Poto Williams swallows huge rat to restore fake party unity

Party leader Andrew Little shoulder-tapped Mr Jackson, a former politician and broadcaster, to stand for Labour in the September 23 general election and is still backing him.

Ms Williams took to Facebook just hours after Mr Jackson was named as a list candidate to say his comments over the Roast Busters scandal in 2013 didn’t match her expectations of a Labour Party member.

Mr Jackson says he apologised for his Roast Busters comments at the time, and has done so several times since.

The pair met for a “robust and honest conversation” on Wednesday night and Ms Williams said she accepted that Mr Jackson’s apology was genuine.

She said he realised he had more to learn about issues of sexual violence.

“In that regard I hope to help him increase his understanding an our conversations will continue,” she said.

“I welcome that opportunity and Willie is keen for that to occur.”

But Ms Williams stopped short of endorsing Mr Jackson as a candidate.

In the end, for a sitting MP to be made to meet with someone who isn’t even a Labour candidate yet and be forced to play nice is just humiliating.   But as one fire is put out, another starts.  

Mr Little has told his caucus to keep quiet about Mr Jackson after Ms Williams’ public statement, but that doesn’t apply to former MPs and three are reported to have signed an open letter expressing their concerns.

The party’s youth wing, Young Labour, criticised the decision to nominate Mr Jackson because of comments the Maori broadcaster had made in the past about gay people.

The online letter, drafted by Young Labour and addressed to the party’s ruling council, is still circulating, Fairfax reports.

Former MPs Maryan Street, Carol Beaumont and Marian Hobbs are among more than 400 party members who have signed it, the report said.

Willie Jackson has a long public record.  Listeners and viewers have an opinion of him that isn’t a soundbite, a single issue blowing up or even a social media fuelled outrage.   It is fair to say Jackson is a racist misogynist.  Few people would disagree.

Poto Williams may be muzzled by the party hierarchy, but the public know where the truth lies.  Little’s hope that Willie Jackson will be a net-positive influence on Labour’s party vote is totally misguided.   And after Poto throwing both Little and Jackson under the bus, she’s all but guaranteed that Jackson won’t make it high up the list, nor will Labour benefit from Jackson’s profile among urban Maori who are notoriously hard to get to the ballot box in the first place.

 

– NZN via Yahoo! News

 


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