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Quandary

Written By: - Date published: 8:06 pm, June 4th, 2009 - 58 comments
Categories: Deep stuff - Tags:

This evening, Labour tabled in the House, with her permission, a statement from the woman that Richard Worth harrassed with his corrupt ‘jobs for favours’ proposals. Journalists got copies and have quoted from it but not shown it.

Except, the Herald briefly posted an image of it.

Here’s why we’re in a quandary. We’ve been sent a copy of that image. Should we post it?

The statement is now public information. In theory, ordinary members of the public can get to see papers that have been tabled in the House. On the other hand, would it be an unnecessary invasion of the woman’s privacy? That’s presumably why the Herald took it down.

What do you think?

58 comments on “Quandary”

  1. infused 1

    I think you know what the answer is. Not something to score political points over. I bet you’ll post it though.

  2. Have they released the emails that Mr Goff claimed existed? And shouldn’t you be using the word alleged somewhere in your post.*
    * Please do not assume that my comment is in anyway supportive of Richard Worth. It is not.

    • Eddie 2.1

      No one has alleged he committed any crime in reference to these activities (although maybe there could be a case for corruption charges) – no allegation of criminality, no ‘alleged’.

      You’re probably getting confused with the alleged crime that Key believes Worth committed and fired him for. You’re getting Worth’s scandals confused.

      • calltoaccount 2.1.1

        [Eddie: Hope there’s an article coming on the real issue, how Key’s antics forced her into making the statement. See my post at 9.18, down below.]

  3. gobsmacked 3

    Someone’s already posted a link on here (pdf). It’s a bit dodgy, because you can almost make out her name.

    I’d leave it alone, it’s not hard to find on the net. Sadly, some sh*t from the sewer will be tracking her down as we speak. It’s not hard to do really.

    I just hope she doesn’t get dragged through the mud, all because of that sleazeball.

    • Rex Widerstrom 3.1

      Because it’s utterly unheard of for someone to make a false or exaggerated allegation, of course.

      I’m in no way implying that’s the case here because, like everyone else, I haven’t the proof either way… just that we’ve a long way to go before we can go applying terms like “sleazeball”.

      I’ve long believed that if someone makes an allegation that’s proven to be false, their automatic penalty ought to be that which would have been imposed upon the accused if they were found guilty (note that that’s not simply if the case is lost, but if the accusation is proven to be palpably false).

      “Dragging her through the mud” will do nothing to clarify the situation, find the truth, or simply stop us degenerating into a lynch mob.

      But nor will calling someone accused, and not yet charged let alone convicted, a “sleazeball” on the basis of an allegation.

      And, like barnsely bill, this comment shouldn’t be read as supporting Worth as a Minister. His performance before any of these personal allegations came to light showed him unfit for office, and I’m glad he’s gone.

      • gobsmacked 3.1.1

        I think he’s a sleazeball.

        “Alleged” is for discussion about crime. Not character.

  4. mike 4

    “Not something to score political points over.”

    But Goff’s up to his neck in it now – some media already questioning his tactics.

    This gift may yet turn sour for the preacher

    • gobsmacked 4.1

      Goff could have destroyed Worth in Parliament at any time. He didn’t.

      Get your timeline right, Mike. Goff said nothing in public until Key had sacked Worth AND told the media about these other allegations.

      No amount of diversion changes that simple fact.

    • Eddie 4.2

      This really is a desperate, desperate line from the Right.

      Go through Goff’s statements and show us how he has been anything other than dignified and measured. Then we can have a discussion.

      All you’ve got now is empty whining.

  5. Outofbed 5

    Leave well alone this is not whaleoil or farrar

  6. Daveo 6

    Um, it’s up on the front page of stuff right now.

    • Eddie 6.1

      Ah. It is too. well, we don’t need to if its widely available.

      • Anita 6.1.1

        Was there any reason you wouldn’t’ve posted it? Goff made it public record when he tabled it, and she’d given permission for it to happen.

  7. jcuknz 7

    It is careless not to include the word ‘alleged’

  8. Rex Widerstrom 8

    Perhaps it’s the journalist in me, but I’d have published and be damned. Presumably the statement was given to Goff with the knowledge he intended tabling it (I can’t imagine him doing so without the woman’s consent) and that it would have been explained to her that this made it subject to qualified privilege.

