It’s not often that Alf gets niggly during his visits to the splendid Keeping Stock blog site.
But at the age of sixty-mumble-mumble, Alf still aspires to leading the National Party, although he keeps this ambition very private so as not to give the buggers in the Beehive any grounds for questioning his loyalty.
He is thoroughly devoted to the National Party, of course, and has been naive enough to think nobody(especially him) would want to lead the ACT Party after leading the National Party.
It seems he is wrong.
A few reports at the weekend suggest Don Brash is scheming to do just that.
The Dom-Post had no doubts about it when it reported yesterday that Brash was making a bid for a political comeback as ACT party leader – “if it will have him”.
Dr Brash confirmed yesterday that if he was offered the ACT leadership he would take it, after previously rejecting behind-the-scenes efforts to woo him back to Parliament either as ACT leader Rodney Hide’s deputy or as co-leader.
The report went on to incorporate speculation that former Auckland mayor John Banks would be keen to stand in Epsom if approached by ACT.
The Dom-Post muses on the possibility of Banks being on a Brash ticket.
The two men have business ties and speak regularly. Polls have shown that Mr Banks would win Epsom if he stood.
Mr Hide said on Thursday that his candidacy in Epsom was yet to be confirmed by the ACT board.
Keeping Stock observed an “interesting dynamic at play here” –
It’s that Brash isn’t even a member of Act at the moment; he belongs to another political party.
Yep. He was Alf’s leader not so long ago, as the Dom-Post notes:
Dr Brash had a brief but successful period as National leader when he brought his party within a whisker of victory in 2005, just three years after its heaviest defeat on record. He resigned after private emails were leaked to author Nicky Hager detailing confidential meetings and conversations and suggesting an affair with businesswoman Diane Foreman.
Dr Brash confirmed yesterday that he remained a member of the National Party but said it was no secret that “I feel disappointed in the Government’s performance”.
Alf is bound to say he has had his disappointments, too.
But as a fiercely loyal Nat he firmly believes the place to sort them out is within the party, not by buggering off and joining some other party.
And as Keeping Stock points out, how could the Act board even consider allowing an outsider from another party to romp in and capture the party’s leadership?
It suggests that Act’s board is far from united behind the party’s leadership team.
But Alf gagged on his bacon and eggs when encountered the Keeping Stock opinion that Brash and Banks might be past it.
We hate to be ageist, but aren’t both getting a bit long in the tooth for this sort of caper?
Alf takes umbrage, too, with Hide, whose thoughts on a Brash takeover are included in a Herald on Sunday report today.
He said Brash was too old for the job. “We’re looking forward to the next generation of leaders and Don has had his shot with National. It’s hard to see him contesting the 2014 campaign.”
Unlike the HOS, Keeping Stock has a quality readership.
Some of them have already said what Alf would want to say on the age matter.
One of them, a Mike Readman, has said of Brash –
He may be old, but he doesn’t seem old. I’m only 35 and I love him!
Another, named Michael, said –
Don Brash is in very good health for someone his age and will expire long after some current younger MPs.
Alf is in bloody good nick, too (if you discount the gout and the brain cells that have become unfortunate victims – collateral damage, if you like – of a fondness, for good whisky).
He is not in the coup planning business.
But he would like to be leader one day.