Wednesday, September 13, 2006

King of the (Ozark) Mountain

Noam Chomsky has defined a rogue state as "a state that defies international laws and conventions, does not consider itself bound by the major treaties and conventions… in fact anything except the interests of its own leadership, the forces around the leadership that dominate policy".

Remind you of anyone? Yesterday Michael Laws used the death of Tonga’s King Taufa'ahau Tupou IV to further push Wanganui into rogue statedom. Sadly, the King had the bad timing to expire at the start of a six-monthly radio ratings survey period and that was the signal for Wanganui’s mayor to spew forth a masterful piece of hate-filled media grandstanding rivalled only by his hysteria about patched gang members that won him prime time attention during the last ratings period in February.

In New Zealand flags on government buildings were lowered to half mast, except in Wanganui where mayor Michael Laws refused and called the king a "brown slug" who had ruled a corrupt country. - Dominion Post

Mr Laws used his Radio Live show to say the Wanganui flag would not be lowered for "a big brown slug". “We honour people who have contributed to the community or the nation," he told the Herald. "Not someone who has been a despotic beneficiary of the New Zealand tax-payer." - New Zealand Herald
Meanwhile, back at LawsWatch, an anonymous commenter with an uncanny knack of sounding exactly Michael Laws has advised Watchers thusly:

The Tongan royal family have been ripping off the Tongan people for generations and its your MAYOR that's the problem? Time to get some perspective, people - which your mayor seems to have.
Which prompts the question … Just what perspective does "our mayor" seem to have? The perspective of a minor media "celebrity" with a cowed and stupid council majority, more than a few screws loose, and a big ratings problem, perchance?

Six months down the track from Radio Live’s last survey bomb, Auckland’s media moguls are all aquiver at the start of a new ratings period, running till October 13th. Heaven knows what it has cost Wanganui’s ratepayers, but Mickey’s famous gang patch bylaw stunt did nothing to stop the bad news for his little earner Radio Dive, with the February survey showing it haemorrhaged 12,000 listeners and won the New Zealand Herald title of "big loser". We’re predicting there’ll be more bad news when the latest results are released on October 27th.

So, Watchers, welcome back to Wanganui showtime where a mayor who is campaigning to attract intelligent, qualified medical people to the city goes out of his way to portray Wanganui as a red-neck paradise awash with ignorance and racism and rivalled only by a few charming little hamlets deep in the backwoods of the Ozark Mountains.

It’s all been a bit much for former military man and flag-lowering devotee Cr Don McGregor who once did a tour of duty in Tonga, but we shouldn’t expect Mickey’s loyal sychophants to be much bothered by what might look to sane reasonable people to be an outburst sure to bring the city and its council into disrepute. As perspicacious Watcher and regular commenter Bearhunter has quite rightly pointed out, such mayoral obscenities are protected by precedent, aka the Code of Conduct ruling last year by said mayoral sycophants:

"Mickey said these things while NOT being mayor of Wangers, which should be clear to all those mental giants who listen to talkback," says Bearhunter. "I know he did this because Dotty (speaking of mental giants) told me so, as she told everyone after the Code of Conduct fiasco. SO that's all right then, there is no way ANYONE could think that the Mayor of Wanganui was actually speaking as the Mayor of Wanganui..."
Of course, the irony of this can’t be lost on Cr Don McGregor whose hand shot up with military precision, along with those of Rangi Wills and the diVisioners in support of this bizarre theory advanced by Michael Laws in his defence.

So not only does Wanganui’s Mickey Mouse Mayor have the endorsement of a majority of councillors to launch attacks like these, he’s also able to (and does) cite their approval for the flag-lowering policy he introduced in the wake of the song and dance last year following the demise of King Faud of Saudi Arabia, who apparently topped the list of Middle Eastern despots identified by the Michael Laws Institute for Democracy, Transparency and Openness.

He wasted no time using the WDC website to bash the council with its own flag-raising policy, probably in anticipation of being strung up by McGregor et al at tomorrow’s Strategy meeting (where chairpillock Dot McKinnon will doubtless again fall off her chair in a fit of giggling as she did during the last mayoral rant about flags and despots - when "Mayor Michael" talked about the person Dotty described as "Professor Phard" in her breathless report in the River City Press). We hope she’s got her laughing gear in order for tomorrow because it’ll be her job at tomorrow’s meeting to shut down any debate about the latest outbreak of mayoral dysentery.

