Did Michelle Boag just tell a porkie on national television?

National’s explanation of their handling of the Jami-Lee Ross (JLR) saga does not quite tally with the actual timing of events.

Cam Slater wrote for Whaleoil that he believes it was National’s hit job that put JLR into care, and this is another nail in that coffin.

When Michelle Boag spoke on behalf of the National Party with Corin Dann on Q&A on Sunday she declared her involvement in the JLR saga.

It was last Tuesday when Jami-Lee Ross publicly denied that he harassed women because he said he had been raised to respect them.

Boag claims that it was Jami-Lee Ross’s comment which was the tipping point for the four women to tell their tales of harassment by Ross.

This seems very unlikely because Melanie Reid disclosed that she had been working on the women’s stories for about a year, making the timing of the release look very suspicious indeed.

Why was Reid working on this story a whole year before it surfaced?  Was she waiting for instructions on the timing of its release?

Reid’s story was released just two days after Jami-Lee Ross’s disclosure. Very convenient you could say, and hardly a coincidence.

By commenting on the timing of the release Boag implicated herself in the alleged political hit job by National on Jami-Lee Ross.

Dann complained that National Party President Peter Goodfellow wouldn’t front up to the Q&A discussion on Jami-Lee Ross, so Boag turned up instead and took one for the team. Boag said:  Quote.

 [Melanie Reid] said the reason those women who she had been talking to for a long time actually agreed to speak out was when they heard Jami-Lee Ross say, “I respect women, I’ve never treated women badly.” End of quote.

Reid says the women’s stories are varied.  One woman said she felt she was used by Jami-Lee Ross to get information about other National party MPs. Reid said the stories show a pattern of bullying, intimidation, entrapment and abusive behaviour. Reid generalises and does not differentiate between consensual relationships and abuse, because we now know that one of these relationships lasted three years.

Reid also said that the women did not have the mental strength to stand up to a senior frontbench MP.  This is a broad brush stroke statement over a whole bunch of women working in the tough environment of politics and media. It seems that National has simply stolen a whole chapter out of the Democrats playbook on how to destroy the reputation of someone you don’t like. No holds barred and no concern for the consequences to the person or their family.

Boag goes on to say: Quote.

And that was the point that they said “That’s not true therefore I’m willing to put myself on the line and actually tell my story.” End of quote.

The reason this is likely a lie and doesn’t make sense is because the stories were prepared so far in advance but never published until now. If the women wanted their stories told they would have been published a year ago. If they didn’t want them told, then why did Reid bother working on the stories in the first place?  The suggested answer is that the stories were part of National’s insurance policy on JLR.

National was getting its ducks in a row to stitch JLR up at least 12 months ago to use whenever they were needed to bring him back into line.

The timing of the release of Reid’s report gives a clue about the real purpose of the assault on Jami-Lee Ross which was to ensure that he did not release any more information about the very serious accusation in this whole sorry saga, which is that Bridges has broken the law over non-disclosure of the large Chinese donation from Zhang Yikung.

Perhaps the National Party should consider a name change to the Democratic National Party?

 


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The subject evoked in the collage is the debating of political issues with friends in a public place

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