It’s politics not Tiddlywinks

Looks like Winston Peters reads this site.

He has an opinion piece at RadioLive about Helen Clark’s candidacy for the UN General Secretary’s job:

Helen’s Clark’s campaign to be the first female UN Secretary-General has ventured into stormy seas.

That has to be expected.

When you are seeking such a high office it is inevitable flak will come from some quarter.

In this case flak is being fired by the Foreign Policy magazine in the United States which claims in an article Ms Clark has left “a trail of embittered peers and subordinates” and “ruthlessly ended the careers of underlings in her quest to advance her candidacy.’”

New Zealanders might think New Zealand politics can be rugged, but things are a lot hotter in the Big Apple, New York.

Character assassination of political opponents is part and parcel of the American scene.

And that is a good thing not a bad thing. The robustness of the American political landscape means it is much more honest that the “nudge, nudge, wink, wink” system we have here.

What Ms Clark is trying to do is bring reform and greater accountability to the UN.

Which it sorely needs.

If you have a job to do and things must be done, a certain ruthlessness is required. The only requirement in a democracy is you must be careful just how ruthless you are or aren’t.

The UN reminds us of the EU – top heavy, a law unto itself, spending money like an eight-armed octopus and in need of urgent reform.

Ms Clark is running a sound campaign but a serious impediment will be the Russians, not necessarily deciding who the nominee will be – but who they can stop.

If there are enough countries that want the UN reformed – then she has a chance.

I spent time as Foreign Minister in Ms Clark’s Labour-led government and had a good working relationship with her.

She succumbed to pressure from outside when David Parker was stood down after false allegations were made about his business past and the media joined the pack hunt – luckily the Companies Office found a document which proved him to be utterly innocent. This was a disgraceful episode which Mr Parker has never received an apology for.

Another example was Dover Samuels who was stood down as a minister after allegations of misconduct. He was proven to be totally innocent but damage had been done.

Character assassination is often the first resort not the last resort.

As I said earlier we shouldn’t be too surprised by the attack on Ms Clark:

Tana Umaga once said of rugby, ‘it’s not tiddlywinks.” Nor apparently is politics.

Exactly. I’ve been saying this for quite some time.


– RadioLive


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  • Keeping Stock

    I have just two words for Winston Peters; Brendan Horan.

    Horan may not have been the sharpest knife in the drawer, but the way Peters played judge, jury and executioner without giving Horan a chance to plead his case was very poor form indeed. So it’s little wonder Winston defends Clark’s alleged treatment of her underlings.

    • Big fella

      Absolutely agree. By the way, where is the money Winston.

      • Uncle Bully

        I think he spent it like an eight-armed octopus, whatever that means. And anyway, what other sort of octopus is there, and how many arms (tentacles) do they have?

  • sandalwood789

    “What Ms Clark is trying to do is bring reform and greater accountability to the UN.”

    *There’s* a Tui ad if ever I saw one.

  • I am of the opinion that politics is EXACTLY like tiddlywinks but played with explosive pieces. Playing a shot could explode your target, but, unless you are very skilled, is more likely to blow your hand off or ricochet back onto your team. And it is ultimately pointless and childish.

  • Keanne Lawrence

    Old boy talks the talk and walks the walk it seems when it comes to character assignation accusing the Prime Minister of “bilge rat politics”. Correct me if wrong but he is merely the member for Northland but as in days of old he never seems concerned about his electorate. Too busy turning over rocks, in his glass.