Winston goes out guns blazing

Winston exits as acting prime minister this week, handing the reins back to Jacinda Ardern on her return from maternity leave.

And, as you might have expected, Winston is not going quietly.

Stuff?reports that Winston has a few sharp words for John Howard, after the National Party conference at the weekend. Quote:

Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters has ramped up his attack on Australia?after criticism by former Australian Prime Minister John Howard that the outcome of the New Zealand election was unjust and unfair.

Peters hangs up his hat at midnight when Jacinda Ardern returns from maternity leave but he’s still firing salvoes at people on the way out, including the Aussies. End quote.

The outcome of the election was unjust and unfair. We might as well not have bothered having an election at all, because the new government was always going to be decided by Winston Peters. Quote:

“We don’t get very enthusiastic when people come from overseas and start telling us how to run our country and run our democracy which I might add have some very fine features to it – superior to that of Australia, with greater transparency to that of Australia. End quote.

Absolutely priceless hypocrisy from Winston. It is okay for him to tell Australia not to send back convicted criminals to New Zealand and that it should change its flag but if an Australian comments on our electoral system, (which many people are calling into question, particularly after the 2017 election outcome), he has the right to be outraged?

Well. You know Winston. Quote:

Peters said he had a lot of respect for Howard and had been to the rugby with him and his wife but in this case the former Australian prime minister had not lived up to his nickname ‘honest John”. End quote.

He was being honest. He said he thought the outcome of the election was unfair. Many of us agree with him. There is nothing dishonest about that. Quote:

Peters also stepped?up his complaints about Australia stealing?New Zealand’s flag design years ago.

But he waved off?suggestions he was stoking the flames of trans-Tasman bad blood, saying both countries were mature enough to “rib each other”.

“A bit of plain talk is what the Aussies are famous for. They like it.” End quote.

This has all gone way past a bit of ribbing, as he likes to call it. He has effectively called John Howard dishonest, and I think that is more than just ribbing. He has told a sovereign country to change its flag. He has told a sovereign country to stop deporting criminals, even though we do it too. He has done a lot of damage to trans Tasman relations, and New Zealand is going to pay the price of this for a long time to come.

But that’s Winston for you. He doesn’t care what damage he does. After all, he read out his disclaimer on Selection Night. He said words to the effect of? ‘Don’t blame me when it all turns to custard’. Well, I do blame you, Winston. Your legacy will not be a pleasant one, believe me.