Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Phil Goff: Cowardly and hypocritical

Phil Goff, yesterday:

Labour leader Phil Goff said Sir Anand was as much a New Zealander as he was.

"I would rate him as one of New Zealand's best Governors-General. Anand is a person that grew up in this country, understands this country as well as anybody... a fantastic Governor-General."

The comments were "silly... I think that was Paul Henry being Paul Henry".

Phil Goff, today:
Labour leader Phil Goff launched a fresh broadside at Mr Key for failing to challenge the comments when they were made during an interview with Henry yesterday morning.

"Those comments that Anand Satyanand doesn't sound and look like a New Zealander, frankly, are racist and they're offensive, and John Key should have had the guts to put Paul Henry in his place. He didn't."

Mr Goff said Henry's apology seemed genuine, but did not excuse the comments, and TVNZ's muted response was "pathetic".

"To suggest that most New Zealanders regard Anand Satyanand, our Governor-General, as somebody that doesn't look or sound like a Kiwi is just a bloody nonsense. This is a very decent man who's worked through his life for this country. Having offensive comments made like that about him as a human being is unacceptable to me and should have been unacceptable to John Key."

Which sounds great, but raises the question: why did Goff wait 24 hours to say it?

Its not as if he was unaware of the issue - his initial "Paul Henry being Paul Henry" comment was made within a few hours of Henry's original comments. But rather than stand up immediately for Labour's principles, he waited to see which way the wind was blowing. That's weak and cowardly. Slamming John Key for doing exactly the same thing just makes him hypocritical. Yes, Key's a chickenshit. But its difficult for another chickenshit to call him that.

There are a lot of good MPs in Labour who did the right thing on this the moment they heard about it. It would be nice if their leader was worthy of them.