Jami-Lee Ross/Slater versus National continues

I think that most of the media and most of the public are largely over the Jami-Lee Ross saga, but Cameron Slater (Whale Oil) and David Fisher (NZ Herald) keep arguments and counter arguments going.

Another somewhat remarkable development is that some from the left (like The Daily Blog and in social media) have been claiming that National has been involved in ‘dirty politics’ with Ross, using claims by Mr Dirty Politics (Slater) as evidence. Slater has been getting some support (and some questions) on Whale Oil, but Kiwiblog comments have been near universally challenging and scathing of Slater’s muckraking methods and motives.

Slater has a history of making unsubstantiated allegations and dubious claims, and admitted to ’embellishment’ in a Parliamentary inquiry associated with the dumping of Judith Collins from Cabinet (as a result of Slater communications being made public). More on this later.

Fisher on Wednesday:  National’s leader Simon Bridges rings Dirty Politics blogger to talk Jami-Lee Ross

The Jami-Lee Ross saga has forced National Party leader Simon Bridges into conversation with Dirty Politics blogger Cameron Slater, who is in close contact with the rogue and unwell MP.

Bridges’ office confirmed to the Herald that Bridges called Slater to give the right-wing attack blogger assurances over decisions about Ross having been made after taking proper medical advice.

The phone call confirms Slater’s key role in the Ross affair, which has caused the National Party more than a week of anxiety and chaos.

Bridges’ call to Slater came after the Whale Oil blogger wrote a blog post promising retribution on the National Party for what he sees as its role in Ross’ deteriorating mental health and subsequent fall from grace.

It is believed Slater has been personally supporting Ross since the weekend and his assistance extended to helping the MP in his release from Middlemore Hospital’s mental health facilities yesterday.

Slater’s role has also extended to briefing media on aspects of the Ross saga.

This was a sudden change after Slater had claimed to be not involved at all up until last weekend.

Other media did not follow the story but Slater, on his Whale Oil blog, used it as a springboard to attack the MP for sending a “disgusting text message”.

On Tuesday RNZ reported on one historic (2 months old) text from a National MP to Ross which they only part quoted. It included the words “You deserve to die”- see Female MP sent abusive text to Jami-Lee Ross

Fisher on Friday: The chain of events which put Jami-Lee Ross in mental health care

The path to mental health care for unwell MP Jami-Lee Ross appears to have started with a text message to the fellow MP with whom he had an affair.

Through a range of sources, the Herald has been able to untangle the apparent chain of events leading to Ross entering Middlemore Hospital on Saturday evening.

It has revealed a National Party which moved quickly to do what it could for its former MP after he sent a text message to his former lover which appeared to reveal a man in distress.

The events are contrary to those being pushed by Dirty Politics blogger and National Party pariah Cameron Slater, who has emerged as a support person for Ross.

In a series of blog posts, Slater has painted a chain of events he claims shows the party – against which he has many grievances – is responsible for the state of Ross’ wellbeing.

Slater has pledged retribution for what he claims has been National’s poor handling of Ross. He has done so in blog posts which present knowledge apparently gleaned from the rogue MP.

While specific events presented on his blog have been confirmed, the motivation appears at odds with information discovered from political sources and those who know Slater.

Bridges is said to have contacted Slater “to make clear that he acted on appropriate medical advice throughout this process”.

Slater confirmed Bridges’ reason for the call in a blog post, although said he did not believe its intent.

Slater has been waging a largely ignored war against National since he was sidelined after Dirty Politics, he has been bitter about John Key, he campaigned (on Whale Oil) against National in last year’s election, he has repeatedly shown long term animosity towards Bill English, and has acted as an attack activist against Bridges since Bridges became National leader earlier this year.

So Slater is far from neutral in this.

Yesterday (Saturday) he posted Another hit job from David Fisher which I must correct and tell the truth that the National party fails to

Yesterday saw another personalised hit job against me from David Fisher after his quick trip to Wellington to get briefed. It seems his anonymous and gutless sources are trying to spin just how wonderful the National party has been towards the man they drove to attempt suicide as a result of their actions.

Of course they led with a shabby headline that tries to make out that the woman behind all of this is some sort of hero. Fisher claims that I got some things wrong, but presents not a skerrick of evidence to support his contentions.

Slater then posted a number of text exchanges between Ross and various National MPs. Ross must have given Slater access to private communications between MPs. This is a major breach of privacy from Ross will further alienate him from National.

Remember that the various Craig versus Slater and Jordan Williams defamation cases came about because of a serious breach of privacy after Williams (a lawyer) ignored confidence and requests from Rachel MacGregor that her communications remained private and publicised them via Slater and Whale Oil.

Slater gets some support in comments. ‘roblin’:

Advising someone to commot suicide is aganist the law, isn’t it. This female MP should be reported to the police.

