The Hallelujah Song

By   /   October 10, 2017  /   37 Comments

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In the absence of the Left’s uplifted voices, Winston will take what he can get from the Right. Better to deal with people who have never known that such transformational music exists, than be disappointed by Labour-Green politicians who no longer consider the Hallelujah Song worth singing.

WHAT’S WINSTON LOOKING FOR in a Labour-Green-NZ First Government? What must he be convinced of before he tells Bill English and the 44.4 percent of New Zealanders who voted for the National Party that, this time, he and his party are signing-up with the Left?

First and foremost, he needs to be convinced that such a government will be a success. Between now and 2020, Winston is looking to secure an enduring political and historical legacy. That can’t happen if the government he imposes on New Zealand turns out to be a fractious shambles – disaster is not the legacy he’s looking for.

So, as he receives Labour’s offers and makes his counter-offers, he will be watching closely and listening carefully for the slightest sign, the faintest note, of the Hallelujah Song. Winston needs to know that Labour’s reach continues to exceed its grasp: that its MPs strive for something beyond mere political power; that it is still a party of nation-builders.

He will be studying Jacinda Ardern especially closely. Does she fully appreciate the sheer weight of the hopes and dreams New Zealanders have heaped upon her? Is she ready, truly ready, to fulfil them? And, does she show even the slightest sign of knowing how? Is hers the principal voice among Labour’s team of negotiators? Or, does she constantly defer to her friend and ally, Grant Robertson? And does Grant, in turn, look to his mentor and patron, Sir Michael Cullen, for the right words at the right time? And has Sir Michael ever known how to sing the Hallelujah Song?

Objection will be raised that Winston’s a hard-nosed old bugger; and that he’s much more likely to be found singing along with Kenny Rogers’ “The Gambler”, than attempting to join in some airy-fairy Hallelujah Song. That will certainly be the case when he’s sitting down with Bill English and his wise-guys. With National, everything will be hard-nosed and zero-sum. He is, when all is said and done, of National’s tribe: they know him, and he knows them.

Winston is fluent in all the transactional languages of the Right. When he’s with National it will all be a matter of things given, things taken; advantages secured, potential gains foregone. Like Kenny Rogers’ Gambler, he’ll tote-up his winnings and calculate his losses – but never at the table. NZ First’s and National’s negotiations will be conducted according to the bloodless protocols of businessmen exercising due diligence on a proposition their principals will be asked to either endorse or reject.

But National is Winston’s fall-back position. It is the party he’ll turn to if, in spite of his best efforts, he can find no trace of the Hallelujah Song. He knows full-well that a Labour-Green-NZ First Government will only work if it is animated by a unifying determination to roll-back thirty years of ignorance, cruelty and greed. He will be looking for the unmistakeable signs of a political army getting ready to march. Not only must he find evidence of solidarity, but also of that fierce delight which people display when they find themselves in the company of like minds and kindred spirits.

If that’s present in the room when he meets with Labour’s negotiators, then he really has no need to meet with the Greens. If he encounters a Labour Party charged with the thrill of solidarity and primed for action, then the Greens will be too – only more so. In a room like that there’s no need for the brute diction of win and lose, profit and loss. He and his team will know that NZ First, Labour and the Greens can do this in a way that will allow him to leave politics as an honoured and beloved statesman.

But, if all he hears in that room is the language of caution and denial. If all he’s given are countless reasons why things cannot be done. If all he senses on the other side of the table is a supercilious disdain for himself and his party, and open contempt for the Greens. Well then, he will listen politely and walk back sadly to the barren realism of Bill and his buddies.

In the absence of the Left’s uplifted voices, Winston will take what he can get from the Right. Better to deal with people who have never known that such transformational music exists, than be disappointed by Labour-Green politicians who no longer consider the Hallelujah Song worth singing.

 

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37 Comments

  1. Dave says:

    He aint looking green that much is clear

  2. WILD KATIPO says:

    Awesome post , Mr Chris Trotter.

    This is the blunt truth. Peters is seeking a team , an army ,- all fired up and wanting to do battle , – and win.

    … ” He knows full-well that a Labour-Green-NZ First Government will only work if it is animated by a unifying determination to roll-back thirty years of ignorance, cruelty and greed. He will be looking for the unmistakeable signs of a political army getting ready to march. Not only must he find evidence of solidarity, but also of that fierce delight which people display when they find themselves in the company of like minds and kindred spirits ” …

    We have all been sitting round theorizing , speculating ,… wondering…

    And its times like this , when we all know the policy’s , their differences and their overlaps, … that we can only fall back to a position of lateral , intuitive thinking.

    The fact that Peters isn’t meeting with the Greens , does not necessarily mean its a non starter at all. There is so much similarity , policywise , Peters knows he can get a semblance of hegemony.

