Here’s John Key announcing his broad-based attack on the rights to fairness and justice that you and I currently enjoy in our jobs:
‘In advancing this package, I would especially like to acknowledge the involvement and assistance of the Act Party, who will be working with us to ensure the passage of legislation through Parliament.’
Why did Key put this phrase in? What does it say to the Maori Party?
It says to the Maori Party that National will no longer be willing to compromise to gain its support and does not particularly want it.
The Maori Party’s support has been a vital element of the sheep’s clothing this rightwing government has worn until now. It has been the fig leaf behind which the true nature of the rightwing agenda of the National Party has hidden.
For its own reasons (mostly Tariana Turia’s pride-fulness) the Maori Party has been a willing accomplice, taking symbolic ‘gains’ (DRIP, Foreshore and Seabed) and swallowing some breathtaking humiliations, not to mention supporting truly appalling legislation like the gutting of the ETS. All the while, it has believed this would somehow be repaid by that Nice Man Mr Key.
Well, we saw in the Foreshore and Seabed deal that Key’s attitude to the Maori Party was ‘take it or leave it’ and they foolishly took it. Key now has no need for their support. Indeed, he can gain by distancing himself from them with only a year until the election.
So, what will the Maori Party do? Make the hollow gesture of voting against the stripping of our work rights while still supporting the Government that did the deed on supply and confidence votes? Or will they finally act to restore their mana and walk away?
We know by now which they will choose. The back of that limo is just too comfy.