Clark shifts tack on Peters

The Herald detects of subtle shift of tack in Clark’s position on Peters. It’s hard to disagree. She usually signals her displeasure in veiled terms ahead of acting. When she starts using terms like “serious matter” and “morality” she is positioning herself and readying the public for a decisive move. The Herald:

“Prime Minister Helen Clark distanced herself from Foreign Minister Winston Peters last night, implying he could be judged to be hypocritical if his New Zealand First Party accepted donations from secret trusts.

And she also offered the bare minimum in terms of expressing confidence in him.

“As long as ministers are in their position, I retain confidence in them,” she said at her post-Cabinet press conference. She dismissed any suggestion that the situation could lead to an early election.”

It looks as though Clark has accepted that the levels of hypocrisy and duplicity — we have at least two big donors who thought that they were donting to the Party only to find that they probably weren’t — are unsustainable.

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9 Responses to “Clark shifts tack on Peters”

  1. AndrewE Says:

    The more I think about this the more I think the PM is caught between a rock and a hard place.

    You lie with dogs you get fleas I guess.

  2. Inventory2 Says:

    In some ways it’s a smart move by Clark – she gave Peters his Condi moment, and now looks set to cut him adrift. But what has changed since before the weekend? Not a lot, so she can just as easily be accused of political expediency. The interesting dynamic is all the Winston supporters ringing talkback today who can see no wrong at all, and believe that Peters is being victimised.

    Meantime, I’ve planned my day so I’ll be at the laptop in front of the telly at 2pm!

  3. macdoctor01 Says:

    I2: Yep, I reckon you’re right. When I read AK’s comment in the previous post about how Winston’s core voters actually approve of his “sticking it to the man”, I had the horrifying thought that perhaps Winston had deliberately released the details himself, timing it so that he disengages from Labour and gets tons of media attention just before the polls.

    Somebody pleeeeease tell me I’m just paranoid… 😦

  4. AndrewE Says:

    Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean it’s not true…

  5. barnsleybill Says:

    She has been holding her nose for a week and now.has managed to extract an emotion from me that I thought was impossible for her to achieve.
    Sympathy.

  6. jafapete Says:

    On paranoia, the best bit of grafitti I ever saw said, “Who says I’m paranoid??”

    But seriously, that’s quite a plausible scenario you outline there MacDoc. Normally one would say, “What deliberately bring down the government”, but then, if you’ve done it once…

  7. barnsleybill Says:

    Macdoc’s hypothesis is a good one and JP rightly mentions that the fourth monkey has done it before.
    In this instance I think that the hypothesis while being entertaining is wrong. I am sure peter’s could have found something with less potential to cause self harm than the current scandal if he wanted to create a media storm launch pad.

    Bill, true. What was it last time? Sale of shares in Wellington Airport or some such. If you’re going to bring down the government or leave it, it’s better to try to pass it off as you standing on your principles than have it seen as someone else doing so. Sorry MacDoc, there goes your scenario.

  8. just visiting Says:

    If Peters is sacked, or resigns, he’ll get 5% for sure. He’ll have time to detach himself from Labour before the election, run as the outsider/martyr and appeal to the “antis” who don’t like Clark but don’t trust the Nats (there are plenty of them).

    And the more he looks like getting 5%, the more Key will be asked about dealing with him, and the more he’ll look feeble and evasive in the campaign – and Peters is the opposite from his “change” message. Then if National do end up having to deal with him … their government will be dead before it starts.

    So National would probably be better off if Peters stayed!

  9. ak Says:

    Holy moly, there’s a first time for everything – I aktually agree with Barnacle Bill! Far too risky for Winnie to have engineered this, especially given the timing – why would he want to distract from the prime TV op of Condy’s visit?

    But while we’re getting all conspiratorial ‘n all, my super-sensitive antennae are noticing a tiny shift in the tory wind: Flippery’s demeanour contrasts ever so tellingly with that of his operatives, and his new “decisive” body language has me on the edge of my seat waiting for another John Doh! (“condone”) moment.

    hmmmm…. ..what if the Winnie attack was launched by lesser flunKeys (via their Granny organ) in a vainglorious and long-cached effort to finish Winnie off? It won’t have escaped them that Winnie and the MP will likely hold the Key in November and that Winnie’s invective since 2005 has been rabidly anti-NatAct. Burying him now (while detracting from the Condy boost) might have been just too tempting for some whose poll-worship has convinced them of their own invincibility. But did it look like Flipper had his heart in it? Division in the ranks perhaps?
    That would explain Key’s distancing, unease and mild self-assertion – and marks the first wee hairline crack in the unholy amalgam of kiwiblog rabidistas seething behind the fragile veneer of a single marketable persona.

    What’s worse, it all went horribly wrong: that single wink today and that snap of the young Latin lovers rushing into each other’s arms mean that the Master is back. Stronger, fitter, sexier than ever – and ready to sink those flashing pearlies into more tory pie. And Hels played it like the pro she is, Cully pulled off an impressive sound-bite and even Ruth Dyson positively glowed tonight.

    Next poll, Winnie up to 7, Lab-Nact gap down to 10.

    Course I could be wrong – (like I said, there’s a first time for everything) 8)

    ak, Great comment/post. Interesting ideas and such inventive spelling.

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