    So that just leaves those intangibles , – personality , attitude , esprit de corp , positivity.

    Collectively a coalition of Labour , Greens , NZ First would be a dynamic one. It would be an innovative one with vision. And it would also be one that Peters could build a legacy with , – as opposed to a 4th term , tired govt with a huge amount of baggage.

    And another thing , when Peters said yesterday that he was wanting changes from the way this country has been run socially and economically for the last 30 years – that’s a clue to the sort of legacy hes looking for.

    Peters has always had trouble with neo liberalism.

    Its why Seymour had a post in Stuff … and the whole slant on Peters was demeaning. Seymour is , now, the single quintessential free market representative – who stands for everything Peters opposes. And Seymour knows his time is done no matter which way Peters turns , but especially so if its towards Labour. He is done then, permanently.

    This cryptic portion of Peters election night speech is perhaps a lot more revealing to what Peters really is wanting,… and whose heads are going to be rolling…

    … ” We don’t like extremists, – we believe in laws and policy’s that support the mass majority of New Zealanders , and not just a small elite ,… who may have gotten control of the political system and the financial funding of political party’s , … shows that in this campaign ” …

    – Winston Peters.

    23/9/2017.

  3. countryboy says:

    I can’t do it. I can’t discuss/comment on winston peters in a measured way. He’s a Neo Right lawyer with a well kissed arse. Nope. Can’t do it.

    Instead and wildly off-topic ( Or is it?? )

    Nobel prize/behavioural economics.

    Know your enemy…

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/oct/09/what-is-behavioural-economics-richard-thaler-nobel-prize

    Imagine a nobel prize for head-fuckery 101 ? Wonders will never cease.

    Yeah/nah. Can’t help myself. It’s my undoing.

    winston peters/headfuckery/all gas/no results/been there more than thirty years/pinstripe pockets lined/doing tea with brash/cook islands charade yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap….

    A plaintive cry ” Winnie ? Winnie ? No ! No ! … The tree’s over here….”

    …yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap…

    “No winnie… over… here… ! ? ”

    …yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap,yap…

    “Oh Jesus. I give up”

  4. bert says:

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11931472

    Can someone please tell Prebble to fuck off! He and his ex party and his opinion are completely irrelevant. Why on earth does the Herald give him air time. The man is a lunatic!

    • countryboy says:

      Just for you @ BERT.

      Pity it wasn’t a hand grenade.

      https://youtu.be/O-vtgV7KvxA

    • Yes Bert.

      Prebble is delusional.

      He must take voters for mugs who do not remember his devious ways.
      I reckon he is more than a little sick and very thick.

    • Danyl Strype says:

      None of the main premises of this piece are stated overtly, but they sneak in the back door by being implied, by all the lesser points that are overtly made. For example…

      “Labour is showing its inexperience in even contemplating forming an unstable coalition of the losers. Such a government will have no moral authority.”

      That a coalition that holds more than 51% of the seats in parliament – as many or more than the NatACT regime – would be unstable is a questionable assumption, but this is obscure behind the vanguard of the argument which focuses on Labour being “inexperienced”, another assumption never stated nor defended in this piece. This is a true ‘weapon of mass distraction’, a masterful piece of propaganda by a veteran of the trade.

      Crawl back to your Crosby-Textor masters, Dick Prebble, and tell them that their time is up.

    • Im right says:

      At least Prebble has been in Parliament and has a working knowledge, no matter if you agree or not with his bleathering…..Chris Trotter has never been in Parliament and yet all the left hang on his every word (well most of them…sometimes he is not flattering to Labour and then he is in Nationals pocket and just a hack blah blah)

      • WILD KATIPO says:

        Ha ! – even when Prebble WAS in parliament he was a hack, – and he still is.

        He joins the long , long list of ACT failure’s and hacks ,… lets see now,… Douglas, Prebble , Brash , Banks , – oh yes , – lets never forget ‘Banks’ , and now Rimmer.

        And who was that other weirdo they got in there for a few months?

        Oh that’s right : Jamie Whyte

        ALL of them ,… propping up an extremely unpopular party which only ever passed the 5% on the strength of Ruth Richardson and Douglas.

        And where are they all now?

        Skulking in positions such as the Chinese Investment Bank and other outfits ,- making the most in the limited time they know they have left before their scurrilous mates in the neo liberal National have their arses kicked.

        ACT – should at least have the common decency to rename themselves something far , far more appropriate ,- such as JOKE.

        JOKE .
        ………………………………..

        Jumble of Outdated Kleptomaniac Enthusiasts.

        ………………………………..

        There you go , – that’s about the size of public sentiment for the rabble that only achieved about 0.7 % of the vote this election.

