Labour leader Phil Goff is under intense pressure today, after a man tried to jump from Parliament’s public gallery onto MPs below.
Calls for Mr Goff’s resignation came after the Labour Party forced the Prime Minister, John Key, to behave in an outrageous and offensive manner.
As security guards and members of the public struggled to stop the man from jumping, Mr Key was heard to shout that Labour should be ashamed.
Observers all accept that Mr Key’s outburst was undignified and offensive, but that Mr Key could not be blamed.
“This is all Labour’s fault,” political commentator Malcolm Gasperson told 3 News last night. “If John Key behaved inappropriately today it was only because Labour forced him to.
“For the last three years they have been relentlessly negative, speaking up against most of what this government has done. Why do they have to oppose almost everything he suggests? It’s no wonder he snapped.”
Today’s New Zealand Herald editorial agreed that Mr Key could not be held responsible for smearing Labour at a time when a man’s life literally hung in the balance.
“Labour’s leader may regret his decision to be in Parliament yesterday, after another disgraceful episode in the history of his party,” the editorial states.
“Mr Key’s outburst may be regrettable, but it is understandable.
“Had the people who gathered in 1916 to form the Labour Party instead just gone to the races for the day, Mr Goff would not now be facing this crisis. This fiasco is entirely of Labour’s making.”
Mr Key later released a statement about the incident.
“Today in the House we witnessed Labour’s latest assault on democracy. By forcing me to stand up and accuse them of being behind the efforts of a suicidal man to throw himself into the debating chamber, they have again demonstrated their contempt for the institution of Parliament.
“I may lead a party that preaches self-responsibility, but when it comes to my own outrageous conduct someone else is always to blame.
“Now let’s get back to talking about the rugby.”