Brian Edwards Media

Thoughts on the Recent Life of an Embattled MP – An Invitation to Imagine

Imagine this. You’re a public figure. An accusation has been made against you, not of any criminal act, not even of breaching any rule, but of displaying an attitude of entitlement to the perks of office. Others have been as guilty as you, some more guilty. But the world seems largely uninterested in them. Its focus is almost entirely on you.

Imagine that for months you are vilified daily in the press, on radio, on television, on the Internet, to your face, behind your back.  Imagine that this relentless attack goes beyond what you have done to what you are said to be –  a person without integrity, without conscience, egotistical, narcissistic, a sponger on the public purse, a waste of space. Imagine being branded ‘worthless’.

Imagine not being able to open a newspaper, listen to radio, watch television, surf the Net without finding this judgement of your character somewhere expressed. Imagine it happening every hour of every day for months.  

Imagine being chased down corridors by people with microphones and cameras. Imagine them camped day and night outside your home, their spotlights trained on your doors and windows. Imagine them following you everywhere you go.   Imagine them calling out:  Answer! Explain!  Apologise!

Imagine that when you do apologise, do try to explain, it is still not enough. You must apologise again. You must be publicly humiliated. You must not be left with a vestige of self-worth.

And when all of this has finally been achieved,  imagine how normal, how rational, how entirely sane, how capable of coping, even of going on, you might be.  

I don’t know Chris  Carter’s state of health, but I imagine he is unwell. I imagine he has been unwell for some time. And I imagine that his ‘unwellness’ may explain his recent irrational and self-destructive behaviour.

As he emerged from his meeting with the Te Atatu LEC, Labour Party President Andrew Little said he had been asked to deal ‘compassionately’ with Chris Carter. I thought the word appropriate.  

It seems to me that if Carter has indeed been found guilty of displaying an attitude of entitlement to the perks of office and, now, of disloyalty to his party and leader, natural justice would at least require that he be credited with ‘time spent’ in the purgatory which must have been his recent life.

Before deciding his fate the Labour Party Council and Party Leader Phil Goff should imagine how it might feel to have everything you have done, worked for, achieved, reduced to nothing. They might then show compassion and generosity, by giving their long-serving MP time to heal, perhaps even to return, albeit under notice, to the party fold. How they deal with this matter will ultimately reflect as much on them as it does on him.

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73 Comments:

  1. Thankyou for writing this. I live in Chris Carter’s electorate and have always voted for him. The events of the last few days have left me feeling slightly bewildered, and ultimately very sad for him. He has the look of someone under enormous stress, which obviously he is.
    It looks to me like he was trying to go out in a blaze of glory and truly believed he could set events in motion to roll Goff. I don’t understand why he would want do this, as John Campbell pointed out in his interview with him, Goff’s job is to lose the next election (and he’s doing a great job of it). Even the most ardent Labour supporter knows the next election will not be won by Labour, but it’s highly likely National will bugger it up in their second term. I don’t know the ins and outs of the political implications, but I do know that it would be hard for me to choose between supporting a new Labour candidate or supporting Carter. Some people may think it’s ridiculas to contemplate voting for him, but he’s built up a lot of goodwill here in Te Atatu. However, I don’t see it coming to that as Carter obviously no longer has the right state of mind for political life.
    I have a great deal of compassion for him and am sorry that he’s leaving politics without the dignity and respect he’s earned.

  2. 2

    Yes Chris has a hard time for the last six months but he is a politician ,I would suggest Trevor Mallard, Christine Rankin and half the front bench of the National Party have had just as much flack for quite alot longer than that

    Brian can you name anything Chris has done other than be a part time supporter of the Labour Party and a torch bearer for the rainbow section?

  3. Carter played the “gay-bashing” card as an automatic knee-jerk get-out-of-jail-free response to EVERY cogent criticism of his work and behaviour, and now that ploy has dried up, and with Big Mama Helen not there to protect him, he’s playing the “harrassment” card. What an ego-tripping diva.

