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Vote smart: Winnie cleared but too late

Written By: - Date published: 5:39 pm, November 4th, 2008 - 33 comments
Categories: nz first, vote smart - Tags:

New Zealand First has now been cleared by the Police or any illegal behaviour. That’s three from three but too late.

I’ve never had a lot of love for Peters. Yes, economically NZF is left-wing and they were an important bulwark against the neoliberal revolution. Yes, he’s a cheeky bugger and often hilarious, and its hard to not personally like the guy. Yes, he has made a number of very worthwhile policy successes (free GP visits for under 6s, more cops, etc) and NZF has arguably been, pound for pound, the most successful party under MMP. But, in my opinion, social conservatism and xenophobia has stained his record, and I won’t be sad to see him out of Parliament.

However, that doesn’t justify the unprecedented attack on Peters from the media, egged on by the right-wing parties and their allies. It seems to me far too many journalists who had been made fun of or criticised by Peters over the years saw this as their chance for revenge and took it. The Right’s lines were swallowed far too readily. As Gordon Campbell wrote: “The final lingering image of the privileges committee investigation of Winston Peters was an apt one – a scrum of journalists gathered round Rodney Hide afterwards, virtually begging to be spun”

And the Right’s strategy has worked. There is no chance now of New Zealand First getting over 5% of the vote, and very little of Peters winning Tauranga. For all its faults, NZF didn’t deserve to be killed this way but it has been.

So, what’s an NZF voter to do? Vote Labour or Green. Don’t waste your vote on NZF and don’t give it to one of the parties that smeared Peters so thoroughly. Now, voting for a Labour-led government might not seem like a natural fit for NZF voters but consider the alternative is National and ACT. And also consider that if you don’t vote against National and ACT, their dirty campaign against NZF will have won.

33 comments on “Vote smart: Winnie cleared but too late ”

  1. Monty 1

    Winnie is a complete prick and on Saturday NZ will finally be rid of him, his lies and his arrogance – and the rest of th e Lazy NZ First parasites. Good riddence.

  2. r0b 2

    SP – I thought that was a very balanced summary of Winston / NZF. I couldn’t have been so objective!

  3. r0b 3

    Ahhh – renouncing hate was obviously a short term thing for you Monty. Business as usual from you then. Rightho.

  4. bobo 4

    The media will woe the day they killed their golden egg…

  5. Monty. I thought you were all about the love, man.

  6. rave 6

    I don’t think its too late. Ive never written him off.
    Remember that Winston has been pointing to a clean sheet for months. His supporters will have been expecting this.
    I agree its unlikely that he’ll win Tauranga. But he’s a populist and economic nationalist and such sentiments always build in economic hard times.
    I’m picking he’ll be back and give Hide the hiding he deserves.
    A few people may even vote for Winston out of sheer frustration with the sanctimony of other parties taking their cue from media trials.
    He is also the one most likely to expose Key’s shonkey background. Roll on Wine Box 2.

  7. Ianmac 7

    I have never voted NZF but have disliked the venom expressed against Winston and NZF. Hate to see on Kiwiblog or Whaleoil or here for that matter. Winston did do the job as Foreign Minister well which is what he decided to do this Term. Given the intense pursuit of every doubtful word he has ever said, what a pity the same scrutiny wasn’t given to say John Key.

  8. Monty 8

    The only person who loves Winston is Winston- remember he is th efiirst Minister in living memory to have been censured by Parliament’s Privilages Committee. Only Labourites in their lust for power are prepared to overlook that heis a proven liar – he has misled parliament and as recently as Saturday has been caught out lying about Helicoptor rides.

    How conveniently you forget about the revelations on Saturday (also) surrounding his Policy for Cash in the racing and fishing industries.

    He will win 4.5% on Saturday – but that is all. Monday he will be lining up at the local welfare office looking for the unemployable benefit.

  9. theodoresteel 9

    Actually, that is completely wrong. They did illegal things, a lot, they just won’t be prosecuted. Big difference to those involved. But it was still illegal

  10. Carol 10

    Ditto for the Hollowmen.

  11. If one good thing comes of this election, it will be the death of NZF. At least I’ll have one thing to celebrate.

  12. I’m just putting it out there but could Winston Peters take any action over the accusations now they have shown to be (at best) inaccurate?

  13. RedLogix 13

    What I’m missing is a media turning on ACT and Hide and lambasting them to hell and back for being the prime tools in a nasty, deceitful smear campaign that has backfired in the most spectacular manner imagineable.

    And why no challenge in the media to ACT’s miserable campaign policies, dog-whistling to climate-change deniers, the hang-em-high brigade, and economic ignorati in general? ACT’s campaign is so dishonest even Hide almost certainly does not believe it; but he is 100% willing and proven to be happy exploiting the lowest and most ill-informed prejudices in our community.

    The media have been protecting Hide (and his real masters) all the way.

  14. vto 14

    winston’s talents were wasted on himself.

    but his foibles were well placed.

    for me it all started to unravel when he claimed some years ago after the winebox that “the actual compliance with the law is irrelevant, it is the morals that they broke” and then later he applied the exact opposite standard to Tuku Morgan’s undies.

