Clark and her mate George Bush; she helped him invade Afghanistan

Clark and her mate George Bush; she helped him invade Afghanistan

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’.

Making nice with George Bush while using vicious repression against Maori rights activists was typical of Clark's prime ministership

Making nice with George Bush while using vicious repression against Maori rights activists was typical of Clark’s prime ministership

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.”

Genuine progressives took to the streets to defend civil liberties against the repression unleashed by Clark and her cronies

Genuine progressives took to the streets to defend civil liberties against the repression unleashed by Clark and her cronies

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.

So says the woman who in nine years of being prime minister never advanced a single piece of legislation to narrow the gender pay gap nor any legislation to liberalise NZ's formally draconian abortion legislation

So says the woman who in nine years of being prime minister never advanced a single piece of legislation to narrow the gender pay gap nor any legislation to liberalise NZ’s formally draconian anti-abortion legislation

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.

Further reading:

Helen Clark and He Tangata

UN leadership contest: Helen Clark is the ultra-establishment candidate

 

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Comments
  1. Susanne K says:

    I think part of the problem is the extraordinary attitudes of far too many NZers about calling a spade a spade or making a fuss. You’re supposed to just grin and bear it and not be angry about stuff. Many NZers are far more concerned about politeness than rightness. Once in a generation, enough people act on what’s right and really do make a difference but, most of the time, this is much more a nation of toadies – certainly one dominated by toadies.

    It’s not polite to remind people of Helen Clark’s actual record. It’s not polite to harp on about the fourth Labour government or how the fifth Labour government didn’t do anything to help the working class, especially the poorest of workers.

    We are supposed to forget our own experiences and what we know about Clark and Labour and pretend instead. Pretend that Clark was some sort of white knight champion of the poor and oppressed. Go along with the reinvention of this odious careerist.

    There is also the great myth that we don’t like tall poppies. Actually, a great many people in this country behave very much in a sycophantic way towards tall poppies. They fawn over and worship tall poppies. Tall poppies hardly ever get questioned, much less cut down, in New Zealand.

  2. Don Franks (@jilldon2) says:

    Some very relevant points in the article and the first comment. Trade unionists attitudes to Labour have been part of this problem. The verses below I wrote eleven years ago while “the great lady”s government was nicely in control of the surplus value creators. And CTU leader Ross Wilson was actually one of the better reps we’ve had!

    It was Christmas day in the workhouse
    At the end of 005
    And after the morning prayers and gruel
    A great lady did arrive
    With a gift for every pauper over 16 summers old
    in the way of the Magi long ago
    bearing frankincense, mhyrr and gold.

    “In three months hence adults here get a 75c rise,
    and you younger ones will get 60…

    I can hardly believe my eyes!”
    said Ross – “You paupers – raise a cheer!
    For the good kind lady who’s deigned to come and bless you all in here.
    This is a most important step towards a future day
    when the minimum wage will be twelve bucks…”

    “Hang on”, said a voice, it MAY.”
    Quoth Ruth, the Workhouse Overseer,
    “Some time in 2008 “You’ll get your twelve an hour unless the market starts to fray.
    Your future rise depends on things called ECONOMIC CONDITIONS. (that’s stuff too hard to understand at checkouts or City missions)

    “Fine, fine” said Ross, “Whatever you say
    it’s a step in the right direction. We appreciate don’t we paupers, crumbs, each year ‘till the resurrection?”

    “Hang on there just a minute Ross”, a recalcitrant inmate muttered
    “How about we tell them to shove these crumbs and have fresh baked bread that’s buttered?”
    Bread just the same as the lady has and you and Ruth for that matter?”
    “Don’t listen to that old prick,” said Ross “He’s as mad as a bloody hatter”

    And so the paupers one more time told the madman where to go
    And sang the great lady’s praises as her carriage swept off in the snow.
    And a merry Christmas was had by all in two oh five and six and seven
    While a High Wage High Skill Economy
    awaited them
    in heaven.