The HoS discloses another Labour MP, Iain Galloway-Lees, was involved in their internal polling operations. No suggestion he did anything wrong – just that he helped recruit volunteers and was in attendance.
More damning is the editorial, titled Labour loses moral compass.
This is a time, not for elegant mendacity, but for simple truths.
Senior Labour MP Rick Barker ran a publicly-funded political poll from his Parliamentary office last month.
And, when confronted last week by a Herald on Sunday journalist, he initially denied knowledge of any polling.
To me, the poll itself is not that significant a story – but the denial and attempted coverup is what has pissed off the media.
This was dishonesty.
It was dishonesty of the sort that former Labour Cabinet minister Lianne Dalziel displayed, when she denied knowledge of a leaked immigration report in 2004. Yet that was a foolish deceit, made by an impassioned minister in the heat of the moment. Dalziel, at least, had the grace and integrity to resign from Cabinet.
No such integrity is shown by the Labour Party under Phil Goff.
Rick Barker refuses to admit his intent to deceive. And worse, his party’s parliamentary leadership has largely backed him.
Labour, it seems, has lost its moral compass.
Labour has focused on defending the poll, but has failed to address the more serious issue of Barker lying to the media.
Goff has just cowered and, when confronted by political reporters outside the Labour Caucus room with nowhere to hide, obfuscated.
Labour’s leader must now stand up and take responsibility for the deception that was conducted with funds entrusted to him by Parliament.
Barker should be sacked from all his Caucus responsibilities. Hughes, too, must be left in no doubt about how repugnant his rationalisations are.
These, then, are the simple truths that are demanded of Labour’s tarnished leadership.
And these are the truths Labour has forgotten.
I actually feel a bit sorry for Labour over this. Normally this would be a one day story. But there is a bit of a political news vacuum, so it has ended up in the media most of the week. Part of this is because of their inept response to the story, but part of it is just bad timing.