i know it's going to sound terribly partisan, but i still have to say it. the way helen clark has dealt with winston peters, her ability to negotiate the "standing aside" and the fact that she has treated him with dignity and respect even though she must be totally pissed off - all shows her very strong leadership skills. compare this with john key rubbing bill english's nose in the dirt a few weeks ago, and mr english then doing the same to maurice williamson re the toll roads. these guys don't have a clue about leadership and one has to wonder how they can possibly work constructively together in cabinet.
despite the stand-aside tonight, there will still be fallout from this whole thing. for a start, it has let national off the hook for a few days and may slow the momentum that labour has been building up for the past month or so. of course, alot now depends on the outcome of the two inquiries (SFO & privileges committee). dr cullen said in the house on thursday that labour really want mr glenn to front up to the PC, & it looks like he's going to do so.
an interesting point has been raised by colin espiner on his blog:
Incidentally, there is an intriguing side angle to all of this. The SFO, by launching an inquiry into Peters, has effectively saved its own life. A bill that was due to be passed under urgency by Parliament next week would have effectively abolished the SFO, reduced its powers, and folded staff into the police.
The SFO was vehemently opposed to this move, as you can imagine. So is the National Party. The bill has now been placed on hold while the investigation takes place. With only two weeks of Parliament remaining, it will almost certainly now not be passed. If National wins the election, it will never be passed.
I’m not for a moment suggesting the SFO launched the inquiry into Peters to save its own skin, just pointing out that Peters could justifiably claim a slight conflict of interest on the part of the SFO, given the benefit to itself of holding the inquiry.
the one thing you can say about mr peters (and believe me, i'm no fan of his) is that he has been providing plenty of entertainment. i don't think people have been this interested in politics for a long while.