    That covers her privacy. As for Worth’s, once these sorts of accusations are known to be circulating it’s probably better that their exact nature be known. And given that nothing’s going to stop people debating his likely guilt or innocence, it’s also probably better that that debate have something other than rumour and speculation as its basis.

  9. calltoaccount 9

    Please don’t post it. As far as I understand, the lady was brave enough to front up with the info after Key, in effect, insinuated on Mary Wilson’s interview today that it did not exist. Leave the details out and respect her privacy, and focus on the real story, Key’s disgraceful handling of this issue.

    (A link to Wilson’s interview would be the way to go. There’s some wild comments in there from Key that are a real jawdropper, completely missed by the MSM…)

  10. Principessa 10

    Stuff.co.nz seem to have posted it and blacked her name out- if it’s the same statement.

    • Principessa 10.1

      Silly me- I should’ve read the above comments.

    • Eddie 10.2

      Yeah it is. As they’ve put it up, we won’t bother. It was only an issue of whether we should do it if the msm wouldn’t.

  11. Dan 11

    Leave it for Whaleoil. The lady was brave enough to start with. Don’t touch with a barge pole!

    • Anita 12.1

      To be fair to Key, if Tim Ellis is right about Key’s health (and Key has the cold I had) the neighbour’s decrepit arthritic and stone deaf cat could destroy him 🙂

      But back on point for a moment, a woman complains of sexual harassment and Key will only do anything if she’s willing to go public. Key’s handling of the sexual harassment aspect has been appalling.

    • Lew 12.2

      That’s one brutal savaging by Mary Wilson.

      And WTF is John Key on about? ‘Textses’, my precious…

      L

      • QoT 12.2.1

        Oh my God, I thought “textses” was going to be a one-off mispronunciation. But he KEPT SAYING IT. And the “well you would understand if you had ALL THE FACTS, but you DON’T, so shut up” attitude at the end was a thing of beauty.

        • Lew 12.2.1.1

          And treated with due righteous indignation by Mary Wilson, who never has much time for waffly bollocks.

          Righteous!

          L

  12. Ianmac 13

    I was thinking of unproven allegations in relation to the hammering that Tony Vietch received. Mmmmm?

  13. mike 14

    Worth is a creep and deserves to be punished – it just has a faint smell about it when a labour activist is happy to text-flirt with RW for 6 months then tables a document in the house attacking the PM for not acting faster.

    She needs to release all emails (including hers) to clear this up.

    • Pascal's bookie 14.1

      “when a labour activist is happy to text-flirt with RW for 6 months”

      There is no one I’m aware of saying that’s how it was, other than fuckwits on blogs.

      • mike 14.1.1

        she must have been throwing him the odd bone to keep him interested from Nov 08 to Feb 09.

        But you are right – pure speculation. Hopefully she will release all the correspondence to clear it up.

        • Pascal's bookie 14.1.1.1

          Not if he was a fuckwit she needn’t have thrown him any bones at all. Creeps are like that.

          But are you saying that if she doesn’t “release all the correspondence” then baseless insinuations about her character are just what she has to put up with? And how pray tell is she supposed to prove she isn’t holding any back? If you want to be a sleazy little shit no one can stop you, but don’t blame her for your feces.

          Worth can sue if he’s been maligned.

        • Lew 14.1.1.2

          Mike, that’s bullshit.

          Refusing to take no for an answer and interpreting any response in favour of continuing their actions are classical defining characteristics of sexual harassers and predators. It’s not rational behaviour as you’re trying to argue – it’s a sort of narcissistic self-justifying cognitive dissonance, a form of sociopathology.

          Arguing that she was ‘asking for it’ in order to draw Worth into a Labour party honey-pot is misogynist mythology and wingnut partisan conspiracy theory. And regardless of your protestations, it does constitute a defence of Richard Worth, a justification of his actions.

          L

          • QoT 14.1.1.2.1

            Rock on, Lew.

          • mike 14.1.1.2.2

            It’s ‘bullshit’ putting words in my mouth…

            Worths actions are indefensible as an MP to be sure but having said you have evidence you then need to produce it to remain credible.

            The fact this went on for so long will no doubt raise questions about how she reponded to his advances. Only she can clear that up

          • Anita 14.1.1.2.3

            mike,

            That it went on for so long shouldn’t raise any questions about her actions. That it does is a sad comment on the questioner and the society they live in.

