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LOCKING DISSIDENTS AWAY in mental institutions was arguably a more humane sanction than sending them off to the gulag. Even so, many of the stories that have emerged from the Soviet Union of the 1970s and 80s are just as chilling as Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s description of the camps. “Patients” subjected to chemical lobotomisation wandered the corridors of state asylums like ghosts. By no means all of the citizens detained were released, and those who made it out were much changed. For a start, they were no longer dissidents.

Learning that a New Zealand Member of Parliament had been detained under the Mental Health Act, it was hard not to think of those Soviet era victims. After all, the MP for Botany, Jamie-Lee Ross must be counted among the most destructive malcontents ever to occupy a seat in the NZ House of Representatives. His determination to punish the National Party and its leadership for (as he saw it) abandoning him, was threatening to dissolve all the protections so painstakingly erected by MPs to keep themselves safe from each other’s spite. Prior to Ross’s detention, the party was looking at weeks, perhaps months, of drip-fed excoriation. Who knew how much undiluted political acid Jamie-Lee had in his possession?

Who has that acid now? Who is in possession of Ross’ property? His family? The unnamed mental health facility detaining him? The Police? The National Party? What, if any, obligation are those holding Ross’s phone, his laptop, his hard-copy files, under to keep them safe from prying eyes? What, if anything, has been happening at Ross’s home and/or his parliamentary and electorate offices in the time that has elapsed since he was taken into state custody? Has anyone come calling? If so, who was it – and what were they after?

The public has a right to know the answers to these questions. That would not be the case if Ross was just another citizen, but he is much more than that. Ross is someone who has promised to expose what he alleges to be the corruption and moral failings of at least some of this country’s leading parliamentarians. When a person promising revelations of this kind is suddenly uplifted and immured in a secure mental health facility, the public has a right to know on whose authority it was done; how it was accomplished – and to what purpose?

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In particular, the public has a right to know what part, if any, the most obvious beneficiary of Ross’s extraction from the political environment, the NZ National Party, played in his detention.

There has been some comment to the effect that National has a duty of care to Ross. Such a claim presupposes that, in its dealings with Ross, National stands in a relationship akin to that of an employer. Such a presupposition is hard to reconcile with the fact that all political parties are voluntary organisations, whose members are free to remain with them, or leave, as they see fit. Having announced his resignation from the National Party on Tuesday, 16 October, Ross had clearly exercised his right to exit the organisation. Whatever relationship existed between Ross and National ended then. So, why, five days later, was the National Party giving out the very strong impression that it had, in some way, been involved in his detention under the Mental Health Act?

Moreover, if some nebulous duty of care towards Ross remained on National’s part, then why was the party so aggressive in its response to his actions. If its MPs were convinced that their former colleague was mentally unwell (something which the National Opposition’s spokespeople had strongly insinuated in a number of public statements) then why did they feel it necessary to so dramatically increase the stress he was under?

On his Whaleoil blog, Cameron Slater states that it fell to him and at least one other person to inform Ross’s wife of her husband’s fate. This information is deeply disturbing: suggesting, as it does, that at least one of Ross’ next-of-kin was not told of his situation, or even his whereabouts, by the authorities responsible for his detention. If confirmed, it raises serious questions about the legality of the entire process.

This is why the public deserves a full explanation of the Who? What? When? Where? Why? and How? of Jamie-Lee Ross’s detention. There may be a completely acceptable reason for the MP for Botany being taken into custody; and those responsible may have been acting in strict accordance with the provisions of the Mental Health Act; but given the extraordinary circumstances in which Ross and his antagonists were enmeshed, and the very high stakes for which they were playing, the people of New Zealand need to hear it – all of it.

The old Soviet joke had it that the Russians must enjoy the best mental health in the world, because only an insane citizen would complain about living under Communist rule – and so few did. It’s the sort of black humour that dictatorships have long been famous for. Let’s hope that New Zealanders never learn to laugh, however sardonically, at their own loss of freedom.

