Barry Soper: Political ramifications for Peters vs Carter

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Northland MP Winston Peters. Photo / Northern Advocate, John Stone
Northland MP Winston Peters. Photo / Northern Advocate, John Stone

Luigi Peters is well known for his inflammatory statements and his refusal to kowtow to those occupying positions of political power.

This Parliamentary Don has been biffed out of the bear pit three times in recent weeks as he defied his nemesis, this week for committing the mortal sin of accusing David Carter of being biased against New Zealand First.

Peters was at Wellington's Victoria University preaching to the keen young minds yesterday about what he sees as the mainly white brorocracy, sending run down politicians to head plumb diplomatic posts overseas as a reward for what he sees as their dubious political performance here. Beneficiaries of some undeserved golden handshake, as he puts it.

Peters says if he's in a position of power after the next election, he'll block those sorts of appointments which is seen as a warning to National - widely expected to replace Lockwood Smith in London early next year with David Carter.

It has been suggested he's already told National that if they need him to get them across the line next year, then he'd demand that Carter's hauled back from the diplomatic post.

Of course he's not confirming that and chances of him teaming up with John Key would be a long shot anyway, given that he likes him about as much as Peters likes Carter. But anything's possible with Peters who, when he was Foreign Minister, himself appointed his buddy and colleague - the late Brian Donnelly - as High Commissioner to the Cook Islands.

Still, that appointment was a little more understandable than the one that's about to be made to Hawaii. This man has been stoking the political gravy train ever since he was dumped from the National Party's leadership more than thirty years ago.

Jim McLay was our United Nations Permanent Representative in the Big Apple, but on his return home a year ago a new job was created for him: special advisor to Foreign Minister Murray McCully who's now sending him to the six million dollar, four bedroom, five bathroom mansion, complete with a heated pool and waterfall, in Honolulu that was controversially purchased last year.

The appointment is apparently an acting one but it's bound to raise State Department eyebrows in Washington, given that McLay is also this country's representative to the Palestinian Authority.

Barry Soper is political editor for Newstalk ZB.

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- NZME.

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