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Media irresponsible to name her

Written By: - Date published: 7:48 am, June 12th, 2009 - 165 comments
Categories: john key, Media, richard worth, scoundrels, sexism - Tags:

I haven’t really wanted to get involved in the whole debate surrounding Richard Worth. It’s horrible and messy, and makes me feel sick every time I see fuel added  to the fire. It was no surprise to see the creep Cameron Slater (Whale Oil) publish her name, but it was a surprise to see the media irresponsibly follow his lead.

TVNZ used the excuse that it turned out she was a Labour Party activist. Well, it was clear from the start that she was a Labour Party member. And if the difference between member and activist was so important, is there any reason they could not have stated that apparently new revelation without actually naming her?

David Farrar claims that TV3’s decision to publish her name was due to it already being fairly obvious who she was. I would seriously dispute that, as there is a big difference between a few keen people bothering to google it, and the whole population seeing her photograph posted all over the news. Imagine how she feels about going out in public right now, wondering if people will recognise her?

I don’t really care whether the allegations are true or not, as it is not a decision to be made by either me or the media. My issue is with the process. Attacking a complainant of sexual harassment publicly has a very high likelihood of preventing future complaints of a similar nature. Like women don’t already feel scared enough coming forward about these sorts of matters – it is estimated for example, that only around 1 in 10 cases of sexual assault are reported to the police.

The complainant never wanted this to become public, hence why it was only raised in private with the Prime Minister. It was John Key who made this story public in the first place, and he is the reason why it is still playing out messily in the media. I cannot understand why he wouldn’t just meet with her as she requested. It was an understandable request, clearly she felt she would be able to best put her case in person.

I also don’t understand why her credibility is being attacked. It is clear that there have been other similar complaints about Richard Worth (like the one the police are investigating, and the other rumours it is alleged John Key had heard), and it’s not as though this complaint was raised after the complainant knew about those cases. Those attacking her seem to accept the other story out there, so what reason is there for believing she is lying, regardless of her background?

Lastly, I find assertions that the complainant having been a nominee to be candidate in the general election makes her somehow able to deal with this sort of thing ridiculous. I don’t know the complainant very well, but I have met her a couple of times. She didn’t strike me as someone overly assertive, and even I, with all the confidence in the world have had problems stopping unwanted attention from assholes in the past.

165 comments on “Media irresponsible to name her ”

  1. craig 1

    Seems like karma to me… Be nice to people. Cos if you ruin people’s lives, sooner or later someone is going to ruin yours.

    Both Richard Worth and this now famous lady are finding out the hard way.

    [Rocky: So she was asking for it?]

  2. tsmithfield 2

    Don’t shoot the messenger.

    Phil Goff decided to force this into the public arena. Blame him.

    Eddie – Key was the one who told reporters of Worth “making a nuisance of himself towards women”. Straw poll: is this guy anything more than a troll? Because this is a troll-free zone and it’s easy keep it that way

    [Rocky: Sometimes acts like a troll, occasionally writes something a little more reasoned.]

    • Pascal's bookie 2.1

      “Phil Goff decided to force this into the public arena. Blame him.”

      aah. The famous right wing ethic of moral responsibility. ‘We are not accountable for our actions, the lefties made us do it’.

      DPF’s blaming Goff is the classic example. Implicit in his blaming is the idea that because Goff made it easier to identify her, that removes responsibility from those that did so, as if their wanting to do so and actually doing so are just natural occurances like earthquakes.

      If a building falls down in a small earthquake, it makes sense to blame the builder. If a buiding falls down after a terrorist puts a bomb in it? Not so much.

    • Pat 2.2

      Calm down Eddie. TS always puts forward his arguments, its just that most on the left don’t agree with them. You may as well ban all dissenting opinion, and turn this place into a private club.

    • felix 2.3

      Troll.

      The “arguments” he puts forward are usually nothing more than personal or political smears (like the one above) with no truth to them whatsoever (like the one above).

      He’s getting a reputation for baseless misogynistic attacks and for making spurious claims which he is never being able to back up.

      Hilariously this morning he wrote, just a couple of hours before writing the smear above:

      However, I have said I am finished with this now, so I won’t comment further.

      No-one believed it of course.

  3. Anita 3

    Rocky, I couldn’t agree more!

    Whatever anyone thinks of the ins and outs of this situation (I think publishing in this case is wrong, but I accept some other people see grey), I can’t see how anyone can justify publishing her name and photo when they consider the impact on other victims of sexual harassment.

    • Chris S 3.1

      I see where your coming from, Anita.

      It would have been a lot better, especially for the victim and possibly Worth if this was handled quietly and without dragging the complainant out into the media.

      However, Worth is currently being tried in the court of public opinion – does the public not deserve to have all the information?

      • LawGeek 3.1.1

        Chris, it depends what use is made of that information.

        Currently we have:

        – The mainstream media asking her why she didn’t just ask Worth to stop – as if being sexually harrassed is the victim’s fault.
        – MSM and Farrar implying that she is corrupt because her husband is a convicted fraudster – because of course women as just extensions of their husbands, of course
        – Farrar implying, and his sewer mob flat out stating, that she just likes being near famous people, and ‘entrapped’ poor Richard Worth.

        If this is the tone that arises when someone complains about a prominent figure sexually harassing them, who on earth is ever going to complain again? The media, and right wing blogosphere, reaction to this has really been disgusting, sexist, and ignorant.

        • Meg 3.1.1.1

          Don’t forget the disgusting comments about race, looks and sari wrapping that both blogs have allowed (whether posts or comments)

        • craig 3.1.1.2

          “The mainstream media asking her why she didn’t just ask Worth to stop – as if being sexually harassed is the victim’s fault.”

          How is that not a legitimate question??? If women don’t tell men to stop when they’re sexually harassing them, how do they know they’re doing it?

          • NubbleTrubble 3.1.1.2.1

            Wow, you are suggesting that people need to be told by their victims that what they are doing is wrong despite it being obviously inappropriate? They both have partners so any relationship would have been unfaithful for a start.

            I guess Richard Worth has the moral compass of a 3 year old? But you are happy to accept that he was doe eyed and the harassment was innocent? We weren’t born yesterday… If you don’t know you are sexually harrassing someone and need to be told there really is little hope for you… Back in Dick’s day this sort of thing was probably acceptable, pity we all dont share with Nationals 1950s worldview…

            He either did know he was harrassing her or SHOULD HAVE known. The excuse that he needed to be told is just weak, weak, weak

          • craig 3.1.1.2.2

            Firstly being unfaithful isn’t sexual harassment.

            And secondly, the texts that have been released are NOT what I’d call sexual harassment. If they are sexual harassment then I guess there is little hope for me.

      • Anita 3.1.2

        Yep, it should have been handled quietly and respectfully, Worth shouldn’t be being tried in the court of public opinion, there should be no need to name anyone.

        IMO Key should never have opened the door to this becoming a public issue – when asked by the (unethical and nosey) media about “other allegations” he should have said “I am not prepared to discuss any the existence or nature of any current or past allegations against MPs or Ministers. It is not my place to make public any private matters, and I think that respecting individuals’ privacy is absolutely vital. I will, however, state that I always act immediately and decisively on any issues brought to my attention as you can see from the events of this week”. Sure the media would’ve kept pushing him (cos it’s they’re job, plus many of them are unethical and nosey) but he would’ve stood firm and taken a principled stance.

        It would have been the best for everyone involved, as well as uninvolved future and current victims of sexual harassment.

  4. Meg 4

    Hi Rocky

    I totally agree with you. This whole situation has been sickening to watch as people like Chris Trotter and Brian Rudman pile in to tell women to ‘harden up’ when they are being harassed.

