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Leadership rumours: Foreshore Bill passed

Written By: - Date published: 10:39 pm, March 26th, 2011 - 63 comments
Categories: blogs, labour, making shit up, newspapers - Tags: ,

Two weeks ago, Matthew Hooton started pushing David Parker for the Labour leadership in an NBR article.  WhaleOil picked up on it and gave it some air-time, as did Farrar and a speaker at the ACT party conference.

Then Darren Hughes’ police investigation was leaked from the Beehive.  The police investigation has now been ruined by the media spotlight and justice will be ill-served because politics has sought to interfere; despite Labour trying to allow the police to do their job and allow justice – for the complainant and for Darren Hughes1.

Suddenly in the wake of the Darren Hughes story the centre-right started spouting that a leadership coup was under way, Parker had the numbers to roll Goff.  iPredict for Goff to be gone before the election soared to over 70c.  Selwyn Manning at Scoop picked up on the line WhaleOil, Jason Ede and Judith Collins had been pushing (right down to Maryan Street and Ruth Dyson doing the numbers), and suddenly it had some credence.  The NBR gave it more, even if they thought a “well-placed source” would actually think that Helen Clark was still running the party.

Vernon Small and Tracy Watkins were a bit more circumspect (other than the headline), but managed to get an (isolated) “up-and-coming” MP to give a disgruntled quote… and the story was on.

I was at the Auckland Labour List conference today… no-one was doing the numbers.  I rang some Labour people with contacts elsewhere… nobody was doing the numbers.

Now, it is hard to find the Goff coup story on stuff.  Phil Goff’s iPredict has more than halved.  Matthew Hooton must have made a killing on his pump and dump.

And any chance of anyone remembering the controversial Marine and Coastal Areas Act that threatened to drain National and Maori Party support and strain their alliance, is gone.  We might get onto discussing the horrendous budget that Bill English is going to introduce next week, but that criticism is delayed.

These stories have been constructed on the right-wing blogs before, and they will again.  But will the media start to wisen up?

1 There is a lot of pressure for the police to press charges now (and let a court decide) because they cannot investigate properly – hopefully they will make their decisions on their own merits, rather than that pressure.

Also: when will stories about Hughes (or back when Mana apparently didn’t want Fa’afoi) stop featuring “Labour insider” or “hardcore Labour activist” Phil Quinn commenting and instead have “disgruntled ex-Labour staffer who now lives in the US” Phil Quinn?

63 comments on “Leadership rumours: Foreshore Bill passed”

  1. Draco T Bastard 1

    But will the media start to wisen up?

    The MSM are just an extension of the right-wing blogosphere.

    • Jim Nald 1.1

      Remember this, remember well
      And punish the right wing nut jobs at the ballot box this year.

    • PeteG 1.2

      And an extension of the Labour Party president.

      Little, Goff yet to discuss Hughes affair

      Labour president Andrew Little is still waiting to speak to leader Phil Goff about the scandal that sank the career of the party’s brightest young star.

      Little said he contacted Goff’s office in Parliament on Tuesday afternoon after receiving a call from a journalist. He left two more messages that night to say other journalists had called.

      However, Little said he had yet to speak to Goff and had instead spoken to chief of staff Gordon Jon Thompson and once to deputy leader Annette King on Friday.

      Little said he and Goff had been together at least six times and the Hughes situation had not been mentioned. Goff said last night it had been a busy week and he had not had time to call Little.

      “It is, for me, a caucus matter.”

      No wonder Goff did mention it at a List conference, he doesn’t even think it’s worth mentioning to the party president. Oh, that’s right, prospective MP and suggested part leader contender too. But he can’t be a leadership threat at this stage.

    • Rich 1.3

      Yup, Key knew where his bread was buttered when he gave Radioworks that $43mln bailout loan.

      The best thing anyone can do to help the left is never to buy a newspaper.

  2. ianmac 2

    Noticed that tallish Political Commentator with a strange voice, Gower said on TV tonight that he asked three senior named Labour MPs if there was a coup being planned. They each said No.
    Gower then quoted some unamed Labour people who said vague things about being unhappy, but who was around to replace Goff? Must be true because Mr P Gower said so.

  3. Chris 3

    No leadership change ? I am not sure if this is good news for the left or the right. Yes it is late to change but …

  4. Julian Haworth 4

    You can’t use ‘wisen” in that context-should be “wise”

  5. Luva 5

    Ah yes the vast right wing conspiracy. The reason for all Labours ills.

    Goff orchestrated this week of hell for the left. Not hooten and whale. They basked in it and will feed off it for another week. What else would you expect them to do.

