The Soap Box: Little, Peters deserve awards

Author
Barry Soper,
Publish Date
Thu, 18 Dec 2014, 6:28PM
Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images

The Soap Box: Little, Peters deserve awards

Author
Barry Soper,
Publish Date
Thu, 18 Dec 2014, 6:28PM

The political pundits have been heaping praise on Teflon John Key as they reflect on who was the standout politician of the year. Admittedly it is hard to go past him, taking his third term in his stride, even if he was forced to wear waders during the mucky election campaign.

The Labour Party were rubbing their hands with glee when on the eve of the campaign, that nasty Nicky Hager had the media jam packed into a Wellington bookstore after promising them the bad oil he was about pour on the politicians claiming it would change the course of election. They all left clutching their copies of Dirty Politics and spent the night pawing through its pages.

The book based on stolen emails showed the dark side of politics, involving the belligerent blogger Cameron Slater and a so-called black ops man working a few offices along from Key. It failed to prove the Prime Minister was directing operations.

Nevertheless, debate about it dominated the headlines and commandeered the airwaves.

On the front foot throughout was John Key, daily deflecting accusations. Labour could simply watch from the sidelines, hoping the damage was being done and the mud would stick.

But publicity is the oxygen of politics and Labour was starved of it day after day while National was facing the bile in the limelight. So Key's third term was a given and even though he deserves a lot of credit for keeping his cool, is he the politician of the year?

What about the man who kept his own counsel as he traipsed around his electorate, having doors shut in his face because they didn't like the cut of his leader Martin Luther Cunliffe's cloth?.

Andrew Little must have known he was on a hiding to nothing in New Plymouth and when the final results came in he was looking around for legal work, even consulting with a couple of potential clients.

They say 24 hours is a long time in politics. For him, the day of the special vote count must have been heart stopping. As the last cab off the list rank, it was touch and go, but not only did he squeak back into Parliament, a couple of months later he snuck right on into the leadership.

In the space of a few weeks, the Little stamp had become a big Labour brand, so he too deserves an accolade or two as well.

But while we're handing out gongs, what about Luigi Peters who sailed through the election, largely beneath the radar which is highly unusual for him? This man who started in politics in 1978 has had a couple of stints in the wilderness after being chucked out of the place. But he is back with a vengeance, bringing a bewildered 10 MPs in with him.

This soon-to-be 70-year-old feels the pulse of the electorate like no other and deserves to take his place in the Political Hall of Shame.

Well it's a shame for him, he has the numbers but without the power.

Kerre McIvor Mornings

Kerre McIvor Mornings

9AM - 12PM