No valedictory for Hide

August 1st, 2011 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

John Armstrong at NZ Herald reports:

Former Act leader will not be delivering a farewell speech to Parliament because as far as he is concerned he is not retiring from politics.

He is instead being pushed out of the House by his successor.

Retiring MPs traditionally deliver a valedictory speech before the House rises for an election in which they review the highs and lows of their parliamentary career.

“I am not retiring,” Mr Hide said last night. “I did not choose to be pushed out.”

True, but many MPs leaving Parliament were pushed out.

For my part, I think it is a pity, as I’d like to hear what Rodney would have said in a valedictory.

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35 Responses to “No valedictory for Hide”

  1. mikenmild (8,817 comments) says:

    Perhaps we could compose a valedictory speech for him here.

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  2. David Garrett (5,134 comments) says:

    Perhaps its not inappropriate that I get to have first comment on this…Rodney and I were never friends, but I have huge admiration for the man’s abilities….to draft incisive questions for question time (I have been a trial lawyer for 20 years and I was crap at it compared with him); to give a speech without notes on just about anything…and a speech that ALWAYS made the socialists sit up and take notice; to have the willingess and ability to call “bullshit” on officials who made up stats on the impact of policies, particularly three strikes….

    He also had (has) an uncanny political instinct…most of the time. I once told him that 80% of the time he got it spot on…his immediate rejoinder was 80/20 is not a bad ratio. Sadly the times he got it wrong had a disproportionate impact….

    Like all of us, there is also a lot to him that others don’t see….I think there would be a bit of surprise about some of the challenges he has faced.

    Finally, he is still being pilloried for personally “covering up” my background…let me say again that despite her denials, Mrs Roy knew as much as Rodney did….as did Sir Roger and John Boscawen. Unlike her, the others have never tried to deny it. They ALL took the view – spectacularly wrongly as it turned out – that something that had happened a quarter of century ago wasn’t going to matter much if it came out.

    All the very best to you Rodney.

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  3. Griff (6,263 comments) says:

    Maybe he views such a speech as an acknowledgement of defeat The platform of concerned tax payers has been swept to the far right in my world view it sits at a tangent of the left right line

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  4. Michael (880 comments) says:

    It’s always been about putting Rodney first for Rodney, so I’m not surprised he’s having a three year old tantrum after the party lost confidence in him. Brian Neeson was the same, and look at what a success he became after burning all his bridges in Parliament.

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  5. Mick Mac (1,091 comments) says:

    Yeah it’s sad for us all as I am sure he would aquit himself well in doing so.

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  6. Manolo (12,626 comments) says:

    Sad finish to a political career that started well and finished as a big disappointment.
    I would blame the baubles and perks of power for Mr Hide’s failure.

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  7. Daigotsu (446 comments) says:

    Seems like he is having a bit of a flounce. Obviously he’s not happy with the way he left but those are the rules of the game, Rodney.

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  8. pdm (842 comments) says:

    As DPF says his speech would be worth listening to. He is probably the best orater in the house – probably even in the time he has been in Parliament. Well worth listening to even for those who do not agree with all he says. His departure is Parliaments loss in that regard.

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  9. David Garrett (5,134 comments) says:

    Manolo: I disagree. Rodney was never one to lord it around the ACT caucus in his position as a Minister. Rides in his ministerial car were available to whoever was going his way. He did not believe it was in any way an abuse of his position to take his then girlfriend along with him to Europe..It was his inability to realise that it was the public perception of that rather than whether the trip was within the rules that was crucial which was the beginning of the end for him.

    At the end of the day Rodney was brought down by those who did not accept that when a small party is part of the government there must be some pragmatic compromise…otherwise you stay like the Greens: gloriously pure in principle, and never anywhere near the levers of power.

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  10. Courage Wolf (559 comments) says:

    Perhaps he is thinking about coming back in 2014? Kind of like Peters’ intentions. Don Brash hasn’t exactly got the results he was hoping for after the takeover… So it is hard to imagine someone of his calibre staying in politics after one term if nothing changes.

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  11. Chuck Bird (4,412 comments) says:

    “It’s always been about putting Rodney first for Rodney, so I’m not surprised he’s having a three year old tantrum after the party lost confidence in him. ”

    Michael. Are you an ACT member? Have you any evidence that the ACT membership lost confidence?

    I talk to a lot of ACT members and it was a small vocal minority that did not like Rodney and set out to undermine him with leaks to the MSM that cost Rodney the leadership. Rodney made some dumb mistakes and some of the biggest was his support for certain individuals who repaid him with treachery.

