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Ravi back in the running?

Written By: - Date published: 12:00 pm, May 14th, 2009 - 68 comments
Categories: mt albert, racism, transport - Tags: ,

Over at Red Alert, the Labour MPs’ blog, Trevor Mallard points out that nominations for the Mt Albert by-election don’t close until next week.

If John Key, as Mallard puts it, “has the balls” he can tell Melissa Lee to stand down and the National selection can be held again.

Poor old Ravi Musuku might get his chance to shine after all. He’ll want to finish his website though.

You can hear Lee’s wacky motorway comments and explanations here , here, and here (National should use her for Waterview, she just keeps on digging). The video/donation issue is covered well here.

Lee doesn’t withdraw her comments. In fact, she adds that the motorway would make it easier to catch criminals but, Melissa, won’t it make it easier for them to get away?

Honestly, what a train wreck: “the motorway will divert crime away from Mt Albert”, “obviously I don’t want to divert crime to other areas” “hopefully we could divert them straight to jail”.

68 comments on “Ravi back in the running? ”

  1. Tim Ellis 1

    Interesting Eddie. Last night Young Labour started chanting “bring back Ravi!” quite loudly while Lee was answering a question. Somebody from the audience turned around and yelled back to them: “Where’s Meg Bates tonight?” There was a roar of laughter and all of young labour promptly shut up. They were outnumbered by Greens and National supporters each, and didn’t seem to be very battle-hardened.

    Shearer was struggling against interjectors. Obviously he’s never had to take the heat before. It’s tough campaigning on a tunnel that is so expensive and unfunded, while Norman on his left flank is campaigning against any tunnel at all.

    • Ferdinand 1.1

      Tim, I’m assuming you are on Lee’s campaign team or are advising/working for National in some capacity as you are running relentless, proffesional interference here and over at Trevor’s blog.

      • Pat 1.1.1

        Speaking of Red Alert, it is refreshing to see someone like Cameron Slater can converse with an MP like Trevor Mallard.

        Looks like Labour is finally getting the hang of the whole freedom of speech thing.

      • r0b 1.1.2

        Tim is certainly relentless. He does have rather a tenuous acquaintance with the truth though. Is that professional? In politics, perhaps, I guess…

        • Pat

          rob – a “tenuous acquaintance with the truth” as you put it, is an admittance that Tim’s posts are truthful. You know that, because you would be unable to provide an example where Tim has ever posted an untruth.

          That’s what makes him so annoying to the Standardistas.

          • r0b

            you would be unable to provide an example where Tim has ever posted an untruth.

            How about this one? Or this one (see here)? Or this one?

          • Tim Ellis

            Pat, r0b’s concept of an untruth is a difference of interpretation.

            I posted links to comments by people I believe are Labour Party activists on the Herald forum, based on their comments history. r0b says I don’t have any evidence that they are Labour Party activists, which is true. That doesn’t mean they aren’t Labour Party activists. The fact I don’t have specific evidence that they are Labour Party activists, but that I am merely basing that opinion on the history of their comments on the Herald website, doesn’t make my statement untrue, in my opinion.

            r0b also disagreed with my statement that there are people within the Labour Party who have a pathological hatred of conservative Christians. He therefore says that my statement was a lie. In my view, it was not a lie. It was an opinion.

            r0b disagreed with my statement that Helen Clark had a history of giving Ministers a lot of long rope, initially supporting them when scandals broke, before gutting them publicly. I stand by that statement. r0b disagrees with it. He also claims this statement, based on his disagreement of interpretation is a lie.

            Fair enough, I suppose. I don’t take it personally. I’m sure he has a lot of opinions about National Party people and methods, which I disagree with, but I don’t call him a liar for having those beliefs.

          • r0b

            I posted links to comments by people I believe are Labour Party activists on the Herald forum

            You called them “Labour Party activists” with no equivocation, and used them as “evidence” of the Labour Party’s position. Sounds like a lie to me.

            r0b also disagreed with my statement that there are people within the Labour Party who have a pathological hatred of conservative Christians.

