Key: prosecution likely, by-election possible

At Kiwiblog Peterwn has posted his view on the likelihood of a prosecution of John Key – very likely – and of a subsequent by-election in Key’s Helensville electorate – start preparing.

  1. A private prosecution appears very likely, if not from Mr McCready, then from the ‘victim’s’ supporters (eg Unite Union’s lawyer).
  2. There are three possible charges a. assault (6 months), b. male assault female (2 years), c. sexual assault (7 years).
  3. If a MP is convicted of b. or c. his seat is vacated and his seat is filled at a by-election or the party’s next person on the list as appropriate.
  4. Mr McCready has gone for b. Any other private prosecution is likely to go for b. as this has the potential to cause serious political damage.
  5. On past performance a District Court Judge would allow a private prosecution even if the ‘victim’ has not been consulted over this.
  6. Mr McCready cannot be called a vexatious litigant he has succeeded with one private prosecution and has been successful with the other as Crown Law took it over. Even if his attempt fails because he is having to do it via a shell company, a private prosecution by Unite appears likely.
  7. Historically an accused’s spouse could not be called upon to give evidence against the accused – the law has been changed to allow for this. The days of ‘feme covet’ are well and truly over.
  8. With what is currently known I cannot see why any prosecution for b. should not succeed.
  9. An accused in this case an accused has two options – try to get the charge downgraded from b. to a., or if proved try and get a discharge without conviction with respect to b. (I think the chances of this would be good based on other ‘discharge’ cases but don’t count on it). Diversion would be a possibility for a., but I am not so sure about b.
  10. So in conclusion, National would be well advised to start preparing for a Helensville byelection now. Both Winston Peters and Judith Collins will be licking their chops in anticipation.

Peterwn often posts comments that indicate he has a good working knowledge of law.

With a few exceptions the general feeling seems to be that Key’s alleged offending is at the lower level of severity, but as long as the maximum sentence available is two years or more then any conviction would force a resignation from Parliament.

This potential outcome disproportionate to the crime may seem tough but them’s the rules. It may increase the possibility of a discharge without conviction but that would cause a political uproar in some quarters.

Assault can cover a wide range of severity. I think simply touching someone could potentially be ruled assault – including touching someone’s hair apparently.

In praising Martyn Bradbury

Greg Presland has joined the list of bloggers praising Martyn’ Bradbury’s handling of the Key/waitress/hair story.

Firstly in relation to the story I wish to praise Bomber Bradbury’s handling of it.  Unlike Cameron Slater and his attempts to bring down Len Brown with the Bevan Chuang story Bradbury did some important things.  He let the story be the story and did not inject himself into the story at all.  He let the waitress tell her own story in her own words.  And unlike Slater whose grandiose yet ridiculous plan to have Len Brown removed from office and John Palino somehow installed as mayor Bomber had no intention of achieving any particular goal.  He just facilitated the telling of a very creepy story.

He also quotes Danyl Mclachlan of Dim-Post:

[Bomber] simply published the waitress’s own account as a primary, information-rich source that the mainstream media could base their stories off. Reporters called the PM, but the scandal had already broken and the media were all matching each other’s stories. It couldn’t be shut down. And Bomber kept himself out of it all. That approach – publish a primary source and make it available to all media simultaneously – turned out to be a really awesome way to get the story out there.

I have also said that Bradbury deserves some praise for how he presented the initial post that broke the story.

But Presland and Mclachlan take a very narrow view, focussing on the first post only. Bradbury has gone on to try and link it all with Dirty Politics – his next post on it headlines this:

UPDATE: The Prime Minister and the Waitress Part 2 – Dirty Politics?

This post, about the horrendous Herald coverage of the issue – opened with a photo of David Farrar with Rachel Glucina with this caption:

Rachel Glucina and Government pollster and right wing political blogger, David Farrar

Glucina was at the centre of that controversy. I haven’t seen anyone – including Bradbury, Presland nor Mclachlan – provide any evidence that Farrar (or Cameron Slater or the Government) had anything to do with this issue.

But Presland and Mclachlan compared Bradbury extensively with Cameron Slater.

In pushing Dirty Politics links they are all playing dirty, while praising Bradbury for playing it clean. Sheesh.

I don’t think it’s deliberately hypocritical. Most likely they are blind to their double standard.

And before Greg accuses me of suggesting a conspiracy again, this is probably not a co-ordinated or planned approach.

Left wing bloggers seem so obsessed with ‘Dirty Politics’ and the narrow definition they try to apply to the term they are blind to their own mode of operation.

