Winston Muldoon

Richard Harman at Politik looks at the links between Robert Muldoon and Winston Peters in  What Winston really wants

And so over the past week Peters and his bus have been touring the South Island’s provincial towns.

In Invercargill; he promised to nationalise the aluminium smelter; in Gore to compel Government departments to purchase wool carpets and everywhere he promised to return GST to the region where it was gathered.

It was pure Muldoonism, and Sir Robert would have been proud of the man he once said would be New Zealand’s first Maori Prime Minister.

To get a picture of the relationship between the two you need only look again at National’s campaign ads from the 1978 campaign. They featured a young, devilishly good looking Winton Peters interviewing Sir Robert about great issues of the day like how to bring inflation down to around 10 per cent or how to stop unions going on strike all the time.

He still sees Muldoon as someone who had an economic plan that worked.

“There were a whole lot of things that were happening under Muldoon when the second oil shock happened in 1979,” he says.

“I can name you ten things from outdoor movie theatres to removing the restriction road transport competing with railways — a whole lot of policies were being changed when the second oil shock happened, and we then focussed on alternative energy development.”

And he still believes.

But what does he want now?

It’s hard to know what Peters really wants. Some of his closest friends believe he still wants to be Prime Minister. John Key recently told a Cabinet Minister that he doesn’t think so.

He thinks Peters would sooner sit on the cross benches and hold the balance of power and force the Prime Minister to come and bargain with him on every vote in the House.

Key says that way Peters would become the de facto Prime Minister.

One thing is probably certain and that is he will stretch any post election negotiaitons he is involved in as far as he can go.

There are stories about him continuously upping the ante with Jim Bolger during the 1996 coalition negotiations which saw Bolger trekking back and forth between the Naitonal Caucus room and Peters’ office.

But now Peters refuses to discuss his team for any negotiations.

“I’ve not thought one thing about after the election because unless we get the result that we want it is all immaterial,”

But he has apparently recruited his barrister, Brian Henry, to play a role.

Whether that imposes order remains to be seen.

But maybe we have all been getting Peters wrong for a long time now. Maybe the focus on what he might want — the “baubles of office”  or which party he might form a Government with ignores what he is really all about.

You have to go back to Dargaville to understand that then and then ask  yourself what would Holyoake, or  Muldoon have done.

Winston’s current slogan on Twitter: “it’s common sense”.

Perhaps it’s common sense for those who yearn for the good old days half a century ago.

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  1. The scenario of a cross bench negotiation with a megalomaniac scenario doesn’t bear consideration.

  2. Corky

     /  14th July 2017

    ”One thing is probably certain and that is he will stretch any post election negotiations he is involved in as far as he can go.”

    Winston would be wise to curtail that political instinct. Its a different generation, a different attitude today, compared to the last time Winston made Bolger look like his puppy dog. If he wants to leave NZ1st a legacy, it should be quick and resolute coalition talks.

    • Pete Kane

       /  14th July 2017

      Cork, if you had a fiver to spend at the TAB today, which donkey would it go in terms of St Winnie’s pick?

      • Corky

         /  14th July 2017

        National. Like salmon, Winnie will come home to spawn. Andy would have to offer Peter’s the Prime Ministership should he want to entice him. That may be an outside possibility should the Left coalition be that desperate to change the government. But I don’t see that.

        And you?

        • Pete Kane

           /  14th July 2017

          Labour, just for the gamble. I can’t read it Cork. What does the Old Boy really want? What’s he prepared to ‘go through’?

      • Corky

         /  14th July 2017

        One more thing…we are assuming Winston will be needed to form a government. That is probability, but definitely not a given.

  3. sorethumb

     /  14th July 2017

    NZ First needs renovation. I have to admire them though, they have to go outside the media to be free of thevested interest bramble bushes.

  4. sorethumb

     /  14th July 2017

    Does anyone know how many members NZ First has. Apparently if you commit $10/annum you have a say in policy- even $10/month is a lot for some people (eg students).
    One danger I see with NZ first is that a faction could take it over. Also, it looks like a dead cert to parliament for anyone with a bit of talent?

    I see NZ First as the party that stood against Asian immigration ie changing the character of NZ from a Euro country to (supposedly) multicultural success story.

  1. Winston Muldoon — Your NZ – NZ Conservative Coalition
  2. NZ First versus “irresponsible capitalism” | Your NZ

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