The cant and hubris exhibited by Winston Raymond Peters in Parliament yesterday in his speech 'welcoming' the election of David Carter as Speaker was truly amazing even by his double standards. One sensed that even the motley crew that goes by the name of the Winston First caucus were embarrassed. They had a right to be.
His diatribe was full of Peters venom in coded language directed again a Carter who he had sued for defamation back in 2004 and lost and lost big time.
Peters focused on two issues. The first being the probity of appointing a politician to the London post in preference to a MFAT diplomat and the second, the failure of John Key to consult with him over the appointment.
This is where the cant and hubris rules OK.
Over the years both Labour and National have appointed 'their' men to our top diplomatic posts in London and Washington. Clearly they see advantages in having a friendly ear close to the ground in those two capitals.
Some have been inspired appointments and some simply embarrassing.
So, in view of his comment, how was it that Winston Peters, as Foreign Minister in the late and never lamented Clark Government, signed off on the appointment of Jonathan Hunt (ex Labour Speaker) to the London job? He was perhaps our most embarrassing one edging out John Collinge. Readers will recall Hunt's cringe worthy attempt to access the UK Old Age pension and also his refusal to out of his car and get wet at the Cenotaph in Whitehall on Remembrance Day. Answer that Mr Peters.
And as for 'consulting' over the choice of Speaker just where were you as a lickspittal senior member of the Clark Government when they appointed Margaret Wilson (arguably our worst ever Speaker) to replace Hunt. Was National consulted? No way.
OK, two wrongs don't necessarily make a right but I note that, while there may not have been formal consultation, the Greens Co-Leader confirmed in her speech that they had initiated discussions on the appointment. Peters could have done the same but the reality is that, given the blood feud between them, there is no way he would have ever agreed to Carter's appointment.
So, there it is. Cant and hubris in spades ... Oh, and pay the money back you b*****d.