Goff says he was joking

Phil Goff has said he was joking about calling for looters to be shot.


Wellington, March 10 NZPA – Labour leader Phil Goff joked that the army?should shoot looters stealing goods after the Christchurch earthquake in a
radio interview.

On radio station BFM on February 28, Mr Goff talked about meeting a man in?Linwood whose sister was killed in the quake, whose house had been badly
damaged but then it was ransacked by looters.

“I saw the army out in the street and I thought court martial, firing squads?you just can’t believe how low a small minority of people can get,” he told?the radio station.

Right wing blogger David Farrar highlighted the comment on twitter.

“Interesting that Phil Goff on radio said that army should shoot looters.?Wonder how his caucus feel about his law and order policy?” he wrote.

Mr Goff said it was clear he was joking.

“I was making the point that first of all I had absolute contempt for?anybody who would exploit other people’s misery at a time like this but I?was making a joke … It was obviously not intended to be taken seriously by?anyone other than the most dim-witted National Party blogger.”

However he stood by another remark during the interview about setting?looters to work with a shovel.

“I thought that people who were offending in that way … should be part of?the effort to clean up and help others as a form of restorative justice?rather than exploiting their fellow Cantabrians. They should be required to?carry out a sentence where they had to put something back into the?community.”


Quite apart from Phil Goff claiming to be joking about a situation where a person had lost their family member to the quake he really is now asking us to believe?the?unbelievable.

He not only suggested that looter be court-martialed and shot but also that perhaps some could be “shackled to shovels” and put to work. That is quite different from suggesting as he claims that they “should be part of?the effort to clean up and help others as a form of restorative justice”

Now bear in mind that it is Labour through Grant Robertson that have attacked Judith Collins for suggesting that criminals should go to court then be locked up for a very longtime with a cellmate. Phil Goff went further, he says he joked, about a situation where a family member has lost a family member and that looters should be court martialed and then shot but at the very least they should be shackled to a shovel. What Goff has suggested is of a magnitude far exceeding anything other than rabid bloggers like myself have suggested. For him to essentially deny that he said it by saying he was only joking just makes matters worse.

This is a law and order policy that only the Sensible Sentencing Trust could wish for in their wildest dreams.

Just so we can be aware of the context, I have now obtained the full audio and also details of the short part that Phil says he was joking about. It is clear in the entire interview that there is no joking about this serious situation.

Phil Goff Interview BFM

[http://www.95bfm.com/assets/sm/198778/3/PhilGoff28Feb2011 [dot] mp3]

It is clear that he isn’t joking. And even if he was he shouldn’t have been. Here is the short version…it certainly doesn’t sound like he is joking.

Phil Goff wants to shoot looters by whaleoil

Nope still can’t see it as joking. Grant Robertson and Phil Goff have some explaining to do.