grant — October 22, 2013 @ 8:23 pm

  108. @Swan I understand very well how infrastructural improvements can deliver benefits that far outweigh the costs…..even if they can’t be clearly seen on the same spreadsheet. I wouldn’t expect commuter rail services to be profit centres by themselves. But they are cheaper than building more roads. They do reduce the cost to the economy of all the time wasted sitting in traffic if they aren’t there. Public transport isn’t “profitable” by itself. If one takes that narrow view then you can’t justify the Auckland Harbour Bridge or the State highway system either.

    It’s that sort of narrow – blinkered – thinking that the Right exhibits perpetually……despite all the evidence that effective infrastructure delivers benefits far greater than the costs. Worse….none of this is new. It’s old, old information the folks on the Right somehow fail completely to absorb.

    I just call that stupid. What else can one call persistent, willful ignorance that resists correction or education?

    Comment by Steve (@nza1) — October 23, 2013 @ 1:21 pm

  109. I am delighted to find so many voices disapproving of Brown. It demonstrates how Simon Pure they are and that they actually exist in nuzild.

    Brown got caught with his pants down. So what! He was unlucky.

    Who cares?

    The vast majority of us have got away with it (and, no, that is not an admission of guilt).
    Those who have not indulged in fact or imagination have never had opportunity or desire coincide. Tough, that does not give them the right to comment on more fortunate people.

    Lotto does have winners, it may be futile but it is fun.

    No I do not buy Lotto tickets regularly.

    Comment by peterlepaysan — October 24, 2013 @ 12:18 am

  110. I think Peter has struck at the heart of the whole matter. This truly has been a discussion about what gives any person ‘the right’ to do something. It’s about the ‘left’s’ defense of neoliberalism.

    I’m fascinated by how some people appear to feel that Len Brown’s human ‘right’ to do what he did appears to supercede others’ human ‘right’ to criticise what he did. Human intercourse (excuse the term) is devoid of ‘feelings’ or such vague notions such as ‘rights’. But I must admit I have not seen any rational argument from anyone why Brown enjoys more of a human ‘right’ to hurt and damage other’s lives than – say Cameron Slater or Bevan Cheung do for example. Only politically motivated ones.

    Brown’s human ‘right’ to do what he has done and escape criticism seems to be the total but inconsistent argument in his defense.

    But it is inconsistently applied because in the next breath most then admit that he should ‘make peace’ with his wife and family. Why? Surely the logical extension of Brown’s human ‘right’ to do what he likes in private and that I don’t have a greater similar human ‘right’ to be critical, interested or aggrieved, should be applied to everyone shouldn’t it?

    Shouldn’t teh argument be that Len Brown has the human ‘right’ to inflict the same kind of damaging and invasive abuse of trust upon his wife and daughters, for they, essentially have no ‘right’ to criticise, or even feel aggrieved? How generous of everyone to throw them that tit-bit.

    This inconsistent argument appears to be the sum total of many a defense of Brown’s actions, which I find a bit sad, it applies the idea that we can all do what we like as long as it isn’t illegal, and if we can benefit from it with impunity.

    Why is it sad? Because that idea appears to be enthusiastically endorsed by many people who otherwise would balk at its implications and would consider ‘neoliberal’ to be one of the worst insults they can think of to apply to others who engage in such amoral and scant regard for others in the marketplace.

    Like the man said – ‘Lotto does have winners’ and Lucky Len appears to have won the jack-pot.

    Comment by Lee C — October 24, 2013 @ 6:44 am

  111. Brown’s human ‘right’ to do what he has done and escape criticism … .

    That is a brilliant and incisive summary of an argument NO-ONE has made.

    Comment by Andrew Geddis — October 24, 2013 @ 7:20 am

  112. Nice Straw man argument Lee C. A weak argument, but points for a good try. The people who defend Brown fall into three categories:

    1/ Those that consider how you conduct your personal life (as long as it is legal) as being irrelevant to your public life (in an age when the internet never forgets, this increasingly includes a free pass on anything you did before entering public life, but that is another discussion). Personally, I didn’t vote for Len Brown because of his family values, I voted for him because I thought he is the best man to manage the absolute dogs breakfast that Rodney Hide made of the Supercity until we re-elect a Labour/Green government and they can reform the CCOs and the like. So for me, nothing has actually changed.

