The Green Party has lost its third person in two days, with Susanne Ruthven, candidate for Hutt South, announcing she’s withdrawing from the candidacy at a debate on Tuesday night. Newshub, 8 August
Some Greens see red
By Roger Childs
After the euphoria generated by Jacinda Ardern elevation to Labour stardom, the last thing the Left wanted was for the Greens to self-destruct.
Co-leader, Metiria Turei, has done her best to destroy the party’s “clean green” image with recent revelations of benefit and electoral fraud. However she stubbornly won’t relinquish the co-leadership.
Respected senior MPs Kennedy Graham and David Clendon, from the environmental wing of the Greens, have had enough and are pulling out at the election. And the Hutt South candidate has also withdrawn.
An unholy mess
Turei came clean on her benefit fraud presumably to make a case for the desperation of poor people. There is no question that poverty and low incomes are big problems in New Zealand and an indictment on the National Government.
However, one message that could be taken from Turei’s revelations is that it’s OK to break the law if you are struggling. How about stealing food from a supermarket?
Some people have reacted by saying: good on you Metiria, for showing up the government, you’ve got our vote!
Co-leader James Shaw, is standing by his fellow chief and has pointed out that John Key was guilty of “electoral fraud” claiming to live in Helensville and that “Double Dipton” Bill English claimed a Wellington accommodation allowance while living in his wife’s Karori house.
But, three wrongs don’t make a right.
Who are the principled people?
The Green Party needs a new co-leader to accompany James Shaw into the Election, so that it can be true to its central principle of honest politics and responsible government. Trust matters in politics now, more than ever.
As long as Metiria remains co-leader of the Party, we are unable to support the Green campaign for the 2017 Election, and will be obliged to withdraw as candidates, from the list and in our electorates.
Press release from Kennedy Graham and David Clendon, 7 August 2017
Graham, Clendon and Ruthven have decided that seeing Turei won’t give up the co-leadership, they’re off. They won’t condone what Turei has recently revealed and their concerns relate to the principles of honesty, integrity and trust.
Metiria’s amazing admissions have resulted in the defections of three candidates and may well be followed by more. The Greens can’t afford to lose experienced and respected MPs.
The Green Party will survive, but recent developments have severely dented the image of an honest and sincere political group.
Labour has seamlessly changed its leadership recently, with dynamic results. This occurred because the principled, decent Andrew Little knew when to go for the good of the party.
Metiria Turei should follow his example.
(Scroll down to 20 July and 5 August to see Andy’s take on recent events.)