Hide on the Brash coup

March 30th, 2012 at 4:25 pm by David Farrar

A must read interview with in the Listener. An extract:

The moment went public with his ambitions over the Easter break last year, Hide realised the game was up no matter what the result. “Once he’d announced the attack on me, I was toast,” he exclaims, relishing the chance to finally tell the story. “Even if I won I was toast, and so I thought, ‘Oh well, I’m toast, and I need to work this through in the best way,’” he says, edging closer to the table as the late sun falls across the street.

“I had to line up the board, line up supporters, line up the Prime Minister, walk them all through it, work out how to handle it. And of course, Don was such a klutz that I ended up organising his coup!” Hide’s final task was a phone call to Brash, whose absent-minded-professor voice he mimics as he relays the story.

“I said: ‘Don, you and I are having a press conference at 11am.’
“‘Oh really?’
“I said: ‘Yes and at this press conference I will be announcing that I am standing down.’
“‘Oh really? Oh, that’s very good of you.’ 
“‘The board will support you and I’ll bow out gracefully.’
“‘Oh that’s very good. Where’s the press conference?’
“‘I said: ‘It’s blah, blah, blah in Newmarket …’ and all the rest.
“‘Where will I park my car?’
“I said: ‘Don. I have organised your f—ing coup for you. You can figure out where to park your f—ing car.’”

Heh.

It is a lengthy and interesting interview.

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105 Responses to “Hide on the Brash coup”

  1. DJP6-25 (1,387 comments) says:

    Quite an interesting article. Thanks for the link.

    cheers

    David Prosser

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  2. flipper (4,068 comments) says:

    Priceless!

    But sad that it should happen to an up-right and fundamentally honest fellow that I worked for/with some 35 years ago and still, notwithstanding faults and frailties on both sides, admire for his superior intellect. Perhaps only JK could approach him.
    I hope there are no cheap jibes.

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  3. toad (3,674 comments) says:

    Huh?

    Don Brash, the self-styled saviour of our economy, and of the ACT Party, can’t even work out where to park his car, let alone his cock.

    As you say, flipper, “Priceless!”

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  4. Grendel (1,002 comments) says:

    yeah thats so really really funny toad.

    almost as funny as Gaias chosen in NZ being so into trains that we should all use them but they always seem to forget they exist when need to travel.

    or the boy MP not knowing where ohariu is, so he flew around the country on the taxpayer instead.

    PRICELESS!

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  5. David Garrett (7,291 comments) says:

    toad: I believe all those “inside the beltway know which sniveling” little shit at Green Party HQ you are..but some of us in the provinces don’t…so how about manning up and telling us your name before making snide and potentially defamatory remarks? Not willing to? didnt think so…

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  6. burt (8,272 comments) says:

    toad

    What is the Green party position on sex outside of marriage ? Or is this puritanical BS just your own intolerance for typical human behaviour?

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  7. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    Yeah toad, who do you think you are? Only slanging off Green politicians please, even on a thread about the clueless Dr Brash and the charmless Mr Hide.

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  8. burt (8,272 comments) says:

    mikenmild

    Hardly the point. I can’t speak for others but if toad was as focused on the irrelevant in the context of a Green party MP my response would have been the same.

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  9. burt (8,272 comments) says:

    toad

    Are you a woman who’s recently found out that your male partner has been having an affair ? If so I’m sorry for being so harsh on you – I understand that these things are a bit upsetting.

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  10. kiwi in america (2,454 comments) says:

    Fascinating – Brash what a muppet! I remember arguing with John Ansell here on kiwiblog after the coup when he crowed about Brash polling 40% once he let loose with the 2011 version of Iwi Kiwi – I pretty much predicted ACTs wipeout much as I am sympathetic to the party and some of its policies. The Brash coup will go down as one of the more foolish acts in NZ political history.

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  11. orewa1 (410 comments) says:

    I dont give a toss about politicians’ private lives, within reason. If absolute adherence to conventional, puritanical moral convention were a prequisite for political office, we would be very starved for politicians.

    However, I do care very much about their personal integrity. And I remember starkly Hide using my money to take his partner to a wedding in the UK.

    I’m not sure why the Listener gives him publicity. He is yesterday.

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  12. toad (3,674 comments) says:

    @burt 6:02 pm

    No, I am a man, and as far as I know my partner is not having an affair. And I would not be embittered if she were. Life’s like that, and if it happens you move on with your life.

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  13. burt (8,272 comments) says:

    orewa1

    I’m not sure though which is worse – Hide using our money for his own personal perks after being parliaments perk buster or Hide using the “I’ll pay it back now move on” standard self serving MP approach when he was caught.

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  14. burt (8,272 comments) says:

    toad

    So you were being a cock then ?

    Besides Brash absolutely knew where to put his cock !

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  15. toad (3,674 comments) says:

    @kiwi in america 6:23 pm

    The Brash coup will go down as one of the more foolish acts in NZ political history.

    The ACT one or the Nat one, KIM?

    As far as I am concerned, both were foolish, but at least the Nat one kept the Nats out of government for another 3 years – not that Labour did anything useful in the context of ecological sustainability or social justice in the 2005-2008 term anyway – but at least we didn’t get another round of Rogernomics courtesy of Brash.

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  16. burt (8,272 comments) says:

    toad

    Did Labour do anything useful in the context of ecological sustainability or social justice in any of their 3 terms of stolen elections ?

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  17. Nostalgia-NZ (5,214 comments) says:

    Disappointing that Rodney wasn’t asked about the ‘marriage of convenience’ that led him on the law and order path which eventually imploded on him. It seems to be that was more fundamental to the end of his parliamentary career than the coup which eventually arose from it.

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  18. bhudson (4,740 comments) says:

    Rodney preparing the ground for a comeback attempt perhaps?

    If he teamed up with John Boscawen again they might well be able to keep the traditions of ACT! alive. Would the board and membership play along?

