Labour’s #manban backlash: Goff decides to show a pair

It seems all the internal needling about Labour women needing extra help to be as good as men has got to Phil Goff.

Labour MP Phil Goff is under fire for a “misogynistic” barb directed at Attorney-General Chris Finlayson.

During a parliamentary debate on new spying laws yesterday, the pair traded insults about election defeats.

Goff mocked Finlayson for being “beaten on three occasions, each time by a woman“.

“I’ve won 11 times and I’ve lost once, but the member in the chair [Finlayson] has lost three times,” he said.

“You would think that would be a humbling experience, but the arrogance of the minister shows no sign at all that he’s learnt from being beaten on three occasion, each time by a woman member of Parliament.”

Finlayson ran against Annette King in the Rongotai electorate in 2008 and 2011. In 2005, he lost to former Labour MP Winnie Laban in Mana.

Of course, the hand backlash started almost immediately

The insult created a social media stir, with tweeters branding Goff misogynistic.

Megan Hands asked: “Why does @phil_goff have such 1950s views?”

Shaun Willis tweeted: “Neanderthal man is very much alive within the Labour party.”

Kate Sutton tweeted that the Mt Roskill MP’s remarks were “bad form”.

“Its that kind of sexism the Labour Party doenst [sic] need,” she said.

Finlayson joined the online fray, writing: “Imagine!”

Justice Minister Judith Collins tweeted: “Says a lot about why his colleagues wanted the manban. #sexist&stupid.”

But like any decent bloke, he wouldn’t back down

Goff said the storm was “utter crap” and he was only being accurate.

“It was just a statement of fact. I could have said ‘beaten by a Labour MP on three occasions’. I didn’t really think about it,” he said.

“Nobody in the House took offence at it, least of all my female colleagues. So this is a beat-up … I think it’s drawing a long bow.

“I’ve been a member of Parliament for 30 years and I’ve never been accused of being a misogynist.”

That’s because in those 30 years, the Labour Women haven’t been trying to get rid of men, haven’t they Phil?


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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.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.

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