50 COMMENTS

  1. I gather (from The Mental Health Care Act itself) it is impossible in NZ to forcibly put someone into psychiatric care without said person’s permission unless they pose a danger to themselves or others. So presumably this whole talk of “detaining” JLR is more than likely 100% fake news.
    http://www.cab.org.nz/vat/hw/leg/Pages/MentalHealthAct.aspx#1
    “If the person is unwilling to get help and you believe they are at serious risk of hurting themselves or others, you might consider applying to have their mental health assessed even without their consent.”
    JLR does not really fit that description.

  2. Fully agree, I am deeply concerned at what would appear to be a whistleblower being compulsory admitted to a mental institution.
    The WHO,WHERE and WHAT questions need to be answered,on who’s authority was was Ross uplifted, it doesn’t look or sound right to me.

  3. This is a very real concern. Who indeed now holds all the information he had. I am astonished about him being section your mental health has to be very serious for this to happen.

  4. Well I read somewhere last night that he was with Cameron S late on Saturday night when Cameron became so concerned that he rang Jami’s wife (recently estranged following Bennet’s revelations about Jami’s affairs) who in turn rang the police. Quite possibly feeling in that moment that it couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.
    It all stinks to high heaven .
    D J S

  5. Yeah.

    This whole scenario could well be entirely benign, and JLR has been whisked away for a gentle chat with a man in a tweed jacket, prior to being released back into the wild.

    Or the National Party could have moved heaven and earth in an attempt to mitigate the very real damage JLR was doing to their long nurtured charade of being a party of ethics, morals, national pride and an organisation wholly free of even the vaguest sniff of corruption.

    Given their track record… which is more likely?

  6. Yes the lack of information is very unsettling, there seemed to be a felling of ‘circling of the wagons’ towards the end of last week from the beehive and the press.
    There seemed to me (last week) so little weight put into the actual content of his releases, most political/media focus seemed to be on discrediting him…and as most people have at least one skeleton in the closet, I guess they were all acting in their own perceived self preservation, people can and will do extraordinary things under those circumstances.

  7. Thank you Chris.The public have a right to the answers to these questions.This is after all about the corrupt practices of the National Party both when they held the treasury benches and now they are in opposition. While JLR was clearly in a highly stressed state he had also had a crisis of faith /conscience which brought all of this drama to the fore. National are scum always have been always will be. We need new legislation governing the funding of our political parties now. The FTA with China needs to be put on hold and Prof Brady needs to be a government consultant on ALL policy regarding China.Labour as as much under the thumb of the PRC as any other NZ party.

    • Professor Brady is a national treasure who deserves our utmost attention. She’ll be ignored of course, and the Chinese Communist Party’s calculated long-term programme to extend its political influence over New Zealand will continue totally unhindered.

  8. “…why did they feel it necessary to so dramatically increase the stress he was under?” Precisely.This was ugly,cruel, sinister, and it left me gobsmacked – it stank of news reports from authoritarian regimes.

    It was obvious mid-week that Ross was carrying a heavy mental load. If Bridges and Bennett think that their belated mock concern for Jami -Lee
    Ross fooled the public into thinking that they were concerned about him, then they are a lot dumber than they think we are.

    At week’s end, when Ross had quit National, National no longer had the standing to be making caring-employer type comments about him.

    If the National Party and/or its agents, played no role in Mr Ross’s being hospitalised, then they need to state this publicly, right now.