    • Carter played the “gay-bashing” card as an automatic knee-jerk get-out-of-jail-free response to EVERY cogent criticism of his work and behaviour

      He didn’t actually, though others did on his behalf. And if you don’t think there was a strong element of homophobia in the attacks on him and Peter, you haven’t listened to talkback, haven’t read the comments on the right-wing blogs and have even less of the milk of human kindness than this comment suggests.

  4. Cheers Brian, for bringing a compassionate perspective to this nightmare … I’m sick of the witch hunts (as a species we haven’t risen very far) and the public bullying … alas, no one can accuse us of not wanting to kick a man when he’s down.
    The baying pack of media predators pursuing Chris Carter through the halls of Parliament will haunt me for life. This man has been cornered and has snapped – where were his advisors?
    Think about Brownlee physically lashing out at his adversaries, it seems we all strike out according to our nature.
    I wish Chris Carter well, and I hope his supporters will prove their worth in his hour of need, he may find a better perspective with some distance. If the Labour Party throw him out I will certainly think less of them for a punitive backlash at what appears, for Chris Carter, was a moment of badly timed honesty.
    The whole thing has the feel of a pissing contest, including many of the letters posted to this site.

  5. If the party cant look after one of its own what hope is there for all of us?

  6. Good on you Mr Edwards. Having just followed the DimPosts link to McCartens column I was feeling a bit dirty.
    So a relief to read some compassion and better behaviour to model/contemplate.

  7. [i]Imagine not being able to open a newspaper, listen to radio, watch television, surf the Net without finding this judgement of your character somewhere expressed. Imagine it happening every hour of every day for months. [/i]

    That is exactly what Chris Carter imagined.

    In reality he wasn’t subjected to this every hour, every day or even every week. He was in the head lines a few times over those months and instead of pulling his head in, instead of putting up or shutting up – like Shane Jones managed to – he decided to play the petulant child and when he didn’t get his way he tossed his toys. And now he wants sympathy?

    Give us a break.

    • In reality he wasn’t subjected to this every hour, every day or even every week.

      The media pursuit of Carter along with the response of bloggers and talk-back callers was relentless. Even today, the Herald has a lengthy story headlined Chris Carter on $1200 a week if he quits. What we’re intended to conclude from this headline is that here is Carter skimming off the public purse again. Yet every MP who has been in the House for more than 9 years gets this pension and discounted travel for the rest of their lives. I supect that if Carter were to take his own life, the media would be writing stories on the excessive expenditure on flowers.

  8. To the Carter-philes: Keep dabbing those eyes, wringing your hands, and carry on with your wailing and chest-beating; praying for a Lazarus-like resurrection.

    To the Carter-phobes: the sooner he’s consigned as a footnote to the history books, the better.

    The manner, in which he went about detonating his career, was an entirely-fitting denouement of his own construct. It provided the perfect microcosm as to the evaluation of his parliamentary performance, ethos and ethics.

    His moral pontifications — as to his clumsily-executed ruse — was the final straw. It wasn’t possible for him to sink any lower. The jaw- dropping sepsis spin, he trotted out before the media, wasn’t an aberrant paradox to an otherwise noble man; it was the animation of the darker side to his character, distilled to its barest essence.

    I’ll shed a tear for Taito Philip Field or Richard Worth, before I reach for the Snowtex, for Judas Is-carter.

    • To the Carter-philes: Keep dabbing those eyes, wringing your hands, and carry on with your wailing and chest-beating; praying for a Lazarus-like resurrection.

      Your saving grace, Merv, is that you write so well. You should consider writing a novel. Your hero could (probably would) be a smug, censorious right-wing blogger who has a Road to Damascus epiphany and becomes the Desmond Tutu of a South Pacific group of islands.

  9. Compassion. Yes, Brian. But the more compassionate thing to do now is to assist Carter’s transition out of politics. The idea that he could be rehabilitated in the political arena is lunacy. If he is as capable as he clearly thinks he is then he should have no trouble finding his way in the world. I think many (myself included) would applaud him for not just claiming to be decent but acting so as well. It’s time for the left to draw a curtain over this mess and get on with making a show in 2011

    • Compassion. Yes, Brian. But the more compassionate thing to do now is to assist Carter’s transition out of politics.

