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NZF dodges the Lhaws bullet

Written By: - Date published: 4:27 pm, July 28th, 2010 - 42 comments
Categories: nz first - Tags: , ,

Must admit my heart sank this morning when I read this from Vernon Small:

Speculation is rife that NZ First leader Winston Peters and his former adviser Michael Laws are to team up again as part of a ‘relaunch’ of the party this year.

Neither Mr Laws, who is to stand down as Whanganui mayor this year, nor Mr Peters would confirm the rumours. But MPs from both sides of the House and sources close to NZ First said they were aware of plans.

One source said Mr Peters had indicated he wanted to relaunch the party this year.

Seems I wasn’t the only one! The Lhaws “vociferous” denial is here (9:45am). Small’s page linked above is now carrying the NZF denial (2:10pm). No smoke without fire? Was it being discussed? If so, looks like Lhaws decided to bail, and NZF had to cover. Now it’s a doubly dead duck. Thank the Lhawd.

42 comments on “NZF dodges the Lhaws bullet”

  1. Thank the Lhawd.

    Agreed. Laws is one of the most obnoxious arrogant self opinionated politicians in the country. He makes most of the National Party caucus look moderate and reasonable.

    NZF is at 4.5 % in the polls however (shudder).

    I always was intrigued by the wingnut assault on Peters who essentially is right wing. The members of his group were an interesting bunch, harbouring climate change deniers, rascists, and rabid lauranordas.

    And we (the left) used to get attacked about him!

    Politics is a funny business sometimes …

    • r0b 1.1

      Ain’t that the truth.

    • sean14 1.2

      And we (the left) used to get attacked about him!

      That’s because there was very little the previous government wouldn’t do to entertain and defend him.

      I’m sure I’ll be shouted down as a right-wing nutjob, but Peters engaged in behaviour that would have had posters/commentators at The Standard baying for blood had he been in government with National.

      As Clark said about the pledge card, she disagreed with the ref’s call, but accepted the decision and paid the money back. Anyone seen Winston’s 158 grand yet?

      • Daveosaurus 1.2.1

        And has Don Brash paid his GST bill yet?

        • Graeme Edgeler 1.2.1.1

          Don Brash didn’t need to pay GST to the IRD, he wasn’t providing goods or services. TVNZ, TV3 and Mediaworks needed to pay GST, and I’m quite sure they did.

          National needed to pay its debts.

    • vto 1.3

      Exactly mr mickey, thats because you jumped into bed with him.

    • “Politics is a funny business sometimes ”

      Good L(h)ord! I agree with you on something Mickey! And I also agree that a Laws-free Parliament is a noble objective, as is a Winston-free one.

      • gobsmacked 1.4.1

        Inventory2:

        So why don’t you and your mates start telling John Key that you prefer Goff to Peters (because you know you do)?

        Tell him that if you don’t get Plan A (a NACT majority), you’d rather have a grand coalition than have any truck with Winston.

        Peters only has a possible future because National are willing to give him one. What’s changed since 2008? Why won’t Key rule him out? Is it because National voters prefer Peters to the Maori Party? That’s the truth, isn’t it?

        (and to answer the obvious comeback, yes I’d be happy if Goff ruled him out too)

        • sean14 1.4.1.1

          Peters only has a possible future because National are willing to give him one.

          The same could be said for Labour. Will Goff categorically rule Peters out? He seemed to be perfectly happy to do business with him in the last term of Parliament.

          Is it because National voters prefer Peters to the Maori Party?

          As I recall, the Prime Minister ruled Peters out before the last election and made overtures to the Maori party. National won the last election comfortably, so I don’t see how you can spin that as National voters having a preference for Winston over the Maori party.

          Speaking for myself I would welcome the Prime Minister ruling out a deal with Mr Peters here and now, and he certainly won’t get my vote (and nor will Phil Goff) if I think he will deal with him after the 2011 election.

    • Pundit X 1.5

      That’s the problem with MMP. You have to get into bed with the most obnoxious politicians to form a government. At least with first past the post you can lay out your policies to the electorate and if successful implement them. No matter how much you tinker with the electoral system you still end up with politicians..

  2. I’m not so sure I’m convinced that the gig is off.

    Laws did not explicitly rule out a return to national politics, only stated that he “wouldn’t comment on rumours”, and the Small “pulled it out of his arse”.

    And re: Party President: since when does WP keep his lackeys in the loop – usually they are the last to know.

