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Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Brian Nicolle-Tribute to a "Rightwing Leftie"

I never thought I'd see this.


After running election campaigns for politicians ranging from Phil Goff and Richard Prebble, to John Banks and Rodney Hide, Brian Nicolle is going to have a crack himself.

Brian is standing for North Shore Council on the "Shore Can" ticket.

According to the North Shore Times;

While he is no stranger to controversial campaigns, this one is more likely to be 'colourful', says Mr Nicolle.

He has already conducted a residents poll and is planning a pamphlet drop next week.

"It's not going to be secret. People are going to see a lot of me. I'm planning to add a bit of colour to the campaign."

Increased community consultation on rates is the main policy of Mr Nicolle's campaign.

People on fixed or low incomes are suffering from repeated rates rises on the North Shore, he says.

He wants to see the public more involved in what projects the council decides to shell out on.

It is possible ratepayers will be more frugal than councillors, he says.

"This is about getting ratepayers' consent for what the council spends their money on. There's too many politicians who think they know best. I'm giving power back to the people."

Giving "power back to the people" is what Brian Nicolle is all about.

I first met Brian in 1988, when I was driving taxis in Christchurch. Brian was a passenger in my taxi and somehow we got on to politics.

I was militantly anti-Labour at the time. Rogernomics hadn't mollified me at all. I regarded NZ's anti-nuclear stand as rank treason (still do).

Brian was off to see Prime Minister Geoffrey Palmer on Labour Party business. We had a long conversation on politics and I found him very well informed and a sincere and decent man. He was the kind of Labour guy I could relate to-a small "l" liberal, with a distrust of power and real empathy for people.

We resolved to keep in touch and I think I sent him some anti-commo or anti-Labour material.

I didn't know it at the time, but Brian was part of the pro-Roger Douglas faction of Labour. He left the party he'd joined in his teens a couple of years later.

We got briefly in touch again in 1993 when Brian was running the Campaign for Better Government-fighting against the introduction of the accursed MMP electoral system.

Our paths didn't cross again until 2003, when I finally joined the ACT Party. Brian saw my name on the list and he and Heather Roy came to visit me, next time they were in Christchurch.

They asked me to stand for the vacant chairmanship of the Christchurch Central electorate, which began my serious involvement with the party.

I've worked closely with Brian since then and have come to respect him tremendously.

His political skills and knowledge are second to none, but that's not what I most admire about him.

Like many ex-Labour ACT people, Brian cares about real "social justice". Brian is hard core-he is a revolutionary. He doesn't want to tinker with a corrupt system, he wants to turn it on its head.

Brian wants the benefits of freedom to touch every decent individual in New Zealand.

He wants every household, whether in Remmers, Otara or Takapuna to prosper. He wants every parent to be able to educate their kids to the highest standard. He wants every working person to be able to retire in dignity and comfort. He wants every Kiwi to enjoy world class health care. He wants every New Zealander to progress as far as their ability and drive take them.

Brian wants a free society so that all individuals may live the best life possible.

Brian Nicolle is a self described "rightwing leftie".

I've got to say, that partially due to his influence-I've become one too.

Thanks Brian.

Good luck in the elections.

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