The Town Hall in Kelston yesterday was packed well before the start time of 2pm. What many welded to Wellington in the Press Gallery don’t understand about Internet MANA is that its energy and flaxroot mobilisation is far larger than their view from Parliament can see. John Armstrong has enough regular contact with Auckland to get what’s actually happening on the ground…
If any spies from the Labour, Green or Maori parties infiltrated yesterday’s Internet Mana rally in West Auckland, they would have come away with very worried looks on their faces.
The Maori Party, in particular, should be afraid, very afraid. The main hall of the Kelston Community Centre was packed to the gunnels. There was not so much a buzz of excitement as a raging ferment of noise as the audience waited patiently for proceedings to begin.
Say what you like about Kim Dotcom. Say what you like about Laila Harre’s initially hard-to-understand decision to team up with the internet tycoon – all that paled into utter insignificance yesterday. There was instead a hint of history being made. The chance to fund and build a new movement of the left is not an opportunity to be squandered. The likes of Kim Dotcom do not come along very often. Neither is such a collective of credible activists always on hand to run such an outfit as is the case with Internet Mana.
Hip-hop artist King Kapisi, who is also the party’s youth ambassador, had been designated the task of warming up the 300 or so present. He did a brilliant job but he hardly needed to have bothered.
The party may be feeding off Dotcom’s millions, but money cannot buy the kind of raw energy that pervaded the room. The mood of exuberance and anticipation topped even that at the weekend’s Conservative Party conference. It left New Zealand First – also holding its annual conference – for dead.
…Armstrong is right. The energy and passion of those who have been attracted to Internet MANA is real and building. When I say Internet MANA will gain 3.5% plus I mean 3.5% PLUS.
Many pundits and journalists are missing what’s happening here and the final result will surprise them.
Hone was on fire at the meeting. His standing as a leader is only growing and his confidence is soaring. He took a huge gamble in leading a merger and it has paid off significantly. He has never had rooms so packed before, he has never had so much positivity coming back directly to him via increasing numbers of supporters and he’s never had the resources at his disposal that enable him to front foot it with every other party. Internal polling shows there isn’t any hope for Kelvin Davis to win Te Tai Tokerau and once Hone starts appearing more in the media, his oratory powers and increasing confidence will snuff out any chance of a Labour victory.
Annette received standing ovations. She is one of NZs most brilliant legal minds and having her in Parliament could be one of the most significant progressive wins the Left have ever had in NZ.
John Minto was brilliant as usual and drove home economic justice policies. The likelihood that Minto will be an MP grows every day.
Laila Harre was of course another star performer. Her list of fights and victories for progressive movements means her re-entry into Parliament is one of the most welcome returns since the resurrection of Christ.
Kim himself has become even more confident and feels he has people who have his back now. He had the Hall in fits of laughter as he explained his rational for hacking NASA was to find out if Aliens were real and his hacking of CitiBank was so that he could reduce a politicians credit rating to 0. His speaking at these events has lifted his own performance skills and sharpened his delivery. It’s difficult to not enjoy his speech.
Pundits on the right scream this party is a joke and pundits on the left write it off as a sell out, if Internet MANA is the difference between forming a Government and not forming a Government those pundits will be left terribly quiet on September 21st.
Nothing matters now util 7pm 15th September. The Government via Whaleoil and Kiwiblog will throw the remaining baseless smears they have at KDC but those are explainable and won’t remove anything from the growing number of ticking time bombs about to be detonated against Key and his Government.
The September 15th Town Hall meeting will be live streamed on The Daily Blog.