Mutually assured destruction

Written By: - Date published: 8:17 am, October 17th, 2018 - 380 comments
Categories: labour, national, paula bennett, same old national, Simon Bridges, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags: ,

The theory of nuclear deterrence is that if both sides have nuclear weapons neither side will ever use them, because all that would cause is the other side to respond in kind.

There is an equivalent theory in politics, that you leave other MPs personal lives out of arguments because otherwise you could be subject to a comparable response. There are far too many skeletons in far too many political closets for this to be a viable option.

Yesterday that theory was well and truly trashed.

It was a remarkable day.

The two stand ups that occurred were starkly different.

Jami-Lee Ross was coherent and direct.

By contrast Simon Bridges was evasive, refused to answer direct questions and clearly left the reporters with a sense that he was not being open about what had happened.

Bridges’ comment that he will not talk about donations is quickly running out of credibility.  He is using John Key’s old tactic of repeating the same thing again and again but he does not have Key’s brashness and ability to tough things out.

Then Paula Bennett pushed the nuclear button. From Derek Chang at the Herald:

National Party deputy leader Paula Bennett says the issues raised with Jami-Lee Ross had nothing to do with harassment, but were about inappropriate behaviour from Ross as a “married Member of Parliament”.

She is vehemently denying Ross’ claim the leadership team accused him of harassing women.

Ross told reporters this morning he was marched into National leader Simon Bridges’ office about three weeks ago and told of four independent accusations of harassment from women.

He said he was to be stripped of his portfolios and dumped on the backbenches, and when he tried to find out more information about the allegations, Bridges threatened him.

“I asked for details. I was not given any … He told me if I kept asking for natural justice, that it would not be just four women. It would be 15 women.”

Bennett said the leadership team raised issues with Ross – but it wasn’t about harassment.

“At no point was the matter of sexual harassment ever put to Jami-Lee Ross,” Bennett told the Herald.

“What was put to him was inappropriate behaviour that is unacceptable from a married Member of Parliament.”

I don’t know what Bennett hoped to achieve. The release appears to have enraged Ross and made him more determined to do something.

And today he is expected to pay a visit to the local police and complain that Simon Bridges has broken electoral law by arranging for a split donation to get it under the threshold.

The allegation is that a wealthy donor, Yikun Zhang, offered a donation of $100,000, and that Bridges and Ross arranged for it to be repackaged so that it did not have to be disclosed. And this is going to give this story legs. Yikun Zhang was proposed by National for and was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit recently. And this twitter feed explores his possible connection with the Chinese Communist Party.

David Fisher at the Herald has the details:

Ross – in an extraordinary press conference – said: “On the 14th of May this year I attended a dinner with Simon Bridges at the home of a wealthy Chinese businessman.”

He later named Zhang and then tweeted pictures of Bridges and Zhang at the dinner.

Ross said Bridges rang the following week, having been at a fundraiser for National list MP Paul Goldsmith, who lives in the Epsom electorate which includes Zhang’s home.

“He was excited because he was offered a $100,000 donation from the same wealthy Chinese businessman.

“Simon asked me to collect this donation. He was at pains to point out the donation should not be made public and could I ensure this.”

Ross said he did as Bridges asked, splitting the money into chunks smaller than the $15,000 limit at which donations had to be declared.

“The full $100,000 donation has not been disclosed to the Electoral Commission.”

Ross said he recorded a conversation with Bridges on June 20 during which the donation was discussed. The Botany MP said he asked – in the recording – what Bridges wanted done with the money.

Ross said he later told a party manager to raise concerns if he believed electoral law had not been complied with.

Bridges denied any breach of the law and accused Ross of lashing out after being exposed as the likely source of an information leak to the media.

National’s leadership must be wondering what next.  In the past it was extraordinarily good at moving MPs on.  But not this time.

And Labour is sitting back and doing nothing.  And quietly grinning.

Today promises to be another interesting day.

380 comments on “Mutually assured destruction”

  1. Carolyn_Nth 1

    I don’t think Bennett was actually talking about JLR’s private life, although a partial aim may have been to be so vague as to give that impression.

    there’s too big a gap between JLR’s claim of being told 4 women were claiming he harassed them (with no details) and an affair.

    I think Bennett’s statement was airbrushing the alleged claims of harassment as “inappropriate behaviour”. If they were claiming harassment, shouldn’t Bridges and Bennett have handled it totally differently?

    Also, it looks like Bridges-Bennett are using the John key Dirty Politics play: don’t answer specific accusations, deny any wrong doing, smear the accuser repeatedly.

    • mickysavage 1.1

      There are rumours circulating round. This was the first public reference to them that I am aware of.

      • mac1 1.1.1

        Who remembers as far back as October 3?

        “National’s deputy leader Paula Bennett is jumping to the defence of Botany MP Jami-Lee Ross, calling on the media and the public to give him space to deal with his health problems. He revealed on Tuesday that he would be taking a few months off on medical leave. Ms Bennett is defending Mr Ross to the hilt, particularly regarding any speculation this sudden leave has anything to do with the ongoing investigation into the leak of National leader Simon Bridges’ expenses.”

        RNZ’s news item.

        Defending to the hilt! A fortnight later she is accusing him of marital improprieties!

        Anything to do with the leak? She knew what caused Jami-Lee’s illness. It was the stress caused by unjustified, unsubstantiated allegations made about harassment by Bennett herself!

        She really would make a fitting and morally consistent replacement for Simon Bridges’ corrupt practice and deficient moral compass.

        • Treetop 1.1.1.1

          No moral compass, recall how she disclosed the name of the women who received a benefit when she was the MSD minister. That was a misuse of power.

          • Jack Ramaka 1.1.1.1.1

            Pulla’s track record is not super good either in her past private life so we are lead to believe.

            Pot calling the kettle black ?

            • riffer 1.1.1.1.1.1

              A cynic would observe that a pot, being an expert on the subject, is perhaps the best subject to point out the blackness of the kettle…

        • Tricledrown 1.1.1.2

          She knows if Bridges goes she goes.
          Collins will want a clean out.

      • veutoviper 1.1.2

        Yesterday, I replied to Carolyn Nth at 7.4 on the “Ross Doubles down” post on this very subject.

        Jami-Lee Ross Doubles Down; Resigns From Parliament

        As my comment was short (and carefully worded) I will repeat it here.

        “Personally I am keeping an open mind on the claims of sexual harassment, as apparently the story/rumours in the Wellington beltway were originally of consensual ‘playing away’ involving someone of similar status/political affiliation. There were various hints of this initially in some of the reporting at the time Ross went on health leave (2/3 Oct).

        However, something went down about 18/19 Sept – at the time of the Suffrage 125 celebrations in the House. Certain people were not in the House for some days over that period and not in their usual seats when they did return for the final week of the last sitting week (25-27 Sept). After Ross went off on health leave (2/3 Oct) I heard that rumours re harassment were circulating but in a ‘fed’ manner. I’ll leave it at that but what JLR said in his media stand-up this morning re suddenly being accused of harassment made sense to me in that regard.”

        As I said in that earlier comment, there were indirect suggestions of private life indiscretions in a number of main stream media reports at the time Ross went on health leave (2/3 Oct). I could provide links if people really wanted to see them, but I prefer not to as this should not be the focus IMO. (I could email links to you MS if you really wanted them.)

        Much as I have never been a fan of Ross, I still am inclined to believe Ross’ claims re harassment claims being used possibly as a form of blackmail as opposed to Bennett and Bridges’ statements now, especially as Bennett is now backtracking madly from what she said yesterday.

        As CN says in 1 above, if it had been harassment, then the situation should have been handled completely differently.

        What still stands out starkly for me, was Bridges’ comments back in his press conference at the time Ross went on leave, that he was totally unaware etc, and that you think you know people and then find out you don’t, etc. Not a good look for a leader to state it mildly.

      • Michael 1.1.3

        That’s right. Bennett’s media interview this morning fanned the flames. She knew precisely what she was doing, just as she knows Whale Oil is making similar allegations against her and Amy Adams, both of whom are, coincidentally, rivals with Crusher Collins in the Nats’ next installment of the Game of Thrones. This a power struggle, pure and simple.

    • Grant Insley 1.2

      “inappropriate behaviour” doesn’t give a toss about marital status. Why would Pullya include reference to JLK’s marital status?

      • gsays 1.2.1

        My thought upon waking this morning:
        ‘i wonder who had the better sleep last night JLR or Bridges/Bennett?’

  2. Ross 2

    “Jami-Lee Ross was coherent and direct.“

    He’s gone [deleted – MS] and thrown away his career over something he claims he didn’t do. Coherent isn’t the first word that springs to mind.

    • mickysavage 2.1

      So why didn’t Bridges address the allegations? Why did he keep avoiding very direct questions on the subject?

      • Ross 2.1.1

        Believe it or not, Bridges doesn’t have to respond to the media. Indeed I’ve yet to see a politician give the media everything they want with the exception perhaps of JLR. 🙂

        • mickysavage 2.1.1.1

          Believe it or not, Bridges doesn’t have to respond to the media

          You are joking?

          It is not as if he is the leader of the opposition or an MP or anything …

          • Dukeofurl 2.1.1.1.1

            If Bridges had nothing to hide, why shouldnt he directly answer the questions.

          • Ross 2.1.1.1.2

            No I am not joking. Here’s a few questions.

            How did Meka Whaitiri’s staffer get bruises on her arm?

            Were the bruises caused by Whaitiri?

            Why hasn’t Megan Woods’s spoken with Derek Handley about his employment offer being scuppered?

            Why did the Government withdraw its offer to Handley?

            Do you seriously expect the Government to answer these questions? As I say, politicians are not beholden to the media.

            • Michelle 2.1.1.1.2.1

              They are not beholden to the media but they are to us tax payers

            • Tricledrown 2.1.1.1.2.2

              Desperate deflection from National supporters regular trolls obviously have no time for Bridges.

            • Tricledrown 2.1.1.1.2.3

              Ross those are the issues National should be making hay over but National have scored an own goal shot themselves in the foot.
              Bridges should have shrugged of the expenses debacle and said it was going to be released next week
              When you have National trolls like James saying Bridges must go.
              And just about all the T rolls agreeing
              Ross it makes you look like a desperate outrider.

              • the other pat

                ” shot themselves in the foot “…..well an understatement….more like standing on a nuclear landmine after reading a sign that says do not step here!

            • Michelle 2.1.1.1.2.4

              that old news now Ross the latest is the bridges saga and all the other vile spilling out. Go Jamie let it rip tell all.

        • Pete 2.1.1.2

          Bridges might not have given the media what they wanted but in doing so he gave us what we wanted.

          We wanted to see what he was like in difficult circumstances. He came across as evasive, sly and covering up.

          Body language experts apparently are all the rage. My experience over years as a professional dealing with people in awkward situations leads me to believe that his performance yesterday showed he is not to be trusted.

          Get your own body language experts to analyse the depth and sincerity of the support from his colleagues yesterday. Full blown luscious cream gushing out the sides of the gorgeous patisserie? Or pretend stuff, dry mock cream on a suspect bun?

          • veutoviper 2.1.1.2.1

            Exactly. Well said.

          • Dirk.Dirkin 2.1.1.2.2

            Bridges who screamed all over the media about Ardern needed to be stronger and suffer, comes across as a paper bag trying to hold runny custard

          • Incognito 2.1.1.2.3

            Hang on! Simon used to be a respected and reputable Crown Prosecutor, some of whom are appointed as Court Judges. They are the judiciary elite!

