The Auckland Mayor’s Nest by Trevor Plumbly
The Perks of Power
Someone much wiser or worldlier than yours truly once said that power was an aphrodisiac, and recent events at mayoral level in Auckland would indicate that the bugger had it about right. Our Worship, it seems, has been having it off with a young woman several years his junior, and, if rumours are to be believed, lots of romping took place on and in all manner of official property. This should rightfully be viewed differently to Berlusconi style serial bonking: let’s be fair, any 80 odd geezer who can spend a bit of spare time rogering teenage belly-dancers at the same time as running the country is a hard act to follow and in all probability secretly regarded with admiration as Italians set great store by virility, even when it comes in an octogenarian presidential package. But sadly for our Auckland boy, we take a dim view of that sort of carry-on down here especially when pubic (whoops!) figures are involved. To be cynical, it’s a bit like getting caught drunk driving: for Joe Bloggs it’s sort of ‘tough luck you bloody idiot’ but if you’re well known you can expect Cromwellian judgement from all quarters.
Attitudes to Adultery
Other countries along with Italy seem either to cope with leaders’ leg-overs or pretend that nothing happened; take America for example and JFK: did he or didn’t he with Marilyn Monroe?
Either way, there was no great moral outcry at the time; mind you, he was a god and she was a goddess, so I suppose the general opinion was, if they did stray, at least they went first class. Bill Clinton was a different story: the machine ensured that nothing was actually proven to have happened but Monica, poor thing, was just too ordinary to be spared the moral stoning while Bill escaped relatively unscathed. The English, as with everything emotional, seem to play the adultery cards pretty close to their chests and if it happens in the corridors of power (and it must surely?) it rarely reaches the headlines or provokes too much in the way of righteous anger. Oddly or significantly enough the ‘bit on the side’ syndrome is largely restricted to blokes.
Time to Forgive and Move On
Anyway back to our boy: the scorn has been poured from every possible height and angle, the media have finally exhausted their supply of titillating speculation and the public interest has waned. So what now? The City Council members seem evenly divided at the moment with the puritans screaming ‘off with his head’ and the cavaliers just wanting to move on past the wreckage. Meetings were held with po-faced council members muttering ‘no comment’ at every media moment; the head hunters eventually discovered that the law doesn’t allow the council to kill the Mayor career wise, you have to sort of persuade him to top himself which thus far our boy refuses to do. Sure the man’s been stupid, but haven’t we all at some stage? He’s apologised and that’s about all he can do apart from resigning and leaving the city with a $9 million by-election bill. Surely it’s best to allow him the chance to rebuild his life and reputation. I have little regard for the man or his actions but I’ve got even less for ‘holier than thou’ city councillors and their self-serving public mortification.