The left on Taito Phillip Field

August 7th, 2009 at 2:42 pm by David Farrar

Well the silence from most left blogs on the shame of 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. 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 . 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 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.

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43 Responses to “The left on Taito Phillip Field”

  1. Ryan Sproull (7,285 comments) says:

    “Left blogs” ≠ “Labour-supporting blogs”.

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  2. Manolo (14,065 comments) says:

    “Well the silence from most left blogs on the shame of Taito Philip Field has been illuminating. ”

    It’s called the code of silence among Mafia members. And that’s what they are.

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  3. coventry (322 comments) says:

    DPF They are still in shock, they can’t believe that one of their own has been busted for the same practices that they continue to do today.

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  4. Ben Wilson (523 comments) says:

    Of course the left is embarrassed by the whole thing. Which is not to say they are to blame. Field is to blame, but I guess they figure there’s plenty-heaps of people who are already clamoring for a head. Which they will get.

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  5. Kris K (3,570 comments) says:

    Ben Wilson 3:07 pm,
    “Of course the left is embarrassed by the whole thing. Which is not to say they are to blame. Field is to blame, but I guess they figure there’s plenty-heaps of people who are already clamoring for a head. Which they will get.”

    The difference is Ben, that if this was a National MP most ‘right wingers’ on Kiwiblog would be thrashing him/her as hard as they are thrashing Field. BIG difference!

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  6. Ben Wilson (523 comments) says:

    Yeah right-wingers thrash their own. I got that.

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  7. Nomestradamus (3,433 comments) says:

    DPF:

    It’s worth reiterating that the only post at The Standard is a pathetic defence of Helen Clark’s parliamentary comment that Phillip Field (“Taito” title deliberately omitted – he’s a disgrace) was “probably guilty of trying to be helpful to someone”.

    As “r0b” put it:

    So there we go – “I think” and “probably” and awaiting the full report – a perfectly reasonable position before the facts were known.

    Actually, not a perfectly reasonable position, when the terms of reference for the “full report” were nowhere near as wide as Parekura Horomia’s underpants. Indeed, the perception seems to be that Clark and the Labour Party political machine went out of their way to ensure the facts were never publicly known.

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  8. scrubone (3,105 comments) says:

    I actually wrote a similar post the other day – but clearly they’d just rather not talk about it. Can’t say I blame them.

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  9. trout (944 comments) says:

    In any other Westminster style juristiction the conviction of a politician for bribery and corruption would immediately give rise to a Commission of Inquiry so that any rot (or in this case rort) could be cleaned out of the body politic. It is clear that there have been a number of occasions in the last few years whereby Politicians have benefited from favours granted to desperate immigrants. There a are a number of MP’s in the House that aided and abetted Field – they should be called out. I am reminded of the warnings from the overseas NZ immigration office re Field that landed on the desk of Damien O’Connor’s secretary that O’Connor maintains he did not see. Put the Secretary in front of an enquiry and establish the truth. And then of course there is the Lui affair. The tip of an unsavory iceberg.

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  10. Wanderer (30 comments) says:

    Most of the MSM is still running after the expenses “scandal” instead of pursuing Phill Goff and David Cunliff for their part in this sorry saga.

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  11. burt (8,316 comments) says:

    If this conviction of Field had occured before dear leader got her job in the UN would being complicit in corruption have helped or hindered her chances of being employed?

    The ministers who ran cover for Field should be put in the dock and required to answer under oath what they knew at the time. Honourable members – pffffft.

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  12. burt (8,316 comments) says:

    Nomestradamus

    rOb is a complete sock puppet for Labour, he will justify anything they do and attack National for the same shit in the next sentence. He is shameless and that is where you can have fun with him painting himself into corners defending the indefensible.

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  13. freethinker (694 comments) says:

    burt (3345) Vote: 2 2 Says:
    August 7th, 2009 at 4:31 pm

    If this conviction of Field had occured before dear leader got her job in the UN would being complicit in corruption have helped or hindered her chances of being employed?

