The Dim-Post

July 28, 2010

The Abhorrent Asshole Party

Filed under: Politics — danylmc @ 6:28 am

Vernon Small reports:

Speculation is rife that NZ First leader Winston Peters and his former adviser Michael Laws are to team up again as part of a “relaunch” of the party this year.

Neither Mr Laws, who is to stand down as Whanganui mayor this year, nor Mr Peters would confirm the rumours. But MPs from both sides of the House and sources close to NZ First said they were aware of plans.

One source said Mr Peters had indicated he wanted to relaunch the party this year.

The annual conference will be in Christchurch in late October.

I think they’ll easily get 5% – they almost made it last time. Memories of Peters’ disgrace will have faded; they’ll be able to campaign against in favor of smacking, against the ETS, Chinese investment, the Maori Party, Whanau Ora, foreshore and seabed, the existence of Maori in general . . .

National will probably be able to rule out Peters as a coalition partner – which means (as I’m sure they’ll gleefully point out) that a vote for Labour is a vote for Michael Laws as a Cabinet Minister. That’s gotta be 100,000 centre-left votes right there.

And what if National did experience a sudden collapse in support (it’s not unthinkable) and Goff had a realistic prospect of running a coalition government with New Zealand First, the Greens and the Maori Party? Helen Clark couldn’t control Peters – it would be simply impossible to run a government with both Peters and Laws let loose inside the Beehive.

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53 Comments »

  1. On Q&A this past Sunday Key was given the chance to rule out a 2011 coalition with NZ First but he didn’t take it.

    Comment by Mike — July 28, 2010 @ 6:36 am

  2. He can’t make any decision like that until he’s well inside the election campaign and knows how the numbers stack up.

    Comment by danylmc — July 28, 2010 @ 6:48 am

  3. “if National did experience a sudden collapse in support”

    Bugger two ticks ACT. Laws and Peters would be The Team.

    Comment by pmofnz — July 28, 2010 @ 6:52 am

  4. god bless the same democracy that gave us a 3rd term of Labour.

    Comment by davy crockett — July 28, 2010 @ 7:29 am

  5. there’s no way national won’t be returned at the next election. it would take an act of god to stop them.

    winston is incapable.

    so… probably just rinse and repeat on main party and coalition of the willing.

    Comment by che tibby — July 28, 2010 @ 7:52 am

  6. “they’ll be able to campaign against smacking…”

    Or, NOT smacking. Or, whatever the “bad stuff” is that those who think the repeal of the defence of reasonable force for corrective purposes has led to.

    With respect to NZ First, though, can it only be put to rest by destroying the brain stem (a la Zombies), sunlight (a la Vampires), or the common cold (a la War of the Worlds)?

    Comment by Andrew Geddis — July 28, 2010 @ 8:00 am

  7. Danyl, I doubt very much that the Greens would entertain being part of or supporting any Government involving Michael Laws – almost every public pronouncement the nasty little bigot makes is anathema to Green values and policy.

    Comment by toad — July 28, 2010 @ 8:01 am

  8. Or, NOT smacking.

    Or not… New Zealand First split on the anti-smacking bill. Maybe that’s why they need a re-launch?

    Comment by Graeme Edgeler — July 28, 2010 @ 8:05 am

  9. “Michael Laws – almost every public pronouncement the nasty little bigot makes is anathema to Green values and policy”

    i think you can broaden that out to “almost everyone”. laws deserves deportation.

    Comment by che tibby — July 28, 2010 @ 8:14 am

  10. Dear god, Laws and Peters together is like a scarier version of Frankenstein’s monster. Where is a pitchfork-weilding mob when you need one?

    Comment by Ataahua — July 28, 2010 @ 8:19 am

  11. Maybe it’s really a cunning plot to put people off MMP.

    Comment by homepaddock — July 28, 2010 @ 8:42 am

  12. Maybe it’s really a cunning plot to put people off MMP.

    It did occur to me that a resurgent Peters will damage support for MMP.

    New Zealand First split on the anti-smacking bill.

    Wasn’t that United Future?

