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Hollow Men redux

Written By: - Date published: 12:35 pm, April 10th, 2014 - 43 comments
Categories: don brash, john key, national, national/act government - Tags:

don brash creepy
Don Brash has published an autobiography. No doubt the book will be poured over by those interested in local politics although progressives may prefer to wait until the book is remaindered rather than spend good money on enriching someone they hold in contempt. But there are already a few interesting revelations in the book.

The first one is Brash claiming that he was not in the slightest bit embarrassed about his interaction with the Exclusive Brethren.  It appears from the reports he does not deny that he knew about the Exclusive Brethren campaign. His approach jars when compared to that of John Key who said he had “met several members of Exclusive Brethren in the past but they did not tell him about any publicity campaigns they had planned”.

The second one is that Brash is scathing about the current National Government and describes it as timid and hypersensitive to opinion polls.  In particular in relation to superannuation the article says the following:

In his most damning criticism of John Key, Dr Brash says even a “blind dog” can see that the ageing of New Zealand’s population means changes are going to be required to pensioner entitlements currently received under the state-funded New Zealand Superannuation scheme.

Mr Key, however, steadfastly refused to countenance any discussion of change even though political parties to his left and right were willing to do so.

He also says that while John Key is intelligent enough to do so he does not recognise the seriousness of the challenges facing the country.  I am sure that the left and right agree about this although for different reasons.  And he says that the approach to Sky City shows a “cavalier attitude” to the Government’s constitution and tendering processes.

Thirdly his personal interactions with John Key display some interesting facets about Key’s character.  Again from the Herald:

Barely two years after Don Brash toppled Bill English to become National’s leader, John Key was already sniffing at Brash’s heels. The pair had a lengthy late-night conversation in a motel unit in Blenheim where – according to Brash – they worked out a game-plan which would see Brash leading National to victory in the 2005 election and then handing over the prime ministerial reins to Key at some point during the following three years. Brash lost that election. A year later – amid constant rumours that he in turn was about to be ousted – Brash had another “frank” conversation with Key.

The latter told Brash he thought National would have a better chance of winning the 2008 election if he (Key) was leader, but said he preferred not to mount a challenge. Brash took the hint and agreed to keep the matter “under review”. A few weeks later, after taking advice which effectively told him his leadership of National was over, Brash opted to step down voluntarily, rather than being pushed. Key took over.

At a subsequent meeting between the pair to supposedly discuss what role the ex-leader might usefully play, Key made it “pretty clear” through the nature of the shadow portfolio and caucus ranking on offer to Brash that he wanted him to leave Parliament. Again, Brash took the hint and resigned as an MP.

Apparently Key no longer answers Brash’s phone calls.  I am sure that after what Brash has said about Key in this book this will not change.

43 comments on “Hollow Men redux”

  1. Tracey 1

    … and yet brash kept quiet. and what on earth would he want to talk to key about on the phone anyway?

    the thing is brsh doesnt seem to get that he was prepared to tolerate and keep quiet about the duplicity if he thought he was getting something he wanted.

  2. felix 2

    I wonder how that first conversation went.

    Worked out a “game plan”? Why the fuck would Brash voluntarily agree to be PM for less than a term?

    I’d guess the conversation was something along the lines of “Take this money and fuck off”.

  3. Ennui 3

    If you wait two months or so you will be able to pick up a copy for a few bucks on the “bargains” table, or maybe retrieve a tome from the book stores dumpster.

    What amazes me is the number of pages, the whole thing could have been written on a small piece of paper.

  4. Tracey 4

    is it self published??

  5. Puckish Rogue 5

    And yet Keys won two elections and likely to win a third while being the most popular PM of post-MMP NZ so maybe Brash has got some sour grapes to deal with…

    • Tracey 5.1

      undoubtedly sour grapes in there, doesnt mean his description of key isnt accurate. afterall in 2005 you were quite the brash supporter aye puck?

      • Puckish Rogue 5.1.1

        Brash is a good (though flawed) man but a lousy politician, Nationals version of Shearer

    • Lanthanide 5.2

      What the hell is “post-MMP NZ”?

      If you hadn’t noticed, MMP is our current electoral system.

      • fender 5.2.1

        It’s the one where he dreams Key stays dictator until he dies or abdicates, handing power over to his son..

        It helps Puckish to take his mind off the downfall of his beloved Judith..

