Like some bad horror movie, from beyond the political grave, it stirs again. Christine Rankin? Unbelievably – yes. Don Brash? Well yes, him too (fresh new thinking from National!). But these are but side shows to the main event. Winston Peters is back.
Ironically it is National that has opened the door wide for Winston with their dramatic triple backwards flip flop on the foreshore & seabed. For a brief heady moment there it looked like consensus and an enduring solution might be within reach. Labour was never going to stoop to National’s 2004 lows and play the “Iwi/Kiwi” race card. As Armstrong put it, Labour’s constructive position “opens the door to National building a cross-party consensus without fear that the current major Opposition party will exploit angst among Pakeha in the way National did back in 2004”.
Winston saw his chance. The angry mob drummed up by National is still out there. They haven’t got a voice in parliament any more, but Winston thinks he might just be the one to give it to them. He’s found the perfect vehicle to ride back in to power next election. So the positioning has started. The media attention has started. Winston has even apologised for his mistakes in 2008, which more than anything else convinces me that this is not just random posturing, it’s the start of a planned comeback campaign.
The devil on my shoulder thinks that there would be a certain justice in seeing National have to deal with the angry mob that they created as a political force. The angel on my other shoulder knows that the utu isn’t worth the ongoing damage to race relations in New Zealand. So go away Winston. Please. Just let it be.