Well how about Clarke Gayford eh? If it's not Deborah Hill Cone, it's the Police Commissioner who's not investigating him.

Who else isn't he investigating? I think he's not investigating me. Mind you, he hasn't said so, maybe he is.

And that's the madness of what can only be described as one of modern politics' more haphazard campaigns to close down gossip. It's fatally flawed in a couple of key areas.

Audrey Young: Few leaders spared the false rumour mill
Barry Soper: Labour orchestrated the events of the past 24 hours


Whoever dreamed up such a harebrained scheme - they often make the error of believing their world is the real world. In other words, the bubble they live in, filled with rumour, innuendo, intrigue, scandal and gossip somehow permeates to the rest of us.

It doesn't.

So in alerting us all to the rumours, most of the country said "what rumours?" And all of a sudden they're talking about something, speculating on something they had no idea existed until the spin doctors told them it did.

Then you have the group who had heard the rumours and believe them to have some truth. This group is now busy saying told you so, what are they hiding, this is a pre-emptive strike, it's all going to come out now. Blah blah blah.

It's a crappy business being in the public eye. But it's life and you need to harden up.

My favourite rumour about me was when my marriage fell apart almost a couple of decades back. The rumour was I was gay, and I was running off with a well-known male real estate agent. It was everywhere; well, everywhere in the media bubble.

So much so that one day the publicity department at TVNZ called and said the Dominion Post newspaper has copies of the airline tickets for the real estate agent and myself and our romantic jaunt to Fiji and if I wasn't going to comment they were going to publish them.

That rumour was about as real as I assume Clarke and co think this current one is. I knew they didn't have copies because there were no tickets, no trip and no relationship. It was crap.


I suppose I could've folded under the pressure or speculation. I suppose i could have done a Gayford and fired off a pre-emptive strike. But for what purpose?

And this is the madness of what the Prime Minister's office and her partner have done.

They've created a circus out of a minor street corner act.

Yes I've heard the rumours, but I hear hundreds of rumours. The world is full of stories. It's sad and often pathetic.

It's peddled often by time wasters, losers and people with axes to grind. But that's life.
And by coming out all heavy-handed you do exactly the opposite of what you're setting out to do.

And that's why I can't understand why someone with just an ounce of experience or common sense didn't forcefully enough say. This. Is. A. Dumb. Idea.

Same question also applies to the Police Commissioner, Mike Bush.

Is he now going to comment on everyone he's not investigating? That is a shocking precedent for a body that is independent of the government. Or can we now ask - are they?

Anyway the upshot is this exercise in naivety, if not stupidity, stands no chance of winning the PR campaign of the year award.

They've taken their molehill and made one hell of a mountain.