EDIT: the final amount raised was just over $100,000.
Our sainted Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern recently made the mistake of saying — with a live microphone in front of her — what she really felt about David Seymour, the publicity-savvy leader of the opposition ACT Party.
What gets said on the floor of Parliament gets recorded into something called the Hansard, and so it is now a matter of historical record that Mr Seymour is an “arrogant prick.” No argument from me.
But he’s also very smart and enormously energetic at his job. He’s learned how to turn his nerdy debate-club superiority and prickly oligarch-apologist libertarian ideology into a potent political brand.
And so we have one of the best political feel-good stories in a while. They both signed a copy of the Hansard page in question and it’s being auctioned off to support prostate cancer charity. The bidding is already up to $60,000 with nearly a week to go.
“Supporting pricks everywhere.” Next year’s best campaign slogan.
Well done, Mr Seymour. It can’t have been the first time you’ve been called bad names by your exasperated opponents, and I’m fairly sure it won’t be the last. But you’ve deftly parried and scored, while doing something altogether decent with the fundraising power you hold.