Why the Left should fear Matthew Hooton as ACT Party leader



“One small schlep for Colin, one giant sheep for Colin-kind.”

You can imagine the furious turmoil that erupted from the Prime Minister’s Office as Colin Craig’s latest weird beliefs surfaced this morning when he told Marcus Lush on Radio Live that he doesn’t believe or not not believe that a man was put on the moon. After the chemtrails and climate denial stuff, National must be freaking out that their plan to gift Colin an electorate to slide in 4 Conservative Party MPs is up in flames when Colin keeps going to the lunacy fringe for policy ideas.

There’s just no way they can seriously consider him now. Can you imagine the election from the Opposition next year? Constant questions about moon landings, chemtrails and climate denial 101 will ridicule National’s association with a Party that seems barley literate and National can’t risk it. Satirists will have a field day…

National-Conservative Party 2014
-John Key agrees to ban all chemtrails

-’Know your place’ social media campaign urging fewer women in science and more into ‘domestic sciences’ like cooking and giving birth.

-Change lyrics in national anthem from ‘God save NZ’ to ‘God smite NZ’

-Double all man made pollution to prove Global Warming isn’t caused by humans while running public relations campaign reminding Greens that God showed Noah a rainbow and promised not to flood the earth providing irrefutable evidence that the ice caps can never melt.

So what do National do? With Banks finally acknowledging what everyone else accepted years ago, that he is dead as ACTs leader, a last minute rush to put a credible right wing candidate in as leader is throwing up Matthew Hooton’s name as a possible replacement.

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Here is why the Left should be terrified.

-Hooton would win Epsom and drag more far right libertarian vote to him to make ACT bring in another MP.
-Hooton as a candidate would be ferocious and unequaled.
-Hooton as a candidate would produce policy far more dangerous than moon boy and the Conservatives could ever intellectually devise.

Here is why it won’t happen.

-ACT are run by old men with far too much money and zero creative talent. This is the Party that gave leadership to Rodney Hide, Don Brash and John Banks for Christ’s sake, there is no way they have the mental ambition to even think of Hooton as a candidate in the first place.
-Hooton has more skeletons in his closet than all the Auckland cemeteries put together.
-Would he really want a drop in pay scale from Corporate evil to just Political evil?

If Hooton becomes the leader of ACT, National have a chance to win while looking like they are walking away from religious extremists. It allows Key to masquerade as moderate while looking to empower a candidate who is so far to the right he makes Mussolini look like a Green Party MP.


  1. I’d kind of of like Hooten in parliament – though not in power. There is a legitimate function for a lively libertarian critique in a democracy – preferably as a loyal opposition.

    Banks, Key,English -simply aren’t up to their intellectual responsibility to try their ideas out in public forums. Everything has to be snuck through under urgency because the policies themselves are so lame even their authors don’t want to defend them.

    Hooten too, is on the whole more honest than the incumbent government – a damning inditement of Hooten, but nevertheless he represents a better representative choice than the shambling herd of corrupt morons that typify the Gnat government at present.

    He’s an epic neo-liberal nutjob – better kept under close public scrutiny than intriguing where we can’t see him.

  2. I clicked “Like” on your post, Stuart, though reluctantly.

    Hooton has more intellectual “grunt” than most of ACT rolled into one.

    But more than that, anyone listening to him on Radio NZ’s Nine To Noon political segment on Mondays, will readily understand how damned reasonable he sounds.

    Couple that to Key’s casualness and we have a dynamic duo that would all but guarantee a third term of a National-led government.

    I enjoy listening to Hooton, I’ll be honest. He allows me to hear what the Right/libertarian viewpoint is, without the rant or vitriol. He might even have a place in a Parliamentary Opposition.

    God help the left though, if he’s part of any government. The neo-liberal transformation of this country would be completed.

    • Mr Hooten gloats, talks over the top of other people in his joy at having News to Share, and gives the impression he is the deus ex machina.

      Although he may form a party he comes across as someone who would rather run his performers than be a performer and build a team for the long haul in politics.

      Political creature – yes. Politician – no.

  3. Oh yeah,

    Having someone running for the ACT party who has cyber stalked me sounds like a really good idea.

  4. Do you think it would still be called ACT though? It seems that the ACT brand is somewhat tarnished and a rebranding would be in order.
    “ACT” originally stood for “Association for Concerned Taxpayers” if my memory serves me correctly

  5. You make a good point about the party being controlled by old men. I think you might have missed Jamie Whyte as a potential candidate. It might be a little early for him…so maybe we are looking at a Hide recovery. Sad, really to return to the old crowd.

