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The Jami-Lee tapes

Written By: - Date published: 8:22 am, November 5th, 2018 - 141 comments
Categories: Dirty Politics, jacinda ardern, labour, national, paula bennett, same old national, Simon Bridges, spin, trevor mallard, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags:

Labour had its annual conference on the weekend. The mood was upbeat and Jacinda delivered a tub thumping speech. Delegates were very happy. New policy was announced and was warmly received by the population at large. The golden rule of Jacinda became a little more real.

But over at National they are not in a happy place. Just when they may have been thinking the worse was over a new Jami-Lee Ross tape has popped up. And this one will cause a lot of disruption.

From Dan Satherley at Newshub:

Secret recordings of a conversation involving Jami-Lee Ross, Simon Bridges and Paula Bennett have been leaked to The AM Show.

The clip features Mr Ross talking to the National Party leadership ahead of his decision to take personal leave at the start of October.

The comments on the tape suggest the National leadership team was trying to cover up the wrongdoing by Mr Ross. They discuss what reasons they will give for his leave – medical or family. Ms Bennett says medical leave would be better, as it would reduce media interest.

“So it would be for medical reasons?” asks Mr Ross.

“Is that what you want?” asks Ms Bennett. “I think either medical or family.”

“Medical is true,” says Mr Ross.

“That’s right,” says Mr Bridges. “There’s no shame in that.”

“And it means everyone will back off you too – the media and all that sort of stuff,” says Ms Bennett.

The tape then records how the parties discussed disloyalty and harassment of staff.

Ross’s request for clarification of the allegations made against him was declined.  It was recorded in this part of the discussion:

“Simon told you all about the disloyalty stuff Jami-Lee, and quite frankly if that was put to caucus, that would be enough,” replies Ms Bennett.

“The stuff around harassing staff which I reject, that is the worst. I don’t even know what that is,” says Mr Ross.

“Well you do know what the disloyalty stuff is, and that’s been put to you really clearly. If that was put to caucus, that would be enough,” says Ms Bennett. “We are trying to give you the lightest possible way out of this.”

The tape would have been recorded in early October and before the results of the inquiry into the leak was announced.  Bridges will need to explain what he said a couple of weeks later on October 18 about the Newsroom article which detailed allegations of inappropriate behaviour that Ross was accused of.  As set out in this Radio New Zealand article:

“I’m gutted about the story and everything that it’s about. I am in admiration of the courage of these women for what has happened here.”

Mr Bridges said he first heard claims of inappropriate behaviour towards women in recent weeks. He didn’t know whether they were the same women as those quoted in the Newsroom report.

“I knew nothing before the leak investigation of any of these sort of things. It’s only in very recent weeks,” he said.

“Within a day of learning about these things, I confronted Jami-Lee Ross about them and have made sure… he is no longer part of our caucus.”

Mr Bridges refused to go into any detail about the claims or who made them, saying he respected privacy.

“I have absolutely no doubt in my mind, I dealt with things in the right way.”

Mr Bridges said he was “completely unaware” that Mr Ross was capable of the alleged behaviour.

“In totality, what we’ve got here are lies, deception, inappropriate conduct, leaks… I am really glad we’ve seen the back of this man.”

One possible interpretation is that Bridges knew about the allegations at the time the tape was made but did not tell this to the public when confronted.  And it is startling that he was prepared to say that he could rehabilitate Ross and return him to the fold.  It is noteworthy that the allegations only came out publicly when National decided to counterattack after Ross’s stand up conference in Parliament.  Ross’s mental health was not a significant consideration for them at that time.

In this morning’s Radio New Zealand interview Suzy Ferguson put this to Bridges.  I found his answers to her questions unconvincing.

I do not envy Bridges in the situation that he found himself in, dealing with someone who was ill.  Clearly Bridges was walking on egg shells.  But I cannot understand why he concluded publicly that Ross was the information leaker.  The report was inconclusive.  It relied on contact with a reporter (not Tova O’Brien), Mallard and a police officer.  Mallard has explained how the contact with him was accidental.  The other contacts appear to be innocent.  Unless there is further information that is not in the public domain yet the result seems flimsy.

The worst thing for National is that this particular series of attacks shows no signs of going away.  Their only option is to use the waka jumping law to get Ross out of Parliament.  Clearly they are struggling with a decision to do that.  But they don’t really have any other options.  Other than tolerate death by a thousand cuts of Bridges’ leadership.

141 comments on “The Jami-Lee tapes ”

  1. Kat 1

    Trying hard to maintain normal dopamine levels while entertaining a feeling of quiet satisfaction. Death by a 1000 cuts they called it on RNZ this morning.

