Former National Party MP and Minister Michael Cox has written an opinion-piece about Winston Peters in today's Waikato Times. And although he has described Peters as being "like a racehorse", we doubt that Winston will be especially pleased; check this out:
He was summed up by a close friend as being like a racehorse who spends most of his time scruffling and farting in his box and occasionally comes out with a withering run.This description of Winston Peters by his former party chairman was, at the time, pretty accurate. But surely the time has come to put him out to pasture; he's looking old, grey and withered. It appears that only the adoration of his besotted and ageing supporters keeps him going. His verbal blasts in the House now seem contrived and dated, with the bright young things in the chamber and some of the media now making fun at his expense. All rather sad really, with only the "shock jock" journalists seeking some sensational headlines keeping his ego afloat.
And Cox reflects on the achievements of Peters' long Parliamentary career:
So how do you measure his almost 30 years as a member of Parliament? Well, apart from entertainment value can you really pin something down as an achievement for Peters? He did, of course, introduce the gold card which now costs the taxpayers of New Zealand more than $23 million each year, but is that an achievement? Two per cent of pensioners who qualify for the gold card are Aucklanders, who use a huge and disproportionate 18 per cent of the $23m for weekly freebie cruises to Waiheke Island. What an epitaph.I was always surprised when former prime minister Helen Clark made Peters foreign affairs minister, bearing in mind his frequent jingoistic and xenophobic gibes about anyone from one of our main markets, Asia. I asked one of her colleagues why; she told me that it was better to have him overseas as foreign affairs minister than getting under her feet in New Zealand – good thinking, Helen.
Michael Cox then compares the lengthy career of Peters with that of Parliaments other chameleon, Peter Dunne. And having worked in Parliament with both men, he concludes that the latter has more to show for a lengthy time in politcs than the former.