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Never argue immorality with a Tory *

Written By: - Date published: 8:01 am, July 24th, 2020 - 53 comments
Categories: Dirty Politics, Iain Lees-Galloway, jacinda ardern, Judith Collins, uncategorized - Tags: ,

The past couple of days have been rather brutal for us sensitive lefties.  Poto Williams, who is an outstanding MP gave this contribution to Parliament:

The details behind Lees-Galloway’s and Falloon’s demise are now clear.  Last Friday Jacinda Ardern privately told Judith Collins about a disturbing allegation made against Falloon that her office had received and gave Collins time and space to work it out.  By Tuesday Falloon was gone.

That same day Judith Collins received an allegation about an inappropriate relationship that a Minister may have been engaged in and gave details to Jacinda.  Then on Wednesday morning after what appears to be a prompted question from Duncan Garner Judith announced to the country that the allegation had been made.  Then to make sure everyone had heard about it she went on Morning Report on Radio New Zealand and rebroadcast it.

There are two basic differences between the two incidents:

  1. The allegation against Lees-Galloway is that he was engaged in a consensual although illicit affair.  The allegation against Falloon is that he was engaged in behaviour that could be categorised as grooming of a young woman and had also sent offensive sexual material to three other .
  2. Ardern was totally discrete when she received a complaint from the first victim.  Collins broadcast to the nation that she had the allegation of impropriety received not from the other party but from an unnamed third party.

These are pretty big differences.

There are a couple of other comments.  National’s research unit is obviously working well.

But it is a dangerous game because if a tenth of the rumours are correct we could have scandal after scandal all the way to the election.

And can I get into shouty mode?


This has all of the features of Dirty Politics.

Stephanie Rodgers posted this a few years ago in a post where she described the essence of dirty politics in these terms:

From being a significant piece of investigative journalism which shone a spotlight on the forces which are trying to turn NZ politics into a nasty, back-stabbing, big-money game, the aim [of the right] is that “dirty politics” will enter our lexicon as just another way to say “people in a political debate calling each other names.” In the long run, it’s part of the strategy of turning people off politics so they don’t agitate, don’t organise, don’t vote.

This is why I am sure Collins did not hesitate to release the information. National is totally compromised and held in very low esteem by the electorate. To them the prospect of further scandals do not matter. As long as some of them come from the other parties, preferrably Labour. Then the narrative can shift to “they all do it”.

Ardern’s approach is the right one.  Deal with human issues privately and get on with the job.

As usual her comments are right on the button.

Mark Twain famously once said that you should never argue with an idiot because they will drag you down to their level and win through experience.  The political equivalent is that you should never argue immorality with a tory because they will also drag you down to their level and beat you through experience.

53 comments on “Never argue immorality with a Tory *”

  1. You_Fool 1

    Anyone who doesn't think that that question to Judith wasn't staged is blind. The timing, the content, everything about it screams setup. Also, I can't but help hear the unspoken words "as leader of the opposition" when she says she passed it on to Jacinda within an hour of hearing about the allegations.

    I doubt ILG affair was that secret within the halls of power, and I see Sir John Key let the cat out of the bag today in the Herald https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12350553. There are plenty of rumours about all the affairs in parliament, and everyone knows about it. So National knew they were in trouble, and went and got the most known to be true rumour about Labour and dropped that one

    • ScottGN 1.1

      Labour could have tidied up the ILG situation a bit better though. The only thing keeping the story alive now is the question of whether ministerial expenses were involved. That shouldn’t have been a issue.

      • Nordy 1.1.1

        Given Ministerial expenses are published on a regular basis, what should Labour have done differently?

        • You_Fool

          It also seems like a media beat up to me. ILG seems to have ensured that the expenses were divided up at the time, and it was all audited. It is now just been double checked for assurance, but that doesn't stop the media harping on about it

          • ScottGN

            Of course it’s a media beat up. The whole thing is a media beat up.

