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Wet Dick and the Perverts

Written By: - Date published: 10:37 am, December 27th, 2013 - 135 comments
Categories: auckland supercity, Gerry Brownlee, len brown, local government, Satire - Tags: , , , , ,

Should be the name of a group from a bizarro version of the 1960′s. But no, it is what passes for the governance of the Auckland City Council these days. There is our mayor with his wet dick. Then we have the five perverts who are busy emoting faux outrage for political purpose whilst quietly forgetting…

  • Perverts are people who get so obsessed by other peoples sexuality that it is usually symptomatic of a mental disease. They should leave that kind of crap for the experts at being nuts – like Fox News and Cameron Slater. We don’t elect councillors to be be perverts on our funds. We elect them to help run the city.
  • We also didn’t elect Len Brown for his skills as a dick. We elected him because there were no other viable candidates, and he has been doing a adequate job of pushing Aucklands interests. The exorbitantly over-priced Ernest & Young report revealed no significiant malfeasance apart from the questionable decision of accepting free rooms from SkyCity while the conference centre decision was going on. It makes his skills as a dick irrelevant ot running the city.
  • Moreover Rodney Hide and his Act put the mayor of Auckland in a completely unassailable position back in 2009. So it really doesn’t matter how much the Perverts cry about not being allowed to watch, he doesn’t have to let them. They should direct their whining toward Rodney Hide’s other supporting group – the Nationals.
  • It is pretty clear that not only are the counciller Perverts opportunistic mastubators, they are also getting in the way of what needs to be done this year. Currently they’re wasting the councils time and my damn rates on irrelevancies. While I’m sure that the council perverts:- Dick Quax, Cameron Brewer, Linda Cooper, Sharon Stewart, and Denise Krum (with Christine Fletcher as occasional backup) find this more entertaining than the humdrum of passing the unitary plan, we didn’t elect them for their faux outrage. At present they could exert more effort in accounting for themselves.
  • The downside of all of this is that if this stupidity continues we will eventually wind up with some dumbarse from Wellington being dumped in. Look at the masterful lack of progress happening under Brownlee’s ‘leadership’ in Christchurch to see how we can rapidly forge ahead under those circumstances. The number of refugees from that fair rubble currently residing in Auckland can attest to the efficiency of that approach. They left.

save_the_pervertsThe council should settle down to the work at hand and stop pissing about on things that cannot be changed. If they don’t like that they can’t be changed then they should put part of their efforts into changing the bloody stupid governance that the incompetent morons from Act/National foisted on to Auckland City.

Right now I think that the only other alternative to continuing the council as it is, would be to dump the whole council for dereliction of duty. Preventing the current incumbents from standing and reelecting from fresh is starting to look like a damn good idea. There are some pretty interesting people in the local boards who look like they could do with some more experience. They have to be better than the has-been perverts we currently have to put up with.

135 comments on “Wet Dick and the Perverts”

  1. you have just made the shortlist for ‘headline of the year award’..

    ..in the whoar-awards..(coming in jan..)

    (you can take this as an official invitation to the awards-ceremony..@ a date to be announced..)

    phillip ure..

    • and that is two awards you are up for..eh..?

      ..first you make the shortlist for ‘most improved censor’..

      ..and now ‘headline of the year’..

      ..whoar..!..eh..?

      ..there might be two awards fighting for space on yr mantlepiece in the new year..eh..?..

      ..phillip ure..

      • weka 1.1.1

        I was thinking “post of the year that most encapsulates borderline extreme bad taste, hilarity and astute political analysis” ;-)

        • Tim 1.1.1.1

          Surely such an award would have to go to John Key. He rivals Sir Les Patterson – to such an extent that he even seems to have managed to capture Madge and Phil’s attention (hopefully as one of those quaint little colonials someone with an eye for the main chance could schedule for next year’s Royal Variety performance.
          Madge is soooo desperate to get down with the kuds dontcha know!

        • lprent 1.1.1.2

          …encapsulates borderline extreme bad taste, hilarity and astute political analysis.

          Thanks. That was the desired effect. I thought (and wrote) some serious political analysis. However it didn’t really suit the dumb stupidity of the situation.

          Satire and bad taste was far more appropriate….

  2. RedLogix 2

    And for a spot of balance, let me politely point out that Len was not the only party responsible here. After all – exactly where did the all this wetness of dick come from?

    Because while it’s easy and traditional to place all the responsibility for what happened onto the ‘nasty, exploitative older man’ but in reality both Len and Bevan are adults who are accountable to no-one else but their families. I still maintain it was none of our business; personally I’ve never even read the apparently explicit details over at Voldemort’s.

    As a society we are desperately hypocritical about sex. We construct monogamy as the ideal, yet over our lifetimes almost none of us practice it. I’m reminded of the cute old aphorism “Polygamy in the East is simultaneous, in the West – sequential.”

    Not of course that I’m particularly advocating for the patriarchal Eastern model of polygamy, but you have to acknowledge that it did have the advantage of maintaining the economic unit of the family intact in the presence of multiple partners, while our sequential model destroys it over and over.

    I not claiming any answer here, except to observe that we are still very much in the middle of a massive social transformation, triggered by the advent of reliable birth-control, the tremendous victory of feminism which has established the equal and inalienable rights of women to control their own bodies, and a remarkable body of new science around human sexuality of which many people remain unaware.

    At the same time we have yet to cut the Gordian Knot between sex and family. Whether we can, or even should, decouple the two remains an open question. All I can suggest is that our current ‘sequential polygamy’ model is only one of many possibilities and that maybe the future will see other variants becoming more common.

    Humans are a highly sexual species. Outstandingly so – we have hundreds of acts of intercourse for every live birth. Both genders invest an astounding amount of time and energy into attracting partners. In private people express an astonishing range of sexual preferences, practises, desires and taboos. Yet in the public domain we are still bizarrely stuck on denial – prurience and hypocrisy dominate.

    It’s the usual pattern I suppose, reality shifts silently underneath us and the reactionary idiots carry on denying it for generations.

    • karol 2.1

      to a certain extent, RL, I agree.

      However, it’s not just about sex, it’s about power. And in the Brown-Chuang relationship, Brown had the most power. It was a relationship that arose out of Brown’s and Chuang’s roles within the council. So it’s not just any relationship between an older man and a younger woman.

      Then WO et al got in on the action with their/his own access to channels of power. I also have not read the WO documents – the blow-by-blow account of what happened seemed of little relevance, other than to exert power via the infotainment of the corporate media.

      The personal is political when the exertion of power is used, especially when it results in abuse. RL, you seem to be oblivious of the diverse ways sexuality and power permeates politics.

      So, it was legitimate to review whether power was abused by Brown in relation to his council activities. They found nothing on that score. Brown does not seem to have abused his power in the relationship, other than that Chuang probably would not have responded to his advances if he wasn’t the mayor. Why Chuang did that is another issue. Female groupies of powerful men seem to me to be trying to acquire access to power, within a patriarchal system, via sex. Not something I would recommend. And ultimately it’s colluding with the system of power.

      But if you want to see how the political power can bleed into personal and family relationships, look at the revelations about Tim Shadbolt, when mayor of Waitakere City, as reported by his ex wife in 2006.

      The article reads like a familiar scenario of partner and child abuse: both psychological and physical, by Tim Shadbolt. Keeping quiet about such abuse, keeping it “private” enables the abuser, and ultimately works to reinforce patriarchal power. Shadbolt played on the aura of his public image to aid his serial adultery. Brown’s conduct, as publicly revealed, did not come even close to this.

      But if Shadbolt’s behaviour had been known at the time he was mayor of Waitemata, or if Brown had behaved in a similar way, a resignation from political office would have been in order, IMO. Actually, Shadbolt seems like someone not fit for public life.

      The Brown situation is not an issue of the private should remain private: it’s about whether Brown drew on his political power in his personal relationships, and/or whether he abused his power in his relationship with Chuang and/or his wife. The evidence so far re-Chuang is that, mostly he did not, other than capitalising on the aura of mayoral power in his relationships with Chuang, and thus also with his wife.

      Shadbolt’s past history is a disgrace in both his public and personal life. In the 70s I had great respect for his apparently radical politics. Since then he seems to have sold out to local council power, become pretty MOR politically, and abused his power in his personal relationships. His physical violence is criminal.

      I never had as much respect for Brown’s politics as I once did for Shadbolt. Brown has merely disappointed both politically and in his personal relationships. He does still have soemthing to offer public office.

      As Lynn says, there are more important and pressing issues for the council to be focusing on.

      • RedLogix 2.1.1

        Intelligent and thoughtful as always karol.

        Brown does not seem to have abused his power in the relationship, other than that Chuang probably would not have responded to his advances if he wasn’t the mayor. Why Chuang did that is another issue. Female groupies of powerful men seem to me to be trying to acquire access to power, within a patriarchal system, via sex.

        Which is another way of saying that Chuang exploited her relative youth and sexual attractiveness to advance her own purposes.

        Because while we have this social convention that it is the male who should make the overt ‘advances’ in reality the other person usually makes it pretty plain that they are ‘available’ beforehand.

