Sunday, June 20, 2010

Campaign down the drain

The New Zealand sunday papers, more known for its more left-trending "latte liberalism" that its heavy hitting conservative commentary, have unleashed a barrage of withering criticism over the left-liberal candidate for the Auckland Mayoralty.

After what must be described as two weeks of the worst possible PR imaginable, Len Brown's campaign for the Auckland Mayoralty has surely fallen apart. His soft-liberal support has abrubtly collapsed in the face of his disturbed public antics and his council credit card spend.

Kerre Woodham, an icon of the female Grey Lynn and Devonport liberal set has identified herself as a former Brown supporter that no longer supports Brown because he's not up to the job.

Quotes the Progressive Princess:

But emotional blackmail is hardly a rational response to requests for financial accountability. Nor is beating yourself about the head and face.

That was weird. In his soliloquy, Brown repeatedly hit himself in the face and chest, saying if people had a problem, they should come and see him.

That was enough for me.

You need somebody a little less ... overwrought ... as mayor of New Zealand's first super city. Someone who can take the rigours of the job. It would surely be injurious to Len Brown's health if he was elected as mayor.

Then for him to claim later that his self-abuse was a Maori gesture - a little light kanohi te kanohi - oh, please. You're not Maori, Len, and the council chambers is not a marae. Middle-aged white men should never try to pass as Maori.

The image of Len slapping himself on the face is now seared into my consciousness along with Bill English's topless haka and I'd really rather it wasn't. Len looked more like Homer Simpson than a proud Maori warrior.

Hard left unionist Matt McCarten wasn't any more complementary either.

This brings me to the parallel universe of local government politics in which Labour Party-backed mayoral hopeful Len Brown has credit card problems of his own.

His use was careless at best and, as many Aucklanders don't know much about him, his misuse will worry them. But it was his response, like Carter's, which is more revealing.

The cutting up of his credit card on television was a cheap stunt. Was he saying he can't be trusted with a credit card to do his job?

His explanation on why he used his card to buy personal items was because his wife had their joint card raises more concerns. Everyone knows couples can get a card each on joint accounts.

The Libertarian libertine, Deborah Coddington, said in her "Pigs-in-the-trough column:"

Every time Brown put a coffee on his credit card, the coffee shop was charged commission, and possibly merchant fees, by the card company. Because he's mayor, they probably don't like to refuse him.

Another sharp-eyed Brown-watcher spotted the $810 dinner at Volare restaurant on a Sunday night in September last year occurred just days before his birthday. Happy coincidence or happy birthday?

Now Brown says it wasn't his fault, he was too much "out there". Sorry's not good enough from this serial offender and big spender, who was repeatedly warned. He shouldn't be in office. He's not a lawyer. He has a law degree - there's a big difference.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then Bromhead can have the final say:


Eric Crampton said...

There's been absolutely no movement in the price of the iPredict stock paying $1 if Len Brown wins the mayoral race. One huge sell order that spiked the price down for a couple minutes, but it's been around or north of 50 cents most of its run. Strange sort of collapse that.

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

What is huge? How much money?

Eric Crampton said...

Check the price graph over at iPredict. There was a single spike downwards when the credit card stuff came out, but it was back up north of 50 cents within minutes.

So if his campaign really is dead, you could make a reasonable amount shorting his stock.

I know nothing about the Auckland race other than the prices on ipredict...

Eric Crampton said...

Ah - the size of the spike downwards. The market's relatively thin. Somebody shorted 50 against the book, drove the price down from $0.53 to $0.38. It went back up 3 minutes later.

If you're convinced he's a goner, put in the low ask with high volume, see whether you get many takers....