No Minister

A fatal lack of political awareness

with 15 comments

The new blog site from Bassett, Brash and Hide has barely gotten underway when Don Brash reveals the unworldly naivety that destroyed his political career.

In his column, The US is in a dangerous place, Brash, after waxing lyrical about his times in the USA from when he was a young man to when he was working there, ended with a flourish:

What depresses me is not that Trump is an evil bastard but rather that there are still tens of millions of Americans who think that he is God’s gift to creation, and that he is the last bastion against communism. The US is in a very dark place.

As one of our commentators noted after reading this:

I find Brash’s lack of empathy for Trump especially galling.

I had to chuckle about that, given that much the same people who despised and destroyed Brash are among those who hate Trump, and for much the same reasons. Ever the academic, Brash never was much of a politician in making such judgements and as a result will be mystified by Chris Trotter’s latest column, Trump’s Surprisingly Large Army Of New Zealand Supporters, where he speculates on where the dangerous Brash would have taken this country had he won the knife-edge election of 2005:

Brash could very easily have become prime minister. And what a prime minister he would have been! The National leader and his party were committed to returning the Treaty of Waitangi to history’s glass case. The Maori seats were marked down for abolition, and all race-based references were to be expunged from the statute books. In the parlance of present-day “progressives”, Brash’s would have been a “ neo-colonialist”, “white supremacist” government.

Not to put too fine a point upon it, all hell would have broken loose.

It does not require too large a slice of the Devil’s imagination to envisage Brash and his allies being left with little alternative but to mobilise their “silent majority” of supporters against the fury his policies had unleashed in the streets. Protest action that resulted in serious property damage or, even worse, to loss of life, would have left him with even fewer choices. Calling-in the military to support the civil power would likely have become necessary quite quickly – with all-too-predictable results. A snap election, called to provide ex-post-facto validation for the emergency powers taken by the government to quell the unrest (as happened following the 1951 Waterfront Dispute) would, almost certainly, have delivered National a stunning victory. New Zealanders would have struggled to recognise the angry mess their country had become.

Chris’s lurid imagination always flies back to 1951 when talking of NZ, in exactly the same way he can never escape his teenage Boomer joy at Norman Kirk’s election and his horror about Pinochet. And I note that this is his second post in row to bang away about the potential threat of Trumpism in NZ. Ironic given how often Trotter has warned of the dangers of the Left abandoning the traditional working class.

Meantime, poor old Don will eventually read that Trotter piece and be left sputtering at his being compared to “an evil bastard” and classed as the now inevitable “White Supremacist“. But that was always Don’s fate, he never realised it and he apparently still doesn’t. In a world where he claims that you should see past skin colour and not judge people on that basis, Don has not realised that in the Nineteen Eighty Four world of Critical Race Theory such is what is now described as racism.

Could be worse. He could have been compared to You Know Who. Most other Right Wing politicians are sooner or later.

15 Responses

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  1. It’s very hard as a lay person living in a far away country to get an accurate picture of whats actually happening in the the USA
    Tom has a significant advantage over most of us as he has lived there, which is why his posts are very insightful.
    I was somewhat surprised to read Don’s post about Trump, as he was quite negative about him.
    This leaves a bit of a dilemma because Nancy Pelosi, Antifa and all the violence that came with it, is hardly a better alternative.
    What really bemuses thou, is how they only end up with two candidates for the top job, and they are both heavily flawed. is that really the best that the USA can come up with?

    uncoffined

    January 18, 2021 at 6:54 pm

    • What really bemuses thou, is how they only end up with two candidates for the top job, and they are both heavily flawed. is that really the best that the USA can come up with?

      Any natural born citizen of the USA over 35 can throw their hat into the ring for either party, uncoffined, and then they have the primaries to choose the eventual candidates – which in theory should be a very good system

      Of course the Democrats have their party machines and in 2016 the Clinton/Obama machine rigged the game from the get go to annoint you know who.

      Trump was able to get around the Republican heirachy to gain the nomination – he is flamboyant and has name recognition. He also played on the fact that is was not a member of the club and talked directly to the “deplorables” in their own language.

      Congressman Charles Brownson of Indiana famously said “Never pick a fight with a man who buys ink by the barrel”. Well as we know the media was in the tank for Hillary Clinton and Trump consistantly called them out for it breaking that rule. He famously got around them by using Twitter of course but now Twitter has silenced him. Strangely enough Donald Trump’s usage of Twitter was the making of Twitter as Jack Dorsey is belatedly discovering 🙂

      One problem with the whole set up is that it takes bucket loads of money to run for President and that money comes from primarily special interests. Trump used his own wealth to stay in the game. Tulsi Gabbard, who I am a great fan of, tried to do it by raising money by herself from donations from the general public but was soon knocked out in favour of the establishment pick. a corrupt old man well beyond his use by date.

      We will see what happens next but if you though 2020 was a weird year I suspect you aint seeen nothing yet

      Andrei

      January 18, 2021 at 8:24 pm

  2. The only thing Don Brash has in common with Donald Trump is they have the same first name. Don Brash is an out of touch patrician, a self serving man without an honourable bone in his body

    Let’s get real here Donald Trump took on the establishment and beat the establishment’s favoured candidate and they hate the someone who is not a member of their club got the top seat at the top table

    And they loath that he talks to the “hoi polloi” in their language and works for them and not the special interests they are beholden to.

    Now the Washington sewer rats have closed ranks to oust him and are prepared to bring the US to the brink of civil war to protect their fiefdom and their ongoing rorts which feather their nests.