            • Unicus

              “ The media in New Zealand has exposed itself his election year as nothing more than a defender of the capital interests who own it

              it is with hour doubt:

              “THE ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE “

        • ScottGN

          Maybe anticipated the question so the PM wasn’t quite so taken aback by it?

    • Enough is Enough 1.2

      Of course it was set up.

      ILG and his long term affair was hardly a secret in the beltway. As soon as the question was asked by Garner, twitter came to life with the name of two ministers who are well know to have been a bit naughty.

      This was Judith's way of feeding it to those people outside of Wellington.

    • Chris T 1.3

      "Anyone who doesn't think that that question to Judith wasn't staged is blind. The timing, the content, everything about it screams setup."

      Soper's question to Ardern about correspondence (Falloon) half-way through a Covid 19 presser didn't exactly scream off the cuff either tbf.

      But then some people can't look at it from both sides, and just see they all do it.

      • Rapunzel 1.3.1

        It was clearly off Soper's cuff & no one elses – the only other reference to it besides this one here was on a minor poorly moderated blog site. That also happened to be where I had the unfortunate experience to see the offensive, abusive use of the image in question during lockdown around the middle of May. Soper clearly believes NZers should know the type of despicable exchanges with in a certain sector, what also needs to be clearly reported on is the time-frame the previous & current leadership were aware of it.

  2. Tiger Mountain 2

    Good comments Micky.

    Duncan Garner’s question to Mrs Collins is increasingly being acknowledged as a classic “patsy”–and who supplied the information to Mrs Collins would be interesting too–NZ National’s Parliamentary dirty tricks dept likely knew of ILG’s situation, and it was just a matter of when they deployed it.

    Dirty Politics (similar to Fake News) has the strategic aim of driving down further, public participation in political and civic affairs. There seems a fair amount of sadistic glee by the perpetrators involved too! “pay it back double” to paraphrase Mrs Collins.

    • I Feel Love 2.1

      Is this "paying back double" though? It's a pretty pathetic "sex scandal", the expenses thing is more of a scandal really, and he's a fekkin idiot if that is the case, but then again maybe it's fairly common them. The PM has set the bar, I hope they clean their act up, all of them. Though as has been noted, cheaters feel a sense of entitlement, "perk of the job", so thinking public money is part of that perk makes some kind of sense.

    • Gabby 2.2

      Has any of Druncan's colleagues interviewed him about this?

  3. Tricledrown 3

    This may not go any further as there is plenty of ammunition politicians are away from their families for long periods of time.

    As Michael Laws said in one of his memoirs that bed hopping was common as he said at a time pre PC.

    I know a high level former political advisor who said it was par for the course and was skiting about the number of of one night stands he had and it was a perk of the job.

  4. "Collins: you know the rule, always reward with Double." page 47 Dirty Politics, Nicky Hager.

    Rumours of Lees-Galloway's little fling had been circulating around for months, and the affair had ended months ago apparently. So to deflect from the absolutely scummy behaviour of one of her MPs, Collins arranged for a convenient 3rd party to send her an email outlining the affair.

    Had she been acting from motives of decency, she would have spoken to Jacinda and that would have been the end of it, at least as far as the Natz were concerned.

    But no, she had to arrange for Garner to ask a patsy question so the whole issue would become public. To hell with Ian L-G's family, Collins wanted utu!

    She is a thoroughly despicable person and frankly, IMO, not fit to be a representative in our parliament.

    • I Feel Love 4.1

      It hasn't gone unnoticed, Collins behaviour, the Emersons cartoon in the Herald yesterday. And maybe it's deflected Falloon a bit, but Falloons behaviour could still be criminal, it's a whole different story, more serious, and ongoing. And the Heron report, Woodhouse is still there. And, Adern again showed her skills, in dealing with ILG, the media also seem to not be playing ball with Collins, except Garner, but who watches that but narcissists.

  5. Ad 5

    Ardern should thank Collins for making her September 2020 task far easier.

    The removal of Clark from Health and Lees-Galloway from Workplace and Immigration, and retirement of lower order Labour MPs, gives Ardern more clearout space for assembling the next Cabinet.

