Mallard gives himself a punch in the face

OK, he actually got into a fight with National MP, Tau Henere. But it was Trevor Mallard (and Labour) who came of worse in the fight politically, if not physically. David Farrar and Colin Espiner  list the reasons, another bad news story for Labour, the cabinet reshuffle will be seen as punishment for Mallard (and if hes not demoted, the focus will be on Clark’s lack of standards) and not on fresh blood, and Mallard kills any chance he had of becoming Labour’s next leader (Unlike David Farrar, I wouldn’t rule out King beating Goff for the job yet).

In normal circumstances I would be more sympathetic to Mallard. The death of his father and marriage breakup would have put him under considerable stress, and he was provoked by Henare going into his personal life. But this is the same Trevor who asked brash “hows Diane?” in reference to Brash’s affair (no doubt with Clark’s blessing). He broke the rules of decency so can’t be expected to be protected by them. Mallard therefore deserves all the bad publicity he wil get. National meanwhile should keep the issue in the news. Disciplining Henare (by suspending him from his portfolios for two weeks) and demanding Clark give worse to Mallard will help. As a Labour opponent, the news today can’t get much better.

Update (26/10): NZ Herald has details of the comment made by Henare, “shut up Sharon”. Not very different to “hows Dianne?” from Mallard. Although I do not approve of Henere’s actions, Mallard got what he deserved.

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