Winston Peters was born in 1945 and was named after British Prime Minister Winston Churchill – so it is interesting that his secret trust to which Sir Robert Jones donated is called the Spencer Trust. Churchill was a scion of the famous Spencer family, an old and powerful aristocratic dynasty dating back to the 15th Century.
Churchill seems to hold something of a fascination for a certain caliber of political mediocrity – President Bush has a bust of him in the oval office. I think its because Churchill spent much of his political life disagreeing with the experts and the conventional wisdom, and at absolutely key moments in world history Churchill was right and the majority were wrong. That’s a very attractive biography to a contrarian like Peters
The problem is, if you look closer at Churchill’s life and the overwhelming majority of his judgments (Gallipoli, India, the General Strike, the abdication crisis, just off the top of my head – the list of his blunders, both military and political is very very long) the experts with their conventional wisdom were right and Churchill was dead wrong.
He was right when it counted though and I suspect that’s how Peters thinks of himself; sure, he might have made a few trivial accounting errors and not crossed all the ‘i”s and so on, but on the big issues of the day (asians are evil!) he feels history will vindicate him.