Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Knives out for Brash

What do you make out this two-pronged attack? Not that I am saying it was premeditated but two ex (yet still influential) MPs have both stuck knives in Don Brash this week.

First Richard Prebble in his Letter, National MPs have decided that they can't fight another election with Don Brash. Don is in trouble not because of the recent publicity about his private life but rather his judgment or his lack of it. Putting out a press statement saying he was returning to Auckland because his wife was sick and then withdrawing it and admitting he was going to save his marriage, showed a leader panicking under pressure.

The professional way to handle the Independent front page story would have been to ignore it. To have stayed in parliament and fronted up instead of legitimising the story by issuing a press statement and then bringing all the media to your home by going there.

Back bench MPs are asking if this is how he handles his own crisis, how will he handle a crisis that affects them? Even if they win with Don, how would they survive as a government? The new MPs, who the media say are all grateful to Don, are the most shocked with his performance. Jonathan Coleman, MP for Birkenhead, is said to be gathering the votes for John Key.

Well, maybe not a knife, just a firm boot up the backside (I would have thought advice on how to politically handle marriage problems from Prebble best avoided - I guess it depends which you put first - party or partner).

This is a knife, from Mike Moore, who's becoming a touch sanctimonious of late; Don Brash, whose "Aw shucks, I'm not a politician' - his James Stewart act - will no longer wash. He looks suspiciously like an Invercargill barber from the 1950s, who you discover later sold condoms under the table. Still, I'm told, he inspired another thumb-sucking caucus meeting saying,"Not to worry, we will weather this storm of approval and get back to being hated well before election day."

Talking about 'being hated', it seems those who have been in and around the Labour Party a long time can't let go of their understandable but dated National-loathing, regardless of the personalities involved. Not something I relate to having presently little regard for either bunch, (although I had fleetingly held out faint but now forlorn hope National might make something of themselves under Brash.)


David said...

I liked Don Brash before he got into politics, he's a good capatalist, and we need good capatalists. But when he started making social policy all that changed. It's pretty clear (to me at least) that he is working on assumptions that are patently flawed, and really doesn't understand (or is ignoring) the full implications of what he's been saying. The attacks MP's and the PM have been making on Brash may or may not be influencing the public, But I can assure you in some cases, they were simply reflecting what people were already thinking. National would have been a shoe-in for the next election if it weren't for him.

Mack said...

Mike Moore is a has-been who never really was. Why else would he have to declare at the end of each column that he was a former prime minister?

Lindsay said...

He hadn't even got to the end of this one. My impression of Mike Moore was forever besmirched as that of a complete vacillator after reading that Michael Laws book, the name of which now escapes me.

Mack said...

Was it "The Demon Profession"?

I can't find Mike Moore's column online - was it published in the Dominion Post?

I did find this bio, though, and it gave me a laugh. Only eight weeks as PM and still he goes on about it!

Lindsay said...

Mack, it was in the DomPost where he has an occasional column printed. And Demon Profession is right. I can see the cover but never the name.