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April 26, 2004 | by  | in Features |
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Don Brash: Zero to Hero or Banker to Wanker?

It’s 5 to 11 on a Wednesday morning and I’m geeing myself up for my clash of heads with New Zealand politics’ “it” man, a man who has given the National Party a sense of relevance and shaken up NZ’s relatively docile political scene. I’m a little nervous- my head filled with fragmented shards of advice from a range of sources (“be confrontational” – Editor, “be respectful” – Mum, “dominate him” – friend) as I sit in the rather salubrious leaders’ lounge where this tête-à-tête will soon take place. After what seems like an eternity (but was more like 5 minutes) Don Brash enters – “Hi – I’m Don Brash.”

No Shit.

To be brutally honest the next 40 minutes bordered at times on tedious. Don Brash doesn’t have the presence of a Muldoon, he is nowhere near as theatrical as a Lange, lacks the rhetoric of Winston Peters and the dogged determination of Helen Clark. He is nice yet uninspiring – always clinical in his answers, working through the questions systematically. Throughout the interview he seems nearly devoid of emotion even during discussions on the more controversial elements of his Orewa speech. Leaving the interview I am confused. Here is a man who promises to totally make over race relations in New Zealand – who has laid down a blue print for this ‘radical’ new direction in spectacular fashion – who, one-on-one, is reallly rather unexciting. I felt uninspired – how could this man appeal to others on a personal level? Well, he has. And despite my post-interview misgivings you can’t deny this man. You just can’t ignore the dramatic way he and his party have tapped into a well of discontent in New Zealand – for better or worse. It’s just a little hard to reconcile the man with the message.

Don Brash was born in Wanganui and educated in Christchurch. He is the son of Dr Alan Brash – a well regarded clergyman and left wing activist, and grew up subscribing to a Marxist line of thought. Obviously things changed for him ideologically – “I went to Australia to do my PhD on the negative effects of American foreign investment in Australia – in 3 and a half years I realised that the evidence didn’t support my original thesis.” How much of his father does he still carry with him? “A lot, for sure. I for example voted for the Prostitution reform bill and subject to seeing the fine print I expect to vote for the Civil Unions Bill. I certainly care passionately about issues of unemployment, issues of poverty, issues of war and peace. I think a lot of my current values stem directly from his.”

For most of his young adult life, if you’d spotted Brash on election day you would have seen him voting Labour, slightly unusual for a man who now leads the National party. Again I ask, what changed? “There was no dramatic one thing, I just saw a succession of parties around the world – like Labour – a succession of well intentioned governments – fall short of the results they desired. It was not so much their motivations that put me off, rather the realisation they did not have the right policy.”

Dr Brash, as you may well know, had some what of an esteemed career in finance before his political makeover in 2002, holding nothing but top positions for over 30 years, a period that culminated in 14 years as head of the Reserve Bank, being reappointed in this post under six different Prime Ministers. To Brash, this was a hugely exciting period as “it pioneered a totally new relationship between government and central bank. Also we were the first central bank in the world to explicitly adopt inflation targeting as a way of running monetary policy. The fact that we influenced countries such as Canada, Australia and Britain shows how exciting a period that really was.”

The rise of Don Brash: Political Tour de Force started in 2002, with the news that he was resigning his Reserve Bank post to join the National Party list, just in time for their disastrous 2002 election. This was not the first time. Brash ran unsuccessfully twice in the 70s and early 80s in the East Coast Bays seat. Why the change? “Well I felt in the last three or four years a gap was appearing in living standards between New Zealand and other developed countries, the Labour government wasn’t helping our chances to close that gap and as a result more and more New Zealanders were heading overseas. The chance was there for the taking and I certainly couldn’t fix these things from the Reserve Bank.” Did he run with intention of toppling Bill English? “No, not at all!” Brash says with a chuckle, his face lighting up with a rare grin.

Still, in November of last year, Brash successfully toppled Bill English in a tight battle. (Some say his margin was as little as 14-12) What does Don Brash have that Bill English didn’t? “I think that is a question that is more properly answered by the caucus as a whole. My hunch is that the people that supported me saw me as a new face, they’d come to the conclusion that despite Bill’s obvious qualities he wasn’t going to win in 2005. With me they felt they might win or at least come close, I think my supporters still expected me to lose – but less badly.” And now, out of the blue, victory is a distinct possibility for the Nats. Don Brash has done what Bill English couldn’t – make a connection with people. How did he do it? The now notorious “Orewa speech”.

