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The Peron of Wanganui

  • January 26th, 2010

Last month I celebrated a professional success for my firm, among other things, in a post headed "Good Things Happening". We'd obliged Mayor Laws to withdraw his Bill to confiscate Wanganui Port.

The dashboard page for the blog revealed that a critical comment from "Wangas" came from the same web address as some email correspondence my clients had received from the Mayor. I took the liberty of responding to him by name and thought little more of the incident, assuming that Wangas was a well known pen name for the Peron of Wanganui.

It seemed a little odd, but perhaps, I thought, Wanganui people are accustomed to him referring to himself by title – their pet name for their own town. After all, other Lords commonly talk of themselves in the third person. Though he did not do it as far as I know, Lord Cooke of Thorndon could have expected to be referred to simply as "Thorndon" in the House of Lords.

I like Laws' punchiness. I delight in the grief he causes to the anointed, with his political incorrectness, even while I deplore his indifference to deception and the damage he is doing to property rights. I respect his courage even while I feel sorry for Wanganui people who will have to pick up the tab for his damage to their interests in the Port matter on which my help has been sought..

But what a laugh to think that the populist Sun King has to publish his own voter odes. He has to be the tumultuous support for his own popularity.  Now the Fairfax media have discovered that he is embarrassed enough at having to erect his own literary statues to make the fundamental error of denying that it is him at the keyboard.

He is a master of media management. Whether it is him typing blog comments in vintage Laws language, or his poor employee, or his wife, the only way out when caught like this is insouciance. 

Instead he's shown that being caught hurts. Perhaps he is exhibiting the truth of the old saying remembered by lawyers in trouble – "the lawyer who acts for himself has a fool for a client". Presumably its the same in the world of media managers.

He should have called us for advice. 

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