Righto. I’ve just watched the debate between Harawira and Brash on Close Up and about five minutes fifty into the second part Brash had the gall to challenge Harawira on whether he believed everyone should have the same rights.
The thing is rights in the real world mean one thing if you’re a millionaire ex governor of the reserve bank backed into a party leadership by other multi-millionaires and another if you’re working class maori or pretty much anyone else outside of the wealthy elite that Brash stands for.
There’s a strand of commentary that thinks Brash’s anti-Maori dogwhistling is just convenient political cover – a sort of vote gathering exercise that will help enable his far-right economic agenda.
Personally I believe the dogwhistling and the neo-liberalism are more intertwined than that. The same social Darwinist impulse that leads Don Brash to believe people who are not rich and powerful like him and his mates have nobody to blame but themselves also leads him to believe that most Maori have nobody to blame but themselves for not being rich and powerful like him and his mates. And he wants to hold onto that privilege.
It’s a funny attitude for a man who has been paid more taxpayers’ money in his life than most Maori workers would see in a lifetime. And for a damn sight less value.
On a more commentariat level I agree with Sammy at the Dim Post – Brash looked old and odd while Harawira came across as a lot more reasonable than most viewers previously familiar only with the “Hone is a monster” line would have expected.