What's the big fat Winstonian deal here?
While the world's markets burn -- while McBama and O'Cain make promises making them indistinguishable from each other -- while Helen Clark campaigns on "trust" that she's already demonstrated she's lost ,and John Key promises to "change" New Zealand when he's already promised not to make any change that will in any way make a difference -- while all this happens, New Zealand's media is still fiddling around with Winston Peters, his dancing monkey, and the question of which dog ate whose homework, and in which motel Brian Henry might have been when it all happened.'
Bizarre, don't you think?
Bear in mind here that the chief concern of the politicians questioning Winston on the privileges committee are not that he or his lawyer lied to us, their employees; they're not even concerned that they lied to the Electoral Commission, their referees; all that concerns them is that they might have have lied to them, the politicians, and got away with it. In the land just south of Molesworth St, that's the only 'crime' they recognise from a colleague.
But what's the real point with Winston for the rest of us? As Nigel Kearney asks, what's the big fat hariy deal here:
Am I the only one who doesn't care what happens to Winston Peters?
He lied and he got caught. But he didn't lie about something that makes any difference, in the overall scheme of things. It's nothing compared to Cullen saying tax cuts are inflationary when he knows it isn't so.
Winston also broke the law by failing to declare donations. But a law that requires parties to tell the government who supports them is dangerous and wrong. We wouldn't want it in Zimbabwe so why should we want it here? Governments are vindictive towards people who oppose them so the right to participate in the electoral process absolutely must include the right to participate anonymously.
Clark's decision to back Peters doesn't tell us anything about her ethical standards that we didn't already know and was not evident from her decision to make Peters a minister in the first place.
So why should we care? Anyone?