Monday, 15 September 2014

Don Brash: “There is a huge bidding campaign going on, with virtually no party putting forward policies which would actually deal with some of the fundamental issues facing the country”

With everything else gong on in this Reality TV election campaign, what Don Brash finds most depressing is that the man named after a concrete block will almost certainly end up holding the balance of power – with the baubles waved under the concrete block’s nose likely to be the deciding factor in which way he swings.

Yes, I find this perhaps the most depressing aspect of the campaign. Winston, the man whose policy promises are so outrageously expensive that NZ First policies are the only ones which Dr Michael Dunn (on behalf of the Taxpayers’ Union, and for 12 years the man responsible within the IRD for costing political promises) can’t put a price tag on.
    He was the man, you’ll recall, who held up a big sign saying “NO” when he should have said “yes”, he had received funding from Owen Glenn.
    He’s the man who campaigns about the need to change the Reserve Bank Act, as he did in the 1996 election campaign – and nobody asks him why, when he was Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer in 1997 and 1998 (and therefore the minister responsible for the Reserve Bank Act) he made not the slightest attempt to change that Act.
    On balance, I think he is more likely to go with National than Labour because (a) he would not enjoy playing third fiddle to the Greens in a Labour-led government, and (b) he went with Labour in 2005, and won’t want to be seen as locked in to Labour. But at the end of the day, he will also be influenced by what is in it for Winston, as he was in 2005.

That’s a revealing answer about Peters and I think it’s also revealing about yourself. It’s a bitter reply.

imageYes, as some of your readers will know from the last chapter of my book, I’m quite deeply pessimistic about the future of democracy, and this election campaign illustrates my concerns rather well. There is a huge bidding campaign going on, with virtually no party putting forward policies which would actually deal with some of the fundamental issues facing the country. Some parties are being more responsible than others, but almost all are offering extremely expensive policies that the economy has little ability to pay for…

On his Facebook page he lashes the media circus:

I’ve always been reluctant to believe in media conspiracies, but having watched the way in which Radio New Zealand and TVNZ have been covering this election campaign I have to conclude that those driving the election coverage on those channels are either wildly Left-wing or plain ignorant, and I’m genuinely not sure which explanation is the more plausible.
    The media have almost entirely ignored what ACT has been saying, even when Jamie Whyte drives a horse and cart through the economic policies of other parties. They give only minimal coverage to what the Taxpayers’ Union is saying about the cost of the political promises made by most parties, even though those comments are based on the research of an economist who did the costing of election promises for the Inland Revenue Department for a number of years.
image    The media give extensive coverage to the comments of Winston Peters, even though his promises are so outrageous that the policies of New Zealand First are the only ones which the Taxpayers’ Union has been unable to put a dollar cost on – they are extremely vague and very expensive….
    Yesterday, Radio New Zealand’s coverage of some of Labour’s promises took the cake for me. Every time I turned on the radio to hear the news, the bulletin seemed to be led by the story that Labour would introduce a “Kiwi Share” to prevent future governments from ever selling government-owned businesses.
    Apart from being a seriously stupid policy even if it could be implemented, a future Labour-led Government could not actually stop future governments from doing anything!
    What Parliament can do, a future Parliament can as easily undo. But nowhere did I hear a voice of scepticism expressed – Mr Cunliffe’s “promise” to stop future asset sales for all time was breathlessly reported as if it had some relevance.
    I’m pretty critical of the John Key Government, as anybody who has read my book Incredible Luck will know. But with a few ACT MPs to help drag them back to the values set out so clearly in the National Party’s own constitution, a John Key-led Government is vastly to be preferred to a Labour-Greens-New Zealand First-Internet Mana combination, and it angers the hell out of me that even the media funded by me and other taxpayers makes not the slightest attempt to cover the election campaign with even a modicum of detachment and objectivity.


  1. From Kiwiblog comments section
    Reboot (99 comments) says:
    September 15th, 2014 at 7:23 am

    So you’d rather a capital gains tax (and other bullshit taxes) becoming entrenched over the next three years by a left wing government like interest free student loans and WFF have? Fuck that shit. I’d rather a National government with NZ First being ineffective due to conflict and embarrassment (let’s be honest here, National have been doing fuck all since becoming the government, making tiny, incremental changes that at the end of the day is about keeping seats warm rather than revolutionising the economy like the Fourth Labour government).

    I’d rather National be a lame duck government held hostage by NZ First for the next three years and get nothing done than having a shittier Labour government for the next three implementing all sorts of Left wing policies only for National to get elected in 2017 to continue Labour-Liting again and not have the balls to repeal a single thing, instead preferring to keep the mums and dads of NZ happy by keeping and continuing on with all of Labour’s policies.

    If anything, all this post shows is that DPF is no different to John Key and Bill English. It’s all about having power and doing everything to keep it long term rather than risking “Brash” right wing policies for the betterment of the country for fear of offending economically ignorant mums and dads. John Key is nothing but an ass kisser whose life goal is appeasing mums and dads. Mark my words if it’s up to NZ First chances are instead of DPF’s wet dream of putting principle before power Key would rather give Winston a Ministerial portfolio (one he said he would never give Roger Douglas because that would offend mums and dads too much) than forgo the opportunity to continue being PM.
    Is Don Brash this critical of the Key government. Seems the above is a fair comment.
    Got an addressed letter to me from John Key where he claims strong leadership. I couldn't think of an example. If you look at National's principles and what he has delivered, there is an absence. Scared of hikoi's from hell rather than be a leader
    Peter {likely New Act voter}

  2. Politically Don Brash had some good ideas. It's a shame he has the charisma of a wet sock.

  3. If Don is spending a lonely retirement "repenting at leisure" that is his problem.

    Brash chose of his own free will to talk to the Brethren loons; he chose to advocate it being legal for the Mongrel Mob to sell heroin to school children. Curiously nobody agreed with him.

    Nobody likes a cry baby Don


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