From SpinOff sanctimony to Garner thuggery – the Salem Witch Trial weekend media pile-on against Jacinda

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It’s been a weekend of pack attack media feeding frenzy castigations of Jacinda. A mix of self righteous denouncement blended with claims of heresy and a side order of grim Presbyterian judgment. A bitter bile cocktail of Politics and Culture War that makes the Salem Witch Trials look like the very epitome of ethical jurisprudence.

You forget how ruthless the bear pit is in NZ until the shallow sanctimony that we love to drown whatever wretched thing has caught the gaze of the Press Gallery limps into the collective gun sights of the punditry class.

Everyone was at it over the weekend. Matthew Hooton went full conspiracy and was almost one frenzied tweet away from claiming Jacinda owned a pizza shop and was best friends with Jeffrey Epstein. I was expecting him to start tweeting #PizzaGate allegations.

Alison Mau was desperately trying to justify the brave new world her #MeTooNZ activism had ushered into being by explaining why Salem Witch Trial rules of evidence was actually a refreshing step forward towards a glorious age of Matriarchy.

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Andrea Vance asked herself a set of questions that only she knew the answers to in a column that should have been called ‘The sound of one hand clapping’. As Judge, Journalist and Executioner, Andrea concludes anyone questioning any aspect of the allegations are as bad as the rapists themselves which was a helpful reminder to never have Andrea picked for Jury service.

As the brave new world of allegation = guilt rolled on, Tracy Watkins at Stuff noted that Journalists were being sent pictures of any man connected to Labour who was now accused of being a rapist…

The ugly side of abuse scandals like the one engulfing Labour at the moment is the number of innocent people caught up as collateral damage.

Reporters have been sent photos of entirely blameless men with red circles drawn around their faces; falsely identified as being involved, solely due to their ties to Labour. The senders are 100 per cent wrong but that’s how people fill the void when all the facts aren’t public.

Then there was the rumour that swept Twitter on Friday about the totally expected departure of a senior and highly respected politico from a temporary stint at the Beehive; he had been sacked, fallen on his sword, the Twitter mob proclaimed before it morphed into something even more accusatory, that he was THE ONE.

Again, 100 per cent wrong. The truth was more mundane; he was filling in for a staffer who has now returned.

…yes #AllLabourMen. It’s almost as if ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ was never written.

The ZB Troll Farm was foaming. Hosking, Hawkesby, Soper and Heather Duplicitous were all in right wing heaven believing this allegation was now the promised land in destroying Jacinda. If you play all of them backwards you could hear subliminal messages like ‘Jacinda hates women’, ‘Jacinda hugs rapists’ and ‘All Tax is theft”.

Paula Bennett couldn’t hide her glee and while National didn’t release their report into sexism within the Party and avoided questions as to why they only used 4 female staff complaints against JLR when it became politically expedient to do so, Paula had no issues crawling through all that hypocrisy to take the moral high ground as the champion of these young people making the accusations.

For publishing raw allegations without any evidence of those allegations having taken place, the SpinOff reached levels of sanctimony that tends to at least require a church. Toby Manhire single handedly built a cathedral to his journalism and demanded everyone else worship at it. The cherry on the top of that shit cake would be some emotionally manipulative piece from militant mummy bloggers lamenting Jacinda had personally offended them too and stopped them lactating.

For the best tub thumper though, Duncan Garner’s rant has to top everyone else’s for it’s pure ‘Hooton Feminist’ audacity. If words were a mugging this column is effervescent thuggery, here’s a taste…

It’s simply too hard to accept she didn’t know it was an assault of a sexual nature. 

Her staff knew.

Her party knew.

Parliament knew. The media knew. 

Grant Robertson knew (but can’t say what).

Kelvin Davis heard a rumour in Māori. How helpful.

And even the woman selling the $3 coffees by the lift knew, although Kelvin wasn’t sure if she was talking about the assaults at Labour’s summer camp or this latest one. 

…at this stage Garner is less a journalist and more a Chinese Police Official convicting any Hong Kong protestor as guilty of Treason by hanging no matter where they were arrested.

