Helen Clark

John and Helen, time to smell the coffee

Former New Zealand prime minister Helen Clark is losing support in her historic bid to become the first woman to head the United Nations, but she has no plans to quit the race.

Miss Clark finished equal seventh in the UN Security Council’s fifth secret ballot held in New York on Monday for the soon-to-be vacant secretary-general’s position.

It was one position better than the fourth poll on September 9.

But, in a disappointing sign for her campaign, nine of the 15 countries on the Security Council gave her “discourage” votes, two more than the last poll.

Miss Clark told supporters she was continuing her campaign and looking forward to the next phase of the vote.

“Many thanks to UN Security Council members who continued to support me,” Miss Clark wrote on Twitter. Read more »

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Vernon is still baffled, this time over John Key’s support for Dear ex-Leader

Vernon is still baffled, this time over John Key’s support for Dear ex-Leader, Helen Clark.

Contrast Little’s stance with Prime Minister John Key’s enthusiastic championing of Clark, his former rival, as the next United Nations chief.

There are no signs the straw poll overnight will contain any better news for Clark, who has languished down the league tables so far.

But Key has been unstinting in his efforts, leading US Vice-President Joe Biden to joke he thought she must be Key’s sister.

There must have been times when Key felt like telling her the game is up, especially now a couple of countries with veto powers have been tipped among her “discourage” votes. But he has steadfastly insisted in public that the call to quit is hers, not his, to make.   Read more »

Something is amiss when you burn off your fanbois

Vernon Small goes through life with red tinted glasses, but he is perplexed over Andrew Little’s bizarre rejection of Helen Clark’s sage advice.

Even if things should fall apart, it seems the centre cannot hold Labour leader Andrew Little’s interest.

In a strangely intense rejection of Helen Clark’s suggestion that parties on the left must “command the centre ground” to win elections, Little dismissed the idea as “meaningless” and “a pretty hollow view”.

Strange, because it is truism. Winning power requires 50 per cent plus one of the voters – and Mr 50 and Mrs 51 are by definition in the centre.

Perhaps Little was trying to say something more subtle – that the centre can be owned by someone else (not John Key surely? Maybe Winston Peters?) without embracing defeat.   Read more »

I know why John Key is helping Helen Clark

The Media party are all a flutter trying to work out why Key is helping Hels.

High up in a building that jostles for space on New York’s Third Ave is where Team Clark is based – the dedicated group of Foreign Affairs staffers tasked with backing Helen Clark’s bid to lead the United Nations.

This is where Clark comes to discuss her “talking points” for upcoming meetings, and for a “debrief” afterward. Notes are kept of her various meetings and conversations, tabs are kept on which countries might be supporting Clark’s bid and – though no one will admit it – there will likely be assessments of her rivals as well.

Another dedicated team based back in Wellington is also working on Clark’s bid. Coupled with the former prime minister’s legendary drive and energy, one thing is clear about this campaign – team Clark is not going to to die wondering if it could have done more.

Prime Minister John Key keeps making the point that Clark’s place in the middle of the pack so far has nothing to do with her credentials or ability but everything to do with geopolitical realities. You can make the same case about the team of experts working in the background of her campaign.

[…]   Read more »

Helen Clark’s advice to Andrew Little was basically “be like John Key”

Oh my.  No love lost between Hells Bells and Angry Andy, that much is clear.

Labour leader Andrew Little has rejected a suggestion by his predecessor Helen Clark that parties on the left must “command the centre ground” to win elections, describing the suggestion as “a pretty hollow view”.

Little says he instead is focused on building “a coalition of constituencies” as he prepares for next year’s election.

Clark told TVNZ progressive parties like Labour could not be written off and had to “roll with the punches” despite poor results around the world in recent years.

She also suggested Andrew Little should just “be himself”.

However, they had to ensure they had the support of voters in the centre in order to succeed, she said.

“It’s possible and it’s necessary, because to win an election in New Zealand or probably any Western society, you must command the centre ground. Read more »

Sorry to tell you, but Auntie Helen is coming home

Helen-Clark-Evil

Ms Clark is one of nine contenders remaining in the complex race for the position of UN secretary-general, but she hasn’t fared well in preliminary polls, coming in seventh.

Added to this, she may possibly face a veto from permanent Security Council member Russia when voting proper begins next month. Read more »

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John Key absolutely kills any chance Helen Clark had left

Telling the Top Five that Helen will sort it all out by making wholesale changes, such as attempting to remove veto rights will absolutely ensure her future is scuttled.  

The last thing the Top Five want is any radical change.

Prime Minister John Key has told the United Nations it needs Helen Clark to be its next secretary-general.

“This is not the time for a business-as-usual appointment for secretary-general,” he said in his speech to the General Assembly on Wednesday.

“The next secretary-general must have the courage, experience and skills necessary to lead this organisation, to keep it relevant and responsive.”   Read more »

Perhaps it’s time John Key stopped hugging a corpse

Helen Clark

John Key seems still enamoured with the soulless corpse otherwise known as Helen Clark.

Prime Minister John Key has met Helen Clark at the United Nations in New York and assured her the government will continue to support her bid to become the next UN secretary-general.

Key’s meeting with the former Labour prime minister took place soon after he arrived in New York on Monday for UN leaders week.    Read more »

Helen Clark sliding further backwards

Helen Clark

Not looking good for hells bells

Miss Clark came in eighth in Friday’s fourth straw poll for the next secretary-general, one place lower than the previous two polls.

The established frontrunner, former Portuguese prime minister Antonio Guterres, came out on top again.

While the vote could swing drastically in the final days with the Security Council’s permanent members – the US, Russia, China, France and Britain – holding vetoes that could strike Mr Guterres and other favourites out, Miss Clark’s slip in the standings is a setback to her campaign.

She was given six “encourage”, seven “discourage” and two “no opinion” votes. Read more »

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God loves a trier, and so does Helen. But I repeat myself

John Key and Helen Clark

John Key and Helen Clark

If Helen Clark is to become the next United Nations Secretary-General, it’s the Russians she needs most to convince she’s right for the job.

In Vientiane, Laos, on Thursday Prime Minister John Key will again advocate on her behalf when he meets his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev.

Russia has already said it wants the next UN head to be from Eastern Europe, following rotation.

Read more »

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