Hide has the numbers, but not the dollars or the votes

Is really as simple as that. Rodney supporters on the board can doom their party to irrelevancy, or they can bring in someone who will win votes, bring in money and actually make a difference to New Zealand. It is hard to imagine Don ending up minister of local government, it is not exactly a weighty ministry of state. The ACT party president seems to want to commit his party to electoral oblivion. One suspects that the ACT party president may well be acting alone of in the minority if emails circulating amongst the members from other board members are an indication of the feeling out there.

Meanwhile my predictions of Rodney’s bunker pals running “Don Brash is an old man” lines has come to pass with Rodney Hide staffer Chris Diack commenting freely on Kiwiblog. Word via the tipline is that they wil keep up that line for a couple of days and then change to smears involving Don Brash’s personal life. It surprises me that Rodney Hide of all people wants to go down that path but if he plays those cards then he will reap what he sows.

Matthew Hooton presented a view on Radio Live with Andrew Patterson that was ok until he missed the obvious. Clearly Hooton is losing his touch. In his interview he mentioned and talked about the ACT President saying Don brash needs to be a member and then jump through all sorts of procedural hoops regarding advising caucus 7 days prior to any decision and frankly a whole lot of bureaucratic bumpf.

This is of highly ironic given that Rodney Hide has relentlessly banged on about regulatory responsibility and removing red-tape and when faced with a crisis in his party resorts to burdensome red-tape in an attempt to defeat the saving of his party.

Stephen Franks has also weighed into the debate:

Kiwiblog is from the same school. His posts show the responsibility that might be expected from a house organ of National .

To the traditional tribal party member a challenge for leadership from outside a party will still seem bizarre, even from a person who embodies the party’s values.

I’m reminded of a formative early legal engagement. In the mid 1980s I advised Richard Carter (who recently died as Sir Richard) on his extraordinary hostile takeover of AHI, to form what became Carter Holt Harvey Ltd. It was the boldest takeover in Australasia in its time. Against most of his professional advice, and to near universal puzzlement if not derision from the financial media, Richard insisted on launching (on market initially) a keenly priced bid for a company in which the majority of shares were held by a major Australian conglomerate which had publicly stated that its holding in AHI was not for sale.

Richard’s victory, after months of siege, was due to his disregard of the received wisdom, and his view that the internal compelling logic would prevail in the end.

Presumably Don Brash hears similar music. He is genuine when he says he regards Rodney as a friend. But he presumably sees little alternative, and the downside from trying is trivial compared with the stakes.

Rodney Hide likes to tell anyone who will listen how he masterfully saved ACT before and how he will do it again. But the simple facts falling out of this issue belie the simple unpalatable truth that neither the ACT board nor Rodney Hide seem to want to face. Rodney Hide can’t win Epsom.

The tipline received a very sensible anonymous email from someone who seems to have a good inside knowledge of the workings of ACT.

Rodney has been trying to get Don Brash into ACT for several months, on the grounds that Rodney’s entire career as leader has been based on leveraging other people to retain power. In 2005 it was Brash’s intervention that helped Rodney win Epsom and keep ACT in parliament.

Three years of undistinguished performance meant that in 2008 Rodney needed another saviour and found it in Sir Roger Douglas. Roger bought money and people back into the party, and with it the popularity that Rodney was unable achieve without Roger’s friends working the hustings for votes, and long time donors contributing again. No matter though that the people who left ACT in droves for a Don Brash led National Party didn’t flock back tot he leadership of Rodney Hide.

So as election time came around again Rodney has tried to find a saviour again. Someone that will cover over the fact that he is so unelectible even Keith Locke would have a chance against him in Epsom if National don’t tank their candidate like Don did in 2005.

ACT in sticking with Rodney Hide are going to be without money, and without votes and will cease to exist as a parliamentary force after the election. That is sad for the history of the party and sad for those who worked to get it across the line in the first instance. That will be Rodney Hide’s enduring legacy, not the SUper City, but rather the destruction of the ACT party.


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  • abjv

    Anagrams again tell the story.

    “Rodney Hide ACT Leader”


    “A cad eerily dethroned”

    • thor42

      Yep, and “rodney hide wanker” gives you –
      Weakened Dry Rhino
      Wanderer Hiked Yon (I wish he *would* “hike yon”…. )

  • rivoniaboy

    Oliver Cromwell had an appropriate message for a particular individual – Rodney Hide
    “You have sat here for too long for any
    good you are doing. Depart, I say, and
    let us have done with you. In the name
    of God, go! “

  • kehua

    And Brash has Banks. Whoopdy fuckn die, all we need now is the `Good` one , we`ve got the Bad and the Ugly!

    • So what is your solution, Kehua, to New Zealand’s parlous financial position? The country is broke, the ratings agencies are poised to downgrade our creditworthiness and the current administration is so busy appeasing racists in the party of apartheid, and pandering to welfare bludgers, that it is failing utterly to do anything to right the economic course.

      Or do you think rewarding smiling, waving buffoons like Key, Keynesian fools like English and crimes against nature like Smith is the appropriate course of action?

    • harris

      Looks like kehua is a Twitter user too…

      Don Brash mocked online (TV3, 26 April 2011)

  • reid

    That will be Rod­ney Hide’s endur­ing legacy, not the SUper City, but rather the destruc­tion of the ACT party.

    I think this is a bit harsh. He’s not solely responsible for raising its profile and he’s not solely responsible for tanking it either.

    I have a lot of time for Rodney and always will. However I agree with rivioniaboy, in terms of Cromwell’s advice for him at this time.

    Rodney there is a huge world outside of politics.

    Fill your boots.

    Become an ETS consultant, get really rich, is what I’d advise.

  • gooner

    Rodney almost singlehandedly got rid of the most corrupt MP we’ve ever had. Have you all forgotten that?

    That enabled John Key to become PM

    Have you all forgotten that too?

    • Gooner, that may well be, but sadly it is not the action for which Hide will be remembered.

      And with the benefit of hindsight, I wouldn’t be too quick to brag about enabling Quisling Key to become Prime Mangler.

  • thor42

    I’ll spell it out for Rodney.
    Dear Rodney. Your party is S.T.U.F.F.E.D, R.O.O.T.E.D, M.U.N.T.E.D.
    Given that you are utterly unable to see this, I will take great pleasure in having a laugh at your expense when ACT is buried at election time.

  • kehua

    Hi Gantt, I do know that we don`t need an old bureaucratic fuddy duddy who wakes up oneday and thinks he`d like to be the Leader of a Party that he has never been a Member of, and if indeed he gets his way and that Party manages to con the Current Government to stand aside to ensure that the said old fuddy duddy gets elected either by way of standing in the Epsom Electorate or by way of promoting another hasbeen to stand and win the Epsom seat, and in doing so brings the `old bureaucratic f/d` accompanied by the dysfunctional remains of Act into parliament courtesy of the List process. Then what better way demonstrate the debacle of MMP.

  • kehua

    harris, where I come from the only things that twitter have feathers and can fly.