Bill Ralston: No one wins from dirty tactics

Bill Ralston: No one wins from dirty tacticsHe may have resigned but Richard Worth is not the only victim in this debacle. When you play in the muck you will get dirt on you. It’s a lesson Phil Goff forgot last week and it must take the gloss off the Mt Albert by-election result. When… [NZ Herald Politics]

Bill Ralston lays into phil Goff for his role in pimping out Neelam choudary, then acting all innocent about it and then leaking salacious details to the media in his attempt to make John Key look silly.

This continues the same story that Barry Soper has told, that the only people who knew the details were Phil Goff and John Key and that the story was peddled to the gallery so that questions could be asked of John Key.

It is obvious that Goff’s office first leaked the rumour to the Press Gallery that Labour had already warned Key of allegations of sexual harassment by Worth of another woman, who we now know is Neelam Choudary.

Leaving the Korean woman’s allegations to one side, it is also now apparent that the Choudary affair was largely a Labour set-up.

All Key was first presented with was allegations Worth had made inappropriate advances via texts, phone calls and a coffee meeting to an unnamed woman, but there was no hard evidence to back it up.

Not surprisingly, Worth denied all and, in the absence of proof, Key’s inquiries came to nothing.

When the proverbial hit the fan over the Korean woman, Labour dropped the whisper of the Choudary allegations and Key was forced completely on to the back foot and publicly embarrassed. Labour strategists would have been chortling.

Labour got caught though, largely due to me and Phil Goff’s injudicious comments aided by Brian Rudman’s loose lips as well. Phil Goff’s dirty tricks brigade has their fingers all over this, including their paid for lap-bloggers at The Standard running the lines that John Key revealed the identity of the woman in direct contradiction with the recollections of veteran political journalists.

No one has come out of this business with their reputation enhanced by what now must be seen as a Labour Party dirty trick.

Goff has ducked for cover, after a couple of weeks of drip-feeding juicy tidbits to the media and taking the moral high ground. That can only be seen as an admission he was wrong.

Goff is wrong, he must apologise and he must fall on his sword for his role in this grubby little 14 year old school boy sting that he and his office have run. Singlehandedly he has dragged Labour and politics in general into the sewer which is rightly the domain of bloggers.