Labour MPs must lift their game to stay in office
If Labour is going to keep the Maori Party at bay in this year’s election, it’ll need more oomph from two of its Maori heavyweights – Parekura Horomia and Shane Jones.
No matter how well they perform you can still count on Tariana Turia and her three Parliamentary teammates Pita Sharples, Hone Harawira and Te Ururoa Flavell holding on to their seats.
That group of four has been so effective they’re in no danger of letting Labour back in.
But Labour does have a chance of holding the Tainui seat because Nanaia Mahuta is entrenched there – partly because of her whakapapa and standing within the iwi, and also because she’s been such a solid MP.
Any more Labour success among the bros, however, will come down to whether Parekura and Shane can lift their games.
Parekura showed, once again, what a bungler he can be when he came up with that lame line in Parliament about kids missing breakfast because they’re watching their weight.
And he has a history of stumbling around so badly that at times he has been almost as incomprehensible as Winston Peters, the reigning world champion of double-speak.
Still, Parekura keeps whacking away in his genial manner ... prepared to cop the blows aimed at him and Labour, and prepared to keep on the road selling the goodies that the Government has been rolling out to woo the voters.
You’ve got to hand it to him for persistence, especially when some of the goodies – especially the foreshore legislation – were insulting.
Shane has had that sales problem too. But he also has the self-imposed handicap of behaving as if he were as wise, eloquent and important as Winston Churchill.
Maybe one day he will be. But in the meantime it’s not the way to win Maori friends and voters.