Senior National MP Judith Collins seems to have been taking her cues from certain prominent overseas authoritarian populists somehow associated with conservatism.
Perhaps most notably on Twitter, using her already rather charged account to personally attack some members of the public on false pretenses because they were politically inconvenient for her, having earlier unrepentantly retweeting conspiratorial reports from a notorious fake news website because it suited her agenda. All that from someone who has previously called no longer being innocent until you’re proven guilty “fantastic”.
But much more recently she gave a speech at a Whanganui rest home. Judging by this report, Collins was pitching for the leadership of her party, while at the same time the ghost of Margaret Thatcher was struggling to regain control of Collins’ body from the incoherent raging demon that animates Western ethno-nationalist protofascism*. I assume several of the rest home residents lapped it up.
She is, as they say of aspiring leaders and infected sores everywhere, running.
Inspired by that thought, here is a quiz.
Some of the following quotes are my sincere advice to any members of the New Zealand National Party contemplating supporting Judith Collins for the leadership, with specific regard to the Abbott/Trump/Milosevic leadership model.
The others are from an Indiana Jones themed novella I’ve been tinkering with on and off since The Last Crusade, which was the final ever Indiana Jones film, came out in 1989. They are a selection of the lines spoken by various characters to the Nazi villian just before he says “What do you think I am? Weak?” and seizes the Black Orb.
Can YOU tell the difference?
1) “This is a terrible idea.”
2) “Okay, but how about you do literally anything except that?”
3) “You hear voices that seek to entice you. But the promises are false.”
4) “I mean, even in practical terms: are you quite sure it will actually work? Seems to have had, well, pretty mixed results for other people, yeah? Compared to other options?”
5) “This is no ordinary weapon. You cannot use it to gain power and then lay it aside like a fur cloak. Its aims are not yours. Once you begin, it will make you abandon everything you stand for except what serves it, and never release you. Is power more important to you than your soul?”
6) “No. Noooo. Nononononono.”
7) “Maybe they buried this decades ago and swore never to speak of it again for a reason?”
8) “It belongs in a museum!”
9) “And if you triumph? It will not be satisfied with the suffering of your chosen enemies. It is only cruelty and it must always be fed lest it strike close to your own heart.”
10) “You are literally going to be riding a tiger that is also a loose canon and a train crash.”
11) “Isn’t it the greatest personal responsibility not to unleash the wild burning fires of hate and fear into the minds of your people?”
12) “We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.”
13) “Even if you have no honour, isn’t it better to feign some?”
14) “So right now you’re thinking, ‘How bad can Evil possibly be?’. Turns out, very bad.”
15) “Your greater good does not justify this. And this does not serve you greater good.”
16) “You fool, do you want to destroy everything?”
17) “Or, hear me out, have you tried being nice?”
Check your results:
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17: Both.
8: From Raiders of the Lost Ark. But also both.
12: Actually that one is by Kurt Vonnegut. Still both.
Between 0 and 12: Seriously though, please don’t make Judith Collins the leader of a political party, not even as a joke.
* I don’t believe I’ve ever said the before in my life, but I prefer Margaret Thatcher.