ACT Leadership Coup Winners and Losers

Following on from my predictions that ACT was rooted without a change in leadership early last week, Don Brash has rolled Rodney Hide from outside of caucus to become the ACT leader.


Don Brash: The principled man of New Zealand politics is back. He no longer has to appeal to the middle ground, so he can carve out a big niche for himself by running on simple policies of economic growth, removal of the ETS and one standard of citizenship.

Roger Douglas: Having seen his party being ruined by Rodney Hide, Roger has been a key part of this coup. He has replaced a popularist with a principled man, and returned ACT to its principled roots.

John Key: He now has a coalition partner who will allow him to implement the right wing agenda he was elected to implement. He has been hamstrung by the wets and poll driven faceless men (and women) and has found himself extremely well liked, but not known for anything much other than being well liked.

The People of New Zealand: Hopefully Don will put some backbone into the National led government after the election. Cutting back on the public sector will help New Zealand grow, especially if Don cuts the over paid modern day aristocracy that is our public service.


Rodney Hide : Did the impossible and lost the leadership of a political party to someone who was not even a member of his party, let alone a member of his caucus. The story coming through the tip line is Rodney was offered a major role in a Don Brash led ACT some time ago, but screwed it up by thinking he was popular enough with the public to stare Don down. If he had have quit when he was summoned to the smoke filled room he would have negotiated a decent new job and exited with dignity. Instead he has been forced to capitulate completely.

Chris Diack: Instead of abusing knowledgeable bloggers all over the comments section of Kiwiblog he should have been developing a proper strategy for the defence of Fortress Hide. He failed his leader and he failed his bos and failure in politics is fatal to your career, it should be no different for Diack.

Hide sycophants: Blind loyalty is a good short term plan but a fatal long term plan. Loyalty should be to the party not to the leader. For reference  check Cactus Kate’s post about this and her recommendations for others that should be axed.

Bill English: His silly play through Kiwiblog attacking Don Brash on Saturday was exposed for its stupidity. It is hard to imagine Don will not be Finance Minister after the election, as Don has a far better track record in finance than a house husband with a years work at Treasury. Bill English better hope like hell that DOn Brash doesn’t ask for Deputy Prime Minister.

David “Clusterf**k” Farrar: Won himself a great new nickname because of one of his ill-informed posts.


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  • johnansell

    Nearly right, Cam. By November, the biggest loser will be John Key.

    Where is it written that this little traitor must be prime minister in perpetuity?

    Once the full scale of his treachery is presented to the New Zealand people in the clearest possible terms, and once a professional plan to correct his mismanagement is similarly presented, then I think you will find that the most popular prime minister in New Zealand history will no longer be a factor in our national life.

    Brash needs to set his sights on the Beehive, not Epsom. I hope he does.

    (And no, I’m not on his payroll. This rant may have just disqualified me.)

  • kevin

    So, where does winnie fit with this new arrangement? Is he a winner or ‘not a winner’?
    Funny how everyone expects first term to be a total game change time… There have been disappointments but lets see how the next term plays out. Different set-up entirely.

  • I reckon that the biggest loser of all is Winston Peters, senior citizen of St Mary’s Bay. All those people who didn’t want to reward National but couldn’t bring themselves to vote for Labour, and who would have held their noses whilst voting for WRP now have a place to vote. That Brash is even older than Peters might dilute the latter’s grasp of the Grey vote as well. That can only be a good thing.

  • tonyjoe

    @johnansell – wtf? Are you saying ACT will win the Treasury benches? Are you saying Labout will regain them? In what parallel universe is it that National is not returned as either a minority government or governing on their own with John Key as leader?

    • Mr. Infinity

      There is absolutely no chance of Key not returning. Even if Act score 5% (doubtful) that’d only take National down to 52% on current polls.

  • roger

    What a laugh, im 62 and fit (my doctor told me to go away)but the OLD FART brash the adulter is 105 yo brash is in GODS WAITING ROOM and fuck banks is sniffing around GOOD LUCK FACIST dorklanders you might regret living in dorkland, i live in Wgtn where real people live.CHEERS

    • tooright

      Rog, I thought we suggested you watch your meds – I think you’ve taken 3 days again.

  • kevin

    Don is 71 yo and has spent a lot of time in Welly so no problem then?

  • johnansell

    In a lateral universe, sure, tonyjoe.

    I’m saying that lateral thinking has got Brash where he is today, to the complete bewilderment of the conventionally wise. No one saw him coming in 2003, the media were completely blindsided by the success of his Orewa speech, and everyone laughed at the prospect of him taking over a party of which he was not even a member.

    But the common denominator of all those events is: HE WON.

    And he can do so again. He is not up against Winston Churchill. He is up against a man who won his popularity in a vacuum of corrupt government, non-existent opposition, and an ACT Party that was sufficiently mesmerised by the dopey doctrine of incrementalism to bind and gag themselves and collaborate with the enemy.

    That enemy is socialism, currently being implemented by party founded with the expressed intention of opposing it.

    I don’t think honest National Party members will have much difficulty leaving that party and joining one that actually does stand for those principles.

  • paranormal

    I can’t say I’ve been impressed with Rodney over the past 18 months, however I think he has yet again come out looking good in the public eye today. Yes the writing was on the wall but instead of fighting bitterly to the end he has stood up and said I do what’s best for the party. From what little I have seen, the way he conducted himself in the press conference today does him credit.

    So whilst Rodney is a loser, I think he has won back some of the lost esteem.

    • excuseme

      Agreed, paranormal. Conducted himself with dignity and style.

  • Mr. Infinity

    Are the hard-right really dumb enough to let Goof win in order to punish Key for his snails-pace reform? Think people, do you really want Labour back? Labour are currently sitting at about Alliances old place on the left, that 300 million will balloon to 500 overnight under Silent-T’s watch, but you’ll all be able to rest happy that you told off that naughty Key.

    Perhaps that’s what comes with being an Act supporter and being about as starved of public support as an Ethiopian is of food . We all want Key to move faster, but Key can’t because the public has had nine years of indoctrination from a hardcore-socialist and her brainless peons. When he announced asset sales his support dropped, but now its back up above 50, it takes time people.

    Of course, I’m taking a handful of blog comments as a serious sample of the voting public, and I don’t really think Fool Goof has a show.

  • alien

    Look i’m sure there is a good job now for Rodney Hide. he could join radio live , as a talk back host… they seem to hire ,spent, wasted,big mouthed wanabe politicians, to make themselves look so much better now ,than when they were in parliament … i mean look they have Laws. Jackson & Tamihere. Now if they hire Hide, they will cover almost the whole spectrum of loser , axed politicians…….. perfect job

  • sagenz

    Cam – Great writing and excellent analysis. You are on fire.

    John – Given your pedigree those are fighting words fella. Just remember it is the direction of travel that is most important when you are writing those slogans. Try not to cut National up too much. Think about trying to shame them into a better direction and think about trying to influence the discussion towards the right rather than simply scaring the horses and getting a big ACT vote whilst cannibalising National to ACT & Labour.