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Showdown at Auckland Council

Written By: - Date published: 8:52 am, December 19th, 2013 - 264 comments
Categories: auckland supercity, len brown - Tags:

Len-Brown-in-shock

So the intellectual giant that is Dick Quax is going to take on Len Brown at today’s Council meeting and I suspect that he believes that through the force of his argument and the righteousness of his cause he will single handedly deliver Len’s head on a platter.

If he fails, and I am sure that he will fail, he has only his long time mate Rodney Hide to blame.  Because the Super City legislation clearly states that apart from giving Len a good telling off the Council are powerless to act.

The Ernst and Young report into the Mayor’s possible use of Council resources to further his affair with Bevan Chuang essentially exonerated him of these allegations.  It did criticise him for his failure to declare some free nights and also upgrades that he had the benefit of from various hotels.  If it was not for the Bevan Chuang allegations I suspect that these complaints would have been brushed aside.  Upgrades occur regularly and are hard to track.  And there is a question whether they were for Len’s benefit or for his wife.  Who can say if Len even knew that the upgrades were occurring let alone that they breached the $300 cap on gifts.

The moral backlash is reaching fever pitch.  Karol is right in criticising the City’s structure rather than Len for the undemocratic nature of Super City.  And before we join the braying mob I think that we should analyse the behaviour of some of the councillors.  Because he or she who is without sin should be permitted to cast the first stone.

The allegations can be summarised that Len engaged in an affair, while campaigning for office he tried to present himself as something he was not (family man verses two timing philanderer) and he did not declare the free hotel nights and upgrades when he should have.

As to the first allegation he is guilty as.  But if this was an office vacating offence then a few of our elected representatives would lose their positions.  The issue is one of morality and not one that goes to the fitness to hold office.  Parliament has determined that those who commit serious offences, for instance electoral fraud, should on a finding of guilt be removed from office.  There is no such requirement for someone who breaches the moral code of behaviour, as opposed to the legal code of behaviour, to stand down.

As to the second allegation I wish that all politicians who campaign misleadingly were obliged to resign when their deception is discovered.  For instance out west Councillor Linda Cooper, who is a current National List candidate but campaigned as being an “independent”, surprised many by turning up to a living wage campaign meeting for candidates out west and pledged to support the living wage campaign.  She then disappointed many by voting against even letting the people of Auckland submit on the proposal as part of the next Annual Plan.  Feel free to sign the online petition if you disapprove.

As to the third allegation well again all the Councillors should come clean.  I understand that the failure to disclose things is quite common.  For instance in 2012 it appears that only ten councillors filed returns and only Richard Northey declared any gifts.  According to this summary which appears to be the latest summary of returns Cameron Brewer, Dick Quax and Sharon Stewart did not even file a return.  So a failure by Len to declare gifts he may not have understood he was receiving is more serious than others failing to file any return at all?

Len is not without fault or immune from criticism.  But he has been elected as Mayor and there is no statutory power to remove him from office with what has been alleged against him.  I would prefer that he pours himself into the job of getting the inner city loop happening, implementing a living wage policy and maintaining his preference for a compact urban form and for him to then sort out his problems in his personal time.

There is no need for him to resign.  To do so would render the City inactive for at least six months as a new election would be needed and the successful candidate would then need to establish an office.

Len should think of his future.  At this stage he would have to enjoy a phenomenally good three years for the people of Auckland to even think about electing him as Mayor again.  This term may be his last.

But there is no statutory power to remove him today and there is a stench of hypocrisy coming from those trying to force his removal from office.

Update:  The no confidence motion has failed because it is outside of standing orders.  Obviously no one on the right thought to be properly prepared.  And tweets are flying saying that Dick Quax said that Shan Inglis is also hopelessly compromised.  Way to occupy the moral high ground, Dick.

264 comments on “Showdown at Auckland Council”

  1. tc 1

    Oh the sunlight it burns, please take it away so the hypocrites and gravy trainers aren’t blinded as they read from their supplied scripts.

    They know it’s pointless it’s all about feeding the MSM with ‘new’ developments

    • aerobubble 1.1

      Novapay… …now even the Super City, everything Key touches, introducing an Auckland Mayor without anyway of removing a bad apple. Key’s the guy who sold off a gambling license and the contract to build a conference center without having a fair open auction!!!

      Key is a complete stuff up, Labour should be demand Keys resignation for his incompetent implementation of a Mayoral office.

  2. Puckish Rogue 2

    Of course he’ll fail because Len “I will always tell the truth, but always with a limit” Brown has no shame, none, anyone else would be so ashamed of their actions they’d do the honourable thing and quit but Len “secret trip to Hong Kong” Brown won’t

    How much does the mayor get paid anyway?

    • Tat Loo (CV) 2.1

      starting with the politics of envy? Lol

      • Puckish Rogue 2.1.1

        Looking for motive ackshully, why else would Len “14 Tawa Drive” Brown stick around…its either the money, power or both

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead 2.1.1.1

          Or, who knows, it could even be the fact that “what right wing pantie-sniffers want” isn’t high on his priority list.

          • Puckish Rogue 2.1.1.1.1

            What right winger is going around sniffing panties?

            Link please or you’re making stuff up

            • Chooky 2.1.1.1.1.1

              Lol….personally I wear Mabel Howard bloomers….(waist -to-knee)….panty sniffing is disgusting…I am pleased to hear you dont know of right wingers who go around panty sniffing Puckish Rogue ….otherwise I might have to get a BIG DOG

              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mabel_Howard

              Bring back the old girls of the NZ Labour Party!

              …..they had dignity and integrity and never had sex on sacred Maori Mayoral tables ….they were professional politicians….and would be appalled at multi story brothels and casino convention centres… as the style piece of the heart ( what heart?) of Aucklands’ fair city

              …maybe Auckland is not the City of Sails….but the City of Panties and panty sniffers

              • RedLogix

                Yes Chooky I do understand.

                However when Mabel was born (1894) the birth control pill was still 70 years in the future.

                As for brothels (and we might add the modern phenomonon of female ‘romance travel’) they are a manifestation of the fact that humans are simply not very good at monogamy.

                Never have been, not likely ever will be. Get over it.

                • Chooky

                  …i hope you are not saying the birth control pill is a licence for actualizing some of the OLDER males fantasies ( that all women are now available to them) and that these fantasies now over-ride all professional decorum and political ethics of males in power

                  …..also …brothels do not equal female ‘romance travel’…moreover brothels service the needs of sad males who can not find romance ( I suggest you think about the reasons why and whether we need this multi-million dollar industry now in New Zealand)

                  ….i suggest you “Get over it”…yours is the outmoded view

    • Paul 2.2

      You really are obsessed with this story, pr.
      I worry for you.

      • Puckish Rogue 2.2.1

        and if this was a right-wing politician you’d be all over it

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead 2.2.1.1

          All over it. Yeah, there’d be blog posts and everything. No, wait…

          • Puckish Rogue 2.2.1.1.1

            Oh please according to the left John Banks is guilty and should go (even though he hasn’t had his day in court) Richard Worth got set up and went and then the charges were dropped but Lenny Browns going nowhere even though hes admitted (again) he got it wrong

            Hes a lawyer, he set up the code of conduct yet hes trying say its unclear?!?!?!

            • RedLogix 2.2.1.1.1.1

              Because exactly what has LB done wrong?

              I want exactly pr .. not bluster, not evasions not another rant.

              Tell us exactly what you think Len Brown’s crime is.

              • Puckish Rogue

                His biggest crime is the crime no politician should be able to survive and thats being a lying hypocrite that has left himself open to accusations of corruption

                So his biggest crime would be hubris

                • RedLogix

                  So you cannot actually tell us what he’s done wrong pr. I gave you the opportunity and you failed to answer.

                  Thought so. It’s all moral panic, bluster and emotive waffle.

                  Isn’t it pr?

                  • Puckish Rogue

                    Its politics, Richard Worth and Darren Hughes all did nothing wrong yet both had to go

                    So yeah Lens left wing so he has to be attacked to help the right just like Banks has to be attacked to help the leftand of course the left and right have to defend their team until the evidence is overwhelming

                    Thats the way the game is played

                    • Tracey

                      um, richard worth was accused of sexual harrassment and falsely used diplomatic status when on a private trip to India.

