It is often said that with age comes wisdom.
Unless, of course, you're Don Brash. The only thing he has been developing since stepping down from National in 2006 is his ego.
Brash is convinced the country is going in the wrong direction. He yearns to lead us to economic salvation, because he considers himself a visionary who knows what the nation needs. If slightly sounds slightly mad, slightly religious, bear in mind his strong Presbyterian upbringing. He's been conditioned to follow his faith rather than his head.
Few others share Brash's almost-religious fervour for economic reform. Brash's 2025 Taskforce work has been widely panned, and most of the Taskforce's recommendations are based on little more than ideology.
They are also completely politically unpalatable.
Brash may be hoping that a political party led by him holds the balance of power and can extort concessions from National. But that hope looks ever more fanciful, because on present polling John Key won't need the support of ACT or another ACT-like party after the next election.
So it's likely that even if Brash leads a party after the next election he will remain sidelined, unable to implement the sweeping, savage reforms he yearns to inflict upon us.
Thankfully for us, ACT's leadership doesn't seem so keen on Brash's takeover offer. I can completely understand that, even if the offer may well be the only thing saving ACT from political extinction. Brash isn't even prepared to join ACT, or to resign his membership of National, yet he is talking about leading ACT or another party to be formed.
Still, on another level it makes perfect sense that Brash should think political parties can be bought and sold, and that he just needs to swoop in with a compelling offer. When you see the world as a marketplace then everything has its price. But if I were on the ACT board, even allowing for the fact that it would mean I held some mighty odd political opinions, I'd probably consider it just too painful an insult to bear. No wonder the ACT President isn't singing Brash's praises.
The likely rejection of Brash by ACT means the chances of a Brash party going head to head with ACT are high. If that occurs it could well result in the destruction of both parties. Even if John Banks runs in Epsom for a Brash party, with Hide also running the net result may just be a National win. I think I'd actually find myself cheerleading for National if the Epsom race became a three-way one.
Brash's prescription for this country is a ruinous one and should be avoided at all costs. Helen Clark famously called Don Brash "cancerous and corrosive".
But Clark was wrong. People sometimes survive cancer. It's hard to see the fragile New Zealand economy surviving a dose of what Dr Brash is offering.