It now appears, however, that it wasn't Labour applying the principles of natural justice and fair play, but a genuine - if lunatic - strategy to retain New Zealand First's support (2).
By waiting for the Privilege's Committee report, Labour made themselves look like the party that wasn't angaging in cheap politics (inspite of the frothing of the rightwing of the blogosphere) and actually had some principles. Now they've thrown all that away by continuing to support Peters after the report damned him for providing "false or misleading information" (3).
It is an obvious, cynical manouver. With Key ruling New Zealand First out, Labour look like they are cementing their support for a coalition. But it's exposed them as power-hungry, unprincipled friends of corruption. Which means, horribly, that the rightwing dribblers may have been right on this one, all along.
It probably won't even be effective as the support gained from New Zealand First will be balanced by the support lost as voters reject Peters and Labour in revulsion. So even viewed as a piece of political manouvering, it is clumsy and - in its blundering attempt at cynicism - naive.
Another reason to withhold support for Labour, until they actually become a proper leftwing party, not a bunch of nasty right-lite grafters.
1 - This description would apply only if Peters were judged to have been guilty by the privileges committee. Otherwise, hw would, of course, be an honest, upright, heroic fighter against corruption, venality, lies and scummishness, perhaps second only to Brian Tamaki.
2 - "No grounds to censure Peters - Cullen," unattributed NZPA article, 23rd of September, 2008. Reproduced on stuff.co.nz (http://www.stuff.co.nz/4702920a6160.html)
3 - ibid.