  6. Jamie Whyte should be much more of a worry to everyone who wants to get rid of National..
    If he is the choice of Act and he looked pretty serious on 3news tonight his time in London means he will be as far up with the real 5Eyes game ‘play’ as Fletcher is in the GCSB top spot is and it begun as soon as he got the job..

    Far more ‘linked’ to everything American Neoliberal as well and he comes with the ‘blessing’ and in partnership with David Im not nearly as Polemic as Slater but I have the same following Farrar..

  7. I think the left needs to look at other social forces for why they may continue to loose votes to the conservatives. I posted most of this on a facebook thread on Craig but did not provoke any debate.
    I fail to see the problems with Craig questioning anything the US claims to have done. I’m absolutely sure there are other ‘crack-pot’ conspiracy theories that will be shown as fact with historical hindsight. It’s also a sad week for me where I am starting to question my fathers then my 45 year life association to the radical left. In a time where we should be brave enough to discuss fully all our societal ills, with violence being a major issue following roast busters episode. My challenge on White Ribbon facebook page to take heed of the Otago Uni Longitudinal study and its finding on domestic violence as a cross gender endeavour got me blocked and my comments erased three days ago. This is blatant dishonesty from the major publically backed organisation on dv in NZ. What dishonest engagement with our world we live in. When the left wants to continue its entanglement with radical feminist male hate and anti nuclear family ideology given that family is the best place, on average, for kids to be, then the conservatives will continue to pull voters there. I urge people to start critically looking at the entanglement of the rad fems agenda to that of the neo-liberal agenda. Its agenda is not that of class issues in fact their cult of the individual and wanting to flood the labour market with women suited neo-libs in dismantling family protection devices in social policy. This association was canvased as far back as 2005 articles called ‘supping with the devil’ or similar and is now in their books this year by feminists Nancy Fraser and Hester Eisenstein. I push the connections further in my blog but then I verge into conspiracy….

    To all you anon thumbs downer i would appreciate some debate.

    • I hear you loud and clear Max..
      When I first came here over 25years ago there was exactly the same rate of child,spousal, man on woman, woman on man, No doesnt mean No if you are bigger stronger or have more authority, a badge or a patch sexual and physical abuse going on, as is being reported here in 2013 I think
      The only difference I can see?
      People blog, status update, twitter, respond by starting groups and buy and wear little white ribbons in this decade….
      Doesnt really stop the rapes, forced sex, bashings, legacy of police apathy etc tho’ does it?
      Last times I tried to intervene gently in a toddler being slapped hard round the head in a mall I was threatened with the same. Last time called out to a boyfriend abusing his girl in a hideous way on K road was told to ‘leave it’ by my own husband. He might recognise you when you are on your own!.
      On the Roasbusters march quietly with my sign I was abused again, by an old man so furious ‘I dared to do so’ I actually felt his spittle on my face as he tried to intimidate me off the footpath in front of witnesses..
      I dared because someone like HIM had abused me in that way and worse too..
      I left and dry-retched into a pot plant on the way back to my car before the eloquent speeches or the ‘lynch them’ ones ..
      You only have to watch parliamentary tv or listen to talkback to understand where this kind of abuse percolates here continually..
      NZ’s problems havent changed there are just more ‘headlines’ more hot air, and peer indignation around them, but what drives them will continue while at the very top down *most* of our MPs who could try to at least start to achieve something by looking at their OWN language dont seem to actually care to me
      Victims of all this (us) are just numbers or stats to twist or use to beat each other up with and score points off each other.. ( Sad but true and what to do?)

  8. The ACT Party should be put out of its misery. Honestly look at all the no hopers in it going back to their founding right wing or left overs from the more market greedies like Brash who is responsible for the racist clique “Doing an Orewa.” They should “do a bunk and get out of politics. As for Matthew Hooten he’s from the Kindergarten of Politics also where they play ringa-ringa rosies and all fall down.

