Herald puts the boot into Goff and Peters

[Imported from Whale Oil Beef Hooked on Blogger]

Goff has been muelling in the media that they aren’t giving Winnie a fair go, that they were bored and simply made up the story that him nd Winnie are having a little tiff.

Fran O’Sullivan disagrees and reveals that Sutton was in on the smear Peters plan. With friends like this who needs enemies.

Phil Goff is as adept as any of his international counterparts at the diplomatic art of plausible deniability. But his attempt to shift the blame to bored New Zealand journalists up in Busan for the embarrassment his successor Winston Peters suffered at Apec will not wash.

It was Mr Goff who revealed to journalists that Alexander Downer had sought clarification over the Peters appointment, not Mr Peters.

Trade Negotiations Minister Jim Sutton had earlier tried to get at least one journalist to “ask Mr Peters what Downer said” – but did not break confidentiality himself.

It was also Mr Goff who revealed to journalists that Mr Downer had subsequently decided to check the understandings with him personally, a factor that caught the Australian Foreign Minister by surprise in a later interview with those same Apec journalists.

“How do you know I asked Phil Goff these questions?” was the Downer response when asked for clarification. “I’m a bit surprised he’s told you that.”

Clearly Mr Downer had expected his request for a clarification from firstly Mr Peters, then Mr Goff, would remain private.

Perhaps it was boredom on the part of Mr Goff – unaccustomed at Mr Peters getting the main Apec limelight – that encouraged him to divulge what others, particularly Mr Downer, would have expected to remain private.


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