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  12. Courage Wolf (559 comments) says:

    Chuck – I think what it comes down to is that ACT members are capitalists. When Brash started talking about a takeover – ACT members saw dollar signs. We are a lot more concerned about poll results than loyalty. I am Rodney’s biggest fan, read and tried to attend every single speech since 2002, my old blog cheerled every single thing he did (much like how Farrar spins almost all his posts here on Kiwiblog in favour of Key’s populism and ignoring his pussiness), spent countless hours defending him on various blogs over the years. But it would have been stupid not to leap at the opportunity of Brash potentially lifting our poll results. It was a no-lose situation – we could’ve stayed with Rodney and still be at 2%, or we could have given Brash a go and hope for more. The worst thing that could have happened was that we stay at 2% and that there is no change in poll results after the takeover, which unfortunately is the case. It’s better to have tried to see if a change in leadership would change our poll results, than to have done nothing and not tried at all, remaining at the same polling.

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  13. Chuck Bird (4,412 comments) says:

    CW, would you email me off the blog please? chuckbirdnz@gmail.com

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  14. petal (698 comments) says:

    Rodney, you’re not stupid. But you do act stupidly. John has stated he admires your political instincts. It’s not those that have let you down. It’s your social instincts that have seen you on a steady decline over the last 5 years. What’s done is done, but I suspect this is a decision you will look back on with some regret.

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  15. Courage Wolf (559 comments) says:

    It no longer exists Chuck – deleted it after the 2008 elections.

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  16. Michael (880 comments) says:

    Chuck – I was a member back in the 90s and early 2000s when the party had membership in the high thousands. (I saw the numbers due to my role.) I was one of the first that left when Hide became leader. Rumour was last year membership was down to under 1000. If that’s not a vote of not confidence in Hide by the membership then I don’t know what is.

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  17. Chuck Bird (4,412 comments) says:

    C/W, one of the reasons Rodney polled badly was infighting. Rodney certainly carries a lot of the blame for low polling but by no means all of it. It is not going to help ACT to discuss this on a public forum. If you would like to find out my view you can email me.

    Michael, you obviously do not like Rodney. When Don Brash took over National that cost ACT a lot of votes. ACT’s share of the vote goes up when National goes down ans up when National goes up.

    There is no doubt Rodney made a serious misjudgment with his trip. However, if was not for disloyalty of high ranking members and leaks of confidential information Rodney would still be leader and ACT would probably be polling the same or higher. Nothing will be gained by going in to detail.

    My point is than member my have left over a period of year but Rodney was certainly not unpopular by the current active membership.

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  18. Murray (8,835 comments) says:

    It doesn’t take long to say say two words.

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  19. BlairM (2,266 comments) says:

    Poor fellow sounds like he is living in a fantasy world if he thinks he can come back.

    Hide is simply too mercurial to lead a party or a laissez-faire political movement, and anybody who has worked with him should be able to see that. The robots left in ACT still love him, to be sure, but they are equally deluded. He needs to go back to academia, and stay there.

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  20. joana (1,983 comments) says:

    What a petulant prat. He is not even dignified in defeat.

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  21. orewa1 (425 comments) says:

    If Rodney had been employed in the private sector and done what he did in public office (appropriating company/public money for private travel) he would have been prosucuted and potentially jailed.

    Zero sympathy. Slink out quietly and hope nobody notices.

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  22. Clint Heine (1,560 comments) says:

    @ orewa1, then he’d have plenty of company as almost all MPs would be locked in their with him. Fool.

    I say good on Rodney. He knows what he is doing. ACT has suffered in the last 3 years more than any other due to the fact that for the first time in their history, they were properly part of a Government. It meant more often than not, Rodney was having to make unpopular decisions and not have the luxury of calling out the Nats for being softcocks. If you read his speeches and press releases over the previous 3 years, while ACT and Rodney were smashing up Labour and Winston (remember his success in getting rid of him?) he was also giving some mighty fine speeches about National. It pissed off many Nats.

    Being partners with them requires a little compromise. It isn’t helped when you have MPs within the party who are stroppy and refusing to work for the best interests of the party and choose to make public what were unproven accusations of bullying. This led to media turning on ACT more than ever before and the result put women off ACT and Rodney – the same man who was the darling of the women’s mags after DWTS. The internal ructions inside ACT did FAR more damage IMHO than anything Rodney did.

    Why does he have to make a speech? It seems the only people who want it are the people that don’t like him… why waste even a word on them?