        I don’t see how this always makes the male the responsible party, liable for all the blame when things go pear-shaped. Feminists fought long and hard for women to be treated as equals with men, yet whether they intend it or not when they paint women as always being the innocent victims of the patriarchal system, they convey a different message.

        The personal is political when the exertion of power is used, especially when it results in abuse. RL, you seem to be oblivious of the diverse ways sexuality and power permeates politics.

        No I don’t think so. Setting aside the plainly abusive and exploitative scenarios where one partner is coerced emotionally, physically or socially into have sex they would not otherwise contemplate – that still leaves plenty of sex going on between consenting adults where the apparent power differentials are a background factor only. Unless we are going to police every possible sexual liaison to check that the two parties involved are ‘suitable equals’ then we have to accept that some degree of differential in relationships are inevitable and not normally anyone else’s business to comment on.

        Nor is this a one gender street – to put it plainly, while it is true that men are prone to treating women as sex objects; equally there are plenty of women who treat men as walking wallet objects.

        Grown ups get to negotiate these hazards for themselves. Preferably without the rest of us making a running critique.

        • karol 2.1.1.1

          Yes. yes. Women can be guilty of using and abusing their sexuality too.

          But overall it is a patriarchal system that works to the benefit of more men than women. It’s not just about how individual men and women operate within it. It’s about how their behaviour either reinforces or challenges the patriarchal system.

          I didn’t claim that Chuang was totally innocent, only that she had less political and social power than Brown, and sought to use her sexuality to obtain more power (for herself alone, not other powerless women) – a double edged thing that ultimately reinforces the patriarchal system – and that is ultimately harmful to the majority of women, especially those with least wealth and power.

          I would say Judith Collins is a woman with quite a bit of power (from her class and political position) who uses her apparent dominatrix sex appeal to reinforce and enhance her political power. I don’t understand that “sex appeal”, but it does seem like it results in her getting a few fan bois working on her (self-serving) behalf. Ultimately, that kind of sex-power play also reinforces the patriarchal system, while ensuring Collins maintains a strong position within it.

          Also, there’s a noticeable gender difference in the way Collins’ dominatrix appeal plays out, from the way in which the Shadbolt and Brown adulterous relationships play out. And that also reinforces the patriarchal system.

          • RedLogix 2.1.1.1.1

            I hadn’t thought about Collins like that – very droll. :-)

            and that is ultimately harmful to the majority of women, especially those with least wealth and power

            Well I think we’ve had this discussion before. I agree totally, there is no doubt that the patriarchy inflicts gradations of harm with poorer women firmly towards the bottom of the heap. Throw in race, culture, sexual orientation, disability and you can discern even finer degrees of cruelty. No quibble with this at all.

            At the same time plenty of men find the system dis-empowering as well. The heap does not have any cleanly defined boundaries, women down in that sector, all men up over there. I would argue that most men are losers in the patriarchal power game as well. Real power is reserved for a tiny minority of hyper-wealthy who have nothing but contempt for all of us ordinary folk.

            Yet what you have written here karol is evidence that we all play out roles within the patriarchal system. That while it is a system which derives its values and behaviours from male dominated warrior cultures; both genders are complicit in sustaining it.

            As long as we keep framing the battle against this patriarchal model of behaviour as a battle between the genders – I’d suggest we are falling into the old divide and conquer trap.

            • Colonial Viper 2.1.1.1.1.1

              Indeed. In this system 90+% of us on this planet are disposable proles. Regardless of sex.

              The system does certainly apply gender differences at times to determine how exactly you get fed into the capitalist meatgrinder and how thoroughly you get mangled – but I dont think that those differences are the most pertinent aspect of the our predicament.

              • RedLogix

                Exactamund.

                At the same time, if I attempt to channel karol for a moment, this is not a reason to ignore the experience and insight of feminism.

                What I’m feeling around for is a bridge between what she is saying (because emphatically I do not think she is wrong) and what you are saying as well CV.

                One useful element is perhaps thinking more clearly about the libertarian/authoritarian inversion I wrote about yesterday.

                Another is more clearly decoupling the mode of behaviour we call patriarchy – from something we that exclusively blame men for perpetrating and benefiting from. If we define being male as inherently being patriarchal we have no path forward – short of exterminating all men.

                Decouple the two and we free up men from having to defend who they are – and create the space for a new masculinity to arise.

                And if at the same time women acknowledge their complicity in sustaining the patriarchy, then patriarchy as a mode of behaviour might vanish quite rapidly. (Most men being remarkably quick at adapting when the women in their lives make it plain which way the bed is going to be laid so to speak.)

              • karol

                Actually, CV, I don’t think either capitalism, patriarchy or imperialism are primary, with the others being somehow incorporated within the primary system. They are interwoven systems. It depends on the issue, the context and the moment in time for a particular society.

                I witnessed several of those sorts of discussion in the 70s and 80s, about which system of oppression was primary: some anti-racists would say that the primary oppression was “race” or ethnically-based and capitalism developed on the back of slavery and other forms of colonisation; the radical feminist would say that gender is the primary division, that patriarchy pre-dated capitalism and that it would be possible to dismantle capitalism without dismantling patriarchy; some socialist feminists agreed that patrarchy pre-dated capitalism, while others argued that prior to capitalism women were far less oppressed.

                Ultimately these are fruitless discussions – it depends on the issues. issues like rape and sexual exploitation tend to focus more on gender differences; issues of women and poverty, focus more on the role of women within capitalism; some issues of gender exploitation involve looking at both the gender differences in society and the way capitalism and racial/ethnic divisions work.

                If you think gender differences aren’t a major focus within the structure of our society, consider why, the first question asked when most children are born is: “Is it a boy or a girl?”; why traditionally, one of the primary questions on official forms, passports etc is “male or female”? (at least until very recently); why some people are quite disturbed when they can’t tell if a person is male or female?

                The differentiation by gender is traditionally one of the most fundamental ways people are categorised, and labelled.

                Right now, at this point in history, turbo-charged “neoliberal” capitalism is a mjor problem that is endangering the very existence of humanity. But capitalism could be dismantled and there could still be continued oppression or enslavement of some people on the basis of ethnicity, gender and/or sexuality….. or other characteristics, such as able/disability, or age…..

                • karol

                  Murray Olsen, re Len Brown’s wife and honesty and trust:

                  NZ Herald October – Len Brown timeline.

                  A National MP was allegedly the source of a tip to Len Brown’s campaign team that the mayor’s affair with Bevan Chuang was going to be made public.

                  A source inside the Brown camp told the Herald yesterday that the campaign team was alerted to the sex scandal about lunchtime on Monday, October 7 – five days before postal voting closed in the local body elections.A National MP was allegedly the source of a tip to Len Brown’s campaign team that the mayor’s affair with Bevan Chuang was going to be made public.

                  A source inside the Brown camp told the Herald yesterday that the campaign team was alerted to the sex scandal about lunchtime on Monday, October 7 – five days before postal voting closed in the local body elections.
                  [...]
                  After the tip-off was given, Mr Brown was told and left the Auckland Town Hall to go home to Manukau where he told wife Shan about the affair.

                  • Murray Olsen

                    Maybe, but I wouldn’t regard the Herald as an unimpeachable source. I would still class myself as a “don’t know”.

                    • karol

                      Oh. But that was the first one I found when I searched.

                      It was fairly widely reported at the time. Also that Brown was spending time with his wife and family after he’d let them down.

                      It seems NZ herald was the first to report that line, but it sounds like it came from a statement from Brown, and One News repeated it:

                      Meanwhile, Mr Brown has revealed that he told his wife, Shan Inglis, about his extra-marital relationship after he “became aware through connections” that someone was talking about it.

                      “We became aware through connections, who I’m not prepared to go into, that someone or another was talking about it. At that time I told my wife,” he told the NZ Herald.

                      When asked if he believed there was anything more to come out that people needed to know about he said “there had better not be”.

                      Brown has never contradicted this. Seems pretty likely to me.

                    • RedLogix

                      Still Murray may be hinting at another point. It’s not unusual for partners in long-term relationships negotiate some form of non-exclusivity.

                      Sometimes it’s open and mutual, other times it’s more in the nature of a trade-off and compromise. Most often it’s a case of what is usually termed “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”, in other words, “it’s ok to have some extra on the side, but don’t tell me, and don’t let it threaten the primary relationship”.

                      But of course we cannot, should not, know the exact circumstances here. It’s just another good reason why we shouldn’t be speculating and judging.

                    • karol

                      And yet, RL, you are speculating, when, as far as I can see the evidence points to Brown not telling his wife until it became public Looks pretty certain to me – not really speculation.

              • karol

                RL, I agree that patriarchy is not something that is based on sex-based birth characteristics: it’s about learned and socially prescribed behaviours: masculinity and femininity.

                It’s not so much about blaming men en masse, as asking, who benefits? and who is contributing to the maintenance of patriarchy? On balance, more men benefit form patriarchy than do most women: that’s why it’s called “patriarchy”.

