Well the silence from most left blogs on the shame of Taito Philip Field has been illuminating. Public Address just did a one line post on their discussion board announcing the verdict. Red Alert remains strangely silent. The various Labour Party members blogs have said nothing much. Of course this is similiar to their comments at the time. Nowhere did they call out for their party to do the right thing and stop defending Field as a man of integrity whose only crime was to work too hard.
There was one notable exception. No Right Turn has, not surprisingly, covered Field in detail from the very first allegations, and decried both Field and his apologists.He was the first to suggest Field’s action represented criminal offending – back in Sep 2005.
Some extracts from what he said back then:
On 8 August 2006:
It’s official: the Labour Party supports corruption. That’s the only conclusion that can be drawn from Helen Clark’s refusal to consider internally censuring corrupt MP Taito Philip Field. …
I expect all political parties in New Zealand to take a hard line against corruption, and when this sort of case comes up, to condemn it and any member involved. Labour’s refusal to do so sends a clear message: that they will turn a blind eye to corruption in order to retain power. This is simply unacceptable, and such a party is not worthy of anyone’s vote.
And on 15 August 2006:
As for the argument that a by-election would threaten the government’s majority, what of it? There are some things more important than being in government – and maintaining the integrity of our political system against corruption is one of them. If Labour can’t stay in power except by looking the other way on this sort of thing, then arguably it shouldn’t be in power at all.
Also of interest in a post from Bryce Edwards, who quotes David Lange in 1997 highlighting dodgy electoral spending and donations returns from Field in 1996. Even back then people were raising issues.
UPDATE: Another honourable exception to the silence was Jeremy Greenbrook-Held. He said in July 2006:
I’m embarrassed that I’m a member of the same political party as this man, and, for the record, would love to see a full privilages committee inquiry into his conduct as an MP. It is not worth loosing Margaret Wilson as speaker to cover this up.