          • patricia bremner 2.1.1.2.4

            Yes Pete, I looked at the picture and thought ‘watch your back.’
            One ‘friend’ tells all, those ‘friends’ will step on your neck to get your spot, or to keep their position, and you are on a slippery slope.

        • Te Reo Putake 2.1.1.3

          Er, Bridges called the media conference. So, yeah, he really should answer questions.

        • RJL 2.1.1.4

          Sure, Bridges doesn’t need to respond to the media.

          But if he chooses to not respond in a coherent and fulsome manner then he creates room for speculation.

          After all, Bridges was the one who called a media conference to talk about JLR. The fact that the questions weren’t the ones he wanted just shows how badly out of his depth Bridges is.

      • Chuck 2.1.2

        “Why did he keep avoiding very direct questions on the subject?”

        Show me a politician that does…

        One could pull up any number of interviews with Jacinda deflecting very direct questions. The Grand Master is, of course, Winston Peters he leaves reporters bewildered with his verbal diarrhoea at times.

        • Cinny 2.1.2.1

          Interestingly enough jlr didn’t avoid any questions yesterday, rather he answered all of them in detail.

          • Chuck 2.1.2.1.1

            Yes JLR needed to get his side of the story out in as much detail as he could for maximum effect. Once he accused Bridges, he had to make sure he gave as much detail as possible.

            It will not take too much time for it to become clear if JLR is spinning or not.

        • simbit 2.1.2.2

          Arh but the Winebox Inquiry. Or are you too young to recall?

      • Dennis Frank 2.1.3

        Barry Soper: “In Jami-Lee Ross saga, Simon Bridges comes up short… Bridges sounded like Sergeant Schultz from Hogan’s Heroes, he appeared to know nothing, or if he did, he repeatedly refused to address it, insisting time and time again he’d done nothing wrong, welcoming the intention to bring in the cops.”
        https://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=12143513

        ” Ross was the man standing head and shoulders above his cowering colleagues, they were all too afraid to do what he’d done, even though many of them wanted to. He was their crusader against the tyranny of a megalomaniacal leader, prepared to do anything and stamp out anyone who stood in his way of claiming the ultimate political prize, a prize Ross says he’s ill equipped to lay claim to.”

        “It was an impressive performance from a man we were told had mental health issues. He even addressed those, admitting there were issues but they’d been sorted, claiming that Bridges had sent him away to recover essentially to shut him up. Whatever the medication was, it spectacularly did the job. If all of what he’d claimed was to be believed, Bridges is now inedible toast.”

        All this from a guy who many here believe is a National Party supporter. He’s clearly not toeing the Nat caucus unanimity line, is he?! Go Barry!

        • Jack Ramaka 2.1.3.1

          JLR must have had a triple dose of Prozac for the last month, cleared his head and come right ?

    • Rosemary McDonald 2.2

      “…[Has been deleted – MS]…”

      Ross, whoever you are, take language like this over to Farrar’s site where it belongs.

      Moderators…please be more sensitive to such derogatory and offensive terminology.

      • Ross 2.2.1

        [Deleted. Steer clear of the mental health references – MS]

        • Rosemary McDonald 2.2.1.1

          ?

        • Ross 2.2.1.2

          Mickey

          That has nothing to do with mental health. JLR says his mental health is fine. I was simply commenting on his behaviour and was responding to Rosemary with a line from a comedy.

          [He said earlier that he had a mental break down. Lets avoid this particular language when referring to Ross – MS]

      • Rosemary McDonald 2.2.2

        And yet the original offensive comment persists at ‘2’.

        Hmmm….

    • Pat 2.3

      Thrown away a career that was in the process of being stripped away…nothing to lose and take as many of those responsible with him…..quite coherent.

      • Ross 2.3.1

        Pat

        Why was it being stripped? He said he wasn’t the leaker and had done nothing wrong!

        • Pat 2.3.1.1

          told by the leader to take sick leave till year end, threatened with dubious harassment accusations and had his mental health publicly ridiculed by the party leadership…..or do you perhaps think thats the sign promotion is in the offing?

          • Ross 2.3.1.1.1

            But Pat

            JLR brought that on himself and you might have missed the report that suggested he was the leaker. And Bridges is only a temporary leader. JLR simply had to wait.

            • Pat 2.3.1.1.1.1

              If the party has determined that on the balance of probabilities JLR was responsible for the leaks he has no future irrespective of the accuracy of that conclusion or the identity of the parliamentary leader…as he will be well aware.

        • Tricledrown 2.3.1.2

          Bridge’s and Bennett Bullying in the work place causing stress another serious offence.

        • KJT 2.3.1.3

          Nothing wrong? He claims he heard Bridges breaking electoral law. And said nothing at the time.

      • Michelle 2.3.2

        He will get another job he needs to stick to his guns he was one of their hit men in parliament now they are all putting the boot in.

    • Kevin 2.4

      Career? Since when is politics a ‘career’?

    • Treetop 2.5

      JLR has a moral compass even though a bit wonky, he gave the heads up and cannot be put into the position of how the alleged check fits into electoral law filing. Were he the party manager or the accountant he would be toast.

      Others involved in the process of this alleged 100k check, ALL need to give a police statement.

      Who audits electoral law on donations?

      Perhaps this is where an inquiry needs to be carried out asap.

  3. Incognito 3

    This is really bad and all the accusations about inappropriate behaviour unbecoming an MP, Chinese donations and what have you are a huge distraction from the crucial and core issue, which is that the largest political party in NZ, in fact the whole Opposition (minus one), is in utter disarray. How can this be good thing for NZ is beyond me.

    • Rosemary McDonald 3.1

      Oh, I don’t know Incognito, its excellent entertainment and quite refreshing to have the shades pulled and the windows opened a crack and some small measure of light and air into the stagnant cesspit that is politics.

      More, I say, stir things up a bit!

      Most of us, surely, can’t think any less of them?

    • Muttonbird 3.2

      If you can believe it Dr Bryce Edwards thinks it is “insignificant”!

      https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/368803/national-s-hollow-political-scandal-entertaining-but-insignificant

      What an absolute joke of a political commentator.

      • Dennis Frank 3.2.1

        A surprisingly shallow analysis from someone who is normally on the ball. He’s right that it’s primarily a betrayal vs loyalty thing, but wrong to discount all the deeper dimensions revealed by Ross. Primarily, corruption indicated by any deliberate breach of electoral law in their processing of donations.

        How can a Maori win a by-election in a Chinese electorate? Only if National doesn’t put up a Chinese candidate. Nobody has yet connected the dots around Chinese money buying political influence in Aotearoa and Te Tiriti. The hinge for this is the bicultural/multicultural interface, the incompatibility of tangata whenua privilege and equal rights for immigrants. Expect that to come to the fore in our politics as the Chinese muscle in.

        “Ross was brought up by his grandmother as his mother was “not in the best space to raise a child”, and he has never met his father, who descends from the Māori iwi of Ngāti Porou”. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jami-Lee_Ross

        • marty mars 3.2.1.1

          “Nobody has yet connected the dots around Chinese money buying political influence in Aotearoa and Te Tiriti.”

          What dots are you talking about Dennis?

          • Jack Ramaka 3.2.1.1.1

            There is a game of Chess and Chinese Checkers being played out in NZ and the National Party.

          • Michelle 3.2.1.1.2

            Its not the dots they need to check its the dollars the dirty dollars that brought favours

            • Visubversa 3.2.1.1.2.1

              Yes, $100,000 buys your son a place at the National Party Candidate College. That is on the tape.

          • Dennis Frank 3.2.1.1.3

            I said it in my second paragraph, premature to go further at this point. Factor in the effect of traditional Han culture & political control re minorities going back how many centuries? How the current communist regime continues with that. Brainwashed with those beliefs, coming here, are those leopards going to think “hey, different country, time to change our spots”?

            • marty mars 3.2.1.1.3.1

              Seems like non Māori are getting all this money and have done for ages. Time to check all the non Māori accounts for all the donations and favours and what not.

            • KJT 3.2.1.1.3.2

              If you are going back centuries in China, rulers of greater China before the communist party were Chi-ing, not Han. Until China dissolved into anarchy under multiple warlords.

              Han were the ones wearing pigtails, to show subservience to their Mongol rulers.

              Chinese still remember the humiliation of the boxer wars and the brutal Japanese invasion. If the West becomes subservient to China, it could be regarded as kharma.

        • Bearded Git 3.2.1.2

          Edwards is seldom if ever on the ball…Mr.Shallow if you ask me

          • patricia bremner 3.2.1.2.1

            Yes, Bryce presents both sides of any story, but cleverly adjusts the weighting of any fact by colouring and air brushing techniques which would do any make up artist proud.

          • Kahu 3.2.1.2.2

            He used to be sharp but he’s becoming wooly these days. Positioning himself to be the replacement pet ‘socialist’ of the establishment to replace irrelevant Trotter. Once again a hard leftist getting corrupted and selling out.

      • Dukeofurl 3.2.2

        Its fits his pattern of ‘nothing significant to see here’

      • marty mars 3.2.3

        He’s fully compromised now. Waste of time.

      • ankerawshark 3.2.4

        Muttonbird re Bryce Edwards 100%

        • Muttonbird 3.2.4.1

          I mean this from Edwards:

          It contains nothing of significance for democracy.

          This whole car crash strikes at the very heart of democracy, ffs.

          He’s either doing spectacular contortions in order to be seen to be sticking to the centre ground, to the point of offering no useful analysis at all. Or he has been bought. Or he’s gone down the Phil Quin route of turning his back on the left because of feminists.

          • Chris T 3.2.4.1.1

            “This whole car crash strikes at the very heart of democracy, ffs.”

            Not really

            • Muttonbird 3.2.4.1.1.1

              Umm, shit reply there, mate.

              The ability for an MP to speak out about his leader’s corrupt practice being threatened. The leader threatening a sexual harassment claim in order to shut him up. The leader using the media to ostracise him. The leader falsifying electoral returns and hiding donations from on and offshore business.

              These do strike at the very heart of democracy no matter how much you try to play it down.

              • shadrach

                “The ability for an MP to speak out about his leader’s corrupt practice being threatened.”
                No, no-one is threatening that. The last looked JLR was doing plenty of ‘speaking out’.

                “The leader threatening a sexual harassment claim in order to shut him up.”
                Haven’t seen that either. Cite?

                “The leader using the media to ostracise him.”
                Just like the MP is using the media to level accusations at the leader?

                “The leader falsifying electoral returns and hiding donations from on and offshore business.”
                Well let’s wait and see, shall we.

                Democracy is not the slightest bit threatened by these numpties.

                • Muttonbird

                  If the damage done to democracy is limited it’s because there’s a decent and ethical government in charge.

                  Don’t forget, these guys in National were in power not long ago and this is the kind of stuff they are made of and have always been made of.

                  These are the symptoms now showing of what is a very serious and chronic disease of the right wing.

                  Let’s not let the disease take hold again…

                  • Chuck

                    “because there’s a decent and ethical government in charge.”

                    Really??

                    The current Deputy PM was found by the privileges committee to have filed a false return to Parliament when he failed to declare a $100,000 donation from billionaire Owen Glenn.

                    Labour party camps – that included underage drinking and sexual assaults. Shifty Labour intern camps run by Matt…

                    Current Government MP assaulting and intimidating there staff.

                    Curran leaving a trail of destruction behind herself.

