The Herald reports:
Labour was challenged to reciprocate the loyalty shown to it from Ratana for decades by accepting four Ratana candidates for winnable positions in Parliament – on the list.
To rub his nose in it, Labour leader Phil Goff had to endure a speech praising Prime Minister John Key for being “a brilliant speaker” and “a person who should be admired”.
Heh. Now one has to understand the significance of this. Ratana is not just a meeting of Maori. It is not like Waitangi. Ratana has been an ally for Labour for many many decades. As a Labour leader, having Ratana praise National is somewhat akin to a Green Leader having to listen to Greenpeace praise National.
And Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples was welcomed in the morning, with him telling Ratana that the Maori Party was their party – it holds five of the seven Maori electorateseats.
The recent Marae Digipoll showed the Maori Party massively ahead of Labour amongst Maori voters on the Maori roll. It also showed National ahead of Labour amongst Maori voters on the general roll.
Mr Goff rejected the suggestion of greater Ratana representation in the Labour caucus, other than on merit.
I have a two word response to that – Ashraf Choudary!
Ratana minister Kereama Pene, who delivered the critical speech, was told by Labour MP Shane Jones he should stick to ministering.
How to win friends and influence people.
“Sure, you need to update it to be a 21st-century relationship, but it shows the coincidence between Ratana and Labour working for the ordinary person.”
We should start a competition to count up how often the phrase “ordinary person” appears in Labour press releases, blog postings and speeches.