Duncan Garner: Falloon shouldn't hide the truth behind a wall of mental health excuses

The AM Show 21/07/2020

Warning: This article discusses suicide.

OPINION: At this rate will there be anyone left on The National Party's backbench?

The roll call of shame continues; first Hamish Walker, now a bloke called Andrew Falloon - who when you cut through all the spin, ducking, weaving and excuses, this is what we are left with. 

It's alleged Falloon got drunk and sent an unwanted, unsolicited pornographic image to a 19-year-old university student. Her parents alerted the Prime Minister's office to this on Friday - and it was passed to Judith Collins.

Oh dear, how embarrassing, and what woeful judgement.

But reading Falloon's statement, you would be forgiven for thinking he was the victim in all this. What does he say?

Firstly, there is no specific mention whatsoever about what he did - just that he's made a "number of mistakes". That immediately wakes up even the laziest of story deprived hacks lounging around the Parliamentary press gallery.

Falloon basically alludes to mental health issues - he talks about losing three friends to suicide over the past 20 years and one friend just recently - which he says brought back unresolved grief.

He's apologised to those who have been affected. We all make mistakes and apologise. But what's he done?

He goes on to say he needs to maintain his health and wellbeing - yes, don't we all. It's called spin and waffle.

Judith Collins followed up his statement by saying Falloon is suffering from significant mental health issues and his privacy and that of his family must be respected.

Sure - but hiding the truth behind the wall of mental health excuses seems far too convenient for a man who draws a salary paid for by taxpayers.

I'm sure he wants to protect his privacy now but if he was so vulnerable, why did National select him to go into this brutal arena and where was the ongoing support and concern for him while he was there?

Falloon will not return to Parliament and if his mental health is genuinely as fragile as suggested, then I hope he is receiving the necessary care that he needs.

Duncan Garner is host of The AM Show.

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