    I’m also not convinced that this is necessarily a bad thing, while Peters and Laws do have a common repulsive factor to me, NACT repulses me to a far greater degree and anything that can assist in denying an outright majority for worker unfriendly policies should be embraced, not that Peters/Laws are pro-worker, they have a greater pragmatism on the economic scale than NACT – re: the post-96 Bolger govt.

    Law’s comments about the 1980s and 1990s being a disaster for New Zealand (in the context of Key being a poll-driven populist) certainly would ring favourably amongst many Labour supporters. When in fact, most of the current government are itching to resume the oft-maligned programme.

    • lprent 2.1

      …not that Peters/Laws are pro-worker, they have a greater pragmatism on the economic scale than NACT..

      Less ideological stupidity in actions, but a lot less consistency in the same.

      After watching NZF on and off over the years I long ago came to the conclusion that their policy platform is solely based on how well the line presents when repeated ad-infinitum…. Puts off anyone capable of remembering what he said last week. Works fine on people with distinct short-term memory loss issues. However there is a quite a disjunction between their rhetorical ideological statements and their much more pragmatic actions. Of course that is the role of a smaller party – they can always blame their larger coalition partners..

      Of course National has picked up this mismatch and reversed it. Their words are pragmatic, but many of their actions are sheer unadulterated bull-headed ideological stupidity.

      I guess that is what you get when a larger party emulates the NZF political philosophy. Of course both parties are now run by admirers of Robert Muldoon – who was the most effective proponent of the disjointed message/action system I’ve seen in this country.

    • Rex Widerstrom 2.2

      I’m not so sure I’m convinced that the gig is off.

      Me neither.

      Laws did not explicitly rule out a return to national politics, only stated that he “wouldn’t comment on rumours’, and the Small “pulled it out of his arse’.

      And more to the point, what Lhaws “pulls out his arse” today will be vehemently denied as misquotation tomorrow when he changes his mind. Remember when he wasn’t going to stand for a second term as Mayor, no matter what?

      And re: Party President: since when does WP keep his lackeys in the loop usually they are the last to know.

      George Groombridge is a man of considerable integrity (albeit with a sadly flawed judgment of other people) and that’s precisely why he isn’t kept in the loop by Winston – who incidentally sees the role of “the grey shoe wearers” (as he calls party officials) as being solely to organise the ordinary membership. Parliamentary matters, including candidate selection, have always solely been the preserve of him and occasionally a small cabal.

      …while Peters and Laws do have a common repulsive factor to me, NACT repulses me to a far greater degree…

      Which illustrates that many on the left have only a partial understanding of the full potential harm a pairing of these two has. That it hasn’t, in the past, produced results worse than NACT has been because the only time it got near power, post-96, it was blunted by numbers and opposition to Lhaws from Henare and the other Maori MPs.

      Winston’s popularity as a front for Lhaws’ worst instincts is potentially vastly more destructive than anything seen so far… it would all depend on how much influence they had in a government.

      Unfortunately the left can’t ask Michael Hirschfeld, but I suggest you dig up Mike Moore and ask him to tell you about post-election negotiations with Winston acting as Lhaws’ sock puppet. I was there (advising Labour)… it was… indescribable.

  3. toad 3

    I’m not so sure, r0b. Nowhere in Lhaws’ tirade that you linked to does he categorically rule it out – it’s all bluster and obfuscation (something Lhaws is very good at). And the fact that Peters refused to comment is interesting to.

    Maybe the conversation started something like this:

    WP: These days I seem to have an appeal only to people over 70 and those who have bigoted attitudes towards Asian immigrants. But you, Micael, appeal to people who have bigoted attitudes towards a whole range of groups in society. So, here’s a suggestion…

  4. gobsmacked 4

    News, 2011:

    John Key today announced that the Right Hon Winston Peters would be the new Consul (Permanent) in Monte Carlo. He would represent New Zealand’s trade interests, and entertain potential investors on his new yacht, provided by the taxpayer.

    Key insisted that there had been no “deal”, and that this was a “balanced and pragmatic” boost to the economy in line with KiwiKanDoo (previously known as “Step-Change”).

    In a separate media release, New Zealand First has disbanded. Commentators are surprised by the move, as they are currently polling at over 6%.

    Winston Peters was not available for comment.

  5. burt 5

    Winston & Laws in coalition with Labour – Oh joy.

    • Burt

      If you asked Labour’s activists they would probably prefer that hell froze over first …

    • burt 5.2

      I have no argument with that. But would it stop Labour doing it to gain the treasury benches? Would it stop National even considering they have said no deal to Peters before.

