Phil Goff blatantly lied on Campbell Live last night when asked if he ever got involved in dirty politics. Goff said “No, no, not at all”.
Goff has a history of misleading and leaking and accusing others of lying. He has been involved in:
- Leaking and misleading over the Don Brash ‘gone by lunchtime’ statement in 2004.
- His office leaks from MFAT in 2012 which led to a fight through the courts to hide the identity of the Labour associated leaker.
- A Goff office leak led to the forced resignation of National MP Richard Worth in 2009.
- Goff “appears to have broken the law by releasing pages from a suppressed Court of Inquiry report into the death of a Kiwi soldier in Afghanistan” in 2013.
- Accused SIS director Warren Tucker of lying about briefing him in 2011.
Yesterday morning Phil Goff claimed John Key was lying about not having been briefed by the SIS prior to an OIA release to Cameron Slater. During the day Key’s version was supported by ex-Director of the SIS Warren Tucker and Ombudsman Beverly Wakem – see Goff versus Key, Tucker and Wakem.
Last night Goff was interviewed by John Campbell. The prelude on Campbell Live did not give all the details this. It began:
Campbell: Phil Goff, who was at the centre of all this because these SIS documents were about you and they were really embarrassing for you and they were a big judder bar in your campaign in 2011 weren’t they.
Goff: Let me come back to what the Prime Minister said because it’s fascinating. This is somehow a smear campaign from the left. No, this is a campaign against smears and dirty tricks of which there is abundant evidence shown in the emails leaked from Cameron Slater. So that’s the critical point John
In the morning Goff said “It’s important because John Key is not being truthful in saying that he wasn’t told”. He seems to have moved on from that accusation.
Campbell: I couldn’t agree more that there is abundant evidence that Cameron Slater smears and is thoroughly unpleasant…
Goff: …and gets information from the Prime Minister’s office.
Campbell: Absolutely. Where does that lead back to the Prime Minister because I stood in that media conference as he answered question after question after question and he was emphatic he didn’t know?
Goff again ignores this and moves the story onto to something else.
Goff: What do we know about this for certain. We know that material was leaked from Security Intelligence to Cameron Slater. There were two possible sources. One is the SIS itself, and the second is the Prime Minister’s office.
Now I’m not so conspiratorial that I would think that the SIS would leak that material. The Prime Minister’s office had the motive to do it and the close links with Cameron Slater. Any reasonable person will come to the conclusion that that leak came from the Prime Minister’s office.
But Tucker the SIS were highly annoyed with accusations Goff had made about them so also had motive – in fact the SIS suggested that journalists make an OIA request after Goff had said effectively accused Tucker of lying – “I never read that document. Warren Tucker is wrong”.
Campbell: Can I ask you a question? You were a leader of the Labour Party, up against and extraordinarily popular Prime Minister John Key.
Did you ever seek to do what you’re accusing him of doing, or use your office to do it, which is to get really dirty behind the scenes, arms length?
Goff: No no not at all…
Campbell: Never, not once?
Goff: No, no, because fundamentally to me the integrity of our political system is important.
That’s an emphatic denial from Goff. It is brazen lie.
Goff was prominent in an MFAT leak in 2012.- this had similarities to the current issue because it involved someone closely linked to the Labour Party.
Documents leaked to Labour foreign affairs spokesman Phil Goff showed a reworked plan for the ministry would cut 146 jobs, down from 304.
He had also been leaked documents from trade negotiation staff which showed the restructuring had dented staff confidence.
There was la lengthy legal battle to keep the identity of Goff’s leaker secret. David Farrar in Opposition parties may look silly over Police complaints:
Yet in this case Labour have spent months arguing the leak should not be pursued, and that a leak inquiry is a waste of money. Flagrant hypocrisy. And I hope one day, we will be publicly able to publish why Labour is so frightened about the leaker’s identity being revealed, and any links back to them.
Someone with strong Labour Party links leaked to Goff.
Goff misled with his “gone by lunchtime” leak that was damaging to Don Brash. TVNZ in 2004:
Goff said Brash told the US delegation New Zealand’s current ban on allowing nuclear powered or nuclear armed ships into its ports would be lifted “by lunchtime” if the National Party were voted in to power.
The comments were noted down by a Foreign Affairs Ministry official present at the January meeting, according to Goff.
Goff said of Brash’s comments: “That is deceit that is dishonesty and the public would expect that to be revealed.
“…either he was not telling the truth to the delegation or subsequently he was not telling the truth to the New Zealand public.”
More accusations of lies from Goff – and it turns out he was not being truthful again himself, as Fran O’Sullivan wrote:
Goff’s problem is that he is embarrassed by the WikiLeaks revelation.
He had no compunction using notes of a private meeting between former National leader Don Brash and a visiting United States delegation to claim New Zealand’s anti-nuclear policy “would be gone by lunchtime” under a National government.
The WikiLeaks documents have something to say on this score too.
Former United States ambassador Bill McCormick wrote in November 2006 that Goff had “misquoted” an Mfat staffer’s notes from the meeting to claim that Brash had promised the nuclear ban would be “gone by lunchtime”.
“Brash denied he intended to get rid of the ban without a referendum, but was unable to respond credibly when Labour said that must mean he was planning to scrap the legislation, which many Kiwis view as an iconic part of the country’s identity,” McCormick said.
It’s notable that Goff refused the Herald’s request under the Official Information Act to release the full notes of the meeting that Brash had with the six visiting Republican senators.
Goff’s office leaked a rumour that led to the resignation of Richard Worth in 2009. NZ Herald:
It is obvious that Goff’s office first leaked the rumour to the Press Gallery that Labour had already warned Key of allegations of sexual harassment by Worth of another woman, who we now know is Neelam Choudary.
No one has come out of this business with their reputation enhanced by what now must be seen as a Labour Party dirty trick.
Goff has ducked for cover, after a couple of weeks of drip-feeding juicy tidbits to the media and taking the moral high ground. That can only be seen as an admission he was wrong.
Common elements – leaks from Goff’s office, moral high ground, dirty tricks, Goff.
In 2013: Goff leaks secret army death report:
Labour MP Phil Goff appears to have broken the law by releasing pages from a suppressed Court of Inquiry report into the death of a Kiwi soldier in Afghanistan.
Mr Goff has released part of the report into the death of Corporal Doug Hughes which he says reveals “critical deficiencies in the training and deployment of Kiwi troops”.
Phil Goff’s hands are dirty. It is dishonest of him to deny being involved in dirty politics.
It’s perhaps not surprising he is laying all the leak blame on Key’s office – Goff has a history of leaking from his own office.
No wonder much of the public dismiss all this with “they are all as bad as each other”. Goff and his staff and Labour friendly leakers look to be as bad as anyone.
Goff’s lying while reminding of Labour dirty tricks is not helping Labour’s Vote Positive campaign. Has he gone rogue or is he pushing this to keep a separation between dirty politics and David Cunliffe?