She’s back… again: Would someone tell Helen Clark no one wants her opinion any more

Helen Clark can’t just slide into oblivion. There isn’t a week that goes by without her seeking attention like the bitter, old, irrelevant bag that she is.

Now she is whining about party lists and how there aren’t enough women on them: Quote:

Political parties need to promote more women on their lists, former Prime Minister Helen Clark says.

Clark was speaking on Tuesday on a panel at Parliament on efforts to make Parliament’s more family friendly.

Parties are the gateways through which most people enter Parliament and need to be “the greatest champions” for equality, she said.

Lists are crucial because research shows fewer women make it into electorate seats. 

Clark’s call raises the spectre of the Labour Party’s call for a “man ban” in 2013. The party was ridiculed when it considered only nominating women as candidates for some seats, in an attempt to get a gender balance in its caucus.

Women make up almost 39 per cent of New Zealand’s Parliament.

Fifty per cent is within grasp, it needs another heave or two probably but if political parties pay attention and start looking at the construction of their lists it can be done,” Clark said.

Clark first entered Parliament in 1981 and there were just eight female MPs. She described an “old boys club” where the men socialised by playing billiards and drinking in the bar, while women sat on armchairs behind a curtain. “A lot has changed, and for the better.”

She was speaking on a panel at the Presiding Officers and Clerks Conference at Parliament on Tuesday. End quote.

What a bloody hypocrite. How were the lists in her days when she had a chance to actually make a difference? Oh, that’s right: top heavy in men. In 1996 there were 11 female MPs in her caucus of 24, or 45%. Most of the women on the list were ranked way down and never had a chance of making it into parliament. In 1999 when she won office her caucus was 16 out of 35, or 45%. No improvement. Her cabinet was even worse. Only nine women, including herself, ever made it to cabinet, or just 25%, yet 36 people served as ministers between 1999 and 2008. When Helen Clark was in charge she did nothing to advance women. That is an appalling statistic for when she was prime minister and also proves the utter uselessness of a list that was nearly 50% women. When women were present with almost parity, Clark chose to have them in her cabinet just 25% of the time.

On the other hand, it is quite useful to have haggard, old Helen Clark piping up and getting herself in the news, infesting the place. It reminds voters why they voted National. The more she pipes up the more it looks like she is trying to get back in the game and no one really wants that nightmare again.

Maybe when Jacinda Ardern tips over she will make a tilt for her own seat back… both of them.


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.

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