Last week Labour Chief Whip, David Benson-Pope, alleged Rodney Hide had yelled out “dopey niggers” in Parliament. At the time my assumption was that this was a ploy to distract from his colleague having called National MP Sandra Goudie “white trash”. Nice to see Labour debating the issues rationally.
Anyone who knows Rodney knows that is not something he would say (or any MP), and when he denied saying it, the Speaker and the House accepted his word (as required to do, without proof to the contrary).
However Benson-Pope quite outraegously continued to make the claims, even stating he would file a privilege complaint against Hide, without doing anything to verify his claim. If he had listened to the audio recording he would have discovered the words were “Don’t be negative” not “Dopey Niggers”.
Amazingly in Parliament yesterday when Hide complained about these lies from Benson-Pope, he didn’t take the initiative to apologise for defaming Mr Hide. Any MP with an ounce of political sense would have done so quickly.
After around ten minutes of points or orders on this, Helen Clark (who does have considerable political sense) decided she had enough of the fracas of Benson-Pope not apologising. However instead of telling him to apologise, she apologised on his behalf!
This just made Benson-Pope’s refusal even more outraegous, and finally after the PM turned around and said something (and oh I would love to know the exact words) he finally got up and apologised.
Where once conseratives in the 50s saw reds under the beds at every turn, it now seems Labour in the 21st century sees racists in all places!