A few days ago one of our MPs (and I use the term ‘our’ advisedly!) was out with friends (and they use the term ‘friends’ advisedly?) having dinner (and, as it transpired I use the term ‘dinner’ advisedly!!) at a hotel in Hanmer.
Now there is absolutely nothing noteworthy in this so why should I be posting about it, you might ask? I’m sure there are plenty of people who dined out at the same hotel on that evening so why am I not talking about them? And what on Earth can it have to do with the heading of my post?
In a nutshell- one of the ‘friends’ at said dinner was the MP, whose name is Aaron Gilmore and who is in parliament because somehow he got onto the National Party ‘list’, and when the Hon. Lockwood Smith moved on to greater things was moved in to fill the seat vacated by the Honourable Gentleman. During the evening drinks were drunk and the mood generated (or should that be de-generated) to the ‘boisterous’ -their word, not mine. Apparently one of the party was somewhat more ‘boisterous’ than the others and when this person asked the waiter for more wine he was refused- they had already consumed 8 bottles among other beverages (it is reported). At this refusal it was reported the MP became somewhat tetchy and called the waiter a ‘dickhead’, inquired of the waiter whether he knew who the MP was, and even (it is reported) threatened to use his power as “a very important politician” and (it is reported) his influence with the PM (important reversal of initials here!) to remove the waiter from his job.
There are a number of issues here and I will leave the headline until later.
In this fair country it is everybody’s right to enjoy the company of friends, to enjoy fine dining, the enjoy the fine wines of this fair country, AND TO CARRY OUT ONES JOB WITHOUT BEING ABUSED OR THREATENED FOR SIMPLY DOING THAT JOB!
The waiter obviously believed he was within his rights to refuse to provide further alcohol, in fact I am sure he would have already had advice from others as to whether it was likely that a refusal was probably going to have to be made based on the behaviour of the ‘boisterous’ group should a further request be made for drink. What the waiter will not have had would be instructions that include making allowances for ‘important people’ to be more ‘boisterous’ than less important people. Neither would he be any less of a waiter if he wasn’t able to recognise ‘important people’ if they dined at his tables- in fact many ‘important people’ might even value their anonymity when dining out with ‘friends’.
Other diners also have the same rights to fine dining and an expectation that they can enjoy their meals in peace without the peaceful atmosphere being upset by over ‘boisterous’ behaviour. (I would imagine in this case you could probably use ‘boorish’ for ‘boisterous’.)
I am sure this ‘important politician’ is soon going to find out just how not-important he is in the greater scheme of things, more especially given it is strongly suspected he stupidly used the position of his leader, the PM in his threats against the waiter, because this is something that is only marginally less stupid and career-ending than abusing The Leader!
And so back to his question “don’t you know who I am” and his assertion that he is “a very important politician”. Check this out, Mr Important Person Probably Soon To Not Be MP Aaron Gilmore…
There is a postscript to this- one of the MP’s ‘friends’, who initially left a note apologising to staff for the unseemly behaviour in his group the previous night (more strength to HIM) has subsequently identified the MP as the one who was being ‘boisterous’ and has appeared to put an end to any ‘friendship’ by clearly accusing Gilmore of further ‘disappointing behaviour’ by making his apologies on behalf of his dining group when it was Gilmore himself who was the ‘boisterous’ one (MUCH more strength to HIM).