Winston’s conference speech

Winston Peters’ speech at the New Zealand First conference in Dunedin was open to the public so I went along for a look and a listen. Over the years (many) I’ve seen a lot of Peters on television but never in person.

He was much as he often appears – an eloquent hero for some, and bullshitting, hypocritical, abusive, complaining political charlatan to others.

There’s no doubt that NZ First is thriving as a party. There was a large and enthusiastic crowd at the party’s first ever conference in Dunedin, buoyed by Peters’ success in winning the Northland electorate and riding on unusually persistent poll support.

The crowed frequently clapped and cheered and laughed at Peters’ performance.

And it was a slick, well practiced performance. When Toby Manhire asked on Twitter for the speech Andrea  Vance responded “you could just look at last year’s, or the year before that, or the year”. There were some new bits but it was vintage Peters.

Peters attacked and ridiculed a number of people, much to his own amusement, including John Key, Judith Collins, media, academics, online pundits and particularly One News. Andrea Vance also covered this in Winston Peters launches fiery attacks on polls, rivals, media at NZ First conference.

And finally he took aim at the media, claiming he wasn’t asked onto TVNZ’s Q+A programme this morning.

“Never had the intellectual fortitude, integrity or outright decency to ask us on the programme,” he said.

In fact Mr Peters was twice invited on Q+A, and twice backed out.

“I’ve seen some downright lies in politics,” he said.

But that won’t stop Peters from continuing to lie, and to display disconnects with reality. Like saying he and his party knew from experience what being homeless was like.

As well as making a (very old) lame joke about manual labour, Peters claimed that unlike Key (who he derided and then laughed at his ‘humour’ (along with the crowd) he and NZ First knew from experience what being a real worker was like.

From Toby Manhire: Power ranking Winston Peters’ sick burns

Was the joke better when Hal Roach did it about 50 years ago? Or when Winston Peters unleashed it in 2015, or 2014, or 2003, or 1999?

Peters laughed at it as much as he may have fifty years ago.

There are many people who will never warm to Peters. Like me – I wondered if he would exude some sort of respectable mana in person but no, he was just an extended version of the sound bite Winston that I’m familiar with.

But his fan club looks to be as strong as ever. They don’t care if he makes things up, they are happy to go along with whatever he dishes out.

The big question will be whether Peters and NZ First can grow their fan club. They seem to have loft ambitions – to be the number one party in Parliament, dishing out utu to all the parties, politicians and journalists he has slagged and slandered for decades.

There are certainly opportunities for NZ First to grow, if there are more people that can be sucked in by the political charlatan.

They are targeting Labour votes, and there is potential there as Labour continues to look vulnerable to collapse.

They are targeting disaffected National voters, and there’s a good chance there will be quite a few looking for an alternative next election.

Peters also says they have the technology to bypass the media filter and deliver their messages directly to the public (no sign of that yet).

He says they are targeting the ‘missing million’, the non-voters that the Greens and their proxies failed to get to the polling booths last election.

Does Peters have or can he achieve mass appeal? That’s a big unknown. He and his party are riding relatively high, but they are aiming much higher. Peters may be the king of rhetoric but I doubt he can fool most of the people for one election.

This could be Winston’s last bid for political stardom. Fourteen months is a long time to ride the current wave of support. And if he achieves his king maker goal the real work will begin then. Does he have that in him?

Leave a comment

18 Comments

  1. Tipene

     /  5th September 2016

    Does he have that in him?

    Ummmmmmm………………………..considering NZ Firsts current position…………….yes.

    Reply
  2. pickled possum

     /  5th September 2016

    Yep Winston for PM aren’t we tired of undercover agents leading our country down the high debt lane, with a $165 Interest rate per second, with a $23,751 debt per citizen WHARK!!!
    Who else is gonna do it? Bob the Builder is busy at the mo’

    Reply
    • Iceberg

       /  5th September 2016

      Taito Philip Fields aside, has NZ had a more corrupt politician? If Clark had some balls and enabled his prosecution, he’d still be in jail wouldn’t he?

      Railing against big business donations to other parties, whilst pocketing them himself. Taking backhanders from industries he was minister of. PM material right there.

