High time one strike rule applied

By Roger Moroney

1 comment


Like any number of political representatives who are welcomed into the debating chamber courtesy of a place on their party's "list" I had never heard of National's Aaron Gilmore until a couple of days ago.


Nor I daresay had anyone else.

In this age of list MPs there are many unfamiliar faces in the house and only on the rarest occasion does a lowly ranked backbencher ever stand up and make the headlines.

Mr Gilmore, however, would have preferred that his moment in the media sun was for a more positive achievement - not getting refused service in a Hanmer Springs hotel and then allegedly telling a member of the waiting staff he'd have a chat with his boss John Key and get them dismissed.

Oh dear.

Something tells me Mr Gilmore was fuelled with more than just mineral water and coffee.

It's been a while though since an MP has crossed the line which separates good form and poor form, so like a Lotto jackpot it has to go off at some stage.

Someone made the point on talkback radio that people in public positions should be held more seriously to account when crossing the line. Fair enough, but it doesn't have to be just people in public profile positions - it should apply to everyone.

Mr Gilmore is flirting with uncertainty - even more so given he effectively lucked into the job in the wake of Lockwood Smith moving on.

He doesn't represent anybody.

No electorate voted him into the position which sees him gather an annual salary of $144,000 ... which is not bad considering the average wage for waiting staff like those he tore into is about $32,000.

So is he the best person for the job?

Hard to say, given it's not entirely clear if he actually has any jobs to do.

He's on a tightrope.

While acting boorishly in a public place is no reason to get the shove from one's employment, anyone who uses their employer's name as a means of extracting some revenge arguably is.

Mr Gilmore is adamant he did not do that but others in the vicinity of the incident are saying the opposite.

If it transpires it did happen then I don't think too many would be surprised if National applied a "one strike and you're out" rule.

It's called setting standards.

- HAWKES BAY TODAY

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