      Lhaws and Peters are a case where the total revulsion imagining them in power together is greater than the sum of revulsion imaging them there opposing each other. If they stand, come election time I will choose between the parties that have declared “no deal” leading into the election. If I ask Labour activists if they would do the same, what do you think they would say?

      • mickysavage 5.2.1

        If I ask Labour activists if they would do the same, what do you think they would say?

        That Lhaws was a particularly fetid rotton large smelly dead frog that we thought the Nats should contemplate swallowing.

        • Herodotus 5.2.1.1

          Easiest way to kill Winny is devoid him of any air time. Do not even comment on anything he or NZ1 does or says. No traction, Winny maybe entertaining and have some skills within parliament but at for me the cost of him is greater than the benefits. He is 65 let him retire. He plays on promise and then wins 5% becomes King maker but cannot deliver on his promises. except Gold card (Purchase votes) and free doctors for under 6’s 96(?) did add value to the country,but one good idea implemented in 4 elections, was it worth it??

  6. coolas 6

    Could Laws win Whanganui from Burroughs in 2011?

    If so, NZ First will be back in Parliament with 4/5? seats.

    They’ll never go with National after the beat-up last election.

    Like it or not NZ First could be the decisive factor in ensuring the defeat of Nact next year and at 4.5 in the polls looks possible.

    A high price to pay to have that nasty, bigoted prick in Parliament, but is he
    any worse than Hide and Garret, and most of the current cabinet?

    • comedy 6.1

      “A high price to pay to have that nasty, bigoted prick in Parliament, but is he
      any worse than Hide and Garret, and most of the current cabinet?”

      Yes he is more noxious than an unholy combination of Roger Douglas, Jim Anderton and Bill English

    • I would be very disappointed if Laws stood against Chester Borrows. Borrows supported Laws’ Gang Insignia Bill, and the two worked together very efffectively. It would be a kick in the guts for Chester if Laws stood against him.

  7. nilats 7

    I ask you WP fans out there this. All polis are lying pricks, but WP is the only one to use his dead mothers warm corpse to delibertly lie to the public.

    Why did Peters use the still warm corpse of his dead mother to lie to the NZ public ion 18 July 2008 about finding out of the Owen Glenn $100K. Peter’s knew well before this as Owen Glenn proved when he came over here in 2008.
    Links are:
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10522347
    http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/winston-peters-mother-dies-eve-party-conference-33190

    Peters is a lying dispicable prick.

  8. A Nonny Moose 8

    Not 6 months ago I made the joke along the idea of Laws hooking up with Peters.

    To say I was not amused when I saw the headline this morning is an understatement.

    Antispam: corrupted

  9. tc 9

    Clark only formed the gov’t with Winnie as she was obligated to under MMP (y’know those rules thingy you RWNJ’s forget conveniently) and winnie did what winnie does best….look after No 1 and stopped labour from getting a carbon tax (no need for an ETS) amongst other things.

    If Hide and barking loons like Boscawen and Garrett can be at the trough with their neanderthal agendas then why not winnie !

    • vto 9.1

      tc “Clark only formed the gov’t with Winnie as she was obligated to under MMP (y’know those rules thingy you RWNJ’s forget conveniently) ”

      what are you talking about? do you mean she was obligated to compromise her principles in order to gain power?

      how bizzare, how bizarre..

      • mickysavage 9.1.1

        TC is right.

        The funny thing about MMP is that you need a majority. The only way that Labour could get a majority is going into coalition with NZF. Really sad, I know, I would have preferred that they go into coalition with the Greens but democracy is a bugger sometimes.

        NZF had an adverse effect on the country’s climate change policies. Labour’s proposal was way weaker than it should have been but way better than this Government’s proposals.

        I would prefer the NZF disappeared and the Greens got their stuff together and had a good number of MPs. Then things could really start to happen …

        • burt 9.1.1.1

          So the funny thing about democracy in NZ is that parties compromise their principles to gain power. That’s not funny – it’s twisted and wrong. If Labour had campaigned on ‘anything goes as long as we win’ then it would be OK. It was a disgrace, a sell out.

          • Richard 9.1.1.1.1

            No, the serious thing is that the government purportedly represents a negotiated compromise of the principles held by the representatives of a majority of voters.

            The funny thing is when the voters are fooled into voting for representatives that do in fact have the slightest interest in representing their constituency.

