Cosgrove’s party did not exactly leap to defend him either.
Deputy leader Grant Robertson said all Cosgrove did was help a constituent, and everyone immediately recalled the last Labour MP this defence was used for, Philip Field, went to prison.
What’s more, Robertson was in then-PM Helen Clark’s office when she used the defence. It is theoretically possible Robertson’s comments were made innocently, just as it is theoretically possible to build a perpetual motion machine.
Heh. I actually think the phrasing was incompetence, not malice, but I seem to be in a minority on this issue.