The Dim-Post

September 30, 2016

Skipper

Filed under: Uncategorized — danylmc @ 8:21 am

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.

31 Comments »

  1. Well he might be wanting to impress his new lady friend here in Tauranga a prominent Nat and local councillor….we blokes do stuff like that when smitten…..

    Comment by Neville Lowry — September 30, 2016 @ 8:27 am

  2. “What is Orewa’s legacy? It worked for maybe five months, and then Labour was ahead in the polls again.”

    Between 1997 and Orewa, National was where Labour is now – failing to get even within spitting distance of the government, who seemed to effortlessly retain substantial support despite a series of stumbles that should have hurt them more than they did. It’s true, the Orewa polling lead didn’t last – but Labour never opened up such an impressive lead over National again, and the 2005 election was a very closely fought one where many people genuinely believed that National was going to eke out a win.

    So, Orewa was important. How much of it is down to Brash’s political genius is an open question. While a lot of early -00s politician scientists speculated that there had been a genuine realignment and National would simply be the largest of a morass of mostly ineffective right-to-centre-right parties, in retrospect the situation looks like a temporary deviation. So perhaps Brash’s Orewa bounce was more of a corrective than a paradigm shift. But he gave National what they desperately needed. If 2016 Labour suddenly leapt in the polls to become directly competitive with National right now, the fact that National would edge ahead of them a few months down the line wouldn’t diminish the accomplishment.

    Comment by Ortvin Sarapuu — September 30, 2016 @ 8:31 am

  3. Dear old Don the Dog Whistler, still trying hard after all these years. I almost admire his persistence and determination. If only it were directed at something good. It’s been said that evil has a banal face. I wonder what Don thinks about when he looks in the mirror.

    Comment by Nick R — September 30, 2016 @ 8:46 am

  4. I think he believes what he says is so self evidently not race baiting I’d rule out Kane.

    Comment by NeilM — September 30, 2016 @ 9:00 am

  5. Donald Brash was our Donald Trump. The last gasp of the old white racists named Donald.

    Comment by Gster — September 30, 2016 @ 9:18 am

  6. Hobson’s choice.

    Comment by NeilM — September 30, 2016 @ 9:20 am

  7. Didn’t the ” Orewa surge” panic Labour into the Seabed & Foreshore Act and all that led to including the Māori Party

    Comment by Ray — September 30, 2016 @ 9:38 am

  8. The legacy is that Labour now needs Winston First to win an election.

    Comment by unaha-closp — September 30, 2016 @ 11:04 am

  9. Didn’t the ” Orewa surge” panic Labour into the Seabed & Foreshore Act and all that led to including the Māori Party.

    No. The Ngati Apa decision was released in June 2003. The Government’s overreaction to it happened well before the January 2004 Orewa speech.

    Comment by Graeme Edgeler — September 30, 2016 @ 12:24 pm

  10. Donald Brash was our Donald Trump. The last gasp of the old white racists named Donald.

    I get the nasty feeling that it was less of a last gasp and more the first intake of breath for white identity politics.

    Comment by danylmc — September 30, 2016 @ 12:53 pm

  11. Not in this country Danyl, we’re too easy-going. I agree with Ortvin that “Brash’s Orewa bounce was more of a corrective than a paradigm shift”. Just cos he hit the zeitgeist then don’t mean he can do it again, eh?

    I don’t mind the old duffer. I find his gentlemanly style refreshing, being so rare in Aotearoa, and nowadays often agree with his view of various issues, but his latest foray into collective endeavour is misconceived and (unless redesigned) doomed to fail. Ideology is a severe handicap. Most conservatives here are pragmatic rather than ideologues – so he’s fishing in waters where few like the taste of his bait…

    Comment by Dennis Frank — September 30, 2016 @ 3:43 pm

  12. Being an charismatic, wonkish, bumbling old rootbag (albeit a well-mannered one) sets a pretty low-bar for being ‘gentlemanly’.

