Following Sue Bradford's latest post, which indicates the Green's latest decision clearly signals they will align themselves with the right, it's difficult to restrain myself from saying 'I told you so'. But that there be dragons

I'm trying to catch a stoat. So far it's taken Bill, my bantam rooster; Mikki, one of his daughters; and Duck-duck, one of his foster daughters whom he frequently shagged. His wife, Pip, hatched the duck egg I put under her, so Duck-duck was one of the family. Incest is unknown in the farmyard, because animals don't possess the power of reason. The point of this little ramble in animal porn is to tell you that I have named the stoat New Act. However, despite baiting the trap with mince, a fresh chicken leg (non-organic of course to attract an Act supporter), and eggs smeared with Marmite, the stoat remains at large.

Because New Act, that is the Act Party as it became under the reign of Rodney Hide and his band of Sensible Sentencing acolytes, latterly taken over by Don Brash/John Boscawen, should be lured down a tunnel trap and decapitated.

Or, to put it more delicately, or in business terms which Act would understand, put into liquidation. I said as much when interviewed some months ago on Perigo! which you can view on YouTube (and I can't be arsed doing the links. It is doing the links which puts me off posting on Pundit. I am a reporter, not a bloody computer technologist or researcher. If you want to see it, go Google it yourself).

The Act Party, I said to Perigo for his Stratos programme, would not survive a leadership change, and to date I am right.

Brash was just put up to this by the far right of the National Party, who were disaffected by what they saw as slow progress by Key. Those "it's all about me" seriously rich folk who want change in their own lunchtime. They're not interested in the future of their children, or their children's children. The more I meet seriously rich people, the more I dislike them. I think it's the fear of losing their money that makes them 'not nice' people to know, but they are boring, safe, and they don't know how to belly laugh.

Anyway, I digress. John Key must be rubbing his hands together with glee, as he sees Don Brash tour around New Zealand, hoovering up all National's embarrassments – that Clarkson testicle-clutching fellow from Tauranga, John Banks of whom Michael Wall's chief job when he was Bolger's press sec was to keep an eye on. Surely someone must be pushing Richard Worth and Pansy 'Sammy I Come Home' Wong in Act's direction too?

And there are others, just a Twitter away from Act's arms. One more Tweet and Tau Henare gets it.

Pity the Labour Party can't offload some of its more unpopular MPs on Brash – Clare Curran anyone? Three years as a completely unknown journalist then into PR and she thinks she knows all there is to know about the media. Oh that's right, to Clare, television is the media. There's no such thing as print media, she opines, as she strokes her metaphorical beard. Why hasn't Justice Jim Tucker signed her up to his prestigious Kiwi Journalists Association? Only the deadly serious may belong.

Speaking of serious, back to the Greens and Act. I've said publicly that Sue Bradford is a much nicer person than most people I know. When I was an MP I was asked by Sir Robert Jones whom I considered – outside my own party – the most pleasant MPs in Parliament. Off the top of my head I said Sue Bradford, Sue Kedgley, and Tariana Turia. I guess those three came straight to my mind because they never played the personal shit cards.

Sue and I are on radio together now (Radio Live, 5.20pm Mondays), and she's much feistier, thank goodness, than she was in the House. I can fight with her much more.

But she's held inside what she really felt about The Greens, as she said, in case she was accused of sour grapes. So what! They always accuse, so you might as well speak your mind.

Don't, as Shakespeare said (I think) prune thou thy thoughts, but do, unto thine own self be true.

The Greens are making a fatal mistake now. Russel Norman is too ambitious for his own good, and Metiria is eyeing those nice-to-have warm BMW seats.

If they follow what all the other small parties have done, that is, do deals with the ruling party, be it National or Labour, they will implode or they will die. The reason the Greens have maintained their support above five per cent, consistently between elections, which is incredibly difficult, is because they have stuck to "being the bridesmaid". Accept the baubles of power and you die.

Think about it. Matthew Hooten put it irresistibly on State Radio this week, I admit, when he said suppose National wins, Key invites the Greens to form a coalition offering them Minister of Conservation and whoa! Mining! No Mining! Abolish the position say!

Take a long, long spoon because there's a long, long queue of National MPs who've stuffed envelopes and eaten plates and plates of chicken a la king with frozen mixed veges at Rotary clubs before they got to Parliament because they wanted to be Minister of Bloody Anything and now they've seen it offered to Bloody Metiria Hooray! Or Russel With One Ell! Where's Mr McCully's Room Again? Have I got his number on Speed Dial?

Jim Anderton's party. Peter Dunne's party. Act. Maori Party. That's the Roll of Honour. Or Dishonour. Will the Green Party be able to hold out?


Comments (14)

by Tim Watkin on June 08, 2011
Tim Watkin

It's Polonius who says to Hamlet 'to thine own self be true'. Yes, I had to look it up. Not sure about the 'don't prune thy thoughts' line, but I added the link.

All part of the service! And as for the Perigo appearance... it's here.


by Paul Corrigan on June 08, 2011
Paul Corrigan

"(and I can't be arsed doing the links. It is doing the links which puts me off posting on Pundit. I am a reporter, not a bloody computer technologist or researcher. If you want to see it, go Google it yourself)."