            Not “people” Tim, you said “many parts of the Labour Party”. Sounds like a lie to me.

            r0b disagreed with my statement that Helen Clark had a history of giving Ministers a lot of long rope,

            You said that Clark was “spinning an official inquiry to saying he was guilty of doing nothing more than helping people” – which turned out to be a lie again Tim.

            And where were you sitting at the meeting you were at Tim? Did you misspeak here or on Gordon’s blog?

          • Pascal's bookie

            Your doing it again Tim. You said, as fact, that they were labour party activists. Now you untruthfully claim that you were merely opining, based on your deep and abiding love of the your views section of the Granny herald.

            So there’s a lie. Whether or not they were in fact activists you now admit is unknown, which means your initial claim that they were, was at best, bullshit (in the technical sense, as defined by Harry G. Frankfurt).

          • Tim Ellis

            r0b and PB, I do note you don’t require the same level of evidence from Eddie, who has jumped to an hysterical conclusion on no evidence that Lee is corrupt and a racist.

            I stand by my previous comments. If you want to suggest a post analysing my previous comments, then please do so. I don’t think it will be very interesting reading, though.

          • r0b

            I do note you don’t require the same level of evidence from Eddie, who has jumped to an hysterical conclusion on no evidence that Lee is corrupt and a racist.

            No evidence? Is that why John Key is calling her comments stupid?

            I stand by my previous comments.

            Good for you Tim. Nothing like digging yourself in deeper.

    • Eddie 1.2

      So what?

      Is this all you’ve got to run as distraction? – Shearer didn’t handle some questions too well in your opinion and someone heckled the young labs well.

      Do you still support Lee as a candidate? I mean take your pick of reasons to cut her off – she’s a corrupt, arrogant, stupid, racist

      • burt 1.2.1


        That list of qualifications would seem to make her the perfect choice for Mt Albert.

      • Tim Ellis 1.2.2

        I realise you’re a bit excitable Eddie, but there is no need to descend to that kind of rampant abuse. If your posting had any impact, then I would say your statements are libellous. Take a chill pill and get some perspective. Hysteria like that doesn’t help your argument.

      • Daveski 1.2.3

        In fairness Eddie, this post is equally a distraction to suggest that the Nats would dump Lee at this stage with all the connotations inherent in that decision.

        I’m not sure what evidence you have she’s corrupt (on the HC corruption test Lee is still an Angel), she’s undoubtedly come across as stupid and possibly arrogant. As for the last point, I thought it was (according to the western liberal university doctrine so popular within the left) only possible for us white fella’s to be racist?

        Anyway, I agree she’s made an unforgivable stupid comment and Key has deservedly said so as well.

        • Eddie

          It’s perfectly possible for a non-European to be racist and there is a racism underlying Lee’s coments about people from South Auckland being criminals.

          Lee’s corruption, short memory? http://www.thestandard.org.nz/the-nats-campaign-vid-that-you-and-i-paid-for/

          • Daveski

            I asked for evidence Eddie not a post. It’s like asking an Aussie judiciary to make rulings on Kiwi league players!

            I agree with you regards your definition of racism but I have seen many earnest university types repeat the mantra that racism by definition can only be applied to the dominant white culture.

    • Come on Tim

      I am reliably informed that the Young Labour’s performance clearly outshone that of all of the other groups at last night’s meeting.

      Whose candidate got that badly rattled that she is even this morning fluffing her Crosby Textor lines? I feel somewhat sorry for her. She has obviously been instructed to mention crime at every opportunity and to always draw any discussion back to law and order but she has shown that you can take this too far.

      Shearer struggling? Who got all of the headlines this morning?

  2. gobsmacked 2

    Obviously he’s never had to take the heat before.

    Did the interjectors have guns?

