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More on Labour’s problem – Part I


This tweet caused me to think about this issue again.

This claim by Ardern is just not credible.

The idea that an issue of this nature which has been covered by various media over the last several weeks and has involved comment by National’s Deputy Leader Paula Bennett was not brought to Ardern’s attention just does not stack up. If it was not brought to Ardern’s attention, then that raises a whole host of questions about the way in which her office functions. Neither Helen Clark nor John Key would have let themselves be put in this position.

In addition, I am sure either she or Clarke Gayford would have been aware of coverage by the NZ Herald for example this Soper on Labour’s sex problem. which I posted about some 4  weeks ago.

This is what Duncan Garner said this morning

Ardern needs to get busy, get involved, poke her nose in. It’s weak. On this one, she sees no evil, hears no evil, speaks no evil. Hands-on, there are no excuses.

This is your party, your office, your problem. It defies credibility to believe you knew nothing. You say you’re “seeking clarity” – that’s code for “you’re finally doing your job”

This post is not about the allegations as such, it is about what Ardern’s response or lack of response reveals about Ardern, her staff, the NZ Labour Party and some of Ardern’s media enablers.

This scandal comes after the Labour Youth Camp scandal. In the aftermath of that debacle Ardern said in a statement:

“I’m very disturbed to hear about the allegations of harassment and sexual misconduct that occurred at the Summer Camp.”

“I expect young people, and indeed anyone, attending our camps can do so knowing the environment is safe,” Ms Ardern said.

“I’ve sought assurances that everything is being done to support the complainants. I’ve also asked the party to take every step possible to ensure that our events are safe for everyone who attends in the future.

I understand this work is already underway, and started as soon as the complaints were received,” she said.

So back then she was ‘very disturbed‘, yesterday she was ‘frustrated‘.

Her comments remind me of the comment, often attributed to Talleyrand, about the Bourbon Kings of France;

They have learned nothing, and forgotten nothing

and also of this quote from Oscar Wilde’s Importance of being Earnest when Lady Bracknell says

‘To lose one parent, Mr Worthing, may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness.’

In other words Ardern has been found wanting.She and the Labour Party have done nothing to deal with this problem.

The sex problem is dreadful for the victims.

However, a major problem it seems to me is that it reveals that Ardern is a not a leader, she is not a decision maker, she is not to put too fine a point on it a lightweight totally out of her depth.

More on this later


  1. 10/09/2019 14:05

    She’s big boss of all govt and Labour – power to open doors, keep in touch and have a say. She has a duty to lead Cabinet and parliament – a top priority to set the tone. To lead, she needs to be in Wellington to make it happen. Trips, visits and school sideshows means she’s skipping the job of being in charge. #CheerleaderPrimeMinister



  1. Ardern’s star has come to earth with an almighty bump | The Inquiring Mind
  2. More on Labour’s problem – Part II | The Inquiring Mind

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