I believe the political winds of change are starting to blow. It might just be a breeze at the moment but it has the potential to be much more. Surprisingly, or maybe not, the breeze has been caused, not by the Opposition, but by the stupidity of the Government itself. Apart from their inability to deliver anything but announcements, there are two issues that are going to manifest themselves with the public between now and the 2023 election. They are Maori separatism and free speech.
They are perfectly designed for National and ACT to work cohesively on. National should concentrate on Maori separatism and ACT on free speech. The government has handed them two superb horses to ride to an election victory on. These two issues, one of national unity and one of human rights, are perfect for a two-party two-pronged attack.
If National and ACT can agree on a joint strategy, then the possibility of a right-wing coalition being successful at the next election is looking that much brighter.
It shows how completely ideologically driven the Labour Party are, and how little political nous they possess, that they are prepared to die in a ditch over the Maori separatism issue. The antics of the two clowns in the Maori Party in Parliament last week should have alarm bells ringing in the ears of the Labour Party. Instead, they will be deaf, dumb and blind to the electoral suicidal path they are walking, which is great news for National and ACT. Even a Red wedding will not be a sufficient distraction from an issue as large as this one.
The points of order raised by Rawiri Waititi, the co-leader of the Maori Party, during Judith Collins’s questioning of Jacinda Ardern perfectly illustrates the dangerous road Labour has embarked upon.
To say, as he did, that only indigenous peoples can talk on indigenous matters is a mixture of comedy and arrogance. It is not hard to see, reading between the lines, that he wants his own parliament. The problem is he won’t want to fund it. He will expect those that he considers not qualified to speak on indigenous matters to provide the wherewithal. The conceit of Waititi knows no bounds.
Mr Waititi needs a reality check. He needs to first realise he is a New Zealand citizen like the rest of us, Asian, Pasifika, British or whoever. His Maori heritage is not an entitlement to have his cake and eat it too: certainly not at the expense of all other citizens who want to live in harmony as one nation. If Mr Waititi wants his own Parliament he needs to go and doff his celebrity hat to those in charge of the $50 billion Maori economic fund and source the money from there. I’m picking they might tell him to sail his waka back whence he came.
The free speech issue is one perfectly designed for ACT. David Seymour has attracted good audiences on his recent Free Speech Tour. He has pledged that if the government passes laws that allow punishment on the basis of opinion, ACT will petition for a referendum to reverse those laws. He also made the point, in relation to Ardern’s idiotic “when you see it you know it” comment, that such a subjective test isn’t a workable basis for a law restricting what New Zealanders can say. Even that well-known voice of socialism Martyn Bradbury said that if New Zealand passed religious hate speech laws he will have no choice but to immediately break them for the sake of our democracy. Other groups such as Family First have also voiced concern.
The proven track record of this Government is that announcements are made followed by a lack of follow-through which creates a vacuum. People are then left to prophesy what might be in the legislation. During this period Ardern has gone from saying there would be widespread support for the legislation to admitting it might be a harder battle. Chris Trotter had suggested internal polling showing firm opposition might be behind the Labour Government’s “ever so careful tiptoeing away from its earlier position to criminalise hate speech”. This is typical of Ardern’s modus operandi – open mouth before engaging brain and with no thought to the consequences.
These are issues National and ACT need to hammer relentlessly between now and the next election. They must be kept in the public domain and, bearing in mind the media’s reluctance to highlight them, every avenue possible must be used to get the message out. There will be plenty of other issues to hammer the Government on but these two go to the very heart of a country’s democratic way of life. It is my view that the majority of New Zealanders will not stand for either.
Terry Dunleavy’s article referred to an article Jane Clifton, wife of Trevor Mallard, wrote for the leftie Listener. She commented that National should brandish He Puapua as its standard as it marches towards what looks like an inevitable election victory in 2023 under the leadership of “Crusher” Judith Collins – if the current government manages to last that long.
Ardern and her government can ignore this reality at their peril.
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