If the current political courting was being played out on the dating site Tinder, the ruggedly handsome Bill English would be constantly checking his phone, desperately hoping for a swipe to the right, confirming a hook up.

His index finger would've been sore, frequently swiping to the right on the wily old silver fox Winston Peters' profile which tends to put a dating prospect off. But being the old fashioned, conservative type, Peters would simply have left him hanging.

The recently posted profile of Jacinda Ardern has just been sitting there. She knows she'll get a right swipe, it's just a matter of time.

English becomes impatient, he desperately makes an unsolicited call to Peters, who he unashamedly and unwisely tells the public, who doesn't pick up. The indication was that the power broker was playing hard to get.


In reality Peters tells us he was in a cell phone black spot in Northland and by the time he was back within dating range it was too late to call English. He seems to have forgotten though, the National leader's sent texts during the wee small hours in the past.

But this is all part of a strategy by the dateless and desperate National Party to spook Peters and to show him he's not the only Tinder prospect.

It all started last week with Paula Bennett again floating the idea of doing business with The Greens, suggesting they like her climate change policy. Yeah, well if they liked it that much they wouldn't have campaigned to change her government.

Add to that the outburst by Jim Bolger, who you could be forgiven for believing was the mastermind of MMP and certainly the man who can negotiate tough deals with the toughest of customers. In reality he got the nod from Peters over Helen Clark in 1996 simply because he was prepared to give away more, like the Treasurer's job.

But Bolger says they should now be doing a deal with The Greens which most certainly would be a change of Government. And his views were backed up by a former Key Minister Wayne Mapp who came into Parliament the same year the deal with Peters was being brokered.

The strategy is to show Peters that he's not the only cab off the rank but it runs the very real risk of backfiring and antagonising the New Zealand First leader.

The Greens James Shaw has from the beginning given Bill English the left swipe and for the PM to now get on the blower to him would simply confirm their desperation.

As it is, Peters has now given right swipes to both English and Ardern and has confirmed dates with them this week. They'll both go on second dates next week where both are hanging out for the right swipe, which will come down to the best dowry on offer and the one who has antagonised him less.