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Campbell on separatism scaremongering

Written By: - Date published: 10:36 am, February 10th, 2015 - 35 comments
Categories: Andrew Little, john key, leadership, Maori Issues - Tags: , , , ,

As usual, Gordon Campbell has written the best commentary on current events:

Gordon Campbell on the Maori “separatism” bogey

Leadership requires the leader to set aside self-interest. It is a concept that sometimes seems quite alien to Prime Minister John Key – who has reached instinctively for the most inflammatory card in the race relations deck – “separatism” – to gain short-term advantage from some innocuous Waitangi Day comments made by Labour leader Andrew Little.

Reportedly, the inspiration for Little’s line of thought was a Waitangi Tribunal finding last November. According to the Tribunal, Northland tribes had not fully ceded their sovereignty when they signed the Treaty in 1840.

This being the case, a careful exploration of what that never-ceded sovereignty might mean in a modern context is not only desirable, but incumbent on the Crown. As Little had carefully stressed, New Zealand needs to be unified and cohesive. … Little had ruled out the path of separatism.

Enter John Key, stage right. As is his wont, Key has tried to make political hay out of this issue by playing to the worst instincts of the talkback radio crowd. At his post –Cabinet press conference yesterday, Key suggested that Little was advocating separatism…. And was In effect, calling for “the independent state of Northland” for Maori. Sigh.

Once again, watching New Zealand politicians try to have a debate on an important issue is to hang your head in despair. The only encouraging thing about this episode is that Little has been prepared to take the risk. Good for him. No doubt, there will be “advisers” in his office who will be telling him it was a mistake to do so. It looks more like leadership.

Go read the full piece on Scoop, and (if you have a strong stomach) here’s John Key running his divisive and opportunistic lines.

35 comments on “Campbell on separatism scaremongering ”

  1. Murray Rawshark 1

    Little’s floating of some ideas is far more inclusive than anything FJK has ever done. FJK is in fact being separatist – setting up a country within a country where corporations and ex-poaka thugs don’t have to abide by the same laws as the rest of us.

    If sovereignty was not seceded by Ngapuhi, and it seems that is the case, then it is up to all of us to figure out what that means. Key would confine the debate to talkback radio and his sycophants on tv. We are better than that.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 1.1

      The Waitangi tribunal decision, by a few of its members isnt that conclusive.

      • Murray Rawshark 1.1.1

        It’s good enough for me, but I’m not sure if it’s legally binding or not. FJK would say it’s just the opinion of one tribunal, and he can get others.

    • Mainlander 1.2

      “we are better than that” thats why you call our PM “fuck John Key”and ex pig thugs you really should fuck off back to that hate blog of Bradburys and stay there.
      Little decided for some reason to dip his toes in the race issue and regardless of your interpretation all the public hears is Andrew Little/separatism/Maori favors etc, another winning topic for the Labour party, think im to harsh its all over the msm,blogs etc, so defend Little slam Key etc but at the end of the day this isnt some beltway issue no-one cares about this is perk your ears up stuff by your average Kiwi

      • framu 1.2.1

        how about you stop telling us what all NZers think?

        For the record little was responding – in a totally adult manner – to a question reporters put to him

        he didnt dip his toes in anything – it was an issue placed in front of him by the press on waitangi day and he had to answer

        This bullshit interpretation your repeating is the PMs one not littles

        shame you didnt even notice that Murray Rawshark is saying the entire population is better than that (IMO) – reading for the win with you aye?

        • Mainlander 1.2.1.1

          Deflect all you like it don’t change the facts, but then i discuss events with your “average Kiwi” unlike the echo chamber you obviously live in, so my “bullshit interpretation” is based on what i know and who i talk to, gasp a few are even National supporters, it pays to get a rounded view eh but then im assuming u know sfa about that as well

          [lprent: You are talking here aren’t you. I have no idea which echo chamber you are referring to. However unspecific comments that *might* refer to this site come directly to my attention. I suggest you consult the policy in the banning section where it refers to self-martyrdom offences.