    It certainly looks better than the speculative alternatives flying around the blogosphere since ACT!’s election result

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  19. David Garrett (7,291 comments) says:

    toad: so…still hiding behind your pseud eh? How very surprising..

    Nostalgia: that is no doubt a thinly veiled dig an me…you all seem to forget that “three strikes” and zero tolerance policing and more freedom for a man to defend his castle as he/she saw fit were all ACT policies long before they ever heard of me…

    Hide didnt make any marriage of convenience with the law and order lobby, Prebble did…many many years ago.

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  20. Nostalgia-NZ (5,214 comments) says:

    David Garrett
    6.53

    I think I was more aligned with the dig at you, earlier on. Particularly when looking at a fall back perception for the public who had rightly or wrongly seen Act as only about the 3s legislation. Whatever Don Brash was trying to do, it was to realign the broader policy that was probably lost to the public mind. I’ve seen others comment on that on here, particularly just after the election. So in it’s narrowest aspect I was interested in the wider base of Act’s policies and how Rodney might now consider having offered a perception of having put all his eggs in one basket in the public mind. I actually think Don Brash had a lot to offer but the timing and opportunity was was out of kilter.

    I take your point about the origins of 3s being policy before your time but that doesn’t diminish interest in the decision and how Hide and other Act members might view it now, yourself included.

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  21. David Garrett (7,291 comments) says:

    Nostalgia: thanks for that clarification…Even when I was there we were never just about 3S..Rodders himself had some significant policy wins…no Maori seats on the Auckland council being just one example…the fact was the media focused on 3S, I think intially because the thought it was a joke, and then later because of their incredulity that it was actually going to pass…

    and I have to acknowledge that my undoubted mistakes helped them to focus on me – which of course was ultimately my downfall – rather than our wider agenda…

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  22. tvb (4,425 comments) says:

    This is very odd indeed. Rodney wanted out it seems and asked Don, even begged him to take over.

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  23. David Garrett (7,291 comments) says:

    And Nostalgia: “How I view it now” is I am immensely proud of 3S, and quite certain it has made NZ a safer place, and will continue to do so while it remains the law…but right now, with only two second strikers and no third strikers, it is very vulnerable to repeal…after 10 years or so it would be impossible to repeal it without huge political consequences…

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  24. big bruv (13,904 comments) says:

    Toad

    “Don Brash, the self-styled saviour of our economy, and of the ACT Party, can’t even work out where to park his car, let alone his cock.”

    So Brash is a lot like Kevin Hauge then?

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  25. David Garrett (7,291 comments) says:

    tvb: No, not at all…I know he has seen this thread, and I really hope he comments..but I dont think he will…Whether others sneer at this or not, it is a fact that RH is a man of immense integrity and personal courage…he saw that Brash had the backing of others, and that he – RH – was probably irreparably damaged…he stepped aside for the good of the Party…much good it did as things transpired…

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  26. eszett (2,410 comments) says:

    he stepped aside for the good of the Party;

    Pretty sure he would have done a lot better than Don. Couldn’t have done much worse.

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  27. big bruv (13,904 comments) says:

    David Garrett

    You are right that RH was damaged, I have only just forgiven him for being the very thing I thought he was not (a man seduced by the baubles of office)
    However, fuck what these left wing losers have to say (I mean what has Toad’s lot actually achieved?) both you and RH have made a positive difference to the way we all live…and for that we all owe you a vote of thanks.

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  28. Nostalgia-NZ (5,214 comments) says:

    David Garrett
    7.48

    Actually I don’t agree with the last part there because from what I’ve read you hadn’t kept any ‘secrets’ from Act, and therefore the electorate as a personal decision. I may be wrong on that. But if correct, it is something else Rodney Hide’s interview could have touched upon, being at the time the experienced MP who was involved in that decision. You undoubtedly have a view on that now which you are entitled to express or keep to yourself but you can probably see it goes a little further than any interest in Don Brash being concerned about finding parking.

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  29. eszett (2,410 comments) says:

    The ACT one or the Nat one, KIM?

    As far as I am concerned, both were foolish, but at least the Nat one kept the Nats out of government for another 3 years

    You have a pretty strange view on that one. If anything, Brash nearly got the Nats into government, only his late fuck up with the Brethern and the handling of it tipped the scales. It certainly paved the way for John Key. Not really foolish by any measure.

    We certainly dodged a bullet there and given the result of ACT with Don as the leader, a lot of people think that as well. Mostly because it is clear that he cannot even work out where to park his car, let alone run the country.

    (And not because he “cannot work out where to put his cock”, which is completely irrelevant and a stupid remark to make)

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  30. toad (3,674 comments) says:

    @big bruv7:51 pm

    Sorry, no bite (for which you may be grateful)!

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  31. David Garrett (7,291 comments) says:

    Nostalgia: I haven’t asked him, but I imagine Rodney’s interview with the slimy Espiner was subject to a good number of conditions about what would and would not be discussed…I was a bit surprised though I have to say about some things that weren’t touched on…NOT including my mistakes…I would have thought he would have opined on who had created the situation where the Brash coup was even remotely plausible…

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  32. big bruv (13,904 comments) says:

    Toad

    Lol…I thought it was quite funny.

    Mind you, had I made that comment about a gay MP ( like the one you made about Brash) you would have accused me of being homophobic.

    So…why do you think it is fine to have a crack at a hetrosexual MP’s sex life?

    Is it another example of Green hypocrisy or are you hetrophobic?

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  33. David Garrett (7,291 comments) says:

    toad: you werent one of those gutless weasels who used to heckle me at on the “Backbenches” TV show, but then run off as the show was about to finish in case I came over and had you on?

    The little weasel with the tweed jacket, the goatee beard and the WW II gas mask bag?? Was that you?

