Mad, bad or bold? Me­tiria Turei’s gam­ble

Nelson Mail - - COMMENT&OPINION -

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

Greens co-leader gets praise for com­ing out as a DPB cheat - but what about all the women who fed their chil­dren on less?

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