Fair and Honest

David Farrar is having a whinge about the tactics of Don Brash. It seems he doesn’t like them and suggest a fairer way for Don Brash to conduct his coup. David alludes to his role in the Brash coup over Bill English, however he doesn’t state that essentially he was the last man stading beside Bill English as Brash’s coup rolled over the top of Bill English…the quintessential numbers man, the colour sergeant holding the flag bravely upright as the team are slaughtered to a man.

There are great many similarities between 2003 and now. Of course there is Don Brash as the common denominator but the tactics and the plans are pretty much the same. Don Brash is a honourable and up-front man. He stated to Bill English that he was going to challenge him, he did in in the open and then set about doing precisely what he said he would do. He is fdoing the same for Rodney Hide. Both and Hide and English, Farrar as well, are old school “one front” type of politicians who sit down inside the bunker and start to trry to combat the enemy without poking their heads out occaisonally to guage intelligence and the lay of the battlefield. Eventually they get rolled over as the momentum sweeps them away.

The tactics that Don Brash is employing are honest. Bill English and Rodney Hide want them to be fair. There is a difference.

Politics isn’t about being fair it is about winning. You can win by cheating and lying and making stuff up or you can win by being honest. Honesty has nothing to do with fairness. You can be honest but tilt the playing field or battle-field to continue the analogy and make the battle unfair. This is what Don Brash is doing. He has clearly got a strategy and he has clearly got good intelligence. He knows how Rodney Hide plays and he knows how ACT plays. His stratgy, playing out in the one and in the media might not be fair but it is honest.

Don’s strategy is deliberately being played through the media to be on the front foot. open and honest, but not fair. ACT is notorious for leaking and airing its dirty laundry through various media hacks, furtive, sneaky and again not fair. Don Brash is only allowing ACT to vent to flush out those who he doesn’t want in the team when he takes charge. Yesterday I posted a picture of Custer’s Last Stand which is exactly the right imagery for what Don Brash is doing to Rodney Hide.

Rodney hates being out played by the media and will utilise his every media resource to shop and sell his furtive and sneaky attacks. This won’t work while the other player…a chess player versus Rodney’s draughts playing abilities…is playing out his stratrgy in the open. Honest but Not Fair.

Farrar’s suggestions are the wrong type of strategy. He still thinks along the war of attrition ‘one front’ methodology. With ACT, you are dealing with hit and run guerrillas. You have to trick them to flush them out when and where you want them. Don’s honest and not fair strategy is doing precisely that.

That is the difference. You can see it in many battles including local selections. Those that play honest and fair usually lose. The two positions are almost mutually exclusive in politics. The cheat, the liar and muck-raker will beat an honest and fair player every time. However if an honest player starts tilting the game in their favour turning the game into one that is unfair in their favour then Honest and Not Fair will usually prevail over furtive and not fair.


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

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