Labour: South of the Mason-Dixon line

Scratch the surface, and you see deep-seated racism alive and well in New Zealand.

Unfortunately for those of us on the environmental left, it is alive and well in the Labour Party which, I guess, is another good reason to be Green.

Hone Harawira was attacked by Phil Goff – not for the stupid sexist “rape” and “motherfucker” terminology in his ill-advised email (for which he has apologised) – but on this basis:

When you come out and you make a comment like that, where you brand a whole ethnic group in this country in the most obscene and vile way, and then apologise for the language, but not for the meaning, there is no place in parliament for that.

Harawira’s actual words were:

“White motherfuckers have been raping our lands and ripping us off for centuries…”

Which is true. Harawira didn’t implicate white people in general. But some white colonists and their descendants did precisely what Harawira describes – starting with legislation designed to alienate Maori land in the 1860s and, shamefully and most recently, Helen Clark and Michael Cullen – both of whom I otherwise hold a lot of respect for – through the Foreshore and Seabed Act.

It pains me that otherwise astute and well researched commentators such as Marty G at The Standard have bought into the Goff line. I’m not sure if they actually believe it, or if it is just blind loyalty to the Labour Party.

As Zetetic, another commentator at The Standard says:

It’s clear that Turia and Sharples will always go with the elite. Harawira represented the Maori working class.

Harawira’s clearly been deeply unhappy with the direction Turia and Sharples have taken the party. Betraying the Maori working class on issues like tax cuts and ACC. Cuddling up to the bosses’ party.

Right on! Despite his silly choice of language, Hone is one of us.

So I’m sure he won’t mind me posting this song by a bunch of white motherfuckers, albeit leftie and environmentalist ones, for him:

10 thoughts on “Labour: South of the Mason-Dixon line

  1. Believe it or not it’s not crazy and out there to read Hone’s comments as racist. There are plenty of intelligent, reasonable and critical lefties who think Hone’s crossed a line here.

    It does you no credit to assume people are either racist or blindly loyal to the Labour Party to think Hone’s been a jerk here.

  2. I agree he’s been a jerk. But the reaction from Goff and some others on the left has been way out of proportion and completely misdirected.

    And he, unlike some others in the Maori Party, has a class analysis and supports workers’ struggle.

  3. Goff’s been out of line, but I haven’t seen anything like that from anyone else from Labour or the wider left.

    The left (by which I don’t include Goff) has actually gone much easier on Hone than they did on English and Hide, and that’s even after the inflammatory remarks.

  4. Although I haven’t seen the full, unedited e-mail send by Harawira containing the white mofo remark, if he hasn’t been misquoted, his argument was essentially:
    White people have been ripping off Maori for years, so it is okay for me to waste taxpayer money.

    The first part of his statement is true, but the second part doesn’t follow. No matter how he paints it, Harawira is well paid and could afford to travel on his own money. He also seems to be implying that all taxpayers are of caucasian descent; but Maori work hard and pay tax too.

    Clearly, like the other Maori Party MPs, Harawira is guilty of looking after his own interests and those of the wealthy (like all MPs) ahead of those of needy constituents of all races. All MPs who do this, regardless of their party affiliation, should be condemned.

  5. Andrew, I agree entirely with your comment about wasting taxpayers money (although I understand Hone paid for the Paris jaunt himself, the whole trip for all the MPs involved seemed to be somewhat of a waste of time and money).

    But Hone is not being hounded for wasting taxpayers money – he is being hounded for supposed racism, when what he said merely states historical fact. Maori were ripped off and it was white people who ripped them off.

  6. toad,

    You stated on kiwiblog that settlement of Maori grievances were NEVER going to be finalised.

    With the current (and future) population of New Zealand not having sufficient resources to infinitely keeping on “settling” Maori grievances.

    Do you believe that the end result can only be civil war?

    And if not how will you prevent it?

    With Maori claiming fresh water rights

    Click to access Meredith%20Gibbs%20Maori%20claim%20to%20freshwater.pdf

    How long do you think it will be when the tax payer is unable to pay for or meet the “settlement”.

    And is “settlements” not a totally wrong word to use when Maori grievances in your wisdom and prose, WILL NEVER BE FINALISED.

    Should really be called a “protection racket”

    Have discussed before that with the changing demographics of the New Zealand population, in 50 years time the Maori problem will be settled. Whether Maori agree or not. Even if there is a civil war.

    Simply because the rest of New Zealand will start treating Maori grievance claims as irrelavant and unaffordable.

  7. Gerrit, that is not what I stated.

    I stated that Te Tiriti is a living document.

    Historical grievances may well be finalised, but because Te Tiriti is the blueprint for our nation, new ones will arise unless both tangata whenua and tangata tiriti agree to an approach to governance and administration that is consistent with it.

    Witness the Foreshore and Seabed Act – passed only 5 years ago but giving rise to new grievances.

  8. toad,

    Hence the fresh water claim?

    The ability for the rest of the population to pay the “protection” money or resources will be severly curtailed in the future and must eventiually lead to civil war.

    I asked you on kiwiblog if Maori want their 63 million acres back.

    Do you think they will ask for it back and is the rest of New Zealand population in a position to return the 63 million acres or even to monetary compensate for it?

    I know people are gearing up for a civil war so this might well be the catalyst for it.

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