September 24, 2004

The Torment of Having A Small One

Mr Neil Falloon writes...

Russell Brown seems to have little experience near political campaigns. Today Brown questions Brian Nicolle’s description of most campaigns as "chaos".

Nicolle – John Banks’ campaign manager – made the comment to a NZ Herald journalist, while trying to explain why he probably wouldn’t know if a member of the ‘campaign team’ had organised for articles about mayoral candidate Dick Hubbard to be distributed to the public.

I’ve only participated in one political campaign. I intend to avoid ever repeating the experience.

Each day started at a sparrow’s fart with a conference call. The team discussed the day’s plans, major lines of attack, weaknesses and issues. After that phone call, everything just got messy.

Enthusiastic, not-very-bright souls (infuriating people I call the “True Believers” – every political party and candidate has them) would constantly get enthusiastic, not-very-bright ideas which they would decide to implement. Like crudely defaming the Prime Minister at every town hall meeting in her electorate, whilst proudly declaring which political party they worked for.

Things that were completely, thoroughly planned would fall through. Things that could never happen would happen. This was a very well-run campaign, which garnered a successful result. And yes, “chaos” was exactly the right word. I find it easy to believe that many things happen in the campaign without Nicolle or Banks knowing about them.

And talk about pots and kettles… After slagging off “hatchet jobs”, Brown suggests – with absolutely no evidence – that Banks might be close to the $70,000 spending cap and thus couldn’t afford to own up to the brochure, even if he did know about it.

Brown has missed the nation’s most fascinating campaign election, occurring south of the Bombay Hills. In Hamilton the mayoral frontrunner is the principal of “teenage pregnancy capital” Fraser High School, rather famous disciplinarian Martin Elliot.

During an electoral forum recently, Elliot waved his little finger at a woman and told her he had “good knowledge” his competitor, local advertising guru Michael Redman, had a small penis.

It gets better. Questioned by a journalist about the comment, Elliot responded: “I think that Michael (Redman), at this stage of his life, hasn't got the big balls (to make key decisions for the city). I think my balls are bigger than his."

The NBR will have to dig a little deeper than just following Mrs Hubbard to church if it wants to find out those kinds of details for its next attack on Hubbard. Perhaps it could send Kate Wrath to do the job?

At the time of going to press, we could not confirm the suggestion that Redman plans to respond with billboards that say, “At Least My Man Tits Are Better than Your Man Tits”.

Well done, Hamilton. You’re finally going to get a mayor that you deserve.

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