To keep Felix happy I won’t say they’re playing ‘Dirty Politics’ themselves (I understand what you want that term to mean Felix) so I will describe it as playing dirty to promote a political attack.

As Presland did in his post after praising Bradbury.

Rachel Glucina’s attempt at turning the story around by suggesting there was a political angle in the complaint failed miserably and only succeeded in providing an institutional target and showing that Dirty Politics is alive although not so well.

If Felix was consistent he would point out that this doesn’t fit his version of Dirty Politics.

The right had no where to go on this.  Every time one of their nodding heads in the media tried to turn the story around there was blow back.  And as the story took off and international media ran with it you could sense John Key’s credibility ebb.  Crosby Textor will have their work cut out to repair this fiasco.

I think Greg pushes the CT conspiracy quite often. And he brought Farrar into the post:

The response of the right wing bloggers has been interesting.  David Farrar obviously wanted to have nothing to do with it and his early post inappropriate if accurate was as realistically as positive as he could go.

So Farrar “obviously wanted to have nothing to do with it” but Presland said “I wish to praise Bomber Bradbury’s handling of it” – that’s in relation to the story which was Bradbury’s first post but that’s disingenuous considering Bradbury’s ‘Dirty Politics’ follow-up.

Cameron Slater  is obviously no longer running pro Key lines and is preparing to support his mate Judith Collins in a leadership battle that when it occurs will be bloody and divisive and will leave National in far worse shape.  Let’s be real here.  There is no other leader of the quality of John Key in National.  The possibility of a leader emerging from the ranks of Collins, Joyce, Bennett, Adams or Bridges is one that fills me with confidence that the the next Government will be a progressive one.  Key is their only chance.  And he has been significantly damaged.

Slater’s lack of complicity (despite Presland associating him with it) is turned into a lame leadership hit.

Slater’s line on the story, that the left had stuffed up the chance of a political hatchet job spoke volumes about his world view.  He could not believe obviously (donotlink link) that a left wing blog could publish a story with no intent other than making sure that the story was told.  Subsequent posts suggesting that the waitress should toughen up just reveal a shallowness of human understanding that has always been apparent.

So “subsequent posts” at Whale Oil are relevant but Presland tries to judge Bradbury on one post in isolation “with no intent other than making sure that the story was told”.

If Presland wishes to “praise Bomber Bradbury’s handling of it” then he is in effect praising Bradbury’s attempts to widen the issue in to another example of ‘Dirty Politics’ – which Presland also does himself. He commented here yesterday:

Basically I thought Bomber did really well, way better than Slater in his attempts to achieve similar things.

Presland has been an integral part of an attempt to tie the Herald, Slater and Farrar into the hair story as an example of ‘Dirty Politics’.

He speaks on behalf of all at The Standard:

The rest of the posts were spontaneous. We do not sit down and coordinate and plot posts as part of some conspiracy. Well intentioned individuals post about aspects that they think are important and interesting.

A number of bloggers at Dim-Post and The Daily Blog may have also been spontaneous and un-coordinated.

But they all seem to be singing the same tune – Bradbury impeccable, Key/Herald/Slater/Farrar/right dirty.

If it’s all spontaneous (and it may well be) does that just indicate “well intentioned individuals” are already thoroughly indoctrinated in the ‘Dirty Politics’ campaign?

In praising Martyn Bradbury for one isolated play they have ignored the bigger game and seem oblivious to theirn involvement in the whole dirty sport of politics.

What now for waitresses and waiters?

Now that John Key seems to have adequately dealt with his hair pulling embarrassment what now for the focus of the issue, the way waiting staff are treated by customers and by employers?

One waitress has spoken out, but in doing so she created a political shit fight. And she became the target of an offensive defense that tried to paint her as the problem, not the victim.

Sometimes amongst the noise and sheep herding there can be interesting discussions at The Standard.

Mandy Hager’s post Pull the other one… ponytails, minimisation and male privilege is worth reading as a fairly feminine perspective. Perhaps a bit too feminine good/masculine bad but she makes some points worth debating.

On this post is a good comment thread, started by Colonial Rawshark (who’s name is still promoting the hacking of political opponents but that’s another story).

So, after several days of ongoing disgust, outrage, screaming and shouting, what courageous and concrete steps has the Political Left proposed to empower vulnerable and poorly paid service employees and contractors who find themselves in bad work situations?

What gutsy legislation, regulation, unionisation and other changes with real teeth has the Left proposed to enable vulnerable workers to fight back hard against bad treatment by customers, employers and media organisations?

Indeed has there been anything more substantial and concrete than ‘that’s disgusting, disappointing and an indictment of entrenched male power and privilege in our society’? No?

