Alasdair Thompson joins the blogosphereby Toby Manhire
The former Employers Association leader is the latest scandal-veteran to start his own site – and he's still fighting his sacking.
Maybe it’s one of the formal stages of reputational recovery – repair your career in the blogosphere.
The other day, recently resigned National MP Aaron Gilmore launched a blog. And now it’s Alasdair Thompson.
In July 2011, Thompson lost his job as chief executive of the Employers and Manufacturers Association (Northern) following comments about women's pay and menstruation, which he first made in an interview with Mihingarangi Forbes on Campbell Live.
He introduces his new site, FairPoint, like this:
There are many issues facing us personally and society generally. I don’t know how you feel, but I sense that policy makers today blind us with media spin, over-consultation on the one hand and secrecy on the other. The Vision, purpose and hope I have for www.fairpoint.co.nz is that through it I will be able to make fair points on issues that readers can take further in their discussions with others.
And the circumstances of two years have not been forgotten. He's even writing a book about it all.
He explains of himself in the third-person "About me":
In 2011 he was the subject of an international media furore for saying that some women’s productivity and income is affected by difficult menstruation; a truth he was internationally pilloried for speaking about. It was a Life Changing experience for him, about which he’s written a book due for publication in October 2013.
There's more. In four of the five blog posts that he's published in the site's first four days, Thompson makes reference to the circumstances of his departure from his post at the EMA – in two of them, he talks explicitly about Mihingarangi Forbes and Campbell Live.
In his most recent post, published today, on Peter Dunne’s resignation (“Peter Dunne – what has he done?”), he concludes like this:
Dunne’s demise as a minister was inevitable. But he should not go from parliament unless he knows he’s committed a criminal offence or unless he is convicted of a criminal offence, which seems unlikely, given what we know right now. Peters meantime has indicated that Dunne has been responsible for other leaks too, implying they were ‘classified’!
Caught in a fall from grace myself, I offered my resignation, at which point discussions with my employer, EMA, went into ‘without prejudice and confidential’ mode. During that time my employer notified me and announced I’d been fired. An MP can only be removed from parliament if convicted of a criminal offence. If Peter Dunne did resign from parliament, I for one can certainly understand why he’d do so.
See also: New Zealand: "the best place in the rich world to be a working woman"