What we are all missing here of course is the possibility that Labour’s investigation didn’t find enough evidence to sack the staff member who had been complained about. Sure the process has been mishandled, but Labour weren’t capable of handling an allegation of sexual assault this serious and they have been caught out in a post #MeToo cultural landscape that places allegation as the new evidential threshold and due process as white cis-male privilege.

Labour’s sins will be judged by the woke as worse than the indecent assault and the new game will be hunting any Labour MP who dares question the current post #MeToo articles of faith where the person making an allegation must be believed regardless of evidence.

While Labour’s internal processes look to have failed, I still refuse point blank to believe that Jacinda with this level of empathy…

Tears, cheers and chills at Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s Christchurch school visit

Ardern was in Christchurch to mark the six-month anniversary of the March 15 terror attack, where 51 people were killed and scores more injured. During the visit she announced an extra $8.6 million for Canterbury mental health services to deal with the ongoing impacts of the attack.

Canterbury had gone through some “really tough stuff”, Ardern told the children. Afterwards, pupils and teachers flocked around her for photographs. One girl, Charlotte Price, burst into tears.

“I noticed she was crying. I don’t know what triggered it. I thought, I’ll go and sit next to her. I hope I don’t make it worse,” Ardern said when asked later on Friday.

…would cover up or lie about a sexual assault.

There have been mistakes made here, we can all accept that, but to tarnish Jacinda’s reputation by claiming she knew or covered this up are nothing short of a vile character assassination.

The lesson here is that in the post #MeToo landscape, allegation is the only thing that matters and no one learned anything from Awanui Black. 

Peter Ellis died last week and we like to think that the age of hysterical allegations and rumour has passed us and that we would never become so quickly consumed by the furnace of accusation without objective evidence.

Media coverage over the weekend proved we are still as susceptible as ever to that lynch mob.

 

 

40 COMMENTS

    • Ada – adolescents can be quite impressionable and they are just as likely to copy their idols as to be devastated by them, hence the importance of having good role models.

      This group here may be better described as young men and women rather than as adolescents. They’d be unlikely to be referred to as ‘adolescents’ in legal proceedings. If you are referring to the hyperbole and emotional excesses of various journos as ‘adolescent’, you could be right, but they’d likely lose their jobs if they didn’t behave like labile teenagers.

      Most important thing now is that the young people are being listened to and given professional support. This includes the chappie allegedly at the centre, who PB may be getting fixated about, wanting to know his pay details and so on; Bennett may be a bit menopausal, but after Bill English – the man whose brain she loved – delivered our young men’s self-esteem such a brutal blow, the Nats really need to consider whether they too have a duty of care towards others.

      Please do not think that all people are flawed. There are some really good people in all sorts of places.

  1. I think you’re letting your personal relationship with Jacinda cloud your judgement here Martyn. Look at the evidence, it’s so completely implausible that Ardern did not know. Either way if she did or didn’t, she’s either incompetent or ignorant, is that really not an issue?. This whole saga seems to be more about protecting brand Jacinda and the party as a whole, rather than caring for the poor victim. How sad is that.

    • It’s the hypocrisy isn’t it.
      “Me too”, the “politics of kindness,” “relentless positivity”, “nuclear free moment”, “wellness budget” so aspirational!
      Just as sick and perverted as the blue team, but team red will tell you how right they are while punishing those that don’t think like them the whole time.
      It’s going to be an interesting election.

  2. We’ve been witnessing a mad feeding frenzy by NZ media vampires.
    Hopefully when they are fully gorged, the water will clear again.

  3. The mob has been out in full force. You have to wonder if something similar happened under Key if there would have been so much baying for blood. I very much doubt it. Whether it’s a media bias, or another form of bias I am not sure, but it’s real.

      • Too true Bert, too true.

        Now according to Honking and his mate hair fondler Key, what Key did was all jolly japes! Whereas on the other hand, Jacinda Ardern has to be accountable for all Labour Party mishaps, being wiped across the floor in the process by National msm mouthpieces!

        Jacinda Ardern has recently faced up and admitted Labour has handled this issue very poorly, failing both staff and volunteers! Now let’s wait and see what Honking does with that fact.