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  34. toad (3,674 comments) says:

    @David Garrett 8:34 pm

    Sorry, you got the wrong person. I live in West Auckland (not too far from you, unless you’ve moved recently) and have been to that pub in Wellington twice in my life, and only once when the “Backbenches” show was being recorded, and you weren’t there that night. And I would never wear a tweed jacket.

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  35. David Garrett (7,291 comments) says:

    toad: you are a greenie right? You are not Presland in another persona are you? Why s dont u just out yourself mate? apparently half the people on here know who you are anyway..

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  36. big bruv (13,904 comments) says:

    Toad has been known to wear a tweed hat though David, :)

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  37. toad (3,674 comments) says:

    @big bruv 8:43 pm

    Toad has been known to wear a tweed hat though David

    No, but would rather wear that than a tinfoil one like climate change deniers do.

    [Still on topic DPF - given thread is about Hide and Brash.]

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  38. Nostalgia-NZ (5,214 comments) says:

    David Garrett

    When I read the interview again, it seems more like some promotion toward the potential job at Radio Live, maybe based on a favour called in – the genial radio host, never going back to politics, happy with his lot and so forth.

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  39. big bruv (13,904 comments) says:

    Toad

    You still using that silly “denier” tag to try and silence anybody who is not taken in by the lack of proof about climate change being man made?

    Memo to Toad:

    Must do better.

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  40. David Garrett (7,291 comments) says:

    BB: if your know the weasel’s name, why not tell us? Out the snivelling little prick!

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  41. toad (3,674 comments) says:

    @David Garrett 9:04 pm

    Suggest you don’t drive anywhere tonight.

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  42. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    toad
    I think he’s always like that – maybe worse when he sobers up!

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  43. big bruv (13,904 comments) says:

    David Garrett

    I genuinely don’t know Toads name. All I know about Toad is that he is a sanctimonious and hypocritical Green who is all in favour of shutting down free speech and outlawing anything that the Greens do not agree with. He is also a commie like all the rest of the Greens.

    However, he does have two redeeming factors, he is a cricket fan and a dog lover.

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  44. David Garrett (7,291 comments) says:

    Jeez…is that the best you two anonymous clowns can do?!!

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  45. David Garrett (7,291 comments) says:

    BB: Ok…its pretty sad when all they can come up with is a suggestion that I am on the turps…

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  46. Nick K (1,244 comments) says:

    I could give my 2c worth from an ex Board member’s perspective (and on the Board at the time), but never like airing dirty laundry in public.

    David, if you’re still around, what do you think?

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  47. big bruv (13,904 comments) says:

    David

    Don’t worry about it mate. They have achieved fuck all in life and like all lefties they are bitter and twisted when they are not in power.

    Sticks and stones mate…anyway, why would you bother about what a couple of Pinko’s have to say about you?

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  48. David Garrett (7,291 comments) says:

    Yeah, go for it Nick…you know the best defence to a defamation action is truth !! I will come out of hiding to give evidence on your behalf!! I was there, and know who said what when…

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  49. Nick K (1,244 comments) says:

    I’ve just stopped and thought (it was painful), and until the AGM in three weeks I am still on the Board, so will keep my hands away from the keyboard. But there is a story here, which will be told.

    What I will say is there are people you are willing to stand beside in life: David Garrett, John Boscawen and Rodney Hide are three such people.

    Then there’s the other MPs from 2008.

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  50. David Garrett (7,291 comments) says:

    Bloody good of you Nick, I appreciate that…if things had worked out differently we three would have made a formidable team…well, we did…trouble was the other team…

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  51. Nick K (1,244 comments) says:

    You have your words mixed up…..the other team was trouble.

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  52. libertyscott (359 comments) says:

    New Zealand politics hasn’t let people’s personal lives, living arrangements and the like be used as fodder for bringing down people’s politics or careers, by and large. The skeletons and widely known secrets about the personal lives of many MPs remain so because journalists don’t indulge in that gossip, largely because NZ is a small country and doing so may jeopardise careers because it could restrict access. The Greens have these too, including one that is legally embargoed (although they would disown the individual now). Rob Muldoon did play this game from time to time and Ian Wishart has done so too, but by and large people’s private lives are left alone. Frankly, unless someone is prophelytising about such things or is breaking the law (or both, like Graham Capill), I couldn’t care less.

    Don Brash happily served as a professional public servant for years under multiple governments, he is a thoughtful man who has never, to my knowledge, played the man rather than the ball on issues. The period of his ACT leadership was disastrous for a wide range of issues, but his National leadership rescued the party from near oblivion to being on the cusp of a win. For that party, it was a success and he also opened the previously taboo subject of the state providing specific funding or other privileges on the basis of race – which of course saw MPs on the left roll out their instant abuse word “racist”, rather than substantively debating what is really a fundamental philosophical view on identity, the individual and the state. They wont debate it because they know, that in a liberal democracy, their view wont wash (but it is dominant in universities and some state bureaucracies) with most of the public.

    What he did need was more thorough media training, but he is most comfortable being academic, being a thinker – being a politician requires image management and all sorts of window dressing that a man like Brash has not spend his life honing – because fundamentally, being a politician requires you to be liberal with the truth and pretend to like and approve of (and disapprove of) what it takes to make lots of people who pay little attention to politics or issues, to give you and your team a “tick”.

    It isn’t an art or a science or a discipline – it is an exercise in marketing. Brash is not a man for that.

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  53. Graeme Edgeler (3,289 comments) says:

    Yeah, go for it Nick…you know the best defence to a defamation action is truth !! I will come out of hiding to give evidence on your behalf!! I was there, and know who said what when…

    I’d have said the best defence to a defamation action was consent (or, in a clear cut case, absolute privilege). Truth can be complex and difficult to establish: you’ve got to prove the truth of the sting of the publication, not necessarily just what you were saying. It also risks an increased damages award if you fail.

