SST on Jamie Whyte

January 19th, 2014 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

An interesting profile on and interview of in the SST. Some extracts:

But you want some plain speaking? Here’s what he thinks of his putative future colleagues, the good members of the Parliament of New Zealand.

For some, he says, “shamefully, it’s just that it’s the best job they are capable of getting . . . they have no particular talents, somehow they have managed to get in with their party and get elevated and they are as happy as a pig in shit. Otherwise, they would be working in the food industry [think McDonald's] or cleaning.”

Still others, he says scornfully, are the ideology-free, poorly-read “Tory boy” types who think they are the “shepherds of society”.

Cheerful, convivial, entertaining company, clearly very intelligent, prone to the odd curse, Whyte is a youthful-looking 48-year-old father of two with a shaven head and tailored shirt.

He’s an unlikely pollie and of course, considers himself in neither of the categories described above. “I’m not a careerist politician. I am not doing this because I am desperate to be an MP.”

Whyte’s much purer motivation is ideas.

Which we need more of.

Actually, he’s an natural, would never have fitted in National. He talks about how the state should be smaller, offer more freedoms. He hates the Greens (“watermelons, green on the outside, red on the inside”), disdains Cunliffe, likes John Key but is frustrated at what he sees as National’s tendency to accept Labour reforms when they take power.

For example, he’s “appalled” by Labour’s extension of welfare “deep into the middle classes”, saying it is a hugely inefficient way of recirculating people’s own money, and can’t understand why it hasn’t been rolled back.

Why, he wonders, are there more laws every year and not fewer: surely after 200 years of effective parliamentary democracy there shouldn’t be many stones left unturned? So we get intrusive, inconsistent legislation that leaves room for discretion. Such as? “If you take smacking . . .” A pause; frantic backpedalling. “No, I am not going there.”

Emphatically, he says, an ACT party led by Whyte would not go to war on Treaty issues. “I’ve got no interest in Maori-bashing as a political game.”

Good.

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23 Responses to “SST on Jamie Whyte”

  1. gazzmaniac (2,317 comments) says:

    I like everything he has said except the last paragraph.

    Dismantling the Waitangi Gravy Train is not maori bashing.

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  2. hj (6,359 comments) says:

    It all comes down to a basic world view and the world is just a model in our heads. Sutherland the UN head of immigration is very smart and would like to do away with borders. He said “America is economy”

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  3. hj (6,359 comments) says:

    As far as world view goes his would more likely be pro Julian Simon than (say) Herman Daly (who coined the term *uneconomic* growth….. as seen in Auckland).

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  4. Viking2 (11,138 comments) says:

    I recall Bill Einglish saying that his mate John had lots if ideas. Bill and his mates didn’t like that so we now have Govt. of few ideas. Key should join Act and Dot Com . Put all the ideas to work and get rid of controllers and those with a need to control.
    Remove the barriers to peoples lives.

    Ah but that wouldn’t be socialist so no that would be no good.

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  5. Psycho Milt (2,266 comments) says:

    He’s certainly a good candidate for ACT, in that he seems to have decided the universe fits in this little ideological box he made for it. What’s not obvious is why the SST thinks contenders for leadership of parties rating lower than the margin of error in the polls warrant generous coverage.

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  6. itstricky (1,566 comments) says:

    He’s certainly a good candidate for ACT, in that he seems to have decided the universe fits in this little ideological box he made for it.

    Yes, it’s a shame what they call “real life” and “human behaviour” get in the way of the his ideal Metropolis. (Yes, that was a capital “M”)

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  7. ChardonnayGuy (1,136 comments) says:

    Which does lead to some interesting questions in the event of the Maori Party retaining its existing seats and holding the balance of power, considering the Con Party’s reprehensible and tiresome Treaty-bashing…

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  8. s.russell (1,563 comments) says:

    Based on reading a selection of his columns I would hate to have this guy in charge of Govt and I would never vote for him.

    BUT, I think there is enormous value in those views in getting people to think more about the real implications of policy ideas and as a gingering counterweight to left-wing idiocies.

    I also think that ACT needs a clean fresh start and a little youthful pizazz if it is going to survive and attract new voters. Which means that of available options Whyte looks to be the right leadership choice. Boscawen is solid, but not what ACT needs right now. He is the safe option, but when you are hanging from a thread, the safe option is the wrong one.

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  9. Ryan Sproull (7,033 comments) says:

    Why, he wonders, are there more laws every year and not fewer: surely after 200 years of effective parliamentary democracy there shouldn’t be many stones left unturned? So we get intrusive, inconsistent legislation that leaves room for discretion. Such as? “If you take smacking . . .” A pause; frantic backpedalling. “No, I am not going there.”

