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An inflated star collapsing

Written By: - Date published: 5:55 pm, August 18th, 2010 - 37 comments
Categories: rodney hide - Tags:

Watching ACT at present must be similar to watching a red giant finishing consuming all of its helium, expel its envelope, and collapse down to dwarf star.

Update: the origional docs are really fun to read – HEATHER ROY Notes for demotion caucus

The Herald reports on the back story of the ACT leadership discussion.

Confidential and leaked documents of Heather Roy’s statement to the Act caucus when she was dumped as deputy leader portray Act leader Rodney Hide as an abusive, intimidating bully who had been trying to discredit and humiliate Roy into quitting for months.

She paints a picture of a fractured party that has been consumed by in-fighting while pretending to be unified.

What I find astonishing is revelation of the attempts that Rodney made prior to the censure motions that strike at the heart of the confidence in ministers.

She said Hide had spoken to Defence Minister Wayne Mapp and tried to have her removed as Associate Defence Minister, to which Mapp “protested vigorously”.

“It is very difficult for me to work when my own leader is determined to undermine me … and it is very clear to me that he has used others to further this agenda.”

The pipsqueak is interfering in the process of government to further a vendetta against one of his caucus? Now that shows a serious distortion of a sense of priorities.

In a letter to caucus chair David Garrett and party president Michael Crozier last week, Roy said that the relationship between her and the leader was “tense”.

“It has become obvious by his actions that he has set upon a path to establish a foundation for humiliating me. After John announced his challenge for the deputy leadership at the end of the meeting, I realised that the intent to humiliate might have been thought merely necessary preparation, perhaps in the hope that I might fold my tent and walk.

“An unhealthy culture has emerged, characterised by combative interpersonal relationships, innuendo and side-deals, which is destructive to the integrity of the caucus as a whole.

“You should be aware that events since the 11 August meeting have borne out my concerns about the leader’s particular recent abuse of power and interference in my ministerial functions involving third parties.”

I don’t have a lot of time for ACT in general or even its MP’s. However I do think that spilling petty political issues over into the ministerial duties goes well beyond any normal coalition boundaries. Perhaps John Key should get unrelaxed for long enough to find out what in the hell has been going on amongst his ministers?

In the meantime, I’ll enjoy watching the collapse of the inflated bubble that is the ACT party under gravity – now that all of the hot air has been blown away.

37 comments on “An inflated star collapsing ”

  1. whaddaya mean – it wasn’t a dwarf star already?

    I thought ACT jumped the shark when Maddog left.

    • Carol 1.1

      But Hide claimed in parliament today, that he had discussed the situation in detail with Key after he first informed Key 13 days ago, that Bascawen was challenging for the deputy leadership. And as Hide had discussed Roy with Wayne Mapp, and Roy had complained to ministerial services… well, surely Key was aware of the tensions and allegations. 3 News says the 80 pages of Roy’s notes say that Hide had complained to Mapp that Roy had been taking some drugs.

      Also, in parliament today, some Labour MPs were questioning, that, given the situation, Key would not take a phone call from Roy to discuss her demotion.

    • lprent 1.2

      They’d just burnt out their initial supply of idealistic fuel when the massif left. You can see it in the election returns. (The hydrogen is exhausted)

      Since then they have been burning out people, as you can see from the ever increasing numbers of ex-act activists. (The helium is exhausted)

      Now there remaining electoral support seems to largely come from a number of the more nutty communities*. (The interesting nuclear fusion reactions to iron, carbon, silicon etc)

      But I suspect that the gravitational collapse into a one or zero MP party is now imminent…. 😈

      * I picked this analogy specifically to highlight their anti science wing eg The ones taking NIWA to court and who seem to write ACT’s ‘science’ policies.

      • Rich 1.2.1

        Yes, but I understand that ACT don’t believe in relativity, in line with current right-wing thinking.

        That’s the moderate wing. Garrett believes that gravitation is a liberal conspiracy, whilst Roger Douglas considers the first law of thermodynamics to be an outdated regulation that’s holding NZ business back.

  2. Rex Widerstrom 2

    An unhealthy culture has emerged, characterised by combative interpersonal relationships, innuendo and side-deals, which is destructive to the integrity of the caucus as a whole.

