McCarten turns on Len Brown

Matt McCarten has turned on Len Brown:

I voted for Brown as mayor. Most Aucklanders did, too, but I suspect it was more because he wasn’t Banks.

Although most didn’t know much about Brown’s politics we knew enough about Banks to know we wouldn’t like his vision for Auckland.

Since Brown was elected he seems to have been doing a reasonable job, although his detractors and political enemies claim he’s a lightweight and easily intimidated by his officials and business leaders.

They scoff behind his back that he hates confrontation and is too ready to be a pleaser. That’s always a great weakness in a politician and may explain some of his recent behaviour.

Brown’s actions, or lack of them, over the port fiasco are perplexing.

His officials set an impossible 12 per cent return for his port’s directors.

When they ran into trouble I’m told the board offered the mayor their resignations. If true it was a master stroke. Because once he assured them of his support he was their puppet.

No experienced politician who knows what they stand for would have been manoeuvred like this.

With the biggest citizens’ revolt for 60 years about to erupt in his city, he is pathetically reduced to whimpering that he doesn’t have any real power. He looks weak.

Anyone can be a leader when the going is easy. Leaders are judged by how they respond in a crisis.

Our mayor built his career on the backs of the working class and the poor. He is now being tested whether he deserves their past loyalty or whether he was just another slick opportunist.

In the next few weeks the real character and calibre of our mayor will be revealed. All of Auckland is watching. His chances of re-election and his legacy teeters.


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.

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