                The issue of non-monogamy is one issue that, the ways non-monogamy are practiced, tend to benefit more men than women. Yes some women are not monogamous, especially when they don’t have children to care for.

                The experience of Tim Shadbolt and Miriam Cameron is shared by many who were into the anti-monogamy discourse of the 60s and 70s. Ultimately many women became disillusioned by it, because they found that, in practice it more often worked OK for men but not so well for many women. And especially, as with Miriam and Tim, the woman is left with most of the child care responsibilities, while the guy is able to continue to focus on his career, and, if he wishes, is still able to indulge in extra marital affairs as if he were single.

                • RedLogix

                  The experience of Tim Shadbolt and Miriam Cameron is shared by many who were into the anti-monogamy discourse of the 60s and 70s. …

                  I think anyone who writes these days about non-monogamy explicitly states that if the existing primary relationship has problems then adding more people will only make things worse. Tim Shadbolt’s personal story (an abusive father for a start) and rather chaotic life suggests that that particular couple were never likely to be poster children for their lifestyle. Moreover as long as the dominant culture remain hostile to non-monogamy anyone experimenting with it is going to be playing into a stiff head-wind.

                  And I’d also suggest that the 1970′s were 40 years ago; there has been a great deal learnt and written on the topic since then.

                  Non-monogamy is of course much broader than the question of who sleeps with who, it’s about children, collective property and the ability to communicate clearly and honestly. Not a lot of people (and I’d would not count myself in) are capable of pulling it off – there just aren’t the social mechanisms and networks to support it in our society. On the other hand if we look outside of the narrow Western model there are various examples eg the Mosuo who provide a glimpse of how it is quite possible to order things differently.

                  Furthermore I’ve learnt from various encounters both within my own rather tenuous and extended family, and from those my partner has related to me, that most people with who have stable, successful non-standard relationships tend to be very private about them. Most outsiders never suspect.

                  • karol

                    Ah, yes, I know there are various and more recent views on nonmonogamy, and various ways it’s practiced successfully. But we aren’t in a society where it is easy for women to successfully enter into one. As, I think, Tracey, said in this thread: a non-monogamous/open relationship requires honesty and trust, and I don’t see that as having happened in Brown or Shadbolt’s marital relationships.

                    We also live in a society where men tend to get more positive responses for having multiple sexual partners, and women still tend to be labelled a “sluts”. Also, we are in a society where children are considered to be the property of their birth or adoptive parents, and are not seen as a collective responsibility. And we still live in a society where women tend to be allocated the main role in caring for their children.

                    It is in relation to child birth, child care and child rearing, that many women still start to realise that we do not live in a gender equal world. And it hits low income women, especially single mothers on benefits, the hardest.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Somewhat inevitable given the abandonment of full employment policies and the mass destruction of well paid union protected working class manufacturing jobs.

                    • RedLogix

                      We also live in a society where men tend to get more positive responses for having multiple sexual partners, and women still tend to be labelled a “sluts”.

                      Something that annoys me intensely. And oddly enough it’s other women who are most likely to vociferously attack with the slut label. Never understood that.

                      Also, we are in a society where children are considered to be the property of their birth or adoptive parents, and are not seen as a collective responsibility.

                      And yet at every summer holiday camp, what do the all kids from all different families instinctively do? They naturally form a little tribe and run around looking after themselves. And if the families know and trust each other, the adults do look out collectively for them. (Ok so my example ain’t perfect, but the underlying observation is there.)

                      You’ve accidentally or otherwise touched on exactly one of the encounters I was thinking of. Five women (they were all quite elderly when I knew them) living together in one large old farmhouse, who had collectively raised a whole bunch of children between them. They were far removed from hippies or anything alternative – accident, WW2 and illness had variously struck their lives and they banded together to make a much better collective life for themselves. (My father did think that it was likely there were some sexual relationships within the household as well – but that was never publically apparent).

                      The point is that matriarchal non-monogamous arrangements have potentially big pay-offs for women as well.

                    • karol

                      RL, i knew 3 women in London who lived together as a trio – seemed to work OK for them, though they had no children. But I gather such relationships work better if the relationships are egalitarian.

                      I also think a committed trio or group relationship is a lot different from one partner in a couple screwing around (Shadbolt) or having a sly bit on the side (Brown), in an inegalitarian world.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      “Something that annoys me intensely. And oddly enough it’s other women who are most likely to vociferously attack with the slut label. Never understood that.”

                      Yep. Some of the most unkind things I’ve heard about Bevan Chuang and also her various interviews have come from women, younger and older. Funny that I don’t see feminists attacking these women about their attitudes.

                      Of course, those women didn’t have anything nice to say about Len Broken either…

                    • Murray Olsen

                      Karol, do we know whether there was honesty and trust inside the Brown family or not? My view is that we don’t know what the family dynamic was at all, and shouldn’t jump to conclusions.

                    • karol

                      CV, @ 7.39pm:

                      In general, women are strongly socialised to monitor themselves in terms of their public behaviour and appearance – they get into some very strong self policing, and women in groups can turn such monitoring on each other.

                      It depends on how aware women are of the impacts of such policing. No women I’m close to or even who I work with, have been unkind about Bevan Chuang. And I have not seen any women here (or commenters who I understand to be women) being nasty about Chuang. I’ve actually only seen it from commenters I perceive to be male.

                    • lprent []

                      And I have not seen any women here (or commenters who I understand to be women) being nasty about Chuang. I’ve actually only seen it from commenters I perceive to be male.

                      I seem to remember one critical woman back when the story broke. But on the whole, yeah you’re right. Almost all of the comments by people I know are female commenters haven’t uncharitable about Chaung.

                      However there have been quite a few women commenters who have been pretty critical of Len Brown.

              • RedLogix

                But capitalism could be dismantled and there could still be continued oppression or enslavement of some people on the basis of ethnicity, gender and/or sexuality….. or other characteristics, such as able/disability, or age…..

                Maybe. I’m not so utopian to imagine the human race is about to transform into complete saints overnight. But equally I’m convinced that we are capable of accessing different modes of behavior.

                I was rather taken by one author writing about the tight genetic equilateral triangle between chimpanzees, bonobos and humans, described chimpanzees as our bad angels and bonobos as our good angels and that humans had the choice of accessing either the hierarchal, agonic mode of the chimps, or the more communal, hedonic mode of the bonobo.

                There is a lot of evidence that shows the prime drivers in human behaviour are expectation and circumstance; and I would argue that the turbo-charged neo-liberal captialism creates the expectation of greed and circumstance of dog-eat-dog competition. In such an environment we naturally choose the agonic mode of behaviour – much of which we also call patriarchy.

                We’ve been stuck in this agonic mode since the advent of agriculture, so long now that we have trouble imagining the alternative.

              • Colonial Viper

                Who cares if marginally more men have one of the too few life rafts than women in the patriarchy? The Titanic is fucking sinking. Most of the passengers aren’t going to make it, male or female.

                And this is what more and more ordinary people are instinctively realising. So if the Left can’t pull together a coherent, concrete vision of a way ahead, its irrelevancy and disconnectedness will continue to grow.

                • karol

                  Ah, well then, we may as well leave it to the all powerful capitalists – the select ones who want to build their sustainable life-raft/gated communities – and let them be the ones that survive in the interests of the survival of humanity.

                  I may as well go to the dance hall on the Titanic and forget about politics.

                  Way to rationalise your lack of interest in feminism (or anti-racism), CV! By resorting to a teleological abstraction. Life goes on now, and is a struggle for way too many.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Identity politics is fine karol, as long as it is directly addressing issues of economic justice for all. Life is certainly a struggle for way too many, and boutique identity politics provides no answers for most of them.

                    • karol

                      There you go again, reducing gender politics to some narrow idea of “identity politics” – no matter how much I explain otherwise. With you I seem to be wasting my energy.

                      CV, the survival of society on the face of diminishing resources is important. You also have a very narrow definition of “economy” it seems. Economy is also about the way society operates and the impacts of the forms of culture therein.

                      In the worst of scenarios, societal collapse, I fear a world in which competition is fierce and only the physically strongest survive. You only have to look at what happens in war zones, and societies in extreme poverty – in refugee camps near war zones, physical abuse, sexual abuse, rape and exploitation of women and children are rife – and it’s no picnic for the elderly and physically disabled.

                      As well as ensuring adequate use and maintenance of resources, it’s important to attend to prepare the kind of society that will best survive. if the survival society turns out to include abuse of the weaker people, and endemic rape etc, then i’d rather go with the first wave of the apocalypse. it’s not the kind of society I’d wish to live in.

                      In fact, I don’t think there’ll be sudden collapse of society, but “the long descent”: so even more important to attend to the kind of society we are preparing for the future. One that is truly democratic in a participatory way.

                      it’s the grass roots organisation that will sustain us in the long term – not some superficial narrowly “economic” solution from above, without the full participation of the community.

                      So much of most societies is dependent on the informal economy, and that is largely the unpaid activities of women – the ones who care for others in the family, maintain the household, etc.

                      That’s why any solution, in Marilyn Waring’s terms, needs to be include a “feminist economics”, or at least a feminist slant on it.

