Huh. Not implausible, but doesn't fit with my experience. Plus his conversational style in interviews and press conferences has been entirely natural. He listens to whoever is talking to him and responds with easy rapport. Narcissists don't do that. They talk at people, not with them.
National MP Nicky Wagner called him "psychotic", quoted in a recent media report I saw. If he really was a narcissist he'd obviously already be suing her for defamation. Threat to reputation is threat to ego. First button in the psyche that gets pushed.
Unfortunately there's a TVNZ poll out this weekend.
Just for fun, I'll predict in advance (rather than spin afterwards):
Bridges will go UP in the preferred PM question. Pundits will then pontificate, and get it wrong.
For any opposition leader, between election campaigns, "preferred PM" is about name recognition. (Remember when Helen Clark stayed in the rankings, long after she had moved to New York?). Politics junkies think the public are following every detail, every day: they aren't. People have lives. So, until recently a large swathe of the population did not know (or much care) who the leader of the National party was.
They do now.
(yes, I could be totally wrong. Humble pie sitting in the fridge, ready for my 6 pm dinner ...)
Bridges will go UP in the preferred PM question.
Sympathy vote will have increased later in the week.
Two points, it’s unclear whether Ross was placed under the mental health act – he could have been admitted as a voluntary patient. Secondly, there is no way a political party could influence that process. That allegation is a very nasty and ignorant smear against health professionals and does a great disservice to mental health.
kind of like how the unlawful raid on Hager’s house did a disservice to the police?. Glancing back through the last 93 pages I wish I shared your confidence.
Former National Party general manager Chris Simpson on The Nation yesterday morning said this:
Interviewer: Okay. Do you think that his [Ross'] behaviour changed as his reputation in the party changed or grew?
Collings: Well, I think the ego grew, I guess. And, yeah, definitely. And that’s one of the reasons... Look, we met with Melanie Reid. And thank you to Melanie for breaking the story. I went to Melanie because she broke the story on Todd Barclay. And I said, ‘Look, this guy, we’ve got a guy in our area that makes Todd Barclay look like an angel.’ But we knew nothing of this. This is, you know...
So, National Party hierarchy went to the media asking them to investigate allegations of bullying and abusive behaviour by one of their own MPs?
And in the Newsroom story, is prefaced stating;
Over the past year, Newsroom investigations editor Melanie Reid has been looking into the background and behaviour of former National MP Jami-Lee Ross. She has talked to a number of people who have given detailed accounts, recordings and documents of their close working and personal relationships with the controversial politician.
No concern for the mental health implications on the individuals and their families and a total abdication of their own responsibility as an organisation.
Possibly their voters are ideologically more likely to see such self-serving behaviour as unexceptionable, or even desirable. How bad does it need to get before it alienates National’s base? We might be about to find out.
I'm not getting my hopes up. Keep in mind that most voters have other lives, and are often barely even following what's happening right now. Just because someone hates the National party, or thinks that all politicians are corrupt and dishonest, doesn't mean they won't vote National if the alternative is something they're convinced is worse.
I think too many voters, on most sides, get distracted by the potential euphoria, or fear, of a change in government happening at all. Stuff like electoral finance laws and transparent government aren't really a direct enough thing in most people's day-to-day lives for policies on them to strongly influence elections. Except maybe 2008 when the recent changes were turned into a vile and polarising campaign issue, where potential voters were told that the changes were an unfair and corrupt mechanism for the government to suppress National's ability to get elected.
Not that things could never meaningfully change, but I can't imagine it happening in any normal scenario. Maybe if it's a policy enforced by a smaller party in a coalition deal, but without uncharacteristic multi-partisan support it'd risk going the way of 2008 again.
Over the past year
I was just thinking about that too, it’s any wonder how long these testimonies might have been kept under wraps had push not come to shove. I see Andrew Geddis’ piece has been updated.
it’s unclear whether Ross was placed under the mental health act – he could have been admitted as a voluntary patient.
