Tales From A Possible Future: The Mother Of All Scandals Breaks

By   /   August 30, 2017  /   31 Comments

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THE STORY APPEARED FIRST on an offshore blog. After that, not even the best legal brains at Crown Law could prevent the voters from learning about the “Mother of All Scandals”. The Internet, as always, prevailed over the frantic machinations of desperate politicians.

THE STORY APPEARED FIRST on an offshore blog. After that, not even the best legal brains at Crown Law could prevent the voters from learning about the “Mother of All Scandals”. The Internet, as always, prevailed over the frantic machinations of desperate politicians.

As details of the scandal spread, the mainstream news media was obliged to engage in some legal manoeuvring of its own. Lawyers for both the electronic and print media argued that the legal injunctions preventing them from broadcasting and/or publishing what was by now a huge story were contrary to the public interest. With a general election just days away, matters having a material bearing on the Government’s fitness to go on governing were unable to be debated in a rational and professional fashion. Instead, voters were being regaled with rumour, innuendo and the far-from-reliable outpourings of “citizen journalism”.

The horse having well-and-truly bolted, the judiciary was disposed to agree with the mainstream media, and the injunctions preventing any and all reporting of the Mother of All Scandals were lifted.

The Cabinet Minister at the centre of the scandal released a brief statement announcing his immediate resignation from both the Cabinet and Parliament and went to ground. It was not enough. The focus of the scandal had already shifted away from the disgraced Cabinet Minister. All of the journalists’ investigative powers were now bent on exposing the extraordinary measures the Government had been willing to countenance in order to kill the story.

The most damning of these involved the deliberate leaking of confidential information about a senior politician’s financial affairs as part of a broader “strategy of distraction”. Equally shocking was the discovery that an alarming number of public servants had aided and abetted the Government’s strategy.

Political scientists debated the ultimate impact of the scandal on the Government’s electoral fortunes. Some pointed to the consequences of a series of similar revelations published three years earlier. On that occasion, they argued, Government supporters had angrily rejected the accusations of impropriety directed at the Prime Minister and his cabinet colleagues, and rallied to their defence. It was the contention of these experts that, far from damaging the Government, the Mother of All Scandals would actually generate a surge towards the party in power.

Others objected that, in terms of both its scale and seriousness, the Mother of All Scandals – and its high-level cover-up – posed a much graver threat to the survival of the Government. For even the most fanatical supporters of the incumbent party, the behaviour of all those involved would likely prove very hard to forgive.

What seemed to stick in the craw of most voters, however, was the Government’s extraordinary hypocrisy. Through their various agents and mouthpieces, they had viciously denounced an Opposition politician who had admitted to committing a series of relatively minor transgressions in her youth. And yet, even as this Opposition politician was being hounded out of Parliament, the governing party was moving heaven and earth to prevent the much more serious transgressions of one of its own from reaching the ears of the public before polling-day.

Some pundits would later discount the Mother of All Scandals as a major contributor to the governing party’s startling electoral defeat. They would argue that, after three terms in office, it would have taken a small miracle to secure their re-election to a fourth. To a great many ordinary voters, however, the Mother of All Scandals was the small miracle that ushered in a younger, fresher, and ethically far-superior, progressive government.

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31 Comments

  1. Ed says:

    Do you know something we don’t?

    • MattyGee says:

      It’s a hypothetical scenario…

      In saying that, there surely cannot be any more scandals before the election?

      Any why is nothing that Bill ‘lie/deny/delete’ English do ruin his reputation?

    • Sam Sam says:

      First let me ask you a question: of what you know about the New Zealand economy, how much of it is true?

  2. Ian Grabt says:

    What the fuck are you talking about?

  3. CLEANGREEN says:

    Here here!! Chris.

    I loved it as a novel mate, I was captured in every word until the end as it seemed like a “who did it” award winning novel.

    very impressive, thanks for the thought provoking journey.

    Best of your weekly column, you are like a rear french wine, getting better with age.

  4. CLEANGREEN says:

    So far Chris in this poll Jacinda has moved 10% Natz voters over to labour.

    https://horizonpoll.co.nz/page/473/ardern-drives-vote-switch-11-leave-national-for-labour?gtid=5631264573750PHL

    edited

    Ardern drives vote switch: nett 10% leave National for Labour
    30 Aug 17

    Ardern gathering votes from National, Green and NZ First
    Labour’s leadership change has potentially shifted 11% of the 2014 National Party vote to Labour, while 2% of Labour’s 2014 voters are switching to National.

    The choice of Jacinda Ardern as Labour leader has had its biggest effect on the Green Party, with more 2014 Green Party voters now saying they will vote for Labour than say they will vote again for the Green Party.

    An August 11-15 Vote Switching poll by Horizon Research finds, among those who are both registered to vote and 100% likely to vote:

    11% of 2014 National Party voters – around 127,600 people – indicating a move to Labour for the next election.  2% of Labour’s 2014 voters – around 10,100 people – indicated they would vote National this election, which gives National a nett loss to Labour of around 117,400 voters.

    59% of 2014 Green Party voters are now saying they will be voting for other parties in the 2017 general election.  And nearly 8 in 10 of that group say they will now be voting for the Labour Party, with just over 3 in 10 saying that because of the recent benefit disclosures by Metiria Turei and her subsequent resignation as co-leader they were less likely to vote Green and nearly 7 in 10 indicating the change in Labour leadership has made them more likely to vote Labour. 

