Don Brash: “I’m no racist, but….”

If you don’t already know this, Dr Don Brash, former leader and never Prime Minister of two far right parties, was on Saturday Morning this week proving to New Zealand how he’s not racist by being completely racist for thirty minutes.

If you haven’t already heard the piece, it’s here:

If you get angry or frustrated when your slightly racist elderly relatives start their unsolicited comments about the “mayorees (sic)” during Christmas dinner, then do not listen.

If you haven’t yet read The Spinoff’s listing of all Kim Hill’s sickest burns against Dr Brash, then do that first. It makes listening to this old racist white man much easier because you know when the zingers are coming.

As Kim pointed out, Brash seems to be all for there being no separation of Māori from the rest of the population in Aotearoa – except when it comes to the first half a minute or so after the theme music to his morning news station.

Kim didn’t suggest this, but I will. If he wants to listen to a Te Reo free zone, then I suggest he cracks into a bit of Hosking in the morning. I can guarantee, without having ever listened to his morning breakfast show, that the only Te Reo coming through his microphone will be proper nouns. Hosking seems to be the only TVNZ host who regularly gets away with not pronouncing even the word Māori correctly.

ZB aside (as it should be), Brash pointed out, quite racistly, during the front half of the interview that, “…most Māori can’t even speak English properly” which was utterly, and appallingly, racist.

If Brash is saying, “No, no… I’m not racist. I keep telling you.” I’m going to point him, quite helpfully, in the direction of the definition of racism:

From the Oxford English Dictionary (so as not to offend Dr Brash’s delicate sensibilities)

Brash is racist because he is being deliberately antagonistic towards Māori who he sees, as also made clear during some of his more racist comments, were “in the stone age” before Europeans turned up. That’s the sort of thing you hear on late night talkback from insomniacs with nothing better to do. Basically, I’m no racist, but everything I say on race issues is racist.

Near the end of the interview he starts rambling about the Te Tiriti and learning languages and how Te Reo has no value. This is the economist’s view of the world – nothing is valuable unless you can quantify it in terms of the dollar or GDP growth (I’m sure someone has done the research into the impact Māori and Te Reo have had on the New Zealand economy and I look forward to being pointed in the direction of the results).

Brash also lamented how Te Reo was “almost compulsory” at his grandchild’s preschool. In between this and Guyon Espiner’s 20 second journey into the pits of hell just before the news every morning, Brash’s life at the moment must be terrible.

His ultimate thesis was, to put it bluntly, if I don’t want to learn it, then nobody else should. “Why should it be thrust down my throat?” he pleaded.

I’ll tell you why. Māori signed Te Tiriti o Waitangi with Queen Victoria who promised them certain rights as Tangata Whenua. Following this, The Crown then spend the next 140 years literally beating Te Reo out of our indigenous population. After nearly a century and a half of cultural abuse, it is now surely up to The Crown to be equally forceful (but in a positive way) to ensure Te Reo Māori is restored to it’s natural place as the most spoken language in the country. Radio New Zealand’s role in this protection of this national taonga.

At the end of the day, I don’t want some rich old white guy telling me whether or not I should be listening to an official language of Aotearoa. If you don’t like it, don’t listen. Better still, move to Queensland where racists are warmly welcomed and elected to the Australian Senate.




Old white man speaks out against another language

It is with some concern and, indeed, much trepidatory nervousness that I express my complete worry at the amount of Mayoree language being spoken in New Zealand. I hear it all over the radio and television day after day after day.

I’m no racist, but when Guyon or whoever starts their morning hello with six or seven words from a language I don’t understand, I’m going to say something. If you are going to welcome me to your radio show and try to get me to listen then you should say stuff in a language I understand. If I don’t understand, then I can’t engage. If I can’t engage, then I need to get my press people to issue blatantly racist press releases in the hopes people will talk to me and listen to my old white man ideas.

Sure Mayoree have been in New Zealand for hundreds of years and their language was pretty much the national language until James Cook turned up with all his amazing technology, disease and colonial suppression. They’ve done so well since then.

Look. I am old and I am white. I’m threatened by anything that’s not old and white. All this use of Te Reyo is new and fresh sounding. All the kids are using it. It threatens my white man-ness. I mean… I can’t really speak Te Reyo but I sometimes like to use it. I use the word farnow all the time. It works just so much better than family. It means so much more. So I use farnow all the time. But I don’t want other people using any of the other words. It’s too confusing to both my manhood and my whitehood.

Right… if you’ll excuse me I’m off to my house in Orakei to enjoy a Wairarapa chardonnay with some roasted kumara while we look out on the beautiful Rangitoto in the Hauraki Gulf.

Kind regards,

Donald Brash (doctor)

There is no moral majority

With the ink still drying on the deals between the Labour Party and its government partners New Zealand First and the Green Party, many on the losing centre-right side of the political spectrum are crying foul. Here with his views on the election result is our resident right-wing pundit Dr Edward Pharctähd.

This has certainly been a sad month for those who won the election. With 44% of the vote the National Party and David Seymour absolutely have the moral majority to lead the government. Sure they don’t have the actual majority to lead the government, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be doing it, even if they can’t.

The Greens could have signed a deal. I know for a fact that many, many National Party MPs and supporters would have loved to have the Greens sitting next to them. I ask you this: what’s better? A hemp suit and a slightly fragrant herbal waft or a man who wants to move an entire port 200kms away from my yacht club? Yes. I am aware both those parties are now supporting the Labour Party but… um… err…. I can’t remember where I was going with that.

