Bad jobs numbers and a succession of collapses of major businesses weighing your government down? You need: distraction! How about an old classic from the New Zealand politician’s playbook – the Yellow Peril!
Passed on by Richard Seddon and Winston Peters, Yellow Peril’s now being wielded by John Key as he talks of vague, unsubstantiated threats that boatloads of Indonesians are heading for our shores (no, I’m not sure what terrors are meant to eventuate when they land, either).
Of course, the closest any boat people have actually come to reaching New Zealand was when our mates, the Aussies, thought about helping them…
Never mind that Indonesia is literally 1/6th of the world away,* John Key wants us to know the ‘threat’ from boat people, threat of what I don’t know, is very real and something we should all be worried about. Far more worried than we should be about, say, the threat of losing our jobs.
(* At nearly 4,000 miles the distance from the closest parts of Indonesia to New Zealand is the distance from Europe to North America and back. Most boat people make trips from Indonesia to one of Australia’s offshore islands, a journey of a couple of hundred miles. So, we’re being asked to believe that boat people are planning, for no apparent reason, to make a journey 20 times longer and over colder, rougher, open seas in the Tasman, when Australia’s right there, literally in the way – doesn’t seem like a profitable business venture for the people smugglers for a start, 20 times the operating costs.)