Editorials on Peters

September 24th, 2008 at 8:10 am by David Farrar

The three major editorials are all on Peters today. First the Herald:

It is stating the obvious to say Winston Peters should have resigned as a minister some time ago. And that he should go now, after the censure delivered by Parliament’s . He will not, of course, and, the New Zealand First leader may even see a silver lining in that dark cloud. The Prime Minister has said she will not reinstate him as Foreign Minister, but that he will remain a minister without portfolio. As such, Mr Peters is free to hit the campaign trail with the salary and perks of a minister but none of the responsibilities.

All baubles, no work.

The Prime Minister sought to construct one by calling the committee “tainted” and suggesting most of its members were politically motivated. The criticism was tawdry. No representatives on the committee had, out of necessity, a more highly politicised view of Mr Peters than those of Labour.

And she admits she has not even read the report.

Now The Press which has a simple headline of “Sack Peters”:

The seriousness of the report means that Peters should not be reinstated as foreign minister, a position in which the qualities of credibility and trustworthiness are crucial. So why is it that for the next two months or more, until the shape of the next government is known, he is allowed to retain his ministerial salary and the other perks of the job? The only answer is that it is still politically expedient for Labour to let him cling to the baubles of office.

I think they are worried if they take his baubles off him, he will remove their ones.

Peters, after weeks of self-righteous bluster and confusing problems of recollection, reacted in typical fashion. He slammed the committee members who found against him, claiming that they had prejudged the issue for political reasons and applied retrospectively a new interpretation of Parliament’s rules. This, according to Peters, had “echoes of Zimbabwe” and, oddly enough, he was right.

In Zimbabwe, after all, there is a certain political leader whose stock response to any criticism is to clamp down on the news media and to claim that he is the victim of murky conspiracies. And that same leader has exhibited a grim determination to hold on to the trappings of power.

We’re just fortuntate that most of his supporters are too elderly to invade farms!

The Government has clearly taken a gamble. It believes that Peters will return to Parliament after this year’s election, courtesy of him persuading 5 per cent of voters to believe him, and that with his support in some capacity Labour could lead a fourth consecutive administration. But it is far more likely that voters will be aghast that Peters has not been sacked or stripped of his baubles and judge Labour itself to be guilty by association.

As the saying goes, a vote for Labour is a vote for Winston in Government and a vote for Winston is a vote for a Labour-led Government.

Finally the Dom Post:

Pared back to its essentials, what that means is that the committee did not believe the evidence presented to it by Mr Peters and his lawyer Brian Henry. There is another, shorter, word to describe what the committee made of their testimony.

They lied. Many many times in fact.

The committee was presented with two conflicting versions of events. One was internally consistent and supported in material parts by documentation; the other was subject to frequent revision and unsupported by documents. Mr Peters and his lawyer were given multiple opportunities to come up with a version of events that fitted plausibly with the known facts. Their inability to do so left the majority of the committee with no option but to conclude their evidence was unreliable.

Except for Labour First MPs.

In Mr Peters’ case, Miss Clark has the power to demonstrate that such conduct is not acceptable for ministers in her government. That she has not done so because she harbours the hope that support from NZ First might enable her to form a fourth government after the election is a matter of regret.

You have to wonder if there is any conduct that Clark would sack Peters for. Any at all?

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37 Responses to “Editorials on Peters”

  1. OECD rank 22 kiwi (2,752 comments) says:

    I imagine Clark would sack Peters if he walked away from the government. Just for spite.

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  2. democracymum (648 comments) says:

    Just heard Paul Henry’s appalling interview this morning with John Key.
    He was bullying, confrontational and at one point lost control completely and shouted at John

    “Helen is a better politician than you are”
    Well Paul I am sure John Key is a better husband than you are too.

    Paul is obviously being overworked by his TVNZ bosses and has obviously forgotten the basics of interviewing.
    (Like listening to the answer before interrupting with another inane question)
    He sounded a lot like Winston Peters. I wonder if that is because their egos are the same size?

    Given that TV1 cannot seem to “find” the Prime Minister or Winston to even interview they appear to be
    hell bent on going after Key.

