Winston Peters is currently in full attack mode. He is trying to destroy the political career of Peter Dunne, and he is trying to demolish the United Future party.
And Peters is also trying to bring down our current government.
Peters uses any dirty tactics he can get away with, including lying and making accusations that he has no evidence to prove – and he repeatedly makes accusations and assertions he must know are false.
Decency and democracy don’t matter to Peters. Much of his political ambition has been to destroy.
Peter Dunne is on a downer of his own making.
But Peters is a political vulture, an opportunistic vulture. He is trying to put in the boot, scratch out eyes and pour his acidic tongue over it all. He wants victims with incurring maximum damage.
Peters is playing the dirtiest kind of politics, the sort of nasty undemocratic politics that most of the public despise.
It should be recognised that Peters is not doing this on his own.
Some of the media actively assist Peters (although notably John Campbell has started to hold him to account and demand answers – but Peters is very practised in the art of avoiding questions, of avoiding providing any substance to his bluster.
And Peters is on this current rampage with the apparent support of compliant colleagues.
Six other NZ First MPs walked out of Parliament with Peters last week when he put on an attention seeking tantrum.
Six other MPs sit behind Peters in Parliament, supporting his actions. Those MPs are:
- Barbara Stewart
- Tracey Martin
- Andrew Williams
- Richard Prosser
- Denis O’Rourke
- Asenati Lole-Taylor
You can see photos of them all here: http://nzfirst.org.nz/our-mps
How do they justify their support of politics at it’s dirtiest and most destructive? Is this how they want to be seen as MPs?
About a year ago I asked all MPs:
Do you support “gotcha” politics where attacks and accusations are made to try and damage parties and to discredit and potentially end the careers of fellow MPs? Yes/No?
Tracey Martin replied No.
Richard Prosser replied in more detail:
No I don’t support it.
Whilst there are, by definition and indeed of necessity, always going to be
differences of opinion and philosophy in politics, it behoves us as Parliamentarians
to play the ball and not the man (or woman), and to address such differences, and
attempt to influence policy, through reasoned debate and by keeping an open mind,
and above all by having regard to the wishes of the voting public and the best
interests of the nation.
While we may not agree with the views or positions of any particular Member or
Party, it has to be remembered that most MPs enter Parliament with genuinely held
beliefs and with honourable intentions, and we owe it to the future of our
Parliamentary democracy to respect that fact.
Beyond holding Members and Parties to account as regards their current and intended
actions, and their present and past indications of character, we have a duty to be
fair in our dealings, and to conduct our affairs in the dignified manner which the
public has a right to expect.
Prosser and Martin and the other NZ First MPs are supporting the opposite of this.
Peters has spent a career playing highly questionable politics. Are all the NZ First MPs happy following suit?