Sick of Aaron Gilmore? How do you think he is feeling?

If there is one person in the country that would like to be someone else today, it would have to be Aaron Gilmore.  I suspect he’s gotten very little sleep, unless he leaned on his friend Dionysus for support.

And to be honest, apart from upsetting all of your colleagues, the Prime Minister and the party  leader, you really don’t want to make an enemy out of Batman.

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Thanks to Andrea Vance, here’s a handy timeline of events.  It feels much longer than a week already, don’t you think?

MAY 1

Aaron Gilmore told Fairfax Media restaurant staff had unfairly blamed him for the behaviour of the whole group at the Hanmer Springs hotel.

He said he had apologised to hotel staff after two members of the dining party became “grossly intoxicated”. He was “not aware” of being rude or making the comments “Don’t you know who I am? I’m an important politician” or calling the waiter a dickhead.

“I can’t be 100 per cent sure of everything I say after having a bottle and a half of wine, but I think someone has misinterpreted what was said.”

MAY 2

“As a group of diners our behaviour was at times boisterous, and I sincerely apologise for any offence this may have caused to staff and/or patrons.” Written statement from Gilmore.

“He threatened to have the prime minister’s office intervene and end the waiter’s employment … His business card was presented to verify his identity. This was extremely embarrassing.” Christchurch lawyer Andrew Riches.

“Any suggestion that a member of Parliament has sought to use the influence of the prime minister’s office inappropriately is a serious matter.” Statement from Prime Minister John Key.

MAY 3

“I wish to offer my wholehearted apology for my comments given to a barman following a recent private dinner. They were inappropriate.” Gilmore on Facebook.

“If there’s a formal complaint made, and it’s clear he’s misled my office, then that would be a very serious issue.” Key.

MAY 7

“I gave him [the barman] my card. He asked ‘who are you?’. I said ‘I’m a member of Parliament … He then said ‘do you know the Prime Minister?’. My response was ‘yes, I work for him’.

“I don’t believe I was drunk at that stage … I’m not 100 per cent certain whether I used the word dickhead or dick … There was no involvement of the Prime Minister’s office.” Gilmore at media conference.

Texts between Riches and Gilmore, dated May 2, are circulated within the National Party. Riches said: “I didn’t write that note because we were boisterous, I wrote it because you told the guy he was being fired, said the PM would be involved and I didn’t want the poor guy to worry about his job.”

Gilmore does not dispute Riches’ recollection of events, texting back: “I know. They are trying to make it seem bigger than that. It’s b……. I’ve taken the blame and apologised. Just say nothing.”

MAY 8

“I’m not even sure those texts are correct … I’m not convinced that those are the text messages that were sent.” Gilmore to journalists.

“I find them [the texts] difficult to reconcile with the version of events that Mr Gilmore gave my office … I said at the time if I found it difficult to reconcile those events I’ll treat this as a serious matter.” Key.

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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.  And 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 that takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

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

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