Can Jones, like Key, rise from the fire?

Written By: - Date published: 7:37 pm, June 11th, 2010 - 64 comments
Categories: accountability, john key, Politics, Shane Jones - Tags:

On Tuesday, Shane Jones will face the full wrath of his caucus colleagues.

For the record, Jones like all the credit card abusers should be reprimanded for their shameless abuse of taxpayer funds.  

But undoubtedly, the Labour caucus will give consideration to the public’s perception of Jones’s mindless actions.

No doubt, Jones’s self-description as a ‘red-blooded adult’ was an attempt to redeem himself to the many male voters in the public who may have dabbled with a bit of porn themselves over the years. Heck, Jones may even think his faux pas will eventually grant him human qualities among a caucus of colleagues often described by the public as aloof and holier than thou.

Being a red blooded adult didn’t damage John Key when he confessed to visiting a strip club in 2007. After this incident, Key continued to build upon his brand as an ordinary Kiwi bloke, which continues to be his strongest asset.

So can Jones, like Key, rise like a phoenix from the fire?

64 comments on “Can Jones, like Key, rise from the fire? ”

  1. Chess Player 1

    Not if he is on the Labour ticket, which is a party with much greater female support and with much greater female representation at the selection and leadership level than the National Party.

  2. Santi 2

    I doubt it. Shame Jones is finished.

  3. Brett 3

    No the guys boned
    I think it’s best if he just beat his way back up north.

  4. Lew 4

    This was one of my initial thoughts when I heard the “red-blooded” speech: exorcising the joyless lesbian demons of Clark Labour. While they were nothing more than illusory apparitions, they were real enough to turn plenty of people off. He could have handled this much better, and ultimately he should have not done these deeds in the first place. But I think he has the quality to come back from it.

    L

  5. really 5

    Can Labour afford to lose Jones? Probably not as he is one of the few older hands outside of the rainbow, womens, union set.

    Demoted and relegated for a while. Probably a candidate for whip now he is out of leadership contention.

  6. Fisiani 6

    What a great day for Cunliffe. His ego knows no bounds now that his greatest threat is gone

  7. Rodney Tells Lies 7

    Shane Jones is toast. By Lying before a confession he has committed the ultimate sin and this will haunt him for the rest of his days. It will be interesting to see if the people of Epsom also put their MP to the knife in 2011. He deserves to go disappear as well.

  8. gobsmacked 8

    This is satire, yes?

    Nobody with the slightest grasp of political reality would compare Shane Jones’ situation with visiting a strip club, before becoming an MP (let alone a Minister, let alone on the taxpayer). A phoenix from the fire? Key didn’t even get a slightly scalded toe. Whereas Jones has been burnt to a cinder.

    And if that isn’t abundantly clear to Labour’s caucus and leadership, then they’ll join him on the bonfire.

    You know, I can accept it if Labour lose the next election fighting to defend the poor, the sick, the elderly, the kids in ECE, the families struggling to pay the bills.

    But if they lose the next election fighting to defend privileged and undeserving people like Shane Jones, they’ll get what they deserve.

    I had baked beans on fucking toast for dinner, and I paid for it. Get the message, Labour MPs, and get it NOW.

  9. ianmac 9

    I don’t think that Shane should be excommunicated. Politics has a short memory and since Key’s team are above dirty tricks, or so he says, then this will be a distant memory quite soon. Good luck Shane, and ignore John Armstrong calling you a boy. What goes around…..

  10. pohutukawa kid 10

    I’ve always thought that Jones had a bit of that “let them eat cake” air about him.

    But………….http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ChPJo_UuF6M

  11. Hollyfield 11

    I don’t care that John Key visited a strip club. I don’t care that Shane Jones watched/watches porn. But I do care that he thought it was appropriate to charge it to his Ministerial credit card.

    • RedLogix 11.1

      But I do care that he thought it was appropriate to charge it to his Ministerial credit card.

