Barry Soper: Mallard knew from the beginning he could never win

Author
Barry Soper,
Publish Date
Wed, 5 May 2021, 8:25PM
Speaker Trevor Mallard. (Photo / NZ Herald)
Speaker Trevor Mallard. (Photo / NZ Herald)

Barry Soper: Mallard knew from the beginning he could never win

Author
Barry Soper,
Publish Date
Wed, 5 May 2021, 8:25PM

Watching Trevor Mallard doing, what should have been his dance of death in Parliament the Tuesday night, reminded me of shooting ducks in a fairground arcade. They're not always easy to knock down but when you connect, they disappear briefly and then reappear to be fired at again.

And the shots were certainly connecting with the Speaker who at the beginning of the onslaught sat there, intellectually moribund, refusing to take the call to get to his feet to answer questions which kept piling up until he decided to unleash his tirade, addressing few of them.

He had his own agenda, and he was sticking to it, to denigrate the man who he wrongly labelled a rapist. He was told time and time again he'd ruined this man's life, destroying his career and making him fight a case Mallard knew from the beginning he himself could never win.

The only concession he made was the man's life was ruined alright, but only when he committed a serious sexual assault against his accuser. Mallard's pathetic and unbelievable excuse for wrongly calling him of being a rapist was that he didn't understand the definition of the word.

His outburst this week calls into question whether he understands what a serious sexual assault is. The parliamentary worker was accused of hugging his colleague from behind, a complaint laid years after it allegedly happened. A secret inquiry was held, involving parliamentary lawyers among others, who found the accusation was without substance.

Mallard said that inquiry was a disgrace, so another one was held, using a woman I'm told who'd be working at Parliament for just a few weeks and surprise, she came to a different conclusion and the "offender" was finally fired.

One of the incredible admissions by Mallard in the bear pit scrap is that he'd never even spoken to the woman who had complained, but he was on the victim's side, he crowed, along with all other victims of serious sexual assault which clearly, he believed excused him.

All of us are of course on the same side even though this ghastly saga has cast doubt, by some ill-informed ignoramuses, on those who have criticised Mallard's behaviour. As an example, a shocked Judith Collins was even accused by a silly interviewer of not caring about the victims of sexual assault when she was talking about his performance in Parliament.

Jacinda Ardern cares about it, delivering the harshest rebuke of a Speaker in living memory for using Parliament in the way he has, but still telling us she has confidence in him. But for her to then to go on and blame others as well, like those asking legitimate questions that weren't answered, is lame.

Those fairground slug guns aren't being surrendered just yet though, even some of his senior Labour colleagues are contemplating upgrading them in readiness for his next blunder.

On reflection and returning to the fairground arcade, there's a much easier game to play, putting a ping pong ball into the mouth of a clown, and they did that. Trouble is he swallowed it and he's back in business, for now.