Don Brash has withdrawn his support for the Civil Union Bill. Needless to say, I'm disappointed. While I don't like Brash's economic policies, his talk of being a social liberal almost had me convinced that he cared about freedom in a social as well as an economic sence. But then, he's already shown his willingness to betray fundamental human rights when there are votes on the line, and his willingness to flat-out lie to stir racial hatred for political advantage - so why should we be at all surprised that he's willing to sell out gays?
In a way, this is worse than the mindless bigotry of the Campaign Against Civil Unions, because Brash knows better; he has consciously chosen to pander to bigots to gain votes. But we should not conclude from this that Brash is not a "man of principle" - in fact, he has one very clear principle - tax cuts for the rich - and he is willing to sacrifice anything and everything if it will help him achieve that. Even when it tramples all over other principles that he purports to hold dear.
The gay community should remember this. When push came to shove, National's leader threw them to the Christians in the hope of getting the bigot vote. And the rest of us should remember it too, because it shows how far Brash will go for ambition.