HoS on Peters

August 31st, 2008 at 8:47 am by David Farrar

Every columnist is talking Peters, so I’ll take them all together. First of all Bill Ralston:

Meanwhile, that same morning, Winston was somewhere in Auckland in his ministerial limousine going stratospheric. For a man who has spent weeks dodging questions from the “meerkat” media he did something extraordinary. He rang Radio New Zealand and thundered he would convince Clark to keep him and “she will know these allegations are vile, malevolent, evil and wrong”.

This is again hypocrisy of the highest degree. When National was investigated by the SFO in 2002, for a cheque which passed through a trust account, Peters got up in Parliament and alleged a former Party President had stolen money from the party, and took a “cut” to bail out his company. Now that is a vile, malevolent, evil allegation if I have heard one.So naturally Trevor Mallard also jumped on the bandwagon and repeated it. There was no one at all in the media or public suggesting such a thing – the possibility was invented by Peters and Mallard.

While all Peters has to do at this stage is explain why donations intended for his party are not recorded as having reached it. The $25,000 donation from Bob Jones should have been declared either under his own name, or under the name of the Spencer Trust.

So far the participants he has identified in this “vile conspiracy” against him include me, the NZ Herald, the Dominion Post, TVNZ, TV3, Radio NZ, the Radio Network, the SFO, Act, National, and big business (except for those big businessmen who have funded him).

Hey don’t forget us bloggers. I want to be part of the conspiracy! Is there a joining fee?

Deborah Coddington has a novel definition of the moral high ground:

The Minister of Foreign Affairs could easily have sashayed offshore to some vitally important meeting, and left the Prime Minister to stave off the attacks.

Which she does admirably, I must say, shrugging away the poke, poke, poke from John Key, claiming the moral high ground by conceding a conflict of evidence given to the Privileges Committee by Owen Glenn and Peters.

So admitting that she knew for six months Peters was lying, and admitting it just before Owen Glenn is about to reveal you knew, is claiming the moral high ground? Well I choose the moral low ground then.

Coddington also suggests a deal with Labout to give to NZ First:

But they’ve overlooked a new development. is standing in Rimutaka, Paul Swain’s old electorate.

After Winston, Mark is NZ First’s best-known MP, and has a large following. He’s NZ First through and through – tough on crime, anti-foreign investment, against sale of state assets, working-class hero, bad boy made good. He’s also a bloody nice guy and with a careful campaign, and has a good chance of taking that seat.

Was this pre-arranged all along? It’s just too cute for Labour to stand a young unknown with no prospect of winning in such a safe Labour seat.

I am not sure Labour regard a member of Clark’s personal staff as a no hoper with no chance of winning. And I am also unsure how calling someone a paedophile under parliamentary privilege sits with being a bloody nice guy.

Kerre Woodham opines:

In all cases, Peters has held up his hands and protested, like Sergeant Schultz, that he knows nothing. Bob Jones said Winston asked for some dosh at a party; Winston says that’s not what he remembers.

Owen Glenn says Winston rang him and asked him for a donation towards his fighting fund; Winston says that is not his recollection. At all times, Winston plays the victim card.

Actually Peters is now more like Colonel Klink with better suited for the role of “I know nothing” Schulz, as it turns out she knew all along.

I used to think the world of Winston, but it’s been a long time since I found him principled or amusing. His posturing that New Zealand First is the only party not to sully its hands with trust funds and big money donations can be seen for what it is – bullshit.

And yet it was all so unnecessary. If Peters had been honest and upfront from day one, who would have cared?

Since 1996, NZ First has declared almost no major donors. Doing so would harm their PR crafted image of being anti big business, when the truth is they were majorly funded by big business.

Finally we have the Herald on Sunday editorial:

Regardless of the outcome of the SFO investigation, Peters will remain a man in a political mire of his own creation. The allegations in Parliament by Act leader Rodney Hide that NZ First was paid by Simunovich Fisheries in return for Peters’ backing off claims that the allocation of scampi quota was corrupt have been around for so long that a high-level independent inquiry is called for. But on the matter of the donation by expatriate billionaire Owen Glenn, which is still being investigated by Parliament’s Privileges Committee, Peters continues to be evasive and pedantic. Glenn may have shown himself to be unreliable as to the details of times and places but he did give $100,000 and described it in an email as given “to NZ First”. If Peters did not know that on the day that the email first surfaced, he should have taken steps to discover and divulge all the facts immediately. Instead, he said everyone else was mistaken or a liar.

The overlooks the fact that at a minimum Peters knew Glenn thought he had donated back in February 2008, when Clark told him so.

National leader John Key, plainly sensing that public patience is exhausted, made a bold move this week in saying that Peters would not be a cabinet minister in a National-led Government – by extension ruling out NZ First as a coalition partner.

This is less a challenge to Peters than it is to Prime Minister Helen Clark who, whatever she might say about the need to be fair, has known about the Glenn allegation for six months. In giving Peters enough rope to hang himself, she may have put herself in the noose as well.

