Face of the Day

Newshub via NBR

Newshub via NBR


Brash has now once again shown lamentable political judgment by allowing the Hobson?s Pledge website to include rhetoric that?s almost comically colonial in its sentiment and could be construed as anti-Maori ? an accusation he?s been careful to avoid in the past.

Intentionally or otherwise, the website conveys the impression that at least some of the people behind Hobson?s Pledge pine for the days when we all stood for God Save the Queen at the movies and sang Anglican hymns at school. It also expresses sympathy for a visiting Danish politician who objected to being confronted by a half-naked man shouting and screaming in Maori (that is to say, doing the haka).

I?d be very surprised if Brash wrote this stuff himself. In fact I suspect I know who did. But in allowing it to be published on the website, Brash has played into the hands of critics who are keen to portray Hobson?s Pledge as a bunch of sad old curmudgeons who yearn for a return to the comfortable 1950s, when Maori knew their place and the whites were in charge.

It?s a spectacular own-goal because it deflects attention from Brash?s core message, which is a principled one about democracy and equality before the law. But it confirms his reputation for having bizarrely insensitive political antennae.

The other problem is that the Media party have taken sides in this debate, and they are painting Don as some kind of colonial dinosaur instead of someone who is trying to prevent a legislated Apartheid to get to the point of no return.


Karl du Fresne