    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      Hey dickhead

      The vast right wing conspiracy is not focussed on Labour

      It is focussed on ripping off our country, thieving assets from future generations, and impoverishing the many so that the few can move even further ahead.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.2

      Probably not all Labours ills but most definitely all societies ills. When society is run by psychopaths (which it has been for some time) it invariably becomes ill.

  6. Lanthanide 6

    Both the sprout and Marty earlier today said that counting was definitely taking place. I don’t know who either of them are, and maybe you don’t either.

    But are you stating for a fact, that they were both wrong? Here’s their comments: http://thestandard.org.nz/leadership-rumours/#comment-312787

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      I am under the impression that if anyone would know, Sprout and Marty would know.

      And a number count means relatively little in itself. Where it gets dicey is if the numbers stack up firmly one way.

      • Lanthanide 6.1.1

        That’s my impression too, CV, and yet Bunji categorically says the opposite in the post:

        “I was at the Auckland Labour List conference today… no-one was doing the numbers. I rang some Labour people with contacts elsewhere… nobody was doing the numbers.”

        • lprent 6.1.1.1

          I didn’t see anything apart from auckland MP’s getting irritated with journo’s who had their phone numbers

      • Marty G 6.1.2

        Iwouldn’t go so far as to assume that any one of me, bunji, or the sprout has the better contacts. but cv is right about number counts meaning little in itself. my info is that numbers have been run but the majority are with goff, for now at least.

        bunji may have heard it differently but, looking at the wording, we might just have a different interpretation of what running the numbers is – whether it’s just a more or less theoretical back of the envelope calculation, putting feelers out, or the actual organising stage of an active coup. I suggest bunji sees it as the latter and it doesn’t look like that stage has been reached.

    • the sprout 6.2

      that’s what i’d heard from two reliable sources. they may have been mistaken or correct – counting is not uncommon when leadership is less than rock solid, but it doesn’t necessarily mean an imminent coup either.

  7. PeteG 7

    This illustrates a disconnect with reality:

    Yesterday Goff dismissed talk of a move on his leadership as “bullshit”…

    He could possibly be right (although hardly likely to be a part of the pre-discussions)…

    ….and said he had received no criticism of his handling of the affair…

    …that’s also possible, he may not have personally received any criticism…

    ….and expected none.

    Ah. Is that confidence no one will is critical of him (lala land) or confidence no one would tell him to his face?

    Party president Andrew Little, who steps down on April 2 and is running for Parliament, is thought to be furious at not being told about the accusations against Hughes, which he heard from reporters.

    That’s Goff’s problem, of course Little hasn’t said to Goff he’s furious, but it would be surprising if he isn’t bloody annoyed at being left out of the loop, and bloody disappointed with how the last week in particular has played out.

    (Knives out for Goff)

    Trying to redirect attention to nasty media and nasty right wing plots and trying to push a “nothing happening here” front sounds like a forlorn attempt, publicly at least, to deny reality. If serious questions aren’t being asked within Labour about how this week and month has gone for them, and about Goff’s performance, and about how Labour continues languishing, then someone is in a state of denial and Labour is in a worse state than I thought.

    • lprent 7.1

      Actually bunji is suggesting that it had more to do with making money the nasty way than with right wing conspiracies.

      That is what a pump and dump is…..

    • PeteG 7.2

      Now, it is hard to find the Goff coup story on stuff.

      But not hard to find more of the right wing plot:

      Carter renews calls for Goff to resign

      Independent MP Chris Carter last night renewed his plea for Labour to replace leader Phil Goff, saying he “made a brilliant bureaucrat, but was never born to lead a country”.

      “I’ve said all along, he is a hard worker but he ain’t got the X-factor,” Carter said.

      Carter may have been hamfisted when he started his campaign, but he says what some still in Labour must at least be thinking.

  8. pdm 8

    Whatever happens with the leadership Labour is looking at 20% or less of the party vote in November.

    • gobsmacked 8.1

      No, 10%! 5%! Numbers out of my arse percent!

      When there were three parties competing for the traditional Labour vote in the 1990’s (Alliance, NZ First, Labour), and Winston Peters and Jim Anderton were miles ahead of Helen (“doomed”, “can’t win”) Clark in the preferred PM polls, and memories of Rogernomics were still strong, and so Labour ended up with their worst result in many decades, in 1996 …

      … it was still far more votes than your hard-on fantasy, PDM.

      But hey, i-Predict will happily take your money. So go on, back your bullshit with cash. Just don’t come crying for a “hand out” when you’ve lost your shirt.

