Mike's Minute: I'm happy to bet Winston's comeback will fail

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Mon, 21 Jun 2021, 9:53AM

Mike's Minute: I'm happy to bet Winston's comeback will fail

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Mon, 21 Jun 2021, 9:53AM

I am ready for my next bet with Winston Peters. He hasn't paid on the last one, by the way.

It was $100 to the charity of our choice. I said he wouldn’t get five percent. So bet two is he still won't get five percent despite his comeback, if that’s what you call it, over the weekend.

He hit the Australian media last week and gave the government a good serve over the vaccine rollout. It's not like he doesn't have a lot of material to play with.

Given his position in the last government, he can point to a lot of highly contentious and weird stuff that’s gone on post the vote that would never have seen the light of day if he had still been there.

But here is what is different this time. He's old, or even older. There is clearly no succession plan. People are sick of him and New Zealand First. Once you lost, it's awfully hard to come back. And the fact he was in such a powerful position last time was for no other reason than a quirk of the MMP system.

You not only have to get above five percent, but you also need to be in that sweet spot that makes you relevant. In other words, no one can form a government without you. The chances of that happening again are slim to none.

The party's performance in government was abysmal. It was a shocking advertisement for a pure MMP coalition. The best they had was a miserable line up of stuff they had stopped. The stuff they progressed, like the Provincial Growth Fund, was a shambles and a monumental waste of money.

That stuff haunts you.

You can also argue that Peters looks like a sad old man who doesn’t know how to let go. He lost, he refused to speak to anyone in a kind of "I'm sulking" sort of fashion. You would have expected him to go gracefully into retirement having made a fairly significant contribution to the political landscape over several decades.

But no, he's another one that never learns.

He'd counter, I'm sure, by saying he's been written off before. That’s true, but back then he was young. Back then he didn’t have a shambolic term of government under his belt. Back then, people hadn't woken up to the New Zealand First scam.

If he wants another hundred, I'm in. But it's easy money, I'd almost feel bad taking the bet.