Mad, bad or bold? Metiria Turei’s gamble
better than the rest of them.
She could have used her maiden speech to deliver a powerful message about poverty by revealing her ‘‘crime’’ 15 years ago, but didn’t. She could have used it to fill in the gaps on her ‘‘back story’’ when she was appointed leader – but didn’t.
In fact, she kept quiet about it a lot longer than Bill English stayed shtum over the affairs of his backbench MP, Todd Barclay.
So Turei has already failed the most basic political test – the hypocrisy one.
But that was always going to be the risk. So why now?
One word. Politics. The Greens are desperate for a circuit breaker and a way to tap into the zeitgeist of the US and British elections.
They’ve entered every election with high hopes of mobilising the youth vote. But they have never spoken to them in the way of Sanders, or Jeremy Corbyn in Britain.
They tried to reach out to them by ditching the so-called radicalism of the Sue Bradford years – but the new-look Greens, with their glossy magazine covers, glamorous new candidates, and fiscal responsibility rules, have jarred with the base.
The so-called youth quake in Britain, chasing Corbyn’s lurch to the left, is a signpost to the promised land.
Turei’s speech is an attempt to put a stake in the same ground.
But there will be collateral damage.
It’s usually said that nobody ever lost votes by beating up on Australians or beneficiaries. Turei’s speech will be a big turnoff to Labour’s target voter, the mythical ‘‘white van man’’ – the blue collar tradie who’s just getting by.
They were never going to vote for the Greens anyway. But it
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