Thursday, October 13, 2005

Dancing with the Devil…

It appears that those political discussions that have been occurring between the various parties are drawing to a close and that sometime over the next few days, we can expect an announcement as to the shape of the Government. As well as the details on the various deals that has been struck between the participants.

On the basis of the current media frenzy, it appears that a deal that includes the Greens and (cough…cough…) New Zealand First but, which might exclude United Future and the Maori Party appears imminent. It is uncertain as to what price New Zealand First has extracted from the Government for its support in terms of supply and confidence. It appears that Labour might have been forced to swallow “The Gold Card” for the elderly, as well as a rise in the minimum wage and a renewal of free doctor’s visits for under 6 year olds….hmmm….all well and good and then you go to the other demands for a review of all Treaty clauses in legislation and a commitment to the current seabed and foreshore legislation….that also does not include any other little demands that Peters might be waiting to spring on an unsuspecting Government.

Dealing with Winston is a bit like entering a relationship with the Devil. You never know what moves your partner is going to spring or what hooks the subsequent relationship is going to bring. Only, that there will be hooks (and twists) attached in this relationship. National discovered that to its cost during the late 1990s.

I wonder if Jim Anderton and the Progressives are having similar doubts. For those with long memories, when the Alliance was a going concern in the mid 1990s, it tried a marriage of convenience with Winston, only to learn that he had every intention of jilting them at the altar. Fortunately, they learnt this prior to any ceremony.

I often wonder if some in the Labour Party lament the demise of the Alliance (I know that Jordon does). In proportional representation it pays to have allies you can rely on after all socialists/left social democrats are easier to deal with than xenophobic conservative nationalists. They are also closer to Labour’s own liberal ideals. However, there is no sizeable party to Labour’s left and therefore it has been left with little option but to ask Winston for a waltz.

Like any contract with the Evil One, the ‘devil’ (if you pardon the term) is in the small print. Dance with the Devil at your own risk….

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