Right and wrong not left and right

A former Labour MP who worked with people from across the political spectrum on a local body campaign said he’d come to the conclusion that left wing people were far more likely to see things through a political lens than those from the right.

Some people are trying to turn Len Brown’s affair into a right wing conspiracy.

It’s not.

Cameron Slater, who broke the story on his blog Whaleoil, is from the blue end of the political spectrum.

But he doesn’t let that get in the way of his posts. He’d have run the story regardless of the mayor’s political affiliation.

That’s one of the reasons his blog is so popular. Like David Farrar on Kiwiblog, he’ll give praise and criticism where it’s due regardless of the subject’s politics.

Other people from the right had some involvement with Bevan Chuang but Jane Clifton points out:

There’s been much tut-tuttery about the fact that the source of the story was Cameron Slater’s Whale Oil, one of the country’s best-read blogs, which is aggressively pro-National Party to boot. Slater’s father ran the campaign for Brown’s closest mayoralty rival, a campaign Brown’s inamorata was close to through her friendship with another campaign activist. This has brought claims she was secretly working for the other side. Which just goes to show there’s plenty of hypocrisy, paranoia and self-delusion to go around. It’s common for journalists and political junkies in the twittersphere to denounce Whale Oil as “gutter” blogging. But not for the first time, the gutter-shunning media have piled onto Slater’s ruck without a second’s hesitation.

Allegations that this is a deliberate smear campaign generated from within the National Party to destroy a left-leaning mayor are somewhat ambitious. To the best of my knowledge, the National Party cannot make a married man have an affair. For two years. Or trick him into sending silly texts that might be kept and used against him. Or force him to conduct how’s-your-father in the Ngati Whatua conference room of the council chambers.

There’s also the inconvenient fact that the blog did not run the story till after the local body elections in which Brown was safely re-elected. He is unsackable. . .

But the political views of those involved in the affair and its exposure is irrelevant anyway.

This isn’t about right and left, it’s about right and wrong.

Andrew McMillan provides a timeline of events which show:

Brown, who portrayed himself as a loving family man  and committed Christian had a prolonged affair.

He had a sexual trysts in council premises on council time.

The woman with whom he had the relationship was on a council advisory board. That’s not a direct employee but as mayor he was in a position of power and she could be considered to be vulnerable.

He wrote her a reference, and as a side issue he admitted writing worthless references:

Was it an abuse of power to provide a reference for Bevan Chuang?

It was the very early stages of us knowing each other. I have provided many references in supports of lots and lots of friends and people that I know. The letter of support I wrote was a reasonable letter. I tend to be quite positive in my writing for the many people I write references for. It wasn’t a reference that was requested or provided for that was out of the norm. It was, for me, a fairly typical reference done at a time when, quite frankly, we hadn’t known each other all that long. . .

A reference from the mayor would carry considerable weight but his words suggest he dashes them off frequently and in this case without knowing the subject all that long.

Whether that is appropriate for a mayor might be moot but the impact on his family from his infidelity and what it says about his character is not.

Whatever his politics and those of the people who exposed him, he is in the wrong.

Whether or not it will require a resignation will depend on the outcome of a council inquiry.

But whatever it determines won’t make his behaviour right.

40 Responses to Right and wrong not left and right

  1. blokeinauckland says:

    Well said – the man is a flea and his behaviour before and since is unconscionable (to his family, to Auckland and to those he enticed to vote for him) – if he truly believes Aucklanders want him as Mayor he should resign and stand again. That is the measure of a man.

    We will wait for Guyton to spin this one.


  2. robertguyton says:

    Slater and co – disgusting!


  3. robertguyton says:

    Also, despicable!


  4. robertguyton says:

    Brown’s suitability as mayor will be and should be judged by the people of Auckland at the next election. Any breaches of the Code of Conduct will be dealt with by the Council itself.
    The actions of Slater and his right-wing accomplices have hurt National significantly, in my view. From where I’m viewing proceedings (well south of Auckland) it seems the Right-wing, and that’s where the National Party, John Key, Slater snr & jnr all sit, has contrived to smear a popular mayor with salacious muck-raking.
    New Zealanders don’t like that sort of behaviour. They are repelled by it far more than they are by philandering.


