Opinion: Let’s not focus on his accent, guys

On the 27th of February, the being of hair grease and oil runoffs known as Simon Bridges ascended to leader of the National party, with Crusher Maximus thrown into the Phantom Zone and threatening revenge from afar (Whale Oil). But more pressingly, two conversations immediately started happening: the state of his Māori heritage and his accent. It’s not my place to comment on his heritage, so I’ll keep it simple: dissecting whether he is or isn’t Māori is not what we should be doing, focus on how it took over 150 years for anyone of Māori descent to become the leader of any major New Zealand political party. Focus on his and his party’s stances on distinctly Māori issues. Reducing lineage down to percentages only does disrespect.

Secondly, must we harp on about the guy’s accent? There’s so much more to talk about, so much more to hold him to task for than how he verbalises certain syllables. It does a disservice to the political process and allows the nuances of the issues to be lost in what is little more than arbitrary clickbait. It reeks of classism – reducing him to a lower status due to possessing a thicker, ‘less refined’ accent. It only serves to give fire to claims of elitism that seemingly plague the left, it gives rise to buzzwords that drag down the argument. In short: stop it, Remuera. There is so much more to focus on, particularly what he uses his words for. Bridges is a slimeball, and seems to be blissfully unaware of the fact. Or, if he is, he plays the ‘shout it down and hope they forget the original question’ tactic incredibly straight – Steven ’11 Billion Dollar Hole’ Joyce has taught him well.

Focus on one of his defining attributes, his complete and utter negligence for the environment and his unashamed fight for corporate desecration of our lands. Focus on how he claims to desire a blue/green alliance, but that his track record on the environment is one of the worst in parliament, ranging from defending the destructive practices of offshore oil exploration (ever seen that John Campbell interview? Jesus.) to allowing mining on DoC land. Even oil exploration in dolphin breeding grounds! They’re just trying to fuck, mate!

He has absolutely no interest in actually preserving our wonderful scenery and our finite resources. And they most definitely are finite. This is incredibly foolish in light of his expressed support a National/Greens coalition, fully aware that this is only a stopgap and that the large majority of Greens voters would abandon the party, crushing it perhaps permanently. He is completely antithetical to anything the Greens have to offer and that is what we should be focusing on, not how he happens to articulate the U sound. The only benefit to stating that he is for the environment is to hopefully pull the wool over the eyes of the confused voter come election time. National have cannibalised all their friends and David Seymour, Leia in chains, will not be enough from to support the great Jabba from now on. Do not forget that.

Simon No-Bridges, as he is known in some circles, is someone to focus on. He represents a new direction for unashamed corporate exploitation of our diminishing environment. He is a liar and possesses the charm of an oil slick and despite this inherently limiting factor, will try to confuse us all the same. Do not get caught up in meaningless discussions about his accent. It only limits us.