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Karl du Fresne: The problem with Luxon

Three days ago I heard Christopher Luxon being interviewed by Mani Dunlop on Morning Report. It was profoundly depressing.



Dunlop introduced the item by saying that with a by-election approaching in Hamilton West, the National Party was under pressure – she didn’t say from whom, but we can assume she meant media commentators – to “add diversity” to a “largely male” caucus.



RNZ had done the sums and calculated that National’s caucus was 33 percent female, 6 percent Maori, 3 percent Asian and “zero percent” Pasifika – a statistical breakdown that would have looked pretty good a few years ago, but which clearly doesn’t meet RNZ’s diversity threshold.



Dunlop (and I won’t even begin to discuss the ethics of National’s leader being interrogated on state-owned radio’s flagship news programme by the partner of a Labour cabinet minister) accusingly threw these figures at Luxon and demanded to know what he was going to do about it.



You can imagine how Winston Peters or Robert Muldoon would have responded to a question like that, but Luxon is cut from different cloth. He appears desperately eager to convince the media that he’s sympathetic to the woke agenda.



This is known as pushing shit uphill with a fork, since the media are fundamentally hostile to the centre-right and will correctly interpret Luxon’s attempts to ingratiate himself with them as a sign of weakness.



Luxon has yet to grasp this, so proceeded to humour Dunlop – you might even say kowtow to her – by assuring her that National was determined to build a more diverse party and to overcome any “unconscious bias”. To this end the party was re-educating (my word, not Luxon’s, but that was the thrust of what he said) its electorate chairs.



Here was the leader of the country’s principal conservative party – or perhaps I should use the initials CINO, as in Conservative In Name Only – adopting the terminology of the woke Left in a pathetic attempt to persuade the public that he’s no right-wing ogre, as if anyone could be in danger of having thought that in the first place.



(It didn’t help that Luxon’s answers to Dunlop’s questions were laced with wretched corporate jargon presumably brought from Air New Zealand, such as the need to do better “in this space” and to be “more competitive in our offerings”. God spare us.)



Dunlop must have struggled to conceal her glee at the satisfaction of having the leader of the National Party dancing so obligingly to her tune. The tone of his responses was essentially submissive.



Someone should explain to Luxon that every time he indulges in these appeasement games in an attempt to persuade the Left that he’s no threat – a strategy that won’t win him a single vote, since they won’t vote National anyway – he alienates more of the people whose support he should be seeking.



In fact he gives conservative voters another reason to find a different party to support. ACT stands to be the major beneficiary, but it’s also likely that right-of-centre voters will gravitate to smaller parties such as New Zealand First or former National MP Matt King’s DemocracyNZ – and by splitting the anti-Labour vote, allow an incompetent and destructive far-Left coalition to squeak back into power.



No one should quibble with Luxon’s aim of making National more diverse. Not only is it desirable as a matter of democratic principle for the party to reflect more accurately the demographic makeup of the country; it makes sense politically too. Certainly National should have learned a lesson from its disastrous propensity for choosing egotistical, entitled young Anglo-Saxon males as candidates, which seemed to be the pattern under the party’s previous president.



The problem with Luxon is essentially one of tone. In his eagerness to come across as unthreatening - a nice guy - he sounds weak. He needs to be more assertive in promoting and defending conservative values and less deferential in the way he allows the media to dictate the agenda.



He’s no longer a corporate chief executive who needs to be careful to protect the brand and not upset customers. Politics calls for a tougher approach and a realisation that to be effective, he must occasionally offend some people. He also needs to grasp – as Muldoon and his protégé Peters did – that there’s little political downside in taking on the media, because the public generally don't like journalists any more than they like politicians.



The bigger issue here is that National has an identity crisis. In two perceptive columns today, Josie Pagani and Matthew Hooton consider what it means to be a conservative party and the risks of abandoning the values that once defined conservatism. National has lost sight of what it means to be a true conservative party and lacks the confidence to uphold honourable conservative values.



I believe the party has been intimidated by the media into behaving as if conservatism is somehow shameful, and I can’t see it rediscovering, still less re-asserting, its ideological roots with Luxon as its leader. At least, not unless he radically changes gear.



