As far as the right is concerned John Minto is just about the worst person in the country. He’s down there in the frozen lake of National Party hell being chewed on by Satan along with Hone Harawira and Sue Bradford. Minto is a Marxist who got the shit beat out of him during the Springbok tour and damn well deserved it!
So this whole ‘Death of Mandala’ thing is really problematic. Right-wing politicians know that they have to be nice about Mandela and praise him as a hero. But it’s awkward to be reminded that Minto was actually getting beaten up because he was protesting to try and get Mandela released and to get our country to break ties with apartheid South Africa, a regime that right-wing governments here and around the world enthusiastically supported. If Key takes John Minto to Mandela’s funeral it means swallowing the gigantic rat that Minto – who they regard as the epitome of left-wing idiocy – was completely right, and the National Party was completely wrong. So no trip for Minto.