Harsh Harman compares Labour to Penny Bright

writes in Politik:

Whenever there’s a public political event in Auckland starring the Prime Minister veteran protestor Penny Bright turn up in her red beret and her cluster of placards. Her usual theme is to abuse the Prime Minister by calling him “Shonkey”. It’s all good fun and Ms Bright is personable and never really rude.

To be fair to Penny she protests many people!

Once the left of New Zealand politics used to own nationhood issues. Think Peter Fraser, Norman Kirk or intellectuals like Keith Sinclair and Bob Chapman. So when the Prime Minister proposed a redesign of the flag you might have thought would embrace it and quickly realising that he was simply doing it as a sort of marketing exercise they might have attempted to propel the whole debate to a higher plane. Instead they went for cheap shots. …

But the problem with that was that it placed the progressive side of New Zealand politics right alongside the RSA nostalgists from NZ First. It took the energy and initiative of a host of ordinary Kiwis to point out that Mr Key’s celebrity-laden flag panel had let us all down. Labour should have done that. For a party whose whakapapa includes the sponsorship of the 1940 Centennial of the Treaty of Waitangi and the explosion of scholarship, writing and music that inspired it looked like Mr Little and his MPs had forgotten their past. Or maybe they simply didn’t understand the future. …

Labour couldn’t’ resist repeating its tired old lines. In the debate over the red peak proposal they went on about the cost; about the failure to include a yes/no vote in the first referendum and they took a few swipes at the Greens for daring to support the Government. What they didn’t do was remind us that they were the party of nationhood and that by their own historic standards this process had fallen short. By forgetting their own past Labour run the risk of becoming as relevant to contemporary political debate as Penny Bright.

Harsh, but also true.  I guess they are more relevant than UK Labour though!

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