Does Labour think Field broke the law?

A friend pointed something out to me. He told me that never ever had Labour said they agreed that Field was corrupt and broke the law. I didn’t think he could possibly be right, but I went back to check their statements, and this is their exact words. On being found guilty:

Labour acknowledges the jury’s decision today on charges brought against Taito Phillip Field after a long and difficult trial, Labour Chief Whip Darren Hughes said.

“Mr Field was expelled from the Labour Party in 2007. Labour has acted in good faith throughout this process.

“The jury has decided that Mr Field acted illegally.

“The judge is yet to sentence Mr Field. Labour will make no further comment.”

They “acknowledge” the decision. They do not accept the decision. They do not welcome the decision. They do not say if they agree what Field did was corrupt. They do not say if they think it was wrong he obstructed the course of justice. They “acknowledge” the decision.

And yesterday:

Deputy Labour Leader Annette King made the following statement on the sentencing today of Taito Phillip Field.

“This sentence demonstrates that all New Zealanders are equal under the law.

“Taito Phillip Field has been judged by his peers. He must now serve the sentence handed down in the Auckland High Court.”

Labour will not be making any other comment on this matter.

Again not a word on whether or not they agree that Field was corrupt. They merely state he has been judged by his peers. Their language is the classic language of people who disagree with something.

So that is my first question to Phil Goff. Does the Labour Party agree that their former colleague acted corruptly? Is this why they won’t express remorse for defending Field – is it because they think he did not break the law?

The Dom Post reports on how Labour is refusing comment:

Labour has pulled down the shutters over the fall from grace of former MP Taito Phillip Field, after standing by him for more than a year during claims of bribery and corruption. …

Labour stood by Field for more than a year and continued to defend him after former prime minister Helen Clark was forced to order an independent inquiry by Auckland QC Noel Ingram.

Dr Ingram’s report cleared Field of a conflict of interest but the Labour government was heavily criticised after Dr Ingram revealed he had been given no power to compel evidence. …

Dr Ingram said yesterday that it was “clearly the case” that his inquiry had been frustrated by the refusal of witnesses to co-operate. He agreed that the outcome would have been different if that had not been the case.

Now bearing in mind that report from the Dom Post, prepare to damage yourself laughing at this post on The Standard from Eddie:

Taito Philip Field has been sentenced to six years jail for bribery and corruption.

Field is a prime example of the ability of power to corrupt. He let down all those who put their trust in him – his community, his former party, and the voters.

We are fortunate that in New Zealand corruption by politicians is not tolerated. This sentence will be a healthy reminder of that for any others who are tempted to exploit the trust placed in them by the public for their personal gain.

This is such an audacious attempt to rewrite history that it is obvious why Eddie refuses to blog under his real name. He would be a laughing stock if people knew who he was.  I mean even after the multiple abuses were detailed in the Ingram Report, Helen Clark said Field could return as a Minister one day, and Michael Cullen said:

the fundamental fault Mr Field committed was to work too hard on behalf of the many, many hundreds of people who come to his electorate office on immigration matters.” …

He works harder on those matters than I suspect the entire National Party caucus does on constituency cases. If that is what he is guilty of, then I am sure he is happy to plead guilty to working hard on behalf of his constituents.

Again this was not a statement made in the early days, when the allegations were just that. This was after the report by Noel Ingram QC laid out bare and detailed the multiple abuses by Field. And anonymous Eddie at The Standard claims there is no tolerance. Not only was there tolerance, there was an active defence.

For those who want a reminder of the timelline, I have it here. Also back in July 2006 I blogged a summary of all the abuses that Ingram detailed in his report. And again all these abuses were known about by Labour when they decided to defend him in Parliament, led by the then Deputy Prime Miinister.

I can’t quite decide if Eddie is secretly ashamed of how Labour behaved, but won’t admit it, or if he actually honestly believes Labour was right to defend Field, and that this did not constitute tolerating corruption.

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