Carter kicked out of class
Having called for Phil Goff to send Chris Carter to the back of the class from the outset and having commented on the astonishing series of events in more ugly detail than it deserved I observe today's astounding events as more evidence of the same traits aforementioned: bizarre, unprofessional behaviour, clumsiness. He's an oaf - I've said often enough - and he's botched this job. He was supposed to stab Phil in the back and ended up stabbing himself in the front - now that's clumsy, even for an oaf.
That self-inflicted wound will be his last act as a Labour MP. And what a show the last month has been - a double matinee of flouncy pantomime farce over airfares, flowers and frivolities ending with this terrific dramatic, Shakespearean scene - when Phil, The King, identifies the handwriting of the betrayal dispatch as none other than his trusted colleague, the ambitious, vain courtier. When will this show - now down to a gruesome one-man carnival act - shut up shop? NZ Herald and all networks reporting he has finally imploded into the vacuum of his own irrelevance.
So precious. As I said earlier:
If Chris Carter is not content being the MP for Te Atatu then he either quits and triggers a by-election, or he announces his retirement at the next general election. Either way and whatever decision is made tonight the Labour Party's electability has just gone up. It might seem like a PR disaster for Labour today, but as far as the 2011 campaign goes this is a bonus opportunity for visible renewal and a good chance for Phil Goff to look and act like a leader.
Trevor Mallard on Red Alert has written some nicely turned out posts from his unique position within the Labour caucus - today's is a good example. An immediate, insightful, elegant political note treading between personal observation and partisan public discourse. This is what good political blogging is all about:
Today he did something incredibly stupid (made stuff up and circulated it to media in a failed attempt to be anonymous) which I think has ended his political career. He has been suspended from our caucus. Quite a few of us who can sometimes be pretty hard had tears in our eyes as we did it.
But as with sport when there is an extremely bad breech of team discipline you are dropped from the team. Our teams decision was unanimous.
Carter made his flashing white-toothed impact on the international scene as the bills for his extensive overseas travel prove, and if Helen can bail him out at the UN in NY then he will be outski quicker than you can say ciao. He doesn't respond to public opinion that well, he doesn't shame easy and he won't see being a lame duck MP as a problem, so he may need a solid reason/package to exit early. Awaiting some response from Carter tonight.
UPDATE | 10:30PM: TVNZ interviewed him at the airport tonight and he was making an oaf of himself again trying to tell Phil Goff that he had no support! The cheek of it. The guy who has just been sacked by the caucus (and with David Cunliffe running a trillion light years away from it) he thinks he can give advice to Phil Goff!? He reckons he'll be going the full term as well - so unless Helen comes through with a golden parachute, Te Atatu will be stuck with him for another year and a half. Phil Twyford must be quite a busy chap right about now. The Labour Party will have to re-open the nominations.Carter could be officially expelled from the Party in little over a week.
UPDATE | Saturday 7PM: Carter's press release - adding more fuel to his self-immolation:The guy just doesn't get it - never has obviously. He and the likes of the woefully under-performing Judith Tizard were well sheltered by their promoter, Helen Clark, and most Labour lefties don't seem to understand how inept these people were. Even now when Carter's utter ineptitude, venality, disloyalty and egotism are exposed they seem perplexed as to what has happened. As if he was never like that!
He's acting perfectly in character: this press release confirms that he used the parliamentary recess to avoid constituency work - the only real work he has after his demotion - to have a holiday. Paid for by the communist regime of China. Taking the trip on the sly. Against the rules of the caucus. A snub to his constituents, to Phil Goff, to the caucus, to the party and - given the Chinese regime paid for the secret trip - a snub to the interests of the country.