Speaker by Various Artists

Is Black the New Red?

by Keith Ng

First, a retraction: only two out of the last six Young Labour presidents were gay - the last one, in fact, was married. My bad, and I apologise unreservedly for my Tamiherism.

Uh ... I thought I was typing into my fridge.

That sad joke is my obligatory one-nail contribution to the Tamihere Coffin Fund. Incidentally, the number of Tamihere-related questions at the PM's press conference yesterday: 24.


Two leftover bits from the Labour Party Congress. First, a Heather Simpson soundbite to the Labour candidates: "If you get a call from me during your campaign, it could be good or bad. If it's bad, it's very, very bad."

The other bit is about the propaganda that protesters were giving out during the Labour Party Congress, entitled "'Labour' Betrays NZ Workers":

"This Government is extremist. It has devastated our social, moral and economic foundations... it is a typical example of how the 'Left' whores itself to Big Business."

"Labour has always talked a lot of moral humbug against other countries, yet it is willing to jump into bed with China which has turned Tibet, rich in minerals, into a 'special economic zone' which can be exploited by Big Business. Once again 'Labour's' commitment to 'free trade' comes first. Principles mean nothing."

"Our defence forces [are] sent all over the world to prop up some American puppet state set up to secure oil or some other economic resource."

It seems like pretty standard stuff, except that it wasn't coming from the anarchists, hippies and communists, it was coming from the supposed far-right. Sure - adding Socialism to Nationalism is hardly an original idea, but it's still rather funny to see these supposedly diametrically opposed groups shouting the same things at the same people. Indeed - the enemy of your enemy is not always your friend.

Last year it was the anarchists (many of whom are regulars at the peace marches) going for a bit of mob fuck-'em-up; now, it's the neo-Nazis getting all class-struggle on us. I hope somebody told them that Marx was Jewish.

At least Destiny Church lost the black-on-black-with-jackboot get-up and got themselves some white hip-hop tracksuits - now I don't get them confused with the white supremacists. Strangely enough, though, a few members of National Front still haven't figured it out.

Maybe fringe politics is a bit like Stephen Hawking's theory on the edge of the universe - as you approach it, the various dimensions start to merge and everything gets very messy. Perhaps it's not supposed to make sense. Perhaps they're all crazy nutballs who live on the edges of civil society to begin with. And certainly, they love the media attention, and the media loves to have them around. Nobody really takes them seriously, and they always complain about it, but really - they love it.

And speaking of National Front, it seems that the Yellow Peril has indeed reached the shores of Public Address. Since the door opened to us Asiatics earlier this month, we've grown to 22% of the population within the space of two weeks. At this rate, you can expect Public Address to be written in Chinese by June.