Thoughts on the Chauvel story

  1. The story would not have made both TV channels if the MP didn’t respond by accusing two of his own (wannabee) constituents of being bad parents. A response to the blog post of “I don’t recall it quite like that but I regret if any offence was taken” would have killed the matter. A Helen Clark apology where you say you regret any offence is often the best way to kill a story.
  2. It is hard to take the moral high ground about MPs should not have such relatively trivial stories blogged about them, when Labour MPs on their own parliamentary blog are running a story about a National MP text messaging during some road opening.
  3. It is a fact of life that as an MP you should be polite in all your encounters with the public – the example I always give to candidates is that being an MP means you can no longer give someone the fingers if they steal a carpark from you or cut in front of you in traffic.
  4. With a story like this, it is not about “winning” the story, but not having it as a story at all. Even if 60% of people back you, and 40% do not, none of the 60% who back you are going to then vote for you because of it, while it is quite possible a fair segment of the 40% minority may be put off supporting you.

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