HoS on Peters

The editorial:

Key’s announcement has not necessarily spiked Peters’ guns, but it has given voters a stark choice. “If Winston Peters holds the balance of power,” he said this week, “it will be a Phil Goff-led Labour government.”

In fact, voters already had a stark choice: do they want to return to the style of politics that Peters represents? For a return it would be, in the sense of being a seriously retrograde step. …

He is a skilled practitioner of divisive demagoguery, using alarmist and inflammatory language, in particular to cynically foment feeling against immigrants.

A 2005 NZPA article reminds us of some of them:

“There is a significant percentage of Asians in Auckland. That’s my view. If you don’t like it, vote for another party and let race relations go into chaos.” – Peters, in 2005.

“We have now reached the point where you can wander down Queen Street in Auckland and wonder if you are still in New Zealand or some other country.” – Peters announcing “flying squads” to search for potentially risky immigrants.

“The government’s lax immigration laws are changing the face of our country forever. At this rate, it won’t take long for New Zealand to be unrecognisable.” – In a statement headlined “New Zealand — The Last Asian Colony”.

“We are being dragged into the status of an Asian colony and it is time that New Zealanders were placed first in their own country.” – In July 2004, following a government decision to increase the number of new migrants in the coming year.

It bemuses me that so many activists on the left are putting all their hopes on Winston – they should be the ones demanding that Labour also rules out dealing with him. Power before principles though.

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