Alf woke up to hear the Gettysberg Address resonating in the rhetoric of the Maori Party’s Marama Fox.
Not resonating too strongly, mind you.
But resonating a little.
She had been invited to say something for Radio NZ’s Morning Report, although Alf’s advice to his colleagues is to steer clear of that programme because as soon as you start to answer one of the inane questions from the likes of Guyon Wotzisname, he will interrupt and give you the answer he thinks you should be giving him.
Ms Fox, fair to say, did her thing on the Maori bit of programme where indigenous persons (and part-indigenous persons which Alf presumes her to be) are given a fair go.
The news item explained that Fox had missed out on the Ikaroa-Rawhiti seat, but is expected to enter Parliament as a list MP.
It further explained that the Maori Party picked up 1.29 percent of the party vote in the general election on Saturday. Hence Fox could be coat-tailed in on her leader’s success.
It did not elaborate and draw attention to the joyous news that race-based political parties have all but been wiped out.
Nor did it point out that many indigenous and part-indigenous persons have been elected to Parliament without the need to stand in Maori seats.
Fox not only recognised this fact but further ventured that good Maori MPs have been returned without standing in Maori seats.
She said there are some stunning Maori MPs in the National and Labour parties who do amazing things for their people.
But she also said the constituents in her electorate (who happened to have voted Labour, by the way) have told her they want all Maori MPs to unite for the betterment of Ngai Maori and she wants to make that happen.
Hmm. There’s a strong whiff of Maori nationalism there.
But wait. There’s more.
Ms Fox said for her, it is not about the party – whether it be blue, green, or red – but about being Maori and developing policies which are by Maori for Maori.
This – oh joy – invokes the spirit of the Gettysberg Address.
Abraham Lincoln’s lofty and admirable sentiments have rung through the generations since he expressed them:
Government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the Earth.
Mind you, it has lost a little bit of something in Fox’s translation.
Government of the indigenous people, by the indigenous people, for the indigenous people doesn’t have the same lofty ring.
Come to think of it – doesn’t it have a racist ring?
Wonder how that would sit with Abe.