Is private affair public business?

Whaleoil broke the story that Auckland mayor Len Brown had been having an affair with a former council advisory board member.

He’s asked people to respect his family.

“As I go through this and deal with this, I want the community and media to respect my family. I have caused my wife and my children harm and shame and humiliation and I want the media and community please, as much as they can, to respect my family as I go through this time of addressing these issues with them, with Shan [Inglis] and the girls.”

My immediate reaction to the news was sympathy for them.
It must be difficult enough to cope with the pain and anger of private betrayal in private and much more so when it’s so public.
But does he understand the irony in that he’s asking people to show more consideration for his family than he did?

He also wants to continue as mayor.

He’s not the first public figure to have private misdeeds exposed.

President Clinton carried on as head of the USA after similar revelations.

But one question Brown might ponder is, would he have been re-elected had this story broken before the election?

His betrayal of his wife is between them.

But if you can’t trust someone not to wrong the one he’s supposed to love the most can you trust him at all?

That is the one justification for a private affair becoming public business.

I can’t think of any others.

5 Responses to Is private affair public business?

  1. Roger says:

    On ratepayers time in ratepayers offices with an employee are three other questions. And yes she was employed by the Auckland Public Library.


  2. TraceyS says:

    High-profile public figures must be well aware that their private undertakings are of more interest to others than those of the general public. And for good reasons – they are often in a position of power over others.

    It is disturbing that someone in his position could act so impulsively and without foresight of the inevitable consequences. I do not think that so many people would have voted for him if these qualities were known before the election.

    In continuing as Mayor does he not feel any shame or sense that he has deceived ratepayers regarding his personal integrity?


  3. blokeinauckland says:

    Well at least someone was getting their berm mown.


  4. Len Brown got approx 160,000 votes out of a possible vote total of 999,000, his opponents clocked up more votes than him – approx 170,000.
    So out of the 34% who voted, Len Brown got about 16 per cent of the vote – hardly a majority..
    If people had known about his affair, I suspect that his god-fearing supporters in South Auckland might not have cast so many votes for him – or indeed many other voters who are concerned with integrity.
    I feel very unsafe having a man who doesn’t hesitate to squander rate payers money – $20 million for a white water rafting project in his home base of S Auckland, as one example – and plunge Aucklanders now and in the future into huge debt, to satisfy his ” passion” for the city..( his words)


  5. Captain Fantastic says:

    Len Brown must be really , really, sorry, especially at getting found out. I agree with all the above points. All valid. He wanted to be the public face of Auckland. This matter is about the last item that he’d put in his ads about his knowing Auckland, now apparently in the Biblical sense. I wouldn’t leave him with the meter-maids.


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