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Does Dotcom realise the perils of buddying up with Winston? Read this, Kim

On one level, buddying up with Winston Peters is a genius move by Kim Dotcom.

Most polls already have NZ First on or around 5% and that’s before Peters has even broken into a trot with his reliable election year standbys - Asian immigration and super.

Peters could easily be in a kingmaker role after the next election, guaranteeing the giant German a friend in government whether NZ First opts to go with National, or a Labour-Greens bloc.

Dotcom says he will “self-destruct” his Internet Party if it doesn’t make 5% in polls by the time ballot papers are printed (about three weeks before the election), then “put our weight behind a party adopting our policies.”

If the Greens aren’t well positioned and/or continue to distance themselves from Dotcom, that makes government-bound NZ First and even more attractive choice.

Dotcom and Peters have things in common: they can both be charismatic and engaging, they’re both media smart and know what pushes people’s buttons, and they both love a good conspiracy theory involving the government and big businesses.

Peters has come out and backed a pet Dotcom theory – that Prime Minister John Key knew about the January 20, 2012 raid on Dotcom mansion before it occurred (yes, this rankles Key but he will still hold his nose and ally with NZ First if that’s what’s needed to hold power after the election).

NZ First has put a document called the “The John Key/Kim Dotcom Timeline” on its website. The timeline has no new information but its subtext is clear: look at all this stuff going on: surely the PM is fibbing when he says he knew nothing about the raid. And there’s also an insinuation that Dotcom was only granted residency so it would make it easier for him to be arrested and extradited. It’s labelled “Prepared by New Zealand First Leader’s Office,” but consists entirely of Dotcom's familiar bullet points.

And Winston has alleged the government is spying on him and his visits to Dotcom’s mansion, making the pair brothers in surveillance conspiracy. Most guffawed when they heard this theory but of course in the MMP world NZ First only has to appeal to 5%, and a good government-is-out-to-get-me story is grist for the mill.

So: Dotcom and Peters seem like best buddys all of a sudden.

But the relationship has perils on both sides.

For Winston, there’s the danger his blue rinse supporters will take fright. Some will ask, why should we support Johnny Foreigner? Isn’t he an internet pirate?

And, at the other end of his spectrum of support, there is a risk some of Peters’ conspiracy theory-loving fans will jump ship and support the Internet Party (in a 3News-Reid Research poll that found one in five would consider a vote for Dotcom’s Party, the largest block of the Internet Party-curious (30%) - identified as NZ First supporters). It would be a cruel irony for Winston if defecting NZ First supporters tip the Internet Party over 5%.

For Dotcom, there’s the danger Winston will draw out the worst in him. Already, we’ve seen Dotcom offer clownish support for the NZ First leader’s theory the government is keeping tabs on him.

Many potential Internet Party backers want detailed analysis on issues such as the TPP, copyright law reform and surveillance legislation – and a serious debate, not “the GCSB has planted bugs in my toupe” level dialogue.

Allying with Winston is likely to derail a serious policy push in favour of the NZ First leader and Dotcom egging each other on make ever-more-mindless claims about John Key targeting.

They will bring out the worst in each other. And for one of them, it will end badly.

And lastly, Dotcom needs to read a little NZ political history. Then he will discover that for all his campaign demogoguery, Winston actually kept his head down and behaved like a good soldier during his time in National, then Labour-led cabinets under MMP.  When he does push for a concession, it's something like the Gold Card that's of direct practical benefit to his supporters. Key doesn't need the GCSB to tell him the NZ First leader won't push any radical causes next time he's in government, either.

ckeall@nbr.co.nz

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Comments and questions
11

From now on, if asked, particularly by pollsters, I'm going to say I support the Internet Party, even though I have absolutely no intention of voting for it. Oops.

I guess my strategy of the opposite cancels us both out, I'll tell the pollsters I'm a Nat but I'll vote internet.

Maybe, but there's thousands of us and only one of you.

In case no-one has worked it out, KDC is having a good laugh at the expense of ALL parties, including National.

One of the best things I have ever heard about Winston Peters was when his political opponent Bob Clarkson from Tauranga said that Winston was not a team player.

http://tvnz.co.nz/sunday/peters-fights-political-survival-610384

Say as you will, but unlike the Kotesville Kraut, Winston Peters is the consummate politician.

Make no mistake, Mr Peters is there for the long haul. He will once again ultimately decide which direction this country takes - and who leads it.

Dismiss him at your peril.

At the age of 69, I somehow doubt his haul has much long left in it.

In world terms, Winston is just a pup....

Never forget that Walter Nash was 75 when he became Prime Minister.

Italys current President, Giorgio Napolitano is 88......even Robert Mugabe is nearly 90. On those stats alone, Winnie is good for another twenty years at least!!

Nice comparison between Winston and Mugabe. The two of them are paranoid.

What a waste of human effort and time instead of working on advancing NZ - just because of MMP. If the internet can make NZ the centre of the new world, where all transactions pass through NZ as NZ is the first to see the new economic day, then voting Internet Party is a goer if it has a policy to achieve the above.

Internet Party is so stupid to be aligned to Kim Dot Com (yeh i know he started it). If the people seperated from him then they would be able to garner alot more support, and side with a National Government which lets face it the majority of people in the party are right rather than left.

I would never vote for anything where KDC is involved. People talk about John Key being slippery KDC is like a KY Factory. Imagine Cunlife the Creepy Cat sliding down the internet party slide... Worst fear.