Sideshow Bob has got nothing to say about the deepening social crisis in the eastern suburbs. He'd rather talk about 'Chinese-style booms' instead.

Mayor Sideshow Bob was on Mike Yardley's morning show this week on NewstalkZB. He was interviewed by Yardley and took several questions from listeners.

I didn't hear the entire show but I did hear Bob, in response to what seemed to a be a patsy  question from a caller, go into raptures about Christchurch looking forward to a 'Chinese-style boom' and that this  was a time  for entrepreneurs and these were  exciting times, blah blah blah.  We're all heard this kind of  thing  a hundred times before  from other cheerleaders for the government.

Meanwhile,  out in the eastern suburbs of Christchurch, people continue to struggle. The social crisis deepens as we head into another long winter. It's a damning indictment on Sideshow  Bob, Gerry Brownlee and on Roger Sutton  that the situation in the Eastside  has not only not improved - it has deteriorated further.

Just  a ten  minute walk or so from my place a number of state houses have been boarded up. Caravans have now appeared in several of  the front  gardens.They are home to families with nowhere else to live. Perhaps Bob could pay them a visit and tell them all about his 'Chinese style boom'. I'm sure that will cheer them up no end.

In the Eastside  people are living in damaged houses in the red zone  because they cannot afford the astronomical rents  being demanded by bloodsucking landlords, people are living in garages and in  cars, they  are living in overcrowded conditions .

House rents  have shot up astronomically. Landlords are exploiting people's desperate situations by demanding rents  far in excess of what could be considered fair and reasonable.  Rents are, on average,   20 percent higher than they were at the same time  last year.  This is nothing more than price gouging yet absolutely  nothing has been  done about it .  Why isn't Sideshow Bob  demanding that a cap be put on rent increases in order to prevent price gouging?

Why isn't he doing his job and  representing all  the people of Christchurch?  Because he's Gerry Brownlee's pet poodle that's why.

On May 20, the day of the rally to save the Cathedral, approximately one hundred people protested outside of Gery Brownlee's National Party office. They carried placards with message like 'Freeze the rent”and “Rent is too damn high”

The Government has  failed to provide anything  near enough  low cost housing and the people in the eastern suburbs are paying the price for this inaction.

In April  Sideshow Bob.when pressed by TV3's The Nation,  grudgingly  admitted that the lack of affordable  housing was 'a crisis for some people'. But since then he has done Brownlee's bidding and kept his   mouth shut.

Instead Bob would rather blow hot air  about 'Chinese style booms' and pretend that there isn't a deepening  social crisis happening in his own backyard.

He is a disgrace and the good people of Christchurch deserve a whole lot better.


  1. A bike ride on the east side is now a lottery. They may as well plant a few landmines just to make it that bit more comical.
    I've noticed the roads around Riccarton Mall have been resealed. I heard it was to ensure Gerry gets a smooth ride when he makes his hourly visit to the Riccarton McDonalds drive through

  2. I think it's significant that the picture you've used, by Christchurch photographer Gudrun Gisela, was taken barely three weeks after Brownlee had publically labeled Parker a clown. As a classic example of bully and toady body language it takes some beating.

    Just weeks later, when Brownlee further sidelined the City Council with the announcement of CERA's Central Development Unit, he was able to appear somehow magnanimous by scotching those convenient rumours of a blatant ECAN-style takeover. Parker was pathetically grateful to be accorded an effectively ceremonial role as a "master communicator".

    Parker's fawning to Central Government is pretty well understood. What seems rather more sinister is how easily the entire Council has been effectively sidelined without provoking a public backlash. "Crown observer" Kerry Marshall, who has sold whatever mana he may have possessed for the piddling sum of $10,000, is able to portray Councillors merely doing their job, i.e. advocating on behalf of their constituents, as a form of treachery. Amazingly enough the public and the media don't appear to seriously question this.

    So why is the Council "B team" silent on the issues that matter when there's a huge level of unfocused discontent? The group calling for fresh midterm Council elections presumed to exploit this for their own ends after the unexpectedly high protest turnout back in February. As the dismal showing on May 6 proved, the public mood isn't easily read or exploited.

    I suspect that even the organisers of last weekend's Cathedral rally were taken by surprise by the numbers it drew. If they were to interpret the turnout as simply support for saving the Cathedral I believe they're mistaken. In the absence of any meaningful political representation people need to affirm their right to be heard. The mood at that event was surprisingly positive, and while the sensation may have been illusory, people felt for a time as if they mattered simply by having gathered as they did.

    Wherever we go from here, there are surprises in store for anyone that attempts to exploit or presume upon the goodwill that sustains this post-quake city.


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