  9. Peter 9

    The MSM do not want to wise up because they know how to create news/gossip/scandal to sell papers. Besides this sort of story requires little effort or fact. I just fell sorry for those who fall into their spotlight.

  10. Carol 10

    Stuff are still trying to keep the leadership issue alive with quotes from Chris Carter and georgina Beyer this morning. Did Stuff go to these 2 ex-MPs for quotes, or did the MPs go to the media?

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/4814128/Carter-renews-calls-for-Goff-to-resign

    And NZHerald is keeping on about it too, while also claiming a pattern of sexual harrassment from Hughes. Although, at one point does hitting on someone become harrassment? It seems also that Hughes may have issues with owning his sexuality.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10715181

    I do think there is a strong element of National using this as a diversion from their destructive policies.

    • the sprout 10.1

      National using this as a diversion from their destructive policies

      no doubt about that

  11. Carol 11

    The focus on leadership & Labour is one massive misdirection by the media & the Right. Until there is a more of a shift in the attitudes of the general populace, based in the realisation of how they’ve been played by the media and the Right, and that they are far worse off than they have been told they are/will be, Labour won’t truly have the policies and leader to represent them, IMO.

    • Peter 11.1

      If the Center Left Parties don’t make a concerted, and perhaps urgent coordinated, effort to shift attitudes who will?

  12. gobsmacked 12

    I suppose if we want to join the journos and interview our keyboards, we might just as well announce “rumours” that Goff is now safe, because if there’s one thing a potential new Labour leader will NOT want …

    … it’s support from Chris Carter and Judith Tizard.

  13. I agree with Bunji. I was at the same conference and support for Goff was remarkable. There was no sign of a coup.

    I am not going to say that his performance last week was good. He should have stood down Hughes on the day that he was told of the allegation and then announced this on the day after.

    But there is an aversion within the party to go through the sort of blood letting that occurred in the 1980s. It seems to me that some people have been interviewing their keyboards.

    And the timing of the leak also took attention away from Auckland’s spatial plan release which is an issue that will haunt the Government unless it at least agrees to part fund the Queen Street tunnel.

  14. Matthew Hooton 14

    There are a few problems with my theory. If you had read my NBR column on David Parker, you’d know that it was all about a post-election leadership change, not beforehand. It also certainly didn’t move the “Goff to Go” iPredict stock which in fact fell through most of this month. So much for the “pump” bit. The iPredict stock moved only after the Hughes story broke – which is not surprising, given the nature of that issue and how it has been handled. People bought up. And, unfortunately, I was one of them, and have subsequently lost about $20. So, so much for the “dump” theory. On one thing, though, you are absolutely right. This week New Zealand should have been talking about the appalling economic data. The reason we didn’t talk about that is because Goff tried to cover up the Hughes story. Had he gone public on it on 2 March, it would all have been over by the time the GDP and deficit data came out.

    • gobsmacked 14.1

      @Matthew Hooton

      Why did you name Phil Goff as the “New Zealander of the Year”, when he was a Minister in Helen Clark’s government?

      Why did you say, in Clark’s third term, that Labour’s best chance of winning in 2008 was to replace her with Phil Goff?

      Why do you never mention any of this in all your media “commentary” now?

      • Tigger 14.1.1

        So Matthew you’ll decry the terrible economy in your next NBR piece? And you’re wrong anyway, this week belonged to that vile foreshore Act…

      • Matthew Hooton 14.1.2

        I don’t recall nominating Goff as New Zealander of the Year but assume it must have been something to do with the NZ/China FTA???

        I do think Labour may have got a point or two higher with Goff instead of Clark in 2008, and that could have led to a fourth term Labour-led Government.

        Why would I especially mention these things now? They must have been at least two years ago. Since then, Goff has failed to live up the expectations many had from him. I tend to write columns etc outlining what I think now not what I may have thought a few years ago. The world moves on you see …

    • felix 14.2

      Matthew, it’s so unfair that people (comm1es mostly) always try to frame you as a schemer.

  15. PeteG 15

    [deleted]

    If the party faithful keep ignoring this sort of sentiment, being expressed more and more from the left, it’s not only the November election that’s likely to be a right-off. How many less MPs will there be to try and start the real recovery next term – if it even starts then?

    [lprent: You just quoted without linking again. Next time you’ll stop gracing us with your wisdom for a while. ]

    • Marty G 15.1

      i took this as a clearer sign that mccarten will be involved in hone’s new party.

      and i bought ipredict stocks accordingly.

  16. Nadis 16

    2 obvious points. You say the police investigation us now ruined. Why? Because they had 3 weeks before the public became aware of the allegations? Surely that is ample time for the police to investigate.