The Left couldn’t even get its shit together in the first day or two after the original story broke to protect the young cafe worker in question. Pitiful.

And IMO it’s exactly why, despite all the quite legitimate anger and indignation expressed, the self proclaimed Left is increasingly irrelevant to voters.

Initially this was attacked in the usual way, albeit moderately to a long time Standard leftie.

Stephanie Rodgers tried to dictate what should be talked about, as she often does.

Speaking of “both obvious and unavoided”, congratulations on completely erasing the key aspect of gender from the issue. On a post about how this issue is explicitly gendered, even!

Why not get outraged about the Left failing to take concrete steps to overthrow male entitlement? What about empowering vulnerable women, wherever they work? (The Roger Sutton case rather aptly showed how sexual harassment in the workplace isn’t limited to cafes.)

But I guess that would be terrible, no-one-cares-about-your-side-issues identity politics, wouldn’t it?

And then there was a branch that attacked Colonial Rawshark for not doing enough about what he was talking about himself. A common ‘attack the messenger’ practice.

But then there was some actual addressing of the issues raised. Redlogix:

Well expressed CV. By allowing the debate to be solely framed in misogynist terms, the Right easily fences the issue off into the feminist ghetto of NZ politics.

Which is sad. It’s way more important than this.

I’ve read Mandy’s excellent OP several times now with care. It’s a powerful piece, it emphasises, not just the idiocy of the PM’s behaviour, but the sickening response of so many to not only minimise it, but to attack the victim as well.

And then like you I’m left wondering ‘what next’? Why is the Left so powerless to act? Why when even something as tiny as Cunliffe expressing shame as a man for the violence perpetrated on women – why was that so readily ridiculed and belittled?

When Mandy writes:

There are also the online comments, proof (as if we needed it) that there is a deep seething underbelly of misogyny out there – and that issues of appropriateness, sexual intimidation, abuse of power and minimization of women’s complaints are not only misunderstood but carry no weight at all to a significant proportion of our population.

I am quite certain this is a subjective truth and reality for Mandy, yet when you are effectively telling half the population that they ‘hate women’ – something has gone badly wrong. This is not a vote winner if nothing else.

After 40 or more years of feminism, why is there so much misunderstanding, suspicion, and downright loathing in some quarters, between the genders? As this incident and it’s attendant blowback has demonstrated – it doesn’t seem to have taken us anywhere constructive.

There’s a good discussion on that, but it includes more attacks and diversions:

‘freedom:

“effectively telling half the population that they ‘hate women’ ”
Quite the contrary. I find the article to be one of the more empowering messages on this blog for sometime. Reminding all of us, regardless of gender, politics or circumstance, we are all responsible and necessary as part of the solution, every day

Marty mars:

sadly what tends to happen now imo is that the discussion will be moved, in oh so reasonable and soft tones, into the other areas – this is, imo, cv and reds way of showing they care about the issues raised in the post itself /sarc and of course they get to talk about themselves and their experience which is just so riveting and important /double sarc

RedLogix:

Your attempt at silencing and shaming is disgusting.

You’re tactics are no different, and lower than those being used by the Henry’s and Hosking’s of this world.

It’s not often that the common attempts to shut up and shame get called, but as an author Redlogix can get away with it. But not without being challenged:

One Anonymous Bloke:

It’s the violence inherent in the system. You’re being oppressed!

RedLogix:

No – marty was doing the derailing thing. Oppression is something altogether different.

But make a joke of it – have a bit of a ‘horse around’ if you like.

Marty mars:

untrue red – I posted a comment to another comment not to you or cv – I did that because I didn’t really want to engage and encourage you to begin the calm dissemination of what you think – I’m not interested, I’d rather hear and learn from women.

weka:

Marty was spot on in naming a dynamic that occurs here. Thanks btw for confirming it, by misusing Bailey’s experience of sexual harrassment by the PM as if that in any way has anything to do with marty commenting to you here. It’s inconceivable to me that you cannot see the power differences, so that just leaves your politics.

The shame is already on you for how you’ve brought yourself into this conversation in the way you often do. Marty just pointed it out.

One Anonymous Bloke, marty mars and weka are frequent members of the shut up and shame brigade.

Back to Colonial Rawshark’s first paragraph.

So, after several days of ongoing disgust, outrage, screaming and shouting, what courageous and concrete steps has the Political Left proposed to empower vulnerable and poorly paid service employees and contractors who find themselves in bad work situations?

The diversions, messenger attacking and shutting up has again prevailed (so far) as that remains unanswered.

