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Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Don Brash ... accidental leader? 

A couple of thoughts on Donald Brash's leadership of the National Party:

1. After Orewa II seemed to suggest he didn't care whether National went up in the polls or not, or how the public responded to his message. Note to Don - you might be in the wrong business. My impression was that you just don't care whether you become PM or not.

2. Why aren't you running for an electorate seat? And why isn't the media asking this question? I know it's not a requirement, but almost every other party leader does it, right from Helen Clark on down ... some of them win (Clark, Peters, Dunne, Anderton, Turia) and some of them don't (Fitzsimmons) but they front up and seek to represent a particular locality, and achieve apersonal mandate. There are, one assumes, plenty of winnable National seats in the Auckland region ... Rodney, Epsom, North Shore, Tamaki, Pakuranga. Note to Don II - I know the people of the North Shore rejected you twice in the 1980s, but even so.

3. Know your policies. Last night on Checkpoint it was abundantly clear that you didn't know anything about your "new" youth offender policy (clearly the "brain child" of Tony "moral panic" Ryall), and yet strangely the interview proceeded rather calmly, and the Mary Wilson Attack Dog was kept on its leash. Oh for George Hawkins (who, whatever his faults, does understand something about his own policies) to enjoy such polite questioning. There's no way any other leader, even of a minor party, would have allowed themselves to be so badly caught out, restricted to parroting one sentence to the effect that "this policy works in the United Kingdom". Note to Don III - keep making those donations to Radio NZ.

How is it that this chump is still good enough to enjoy ~35% support from the electorate?


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