We have yet another example of the difference in expectations between Americans and voters in other countries. We have politicians who disappeared for months from office, solicit prostitutes from the Senate floor, and call workers “wetbacks.” Yet, they remain in office. However, New Zealand’s National Party MP Aaron Gilmore has resigned after calling a waiter a “dickhead.”
Gilmore got into a verbal fight with a waiter who cut him off from more drinks at a dinner with lawyer Andrew Riches. When the waiter said he had had enough, Gilmore reportedly exclaimed “Don’t you know who I am?”, and calling the man a “dickhead.” He also threatened to arrange to have the waiter fired through his connections to the prime minister.
Gilmore denied Riches’ allegations on the specific statements but admitted that he was drunk and abusive. After initially refusing to resign, he finally relented to the demands of his party and opposing parties.
Gilmore reportedly had a habit of using his office for threats. Emails were later disclosed from his time as a contractor to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) prior to his return to Parliament in 2013. The emails contained veiled threats to a Treasury official where Gilmore said that, with his return to Parliament, “I am sure this sort of thing will come back to haunt you if you want your career to reach its full potential.”
His conduct is worthy of scorn and punishment but I am struck by how forgiving we are in relation to American politicians. In our red state/blue state paradigm, voters now retain politicians simply because they are deemed as better than “those other guys” in the opposing party. It is a remarkable protection for reprobates and scoundrels in office.
21 thoughts on “New Zealand Politician Resigns After Insulting Waiter In Drunken Exchange”
wow guess its a good thing i’ve been advocating voting for lesser known names on any ballot.. since they have changed the amount of candidates who are allowed to campaign IN THE SLEEP STREAM MEDIA!!!!.. some of my friends and family of course think im crazy. because when they ask me why would i vote the lessor known name on the ballot.. my response is. he/she is the one not owned by big corporations yet. and them being lessor known would state to me. they have not yet gotten rich so they still at this point can empathize with the part of the oath that says ” FOR THE PEOPLE OF THE PEOPLE” i may be wrong.. but i would bet all i have in my pocket which amounts to about 20.00 after taxes to pay for specialized military weapons…. and after reading this article i would vote for charlie brown before i vote any po lie tricker with a huge following
This politician was a dickhead and deserved the his lunch of crow.
Porkchop, If they saw what wait staff and cooks do to the a$$hole’s food, they would get their minds right. “Revenge is a dish best served cold.” But it can also be done to hot entrees!
I’ve really never understood the thinking process of people who abuse waitstaff. Don’t they realize that the objects of their abuse are the people who will have access to their food before it arrives at the table?
Good for the New Zealanders, forcing out a politician who engages in abuses of office.
Seeing politicians threatening people with their jobs if the politician doesn’t get his/her way angers me considerably. In my book when a public official such as an elected official threatens a citizen with the loss of employment or that the politician uses their office to intimidate others who are engaging in lawful behavior the politician should be thrown in jail for official misconduct and harassment, not just asked to resign, but jailed.
Yet the problem is so widespread in many areas of our country our politicians feel a sense of entitlement because of the deferrence they are provided in many circles.
There should be forgiveness too. A dick head is not all that bad when you think about it. All it is is a penis.
Being forgiving is good. Strong drink is not good being a mocker. The one with a bad spirit by reason of the spirits is soon sorry for their stupidity.
“Our culture has lost most of what is most important for a culture to work. I speak of honor.”
It is an important day, for once I agree with Nick.
Now, I know very little about NZ politics, but “relented to the demands of his party” and “he fell on his sword after it became clear late last week that he had lost the support of the prime minister” sounds like it works like it does here in Europe: he didn’t resign because of decency or ‘honor’ or because he feared the wrath of the electorate with the attention span of a gnat, but because his party made him do it.
American political parties on the other hand are very weak, and as far as I can tell that’s entirely on purpose (“smoke-filled back rooms” are often quoted when I discuss such things with Americans).
Making politics entirely personal and reducing political parties to powerless ‘political brands’ has its benefits, but it also several drawbacks like this lost layer of responsibility, donor based campaign financing, and so on.
This reads like soothing you would see on a sitcom. It sounds like this was the straw that broke the camels back so to speak.
nick, And that assumes that the republican choice was of the same old anti-choice, anti gay marriage, pro- gun, creationist variety.
Minnesota is more blue than Wisconsin. Actually, like many states, there a couple VERY blue Wi. cities[Madison and Milwk.], a couple sorta blue cities, and then rural very red. Minnesota has the very blue Twin Cities, but more blue in suburbs and rural. The suburbs of Milwaukee are red.
“reprobates and scoundrels in office”, be careful, one of these days talk like that may be “Threatening and abusive”. But right you are, we have way to many scoundrels in office.
nick, If a democrat took a walk in the Appalachian mountains, I would probably vote blue unless there was criminal activity involved. Sanford isn’t a criminal. Minnesota is getting ready to pass gay marriage today. Wisconsin is falling behind. The red and blue state thing is happening with gay marriage.
SWM, I agree w/ you on Sanford. However, the point made in the last paragraph of this post leads me to ask, what would be your opinion if roles were reversed?
Yep, Red state South Carolina just elected Mark Sanford again. Although Colbert Busch was in the lead in the polls during most of the campaign, southern red state republican politics were all that mattered in the end.
If I were a decade or two younger I would consider emigrating to New Zealand.
If only our own politicians would resign over the illegal stuff they do it would be a great improvement.
Our culture has lost most of what is most important for a culture to work. I speak of honor. This incident in particular is personal. Having grown up in a family restaurant business, myself and siblings all worked in the biz in our youth. My uncle would never tolerate any abuse of his wait staff. The hair on my neck stands up when I see someone[almost always men] abuse a server. A few times I have confronted abusers asking them how they feel if that was their daughter. I try not to do it when I’m w/ my wife, she understands but really doesn’t like confrontation. However, the confrontation is effective and righteous. Finally, Mr. Turley, I agree w/ your last paragraph as much as I have ever agreed w/ your opinion.
“His conduct is worthy of scorn and punishment but I am struck by how forgiving we are in relation to American politicians.”
I guess we are better trained here in the exceptional holy land.
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