Labour may get a temporary poll boost, but the stain of racial profiling will last much longer

Some people on the NZ Twittersphere who have determined I hold "right-wing" political views assumed I would love Labour's race-baiting stunt over the weekend.  As with every other topic they encounter, they are blazingly wrong.

On other matters, I let these sanctimonious blowhards have their way with my reputation – if there is something I care less about than what a bunch of MacBook-bound know-it-alls think of me, it does not immediately spring to mind. I have also found that, by ignoring them, they move on to other, more amusing endeavours – like pontificating about the Eurozone crisis or inadvertently revealing alarming ignorance about U.S. politics.

The confusion about where I might stand on these issues stems, I think, from the fact I have expressed the view that, in order to win the right to govern, Labour needs to win more than 30 percent of the vote; and that, in order to do so, it needs to compete for votes in the political centre.  But this is not a statement of political ideology on my part, as much as a practical statement of – what's the word? Ah, yes – fact. 

For the record, I do not believe competing for the centreground of the New Zealand electorate requires Labour to engage in clumsy, casual racism. It may provide a temporary boost in the party's polling numbers, but it won't last. By contrast, the ugly stain of racial profiling will remain many years beyond the fleeting careers of Phil Twyford and co.

The race card, once played, cannot be unplayed.