  9. The real point is that when Shipley, Upton, Luxton and the core of the 1990-1996 National Cabinet left politics, NZ ceased to have a middle class party which represented professional and western values.
    Act has never been more than a Roger Douglas party to award his friends and enthusiasms. Act always ignored the basic idea of Hayek is the rejection of egalitarianism and social mobility. The reason why Reagan and Nixon stopped social mobility in California and the US in the late 1960s and early 1970s is partly that high quality free tertiary education was simply too expensive and disruptive and first generation white aspirants were even more uppity than the black charity cases. The fact is that the beneficiaries of social mobility thru the UK grammar schools and their american equivalents such as the rock star and media and film meritorcracy almost universally came to hate their audience once the demand for free rock concerts, drugs and records was hearrd. Much the same happened in Britain in the late 1970s. However much it will be hated by 99% of daily blog readers the reasons why good education became inaccessible to the third and fourth quartile in the advanced west were not entirely stupid and in fact gave the stablility and privacy that allowed the top third to make enormous progress.
    Act is basically the noise of those who gatecrashed the party but found after the max socialism and levelling of Muldoon , Tizard and Kirk their was little left to steal or redistribute. The efforts of Mr Kerr, Scott, Campbell and Cameron seems to have done nothing to raise the very low average incomes in Auckland and Wellington- because they actually undermined middle class wealth consolidation and secondly failed to grasp for the most part the aim of capitalism and journalism is destructive to destroy the old and principle of advance is exclusion not inclusion. Act is Nasty but fails to grasp that half of the pakeha, maori and polynesian entrants are useless anyway and not worth any investment.

    • Robert, thanks for sharing your thoughts. Can I respectfully suggest that you spend a bit more time deciding exactly what point you’re trying to make, and sub-edit your comments a bit more so it comes through? There are some thought-provoking claims here, but I can’t get my head around what conclusion they lead you to. Cheers.

      • To simplify the Roger Douglas years were in some ways of continuation of the austerity that Muldoon was attempting quite seriously in some areas and essentially driven by the same people Roundatable and then Treasury/MFAT Roger Kerr, Cameron and Scott. In other words the godfathers of Act essentially held the same view as Muldoon that this society was just a rural backwater and its level of sophistication needed to be stripped down to what dairy and sheep farming could afford and the European population of Aotearoa needed to be reduced to about 2 million.
        Therefore the Kerr/Act approach was forremost to strip out the frills expensive rail public transport, stop light rail and leave expensive provincial services as just a shell , ie hospitals and polytechs. University was to become fee paying and public service advisory and professional class massively reduced with most graduates forced overseas instead of becoming advisory office and government and private employment recruitment to favour ordinary people and ordinary jobs. It is a dismal philosophy compensated for under Muldoon by the legalisation of Massage Parlours defacto legalisation and under Douglas by the addictive Espresso coffee bar which is also conviniently de sexing to reflect a more fundamentalist ideology.
        There is no way to generate middle class wealth in NZ other than property, land and car sales. The local share market and any real industrial base was destroyed by the 1987 crash and professional wages for Doctors, Professionals and Higly Qualified teachers and lecturers are ridiculously low.
        Hooten might make a better MP for Tamaki, Remmers,Nth Shore or East Coast Bay certainly better than Worth,Hide, Banks, Maggie B or the unheard of who represents St Helliers. However its difficult to see the philosphy of Netherlands for Social , HK for Tax and Singapore for Law and Order selling more than Acts. Netherlands in the past was ultra liberal on drugs and sex but today its Gert Wilders, anti islam and your right to nicely remove the Burqa . My own view is we need more Vegas/LA for social and Texas for Law and Education.

  10. Thanks Jacquelyne. Yeah have said on white ribbon and to one of the chief denouncers to what I (we) were saying, who has now followed us, to ensure we got their message, ‘banded’ people across to another facebook page where we do indeed discuss wr. If we as a society continue to allow such as wr to be the only voice on dv in NZ then we will still be ‘wringing our hands’ in tens years time with domestic violence problems the same or worse. Which of course probably suits the many who are on the abuse industry money train.
    Thinking about the connections of agendas between radical feminism and neo-liberals (financial elite). The radical fems claim to be part of the radical left and indeed it seems that this is the orthodox thinking. Is it a stretch for the left to start looking at radical fems as a ‘Trojan horse’ of the financial elite that is in fact eating us from within with it gender war on males and the nuclear family? Thinking that is and will push left thinkers towards the centre or indeed conservatives.
    Fraser and Eisenstein seem to be suggesting that having been subsumed by the neo-liberal agenda then a way forward for feminism is to look at greater alignment with the class struggles of the left. I am not sure that either is actually pushing the radical fem agenda. But for me their arguments point to feminism being a failed project in the sense that the average modestly educated woman is now no better off, most particularly when contemplating a family.
    I push the idea further into the ‘conspiracy’ arena. For example the connection between Gloria steinum and the cia from 1958 on and the cia and ms magazine and the Washington Post. Pointing towards a movement based upon many with sincere personal belief in advancing women but which was underpinned by other diametrically opposed agendas.


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