A Response to Trotter’s Article on Winston

By John

The piece from Chris Trotter on Incite Politics, It’s Winston ‘The Tool Man’ Peters was an interesting but somewhat confusing read. I got the logic of where he was coming from but in my view, the narrative was not supportive of it in terms of the reality.

Let’s start with his headline – It’s Winston ‘The Tool Man’ Peters. I’m not entirely sure of the meaning he had in mind with the use of the word tool. If you go to the Urban Dictionary one of  the meanings of the word tool in reference to a person is as follows:

Someone whose ego FAR exceeds his talent, intelligence and likeability. But, of course, he is clueless regarding that fact. He erroneously thinks he is THE MAN!

Very apt. 

Chris describes Winston as a right-winger who thinks like a left-winger – an extremely rare political talent. Really? The National Party are chock-full of those types. Chris would disagree. He thinks the Nats are right-wingers who think like right-wingers. Unfortunately, he didn’t give any names but it would have been a pretty short list as far as Oilers are concerned. 

Chris says Simon Bridges and his colleagues look at Winston and see only an opportunist. I would have thought that comment could apply to most of the voting public. He says that’s why they regard Peters’ decision to throw in his lot with Labour and the Greens as a fatally foolish mistake. Damn right it was Chris and in case you haven’t realised it the country is paying a hefty price as a result. 

Chris says Bridges’ decision to borrow heavily from Scott Morrison’s campaign against Bill Shorten shows National’s true direction of travel. Hey Chris, most of us here are trying to work out National’s true direction of travel and what we know, we don’t particularly like. At the moment the Party is in sore need of a GPS or at least a compass.

According to Chris, this direction of travel is to pound the government remorselessly for its failures, (he didn’t tell us when that was going to start), and brand it as spendthrift and inept. You got that bit right Chris. Also, to offer tax cuts and grown-up governance. Some confidence in the former, not so much in the latter but anything would be an improvement on the CoL. 

Chris says next year’s election is not going to be an election in which the electorate uses their votes primarily as a weapon. The only reason I can think of for saying that is the government is assuming most weapons will have been handed in by then. Our vote is the only weapon we have and, rest assured Chris, it will be used by those of us here. 

Chris talks about the great ‘tool’ elections of 1938 and 1987 where the electorate was determined to ensure that what the incumbent government had started be permitted to continue. I presume in relation to this government he’s talking more taxes. I can’t think of anything positive this mob have started. He says historically, and perhaps fittingly, people use their ‘tool votes’ to preserve Labour governments. This brings to mind another dictionary meaning for the word tool: i.e. someone who acts like a dick. He says in 1987 it was (ironically) to support Roger Douglas’s free market. It certainly wasn’t to the extent that we didn’t know about those policies until after the election. 

In the 1984 election, Chris thinks everyone flocked back to Helen Clark because they found Don Brash too extreme. Chris has obviously, conveniently perhaps, forgotten the last-minute student election bribe; otherwise Brash would have won. Like all commentators on the Left though, the reasoning has to suit the narrative.

Chris says Peters understands all this in a way his former comrades do not. Comrades? Here’s a home truth for free Chris: Peters only understands what’s best for Peters. Full stop. No ifs or buts. To add to the somewhat comical rhetoric, Chris enlightens us to the fact that Winston carries the same ‘nation-building’ gene as Rob Muldoon. Again, really? This lot have trouble building a house never mind a nation.

Chris tells us Winston also possesses his mentor’s instinct for anticipating the priorities of the ‘ordinary bloke’. Well, who would have thought the ‘ordinary bloke’ liked his back pocket being raided again and again and again. That’s news to me.

Like Trump in 2016, Chris says, Peters has grasped the deeply confusing political truth that conservatives are fast becoming the most avid supporters of radical change. Well Chris, the radical change we want is to be rid of this bunch of clueless clowns. He thinks our only hope for the change we conservatives want is to vote this pack of idiots in again. Dear man, what we want is the complete opposite.

Evidently, Winston’s message will be this – give the government the votes it needs to finish what it’s started and keep NZ First in the foreman’s role to make sure the job gets done. Translation – let’s make sure we trash the economy good and proper.

Chris thinks Bridges’ unrelenting negativity will be National’s downfall. Bridges still being the leader could well be National’s downfall. He thinks Peters will have his party up and ready to strap-on their tool belts and get stuck in. He certainly has a thing about tools and rightly so. After all, they’re all on his side.

According to Chris, Winston, NZ First, and their coalition partners will win because they will not be treating the 2020 election as an episode of Survivor, in which the government risks getting voted off the island. They’re confident it will turn out to be an episode of The Block – where everyone is eager to get a look at the long-anticipated transformation.

Winston can certainly identify with the first programme and the other programme presumably identifies with the new kids he put into government who are clearly not fit for purpose.

As for the eager look at the long-anticipated transformation, from all of us here Chris – NO THANK YOU.