COMMENT:

Truly Lauren Southern and Stefan Molyneux are the gift that keeps on grifting. Just when we thought we'd seen the last of their regrettable hides and heard the last of their reprehensible opinions they have returned to entertain us with a tragicomic epilogue.

In a nutshell: please can they keep the money?

The deluded souls who ponied up for an evening of bile and bonhomie that never happened can – of course, they can - have their money back. There is no suggestion Southern and Molyneux won't pay the refund. It's just ... well, they don't want to.

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"If you would like to donate the cost of your ticket to covering the expenses incurred, Lauren and I would certainly appreciate that," Molyneux explained, struggling to be heard over the rattling of his cup.

We could be talking about a tidy sum. With Auckland tickets quoted at $99 each it's possible gross receipts reached three figures.

This is a fine example of right-wing economics at work, although at least they're asking before helping themselves to your money.

They may have hit upon a great new model for showbiz financing: get the money in advance, fail to deliver the promised performance and retain said moolah. The late impresario Harry M Miller must surely be looking on from heaven in awe and admiration. Although, being a Jew he might have withheld approval on other fronts.

Anyone else looks good next to these two. Don Brash may have his faults – such as most of his opinions – but at least he didn't ask the public to cover the cost of his bus to Massey.

Plenty of people will be happy to let the dyspeptic duo keep the dough. They'll see it as money spent in a good cause, helping to continue the good fight.

Of course, if it had been a good cause it probably wouldn't have filled so many people with loathing.

To hear the duo tell it, their non-appearance was everyone's fault but their own – the mayor, the Powerstation, the media, protesters. And if so, each of those should take a bow.

Everyone copped it but the real culprits – common sense and decency. If Southern and Molyneux really had a following their support might have come near the level of their opposition.

They never really got us. "The views of the various politicians and mainstream media," reported Molyneux, "did not represent the views of millions of alert and awake Kiwis across the nation."

I wonder who he thinks voted for those politicians.

And they had nothing to say worth hearing. To call them alt-right is to sugar coat their views. They are not alt-right. They are not even far-right. They are hate-right. Provocateurs with no point to make, merely a performance to peddle. The venom they inspire in others is their prime source of nourishment.

We still don't know why they didn't speak somewhere … anywhere? Fear for their safety?

Haven't martyrs since biblical times opened their big mouths widest right where they know it will get them into most trouble? Surely S&M don't want to preach to the converted.

To make converts, it is necessary to go among the heathens, as I understand it.

Southern and Molyneux admit to being worried about their safety. Among the costs which they need your money to cover were a "specialised security team". Martin Luther King, Mahatma Gandhi, Jesus Christ and other notable fighters for noble causes were probably also worried about their safety when they set about making their views known. But they went nevertheless.

But Southern and Molyneux aren't martyrs. They are creditors. And clearly unwilling ones.