Written By: - Date published: 12:37 pm, April 21st, 2010 - 124 comments
Categories: foreshore and seabed, Left, maori party, Maori seats - Tags: jim anderton, john key, pita sharples, rahui katene, Rodney Hide, Tariana Turia
Rodney Hide was furious at John Key for going behind his back to sign the Declaration of Indigenous Rights but he’ll get over it. ACT is getting tonnes of real policy wins (murder law, supercity, tax cuts for the rich). What’s disturbing is seeing the Maori Party celebrating a ‘win’ and meekly rolling over when Key tells them it’s meaningless. Why does this keep happening? Because the Maori Party is stuck. And, sadly, each loss just mires them further.
The Maori Party have pinned it all the deal with National. In making the deal they alienated themselves from the rest of the Left and had to say to their strongly left-wing voters ‘trust us’. If the Maori Party fails to achieve what it has promised from working with its natural enemy, it will be a vindication for the rest of the Left and will shake the confidence of the Maori Party’s supporters in the party.
So, this has to work, even if it doesn’t work.
And so we see these bizarre spectacles –
Basically, National can do whatever it wants. It can screw over the Maori Party time and again, and like a battered wife the Maori Party will insist the relationship is working in spite of all the evidence. Every time they get used makes it harder and harder to admit that they have been used all along.
Now, to admit that they are being used again and again by National would be to concede too much. Instead they engage in a kind of cognitive dissonance – doublethink: “the ability to believe that black is white, and more, to know that black is white, and to forget that one has ever believed the contrary”
The rest of the Left is in a bind. If we show the Maori Party the consequences of their working with National (higher crime, higher poverty, higher unemployment, lower wages, worse health, worse education) that will on force them to renew their doublethink, if we do nothing they will believe everything is fine. Neither option seems to work.
Jim Anderton said yesterday “It is an agony that we have to watch, to see this take place”. Yes. It is heartbreaking and enraging to see the Maori Party bow under every time and, worse, to know that pointing it out only reinforces the Maori Party’s inability to throw off its self-made shackles.
“Until they become conscious they will never rebel, and until after they have rebelled they cannot become conscious”. And it seems there is nothing we can do to help them.