Hours after publishing my thoughts on what the real challenge will be for Green and Labour once Winston ratcheted up the anti-immigration rhetoric, NZ First lobbed this howler into the debate…
New Zealand Herald propaganda written by two Asian immigrant reporters stating the top five source nations for work visas are not Asian is completely wrong and based on flawed analysis, says New Zealand First Leader and Northland MP Rt Hon Winston Peters.
“The reporters Lincoln Tan and Harkanwal Singh base their defective analysis on data from arrival/departure cards (which doesn’t disclose where the applicant originally came from), not on the number of work visas issued, outstanding or yet to be acted upon by their departure.
“They take no account that many people change their visas while in New Zealand and that a lot of those who come here on student visas – nearly all on permanent long term visas – have work rights.
…which led to ACT responding in the exact manner TDB predicted they would…
There is a risk Winston Peters’ attack on Herald reporters as “Asian immigrants” writing “propaganda” will lead to racist incidents, Act leader David Seymour says.
…so Winston shows just how far he’s going to go, less dog whittle and ore dog loud hailer, ACT will champion migrant rights and what do Labour and the Greens do?
The problem is that Winston is partly right, the true number of migrant workers here, as Mike Treen points out, is far higher cumulatively than the Herald article paints...
We have 150,000 workers here at any one time on a temporary work visa. We have 100,000 fee-paying students. The government issues 250,000 temporary work visas a year.
We have been issuing around 40,000 permanent residence visas a year for the last several decades. Changes to how people qualify for these visas under the skilled work category makes no fundamental difference to the temporary visa scam.
But the political resentment caused by the lack of investment into the groaning infrastructure combined with the inability of the working class to get ahead requires a scapegoat and seeing as the sleepy hobbits of muddle Nu Zilind won’t blame untaxed capital gain middle class greed, free market deregulation or the National Party for building the property bubble, immigrants are going to be the easy target.
So what do Labour and the Greens do? Smart readers will have noted that Labour and the Greens have already inoculated themselves against NZ First fever. Labour have called for tens of thousands to be cut from immigration and the Greens quietly announced last year ‘sustainable’ immigration which will be about as large as what Labour are suggesting.
In doing this, they hope to avoid creating too large a chasm between their position in principle and the more splutteringly racist rhetoric of NZ First.
Winston is after the provinces, and when he combines his inflammatory immigration rhetoric with his bottom line of ruling out the Maori Party during the election proper, he has every chance of leap frogging the Greens as the third largest Party while diminishing National to sub 40.
The question remains how Labour and the Greens keep their activist base from ripping them to pieces leading into the election.
After Young Labour overplayed their hand dreadfully with the Willie Jackson candidacy, they’ve been weakened and terrified that the 400 names who signed that ill conceived letter are in a top drawer somewhere ready for payback, so Labour are less at risk from social media backlash if they don’t condemn Winston, but the Greens have no such control over their activists.
The Green Leadership are well aware their entry into Government is dependent on Winston so they can’t attack him in public and risk insulting him because Winston holds those personal grudges long and hard, but if they don’t denounce Winston, their own online Emerald Stormtroopers will turn on them.
It’ll be like a thousand vegan piranhas devouring a watermelon.
With this rhetoric, Winston is after National Party voters in the provinces, the challenge is how to decry Winston’s tactics without ruling out working with him after the heat and bluster of the campaign.