    The share issue is a pathetic diversion (whether he had 50 or 100 shares 5 years ago which he sold for a loss is of little consequence)
    And the public can see it for what it is. Ironically John fronting up to these media pitbulls is only gaining him more sympathy in the public eye.

    I bet Helen’s little “department of deceit” didn’t factor that into their research.

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  3. david (2,557 comments) says:

    Bedding the CEO’s wife would be career limiting in most organisations but hard to apply that criteria here. So Winston is bulletproof it seems.

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  4. Nefarious (533 comments) says:

    I was thinking along the same lines david but you’re right. I don’t think Tizard is Winnocent’s type. A little big boned.

    [DPF: And that is 20 demerits]

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  5. Bob100 (8 comments) says:

    This is the time for our intrepid investigators from all the media to ask one simple question of the smaller parties – “Given that you voted to censure WP will you support a new Government which includes WP in its cabinet?” A simply yes/no answer will reveal the likelihood of Labour getting back in.

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  6. homepaddock (408 comments) says:

    Why is she risking so much to keep him on?

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  7. Nefarious (533 comments) says:

    DPF, I’d like to cash some of my demerits in for something useful please.

    How many do I need for a sandwich toaster?

    [DPF: Heh you win the prize for most gracious recepient]

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  8. Owen McShane (1,226 comments) says:

    What dirt does Peters have on Clark?
    Peters will be fired when he finally dishes the dirt in some fit of further pique.
    Then it is game set and match – all over.

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  9. slightlyrighty (2,475 comments) says:

    Actually I quite like the term “Winnocent”. Brought a smirk to my face.

    And I actually agree with Paul Henry that Clark is a better politician than Key. I also regard that to be an insult…..to Clark. She is certainly the more manipulative of the two, and much better at the more Machiavellian traits of the art.

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  10. jcuknz (704 comments) says:

    For all the hounding of Winston Peters I wonder what the media would do if he did leave the scene …. He is one of two personailities that make politics more than just boring. Him and his chief rival or antagonist in the current scrum Rodney Hide …. all power to both of them, long may they remain with us. I’m sick of the election and the media already and it has hardly started.

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  11. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    dpf..i find it quite astonishing you are discounting/ignoring the groundswell of opinion in support for peters amongst maori..

    are you not aware of it..?

    (if in any doubt..have a look at some questiontime footage..where hide is doing his (eye-wateringly hypocritical) schtick against peters..

    ..and check out the expressions on the face of…and the body language of..the person who sits next to him..

    ..pita sharples..

    ..for your education on this groundswell..you would also be good to check out marae/eye to eye from the weekend..

    ..maori news on tv one has also noted/commented on this..

    ..and perhaps the most surprising/emphatic..was when hone harawira said peters is their ‘kaumatua’..in the house..

    ..y’see..many maori feel peters is being persecuted because he is an ‘uppity-maori’..

    ..and this campaign by the white farmers’ political parties..

    ..is poking at all those colonialism/racism wounds..

    ..and i’m picking there will be a fair bit of tactical voting from some/enough maori to ensure peters’ return..

    ..tand that labour have got behind peters..and national have persecuted..

    ..wouldn’t do much for the (already wafer-thin) support/vote for national.. from maori..

    ..you’d think..?

    you nattys have really blown it with this one..

    ..on so many levels..

    ..you are a veritable textbook of..’mistakes not to make under mmp’..

    ..eh..?

    ..phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  12. Colonel Masters (409 comments) says:

    What dirt does Peters have on Clark?

    It appears to be something that truly terrifies her – not just something that would stop her being re-elected as PM.

    Perhaps it is something that would even spoil her chances at getting that job at the UN? (So it can’t be corruption allegations as they would be a prerequisite!)

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  13. aardvark (417 comments) says:

    Apparently the march of technology posed a real problem for Parliament last night in its move to censure Peters. I’ve written about it in my blog today (second story, half way down the page).

    I guess that a motion to censure is passed so infrequently that nobody realised what effect the Snapper Card would have.

