What are National thinking?

As mentioned earlier today National are adopting a very negative stance to Don Brash leading ACT.  With John Key away this is being led by Bill English who is trying to extract utu for Don rolling him, and then showing him up by getting nearly double the vote Bill did, as well as filling the party coffers and repaying all the debt Bill incurred as leader.

This negative approach to Don shows how stupid Bill is. Brash commands a lot of attention, and enjoys a lot of affection within National. Many in caucus owe their place in parliament to the revival in National that was brought about by Don Brash. He has the credibility to take a lot of National members and National voters with him, simply by promising the things that National has weaseled out on. A platform of removal of the ETS, one standard of citizenship and drastic cuts to the deficits will appeal to a lot of voters and donors.

National need to think this through carefully. If they go on the warpath against Don and he ends up holding the balance of power they will have to deal with him after the election, and though Don is a gentleman he may extract some utu of his own.

Careful thought seems to be something National doesn’t have a lot of when the PM is out of the country. The much vaunted campaign team must have brains in their arse if they did not know the moves Don has been making.

A decent campaign team would have been good mates with Brash immediately after the election, looking after Brash not ridiculing him, giving him options rather than forcing him to take the steps he has. The same goes for the other potential new parties, well funded, with good potential leaders, all of whom want to occupy the space on the right that National has vacated in a race to placate the wets on the front bench.

They seem to have forgotten that Don doesn’t actually need to appeal to everyone. If he wins 5 to 10% he will hold the balance of power and he can do that ignoring the need to be poll driven or appeal to the middle. Why the party has highly paid staff members who have not war-gamed this scenario or worked for the entire term to prevent it from happening is impossible for this blog to work out. The National Board should be asking some tough questions about campaign preparedness as it is no surprise to anyone in the political circles in Auckland that Don has been considering his options.

But then that says more about the so-called beltway experts and their real world expertise than anything else.


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  • thor42

    Bill English is the biggest DICKHEAD in the world (if not the fricken universe).
    He makes a cabbage look like Einstein. He should have retired years ago – he doesn’t have a damned clue about anything.

    • The useless fucking prick should have BEEN retired by the Party when he ‘led’ it to the biggest loss in its history. 22% of the party vote and 27 seats in the house and the useless fucker gets to be Minister of Finance by knifing the only bloke in the entire caucus capable of leading New Zealand out of the economic dead-zone the Klarkenfuhrer and English have put her in!

      For shame, National. For shame. I only hope when The Don does lead ACT to 10% (remember what he did with National inside of a year?) he does exact some serious utu on National and on English.

  • grizz

    Brash’s biggest obstacle is not Bill English or National, but the ACT Party itself. I welcome the rejuvenation of ACT all the same.

  • muncha1

    I’m National through and through but if Don can get Act’s top spot and promise what he did in 05, I could well vote Act. And if National rely on Act as opposed to one of the Maori Party or Act, it will be a vastly different government in the second term albeit with the same leaders and simalar ministers.

    As long as Nats+UF+Maori = <60, it will a very right wing Goverment.

  • rivoniaboy

    Was this the same Bill English who led National to one of its biggest electoral hidings, then broke down and sobbed like a like the loser that he is.
    After 30 years of bad Government there is now a real chance that Brash could hail a new era in New Zealand politics.

  • monty

    For the first election since 1996 I was not going to vote Act but National. I have long admired Rodney, but in 2011, Rodney has does his time. With Brash at the helm, I would definitely give my Party Vote to Act. this is in hope that Don would help National to regrow their balls.

  • tooright

    Brash and Banks have sold the Huljich Kiwisaver business they ran to Fisher Funds. They have cleared he decks and are ready for the battle ahead. I suspect the Act will be presented with two choices, as Act’s backers are now with Brash. Either Brash takes over Act or the backers back Don iand Banks into a new party. Either way Banks gets in in Epsom and Hide is dog tucker.

    • reid

      Banks has already said he wouldn’t run in Epsom hasn’t he? If I were him why would I want to? I’d already been a Minister, why would I want to become an electorate MP again?

