I am not sure that an elderly person who clearly is forgetting things should be allowed access to his Twitter account, let alone the levers of power.
But that is the situation we are currently in.
Yesterday Winston Peters tweeted this:
We waited until today to find out, for the first time, that the Prime Minister's Office received information about the March 15 terrorist attack before the massacre took place. Jacinda Ardern should be called to the hearing and asked to explain this appalling lack of transparency…
— Winston Peters (@winstonpeters) October 25, 2023
But dear reader there were a rather major problem with his claim. We did not wait until yesterday to find out that Jacinda Ardern’s office had received advance notice of the Christchurch massacre. It was published in a very prominent way very shortly after the event happened.
From Radio New Zealand:
New Zealand First leader Winston Peters has accused former prime minister Dame Jacinda Ardern of “an appalling lack of transparency” over what she knew about the 15 March terror attacks before they happened.
A spokesperson for the prime minister’s office said the tweet from Peters was “clearly inaccurate” and Deputy Prime Minister Carmel Sepuloni has called for an apology.
A timeline of what Ardern knew – and when – was reported widely at the time, and also addressed at a press conference the day after the attacks.
At a press conference on 16 March, one day after the attacks took place, Ardern explained her office was sent the terrorist’s manifesto minutes before the first shots were fired.
“I was one of more than 30 recipients of a manifesto that was mailed out nine minutes before the attack took place,” she said.
“It did not include a location, it did not include specific details. I’m advised that within two minutes of its receipt in at least my office, it was conveyed directly to Parliamentary security.”
Winston doubled down by claiming he was referring to a telephone call made at the time by Ardern and that in this call she had not informed him about receiving the manifesto. But this makes no sense. His original claim is clearly that she kept information hidden until yesterday, not that she did not mention it in one call that was made to him at the time.
He will tough it out and refuse to apologise or even say that he got it wrong. Which is a shame.
I suspect Christopher Luxon is crossing his fingers that the special votes end up in National’s favour. Otherwise we really are facing the prospect of a Coalition of Chaos involving a leader who appears to have been in a time warp for the last six years.
Strategy? Do we ask the dog what it's strategy is, when it barks at every car that drives by? People think he's playing 3D chess, when he may well just have forgotten whose move it is in checkers.
— @damianchristie.bsky.social (@damianchristie) October 25, 2023