Mar 17, 2011

Poor Phil

Poor old Goff has taken a beating over his decision to rule out working with Hone Harawira and rightly so. Without doubt it was a silly call, however from Goff’s strategic perspective it was a sound move. We must remember that Labour’s support has hovered between 30-35% since the 2008 election. This indicates that Labour’s core vote is solid and Goff’s underwhelming performance will not move that support. Therefore, Goff must target the elusive middle. Ruling out Harawira was a dog whistle to middle New Zealanders (i.e. swing voters) who find Hone, for lack of a better term, personally offensive. Take this comment from Goff:

There's so many things that Hone Harawira has said that are extremist, that I find totally incompatible with my beliefs, my values and those of the Labour Party.

This is well crafted rubbish. One will find that Harawira’s stance on GST, the minimum wage, workers rights, the environment and so on are totally compatible with Labour policy and also Labour values. Goff is of course referring to Harawira’s white mofo comments rather than his substantive beliefs.

Sadly for Goff his intended target, the middle, can see right through his hollow rhetoric. They can see that this is just desperate politics. If Goff is to rule out Harawira on the basis of his perceived racism why not rule out anti-immigration anti-Asian Winston Peters? If Goff is to rule out Harawira on the basis that one cannot form a stable government with him why not rule out Winston? How many times has he been sacked? Three.

But perhaps what is most worrying about Goff’s call is the fact that he did not consult caucus. A decision of this magnitude should come about through consultation with caucus, especially the Maori caucus, however Goff chose instead to make the call based on advice from his inept advisors. Over and over Goff acts on the advice of his PR “experts” whose only ideas seem to be to emulate everything John Key does. This approach is not working and the Labour caucus knows this.  

Ultimately, Goff wants the middle, but the rate he’s going he will lose his base before he gains the middle. So I am glad this move backfired on Goff. It is cynical and stupid. Straight stupid.


  1. Rubbish. Winston isn't anti-Asian, he just challenged the high levels of immigration coming into NZ and tried to give the public the opportunity to debate who should be allowed to live here. Most of the time no-one asks us what we think.

    By contrast, Hone is an overt white-hater, from everything I have seen and heard and read in numerous media, both in NZ and in America. He's like one of those blokes you meet in the pub at 1am who wants to fight everyone. He never apologised for his comments, and the Maori Party never denounced them either. He should have been booted out of Parliament for brining it into disrepute. Hone twists himself into knots because he can't decide whether he's a Maori supremicist or wants to establish Maori tikanga over NZ, or a sort-of left-winger. His only Pakeha friends are Sue Bradford, no, I've run out of names already. The day he expresses any genuine concern for poor honkeys trying to survive on the dole or the DPB, hell will freeze over.

  2. Winston played the issue in a most dishonourable manner. He used the issue to inflame racist sentiment. His use of the issue was not sober and rational; it was emotional, political in every sense and inherently racist.

    Hone is not an overt white hater. That is an easy smear that in reality is not easily justified. I take it you are referring primarily to the white mofo's email. That email was, undeniable, unacceptable. However, Hone was appropriately grilled for it and he did repent, albeit in a small way. It is stupid to imply that Hone hates all white people. Hone hates the repugnant actions of many colonists, Hone hates the repulsive views of redneck New Zealand and Hone hates the unprincipled government of the day. Hone does not hate your ordinary Pakeha.

    In fact Hone has expressed support for Pakeha beneficiaries on a number of occasions. As well as the working poor (the Pakeha working poor that is).

    It is probably fair to expect that many Pakeha hate Hone for what he did. I accept that - I would hate any Pakeha politician that did the same thing. I would however attempt to be reasonable in my views. The email must be seen in context - a private exchange between two individuals. The email must be read with regard to Hone Harawira's sometimes unstable character - we all say things we do not mean, especially when we are under significant stress and we are provoked. The email must be seen in terms of the content - Hone was not literally referring to every Pakeha person in NZ, but previous Pakeha governments (arguably even this government). Because successive NZ governments have stolen and raped Maori land. This is an undeniable historic fact. Anyone who argues otherwise is wilfully ignorant and in all probability mentally unwell.

    I will finish this rant here or I could go all day. I guess you get the picture though.



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