Aug 18, 2008

Enough Of The Flummery

The Dominion Post has some advice for the PM in today's hard hitting Editorial

NZ First leader Winston Peters should be a nervous man today, The Dominion Post writes.
The latest Fairfax Media/Nielsen poll shows the public don't want him. They don't think the prime minister should want him either - or that John Key should want him, if it should come to that after the election.
It also shows Labour has no political capital to use up in supporting him. At 19 points behind National, Labour is so far in deficit that it faces a Brobdingnagian drubbing at the election and will need to concentrate all its efforts on its own survival, not on convincing the public that Mr Peters is fit to be a minister.
Instead, Prime Minister Helen Clark should be telling Mr Peters to abandon his usual policy of evasion, bluster and bullying, and answer clearly and honestly the serious questions that surround the funding arrangements of his party.
She should start with telling Mr Peters that his continued presence in her Government depends on him being able to satisfy the privileges committee that he has done no wrong, and at the same time, tell her members on the committee that she expects them to pursue the issue with as much vigour as the Serious Fraud Office is. With 48 per cent of those polled saying he should be stood down, and only 37 per cent wanting him to stay, he is a liability now, and Miss Clark should be minimising the collateral damage to her party by stopping his shenanigans or stopping his enjoyment of the baubles of office.
Mr Peters sits at 2 per cent in the preferred prime minister stakes, and his party at 3 per cent - below the MMP threshold - in the poll. That would see him and his party out at the election, with a personal victory in Tauranga looking unlikely. And even were he to struggle back by convincing enough voters to share his delusions of conspiracies and media neutron bombs, more than 50 per cent believe neither Labour nor National should involve him in forming a government after the next election underlining that the public have had enough of his flummery and his posturing.