The Hawke's Bay Seat 1884 - Unexpected Candidate: Arthur Desmond.
Another Richmond has unexpectedly appeared in the field as a candidate for the Hawke's Bay seat, in the person of a Mr. Desmond. Very few of the electors whose votes Mr. Desmond solicits have ever heard of him, but he will doubtless make himself better known before the polling-day.
We cannot lay claim to an intimate acquaintance with the new candidate, but from what we know of his political views, coupled with his published address, we can hazard a guess at the line Mr. Desmond will take. We believe that he is an honest but violent ultra-Radical, who would, with the best intentions, ruin New Zealand if he had his own way.
He is an ardent advocate of nationalization of the land and goes the whole length of proposing to confiscate all property in the land without recompensing the proprietors.
He is one of those enthusiasts who would cut off a man's leg and try to convince him by an argument that he could walk better and faster with one leg than with two, and who would be honestly indignant at the perversity of the victim if he ventured to differ with the operator.
He will, if we mistake not, be an extreme Greyite, ready to follow Sir George in whatever iconoclastic course the old warrior may adopt. He is capable of seeing only one side of an argument, but he sees that side with double powers of vision.
Though he gains his living as a drover, he indicates in his address that he is an uncompromising hater of all sheep farmers, and even the innocent wool- bearers themselves come in for a minor share of abuse.
He is a determined foe of the liquor traffic, and would probably go the whole length of prohibition. Whatever view appears to him right he will advocate in the most extreme manner, quite blind to any injustice which might be done to others by the carrying of his views into practice. He has just that amount of knowledge which Pope defines as a dangerous thing.
He has read much but digested little. Though we have never heard him speak in public, we know him to be a fluent writer, whose arguments would be more effective if they had less of the blunderbuss character about them.
He will not be elected. With such an outrageous program of wholesale robbery and destruction, Mr. Desmond has not the ghost of a chance of election. He may, however, and probably will, alienate sufficient support from one candidate to turn the scale in favor of the other, and this influence will be in favor of Mr. Sutton and antagonistic to Captain Russell.
We do not suppose that Mr. Desmond's object is merely to injure Captain Russell; doubtless, he believes that he has a chance of election. He says that he has been invited to come forward. If he goes to the poll we fear that he will find that his backers have deserted him and that he has been used as a cat's-paw to pull the chestnuts out of the fire for Mr. Sutton.
Hawke's Bay Herald. JUNE 26, 1884.