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The Nation gives way to the right

  • May 5th, 2012

This morning The Nation asked where my political friends and supporters will direct their  votes and hopes and energies if ACT is a lost channel. With a dirigiste National forced to pander to the middle swing voters it must disappoint many of its supporters. And it knows that it needs a respectable and reliable coalition partner (or two) for the next election and beyond.

Many loyal members, committed to National's principles of freedom and personal responsibility, will be able to hold their noses and cast real-politik votes for National despite its apostasy, as the least worst option, but that will not be enough to liberate their enthusiasm and their contributions. A more pure idealism is essential to harness that energy.

Shelley Nahr for The Nation overcame my better judgment and persuaded me to go to Auckland this morning to discuss that brief. And to my relief Duncan Garner stuck to it. I cannot tell whether it was entertaining because the topic is too interesting for me to be objective, but  think he did an excellent job in getting balanced comment from Rodney Hide, Colin Craig of the Conservative Party and of course, me.

Right to the end  I waited for Duncan to abandon the brief and subject me, or us, to what John Campbell did to John Key last evening. Campbell traded on Key's endless courtesy with dopey questions in pursuit of an absurd conspiracy theory. Even if his theory had been correct, it would be a yawn, except to those for whom anti-Americanism is mother's milk.

And why do I say that this instalment of The Nation "gives way to the right". Because it added momentum to that part of the right occupied by Colin Craig's Conservatives. Colin announced his availability for an Epsom by-election.

And because Rachel Smalley did such a good job in eliciting views from Colin James and then Wellington's 'son of Roger Kerr' – the New Zealand Initiative's new director, polymath German/Brit/Aus think tank whiz  Oliver Hartwich, without the sneer that John Campbell seems unable to avoid in interviews with people from the other side of his bi-polar world.


  • peterquixote
  • May 6th, 2012
  • 5:54 pm

I was fascinated by your comment Stephen, at the end there, as also the interviewer was, in your comment  that  that many NZ First voters would switch over to the conservative party. Also your prescient comments agreed with Craig that practicality in the centre right will emerge . 
With horror I realised yes we will, I will.  Many of us told Farrar and you and others that NZ First would be part of this now Parliament.
Farrar  calls us idiots, and it only makes us watch more carefully.
It was a surreal moment to watch a giant of the intellectual right, as you are Stephen , see clearly that the christian background  of the social conservative is nothing to fear.  After all as you said we are so bloody angry we are thinking of Nationalism.
Earlier in the program Rodney promoted the idea that Nat and Labour were virtually identical now.

  • Mike Mckee
  • May 11th, 2012
  • 4:09 pm

The more I speak to people , the more they bring up that they see little difference between Nation and Labour too.

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