Some people are having a hard time working out when no means no. NZPA reports:
National Party leader John Key has ruled out working with New Zealand First leader Winston Peters post-election altogether and says opponents are wrong to suggest that would change if he was struggling to form a government.
For those who are slow, John Key has explicitly ruled out Peters, even if it means he won’t become Prime Minister after the 2008 election.
Today Dr Cullen criticised Mr Key for his hardened position, saying he was disregarding natural justice and not letting inquiries finish before passing judgement.
“John Key’s stance shows that he has no respect for basic New Zealand values of fair play,” Dr Cullen said.
Mr Key said that the bar he set for who he would work with was higher than if they were cleared by investigations or not.
This is what Labour don’t understand. Labour’s bottom line is merely that an MP hasn’t actually been convicted of a crime. They don’t see any need to have the bar any higher than “has not actually been sent to jail”.
Mr Key ruled out having Mr Peters as a minister, forming a coalition with his party or entering any kind of support arrangement with NZ First.
“The lot. . . we have categorically ruled him out altogether.”
So what part of that is hard to understand?
Progressive leader Jim Anderton, speaking on TV One’s Agenda programme this morning, said Mr Key was not being brave and knew Mr Peters may not be in a position to negotiate following this year’s general election.
“I’ll give you this prediction that if Winston is there and he has the numbers to make John Key the prime minister you’ll find John Key finds very quick reasons why Winston’s a man of high integrity fast.”
Mr Key responded: “As is so often the case Jim Anderton has got it wrong.”
No means no.
Also on Agenda Green co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons said it was up to her party, but her preference would be not to have to work with Mr Peters.
“If you’re sitting around a Cabinet table with someone you have to be able to trust them, you have to be able to take their word.”
That is a good start. But would the Greens give confidence and supply to Labour/NZ First, if they themselves are not in Cabinet?
United Future leader Peter Dunne said in the first instance his party would base who it worked with on policy. However the fact that Mr Peters let the controversy draw out without giving straight answers would be a factor “you take into account as to whether you can do business with that person subsequently”.
Goodness, that was almost a position Peter took! 🙂
Just remember these two lines:
A vote for NZ First is a vote for a Labour-led Government
A vote for Labour is a vote for Winston Peters in Government