    Loyalty among New Zealand First 2014 voters has dropped 10% to 72% between May and August Horizon polls. Labour’s leadership change is driving the change. However, New Zealand First potential gains from other parties are larger than the potential losses and this has strengthened the overall New Zealand First position.

    Voter numbers projected in this report are based on the Electoral Commission’s Official Count Results for the 2014 New Zealand general election.  The poll is of 959 adults nationwide representing the New Zealand 18+ population at the most recent census. At a 95% confidence level the maximum margin of error on the overall result is +/- 3.2%.  The analysis shown in this release is based on a sub-sample of 860 respondents who said they were both registered to vote and 100% likely to vote.

    The survey complies with Research Association New Zealand political polling code.

    Horizon will be publishing results from this survey for preferred coalition partnerships and Prime Minister.

    Party vote share polls are being conducted before the September 23 general election.

    An election with significant Party Vote change from smaller parties?

    Party vote switching patterns show that, among those who are registered to vote and say they are 100% likely to vote, 81% of people who voted for the Labour, National, and ACT New Zealand parties – around 1,415,000 voters – are likely to vote for the same party again in 2017.  72% of those who voted for New Zealand First in 2014 are likely to do so again.

    Among those who voted for any other party, however, only around 25% expect to be voting for the same party again.

    Around 79% of those who voted for parties in the current Government said will vote for those parties again.  But on current switching intentions, parties in the current government coalition are likely to lose around 211,600 voters and gain 60,300 – a nett loss of 151,300 votes.  

    67% of those who voted for the Labour or Green parties in 2014 said they will vote for those parties again.  However, there is a potential movement of 15% of the 2014 voters for these parties between the parties – 119,500 from Green to Labour and 25,500 from Labour to Green – a nett benefit for Labour from switching between these parties of around 94,000 voters.

    Voter loyalty

    Results for voting questions asked by Horizon in November 2016, March 2017 and May 2017 have been used to calculate voter loyalty to the party they voted for in 2014 for comparison with the results of the August 2017 survey.  The results indicate that vote switching is affecting all parties – positively or negatively – but with a particularly negative impact on the Green Party and a strong positive impact on the Labour Party vote. 

  5. Groucho Marxist says:

    It sounds like a great plot for a political novel about a right royal flushing of the swamp.

  6. So Ashley is finally coming forward to tell us all about the cabinet minister he knew over 20years ago when he was a 10 yr old in the Hawkes Bay?

  7. Roy says:

    Come on you lot, it’s another one of Chris’s “another earth” scenarios – hypothetical slightly parallel universe. You get it, right?

  8. David says:

    Nice roadmap Chris

    Hope the right person gets to see it, certainly good food for thought.

    I think you may have meant her not him?

    Has there ever been a more corrupt NZ Govt?

  9. J S Bark J S Bark says:

    Tee, hee, hee!

    Verily hast thou upturned ye nest of hornets young master Christopher…

  10. WILD KATIPO says:

    … ” What seemed to stick in the craw of most voters, however, was the Government’s extraordinary hypocrisy. Through their various agents and mouthpieces, they had viciously denounced an Opposition politician who had admitted to committing a series of relatively minor transgressions in her youth. And yet, even as this Opposition politician was being hounded out of Parliament, the governing party was moving heaven and earth to prevent the much more serious transgressions of one of its own from reaching the ears of the public before polling-day ” …

    ———————————————-

    Matthew 18:23-34 — Unmerciful Servant

    ———————————————–

    “Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him. Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt.

    “The servant fell on his knees before him. ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything.’ The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go.

    “But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii. He grabbed him and began to choke him. ‘Pay back what you owe me!’ he demanded.

    “His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, ‘Be patient with me,and I will pay you back.’

    “But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. When the other servants saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed and went and told their master everything that had happened.

    “Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’

    In anger his master turned him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.

  11. Pete says:

    A few key clues there though.

  12. Paul says:

    Is this true or just a tease?

  13. mary_a says:

    One serial leaker comes to mind here … a Natz cabinet minister who is good at pulling up ladders after “they” have made good use of the system for “their” own personal benefit, but denying anyone else the same opportunity.

  14. Penny Bright says:


    Here’s an up-coming scandal!

    It involves Auckland (where elections are won or lost), it involves housing, the privatisation of State housing, and it goes straight to Bill English.

    In Tamaki-how much homelessness has been CAUSED by Bill English & his National Government?

    237 State houses removed -only 92 new ‘social’ houses built?‬

    There’s a LOT more to come …

    Penny Bright
    2017 Independent candidate for Tamaki.

    Exposing the $1.6 BILLION Tamaki ‘Regeneration’ – GENTRIFICATION $CAM.

  15. Penny Bright says:


    Here’s an up-coming scandal!

    It involves Auckland (where elections are won or lost), it involves housing, the privatisation of State housing, and it goes straight to Bill English.

    In Tamaki-how much homelessness has been CAUSED by Bill English & his National Government?

    237 State houses removed -only 92 new ‘social’ houses built?‬

    There’s a LOT more to come …

    Penny Bright
    2017 Independent candidate for Tamaki.

    Exposing the $1.6 BILLION Tamaki ‘Regeneration’ – GENTRIFICATION $CAM.

  16. Maria Sherwood says:

    Some of us know exactly hat Chris is talking about, Lawyers are trying hard to get around some laws,

    I suggest we watch this space

  17. CLEANGREEN says:

    Penny is a heroine.

  18. bert says:

    ” Mother of all Scandals” was Winston and the “Young woman in her youth” was Meteria.