The repercussions from the election result will percolate throughout this week. Two predictions that I will make are that Gerry Brownlee and Nick Smith will announce their retirements. National has this uncanny ability to make MPs stand down without a fuss. For legal reasons I will not say what the rumors are about how this is achieved.
One former MP who will not have to be persuaded is Jami-Lee Ross. His parliamentary career, which 2 years ago looked assured, is now over. And dumping all over a major party and then joining up with a bunch of conspiracy theorists is not the way to leave your mark.
For one final occasion, excluding news of his SFO trial, Jami was the subject of media attention. But not in a good way.
This interview of Ross by Tova O’Brien is jaw dropping.
Especially this question:
You have been part of a political movement which has been pedaling misinformation during the election campaign. Do you have any regrets?
O’Brien has been the go to person from National sources for some time and the allegations about Ross’s leaking makes you wonder if he was one of the leakers, although I am sure there is more than one. But clearly there is no love lost there.
The future of his party will be interesting. There is this weird arrangement between Advance New Zealand and Billy Te Kahika’s New Zealand Public Party where the latter party is not registered and not subject to various Electoral Act requirements like, for instance, not keeping donations in a tin under your bed, or taking money from US anti vaxer conspiracy theorists. But you should take as much notice of these allegations as you should have taken of Ross’s claim that Billy T was ahead in Te Tai Tokerau. He ended up with 988 votes compared to Kelvin Davis’s 11,699 votes.
Facebook has pulled the plug on Advance NZ’s page because it was spreading disinformation. Time will tell about what happens but I expect this particular movement to morph and try again.
But for Jami-Lee it is time to say goodbye.