Aaron Gilmore is Not an Aberration

What really concerns me about the on-going farce that surrounds the obviously duplicitous Aaron Gilmore is that it is bringing Parliament and our MPs into further disrepute. Already politicians are not regarded as very trustworthy according to surveys.

When our leaders should be setting examples and maintaining high standards we are seeing serious issues brushed aside and members being taken at their word when the evidence clearly says otherwise. I have met few people who really believe John Banks told the truth and Hekia Parata has been caught out providing deliberate misinformation so often that I have stopped counting. The Prime Minister himself is having to change his story and recover forgotten memories on a regular basis. 

Gilmore was accepted by National as an MP despite a past history of concerning behaviour. When a prospective candidate presents a CV with false qualifications
"Two years ago, the CV posted on Gilmore's Parliament web page was found to have incorrectly accredited him with being a member of Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Institute - a membership he had never had - as well as having a high-level finance-sector qualification he did not. He blamed the latter on the Parliamentary Service."
...one would think his future parliamentary career would have ended at that point. He obviously had difficulties with the truth.

Despite recent txt revelations the Prime Minister is still open about Gilmore remaining as an MP until the next election. It appears that he sees it acceptable to pay someone almost $150,000 a year, plus expenses, who will be given few responsibilities. The Prime Minister's underpaid cleaner will be providing better value to the country.

We should expect high ethical standards from our parliamentary representatives and standards seem to be plummeting. Colleagues of mine have been shocked at the treatment they have received from Government MPs when they have made submissions to select committees. There is often no respect given to those who have spent time to present a genuine view that may be different to the Government line. This just makes a farce of the democratic process.
This political climate is even reflected in how people are engaging in political discussions in blogs and social media. The Whale Oil blog continually has people making comments that in any other forum would be offensive and libelous. I find it hugely concerning that we can't debate ideas and win by the strengths of our arguments alone and winning respect through actions and deeds rather than by resorting to ridicule, threats and bullying.

Aaron Gilmore is probably not an aberration, he is a National MP who hadn't quite learned to manage his public face. Ex MP, Michael Laws, even attempts to claim that such behaviour is not unusual and that we shouldn't expect higher standards from our public representatives.

Sadly it seems all's fair in love and war...and politics.


Daniel Copeland said…
"I find it hugely concerning that we can't debate ideas and win by the strengths of our arguments alone and winning respect through actions and deeds rather than by resorting to ridicule, threats and bullying."

I wouldn't worry too much. There have always been bullies. There have always been people who use unending offensiveness to get attention.

Why do you only hear about the recent ones? Because, when they're gone, they're very soon forgotten.
bsprout said…
You are right, Daniel, there have always been bullies but I felt we have been moving away from that culture and yet we appear to have a strong resurgence.
Keeping Stock said…
It's not just Gilmore bsprout; there was Shane Jones and his movies, Phillip Field and his tiles and any number of NZ First MP's including the leader who have tested our patience and standards of decency. I guess that Parliament actually demands a certain level of narcissism; it's no place for a shrinking violet.
bsprout said…
Agreed, KS, but misinformation and possible lying seems to be a more common concern under this Government. While John Banks remains in Parliament, Hekia Parata remains as the Education Minister and if Aaron Gilmore spends over a year on a $150,000 salary (doing nothing but provide another vote) then this Government's ethical standing is in question.

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