It seems that waiters are frequently the target of poor customer behaviour.

Some on the right (it’s been rife at Kiwiblog) have tried to play this down by attacking and trying to discredit the waitress.

And some on the left have failed to address an important issue the hair puling raised.

Political activists are too active trying to wreck their opponents and too often fail to do anything practical to address the problems ordinary people, like waitresses, have to deal with day after day.

What now for waitresses and waiters?

UPDATE: another word from Colonial Rawshark:

My contention is that the Political Left has come forward with plenty of outrage and disgust, but it has not come forward with concrete proposals for change for empowering vulnerable workers victimised by customers or employers (regardless of whether that change is based on gender or on class).

And weka, one of the chief derailers of threads she doesn’t approve of, responded:

I’m sure it is CV. Pity you chose to bring it up in a way guaranteed to derail the thread and track it along the class politics vs gender politics path then.

I have no idea what you mean by the Political Left, but can only assume you are referring in part to authors and commenters here on ts. I’m seeing lots of activism and response to what has happened. Besides, I’m pretty sure that some legislation already exists to protect Bailey (and was ignored by the PM), and that the left wing parties already have policy that would give even more protection.

“regardless”

So take it to OM. This post and thread is about gender.

If the gender police speak then one mustn’t stray from their narrow path of discussion. How not to achieve anything outside one’s bubble.

Another promising discussion squashed. That has happened during the time I put this post together.

The Left’s handling of Key’s hair pulling

Labour and the Greens have had a bit to say about John Key’s hair pulling but this is a look at how left wing blogs have handled the hair story.

It began with EXCLUSIVE: The Prime Minister and the Waitress at The Daily Blog, and was introduced:

This is a guest blog from an anonymous waitress about the way John Key kept touching her when he repeatedly visited her place of work.  The waitress contacted us with her story, The Daily Blog did not seek her out or pressure her in anyway to write this blog. We are protecting her identity so she is not punished by her employer or social media victim blaming.

The question to ask after reading her words is if this bullying behaviour is acceptable from the Prime Minister of NZ.

It was entirely predictable that protecting her identity and preventing social media victim blaming was never going to succeed. Was ‘anonymous waitress’ duped and used by The Daily Blog, or were they really that dumb that they thought they could protect her?

The post has a date stamp only – April 22, 2015. It shows Last Modified: April 22, 2015 @ 6:02 am. The first comment was posted at April 22, 2015 at 6:22 am.

Two days later, on Friday evening, Danyl posted The story behind the story at The Dim-Post:

The other interesting (to me) thing about ponytailgate, or whatever we’re supposed to call it, is how the story broke.

If you take it to a blogger then that check for a balancing comment doesn’t happen. Bloggers don’t play by the rules. But what they do – and I’m thinking of Cameron Slater here, as well as his homologues overseas – is insert themselves into the story. They write it up, in imitation of a mainstream media story and then accompany it with commentary and interviews on the MSM outlets they affect to despise, and attempt to frame the story and promote themselves. In Slater’s case that tends to dilute the story since the attack is so clearly partisan and motivated by malice.

Bomber didn’t do that. Instead he simply published the waitress’s own account as a primary, information-rich source that the mainstream media could base their stories off. Reporters called the PM, but the scandal had already broken and the media were all matching each other’s stories. It couldn’t be shut down. And Bomber kept himself out of it all. That approach – publish a primary source and make it available to all media simultaneously – turned out to be a really awesome way to get the story out there.

Except that this isn’t The story behind the story, it’s only the first chapter.

If Whale Oil had posted an exclusive and David Farrar had picked up on it (or vice versa) possibly Danyl and certainly many on the left would have been shouting ‘two track Dirty Politics!’.

At 9.49 am on Wednesday morning there was a post at The Standard – My Little Ponytail. It looks well researched and carefully written post (not a rush job) by Te Reo Putake. He may well have been able to put that together in three hours. But he probably wouldn’t excuse a time lag between posts on Whale Oil and Kiwiblog. The concluding paragraph:

I simply don’t know if it’s accurate, but I do think we should be told Key’s side of the story. Or be presented with his head on a platter if it’s true.

So ” if it’s accurate” TRP wanted Key’s political head on a platter. And comments that followed feasted on a similar diet of downfall.

The Standard has been busy since then. Related posts so far:

22 April:

23 April:

24 April:

25 April:

Dirty politics was a common accusation – directed at the ‘attack as defence’ from Key defenders. The left forbid calling it dirty politics when they do similar.

And Danyl is wrong when he claims “Bomber didn’t do that. Instead he simply published the waitress’s own account ” and “And Bomber kept himself out of it all.”

