Political Unpredictability – No Comment
During our recent visit down under and a little to the right (looking from Antarctica) I – as I always do – bought a newspaper wherever I was at the time to try and understand what was happening in the country.
Well as in most democracies around the world politics and the activities/behaviour of politicians was in the news and as is now common throughout the world there is nothing like a scandal to get the media excited.
In New Zealand there was one such story that quite amused me because it in my mind was the irony between two articles in the same newspaper.
Before I go on I am not going to judge or comment on the actions or behaviour of those involved.
The first article which incidentally on the front page was all about the New Zealand police investigating a text message that was allegedly sent from a National Party Member of Parliament to another National Party Member of Parliament in which the phrase “You deserve to die” was apparently included.
This is where it gets interesting because I wasn’t aware (and why should I be) that in New Zealand any incitement to self-harm is punishable under the law to up to three years in prison.
And that is the basis of the investigation,
Was the text an incitement to self-harm?
(I’ve no idea what would happen to me because there are a number of people who I have in the past – and I guess there will be some who think the same of me – thought and said just go f*** yourself – is that incitement to self-harm?)
Anyway back to the article.
Why would one MP say it to another MP?
Well the sender called Sarah Dowie sent the text to one Jami-Lee Ross who had broken up both having had an extramarital relationship with each other.
Mr Ross claims that reading the message led to him considering self-harming and that he went into mental health care shortly after.
Now that may or may not be true but perhaps cynically I couldn’t help wondering if the other extramarital relationships he admits to have had may have contributed or that he was forced to resign as an MP following accusations of inappropriate behaviour towards female colleagues.
(I’m not convinced Mr Ross is the victim in all of this)
What it didn’t do is prevent him revealing during a television interview that an investigation was taking place whilst absolutely denying that it wasn’t him who reported it on the Crime-stoppers hotline.
Ms Dowie by the way apparently didn’t know an investigation was taking place.
The law of course will take its course which in this case means it will be necessary to show “intent” to cause self-harm behind sending the text and also the resilience (great word) of the person receiving it.
Well in all of this sorry saga two marriages have broken up and as is now common in politics there is a whole raft of other allegations surrounding one of the MP’s (OK Mr Ross) that appears to muddy the waters.
Which brings me neatly to why I was amused when continuing to read the rest of the newspaper I came across the following article……
Former National MP Jami-Lee Ross is advertising for a staff member to help him in his role as a “senior” MP.
Apparently, anyone interested in the job will have to “appreciate the sometimes unpredictable nature of this environment and instead of letting it faze you, thrive on it”.
Also, “it goes without saying (so why say it) you’re someone who’s empathetic and respectful, and you’re confident in building strong relationships with a diverse range of people”.
So Mr Jami-Lee Ross is looking for someone to be on his staff who thrives on unpredictability.
Now that is an understatement and if you were on his staff the unpredictability of working for Mr Ross would certainly be that.