  9. Fantastic Post @ CT.
    None of [this] surprises me. And that’s because I’m as brilliant as I am handsome. Just as well, then, that those obvious perfections are off-set by my modesty and my shy and retiring disposition.
    The other reasons are equally obvious, one would have thought.
    NZ/AO = Rich country on all levels. Hugely fertile land, bountiful fresh water supplies, well established agrarian food production capabilities, the product of which are exported globally and renown for its highest quality. A massive and protected coast line teeming with fishes. We have stunning beaches, mountains and forests the envy of an over populated planet rapidly running out of basic resources and soon to be worsened by global warming. Our canned air, I’m not joking , is available to buy at some airports, our roads and rail were exemplary of a country functioned like a Rolex watch as our society blossomed into a world first example of a true, modern civilisation. With the advent of women being the first women in the world able to cast an equal vote we led the way there also. We had a forty hour working week written into our mandate, we had free education, free health care etc etc.
    NZ/AO exploded onto the world stage like the hottest imaginable Cinderella in a mini skirt and high heels bursting into the ball room crowded by the dull and unlovely and innocently glowing with rude young health with an easy laugh and rich as fuck to boot. Who’s eyes followed her about as she mingled easily with the wolves and rats? No disrespect to the etc’s. )
    And now?
    Well, I can, of an evening, walk past people destitute in the gutters of our largest cities as others drive past them in Lamborghini’s. Bankers, like fay and richwhite fly here and there in private helicopters after their sharp deals done re OUR BNZ with OUR tax money. As the general manager of a department store argued with the AC council because he was only allowed a few flights in and out of his sea side helipad and not whenever he wanted, like that other fellow just down the shoreline in Herne Bay. Life’s tough for some, huh?
    Example only for the eye rollers amongst you.
    I grew up through an era when second and third generation farmers were shooting themselves or hanging themselves because, suddenly, they couldn’t afford their mortgage payments and sundry other costs like rates etc because producer boards were playing high finance with farmer made goods to increase returns that farmers themselves never actually saw.
    But I digress.
    Ok. Huge, rich country.
    Tiny population.
    Broke as.
    Everything to hide.
    Where’s Mr National Party MP JLR who threatens to expose corruption?
    A Royal Commission of Inquiry into NZ/AO’s finances spanning the last 100 years please?
    Ever seen a movie where the violently murdered body is quietly pushed into a calm pond? It floats off as it slowly sinks… Then a few bubbles…. Calm returns to the pond.
    Is that a metaphor for NZ/AO. It’ll be quietly plundered to death. We, as a people will be displaced, removed and forgotten with barely a ripple.
    Nothing to see here.
    “ Sir? Your helicopter’s ready to leave when you are. “

  10. Jami-Lee Ross has been living in his Botany office. His wife had kicked him out. She knew about his affair with Ms Dowie a lot earlier than this week. Mark Mitchell was sent to sort him out at the Botany Office on Saturday, and he was the one who called police. He is a sworn officer so he knows what to do. He was also the person who tried to speak with Ross earlier in the week.

    • great comment so it was national who used there connection with the police that needs investigating on its own

    • Excellent bit of insider knowledge and if this is true I hope dot.com’s lawyers, whom he has offered to JLR lawsuit the hell out of the whole rotton lot, starting with Mitchell for inciting what may have become a psychotic episode. The Nat’s are scary evil jackbooters, and JLR sure has managed to get all my sympathy.

  11. Excellent post Chris. Thanks.

    From what I heard and saw of Jami-Lee Ross last week, he came across as being quite rational and coherent, to the point IMO that he was feeling confident in his quest of exposing Natz corruption. He certainly didn’t give the impression of being unstable at all.

    Then Thurs/Fri he dared mention he had texts between himself and John Key! Out of the blue only a day or two later, next we hear JLR has been sectioned to the mental health facility at Middlemore Hospital Sat/Sun of Labour weekend!

    Again IMO, I’m sure Natz knows more than it’s letting on about these dark circumstances surrounding Ross. Given Ross’s prominent position in politics as a constituency MP, the truth has to be told.

  12. Jami-Lee Ross has been living in his Botany Electorate office. Ms Schwaner knew all about the Sarah Dowie affair well before last week. Mark Mitchell is the National MP who went to sort him out, he is a sworn police officer and he called the police.

  13. Great post of course, CT, eloquent as could be and rather unsettling!!!!

    Because now it seems now that we are all similarly surprised that the “key witness” to open the “pandora’s box” of National Party’s “dirty politics box of ammunition” aimed at any party who stands in their way to subvert our political system in NZ.

    QUOTE; Chris Trotter; – “Prior to Ross’s detention, the party was looking at weeks, perhaps months, of drip-fed excoriation. Who knew how much undiluted political acid Jamie-Lee had in his possession?