    • RedLogix 1.1

      Yeah watching it all happen to National for a change has to be at least a little satisfying 🙂

  2. Dirk.Dirkin 2

    Makes you wonder why Key left so suddenly

  3. Treetop 3

    The thing about Bridge’s travel expenses is that he did not want to be seen publicly as being a weak leader.

    The latest tape to me reveals that privately Bridges appears to be a weak leader. Somehow Bridges tries to justify being a weak leader by giving JLR a hospital pass.

    As for Bridges and Bennett dealing with inappropriate behaviour of JLR toward woman this cannot be excused.

    The Haumaha report is about to be released. It is about an appointment/employment process. Bridges and Bennett are in the same boat as Haumaha as they have been caught out having the wrong attitude when it comes to allegations of inappropriate behaviour towards women.

    • patricia bremner 3.1

      This poor attitude is still considered normal. That is the shock for women.

      Perpetrators own the behaviour only when caught!!

      • Treetop 3.1.1

        And when caught there needs to be consequences. When no consequences this is another slap in the face.

        When a male is perpetrated against like a woman is, this is not right either.

  4. Ross 4

    Bridges said he would “never bad mouth” JLR if the latter took some time out. Yet hasn’t Bridges done exactly that?

    • Muttonbird 4.1

      +1. Doesn’t sound like outing Ross as the limo leaker was in the verbal contract Bridges and Bennett made with him that day.

      No wonder Ross went ballistic.

      It is further evidence that Bridges, Bennett, and the entire National Party simply cannot be trusted.

    • Mr Marshy 4.2

      No, he has not

      • Muttonbird 4.2.1

        Bridges named Ross as the limo leaker just a few days after this meeting so yes, yes he has.

      • Red Blooded One 4.2.2

        Yes, he has ….. “He has a health issue that is potentially embarrassing ” plus with Paula Bennett’s “he’s behaved inappropriately for a married man” they were doing a tag team attack on him. Deserved or not they were attacking him after telling him they would be prepared to go soft.

    • Bridges did it.

      Medical leave agreed to. Ross said it was true. Bridges –
      “Bridges: “Yeah, no that’s right … there’s no shame in that.” ”

      https://i.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/108352824/another-alleged-recording-of-phone-call-between-simon-bridges-and-jamilee-ross-is-leaked

      Why did he then say this
      “Mr Bridges then said Mr Ross’ health issues could be “potentially embarrassing”, before correcting himself, adding, “Maybe that’s not the right word.”

      https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2018/10/simon-bridges-embarrassing-comment-breached-jami-less-ross-privacy-garner.amp.html

      • Ross 4.3.1

        Then of course there was the alleged harassment of women which Bridges and Bennett seem to suggest they wouldn’t mention, and of course JLR denied harrassing women. But Bennett later raised the issue publicly….so much for their agreement.

        The worst thing for National is that this particular series of attacks shows no signs of going away. Their only option is to use the waka jumping law to get Ross out of Parliament. Clearly they are struggling with a decision to do that. But they don’t really have any other options. Other than tolerate death by a thousand cuts of Bridges’ leadership.

        But I don’t see National’s problems disappearing if they dump JLR from Parliament. If he’s pissed now, imgaine how angry he’ll be at being dumped! Maybe there is a way out – Bridges goes as leader and JLR promises to destroy all the tapes he has, and it’s witnessed by party officials (assuming he doesn’t retain copies). JLR then assures the party he will work constructively with the new leader. His beef does seem to be with Bridges and no one else.

  5. Johnr 5

    Except for punishing Ross financially I can’t see the waka jumping bill being of value to national in this case. Ross now has an established audience, so if he has more to release it will be snapped up by the media. Remember also that the original leaker could still be in their midst.
    I can picture a wry smile on Nicky Hagers face.

    • Dukeofurl 5.1

      defamation.

      Bridges has already spoken to the political editors of the media, as detailed by Tracy Watkins, waving the defamation flag. So they have been warned.
      What Ross says in parliament is a free pass when it comes to defamation.
      The background issue is the party donations- not who said what to whom and when. As its likely the electoral laws were broken in the way the $100k donation came to be recorded as a ‘flock of lambs’ rather than a ‘big ram’.
      The media consensus , backed by threat of defamation, is that ‘Bridges is in the clear’, which is far from the case. As you have the direct evidence of Ross who was in the thick of it and Bridges – as the phone calls show- who was also involved. Courts believe circumstantial evidence all the time when backed by personal testimony.

