The Prime Minister, the hard right, and the attack on Phil GoffPosted: December 4, 2014
The Editor, The Sunday Star-Times, Auckland
02 December, 2014
That the prime Minister was or was not informed by the SIS of the release by the SIS of “incomplete, inaccurate and misleading” information regarding Phil Goff’s knowledge of the Israeli spy briefing is not the main point really. Some would say the Prime Minister must accept responsibility simply because he is the PM. But the main thing to take from this example, like the PM’s apology to Cameron Slater (attack blogger WhaleOil) of all people, is that this Prime Minister is just a front man not a leader. Trace Hodgson’s cartoon (30 Nov) captures this relationship well.
The National Party has been too easily, probably willingly, driven by its hard right faction (Judith Collins led in Parliament) for many years, often through the antics of Slater. The Prime Minister has dutifully promoted those hard right policies and given popular cover for their often dirty tricks promotion and insidious effects.
People will have a difficult time explaining away an impression of carelessness and arrogance emerging from the way this campaign against Goff was carried out by the SIS, the National Party, and the attack blogger. But many will try and it will be interesting to see what excuses they come up with.