    The one thing that everyone seems to ignore here is the vast power imbalance. So she wasn’t working for him at the time but even so he was a Minister of the Crown with many friends in high places. No woman in her right mind is going to send her husband round to beat him up (as some commentators have suggested she should) let alone be overly aggressive or rude for fear of serious life ruining…like what is happening to her now.

    He is a man of power who allegedly used his status in John Key’s Govt to try and get/bribe women. Worth’s actions are the ones that should be under scrutiny here but still the Nats manage to put the victims on trial.

    As you say surprise surprise women don’t report sexual abuse let alone harassment- look how we treat them when they do.

    • indiana 4.1

      …not sure if the power imbalance was really there, when this all started over a cup of coffee. I have a feeling that Cactus Kate would have a few words to say about power imbalance in this case.

  5. vto 5

    Hang on Anita, she has only claimed victimhood. It hasn’t been proved yet.

    Someone said on some other thread that false claims by women against men are not uncommon. And its the old throw some mud and some will stick situation, whether it should or not. This exact point (false claims against men) has led very directly to the growth of some unwanted anomolies in society, such as men being too scared to be primary school teachers for fear of unproved, malicious and disproportinately damaging claims.

    (don’t get me wrong, I aint coming down on either side in the worth crap. it is merely a point worth keeping in mind in these sorts of scenarios)

    • rocky 5.1

      Guilty until proven innocent? Should we make the same assumptions about Richard Worth?

      Personally, I’m not making a judgment about this. The most I’ve said is that if you believe one complainant, how can you expect the other is lying?

  6. Pat 6

    So ladies, the process you are suggesting going forward is as follows:

    If a Labour party member believes she is being sexually harrassed by a National MP

    – advise Goff.
    – Goff phones Key.
    – Key must act immediately on claim, without any corroborating evidence.
    – Key must also personally meet previously un-named claimant and without seeing any prior evidence to support claim.

    This doesn’t seem like a very good system to me.

    .

  7. burt 7

    rocky

    I haven’t really wanted to get involved in the whole debate surrounding Richard Worth.

    So stop posting about it. Stop commenting on threads and don’t get involved. Pretty simple.

    [Rocky: Tell me what to do again and I’ll ensure you don’t comment on my posts in future]

    • burt 7.1

      rocky

      Are you new to blogging?

      [lprent: see section No you must... Posters here are able to write about what they want. Authors are able to moderate on their own posts. Telling posters what they are able to write about is a fast way to not be able to comment here. You know that. Reminds me – your blog appears to have simply descended into personal attacks. But that is the norm for wingnuts – avoid talking about issues – attack people. Typical lynching behaviour ]

    • stinkmeaner 7.2

      [Rocky: I was tempted to let this comment through, as while rude, was kind of amusing in its stupidity. Seems you were given a final warning 2 days ago though.]
      [lprent: Yep. Added to auto moderation until the troll learns to write something intelligible.]

  8. tsmithfield 8

    Goff must have known that going public with this would eventually result in the identity of the complainant being known, and the case being held up for public examination.

    If he had kept it as a private matter between himself and Key, it would never have got this far. So, Goff has shown very little concern for the woman he claimed he was trying to protect.

    Why don’t you criticise Goff for his part in this?
    [Rocky: Goff isn’t the one attacking the complainant]

    • burt 8.1

      What about the woman in all of this? Is she still so upset that she is meeting Worth for coffee between reporting the events to Goff?

    • TS

      “Goff must have known that going public with this would eventually result in the identity of the complainant being known …”

      I do not know how many times it has to be said that Goff went to Key pri-vate-ly in the hope that Mrs Worth would be spared all of this.

      And it is clear to me that Worth was gone no matter what.

      So this mud throwing is irrelevant and distasteful.

      Keep it up guys, the women’s support is rushing back to Labour with every piece of bile that you throw.

  9. This is a post about whether the media should have named her, not about whether Key or Goff went through the right process. There are about 10 million other posts on that question.

    I agree Rocky, pretty disgraceful. Particularly using a photo of her in a singlet – trying to make out that she’s some kind of hussy who was asking for it all along is the impression I’m getting.

    • Jarbury – Neelam Choudary herself put that photograph into the public domain by posting it on her Facebook and Grassroots Labour pages. And was it not Phil Goff who described her as “strikingly attractive”?

      • jarbury 9.1.1

        Is that the only photograph of her in the public domain? Unlikely.

      • gobsmacked 9.1.2

        Photographs of the Korean woman are also online. So if I’m an editor, should I publish them?

        Don’t say ‘sub-judice’ – it isn’t.

  10. Pascal's bookie 10

    “Goff must have known that going public with this would eventually result in the identity of the complainant being known”

    Take this out of the passive voice and we get:

    “Goff must have known that going public with this would eventually result in someone outing her..”

    Why not balme the people that did the outing ts, are they not moral agents?

  11. vto 11

    guilty until proven innocent

  12. Outofbed 12

    tsmithfield is a very boring troll
    there is not much head left on the pin for him to dance on

  13. craig 13

    Rocky IF she’s been helping her husband rip off immigrants then I think she probably deserves more than a couple of text messages in the grand scheme of things. (And I don’t mean that at all in a sexual manner.)
    [Rocky: IF TRUE, agreed. my point is, what the hell does that have to do with her allegations against Richard Worth?]

    How has she been harassed? What did he say to her and text to her? Where’s the evidence he actually harassed her, and where’s the evidence she told him to stop???

    If a man is texting and phoning a women and she tells him to stop and he doesn’t, he’s scum. Men shouldn’t be allowed to hassle women. But you can’t blame them for it if they don’t know they’re doing it. Men aren’t mind readers! You need to say leave me alone if you want to be left alone!

    [Rocky: It is not up to the media or the public to decide, so why should any evidence be released publicly?]

  14. I cannot understand why he wouldn’t just meet with her as she requested. It was an understandable request, clearly she felt she would be able to best put her case in person.

    That’s easy – if she couldn’t present any proof (and it sounds like she can’t) then it puts the PM in the position where he either has to accept her word or Worth’s.

    Her involvement in an immigration scam and the fact that her complaint was made against the Minister of Internal Affairs is of significant public interest. It would have been highly irresponsible of the media not to reveal this information to the public, especially after they gave her initial allegations about Worth such extensive coverage.

    • Meg 14.1

      But what proof could she “hand over”. Even if she had kept all the text messages (which she hasn’t and wouldn’t you think she would have if this was all a trap?) they are still on her MOBILE PHONE. So you are asking her to hand over her mobile to the National Party for an indefinite period of time until John Key agrees to meet with her?

      The other claims relate to phone calls and all you have is her word on the contents. Funny how she didn’t attempt to tape a phone call what with it being a trap and all.

      • Pat 14.1.1

        Ever heard of the “forward” function on your mobile? She could have also forwarded all her texts to Worth telling him to leave her alone. That would have been killer evidence, but I suspect texts like that to Worth don’t exist.

        • Meg 14.1.1.1

          ahhh yes “Fwd function” where you can edit the message. that IS good proof. God I can just hear the complaints about that method now

          • burt 14.1.1.1.1

            Meg

            If you post your phone to me I will return it with a pile of txt messages that look like they came from any number you nominate. Tell me what you want them to say and hey presto – you too can have a chance to meet Key!

