Why is this obnoxious Tory buffoon still an MP? How desperately do the Nats think they need this dolt? Gilmore is a personification of all the worst stereotypes of the Young Nat - with no redeeming features - and as such he must be harming the perception of the party.
The key witness to National MP Aaron Gilmore's actions in a Hanmer hotel says he is certain about his account of the incident despite the MP rejecting nearly all of the allegations about his behaviour.
Mr Gilmore offered a heartfelt apology for his dispute with hotel staff yesterday while challenging most of the details published about it.
The 59th-placed list MP was at first contrite, then defensive in his first public appearance since he was accused of abusing a waiter who had refused to sell him a bottle of wine after a dinner with his partner and friends last week.
He admitted to being rude and arrogant and accepted he may have been a bully: "If there was a dickhead that night it was me."
People are starting to think that 59 is his IQ rather than his list placing - despite the PM's typically nonchalant assurance that deep down (and it must be in the Earth's mantle somewhere) he's very bright. He's very something, but it ain't bright.
His performance at his press conference yesterday veered off contrition once the necessary self-pitying public blubbing was done. He stuck to his "I was rude and arrogant" line rigidly. Problem is in answering the media he displayed all the rudeness and arrogance he just admitted was disgraceful. If it wasn't a collosal fatal train wreck it was at least a nasty derailment with someone in intensive care.
He avoided some of the crucial questions at the press conference, has the witness still at odds over the facts (see below), and because the PM was mentioned, or invoked, in the drunken exchange Key's wrath would be warranted should Gilmore be caught out. After hearing Gilmore's fraying explanation yesterday that is a possibility.
this txt conversation between Gilmore and Riches:
Andrew Riches: What's all this group stuff? You directly threatened to have the guy Fired and said the prime ministers office would be contacting his employer the next day. The girls were gone by that stage and I was just standing there. Stop trying to imply we did something.
Aaron Gilmore: FFS the batman claims the group were racist and that I was escorted from the hotel.
AR: What's the batman?
AR: What? That's ridiculous, we were lovely to him. I also never recall you calling anyone a dickhead
AR: I didn't write that note because I thought we were boisterous, I wrote it because you told the guy he was being fired, said the pm would be involved and I didn't want the poor guy to worry about his job
AG: I know. They are trying to make it seem bigger than that. Its bullshit. ive taken the blame and apologised. Just say nothing.
AR: You didn't take the blame. You blamed the rest of your group when the girls weren't even in the same room
AG: I did the fucktard said I was not the only one drink and i was carried out of the bar. I said that I was rude but he claims others were too. It's not worth the argument.
AR: Well the herald just called ad informed me they have heard you mentioned the prime ministers office ad threatened to get them involved
If the barman makes a statement backing up Riches version then it could be over for Gilmore. Add the txt messages above and the case looks open and shut.
Gilmore implies he was somehow sober when all this occured - that is patently false and contradictory to his other statements. They are the sorts of things people say when they were too drunk to really remember the details, but not drunk enough to have forgotten the whole night. They are the sorts of things said to preserve one's job and keep in good with the boss.
Well the boss is piss weak if he's willing to put up with this shit from such a boorish non-entity. Key implied that if Gilmore had brought the office of PM into it then he would be out. How tenable is that position now? A stronger leader than Key would have got the whips to have a word - or done it personally: "Look, you are an embarrassment and a dead duck and you won't get on the list next time and you know it. So, here's the deal: resign as an MP now (for the official reason of fibbing to the PM) and be at least credited with doing 'the right and honourable' thing. Wait 6 months and we'll give you a patronage position somewhere we need stacking like the Human Rights Commission." That would have been smart management by National.
But that resignation isn't happening because Gilmore is a smarmy prick standing to pick up $200k+ in MP's salary between now and the next election, and John Key and the Nats are more nervous about what an alienated loose canon would do to their tight majority. The net cost is they must wear the sleaze.
And no sooner had I written that...
Prime Minister John Key has sent a clear message to MP Aaron Gilmore to resign, referring the case to the party president.
Mr Key also said he found it difficult to reconcile the version of events Mr Gilmore had given him about a night at the Heritage Hotel in Hanmer Springs with text messages from Mr Gilmore which had subsequently been released.
A referral to the president is the first step of expelling an MP from caucus - but Mr Key said he did not expect to move to expel him because it was a long process and it might be quicker to wait until the next election.
However, he made it clear he wanted Mr Gilmore to resign, saying he could not force a list MP to quit Parliament and had not asked Mr Gilmore to resign directly: "But given the pressure he's been under and the questions he has been unable to answer to the media, I would have thought it was self-explanatory for him to come forward if that's what he wants to do."
He said text messages that had since been provided to his office were hard to reconcile with the version of events Mr Gilmore had provided him with. "I find it very difficult to reconcile, and I find it very difficult to get a straight answer quite frankly."
Key and his advisers have come to their senses... slowly. Still messy though - doing it through the media instead of talking directly to one another to sort this out. This is poor political management, but they can't let it drift while Gilmore digs a deeper hole with the media providing the equipment. Looks like Key and the party bosses now have enough to hang him.
Mr Gilmore said this morning he had sent his own version of the text exchange to Mr Key's office. However Mr Key said "I find [the texts] difficult to reconcile with the version of events Mr Gilmore gave my office. I said at the time, if I found it difficult to reconcile those events I'd treat it as an serious matter."
He said he could not pre-judge what the party would do, but he expected them to take it into account in the list ranking.
"No party leader can force a list member out of Parliament. Even if we were to try and sack him out of caucus, that is a long drawn-out and quite painful and expensive process. But he is 59th out of 59, he has no portfolio responsibilities, he's a list member of Parliament and I have expressed my real concerns to the President."