The Marlbourgh Express doesn’t seem to know the first rule of politics. Explaining is losing.
They rushed out an article last night after they were shamed into covering the duplicity of John Leggett. They had had the same story for well over a week but did nothing with it, instead, they decided to focus on dirty politics and ignore the problems with the “world class” dodgy socialist theatre.
Let’s recap. A $15 million “world-class” theatre was built in Blenheim, supported by a council guarantee for a $5 million loan. The Theatre trust defaulted on the loan and it got called in, the ratepayers were on the hook for that. Now that the theatre is operating it is losing money faster than a bludger on dole day. There are many supporters of the theatre, including many on the current council including the current mayor and councillor John Leggett. Except behind closed doors these ratbags think that the theatre is a dog.
Which is why I have taken up the cudgel with which to beat these ratbags and the Marlborough Express.
Caught pants down they are in full reverse ferret mode….well sort of…their editorial attempts a ‘nothing to see here folks’ approach while dismissing the work of a brave whistle-blower. As the council sets about starting a witch hunt, the Mex is telling everyone to look the other way.
So, at the 11th hour, the council have a problem on their hands.
Just as voting papers for the October 8 local election go out, rumour and innuendo are sweeping Marlborough, giving voters little confidence when they need it the most.
The release on Friday of a recording taken on the sly during a public-excluded community and finance meeting in April raises more questions than answers.
Leaks are not anything out of the ordinary for journalists, but acting on them is not a given.
First, some basic questions need to be asked. Most importantly – is the source trusted? What is their agenda? Is what they have to leak in the public good? What purpose does it serve?
Did anyone at Fairfax or indeed the rest of the media do that for me when Nicky Hager fenced stolen material to sell a book? Not likely.
So ask those questions in relation to this particular recording. And then consider why the person (or persons) behind the recording and subsequent leak did not take it to their local media, instead choosing to release it via a blog long associated with dirty politics. You may also ask why the recording was released five months after the meeting took place, when the situation surrounding the theatre has clearly moved on.
Perhaps they were sick of information falling on the wilfully deaf ears of the Marlborough Express along with their wilfully blind outlook to anything the council or the theatre trust gets up to.
While Whale Oil uses the recording to discredit sitting councillor and mayoral hopeful John Leggett, also ask yourself, does it really? Or does it simply cast a very dark cloud over all council and mayoral hopefuls, leaving voters even more turned off than they already were.
The person (or group) behind the leak may never be found out but, regardless, one thing is clear – this style of politicking does not sit well with Marlburians and will do little to attract votes.
What really doesn’t sit well in Marlborough is a sycophantic media giving the Mayor and the Theatre people a reach around. I guess that is what comes from being the biggest and third biggest advertisers in a small town.
There is a lot at stake in this election – our water, our environment, industry in our beautiful Marlborough Sounds, employment, and our future – and it is these things we should be paying attention to when choosing who will represent us.
What we need and should appreciate is healthy and robust debate, as can be heard in the recording. What we do not need is gutter politics.
In regard to the topic of the recording – the theatre – can we please just get on with it.
Look…a flying pig!
Talk surrounding the theatre has dominated the political landscape for more than 10 years now. Finish the review, lay the financials bare, let whatever needs to happen happen, and if that means heads need to roll, then so be it. Just do whatever it takes for the people of this district to be able to move on and not have to listen to the constant mud-slinging, arguing, and back-stabbing that has surrounded this project.
Do we want the project to succeed? Does it need our support to succeed?
I’ll leave those questions with you.
Here’s one. Why did the Mex ignore such a story?
Here’s another. Why did Blenheim need a “world-class” theatre when they have just one McDonald’s, a Warehouse and a Farmers to show for their bustling metropolis?
And another. When will the Mex and the MDC stop shooting the messenger and actually start listening to their readers and ratepayers concerns?
If they can answer those three simple questions then the ratepayers and council staff wouldn’t need to seek to leak to me, would they?
– Marlborough Express