      That is certainly an option and one which, I suspect, Helen might support. But if, as I suspect, Carter’s most recent behaviour is the product of acute depression, then his mental rehabilitation could well be followed by political rehabilitation. It has to be remembered that what he said about Labour’s (and Goff’s) chances in the next election was probably accurate and a view shared by probably a majority of the Labour caucus.

  10. If you enter public life and if you give yourself a profile as Carter did, then you have to expect that not all of the media attention will be welcome. Countless MPs have gone through this process, fair and unfair, but I do not see any shortage of volunteers for vacancies.

    I would also point out that MPs are very good at persecuting others, usually under the cloak of parliamentary privilege. I still remember the character assassination of Roger Estall by the Labour Party when he was Fire Service Commissioner; the destruction of the career of the Police Commissioner when Labour took office; the public humiliation of Christine Rankin; the removal of an advisor from MoE because of her partner’s politics. So pardon me if I shed no tears for Carter.

    Somewhat like journalists MPs are good at dishing it out but not so good on the receiving end. I certainly would not use the word ‘compassionate’ in connection with a patliamentarian.

    • If you enter public life and if you give yourself a profile as Carter did, then you have to expect that not all of the media attention will be welcome. Countless MPs have gone through this process, fair and unfair, but I do not see any shortage of volunteers for vacancies.

      I don’t disagree with that. But few attacks on an MP have been as savage and as prolonged as this.

  11. Thank you, Brian. My thoughts entirely.
    I find it sad that so many people cannot rise above the need to attack and put down others, and find compassion instead.

  12. The Stuff website had a poll up t’other day about the most egregious cases of MP’s spending; 4 out 5 options were fairly insignificant amounts spent on one-off engagements, like McCully’s $800 on wine for the IRB, but the fifth option was the 90,000 Carter spent on travel.

    Clearly they didnt even need to have a poll since the outcome was a foregone conclusion.

    The problem today is that ‘compassion’ is a dirty word – it certainly seems to be lacking in journalism circles. Why is it so hard for people to imagine what it is it like to have the boot on the other foot?

  13. I have had it with Chris Carter. He was stoutly defended by Labour party members when clearly he had a taste for the trappings of office that was, to put it mildly, immodest.

    His thank you for that was to spit in the face of the party that put him where he is. I am sorry, but he has burnt his bridges with this labour voter and as far as I am concerned he is just a big gay nancy boy having a petulant hissy fit because the voters took his toys away.

  14. PS – I don’t give a damn if he is mentally unstable or can’t cope with the pressure. If he is, then he should get out of the goddamn way and let someone with the requisite toughness to get the job done into parliament.

    • PS – I don’t give a damn if he is mentally unstable or can’t cope with the pressure.

      And that says more about you as well.

  15. don’t disagree with that. But few attacks on an MP have been as savage and as prolonged as this.

    May I suggest David Benson Pope as a candidate, who also had to endure opposition MPs calling out ‘pervert’ in the chamber?

  16. @ BE: “You should consider writing a novel.”

    Flattered. But, actually, it’s Carter who boasts the creative flair. Real creative. Maybe, when out of political life, he could pen a musical soap popera. Perhaps, a rework of an Andrew Lloyd Webber musical – “Don’t Cry For Me, Te Atatu.”
    He can have his worldwide premiere at Kaiser’s school hall. Before an eager media throng. One, this time, he would relish fronting.

  17. The sympathy I had for Carter evaporated when his partner was quoted as saying he took the overseas trips for the sake of their relationship. I don’t care whether a couple is straight, gay married, single or a shepherd, as a taxpayer I don’t feel I should pay for spouses or partners to go tripping. It’s not my concern if their relationship can’t take a bit of separation.

    • The sympathy I had for Carter evaporated when his partner was quoted as saying he took the overseas trips for the sake of their relationship.

      Fair enough, but if you want that to be the rule, then it must apply to all MPs and Cabinet Ministers. The outcome might then well be even more MPs’ marriages falling apart.