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  54. Falafulu Fisi (2,179 comments) says:

    Hide still had some good vision for the party I think, besides Hide is a good bloke. I believe that it was a mistake for Brash to let go of Hide. Brash should have kept him there in Epsom instead of John Banks.

    Anyway, I didn’t know that Toad implied indirectly in his message above that his ass is a cock-parking space available for hire. Toot, toot! I reckon that those big Polynesian transvestites in K’Rd want to rent Toad’s ass on a busy Friday night.

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  55. Nostalgia-NZ (5,214 comments) says:

    libertyscott

    I agree with what you say about Don Brash, everything he ever said was reasoned and he could debate it. I thought it was unfortunate when he was attacked on all sides for saying that we should have a debate on the drug laws. Because he is such a logical thinker I feel he had a lot to offer on the sacred cows of crime and punishment, not least the crippling economic expense and therefore money that could be better spent elsewhere on children for example and building an economy. He frightened people who were entrenched and therefore ‘safe’ in their views.

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  56. Chuck Bird (4,890 comments) says:

    “I agree with what you say about Don Brash, everything he ever said was reasoned and he could debate it.”

    I disagree. I got to know Don very well during the campaign. I think he is a nice guy but unfortunately very naive and easily led. No political policy can be considered well reasoned if one fails to take the human factor into account. Don considered Banksie a friend. If that was the case Don should have known Bank’s views on such things as alcohol and drugs both before he insisted on Banks replacing Hide and also before he sprung his musings on drugs on ACT members and of course the public.

    Did Don consider the likely reaction of Banks and how the public would view the Party Leader and the candidate who was critical to ACT’s survival holding diametrically opposing views on cannabis? The answer must be no.

    ACT’s polling was not that flash before Don’s talk on cannabis. After the talk ACT’s polling dropped a lot further. There are still idiots like Perigo who was largely responsible for this dumb idea who believe that if Don stuck to this politically stupid idea ACT would have done well. The legalise cannabis fanatics have their own party to vote for or they can vote Green.

    I can tell you now there is no way Banks would have caved in and endorsed such a policy. Therefore for any vote gained for a pro cannabis policy more would have been lost.

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  57. Paulus (2,627 comments) says:

    Burt

    The Greenpeace Party still don’t know the difference between Fracking and F..cking yet.
    But the feral media do. Ask Trevor – he knows.

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  58. David Garrett (7,291 comments) says:

    Nostalgia and Chuck: Whatever the merits of Don’s canard on cannabis laws, it is almost incredible that he apparently didn’t even TELL Banks what he was going to muse in public, much less discuss Banks’ likely reaction with him in advance.

    Had the most basic consultation occurred, it could have been a big winner: Don showing how “libertarian” and “classical liberal” he – and therefore ACT – was, and that would have been reinforced by Banks’ polite disagreement, but some comment about how the ACT party believed everything should be up for debate; the issue deserved to be considered from all sides, blah blah blah, but that his views were unlikely to change. Win-Win-Win…for Don, for Banks, and for ACT.

    Instead it was an utter disaster. Chuck blames Perigo for this…I haven’t a clue who was behind it, but whoever it was hasn’t got a clue. Rodney would never have allowed it…His famous loud guffaw must have been heard in the next suburb…

    Fisi: Malo e lelei…Horribly off topic but the thought of those big fakaleitis making use of some spindly underfed vegetarian greenie is…well, for a change I find myself quite lost for words… ( I imagine Toad to be a snivelling little chap in person, but hey, I have been wrong before…it may just be the nature of his posts on here)

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  59. Nostalgia-NZ (5,214 comments) says:

    David and Chuck

    Yes. I concede he needed to let Banks know in advance, which endorses libertyscott’s point of view of Don not being a politicial beast. That said, wasn’t Banks, with all his experience, able to incorporate the idea in the manner David Garrett’s suggests above – even if it was a bolt from the blue. I would have thought that you never isolated the leader in that way, particularly when the party was already in a tight corner. I also imagine that the 2 being friends would have forewarned Banks to be on the alert for weather bombs. Could be argued that Don was anticipating that because it was a tough ask heading into the election, and JB was experienced, some suggestions could be off the cuff. I think JB’s reaction did more damage that Don floating the idea. The idea drew attention and got people (at least some) thinking about Act in a different way, a clear point which could have been built upon with more later.

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  60. Tom Barker (143 comments) says:

    “What I will say is there are people you are willing to stand beside in life: David Garrett, John Boscawen and Rodney Hide are three such people.”

    I see that Rodders is calling on Doug Graham to turn in his knighthood. What a pal to have in your hour of need.

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  61. KevinH (1,227 comments) says:

    “Death of a Political Party”, An autobiographical novel from Rodney Hide about his years in Parliament.

    Brash didn’t know what a classical liberal was, and maybe Perigo did influence him with the cannabis thing, but whatever, the takeover was clumsy and poorly executed, lacking quality.
    Brash has killed off ACT because it’s no longer needed, the money guys called it a day. John Banks will naturally enough cling to the corpse that ACT currently is until something better comes along.
    Question: Can ACT be revived?, is the will there from ex ACT MP’s to give it a go?

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  62. Chuck Bird (4,890 comments) says:

    Nostalgia-NZ, and after that I suppose you think the next time Banksie should have gone along with homosexual marriage and adoption, euthanasia and more liberal abortion laws.

    John Banks did not cave on the issue of cannabis and he will not cave on other moral issues. If the fanatical libertarians in ACT cannot accept that fact they should join Libertarianz. If they continue to push their pet issues it will be the end of ACT. Just look at how many votes Libertarianz – 1550.

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  63. David Garrett (7,291 comments) says:

    Tom Barker: Whatever gave you the idea Rodney was ever a mate of Lord Montrose’s? I’m sure the pompous git will “persuade” the trustees of this family trust to keep stumping up for his annual dues at the Northern Club, and maintain the account at his London tobacconists.

