The SST reports:
ACT PARTY leader Don Brash’s coup has hit problems with a smear campaign that party insiders blame on supporters of the man he replaced, Rodney Hide.
The campaign has seen widespread rumours of affairs and even a “love child”. Last night Brash dismissed the accusations as appalling, while commentators labelled them a “new low” on the Kiwi political landscape.
I was interviewed for this story. [DPF: have removed the sentence which was here so it doesn’t identify anyone]
I’m not sure if the rumours are being pushed by any person or faction maliciously, or whether it is just an old joke that has turned into more wide-spread gossip. Most gossip spreads without malicious intent.
The man named as Brash’s son – who the Star-Times will not name – said the rumours were “fanciful”. He said he was aware of the rumours being spread about him by Hide supporters, and that the “mud-slinging represented a new low in New Zealand politics”.
Hide said he was not aware of any rumours, let alone being behind any smear campaign.
Last night Brash said he was staggered by the rumours, especially given that when he first met the family, the man at the centre of the allegations was already two-and-a-half or three.
“I’m not prepared to discuss this kind of issue, it’s just not appropriate at all. All I can say is categorically, [name withheld] is not my son.”
Heh that sounds so much like a Star Wars quote.
Right-wing commentator David Farrar said the country was headed for a more polarising debate than the bland campaign between Phil Goff and John Key that most commentators were tipping at the start of the year – and it was not just Act supporters shaking things up. Brash’s positioning on government spending and welfare could see some of National’s “soft” vote panic, and switch back to Labour, putting National under pressure.
He said no amount of rumours would shake Brash’s electoral appeal. “He could have half-a-dozen love children and it still wouldn’t change anything.”
Heh I must remember to turn down the hyperbole when being interviewed. The point I was making is that Brash attracts support for his policies on government spending and one law for all, not for being a family values crusader.
Talking of Don, he was on TV this morning with Hone Harawira again – on Marae. It was I think a better debate than the one on Close Up, and I think both of them benefit from going into battle against the other – they are almost in a symbiotic relationship. Don is the anti-Hone and Hone the anti-Don.