      Sure, he would win in Epsom, yes he would, I just can’t see why he’d want to.

      • tooright

        Perhaps the reason is to coat tail a few more in with him?

  • gazzaw

    Beware the Ides of November Bill.

  • redbaiter

    Nope, I can’t see this working. ACT are a basket case policy wise, riven by internal ideological dissent. Brash ain’t got the bottle to do the sorting out that is needed. ACT is done, and if Brash goes there, he will be just be dragged down with them. Just my opinion.

  • kehua

    True the Idiot Banks was a Minister, and what a shocker he was, the fool was dropkicked by Auckland for an even bigger fool in Brown. Surely that gives a measure of his worth in the community. Zilch Banks Zilch. As for Don Brash a nice enough guy on the surface, but a pretty twisted personality in reality, he really is no different to Winston on the Maori scare tactics, and any minority candidate can pull monetary policy apart knowing they will never have to deliver. Brash or Rodney? depends upon what Alan Gibbs wants I suppose.

  • roger

    Bill English the REAL leader of national.Hone key is just the face,the old crap from the past still run the corrupt show

  • mediatart

    Just look at ACTs election results under Prebble- not someone to set your hair on fire but a steady hand.
    96 6.1% 8 MPs
    99 7.0% 9 MPs
    02 7.1% 9 MPs

    and then Hide
    05 1.5% 2 MPs
    08 3.65% 5 MPs- Hides ‘high tide’
    11 1.5% ?

    Its hard to believe now but under Prebble ACT was bigger than the Greens.

    In business if you cant make your numbers , then they will get someone who can, no excuses.
    Going from 6-7% to 1-2% is going going gone.
    Brash could get them 5% without trying too hard

  • cadwallader

    I cannot see a single downside to Brash re-entering the frame. Whether he is a National candidate or the leader of ACT in a coalition, he deserves to be the next Finance Minister.

    Thor: I agree that English is a complete dick-head, but not the biggest when you recall he is competing with the Labour front-bench.

  • bez01

    In my view they should let Hide stay on in Epsom, if he has the drive for it. Banks is damaged goods and should be steered clear of. Brash needs a good team and above all a very strong party leadership that will deal with those who have shown themselves as incompetent and treacherous. Get rid of Roy and that other woman who can’t string two coherent thoughts together. For god’s sake make sure Douglas retires. I’d like to see Newman in there and would think highly of Mitchell as well. Act has never had problems finding campaign funds and should focus on creating a very strong list, devoid of political hacks and party-hangers on, but looking at merits. Reinvigorate the party to put common sense realists and business people up front. Devise a party constitution that forces its MP’s to retire after two terms (one for all sitting MP’s). Become a political force on strong principles and demonstrate to the voters that these apply internally as well.

  • peterwn

    National’s best approach is IMO is to adopt a cool approach then warm up later. No one can criticise that approach. This is especially with John Key out of the country. No one has slammed any door at this stage. I doubt that Don Brash would expect National to immediately drop everything and embrace him. Bill English is being criticised here for adopting a ‘holding pattern’ with this rather than shooting from the hip. If National can be criticised for being offhand with Don Brash, it is really a criticism of John Key’s leadership – it is he and his Cabinet who would decide Don’s involvement in Government’s affairs, not the National Party Board.

    If one talks about vindictiveness on Bill’s part, then Don Brash would be wide open to claims of vindictiveness by consigning Maurice Williamson to the ‘departure lounge’ during his time as National leader.

    The frustration of many National Party members at the present Government’s stance is quite understandable, but which is better for NZ – a slightly ‘pinko’ National Government sincerely doing its best for NZ, or the Labour Party back in power. This is the stark choice facing right leaning electors and ACT itself.

    • A well thought-out comment, Peter, completely let down by your final sentence. I’ve always argued it’s better when an enemy comes straight at you with their intentions clear, than smiles and waves up alongside you to run the knife in. Liarbore under the Klarkenfuhrer were hard-core socialist scum. National under Key are soft-core socialist scum. There is absolutely no point having a National government if all they do is implement Liarbore policies. Take a look at National’s founding principles (you can’t find them on National’s website – it’s too full of weasel-words – but you can find them in the sidebar on Redbaiter’s blog). There is absolutely nothing in the current National government to indicate they believe those principles.