That may apply to the initial post but on a blog you can’t look at one post in isolation.

Bradbury posted a follow-up statement from the waitress: UPDATE: The Prime Minister and the Waitress Part 2 – Dirty Politics? While he introduced it with this…

I think the young woman at the centre of the Prime Minister’s bewilderingly abusive and arrogant privilege is a hero. She has shown courage and fortitude that is pretty rare. To tell the Prime Minister to his face to stop touching her took enormous strength when you consider the power dynamics.

I did not believe her bravery should be denigrated by a mainstream media who look to get a victim blaming ratings kick. That was why I said I wouldn’t confirm her identity to any of the media who contacted me.

She thanked me for this but accepted that her name might be made public. This understood,  she was determined to direct that voice and allow it to be her narrative and her story told on her terms.

Out of her genuine concern for the reputation and economic ramifications her possible outing might have on her employers, she met with them Wednesday afternoon and was left in a position she had not agreed to.

She also challenges some of the comments the Prime Minister has made.

These are her words. She raises hard questions about the NZ Herald.

…the use of Dirty Politics in the headline and two photos, including this one…

gluc

Rachel Glucina and Government pollster and right wing political blogger, David Farrar

…make it fairly clear that Bradbury is far from keeping himself out of it. As far as I have seen Farrar has had nothing to do with this issue, he has commented a little (two posts) but has kept out of it far more than Bradbury.

I’ve seen no evidence Farrar had anything to do with Glucina’s hit job on the waitress in The Herald. Linking them like this is disingenuous. Some would call it dirty.

The Daily Blog currently features that same photo in it’s headline post. Dirty.

The Daily Blog (that Bradbury is a very prominent part of) has also been busy with other posts that aren’t ‘keeping out of it’:

22 April:

23 April:

24 April:

25 April:

26 April:

Danyl himself has also been busier than usual, beginning with this:

I’ve already printed this out and posted it above my desk

ponytail

I wonder what else he has posted above his desk. It’s easy to see what else he’s posted at Dim-Post:

Left wing blogs have been very busy on this story. The haven’t simply let the waitresss story speak for itself. They have promoted and exaggerated the hell out of it.  They have made all sorts of claims, assumptions, accusations and demands.

Like Psycho Milt encapsulated::

Which left-wing prime minister has been bullying service staff and then getting their friends in the media to do a hatchet job when the person complains?

That’s blogging.

I’ve posted a few times on this myself. But I don’t claim one side does Dirty Politics while trying to pretend the other side is squeaky clean.

There has been a concerted effort from the left to bag Key and damage him as much as possible. Some of them think that at last they have found the straw they can break the back of his Prime Minister-ship with.

As I’ve shown in Key “didn’t deliberately intend” to abuse power Key accepts that what he did was “very very silly”.

But left wing blogs – authors and particularly commenters – have been overplaying their hand, as blogs often do.

They saw blood and scratched for all they were worth.

It could all be completely uncoordinated spontaneous series of attacks. And every attack and perceived from the right could be orchestrated by John Key and his minions.

But both sides will be somewhere in between those extremes, despite their screams.

And amongst that there’s a bit of Dirty Politics Derangement Syndrome

Some of the perils of waitressing

John Key pulling hair has raised the issue of how waiting staff are treated and what they have to put up with.

Jess McAllen is a journalist who has worked for seven years in the ‘hospitality industry’, a job that often has to deal with inhospitable clientele. She recounts some of her experiences at Stuff in Waitressing has its perks, but

At the end of the day, or night, we’d exchange tales over our staff drinks. The finger snappers, ass slappers, arrogant yellers and creepy dwellers: stuff that comes with the territory of bustling around on sub-par pay to serve food and drink.

When our Prime Minister’s dealings with a ponytailed waitress came to light, the response was unanimous: that’s creepy.

Not unanimous, there are some defenders and excusers of Key’s behaviour.

McAllen gives examples of what she and other waiting staff have to deal with.

Only days into your waitressing job does a certain type of man surface. He wears a suit and has a pretty good job. His arm is of the snaking kind; his breath lingers of craft beer. I’m trying not to generalise too much but advertisers, bankers and businessmen were usually the worst.

The men-in-suits table would usually tip well but at the expense of your dignity. They were the ones who slid their hands onto your lower back, who made crude jokes, who left you their number on a receipt.

Perceptions of power plus money and booze can bring out the worst in rudeness with some people (I don’t think that applies to Key).