                • RedLogix

                  The frustrating thing is I agree with both of you …..

                  I agree with CV that by far the dominant inequality gradient in our society is economic. That fewer than 50,000 people in the world control all the important assets and decisions in the world, that just last year it was estimated that these people have some $30 trillion dollars (enough to pay off the deficits of most governments around the world) piled up in cash in Caribbean tax havens – and a thousand other facts we know about the world, makes this apparent.

                  At the same time the left cannot ignore or dismiss the experience of feminism, and the fact that globally the position of women as a whole has only improved marginally in many places.

                  It’s as if the uber-wealthy have lifted up one end of the carpet and amuse themselves watching the rest of us tumble and scrabble among ourselves as we fall. Yet if there is one group on the left who know how to take on steep odds and win – it is people like karol.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    “At the same time the left cannot ignore or dismiss the experience of feminism, and the fact that globally the position of women as a whole has only improved marginally in many places.”

                    ? With the general loss of solidarity with the downtrodden working class and underclass of our own nation, the ability to express solidarity with oppressed groups in other nations has dropped off to not much at all.

                    • RedLogix

                      OK.. but at the risk of dragging my grumpy old dad into this conversation again … he often made the point to me that all important social reforms are invariably driven by the women.

                      Even if it is the men who are the public face of the movement, the core tenacity and momentum of the movement is kept alive by the endurance and indomitable spirit of the women involved.

                      Two examples:

                      The Victorian anti-slavery movement.

                      Christianity itself. It was Mary Magdalena who understood that the meaning of Jesus’ life did not end with his physical crucifixion rather it began with it. All the male disciples were about to wander off in despair.

                      If you want solidarity CV that’s where it comes from – families and homes. Places where women rule.

                    • karol

                      CV, you clearly do not know much about feminism. There’s a lot of it about. You just need to know where to look – or just to explore.

                      Try bell hooks.

                      Sheila Rowbotham

                      Rosemary Hennessey

                      Naomi Klein (began in politics as a feminist activist)

                      World Pulse

                      Fightback: socialist feminist day school.

                      “Questioning economic success through the lens of hunger”.

                      Of course, the MSM doesn’t represent feminism or its scope very well. neither does the parliamentary left – just as Labour Parties internationally have been infiltrated by the neoliberal disease.

                      Many of us feminists have never lost sight of class issues, or issues for women in diverse countries.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      RL, of course women are leaders in social change, and are consistently so throughout history. Which suggests that women know how to wield power within a patriarchy when required.

                      Let’s have a look at your examples. The abolitionist movement struck at the heart of the old world economy and addressed a massive, widespread and concrete issue of economic and social justice. These women weren’t addressing a boutique identity politics issue.

                      Mary Magdalena. Her insight was a spiritual one transcending the boundaries of the human condition, impacting millions of followers world wide in very many concrete ways. Not what I would call boutique identity politics either.

                      In both cases, women created concrete change with broad social and economic impacts.

                      As for your comment around women creating solidarity and change using the home and the family as a basis…not sure what the feminist retort to that is, but it seems like a patriarchal attitude belonging in the past.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Hi karol, thanks for those links.

                    • RedLogix

                      not sure what the feminist retort to that is, but it seems like a patriarchal attitude belonging in the past

                      Now you are taking the piss just little :-)

                      But fair enough – my weak excuse is that I got caught up in my own historic context. Otherwise the god ate my homework ….

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Yeah I sorta am taking the piss.

                      Just wait until you consider the male corollary of how women should not allow themselves to be defined by the thinking frameworks, expectations and examples set by men, especially men who have no idea of the day to day challenges and pressures that women face in modern society.

                      After all, what is good for the goose…

          • Murray Olsen 2.1.1.1.2

            The WhaleSpew army certainly understand Collins’ dominatrix appeal. On the few occasions when I used to read stuff there, they made it very obvious. I suspect it tells us yet another thing we don’t want to know about the Tory psyche.

        • Tracey 2.1.1.2

          Being treated equally doesnt not necessarily mean becoming the same. It does take two to tango sexually but there are always exceptions. For example, child and adult. And The guy from palino’s crew who appears to have deliberately manipulated someone who he must have known was in love with him. That doesnt make her innocent but not does it make her a calculating bitch (not that you said she was, just making a point).

          As for monogamy. I dont understand why people who dont want to be monogomous get married, go into partnership with one person UNLESS they have told them they want an open relationship etc… I have been in a monogomous relationship for almost 23 years. To me trust and honesty is more important than monogomy. If you dont want exclusiveness tell your partner. They can choose to stay or go. Too many want their cake and eat it to though.

      • RedBaronCV 2.1.2

        Not sure If I’m on the right track here but I also feel that Quax and Brewer are behaving badly in taking it upon themselves to moralise in public on behalf of the Brown family. Why are they entitled to allocate to themselves the “so called moral high ground” and use their public office to do so? I doubt very much that the family allocated this job to them -they can speak for themselves presumeably if they want to. Somehow, I can’t imagine this with all the roles reversed. i.e women speaking on behalf of a “wronged man” and thinking they are entitled to do so.

        • Tracey 2.1.2.1

          and that their morality is selective. No condemnation of the right and their behaviour…in council or anywhere else. Its no secret Brewer is aiming for central government but already has one-eyed morality down pat.

          • karol 2.1.2.1.1

            Yes, Brewer, Quax, WO et al are hypocrites. they clearly don’t care much about how their smears of Brown hurt the women (or families) involved – only want to use the revelations to smear and attack Brown in any way they can to bring him down.

            I’d still vote for Brown before I’d vote for Brewer…. or Quax…. or their mate dodgy John Banks.

      • Murray Olsen 2.1.3

        What I heard about Shadbolt’s exploits as Mayor out west made him seem like a one man Roastbusters. I first came across him in the mid 70s and was never impressed by his politics or his personal behaviour. I always thought his radical lifestyle was purely to get up close and personal with the braless earth mother hippy chicks and celebrate a bit of free love with them. I suppose we don’t need the details, but he made Len Brown look like a choir boy.

        • karol 2.1.3.1

          Well, I was young in the late 60s and early 70s, didn’t know Shadbolt, and only knew him by his speeches and public activism. He seems to have been a pretty disorganised mayor of Waitemata, as far as I can tell – all attention getting show., poor on substance.

    • weka 2.2

      RL, I took one of the points of the post to be that the sex was irrelevant except to the degree which politcal opponents are fixated on it as a weapon. In that sense, the person the mayor slept with is also irrelevant. What is relevant is whether Brown’s sex life has any negative bearing on his ability to do his job. I think you are largely in agreement with this, so am a bit surprised to see the issues being raise in your comment. I like the idea of examining societal hypocrices re sex and looking at new models, am just not sure if that’s possible in this particular thread though. I suspect it will just becomes about Brown and Chuang and gender.

      • RedLogix 2.2.1

        I think you are largely in agreement with this, so am a bit surprised to see the issues being raise in your comment.

        Fair point weka. In my defense I was making some very general comments around our social attitudes towards sexuality – because after all these are the underlying reasons why Len Brown’s opponents have shamelessly used this story to attack him. And why so far the tactic has been effective.

        It remains to be seen if Slater gets to topple Brown and if he does it would represent an egregiously dirty and low point in NZ politics. At the very least we can safely predict that Len is unlikely to win a third term and that alone makes me very uncomfortable.

        • Tracey 2.2.1.1

          I agree that it was the sexual aspect that slater and cook et al used to try to bring him down. A tactic they have all reserved for the left exclusively. Lets not forget Palino.

          Let’s also not forget Mr key said he read about it on WhaleOil.

          I’ve lost respect for Brown and wouldn’t vote for him again. From the credit card stuff at MCC to not feeling he owed it to us to declare his freebies etc… I’ve also felt that the sky city convention centre vote was the last straw for the man who claimed the south of this city were his family. he seems more and more about himself.

          IF Penny Hulse were to stand she would get my vote.

          • lprent 2.2.1.1.1

            The point is that there is absolutely nothing that can force Len Brown to stand down, and he shows no sign of wanting to do so.

            In the meantime the perverts on council are wasting time and resources being even more pointless (than they usually are). Anything they do apart from getting their National allies in parliament to change the legislation is essentially meaningless.

            You will get an opportunity to vote in 2016. Suck it up until then.

    • Humans are a highly sexual species. Outstandingly so – we have hundreds of acts of intercourse for every live birth. Both genders invest an astounding amount of time and energy into attracting partners. In private people express an astonishing range of sexual preferences, practises, desires and taboos. Yet in the public domain we are still bizarrely stuck on denial – prurience and hypocrisy dominate.

      Spot on, Redlogix.

      Little wonder that our ancestors displaced Neanderthals and other competitors for the Top Dog on this planet.

      Never mind cranial capacity and brain-computing power – we were better at rooting!

      And if that’s a common factor for any/all intelligent species throughout the Universe, I can imagine the first words to come from aliens, as they emerge from their spaceship parked beside the U.N. Headquarters;

      “People of Earth, we come in Peace!

      … so, cutey, what are you doing Friday night?”