          • Meg 14.1.1.1.2

            I’ve met him thanks Burt. Don’t need your help nor is it something I would choose to do in my spare time. Tis one of the joys of my job. Nice enough fellow. But otherwise of course I would post you my phone…

  15. Outofbed 15

    You need to say leave me alone if you want to be left alone!

    er NO
    you don’t harass women in the first place

    • indiana 15.1

      …so If I said to a lady “Wow, that outfit really suits you” and the lady thinks I’m being sleazy, how do I know I’ve harassed her? Do I have to compliment her several times?

  16. craig 16

    [Rocky: It is not up to the media or the public to decide, so why should any evidence be released publicly?]

    Well let’s not blame Worth either then. Why do I even know about this? Why isn’t this all with the police? It’s a political game on both sides and just makes all our politicians look pathetic.

    • burt 16.1

      craig

      At the risk of running up against the ‘prent’ family foul temper – I agree 100% with you.

    • rocky 16.2

      Craig I’m not blaming Worth yet. All I’ve said is if he’s guilty of the first complaint (as most of the right seem to contend), why assume the second complaint is false? Not very consistent…

  17. dave 17

    Goff isn’t the one attacking the complainant
    No bur the complainant was using Goff as her agent to attack Key and that backfired and hurt Labour which is why you didn’t want her name out.

    Goff hasn’t had a very good week this week. Perhaps you can ask Goff why he didn’t appear on Morning Report this morning and why he is all of a sudden very very quiet. If Goff wanted her identity so secret, and you agree that it should have been secret, perhaps you can ask him why he gave so many clues as to who the person was. This is not about protecting a poor naive vulnerable mother of two Labour supporter who didn’t know what xxx means, it is about politics and getting John Key.

    It didn’t work.

  18. Pat 18

    “…so what reason is there for believing she is lying…”

    How about “see-through clothing”

    or Feb 23 was when “contact stopped” when she met Worth again in a cafe on Mar 27.

    But those quotes were Goff’s words, so maybe he was lying. Or she was lying to Goff.

  19. tsmithfield 19

    Look, even Anita, on a recent post said she thinks Goff has been appalling in his handling of this.

    Key was responding to a question from the media. What needs to be asked is how did the media get a wiff of the fact another complaint had been made? Did this arise from Labour? Hard to think of where else it could have come from.’

    Goff has continued to fan the flames though, and keep this matter alive.

    • burt 19.1

      tsmithfield

      Can you provide a link where Anita said that. I asked her that question in an earlier thread and she skipped around the question on the grounds that Goff was probably handling it how the woman asked him to.

      • tsmithfield 19.1.1

        There have been so many threads, and so many posts on all this now, and I don’t have the time to search it out.

        I will leave it for Anita to come back and confirm that she made this statement.

        • Anita 19.1.1.1

          I didn’t say Goff’s handling of it was appalling, no.

          I did say I was generally uncomfortable with his recent handling of the situation and that if he had pressured her into releasing the txts his behaviour was appalling and he should be ashamed of himself.

          I would appreciate it if you quoted me accurately. In general, I suspect, we’d all appreciate accurate and sourced quotes.

      • burt 19.1.2

        tsmithfield

        For the record: Here is my question on that issue for Anita.

        She was lying there with her inbox open and her cellphone pulled up

        • Anita 19.1.2.1

          Um?

          I think the comment you linked to asked three questions, I didn’t quite understand the first, and answered the second two.

          Can you please rephrase the first and I’ll try answering it again? I can’t tell if your question was about how long it wasn’t made public, the fact that it was made public, or that Goff is not qualified in this field.

          A relatively general answer which tries to touch on all three bits? Um… it appears to have been handled somewhat badly (but it’s hard to tell from the outside), I think some people would’ve handled it better than Goff, and some worse. I do, however, totally support the woman in question’s right to ask for help from whomever she chooses, if she chose Goff than that is her choice – I would hate to see us starting to just sexual harassment victims on the basis that they didn’t choose to ask for help the person we think they should have chosen.

          On that topic, this whole issue has been packed full of people saying that choices they think she should have made, and implying that her having made different choices undermines her credibility. That’s completely bogus, we need to accept that sexual harassment victims, like the rest of us, make their own choices and those choices should be respected.

          All of which reminds me, you never answer the question that was in my answer to your third question 🙂

          • burt 19.1.2.1.1

            Anita

            Below (http://www.thestandard.org.nz/media-irresponsible-to-name-her/#comment-139976)

            I point out that I think Goff was exactly the wrong person to deal with it. He is the leader of the opposition and has massive conflicts of interests in this case. I also don’t understand how a victim of sexual harassment can continue to meet the ‘harasser’ after having made complaints and maintain any credibility about the complaint.

            If there were a case then reporting it to an independent person would seem to have been the way to go. Goff is a idiot if he though he could score some political points on the way through without stuffing up the credibility of the victim.

  20. John Darroch 20

    Hey Rocky thanks so much for writing this post. Its sad that you seem to be one of the only people looking at this issue in terms of how this will affect victims of sexual harrasement and abuse rather than the effect it will have on Richard Worths career. The focus on the victim and decision to publically name her has no public worth and is a sign of the sexist male dominated state of the media and blogosphere.

    Anyway this post made my morning, keep it up 🙂

    • So Bored 20.1

      Thanks John D, I was rightly being bored to sleep by Burt and Tsm….could not have put it better, well said. The mysogenists around here needed their wings clipped.

  21. Craig Glen Eden 21

    I have previously been on the Standard as Craig noticed this post and just wanted to distance myself from this Karma crap. I will now come on as Craig Glen Eden

  22. tsmithfield 22

    Burt, here is what Anita said about Goffs behaviour:

    Anita
    I have been generally uncomfortable with Goff’s recent media interaction about her case (as I have written several times), because even if she’s fully comfortable with his actions he’s risked setting an expectation on other victims of sexual harassment.

    So, Anita thinks Goff is a tosser as well. There is the proof.

    • Maynard J 22.1

      She said it upthread a bit better that you pal, why not let Anita speak for herself. She can speak for herself better than most of us, and especially you.

  23. gobsmacked 23

    The only defence for the media targeting the woman is the “open slather” argument – that it’s a story, and they’re chasing every angle.

    Therefore they will show equal enthusiasm for going after Richard Worth. More, in fact, because he was (still is) in a position of power.

    So far, they have made little effort to do so. The only media coverage has been a puff piece supporting Worth, in the Sunday News (presumably fed by Worth’s expensive PR team). Ms Choudhary, of course, has no such PR flunkies at her disposal. That is the power imbalance at work.

    It will be interesting to see what happens next week. I don’t like the media playing seek and destroy, but if that’s what they want to do, then they should do it without favour.

    • Pascal's bookie 23.1

      Has anyone seen mention of the fact that Worth is yet to publically deny anything Ms Choudhary has said?

      Anyone seen any suggestion that Key should show us Worth’s written denial?

      What exactly did he deny?

      Lots of people are rightly pointing out that worth is being tried in the media, and is entitled to a defence, but surely he should enter a plea. At the momet the charges are uncontested

      • tsmithfield 23.1.1

        Key did make public Worth’s position on the allegations. I assume that was with his consent, so I guess he has made a public refutation of it all.

        • Pascal's bookie 23.1.1.1

          nonsense. Key said that Worth denied the allegations in private when his job was on the line, and that Key accepted that denial because Worth promised an affidavit. Key was explaining why he didn’t sack Worth, not making any sort of statement on Worths behalf. In fact Key has repeatedly and publically asked Worth to make some sort of statement.

          • Maynard J 23.1.1.1.1

            Key implied that Worth’s behaviour in denying it was what got him fired – so god knows what he actually did in the course of denying it but I would like to know.

      • burt 23.1.2

        Pascal’s bookie

        I agree – he should front up with his position. Sure he apparently told Key he did nothing wrong but where is the public statement from Worth?

