Saturday, 28 March 2015

Further rambling on Northland

So, it looks like Peters has this in the bag.  And even more importantly, it looks like ACT will get less than a hundred votes.  Now THAT is worth celebrating.

The triumph of Winston Peters, on the other hand, is not worth celebrating. I won’t be toasting a Peters’ victory. A Labour, Mana or Green victory, yes. But not one that is just going to extend John Key’s reign.

If people seriously think he won't immediately start working out an accommodation with Key, they are fools. Winston is winning it for Winston. He wants to be Minister of something or other. Why do the left never, ever learn from history? This is the farce to the prior tragedy!

Look, I know there is a desperate need on the left to see the words “National defeated” in any context. But this result will change nothing and – given the comparative ease with which Peters has managed it – it raises some troubling questions about Labour’s utter inability to challenge Key.

Sorry to spoil the party, but it isn’t our party. It is the party of Winston Peters, a self serving right wing demagogue. Nothing for progressives to celebrate here. You don’t think it is just a bit sad that we’re reduced to getting all excited about Winston Peters doing the job we’ve been totally incapable of doing?

Without, it must be noted, disturbing a hair of his perfectly coiffured head.

There has been some slightly odd talk of how Labour's 'strategy' has worked, as if setting Winston on Key was part of some grand plan.

What strategy?

The one that involved showing that Key and National are beatable, except by Labour?

I don't see this as a vistory-by-proxy for Labour or progressive politics. I think this is a long term disaster. It changes nothing, other than forcing Key and Peters to get used to working together, making it even less likely NZ First will look Labour’s way in 2017. And if we’re going to be stuck on 30% then, we’ll need the simpering glances of every coquette we can get.

But the likelihood is that, in 2017, our new Bestie will spurn our advances. Mr Key is no fool. He will doubtless recognise Peters – not Labour or the Greens – as the real danger and ensure he is stuffed full of baubles before the end of the week.

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