Labour VP calls Goff out

Andrea Vance at Stuff reports:

Labour MP is under fire for a “misogynistic” barb directed at Attorney-General Chris Finlayson.

During a parliamentary debate on new spying laws yesterday, the pair traded insults about election defeats.

Goff mocked Finlayson for being “beaten on three occasions, each time by a woman”.

“I’ve won 11 times and I’ve lost once, but the member in the chair [Finlayson] has lost three times,” he said.

“You would think that would be a humbling experience, but the arrogance of the minister shows no sign at all that he’s learnt from being beaten on three occasion, each time by a woman member of Parliament.”

A pretty silly thing to say. Goff obviously feels that losing to a woman MP is obviously more humbling that losing to a male MP – otherwise you wouldn’t mention the gender at all.

The insult created a social media stir, with tweeters branding Goff misogynistic.

Megan Hands asked: “Why does @phil_goff have such 1950s views?”

Shaun Willis tweeted: “Neanderthal man is very much alive within the Labour party.”

tweeted that the Mt Roskill MP’s remarks were “bad form”.

“Its that kind of the Labour Party doenst [sic] need,” she said.

Now it should be disclosed that all three commenters have political connections. Megan and Shaun are Young Nats and Kate is in Labour. What is even more newsworthy is that Kate was the Womens Vice President of the Labour Party for six years – so having her call Goff out in public as making sexist comments is remarkable.

 Goff said the storm was “utter crap” and he was only being accurate.

“It was just a statement of fact. I could have said ‘beaten by a Labour MP on three occasions’. I didn’t really think about it,” he said.

“Nobody in the House took offence at it, least of all my female colleagues. So this is a beat-up … I think it’s drawing a long bow.

“I’ve been a member of Parliament for 30 years and I’ve never been accused of being a misogynist.”

Well you have now, by your party’s own former Womens VP.

And the reality is that Goff didn’t say Labour MP. He said a woman VP, and there was no need to sa the gender unless you thought it was worse to lose to a “girl”. Think of it like this. If Finlayson had lost to a Maori MP, would Goff be saying Finlayson should be more humble because he lost to a Maori MP? Of course not.


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