The partisan Sunday Star Times
Reading the Sunday Star Times today, especially the editorial, Adam was intrigued to note how the SST is with each passing week becoming more and more the house organ of the Labour Party. Unfortunately the article in question does not appear to be on line as yet. Through the miracle of technology, Adam’s readers can read some extracts.
Yes, it is true Clark described them as a ‘hoot’ – a rather charmingly old fashioned turn of phrase, but as one commentator on National Radio suggested this probably meant she was seething underneath the gritted teeth civility.
Adam would suggest that Clark has only been successful in foreign affairs if one shares her world view. The so called tough line with Fiji really does not mean very much as there is little NZ can do to enforce it in reality.
Warning Fiji by reference to Mugabe is hardly going to worry the Commodore, as Mugabe is still in power aided and abetted by the Commodore’s new friends in China. Adam is sure the Fiji Government loses lots of sleep over the Commonwealth.
So what. Apart from anything else we scatter ill managed aid like confetti around the region and provide jobs for many.
Adam fails to see this deep experience of foreign affairs. Until she became Labour leader her ministerial roles were not in the foreign affairs realm.
The path she has led us on reflects her experience as a protester, not as some ambassador or diplomat. It may be the SST leader writer’s view that our relationship with the USA had caused problems, that does not mean that everybody else shares it. Adam would suggest also that not everybody sees the ban on nuclear warships as a happy provocation nor the ANZUS breach as a good thing. Here the SST writes like a tired old left wing hack.
Further from memory NZ did have a small detachment of military personnel in Iraq, post invasion for a while, plus ships from the Navy did patrol duty in the Persian Gulf, so the statement on George W Bush is not quite correct. But why should facts matter to the SST.
Increasing aid might be a good idea if we could have confidence it was administered properly.
Further, Adam is not sure about the statement ‘instinctively internationalist’.
However, Adam suspects that it is in this next and final extract we get to the real purpose of this sycophantic paean to the capabilities of Helen Clark.
The purpose being to denigrate John Key and National and to laud Helen Clark.
One reason that the greenhorn label might not stick is that the New Zealand Prime Minister, unlike the US President, is not leader of a superpower with his/her fingers on the nuclear trigger. Another is that Adam suspects that many New Zealanders are not really interested in foreign affairs, witness the support the xenophobic Peters garners. Further, Key has spent considerable time outside of New Zealand so whilst not an experienced diplomat he can claim some knowledge of the international scene.
Whilst not the view of the SST, it may well be that some people are pleased that National has nobody like Helen Clark.
Further, we have a diplomatic service whose function is to provide advice on these subjects. In addition, the SST seems to be making an assumption that Key is not intelligent enough to recognise the issues. Adam would suggest that this is probably an error of judgement on the SST’s part.
Overall Adam agrees with The Hive, in that partisan press can be entertaining, though at times the SST can be inconsistent.
This editorial read like an advertisement for Helen Clark.