  3. Maynard J 3

    David Shearer was not shaken to the extent that he made a comment Phil Goff had to brand as stupid.


    So he must have held his own and since Tim thinks there’s nothing at all wrong with what Lee has done so far I would not recommend his views to anyone seeking an impartial perspective of the meeting.

    Tim called it ‘struggling against interjectors’. Maybe he was being polite and did not want to decend to shouting too much, unlike Lee’s aggressive and unpleasant behaviour as demonstrated on Q & A.

    • Tim Ellis 3.1

      Shearer said at the meeting that he agreed that the tunnel would cause more congestion in Mount Albert, couldn’t say where the money for the tunnel was coming from, and couldn’t explain why, if the tunnel would cause more congestion, the tunnel was being proposed by Labour. He couldn’t respond to Norman’s point that a two-lane option would reach capacity in 2015, right at the time when it was due to open.

      A pretty woeful response from Shearer.

      • burt 3.1.1


        Shearer knows that this particular electorate likes having a liar for their MP. He is playing his cards well.

        • Maynard J

          Same line twice in one comment section – this be the new NACT approach is it? I look forward to the rest of the campaign then.

          • felix

            Same line twice in one comment section…

            That’s nothing for my homeboy burt. Just wait til he gets going…

        • r0b

          Ahh Burt, back to your old tricks I see. Helen was a ‘Lying bitch” eh. Classy stuff from you Nats.

          • Daveski

            Sadly r0b the mud has flown in both if not multiple directions. not suggesting that you’ve been involved but there’s no doubt it goes both ways.

        • Eddie

          Is this going to be the Nat line when Lee is defeated – Mt Albertites(?) were too dumb or whatever to vote for her?

      • Maynard J 3.1.2

        Lucky for Shearer then Tim, that this one is all about law and order, as you told us repeatedly that it is the real issue of this byelection. It sure has been getting all the press lately.

        I can’t comment on your points because I was not there and do not think you are particularly accurate in your representation of events. Anything in the news about Shearer’s poor performance I can refer to?

        • Tim Ellis

          Nothing in the news as far as I know, no. It was a pretty grey performance from Shearer. He wasn’t incompetent at all, but he didn’t have any of the answers. He walked into a bit of a door after he said that the tunnel would cause congestion. My impression of him was that he wasn’t expecting the young nats to be as organised as they were and that the young labour crowd would have been much more supportive of him than they were.

          Norman dropped a clanger when he advocated civil disobedience and protesting outside John Key’s home, which didn’t go down well with a lot of the audience.

          The greens seemed to have the biggest crowd of people there, but they were mostly well behaved and civil. There was one moment at the end when the young nats and labour had a chanting match up the back which looked like it might get out of hand, but it turned out to be fine.

          Near the end the chairman announced that there would be one more question, before everybody could go home for some tea and fruitcake. Somebody shouted out: “There are lots of fruitcakes here already!”, which caused a lot of laughs.

          This town hall campaigning stuff is a lot of fun. Despite the media focussing on one comment that Lee made, that didn’t dominate the meeting at all in my view.

          • Maynard J

            Well done, got the ‘Grey’ line in there.

            Do you have a quota?

            Such meetings are great fun to attend. I would have a very different view of what happened if I attended. I believe you about that not dominating the meeting – it is the msm that runs something like that

      • mickysavage 3.1.3


        No one can say where the money is coming from, not even the Minister. As soon as he discovers where it is coming from can he let us all know so we can have a real debate about this?

  4. toad 4

    Aside from the outrageous prejudice inherent in her comments, I’ve been pondering all moring the logic of exactly how building a motorway will keep South Auckland’s criminals out of Mount Albert. The intuitive reasoning would be that it would do the opposite. But I think I might have finally worked it out. Clever Melissa! Seems she secretly agrees with Russel Norman’s analysis of the Waterview connection after all.

