I’m not sure if Don Brash is a character from Tennessee Williams, endlessly reliving the glory days of his heroic football playing youth or, in Brash’s case, those few months in early 2004, after the Orewa speech when he surged in the polls and was all set to become Prime Minister. Or is he like Charles Foster Kane caught in a love nest with a ‘singer’, devoting his time and fortune to turning poor Susan Alexander into an opera star and taking the quote marks off the word ‘singer’ which, in Brash’s case, would be trying to win the argument that he really is about equality and not just race-baiting.
What is Orewa’s legacy? It worked for maybe five months, and then Labour was ahead in the polls again. The general theme of the campaign has been repeated pretty much every year since by people like ACT and Brash and John Ansell and David Farrar and – arguably – Phil Goff when he was Labour leader, but never accomplished anything.