Yesterday’s abusive accusations included Cr. Benson-Pope calling me “crass”, “boorish” and falsely claiming I told untruths with Mayor Hawkins again failing to keep order. By late afternoon there was no point in my subjecting myself to more. See for yourself.
Benson-Pope’s has a long history of doing what he falsely accuses me of, misleading Parliament no less.
“David Benson-Pope was a Labour Member of Parliament for Dunedin South from 1999 to 2008, and a Cabinet Minister from 2005-2008.
May 2005: Benson-Pope steps down as bully inquiry looms
David Benson-Pope stood down from the Cabinet last night until an inquiry decides whether he administered cruel punishment to former pupils and assaulted one of them.
The allegations were raised again last night on TV3 after three of the five accusers identified themselves. One included a man who says that as a 14-year-old he had a tennis ball stuffed in his mouth. They were all students of Bayfield High School in Dunedin, where Mr Benson-Pope taught for 24 years. They say there are other witnesses to some of the alleged incidents.
The accusations against him include throwing tennis balls at students to keep them quiet, striking a pupil with the back of his hand and making the pupil’s nose bleed at a school camp, and caning a student hard enough to draw blood.
Mr Benson-Pope asked to be relieved of his portfolios, the compulsory education sector and fisheries.
Helen Clark referred to the allegations as “the start of what is a rather ugly election campaign, where a desperate and dateless Opposition will drag out whatever it can to smear the character of whoever they can”.
Benson-Pope was reelected in 2005, became a Minister in the next Labour-led government but had more problems, leading to his resignation as a Minister in 2007. From Wikipedia:
After a week of intense pressure focusing not only on the allegation that his staff had acted improperly, but also that he himself had misled Parliament, the media and his Prime Minister about his knowledge and involvement, Benson-Pope offered his resignation from Cabinet at noon on Friday 27 July 2007. Subsequent investigations by the State Services Commissioners Hunn and Prebble make it clear that neither the Minister nor his staff acted in any way inappropriately.
Prime Minister Helen Clark accepted the resignation, saying: “The way in which certain issues have been handled this week has led to a loss of credibility and on that basis I have accepted Mr Benson-Pope’s offer to stand aside”. An editorial commented “Not for the first time, he and the Government have been embarrassed less for what he has done than for his inability to simply say what he has done.”
Benson Pope sought the Labour nomination for Dunedin South for the 2008 election but was replaced by Clare Curran.”