      • bert says:

        Not a particularly big fan of Trotter either way and I say it like it is, Prebble is incoherent most of the time and no two sentences seem to join together( seems entrenched in ACT leaders), thus calling him grandiose deluded. But hey, the right seem to hang off his every word, which says more about them I guess.

  5. WILD KATIPO says:

    By the way , Mr Trotter ,… a very powerful ‘ Open Letter to the Leader of NZ First today in Stuff:

    Chris Trotter: ‘Dear Winston’ – an open letter to the leader of NZ First …
    https://www.stuff.co.nz/…/chris-trotter-dear-winston–an-open-letter-to-the-leader-of-nz-…

  6. Samwise says:

    “Had enough yet” doesn’t translate o more of the same with a 4th term National govt. If that’s Winston’s choice his legacy will be ashes in his mouth, to borrow a phrase.

    So Mr Peters, how are the DHBs doing lately? OUr rivers? The environment? Homelessness? THats the poisoned chalice the Nats are offering to Peters.

  7. Dave says:

    its ok COUNTRYBOY this board would be better without you

    • Liberty4NZ says:

      I for one disagree Dave. I may not always agree with what Countryboy says, (Winston got my electorate vote), but you have to respect the passion and good intention with which he says it.

      • WILD KATIPO says:

        Exactly – one of the most colourful and descriptive bloggers I’ve seen , – and I still reckon COUNTRYBOY could an NZ political bestseller !

        It’d be a real side splitter !

      • CLEANGREEN says:

        100% Wild atipo,

        Countruyboy has vast intellegence and deep vision on many issues here and has added many views all very focused on TDB over the last several years.

        I for one is alwaysd astonished at his detail and knowledge on every subject we have been covering, so I stand alongside CB & WK on his inculsion on our Blogsite so thanks Dave but no thanks.

    • Andrea says:

      It would not.

  8. Observer Tokoroa says:

    Mr Trotter may not realise it, but Winstone Peters has given his Party the Best name.

    “New Zealand First.

    Not Right Wing. Not Left Wing. Not White Man. Not Maori. Not National. Not Act. Not Green. Not Red. Not Maori. Not Labour.

    New Zealand First.

    He will not be impressed that Bill English has bolstered himself with a might swag of wealthy Chinese – while at the same time slagging off Kiwis.

    He will not be impressed that Bill English has imported hundreds of thousands of wealthy foreigners per year – and built no infrastructucture.

    Winstone will not be impressed that Billy English have given Millions of $dollars of Bribes to Saudi Arabian Farmers.

    While all the time the Farmers of Northland could get a bridge or two built.

    In short. Bill english like his hero John Key and his little acolyte Bennett doesn’t give a single shit about New Zealand.

    Winstone says: New Zealand First. Bill English says openly: Foreigners First New zealand Last.

    • Jack P says:

      I agree.

      • CLEANGREEN says:

        I agree to OBSERVER TOKOROA,

        “New Zealand First” says it all, – and don’t we want New Zealand back under our control?

        you bloody-well bet we do!!!!

      • Seaweed says:

        At least you know what NZ First stands for, as you say it’s in their name. The national party, on the other hand, uses a name they are surely not entitled to, and, by virtue of it’s deliberately deceptive nature, should be prevented from using.
        The word national is defined as of or for a nation, as a whole… which the national party, as representatives of a small elite of vested interests and supported by a crowd of wannabes, never has been or ever will be.
        These days I wonder if that criminal cabal of liars, fraudsters, thieves and traitors even qualify as a bona fide political party

  9. PB says:

    Well done, Chris. Very well put. And that’s the big question that makes me ambivalent about who he goes with. If he goes with Labour, I hope it’s for this reason.

  10. kim dandy says:

    Second That.

  11. dennis D says:

    The trouble with crystal gazing is that it can only be pure guess work. I want a Labour/Green/ NZ First coalition because I dont think I can stand another 3 years of National but something inside is telling me that the NZ economy is going to crash within the next 3 years. If National is in charge at the time it will be the end of that party – and good riddance.
    If the coalition is in charge at the time, National and the media will gang up to say that everything was fine when National was the government and the Alliance have destroyed the economy. The dumb voters, looking for a scapegoat, will swallow it whole and that will be the end of Labour and NZ First – the Greens will survive.
    So my take is that we cant afford more of National but the alternative is worse. Sorry to spoil the party.

    • WILD KATIPO says:

      No , – you haven’t spoilt the party , but if Peters does go with National in light of his statements about ‘ change in the way this country is run both economically and socially ‘ and looking at foreign ‘ investment’ , – basically saying such things have been the demise of this country since 1984,…

      Rest assured , – National wont be getting out alive after hes finished with them. The neo liberal hegemony is about to be smashed in this country.