    Montrose did enough damage to this country by pandering to every maori claimant with a sob story before he persuaded numerous retirees that with him on the Board their money was safe. I’m sure his tangi at the Remuera marae will be very well attended in due course.

    KevinH: Why the hell would Banks “cling on to the corpse ..until something better comes along”? The man is a self made millionaire who doesn’t need the aggro.

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  64. Chuck Bird (4,890 comments) says:

    “John Banks will naturally enough cling to the corpse that ACT currently is until something better comes along.”

    Like most ACT members I had no say in Banks selection for Epsom. I thought it was not a good idea like the rest of the way the takeover was done.

    Those people who think there needs to be a party to the right of National economically it would make sense for them to support ACT. Those who are more concerned about libertarian principles and ideology then support Libertarianz.

    Having said I did not initially support Banksie replacing Rodney I am impressed with the effort he has put in so far. I am sure he is not planning on having ACT be a one man party like the Peter Dunne party. From what I have seen of John he is a leader not a dictator.

    I bet he would agree with me that the AIDS Foundation should not receive public funding but he would not state so publicly and certainly not without discussing it with the Board which would be the equivalent of what Don did.

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  65. Nostalgia-NZ (5,214 comments) says:

    Chuck Bird

    The electorate was highly sceptical about Banks anyway, particularly as to where his allegiances really were. He went with Act and should have supported the leader. You speak as if he was being compromised, but it was him that compromised Don Brash the way I see it.

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  66. Chuck Bird (4,890 comments) says:

    “Montrose did enough damage to this country by pandering to every maori claimant with a sob story”

    I do not think that is quite accurate David. I do not think most people would be so concerned if the settlement money went to improve the lot of the average Maori. It appears that a lot of it has gone to a brown elite who just give a few crumbs to the lower income Maori. Under this National government it has even been earmarked for family member of Maori Party MPs in return for their vote.

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  67. Tom Barker (143 comments) says:

    “Tom Barker: Whatever gave you the idea Rodney was ever a mate of Lord Montrose’s?”

    Lord Montrose could at least allege that he didn’t realise he was a party to wrongdoing. Rodney the Rorter couldn’t claim that and nor, come to think of it, can you, Mr Third Strike.

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  68. Chuck Bird (4,890 comments) says:

    Tim Barker let me get this right. You have never knowingly done anything wrong in your life. Is that correct?

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  69. Tom Barker (143 comments) says:

    It’s Tom, you dick. And I’ve done plenty of wrong things in my time. But not with other people’s money, or their dead children’s identities.

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  70. Chuck Bird (4,890 comments) says:

    “And I’ve done plenty of wrong things in my time”

    Yeah like right now attacking someone who did something pretty foolish 27 years ago. And getting the facts wrong.

    Rodney broke no law or Parliamentary rule so claiming he is a rorter in unsubstantiated.

    Since you have to resort to abuse shows you have no argument and are no as bright as you or near perfect as you think you.

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  71. Tom Barker (143 comments) says:

    Just remind me, Chuck – what’s the date of Mr Garrett’s most recent criminal conviction? (I find it hard to keep up with these things.)

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  72. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    ‘Rodney broke no law or Parliamentary rule so claiming he is a rorter in unsubstantiated.’ Ha ha. Didn’t he pay back public money used for a trip with his girlfriend? Not a good look for the self-described (and very self-satisfied) perk buster, was it?

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  73. Chuck Bird (4,890 comments) says:

    David had a conviction for being over the limit recently. I can recall by how much but it was not a lot. This I believe would be under the Land Transport Act so would not qualify as a criminal conviction. As you are probably are he got a $10 fine for an assault charge in Tonga when he was the only one with an injury. So he made one relatively serous mistake almost 30 years ago. BTW, what party did you vote for? Clark did worse by committing fraud but did not have to stand trial.

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  74. Chuck Bird (4,890 comments) says:

    “Not a good look for the self-described (and very self-satisfied) perk buster, was it?”

    No, it was not and he would be the first to acknowledge it.

    Tell us all your name and enough to identify yourself. I bet you are not perfect.

    I do not expect MPs from any party to be perfect but I think I do expect a higher standard of behaviour. However, I expect a much higher standard of behaviour from people we are expect to call Sir. I do not think that MPs should be Knighted. They mostly work hard but get very well rewarded in many ways other than financially. One of the few pieces of legislation that John Key changed was about honours. I am sure he had himself in mind.

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  75. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    Nt really a valid comparison, is it Chuck? Someone who isn’t prosecuted can’t be guilty of a crime. So like it or not, we have Garrett (for example), criminal, and Clark, not a criminal. Not a big deal though. Their relative merits will, I’m sure, always be measured on a political basis.

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  76. Chuck Bird (4,890 comments) says:

    “Someone who isn’t prosecuted can’t be guilty of a crime”

    Are you sure of that?

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  77. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    Pretty sure that’s a reasonable legal position.

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  78. The Scorned (719 comments) says:

    Chuck Bird…Its was YOUR brand of conservative cancer that killed ACT….not Don Brash espousing on liberalising cannabis that IS and should be ACT core principle……which sadly where taken off their website and hidden away like a shameful secret till Perigo reinstated them. According to an inside party source I know it was stated to all the board that Brash would speak on cannabis…Banks new it beforehand…and it got Brash and ACT the most positive response I have ever seen from the voting public. That ACT choked and in a cowardly reversal shunned Brash and what he said showed the party was hollow and a dead thing walking….One only has to look at the support the Greens get with their reputation as being liberal on drugs to know that ACT should have shed he grey tired conservative shell that has smothered it and embraced its true socially liberal heart…it would now have at least 8 MP’s in the house I believe. The future is young and liberal…not old and conservative.

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  79. Chuck Bird (4,890 comments) says:

    Your two statements are not the same.

