Brethren costs Nats win?

The SST reports Katherine Rich as agreeing with Gerry Brownlee that the Brethren involvement cost the election. I basically agree with this in that I have long thought they lost more votes off National than their pamphlets lost off Labour. Whether it was enough to change the result is speeculative but the notion that their $500,000+ helped National is not the case.

Their problem, as I have often said, is not being upfront with their activities. One press conference or press release announcing what they were doing and why would have changed the reaction entirely.

That secretive behaviour, combined with the private detective hiring, do make them electoral poison. Of course National MPs should not refuse to meet with members of the Exclusive Brethren over constituency issues or at public meetings but any private meetings with church leaders to discuss political issues and strategy should be ruled out. Otherwise they remain Labour’s universal answer to any allegation:

Nat: Labour broke the electoral act spending limit
Lab: But you meet with the Exclusive Brethren

Nat: Labour won’t pay back the $800,000
Lab: But you meet with the Exclusive Brethren

Nat: Labour has the largest current account deficit in history
Lab: But you meet with the Exclusive Brethren

Nat: A Labour Minister has been savaged over his marina decision by a Judge
Lab: But you meet with the Exclusive Brethren

Nat: Prisoners are getting flat screens TVs which sost four times a normal one
Lab: But you met with the Exclusive Brethren

The SST also has a more in depth article on The Brethren.

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