Double Trouble for Winston First

Bill Ralston: Evil ethnic rice ball of doomWith boring predictability, New Zealand First has again played the race card. Presumably because it wouldn’t look too good for the Minister of Foreign Affairs to be attacking Asian immigration when we are about to sign a free-trade… [NZ Politics]

There is double trouble for Winston First’s racist out-pourings of last week the first is from Bill Ralston.

With boring predictability, New Zealand First has again played the race card. Presumably because it wouldn’t look too good for the Minister of Foreign Affairs to be attacking Asian immigration when we are about to sign a free-trade agreement with China, deputy leader Peter Brown must have been delegated the task to try to kick-start the party’s flagging poll ratings this election year.

Matt McCarten joins in with an even harsher comment on the complete unsuitability of Winston for the job of foreign minister.

Even if we ignore NZ First’s financial shenanigans, the latest political cynicism from Peters should have all of us choking. All this term, he has been sucking up to George Bush for a free-trade deal with the US. Bush has no chance of giving Peters what he wants. Therefore, our foreign ministry, which Peters nominally leads, has been negotiating with the Chinese, and our free-trade agreement will be signed off next week.

Peters, as our top foreign representative, can’t be seen to be playing politics in that role. But he knows a good election scab when he sees one. While Peters has to be silent, he has had his loyal deputy, Peter Brown, launch an anti-Asian diatribe.

There is no other purpose to an Asian fear-mongering campaign than to build support for the election. The hypocrisy is so blatant that neither of them recognises the irony of Brown, an immigrant, parroting this old, anti-immigration line. It was laughable to see Brown, a list MP, claiming he hasn’t bludged off New Zealand taxpayers like other immigrants allegedly have. I would be amused to hear Brown justify his taxpayer-funded salary of $150,000 as a list MP with no constituency or job description. His base salary is 10 times the dole.

It seems desperate times call for desperate measures. But it’s time to see this latest outburst for what it is: a cynical tactic that manipulates our prejudice and bigotry to ensure NZ First keeps its place at the public trough. Hopefully no one falls for it.

What remains unsaid by anyone though is the tacit approval of his comments by Clark who has remained strangely silent on the issue. Imagine if it had been John Key who had said what Brown said, every man and his dog would have baying for his blood and the client-blogs would have screamed the loudest.

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