  6. Enough is Enough 6

    Don Brash is the most evil politician to have ever entered Parliament. He makes Key, Douglas, Richardson, Prebble, Cullen, Moore and English look like socialist saints.

    He was within a pubic hair of winning in 2005 and it is frightening to think what he would have done to this country. Workers rights and the welfare state would have been relegated to a storage cupboard in Te Papa.

    He is a hollow man and I would not believe a single thing he says in his book.

    • Tracey 6.1

      interesting. i would trust him more than key. key just learned not to say what he really thinks and wants…

      but, like prebble’s laughing claim that he had been thinking, brash has released this to coax some folks from national to ACT?

      • Enough is Enough 6.1.1

        I am not sure whether I agree with you there.

        We have had six years of Key and he has implemented sove very destructive policies. But just imagine for a second if Brash hadn’t vsisited the Bretheren and sneaked in with a win in 2005. We would have got

        Maori Seats and Treaty Settlements would be gone
        Welfare State would be gone.
        Unemployed people would have to que outside the local post office each week for a food stamp. If they were late they would go hungry.
        Flat income tax of about 15-20%
        GST of 20%
        Private Universities and Hospitals.

        The list goes on.

        Key has nothing on this evil bastard.

  7. Steven 7

    I don’t really see all that much negative about point #3

    Key gave Don Brash a face saving way out instead of being publicly humiliated like Goff/Shearer was.
    Brash likely wanted to remain in the top 5 (mostly likely #2). John likely offered less than that.

    This being a left wing website, I assume you are trying to paint this in a negative light but I really fail to see what is wrong with the sequence of events.

  8. emergency mike 8

    On the second point, even a blind dog can see that Key is doing a smash, grab and run on NZ. Aging population? That won’t be his problem.

    • andrew murray 8.1

      you are on to it e.m.

      I am amazed that anyone thinks these people have any real interest in NZ as a nation or a specific group of people.

      John Key and his like are the new super citizens of a globalised neo liberal world where citizenship is measured and determined by wealth.

      anyone who believes these people have any concern for New Zealanders as people are just gullible.

    • lurgee 8.2

      Key pledged not to raise the superannuation age. He’s keeping his word, that’s all.

      • tc 8.2.1

        Like not raising GST, doing everything possible to recover Pyke river mine bodies, closing the gap to Oz etc

        These are his principles, if you don’t like them relax he has more.

  9. red blooded 9

    Brash is an extremist prick with terrible political instincts. Key is an extremist prick who knows how to massage public opinion. I don’t care that they are not friends anymore. I care what they and their ilk are doing to our country and its people.

  10. Clemgeopin 10

    I was stunned to read that Brash opposed NZ involvement of Iraq but did not speak up due to political expediency. What a shameful thing to do! He also says regarding our anti nuclear stand that he does not remember saying that policy will be ‘gone by lunch time’. I some how find that hard to believe because why has it taken him so long to say that?

    Brash says that Key has been timid in implementing more of the right wing agenda because he says Key is scared of adverse pol ratings. I agree with him, but I suspect Key is hoping for a third term to really unleash the grand mother of all right wing devastating policies.

    I am guessing that if National wins a third term, they will unleash very drastic pro capitalist, pro wealthy and pro-corporate polices as it will be their last golden opportunity to fulfill their ideology and agenda which they were a little careful with due to political expediency, fear of polls and to prevent huge public backlash. But you haven’t seen anything yet!

    If they do get a third time, I suspect they will move to…

    [1] Privatise the Kiwi bank.
    [2] Stop or alter the Kiwi saver subsidy and the start up of $1,000.
    ]3] Revamp the WFF payments making life harder for the low income families.
    [4] Introduce interest on student loans.
    [5] Hike up tertiary fees affecting students from poorer families.
    [6] Open more & more privately run charter schools/hospitals with generous public funds.
    [7] Open vast amounts of land & sea for mineral/oil explorations without honest due care.
    [8] Sign the TPP for short term gain even if it will harm us in the long run.
    [9] Undermine the unions further and dilute worker’s rights even more.
    [10] Make life more profitable for the wealthy, the corporates, the multinationals and monopolies but less so for what key refers to as the ‘under class’.

    That is what I think. What do you think?