  5. Paranormal says:

    RG – your view from the hard left is not reflective of those I talk to in Auckland that have no political leaning.

    They are disgusted by Brown. That’s who this is about. It’s about someone with a born to rule attitude that has abused his power.

    The majority of people in Auckland are grateful to Whaleoil for doing what the fourth estate has failed to do for years – hold politicians to account. People are recognising just how the media are too wrapped up in the policital world. The way the main stream media are running the Brown spin has significantly eroded people’s faith in the lame stream media – the media are the ones who have been hurt the most. The Nats are untouched by this scandal, no matter how hard you on the left spin it. My pick is you’ll see Herald sales continue their downward plunge.


  6. robertguyton says:

    Para – I don’t condone Brown’s behaviour at all. You appear to condone Slater’s.
    As for the Nats being un-touched by this – I don’t believe that for one second, at least based on what I hear about the place (remember, this is Bill English territory). Perhaps in Auckland, I don’t know, but down here, it’s as plain as the nose on your face, the Right-wing has indulged in very dirty tactics and we are repelled by that and who’s most representative of the Right-wing?
    John Key.


  7. jabba says:

    I can’t believe bOb reads Cameron Slater’s Blog, Whale oil beef hooked ‘-}
    Anyway, he can’t afford to tell lies so if our bOb can find a lie then I suggest he makes an official complaint. He seems the sort.
    I heard that Phil Goff was a potential candidate, I would vote for him.


  8. robertguyton says:

    I don’t read Whaleoil, jabba, at least not recently (I have, on occasion) . I’ve avoided reading any of the material he has publicised, as that sort of detail doesn’t interest me at all.
    Salacious, is it? No need to answer, jabba, I’ve read that it is.


  9. Armchair Critic says:

    It’s astounding that anyone is still pretending that someone is trying to justify Len Brown’s actions. Simply, no one is saying he was right to have an extra-marital affair, and that includes Len Brown. And thus we have it established. The question of whether any individual can find it in their heart to forgive Brown cones down to their politics, and also possibly whether forgiveness is an important part of their faith. Christians, or people who claim to be, are reputed to be inclined to forgive.
    Which brings us to what this is currently about. Ele is correct, it’s not left versus right. And as above, it’s no longer right versus wrong, either. Now it’s right versus even further right. Let’s be honest about the fact that this has been turned very successfully into a mess for the political right, with all kinds of stuff that is damaging and we will never know the truth of. Is there a split in the National party? Who knows, but why not? Any way you choose the focus and uncertainty is about the right, and none of it looks good for them. The only hope for some semblance of face saving is if an enquiry shows unauthorized spending or inappropriate references. Given the immediate mea culpa over the sexual allegations it seems likely the latter two enquiries will come to nought. In summary, this has been a massive fail for WO in particular and for the right in general. Keep up the bad work.


  10. robertguyton says:

    Crikey! Armchair Critic is spot-on!!!


  11. jabba says:

    it maybe ok for the mayor and council members down your way to misuse their ratepayer funded credit cards and then shag themselves silly on council premises but up here in the upper Nth Is we view things differently


  12. Paranormal says:

    How you and RG can see this as a disaster for National – who are clearly not involved in it, I think says more about your politics than anything else.

    The outcome of the inquiries will have more bearing on Len and his supporters than anyone. I’d pick that Len has something to hide which is why he’s gone ballistic with PR. It also sounds as if Slater has more up his sleeve and as it comes out the left spin will start to lose its shine.

    As an aside I can highly recommend In the BBC black comedy The Thick Of It that shows the backroom of this kind of crisis management. Len and his team are rolling out the standard media defenses so accurately presented as comedy.