                    • RedLogix

                      Thats the way the game is played

                      And with this one throw-away line pr gives it up. It’s just a game – all faux-outrage and emotive button-pushing.

                • Tracey

                  so, that would be like lying about the appointment of an official to a spy organisation, or lying about sky city meetings and tender processes? Wouldn’t it?

            • Tracey 2.2.1.1.1.2

              what law has brown broken, and if you consider he is morally broken, which I agree with, will you accept that Banks has morally erred and the PM’s constant lying is also not acceptable. So, will you agree, that Brown, Banks and Key should be gone?

    • karol 2.3

      anyone else would be so ashamed of their actions they’d do the honourable thing and quit

      You mean like the honourable John Banks? Or Double Dipton English?

      • Puckish Rogue 2.3.1

        John Banks has to have his day in court and what English did was within the rules

        • Hanswurst 2.3.1.1

          So which rule is it that says Brown should resign?

          • Puckish Rogue 2.3.1.1.1

            He got caught out lying, cheating and trying to cover it up so mostly being an arrogant hypocrite (or rather being caught out being an arrogant hypocrite)

            • One Anonymous Knucklehead 2.3.1.1.1.1

              Do you understand basic English? Which rule is it that says he has to resign?

            • Hanswurst 2.3.1.1.1.2

              Besides the above from OAK, if that were a rule, it must apply equally to English and Banks. After all, English was caught claiming expenses that were outside the intent of the system. Banks has been shown to be lying and covering up to at least the extent that Brown has, and it is a known fact that he filed a false declaration concerning something which does actually substantively pertain to his official expenses. In the only really relevant comparison (Sky City donation), Brown compares favourably, since he did declare it. The fact that Banks is yet to have his day in court is irrelevant, since there has never even been a credible suggestion that Brown should be tried. Fail, mate. On every conceivable level.

      • Steve 2.3.2

        Karol, agree that Banks should go. His integrity is in tatters, and this will no doubt have an impact on his ability to perform in his role. For the same reasons Len Brown should go.
        I disagree with you on English, I don’t see his ability to fulfill his role being impaired.

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead 2.3.2.1

          How do you suppose Brown’s ability to do his job will be impaired? I have my own reservations about his connections with the National Party (via their money-laundering clients, Sky City), but I think his continued presence will be a good way to help panty-sniffing wingnuts debase themselves. So there’s a silver lining.

          • felix 2.3.2.1.1

            “How do you suppose Brown’s ability to do his job will be impaired? “

            Simple, it will be impaired by his political foes going on and on about his penis.

            • Colonial Viper 2.3.2.1.1.1

              Gee felix, thanks for the visual.

            • Steve 2.3.2.1.1.2

              Or by key stakeholders not wanting to be associated with a Mayor that has opened himself up to corruption allegations. After all, that is the real issue here. The conjecture about the marital affair is largely only brought up by Brown supporters wanting to trivialise the whole issue.

              • gobsmacked

                The conjecture about the marital affair is largely only brought up by Brown supporters wanting to trivialise the whole issue.

                You only need to read this thread and the previous Brown/Herald thread to see how wrong that is. Or any other forum on the subject.

                In the tirades against Brown, “Sex” beats “Sky City” by a mile. That’s probably why the case hasn’t stuck – they aimed low, and missed.

              • Colonial Viper

                The conjecture about the marital affair is largely only brought up by Brown supporters wanting to trivialise the whole issue.

                I didn’t know that Slater and Wewege were “Brown supporters.”

                • Steve

                  Slaters angle was initially always around what breaches of the code of ethics there were, and wether any council money was used to fund the affair.
                  The sky city angle turned out to be a bonus for him.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    yes, that must be why him and Wewege was after all of Len’s sexting, and Chuang’s estimates of his sexual performance. Everything to do with council money etc.

    • Tracey 2.4

      How are you going working your way through the PM’s lies?

    • Delia 2.5

      About $250,000

  3. Tat Loo (CV) 3

    Time to deliver on your campaign promises Mr Brown. Show AKL that you are a Mayor with fight, with a vision for the city, and ready to make good on what you campaigned on. This may be your last term in politics, so make it count, dammit.

  4. Sanctuary 4

    Since when did the media and identity politics factions need evidence for their moral backlashes and witch hunts to reach fever pitch??

    But if the whole moral fever pitch to get rid of Len Brown over not much really beyond a media whipped up moral hysteria is all to much, it is bit hard for us on the liberal left to point the bone at the right on this, given that within the last month or so the left-liberals managed to work themselves into utterly ridiculous levels of po-faced moral hysteria over the Roastbusters. To just repise the facts (as of today) of that infamous Mazengarb moment: their are still no arrests let alone charges over the alleged rapes even though the police hierarchy would have been under the utmost pressure to get the evidence, or any evidence. And there is still no sign of JT & Willies famous Amy, even though every media outlet in the country would have left no stone unturned in looking for her. And worse, feminist academic Deborah Russell, who underlined her commitment to free speech by calling for the outright censorship of anything feminists don’t like, is now the Labour candidate for Rangitikei. Way to go, Labour.

    All in all, from the actual hard evidence on the ground it is looking more and more like a lot of emotion and ink and hot air was expended over a what was largely a gigantic act of teenage fiction on youtube – a huge media beat up leading a lot of liberals who should know better into a complete meltdown of their common sense.

    If supposedly smart, well educated and media savvy liberals can be led to walk all the way down the moral hysteria garden path by a youtube video and smart reporting by infotainment news channels, what hope has Len Brown got of a fair hearing by the mirror image on the right? What goes around, comes around.

    • RedLogix 4.1

      Absolutely spot on Sanctuary. The right couldn’t win an election so they are going to try and win with a smear campaign. The worst part is that so many on the left have been sucked into it.

      In this case it’s the perverted panty-sniffers who think that they have any business in Len Brown’s private life. It’s called private for a reason and far too many of us score a complete fail on this.

      The hotel discounts are a blustering nonsense. This kind of thing is ubiquitous and perfectly normal. How anyone got sucked into thinking that it was worth more than 200 msec of anyone’s time is beyond me.

      And worse, feminist academic Deborah Russell, who underlined her commitment to free speech by calling for the outright censorship of anything feminists don’t like, is now the Labour candidate for Rangitikei.

      Lots of closet left-wing authoritarians get flushed out and fall for these moral panics hook line and sinker.

      • Sanctuary 4.1.1

        The point is that when it comes to the “big” stories then the last two “big” stories (Roastbusters, Len Brown) in our media have almost completely been built on fiction. The thing is though that fiction is about something the pushes peoples emotional buttons. Then the media have got a “story” that will sell, a story that will help put off for another week the next round of cuts. The facts don’t actually matter – we no longer have any sort of responsible broadcast media in this country, let alone a news media. We now seem to have a sort of surreal and immoral media where a story once launched can have its own remorseless logic. Facts – or even the existence of any actual story – doesn’t matter. The story becomes the story, and the usual partisans fight over nothing much, because reporting nothing much is much, much cheaper than paying for actual news reporting.

        • Colonial Viper 4.1.1.1

          Facts – or even the existence of any actual story – doesn’t matter.

          Edward Bernays and others figured this out a century ago. Does the Left in NZ not know this? The mass of people decide on their emotions, not on anything as prosaic and weak as ‘facts’. He helped create the modern world’s first co-ordinated propaganda campaign, turning a heavily pacifist and socialist USA into being pro WWI against the Germans.

          One notable success of propaganda campaigns is that it is often the socially liberal academics and intelligentsia who end up suckered in, acting from then on as advocates for the propaganda, not criticising or challenging it.

      • Colonial Viper 4.1.2

        And it looks to me like the intersection between left-wing authoritarians and identity politics advocates is way up there.

        • RedLogix 4.1.2.1

          That’s a ‘light touch paper and stand well back’ sort of comment CV – but sadly I’m inclined to agree with you.

          While I fully support much of what has been achieved in the name of identity politics – the trap is in the word ‘identity’. While there may be good reasons to fight for justice for your in group, there remains the temptation to compromise on a wider more universal justice for all.

          Personal (identity) ends start to justify means that create costs for all. That’s one of the defining characteristics of authoritarianism.

