|Bulletproof? Or blind?|
He's never learnt to hold his tongue.
And he has no plans to leave the Maori Party without a fight.
Well, he's deep into a shit-fight now!
Maori Party MP Te Ururoa Flavell laid a formal complaint recently over Harawira's criticism in a newspaper, of his own party's support for the Government, and policies he says are anti-Maori.
A hui (gathering) last week became more of a political rally, with busloads of supporters bolstering his ego.
One of the ironies was that Maori protocol was ignored - y'know, that conciliatory tradition with all parties sitting down and talking things out? Party hierarchy and Mr Flavell called for the meeting, but they were not invited to attend. So while Hone's supporters crowed about their victory, it was like winning a sports match with no opposing team! And his electorate committee that organised the hui said it had resolved the complaint... by dismissing it! Eezy-peezy! Aaaahh, sorry guys, but it's not that easy.
Harawira is defiant, arrogant, and doesn't like being challenged. He knows he's got strong support in his own electorate and among a certain sector of maoridom. But the big issue is whether that support is enough and how wide-reaching it is...aaahhh, the $64 question. Hone's pumped-up supporters think he should lead the party, but much of the membership and the rest of the party caucus completely disagree.
Another irony is that Hone's actions in holding the farcical hui may have actually pushed the party into sharpening the knives sooner. It's called him to an urgent meeting of the disciplinary committee today. If it decides to punish him, its options range from a severe spanking to a bullet-in-the-back-of-the-head, decisions which would impact severely on the Maori Party's future and its chances in this year's election.
No matter what happens, unfortunately Harawira will '...not go gentle into that good night'.