On Tuesday of this week Tova O’Brien collated this news piece to review the events of the day which included National coming under fire because its front bench were all white, hurried discussions of which were the Maori MPs and where were they placed, the startling revelation that Paora Goldsmith was a member of Ngati Porou, his denial in real time, his explanation, Muller and Kaye doing stunned mullet impersonations at the revelation, Paula Bennett being asked about Goldsmith’s alleged Maori heritage and pulling this face …
… Nicola Willis thinking that Simon Bridges was still leader, Winston Peters and Shane Jones poking fun and then withering political analysis by Tova.
The report from O’Brien is an exhilarating, absurdist, dark comedy. A chaotic human drama unfurling over the course of a few hours, with almost all the action centred in a single red-carpeted corridor. Though the story is just a couple of minutes long, it runs the full gamut of political emotion.
I won’t wreck it by quoting highlights. The whole piece is laugh out loud funny. Go and read it. Well done Hayden.
Judith Collins makes a cameo appearance. And does what a responsible member of the front bench should do on this most trying of days and talks about National’s commitment to diversity. Nah just joking she asks this question:
is there something wrong with me being white?
Of all the click baitable comments that could be made at a time National is under the hammer for having a totally white front bench this is extraordinary in its destructive power. It keeps the issue in the media for another day and lets me write this blog post.
Because the question is a variation of the expression that is offered by white supremacists. Like Lauren Southern. Remember her?
You would think that after Todd Muller’s difficulties with his MAGA hat the National Front Bench would steer clear of statements with racist overtones.
But wait there is more.
Yesterday this happened. From Jane Patterson at Radio New Zealand:
Tensions flared over race relations again today at Parliament with outspoken National MP Judith Collins saying she was “sick of being demonised” for her ethnicity.
National’s been under fire for not having any Māori MPs in its top twelve, in the new line-up revealed on Monday.
Yesterday Collins pushed back, asking reporters if there was “something wrong” her with being white.
Today during a hearing of Parliament’s Finance and Expenditure committee, she reacted to questions being asked by Labour MP Tamati Coffey about the treaty partnership and government procurement.
“Oh Jesus Christ, stupid questions”, said Collins, with the committee chair Labour’s Deborah Russell chipping in calling it “a white girl comment – crikey”.
“Oh no”, shot back Collins,”it’s actually someone who is utterly sick of being demonised for my ethnicity thank-you very much.”
Peeni Henare gave an outstanding speech in Parliament yesterday afternoon targeting Collins comments. Zane Small in Newshub reports these comments:
In his speech, Henare suggested Collins does not know what it is like to be marginalised.
“When Ms Collins is more likely to live in poverty, to end up in prison, to be stopped to have her bags checked in a shop even though your Pākehā mates are not, then, maybe she can claim to be demonised for her culture.”
He said Collins, “like her leader, are blind to the real Aotearoa the rest of us live in”.
Maybe Collins really believes that she is being marginalised. Maybe this is not an attempt to keep a story highlighting National’s problem with diversity alive for days on end. Whatever the motivation her recent contributions are not helping and if Todd Muller had real power he would do something about it.