Monday 6 May 2013

Who's to blame?

National list M.P. Aaron Gilmore didn't exactly cover himself in glory at Hamner Springs, allegedly calling a waiter a 'dickhead' for refusing to serve him additional wine, saying "Do you know who I am?!",* and reportedly threatening to have the Prime Minister get after the waiter, though Gilmore denies the latter accusation.

The Press on Saturday provided a couple of contrasting explanations. First, Joelle Dally provides a bit of Gilmore's history:
The Press can reveal Gilmore's colourful conduct started long before the Hanmer outburst.
In July 2012 Gilmore ruffled the feathers of Rongotai electorate bosses over his status at a regional party conference.
In 2011, when Gilmore went to speak to University of Canterbury students at a political speed-dating event, a student wrote to The Press about his conduct: "He showed up late, with no apologies to organisers or the candidate he shooed away to speak over. He spoke well past the time limit, and even described himself as ‘the most marginal MP in Parliament' . . . [He] talked over us and got aggressive to the point where I had to ask him if he would mind not yelling at me," she wrote.
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.
I don't know how much weight to put on any of those. I wasn't at the UC event, and it's always possible that another party's youth activist tried to put the knife in after the event [I have absolutely no clue]. I also don't know who's at fault for the errors on his Vita. The Herald also has tenants claiming Gilmore to be less than the world's greatest landlord.

You could read the list of problems and conclude that Gilmore has some personality problems, or it could be that once a pile-on starts, it becomes self-perpetuating. Imagine that anybody you'd ever annoyed got to contribute to a compilation list for the newspaper; I'm not sure that any of us would come out looking great. I don't know whether it's the former or the latter here, though the Hanmer display was hardly a great showing.

But Doug Sellman knows what's really to blame.

Don't blame Aaron Gilmore, blame the alcohol. Brainwashing alcohol displays in supermarkets made him (allegedly) surreptitiously record phone conversations with his tenants and mess up his vita, among other things. And trying to fit in with his mates is what had them dobbing him in to the press and apologising to waiters for him. 

I suspect that Big Alcohol is also behind the Novopay debacle, if you just squint your eyes enough.

* Whenever I hear of some minor celeb pulling the "Do you know who I am" trick, I can't help but imagine the dancing man from the Black Lodge in Twin Peaks, "Fire, Walk with me". He reveals his identity thus:
"Do you know who I am? I am The Arm, and I sound like this ... [Indian war whoop]".
The Arm was the one part of Bob that wasn't evil, so he cut it off; it then manifested as the dancing Man From Another Place. The dancing man wasn't evil, just a bit silly and sad. Like the people who shout "Do you know who I am?"


  1. Aha, it is now very clear to me. Sellman did something very embarrasing while drunk, and all this lobbying is just a convoluted way of him trying to convince himself it wasn't really his fault.

    Instead of badgering him about his analysis, we should sit down with him, and allow him to open up about himself. I have plenty of embarrasing drunk stories I can share to help get things going!

  2. I am struggling with the overwhelming conviction that it must be April Fool's Day. If not, Doug Sellman, then you are truly orbiting the shark.