    Comment by Gregor W — September 30, 2016 @ 4:35 pm

  13. *uncharismatic

    Comment by Gregor W — September 30, 2016 @ 4:35 pm

  14. It’s dog whistle, all right.
    Dog whistle for anyone who thinks an old white guy daring to comment on race issues must be a rascist.
    I fail to see how anyone can think treating everyone under the law is rascist, or even controversial.
    Debra Mahuta-Coyle wrote a much praised response, recounting some patronising/offensive behaviour she experienced as a child, saying this is why she opposes (to put it mildly) Brash. Yet Brash is talking of treating everyone equally!
    Seems the urge to virtue signal is irresistible.

    Comment by greg hampshire — September 30, 2016 @ 6:05 pm

  15. Some people may have forgotten that Don Brash wants a Commission of Inquiry into the Peter Ellis case. How many current politicians are scared at the thought of this idea? Brash might be an “old duffer” but I’d hazard a guess that he doesn’t lack, as many politicians do, moral courage.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/crime/64348591/peter-ellis-inquiry-bid-led-by-don-brash
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10336844

    Comment by Ross — September 30, 2016 @ 6:31 pm

  16. ” but I’d hazard a guess that he doesn’t lack, as many politicians do, moral courage…”

    This is precisely what makes him so dangerous. He is tone deaf, and convinced of his own moral crusade.

    Comment by Sanctuary — September 30, 2016 @ 9:16 pm

  17. Maybe dog whistling to the racist component in National’s base? If nothing else, maybe it’s a sign the 2017 election campaign is underway for National’s proxies and dirty tricksters.

    Maybe Don Brash was bored and had nothing better to do.

    Comment by truthseekernz — September 30, 2016 @ 10:31 pm

  18. Are Brash & Co trying to make a contrived attempt to ride the wave of Trump and Brexit?

    Comment by Kumara Republic (@kumararepublic) — September 30, 2016 @ 11:40 pm

  19. This is precisely what makes him so dangerous. He is tone deaf, and convinced of his own moral crusade.

    I don’t think Brash is dangerous. Misguided? Perhaps. As I say, there is a distinct lack of moral courage among the current crop of MPs. That is the real problem here.

    Comment by Ross — October 1, 2016 @ 7:21 am

  20. Any country that has a set of laws or principles that can be used to advantage or otherwise one sector of the society will always have some moral peril of going too far.

    And if no one has the guts to question that path then there’s bound to be an injustice sooner rather than later.

    In this case the Treaty industry can be almost anything we want or don’t want to see, it can be part redress, part redistribution or even part retribution.. its a process run by fallible people and bound to be poorly handled at least some of the time.

    If Brash is a racist for saying its gone too far what the hell do we call people who declare non Maori citizens foreigners with few if any rights?

    No one is immune to racism.. no one. The best we can do is take the Treaty industry out of the drawer once in a while and give it a polish and see if still does what we want it to do and not leave it to a bunch of wonks and activists to beaver away at it in the dark. If that means it falls to an antediluvian to occasionally shine a light on it then so be it and good on him.. and it’s lucky for us too.

    JC

    Comment by JC — October 1, 2016 @ 1:24 pm

  21. We are not lucky to have Brash and the only good thing I can see come from this is it draws the anti Maori people out into the light so we know exactly who they are.
    Use of words such as Treaty “industry” are a bit of a give away.

    Comment by Corokia — October 1, 2016 @ 7:28 pm

  22. “Use of words such as Treaty “industry” are a bit of a give away.”

    They are simply descriptive. How you choose to interpret them is the stuff of debate.

    JC

    Comment by JC — October 1, 2016 @ 11:20 pm

  23. JC: ” In this case the Treaty industry can be almost anything we want or don’t want to see, it can be part redress, part redistribution or even part retribution.. its a process run by fallible people and bound to be poorly handled at least some of the time.”

    I agree. The trouble with the “racism” epithet being flung at critics is that it isn’t of itself any kind of an argument, and moreover it has the effect of shutting up said critics. Yet they may have a point and we should hear what they have to say.