      Reply
      • pickled possum

         /  5th September 2016

        Butt my dear lettuce leaf Taito said Sorry didn’t he?
        aquila non capit muscās = the eagle does not catch flies = don’t sweat the small things

        Reply
  3. pickled possum

     /  5th September 2016

    Yep Winston for PM 8) Aren’t we tired of undercover agents leading our country down High Debt Lane, with a $165 Interest rate per second, with a $23,751 debt per citizen WHARK!!!
    Who else is gonna do it? Bob the Builder is busy at the mo’
    http://www.nationaldebtclocks.org/debtclock/newzealand

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  5th September 2016

      You think we should cut the welfare bill then, pp? $12B
      Or superannuation? $13B
      Or health? $16B
      Or education? $13B
      Or police/justice? $4B

      Or will you just complain about the flag debacle? $0.026B

      Reply
      • Pete Kane

         /  5th September 2016
        Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  5th September 2016

          Why do you always link videos and audios? I never watch/listen to them as I like to control my time myself

          Reply
      • pickled possum

         /  5th September 2016

        Coming @ ya Al
        If Many people can Live Within their Means you would think so could this country, and I don’t/didn’t complain about the flag debacle … why bother I just leave it up to all the ‘Outraged Ones’ sounds a lot better when ‘they’ do it.

        Welfare bill $12 bill whoooor that’s a lot of dosh, imagine if we spent that money on creating employment, not creating illusions of it.
        All those billions of dollars Al and is there a decent health, education, police, justice dept among them?
        Just ask the thousands of sick peps waiting for an op or
        the children that leave skool illiterate or
        the people who are Still waiting for the police to come take finger prints in their burglary and as for lawyers judges and their sad muck ups Sheesh it’s enough to drive me to drink.
        As for super, will there be enough money in the handbag when it is my turn to collect.

        Never mind Al I’m just saving hard for the golden years, why rely on my tax paying community to pay for my OE = Oversea Experience when I do retire. If I do.
        Might be just like you carrying on throwing posts and lifting bales, not forgetting slashing not burning Blooming Gorse. 😉
        Yep I like Winston he is looking better every day.

        Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  5th September 2016

          So no real ideas on how to reduce the borrowing and still do all the things that need doing, let alone finance the Chch rebuild and cushioning the GFC?

          Then why channel the debt complaining nonsense from the Lefties? And why on earth believe Winston has a magic wand that will do anything you can’t imagine to fix the “problem”?

          Reply
  4. Pete Kane

     /  5th September 2016

    I like Winston.

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  5th September 2016

      I don’t. He is destructive on a level of about 4 to Harawira’s 10 on intensity but about 10 to Harawira’s 3 on quantity. At best he is a relatively safe storage option for the unconstructively grumpy.

      Reply
  5. Kitty Catkin

     /  5th September 2016

    Missing million ? The non-voters were nothing like that. He’s confusing voters and population. The Manual Labour joke is so old that it has a long grey beard and so feeble that it needs a walking frame. Please tell me that nobody laughed at THAT old drivel. It wasn’t funny when it was new, it’s not funny now. . Someone should tell them that Manuel isn’t pron. manual.

    When I saw him at a meeting, he made a really old and very nasty ‘joke’ about another party. I cried ‘Shame.!’ and walked out. Well, he made these about all the other parties, of course. His geriatric groupies brayed mindlessly, of course. They’d bray at anything he said. Feckin oul’ eejits.

    Reply
  6. PDB

     /  5th September 2016

    I think National should shake the election campaign up (by taking a long term view at the expense of next year’s election) and rule NZL First out as a possible partner in govt. John Key has had a good run, a fourth term shouldn’t be seen as a priority just because it would be nice for him to make a bit of history. It would be better for the National party to win the next election without having Winston as part of the govt, or losing the election and allowing the Labour/Greens/NZ First disaster to unfold.

    Much of Winston’s support depends on conning soft Labour & National voters into thinking he will go with their preferred party whilst ‘keeping them honest’ (a joke in itself looking at Winston’s dodgy political history….). By denying him that opportunity and forcing him to side with the Greens/ Labour disaster his power is diminished, he has no bartering chip, and people who can’t stand the thought of Little being PM/the Greens being in Govt will then jump back to National.

    Time to grow some and call Winston’s bluff.

    Reply
  7. Pete Kane

     /  5th September 2016

    I like Dr Alan and Ms Kitty Katkin (the Irish spelling, so much nicer).

    Reply
  8. Winston as the leader? He does not have they essential quality of being able to stick to a plan. He is like the fabled butterfly dashing from point to point saying things people want to hear but not backing them up with the resources and systematic approaches to solving problems. He is quick to take up problems identified by others and appealing to their more base instincts. He lacks staying power and needs to stop skiting about achievements he claims for himself. I shudder at the thought of him representing NZ at the highest levels, he lacks the intellectual stamina needed to succeed Mr Once only lightly. Too old, too xenophobic for my taste.

    Reply

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