          • Colonial Viper 4.1.2.1.1

            I think you’ll find this interesting RL, understanding your insight that behavioural and attitudinal problems that many men have stem back from early life.

            Some may dismiss the disadvantages that young working class background males face in society as ‘mere misandry’ but the irony is that if not addressed, many of the issues created will eventually impact back on to women in adult life.

            http://www.city-journal.org/2013/23_4_boy-trouble.html

            Now, though, with teen births down more than 50 percent from their 1991 peak and girls dominating classrooms and graduation ceremonies, boys and men are increasingly the ones under examination. Their high school grades and college attendance rates have remained stalled for decades. Among poor and working-class boys, the chances of climbing out of the low-end labor market—and of becoming reliable husbands and fathers—are looking worse and worse.

            Economists have scratched their heads. “The greatest, most astonishing fact that I am aware of in social science right now is that women have been able to hear the labor market screaming out ‘You need more education’ and have been able to respond to that, and men have not,” MIT’s Michael Greenstone told the New York Times…Instead, the rational sex, the proto-homo economicus, is shrugging off school and resigning itself to a life of shelf stocking. Why would that be?

            This spring, another MIT economist, David Autor, and coauthor Melanie Wasserman, proposed an answer. The reason for boys’ dismal school performance, they argued, was the growing number of fatherless homes. Boys and young men weren’t behaving rationally, the theory suggested, because their family background left them without the necessary attitudes and skills to adapt to changing social and economic conditions.

            • greywarbler 4.1.2.1.1.1

              CV
              Fatherless homes – possibly a mother who is a poorly educated young woman who has not been one of those clever ones to achieve higher education. Then the women in the welfare vision are cast as the entry-level drabs with ‘deadbeat dads’ as the male figure. So no good male role model, and a woman with no aspirational thoughts or opportunities.

          • karol 4.1.2.1.2

            Yes the problem is the word “identity”. It’s been one used to undermine the politics of gender.

            The arguments (as in the research CV s=cites) about boys failing in education and the cause being lack of male role models in the home have been around for a few decades.

            Undoubtedly the failure in education is particularly true of boys from low income backgrounds. And yes, there is a problem for males in low income backgrounds, but it tends to get much more coverage the the problems of women and girls in low income households.

            And children of single parents have a particularly hard time. However, the evidence also shows that girls/women’s advantages in education don’t translate that well into the workplace.

            I note also, the article CV cites shows that the problem is very acute for boys/males of single mothers in the US, and not so much in other countries.

            The Fawcett Society in the UK has also been collecting some stats there.

            these tend to make up around a 1/5th of the average women’s incomes as opposed to 1/10th f men’s, and jobs – almost 2/3rds of the public sector workforce is female.

            Both overall economic inequality and women’s economic inequality are high in the UK. Women are more likely to be employed in low paid, part-time work, more likely to head a single parent household, likely to have less financial assets and more likely to live in poverty, especially in older age.

            [...]
            At the same time, women’s unpaid labour is worth tens of billions of pounds to the economy every year – unpaid carers (the majority of whom are women) contribute billions every year. Women in work and business also contribute billions to our economy and its growth, and are critical to its success.

            The recession has made life more difficult for all of us, but a growing body of evidence shows that it has had a disproportionate impact on women. You can find out more about the impact of austerity on women in our Cutting Women Out campaign.

            At the same time, many of the proposed changes to workplace legislation – often called ‘red tape’ – will impact on women in particular and distinct ways.

            The Fawcett Society has a few articles on “triple jeopardy”

            The current austerity agenda and programme of deep spending cuts has left women facing a ‘triple jeopardy’ of cuts to jobs, benefits and vital services. -

            Too often I see the politics of gender, especially re-feminism as “identity politics” dismissed, while the focus on (male) working class politics is given preference. Why not just look at the particular issues that people are facing. Too often the argument seems to be constructed as working class men vs privileged (middle class) women. Women face many struggles that ARE issues of injustice, marginalisation and oppression. That is what feminism is all about.

            It doesn’t need to be one or the other – working class/low income men or gender politics. Each needs particular attention. I’m all for men taking more responsibility for the children in their whanau/households. But I also don’t see enough attention given to the problems women are facing in these times of “austerity” and extreme bennie bashing, and diminishment of workers’ rights.

            • Colonial Viper 4.1.2.1.2.1

              while the focus on (male) working class politics is given preference.

              The male working class has been destroyed, karol. The neoliberals targeted and destroyed them, in every western country across the world.

              And with that bulwark of the working class destroyed, poor and working class women have no real chance left to fight the coming austerity. And yes, that austerity impacts women disproportionately, as it does for many other oppressed or marginalised groups.

              • karol

                And with that bulwark of the working class destroyed, poor and working class women have no real chance left to fight the coming austerity.

                And they target feminism along with it, because the women’s movement was also working for those on low incomes.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Feminism isn’t a class of workers, nor is it an organised group of workers. It is a political ideology espoused by an intellectual or socially liberal class.

                  More to the point, capitalism has no particular problem with identity politics because most issues of identity politics do nothing to challenge the power of capital.

                  If you had women organised into a union etc, then sure they would pose a potential challenge to capital and therefore be regarded as a threat.

                  • karol

                    Bull shit! CV, you have no idea of the history or extent of the women’s movement here or internationally. I have known many activist feminists from very poor backgrounds. Many work with those in refuges who have little money to get away from abusive spouses for instances. Some work in low paid jobs. Women of diverse ethnic backgrounds who are battered and bruised physically and/or mentally by the shit dished out to them.

                    The women’s movement was an organised grass roots movement. It is no more some abstract ideology than class politics. It’s about women facing very real material struggles, against oppression that have a material impact on women’s lives and bodies.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Of course, I wasn’t talking about the “womens movement,” I was talking about feminism and identity politics.

                      Certainly any organised movement of poor or working class people acting in contrary to the interests of capital was of course seen as a threat and attacked.

                      If you are an organisation simply coping and adapting to the damage that capitalism causes, well, they don’t worry so much about you.

                    • RedLogix

                      OK here’s my experience karol.

                      We all agree just how cruelly we treat our single parents and their children. Overwhelmingly this burden falls on the poorest of the poor, women and especially women from non-European backgrounds.

                      There is our common ground.

                      But looking over the back fence at their lives, you could not help but be both astounded at their courage, bearing and raising children in the most hopeless of situations – but always the heart-break of their repeated, futile attempts at finding a young man with a stable job and future.

                      This inability to form stable families is the critical factor which perpetuates their poverty – and that in turn is a direct consequence of CV’s primary point “The male working class has been destroyed, karol. The neoliberals targeted and destroyed them, in every western country across the world..

                    • Colonial Viper

                      And for some reason karol still goes on about, well we can advocate for both working class issues and identity politics issues at the same time.

                      It’s way too late for that. As we slide further into the decline of empire, identity politics issues are going to become increasingly marginalised. And yes women and other oppressed groups will be disproportionately harmed by austerity.

                      Put another way, the tide of austerity and neo-feudalism is rising. It’s up to the level of our chins right now, and yes it is a shame that women and other disadvantaged groups tend to be shorter because they will often drown first, but make no mistake we are all going under.

                    • McFlock

                      CV, if we’re “all going under”, why do you give a shit either way?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Because I’m just that sort of guy.

                    • karol

                      What is thew women’s movement if it isn’t feminism. And why do you keep referring to feminism as “identity politics” then.

                      And yet you seem to deny there are working class women who also need paid work. Or is it that women should be int he home while the guys go out to work? And is child rearing not work?

                      One of the issues is the amount of unpaid work women do that is necessary to society.

                      There are also issues of violence against women, that cut across classes, and impact particularly heavily on working class women.

                      This:

                      RL: We all agree just how cruelly we treat our single parents and their children. Overwhelmingly this burden falls on the poorest of the poor, women and especially women from non-European backgrounds.

                      There is our common ground.

                      Agreed.

                      But this, after other things CV has said:

                      <iPut another way, the tide of austerity and neo-feudalism is rising. It’s up to the level of our chins right now, and yes it is a shame that women and other disadvantaged groups tend to be shorter because they will often drown first, but make no mistake we are all going under

                      Just seems confused in a callous kind of way – like he knows here are also specific issues for women that get overlooked too often by the left, but still chooses to diminish and undermine them.