      Well Holly you’re halfway there. So all that remains of the outrage is that Jones used a ministerial credit card for a personal expense that he later repaid ages ago as part of a regular reconciliation.

      Not sure that really counts as the crime of the century.

      • aj 11.1.1

        “ministerial credit card for a personal expense that he later repaid ages ago as part of a regular reconciliation.”

        Exactly. This is lost in the headlines thanks to National’s drumbeat and MSN pliability. The was even an on-line poll NZ Yahoo with one of the questions ‘They should apologise – and pay back all the money’

        Anderton explained it perfectly yesterday. They paid all hotel costs on one card then on return separated personal expenses and repaid them.

        Meantime the bigger rorters like Blingish and Nick Smith are unmentioned.

  12. kriswgtn 12

    I still want Labour to release National spending in the 90’s

    I bet Shipley,richardson be all in with their fat paws muddy as hell…

  13. Salsy 13

    My heart sunk when I heard Shane Jones (my personal fav in Labour) had been viewing porn on the company card. What a dick! But when I saw him, not only front up on Close Up but use the opportunity to redeem himeself, show a sense of humour, humanity, and chat openly and honestly, I suddenly realised he will no doubt come out better off.
    Labour needs MP’s who can spring back from issues in a positive, publically appealing way, just like the opposition seem to endlessly manage..

  14. RedFred 14

    Nah he should go

    I didn’t buy his interview last night, he was working hard at being contrite but it didn’t really work he made the comment and I paraphrase

    “I could be earning more money somewhere else”

    Well fuck off then!

    He is a political operative for his own ends.

  15. Rharn 15

    Jones will survive because he is the only Labour Maori MP who can speak with authority on Maori issues.

    He will be instramental in bringing the Maori vote back to Labour once Sharples and Turiana see the Nats for what they are.

  16. Tigger 16

    To your basic Kiwi bloke Jones is now a legend. This is going to be great for him. And Labour.

    • RobertM 16.1

      It said all publicity is good publicity. But in this country. Frankly I don’t think anyone outside the Labour party had even heard of Jones before this expose. As to his future much depends on whose vote Labour is trying to attract and whether rural and south island provincial males are still actually winnable for Labour or whether Labour would be better to aim higher up. An affair with an 18 year old cocktail waitress would probably have been a more promising move. But Goff and Jones should be aware theres a gap in the spectrum and Goff has shown again that he’ll never fill it. The move to the right in most small European nations should be a warning to Goff and Labours ageing women.

  17. Marty G 17

    he’ll lose his portfolios if Goff has any sense. But there’s no reason why that has to be the end of his career in the longer term.

    • RedLogix 17.1

      There is no story here Marty.

      Watching pron in private; real adults don’t care.

      Repaying the private portion of a single bill on a Ministerial card; a sane and common practise.

      No story Marty…except that Labour’s pathetic media managers have been outwitted, outflanked and outgunned once again. For once I totally agree with Lew.

      • gobsmacked 17.1.1

        The pathetic media manager was Shane Jones.

        He repaid the money in 2008. So he has known for two years what the story was going to be. And this release of the credit card details has been the most widely anticipated story in Wellington. Everyone knew it was coming. But we didn’t know the details. One man did know: Shane Jones.

        With that knowledge, what did he do? For the sake of his party, and for the people who need Labour and the media to be focused on challenging this bloody government on its bloody policies, he did … nothing.

        He could have fronted up long ago and taken the hit, and got the story out of the way. He didn’t. He failed. Jones deserves his fate.

        • SHG 17.1.1.1

          The pathetic media manager was Shane Jones.

          He repaid the money in 2008. So he has known for two years what the story was going to be. And this release of the credit card details has been the most widely anticipated story in Wellington. Everyone knew it was coming. But we didn’t know the details. One man did know: Shane Jones.

