Monday, June 21, 2021

Kate Hawkesby: I wouldn't rule Winston Peters out


I don’t know what happened to my afternoon yesterday, but I found myself watching the livestream of Winston Peters’ speech.

I know. Who even am I?

I was standing by to hate it, hate everything he said, regular listeners will know I’m not a fan of this man. I was one of the first people in the media to rule him out last election when everyone said ‘you can never rule Winston out’… I did.

Partly because I thought his time was up, and partly because I wanted his time to be up, I couldn’t stand him.

But, and here’s the scary thing.. I didn't hate his speech. I didn't love it, but I didn't hate it. I think it'll strike a chord... he's dynamic as a speaker, passionate, and frankly it was refreshing to hear someone unafraid of the media, unapologetic of their own views, and unafraid to say what they think.

The Nats always sound chastened like they've been rehearsing it, or workshopping how to respond to the government. But Winston sounded gung ho.

He did his usual attack dog of criticising the government's lack of delivery and all its false promises.

The no new taxes rhetoric, the poorly costed EV announcement, the equally crazy bridge to nowhere for cyclists, the lack of law and order around gangs taking over roads. He criticized the government’s reliance on a strategy of fear and ‘hermetically sealing this country’ and how dangerous that is economically for us. 

He spoke of our economy being too narrow, our productivity being anaemic, the eye watering amount of debt we’re racking up. He criticized the slow vaccine rollout, the spike in homelessness in Auckland and Wellington. He gave the media a serve – wouldn’t be Winston if he didn’t.. on giving universal favourable coverage to the PM, of not asking the hard questions – like what’s the Ihumatao settlement.

He asked why ordinary New Zealanders are not being included in the narrative anymore. Why anyone who asks a legitimate question is shut down for being either racist or chauvinist or bigoted or a colonialist. He said we’ve lost our social cohesion, our rich nation status is gone, we are the opposite he said, of what the PM said we'd be. He accused the government of enabling a wave of rights based activism. And he asked an important question -  when was the last time anyone stood up and talked about the responsibilities of citizenship? He says we’ve set the bar so low now.

“A whole lot of do gooders who don’t know what they’re doing, have got control of the place,” he said.

So I think he struck a chord. But can he be trusted? Well, no.

He burnt his base by going with Labour… and can a 2 percent party like that ever make it back to the political table? I would've previously said no... but oddly now I find myself not ruling him out.

Kate Hawkesby is a political broadcaster on Newstalk ZB - her articles can be seen HERE.


Peter R. Cameron said...

Interesting, thanks Kate.
Someone mentioned Winstone took a shot at the Maori language creep particularly with place names.Great.
On the subject and yachting: The announcers obviously prepared to copy Montgomery's final finish.
"The America's cup is now Aotearoa's cup" Grr Wasn't good for the blood pressure.
I would never vote for the despicable man but there is something about his cheek.
Anyway democracy is stuffed The world group-think at the moment is madness.
Someone should remind the ajitaters that "New Zealand" is our trading name, recognise for integrity, quality, for top shelf.

DeeM said...

So, according to Winston it's all turned to crap in the last 8 months since the electorate made the catastrophic mistake of kicking him into touch and falling unconditionally in love with Jacinda.
In case he's forgotten, Winston was the root cause of all our current woes. That fateful day in October 2017 when he decided for whatever reason that it would be much better to go with Labour and the Greens rather than the main party who had a 44% share of the vote. Now we have one of the most separatist and radical governments in decades who are making a pig's ear of running the country.
But Winston wants us to elect him again so he can do what this time? That's the problem...nobody knows, and that's the way he likes it.
The guy loves the limelight and being kingmaker, regardless of what it costs the country.
If he manages to get re-elected in 2023 there really are lots of stupid people out there!

greg d said...

thank goodness for Winston stepping up this week,finally a few home truths make the headlines and the silent majority must be feeling a whole lot better,but for Winston, this last time, he must state he will not be playing the same old game and will not be supporting labour up front, under any circumstances, finish his time off where he started supporting national, if the 2 parties can swallow a bit of humble pie.Ego's must be put aside to put a united effort into exiting labour and get back on track to a united new zealand.

Ray S said...

Love him or hate him, he sure knows which buttons to push to get a reaction.
The Maori party would hate to see him back, this from Jackson, talking about He Huahua
"In retrospect it was probably good he didn't see it. For goodness’ sake, look at how he's acting now. And let's not be cute here ... if they had got it they would have utilised it and said 'there we go, that's why you have to vote for NZ First".
To his credit, Winston would feed on the document and make it known to the public. No other party will make it or the ramifications known to the general public.
I hope he doesn't get back, but he will stuff up the votes just by being there.