    Who has that acid now? Who is in possession of Ross’ property? His family? The unnamed mental health facility detaining him? The Police? The National Party? What, if any, obligation are those holding Ross’s phone, his laptop, his hard-copy files, under to keep them safe from prying eyes? What, if anything, has been happening at Ross’s home and/or his parliamentary and electorate offices in the time that has elapsed since he was taken into state custody? Has anyone come calling? If so, who was it – and what were they after?

    The public has a right to know the answers to these questions. That would not be the case if Ross was just another citizen, but he is much more than that. Ross is someone who has promised to expose what he alleges to be the corruption and moral failings of at least some of this country’s leading parliamentarians. When a person promising revelations of this kind is suddenly uplifted and immured in a secure mental health facility, the public has a right to know on whose authority it was done; how it was accomplished – and to what purpose?”

    So CT; – it looks as who the National Party has snatched all the damning evidence in Jami Lee Ross’s hard drives now against them all now doesn’t it?

    So this is very disturbing to me.

  14. I hope this doesn’t imply that Mark Mitchell was involved in getting Jami-Lee Ross put away just because Mitchell has the police contacts, and he made his money in a troublesome arena in the middle of an utterly terrible human tragedy, and when he speaks his mouth doesn’t seem to me to move very much, which a speech therapist once told me is psychological, although I suppose it could be botox, and Mitchell is one of the boys subjected to Simon Lusk’s training methodologies which may make Crosby/Textor look like kindergarten teachers and could really mess up people’s heads.

    Add the big business lobbyists and sooner or later systems and people implode, while short rats who quit the sinking ship collect their knighthoods (Ha ha. Ha.) and believe they are ubermensch – evidenced by appearing in some or other glossy woman’s mag. Good they’re gone.

    • The blue boys in police uniforms are very friendly with the blue boys from National. I witnessed this at public meetings that Nat MPs and candidates held over year, you could witness the very ‘warm’ atmosphere between the cops that were present and the Nat politicians.

      Watch the cops at Labour or other meetings, the atmosphere is often not quite as ‘warm’, and friendly, very noticeable.

      So nothing would surprise me, with Mark Mitchell and so forth having excellent connections to ‘the force’.

      Gulag Aotearoa has ARRIVED!

  15. I wonder if ex-senior police officer and current National Party fixer and cleaner, Glenda Hughes, is involved in some way?

    • As far as I know Glenda Hughes is pretty good and pretty smart, certainly a cut or two above the National female MP’s, and the ladies around the party hierachy.

      She’s a successful sportswoman, and that requires a self discipline and mental strength conspicuously absent from last week’s – and from most weeks’- Nat spokespersons. Hope I’m right.

      • I’m not questioning her aptitude or intelligence. I just think she sounds like the perfect operator to help spirit Jami-Lee off to a mental health facility in order to keep him quiet while the political storm blows over.

        No-one seems to deny she was responsible for cleaning the Todd Barclay mess or that she’s the National Party’s go-to person in a crisis.

  16. Quoted from above:
    “The public has a right to know the answers to these questions. That would not be the case if Ross was just another citizen, but he is much more than that. Ross is someone who has promised to expose what he alleges to be the corruption and moral failings of at least some of this country’s leading parliamentarians. When a person promising revelations of this kind is suddenly uplifted and immured in a secure mental health facility, the public has a right to know on whose authority it was done; how it was accomplished – and to what purpose?”

    Indeed, Chris, indeed, we deserve answers.

    If that is correct, that Jami-Lee Ross’ wife was not even informed, then this raises extremely important questions!

    While the mostly blissfully ignorant majority continue to go about with their business as usual, have no interest in ‘politics’ and its players, and while most worry only about their own jobs, careers, homes, kids, holiday plans and new acquisitions (the ‘middle class’), and while the rest are busy with bare survival (the underclass), NZ Inc is a slumbering place where any existing deep state can do as it pleases, given the environment just mentioned.

    Could it be true, could our worst fears be proved, that the Blue Dragons within National, or at least the vested interest holding business companies and state organisations, and their lackey political operators, have decided to shut one man up, who posed a massive threat to them, as he was about to reveal more of actual corruption and overseas influence here?