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  23. Viking2 (10,723 comments) says:

    Of all the Minor parties in the House, who has made the most changes for the betterment of NZ?
    Who was the person who mostly led that charge.
    Act had how many MP’s at one time and what progress did it make?

    Rodney has achieved a lot for NZ. A Lot more than the Greens, a lot more than Winston and NZ First.
    A lot more than Dunny and Anderton

    Its time some of the screaming banshies around here took a step back and had a quiet look at the results.

    Just saying.

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  24. Rex Widerstrom (5,127 comments) says:

    Daigotsu says:

    those are the rules of the game, Rodney.

    A system which allows one man, not in Parliament, to end the political career of another, who is, without a single vote being cast is about as far from democratic as it’s possible to get.

    Assuming Brash has the courage to test his popularity in an electorate, Rodney should stand against him. I doubt either would win (thanks again to MMP) but the relative vote totals might be very telling.

    Aside from that, my impressions of Rodney pretty much accord with those of David Garrett.

    Good luck Rodney, here’s hoping you find another outlet for the contribution you can still make to NZ.

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  25. John Ansell (861 comments) says:

    The problem with ACT is that it’s made up of people who think. No other party has that handicap.

    And the thinkers think much the same, but not quite the same.

    And the differences get magnified, because they’re quite important differences.

    Like whether to have compulsory superannuation, or not.

    And whether to collaborate with a National socialist government, or not.

    I didn’t agree with the collaboration strategy. Feeding off crumbs is for conservatives. ACT is about bold strides, not granny-steps.

    But Rodney is a brilliant communicator – both verbally and in writing. He’s the clearest writer in parliament, and therefore by my definition one of the very best thinkers.

    It’s a shame likeability is so crucial in politics. It’s the quality that allows John Key to con his countrymen more royally than any other leader in the world right now.

    The likeability of one man and the gullibility of millions is costing this country plenty.

    Rodney is not Key. He’s better than that. He’s at his best when he’s free to think and write and talk straight.

    But as one of Key’s official buddies, he can’t do that. He’s muzzled. That’s no good when you’re a party of change agents.

    For all its faults, ACT is still the only party an honest voter can vote for. It’s still the only party that puts what’s right for the country ahead of what’s easy for itself.

    Rodney’s been a big part of that. I hope he reconsiders and makes the speech he’s capable of. And I hope he gives it to Key, not Brash.

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  26. The Gantt Guy (30 comments) says:

    @John Ansell “Feeding off crumbs is for conservatives”

    I agree with pretty-much everything you say. Apartheid Aotearoa: tick. Maorification: tick. Iwi/Kiwi: tick. But where the hell did you get that feeding off crumbs is for conservatives? Is there a political party in NZ that represents conservatives? (and if so, where do I join)? We conservatives are the single-most under-represented group in New Zealand society. In fact I don’t believe I could name a single Conservative MP (Jami-Lee Ross shows good promise, but he’s young and I suspect it will be just a matter of time before the national socialists beat him into line).

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  27. Courage Wolf (559 comments) says:

    It’s a shame likeability is so crucial in politics. It’s the quality that allows John Key to con his countrymen more royally than any other leader in the world right now.

    Truer. Fucking. Words.

    I need to get this quote enshrined and framed. Then shove it up the asses of the Young Nats I know from uni who keep saying compromising shit like: “Oh, we agree with ACT’s policies more than National’s, but we just don’t feel like a small party is the way to get them enacted.” Fuck, I feel like I just quoted David Farrar too. Sorry Dave, your blog is pretty much the only one I read these days but I can’t stand it when you cheerlead for John Key.

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  28. Manolo (12,626 comments) says:

    We conservatives are the single-most under-represented group in New Zealand society.

    Exactly right. Socialism and left-leaning ideology have infected thr great majority of political parties in our country.

    For a few years now you cannot say the National Party is a conservative organisation. Labour lite jettisoned its founding principles long ago.

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  29. Pete George (21,812 comments) says:

    Manolo – except that the “we conservatives” Gantt refers to is not under represented, it is a small group on the margins trying to make a big noise. If they had enough support surely they would have an MP representing them.

    And you are being selective of the term “conservative”. The Conservatives Gantt et al think they are criticise National for acting too conservatively.

    Talking about overthrowing our democratic government, of having violent revolution in New Zealand, that’s not a very conservative approach by Gantt’s so called Conservatives.

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  30. The Gantt Guy (30 comments) says:

    Wow Petey, 10,695 comments and not a single one worth a damn.

