OPINION: Richard Prosser isn't the sharpest knife in the NZ First drawer, or even trouser pocket. If he intended to write a blunt column for Investigate magazine he succeeded only in so far as proving that he is too dull to be trusted with sharp objects, let alone the process of making laws for the rest of us.
Mr Prosser tried to carry a pocket knife on to a commercial flight and was mightily aggrieved when it was "confiscated".
He then vented his displeasure in a column, thereby disclosing him as something of a tool himself.
It is a minor issue that he was so disconnected from the real world that he thought he could carry a knife on to a flight. Or that he was entirely misleading to say it was confiscated, when staff helped check it in with baggage instead.
Boring indiscretions, those ones, compared to what else he did. Mr Prosser hyped his wrongheaded sense of reproachful indignation into something far more revelatory - a frothing state of problem solving.
He called on Western airlines to ban all Muslims and, just to be safe, all people who look like they might be Muslims or who come from Muslim countries.
This would simultaneously help make the bastards stay put, while enshrining the right of good people like himself to carry knives. As for where these inconvenienced masses might come from, Mr Prosser came up with Wogistan - a country that exists in his own, fevered, imagination.
So now he stands revealed, rather more starkly than before, as a nasty prat.
Quite apart from the racist stupidity of actually holding those views, he showed breathtaking political ineptitude by venting them, and therefore inadvertently making himself accountable for them.
Whether it was the former, the latter, or both, his party leader, Winston Peters, has declined to dump him and instead presents this as a chastening experience from which Mr Prosser should emerge a better MP.
Indeed he may. If, by that, we accept that "better" means holding a standing commensurate with his abilities. The political future that opens up for him, if any does, is as a sour joke and a toxic embarrassment to his colleagues.
Mr Prosser has hideously subverted NZ First's attempts to rehabilitate its low standing with voters outside the ranks of the white, elderly and fearful.
Well worth a dumping, usually, but Mr Peters has already had to shed Brendon Horan from the party's already boutique-sized caucus, so must now assess whether jettisoning another, or living with the consequences, is the lesser of two evils.
Perhaps he should stay. Seriously. Former Labour MP Ashraf Choudhary says people like Mr Prosser have no place in Parliament. Actually, they might.
It started off as a joke to call him the MP for Wogistan. If the system of proportional representation is working correctly, it probably should throw up maybe one or two poisonous bigots.
At least now his true political catchment know that he's the very man they've been looking for. Mr Peters' big problem is that his party is now waving that come-hither banner. And with friends like those...
- © Fairfax NZ News
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