I have seen no evidence that Ross was ‘advised to commit suicide’, and there are some hard to work out aspects to this. A text exchange published by Slater suggests that the mental health emergency last weekend (Slater claims it was a suicide attempt but that isn’t corroborated) was precipitated by the two month old text from a National MP. This tries to place the blame on Ross’ emergency on someone he allegedly had a relationship with for several years before it ended prior to the text.

Slater has also backflipped from insisting he knew “for months” that Ross was the original leaker to ‘believing’ not just the opposite, but that it was some sort of conspiracy:

I believe the female MP showed Bridges some frustrated texts from JLR about the leadership or policy decisions of JLR and resolved to rid himself of JLR, all based on a selected view from a scorned woman.

Slater has claimed a number of times that the Ross meltdown was all due to a campaign to oust Ross from Parliament, and that Ross is some sort of innocent victim.

“All based on a selected view from a scorned woman” is rather ironic given the record of attacks on National based on the selected view of a scorned political activist.

Another rather ironic ‘featured comment’, from ‘rantykiwi’:

As usual, Whaleoil is leading with verifiable facts and the MSM are two steps behind, still disseminating an incomplete version of events that suits their position supporting the CoL and damaging National as much as possible. I sincerely hope that as this whole sordid debacle plays out and the big players have to run with stories based in reality that they acknowledge Whaleoil as the ground breaker and primary source for their future articles.

I don’t see much in the way of verifiable facts.

“Acknowledge Whaleoil as the ground breaker and primary source for their future articles” probably encapsulates the primary aim of WO – to come up with stories that rely on other media to legitimise and publicise them. WO has been largely ignored by most media in the four years since Dirty Politics.

Slater’s post and the whole saga was questioned on Kiwiblog’s General Debate yesterday. RightNow:

Also this morning Slater has dumped screenshots of messages with JLR from that night. Anyone with experience of nutty partners will recognize JLR’s manipulative behavior. Apparently he was scrolling through messages from 2 weeks prior when he saw the one from her that set him off, so (2 weeks later in the middle of the night) he messages her with the suggestion he’s going to top himself. Then he turns his phone off while her and everyone else goes frantically trying to find him and get him help.

Actually I think the text was 2 months prior, not 2 weeks. While I’m wary of questioning someone with claimed mental health problems given what is at stake here and the allegations being made I think it is fair to question how genuine Ross’ mental health issues are.

Ross took leave from Parliament for ‘several months’, and two weeks later he was back in Parliament attacking Bridges and National.

Ross was an emergency admission into mental health care a week ago, yet two or three days later he was released.

I think it is fair to be sceptical of what Slater is now promoting, supposedly on behalf of Ross who has been silent for the past week.

‘tas’ at Kiwiblog:

WhaleOil has published many of Jami-Lee Ross’ text records

Slater claims this proves National has been lying all along. However, my reading of it is that it entirely supports what they have said. The texts that Slater has chosen to publish do not support his own narrative.

Slater has a record in court proceedings of putting forward evidence that does not support his own narrative – Blomfield versus Slater judgments over the years come to mind.

‘tas’ addresses a number of Slater claims:

(1) Bridges said that he took action against Ross as soon as he was made aware of the sexual harassment allegations. WhaleOil has records that prove that Bridges took action before the newsroom story made those allegations public. Slater claims this shows Bridges lied, but there is no contradiction here. Bridges did not say that the newsroom story was the first he heard of it.

(2) Slater says that National is lying about what happened on the night Ross was taken to hospital. Yet the text messages and call logs he published corroborate the timeline David Fisher published in the NZ Herald yesterday.

(3) Slater has, over the past few days, made it sound like Ross’ former mistress — the female MP — did something to provoke him on the night he was taken to hospital. However, he now says that what provoked Ross is that he re-read her text message from two months prior!

(4) The text message that the female MP sent to Ross is definitely not OK. There is no excuse for that. However, this was a messy breakup and I expect both parties have said and done things they regret.

(5) Paula Bennett sent Ross a text saying “I would like to see you to discuss a potential way through”. That sounds like National are trying to help Ross and sort things out. His response was just to cite his mental health. It sounds like Ross is the one who was not engaging constructively.

Later yesterday another article from David Fisher – Jami-Lee Ross: New text from ‘homeless’ MP reveals the tipping point

The contents of a text message which sparked National’s call to police regarding Jami-Lee Ross’ welfare has been revealed.

Ross is understood to have been sitting in his car mulling over a previous text exchange with his former lover, a National MP, before sending her a response stating: “You get your wish.”

It was these four words which reportedly raised the alarm. The former lover alerted a senior member of Bridges’ office, ultimately leading to Ross being found by police then taken to Middlemore Hospital’s mental health unit.