  5. randal 5

    lee is a post modernist twit who has watched to much teevee and read too many new right tracts
    in other words she is an illeducated unlettered manque
    anything more and i might run foul of the laws that protect idiots from the truth about their psycholgical disposition and their competencies

  6. Meg 6

    But Tim…I don’t get it? How is the Young Nats shouting “Where’s Meg Bates tonight?’ a comeback?

    I seem to recall Labour had eight talented competent candidates. Maybe the Nats couldn’t remember that many names to yell out as they only had two people to pick from?

    Labour then chose a candidate who is measured, knowledgeable, calm and experienced for Mt Albert. So far he has done a fabulous job and acquitted himself admirably in speaking roles (RNZ, Q+A, public meetings). So why would that be comparable to Melissa Lee and Ravi? At this stage Melissa has made every mistake possible and embarrassed the people that supported her selection. I don’t recall Shearer doing this.

    Maybe the Young Nats and Tim have sense of humour and reality that other people don’t get?

    • Tim Ellis 6.1

      It was enough to stop Young Labour in their tracks, Meg. It evidently hit a raw nerve and they shut up immediately.

      Lee certainly seems to be getting much more exposure than Shearer. I guess that’s what happens when the Labour Party fires its big cannons, like Goff and Mallard, to serve unsupported innuendo and yelling “corruption” and “racism” about National’s candidate.

      • r0b 6.1.1

        Don’t forget the headlines from National’s big cannon, John Key, calling her remarks “stupid” and “silly”

      • burt 6.1.2


        So having spent the last few years bagging everything Key says you suddenly agree with him. How predictable for a NZ1 supporter.

        • Eddie

          since when was r0b a NZFirst supporter?

          Anyway, it’s Key agreeing with r0b for once, not the other way round.

          • r0b

            Anyway, it’s Key agreeing with r0b for once, not the other way round.

            Tee hee! Perhaps I should send him a consultancy bill.

          • burt


            Well I’ve told rOb dozens of times I’m not a National supporter and he even took the piss about Rodney being under the cosh the other day because he knows I’m (generally) and ACT supporter. But he couldn’t help himself earlier in this thread from calling me a National supporter. I though rather than correct him again I would use his tactics. I know it makes me look as big an idiot as rOb but I’ve learned that using reason against reptilian brain stem activity is a waste of time. rOb has some basic fight/flight thing going on with Labour & National.

          • burt

            “Close enough in a hurry”

            So I was right about some basic fight/flight thing then?

            I’m loving watching you squirm in opposition rOb. All that defending the indefensible is going to bite your ass everytime you take a stand against the govt. Meanwhile I hold the current lot to the same standard as the previous lot.

            You must hate people like me who put principle ahead of partisan politics?

          • r0b

            Meanwhile I hold the current lot to the same standard as the previous lot. You must hate people like me who put principle ahead of partisan politics?

            That’s quite some self delusion thing you’ve got going there Burt. You’ll be holding this government to the same standards as the last one when you’re over on Kiwiblog ranting the evils of NACT every day, and calling John Key a “lying bastard”.

            Instead you’re still over here calling Helen Clark a liar. Which is kinda sad Burt.

        • r0b

          It’s a NACT government now Burty, your guys are all in it together. You didn’t have any trouble trying to hold Labour to account for Winston’s antics did you? So suck it up buddy.

        • burt

          So what was this comment about then rOb?

          Classy stuff from you Nats.

          • r0b

            “Classy stuff” because I can’t understand the lack of mentality behind the level of personal abuse that you right wingers – including you Burt – subjected Helen Clark to. And you were at it yet again.

            “You Nats” because you were covering for Tim. Tim’s a Nat. You support ACT in a NACT government, hence a Nat lead government, hence the Nats. So “you Nats” was close enough in a hurry.

  7. Tim

    It had nothing to do with Goff or Mallard. It was a disgruntled former staffer and a few university students who have caused the damage.

    Lee is getting so much exposure because of what she has done and said.