          If you don’t want me to take offence and kick you weasel worded gutless attacks on this site off the site. I really don’t like fuckwits who are stupid enough to be leave me room to insult their dumb arses. I suggest you lift your game and get much clearer about your insults. Don’t leave me room to misinterpret…. Because I do if you aren’t specific. ]

          • In Vino 1.2.1.1.1

            Mainlander, you are so average.. except that your powers of expression are well below average. They say that language is the instrument of thought.
            If you are going to be aggressive and rude, expect the comeuppance you deserve. Go back and do English NCEA Level 1.

          • framu 1.2.1.1.2

            so you talked to a group of people all using JKs version of events and cling to that despite it being pointed out that the actual course of events was somewhat different?

            well fucking done you arrogant blow hard – get a gold star for your circle jerk

            and – notice how i actually made a point – you? not so much

            frankly – you dont know shit about me or who i interact with. So thats twice youve made a dick of yourself. Twice in two comments. Well done champ

            your a gutless coward who would prefer to lash out than actually have an adult conversation – piss off to the kids table, the adults are talking

          • Mainlander 1.2.1.1.3

            While i appreciate the kind words no need to put me on the black list, this will be my Standard swansong, while i realise having a crack at one of the “regulars” is bad form and i knew the attack dogs would come after me i only said what i did out of frustration at the non stop slagfest most of the comments sections have become (yes i let myself down on that front this time) anyway all the best with The Standards future.

        • Murray Rawshark 1.2.1.2

          framu – we should be better than that, and we can be, but neoliberal ideology since 1984, allied with the basic racism of NAct, has been very corrosive of our society.

      • Murray Rawshark 1.2.2

        I note you can’t even use the word “poaka”. Bit of a white supremacist, are we?

  2. Sacha 2

    There’s no way Key “instinctively” used the word ‘separatism’. Farrar would have polled on it, hence the delay in the PM saying anything.

  3. Tom Gould 3

    Regardless of his sentiments, Little screwed this up big time, and Key took full advantage. Put it down to inexperience. He clearly has the potential but will have to lift his game considerably to catch Key and pass him.

    • Murray Rawshark 3.1

      It is a screw up in the sense that he should realise by now that Key won’t debate anything seriously. Putting that aside, it’s a debate we need to have and Little is brave enough to address it. Despite his clumsy language, I’m prepared to give him credit for that.

    • Olwyn 3.2

      I disagree. You are not going to establish Labour as a credible alternative by tip-toeing around Key’s sales pitch. Little was well able to explain and defend what he said, and in doing so showed up Key’s casual dissembling. Thus he was able to gain a small wedge for an alternative narrative to get air, which is not achieved by over-caution.

      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11399473

      • Karen 3.2.1

        +1 Olwyn

      • Tom Gould 3.2.2

        Perhaps, but it was Little himself who said the CGT and pension age, for example, were dogs that cost untold votes. Both can be explained at length and both may indeed be necessary, but he himself recognised that a worthy debate that the public rejects and is easily gainsaid by a sharp opponent is no way to win votes. He broken his own rule.

        • Olwyn 3.2.2.1

          I disagree with you again. There is a difference between responding to a question that has arisen, and later being able to give solid reasons for it, and releasing policy before an election. The difficulty with the two policies you mention is that they did not offer anything of substance to the people whose votes Labour sought. They took the good old neo-lib form – commit to the markets, pitch to the public. They didn’t seem to offer much by way of a pitch, so came across as commitment to the market only, which at best raises no more than a disappointed yawn.

          • Tom Gould 3.2.2.1.1

            With respect, this has nothing to do with the neo-lib stitch-up. He simply waded into an extremely sensitive issue and set himself up. The question was to blame. His response to it is. He should have known better as he set the approach out very clearly himself. Own goal. Key just took advantage.