      • gobsmacked 23.1.3

        Worth is playing the classic lawyer’s game.

        Right now the focus is on the woman’s story. If (for example) 20% is untrue, that gets the scrutiny. Becomes the story. Not the 80% that is true.

        When Worth speaks, the focus changes to finding the holes in his story instead.

        But by then it’s too late. The complainant has already been convicted.

  24. tsmithfield 24

    For the record, again, I don’t think that there are many people, left or right, keen on defending Worth.

  25. tsmithfield 25

    I am not the only one who thinks that Goff has made total ballsup of all this.

  26. Murray 26

    The Standard you say, Well pretty low standard around here

  27. Tim Ellis 27

    There seems to be a claim that this episode may deter women who are victims of sexual harassment from coming forward.

    If the allegations are untrue, and I sense more and more holes in it day by day, then I think untrue allegations of sexual harassment do more to damage the credibility of future victims than anything we’ve seen here.

    It is a fact that Phil Goff beat the allegations up, probably leaked them to the media (vis Barry Soper), and tried to string them out for as long as possible.

    If there is any further victimising of the victim here, if there is a victim, then that was from Mr Goff.

    Oh, and Rocky I see you’ve been active in editing comments with your own comments on this thread. I think it is better form for you to leave a comment in reply to somebody else’s comment, rather than editing their comment with your editorial. And for crying out loud, please don’t go threatening to ban people just because they disagree with you or label them a troll.

    [Rocky: Warning, don’t tell me what to do on my own post.]

    • Meg 27.1

      hmmm Tim telling Rochelle what to do…now I swear Rocky just said something about that…what was it now. Oh yeah. Don’t do it.

    • Anita 27.2

      Tim Ellis writes,

      Oh, and Rocky I see you’ve been active in editing comments with your own comments on this thread. I think it is better form for you to leave a comment in reply to somebody else’s comment, rather than editing their comment with your editorial.

      Can I second that! 🙂

      As someone who often reads comments off RSS I miss out on responses edited in to other comments.

      It also makes me a little uncomfortable as it can come across as a demonstration of unequal power, although I totally get that’s a personal taste thing.

      • burt 27.2.1

        I’ll second it too. The integrity of thread content is dubious when it is changing as we type.

      • rocky 27.2.2

        Since your comment came across as a suggestion / request, and since you put up a good argument for why, and how it effects you…. yes I will stop putting my comments directly in other peoples comments other than for moderation. I guess it is a bit of a power thing, so will limit it to moderation where perhaps a little power is needed 😉

        • Tim Ellis 27.2.2.1

          Fair enough, rocky. I know it wasn’t intended as a power thing on your side, and one of the advantages of the reply to feature in this comments section is that commenters can respond to each others’ comments directly rather than appear later on in the thread.

  28. Craig Glen Eden 28

    Oh by the way good post Rocky. If Goff had wanted to play this for his purposes he would have raised it in the house with subtle questions for a week or two. Then had the text messages ready for print tabled them in the house, Bang job done.
    The other thing is by going privately it also protected Mrs Worth and Worths children

    The fact Goff went privately to Key shows it was not his motive to get political mileage out of this Key Stuffed up he does not have the HR experience and it shows, obviously his Head of staff does not either. Key chose to go to the media in order to further victimize this woman and get rid of Worth.

    Keys is the one who has used this for his own political gain, he was waiting to get rid of Worth.
    Key had a problem in Worth, thats why he outed him. Now we get the whole Pontious Pilate routine ” I wash my hands of him”.

    The media love a story Key slowly let the info go to them he was the one who took it to the media and has kept it going. He is truly scum. I could never imagine the likes of Bolger or Don Mckinion or even English behaving like this.

    Key is a sad little man who wants Worth not only out of Cabinet but out of National.

    He was a lame Duck from the start. Key is trying to play this from both sides, get rid of Worth and make out Goff is muck raking. He has been assisted by Whale Oils and he is also disgusting.

    All I can say is I hope the woman in their lives don’ ever have the misfortune of being harassed because from how they have attacked the victim in this case, they wouldn’t get much support.

  29. burt 29

    The thing I really can’t understand is why Goff didn’t pass the whole situation to somebody less conflicted to deal with this. IMHO if he genuinely had any concern for the welfare of the victim then he would have passed it to somebody able to discretely deal with it, keeping it non political.

    Goff appears to have used the situation to his maximum political advantage which if he was genuinely dealing with a sexual harassment claim would be the lowest of the low thing to do.

  30. gingercrush 30

    Goff simply couldn’t shut up. He kept pushing it and pushing it. Yes Key opened it up first. But there came a point when Goff was simply using this for political purposes. That you lot on the left can’t see this is pathetic. There were some legitimate points Goff made. But I really think he pushed it too far and thus we get this now.

    Eventually in politics if you keep pushing something it eventually comes back and bite you. Goff should have shut up shop three or more days ago.

    • Pascal's bookie 30.1

      “thus we get this now.”

      there goes that passive voice again.

      • gingercrush 30.1.1

        I don’t understand?

        • Pascal's bookie 30.1.1.1

          When you say ‘we get this now’, you remove the actor from the sentence, as if the things we are getting are not being done by a person. As if the things we are getting now, were unavoidable given whatever Goff did. As if the people doing things are not responsible for them.

          • gingercrush 30.1.1.1.1

            Oh . Well that isn’t my intention. I don’t know how to write properly. I would have thought that was very evident by now.

          • Pat 30.1.1.1.2

            Pb you’re a hard marker. If gc writes with a passive voice then I swear that some who write here seem to have voices in their heads. I won’t name names but maybe you can help them.

          • Pascal's bookie 30.1.1.1.3

            Sorry, but it’s not pedantic. Using the passive voice shifts responsibility away from the persons responsible. It’s a not a language issue, but an ethical and logical one.

  31. tsmithfield 31

    I think Goff intended this to become public all along.

    An initial private talk with Key so it looked like he was doing the right thing. Then leak to Soper to get it into the public domain without it looking like his doing. Since that time he has not held back.

    • Wow that Goff is a really clever guy. Played Key like an amateur. Went to him privately and then got Key to blurt it out at a presser that the complaint had been made.

      Then manipulated Farrar and Whaleoil into harassing the poor complainant to make the right wing look like a pack of misogynists

      What a man.

      What is your opinion of Key’s handling of this?

      • Tim Ellis 31.1.1

        Micky, you have said it repeatedly that Mr Key “blurted it out at a presser”. Barry Soper’s view of the situation seems to contradict yours. Do you have better information than Mr Soper? Mr Soper says that only Mr Goff and Mr Key knew of the complaint, yet the press gallery was given a tip-off about the complaint, who then questioned Mr Key if there was another complaint.

        It doesn’t sound like Mr Goff did much to keep the complaint secret.

        • rocky 31.1.1.1

          Actually Barry Soper doesn’t say anything factual or claim to have any new information. He states his opinion that the media must have been leaked something to have known what question to ask. Could be true, but don’t state it as fact. In any case, it didn’t mean John Key had to answer the question the way he did.

  32. Outofbed 32

    That’s i tI have had enough
    I am completely and utterly fucked off that with all these threads about
    key/worth goff et al. This post, I know was met to be different but has now fallen to rehashing the same old crap that has been on 6 other threads
    I will come back to the standard in about a week to see if you have all finished.
    I some how doubt it

    • rocky 32.1

      Fair enough. I have been tempted to delete comments which are completely off topic to this post. Unfortunately that would mean deleting at least half the comments in this thread. Sorry.