    It's been building for a while now, and Ardern keeps her hands clean as ever.

    (of course too early… but nah)

    Fa'afoi, Russel, and Wood do well out of this.

  6. Climaction 6

    The only thing new and transformative about this government is that they take their mistresses to paris, not pokeno

    • observer 6.1

      Oh, I think the last lot went a good deal further than Pokeno …

      Rodney Hide, long gone but not forgotten.

    • Tricledrown 6.2

      Trying to shift the spotlight from a lying sexual harasser under police investigation to consenting adults pathetic.

      The flood gates would open if a tit for that war started all sides will have plenty of skeletons.

      JLR his dalliances were leaked from within National the fallout at the time didn't affect Nationals popularity as this was all consenting adults most regretting the painful experience.

      • I Feel Love 6.2.1

        The JLR stuff wasn't all consensual, some unwanted harassment and bullying, still an on going story, regarding the PSA.

        • I Feel Love

          won't let me link, search "Janie Lee Ross Predator", it's a Newsroom story from 21st "Don't put me back in a room with a predator"

      • Climaction 6.2.2

        What? i can't wait for falloon to be dragged through a police investigation. my hope for that is that the police treat the complainants with integrity, understanding and discretion. truly disgusting behaviour from a supposed representative.

        however, posturing and trying to claim the moral high ground on a left / right basis is truly hilarious when you are getting holier than thou about criticism's of ILG and his morality.

        you've also missed the not so sly dig about national ministers having no class when it comes to porking in pokeno

  7. observer 7

    As others have said, we know what Collins was doing (playbook Republican voter-suppression) and it's had the intended effect in media coverage.

    But for all her tactical game playing, she is still losing. Muller got diverted from talking about a "long term economic plan" into "border bungles", and a fat lot of good it did him. Like Collins now, it won him some instant headlines. But the opportunity cost to National is another matter. If their strength is the economy (i.e. perception not reality) and the “strong team” they sure spend a lot of time not talking about it. Whereas Labour gets to focus on their strength (Covid19 response and Brand Ardern) all the time. And the days tick by …

  8. greywarshark 8

    You show a pic of Boorish and Judith (Punch and Judy?) and in bringing in the UK situation, think of Prince Andrew, the Queen's third child. He and his 'peers' reached a stage where they felt entitled and normalised their louche behaviour. Their descent epitomises what you say about our politicians Micky in your post:

    ...the prospect of further scandals do not matter. As long as some of them come from the other parties, preferably Labour. Then the narrative can shift to “they all do it”.

    Maybe a confrontational and frank chant for protesters would be –
    'You're a douche if you're louche'.

  9. RedBaronCV 9

    Don't forget that Judith has played the media too. First the " mental health" smokescreen to cover the real issue then by outing something that is normally ignored so long as there is no associated corruption.

    Some of them won 't be happy to be caught up in those games.

    Plus what do they do with the next affair they find out about or know about? Do they run the ruler over it for possible corruption, out it regardless, out it only if a party leader refers to it, some thing else? Short of interviewing the participants(!) how do they find the relevant timeline to check say expenses. What if there is a fellow journalist involved and maybe that is how stories have been sourced. A minefield really.

    • I Feel Love 9.1

      and Herald reporting Falloon lost his phone, idiots.

    • greywarshark 9.2

      Corruption. I remember in the UK Profumo had to go because the woman he was having sex with was also sleeping with a Russian. It was a hot topic in the media, someone walked into a shop, maybe selling smoked fish, and quipped about the profumo, and that was the day's joke.

      But the gossip journalists can always make something sour of sweet nothings. This picky little piece about Prince Harry starts snidely:

      Do you hear that sound? That wincingly high-pitched lament drifting across the Atlantic all the way from LA? It’s the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, sitting on the terrace of their Beverly Hills mansion, playing the world’s smallest violins. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/life/harry-unhappy-now-has-blame/

      It's written for The Telegraph by Celia Walden, daughter of a former Conservative MP. She is the second wife of Piers Morgan, on a British breakfast show, and she has worked for many outlets. I've got to feel sorry for her though. She said something was likely and then it happened and probably became an albatross round her neck.