      That’s something that we all need to remember , – Peters is no real friend of neo liberalism / neo liberals. That’s why he hates ACT and had running battles with Ruth Richardson , and then Jenny Shipley.

      The whole party is centrist / moderate and antagonistic towards neo liberalism ,… this statement :

      … ” We don’t like extremists, – we believe in laws and policy’s that support the mass majority of New Zealanders , and not just a small elite ,… who may have gotten control of the political system and the financial funding of political party’s , … shows that in this campaign ” …

      – Winston Peters.

      23/9/2017.

      Tells us the basic premise on which NZ First is based. If Peters goes with National there is absolutely NO WAY we will be seeing the sort of Dirty Politics during the Key era . None of it . National will be walking a tightrope because Peters will have them over a barrel.

      Just a little bit more , and we will be seeing the demolition of the ailment that has caused so much damage for 33 years , – that of neo liberal ideology and economics.

      And the great result of that is a Labour Green coalition will only become stronger and stronger with time. Its a win / win situation for the Left in the long game.

    • Andrea says:

      ” National and the media will gang up to say that everything was fine ”

      Just imagine. Let it become a thought – the triumvirate actually succeeds in tough times because
      they have the will
      they have the skill
      they think outside the traditional ruts
      they’re bigger than fear and stupidity
      they can call on wise heads from all over and anywhere…
      and they change the tired old wheel of fortune game.
      Wouldn’t that be terrifyingly NEAT*?!

      Also superb, magnificent, and ‘we always knew they could do it’.

  12. Pat O'Dea says:

    The last leader of New Zealand First.

    OK Winston this is how it’s gonna be.
    You join up with us, you get a Knighthood.
    You get to be wined and dined by the racing fraternity as Minister for racing industry. (We know you like that one.)

    As well as this, we will create some sort of fictional cabinet post, so you can get the benefit of a Minister’s salary. Let’s call it, say, “Treasurer” or something like that, some post where you won’t have to do too much. What do you think?

    At the end of three years, when your party has collapsed, you can quietly sign up with the party, in exchange we will put Mike King on the list and then endorse you as the National Party candidate for Northland, how about that? Good enough? This should see you right, at least until your dotage, possibly even beyond, (who would care if the National MP for Northland developed advanced age related dementia or Alzheimers? Not us, that’s for sure. For a sweetener we could even build those ten bridges we promised to build last time. That should keep your Northland constituents happy with this jackup.

    If you should eventually, die in office, we agree to give you a state funeral and erect a statue in your image in the centre of Kerikeri.

    Sound good?

    How’s that for a legacy then?

    OK then, just sign here, and here, and once more right down at the bottom.

    And we are all done, welcome into the National Government cabinet Mr Peters.

  13. Michael says:

    By Friday I expect Winston to announce a National-NZF coalition of fuckwits while Paula Bennett will look gleeful behind his shoulder, knowing that she got away with leaking his personal information about his pension.

    This will see the start of three years of an only slightly watered down National agenda, interspersed with a touch of NZF xenophobia – limiting the number of Asians into NZ.

    Wake up people, the political right has a strangle-hold on this country. The political spin doctors acting for National have perfected the art of manipulating public opinion to the point where people actually vote against the best interests.

    We will see 9 more years of National because they are beloved by NZ’s meat and potatoes population.

    • CLEANGREEN says:

      A lot of truth in there MICHAEL,

      Good insight.

      So the Green Party had better send a good pooicy to Labour/NZF to get an agreement to aviod this Nat/NZF possible alliance and get in behind a Lab/NZF/Green coalition.

      I was formerly a Green Party member from 1999-2002 so I vividly remember when Greens were in a coalitiion with Lab/NZF before so “lets do this”!!!!!!!!!!

  14. HC says:

    I must admit, I do not have a good feeling about this who to and fro between negotiating parties.

    I fear that Winston will somehow let the Nats reign for a while yet, but perhaps wait for the moment to exploit some stuff up or disaster, to let an early election happen, from which he may rise with his party, as the glorious winner, getting near fifteen percent.

    Then we go through all this again, but we may finally see Winston go with Labour then, in a year or two.

    The body language I was in the participants, in those bits of news clips, do tell me, Winston is the only true winner, Jacinda may miss out this time, and English will do all to get another term, with Winston, no matter the price.

  15. David Stone says:

    I fear with Cullen in the frame that “it’s a cold and it’s a broken Hallelujah !”
    D J S

  16. Iain Mclean says:

    Chris;

    Another superb effort. The reason i read you so many years ago.

    You are softening them all up for the disappointment?

    Lets hope we get real lasting change.

    See my comments here;

    https://thedailyblog.co.nz/2017/10/14/nz-companies-complicit-in-culture-of-violence-intolerance-and-oppression/

    Cheers.