Deservedly.

This week, the suggestion emerged that Ron Mark may stand as NZ First’s candidate in Rimutaka. A victory there could get the party two, or even three MPs – one of them the leader. Were Labour to connive at that, urging tactical voting to allow a NZ First victory in the hope of getting the numbers to form a coalition, Clark would confirm the suspicion she is now quite properly under: that she will turn a blind eye to Peters’ shenanigans to hold on to power.

The Rimutaka candidate, , works for Clark. Is it possible Clark will instruct him to endorse Ron Mark if they get desperate to ensure Winston’s survival?

She must match Key’s boldness by cutting Peters adrift and naming the election day. A campaign that consigns NZ First and its leader to the pages of history will allow the country to focus on important issues.

More importantly, it will treat Peters’ childish attention-seeking with the derision it deserves.

That would be nice. More likely is Clark will put Peters back into his portfolios as soon as she can.

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25 Responses to “HoS on Peters”

  1. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    then there is the evidence of a concerted conspiracy against peters..

    ..that is hard to ignore..

    http://whoar.co.nz/2008/indeedthe-editor-of-the-dominion-post-even-admitted-on-thursday-that-he-and-his-media-mates-were-out-to-get-winston/

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  2. reid (15,917 comments) says:

    Whereas the evidence supporting the allegations is easy to ignore?

    eh…

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  3. Lindsay Addie (1,129 comments) says:

    This from Winston’s blog:

    “One of the biggest problems we have in New Zealand is that we judge the morality of larceny in accordance with the scale of it. Low socio-economic individuals who find themselves on the wrong side of the law are dealt with more harshly than those who take tens of millions in shonky deals and set up family trusts to hide their assets. In fact, in some cases, the unscrupulous rich are held up as role models of our society. These people have the cheek to hold themselves up as true pillars of the community, when they are really part of the rotten foundations.”

    Hat tip to roarprawn.

    Peters is nothing but a hypocrite.

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  4. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    you mean those allegations soon to be discounted by the serious fraud office..?

    ..for me..the ‘money-quote’ from this whole thing..and a hypocritical apogee of sorts..

    ..came from (2005 natty ‘bag-man’) john key..

    …”i am sickened by the smell of money..and anonymous donations”

    ..(that one had me lifting my jaw off the floor..

    ..and nobody has topped that yet..

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  5. radvad (661 comments) says:

    And one continues to wonder what Peters has got over Helen Clark.

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  6. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,790 comments) says:

    He must have something extraordinarily damaging to hold over Clark. Something which would prevent her from moving to Turtle Bay.

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  7. Lindsay Addie (1,129 comments) says:

    You’re probably right Adolf.

    Key should on Tuesday move a Motion of No-Confidence in the Government, that will force the other parties to show their true colors. The Hive are predicting an election on October 18th. I reckon they’ll be right.

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  8. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    this whole media/peters witch-hunt thing..

    ..is fast turning into..in the eyes of many..and/but especially nz first voters..

    nothing more than..

    ..the loathsome pursuing the(ir) loathed..

    ..phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  9. Rakaia George (313 comments) says:

    Poor poor Winston. Didn’t anyone ever tell him to be nice to people on the way up, ‘cos you’re going to have to see them all on the way back down? Good on everyone who’s taking the chance to get even – Politics on the Orient Express anyone?

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  10. convicted radical (63 comments) says:

    Re-election by stealth!

    If I was a Rimutaka constituent, I would be doing everything in my power to get the word out there to inform the electorate.

    It is quite a cunning plan by NZ Last to stand an ex-military man in a seat with a large military camp, not to mention a large number who work in the defence building in Wellington, AND a significant number of retired serviceman – not to mention their families. Then there are the retired, and I havent even played the race card for what is a very middle class (I almost said bogan) area.

    Marks, despite his shortcomings, has distance between himslf and Peters and could be seen as acceptable candidate. Unfortunately, WP is above him on the list.

    If you know ANYONE who is in the electorate, make sure they have the full story, or they will be hoodwinked by typical NZ Last strategy.

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  11. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    no adolf..

    ..you are ignoring a key player in this..and to my mind..at least part of the reason clark seems assured peters will return..

    ..is his lawyer peter williams..

    ..he is someone who clark will take at their word..

    ..and his emphatic assertions of case unproven..

    ..would mean more to clark than the advice of many..

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  12. radvad (661 comments) says:

    Is that the same Peter Williams who calls the law requiring parties to declare donations “rubbish”. This is a lawyer sworn to uphold the law of the land. He and Peters are natural bed mates.

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  13. Glutaemus Maximus (2,207 comments) says:

    Ravdad

    “And one continues to wonder what Peters has got over Helen Clark.”

    CERTAINLY WASN”T HIS LEG!

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  14. slightlyrighty (2,496 comments) says:

    Philu.

    Just because people are out to get you doesn’t mean you don’t deserve it.