This article was published at Karl du Fresne's blog

4,983 views161 comments

161 Comments


Peter Hemmingson
Peter Hemmingson
Nov 04, 2022

Make no mistake, Christopher Luxon is the replacement globalist stooge politician when Cindy exits stage left to become UN Secretary-General.


As Luxon said at his first press conference as National Party leader, "Nicola [Willis] and I are the re-set."


The Great Reset is the name of the 50th annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF), held in June 2020. It brought together high-profile business and political leaders, convened by Charles, Prince of Wales and the WEF, with the theme of rebuilding society and the economy in what proponents believe is a sustainable way following the COVID-19 pandemic.


Global governance means Big Business in bed with Big Government for government preferment, and everyone else serfs on the Big Government-Big Business…



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Peter Hemmingson
Peter Hemmingson
Nov 01, 2022

I have pursued Christopher Luxon across his own Facebook page, various National Party Facebook pages, and via his Parliamentary email address seeking a firm, unequivocal commitment to one law for all, colourblind government, individual equality in citizenship, and an end to unearned ethnocentric privilege for brown supremacist part-Maori who have elevated their brown ancestors and turned their white ancestors into a toilet bowl to identify monoculturally as 'Maori.' Not a sentence in reply on Facebook, and not even the courtesy of a form response from a staffer to my several emails. Nor do I expect one.


Christopher "My wife and I are learning Te Reo" Luxon is what is uncharitably known as a "Wigger." This is someone who internalised the Marxist narrative that…


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Geoff Drewett
Geoff Drewett
Nov 01, 2022

Yes I'd love to hear him say " From now on Maori are simply New Zealanders. Nothing more - nothing less" - "absolutely no privileges due to race" "The Waitangi agreement is dead and needs to be buried,

"All of this Te Reo Maori garbage will cease on Radio and TV and will no longer be sprinkled within the sophisticated English language.. The word Aotearoa will be dropped from all media - it's a made up word anyway'

When he has the courage to say such things his popularity will swell !!

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Karl's comments are a very accurate summation of the current situation. I have written to the National Leader about this very situation, but not even the decency of a reply.


I do wonder if any of the National Team read the comments on this and other sites because there are MAJOR concerns about the Leader's lack of Backbone and Leadership.

He also seems to have trouble in "reading the room" eg Ardern handed out the Fish &Chips (should have stayed there) so he copies that and goes back to McDonalds.


FFS surely he could have worked this out and Talked Strongly about all the other stuff that Labour have ruined, like, a restructure of NZTA, Health, Education, the Polytech mess…


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Aaron Shanahan
Aaron Shanahan
Oct 31, 2022
Replying to

National have been lost in the political wilderness for over 20 years now.

Look.

National had always held an aultrasic attitude towards the people who support them. . Even with Muldoon, who's heart was firmly rooted to the left, but the head was firmly to the right, had the common sense, and knew , how the rest of us thought. That man made a lot of sense , and , yes,,did a lot of damage to new Zealand. But at least we knew where we stood with him . Pugilistic in temperament, aggressive when confronted with bullshit.

A prime Minister should be like that. I'll tell you now. Helen Clark was. Unrelenting , and when the chips were down, and…


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harveyandsara
harveyandsara
Oct 30, 2022

Yes. For sure ,Chris comes across as more than a bit woke and extremely alarming is the fact he believes in the biggest lie this country has ever had to cope with ,The treaty of frigging waitangi. You have got to be joking.I have always thought that Erica Stanford would have been a better leader for national. Fight fire with fire but she believes in the god forsaken treaty as well.However I believe Luxson is about to get a helping hand from an unexpected source . The little cominust cow,fresh back from her totally unneeded ,taxpaid jaunt down to the Antarctic (will look good on her UN cv)is about to aband on the sinking ship and scuttle of…

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Peter Hemmingson
Peter Hemmingson
Nov 01, 2022
Replying to

Hard to see Kinko the Clown leading Labour to victory in the next election.

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