    The ministers who ran cover for Field should be put in the dock and required to answer under oath what they knew at the time. Honourable members – pffffft.

    If John Key had the balls to hold an enquiry with unlimited powers of investigation then I guess dear leader would have to consider the unsavoury effect of being arrested at the airport or worse extradition – truly a sight I savour with relish.Interesting the reference on JG Held blog to Margaret Wilson – another criminal whos hould be persued for her multiple involvement in almost every Labour scandal as well as stuffing every portfolio she held with the result that Helen kicked her upstairs to speaker were the damage was less obvious.

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  14. GNZ (228 comments) says:

    Ben,
    Field being to blame in no way excludes the possibility that other people might also be to blame.
    For example those that knew it was highly likely that Field was guilty and yet covered it up because it would be inconvenient and those that didn’t know only via their own incompetence or intentional ignorance.

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  15. getstaffed (9,186 comments) says:

    I’m with trout. Let’s have a Commission of Inquiry with a broad TOR. And let’s have it report it’s findings about 3 months before the next election… so the voters can be well informed.

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  16. starboard (2,551 comments) says:

    ..lets hope/wish Field sings like a canary…drops a few of his ” collegues ” in the pooze…corrupt scum..I bet there”s a few liarbor members sweatin like a glassblowers buttcrack right now…

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  17. Glutaemus Maximus (2,207 comments) says:

    Lovely smiling JK has not got the balls to unearth Labour’s corruption.

    He will just rationalise that there is more interesting stuff to do.

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  18. Ben Wilson (523 comments) says:

    Field being to blame in no way excludes the possibility that other people might also be to blame.

    Nor does it imply that. We’ll see: I’m still of the opinion that it’s just a difference in style. The right goes over the top thrashing any of it’s own that get caught out. The left goes silent. But either way, it’s always after the fact.

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  19. petal (706 comments) says:

    I think the silence is mostly due to the fact that people in glass houses should not be throwing stones… which is prety sad, if you think about it.

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  20. H Stewart (29 comments) says:

    Hell I am no way an apologist for the right infact untill recently I would have been classified as the opposite, the MP’s I have voted for are Micheal Cullen, Stan Rogers, Pete Hodgkinson and Phil Goff. I have been appalled by the behaviour of the Labour parliamentry wing but what astounds me is that as someone pointed out ( sorry can’t remember who ) they are acting in a manner that assumes that opposition is a temporary condition and they will be back after the next election. Field has been found guilty and I think Damien O’Conner’s actions need to be looked into. I contrast this with right wing blogs on Richard Worth.

    For Labour there is a bigger issue. Your behaviour has pissed me off. Paula Bennett represents my opinion far better than Annette King. John Key as PM of NZ strikes me as a better proposition than Phil Goff. Bill English fronts up and says it is not a good look I will fix it, Chris Carter has just fronted and says it was justifiable and he will be doing nothing different, the idiot seems to think it will continue to be justifiable because the Labour Party will assume power after the next election.

    Andrew Little needs to sort out the Labour Party parliamentry wing, explain what being in opposition is all about, explain that if they want to be in government they need to take an ethical stand and front up.

    NB ( No Ballshit as one of my less politicaly correct teachers who did not teach Latin explained it ) Phil Goff you would do well to remember John Howard, he lost his seat and his leadership.

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  21. burt (8,316 comments) says:

    I’m also with trout, a commission of inquiry with real TOR would seem apparent given the way Labour tried to shut the whole mess down. Despicable, traitors to the most vulnerable to protect their own best interests.

    The bottom line is; Taito has been convicted of his crimes, but Taito alone did not make the Labour party seek to have us all move on once he was ‘exonerated’ by the Ingham Inquiry.

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  22. Nomestradamus (3,433 comments) says:

    H Stewart:

    Given your voting history, that’s a refreshingly honest appraisal of the political situation. Now if only you could bring Mickey Savage (that’s the regular Kiwiblog commenter with a Labour good-National bad problem) round to his/her senses.