    It is a myth that this country is so clean, green and ‘least corrupt’, when compared with the rest of the world, the truth is more, what others in other places may call corruption, goes on here, dressed up as something quite legal, done by ‘mates’ in small circles, and by old boys and old girls networks, well linked to power brokers overseas, in USA, China, Australia and elsewhere.

    Better keep it all quiet, as most will NOT notice much, the vocal ones may ask questions, but they tend to get singled out and isolated, same as Nicky Hager, who has turned rather quiet as of more recent times, I wonder why?

    Hence most will consider the few ‘concerned’ lone voices out there, mere ‘conspiracy believers’, not worth to take note of. We may not be Saudi Arabia or Russia or the Congo, but we are good at pretending to be a country of blessed, pure ‘angels’, who are perhaps mostly rather dancing with the fairies, than be enlightened and truly vocal and forceful.

  17. THE LUNATICS ARE RUNNING THE ASYLUM .

    1. At all costs keep him out of parliament this week .Find a way.

    2.Lock him up and fill him full of drugs and hide away from the media.

    3.Get all his devices and hard drives.

    4. Wait till he calms down and give him a couple of million, to get lost and piss off quietly .Nothing to see here .

    It appears JLR is less a danger to himself ,than he is a danger to Nationals entire front bench and the overall integrity of the National Party .

    I too strongly believe ,if there is further corruption in National the country should have the right to hear it .

    For National to orchestrate what can only be described as a preemptive ” hit job ” only deepens my suspicions to the seriousness of what they are continuing to hide .

    If he was in Turkey he would be in small pieces by now.

    Let the man speak .

  18. Well then if Mark Mitchell is a ‘sworn police officer’ and is put as the next National party leader then we do have a police state coming our way if national get away with using this ‘black ops’ member of that party to silence any member of Parliament then we are truly now worried.

    Where is the Minister of Police Hon’ Stuart Nash on this misuse of a ‘sworn ex policeman’ for purely political purposes here now?

  19. So JLR had Mark Mitchell commit him. That’s difficult because it adds credibility (well not in my eyes but you know what I mean).

    Poor bugger

    • So Jamie Lee Ross couldn’t handle the jandle and got fired in the most tragic way. I mean you meet up for a beer with old work mates. Not have them fucking committed. That’s just fucked.

      • Yep, but there are also privacy issues involved here, as well as all sorts of cop connections – Judith Collins’s husband is a former police officer too, so all in all the Nats look well copped, while in the mix is the influence of Judith’s friend Slater, and Simon Lusk who has helped x number of them get into Parliament, and not by playing happy families.

        • What privacy? The psych doctor has been keeping Bridges and benefit informed. Umm, so, yeah. They’re just amazingly arrogant really.

  20. According to RNZ news this evening, JLR has been discharged from hospital today and is in the care of a friend … and is not in Auckland at present. I wish him well.

    Two days after being sectioned, he is discharged! Obviously JLR is not a threat to himself or other people then.

  21. Excellent writing and so what will happen next…unbelievable that the Nat’s are so evil that they weaponised JLR’s mental health and used the old lock him up strategy to shut him up…its so blatant they won’t get away with it…or will they…by the way good joke at the end but does that not rather counter your support of Communist Russia by calling it a dictatorship and saying you would have to be insane yo open your mouth to complain? Hohoho

    • Was never a supporter of the Leninist/Stalinist dictatorship, Lone Planet. I would have joined the revolution against the Czar, and supported Lenin’s call for “Peace, Bread. Land” but would not have endorsed the Bolshevik coup d’etat of October 1917. Had I been around in Petrograd at that time I would have argued that the just-elected Constituent Assembly should assume the sovereignty of Russia, draft the new republic’s constitution, and then organise free and fair elections to fill the new organs of national and local government. But, that’s an old-fashioned social democrat for you: boring, boring, boring. (Still, at least we don’t order the execution of millions of innocent people.)

      • Well, thank you for your reply and good to know where you stand on that matter. Certainly agree with you and what you would do should you had the opportunity were you there back then and in the position to decide matters. Apology for wrong thinking your position but have to disagree that admitting to being an old-fashioned social Democrats is boring, it is not in fact and unfortunately in this world rather it would be more accurate to describe such as a rare and exotic beast.

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