You read that right.
Chris Luxon is blaming Jacinda Ardern for National having racist supporters.
At one level it is not surprising. Everything else, including internationally generated inflation, appears to be Labour’s fault.
In a Morning Report interview yesterday he was asked about comments made on a facebook post he wrote as a tribute to Ngati Whatua’s Joe Hawke who recently died. Luxon’s use of Te Reo attracted some horrendously racist responses. In this video Moana Maniapoto read some of them out.
Luxon was asked about the racist comments and if he was worried or concerned about them and why he did not criticise them.
His response was that he had condemned the comments but also that it was the exercise of the right to free speech.
He was asked if he had a responsibility to be stronger in calling out racist responses. He waffled around the answer but then a minute later when co-governance was mentioned pivoted and said that Jacinda Ardern has to take people with them about co governance. That Jacinda Ardern must burn up some of her political capital to bring people along with her and explain clearly what it meant.
Having burned up a considerable chunk of political capital dealing with Covid in Luxon’s view she had to burn up more political capital to persuade his erstwhile racist supporters that their views are wrong.
These are people who no doubt call our leader “Taxcinda” and post racist memes about Nanaia Mahuta on their facebook pages. People like Colleen who refused to accept that Te Reo existed before the English arrived in Aotearoa. Or Arthur who said he was “sick of Maori stuff”. Luxon expecting Ardern to persuade them through having a reasoned discussion is bizarre.
It also follows an emerging pattern. Attack Jacinda over everything. Racist National supporters? Blame Jacinda.
And rather than set out a vision claim that the proposal is unclear. Have a bob each way by claiming some generalised support for the general principle but at the same time oppose it because of a lack of clarity.
We do need to have a reasoned discussion about Co Governance and the proposed consultation later in the year will at least kick the discussion off. And clearly Ardern should let the consultation process be completed before expressing a view. But even now the chances of it being a reasoned respectful process are doomed. Luxon blaming Ardern for comments from his racist supporters shows how National will approach the consultation.