Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Men Acting Badly

Don Brash, Don Nicholson and John Banks. The three nihilists who finally killed the Act party.

To coin The Dude, "Well, they finally did it. They killed my fucking vehicle." Nihilists killed my political vehicle. The first and only party under MMP that didn't form out the demagoguery of waka jumpers is now reduced to an old rich man's ideological whore. The party of new ideas is now a refuge for gurning Muldoon relics. Bring back the Libz and Rabids! All is forgiven!

The Nats aren't even trying to hide their cronyism any more. Jenny Shipley, Richard Worth, Mark Blumsky are ones that spring readily to mind. If I cared to Google the Who's Who of the Blue team, no doubt I'd find many many more Jobs for the Boys. But the one that counts for the purposes of this post is National party patsy and Banks biographer Paul Goldsmith.

When the two main National contenders against John Banks are his biographer and his campaign manager, you know where the National party stands in Epsom. With its arse in the air saying, "Spank me Banksy! Do it for the team!"

Smiling and waving won't win the Nats a natural majority, ever. They are wary of losing coalition partners.

The Mana and Maori parties look set to eat each other's vote, when the more rational path would be for Mana to go for the party vote in the Maori seats and the Maori Party goes for the electorates. But you know the saying; Three Harawiras in a room. Nine opinions.

But for feral caucuses, you can't go past the final incarnation of the Act party; a mad sack of cats has more direction than that alleged party. And John Key needs them desperately to stay in power.

Months after taking over the Act party in the most inept yet successful leadership bid since Alamein Kopu got her whanau enrolled in the Alliance party and became an MP, Don Brash has yet to lift the party out of the gutter.

He has picked his new team and dumped everyone else whose name isn't Don or John. The DON JOHN Party would make a good new name for this monster mash. It might stand for Deranged Orthodox Nats, Jolly Old Hilarious Nihilists. Because this sure as hell isn't the Act party any more.

Act used to stand for the Association of Consumers and Taxpayers. I doubt that the Dons and Johns pay very much tax at all. Like John Key, most of their private consumption is done offshore, with no direct benefit to the NZ economy. Act used to be inclusive. Now Act is an association like the Wellington Club is an association.

The first time I met Don Brash was when the Reserve Bank launched their new dollar bills at a posh Tory St restaurant in the early '90s. I was one of the waiters serving his elaborate party, and I don't recall many brown fellas there, except for the purple Ngata on the $50 note.

Twenty years later, he's reduced to waving Ngata's head on the telly and waging purple prose wars with Hone. Arguments aren't won and minds are not moved by such stalemates.

His old mates and new Act party colleagues John and Don aren't much better. If Winston Peters was white, he would be John Banks. Both were Muldoon's apprentices, and share his conservative thuggery for self-aggrandisement.

I've met Don Nicholson only briefly at a BackBenchers gig some time ago, where he seemed pleasant enough. However, his shrill anti-climate change Kyoto Protocol denialism fits with the shrill Muriel Newman hyperbole but without the relatively disinterested vantage point. Don is ankle-deep in the self-preservation mud of wilful ignorance. Photos of local dirty dairying and environmental degradation (externalities, in econo-speak) soon.

Who will be next on the list? Another John or Don? Garth McVicar? Whimsical wining and dining, tax minimising ex-pat Cathy Odgers? The reanimated DNA of Patricia Bartlett? Lindsay Perigo or another Libertarianz teabagger?

Who effing cares. There's no new ideas coming out of this stunted burnt out wreck of a political vehicle, whichever way you look at it. The Act party is only fit for homeless derelicts now.