    A pause, a recollection that the “anti-smacking” legislation was a repeal, not an addition.

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  10. Reid (15,954 comments) says:

    For example, he’s “appalled” by Labour’s extension of welfare “deep into the middle classes”, saying it is a hugely inefficient way of recirculating people’s own money, and can’t understand why it hasn’t been rolled back.

    Which means he doesn’t understand politics since it’s quite obvious why Key hasn’t rolled it back. It wouldn’t be popular. It would be the correct thing of course but it wouldn’t be the popular thing. That’s why he hasn’t. Even when the GFC gave him the absolutely perfect opportunity so to do, in his first term, and it would now be but a distant memory.

    Why anyone who calls themselves conservative rate Key is beyond me. He’s been one of the worst sell-outs conservatives have ever had.

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  11. itstricky (1,566 comments) says:

    Otherwise, they would be working in the food industry [think McDonald's] or cleaning.

    He’s obviously well talented as a politician as well. I mean, he says so, so it must be right? Seeing as he’s had an illustrious career in other roles he must automatically be a star politician who do well good for society? Guy sounds like a knob trying to butter up the right. This is basically the equivalent of Cunliffe buttering up the unions by spouting rhetoric. Funnily enough DPF doesn’t see it like that.

    And of course that he doesn’t value the contribution of the food or cleaning industries says a lot as well…

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  12. Ryan Sproull (7,033 comments) says:

    itstricky,

    He seems more to me to be distancing himself from being considered as a politician. He consciously implied that while being an MP is the best job most politicians can get, he would be lowering himself in some way due to his commitment to ideas. He also keeps referring to how likely he is to screw up in an interview and give the interviewer ammo, but he’s positioning this as a selling point.

    There’s even a backhanded compliment to Seymour at the end: “Oh, he’s so smart and clever, he’d do much better than I do in interviews.” After he’s well established that “doing well in interviews” is a trait of slick politicians.

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  13. backster (2,079 comments) says:

    Act’s strength has always been the high quality of it’s candidates, it’s weakness their huge egos. This fellow is no different. Boscowen was the exception and seemed to have both ability and humility but that may no longer appeal to the present generation.

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  14. Sam Buchanan (502 comments) says:

    I’d give him more credit for his ideas if he didn’t repeat trite old slogans such as “watermelons, green on the outside, red on the inside”. Surely he could come up with something original to say rather than parroting stale jokes.

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  15. Joanne (177 comments) says:

    I like him. He can take ACT back to where it belongs.

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  16. MH (631 comments) says:

    not much to go on but I’ll give it a go.
    ok what looks melancholy is dark green pumps water and is not redolent . A fracking parrot

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  17. Reid (15,954 comments) says:

    Surely he could come up with something original to say rather than parroting stale jokes.

    It’s not stale Sam and it’s not a joke, it’s a truism. That’s exactly what they are.

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  18. Steve Wrathall (243 comments) says:

    Why doesn’t Jamie want to “go there” in the smacking debate? Might he be called an “assault apologist”. Yes the Classe Politique has a roster of nasty names to throw at anyone who challenges the PC sacred cows: “racist”, “CC denier”etc. However ACT members want a leader who is unafraid to take on the PC agenda right across the board.

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  19. snowy (106 comments) says:

    People actually still read the SST???

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  20. wrightingright (138 comments) says:

    A fascinating article it was to read, it shows surely Whyte is the future direction the ACT party needs, together with Seymour working in tandem with him.

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  21. itstricky (1,566 comments) says:

    He seems more to me to be distancing himself from being considered as a politician. He consciously implied that while being an MP is the best job most politicians can get, he would be lowering himself in some way due to his commitment to ideas.

    He is saying he is lowering himself and yet opens with a standard political insult? Yep, he’s already lowered himself. Clearly well before now. Or maybe he was just there to begin with. Smacks of arrogance.

    Maybe he’s a smarter political figure than anyone thinks – maybe he’s trying to aggrivate both the opposition and the Service & Food Workers Union at the same time so he can score some points and get his name in print.

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  22. KevinH (1,131 comments) says:

    There is a lot of love for ACT in the media this week, talk about flogging a dead horse.

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  23. deadrightkev (277 comments) says:

    “Dismantling the Waitangi Gravy Train is not maori bashing.”

    He is right. It is long overdue and a deeply corrupt racist institution we should all be ashamed of in NZ.

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