Paul “Weiner” Findlay resigned, but Q-Topia not convincead “real story” is out there

paul_findlay_N2Last Friday Whaleoil broke the story about aspiring local body politician Paul Findlay who had the misfortune of messaging his explicit photos to a 15 year old, thus becoming New Zealand’s first public ‘sexting’ case.

There has been some spin that this was a case of entrapment, but as I clarified to several media outlets on the day, that wasn’t the case.   It was simply a matter of being contacted by someone known to both the 15 year old and myself.  That isn’t odd.  I know a lot of people.

Paul resigned from The People’s Choice ticket running for the local community board and also resigned from a youth group called Q-Topia. [Paul is still electable as an independent it appears]

Q-Topia are a support group for non-heterosexual people (quicker to summarise that way), and you would expect them to disassociate themselves from Paul’s activities faster than you can say “where there is smoke there is fire”.

On the surface, Paul Findlay’s resignation did just that.

I’ve been kind of proud of the media with this particular story in the sense that none of the reports that I saw, read or heard made Paul’s sexuality a key platform of how the story was framed.

His homosexuality should be irrelevant to the story.  And it was.

I expected the Queer community distance itself from Paul.  There really isn’t any scenario where continuing a sexual conversation with explicit photos after you’re made aware that the other party is possibly not a legal adult is acceptable.   You’re 15?  *click*  

Neil Hellewell, who remains a spokesperson on the Q-Topia board, has framed the whole event as entrapment.  As if this somehow mitigates the situation if it were true.

As an isolated thought, that is a fair question.

What concerns me is Hellewell’s continued defence of Paul, this time on Facebook two days after the news broke and all the information was well publicised.

Paul Findlay FBOOK

I would expect most people to be disappointed with Paul.

The thing is, most of the LGBT community isn’t disappointed, they are disgusted

It’s extraordinary that they are basically defending Findlay and his tenure with the Board,  but of course all that is insignificant when it is now [alleged] that he was grooming minors for sex, especially when he was a senior member of a youth GLBT support group.

Q-Topia receives govt and public funds.

Hellewell’s defense of Findlay is bizarre and cringe-worthy.   One would have though he would has distanced himself and the Board from the matter, saying they have zero-tolerance for such things.

In the USA it is a crime for soliciting and sexually engaging online with a minor, regardless of meeting.

I think it is admirable to support your mates during their darkest days.  There is no need to throw Paul under the bus.  He needs help and support from people that care for him.

But as leaders of a GLBT youth group, your actions represent the organisation.

I’m not comfortable with the idea of Q-Topia continuing to receive tax payer support while being led by people that find sending explicit messages and photos to minors an issue that can be defended under any circumstances.

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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.