It didn't take long for Richard Prebble's massive gravity to be noticed on the Act party's subatomic body politic. Only last Sunday, new leader Jamie Whyte was announcing a new dawn for Act. Nek minnit, it's three strikes for burglars.
David Seymour has been left alone by the media pack, leaving him the plodding work of door-knocking around Epsom and introducing his unknown mug to the electorate. Seeing as he's hoping to be the third local Act MP in as many elections, he has his work cut out for him. This could well be Epsom's third strike.
Act's apparent leader has had no such luck. Fresh from clawing his way out of the bleedingly obvious snare of the Incest Pit earlier in the week, Jamie Whyte has recanted last week's pledge that he "backs tough deterrents but law and order is now not one of the party's policy priorities".
Audrey Young reports from Act's annual conference today that the reason for Whyte announcing this backslide into the hard right was because his Mum was burgled and the culprit shat on the floor.
Let's count off a few of the inherent idiocies.
1. Burglary, like buggery, loosens the bowels. Any police who attend burglaries will tell you it's not uncommon to find a ripe crime scene. Home invaders have also been known to piss on an innocent person's rug.
2. Burglary is one of the most under-reported crimes. Official police records show the resolution rate for burglaries hovers around the same rate as GST, 15 percent. 7/8 of reported burglaries go unresolved. The only people who report burglaries are the hopelessly naive or those with insurance, who need the police paperwork for their claim. There is no target market here, only poor signalling.
3. Never bring your Mum to a gun fight. Don't use your Mum as a body shield either. Use John Banks' corpse instead.
4. It sounds remarkably like policy by anecdote, a remarkably bad way to make law.
5. There's nothing new with Act at all. We've had flat tax, three strikes and cousin hopping in the last week. With a bit of luck, they'll try talking up charter schools and education vouchers next week.
It will be interesting to see if anti-Prebble, the McCarten Particle, will have a similar effect on Labour. Will we be seeing the return of some old Alliance policies (or existing Mana policies, take your pick), such as Jim Anderton's Financial Transactions Tax?