                      Women have had to fight for space within the left, in the unions, in class politics (which initially was framed in terms of the realities of men’s lives). And still some guys seem to resent women foregrounding their issues from time to time.

                    • RedLogix

                      And yet you seem to deny there are working class women who also need paid work. Or is it that women should be int he home while the guys go out to work? And is child rearing not work?

                      No of course I wasn’t thinking that. This kind of prickly, dreary suspicion gets us nowhere. I was merely reflecting on exactly what I saw – that the it was the young women toughing it out with the kids and that one way or another the burden fell on them.

                      And the young men with no hope of ever being decent fathers.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Women have had to fight for space within the left, in the unions, in class politics (which initially was framed in terms of the realities of men’s lives). And still some guys seem to resent women foregrounding their issues from time to time.

                      Nah, that’s not it. I have no problem with that foregrounding as long as the principles of economic and social justice are being directly addressed. What I do resent however is a Left which has made a lot of progress in identity politics issues while leaving the working class and the under class behind to be destroyed (whether they are men or women).

                      And the young men with no hope of ever being decent fathers.

                      The same dysfunctional young men who are at high risk of treating women badly, I might add. If this is to change, boys need to be properly supported and mentored from an early age with good male role models.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Yep, and such unions and workers organisations were attacked and undermined, just as any labour organisation was. That’s what I call equal opportunity.

                  • karol

                    More to the point, capitalism has no particular problem with identity politics because most issues of identity politics do nothing to challenge the power of capital.

                    PS: That’s exactly why Thatcher et al set out to destroy the grass roots of feminism along with the rest of the grass roots left in the UK – especially in the cities where groups were well organised.

                    There were campaigns by and for women workers: eg Grunwicks had long running industrial action at one point)

                    Grunwick was the first time that this paramilitary police unit had been deployed in an industrial dispute.[8][9] The mostly female, immigrant, East African Asian strikers – dubbed “strikers in saris” by the news media – were led by Jayaben Desai, whose membership of the union was later suspended following her hunger strike outside the Trades Union Congress (TUC) headquarters in November 1977.[10]

                    Then there were the Greenham women:

                    Another encircling of the base occurred in Dec 1983, with 50,000 women attending. Sections of the fence were cut and there were hundreds of arrests.[2][6]

                    One of the (pretty tatty) women’s centres I often went to in the centre of London, had a sign over the phone warning it was tapped. Also, one of my flat mates reckoned our home phone was tapped at one point. I also went to women’s events where under cover cops infiltrated, then arrested several women, some on suspicion of having drugs – women were strip searched and they found nothing.

                    On and on I can tell you stories.

                    There is a liberal strand of feminism that just wants more of what the well off guys have got. But that is not the grass roots women’s movement I spent a lot of time amongst.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      I’m all for the organisation of labour and of the underclass to challenge the power of capitalism.

                      And yes, that’s why the neoliberals set out to undermine any organisation capable of mounting active resistance to the neoliberal economic agenda.

                    • karol

                      Fair enough, CV @11.37pm. You don’t seem to realise how much feminism has also been fractured by neoliberalism. It just seems to be regaining some strength of late, much like the left generally.

    • karol 4.2

      Sanctuary: media and identity politics factions

      Oh, please – way to draw a long bow. I was also critical of the whole Roastbuster, rape culture thing and WJ & JT’s role in it. Then, on the media and Brown – see my post yesterday,‘NZ Herald: Disgrace to Democracy’.

      So trying to collapse us into one bag and and piggy-back off the despicable Quax efforts as a way to take a swipe at all feminists, please?!!!!! That’s a pretty low blow at left wing feminists in general!

      • Sanctuary 4.2.1

        I’ll be honest, I was utterly and completely shocked at Russell’s words – especially as when given a chance to reconcile them she didn’t – she doubled down. The bottom line ideology for her isn’t democracy, it is feminism. And that makes her unfit the serve in the house of representatives.

        But my connection is the way both the liberal left and conservative right have been led into largely fictitious moral panics my a media who no longer deals in facts.

        • karol 4.2.1.1

          Moral panics are a problem, and have been so in the media for decades: a lot of it has been written about in some classic sociology texts. The media often deals with the the selctive use of facts.

          However, rape culture is a major problem, especially for women and others with limited power. I don’t see that as a media-beat up, moral panic. I don’t think the outrage against rape culture can be in any way equated with the hypocritical use of moralism by the likes of Quax, WO, etc. This right wing “moralism” is being used to try to install a right wing mayor, when they have failed in two elections to achieve that.

        • karol 4.2.1.2

          Also note that, in today’s public council meeting, Team Quax and Brewer used the statements by lefties, including Chris Trotter, who called for Brown to reign, in support of their cause. And Trotter is far from an ardent supporter of gender politics. He supported Willie J And John T re the Roastbusters issue.

          But my connection is the way both the liberal left and conservative right have been led into largely fictitious moral panics my a media who no longer deals in facts.

          In which case a general smear of feminists who opposed rape culture in relation to the Roastbusters, was unnecessary, and thus just seemed like an attempt to smear gender politics generally.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.3

      But if the whole moral fever pitch to get rid of Len Brown over not much really beyond a media whipped up moral hysteria is all to much, it is bit hard for us on the liberal left to point the bone at the right on this, given that within the last month or so the left-liberals managed to work themselves into utterly ridiculous levels of po-faced moral hysteria over the Roastbusters.

      BS. The two cannot be compared. Indications are that the Roastbusters were engaging in rape and then engaging in abusive behaviour towards those they may have raped. This sort of behaviour understandably sickens most people.

      Len Brown engaged in consensual sex to which most really couldn’t care less.

      Upshot, no lost position for the left.

  5. Anne 5

    I understand that the failure to disclose things is quite common. For instance in 2012 it appears that only ten councillors filed returns and only Richard Northey declared any gifts. According to this summary which appears to be the latest summary of returns Cameron Brewer, Dick Quax and Sharon Stewart did not even file a return. So a failure by Len to declare gifts he may not have understood he was receiving is more serious than others failing to file any return at all?

    What annoys me about the Left is that they have counter points like the above which can be used to publicly dilute the allegations made against the target – Len Brown in this case – and yet they say very little or nothing at all. They should be outing the hypocrites in every way – in print, on radio, on TV and on web sites. Instead they are letting them get away with it again. They can’t seem to organise their way out of a paper bag.

    • RedLogix 5.1

      It’s not even a ‘failure to disclose’. There are plenty of perfectly normal business discounts and rewards that do not need ‘disclosing’.

      There is a clear difference between a discount or reward to a high value customer that is a routine practice and/or a normal part of a businesses pricing structure – and a specific gift that has been given to one particular customer as a one-off.

      While it’s easy to construct grey-areas (for instance what about the supplier shouting a good customer Christmas lunch?) in reality it’s pretty easy to tell the difference between the legitimate and the not legitimate here.

      One comes with a specific string attached – the other does not.

    • Rob 5.2

      Yep, its absolutely fine to have done something wrong, if you can point to someone else doing the equivalent or worse. That is the slippery slope.

      • RedLogix 5.2.1

        Done exactly what ‘wrong’ Rob?

        Is it the panty-sniffing you are referring to, or the hotel discounts?

        The only slippery slope here is in your own over-aroused imagination.

        • Puckish Rogue 5.2.1.1

          So you’re saying that accepting upgrades for a hotel room to have a liason with your mistress is fine when the hotel is in negotiations to build a controversial convention center especially when you come out in support?

      • Anne 5.2.2

        Yep, it’s fine you can point to someone who has done something wrong, even though you have done the equivalent or worse. That is the slippery slope.
        FIFY Rob.

  6. unpcnzcougar 6

    We do expect better from our leaders -that is why they are leaders. The thing worth considering here is the history of behaviour. It goes back a long way – affairs and expenses.

    We can’t have a Mayor who is unable to carry out his public duties because he is the laughing stock of Auckland.

    It is appalling that there is no way to stand him down – that he must resign. Are we really going to accept someone who can’t do the job for the next 3 years. Better we are at a stand still for 6 months than to have that happen.

    • Anne 6.1

      Ok cougar one… I want the councillors who repeatedly don’t file returns on gifts received and in some cases don’t file returns at all to stand down and resign.