  33. Jared 33

    What I don’t understand is how the left when it isn’t in their interests refuses to analyse the validity of the alleged victim.

    Lets put it in perspective….
    -Neelam Choudary and Worth exchange messages for the best part of 6 months or so, according to rabid right wing blog Whale Oil its rumoured this was a harmonious friendship up until recently (27 March). Take that with a pinch of salt over the shoulder but its worth noting.
    -She keeps Phil Goff in the loop from the very beginning, even contacting him for advise before the first coffee meeting with Worth at Sylvia Park while her husband the convicted fraudster waits in the car.
    -Labour Party stalwart, unsuccessfully ran for Botany electorate in 2008 election, currently heavily involved with David Shearer’s Mt Albert campaign
    -Alleges messages of an overt nature sent by Worth, unable to produce majority of alleged messages
    -Also alleges job offer for sexual acts, unsubstantiated, no evidence so far
    -Alleges over 100 messages and calls since November 08, yet didn’t say no or stop replying to the messages
    -Her being heavily involved in the immigration scam according to one of the victims

    She had the chance to prove her case, she chose not to by stalling. If anything, Key knew the game Goff was trying to play and merely called his bluff. I hardly consider her a genuine victim, more like someone who thought they could get political mileage in the Labour Party out of destroying a National Minister’s reputation

    • Jared

      The allegation is that Worth offered Government positions but there would be an expectation of “affection” in return.

      When he asked he says that he has done nothing “criminal”. If the allegations were untrue he could have denied them publicly.

      Why don’t you and the others apply the blowtorch to Worth? He benefits from the public purse.

      Instead of that you have incessantly hounded Neelam and she is the victim in this matter.

      Even if she did “entrap” him, which is denied, he is the one who has committed the ethical breaches.

      She does not have to prove a thing. He ought to make a full public explanation of his behaviour.

      • Tim Ellis 33.1.1

        The allegation is that Worth offered Government positions but there would be an expectation of “affection’ in return.

        We have seen Mr Goff make those allegations, and some on here have made those allegations too, Micky. Despite a couple of weeks since Mr Goff saying that there is evidence to back up this allegation, none has emerged.

        Unless you’re referring to the “goa purchase” or the “gachibowli tie”, which may be euphemisms for sexual favours in some alternative world.

        Mr Goff overhyped these allegations, for reasons I don’t know. He’s even back-tracking on the claim that Dr Worth requested that Mrs Choudary purchase a see-through garment.

    • gobsmacked 33.2

      “If anything, Key knew the game Goff was trying to play and merely called his bluff.” (says Jared)

      If so, then John Key lied to the country, and to Parliament.

      He repeatedly said he had confidence in Richard Worth, long after Goff had told him about this woman. So he knew what Worth was doing, and it was OK by John Key. He had confidence in a Minister, who according to you, Jared was involved with a Labour Party fraudster.

      The worse Choudary is, then the worse Richard Worth’s judgement was. And the Prime Minister had confidence in Richard Worth.

      • Jared 33.2.1

        Considering at that point it was merely an allegation with no substantive evidence to back it up, rationally, yes I would still have confidence in my minister. People make ludicrous accusations to Ministers and Government Departments daily, if at the point an allegation is made, the Prime Minister cannot have confidence in a Minister then Government would cease to function. The only way for the Prime Minister to lose confidence in his Minister is if the allegation has substantive evidence to back it up, it still to this day does not.

        • gobsmacked 33.2.1.1

          Ha ha! Superb gymnastics, Jared!

          Suddenly there’s no substantive evidence … oh hang on, wasn’t there an “investigation” by John Key? Do you think that might have included – call me crazy here – a mention of the woman’s Labour involvement? Even her name? Even a story in the Herald?

          Or is your previous post complete crap? All these allegations suddenly didn’t matter after all?

          Key knew. He lied. He must resign.

          Or his chief of staff knew. He lied to Key. He must resign.

          Choose.

          • Jared 33.2.1.1.1

            As far as I know, Worth was asked to resign not on the merits of Neelam’s allegation, but on the Police Investigation into the Korean woman’s complaint.

            “Mr Key said the allegation – separate to the matter being investigated by police that led to Dr Worth’s resignation as a Minister today – was made in recent weeks.

            “I’ve had someone bring an allegation to me of that nature. All I can say I treated the allegation seriously. I investigated it and I was satisfied with the answers I received,” Mr Key said.

            Mr Key said he received assurances the initial allegations were not correct, and he had no reason to disbelieve that.”

            http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10576151

            As a Prime Minister, just like Helen Clark had to, take his word at face value and without any evidence apart from an unofficial complaint funnelled through Phil Goff, rationally he still had to have confidence in his Minister.

  34. Ianmac 34

    This morning I sent to our provincial paper comments on their anti-Goff/Labour editorial. I took the line that they missed how clever Mr Key was to tell the journalists about the “confidential” call from Mr Goff and therefore all that flowed on from that. But finished with:
    (Of course the downside is that to any woman who wants to report discreetly concerns about harassment sexual or otherwise, should be warned that her confidentiality and her character could be exposed for all to judge as a political reality.) True? Fair?

    • Tim Ellis 34.1

      I took the line that they missed how clever Mr Key was to tell the journalists about the “confidential’ call from Mr Goff and therefore all that flowed on from that.

      Barry Soper reported yesterday that Mr Key was asked a direct question from the media about whether other allegations against Dr Worth existed. Mr Soper indicated that it appeared that some in the gallery had been tipped off by Mr Goff’s office about the existence of another allegation.

      When asked a direct question, Mr Key could only confirm the existence of the other allegation. Mr Goff may not have made the announcement, but he does appear to have deliberately leaked it.

      Mr Goff made little attempt to conceal the identity of the woman. His statement that she was “strikingly beautiful” narrowed the list down considerably.

      Mr Goff has received a lot of criticism from commentators for hamming up the allegations and over-playing his card. He clearly has not worked in Mrs Choudary’s interests.

      I questioned here at the standard last week whether Mrs Choudary wrote the statement herself, or if it was written by a Labour Party staffer. At the time I was hounded down with taunts of racism for suggesting this. Mr Goff has since confirmed that the statement was written by a staffer.

      The statement was in my view a clear attempt by Mr Goff’s office to manipulate the story for political advantage.

      Throughout the whole episode, I have been intrigued by Mr Mallard not having any involvement in the allegations. Normally he is front-footing these things for Labour. I can’t help but wonder whether he hasn’t been doing a few things behind the scenes to help land Mr Goff in the mud.

      • Daveski 34.1.1

        TE Some good points indeed.

        I’ve made it quite clear that Worth is a total plonker and couldn’t agree more with Key’s sentiments to wash his hands of him. It’s not like he wasn’t sacked as a Minister either. Given that we are still at the allegations stage, I’m confused as to what else he could have done.

        I also think Key got played by Goff in parts and the denials of timings of discussions etc were a mark against Key. His inexperience was undoubtedly exposed.

        I also have no time for the attacks on the alleged victim. Regardless of the side issues, the issue wouldn’t be happening if Worth hadn’t had been a dick. Or tried to use his.

        Where I think the left have misread things is Goff. He’s clearly over-played his hand and taken what should have been a winning hand and made a mess of it.

        More importantly, there should be some soul searching on the left as to how the victim has been victimised by Goff – it was his attempt to make political capital that inevitably lead to the outing.

        I can’t help but agree with you re the internal politics within Labour. Watch for the denials and wingnut accusations to come out 🙂

        • felix 34.1.1.1

          I also think Key got played by Goff in parts and the denials of timings of discussions etc were a mark against Key. His inexperience was undoubtedly exposed.