    The last thing we need here is people shying away from critique of the Treaty settlement process because they dislike name-calling. There’s real risk that the process could become a sacred cow, admitting of no scrutiny: not at all a desirable state of affairs.

    I remain of the view that the term racism properly applies to governments, and the laws and regulations enacted by them. We citizens may be prejudiced or biased. Bigoted even. But freedom of speech: we can think and say what we like here. This isn’t a police state. Yet.

    Everyone is free to disagree with Brash: but if that’s the case, make an argument against his views. Don’t just call him racist.

    Comment by D'Esterre — October 2, 2016 @ 4:04 pm

  24. “Everyone is free to disagree with Brash: but if that’s the case, make an argument against his views. Don’t just call him racist.”

    What if your argument against his views is that his views seem based on the idea of the superiority of one race over another?

    Comment by Ortvin Sarapuu — October 2, 2016 @ 8:44 pm

  25. I vaguely recall that it was Richard Prebble who coined that `treaty industry’ phrase yonks ago – bit of a misnomer since industry produces goods & services outputs and the treaty trough is just a govt money supply at which the pushiest brown pigs get to feed (all others get trickle-down). Kneejerkers will race to call this racist, so perhaps I should add that capitalism is a trough at which the pushiest white pigs get to feed (all others get trickle-down). Just to be equable & ensure both races have parity. Got it?

    Right. So we have a nicely-balanced social system in Aotearoa, which privileges the capitalist aristocracy on one hand & the maori tribal aristocracy on the other. Both brown & white plebs get the trickle-down, which is why they both keep voting for the status quo, and everyone lives happily ever after. Except for Don. Naughty old Don resents the chiefs getting their ride on the gravy train, thinks they haven’t earned it. Well of course not, they were born to be chiefs! That’s the whole point of an hereditary aristocracy. No doubt he thinks captains of industry earn their gravy, by transforming bits of nature into products, selling them to consumers like us, who then proceed to fund governments via our tax contributions.

    Well, obviously he gets that right, so where does he go wrong? Redress of past wrongs by the colonial government, the actual rationale for the treaty settlements. So, if he had a clue about public relations, he’d point out that he agrees with that, but the money ought to go to all members of the tribe, not just the aristocrats. But hey, that’s socialism! He’d then have to admit that the proceeds on capitalism ought to go to all pakeha, not just business operators. Logical consistency, eh? Bane of the ideologue who fails to get the big picture…

    Comment by Dennis Frank — October 2, 2016 @ 9:33 pm

  26. his views seem based on the idea of the superiority of one race over another?
    His view seems to be quite different to that.

    Comment by Ross — October 2, 2016 @ 10:28 pm

  27. “Right. So we have a nicely-balanced social system in Aotearoa, which privileges the capitalist aristocracy on one hand & the maori tribal aristocracy on the other. ”

    Please don’t pretend you are really bothered by the “capitalist aristocracy”

    Comment by Ortvin Sarapuu — October 3, 2016 @ 1:41 am

  28. “What is Orewa’s legacy? It worked for maybe five months, and then Labour was ahead in the polls again.”

    Labo were crushing National and National as a result of the Orewa speech then became a genuine opposition party. When a recession rolled around National replaced Labo with ease.

    Labo now a joke party (like National in supposed oppostion pre Orewa) and when the next recession rolls around people might not take a chance on the personalities which comprise Labo Greens

    Comment by Simon — October 3, 2016 @ 9:39 am

  29. Relax, Ortvin, ain’t never gonna happen. I was never inclined to adopt the traditional deceit of the Labour Party, even when it was politically effective. Nowadays when so few are deceived by it, the chances are lower than zilch. How’s it working for you?

    Comment by Dennis Frank — October 3, 2016 @ 11:47 am

  30. “I was never inclined to adopt the traditional deceit of the Labour Party”

    LOL

    Comment by Ortvin Sarapuu — October 3, 2016 @ 7:16 pm

  31. Don Brash totally reminds me of a cross between Mr Howell from Gilligan’s Island and Albi the racist dragon.

    Comment by Eltalstro — October 3, 2016 @ 7:39 pm


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