August 29, 2014
Winston the Kingmaker
Winston the Kingmaker
The dirty politics scandal looks like it’s caught up on the government after the latest polls show that the comeback king Winston Peters could be the kingmaker come Election Day. And the best thing for Winston is he’s yet to play the Immigration or Maori cards – which are always winners for the New Zealand First Leader. Winston’s popularity peaks when he is front footing Asian Immigration, foreign ownership or issues around preferential treatment to Maori.
And when it comes to debating, there’s few in Winston’s class. Winston came to our national Whanau Ora Hui for a political debate in July. He knew the audience were pro Maori and likely anti Winston. Yet he didn’t flinch when asked about his party’s Maori policy. He pointed out that as Maori Affairs Minister, he had advanced the cause for Maori with specific policies.
Winston is an enigma, while he has benefited in the past by playing the race card particularly the Maori one he prides himself on being a great advocate for Maori. And only he could have got away with some of the nonsense that he has trotted out about Maori having preferential treatment over the years.
Actually it’s unbelievable some of the claptrap that Winnie has come out with over Maori issues, when you consider what a passionate advocate he can be and has been for his people. For example he calls the Maori seats racist, but in 1996 his party won all of them and he ran the strategy. He talks about Maori getting preferential treatment yet he was the Minister of Maori Affairs handing out grants only to Maori that he now calls preferential treatment. And nobody in government has given more resources and funding than he has to the Maori Women’s Welfare or the Maori Wardens. And last time I looked there weren’t many pakeha in either of those organisations. Yet Winston has been their strongest and best advocate. It seems people know that Winston sees politics as a big game and Maori in particular don’t take his race card rhetoric too seriously, how else can you explain his popularity.
Winston, according to the latest TV3 polls, will hold the balance of power and it will be interesting to see just who he will jump into bed with. That could mean a demotion for poor old Bill English as Deputy Prime Minister because Winston will want that job – and that’s a shame because he has been a very able lieutenant and safe pair of hands for Prime Minister Key.
As for the political pundits who reckoned the Dirty Politics scandal would not impact on the polls, you guys must be somewhere around Uranus.
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