    Andrei

    January 18, 2021 at 7:59 pm

    • “The only thing Don Brash has in common with Donald Trump is they have the same first name. Don Brash is an out of touch patrician, a self serving man without an honourable bone in his body”

      What a steaming pile of horse shit. DT has spent his entire career self-aggrandising and self-enriching. He couldn’t give a shit about anyone – it’s Trump first and to hell with the rest. Only a fool would confuse his demagoguery being altruism.

      To a fault, Brash spent most of his working life in academia and public service. Not what you would call self serving.

      John JohnO

      January 20, 2021 at 12:27 pm

  3. Andrei: you know nothing about Don Brash, if this stupid post is what you think. He has none of the faults you state. You should apologise and withdraw this post. This is a disgraceful thing to write. You should be ashamed. No wonder you do not have the courage to use your full name.

    Max Ritchie

    January 19, 2021 at 5:38 am

    • Harsh perhaps Max but there is a profound reason why Jacinda Ardern has attained what Don Brash failed to attain.

      On the day he took over the leadership of the National Party I predicted he would not lead it into power and history records he didn’t, eventually resigning the leadership under a cloud

      And then he joined ACT immediately becoming leader which saw ACTS parliamentary wing decimated, going from 5 MPs to one, John Banks remaining having held Epson under a deal with National

      That is history Max.

      Donald Trump won by listening to the peoples concerns and talking to the people about addressing them – dry economic policies are the tools used to acheive the end goals of increasing ordinary peoples prosperity are not an end in themselves. The chattering elites sneer at this approach calling it “populism” and hold it in disdain. From where I sit they can’t see the woods for the trees though and see this attitude as snobbery.

      One of the reasons for finding the 2020 American election results highly suspect, even without noticing all the obvious shenanigans that went on, is that Donald Trump actually increased his votes from 2016, highly unusal for an incumbant, and yet was still defeated and defeated by a candidate whose only selling point was that he wasn’t Donald Trump. Easy to believe if you loath Donald Trump with every fibre of your being I suppose or perhaps easy to convince yourself that this the reason.

      Andrei

      January 19, 2021 at 7:00 am

  4. @ Max Ritchie, there are many reasons why commenters and in my case posters, decline to reveal their identity on all blogs and other digital media exposure. I have stated more than once why I am one who requires a degree of privacy around my identity and location. I respectfully ask you to resist using any contributors use of any form of identity obfuscation as an implied denigration of their opinion.
    By all means take issue with a position taken but please respect privacy.

    Gravedodger

    January 19, 2021 at 7:54 am

  5. I have heard that yesterday’s the Herald contained 14 articles on Trump.
    As I have not taken or seen this rag I cannot comment whether any one was other than derogatory.
    Is 14 a record ?

    Papa Mike

    January 19, 2021 at 8:02 am

    • It’s the new narrative. They have to exterminate his legacy. They are even going to rename his extraordinarily successful ‘operation warp speed.’ (Come in Wayne Mapp)

      God help America!

      adolffinkensen

      January 19, 2021 at 11:08 am

  6. Gravedodger: I’ll preserve Andrei’s privacy (he already has – I haven’t a clue who he really is) as long as he doesn’t say awful things about people which are just not true. He said that Brash is self serving – that is absolute rubbish. Don Brash has given his all for a cause he believes in. If he’d spent that time on making money he’d be rich. For example. So, in short, if you want to hide behind a pseudonym then keep a civil tongue with your pen, to mangle a saying totally.

    Max Ritchie

    January 19, 2021 at 2:57 pm

  7. Andrei: by all means criticise Don Brash, but calling him dishonorable is not harsh, it is outrageous and wrong. You are confusing opinion with fact. Muddying the water with your convoluted explanation just makes you look devious. Just withdraw your post, apologize to Brash for the insult and try again.

    Max Ritchie

    January 19, 2021 at 3:04 pm

    • Well you know Max – Don Brash has decided to add his voice to the cacophany lambasting Donald Trump, using talking points fed to him by the BBC or CNN. No matter how you look at it Donald Trump has a resume and a record of acheivment that overshadows that of Don Brash by many orders of magnitude.

      No matter that his personal morality was totally at variance with the personal morality of the evangelical Christians who became among his most devoted supporters.

      No matter that he was shown to regard telling lies as a totally normal way of life.

      He can pile on to “the Don” with impuity including impugning his morality and I can’t criticize him in return?

      How does that work?

      Andrei

      January 19, 2021 at 6:04 pm

  8. Max It was not his Privacy I asked you respectfully to preserve it was your snide reference to Andrei’s choice to hide his identity that you used as a weapon. I will thank you for your decision to prevaricate and since it is not my Post I will leave it there, my position remains the same I never judge why anyone might choose to remain incognito and I consider you to be fortunate that you consider using Max Ritchie whether it is an actual identity or not, it remains an unproven statement. Thank you for your time.

    Gravedodger

    January 19, 2021 at 3:59 pm

    • Gravedodger: your last words were “please respect privacy”. And yes, let’s leave it there, I am the real Max Ritchie although happy for someone else to take the flak.

      Max Ritchie

      January 20, 2021 at 6:15 am

  9. Andrei: I repeat – by all means criticise him, just don’t attack his character eg “self serving without an honorable bone in his body”. That is not criticism, it is just plain wrong and totally unacceptable.

    Max Ritchie

    January 20, 2021 at 6:12 am


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