Not long after John Key came to power he surprised a lot of people by cutting a deal with the Māori party. This was a mere three years after racist Don Brash and his racist Orewa speech. John Key was a central part of this nastiness, and there he was making Tariana Turia a Minister.
One of the few benefits of having the Right in power is that racism is less prominent in the national conversation. The Right is happy to wield it to score political points in opposition, but less keen when in power. Liberal Young Nats would do well to remember this. When Labour retake power, your party will turn on you and your liberal views, and will start talking about ‘one law for all’.
But now the Left has increasingly started to dog whistle on immigration. Whether or not this is deliberate is beside the point. Xenophobia is not merely a matter of strategy and tactics; it has implications for the safety of non-white New Zealanders. The Left in New Zealand needs to be much clearer about it’s anti-racism.
I expected this from Labour. A centrist Labour that is relatively socially conservative is more of a threat to National than a rainbow coalition that bare knuckle boxes with the Greens. What is more, a centrist Labour could eat Winston, and rob National of a coalition partner. But the far Left? When did we turn on foreigners?
I was disturbed to see Russel Norman raise his hand sheepishly when the question was asked “who wants to ban foreign buyers from buying residential properties?” You can see it yourself at 1:40. The whole far Left raised its hand to banning foreigners from living amongst us as we do.
They’re not talking about limitations, they’re talking about a ban. They’re not talking about investment properties, they’re talking about residentials. They weren’t talking about non-resident investors, they were talking about foreigners. When did the Left turn on the taxi drivers and cleaners in this country?
Only ACT called it xenophobic. My god, what has happened to us? How did the Right get to claim to lead the fight against xenophobia? I don’t mind Labour getting down in the dirt -they just need to be clearer about their anti-racism. But the Greens and MANA? Good god, no.