Aaron Gilmore - Asshole of the Week | The Jackal

3 May 2013

Aaron Gilmore - Asshole of the Week

Today, One News reported:

The Service Union is calling for National MP Aaron Gilmore to step down and apologise to all hospitality workers following his behaviour on a night out at a hotel in Hanmer Springs on Saturday.

It is alleged the MP used abusive language and threatened to use his influence to have a waiter fired after he refused to serve him more alcohol.

The union representing hospitality workers is calling on Gilmore to formally apologise to all hospitality workers across New Zealand and resign if it is confirmed that he threatened to get a worker sacked by using the Prime Minister's office.

There's little doubt that Aaron Gilmore abused and threatened a hospitality workers job because he didn't get what he wanted, which in my opinion is a despicable abuse of power.

Gilmore might profess his innocence, but with more witnesses coming forward, the National MP trying to pass the buck makes his situation look even worse... It also makes him remaining in parliament an entirely indefensible decision.

Today, the NZ Herald also reported:

Mr Riches said that by the time of the incident - during which Mr Gilmore allegedly called the waiter a "dickhead" - only he and Mr Gilmore remained at the restaurant.

"I consider attributing blame to any other person to be completely unjustified."

Mr Riches said Mr Gilmore tried to "use his status as a Member of Parliament to his own advantage once he had been denied further alcohol service" and "threatened to have the Prime Minister's Office intervene and end the waiter's employment".

Mr Riches confirmed Mr Gilmore asked the waiter "Don't you know who I am?" and gave him his business card to verify his identity, "which was extremely embarrassing".

"After Mr Gilmore departed I was left to explain to the staff member that the powers of a backbench list MP are rather limited, do not extend to the firing of restaurant staff and that his job was safe," Mr Riches said.

It's reasonable to believe that Christchurch lawyer Andrew Riches' account of what happened is accurate. After all a lawyer must not certify the truth of any matter to any person unless they believe its true. That means Gilmore has not only tried to mislead the press, he's likely misled the Office of the Prime Minister as well.

Mr Key yesterday said: "Any suggestion that a member of parliament sought to use the influence of the Prime Minister's office inappropriately is a serious matter.

"My chief of staff has rung Mr Gilmore this afternoon and Mr Gilmore refuted the allegation. Mr Gilmore indicated that he did not believe that he used the words claimed in Mr Riches' statement."

Through a spokeswoman, Mr Key said he had accepted Mr Gilmore's apology.

He was "not going to get into the detail of claims and counter-claims but expected that Mr Gilmore has learned a lesson from the whole thing". But if a staff member or the management at the hotel wanted to lay a complaint, "the Prime Minister's office will ensure the complaint is thoroughly investigated". 
While being drunk and obnoxious in a restaurant is unlikely to result in serious disciplinary action, Mr Gilmore may be in trouble if Mr Riches' account is verified and shows Mr Gilmore misled Mr Key's office.

What all this shows is that Aaron Gilmore is a lying asshole! In my opinion, he should be removed from his privileged position of power so there’s no longer any opportunity for him to threaten people's livelihoods. Gilmore is clearly lacking something we should expect from all our elected officials, a moral compass.

Unfortunately Key is also lacking in this department and probably won't remove Gilmore from the position he's subsequently abused. In effect the Prime Minister was only paying lip service when he said he required high standards from his colleges. If Gilmore's arrogant actions are what we should accept as the standard, then our expectations will be very low indeed.

Aaron Gilmore's unacceptable conduct at a Hanmer Springs hotel is why he wins this week's Asshole Award. Along with lying on his CV about his qualifications, the National MP has shown only disrespect for his role as a representative of New Zealand. Aaron Gilmore should therefore resign or be removed forthwith.