      What’s good for the goose is good for the gandar.

    • amirite 6.2

      Wut? John Key is a laughing stock for a large proportion of population, but do we see the media calling for his head?
      No, didn”t think so.

    • Murray Olsen 6.3

      Why is he the laughing stock, incontinent cougar? Plenty of blokes will be jealous, and I’d put money on them being part of the Blubber Army. There will be a significant number of women who would have happily swapped places with Amy Chuang. Others will be outraged, amused, or won’t give a fuck. You don’t speak for me. In fact you speak for yourself, and you don’t seem to be laughing at all.

  7. Tigger 7

    It’s a wonderful case of careful what you wish for. You got it, Hide et al, so stfu and live with it.

  8. adam 8

    You know what sticks in my claw? I tried to work with Bevan Chuang, but she was bloody useless at answering emails or responding to correspondence. Indeed it took 5 emails to get a response and two more to get a straight answer. How can the media keep listening to this slack/lazy/disorganised individual?

    Personally, I love the irony of this all, the super city is an epic fail. Time to look for a new way.

  9. Lorraine 9

    Leave Len alone. Let him get on with the business of being Mayor. He is a good Mayor. He hasn’t broken council rules, he may have broken some people’s moral rules but people everywhere have affairs. So what. That is an issue with his family. He was caught by a honey trap.
    This is a right wing conspiracy to get him out and has been all along. If the likes of Denise Krum and Dick Quax can’t work with him they should go and their other colleges that say they can’t work with him. I am sick and tired of hearing moaning about why Len should go. Lets get this city moving and solve it’s problems. Auckland is so over this.

  10. karol 10

    Thanks for this excellent post, micky.

    And this from Adam above:

    the super city is an epic fail. Time to look for a new way.

    Indeed!

    But also, this from the end of micky’s post:

    There is no need for him to resign. To do so would render the City inactive for at least six months as a new election would be needed and the successful candidate would then need to establish an office.

    Len should think of his future. At this stage he would have to enjoy a phenomenally good three years for the people of Auckland to even think about electing him as Mayor again. This term may be his last.

    But there is no statutory power to remove him today and there is a stench of hypocrisy coming from those trying to force his removal from office.

    Yes, hypocrisy from the Quax faction, who are using the beat up of the Brown inquiry to try to remove their political opponents after they failed to win at the ballot box. They don’t want a more democratic Auckland Council. They want to keep it as is and install there own person to do the biddings of the Auckland and corporate elites.

    • Dumrse 10.1

      It’s not all been a waste of time. Your moral standards are now well known.

      • Tracey 10.1.1

        and so are yours… you dont mind liars, as long as they are on your team. I want to see brown, Banks and Key gone, for not just slipping up but not conisdering it worthwhile to take care when it comes to accountability to their voters and their use of the truth

  11. infused 11

    He will fight it out.

    Also, $100 says his wife leaves him after he quits or his term is over. Pretty sure they negotiated something there.

    • Molly 11.1

      “Also, $100 says his wife leaves him after he quits or his term is over. Pretty sure they negotiated something there.”
      … why would this matter to you?

  12. Hayden 12

    What’s Judith Collins on about here?

    “Because ultimately, he’s the one who knows what else might come out, and really I think he can see when his biggest supporter, the New Zealand Herald, has a go at him, as they did yesterday – they didn’t just have a go at him, they completely decided that they were not going to support him any more – I think he really has to think about that.

    “They’ve been his biggest supporter for the last four years, and really, when they’ve gone like that, that tells me something. There’s more coming.”

    (http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11174750)

    I suppose she’s in a prime position to know if the sleaze-meisters have anything else.

  13. grumpy 13

    …seems to be a lot of excitement about 14 Tawa Drive?????

    • Puckish Rogue 13.1

      I’d ask the driver how many times he drove Len to the address and at what times during the day

      • grumpy 13.1.1

        A long way home to Mangere? Probably need to stop over at a hotel?

      • Hayden 13.1.2

        It’s a brothel called Mustangs. If you think Len Brown’s going to be seen at a brothel at any time of the day or night, then… I suppose it’s conceivable, but I don’t think he can be that stupid.

        • Puckish Rogue 13.1.2.1

          I’d say its no more stupid then taking your mistress to the hotel thats trying to get a controversial convention center deal through

          • Hayden 13.1.2.1.1

            Len Brown, Mayor of Auckland, walking into a brothel is a bit different from Len Brown, Mayor of Auckland, taking a hotel room into which a relatively anonymous woman walks an hour later, at least in terms of potential for exposure, if not ethics or morality.

      • Tracey 13.1.3

        and yet you have no questions about the lie after lie after lie the PM has told this nation since 2008. Do you want him gone too?

  14. grumpy 14

    Popcorn!!!!

  15. karol 15

    news reports on the showdown at the council meeting today.

    Stuff:

    Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse was now chairing the meeting and councillors were set to discuss recommendations including plans to censure the mayor and request he repay the personal use of his phone and put money towards the $100,000 cost of an Ernst & Young (EY) report into his two year-long affair with council advisory board member Bevan Chuang.

    Hulse said this was “a huge issue for all of Auckland”.
    [...]

    An informal survey of members of the public across Auckland by Fairfax Media yesterday showed that close to 44 per cent wanted the mayor to resign. About 38 per cent thought he should stay and about 18 per cent were unsure.

    Many said they no longer respected their mayor but did not know who would replace him. Those suggested as replacements included deputy mayor Penny Hulse and mayoral candidates Uesifili Unasa and John Palino.

    NZ Herald: (How is judith Collins getting her oar into this?

    The public gallery at the meeting is full to standing, with living wage protesters – some carrying placards – lining the back rows.

    Auckland Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse won’t say whether she would stand for mayor in a by-election, should Len Brown resign.

    [...]

    “I’m not actually interested in conjecture. I’m interested in focussing on a good outcome today that’s fair, equitable and represents the people of Auckland, as well as a socially just outcome.”

    Ms Hulse said she had absolutely no interest in discussing whether she would stand for mayor if a by-election was held.

    “We need to get through today. We need to make sure that we get a good outcome and we focus in the future.”

    Asked if she had confidence in the Mayor, she said her job was to make sure “the punishment fits the crime”.

    “I’m chairing the meeting. I need to be a neutral party in the middle, and I’m absolutely clear that that’s my job.”

    RNZ:

    The councillors have no powers to do more than formally censure the mayor.

    One councillor says the situation raises major questions about why the legislation surrounding the Mayoral Office is so weak
    .
    Christine Fletcher told Nine to Noon, because of the way the office is set up under law, there’s a lack of accountability.

    “For any mayor in the future, we must ensure that their staff are fully scrutinised and that there are measures of accountability not dissimilar to the office of the Prime Minister within parliament with a parliamentary select committee, going through and making sure those accountabilities are in place.”

    Another councillor Linda Cooper, one of his opponents, told Morning Report the no-confidence vote is not a matter of party politics, but about speaking up for disillusioned voters.

  16. Adrian 17

    Hey PG you seem to know everything, so which Nat Cabinet Minister is that is not declaring his hotel upgrades for his trysts with his half-his-age boyfriend, and who is he actually cheating on, his wife or his boyfriend?

  17. karol 18

    In the Auckland Council Governance meeting currently in process, who shouted “Or the government to interv…? … when discussing ways forward.

    • karol 18.1

      Dick Quax: speaking at the meeting – much politically motivated hyperbole. He appeals to the interest of “ratepayers” – ie code for property owners – who he describes as the “poorest” of Aucklanders, in whose interest he speaks.

      • fender 18.1.1

        Theodorus Jacobus Leonardus “Dork” Quax is a vile failed Act list candidate masquerading as a sensible human. He’s been sucking on the public teat so long and hard he’s now got throat cancer

        • Puckish Rogue 18.1.1.1

          Thats a bit harsh bringing up his cancer, no ones bought up Len Browns heart attack as a punchline

          • fender 18.1.1.1.1

            It’s a warning to others thinking of swallowing Act Party bullshit to beware of the health consequences.

            • Puckish Rogue 18.1.1.1.1.1

              As an example one could suggest that it wasn’t working to hard but w**king to hard that caused Len Browns heart attack

              Do we really want to go down the road of bringing up peoples health issues for humour?

