Bye Bye Winston

By John

Christie’s blog post commenting on Matthew Hooton’s opinion piece in a Newspaper again raises the old chestnut: should National court Winston or not. The fact that we agonise over this every three years is exactly what Winston wants. We are in fact willing participants in a game of his making. We are playing into his hands. 

I say this has to stop.

There is nothing to be gained by National being gifted government by Winston. As we are seeing currently, Winston is running the show. The fact Jacinda is incapable of doing so is beside the point. The way we implement MMP, Mr 7% has all the control and is effectively the PM. This means any legislation National wanted to execute would need his approval. Unless you are prepared to be as Winston compliant as Jacinda is, going into coalition with him would be nothing short of a nightmare.

If we accept this to be the case, the electorate may as well know now there is no deal with NZF in the offing. Obviously, that means a vote for a party of the Left is a vote for Winston. I believe that, with where Winston is sitting in the polls, now is the time to do it. There are other options available in the form of ACT and the New Conservatives. In my view, these two parties are overall more in line with National policies than NZ First. They might even push National further to the right which is something we would all be happy with.

Winston needs to be told we are no longer prepared to play his game, that we have no confidence he would negotiate in good faith and we don’t regard him as a reliable coalition partner. He should be left in no doubt that he will have no leverage at the next election and his ability to screw both main parties will be removed. Christie made a very valid point that for Winston to go with National after bagging them relentlessly for three years, would further erode what little credibility he has left. Not that he would care. Some would say quite rightly, that’s politics. It doesn’t have to be. 

National needs to forget Winston and move on and form other alliances. In strong National held electorates voters need to electorate vote National and party vote ACT or New Conservatives. I acknowledge the risk in doing this but it is the only way National will win government other than the unlikely event that it wins outright. 

National needs to put a stake firmly in the ground. One that hopefully next year will go through Winston’s heart. The big question is, do Simon and National have the spine to go with such a strategy?

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