Damien Grant thinks National is stuffed

Written By: - Date published: 8:00 am, February 26th, 2018 - 44 comments
Categories: Amy Adams, Judith Collins, national, Politics, same old national, Simon Bridges - Tags:

Credit where credit is due.  In the past Damien Grant has received some rather negative opinions posted on this site about his articles.  For instance he was awarded the doofus of the week award for his weird views about tertiary education.  But his latest article deserves praise and consideration.  Because he effectively sums up National’s current problems.

The headline is that he believes the National Party is a relic and should be dismantled.

He says this:

The problem with the National Party it is a broad church, covering the socially conservative MP for Pakuranga Simeon Brown and the almost libertarian Paul Goldsmith. Between these two gentlemen is a wide variety of perspectives, with most MPs and members having no clear ideology at all.

National was organised in 1936 to combat the rising success of the Labour Party. The relatively progressive Liberal Party and the conservative Reform Party combined forces to forestall what they saw as the common enemy. National governments have included the de-regulating post-war administration of Sidney Holland and the interventionist Robert Muldoon.

National has never had an underlying belief system, even if a few of its members occasionally stumble across an economic text book. They are committed to keeping Labour out of power but never really sure what to do when they find themselves in office.

I too have struggled with defining National’s primary belief system although self interest features heavily.

Grant then gets stuck into the aspiring leaders.  On Amy Adams and Simon Bridges he says:

Amy Adams has proved a competent minister but has never exposed a clear ideology and Simon Bridges most significant achievement has been yelling at John Campbell.

That Bridges clip where he looses his cool completely is going to get some coverage if he becomes leader.

Judith Collins claims in a recent interview that you do not leave a meeting with her without knowing what she thinks, but I’ve struggled to find anything that indicates an ideology other than a firm belief in “strong leadership”.

Great.

Banning smoking in prisons and destroying the property of boy racers implies that Collins is an old-school conservative but we are reading the tea leaves rather than her manifesto.

She did bring in private prisons, which gets her a small tick from me, but it is small beer in what is an otherwise empty brewery.

And Grant thinks that National should split into a libertarian party and a conservative party.

Despite their recent high polling, National is a relic and it should divide into its constitute parts. A fractured centre-right collection of parties competing in the market place of ideas is what MMP demands and is the best way to combat the unrelenting ideology of an ever-expanding welfare state espoused by the current government.

 

This may reflect the thinking of some National MPs.  The next few months will show if the Borg like entity that is the National Party will continue or if the right has learned the lessons of MMP and the need for Governments to reflect a diverse array of views.

44 comments on “Damien Grant thinks National is stuffed”

  1. Zorb6 1

    This -‘She did bring in private prisons, which gets her a small tick from me’,gets a big cross from me,and puts me off anything else he has to say.

  2. One Anonymous Bloke 2

    Grant thinks that National should split into a libertarian party and a conservative party.

    They already did, but some of the libertarians are just intelligent enough to notice that ACT get’s 0% support, and their lifestyle depends on being funded through taxation.

    So they lie about their values and policies instead.

  3. Ad 3

    If Labour’s polling is going to stay anywhere near 40%, the core rationale for National starting up in the first place still stands: you need an integrated beast to fight the other integrated beast.

    But Mickey your very last point is the telling one: the right never split into factions like Labour did in the early 1990s.

    The main reason for this sustained unity is precisely because National is ideologically unfocused. Labour had a really clear reforming programme in the late 1980s, and it split and nearly killed them at the first Bolger election.

    Beware ideological over-coherence.

    I’m still going for Collins. That would put them in the late 20s by the 2020 election. After that they can split apart and die, and I will be there to tramp the dirt down for that one.

    • greywarshark 3.1

      But JC sounded so compelling, so cool, thoughtful and wise on Radionz this morning! And she thinks that Jacinda is an opponent that has to be held to account, or something very similar.

      An ‘opponent’. That says it all. This isn’t about politics and making decisions and doing things for the nation, this is a tightly-followed sporting contest.