          • karol 18.1.1.1.2

            Agree. Quax throat cancer is not relevant. i would not wish cancer on anyone.

            • grumpy 18.1.1.1.2.1

              …but then karol, you are one of those “caring” lefties we hear so much about….. :-)

    • Naturesong 18.2

      Penny Hulse is very impressive as chair.
      Incredibly patient also – Dick Quax frothing at the mouth, and Brewer throwing mini tantrums.

  18. dv 19

    Oops
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/9534267/Len-Brown-no-confidence-motion-fails

    However, a council lawyer told the meeting the amendment was not allowed because it did not fit within council standing orders.

    • karol 19.1

      I though the vote of no confidence couldn’t be included in the motion of censure because it would negate the whole motion. However, Hulse said Quax motion of no confidence could be put separately after the first motion is dealt with.

      • dv 19.1.1

        Thanks Karol

        • karol 19.1.1.1

          dv, I could be wrong. But that’s how I understood it when watching the live stream.

          • grumpy 19.1.1.1.1

            Voting looks pretty even……

            • Naturesong 19.1.1.1.1.1

              Penny Hulse, after looking at the numbers votes against the motion, which results in a tie, then calls for a break, rofl.

              Does she get to now cast the decider once they return?

            • karol 19.1.1.1.1.2

              I understood it that the last vote was about voting on the resolution before the break, or after they get assurances on how much Brown will pay.Close. Hulse gave casting vote to make it a stalemate, in her role as chair who needs to read the general leanings of the meeting. She voted against the motion to take the vote on the resolutions before the break.

              The point of contention at the moment is getting assurances from Brown as to exactly how much he will pay. It’s not specified in the resolution – according to Hulse that is because it actually could restrict how much Brown pays, rather than include any unforeseen costs.

              • Naturesong

                Thanks for the clarification Karol, I understood the issues you state in the second paragraph but was curious as to why she cast her vote to specifically cause the tie.

  19. captain hook 20

    I hope Len Brown tells all the frustrated super shrews and viragos on the Auckland Super Council to go and buy some energiser batteries for their vibrators and then goes down town for a beer and a waffle.
    Go Len.
    I could hardly hide my disgust litening to Kathryan and some other popinjay from AUT on 9-no-one trying to dismemeber the carcass before Len even had a chance to get in the council rooms and tell them all to go and get stuffed and mind their own frigging business.

    • Tracey 20.1

      yes, only women are awful.

    • Delia 20.2

      Super shrews and viragos..thanks mate. The loudest voice seems to be Quax..he is a shrew or a virago you tell me?

      • Murray Olsen 20.2.1

        Quax would be a duck. As far as I can remember, he wasn’t even all that good at running. John Walker did far better. Poor guy always seems to come second. Cameron Brewer – isn’t he some great businessman? Why doesn’t he go back to it if he finds being on council so difficult? Seems like just another nonentity who’s become slightly famous by spouting NAct garbage.

  20. Chris 21

    Selwyn Manning has a post over at the TDB suggesting that if Brown doesn’t resign, central Govt will step in and appoint a commissioner.

    • karol 21.1

      At the Auckland Council meeting today, others said that if they voted no confidence in the mayor, that central government would deem the council unable to function, and would thus appoint a commissioner.

      Seems like the specter of NAct intervention is hanging over the proceedings one way or another.

      • Chris 21.1.1

        “Seems like the specter of NAct intervention is hanging over the proceedings one way or another.”

        specter, spectre, sphincter?

        With Collins chucking her 2 cents in this morning suggests they have already had the conversation.

    • Naturesong 21.2

      Would that be enough to prompt the herald to run another Democracy Under Attack headline?

      • Hayden 21.2.1

        I think that would require John Key to build a laboratory, assemble a creature from the remains of Mao, Stalin, Hitler (reconstituted ashes!) and Mugabe (killed especially for this purpose), animate the creature during a lightning storm while laughing maniacally, resign and somehow hand over the prime-minister-ship to it. Either that, or Labour back in power.

      • Chris 21.2.2

        unlikely

    • Sanctuary 21.3

      Selwyn Manning is about as sane as Cameron Slater – that is, not much at all.

    • karol 21.4

      Often Manning seems to me to take a strongly strategic position over issues of conviction and policy or left wing principle.

      • Tiger Mountain 21.4.1

        He is also barking if he thinks Phil Goff would be acceptable. Presuming he survives the vote, Len should only think about standing down if full fresh elections are offered, anything less is right wing coup territory.

        • karol 21.4.1.1

          Martyn Bradbury is pushing the Goff line as well. Of course, it could be an indusement to get Goff out of parliament.

          however, I should note the endorsement Hulse got from fellow councillors. I think it was Christine Fletcher who noted that very often Hulse was in the room for the ongoing attention to council business while Brown was out and about doing PR, opening events, doing photo ops etc.

          • Naturesong 21.4.1.1.1

            Well, the upside is that it would get Phil Goff out of Parliament.
            There’s a win for Labour right there ….

            • Puckish Rogue 21.4.1.1.1.1

              and a win for Auckland

            • grumpy 21.4.1.1.1.2

              Labour thought enough of Goff to make him leader and his constituents vote well for him. It seems only left activists on this site don’t like him.

              • Naturesong

                You can paint them as left activists on this site, but it’s really everybody that upon looking over the economic policies of the last 30 years has come to realise that neo-liberalism produces worse far outcomes for the majority of a countries constituents than does social democracy.

                That’s irrespective of which party they belong to.

  21. Chris 22

    TVNZ Breaking News

    “Auckland councillors have rejected a motion of no-confidence in Mayor Len Brown”

  22. Te Reo Putake 23

    And its over. Brown censured (15 to 5). Then the mayor says “next item” and the council moves on.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11174750

    • Puckish Rogue 23.1

      As big a fan of Rodney Hide as I am he really got the supercity makeup wrong…should have been some sort of check or balance implemented

      ah well

      • Tiger Mountain 23.1.1

        Several photos appeared online of Rodders “Benito Hideolini” with his arm raised etc during the lead up to the super city and there was tut tutting about Godwinning. At least one of the photos appeared to have been lifted from an ACT conference others with Nazi symbols pure photoshop.

        While Hide is not a fascist the Super City model is certainly a corporatist one. The Mayor was meant to have dictatorial powers. And the opaque unaccountable CCOs to keep the ratepayers at arms length. Rodney and the right got it correct. They just got the wrong mayor.

        I don’t mind if Len decides to go, but in a way he should not go just because of the rights collusion in all of this. There had damn well better be a full fresh election not some sort of coup involving an unelected commissioner.

  23. Fisiani 25

    Will Len Brown be as truthful to Council as he was and is to his wife. Sadly that will haunt him till he resigns.

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 25.1

      Correction: “of interest to prurient panty-sniffers” ≠ “haunting”.

      Sad, but true. Well that is to say it’s true and you’re sad.

    • Murray Olsen 25.2

      How do you know what he’s said to his wife? Did Key let you have a listen of the GCSB tapes? The right have a real problem with sex. I wonder why?

  24. Philj 26

    Xox
    Phew! Quite dramatic to follow on the blog stream. Talk of Commissioners for Orkland Super City! What’s next? Rodney Hyde for. MAYOR 2016! HAHA

  25. fisiani 27

    Will Len Brown be as truthful to Council as he was and is to his wife. Sadly that will haunt him till he resigns

    • karol 27.1

      Will Rodney hide be haunted for the rest of his natural, by the undemocratic monster of a council he played a major part in creating?!

      • newsense 27.1.1

        no. As the Herald suggests, he’ll only be haunted if a ‘centre’ right politician doesn’t get to use it to sell, sell, sell and user charge and other things I can’t even think of without the chance of any opposition…

    • Tracey 27.2

      Given your love and devotion to honesty, you must despise John Key and his lie upon lie upon lie. Although I have never seen any posts from you to that effect?

  26. bad12 28

    What the Auckland Council should have been debating this morning: The Auckland City Budget!!!