                    Etc…

                    • Treetop

                      Re Peters and the Glenn check. Peters had consequences for that, (3 years away from parliament) no doubt there will be a public backlash concerning the alleged 100k check.

                    • shadrach

                      Thanks Chuck…saved me replying. For a brief moment I thought Muttonbird’s comment was irony.

                    • Chris T

                      Lol

                      It is quite funny what some people conveniently forget on here while speaking from their holier than thou pulpit

                    • AB

                      Muttonbird is correct in the sense that we have a government that operates from a decent and ethical ideology. The previous one didn’t.
                      This of course doesn’t mean that it never falls short of those principles, or that the individuals involved are always perfect.
                      You really have to separate the idea of shared ethical frameworks from individual behaviour. This is a common mistake on the right.

                • Drowsy M. Kram

                  “Democracy is not the slightest bit threatened by these [corrupt, democractically elected] numpties.”?

                  You have to admire the nous of Key, English, Joyce et al., getting clear of the house of cards they built prior to collapse.

      • Tricledrown 3.2.5

        Mutton bird what a difference a Day makes same commentators say Bridges will need a miracle.

    • One Two 3.3

      Exactly right!

    • KJT 3.4

      Exposing dishonest entitled spoiled children, and removing them from power, has to be good for our politics.

      • Incognito 3.4.1

        Yes and no. Politics is not for the fainthearted but this saga does cast a shadow over all politicians and it paints it as symptomatic of a deep gangrene in our political system and democracy. It will turn off voters. Is that good?

        • KJT 3.4.1.1

          There is a deep gangrene in our political system.

          The ability to buy the political decisions you want, is inherently corrupt.

    • Michael 3.5

      It will be good for NZ if it keeps the Nats out of power. It’s always good for NZ when the Nats are out of power.

  4. Barfly 4

    “Yikun Zhang was proposed by National for and was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit ”

    Hmm and National wanted it hidden he gave them a $100,000. Honours for sale sign needed.

    • Chris T 4.1

      Actually it was 3 National MP’s and Labour’s Mayor Phil Goff

      • Kahu 4.1.1

        Phil Goff has always been a Nat-lite, one of the proteges of Roger Douglas. A smirking git. Coz of this he needs to be investigated for any shoddy backdoor deals with Chinese Construction Firms.

  5. Nick 5

    Lying dodgy scummy people accusing lying dodgy scummy people. At least they are all trying to flush each other down the dunny. Problem is that there are so many of them it will block the pipe.

    • Rosemary McDonald 5.1

      Nick…that’s almost as good as ‘slimy, wriggly-arsed, bottom-feeding scumsuckers’ which got me into a small bit of strife when used to describe some in the legal profession.

      Aside….isn’t politics a common aspiration for some in that profession?

      Ah. Makes sense now.

  6. One Two 6

    Politics. NZ Style…

    Those who are ‘enjoying’ the spectacle are also culpable!

    • Adrian Thornton 6.1

      I’m not enjoying it…I’m fucking loving it.

      • marty mars 6.1.1

        Lol

        Yep unlikable bunch of wallys getting just desserts. After the way they treated people it is good to see payback.

      • Michelle 6.1.2

        bye bye national hooray! I have been waiting for this lot to get their come up ins

      • mauī 6.1.3

        Yes, we as a family huddled around the wireless last night listening to the news coming through from the front. Listening to the reports of the Jami’s advancing on Soimon positions and making significant ground.

      • Jack Ramaka 6.1.4

        + 100% me too fantastic entertainment better than the All Blacks.

      • ankerawshark 6.1.5

        I am loving it too, because at least the corruption (I know its only alleged at this stage) is coming out through one of their own. I believe Nats have been corrupt for yonks (just read Dirty Politics) and they have managed to tidy it away and get away with it………………not yesterday

      • One Two 6.1.6

        Taking pleasure from such events, ‘enjoying payback’ and other such perspectives…

        Enjoyment in the misery of others…is what so many here state The NATs are about..

        Ill conceived and hypocritical…

  7. Dennis Frank 7

    There’s no evidence that the four women are real. We’ve been told that they don’t want to proceed with their complaints. We’ve been told they are staffers employed by Parliamentary Services. We’ve been told they did not complain to their employer.

    Since all public servants ought to be aware of the formal procedure for making complaints of harassment, it defies belief that all four women get it totally wrong! Why would they complain to the Nat hierarchy instead of to PS??

    Paula assured the Herald it was not sexual harassment that was “put to Jami-Lee Ross”. That accords with JLR just describing it as harassment. That implies she was present when Bridges made the allegation. Then she said it was behaviour inappropriate for a married MP. Wtf?? How can anyone interpret this as anything other than Paula contradicting herself. I hope she gets asked to tell parliament precisely what she meant by uttering the contradiction. And if she will provide parliament with evidence that the four complaints are legally-valid documents from real people. And if she can explain why their use of the complaints to silence JLR isn’t blackmail.

    • Treetop 7.1

      Maybe the four alleged women are robots and there are 11 more out the back!

      • Jack Ramaka 7.1.1

        The guy may be a sex machine and all 15 of them actually enjoyed the interaction.

        • Dennis Frank 7.1.1.1

          🤣 a tad non-pc there! but since Paula is now assuring everyone that no sex was involved think we may have to go with bullying instead.. but wait, what was that she said about inappropriate behaviour for a married man? oh, that was the other Paula…

        • Gabby 7.1.1.2

          He doesn’t sound like a sex machine.

    • veutoviper 7.2

      Exactly. See my 1.1.2 above.

      Also, IIRC Bennett and the Chief of Staff whose name I cannot recall were both present with Bridges when they confronted Ross on the day he was sent on leave (2/3 Oct).

  8. cleangreen 8

    This whole toxic episode just shows ‘how dangerous it is playing in the same sandpit of the current leaders of national will be to your health.’

    Judging by watching Paula Bennett being grilled by Duncan Garner on the AM show at 7.30am today 17/10/18 I truly believe Paula is a partner in the ‘cover up’ of the whole Chinese donation cover-up now.

    “nothing to see here” was done on any evidence of the whole $100 000 donation by these two running national.

    This looks like what the Saudi’s have done to cover-up the Turkish embassy killing of a prominent Journalist..

  9. Adrian Thornton 9

    Lovely, just lovely watching National destroy itself in such a messy, nasty and vindictive way, which of course suits them all right down to the ground, my one regret is that this didn’t happen to that human snake (never sir) John key.

    Yes this whole affair really gets me out of bed with a spring in my step…long may it last.

  10. ankerawshark 10

    Just done a poll on the Am website (I know, I know) about who do you believe Bridges or Ross. Quite geniunely I believe Ross (not saying he’s a good guy). 65% people believe Ross, 35% Bridges……………

  11. Cinny 11

    Have now come to the conclusion that any whistle blower regardless of which side of the fence they come from, will always be labelled a ‘traitor’ by right wingers.

    Loyalty seems more important than honesty and integrity in the nat camp.

  12. Kat 12

    According to the Hosk its “Jihardist Lee-Ross”………the movie is picking up serious momentum in its story line.

  13. Adrian 13

    In the entire history of the National Party it has always aligned itself with the money.
    That’s why farmers were so pissed off 20 years ago,National had shifted primary allegence to the big banks and international lenders.
    Now it”s ” Chinese” money but specificly Chinese Communist Government money for the purpose of buying influence and more dangerously, leverage.

    • patricia bremner 13.1

      How appropriate that Jenny Shipley is being asked questions about chinese funding in court right now? There is a pattern. Follow the money.

      • Tricledrown 13.1.1

        Talking about Jenny Shipley and Mainzeal board culpability it doesn’t look good for them a word of mouth assurances with no evidence.
        No legal advice taken over the assurances given the dire situation Mainzeal was in.
        Looks like the board could be forced to cough up the $75 million.

        • Treetop 13.1.1.1

          Shipley made the error of relying on a Chinese backer with an interest in Mainzeal to keep Main zeal solvent.

          Not a stupid business man, bailed out when he was needed the most to avoid chucking his money away.

          What was the Main zeal board thinking, the business man was a bank.

          • Tricledrown 13.1.1.1.1

            Treetop verbal assurances who runs a $500 million company on verbal assurances SCF.
            Wow unbelievable?

            • Treetop 13.1.1.1.1.1

              Money was there to pay SCF and with interest, but not hard working sub contractors.

        • UncookedSelachimorpha 13.1.1.2

          Typical of those of the party of Financial Prowess and Personal Responsibility.

          On examination – they lack both.

      • Michelle 13.1.2

        The pattern = greed

    • Siobhan 13.2

      Absolutely, but I very much doubt Labour would want too much attention paid to Chinese influence.
      Infact while I’m sure they are enjoying the show as much as anyone I have no doubt someone is assigned to lie awake in the small hours going over their own record with the Chinese.

      When Anne-Marie Brady, ‘The Burgled Professor’, published her report on Chinese influence in NZ, which incidentally highlighted the acceleration of Chinese influence under National compared to Labour, Arderns comment was simply..
      I don’t think that’s something that’s necessarily come up… as being an issue. But I am interested in that work that was done in Australia, I would like to take a closer look when there is a little bit more time available” she said.

      Helen Clark was at pains to seem dismissively disinterested, claiming to have “skim read’ the report.

      Nothing to see here folks…

      https://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11924169

      • Labour formed good relations with Communist China through Rewi Alley.
        Helen Clark made use of that.

        This new China outreach is similar to Japan’s and the USA. Loans, contributions and donations “with strings”

        I was interested to hear the Leader of the Opposition would make his home
        available to two Chinese business men because of a promise,… and a donation??? Much to reflect on.

        The comments about “being set up” You can only have that happen if you have done something, and comment on it. It is then taped and you are “set up!!”

        Lots of questions for Bridges.

    • BM 13.3

      They’re all in on it.
      Guess who?

      • marty mars 13.3.1

        How you holding out mate – must be gutting seeing all the dirty laundry of your gnat party being exposed like this. Only gonna get worse and then the polls will come out and, well, won’t be pretty I think.

      • Tricledrown 13.3.2

        Boringly Monotonous she isn’t claiming that she hasn’t met him.
        Desperate distraction.

      • Trey 13.3.3

        Shock, Horror!!!!! A Chinese Businessman being invited to a Chinese New Year Celebration Function. Quick BM call the police, it’s corruption I tells ya.

        • Kahu 13.3.3.1

          It is when he’s donating to both Labour & National. Pay for Play, Strings attached, honours given, candidates given green light/fast forward. It is when the guy is an Agent of the CCP, a key player in their UF soft power projection. It is when he’s a guy donating 100,000 but having it cut up and assigned to members of an organisation founded by him as a front organisation of CCP …pushing CCP influence/control over local Chinese ‘NZ’ers’ & our politicians.

      • Treetop 13.3.4

        National have taken it upon themselves to be judge and jury. They thought all they needed to do was to cast a caucus vote.

  14. ScottGN 14

    I wonder which bright spark in National thought it would be a good idea to send Paula Bennett out to do the media rounds this morning?

    • mickysavage 14.1

      She would have been my choice 😀

    • marty mars 14.2

      Probably Paula – she’s fighting for her survival now and will fight dirty and destructivelly.

      The gnats shown for what they are – can’t wait for the next poll!

      • ScottGN 14.2.1

        And maybes it’s dawned on the rest of the caucus that the outcome might not be quite a clear cut as they initially though so the best thing to do now is keep your head down and wait to see what can be salvaged from the smoking ruins?