Here he is on the WDC website today trying to explain that his "personal views" really have nothing to do with where the flag flies on the council’s mast because it all comes down to "policy":

"I have strong personal views, having recently visited Tonga, as to the non-democratic and corrupt political structure of that country. However, whatever those views, the King's death did not meet council policy.

"Personally, I think we demean the whole process if we simply lower the flag every time a leader of a non-democratic nation dies. Tonga is the Zimbabwe of the South Pacific and we can only hope that the new monarch will allow his people the economic and democratic ability to escape their relative poverty."


Mr Laws said that he had been inundated with calls from throughout the country supporting his stance but reiterated that he was simply employing existing council policy."
A neat little rationale that overlooks just one awkward fact - a Mayor acting on policy would not then jump on talkback radio and claim he acted on prejudice. Unless, of course, he took his citizens, and his listeners, for utter fools.

And even the "policy" argument overlooks one thing. The King is dead, as was "Professor Phard". While supposedly in honour of the deceased, the flag-lowering is also a mark of respect for the nation that has lost a leader. One that might not be to Mickey's liking, but their leader nonetheless. But we're sure the thousands of Tongans in New Zealand understand it's just politics. Oh, and ratings.

Meanwhile, a Watcher has reported that a Wellington-based acquaintance responsible for a significant government programme available to local authorities let slip recently that the organisation’s limited resources and limited time wasn’t likely to be wasted on any council run by "an idiot like Michael Laws". Rogue state, indeed!

Comments on this post are now closed.

50 comments:

Anonymous said...

LawsWatch bullshitted:

"Meanwhile, a watcher has reported that a Wellington-based acquaintance responsible for a significant government programme available to local authorities let slip recently that the organisation’s limited resources and limited time wasn’t likely to be wasted on any council run by “an idiot like Michael Laws”. Rogue state, indeed!"

Yeah, sure. Typical crap - no names, no policies just make it up as you go along. The calls into council today running overwhelmingly in the mayor's favour.

Anonymous said...

The calls into council today running overwhelmingly in the mayor's favour.

*******

Typical mayoral crap. No names, no numbers. Email LawsWatch today's log from the phone desk Mickey and we'll believe you.

Anonymous said...

I can't because i'm a council employee but why don't you request them under the official information act? His staff today were saying that the calls were very much in support and from all around NZ.

Anonymous said...

And strange that ANY supporter of the mayor, must be the mayor! You people are deluded if you think he doesnt have majority support in the community.

Anonymous said...

WRONG Lawswatch, WRONG! It was Professor PHARD that caused Dotty to wet herself. Can't you get anything RIGHT??????

Perhaps that little insight into the deputy mayoral skull needs repeating.....


Last week, the mayor must have wondered why Cr Barbara, Cr Sue Westwood and I were quietly trying to control our giggles. We were just like a pack of 14-year-old schoolgirls in class - finding mirth in a word. The word - Professor Phard. Every time the mayor mentioned his name, the mirth stared. I couldn't even look at Cr Sue, as I knew it would start again.

Anonymous said...

Mickey’s right to be grooming Philippa Baker-Hogan for the mayoralty. She may not be the brightest bulb on the Vision tree but if this stuff is any indication, it’s easy to see why he’s keen to dump the present deputy.

Anonymous said...

anonymickey said: His staff today were saying that the calls were very much in support and from all around NZ.

****

Who gives a toss what "HIS STAFF" were saying?

Anonymous said...

It's interesting that while Bob Walker has been doing his darndest to turn the punters off diVision in the Chron, Mickey decides to do it on the world stage. Is this evidence of rivalry between these two, ie I bet I can piss off more people than you ... no you can't ... yes I can .... etc?

Keep it up boys, you're doing a great job:-)

Anonymous said...

It is my belief from Council something--- maybe standing orders or whatever, that the decision regarding the flag being lowerd to halft mast is a decision to be made by the the CE and the Mayor. SO my question is was David consulted, or was the decision just Mickeys?
The answer, Just Mickey.

Come on David do your job, mickey is embarrassing the good people of Wanganui.

Bearhunter said...

While all the people (or at least all RIGHT-THINKING people) in NZ are undoubtedly backing Michael in his pure and just war against a dead man, I am sure they are also fully aware of his brave and lonely stand against every other evil in the country, including such things as his wife being forced to give birth in Palmy (oh the horror, the shame, the fact that she was booked into PN long before the crisis point was hit at WDHB). What a shame then, that his ratings coup has been overshadowed by Don Brash's decision to "spend more time with his partner" and the looming big announcement on an actual local government issue in Auckland. Dammit, Mickey boy, don't you just hate it when that happens?