          With that knowledge, what did he do? For the sake of his party, and for the people who need Labour and the media to be focused on challenging this bloody government on its bloody policies, he did nothing.

          +1 Insightful

          Shane Jones deserves to go for this fiasco. Not just for lying to the media, not just for troughing up large, but for his retarded management of the issue. He’s too f*cking stupid to have a future.

      • Marty G 17.1.2

        I agree that it shouldn’t be a story. That’s a different thing from it not being a story. Goff has to act in the political reality he inhabits

        • RedLogix 17.1.2.1

          I agree that it shouldn’t be a story.

          Look at it from this perspective. Personally I’d imagine that if I happened to order up some ppv movies while stuck in yet another god-awful motel room some night (and the gloss wears off business travel real quick) that there’d be some expectation of privacy.

          Really I don’t care what folks do in their own bedrooms and I’m not too fussed about finding out either. And the fact that it was paid for as part of a single bill paid on a ministerial card (and properly reimbursed in a timely fashion) in no way justifies the gross invasion of Jone’s personal privacy here.

          How about that for the real story. Abuse of privacy by a nasty bullying Tory administration. Really it has all the hallmarks of Muldoon’s cynical destruction of Moyle. Old enough to remember that sordid little episode ??

  18. Ed 18

    “For the record, Jones like all the credit card abusers should be reprimanded for their shameless abuse of taxpayer funds.”

    What was the abuse of funds? We now know that charges to hotel bills were routinely picked up when the hotel bill was paid and paid on return to New Zealand. Jones apparently did pay the total costs. If he was late doing that then that is indeed bad – the amount should have been deducted from his next parliamentary pay – but even the interest loss on say $500 for a year would be trivial compared with the cost of one trip alone.

    The real criticism of Jones is that he dared to be honest.

  19. Jenny 19

    I watched Shane Jones on TV One news last night and he said I used to be an arrogant man, but I am no longer that arrogant man.

    I hope so.

  20. Jenny 20

    Previously Shane Jones was at the forefront as the Labour politician who aggressively and arrogantly announced it Labour’s mission – to “destroy” the Maori Party.

    To beat the Nacts Labour needs humble politicians who can rise above sectarian division.

    Could the new, “no longer arrogant”, Shane Jones be that man?

  21. Irascible 21

    The whole beat up in the NZ media stinks of salacious holier than thou pettiness whipped up by a pack of media hacks being fed spin by the NACT spinmeisters. The Herald and its other temperance union sisters have reduced themselves to the level of the Sun, News of the World and other sleaze infotainment media.

    • Jenny 21.1

      Whatever the personal outcome of Shane Jones fall from grace is.

      The fact is his brand as Labour’s sectarian attack dog is seriously undermined.

      Personally I don’t regard his indiscretion as a handicap in fact it may reveal him as human.

      The sex urge is a very powerful human drive and can sometimes strike at the most embarrassing and innapropriate times and has seen the destruction of more powerful politicians than Shane Jones.

      Who hasn’t been made a fool at some time by this human frailty?

      So he watched pornography alone by himself and probably masturbated in his lonely motel room as well, he didn’t cheat on his wife or betray his family.

      Jonesy just don’t let it become a habit, eh?

      No doubt this is terribly excoriatingly embarrassing for Shane Jones, but it may be an important lesson in humility for him.
      After all isn’t the Labour Party the party of the underdog and disadvantaged?

      Shane Jones will now be able to personally view life from this position.

      From being top dog, to underdog will give Shane Jones a new view on life.

      The fact is, these ministerial credit cards are almost a deliberate golden trap. If I was setting up to compromise any political movement or party it would be the first thing I would do. Give all their leaders platinum gold cards and tell them to use them responsibly. And just stand back and watch.

      I would agree that this indiscretion has ruled Shane Jones out for top leadership, (barring extraordinary circumstances) but now that, that personal ambition can no longer be realised, maybe through all this Shane Jones has gained the necessary humility to become peace maker within the Labour Party and beyond.

