Alasdair Thompson, chief executive of the Employers and Manufacturers Association (Northern), has lived to fight another day.
An emergency board meeting to discuss his future today has been cancelled.
Not postponed. Cancelled.
This explains why Thompson – so far as we know – was not gone by lunch time.
But it looks unlikely he can hold on for long. The baying for blood is coming from a pack of formidable proportions.
The meeting had been set for today after Thompson had a rush of blood, so to speak, and linked women’s periods to their productivity.
Where’s he been, that he didn’t foresee how those remarks would raise a ruckus greater than that raised by Paul Henry when he scoffed the the Dikshit woman’s name and at the Governor-General’s claims to be regarded as a proper New Zealander.
But whoa. There’s more…
The HoS came up with some stuff about him boasting about asking the Prime Minister about a sexual relationship with Council of Trade Unions president Helen Kelly.
An “influential business leader” spoke of witnessing a confrontation between Kelly and Thompson at “a high-powered dinner in Washington DC”.
She was going to make a formal complaint to the board of the EMA.
But she has not attached great urgency to the matter, if Alf understands the HoS report correctly, because we are talking about something that happened nearly two years ago.
The Herald on Sunday has learned Thompson was among a large group of influential New Zealanders at a high-level trade meeting at the US-NZ Partnership Forum in the United States from October 6 to 8, 2009.
At a dinner at McCormick & Schmick’s restaurant in Washington, Thompson approached Kelly, Street and the business leader.
Thompson is alleged to have made lewd comments at the social event about the relationship Kelly had with Prime Minister John Key, who has been married to wife Bronagh since both were teenagers.
Alf would be disconcerted to learn that any True Blue Nat establishing anything more than a strictly working relationship with a trade union leader.
He is delighted, accordingly, to report that –
Late last night, the Prime Minister’s office dismissed Thompson’s allegations as “totally ridiculous”.
Making such allegations, of course, raises serious questions about Thompson and his need, maybe, to bring his stress levels down.
But let’s get back to the confrontation –
“He asked her what the relationship was between her and John Key. There was sexual innuendo. Then he said he asked John Key, the last time he saw him. He said he asked if he [Key] fancied Helen.”
The source said Kelly was visibly upset by the comments. She said to Thompson: “That’s disgusting.”
She then walked away, the source said. As she left, Thompson shouted: “It’s a joke. You’re beautiful, you know.”
It seems Kelly has confirmed the above account but would not comment further.
We haven’t heard Thompson’s side of this, which is a pity, because on current form it is likely to be very colourful.
But we do know EMA president Graham Mountfort said Thompson would be asked to explain himself to the board.
Meantime he was no longer allowed to speak with the media.
“He won’t be an advocate for us in the future.”
Today’s news is that the cancellation of the meeting would let the board consider the matter without “pressure” and a further statement on Thompson would be delivered by the EMA within a week.
A spokesman said –
“The decision has not been made already. They don’t necessarily have to meet to make a decision.”
However EMA board member Laurie Margrain said he still expected a decision on Mr Thompson within 24 hours.
Phone calls would be exchanged between board members through the day, he said.
“It’s a decision that demands it is resolved professionally. There will be a resolution.”
Alf would put his money on the bayers for blood soon getting their head.