Key Points:

If there is any justice in our electoral system, voters will farewell Winston Peters on November 8 and the latest disclosures concerning him need not disturb us much longer.

On the matter of undeclared donations channelled through his lawyer's accounts he did, it turns out, try to set up the diplomatic post sought by Owen Glenn, whose donation he still insists he knew nothing about.

And on the matter of the party's misspent election funds, which he has refused to return to the public purse, it turns out he has put half the owed amount into a trust in the name of the Mt Wellington-Panmure RSA assault victim Susan Couch who seems to be neither a trustee nor a listed beneficiary.

The trustees are Mr Peters' lawyers, including "blood brother" Brian Henry, who has taken Susan Couch's case against the Corrections Department.

It would have been bad enough had Mr Peters simply handed the money to her.

As a victim of a savage assault by a released violent criminal who was allowed to work with her at the RSA, she deserved all the public sympathy she has received.

But questions of compensation or legal aid are not for Mr Peters to decide in his high-handed way with public money.

He has searched high and low for someone to accept the money that ought, on an Auditor General's ruling, to be paid back to Parliament.

Other parties accepted the ruling though they liked it no more than Mr Peters, and made restitution to the taxpayer. He tried to palm it off to the Starship Foundation at the Auckland City children's hospital, which thought better of accepting it, as did other charities.

Susan Couch deserves better than to have her name used for his purpose now. And the public deserves better than to have its sympathy manipulated for Mr Peters' political satisfaction.

He derives a perverse pleasure from refusing to do what is expected, whether it is answering a straight question, declaring a corporate donation or accepting an adverse financial ruling as ordinary taxpayers have to do.

That perverse streak, evident throughout his long career, has been his downfall this year. It caused him to flourish a silly sign in denial of the Glenn donation, and it rendered him incapable of simply explaining publicly the nature and purpose of the "Spencer Trust" through which wealthy friends such as Sir Robert Jones and the Vela brothers of racing fame were advised to contribute to his party.

The Serious Fraud Office has found nothing criminal in these arrangements, and nor probably will the police investigation. But public life judges behaviour by higher standards than the criminal law. Elected representatives owe the people an honest account of themselves.

It is not a game of ducking and weaving and keeping the country guessing, as Mr Peters has always seemed to think. He kept enough of the public impressed, or at least amused, by these games to sustain a 30-year career. But this year it ceased to amuse anyone.

When he found himself before the House privileges committee, even Mr Peters seemed to realise that his fun had gone too far. Discrepancies in the evidence of him and Mr Henry were telling. When it came to a choice of believing them or Mr Glenn, most of the committee like most of the public found it no contest.

Now it turns out that as Foreign Minister he was urging the appointment of an honorary consul in Monaco, a title sought by Mr Glenn.

Mr Peters continues to insist that when he did this he had no knowledge that Mr Glenn had given Mr Henry $100,000 towards the cost of Mr Peters' legal fees. He invites us to believe he was pushing Mr Glenn's cause from the kindness of his heart.

The case has been exhaustively examined by the privileges committee. The country is weary of it and weary of him. In just eight days he should be gone.