Blogger Cameron Slater has published some of the text messages in a bid to advance his claim the National Party is to blame for Ross’ condition. The Herald cannot confirm the text messages are genuine. The blogger did not respond to a request for comment.

I think it is fair to question the genuineness of texts (and any claims) put forward by Slater. I recall texts that surfaced in the Len Brown issue that looked suspicious, and then were quickly dropped from claims. I later heard allegations that they were fabricated.

Earlier this week a spokeswoman from the office of National Party leader Simon Bridges said: “When concerns were raised they were dealt with appropriately.

“The National Party is confident that we have followed advice and made the right decisions on matters concerning Jami-Lee Ross.”

When asked about the text messages tonight, a spokeswoman for the National Party said: “Out of respect for all of the people involved, including Jami-Lee Ross we will not be commenting on this any further”.

I don’t think that statements from National should be simply accepted without question, but they largely seem to stack up. And I expect that they will be being very careful with what they say about this.

The disclosure of the fresh text messages by Slater appears to confirm one of National’s fiercest enemies has access to Ross’ phone and its contents.

Someone with a record of operating with clear political activist anti-National agendas.

Slater previously wrote of Ross scrolling through his messages last Saturday evening while sitting in his car “assessing what had happened for him to end up where he was”.

Ross was “homeless, career over” and facing public accusations by his former lover and other women who worked in Parliament for the National Party, said Slater.

“He felt destroyed,” Slater wrote, leading to the four-word text message which sparked the scramble for help.

Is Slater saying just what he thinks and perceives? I don’t think much weight can be put on his perceptions, which have a history of being slanted and selective.

Or is Slater some sort of official mouthpiece for Ross who is apparently unavailable for comment in person?

This seems to be a very odd situation.

Slater’s posts on the issue paint Ross as the victim of a conspiracy by the National Party to drive him out.

It has been termed a “hit job” by Slater, who has previously presented convoluted theories to support other claims.

In 2014, he developed a theory of a vast conspiracy involving academics, media, political staff and politicians as being behind the Rawshark hack of his computer.

In that theory, the large network of conspirators were apparently working together to trigger Slater’s own mental health issues and drive him to suicide.

Slater and Ross may genuinely have genuine mental health issues. But that doesn’t rule out the possibility that they are playing on that to paint themselves as victims, when that may not necessarily be completely accurate.

They could easily be victims of their own fallibilities and mistakes.

Those with knowledge of the events which unfolded have described Slater’s Rawshark theory as ridiculous.

There are probably quite a few Slater theories that could be described as ridiculous. He switches position and contradicts himself often enough. Claims by Ross have not been consistent with himself or with known facts either.

In trying to inflict as much damage on National as they can Slater/Ross may end up doing a Craig by accentuating their own personality issues and dire political situations.


  1. artcroft

     /  28th October 2018

    “The events are contrary to those being pushed by Dirty Politics blogger and National Party pariah Cameron Slater,” – Everything you need to know in one sentence.

  2. Blazer

     /  28th October 2018

    keep the story live….its good for JC..but its great ..for the…left.

    • I’m doing it more to collate things on record here. The story is largely dead in MSM, and the public have moved on if they were ever interested.

      • George

         /  28th October 2018

        `Somewhere some-one is kicking the furniture.
        Good summation of an unsavory usage of media

  3. PartisanZ

     /  28th October 2018

    Keep the story alive so we get a Commission into Chinese influence and so we get Electoral Law reform …

    • alloytoo

       /  28th October 2018

      Can we extend this to Union influence in Labour and a terrorist organizations influence in the Greens?

  4. Gezza

     /  28th October 2018

    They say the eyes are a window to the soul.

    • Gezza

       /  28th October 2018

      I don’t believe a word from either can be taken at face value. It still looks to me like Jami-Lee Ross, rumbled and fingered as the leaker of the texts and the likey leader of the travel expenses, set out to try and destroy his never-really-friend & it backfired on him. What has happened to him – career and reputation utterly and deservedly totalled – is what he wanted to happen to Bridges.

      I hope if he is genuinely unwell that he manages to somehow find some way out of hole into which he fell, but everything I’ve read in PG’s posts makes me suspicious that the pair of them are working a number on National & Bridges still; and the only part that wasn’t expected to happen was JLR crashing and burning through exposure.

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  28th October 2018

        I don’t know if anyone could deceive the professionals at the Mental Health hospital who will have seen fake nutters before.

        • Gezza

           /  28th October 2018

          We don’t know what the assessment of the professionals at the Mental Health Hospital is. And we won’t. That is information is totally and completely doctor-patient medically privileged information could only ever be released to a judge. Even if JLR or his “friends” tell us or show us something, it is unlikely to be a full assessment record and notes. And even if the information given is misleading, medical privilege is so sacrosant, no practitioner may disclose it. Very neat.

