There’s a nasty strain of racism that runs deep in ACT these days, since the socially conservative types like Rodney Hide, John Boscawen took over from the social and economic liberals like Roger Douglas. Anti-Maori racism is the dog-whistle that underlies their ‘tough on crime’ rhetoric.
In it’s entire history, ACT has had just two non-Pakeha MPs – they make National look diverse.
Until now it’s something that everyone been able to turn a blind eye to. No longer.
According to TVNZ, at the ACT conference former Deputy Leader and head of the extremist rightwing ‘think’ tank, the Centre for Political Research, Muriel Newman launched into a racist tirade that amounts to ‘bloody bludging Maoris’. She attacked the Maori Party for promoting ‘Maori privilege’ and blamed Maori for their high rate of poverty.
Incredibly, Hide backed up this racist has-been saying that Maori have a culture of dependency. See, in the ACT worldview the fact that there’s poverty isn’t an inevitable outcome of an unequal and inequitable economic system; it’s the fault of the poor for being lazy bludgers. Hide is saying that Maori are morally deficient and to blame for their higher rate of poverty and benefit use.
How will the Maori Party react? Will Tariana Turia and Pita Sharples happily work with this man? Will Hone Harawira vote alongside a racist party for a government that has done nothing for his people?