    Her comments last night were stupid and racist at the same time. She must have some talent because this is not easy to do.

    WHy are you running cover for her? You are acting like Jack the Ripper’s lawyer arguing that he was innocent.

  8. Kaplan 8

    I suspect Lee has confused her dog whistle with her air horn.

  9. Without wanting to wade too deep into this, I was of the understanding that saying something stupid & racist at the same time is very easy: all one needs to do is say something racist. (Is this view not commonly held at The Standard?)

    Personally, I doubt very much racial prejudice is a factor behind Lee’s comment, although I don’t blame her opponents for wanted to portray the comment in that least favourable of lights. That’s politics, sadly.

    My suspicion is that this was a simple case of over-stretch by Lee: she’s trying too hard to make the by-election about “law & order”. If the only conceptual tool the party’s told you you’re allowed to use is a hammer,…

    The video/donation issue has the potential to be much more serious than the gaffe. That said, not all the facts are in yet, so faithful Nat that I am, I’m reserving judgement.

    #Sorry, this is my first comment here, and I can’t figure out how to make the threads work. This was meant to be a response to mickeysavage.

    • gingercrush 9.1

      You click the reply button under their response. Anyway welcome to The Standard.

      • Thanks 🙂

        I’m a little bit scared of this comment-community, but I promise to be extra-nice at all times.

        • r0b

          Ahh you’ll soon feel right at home I’m sure. Honest views honestly stated are always welcome.

          Just a hint though – your “Standard = Labour proxies” line from your blog won’t go down too well here. Asked and answered a million times.

        • lprent

          Don’t bother worrying about being nice. It gets in the way of a good robust discussion. Worry about getting your point across…

          Just read the About and Policy and don’t do things that attract my attention or the moderators attention – typically trolling, link-whoring, pointless abuse or (as rOb points out) thinking that whaledreck is technically capable of finding his own arse let alone having any idea of who writes for this site (he is a simply a liar).

          It is pretty easy to detect if the moderators get interested in you – we leave bloody great big black notes on your comments.

          Apart from that be prepared to defend your opinions because there is always someone who will want to tear them apart.

          • BK Drinkwater

            Thanks for the heads-up, Iprent. Point noted about who writes for the site. I won’t do that again 🙂

            I’m not a fan of “whaleoil”; I’m not a fan of anyone who introduces himself in real life by his pseudonym, and will not give a real name when pressed.

      • mickysavage 9.1.2


        “I was of the understanding that saying something stupid & racist at the same time is very easy: all one needs to do is say something racist”

        I agree by definition that all racist statements are stupid. What I meant to say was the statement was racist, stupid in a racist way and also stupid in a stupid way.

        Thinking that a motorway will make it less likely that South Auckland based burglars will get to Mount Albert where the new motorway will go to needs to be said a few times to realise how bizarre this thought is. I have this overwhelming feeling that I am watching a Monty Python movie.

    • Eddie 9.2

      BK. I think, yes, that’s the sober analysis and well put- she’s trying to make law and order an issue. She saw this a way to work it into the Waterview debate and overreached

      But (and it’s a big but) there is a racist element underlying her comment and that didn’t come from nowhere, that came from her views of the people of South Auckland, clearly the Maori and Polynesian people.

      We don’t have to be mind readers to know the colour of the criminals’ skin that Lee was imagining.

      • Tim Ellis 9.2.1

        She saw this a way to work it into the Waterview debate and overreached

        And with your claim of a racist element in her comment, Eddie, I think you’re trying too hard and over-reaching yourself. You’ve also been over-reaching when you’ve been shrieking “CORRUPTION!”.

        I think you can make your point and be critical of what Lee has said, without resorting to that hyperbole.

      • Maybe, maybe not. My implicit-racial-stereotype radar is rather faulty, so I’m not the best judge.

        Stupid comments, by their nature, don’t have a whole lot of thought behind them. I doubt Lee’s thinking in this case went so deep as to encompass a racial profile.