      [Blithely carrying on wasn’t one of the options up for your consideration. See here. The fact I apparently have to link back to your own comments suggests your assertion elsewhere that you’re in the habit of just dropping comments with no real intention to engage is true enough. That’s pretty worthless behaviour in terms of engendering debate and discussion, but a fairly clear indication of an intent to troll and disrupt. Anyway. Your name’s now in “pending”, so no more comments from you will come front end until you’ve decided on which option you’re choosing.] – B.

      • Chris T 5.1.1

        He won’t get much of a chance to say a huge amount as a rogue MP

        • Ross 5.1.1.1

          Chris,

          Publicly he can speak and continue to release tapes whenever he wants. 🙂

          But in Parliament I don’t imagine he will get many opportunities.

          • Chris T 5.1.1.1.1

            Yeah.

            Sorry, that is what I meant

            Life is actually going to be pretty shit for the bloke

            With no party taking his proxy vote, he will have to be at every single vote in person. At who knows what hours.

            If he doesn’t presumably he will start getting warnings.

            I’m guessing that is why he was so keen to offer it to National.

            Tough luck Rossy boy. You might want to start taking a pillow to work

        • Chris 5.1.1.2

          The only issue for the nats now is how they’re going to stop Ross spilling the beans on God knows what. Stuff about Key and Dotcom would be great to know about. They’re also worried about other up until recently unspeakable stuff. They can’t stop him doing this in the short term, and their biggest worry is his protection through absolute privilege – that’s Ross’ biggest weapon and the nats know it. The only thing they can try to do is get him kicked out of Parliament so have refused his proxy vote. They’re obviously headed towards trying to use the waka-jumping rule. Whether that’ll work remains to be seen, but Ross is still capable of going out with a bang before that happens. For the nats it’s about minimizing the damage before he goes, if he does go. You couldn’t make a better script up, and it couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch.

  6. Cinny 6

    So is it do as simon says and the harassment allegations will go away?

    They don’t need an investigation about treatment of women in their party, save some money national and just admit it’s all about the brand and to hell with everyone else.

    • UncookedSelachimorpha 6.1

      That is one of the worst aspects of this – National will use investigation (or not) of sexual harrassment accusations as a bargaining chip.

      That party seems to have zero values whatsoever.

      • patricia bremner 6.1.1

        This is power at any cost. Fairness let alone kindness do not figure in their schemes

  7. ianmac 7

    Great how Bridges can be intent on protecting the privacy of some but able to betray the privacy of Ross when it suits.
    What was the inappropriate behaviour in the first encounter. Pulling hair? Flirting? Sleeping with another MP? Disloyalty?

  8. Pete 8

    What is happening to Simon Bridges is terrible. What they are doing to Simon Bridges is terrible. Labour needs him as National’s leader.

    • woodart 8.1

      I detect the hand(?) flipper of an oily whale behind this leaked tape. he will drag this out for weeks or longer, to try and get collins into the big natz chair. huge amounts of in-party manouvering and backstabbing.

    • patricia bremner 8.2

      How do you see Labour as doing this? Even as a joke this misleading.

      Pete this is totally unfunny mate!!

      They are poor examples of humans on all levels.. users abusers and bullies.

      They don’t qualify even for black humour.

  9. Ankerrawshark 9

    I am wondering what the disloyalty was that Bridges referred to? Did they know he was the leaker then? Had someone tipped them off? Or was it the calls he made to other mps sounding out what they thought about Bridges? If it was the latter that’s a heavy response….

    • Cinny 9.1

      I think the ‘disloyalty’ is in reference to simon and paula believing jlr was the ‘leaker’.

    • Treetop 9.2

      24 August 2018 the police told Bridges that they know the identity of the leaker but would not disclose it. Also the leaker raised their mental health.

      I guess due to the privacy act and not currently being a policing matter the police cannot disclose who the leaker was.

      I would like to know if there has been a police leak and who in the police hold the information?

      As well even though the leaker would be exposed they could take the police to task for leaking the leakers identity.

      I am not sure that down the track were there to be a hearing into defamation or a police leak would the police then need to disclose the leaker?

      Maybe a closed court.

      What did the leaker have to gain by going to the police?

      • Dukeofurl 9.2.1

        The police didnt say they knew who the ‘original leaker’ was . Just that they knew the person who txted to Bridges and Mallard. Every one now accepts that the texter and leaker were the same person.

        Bridges knew all along it was Ross behind the leak, as they had a falling out. Thats why a group of women who ‘worked near Bridges office’ in parliament were ( finally) listened too about their issues with Ross.