Bill English is a great man and Steven Joyce has supported him fully through the election campaign with sound financial advice about huge holes in the Labour Party budget. Those holes were there alright. I have no reason to disbelieve Joyce. I mean, he was Finance Minister for less that a year and some of all those economists who disagreed with him have only been economists for decades, so what would they know?

I’m sure Bill and the boys and Paula will hammer away at the coalition of the losers over the next three years (if they last that long). I’m certain the stardust will explode in a supernova of dark matter. Then my beloved National Party will storm back to power and restart all those wonderful policies which have seen their wallets and the wallets of many of their supporters over the last decade.

I agree with Hosk. These are not so happy days.

Coalition negotiations: the inside word

Here at MyThinks, our correspondent has been ferreting and weaseling information out of various political operatives as the coalition negotiations between the major players get underway following the election on Saturday. From the information he has gathered, we have constructed an exact* transcript of negotiations as they have happened so far. 

LOCATION: Meeting room 13, Beehive. 

LABOUR: Hello Winston. Good to see you. Please come in and sit down. Can we get you anything?

WINSTON: No thanks.

LABOUR: So let’s get down to it. What’s your position? What does your party want?

WINSTON: Gimmie.

LABOUR: Um… pardon?

WINSTON: Just gimmie.

LABOUR: Um… gimmie? Gimmie what?

WINSTON: Everything. Gimmie. Gimmie! GIMMIE!!!!

LABOUR: Ok… You are asking quite a lot so we’ll have to go back to caucus and discuss this further. We’ll contact you once we’ve had our discussion.

(Labour negotiators get up from table to leave)

WINSTON: Gimmie!

(Labour walk towards the door)

WINSTON: Gimmie!! Gimmie!

(Labour continue out the door)

WINSTON: (calling after Labour negotiators) Gimmie!

LOCATION: Meeting room 13, Beehive. Later that afternoon.

NATIONAL: Hello Winston. Hope you’re feeling well. What would you like? Is there anything the team can get you?

WINSTON: No thanks.

NATIONAL: So let’s get down to it. What’s your position? What does your party want?

WINSTON: Gimmie.

NATIONAL: Done. Welcome to government.


*transcript may not be exact or based in reality of any kind.

Possible coalition outcomes: Hooton edition

As it became clear late on Saturday evening that National had lost key coalition partners in the Māori Party and UnitedFuture and ACT was never going to be enough, Matthew Hooton suggested the Greens would be foolish if they would dismiss outright a coalition offer from National.

His basic premise was James Shaw could be offered the chance to make real change as Climate Change Minister under a National-led government.

Immediately my hackles regarding Mr. Hooton’s (and National’s) motivations were immediately raised. My question: why would the Greens go into coalition with National when the latter are effectively diametrically opposed in just about every policy area?

Then late yesterday afternoon I ended up in a twitter exchange with someone talking about the possibility of a Greens / National alliance after reading Audrey Young’s post-election commentary.

My thinking is thus: National are ruthless. Although they won’t want say it publicly, a parliament without the Greens would suit them fine. Considering how visceral the attacks on Metira Turei were following her admission of fiddling the system, I have no doubt in my mind National are only motivated by what is important to National – self-preservation and remaining in power.

Then I got into a discussion over what I would “flip-flop” on.


As I said to Tim last night, National would never cancel their precious tax cuts (despite being fiscally irresponsible). After all, remember when you don’t lower taxes and keep them at their current level, that’s actually raising taxes.

Ask yourself, what would National get out of this hypothetical relationship with the Greens? First of all, their desired goal to remain in power of the machines of government is immediately satiated.

Secondly, the Greens would make National look good both ethically and environmentally; it would be like they were the conscience of the National Party. Aside: wouldn’t it be nice if National could develop their own conscience?

Thirdly, and most importantly, National and many, many media commentators remain stuck in a first past the post world where there must be a winner on election night. That can only happen in a two-party system. Previous relationships with long-term governments – both New Zealand First coalitions, first with National (1996) and then with Labour (2004) – have resulted in disaster for the minor party. The Alliance also disintegrated following their relationship with Labour in the early 2000s. I am certain this will be in the back of National’s mind. If the Greens go with them they will, in seconds, destroy the credibility they’ve built up over the past twenty years. Their poll numbers will collapse and, as we’ve seen in recent weeks, probably return to Labour. That outcome would suit National fine.

For the Greens, it is a lose/lose situation. Yes they would be in power, but at what cost? Going with the party that has intensified dairying in Canterbury to such an extent they had to replace the Canterbury Regional Council with unelected commissioners to continue intensification without the impediment of democratic accountability and council rules. For the Greens the hypocrisy would be palpable.

The MMP environment offers up a range of coalition options for major parties. If National or their supporters are so keen on going with the Greens, surely it would be far more sensible for them to offer a coalition deal to Labour? They would have control over 100 seats between them. That’s a massive voting block. Imagine what they could get done?

Of course, this is a nonsense. National are never going to offer a coalition deal to Labour because Labour are not a minor party. They were a couple of weeks back, but now they are a threat. That’s why this suggestions the Greens go with National is nonsense.

As a final thought, I actually do think many National supporters would prefer their party work with the Greens instead of New Zealand First. If, however, the Greens signed the deal, their vote would collapse. I absolutely believe that and, I am thinking, so do Matthew Hooton and National.