Waitresses tie their hair up, not only because it’s a health hazard to let it loose but because balancing trays and moving your head around means you can be pulled into a dark vortex when turning suddenly (as I learnt, aged 16, when my hair got stuck in a Burgerfuel milkshake machine).

But tying hair up (a ponytail is tied up hair) doesn’t prevent unwanted attention.

Pity the waitress with long frizzy hair, she’s dubbed Pippy Long Stockings for the night when she tries to plait it and the temptation for customers to tug is double.

So tied hair can be an occupational hazard

To make up for my passive approach, when a rude customer started yelling and I had a couple of tables in my section I’d take a few steps back. The customer would have to really project their obscenities. I’d change my body language to submissive, the rest of the section listening to my profusely apologising while some guy was cussing about his hollandaise dressing.

It’s fine (and important) to complain about food or service when justified but in a supposedly civil society it can be done civilly.

There’s no profession quite as disempowering as serving people food and drink. Wait staff often have 5 to 10 tables in their area that they are looking after and have timed food and drink orders precisely. When you’re carrying four plates, remembering two drink orders from separate tables because you can’t write it down on your note pad and someone starts clicking their fingers at you like you’re a dog, things get flustered.

A friend would collect numbers given to her on receipts, and hand them out to men asking for her number.

That could be interesting, but it could be occupationally hazardous. Pissing off arseholes could have repercussions if they are regular customers.

My creepiest customer was Charlie. He never pulled my hair but he would follow me around, knowing  and knew it caused me great discomfort – which seemed to double the fun. He came in every afternoon for a round of beers with a bunch of middle-aged men. He’d come up and talk to me while I was punching orders in the till. He’d go past all other staff to be served by me.

One time he asked: “do I scare you?” as the manager told him to leave me alone.

From then on he would repeatedly ask me that question, despite his friends telling him to leave it. When I saw him outside of work at a train station I felt petrified as he followed me onto Queen Street.

That’s very creepy. I hope one of Charlie’s friends reads this article and shows it to him. Perhaps there will be a few members of families with Charlies in them who read it and ask questions.

You get a social fix. When you’re in the zone, balancing trays, drinks and banter you feel like a comedian doing a great set – connecting on a high level with the audience like some jedi waiter. You can get lost in the job. Other days it’s miserable – hell on earth.

Anyone can have a bad day. It’s not nice when it’s others who deliberately make it a bad day.

“If you remember all four of our names by the end of dinner we’ll tip $50,” said one group of men over their $100 starter..

“Take a photo with us and we’ll give you $30,” declared a man downing whiskey during an All Blacks game at a Eden Park bar.

“I’ll give you ten dollars for everything you do right but take ten dollars of for everything you do wrong,” said another.

I wonder if men like that treat prostitutes the same. It wouldn’t be surprising if they were that sort of clientèle.

Drunk men grab your ass, touch your back, hug you. The tugging of a ponytail was usually brief and never long enough for fear but sparked annoyance and a sense of not owning myself.

My friend who waitressed for a catering company said her worst experience was when a guy at an awards evening tried to pull her top down as she leaned forward to pick up his plate.

Some of the worst arseholes are drunk leering touching grabbing arseholes.

Other friends have caught men trying to take pictures of them on their cellphones, have had men firmly plant their hand on their lower back while taking orders, been asked if they have piercings “down there”.

In their day jobs most of them probably manage to maintain professional relationships. In their social lives they reveal their personalities, albeit lubricate with booze.

As for being called babe, baby, honey and the ever common “girl”, it’s part of parcel of the job.

Offensive, demeaning.

If you’re the customer that repeatedly tugs a waitresses hair, smacks your hand on the bar, yells out ‘hey, hey, oi, you’ the bartender or waitress will certainly look – but only to know who to serve last. When you run the country, that’s a different story.

Yes, a different story. See Key “didn’t deliberately intend” to abuse power.

Kiwiblog full of excuses and blame diversion

David Farrar has mildly criticised John Key’s hair pulling harrassment at Kiwiblog – Inappropriate if accurate.

Key has apologised, he has acknowledged his behaviour was inappropriate “in retrospect”, and I haven’t seen him dispute any of the claims made.

Farrar:

But again in this case (assuming the story is correct) he appears to have seriously misjudged how what he saw as mucking around, was received, and he failed to pick up on the discomfort caused.

That’s reasonable comment but putting it fairly mildly.

Less mild is a lot of the reaction at Kiwiblog, where there’s been a cacophony of disbelief, excuse making and blaming the victim.

Funnily the first and one of the most sensible reactions was from Redbaiter:

If the story is true, its amazing no one around Key told him he was making a fool of himself.

