Claire Trevett quotes me on a wide ranging article about the Ross saga

There have been a lot of commenters who have come onboard in recent days accusing me of supporting Jami-Lee Ross. I challenge them to find a single instance of that.

I have been very careful to deal with the politics of the situation and to look through the glib attempts by media to frame this story and look behind.

I have given many interviews and some are now being quoted. I had a long discussion with Claire Trevett at the NZ Herald and she has quoted me. It might bear reading from some commenters before accusing me of taking a position: Quote:

Ross was close to strategist Simon Lusk and Whaleoil blogger Cam Slater, both of whom became dynamite in National circles after Nicky Hager’s 2014 Dirty Politics book exposed the bare-knuckle campaign tactics they deployed.

That included running negative attacks on rivals, even in selection contests where those rivals were in the same party.

Lusk was Ross’ campaign advisor for the Botany by-election and Ross has confirmed he has been in touch with Lusk over the past week – although one source told the Herald Ross was not following Lusk’s advice.

Slater said though he still considered Ross a friend, they had not had much to do with each other since Dirty Politics.

He had been in touch over the past week, saying he had his own battles with depression and was worried about Ross’ mental health.

He was not backing what Ross was doing and said Bridges should have acted sooner. “I haven’t been supportive of Jami-Lee on my blog. He’s to my mind a duplicitous leaker.

He said Ross’ political career was now over. End quote.

I still stand by those statements. I have been in contact with Jami-lee Ross, but that is to help him as a friend. I have plenty of reasons to have turned my back on him, as he did on me, after Dirty Politics and the malign influence of Bill English and John Key on him. I certainly opposed him directly on his appalling behaviour towards Katrina Bungard. I was also the one who told him he had to apologise for that behaviour. I cannot and will not sit back and watch someone self-destruct. We both have a mutual friend who I consider to be one of the wisest people I know. My mother was the wisest but she is no longer with us, and I consider this man to be like a second father to me. We are both working hard to support Jami-Lee Ross as friends.

Notwithstanding that, Ross has highlighted things that I have been saying about National for a long time. It wasn’t until Dirty Politics that I realised that these people were not my friends. From Goodfellow and Key down, I disavowed the party. The things Jami-Lee Ross is highlighting are the things that I experienced but I said nothing; I got on with building the best damn political commentary site in New Zealand. I always have believed in no fear, no favour; now I live it. I am a human and I have suffered mental illness, something the left-wing sought to exploit. I will not remain silent when I see people hurting.

The politics and chaos is fascinating, however. There are a great many people scared right now, both politicians and media. They know what Paula Bennett has unleashed. The genie is out of the bottle and it will never go back in.

The irony is now that it will affect all other parties. Labour won’t be able to whitewash the sex scandal from their youth camp. National will have to clean house, and the Greens with the bed-hopping lifestyles of their younger and newest MPs will also come under scrutiny.

Sometimes disaster and chaos can create positive outcomes. Let’s hope that happens here.