I posted previously on how the fallout from the attempted ousting of Len Brown by forces associated with the National Party and the fight back by the civilised wing of the party was evidence of major internal party dissent.
This week things went really strange. Occasional commentator at the Standard Matthew Hooton laid things out clearly for Cameron Slater, essentially saying that Slater should put up or shut up.
In a recent NBR column he said that Slater was claiming that he knew of three other women who had been in affairs with Len Brown and that either the Herald or the Sunday Star Times had important new information to release. Slater has even on his site been dropping not too subtle hints on who one of the women might be. The complete absence of any evidence has not stopped Slater from hinting otherwise.
Hooton said that Slater’s and Palino’s reputations were now at stake.
Others have their reputation on the line, not least Mr Slater himself who took something of a risk in claiming publicly personal knowledge of at least three other women who can prove Mr Brown has misled not just his family this time – which would ultimately be a personal matter – but the media and people of Auckland.
It would be strange were Mr Slater to withhold information which, for that reason, is now clearly in the public interest when he went public with information about Bevan Chuang, which at least arguably wasn’t.
John Palino is also yet to give a credible account of what he discussed with Ms Chuang for one and a half hours late at night in the Mission Bay car park. Until he does, his political career looks no more promising than Luigi Wewege’s. It is not credible they would have spent that long talking late at night about threatening texts they are said to have received nearly a week earlier.
And based on yesterday’s revelations in the Sunday Herald and the SST I would suggest that the reputations of both men as well as that of Luigi Wewege are in tatters.
Karol has already detailed in her post the Blame Game the further allegations that have recently been made, the most startling of which is that Luigi Wewege applied pressure to Bevan Chuang to go public by sending to reporter Stephen Cook three naked photos she had previously sent to Wewege. This is the same Luigi Wewege who said he was not in a relationship with Chuang. The moral and legal issues raised by this latest disclosure are numerous.
The other startling development is the Herald’s interview with Luigi Wewege. His views of what has happened are novel to say the least.
Cameron Slater’s assistant Pete said three days ago that over the next four days “[t]here will be more than you ever wanted to know or talk about”. He is right but I suspect not in the way he or Slater thought things would turn out.
This is all bad news for the National Party. And National MPs are distancing themselves from what has happened.
The links between the National Party and Slater’s site need further investigation and if rumours about direct involvement with the writing of posts are true then this would create a major risk for the party. It would raise all sorts of issues if there was parliamentary resources being used directly or indirectly to support Slater’s site. I suspect that there is a major panic occurring in Parliament right now trying to work out what damage is being caused by Slater’s actions.
National has to cut all links with Slater. The likes of Amy Adams should realise that using his attack dog methods will eventually be a career limiting move. Because he has succeeded beyond what I thought would be possible in converting a story about a philandering mayor into a story of how forces on the right tried to usurp the democratic choice of Aucklanders.
Edit: Just fixed up para 2. Writing on an ipad is not recommended …