      On 24 March 2011, Walden wrote a column in The Daily Telegraph expressing her hatred of cyclists. The end of her article read "(…) and of course this lot are so confident on the roads that they will all be plugged into their iPods, calmly humming 'lalalalala' along to Sasha Distel as that articulated lorry indicates left". The article was published in the same week that a cyclist in central London had been killed by a heavy goods vehicle (HGV) turning left into her path.

  10. froggleblocks 10

    The book should have simply been called "Right-wing Corruption" and then we wouldn't have all this "both sides!" hand-wringing.

    • Sacha 10.1

      And Hager could have done us all a favour by naming the journos involved rather than hiding them out of misplaced professional loyalty.

  11. Sacha 11

    Maybe the Nats' long game for installing Collins temporarily as leader is to flush their legacy of dirty politics? If the public can be convinced the one of the dirtiest is clean, then the rest of them can slither away scot-free and the next leader gets a clean slate.

    • tc 11.1

      Good time to air the material in Hagers book and remind people what she got up to as a minister. There’s more to her than Oravida c’mon she’s being undersold.

      I see this as a crash or crash through strategy with Matty pulling the dark strings, Jude's day in the sun so to speak playing to her 'strengths'. Risky but it's where the money seems to be these days.

      • Sacha 11.1.1

        They'll have a drawerful of counter-stories like Lees-Galloway ready to distract the public with the willing connivance of horserace media.

        • tc

          taking a punt covid doesn't put the kiwi electorate by sept with scant appetite for that type of leadership.

  12. left_forward 12

    There is such desperation in right wind politics right now, not just in our local setting of course. Such a fundamental question is being asked by a wider group of constituents about whether there is any moral position that underpins anything that is being said in the space that used to be occupied by tangible conservative values.

    What human values are actually being represented by the right today?

  13. bwaghorn 13

    It's the collateral damage that's got me shaking my head, both these losers have wives and kids who now live with the fact that their men are scummy shits, and every one knows it

    Both should be gone but it needs to be done quietly in future.

  14. That same day Judith Collins received an allegation about an inappropriate relationship that a Minister may have been engaged in…

    Gosh, I wonder who could have delivered such a conveniently-timed allegation to Ms Collins?

    On a completely unrelated, subject: National sets up 'intelligence unit' to dig up info on political opponents during 2020 election campaign

  15. "Never argue immorality with a Tory *", and never argue with a very, very centre "leftie", nice-guy lamb going though his midlife crisis in an environment where dirty poltiks has become the Norman Normal. It's apt to upset the applecart, and one or two scalps might be collected, but not necessarily those who're the most deserving.

    "Ultimately", we'll get what we deserve

    • greywarshark 15.1

      Can't afford getting carried away by feelings and let go to have a perfect day if not right, must be sanctioned. 'You're gonna reap just what you sow.'

      • karol121 15.1.2

        Rather than sow, I'd find fulfillment in sewing an ensemble of sorts for all of them, which none of them would dear argue with in relation to style, fashion and legitimacy.

        But it wouldn't be a natural birthday suit/suite. And so, in contrast, befitting a mob which appears to demonstrate a seemingly natural talent in relation to both ignorance and arrogance.

  16. karol121 16

    What is morality in politics, or anywhere in society for that matter.

    There sure seems to be a whole lot of moralistic crap thrown around a lot though.

    Perhaps we should get ourselves a workable constitution of sorts, instead of a piece of legislation calling itself bill of rights.

    Wouldn't it be a great starting point?

    But then again, I guess we would have to find identity as a nation in order for either to take place, and a will. We have neither.

    On a wider note, in relation to the moral topic;

    Are we NOT bottom feeders?

  17. Maurice 17


    … politicians have no clothes …

    "Power corrupts .. and absolute power corrupts absolutely"

    … has never been more apt in wee Kiwiland than it is now under the Covid-19 lockdown levels

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