The contents of that speech have been debated to death over the past three months; there seems to be no middle ground in this argument. To some extent it seems that either you are of the view that Dr Brash is a nasty man befitting of a horrible fate or you are part of National’s 18 percent poll jump, praising him to say what others couldn’t. “I do think that talking about the issue has freed people to talk about it more openly and the risk of that is it does sometimes create division and tension.”

In essence the Orewa Speech was not a completely new piece of policy at all. So why did he get all the credit (and disdain) for the speech? “Some people have said that the reaction was substantial because we packaged all the components of the issue together, some people have said the way it was packaged, the way it was wordsmithed and some people say it was a new credible face making the comments. And my guess it was partly all of those.” He won’t directly admit it, but it’s hard not to see timing the speech to coincide with the height of white New Zealand fears over the foreshore and seabed debate as having a huge impact on the reaction. “A lot of New Zealanders had made it clear to me that they were troubled by this issue.”

How does he combat claims that his policy is causing irreparable damage to Maori? “I’ve got a lot of support from the Maori community over this speech, in emails and letters from Maori people and indeed some Maori people in the street – people come up and say, ‘look, I’m Maori I agree with what you are saying’. This is not a Maori verses non-Maori argument. The majority of Maori and the majority of non-Maori saying we need to look at this whole issue – so look, I don’t see it as being antagonizing to Maori in anyway.” Despite his claims of a well of Maori support National is still well down the list in support on the Maori roll. “What I do see is the policies of the Labour government in the last three or four years leading to a huge amount of resentment building that if left to fester might have seen the top coming off in race relations in New Zealand, leading to some serious unhappiness.”

A week or so after the speech I came across several pieces of graffiti: “DON BRASH = FASCIST”, “DON BRASH = NAZI”. The fact is that in the speech there are several references to nationhood and nationalism, ideas that over the course of the last 100 years have gained decidedly negative historical connotations. Were there any apprehensions about the decidedly nationalist nature of the speech? That the ‘one level of citizenship’ for all bravura may be misinterpreted? “Both New Zealand First and National I see as appealing to the nationalist vote. I do believe though that we are far more positive in how we do this than New Zealand First. Chris Trotter wrote in the Independent that the National party was campaigning for the nationalist vote in a very globalised way and one that was not hostile to foreigners at all. I’m simply saying New Zealand is a great country, we should be proud of it to advance our interests as a nation.”

The Sunday Star Times created a furore with their front-page comparison of the policies of Pauline Hanson and Don Brash. “I didn’t really know whether to laugh or be angry about that one really.” How would you refute that claim then? “Easily. Pauline Hanson was arguing for a white Australia, when I am certainly not. I do not want all immigration to be of white descent. I just want Maori New Zealanders, Pacific Island New Zealanders and Asian New Zealanders to be treated like every other New Zealander.

“The very good thing about the sharp increase in the polls is that all of a sudden the possibility of National winning next year becomes credible. And I think the pressure of that has shown on the Labour government- we’ve seen Leanne Dalziel resign because she lied, we’ve seen Ruth Dyson use some pretty unattractive language about a colleague of mine. We’ve seen some messy things start to appear; people start thinking that the government has become too arrogant and that it’s time to start looking at options, and now National is a creditable alternative again.”

However, National as a credible alternative is a scary thought for many. With such a polar reaction to the Orewa speech, how does Brash plan to dissuade the fears of those afraid of what his policies hold in store? ”Well, I’m talking to as many audiences as I can all over the country and most of those audiences, they are public meetings and people get up and ask me critical questions. I have opponents at meetings as well as supporters and I’ve made it very clear – when some people say look – ‘to hell with past injustices, I wasn’t round here, my grandparents weren’t round here, why should I be forced to pay for things that happened 150 years ago?’ I’m making it very clear that a National government will want to continue to pay compensation for past injustices but I’m also saying that we should accelerate that process and bring it to an end because if we have too many New Zealanders looking back over their shoulders thinking that economic salvation lies in the size of that government cheque, we are locking too many people into a dead end.”

