National & Brash

Rodney Hide has finally conceded and Don Brash has taken the ACT party. Now National has a dilemma.

National’s control-freak driven campaign team have run into chaos theory in the form of former leader Don Brash. Don is not a man they can easily denigrate as too many donors, National Party members and voters like him for his clear and principled stand on issues. There is little doubt in what Don stands for, and the same cant be said about National.

The problem for National is they can’t go after Brash because as a minor party leader air time means votes. Don’s issues are issues that will win votes for him if he is given air time, so he will not fear confrontation or conflict with National as it will mean more MPs for him to point to when it comes to coalition negotiations.

Don is also a man of principle. His principles are known, clear and the principles of a good number of New Zealanders. He will not mind being attacked because he has shown he will stand on his principles in the past.

A man of Don’s stature causes problems for National because of the people he brings with him. The ACT that went into hibernation when Richard Prebble retired is rousing itself, flexing its muscles and looking out for a good feed. Whispers of a strong ACT candidate running in both Tamaki and North Shore have been coming through the tipline, and while winning these seats is a long shot there is little love for Alan Peachey in Tamaki or the likely candidate in North Shore, Maggie Barry, among National supporters.

National missed a huge opportunity to remove Don from the playing field after the last election. Sources inside the beehive say this was pushed hard by certain board members, but Bill English wanted utu, and Simon Powers prissiness meant Don was left in play.This shortsightness is unfortunately typical of the dithering of the National strategic team, demonstrated by the improbably late candidate selections and the lack of any plan for the 2014 election.


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  • abjv

    The yellow canary has gone. He was put there to deliver ACT’s free market etc policies, but the main thing he delivered was the Super City Debacle. Like Max Bradford many years ago (Mr Electricity Reform) this in itself should have been sufficient to consign him to political oblivion.

    But does it mean the resurgance of the Bretheren as part of NZ politics? National kept the god-botherers out of Rodney, and we haven’t heard much of Brother Tamaki for a while. Most of the electorate would not look on having the bretheren back as a good idea. (Unless of course one of their candidates stood in Roskill and removed Phil).

    I completely agree with Don that borrowing $300m a week is stupidity. This is equivalent to giving an AirNZ to an overseas bank every six weeks. Also, like him, I don’t see the dipton from dipton as having any solutions for this one.

    Where I don’t agree with Don and his backers is that if we hollow out the economy, remove jobs that ‘aren’t productive’ and consign a good portion of the population to an economic scrap heap, or low-interest minimum wage part-time jobs, that somehow we are all ‘better off’.

    I look at a number of companies during the recent downturn. Going into it, they were flat out, lots of overtime, very busy. When the bigger ones just shed staff, the smaller ones tried to protect their workforces – the first thing that went was the overtime, then the 40 hours fell ot 37.5, then to 35, then to 4-day weeks. Trying to protect the workforce and keep people on. Socialising the losses. This is where mainstream NZ sits; it will share the pain, share the load. Slightly left of centre. One reason why Muldoon stayed in power so long, why Key is still sitting above 50%. It is the part of the political spectrum that Labour with its ‘gaggle of gays’ moved away from. Protecting the workforce and spreading the load isn’t the agenda of the right, which would have had the lesser productive parts of the business laid off so the more productive parts could have stayed busy, on full pay, with the same amount of overtime.

    They’d also have let AMI fail – “sorry Christchurch, tough luck; besides we’re an Auckland party – look at the electorates we’re talking about”.

    It is for this reason I think Don’s electoral limit will top out at something like the 8% mark, but that should be sufficient for Act to give National a little more spine in government, but not be enough to control it. All they really need is enough influence so we end up with someone in the finance portfolio who understands what is going on.

  • abjv

    Will Rodney stay on till November, enjoying the baubles of office?

    Will he quit in the next couple of weeks (more than six months out from the election), in which case Peter Tashkoff is next on the list (assuming he is still an ACT member) if not then John Ormond.

    Message to Trevor etc al: it IS possible to remove a non-performing leader who is a disaster in the polls and is about to lead you to an electoral thumping.

    • abjv – Rodney Hide is an electorate MP. “Next on the list” is irrelevant.

      • abjv

        Mea cupla Of course he is. Epsom.

        I can only put my slip-up down to three 20-hour days in a row working on an urgent project for my company. Tends to fog the brain. Need another coffee.

        I don’t think the public will want a by-election so its either the baubels, or wait until within 6 months of the election date then quit.

        My comment to Trevor still stands – it is possible to remove a leader.

    • And AFAIK Tashkoff was expelled from the party.

  • mattyroo

    Have you joined ACT yet Whale?

  • stevewrathall

    I still reckon Rodney could have won Epsom, again, but that’s academic now.
    Welcome to our new leader.
    And I’m very gratified by all the postings over the past few days from those would support ACT if only Don Brash was leader. Membership can be done online at
    Welcome aboard.
    Now the hard work begins.

    • alien

      i cant believe it. first you have made a statement that Rodney could have won Epson …. yeah right …Lmao. Then switch to suck up Dons arse without even blinking …unbelievable . typical Act party Sycophant… then try and sell membership ….brilliant…

  • goldilocks

    Appreciate membership is critically important, particularly when requiring manpower, however Steve, I wouldn’t be too hasty in demanding it. The real power is in the votes and the money. I think you will find normal National supporters, and dare I say it, some current members of the National Party will maintain their membership but vote ACT. Be smart about this. I for one won’t be a member of either party once my membership with National lapses but will work for the greater good of the centre-right/right: both Parties. We need them both to do well. That work is considerably more valuable than say a $20 membership for a number and I can help out both teams.

  • kehua

    Don`t panic about cash all the yappies on the Northshore will dig deep for Brashs policies.