I watched this report on TV3’s The Nation this morning.
It contains some interesting comments about the ACT Party and the toxicity of John Banks’ involvement, or, as the piece says, ACT’s narrowed focus in winning Epsom as their only hope of ‘survival’ and Banks’ ability to resemble a team player while ‘looking out for number one’. Worth watching.

It must be gut-wrenching for former ACT Party activists like the savvy Cathy Odgers to watch the decay. Or perhaps by now she’s experiencing a different ‘stage’ of grief, and practising detachment? Very Zen.

I briefly had cause this week to remember apprentice political assassin Jordan Williams and his role in Don Brash’s putsch — which aimed at revitalising ACT* but in reality mortally wounded it. I recall Cathy’s trenchant criticism of the Brash effort (and Jordan Williams in particular) over their claimed use of ‘dodgy polls’ to undercut and usurp Rodney Hide as party leader. (There’s a view the polls never existed, and the ‘projected’ gain from a Brash leadership was fiction.)

And look how well that’s worked out (see ACT: ‘Zero backing. Zilch, nil, nothing at all.’ and above). Why, almost as well as Jordan Williams’ (strictly professional) anti-MMP performance and frenzied efforts to demean Winston Peters in the lead up to the 2011 election.

Others may see it differently, but I think democracy relies on citizens having a vehicle for their political ideas and enthusiasms, whether they’re popular or not. But don’t we expect them to be honest about it?

– P

* I don’t buy the theory put about by some that the whole affair was just a vehicle for Don Brash’s ego.