What are National thinking?

As mentioned earlier today National are adopting a very negative stance to Don Brash leading ACT. ?With John Key away this is being led by Bill English who is trying to extract utu for Don rolling him, and then showing him up by getting nearly double the vote Bill did, as well as filling the party coffers and repaying all the debt Bill incurred as leader.

This negative approach to Don shows how stupid Bill is. Brash commands a lot of attention, and enjoys a lot of affection within National. Many in caucus owe their place in parliament to the revival in National that was brought about by Don Brash. He has the credibility to take a lot of National members and National voters with him, simply by promising the things that National has weaseled out on. A platform of removal of the ETS, one standard of citizenship and drastic cuts to the deficits will appeal to a lot of voters and donors.

National need to think this through carefully. If they go on the warpath against Don and he ends up holding the balance of power they will have to deal with him after the election, and though Don is a gentleman he may extract some utu of his own.

Careful thought seems to be something National doesn?t have a lot of when the PM is out of the country. The much vaunted campaign team must have brains in their arse if they did not know the moves Don has been making.

A decent campaign team would have been good mates with Brash immediately after the election, looking after Brash not ridiculing him, giving him options rather than forcing him to take the steps he has. The same goes for the other potential new parties, well funded, with good potential leaders, all of whom want to occupy the space on the right that National has vacated in a race to placate the wets on the front bench.

They seem to have forgotten that Don doesn?t actually need to appeal to everyone. If he wins 5 to 10% he will hold the balance of power and he can do that ignoring the need to be poll driven or appeal to the middle. Why the party has highly paid staff members who have not war-gamed this scenario or worked for the entire term to prevent it from happening is impossible for this blog to work out. The National Board should be asking some tough questions about campaign preparedness as it is no surprise to anyone in the political circles in Auckland that Don has been considering his options.

But then that says more about the so-called beltway experts and their real world expertise than anything else.