  10. Ron 10

    “If Hide and barking loons like Boscawen and Garrett can be at the trough with their neanderthal agendas then why not winnie !”
    Gotta agree. an Lors/Winnie would be a hell of a lot funnier as they self destructed. ACT re just annoying

  11. SHG 11

    There’s only one thing that saddens me more than the possibility of Michael Laws and Winston Peters relaunching NZ First: the knowledge that it would certainly be successful and that NZ First would be returned to Parliament.

    • jbanks 11.1

      If Labour announced it would form a Govt. with a Peters/Laws party it wouldn’t matter if Peter/Laws got 5%. Labour supported would run to National to get away from such an immoral move.

  12. Puddleglum 12

    NZF is an interesting case.

    I agree with Lyn that their policies and actions are far more pragmatic than their rhetoric and no more despicable than those of other parties in parliament (e.g., no more than ACT policies in the area of crime – of course some of these are now law, so I guess we also have National as complicit in those areas).

    What is deplorable is the rhetoric – it’s disingenuous, divisive, populist and crafted for short-term electoral advantage. In imaginable sets of circumstances, it’s like flicking matches into tinder-dry bush.

    But, then, that’s the case with most parties’ rhetoric too (‘Iwi-Kiwi’, anyone?), though usually with different targets. Brutal suppression of strikers (e.g., in the early 1900s and 1951) in NZ was bolstered by extreme, inflammatory rhetoric by the ‘establishment parties’; then there’s McCarthyism in the US, boat people and John Howard in Australia, immigrants and any number of European and UK politicians. So, it’s deplorable rhetoric, but politically common in Western democracies, including in the ‘mainstream’ parties.

    What is also deplorable is the behaviour that verges on corrupt. But, once again, WP and NZF are by no means alone in this.

    I know Rex argues NZF is one of a kind when it comes to corrupt, manipulative, authoritarian practices within the party but, frankly, once again nothing that has happened in NZF – so far as I’m aware – has not also happened in other parties, here and overseas (e.g., rigging or gerrymandering of party election processes). The machinations in the Labour Party in the 80s, Blair and Brown in New Labour, the Hollow Men and their backers in the National party machine, Muldoon, etc. – all, in my opinion, occurred in a manner devoid of anything resembling ethical conduct.

    And, in a perverse sort of way, I think in a real social crisis in NZ – which is always possible given its omnipresent racism and ugly, mean undercurrents – WP may well be an insurance against things getting out of hand. He is not a raging populist megalomaniac – from a distance he strikes me as liking power largely for the ‘baubles of office’ and status (not unlike Peter Dunne, really) than for a means of promoting any socially malicious ideology. (In fact, that’s the case for most political parties – willing to fan the flames, but only to a self-serving point.)

    In a real crisis he would return to his class (and ethnic) origins and values which are fundamentally conservative, and act out the part of the elder statesman of the cranky and marginalised, urging restraint. (NZF has also had this odd dichotomy of popularity including some of its highest polling in Maori electorates).

    That is, he is more likely to divert and defuse real tension (simply because instability doesn’t really suit his career plans). He was Treasury’s poodle, after all, not one to upset the applecart.

    Yes, politics is rotten to anyone with serious principles. It won’t change until democracy becomes, for most Kiwis, more than, literally, a box-ticking exercise.

  13. kriswgtn 13

    The thing with WP is the oldies love him and if he promises them enough- hell yeah he’ll be back in parliament

    I personally think hes fukin hilarious and good to watch when pounced on hahahahah

    but as my neighbour said hes loved by the oldies 🙂

    so expect him back hell he aint as bad as snide and co

    that lot makes my eyes bleed

  14. I suspect that Winston got the sharp end of a plan to remove NZF from parliament. If I had been an adviser to Nat-ACT prior to the last exelection I would have suggested that you aim for removing Winnie. With him will go a coalition partner for Labour show it go down to the wire with National.

    But you had to do it with such timing that you damage his rep prior to the election and create a cloud of him, with Rodney gleefully sitting in the front row everyday as “Just Another Concerned” memebr if the public. He was there to take the point position to ensure it went down as they wanted and as the conservative face in the TV frame to serve as the counterpoint to the dubioud scoundrel Winston.
    But it could not be too early that he could then recover when all the enquiries (except one) found there was no case to answer. That one case was when he was given a bollocking by Simon Power in co. Isn’t it interesting that SFO and others found no case to answer and yet Power and others had him convicted & hun before the bisuits had been handed out.