    Gosh, that brings back memories… and not good ones. Is this sort of thing, I wonder, a virtual inevitability when you put people who’ve had a pressure-cooker introduction to politics (i.e. not worked their way up through the myriad petty power struggles in an electorate committeeetc) into a small group in Parliament?

    Specially if they’re given Ministerial roles in addition to the stresses of trying to keep the party in the headlines etc. In a small group, that annoying tic that you might be able to ignore in a caucus of 20 or 40 is suddenly right there in your face and, because you’re pretty much on your own in developing policy ideas, rejections can seem very personal…

    Of course the Progressives or Future-United-Whatever will never implode (unless Anderton or Dunne develops multiple personalities) because there’s no one to argue with and no principles beyond power.

    Is it simply coincidental that small parties to date have drawn corrosive people like Lhaws to them, and thus been dstroyed from within?

    Or is it small parties are fundamentally designed to fail… unless they start becoming loose coalitions of, essentially, independent MPs with broadly similar outlooks?

    • Pascal's bookie 2.1

      My guess would be that small parties tend to be pretty ideological, and attract (as voters. members and candidates) them what don’t take well to being part of a herd.

      • Rex Widerstrom 2.1.1

        That makes sense Pb, which goes some way to explaining why I am attracted and repulsed in almost equal measure to the people they attract. There’s a fine line between principled environmentalist and someone who wants to make it illegal not to wear flax underpants, or between freedom loving pro-gun lobbyist and guy who’s hoarding canned food and weapons at his bach…

    • The Greens are the perfect counterargument. But they have a commitment to general principles, smaller egos, principled leadership mostly, and they are representative of a significant sector of the population. I believe the Greens will be durable. The other minor parties depend too much on large egos to have a chance of surviving in the medium term.

  3. Tiger Mountain 3

    Is my recall correct, that Hideney was involved in a nasty verbal ‘gay bash’ at a Waipuna Lodge conference centre urinal several years back. My point being that he IS as awful in reality as some of us imagine.

  4. Pascal's bookie 4

    And TV3 news had a sit down with Hide and Roy, with Roy doing damage control on this document, saying that she has no recollection of the drug allegation. It just gets weirder.

    Who leaked this if not Roy?

    Douglas? Franks (most recently a National party candidate)?

    • tres 4.1

      how can something like this be “leaked”, a transperant government would make a press release asap to let us know our government is changing?

      • Pascal's bookie 4.1.1

        Totally, but they wouldn’t release the caucus notes of the losing player, detailing that player’s position and arguments to caucus.

        Arguments which not only failed to convince caucus, but are rather damaging to the leader.

        I’m all for the openness, but that seems a bit extreme 🙂

  5. Steve 5

    All ends up in a black hole

  6. bobo 6

    I always likened Rodney to that of a white dwarf star , anyone see that clip of Rodney sitting next to Roy on tv1 news tonight as she tried to play down the 80 page document? Reminded me of one of those forced hijacking videos where the hostage has to read out a prepared script.. very weird..

  7. Anne 7

    Rodney Hide has been terrorising Heather Roy and I think you will find it has been going on for some considerable time. As someone who went through a similar experience 15-20 years ago, I recognise all the signs.

    I heard a radio bulletin today mention that Roger Douglas had been to see Roy at her home. I bet he talked her into that TV clip with Hide in an attempt to salvage his beloved political party. Remember it was Douglas and Quigley who were the original co-leaders of Act. Quigley had the sense to get out from under.

  8. Rich 8

    Rodney and Heather John aren’t real ministers, are they. It’s like “bring your offspring to work day”. You might give them computers and paperclips to play with, but the aren’t actually Financial Controller. (Unless you work at Google).

  9. felix 9

    So – this mystery blogger with the military background – any clues?

    • Carol 9.1

      Felix, from the Roy notes that joe90 helpfully linked to:

      Much more concerning about this paper is the fact that the Minister of Defence, Wayne Mapp, has told me that he has been
      informed by a National Party activist that ACT Board Member,
      Nick Kearney, has a copy of this paper. He said Nick Kearney
      has shown the activist the paper and encouraged him to write an
      article for the blog ‘No Minister’. The activist has told me that he
      will not do anything with it it is a sensitive document of national
      security significance and it was raised with Wayne Mapp
      because of this serious concern.

