I can't quite work out the Winston Peters approach to Kiwi Jihadist Mark Taylor. He couldn't give a rats about him and neither, says Peters, could 99.999 per cent of Kiwis.

The media might be interested, but he isn't, he says. On face value he is, of course, wrong. We are worried about Taylor, he is a recognised and documented danger to this country and its safety. Even more so, if and when he lands back here.

Does Peters mean as he sits in Syria in a jail we don't care, and he can rot? If that's it, then yes, Peters is onto it.


But is the Peters line more Machiavellian? Is Peters running the bad cop, to Ardern's good cop? Ardern, beholden and mesmerised by the power of the United Nations, would never in a million years consider putting on some big people pants and taking a fairly staunch stand again this bloke.

Her approach appears to be to sound tough by saying he's on his own, and hoping he's not bright enough to get to help, grab some paperwork and make his way back here. Meantime, she's sent Peters out to pretend this is a non-story and we have bigger fish to fry.

The problem with the Taylors of this world is two-fold: one, he's nuts and two, he's not alone. This is a real and present danger to this country and indeed all countries who find themselves in similar circumstances. And in this country in particular whose justice system seems ill-equipped to deal with some operators.

Most will already have concluded that the number of people who get let out prematurely is too high. The recidivism rate is too high, the system, as it stands, around bracelets and monitoring doesn't work well enough.

And that's before you get to the simple reality that this is a Government that is keen to have more people out of jail, as opposed to in it. Justice Minister Andrew Little is on record saying jail doesn't work, his specific policy is to kill three strikes, he's not hardline, and he's backed up in that by his leader.

So, armed with all of that fact-based information, does it fill us with confidence that the world's jihadists, a few of which have come from New Zealand, are now on the move back to their homelands having been vanquished in their efforts to destroy the West?

If you are not worried you should be. And having Peters pretend this isn't interesting, or doesn't matter doesn't help.

We owe this guy Taylor nothing, and yet we have a Prime Minister dancing on the head of a pin, playing secret squirrel on any plans they may or may not have on how to protect us, and deal with what is going to be an ongoing issue all over the world.


Government stance and approach is everything. Look at America, look at Britain, intent counts. This Government's intent so far is a mix of non-plussed naivety and smokescreen-based verbiage.

All of which leaves us wondering if they have a clue.