          • Lew 14.1.1.2.4

            Mike,

            It’s ‘bullshit’ putting words in my mouth

            Sorry, I ought to have specified that my comment was strictly in response to your statement “she must have been throwing him the odd bone to keep him interested from Nov 08 to Feb 09.” That doesn’t hold, and your arguing it does constitutes a justification of Richard Worth’s behaviour.

            As for the remainder:

            having said you have evidence you then need to produce it to remain credible.

            She needs to produce it to someone, but not to the general leering public. No doubt she has presented it to the only people who presently matter, viz, the NZ Police.

            L

          • Anita 14.1.1.2.5

            mike,

            The woman who was harassed by Worth has offered, more than once as far as we can tell, to provide the evidence to the right people to have the issue addressed

            You, me, TV1 news, and so on are not the right people, and she has absolutely no obligation to provide it to us.

    • rocky 14.2

      With dickhead comments from both you and the Prime Minister attempting to attack this woman’s credibility, is it any wonder she doesn’t want to go public?

    • Zetetic 14.3

      No she doesn’t she’s done nothing wrong. She doesn’t have to have her private stuff laid bare in public. It can all be handled confidentally like it should have been by Key in the first place.

      You just want to have a perve at the emails

  14. calltoaccount 15

    Here’s the issue from Wilson’s interview:

    Key said in relation to the texts, “If they’re real, lets produce them. Give them to me and I’ll give them to the media”. Under presure from an incredulous Wilson to respect her privacy, he finally gives a weak “yes”.

    Given that, the statement is produced by the lady, given to Goff, and used as rebuttal.

    The link (for the radio interview!) is here. It’s the most amazing interview of a prime minister since the last Nat gov. Incredibly bad performance.

    In short, Key flails around, and the lady has to make a statement to defend herself.

    [Eddie, this needs an article, fast!]

    • Kaplan 15.1

      Listening to him he reminds me of the odd ‘bullshit artist’ I have come across in my career.

      There are a few of this calibre around, they often have been in positions where no one else is able to challenge what they say and they grow accustomed to making up the rules, and often the facts, as they go along.

      In this interview Key sounds very much like he is doing that until challenged so forcefully. I really don’t think he is used to being treated like that and he doesn’t like it does he…

      Captcha “made passes”. I kid you not!

    • Eddie 15.2

      I’m writing one now but might hold it till morning. The Zetetic late show is about to start by the looks of things.

      • calltoaccount 15.2.1

        Great, both barrels. My lady is absolutely ropable. Attitude, privacy, shouting down a woman, etc etc.

        (My captcha btw was “more perks”. Bizarre.)

  15. craig 16

    Mike don’t blame Goff he went to Key with the info. Key stuffed up pure and simple.

    He should have suspended Worth( Natural justice) pending a investigation. Then acted depending on the out come of the investigation.

    Key has the info but didn’t act. If Worth was any Politician and he was innocent he would have stayed and faced the music.

    Goff has made it clear he gave Key proof, English speaking on Keys behalf in the house today has said that Key hadn’t seen the proof. Some ones lying!

    I suspect the Labour Party women is prepared to have the evidence tabled because Worth is now saying he is innocent.

    Worth is gone, Key knows that, thats why Key has turned on him, saying I would have fired him if he hadn’t resigned there is no place in my cabinet for this man.

    Fact is he didn’t fire him because he is weak . But the real political points will be scored when we find out who is telling the truth, Key or Goff.

    I know who my money is on.

    Key is a novice and it is really starting to show.

    • mike 16.1

      “Goff has made it clear he gave Key proof”

      Incorrect – Goff never saw emails or texts – took the woman at her word. Now she will need to front with proof (which I am sure she has) that she held back to avoid publicity.

  16. OhPlease 17

    We want to protect her privacy only because of the essential misogyny of society that says that when a woman is a victim of sexual harassment, she should somehow be ashamed . The more we assert that her anonymity is essential, the more we buy into this. If she were a victim of an “alleged” hit and run, there would not be the same hysterical sensitivity. As far as I am concerned, she is as innocent as any victim of robbery or bag snatch. She is clearly a strong woman who wants to see justice done. More power to her – I support her right to come out and make her allegation in whatever forum she wishes. If she send out a statement, lets post it wherever and however we can – I say.

    • Zetetic 17.1

      Interesting angle. Is the protective angle only because she’s a woman? Arising from a deep misogyny? Could be. Like to think we would act the same if it were a man. Not the sex of the person but the personal nature of the event. And her wish not to go public.