  3. captain hook 3

    so did they get their campaign funds form the blubberguts slush fund too?
    quax looked like he swallowed a rotten prune and brewer uses too much soap and its just a complete mystery how these things ever got elected in the first place.
    they all look like psychopaths/serial killers from some b-grade american crime procedural movies.
    Auckland you must do better in the future.

  4. irascible 4

    Great post and totally endorsed. The Auckland Five have conspired to discredit the Auckland Council in their effort to secure their places in the National-Act hall of infamy. Quax has been a thorn in the governance of Manuukau as well as Auckland ever since he was elected.

    http://theirasciblecurmudgeon.blogspot.co.nz/2013/12/more-on-being-apoplectic-over-len-brown.html

  5. RedBaronCV 5

    Actually if I was an Auckland ratepayer I would be more upset than you Lprent.

    I can be pretty sure that no member of the Brown family has invited the likes of Quax and Brewer to handle the personal, emotional side of this issue on their behalf and spend ratepayer funds on it.

    So, should the money have been spent? More importantly, was it spent legally or should the AG intervene?

    It seemed odd when the chief executive announced that he’d be doing a review so have had a look around.

    Of course the CEO does have delegated spending authority from the Council. If an item is in the approved annual plan then up to $7.5m on capital or contracts can be authorised without referring this back to the Council.
    No way is this matter in the Annual plan.

    The CEO will have some general delegated authority too – haven’t yet found what this is. This is to enable him to approve lessor internal matters put forward that are not in the annual plan. This is an approval level for him, not a spending level as such.

    Might sound like hairsplitting, but the CEO could approve a proposal put to him by staff for say a Go kart track around the office for $100,000. This is unlikely to fall within general council objectives so he would surely say no. If he is the only person that wants the track he would have to get the Council to approve the spend. Essentially, he should not be wearing more than one hat, which he is, if he proposes, spends and approves any amount.

    There is also the little matter of letting tenders. I checkd and couldn’t find anything on the tender sites. Mainly used by public bodies to avoid issues of favouritism and perdetermined outcomes. No mention of anyone other than EY being asked? Jobs for the boys? And of couse there a legal fees etc so the spend rises.
    .
    So, was the CEO spending legitimately and within his delegations and the protocols? If not, then the AG needs to be called in. Has a personal liability been created for the CEO?

    Boring background and the sensible course of action:
    Boring though it is, a normal protocol, if management suspected a councillor was out of line financially, would be to report it, usually to the finance and audit sub committee of the main council. There should also be a reporting line from the Council’s audit team through to this committee and also to the Auditor General who audit the council.

    The committee would then, depending on the size of the issue, either refer or advise the Council’s auditors and in discussion with them and the council audit team determine who would investigate. The AG might do it themselves or the councillors on the subcommittee might recommend the next steps. Either way if the subcommittee is sensible, they would distance themselves and allow the AG to either do a review or handle any subcontracting of it. At the same time they would authorise the money that it would cost if it was done externally.

    If management thought all councillors were doing something wrong then he would bypass the council committee and go straight to the AG.

    Feel free to edit and cut back.

  6. Tracey 6

    And please let’s not forget the sham that is the horribly overpriced reports that PWC and Deloittes and anyone who is the latest friend on the lobbying/cocktail circuit gets courtesy of the rate/taxpayer. It’s another form of subsidy.

    Why do we continue to believe that if they have a fucking huge building, with artwork and lost of people in suits they must be the best for the job?

    The right hate the beneficiaries but shower the consultants in gold.

  7. Grumpy 7

    Sure, sex sells and Len has provided mega page hits for Whale and this blog. Ignoring the sex, sleaze, corruption etc. the thing that has struck me is how nobody actually likes Len. The best that can be said, even by rabid lefties, is that he was the best option. Of particular note is his apparent sense of entitlement and self importance. Gilmore on steroids.
    What a sad indictment.

    • Grumpy 7.1

      P.S. Love the cartoon…..

      • lprent 7.1.1

        I’m expecting a petition to be in the perverts armoury soon. I thought I’d get a good cartoon ready to show what the objective is…

    • RedLogix 7.2

      Sure, sex sells and Len has provided mega page hits for Whale and this blog.

      Not from me it did not grumpy. With any amount of fantasy porn just a few clicks away on the net, I really didn’t need to invade Len, his family and Bevan Chuang’s private lives to get my kicks.

      Gilmore on steroids

      Gilmore made a public drunken arse of himself.

      Two important distinctions you should have a long hard think about.

      • Grumpy 7.2.1

        Wowser……when he became mayor, he has no “private life”, just like John Key….

        • weka 7.2.1.1

          May as well set a camera up in his bedroom right now then.

        • RedLogix 7.2.1.2

          As weka has concisely pointed out, the notion that ‘politicians have no private lives’ is both selective and bogus.

          The rule is: unless the matter involves criminality, clearly compromises their ability to do the job, or invokes a gross hypocrisy – then it’s off limits. Period. No exceptions.

          Just to be clear, if any author at the The Standard were to treat John Key’s private life in the same way LB’s has been I would be furious.

          • lprent 7.2.1.2.1

            Never happened. Unlikely to happen. We’re not pathetic sleazy self-destructive arseholes like Cameron Slater.

            Hell I haven’t even published the well-known (and much sent to me) private life of Cameron Slater. I restrict myself to referencing it after he does.

          • One Anonymous Knucklehead 7.2.1.2.2

            The rule is: unless the matter involves criminality, clearly compromises their ability to do the job, or invokes a gross hypocrisy – then it’s off limits. Period. No exceptions.

            If that were true, neither the Right nor the Left would target individuals in Chuang or Brown’s position. There would be no story.

            But as Grumpy points out in his own special way, the problem is the blackmail, not the philandering.

            • Frank Macskasy 7.2.1.2.2.1

              The worst that can be said of Brown’s affair is his use of SkyCity’s upgraded hotel rooms. They may have been free upgrades and not cost rate payers a cent – but that’s not the point.

              That was truly stupid and he left himself wide open on that.

              As I wrote elsewhere, his political acumen is badly lacking not to have considered the consequences of such poor decision-making.

              Is it a “hanging offence”? Should he resign?

              My first thought is “no”. Why should rsatepayers have to fork out simply because Brown made an arse of himself, and left himself open to being “influenced”?

              But he really needs to lift his game or, at the next local body elections, go look for another job.

              • karol

                Frank: As I wrote elsewhere, his political acumen is badly lacking not to have considered the consequences of such poor decision-making.

                Is it a “hanging offence”? Should he resign?

                My first thought is “no”. Why should rsatepayers have to fork out simply because Brown made an arse of himself, and left himself open to being “influenced”?

                But he really needs to lift his game or, at the next local body elections, go look for another job.

                My thoughts exactly.

                But also, WO, DPF, and all their followers still can’t believe that Brown’s tepid failings are not a reason to resign. They thought they had enough smear to end him, but they ended up with a weak little tale, and their own nasty game playing there for all to see.

                And still, when the review shows little, they keep trying to stretch the point, and make a few weaknesses into an offence that requires Brown do penance in the worst ring of ell for the rest of his natural.

                • Indeed, Karol.

                  And ironically, with all the mud and excrement they’ve been throwing around, it seems that Slater, Wewege, and Brewer have been splattered as well.

                  Slater for exploiting Bevan Chuang in the most gratuitous way. (And why was he texting her so often that she finally had to go to the media to tell him to cease and desist?)

                  Wewege for lying about his relationship with Chuang. What ewlse has he lied about?

                  Why did Polino reportedly meet Chuang in a carpark late at night?

                  And Brewer being outed for not disclosing his own freebie trips to Aussie, until prompted by Council officials.

                  If I were Quax, Brewer, et al, I’d be quietly dropping this one.

                  I think Brown will have his day in 2016, one way or another.

              • RedLogix

                I’m not so sure Frank. Initially I would have agreed with you. But consider this scenario:

                You are a Councillor on say, Porirua City Council. You’re wife regularly shops at several different local supermarkets and every time she spends more than $90 on groceries she gets a voucher for $4c/litre discount off the petrol. Over time the discount adds up to a fair sum because of the amount of travel you do.

                As it happens one of those supermarkets is making a consent application for a big expansion and you’re sitting on the committee.

                Would you consider it necessary to declare the ‘free gift’ of the petrol vouchers? Would it be reasonable to declare a conflict of interest and recuse yourself from the committee?

                And would it be ‘corruption’ if you decided not to?

                I’ve made this point over and over – there is a very real difference between a standard commercial discount and a gift. If the EY report had showed that these discounts had only been ever given to Len Brown, by Sky City only, then we might have a problem. Otherwise no.

  8. Bill Drees 8

    Great post Lyn.

    Brewer and Quax are the least able and least connected Councillors. Brewer has no portfolio and Quax has the smallest. New Councilors like Clow and Watson and the Mayoress-in-waiting will be the shapers of this Council.

  9. Rodel 9

    Don’t forget the other perverts..The Remuera harpies (female and male) slathering and foaming at the mouth as they replay Len’s ( or anyone’s) dealings in their limited minds.