      This follows other sell-outs of our national interest by National. They want to link hands with international fighters to form a Super-Group. I think they have linked in to Ultimate Fighting without any let or hindrance from our sponge-like citizenry.

      Ultimate Fighting Championship – Wikipedia
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ultimate_Fighting_Championship
      The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is an American mixed martial arts organization based in Las Vegas, Nevada, that is owned and operated by parent company WME–IMG. It is the largest MMA promotion in the world and features the top-ranked fighters of the sport.
      Founded‎: ‎November 1993; 24 years ago
      Parent‎: ‎William Morris Endeavor
      Founders‎: ‎Art Davie‎; ‎Bob Meyrowitz‎; ‎Campbell …
      Industry‎: ‎Mixed martial arts

      MMA is Mixed Martial Arts more fully explained below. Look for the exquisite typo which probably explains the genesis of a lot of aggression-directed sport these days!
      Most of the fighters of MMA are trained in wrestling, boxing, jiu-jitsu, and kick boxing. … The MMA would not have got this wide popularity without UFC. Many people think that Ultimate Fighting Championship and Mixed Marital Arts are different. But the real fact is that they stand for the same thing.Dec 25, 2010

      • Ad 3.1.1

        I have a very occasional very bad liking for MMA.

        Remember, MMA has supplanted both WWE and Boxing in under three years.
        There is highly popular visceral appeal in Collins’ combative style. Trump doesn’t do Beta males: he eats them, and his combative version of politics is far and away the dominant mode in the developed world.

        Combat in politics is on the rise. Collins understands her base is male, and the National vote has a huge male and older male preference. Red meat and just punch the fuck out of them – it has tremendous appeal.

        We are one of the very last exceptions against this style of politics.

        Collins v Ardern is like MMA v Darts.

        Get head smashed in v make interesting points.

        • BM 3.1.1.1

          Younger women(under 30) are a hell of a lot more aggressive and confident then what women used to be, no shrinking violets here.

          I see a Judith Collins type person appealing more to them than a sickly sweet Jacinda Ardern,

          • One Anonymous Bloke 3.1.1.1.1

            😆

            Labour is well ahead of National — particularly among women and those aged under 55.

            Newsroom.

            Go Judith! Should be good for at least ten percent. Minus ten percent that is.

            • BM 3.1.1.1.1.1

              Men vote National, Women vote Labour.

              Want more woman voting National get a woman as leader, there’s your extra 10% right there for National

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                😆

                Keep telling yourself that BM. It’s a pity that Judith has no chance whatsoever of becoming the leader of the National Party, but we can live in hope, eh.

                • BM

                  I agree she hasn’t got a chance, they’re going to go for Amy Adams.

                  Personally, I’d prefer Judith but’s it’s not going to happen the steady as she goes approach seems to be what National prefers.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    Amy’s probably good for about minus five or six percent. She has zero accomplishments and too many conflicts of interest.

                    • BM

                      Maybe the thinking is that she can be the new Ardern while Peters is playing PM?

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Maybe the “thinking” is a load of witless projection? That wouldn’t surprise me.

                    • patricia bremner

                      Amy is for the farming lobby, and if she takes Bridges as DP he will be for the Oil and Gas lobby, meanwhile Steven will cook the books?

                      Mitchell will be kept on the back burner, as Key was with Brash.

                      Their beliefs. 1. We are right (literally)
                      2. We are for Capital.
                      3. We are for the top 28% of NZ.
                      ( Don’t tell the other 16% of our supporters.)
                      4. We are for the world top 1% and tax havens.
                      5. We are against Unions of any kind except,
                      Federated Farmers, Taxpayers Union, et al.
                      6. We are for anything which makes us money.
                      7. We like to privatise property and make the public
                      pay any debt.

                      Did I miss anything? LOL.
                      Collins has her Orivida albatross.

              • SpaceMonkey

                I had no idea… all this time John Key was in drag.