      I hope so, and I wish him well.

      • just saying 21.1.1

        Agreed,

        The interesting thing about all this is how uptight NZanders still are about masturbation, because that’s what seems to have fired the nation’s imagination, not the troughing.

        If Jones can learn something about humility, and what it’s like to be the subject of derision and scorn, he will be a better person for it.

        There’s a lesson fro the whole Labour front bench here, and it’s not about getting better at ass-covering.

        • Salsy 21.1.1.1

          The interesting thing about all this is how uptight NZanders still are about masturbation..

          Agreed, the Italians voted in a porn star for christ sake…

          • Herodotus 21.1.1.1.1

            Did we not have an ex pro as a MP with ours???
            So yo can be an ex on the game and we will support you but not watch something on TV?
            Shane did do one very poor management of the media a few days ago but any MP can be extremely loose in their language on “almost” being denier that it did not happen

      • SHG 21.1.2

        f I was setting up to compromise any political movement or party it would be the first thing I would do. Give all their leaders platinum gold cards and tell them to use them responsibly. And just stand back and watch.

        Exactly. If I were the Leader of a political party in the 1990s and 2000s, and if I was a ruthless control freak, I’d give all my Ministers honeypot credit cards while keeping my own spotlessly clean. I’d do so knowing that once the receipts full of indefensible personal spending were available to me as Leader all I’d need to do is quietly make my knowledge of the spending known to the Ministers involved to ensure their absolute loyalty to me.

        For this plan to work, though, I’d need to have a career path that involved me being well away from New Zealand and from Government service once the receipts inevitably became public.

      • Redbaron 21.1.3

        I also think the whole saga could be the making of Shane Jones. He will of course be demoted and get sidelined to the backbenches for this misdemeanor. This unfortunately is politically demanded. However demotion may not necessarily represent political oblivion for someone such Shane Jones. The “sin” itself is not heinous and likely over time to be viewed as one of poor judgement and human indifference rather than a deliberate attempt to “work the system” for mercenary advantage.

        Whilst the injudicious use of the ministerial credit card has generated considerable public opprobrium during the past week, at the same time Shane Jones has become household/workplace name albeit with a certain degree of notoriety as as the “Minister of Porn”. Although “Minister of Porn” moniker is likely to stick with Shane Jones throughout his political career this in itself is indicative of how the electorate will apprise his “sin”; that is a regular man with normal human drives rather than someone whom has sought to enrich himself at the taxpayer’s expense. Which may in turn open an unusual opportunity for Shane Jones to finally connnect with the electorate and win their eventual public “forgiveness” plus support. However this will be concomitant upon Shane Jones assuming the habit of geniune humility and being prepared to do the “hard yards” getting out into the public.

  22. Peter 22

    It doesn’t matter if they paid it back or not. The rules were very clear that this sort of behavior wasn’t acceptable.

    If I did this I would be fired, no ifs no buts and possibly risk being charged for theft as a servant, these MPs if they have a shred of integrity should resign and if not the Labour leadership should force them from the party.

  23. Peter 23

    You can’t honestly believe this Argument Red. By using a tax payer credit card he has no right to expect privacy for his porn purchases.

  24. Scott 24

    If Jones is to survive he’d better learn to start laughing at himself, because people will taunt him over this for the rest of his political career. But a bit of self-deprecating humour may take some of the sting out of these attacks.

    And he’ll need to do his penance – so a few months in the political wilderness will be obligatory.

  25. Ray 25

    So you sign a piece of paper saying you have read the conditions for using this credit card
    “This card is not for personal expenses”
    And then think it is ok to book up golf clubs or porn while putting it about that you are fit to run the country when it is obvious you cannot reconcile a bank statement
    But if a future national MP goes to a strip club, scandal
    Spot the difference

    And note that a UK Labour front bencher resigned because her husband watched porn on the UK tax payer time for Shane to go

  26. TightyRighty 26

    what does this post smack of? desperation.