        • marty mars 14.2.1.1

          Yep they will emerge from their bunkers into a ruined gnat landscape, blackened stumps, toppled statues of forgotten leaders – and they will rebuild from a scrawny seedling growing in tainted soils. But it’s gonna take quite a while, quite a while indeed.

          • Rosemary McDonald 14.2.1.1.1

            “But it’s gonna take quite a while, quite a while indeed.”

            You think?

            Have a look at the noters in the party who are saying nothing.

            They will step up (with great reluctance of course, hating it to appear they are making political capital from their brethren’s demise) and quietly fill the vacuum.

            Then, business as usual, only the dross pool is shallower.

            Vigilance, folks.

      • Jack Ramaka 14.2.2

        Crusher will be licking her lips with glee.

      • mauī 14.2.3

        Bennett has put all her chips in with Simon – a terrible poker player, I guess she has to as deputy leader. But woah… this just gets more gripping! much better than watching high stakes poker.

      • She has fought for her Deputy position and will continue to do so.

    • Dirk.Dirkin 14.3

      Probably the same ones who put her in charge of the leak enquiry

    • Gabby 14.4

      Someone who wants her gone as well?

  15. ScottGN 15

    It’s quite fun watching those seasoned commentators who yesterday were confidently predicting the might of the National Party machine to crush the hapless JLR scrambling to reassess this morning.

    • Dukeofurl 15.1

      Yep. Even Soper who right there when JLR made his media appearance says this:

      “It was an impressive performance from a man we were told had mental health issues. He even addressed those, admitting there were issues but they’d been sorted, claiming that Bridges had sent him away to recover essentially to shut him up.”

      The bit I liked was JLR used the little platform with lecturn that the Nats had set up for Bridges after the caucus meeting.( gives him a bit of height above the journos)
      They really are making sure the optics look perfect for Soimun, who of course would have thought it would be his moment of triumph against his nemesis….

      • ScottGN 15.1.1

        Yeah I thought JLR appropriating the lectern that National had set up for Bridges moment of glory was a lovely touch.

  16. Dennis Frank 16

    ” Internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom has issued a message of support for embattled MP Jami-Lee Ross following bombshell allegations against his National Party leader Simon Bridges yesterday. Dotcom took to Twitter saying to Ross “I would like to have a chat with you”. “You may need legal assistance and election support and I’m happy to help. The morally bankrupt now have one goal: To discredit and destroy you.”
    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=12143779

    Okay, but dunno if financial help would be a factor in the by-election. JLR has likely saved enough to pay his required expenses. If Bridges brings a defamation case, different story! Dotcom’s public credibility after sponsoring fringe leftists is low, but if they manage to devise a principled platform of common ground, could be a goer…

  17. So when will the NZ Herald call for Simon Bridges to stand down?
    By Martyn Bradbury / October 16, 2018 /

    Remember when the NZ Herald called for David Cunliffe to stand down over an allegation of a $100000 donation that never existed…

    Remember when the NZ Herald called for David Cunliffe to stand down over an allegation of a $100000 donation that never existed

    John Armstrong: Cunliffe’s resignation may be in order

    …in Cunliffe’s case the $100 000 bottle on wine never existed, however in Simon’s case he had dinner at the donors house, claimed he never met the donor (here is a photo of him with the donor)…

    …and Jami-Lee Ross is claiming the donation was falsely filed.

    So when will the NZ Herald be calling for Simon Bridges to resign? Or does it only play that way when it’s Labour?

  18. Brian Tregaskin 18

    https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2018/10/bridges-will-emerge-stronger-after-ross-spat-former-national-president.html
    Watch this @around 4.00 mins former Nat president thought things would run to script yesterday and look what happened. They really thought yesterday would be SBs day and the exact opposite happened –she used the term “lancing a boil”

    Adding to my commits from yesterday

    “I was wrong to dismiss Jami-Lee Ross as just another entitled born to rule person.
    But like LOTS of others around NZ, I was moved by hIs determination to fight back over these last two days against the might of the National Party Machine
    It was obvious this has been traumatic time for him; he was a victim. I wouldn’t have blamed him for staying at home today.
    Anyone who switched on to Jami’s press interview today –would have there preconceptions shattered almost instantly. Jami showed this week he has resilience and courage in spades.”

    To quote Richard Branson “Everybody deserves a second chance. It is how we learn from our mistakes that defines us”
    If Jami’s team still stands behind him in Botany he might just win the seat and what a great come back story that would be.

  19. Stuart Munro 19

    I couldn’t help noticing:

    “China syndrome” describes the result of a nuclear meltdown, where reactor components melt through their containment structures and into the underlying earth, “all the way to China.”

    • Dennis Frank 19.1

      Great movie starring Jack Nicholson, I vaguely recall. Late seventies I think. Fringe physics theory, non-recycled since. But yes, you’re right to finger a china syndrome and the coming by-election will escalate it…

  20. ScottGN 20

    The Herald commentators have finally hauled themselves up off the carpet and are starting to crank out the party line for National now.

    • Dukeofurl 20.1

      yep …as expected this will be how it works from now on.
      They have to be careful though as Ross is expected to provide more proof today after the police meeting.
      Im sure hes got his media strategy all worked out, while national and its proxies has to react as they go.
      It seems they pulled Bridges from any chance of being questioned.

  21. Philj 21

    One politician calls another politician corrupt? Is this really news? Didn’t we already know this?

  22. Dukeofurl 22

    Bennett had a chat with Hosking

    “”If he has put something in … inappropriately, we can’t be responsible for something that he’s done. But Simon has not filed any false election donations.”

    Picking that apart – ‘we cant be responsible for something hes done”- really thats the line now ?
    Ross has recordings and txt messages saying different.

    As for Simon not filing any false election donations – thats true the party secretary/GM files the party donation forms but Paula has forgotten the candidate election form which Bridges had to ‘correct’. So he did file a false on based on his doing a replacement one.

    • ScottGN 22.1

      Unfortunately for her she also had a chat with Espiner, Garner and Tame.

      • Ffloyd 22.1.1

        Guyon had a field day. Bennett all over the place basically backing up jami lee. Are all these three of maori descent. Don’t mean anything by that but curious.

  23. Jack Ramaka 23

    … where there is smoke there is fire. Sounds like JLR has gazumped Bridges & Bennett the two Westies ?

  24. Jimmy 24

    That top photo of the two of them looks like two dodgy used car salesmen….would you trust either?

  25. ScottGN 25

    In less than 24 hours we’ve gone from Simon Bridges saying he couldn’t recall if he’d even met the Chinese donor and refusing to answer questions about any donations to Paula confirming this morning that not only had they met but that they had discussed how he could give to National. And further suggesting that breaking the subsequent donation into smaller amounts to hide the identity of the donor was JLR’s handiwork. Basically this morning Paula has done a lot to add credence to JLR’s version of events yesterday.

    • Dukeofurl 25.1

      Ross sets the scene for the next day: he had photos of the donor etc so that Bridges memory could be ‘refreshed’

      So what will Ross release to day to set the scene for tomorrow.

      And for his life after politics- well he could replace Dunne on the opinion column /chat show circuit.
      Rather than a has been on the outer of politics we could hear from some one who was on the inside..

      • Dennis Frank 25.1.1

        Yes, would be refreshing to have a recent Nat insider as political commentator, with a younger generational perspective on things. Stuff just reported this: “Ross says on his way in that he will release the recording of his phonecall with Bridges this afternoon.” Stand by for another almighty kerfuffle!

  26. Dukeofurl 26

    What is curious about yesterdays bombshell, is a lot of what was written seems to be a ‘condensed version’ which leaves out lots of detail

    This RNZ story about yesterday gives more detail and quotes, lots more detail

    “I reminded him that he had dinner at the individual’s home, he acknowledged this by saying yes, I reminded him that he was offered a $100,000 donations, he also agreed with this point by saying ‘yes’, I then told him the $100,000 donation had been received, he expressed his excitement by saying ‘fantastic’.

    “I then asked him what he wanted done with the donation and we discussed how to tell party president Peter Goodfellow.”

    Mr Ross claimed a month ago National’s general manager Greg Hamilton asked him about the split donation and who gave him the money.

    “I advised Greg that Simon Bridges arranged the donation and I was tasked with collecting it, I further advised Greg that if he felt the law hadn’t been complied with then the donation would have to be returned. He thought that would be a shame.”

    https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/368811/bridges-did-talk-to-businessman-at-centre-of-donation-claim-bennett

    This last bit was incredible
    “I further advised Greg that if he felt the law hadn’t been complied with then the donation would have to be returned”

    Virtually all of the direct quote detail has been left out of the reports from yesterday ? Were they afraid of being sued ?.

    Seems as though Ross has said he advised the Secretary to handle the donation lawfully!!

  27. ianmac 27

    What if?
    What if the entire speech from Ross was true?
    What if the meeting with Bennett and Bridges was as Ross says?
    And what if Ross was not the Leaker?
    What if Bridges and Bennett are telling lies?

  28. veutoviper 28

    Well, 24 hours can be a long time or a short time.

    In the last 24 hours:

    – JLR’s page has been removed from the National Party website as well as his placement at number 7 now showing blank.

    – On the Parliament website, JLR is still showing as a National MP

    – But changes have already been made to the House seating plan:

    (a) Immediately to the right of the Speaker in the front row of the National Party seats, Paul Goldsmith has moved one seat sideways into JLR’s seat and Nikki Kaye has moved into Goldsmith’s old seat. (They already took up these positions yesterday afternoon for QT.)

    (b) JLR has been assigned a (blue Nat) seat at the very back of the House. (Last row with one red seat, a vacant seat, then two Nat seats with Dan Bidois in the other blue seat.)

    https://www.parliament.nz/en/mps-and-electorates/house-seating-plan/

    I wonder whether JLR will give a valedictory speech? It could be really interesting …

    • McFlock 28.1

      The “showing blank” thing could just be a layout issue – each line of pics is a line with 4 items, take one item out then the line is shorter than others in the list

      • veutoviper 28.1.1

        Agreed, but a few people here made a big thing about that here yesterday or earlier today.

        I was/am more interested in the changes and no changes (ie. still showing him as National) on the Parliament website. And who is back in their normal seats – but I am not naming these ones … See my earlier 1.1.2 above here.

        • Incognito 28.1.1.1

          The point was that JLR’s photo was clumsily removed and had left an obvious empty space. If anybody had put a little effort into it the space should have been moved to the bottom of the list where it would have inconspicuous. It was shoddy & sloppy and a symptom of National having lost the plot, literally.

    • Drowsy M. Kram 28.2

      Yes, the National party “Our Team” page now goes from #6 (Mitchell) to #8 (Goldsmith). ‘Our Team’ – ironic.

      https://www.national.org.nz/team

      Wish JLR had been ranked 6th (“I am not a number…”)

    • veutoviper 28.3

      (b) is no longer accurate. The seating plan has been updated in just a few hours with no seat now designated for JLR.

  29. ianmac 29

    “The identity of the secret $10,000 ‘Cathedral Club’ donor has been revealed as Auckland millionaire and investor Aaron Bhatnagar even as details emerge linking National Party leader Simon Bridges to a group with that name.”

    “…The address was listed on the original donation declaration form which had been signed by Bridges, withdrawn and then submitted again without the Cathedral Club donation.
    At the time the donation was made, the Upland Rd house was lived in and owned by millionaire investor Aaron Bhatnagar.”