    Burt:

    The funny thing about The Standard bloggers is they take themselves so seriously. Meanwhile, on planet Earth, others can play “Spot the Labour good-National bad”. Like Bingo, it doesn’t take long over there.

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  23. trout (944 comments) says:

    The Government’s treatment of a number of current issues shows Parliament (MMP notwithstanding) to have not changed from the bad old days when it was more like a large club and members looked after themselves and fellow MP’s rather than be answerable to the public. Sure there is the odd skirmish but when it comes to self interest (as in MP’s super, salaries, travel allowances, accommodation allowances, corruption, scandal ) there is a kind of cross party omerta. Unfortunately the MSM journalists who are also housed in this inward looking institution also feel bound to conform to the code rather than lose valuable contacts.

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  24. GNZ (228 comments) says:

    Ben Wilson,
    Your difference in style is one of substance, because it creates the pressure on those decisionmakers to cut loose corrupt politicians.

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  25. burt (8,316 comments) says:

    GNZ

    You don’t want to make a fuss about it and cut them loose. That’s just tory. Let them agree to not stand at the next election and all move on. But hey if they say they might stand as an independent things might change pretty rapidly and the tory plan can always be executed at the last minute. See this is how the left outsmart the right.

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  26. thedavincimode (6,876 comments) says:

    David, what is this preoccupation with wanting and expecting an apology. Why? Would it make you feel better? Would it undo what they did? Would it stop them behaving the same way in the future? And worse, would you actually be taken in by it?

    And as for the “honourable exception” for Mr Jeremy double barrelled Castle-Hughes-Plumley-Walker, let us know when he apologises for Peters/Williams/ACC/the train set/Owen Glenn/the Privy Council/Foreshore/stealing money/corrupting the cops [and so on and so on and on .. blah blah blah] and all in all just being thoroughly pleasant.

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  27. Patrick Starr (3,674 comments) says:

    I suspect people have just grown accustomed to dishonest parliamentarians.

    I note: “David Lange in 1997 highlighting dodgy electoral spending and donations returns from Field in 1996” – Well for how long was Winston suspect -1978 wasn’t it?
    In addition we have our new kiwi citizen Bill Lui recently arrested and charged. Which politicians are following up on Shane Jones, Dover Samuels, David Cunliffe and Rick Barkers involvement over how (why) this international fugitive gained citizenship with great pomp and ceremony at government house no less ?
    They all seem to raise their eyebrows but few do anything about it

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  28. Ben Wilson (523 comments) says:

    I seem to recall Field was cut loose, and is now standing trial for his crimes. But the torys can do the hanging, that’s their thing. They think it makes a difference.

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  29. Rich Prick (1,726 comments) says:

    No Ben you poor fool, Field was not “cut loose” he threatened Labour with crossing the floor as an independent at time when his one vote was all Labour had. Please stop re-writing history. Helen in fact embraced the crook as a bloke who was just helping himself to money.

    Labour stuck with him like shit to a blanket because Labour needed his vote. Labour is as corrupt as Field so suck it in buddie. I can’t wait for the rest of Labour’s corruption to come out. There are the matters of the Hawkes Bay DHB, and other Labour members’ involvement with dodegy immigration scams to come.

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  30. Rich Prick (1,726 comments) says:

    And he will get a custodial sentence. I’m picking 18 months. Helen on the other hand is too far away and US extradition orders can be difficult.

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  31. Ben Wilson (523 comments) says:

    Hey Rich Prick, you fucking cock, it wasn’t until the other day that he was actually found guilty of a crime. He was however, relieved of his ministerial posts, and kicked out of the Parliamentary Labour Party. He avoided being kicked out of the actual party by resigning and staying on as an independent. I’m pretty sure an elected MP can’t actually be kicked out of Parliament on the grounds of allegations, otherwise Parliament could be dissolved at the drop of a hat by some lawyer. He said he would support Labour, but actually didn’t, voting against the smacking bill (unlike most of National).

