- Date published:
11:28 am, October 16th, 2018 - 60 comments
Categories: Amy Adams, class war, Dirty Politics, Judith Collins, paula bennett, Politics, same old national, Simon Bridges - Tags: amy adams, judith collins, mark mitchell, simon bridges, Todd mcclay
Embattled Nat MP Jami-Lee Ross has sensationally claimed that Simon Bridges has broken electoral law in regard to a $100k donation from a Chinese businessman. Ross claims MP Todd McClay was with him when they witnessed Bridges making a misleading electoral return.
The MP has said he will resign and fight a by-election in Botany. Ross has also said he will lay a complaint with the Police regarding a breach of the Electoral Act.
In tweets yesterday, Ross alleged that his party leader had broken the law, and that he had evidence to prove it. In turn, Bridges claimed, without evidence, that Ross was the leaker of something or other, I forget what, a few weeks ago.
Jami-Lee Ross appears to say in one tweet that both men broke the law.
“Working on his instruction, he asked me to do things with election donations that broke the law.”
The words “working on his instruction” suggest activity.
So, if was unlawful activity, and provable, well, that’s both men toast.
If not, Jami-Lee Ross has invited a defamation suit so unwinnable even Colin Craig would think twice.
In his statement this morning Jami-Lee Ross claims a campaign to push him out started three weeks ago. He was rung by Paula Bennett, ordered to Bridges’ office and told four women had laid complaints of harassment and that Bridges was going to dump him.
Ross says he had a mental breakdown as a result and that was the reason he took medical leave.
Simon Bridge’s problem is that this is all his own fault. The story will now drag on through an unnecessary by-election, which Labour might be wise to ignore. If Jami-Lee Ross does lay a police complaint, that will also hang over Bridges’ head for weeks.
Bridges is now only a poll or two away from the inevitable knifing.
So who’s going to replace him?
Amy Adams 20-1
Apparently Adams is National’s finance spokeswoman. Who knew?
Judith Collins 10-1
Has wide name recognition, but minority support in caucus. Guaranteed general election loser.
Chris Bishop 10-1
Best known for naff shots at being down wiv da kidz on social media, Bishop has a future, but probably no present.
Todd McClay 8-1
A bit grey, but a loyal party man. Almost an archetypal Tory. Could be seen as a safe pair of hands.
Paula Bennett 5-1
Still deputy-leader, and a shoe in if a place holder leader is needed.
Mark Mitchell 3-1
Stood in the last leadership ballot, but pulled his candidacy at the last-minute. Likes to be seen as affable and populist, but then so does Simon Bridges.
Jacinda Ardern 1000-1
Would it hurt them to ask? Maybe Clarke could fit it in round nappy changes?
Jami-Leaks Ross 1000000-1
Stick a fork in him, he’s done.
Simon Bridges 50-1
Lets not completely write Simon off. If all the other options look to be liberally sprinkled with loser dust, may as well let Bridges limp on and hope there’s a new John Key to be found in the post election Tory caucus.
OMG – JLR is naming names.
So now the pressure is all on Todd McClay. If he supports JLR in his police statement, Bridges is a goner, I reckon, notwithstanding caucus unanimity supporting him this morning. Can Toddy speak truth to power? Or will he be loyal to the leader?
His interview is relentless.
Agree, this is brutal. Ross waits until National are bound up in a caucus meeting then announces, and holds, a meeting with the press, while they’re holed up talking about whether to fire him. In that time, he resigns, announces he’ll still be fighting the by-election (which will likely reduce National’s share of the vote) and lays down with conviction some serious allegations against Bridges.
I agree. Not the kind of incompetence one would expect from so-called `mental health issues’! More the behaviour of a clever political operator with a conscience, who knows exactly what he’s doing.
Ross’ by-election opponents need to drag out the video clip of him in Parliament screaming at the chair “point of order!!!, point of order!!!” It was the most incredible of performances. I’m sure he would’ve popped a vein in his neck if he’d carried on much longer he was that ferocious. Would be good to see it again but can’t find it on youtube. Is quite unbelievable.
Kind of looks like that leadership they’re always talking about.
Very interesting about those four women. Let’s assume JLR is correct in his account until evidence to the contrary emerges. Will they now go public? Will they explain precisely how the harassment was sufficient to report to Simon & Paula, yet not sufficient to report to their employer (Parliamentary Services)?
I think when he started going on about the women his credibility hit a dead end with me
I’m sure he is telling the truth about the donations and Bridges ego, but he went a bit OTT
But consider the implications. If the National leader & deputy were colluding in a blackmail attempt, using the assertion of four such complainants as a bluff to force JLR out, then all we need is corroborating evidence. For instance, what if he reported it to his wife & friends when it happened? What if they go public, saying so?