  18. I am not entirely sure what you seek to gain from your ongoing perverse defence of the indefensible Mr. Edwards. Chris Carter has done more to reinforce negative gay stereotypes with his camp, selfish hysterics than any number of good ol’ boys gay baiting on a Saturday night. If he wants to behave like a gay stereotype, then he he’ll just have to put up with being labelled one. He can just add it to his martyr wall, along with all the other big meanies picking on him. Poor little Chris, having a cry. Well, he can have a little cry. But not on my dollar and not while being a waste of space in parliament when there real work to be done by real politicians.

    Chris Carter was elected to the bear pit that is the House of Representatives. A battleground where left wing MP’s are expected to deliver for working class New Zealanders. What does he want? Rejection counselling when Labour lost the election and he had to move to an office where the carpet no longer matched the drapes? Now, I don’t give a damn what Chris Carter get up to in his private life or in the privacy of his own bedroom. Honestly. I really just don’t care, I am utterly uninterested. But I do expect my politicians to be effective POLITICIANS, to possess that most under-rated and under valued set of skills that adds up to make an effective politician and I expect them to do the God damn job they were elected to do, to roll up their sleeves and take the fight to the Tories.

    What I don’t want is any of my elected representatives to turn out to be a brittle nancy boy who can’t take it. God’s sake, politicians shouldn’t need “support” they are elected to lead us, fight their corner, to be hard nosed, thick skinned decision makers who can make the big calls when they are needed. Help? Support? Understanding? Do you think Michael Joseph Savage, Walter Nash, Norman Kirk – even Bill Rowling would have carried on the way Carter has? Jesus wept. Chris Carter is black mark on Helen Clark’s judgement and his hubris and sense of entitlement has been a disgrace to the Labour Party and hard working Labour supporters who voted for him.

    So poor Chris Carter has had a breakdown, poor Chris feels hard done by, and poor Chris is having a huge hissy fit. It is all about Chris. Well boo hoo. Tough luck you clown Chris Carter. Get out of the way already, someone more deserving is coming down the turnpike.

    • I am not entirely sure what you seek to gain from your ongoing perverse defence of the indefensible Mr. Edwards.

      I really wonder if you ever read what you’ve written before you send it, Tom. The picture you are painting of yourself is less than appealing.

  19. Excellennt blog from John Minto on the topic.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/blogs/frontline/3981599/Chris-Carter-s-dark-cloud-has-silver-lining?comment_msg=posted#post_comment

  20. 20

    Tom Semmens, you say that you don’t care that he is gay. But you palpably do, and you throw in so many clichés as well to enforce your prejudice: “Jesus wept” “Coming down the turnpike” “Roll up their sleeves and take the fight to the…”

    Honestly you do care. Too much.

  21. “Roll up their sleeves” is a gay cliché? I was actually thinking of a 1935 Labour Party poster, but there you go. And why is “coming down the turnpike” a gay cliché? I was thinking of FDR’s homely way of talking?

    But yes, Chris Carter being gay HAS become central to this – because he has gone out of his way and made it a central issue. It is his last line of defence, a pathetic appeal to the identity politics that saw him promoted well beyond his ability in the first place. No one would as much as bat an eyelid with someone calling an All Black a “typical rugby boff head” if an All Black disgraced himself in a way that justified the moniker. Well, to my mind what is sauce for the All Black goose is good for the gay gander.

    I have said I don’t care about politician’s private lives. Too many great politicians of the past have had private lives that would in today’s hypocritical Puritanism rule them unfit for office for me to think otherwise. But you know, that is a two edged sword. Just as I don’t care what you do at home as long as you deliver results, I also don’t care about what might affect your ability to do your job either. My view of politics is if you can’t do the job, then get out of the way for someone else who can. Being elected to SERVE (a word that appears missing in Chris Carter’s lexicon of self-pity) the public who put you there to the best of your ability should be a passport to hard work and the possibility of economic hardship if you are voted out, not be seen as a sinecure to a comfortable life lived high on the public purse.

