Well, Matt McCarten must be feeling mighty embarrassed right about now.
He wrote this in his Sunday column.
The contrast couldn’t be wider. There was effectively a right-wing corporate takeover of Act by a moneyed cartel. It’s breathtakingly cynical that three MPs, who all owe their parliamentary seats to Rodney Hide, ended his career by supporting a 70-year-old non-MP. As a consequence, someone not in Parliament will tell the Prime Minister who will be in his Cabinet. The people in Epsom who elected Hide as their electorate MP are hapless bystanders.
In contrast, Harawira last Saturday launched a new party and sought a mandate from his constituents. The twittering press hacks who wrote breathlessly about Brash’s coup went into fits of faux outrage over the cost of a Tai Tokerau byelection.
Got that? Brash is against the people, whereas Harawira is sensitive and caring and goes out of his way to listen.
Well, that claim seems just a little hollow in light of this story.
Mrs Turia said the entire meeting, at Waitangi’s Te Tii Marae, was disrupted from 10am to 2pm.
“It was just terrible. It was the whole hui. It wasn’t just two minutes. It was shouting, abusing, swearing, singing loud over the top of people.”
She said Mr Harawira’s mother, Titewhai, “kept shouting at me that I was a liar … bloody liar … snakes”.
“Nobody could shut them up. They just shouted and denigrated people the whole way through the hui.”
Mrs Harawira and daughter Hinewhare also tried to intimidate people by saying they had written down the names of those present.
“It was nothing short of being psychologically abusive and violent,” said Mrs Turia. “I’ve never seen anything like it, to be honest. I felt sick.”
So it seems that the Harawira policy (and we learnt on the news tonight that the son is defending his mother’s behaviour) is no so much listening to the people as it is threatening and intimidating those who disagree.
Meanwhile, 80% of Close Up poll respondents agreed with Brash that Maori did not have a special place in this country.