The Winston Peters saga now seems to have developed a life of it’s own, and as such has gone from being a revelation to being a bit of a yawn. I suspect that shortly it will have reached proportions that will allow the MSM to dedicate the subject it’s own header button – you’ll have ‘National News’ ‘Regional News’ ‘Politics’ and ‘Winston Peters’.
This is not to say none of this is important, it is, because it demonstrates just how rotten politicians can become over time, especially if they end up having nothing else in their lives except their ‘jobs’. Peters has been there so long now he’s a permanent fixture but as Bob Jones points out in his article on stuff.co.nz he stopped being principled long ago and driven by personal ambition and hatred of the media.
Politicians do live in a rarefied atmosphere and insulated from the ‘real world’, the degree to which they become separated from reality is dependant on what they did before they got voted in, and the quality of their family life seems to play a factor.
If Peters lived in the real world he would have bowed out and turned his skills to something in the private sector – fund raising for example – but he is too deep in to see that he could have bowed out and done so in a positive way. It’s too late for that and even if the latest revelations don’t sink him, it clearly going to be a death by a thousand cuts and there is no way he can come out of it with a shred of dignity or credibility.
I’m surprised Peter Williams has allowed himself to be involved and dragged into such a messy event. While I don’t agree with everything he says, he is clearly someone with principals, whereas Peters seems to have abandoned his years ago. What on earth possessed him to think that Peters was a victim here is beyond me.
My prediction is that this will drag on so long that the voters will lose interest and it will descend into legal arguments that will go on well past the election. This means that Clark won’t need to reinstate him, getting her off the hook. I also think Peters will scrap 5% and be back into parliament. If NZ First was a real political party rather than what is so clearly a cash cow for Winston, then it’s membership base would have got together and ditched him.
The one good thing to come out of this is National’s principled stand of not doing business with NZ First after the election, even if it means they dont go into government. That was a big call to make and maybe it shows that overall, there are some politicians out there with bottom lines after all, because the last month has tested that theory to the limits!