Monday, February 27, 2012

Their promises rust

In the olden days, Smut and I, after a day of embroidering lavender pillows for use at mouse orphanages, would sit around the fire talking of this and that. A topic that came up quite frequently in those far off days of ought 10, was that of the Maori party.
"I think" Smut would opine "that the emergence of a strong Maori middle class is a good thing and that the manifestation of political acumen in the shape of the Maori party will be a good influence on New Zealand political discourse"
"Ah ha" I would O'oak " I think that I have been sitting on a doughnut in my back pocket and it has mullocked my trousers."
Pausing briefly to consider the etymology of the word mullocked and ascertaining that it is somehow connected with the Norwegian practise of fermenting Herrings, we would consider the ramifications of the new political party, as it was then. 
You see, this was a different sort of political party...yes that light at the end of the tunnel is the 9.15 train from the Teherinikau Steel Works.
The ruling National Government needs the Maori party to get stuff done and one of the things they most, most, most wanted to do was to flog off the country,s infrastructure to rich mates overseas have an orderly process of selling state assets.
But the Maori Party said NO! from athwart the flow of history. They said "There is this treaty thing, which the whole country's history is been based on and if you sell of the state farm, you have to put in the ownership papers that the new owners will respect the treaty". This made the Nats a bit nervous and consultations were held. Pita Sharples, the co-leader of the Maori party stated it plain as plain.
"We do not support asset sales. I want to make that quite clear.
Dr Sharples also clarified comments about if asset sales were to proceed, what the proposed role of iwi should be.
"If privatisation of state owned assets occurs it must be managed in a manner that is consistent with Te Tiriti o Waitangi.
“The Crown cannot act in a manner inconsistent with the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi.”
But the Maori Party says that is a total no-go.
“It’s a deal-breaker for Maori,” says Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples.

 But wait! Careful consultations and re-considerings followed and the Maori Party rolled over and got it's tummy tickled. Because the single line that makes all the difference to what they were going to walk out over is here:
The treaty obligations will apply to the Crown only, not the private investors buying shares.
So, um, that thing we were going to walk out of government because of,  is not that important, really.
Which is business as usual, innit.


Substance McGravitas said...

The sentences became different through secret wallet-enlarging magic.

Another Kiwi said...

Not so secret but oooh baby, enlarging!

vacuumslayer said...

athwart the flow of history

I find that with a big enough absorbent pad, you can do something about big history flows.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

You say wallaby, I say wallet be.

Smut Clyde said...

The shenanigans went like this:
(1) After negotiations with the right-wing National party
over the price, Maori Party signs coalition agreement.

(2) Maori Party leaders realise the price was too low; announce that a deal means nothing to them; reserve the right to tear up the agreement unless they receive further concessions.

(3) National party explains that Yes indeed, privatisation of state assets will indeed extinguish any legal claims on those assets (from the problem that they only became state assets after illegal confiscations from Maori).

(4) Maori Party leaders announce that they are satisfied with this non-concession. Torn-up coalition agreement sellotaped together again.

This kind of shonky wobbling would be a problem for govt. stability if the prospect of the MP leaving the coalition had been genuine. Not ready for prime-time, people would say. But as it is, everyone knows that the threat to leave was a charade, staged for the benefit of the people who voted for the MP and have naive expectations of it working for their behalf. They're not going to leave because they have nowhere else to go.

Daryl Mc was mean about them:

I predict the Maori Party will continue to spend the next three years pretending to be outraged about various government policies, while Turia and Sharples draw handsome Ministerial salaries, dispense taxpayer funds to their clients and party donors through vehicles like Whanua Ora, and anticipate their dame/knighthoods once they retire. One or two Maori seats might continue as Peter Dunne-like sinecures, but the remnants will return to Labour in 2014.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Smut, that sounds exactly like our Democratic party here.

Smut Clyde said...

The Maori Party are actually more cynical and mendacious. It takes a special fluency with bullshit for co-leader Pita Sharples to announce “It’s a deal-breaker for Maori,” when the clause in question -- the enabling of National's privatisation agenda -- was a prominent part of the deal when he signed a few months earlier.

Basically he doesn't have the guts to tell the gullible dupes who voted for the Maori Party that they can now go pound sand because he's got what he wants; he prefers to portray his party as a pack of shifty shysters who'll renege on a deal the moment you turn your back.