    Comment by danylmc — July 28, 2010 @ 8:43 am

  13. Oh fun!

    What a year 2011 is going to be.

    Comment by Gooner — July 28, 2010 @ 9:01 am

  14. “New Zealand First split on the anti-smacking bill.”

    True that. I forgot that Brian Donnelly and Doug Woollerton voted for it. However, I strongly suspect they will not be a part of the reanimated corpse, and their treason will be conveniently overlooked in all the subsequent rabid, populist foaming at the mouth.

    Comment by Andrew Geddis — July 28, 2010 @ 9:30 am

  15. Ataahua: “Dear god, Laws and Peters together is like a scarier version of Frankenstein’s monster.”

    From Wikipedia: “[Frankenstein's] creature, upon discovering the death of its creator, is overcome by sorrow and vows to commit suicide by burning himself alive in “the Northernmost extremity of the globe”; he then disappears, never to be seen or heard from again.”

    We can but dream …

    Comment by Andrew Geddis — July 28, 2010 @ 9:34 am

  16. One source said Mr Peters had indicated he wanted to relaunch the party this year.

    That would make it the New Zealand Second Party, then.

    Comment by toad — July 28, 2010 @ 9:36 am

  17. “I forgot that Brian Donnelly and Doug Woollerton voted for it. However, I strongly suspect they will not be a part of the reanimated corpse, and their treason will be conveniently overlooked in all the subsequent rabid, populist foaming at the mouth.”

    Ummm, Brian Donnelly passed away in 2008….

    Comment by max — July 28, 2010 @ 9:37 am

  18. I think toad has the best response here.

    Comment by Michael Stevens — July 28, 2010 @ 9:45 am

  19. Brian Donnelly … will not be a part of the reanimated corpse

    Too soon…

    Comment by Graeme Edgeler — July 28, 2010 @ 10:08 am

  20. Here’s the relevant quote from Q & A:

    “GUYON You will also have to confront the question possibly of Winston Peters. Will you do what you did in 2008 and rule out this morning working with Winston Peters?

    JOHN Well we may do, but the point I would say is he has to rule himself in, and he hasn’t done that yet. Whether he turns up in 2011, his team certainly doesn’t look like it’s going to, whether he does is something we’ll cross. When that bridge comes along, if it comes along we’ll make that decision, but that’s a 2011 decision, not a 2010 one.”

    I disagree with Danyl: National are unlikely to maintain a 50% poll rating, which they need (allowing for Maori seat overhang) to govern alone. So Key will be asked constantly: “Who’s your guy? Rodney or Winston or Hone? Or … Russel?”

    Rodney is the first answer, but not one Key wants to emphasise. After that, National’s target voters dislike Hone Harawira far more than Peters or Laws. The Maori Party is OK to them as long as it’s just cuddly Pita and no power, but then the Maori Party is no longer OK to its own constituency. By 2011 Winston will seem like Key’s least worst option. Then he will be accused of U-turn number 2,685 …

    The parties that are closest are, of course, Key-National and Goff-Labour. So the answer is obvious. But don’t say so out loud.

    Comment by sammy — July 28, 2010 @ 10:12 am

  21. There’s probably a Psychology thesis just waiting to be written on the rise and fall of Laws’ mental-stability/political-popularity/philosophical-viewpoint.

    Is there another MP in NZ history that has swung so violently back and forth across the political spectrum?

    Comment by Phil — July 28, 2010 @ 10:13 am

  22. Wasn’t that United Future?

    They split over it. New Zealand First split on it.

    Comment by Graeme Edgeler — July 28, 2010 @ 10:13 am

  23. Let’s see. The planet is collapsing due to global warming (Scientists like Prince Charles say we have only got 10 years) and we can form part of the next government.

    But the next government includes Laws & Peters.

    Tough one for the Greens.

    Pros

    Might help stop planet collapse

    Cons

    Seen in public with Laws & Peters

    The Greens are the best of the best the planet can go heave!

    Comment by Simon — July 28, 2010 @ 10:14 am

  24. Michael Laws will do well as the face of a reanimated corpse party.

    Comment by gazzaj — July 28, 2010 @ 10:17 am

  25. Is there another MP in NZ history that has swung so violently back and forth across the political spectrum?

    From National to New Zealand First to New Zealand First?