If he was the easy going guy his public image suggests, why couldn’t one of his minders have had a word in his ear?

This just seems too weird to be true, but if it is, then maybe there’s a side to Key the public doesn’t know about.

17 up and 9 down ticks.

And next from notrotsky:

Despite my better instincts I’ve just read the story at the daly blog….

If it is true it is more than serious misjudgement it is harassment, if the person in question was a relative or friend i would be furious.

Unacceptable from anyone but from a PM this is the kind of thing that should see him severely censured.

As RB says above it is amazing that no-one called him on this behaviour.

16 up, 4 down

But it went mostly downhill from there. BeaB:

Interesting that everyone is prepared to believe every word. I suspect this is a beat-up.
The involvement of Bronagh is enough for me to think it never happened as described, not to mention how polite and appropriate Key’s behaviour has always been in any setting I have seen him. It just doesn’t have the ring of truth.
Especially when it is printed by such a disreputable blogger!

37 up, 1 down

peterwn should know better than this:

Yesterday, while in a waiting room, I half read an article in a North South magazine (I think) about how some women claim to have been psychologically wrecked by hand on knee etc. So it makes me wonder if it is just another smear attack on John Key inspired by that article or similar. His political enemies smeared him right from the time he became National leader. The claims were not outrageous but went along the lines that he was not quite up to being PM etc – as such claims are more likely to be believed than more outrageous claims, then of course claims that he was ‘slippery’ coming later Labour’s polling firm even asked a question about this presumably to gauge whether the ‘slippery’ tag was having a positive or negative effect on people.

23 up, 0 down

Grant:

Interesting too, how this has been put about while the PM is at Gallipoli. Hence, the story will have time to grow legs before he can respond.
The absolute epitome of Key Derangement Syndrome, and I’d wager that John Campbell has already had at least two orgasms since he got wind of it.
Will be fascinating to see how this pans out.

28 up, 0 down

Another lawyer takes sides without any evidence evident – alex Masterly

I have never taken anything that appears on the Daily Blog seriously. Why should I start now?
Anyway the dealings I have had with the PM have always been courteous good natured and polite.

25 up, 1 down

Diversion into history by scrubone:

Interesting to see lefties claiming this will end Key, considering the list of things that Labour MPs got up to. Why, even Field was only kicked out for party disloyalty, not for being a corrupt MP. Benson-Pope still hasn’t answered for taking his BDSM habits into school classrooms, Trevor is still in parliment even though he got into a punchup, and Helen never answered for stealing $800,000 to help with the Labour election campaign.

22 up, 0 down

flipper:

A few things which even some normally level-headed folk here appear to have missed:

1. The “source” ? – Anonymouse!

2. Published by whom, and where?

3. Wife Bronagh is said to have been present.

4. DPS security was present.

5. Others were apparently also present.

Conclusion?

Absolute bullshit!

But in line with the “H fee/Fat Tony” attempt ….. and all the other smeared bullshit.

Strange that it “emerges” when Labour and their shills are seen to have made zero impact on Key/National.

Pathetic.

26 up, 1 down

Nukuleka:

Man= guilty. Woman= innocent.

Don’t bother about facts.

Story of life in New Zealand 2015.

26 up, 4 down

In this case the man has admitted guilt.

Even a more reasoned begininng from Monty turns into a, excuse-fest, minimising the offence and attacking the messenger..

The story is obviously true as Key has through his office admitted to pulling the waitress hair. I do not condone his actions in any respect and believe the actions were somewhat appropriate, but I guess that John Key has been a very regular visitor to the café for several years. There is no doubt a high degree of familiarity with staff at the café.

But there are a couple of things that I question. Firstly the story appearing at the Daily Blog – has Martyn (Martin) Bradbury embellished it somewhat? It would be typical and expected of The left wing blog to certainly embellish the story as much as possible.

Reading body language can be extraordinary difficult. Certainly the first time no reaction what so ever, and reading the story it seems there was no reaction the second time either. I would think that the fact this went on several times there was no obvious sign it was. I think it was on the fourth and final time when she finally made it clear that the “game” (as she called it) was unwanted. Key straight away apologised and gave her a couple of bottles of wine. I am sure the apology would be genuine.

To my thinking and on the basis the apology was indeed genuine that should have been the end of the matter. But sometime later she has run off the Daily Blog, the most left wing hate blog run by hater Martyn (Martin) Bradbury.

Without excusing the behaviour of Key, the waitress should have quickly asked the security guard to ask John Key to stop (and he definitely would have in my opinion). She never really made the objection obvious.

