Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | News Flashes | Scoop Features | Scoop Video | Strange & Bizarre | Search


Mallard On Memos & Nats. Internal Divisions

Transcript: Mallard On Memos & Nats. Internal Divisions

Interviewed By Alastair Thompson August 29th
Transcribed Sept. 4, 2005 by Rosalea Barker & Alastair Thompson

Note: This interview was conducted on Monday afternoon the day after Ruth Laugesen broke the leaky National Party memos story in the Sunday Star Times - and the day that Don Brash made his Race Relations speech in Whangarei.

Q: I was just wondering if, in relation to the revelations of the weekend you have any comments to make about the speech that Don Brash issued today?

Mallard: It was clear that he is trying to divert away from the division which has been caused by the fact that his agenda and the people who have been pushing him and supporting him has been revealed. I think this speech is one which is trying to divert voters away from the internal party divisions in the National Party.

Q: That's interesting speculation. That's what I've been wondering about, too. Do you think that there are deep divisions in the National Party?

Mallard: Clearly there are internal divisions. It's clear that Don Brash was put in place by people who were supportive more of the ACT point of view than sort of a centrist, whole of New Zealand, traditional, liberal National Party point of view. And there was a lot of of anxiety when it happened… I think that Bill English's people didn't expect to lose and did. And there has clearly been simmering anxiety there ever since. There is the Simon Power think-tank which is sort of sitting there working for him. Clearly others, including John Key, Gerry Brownlee, are waiting for Brash to fall over.

Q: Were you surprised at all with the degree of irony in the revelations at the weekend in the Sunday Star-Times?

Mallard: I don't think any of us were really surprised. I mean I think that most of us knew that that was the intent. I think some of us were surprised that all of this came out before and not after the election.

Q: The National Party is claiming that this is the result of of dirty tricks, presumably attempting to point the finger at the Labour Party? This isn't something that you had any hint of?

Mallard: That's something, of course, I wouldn't want to comment on at all. This is obvious. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to work out that this has a National Party source.

Q: In terms of the Business Roundtable's interest in race relations. Do you have any idea why they think it is something that they want to inject their nose into?

Mallard: The Roundtable has and it always has had a far-right agenda, and I think they're willing to use any tool, even if it involves dividing New Zealand, in order to fulfill the economic policies that are on their agenda.

Clearly Don Brash is their person for doing that. And I think it is just a divisive negative message that we've seen from Roger Kerr for a very long time.

Q: A lot of these emails show a quite definite plan to first install Don Brash and then pursue this race relations agenda…

Mallard: Internationally, there is experience, especially at immigrant bashing and highlighting race relations by parties of the right. Sometimes the very far right. I think as far as the Business Roundtable is concerned, that's not their agenda in itself. Their real agenda is the economic policies of Ruth Richardson and Roger Douglas.

Q: In that regard, does it seem a bit odd that they seem to have achieved so little in terms of National's economic policy as announced?

Mallard: Well, National haven't really announced a substantive economic policy. Even if you look at their fiscal policy. The so-called Alternative Budget that they put out before the tax-cut announcement. There's just no depth in it at all. It's a very scrappy little exercise. I think…. well you can't tell whether they're just ignorant and not well prepared, or whether in fact it's a deliberate approach on the part of Brash not to tell people the full story before an election.

Q: The other possibility, of course, is that Brash is not really in any way influencing the economic policy of the National Party and that is being driven by moderates?

Mallard: I think Brash will drive their policies, not their published policy. Even if he's…if you want to be generous with him… it might be that he's not on top of the policy. We've seen a few examples of that recently, but I think that deep down when it comes to the economic policy he does know what he's doing and it is something which most New Zealanders wouldn't really contemplate.

Q: Thank you very much.

Mallard: Okay. Thanks. Bye.


© Scoop Media

Top Scoops Headlines


Werewolf: Living With Rio’s Olympic Ruins

Mariana Cavalcanti Critics of the Olympic project can point a discernible pattern in the delivery of Olympics-related urban interventions: the belated but rushed inaugurations of faulty and/or unfinished infrastructures... More>>

Live Blog On Now: Open Source//Open Society Conference

The second annual Open Source Open Society Conference is a 2 day event taking place on 22-23 August 2016 at Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington… Scoop is hosting a live blog summarising the key points of this exciting conference. More>>



Gordon Campbell: On The Politicising Of The War On Drugs In Sport

It hasn’t been much fun at all to see how “war on drugs in sport” has become a proxy version of the Cold War, fixated on Russia. This weekend’s banning of the Russian long jumper Darya Klishina took that fixation to fresh extremes. More>>


Binoy Kampmark: Kevin Rudd’s Failed UN Secretary General Bid

Few sights are sadder in international diplomacy than seeing an aging figure desperate for honours. In a desperate effort to net them, he scurries around, cultivating, prodding, wishing to be noted. Finally, such an honour is netted, in all likelihood just to shut that overly keen individual up. More>>

Open Source / Open Society: The Scoop Foundation - An Open Model For NZ Media

Access to accurate, relevant and timely information is a crucial aspect of an open and transparent society. However, in our digital society information is in a state of flux with every aspect of its creation, delivery and consumption undergoing profound redefinition... More>>

Keeping Out The Vote: Gordon Campbell On The US Elections

I’ll focus here on just two ways that dis-enfranchisement is currently occurring in the US: (a) by the rigging of the boundary lines for voter districts and (b) by demanding elaborate photo IDs before people are allowed to cast their vote. More>>

Ramzy Baroud: Being Black Palestinian - Solidarity As A Welcome Pathology

It should come as no surprise that the loudest international solidarity that accompanied the continued spate of the killing of Black Americans comes from Palestine; that books have already been written and published by Palestinians about the plight of their Black brethren. In fact, that solidarity is mutual. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Top Scoops
Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news