  13. robertguyton says:

    ‘…National – who are clearly not involved in it…”
    Para – can you back this claim with any evidence at all?


  14. jabba says:

    good grief, yet again, you PROVE they did have a part in Brown shagging the 32 yo.


  15. robertguyton says:

    Trite (rhymes with Right)


  16. Mr E says:

    Are you are suggesting those with a political opposition should not revel in Browns errors? Don’t you think that could be hypocritical?



  17. jabba says:

    oh nooooooooooooo, bOb what have you done .. I mean I have always known that you are a hypocrite but now everyone does.


  18. Gravedodger says:

    Robert, I have always accepted your right to your environmental, Green party, socialist or at the very least, left of center opinions. Many of them are in my lifestyle also, however politically we are chalk and cheese, take your pick.

    That said your pathological hatred of anything remotely connected to the National party has you looking for a bottle, sans genie here.

    Cameron Slater is not close to the current National Party leadership, in fact he is regarded by many as Personna Non Grata. His open contempt for the current national President is palpable.
    His connections are largely historical from when his Dad John was National President in the Shipley years so he has personal links but any suggestion he speaks for National is just dumb.

    Browns nearest opponent, Pallino, is, afaik not connected to the Nats other than perhaps as a member or a voter.

    Len Brown swapped mounts after an affair with current wife Shan Inglis before breeding with her.
    Mayor Brown has portrayed himself as a christian, church going man of honor and had he either cut his contractural ties to Inglis or declared his marriage an “open one” with her concurrence, before dipping his wick in Giesha Girl ,fine by me. Not acceptable but what the hell.

    That accepted his appointing Chuang to the ethnic affairs board, writing a reference for her job application to the Council controlled library followed by a personal rider by phone, Chuang’s accompanying the mayor on trips to china, and her attendance at civic functions as his guest all have a decided offal pit odour to them.
    Two years is somewhat ranked above a casual root, a one night stand or opportunity sexual gratification, they are all accepted by a generous majority of the current citizenry as errors. His effort had a distinctive “serial” look to it.,
    For me and possibly a significant proportion of my circle his behavior is just appalling, grubby, manipulative, treacherous and totally “beyond the pale”, your opinion may be different.
    Mayor Brown had substantial financial troubles in the closing span of his Manakau mayoralty. they were never put to bed but he just got the “Teflon” renewed.

    Now for you to attempt to connect this whole tawdry affair, pun intended, as anything to do with the current government is laughable and does your credibility no favors.

    My friend Bob Parker endured many unjustified attacks, some just plain scurrilous, but at no time was his honor, integrity, fidelity or moral standard challenged the way Lecherous Lens has been
    Sure Bob made errors but in the main they were errors often loyalty based but shaking his hand would be a natural response on meeting him and listening to what he said worth while.
    The unscrupulous tosser at present in the news has the morals and behavioral traits of a stray tom cat, and your mob are spinning to portray as a “good mayor”, would have his extended hand spurned, and everything he said would be regarded as either false or laughable, possibly both.

    He is in a word buggered.

    The man has succumbed to his arrogance and disconnect with me and many likeminded. It is no longer about politics.

    He whom the gods would destroy they first make mad.

    By all means you go along with him, count me out though.


  19. Paranormal says:

    No RG – you need to prove your spurious claim they were involved.


