Peter Dunne wrote:
There should be little surprise at Shane Jones’ latest racist outburst against Indians living in New Zealand. …
Playing minorities off against the rest of the population in this way is a classic New Zealand First tactic and is the height of electoral cynicism.
But it is also much more than that. It is a blunt expression of New Zealand First’s beliefs. Moreover, what it really shows is that racially motivated criticisms by New Zealand First MPs are not just some casual occurrence to be brushed aside as “their personal views”. There have been too many instances of this type of behaviour over the years for them to be dismissed credibly as just coincidence. Rather, they are at the heart of New Zealand First’s monocultural, anti-immigrant message, which the party is unashamed and unabashed in promoting. It is a deliberate pitch to that segment of the population that holds similar views.
One only need recall Winston Peters’ quarter century of attacks on non-white migrants; former deputy leader Peter Brown’s outburst that there were too many Asian immigrants coming to New Zealand; former MP Richard Prosser’s references to people from “wogistan”, Ron Mark telling a Korean born MP to “go home”, or Clayton Mitchell’s anti-Semitic comments in Parliament. The list goes on and on. Shane Jones is no different – he is just playing the same old tune his party has scratched out for years.
It’s a useful reminder that for NZ First racism is a strategy.
All the while, it is becoming increasingly ironic and incredible that the Labour Party which professes itself to the world as progressive, compassionate and kind should be propped up in office by such a regressive, racist coalition partner. Sadly, while National has already reduced New Zealand First’s relevance for the future by ruling out working with it, Labour is too electorally reliant on New Zealand First’s potential numbers to do likewise. And with the Prime Minister’s do-nothing response to New Zealand First’s racist attacks likely to continue, the country seems set to endure yet more ignorant and intemperate outbursts from Shane Jones and his colleagues over the next few months until the election, when the majority of New Zealanders will have the opportunity to finally put an end to this racism in politics once and for all.
If you don’t want Shane Jones in Cabinet, there is only one surefire way to achieve that – vote for National or ACT.