Labour leader Jacinda Ardern, who threw Metiria Turei under the bus, has been paying tribute to the former Green Party co-leader. Conservative commentator Chris Trotter, meanwhile, wants us to 'avenge Turei' by installing a Labour-led government which is actually opposed to the anti-establishment politics that Turei was campaigning on.
DESPITE BEING NOWHERE to be seen when Metiria Turia and the Green Party were under heavy fire from the corporate media, Labour leader Jacinda Ardern has paid tribute to the outgoing Green MP. For its hypocritical qualities, this tribute has similarities to the notorious "vote of confidence' football managers receive from the club owners - shortly before they are sacked.
Ardern says Turei should be remembered for all her hard work and all she achieved during the nine years that she was an MP. Although all that good work wasn't enough for Ardern to disregard Turei's youthful transgressions over two decades ago and subsequently announced that Turei would never be a cabinet minister in any Labour-led government.
While we listen to Ardern tell us what a great MP Turei was, let us also recall what John Moore recently wrote about the Labour leader:
"Ardern’s attack on Metiria for her anti-Establishment stance, let the political and economic elites know that they had nothing to worry about with Labour, and that Jacinda was very much their woman."
Yes, it has been easy for Ardern to pay tribute to Turei after she's resigned but it was impossible for her to support Turei when it really counted. Such is the cynicism of bourgeois politics.
A similar level of cynicism has also been on display from conservative commentator Chris Trotter. He wants Green supporters to "avenge Metiria" by voting. He's written a short and clunky political fantasy on this very subject where he puts words into Turei's mouth:
“Don’t do it to avenge me!”, she cried, “Do it to avenge yourselves! Do it to avenge all those New Zealanders whom the greedy and the cruel have driven into the shadow world of poverty and despair. For the ones still living in the dark. For these lost souls, I am asking every one of you here tonight to become a light-giver. Never forget, the best way to avenge the wrongs of the past is by seizing control of the future!”
It's hardly Game Of Thrones, but literary qualities aside, it's nonsense for Trotter to suggest that the poor and dispossessed can be rescued from poverty and despair merely by the election of a government led by the determinedly centrist Labour Party led by the determinedly centrist Jacinda Ardern.
If Jacinda Ardern really wanted to pay tribute to Turei she would abandon Labour's dull and centrist politics and forge a Labour Party that is on the side of the many and now the few. Ardern could start that process today by adopting the Green's welfare policy that would see benefits immediately increased by twenty percent and the sanctions regime removed from Work and Income.
That would go some way to really "avenging Turei". And paying her some real respect.