  20. Armchair Critic says:

    Though you might not think it, I agree with most of your comment, paranormal.
    The main point I’d like to take issue with is your comment that I see this as “…a disaster for National…”. I’ve been quite careful to not say that for a couple of reasons. First of all, it hasn’t been a disaster (that would be hyperbole), and National’s involvement is at the most peripheral; they are implicated by association. I am confident that there is no party level organised effort to discredit Brown.
    The concerted effort to undermine Brown has come from a group of people who hold undeniably right wing views, which is why I describe this as damaging for the right. And perhaps that’s where National have fallen short; they are used to a) having Cameron available to do their dirty work and b) they were used to favourable media coverage. In short, they were unprepared and don’t know how to coordinate a response.
    At this point I think I’d like to give Key, Mitchell and Webster credit. They’ve handled a bad situation well and responsibly. However, their response is somewhat at odds with other prominent figures from the right, and that’s the source of the idea that there is a split. Sure, it’s probably all just perception, but it’s a perception that National don’t need heading into election year. Why?
    Well, (and do feel free to disagree) ACT are spent, they won’t be in the next parliament. UF probably won’t hold their seat. The Maori Party will lose two seats, and possibly all three. That leaves National as the sole representative of the right in the next parliament. To remain in government they need to increase their record (under MMP) vote from last election. Or go into coalition with NZF; really that’s the only plausible option. When you consider that the right has been tainted by a range of scandals and unpopular policy, and that last election Labour looked incapable of organising a piss-up in a brewery, it’s looking pretty grim.
    Sorry, way off track there. Anyway, with regard to the rest of your comment, yeah, I agree. Thanks for the recommendation , too.


  21. jabba says:

    Crikey! Gravedodger is spot-on!!!
    no doubt bOb will have a “witty” but lame reply but that’s ok, we are used to them.


  22. Armchair Critic says:

    So GD, for the record:
    do you think Len Brown will serve out his full terms mayor of Auckland?
    If yes, then do you think he will stand for re-election in 2016?
    If he stands again, do you think he will be re-elected?


  23. robertguyton says:

    Ho hum. The Slaters.


  24. robertguyton says:

    Mr E – you are muck-raking. I’m hugely disappointed in you. Please man up and email me (rguy10@actrix.co.nz) and I’ll explain where you have been misled. Ordinarily you are a rational, and you claim, fair man. I would like the opportunity to help you avoid being made to look foolish in public.
    In answer to your question, no, I’m not saying or expecting that those with a political opposition shouldn’t revel in the errors of a public figure, but in the case of Brown, there are processes to deal with any real breaches of his code of conduct and his councillors should do what they are required to do regarding that. The adultery doesn’t come under that code, I’m expecting.
    With regard those characters involved in the revelations about Brown, I believe there are important questions to be asked around their conduct, especially toward the young woman at the centre of the issue. Don’t you? In any case, I’m not that interested in the issue – too far away, to murky and too unpleasant for my liking.


  25. JC says:

    Well, WO has done the right thing by the Left and media on this one.. as the Herald said at the time of the Richard Worth affair:

    “The silence of the Prime Minister, John Key, is more problematic still. At first declining to comment because it was the subject of a police investigation, he later said he had “washed his hands” of Worth (who had resigned as a minister and, later, as an MP) and had moved on. But it is not satisfactory for the matter to be left hanging. Cabinet protocol may not require Key to disclose why he lost confidence in his minister and the caucus lost confidence in its colleague. But justice requires that we be told.

    This is not simply a question of prurient gossip… In the interests of transparency of the executive, the matter must be brought to a tidy close – and not simply left to fade away.”

    Or as some fellow called Guyton wrote:

    “Remember Richard? The National Party MP whose behaviour was so appalling that he was sacked by John Key who was in turn unable to even tell us what Worth had done that was so bad that it necessitated such a measure and such secrecy?”

    With Len Brown WO has gone some way to answering the righteous (and simply not a question of prurience) questions of the Left about the length of the shags and where the ejaculate flew but probably hasn’t satisfied your questions about actual seconds of shagging and precise volumes of ejaculate, but hey.. WO is a repressed Nat!



  26. robertguyton says:

    Ha! JC you mistake reasonable explanation for prurient and salacious detail.
    No surprise.


  27. robertguyton says:

    “Go along with him”?
    From whence did you glean the view that I “go along with him”.
    Was it from this 11:39 quote of mine?
    ” I don’t condone Brown’s behaviour at all.”
    Given your misreading of my position, perhaps I should “count you out”. Certainly I’ve dust-binned jabba.