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  80. Nostalgia-NZ (5,214 comments) says:

    Slightly off point from the to and fro but what would the electorate’s reaction been if DG before entering Parliament had been advised to front up with what had happened in his young pre-university days (I think it was) and the stoush outside a Tongan bar? I think it’s an interesting question on the basis that Tanzcos (sp?), Hone Harawira, maybe even Willie Jackson because of his radical-union background had a type of reputation that preceded them, and of course Chuck Bird dines out on examples of ‘fraud’ that the didn’t even result in a charge. It can be a bit of a slippery and uneven slope, even when thinking of Nick Smith who it seems only bumbled his explanation over letters he wrote. I get the impression with the latter that he had strong grounds to deny, deny, deny having sought to influence a decision, after first fronting up with all the facts to the PM.

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  81. Nostalgia-NZ (5,214 comments) says:

    The Scorned
    3.54

    That’s fill a gap in the narrative.

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  82. Chuck Bird (4,890 comments) says:

    “That ACT choked and in a cowardly”

    The Scorned, on the topic of cowardly tell us all are you an ACT member and if so what is your name?

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  83. Chuck Bird (4,890 comments) says:

    This thread was about whether one should retain an honour like a knighthood regardless of ones behaviour and that did not just relate to people being convicted of criminal offences. I note that Nick Smith had been convicted of a criminal offence whereas Helen Clark like David Benson-Peep was not. The fact that Helen got rid of the previous Police Commissioner Peter Doone and replaced him with someone compliant might have had a little to do with the way National MPs got charged and Labour MPs only did if they threatened to run as an independent.

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  84. David Garrett (7,291 comments) says:

    Chuck! Nice one Chuck! That last sentence is brilliant!

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  85. Nick K (1,244 comments) says:

    According to an inside party source I know it was stated to all the board that Brash would speak on cannabis…Banks new it beforehand…and it got Brash and ACT the most positive response I have ever seen from the voting public. That ACT choked and in a cowardly reversal shunned Brash and what he said showed the party was hollow and a dead thing walking….One only has to look at the support the Greens get with their reputation as being liberal on drugs to know that ACT should have shed he grey tired conservative shell that has smothered it and embraced its true socially liberal heart…it would now have at least 8 MP’s in the house I believe. The future is young and liberal…not old and conservative.

    It was stated to the Board the day before the speech. The speech was given on a Sunday. The Board was told at a board meeting on the Saturday before. By then it was too late to change because it had already been sent to the media and Don was appearing on TV the next morning (Paul Holmes if you recall). It was not run by Banks. I know that for sure because it was me who asked Don if he had done so, and he said no.

    As for the rest of this comment, you cannot introduce such a controversial paradigm shift in positioning just a matter of weeks out from an election. It is not possible. These things take years. That is how you shift perception and shift from old conservative to young liberal. Whether you like it or not, you have to do it gently, and with a planned strategy. To say ACT would have 8 MPs if it stuck to the Cannabis policy is nonsense. You need to know where ACT support base is – it’s mostly economically liberal males over 40. You can pick some up on the margins outside of that, but not a significant amount, and certainly not 100,000 which you seem to suggest was achievable if ACT stuck to the Cannabis stance.

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  86. Nostalgia-NZ (5,214 comments) says:

    Nick K

    That approach seems oto tired, particularly saying you can’t make a paradigm shift in a matter of weeks. You can make such a shift particularly when the public are listening for fresh ideas and at time when Act needed to firmly re-position itself after mistakes it had made years earlier in not trusting the public to accept that David Garratt had put his past behind him, rather than hiding what inevitably came out. From what you write it seems that the knives were out for Don Brash and this was a bloody minded exercise to get him whatever the cost. Act, putting in politely, was a political party in crisis looking at it from the outside, letting Banks go ahead assuming that the party would be behind him at a time it mattered, election time, then to turn away reeked of bitterness and personality conflicts that loomed bigger than the interest of the party.

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  87. Nick K (1,244 comments) says:

    Rubbish – all of that.

    The public was listening for a fresh idea of decriminalising personal use of cannabis? I must have overlooked that opinion poll. Yes Act had to re-position itself, but a few weeks out from an election was not the time to be doing that. In my view it needed to stick to its knitting of less government and economic liberalism.

    And you reproduce the same olf tired line that the knives were out for Don Brash. Nothing could be further from the truth, and I’m going to leave that at that. Anyone who says otherwise is wrong.

    Once Don gave that speech without Banks knowledge, it was up to him and the campaign team to manage the fallout. If you seriously think the people who ordinarily would vote for Banks in Epsom wanted cannabis to be decriminalised then you are sillier than I thought.

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  88. Nostalgia-NZ (5,214 comments) says:

    Good on you for leaving it there. You completely overlook the party vote and you also misinterpret what Don Brash was saying – that there needed to be public debate on it. Less government is less being told what you can or can’t drink and what you can or can’t smoke. A poster has said above that Banks did know, but even he didn’t there were better ways for the party to progress without Banks turning on him. And if I’m not mistaken the people of Epsom had been invited to vote for Banks by the National Party, so he was hardly on the limb over which you were, and still obviously are, so anxious about. The more you’ve posted the more I see how ridden with conflict Act were at a time when they should have been campaigning behind their leader.

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  89. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    sheesh..nick k….

    ..it would be hard to argue that act would have got a a smaller list vote…had it run with brashs’ roll-yr-own…

    ..eh..?

    phillip ure@whoar.co.nz

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  90. Chuck Bird (4,890 comments) says:

    Nostalgia-NZ, if you think you know to run a political party why not put your name forward for a position on the Board? Nick is quite correct that you cannot introduce such a controversial paradigm shift in positioning just a matter of weeks out from an election. However, that is not relevant. The issue is how it happened.

    As I said Don is a nice guy, and very bright academic but he is not a politician. He was in the habit of taking advice from idiots who had their own agenda.