    Being no fan of Winston , I have to say that it was interesting to them there esp Ron Mark and they represented a lobby group that has the potential to grow.

    Following the last election there no longer seemed any more furtile ground for Winnie and his minions in which to garner a constituency. As of late, National have handed them and audience.
    What has National done? Well, following :
    The increased petrol prices following the internation crude oil speculation.

    The flow on to living costs.

    Decades of electricity price rises from Max Bradford’s failed promises of competion delivering cheaper power personally delivered by invisible hand of the free market.

    The Global Financial Crisis that saw companies cut back, struggle, fail and rises in prices. It also saw the collapse of retirement money as people defrauded the finance companies the directed or were reckless in the loans they made (before buggering of overseas).

    Fonterra and “impoverished” farmers making a killing out of the doubling of the price of milk – pushing up cheese, butter etc and all products the depend on them

    What relief has National provided….
    Changing the tax situation on second houses and putting pressure on landlords to increase rents.

    Instead of charging polluters for the mess they make they use our taxes to cover them and then put a tax on petrol and power that these companies will pass on to the consumer (even Mercury who I’m sure has no fossil fuel issues) and thereby putting up the cost of living. Directly or through the increases for the manaufacturer we rely on to sell us the things we need.

    Giving tax breaks (that tiresome unimaginative ideological one-solution-for-all-ills that National trots out ) but only to people who are most likely to not miss them and giving no breaks to people for whom every $1 is proportionately more significant them than it is to those in the upper rackets (sorry Brackets).

    To cover for any lost revenue due to tax cuts and the GFC they instead increase the tax on the cost of living items that the plebs. So up goes food again; up goes electricity again; up goes petrol again.

    Owh! Owh! And to make matters worst, and the end of this wave of price increases, and while Paula Bennett is getting an education overseas (when quite clearly there are people here who can tell her a thing or two), her team of trained protologists will be examining the initmate details and lives of the lower income people. Details she may also announce to the world if you cross her.

    Add to this the sale of land that produces our most important commodities to foreign investors.

    And my point…
    There is a consituency out there for Winston to harvest with the help of his hunch-backed practitioner of the dark arts.

  15. Adrian 15

    Like him or loath him, Winston is the only politician in NZ who has the ability to counter the Crosby/Textor bullshit in an election campaign, and Epsom would be a great soapbox, that’s one title fight I’m looking forward to. I don’t see any one in Labour able to do the same job, they are too scared of upsetting a demographic or have to leave it to Phil Goff ( why does PG sound so good in the house but shit outside of it? ). Phil doesn’t have enough mongrel to go out on a limb with accusations and allegations, while Winnie revels in it. He is the best anti-Nact weapon out there, but don’t be surprised if he appears to change sides after the election.

  16. Pat 16

    Winston always commands a high price, so Goff will have to make him deputy PM. No doubt Michael Laws wants the Maori Affairs portfolio.

    Once again the Greens will be consigned to the dark corner of the room like the perpetual mushrooms they are.

  17. Lats 17

    I have no doubt at all it is going to happen. Politicians like Laws and Peters can be relied upon to do one thing consistently, and that is lie to the media. So when they bluster and vehemently deny something like this, it means its almost a foregone certainty that we’ll see a Peters/Laws ticket next year.

    And I feel a bit sorry for the Greens, they have no real bargaining power with Labour, there is really nobody else they can go into govt with, aside from the Maori Party, so Labour can pretty much ignore them. There is no fear of them working closely with National. ACT are in a similar position, they can only really side with the Nats. Thats one of the reasons why NZ First makes for an interesting political mix, they are just volatile and centrist enough to actively court both major parties.

  18. tc 18

    MMP….Maybe My Policies……maybe not.

  19. Rharn 19

    Peters may have a right wing ideological bent but watch this disappear if he gets elected to Parliment. Labour will do well if it has nothing to do with the man, not so much because of policy differences but more to do with the percieved ‘corruption’ of the man. Peters will go after Hyde like a raging bull goes after the matador. Hyde does not stand a chance and there is no one in ACT that can come close to Peters in Parliment. He’s a politician with score to settle. Could be worth a vote for that reason alone.

    • William Joyce 19.1

      Peters has the wit of a sharp blade. Hide not wit and all the finesse of a blunt object. Like the battle of dolphin and shark. The dolphin zooms in and hits the shark and is gone. The shark just thrashes and goes wtf was that? All very entertaining but not really substantive – just the froth and bubble of politics. *sigh*

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