It’s a strange day when you’re praising Tau Henare. But at least he’s standing up for Maori seats, unlike the pathetic display from Pita Sharples. Henare’s email brought to public attention Hide’s bullying threat to resign over the seats. Today, he kept up the fight having a go at Hide for his wag the dog tactics and at Sharples for asking National’s (few) Maori MPs to turn on their party by voting for Maori seats but not putting his own ministerial position on the line.
Sharples in contrast has been absolutely pathetic. He sounded like he had battered partner syndrome on Morning Report ‘yes, John hits me, but I understand why he does it, and I don’t want to leave him, sometimes he’s really nice’, and in Question Time he had a bumbling, inconsistent Lockwood Smith to shield him from any tough questions.
Turia, well, when she stood to speak during the debate today, there was some confusion on the speaker’s part as to what she wanted. “I’m standing to speak, let me speak” she said in a small, broken, plaintive voice. Sums it up.
Sharples and Turia have got to decide whether the baubles of office are worth this public destruction of their mana, and their party’s mana. It’s not too late to grow some courage and walk away from this government if it refuses to give Maori their voice.