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  14. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    “..# Owen McShane (376) Vote: Add rating 2 Subtract rating 0 Says:
    September 24th, 2008 at 9:11 am

    What dirt does Peters have on Clark?
    Peters will be fired when he finally dishes the dirt in some fit of further pique.
    Then it is game set and match – all over..”

    clutching at your own particular sheet-anchor there..eh mcshane..?

    ..how quaint..!..

    ..this will happen/is an inevitability in your little universe..?..eh..?

    um..!..could you take us to the next step..?

    ..and lay out how this ‘inevitably’ will occur..?

    (btw..as a p.s..mr climate-change-denier

    ..didya hear the one about the methane..?

    …your political prognistacians are right up there with your climate-change-denial bullshit..?..eh..?..)

    http://whoar.co.nz/2008/the-methane-time-bomb/

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  15. Alice (17 comments) says:

    Helen Clark was never going to sack Winston Peters because he so much dirt on her that the public revelation of this dirt would hurt Helen Clark far more than losing an election i.e she would be sacked immediately. The SFO are probably coming across some very interesting information as they investigate NZFirst – which is making Clark uneasy.

    Helen Clark’s policy has always been to get the boot in first and ruin the credibility of any person or organistion that is poised to ruin hers. If the SFO are brave enough, they should broaden their investigation, reveal everything they have found out about Clark, interview Mike Williams under oath, and they should have a look at Labour’s book keeping.

    In just one week Clark has tryed to ruin the credibility of the SFO, the Privileges Committee and the Crown Law Office. What’s next? When Clark starts to denigrate the credibility of the Police and Inland Revenue we will know these organisations have stumbled across something she’d rather they kept hidden. What’s even more disturbing is that every single public sector organisation knows they will be attacked if they ever, even remotely, criticise the actions of her Government. The Ombudsman’s Office know this, the Police know this and every single Government Department knows this. The total sum of this is a public service that’s entire credibility is only based on how obedient it is to the political needs of Helen Clark. If it isn’t obedient and starts to think for itself, it’s doomed.

    If Winston Peter’s was smart, he would reveal everything he has on Clark before the election. However, unfortunately this thought will only occur to him afterwards when he loses his seat and realises Clark never had any loyalty to him – only to herself. They deserve each other.

    But we don’t deserve to have our country run by crooks.

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  16. democracymum (648 comments) says:

    Well said Alice!

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  17. Viking2 (11,488 comments) says:

    Has anyone seen a confirmation that he has put forward his name to stand for parliament again this time?
    There is no confirmation of him standing for Tauranga so far and its been my opinion for the last year that he was never going to stand again. I could be wrong but the electorate people here have disappeared never to be seen again.
    Perhaps some of the press gallery may like to do the decent thing and ask him for absolute confirmation.

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  18. gd (2,286 comments) says:

    It really is quite tiresome to see the faux excuses from the MSM and posters on this and sites as to why Clark is hanging on to Peters.

    the political excuses just dont wash

    Peters is toast in Tauranga Look at the local polls

    NZ1 is toast Apart from the Morgan poll that DPF has shown to be consistently out of line with every other poll NZ1 is polling UNDER the margin of error.

    Clark is making fools out of the Greens and the Maori Party who voted against Peters. She is saying they are untrustworthy and cant be relied upon to exercise good judgement.

    Geez How much more evidence does anyone need to see this aint about politics

    This is about Peters having infromation on Clark that would wreck her career and consign her past to the rubbish tin.

    Its about destroying her reputation to the point that she would go down as the worst PM NZ has ever had.

    Thats what its all about.

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  19. democracymum (648 comments) says:

    I think this little story (or narrative as Cullen likes to call them) sums up the media’s journalistic abilities at the moment.

    Helen and Winston along with some of their dubious friends spend the night tagging a series of large fences.
    They use up several cans in their endeavours. They tag the shop dairy, the old people’s home even
    the children’s hospital. Cullen hears the police sirens and warns the others and they all run off laughing into the night.

    Meanwhile John is out walking his dog, and stumbles across one of the discarded cans that now litter the sidewalk. He happens to be picking one up to deposit in a rubbish bin, when the cops stop him and question him.

    TVNZ Head of News, runs that night with “Key found with spray can – writing is on the wall for election”

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  20. getstaffed (9,186 comments) says:

    Yes, What Alice said!