    So the Cathedral Club is a rich person. Mmmm.
    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12143884

    • JeevesPonzi 29.1

      Bathnagar- one of the Filthy Few from DP days.

      Like Eades, Lusk, Slater, Odgers et al- utter Filth.

      As for Bridges, Ross, Bennett Collins etc- all of these National dogs brought their own measly fleas into the den, so let them all lie together until there is nothing left of them to feed upon.

  30. Dennis Frank 30

    RNZ news just now said JLR will be reporting to the police in an hour. Hope he ensures that media are present. And tells them to watch the back door too!

    If a car pulls up while he’s inside, and a bunch of guys wearing blue suits jump out & enter the building, I trust the media will consider this development thoughtfully. If they exit carrying a large bundle about 2m long wrapped in duct tape, I hope they will take photos of that!

  31. mauī 31

    Going back to the Barclay scandal, I remember it being reported that Nat Southlanders felt quite disgusted about what was going on down there. Recordings, bullying, arrogance, etc.

    If Jami ends up being vindicated I wonder if we will see a nationwide level of revolt by Nat supporters. Doesn’t seem out of the realms of possibility.

  32. McFlock 32

    I get the distinct impression that Bridges is so dumb that he thought being made leader of the nats in opposition was not a poisoned chalice.

  33. Chch_chiquita 33

    Does Paula Bennett think that harassment is an appropriate behaviour from un-married men?

  34. ianmac 34

    And: “Bridges, who has denied any donation wrongdoing, said the donation and one other for $14,000 had been mistakenly attributed to his return when they were meant to be to the National Party as an organisation….
    Bridges signed off an election return which included a $10,000 donation from the “Cathedral Club” even though he knew the identity of the donor.”

    Question: What date was the “correction” made? Was it before the Ross blow up happened or after? Motivation?

  35. Well, well, well – Aaron Bhatnagar and Dirty Politics is back inside the National Party
    By Martyn Bradbury / October 17, 2018 / 2 Comments

    TDB recommends Voyager – Unlimited internet @home as fast as you can get
    This is getting dirtier and nastier but this time around the sleepy hobbits of muddle Nu Zilind don’t have the laid back anti-intellectualism of John Key to absolve their conscience and ignore corruption, they have bumbling Simon Bridges. Key could look down the barrel of the camera and lie to our faces and the sleepy hobbits loved him for it, Simon can’t lie convincingly and they will turn on him.

    National Party voters love a good liar, they detest a weak one.

    Print Email

    Well, well, well the person behind the Cathedral Club donation is the old Dirty Politics agent, Aaron Bhatnagar…

    Jami-Lee Ross saga: Identity of ‘Cathedral Club’ donor revealed
    The identity of the secret $10,000 ‘Cathedral Club’ donor has been revealed as Auckland millionaire and investor Aaron Bhatnagar, as details emerge linking National Party leader Simon Bridges to a group with that name.

    Bhatnagar came forward this morning after NZ Herald inquiries tied the donation to a house in Upland Rd in Remuera.

    The address was listed on the original donation declaration form which had been signed by Bridges, withdrawn and then submitted again without the Cathedral Club donation.
    At the time the donation was made, the Upland Rd house was lived in and owned by millionaire investor Aaron Bhatnagar.

    As TDB Blogger, Frank Macskasy pointed out in a TDB blog in 2014…

    One of the many sordid “bit”-players in Nicky Hager’s book, “Dirty Politics“, and one of Cameron Slater’s inner-cabal, is businessman, National Party card-carrying cadre, and former city councillor, Aaron Bhatnagar;

    .

    aaron bhatnagar

    .

    In 2008, Bhatnagar was caught by journalist, blogger, and IT commentator, Russell Brown, posting derogatory comments on Wikipedia to smear political opponants;

    Auckland City councillor Aaron Bhatnagar has been caught doctoring the online encyclopedia Wikipedia to paint his opponents in a bad light at last year’s local body elections.

    Using the alias of Barzini _ a power-hungry psychopath from Mario Puzo’s novel The Godfather _ Mr Bhatnagar created entries for his Action Hobson opponents in the Hobson ward and made unflattering changes to the entry for Mayor Dick Hubbard.

    After winning a council seat and watching Action Hobson councillors Christine Caughey and Richard Simpson go down to a C&R rout in Hobson, Mr Bhatnagar tried to remove the Wikipedia entries for his opponents at 3am the following morning.

    Bhatnagar was also John Banks’ campaign manager in Banks’ unsuccessful 2010 mayoralty bid, and later himself stood National’s candidate selection process for Epsom for the 2011 general election. (He subsequently lost out to John Banks.)

    But more than being a paid-up, card-carrying party apparatchik for National, Bhatnagar was part of far-right blogger, Cameron Slater’s inner sanctum.

    In Nicky Hager’s expose, Bhatnagar’s dirty tricks – a re-hash of his 2008 Wiki exploits – is carefully laid out;

    “Slater was in regular contact with his blogger friends Cathy Odgers, blog name Cactus Kate, Peter Smith (not his real name) and Aaron Bhatnagar, with whom he often talked over his attack plans…” – “Dirty Politics”, pg 20

    “Slater got the tip-off for his biggest 2011 attack from his blogger friend Aaron Bhatnagar, a former Auckland city councillor and business investor who had written a guest post as ‘Whale Oil Business Correspondent Winslow Taggart‘, promoting ‘one of New Zealand’s best run’ retirement companies, Ryman Healthcare, in which he was a shareholder. Bhatnagar’s approach to politics is summed up by his own words to Slater: ‘I’m getting bored. I need mischief to keep me busy…’ ” – “Dirty Politics”, pg 29

    “On another occassion he [Bhatnagar] asked Slater to help him find a ‘paparazzi photographer’ to ‘spook’ a lawyer outside his legal chambers.” – “Dirty Politics”, pg 29

    “This time Bhatnagar had been sniffing around the Labour Party’s websites and stumbled across an insecure location containing gigabytes of sensitive party information, including lists of donors and supporters. In the middle of election year, this was embarrassing and potentially very harmful to the Labour Party. Bhatnagar passed the find on to his friend.” – “Dirty Politics”, pg 29

    The following Facebook conversation between Cameron Slater and Bhatnagar showed the cavalier and unethical attitude both men had to Labour’s computer vulnerability;

    Slater: That website info will hit soon. Watch the damage that ensues.

    Bhatnagar: “I’ve been meaning to ask you! LOL [laugh out loud], when do you run it?

    Slater: been working thru it all… was going to do it this week but Goff is away. Far better to do it when the putz is back

    Slater: the most damaging is the 18000 emails, and the Credit card transactions

    Bhatnagar: fuck me, I hadn’t been that forensic myself. This will be huge

    Slater: got the whole of their email database

    Bhatnagar: oh no, LOL…. this is violence writ large

    Slater: I think some teaser videos of screenshots and stuff drip fed over a few days , then drop the bomb say wed morning so [Parliament’s Wednesday afternoon] general debate is awesome

    … The media are far too lazy to do what i have already done… so prob best to package it into bite size pieces.

    Bhatnagar: unreal. I knew there was heaps there, but I hadn’t actually leached it all. Credit card info? That’s insane. Labour will be ruined…

    I’m sure Chaos and Mayhem Ltd [Slater and his friends] will find a way to use all this left wing online data

    Slater: got First name, Last Name and email, in 3 files, main labour mail list

    Bhatnagar: could set back the online left wing community for three years…. I’ve told no one

    Slater: and don’t

    Bhatnagar: I wouldn’t wreck what might potentially be your greatest story…. – “Dirty Politics”, pg 30, 31

    At no point during that conversation does Bhatnagar even raise a question of ethics regarding Slater’s intentions to public data from the Labour Party computer. On the contrary, he is clearly supportive.

    On 12 June 2011, Slater began publishing details from the Labour Party computer. As Nicky Hager related;

    “The attack began on Sunday 12 June with an article Slater had arrangedin a Sunday newspaper. He simultaneously began publishing a series of posts on his blog with the tag line ‘Labour Leaks’, announcing a long list of ‘rorts’ that would be progressively ‘outed’ on his site over the following days…

    […]

    … Early on that Sunday morning Bhartnagar contacted Slater again. Their conversation is very revealing. ‘And so it begins…,’ Bhatnagar wrote. ‘Yep and it is going to hurt,” Slater replied, ‘that document is devastating… this is going to be a feeding frenzy, especially when I publish all the credit card transactions, then the membership lists, then the 18000 emails’. Thinking of the media reaction, Bhatnagar advised Slater to ‘keep your phone charged then – you will need the battery life!’

    Slater then set out in writing the motivations underlying the leaks. It would be, he said, ‘death by a 1000 leaks’.

    I have… cross referenced names with letter writers. I will have the definitive list of labour activists.

    it will shut down their donors, shut down their IT systems

    shut down their membership flow

    and shut down their online campaigns

    Bhatnager joked back: ‘Join the Labour Party and the Whaleoil email loop at the same time. Not a compelling message for left wing voters.’ “Dirty Politics”, pg 33

    As Nicky Hager pointed out, “the aim was not to expose poor Internet security or some wrong-doing or to prove a political point, but to do as much damage as possible to the Labour Party“. Clearly, Bhatnagar was revelling in Slater’s damaging attack on the Labour Party;

    “Later that evening Bhatnagar got in touch as well, suggesting a celebration lunc: ‘yum char thursday midday”. Slater said he’d be there. Bhatnagar asked, ‘What’s next in the death by 1000 cuts?’ ‘I haven’t decided yet,’ Slater replied. “- “Dirty Politics”, pg 36

    In fact, on one occassion, he positively gloated over it, as this exchange showed on 26 November 2011;

    “… The anti-MMP campaign failed, but Slater felt empowered by his successes. ‘I feel like this election campaign has been mine, plus my loyal tipline submitters,’ he told Bhatnagar. ‘Well, I am tempted to say that ripping open Labour’s website was a big part of it,’ Bhatnagar replied.“- “Dirty Politics”, pg 75

    …so on the day we find out that the Chinese business man who is claimed to have donated to Simon Bridges was nominated for a Queens Honour by National…

    National put Chinese businessman up for Queen’s Birthday honour

    …we also learn the other donor was a Dirty Politics agent.

    This is getting dirtier and nastier but this time around the sleepy hobbits of muddle Nu Zilind don’t have the laid back anti-intellectualism of John Key to absolve their conscience and ignore corruption, they have bumbling Simon Bridges. Key could look down the barrel of the camera and lie to our faces and the sleepy hobbits loved him for it, Simon can’t lie convincingly and they will turn on him.

    National Party voters love a good liar, they detest a weak one.

    ***
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    Published: 45 mins ago on October 17, 2018
    By: Martyn Bradbury
    Last Modified: October 17, 2018 @ 12:23 pm
    Filed Under: Deconstructing Headlines, Martyn Bradbury, Most Recent Blogs
    Tagged With: New Zealand Politics
    NEXT ARTICLE →
    “inappropriate behaviour that is unacceptable from a married Member of Parliament.” – I’m sorry what?
    ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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    2 COMMENTS
    BERT says:
    OCTOBER 17, 2018 AT 12:53 PM
    Corrupt doesn’t go far enough!

    Reply
    STEVE KING says:
    OCTOBER 17, 2018 AT 1:02 PM
    Anybody heard from Jason Ede lately?