      • Anita 17.1.1

        I seem to remember that the Law Commission’s paper on suppression of names has some useful discussion about the rationale of suppressing the names of victims of sexual crimes. The issue is the nature of the crimes and society’s (appalling) attitude toward sexual crimes, not the gender of the victim.

        Having been, many years ago, a sexual harassment contact/support person at a University I am 100% sure that a man who had been sexually harassed would deserve just as much protection as a woman who had been, and that any responsible employer or investigator would make damned sure any victims of harassment (male or female) had their privacy protected.

      • OhPlease 17.1.2

        I am not sure – if it was Judith Collins harassing a married man half her age with sexually charged ‘texas’ and emails, would we be so overly concerned at preserving his privacy? If he submitted a statement, would we bend over backwards to discuss the appropriateness of positing it? Wouldn’t we assume that the bloke knows what he’s getting in to when he makes a statement tabled in the house, and assume he want to get his view out in the public domain?

        If I were her (I speak as a woman ) I would go public and say what happened – and dare society to make me anything other than a mature, sober , considered woman who stands up for herself. I think this would be a fantastic role model for her children frankly. Let Worth and Key be the ones to slink around behind closed doors and public relations’ offices .

        • Anita 17.1.2.1

          If the person harassed was a man I would be arguing just as strongly for his privacy, yes.

          I would like to say that if something awful happened to me I would have the strength and courage to stand up in public and tell every last detail with absolutely no shame. But I know that there are things that I don’t talk about publicly because I don’t want to be judged and know that everyone I ever meet has in their mind when they look at me the darkest moments of my worst nightmares. I probably have both the strength and the courage to do it, but I have weighed up the pros and cons and made that decision.

          Whether Worth’s victims want to tell it publicly or not is their call and we should respect it.

          FWIW I think it is totally revolting that there are people gleefully speculating on the net about what they think the Police investigation is about. Why is it at all acceptable to do that to his victim: she does not, in any way, deserve people speculating about something so distressing against her obvious wishes.

      • doc whose asking 17.1.3

        excuse me Zet as I first respond to Eddie’s post. Last evening a big time play fell upon the word pending which makes for max points in scrabble leagues.. depending as you’d expect on its position on that game board. With pending you can keep context in mind at the same time as overseeing whats on thetable, as it were.

        Zet, methinks it would help for due consideration of this family: if I heard correctly Mr Goff said it was this woman’s husband who came to see him in the hope that he would be able do something appropriate to resolve the somewhat pernicious possibilities then existent upon his wife… jobwise.

        Which word strikes a good deal of relevance for you folks… umm

    • Lew 17.2

      OhPlease,

      The more we assert that her anonymity is essential, the more we buy into this.

      There’s a gap between ‘being ashamed’ and ‘sacrificing all dignity’ – including, probably, that of her family. There’s also the power differential and cultural considerations. Worth, as a wealthy lawyer and minister of the Crown, is a dangerous man to go up against, and Korean treatment of matters like this is radically different to NZ treatment. In that regard I’m amazed that she mentioned it at all – in my experience Korean women simply put up with (what in NZ would be) unacceptable levels of sexual harrassment because that’s just how things are. It’s wonderful this woman has availed herself of the (cultural and legal) systems of redress available to her here. If she can do so while maintaining her family’s dignity, so much the better.

      L

  17. Kaplan 18

    Yep looks like the MSM have got it out there now. The Herald may have been having issues with what format to present it in. It was initially a badly scaled image before disappearing, then later it appeared in their photo media and only half visible. Amateurs.

    It does appear that the complainant is quite happy for this to be public domain.

    • Lew 18.1

      And Richard Worth’s statement is a .doc. WTF are those hacks at Star PR charging for? Never, ever release important documents in editable formats!

      L

  18. craig 19

    Wrong Mike, Goff gave the info to Key to protect the womans name six weeks ago. If he didnt want to protect her name he would have tabled it in the house and dribbled it out over the next few weeks

    But hey you believe what you like Mike. Just have the balls to say you were wrong when Goff finishes Key off.

  19. mike 20

    “Goff gave the info to Key”

    Craig, it’s widely reported there was no actual evidence given to Goff and the women refused to come forward. I’m sure selected messages will be drip fed by labour in the days to come though…

    • Zetetic 20.1

      No. They’ll have a private meeting with Key. They’re not stupid enough to do what you would do.

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  • Speech by the Minister of Defence to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs
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