In light of my previous posts that have harshly criticised Hone Harawira, I’ll just declare here that I happen to think Harawira is more often than not a standout performer in representing Maori and the working class. He’s almost always on the frontlines and will speak out when others lack the courage or confidence to do so.
However, regarding my previous posts the above is not a concession that when Harawira speaks out on issues that he’s just ‘saying what everyone else is thinking’. I doubt many people would have been thinking that legal high retailers ought to be publicly executed.
Let’s be realistic about the Mana Party’s latest press release it was obviously a highly calculated move to disperse the growing dissent within the movement.
It is evident by combing the many Facebook pages of the Mana Movement network that there is no clear consensus among the membership on a deal between Mana Party and Internet Party. Many find Kim Dotcom incredibly intoxicating while others think he’s horribly toxic for the movement.
The question is then: is Harawira playing politics or playing his membership?
Because that is what many are wondering given the way the events transpired this week i.e. the order, timing and content of the press releases by Mana Party, Harawira specifically, and the conflicting accounts of the initial meeting. My point is, partial disclosures are just not good enough and eat at the integrity of the party itself.
Exempting Sue Bradford from criticism over this issue, because she swiftly and admirably stated her predicament and a clear willingness to depart from the Mana Party that she’d been part of since its formation if Mana did a deal with Dotcom in any capacity.
Surprisingly, I’ve not heard John Minto make the same commitments as Bradford, suggesting that he might actually support this move – at least to some extent. Without an explicit statement to the contrary, surely this is a logical conclusion to draw?
But in my view, the Mana Party have made a complete debauchery of managing the publicity of the meeting with Dotcom. As mentioned above, partial disclosures hurt the members. Many now question if they can trust their leadership.
I feel like we are witnessing a few rapidly ageing radical leftists who peaked in the 1980’s, making a last ditch effort to get a whiff of power in their beloved institution that betrayed them.
On RadioLive yesterday, Willie Jackson was calling this potential merger ‘politics’, claiming that there wasn’t time to find the perfect combination and if Mana didn’t play the politics game, then people would miss out on the benefits of some of the policy on offer. He claimed anyone who didn’t see this just doesn’t get politics. I think he was wrong. Most of us get party politics. Jackson overlooked the ramification of the party holding the purse strings holding the power.
I think Harawira’s latest press release might have been more genuine if he’d made his position clear to his members either immediately after or prior to the publication of the Dotcom article in the weekend. Leaving it as late as he did, the damage is already done.