  4. It’s a display of activist journalism of the worst sort. These craven bootlickers of the elite love nothing better than punching down. They won’t question Soimon’s dodgy as hell visit to China to offer NZ for sale in exchange for a few beads and blankets

    • Yes. The current media mash-up is serving as a smokescreen for what should rightly be in all commentaries, if serious journalism existed in present day NZ, and that is Simon and the Nat’s developing policy on China, and in particular, the dismissal of concern for interference in our own local politics. And of course, the Big Donors, buying our politicians and policies …

  5. This is an ugly little country at times, and the fact that much of the world is way worse does not help at all.

    24/7 infusions of noise and information via wireless devices has seemingly affected many peoples ability to think straight, let alone pause and reflect, or triangulate sources and facts. Or, to operate on any other basis than spring loaded Fear and Loathing.

    The Nats support alleged assault complainants? I see, that will be why when last in Govt. they cut funding for Womens Refuge, Rape Crisis and canned Relationship Services at brutally short notice…

    Wellington is bristling with egotistical arseholes of all descriptions, but the difference is the Nats deny, lie, and deny, disappear them, and pay them off promptly once they have signed a non disclosure.

    Labour should finally realise this–people in Wellington, from juniors to Departmental leakers to SOE Executives, are out to get them–and act accordingly. Those complainants should have been put in a taxi and taken to the nearest Police station when they first came to Haworth’s attention.

    • “The Nats support alleged assault complainants? I see, that will be why when last in Govt. they cut funding for Womens Refuge, Rape Crisis and canned Relationship Services at brutally short notice…”

      Exactly! Under Paula’s watch, no less.

      Similarly, the housing crisis developed under the Nats govt, with Jude madly selling off State Housing at a fire-sale rate, yet nothing was said then. Now, it’s being called Labour’s housing problem with Jacinda being targeted. (As in, “If you see a homeless person, text Jacinda”.)

  6. Matyn said; quote;
    “It’s been a weekend of pack attack media feeding frenzy castigations of Jacinda.”
    un-quote;

    We say; – It’ll backfire on National as they went in excessively far too hard here.

    It all looks false, phony, exaggerated and smells of overkill.

    This often causes the opposite effect to occur where folks just ignore the incident as fiction.

    A wise man told me long ago that “it is wise not to over-gild the Lilly” to win the argument.

  7. Ha! Bloody funny Post.
    All Adern needs to do is take all that she knows about AO/NZ politics and polarise it. Reverse it. Hold a mirror up to it.
    Sweet little dribblers like winston peters would be shown as callous liars to a powerful hierarchy of cheap crooks hiding behind a wall of lawyers stacked sky high.
    She would see that our media, what ever the fuck that is, as a sickly, sugar sweet swamp of pap to distract the exhausted masses.
    She could show our cops as all bought and paid for by the aforementioned hierarchy of crooks who’ve bent our laws to suit themselves and now the poor bastard cops must interpret those laws regardless of their personal feelings. I know, because I’ve asked them.
    She’d see a tax system that’s more a form of highway robbery where the poor get hijacked and forced to pay the rich who can then buy ‘investment properties with their GST returns as deposits to put those recently robbed into them then the riche can, unfettered, jack up the rents. What do you say to that phil goff?
    Jacinda Adern asked ” Lets do this.” After nine loooooong years of mincing, flouncing psycho yankee doodle jonky-stien I voted for Adern because I believed what she asked of us. “Lets do this”.
    I took that to mean to change they way we’ve been treated. To reverse the trends of treason and treachery by a loud, vulgar, greedy cadre of fools as exemplified by the national party line up and return AO/NZ to a modern version of MJ Savage’s vision.
    But what the fuck Adern? What are you doing???
    Tax the fuck out of the uber riche then remove GST up to , say, a $20K threshold would be a start wouldn’t it? Then nail the property speculators to the ground with a hefty CGT. Fuck what that slimy little vampire you have hanging in treasuries closet says. What’s his name? You know? Fuck face from the dawn of neoliberalism? michael fucking cullen. Fuck him! And fuck grant robertson while the P’d up gorilla with the strap-on’s at it.
    Free health and dental too and how about some funky urban housing for the very poor and at risk. And on that note; people living rough don’t dream about mansions built by fucking fletchers, they dream about a door they can lock, a hot shower and a shitter that isn’t behind some shrub in public view.
    Wake the fuck up!?
    But then you are awake aren’t you. Wide awake. So what is it that holds you back and down… What’s going on in our parliament when our elected government can’t hold true to its promises to us? Who’s in the shadows?
    Tell us. Go on? Then we can get some focus so we can go out and fuck their shit up.

