Labour still in griev­ing mode

Central Leader - - News -

A num­ber of Labour politi­cians are still bam­boo­zled and hurt be­cause so many Maori have turned away from them over the last few years.

First there was a swing to the Maori Party when Tar­i­ana Turia walked out on Labour in the wake of their bungling of the fore­shore and seabed is­sue.

Since then there’s been wide­spread Maori ac­cep­tance of the party’s sur­pris­ing de­ci­sion to cud­dle up to John Key and the Nats.

Labour held it had been bat­tling nobly on be­half of Maori for more than 70 years, fre­quently in the face of Na­tional taunts paint­ing their ef­forts as heap­ing more priv­i­leges on an al­ready over-priv­i­leged, un­grate­ful mi­nor­ity.

So how come Maori were ready for a love-in with those ig­no­rant, fat-cat red­necks?

As we know, lovers can be fickle. They can be­come bored, es­pe­cially if they feel they’re be­ing taken for granted. But they can also see when the love isn’t gen­uine.

And the Maori-Labour ro­mance had been chill­ing be­cause Labour’s un­der­stand­ing of, and de­vo­tion to Maori, was never en­tirely con­vinc­ing.

If it had been, there would have been more ef­fort to pro­mote tal­ented Maori politi­cians, the lead­er­ship would’ve been more con­fi­dent in deal­ing with Maori griev­ances, made a meal of nitwit Na­tional snivels about priv­i­lege, and have had the guts to con­front much of the Pakeha ig­no­rance about our his­tory and what Maori have copped through the years.

Nei­ther He­len Clark nor Michael Cullen were up to that, al­though to give him his due, Cullen did get into gear when he took over treaty set­tle­ments. Too lit­tle, too late.

Maori had seen enough to know their con­cerns weren’t un­der­stood by Labour.

And here was John Key, all smiles and prom­ises about the de­lights he and his mates could pro­vide. What more could a nice girl want?

If Labour is ever to be­come a se­ri­ous Maori suitor again, Key may have to stuff up big­time, as he’s in dan­ger of do­ing over the Auck­land su­percity.

But Labour still has to find a way of reignit­ing its re­la­tion­ship with Maori.

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