  28. robertguyton says:

    Of Slater, you say:
    “His connections are largely historical from when his Dad John was National President in the Shipley years so he has personal links but any suggestion he speaks for National is just dumb.”

    I don’t say Slater speaks for National. I say he’s representative of the Right-wing, at least in the eyes of the public, especially now, following this disgraceful business. Who else does the public think of as ‘Right-wing”?
    John Key.
    Tarred, by Slater’s brush and if you think the public have a nuanced view on Slater’s relationship with National and Key, please re-read your words. “his Dad John was National President in the Shipley years so he has personal links”.


  29. Mr E says:

    “Muck-raking”? Me? how so? You’re not happy with me citing Paddys blog containing your comments? I thought you liked media publicity and sunlight and all that? Why is it muck when it contains your quotes? Don’t you stand by them?

    “Man up”? Commenting on a blog is not manly? I need to send you a private email so that you can tell me why in private? Why private emails?

    “I would like the opportunity to help you avoid being made to look foolish in public.”
    What is this or who is this threat that could make me look foolish in public? I’m curious. Why should I feel threatened? Speak your mind. I don’t take kindly to threatening behaviour so I would like to know what or who this threat is.

    Regarding questions of conduct in the Brown saga, I understand Browns conduct to be under question. He’s in public office and a certain code of conduct is expected/contracted.
    Have those who have released the story stretched a moral code? My opinion is perhaps. But it seems a heck of a rumour mill and I guess hard to drag facts out of, so any direct accusation on my part would be unfair.
    Have they breached an employment, journalistic code or law? I’ve not heard and am not in a position to say so. Have/are you?

    Regarding your disappointment of me. I’ll take that on the chin. It’s not something that bodes well with me, but I learnt long ago that you can’t please everyone. If the disappointment is of a personal nature and I’ve hurt or offended you, then please accept my apology. I had not realised that link would have such effect.


  30. robertguyton says:

    Mr E. I must have expressed myself in an unclear manner in inviting you to email me so that we could expand our understanding of each others view without the added complications of an audience of the sort that is intent on derailing real discussion, as people like jabba are. I still invite you to contact me, as there are issues closer to home that we could discuss productively. I mean now harm to you and didn’t mean to imply any. Commenting on a blog is not manly? you ask – not very, I’d say. Something else, but not ‘manly’.
    And yes, I stand by my quotes, by what I say, always, unless I’ve made a mistake then I’m generally quick to apologise or concede. However, much of what you read is not what I’ve said, but what is attributed to me, or said about me. I imagined you’d be keen to cut to the chase and talk ‘man to man’, without the filter of a blog – yes? No?


  31. robertguyton says:

    On with the story… you say:
    “Have those who have released the story stretched a moral code? My opinion is perhaps.”
    Mine too, though I express it more strongly than that. I would say, certainly.


  32. Armchair Critic says:

    Paddy’s a small man, Robert, and while I used to think him amusing once, I found he began to wallow in his irrelevance a year or so back. In any case, you got the last laugh on election day.


  33. Mr E says:

    I don’t think Jabba derails. He has an opinion that is his own, and I don’t mind hearing it. I don’t always agree, but that is the nature of blogging. The sunlight he shines has a different wavelength to mine, you might say.

    If you think I cant read through others slurs, you underestimate me. No doubt you’ve seen me encouraging positive communication rather than name calling. No doubt you’ve also seen me defending your comments, from time to time.

    Cutting to the chase. I’m quite ok with discussing matters here. If there are details you want to keep private I’ll accept that and move on.

    And to be frank if the measure of a man is yapping on the phone, I’m happy to be called something else.


  34. Gravedodger says:

    “I dont condone Brown’s behavior at all”

    Which behavior are you not condoning Robert all of it?
    Do you support him continuing to lead our largest city?

    These are a few things I consider render him unfit to continue as Auckland Mayor.

    The misuse of the Manakau City credit card.

    Failure to make a reasoned response to the POA contretempts that destroyed his mates union, lost megabucks of work to Tauranga and saw the Auckland ports, Auckland businesses disrupted and lost remuneration for workers, for weeks.

