New Zealand Green Party accused of supporting ‘fascism’ after relocating portrait of ‘greatest anti-fascist’ Winston Churchill

The New Zealand National Party condemned the Green Party for getting a portrait of former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill relocated in Parliament, while another party accused the Greens of embracing fascism.

“Sir Winston Churchill, the greatest anti-fascist leader of the 20th century is removed from the walls of Parliament because the Greens don’t like him,” tweeted New Zealand National Party leader Judith Collins on Tuesday, adding that the portrait would be moved to her party’s offices in Parliament.

Sir Winston Churchill, the greatest anti-fascist leader of the 20th century is removed from the walls of Parliament because the Greens don’t like him. Fortunately, he is finding a home with ⁦@NZNationalParty⁩ offices in Parliament.

— Judith Collins (@JudithCollinsMP) August 10, 2021

Winston Churchill faces down most evil regime in history , Green Party can’t face staring at picture of man they find “ problematic”! #nzpol

— Sean Plunket (@SeanPlunket) August 11, 2021

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Calling the relocation “outrageous,” “disrespectful,” and “deeply offensive,” Collins argued that though Churchill had his faults, he was “one of the very few politicians who had the courage to stand up against Nazism” when many other politicians in Europe did not.

According to several reports, including RNZ Radio New Zealand, the Green Party had requested that the Churchill portrait be relocated in order to make room for a new piece by award-winning artist Marilynn Webb. The portrait of Churchill – who has become a more controversial figure over the past few years – had sat just outside the Green Party’s offices.

David Seymour, leader of the right-wing party ACT New Zealand, went one step further than Collins, questioning whether the Green Party had now embraced “fascism.”

“I’ve always said the Greens are detached from reality but do they really think that Winston Churchill was not one of the greatest anti-fascist leaders in history? Well, maybe they believe in fascism now, who knows,” he commented.

National Party MP Simeon Brown argued that the Green Party has removed the portrait because it has a “hatred of the western values and freedoms that he fought for: Democracy, Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Religion, Freedom of Association.”

The Green Party, however, rejected the accusations, insisting that the relocation of the portrait was because it “wanted a painting outside the Green Party offices that was more representative of the values that we stand for.”

Green Party co-leader James Shaw explained that “an artist that is indigenous to New Zealand is more appropriate than a picture of a British Prime Minister,” and that though Churchill “was known to have racist instincts,” that was “not why we asked for it to be moved.”

Shaw also questioned why the National Party had become so concerned about where a portrait of a former foreign leader was hung.

Shaw’s fellow party co-leader, Marama Davidson, also weighed in on the controversy, revealing that the Churchill portrait was “definitely not” her “favourite painting” and that she was excited to replace it with the new piece of art.

Singling out Collins, Davidson shot back, “We’re trying to prevent family violence, sexual violence. She wants to talk about why we moved a piece of art? That’s pretty hilarious.”

Many New Zealanders on social media appeared to agree with the Green Party, with several Kiwis questioning why there was a portrait of Churchill in the New Zealand Parliament anyway.

Why is there a painting of Winston Churchill in our Parliament?

— David (@d_m_ab) August 10, 2021

This is so weird, why do we need a foreign PM on the walls of our parliament?

— Courtenay (@CortyChenery) August 10, 2021

so it’s being removed from the walls of parliament by moving it to a different wall in parliament

— Gus (@goldisacks) August 10, 2021

Others highlighted Churchill’s part in the Bengal famine, his advocacy for chemical warfare, his racism, and his support for eugenics, and accused the National Party of attempting to cash in on the culture war.

Feel like if we’re talking about reasons Winston Churchill is criticised we should mention the Bengal Famine which killed millions of people 🤔

— Marc Daalder 😷 Wear a Mask, Scan QR Codes (@marcdaalder) August 11, 2021

How about you stop with this “culture war” crap and come up with actual constructive opposition for a change?

Aotearoa isn’t like the US or UK. What works for right wing parties there doesn’t fly here.

— David Clegg 🇳🇿 🤘😆🤘 (@delphijunkie) August 10, 2021

The greatest anti-fascist leader of the 20th century was Joseph Stalin actually, by an absolutely massive margin.

— Cotton On Joe ☭🇮🇪 (@TeaAndBrimstone) August 10, 2021

Last year, during Black Lives Matter protests in London, a statue of Churchill was repeatedly vandalized. “Was a racist” and “Black Lives Matter” were sprayed onto the statue, which had to be covered up with a grey shield for its own protection.

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Source:RT World News

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