Sunday, April 10, 2005

It rhymes with Clucking Boron

Just when the matter looked like it might soon die off, John Tamihere has only made things much much worse. He started trying to prove that the matter was off the record and thus, by implication, Ian Wishart acted in bad faith by publishing the now notorious interview. His cunning plan was:
"Mr Tamihere and one other person had returned to Soljans Cafe in West Auckland to talk to staff about the recording of the interview. The Agenda programme was contacted by a "source close to Mr Tamihere" offering tape recordings of staff who apparently said there was no recording device on the table when the MP lunched with Mr Wishart.

Tony Soljan, managing director of Soljans Estate Winery, said yesterday Mr Tamihere and the other person had talked to staff, who had asked that any conversation with them not be recorded. Mr Soljan said his staff felt "let down" when it emerged they had been taped."

NZ Herald, 10th April 2005
In being so clever, John failed to ask himself one simple question - what could Ian return fire with? It just so happens that Ian had held back at least two pretty explosive comments:
He was sick and tired ofhearing about the Holocaust.

Clayton Cosgrove harassed Helen Clark and Peter Davis over the telephone while he was Mike Moore's electoral chairman.
Given Tamihere's motor jet-engine rocket warp-drive mouth, it's highly likely that there's more comments in this vein. I would be quite surprised if he hadn't attacked George Hawkins for example.

The result of these latest revelations is that Helen has now placed John on extended stress leave (indefinite suspension in other words). He now won't be making the proposed apology to the Labour caucus on Tuesday and it's quite possible that he will be deselected. John could try and go for a by-election but I don't know if he would win and even if he did, he has frankly outed himself as being constitutionally incapable of being a respectable statesman. Even when he is over the limit, Winston has far more nous than John does while sober.