Paul Thomas analyses the election and the “moments of zen”.
The Daily Show‘s Jon Stewart’s signature sign-off is “Your moment of Zen”: a clip of a public figure making a goose of themselves through tone deafness, crassness, vehement ignorance, random imbecility or unconscious irony.
If Stewart had taken notice of our election, he would’ve had more moments of Zen than you could shake a stick at. After a rigorous process of elimination, I’ve chosen a top three.
Third was Internet-Mana party co-leader Laila Harre commiserating with the people of Te Tai Tokerau over the loss of their sitting MP and her co-leader Hone Harawira. Before her next political incarnation Harre might care to familiarise herself with the workings of democracy: the people she was consoling for being deprived of Harawira were the very people who gave him the broom.
Second was Labour leader David Cunliffe’s concession speech in which he did a passable impersonation of a man who’d just won an election. If his year-long impersonation of a leader of the opposition had been half as convincing, neither he nor Labour would be in the dark place they are now.
His shout-out to his staff and Labour’s campaign team was a riot of superlatives – “amazing”, “incredible”, “fantastic” – which raised the question: how catastrophically badly would Cunliffe and Labour have done if he’d surrounded himself with mediocrities?
Number one was Harawira’s comment, early on in the evening, that the people of his electorate “don’t like being ganged up on”. The general reaction to interlopers trying to influence the outcome in Te Tai Tokerau, he said, was “why don’t you guys piss off and leave us to make our own decisions?”.