We don’t yet know if the complainants are real. However, since the play using them was the trigger for his `mental health breakdown’, any Botany voters paying attention will start connecting that cause & effect pronto!
What he says to his mates and what was actually said can be two different things
It has climbed to 15 women I read somewhere.
No, that was actually a threat to JLR by Bridges, according to JLR. JLR said he wanted details about the four, cited natural justice in respect of the accused having a right to know who was accusing them & of what. Bridges responded by claiming he could find 15 such complainants, according to JLR at his press conference in parliament today.
So after his leader set him up as patsy to take the rap for hiding the 100K donation, JLR was hit with the fake harassment claims by his leader, which he explained as blackmail that caused his mental breakdown. If he had that in his history already (as stated in one of the earlier texts) then understandable that the Nat leadership would apply sufficient pressure to tip him over that edge again. Traditional military tactics – target the point of vulnerability.
Carnage. Made some good points. And gave some insight into how people hit the wall.
“Ross says he is “doing well” now, but when the harassment allegations were put to him three weeks ago they were ‘devastating’.
“I could see my world crashing down around me and I struggled for a few weeks”.”
What a movie in the making.
Singing like a canary.
Meanwhile, inside the Nats caucus room they must be watching a screen with jaws on the floor.
I am not happy about the way JLR has been undermining most claims of sexual harassment.
Yes, he should be allowed natural justice, but he’s making broader regressive claims.
+ 1 agreed
+ 1 good call Carolyn_Nth
I would have thought it was more bullying, harassment than sexual .
But we will see.
Someone the other day said all that was missing was a sex tape- its getting close to that
Personally I am keeping an open mind on the claims of sexual harassment, as apparently the story/rumours in the Wellington beltway were originally of consensual ‘playing away’ involving someone of similar status/political affiliation. There were various hints of this initially in some of the reporting at the time Ross went on health leave (2/3 Oct).
However, something went down about 18/19 Sept – at the time of the Suffrage 125 celebrations in the House. Certain people were not in the House for some days over that period and not in their usual seats when they did return for the final week of the last sitting week (25-27 Sept). After Ross went off on health leave (2/3 Oct) I heard that rumours re harassment were circulating but in a ‘fed’ manner. I’ll leave it at that but what JLR said in his media stand-up this morning re suddenly being accused of harassment made sense to me in that regard.
Good to get your insights ta.
There are also clear national security implications in all this. If the leader of the opposition is secretly taking dirty money from Chinese businessmen I’d like to know about what if any links that businessman has with the Chinese government and National MP Jian Yang…
As that ‘donation’ money probably is from the Chinese dictatorship behind that “Chinese businessman”
I’m inclined to think that Jian Yang is less likely to be involved because of his party links, rather than more. The more corrupt Chinese businessmen NZ has sheltered under the Key (& to it’s shame the previous Labour) government are often on the outer with the Party – William Yan aka Bill Liu for example. These people are keen to buy political influence as insurance against legal processes that might seize their wealth.
But it does show that a more transparent donation system is long overdue. There are other reasons to object to Yang than direct corruption – primarily, the servant of a foreign state will not serve this one. Yang might well avoid such potential scandals because he would be in trouble if he blew his influence in such an obvious manner. Spys are often exemplary employees.
Go Jami !
“It is better to be making the news than taking it; to be an actor rather than a critic.”
And I thought Labour blood-lettings were bad…
I keep thinking about Ross saying that he and Bennett had a sit down with Bridges telling him to stop the inquiry after the anonymous text message came out.
I can understand Ross not wanting the inquiry to continue, and perhaps Bennett’s reasoning was because she knew that continuing would only makes things worse for National. The other thing I thought of was perhaps Ross and Bennett were the main players in trying to roll Bridges.
Serves them all right.
Apparently simon will be speaking to media soon, hope there is a live stream of it.
Stream is live here’s the link
simon should be on any moment
The sour face of Judith contrasted with the smiling face of Amy was worth sitting through that dribble coming out of Simon’s mouth.
The divisions in national between the Neocons and the Oldcons are starting to show.
“There will be nothing that will come of this – at least in relation to me.”
Bridges is squirming.
judith is looking very grim in the background, like she doesn’t believe a word simon is saying.
I agree. Adams just looked mesmerized, Bennett was doing her eyes thing from time to time.
But back to Collins. To me, it looked as if she was taking the opportunity to decide what part of Simon’s back to put in the knife.
She might have been going mentally through the Chinese sounding surnames in her contacts list and deciding it’s time to break out another burner phone.
simon says he dosen’t want to discuss the details of the donation. Shuts down all questions about it.