        Either way, you know you’re in trouble when people are debating The Gaffe: Racist & Stupid, or Just Plain Stupid?

        I’m just waiting to hear some polling numbers.

  10. andy 10


    Click on the ‘reply’ speech bubble under the comment you want to reply to. Try is on this one.

  11. gobsmacked 11

    Meanwhile both Audrey Young and Colin Espiner use the same word on their blogs – “horror” – to describe National’s mess.

    Here’s Young:


  12. Joel Walsham 12

    Well despite what Tim says, the comment about Meg Bates did not stuff us Young Labour Party members dead in our tracks, in fact the Torys lost last night, so much that the young Nats couldn’t defend themselves and had to have their candidate speak from the front.

    I loved the end, our chant was awesome

    “Did you see Campbel Live”

    Followed by

    “Pay back the money! Pay back the money! Pay back the money!” etc. etc.

    I mean Melissa Lee didn’t even know the topic, even the Act candidate had to correct her on the amount of houses that have already been bought. And lastly Shearer was not rattled by the supporters, where are Melissa Lee clearly hates people, showing this by rolling her eyes several times at impartial members of the public.

  13. gobsmacked 13

    So, hours after Lee’s ham-fisted attempt at an insincere apology on ‘Morning Report’, the National party hierarchy finally force her to do it properly:


    “I apologise unreservedly for the comments I made regarding South Auckland and the linkage that I drew between the planned Waterview extension and crime.’

    “I was wrong to have implied that crime is solely a South Auckland problem, or that the new motorway would reduce crime.’

    I sincerely regret my remarks.”


    It took her all day.

  14. Pascal's bookie 14

    “I sincerely regret my remarks”

    That’s true enough.

  15. gobsmacked 15

    Quick heads-up: Lee, Shearer and Norman together on Close-Up at 7.

  16. gobsmacked 16

    So, Close-Up:

    Norman did fine, Shearer did all he needed to do (say nothing), and Lee … almost got it right, and then just couldn’t close out the deal.

    Voice in head: ‘Just say sorry, I was wrong’. So she did, several times. But Paul Henry did his job (tougher on her than the others, it must be said) and pushed her, and she had nothing – just repeated her line. So in the end, it just sounded like a line, not a feeling. (And the others were smart enough NOT to pile on … a lesson for Lee there, up against pros).

    But my biggest gripe is with bloody TV One for cutting this off before anyone had a chance to discuss anything esle. For what? A bungy-jump? Pathetic.

  17. happy 17

    Lee has done nothing wrong, she should have stood by her comments and backed them up with facts. It would have been simple

    • Maynard J 17.1

      What, that a motorway would divert criminals elsewhere?

      Wonder why she didn’t go down that path.

  18. burt 18


    The comment indenting features are making a hash of our exchange. I start again here following your 4:15 comment where you said;

    That’s quite some self delusion thing you’ve got going there Burt. You’ll be holding this government to the same standards as the last one when you’re over on Kiwiblog ranting the evils of NACT every day, and calling John Key a “lying bastard’.

    Instead you’re still over here calling Helen Clark a liar. Which is kinda sad Burt.

    Patience rOb, National have started to act like Labour in the sense that they are doing stuff that is not following standard process, lack of consultation, dodgy answering of questions etc. I have voiced my disquiet with this starting trend in their behaviour. You know this, some were recent responses to you.

    National haven’t even delivered a budget yet, they have not yet exonerated people in scandals via toothless inquiries with narrow scope. They haven’t killed off any standing court cases that an MP is involved in. They have not validated anything the Auditor-General said was illegal. When they start doing that sort of shit I’ll be all guns blazing anywhere I think I’m being heard.

    I don’t understand your logic taking me on about this unless you are planning to defend National in the same situations you defended Labour. Otherwise as soon as you and I start agreeing on “bad stuff” – you loose.

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