The non-naming of the National MP

The National MP who is alleged to have had a relationship with Jami-Lee Ross and is claimed to have played a part in precipitating a claimed attempt at suicide has not been named publicly by media. Ross did name her in a radio interview, but in replays her name was beeped out.

Discussions have continued on why she has not been named by media, and whether she should be named.

One of the strongest reasons put forward for not naming her is her well being. It has been claimed she is the victim of harassment, so naming her would add to the exposure and harassment.

It can also be asked whether there is public interest in naming her. Just about everyone with an interest in this probably knows who it is. I found out without looking for it. Naming her probably has more risks than good reasons.

But there could be some public interest in knowing of an MP who allegedly had a long term affair with another MP, and that that ended with a harsh text that some have claimed incited suicide (I don’t see that, especially looking at the timeline – the claimed suicide attempt event happened months after the text was sent).

And identifying the MP removes suspicion from other female National MPs, but this seems to be a minor consideration given that most people involved in politics will know who it is.

Why has the media not named her? Obviously they are not saying.

One risk that has been mentioned is the risk of it opening the floodgates of publicising Parliamentary promiscuity, and some journalists are alleged to playing a part in that generally, and accusations and names have been mentioned (no evidence that I’ve seen) that at least one journalist has been involved with Ross.

Do the public have a right to know if there is a compromised MP who may also be under severe mental health stress? That’s a difficult question. Usually there is no way of knowing which MPs are under health care. Most operate under some degree of stress. Medical information is governed by privacy laws.

It should be noted that Ross was the first to out himself as being subject to claims of harassment (as well as naming the MP on air).

Cameron Slater blames the MP (and a wider conspiracy) for Ross being dumped from the National caucus and for causing his mental meltdown (alleged, all we know about Ross’ mental state is what has been claimed by peoeple with vested interests, Slater being prominent.

He has all but named her a number of times at Whale Oil, making it easy to work out who it is (his obvious intent). He has also complained bitterly about the media not naming her, but despite repeated threats to out her himself, and despite promoting himself as media, for some reason he doesn’t want to be the first to do so. One can imagine that if mainstream media do name her he will be using that as an excuse to continue in ‘full retard’ mode against the MP, Simon Bridges and National.

One thing holding Slater back may be finances. He is facing what could be some large legal bills for overstepping in the past on Whale Oil, and is now mired in multiple defamation actions. He may be reluctant to risk another.

And he has admitted losing subscriptions at Whale Oil over his ongoing campaign attacking Bridges and National, which he escalated on the back of the Ross revelations. Subsequent self praise promotions and promotions of Whale Oil by SB suggest that the loss of subscription revenue is of concern to them. The timing is bad.

And the motives and methods of Slater, who claims to be acting for Ross who has gone silent, are highly suspect. he haas admitted making incorrect claims, and it is sensible to be highly sceptical of anything he says that isn’t backed up by evidence – and that means more evidence than screen shots of communications that are not authenticated and could be cherry picked and at real risk of being out of context.

Slater will probably keep agitating and complaining, but most people who had an interest in the Ross and MP issue are largely over it. As are the media.

I have considered naming the MP but continue to choose not to. I’m not aware of all the facts so can’t justify the potential risks.

One possible risk is legal – given the silence on identity there could be legal injunctions that have gagged the media. Similarly as for court suppressions, these make things difficult for non-mainstream media like Your NZ – there is no way of me knowing what I am legally not allowed to say.

So no names and no hints here please.

It may be best to move on, and to ignore a Wail Oil desperate for attention and intent on inflicting political utu. he may eventually do what he has promised and name names, but Dirty Politics has done it’s dash and should be trashed.

A discussion on the naming or not here (Kiwi Journalists Association):

https://www.facebook.com/groups/216332661716385/permalink/2424609580888671/

Leave a comment

56 Comments

  1. Blazer

     /  October 30, 2018

    must be the worst kept secret to anyone with an interest in NZ politics.

    Reply
    • Gerrit

       /  October 30, 2018

      This “secret” is right up there with the Labour youth camp perpetrator. You have to be in isolation not to have worked out both.

      So why the great secrets?

      Reply
    • Zedd

       /  October 30, 2018

      I dont know or care who it is (we can all guess though).. I do follow NZ politics, but not this B-S.

      J-LR claims that the parliament is rampant with ‘bed hoping’.. long days (&nights) in Wltgn, away from their families ?! :/

      Reply
  2. David

     /  October 30, 2018

    I dont get why Whaleoil is expending so much energy going after Nationals leadership and then bemoaning a lack of subscribers. There are huge opportunities to go after Labour/ Greens/ NZ First and his blog should be booming but for some reason he feels its his job to go after National. It leaves his blog in an odd place when there is such huge potential and huge audience for a shit kicking contemporary of Kiwiblog..not to mention probably some financial backing for someone with his talent.

    Reply
    • He seems to be obsessed with payback at the expense of getting paid.

      There was a lot of growth for several years, and huge potential, but his overreach and indiscretions are catching up on him and his faults seem to be dominating a diminishing opportunity. WO will probably survive in some form but as little more than a fringe forum.