        • lprent 9.2.1.1

          I haven’t seen any evidence or even a obvious hint of that apart from sources that would find it convenient. FFS Ross was a part of the parliamentary mechanism (as well as the political one). That meant that he talked to people in parliamentary positions like the speaker, reporters about what was coming up, etc.

          So I’d say that you are clearly deluded to think that is the conclusion of many people and that your assertion is anything apart from simple speculation.

        • Treetop 9.2.1.2

          RNZ 13.02 pm 24 August 2018
          Bridges: Police know identity of texter claiming expense leak.

          “National Party leader Simon Bridges says police told him they know the identity of the texter claiming responibility for leaking his expenses but they won’t tell him who it is.”

          If it is as you say that person knows who the original leaker is, and not necessarily the same person. I read it different to you, that the police know who the original leaker is.

  10. I wonder which of Ross’s ‘friends’ leaked the tape.

    Dirty politics continues with the dirty gnats and their dirty friends.

    • Chris T 10.1

      Would imagine it is Slater or his off sider.

      He has been going on about how much of a rock he is to him

  11. Chris T 11

    What I do notice about that recording is as well as Ross doing some pretty amateur, obvious fishing for comments he want’s, Bridges and Bennett are being extremely cautious with what they are saying for what was supposedly an inside convo’

    It’s almost like they actually knew they might be being taped.

  12. Anne 12

    Setting aside the claims of sexual impropriety, the so-called harassment claims on the tape should be taken with a grain of salt. From personal experience (a long time ago) claims where bosses refuse to provide details usually have little to no substance to them.

    So, were B&B blowing up some minor indiscretion in order to make a water-tight case against Ross? That was a common bullying practice deployed by some Public Service bosses of yesteryear – make up tales of improper behaviour in the work-place in order to get rid of someone they decide they don’t want around.

    Not defending Ross as such – just saying.

    • RedLogix 12.1

      Thank you for saying this. In the current environment you have to be rather naive to imagine every claim of ‘harassment’ or ‘inappropriate’ stems from a pure motive.

      This was always going to be the outcome of ‘guilt by allegation’ and the stepping back from due process; ultimately it makes sorting the substantiated from the illegitimate allegation even harder. Especially in cases like this with an obvious political motive thrown into the mix.

      • marty mars 12.1.1

        Not all are true just most. Not sure about ‘pure motuves’ – that seems a little far fetched – is anything ‘pure’ in that way? More light needed to really destroy the germs imo

        • RedLogix 12.1.1.1

          I understand that most allegations will have substance; but exactly what we mean by ‘most’ here is not at all clear. The old 2% false allegation figure seems to be a reference dating back to the 70’s and hasn’t ever been substantiated since. More recent research show a whole range of much higher numbers up to 40%.

          Any discussion is complicated by definitions; what do we mean by ‘false’ for a start? Do we mean malicious fabrications only? Or a whole range of other possible ways in which a sexual encounter can go wrong or be mis-remembered. It’s very complex subject and reliable data is hard to come by; I’m not interested in taking any dogmatic position given there is so much we really don’t properly know at present.

          A great deal seems to depend on context; it’s fairly well understood that the rate of false allegations sky rockets when there is a custody dispute in the background. Or when as Anne points out, there is some other organisational or political motive involved.

          • marty mars 12.1.1.1.1

            Yep a very complicated area. For me i take denial with a grain of salt – it is the first position for just about all accusations imo.

            • Anne 12.1.1.1.1.1

              … i take denial with a grain of salt – it is the first position for just about all accusations imo.

              I agree marty, but the opposite is just as grievous a problem in this day and age. I refer to the tendency of some bosses – and people in senior positions – who choose to take a stand against someone on the basis of lies and innuendo… and who deny the person a proper right of reply because it suits their agenda to believe they are guilty.

              I would go so far as to say that is a far more common circumstance nowadays than it used to be.

            • Carolyn_Nth 12.1.1.1.1.2

              The problem is that most complaints by women of harassment do not result in the complaints being upheld – especially claims of sexual harassment, assault or rape. And too often, especially with men in positions of power, the guys close ranks.

              The #metoo campaign arose out of frustration with this situation. It has it’s limitations, but it served notice to many powerful men that women won’t always being keeping it quiet in the future.

              However, there needs to be a long term solution whereby harassment by people in positions of power, as well as sexual assault and rape by anyone, is better dealt with so that people can no longer get away with such behaviour.

              • Anne

                Oh don’t worry Carolyn_Nth, I had more than my fair share of that behaviour. And when I went to senior management and tried to tell them what was going on they turned it back on me and started to harass me in return. I effectively ended up being punished for reporting the harassment and bullying in the first place. And yes, they all got away with it.

