Winston Peters and Tosh

Karl du Fresne writes about Winston Peters and tosh…of which Peters is a world renowned exponent of.

SOME people are in the fortunate position of being able to write or say almost anything and get away with it.

Take art critics, for example. Most contemporary art is, almost by definition, incapable of being explained coherently. It follows that a critic can interpret it any way he or she chooses and sound authoritative, at least to the gullible.

Often the artists themselves have no idea what their works mean. Some of the more honest ones admit it.

The critic therefore has total freedom to decide what the artist’s creation represents – and if the critique is phrased in words whose exact meaning is impossible to pin down, so much the better.

Much the same applies to wine writers, some of whom are in danger of displacing art critics as the most infamous creators of pretentious tosh.

Because the flavour, aroma and texture of wine is subtle, nuanced and hard to capture in words, a wine writer can use outrageously fanciful descriptive terms and appear knowledgeable. I know, because I used to be one.

Tosh writers all of them…but the best of them all?   

Then there’s Winston Peters. Even art critics and wine writers should bow to him as the acknowledged master of verbal flummery.

Words cease to have any meaning when they tumble out of Mr Peters’ mouth. The sounds that emerge resemble recogniseable language but they reveal nothing.

It follows that it’s usually pointless trying to get sense out of him. An interview with him is as futile as a dog chasing its tail. Yet journalists keep on trying, as John Campbell bravely did on Campbell Live a couple of weeks ago.

Campbell is a very accomplished broadcaster, but perhaps he needs to be gently reminded that Albert Einstein defined insanity as trying the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.


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  • Col

    Over the years I have just stopped listing to Winston, as you say, nothing comes out of his mouth that makes sense. I assume some of the old idiots who vote for him, can understand it, as I can’t.

    • bennidawg

      I draw your attention to a definition from the NHS (U.K) ‘Dementia will gradually affect the way the person communicates. Their
      ability to present rational ideas and to reason clearly will change.’

      • Col

        Well said, still laughing, that’s Winston too a T.

    • IWantToBeLikeMallardOneDay

      It sounds like alzheimers induced drivel so it resonates with a certain demographic within the population.

  • Timboh

    After listening to him for years, it is possible to say what he says before he opens his mouth. He recycles the same phrases time after time in different order, context and meaning. One of my favorites (?) is ‘with the greatest of respect..” usually followed by statements that show he has no respect at all for the listener/interviewer.

    • Richard

      With the greatest of respect,your malicious attack has been demonstrably orchestrated by foreign nationals who have no standing in this country

  • peterwn

    You mean that Winston may say something like:
    “In order to consumate the all-pervasive theme of hermetic anarchy, he habitually uses angular fragmentation of pigments”
    (Peter Sellars’ spoof on art critics scripted by Frank Muir / Denis Norden).

  • blokeintakapuna

    Yep – an artists popularity / success is directly related to how they can spin a tale of “art and artistry” to the gullible – and have them pay a hefty price for junk.

  • Elitist Tory

    When I first read the title of this blog post I thought it was about Peter Tosh, the musician haha!

    • thor42

      So did I – DOH! :)

      Winston *should* try to lay down some reggae sounds….

  • tarkwin

    Can’t moan, I’m a sales rep – I do it for a living.

  • Micky

    Why any of the msm interview the old drunk is beyond me. It always ends up in frustration for the interviewer, and the viewers are none the wiser, cause he never says anything.

  • Whanga_Cynic

    I thought Karl’s thoughts were great until I got to “Campbell is a very accomplished broadcaster” = WTF?