          Yep, he could’ve definitely done himself more favours by telling the truth a bit more often.

          • Tim Ellis 34.1.1.1.1

            Felix, I don’t think Mr Goff has done himself any favours by deliberately misleading the public on key elements of the story, either. Perhaps Mr Goff could have done himself more favours by playing it straight and acting in the interests of the alleged victim, rather than playing for political advantage.

          • felix 34.1.1.1.2

            Yawn. Not that anybody cares what a couple of trolls like you and TS think, Tim.

          • Rochelle Rees 34.1.1.1.3

            Just wanted to say that I don’t think Tim Ellis is a troll. He’s about the only right wing commentator at the standard who regularly shows a reasoned point of view in his posts (as much as I disagree with him most of the time!)

          • felix 34.1.1.1.4

            I suppose it depends how you define trolling. He’s been caught straight-up lying his arse off so many times that it’s difficult for many of us to treat him with anything other than a huge amount of cynicism though.

            What is the word for someone who exhibits the behaviour of a troll but does it politely?

        • Pascal's bookie 34.1.1.2

          “it was his attempt to make political capital that inevitably lead to the outing. ”

          …because right wingers can’t help but do that sort of thing?

          • Daveski 34.1.1.2.1

            It’s not a left/right thing PB – get off your high hoiho.

            You’re telling me that if a Labour MP had been subject to unproven allegations (but nonetheless believable ones I agree) by someone with strong National Party connections that there would have been no effort to unmask the victim?

            Key did get exposed for being less than accurate with the truth. Goff couldn’t help himself – he was on the radio twice in one NR show he was so happy to get the exposure. It was inevitable that the details would come out.

            Interestingly, it may have been outed because someone from the left wanted it to be so. If that because left wingers can’t help but do that sort of thing? Come on PB, that’s a weak line and completely overlooks how Goff was happy to take the ups but not the risks.

          • Pascal's bookie 34.1.1.2.2

            I’m not on a high horse.

            All I am saying is that it is not Goff’s fault the right does what it does.

            Nor is it the right’s fault the left does what it does.

            When you say it was inevitable, you are saying it was entirely Goffs fault that she got outed. I am merely disputing that because it ignores the actions of the people that actually outed her. Where is the high horse?

            It’s not pedantry, it’s just asking that the right not absolve itself from responsibilty for the rights actions.

            FFS, I’ll drop it, but it seems to be real common.

          • Maynard J 34.1.1.2.3

            Na keep it up PB, but revert it to Active and drop the players in there. Looks much better.

          • Daveski 34.1.1.2.4

            PB

            Note sure this will surface but I do want to make one point.

            I agree entirely that *some* on the right have made pathetic attempts to discredit everyone involved EXCEPT Worth. On that I will agree with you wholeheartedly and would like to think my distaste for Worth’s actions, his behaviour, and what he represents has been consistently represented by me throughout this.

            I think that means I agree with your point below that the right cannot absolve themselves from this.

            My point was that once it became a political football, it was a matter of time before the victim became known. That this happened is neither a special trait of the left or the right.

        • Tim Ellis 34.1.1.3

          Daveski, I think some classic examples of Mr Goff’s poor handling was his moralising over whether a younger woman would be interested in an older man, and the early decision to ham up the alleged text involving see-through underwear.

          No such text existed. Mr Goff misled people on that. He misled the media on the identity of the alleged victim, and the statement was manipulative.

          I think that Mrs Choudary has been manipulated and used by Mr Goff for political advantage.

          • Merlin 34.1.1.3.1

            Key thinks the texts were serious. He ‘washed his hands’ of Worth after getting them.

          • Tim Ellis 34.1.1.3.2

            Not true, Merlin. Mr Key announced some time well before he had the texts that Dr Worth would not return to his ministry. There is no evidence that Mr Key formed this view on the basis of the text messages he received yesterday.

          • Daveski 34.1.1.3.3

            TE

            Agreed. Let’s not skirt around the issues here (you can’t sari around them can you!) – Worth is the bad guy and he deserved to be sacked. His behaviour is completely unaccepted and should not be tolerated.

            Funnily enough, we now have a thread here criticising Key for washing his hands!!!! Go figure.

            Still, I don’t want Worth forgotten. But Goff’s handling deserves criticism after undeniably playing a perfect hand and I think doing things with some initial decency.

            Frankly, both Goff and Key have been exposed for their inexperience – HC wouldn’t not have made the mistakes these two have made.

        • Ianmac 34.1.1.4

          If Mr Goff was playing politics surely Mr Key, being a very skilled experienced businessman who is well suited to the role as PM, would have anticipated the ramifications of such an approach and acted effectively right at the beginning. Learning on the job? Last year we were told that Mr Key was better suited than Helen Clark.

      • Maynard J 34.1.2

        Tim/Daveski – where are these comments by Soper? I have not been able to find them (I am not disputing their existence, by the way, 😉 ).

        I recall Key saying that he knew Worth was already under question about his dalliances before all this came out. It was just another case of him ‘misbehaving’ remember?

        Not so sure you can conclude the ‘leak’ came from Goff. Much as I loathe the MSM, with a story like this they do like to probe and that is a logical question to ask. Soper was saying that it was no coincidence? If yea, has he got any evidence of this – short of “Goff knew about another allegation and there was another allegation, therefore there must have been a tip-off and it must have come from Goff. “?

        Tim – I stand by those comments. You were right but that does not vindicate your assumption that an Indian can not write a decent statement.

        Daveski – I might use PB’s technique here, it is that passive voice again. “Led to the outing”. How about you try to state it a bit more honestly – you are arguing that “it was his [Goff’s] attempt to make political capital” that meant Whale and Farrar had to publicly out someone who claims they’ve been sexually harrassed.

        Not so clean and tidy looking with an active voice is it?
        edit although I see PB has already been there anyway. took a bit long.

  35. Maggie 35

    Surely the rules of natural justice in a case such as this are pretty simple. Employment case law offers some good guidelines.

    1) Suspend the employee on full pay while the allegations are examined
    2) Collect evidence, interview witnesses
    3) Present accused with evidence and witness accounts, note any explanations provided
    4) Make a decision which is reasonable given the results of 2) and 3).

    It’s hardly rocket science, what part of the process doesn’t the PM understand?

    • Jared 35.1

      The part where the complainant doesn’t actually have evidence to put forward, hence the stalling?

      • Maggie 35.1.1

        Okay, so some evidence wasn’t available. An employer would be required to show they made every reasonable attempt to obtain the evidence. I’m not sure Key’s investigation met that test.

        But even if it did, that makes an interview of the complainant even more crucial. And that interview needs to be conducted by the person making, or influencing, the final decision, not by his chief of staff.

        Seems to me Key’s actions fall at every hurdle.

        Then he made the decision to get rid of Worth, but sat on his hands for a week. His excuse was that further investigation was taking place.

        Any employer who tried that trick would be laughed out of court.

      • Merlin 35.1.2

        You’re confused between the criminal allegation that got Worth fired and the sexual harrasment, which caused John Key to ‘wash his hands’ of Worth.

  36. The Voice of Reason 36

    Which part didn’t the PM understand, Maggie? All of it, I’m afraid. He’s hopeless at managing people. And not too good at picking them in the first place, either, as the good folk of Mt Albert will demonstrate tomorrow.

  37. gobsmacked 37

    Jared:

    You quote Key here:

    “”I’ve had someone bring an allegation to me of that nature. All I can say I treated the allegation seriously. I investigated it and I was satisfied with the answers I received,’ Mr Key said.