    Reply
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    • Dukeofurl 35.1

      Just give a link, no need to copy and paste 3 pages worth of info along with the other stuff.

      part of what you are saying is Dirty Politics agent Aaron Bhatnagar is behind the Cathedral Club and previously he was involved in the hacking of the Labour Party Website along with the membership database [The DB was in ‘backup form’ so it needed to be unscrambled by an expert to be readable]

    • Andre 35.2

      Almost everyone that has any interest in Buffoon Bradbury’s bombast knows where to find it. No need to fill these pages with it too, and force mobile users to scroll past it. There’s even a bit in this site’s policy specifically saying don’t copy and paste huge sections. If you think there’s an especially good point, just quote that bit and say why and put in a link.

      • Mat Simpson 35.2.2

        Apologies Andre i consider myself rebuked.

        • Andre 35.2.2.1

          Rebuked? What I said? Just wait and see if this site’s sysop chooses to respond. That’ll be an … ahem … interesting rebuke. Especially given his long-standing … erm … “feelings” for Bradbury.

          [I don’t think he has seen it but yep the post is relevant. Some cutting and pasting of the best bits is optimal and we prefer that comments are shorter but Mat is a new commenter and has done the mea culpa so peace and mungbeans – MS]

          • Mat Simpson 35.2.2.1.1

            Funny i thought the enemy here was the National party and its ” corrupt above the law behaviour ” not another left wing writer.

            [See above. Let this be a learning lesson for you and welcome comrade – MS]

            • Andre 35.2.2.1.1.1

              Yeah you’d think so. But there’s more truth to that People’s Front of Judea thing than a lot of people are willing to admit.

            • Mat Simpson 35.2.2.1.1.2

              Thank you for highlighting the rules with regard to what i have posted today and i understand the frustration this would cause other contributors to this site.
              Being at home and battling bronchitis is probably not helpful when wanting to react to what is happening currently , looking at it again yeah it was untidy.
              Point noted

  36. Brian Tregaskin 36

    go to Oct 17, 2018 7:33 AM
    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/107897151/live-jamilee-ross-to-head-to-police-as-fallout-with-national-continues
    Former Labour Party president Mike Williams says the Jami-Lee Ross saga is a failure of leadership from Simon Bridges and has called out Paula Bennett today, he calls it “Dog Whistle Politics” what she is doing.

  37. ianmac 37

    And Simon writes an Acrostic poem about Jaime Lee Ross. Not really Simon but pretty similar. Actually it is Tom Sainsbury at his funniest.
    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12143930

  38. “inappropriate behaviour that is unacceptable from a married Member of Parliament.” – I’m sorry what?
    By Martyn Bradbury / October 17, 2018 / 3 Comments

    TDB recommends Voyager – Unlimited internet @home as fast as you can get
    If National are going to stand by that new ethical line in the sand, then should we start applying it to other National Party MPs?

    Print Email

    Jami-Lee Ross accused of inappropriate behaviour for a married MP: Paula Bennett
    National Party deputy leader Paula Bennett says the issues raised with Jami-Lee Ross had nothing to do with harassment, but were about inappropriate behaviour from Ross as a “married Member of Parliament”.

    “Inappropriate behaviour that is unacceptable from a married Member of Parliament.” – I’m sorry what?

    Is that the game we are playing now?

    Does National REALLY want to go down that path?

    REALLY?

    R-E-A-L-L-Y?

    This is becoming so nasty and bitter. The National Party are the Marriage Police now?

    If National are going to stand by that new ethical line in the sand, then should we start applying it to other National Party MPs?

    Paula Bennett’s interview on Breakfast this morning was a train wreck.

    We’ve seen Paula use personal information to damage enemies in the past when she published personal details of beneficiaries who complained about her. This is getting to a level where people are going to be seriously damaged from this.

    Who does this all benefit ultimately? Why Judith Collins of course, who is watching her puppets dance and the implosion of chaos play out.

    If Simon Bridges has to stand down due to the audio evidence Jami-Lee Ross has, the Party will turn in desperation to Judith.

    And then we will have real cause to be frightened.

    ***
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    Published: 46 mins ago on October 17, 2018
    By: Martyn Bradbury
    Last Modified: October 17, 2018 @ 12:30 pm
    Filed Under: Deconstructing Headlines, Martyn Bradbury, Most Recent Blogs
    Tagged With: New Zealand Politics
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    Dr Liz Gordon – Ructions in the national caucus

  39. Ken 39

    The more damage that they can do to eachother the better.

  40. Tricledrown 40

    Bennetts defence of Simon Bridges seems half hearted and leaves the door open for him to fall on his sword.
    A lot of ifs ands buts but no direct denial it could be but no it wasn’t.
    She is in the queue one more slip up from slippery Simon and he is toast.
    Simon hiding away is he on medical leave.

    • dV 40.1

      AND they MAY call in the auditors.
      That seems like the Bridges calling in the trackers re the leak.

  41. Brian Tregaskin 41

    Winston Peters has just called out Paula Bennett It was “vicious, uncalled for and “you don’t expect a member of Parliament to act like a troll.”
    “When you see those sorts of tactics it means you’re bereft of any defence.”

  42. Cinny 42

    Wonder how long jlr will be at the cop shop?

    He will be giving another presser afterwards.

  43. Dukeofurl 43

    JLR has replied to the hit piece on him in Politik by Richard Harmon saying he wanted to be Chief Whip, Front bench , leader of the House and head of Polling in the nats, but Bridges knocked him back from this and led to falling out

    Ross says the claims were nothing like that, but a series of roles which were offered and then withdrawn

    However, Ross ‘s explanation.

    “So the real story is Bridges offers McClay foreign affairs, and me Shadow Leader of the House, in exchange for doing his numbers,” he said.

    “When he realised after the leadership election that Brownlee was going to go, rogue, if he didn’t get either foreign affairs or shadow leader of the house, Bridges decided I was the one of the two that he could backtrack on.

    Chief whip was offered up instead, which we agreed on.

    “He then changed his mind a further time, and I asked to then stay on the Party Board, to continue to be involved in the strategy side of things.

    “As for polling, he said he wanted a range of people involved in that, but ultimately Todd McClay held the pen, so to speak.

    “So, essentially, all of these roles were individually offered up, AFTER the previous one was agreed to.

    “As the situation changed, so too did the proposed role. Never did I expect them all to be there at the same time.”
    http://politik.co.nz/en/content/politics/1454/The-Chinese-businessman-and-the-National-Party-Jami-Lee-Ross-Paula-Bennett-Simon-Bridges-political-donations-Botany-by-election.htm

    Brownlee was going to go rogue!!!
    Sounds like the whole caucus is a seething mass of possible rogues.!

    • Anne 43.1

      I don’t think they’re handling the loss of the election at all well. They lie in bed at night crying into their pillows <we won and we're not the government bwawahwah wah… it's not right, we won the election.

      They are full of self pity and a sense of entitlement. It is what happens when people have spent a lifetime being indulged by others. They can’t handle defeat. Imo, this is what this whole saga is about.
      .

    • AB 43.2

      A rogue Brownlee – like the usual Brownlee isn’t rogue?
      Please let it happen!

  44. Cinny 44

    Apparently jlr is on his way to talk to media….. may he be in the mood to answer all their questions in as much detail as yesterday.

    Will post a live link as soon as one comes up, just enough time to make a cuppa.

    Edit here is the stream it’s live now.
    https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/shows.html

    Well he looks pretty happy

    The police WILL be investigating

    jlr WILL be uploading his recording to his twitter as soon as he has finished with media.

    Crikey jlr has further recordings with simon, this time re the harassment claims.

    He is wild about being called a liar and will prove that he is not lying.

    Will release texts re donations

    • Chuck 44.1

      JLR just confirmed he has NO evidence that Bridges told him to split the donation up.

      Only that Bridges was aware of the $100k donation.

    • marty mars 44.2

      Hes been talking with his old mate simon lusk – the shits about to get real. The gnats will be beside themselves,

      • cleangreen 44.2.1

        100% marty mars;

        And today during ‘debate’ in parliament Winston let loose with his most classic tirade on national as it is a ‘must watch event’.

        https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/107908171/jamilee-ross-arrives-at-police-station

        Henry Cooke and Collette Devlin16:30, Oct 17 2018

        Jami-Lee Ross and Simon Bridges phonecall released, includes discussion of more Chinese MPs

        Jami-Lee Ross’ recording of phone call with Simon Bridges

        @JAMILEEROSS/TWITTER

        MP Jami-Lee Ross has released a recording of a phone conversation between himself and National Party leader Simon Bridges discussing a $100,000 donation from Chinese businessman Zhang Yikun.

        Rogue MP Jami-Lee Ross has released the tape of him and National leader Simon Bridges discussing a $100,000 donation, in which Bridges describes one of his MPs as “f…… useless.”

        So both Lying Nats Bridges and Paula Bennett said there was no record found of the $100 0000 donation on news today. – mmmmmmm

  45. ianmac 45

    JLR said a few minutes ago that the telephone recording does not have Simon telling him to split up the $100,000. It will be the background which leads to the conclusion. Legally admissible? Mmmm
    Ross did not do the splitting up of the $100,000. The donation arrived split up.

  46. Dennis Frank 46

    “Ross says he has been talking to political operative Simon Lusk, who he has been friends with for a long time. He also confirms that he has tape of the comment from Bridges that the four women who accused Ross of harassment could turn into fifteen.”

    Henry Cooke on Stuff: https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/107897151/Live-Jami-Lee-Ross-heads-to-police-as-fallout-with-National-continues

  47. Tricledrown 47

    Simon Lusk will want JC same for Cs Bridges is not capable of damaging Labour.
    Slaters pushing teaparty cigarette lobbiest’s to take over the National Party is on thin ice.

  48. Cinny 48

    The tapes are now out, have a listen….

    Finally simon says something i agree with.. ‘maureen pugh is fucken useless’

    simon is toast big time.

    • Matiri 48.2

      That comment about Maureen Pugh made us both laugh out loud! We are in ‘her’ electorate and agree with Simon Bridges too.

      • Cinny 48.2.1

        Lmao Matiri, same same 🙂

        • alwyn 48.2.1.1

          I heard a Labour MP use exactly those words about the one-time leader of his party, David Cunliffe.
          Mind you he didn’t say it until after Cunliffe had been defenestrated.

    • marty mars 48.3

      Simon is toast but what a dirty rat that jami-lee is. I hate scum like him. Simon is dumb and trusted a snake. The snake has bit him big.

      • Andre 48.3.1

        Simon’s not a snake too? A dumb snake?

      • McFlock 48.3.2

        When one caucus member secretly tapes someone, that’s unfortunate. When two caucus members do it just a couple of years apart, one wonders how many are at it.

        It reminds me of OJ Simpson and his heist, when more than one of his accomplices were secretly taping while they planned and discussed their crime.

        • Andre 48.3.2.1

          Y’know, I kinda have an operating assumption that these days there’s someone recording just about every interaction. And I’m in generally trusting, cooperative environments where everyone is working towards the same goals. Nothing like a mistrustful power-grabbing backstabbing environment like politics.

          • marty mars 48.3.2.1.1

            I was secretly taped once after we issued an interim injunction against someone. But in those days I heard the tape and nek minute he’s crying saying he was cracking under pressure and so on. I was nice. Nowdays it’s everywhere I think.

      • Chuck 48.3.3

        Yeh, I agree that Bridges is on shaky ground (not to do with the $100k JLR has well and truly over-egged that one).

        JLR is now pretty much unemployable in NZ. Hey he could always work for Whaleoil 🙂

      • Kahu 48.3.4

        No, one Snake, Bridges bit another snake & the snake bit back. Other snakes hissing waiting to see what happens next. whole of National is a pit of Vipers.

