UPDATED: After reading the exchange on Twitter, a friend and Labour Party member contacted me to express exasperation that Little would bother engaging with a "pissant" like me. Harsh but fair.
Andrew Little has a wee nasty streak, but let's fast forward through to the substance.
The Labour leader said this on Radio NZ this morning.
I don't need to parse these words; they speak for themselves. He is stating as a fact that signing up to the TPP prevents parties from restricting land sales to, among others, Americans, Australians and the Chinese. He is simply wrong on the final count because China is not a signatory to the TPP. In fact, the entire rationale behind the agreement is to provide a counterweight to Chinese economic power in the Asia Pacific region. Unless by "Chinese", he is referring to ethnic Chinese citizens of Singapore or Malaysia, for example, he is talking nonsense – either from ignorance or cynicism, or a blend of both.
When I pointed this out on Twitter, Little responded with a series of abusive tweets. Par for the course, I'm afraid. He's a bit of a grumpy bum, let's be honest.
His first response when I pointed out Little had included China in his comments about the TPP was:
When I pointed out that was exactly what he said, his next response:
Sticking to my guns, you can see my response and his final insult here:
Seriously, though, Labour's promise to flout the TPP if elected is the most reckless act by a mainstream political party since...umm, well I guess that would be Phil Twyford's Chinese surname stunt. It all suggests the party has become unmoored from any set of core principles or values; instead, they flail about, barking at each passing car, desperately hoping that the next stunt will be the game-changer that never comes. So disheartening.