John MacDonald: Luxon and Seymour deserve better - and we do too

Christopher Luxon, Winston Peters and David Seymour. Photos: RNZ / Samuel Rillstone, Marika Khabazi
Christopher Luxon, Winston Peters and David Seymour. Photos: RNZ / Samuel Rillstone, Marika Khabazi
How cringing are these coalition negotiations getting?

I’m very tempted to send Christopher Luxon a text message saying ‘you reap what you sow mate’.

And I would do that, if I had his number. But then he probably wouldn’t reply because he might not believe it’s actually from me. 

But if he did. If he did text back and say “Hi John. Great to hear from you. Not sure what you mean.” 

I’d say: “Mate, that daft idea you had before the election to say you’d work with Winston Peters. You reap what you sow.” 

That would probably be the end of the conversation because, even though he’s not admitting it, he must know now that he’s starting to look sillier and sillier by the day. 

Mr Mergers and Acquisitions must be thinking to himself ‘it was never like this back in the day’. And I think it went next-level last night, when we saw him and David Seymour rushing through Wellington Airport getting the last flight back to Auckland. 

And why were they doing that? Because Winston was up to his old tricks again. He was a no-show yesterday when all three of them were supposed to get-together in Wellington, for their first face-to-face meeting since the election. 

So, like two teenagers fighting for the same girl, there was the National leader and the ACT Party leader scrambling for the plane to try and get an audience with the Great One who, for some reason, decided he wasn’t going to bother travelling to Wellington yesterday. 

Mr Mergers and Acquisitions telling reporters that everything is going swimmingly well. Great to see you. Seymour putting on a brave face too. When you just know that the two of them will have been cringing running the gauntlet like that, knowing that we know they were snubbed. 

And imagine, once they got on the plane, how long that short flight to Auckland must have felt. Knowing that everyone else on board would have been looking at them thinking that Winston is giving them the complete runaround. 

I reckon the person sitting next to Luxon would’ve spilt their tea and just about choked on their  Cookie Time biscuit when he started banging on about how well things are going.  ‘Yes, shame about APEC, but things are going really well and do you know I used to run this airline?’ 

Not that I’m having a go at Luxon and Seymour. No. Even though I said the other week that I thought Winston Peters’ political experience might be useful for our relatively inexperienced incoming government, I think he’s taking the other two for a ride. 

In fact, he’s not just taking them for a ride. He’s taking us for a ride. And just like the girl that falls for the bad guy time and time again, I hope those who voted this guy back in are starting to wonder why.  

“Will I ever learn? He does this to me every time. But then I see the hair and the suit and that smile - that smile - and I just turn to mush in the polling booth. And I know it will end in tears but I just can’t help myself.” 

And thanks to them, we are in the situation we are in.  

There was a lot of speculation yesterday that Winston wasn’t in Wellington for the meeting with ACT and National because he was in Christchurch for the races. How bad would that have been? Putting the races before coalition talks.  

But that wasn't the case. Because Auckland was where Luxon and Seymour were screaming off-to last night on the last flight out of Wellington for their audience with the mighty one. 

And it was cringing to watch. It was embarrassing. But it was also, all-so-predictable. 

And New Zealand First voters will probably be cheering their Winnnie on. Because that’s why they want him on the scene. They want him keeping those National and ACT whipper-snappers on their heels. 

They want him to keep everyone guessing. But is that what the rest of us deserve? Is that what Christopher Luxon and David Seymour deserve? 

Of course they don’t. And we don't either.

-By John MacDonald, Canterbury Mornings host on Newstalk ZB Christchurch