When the news broke that Winston Peters had accepted a donation from Bob Jones via the dubious Spencer Trust, I wondered aloud at work, 'Why would Bob Jones give money to Winston?'. Jones is a hard core idealogue of the right. Winston, by comparison, flits cheerfully about the political spectrum, advocating when it suits him interventionist policies of a sort that Bob Jones must despise.
My workmate answered my question, 'They're both blokey'.
Jones' subsequent media statements have shown just how right my workmate was. Jones described the circumstances of his donation on Campbell Live last night. Both Jones and Peters were a bit pissed, so Jones couldn't quite remember the amount he'd given Peters, but he knew it was over $100,000. They'd disagreed over the issue of Asian immigration: the donation was a 'no hard feelings' sort of thing. They clapped one another on the back.
The glibness of this - two drunken arses exchanging a sum of money well in excess of my annual household income - really offends me. And I'm stunned that for both men, serious differences of political principle seem less important than their allegiance to the boys' club. My principles, political and otherwise, are actually important to me. Given the idealogical song and dance Bob Jones has make over the last three decades or so, I would have thought that he, at least, would feel the same way.
It doesn't reflect too well on NZ politics, does it?