  10. Pete 10

    I expect the wrath of the gods will fall on my head for saying this, but I found this whole post quite vile, and most of the comments even worse. In this matter, I don’t believe the left /right paradigm is relevant or helpful.
    I can’t help but agree with Tracey above when she gives the reasons she wouldn’t vote for Brown again.
    Around 75% of Aucklanders (according to some polls) want Brown gone. What do you expect the councillors to do? Just settle back into the routine and pretend nothings changed? I expect councillors to show leadership. In this case that means being vocal about Brown’s abuse of office, and also doing what they can to remedy they situation. If the best they can do under the regs is a censure then that is what I expect. Auckland is now saddled with a lame duck mayor who will accomplish nothing in the rest of his tenure. I am sure he has been crossed of the ‘invite list’ for many functions/visits etc. Seriously who would want to associate with him?
    Yes, the $100k expense (expect that to double) is enough to make you grind your teeth, but it was necessary, and it did reveal a disturbing pattern of behaviour and excess. If Brown had come clean and shown some genuine remorse he might have survived. But the sense of entitlement is staggering.
    I don’t care who is the prime minister as far as this issue is concerned. If David Cunliffe was PM I would support his decision to intervene (depending how he did it of course). Same goes for Key.
    It is absurd to claim that the EY report revealed no significant malfeasance, when Brown helped to construct its terms of reference. It has become quite an ‘open secret’ that there are other significant issues out there.
    Anyway that’s my two bob on the subject.

    • RedLogix 10.1

      Nah … you’ll have to explain exactly why you think Len should resign. Innuendo or ‘open secret’ will not cut mustard.

      You’ve ranted on a fair bit, but all you’ve done is fling about some pretty unspecific allegations of ‘entitlement’.

      • Pete 10.1.1

        Actually, I didn’t rant at all. My language was quite moderate, and I did explain why he should resign. I said I concur with Tracey’s reasons. But, to spell it out – MCC expense card issues, conflict of interest in accepting Sky city gifts whilst officially deliberating on the slot machines for convention centre deal, conflict of interest in writing a reference for some one he has a romantic interest in, misuse of council facilities, failure to declare (substantial) gifts, passing off personal phone calls and texts as council work related expenses etc.
        The man is a lawyer so his flim flammery about ‘we need to be clearer around gifting and declarations’ (or words to that effect) just don’t cut it. And because he is a lawyer we have a right to expect that he will have a clear understanding of conflict of interest, and councils procedural requirements.
        His sense of entitlement is projected in his public utterances. That is there for all to see. he has apologised to his wife and family, sort of given one to council, but he has failed to acknowledge how he has let Auckland(ers) down.
        For me this is an issue about ethics and leadership and Brown fails. Sure it hurts that a labour politician doesn’t cut the mustard, but better to get him out and have a clean start than continue on with this nonsense. And no, John Banks wouldn’t cut the mustard either, and I don’t know much about Palino or anyone else.
        Lastly, sorry, but I choose not to elaborate on the gossip and innuendo that is doing the rounds. I thought that stuff about Tim Shadbolt was unsavoury and I don’t want to go down the same path.

  11. RedLogix 11

    Let’s unpack that a bit then.

    MCC expense card issues

    Well for a start that’s a bit of a gratuitous add-on and dates from well before he was elected twice to Mayor of Auckland.

    conflict of interest in accepting Sky city gifts whilst officially deliberating on the slot machines for convention centre deal

    It’s easy to say ‘conflict of interest’ but realistically there has to be some threshold of significance for these things. Sky City was only one of a number of hotels who routinely offer their high value customers some form of competitive discounting.

    If these upgrades and freebies had been one-offs, something only Sky City had only ever offered to just Len Brown alone, then you may well have a point. But all the evidence shows that these were perfectly normal commercial practice.

    conflict of interest in writing a reference for some one he has a romantic interest in

    It seems to have been a pretty routine and innocuous reference for a fairly minor committee role made very early in the timeline. Not a hanging offence.

    passing off personal phone calls and texts as council work related expenses etc

    These days almost all organisational cell phones are on fixed contracts with largely unrestricted minutes. I had one myself for years and we were fully allowed to make personal calls that did not incur any extra costs. And in this case Len seems to have routinely reimbursed some extra costs that were incurred. Again all legitimate.

    A very expensive EY report found no matters of concern and exonerated the man. If you have evidence as opposed to smears and innuendo, that can demonstrate how Len manipulated the report outcome – you are welcome to make it now.

    For me this is an issue about ethics and leadership and Brown fails. Nah – I assume you are trying to say something about Bevan and Len’s private life but you can’t quite bring yourself to spit it out.

    • Pete 11.1

      You can’t just gloss over things that easily.
      First, I didn’t vote for him because of this. This is not some trifling matter. It was compounded by the very large payouts to selected cronies, followed by their reengagement to ACC. That was a major concern. This is public record.
      Second, it is not normal commercial practice for a manager or director of an enterprise to accept favours or gifts from another entity which is being considered by his/her organisation for some commercial project/deal/transaction. Such a person is required to declare the gift and stand aside from the consideration. This is what is normal commercial practice. It may be normal practice for a gambling organisation to offer freebies to target individuals, but it is definitely not acceptable for any manager to accept these without declaration. Brown has to know this.
      Third, any reference from the mayor will carry undue weight in the selection process for a council controlled commercial enterprise. So it is totally inappropriate. The stage of the relationship is irrelevant. He has helped corrupt the selection process for a public entity.
      Fourth, we don’t know anything about the cell phone contract so it is not possible to say. On the contrary there is commentary that Len Brown does not reimburse his expenses. That is what the EY report implies with the commentary about the 1300+ texts and phone calls.
      Fifth. I am not talking about his morals. I am talking about his ethics (or lack of). He let this affair totally cloud his judgement. I don’t care if he had an affair, but I do if it impacts his ability to perform his his role as mayor. That it has is undeniable.

      • RedLogix 11.1.1

        It was compounded by the very large payouts to selected cronies, followed by their reengagement to ACC.

        Now you are shifting the goal-posts again. Given your track record so far in distortion I’m dismissing this one until you explain exactly what you mean.

        Second, it is not normal commercial practice for a manager or director of an enterprise to accept favours or gifts from another entity which is being considered by his/her organisation for some commercial project/deal/transaction.

        It is very, very common commercial practice to offer loyalty, volume or value based discounts to customers. It happens everywhere, all the time. All the hotels LB routinely stayed at (for perfectly legitimate reasons) offered these discounts. They were probably authorised as a matter of routine procedure by the check-in staff.

        Quite a different thing to a one-off arrangement, offered to Len and Len only. That could be rightly construed as a ‘gift’. And that would have been a problem.

        But like so many who’ve leapt onto this witch-hunt you refuse to see the difference – because you know perfectly well that your faux-outrage would deflate like a popped balloon if you did.

        Third, any reference from the mayor will carry undue weight in the selection process for a council controlled commercial enterprise. So it is totally inappropriate. The stage of the relationship is irrelevant.

        All references are based on some degree of ‘relationship’. All my personal references are from people I know and respect. You don’t get a reference from complete strangers or people who hardly know you or don’t get on with. Everyone understands that this is how references work – they are based on mutual trust.

        There has to be some threshold before a reference becomes ‘inappropriate’ because of a relationship because according to your logic all references are invalidated by the existence of any degree of relationship, romantic or otherwise.

        we don’t know anything about the cell phone contract so it is not possible to say.

        Yes but I’d give 99% odds that it was a fixed contract. The three big operators all compete intensely for the big corporate business volume. In what parallel universe do you imagine that somehow Auckland City got overlooked?

        On the contrary there is commentary that Len Brown does not reimburse his expenses. That is what the EY report implies with the commentary about the 1300+ texts and phone calls.

        Yeah – and what value did they come up with? About $300. And for this they spent $100k on a report that concluded that nothing was wrong. Do you have any sense of proportion here. Do you understand that spending $100,000 to chase $300 is absolute stupidity?

        It’s you who should be pissed off at Quax and Brewer for wasting ratepayer monies. If there was any natural justice it should be these pair of second-raters who should be stumping up out of their pockets to reimburse the Council for their breathless, panty-sniffing folly.

  12. RedBaronCV 12

    Pete seems to miss the point entirely.

    Putting aside all the power imbalances and identity politics,

    Lprent’s post invites them to get on with running the city instead of chasing the matter further.

    I’d go further.
    I personally wonder how come the Right has managed to get their hands on a very significant sum of Auckland ratepayer money to pursue a matter which has at absolute worst, cost the ratepayers around $300.

    Have they obtained the funds spent, legally, within council delegations and protocols? If they have breached council protocols will the Right be required to reimburse the money spent? How did they manage to get money spent on something that hasn’t cost the ratepayers anything? How do the ratepayers stop the Right spending more on this or repeating the exercise?
    The Right needs to pay for this sort of stuff themselves not shove it on the ratepayers.

    • Sacha 12.1

      If you believe it is only ‘the right’ in Council who have been concerned about this then you haven’t been paying attention.