    Yes, there are those who have swung that violently: Don Brash from Fabian Socialist to classical liberal. Tau Henare from New Zealand First-and-we-will-not-be-with-National, to New Zealand First-with-National-as-part-of-a-coalition, to Mauri Pacific-and-supporting-failing-National-Government, to National MP. Roger Douglas, and a fair number of ACT MPs.

    Comment by Graeme Edgeler — July 28, 2010 @ 10:20 am

  26. “…I think they’ll easily get 5%…”

    For all the scorn of teh internetz kidz, if 100,000+ N.Z. voters vote for them, the deserve to be in parliament. If they do, what that says about New Zealanders will become moot.

    The 5-6% they may get would come entirely from National. Now, let’s if National poll anything less than about 44-45% and Labour/Greens about the same then these clowns will hold the balance of power, especially now that Tariana Turia is nothing except John Key’s bitch.

    So, people, who would blink first – Phil Goff or John Key?

    Comment by Sanctuary — July 28, 2010 @ 10:26 am

  27. Cue bitter weeping. New Zealand First and the Greens are the only parties that have consistently offered an alternative to the neo-liberal model that has ruled for twenty-five years – in the case of NZF, married to a socially conservative mindset. A valid, even valuable, point of view, more than worthy of political representation, but corrupted by the cynics and charlatans who promote it.

    Comment by Walter Nash — July 28, 2010 @ 10:28 am

  28. @ Graeme,

    I meant less as-in party affiliation, and more their (publicly presented) political ‘compass’.

    Laws was a Young-National when it was still cool to be a Young-political-anything. He arrived in parliament, gained an overdeveloped sense of white liberal guilt, and turned into a socialist. Then NZF and talk-back bought out a whole other side in him…

    Comment by Phil — July 28, 2010 @ 10:46 am

  29. to be honest, NZF’s policies aren’t so bad. the old-age free transport one and free medical visits for kinders were awesome.

    the problem is that winnie and lhaws are complete cnuts.

    Comment by che tibby — July 28, 2010 @ 10:48 am

  30. “Brian Donnelly … will not be a part of the reanimated corpse
    Too soon…”

    Yeah – sorry … overlooked that (screamingly obvious) interpretation. I meant more that he’d pretty clearly grown sick and tired of NZ First by the time he left the House in 2008 – even had he not passed away, he’d have passed on from them.

    Comment by Andrew Geddis — July 28, 2010 @ 10:58 am

  31. New Zealand First was basically promoted as socially conservative, anti-immigration and anti-corruption. They only potential future leaders they had were Peter Brown, who was an immigrant, and Brian Donnelly, who was so liberal that he was friends with Sue Bradford. When their leader was found to be corrupt, they had nowhere to go. However, Micael Laws may be their saving grace (I’m not sure if it’s grammatically correct to use the word ‘grace’ in the same sentence as ‘Micael Laws’).

    Comment by kahikatea — July 28, 2010 @ 11:05 am

  32. kahikatea, I would suggest using “malevolence” rather than “grace”.

    Comment by toad — July 28, 2010 @ 11:12 am

  33. Michael Laws is denying it on his Facebook page:

    Michael Laws The ‘Dominion-Post’ speculates this morning that Winston Peters and Michael Laws (!) are going to relaunch ‘NZ First’ soon … I’m reminded of the Benji Marshall quote about things being procured out of one’s arse … this story presumably came from the same Press Gallery drinking session that saw Barry Soper get pulled up drink-driving. Very amusing.

    Comment by Deborah — July 28, 2010 @ 11:33 am

  34. That’s not actually a denial Lhaws has posted on his FB page, Deborah – it is an obfuscation (something both he and Peters are very good at).

    Comment by toad — July 28, 2010 @ 11:45 am

  35. Break out the oak staves, I say!

    Comment by mrfebruary — July 28, 2010 @ 12:15 pm

  36. Oak staves, indeed. I was thinking more along the lines of wooden stakes and silver bullets. I do like the term “reanimated corpse party”. Laws and Peters … yep, zombies all.

