So John Tamihere has escaped with a severe censure
from the Labour Caucus. Despite having insulted his colleagues (including his hitherto faithful Baldrick) and much more besides in the Investigate interview, John defied Helen Clark's instruction to stay away and ends up a "reconciliation" that displeased half the caucus. At the very least, John should have been subjected to the Samoan custom of Ufoga (in which the aggrieved party can scream abuse, punch or slap the wrongdoer before finding it in their hearts to forgive him). As it is, forgiveness after a fifteen minute apology just leaves the caucus looking stupid. I suppose the best explanation for what has happened must go to John Tamihere when he said:
But [Clark]’s no good with emotions. She goes to pieces. She’ll fold on the emotional side and walk away or not turn up. She knows it’s going to get emotional and it upsets her.
I would be more charitable to John's show of contrition if it weren't for the fact that this has happened before - he got into deep water, donned the appropriate mask of distress, said sorry and then carried on as before. He has yet to admit that he made a bad error of judgement in accepting the Golden Handshake and his refusal to understand why this prevented an immediate return to Cabinet led him to sprout off to Ian Wishart. What John Tamihere needs is a Cluebat of Damocles for without that, he is only going to continue to crash and burn.