              • mac1

                Bugger, BM. Just when I thought I’d got my gender identity sorted then you write this! “Men vote National, Women vote Labour.”

                And me a Labour voter.

                I mean, I stopped laughing years ago when Sir Bob Jones pronounced that no left winger had a sense of humour. And now this!

              • Incognito

                Men vote National, Women vote Labour, Humans vote Green.

                CIFY

                I couldn’t let that one go 😉

            • alwyn 3.1.1.1.1.2

              Very selective poll you have picked isn’t it?
              That poll was SIX months ago. Before the election in fact.
              Nothing more up to date? Or have the numbers gone down the tibes?

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                None of the above: I just don’t put that much effort into countering BM’s derply held conceits.

            • cleangreen 3.1.1.1.1.3

              Ha ha 100% there OAB,.

              Collins is a very large red pimple on the rump of the national party rump just as Joyce is.

              S Joyce is a cousin to Barnaby (failed) joyce also therefore S Joyce is definitely is a very large pimple “The Scarlet Pimpernel” no less.

              He will destroy the ‘old national party’ for sure.

              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Scarlet_Pimpernel

          • paul andersen 3.1.1.1.2

            stop stalking young women and start talking to young women.

          • Andrea 3.1.1.1.3

            “Younger women(under 30) are a hell of a lot more aggressive and confident then what women used to be, ”

            You must have missed the Suffragettes, the ambo’s in WWI, the women doing the news in Ghouta today, the women taking action on FGM.

            I wish you would be precise about what exactly which sort of young woman under 30 would find charm and appeal about Ms Collins that they could count on to be there into the future.

        • greywarshark 3.1.1.2

          Ad thanks for that meaty summation!

  4. ianmac 4

    Mark Mitchell. Wasn’t he as a very Right wing candidate, planted to become a leader of a breakaway Religious/Conservative Party?
    At least with our current Government we can fairly easily see its various parts whereas in National we can only guess at its wide-ranging amorphous parts.

  5. Carolyn_Nth 5

    Methinks the libertarian, randian hero wannabes want a bigger party, with more clout in government.

    Be careful what you wish for.

  6. tc 6

    “The next few months will show if the Borg like entity that is the National Party will continue…”

    This assume the backers have given up and left them to it. IMO they’ll do no such thing as they bought and paid for it so they’ll continue to drive it with the MSM puppets cheering the ride.

  7. AB 7

    Sorry – did a little puke over the floor on reading “competing in the marketplace of ideas” and have only just recovered.

  8. Phil 8

    Christ on a bike, this is pretty fucking stupid.

    It wasn’t long ago that media commentators and some of the far left were calling for the death of the Labour Party, because they didn’t know what they stood for, and were just National-lite, so on and so forth.

    Before that, after the 2002 defeat, National was supposedly dead in the water then, too. But Ad’s point in post #3 “you need an integrated beast to fight the other integrated beast.” is still the core factor why we’re stuck with two parties for the foreseeable future.

  9. Michelle 9

    We know the gnats stand for sell everything and everyman for himself not the kind of NZ many want.

  10. Chris 10

    The left shouldn’t be giving the right advice on how to become the government, on what’s “best” for the right.

  11. Cemetery Jones 11

    I can’t stand National, but this is some sloppy logic from the OP:

    “The next few months will show if the Borg like entity that is the National Party will continue or if the right has learned the lessons of MMP and the need for Governments to reflect a diverse array of views.”

    So an article which highlights how National is ideologically all over the park is evidence that National is a ‘Borg like entity’? I feel like you really phoned this one in.

  12. Stuart Munro 12

    Meh – National should split into several parts.

    The state misappropriation profiteers should be incarcerated – there’s simply no excuse for them.

    Then you have the hard right wonks – fanbois of Hayeck or Rand, they should be in ACT, but they want seats so they lie. Lying erodes the validity of the parliamentary model and should not be tolerated. Hopefully Curran’s media reforms will shine a bit of UV on this type.