    But according to you, Key did not know the woman’s name, or her involvement with the Labour Party, or anything that was previously reported about her husband, or anything about Worth’s involvement with her. If he had known, he would have lost confidence in Worth, because – according to you – she was obviously this Labour activist stringing him along.

    What questions would you ask if you conducted this investigation, Jared? How about “Who is this woman?”

    So there was no investigation, was there? So Key lied about that.

    Or, there was an investigation. And Key found out about the woman. And kept Worth in his job.

    Which?

    • Jared 37.1

      So because he was involved with her, thats grounds for Key to lose confidence in him? Yeah, right.

      Key’s investigation I am assuming would have been about the validity of her accusations, which as we have seen in the past couple of days, have been mere accusations without any evidence to prove their existence. If you are referring to Key knew the game Goff was trying to play and merely called his bluff” I meant interms of Key demanding for the complainant to forward the complaint (an official one no less) and the “evidence” to his chief of staff. I wasn’t implying that he knew before Goff talked to him.

      • gobsmacked 37.1.1

        I wasn’t implying that he knew before Goff talked to him.

        Agreed. I’m not either.

        But Goff talked to him on May 6. He had confidence in Worth until May 26. He expressed that confidence in Parliament. Repeatedly.

        If Mrs Choudhary is as you previously claimed (10.58 a.m.), which is the knowing manipulator of Richard Worth, with many black marks against her name, then Key had confidence in a Minister and knew about the relationship.

        The worse you make her look, the worse you make Worth look. Therefore, the worse Key’s judgement looks.

        There is no escaping from that. As you’ll find out in weeks to come, when attention returns to where it should be: Worth’s actions, and the Prime Minister’s handling of them.

        • Jared 37.1.1.1

          Once again, the Prime Ministers judgement of whether or not they have confidence in a minister should be based on substantive evidence rather than who they associate with. He may well have known of the relationship, so what? We are questioning whether or not Neelam Choudary knowingly manipulated Richard Worth and whether or not her claims of Richard Worth abusing his power by offering jobs for sex are actually real, or simply fantasy.

        • Tim Ellis 37.1.1.2

          GS, Mr Mallard had many, many black marks against his name. So did Mr Peters. So did several other members of Helen Clark’s cabinet, including some that she eventually dismissed.

          The standard of evidence produced against Dr Worth was very poor at the time. It has barely improved over time. The claims of jobs for sexual favours has never been substantiated. The claim of sexual favours and sleazy behaviour by Dr Worth still hasn’t been substantiated.

          Even knowing what we do now, if I were Mr Key, I would not have sacked Mr Worth over the allegations that have so far come forward. There are so many holes in the patchy evidence that Mr Goff has put forward, there is no reason on that alone to dismiss Dr Worth.

          Dr Worth’s real failing appears to have been the fact that he knew that a criminal complaint against him was going to be made, and that he didn’t inform the Prime Minister of this situation. That is unforgiveable.

          • Pascal's bookie 37.1.1.2.1

            Key never asked to see the evidence Tim. He still hasn’t. the only evidence he has against is a promised affidavit that has not yet been delivered.

          • gobsmacked 37.1.1.2.2

            Dr Worth’s real failing appears to have been the fact that he knew that a criminal complaint against him was going to be made, and that he didn’t inform the Prime Minister of this situation.

            Except 1) there is no reason why Key could not say so. And 2) at his Monday press conference he specifically ruled that out (listen at Scoop website).

  38. tsmithfield 38

    Mickey Savage “What is your opinion of Key’s handling of this?”

    I think it is a game of two halves. Key played the first half badly. However, Goff has lost the lead and lost the game in the second half.

    The other thing is, which half do people tend to remember, the first or the last?

    • Maggie 38.1

      I think what most will tend to remember is that within a few months of being elected this government had to dump a slime ball Minister and handled it very badly.

      • Jared 38.1.1

        Bad eggs happen within every government, it would be ludicrous to suggest any government would be without scandal and controversy. Unlike the Winston affair, I don’t believe this will have an adverse impact on voter confidence and opinion. The only people it will sway will be those National would never appeal to anyway.

    • IrishBill 38.2

      They tend to remember the police inquiry. And that’s yet to conclude.

    • Anita 38.3

      tsmithfield,

      I’m not sure I agree. I think the lasting impression people will have is that Worth is icky, Key’s handling of it was questioned, and it was all a bit of a schemozzle. Possibly they will also have a vague memory of an indian woman in a sleeveless top, which will colour the “icky”.

      I doubt many will remember Goff’s role in it – Goff fails to have brand recognition IME, show people a bunch of politician’s photos and they don’t recognise Goff, or that he’s leader of Labour.

      • Tim Ellis 38.3.1

        Anita, I think time will tell on it.

        I tend to agree with your first two contentions: that the public will see Dr Worth as a bit icky, that Mr Key’s initial handling of the matter was flawed, but that also Mr Goff tried to milk it for all it was worth politically and didn’t let truth get in the way of a good story.

        • Pascal's bookie 38.3.1.1

          But of course the real story was always key’s poor investigation. The ‘success’ of National has been in muddying that issue, allowing the PM to dodge responsibility. Even now he won’t hear the woman’s complaint, even though he was casting doubt on it at various points and Worth hasn’t fronted with his promised affidavit.

          There is still a governance issue in reality, even if the media have forgotten about it in favour of the sleaze.

        • Anita 38.3.1.2

          This week around the tea tables in private-sector-company-not-in-Wellington I’ve heard a lot of chatter about the issue, and I don’t think I’ve heard Goff mentioned. The main theme has been that politicians are corrupt-icky-lying-bastards and this lot is just as bad as the last lot, which from a p-s-c-n-i-W that, I reckon, voted for National by a significant majority, is real damage to Key’s government.

      • gobsmacked 38.3.2

        I’m afraid the schemozzle (great word) has a long way to run.

        Next: the martyrdom of Richard Worth. And, I fear, the attacks on the other (Korean) woman.

        • Jared 38.3.2.1

          Lets just get this cleared up once and for all. If Neelam Choudary had a genuine grievance with Richard Worth she would not have complained through Phil Goff, She would have broken off contact with Richard Worth, compiled her evidence and submitted to John Key’s chief of staff a detailed complaint with evidence. Had she done this, her background would not have come into disrepute. Her problem is that she is alleging evidence she cannot prove if her current disclosures are correct.

        • tsmithfield 38.3.2.2

          There has got to be a level where the victim can be scrutinised, especially if things don’t add up with their story. Look at the Bain Trial for instance, the alleged victim, Robin Bain, was publicly portrayed as the killer and he wasn’t even around to defend himself

          • Anita 38.3.2.2.1

            Yeah, and the treatment of both Robin and Laniet Bain troubles me too.

            You will note that I am, at least, consistent 🙂

          • Maynard J 38.3.2.2.2

            “There has got to be a level where the victim can be scrutinised”

            Do you mean there has got to be a level where you can scrutinise the victim? If not you, who? and why?

            Trial by media disgusts me – was not ok with Bain, not in this case.

            It is only ok when it is people elected to represent us in some capacity. And even then it can go too far.

  39. tsmithfield 39

    Maybe what the public will remember out of all this is that Worth was yicky, derserved to go, and Key was decisive and sacked him.

    • Maggie 39.1

      Decisive? He made a decision and then did nothing about it for a week. That’s decisive?

      I think you have the wrong dictionary,ts. Send it back.

      • Anita 39.1.1

        I don’t think the public will remember the week. I think they will, however, remember that Key’s handling of it was strongly questioned by lots of people

      • tsmithfield 39.1.2

        He made a considered decision, not a shoot from the hip one which is what you seem to think he should have done.