Anonymous said...

What idiot is suggesting a OIA request for council phone log details? Who in their right mind would think that this corrupt and rotten council would provide honest information?

It's obvious the OIA response team leader is none other than Antoinette Beck.

Anonymous said...

1. They are not "his staff"
2. Applying policy is the CEs concern so either he was walked over or he made the final decision and should share the flack.
3. Take everything you hear about "staff said this" with a pinch of salt.
4. Staff are NOT dishonest or rotten and do a great job under very difficult circumstances with non-stop staff losses/changes.

Bearhunter said...

Any man who can cause offence to both Ken Mair and a nun is surely a man of many talents. Turning down an official request form DIA won't do him any favours either. God, he's looking dumb over this and with the chance of another reversal for him on the Overlander issue, it's not looking like a good final 12 months for Mickey, is it? Do you reckon he realises that his time is rapidly coming and has simply decided to do as much damage as possible in his last year so he'll have something interesting to put in the inevitable book that will follow his tyrann...oops, mayoralty?

Bearhunter said...

And having just got off the phone with a contact at DIA, I can now say that I actually HEARD him roll his eyes when I mentioned ML. "Cheap publicity stunt" are the words around those parts, although it can't be easy for them to have Mickey boldly defending the right of white middle class Kiwis to slag off Tonga, while DIA is organising the Commonwealth Local Government Conference. Nice one, embarrass the whole country why don't you?

Anonymous said...

Mickey's simpering sheilas may not be the brightest bulbs on the tree but at least Nix and Peps managed to learn their lines this time round.

Bet Mickey's proud of you, ladies. But no one would blame Pep for staying away from Wanganui as she is clearly not going to be flavour of the month with iwi -- but as Vision's token brown face she never was taken seriously on either side of the river.

Anonymous said...

Oh how absolutely fabulous, folks. According to Deputy Dot she's looking forward to today's 'good news' meeting.

So what about the fact that your boss has suffered possibly his worst ever bout of verbal incontintinence and covered the whole of Whanganui is his vile brown liquid, Dotty?

Not to worry, it's all such a giggle and you and the other dwarves can just wipe it off and focus on the "good news", till next time.

Anonymous said...

How can Laws be the respectful spokesperson for our community and also a shock jock ?

Anonymous said...

It was most interesting to hear Michael on radio this morning defending extra-marital shaggers like his buddy Don Brash (to paraphrase, when you fall in love you just can’t/shouldn't have to keep your trousers zipped) and declining to agree with one caller who said this sort of stuff made the kids suffer.

Pity he hasn’t still got the spin fairy around to help him phrase that a bit more coherently. But wait …there’s more, tomorrow he’s going expound on his theory that when love strikes, you just have to go with it and to hell with the consequences.

Anonymous said...

Let's get thgis right: someone who HATES the mayor feels compelled to listen to his radio show ...

Sick puppy. I wouldn't call that hate - more unadulterated lusting.
You should join the Nats anon 12.33pm.

Anonymous said...

Word round town tonight is that Mickey's madness has reached tipping point for just about everybody ... and that there's a move afoot to call an extraordinary council meeting to deal to him.

The Pep had better clear her Wellington diary cos Mickey will need her vote, by the sounds of things.

far far away said...

The disgust over the Mayor's latest comments is far-reaching. As a regular overseas reader of this blog, I couldn't wait to see what LawsWatchers would have to say about it....and I wasn't disappointed.

To counterpoint the argument that phone calls to the WDC were 'overwhelmingly in the Mayor's favour', I can tell you that several of my NZ friends and colleagues in London have contacted the Mayor's office to express their disgust at his comments.

Interesting that last comment about the extraordinary meeting too...can anyone confirm this? And if he does get the shove (please please please please PLEASE let it be true), then who's next in line to the throne?

Anyone scared?

Anonymous said...

Rob V seems to have outed Mickey’s latest ruse. Is it true that Margaret Ventrus is Antoinette Beck’s married sister? And that all of those supportive phone calls to the council that Mickey has been lying about are from people with names like this and voices like Bob Walker doing drag?

At this rate it won’t be long before division goes belly-up, will it MickeyBob?

Anonymous said...

some deluded poster wrote:

"Word round town tonight is that Mickey's madness has reached tipping point for just about everybody ... and that there's a move afoot to call an extraordinary council meeting to deal to him."

I guess that's why the Council upheld his decision last night looking at my Chronicle and Dominion this morning!

Anonymous said...