    Oh, correction. I like the Lhaws spelling. We should all embrace it! :-)
    Let’s add one to Pheters too!

    Comment by David in Chch — July 28, 2010 @ 12:24 pm

  37. … and maybe call it the NZ Whirst Party?

    Comment by gazzaj — July 28, 2010 @ 12:32 pm

  38. Excellent, gazzaj!

    Comment by David in Chch — July 28, 2010 @ 12:40 pm

  39. LOL.

    NZ Whirst….

    Comment by che tibby — July 28, 2010 @ 12:42 pm

  40. 5% would give them 7 MPs. A road back for the liars and vagabonds. To be truly a party of Abhorrent Assholes, the other 5 MPs should be Philip Field, Richard Worth, Judith Tizard, Benson-Pope, and Graham Capill

    Comment by Pat — July 28, 2010 @ 2:07 pm

  41. And if you pronounce the “wh”, not as “Fa” but as “wa” as in some dialects, it sounds as “NZ worst”. So, I double-like it with extra cheese and mayo.

    Comment by Clunking Fist — July 28, 2010 @ 2:08 pm

  42. Pat – Field and Capill won’t be eligible to stand – they’ll still be in prison – so they’ll have to find a couple of other assholes. Resurrect Bob (left Testicle) Clarkson and persuade David Garrett to come across from ACT to his rightful home, perhaps.

    Comment by toad — July 28, 2010 @ 2:31 pm

  43. What about the SST and Family Fist clowns? Surely the anti-smacking crusade has given them a taste for quixotic enterprises like this one..

    Comment by gazzaj — July 28, 2010 @ 2:44 pm

  44. Toad – “Field and Capill won’t be eligible to stand – they’ll still be in prison”

    The Greens are always hand-wringingly concerned for the rights of prisoners. Maybe they could submit a private members bill to allow them to stand.

    Comment by Pat — July 28, 2010 @ 2:56 pm

  45. I reckon Andy Haden and Tony Veitch would still be up for it.

    L

    Comment by Lew — July 28, 2010 @ 3:59 pm

  46. If you want an ex-All Black with nutty ideas, you can’t go past Joe Karam.

    Veitch is OK as a reformed criminal, but Mark Bryers would make a better Minister of Finance.

    Comment by Pat — July 28, 2010 @ 4:16 pm

  47. You make a sound argument, Pat.

    L

    Comment by Lew — July 28, 2010 @ 4:30 pm

  48. Capill could well be out. He’s been eligible for parole since 2008, and his statutory release date is 2014. Parole in the next 18 months has to be a reasonable possibility.

    Comment by Graeme Edgeler — July 28, 2010 @ 4:38 pm

  49. If Peters’ support was the only thing Key needed to secure a second term, any promise on his part to rule out entering into an arrangement with New Zealand First would evaporate as utterly as his promise not to raise GST.

    Comment by Daveosaurus — July 28, 2010 @ 7:17 pm

  50. This posting will be worth revisiting after the next election is over
    if NZF contests.

    I hope they do.

    The post election shenanigans should be a lot of fun, especially for all the posters on this board.
    Our political scene lacks court jesters.

    NZF could do quite well.

    Bring it on!

    Comment by peterlepaysan — July 28, 2010 @ 9:10 pm

  51. Hey I dislike Lhaws as much as the next upright hominid but “his story presumably came from the same Press Gallery drinking session that saw Barry Soper get pulled up drink-driving” is actually a pretty sweet burn…

    Comment by garethw — July 28, 2010 @ 9:23 pm

  52. capill for which ministerial post?

    youth affairs?

    too soon?

    Comment by che tibby — July 29, 2010 @ 7:49 am

  53. “New Zealand First split on the anti-smacking bill.”

    True that. I forgot that Brian Donnelly and Doug Woollerton voted for it.

    Should have added a while ago: Peter Brown and Barbara Stewart also voted for it (NZF was four in favour, three opposed).

    Comment by Graeme Edgeler — August 1, 2010 @ 9:52 am


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