From The Whig part of a comment by former ACT board member, turned Nat, Aaron Bhatnagar.
Rodney has allowed a sort of McCarthyist politics dictate his actions in Parliament. It’s a “get Benson-Pope at any costs” mentality, which will never win ACT votes. It may in fact put people off from voting for ACT even if they find the ACT policy message agreeable, because they find the characters associated with the party as distasteful.
The point that often eludes Rodney’s critics is that Rodney’s primary responsibility is not to ACT. Rodney is the MP for Epsom and he is the employee of the NZ taxpayer.
Rodney has a clear responsibility to put the longterm interests of Epsom and NZ, before any consideration of ACT’s popularity.
Ideally he could do both, but we don’t live in an ideal world.
Rodney had the opportunity to severely damage the most corrupt government in recent times. He also had the chance to hold to account a Minister of the Crown, almost certainly lying to Parliament.
In my view Rodney would have been irresponsible not to do what he did.
Some might find it distasteful, some might find it tedious, some may find it a big turn off. It is unlikely to gain ACT votes and indeed will probably lose some.
But that is all secondary. Rodney nailed Benson-Pope because it was morally right and he was one of the few MPs in the House with the courage and fortitude to do the job.
When facing a hardened bunch of socialists like Helen Clark’s Labour, you have to be even harder than they are.
Thank God we’ve got someone like Rodney Hide, who doesn’t leave his balls behind when he steps into the debating chamber.