    There’s a large bunch of ant-social Gnats with no particular policy position except anti-Green or anti-left. These are the salauds, typified by the whale, though of course he is not fit to lead them.

    And then there are moderate social conservatives who may or may not have been duped by media rhetoric about Bill English’s financial competence. They are not intrinsically bad and regret the association with the salauds and the wonks. For National to prosper this is the group they must pretend to be until their vote recovers.

    Might take a while.

  13. Simon Louisson 13

    National as a political entity is bereft of a coherent ideology.
    Statements by the contenders for the party leadership show the only thing they and their party stand for is to grab power so they can enact policies that assist the wealthy – cut taxes, deregulate and pave the way for businesses and privileged individuals to make more money.
    In their nine years in office National damaged a myriad of things including rivers and lakes, the RMA, our public and mental health systems etc etc etc but it is difficult to point to one thing that John Key and National could point to as an achievement.
    The leadership contenders show equally vapid policies — none espouse any clear view of what the party stands for and what policies it should promote. Their statements are telling.
    Simon Bridges says his priority would be to “grow the pie” – as classic a ‘motherhood and apple pie is good’ statement as you can get.
    In the DomPost’s article about who will be the next leader, he makes a series of totally meaningless platitudes, as do all the other contenders.
    • We’ve got a strong economic direction (but nothing is identified)
    • I’ve got a clear sense of plan – it will involve a reshuffle
    Similarly with Amy Adams. Her first priority is to “make New Zealanders know they have a government that is competent and capable”.
    • I think our economic settings and policies are a core part of who we are – sensible fiscal and economic management
    • National will care about people’s futures and opportunities
    • National will be careful about how it spends money
    Steven Joyce is even more nebulous despite saying there should be a “laser-like” focus on what New Zealanders are looking for from their government.
    • National will give individuals and families a chance to get ahead
    • My first priority is to “get the team together and allocate responsibilities”.
    Judith Collins says she “likes to hope that voters like a lot about National”.
    She says it is very important when National is back in government “that we are very, very clear on our policies”. Only problem is she gives no hint of what the policies are except to “we are too far to the Left from our base”.
    Her first priority as PM: “We have a fabulous caucus, 56 of us, very committed, many of whom have a taste of government and are wondering when can we get there again.”
    Isn’t great the voters will be so well informed.

  14. soddenleaf 14

    Power and influence are a lot easier to manage when there’s an ideological vacuum.

    Add in press censorship and an ideology that produces said malaise; neolib leave it to the market; the National party have cornered the niche.

  15. patricia bremner 15

    Wasn’t about the voters was it??

  16. I will note that I have agreed with Damien’s assessment that this is the logical move for National in the past, (one of my earliest posts as a contributor included that opinion, although I generally referred to the resulting factions as a Liberal Party and a Conservative Party, given that socially liberal nats aren’t really libertarians per se, and do believe in having more regulation than ACT does) but I can’t see it happening in the immediate future for a few reasons:

    1) The conservatives feel like they have more influence being part of a coalition party, and that they can string right-wing liberals along when their faction of the party is in ascendance to get more done.

    2) Conservatives are by nature deferential to authority they agree with to some degree and would need a pretty big betrayal to stab the liberals in the back.

    3) The liberal faction of National isn’t ready to field leadership contenders at this point, and you can’t split without a good enough leader to take you into the next election.

    4) The liberal faction of National won’t want to risk their chance at winning as a coalition party in 2020, as they still (erroneously) think they were robbed.

    Now, if the leader they’re about to elect does as disastrously in 2020 as we all hope, and the conservatives manage to annoy the liberals enough while they’re in charge, a split will become a real possibility, especially if it’s Collins who wins the leadership selection.

    • McFlock 16.1

      interesting counterpoints.

      I’d add:

      5) the inflated egos they get from being the “largest party” in parliament, regardless of whetherthat translates to government. Adds to their sense of entitlement. If they split 50/50, they might be small that Labour (shock horror)

  17. Tamati Tautuhi 18

    I can see the National Party turning to Cactus in the near future ?

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