    We are talking about the way the cannabis policy was announced. As Nick said the Board had less than 24 hours notice of Don’s speech about cannabis. When the Board asked him if he has spoken to Banks I think Don decided that might be a good idea to give John a few hour advance warning of the speech that had already gone out to the media.

    If Don had known John all those years and somehow thought John would roll over and accept such a policy unilaterally dictated by him he was a poor judge of human behaviour. If he did anticipate John’s response he should have judged how the public would view a party that he took over because infighting and see the leader and the candidate on which the party’s future depended on publicly disagreeing on a policy he just announced.

    I would hope every member of the Board now knows the Leader’s view on cannabis. If they do not they are too stupid to be on the Board. If any member is aware of his views and how is will not change them and they feel that changing cannabis legislation is so important they should join another like the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party.

    The acronym ACT stands for the Association of Consumers and Taxpayers. Continuing to push for a policy that is not going to happen will undermine the real core principle of ACT.

    You acknowledge that you are an outsider. Let me assure you that Don was given full support from all the party. If you have any real evidence of that put it up – not I was told from a very reliable source within ACT.

    I am sure you will not get any such accusation form Don. Don made some very silly mistakes right from the start. He could have accepted Rodney invitation to join the party. Instead he choose to listen to sycophantic fools. Having said that Don did the honourable thing on the night. He accepted full responsibility for defeat thanked those who helped him and resigned. He did not and has not as far as I know blamed anyone else.

    I know the President, Chris Simmons reasonable well. He worked tirelessly from organising to delivering pamphlets. He forgone tens of thousands in lost income for the last few months of the campaign. To suggest he the knife out for Don Brash is entirely without foundation.

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  91. Nick K (1,244 comments) says:

    I haven’t overlooked the party vote, but 5% was looking a long way off. Epsom plus 3-4% was more realistic.

    It doesn’t matter what Don said. It’s irrelevant, because once the media got hold of it they dictated the story. That’s the shole point of this. That is the crux of it – it was done in a hamfisted manner and was poorly thought out and given to the media before our main electorate candidate, or the Board, even had a chance to offer an opinion on it.

    I was with John Banks on the Tuesday after this and I can assure you he got an absolute roasting on the streets of Epsom on that day, and the previous Monday. It doesn’t matter at all what Don said, or the idea behind it (which I support). This was a sensitive issue and one which our supporters, some donors and a large tract of the public did not want us to campaign on. I know that absolutely. If we had kept going with it we were finished. I guess though we could have gone down fighting on decriminalising cannabis!

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  92. Nostalgia-NZ (5,214 comments) says:

    chuck Bird

    Okay accepting all that as correct Chuck, what was more important: the tendering of fresh ideas to a somewhat tired electorate or being sensitive to John Bank’s long held position? It seems Banks took it personally from what you say, and that might well be mirrored by some sentiment among the electorate that Banks was on a personal mission, newly assimilated into Act, in part by the actions of Don Brash. If there was any of the perception abroad it looked to me that John Banks confirmed it, in particular when Don Brash resigned and he called for Banks to come forward and we didn’t see him.

    Of course as an outsider I have no evidence, but as a member of the public I think certain perceptions were abroad, with good reason, about unity within Act, for me that was epitomised by the disorder of the Leader not being totally supported by Banks. It goes even perhaps to the protocol of who attended the ‘cup of tea.’

    Anyway it’s nothing personal at all, though it remains quite a fascinating story with, I think, it’s beginnings many years earlier.

    Nick K

    Well, you were there and I wasn’t. You were close and I wasn’t, we certainly saw things differently – you as an insider during a fairly anxious period of turmoil, I was distant assimilating what was a different picture than you saw. I’m not so sure
    decriminalising cannabis was ever going to any where near a major part of the campaign in any way, but it resonated with me about looking at things afresh and where the country spends its money and for what returns. You might agree that there were punters out there, looking for some differentiation from that shared between the main parties. In some way election 2011 missed the positive points of difference that become attractive to voters not immersed in party politics. And of course as you point out sometimes nothing quite like going to down fighting rather than having walked away.

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  93. Chuck Bird (4,890 comments) says:

    Nostalgia-NZ

    John Banks is the Leader he is not the dictator and the same applied to Don and Rodney and Richard Prebble before him. Using your argument that everyone should accept the dictates of the leader suppose Banks decides that ACT should say that ACT policy is to stop funding the AIDS Foundation as they do more harm than good and sends his speech to the media before telling the Board do you think the Board should support him?

    I of course would be happy with such a policy but that is not how to run a political party.

    In regards the cup of tea who do you think should have attended other than the candidate for Epsom?

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  94. Nick K (1,244 comments) says:

    Nostalgia-NZ – political parties conduct a lot of testing of their messages in an election campaign. We simply do not know what the public as a whole would have thought of such a policy because it was never tested. For that reason alone, it should never have gone anywhere near the media. As Don said at the time, it was simply his “musings”. Unfortunately, a leader cannot have these during an election campaign!

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  95. Nostalgia-NZ (5,214 comments) says:

    Chuck Bird
    12.55

    Chuck Bird

    With Don Brash was going into an election his musings should have been treated as opinion rather than as policy, remember they lifted interest. Banks could have simply said that everybody ‘including Don’ knew his views but if (for example) it was going to save the economy millions every year it would be a discussion worth having. I guess your entrenched in your internal political vision and party lines, as a potential voter I wasn’t encumbered by that. I think also Don could have hardly navigated his way fully into Act policy, but he was a campaigner looking for votes – and in my view his message was refreshing and distinctive but it looked like the party wasn’t supporting him.

    So who should have gone to the meeting? I look back 4 years and it was the 2 leaders (1 are candidate,) fast fwd to last year 1 candidate and 1 leader. Don’s exclusion sent a message to me at least of ‘you’re all right Banksy just play my game’ from Key. Who could forget the big YES Mr Prime Minister!

