- They pushed Clare Curran under a bus;
- They copped to plagiarism while dismissing it as a case of omitted footnotes;
- They appended footnotes to address the four instances I had highlighted.
This was a profoundly inadequate response in many respects, but it worked wonders as an exercise in media management. Credit where it’s due. To be honest, it probably helped Labour that it was me who revealed the plagiarism since I am easily dismissed as embittered and angry – over the Chinese surnames affair that led to my resignation, but also the more general perception in sections of the political Twittersphere that I am a full-time malcontent. While I would dispute those characterisations, I can’t deny they diluted the impact of the revelations. It may also be that plagiarism is just not that big a deal in New Zealand. Fair enough, I guess.
Anyway, in Labour’s haste to cover tracks, they failed to do the most obvious imaginable thing: rule out the presence of more examples of plagiarism.
Surely Labour is not so incompetent that they didn’t have someone review the entire document for further instances?
It turns out they are exactly that incompetent.
Not only has Quin found more examples of plagiarism, an analysis tool has found one section is 47% plagiarised.
Maybe the time has come for Labour to withdraw the document, and issue a new one – one actually representing their own thoughts and words, not those of others?