      [lprent: Actually Pervert - yes, they do appear to have been the only ones trying to take it beyond a motion of censure. That motion of course was always going to happen. After all you'd want to know which bits of the furniture to avoid. I guess you haven't been paying *any* attention. All of the rather stupid (ie failed) other publicity stunts have been from your fellow Perverts in council.

      I'd suggest that you link to something rather than simply looking like a complete dickhead mastubating with your own sputum with silly little implications and zero facts.. ]

      • Sacha 12.1.1

        Lynn, that tone is completely uncalled for.

        [RL: You may have been unlucky. Your comment that got dumped on looked like another one of the hundreds of sly, cowardly insinuations we've seen here since this story broke. I can't speak for lprent but I can safely say that there is a fair bit of justified anger under the bonnet here, that this story has been relentlessly made to be about Len Brown's ethics - when the real story, the clear factual evidence points to Cameron Slater and The Herald's complete abandonment of any ethical standards by their choice to invade Len Brown's family life to suit their political agenda. You may have just have been in the wrong place at the wrong time.]

        [lprent: Probably. There are thousands of comments per week and I really don't have time to do more than scan them. I read the comments as they're written and see if they fit any of the standard patterns. If I find a match then I'll look at their handle to see if I "know" them. I seldom check other comments unless I'm deciding to ban them.

        If I'm merely warning people I do it so it is memorable to them because I really don't have time to waste repeating it again later. I've found over the years of moderating that being "memorable" saves me time later. Besides I really don't care much about peoples hurt feelings. I care about their behaviour.

        Best idea is to not write comments in a style that triggers my anti-troll reflexes. ]

        • Sacha 12.1.1.1

          Thanks, Red. The outrage is reasonable, just not the target. I can imagine a contextless moderating approach might make every “you” seem like it refers the post’s author rather than another commenter as this was intended to be.

        • Granted 12.1.1.2

          WOW!!!!

          And this is why I never can really understand why any person with a bit of dignity would bother with commenting here. I used to start to comment and then delete delete delete.

          Whoever Lprent is, it is welcome to its blog site and hope fully it will just die a un/natural death. This place is just full of haters.

          I guess I am just feeding the fire but at least I will keep my dignity and self respect intact.

          Lprent must have been a very angry and misunderstood youth with geeky friends and this has gone on into adulthood. I almost feel sorry for Lprent.

          May the year 2014 bring you an ounce of humility and sense – my god you need it

          • lprent 12.1.1.2.1

            Avoiding the point of the post, and using diversion technique number one… There are four very similar comments already here. Same instructions?

      • RedBaronCV 12.1.2

        The right are front and centre in this great big media beat up. Why haven’t we see this circus about some of the right wing affaires that are doubless out there. This really is unprecedented negative newspaper coverage, mostly it’s good for a paragraph at best.

        • Sacha 12.1.2.1

          The Herald has been ridiculously biased for ages. Keeping a dolt like Orsman on the local government round doesn’t help them. Radio NZ’s Todd Niall is worth listening to for a well-informed understanding of Council goings-on.

    • Pete 12.2

      Actually, I didn’t miss the point. This matter has to be resolved before the ratepayers can have confidence that the council can run the city.
      Your other point about the right getting their hands on money to pursue the matter, with respect, is nonsense. Right leaning councillors are in the minority, so it has to have been with the support of the majority of council. This is the problem of viewing this matter as a left/right issue. It causes focus to shift from the pertinent details to the extraneous. Clearly, no councillor needs to reimburse council for a council decision!
      You think the casino extension isn’t going to cost ratepayers anything?
      The fact that Len Brown is left of centre shouldn’t matter. What matters is his transgression(s). Over 70% of Aucklandlers get this.

      • Colonial Viper 12.2.1

        “Transgressions” lol perhaps a visit to a priest is in order?

      • RedBaronCV 12.2.2

        Well actually Pete as far as the ratepayers are concerned the report shows that whatever Len was doing was in his own time on his own dime. None of it altering ratepayer outcomes. Matter closed as far as they are concerned.

        The real problem with respect to ratepayer funds is this.
        The Herald story had the CEO announcing the inquiry. No mention of council committees etc allocating funds and authorising.inquiry.
        So how come the CEO can spend that ratepayer money on his own say so and allocate it to a business of his choosing EY?
        How come the terms of reference didn’t cover all Councillors use of resources- just to be neutral here?Why wasn’t the CEO neutral? I have a post further up on this.Where are the protocols?

        What is to stop some other councillor being targeted in a like manner if they offend the CEO?
        Frankly I suspect that, apart from Quax and Brewer, most of the other councillors are very wary of this ill disciplined inquiry and of being sucked into a witch hunt that might one day target them.

        Looking ahead it might be wise for all councils to have an audit of councillors expenses just before an election and then release the results. Sort of open book exercise.

      • Sacha 12.2.3

        “Right leaning councillors are in the minority, so it has to have been with the support of the majority of council. This is the problem of viewing this matter as a left/right issue.”

        Exactly – and while the prominent righties outside Council seem to be in a panty-sniffing fervour over this, that doesn’t apply to all of them inside it. It doesn’t help us encourage them to get on with their jobs if we don’t understand their motivation.

        I don’t agree with all of it, but the discussion at Public Address has some useful links to follow:
        http://publicaddress.net/hardnews/we-need-to-talk-about-len/

  13. Chris 13

    In my opinion, Len Brown hasn’t been working as Mayor, Penny Hulse has.

  14. adam 14

    Thanks LPRENT, I laughed so hard it hurt.

    The only reason to keep the current council is Penny Hulse, she at least is doing a great job as mayor. Maybe this is how we should create the Mayor in the future – we elect a fluffy bunny candidate – and they appoint the real mayor from the members elected. That way we could have sleaze one vs sleaze two from here to eternity.

  15. Grumpy 15

    Maybe someone can help me here? This left/right thing about y’man Lennie seems strange to me. As a non Aucklander, can you tell me if Len is actually left wing. All I see is a sense of entitlement, riding the gravy train, treating women and his family like crap. As I said before, Gilmore on steroids.
    Just what, if any, are his left wing credentials ( which must be impressive seeing that a lot here want to die in a ditch over him).

    • Colonial Viper 15.1

      The fact you are comparing Len Brown with Aaron Gilmore already says that you’re not being serious.

      • Grumpy 15.1.1

        I am serious, well, sort of……to me Len has a lot in common with Gilmore. Arrogant, high sense of entitlement, born to rule attitude, incapable of apology unless pushed.
        But please, just humour me…..what are Len’s left wing credentials because I can’t see any except opportunism.

        • Colonial Viper 15.1.1.1

          Anyone who is mayor of a million person town is going to have a certain sense of self confidence and stubborness. You’d also hope that siuch a Mayor was comfortable governing over others. That’s just life.

          • Grumpy 15.1.1.1.1

            I can go with stubbornness and self confidence but I can’t see where entitlement, lying and sleazebaggery come into it.
            Anyway, we were talking about Len’s left credentials……?

    • RedLogix 15.2

      It’s not so much that I’m defending Len Brown. He’s a big boy and doesn’t need me. What I do want you to get is that Slater is a vile piece of shit by several orders of magnitude.

      And that anyone who repeats the private information he released – is ethically bankrupting themselves as well.

      • Grumpy 15.2.1

        Well, yes you are defending Len…..by attacking those trying to hold him to account. Perhaps you can expand on Len’s left wing credentials because nobody else seems able to.
        …..and yes, Mr Slater does seem to be a bit “different” but so do a lot of people.

        • RedLogix 15.2.1.1

          and yes, Mr Slater does seem to be a bit “different” but so do a lot of people.

          And now you are defending Slater by minimizing what he has done as “a bit different”. Clearly you think his releasing of private information is just fine.

          Yet if the same had been done to John Key, you would be outraged.

          Or even if someone just taped a conversation he had in public place with another public figure, where there were dozens of invited media just a few meters away — you’d be outraged.

          Makes you not only as ethically bankrupt as Slater, but a selective hypocrite to boot.

          • Grumpy 15.2.1.1.1

            Wow, that’s a bit over the top. Where did I defend Slater?
            He actually did Auckland a service. If the only people who knew about Len’s shady behavior were people like, oh I don’t know ……. SKYCITY…… Just think what might have happened, he might even have supported them in their expansion plans despite his public opposition……oh, wait…..
            Anyway, still waiting for Len’s left credentials……..assuming he has any……

            • RedLogix 15.2.1.1.1.1

              Where did I defend Slater?

              Next sentence.

              • Grumpy

                What’s wrong with the next sentence, it encapsulates the real issue here and why the left find it impossible to defend Len, so are reduced to attacking those holding him to account.
                I will make it real simple for you…..it’s not the sleaze, it’s the potential for corruption.
                There – get it?

                • RedLogix

                  And a very expensive investigation revealed absolutely zero real corruption.

                  I’ll make this very clear. Not since Muldoon grossly abused Parliamentary Privilege to out Derek Quigley has this country seen such an egregious invasion of a politician’s private life.