              • JC

                .. a relevant piece to your thread here if you didn’t see it …

                …. “Adele said the chief executive had a file of complaints but nobody wanted to put their name to a code of conduct complaint.”

                If this was another story – a fairytale – Adele would say it had all been worth it, that the toll it took on her family, her health, and her job was all worth it.

                But it wasn’t. That’s why she wanted the system changed.

                “Would I do it again? No. If I could go back I would have found another way to stop him.

                “That would have been a different story.”

                https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/108287615/victim-of-kpiti-councillor-david-scott-says-speaking-out-cost-her-everything-and-derailed-her-life

                • Carolyn_Nth

                  Thanks. Great work by Adele.

                  And it shows why many women won’t make a claim of sexual harassment or rape – either to employers, police or the media. They could get the abuser’s mates ganging up on them and threatening them in scary ways.

          • Anne 12.1.1.1.2

            Or when as Anne points out, there is some other organisational or political motive involved.

            Yes. I’m referring to institutional and/or internal political motivations and it should be emphasised that ‘harassment’ covers a wide range of offences – not just sexual misconduct. It was my experience that harassment of staff (male and female) and related poor behaviour by those in positions of power started to emerge as a serious problem in the 1980s. It suggests to me that neoliberalism and the attitudes inherent in market-driven governance has played a significant role in the increase of intimidatory behaviour across the board.

            • the other pat 12.1.1.1.2.1

              agreed…..i found this in the mid 90’s and after feeling appalled and isolated found it quite liberating when many came forth and said “hey this is happening/happened to me”….intimidation and innuendo being prime movers especially when they thought the person was just a drone so to speak…..bastards!

            • Carolyn_Nth 12.1.1.1.2.2

              Sorry to read about your exerience, Anne.

              I think that kind of behaviour has happened for centuries. But agree the neoliberal shift has probably escalated abuses of power.

              • patricia bremner

                Many women could recount instances of comments, innuendo and even physical assault which were often turned back on the complainant.

                It would be “What did you….. say? Do?? Wear?? so on it would go…..

                Then it would be meetings where a wider and wider group would be “in the know” Seldom helpful to the victim.

    • xanthe 12.2

      bridges quoted on RNZ “He also said he understood the four women who spoke to the party’s caucus over Mr Ross’ behaviour were different from the women who spoke to Newshub.”

      So now we have 8 eight! claims of harassment!

      I think Bridges and Bennett spun up the “four claims of harassment” to bully Ross out of the party. but thats just based on what has been reported!

    • Antoine 12.3

      @Anne

      > the so-called harassment claims on the tape should be taken with a grain of salt.

      And that, my friends, is rape culture, alive and well on the Standard.

      A.

      • xanthe 12.3.1

        eeeeeeeekkk

        • In Vino 12.3.1.1

          Lovely reply, Xanthe. Antoine of the A. variety either has his tongue planted in his cheek, or is pushing the limits of credibility.

      • JeevesPonzi 12.3.2

        I’m calling Bullsh!t…

        There is zero evidence anywhere on that tape of harrassment, sexual or otherwise.

        All you can hear was an allegation about allegations. Pure hearsay.

        And a grain of salt is exactly what is required- in the form of a pertinent question.

        What is the allegation that is being alleged?

    • Carolyn_Nth 12.4

      From what I’ve heard of the tape released today Bennett and Bridges didn’t deny they had alleged there were claims of harassment by JLR. They also didn’t deny that they hadn’t provided any details of those claims of harassment.

      They is not how an employer should deal with claims of harassment.

      If someone made a claim to Bridges or Bennett or others in authority in the National P[arty, they should have asked for details. They should have asked if the claimant made it clear to JLR that they were not happy with his behaviour. They should then have provided details of the claims and asked for JLR’s version of events – and that’s just the start.

      If they were basing the claims on rumours, that is not enough to pursue the issue with JLR. It sounds like Bridges and Bennett had learned that the media was going to publish about claims against JLR – either the harassment claims, or the leak thing.

  13. patricia bremner 13

    Makes sense Anne. That would explain his response, and the over acting by Bennett, complete with eye rolling captured by the photographers.

  14. adam 14

    What I find disturbing is that a far right operative like JLR is setting the tone of the debate.

    What I also find disturbing is these people and their associates had their collective hands on our tax dollars not to long ago.

  15. Dennis Frank 15

    “The comments on the tape suggest the National leadership team was trying to cover up the wrongdoing by Mr Ross.” Just the interpretation of the Newshub reporter. No actual evidence of any such wrongdoing has been made public as far as I know.