    For the record, I criticise the Quisling Key not for acting too conservatively. It was a silly word-play to start with, proving once again your inability to grasp even the most basic concepts. I’m sure he, like you, has absolutely no idea of the basic tenets of conservatism. I can understand you not knowing, you’re likely a product of the New Zealand public education system, but Key is the leader of a party founded on principles of conservatism. It is unforgivable (as it has been for every National Party leader since Sid Holland) for him to turn his back on those principles in favour of the weak, wet, soft-left socialist democracy he espouses. No, I criticise him not for acting conservatively but for acting too timidly in several important areas (such as, you know, the economy, or welfare reform) while at the same time appeasing the radical separatists in the Apartheid Party. See the difference between conservative acts and those of timidity? No, probably not because you’re a fucking idiot.

    I think you’d find, Petey, that conservatism (limited government, low taxes, a set of rules restricting the reach and power of government) actually has a larger number of followers than the socialist democratic system currently prevailing in New Zealand. A large number of people are actually sick to death of the government stealing their money and using it for nefarious means (to fund ever-more government, to fund organisations whose job it is to lobby government on behalf of their minority, to fund those fraudulently in receipt of welfare, or to spread around in a desperate bribe for votes come the next election).

    And as for talk of overthrowing “our” democratic government, I’m sure many here would agree sometimes governments act in such a way that, while they were legitemately empowered, they forget to whom they were answerable. Let’s not mention the legitemate election to power of the National Socialist party of Germany in the 1930′s or you’ll accuse me of complying with Godwin’s Law (since you have no argument against the points I make, you’re sure to jump at the content). Would you, for example, suggest that the Gillard government in Australia has any legitemacy whatever? Which of the administrations of Egypt would you prefer? The democratically elected government, the military junta that overthrew it, or the Islamic government about to be installed?

    Or in a hypothetical situation, were a government to ignore 87% (to pick a number at random) of the populace on an issue, would you say it had lost its mandate? Again hypothetically, if a government were to enact laws which radically alter the concept of property ownership, and which give one section of society rights which other groups do not hold, would you say they have lost their way? Would you call them racist? Accuse them of introducing apartheid into their country? No probably not, because you’re a fucking idiot.

    Incidentally, for anyone considering voting National in November, so you can see just how far they have strayed from the purpose for which they were founded, here are their founding principles:

    “To promote good citizenship and self-reliance; to combat communism and socialism; to maintain freedom of contract; to encourage private enterprise; to safeguard individual rights and the privilege of ownership; to oppose interference by the State in business, and State control of industry”.

    I’d like to hear from anybody who thinks the Key government is upholding those principles.

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  31. mikenmild (8,817 comments) says:

    Wow, if this is true: ‘that conservatism (limited government, low taxes, a set of rules restricting the reach and power of government) actually has a larger number of followers than the socialist democratic system currently prevailing in New Zealand, then you might expect a political movement to form and implement those conservative principles.

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  32. Pete George (21,812 comments) says:

    Key Government currently has 50-60% support.
    Gantt radical conservatism is an “under-represented group in New Zealand society”.

    You need to earn votes, not moan rote.

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  33. The Gantt Guy (30 comments) says:

    Awwwww, Petey’s found a soul-mate. Or has Petey got two logins?

    Anyway Dumb and Dumber, were my statement about the popularity of [limited government, low taxes, a set of rules restricting the reach and power of government] untrue, the Klarkenfuhrer would have had no need to steal the 2005 election from Brash-led English. That was, after all, the National Party policy platform under Brash.

    And Petey, the Key government has rampant, rabid support not because it is an inherently *good* government (the Double Dipping Dipshit from Dipton is Finance Minister, FFS) but because there IS no opposition. New Zealand is, to all intents and purposes, a one-party state right now which is why I wish Labour would hurry the fuck up and roll Goff.

    So tell me which you prefer. Assuming you both have jobs of some sort that involve something other than ticking a clipboard for the local Council. A system where you get to keep what you earn (less a small stipend to pay for defence and police) and you are responsible for taking care of yourself via things like private health insurance, private superannuation etc. and where you get to choose which lobby groups or charities you support. Or a system where a large percentage of your earnings are stolen from you to pay for whatever the government of the day decides it wants to fund?

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  34. Pete George (21,812 comments) says:

    I’d go for somewhere in between your extreme scenarios – similar to where we are now but with incremental improvements. Practical government rather than radical upheaval experiments.

    New Zealand is, to all intents and purposes, a one-party state right now

    No it’s not. There are four parties represented in the current coalition, and Greens have had input into policy too.

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  35. mikenmild (8,817 comments) says:

    What Pete said. And keep a civil tongue in your head if you want to be taken seriously.

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