Ah-Men, Deborah. Ah-Men! Ah-Men! Ah-Men!

I hate links.

As for the stoat that is reducing your 'family'  ...

I read out your paragraph to my sister and her younger son. They live on a small farm and have had to deal with stoats. They say it seems that you're using your hands uncovered, and that your scent remains on the bait. They suggest that you use a pair of latex or rubber gloves. They also like little tunnels -- so if you can use a narrow pipe or hose they could be drawn to that into a trap.

Their problem here now is hawks. They used to be an occasional nuisance. There have been a lot of them this year, and they've taken ducks, duck eggs, killed roosters, and nearly half of the 28-strong population of orpington/dorking chickens.

I've been up here during holidays and going out with a shotgun to deter them. As you'll probably know, they are determined and ferocious killers.

Good luck nailing New Act.

by Danyl Mclauchlan on June 08, 2011
Danyl Mclauchlan

It's Polonius who says to Hamlet 'to thine own self be true'.

But he makes the statement in a speech mocking Polonius as a tedious fool, so I'm not sure how wed to the phrase Shakespeare was.

by Claire Browning on June 08, 2011
Claire Browning

It's Polonius who says to Hamlet 'to thine own self be true'. Yes, I had to look it up.

Did you? Because it's Polonius who says to Laertes ...

Carry on. I thought it was going rather well.

by stuart munro on June 08, 2011
stuart munro

Try a bit of fish Deborah. And try to get the human scent off your trap - sun & rain will clear that up.

by Chris Webster on June 08, 2011
Chris Webster

would the real deborah coddington please stand up?


this 'other' person is somewhat normal

stoats indeed - see the pce's 'dont ban 1080' report -she'll bomb your clever backyard dweller with 1080 after a lie down and all her recommendations in forming committees after committees and committees until the cows come home - fall into place.  sans poussin i fear in one fell swoop! 

by Deborah Coddington on June 08, 2011
Deborah Coddington

Well! What a lovely surprise. After plucking up courage to read the comments, which usually go for my throat (see! not entirely leather-skinned), I find helpful hints on how to catch this vermin. No Paul, I don't think it's a hawk. We have heaps of them on the vineyard and the poultry have learned to cope, plus I found Bill and Mikki with their throats ripped out and heads eaten off. I'll try the gloves and tunnel though. Thanks. Someone else today suggested cinnamon too.

And so pleased to find someone who agrees with me about links!

Perhaps I'll keep posting on Pundit after all and up you McCahon: I Am Not Scared.

by Richard James McIntosh on June 11, 2011
Richard James McIntosh

I remembered that Deborah Challinor quoted an NZ Vietnam Veteran in 'Grey Ghosts';

"When the Americans go out on the town they own it, when the Australians go out they think they own it, when the New Zealanders go out they don't care who owns it."

I hope the Greens van survive a brush with Death, that is, formal coalition with the big parties. My question is, where is the Greens' power ultimately located? Is it in an ability to project the right image to capture enough votes to be able to talk to 'The Big End of Town'?

Or is it in the stauchness of its characters and their individual and collective vision? After Sue's departure the Greens have had a difficult job convincing people that they are staunch or have a vision. Sue was (is) an astute observer of Power and, I reckon, knew where it really lay for the Greens.

Does anyone in the Greens ever shoot their mouth off about anything? Too polite? I think they care too much about who owns the town.

Deborah C., more writing please! Always enjoyable, and if you have to toughen up and force youself to read the slander and infamy dished out in the comments, what of it? :-)


by on June 12, 2011

I never figured out how the actual statements made  ended up being reported as saying the Greens would form a coalition with National - they only said they would work with whoever was in power to advance their agenda (which is refreshingly mature). As for an agreement, the most they were positing was a memorandum of understanding and were explicit in saying they were 'highly unlikely' to enter one of these with National unless they made some fundamental changes to their policies. I dont think either major party deserves blind allegiance - with support restricted to a policy by policy basis they will have to work a whole lot harder.

by Andin on June 14, 2011

"Incest is unknown in the farmyard, because animals don't possess the power of reason."

Well going by that logic neither has most of humanity for most of its existence. Those Egyptians must have been real animals.  Ancient Egyptian Sexuality

"The Greens are making a fatal mistake now."

Lets just wait and see shall we.

Russel Norman is too ambitious for his own good, and Metiria is eyeing those nice-to-have warm BMW seats."

Still got our farmyard footwear on have we?


by alexb on July 14, 2011

The Greens, unlike the other parties in parliament, are actually a democratic organisation internally. THis is something most media commentators, have misunderstood, including you Deborah.

Essentially, what it means is that while the Greens might have declared they would be willing to work with National, providing they get enough out of it from the Nats, the decision would still be put to the vote of the membership.

Furthermore, while the Greens may have embraced Green business as a way to advance the environmental agenda, most members remain committed to social justice, and as such would never support a coilition with National. Thus, the Greens will not prop up a National government on confidence and supply, and it is very possible that enough members would oppose a similar deal with Labour.

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