    • Dennis Frank 48.4

      “4:50pm – Simon Bridges says he’s just met with Maureen Pugh, who he called “f**king useless” in the just-released audio. He says he’s “unreservedly apologised” for his comment, and that he values her work.” https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2018/10/live-updates-the-fallout-from-simon-bridges-vs-jami-lee-ross-rolls-on.html

      But he failed to tell her that he mis-spoke! Doesn’t he know that’s the latest way to frame getting it wrong? I wonder if he operates according to a general rule that he values the work done by anyone who is f**king useless, in which case he could have cited it and said “nothing personal, I always operate like that”.

  49. ScottGN 49

    “Carter, Finlayson and Nicky Wagner, they don’t need to hang around.”
    “2 Chinese is better than 2 Indians”
    Oh my!

    • Tricledrown 49.1

      Looks like Bridges has hung himself out to dry.
      With more to come the only quick fix is for Bridges to go.
      If the leaker wasn’t JLR more blindsided to come.
      Looks like Survivor program has taken over parliament.

  50. Fireblade 50

    Wow. National are fucked now. Liars and thieves.

    • Alan 50.1

      you must have been listening to something else, it was a fizzer for JLR, as useless as Dotcoms big reveal.

      • ScottGN 50.1.1

        Somehow I don’t think wealthy foreign nationals trying to buy candidate slots on the National Party List is going to go down terribly well with the punters.

      • Pat 50.1.2

        yep…Bridges will slip away from that non committal recording…nothing definitive.
        JLR has oversold it….unless he has something better, but unlikely

      • JC 50.1.3

        “Ross said he did not regularly record conversations, but the harassment allegations were “so staggering” that he felt he needed to tape conversations.

        Ross said he recorded Bridges telling him that he could find 15 women alleging inappropriate behaviour from Ross.”

        etc, etc ….

        https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12143913

    • cleangreen 50.2

      Fireblade at – 50
      “National are fucked now.”

      100% agreed..

  51. JeevesPonzi 51

    I could smell that filthy craven coward Lusk in there – these are the sort of scum that are trying to steal our children’s future from us and sell it to the Chinese.

    FILTH

    Look out for that Jezebel Odgers, and the scumbag tobacco man, Carrick.

    They’ll be not far from the cadaver…laying their eggs

  52. ScottGN 52

    Apart from anything else Bridges just sounds like such a fuckwit.

    • Stunned Mullet 52.1

      Yep comes across as a muppet – his position is untenable – he’ll be gone by the end of next week at the latest.

  53. JeevesPonzi 53

    How do you say “Seats for SALE” in Mandarin ?

    “$$$$$ $$$ $$$$$ 100k !!”

  54. outofbed 54

    Too many indians more then enough thieves

  55. Ed 55

    He is gone.

    Racist.
    Abusive.
    Power is his only principle.

    Pity.
    I thought he was certain to lose the election for National.

    • Ed 55.1

      Grovelling now.
      What a leader!

      “I have just met with @MaureenPughNat and unreservedly apologised for my comment. It was inappropriate. I value the work she does as the National List MP based in West Coast-Tasman & as our Associate Spokesperson for Children. She has gracefully accepted.”

      • Chuck 55.1.1

        Come on Ed, apologising was the right thing to do.

        You will have to be a very naive person not to think within the inner circle of every political party that such decisions occur (merits or not of individual MP’s).

        Even Jacinda would have been calling Curran f…useless in private.

        It will hurt Bridges for sure, but as for JLR saying it was proof of Bridges telling him to split the donation…it was not.

        • ScottGN 55.1.1.1

          Regardless of the legal outcomes Bridges is fucked and hopefully Bennett is too, they are too damaged. The only question is, which of current leadership aspirants is deluded enough to think they can beat Ardern in 2020.

          • Chuck 55.1.1.1.1

            I am sure Ardern would have preferred Bridges to of been leading National come 2020.

            A lot can go wrong for this current Government, 2020 will be very interesting.

            Watch NZF and Winston go into election mode as the time nears…Winston needs to present NZF as being able to go either left or right or he will not make 5%. He desperately needs a safe seat to call home.

            • JC 55.1.1.1.1.1

              Tauranga….

              • Chuck

                Further north…few hundred million more of the provincial fund might do the trick. He would need Jacinda to give NZF a clear run…but that will indicate to soft National supporters not to vote NZF.

                • JC

                  Perhaps you’ll recall, He’s already been there done that!

                  Long before the provincial growth fund! And years! after all those Bridges were promised!

            • ScottGN 55.1.1.1.1.2

              What Winston needs (and will doubtless get after this schemozzle) is enough National voters to give up on their party’s prospects in 2020 and switch to NZF to keep Labour on track. Why do you think he’s been stirring the pot?

              • Chuck

                “National voters to give up on their party’s prospects in 2020 and switch to NZF to keep Labour on track.”

                No National voters who voted for NZF did so to keep National on track.

                Winston has to appeal to them again in 2020, he is a master at it but how many times once NZF was in Government did they make it back in again?

                This schemozzle as you put it will be forgotten way before 2020.

                All eyes will be back on Ardern and this Governments performance or lack of it before you know it.

                • ScottGN

                  According to Tova O’Brien some National mps have already started to concede the next election to Ardern. And if recent history is any guide, once a party has hit the doldrums its supporters either look around for somewhere else to park their vote for a bit or just stay at home on polling day. National is about to enter that territory.

            • Chris T 55.1.1.1.1.3

              He can’t really

              To go with the Nats would be to say his own govt has been shit for 3 years

        • Dukeofurl 55.1.1.2

          How will Pugh ever run for re election with that sort of endorsement from the party leader. Can she even be selected on the list when the whole party knows her ability?

          • Chuck 55.1.1.2.1

            I would guess Pugh was going to slip down the list rankings quietly until now of course!

          • Tricledrown 55.1.1.2.2

            What has Bridges said about others and his leadership if he behaves like this behind their backs.

          • Cinny 55.1.1.2.3

            Hehehe, she shut down her Motueka office for good, due to protests outside it, that was the election before last. Whistles innocently….

            Honestly people in Tasman and Golden Bay can’t stand her.

        • cleangreen 55.1.1.3

          Chuck …

          I did call Curran f-.. useless; – she is another piece of deadwood.

          • Kahu 55.1.1.3.1

            That’s not fair man. I’m from Dunedin and she’s done good work representing Sth Dunedin.

      • Drowsy M. Kram 55.1.2

        Maureen’s the lucky one – after his ‘on the record’ comments, more than a few National backbench MPs are wondering if it’s worth building Bridges. [Was he talking about me?]

        Seriously, why would they (or we) trust anything Simon ‘says’? Makes him a perfect fit as National party leader.

        Don’t know why National even bothered with English; Bridges epitomises Key’s ‘legacy’.

  56. Dennis Frank 57

    Richard Harman told Jim Mora & panel half an hour ago that he couldn’t understand why the current National leaders have abandoned the traditional policy of donations being processed by the treasurer, thinks it weird that they’ve decided to take donations themselves. Newsroom throws some light on the process: https://www.newsroom.co.nz/@politics/2018/10/17/280448/jami-lee-ross-gives-police-loan-details

    “Ross alleges the donation was split into several smaller donations and filed under false names to obscure the true identity of the original donor, Zhang Yikun. He said the audio does not explicitly record Bridges asking Ross to split the donation up, but Bridges acknowledges the size of the donation.”

    “Ross said he did not split the donation up himself, but he provided the account the donation went into. The donation went into the account as separate donations. Those names were recorded under separate identities. Ross could not confirm whether they were the identities of real people, or whether they were fake names used solely for getting around electoral law.”

    So the Nats appear to have figured out how to use a loophole in the Electoral Act which allows donors to subdivide large donations and allocate the divisions to real or imaginary associates so as to defeat the purpose of the Act. And the party is then able to deny knowledge of any single large donations on a valid basis.

    • Dukeofurl 57.1

      Interesting. It seems that only a small clique worked that way.
      I think that the Electoral aAct has been tweaked so as to make it unusable ,as it was once clear once a donation was relieved that was it. Not shuffled from branch to HQ

  57. ScottGN 58

    Bridges going to do a stand-up at 5.30.

  58. Dennis Frank 59

    RNZ is currently putting out live television coverage of this saga – I’m getting it here in New Plymouth on freeview channel 50. Live cross to Bridges happening soon!

  59. Cinny 60

    Live stream for bridges on this link, and yes maureen pugh is fucken useless.

    https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/shows.html

    • Ed 60.1

      Only Paula standing by Bridges now.
      The rest seem to have left the sinking ship.

      • Cinny 60.1.1

        Hey Ed, was wondering how many nat MP’s that backed simon yesterday will be backing him today.

        Looks like only one.

  60. Tricledrown 61

    Bridges looks like a doppelganger for Brett Kavanagh same victim grovelling.

    • Chris T 61.1

      Fair call

      There was no evidence against Kavanagh either. Just accusations from one person with no collaborating

  61. ianmac 62

    Watching the standup Bridges he seems very desperate.

    • ScottGN 62.1

      I listened on RNZ. He can’t have been a very good prosecutor.

      • Dukeofurl 62.1.1

        No wonder Ross lost faith in Bridges, the tape shows him to be a rambling indecisive. Not someone who is used to working at a high level at all. Ross could see all this close up. And Bridges chopping and changing over Ross ‘s role and then letting Brownlee bully him in keeping in a job.

        The details will torment Bridges until he quits. It’s sort of proof he’s a cardboard cutout leader, never the donations. That’s the shocker

        • Dennis Frank 62.1.1.1

          Yeah, I spotted that. No real leader would ever keep chopping & changing role assignments like that. At the very least they’d know the potential downside to promising someone a role and then reneging. Bridges seems to be sufficiently naive to be unaware of likely consequences.

          I mean really, it’s not as if you have to be a rocket scientist to understand betrayal. Most people get a gut sense of that dimension of human relations while adolescent. It’s part of the teenage transition, learning the basic skills of handling interpersonal relations in the peer-group context. Either he missed out on exposure to the learning curve, or he has a blind spot in that area.

  62. UncookedSelachimorpha 63

    The temptation for us on the left is to wallow in our enjoyment of National’s failure – but that achieves little and the government should use this situation to achieve something progressive.

    How about electoral reform and banning political donations entirely? A good environment at this moment to push this.

    Would protect our democracy for years to come.

    • Kahu 63.1

      Sadly Labour won’t do anything re electoral donation law as they themselves are corrupted & implicated. Greens fast on way to being corrupted too.

  63. Carolyn_Nth 64

    So, JLR is being advised by Simon Lusk

    – hence the recording of conversations a while back?

  64. David Mac 65

    If Lusk is pulling JLR’s strings there will be a strategy supporting the release of dirt.

    Like a chess master is many moves ahead, Lusk will be a few moves savvy. JLR releases a tape whereby Bridge’s biggest faux pas is slagging those he needs the most right now.

    Lusk would guess that Bridges would make a stand-up scene of bouncing it away… “It proves nothing, I’m innocent.”

    Bridges will be consumed with trying to recall in detail every conversation he has ever had with JLR.

    I wonder if it would be just like someone like Lusk to create a chance for Bridges to stand proud on the moral high ground prior to releasing a damning salvo.

  65. Tricledrown 66

    When Lusk goes for the jugular he doesn’t back off.
    Bridges time is running out.

