Barry Soper: Pure and simple - Lees-Galloway's sacking is all about politics

Author
Barry Soper,
Publish Date
Wed, 22 Jul 2020, 1:11PM

Barry Soper: Pure and simple - Lees-Galloway's sacking is all about politics

Author
Barry Soper,
Publish Date
Wed, 22 Jul 2020, 1:11PM

Jacinda Ardern must have been the last person to know that the Minister she's protected through thick and thin had been having an affair with a staffer.

The rumour mill over Iain Lees-Galloway's behaviour has been working overtime for months now.    

The Prime Minister insists she was unaware of it which raises the question over whether she's in touch with her party and in particular her ministry. If she's not in touch with what's going on around her, surely those who are employed to keep her informed have dismally failed her.

Truth is though, if having an affair is a sackable offence you would be like the old crone at the foot of the guillotine, knitting and collecting the heads in a basket.    

Lees-Galloway's sacking wasn't about the affair, it was about the power imbalance with his mistress working in his office and then moving to an agency overseen by him.

Remember former National bad boy Jamie-Lee Ross telling us that Parliament's rife with bed hopping? That certainly came as no surprise to those of us who have worked here for a number of years.    

The place is a strange environment where MPs weekly travel to Wellington, leaving their families behind. They live in flats around the capital and while at Parliament socialising is the norm with a well patronised bar on the third floor of the Beehive.

The media rightly usually avoid reporting on affairs, they are not our business. It's only when the bedsheets are lifted, usually by the politicians or those out to make mischief, that they become media fodder.

Remember David Lange's affair with his speech writer. It was common knowledge around the traps and only became public when his wife, after his dramatic resignation as Prime Minister, went public.

The latest shabby chapter came to light when new National Party leader Judith Collins apparently got an email making the allegation. She tells us she gave the emailer the address of Ardern's chief of staff to relay the information to her and she wiped her hands of it.

It's pure coincidence the information came her way just after National got rid of Andrew Falloon for sending pornographic material to a young woman.

Yeah right!

This is politics, pure and simple and this is shaping up to be a tit for tat, nasty election campaign, reflecting badly on those we elected to represent us.