Rana reckons (page twenty in the river shitty press) is emerging as a serious rival for the mad mayor, but the question is, does he want to be mayor or just take Michael’s talk-jock seat in Ridgeway St. Watch out Mickey, this boy is good.

Anonymous said...

I would need to see some proof that there was an insurrection against the mayor. It seems that the decision of the council to keep the flag up indicates that the mayor has majority support still.

Anonymous said...

Well, Michael, once again you prove yourself a pin-up boy for post-natal abortion.

Tongans calling for boycotts of nz products will not forget the city of Wanganui in this context.

It's about time the city had a credible public face, as opposed to this excrement-obsessed racist psycho.

Anonymous said...

Dig, Mickey, dig. You can bury yourself in Amnesty International and State Department reports but it just makes you look even more ridiculous. You can even produce Yates Gardening Guide but there's no way you'll find any way to justify to right-thinking people the "fat brown slug" insult. Speaking of garden pests though, to paraphrase Bill Ralston's infamous advice to his nemesis at TV3, perhaps it's time to mix yourself a nice potion of pesticide and finally do one decent thing in your miserable little life.

Anonymous said...

All I know is that the mayor is getting great coverage in the NZ Herald today. Check out their website.

Anonymous said...

New article on http:\\www.aldaily.com relates new evidence that "celebrities" really are completely up themselves.

"Researchers distinguish between normal or healthy narcissism and excessive narcissism, sometimes called narcissistic personality disorder..."

Check it out, Mickey, or are you too busy looking in that mirror?

Anonymous said...

anonymickey said

All I know is that the mayor is getting great coverage in the NZ Herald today. Check out their website.

*******

Love the picture Mickey. Wasn't that from when you were making a dick of yourself in the code of conduct? And now a year later you're doing it again.

far far away said...

I seriously cannot believe this muppet! He's still trotting out the line "that he had received many phone calls and emails in support of his stance."

No mention of the many phone calls and emails STRONGLY AGAINST his stance....why am I not suprised? Maybe a quick referendum to gague support Mr. Laws?

Had dinner with some relatives from Wanganui here in London last night. When I told them what the Mayor had said they were all disgusted. They too will be making their thoughts known to ML. That makes a good dozen people from JUST ONE FAMILY who are against Mickey......and we're not communist, elitist, royalist or any other 'ist' he may care to try and assign!

Anonymous said...

Wasnt that the Code of Conduct where he dicked "Alice" & the six dwarves?

Anonymous said...

No wonder the Deputy McKinnon got the short straw and had to front at the retirement village opening.

My elderly relations and friends who were saying two years ago that Wanganui needed a change and a year ago that he should be given a chance, were saying at a family gathering yesterday that he has to go and it can't wait till the next election.

Anonymous said...

It looks as though Rotorua's attempt to ban people from the CBD has gone the same way as Mickey's mad move against gang patches. Rotorua council has dropped it after it was declared illegal. So just how much has it cost us for Mickey's convenient little headline grabbing stunt?

Anonymous said...

"I guess that's why the Council upheld his decision last night looking at my Chronicle and Dominion this morning!"

Errr I'm betting that the "madness" refers more to the abuse that the flag

Anonymous said...

"Rana reckons (page twenty in the river shitty press) is emerging as a serious rival for the mad mayor, but the question is, does he want to be mayor or just take Michael’s talk-jock seat in Ridgeway St. Watch out Mickey, this boy is good."

Who is Rana? My RCP goes direct to the bin unread. How come they keep delivering it to me when my letterbox says no junk mail? Are they deluding themselves that it's not junk mail?

Anonymous said...

At least one letter writer to the Tongan newspaper can see the difference betweeen the mad mayor and the people of Wangas:



I wish the people of Wanganui the best of luck for they have elected Michael Laws as their leader, a man who makes great pronouncements out of ignorance. His comparison of our late King to Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe clearly shows that he does not know what he is talking about.

We call such people in our society empty-headed and silly. Perhaps in Laws’ case it was a carry over from his role as a leader in the reality TV show Treasure Island.

As I understand it Mayor Laws wants to run his turf under direct democracy. Well if that is the case then the people of Wanganui need much more than our good wishes, they need our prayers. The wise leader must still be on his beautiful Treasure Island. Unfortunately most people who advocate direct democracy simply hate kings, for whatever reason I have no idea.

Anonymous said...

As someone who has watched the high and low points of Michael Laws” various “careers” over many years I am surprised that the Wanganui councillors seem to think the latest uproar is really about the flag and whether it should have been lowered, which of course is exactly what Michael wants them to think.