Outside of the Orewa debate, Brash muses on a range of developing policy. Obviously he is in his element when discussing monetary plans and policy, but he is not so confident when the topic strays far away from policy he cannot explain in dollars and sums. Orewa speech aside he is often uncertain in these areas – brushing over topics on nuclear policy, the war on Iraq and arts policy without really committing himself to a precise point of view.

I stop to quiz him on tertiary policy and his view on universities today. Labour’s 1999 election victory was helped no end by a dominance of the student vote for fee freezes and interest free student loans. How does he see universities as changed from when he was a student? “Well I don’t spend a lot of time at universities so I wouldn’t consider myself an expert, but I guess the major difference is that today the participation level in tertiary institutions is much higher.” What will Brash do to sway the student vote towards National? “The prospect of a more prosperous country. Right now too many students head overseas because they can make more money. I want to give them the option that they at least have the option of staying.” With a large amount of students struggling under a pile of debt, I find this a little unconvincing – rather than addressing the root of the problem of student debt it seems that Brash is choosing rather to dangle an out of reach jackpot as a distraction. Again Brash slides past another issue that seems a little out of his comfort zone.

Inside his comfort zone it seems that Brash could talk all day (making me thankful for the time constraint on this interview). He is assured and clinical when splitting hairs over financial policy. It seems that this man could make a sound economic argument over anything. We talk superannuation and tax policy; yes – people under 50 might have to work a few extra years and lower and middle tax rates will get cut first, with the highest tax rate of 39 cents being reduced, albeit slowly. Two areas Brash always comes back to are the Resource Management Act and living standards.

New Zealand, he tells me, is falling behind Australia in living standards and by promoting growth Brash plans to narrow the gap between the two countries. Subsequently fewer people will be inclined to head overseas – greater productivity and greater earnings for all. Brash’s other productivity booster is a planned reworking of the Resource Management Act (RMA) – an act he says is “hurting” business development in this country. By reducing consultation processes, a flow of overseas capital should inevitably come. Does he fear the negative consequences of this; a proliferation of investment hurting New Zealand’s character and environment? “I’d be delighted if there was a proliferation of investment. I mean one of the things we have to do, as indicated earlier, is increase our living standards relative to those in place like Australia. To do that you don’ t want people to work harder, you want them to work with more capital, basically. And so if the RMA would help that process, I’d be delighted. Having said that, we have to reconcile this interest with protecting the environment and other people’s property rights. The RMA is hurting industry as set up costs are much higher in New Zealand.” I may be being dramatic but as he talks about this, even when he is trying to quell my concern I can’t help but be worried – the thought of tasteless housing developments and huge industrial areas nagging at the back of my mind.

And so the race is on, Helen Clark has ushered her warning “Bring it on” (which surely will be remembered in the New Zealand anthology of kick-ass political slogans). 2005 is shaping up as a two horse race, Clark v Brash, which could almost head towards the mud slinging of a US Presidential race – shown recently in the public spat between the two over Helen Clark’s lack of respect for the institution of marriage and Don Brash’s extra-marital affair. Is Brash getting confident about a 2005 National victory? “I’m confident that we have a chance of winning. I don’t know yet that it will happen, there is a lot of water to go under the bridge and the current government has a very large budget surplus with which they can buy votes, I guess you would have to say that National are still the underdogs but it is possible we can win next year without a doubt.”

The interview was over. I was uninspired and unsettled by Brash; first by the lack of feeling and passion over much of what was discussed in the interview and secondly by his relative dismissal of much that fell outside of his financial area of expertise. This was a man you would trust with a finance portfolio but he didn’t project a diversity of interests that would see him as a competent and prepared Prime Minister. His motivations for being in politics were only too clear – to lower the gap in living standards between New Zealand and the rest of the world – however anything else, including race relations, seemed less important a way to satiate the voters, giving him an opening to implement his own monetary revolution.

Watching Tom Scott’s Hurricane Brash, my mind was working harder than ever. Scott’s depiction of the Nats’ reaction to the nation-wide response to the Orewa speech was a little hard to swallow. Instead of a party who cared for what is a hugely important issue in our development as a country, they instead seemed overwhelmingly smug at the fact that they were winning votes – casting out their one Maori MP who was unable to reconcile herself with the speech. I know politics is all about winning votes yet their approach to it all seemed a little heartless for the magnitude of the issue. Still whatever Brash and his party’s motivation behind the speech was, you can’t argue with an 18 percent jump in the polls.

