Len Brown has been elected twice as Auckland’s mayor. He beat the ineffectual John Banks in the first supercity election and nobody of any note in the second.
Brown has admitted to a two year affair with a woman and his cover was blown soon after his win. The news was broken on the Whale Oil Blog. Apparently the story was known before the election but a strategic decision was taken to not release until after the votes had been counted. A decision that must have been made on the basis that the right’s candidate John Palino just might succeed in an upset.
He didn’t, so the idea now is to release the information, manufacture a scandal and force Brown to resign.
I think this whole matter stinks. Sure, Brown is a rat. Sure his ex-girlfriend isn’t much better. Anyone who is a willing partner to adultery with a married man and then can then say “as a practising Catholic the hypocrisy of Brown’s conduct was extraordinary” with a straight face is some kind of strange person. Leaving aside the other titillating detail obviously included just to add to Brown’s discomfort and help satisfy the women’s desire for revenge.
I am disappointed that this is apparently the only means the right have to defeat Len Brown. I don’t think it is a particularly honourable process. By hiding the news until it was politically convenient to release it, the right make themselves a party to the deceit.
More important, this assault on Brown as an adulterer is an admission by the right that they cannot defeat Brown the way he should be defeated- on ideological grounds. I feel it reinforces my old argument that the right are too confused about what they stand for, and too inarticulate to explain it anyway. They can only ever compete for votes on leftist terms.
If they would only believe in a set of principles. I mean really believe in them, as conviction politicians should, then that conviction should enable them to articulate those policies but more importantly, also enable them to sell them to an electorate I believe is anxious for something fresh and honest. They simply need to go out and persuade voters that there is a better way. A victory without this persuasion is hollow.
If Brown resigns then it is my opinion that he has not been honestly defeated, and it is therefore no real victory for the right. More an admission of defeat, in that if the only way they can gain power is by subterfuge rather than convincing voters to support them, then they lack the ideas and persuasive powers to sell those ideas. In other words, they’re inadequate and weak where they should be committed and strong.
If I ever supported such politicians, my support would be wasted.