          • Gezza

             /  28th October 2018

            PS: Except for protected medical disclosure to another practitioner – even if information given out was false – they cannot correct it or comment on it in any way, and they wouldn’t.

          • Kitty Catkin

             /  28th October 2018

            I was thinking that if he was putting it on, he’d be told to go and chase himself.

            ‘Next !’

            • Gezza

               /  28th October 2018

              Cameron has a genuine history I think. So do I, plus lots of research into it anx/dep. I could tell someone how to fake it. Not saying he is, just that I’ve had the real thing happen often enuf & I’m altho they can creep up on you unnoticed when I’ve “hit the wall” I’m always aware of & remember what it’s like to be in these states.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  28th October 2018

              i was thinking of real insanity; I remember that criminal, Antonie someone, trying to look like a madman in court and convincing nobody.

              But surely doctors would know if someone was putting it on or not.

            • phantom snowflake

               /  28th October 2018

              The situation with Antonie Dixon was a little more complex than that. He was in fact, utterly barking mad. (technical term!) However he believed he was sane. The spectacle which we were treated to was a ‘crazy’ guy acting as a ‘sane’ guy acting as a ‘crazy’ guy.
              As an aside; it is rather difficult to feign psychosis, but not too hard to feign being suicidal. (I’m not saying that’s what happened with JLR.)

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  28th October 2018

              (feebly) Oh, ah, so that was it…I just remember him doing a very hammy maniac act that was very overdone. The wide-open staring eyes are what everyone remembers.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  28th October 2018

              i have seen real psychosis (I’d rather not say where) and it is terrifying, the person becomes like a stranger, They even look different.

            • Gezza

               /  28th October 2018

              And I’ve bloody experienced it! Once, Thank goodness. 3 days of it.

  5. Alan Wilkinson

     /  28th October 2018

    A couple of big babies screaming “Look at me!”. I’m starting to wonder if even Ross deserves Slater.

  6. alloytoo

     /  28th October 2018

    Ross (no doubt with Slater’s help) have been trying in a half arsed fashion to entrap Bridges and the National party since Bridges was elected leader and Ross didn’t get his imagined due.

    The mental health issues (apart from the Narcissic personality and Dunning Kruger) are a crass attempt to manipulate perception of Ross away from his own idiotic actions.

    Unfortunately the National party as well as state agencies have no recourse but to act concerned and responsibly in the face of this manipulation.

    Ross has (entirely through his own actions) rendered himself unemployable in this country, sooner or later Slater will stop seeing any value in his “Friend” and dissolve the bromance.

    Ross will then diminish, and probably go into the West.

    • Blazer

       /  28th October 2018

      Ross will pop up for another party…sometime…somewhere.

      • alloytoo

         /  28th October 2018

        Well he is well qualified to be a Senior COL minister………..

        • lurcher1948

           /  28th October 2018

          He will return and haunt “BURNING” bridges with (crushers) help….come back JLR and show what a shambles national is

        • Blazer

           /  28th October 2018

          a senior Collateral damage sacrifice is what he..is.

    • Blazer

       /  28th October 2018

      where is the evidence that there is any significant ‘siding’ with Slater/Ross by the..left?

  7. slinkypress

     /  28th October 2018

    And where is Mr Lusk in all this, he was supposedly “helping” as well, He has gone very quiet.

    • Loki

       /  28th October 2018

      Lusk is always quiet.
      Voldemort to Slaters Dobby.
      Somebody should give him a sock.
      Meanwhile, if ever you are in crisis probably best to avoid seeking help from our hero.
      He will tell everybody you are suicidal while using it as a disgusting opportunity for self promotion.

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  28th October 2018

        Your last sentence nails it, Loki.

      • MaureenW

         /  28th October 2018

        Roadrunner comes to mind – a bunch of self-imploding cartoon characters. I guess Cam thinks he’s winning – he got back on radio. I do think he and Colin have more in common than either would see or admit.

  8. unitedtribes2

     /  28th October 2018

    I think Slater is chasing JLR to the bottom. I was thinking that he was getting less commentators disagreeing with him last couple of days and then noticed that no they had just gone. I have enjoyed WO over the years but lately less and less worth looking at. I do still enjoy the daily roundup but try to avoid all the negative stories on National. Its hard to sort out what Cameron stands for. For a political blog it seems to me that its who he hates least but that cant even be relied upon. It would be good if WO staff could pull some rank. Try to avoid getting sued all the time and get some direction instead of being driven by hate. May be too late for that looking at the low volume of comments.

    • PDB

       /  28th October 2018

      “I think Slater is chasing JLR to the bottom.”

      No. JLR hit rock bottom and found Slater there waiting for some unfortunate to come his way.