Garner interviews Carter on The Nation

The transcript is interesting:

DUNCAN My guest this morning is former Labour MP Chris Carter, now Independent.  Chris thanks for joining this morning.


Duncan it’s been a pleasure.  We’ve had our differences but I’m pleased to be here.

DUNCAN And I’m glad we’re shaking hands, so the country can see that.

Had almost forgotten their little run in.

DUNCAN should be leading the party?

CHRIS So when people see a party stuck, making no traction, log jammed if you like, they start to ask what can change it.  Now policies maybe, but in the end it comes down to the leader, cos the leader’s the public face.

DUNCAN should be leading the party?

CHRIS Now there are three reasons why people are unhappy with Phil.  Can I go through those?

DUNCAN I’d like you to answer the question.  do you think should be leading that party if Phil Goff shouldn’t be?

CHRIS I’d like to respond to that Duncan by first of all saying that’s for the caucus to decide, and I’m no longer a member of that caucus.  I’d like to say secondly that there are at least four or five people in there that have got the qualities, the experience, the and the determination that could do a good job as leader.

DUNCAN Name them, name them.

CHRIS I’m not going to name any of them, but what I’m saying is that I’m confident that that Labour caucus could provide a number of people could do a different job to Phil.

At this point various Labour MPs sighed in relief that Chris did not name them, as doing so would be a kiss of death to them.

The fact is that as unlikely as it is that Phil Goff will become Prime Minister in 2011, it is even more unlikely that another Labour MP will do any better. And any future leader is better to not become Leader now, so their brand is fresh for the 2014 election.

Now why are people unhappy with Phil?  You know I’ve said he’s a decent guy, he is a  good guy, he’s a hard worker and he wants Labour to win, but there’s three reasons why he’s not going to.  First of all there’s the perception that he’s from the 80s and that it’s just not working.  So we’ve had 18 months it’s not working, people are saying if it’s not working we need to change the leader.  Secondly he fudges on issues.  He fudged on the GST issue, he fudged on the four weeks holiday, and he fudged on tackling actually, and all of that really annoyed people.

Here Carter’s analysis is basically correct. It is very unlikely that NZ will elect someone entered Parliament under Muldoon, as the new future focused Prime Minister.

And absolutely there is disquiet amongst the left MPs over what Goff has said and done on stuff like four weeks leave and Paul Henry. They feel he can not be relied on. That is why he will not survive long after 2011, but he will survive until then.

CHRIS I’m going to appear before the Council, I’m going to make a strong case about yes I stuffed up, yes I did an inappropriate thing, but hey Richard Prebble called David Lange mentally unbalanced, you know Phil Goff and Annette King tried to roll Helen Clark, none of them were kicked out, so …

A fair point, but the difference is how they went about it. You do not get expelled for trying to roll your leader. You do get expelled for sending anonymous letters to the press gallery. Mind you I think they will suspend not expel him.

DUNCAN And when did you last speak to Helen Clark and what did she say to you about this departure?

CHRIS I spoke with her yesterday on the phone, actually she rang me up from New York and she’d heard about the book.  I hadn’t spoken to her for some weeks, and she sent me this text saying what’s this about a book?  And so she rang me up to discuss about the book and we talked about resources and the way I’d do the book.

DUNCAN She’s going to help you write it?

CHRIS No she’s not gonna help me write it, but she’ll no doubt be a critic of it, but I’d expect no less from her.

I suspect Chris Carter’s book, when it comes to Helen Clark, will make the Brian Edwards biography look like a savage character assassination 🙂

So what am I gonna do, well I’m thinking I’m really interested in journalism, I might become a journalist.

I am sure he could get a job at Radio New Zealand. Or maybe TVNZ need a new Breakfast host.

DR BRIAN EDWARDS – Media Consultant and Commentator

Well I want to ask you a couple of things.  I wonder first of all whether you think you deserved all the odium and contempt that was heaped on you about the business? That’s the first thing.

CHRIS Absolutely not.

BRIAN Oh okay.  And the second thing I want to know is if Phil Goff hadn’t forced you into what was in the end quite a humiliating performance in front of all the journalists, your second apology if you like, would any of this happened?

CHRIS Probably not Brian because I would not have felt used as a scapegoat.

What a smart question from Brian Edwards. He got Chris Carter to admit that none of this would have happened if Goff had not demoted him for his excessive travel.

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