Mike Hosking: PM is donkey deep in sex scandal botch-up

Author
Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Thu, 12 Sep 2019, 9:19AM

Mike Hosking: PM is donkey deep in sex scandal botch-up

Author
Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Thu, 12 Sep 2019, 9:19AM

"In the last 48 hours I have read incredibly distressing reports of an alleged sexual assault involving members of the Labour Party."

Those words make up part of Jacinda Ardern's statement yesterday upon the demise of the president, Nigel Haworth.

Think about the words "in the past 48 hours". It's almost as though someone woke her up to what had been going on for months, or as though she shows absolutely no interest in anything around her.

Having asked her specifically on this programme over a month ago about sexual assault allegations she fronts up Monday saying it's all new news. Then yesterday pretends again that somehow a copy of these allegations has been unavailable to her, and now that she's got her hands on them and read them, "oh my god, this is shocking. What are we to do?"

I assume as we sit here, she still hasn't reached out to the complainants themselves to offer some sort of help, assistance, or compassion.

She did apologise yesterday as part of the president falling on his sword. But this reeks of politics, not genuine care for those who appear to have gone through a circus-like series of events where it would seem without any doubt now, someone is being dishonest.

Ardern's line will now presumably be it was Haworth's fault and it is Haworth who is gone. And, to be honest, it's the best of outcomes for now, to the extent that apart from anything else he's the president, he was in charge of the investigation, and whether there was a sexual assault component or not he's handed it abysmally. And that's before you get to the mess around the summer camp, he's clearly inept. It also works out well given who really cares about a bloke no one's ever heard of anyway?

But, and this is where the Prime Minister might have miscalculated things, if she thinks that's it, she's wrong. She is donkey deep in this, her stories are wildly inconsistent, and her deep concern now looks superficial, and that's putting it mildly.

In asking us to believe she didn't know there was a sexual assault aspect to this, is to ask us to believe that for in excess of a month she didn't watch a single news bulletin, didn't read a paper, didn't listen to the radio, didn't participate in any sort of day to day media.

It is farcical. If it is proven she knew before Monday, and her startling revelation that she allegedly didn't, she has to resign. She would've misled us. If that is never proven, then the best she can hope is it turns out to be her first full blown scandal that went directly to her desk, and that somehow time fixes it.

As it stands, I suspect a good number of supporters, people who believed the EQ part of her personality, are now deeply suspicious, if not disappointed, if not feeling duped.

The ball to some degree is in the complainants' hands. Did they get justice with this resignation? Do they go away quietly? Or is this far from over and the Prime Minister, through her extraordinary inability, to grasp this early, might end up paying a very, very high price.

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