Goff”s desperate speech and u-turn may turn out to be a nail in his coffin. The Herald reports:
It is no small thing for a party president to criticise the leader in public.
Mr Little said the speech had been discussed with Mr Goff at length at Labour’s national council meeting.
The president relayed his concerns, which he said were both his personally and those of people in the party.
“The extent to which I’ve got concerns is an issue for me and Phil, and no doubt the party and Phil and I wouldn’t air those publicly.”
But what is the game plan, that you will publicly air that you have concerns, just not what they are? There is no way this does not weaken Goff’s leadership.
A spokesman for Mr Goff said last night that he “absolutely stands by everything he said in the speech”.
It had raised important issues such as National’s “shabby” deal with the Maori Party to get the Emissions Trading Scheme through. Mr Goff also had grave concerns about National “playing politics” with the foreshore and seabed legislation.
So now the leader responds through the media to his own president.
Mr Little told the party conference in September that Labour had been wrong to deprive Maori of the right to test their claims in court when passing the Foreshore and Seabed Act.
The legislation will now be repealed as part of the governing agreement between National and the Maori Party, and Labour offered earlier in the year to work with National to achieve an “enduring consensus”.
But Mr Goff’s speech effectively changed Labour’s position on the law, saying it was working well the way it was now and repeal would make “wounds fester”.
Yep a u-turn in just two months.
I don’t think anyone thinks there is anything wrong with Labour opposing National’s ETS changes and associated deal with the Maori Party.
Likewise there is nothing wrong with Labour saying it supports the retention of the Foreshore & Seabed legislation. Of course they look a bit mickey mouse when they say they back change, that they are sorry for it, and then do a u-turn.
But where Goff went wrong is bringing together those two separate issues, along with Hone Harawira’s comments, into one overall theme of those Maori are getting away with too much.