If it's the job of politicians to amuse us, Donald Trump is a genius, just like his supporters say. I hang on every outburst that pops through his minuscule lips.

Locally, we're blessed with Don Brash and Colin Craig, who should form a coalition. Then, in my view, we'd never need to read a book.

Brash has launched The Hobson's Pledge Trust, with the aim of providing support to New Zealanders who feel a deep sense of grievance about the perceived privileges of the brown. If it was anyone other than Brash doing this it would smack of racism. Come to think of it, in my opinion, it does smack of racism. I also believe it's divisive.

Dr Brash knows that the 1840 Treaty of Waitangi was not about an ongoing partnership between two different races, but one people. Historians have found it to be infinitely more complicated. At issue is the understanding of each side signing the treaty, coming from different cultures and speaking different languages. And then there's fairness.


I believe you agree with Brash if you think the European way of looking at things is the only valid one so it doesn't matter. But you are not racist, he explains, because it can't possibly be racist to argue that every New Zealander, irrespective of ancestry, should have the same legal rights.

In my view, it can and they do. It's just that in the light of the effect of colonisation on Maori - and colonised people everywhere - we have come to see that we should be less smug about how well we've done out of it. There are land confiscations, a 19th century war, and egregious breaches of the treaty to take into account, but no matter. Maori came out on top, after being decimated by the diseases and weapons we brought here, and settler land-grabbing at gunpoint. Apparently.

If this is so, why do Maori have poorer health and poorer educational achievement; why are so many impoverished, and why are they jailed in vastly disproportionate numbers?
But disregard such trifles and admire a new photograph of Brash with clouds wafting artily above him as he perches among introduced grass species. A man like that, I believe, is bound to have it sussed.

I see more evidence of privilege in a young pakeha from a rich family who punches a policewoman four times in the head while drunk, hires a top lawyer from out of town to defend him, and gets off with community service and paying $5000 emotional harm reparation - chickenfeed to his family.

A young Maori in the same position, but lacking wealth and connections, would likely be jailed, and would have a conviction trailing him for the rest of his life.

Brash and Colin Craig, in my opinion, share a wide-eyed disconnection with how some other people see things, and it's not that they're insincere. I think they are, painfully.
It's a shame that The Conservative Party, which Craig founded, seems to have imploded, unhelped by his recent libel case and what it dredged up about his treatment of a former staffer.

Statements he has made over the past few years reveal a world view at odds with the present. He is against same-sex marriages and gay adoption. He has said young people in New Zealand are "the most promiscuous in the world," claiming this was based partly on anecdotal evidence of NZ gynaecologists. Women need to know which gynaecologists he speaks to, in order to avoid them.

Craig sided with a Danish politician who called a traditional Maori greeting in her honour "grotesque", and seems not to believe humans are mainly to blame for climate change. He has said the anti-smacking law is "stupid," and saw no need for Maori seats in Parliament. Trump would enjoy him.

He has a wife who stands by him, but unfortunately does not advise him against being photographed in long grass, or artfully among trees. Though he is fully clothed in the tree picture, in my opinion it calls to mind the nudes in photography magazines my father bought in the 1950s, in the interests of art appreciation.

Actually, that's when Craig's thoughts, and those of Brash, would, in my view, have been mainstream.

We've moved on since then.