    • David Mac 66.1

      Yeah, a devilish spin artisan.

      Has still got me a bit confused. I thought Lusk was a Judith guy. To have a hope of beating Jacinda, Collins would need to get pregnant.

      Anybody considering being a National Prime Minister would have to be considering the chance for a ruthless shake-up after the next loss.

      Maybe Lusk is a flag bearer for a larger group: Anyone but Bridges.

      • Dennis Frank 66.1.1

        Well a guy like Lusk would typically work for whoever was suitable at the time. Whereas Stalin worked for the Tsarist secret service and the Russian Social Democrat Party (prior to the Bolshevik split) simultaneously, we now live in a multipolar political world (not bipolar) and operatives have reframed accordingly.

        Someone mentioned that JLR was the numbers guy for her prior to becoming the numbers guy for Bridges. Shifting allegiances result from shifting political contexts.

        • Carolyn_Nth 66.1.1.1

          No. Some people have been linked with Lusk for a long time. They include Cameron Slater and by extnsion, Judith collins.

          Ross was initially one of Lusk’s clients (as was Mark Mitchell. Lusk worked to get both elected for National.

          And Newsroom today did a recap on the Lusk-Ross connection in Dirty Politics:

          ….Ross’ selection and campaign formed one of the opening acts in Nicky Hager’s book, Dirty Politics.

          Simon Lusk was one of the book’s key figures, and allegedly responsible for successfully engineering Ross’ selection as National’s candidate in the by-election.

          Lusk wrote a post for Slater’s Whale Oil blog, which was published under Slater’s name.

          The post praised Ross’ selection and said he was likely to “have a long career as an MP” and spiked other candidates who ran, including Maggie Barry, Aaron Bhatnagar, and the latter’s political advisor Hamish Price – who Slater called “a nasty, offensive and divisive self important fool of a man that should be avoided at all costs by any candidate”.

          In Dirty Politics, Hager alleged Lusk used Ross to improve his “reach” in Auckland. A message from Lusk to Slater said, “My reach in Auckland is improving a lot Sam [Lotu-Iiaga, a former MP] and JLR [Jami-Lee Ross] will help things. It’s a long game and I am going to outlast the others”.

          A National Party source told Newsroom that they believed Lusk to be once again advising Ross, saying his “handprints are all over this”.

          So I wonder if Ross has been acting as a double agent during the period when he buddied up to Bridges – he does seem to have been secretly recording Bridges and setting him up for entrapment.

          • Dennis Frank 66.1.1.1.1

            That makes sense. I wonder if he’s supporting JLR as a friend as well as destabilising Bridges, but obviously with someone that private we’ll never know. Likely to be still working with Collins, of course, as well, goes without saying, but if he plays the grand game as chessmaster then he’ll just shift all the individual pieces according to how things are looking at the time.

            In which case, JLR is also an experimental play in the by-election, as possible coalition partner for National if he wins. I would have thought the Maori vote negligible in Botany, so it can only succeed on the basis of whatever reputation for being a good local MP he’s established. If the Chinese voters are a majority there now he can’t win (due to the Chinese hive mind effect).

        • Sacha 66.1.1.2

          “Shifting allegiances result from shifting political contexts.”

          And from having no personal principles.

      • Incognito 66.1.2

        Maybe Lusk is a flag bearer for a larger group: Anyone but Bridges.

        Nah, not his style; he prefers to work in the shadows and is more of a pallbearer.

  66. OnceWasTim 67

    And just as an aside @ Dennis Frank ….. sometimes its hard to put things ‘delicately’.
    I suspect you heard Checkpoint. THe fucking useless Maurren Pugh et al (possibly she is).
    Chris Finlayson is obviously still jerking himself off to the fantasy that one day he could be the London Lockwood Smith.

    Nice guy, shame about the fantasies

    • Dennis Frank 67.1

      I did hear Chris Finlayson being determinedly resolute about looking on the positive side of things despite what they’d been saying about him. That `above the fray’ stance could indeed work for him & get him posted as high commissioner to Britain, or the equivalent to the USA, eventually.

      • David Mac 67.1.1

        Yeah, he’s mint for one of those gigs. Thinks he’s more important than he is, knows his political geography and table fish knife etiquette.

        • Dukeofurl 67.1.1.1

          Not at all. He’s clear that he’s heading back to legal bar in Auckland for lucrative commercial work.

  67. cleangreen 68

    The Bridges stand-up media speech was pathetic,

    I was out feeding the Lambs, when the car radio bleated out his voice, and as i heard him saying “I am a careful guy and as a Lawyer I watch my actions carefully”.

    I totally broke out into a loud laugh shocking the lambs, so the panel on Radio live after said if his poll numbers fall he is toast.

  68. Ric 69

    If all donations over $2000 required disclosure of donors’ name to the electoral commission it would be hard to hide a big donation by breaking it down into small amounts.

    A separate conversation could be had about a thresh hold for public disclosure.

    Now is a good time for the Greens to promote their campaign for more political transparency.

  69. Ed 70

    Is the Dirty Politics gang, as evidenced by Hager, still in action?
    Lusk, Odgers and others….

    • Dukeofurl 70.1

      They are still around, but not really operating at Nationals direction from the beehive via Jason Ede.
      However as we have seen Lusk is still working with Ross.
      A bit like the US and mujadadeen in Afghanistan, careful what you create as they may later work against you

    • Ed 71.1

      From the article you link.

      “. As for Winston? Oh Winston.

      He is a funny guy. But make no mistake, Winston is a political mastermind. This is so calculated – he thinks Simon Bridges is a joke.

      The only chance National has to get back in power is a deal with Peters. And the way Winston keeps burning Bridges, that will never happen.

      That’s why Simon Bridges is finished.

      It doesn’t matter how many days are left, Simon Bridges, because there is no chance National can win in 2020.”

      • chris73 71.1.1

        “The only chance National has to get back in power is a deal with Peters. And the way Winston keeps burning Bridges, that will never happen.”

        Or target core NZFirst voters, openly state a vote for Winston is a vote for Labour and rule out any deals with NZFirst if Winston is leader, do that and NZFirst will struggle to make it back into power

        • ScottGN 71.1.1.1

          National can only do that from a position of strength however and that is surely ebbing away at the moment.

          • WILD KATIPO 71.1.1.1.1

            And also after all this pantomime voters are going to be seeing National in a new light, – one which never had the light shone on it before…

            And that , will see the swing voters and those on the fence, leave for the stability of the coalition and NZ First. It cuts both ways.

        • Ed 71.1.1.2

          That’s a huge gamble.

  70. Delia 72

    This is how I think. Jami Ross has revealed the donor situation in the National party. He alleges this had led to corruption and that is a reasonable inference to make. Simon Bridges is just a National MP leading a party and we know who his role models were. It is up to National following the Police investigation whether to keep him as Leader. It does not matter to me. National leaders are much the same to me and I have never voted National since voting in 1976. I would like Paula Bennett to resign. I find her behaviour disgraceful. She is one person who should reflect on her behaviour the last few weeks, but she won’t because she lacks the empathy do even do that. I have never seen a senior MP bring another politician’s marital life into parliament, in what is, over forty years now of observing New Zealand politics.

    • Ed 72.1

      Jane Patterson

      “Don’t worry about the allegations about electoral fraud, the comments about ethnic candidates and his own MPs are enough to put the National Party leader Simon Bridges on seriously shaky ground.”

  71. Cinny 73

    Post the jlr tape, both carter and finlayson won’t be seeking re-election next term.

    “The news comes hours after a secret tape of party leader Simon Bridges was released in which he mentioned Finlayson as one of the “obvious” MPs who should resign from Parliament to make room for new MPs”

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/107924432/chris-finlayson-and-david-carter-to-leave-parliament-by-next-election

  72. Incognito 74

    Mutually assured destruction = MAD.

    Nice one MickyS 😉

  73. Ed 75

    Excellent article by David Fisher in the Herald this morning.
    Ties together a lot of what is going on.

    It looks at the role of Chinese money in re-establishing the National Party since 2002.

    “The National Party machine is the envy of other parties. From its crushing election defeat in 2002, when many believed it a spent force, it was rebuilt brutally, carefully and methodically.
    Structures were designed, the board empowered to build longevity, emphasis was placed on calculated and deliberate fundraising. Risk was not tolerated. The party was being built to last a thousand years.
    Part of the genius was the courting of the new Chinese-New Zealand community.
    Wealthy migrants seeking firm footing and influence in their new nation was of such significance it became the subject of a report last year from Canterbury University academic Anne-Marie Brady.
    Her concern was the danger to our democracy, drawing links between support for political parties and the Chinese government.
    But her report also hinted at the scale of money provided from the Chinese community – far more than has openly appeared in any of the parties’ published electoral returns.”

    and looks at Simon Lusk’s involvement.

    “The complaint by Jami-Lee Ross to police today ensures the story, and claims against Bridges, will persist through to the byelection for Botany.
    For Bridges, it will be a continued agony.
    He can be sure there will be more claims. There may well be more recordings.
    For those who watched it unfold, it was clear that Ross was still receiving advice from his old mentor, Simon Lusk.
    The pacing of the allegations, the timing of the press conferences – it smacked of a carefully planned strategy intended to maximise and prolong coverage.”

    Read it all here.
    Insightful.

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12144204

    Mark Mitchell is also a Lusk client…….and Carolyn n linked us to this to remind us all of Lusk’s involvement with Mitchell and Ross.

    https://dirtypoliticsnz.files.wordpress.com/2018/02/dirty-politics_p55-67.pdf

    • Dennis Frank 75.1

      Yeah, good one Ed. What I want to know is who was that guy standing alongside JLR yesterday when he was talking to the media? If that’s Lusk, he’s ditched the short-back-and-sides redneck look he’s wearing in that photo in the Fisher report.

      Could be a lawyer JLR is using to monitor his responses to questions. He definitely needs a good one. If he goes spilling dirt on the Nats in the by-election campaign, Bridges may shift from calling defamation to actual suing.

  74. cleangreen 76

    ‘Chinese deep state intervention has been here since when China was discussing economic advantages with John Key at the annual secretive ‘ Bilderberg Group’ meetings, so Key was active on the world stage way before we ever knew sadly.

    National = deceptive politics.

  75. Ross 77

    People keep saying that National’s only chance in 2020 is by doing a deal with Winston. In fact, they have a golden opportunity staring them in the face and it doesn’t involve Winston. Stand aside in Botany and let JLR have a free run! National then will have a ready-made support partner. I have no doubt that JLR would support National once Bridges is gone.

    • Ed 77.1

      Do you really think they’ll do this?
      Ross has just shafted them.

      • Ross 77.1.1

        Winston shafted National at the last election but they’d welcome him back in a heartbeat. If they can accommodate Winston, they can accommodate JLR. That is especially so if Bridges is no longer leader which is probably not far off. 🙂

    • Dennis Frank 77.2

      It would be a huge surprise to all if anyone in the National Party proves they really are clever enough to do that!! Good call though. 😎

  76. cleangreen 78

    A must watch here.

    Winston at his finest over bumbling Bridges demise coming soon.

    https://www.parliament.nz/en/watch-parliament/ondemand?itemId=203244

  77. cleangreen 79

    National billboard = “cash for candidacy.”

  78. Delia 80

    Do National list MPs buy those seats. Do they buy political influence within the National party? Is this happening in any other party if true.

  79. Delia 81

    Paula Bennett is still talking, is she paid extra dirt money by the party to do this?

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