Usually I have several ideas for posts (still working on Asia and others) on the go and as I am moving house this weekend (along with two kids and a cat) those ideas have been sitting on the back burner while I stuff things into boxes and make arrangements.
But after the recent events of last week in the fantasy play space we call NZ politics where three idiots called forth and highlighted themselves as politically brain dead I think it is worth taking the time out to comment.
And the trio of twits I am referring to is of course John “fairy dust” Key; Colin “magic thys” Craig and Don “Cockroach” Brash.
First there was Colin Craig, who in the course of his defamation trial was, unsurprisingly, found to be guilty, but also described as behaving in a manner towards his former press secretary which drove straight through Creepytown, without stopping to get an ice cream for the kids, and down the dirty back road to Predatorville (where he currently resides).
Describing someone as “like a sister” and then barraging her with various letters, emails and texts of a lewd and inappropriate nature is a strange way to treat ones sister (unless of course you’re Colin Craig or some member of a freaky religious sect).
Further information reveals a Colin Craig that can’t even follow a simple confidentiality agreement as he breached it by speaking out against his former press secretary on 12 occasions!
And if that were not enough, the ruling from the Human Rights Review Tribunal last year found Craig had “abused his power and wealth” in breaching the confidentiality agreement.
All of this paints the picture of a man who not only was unable to keep his sexual urges within the perimeter of his marriage but who also used his wealth and privilege to act in a predatory manner towards the target of his affections (weather she wanted them or not).
Perhaps at one time, Craig and MacGregor did have something, but regardless it is clear even if true once later MacGregor wanted no part of it. But Craig would not take no for an answer and kept on using his power and position as a cloak for activities which have now exposed him as a lot less like a loving, dedicated husband in a happy marriage and more like some Cosbyesqe prototype who kept on coming no matter what his victim wanted.
But if that were not enough Craig has vowed to fight on and defend his innocence, and adding the sugar frosted sprinkles to this turd Twinkie is Barry Soper describing him as Bill Clinton like, but in a good way (ie surviving a sexual scandal and not being a serial sexual philanderer or abusing his power for sexual gratification), and possibly returning to politics supported by his wife Helen (who stood by him like Hillary to his Bill; although I think Anthony Weiner and Huma Abedin would be a better analogy).
And it’s that last paragraph of mine which is the real crux of the problem with Craig. Power and privilege found to have done wrong but instead of learning the lesson it plows on using its weight and bulk to try and force reality to dance to its dictates no matter how absurd it looks or the damage it does (both collateral or to itself).
Colin Craig returning to the Conservative Party would be nothing more than a doom struck scenario of a man with too much money and not enough morals (or brains).
I’m sure the Conservatives would like to keep being funded by Craig but their willingness to give evidence against him shows that they probably don’t want Craig’s creepy face fronting the party in the future.
Craig has smeared his filth all over himself so much that few individuals (who might believe they are “conservative”) are going to want to be stained by a guy whose actions openly mock conservative ideals such as family values, the institution of marriage and respect for the law.
No Craig gets to keep his money and possibly his marriage but I suspect that he won’t be coming back to politics except as a wiener like joke and won’t be getting any comfort in the marital bed for a long long time.
Next up is Don Brash; ex reserve bank governor, ex leader of the National Party, ex leader of Act and now spokesperson for the Hobson Pledge.
Brash’s announcement last week that the Treaty was defunct and Hobson's words superseded the document, all it stood for probably hit the right note with a few individuals in the “bloody Maori” crowd of voters but if he was hoping for another reaction (ie monumental poll jump) like his infamous Orewa speech of a decade ago he was surely disappointed.
The groups message of “equality before the law” as a way to claim Maori have some sort of legal advantage sounds clearly deceitful when there are plenty examples of Maori clearly not being equal before the law (just the fact that Maori are 15% of the population but are 50% of the NZ prison population makes a mockery of that message, although I am sure many Maori would agree with the sentiment of wanting to be treated equally before the law).
As more than one commentator pointed out, times have changed and the Brash of the Orewa speech is not the same Brash of Hobsons pledge.
Brash had some political respectability and legitimacy in 2004 but he has neither in 2016 where he is now a byword for grubby politics, racism and elite privilege.
The Brash of 2004 had not yet been exposed by Nicky Hager in The Hollow Men, had not lead his party to electoral defeat, not staged a coup to take over ACT and in general been revealed to be little more than a human glove puppet for some dark agenda.