      For me, I’d rather have Liarbore back in power. At least they stood for something other than softly, softly socialism and corrupt dealings with the apartheid party.

      Now that said, if The Don takes over ACT and can do for ACT what he did for National after English tried to destroy it, there might be a glimmer of hope for New Zealand.

      • tooright

        What many here may forget is Brash brought National back from oblivion and within a whisker of victory. (We all remember theft of funds by Clark and Mike Williams that stole the 2005 election). There is no reason to believe Brash can’t get the focus right and bring back the ACT brand to a plus 5% position.

  • peterwn

    And IMO the present National Government is operating within these founding principles as far as it reasonably can. One must remember that the overarching objective of a political party is to get into power, and if in power to stay in power. All the founding principles in the world mean nothing if National languishes in opposition.

    It is the enemies of a political party who will harp on anout a party not following its ‘founding principles’ in the hope of hog tying the party to unacceptable policies.

    Several years ago, Redbaiter was criticing National in the leadup to a general election. He desisted whe I pointed out that he must be a Labour ‘mole’ or somrething like that judging by his comments.

    • You’re wrong Peter. There are some principles that are simply non-negotiable. Collectivisim, or socialism if you like, is the enemy of exceptionalism. Liarbore’s default position is collectivism; National’s *should be* exceptionalism. Sadly, Liarbore are a basket-case and after decades of creeping socialism the only freedom most kiwis now want is the freedom from responsibility. In exchange for that they are happy to surrender their other inherent freedoms.

      I can’t speak for Redbaiter, although we do think alike on many issues, but I for one am highly critical of the Key government for their failure to live up to their pre-election promise, for their craven pandering to the politics of apartheid (in direct contradiction to their pre-election position) and because, as a National Party government, I expect much, much better than what the current crop of fifth columnists and interlopers have done to date.

      They have accomplished nothing more or less than a Liarbore government would have. They have introduced, at last count, zero policies that are not in complete accord with their Liarbore mirror-image. They are a disgusting farce of what a National Party government should be and I, for one, am desperately hopeful that a resurgent ACT under Don Brash will drag National kicking and screaming, shame them back at least to their pre-2008 positions.

  • cadwallader

    Peterwn: What you have enunciated is the age-old dichotomy between Principles/Pragmatics. I draw from your post that you approve of National reflecting the apparent wishes of the electorate ahead of its founding tenets. This is not a new stance for National, I recall ministers in the 1970s aping Muldoon’s contention that National is a “broad-based party. At the time I took this to mean that the Nationals will do/say anything to be government. I remain of that view. It begs the question though as to why National bothers to exist.
    As to Brash, I approve of his re-appearance in NZ politics unreservedly. If he was to join ACT there is nothing to compel him to be leader. Why not promote Boscowen, retain Hide in Epsom and give Brash a list position? The gamble is whether Hide can keep Epsom. It has been a gamble in the past two elections and there need not be any undue concern for this to repeat itself. This is of course predicated on National standing back in Epsom.
    If a tenable Nat/ACT coalition can be attained without Dunne and/or the Maoris we may see a bolder Key lead a government which can, at the very least, nod to National’s founding tenets. Bring it on!!!!

  • deputy

    Although Brash opened our eyes concerning the Maori gravy train and at one stage looked as if he was going to win the election in 05, he was shot down by Clark who was so desperate to stay in office.

    I just cannot see Brash making another successful run as he is now second hand goods. Memo to Winston – take the hint !!!

  • Brash would be a winner for ACT. He doesn’t have broad appeal but he does have the financial nous needed to bring ACT up to at least 10%. Add the wanker Banks & for every ten votes Don attracts the arrogant dickhead who couldn’t even shine as a mayor will lose five of them.

  • kehua

    You have the Idiot Banks measured nasska, a complete tosser.