    So what were they actually trying to cover up?? Perceived wrongdoing perhaps. More likely the coercion that Ross called blackmail & the reporter calls cover up is simply a lever to force him to shut up. His complaint about natural justice being denied was disregarded by his leaders: they refused to supply any evidence of misconduct or harassment, just threatened him with a caucus kangaroo-court outcome.

    Bridges is a lawyer. He knows about natural justice. Denial of its relevance can only be due to knowing that it need not apply within a political party! As long as party rules allow unethical conduct by leaders, those leaders will get away with it – if caucus unanimity permits.

    And remember this all started because Bridges offered Ross roles and ranking that he later withdrew – after Ross accepted the deal! Bridges knows about breach of verbal contract: he’s a lawyer! Such blatant morally-corrupt behaviour was always likely to alienate another top Nat MP. Bridges obviously felt his position was so strong that it wouldn’t matter. If not for Ross taping him, he would have been right about that.

    • Treetop 15.1

      Why did Bridges not give JLR the roles he offered him/agreed to?

      He was punishing JLR or reducing his power or both.

  16. Adrian 16

    Imagine if the CEO and 2IC of any corporation or similar had been caught colluding on covering up and promising the alleged harrasser future promotion if he just laid low until it had all been swept under the carpet and the victims paid off.
    They would have been out on their arses by lunchtime as well as facing charges of trying to hide criminal offences, its as if Bridges and Bennet had never heard of MeToo.
    Wheres the outrage from womens groups and the media.

    • Chris 16.1

      Well, if the Catholic Church can get away with it…

      Only trouble is that political parties eventually bounce back from everything. The question is how long will the nats take to repair themselves.

    • AB 16.2

      “Imagine if the CEO and 2IC of any corporation or similar had been caught colluding on covering up and promising the alleged harrasser future promotion if he just laid low until it had all been swept under the carpet and the victims paid off.”

      I think you are too kind to corporate power.
      In such a case the ‘senior team’ would very probably collude to cover it up if the offender was one of them. And they would most likely get away with it.
      If the offender was down the hierarchy somewhere they would be thrown to the wolves and the ‘senior team’ would signal their virtue through homilies about how the company takes its responsibility to employees seriously.
      Nats are exhibiting a fairly standard set of corporate ‘values’ IMO – something that is pretty mainstream in our culture and not unusual at all.

      • Adrian 16.2.1

        No I’m not, if people are incompetent about the cover up and they are outed the shit would hit the fan.

      • Michael 16.2.2

        I agree. Lots of dirty stuff gets swept under the corporate rugs in case it affects the stock prices that the top team’s pay packets are indexed to. The Nats are merely replicating standard business practice in the political realm and it’s biting them hard.

  17. bwaghorn 17

    Are you 100% satisfied that the harrassment actually happened ? It sounds like ross has know I’d what bridges is on about.

    • xanthe 17.1

      yeah I also am starting to have doubts

    • Chris T 17.2

      Well he apologised to the women for it in his Radio interview with HdP

      • bwaghorn 17.2.1

        Oh ok missed that .

        • ankerawshark 17.2.1.1

          Ross made a very general apology, something like I am sorry if I have hurt anyone. My memory of it anyway. Almost sure he didn’t say I am sorry for harassing the women I worked with.

          • Chris T 17.2.1.1.1

            Fair point.

            Mind you.

            5 professional women with nothing obvious to gain.

            verse

            One bloke paid to manipulate the masses, who hears things on audio recordings that aren’t there, has a severe mental illness which causes him to have to be sectioned.

            Toughie which one to go for.

            • xanthe 17.2.1.1.1.1

              eeeeeekkkk

            • ankerawshark 17.2.1.1.1.2

              You have to ask why those women went to the media (newsroom)……..if the harassment had of been dealt with properly within National then it is unlikely that those women would have felt the need to talk to Newsroom.

              BTW we were in Sydney last year when news broke of an actor, Craig someone had sexually harassed/assaulted women, sometimes on stage. I absolutely believe the allegations were true, but it isn’t natural justice that they are published rather than police/courts being involved first.

              So for me the newsroom story is problematic. Everyone deserves natural justice imho.

            • xanthe 17.2.1.1.1.3

              In the interest of informed dialogue i give you this from today where BnB seem to be backing away from “harassment” and substituting “inappropriate conduct”

              “In October, Ms Bennett told The AM Show there had been no formal complaints against Mr Ross – just suggestions of “inappropriate behaviour that is unacceptable from a married Member of Parliament”. Mr Bridges confirmed that, saying he never used the word “harassment” to describe what Mr Ross had allegedly done, and the fact the women didn’t actually lay official complaints made it “complex”.