    And that is why, I have to admit, I am angry at Chris Carter. His self-pitying attitude, his sense of entitlement has for me become a touch stone, a symbol, of everything that is wrong with an over-paid, entitled, out of touch political class that crosses both main parties. The nation’s workers have been treated to the astonishing sight of an inadequate, under performing individual apparently expecting taxpayers to indulge him to the tune of hundreds of thousands of unearned dollars while he sorts out his issues. Pray, Mr. Edwards and Mr. Fleming, how would you explain that to someone working 50 hours a week on $25 an hour to support a family? Sure, let him sort his issues – but somewhere else other than parliament, and on a remuneration package that more matches his abilities. No one deserves a free lunch.

    Chris Carter isn’t just a white collar office worker with issues, who might get a bit of time off to deal with problems. He is highly paid member of what should be a high performing elite class. As such, I have expectations of his performance to match. Therefore to my mind he should either just harden up, do the job he is handsomely paid to do, or piss off and do something else until he is right again.

    That might sound harsh, but that is the way I see it, and it is a reality that tens of thousands of his fellow New Zealanders have to deal with every day without all sorts of excuse making in the media.

  22. 22

    I was pointing out your clichés because you appeared to have used them as padding to show how little you had to say other than your prejudices. You’re still showing them, despite your protestations.

    I’ve never thought of politicians as being of a highly paid (not really, in comparison) elite class. We pay them to do a job which they ought to do, but they get into their pants one leg at a time like even you do.

  23. Well we see confirmation tonight CC is unwell. Of course he is, just as Trevor Mallard was some time back when he got that terribly gaunt look accompanied by the thousand yard stare. If staff I am responsible for look like that I support them to get help. Doesn’t matter whether I like them or not, just as it doesn’t matter now what the politics are. Its called decency or as BE suggested, compassion.

  24. “…I’ve never thought of politicians as being of a highly paid (not really, in comparison) elite class…”

    In comparison to who? Our venal and greedy self-serving corporate elites? May I remind you that 45% of Kiwi taxpayers earn less than 20k PA. 76% of New Zealand taxpayers earn less than 50k PA. Your blithe comment betrays a fundamental lack of knowledge – or just plain indifference – about the reality of lives most of your fellow countrymen and women live, and possibly goes a long way to explaining your indulgent attitude to Mr. Carter.

    The minimum wage in this country is $12.75. for a standard forty hour week this is $510PW gross. I would like to see politicians wages linked to this. The PM should earn, say, four times the minimum wage (still a comfortable $106,000PA, which would put the PM in the top 4-5% of earners before all the perks) plus allowances and work back from there. If they want a pay rise, they’ll have to put up the minimum wage. No politician shoulde be able to serve more than four terms or be in parliament more than twelve years in total. We need to demolish the disconected parasite politician class that Chris Carter has come to symbolise.

    Tony: Politics isn’t an ordinary job. Chris Carter probably does need support and compassion, and I am all for him getting it. But given how hard people work to pay the taxes and union fees that supports politicians and significantly funds the Labour party, I cannot accept he should get it while still accepting the king’s ransom (relative to most New Zealanders) he is paid.

  25. At the time when reporters were chasing CC down corridors and bellowing provocative barbs I felt it was pathetic bullying by hypocrites who were feigning outrage to merely try increase their ratings. My stars! The fuss the media made was fake. If they can’t drive people into the ground they’re not happy -and sadly that will never change. Get well to CC – who did what most would do – be pressed into physical stress and on to emotional meltdown. Never voted Labour in my life but back BE’s humanity.

  26. Carter is a gone burger he knows it, we know it, but strange though – he has a meeting with the party or at least one of its key members (formerly or off the books) comes out and he needs a weee break with full pay – here’s is what I suggest will happen – he takes his 8 week full pay holiday – resigns then either stands alone or folds up camp altogether. In the mean time you and me pay for his holiday, he then double dips and gets his political benefits and exit package…..can no one else see he has been playing the system and still is !!

  27. 27

    If only Mr.Chris Carter had handled it like Mr. Shane Jones, none of this would have happened. Mr. Shane Jones has almost been fully rehabilitified and redemptified, so much so that he’s being touted as a future Governor-General.
    See, what a bit of humility can do? Now, if Mr. Chris Carter had only…….

    • rehabilitified and redemptified

      Hmmm… those are new ones on me. I agree that Shane Jones handled things better than Chris. But I’m afraid his rehabilitation and redemption are a long way off. I doubt that he will be in the running for leader, let alone PM for a very long time.

