- Date published:
9:31 am, September 15th, 2019 - 100 comments
Categories: jacinda ardern, labour, Media, national, same old national, spin, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, uncategorized - Tags: Donghua Liu, jami-lee ross, mike sabin, richard worth
Apologies for not posting much lately. I am involved in an Auckland Council campaign and it is a sprint marathon. The goals are huge, do we leave the future of the country’s biggest city in the hands of some earnest marginalists or does Auckland kick on.
Thanks to the Super City reforms my comrade Shane Henderson and I have ward that is 50% bigger than Dunedin, bigger than Hamilton and significantly bigger than Tauranga. It is the size of two and a half Parliamentary electorates.
And these campaigns are important.
Because if Auckland does not manage to become carbon neutral then the country will not either. And for our collective future we have to achieve this.
The recent media onslaught has been depressing. There is a strong sense of camaraderie amongst all Labour members and although I don’t believe that I have ever met the complainants I feel very deflated that they have had to endure what has happened to them.
I also have a great deal of sympathy for New Zealand Council members. Of course the alleged assailant’s employment rights had to be respected, after all this is the Labour Party. And the first thing I was taught in Law School was that people are innocent until proven guilty.
I was going to keep out of this issue but recent media comments have persuaded me to do the opposite.
My twitter feed is being bombarded with tweets from the right and from shock jock media sorts claiming that Jacinda Ardern should resign.
There was Duncan Garner’s claim that Jacinda Ardern could be forced to resign over the staffer sexual assault allegation.
This brought back rather bad memories, because in 2014 another right wing reporter said basically the same thing about David Cunliffe. In fact the language was very similar. Back then John Armstrong said that Cunliffe’s resignation may be in order because his denial that he assisted Donghua Liu’s immigration application may have been wrong.
It ended up that Cunliffe did not provide assistance to Liu and National was the party that actually received a donation from Donghu Liu and my conclusion was that New Zealand was essentially played. That fiasco could have cost Labour the 2014 election.
And the media surrounding this story shows that there are two starkly different approaches to politics practised by the major parties.
I wrote this in February this year:
If you want to understand the difference between the two major parties how about this? Last year Jacinda Ardern instructed her ministers to make no comment about Jami-Lee Ross’s problems or National’s predicament.
From Mitchell Alexander at Newshub:
“Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern directed her Government ministers not to comment on Jami-Lee Ross and his relationship with the National Party, Newshub can reveal.
If they did talk, they needed to show compassion and she even provided talking points instructing them what to say.
An email from the Prime Minister’s office was sent to other ministers’ offices on October 16 last year, which included a proposed response if they were asked by media about the issues surrounding Mr Ross.
Ministers were told to say, “These are issues for the National Party caucus. There’s always some concerns when there’s a human side to these situations.”
And this was not a one off:
“A second email was sent on November 5 with another proposed response which included: “This is the National Party’s business.”
That was the same day a new tape was leaked to The AM Show which revealed a conversation between Mr Bridges, deputy leader Paula Bennett and Mr Ross.”
Think back to the last Government where the well placed leak and the abuse of official information was a prominent feature.
There have been so many coverups practised over the years by National that the claims of a coverup is as fine an example of hypocrisy as you will ever experience. Think back to Richard Worth and what was it that he did which so incensed the Malaysian Government, or Mike Sabin whose activities Cameron Slater said were almost too horrible for words, or the police investigation into Todd Barclay and Bill English’s mischaracterisation of the truth relating to his police statement, or the complaints by four women against Jami-Lee Ross’s behaviour.
These were not the actions of ordinary members of the party. In each case they were caucus members directly answerable to the party leader. This rather stark difference appears to have been overlooked, perhaps intentionally so, by those who are braying the loudest.
Of course Paula Bennett is going to try and keep this current issue alive. National is that desperate to regain power that it will do anything to achieve this goal.
And its cheerleaders are in full voice about the issue.
They really do have two standards when it comes to ethics. One demanding complete perfection. And one allowing anything to go on as long as it is not discovered.
National has typically overcooked its approach. I trust the good people of Aotearoa New Zealand to see that Jacinda Ardern and this Government is doing its best to change the way that politics is practised. For the better.