Kerre McIvor
Kerre McIvor is a Herald on Sunday columnist

Kerre McIvor: Big talk from backbench buffoon

Aaron Gilmore, left, may have threatened to use his influence with Prime Minister John Key to sack a waiter. Photo / Supplied
Aaron Gilmore, left, may have threatened to use his influence with Prime Minister John Key to sack a waiter. Photo / Supplied

Very few of us have led blameless lives.

Certainly there have been occasions in my life when I have had regrets - and were I to be forced to sit and watch a replay of some of my big nights out, it would make for cringe-worthy viewing.

But Aaron Gilmore's alleged treatment of a young waiter is the action of a petty, small-minded buffoon.

The lowly ranked list MP has been under fire for much of this week after he allegedly whistled at a waiter at the Heritage Hanmer Springs Hotel, clicked his fingers at the young man and then threatened to use his influence with the Prime Minister to have the waiter sacked after he refused to serve Gilmore any more alcohol.

I worked for a number of years at Cafe Paradiso in Wellington, and we only had a couple of people in who were vulgar enough to snap their fingers for service.

They were treated with contempt by our staff, and would usually be given a free lesson in restaurant etiquette by myself or one of the other maitre d's.

In and of itself, Gilmore's bad night out is not a sackable offence.

His worst punishment must surely be that everybody in the country now knows that he's the sort of twat who uses the "don't you know who I am" line.

If it didn't work for Reese Witherspoon - an A-list Hollywood movie star trying to get her husband off a drink-drive charge - it most certainly won't work for a hitherto unheard-of backbench MP who treats wait staff like scum.

But, as I say, most of us have said or done things we've regretted. It's just that this latest infraction seems to indicate a pattern of behaviour.

There was his finessing of his CV. The Herald pointed out that Gilmore had claimed a finance industry qualification he didn't have.

Then there is the perfectly legal, but morally suspect, practice of getting the taxpayer to pay the rent on a property he owns in Wellington.

And now there's the apparent bullying of a waiter.

All the actions of a very small man.

He even stuffed up his apology. Initially, he apologised for the boisterous actions of his group.

One of the members of that group, lawyer Andrew Riches, took umbrage at being lumped in with the low-rent MP and made it perfectly clear in a statement to the media that the only person in the group behaving badly was Gilmore, and that he had every sympathy with the waiter.

Gilmore came clean on Friday and acknowledged the only person who was out of line that night was him, though he didn't clarify what he had said.

One of the texters to my radio show had the perfect solution - give the young waiter Gilmore's job as a list MP and Gilmore can earn his living peeling spuds and washing dishes in the hotel kitchen.

That way he might learn to respect people who actually work for a living rather than throwing his weight around in a job he doesn't deserve.

Debate on this article is now closed

- Herald on Sunday

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