                  That is the important principle I am defending. By comparison your ‘potential for corruption’ which turned out to be no such thing – is an utter trifle.

                  All you are left with is Slater’s vile invasion of Brown’s personal life, and still you defend him.

                  • Grumpy

                    You would think an “expensive” investigation would have proper terms of reference and not those decided by the person being investigated. You would also think that the subject would not be in a position to sanitize and delay it either.
                    There has been no proper investigation just a very expensive whitewash. As you know, if you are going to get a whitewash the biggest name is essential but comes with the biggest price tag.

                    • RedLogix

                      So having no actual evidence you resort to more smears and innuendo.

                      You really have no idea when to stop digging do you?

                    • rhinocrates

                      OK Grumpy, this is obviously going to require a whiteboard and some erasable markers, since many complicated diagrams are going to be necessary, but I only have text, so here goes:

                      Well, yes you are defending Len…..by attacking those trying to hold him to account.

                      Redlogix then tries a bit of reduction ad absurdum/turnabout that goes way over your head:

                      And now you are defending Slater by minimizing what he has done as “a bit different”. Clearly you think his releasing of private information is just fine.

                      Redlogix’s point is that you must be subject to the same rules that you want to impose on others.

                      Wow, that’s a bit over the top. Where did I defend Slater?

                      Whoosh, it goes right over your head.

                      You really have no idea when to stop digging do you?

                      Oh YEAH!

                  • Pete

                    When Brown bonked his mistress on the board room table it ceased to be his private life and it became a public matter. Simple as that. If he had done it at home (hers preferably) and not on council premises and not in rooms provided as ‘courtesy’ because he is the mayor then it would have remained private. Len Brown’s behaviour put this in the public arena. It is because your hatred of Slater blinds you that you can not see what others see. That is why I maintain this should not be a left/right issue. By making it such, you are helping disenfranchise all the left of centre people (me included) who have a problem with it.

                    • karol

                      Not very usual to have sex at work, but not than unusual for people who work long hours – at least in the US.

                      For Petraeus, it was UNDER the desk – option for the sexual conservatives.

                      And more likely to be discovered if mentioned in writing [paper trail].

                      Peter you really are stretching it re- the clincher being the table work out.

                    • RedLogix

                      When Brown bonked his mistress on the board room table it ceased to be his private life and it became a public matter. Simple as that.

                      Well finally someone manages to spit it out – it is about the sex.

                      I could pick this apart and ask as karol has done, would have it been ok if they had done it under the table? I mean if you are going down this track you need to think through exactly what kind of table qualifies as ‘public’ sex and which kind of table doesn’t. Would an ordinary office desk been ok, or in the disabled toilets?

                      We could tie ourselves in knots all night nailing this one.

                      Or maybe you could just conclude that this was information we never should have known, and was never any of our business to comment on.

                      As the security guard had the very good sense to understand.

                    • Anne

                      When Brown bonked his mistress on the board room table it ceased to be his private life and it became a public matter.

                      Well now, that is one hell of a slippery slope there Pete.

                      Are you aware that for the past 100 years one of the well known ‘social’ goals of numerous politicians (and you can add a few Press Gallery journalists over the same period) was to bonk nubile young women in the Speakers Chair in the wee dark hours of the night. I guess much improved security prevents it from happening nowadays, but I find all this righteous tut-tutting over the Brown affair to be extremely hypocritical and even irrational.

                      It’s none of your business Pete and it isn’t mine or any other persons’ apart from his immediate family. Savvy?

                      this should not be a left/right issue.

                      You’re damm well right. It shouldn’t be. But it was Cameron Slater and his right wing mates (including Jason Ede who is Key’s communication adviser in the PM’s Office) who put it all out there in the first place. And you’re trying to infer they didn’t do it for political purposes? All the left of centre commentors are doing is trying to bring a bit of sanity and common sense to the issue.

                    • When Brown bonked his mistress on the board room table it ceased to be his private life and it became a public matter.

                      Why?

                      I can’t see for the life of me what difference that makes (as long as they cleaned up and disinfected afterwards).

                      It’s almost as if everyone will find something to be aggrieved about.

                      Facts are,

                      * he didn’t use ratepayers money,

                      * he didn’t influence Chuang getting her Council job

                      It’s all here in the ER Report: http://www.nbr.co.nz/sites/default/files/images/Independent_Review_Report_FINAL_131213_1.pdf (Check out the Summary of Factual Findings)

                      As far as I can tell, Brown has more to fear from his wife than any findings that he mis-used Council funds, assets, etc. (And I wouldn’t want to be in his shoes, fronting to his wife, that’s for sure!)

        • Tiger Mountain 15.2.1.2

          WhaleSpew, the torys and their proxy the Pallino Mayoral campaign started all this remember.

          Len is most difficult to defend for lefties after his stance on the wharfies and the Glen Innes working class cleansing (housing removed). But, I support his staying in office until someone coughs up the correct answer to this question–will Len’s resignation if there was one, and there does not have to be one as Lprent accurately states mean a full and new election?

          Or are the “Perverts” really pushing for a dodgy unelected Wellington appointed commissioner type? ECan and Lord Gerry have shown Christchurch residents how that kind of thing works out.

          • Grumpy 15.2.1.2.1

            Personally, I find a lot of Slater’s stuff objectionable but also find quite a bit really spot on. He is equally tough on the right as the left, he does not seem to worry who he offends.
            If Len is not really a leftie ( and that seems the case), then why all the defend to the death rubbish. I would have thought the left would just put up a better candidate in the by election.
            Oh, and the commissioners at Ecan have done a bloody good job.

            • Draco T Bastard 15.2.1.2.1.1

              Oh, and the commissioners at Ecan have done a bloody good job.

              Only if you’re a farmer wanting to continue to use excess water and pollute because you’re too lazy to do the job properly.

              • Grumpy

                No, Ecan now have a water policy. There are new testing for extraction and nitrate testing. The scientists are now allowed to be scientists and not hijacked by political agitators.
                Your claim of excessive use of water and pollution could not be more wrong, that was a function of the previous regime who LOST every Environment Court case on water rights, entirely through the subversion of science to political agenda.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Strange because I recall that ECan was actually trying to put in place policies that reflected scientific testing and the farmers shouted it down. And now that they’ve done so:

                  Dr Wright said modelling in the report showed that by 2020 around 400,000 hectares of sheep and beef farms would be converted to dairy, which produced more run-off of nutrients into water.

                  “The impact of this on-going and increasing stress will generally be worsening water quality – more blooms of algae and cyanobacteria, more streams trailing metres of brown slime, fewer stream insects and fish, and more wells and waterways exceeding nitrate toxicity limits.”

                  The deterioration of water quality would be most pronounced in Canterbury and Southland.

                  Yeah, not what the rest of us want but the farmers are happy with as they get to have more money at our expense.

                  This is OT so I’ll leave it there.

            • Frank Macskasy 15.2.1.2.1.2

              He is equally tough on the right as the left, he does not seem to worry who he offends.

              Are you sure about that, Grumpy?

              David Farrar seemed to think otherwise; http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/tag/luigi_wewege

        • Draco T Bastard 15.2.1.3

          He has been held to account and he was found to have made some minor bookkeeping errors – that was what the investigation was all about. Those now attacking him aren’t about holding him to account but just trying to get rid of him for political purposes.

          • Grumpy 15.2.1.3.1

            True as far as it goes. …but the left, in trying to find an explanation for Len’s enthusiastic defense of SKYCITY (after previous opposition), now see a possibility………
            Not illegal but enough to show he should not be mayor.

            • Draco T Bastard 15.2.1.3.1.1

              but the left, in trying to find an explanation for Len’s enthusiastic defense of SKYCITY

              Don’t know anybody who’s actually done that except possibly WhaleOil and his ilk and they’re not on the left.

          • tinfoilhat 15.2.1.3.2

            I’m sure that’s exactly what some of John Bank’s supporters say to defend him – and it’s just as pathetic.

            From one person on the left I have to day that I find Len Brown distinctly lacking in all of the more redeeming characteristics I would like to see in a mayor

            • Grumpy 15.2.1.3.2.1

              Banks is an idiot and I agree not fit to be an MP or anything involved with public trust or money…..there!

              • Funny thing, Grumpy…

                Your comment about Banks probably mirrors what many on the Left feel about Brown; a kind of resigned annoyance mixed with regret that he weas ever elected in the first place.

                There are times when both Left and Right can commisserate with each other over their respective elected representatives…

        • BevanJS 15.2.1.4

          Len likes trains.

    • adam 15.3

      Len is left by association, he stands with the labour party – kinda sorta. He is not a socialist nor does he seem to embrace anything vaguely old school social democratic, economics wise. He does appear to support a limited form identity politics – rights for Women, Maori, Pacific, this would put him outside national, and into a left wing camp of sorts. Personally though his economics and his behaviour make him national lite. And as the left these days being full of people who would have voted for Ike – Len is probably happily called a lefty.

  16. captain hook 16

    grumpy and frank.
    well you can always put your own hat in the ring and see how ya GO.
    You would have to cosy up to wailoil though.
    fun to watch.

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