Did two Nat back benchers screw it all up yesterday?

Yesterday all National party MPs were called down for a caucus meeting. A board meeting was set up via conference call after that.

National was, for all intents and purposes, expecting to remain in government.

So what went wrong?  

Well, as best as I can ascertain two National party backbench MPs with pretensions and an entitlement attitude decided that a deal with Winston Peters where ministerial positions they thought they deserved for themselves were going to be given to NZ First MPs was no deal at all. If they couldn’t have jobs, then no one could have them.

They leaked details to the media,  just as they were waiting for Winston Peters to come down and announce a deal, suggesting that the demands were too steep.

In doing so they forced Winston Peters to do an end run and go back to Labour and seal the deal he wanted. Reports from my sources are that Labour gave him everything he wanted and then some.

When details finally emerge of the scope of the deal, and when things play out over the next six months there will be more than a few in Labour who will wonder if it was worth selling their soul to Winston Peters.

They can thank those two self centred and greedy back benchers who forced Winston’s hand.

They can also thank Bill English, and his negotiation team, who treated NZ First arrogantly from the very first negotiation meeting. I’m reliably told that they exuded a born to rule attitude, and offered up what they thought was just enough to NZ First to satisfy them. Winston was interested in policy and they thought he wanted baubles.

They forgot that Bill English shanked Winston Peters in 1992. They forgot that senior National people leaked private superannuation details. They forgot all the things they’ve said about Winston over the years they were in opposition.

But most of all they forgot that the worst day in government is always better than the best day in opposition.

Those two back bench MPs have never been in opposition. They will find out just how dreadful it all is now. Worse for them there are plenty of National MPs who know they were the ones who leaked.

National could still have been the government were it not for the arrogance and stupidity of their leader, the sycophancy of their members and MP’s and the idiocy of two greedy self-centred back benchers.

One thing is for certain, if Bill English could’t buy the most buyable politician in New Zealand then he didn’t deserve to remain as Prime Minister. He should have been able to seal the deal, but then he never has…and never will.


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.