  28. Chris Carter looks gaunt and manic. In the interviews after the letters were found he was very intense, articulate and hyped. His fixed idea: that he cared so much about Labour that he had to destroy Goff’s leadership seemed obsessive. Depression? Stress? I’m not sure of all the manifestations. Whatever it is, he certainly needs help.

    Why didn’t anyone see this coming?

    As for your plea for compassion, Brian: yes, to an extent. His attack on Phil Goff was nasty, whether it was motivated by illness or not. Helen Clark rose above a barrage of personal attacks through most of her political career. I think they were more vicious than the comments I’ve seen about CC. Shane Jones was the laughing stock of the nation. Both these politicians kept their heads and gained people’s sometimes grudging respect for that.

    And finally, you were media adviser to Helen Clark. CC needs you now. (Surely every senior MP has been through a media handling course?)

    • And finally, you were media adviser to Helen Clark. CC needs you now. (Surely every senior MP has been through a media handling course?)

      If anyone in the Labour Party gets media training, it isn’t from us.

  29. Over the years I have written to many MPs about various issues. The one person who I felt really listened and replied personally with feeling and concern was Chris Carter. In other words, from my point of view he did that part of his job exceptionally well.
    To see him now being hounded, including in this blog, fills me with dismay. If only people could put aside their own prejudices and political leanings and give this guy the break that he so obviously needs, in other words compassion, the world would be a better place.

  30. River Howe “and give this guy the break that he so obviously needs”,

    A wonderful suggestion. a getaway holiday “break” — Maldives, Bora Bora, Saipan, Guam, Hawaii? I hear there’s an international 5 day conference on the life cycle of the dodo bird, to be held in the Mauritius. Said conference will be visiting the many historic nesting places. Chris Carter should be packing his bags to attend such an important conference. What’s he waiting for — a 10 day conference elsewhere?

    • A wonderful suggestion. a getaway holiday “break” — Maldives, Bora Bora, Saipan, Guam, Hawaii?

      I’m allowing this cynical crap on the grounds that it says more about the morons who write it than it does about Carter. It’s probably hopeless to expect to be believed by such closed-minded bigots, but I am telling you that Carter is not malingering, that he is under close medical supervision, that he is suffering from chronic and disabling depression and that he needs at least 8 weeks to recover. Now carry on with your vicious, small-minded abuse.

  31. I can see just where this is heading. Carter pleads not guilty by reason of insanity, the bleeding hearts like River Howe say ‘poor boy’ and Carter gets reselected as MP for Te Atatu and returns to the gravy train.

    I have to say Carter is a lot cleverer than I gave him credit for. I thought he would at least run as an independent. Instead, from last Friday when he said he never felt better he has had a complete collapse and earned two months sick leave at the taxpayers’ expense(bugger those of us who get just five days a year).

    In two months he emerges a changed character ready for rehabilitation and possible Canonisation.

    Merv, you had better get on and write that novel because I cannot see your commnets regarding CC as being suitable for publication! At least you and I are in good company in that John Minto (who could hardly be accused of homophobia or fascist tendencies) clearly has no time for the man.

  32. he is suffering from chronic and disabling depression

    I can understand and sympathise. However, to be fair to the people who are fed up with him, we were not told this. We have seen a pattern of unimpressive behaviour and then a vague reference to being “unwell”.

    • I can understand and sympathise. However, to be fair to the people who are fed up with him, we were not told this. We have seen a pattern of unimpressive behaviour and then a vague reference to being “unwell”.

      Well, they should be sure of their facts before they open their mouths.

  33. Brian, imagine being an MP for 17 years, and a Minister for six years, and being completely unable to handle the most mundane and predictable questions from the media?

  34. “he is suffering from chronic and disabling depression”

    Ok, I accept what you say. However having listened to Andrew Little ducking and diving his way through an interview with Sean Plunkett this morning, lawyers now representing Mr C’s interests, combined with Mr C telling us on the news on Friday how well he was, I think I and other were entitled to be cynical. The Labour Party did not help the situation by giving the impression that they were using the smear of ‘mentally unbalanced’ as a way of discrediting him; a move reminiscent of Stalin.