    So just who is wasting time and the rate payers monies, the fabulous five have failed in their attempt to have a vote of no confidence in the Mayor and should now shut the f**k up and get on with the job they are all over-paid to perform which is to administer the City of Auckland,

    5 big time losers, a spectacular display of right wing nut-jobbery…

  27. clifford wright 29

    Well it brings home to me why just why I ceased to be a Labour voter back in the 1980′s.
    I’m certainly wasting my time, I suppose, but PLEASE don’t be quite so “one eyed”.
    Corruption is corruption, whoever is guilty of it. Some posters here seem to be implying that Len Brown is “different” because he is “left of centre” and deserves special treatment.
    Now I personally despise everything the “New Right” stands for, but looking at history one has to be aware that they got their start (especially in the UK) with the fear of some irresponsible and corrupt unions.
    Every time I feel a bit of old time Socialism coming on, I remember how the Arthur Scargill of the UK miner’s union turned up to strike meetings in a Rolls Royce.

    This whole Left/Right thing is long dead. Now the real divide is between those who believe in a
    reasonably honest governmental system and those who just want to grab the “goodies”.
    In South America its already happened, the middle class has been largely destroyed. There is little or no social mobility and you are either a peon, a corrupt rich sod or a drug baron.
    \
    As for those who despise the “middle Class”, well I guess I’m a member of the Lower middle class.
    I’m not rich, but we survive, despite being hammered from both sides by paying the taxes of the rich and subsidising the wealthy, through rent subsidies etc.
    BTW my own great grandfather was illiterate but nearly all my family has at least one University degree.

    • karol 29.1

      Going off at a bit of a tangent there, clifford. but this:

      Some posters here seem to be implying that Len Brown is “different” because he is “left of centre” and deserves special treatment.

      Exactly where is this being implied? or this?
      PLEASE don’t be quite so “one eyed”.

      Certainly not in this conclusion to the post by micky above:

      Len should think of his future. At this stage he would have to enjoy a phenomenally good three years for the people of Auckland to even think about electing him as Mayor again. This term may be his last.

      But there is no statutory power to remove him today and there is a stench of hypocrisy coming from those trying to force his removal from office.

      It’s the NAct government that set up the supercity structure within which the mayor operates that is the problem that sets up the context for any solution.

    • Colonial Viper 29.2

      Clifford Wright.

      Class war is alive and well. And it’s the 0.1% who have just about won.

    • gobsmacked 29.3

      Corruption is corruption, whoever is guilty of it. Some posters here seem to be implying that Len Brown is “different” because he is “left of centre” and deserves special treatment.

      No, he should get no special treatment at all.

      He should be treated just like all the other MPs, Ministers and councillors who have not resigned.

    • Te Reo Putake 29.4

      Great Right Wing lies of our Time, No 94:

      “Every time I feel a bit of old time Socialism coming on, I remember how the Arthur Scargill of the UK miner’s union turned up to strike meetings in a Rolls Royce.”

      If you’re going tell porkies, pal, at least get the lie right. During the strike, it was put about that Scargill had a secret mansion and that in that mansion a Rolls was garaged. The truth was that he lived in a bungalow in Barnsley and did not own a car at all.

      • Blue 29.4.1

        No not a mansion , a £1.5 million luxury apartment in London ( he’s demanding the miners union pay for)and another house in Yorkshire he owns. He’s just about bankrupting the union with his demands …. And he’s retired! No Rolls Royce however.
        http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1386730/Arthur-Scargill-faces-eviction-1-5m-luxury-apartment-NUM-launch-legal-action.html

        • Paul 29.4.1.1

          The Daily Mail…ok

          • Blue 29.4.1.1.1

            It wasn’t the only reference. If you read the article Scargill states his belief he us entitled to it until he dies.

            • Te Reo Putake 29.4.1.1.1.1

              Diddums. As the article says, it was a contractual entitlement primarily related to his legal work for the union in London, which carried on long after his formal retirement. The value of the flat his increased markedly, as has most property in London, but the contract remains.

              I gather it’s going to court, but it appears to effectively be a done deal, presumably in lieu of other retirement entitlements.

              Any other slurs you want slaying?

              • Blue

                Since when is fact a slur ? He admitted it. Did the big words confuse you ?

                • Te Reo Putake

                  Admitted what? That he was contractually entitled to use of a flat in London? Doofus.

                  • Blue

                    Ok I see. The ” Len Brown ” defence. He’s entitled. Perhaps he should live the values he espouses.

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      He does. One of his values is that workers should receive their contractual entitlements. I think you’ll find that’s a popular concept, except in reactionary circles.

  28. Tracey 30

    “The no confidence motion has failed because it is outside of standing orders. Obviously no one on the right thought to be properly prepared. And tweets are flying saying that Dick Quax said that Shan Inglis is also hopelessly compromised. Way to occupy the moral high ground, Dick.”

    Like gerry Brownlee doesnt understand the rules of the house after all these years…

    • grumpy 30.1

      How is Shan Inglis not compromised. Just by remaining with the crook she is compromised. Its just a matter of degree.

      • One Anonymous Knucklehead 30.1.1

        …because making compromises is immoral. Tolerance is evil, and forgiveness take the hindmost. Or something.

  29. gobsmacked 31

    Comrades of the Remuera Popular Front! Prepare for the next move against the blood-sucking imperialist Brown who feeds on the misery of our downtrodden masses!

    This weekend: Hikoi from Epsom golf club to Epsom bridge club (ladies a plate). Bring your children, and their nannies. Wear your private school uniforms with pride. We shall overcome!

    • Te Reo Putake 31.1

      Comment of the day!

    • Te Reo Putake 31.2

      CENTRAL NEWS AGENCY OF THE DEMOCRATIC PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF REMUERA

      Despicable Bloodsucker Len il Brown Condemned

      PYONGYANG (KCNA) — With the people clamoring for justice, a special military tribunal of the DPRK Ministry of State Security was held against Len Brown, traitor for all ages.

      The world public will never forget the malignant slanders uttered by Brown, the enemy of the party and the revolution and a servant of the fascist clique of South Auckland.

      These crimes will be admitted to, following which hurrahs for the Workers’ Party of Remuera and socialism will reverberate far and wide.

      Brown behaved so arrogantly and insolently as unwillingly standing up from his seat and half-heartedly clapping, touching off towering resentment of our service personnel and people.

      Brown set up a secret organ under his control and took a fabulous amount of funds from a bank and purchased precious metals in disregard of the state law. Brown thus committed such anti-state criminal acts as creating a great confusion in the financial management system of the state.

      Brown is a hooligan bereft of any personality as a human being, did great damage to the building of a thriving nation and the drive for the improvement of the people’s living standard, and will feel the weapon of singlehearted unity.

      Dreaming a fantastic dream to become premier at an initial stage to grab the supreme power of the party and state, Brown made the department put major economic fields of the country under its control in a bid to disable the Cabinet. In this way Brown schemed to drive the economy of the country and people’s living into an uncontrollable catastrophe.

      Brown dreamed such a foolish dream as to seize power by a base method, democracy, then revealed despicable true colors as a “reformist” known to the outside world.

      All facts go to clearly prove that Brown is a thrice-cursed traitor without an equal in the world, who had desperately worked for years to destabilize and bring down the DPRK. The hateful and despicable nature of these anti-party, anti-state and unpopular crimes will be fully disclosed in the course of the trial. No matter how much water flows under the bridge and no matter how frequently a generation is replaced by new one, the lineage of Paektu will remain unchanged and irreplaceable.

      No one in the world can stand in the way of the army and people who are advancing single-mindedly united around supreme leader Dik Kwax Un under the banner of great Kimilsungism-Kimjongilism-JongKeyVeryIllism.

      Citizens may discuss the trials in the official golf club forum or denounce a friend or family member using the form below.

      (not entirely all my own work, TRP)

      • Colonial Viper 31.2.1

        Unfortunately it doesn’t seem to me like Brown had his “secret organ” under that much “control.”

    • karol 31.3

      looking forward to seeing the RPF protesting outside the courtroom at Banks’s trial.

    • Anne 31.4

      Comrades of the Remuera Popular Front

      formerly known as the Blue Rinse Brigade.

    • Rodel 31.5

      GS-Well said.

      ‘Wear your private school uniforms with pride’..(.and bring your harps.)

  30. MrSmith 32

    Nice try Micky but he has to go or Auckland is set to become more of a Laughing stock than it already is.