    2/ Those who might otherwise have criticised Brown, but are appalled by the crude vulgarity and manipulative violence of those who revealed this affair. They would rather have a philandering mayor than give a crumb to Cameron Slater.

    3/ Those who love democracy and are deeply troubled by the clear and deeply cynical political agenda of Slater/Cook/Palino, and their attempt to derail the democratic process through the use of sleeze. The idea that these awful men with their loathing of politics and politicians and the whole political process might succeed is an anathema. Better Len Brown as the face of politics than Cameron Slater.

    So what this has boiled down to is the entire body of the New Zealand’s establishment (left and right) uniting behind Brown. This is because, to paraphrase Simon Wilson in Metro , better the idiot Brown than the depraved stench of Slater. David Farrar says Cameron Slater doesn’t what to be popular, but he is desperate to be relevant. Cameron Slater will never be relevant, just an irritant. And so he will keep on trying to punish the establishment for it’s refusal to kowtow to him.

    Comment by Sanctuary — October 24, 2013 @ 7:42 am

  113. Escept I don’t recall Slater standing for Mayor. You argue this isn’t about ‘values’. And yet how many in public life have fallen for lesser or similar misdemeanours?

    And yet again, the argument appears to support itself by cherry picking and describing value-judgementss according to the political agenda being promoted. We are invited to choose between ‘the foul stench’ and the ‘desperate’ the ‘awful’ and ‘vulgar’. We are invited to accept the ‘vulgarity’ ‘manipulative’ even ‘violence’ of those who oppose Brownagainst Brown merely being and ‘idiot’ and his actions as ‘irrelevant’.

    I can and do accept that Brown is probably the best man for the job of Mayor. If we defend his right to do what he wants on that basis, then we support a narrow meritocracy whihc appears designed to exclude anyone who is not the incumbant – that’s not democracy, that’s nepotism. Whihc is probably why ‘the establishment’ has ‘united’ behind him.

    And we think that isn’t questionable ‘ok’ because. . . ?

    Comment by LeeC — October 24, 2013 @ 8:59 am

  114. Sorry my words lost their sense towrds the end – ran out of time. Not easy being a ‘strawman’ in these flames.

    Comment by LeeC — October 24, 2013 @ 9:27 am

  115. “…And we think that isn’t questionable ‘ok’ because. . . ?”

    Within the political establishment much of the criticism of John Key derives from a belief that his corporatist values play scant regard to the mores of democratic principles and requirements of democratic accountability. This is because in civil society it is understood that the whole point of an establishment is it should act as a repository of ambient cultural resistance to extremism and bad governance.

    Cameron Slater is on record as saying he thinks “…Politics is a dirty, disgusting, despicable game and it involves dirty, disgusting, despicable people…”

    At the most fundamental level then it is obvious that Slater doesn’t believe in democracy, or the power of politics and politicians to create positive change, or in the moderating influence of a political establishment. Deeply cynical and anti-democratic sentiments are common among the political fringe merchants of the political extremes – political Bolsheviks of the right and the left, seeking to destroy the incumbent status quo in favour of their extremist ideological agenda, have no time for checks and balances. Slater is also an anti-democratic extremist, only he is a complete political nihilist. he has no project, no guiding political principles beyond his own narcissism and nihilism.

    Faced with such malevolence, the reaction of the general establishment is entirely understandable.

    Comment by Sanctuary — October 24, 2013 @ 10:04 am

  116. “The idea that these awful men with their loathing of politics and politicians and the whole political process might succeed is an anathema.”

    Remind me just how much you love politicians and the political process, Sanc…?

    Comment by Hugh — October 24, 2013 @ 10:08 am

  117. All this is madness, cries a sober Sage:
    But who, my friend, has reason in his Rage?
    “The ruling Passion, be it what it will,
    “The ruling Passion conquers reason still.
    Less mad the wildest whimsey we can frame,
    Than ev’n that passion, if it has no aim;
    For tho’ such motives folly you may call,
    The folly’s greater to have none at all.

    Comment by TerryB — October 24, 2013 @ 10:12 am

  118. Cameron Slater is on record as saying he thinks “…Politics is a dirty, disgusting, despicable game and it involves dirty, disgusting, despicable people…”

    At the most fundamental level then it is obvious that Slater doesn’t believe in democracy, or the power of politics and politicians to create positive change, or in the moderating influence of a political establishment.