One person not sold on the policy or integrity of Don Brash is Victoria University New Zealand Politics lecturer Jon Johansson. Johansson says the Orewa speech is the result of the “desperate actions of a desperate party.” National, he says, was a bit lost and used the analogy of “mining the race and hitting a gas leak.” Getting a huge yet unintended reaction.

“Don Brash has put himself in a situation that he can’t ever divorce himself from. He is decisive and more articulate than English was, which has played to his advantage. He is also more ideological, yet he will leave far more damage in his wake.” Johansson outlines the introduction of the secret ballot to decide leadership disputes that subsequently lowers the threshold of support needed to rule a party and the breaking of ties with Tuwharetoa with the demotion of Georgina Te Heu Heu as two actions with long-term implications for the National party.

“Don Brash cannot implement his policies without causing severe civil response. On top of this it is bad policy – the long-term demographic trends in New Zealand point to an always increasing amount of people being of Maori descent.”

Outside of the race relations debate Johansson is no less scathing. “Brash’s superannuation policy is fraught with problems and is not an example of good policy. As for Brash’s tax policy – the devil will be in the detail. I think the tax thing goes down to the authenticity of Brash. He is trying to appear more moderate than he is by promising bigger tax cuts for the lower and middle class. Don Brash has always argued for a lowering of the top tax rate – will the public believe his tax policy and will it prove credible?”

The same hype over race relations will be unlikely to bleed into his other policies. With the idea of closing the gaps between us and our friends across the ditch likely to be a key election drive, how does Johansson see this sitting with the country? “Not particularly well; it’s not positive policy as in a sense it’s Kiwi bashing. If we really are so far behind Australia, why don’t we all piss off overseas?”
The collapse of Act looks set to also have negative consequences for National. “Act are done. Hide has a chance – yet with Act languishing around the 2 percent mark they are much less likely to emerge as a credible option and alternative as a partner for National. As things get closer and closer and we get closer to the election, United Future will probably become more and more relevant, and of course Winston Peters looks more and more like he will be the Kingmaker – although the ghost of 1996 still sits over him. National will be sceptical about a political pairing with NZ First but political realities may see them paired together.”

Johansson agrees that National could win yet lists three obstacles they have to overcome. “Firstly the lack of a coalition partner, secondly that he has to present a depth in the caucus to show that his colleagues are up to it and thirdly whether the public can trust Brash.”

Will National win? Will Don Brash be the man to lead us from 2005? Who will they partner? Who will do what? Will it work? Can it work? It’s frustrating to conclude with more questions – but with the dust merely settling on Brash’s speech and the foreshore debate it’s hard to know. Curve balls will be thrown, people will go under the spotlight and there is still a lot more debate to be had.

And no doubt at the centre of this will be Dr Don Brash; a sixty-something Neil Diamond fan with a mind set to finance. I find myself a little less sympathetic towards him then when I started writing this article – uninspired by his clinical almost emotionless approach – yet he has tapped into a wave of support for an issue at the core of our country’s future. Like him or hate him you can’t deny the popular support he has gained.

In 18 months Don Brash will either be a new hero or closing the door on his political career and cast off in the vast annals of history. I can’t tell you which one he will be – there’s a hell of a journey ahead both for him and Helen Clark – a journey well worth paying attention to.The Sunday Star Times created a furore with their front-page comparison of the policies of Pauline Hanson and Don Brash. “I didn’t really know whether to laugh or be angry about that one really.” How would you refute that claim then? “Easily. Pauline Hanson was arguing for a white Australia, when I am certainly not. I do not want all immigration to be of white descent. I just want Maori New Zealanders, Pacific Island New Zealanders and Asian New Zealanders to be treated like every other New Zealander.

“The very good thing about the sharp increase in the polls is that all of a sudden the possibility of National winning next year becomes credible. And I think the pressure of that has shown on the Labour government- we’ve seen Leanne Dalziel resign because she lied, we’ve seen Ruth Dyson use some pretty unattractive language about a colleague of mine. We’ve seen some messy things start to appear; people start thinking that the government has become too arrogant and that it’s time to start looking at options, and now National is a creditable alternative again.”

