Turn the clock forward 27 years from Muldoon's defeat. Hone Harawira, being of similar vintage to me, myself and I obviously has memories of Muldoon, and has adopted a similar strategy; he's black-listed (are we allowed to say that?) Newstalk ZB. It's all because of a tongue-in-cheek opinion piece by Newstalk's political editor Barry Soper; here's the piece; judge it for yourself:
The oxygen for politics is publicity, something Titewhai's boy Hone Harawira seems to have forgotten.
Sounding more like another self appointed leader in Suva, the boy who learnt activism at birth has imposed a black ban on Newstalk ZB because he didn't like the tenor of this column.
This man who admits to loving his mother, just as all sons should, objected to being referred to as Titewhai's boy which of course he is. Nobody's suggesting he's a mummy's boy, but then again who knows?
The banning order's also been imposed because he didn't like the idea of being reminded that the by election cost half a million dollars of taxpayers' money to run. That means his 867 vote mandate cost close to six hundred bucks a vote.
But he said he didn't spend a cent on the by election because he was the only candidate who didn't have any money. He may not have spent a cent but we did whether we liked it or not and most of us didn't given that the general election's just around the corner.
Hone's now saying he's going to spend the next five months on the road campaigning, giving his proxy vote in the bear pit to the Kermits. But what about his claim that he wanted to represent his people in Parliament where as a leader he'll now get more dosh?
So now that he's got a mini mandate he's now looking to reacquaint himself with his Maori Party mates, offering them an alliance. Given his walkabout record though, it's hard to see them offering their hand of guidance.
And the other party that he'd like to cosy up to doesn't want a bar of him. Labour's Phil Goff says there'll be no deals on that front. He was unreliable with the party that got him into the bear pit, and Goff reckons this leopard's unlikely to change his spots anytime soon.
Of course he won't be able to have any sort of accommodation with the Tories given that was one of the reasons he jumped before he was pushed from the Maori Party.
So the Mana Party doesn't look to have much of it around this place and if he starves himself of the oxygen that any party needs in the lead up to the election, then he can offer olive groves until he's blue in the face and no one would be any the wiser.
But then wisdom isn't a trait Titewhai's boy's known for!
By Barry Soper
OK; the references to "Titewhai's boy" are a bit gratuitous (but true). But Harawira's biggest beef is Soper's criticism of the cost of the by-election, of which Harawira claims he didn't spend a cent of taxpayer money. That's patently false of course; had Harawira not resigned from Parliament after getting hoha with the Maori Party, there wouldn't have been a by-election.
And perhaps Harawira is stung by a home truth. Soper has pointed out the MP's plans to go on an extended road trip to solicit votes for the party of which he is now leader. To do that, he won't bother attending the 21 sitting days remaining in the 49th Parliament. The Greens (or the Kermits, as Soper calls them) will manage Harawira's proxy vote.
But hang on a minute; hasn't Harawira just been elected to represent the electorate of Te Tai Tokerau? How can gallivanting around the country at the taxpayer's expense be compatible with representing the people he's described as some of New Zealand's poorest? Surely the costs of his travels would be better spent on improving the lot of the people he purports to represent in his electorate.
Soper seems to have exposed Harawira's Achilles heel. And Harawira has quickly forgotten that just days ago, he was the darling of the media as the Te Tai Tokerau contest reached its climax. How quickly the wheel turns; Harawira's Muldoon-like strike on Soper and his station suggests that he has a problem with people telling the truth. That does not bode well for his e;lectoral future.