Dan Lambert

Len Brown should be ‘toast’ anyway, now he will be burnt toast

Len Brown and his office are as tricky as David Cunliffe. But as dumb as Labour in emailing information by mistake to the NZ Herald, who gleefully recount the embarrassing details.

I wonder what James Bews-Hair said when the rooting started! Toast? Roast?

Len Brown’s principal policy adviser James Bews-Hair says the Auckland Mayor will be “political toast” if the council’s credit rating is lowered.

In an email accidentally sent to the Herald, Mr Bews-Hair said the mayor’s office has been advised there is a risk the council’s credit rating will be downgraded.

The email was circulated to senior mayoral staff on Sunday following Herald inquiries about council debt, which has soared from $3.9 billion to a projected $7.4 billion in the first four years of Mr Brown’s mayoralty.

In a candid email to Mr Brown’s chief of staff Phil Wilson, head of communications Dan Lambert and chief press secretary Glyn Jones – and copied to the Herald – Mr Bews-Hair outlined the mayoral position on maintaining the council’s AA credit rating.

“We need to keep on using the KPI [key performance indicator] for debt that we set for ourselves in election policy – retaining our rating.

“If we do that right, that can become the basis on which we are judged.

“We are advised that there is a risk that we will be downgraded … frankly, though, if we get downgraded in an improving economic environment then we are political toast anyway,” said Mr Bews-Hair.  Read more »

Inside the Town Hall Bunker – The spin doctors fight

All is not well in the Mayor’s office.

As I’ve highlighted for months there has been a division within Len Brown’s office – between his closest political staffers.

For some time it had been Phil Wilson and Glyn Jones vs James Bews-Hair & Conor Roberts. Roberts had had enough so went off to Telecom via Todd property.

Throughout that time David Lewis was contracted to Len for various spin duties (while having limited other clients). Lewis chose to mostly keep out of the inner office workings mostly because he didn’t exactly get excited about the somewhat ‘provincial’ and ‘amateurish’ way Wilson ran the office and any conflict within it.

Then along came the sex scandal that engulfed the office and Lewis, being a fixer and spin doctor of phenomenal pedigree, was thrust into the workings of Len’s office.

It really is no surprise that a man who believes a spin doctor is never the story, always the client, would now be using a puff piece on himself to create some distance from Len.

Word has it that Lewis and Bews-Hair agreed with one appropriate way to manage the Len ‘situation’ while Wilson and Jones had another.  Read more »

Changes in the Night-Mayor’s office

The right wing stoolie in Len Brown’s office, James Bews-Hair, at it again. This time chief of staff Phil Wilson has seen fit to demote Glyn Jones, making way for a new media man for the Night-Mayor.

Dan Lambert has appeared. Not so well known around town as he is a recent import from the UK where he has been doing nifty and clever work for Bank of Scotland and trying cosy up to the Tories.

Looks like Len’s office takes another lurch to the right. Interesting too is how Dan came to the role. Could it be that he is a long time mate of Bews Hair? Did they plot together when Bews Hair was Goff’s SPS and Dan was Maharey’s spin doctor?

What will poor wee Glynn, the Mayor’s handbag holder, think of all this?

When will the patch war within Len’s office end and will Phil ever realise that, like Robertson to Shearer, some are much better at playing the long game than he is.

Phil and Glynn have belittled and victimised Bews Hair for too long; white anting always gets found out especially since Phil and Glynn aren’t very clever at it.

It is also understood that Bernard Orsman is especially bitter, wrongly believing that all his hard work down at the Herald on behalf of the mayor would richly rewarded. It looks like he will have to continue to attend local community board meetings for some time yet.