Lately I’ve been paying far more attention to what he and New Zealand First are saying. Sometimes I cringe, just like in the old days. But more often I find myself listening and nodding.
Not because I want to rush out and vote for him. You need to trust me when I say I make a point of not caring too deeply about ‘democracy’ in these dying days of that word.
I listen mainly because he seems to be making more and more sense of the world we are finding ourselves in than, say, the three major parties.
The mere fact that, and on a regular basis, he uses a Voldemort word – neoliberalism – where others never publicly do, tells me he is going to go far in 2017.
There’s a huge part of the electorate that wants that word, and everything it stands for shouted from the rooftops via a megaphone.
There’s also a huge part of the political establishment who simply won’t utter it. You know, not wanting to scare the horses and all that.
Except the establishment doesn’t seem to appreciate that the horses have already bolted, dragging their riders by the stirrups through a rattlesnake-infested landscape of money and cowboys.
As we know all too well, Labour is failing to fire. It is less about their leader – although it doesn’t help – and more about the fact that the times have emphatically moved away from them. Their marriage to the Greens may funk them up a bit but that’s a short-term fix to a possibly terminal problem.
Before the howls of indignation and denial from die-hard Labour supporters crank up, do you remember how you all loved him when he won Northland?
Willful blindness to both changing demographics and a fast-changing New Zealand is what cost you so dearly in the last two elections. Your messaging is off. Winston’s messaging is on.
Winston is a sly old fox, and he knows the vacuum left by a far-left union-driven Labour party, and an ideologically confused National party.
On top of that, he’s running with the slogan “It is common sense”. And dammit if we don’t find ourselves nodding more often than we did in the past.
I really don’t see myself voting NZ First, but the fact that he seems to be saying more and more of what I think is right is in itself in indication there is an opportunistic political shift going on.
Winston is genuinely gunning to lead the third largest party in parliament. The rock steady polls put that as a better than even chance.
– Rachel Stewart, Stuff