It's been a while since I reported on the adventures of Christchurch Mayor Sideshow Bob. I think I've been suffering Bob burnout.
I actually thought the appointment of a personal secretary for Sideshow Bob (ie spin doctor) would result in Bob avoiding shooting himself in the foot as he has done so often in the past.
I was plainly wrong because Bob's done it again.
On February 11 Sideshow flew out for a six day six trip to Nepal where he was a invited speaker at a global natural disaster summit. Apparently just because he was Mayor of Christchurch when 'the quake' hit, he is now some kind of authority on natural disasters. Perhaps he was advising on the best kind of orange safety jackets to buy and how to hog all the media spotlight.
But despite promising that he would be 'more open and transparent' , Bob only told his councillors that he was Nepal-bound at the very last minute.. This earned him a severe rebuke from The Press. In an editorial the newspaper said:
At a time when demands on the mayor's time are great, the mayor and his office could be expected to be sensitive to anything that takes him away from Christchurch. Instead, the mayor acted as furtively as a burglar in slipping away to make a speech in Kathmandu, revealing nothing about it publicly until prompted by inquiries from The Press on the eve of his departure and keeping it quiet even from other councillors.
The Press also reported that a number of councillors were critical of Bob's trip but neglected to mention that it was the Labour-aligned councillors who made the criticisms. Bob's dire bunch of faithful followers kept their mouths shut. This included fellow double-dippers Sue Wells and Barry Corbett. Deputy Mayor Ngaire Button has never opposed Bob on anything and never will.
Bob returned to Christchurch on February 17 and tried to claim that his Nepalese trip was 'a personal and private journey'. This lame excuse was never going to fly since he was invited to the conference in his capacity as Christchurch mayor.
Having dug himself a hole to fall into, Bob promptly invited more criticism when he snidely commented that 'all the decent people' of Christchurch would have wanted him to take the trip. Apparently the rest of us are 'indecent'.
But that wasn't the end of it.
Bob also lashed out at The Press for its 'biased' coverage of his trip. This was more than ironic since the newspaper shamefully backed Bob to the hilt in the final two weeks of the mayoral campaign and significantly contributed to getting him re-elected.
But that's Bob for you. He's an ungrateful bastard and he holds grudges.