Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Mike Hosking: Plenty of lessons from Uffindell saga

So as predicted in the battle of wayward MPs, as far as Sam Uffindell is concerned, there is nothing to see here.

As regards Gaurav Sharma v Sam Uffindell, National beats Labour. Labour dragged it out and had secret meetings that they pretended didn’t happen until they did, and then pretended they weren't secret at all.

They eventually sent him to the world of independence where he currently sits, so far, with no more smoking guns or firepower by way of allegations.

Meantime, National hired a lawyer and got it out of the news on day one.

How a lawyer was ever going to go back to flatting days at university and piece together anything that stood up in 2022 was beyond me, and so it has proved to be. We have differing stories and clearly a lot of heat and hate, but ultimately nothing concrete. The media that drove this breathlessly might want to think about their enthusiasm on matters like this when all they have is one person's word.

The more substantive bit, the King's College activity at age 16 was already canvassed, admitted to, and apologised for. So little, if anything, was ever going to eventuate.

And so, that’s that. Uffindell is back, both scandals are behind us, and the lessons learned I think are as follows:

Uffindell is blameless to the extent of the King's stuff he told the party about. The party, due to ineptness, never quite got around to telling Chris Luxon. That's on the party, not Luxon or Uffindell.

The other story was circumstantial, to say the least. And if I have a criticism, it's of Luxon who ran the line about having a daughter at university. I have a daughter at university, but I would have needed more than he had to hire lawyers.

He was a little bit between a rock and a hard place by doing what he did. He silenced everyone successfully, but if we go round standing people down and hiring KCs at the drop of an allegation, that’s why lawyers get rich.

I would have taken Uffindell's word. And the complainant, who hadn't been heard from for well over two decades would needed to have stumped up a bit more than they did, which was little more than ringing a radio station.

The big lesson, of course, is who can be bothered with crap like this?

At 16 a lot of us did dumb things. Most grow up, move on, and want to be better people. If we want quality in public service, we might want to stop looking to execute them at the drop of a hat or the hint of a scandal.

Mike Hosking is a New Zealand television and radio broadcaster. He currently hosts The Mike Hosking Breakfast show on NewstalkZB on weekday mornings.


SPT said...

Uffindell should have invoked the tough upbringing defense that the Mongrel Mob and other criminals do.

Anonymous said...

My word yes - well said. What a stupid waste of time and money -and- you purchased PIJF news media - I think Uffindell comes out on top!