Total destruction is clearly what JLR was out for last week.
It is the mentality of the Judith Collins faction of the National Party.
Back in 2011 Slater passed on Collins’ message to Lusk – who replied: ‘That’s why I am keen to have her as leader, our side will learn to fight properly’.
Slater added: ‘And fight hard’.
I think this is still true.
I think that the attacks on Bridges – aided by Lusk and Slater – are about making Collins the leader of the National Party.
She was uncharacteristically quiet during the last week of destabilisation of Bridges.
Collins has repeatedly said she has had nothing to do with Ross’s behaviour.
But she is very keen on becoming leader.
If she becomes leader in the coming months – based in part on the crisis brewed in recent weeks – it will be a victory for dirty politics.
Jami-Lee Ross appears to have been brought down by this style of politics and at the same time he has seriously hurt other people and helped the terrible cause of turning more ordinary people off politics.
The hurting other people part is particularly about his treatment of women.
When I was researching Dirty Politics this wasn’t the main focus but it was appalling the way some of those involved spoke to each other about women.
I didn’t include most of it in the book because I imagined the effect on the people’s families.
But last week’s revelations about Jami-Lee Ross bring it all back.
Another young protégé of Slater and Lusk – Jordan Williams – now of the ‘Taxpayers Union’ – had no problem getting information for Slater from a woman he was sleeping with.
In chat logs leaked to me by the hacker Rawshark he is revealed offering to get information off her to help Slater ‘doing god’s work against the unions and Helen Kelly’.
Willliams wrote of the source of the information: ‘She’ll no doubt want to root me tomorrow.
I’ll have to take one for the team to get the details out of her’.
Slater also worked with a man named Luigi Wewege who engineered a relationship with the woman who’d had an affair with Auckland mayor Len Brown in order to get hugely intimate information and bring down Mayor Len Brown (the whole grubby story was uncovered by the New Zealand Herald and is told in Dirty Politics).
The women were used then tossed.
Last week we heard it was the same with Jami-Lee Ross.
A woman told Newsroom she believed he had ‘groomed her’ to find information about National Party members and she felt used when she realised their relationship was a way to ‘dig dirt’.
There’s a sick pattern here – made worse when we learn that complaints to the National Party president did not result in support.
This is not being moralistic about people sleeping around.
It is about an insidious culture of exploiting people to gain political power.