    However now at last having someone actually tell the truth, I do have a great deal of sympathy with him, enhanced because I too have suffered from severe clinical depression. So I genuinely wish him a full recovery.

    A little more openness does far more to engender public sympathy than all the secret squirrel stuff that we the public are usually fed.

    So get off your high horse and aim your anger at those who believe that the way of dealing with these issues is by obfuscation.

    • So get off your high horse and aim your anger at those who believe that the way of dealing with these issues is by obfuscation.

      I’m on my high horse with those who rush to judgement without any facts. You can decide whether you belong in that company.

  35. You had bettter add John Key to your list of ‘closed minded bogots” (I imagine that will not be too difficult). Reported just now on the Stuff website:

    Prime Minister John Key has laughed at suggestions the shunned Labour MP Chris Carter is unwell.

    Key this morning challenged Carter to “tell the New Zealand public that he genuinely believes that he is sick”.

    I fear at the moment the bigots are winning!

  36. Sorry, Brian. At the risk of appearing coldly cynical and obdurate, I haven’t softened my stance re Carter’s purported “sickness”.

    John Key is reported as saying he doesn’t believe Carter to be sick, at all. On NewstalkZB, it’s been mentioned that Helen Clark is returning to NZ, in two weeks(not sure how reliable that information is), and that accounts for Carter needing his two-weeks’ sick leave. Once back here, she can offer him reassurance, safety, sanctuary and succour; by placing him under her tutelage, again. Something, that he has been missing and yearning for, ever since she departed. Hence, his many calls to New York.

    Much, has been said, that, Carter got to where he did — because Helen dispensed her favours upon him in bountiful amounts. I’ve always believed
    that the two were very close, approaching a like-minded spiritual conjunction. So, it makes sense for him — by proxy — to say he’s not well.

    Carter’s apologists and defenders, claim that his spiteful outburst, is atypical of the man. I disagree. Stressed, maybe. I believe, this self-imposed parliamentary hiatus gives time for the blowtorch to be deflected away from him and onto the Leadership and Caucus. It’s a calculated exercise in Expediency, designed to “buy time”, hoping that the sands of fortune move to his advantage, and the salvaging of what appears
    to be, a mortally-damaged career.

    As Tom Semmens has mentioned, Carter’s conduct with regard to his sense of Entitlement, isn’t so much unLabour-like as it is antiLabour. Carter appears to be the very antithesis of what Labour stands for. Something, that John Minto has pointed out in his column, by way of several character-revealing anecdotes. There’s just an unpleasant Ceausescu-like taint to his persona,
    which appals me.

    What we have witnessed of his recent behaviour, was a gestating part his Core Being “lying dormant like a spinster’s ardour, not dead but waiting for the right person to give it to”. And we saw it stir into life, by the letting forth of his fury upon the head of Phil Goff, in all its injurious malevolence.

    Carter has inflicted real damage upon — not only Goff but also the Labour Party, itself. In order to save his own neck, he is more than willing to put the whole Labour Party to the sword.

    • On NewstalkZB, it’s been mentioned that Helen Clark is returning to NZ, in two weeks(not sure how reliable that information is), and that accounts for Carter needing his two-weeks’ sick leave. Once back here, she can offer him reassurance, safety, sanctuary and succour; by placing him under her tutelage, again. Something, that he has been missing and yearning for, ever since she departed. Hence, his many calls to New York.

      Jesus, Merv!

  37. Merv is beta testing his novel on us. Don’t give up the day job, Merv.

  38. ceausescu, merv? yep, merv’s being very novel.
    okay, let’s all follow the porn king shane. is it cos i’m female i find him unacceptable (creep)as a govt rep. i don’t have an issue with cc. his personality creates an easy target for the lazy press.

  39. “I’m on my high horse with those who rush to judgement without any facts.”

    As the country’s leading advisor on dealing with the media, I would imagine the first thing you tell your clients is to be up front with information and not let an information vacuum develop. That is precisely what Mr Carter and his advisors have done and human nature being as it is people start to speculate. I am sure you have even done it yourself when there has been a shortage of fact about a news story.

