There has been so much incompetence in the saga of the unpaid invoice to David Cohen, it is hard to know where to start. Let’s try and take it in order.
- Hiring a right wing journalist to advise on your Labour Party leadership campaign in the first place
- Not paying him promptly when invoiced on 10 November
- Not responding to the next three e-mails from Cohen asking to be paid
- The Leader’s Chief of Staff gets involved on 22 December and doesn’t get it paid that day or even tell the Leader
- Two weeks later still unpaid, and COS gets e-mailed again.
- Another three weeks goes by and it is unpaid, and the journalist (NB journalist!) has to e-mail again
- The COS finally tells Little at the end of January and Little doesn’t get it paid that day
- Another week and another reminder and still no action
- Little gives a speech on how Labour wants to help small businesses, infuriating the self-employed journalist who e-mails again, now angry. Warning bells should be ringing loudly by now.
- Two more weeks later Cohen writes an article in NBR that appears in their print edition last Friday complaining he has not been paid. The incompetence is so huge that this does not result in a payment being made by end of day, but is ignored
- Four days later Steven Joyce raises the non payment in the House and finally it is paid
- When confronted over the bad look for the Labour Leader to not be paying a worker the money he is owed, Little gets angry at the media and demands they call him a contractor not a worker!
The unpaid bill by itself is not the issue. It is the gross incompetence in Labour that they allowed this to carry on so long. You’re the aspiring prime minister, you’re told a journalist who did work for you has been trying to get paid for months, and you do nothing about it for weeks – even after the journalist writes an article complaining about it.
This may hurt Little significantly. People can relate to the small things, such as stiffing someone for $950. Combined with the stuff up over not consulting with the other opposition parties on the Intelligence and Security committee, and there is a real risk for Labour that their leader’s brand which started off positive, will turn negative. The public rate competence well ahead of ideology.Tags: Andrew Little