Matthew Hooton wonders who NZ’s Donald Trump is:
“Who is our Donald Trump?”
It’s a question with which political pundits will bore voters over the 10 months to New Zealand’s election.
Top of the list will be Winston Peters, who, at 71, is just a year older than Mr Trump and is planning his last and most audacious attempt to become prime minister. There are of course parallels. On immigration, globalisation and using hyperbole to make a point, it may even be more accurate to describe Mr Trump as the US’ Mr Peters. Both run shambolic yet somehow effective political machines.
However, having first entered Parliament in 1978 when Jimmy Carter was in the White House, and having served as deputy prime minister, treasurer and foreign minister, Mr Peters is not even close to being Mr Trump’s anti-politician. Besides, he ultimately lacks the necessary malevolence. The Peters grin is no Trump scowl.
Winston Peters is the swamp, he epitomises the swamp. But Winston is as cunning as a shit-house rat.
Scowling is more Andrew Little’s style. Like Mr Peters, the Labour leader’s attacks on “ethnic” chefs and people with Chinese-sounding names, and his smashing of the bipartisan consensus on trade strategy, make him more precursor to Mr Trump than successor. Like Mr Trump, he also heads into election year largely written off by the public and media.
But having been a politician all his life, as president of the NZ University Students’ Association in his 20s, a union boss in his 30s and president of the Labour Party in his 40s, Mr Little cannot possibly claim to be an outsider. He owes his place in Parliament and his leadership entirely to the machinations of the Wellington union elite rather than any popular appeal. He has never won an election involving ordinary voters, Labour Party members or even his own colleagues.
Labour’s deputy leader Annette King is keen to tar John Key with the Trump brush, based on his success in business, the ponytail incident and his lack of traditional oratorical skills. But Mr Key’s okey-dokey style of politics is the antithesis of Mr Trump’s and there is no doubt the prime minister is more comfortable in the company of liberal democrats such as Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton than he ever will be with Mr Trump. Moreover, while Mr Key has become financially successful, Ruth Key was unable to provide her boy with any of the privileges Fred Trump could for his, while clearly instilling better values.
Andrew little doesn’t have the brains of Donald Trump, nor the business acumen. He is bought and paid for by the union movement and Donald Trump’s main claim was that he couldn’t be bought.
Annette King would pronounce that, we have just experienced the full moon and when that happens anything is likely to spew from her mouth.
Gareth Morgan most certainly isn’t our Trump, he is a just another cult leader looking for the gullible to lead.