I see Trevor Mallard’s started his back channel PR campaign to try to convince everyone he’s really a good sort after all.
He’s told the NZ Herald he fought to have a clause included in the agreement he made with the man he wrongly labelled a rapist which allowed him to still be accountable to parliamentary processes like select committees and written questions.
What a hero! Would’ve obviously been better if he fought his own urge to accuse someone of a crime they didn’t commit.
Anyway, I guess what we’re all fascinated by now is whether he will survive in his job. And I suspect he will because he’s got the backing of the Prime Minister.
That could change. He might stuff up tomorrow’s select committee appearance badly and lose her backing. National might have some real damaging information tomorrow - I doubt that, but if they did, that would change things. And maybe over summer she could lean on him to resign.
But my gut says she’s going to keep protecting him, based solely on the fact that that is what she always does. She always protects her mates longer than she should.
She protected Clare Curran for ages, Phil Twyford, David Clark, Iain Lees-Galloway, the guys at Labour Party headquarters after they kept the Labour summer sex scandal from her. And then only got rid of people when it became absolutely untenable to keep protecting them.
And if past behaviour is anything to by she’ll protect Trevor Mallard longer than she should, until he basically starts costing them political points, which I think is almost certain given that the opposition will target him next year.
The weirdest thing is that the Prime Minister absolutely refuses to use her political capital to make progressive and structural changes that are good for New Zealand, but is happy to burn it on protecting her mates when she shouldn’t.