The fallout

Phil Goff is in serious trouble. TV3 has quotes from senior Labour MPs about him, Farrar has helpfully transcribed them.

?I wouldn?t say I?m on Phil?s side but there?s no one else.?

?A few of the guys are rattled but not enough for a spill.?

?Come on Bro ? who would want that job??

Judith Tizard has heaped even more pressure on Goff by saying she will take a week to think about saying yes.

Meanwhile, former Labour MP Judith Tizard said last night she may take at least a week to decide if she wants to return to Parliament.

Party leader Phil Goff rang her yesterday to ask if she was planning to take the spot vacated by Hughes.

Tizard said she had “some unfinished business” and it would also be nice to say “stick it up you” to those who didn’t want her back.

Tizard plans to speak to friends, including former Prime Minister Helen Clark before she decides.

Asked if she supported Goff as leader, she said: “He has to decide if New Zealanders see him as a future Prime Minister. Phil could be a Prime Minister. I think a Prime Minister has to lead, has to be very fair, very generous. The question for Phil is if he can step up to that.”

Chris Carter has also piled into the scrap.

INDEPENDENT MP Chris Carter last night renewed his plea for Labour to replace leader Phil Goff, saying he “made a brilliant bureaucrat, but was never born to lead a country”.

“I’ve said all along, he is a hard worker but he ain’t got the X-factor,” Carter said.

A cabinet minister in Helen Clark’s government, Carter said Goff had demonstrated by his handling of the Darren Hughes affair that he was a “hopeless” and “indecisive” leader.

The Te Atatu MP was suspended last year for trying to undermine Goff, and his comments are sure to infuriate him when speculation over his leadership is mounting.

Even Matt McCarten says Goff has to go. Worse he says that Goff has blown any chance of saving Labour.

Why is the Labour opposition so hopeless? I had assumed that leader Phil Goff was competent enough, albeit lacking in charisma, to survive until the November election.

Now I don’t. His performance this week has been appalling.

I reluctantly swallowed the line that he was the best of the bunch after Helen Clark’s departure and was handed a poisoned chalice to do the best he could to rebuild his party.

In retrospect, maybe the Labour Party should have picked someone else as a break with the past.

I think that is what Labour are doing right now. There is blood in the water and Goff is a poor swimmer.

The handling of the Darren Hughes incident exposes Goff’s hypocrisy, his lack of judgment and, more importantly, his political smarts. You couldn’t get a more inept management of a crisis.

It was always a long shot for Labour to win November’s election, given the dismal polling of the party and their leader.

Goff’s mismanagement this week has taken any chance now. The Hughes affair will now dominate the media and cloud any positive profile Labour was sure to get in the period leading up to the Budget.

The failing economy and a record deficit budget is a gift for Labour. Goff had two weeks, for goodness sake, to work out a strategy over Hughes – and he blew it. He appeared confused and then changed his mind about Hughes staying on, probably under pressure from his caucus. Because of that, Hughes is certainly a goner whether he’s charged or not.

Labour has no chance in the next election if Goff remains. Labour needs more urgency, more mongrel and more seriousness about its obligations to its supporters who are really hurting under this Government.

They desperately need a circuit breaker.

I’m sad to have to say it but Labour needs to face the reality that its?leader is now a liability and has to go.

Goff is a corpse, if Labour leave him stinking up the joint then they will start to smell like him. The birds are already picking out the eyes but once the maggots ?start then the stench is really going to permeate everything about Labour.

Time for the undertaker and the body bags.