    So, advice to MFAT and SFO officials:

    If you are sitting on, or only now uncovering information that exposes our Prime Minister as a liar and corrupter of the high office to which NZers have appointed her, then NOW is the time to stand up and be counted. The alternative is to leak the evidence, but whatever, make sure that said evidence is irrefutable and beyond reasonable doubt.

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  21. Lee C (4,516 comments) says:

    Yes mum, but Teflon-John is impervious to such beat-ups, and the voters just keep sticking by him.
    http://monkeyswithtypewriter.blogspot.com/2008/09/rise-of-teflon-john.html

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  22. burt (8,275 comments) says:

    getstaffed

    I agree.

    What Alice said and what you said as well.

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  23. Ross Miller (1,704 comments) says:

    Reflecting on the past 24 hours.

    First the speeches. I was particularly impressed with Powers, Flavell, Dunne and Norman. Have to say too that Cullen also gave a masterful performance. I found it particularly noteworthy that all those mentioned (including Cullen) went out of their way to praise Power for his performance as Chair; for his fairness and impartiality. One wonders what then the basis for Clark’s criticism of the Cttee … that surely puts her at odds with her Deputy.

    I was less impressed with Hide. He had his win but then went a step too far wanting to put the boot in by proposing an amendment to the resolution before the House that had not the slightest chance of success. He came across as petulant and vindictive. Rodney, you blew it big time. Learn to savour success and quit when you are ahead.

    Peters was vintage Peters and therein demonstrated the character defect that has led to his prediciment. Bluff, bluster, a certain detachment from reality coupled with a stated threat to “get even”. I suspect that Labour’s dirty tricks campaign will use Peters as their surrogate. Watch this space for the flood of three year old stolen e-mails and for shock horror stories on the private lives of centre-right politicians. Peters is nothing but a sad, twisted individual with no moral courage backed by a Party that has no option but to support him to the hilt. They too lack moral courage.

    On the vote and the decision by Anderton to abstain was a telling indictment of how Labour prostituted itself by backing Peters. Anderton, for all his hubris, couldn’t bring himself to vote with his colleagues.

    Someone will correct me if I am wrong but I thought in the voting the Maori Party was ‘three votes for’ … what happened to their 4th vote?

    But overshadowing this all was Helen Clark. I could understand her refusal to sack Peters while she needed his legislative support. That isn’t the issue now. So you have to ask why she would go into a election campaign with the millstone of a suspended Minister c/w ‘baubles’ set to dog her all way through?

    The only conclusion is that Winston has some dirt on her and/or Labour. Not I suggest the LAX rumour. If you think about it NZ is too small and MFAT smaller still for ther story to remain burried. Someone would have leaked it c/w memos and e-mails to back it up. No, its something else and eventually the story will be told.

    p.s. I see that philu is still defending Peters to the hilt. Norman will be pleased.

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  24. freethinker (691 comments) says:

    I agree that Paul Henry was tough on John Key and provided he adopts the same approach with other politicians then it is fine apart from interupting before hearing the answer. It was noticable however that he referred to John as an honest guy and the PMs answer re Winston as shabby. All in all I think the interview was marginally favourable to John and an object lesson in media skills. A useful tactic when receiving obfuscation as an answer is to adopt the BBC approach of Jermey Paxman and state – can I take that answer as a no/yes – it has proved devastating, usually followed by an embarrasing silence from the person being interviewed.

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  25. DJP6-25 (1,388 comments) says:

    You’ve got it in one about the tagging democracymum!

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  26. bharmer (687 comments) says:

    It seems Winston holds the finding against him in in some contempt, and prefers to be tried by the court of public opinion on Nov 8. Did the house have any sanctions with real teeth? The Privileges committee (with the delegated authority of the rest of the house) is almost always referred to by the media as “powerful”. Surely the house in session is even more powerful, and should not tolerate his contempt.

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  27. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    “..p.s. I see that philu is still defending Peters to the hilt. Norman will be pleased..”

    um..!..sorry to spoil your story..but norman voted for censure..eh..?

    you are ‘confused’..aren’t you..ross miller..?