      Also I noticed this on a quick skim of Roy’s notes:

      I ensured in 2005 that ACT focus on Epsom. I persuaded John Boscawen to overcome his reservations. I called in the dues my fellow MPs owed me and got them to door-knock in Epsom. A board member and I organised, off our own bats, the Roy-Morgan poll showing Rodney would win Epsom and that a party vote for ACT would not be wasted.

      • felix 9.1.1

        Thanks. Fascinating stuff, ain’t it?

        • Carol

          Indeed, felix. Thanks for the quotes you picked out. I haven’t read it all – saved it and will read it another time. But I can see opposition politicians, some journalists and many bloggers will be dining out on this stuff for quite a while to come. I’m sure Peters is reading it with interest too.

          Whoever leakied this document, must have sent it to several MSM outlets, and somehow Mallard must have got hold of if by the time he talked in parliament today – otherwise how did he know the defense document had been shown to a blogger?.

    • BLiP 9.2

      Doesn’t our own mighty and magnificent sysop have some sort of military background ; )

      • lprent 9.2.1

        A few years in the territorial medics in the late 70’s and early 80’s… Good fun, good training, good prep to stay alive if they ever instituted a draft…

        …own mighty and magnificent sysop…

        Sounds suspiciously like “Dear Leader” – are you trying to compare me to clueless?

    • felix 10.1

      Very interesting reading indeed.

      I particularly enjoyed some of Heather’s predictions:

      Reaction of the General Electorate

      Likely to be perceived by most as the bullying actions of white
      middle-aged men against women in leadership.

      Any remaining credit that Rodney gained from his “re-
      invention” phase from dancing, swimming and the gym and
      self-declared “nice guy” new style will be wiped out.

      ACT Party polling will plummet and support for the centre
      right Government will also be affected as John Key struggles
      to field the barrage of questions.

      I also enjoyed smelling the fear over Epsom:

      National Party (and others) are regularly polling Epsom and
      informal advice is that the results show Rodney’s hold is
      tenuous at best.

      Therefore, the price they extract for the pressure on the Govt
      through a change of Deputy Leader now, might be to stand a
      strong candidate in Epsom.

      Liberal voters, particularly women already disaffected with
      Rodney’s divorce, might take this as the “last straw” and not
      vote ACT causing the loss of the seat.

      Therefore it is more important than ever that ACT adjusts to a
      “Five+” strategy and the leadership status quo remains.


  10. Santi 11

    ACT should be given the last rites.

  11. Anne 12

    Had a quick look at notes 30 minutes ago. No problem. Can’t access it now. Has it been pulled?

    • Carol 12.1

      Well glad I saved a copy.

    • BLiP 12.2

      Don’t think so. I just grabbed the PDF – here’s a poignant quote from the introduction:

      Clearly it is open to the Caucus to change its office holders by majority vote, with the Board’s approval. But if that is done in a way calculated to leave maximum damage to people involved, without concern about the damage to the Party, there comes a point where the Party is so compromised that it cannot convey its values to the public. They sense the lie in a big gap between promise and performance. They know it as hypocrisy. That is why the caucus insisted on Rodney’s apology last November instead of just “moving forward’. That is why I now ask you my colleagues, entrusted with the hopes of those who worked to put us here, to look at what has happened over the last few days to learn lessons for a fresh start.

      Roy certainly got a fresh start.

      • Carol 12.2.1

        It looks to me that Hide has put his cosy little relationship with Key before the interests of the ACT party. So I expect the party to wither and Hide to try to stay attached to Key/Nats.

        And the Roy notes are still there for me too. Little point in pulling it. The cat is already out of the bag and all over the interwebs.

  12. Carol 13

    So Heather Roy’s associate defence minister job has been scrapped?


    So who is picking up the slack? Or was it just one of the make work schemes used by the current government to keep it’s supporters busy?

  13. Sanctuary 14

    The only problem I have is that remnant neutron star will still be throwing out gibberish internet posts for years to come.

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