However, National as a credible alternative is a scary thought for many. With such a polar reaction to the Orewa speech, how does Brash plan to dissuade the fears of those afraid of what his policies hold in store? ”Well, I’m talking to as many audiences as I can all over the country and most of those audiences, they are public meetings and people get up and ask me critical questions. I have opponents at meetings as well as supporters and I’ve made it very clear – when some people say look – ‘to hell with past injustices, I wasn’t round here, my grandparents weren’t round here, why should I be forced to pay for things that happened 150 years ago?’ I’m making it very clear that a National government will want to continue to pay compensation for past injustices but I’m also saying that we should accelerate that process and bring it to an end because if we have too many New Zealanders looking back over their shoulders thinking that economic salvation lies in the size of that government cheque, we are locking too many people into a dead end.”

Outside of the Orewa debate, Brash muses on a range of developing policy. Obviously he is in his element when discussing monetary plans and policy, but he is not so confident when the topic strays far away from policy he cannot explain in dollars and sums. Orewa speech aside he is often uncertain in these areas – brushing over topics on nuclear policy, the war on Iraq and arts policy without really committing himself to a precise point of view.

I stop to quiz him on tertiary policy and his view on universities today. Labour’s 1999 election victory was helped no end by a dominance of the student vote for fee freezes and interest free student loans. How does he see universities as changed from when he was a student? “Well I don’t spend a lot of time at universities so I wouldn’t consider myself an expert, but I guess the major difference is that today the participation level in tertiary institutions is much higher.” What will Brash do to sway the student vote towards National? “The prospect of a more prosperous country. Right now too many students head overseas because they can make more money. I want to give them the option that they at least have the option of staying.” With a large amount of students struggling under a pile of debt, I find this a little unconvincing – rather than addressing the root of the problem of student debt it seems that Brash is choosing rather to dangle an out of reach jackpot as a distraction. Again Brash slides past another issue that seems a little out of his comfort zone.

Inside his comfort zone it seems that Brash could talk all day (making me thankful for the time constraint on this interview). He is assured and clinical when splitting hairs over financial policy. It seems that this man could make a sound economic argument over anything. We talk superannuation and tax policy; yes – people under 50 might have to work a few extra years and lower and middle tax rates will get cut first, with the highest tax rate of 39 cents being reduced, albeit slowly. Two areas Brash always comes back to are the Resource Management Act and living standards.

New Zealand, he tells me, is falling behind Australia in living standards and by promoting growth Brash plans to narrow the gap between the two countries. Subsequently fewer people will be inclined to head overseas – greater productivity and greater earnings for all. Brash’s other productivity booster is a planned reworking of the Resource Management Act (RMA) – an act he says is “hurting” business development in this country. By reducing consultation processes, a flow of overseas capital should inevitably come. Does he fear the negative consequences of this; a proliferation of investment hurting New Zealand’s character and environment? “I’d be delighted if there was a proliferation of investment. I mean one of the things we have to do, as indicated earlier, is increase our living standards relative to those in place like Australia. To do that you don’ t want people to work harder, you want them to work with more capital, basically. And so if the RMA would help that process, I’d be delighted. Having said that, we have to reconcile this interest with protecting the environment and other people’s property rights. The RMA is hurting industry as set up costs are much higher in New Zealand.” I may be being dramatic but as he talks about this, even when he is trying to quell my concern I can’t help but be worried – the thought of tasteless housing developments and huge industrial areas nagging at the back of my mind.

And so the race is on, Helen Clark has ushered her warning “Bring it on” (which surely will be remembered in the New Zealand anthology of kick-ass political slogans). 2005 is shaping up as a two horse race, Clark v Brash, which could almost head towards the mud slinging of a US Presidential race – shown recently in the public spat between the two over Helen Clark’s lack of respect for the institution of marriage and Don Brash’s extra-marital affair. Is Brash getting confident about a 2005 National victory? “I’m confident that we have a chance of winning. I don’t know yet that it will happen, there is a lot of water to go under the bridge and the current government has a very large budget surplus with which they can buy votes, I guess you would have to say that National are still the underdogs but it is possible we can win next year without a doubt.”

The interview was over. I was uninspired and unsettled by Brash; first by the lack of feeling and passion over much of what was discussed in the interview and secondly by his relative dismissal of much that fell outside of his financial area of expertise. This was a man you would trust with a finance portfolio but he didn’t project a diversity of interests that would see him as a competent and prepared Prime Minister. His motivations for being in politics were only too clear – to lower the gap in living standards between New Zealand and the rest of the world – however anything else, including race relations, seemed less important a way to satiate the voters, giving him an opening to implement his own monetary revolution.