    Here are two insights into their real mind:
    [1] Caught out:

    ‘National to sell Kiwibank eventually, but “not now”- Key’

    Read more: http://www.3news.co.nz/National-to-sell-Kiwibank-eventually-but-not-now—Key/tabid/419/articleID/65512/Default.aspx#ixzz2xtDjC7aj

    *Key says that we will get to vote on his Kiwisaver cuts in the election.


    • Naki Man 10.1

      Kiwi bank still hasn’t paid a dividend on the $860 million of tax payers money after 13 years
      How many times do we hear from the left that the Australian banks make excessive profits?
      If this is true why does Kiwi bank struggle to grow and have poor returns?
      Selling the bank wouldn’t be such a bad thing

      • Populuxe1 10.1.1

        Who says Kiwibank struggles to grow and has poor returns? Oh wait, the NACTs.

        • Melb

          Well, the financial reports of NZ Post say that…

        • srylands

          I have no idea what a “NACT” is. But what on earth do you mean “Who says?” It is a fucking fact son, like the sun rose today. It is not something for debate.

          Who says? Read the financial statements! Kiwibank has succeeded in boosting the profits of the Australian banks by taking away the low value customers. Genius. The Australian shareholders must thank God for Jim Anderton and Kiwibank daily.

          Yet another left policy with perverse unintended consequences.

      • srylands 10.1.2

        Nobody would buy Kiwibank. It would be like trying to sell Kiwirail. We would be better off privatising NZ Post and the new shareholders could kill the bank part. I hope and pray this will be on the cards if National get a fourth term in 2017. We could do NZ Post and the remaining 51% of the Power Cos.

  11. Tanz 11

    Brash is the more conservative, and I would have had him any day over traitor to the Tories, Key.
    Fat cat, bloated, wealthy, heartless sell out. Brash at least is a gentleman, Key is indeed, cavaier in all his attitudes.

    • Naki Man 11.1

      Tanz you are dreaming
      National led by Key is not that far from Labour led by Clark
      Brash on the other hand is far to the right and a useless leader

      • Pascal's bookie 11.1.1

        Pretty sure she agrees with that Naki Man.

        But on this: “brash is good man/gentleman” business.

        What do you make of him saying that while he was leader, and the Iraq war was kicking off, he felt that Clark was right to keep us out of it but just didn’t say anything in caucus? He says only one member spoke up against the position National ended up taking, Williamson, and that he regrets that he didn’t say anything.

        How does that fit in with this good bloke routine. A fucking war, that he, the leader of the opposition felt we were well out of, but he went on the political attack against a PM for keeping us out if it.

        Fucking shameful behaviour in my books.

        • Populuxe1

          Yeah, because no one in Labour ever made a stupid decision for political expediency that they later regretted – oh wait!

          • felix

            Yeah, shame on Pascal’s bookie for exonerating everyone in Labour for… oh hang on what’s all this dry grass everywhere?

            • Populuxe1

              Just curious why no one ever really mentions it when discussing political hypocrisy around here, is all, princess

              • felix

                So you might as well just pick someone at random and ascribe to them a view they’ve never expressed and give them a bit of snark about something you imagined.

                Yeah I get it now, totally makes sense. You’re not an unhinged irrational idiot at all.

          • Pascal's bookie

            A war, Pops.

            Know of any more serious duty a political leader has than the deployment of troops to a war?

            Show us your virtue ethics brainbox.

        • Mike Steinberg

          @ Pascal’s Bookie,

          Brash wasn’t leader of the Opposition when the Iraq invasion occurred in early 2003.

          At least Brash is prepared to admit he was wrong and how he regretted not speaking up about that in caucus.

          • Pascal's bookie

            Fair enough on the leadership thing. But this admission is self serving. He is disassociating himself from a position that his party took in order to say ‘look, I’m not really like that’.

            What I’d like to know is why he didn’t speak up. Speaking up is why caucus is held in private.

            This was about a war. It’s not like it was some trivial thing. Fuck sake, you can bet your bum he would’ve spoken up if caucus suggested maybe Cullen had a point about paying down debt rather than massive tax cuts.

            see also, this piece from whn he was leader:


    • Wensleydale 11.2

      I wonder how much of a gentleman his two ex wives think he is.

  12. gnomic 12

    ‘Pouring over’ books is somewhat different from poring over them. Poring is the word you were wanting. Although one might while away a little time thinking about suitable substances for pouring over the Thoughts of Governor Brash.

  13. North 13

    “Paddy, you’re a deceitful bastard !”

    Ton Prash got that right at least.

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