PM's new Maori seats stance boosts Maori-Nat deal.
Helen-o-vision: It was wall-to-wall Helen Clark on the three morning current affairs shows today. Out of Agenda, Marae and Eye to Eye I think Willie Jackson, on the latter, did the best job. The three shows crossed and re-crossed the same territory so it wasn't great fare. Winston's jibes against the NZ Herald's cretinous John Roughan made for much better viewing. Winston asked why someone who had just come out in favour of the National Party in his column yesterday can sit there on a panel of journalists. Winston has a point.
The Maori party are now in an excellent position following the PM's back-down and reversal on entrenching the Maori seats. All three interviews posed the same issue: why do you support it now? Clark's position, her new line, is now to say that in 2001 Labour and the greens and the Alliance wanted to. This is on top of her other preposterous line that Labour didn't want to entrench them because Labour had a policy not to abolish the seats! That's not the point of course - entrenchment would remove Labour's Pakeha veto over abolition - a leash around the neck of Maori that she would lose should the seats be entrenched on the same basis as the other central provisions of electoral law. One thing that labour is a master at it is to build and maintain inter-generational dependency, politically and economically.
Well now she is saying that Labour will back entrenchment. It's game set and match. If Maori go with National they will entrench the seats. Labour will have to back entrenchment because she has now said that her party wants that too and has now articulated a history of Labour wanting to entrench them.
Tactically the Maori Party has backed her into a corner, and after what she has said, if Labour hold any Maori seats after this election (and they might very well hang on in Tainui at least) they will surely lose them all in the next if they dare vote against establishing equality of protection.
If the Maori Party go with Labour then National already have an official policy of not entrenching the seats and will oppose it. Since parliament must pass the 75% entrenchment provision with 75% at some point in the process National can and will veto it. So no entrenchment.
If the Maori Party go with National - and the only reason they would is if they agree (along with all their other demands) to entrench the seats - then Labour must back entrenchment or lose all the Maori seats - perhaps for a very long time. So they will be entrenched.
"Batman" as a nom de plume in the foolishly back-firing attempted Key smear refers to the surname of the man who founded Melbourne in 1834. The documents and the case were in Melbourne. I haven't seen this explanation anywhere else so I'm putting it out there as the most likely one. Maybe one of the staff members accompanying the would-be gumshoe Labour President was called Robin or something too - who knows? And who cares!