I,like many, fell for the story that Phil Goff told. I went on radio and said that Worth must go, on the basis of the earlier allegation on top of the later criminal complaint.
One interviewer asked me if I was saying that MPs can’t remain MPs or Ministers if they have an affair, and I was quick to say no that is not the case – a consensual affair is no disqualification for office. And neither is hitting on someone of the other sex (or same sex if that is your flavour). If that was the threshold then Parliament would be a far smaller place.
But the case that Phil Goff drew was of an unworldy timid woman who was so scared of Dr Worth that she did not know how to get him to stop, so finally in desperation went to Phil Goff, and Goff intervened to get him to stop. It was the harrassing predatory nature of the allegations that was damning. That does not excuse Dr Worth for any of his actions, but it does change very much the story that was being told.
The revelation that the woman was not just a party member or even a party activist, but tried to become a Labour MP in 2008 changes things dramatically. I know lots of parliamentary candidates for Labour and National. They are not unwordly shrinking violets who can’t handle themselves.
In fact the notion that an apsiring parliamentary candidate was so overwhelmed by the attention of an MP, she could not tell him to piss off, is ludicrous when you consider the role of an MP is to get up in Parliament and rip into the MPs and Ministers on the other side of the House.
This is not to say that Worth was not creepy towards her, and did not behave stupidly, inappropriately or even worse. He may well have – and is suffering the consequences.
But Phil Goff massively misrepresented the story in terms of how he portrayed this.
I am finding the story full of holes. She said she took the matter to Goff so the calls would stop, but it is now clear she went to Goff long before the calls became allegedly inappropriate.
She also said at another stage she went to Goff because Worth had offered her a job – but in today’s Herald we learn she contacted Goff before she had the coffee with Worth where he allegedly made the job offer.There are lots of things not adding up here.
I have had coffee with many Labour Party candidates. I trust they don’t all ring up Phil Goff for permission before they have a coffee with someone from another party.
I’m trying to put together a timeline of this whole thing, and will blog it when I have. The more you look the more you find things such as Barry Soper’s contention today that Phil Goff’s office were the ones who originally leaked the existence of the allegation to the media, so they would ask John Key if there had been any other complaints.Tags: Neelam Choudary, Phil Goff, Richard Worth