Party-party-party politics

Last updated 05:00 09/08/2014

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If you can't say something nice, you're fascist? Those depicting the coarse "F... John Key" chant during a Kim Dotcom party/rally as Nazi-style hate-mongering are reading too much into a German accent and raised arms.

What did they expect of a dance-and-protest crowd? That they would retire into working groups to consider their response to Dotcom's "are you ready to take down the Government?" then issue a press release: "We reject John Key's brand of political leadership, we are on balanced unimpressed by Government policy and we decline to give our party votes to National"?

Of course not. They were pithily, rhythmically and cheerfully abusive, in the manner of recreating young people down the years. These are the children, sorry grandchildren, of the generation that produced the exultant Woodstock "Gimme an F" chant. Not terribly fascist, that lot.

An F chant isn't, in itself, a persuasive political argument. Nor is it terribly, terribly sinister. You have to doubt Key's bottom lip was trembling at the hurtfulness of it all.

For that matter, Internet-Mana's own putative leader Laila Harre was being far too singer-songwriter sensitive in her reaction to Key's description of Dotcom as her "sugar daddy". It's being a tad literal to take this as a sleazily sexual slur. It was tiresome, routine political tub-thumping to describe a relationship that wouldn't exist were it not for the mercenary nature of the true reward.

This election is awash with inglorious examples of the approach "the enemy of my enemy is my friend". Such thinking has miserable longer-term consequences from the fragility and inconsistency of the alliances formed. Internet-Mana, in itself, looms as a case in point though hardly the only one.

Consider, also, the extraordinary nature of the Te Tai Tokerau electorate campaign in which Labour's nominal leadership would be mightily relieved if their guy Kelvin Davis lost decently to Internet-Mana's Hone Harawira.

This would potentially allow Internet-Mana into Parliament; if not a Labour-led Government, then maybe a confidence and supply deal such as the Maori Party struck with National. So now Davis is drawing gleeful support from Right-wingers.

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- The Southland Times


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