Larry Williams: Flag debate now about politics

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Listen to Larry Williams now on Newstalk ZB, 4pm to 7pm. Today he looks at politics and the flag debate, plus Trump worrying the Republican elite.
The Kyle Lockwood-designed silver fern flag flies on the Auckland Harbour Bridge next to New Zealand's current flag. Photo / Greg Bowker
The Kyle Lockwood-designed silver fern flag flies on the Auckland Harbour Bridge next to New Zealand's current flag. Photo / Greg Bowker

The flag debate has ratcheted up a notch with voting papers being sent out this week.

Much has been made of the celebrity-type endorsements, like Richie McCaw and Dan Carter - both in favour of change. It's fair to say they have taken a bit of a pounding from the anti-change crowd. McCaw and Carter can do and say what they want on the flag, just like anybody else. Whether it makes a difference is another matter.

The polls suggest the current flag will be retained, and for this the Prime Minister John Key has to cop some of the blame.

The process by committee of selecting a suitable flag was a missed opportunity. It was a dud process which produced a dud result.

It's also evident that a lot of people are voting along political lines. So a vote against change is a vote against the Government. More specifically, it's a vote against John Key.

It will probably be at least another generation of flying the Union Jack before the flag issue is addressed again. Pity.

If the pollsters are wrong, and the "fern thing" wins, we are then left with a dud flag. A flag that is far from elegant.

Trump has Republican elite worried

The Donald circus goes on and the Republican elite are now seriously worried that the interloper will destroy the GOP.

Trump's candidacy was given some legitimacy over the weekend with the endorsement by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.

The day before Trump got pummelled in the debate, and the Christie endorsement took that off the news agenda.

The Christie endorsement is a huge step for Trump. It brings a saneness to Trump's campaign, if that is possible. It gives Trump a bump going into Super Tuesday. For Christie, it was political opportunism.

Trump's speech after the Christie endorsement was your usual kind of crazy, insulting comic act.

Of course Marco Rubio was the target because he's the only one right now that looks like he could stop Trump. He called Rubio a "baby" and "not as smart as Cruz" and "may even be a bigger liar". It was churlish.

At the same time, it was an epic rant and somehow compulsive viewing. He was ranting like a lunatic. Certainly not presidential.

People seem to love all this abuse that Trump dishes out - unless you are the Republican establishment.

READ MORE:
Larry Williams: Peter Dunne's flawed 'clean slate' proposal
Larry Williams: Labour attacks fail to dent National
Larry Williams: Bain report leak claims preposterous

Newstalk ZB radio host Larry Williams. Photo / Michael Craig
Newstalk ZB radio host Larry Williams. Photo / Michael Craig

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