I will not have much time for blogging over the next week or two so I will post my brief thoughts on some issues affecting Maori;
Hone has the Maori Party on the ropes and they know it. Public opinion, both Maori and non-Maori, is building in Hone’s favour. You know your position is righteous when, amongst the usual sympathetic commentators, the likes of Garth George and Fran O’Sullivan come out in support of you.
When attacked Hone responds aggressively. In the past he has responded in a manner that arguably worsens the situation, however this time around he appears to be making all the right noises. The leadership is beginning to look increasingly weak and out of touch as a result of the sustained pressure Hone is applying. With opinion set firmly against the leadership the party elite need to realise that their end game (Hones expulsion) will be self destructive. Hone will without doubt take the integrity, mana and base of the party with him whilst those Maori at the flaxroots will return to Labour and/or the Greens.
Some Maori (John Tamihere in particular) have shamelessly claimed this as a victory for Maori. It is not. Victory will only come in the form of dedicated, and by definition legitimate, Maori seats. The current arrangements are anathema to democracy and an insult to Maori voters. Why can we not elect our own representatives?
I suppose self interest plays a large part in John Tamihere’s position. As a member of the Maori advisory board, and no doubt now member of many council committees, he has a tangible interest in the suppression of democracy and the continuation of the current autocratic situation.
I am no fan of Shane Jones but he has not put a foot wrong in his response to the MP schism and unelected Maori sitting on council committees. As Pita’s name is tarnished further by the day Shane’s chances of snatching Tamaki Makaurau increase.
Corporate cheerleader and profiteer Mark Solomon has, inevitably, come out in support of the government’s plans to partially privatise some state assets. Typically, Mark has only profit in mind as opposed to the well being of all his people and iwi katoa.
It is interesting to see many church members questioning the wisdom of their move away from Labour towards the MP. This sentiment certainly reflects what a lot of Maori are thinking. The MP has morphed into something utterly foreign and inconsistent with its founding principles.
I guess it was no coincidence that John Key was welcomed on with his Maori Party chums. It appears John Key and Pita Sharples share a close working and personal relationship. This makes me wonder whether or not the MP’s current closeness with the Nats is a result of personal feelings rather than pragmatic or ideological reasons.
(P.S. You may have noticed I am no longer blogging under a pseudonym)