    Nick K

    I appreciate the testing etc. However public perceptions change in a heartbeat, I talked earlier about messages with a difference that’s what I was hearing from DB. Also, your party political message is correct, but circumstances change – I think the whole progress of Act was in flux with much of what had gone before needing to be moved away from to new messages. It was a hell of a task but it seems to me when you’re in a pitch battle you keep going for the good of the team supporting who is making progress and spit the dummy later if necessary! I reckon Don Brash was steady under fire and extremely capable of containing himself, probably infuriatingly so for his opponents. He was more a danger to John Key that a compliant, but testy, Banks was.

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  96. Chuck Bird (4,890 comments) says:

    “I guess your entrenched in your internal political vision and party lines, as a potential voter”

    Have you been in a political party? Have you ever been in a business partnership? Have you been married? I doubt if any political party could function in the way you suggest in a democratic society. It sound like you think ACT should have given Don more power than Winston has with NZF.

    If I was in a partnership with someone and they made a unilateral decision without discussing things with me I would be highly pissed off. Banks had every right to be pissed off as well. Don listened to some total idiots some of whom I know of but will not name on a public blog. He was totally at fault for acting first and telling later. Banks reaction was almost 100% predictable.

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  97. Rat (383 comments) says:

    wow, some nasty drunk behaviour from nasty drunks today

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  98. Nostalgia-NZ (5,214 comments) says:

    Chuck Bird

    You don’t seem to see the failure in your argument. You say Banks had a right to be ‘pissed off,’ by saying that you accept that he had a right to put his feelings before the good of the party. As it turns out Banks appears to have publicly put himself before the good of the party. You argue about why Banks had a right to be annoyed when we are actually talking about the Act party, and what was good or bad for the Act party, not the feelings of John Banks. Banks never presented as an Act party player, if he did I didn’t notice the effort.

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  99. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    And the conclusion? Was it all down to Brash’s incompetence that ACT ended up with only one MP instead of two or three? Or was it all just deck chairs on the Titanic stuff?

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  100. Chuck Bird (4,890 comments) says:

    Nostalgia-NZ

    Pretend you are someone like Banks. You were a former politician were offered a deal like Banks for a political party that got taken over by say Colin Craig. Colin then announces some policy that is completely against your libertarian believes would you go along with it for the good of the party? I know this is a hypothetical question and apologies are always not quite right but I hope you see my point.

    I presume you know Banks background. It was Don’s decision to replace Rodney with John Banks. As I said earlier it is unreasonable to expect a politician to promote policy against their moral and religious beliefs. That is why parties long ago decided to have conscience votes on a number of issues.

    The fact of the matter is that the take over was a very stupid move particularly the way it was done. With hindsight Rodney should have stood his ground. He did what he thought was best for the party.

    That is all history. ACT now has a hard working Leader albeit a conservative. He is not forcing his religious and/or moral beliefs on the party. Those party members who think issues such as the economy, education and law & order are important issues should be prepared to put cannabis on the back burner for the good of the party.

    In any case as you acknowledge you are an outsider. There is more that could be said but will not.

    I know however, that the board was not happy with the takeover and how it was done. However, after Rodney stepped down for the good of the party the Board gave Don 100% support.

    Religious parties have had a very poor record. They have not made the 5%. It appears to me many fanatical libertarians look on their belief system as a religion. They have about as much chance of convincing 5% of the population of voting for them as the two JWs who called at my door this afternoon converting me to their religious belief. If the libertarians in ACT are loyal to ACT they back off a bit.

    If ACT fails to exists totally in Parliament I think there are some people who could write a very interesting book.

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  101. Nostalgia-NZ (5,214 comments) says:

    Chuck Bird

    I understand your sentiments but I tend toward pragmatism and the common good so if for example the candidate was strongly against Don’s musings about drug law reform I wouldn’t have expected it to be made a public issue, particularly not leading into an election of a fragile ship. I’m not sure that Rodney would have made a difference remaining as the Epsom candidate, I think he might have needed to make a full and frank disclosure that many of his electorate might have been expecting earlier – just an opinion of course.

    I think that you may have inadvertently hit the nail on the head about the board not being ‘happy’ about the takeover, that was perception members of the public might have got, so along with Banks on the marijuana ‘issue’ the public could have sensed a party focused on in fighting – nothing personal in these comments but that could be how others saw the situation and thought a vote for Act was misused.

    Any book would be very interesting particularly if it traced progress and decisions of the 4 or 5 years preceding 2011.

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  102. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    Perhaps a book on ACT would be as useful as studies of Social Credit or the Values Party.

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  103. Chuck Bird (4,890 comments) says:

    Nostalgia-NZ

    “I think he might have needed to make a full and frank disclosure that many of his electorate might have been expecting earlier ”

    About what? His overseas trips were within the rules. He realised that they were inappropriate for obvious reasons and he publicly apologized for them and particularly to the good people of Epsom.

    “I think that you may have inadvertently hit the nail on the head about the board not being ‘happy’ about the takeover”

    Nothing inadvertent. However, the Board put 100% percent effort behind him after Rodney stood down. Unless you argue that supporting him against Banks would have been a good idea.

    “Any book would be very interesting particularly if it traced progress and decisions of the 4 or 5 years preceding 2011″

    The 2008 – 11 term would do.

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  104. Nostalgia-NZ (5,214 comments) says:

    Not so much about his overseas trips, but about the decisions of 3s including leaving to chance discovery of something that, in retrospect, seems to have been what caused Act to fail.

    The leader should have always been supported, against Banks, or anybody, entering into the fray of an election when much, or all, of the foreground – was uphill.

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  105. Chuck Bird (4,890 comments) says:

    “but about the decisions of 3s ”

    Please explain what you mean by 3s

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