What’s Winston up to now?

Winston Peters, Kingmaker.

Politicians can be hard to read and Winston is particularly tricky because he holds his cards close to his chest. So close that Ardern was clueless until the very end. She should have paid much closer attention if she wanted to get the jump on this wily old dog.

It was not a good day for the CoL when the CGT fell at the final hurdle. After she delivered the bad news and left the podium, Ardern?s shoulders slumped. It was either bad posture or dejection, but inwardly she must be fuming at Winston for abandoning her at the 11th hour.

Publicly both claim the CGT failed due to lack of public support.Quote.

Peters this afternoon downplayed NZ First’s role in the Government back-down, saying it was the lack of public support throughout the country that led to it.

The NZ First leader said the decision was not made until the “last few hours”. End of quote.

While there?s life, there?s hope; but why on earth did it take Ardern so long to figure out she was thrashing a dead horse? Surely an open and transparent CoL conversation about the CGT much earlier in the piece would have dispatched the idea before spending millions?

Sir Michael Cullen says he knows who is to blame for the CGT failure ? and it has nothing to do with a lack of public support. Quote.

The Government was unable to proceed because Mr Peters has ruled it out, let’s be quite clear what’s happened here.”

He suggested Peters made the decision not to support the tax for political reasons.

“I understand the nature of politics from their perspective ? when you’re sitting on about three per cent in the polls, you’ve not got a lot of political capital to use up really.” End of quote.

Newstalk ZB

Sour grapes, or is Cullen right? If he is, when exactly did Winston rule out a CGT? Did the kingmaker string out this decision until the last few hours, as he claims, for maximum impact?

Winston is setting himself up for next year’s election by gouging his CoL partners. Cullen also claims that Winston has his sights set on bringing down Bridges. Quote.

“I think the big losers out of this were the National Party because they saw this as the horse they could ride to the election and win on.

“Basically, while I’m disappointed in New Zealand First’s decision, it has shot the horse out from underneath the National Party.”

end of quote.

It seems to me that Bridges didn’t actually need anyone else’s help in digging himself into a very large hole ? he capably did that all by himself. Winston just delivered the coup de grace and will no doubt be hoping to bring to the surface some talented Nats he can work with because they are not from the old school who kicked him in the guts.

Bridges was quick to claim the credit for sinking CGT, but in this he is quite wrong. Look up, Simon ? someone is dancing on ahead of you!

Let the National Party begin rebuilding and pay close attention to Winston. Love him or loathe him, he deserves credit for being streets ahead of the pack in political planning and execution.