    Trying to be objective and put my dislike for Carter to one side, he has done himself no favours in the way he has handled the unwlecome media attention.

    If I were Mr Carter I would be honoured to have a supporter as loyal as you, but it is about time he started helping himself.

    “lying dormant like a spinster’s ardour, not dead but waiting for the right person to give it to”. Merv, there is poetry in you! Is that your’s or is it a quote? Whatever, it made me laugh, and I have to say it seems so apt.

  40. Thanks, Brian. Encouraging, to get your affirmation, even if it’s by way of an epiphanic exclamation.

  41. If it didnt seem like a conspiricy before it certainly does now.John Keys ability to remotely diagnose Chris Carters illness or lack of therein further beggars belief.The labour party failing to jump on this exclaimation by Key leaves little to the imagination of their true sentiments towards their peer.Perhaps Keys qualification of his statements with the term “I think”should be considered an oxymoron.I sympathise with Chris Carters need to flee overseas.

  42. Reading through all these comments one fact remains: none of you know how “unwell” Chris Carter is. Perhaps he isn’t unwell. Perhaps he is mentally disordered, but doesn’t want people to know that in case he loses his seat.

  43. I think he’s genuinely sick because his greed glands aren’t used to being rested.

  44. 44

    The remote diagnosis by ‘ Dr John’ is laughable.
    Remember when Dickie Worth was packed off on ‘sick leave’ on Keys orders when it wasnt convenient to have him around. Did Key ask for a doctors cert then !
    of course not, it was cover to keep Worth out of sight until he resigned

  45. Well, they should be sure of their facts before they open their mouths.
    Imagine if they were sure of the facts. Imagine what the diagnosis would be. Imagine who Chris Carter’s friends would be. Perhaps they would be as imaginary as the believed illness.
    Perhaps this song by Zappo the Magician is apt…

    http://zappoland.co.nz/news/2009/10/20/wibbly-wobbly-album-lyrics-imaginary-friends/

    • imaginary as the believed illness

      You a doctor too, Dave? If you are, your diagnosis is at odds with that of three medical specialists. However, I’m sure when that is confirmed you’ll have the good grace to send a comment to this site, saying, ‘Sorry, I was wrong.’ Yeah right!

  46. Sick MP’s should recover fast or resign, dammit. Remember the tired and emotional National cabinet minister who claimed he’d been mugged? Except that he was spotted by a TV crew (was Brian Edwards one of them? Can’t remember.) I don’t buy that depression, if that’s what’s bugging Mr Carter is necessarily a “mental Illness.” I believe it’s often a normal response to circumstances. I’d be feeling a bit sick too if I lost the salaries and perks that MP’s get. It’s not the business of taxpayers whether MPs marriages collapse or not. Plenty of people earning a lot less than MPs have separations due to work requirements and don’t get paid trips for their significant other(s).

  47. our mental and physical wellbeing are intertwined and there’s some dark age, ignorant comments coming out on this blog site. all hail to the pioneering out-er of depression-john kirwan-fabulous guy.
    the problem is the attitude of the discriminators- a gay man who needs support emotionally.2 strikes.a situation fit for a sneering giggle or a vitriolic thumping.
    yes,his spendinng needs attention and should have been monitored at the time- and does it warrant any paying back? don’t know but the issue is out of hand. gained momentum cos not a lot of news going on so media chase is on for second tier stories.

  48. Your diagnosis is at odds with that of three medical specialists. However, I’m sure when that is confirmed
    Should be pretty easy to confirm Brian, just have a chat to Chris and post the details of that diagnosis on your site. How many of those medical specialists are lawyers?

  49. Dave, if you carry on like this you are going to find yourself yellow carded and sent to the sin bin with closed minded bigots like me and Merv!

  50. Yes its lovely Chris Carter gets a fully paid holiday on the taxpayer because hes feeling unwell

    I guess if I’m feeling unwell my employer will allow me to take 3 months off

    No wait hang on I live in the real world

    If he can’t take the heat then let Dear Leader tell him to resign

  51. Wouldn’t it be interesting if Labour now found it could win because Carter’s gone :)