The many, many, many positions of Phil Goff

Since it is very confusing given all the many positons that Phil Goff has outlined for us on the Darren Hughes affair let’s do a little re-cap and exploration of the issues.

NewtalkZB today:

“I never think that it’s a good thing for people to undergo trial by media, I never think that it’s a good thing that the complainant is at risk of having his privacy breached,” he says. “I stand by that and I think that is how most New Zealanders would actually think about it.”

Uhmmm –excuse me?  ‘Never’ is a strong word: Certainly during June 3 & 4 2009, Goff felt quite differently.

In  the same ZB story Phil Goff is continuing his spin about Darren Hughes position when he declares:

“I think the advice given there would’ve been that it was best for that decision to be made after police had made the decision but I think frankly that his standing for Otaki would’ve been in doubt.” Phil Goff says that’s because Mr Hughes judgement involving an 18-year-old youth was questionable.”

Very strange utterance considering as recently as this morning Phil Goff was saying Hughes could be back if the police cleared him.

But how does any of this reconcile with his original stance?  It simply doesn’t!

As recently as last Thursday, Phil Goff was more than happy to keep Hughes acting as his Education spokesman:

By Friday he was toughening up and was saying he believed Hughes displayed “poor judgment”

And by today Hughes was being well and truly cut adrift.

The man can’t hold a solid position on anything between sentences, let alone allowing a day or two to elapse.

Imagine what would have happened if Phil Goff had got his wish and there was no media coverage?

Darren Hughes would have continued as Labour’s Education spokesman and been confirmed as the candidate for Otaki.  This would have happened despite Hughes being the subject of a police investigation into his behaviour with an 18-year-old student who laid a complaint after an event where the former MP had been acting in an official capacity.

The media would have crucified Phil Goff when the truth came out.  Labour should be thankful it did. At the same time you rally have to question the credibility of the Labour caucus that they still keep Phil Goff in place as leader. Perhaps Chris trotter is right in assessing that the venality and ambition of the Labour caucus is such that they prefer to look after their own interests rather thank those of the country, the party or their local constituents.


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

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