It now seems clear that both of the rumours about the ACT split swirling around yesterday are correct, but not in the way we first thought.
It was about the mis-use of a restricted Defence document, only it wasn’t Roy mis-using it, it was Hide.
Which is why she sought assistance from Parliamentary Services—to see what to do about his mis-use.
Which is why he couldn’t work with her any more—not because she tried to roll him, but because she has standards about these things, and he no longer has.
Which is why he rolled her.
Which is why what’s now left of the ACT Caucus (now that Roy & Douglas are both sidelined) wouldn’t say why she was rolled. Because instead of not answering questions about why they rolled her, they’d have to not answer questions about why their leader no longer has any standards.
So just look now at what the ACT Party has now become:
Is this what you’d call a party of “transparency and accountability”?
Is this what you’d call “a party of ideas”?
Clearly, ACT are now dead from the neck up. Send in the undertakers.
Time for a genuine freedom party to get out from under.
UPDATE 1: Liberty Scott asks “So what now kiwi lovers of less government?”
ACT had potential, it did believe in less government once, it did have senior leaders who would talk the good talk. As flawed as Rodney Hide is, and Sir Roger Douglas, there were more than a few occasions when one could say "bravo".
However, ACT's first real chance at power … hasn't just been disappointing, it has even seemed counter-productive.
So what now?
UPDATE 2: Blair Mulholland. Same question, different answer.
UPDATE 3: Further confirmation of the death of “The Party of Ideas,” from its former deputy leader:
C/F, from a post a few weeks back about the death of ideas in politics:
…For them, politics wasn’t a battle of ideas, it was a battle of warring political tribes. “But the big dilemma for all the pragmatists of the Right, is: what are they to fight and by what means, if principles are inoperative? Politics is a field in which one deals with ideas and it requires the ability to argue, to discuss, to persuade. What does one do in politics if one has discarded the whole realm of ideas? One fights people.”
UPDATE 4: And here’s “The Story of He and She” in 82-page detail, confirming that despite many rumours to the contrary Roy didn’t want to be the leader and didn’t try to roll the leader. She was simply concerned that ACT is “distracted from the policies and causes we are here to advance and we are losing the political authority that comes only to parties that patently live their principles.”
And who could argue with that.
It confirms that, under Hide, ACT’s caucus has discarded the realm of ideas altogether, and now fights people.
Like leader, like caucus.
It demonstrates her concern that unless ACT urgently tries to expand its market, it will remain reliant on National’s favour in the seat of Epsom-- a seat on which National Party polling suggests Hide has only a “tenuous” hold; and in which, almost unbelievably, no ACT polling has been done-and simply drift into oblivion.
Who could deny that possibility.
It reveals that the thuggish David Garret is now court favourite, effectively running shotgun for his leader.
Who would expect that?
And it confirms that following months of goings-on worse than the most dysfunctional family, the final break came when Rodney Hide breached the security of a confidential Defence document, which somehow ended up in the hands of ACT board member Nigel Kearney, and then to a blogger at No Minister who had the good sense not to leap into print. Following which breach Roy sought advice from Parliamentary Services (note “sought advice from,” not “lodged a complaint with”). And when HRH (as it seems Rodney Hide is known around Bowen House) took this exception to Roy questioning his majesty, his lieutenants moved to rid his highness of his “turbulent” deputy. (They should have taken more notice of what happened to Henry II’s.)
What the 82 pages give us in the end is an insight into an ego made fatter by ministerial office, leading a disfunctional party in denial about its imminent oblivion. It’s only appropriate then that it contains several references to the Titanic.