    His morals have always been malleable. Unless there have been some long term and well placed traps laid for him then quite frankly frankly he has spun his own web.

    Not to mention the many attacks on private citizens from within the ridiculous confines of parliamentary privilege.

    You reap what you sow.

  15. Robin Grieve 15

    What was the three from three?
    Privileges Committee, GUILTY of misleading Parliament, as determined by inderpendent MP’s who heard the evidence.

    Electoral Commission found NZ First did not disclose donations in 2005,2006,2007 and ordered correct returns to be fired. They found no wrongdoing by NZ First Party Secretary because Winston had lied to her by not disclosing the existence of the Spencer Trust. (read the decision on the Commission website if you don’t believe)

    That is 2 from 2 Guilty at this point with only the police deciding no crime. Again because it is against the party and it has to be wilful for it to be an offence. The Party were not told by Winston and so that is why it is not wilful on their part.

    It is wilful on Winston’s part, he is taking any supporters he has left for fools.

  16. vto 16

    It would be fitting if, provided there are no more clangers before his demise, his last lie down was saying he hadn’t used a helicopter in previous campaigns. It seems to have clearly been his most useless yet..

  17. RedLogix 17

    ACT has loudly campaigned on a “Zero Tolerance” of crime policy.

    I fully expect Hide to hand himself in at the nearest Police station tommorrow and confess to wilful perjury and wasting Police time and resources.

    But the slimy hypocrite won’t of course. I’m no fan of Peters, but Hide … (nah I’m not going to type it out; why should I demean myself?)

  18. Ianmac 18

    Redlogix said:”What I’m missing is a media turning on ACT and Hide and lambasting them to hell and back for being the prime tools in a nasty, deceitful smear campaign that has backfired in the most spectacular manner imagineable”.
    And of course National were complicit in this campaign and fed much info to Wodney and donated question time for him to press their attack. (Smear?)
    The by-product of this is that Wodney and John will be blood brothers together should National win. Maybe Wodney could become new DP replacing Bill as a reward for dirty tricks!

  19. Jared 19

    Smear campaign? Winston brought this on himself when he was not honest with the NZ public. He is a politician, and in the same way he expects other MP’s to accept the consequences of having to have a transparent lifestyle, he shouldn’t be judgemental when his past comes back to haunt him.
    Id actually like to know specific examples of ACT’s dishonest campaign, if anything, all they have done was lead the charge against Winston.

  20. RedLogix 20

    Jared,

    I’ve better things to do with my life than defend Winston Peters. You state that he was not honest with the NZ public.

    If you are thinking of the infamous “No” sign incident, it is worth remembering that strictly speaking it was the correct answer to the question put to him.

    But yes in the in the broader sense he was being misleading. Of course the wider purposes of NZ1 were being supported by a very wealthy donor (Glenn Owen), and in doing so it inevitably opened the question of what “quid pro quo” had been purchased with the cash.

    Exactly as it would for any other Party receiving cash in such a murky fashion.

    Which is exactly why Winston refused to fully and transparently answer the question of who his real fiscal backers were.

    Consider then the situation of the other two Parties who have used trusts to hide their real backers, National and ACT. By refusing to reveal who donated to these trusts (involving sums far larger than NZ1’s situation), these Parties have in effect misled the NZ public in exactly the same manner the Winston Peters did.

    National has long defended it’s use of the Ruahine and Waitemata Trusts as legal; although it is now absolutely clear that they were completely unacceptable from a moral perspective. (The Select Committee report into the WP matter, reiterated and clarified this point very strongly.)

    Now it is determined that NZ1’s action were also legal, although of course they were unacceptable morally. This places NZ1, ACT and National in the identical position. Their actions around all these donations while legal, were ethically indefensible.

    But ACT (and National by close association) have greatly compounded their venality with a deeply cynical, profoundly hypocritical and ultimately false allegation of criminal wrong-doing against NZ1.

    It’s almost enough to make me vote for Winnie out of sheer bloody-mindedness. (But not quite.)

  21. Jared 21

    How is using a trust to conceal donations the same as denying the payments occurred in the first place? I hardly think Act is being hypocritical over NZ Firsts use of trusts, rather they are being critical over his attempt to mislead the country about the nature of the donations. Winston always denied that the Owen Glenn payments even occurred, even though he was categorically proved wrong.

  22. RedLogix 22

    Jared,

    How is using a trust to conceal donations the same as denying the payments occurred in the first place?

    If you do not know WHO made the donations the effect is exactly the same… a lack of transparency.

    The critical issue with big anonymous donations is the question of corruption. It is one thing to unload a big wad of cash onto your favourite political cause, it is another to purchase a political favour as a result. Whether the donation itself is a secret, or the name of the donor is a secret, the salient issue of corruption remains exactly the same.

    I might also point out that the effect of combining an unknown number of donations, of unknown size, from unknown sources, into one declared payment from a Trust is in reality exactly the same as denying knowledge of the individual source payments.

  23. Byron 23

    “NZF didn’t deserve to be killed this way but it has been.”

