Jami Lee-Ross has resurfaced.
Clearly he is not going to disappear. And National must be sweating.
He has written this very personal facebook post which makes it clear he is not going anywhere.
I just can’t be driven by hatred anymore, or the pursuit of getting even with Simon Bridges, Paula Bennett or anyone else in the National Party. Life is too short for that. My time and energy needs to be focussed on doing everything I can for my family, my constituents and my country.
And an olive branch of sorts is offered to the National Party leadership. Although it is an olive branch soaked in a passive aggressive put down of their skills.
I don’t have hatred or animosity towards Simon or Paula anymore for the way they treated me. At the time they were doing all they knew how to do with the skill set they have.
But I still take responsibility, because it wasn’t fair on them. It wasn’t fair on Simon and Paula for them to be put in a position where they had to choose between helping someone with a health issue, or to put that person under more pressure because it was the better political move to make.
He suggests however that the Newsroom story into allegations of inappropriate behaviour by him was a National plant.
I have received a personal apology from one of the women that was sent to the media by Paula. I am grateful for her apology, but I more feel sorry for her that she was put through that traumatic experience. I can’t imagine how difficult it must have been for her to have her boss request she hand over all her personal text messages. Then to also be asked to talk about her personal life so National could “combat” me during that week – it can’t have been easy.
And he says this about National’s polling.
Simon has had nearly a year as leader and he’s tried his best. You can’t blame him for trying. But I was in his leadership team and I was one of about half a dozen that saw the full polling we were doing each week – the detailed polling report that the rest of the Caucus isn’t allowed to see. It didn’t matter how much we tried to do, each week Simon’s personal favourability kept going backwards further and further.
His comments about the leaking report are interesting. I agree that it presents less than a compelling case that he was the leaker.
When that PWC report was released to the media, I had only been told of it about an hour earlier. I hadn’t had a chance to read it, to understand it, or to seek advice on it. To this day the full report with the QC’s opinion hasn’t been released to me.
I didn’t know at the time that Simon and Paula talked to the media (because I hadn’t read the report) that it never actually identified wrong doing on my part. It never identified me as having done anything. What it did was draw together communications, which were unrelated, and formed a view that should never have been able to be formed, as well as saying that the evidence was not conclusive.
And Ross is definitely not going anywhere.
I am reminded at this time of a famous Mandela quote from his time leaving prison on Robben Island: “as I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I’d still be in prison.”
I am still the same person that has been proud to work hard for Howick and Botany for a decade and a half. But I can admit, last year, I didn’t get everything right. I am sorry. I will do better.
It looks sort of like a peace offer and certainly represents a change in style and tone on his part but things are clearly not all hand holding kumbaya in the ranks of the right. In what appears to be an attempt to maintain media presence yesterday Ross disclosed that the infamous text from an MP he had an affair with is now the subject of a police investigation.
Police have confirmed they are investigating a text message sent to Ross.
I don’t know why it has taken so long. A normal investigation would involve reading the text and taking statements from Bridges and the sender of the text.
Section 179 of the Crimes Act may come into play but in the circumstances of the case I would not expect a conviction to be warranted.
And in the interests of unity and solidarity
Bridges Ross could ask the police not to take the matter further. Although it is up to the police to make that decision I suspect they would be sympathetic to the request.
National will now have to make a call on using the waka jumping legislation power. Either it tolerates Ross’s continued presence or it is branded as hypocritical for exercising a power under legislation that it vehemently opposed for “principled” reasons.
Basically National is stuffed either way.