Editorials on Carter & Goff

July 31st, 2010 at 9:55 pm by David Farrar

Starting with the ODT who label it a poisonous pen:

Party leader should have learned a harsh lesson about authority from the tragicomic events of the past 48 hours: when the knives are out, leaders must strike first.

He should be regretting that, when ’s reluctant apology over the expenses rort finally emerged, rather than merely demoting him he did not suspend him outright, allowing him back only with the lowest rank in the caucus.

Goff wasn’t tough enough then. His leniency towards Carter has now exploded in his face.

The Press also says Goff should have acted sooner:

It’s axiomatic that Labour MP Chris Carter has written his political death warrant. The only question that remains is whether he has sealed the fate of his leader, Phil Goff, as well. Goff’s mistake in dealing with this saga was not to have been tougher on his errant MP quite some time ago.

What will be interesting is what Carter does after the NZ Council makes its decision.

The Dom Post says Carter does not get it:

Chris Carter just does not get it. Thrown an undeserved lifeline by Labour leader Phil Goff after his extravagant sense of entitlement was laid bare by the release of details of ministerial spending, Mr Carter instead chose to defy party rules by taking an overseas trip – albeit one paid for by the Chinese Government, not the New Zealand taxpayer – without seeking permission.

Then he chose to try to derail Mr Goff’s leadership in a particularly inept way. His not very confidential letter shows that not only does he lack any sense of political reality, but also even the most rudimentary grasp of political tactics.

In between all his travel, and all his time on Waiheke, I wonder how often he even appears in Te Atatu?

And finally the Herald:

Mr Goff has ended up with his position fortified even though there is little reason to doubt much of what Mr Carter was saying.

The stark results of recent opinion polls must surely have many Labour MPs and activists thinking the party will lose the 2011 election under its current leader.

Indeed, barring a dramatic change in the political landscape, National’s lead of about 20 percentage points leaves room for no other conclusion.

In such circumstances, it would be totally unsurprising if some in the party were not contemplating a leadership change.

As I said on radio with Paul Holmes, the question is not will Labour win with Phil Goff. They probably will not. The question is will Labour do better with someone else as Leader, and the answer is probably not.

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8 Responses to “Editorials on Carter & Goff”

  1. ZenTiger (435 comments) says:

    1. Why did the China government pay for his trip?
    2. What else have the China government given Chris Carter and other Labour Ministers?
    3. Is Labour policy written in Beijing?
    4. Did the tax payer pay Chris’ salary whilst he was in China?
    5. Has Chris dumped Latin and Te Reo for Mandarin?

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  2. Pete George (23,567 comments) says:

    The question is will Labour do better with someone else as Leader, and the answer is probably not.

    Those panicking in Labour don’t look like they worked this out, they seem to simply see Goff as a scapegoat and are blind to their joint deficiencies alongside National who are nowhere near looking like the deserve to lose yet..

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  3. metcalph (1,430 comments) says:

    There’s nothing all that suspicious about Carter’s trip to tibet. When the offer was made – four months ago – he was still opposition foreign affairs spokesman.

    What is boggling about the whole affair is that it took place during the last school holidays (as his partner who travels with him everywhere is a teacher and only travels during the school holidays).

    This means that after Carter had taken an enforced period of absence to reflect on his mistakes and to deliver a public display of contrition with an in-depth analysis of what he was doing wrong, he then takes up the holiday with the Chinese without telling his own party that he was going to be away. When normal people are put on notice, they don’t do shit like that.

    And his reaction on being asked to explain upon his return? To send an anonymous letter.

    What a drama queen.

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  4. V (720 comments) says:

    What will be interesting is what Carter does after the NZ Council makes its decision.

    Probably a rhetorical question, but I would suggest he will be using his travel entitlements as a retired MP.

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  5. mavxp (483 comments) says:

    We all agree Labour is better off without Carter and it was widely discussed at the time of the revelations over his outrageous abuse of MP expenses that Goff did not demote him enough (or indeed sack him outright). So yeah – all the current tears are just reinforcement of that. What Carter has raised repeatedly is that Labour have been left in a leaderless talentless vacuum with Helen and Michael leaving the ship after their 2008 election defeat (also his protection under Helen as one of her favourites!). Their only hope of regaining power is through National complacency and the disillusionment of the NZ public with the current direction of NZ politics, and only then through an MMP agreement with Greens and Maori (fat chance right now) and (god help us) Winston First. All this whilst trying to maintain the middle ground that National under Key currently holds comfortably. This just seems implausible right now.

    The issue isn’t just about the “Presidential” leadership of an individual – I don’t think anyone -even Shane Jones or Andrew Little could bring Labour back to where they were under Helen. The zeitgeist needs to change before they have their shot again at power, and in the mean time Labour need to collectively find a vision for New Zealand that resonates more than Key’s “pragmatic positivism”, whilst holding Key accountable in Opposition, and make sure the debate over the direction of NZ is not one sided and “yeah me too” being the response to political issues.

    I think the issue over pensions is something that needs to be debated now. A missed opportunity for Goff with the report by Brash to make it a wider discussion over how we will fund the Baby Boomers without the mass immigration of Asians to pay for it (and the very real possibility of white flight to Australia if done too quickly). Not a populist debate but that’s his role as Opposition leader to make the current leader damned uncomfortable in the spotlight, and cast doubt over his ability to lead NZ into this difficult future. He should be using any opportunity to drive a wedge in the Maori-Nat-ACT coalition, and demonstrate to both Act and Maori that Labour can work with them on some issues and find common ground.

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  6. Chuck Bird (4,884 comments) says:

    Goff tries to make it sound like he is strong and decisive is sacking Carter when he had no option. He was weak and indecisive for not demoting Carter below Jones when Carter refused to apologise. Was he sacred of a backlash from the strong homosexual lobby group of MPs in Labour?

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  7. RKBee (1,344 comments) says:

    Has Chris dumped Latin and Te Reo for Mandarin?

    No….. but John Key wants us to.

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  8. Rhodie (28 comments) says:

    Hopefullly the Labour executive will get rid of him and there will be a byelection in the not too distant future. Parliament without another pufta can only be a good thing.

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