Audrey Young at the NZ Herald reports:
Former Prime Minister Helen Clark believes the effort the United States has put into improving its relationship with New Zealand in the past few years has been damaged in the eyes of ordinary New Zealanders because the WikiLeaks cables showed “disrespect” for New Zealand’s independent foreign policy.
That is a typical Clark view of reality. Most would say that the cables have in fact showed Clark’s claim to have an independent foreign policy to be a platitude, as Clark sent troops to Iraq, in order to help Fonterra.
She said the ones authored in particular by former ambassador Charles Swindells and deputy chief of mission David Burnett were “distinctly unpleasant about New Zealand and about the Government, really quite disrespectful, if I can put it that way”.
I’d forgotten how much Clark tended to project herself as being the same as the Government and indeed even the country. So when she says the cables were unpleasant about New Zealand, she means unpleasant about her.