    It’s like crosby textor, but without any ability.

    • Yep Crosby Textor are very able. How’s this for an example:

      The Seat of Bennelong, Election 07.

      McKew, Labour, 44,685 votes. Howard, Liberal 42,251.

      Let’s hope they keep up that level of ability over this side of the ditch.

  27. Gazza 27

    It’s good to see so much support for Shane Jones but, The problem is that all the pro Nats & media are trying to give the impression that he is the only one who has used his card for the wrong purpose or maybe it is just that he watched some porn that offends them.
    A lot of these dickheads seem to forget about English and co ripping off thousands of $s and only paid back when they got caught out otherwise they would have carried on.

    My opinion is if Goff comes down to hard on him then that will be the time to challenge for the leadership as this what I think he was being primed for under aunty Helen.
    Shane has done a lot of good work and will continue to do so and it will do great harm to labours cause if he was to go.
    Shane & Kelvin Davis are proving to be a great asset to the far north and it would be a shame to see such a great team broken up as we dont need the likes of Harawira who is just a shit stirrer to cause dissension to the people of the north.
    Go for it Shane stick to your guns dont let the media and those sorry tory’s beat you down.

  28. Santi 28

    Shame Jones is ancient history. Period.

    Oh dear, Espiner savages Labour too: “What a disaster for Labour. Any faint chance it had of winning the 2011 election has been buried in the rubble of the gluttony, greed, and wanton extravagance of its foolhardy MPs.

    The ministerial credit card spending of Labour’s former stars makes National’s odd indulgences look like paragons of fiscal rectitude. Even Tim the Groser’s bar bill pales into insignificance beside the flagrant disregard for taxpayers’ money shown by the likes of Chris Carter, Parekura Horomia, Shane Jones, Mita Ririnui and Judith Tizard.

    At least Shane Jones admits he was wrong. I can’t believe the sense of entitlement from some of his colleagues. Flowers for each other, $160 bottles of Bolly, 16 beers during a dinner for two, massages and spa treatments, health clubs, whiskey, cigarettes, helicopter rides, plane charters, fancy luggage, and all the other trappings of the high life.

    To call a spade a spade, Labour’s MPs were taking the piss. They were taking the taxpayers of New Zealand for a ride.”

  29. Gazza 29

    So Santi will you be waiting for all the 7’000 documents to be sifted through and probably there will be quite a few Nats caught with their fingers in the till or is it just that you want to slag off at Labour MPs?.
    So you are suggesting that the accommodation rip-off was minor compared to a few credit card indiscretions?
    Thousands compared to hundreds doesn’t seem to stack up or are you one of those people who are offended by a few porn movies and has blown things out of proportion?.

    • SHG 29.1

      What are you talking about? National’s receipts HAVE been sifted through. National’s get released every quarter. The only reason we’re getting this dirt on Labour spending now is because Labour fought tooth and nail for years to have the receipts suppressed.

  30. Cadwallader 30

    Jones had all of us pay for his fun, Key did not! Huge difference to my mind.

    • felix 30.1

      That’s a fairly liberal use of the word “mind” there.

      What exactly did Jones charge to us? All the reports I’ve seen say that he paid for everything himself – just like 99.999% of the rest of this bullshit “scandal”.

      • Oh Dear 30.1.1

        Felix overlooks that ministers had to sign a document when they received their credit cards saying they were not to use them for personal use. Felix also overlooks that ministers received warnings from ministerial services that it was unacceptable to pay for personal expenses and reimburse.

        So many labour Ministers at the trough, spending up large with taxpayer’s money living the high life. No wonder labour never wanted tax cuts when all their ministers could trough it up so big on the taxpayer anyway.

        These pricks are shameless. Labour needs a cleanout. Funny how it was chris hipkins who exposed it all when he asked questions of national’s ministers who were lily white by comparison. Came back and hit the old guard big time.