            • framu 3.2.2.1.1.1

              which is true – but says vastly more about the MSM than anything else

              little was actually being very cautious and grown up – its the media and jk who are being kids

  4. Key on radio this morning quite simply was appealing to those in fear, with loathing, and ignorant.

  5. Jay 5

    In my opinion it was silly of Little to say that regardless of whether you think Maori should have separate laws or not.

    Personally I think that would be madness but anyhoo

    Even entertaining the idea will turn off a lot of voters. And since winning elections is about getting votes, if he wants to win Little will need to watch what he says about this issue. Some might call what he said brave, others might describe it as foolish or even suicidal.

    Difficult to make a case blaming John Key for this. They each had their say, and like it or not most centrist voters will agree with what Key said.

    • framu 5.1

      i dont think anyones blaming key for what little said

      were blaming key for the ignorant and boorish racist dog whistling that has more to do with blatant manipulation than anything even remotely close to leadership

      and im surprised that people are using the MSMs and key framing as a lens to what little said

      All he said was that its a discussion that need to happen and that grown ups shouldnt fear it, and it was a response to a question. Its keys who keeps going on about separatism.

  6. Puckish Rogue 6

    Or maybe Littles got a case Cunliffe-itis which generally means opening ones mouth before engaging ones brain

    • framu 6.1

      are you commenting on what little actually said or jks version?

      • Puckish Rogue 6.1.1

        It doesn’t matter…you people really do my head in at times, you know what Nationals like, you know what John Keys like, you’ve had how many years of this and yet Labour leaders still feed John Key all the ammunition he needs to bury *insert Labour leader du jour here*

        Seriously though is that hard? Keep any and all controversial comments off the agenda untill you win the election and if you really must spout them then feed them to the Green Party or Mana and see how it plays out

        Its almost like Labour don’t want to win or just don’t believe they can win

        • McFlock 6.1.1.1

          It’s almost like you think that left wing parties are all secretly in cahoots like National is with slater and farrar.

          But thanks for your concern.

        • framu 6.1.1.2

          umm you are the one making a claim based on what little said. Stop being so silly – im talking to you, not the country as a whole

          i agree in the grand scheme of things it doesnt matter and that labour are really dumb with this media thing – thats not something you and i will disagree on. But as for JK – it really doesnt matter – he will say whatever blatant lies he feels like saying regardless

          The thing is – and this is my point – little wasnt being controversial, not one bit, all he said was that a govt body had published a ruling, and that ruling meant we as a country needed to take the next steps of talking about what that ruling means.

          its the media and JK who have played the race card and the sensationalist card.

          So i will ask you again are you talking about what little said or what the MSM and JK are pretending he said? Because knowing which version of events you are talking about changes the discussion depending on the answer

          Im asking YOU what YOU are talking about – not how its being received in the MSM.

  7. vto 7

    Agree with above that Little should not have gone here……..

    for same reasons as capital gains tax is not to be spoken of until in power

    this was a gimme for key – don’t walk around the playground with lollipops that the bully kids will steal and run off with

  8. SMILIN 8

    If Littles statement is based on recorded legal fact which it probably is then Keys comment is pure conjecture and spin because it now becomes a legislative matter to be debated awe for the next 200 yrs so Key should suggest to Finlayson ” just for get it Ill tell them how much it will cost to rectify the matter and it will be gone by lunch time ”
    That should fit this govts personalities who would be involved not to mention after the TPPA goes thru our sovereignty will be kaput so it wont bloody matter eh Key u effin prick
    John Key “the sellout PM”

  9. Dan1 9

    It is a bit rich from Key when he worries about separatism. His economic and educational policies have meant there are now 162 schools in NZ that have no white faces. Is that poverty vs affluence? Is it white flight? Can someone explain.
    It definitely is not the NZ I wished we had.

  10. McGrath 10

    Delving into self-governance is politically dangerous. It offers too many easy free hits.

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