Tony Veitch’s public 'apology' yesterday about his violent behaviour was a carefully scripted and structured performance, designed to save what is most important to Veitch - his media career - and to, at the same time, not to admit to any criminality.

Let’s remind us of what Veitch did. His was a prolonged assault on his defenceless ex-partner, including viciously kicking the woman on the ground - breaking four of her vertebrae. The victim ended up in a wheelchair for several weeks and she had a nervous breakdown.

He then paid her $100,000 to hush the whole thing up.

Did he admit to any of this? No, he only admitted to ‘lashing out’ - which could mean anything. It certainly doesn’t provide any legal ammunition for the police.

No, this was a carefully managed performance - even his wife, standing alongside him, had a role to play. I suspect that the moment she placed a supporting hand on his shoulder was also scripted.

Did he have any ‘excuse’ for his behaviour? Apparently Veitch, on a combined salary closing in on $400,000 - was stressed! Perhaps he should talk to someone working for the minimum wage and trying to bring up a family to find out about the true meaning of ‘stress’.

Veitch said he was ‘haunted’ by the incident. Really? His ‘jack the lad’ behaviour over the past two years hardly suggests he’s agonised over what he did. He’s revelled in his high profile media jobs, whooping it up with his other ‘lad’ friends like Marc Ellis and Mathew Ridge.

Meanwhile his employers, TVNZ and The Radio Network, who suppressed the Veitch story for two days, finally allowed the story on to their airwaves. Unable to sweep the affair under the carpet, it’ll be interesting to see if these two organisations will try to ‘rehabilitate’ Veitch in the eyes of the general public or do the right thing and sack him.

Over at The Radio Network, Newstalk ZB announcers Paul Holmes and Leighton Smith are campaigning to keep Veitch in, at least, his radio job. These are the very same announcers who regularly urge the government to impose stiffer prison sentences on violent offenders . But, hey, Veitch is a mate - and 'mates' stick together. You can just smell the hypocrisy..


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