Most of my opposition to Helen Clark is political. I don’t like her policies. I also think that she probably thinks ethics is a nice county in England. But again that is political not personal. I am quite capable of acknowledging her strengths, her skills and her desire to do what she thinks is best for NZ – even though I disagree whether or not they are.
I’m not a big hater of people. Life is too short. If people are pleasant to me, I’ll be pleasant to them. Most of my interactions with Labour MPs are very reasonable, and I even have one senior Minister who helpfully e-mails me with the odd correction to the blog. I always
That is my default position. But there are times when my rational calm self gets submerged and I yell abuse at the newspaper or TV set as I read something outraegous. For that period of time it is personal, and I briefly loathe someone. This doesn’t happen very often.
Reading Helen’s response to the issue of the Government refusing to allow the Reserve Bank to brief Key and English, was one of those moments. As the Dom Post puts it:
7/10 “I think we should have been consulted because of the magnitude of what’s going on today.”
National leader John Key reminds Helen Clark and Michael Cullen that in 3 1/2-weeks he could be the one left holding the baby over any decisions made in the final four weeks before a possible change of government.
3/10 “I think once again he’s been caught sleeping on the job. He purports to know about international finance markets. If he can pick up so little that he doesn’t pick up that both New Zealand and Australia are likely to move sooner, rather than later, on a deposit guarantee scheme, then frankly, you wonder what that experience is worth.”
Labour leader Helen Clark fires a cheap shot back.
It is more than a cheap shot.My thoughts on reading it were unprintable.
It is outrageous that her Government is so dismissive of doing the right thing, and worse suggests it is the fault of the Opposition Leader that she and Cullen blocked officials from being able to do a briefing. It reminds me of all the other constutional conventions that have trampled over:
- Consultation on quasi-judicial appointments such as Human Rights Commissioners
- Retrospectively amending the Electoral Act to protect a Minister who vacated his seat
- Shattering the bipartisan consensus on electoral law reform
- Continuing to make significant appointments within the final 90 days
- Attacking independent officers who try to hold them to account such as the Auditor-General, Chief Electoral Officer and Serious Fraud Office Director
- And now announcing a $150 billion guarantee four weeks before an election, and refusing to let officials brief the Opposition
Stuff like this really does anger me. That is because it is permanent damage. You destroy a convention and it is very very hard to put it back together. It is an eternal lowering of the standards. It is because of these shameful actions that I have changed my mind 100% on having a written constitution.
I used to be totally against having one. I trusted parties and PMs to respect the unwritten rules and conventions that had served us for over a hundred years and the UK for centuries before that. I no longer have that trust. Parliamentary supremacy means the Government can retrospectively amend the Electoral Act – and have done so for the most partisan of reasons. It does not get much worse than that on a sliding scale. This is why it is vital that at some stage we the people vote into existence a supreme law or constitution that not even a Helen Clark can ignore or amend. A law that allows Judges to strike down a Government’s actions or even a Parliament’s actions if they act in an undemocratic way.
If we ever manage to get such a supreme law, it should be dedicated to Helen Clark and Robert Muldoon. They have proved why it is necessary.