              “We were dealing with things in accordance with women’s issues. We didn’t have complaints – four or five women who had raised matters. I would say inappropriate conduct.”

              https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2018/11/simon-bridges-denies-plan-to-cover-up-women-s-complaints-against-jami-lee-ross.html

              • Yep they’re running for cover now. They have handled the ‘complaints’ abysmally. Bridges ‘workplace’ comments show where the fear is imo.

      • xanthe 17.2.2

        link? I would like to hear what he actually said to HDPA

        here is what wikipedia says about this “Later that day in an interview with Newstalk ZB journalist Heather Du Plessis Allan, Ross admitted to past extramarital affairs with two women – including a married MP”

        does this misrepresent the interview with HdpA?

        edit.. found it
        https://www.newstalkzb.co.nz/news/politics/exclusive-jami-lee-ross-admits-to-affairs-with-two-women-vows-to-stay-in-parliament/

        • xanthe 17.2.2.1

          Nope he acknowledges the affairs and apologizes for any hurt he may have caused. he continues to deny “the way these have been presented”

          i dont feel that “Well he apologised to the women for it in his Radio interview with HdP” (where “it” refers to harassment) is accurate.

          Not defending the guy or saying he did not harass anyone. just trying to keep the facts as reported in order.

          The opinion I am forming from what i have seen so far is that when Bridges used the accusations of harassment to move Ross on, He neither knew or cared it they had actually been made.

      • Adrian 17.2.3

        He apolotgised to one, he said “if I have… ” to the alleged others.

    • Naki man 17.3

      Ross thinks he is the victim here, his judgement is well off the mark he is delusional.

      • Drowsy M. Kram 17.3.1

        Do you think JLR was delusional when he was a National MP, or did he only become delusional after he quit the party?

        Maybe they’re all delusional now – one way of ‘coping’ with the current mess?

      • gsays 17.3.2

        Hey naki how would you describe BnB’s judgement?

  18. Observer Tokoroa 18

    Paula and Simon do the Splits

    Not very well it must be said. They spreadeagled themselves even more clumsily than even that Act chap Seymour. They offered the sick Jami – Lee Ross a Holiday; a friendly return to Caucus; and a Promotion.

    Provided he be loyal to Paula and Simon – and agreed to be blamed for monstrously vile behaviour performed on four unidentified ghostly women.

    Ross enquired what evil behaviour on which Ladies. He got no answers. He also insisted he had not leaked on Simon’s expensive limousine jaunt to familiarise himself with a small part of the population of New Zealand.

    Other Members of National Caucus must shiver in their expensive footwear should Paula and Simon take a dislike to them. Effectively they will be booted from Parliament and loose their Job.

    As will Jami – Lee Ross

    Apparently, Chinese Candidates, following hefty Party donations, will take their places. But not Indians. Simon and Paula are so Thoughtful. We need as many foreigners as we can get. Don’t we ? Jami – Lee Ross knows ….he knows lots …

  19. Fireblade 19

    Audio of the Bridges, Bennett, JLR discussion.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c9Xe5K8cvHg

  20. Fireblade 21

    Simon Bridges interview on tv1 Breakfast this morning.

    • marty mars 21.1

      Shocker. Looked rattled and devious. His titanic has already hit the iceberg – all over bar the shouting.

    • veutoviper 21.2

      EDIT – TV1 have now released the full tape, see below.

      There is so much wrong with Bridges’ replies and approach in that interview – especially for someone who is supposedly a lawyer! The guy has not got a clue.

      Wil comment more later as have had a busy day on other things.

      EDIT – TV1 has now released the full 18 minute tape.

      https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/full-recording-secret-tape-jami-lee-ross-simon-bridges-and-paula-bennett.html?auto=5857565204001

      Something that I have noted is that most of the msm seem to have the tape – but what is not clear is how long they have had it. They are all being cagey as to when they received it, and from whom. The date of the recording is also unclear; but more on all of that later as I have been doing some detailed research on such factors but must race out now.

      • marty mars 21.2.1

        Wow. Carrot and stick. I’m so pleased bridges and Bennett and Ross will never get the levers of power again. What a disgraceful way of dealing with a member of your team with real issues.

        • gsays 21.2.1.1

          What is also a bit sickening is the female victims.
          They are now important because it suits the tory narrative.
          It’s despicable if B&B are overegging that situation to suit themselves.
          After all the crown prosecutor reckons he could find up to15 victims.

