Patrick Gower writes:
Andrew Little should apologise to tax expert John Shewan for treating him with utter contempt and total disrespect.
Mr Little has been caught out big time — and it serves him right.
Mr Little got things wrong about Mr Shewan and has to put them right.
So Mr Little issued a retraction — at 5:17pm on Saturday, June 18 — two hours and 18 minutes before kick-off of the Wellington Test.
This is so cynical it is sad. Everybody knows that is the absolutely dead time in a media cycle when it would get the least attention. It is cunning and awful and rude and Mr Little’s actions show why people distrust politicians.
Now things have bounced back on Mr Little and his own credibility is being called into question — and it serves him right.
A lot of this is arcane and complex but it is important because Mr Little is auditioning to be Prime Minister. His actions and his words are important.
Mr Little yesterday repeatedly said that Mr Shewan did not ask him for an apology about incorrect statements made about him.
So then Mr Shewan pulled out a letter to Mr Little that said: “I now request the statement I sent to you yesterday be issued with the following additions: ‘I apologise to Mr Shewan for any embarrassment I have caused him through my statements’.”
Sadly for Mr Little, it doesn’t get much clearer than that. Contrary to his public claims, Mr Shewan asked for an apology.
Mr Shewan has produced an excellent report,. Labour has been quoting it in Parliament and saying it is good. But previously Little was accusing Shewan of being involved in helping the Bahamas stay a tax haven. He admits he was totally wrong on this, but won’t apologise to Shewan for the smear of his reputation.