Stuff’s Political Editor Luke Malpass interviewed Christopher Luxon last week. He quoted Luxon saying to him, “the crime and looting in cyclone-hit areas is a pretty low-life, scumbag thing to do. The reality is YOU are taking advantage of Kiwis at their most vulnerable”.

This accusation came as a huge shock to me. I say that as I hold Malpass in high regard as a political commentator but now, at least according to Luxon, I learn it’s not bloody maori gang filth who were the culprits but Malpass no less, moonlighting in these criminal activities.

Normally one could anticipate Luke suing Luxon for heaps for such a libellous accusation but some problems arise.

First, Luxon did not say it publicly which would obviously be hugely reputationally damaging, but instead accused Luke to his face. More significant, Luke did not deny it and instead, perhaps overwhelmed with guilt, chose to publish it, presumably as a mea culpa. That’s not good enough and notwithstanding a Malpass guilty admission, he must be charged and should be good for at least 5 years.

As I said, he’s an exceptionally good commentator so doubtless we can look forward to an entertaining weekly column on prison life in the years ahead.

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