    Some in our immigrant communities may disagree there.

    “Monday he will be lining up at the local welfare office looking for the unemployable benefit.”

    Nope, massive MP pension coming his way. If I were to predict a future career, I’d put my money behind ‘talkback radio host’ though I wouldn’t be surprised if he gave parliament another try in 2011.

    Captcha: abandon ork (to easy…)

  24. Jared 24

    Come on Red, you can’t really believe his line that he didn’t know who donated.

  25. Rex Widerstrom 25

    No, “Winnie” wasn’t cleared at all, Steve. The only person who could have been prosecuted (and only for the 2007 return, as the time limit had expired on the others) was the Party Secretary. And the police concluded, probably quite correctly, that the Party Secretary had not knowingly committed fraud but had merely innocently submitted the (almost certainly deliberately falsified) information provided to them by others in the party hierarchy.

    It’s a right and proper outcome but not the exoneration you’re spinning.

    Hopefully on Saturday we’ll see a discredited figure climbing into his helicopter, fingers raised in a ‘V for victory’ sign, narrowly avoiding an alternative trip to a jail cell. Perhaps he’ll even complete the echo by proclaiming “I am not a crook”.

    I do hope he takes action, as Illuminated Tiger suggests, against those of us who’ve so “innacurately accused” him. I for one will relish the chance for discovery, which is one of the reasons I’ve been happy to comment under my real name.

  26. RedLogix 26

    Come on Red, you can’t really believe his line that he didn’t know who donated.

    Almost certainly Peters knew that Owen Glenn had made a donation. Equally it is almost certain that senior people within ACT and the Nats also know who contributed large sums into the various Trusts their parties have benefited from. The only difference is that no-one from the media has put the blow-torch on ACT or National about it, while at the same time they have consistently refused to open the books on the trusts.

    In terms of transparency (which is the most pertinent question), we the public, are still have none the wiser as to who those large donors to were.

    As I have made clear in the posts above, I believe there is no effective moral daylight between the positions of NZ1, ACT and National in this matter of secret donations. The big difference is that two of those parties compounded their hypocrisy by knowingly conspiring to make a false allegation of criminal wrong-doing against the third.

  27. Simon 27

    It’s simple. New Zealand First supporters should vote New Zealand First. And prove the doubters wrong.

  28. Vinsin 28

    Hopefully Tauranga will vote him back in – it wouldn’t surprise me if they did – because I’d miss the guy if goes. Seriously, we’d lose a fantastic statesman and possibly one of the most entertaining ministers in NZ.

  29. My previous inputs on winstonP have adequately spelled out how an injustice – on the face of things and off – has been perpetuated against him and his party, the latest ‘police’ disclosure confirming this.

    What is to the point, however, is how now his accusers stand distinct for what they are.. and well stated above.

    I understand that he was a product of PM Muldoon, an earlier kiwi to push the power politics button. And emphasise it via media domination. Like father like son, as it were.

    Of course, that very same media had its own story to tell. And tracking away from traditional functions by, for and to whole communities has gotten included. As those communities, in turn, changed. Resulting today in this one politician’s churlishness toward them and their own preoccupations with branded power promotion and corporate control. Of electorates. Consumers. Spenders, cashflow suppliers.

    So yes, media by its own devices can be a weapon. Until those whom it is used against ‘cotton on’. And shun it. How much more shun can it afford..?

    Something its users and abusers might contemplate. ASAP.

  30. Swampy 30

    The law is actually very weak so it is no surprise NZF got off. Of course the law is weak, it was created by politicians who want to make sure they have a good chance of getting away with it. All it takes is for party officials to keep the secretary in the dark. Add to that the 6 month statute of limitations to make it even weaker. I’d just love for someone to tell me how many laws have a statute of limitations and why.

  31. Swampy 31

    “National has long defended it’s use of the Ruahine and Waitemata Trusts as legal; although it is now absolutely clear that they were completely unacceptable from a moral perspective. (The Select Committee report into the WP matter, reiterated and clarified this point very strongly.)”

    What moral is that? Is that the same moral by which the Labour Party campaigns for state funding of political parties?

    Is that the moral that says the government wants to know who donors are so it can villify or persecute them?

  32. Swampy 32

    “The big difference is that two of those parties compounded their hypocrisy by knowingly conspiring to make a false allegation of criminal wrong-doing against the third.”

    Your evidence is?

    Just because NZF was not prosecuted doesn’t mean they actually didn’t break the law. Try looking at the nuts and bolts of the decision. Only party secretaries can be prosecuted. All a party has to do is make sure the secretary isn’t given the right information and they make the return, then they are let off because the secretary didn’t break the law, and the person who did can’t be prosecuted because the law doesn’t allow for it.

  33. Swampy 33

    I think Winnie’s defenders have missed the point.

    That other parties have used trusts is a well known fact.

    NZ First has attacked the process used by other parties, their use of trusts etc.

    The problem is not that any party used trusts. It is that Winston has not been either open or honest about his own party’s use of them.

    Read the media political commentators, are any of them defending Winston? I’d trust them to be a lot more objective than any commenters on a political blog.

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