Winston’s motives – short or long term?

Trying to work out what Winston Peters motives are can be a bit of a challenge, but some try to do it.

It may come down to whether he is more interested in the short term, baubles of power for him, or the longer term with a succession plan for NZ First.

At Whale Oil in one of the different styles common under the authorship of ‘Cameron Slater’: Winston on shared PM role

Winston Peters was burned in 1999. When Bolger was rolled, who he could work with, and replaced with Shipley, who he couldn’t work with.

Ever since then he has made it his mission in life to never say what he is going to do until he sees how the votes land on election night. The main reason being is that he wants the most stable possible government with a preference of just two partners. He knows some dead heads will come in with both parties and he wants enough numbers so if some go they can still govern.

An odd assertion.

The next is that he will NEVER work with the Greens. In his book they get nothing. No under-secretary jobs, no associate ministers…NOTHING.

It’s well known he outmanoeuvred the Greens and kept them out of government in 2005, but I don’t think it’s possible to be this certain about what he may or may not do this year given the opportunity.

National would shank Bill English in about as much time as it takes to close the door on a ministerial limousine. Many backbenchers and some ministers are experiencing buyer’s remorse…and the longer it goes the worse it will get. They were still happy little sycophants to John Key and tugged their forelocks and did his bidding. He’s gone, left them to it and memories in politics fade fast.

If Winston Peters gets enough to make the demand of National to shank Bill English then it will happen. Personally I’d like very much to see that happen.

This is more revealing of the motives of ‘Cameron Slater’ rather than of Winston. Whale Oil has long been bitter about Bill English, and English easily beating Judith Collins in the contest to take over from John Key.

The best (albeit slim) chance of Collins becoming Prime Minister now is for National to lose this year’s election (they are almost certain to get the highest party vote but may not be able or willing to form a coalition) and for English to be dumped as a result.

But the motives of ‘Cameron Slater’ are a lot more obvious than Winston’s.

Rob Hosking at NBR has an interesting take on it.

The choice for Peters is this: become the second or third wheel in a National or Labour-led government, or stay out and build up New Zealand First to replace Labour as the second party of 2020.

There’s some merit to that possibility. It’s bad news for Labour as it makes their path to government much harder. But if Peters is looking at a future for NZ First after he retires it makes a lot of sense.

If NZ First form a coalition with National or Labour with Winston still in charge it may damage NZ First’s chances of survival should Winston need to step down. His party has struggled after it’s past coalitions.

If Labour do poorly this election – and there’s a real possibility of this – then NZ First (and Greens) will see an opportunity to take over the lead Opposition role from them.

And if National get another term then they should find it very difficult to win again in 2020, if there is a credible alternative.

So Winston’s obvious choices are:

  • To get whatever baubles he can in what would likely be his last term in Parliament, and leave NZ First in a weakened position, or
  • Sit on the cross benches, get some policy wins to enable National to govern as a minority government but build NZ First credentials as the most prominent opposition party.

The latter is likely to be the better option for the future of NZ First without Winston.

It depends on his preference, to go out in some sort of blaze of personal glory versus setting his party up for a future without him.

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  1. Tipene

     /  May 9, 2017

    I’m not sure Slater’s bitterness is anchored in his dislike for Bill English.

    I think his prime bitterness lies in the fact that, back in 2011 -2013, Slater allegedly tried to create a “Conservative” group of MP’s within the National Party, but then Colin Craig (unknowingly at the time) beat him to it, by forming the Conservative Party.

    Slater then allegedly approached the Conservative Party and tried to secure a consultant role to the Party – CPNZ (politely) told Slater to sling his hook.

    Slater’s entire modus operandi since then seems to have been a mis-directed revenge attack against Colin Craig, because Slater didn’t like being told to go fuck himself by the CPNZ.

    Now, judging by the amount of “fan-boy” posts on Whaleoil, it seems that Slater is now Winston’s PR bitch-for-hire.

    • Obviously Slater has tried to destroy Craig’s political career and with it the Conservative Party, but he is also strongly against National and English having been shunned by them since Dirty Politics, Labour and Little, and doesn’t seem to get on with Seymour and Act.

      So Winston is all that he has to try and advance his political agenda.

      • Tipene

         /  May 9, 2017

        Yes, Slater’s really, really shit at hearing the word ‘No”, isn’t he?

        With Slater and Winston, its the mongoose verses the snake – and we all know who wins that fight:

      • Bill Brown

         /  May 9, 2017

        I said on a previous post that Slater was privately telling people that Winston would be PM. The move to support him looks to me like it’s moving to public support

        • Loki

           /  May 9, 2017

          It is an impotent power play to get the vile Judith Collins to the top job using Winston as the blunt instrument.
          He is completely irrelevant in National circles now. Nobody talks to him, and haven’t done since his epic meltdown when he left the door open.

    • Loki

       /  May 9, 2017

      It wouldn’t have been Slater that approached the conservatives (although he told everybody he did)
      It would have been his deeply odd mate from Havelock North.
      He has only ever been the errand boy.

  2. This sort of crankiness may not help Peters nor NZ First: Winston Peters and David Seymour clash at public meeting

    Mr Seymour had criticised Mr Peters’ during his own speech.

    “It’s ethnic minorities that are targeted for verbal harassment and worse,” he told the audience.

    “And every time a political leader stands up or goes on TV like Mr Peters did this morning and attacks a group of people because of who they are, because of their ethnicity, that encourages the dregs of our society to victimise people who look different.”

    “He’s telling you that he’s on your side, go back to Epsom, don’t come out here to south Auckland and make a fool of yourself,” Mr Peters said to Mr Seymour.

    As organisers tried to calm the situation down Mr Peters said “I’m giving a speech and I’ll give it the way I like, you won’t be telling me how I’m doing my speech.”

    There is video at this link, not a great look for Peters:

    • Gezza

       /  May 9, 2017

      What was it about that video exactly that wasn’t a great look for The Winston, PG?

      There’s insufficient content in either the newshub article or the video clip allow me to make a judgement on that without seeing the full context by viewing the rest of the meeting and all the comments made by Seymour and any others.

  3. David

     /  May 9, 2017

    Its been interesting watching the transition from his bitter attacks on Winston to almost being a fan. On another note good to see he has excellent representation from Winstons own lawyer and friend.

    • Just a coincidence no doubt. $16 million won’t play any part in what is posted on Whale Oil.

  4. Winston cranky again on RNZ just now.

  5. Loki

     /  May 9, 2017

    Winston will be a senior minister in a Bill English led government. For 18 months, he will then take a senior high commission in an English speaking country and Shane Jones will take northland for NZ first.

  6. PDB

     /  May 9, 2017

    Shane Jones winning Northland if he was to run is not a slam dunk………

    • Loki

       /  May 9, 2017

      True, but he will be a list MP by then so will have all the resources available to blitz the electorate.
      And if he is up against Matt “nice but dim” King it won’t be a struggle.

  7. David

     /  May 9, 2017

    Winston doesn’t have a long term left.

  8. Alan Wilkinson

     /  May 9, 2017

    Winnie is playing Trump’s unpredictability game for media attention as always. I wouldn’t be entirely surprised to see him sit out and let National govern as a minority Government though. It would leave them dangling on his string for as long as he chose.

    • PDB

       /  May 9, 2017

      I’m fairly relaxed about the upcoming election. Either Little is PM and with the Greens/NZL First hanging around his neck is given the ass card after 3 years or English has to govern with Winston hanging around his neck which would suggest National sitting on the opposition benches in 2020.