by Phil Duncan
Helen Clark’s bid to become United Nations secretary-general has been backed by a veritable plague of sycophants in this country. From National Party prime minister John Key to pop star Lorde, we hear ringing endorsements of ‘Helen’ and how wonderful it would be for this anti-working class daughter of privilege to become head of the UN (and the first female UN head to boot).
Finally, however, we have a break from the litany of mindless consensus about ‘Helen’.
I’m not a supporter of the Maori Party, the party of the Maori elite and burgeoning brown bourgeoisie, but good on party leaders like Te Ururoa Flavell and Marama Fox for not endorsing the wretched Clark. While Flavell said it was because of her record on indigenous rights, Fox was more specific. Fairfax reported, “She said Miss Clark didn’t want to sign up to the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People, was Prime Minister when the foreshore and seabed legislation was introduced, and had supported the Tuhoe raids.”
The raids and virtual armed occupation carried out in Tuhoe country, along with the raids on pakeha activists at the same time, were, for me, the most despicable. They showed how vicious Labour in power is, how easily suspended basic civil rights are when Labour wants to move against people it doesn’t like and/or that it sees (rightly or wrongly) as some kind of threat to the state. Clark was absolutely determined that the peace and Maori activists be stitched up and go to prison. What a foul, foul individual! An all-round nasty piece of works and the proven enemy of civil liberties.
And keep in mind the Tuhoe raids were against fairly harmless people like Tame Iti – so imagine what viciousness Labour would unleash when faced with some kind of serious anti-capitalist movement.
Clark must surely be one of the most loathsome, self-obsessed and self-seeking politicians in NZ history. (See, for instance: https://rdln.wordpress.com/…/04/05/the-reign-of-helen-clark/). While this may make her an ideal candidate for the top UN post, I still hope she doesn’t get it. The only thing that matters to her is her personal advancement and she will do anything to achieve that. A principle-free zone, in my view she doesn’t have a single redeeming feature.
Indeed, Clark’s sycophants can’t actually tell us what positive things she did during the nine years she was prime minister.
Was it not raising social welfare benefits?
Was it deporting a young Sri Lankan victim of sexual abuse back to where she’d been abused?
Was it taking refugees that Australia wouldn’t, but then simply subtracting the number of those refugees from the annual NZ quota?
Was it saying that Laila Harre’s paid parental leave proposal would go ahead “over my dead body”?
Was it the suggestion that people in high-unemployment areas in the country might have to move or find themselves denied social welfare?
Was it firmly opposing the Engineers’ union’s call for a 5% wage rise for 2005?
Or how about the fact that she and her government substantially expanded the powers of NZ’s spying and other repressive state agencies in relation to New Zealand citizens?
Or how about doing nothing to close the pay gap between men and women?
Or how about doing nothing to give women more legal access to abortion?
Or how about running up years and years of surpluses, much of it then paid into the hands of parasitic bankers and other lenders, while keeping beneficiaries in poverty? Not to mention being in contrast to the Key-English government which, despite much more economically-straitened times, has actually raised benefits for the first time in 40 years.
Or how about denying iwi their ‘day in court’ in relation to the foreshore and seabed issue?
Meanwhile, Clark’s dissembling at the UN goes on unabated. Last week she gave a speech in which she pretended she gives a shit about refugees. As noted above, she had nine years as the prime minister and showed the complete opposite.
Hey Lorde, which one of all these things about Clark in power most appealed to you?
And how disgusting is current Labour leader Andrew Little’s call for the Maori Party to “let bygones be bygones”?
Yes, heaven forbid that Labour and its privileged elite like Helen Clark should ever be called to account. How mean! They should be allowed to do what they like, screw the working class over as much as they can, screw over impoverished desperate refugees, and it should all just be forgotten and forgiven.
No wonder more blue-collar workers voted National than Labour in 2014. Compared to Helen Clark, Key almost looks good.