Ryan Bridge: Winston Peters the real pilot of this Government

News 18/04/2019

Have you ever driven around with your granddad in the car? You have to drive because he's too old. He'd get lost. He'd have an accident. So you take the wheel.

Don't think for a second that that makes you in charge of the vehicle. He knows the roads like the back of his hand, he's told you where you're going, he barks directions at you willy-nilly and sometimes he'll reach over and put your bloody indicators on.

It might feel like you're in charge, but actually you're only pulling the levers granddad will let you.

He's the real pilot here, mapping your direction of travel to use a god awful catch-cry of this Government.

So Jacinda Ardern once again finds herself with old backseat driver Winston Peters with his hands on the blinkers. Only she's been driving round now for 18 months.

"Let's take a left down capital gains tax road, remember that's where we're going. Let's do this," she says.

"No, let's not do this. Keep driving," he says.

"Let's take this left down Zero Carbon Way. Let's do this," she says.

"No, let's not do this, keep driving," he says.

"Where are we going," Ardern eventually asks.

"We're going to an ATM," says Peters.

You're withdrawing $3 billion and I'm giving it to Uncle Shane.

In some ways I feel sorry for the Prime Minister, when anointed by Peters a few weeks ago, after the election she was filled with hope, optimism, and virtue. "Let's do this," she said.

Eighteen months in to this coalition there's only one man that really matters and one man who's opinion really counts.

"Let's not do this," he says.

Ryan Bridge is the acting host of The AM Show and host of Magic Drive on Magic Talk.