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  28. Gravyman62 (37 comments) says:

    While it is logical , tempting, and dare I say satisfying to speculate on the possibility that Winston has something on the PM, there may be a more simple explanation. Essentially it lies in both of their personality disorders. Both have significant dollops of narcissism, and neither can admit that they were wrong in any way. If the PM sacks Peters, she was wrong to appoint him (given his prior track record) and wrong to give him the benefit of the doubt on this issue. She cannot contemplate being seen to be wrong at all, and would probably behave in this way even if the election was 2 years away.
    Winston’s narcissism is even more malignant. Those that don’t worship him are enemies. All criticism is unjustified, and provides him with internal justification to destroy his accusers. Sack him and you become an enemy and another opponent. A pissed off Winstone, with nothing to lose is a far worse scenario for Labour than having a paranoid obfuscating presence running interference for you up to the election. This combination of factors (political expediency and two narcissistic personality disorders) is probably enough to keep the current absurd situation alive. Winstone doesn’t have to actually have anything on the PM to keep this running , and the PM won’t admit she was wrong. Stalemate.

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  29. Ross Miller (1,704 comments) says:

    philu … can’t you pick the sarcasm in my original posting? You, an admitted ‘Greenie’ in bed with Labour over this while your colleagues took the moral high ground and all kudos to them. I thought Norman’s speech was measured and deliberate against a barrage of invective from a soon to be proven liar three spaces to his left.

    Are you so confused you can’t see the irony?

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  30. Ross Miller (1,704 comments) says:

    Gravyman62 … thank you for that alternative analysis. Guess time will tell.

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  31. sbk (312 comments) says:

    Could someone please inform CERN we have found a black hole. Peters.

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  32. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    “..Are you so confused you can’t see the irony?..”

    no..i think i am dazzled by the stupidity of key/national..

    (and..um..!..i just read your long comment above..and found it to be irony-free..

    ..must be in the eye of the beholder..eh..?)

    ..and are you telling me you can’t see the blatant hypocrisy of bag-man key..and yellow-jacket/act..

    ..all up to their eyeballs in secret-trusts/millions of dollars in ‘donations from business interests’..

    ..leading the charge on this..?

    ..and now we hear about john ‘inside trader’ key..

    ..and you are still questioning why i failed to join your ‘lynch party’..?

    oh well..!

    b.t.w…you do know you have been ‘played’..eh..?

    it was a game that failed..but a game nonetheless..

    ..and whipping you pawns up into a frenzy of (misguided) self-rightousness..

    ..was all part of the ‘game’..eh..?

    .as i say..a ‘game’ that has turned into a nightmare for the instigators/plotters..

    ..and that is (sorta) brilliant..!

    then there was a funny moment on that tv7 political thing last night..

    ..where the compere noted that maurice williamsons’ only ‘friend’..was hide/act..

    ..and then..as hide perkily chirped ‘a good friend tho’..

    ..the expression on williamson s’ face was as if he had just swallowed a pack of rats..

    fuck it was funny..!

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  33. Put it away (2,880 comments) says:

    Nefarious – totally worth it ! That may be the funniest comment ever

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  34. ISeeRed (236 comments) says:

    DPF, please install an “ignore” script, so I don’t have to see any of philu’s mental purges. Like pools of dog vomit, you can step around them, but you still catch a whiff.

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  35. sooty (64 comments) says:

    Can someone tell me what Winston will retire on? If he left as a cabinet minister? If he left as a leader and list MP? If he was not reelected and was not a list MP? Maybe if the baubles are at risk this may make him fade of in to the sunset and disappear without a trace. He could be full of shit and is not aiming for the next round!!

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  36. DJP6-25 (1,388 comments) says:

    Gravyman62. Your summation is likely close to the truth. Mundane non sensational stuff usually is. The more sensational stuff tends not to be.

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  37. expat (4,050 comments) says:

    philu (3309) Says: September 24th, 2008 at 12:19 pm

    (I was watching) tv7 (last nite).

    Exactly why TVNZ needs to be pulled into line.

    Value add for the Tax PAYER. None.

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