    You put yourself out there in the public eye then you should be squeaky clean or at-least declare your not at the start, otherwise you lose the peoples trust, then your credibility and hell nobody seems to give a shit about his wife and family including Len.

    Left wing Right Wing or whatever the man is history gone or the world apart from the Len Brown fans will still be Laughing at you and your Super City Mayor a couple of years from now.

    I get the impression here people are afraid of another Mayoral election, have a little faith.

    • Chooky 32.1

      Mr Smith +100

      I note a lot of derision and ridicule of the Remuera matrons on this site from old Lefty (sexist)boys …however it should be remembered that these women are voters ….and some of them potential Labour voters

      Glib Len ‘the naughty’ may yet come back to bite Labour and his old Lefty apologists in the bum….
      eg. I doubt if the new feminist international FEMEN would approve of Len or Auckland’s multi-million sex industry… sited right at its heart…. which our Len voted for….This ain’t cool !….and Len ain’t cool! … in fact Auckland ain’t cool….just sleazy!

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FEMEN

      • Colonial Viper 32.1.1

        Please don’t incite the ‘Remuera Matrons’ into any topless protesting.

        • Grumpy 32.1.1.1

          I’ve heard that quite a few Remuera matron quite like a bit on the side. What was that scandal at the tennis club?

          • Colonial Viper 32.1.1.1.1

            Yeah, I’ve heard similar. In fact, Michelle Boag suggested on air to Len Brown that if he wanted an affair, a wealthy wife with too much too lose to not understand the term “discretion” would have been preferable.

        • Anne 32.1.1.2

          I doubt whether those “Remuera matrons” will ever vote Labour Chooky.

        • Anne 32.1.1.3

          Couldn’t handle it aye? – CV @ 32.1.1

        • Chooky 32.1.1.4

          I would love to see ALL Auckland’s Matrons ….Samoan, Maori, Pakeha ( especially from South Auckland and Remuera) ….in a topless protest ….chasing the Mayoral car in their Mabel Howard bloomers

          …it would probably scare the B Jesus out of most bad men and scare Len ‘the naughty ‘ out of Auckland politics for good…… if it didn’t finish him off …he could retire to the beach for a long recuperation

      • BIGDOG 32.1.2

        I blame Helen Clarke ,as old ladies like that would have been in a secure facility with appropriate meds ,not making a show of themselves in a public street,if she hadn’t shut them all.As to Auckland becoming sleazy,I cant help but wish that everyone who’s moved here since 1960 just buggar off and leave the rest of us to die in peace,people used to stand in buses for women etc,etc,zzzzzzzzh

  31. Steve 33

    “Who can say if Len even knew that the upgrades were occurring let alone that they breached the $300 cap on gifts.”
    Gee, sort of sounds like the John Banks defence…….

    • newsense 33.1

      it is (incidentally.I don’t agree with it)..and yet the Herald doesn’t seem to be clamouring for him to resign his seat or not vote in the Sky City bill on it’s front page..

  32. karol 34

    OK, I did understand it correctly when I was watching the live stream of the meeting this afternoon. NZ Herald reports:

    The council is deliberating whether to vote in option ‘f’ – “note the Mayor’s apology and expression of contrition for his actions; and mindful of the importance of maintaining political stability and confidence in the governance of Auckland, signals its willingness to work with the Mayor in the best interests of the people of Auckland.”

    If that fails a “no confidence” motion can be taken.

    • mickysavage 34.1

      Right you are Karol.

      If I was Quax I would have drafted and submitted a resolution for consideration before the agenda had been finalised. Having to adjust and deal with the official resolution means that it has the front running. It was well drafted and had a bit for everyone in it.

      • karol 34.1.1

        Well, micky, there was a lot of argy bargy around clause f & the attempt to include a vote of no confidence in the resolution. It wasn’t easy to follow, especially if one got distracted at all.

  33. Tanz 35

    Even Penny Hulse wants him to go. The guy has no integrity and his job is second only to the PMs. Is this post for real?

  34. greywarbler 36

    Chris Trotter has a few words about Brown comparing his situation to Toronto’s Rob Ford. And finding certain similarities.
    http://bowalleyroad.blogspot.co.nz/
    Then he assesses some astute moves on Brown’s part and the value of Rodney Hide’s design of the political structure for the top platform of the volcano at Auckland.

    Auckland’s first “super mayor” turned out to be a rather daffy family lawyer from South Auckland. A great emoter and prone to random outbursts of song, Mayor Len Brown did not, in my view, appear to be either tough-minded or no-nonsense. He was, however, possessed of a keen legal mind and very quickly appreciated the possibilities inherent in the “executive mayoralty” Hide had bequeathed him.

    Using the super mayor’s budgetary independence and patronage powers, Brown very rapidly constructed what I believe was a well-nigh impregnable political position within the governance structures of Auckland City. So much so that he could, without the slightest trace of irony, instruct his councillors to “leave their politics at the [council chamber] door”.

  35. Lorraine 37

    Yes I agree, likening Len Brown to Ford is insane. Ford has broken a number of laws. Len has maybe had some bad judgement but he hasn’t broken any laws. He did not use our money unwisely. This is such a witch hunt by the right wingers. I wonder how many skeletons in their closets can be found. I think Len and his family has suffered enough. It is shocking that such intimate details were published about the affair and spread virally. There was a conspiracy by the right wing to set him up with the honey trap. These right wing witch hunters are behaving like he had an affair with a child. She was a 32 year old woman who was very aware of what she was doing. He also has not been violent towards someone. So he had sex in an office or the like. Well if walls could talk I bet there would be thousands of them that can tell of such things.
    Are all these councillors that are trying to linch him squeaky clean themselves? I think not. For a start off I think they are pretty vicious malicious people in their attack on the elected Mayor. They don’t have the right to chuck out someone that many people in Auckland voted for just because they don’t approve of his mistake. If they can’t knuckle down to work and put all this behind them then they are not up to the job.
    I am shocked at the Herald’s action in all this and Chris Trotter’s likening Brown to Ford. Not in the same ballpark. Get over yourself Christ Trotter and get a life.

  36. Lorraine 38

    I personally have my doubts about how effective some councillors really are if they put there obsession with destroying Len and his family above their duty to work for the good of this city.
    It all seems very childish to me all the booing and threats etc. I think they are behaving like a bunch of bitchy teens. They can not speak for the people of Auckland as they do not represent all the views of the people of Auckland. Maybe they need to learn that they are elected officials paid to do a job. If they are not capable of doing that job and putting their petty hates aside and getting on with the job they are not doing what they were elected to do.
    I feel unfortunate that one of these forked tongued councillors is supposed to be representing my ward. She is a newcomer to council and maybe thinks that it is appropriate to claim she is representing the people of this ward when in fact she just showing us all what a nasty and vengeful person she. Can’t see her doing any good for any of us.

    • Pascal's bookie 38.1

      It’s all getting pretty GOP V Clinton.

      They’ll be trying to appoint a special prosecutor next.

  37. clifford wright 39

    I have just had a look at later posts and while several are very reasoned one poster “Lorraine”, strikes me as the very epitome of what I was on about!
    Strange to relate Lorraine, not every person is unfaithful to their partner, not every person involved in local organisations are “on the take”.
    Oddly enough I’m involved in a very small way myself, but I did it because no one else came forward and I had some particular problems in mind to sort out, one of which is already done.

    This assumption of corruption is something that came in with the whole “monetarist” disease.
    The people behind it were not only corrupt themselves they assumed that everyone else was because they were uneducated and stupid (if full of feral cunning).
    The trouble is, this attitude has now permeated our thinking to such an extent that we seem to expect
    politicians and even administrators to be corrupt and worse, we accept it!

    • karol 39.1

      Strange to relate Lorraine, not every person is unfaithful to their partner, not every person involved in local organisations are “on the take”.

      Where did Lorraine say that they all are?

      And this from Lorraine:

      how effective some councillors really are if they put there obsession with destroying Len and his family above their duty to work for the good of this city.

      What have Brewer, Quax et al done, or what do they plan to do for the good of Auckland and all Aucklanders?

  38. captain hook 40

    who farted in church.
    was it the quacker or one of the botoxed babes.
    or was it just the lingering smell of blubberguts.

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