Labour is demanding Chris Carter resign and force a by-election as a concerted campaign gets under way within the party to discredit him over his mental state.
With Mr Carter's bungled plot forcing the spotlight on Labour leader Phil Goff, MPs moved yesterday to isolate the disgraced Te Atatu politician.
Mr Carter lashed out at Mr Goff as unelectable on Thursday after being unmasked as the MP behind an anonymous smear campaign.
Hutt South MP Trevor Mallard said Mr Carter's behaviour had been "pretty unusual" and "pretty irrational".
Party president Andrew Little also suggested people were concerned about Mr Carter, who had been under a great deal of stress over revelations about his travel and other expenditure.
We're not surprised that Labour has rolled out Trevor Mallard to verbalise its inner thoughts. Mallard is Labour's bully-boy, and seems to revel in the role. Mallard had a very cryptic post up at Red Alert last night entitled Once a Rainbow Warrior, but it has been pulled by him with a note that says "Friends found offensive".
You'd expect nastinessness from the likes of Trevor Mallard, but we were VERY surprised to read this, from Maryan Street:
And in an important signal the caucus was united behind Mr Goff's handling of the issue, Left-leaning list MP Maryan Street said Mr Carter had ended his political career "without a doubt".
"I'm actually very concerned about him. I've known him for 20 years. While he's often been a very volatile character, I've never seen him behave in such a self-destructive way before."
And Phil Goff makes Labour's motive plain:
He said Mr Carter no longer had a mandate to remain the Te Atatu MP.
Labour wants Carter to resign so that it can have a by-election (at a cost of $600k, if you believe Jim Anderton), and install a party hack to replace Carter, the former party hack. Unfortunately for Labour, Carter cannot be forced to resign. Chris Carter is the duly elected MP for Te Atatu, not Chris Carter, conduit of the Labour Party. And given his proclivity to live at the taxpayer's expense, we doubt that Carter will walk away from his MP's salary and associated benefits any time soon just to suit Phil Goff. The gloves are off!
Carter holds the moral high ground here. Unlike around half of his former caucus colleagues, he is an electorate MP, and is untouchable by the party, even if Labour expels him. There's already blood on the floor, but the Labour leadership seems as though it won't be satisfied until Chris Carter has been disemboweled, and his head delivered to Phil Goff on a silver platter. The personal attacks on Carter and the innuendo around his mental health reflect very poorly on Labour in our humble opinion.