    And with regard to Marks standing in Rimutaka. This will only split the center-left vote. I predict that national have a good chance of taking this seat.

    As to Clark taking people at their word Phil, LOL! She took Winston at his word as well as I recall.

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  15. Paul Marsden (986 comments) says:

    Ravdad. Peter Williams (like Henry), is going to have his reputation sullied too, if he dosen’t pull his head in and desist from thinking his fellow NZ’rs are idiots.

    You’re not in a courtroom now Mr. Williams, you’re in the court of public opinion.

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  16. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    (sigh..!)..endemic ‘missing of the point’..eh slight..?

    the signifigance is that clark is caretaking his portfolios..not re-allocating them..

    ..and leads to the conclusion she expects the s.f.o.office investigation to come to nought..

    ..and..(sigh)..until conclusive evidence of wrongdoing..as prime minister she is compelled to ‘take rthe word’ of any minister..

    ..you are comparing apples and oranges..

    ..phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  17. slightlyrighty (2,496 comments) says:

    Phil.

    The fact that Clark was ‘compelled’ to take Winston at his word is a convenient fallacy. In Parliament, in the debating chamber, that would be correct.

    To take Winston solely at his word, in her office, when she was in possesion of information that directly contradicted his statement without making efforts to confirm the veracity of EITHER account speaks to a level of conduct far below what I would expect of the PM, and her office. Given recent discoveries, I am sure she would have played this issue differently in hindsight.

    Did we have conclusive evidence in the case of TPF, or DBP? or were they cut in the purpose of political expediencey? Was Dover Samuels so gently treated?

    What makes Peters so special? or as Chris Trotter puts it, who benefits?

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  18. Ross Miller (1,661 comments) says:

    Mark for Rimutaka … old story being peddled by Mark. Ignors the simple fact that the good people of that electorate ain’t stupid and won’t like being instructed how to vote. National has won this seat before and a Mark spoiler could gift the seat to them again on a split vote.

    But underpinning this all is that a vote for NZF is a vote for Labour is damaged goods.

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  19. Falafulu Fisi (2,176 comments) says:

    Michael Laws has a nice article here (Michael Laws: Peters versus the media), about our media. This reminds of the fakafaihoosi (idiot) journo from TVNZ, Chris Faafoi who stalked Brian Connell in Parliament at the begining of the year. Connell told him to piss off, and Faafoi deserved to be treated like that. Guyon Espiner is also an idiot. His style of interview is confrontation, up to a point that you can’t hear the point being made by the subject he is interviewing, since he asks a question, then he answers it himself (opionated) in a clearly preemptive manner to entrap the interviewee.

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  20. burt (7,793 comments) says:

    Has anybody ran with the thought that the tax cut for the racing industry in the 2006 budget might not be unrelated to the donations Winston received from the Vela family?

    The first thing Winston screams about tax cuts is that they are to appease the big business backers – perhaps he’s been right about that assertion all along ?

    EDIT: Winston, if you are thinking of running a preemptive defense to that line of thinking remember the old saying – Don’t run with scissors !

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  21. clintheine (1,563 comments) says:

    It is rather wonderful watching PhilU defend Winston… I never thought I’d see the day! I guess his love of the current administration knows no bounds.

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  22. Lindsay Addie (1,129 comments) says:

    You got to love the spin coming out of Peter Williams QC. He waltzes up to the meeting with the SFO yesterday and then comes out gives some spiel that he’s pretty much proved Winnie innocent!

    That raises some issues:
    1. If it was that simple why didn’t Winnie release the same info months ago?
    2. If Winnie himself is innocent then who is to say that someone else in the party isn’t?
    3. Does Peter Williams QC really think that we all are silly enough to fall for idea that the whole inquiry will be over in a matter of a week or so?
    4. Should a person who doesn’t seem to have much of a clue about his own party’s financial affairs be seen as fit to be a Minister of the Crown?
    5. Does Helen Clark need enemies seeing that she has Winnie for a friend?
    6. Doesn’t this whole fiasco prove that a complete overhaul of the laws involving the funding of political parties is going to have to be an urgent priority for the incoming National led Government?

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  23. Michael E (274 comments) says:

    If Helen Clark urges Rimutaka Labour voters to support Ron Mark then the happiest person in world will be Richard Whiteside (and I might be a close second).

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  24. emmess (1,368 comments) says:

    And just supposing in the infintinesable off chance that Mark did win Rimutaka.
    The first thing he would do would be to launch a coup against Winnie

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  25. getstaffed (9,189 comments) says:

    Ross Miller re Rimutaka – “…the good people of that electorate ain’t stupid and won’t like being instructed how to vote”.

    I hope you’re right. However my fear is that there are a few too many uninformed voters, in a few too many electorates around NZ. The prospect of seeing Winnie slide back into bauble-land needs to be as acceptable as bacon burgers at a Bar Mitzvah to the good people of Rimutaka. I’ll do my bit and spread the message.

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