Friday, February 16, 2007

Good riddance

Taito Philip Field has quit the Labour Party and will remain in Parliament as an independent. Good riddance, I say. In accordance with his constituent's wishes, he will be offering his proxy to Labour, but they would be wise to refuse it. Field is political poison, and accepting it would further taint the party. Better to make a clean break.

Meanwhile, the latest chapter in the saga is once again revealing the ugly side of the Maori Party, with both Tariana Turia and Pita Sharples extending the hand of friendship (and possibly even an invite to join) to Field. I'd expect it of Tariana, with her racist blurt on immigration and her cuddling up to Donna Awatere-Huata after her conviction, but I'd generally seen Sharples as the sane, restrained one. It looks like I was wrong.


As Tapu Misa put it in a scathing column, Pacific people deserve better than Taito Philip Field, and he's an embarrassment. But like it or not, he's a martyr to most of his peeps, and half of his supporters on Samoan radio want him to join the Maori Party. I/S, you have every right to be hardline on this issue, and scathing about the Maori Party's various decisions. But I think that your perspective doesn't afford proper acknowledgement of the genuine need, passion and political will for stronger Maori and Pacific political representation through strategic coalition building. Sure, for the Maori Party MPs to be extending the hand of brotherhood to Field just taints them in the eyes of the 'mainstream', and courting him might prove harmful to them in the long run. But at the same time I don't doubt their sincerity and sympathy for him as a fellow brown MP on the outs whose constituents share many of the concerns of their own.

Posted by The Bewildering Case of Ms Enid Tak-Entity : 2/16/2007 12:21:00 PM

Tze Ming: you're probably right. OTOH, I'd like to see stronger Maori and pacific representation. But I'd also like it if those representatives weren't crooks.

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 2/16/2007 12:43:00 PM

I still don't get it. The mans work involved helping people with immigration problems, one of which is not having a job. So he gave out pointless busy-work. Oh noes!

Please tell me it's not about some old lady slipping him a 50; that's what old ladies do when you help them. It's not like he's Dicky Cheney or anything.

Posted by tussock : 2/16/2007 03:56:00 PM

i guess then Tussock it is a question of where you draw the line. $50 is Ok. Is $500 OK?

How about $5000?

You are either taking bribes or not , this is not a grey area.

Donations ot tithes or tips could always be forwarded to your favourite charity with receipts to show transparencey.

Posted by Anonymous : 2/16/2007 04:45:00 PM

The Maori party has always been a worry for lefties with the likes of Professor Winiata and the Tory/‘Brown Table’ streak within it. Yet it is uniquely necessary in our country being an organisation founded on
first nationhood.
MP members and supporters ultimately have to deal with the class contradictions involved.
The only Maori Party MP with a some marxist tradition or understanding currently is Hone Harawira who worked well with his old 81 tour vets, activists and unionists to turn around Tariana, Ururoa and Pita on the 90 Day Bill.
Taito was of dubious value as a unionist in my recall anyway and should be avoided by anyone seeking credibility.

Posted by Anonymous : 2/16/2007 05:18:00 PM

Gerrit: IMO it is a very light shade of grey indeed, what with him being innocent at this point and all.

I mean, the political parties seem to be openly for sale on major tax and policy issues in this country. Am I really supposed to think such a trivial personal gift in exchange for nothing at all is corrupt?

Just looks a whole lot like the old boys club taking apart a good man over a few whispers. I know that's not new in politics 'round here, but it's still shit.

And the Maori Party are doing nothing other than allowing him to still be a functional MP, which everyone should appreciate.

Posted by tussock : 2/17/2007 01:11:00 AM

You should be able to use his proxy vote and at the same time push for him to loose his seat or whatever.

Otherwise it is a bit like a rugby team stopping contesting short lineouts because they think there shouldn't be any.


Posted by Anonymous : 2/17/2007 07:08:00 AM

I've done my best to shame Labour for their actions to date over Philip Field. However, I have no problem with Labour accepting his vote as an independent.

If they permanently had his proxy, that would be a clear sham. But otherwise, they are entitled to accept whatever votes they can get in Parliament.

So I'm off Labour's back on this one now. What has needed to happen, has happened. Also, while it was delayed, they still have to manage for some time without him in this parliament. That's fair.

Posted by Anonymous : 2/17/2007 08:20:00 AM

Field was on the same plane as me down to Wellington this morning - I looked up from reading an article about him and there he was. (This doesn't happen in larger countries - at least not very much).

Fortunately he wasn't seated next to me so I didn't have to be polite!

Posted by Rich : 2/21/2007 12:02:00 PM