Yesterday, Winston Peters said that in any deal with National he would require all National MPs to personally sign the agreement and that he wouldn’t require the same conditions of Labour. That is an unprecedented demand and one that no leader could agree to without losing face. The deeper message here from Peters is â€˜look at those behind Key’. National’s strategy is predicated on keeping attention solely on Key’s grinning visage; Peters says that there are ‘right-wingers and ACT look-a-likes that lurk in the shadows’ in National.
Strangely, Audrey Young seems to think Peters’ statement as a good sign for National. ‘The fact that Mr Peters is giving Mr Key advice at all is a sign that he would seriously contemplate a deal’ (funny, Peters has given a lot of advice to the media in the past, and that’s been generally reported as a bad thing)
So, wait a minute Audrey, the fact that a potential kingmaker would demand this unprecedented assurance from National (and the fact that Winston and National argue like cats and dogs in the House every day) is somehow a sign he wants to deal with National? Pull the other one. John Key has already rejected Peters’ demand, as he was bound to do. In doing so, Key has given Peters a ground to end negotiations with National even if they win more votes than Labour he will say he can’t trust the Tories.