Written By: - Date published: 9:59 am, March 18th, 2018 - 87 comments
Categories: David Farrar, jacinda ardern, labour, Media, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags: chris bishop, heather du plessis-allan, ponygate
My morning coffee was spoilt by doing something that I immediately regretted. Reading Heather Du Plessis-Allan’s latest article, or as it is known colloquially, click bait, was something I should have prepared myself for.
It contains the sort of analysis that I would normally expect from Cameron Slater. Even David Farrar has standards sufficient to not sink to these levels although he may prove me wrong.
For hot on the heels of her discovery that Chris Bishop’s social media difficulties were the result of a cunning attack by labour comes this earth shattering discovery, that there is a power struggle under way in the Labour Party and Jacinda is being targeted.
Her reasoning is this:
Labour HQ says its reason for keeping the incident secret from the Prime Minister was to protect the young alleged victims. They say they didn’t want the 16-year-olds further traumatised by fearing the story was spreading.
I don’t buy that.
Firstly, the 16-year-olds didn’t need to know Ardern was told.
Secondly, regardless of whether you believe Labour was trying to protect the kids — or protect itself by covering up the story — there is one obvious point at which the Prime Minister definitely needed to know. That point was when the Labour Party bosses knew the story was about to hit the media.
At that point, Ardern should have been told. The Labour suits should have realised how Ardern would look when confronted by media who knew more than she did. At best she looked like her own party won’t trust her with top secret information. At worst it looked like her own party is scheming against her.
They should have protected her. But they didn’t. Why?
In my view, there may be a power battle going on inside Labour most of us aren’t aware of. I wasn’t aware of it until I stumbled across it last year. It became so fascinating that I wrote an 11,000-word thesis about it at university.
The battle in my view is between party president Nigel Haworth and the Prime Minister.
In the Labour Party, the party president has as much power as the Prime Minister. This is one of the quirks of the party. The president has enough power to force Labour MPs to follow his instructions by passing party rules.
When MPs get badly out of line, the president’s part of the party deals with the discipline. Not the Prime Minister.
In my view, Haworth may have asserted himself as party president. He knows how much power he has, and he’s putting some of it to use.
Of course the party hierachy should have breached any understandings of confidentiality and told all and sundry. And it is interesting that in Heather’s world breaching confidences is fine as long as no one finds out. The fact that this issue is being politically weaponised because Jacinda did not know about it speaks volumes of those trying to keep the story running.
Anyone who knows Nigel Haworth would laugh at the assertion that he is engaged in some sort of power play with Ardern. And the claim is clearly completely devoid of those things which should be a requirement before pontificating publicly, those things being facts.
And there has been this attempt to equate this with Ponygate and Todd Barclay’s
Muller’s arguably illegal use of a recording device not to mention one or two other incidents involving MPs engaging in behaviour which probably did not meet the probity test. The general secretary making an arguably incorrect call on how to treat the disclosure is not the same as engaging in behaviour that is at least morally offensive.