    • Yep Country boy,

      Most of what will happen is the corporate lobbyists/dog snuffers are at Jacinda’s door every single day you can bet.

      A joke to call them her “advisors” eh? Better she listens to Professor James Renwick then; – now for her generation’s r”Nuclear moment” before she needs to grow webbed feet as the sea rises to meet her one day.

      http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1909/S00208/ceac-support-james-renwick.htm

      SCOOP POLITICS

      CEAC support James Renwick
      Monday, 16 September 2019, 9:20 am
      Press Release: Citizens Environmental Advocacy Centre
      James Renwick claim that NZ is failing on climate change is valid, and since James has been receiving widespread media coverage that we outline most of it again here now as we gear up for the ‘Global climate change conference’ beginning next week.
      https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/ourchangingworld/audio/2018686219/we-need-to-talk-about-climate-change-says-science-prize-winner
      From Our Changing World, 9:07 pm on 14 March 2019 https://www.rnz.co.nz/audio/player?audio_id=2018686219
      “New Zealand is failing on climate change”
      Professor James Renwick is a prize winner professor in the School of Geography, Environment and Earth Sciences, Victoria University of Wellington.
      Said as a guest on Spinoff ;
      • “The Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ have released their latest report on New Zealand’s environment: Environment Aotearoa 2019. It’s great that government agencies are informing us so clearly about what’s happening, as this is a crucial step to taking action. And we sure need action.” –
      • We haven’t achieved much yet, but now is the time for action. Legislation changes and price signals to encourage electric vehicles, better (re-new-ably powered) public transport, more compact urban design”

      CEAC welcomes James Renwick commentary on the AM show (Newhub) today, James said importantly regarding our ‘increasing transport emissions’. needing urgent change action.
      https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/new-zealand/2019/09/duncan-garner-stop-climate-change-grandstanding-and-cut-emissions.html
      Even Duncan Garner gave his opinion on ‘NZ being to slow to make climate change policies’, in this presentation today on the AM show I which he had Professor Renwick as a guest who said ‘we need more use of rail’.

      https://thespinoff.co.nz/science/20-04-2019/new-zealand-is-failing-on-climate-change/
      Quote;
      “Despite all the evidence of climate change and environmental degradation, and the clear need to take action, we just aren’t taking action”, writes James Renwick;
      The Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ have released their latest report on New Zealand’s environment: Environment Aotearoa 2019. It’s great that government agencies are informing us so clearly about what’s happening, as this is a crucial step to taking action. And we sure need action.
      There is little in the way of good news in the report. Urban pollution, water quality, native ecosystems, land use, farming, fishing all have alarm bells ringing. Sitting over the top of these issues is climate change. The report notes that climate change “intensifies the effects of all other issues”. Whether it’s endangered native species, or even national security, climate change has long been known as a “threat multiplier”.
      We observe rising temperatures on land and in the oceans, melting glaciers, rising sea levels, and acidifying ocean waters. Those changes contribute to extreme weather events such as floods and droughts, they affect ecosystems across the country and in the seas around us, they make life easier for some pests, and even change the nature of the seasons.
      Despite all the evidence of climate change and environmental degradation, and the need to take action, it is clear we aren’t taking action. Per head of population, we are number six in the industrialised world in terms of greenhouse gas emissions. New Zealand gets no free pass with climate change and we have as much obligation as China or the US to reduce our emissions.
      Part of the problem is intensive agriculture, but another important part comes from the transport sector. We have the highest rate of car ownership in the OECD and those cars tend to be relatively old. Carbon dioxide emissions from transport have nearly doubled since 1990, and carbon dioxide is ultimately the biggest issue for climate change because it stays in the air for so long.
      We know we need to turn these trends around. We haven’t achieved much yet, but now is the time for action. Legislation changes and price signals to encourage electric vehicles, better (renewably powered) public transport, more compact urban design, diversification of the agriculture sector and a move away from intensive dairy farming, would all help take us in the right direction.
      The costs of doing nothing, or doing too little, will be infinitely higher than the costs of taking action now. If any country can become fossil fuel-free, surely it is New Zealand. Let’s make it clear to the government that we want our economy and society to move towards a totally renewable and zero-carbon future, starting right now. Let’s be the leaders on this, and help other countries do the same.”
      CEAC says ‘common sense must now prevail’;
      Just seeing the statistics Professor Renwick released today (quote) “Carbon dioxide emissions from transport have nearly doubled since 1990” coupled with more use of rail is a no-brainier for all of us to engage in using more rail and less road freight.