    Raising rates in some cases well into double digits when promising 2% over inflation but not in his Homeland where he lives on a quite nice secluded rural holding, only where the “rich pricks” live

    Employing in excess of a million dollars of ratepayer funding on an elaborate spin machine.

    Allowing an occupation of the city’s Aotea Square by a bunch of hippies leaving a destructive and expensive restoration cost.

    Claiming the rules on intimacy with subordinates in public places and on council property that has seen an alleged dismissal of a security guard and gardening leave for a senior manager, do not apply to him as the supreme being.

    Nailing an ambitious Hong kong born wannabe for two years while portraying himself as a christian church attending man with strong family values.

    Writing a reference for that Lady(advisedly) in support of a job application at an ACC Library following it with a phone reccommendation that saw her successfully get the job.

    Appointing a lady he had nefarious plans for, in extracurricular activities, to the “Ethnic Affairs Baord”. Gives that class of “affairs” a much more illuminating meaning.

    Desecrating the revered room set aside for Maori Spiritual use.

    [Not sure that at least some of this wasn’t defamatory so have deleted it – Ele]

    Cheating on a wife enduring a battle with cancer ( was that the absolute scummiest lack of morality)

    Claiming his peccadilloes are a private affair (geez that nearly destroyed my Keyboard, move the coffee dopey) while using his Daughter to bolster his defence, using considerable resources funded by ACC to spin him as the victim and Slater and Cooke as the evil empire, then tonight persuing a suggestion that people such as himself be protected (another guffaw) from media delving into his private life.

    Making one very staged and lame defensive appearance on The very user friendly (for Him) Campbell Live and avoiding any other public appearance where his disgusting tomcat activities might be exposed to sunlight.

    Claiming he has only been stupid ( is that an entry for the understatement of the year) and refusing to even stand aside while Ernst and Young conduct an inquiry into his possible transgressions as Mayor, regarding funding his rooting, complementary Hotel suites (including the evil Sky City) and support for the costs of running current squeeze. Pearl necklace, cheap perfume and budget langerie, what a mans man.

    Each entry in that list of indicators of a very flawed and unfit Mayoral candidate are beyond my mores but then I hate liars, cheats, bullys, narcissists and in perticular those who breach trust and fail to acknowledge it.

    I am no paragon Robert I redirected funds intended for the church collection plate to purchase cigarettes at Boarding school (I was addicted, been smoking for some years), I also failed to bank my school banking money to fund a self propelling pencil, have driven under the influence of alcohol, exceeded the speed limit, incurred and paid parking fines, consumed alcohol within the proximity of a dance hall, been sent off in a rugby match for retalliation, concieved a child before marriage with my partner but that was over 50 years ago and the statute of limitations has intervened, I have never been unfaithful, I have cleared native plants from farmland, hunted hares with hounds, lied to political pollsters, hung up on telemarketers with an accompanying loud whistle, defied privacy rules to protect innocent parties in my Ambulance work, oh hell I have been a very naughty boy but then I am not running a two billion dollar super city while pretending I am a paragon of virtue and consider myself the only man to be mayor.


  35. Paranormal says:

    Is that all you have for proof? Spurious allegations do not a conspiracy make – except maybe in RG land. There is so much that disproves your allegations – like why did Cam wait for voting to finish before releasing the story (amongst others)? RG your KDS is showing again.


  36. Paranormal says:

    New Zealand’s only MP jailed for corruption was left wing. Does that tar you as a hard lefty, with the same brush? Using your logic it does.


  37. robertguyton says:

    Para – a New Zealander was jailed for corruption – does that tar you as a New Zealander, with the same brush?
    My connection with Taito Phillip-Field is not the same as that between Slater and the National Party (just ask GD)


  38. Paranormal says:

    I’m pleased you acknowledge your logic is just as tenuous on the Cam Slater and John Key link. They are just as distant as you and Field.


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