Inside the Town Hall Bunker – The spin doctors fight

All is not well in the Mayor’s office.

As I’ve highlighted for months there has been a division within Len Brown’s office – between his closest political staffers.

For some time it had been Phil Wilson and Glyn Jones vs James Bews-Hair & Conor Roberts. Roberts had had enough so went off to Telecom via Todd property.

Throughout that time David Lewis was contracted to Len for various spin duties (while having limited other clients). Lewis chose to mostly keep out of the inner office workings mostly because he didn’t exactly get excited about the somewhat ‘provincial’ and ‘amateurish’ way Wilson ran the office and any conflict within it.

Then along came the sex scandal that engulfed the office and Lewis, being a fixer and spin doctor of phenomenal pedigree, was thrust into the workings of Len’s office.

It really is no surprise that a man who believes a spin doctor is never the story, always the client, would now be using a puff piece on himself to create some distance from Len.

Word has it that Lewis and Bews-Hair agreed with one appropriate way to manage the Len ‘situation’ while Wilson and Jones had another. 

The text issue a whole other story.

So, if we were to look at Team Lewis vs Team Wilson what would we find?

Team Lewis – including of course David Lewis, former Chief Press Secrtary to Prime Minister Helen Clark, responsible for dealing with and understanding where the bodies were in her government – and little stuck to Aunty Helen Bews-Hair – former SPS to Phil Goff (including boss to David Shearer), a rat cunning bastard as head spin doctor for Sky City where he stitched up multiple people for the good of his employers, Conor Roberts – Campaign Manager extraordinaire, young protege of Lewis and Bews-Hair. Left before he was fully fledged but who can blame him?

Team Wilson Phil Wilson – struggles with conflict especially with those with greater experience or intellect, has Len’s loyalty on his side having been with him since the dark days of Manukau Council and spending rorts. The statement from Penny Webster well and truly outs Wilson as the idiot who spouted Mitchell’s name… Not exactly smart is it? Then there is Glyn Jones. Word has it that Phil and Glyn opposed more intense questioning of Brown in order to gain more knowledge about the scandal/s enveloping the mayor’s office.

Then there is Dan Lambert, a consummate professional who is recent addition to the office who has taken step back from the internal office politics to focus on the media relationship…and boy is he busy right now.

Ultimately though we are watching the mayor’s office is split apart. When PR spin doctors who prefer to lurk in the shadows come out into the sunlight as David Lewis has, then it is only a matter of time before the inevitable occurs.

Make no mistake…David Lewis came out because he is putting daylight between him and the other drop kicks…and he put miles of distance…setting himself up to claim he was lied to.

This week promises to be very interesting.

There are really only 3 possible names for the mystery texter who caused all this scandal to occur…we know it wasn’t Bews-Hair, though I expect Wilson will leak the opposite to media, David Lewis has denied it was him…leaving the remaining three…tick tock…only time now. One of those three can hear the bus approaching.

As left wing UK blogger Charlie says:

However, it is a sad reflection of our politics today that the self-styled political masters of the universe are often those outside of the main arena. Since the Blair/New Labour era, our political spin doctors have often become the story, instead of quietly shaping the story. The spin doctors are no longer prescribing the communication medicine, they are causing the illness to spread.

The same applies to NZ politics.


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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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