Glucina’s text to Key

The Ombudsman has ruled that John Key shouldn’t have refused to release a text message sent from Rachel Glucina to him related to Amanda Bailey and the hair pulling issue.

The text was made public this afternoon by Newshub: Glucina’s text message to PM revealed.

Newshub has obtained the text message sent by Rachel Glucina to the Prime Minister, which John Key initially refused to release under the Official Information Act.

The text message said: “just interviewed the waitress. Piece of work! Massive political agenda”.

It has been suggested that Glucina is piece of work with a massive political agenda too. And the person who forced the release through an OIA request, No Right Turn, could also be suspected of having a bit of a political agenda as well.

Some journalists have raised concerns about this.

It appears the information was withheld by the Prime Minister’s office under Section 9 of the Official Information Act, which aims to protect privacy or an obligation of confidence.

But Judge Boshier decided the request should not have been refused.

“Even if an obligation of confidence existed, I consider it is outweighed by the high public interest in the information,” he wrote in his response to the complaint.

So anything that can be judged of “high public interest” must be released?

No Right Turn had a lot of interest in it, as did a few other political activists wanting to inflict as much damage on Key as they could, but I wouldn’t be surprised if most of the public may think that the text is of little interest to them.

I doubt many journalists will be keen on bloggers forcing their communication with politicians to be revealed.

I think Glucina’s text says a bit about her bit little about anything else.

It was also noted on Twitter that Glucina didn’t break this text revelation on her gossip site Scout.

Key made it clear he ignored the text. While someone seemed to think it was significant in some way that Glucina had Key’s phone number so do Barack Obama and Key ignored a call from him.

UPDATE: With so little information in a brief text The Standard are having a field day filling in all the gaps – Glucina Key #ponygate text revealed

McCready told not to “bother, vex or harass”

The latest Graeme McCready farce seems to have ended in court (yesterday) with McCready told not “bother, vex or harass” Amanda Bailey.

Ponytail pulling case ends in confusion

An attempt to get John Key under oath and talking about ponytail-pulling has failed with the private prosecutor being told to stop being a nuisance.

A new ruling today has seen Graham McCready’s application to the Human Rights Tribunal end in bumbling confusion with the litigator told not “bother, vex or harass” victim Amanda Bailey.

A finding from Tribunal chairman Rodger Haines QC today sharply told Mr McCready to leave Ms Bailey alone.

The ruling showed Mr McCready had no way of serving Ms Bailey with a summons and said it was because he was “not entitled to the information sought”.

“It is to be remembered Ms Bailey is not a party to these proceedings and that these proceedings have been brought without her knowledge or consent”.

McCready tried to make it all about him and force Bailey to play along.

Mr Haines said Mr McCready had not read with care previous rulings from the Tribunal related to the case he was trying to bring and it showed he was “wasting the Tribunal’s time with applications of no merit”.

He said the repeated applications to the Tribunal to get “information they are not entitled to” could strengthen any application by Ms Bailey or Mr Key to have the whole case dismissed.

Mr McCready said the tribunal had misunderstood confusion over the process and determined his actions were “frivolous and intended to harass the victim Amanda Bailey”.

He said he had no way to serve a summons on Ms Bailey to get her evidence into court.

“The Pony Tail Gate case is therefore at an end,” he said.

Good. It should never have started.

Any action if any should be entirely up to Bailey.

The timing, and things get messy

The timing of the hair pulling story has been criticised, but that’s nonsense. So what if someone timed it for maximum attention? That’s hardly uncommon.

Sure it could be awkward for Key to deal with the flak while travelling around the world. But it also gets him out of most of the firing line. By the time he gets back to New Zealand the story will have at least calmed down a bit.

Perhaps the story could have been put out in the news vacuum over Easter. That might have reduced attention. Or it could have festered and grown because there wasn’t much else to be indignant about.

The timing is a non-issue.

While the victim is a victim if unwanted physical attention she is a victim. That isn’t diminished by the way the story plays out.

I think she was unwise using The Daily Blog and Martyn Bradbury as her medium for her revelation. It guaranteed a highly charged partisan reaction before any facts were known or confirmed. It’s a side issue but it’s an issue.

The waitress used Bradbury – but Bradbury has used her too. I hope he warned her about the inevitability that her anonymity wouldn’t last long. I hope he warned her how she would be labelled politically by using him.

It didn’t take the Herald long to out the identity of the waitress and her workplace – see Waitress: ‘I felt NZ should know’.

She has complained about this coverage in detail at The Daily Blog – UPDATE: The Prime Minister and the Waitress Part 2 – Dirty Politics?

She says she was aware of some of the risks but she has been clobbered.

She claims that her employers and Rachel colluded to dupe her into an interview. But retracting something from the media is futile. Especially once it’s been published.

Out of respect for my employers, and what seemed like their genuine concern for my well-being along with the future of their business (a business doing good things which I fully support), they introduced me to Rachel, by name as the employee behind the story, and Rachel said she would put together a statement for us to proof.

As we waited for Rachel to e-mail the draft proof one of my employers read aloud to the other Rachel’s e-mail address. It began… RACHEL.GLUCINA and alarm bells went off. Sounded familiar, and I felt sick to my stomach – more than you’d ever imagine, a feeling I simply could not ignore.

Rachel’s story changed. RAPIDLY. Now she couldn’t possibly supply us with a proof because she would lose her job. She was absolutely acting in her capacity as a journalist for the New Zealand Herald and claimed that my employers had known all along, which they denied.

I made it absolutely clear that all and any comments I had made were given under false pretences, not to mention completely out of context, and questioned whether her supposed story would still be published if I withheld my permission.

Rachel simply responded that she would come back to us and read to us what was to be published, although she had no control over editors and sub-editors, and that she had to get in touch with the Prime Ministers office, and then they quickly ended the conversation. I later contacted my employers reiterating that I revoked any permission to use my photo or comments for any press release, and my disappointment that I had been mislead to such a gross degree whilst having my identity knowingly confirmed with the New Zealand Herald at the same time.

If she’s correct this is a bad look for the Herald. More collateral damage. What the hell were her employers and Glucina up to?

This could get very messy.

When the Prime Minister is involved behaviour has to be carefully considered. He stuffed up.

When the Prime Minister is involved the media and the victim get embroiled as well in what now looks like becoming substantial side issues.

While I think Key’s behaviour was poor it wasn’t dirty. But it’s triggered what could be a bloody big dirty mess.