    • Merlin 39.2

      I thought Worth resigned and Key wasn’t going to comment on the matter but then he did comment on the matter saying it was related to a cirminal investigation laer confirmed as sexual and then he mentioned having investigated earlier rumours of Worth making a nuisanse of himself towards women and then he cast doubt on that woman’s story and then he agreed to meet with her and then he backed out and then he said he had sacked Worth after all but wouldn’t say why and then he got a letter from her and accepted her story and washed his hands off Worth.

      But maybe that’s just my recollection of events.

  40. dave 40

    I think it is a game of two halves. Key played the first half badly. However, Goff has lost the lead and lost the game in the second half

    But the game is still going. It is just that Goff has run off the field because he has forgotten the rules, admits the linekeeper is strikingly beautiful and realised his team shirt is actually see through and so doesn’t want to play anymore. And the opposition has scored twice ( so to speak).

    • Maynard J 40.1

      Mixed your metaphors – is Key the ‘opposition’? If so, they scored twice but were ruled professional fouls and the captain gave his player a red card before the ref ruled on it.

  41. Trout 41

    It is convenient for you to forget that Phil Goff tabled an unsigned uncorroborated statement (claiming harassment by Richard Worth) in Parliament that had the protection of priviledge. No doubt Worth is a buffoon but this kind of character assassination where the target has no redress is underhand to say the least. Worse still the statement was typed out by Labour minions after a telephone conversation with the complainant. At first it was claimed to be an affadavit – what nonsense. Given these tactics of course all had to be exposed – ‘sunlight is a great disinfectant’. That Phil (and his ‘friend’) has now found themselves in deep poo is a predictable outcome.

    • rocky 41.1

      Actually that is irrelevant to my post. My post was about the media naming the complainant and attacking her credibility. If you want to comment on the general issues of who has played the game better, which politician is more honest / dishonest etc, there are plenty of threads where that would be on-topic.

      Any comments on what I actually wrote?

      • Trout 41.1.1

        My point is that no-one should be allowed to hide behind an uncorroborated unsigned statement that is protected by priviledge. Of course the media (who were willing enough to publish the accusations) should name the complainant. Goff has claimed that this woman is some kind of shrinking violet, which she isn’t, that she was imposed upon, but it transpires that she was a willing participant in the relationship with Worth. If she had not been named we would not know the truth – perhaps the truth really hurts.

        • Anita 41.1.1.1

          Who is hiding behind privilege? Isn’t being able to protect individuals the point of privilege?

          To take a clear cut example: let’s imagine a privileged statement contained allegations by an unnamed teacher that regional MSD staff were failing to protect an unnamed an unnamed child from sexual abuse by an unnamed foster parent. The statement is tabled in the house and the Minister is given the name and contact details of the teacher, and the name of both the child and the foster parent. Would you argue that the teacher, child and foster parent should be named by the media or bloggers if they can figure it out?

          Before you become all absolute about privilege it would be worth figure out some principles.

          • Trout 41.1.1.1.1

            If you cannot see the difference between character assassination and child protection then you have a problem. The issue here of course is that ONE NAMED INDIVIDUAL (not an organization) is attacked by another unnamed person using the protection of PARLIAMENTARY priviledge. He then has NO REDRESS to a defamation action. There is no comparison with your example where NO PERSON IS NAMED. You have failed to appreciate that Parliamentary priviledge enables media to publish the material with freedom. In your example nobody is publicly named.

            • lprent 41.1.1.1.1.1

              Trout: The issue here of course is that ONE NAMED INDIVIDUAL (not an organization) is attacked by another unnamed person using the protection of PARLIAMENTARY priviledge. He then has NO REDRESS to a defamation action.

              He is an MP. He can stand up in parliament and say why the accusation is incorrect. Probably then he’d then have to prove it to the privileges committee.

              Since Worth didn’t choose to do that, then I guess there is a teensy wee flaw in your premise.

          • Anita 41.1.1.1.2

            🙂

            Ok, imagine the imaginary statement names the regional office of MSD (so the names of all the staff can be inferred), or gives the first name of one of the MSD case workers, or names the regional Manager of the MSD office.

            Does this mean the teacher, child, or foster parent should be named?

            I didn’t say this was a similar example, I was challenging your statement

            no-one should be allowed to hide behind an uncorroborated unsigned statement that is protected by priviledge

            you need to think through the reasons privilege exists, and what you think the principles for its use should be. What do you think they should be?

            Not wanting to distract from the point of principle, there is an accuser in the Worth case – it was Goff who tabled the letter, any come back is on him.

            Also, and I can’t check right now, I’m pretty sure the use of Parliamentary privilege doesn’t protect media retransmission in a straightforward way. Wasn’t there a recent Privileges Committee report suggesting a change to this?

    • lprent 41.2

      …Phil Goff tabled an unsigned uncorroborated statement (claiming harassment by Richard Worth) in Parliament that had the protection of priviledge. No doubt Worth is a buffoon but this kind of character assassination where the target has no redress is underhand to say the least.

      Richard Worth is still a member of parliament. He does have redress. He could always stand up in the house and say why it is incorrect.

      So you are pushing bullshit.

      • Trout 41.2.1

        Get real – standing up in the House and making a personal statement is a poor and inadequate way to respond to character asassination – especially since the MSM will ignore it. And if I recall the Statement was tabled by Goff at such a time to get maximum exposure and prevent immediate rebuttal. I must say the Left do seem to have an inexhaustible supply of self justifications

        • gobsmacked 41.2.1.1

          Character assassination? Parliamentary privilege?

          How about “pervert”. Ring a bell?

          If not, ask the Minister of Police, and the Minister of Local Government.

  42. Pat 42

    “Any comments on what I actually wrote?”

    Yeah, Rocky – what about: “…so what reason is there for believing she is lying ‘

    How about “see-through clothing’

    or that Feb 23 was when “contact stopped’ – except she met Worth again in a cafe on Mar 27.

    But those quotes were Goff’s words, so maybe he was lying. Or she was lying to Goff.

  43. Cooler 43

    I don’t what we all are arguing about. Worth and Neelum belong where they are. He chases skirts. He is not fit to be MP leave alone a minister.
    John Key was wrong giving him a ministers position knowing about him. Worse still after so many embarresments it took a police case to see him go. Agreed Jhn Key is a very poor leader. But look at his experience. He has little or no experience to be in the current job. No experience in any cabinet. How amny years was he a MP. It is our fault giving him such a experience. Even if we agree all of this What happened in the case of Neelam and Worth is John Keys fault. Goff Goofed. He took her on her face value (may be even smitten by her) and lost. Goff is an experience politician. He should know nothing it seems. He should have checked the facts before he put his mouth where his foot is.
    Neelam is not an angel herself. I was reading somewhere the time line of the whole thing.
    An aspiring Labour Candidate what was she doing at Richard’s party and why was she so interested in getting a photo with him.
    I can raise so many questions. She should know people are not dumb.
    What was she doing having coffee with him after the final text from Worth.
    She was scared of his power. Common this is not India and she is not anybody. One police complaint about Richard worth she he would have gone home in Nov/Dec.
    One of my friends used to say even a bad publicity is a publicity. Who knows if labour chooses her for the next election she may say that she is thewho brought Dr Worth down.

  44. Michael Whiteside 44

    Except you can’t prove a negative. How exactly is he meant to prove that the allegation is false? Isn’t the whole point of our system that the person making the allegation has to prove it?

    [edit] Grr, meant to be a reply to lprent at 3:36 pm but showed up above it for some reason.

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