    And secondly, have u ever used predict? Liquidity is shithouse. If your idea of making a killing is a few hundreds dollars then good luck but it is very hard to put on and get wiut if large positions. U just can’t make a lot of money on trading large positions.

  17. The Voice of Reason 17

    Had an interesting conversation over a beer with a retired farmer last night. After telling me about his experiences in the army in the fifties, including being told to shoot to kill if locked out wharfies broke through the police lines in Lyttleton, he asked me if I knew Darren Hughes. Far from the barrage of homophobic drivel I expected, he said he felt sorry for Hughes and that Goff had done the right thing by waiting to see if the complaint held up to scrutiny. He reckoned any decent boss has to take the word of an employee in the absence of proof to the contrary.

    He also reckoned that the age difference was nothing, and wouldn’t even be a factor if it was a woman involved, but people assume gays are paedophiles so that made it newsworthy.

    Ok, just a chat over an ale, but it was interesting to hear some common sense from an unlikely source. It just may be that Goff actually gains support out of this from the conservative leaning middle ground, in the same way his Palmerston North speech a couple of years ago gave him a lift.

  18. gobsmacked 18

    After Paul Holmes’ performance on Q & A this morning, Goff just won over any caucus waverers.

    There may be a case against Goff’s leadership, but it’s not going to be made by an infant throwing a tantrum.

    If he’d leaned over and given Holmes a good smack, he would have won a landslide.

    • kriswgtn 18.1

      +1

      • ianmac 18.1.1

        Yes +2.
        The decision made by Mr Goff was right in legal social responsibility terms.
        The Decisions were wrong in political terms, according to the old hands.
        I wonder if the people would welcome a politician a Leader who acted in the legal social responsibility terms? Sounds refreshing to me.

        • Colonial Viper 18.1.1.1

          Sure, but if Goff was going to strip DH of his responsibilities he should have done it all on the day this broke, put him on leave at the same time, and not do it in parts.

          It made Goff look weaker than he should have, and would have changed nothing substantial in terms of looking after DH.

    • PeteG 18.2

      Appalling interview by Holmes, dogged line by Goff – fair enough point on keeping the investigation from public glare – but appalling preparedness and very messy responses when the story inevitably broke.

      And another bad move trying to paint it as a caucus and not a party problem. If caucus ( or at least the leader) won’t talk to the party that suggests a major sign of party dysfunction.

    • felix 18.3

      I pledge both of my votes to anyone from any party who smacks Paul Holmes on telly.

      (Tau, this is your moment)

      • Jim Nald 18.3.1

        Ditto

        I also pledge both of my votes to anyone from any party who:

        * brings a bucket of cold water and empties it on Paul Holmes when he can’t control himself and make us watch his apoplectic seizures on tv

        * brings a straitjacket and warningly holds it out in front of him

        * brings a cardbox cut-out of him/herself and puts it in front of him/herself when Paul gets all excited shouting questions and yelling answers back to himself

        • felix 18.3.1.1

          Lol!

        • the pink postman 18.3.1.2

          Glad that at last Holmes is being seen for what he really is .A Right -Wing plonker. I said so over a year ago on The Standard .He should have been replaced as a TV commentator long ago. He’s now an overpaid clown. Also in the presence of Key he reminds me of an old ladies lap,dog.

  19. Swampy 19

    Policiticans are so fawning over the media and try to use them, the media in turn make it clear they are not there to be politicians tools.

    So the media didn’t play Labour’s tune, what else is new.

  20. Dale 20

    Never mind, when Jude comes back all will be fixed.

  21. Gazza 21

    IF Darren has gay tendencies then it it was a set up by the right wing plonkers, but if he is straight then it is still a set up with probably the police contributing to it by not resolving it in a acceptable time frame before it was leaked to the media (another sign of a set up).

    Even if Darren is Gay is this country so full of red-necks that gay or straight is how we select our representatives and to be a friend gains you the same label?????????.

  22. randal 22

    in answer to you question Bunji the media have already wised up.
    they know if they start printing the truth and getting to the bottom of nationals fiscal manouevres then they will be fired and lose their jobs.
    you cant get much wiser than that.
    and as for hooton everything he says is basically a lie but he is the right wingers liar so they keep printing that.
    thats even wiser still if you want to keep your job in the meedja.

  23. I also find it strange when I am described as a “Labour insider” or “hardcore Labour activist”. If you looked at my blog or columns you will note it is not a description I use myself. It was a long time ago that I worked for the NZ Labour Party, having spent a decade in Melbourne with the ALP before moving to the US. If you actually knew me, you would also know that I am quite gruntled actually.

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