Winston Peters, well known as the founder and only leader of the NZ First Party refuses to retire.
He is one of the few politicians who has featured positively on MENZ at times and one might have thought would be happily retired now but was busily delivering his “State Of The Nation” speech yesterday to a Grey Power audience in a church in Howick.
If you watched that, you would have seen the statesman play to the congregation with several references to the Bible and tease their sense of humour with his ancestry, about how one half of him wants a drink and the other half doesn’t want to pay for it.
Later he would stand outside and say NZ First wouldn’t go into coalition with any racist parties.
That contradiction is perhaps a grand example of the Kiwi comedians Kiwi men were, and the Wokesters of the current generation.
Idiosyncrasies aside amid the war on men by the Clark Administration Winston came out with the slogan, “A man for a Change.”
Yes, it got attention and I know who they were playing to, because they rang me up and asked me to join NZ First.
What would you have done?
My answer was a straight out “No”.
I’d previously turned down National and ACT in the election before. I never believed that I would or could make any significant difference in a political party when those that have been male friendly never got past vague platitudes in Parliament.
But Winston himself could have made a difference. He had the opportunity to contest the removal of the section 59 legislation but never stood true to his rhetoric.
Yesterday, his integrity suffered its biggest test, when he said, he knew nothing about He Pua Pua, yet NewsHub showed the document where he led the Commissioning of that report.
His deteriorating sanity was questioned before he left parliament in 2020, now his honour is on the table too.
From a young academic, a rugby player, to one of the country’s best known career political figures, we now get to sit in judgment on what we see, not as a politician or whatever you consider his accomplishments, but as a man.
Is this the Kiwi statesman that deserves to be called, Sir Winston as opposed to Sir John Key?