What if Don Brash had an alternative motive for his tactics since his takeover of ACT? Is it all a cunning plan?

I've met Don Brash twice.

The first time was during the 2005 election campaign when I was in a shopping mall in Henderson. I don't think he recognised me because he thrust some sort of electronic device under my nose and invited me to calculate my tax cut.

I remember typing in some measly income which was probably true at the time, at which point he lost interest and let me get back to my filled roll.

The second time was a bit later, at a ceremony where old mate, Paul Holmes, was given a Woodrow Wilson Award for liking the USA and regularly saying so in public.

This time I approached Dr Brash, shook his hand, and said I thought he’d performed well in the election campaign not long before.

He thanked me and we swapped anodyne trivia for a minute or two.

Although he seemed like a nice old buffer, courteous and free of guile, I have come to challenge my judgement of that evening in the light of recent developments.

What if he’s been stewing and plotting his revenge on the National Party ever since the Hollow Men came out and denied him a second go at the prize he’d so nearly won.

This is the only way of making sense of this otherwise intelligent bloke’s behaviour of late. No one ever got to the bottom of how Hager got all that material in that book.

The “political media” gave up.

Tell me it was some super hacker who got into the parliamentary email system, and I’ll ask you how a hand written fax from a motel in Timaru to a private house in Glendowie ever went near the electronics of parliament.

The best explanation is from Hager himself who says in his preface – referring to “some people in the National Party”

            Over two years they fronted up with evidence – internal reports, emails, travel itineraries and meeting minutes”

And, one might add, private facsimiles sent to Don’s home.

In her introduction to the Hollow Men, former National MP, Marilyn Waring, presumably in the know, again refers to “those National Party people who leaked material to Nicky Hager”.

So Don was white-anted by his own side? That’s what the author and preface writer both say.

What if behind Br Brash’s urbane and professorial persona beats a heart thirsting for utu?

What you might do is set out to destroy National’s coalition partner. You might start by rolling its successful leader.

This bloke, warts and all, was the one who saved his party from oblivion two elections ago and then led it into government.

You might then contrive to wipe out its whole caucus, including some highly saleable political commodities like Heather Roy.

You might then start advocating goofy policies, like more deregulation when you’ve got leaky houses galore, mines blowing up and big buildings collapsing in earthquakes.

For good measure, you might then pick a mayoral candidate who managed a big loss when National was streets ahead in any poll for your crucial electorate candidate, and then have a public argument with him. 

Just for good measure, why not advocate legalising dope?

It all makes sense.

You read it here first.

Comments (8)

by Tim Watkin on September 30, 2011
Tim Watkin

LOL, as they say. You've given me a good smile, sir. What would you do differently if you did actively want to harm ACT? Not a lot.

And if you want the essence on the email/sources story straight from the horses mouth, Nicky Hager spelt it out in plain english here on Pundit a couple of years back.

by Mr Magoo on October 01, 2011
Mr Magoo

This was actually quite amusing.

Of course never look for conspiracy when incompetence will do just nicely. :)

He was trying to pander to the libertarians who ACT have been leaving out in the cold under Hide. He figured that by saying it was his "personal view" he would be able to say such things while in reality doing nothing about them. (after all it is working so well for Key)

(Un?)fortunately he bungled it. The exact reasons are irrelevent.

by Ian MacKay on October 01, 2011
Ian MacKay

Did Steven Joyce have a hand in the Brash coup? And as well, was John Banks an expected outcome? The expected outcome was/is that an elarged ACT would pick up the National far Right voters and excuse serios right wing actions in a second term.

by william blake on October 01, 2011
william blake

Ian, possibly little or no ACT and a reduced Maori Party, Dunn could struggle (planker). National will have to govern alone unless they engage in some real Green thinking and doing, that could be a bloody good outcome from this bit of political theatre.

by Deborah Coddington on October 03, 2011
Deborah Coddington

Conspiracy or cock-up - does it matter in the grand scheme of things? Act was never going to survive a change of leadership. Richard Prebble predicted that and he was correct.

And if National white-anted Brash to get rid of him they were bloody smart to do so, much smarter than everyone gives them credit for. Golly, using Nicky Hager in the process! He gets to be famous for it. Shows up Brash to be the fool that his is. Amputates a bumbling idiot from the head of the National Party and clears the way for Key to become the country's most popular PM ever.

Mike do you really think Brash is capable of plotting all of the above? He can't even get his Singaporean wife to go back to him.

I think a Brash monologue, along the lines of his description of his dining habits published in last week's DomPost, would make a wonderful one-man tragi-comedy.

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