        Can’t trust socialist pricks with public money.

    • aj 30.2

      No? he paid back his personal expenses when he returned? so he paid for his own fun.

  31. Anthony C 31

    Jones will be back, most people talking about it think he’s just a wally for putting movies on his card, there’s none of the faux outrage you hear from the media or the blogosphere.

  32. oh are we still talking about this ?…*yawn*

    What’s the bet Jones will be right in the mix come next election and this little sideshow will have little bearing on how people vote ?

  33. Oh Dear 33

    Oh dear. Apparently you don’t understand the difference between visiting a strip club years before you’re an MP, and charging porn to your ministerial credit card when you’re a minister.

  34. SHG 34

    LOL. As if there’s any doubt.

    Jones is toast. His career as an MP is over.

  35. SHG 35

    I’m just glad Phil Goff has been so visible on this whole issue. At least he’s been able to reinforce his standing as a leader in the media and the public eye.

    Oh, wait.

  36. John Appleton 36

    Ummmm! I think most New Zealnders wouldn’t care about Shane Jones watching porn, we just don’t want to have to pay for the grubby little mans habbits! Creep.

  37. Gazza 37

    Let’s not forget that Goff’s deputy had her fingers in the pie to, so Goff should be very careful of how hard and who’s hands get smacked or the head who is the head may roll.
    As the saying go’s “Gone before lunch time”.

  38. Alexandra 38

    Im having difficulty bringing my thoughts together on this issue. Prima facie, this story looks to be one of misuse of ministerial credit cards. That the misuse is so rampant across party lines, it suggests an institutional failure which party heads, whips and parliamentary services should reflect on. The fact that Jones used his card to rent porn movies is a double whamy which is likely to leave an indelible stain on his reputation. In the light of day though, Jones is an astute politician and his skills and courage are needed in parliament. His action was blindingly stupid (no pun intended) but I agree with Gazza; Jones should not be treated any differently from other labour ministers who have abused their credit card, or be expected to fall on his sword.

  39. Carly 39

    I have been reading with interest the developments over the last couple of days and as a mostly undecided voter due to lack of quality choice, I have to say that whilst I don’t agree with the personal spending aspect of what Shane Jones has done I do find myself admiring the way he has eventually fronted up and admitted that what he has done is wrong and there is no excuse.
    Contrast this with Chris Carter who continues to deny any culpability and indeed blame it on the media indulging in gay-bashing.
    We shouldn’t expect our politicians to be perfect but we should expect them to front up to mistakes and learn from them. I believe that Shane Jones can learn from this and consequently become a better representative.
    Chris Carter has lost any respect I previously had for him

  40. Gazza 40

    Now that Shane has had his hand smacked it will interesting to see where the next reshuffle goes now that Goff has shown his weakness.
    Shane has stood strong and will rise like that phoenix and I dont think he has lost any support within the party so the leadership is still within his grasp, as without him up front labour will not be in power next year.

  41. GPT 41

    Not sure how many people care that Jones watched porn. I certainly do not. The issue is that (unlike Key) Jones was using taxpayers money. I would have thought porn falls well outside any grey area for ministerial spending. You are comparing with apples with oranges.

    Although for what it is worth I hope that Jones can recover as he seems a reasonable enough and talented chap – even if his politics are slightly misguided! I suspect that his mea culpa may be enough to save him – its hard not to respect an apology.

    • felix 41.1

      The issue is that (unlike Key) Jones was using taxpayers money.

      Please catch up. Key has been pissing it up to the tune of 1000s on our tab.

      • GPT 41.1.1

        Sorry Key was on the taxpayers tab when he went to a strip club?

        • felix 41.1.1.1

          Don’t play the ignorant fuckwit with me, spotty. You know perfectly well what I was referring to.

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  • Speech: Address to the NZ Economics Forum
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