    Labour is certainly embarrassed about the guy. They just don’t drool over dealing to one of their own, especially when the right does a more than adequate job.

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  32. Rich Prick (1,726 comments) says:

    Well, all the signs were there for Labour. Nice to know Labour is the Party of criminals. Who else is hiding in the Party? Old Yeller might be up next.

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  33. Rich Prick (1,726 comments) says:

    “Fucking cock” nice turn of phrase to describe some one who called you out over your “cut loose” revisionism. Suck it up, Labour is the party that harbours criminals and crooks. Wear that badge proudly buddie, just so we know who to avoid in the street.

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  34. Hurf Durf (2,860 comments) says:

    How can you tell a Labour MP in a crowd?

    He’s the one with drool on his chin and a brown paper envelope in his hand.

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  35. thedavincimode (6,876 comments) says:

    “Hey Rich Prick, you fucking cock”

    Good grief. A pinko who is actually passionate about something that goes to a point of principle. This shows promise.

    Now that you’ve crossed that line Ben, just lift those rose-tinted glasses a tad and think about the way it was handled throughout – the timing and the context (needing his vote, just like Peters’ vote).

    And then tell us what you think of the rest of what they got up to … the really naughty stuff that is.

    And then you’re in good shape to put the position of the lefties regarding life the universe and everything because you will have been honest about things that the rest of your mob prefer to ignore and deny.

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  36. expat (4,050 comments) says:

    Bens got some papers to write in something useless like 20c film appreciation.

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  37. GNZ (228 comments) says:

    burt,
    you are mixing up two independant parties. one party is the MPs and those with political power. they have very strong vested interests in these sorts of things and I think most of us are cynical enough to say they will do whatever they can get away with (in order to get power for themselves and push their favourite agendas).

    On the other hand there are all of us. the “all of us” have minimal ability to quietly pressure an MP out – So if that is our strategy we are just stupid.

    The MP’s and those in power in the party do have that power but will only exercise it if sufficient pressure is put on them.

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  38. southtop (266 comments) says:

    I to wonder if this is a tip of the iceberg issue.
    I would love to see a corruption commission with wide ranging powers to look at ALL areas of govt e.g. Winston funding, Helen & Heather police management, right down to local govt engineering staff having a bar tab paid every Friday night by a large contracting company. [Just some examples, I’m sure there is plenty more]

    The real issue for NZ is we [the voters] have no protection from some of these pricks e.g. govt says shit things not going our way, we need some money, we’ll take what we need & if it’s illegal we’ll change the law.

    No protection….get elected, put in a patsy governor general and do what you like. This will be for one term at least but if you can make as many as possible beneficiaries (reliant on govt funding) you’ll get at least one more term.

    Solution: A constitution or similar, maybe an upper house (say 12) and lower house of say 60 (no listers in the trough) with a slightly longer cycle 4 years as we have a safe guard. Never be perfect but better than what we have.

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  39. GNZ (228 comments) says:

    I suspect that would just be even more corrupt – it is not as if Britain’s system is less corrupt than ours.

    I suggest beurocrats hired for their expertise to decide pay, breaches of parlimentary standards, parlimentary rules and all that sort of thing. Fully transparent and protected from direct political interfearance and intrenched. It’s rulings could be contestable in the supreme court if required.

    At present they are just enforcing their own rules on themselves.

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  40. GNZ (228 comments) says:

    OK maybe just not much less corrupt.

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  41. Ben Wilson (523 comments) says:

    Rich Prick

    “Fucking cock” nice turn of phrase to describe some one who called you out over your “cut loose” revisionism.

    You started the insults flowing and long gone are the days when I let a dick like you think that’s actually a point. I notice you didn’t address anything regarding my so-called revisionism when you were presented with the actual history. Probably because nothing I said was even controversial.

    thedavincimode: Did you actually have a question or point in any of that drivel?

    expat: Did you come up with that comment all by yourself?

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  42. Rich Prick (1,726 comments) says:

    Ben, quit while you have a shred of …. no, just quit, you are embarrassing yourself.

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