Rodney Hide: Bromance of convenience

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Kim Dotcom has travelled across the political spectrum to settle on an unlikely ally: Hone Harawira. Photo / APN
Kim Dotcom has travelled across the political spectrum to settle on an unlikely ally: Hone Harawira. Photo / APN

The intricate Hone Harawira and Kim Dotcom dance is proving every bit as exciting as the royal tour. What makes the Hone-Dotcom tie-up exciting is its incongruity. It's the sheer implausibility of the marriage that commands attention.

The Mana Party represents Northland's poor and dispossessed. And here's Dotcom arriving at their conference with a cavalcade of late model European SUVs.

Dotcom drove up more like an African potentate than a suitor for the hearts and minds of Te Tai Tokerau.

Harawira believes "white motherf****** have been raping our lands and ripping us off for centuries". Dotcom is as white as white. The party that shouts the loudest about indigenous rights and Maori sovereignty is hooking up with a party led by a German self-styled "visionary". Dotcom is not even a New Zealand European but a European European.

Harawira says he would be uncomfortable if one of his seven children dated a Pakeha. But here he is hopping into bed with one.

Historical injustice hangs heavy over Harawira. He knows through political activism the power of potent symbols. Yet he dismisses Dotcom's signed copy of Mein Kampf as equivalent to owning a book signed by President George Bush. Even by Hone logic that's a stretch.

Dotcom has traversed the political spectrum. He started with John Banks. He famously donated to Banks' mayoral campaign. And when Banks became a minister Dotcom attempted to lavish gifts upon him. Former Dotcom staffer Alex Mardikian has spoken of Banks resolutely rebuffing them.

Mardikian says he now believes Dotcom was attempting to stitch Banks up. "No one rides for free with Kim."

Banks refused the gifts. When Dotcom was banged up in jail, Banks simply had his electorate staff check on him. That's what would be done for any constituent who rang. The donations and proffered gifts bought no special favours, which is exactly as it should be.

Because he received no special treatment, I believe Dotcom set out to destroy Banks.

Since being disappointed by Banks, Dotcom has played pied piper, persuading a who's who of political luminaries to make pilgrimages to his Coatesville mansion, often multiple times.

He has travelled across the political spectrum to settle upon the most unlikely of them all.

Hone and Dotcom are dating and look set to tie the knot. It is a marriage of convenience. Harawira is desperate for political oomph and momentum.

Dotcom is desperate to have a Minister of Justice block his extradition to the United States.

There's no political principle at work. There's only naked self-interest. And Mana must take care. The Banks' experience shows "no one rides for free with Kim".

Unlike the royal tour, this bit of excitement is only just beginning.

- Herald on Sunday

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