Thanks for the link. I just realised that Collings is the Howick Board guy, not the former NP GM. So it wasn't party hierarchy that went to the media.
That interview on 'The Nation' was really poor. A series of assertions, barely challenged by the interviewer. Simon Shepherd even let Collings bring in his stupid sign to hold up for the cameras. Failed Professional Journalism 101.
And I don't give a damn what any party insider said privately to another insider. If you didn't tell the voters, you and your suddenly convenient "concerns" can fuck right off.
wasn’t party hierarchy
Simpson: Yes, but it depends on when we – in the sense of the viewers – just get bored with it. Basically, what we’re hearing is that this man can’t be trusted. So that’s what’s coming through, versus, sort of, secret, recorded, hidden tape recordings, blah blah blah. It’s like, ‘Well, actually, we don’t trust you.’
and may turn out to be quite prescient:
So if you want to remove rot from within Parliament…Bit of a media circus over the next couple of weeks, and then it just slowly dies down, and he just goes into oblivion.
a great disservice to mental health.
He is now being supported by a small group of friends including political consultant Simon Lusk and right wing blogger Cameron Slater, aka Whaleoil, it is understood.
If Ross has been admitted under the mental health act Labour Party supporters should still stop shitting on mental health professionals by questioning if this was a stitch up by National.
It just is not possible and anyone with any concern for our mental health system would know that.
That interview on ‘The Nation’ was really poor.
I agree. I also think the Newsroom piece by Melanie Reid was really poor. I was disheartened to see the use of "anonymous" reports in respect of matters regarding sex between consenting adults. Just as the use of non-disclosure agreements is dreadful behaviour by organisations dealing with bullying/harassment complaints - they leave perpetrators in place.
The MP who had an affair with Ross, identified him in the Melanie Reid report - yet she was given anonymity (and again by Newstalk ZB when he named her - they bleeped out that name).
Only Ross' wife and children suffered the public indignity. It was a Newsroom article that I just felt very uncomfortable about. Trumpian/US style reporting - a place I guess I'd rather not see NZ media and NZ politics go.
But it did go there and now someone has been hospitalized, and who knows what other trauma people and families are suffering.
Labour supporters showing complete ignorance of mental health and the mental health act and going on about the yellow peril.
If there’s a problem with the centre right is this some sort of solution? A bit like Corbyn - is that the best the left can do.
A handful of people ranting on the Standard or Twitter late at night is hardly a fair sample. Nobody has elected them to anything.
I'm not aware of any Labour or Green MPs giving us their amateur diagnosis over the past week. But words like "psychotic" and "delusional" have been thrown around by National MPs who should know better.
Tomorrow morning I’ll go to work in a stressful acute mental health setting with most likely some Chinese colleagues. I’d like to think Labour has some appreciation of mental health issues and doesn’t think the local Chinese community is some CCP fith column.
I’m not convinced by recent events.
Simon Lusk and right wing blogger Cameron Slater
Brings to mind "who needs enemies with friends like these".
I’m also very much troubled by:
A National Party spokesman said Ross’ mental health concerns had been “taken seriously” over the past several weeks and medical professionals had been involved.
“That has included seeking advice from medical professionals and involving police wherever necessary to ensure support is made available to Mr Ross."
Yes I agree - at this point I can't really understand why National would still be involved with looking after JLR's health/etc it seems to me that they have an enormous conflict of interest
I particular it seems to me that the one thing they want to avoid at all costs is him in parliament using parliamentary privilege, after all he knows where all the bodies are buried
Toby Manhire's compilation of 33 grenades lobbed by JLR, solid evidence that someone can be extremely potent and effective at the top level of politics despite mental health issues!
The JLR affair is symptomatic of Dirty Politics going all the way to the highest levels of the guilty parties. It's bordering on GOP-grade underhanded-ness. And yes, let's keep JLR's mental health issues separate from his role in all this.