          The deputy and her ‘leader’ (manager is closer to the mark), have only vaguely referred to them.
          Bought up then conversation steers back to disloyalty.

          Granted JLR comes across a tad Mark Lundy on the tapes, but I feel he kept bringing it up because that is the Achilles heel in the tory narrative.

    • Grafton Gully 21.3

      Bridges opens the MCNZ to criticism for not addressing the apparent breach of confidentiality in a specialist advising Bridges that JLR had “very serious health issues” (4:46 in the interview).

    • ianmac 22.1

      Very interesting thanks for the link Sacha. So Bridges was very wrong to claim bad behaviour from Ross without telling him what it was. That would piss me off as well.

      How about appearing in court on charges where you are not allowed to know what the crime is. Sounds like Turkey or China to me.

  21. Sacha 23

    The internal polling must be pushing Nat party managers into a corner by now.

    • UncookedSelachimorpha 23.1

      Hang in there Simon! We believe in you.

      • ScottGN 23.1.1

        Mike Williams said on Nine to Noon today that Labour polling has the Nats at about 37% at the moment.

        • Chris 23.1.1.1

          Sure, but how long will that last?

        • Dennis Frank 23.1.1.2

          What margin of error? They use UMR? If they polled around a thousand it would be plus or minus 3%, indicating a further drop since the CB poll, as I suggested was likely.

          People reflect on stuff, and the more they digest a complex controversy like that the more they will get the sense that National Party culture is unhealthy. Visceral reactions to that then ensue – kinda like the whiff of what you get motoring down the highway behind a cattle truck.

          So what’s shifting is not Nat tribal loyalists. It’s in that group of centrists that Winston tries to represent, but only partly succeeds. When National starts to look flaky, NZF starts to look sensible rather than conservative. The sleaze factor destroyed Major’s govt in the UK. Nats are busy replicating that.

      • Jack Ramaka 23.1.2

        Bridges & Bennett “the gift that just keeps on giving ?”

        • Chris 23.1.2.1

          The longer they stay the better.

        • gsays 23.1.2.2

          You know what will happen, on a Friday evening soon, after another tape, Bridges will resign leadership, the All Blacks will win a test and it will blow away inside a week.

          Paula Bennett for tory leader.

  22. hoom 24

    I find it fascinating how in all these interviews Bridges primary message is I: I dealt with, I handled, I got it right, working My way, I’ve accepted, I learned my lesson, I I I…
    (at least he hasn’t slipped into talking about himself in 3rd person I guess)

    And the media is playing into it with shill headlines ‘Bridges did the right thing’, ‘Bridges in the clear’, interviewers constantly asking ‘did you do the right thing?’

    The whole issue as I’ve understood it isn’t his ‘response to JLR’ its the inital over-response to the leaked expenses and then subseqent further unveilling of nefarious goings on & infighting within the National political machine.

  23. Robert Guyton 25

    (Deleted. The decision was made some time ago that TS would not name JLR’s alleged victims. TRP)

    • BM 25.1

      For a Hippy, Guyton you’re a bit of a cunt, you seem to get off on other peoples misery.

      Things a bit shit at home? struggling with the old age drop of in testosterone?

      There are supplements you can take that will cheer you up and make you less of a wanker, might want to consider them.

    • Cinny 25.2

      lmao

    • Muttonbird 25.3

      TRP. Was that decision communicated to the forum? I don’t recall a public announcement on this.

      • te reo putake 25.3.1

        Yes, it was, Muttonbird. Struggling to remember which of the numerous Bridges/JLR posts it was on, but it’s a thing. Nobody has posted a name till now, and I’m happy about the maturity that shows.

        Edit: In the first few comments on this post: https://thestandard.org.nz/jami-lee-ross-but-wait-theres-more/
        Oh, and I see you were involved in the discussion. Tsk tsk.

        • Muttonbird 25.3.1.1

          Lol. Pretty hard to have seen that bold writing unless you were reading on the day and indeed I was reading on the day and still didn’t see it. So the warnings came late or the next day when all had left the thread.

          How about next time you set the rules in the actual post where everyone can see it and so everyone knows…I mean you did lead people on, didn’t you.

          • te reo putake 25.3.1.1.1

            Mate, the warnings came while you commenting, as did the wider discussion. You participated in that wider discussion. As noted earlier, this has not been a problem for anyone else. Please don’t make me waste any more time on this.

        • Naki man 25.3.1.2

          Nice work te reo putake.
          Nobody likes a pantie sniffer.

  24. outofbed 26

    alleged victim?
    I thought she was a willing participant

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