  8. An excellent analysis and critique Martin.
    Some testosterone charged twit makes what he thinks is a pass, over reaches his own faulty perception of ‘subtle seduction’ and its all Jacinda’s fault. FFS! The Sopers, Hoskings, Garners all nostalgic for their John Key sycophancies (via Latin from Greek sukophantēs ‘informer’, from sukon) start frothing at the mouth and to quote trump, probably ‘wherever’. The salivatory spittle on Paula’s lips was a sight to behold.
    They get strangely aroused. Bullying ..ho hum,but how they sparkle and start spurting when they hear the ‘s’ word.
    I hope the QC will do an analysis based of facts. But what do facts matter to todays shock dicks? Sorry I mean “journalists” (not).Oh Cameron, where are you when we need you for some objective lies.

  9. I imaging the posts you would write if the situation was reversed and this happened in the National Party. It is not surprising Jacinda is not aware of what is going on in her party as she is hardly ever here except for a few smiling photo shots . The wheels are falling off and Kelvin looks more lost than ever and the other ministers are all hiding from the press incase they forget which current lie they are running with.

  10. fyi, this is the O.D.T.’s take:

    Monday, 16 September 2019
    Serious questions about leadership

    Credibility and politics seldom go hand in hand, but Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern had seemed an exception to that cynical view.

    From her “relentless positivity” during the election campaign, to her rightly praised empathy and sympathetic oratory following the March 15 terror attack, Ms Ardern earned the high approval rankings she achieved in opinion polls.

    Much of that was squandered last week, as details of the Labour Party’s appalling mishandling of a complaint of alleged sexual assault played out.

    On Monday, The Spinoff published a feature in which the complainant set out in compelling detail what had happened to her and – most damningly for Labour – what had happened subsequent to her coming forward.

    Later that day, and many times since, Ms Ardern stressed that she had no idea until Monday that the complainant had claimed she was sexually assaulted.

    Taking the Prime Minister at her word, the reaction since has much to commend it.

    There was no doubting her anger, and Ms Ardern’s stern words led to swift action; both party president Nigel Haworth and the staff member accused of misconduct – who denies the allegations made against him – have since resigned.

    The problem for Ms Ardern is that few people, including many loyal supporters, are taking her at her word.

    Who knew what when has been much disputed, but one thing seems abundantly clear – Ms Ardern should have known every detail of the issue, right from the start.

    At the very least, this was an employment matter involving someone who worked in her office; at the very worst, it might have resulted in a complaint of alleged criminal behaviour.

    Labour, at the time already facing allegations of misconduct at its Labour Youth Summer Camp, should have recognised straight away the seriousness of the claims against the staff member.

    The internal inquiry Labour commenced was an inadequate response, but even if it had been an arms-length external inquiry, there is a difference between Ms Ardern being independent of a process and her not being sufficiently appraised of its progress.

    Even if Ms Ardern was not fully cognisant of the seriousness of the claims against her former staffer, many other people seemingly were.

    Early last month, the media began asking questions about possible claims of sexual harassment and assault, and National deputy leader Paula Bennett started asking questions in Parliament about whether “leadership and accountability starts at the top when dealing with allegations of sexual harassment and sexual assault”.

    By Wednesday, Ms Bennett’s increasingly pointed questions reached the stage where she named a range of Ms Ardern’s advisers and political colleagues Ms Bennett believed had been fully appraised of the true nature of the complaint some time ago.

    If this is so, it beggars belief that either Ms Ardern did not know, or that she was not told.

    If the former, this was surely a level of detail she should have asked further questions about – as an employer, as a party leader and as Prime Minister.

    If the latter, it is an egregious departure from the well-established “no surprises” policy that the Prime Minister’s office works under.