27 up, 2 down

waikatogirl:

This is a ‘Dad Joke’. Dad thinks it’s funny, but everyone else rolls their eyes :)
This happened in the Key’s local cafe with Bronagh and security present.

Apparently it was a year ago and she didn’t make a complaint to her boss. She went to a politically lefty blog and doesn’t want to be identified.

Smells politically like a fish left in the sun!

30 up, 1 down

It wasn’t a year ago and she did complain. Key’s wife is reported to have pointed out the inappropriateness.

Doc:

Whilst I don’t understand how the PM thought that this might be acceptable behaviour, I am astounded that the waitress let this continue for more than six months before saying anything.

“No means No” springs to mind… As soon as she said “stop” he did so, and immediately apologised. To allow unwanted attention to persist for so long without actually saying anything almost seems contrived… (though my judgement here is almost certainly coloured by the fact that she shopped her story to TDB…)

20 up, 0 down

And so it goes on. With a few counter-comments, like radvad:

“Inappropriate” does not cut it DPF. “Creepy” and “stupid” describe his behaviour better.

5 up, 12 down

David Garrett:

Just flicked across to the Herald story which is somewhat more detailed than Stuff. If what she says is accurate – and Bradbury claims to have a sworn affidavit from the soon to be outed waitress – then it happened several times, even after Mrs Key told the PM it was inappropriate. Not acceptable. And more than a little odd, especially if it did indeed happen several times.

And when peterwn accepts the story:

 it is now through normal channels – the current Stuff headline (if it can be believed) indicates the incident is pure fact.

3 up, 2 down.

Few willing to accept facts.

And doesn’t change much through a lengthy thread.

Key’s hair pulling

From what I’ve heard about John Key repeatedly pulling someone’s hair at a cafe it sounds like awful behaviour, for anyone. For a Prime Minister to do it, making it more awkward than normal to know how to deal with it, makes it worse.

Maybe Key thought he was just being a blokey person having some fun, but being on the receiving end of attention like that, especially in a client customer relationship, and especially especially with a major power imbalance involved, it was totally inappropriate behaviour.

It’s a bit curious that The Daily Blog was chosen as a way of publicising what had been happening but the person on the receiving end of apparently persistent  physical harassment can be excused for whatever outlet they wanted to use to express their feelings.

Key has apologised and gifted a couple of bottles of wine. That sort of addresses it a bit, but nowhere enough.

I think Key needs to address this significant lapse far more than that. He can’t just apologise and shrug it off.

At least he can’t just shrug it off now without increasing the damage.

While it might have seemed normal ‘horsing around’ and accepted behaviour to Key he must realise now it was very unacceptable.

This is damaging for Key. He could limit the damage a bit but that won’t happen by doing nothing more about it, nor by trying to minimise or explain off what he’s done.

It’s a piss poor look for him and that makes it a poor look for the country.

I wouldn’t say it goes as far as being disgusting but it is somewhere along the lines of disgraceful.

As reported by the Herald:

“In the beginning, the first time he pulled on my hair, I remember thinking to myself he’s probably just trying to be playful and jolly, seeing as the general consensus of most who meet him is ‘he’s such a nice guy’.

“The next time he came up behind me and pulled my hair I was annoyed. Great, I thought, this wasn’t just a one-off. Despite my obvious annoyance I didn’t comment on his behaviour.

“It then happened yet again when he next visited the cafe and again I didn’t respond verbally, but everything about my body language screamed I DON’T LIKE THAT.”

She said that despite her obvious annoyance, Mr Key continued to touch her hair on visits to the cafe with his wife Bronagh in February and March.

“I stood with my back to him filling water glasses, and he pulled my hair before once again pointing the blame at Bronagh. I couldn’t believe it, he was still persisting and by now he had definitely got the message that I was not enjoying it – that seemed to be why he was enjoying it so damn much. It had really crossed the line by this point and I didn’t need to tell him to stop because now Bronagh herself was already telling him to stop what he was doing…”

During a visit on March 26, the waitress said she threatened to physically stop him from pulling her hair.

“As he made his way out the door I said after him ‘Please STOP or I will actually hit you soon!’ He’d made it clear that he just didn’t care.”

She added: “Everybody knew that I didn’t like it, I really didn’t like it. I felt powerless and tormented and I stepped out the back and I cried frustrated tears.”

Mr Key returned to the cafe soon after and gave her two bottles of his own brand of pinot noir and said: “This is for you, sorry, I didn’t realise.”

He should have bloody realised. He should have known that it was poor behaviour in the first place, Once could maybe sort of be laughed off as horsing around, but after that it was crap.