Phil Goff says that his leadership is under no threat because of the Darren Hughes affair and that he has nothing to be sorry for in his handling of the affair. I wonder perhaps if he has thought through all the implications of the timetable and all the events involved in this.
- On March 2, after a night of drunken debauchery in various bars around Wellington, a young man is seen running naked from the Deputy Leader, Annette King’s house, a house where the Chief Whip, Darren Hughes, also lives.
- The Police become involved in an investigation and Phil Goff says he was informed “shortly thereafter”.
- Some three weeks later when media become aware of the impending scandal Goff’s office at first denies a Labour MP was involved.
- Then under increasing scrutiny Phil Goff and Darren Hughes announce some of the details. Phil Goff says he has known for just two weeks. He later retracts this.
- Phil Goff says he stands by his man.
- On Thursday 24 March Phil Goff says he won’t accept Darren Hughes resignation after it is offered.
- On Friday 25 March Phil Goff does accept Darren Hughes resignation after the “naked man” details become public.
- During all of this he has not said one word about it all to party president Andrew Little.
Given all that has happened and all we know so far it is almost inconceivable that Goff can believe that his hands are clean. Firstly his office lied to the media, then they attempted to cover it all up. All the while they were hoping it would go away. All of that is pretty dire but then you have to also look at what happened the night of 17 March at the Press Gallery fundraiser where a debate and auction were held to raise funds for the Red Cross.
This is 15 days after the events that have brought about the downfall of Darren Hughes, it is after the time that Phil Goff originally said he knew about it and it is also after the time of his revised recollection of when he was told. So what I hear you say. Well the moot of the debate was “Politics is a grubby business” and Annette King and Darren Hughes were on the affirmative team that won.
What on earth was Goff, King and Hughes thinking. Participating in a debate with the moot “Politics is a grubby business” when there is an active Police investigation under-way into a rather tawdry and sordid occurence some two weeks earlier? Not only that, the debate was performed in front of the entire press gallery, a gallery that later Goff’s office would lie to about the investigation underway.
i wonder if there is any video footage of the fateful night, in particular the arguments the Annette King and Darren Hughes put together to help affirm that indeed, “Politics is a grubby business.”