Has Booby-trapped Centrists
New Zealand First leader Winston Peters MP has booby-trapped the pending general election for the centrist parties.
He now presents himself as the voice of common sense without the clutter of chic, neo fashionable issues that continue to cloud and generally fuzzy-up the offerings of the National government, and to an only slightly lesser degree, the Labour Party opposition as well.
Examples of his precision focus:-
- Farmers. He has undermined this founding and traditional support base of the National Party by appealing directly to them and doing so without the environmental qualifications that increasingly haunt the National government. More seriously still Mr Peters has bathed the nation’s economic base in a halo of Heroism while branding their leaders (i.e National Party) as Donkeys. Invoking this Western Front oratory, though, has tended to mask some of his other undermining devices. So also in his sapper’s kitbag we find fuses attached to:-
- Multiculturalism. The National government can only tread around this minefield for fear of antagonising its often unrecognised but still very strong intelligentsia support in places such as universities. Mr Peters states straight-out that whether we like it not that we all have to pull together for the common good.
- Diversity.(See above)Immigration. Like all adept populists, Mr Peters has the ability to articulate what most people are actually thinking. This is that the nation’s long-standing liberal policies on immigration have a lot to do with the demand for houses substantially exceeding their supply and especially so in Auckland. In other words that the immigrants have the effect of making houses too expensive for the locals to buy.
In this current campaign which surely must be his last hurrah? Mr Peters also packs in his electioneering kitbag his old whizz-bangs from his previous campaigns.
Among these we can include his known distrust of the non productive money twirlers (anyone still remember the Wine Box era?)
This is the segment known to be far,far away when the bill for their unproductive though personally ultra-profitable activities eventually falls on the electorate at large.
He also benefits from the National government’s chief piece of knock-out weaponry which is the nation’s extremely low unemployment statistics.
Note that we say “statistics.” The problem is that they have become a damp squib. Because few believe them
Mr Peters knows that there is great distrust about these figures just because they do not give any value to the actual jobs, many of which will be part time or low-paid ones in the services sector, or include for example those doing educational course of one description or another.
To have survived so many campaigns requires of course luck. Here again we find Mr Peters’ star shining brightly still.
The changeover in leadership pf the Labour Party means that it quite literally presents to the progressive part of the electorate an altogether much more fashionable and thus appealing face.
This means that Green voters, the fringe ones, can happily accommodate the prospect of casting their vote in the general direction of the Labour Party.
The Labour Party is much more disposed to form a coalition with Mr Peter’s New Zealand First Party than is the Green Party.