The Fred Astaire of statesmanship

I just don’t get Winston Peters these days. I know there are a few Winston supporters on this blog, but please hear me out. In spite of only winning 7% of the vote, in a twist that only happens under MMP, he got to choose the government. He was able to extract utu against his foes in National for his belief that they had revealed the details of his superannuation overpayment.

I don’t know why he is so upset about that, if indeed he is. He did everything right by paying it all back straight away and it did his reputation no damage at all. Metirea should have taken a leaf out of his book. And yes, if it is true that members of the National party were guilty of doing this, it was a dirty trick. But forgive me for pointing out that Winston is the longest survivor in New Zealand politics, and that politics is a very dirty game. You cannot tell me he has not done a few quick steps of his own at times during his political career. Of course he has. He wouldn’t be here if he hadn’t.

These days, in spite of the fact that he is about to achieve his biggest dream of finally becoming prime minister, Winston just comes across as a sad and bitter old man. His opportunity for a real political legacy is here. He’s had a few opportunities before but has always blown them. He may be busily telling everyone that he could have been prime minister in the 1990s if he had played his cards right, but I don’t think many of us really believe that. I assume we are talking the Jim Bolger government here and, quite honestly, Winston and his suited sunglassed Gang of Four were never going anywhere near the halls of real power. He may have thought so, but nobody else did.

Today Winston was in Rotorua. This from NZ Herald: Quote:

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters stopped by Rotorua for a public meeting with supporters and addressed all things from the first six months in government, to Jacinda Ardern’s maternity leave and Dancing with the Stars. End quote.

Another opportunity for Winston to be nasty and spiteful. Remember this?

Yes. This is Winston being totally ungracious at Steven Joyce’s valedictory speech.

Whether you like Steven Joyce or not, there is a standard of behaviour that is expected here. Quote:

He addressed all issues from housing, infrastructure, tax and immigration, citing NZ First’s plans to reduce immigration by 30,000 people per year.

“This is not an anti-immigration speech. It’s an anti stupid immigration policy speech,” he said. End quote.

This is interesting. Winston campaigned on reducing immigration, and so, for that matter, did Labour. And yet, more than six months in, immigration numbers are as high as they ever were under National, and all the problems that follow are still there: insufficient housing, insufficient infrastructure and low wages. If anything, things are worse than they were. To date, there is no clear immigration policy from the new government. So why he referred to an “anti-stupid immigration speech” when his own government’s immigration policy has not changed anything at all, no one knows. Except for Winston.

I considered voting for Winston, partly because of his immigration policy. But, in the end, I didn’t. I’m so glad I didn’t vote for him because, as he has done many times before, he got into government and then completely forgot all of his promises. I just don’t know how people keep falling for his lies, but I live in hope that they never will again. I can’t wait to see the old fox trot off to Northland, to spend his days in whisky-soaked splendour, and I hope it will be happening soon.

Of course, as this is Winston we are talking about, he had to throw a nasty little barb in there somewhere.  Quote:

Although he was critical of media coverage during the election Peters saved his greatest criticism for ACT Party leader and Dancing with the Stars contestant David Seymour.

“The Fred Astaire of the South Pacific. What a frightful sight that is.” End quote.

Totally uncalled for, Winston. David Seymour may not be the greatest dancer on the planet, but he is doing the best he can. Vicious comments aimed at other members of parliament are unbecoming of a prime minister-in-waiting.

But then, why am I surprised? Labour has often been described as the ‘nasty party’ on this blog, and Winston is dancing to their tune. But Winston, of all people, should know that pettiness and nasty comments outside of the house do nothing to make the people love you. It just shows the true person, underneath it all.

I, for one, Winston, will be very glad to see you waltzing off into the sunset at the end of your career. If you can’t control your nastiness, then you really do need to move on.


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Accountant. Boring. Loves tax. Needs to get out more. Loves the environment, but hates the Greens. Has been called a dinosaur. Wears it with pride.

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