Why Brash is racist, why a $500 000 byelection is good for democracy and why the Herald is suffering from identity crises
Don Brash is racist
Yes he is. He is that casual racism that NZers love, the kind that allows you to be a red neck under the protection of 'just speaking my mind'.
It's as tiresome as it is intellectually lazy. When Don Brash starts foaming about his 'one law for all' crap, remember what Thomas Jefferson once said...
'There is nothing more unequal than equal treatment of unequal people'
...Don Brash and John Key's perspective on the poor is best summed up by Herman Melvilles famous quote...
"Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well housed, well warmed and well fed."
Don Brash is racist in that he wants to ignore the previous history of disenfranchisement of Maori and pretend we are all 'equal' when the distance between elites like him and the reality of the 40% of NZers who earn less than $20 000 per Annam have never been further apart.
Pretending we are equal and demanding the same treatment based on that fallacy is unjust and leads to the same sort of small minded bigotry that racism flourishes under.
Why a $500 000 byelection is good for democracy
Hone is going back to his electorate to seek a mandate. It is the only honourable thing to be done, do we really want what the right wing did? A secret corporate coup by someone who wasn't even a member of the Party cut behind the scenes in secret behind closed doors? How democratic is that? How democratic is it for a Corporate Coup to parachute in a far right leader with zero mandate from a party he wasn't even a member of? How disgusting is that?
Hone may be costing $500 000 for a byelection, but the disgustingly undemocratic manner in which Brash took over the ACT Party is as dishonourable as you can get.
The cost is the price of democracy, a cost we should gladly bear when the alternatives are so filthy.
As Cameron Slater said before he was taken inside the coup and became compromised...
“I am also pretty sure that Banks and Brash know that electorally they are rat poison as candidates. They are both pensioners, with Brash over 70. They also both know that their best years politically are behind them.”
Why the Herald is having an identity crises
You have to feel sorry for the NZ Herald. They have been so outside the loop of this Mana Party and Brash's take over of ACT that they've been scrambling trying to make sense of events Tumeke was predicting last year.
This latest column from Claire Trevett is an example. Claire claims that Maori and the left can't work together. She's very late to this discussion. What Claire doesn't note is that this recession has caused deep pain in society, and that pain is being felt by the poor and the poor won't simply be silent. The aspirations of Maori poor are the same as beneficiary aspirations and minimum wage aspirations and while apathy normally cripples the poor from activity, a leader like Hone discussing their concerns directly has a potential for an election result much higher than Claire has given it.
It is Claire's inability to understand the relationship of class and misinterpret that as a lost identity
The mainstream media have been caught flat footed (Patrick Gower was breathlessly telling NZ that Hone wanted the Maori Party leadership - nothing could have been further from the truth) and are floundering to make sense of the rapidly changing electoral landscape. Like the Len Brown victory they didn't see coming, the mainstream media's political radar are being deceived by Kiwiblogh and Whaleoil, many journalists at the Mana launch couldn't understand the low party vote threshold of 85 000 that Hone needs to win 5MPs. It is an education I am looking forward to handing out.
A vote for John is a vote for Don.