Peters: Back in 5 minutes?

As Audrey Young points out, Winston Peters’ voluntary, albeit inevitable, stand down from his portfolios is “designed to give every suggestion of it being temporary.”

Clark’s assumption of the portfolios certainly gives that appearance. How can the Prime Minister carry on as Minister of Foreigh Affairs and fight an election campaign?

Young reports that:

“Peters and his lawyer, Peter Williams, QC, are taking documentation from the secret Spencer Trust to the SFO in Auckland this morning.”

Williams says that the documentation will prove that the donations under investigation by the SFO had reached NZ First.

If that is the case — and Williams is a very highly respected member of the legal profession — that would presumably see the SFO investigation come to an abrupt end.

Peters would then be able to argue that he has demonstrated that Owen Glenn did not actually make a donation to NZ First — the subject of his “NO” sign — and that the allegations about the diversion of the Velas and Jones donations were false.

Clark says that, “If the SFO finds no case to answer, then reinstatement is obvious.”

However, Peters might have won these battles, but not yet the war. There would still be outstanding the allegations of corruption made by Rodney Hide under parliamentary privilege, along with the conflict over whether Peters solicited the donation for Owen Glenn and which is a separate matter from the SFO investigation.

Unless he can demonstrate <em> before the election</em> that there is also nothing in either of these latter allegations, then the right will most likely have been victorious in their very obvious, well orchestrated campaign to eliminate him.

Certainly that is what Key is now banking on, having declared, “From National’s point of view, we’re ruling out working with New Zealand First and Winston Peters.” Key presumably knows what more dirt is waiting for the DomPost and Herald to fling. But then Clark’s seen the documentation.


9 Responses to “Peters: Back in 5 minutes?”

  1. Inventory2 Says:

    JP – the difficulty for Peters is that he has been exposed as a hypocrite, and all the SFO will do will determine whether he is also a corrupt hypocrite.

    For years he has railed against secret trusts, but we now find that NZ First has had at least two. For years he has railed against anonymous donations, but now we find that NZ First was happy to receive significant donations. For years he has maintained the line that NZ First didn’t receive a single dollar from “big business” and whilst that might, strictly speaking be true, we find that “big business” (Glenn, Jones, Vela, Simunovich) have made significant contributions totalling hundreds of thousands of dollars which has eventually ended up in the coffers of NZ First, albeit by circuitous routes. He is no more a “principled politician” than anyone in any of the opther parties.

    Then there’s issues of transparency, where Peters holds far higher standards for everyone else than he maintains himself. I am sure that the SFO will be wanting to see all NZ First returns to the Chief Electoral Officer. I’m sure the SFO will be looking to see if returns that have been signed off by NZ First officials over a considerable period tally with the records that have been provided by the Spencer Trust. And of course there is still the Privileges Committee hearing regarding the undeclared pecuniary interest, although I suspect that will go away very quickly if the PC calls the PM to give evidence on Thursday – I suspect that if that is the case, we will be discussing the election date. 18 October would suit me fine, as Mrs Inventory and I are off on a cruise on the 23rd!

  2. jafapete Says:

    I2, Peters certainly has a huge credibility problem now that he has been exposed, for the reasons you outline, as a rank hypocrite. No doubt about that. Whether he would still be able to find 5% despite that, and be an acceptable partner in government, is debatable. After all, the NZ public have had so many lies told to them by neo-liberal zealots in the 4th Labour Govt (and later ACT) and National, including Honest (no I don’t know anything about the Brethren, no wait, yes I do) Don

    But the charges that someone has been making through the Herald, DomPost and Rodney Hide are altogether different.

    I guess we’ll see about the election date.

  3. Inventory2 Says:

    JP – no lies from the FIFTH Labour government?

    I2, They kept their promises — refer to the pledge cards. Lies? Let’s see… Cancelling the chewing gum tax adjustment, I guess. Can’t think of anything else off the top of my head.

  4. Inventory2 Says:

    This perhaps?

    “Bob McCroskie: So you do not want to see smacking banned?

    Helen Clark: Absolutely not, I think you are trying to defy human nature.”

    I2, She had a genuine change of mind, after further thought and reflection. There was also a great deal of debate which meant that the arguments got a good hearing. In the end I think she got the principles right and the politics wrong. Many NZers aren’t yet ready to stop thrashing their children. Sadly.

    But I’ll tell you what, if changes of mind count as lies, I can match every time Clark changed her mind with more than one instance where Key has changed his. Does this make him a big liar?

  5. Inventory2 Says:

    Oh yeah, the pledge card – was that the one they promised the Chief Electoral Officer they’d include in their returns, but then they didn’t? The one where they paid back $800k to the taxpayer? Hmm, I’d nearly forgotten about the pledge card!

    I2, Did they promise that? The National Party omitted GST to their considerable advantage as I recall.

  6. AndrewE Says:

    With that last reply you definitely confirmed your party hackery!

    And I’d expect a better argument from you than ‘oh they did it too!’

  7. Inventory2 Says:

    I think you’re being very charitable to the PM over the smacking thing JP – and let’s be clear – we ARE talking smacking, not thrashing or beating – there is a difference, even if the reality is that even a civilised society like ours will likely never eliminate either.

  8. Inventory2 Says:

    “I2, Did they promise that?”

    Yep –

    I2, Nope, that looks like an offer that got retracted.

  9. Inventory2 Says:

    Hair-splitting JP; mere hair-splitting 😉

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