‘I’ve done nothing wrong’
‘baseless false allegations’
‘i’m not going to get into party donations’
says jlr should go to the police, police should investigate thoroughly and promptly.
The donation scandal over the $100K is JLR lifeboat.
national will try to make it all go away with a golden parachute for the otherwise unemployable Ross.
“He declined to rule out receiving a $100,000 donation from Businessman Zhang Yikun however, again repeating that it was now a matter for police.”
From stuff live
Gonna take a lot to make this disapear I think.
Is this the fellow with a friendly relationship with Southland District mayor Gary Tong I wonder.
“It has also emerged that Zhang Yikun has an ongoing professional relationship and friendship with the mayor, Gary Tong, who gave Mr Zhang two fresh legs of lamb from his farm and four live crayfish, and also received a sponsored trip to China last year.”
Anyone from Labour fancy their chances in Botany?
Seems a bit pointless other than for a good assertion of the brand.
It’s been a long, long time for the roles to be reversed, but I’m looking forward to a full term of National knifing each new leader, regularly, until all you can see instead of policy is one vast shallow lake of political blood filling their caucus room floor.
Such a great way to go into the Labour Party conference in the first weekend in November. Money in the bank, policy delivered, economy stable, lots of long term delivery projects.
It would be a good play for Labour, unless the proportion of Chinese voters in Botany is as high as word-of-mouth suggests. A strong showing by Ross is only likely if he has significant grass-roots support, which would split off enough Nat voters to make it a three-way race.
Nah, let them go at it as their brand is on message here. A good play is the frugal angle as it’s only ever staying blue out there in awkland.
Serves them all bloody right after the shit they tried to pull on Labour about Dong Liu donations just before the 2014 election and also trying to smear Cunliffe.
Chickens meet Roost
A song for every occasion.
You’re in trouble, I’m in bliss
Seeing you fumble, like this
When you struggle, I just wish
I was causing your anguish
Infliction in, your position
‘Cause when you lose, I always win
– Schadenfreude, Jackknife Stiletto
Where do the Tories find these numpties? Aaron Gilmore, Todd Barclay and now this guy. We don’t need a values test for immigrants – we need an IQ test for prospective National MPs. 🙂
It’s a family affair mostly it seems with varying degrees of separation.
Look what happens when the political adults depart in one cycle leaving the kids in charge.
Bridges, Bennett, JLR are that back of the bike shed crew you avoided at all costs.
Stuff is slaying the Herald on the reporting of this.
the Nats are a revolting bunch, their caucus photos resembling a Harcourts Real Estate staff photo
the thing is despite their factions–which include provincial bumpkins, urban reactionary conservatives and blue/green neo libs–they have for years maintained a tight ship, with the likes of randy old goat Richard Worth, and “don’t you know who I am?” Gilmore dispatched relatively quietly; until now it seems
the Nats have a large constituency courtesy of the old FPP electorates, an unspoken settler racism, new migrants, and actively enabling aspirational selfishness with regards to property for capital gain–and that is well overdue for a change via generation rent and generation student loan
so lets help the NZ National Party on their road to self destruction…
Photos of the donation meeting are out. Whatever the police decide, the impression of improper influence will stick to the Gnats like a cheap metaphor.
Here is a link to JLR’s Twitter account with the photos. I assume the media will pick these up quickly.
and also this one
You’re welcome e hoa. Hang in there. You know what I mean.
And here is the first of the media reports with the photos for those who do not go to Twitter accounts.
All Farrar has been capable of doing today is issue a summation prior to the caucus meeting, then afterwards append this: “UPDATE: Jami-Lee has announced his resignation from National and from Parliament. He will fight a by-election as an Independent. He has accused Bridges of corruption over political donations and says he is providing proof to the Police, including a tape recording. It has also been revealed four women had made accusations of harassment from Ross, which is what led to his taking medical leave.”
Incapable of producing a personal opinion, let alone a political analysis! Notice the error in his final sentence. He actually believes Bridges’ assertion that the four women are real. Without any evidence! What a fool.
DPF’s a national party tool so waiting on instructions probably.
Spin cycle ready and waiting….till then have some err facts. Says it all really.
Will Jami Lee be held up as one of the true heroes of our time.. alongside the likes of Assange and Manning…
jamie-lee jimbob has all but vanished. if he thinks that public dislike of bridges is equivalent to liking him.
he has shot himself in both feet and then started putting bullets through the hull.
Not lookin good for the Combine is it Murph.
National = the new scandal ‘china gate’
True. It will be interesting to see if National/Bridges press charges.
JLR could prosecute Bridges and Bennett for Bullying in the work place.
JLR could join NZ first after the by election.
And keep National on the back benches.
Meanwhile the leaker is still at large.
Collins spoke like John Key did before
Brash was rolled.