Editorials on Carter & Goff

Starting with the ODT who label it a poisonous pen:

Labour Party leader Phil Goff should have learned a harsh lesson about authority from the tragicomic events of the past 48 hours: when the knives are out, leaders must strike first.

He should be regretting that, when Chris Carter’s reluctant apology over the expenses rort finally emerged, rather than merely demoting him he did not suspend him outright, allowing him back only with the lowest rank in the caucus.

Goff wasn’t tough enough then. His leniency towards Carter has now exploded in his face.

The Press also says Goff should have acted sooner:

It’s axiomatic that Labour MP Chris Carter has written his political death warrant. The only question that remains is whether he has sealed the fate of his leader, Phil Goff, as well. Goff’s mistake in dealing with this saga was not to have been tougher on his errant MP quite some time ago.

What will be interesting is what Carter does after the NZ Council makes its decision.

The Dom Post says Carter does not get it:

Chris Carter just does not get it. Thrown an undeserved lifeline by Labour leader Phil Goff after his extravagant sense of entitlement was laid bare by the release of details of ministerial spending, Mr Carter instead chose to defy party rules by taking an overseas trip – albeit one paid for by the Chinese Government, not the New Zealand taxpayer – without seeking permission.

Then he chose to try to derail Mr Goff’s leadership in a particularly inept way. His not very confidential letter shows that not only does he lack any sense of political reality, but also even the most rudimentary grasp of political tactics.

In between all his travel, and all his time on Waiheke, I wonder how often he even appears in Te Atatu?

And finally the Herald:

Mr Goff has ended up with his position fortified even though there is little reason to doubt much of what Mr Carter was saying.

The stark results of recent opinion polls must surely have many Labour MPs and activists thinking the party will lose the 2011 election under its current leader.

Indeed, barring a dramatic change in the political landscape, National’s lead of about 20 percentage points leaves room for no other conclusion.

In such circumstances, it would be totally unsurprising if some in the party were not contemplating a leadership change.

As I said on radio with Paul Holmes, the question is not will Labour win with Phil Goff. They probably will not. The question is will Labour do better with someone else as Leader, and the answer is probably not.

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