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The Herald on Sunday editorial

Herald on Sunday editorial: Brash new approach to campaign

Don Brash. Photo / APN
Don Brash. Photo / APN

He is either the bravest or the stupidest politician this country has ever seen.

On Saturday night, Act leader Don Brash flew out of Auckland International Airport, on what he intended to be a secret mission to right the world's economic wrongs.

As four million New Zealanders perch on the edge of their seats on Sunday for the Rugby World Cup final kick-off, Brash will be snoozing in premium economy, flying at about 30,000 feet over Asia.

Every other party leader will spend the day desperately trying to get photographed with Richie McCaw - but not Don Brash. Every other party leader will begin their election campaign proper tomorrow - but not Brash.

Perhaps he'll stir briefly, adjust his blanket and ask the cabin attendant for a glass of soda water, and whether she has any insight into the state of the Singapore economy.

Not for him such humdrum mass-market entertainment as a rugby game; not for him the tawdry business of pressing flesh with the public.

He is so worried about the state of the global economy, he says, that he is making a week-long trip to London and Washington DC to talk to the world's financial and political powerbrokers about what can be done to fix the world.

Put like that, it sounds positively heroic. But unless he can use the remaining few weeks of the election campaign to persuade voters of that heroism, his jetlag will be for nothing. It is really hard to fix the economy if you have no role in the management of it.

As an unemployed former Reserve Bank Governor and former politician spending Christmas alone in his Auckland apartment, he may rue the time spent persuading the world's powerbrokers of his economic vision - when he needed to be persuading voters.

- Herald on Sunday

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