On the other hand, we hear people saying the sort of name-calling that he engages in is no more or less than we should expect of a talkback radio host who is doing his job in pandering to an audience that inevitably is low on intelligence.

I would suggest to Wanganui that it’s time you faced up to the real issue which is none of the above. It’s that you have a psychopath as a mayor and it’s time to stop making excuses for his predictably psychopathic behaviour.

Anonymous said...

Nearly choked on my cornflakes while reading Saturdays Chron. An editorial piece on the letters page that gave it to Mickey with both barrels.

Perhaps someone had one too many champagnes during their birthday celebrations. No doubt that person will be shown the door on Monday at the Mayor's request.

A Herald reader. said...

`'I think that everyone is entitled to their opinion, although things like that don't quite need to be made public.
verdict: not guilty

'Gratuitously nasty, but it got Laws the publicity he craves. If we just ignore him perhaps he'll go away.
verdict: guilty

'While Mr Laws may be correct in his argument, his method of delivery is crude and insulting'
verdict: guilty

'He was a national embarrassment before he made that statement and I wonder why our media publish his drivel?'
verdict: guilty

"Laws is honest, speaks his mind and he's entitled to do so. He's factually incorrect but the analogy is understood. Let the NZ flag fly high."
verdict: not guilty

"Coming from Michael Laws that sort of comment is par of the course!'
verdict: guilty

'He is an outright racist and should step down as Mayor of Wanganui
verdict: guilty

'This insensitive comment adds to his colourful career"
verdict guilty

"How dare he insult a King and visitor to our country. He is virtually insulting all Tongans"
verdict:Guilty
'To the people of Tonga, please accept our sincere condolences and we apologise for Michael's insensitive action.
verdict: guilty

'Caution should be exercised when commenting on a nation's leader. however, the King was corrupt and often did not act in the best interests of his people.
verdict: not guilty

"Michael Laws is just jealous he ain't got no cushion for the puhin and he's white as cotton.
verdict: guilty.

Anonymous said...

Another gem about Wanganui's very own Idi Amin, from the Tongan perspective, from Matangi Tonga:

"I find Laws' comments rather offensive. It's the ignorance and the arrogance of the man that I find annoying. It's typical of one minute visitors to a country and pass subjective judgement based on their own ideological standing. Did someone say Democracy? Pardon me, but I thought Idi Amin has just resurrected in Wanganui. I do not see anything democratic in a Mayor making decision without any consultation in Council Chambers.
Does that make him a white airhead baboon? Of course not! Baboons are much more consultative."

Anonymous said...

How moderate ... how restrained ... how only just a teeny weeny little bit offensive was Mickey in today's Sunday paper.

Obviously the caning he received from McGregor et al at the meeting the other day is having some sort of short-lived effect. But isn't that exactly what happened after the code of conduct whitewash. And we all know how long that lasted.

Edith said...

And the flag is still flying high

Anonymous said...

So, what are they dining on in Tonga then, Michael?

(see NZ Herald cartoons on page 22).

Turns out it's that universal favourite, Mickey Hotpot, that Wangas has been getting its laughing gear round all weekend.

Anonymous said...

Allan Anderson got it right in his letter today. All the public writhing, squirming and scuttling of the dying cockroach shouldn't distract from the role of the Higgies, Pepperells, McKinnons, Hughes and Lindsays both in publicly barracking for Mickey and in allowing this to be pushed under the mat at the council after the public had oh so conveniently been excluded.

Go Allan!

Anonymous said...

Does the mayor really think that the sort of nonsensical letter to the Chronicle today will save his bacon? At the risk of mixing metaphors, the horse has bolted, Michael. The Chron was right and so was Alan Anderson and Terry Sarten and all the thousands of Wanganui people who have decided you and the sorry hacks who surround you have to go.

Anonymous said...

Edith said...
And the flag is still flying high

4:08 PM, September 17, 2006

Yes Edith, the flag is still flying but unfortunately our mayor has taken a bit of a popularity hit.

Anonymous said...

What about the Heart of Wanganui meeting on Friday? Any updates?

Anonymous said...

Anonymickey

What about the Heart of Wanganui meeting on Friday? Any updates?

12:44 PM,

************

So Mickey tries desperately to change the subject.

Anonymous said...

Bullshit, the guy has appealed exactly to the conservative element and they will re-elect him. There is a lot of bluecollar support in Wanganui for his views if my plumber is any indication.

As for Sarten. Is he the guy who stood for the health board in 2001 and came second last??