If you have a critical word to say about Winston Peters some people lose their mind.
This morning the topic of conversation was around Winston, and my opinion that he says lots of words but no substance ever really comes out. A perfect example of this is Close Up last night where the debate was about the retirement age (I have no idea why Winston was on anyway, he isn't in Government and he isn't any kind of specialist in the area of retirement...but he is good press). The Retirement Commissioner was on and had some really sensible things to say about address the aging population now, not in 20 years when it's too late, and saying if we give someone 20 years pension (on average) then in 20 years life expectancy will have gone up from 85 to 87, so we could raise the pension age then to 67. Winston's response was all bluster, rhetoric and slogans.
'Our economy is in the poo and you're blaming the elderly'
'If Norway and Singapore can do it, why can't we?'
'In 1997 we had the right idea'
So I called him on it...and people lost their minds!!!
Over this year, I have critiqued many MPs...always for reasons that have been put in the public eye...Shane Jones, Chris Carter, Bill English, Melissa Lee, Pansy Wong, The Greens, David Garret, Rodney Hide...and the list goes on...but one criticism of The Right Honourable you get emails like this from Lorane, "All what you said about Winston Peters this morning should warrant immediate dismisal" and from Betty Harrington of Hutt Valley directing me to the mesage board because I am "Not too popular Pat."
Winston Peters is the ultimate politician, he is so good, that he takes an issue that is for the 40 years old and under...and uses it to gain support from his constituents. The issue on Close Up last night wasn't for the 65+ brigade, but Winston made it about them. See if we up the retirement age in 2033...it people like me that are affected by it. If you are retired now it won't affect you. But when Winston said "It's attacking the elderly" that's when his political nous is clear to see...It's not attacking the elderly, if anything it's attacking those under 40...as we are the ones that will have the retirement age put up.
What I realised when listening to how people spoke last night is that NZ First is a religion and Winston is their Virgin Mary. When Te Papa showed the Virgin Mary in a Condom piece, Catholics lost their minds...and more obviously when C4 ran a South Park episode where a statue of the Virgin Mary was said to menstruate there were catholic groups protesting outside the studios. South Park every week takes the mickey out of Jesus, Catholics say nothing...but the Virgin Mary is slighted and they lost their minds.
Mary would seem to be holier than Jesus, just like Winston is more sacred than any other member of NZ First...and any other politician that gets criticised. He is our 'Virgin Mary'.
Winston Peters is all full of rhetoric and bluster before an election, he calls everyone on everything, he speaks like he is going to change the world...but in recent years is quite timid in parliament, he is actually quite centrist and moderate...but that won't get him elected.
Winston Peters is a political genius, and he has a constituency of older Pakeha voters. Winston Peters needs to push those buttons to get their support...so for the next 12 months you'll hear from him...
* Retirement age
* Foreshore and Seabed
* The three M's - Muslims, Maoris and Migrants
* Supergold Card
And we may well see him back in politics because people will buy it.
From this whole debate, what is clear is that we don't have a decent third party. Is NZ First the best we have? If that is so what a shame for New Zealand.