And the timing of his announcement has all the hall marks of a flawed brain trust thinking that playing the race card in the wake of the Kermandec Sanctuary blow-up, would be the perfect time to play said card and tap into all that Pakeha angst that it was stirring up except there was no real angst and the issue has calmed down for the time being. Retrospectively they may be wishing that they could crawl back under their rock but given the mind set of such individuals probably not.
The group itself does have a website and its who’s who page is composed of a weird combination of all white (with the exception of one who claims some Maori heritage), all old ex-business, academia and ex security/police who are all far past middle age.
Contrast the aged members of this wretched group with the stock photos of a group of ethnically diverse young people on the front page holding New Zealand flag and smiling and you suddenly realize what you’re looking at: a time capsule from a past age.
The Hobsons Pledge is a relic to that time when white NZ, and its views, were dominant, Bastion Point and the Springbok Tour had not yet happened and Ray Columbus and the Invaders were still on the charts.
It’s the desperate attempt by an entitled few to create a time machine to try take NZ back to when people like them were in charge and Maori voices and views were neither seen nor heard (except on postcards and those mock villages for tourists).
And Brash fronting this odious little clique is obviously not by accident, he is the only prominent member of the group and the only one with any name recognition to take it and its message out beyond just another voice in the wilderness of talk-back radio.
Yet again, like Colin Craig, Brash is pushing on with his message in the face of reality (NZ having accepted its bi-cultural status and its multi-cultural mix) no matter what people say, and the people have been saying a lot.
From Chris Trotter (giving a very clear idea of what we could expect if the treaty was repealed) to Barry Soper* (simply labeling Brash a political “cockroach”) the denouncement of The Hobson Pledge and its attempt to rewrite history has been far reaching and also followed by the immediate dismissal of its hollow spokesman as just another disgusting pest scuttling across the nations kitchen floor in the middle of the night.
Finally we get to our beloved PM, caught like a sewer rat in the headlights, when pressed to commit to reducing child poverty numbers by this time next year.
Again, we get another, politician, ignoring reality, this time by claiming the numbers are “airy fairy” and therefore not able to be committed to, when the government has pledged itself to the far more ambiguous and “airy fairy” goal of NZ being predator free by 2050.
Key of course knows that child poverty is an issue, he committed the government to doing something about it in 2014 after the election, but he also knows that agreeing to a meet a target by a date only a month out from general election he is handing all and sundry a stick by which to beat him with because he has no intention of doing anything about child poverty.
Because for John Key to actually do anything about child poverty would require pulling up a lot of the planks in Nationals rickety policy shack (like the housing hernia for example) as many contribute to child poverty, which he will never do, in part because he has shown he just does not care but also that’s what you get when you have a merchant banker as leader of your country who will sacrifice anyone in the name of the economy.
And as Jo Moir points out he is on the “wrong side of the debate” in this, as he is on many things and it’s here that our child "friendly" PM, Colin Craig and Don Brash all converge in a horrid mix of out of date attitudes, arrogance and the kind of hubris that only gratuitous wealth can create (although Key has no grubby marital infidelities that we know about like Brash and Craig).
It is, in a nutshell, your 1% elite impotently shouting out what they want to happen when no one is listening, clinging to attitudes that are so far out of date that they appear positively medieval and clearly hoping to return to what they would euphemistically term “the good old days”.
The positive thing about all of this is when a faux Christian politician is outed as lecherous creep with out of date attitudes and made to pay the largest defamation settlement in NZ history; the zombie shell of a failed politician touting racist claptrap as a front for backwards looking group is dismissed immediately as out of touch with reality; and an economic conman masquerading as a political leader is reviled as willing to sell children (the nation’s future) down the line to protect his flawed economic model you know the zeitgeist (and time itself) is against them and the people they represent.
The reality is that the New Zealand these three white, privileged males represent is on its way out, if not already gone and their behavior is the rear guard action of a small minority who used to have power and things going all their way but who no longer represent a majority or an acceptable point of view and all they have left are weasel words and an Emperor’s New Clothes attitude.
Now back to moving house.
*-To be fair to Soper, his article he really did not seem to be bashing brash as much as the cockroach label suggested, by suggesting Brash was a political survivor (like cockroaches after a nuclear war), but still there had to be a better creature to compare him to than a cockroach.