What is Len Brown’s exit strategy?

There comes a point in every scandal where those surrounding the man in the middle have a choice to make:  Is he going to survive this?  Because only the truly stupid go down with the ship.

Once it is detected that the person’s reputation is beyond recovery, they are deserted, and politically speaking, are dead men walking.

In Len Brown’s case, he has lost his 2nd wife because of his serial cheating.  Anecdotaly, the rest of his family aren’t too fond of him either.  He no longer has a family to go home to.

That leaves the 24/7 Mayor with lots of time on his hands to actually do the job he was elected to do.

Which kind of sounds like he’s won, except he’s running out of friends at Council as well.  Not even paying for friends is working out.

The EY report is due shortly, and by looking at the people surrounding Len Brown, and the way they are reacting, I’m guessing not even EY are willing to sugarcoat the results.  There comes a point when everyone knows it is a lost cause, and it is better to be seen to be “thorough and independent”.  

The whitewash is back in the cupboard, waiting for another day.

Len the Lame Duck Mayor is finding he is welcome at fewer and fewer events.  Those he does attend, people surround him awkwardly, trying not to be rude, but counting the seconds to be able to get away.

Sniggering can be heard in the background as he enters rooms.

Len has burnt his closest advisers, now they re sick of the resulting blisters and skin grafts. Who wants to have “Adviser to Len Brown” on their CV now?

Incidentally, this would be a good time for politically astute and ambitious Councillors to take a public position.  You have only a few days left to make it look genuine instead of desperate.

Being a fence sitter has been seen as tacit approval in the face of clear, unequivocal breaches of the Code of Conduct.  The same Code of Conduct that any other Council employee is required to follow.  The Code, if not followed, that sees you without a job.

Being seen as a “Len Brown supporter” during the next local body elections will only have a negative effect on the results.

So for Len, where to from here?

He’s lost his best chance, which was to stand down immediately and go for re-election.

Instead, he did something young political aspirants should take a lesson from:  he didn’t tell his advisers the whole story.  The plan they went into battle with was insufficient for the multiple scandals that were on their way.

When your team go into the media making definitive statements that are demonstrably false, it is a clear indication the guy they are trying to protect is also lying to them.  Either directly, or by omission.  And spin weasels can’t save you unless they know the lot.

It’s time for Len to think of a quiet exit.   Perhaps health reasons would still be OK as the ambiguous euphemism allowing him to retain the little dignity that is left?

But I suspect, like a cornered animal, with fear and no options left, he’ll come out for his final fight.  It will be ugly.  He will deny, he will call it a witch hunt, he will do everything he can to blame others.

Len Brown really has made a mess of it all.  There truly is nowhere in his life right now where he can hide from the consequences of his out-of-control lifestyle.

What will his ego allow Len to do?  Is he going to quietly, or…

burn out

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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.