Young on Key/Goff

Audrey Young blogs:

One politician was bound to be deeply embarrassed today, or . One would be right and one would be wrong. And the answer is that John Key is wrong.

The Prime Minister and Opposition Leader have been publicly disputing what was said in their private conversation on May 6 about text and phone messages from to a Labour woman activist (that stopped on February 23).

Goff insisted his version was more accurate because immediately after the call he had written a file note from the scribbles he had taken during the conversation.

The file note was headed 9.45 – 9.55 pm. Key dismissed that at his post cabinet press conference yesterday saying “that can’t be right because I got off the plane at 10 pm.” Phil Goff has just retrieved his own phone records of the call made from his desk at Parliament to Key’s cellphone. The call started at 21.49 (11 minutes to 10 pm) and lasted 8 minutes and 30s. That means that Goff is substantially correct.

Yep. I assumed Key’s insistence was based on checking records. He shouldn’t shoot from the hip on details like this – especially considering it wasn’t a cruical detail, but it now becomes a credibility issue. Definitely an own goal.

Young however notes:

Key had the moral high ground on this issue last week. His willingness to meet the woman complainant only after she has show the texts and phone logs to his chief of staff is entirely reasonable.Labour’s stalling tactics have looked as though they know they don’t have a solid case but want to spin it out for as long as possible.

Absolutely. Labour are not interested in actually helping the complainant – just using her not for political point scoring.

That accords with his own file note which says the contact from Worth to the woman was “verging on sexual harassment.” And he acknowledged to me this morning that he has not even seen the woman’s responses at any time let alone asked to see them.

I would have thought one would have asked to see all text messages in and out.

But whatever holes there are in Goff’s case at present, Key has just given him a leg up to seize the moral high ground.

Yep. As I said – it was an own goal.

However let us not lose focus on the text messages. Richard Worth’s future may hang on them. It is time to stop messing about, and pass them onto the PM’s Chief of Staff. There is really no excuse for not doing so after all the complaining and publicity.

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