ON AIR: Kerre McIvor Mornings

9AM - 12PM

Barry Soper: Sex claims rock Labour - has there been a bigger botch-up?

Author
Barry Soper,
Publish Date
Thu, 12 Sep 2019, 9:15AM
There are many more unanswered questions that will hang until the QC gives us her view in about a month.
There are many more unanswered questions that will hang until the QC gives us her view in about a month.

Barry Soper: Sex claims rock Labour - has there been a bigger botch-up?

Author
Barry Soper,
Publish Date
Thu, 12 Sep 2019, 9:15AM

COMMENT:

It's rare, if ever, that a governing political party has made such a botch-up of handling a political scandal.

Labour's president Nigel Haworth's rightly fallen on the sword that he's been sharpening so adeptly for more than a year now.

Haworth may have gone but many questions remain. And if you're expecting answers from the top you'll be waiting a long time.

Why did it take several months for Jacinda Ardern to yesterday receive correspondence sent to the Labour Party from the complainants of sexual abuse?

Why did she take so long to realise, and admit, that the complaints about one of her staffers allegedly involved sex when everyone had been publicly talking, and asking her about it, for so long?

Why did she think her staffer hadn't been turning up at the office for five weeks?

Why hasn't the man, who's apparently been working from home, been stood down while the Queen's Counsel considers the Labour Party process that didn't take any further action? Why did she blindly accept Haworth's word that the complaints had nothing to do with sexual violence?

Most importantly, why didn't she take some initiative herself and instruct her staff to ferret out the complainants and meet them to find out what they claim had happened to them?

We've been talking to them so to get to them isn't that difficult, although in fairness, given their treatment by the party they've sworn their allegiance to, they want nothing to do with it.

And if her chief advisers knew about the sexual nature of the complaints — and the victims maintain they did — why did they keep it from her?

If they did keep her in the dark, and if they didn't foresee the impending implosion, why are they still working for her?

And did her buddy Grant Robertson know about the nature of the complaints, which zip-it-sweetie Paula Bennett insists he did, and if he did why didn't he confide in her and save her from making a prat of herself?

There are many more unanswered questions that will hang until the QC gives us her view in about a month, hopefully of who knew what and when.

Rather than answering the questions, Ardern will be winging her way to the United Nations Leaders' Week in New York the week after next, which for her will provide the sort of relief she revels in, an adoring international media who clamour for an interview.

There'll certainly be no repeat of her slogan from the UN podium a year ago of how Me Too must become We Too. If political capital was cash, on this one, Labour would now be bankrupt.

ON AIR: Kerre McIvor Mornings

9AM - 12PM