Watching Tom Scott’s Hurricane Brash, my mind was working harder than ever. Scott’s depiction of the Nats’ reaction to the nation-wide response to the Orewa speech was a little hard to swallow. Instead of a party who cared for what is a hugely important issue in our development as a country, they instead seemed overwhelmingly smug at the fact that they were winning votes – casting out their one Maori MP who was unable to reconcile herself with the speech. I know politics is all about winning votes yet their approach to it all seemed a little heartless for the magnitude of the issue. Still whatever Brash and his party’s motivation behind the speech was, you can’t argue with an 18 percent jump in the polls.

One person not sold on the policy or integrity of Don Brash is Victoria University New Zealand Politics lecturer Jon Johansson. Johansson says the Orewa speech is the result of the “desperate actions of a desperate party.” National, he says, was a bit lost and used the analogy of “mining the race and hitting a gas leak.” Getting a huge yet unintended reaction.

“Don Brash has put himself in a situation that he can’t ever divorce himself from. He is decisive and more articulate than English was, which has played to his advantage. He is also more ideological, yet he will leave far more damage in his wake.” Johansson outlines the introduction of the secret ballot to decide leadership disputes that subsequently lowers the threshold of support needed to rule a party and the breaking of ties with Tuwharetoa with the demotion of Georgina Te Heu Heu as two actions with long-term implications for the National party.

“Don Brash cannot implement his policies without causing severe civil response. On top of this it is bad policy – the long-term demographic trends in New Zealand point to an always increasing amount of people being of Maori descent.”

Outside of the race relations debate Johansson is no less scathing. “Brash’s superannuation policy is fraught with problems and is not an example of good policy. As for Brash’s tax policy – the devil will be in the detail. I think the tax thing goes down to the authenticity of Brash. He is trying to appear more moderate than he is by promising bigger tax cuts for the lower and middle class. Don Brash has always argued for a lowering of the top tax rate – will the public believe his tax policy and will it prove credible?”

The same hype over race relations will be unlikely to bleed into his other policies. With the idea of closing the gaps between us and our friends across the ditch likely to be a key election drive, how does Johansson see this sitting with the country? “Not particularly well; it’s not positive policy as in a sense it’s Kiwi bashing. If we really are so far behind Australia, why don’t we all piss off overseas?”
The collapse of Act looks set to also have negative consequences for National. “Act are done. Hide has a chance – yet with Act languishing around the 2 percent mark they are much less likely to emerge as a credible option and alternative as a partner for National. As things get closer and closer and we get closer to the election, United Future will probably become more and more relevant, and of course Winston Peters looks more and more like he will be the Kingmaker – although the ghost of 1996 still sits over him. National will be sceptical about a political pairing with NZ First but political realities may see them paired together.”

Johansson agrees that National could win yet lists three obstacles they have to overcome. “Firstly the lack of a coalition partner, secondly that he has to present a depth in the caucus to show that his colleagues are up to it and thirdly whether the public can trust Brash.”

Will National win? Will Don Brash be the man to lead us from 2005? Who will they partner? Who will do what? Will it work? Can it work? It’s frustrating to conclude with more questions – but with the dust merely settling on Brash’s speech and the foreshore debate it’s hard to know. Curve balls will be thrown, people will go under the spotlight and there is still a lot more debate to be had.

And no doubt at the centre of this will be Dr Don Brash; a sixty-something Neil Diamond fan with a mind set to finance. I find myself a little less sympathetic towards him then when I started writing this article – uninspired by his clinical almost emotionless approach – yet he has tapped into a wave of support for an issue at the core of our country’s future. Like him or hate him you can’t deny the popular support he has gained.

In 18 months Don Brash will either be a new hero or closing the door on his political career and cast off in the vast annals of history. I can’t tell you which one he will be – there’s a hell of a journey ahead both for him and Helen Clark – a journey well worth paying attention to.

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About the Author ()

James Robinson is a university dropout turned journalist who likes to pretend he has an honours degree. Turn ons include soup, scarfs, a hot bath and some FM-smooth Kenny G-esque instrumental jazz. Turn offs include student politicians, the homeless, and people who pronounce it supposebly.

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