      The JLR saga has just reinforced perceptions of WO political toxicity – no MP or party will want to be seen to be associated if they don’t want to risk being dragged into the mire..

      Reply
      • David

         /  October 30, 2018

        I dont want to tell someone how to do a blog but I think its fairly clear where WO,s future could be very bright but it seems fixated on looking backwards.
        I did quite enjoy his devil may care and brutal attacks on his natural enemies and his ability to see through the BS and stick it to the likes of Peters, Clark and Cullen. The potential to do that to the crowd in charge is huge with loads of low hanging targets..they have just had a press event celebrating selling a Kiwibuild house of 4 bedrooms to a childless Doctor who seems to have spent the last 5 years travelling to all sorts of exotic places who no doubt has a trust fund.

        Reply
    • Corky

       /  October 30, 2018

      Utu is a relentless driver of men, Dave.

      Reply
      • David

         /  October 30, 2018

        I agree Corky, have seen it quite a few times but always counsel for people to move on, let it go and concentrate on new or existing opportunities. Its generally the person pursuing utu that loses.

        Reply
      • Gezza

         /  October 30, 2018

        It is for fucked up men who can’t see beyond the red mist in front of their eyes and just let shit go and get on with life.

        Reply
  3. Ray

     /  October 30, 2018

    I would suggest the Media are aware that at least one of their own will be dragged into this affair, one of the four women who were originally interviewed was said to be a media identity. And judging by Twitter hints it isn’t too hard to figure out who that is.
    Consequently they are pushing hard on the slow pedal.
    It probably be better for all concerned if there was more frankness about these things, keeping secrets can lead to blackmailing even if it is subtle.
    You only have to think of Jane Clifton who has been pretty open about her life’s choices but who is still held in high regard.

    Reply
  4. duperez

     /  October 30, 2018

    When I use this as an example I get rubbished. I said recently that it was a seminal case in the way the media handled a situation. The way it was handled led to massive public reaction.

    The All Black in the Christchurch Airport dunny. Were the people named? And chased for stories from media left right and centre? Two private citizens going about consensual business? Who could’ve been pushed over the edge? Or weren’t there edges back then? Weren’t there others to be considered in that situation as they are now? Now ‘adding to the exposure and harassment’ is important but wasn’t in the past?

    In this case it’s someone in our employ. On a salary. A bit like Len Brown. So what? All the minutiae has to come out?

    There’s no useful point in the person being named. I’m interested in the situation as an observer of the media and the fluidity of the role it plays in its relationship with the fickle expectations and demands of the public.

    Reply
    • Gerrit

       /  October 30, 2018

      Totally disagree. Yep in the case of our public servants, the “minutiae” has a place to be aired.

      If someone is standing for election as our servant than we have a right to know the details of indiscretions, for otherwise how are we to judge them as suitable to represent us in public office be it council or parliament?

      A female MP has an affair with a married man, but for some reason is not named. Do the people who voted for her, or are likely to vote for her have a right to know her moral standings?

      Not naming her places every female MP in the position of being a suspect.

      How is that fair?

      Daylight is best.

      Reply
      • Blazer

         /  October 30, 2018

        ‘If someone is standing for election as our servant than we have a right to know the details of indiscretions, for otherwise how are we to judge them as suitable to represent us in public office be it council or parliament?’

        you could always judge them on their policies,reforms and performance and not worry about their private lives!

        Reply
        • robertguyton

           /  October 30, 2018

          I agree with Blazer, though it’s a matter of the issue being de minimus or otherwise. Who judges that is that difficult bit. As it is, various agencies vie to expose or hide such details and a mixture of personality types seek to know or ignore such details.

          Reply
          • High Flying Duck

             /  October 30, 2018

            I might have a lie down – so do I.
            With the caveat of where it creates a conflict of interest.

            Reply
            • Blazer

               /  October 30, 2018

              I see what you mean ..if it was ‘Red on Blue’..or even..’Blue on Red’…it would be beyond the pale…almost purple.

  5. robertguyton

     /  October 30, 2018

    The good people of [redacted] might like to measure the behaviour of the National Party MP against her positions on various ethical issues and her claims made during the time she was dallying with Mr Ross. How otherwise might those voters make a fair decision at the ballot box?

    Reply
    • Gerrit

       /  October 30, 2018

      Totally agree Robert, same goes for [redacted] who as a Labour party MP covered up the Labour youth camp assaults.

      The good people that elected [redacted] might be interested in questioning the morals pertained to [redacted] .

      Reply
      • robertguyton

         /  October 30, 2018

        I spoke with [redacted] who lived beside [redacted] and knew of the [redacted] behaviour. [Redacted]’s view was that [redacted] should be [redacted] because of the effect her [redacted] behaviour has had on her [redacted] and [redacted].

        Reply
  6. unitedtribes2

     /  October 30, 2018

    How anyone in public life can expect to have an inappropriate affair for three years without being outed is beyond me.

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  October 30, 2018

      How do we know when an affair is inappropriate?

