Friday, November 26, 2010

The chickens come home to roost

Between 2003 and 2006, the National Party waged a divisive, racist campaign against the then-Labour government's attempts to settle the foreshore and seabed issue. That campaign ended the moment John Key toppled Don Brash to become party leader. But it energised National's base in addition to polarising the nation. And now those chickens are coming home to roost:

National MP Allan Peachey is warning the Government that the foreshore and seabed saga is polarising the party's support, and many core voters feel betrayed and will never vote for National again.

A draft report, obtained by the Herald and written by the Tamaki MP, warns that the Act Party's campaign against the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Bill is "gaining traction".


"Many of the people in touch with me are threatening to resign from the party and to never vote for National again. We kid ourselves if we don't think we have a major issue on our hands among some of our core and loyal supporters," the report says.

National has no-one but itself to blame for this. They whipped their base into a racist frenzy, without thinking of how they'd have to govern the country (and make deals with Maori) in the future. Now, they're reaping what they sowed.

But amusement at National's self-inflicted suffering aside, this is not actually a good thing. One way or another, we are going to have to reach a settlement over the foreshore and seabed. National's descent into electoral racism under Brash has made that job much harder.