    Ms Ardern’s claim of ignorance until Monday’s revelations is now receiving intensive scrutiny. Even assuming no evidence to the contrary is found, the damage has already been done.

    Bad enough that the claim was made, bad enough that the response to the claim was bungled, but now heaped atop that are serious questions about Ms Ardern’s management and judgement.

    Those are questions Ms Ardern can ill afford to be asked a year out from an election, in which her personal popularity will be the most valuable asset Labour has.

    So far, at least four people have resigned from official Labour Party roles and cancelled their membership as a result of their dissatisfaction with how the woman’s complaint was handled. If loyalists are that incensed Labour should, rightly, be deeply concerned about how the general public views this.

    Labour and Ms Ardern will continue to face serious questions about their credibility; they must swiftly find tenable answers.

    • What a shame that the ODT could not be more objective when Key and his cronies were in office.

      They has the opportunity then to take Key and English too task but any government other than a National one just simply is unacceptable even when we still don’t know all the facts here.

      Of course the ODT is talking to its wealthy Queenstowners and considerable right wing rural rugby audience.

  11. Ardern deserves a black-eye over this. I will give her a pass over being involved in the investigation, or even following it. I imagine she would be more involved in policy and fronting the media about polls, business confidence and the Kiwibuild climbdown. Privately, she is raising an infant. Not an excuse, but a reality. She left the party business to others. However, once the story broke, and Paula Bennett was claiming to have the full story, Ardern needed to get involved. Did she forget about the Sroubek affair, and how it was being weaponised to show Ardern intervened for her mate Richie Hardcore? If a scandal can implicate Ardern, National is going to go there. Ardern and Labour needed to control the narrative on these allegations. Instead they sat passive and let the media and Bennett do the talking. Ardern looked naive and unprepared. To others she looked like a liar.

    But, if Ardern did go and look at the notes from the investigation, apparently there is no mention of the sexual assault as outlined in the Spinoff piece. There were no transcripts to see either. Were the accusations inadequately recorded or deliberately misrepresented? Is Haworth lying when he claims he was never aware of sexual assault being part of the allegations? If he was ignorant of the sexual assault then what could he have told Ardern? And if Robinson knew, as implied, then what the hell?

    Regardless, the media have been given a chance to have a go. They are taking it. Hasn’t been this amount of energy since the Jami-Lee Ross saga. And in the void that Labour’s near silence has created, everyone else get to fill in the blanks.

    • Someone ID’d as DX5 wrote: “Ardern deserves a black-eye over this.”

      Shades of Alan Jones, the Oz shock-jock who said, “I hope Scott Morrison gets tough here with a few backhanders”. That was his intro as he called for Morrison to be “fully briefed to shove a sock down her throat”.

      The steps taken to improve mental health in NZ have arrived not a moment too soon.

      • Alan Jones!…Yuck.

        While a black-eye can be the result of physical assault, it can also be used to mean a mark of shame, or damage to someone’s reputation. The last one is what I meant.

  12. “There have been mistakes made here, we can all accept that….”

    I don’t. Ever since I read that original article on The Spinoff, I’ve doubted that any of this narrative was plausible. The hysterical overreaction over the past few days has confirmed it for me. A fortiori, who on earth would believe that Paula Bennett of all people would be the go-to gal for anybody in the Labour Party with a genuine tale of woe? Right….

    As I’ve said elsewhere, I’m no fan of the current government, or of Ardern. In my view, she’s a show pony. That was my opinion when she first took over the leadership of Labour; I’ve seen nothing since to change my mind. Nevertheless, this story has all the hallmarks of another Dirty Politics caper, in the same vein as that which we witnessed prior to the 2014 election, and about which Nicky Hager wrote in his book.

    I don’t believe a word of it.

    I’d add that. as I understand the situation, the Labour summer camp allegations were taken to the police. There’s been a trial; the young man in question has been convicted and sentenced for some of what happened.

    If the event as detailed in The Spinoff had actually occurred – and precisely that account reported to the Labour Party – it constituted a serious criminal act, not a bit of drunken handsiness, as seems to have been the case at the summer camp. If Labour knew what to do with the summer camp incidents, with this latest allegation, it’d have gone to the police faster than you can say”charge sheet”.