      Reply
      • Blazer

         /  October 30, 2018

        good point Al…bit like a marriage of convenience…who would bother getting married if it were…inconvenient.

        Reply
      • robertguyton

         /  October 30, 2018

        “How do we know when an affair is inappropriate?”
        When those involved are uncomfortable with it being made public?

        Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  October 30, 2018

          Doubt that, Robert. Too many false positives.

          Reply
        • How about the measure being “public interest”? When the level of desire to know rises above that of minding-one’s-own-business, matched by discomfort on the part of the “players”, then “inappropriate” might fit as a descriptor.

          Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  October 30, 2018

            Too biased by individual politics.

            Reply
            • Gezza

               /  October 30, 2018

              How do we know when an affair is inappropriate?
              When the police get called to murder scene has often been one. When there’s a shit fight in public when the spouse finds out is another.

  7. Kitty Catkin

     /  October 30, 2018

    I am not really interested in who it was.

    Reply
    • robertguyton

       /  October 30, 2018

      Who she is.

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  October 30, 2018

        I said ‘who it was’ and I meant ‘who it was’.

        Have you never heard anyone say ‘ Who is it?’ or ‘Who was it?’

        It is a correct usage,

        Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  October 30, 2018

        Or did you mean ‘Who is she?’

        Reply
  8. Loki

     /  October 30, 2018

    The media haven’t named her out of decency, the same reason none of his other alleged victims have been named.
    But you know our Hero will.
    Just as soon as the stream of readers turns back into a dribble.
    Meanwhile his method for “helping” his “mate” JLR probably needs a whole new branch of psychology named after it.
    😄😄

    Reply
    • PDB

       /  October 30, 2018

      A quick look at his site seems to suggest his moral crusade lasted until quite a few oilers cancelled their subscriptions…

      Reply
      • Yes, it looks like he had a bit of a financial reality check after he kept stomping on the hands that feed him too much. Quitea change of tone today, but still unable to resist some whining.

        Reply
        • PDB

           /  October 30, 2018

          Hard to tell if the posts highlighting letters of support for the Whale are made up or not. Regardless those sort of posts look a bit desperate.

          Reply
    • MaureenW

       /  October 30, 2018

      But will anyone see it – squashed in between a “Something of the Day” – perhaps a Mistress of the Day would work.

      Reply
        • Gezza

           /  October 31, 2018

          Prominent media commentator Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater has been outed for an extra-marital affair by a court judgment this week.

          The affair between Slater and Debbie Brown was revealed in an Auckland District Court judgment detailing a bitter fallout between Brown and her former friend Jacqueline Sperling.

          In his decision, Judge Harvey urged Sperling to “leave Ms Brown and Ms Flannagan alone”. “It would not be advantageous to anyone to trumpet the outcome of this case across the blogosphere.”

          Cameron Slater said he was aware of the judgment and its content but declined to comment.

          So the first thing that happens is that Granny Herald trumpets the outcome of this case across the blogosphere.

          Reply
  9. Tipene

     /  October 30, 2018

    Still an issue under discussion I see.
    After the fact, however.
    Responsibility begins with oneself, does it not?
    All is not actually fair in love and war, despite what the poets say.
    How is one to know who is actually telling the truth?
    Doesn’t everyone have some right to privacy – even politicians?
    Outed by choice, or outed by force – is there a difference these days?
    Why does the media insist on being so blatantly inconsistent on this issue?
    Is it because their ethics code is as flexible as their own moral compass?
    Everything seems up for grabs these days…………….

    Reply
  10. Sean

     /  October 30, 2018

    As an MP who voted in favour of the Harmful Digital Communications Act and subsequently sent a text which culminated in the exhortation for JLR to kill himself, I think she has definitely crossed the line into the public realm. I’m surprised some idiot hasn’t started a private prosecution.

    Reply
    • “the exhortation for JLR to kill himself”

      I think that’s a very debatable interpretation, especially with the whole story far from being told.

      Reply
      • robertguyton

         /  October 30, 2018

        I agree with Pete here.

        Reply
        • Beanie

           /  October 31, 2018

          If a woman threatens to commit suicide and tries to pin it on a man she is termed a bunny boiler and attention seeker. If the cap fits JLR should be the one wearing it. He really needs to resign from Parliament and disappear from public viewing.

          Reply
  11. Sean

     /  October 30, 2018

    In addition, she has also already given an exclusive interview to the media (presumably with National’s blessings), and not had had her comments examined in any way.

    Re. her text – people have received a “please explain” visit from the Police for much less.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  October 30, 2018

      Perhaps she has. They’re not going to tell you, are they?

      Reply
    • “(presumably with National’s blessings)”

      Presumably there is no evidence of this presumption?

      Reply
      • Sean

         /  October 31, 2018

        Because nothing from a backbench Nat MP gets to the media without getting the signoff from their Chief of Staff, press team, and probably the Leader or Deputy-Leader. Especially something as newsworthy as this, in a context regarding a former money-man and friend of the Leader.

        Reply
        • I don’t think that Ross as a front bench MP will have got signoff from their Chief of Staff, press team, and probably the Leader or Deputy-Leader

          Reply

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