Nice try Simon, but we’re not ‘moving on’

I didn’t know very much about Simon Bridges when he was chosen to lead the National party a few months ago, so I started with a clean slate and took a ‘wait and see” approach to whether Simon was the right person to have as leader.  He fell short against my measure for a number of things from the beginning, but I was prepared to allow some lee-way while he found his feet and established his role as leader.  I’m not patient, and by my measure, he needed to do it quickly, because you either have leadership qualities or you don’t.

There were a few missteps along the way, but the final straw that removed the last vestiges of any thought that he might ‘do’ as leader of the National Party has been his treatment of Jami-Lee Ross and the as yet un-named MP that Ross had an affair with.  This was the MP that sent the appallingly nasty text to Mr Ross, as published previously on Whaleoil, that is potentially in breach of the Harmful Digital Communication Act.

Jami-Lee Ross faced accusations of harassment without being given details so that he could respond, was accused of leaking the travel expense details, which he denies, and was publicly embarrassed by Simon Bridges for taking leave to deal with personal issues.  Yet to date, we have had no information at all on what actions have been taken with respect to the MP that sent the revolting text message to Mr Ross.  That MP has been able to hide, without being named, with no embarrassing announcements about the personal leave that she recently took.  It seems that there is one rule for this female MP, and another for Jami-Lee Ross.   As Stuff reports, some very important questions were put to the National Party.  Quote:

[…] * The “deserve to die” text reportedly came from a married MP. While National has indicated it is doing a review of its culture, has a separate investigation been launched to speak to the MP who reportedly sent his text?

* What discussions has the party had with the MP who reportedly sent a text like that?

* Has that MP been censured, faced internal discipline, or been stood down from duties? If no action has been taken by the party, why not?

* Does the National Party believe that the text message sent breached the Harmful Digital Communication Act?

* Does the National Party still believe the MP, who reportedly sent the text, is still fit to be an MP and represent the National Party, given they reportedly sent a text saying someone deserved to die?

* Has the MP offered to stand down? Or, are they still carrying out their duties as normal? end quote.

And wait for it, here’s the no comment from National.

“The National Party has no comment on these matters. Jami-Lee Ross is no longer a National MP and the party is moving on.”

Moving on … we don’t think so.

Hence the following response was sent back to the National Party.

“This response is not satisfactory, the public deserve an answer as to how you are handling the MP who reportedly sent a text saying “you deserve to die”. Moving on is not acceptable. Can you please answer these questions by 5pm today.”

And, wait for it, here’s the no comment again from National … “we have no further comment”.

National may be “moving on” as it puts it, but in its wake it is leaving a trail of distrust, arrogance, and a big finger to its own party values.

Don’t forget that front and centre of National’s core values for building a society are two important words. Personal Responsibility.

Where is the personal responsibility of a party that won’t answer questions. And where is the personal responsibility of the MP who reportedly sent the “you deserve to die” text? […] End of quote.

There are still questions for the National Party to answer, and ‘moving on’ is not an option.  The voting public has a right to know who is responsible so that they can make an informed decision at the polling station at the next election.  It’s time for answers, not for ‘moving on’.

This has been very eloquently put by Steve Danby in his letter to the editor:  Quote:

The Jami-Lee Ross debacle has once more highlight the cosy setup whereby the Press Gallery covers up for adulterous MPs.  This needs to stop.  Politicians routinely exploit their marriages and families as part of their marketing strategy.

Politicians market on character: that makes their adultery fair game for the press.  Voters have the right to know if they are being asked to vote for a lying sleazeball.  An MP who betrays his or her spouse and family is demonstrably untrustworthy.  If their wedding vows mean nothing to them, why should we trust them to honour their parliamentary oath?  As Simon Bridges has just discovered, individuals with no ethics in their private life have no integrity in their professional life.  Meanwhile, the married female MP who’s been cheating with Jami-Lee Ross remains anonymous.

Steve Danby, Melrose (abridged) end quote.


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