    I doubt there is anyone in the country that would disagree with Slater’s comment. That doesn’t mean we’re all anti-democratic. Indeed I would posit that the opposite is true: recognition that our current political operatives are substandard is the first step in a long road toward electing genuinely high-calibre representatives.

    Comment by Phil — October 24, 2013 @ 11:36 am

  119. I think we are back to square one. The idea is again promoted that we accept certain action or words from one party because we ‘approve’ of them or their actions (In this I mean politics) while we disclaim others actions or words because we don’t approve of their politics is the political equivalent of thinking with our dicks.

    “…Politics is a dirty, disgusting, despicable game and it involves dirty, disgusting, despicable people…” Are we now castigating people for what they think, but ignoring others for shagging on the clock?

    Would you agree with this statement, if I dunno, Helen Clark had said it -in her mouth wouldn’t it be considered a cassus belli against corruption and back-handing?

    As a mind experiment, imagine how you would be responding to this situation if the exposer were from ‘the left’ and the exposed from ‘the right’. To paraphrase Helen Clark’s immortal words: “What has changed”?

    Comment by LeeC — October 24, 2013 @ 12:58 pm

  120. As a mind experiment, imagine how you would be responding to this situation if the exposer were from ‘the left’ and the exposed from ‘the right’.

    OK. Done. No difference detected. Can I get on with my life now?

    Out of interest, just who is “the left” equivalent to Cameron Slater that you have in mind?

    Comment by Flashing Light — October 24, 2013 @ 1:05 pm

  121. “I doubt there is anyone in the country that would disagree with Slater’s comment.”

    I can’t be bothered looking up his context, but on the face of it I’d more easily agree with his comment with a small adjustment: “Politics is a dirty, disgusting, despicable game when it involves dirty, disgusting, despicable people.”

    Comment by MikeM — October 24, 2013 @ 1:08 pm

  122. Flashing Light. Kudos to you. You’ve superbly managed to convince me it is wisest to move on, and say no more about this.

    p.s. I wish you a great life.

    Comment by LeeC — October 24, 2013 @ 1:36 pm

  123. Bradbury would be Slater’s left-wing equivalent.

    Not quite as stomach churning as the whale, but equally as keen to ignore inconvenient facts and promote a particular line of spin.

    Don’t believe me? Just visit thedailyblog and try engaging in an honest debate regarding what Valerie Morse et al. were doing with those illegal firearms in the Ureweras..

    Comment by Rob — October 24, 2013 @ 6:00 pm

  124. I don’t really by bomber being left wing.

    He plays at it, but like Slater, he comes off as more of a nihilistic narcissist than anything else. Politics as window dressing.

    Comment by Gregor W — October 24, 2013 @ 9:09 pm

  125. what Valerie Morse et al. were doing with those illegal firearms in the Ureweras..

    Threatening to catapult cows at Dubya,
    Bradbury’s initial brainfart response – which he fairly shortly retracted – had him milking his fancied activist insider cred to feed the concerns of Mr & Mrs Whitebread that SOMETHING truly alarming was afoot. Certainly enough to justify Clark’s risible claim that some were guilty of serous charges.A number of commentators who should have known better made prize arses of themselves over the Urewera police fiasco. The way it is now, the police can monster NZ children at gunpoint with impunity, and there’ll be little call for any meaningful restitution from anywhere on the poltical spectrum, as long as those kids are Maori. Saint Helen, on whose watch the atrocity took place, has been canonized. Case closed.

    Comment by Joe W — October 25, 2013 @ 12:47 pm

  126. Hey bart – it’s a week now and look who’s still Mayor.

    Comment by richdrich — October 25, 2013 @ 3:02 pm

  127. #122 & 123: Also, Whaleoil has the kind of old boys’ network that Bomber doesn’t.

    Comment by deepred — October 26, 2013 @ 3:03 am

  128. We’ll see eh richdrich. Brown sounds like he’s a dirty old serial rootbag with a few more jilted mistresses to run to the tabloid blogs yet.

    Comment by bart — October 26, 2013 @ 9:39 am


RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: