Matt McCarten : Goff falls in challenge to show courage under bloggers' fire

Phil Twyford - HarpoonedMatt McCarten : Goff falls in challenge to show courage under bloggers’ fireIt’s ironic that in the same week we commemorate the courage of young men who died in battle, our new Labour Party leaders hoisted up the white flag in Helen Clark’s vacant seat. It’s been an open secret for some time that Phil… [NZ Herald Politics]

Without mentioning us, Matt McCarten has acknowledged that DPF and I have harpooned Phil Twyford and may yet harpoon Mt Albert as well for Labour.

Independent verification of a slaying is always most satisfying, more so than claiming the kill yourself.

McCarten accuses Phil Goff of extreme cowardice under fire, fire that was delivered via the blogs. On reflection it is hard to argue with McCarten’s analysis.

But in a stunning display of political cowardice, the Labour Party national hierarchy this week knee-capped Twyford. The political assassination of one of their best and brightest is one of the most disloyal and treacherous political acts I’ve seen.

What is disheartening is that Labour’s action wasn’t from a place of principled strategy but the result of hysteria generated by their political opponents.

I salute the right-wing bloggers, who mischievously instigated a destabilising campaign against Labour by writing that National could win Mt Albert if Twyford was the Labour Party nominee. Twyford is a current list MP. Their genius was in pointing out that if Twyford won – as was widely assumed – then Judith Tizard, as the next-highest place list candidate, would be entitled to return to Parliament to replace Twyford’s vacant list spot.

The bloggers claimed that Twyford’s campaign would be overshadowed by the furore of the supposedly unpopular Tizard slipping back into Parliament.

Privately, none of the bloggers believed that their strategy would amount to much, but were incredulous when certain media players started taking it seriously.

What gobsmacked the bloggers particularly – and fatally for Twyford – was that the Labour Party panicked. There were even some attempts to force Tizard to step down off the list, which of course she wouldn’t.

Heh…..Are we now running Labour’s strategy?

Perhaps the best line of all in the whole article is the last;

Richard Prebble once said to me that no politician can make it without courage. In this respect, Goff – in his first test as leader – has failed. If I was a Labour MP I wouldn’t volunteer to share a foxhole with Goff when the shooting starts.

Hard hats anyone?