    So: given the apparently uncritical acceptance by pundits of the veracity of the allegation, can we now expect charges to be laid? That’s what I’d assume. No? Does that mean that one fellow can have his reputation trashed, on the basis of such a claim, without having a chance to defend himself in court? And the Labour party’s credibility equally trashed, without there being any opportunity for it to defend itself? That doesn’t sound to me like justice.

    • @D’Esterre

      While I would not rush to the same conclusions as yourself, for want of a more complete picture, I do think that the Spinoff article is being taken as gospel. It is not unfair to scrutinise it.

      Read the article, assume it is true, and you can’t help but feel for the accuser.

      Read it again, in the way a defence lawyer might, and you would feel quietly confident of an acquittal.

      We have one, emotional, side of the story. No rebuttal, no context.

      • “Read it again, in the way a defence lawyer might, and you would feel quietly confident of an acquittal.” Exactly DXS. And with every good reason. And 9 times out of 10 he wold be right. Thats why the girl did not go through the humiliation. But when prompted by the party to do so she went to the party organisation. To give the party organisation the opportunity to address the issue of a predator operating in their midst as the party had publicly asked anyone in her position to do. For the sake of the party and others likely to heave similar experiences in the party rather than to get redress for her own experience.

        That’s my take on it anyway.
        D J S

      • DX5: “While I would not rush to the same conclusions as yourself…”

        I certainly didn’t rush to that conclusion; when the story first broke, I was inclined to believe that there was something to it. Women don’t make such complaints frivolously, right?

        Then I read The Spinoff article, and began to have doubts. It just doesn’t ring true. Add to that the testimony of the Labour panel members, plus the involvement of Paula Bennett and the hysterics of the msm (and sundry talking heads). Sum: a Dirty Politics narrative.

    • What facts Jay, Garners made up ones or yours! Where’s his proof, where’s Hosking proof where’s yours?
      Or put it this way, you probably believed everything Key or English said.
      The P.M. said she didn’t know, Key would say “I can’t recall” two very different FACTS.

  13. Thank you for mentioning the much maligned Peter Ellis. It is to the eternal shame of our legal system that Peter was never served Justice in his wrecked lifetime. RIP Peter.

  14. I’m more interested in the coalitions performance as a collective and as far as I can see its National all over again.

  15. I was sexually assaulted once. I was forced to don scanty cottons then run onto a wintry paddock and as a result of that I got kicked in the cock. That was the end of my rugby career and I’ve hated fucking rugby ever since.
    Who..?why..?What..? Y’know? Why do that to ourselves??? For a pointy ball and some shitty orange bits half way through the cold, violent living fucking nightmare? Jesus Christ!
    People who sexually grab/poke/probe/finger/fondle/fiddle others against the other’s wishes are a pitiable lot. What sad bastards they must be.
    But what about those whom make a living off reporting such ghastly behaviour? They buy their groceries from the proceeds of reporting such things and really? Do we really need to know who did what to whom for why so expertly, repeatedly and incessantly?
    No. Is the answer I get back.
    So why then?
    I think I can tell you.
    Because it diverts us away. Away. Away………..
    “Oooh ! Look over there? Someone’s got someone else by the privates! Oooh! “
    Never mind that our country’s being sold into the sex trade like a pretty young Uni student with debt to pay. Never mind that, that single female parent has to turn tricks in her bedroom to pay the fucking power bill! Neoliberalism has turned AO/NZ into a quasi-sexual assault machine. Gee, thanks milton friedman. How’s Hell? A bit warm and stuffy you cheap, shallow, narcissistic little fuck?
    We shouldn’t give garner or hoskings or any of those other pimped, preened, painted sociopathic narcissists any more attention than they don’t deserve. We should just fucking RIOT!
    But then? No one’d turn up because rugby and a beer around the barbi an’ that ’cause y’know an’ that…?

  16. A peripherally relevant comment, apropos the tendency of those in power to disbelieve, or at least gloss over, the sexual complaint of a young woman: Everyone with a TV who can get Netflix MUST watch the series “Unbelievable”. The work would qualify, I reckon, for the best TV ever written, and given extraordinary weight due to having been based on an actual case (from about 2008, so quite recent).
    Watch it, and you’ll see what I mean. Utterly brilliant, utterly absorbing, and utterly must-see.

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