It’s not often I agree with Judith Collins but when she describes Richard Prosser’s racist filth as an “international embarrassment” I couldn’t agree more.
That said, her government’s collusion in the Pacific Solution is probably even more damaging to our international reputation. New Zealand has long had an international reputation for being a fair dealer, a nation that leads on human rights issues and the environment. But this government has backtracked on both.
I could make economic arguments about how this brand damage will cost us (and it will) but to be frank, I’m sick of the bullshit game of monetising everything in order to ascribe it value. Which is to say we shouldn’t be as worried about what this costs us as we should be about the fact we are a better nation than this and we should be aspiring to be better.
In the meantime, yes, Winston needs to sack Prosser. But while we’ve got a government willing to dog-whistle on refuges and an opposition that colludes in those dog-whistles (such as David Shearer refusing to state he’d scrap Key’s Pacific Solution policy) I’m not holding my breath. If he does go I suspect it’ll be more for how explicit he made himself rather than the sentiments he expressed.
Update: Darien Fenton has pointed out some of the work she’s done on the Pacific Solution issue and it’s good solid Labour values stuff. I just wish David Shearer’s line had been that strong from the start.